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Old 12-15-2005, 12:27 PM   #31
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How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?


A combination of many things. First, just look in a mirror and then the world around you. It is hard to imagine that the wonders we see, from the complexities of a human hand, to the beauty of a sunrise, the feeling of being loved or loving another, the smell of a flower, the taste of a strawberry. Hard to image that all of it came from a big bang.

There are also circumstances in our lives when, in the quiet moments, you sense God’s love for you.

Finally, there is the Bible. God’s Word for us. And for all the complexities of its 66 books, there is one simple message that is carried throughout: believe. To have a relationship with God, all you have to do is believe. Now the Bible records how humans get in the way of this process. Abraham believed, and it was credited to him as righteousness. But the Hebrews wanted more. They wanted clear rules and regulations to relate to God. And that is what they got – an elaborate process of sacrifices and ceremonies all needed to maintain a relationship with God. Jesus came to introduce a new covenant, not to replace the old, but to perfectly satisfy the requirements that were in place. His death fulfilled the requirements of sacrifice and we are told to simply put our faith in Him alone for salvation.

Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death? Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?


The timing of when I go to heaven is in God’s hands and His alone. I do not fear death, but I do not seek it either. I think we mistake the idea of heaven with a complete list of worldly pleasures. I think heaven will be beyond whatever joy we can imagine here on earth.

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?


This is partly a matter of logic. If there are two sets of beliefs, and they have an inherent contradiction between them, they both cannot be right.

In your example, Islam claims to follow the same God as Christians and Jews, but when you really examine this issue, you find it is not possible. There is shared history – but Christians call Jesus Christ God. In Islam, Jesus Christ is a powerful figure, but Jesus and Allah are different.

If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?


The Bible is what God tells us we need to know to know Him. Yes, it was written over thousands of years and completed nearly 2000 years ago, but as described above, the message is timeless. We can struggle with the meaning of individual verses and I always suggest comparing verses with other verses to discover meaning.

How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religion and made your choice to become religious as an adult?


I became a Christian when I was 22. I grew up in an uncommitted household and lived in a largely Catholic area. In fact, I attended a Catholic high school, which, if anything, pushed me further away from God.

and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?

Yes, I can understand why non-believers cannot believe in God. Frankly, I’ve known and understand why many Catholics do not believe in God. The farther you get away from the simple message of believing, the more frustrated you will become.

To think of religion as a tool had its place centuries ago when the church was also the powerful political entity of its day. Today, you can still see elements of this control (how else do you get someone to kill themselves), but that is no longer dominant factor.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:36 PM   #32
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Beautiful, NB.
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:25 PM   #33
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Personally, I don't have much time for Governments or anything like that. I suppose I'd align myself with the Christian Anarchist tradition; we're only answerable to one thing; God Himself. And the people I look up to are those people who try to make a diference to the poor and oppressed. People like Archbishop Oscar Romero, or Fr. Roy Bourgeois, missionary and founder of "School of the Americas Watch".
Thank you for speaking about Archbishop Romero. He was so important for liberation theology.

He was murdered at the altar while celebrating a mass on the 24th of March 1980.
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:56 PM   #34
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A lot of questions here...

I guess I believe in the God of the Bible because I see my life on each one of its pages.... a hypocrite, a liar, a thief, a murderer -- and yet if there's hope for the least of these, then there's hope for me. To me, it just makes sense, I guess....
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:30 PM   #35
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How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?

I believe in God cause I see him everyday. In the Sky, Water, Trees, Grass, Flowers, Animals, Humans. God Is everywhere looking over us.

Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?

Like many have said before, we are afraid of the unknown and dont want to leave our friends, family and pets.

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?

Here is a tough one. I am sure Islam is a peaceful religion. I have some problems with it. The don't treat their woman right, Men are favored over woman, You can be executed for being a Homosexual. There are other things I cant think of right now. Christianity also has it's share of problems too. Contraception is forbidden, Child Molesters and there handeling of the situation.

If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?

I dont let the bible dictate my life. I try to do good for the rest of humanity and thats all that counts.

How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religioin and made your choice to become religious as an adult?

I was born into a Catholic family and I plan to stay that way.

and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?

I totally understand you. I today even have doubts and get mad at God sometimes. Jesus said Gods Kingdom is in our hearts. Religion is to bring people together to worship God. I used to always go to church. I still do on and off. But my Church where I worship god is through my pictures I take as a hobby and go to moss beach and sit in silence.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:47 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24
Christianity also has it's share of problems too. Contraception is forbidden, Child Molesters and there handeling of the situation.
This is a Catholic problem, not a protestant one. Not all of Christianity should be lumped into this.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:48 PM   #37
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it's interesting ... i had always clung to some sort of faith, though i'd call myself (as someone else in here used to describe themselves) as a fundamentalist agnostic, the tenets of which were that the most important things were to ask the questions and debate and distrust any and all dogma, that through relentless pursuit of the truth and the scrutinization of handed-down beliefs, one could arrive at an entirely logical justification for either faith or not faith.

i don't know what's caused it, but recently, i really don't think there's a God. the constructs of God, religion, and most especially of the Afterlife are just too easy to understand as byproducts of rational creatures seeking to understand things they cannot and will not ever understand. at the base of this all is a fear of death, a fear of the nothingness that death (probably) is. so we make up stories, we find justifications for them every which way we turn, we imbue meaning into things like sunsets, music, laughter, and strawberries, and all that is beautiful, but it speaks to the human capacity to make meaning from nothingness, it does not strike me as evidence for the existence of a Creator.

i think we really need to turn our attention to precisely what inspires all religions -- death. the stress of being born to die is unbearable, we might call it (in a genuflection to the best book title ever) the Unbearable Lightness of Being. within the blink of an eye, we can disappear, be gone, go back into blackness, and our brains are incapable of rationally dealing with this anxiety-inducing condition, that we were given a breif moment of consciousness only to come to terms with our own irrelevance and insignificance in a cosmic, grand scheme sense (we can, of course, create wonderful things within the small worlds we occupy). i mean this as less an anti-God post and more of a pro-Humanist post. i think mankind is capable of wonderful things, and if you think about it, the removal of a (probably) fabricated diety actually imbues human achievements with greater significance.

i also find it odd that we place the burden of proof on people to prove that God doesn't exist, rather than on those who assert that he does. i think it's rather obvious that taking the Bible literally is simply bad thinking, there's no evidence to suggest a worldwide flood and that evolution is a rather lucid, extremely well-supported scientific theory.

i also don't actively disbelieve in God, as that keeps you trapped under an illogical rubrick -- thinking about it, no one has offered an intelligible definition or description of a diety, so the question as to whether or not it exists is almost absurd, like asking "what color is Sunday?"

it seems to me that, as with most things, the simplest explanation is probably the correct one -- that religion arises from a real, achingly human and thoroughly sympathetic and understandable need to explain what happens when we die.

i also mean no offense or disrespect to anyone who is a person of faith.

i just want to explain why, for me, whateve faith i've had has been slipping away. nothing bad has happened to me, i'm actually about the happiest i've ever been. faith simply doesn't make any sense to me any more.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:54 PM   #38
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Catholicism, protestant, etc.... There all christian. you cant tell me that there has never been Molesters in your sect.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:59 PM   #39
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You're right, I can't tell you that. However, it's not nearly as rampant as it is in Catholicism.
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:00 PM   #40
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:52 PM   #41
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If there is no God...why are sunsets so gorgeous? And why does music sound so good? Neither of those are connected to survival in any way that natural selection can explain.

A very thought-provoking thread. Thanks, dazzlingamy! I'll try to be back....
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:54 PM   #42
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Catholicism, protestant, etc.... There all christian. you cant tell me that there has never been Molesters in your sect.
The statement also covered contraception, so it seemed aimed at the Catholic Church.
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:55 PM   #43
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If there is no God...why are sunsets so gorgeous? And why does music sound so good? Neither of those are connected to survival in any way that natural selection can explain.


how does that, then, become translated into evidence of the existence of God?
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:59 PM   #44
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how does that, then, become translated into evidence of the existence of God?
Who´s talking of evidence? One can believe things without having proof.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:03 PM   #45
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Who´s talking of evidence?


okay, to rephrase, how does that then become evidence of the suggestion of the existence of a God?

what about the ugliness of a wart? the slate grey sky that blankets northern Europe for most of the winter?

it seems to me that these are as suggestive, if we are to use beauty as evidence of the suggestion of the existence of a God, it seems to me that such things would be just as suggestive of the non-existence of a God due to their equal uglines vis-a-vis the sunset.

but it seems to me that both of these comparisons are absurd. and i mean absurd in a logical sense, not in a pejorative sense.
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