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Do you believe in God?

 
 
Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2007 06:58 pm
Please vote above.

Please tell me if you believe in God or don't believe.

Perhaps you could give some explanation or reason for your position?

Thank you
--Pythagorean
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 35,202 • Replies: 702

 
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2007 07:21 pm
@Pythagorean,
Hi Pythagorean,

I think it is logical to assume a source,at least that is the way the mind works.The source,the force whatever, is indicative of an impersonal god if you like.In the east this is the norm,some traditions have hundreds of gods but,they are not the ultimate,they are but manifestations of a transcendent energy[God] From my experience of life there is no personal god,but there is the impersonal god/source/transcendent energy,my mind does not have difficulty in imagining this,and it in no way demands that I embrace the absured.So,yes there is a god,an impersonal god.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 08:50 am
@boagie,
Fellow Associates


Where are all the holy rollers on this,you do not mean to pretend this site is not ripe with believers,only the Sally Ann has more.Is the Question now to direct? Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Dthompson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2007 10:28 pm
@Pythagorean,
no. a source is not needed in order to exist, and certainly not needed in order to explain a life. All that is needed in order to live is your self and the act of living. A god or source, isnt nessacary, or logical.
cjames phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 09:40 am
@Dthompson,
Dthompson;2711 wrote:
no. a source is not needed in order to exist, and certainly not needed in order to explain a life. All that is needed in order to live is your self and the act of living. A god or source, isnt nessacary, or logical.


How do you explain life then? Who is your self? It can't be your body? Where is the spirit from? Why do we have consciouness if we only live through the act of living? Would that not make us unconscious?

I think that no source would be unlogical.
Peter phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:16 am
@cjames phil,
Belief in God has always sought refuge in what happens to be inexplicable at the time. In the past this has included the movements of the planets, the nature of the sun, the phenomenon of lightning, the origin of species. As these have yielded to scientific explanation, theists look somewhere else for something yet to be explained and ask "How do you explain life, the self, etc?" The fact that a phenomenon has still to be explained does not automatically make it a justification for the deity hypothesis.

Peter
0 Replies
 
ninja pirate
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 03:41 pm
@Pythagorean,
Being alive is nothing ordinary and is impossible without God. Picture this: just this moment, you popped into existence. From absolute nothingness, you are suddenly a conscious being, reading this forum (let's just imagine you could interpret language). You look around, you see your surroundings, your body, etc. You are suddenly radiating with life after an un-godly amount of time when you didn't exist. But now, you do! But why???? How in the hell did you just pop into existence from absolutely nothing? It is silly to think that there isn't some absolutely, insanely, incredible power that is completely beyond our comprehension that made this miracle happen. In the above scenario, you popped into existence just now, completely conscious and aware, out of the void. The switch was off and now it's been turned on. In such a case it would be absolutely certain that something with incredible power made that happen. But this is exactly what happens every day when people are born! It happens when the first moment consciousness arises in the fetus, out of complete nothingness comes an entity of awareness.

As a child and adolescent life doesn't seem very special. It's all very normal and routine: wake up, brush your teeth, shower, dress, etc. It's not until you realize that life is not at all normal that it will become obvious to you that God does in fact exist. When you wake up tomorrow morning, I want you to imagine it is your first morning waking up, the very first day of your life. If you can picture that, you may begin to have a new appreciation for your consciousness and begin to see the incredible, infinite power sustaining said consciousness.

I exist, and I know with certainty there is a God.
pokemasterat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 05:25 pm
@ninja pirate,
ninja pirate wrote:
Being alive is nothing ordinary and is impossible without God. Picture this: just this moment, you popped into existence. From absolute nothingness, you are suddenly a conscious being, reading this forum (let's just imagine you could interpret language). You look around, you see your surroundings, your body, etc. You are suddenly radiating with life after an un-godly amount of time when you didn't exist. But now, you do! But why???? How in the hell did you just pop into existence from absolutely nothing? It is silly to think that there isn't some absolutely, insanely, incredible power that is completely beyond our comprehension that made this miracle happen. In the above scenario, you popped into existence just now, completely conscious and aware, out of the void. The switch was off and now it's been turned on. In such a case it would be absolutely certain that something with incredible power made that happen. But this is exactly what happens every day when people are born! It happens when the first moment consciousness arises in the fetus, out of complete nothingness comes an entity of awareness.

As a child and adolescent life doesn't seem very special. It's all very normal and routine: wake up, brush your teeth, shower, dress, etc. It's not until you realize that life is not at all normal that it will become obvious to you that God does in fact exist. When you wake up tomorrow morning, I want you to imagine it is your first morning waking up, the very first day of your life. If you can picture that, you may begin to have a new appreciation for your consciousness and begin to see the incredible, infinite power sustaining said consciousness.

I exist, and I know with certainty there is a God.
Do you understand the Big Bang Theory? It actually works with the faith that the universe had no actual creation. The universe is quite quickly expanding, due to inertia from the Big Bang. That's reasonable. However, gravity draws things together, right? If gravity eventually overpowered the force of inertia, then it makes sense that the Big Bang would repeat itself, everything collapsing in a giant heartbeat.

SOPHIE'S WORLD!

Anyway... evolution is a reasonable theory that life originated when electricity flowed through a/the pool of ylem, and then it progressed as a complex chemical reaction.

Also, there's no proof that we actually do have souls, it's more of an opinion. Therefore there's no actual proof God exists, it's just a 'which story do you go with?' Santa or parents?

It's also impossible to disprove a God, because it would be able to hide itself from us if it so desired. Therefore, it's not reasonable to search for proof.
0 Replies
 
l0ck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 08:06 pm
@Pythagorean,
theres no proof you exist either
the absolute expresses itself infinitely and finitely
you will never be able to prove in a finite realm that the absolute exists because it also exists infinitely, and infinity is not something you can measure and calculate with other measurements because you always end up back where you started- with infinity
a pragmatic approach to logic will not allow you to fully understand the absolute
it is a belief, it is faith, it is love, it is cohesion
lots of very important lessons to learn only through experience and the illusion of separation from the absolute as a physical being
but lets talk about pragmatic syllogistic logic now to help further our understandings of the absolute since western culture has decided to use deductive reasoning to attempt to explain everything even though intuition is still the force responsible for you believing if something is true or not no matter how much evidence you may or may not require to come to a conclusion
some guy once thought about this and he realized:
e=mc2
everything exists both wave form and particle form
we know all mass has energy equivalence and energy cannot be created nor destroyed, so we being matter made of mass obviously makes us apart of this infinite flux of energy that is basically responsible for everything
that energy being god or the absolute
lets logically discuss the electron now because the scientific community believes in the atom (so do i) but noone has ever seen one we have just measured charges from these so called electron things
at a sub-atomic level a particle is both a particle and wave, one with mass and one without mass, and they exist simultaneously. Math has attempted to come to a resolution on this topic but it cannot. Mathematics is limited to finite studys and observations and this makes it a limited system. An electron is a sub-atomic particle that is said to orbit the nucleus of the atom. However the electron does not orbit the nucleus in a mechanistic, newtonian fashion. At any given time an electron has the tendency to exist in any number of places simultaneously. These places are known as orbital postions. The heisenberg uncertainty principle has demonstrated that while it can be predicted with a fair degree of certainty an electrons location cannot be known with exactness. An electrons position cannot be calculated with exactness while simultaneously calculating its velocity, its one or the other. Its all a probability statement or an approximation of reality yet we all believe it. Belief is belief with or without sufficient evidence, so why believe in the atom even though it cannot be proven completely?
God exists, so does the atom, dont let deductive reasoning be your only tool.
0 Replies
 
pokemasterat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 08:17 pm
@Pythagorean,
"I think, therefore I am."

You never related God to the subatomic particle though. God is not the only solution, but subatomic particles are the only things that sensibly fit into the puzzle. It's like a puzzle with one piece missing, yet that's not the case with God. Also, it's called wave mechanics that determine an electron's position, just in case you didn't know. It's quite complicated for scientists, but it doesn't defy nature.
l0ck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 11:10 pm
@Pythagorean,
i relate god to energy, thus everything
energy being one homogeneous thing that cannot be created nor destroyed
energy having quality is the infinite expression of the absolute
both god and subatomic particles exist though but my point wasn't believe in god because you believe in subatomic particles.. i didnt mean it that way but i guess u could interpret it that way =/
i was trying to imply that deductive reasoning isnt what is responsible for belief
your ability to believe is inviolable and nothing can make you believe something against your own will and that syllogistic logic shouldnt be the only form of logic you use to arrive at your beliefs because the absolute expresses itself on an infinite magnitude and oneness and implicative thinking is necessary in order to understand the entire expression of the absolute
but electrons do defy nature pokemasterat
this is why quantum mechanics is used to study subatomic particles and its not used to study the larger macro objects like planets inside the universe and cannot explain things like gravity
and also an electrons position is never exactly calculated as described above.. this is what quantum mechanics attempts to explain.. only a general area, or probability statement, of the electrons position can be determined, known as a "cloud"
0 Replies
 
btsears38
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2007 10:22 am
I am new on the Forum, so I don't know where to put my ideas. Reading the above messages, I think my first message belongs here.

I'm being asked by the Philosophy Forum to introduce myself to the Forum. Who am I? Where am I going? I don't have all the answers, but I am searching. It will be a long trip, but to start off with, I see life as a puzzle waiting to be unraveled. This puzzle has a background of Energy, and as you know by the Law of Conservation of Energy, Energy can not be created nor destroyed. To me that is the definition of the Creator (God). How does the Creator enter our lives, or how do we communicate with It (Him), or how does It (He) communicate with us? I'm looking for the answer. We read in the Bible, that Moses was told by God from the Burning Bush, "I am that I am!" I'm not sure that ever happened, but if it did, I think that it was a bad translation. I think that translation should read "I am all that is!" That gives my puzzle a better background for us to create reality. Let's start our search with the background to my puzzle first.

Bill Harris, Director of Centerpointe Institute, talks about this all encompassing Energy.


[CENTER][CENTER]How can I see Reality?[/CENTER]
[/CENTER]
There is one energy in the universe, that the universe and everything in it is the play, the dance, the vibration, of that one energy. Underneath the seeming multiplicity, they say, everything is made of the same substance. This energy, they say, is everywhere, and "everywhen." This principle is sometimes described as Omnipresence, or God. The Hindus and Buddhists call this principle, Sat-one energy, everywhere, making up everything, always, past, present, and future.

The mystics, however, went one step further. In addition to noting that this one energy is omnipresent, they also said something else that I think is rather startling. They said that this one energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen: that it is conscious, that it has consciousness. The mystics called this second characteristic of reality Chit.

So, we have this one energy, this oneness, this unity, that is in and behind and over and around and through everything, and this energy of unity, this Oneness, is aware of itself being everything. Now, just for a moment, pretend that you are this one energy. If you were everything, there would be nothing outside of you to fear. That would be like fearing your own hand. If everything is you, and you're everything, there's nothing to fear.

There would also be nothing to get, nothing you would lack, because you're everything. There would also be no where to go, since you're already everywhere. So, here you are, everything, always, everywhere, with nothing to want, nothing to fear, no where to go.

If you had this awareness of who you are, you would be...happy, peaceful, and blissful. So the third characteristic of reality, according to the mystics, is called Ananda, which means bliss.

So the mystical explanation of reality is called "satchitananda", which means one energy, everywhere, out of which everything is made and everything comes, aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen, and as a result it is blissful, happy, peaceful.

Why, then, if I'm this one energy of everything, do I feel so isolated, so separate- and why am I so unhappy so often?

Well, the mystics have an answer for this question, and you've heard it before, and you may not like it, but here it is: you aren't happy and peaceful and in touch with the fact that you are all and everything, everywhere, eternally peaceful and blissful, because of your mind. Your mind is in the way of your experience of who you really are.

In fact, your mind is creating an alternate reality, that is, in a sense, like dust covering a mirror and keeping you from seeing who you really are.

Seeing that the mind gets in the way and obscures your true nature from you, the mystics came up with some methods for perceiving reality directly, without the filter of the mind, and the most effective and most popular of those is meditation. Meditation is designed to still the mind, until eventually you gain enough control that you can look directly at reality, rather than filtering reality through the mind.

Those that master this ability to see reality directly report some rather startling things about it.

In my next search for putting the puzzle together, I will talk about how meditation can help, some call it Enlightenment.
0 Replies
 
thinking through sounds
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 05:46 am
@Pythagorean,
well . in my mind , i belive in something. cant put my finger on it. maybe its God. I belive in something good tho. i have loads of Buddhas home.
And they kind of gives the room a Good vibe. maybe hes out there God Smile
I do hope so:cool:
elizabeth phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 11:57 am
@thinking through sounds,
Okay. So I've been battling this question for years now, and it's what drove me into philosophy in the first place. I'm not really that knowledgable of philosophical teachings and such, but I do find it very interesting and thought provoking.

so I'm taking a philosophy class right now entitled religions of the east. And it got me thinking. An argument for the existance of god is that every group of people since the beginning of time have held a belief in some sort of afterlife, even if in different forms. Well, I'm wondering if there aren't other ideas humans have had since the beginning of time as well. Perhaps the idea that women are subordinate to men? That seems to be historically universal as well, even if it is beginning to change.

And there are many good arguments out there for and against the existence of god, such as Descartes, Jon Locke, etc. But here are two things I was wondering if anyone could reply to, for and against. (while trying to put specific religions aside)

One. If there is a god, and he does exist, and has existed. Why not prove it to us? Why not come down and make an appearance? One person I knew said that God isn't like a birthday clown who has to show up every day to each newborn person to prove his existance. And IF Jesus was the son of god, he did show up and make an appearance, and one that has satisfied many people to this day. However, it seems to me that the majority of folk simply believe in whatever afterlife that was provided them as they were brought up. And the phrase "it's a matter of faith" gets thrown around rather luxuriously. But when does time become God's greatest enemy, and faith is no longer a good enough support system? I say that time is God's greatest enemy for the living because the more time that elapses that God is not proven 100%, the more, it seems that he is not real. And for God to be disproven or proven 100% is nearly impossible, except, I think perhaps with time. Think if the world were around for another 2,000 or more years, would and there was still no, well, cameo, from God, would people still believe?

Two. One thing I can not get past about our existence as human beings, is the fact that we have the ability to feel and have feelings. This is also something, that for the most part, seems to escape other creatures. Sure, they are a product of our brains and the innerworkings of our bodies, and it could just be something that came along with evolution for the survival of our species. But why? Couldn't we have the intelligence we already have and survive the same, if not better? If it were not for emotions, we might discard the sick and the elderly, wouldn't we? And we might not be so inclined to find cures for cancer and other illnesses. So, I guess what I'm asking is, are emotions an indicator of something more? We have the capacity to feel such an aray of emotions that impact our everyday and long term decisions. What other purpose might emotions have other than to connect us with something larger than just survival of the species?

I'm new here, so sorry if these things have already been discussed! I would really appreciate some good insights to them however! thanks Smile
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 06:06 pm
@elizabeth phil,
elizabeth wrote:


One. If there is a god, and he does exist, and has existed. Why not prove it to us? Why not come down and make an appearance? One person I knew said that God isn't like a birthday clown who has to show up every day to each newborn person to prove his existance. And IF Jesus was the son of god, he did show up and make an appearance, and one that has satisfied many people to this day. However, it seems to me that the majority of folk simply believe in whatever afterlife that was provided them as they were brought up. And the phrase "it's a matter of faith" gets thrown around rather luxuriously. But when does time become God's greatest enemy, and faith is no longer a good enough support system? I say that time is God's greatest enemy for the living because the more time that elapses that God is not proven 100%, the more, it seems that he is not real. And for God to be disproven or proven 100% is nearly impossible, except, I think perhaps with time. Think if the world were around for another 2,000 or more years, would and there was still no, well, cameo, from God, would people still believe?




If God made an appearance before the world or some part of the world, then wouldn't he be joining himself with the world? And wouldn't that change the nature of the world? Such as creating a total unity out of a sensible plurality? And even after he did so, if he then left, if there were no empirical proof of His visit to the world people thousands of years later would still begin to disbelieve. So we would be back where we started.

It is my belief that the natural world in its characteristic depths, is an expression of God and that God really does make an appearance of sorts to those who, truly and out of a sense of inner necessity, seek him out. The way I see it God can be found only through an internal investigation and I wonder if rising technology, rising standards of living and health will lead to an evolutionary progression that would allow for a greater immanent connection between the psyche of the individual and the soul of nature which is God.

What I mean is I believe that human beings posess a soul, and that perhaps the human soul is an inner substance created and sustained out of the mathematical-molecular-atomic structure of our bodies and impulses in relation to the natural spaces we inhabit in life, or in relation to the time and the activities that we go through in life. And the natural universe is also a body that posesses a soul, a soul that may be revealed to us humans through the tracing or explicit description of its' scientific laws; so that the precise and intangible laws of science may be doorways and pathways into the soul of nature which is God. And that we may in fact find God and live with God by following the perfect laws of science and by moving or existing only in relation to a precise science of time and space. Because the deeper that we venture into nature, I believe, the more enmeshed we therefore become with God.

As to the human emotions I think that if society cultivates them properly and educates the emotions in a high and effective way then people would perhaps be able to find that deeper connection with the natural world from which humanity arose out of. Because I think that human beings were created from the earth (just as earth was in turn created by its stellar nursery) and our task is to educate our souls both emotionally and analyticallly, which would allow us to return to the internal essence of nature on a higher plane of soulful existence, an existence of greater power and beauty. So I agree with you that emotions are to reconnect us with God after we are educated deeper in the nature of existence.

For me, the most important thing to stress regarding whether God exists or not, is that it is a matter of human experimentation on the individual level and not some entirely abstract and theoretical activity that can be done simply at your desk. It is the life which strives mightily towards that which it seeks that will discover a truth or an error, it is not a passive type of question!


Smile
Peter phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2007 06:51 am
@Pythagorean,
Elizabeth is right on many points. The antiquity of an idea is no guarantee of its truth, as is shown by the subordination of women throughout the ages. Her Point One is correct in that there is simply a lack of evidence for the existence of a deity. Those who believe do so as a matter of faith. Reading Pythagorean's contribution, it is clear that he has a prior belief in God and organises his idea system around this assumption

In her Point Two, Elizabeth asks if our social emotions are evidence of God's existence since, if we had intelligence only and no emotions, we would neglect the care of the sick, etc. As a matter of fact, this point was addressed by Charles Darwin who points out that any species which is both social in nature and intelligent would develop morality, since morality is merely the expression of our social impulses in abstract form

Peter
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2007 01:52 am
@Peter phil,
Peter wrote:


Reading Pythagorean's contribution, it is clear that he has a prior belief in God and organises his idea system around this assumption


It seems that you too come with prior belief. Unlike me however you recommend no process of discovery (aside from perhaps reading Darwin), no method that might root out error. I say, go into nature alone and inquire for yourself. It will still be there.


Quote:

The antiquity of an idea is no guarantee of its truth


The fact that an idea is fashionable also provides no guarantee of its being true.

Quote:
there is simply a lack of evidence for the existence of a deity.


It is an axiom of the physical sciences that there can be no evidence (proof) that anything exists. The world is open-ended.
Peter phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2007 07:47 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
It seems that you too come with prior belief. Unlike me however you recommend no process of discovery (aside from perhaps reading Darwin), no method that might root out error. I say, go into nature alone and inquire for yourself. It will still be there.

Since the 17th Century, our culture has developed a uniquely effective way of rooting out error in our knowledge of the external world - the Scientific Method, involving hypothesis-generation and empirical testing of our theories.



The fact that an idea is fashionable also provides no guarantee of its being true.

I think we can agree that neither antiquity nor fashion provides any guarantee of truth. That is why the discipline of basing our explanations of the world on rational hypotheses tested by observation is crucial.
skeptic griggsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2007 08:01 am
@Pythagorean,
Peter, right- the presumption of naturalism. To state that a god could hide itself begs the question,eh? DThompson, exactly. People have the mere feeling that a super mind who cares for them and gives them meaning lies behind and beyond the cosmos. That mere feeling sees Yeshua in a tortilla or Allah in an explosion -pareidolia- seeing the man in the moon. That is a mere anthropomorphic feeling.But science,as Victor Stenger shows in"God: the failed Hypothesis" and "Has Science found God?" that science indeed shows that there is probaly no god.
Peter phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2007 08:15 am
@skeptic griggsy,
Yes, humanity has a strong tendency towards anthropomorphic interpretations and it is not sufficient to rest our ideas about the universe on a strong feeling. The point is that if you make a statement about the nature of reality, "God exists" or "There are fairies at the bottom of my garden," you need to present some evidence for your assertion if you wish to be taken seriously. It is not good enough to say "There could be fairies at the bottom of my garden and you can't disprove it."
 

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