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So do you believe in God?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Oaz, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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  2. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Oh, they can live however they want in their own home. It's just sad when they start trying to deny things like homosexual marriage and the like based on religious convictions.

    That somebody can try to dictate the rational world based on irrational beliefs just irks me to no end.
     
  3. Phone_Tools Gems: 3/31
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    ok yeah, i believe in god. But my concept of "god" is different from the common meaning. I think that all souls came from the same source (god) and that our reason for being here, to put it very simply, is to learn. So in that sense there is a small part of that which we call 'god' in each of us. And i do have my reasons for saying this.

    i don't like using the word 'believe' either when talking about god. i mean, whether you believe in god or not, it doesn't make any difference. god either exists, or not, right? I think it's better to find out for yourself, through your own personal experience, whether or not god exists, and not take anyone else's word for it. and yes, it can be done :)
     
  4. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Once we've passed on to the other side, we will be able to see for ourselves what's there too. Faith in religion requires that we trust prophets who have been told by God what's on the other side. Similarly, without access to the propper equipment, you simply have to trust the scientists that they are reporting their findings and not just getting stoned and making **** up...

    Thank you, I've been trying to say that all along. True faith isn't everything either, but it is important as well. Logic works within the world of science and the like, but it fails in spiritual realms.

    And there are some who believe that they live and act well, but are wrong in key elements of their morality. That leads to more contention. Their example seems to justify things that are in fact wrong. For years, I fit the "good aethiest" category. Sure I was a believer, but I didn't buy into the rules. I lived well in the eyes of the world, but I drank and smoked dope. I looked to be a good example, but advocated other sins. This too is a problem...

    Couldn't the idea that there is no God be another one of those wolves in your example? Pride, the belief that your will and concept of morality is superior, is a trap waiting to be sprung on those who think they are better than others.

    Oh yes, it's really scary for someone to actually be happy for once. I am happier now that I don't drink or smoke dope, don't indulge in pornography and try to put God first in my life. People have noticed that change, but those that lament it are fewer than those that approve of the change. Not enough of them follow my example in this, but they have seen it...

    But what if my experience supports the words or the teachings of this Hierarchy? Then logic would support faith...

    This is a thread about God, and religion has been a key part of this discussion. I was relating your comment to the topic at hand. Other such hierarchies are for other threads...

    Iku-Turso, I read your point at the end of your post, but seek to remind you of one thing. Jesus Christ came to save and preach to the sinners. Religion is not for those who are perfect, but who are working on it. While it is not fair to expect them to be perfect, you must remember that they, like all of us are (or ought to be) striving to be our best.

    But my experiences have justified it to me personally.

    In other words, stop searching for answers and live? Funny, I have my answers and people continue to say that they aren't good enough, or ridiculing them. Ought these people get a life?

    :bs: complete and utter :bs:

    Intimidation doesn't work. Moral actions done under duress don't prove devotion. Further, until you can provide evidence that it is in fact lies, then you only act on faith in your own convictions. From there, what makes you better than me?

    What's wrong with that? If you become faithful, then faith can comfort you too. It's been replicated enough to convince me that there is logically something to it...

    And just what does Government do? They enforce someone's form of morality on the masses. In a democracy, the people have some influence on which version of morality gets in, but some form of morality is instituted.

    I have something on Gay marriage that I didn't come up with before, but that's just too far off topic...
     
  5. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    If you believe in God, you're not an atheist; that's the whole friggin' point of atheism. It is not, as you seem to believe, being a coke fiend or whatever else, it is a set of beliefs that are totally separate from an individual's morality. Much as only some few Catholics have molested little boys, only some few atheists use it as an excuse to do whatever the hell they please. If you don't want others to generalize your faith based on a few bad apples, I respectfully request that you return the favor.
    It could be, but given the evidence I've seen, I'd say it's not.
    Oh really? This...
    ...smacks a lot more of a moral superiority complex than anything I have ever heard uttered by an atheist. Congratulations on shooting yourself in the face on that one.
    Nice 'universal' example. :rolleyes: Not every convert is going to be just like you, Gnarff. But even regarding that example, is ignorance bliss? Would you not care about being converted to, say, Buddhism, if you knew that you would suddenly be happy beyond reason? I somewhat doubt it. No, you'd probably be ready to report the local chapter as some sort of brainwashing cult and pat yourself on the back for rooting out 'evil'.
    Yes, and so should you for constantly preaching those answers. ;)
    Well, it does, but only on the weak. Children, for example, who don't want to go to church, but are threatened with eternal damnation, usually go. It still doesn't create devotion, as you've said, but being exposed to church at such a young age has an effect. Despite my best efforts, I still have Christian leanings from being forced to attend mass as a child. The constant drum-beat of prayers upon a forming personality has a great effect, and if that opportunity comes around by intimidation, that intimidation would then be indirectly responsible for the resulting devotion. Admittedly, these cases are getting rarer as each new generation of parents becomes softer on their children (on the average), but it does happen.
     
  6. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
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    I've never been happier because I'm no longer an active member of a christian church. Those 'true' christians who had their affect of making me think this way were more into judging people than trying to be...perfect. And here we come into this:

    No, it isn't. But is kindness and understanding too much to ask? Is it really? It's not like they would have to be kind and understanding towards evil in the world, but they're so prone to see evil everywhere in the world and condemn everything. You could say that the world is evil, judged to be doomed in any case but they're working up this holy wrath against anything that goes against their doctrine so much so that there is very little room for kindness towards anything but those who they recognise as their own. They're the modern day pharisees, following the letter of the word, but not the spirit. And the bad thing is that were you to meet them I'd expect you to welcome them as your own. They're not that different from any other christian I've met who considers himself to be of the faith.

    The thing what really bugs me with christianity is that no matter how hard you try, those 'true believers' will always make you feel that you're not trying enough. If you feel that you're saved by the love of God and because Jesus Christ died because of our sins, and say this, they would have this doubtful look which tells me that they thought that I was paying only lip service. No matter if you'd say that you'd believe and it would be the truth, the question would always be that 'do you believe enough?' Every time I expressed my happiness because I was a christian, because God would love me, because Jesus had died to save us, they disapproved. It seemed that they didn't wan't me to be happy for these things, that I should take things more "seriously", to tone it down and not to exclaim my joy.

    If I would've stayed with them I would have never found happiness, but ongoing guilt. A depression because everything that I'd do would have been wrong. The choice was clear. I chose not to believe them, not to be a part of them, to have as little as possible to do with them and their like, to have a distaste with christianity. I chose that God can exist if He wants, for all I care, but I lost my faith in christianity and christian people. And now they're only people, just like anyone else, and christianity is only a way of thinking about things, just like any other way. No more, no less.
     
  7. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    And I step back in :rolleyes:

    Hmmm... WORSHIP OR GO TO HELL would seem pretty scary if I didn't know better. When organized religion (specifically Christianity) started, what was there to stop people becoming fearful of some unknown, supposedly all powerful being? People were intimidated into becoming faithful, on penalty of everlasting suffering. If fear hadn't been used to get followers, Christianity might have died out long ago. Plus, as Fel said, even if they aren't instantly worshippers, if they continue to go to church, eventually they will start thinking that way. Fear is the most powerful tool, and there is no way you can say religions haven't implemented it (think of all who have been killed because they didn't believe in specific religions).


    As Iku-Turso said, Guilt is also another of those tools.
     
  8. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Umm, Referring to my beliefs as fairy tales? Considering religion a delusion? I've heard more Christian bashing than i care to repeat here. Way more insulting than you believe my remarks to be.

    It only seems like bliss at the time, but in retrosepct, it is better that I did learn.

    I can't speak for Buddhism. I don't know much about it.

    Um, Hello, this is the twenty first century, we welcome those of you stuck in the fourteenth century to join us. There's all kind of wonderful things here, like cures for a lot of diseases, videogames, computers, cars...

    Seriously, how am I supposed to respond to something so wildly inaccurate as that? I'm Mormon, not Roman Cathollic, and the Spanish Inquisition has been over for over 600 years...

    Under most moral codes (not just religion, but those that the aetheists claim exist without religion teaching them) require parents to do as they feel necessary and proper to teach their children properly. If that means dragging them to church, then so be it. I was talking about adults here.

    You speak like that is a bad thing?

    Giving the children adult options before they are ready doesn't adequately prepare them for the responsibilities of being an adult.

    That becomes as much of a problem--those who have had negative experiences within religious institutions. Please don't judge Christianity or any other congregation by one that you had a negative experience with.

    It is EXACTLY what is asked. But it is much harder to do as has been asked. Words are easy to speak, hard to live.

    Mark Twain once observed that a cat that has been burned by sitting on a hot stove won't do it again, but they won't sit on a cold one either. Fear tends to make it a natural reaction to shy away and condemn, it is better that we reach out to the sinners and welcome them. It is less about what you've done, but what you've learned from it.

    Truth is that yes, we are saved only through the grace of God. The point is that we should be grateful for the "free pass" and try to live a better life from now on.

    They were wrong. Man is that man may have Joy. Anyone trying to tell you that you are too happy needs to learn that lesson. Equating religion with misery is :bs:

    Again, they are wrong. Those who equate religious faith with misery are missing out on the spiritual benefits and blessings that God wishes for us.

    And how successful is that? Hell, I'd tell them where they could shove it (and probably drink their communion wine on my way to the men's room...)

    When the church lost the ability to abuse it's authority, poeple started telling them to shove it. Could it not be possible that religion should be uplifting? People who insist that it ought to bring you down don't get it, and will drive people away with their mistakes.
     
  9. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Excuse me for saying so, but the Bible is a book of fairy tales. Whether they're true or not has no bearing on the "magic" that takes place in the stories. And as for religion being a delusion...so? Everyone is deluded in one way or another, and a fair amount of them are good delusions. The word may have a generally derogative connotation, but that doesn't mean you have to take it as an insult, or even that it was meant as one.

    In addition, this is not Christian bashing, it is Christianity bashing (if bashing at all). There is a big difference between labelling everyone who believes in a very general thing as bad, and speaking against a religion. The former is just plain wrong, while the latter is merely misguided.
    :skeptic: Sounds like you're the one stuck in the 14th century. I was talking about a single incident, not some crusade. Here in the 21st century, there are still brainwashing cults (even within branches of religions; they're not immune to bad leaders), and there are fortunately people who will blow the whistle on these things to the police.

    And I find it rather telling that you refuse to answer my question.
    Most people do consider brainwashing a bad thing, yes. :rolleyes: Especially when practiced on the vulnerable, like children.
    That is getting way too far into the 'proper' way to raise kids, but nonetheless, I feel compelled to ask the rhetorical question: "So when are they ready? When they're 12? 15? 18? 20? 30? 45 and still living with their parents?"
     
  10. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Two points here. 1. Morality isn't taught by religion, morality exsisted BEFORE religion. 2. What parents feel is necessary for their children doesn't mean it's what is best for their children.

    Simply put, nobody would know God existed unless ANOTHER PERSON told them that God existed. God doesn't intervene, never has, never will. The so called coming of Christ is well past his deadline of 2000 years, I guess we'd all better hold out and hope in the year 3000 he'll come and wash away all our sins because if he doesn't then a hell of alot of us are going to Hell for eating fish on tuesdays or something stupid like that.
     
  11. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Hmm, what you say here is applying double standards. Here you say do not judge something by a negative experience he had with it, yet previously you say that you have never been happier since you became heavily religous. Practice what you preech, would probably be fitting comment here given the current topic ;)

    Ah, which brings me to one of the biggest faults I find with most religous beliefs. How can you, in all honesty, claim that your religion is the correct one without knowing about the others? That is like going to a horse race and claiming one horse is best without doing any research about the others. I would say it is against all reason and logic, but you've already shown that you are more than happy to twist those two words to your own meaning.

    You speak like that is a bad thing?[/quote]
    Here, Gnarfflinger, I'm going to side with you. There is nothing wrong with learning - even if it is Christian teachings as a child :)

    But taking it one step further, which you might disagree with; where it does become wrong is when children are told that this way is the right way. Bringing a child up in a certain religion is wrong. If you wish your children to know about religions, teach them a range so when they are mature enough they can make the choice themselves. And when I say a range, I don't mean this branch of Christianity and this branch of Christianity. I mean Muslim, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism (etc) and of course, the arguments against religion as well. Do not trap children inside a square.

    Let me repeat myself. Fine me a PROVEN situation where logic fails and I'll give you that point. If you wish to prove that logic fails when it comes to faith, I wish you luck. To be honest, I'm quite looking foward to see how you approch it.

    And so do many other things. Love, happiness, etc.

    It also teaches to follow blindly and never question - look how many problems this has lead to throughout the world.

    But humor me, let us assume that religion X is correct, why should people listen to the morals it teaches?

    Well, I would argue that it is impossible to experience. And as neither of us can prove each other right or wrong here, it's probably not the best avenue to take ;)

    English Civil War, French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Venezuelian Revolution, American Revolution, both Spanish Revolutions, removal of the Berlin Wall - all examples of where people have failed to support political hierarchies. Need I continue?
     
  12. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Words. You call it brainwashing, I call it socialization. What is the difference?

    Canadian Law dictates that 18 is that age. Further, I was raised that as long as I live uinder my parent's roof, I live by their rules.

    That's subject to debate. By Christian theology, "religion" existed with Adam and Eve, the very first humans.

    Sure some parents are morons, but I defend my principles as what's best for all.

    Actually, he does. It's not flashy or blatantly obvious, but it does happen. Usually on a more personal level. Further, my religion teaches that God DOES appear to prophets even in these, the last days.

    Christ came 2000 years ago. He will come again, but that date has not been revealed. It's not far off though...

    I just don't want to see people forsake the happiness that I have found because someone doesn't really understand Christianity and ruins it for the rest of them.

    I know how mine runs. Faith is what fuels my belief that mine is better. From what I hear, many other belief systems make little to no sense to me.

    When it really is the wrong way. For example, those taught that the "right way" is to kill unbelievers for no other crime than disbelief. That was wrong during the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, and it is still wrong for any faith that teaches that today.

    What do you think that Religion is supposed to provide?

    Mine doesn't. It teaches that you ought to test what you've been taught. You only gain a testimony of a principle after the trial of it. Then, and only then, do you understand what you've been taught. Your faith then grows stronger as the promises made are delivered.

    If religion X is correct, then you can test it, and it will provide consistency in as much as the doctrine is presented correctly. I have experienced that with my faith.

    And in today's world, fewer people support religious hierarchies too. They just walk away and tune out the teachings. Look at societies today, where the laws of these hierarchies are disregarded in increasing numbers.
     
  13. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Socialization forced in one direction. That's the difference.
     
  14. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    How can you possibly know?
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Faith provides no answers, my friend. It may provide confidence or comfort, but it provides no answers. Unwavering belief and trust in something (faith) does not make that thing in which you have faith any more real.

    Anyway, six pages late, I think I'll answer the question, myself (not that anyone cares about my answer). I don't disbelieve in God. On the other hand, the existance or non-existance of God is largely unimportant to my world view. The mere existance of God would not make the purpose of my existance or the manner in which I should live any more clear than it is right now. If the existance of a deity were incontovertibly proven, I would not change the way I live my life even a little. I live my life doing what I think is right and I need no holy book to provide me a second opinion about right and wrong.

    I honestly believe that God doesn't really care what we think about God. If God (assuming there is a God) really cared about what we thought about God or what religion we ascribed to, I'm pretty sure that God would send us all a memo to get us on the same page.
     
  16. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    I don't often agree with you, Drew, but this time I think you're spot on! :thumb:
     
  17. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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  18. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    But don't you know, Rotku? Humans have only been on this planet for about 6000 years :rolleyes: at least according to this:
    So everyone should believe theology above science since theology has no failings.
     
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    Guys, guys... You're wasting your time. Let the believers believe what they want, since like Drew said; it makes no difference are there deities or not. In this case, nothing will change no matter what you believe like it has not changed in the past 6,000 years either. ;)

    IMO, the important questions are "Why should popes and priests have any power due of their faith?" and "What gives them the right to work as guides when they have nothing to do with what they attempt to present?", since the existence of gods is irrevelant to humans.

    I'm sure you remember the recent news about the Popes statement and what kind of trouble it caused simply because he is seen as the "President of United Christians." Notice that I'm no longer talking about a man's right to faith, but a priest's right to power.
     
  20. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    And public education is not?

    Christian theology.

    Faith confirms the answers which I have been taught. God exists, whether or not people believe and obey. I simply advocate that it's better to believe and obey.

    He did, but so many people didn't get that memo, and may other got a garbled version that was butchered by inept, self appointed middle managers.

    That's was in the memo (the Bible) if you'd care to read it...

    When I was younger, I made a decision similar to what he did. I thought I was happy, but realize now that I am much happier. I believe that he believes he is happy, but is he really?

    It promises great blessings for strong obedience. But it also challenges you to test these promises by obeying the commandments...

    Believe me, I'd love to see that...

    Science and theology could end up on the same page if Science would acept the possibility that this theology could really be true...

    That is being debated here. I'm in the minority on this...

    They have power because of the faith of the people. My own religion however does believe that those of legitimate authority gain power from God. I have seen this at local and personal levels, and I hold a lesser degree of such authority.

    I shall assume that those who actually practice what they preach have that right then.

    If I come in and preach damnation against your specific beliefs, you'd get pissed off too. People don't like being told that they are wrong. I'll assume that there is another thread to address these specific comments...
     
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