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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:33 pm
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Why do you believe in God?

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Why do you believe in God?

What specific argument or evidence is it, that persuades you?

Can you please outline the argument or piece of evidence that you believe is the STRONGEST reason to believe in God?

For example, is it the beauty and majesty of trees? Is it the Kalam Cosmological argument? Pascal's wager? Is it that you witnessed what you believe is a miracle? Is it the fact that you think the Bible contains prophecies? Is it because it feels good to believe in something greater than yourself?

Why do you believe in God?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:44 pm
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Creation.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:58 pm
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Elijah John wrote:

Creation.
The term "creation" is a loaded one, since a creation implies a creator.

Probably what you mean is not "creation". What you mean is "existence". That seems like a more neutral word, which doesn't presuppose your conclusion before even making your argument.

So, is your argument that stuff which exists... exists, therefore God did it?

I encountered that same argument from a 4 year old once, who asked me "If Santa doesn't exist, then how do you explain the presents under the christmas tree?"

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:58 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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logical thinking wrote:

Why do you believe in God?


For me Bible is the greatest reason to believe. And that is because it has great knowledge and wisdom that I think people would not have without God.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:03 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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I actually have quite a bit to say on this philosophical question. However, since you posted this in Christianity and Apologetics my reply may not fit into your expectations. Especially concerning the very concept of "God".


logical thinking wrote:

Why do you believe in God?


To begin with, my idea of God is more along the lines of various Eastern Mystical concepts of "God". And so to have a meaningful conversation on that topic we would most likely need to discuss that very concept first. I don't care to do that in this thread at all considering this is posted in Christianity and Apologetics.

logical thinking wrote:

What specific argument or evidence is it, that persuades you?


The obvious fact that I am aware that I am having an experience.

logical thinking wrote:

Can you please outline the argument or piece of evidence that you believe is the STRONGEST reason to believe in God?


Again the term "God" may be confusing here. Just for the sake of extreme simplicity all me to define "God" as the ultimate consciousness of all that exists. And please accept that this is an extremely poor definition being offered only as an intuitive framework to provide some understanding of what I'm trying to get at.

My argument goes as follows:

Our current materialistic and scientific description of the world does not even postulate or assume that energy/matter has a fundamental property of "consciousness" <--- again a very poor word to convey what I actually mean. It might be better to say that our scientific worldview does not postulate that energy/matter even has an innate potential to be "aware" of anything.

Yet we are aware. As far as I can see, we would then need to explain awareness in terms of four fundamental forces, Gravity, Electromagnetism, and the Strong and Weak nuclear forces. So which of these can explain "awareness"?

Well, of those four Electromagnetism is certainly the most likely to serve in that role, but even Electromagnetism could not create "awareness" unless this force (or quantum field) already innately had an ability to be aware.

In short, I just can't see where a purely materialistic worldview can explain awareness (or just exactly what it is that had become aware) unless it at least begins by postulating that the fundamental material of reality innately has this ability.

And if it does, then it is this that I call "God". And as the Eastern Mystics say, "Tat T'vam Asi", meaning, "You are That".

And so in this sense I see rational and logical reasons to "believe" in the existence of a "God".

Obviously not an external egotistical jealous God that exists separate from us, but rather a God who has become manifest in this reality as us.

~~~~~

So that's my answer. Obviously no help for Christianity and Apologetics since their picture of God would not qualify here anyway.

But yeah, the fact that I am aware that I am having an experience does it for me. I don't how our current materialistic picture of reality could account for that. At the very least, the stuff we are made of is "God" and obviously we are it, at least our vantage point (our individual conscious experience) is a facet of God. And this is the philosophy of various Eastern Mystical religions including some versions of Buddhism.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:04 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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1213 wrote:

logical thinking wrote:

Why do you believe in God?


For me Bible is the greatest reason to believe. And that is because it has great knowledge and wisdom that I think people would not have without God.


I'm curious what "great knowledge and wisdom" you think we would not have but via the bible? Examples?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:52 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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[Replying to post 1 by logical thinking]

For me it is just a logical inevitability, there has to be a "first cause" the "uncaused cause".



1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The Universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

How do you know the universe had a beginning?

The Scientific concensus is that it did

SINGULARITY: The theory that an infintesimal point of singularity always existed for all eterntiy in a totally stable condition suddenly exploded into change defies the law of inertia (things that are at rest stay at rest unless unless acted upon by a net unbalanced force).

If everything has to have a creator who made God?

Everything does not have to have a "creator", everything that had a BEGINNING had to have CAUSE. By definition "first cause" has no beginning and therefore needs no "creator" (cause)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:18 pm
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I believe another form of life might exist, probably on another planet, that either through natural evolution, or mechanical dominance, could have power beyond mine.

So I believe in the possibility of gods.

But a God. That's simply impossible.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:48 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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logical thinking wrote:

Why do you believe in God?

What specific argument or evidence is it, that persuades you?


I will answer this from the perspective I had as a Christian.


logical thinking wrote:

Can you please outline the argument or piece of evidence that you believe is the STRONGEST reason to believe in God?


The fact that he was doing things in my life and that the bible was showing to be true. I saw his reality in my life.

Of course that is only a testimony so hardly something you would see as evidence.

logical thinking wrote:

For example, is it the beauty and majesty of trees?


There are certainly some amazing things. Things that seem too incredible to have just evolved. As a Christian I often marvelled at them. However I also noticed that the more educated I became and the more I began to understand things, the less complex and amazing many of those things became.

For me now (as a former Christian) I am convinced that something is only as complex and amazing as your inability to grasp it. For instance...

as small child basic addition was very complex to me. Very hard to get a handle on.

At the age of 10 addition became a piece of cake and it was division and multiplications that was hard to get my head around.

At the age of 16, multiplication and division were a piece of cake and basic calculus was now the dumbfounding problem I was trying to understand.

At the age of 30 when I was studying for a degree, basic calculus was a piece of cake and instead advanced calculus became the stuff I grappled with.

If we want to stoop to ignorance then we will look at the world around ourselves and convince ourselves that "goddidit". However as we learn and understand how it works, it becomes that less complex and dumbfounding.

Imagine if you were a god. Would you look at the universe and marvel how complex and incredible it was? No, because you as a god fully understand how it works. To you it's a basic thing. Something obvious and easy to understand. We as humans don't understand it so well, so we look at it and we marvel. It just seems too incredible for us to fathom. But is it really all that necessarily incredible and dumbfounding? After all everything breaks down to a few basic elements, doesn't it?

logical thinking wrote:

Pascal's wager?


I never heard about this as a Christian, but I think it probably would have been compelling for me as a Christian. After all I believed there was only one true God. There was no concern about angering any other gods as they were all demons or imaginary anyway.

However if I was of the belief that there were many gods and the bible god was just one, I would have to say that Pascal's Wager would be a ludicrous wager to follow, after all you might be angering other gods by following Jesus.

logical thinking wrote:

Is it that you witnessed what you believe is a miracle?


I never saw any bonifide miracles. I certainly heard a lot of stories, but never saw any myself. Of course I did believe that God answered many of my prayers. That was good enough for me, to just believe that God answered them. I felt no need to think it through further. I felt no need to wonder, perhaps all these answers to prayers were as a result of my own actions, my own positive thinking and also the actions of others.

logical thinking wrote:

Is it the fact that you think the Bible contains prophecies?


I believed the bible was the infallible word of god. I never noticed that the so-called fulfillments of prophecies really didn't line up with scripture. I believed that the gospels were eye witness accounts and reliable (no other Christian acknowledged they weren't). I took it for granted that our English translations were accurate... at least until I started to hear from people who kept insisting that the English translations were wrong and attempted to redefine much of it themselves (like Christians on this website do).


logical thinking wrote:

Is it because it feels good to believe in something greater than yourself?


How about it just feels good? But yes, there is much comfort in believing in a god. I always felt that comfort as a Christian.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:38 pm
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logical thinking wrote:

Elijah John wrote:

Creation.
The term "creation" is a loaded one, since a creation implies a creator.

Probably what you mean is not "creation". What you mean is "existence". That seems like a more neutral word, which doesn't presuppose your conclusion before even making your argument.

So, is your argument that stuff which exists... exists, therefore God did it?

I encountered that same argument from a 4 year old once, who asked me "If Santa doesn't exist, then how do you explain the presents under the christmas tree?"


Existence too, implies a Source, a Creator. Either blind chance, or a Being far more powerful and intelligent than we are.

But the question was "why do we believe?", not "prove there is a God". Creation, nature, existence call it what you will, is the main reason I believe.

More so than "The Bible tells me so". So with that Deistic answer, I have fewer claims to defend.

But yeah, can't prove God, not trying to. Just answerin' the question.

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