"God" issue

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: "God" issue
By Justperfect (Justperfect) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit

to back up my point from a previous thread of at which time i am unable to find of "God". my point was that many people believe in "god" b/c of their parents and then some came and said "o no its my choice and i want to,yada yada......" but to back my statement up i will follow it with the fact that how can you have great respect and belief in someone who you have never seen,nor will ever see and have been told great things about "him".if i were to tell you about someone i knew who was great you would not "worship" him becasue you have no "trust" in poeple outside you family but when a paret comes to you and says hey there is a great person and you must respect "him" you do it w/o asking or reason, so with that said i am doone for now

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

its called FAITH

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

I think some people (not all, just some) believe in God and religion because it simplifies everything. All the morals and rules are spelled out in black and white, and the answers are all there in the bible if you look hard enough. You can go through life knowing for sure that if you follow the rules, you will be rewarded, and that's very comforting. Agnosticism involves a lot of questioning and uncertainty, and many people would rather believe that everything happens for a reason. They make the leap of faith not just because someone tells them to, but because they want to uncomplicate things. That's just my theory.

By Macramequeen (Macramequeen) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:58 pm: Edit

A lot of people do develop their faith from their parents' beliefs initially, but when it comes down to it, spirituality is circumscribed by the individual alone; it's something you attain INDEPENDENTLY because really, who can MAKE you believe in something? No one. You believe what YOU believe in. Pretty cool concept, huh?

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

Historically, we have always had a sense of the Divine, since the beginnings of history. However, there are different ways that we perceive the Divine. There's pantheism, panentheism, monism, monotheism, dualism, henotheism, polytheism, etc. However, they all recognize a Power, Force, Being, Divinity, etc.(feel free to make each word plural).
There are certain things that happen that we simply can't explain. There have been SO many miracles and events that have occurred that point to the Divine. Not just the Bible, but everything in every religion.

By Mattman (Mattman) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit

Everyone's born an atheist. Religion was used in man's early history to present day to explain things that were unclear how they happened. No one is positive how the universe was created and some people will always be skeptical of science, so they have their own theories involving an almighty being or whatnot.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 02:18 am: Edit

Ummm, about that whole no one can make you believe what you believe. People can certainly coerce you into believing something by making it more believable -- that's pretty damn close to forcing you.

By Macramequeen (Macramequeen) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 04:54 am: Edit

They can try to force it on you but ultimately, you are the one who chooses to accept that belief or not. Any individual capable of thinking for themself cannot use the excuse that a belief was forced upon them.

It's like how people see colors; even if we're looking at the same red apple, the color red you see is slightly different from the shade of red I see, and the red he sees, and the color she sees, and so on. The way our brain visually interprets something as simple as a color distinctly differs for each individual.

Likewise, there is a different type of spirituality for every person. You are believing with YOUR heart, through YOUR eyes. One cannot be FORCED to become spiritual, or religious, or whatever you want to call it. No matter how much you coerce a person, they cannot believe unless that is what they truly choose to accept on thier own.

By Piman3141 (Piman3141) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 11:26 am: Edit

I agree, most people only have FAITH, as someone put it, merely because theyre indoctrinated with stories and parables from a young age by the only people they can trust- their parents. It's brainwashing, though not in the communist or cult sense of the word, and I doubt that most people would develop faith in a higher being if raised and left to themselves (or just isolated from the entire concept of religion, organized and personal), and that some sort of religion would not appear until several generations later. Why else do you think that it's close to impossible to start a religion today? The answer: because all religions are based on the fear and incapability of ancient civilizations to explain certain natural phenomena, which today, are easily explained using modern scientific theories and concepts. If a miracle were performed today, people would no doubt become curious and investigate the phenomena, eventually finding fault or a logical explanation for the occurrence. Am I not saying that one should not have faith in a divine being or beings, only that I find it hard to believe that someone would base all of their beliefs on extraordinary stories told thousands of years ago with the knowledge we have today (if the person had no understanding of the world, this might be understandable). The only explanation for why this happens: parents gradually impress a mxture of fear and awe upon their children, until years later, the child proclaims that their beliefs are their own choice.

By Twinkletoes696 (Twinkletoes696) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 12:29 pm: Edit

Justperfect, in response to: "my point was that many people believe in "god" b/c of their parents and then some came and said "o no its my choice and i want to,yada yada......" but to back my statement up i will follow it with the fact that how can you have great respect and belief in someone who you have never seen,nor will ever see and have been told great things about "him"."

Well, no one has ever PROVEN that there is the existence of God or not If they had, there wouldn't be so many different religious sects (although many share common underlying beliefs, the details vary from religion to religion... I suppose that's a good way to put it), and people wouldn't spend time thinking/ debating/ deliberating over there is a god (or gods) or not.

I'm not going to force any beliefs on you, but just food for thought: if there is a God, it doesn't mean that you can see him or that he even has a body/form. If you think about it, God could be more of a spirit that exists in everything. I'm not saying this is right or wrong; just an idea.

It's perfectly normal to question religious/spiritual beliefs- a lot of people do, especially in their late teens/early 20s- many of us do pick up beliefs from our parents but as we get older we develop our own, make changes, question, etc. as we learn more and become better thinkers.

There is nothing wrong with being an atheist if you do not believe in God- that's why it's called a belief. None of us really know the right answers and it's a personal choice.

Of course I can't say for sure if there is a God or not. Personally, I think there is one; the details of his existence (in terms of whether he has a body or his form, etc.) are unclear to me but I definitely think there is a higher power. Maybe I believe because I think that it would be horrible if we came onto this earth, lived, and then died...rotting into the earth forever and ever. I think there is something more, a "reward" almost, for living well- otherwise, why be moral? Why bother? Why not just go around and hurt other people if it doesn't matter in the end? I'm not saying I personally believe this- I'd try to live ethically and morally for my own purposes and did so even during my year or two where I was on the fence as to whether God existed- but it's just a thought.

Anyway, beliefs are based on faith, and it's up to you if you have it or not. You can't really question WHY someone thinks as they do... everyone has their own reasons.:)

By T2opine (T2opine) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

I don't think that people who believe in God are necessarily looking for an easy way out. Yes, the Bible does provide answers to a lot of questions, but don't think that spirituality does not involve questioning and uncertainty. After all, how many times has someone said that the Bible is also full of contradictions? How does one know which choice is the right one? Being faithful to any religion is not easy.

What's so wrong with people believing in God, or any religion for that matter? There is nothing wrong with being an Atheist if you truly believe that there is no higher power. But if religion and faith is what gets people to survive, then what is the problem with believing in it?

By Macramequeen (Macramequeen) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit

I really think we all need to invent our own religion.

By Dmitrypetrovna (Dmitrypetrovna) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit

Can you prove that a mother loves her child and that a child loves his/her mother? No. Only the mother and child truly know what exists between them. Likewise, you cannot prove that God does NOT exist. He exists in an individual's soul and faith.

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 05:34 pm: Edit

the standard argument for the existence of God is that everything in the world has a cause. Cause and effect is a standard law of physics. So, we can go back in time, saying that everything had a cause. However, for this law to work, there must have been an uncaused cause to put everything into motion, to make the first cause-effect. This force/being/thing/whatever is called by some, God.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 05:42 pm: Edit

But what causes there to be a God to put everything into an effect. You cannot just stop.
That's one of the problems with the argument -- the creation of a God who can create the universe and whatnot is more complex than the universe itself thus the simplicity argument doesn't really work.

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 06:01 pm: Edit

Some people decide to believe in God or a higher presence because of experiences that they've had. Or because they want to believe that something more powerful than anyone is governing their lives; making them feel safer and making them think there is meaning in everything that happens. Others still believe in God for all of the brainwashing type reasons people have posted.

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 06:11 pm: Edit

God is seen as the UNcaused cause. He always existed, w/o a beginning. If we believe that the universe had a beginning(big bang, etc.), then this theory does seem to make sense. There must have been something to cause the big bang, or to cause whatever caused the big bang.

By Mesotired9 (Mesotired9) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 06:23 pm: Edit

"Likewise, you cannot prove that God does NOT exist."

Nor does (s)he have to. The burden of proof lies on the positive claim. Saying that someone else can't prove a negative claim is a fallacious argument.

(For example, you can't possibly prove that there's NOT a big, invisible, ethereal rabbit that hovers over my head at all times. Thing is, you don't have to. It's up to me to PROVE that it exists before I can legitimately try and make that claim.)

That being said, I have no real problem with organized religion, as long as people don't try and use it to A) try and convert others, B) elevate themselves above others, C) restrict anyone else's right to make their own religious choices, or D) use their beliefs as justification for attacking other people. As long as it's a positive influence on people, I have no objections to it.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 07:18 pm: Edit

You cannot have it both ways -- everything has to have a cause or it doesn't.

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 07:40 pm: Edit

so then how do you explain the origins of the universe? If you believe in the Big Bang theory, then what caused the big bang? The uncaused cause theory can explain the origins of the universe, but does not compromise believe in the big bang theory.

"In the world of sensible things, we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible." (Summa Theologica Question 2; Article 3)

Thus there must have been something that ALWAYS existed, that just WAS. It might not necessarily be God(though many believe it is).
Anyway, we would first have to define what God IS before we discuss whether he could have a cause or not.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 07:53 pm: Edit

I don't know what caused the Big Bang. I'm not saying you are wrong -- how would I know? I'm just pointing out what I see as a flaw in the theory. I'm not trying to debate you in any way -- I'm just questioning the theory, which should make it stronger if it is true.

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 08:29 pm: Edit

i know. What I'm saying is that it just seems logical to me that, if everything has a cause, then there must have been something that existed forever, without beginning, to initiate the first effect.

By Khan (Khan) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit


It appears you're having a hard time believing that there could be something that is outside the physical laws of the universe (not bound by the laws of cause and effect). This "something" would be something that has ALWAYS existed and neither had a beginning or has an end.

You present 2 options: 1. There could only an inifinite number of cause and effects... (in other words, you can never trace it back to an initiator) - you just have an infinite number of cause and effects. 2. There are no causes and thus no effects (in other words, nothing has ever happened).

I think most would agree that option 2 is not a viable option.

I present a third option: Something that is not bound by the laws of the universe who can be the initiator of all cause and effects (in other words - God). This does not contradict anything.

Whether or not you believe in option 1 or 3, really comes down to your personal belief. You cannot really prove one or the other.

Are you going to believe that it's possible for something to be outside the physical laws of the universe? Or are you going to believe the only things that exist is the physical universe (and laws therof)?

You must choose: either infinite God or infinite number of physical causes and effects. I choose infinite God.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit

Ummm ... Ok.

I was just saying that a theory based on every effect having a cause that involved something without a cause is a little contradictory. I think we can agree with that. Does that mean it's not true? No, but it's interesting to point out.

By Khan (Khan) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

Well... my point is that it may sound contradictory, but it's NOT if the initial cause is caused by something not bound by the physical laws of the universe.

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