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Author Topic: Why do people believe in God?  (Read 9979 times)
Jasque
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« on: October 22, 2006, 10:08:32 PM »

I just had this debate with a friend, and I think it might be interesting to discuss here.  Why do people believe in God?   The question is not "does God exist?" nor is it  "why should people believe in God."  Without referring to what a person should or should not do, can you explain why people have religous faith?

This is a vexing question, for both believers and non-believers.   I'll share my thoughts after others have had a chance to chime in.
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2006, 11:08:01 PM »

As a Pentecostal I can tell you that for us, we believe that God exists because we feel it in the act of the downpour of the Holy Spirit (Glossalia) and because of countless miracles performed in our Churches.  But as for other religous beliefs, I guess it's because humanity by instinct or nature likes to believe in a deity, makes things clearer for them.
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 04:48:42 AM »

I have no idea why people believe in God, I know I used to when I was younger but that is because I was told he (always a he) existed.

When I got older I started to doubt it and now I cannot reconcile my beliefs and my perception of reality with an existence of a omnipresent and omnipotent being that we cannot see and as far as I know, hasn't done anything in thousands of years.

The only thing that worries me is that we cannot explain how the Universe just exists, how it came into being and how it is so vast and there is you know, stuff in it. The Big Bang theory is wrong and has more holes in it than swiss cheese to use a turn of phrase. Plus everything coming from one tiny point and then exploding is unrealistic and silly. If someone could answer where the universe comes from in a rational and logical way, any doubts I have about the possibility god exists would vanquish and my transformation to someone who does not believe in God and is a quasi Objectivist would be complete.
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 09:26:15 AM »

In a general sense:

Think of the universe as a mathematic equation. What's easier, solving for the variables or just inputting one constant?


In an individualistic sense:

Children believe anything authority figures tell them.
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 04:00:04 PM »

I have no idea why people believe in God, I know I used to when I was younger but that is because I was told he (always a he) existed.

When I got older I started to doubt it and now I cannot reconcile my beliefs and my perception of reality with an existence of a omnipresent and omnipotent being that we cannot see and as far as I know, hasn't done anything in thousands of years.

The only thing that worries me is that we cannot explain how the Universe just exists, how it came into being and how it is so vast and there is you know, stuff in it. The Big Bang theory is wrong and has more holes in it than swiss cheese to use a turn of phrase. Plus everything coming from one tiny point and then exploding is unrealistic and silly. If someone could answer where the universe comes from in a rational and logical way, any doubts I have about the possibility god exists would vanquish and my transformation to someone who does not believe in God and is a quasi Objectivist would be complete.

Ah but that is where faith comes in and faith is probably with what most everyone grapples with. Now I can argue that I can see God, I see history and I can see God moving, I see people and I can see change to a profound sense. Now let me refer you to a passage in..., I think it's 2nd Chronicles were the Prophet Elijah (Don't hold me on to placement Smiley ) finishes his miracle and under persecution escapes to th desert, the passage follows that Elijah saw a column of fire and a storm, but God was not in there, but then he heard a calm whisper and that's where God was. We expect God to smack us with some supernatural event when we can actaully see God move in every manner possible when we put events into perspective. (Oh gee I'm preaching now Tongue ) You say that in the last thousand years God hasn't been moving, I can tell you that the Protestant Reformation, the Great Revival of the 1800's and the most recent, the birth of the Pentecostal movement (in the 1900's) are all ways God is moving. Reports are coming in from around the globe, that the Pentecostal movement is growing with fiery speed. Now I could also argue that since I can't see any of you guys, that you guys can't exist, but you guys can communicate and hence you do exist, it's the same way for God.
If it weren't for the fact that in Pentecostal churches one can actually see God moving in ways unimaginable, and can feel God, then I wouldn't be a Pentecostal. That's the most down to the core truth, because for me the greatest proof for God's existance is the ability for one to see and feel God.

God sparked the Big Bang it goes along with what the Bible states: "And there was light" Wink .
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2006, 04:05:51 PM »

In a general sense:

Think of the universe as a mathematic equation. What's easier, solving for the variables or just inputting one constant?


In an individualistic sense:

Children believe anything authority figures tell them.

The Constant being God Cheesy.

But don't people believe in what Authority figures say. If some police were to stop you, you would have to stop because he's an authority figure, right? So I think in general people submit to those who have rightfully so the Authority. If theoretically God were to manifest, would you not listen, it's what happened to the Apostle Paul...
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2006, 05:29:26 PM »

If God were to manifest himself in front of me and say "Hey, dumbass, you're wrong", I might be willing to reconsider. Still wouldn't worship the bastard, but then I'd have something to blame everything on.

My point is that "faith" is still based on what elders tell you. Religion works just like Madison Avenue does--get 'em when they're young. If you wait until they hit adolescence, you'll run into the beginnings of freethinkers. They might stop for that cop, but it's because he has a gun, not because he has some moral authority.

How do you know that that faint whisper is God? Because the Bible--a book written seventeen centuries ago, translated and re-translated a dozen times, all the time in the hands of fallible humans--tells you. Reading about Jesus in an old book gives him as much legitimacy as the Iliad gives Apollo.

Miracles and the Holy Spirit are perceptual. Those who have been indoctrinated want to feel God in their life--any coincidence, any relief, any strange occurence will be attributed to him. It's not just a trick of physics, medicine, or meteorology, it's His Divine Will Acting Upon All. Of course, when something bad happens, "God works in mysterious ways".

God is an invention by proto-humans huddling in caves as they seek refuge from lions and lightning. Then he expanded to fill the roles of celestial bodies, ocean tides, volcanos, and disease. Lately he's been moving on the "demonizing fellow citizens and getting in on foreign policy" market. Celebrities assume that God is busy giving them Emmy's and Oscars and Grammy's while he's letting millions of people starve to death every day.

God is ignorance, and hope, and fear, and compassion, and debilitating. As long as God exists, Man won't take responsibility for himself.
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 07:20:39 PM »

If God were to manifest himself in front of me and say "Hey, dumbass, you're wrong", I might be willing to reconsider. Still wouldn't worship the bastard, but then I'd have something to blame everything on.

My point is that "faith" is still based on what elders tell you. Religion works just like Madison Avenue does--get 'em when they're young. If you wait until they hit adolescence, you'll run into the beginnings of freethinkers. They might stop for that cop, but it's because he has a gun, not because he has some moral authority.

How do you know that that faint whisper is God? Because the Bible--a book written seventeen centuries ago, translated and re-translated a dozen times, all the time in the hands of fallible humans--tells you. Reading about Jesus in an old book gives him as much legitimacy as the Iliad gives Apollo.

Miracles and the Holy Spirit are perceptual. Those who have been indoctrinated want to feel God in their life--any coincidence, any relief, any strange occurence will be attributed to him. It's not just a trick of physics, medicine, or meteorology, it's His Divine Will Acting Upon All. Of course, when something bad happens, "God works in mysterious ways".

God is an invention by proto-humans huddling in caves as they seek refuge from lions and lightning. Then he expanded to fill the roles of celestial bodies, ocean tides, volcanos, and disease. Lately he's been moving on the "demonizing fellow citizens and getting in on foreign policy" market. Celebrities assume that God is busy giving them Emmy's and Oscars and Grammy's while he's letting millions of people starve to death every day.

God is ignorance, and hope, and fear, and compassion, and debilitating. As long as God exists, Man won't take responsibility for himself.

Well I do think your joking on your first paragraph, but nonethless if God is an all knowing God then he would now what is best, as such it would be wise to give a little "Amen".

Well know most converts that I have seen do it when they are adults, and that is the basic pattern in our churches. But Ok let's take away the gun from the Cop, I still do think the majority of people would stop because of the powers vested in said official.

But now, we have copies of both the Old Testament and the New Testament dating very well back, for example the Dead Sea scrolls. And you must remember that for the Old Testament, there were Proffesional Scribes they weren't these know nothing illiterates, Scribes were proffessioanls for their day. Plus one must really look at the Bible, many have claimed that just by reading they feel changed. That is the key note to the Bible it is a book that has power. It is this point which helped the Canonization of many books, if a book had the ability to change people's minds then it was reliable.

But how about those miracles that aren't provoked without any external help. This makes me recall one preacher who said to be filled with the Holy Ghost without knowing one piece of doctrine. Or people being healed, even if they didn't know why they were being prayed for. And if it were up to perception why aren;t miracles commonplace. In our church we have documented miracles were Cancer of Aids have gone into full vigor, and zoop another it isn't there. How can you logically explain that? It's there in medical archives and are not the consequence of feeling a little better.  It's a full instant recuperation, medically proven.

God is God regardless, he is not invention and he's constant throughout. It is unfair to label God and associate him with every silly uninspired Preacher or Pastor. We really have to look at how God describes himself in the Bible and then judge for ourselves all the silly preachers, pastors, and suppositions.

God provides Order, Happiness, Freedom, and Redemption to man at a price that has cost us nothing.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2006, 07:55:50 PM »

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Well I do think your joking on your first paragraph, but nonethless if God is an all knowing God then he would now what is best, as such it would be wise to give a little "Amen".
No joking. God, as described in the Bible, is a sadist. No respect for him, at all. I'd rather not exist than be given a choice between eternal subservience or eternal damnation.

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Well know most converts that I have seen do it when they are adults, and that is the basic pattern in our churches.
I've seen a few people go through mid-life existential crisises too. I hit mine when I was fifteen.

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But Ok let's take away the gun from the Cop, I still do think the majority of people would stop because of the powers vested in said official.
Take away the power of enforcement, you lose any physical authority.

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But now, we have copies of both the Old Testament and the New Testament dating very well back, for example the Dead Sea scrolls. And you must remember that for the Old Testament, there were Proffesional Scribes they weren't these know nothing illiterates, Scribes were proffessioanls for their day.
We have lots of old books. What makes the Bible any more true than the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Vedas?

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Plus one must really look at the Bible, many have claimed that just by reading they feel changed. That is the key note to the Bible it is a book that has power. It is this point which helped the Canonization of many books, if a book had the ability to change people's minds then it was reliable.
People get that from reading Ayn Rand. I am unconvinced by her divinity.

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But how about those miracles that aren't provoked without any external help. This makes me recall one preacher who said to be filled with the Holy Ghost without knowing one piece of doctrine. Or people being healed, even if they didn't know why they were being prayed for. And if it were up to perception why aren;t miracles commonplace. In our church we have documented miracles were Cancer of Aids have gone into full vigor, and zoop another it isn't there. How can you logically explain that? It's there in medical archives and are not the consequence of feeling a little better.  It's a full instant recuperation, medically proven.
I suspect that were such miracles common, we'd hear a lot more about them. The fact that I haven't makes me suspect the authenticity of this anecdotal "evidence".

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God is God regardless, he is not invention and he's constant throughout. It is unfair to label God and associate him with every silly uninspired Preacher or Pastor. We really have to look at how God describes himself in the Bible and then judge for ourselves all the silly preachers, pastors, and suppositions.
That, my friend, is blind trust. Lucifer may be the Deceiver, but he had to learn it somewhere.

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God provides Order, Happiness, Freedom, and Redemption to man at a price that has cost us nothing.
At the cost of strife, schisms, subservience, and sin. Having a higher power guarantees that mankind will be stunted by self-righteousness and faithful ignorance.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2006, 09:59:53 PM »

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No joking. God, as described in the Bible, is a sadist. No respect for him, at all. I'd rather not exist than be given a choice between eternal subservience or eternal damnation.
If God is such a sadist why would he incarnate himself in man, to die for us. It is a high price he paid to carry the sins for all, the least we can do is obey. Again if he is the perfect being, and has only good wishes for us, then why not obey it makes more sense than trying to follow falliable and sinful us. If God is such a Sadist why would he dare protect the people of Israel like a Father. He is strict, but he is also careful with his own, if we see Joshua we see God clearing the land for the people of Israel to settle. If God is this God I describe, then heck why not it is better than my own wishes and desires.
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I've seen a few people go through mid-life existential crisises too. I hit mine when I was fifteen.
People always have crises' (Not sure if that's correct), I had one when I was twelve and have had one throughout my life. My only brother is an Autist, this has dented my faith, but in the end it only served for me to go deeper into God's plan. The day I decided to give my life to God, it has probably been the best decision of my life, to live a pure, orderly, and useful life, and I have never once felt depressed like I used to. I won't be a hypocrite and say I do not have struggles, and that I do not go through trials, but being in God's plan has helped me realize and put into perspective many things. If this and more is what God can do, then I really can't argue against.
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Take away the power of enforcement, you lose any physical authority.
So power is useless without enforcement, yes it's true. But let me bring out another example, if your Medic who has no power over you tells you, you have to go on a diet or on a treatment, are you really going to argue with him? It's your doctor and if he can prove it to me than yes I will definitely obey for the good of my heatlh (Not that there always great, but theoretically).
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We have lots of old books. What makes the Bible any more true than the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Vedas?
My only point was to try to prove that the Bible is historically reliable and old. But what does differentiate the Bible from the Upanishas, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Vedas? The difference is that there is a God behind the Bible and there is no deity behind those other texts. Pentecostalism is ripping through India, Africa, Europe at a astounding rate because God can and will manifest and I do not see the opposite effect on any world religion occuring.
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People get that from reading Ayn Rand. I am unconvinced by her divinity.
Ayn Rand did not claim to be God though. And there are people who read Atlas Shrugged and et al, and hate it. When it comes to the Bible, what can you hate about it? The Bible is like a sword with two ends, it pierces through the human soul, I dare anyone to read it fully and not feel moved. Absolutist? Absolutely. Smiley
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I suspect that were such miracles common, we'd hear a lot more about them. The fact that I haven't makes me suspect the authenticity of this anecdotal "evidence".
I'm going to be very cold, what would the Media or other via's of communication gain from publishing miracles? Nothing, at all, what would medical and scietifical journals gain from publishing miracles? Zilch. Miracles are commonplace in our churches, I have seen so far three people get healed miraculously, and one baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome come it normally. Explain that to me. You go to these congregations and your always hearing about miracles and other things the Holy Spirit is doing.
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That, my friend, is blind trust. Lucifer may be the Deceiver, but he had to learn it somewhere.
But what is faith then. And no it is not Blind trust. If God is he who says he is, if I can see and feel God as promised in the Bible, then really it is not blind but based on fact. Lucifer learned it from his own desire to want more power, God had put him as the best angel of all and so seeing this his heart was filled with bitterness provoking him to go against God.
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At the cost of strife, schisms, subservience, and sin. Having a higher power guarantees that mankind will be stunted by self-righteousness and faithful ignorance.
You say all those based on certain denominations who have precisely caused that, but when the Bible is interpreted correctly, than the opposite occurs. Having a higher power humbles us, and makes us more all efficient uniting our goals and purposes.
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 11:39:44 PM »

I read the bible. It was boring.

On topic:

I think there are a few different reasons why people believe in God. For some, it's what they grew up with. Given we find that kids will often hold the same political views that their parents hold, it should come as no surprise that they will share the same faith in a deity—if something as reviled and boring as politics holds such continuity between generations, then one can imagine just how profound an impact parental religious beliefs will have on children. This imprinting does not change in adulthood probably because there is nothing observable that can change one's beliefs—religion is not based upon material issues or empirical evidence.

A related reason is society's impact on individuals. Much in the same way that people believe what their parents believe, some individuals may conform to societal norms for the sake of conformity, or out of some "strength in numbers" rationale—because so many people believe it, it must be correct.

But I think the primary reason why people believe in God is hope. They may not be able to cope with the world without believing in some ultimate authority, some invisible hand, some guardian watching over them.  God and religion in general is especially appealing during times of crisis or loss—isn't it dreadful to consider that, upon their passing, you will never see your beloved relative again? That once you're dead, it is over, and all that will remain of you is what is recorded in family photo albums? That, when you're abandoned, when no one loves you and you've hit a low from which you will never recover, that there really isn't some paternal old man with a beard up in the sky that will love you regardless? That when you are stumbling through life, bewildered and lost, without any inkling of where you're headed, and with a head-full of fear for what the future has in store for you, there really is no man with a master plan just for you, who's got it all laid out for you and will set you on your path? People despair of these things, and the concept of God can be very appealing when one is so vulnerable.

Of course, it's all a lot of nonsense, religion. But you could never convince them of that, because they really do want to believe there's a God, and to take God away from them opens them up for a lot of suffering with which they may not be equipped to deal without faith in something. I am an atheist, and although I find religion absurd, although sometimes it causes horrible things, and although sometimes religious people can be barbarians, I really am grateful for it. While it would be nice if everyone followed the same moral code I do, the next best thing is to have a moral code at all. If some people need religion to keep themselves moral, then this is beneficial for me as well. It helps me live a happier life when most people around me are living lawful, moral ones themselves, even if I think they're loonies.

(Hopes that was coherent.)
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 12:57:35 AM »

I think that where people see order and organization, they tend to look for a conscious being who brought about that order.  This is usually beneficial to humans.  We live in a social world, and we need to be able to identify what our fellow humans are doing, and why.  But sometimes our minds slip up. Sometimes people look for an “organizer” in situations where no human being could be involved.  For instance, the Earth seems to be an incredibly organized place.  Nearly every society has decided that some being (or beings) must have organized the Earth.  It is difficult to perceive an orderly system that was not designed by a thinking being. 

I believe that this desire to find an organizer, a creator, is what leads people to believe in deities.  I’ve heard a lot of social reasons for why people believe in religions.  For instance, people are ingrained with religion from the time they are a child.  This may explain why members of a society share a single religion, but it does not explain the belief in gods and God.   There is something inherent in humans that tends to lead to a belief in the supernatural and in deities.  I say that there must be something inherent in humans because nearly every society believes in powerful supernatural beings. There must be something about humanity that encourages a belief in God.

In addition to the natural tendency to look for a creator, people are able to think abstractly, and we can easily personify just about anything.   For instance, Micky Mouse and yellow circles with black symbols (i.e. emoticons Wink ) are easily seen as having human thoughts or emotions, even though we know that mice and yellow blobs are incapable of the human qualities we so imaginatively ascribe to them.   But what is really surprising is how we personify abstract concepts.  For instance, Venus is the goddess of beauty (among other things).  For those who believe(d) in Venus, she is the personification of beauty.  Beauty is an abstract concept.  It is easy enough to give human traits to a cartoon mouse, but it is very interesting that people will give human traits to abstract concepts.

When people personify abstractions, they often create a living entity to go along with the concept.  If they choose to take that extra step—to create a person to embody the personification—then they have created a supernatural being.  If that being has supernatural powers (it almost certainly will), then you have just witnessed the creation of a god.  It is really a simple process.   First, you personify an abstraction (instead of a physical entity such as a towel).  Next, you continue with the personification until you have a character that can think and act on its own.  Finally, you give that character supernatural power over the abstraction it personifies.  Presto.  You’ve got a god. 

I submit that this process has happened countless times, and that it can explain the creation of a great many gods in a great many societies.

An added bonus to the god-by-personification theory is that once the god is recognized, it will explain the organizational structure of whatever it personifies.  For instance, sun gods do not just give interesting character traits to the sun; they explain why the sun rises and sets each day. 

I could go on, but I won't (at least not yet).
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 06:45:05 AM »

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If God is such a sadist why would he incarnate himself in man, to die for us. It is a high price he paid to carry the sins for all, the least we can do is obey.
I love this point. Love love love it. God is perfect, God is immortal, God is omniscient. He suffered, he died for our sins. Despite not being able to die.

As a friend of mine once said, "God had a crummy weekend for your sins." Popping down an avatar for thirty years and letting it die really doesn't seem that bad for this omnipotent being. There's pretty much nothing he could do that could be considered a "sacrifice", unless it was giving up his godly powers forever.

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Again if he is the perfect being, and has only good wishes for us, then why not obey it makes more sense than trying to follow falliable and sinful us. If God is such a Sadist why would he dare protect the people of Israel like a Father. He is strict, but he is also careful with his own, if we see Joshua we see God clearing the land for the people of Israel to settle. If God is this God I describe, then heck why not it is better than my own wishes and desires.
If God is such a benevolent, kind guy, why would he protect the Israelis at the expense of all other of his "children"? Hey, I'll gladly kill anyone except for this little colony of ants, because they worship me. Boy, doesn't that make me feel special about myself. My existence (irregardless of my perfection) is finally justified!

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People always have crises' (Not sure if that's correct), I had one when I was twelve and have had one throughout my life. My only brother is an Autist, this has dented my faith, but in the end it only served for me to go deeper into God's plan. The day I decided to give my life to God, it has probably been the best decision of my life, to live a pure, orderly, and useful life, and I have never once felt depressed like I used to. I won't be a hypocrite and say I do not have struggles, and that I do not go through trials, but being in God's plan has helped me realize and put into perspective many things. If this and more is what God can do, then I really can't argue against.
Like I've said, it's psychological. If you've been raised as a Christian, or in a society that's filled with them, you're going to see faith as a great thing that will solve all your problems. It's almost hardwired into your brain. I was never forced to church, never had any association with religious groups besides hearing my friends' stories about confirmation. I've read parts of the Bible, both testaments, and it doesn't do anything for me. I've had a pretty nice life so far. Do I think that God is up there pulling strings so I can get into college, find the right girl to settle down with, get a good job? Do I feel manically depressed because I don't have some greater purpose in life? Hell no. My life as a human is more significant than my life as a soul would be.

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So power is useless without enforcement, yes it's true. But let me bring out another example, if your Medic who has no power over you tells you, you have to go on a diet or on a treatment, are you really going to argue with him? It's your doctor and if he can prove it to me than yes I will definitely obey for the good of my heatlh (Not that there always great, but theoretically).
That's why I said "physical power". "Authority" can also be defined as having expertise, like a Ph.D. People who have studied the world, learned about it. Religious "authorities", at best, are just addressing insecurities. At worst, they're exploiting them.

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My only point was to try to prove that the Bible is historically reliable and old. But what does differentiate the Bible from the Upanishas, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Vedas? The difference is that there is a God behind the Bible and there is no deity behind those other texts. Pentecostalism is ripping through India, Africa, Europe at a astounding rate because God can and will manifest and I do not see the opposite effect on any world religion occuring.
There are plenty of gods in the Hindu tradition. If there's no "power of god" behind them, why would so many Hindus deign to be Untouchables for thousands of years? Now they look at other faiths and say "Oh! In this faith I won't be a pariah! I'm converting!" not "Oh, God! He loves me! I'm converting!"

As for "ripping through [the world] at an astounding rate"...well, Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. They certainly aren't spreading it through conquest anymore, so what else but the power of Allah could be spurring on such expansion?

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Ayn Rand did not claim to be God though. And there are people who read Atlas Shrugged and et al, and hate it. When it comes to the Bible, what can you hate about it? The Bible is like a sword with two ends, it pierces through the human soul, I dare anyone to read it fully and not feel moved. Absolutist? Absolutely. Smiley
Plenty of people have read the Bible and hated it. Or been bored by it, at least (thanks Shas). If Ayn Rand had claimed to be God, would you have accepted her?

What can I hate about the Bible? I hate its underlying philosophical structure, its emphasis on both human irrelevance and subservience, and its completely stupid rules and contradictions. There is good stuff in it, but the majority is purely crap.

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I'm going to be very cold, what would the Media or other via's of communication gain from publishing miracles? Nothing, at all, what would medical and scietifical journals gain from publishing miracles? Zilch. Miracles are commonplace in our churches, I have seen so far three people get healed miraculously, and one baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome come it normally. Explain that to me. You go to these congregations and your always hearing about miracles and other things the Holy Spirit is doing.
You mean, what could the media gain from pandering to a group that makes up 80% of its viewing population? I have no idea.

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But what is faith then. And no it is not Blind trust. If God is he who says he is, if I can see and feel God as promised in the Bible, then really it is not blind but based on fact. Lucifer learned it from his own desire to want more power, God had put him as the best angel of all and so seeing this his heart was filled with bitterness provoking him to go against God.
You say "if" and then claim to be informed? And who created "evil", if not God? He created everything, didn't he? Or does "free will" transcend even God, indicating order of a greater scale in the universe? What happens if God is just middle management?

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You say all those based on certain denominations who have precisely caused that, but when the Bible is interpreted correctly, than the opposite occurs. Having a higher power humbles us, and makes us more all efficient uniting our goals and purposes.
Any way you interpret the Bible, God is a crutch. You will rely on him until your dying day for hope, happiness, and salvation. I can go out and pursue these things, but you must wait for God to grant them to do. I admit, it might be easier for you, since you alone can dictate what you perceive....But I'd rather spend life as my own creature.
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Matriarch Porcelina of the Shaelin Khapf
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 07:10:57 AM »

A completely relevant article from Wired
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Matriarch Porcelina of the Shaelin Khapf
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 01:47:12 PM »

Shaz lies through his teeth.  Grin

In the end and going back to the point, I think it is part of human nature to desire religion. But you know what it really isn't fair for me to debate all you guys, it's rather hard to manange my time and refute what all you guys have said. It would be more fair if I had at least two other fellas helping me beat you all to the ground. Plus you guys are in brainwashing colleges Tongue . In the end I'm not going to change you, and you guys aren't going to change me. It has been interesting, and if my time constraints are lightened, I'd be glad to debate you through IM. For now there are more important issues at hand. The battle has been lost but the war ain't over... Wink
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The Triumvirate of Valle de Mexico

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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2006, 02:05:38 PM »

I believe that the belief in God came out of two desires - the first to explain aspects of life that people were unable to on their own (i.e. what are the stars? how did we come to be?), the second to provide some sort of framework for a code of ethics and judge of behaviour (also, as a corollary, a way to provide peace of mind with regards to post-mortem judgement - the evil would be punished after they died, they would 'get theirs' and not escape justice in the next life).

Over time, unfortunately, these initial premises were twisted for personal gain, especially as organized religion (be it pagan, Christian, Muslim, whatever) began to take hold. "God(s)" became a tool for those in power to use as a way to maintain social order and protect their position in society. Belief in God became indoctrinated, and the masses were excluded from attempting to delve into that because allowing the average man to be educated and question the accepted beliefs would threaten the established powers in society. It's this latter development, the ever-increasing domination of organized religion, that clouds our perception of God and why people believe in Him (or Her :p). Too long have people thought of God, or His equivalent, in terms dictated by those with vested interests in maintaining their own point of view.
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