59
   

Why believe in god? The theist perspective.

 
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:03 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
Quote:
even though I believe in God, I am in fact an agnostic
Now there's an interesting story behind that......care to share ?

Well Frank held that since I could not prove the existence of God -- and I
admittedly cannot -- then I cannot say that I know that God exists. And
since I cannot I say I know that God exists, I am an agnostic.

Now there was a whole lot of converation about the nature of knowing,
but as I said to fresco, I ain't even going there.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:03 am
@Phoenix32890,
Phoenix32890 wrote:
George- Well, Frank got to you too. For decades, I considered myself an atheist. Then I came across Frank, who convinced me that atheism was the other side of the coin to theism.


Well, that's where Frank was wrong. It's a false dichotomy. It's not a case of a theist saying "I believe this," while an atheist says "Well, i believe this." It's a case of a theist saying "I believe this," while the atheist says "I don't."
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:08 am
@fresco,
fresco~

You said, ". . . They can protect against 'the unpredictable' in this
lifetime . . .". I do not see how my belief in God protects me against the
unpredictable.

"You may not wish to consider 'the social'. But 'closer' religious
communities which indoctrinate their children, and threaten to 'shun'
apostates (or worse), illustrate the the general import of my remark."
OK, but we're talking about belief in God, not tightly-knit religious
communities.
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:25 am
@George,
George wrote:

Great question.

I lean toward a concept of God as the impetus of the universe.
To my mind God, in relation to the universe, is both immanent and
transcendent.

Very nice. I like it.

Given that concept of "God", when you say to someone, "I believe in God", do you feel that most people come away with a reasonable approximation of what your actual belief is?

The reason I ask is that a very similar concept of "God" hovers around in my mind, but if someone asks me if I believe in God, I say no, because I feel that the term "God" as most people commonly us it does not do justice to the concept that I have in mind.
George
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:32 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
. . . when you say to someone, "I believe in God", do you feel that most
people come away with a reasonable approximation of what your actual
belief is? . . .

No, I don't think so.

But it seldom comes up in everyday conversation. When I say "I believe in
God", I am usually either reciting a creed or watching the Yankees blow a
game with the Red Sox.
fresco
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:33 am
@George,
For many believers "God" is the antithesis of a meaningless void.

As for your attempted separation of your belief from "the social", do you really imagine that the basis of such a belief was not socially transmitted to you like every other concept you use in thought processes? The only difference between "tightly knit" communities and more open societies is in perceived freedom of thought and expression. The irony is that "believers" in open societies who claim to choose their belief system can be seen to be attempting to delimit their intellectual freedom, as the price they pay for their "policy".
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:38 am
@fresco,
So was the basis of your disbelief socially transmitted to you like every
other concept you use in thought processes?
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:53 am
@George,
George wrote:
No, I don't think so.

But it seldom comes up in everyday conversation. When I say "I believe in
God", I am usually either reciting a creed or watching the Yankees blow a
game with the Red Sox.

The question rarely comes up for me either, but I think I usually say, "I'm not religious", which is about as accurate as I can get in a short sentence.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:55 am
@George,
I don't have a concept of "disbelief". My rejection of "belief" takes many forms..... from the inconvenience I am subjected to by the "believer precipitated" security checks at airports, to the intellectual paucity of believer's assumption of "a creator". Do these facets of disbelief have social origins ? Of course !
George
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:57 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

. . . The question rarely comes up for me either, but I think I usually say, "I'm
not religious", which is about as accurate as I can get in a short sentence.

Yeah, I don't think believing in God is at all the same as being religious.
Did you see that study that found that some pastors are secretly
atheists? There's a case of being religious without believing in God!
George
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:59 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
. . . Do these facets of disbelief have social origins ? Of course !

As do many facets of my belief.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 11:10 am
@George,
George wrote:

Yeah, I don't think believing in God is at all the same as being religious.
Did you see that study that found that some pastors are secretly
atheists? There's a case of being religious without believing in God!

No, I didn't see that. Is it possible they aren't religious either, but are just being pastors for employment?
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 11:13 am
Ros wrote:
Is it possible they aren't religious either, but are just being pastors for employment?

I think that's possible. I had that feeling about catholic priests, years ago..
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 12:42 pm
@rosborne979,
Preachers who are not believers
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  5  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 01:12 pm
msolga, since there are many gods, I would like to say that I KNOW there is a Deity. I have received too many messages from my son for there not to be one.

I also had another experience with St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. Again, I found what I had been searching for.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  5  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 01:23 pm
@Setanta,
Frank was right about some atheists, that they actively believe there is not a god; apparently in the original question Msolga agrees. I think - from my long observation of atheists - most of us are simply without belief in a god: this is an absence, a void. Frank never listened to me or Set or any of several others on this; his mind in this regard was closed.

Back when I did believe, I wouldn't have been interested in explaining why I believed to anyone. Sounds like a school essay question about something that is really no one's business. My belief was a presence. It's called faith.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 01:48 pm
I don't like to pigeonhole my beliefs. It is, what it is.

I don't believe the physical death of our bodies is the end of life, but rather our core being carries on in various states, however you want to label that. I think this happens whether you believe, or not.

Does this somehow include a believe in "god"? Probably, in roundabout way, but I don't "worship" anything.

I don't belong, and never have, to any kind of organized "recognized religion". I did belong for some time to a non-traditional group, but haven't been active for years.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 02:17 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
I'm a not a theist, but if I were I'd have plenty of trepidation about saying something here (kudos to George). Even though I think msolga is completely sincere it reads as trappy -- c'mon little theists, post why you believe in God so all of us atheists here can rip your reasoning to shreds!!!

You have revealed our battle plan to the enemy. The Central Committee of Atheists will show no mercy.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 02:39 pm
@George,
Right. I think folks oftentimes get stuck separating theism from religion. The atheist thread was heading down this road recently. A person with faith may, or may not, be religious and a person with religion may, or may not, have faith in a god.

I would have to agree with Phoenix on the apatheist label for myself. I've studied and taught world religions for years. My thoughts have changed over time and they may change again someday but, as of today, I wouldn't call myself a theist. I honestly don't care if there is a god. If it turns out that there is a supreme being and he/she/it has adequately been described by any of the world's religions then I'd reject that god well before he'd ever have a chance to accept or reject me. Although I'm doubtful, I leave open the possibility that something exists that has yet to be defined.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 03:21 pm
@JPB,
As a matter of interest, what do you consider to be the "objective" of teaching comparative religion?
I ask this because as an atheist I am cynical of the "tolerance argument" and I tend to operate on a "plague on all your houses" basis.
 

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