|Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:33 pm Why do you believe in God?|
|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?
Post 81: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:31 pm
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|Replying to post 72 by polonius.advice]
"Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)"
- TEX WILLIAMS
Maybe they were ADDICTED to addiction and needed an addiction to satisfy their addiction to addiction, so they invented cigarettes to be addicted to. And then they were addicted to cigarettes. After all, it's better to be addicted to SOMETHING, right?
All these addictive personalities were walking around like zombies searching for something to be addicted to. THEN, they had a revelation.
SMOKE that leaf
( I would just LOVE to be a theist )
Last edited by Blastcat on Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post 82: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:31 pm
Re: Why do you believe in God?
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I don’t think all possible Jews that have existed must be gathered back for the scripture to be correct. I also don’t know who God meant with Jews in the scripture. Perhaps not all who call themselves Jews are really Jews.
And that I do.
I disagree with that. Many real findings show it is possible that world was covered with water. (Water animal’s fossils on mountains, old coast lines on dry land…).
Or tests the thing.
My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
I don’t believe so, but I can’t say it is not possible.
I agree with that. And if Bible would be just human product, it would have many mistakes. However I don’t think it has any, therefore I believe God has influenced in the making of Bible.
Why? Because western countries are becoming antichristian and prosecute everyone who believes in the Bible?
I believe what the Bible tells. And according to it, one person heard donkey speaking. Bible doesn’t say it is what donkeys normally do, and I don’t believe it is what is normal for a donkey.
I would rather say, wisdom helps person avoid problems.
Post 83: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:31 pm
Re: Why do you believe in God?
Like this post (2): OnceConvinced, Blastcat
But even if it was correct, I don't follow your logic. If a text is correct about something, and then also says that a supernatural being is real, does that mean that the supernatural being is real?
" 2+2=4, and Santa is real".
The statement above is correct. So does it mean that Santa is real?
The Bible is evil. End of story.
So, some barbarians figured out that the right thing to do to gay people is kill them and that women are intrinsically inferior to men in the same way that man is inferior to God. You like the fact that you don't have to think for yourself and let bronze and iron age barbarians do the thinking for you.
Ok, that's neat. But why would it follow from that that God is real?
Post 84: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:24 am
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It’s really that simple.
Post 85: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:44 am
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Post 86: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:05 am
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Does a god have a cause – maybe. Of course, God might not have a cause and the idea of a causeless cause has been embraced by scientists. That fact apparently irritates many atheists who charged that Christian construct inappropriate special pleadings that excuse God from the same scrutiny that they apply to created things.
Post 87: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:44 am
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A logical conclusion is a conclusion based on premises that ARE true.
Check this out:
Premise 1: Reindeer can fly
Premise 2: There is an invisible toy factory in the north pole
Conclusion: Santa Klaus is real
Hey, it might be true that reindeer can fly. It might be true that there's an invisible toy factory in the north pole.
If a logical conclusion were one arrived to by means of premises that might be true, then Santa would be real.
Is Santa real? No? Then
Of course it's a possibility that an intelligent entity that has always existed created everything else.
It's also a possibility that such an entity does not exist.
It's also a possibility that the universe was created by an intelligent entity that was created by another intelligent entity, that was created by another intelligent entity, that was created by another intelligent entity, etc, etc, etc
It's also a possibility that the universe does not exist, and all this is just a dream that you are dreaming, and actually you are God and when you wake up you're gonna create a universe that is much better than what you dreamed.
It's a possibility that Allah is real, that Zeus is real, that Santa is real, that Peter Pan is real.
Almost everything is a possibility. The question is this: Of all the things that are possibilities (Yahweh, deistic God, Allah, absence of any God, Santa, Spiderman, etc) why do you believe in God?
What reason, what evidence, do you have that, unlike Santa and Allah, the Christian God is MORE than just a possibility?
To believe in one possibility and base your life around that belief, and to disbelieve in other possibilities which are no less likely, based on no good evidence, is an absurd belief.
It's like living your life assuming the lottery ticket you just bought is the winning one, and buying fancy cars and jewelry on your credit card, because once you win the lottery ticket next week, you'll be bale to pay it all off.
Sure, it's a possibility that that you will win the lottery. But it's also a possibility that your neighbor will win it, or that the person living one more door down will win it, or the person two doors down, or 3 doors down, or 4 doors down.
Believing things just... because. That's absurd.
I don't see how it's relevant.
Religion was created for SOME reason.
Is your argument "religion was created because God is real"?
If so, then UFO stories were created because UFOs are real. Bigfoot stories were created because bigfoot is real. Fairy tales were created because fairies are real.
Please present an argument which starts with "Religion exists" and ends with "Therefore God is real". If not, if your opinions on why religion was created is not germane to the truth of God's existence, then please start your own thread about that.
But this thread is about why you believe God exists. Please follow the edicts of 1 Peter 3:15 and tell us WHY YOU BELIEVE IN GOD.
Why is this so difficult? Just tell us why you believe!
If you're interested in debating the monetary motivations for starting religions, I'd be happy to do that - ON A SEPARATE THREAD.
This thread is for theists to explain why they believe in God.
Either explain it, or stop posting here. Why do you believe in God?
Post 88: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:08 am
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[p1]Reindeer can fly.
[p2]Rudolph is a reindeer.
[c]Rudolph can fly.
There are three terms: reindeer, Rudolph, and fly. The conclusion is logical. It’s unsound because the first premise is false, but it’s still logical. In the case with the present discussion on the creation, you cannot prove that God doesn’t exist; therefore, you cannot assert that premises about him are false (not that it would affect the logic of the argument.)
The rest of your arguments are predicated upon an erroneous conclusion (i.e. premises must be true before a conclusion is illogical).
Post 89: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:45 am
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|Replying to post 86 by JLB32168]
Oblivious to the obvious
But should we just IGNORE all of the other possibilities?
I think that would be quite unreasonable. We should look at all the data possible. And if our "data" points are speculative, we should look at all the possible speculations.
If confirmation bias seems like a good idea, go right ahead. Only LOOK at the one possibility that you want to believe in. But other people notice that you don't seem to NOTICE all the others.
Some people ADMIRE the kind of thinking that conspiracy theorist use.
I sure don't.
I don't think they THINK well at all.
Your conclusion might be logical/rational. I'm not saying that they are, but I'm conceding that many theistic arguments CAN BE. It's a case by case thing.
But you seem to not appreciate that just because something makes SENSE, like a Harry Potter book idea, it NEVER has to mean that it's TRUE. When you say that God might be eternal and might have created the universe, I say YES all of that MIGHT BE TRUE.
But the very OPPOSITE might ALSO BE TRUE.
So, you might have explained how your idea can be INTERNALLY CONSISTENT, like J. K. Rowling does with Harry Potter, but it doesn't mean that your CREATOR is REAL. It does NOT mean that HARRY is real, either.
They BOTH can be FICTIONS.
Of course I am.
I am PRESENTING what I consider quite obvious possibilities. But it seems that SOME debaters choose to IGNORE the obvious. They appear to be OBLIVIOUS to the obvious.
So I feel that the OBVIOUS has to be stated.
We don't want to exclude the middle. I was TRYING to be thorough.
Maybe, and maybe not. Right.
We don't KNOW which.
By some.. but I don't know if by all. I don't imagine that humans know everything that there is to know about causation quite yet. We don't KNOW is the honest answer.
But we can speculate.
When you say that your god can be eternal and create a universe, you are speculating.
When someone else says that the universe doesn't need a cause to exist, I'd say that they are speculating, TOO.
But we don't KNOW.. nobody knows.
That was my main point.
People like to PRETEND that they know what they really don't. THEREFORE, beliefs of all kinds seem to pop into existence.
Special pleading irritates, that's for sure.
It's a complete WASTE OF TIME. And for those who don't SPOT IT.. it's very misleading. It's intellectually dishonest.
We should all AVOID IT.
And it's DEATH to any logical/rational argument.
WOW... that sounds so deep.
When I'm trying to be logical/rational, I do NOT embrace direct contradictory statements. The above statement of yours is SO vague, and so conflating, that I have to conclude one of two things:
1. You are PROFOUNDLY bad at expressing yourself.
2. You are deliberately trying to mislead.
Neither possibility enhances your credibility.
People DO allege all manner of things.
I say "Let them", and then I "IGNORE THEM".
If they can prove their claims I say "Let's look at the proof".
It's not the only rebuttal that I can think of. Maybe you aren't talking to very thoughtful atheists. Not all atheists, are, you know.
I think that rebuttal is very good. But it's not the only one that I can think of. They might BE deluded, or lying, or that they never really said it. Or they were only joking. Or they were saying that to save their lives. Or someone else's life. Or they meant it poetically, and didn't ever INTEND to be taken literally. Or they were talking about another god entirely. Or a demon. Or an alien that they mistook for a god. Or someone was standing in another room playing jokes.. "Boooooo I'm the ghost of Xmas passsssst". These honest but gullible people might have been DECEIVED, too.
The point to all of this speculation is... HOW WOULD WE KNOW?
But I get your point. Their claims might not have been TRUE.
That's a very honest answer.
That would be a very FALSE conclusion. So, right. Why SHOULD YOU?
You don't know. That's it.
But why would you conclude that they WEREN'T?
You seem to be ONLY looking at the side of the question that would prove yourself RIGHT. That's what the conspiracy theorist do. They don't think well at all. We should look at all of the possibilities, and NOT just the one that tends to confirm our bias.
You seem to be promoting some of the WORST kind of thinking imaginable.:
We should ALL avoid confirmation bias and ESPECIALLY in debates, as the method, once it has been noticed, can ONLY fail to convince.
I'm sorry. But I have to agree with this rebuttal.
It IS a stupid way of thinking to believe in fairy tales, when we are GROWN UPS, trying to think in a logical/rational way. I am just not that GULLIBLE. I don't think that other people should be gullible, either. I don't know ANYTHING about your actual motivation, so I wouldn't tell you what it is... that's nonsense.
You might have been talking to irrational atheists. That happens.
But now, I'm trying as hard as I can to be a RATIONAL atheist. So, try me. I won't pretend to know what your motivations are. If I want to know your motivations, I will ASK.
But I usually try to focus on people's logic/reason.
I'm WAY more interested in how people ARRIVE at their conclusions than the actual conclusions themselves, you see.
I believe that faulty reasoning does NOT lead to reliable conclusions.
Here's a hint. If someone comes up to you and says that they DO know... they are most probably bluffing. You don't have to believe them.
You might want to ask them for their MECHANISM by which they found out, first. See how they ARRIVED at their rather "spectacular" knowledge.
For one thing, people aren't eternal so cant really know if something is eternal or not. Sorry. They might PRETEND that they know, but that's not the same as really KNOWING.
Pretend ≠ knowledge
You think that I'm bluffing about those bluffers. Fair enough. I don't know what other people know. I don't read minds, I don't KNOW absolutely everything, and I can be completely wrong.
BUT... I do not know of ANY MECHANISM by which a person could know anything about eternal existence, do YOU? I don't know of anyone who DOES know absolutely everything and who also can't be completely wrong, deluded, mistaken, lying etc... People have LIMITED knowledge, so expecting ANYONE to know anything about ETERNAL anything is unreasonable. I imagine that only an eternal being could know about the eternal existence of anything. Is eternal existence POSSIBLE?
I don't know.
As an example of not knowing, and claims, let's play some poker:
Someone CLAIMS to have 4 aces, I would ask them to SHOW. I call their bluff.
But you might just want to go ahead and take their word for it and fork over your dough.
Why should we assume he is deluded about those 4 aces? We shouldn't assume that they are deluded.. so .. fork over the money? I suppose it depends on HOW much money. Let's say it's a substantial sum of money. Kids are crying in the other room because they are hungry. Feed the kids, or pay the player who says he has 4 aces.
Think of the CHILDREN!!!!!
You give him your money, I'm going to CALL.
Now, it's pretty easy for the card player to show his hand. He either HAS 4 aces, or he was just bluffing.
But how does someone who claims to know about eternal EXISTENCE "show his hand"? Do you see a problem here?
( I lost a lot of money playing poker )
Look, saying " I KNOW WHAT I DON'T KNOW " is EXTREMELY ambiguous. It's ambiguous to the point of being a JOKE.
I wouldn't use that bad turn of phrase in a serious debate UNLESS I also pointed out that it was a JOKE. But if you don't MEAN it as a joke, that's a messed up statement. I say: "Drop it".
Who on EARTH is asking you to accept anything?
I'm not ASKING you to ACCEPT any possibility... I'm PRESENTING possibilities. Remember that I said that we don't know if ANY of these possibilities are true. I'm trying to be a skeptic.
Skeptics don't ACCEPT what might be false as true.
And yet, civility is demanded of all of us in these forums. If anyone actually DOES insult someone in here, it should be reported immediately. Let the moderators handle that kind of thing.
Dismissing something in a facile, pointed way does NOT increase our credibility in here. If you notice some rule violation, report it.
If you read carefully, I am admitting to IGNORANCE.. when I say that nobody knows, I include myself. It seems reasonable to say that for all WE DO KNOW.. nobody has a time machine and a mind reading machine to go back in time and INSPECT all the motivations for people creating religions.
Do you know of any MECHANISM by which someone could POSSIBLY know how religious were created? People can and do speculate. That's the best we can do.
WE CAN'T GO BACK IN TIME YET.
So we just don't know.
Let's try to not pretend to know what we really don't.
Again, this is the product of confirmation bias. It seems that you can't IMAGINE anything wrong with historical or present day theocracies. Remember that the USA waged a WAR against a theocracy. Putting on your rose colored glasses about religions might feel good to you, but it's not what I would call historically or politically sophisticated.
Confirmation bias at work:
1. Whatever tends to prove a bias, KEEP.
2. Whatever tends to DISPROVE.. DISCARD.
We can ONLY expect to KEEP and ENHANCE our bias that way.
It seems to me that you would LOVE a theocracy. BUT.. it has to be YOUR theos. Not the theos of some other guy. I would not love ANY theocracy.
I don't want to be forced to believe what some other guy believes. DO YOU?
Post 90: Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:29 am
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|Replying to JLB32168]
If one does not know the answer to a particular question then the possible answers are infinite. With respect to the question at hand, what we actually observe is that every effect is the result of a still earlier cause. This occurs without exception for everything that can be observed. To declare that the only possible conclusion is that there must be an uncaused cause, in violation of all observation, is NOT logical. It is an assumption. It is an assumption which is simply one of an infinite number of possible answers. Because our powers of observation are limited, so we do not have a definitive answer.
It is often said that everything has a beginning. But in fact this is NOT what we observe at all. What we actually observe is that everything is a continuation of things that have already occurred. In ancient times people supposed that spontaneous beginnings occurred commonly. The birth of a child, for example, which gave rise to an entirely new individual which had not previously existed. This was generally thought in ancient times to be a supernatural manifestation and a descreet new beginning. But we today know that the conception of a human child, or any new life, is the result of material provided by the parents. And the each component part of every existing individual, already existed for billions of years at least prior to making up the whole of that individual. When the individual dies, it's component parts will continue on, taking yet new forms. Because energy can neither be created or destroyed, only changed in form. It is neither observed to begin, or to end.
It is observed that the universe is expanding. By extrapolation it must be concluded that the universe was smaller a second ago. This leads to the conclusion that all of the material of universe must have once been in one place in the past, which leads to the concept of the big bang. Believers leap to the conclusion that this represents the beginning of the universe, and a discreet beginning at that. But we have absolutely no experience with discreet beginnings. A beginning where nothing previously existed. We have vastly more reason to suppose, based on all experience, that the universe WAS BORN as a result of things which preceded it. Physicists suppose that what preceded the big bang was a condition known as the singularity, or a condition approaching the state of a singularity. Since black holes are predicted to be the end result of gravitational collapse into the state of a singularity, or a condition approaching the state of s singularity, it is possible to conclude that the cosmic singularity from which or universe was born, was also the result of gravitational collapse. Which implies the existence of an entirely other universe. Because everything we observe is a continuation of that which preceded it. It certainly is possible to conceive of a cause which requires no first cause. But no such thing is observed to be true, and must be entirely made up from the imagination.
If one does not know the answer to something for certain, nearly anything is possible.
The assertion that religions lead to massive amounts of death, torture and the exhibition of people inflicting extreme horrors on other people based on their religious convictions is itself based on much observation.
The solution as to whether or not the deities can enforce their rules to the point of placing one's "immortality" in peril is conveniently declared to occur after one dies. Which of course no one can check on. The entire idea of "immortality" is an imaginary one, derived from religious claims which cannot be examined and verified. Nothing which is observed reinforces the concept of immortality. All living things die. Make believe cannot change that. I am not offering you a better deal here. I am simply pointing out that the reality of that which can be observed to be true is different from those things which are entirely contrived by the imagination and then declared to be true without any actual physical evidence to support them.
Religion is a way for humans to cope with the fact that they exist in a capricious world that as naked apes they have little control of. We modern humans, with our technology, have afforded ourselves some small measure of actual control over our circumstances however. And as we move down that path, make believe is needed less and less.
You ARE aware of how fabulously wealthy TV evangelists have made themselves? Now, notice how the Torah sets up the Levite priests to share in the wealth of the society, WITHOUT producing any actual wealth themselves, and yet without incurring any risks to themselves. Because being a shaman/witch doctor/priest is literally the longest running scam in human history. Far older than Judeo-Christianity. We know that ancient prehistoric people had religious beliefs. The role of witch doctor/shaman/priesthood has been around probably nearly as long as modern humans have been around, if not longer. These individuals were generally feared and highly respected in tribal hierarchy, as well as men of wealth in power in the early civilizations, where they typically served as advisers to the king. The problem was, they were generally expected to foretell important things, like the fortunes of upcoming battles, and the general coming of disasters. Since such people are little more than con artists using slight of hand tricks to fool everyone, (think Peter Popoff here) they had no better than a 50/50 chance of predicting anything right. And when they got it wrong they generally paid with their lives.
The priests of Judaism however figured a way around this problem. They produced a series of documents, known as the Torah, which they claimed to be from God Himself, which placed duties and restrictions on the Jewish population. Lots and lots of duties and restrictions on the Jewish population. So many duties and restrictions on the Jewish population that it was impossible for all of the people to to keep all of the duties and restrictions all of the time. So when disasters struck, which of course they inevitably would, the priests could claim that they were not at fault, but the people had angered God by falling to uniformly follow all of the rules all of the time. And so the priests were able to reap the rewards of their position without suffering the risks.
The rewards for the Jewish priests, the Levites, were extraordinarily lucrative too. For example:
 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1. And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.
2. Even of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.
The Levites have no inheritance of lands to work but are instead given a portion of the wealth and cities to reside in:
1. Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.
2. And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
3. And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.
4. So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs.
5. And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.
Leviticus makes it even better for the Levites. Free homes to live in. And if the Levite owners should choose to sell his home to a non Levite, the ownership of the home reverts to the Levite owner again every seven years.
1. Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time.
2. And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy sweetens the deal for the Levites even further.
 "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee."
 "The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance.
 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
 And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him."[/b]
Wow! What a huge break for the Levites! Three times a year you must come to Jerusalem and make your offering to the Lord of the finest things you possess. And once your offering is consecrated it becomes the property of the Levites.
And it only gets better. The duties of the Levites "set them aside" from the general population. They are not required to fight in battle.
"Why did the Levites not share in the apportionment of land of Israel and its plunder, along with their brethren? Because they were set aside to worship the Lord and to minister to Him, and to instruct the masses in His proper ways and just laws, as it is said: “They shall teach Your laws to Jacob and Your instructions to Israel” (Deut. 33:10). Therefore they were set aside from the ways of the world: they do not go to war, as do the rest of Israel, they do not receive an apportionment of land as an inheritance, and they do not obtain things for themselves by the strength of their bodies; rather, they are the Lord’s host (Heb. hayil), as it is said: “Bless, O Lord, his substance (Heb. Barekh hashem helo),  and He, Blessed be He, provides for them, as it is said: “I am your portion and your share” (Num. 18:20)." Rabbi Judah Zoldan
So who wrote the Torah? That would be the Levites. Now THAT'S a scam! Well played Levites. Well played. Where would today's TV evangelists be without your guidance and inspiration!