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Do you believe in God? Why or why not?

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Exit Wounds posted 9/11/2013 11:31 AM

This is a pretty heavy topic SI'ers.

I am really questioning my belief in God lately. My mother kept telling me how "God will watch over you” and “you are not alone." Or "God will see to it that xyz."

Well, let's just say things are tough (aren't they tough for all of us?) and I am really wondering where is "my God?!”

I am curious as to what your believes are. Do you believe in God? Did your faith in Him strengthen past D day or weaken?

Have you always believed in Him b/c you were brought up that way or is that something that you came to due to circumstances in your life?

Also I use the term "God" loosely. He comes in many different names so please fill in the blank as to what you call your creator.

If you don't believe in "God", do you belive in many Gods? The power of nature? -I really am curious how other SIers deal with this issue...

Let's all keep within the guidelines and NOT bring religion into it.

I am looking forward to hearing everyones responses

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 11:33 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

ajsmom posted 9/11/2013 11:42 AM

Not sure how one discusses God without bringing religion into it.

Just sayin'.

AJ's MOM

Exit Wounds posted 9/11/2013 11:46 AM

Good question.
Religion to me, is about a certain amount of procedures one must follow to be a good (fill in the blank). The question I am posing is about God/your higher power. Not the hoops you have to jump through in order to be accepted by follow members of that pact/sect/etc

I hope I make sense...I have to admit not being from this country still causes me issues with trying to get across what I think makes sense in German

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 2:09 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

rachelc posted 9/11/2013 11:53 AM

I used to.

Exit Wounds posted 9/11/2013 11:55 AM

rachelc, you used to? Do you care to elaborate?

ETA
I kind of feel like that's where I am at. I am at the edge of "used to" and "still do"...

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 11:56 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 9/11/2013 11:57 AM

I do believe in God. I believe in God as the creator of the universe. Very simply, I believe because "something" cannot come from "nothing." Even the smallest spark of "something" from which all creation came had to start somewhere, and I believe that "somewhere" is God. It is actually a credible and normal explanation, to me. Edited to add: this is my personal opinion only and not intended to incur debate.

XH is an atheist. He doesn't believe in a Creator or a higher power at all. We were talking one time and I got teary-eyed and -voiced, marveling at the intricate and miraculous nature of creation, how everything fits together so perfectly and works so wonderfully, and said, "How can you not believe in God?" He looked at me as though I was crazy and said, for the same reasons I listed, "How can you???" Sigh.

I was raised knowing God's name and with a general idea of the Bible and the information contained therein. I was not raised with a specific religion nor was God put forth as something important or at the center of our family life. It was more of an idea on the periphery of life.

I came more to a greater understanding of God's place in my life and my specific religious traditions much later in life.

Of my four FOO memebers:

- my father was very spiritual but not overtly religious and did not attend church

- my mother has some spiritual feelings but is unsure of the validity of specifics and of Christianity; does not attend church. When I was diagnosed with a serious illness a couple of years ago, she cried to one of her friends that she "wishes [she] were more religious" so she could feel some comfort in that.

- my brother is a very conservative evangelical Christian and an avid churchgoer

- I am more moderate; I go to church regularly and pray daily, but I struggle with my spiritual walk (beliefs vs. my ability to personify those beliefs).

I do have ongoing experiences in my life which continuously reaffirm my belief in God. Many of them are too personal/personally identifying for me to describe here, but I find them difficult to explain as coincidence.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 11:59 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

lieshurt posted 9/11/2013 12:14 PM

This is a tough one for me to answer. I believe something is there, but I don't necessarily believe it's the god that most people believe in. Sometimes I think it's more about positive/negative energy and the balance of it in the universe. I do pray. However, I don't necessarily pray to a god.

I don't believe the bible is anything more than a novel written during that time period. To me, the bible is to Christianity what Dianetics is to Scientology today.

I once had a Physics teacher ask..."how do we know we're not just an atom in somebody else's world?" and I still wonder about that to this day.

Tred posted 9/11/2013 12:19 PM

Never trust an atom...they make up everything. I prefer Thomas Jeffersons view:

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.

purplejacket4 posted 9/11/2013 12:49 PM

I believe in a Great Spirit/God/Allah/All Powerfull being. I was an avid Bible thumper growing up but now I kind of believe from an anthropology point of view that all religions are a way to try to address, understand and speak to God. Kind of like the story of the blind men touching the elephant and explaining different things. As a physician (and scientist) there is no way all of this came about through chance. Not in only 5 billion measley years!

LoveActually posted 9/11/2013 12:59 PM

I believe there is something for sure--call if a higher power if you will. I don't believe there is a man sitting on a thrown in a long white gown and beard watching over all of us down here.

I don't believe the bible is anything more than a novel written during that time period

This for me too. I was floored when I took an ancient civilization history course in college and I learned how the bible was preserved for a very long period of time in a civilization where hardly anyone could read or write and then further how changes/revisions where made to the bible according to what ruler was in power at any given time and what their personal beliefs were in regards to government, society and morality. The general theory and concept of the bible went out the window for me at that point.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 9/11/2013 13:12 PM

I consider myself spiritual but not religious. I don't believe the dead are watching over us because that would be a painful afterlife for my brother watching how the mother of his children fails to mother them. I believe the afterlife is a peaceful place.

I also don't think "God only gives us as much as we can handle" but rather is there for strength during the difficult times. There is no way the God I know said "Gee Sandy's son died instantly in the car crash, but she's a strong person so I will torture her with her dd hanging on for a few days and then snatch her away too. She can handle that."

I don't believe creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive concepts - we have a lot in common with a gnat, dolphin, as well as apes. Perhaps Gods perfect design is evolution.

I could go on, but I'm probably bordering on the brink of pushing this convo too far.

[This message edited by Lucky2HaveMe at 1:14 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

Newlease posted 9/11/2013 13:19 PM

I believe there is a spiritual presence in the universe that connects all living things.

I live by a moral code that has nothing to do with organized religion. I try to live lightly on the earth, do no intentional harm, and show compassion and empathy.

NL

rachelc posted 9/11/2013 13:24 PM

I don't believe the bible is anything more than a novel written during that time period

yep and 1000 years from now people will make fun of the religions earth is populated with right now. We do it to those who came before us.
Can't say for sure why I don't believe anymore. Leaps of faith are hard these days.

[This message edited by rachelc at 1:24 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

heartbroken_kk posted 9/11/2013 13:27 PM

I don't believe in god. I just don't see any evidence for one.

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?

I like to live an evidence-based life, not one based on superstitions and myths. I think myths are great if you take them as STORIES, as in, probably fiction.

I live with a strong set of personal values though, and subscribe to a humanist philosophy where I believe that people should strive to do their very best in the world, and that they are responsible for doing the best they can with the circumstances they find themselves in. And for those who have terrible circumstances through no fault of their own, I believe other humans should help them, myself included.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism (wide ranging topic)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism (best describes my personal philosophy)

I don't pray, but I do know that if others are thinking about me, even if they are not doing anything for me, it helps me psychologically to feel supported, and I think that feeling helps me do better by myself.

I have a good friend who recently gave up his belief in god for exactly the reasons you describe. He can't believe that a just god would allow him to suffer as he has.

[This message edited by heartbroken_kk at 1:33 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

Nature_Girl posted 9/11/2013 14:02 PM

I do believe in God. I also believe that God gave human beings "free will" to believe or not, deliberately do good or evil, the power of choice. I believe God allows us to live with the consequences of our or other's bad choices. I believe by following God we can takes the ashes of our lives and shape them into a new life with renewed purpose.

Exit Wounds posted 9/11/2013 14:04 PM

I have a good friend who recently gave up his belief in god for exactly the reasons you describe. He can't believe that a just god would allow him to suffer as he has.

I guess you can say "it could always be worse if God didn't watch over us." -At least that is according to my mother, who is/was an absent mother.

I am still confused and trying to make sense of it all.

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 2:06 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

h0peless posted 9/11/2013 14:15 PM

I was raised in a very strict Christian household and I rejected it when I was very young. I suppose to do that, you have to embrace the fact that you don't have all of the answers and never will. Now I'm an atheist who believes in the power of human will and the laws of physics, however limited our understanding of both may be.

woundedwidow posted 9/11/2013 14:34 PM

My belief in G-d is at the core of my being. It's really significant that you asked this question now, during the High Holidays, when we reflect on our relationship with G-d and people in our lives. To not believe in G-d, for me, would be like not breathing. I also pray, especially in times of trouble (mine or anyone else's), but also to give thanks, whether for "big" things, or for small things like a sunset, a needed rain, or the beauty of a snowy morning. Talking to G-d is the best part of my day - I just have to keep my mouth shut long enough to hear back!

AFrayedKnot posted 9/11/2013 14:38 PM

I do not have religious practice. But I have seen way too many coincidences in my life to deny the existence of something. My faith and my connection to whatever it is has grown tremendously since Dday.

aesir posted 9/11/2013 14:43 PM

I guess you can say "it could always be worse if God didn't watch over us." -At least that is according to my mother, who is/was an absent mother.

Why am I thinking "God is my babysitter" just doesn't cut it.
The "God is my copilot" bumper stickers always bothered me too, I just hope they actually get confirmation he is ready to take control before they hand over the wheel.

In the end, if you are looking for evidence regarding an abstract notion of a god, rather than some specific deity, you won't find anything conclusive. Most people will choose whatever belief they find most comforting. I prefer to think that this is not all just a test, and that there is an actual end. Others will feel differently.

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