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If there is no God? - Page 3

post #41 of 259
DaryLLL -How do I quote someone so I can respond to it like you have done? I don't know how to do that and it would be helpful if I could do that as my respnse would make more sense and I won't have to type so much. Thanks!

And Nankay-I think this is a great discussion- not a fight or battle. Things can be discussed without being rude or anything like that. I think it is great to have people with different views talk and get down to the truth. All I am interested in is the truth and if after a discussion the truth is out there then that is what will help everyone. If what I am saying is not true or what wednesday or DaryLLL or applejuice is saying isn't true, won't that be helpful to people? Don't people want to base their beliefs on truth? And back to the OP-if there is no God then what does any of this matter? If there is a God, I am sure the OPer and others would like to know how to commuicate with God.
post #42 of 259
I also don't feel that this is a "battle" or has to be a negative discussion.

Wausau74, one way to quote someone is to put quote tags before and after what they write. At the beginning you type [quote] and at the end you type [/quote]. If you want the name of the person you are quoting to appear, then you can put their name in the first tag like this -- [quote=wednesday] -- but that is optional.

Another way is to click on the "quote" icon, which is the furthest icon on the right just above the box where you enter your reply. It looks like a little text bubble in a cartoon. You then enter into the box that pops up the text you want to quote.

Last way, and probably the one most people use, is to click on the button that says "Quote" in the bottom right of each person's post. This will put their entire post into quote tags. You may want to trim out any parts you aren't directly responding to.
post #43 of 259
Thanks, wednesday. i can click the icon , but haven't tried the other way. i'll be working on it.
post #44 of 259
Quote: "Don't people like to base their beliefs on truth?"

I'd love to think so, but it is quite evident this is not so. When it comes to religion , I do not find much that is "True" ie: back by evidence.
post #45 of 259
Quote:
Evil and suffering exist because human beings have a free will.
if there is a god, evil and suffering exist because "god" created us to be imperfect. why should we be blamed for his mistake?

if god is all-powerful, it is criminal that he does not intervene. if my child (or anyone's child) was being raped, i'd intervene. i certainly wouldn't sit by and watch. that would make me an accomplice.
post #46 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wausau74
Since it takes faith to believe in any worldview, the atheist has faith in nothing. For the athesit, faith in believing that something (i.e. the universe, trees, humans, dogs, etc.) came from nothing. The evidence for a theistic God's existence far outweighs any evidence for God's non-existence. Therefore, it takes more faith to believe in nothing (nothing since the atheist do not believe in a God) than it does to believe in something (a theistic God).
I don't believe that the universe came from nothing.....I just don't hold any particular belief about the origin of the universe. It is a mystery to me, and I don't have a need to solve the mystery. Why must I have a belief?

I, personally, don't know of any evidence that God doesn't exist. But I'm not trying to prove a negative, kwim? That would be like proving that fairies don't exist. I simply have no evidence that fairies *do* exist, and no compelling need to believe that they do, so I don't believe they exist :.

I guess I am just a simple atheist, lol. I was a Christian growing up, and I can tell you I spent a WHOLE lot more time philosophising about Christianity as a Christian (even as a child) than I do pondering upon atheism. The entire idea of God makes no sense to me, and I have no personal need to believe in a God. So I don't : I think it would be pretty difficult to pretend that I do, frankly.
post #47 of 259
Thanks so much to the pp who shared Einstein's idea on God. The more I study and read the more I am able to form my own ideas. My own belief is that 'God' set things in motion and does not interfere in our daily lives. A deist.

OP - continue to read and study, things will become more clear for you. I speak from experience! This forum is an amazing source!

Here is my favorite quote:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? (Epicurus)
post #48 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? (Epicurus)
But if you never knew bad, how would you know what good is? If there
was no suffering in the world, would we appreciate our blessings? I say no.
post #49 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTMomma
But if you never knew bad, how would you know what good is? If there
was no suffering in the world, would we appreciate our blessings? I say no.

Then I guess you have no interest in the Xtian heaven?
post #50 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wausau74
The evidence for a theistic God's existence far outweighs any evidence for God's non-existence.
This statement fascinates me. Where do you get the "evidence" for God's existence? Do you have scientific evidence for God's existance? Or is this basis purely on the Bible, without extra-Biblical support?

FTR, I have no problem accepting an idea that God/dess/Divine/Central Conciousness willed our universe into being. But, I have no "evidence" of that happening beyond my own personal feelings. I "see" the divine in everything around me - my sleeping children, their laughter, a blooming flower, the power of the ocean (probably where it's the strongest for me), but again, none of those things are actual evidence of the existance of any Divine Being, let alone the Christian definition of Divinity. So, from an atheist pov, there is FAR more scientific evidence for the lack of existance of God - we have tons of scientific proof of non-Divine origins than we have scientific proof for any divine hand in our lives.
post #51 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTMomma
But if you never knew bad, how would you know what good is? If there
was no suffering in the world, would we appreciate our blessings? I say no.
I remember reading a quote by a Buddhist monk along the same lines ... you can't have good without evil. I'm not sure though the direction you are going with your statement ... are you saying that God, the Christian definition thereof, had to create evil in order for us to know good? Would you, if you were the creator of all living things, really wish or cause them to experience pain and suffering just to make sure that they appreciated the good when they saw it? (Just a curious hypothetical question.)
post #52 of 259
If I were God? I would create a balanced universe. I think people, particularly Christians, jump to call things evil that aren't. True evil is very rare, mostly there are just circumstances we don't like, and people who make choices that are not "good".

Tell the truth, if you were never sick, would you appreciate good health? If your heart was never broken, would you know how deeply you could love? If you never had to wait and long for something, like the birth of a child or the end of something unplesant, would it mean as much? I don't think so. I think experiencing "bad" things, make you grow as a person. I know I've learned more about life from the hard times than the easy ones.

I also aruge that if there was no pain and suffering, that we would have no opportuntiy to experience some of the most beautiful human experiences. If no one was ever sick, how would we learn nurturing? If everyone had all they needed, how could someone be selfless- if there was nothing to give? How could we learn to be good if no one needed us?

And no, DarlyLLL, I don't believe in the Christian Heaven. I believe we are born, and born again until we have learned all the lessons we can learn here. And then our souls evolve into a different existance- perhaps that is in a heaven, I don't know.
post #53 of 259
BTW- I don't think God goes out of the way to create bad things for us, I think its just part of how this world is. The earth was not created to be heaven.
post #54 of 259
I also felt a need to add- that I think trying to squish God into a human definition isn't reasonable. The belief that everything there is to know about God will fit in a book, any book (as each religoin seems to have their own text they say explains all), sounds silly to me. God must be greater than that! Therefore, human explainations are inadequet.

However, if anyone finds comfort in being an atheist- there is nothing wrong with that. And I'm glad you have peace of mind. I don't believe God is petty enough to be insulted.
post #55 of 259
Thread Starter 
WOW, i have just come back to read everyone responses after some time away and I am truely amazed! Thankyou EVERYONE for your replies, a lot of what has been said has left me with a lof of thinking to do.
I still don't know where I stand on "God". I was planning on going to church today, just to see how it made me feel, but chickened out at the last minute. I guess I felt like a bit of a hypocrite (sp?) going when I'm not really a believer IYKWIM?
One thing you have all made me do is look around me. Yes a lot of bad things have happened to me, and sometimes this makes me forget that a lot of good has also happened. I have 2 amazing beautiful, loving children. They don't have the greatest health but they can hug me and tell me they love me. I have an amazingly supportive, close, loving family. And it's true that without the bad things happening maybe I would never have a chance to see this.
Reading all your responses is fascinating and inciteful and I thank you all
post #56 of 259
Quote:
I think experiencing "bad" things, make you grow as a person.
It can also have the opposite effect. There are too many cases of apparently pointless evils from which no greater good seems to result. Why can't human character be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world? As William Rowe has said, when a fawn burns to death in a forest fire and no human being ever knows about it, this apparently unnecessary evil neither preserves human free will nor builds the character of human beings. Although, I am grateful that I had a bout of psychosis and major depression because if I didn't, I'd still be a new ager instead of an agnostic. My husband is thrilled I've decided to, as he put it, "join the dark side."
post #57 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
This is just what I believe, take what you will. God is not a man in the clouds with a beard. It is a life force, the energy that breathed life into every one of us, and into every tree, fish, microbe. God is also love. I don't think you need to look outside for a sign, because God is within you, in your soul. All that is beautiful and good in the world is evidence that a positive energy exists, call it God, call it a life force, whatever. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and yet we are here, and therefore I believe we will continue to be even after our physical bodies are gone.

How beautifully written.
post #58 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
This is incorrect. Belief is not even necessary. Knowledge, informed by study and wisdom alone is enough for many.


I would say that faith (for some) is knowledge based on informed study. To blindly accept something (as the defination of faith may be to some) is not using the brains we are given. We should seek out the truth and evidence for what we believe/have faith in. I had not been clear on "faith" before.
post #59 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
As you can see from the other posters, this may be what you have been taught by those (probably other fundamentalist Xtians) speculating about atheists, but is not what atheists actually say.

Ok, so I haven't met every atheist in the world, but from my experience the atheists I met all believe that the universe is eternal and just has always been- yet I haven't seen support for this.
post #60 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wausau74
Ok, so I haven't met every atheist in the world, but from my experience the atheists I met all believe that the universe is eternal and just has always been- yet I haven't seen support for this.
But that is exactly what you say you believe about God--that God is eternal and has always been. :
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