Archive for the ‘atheism’ Category

To Believe or Not to Believe, That is the Question

December 5, 2007

I recently posted an entry that asked whether you believe in God or not and why. I tagged it with religion and atheism among others, hoping for a balanced response. I got responses from five readers; three were believers, one was atheist, and one seemed agnostic with a lean towards believing. In this post I want to attempt some kind of analysis of the results.

Will Claybourne wrote: … how else would the earth have been made? There is too much evidence supporting God/the Bible, that nobody in their right mind could not believe in him …

This was an interesting comment. I’m not aware of any scientific, verifiable evidence supporting the existence of God, but one of the reasons I believe in a creator is that I cannot fathom how this world came to be without some intelligent mind bringing it into existence. The big bang theory? Sure why not? It makes as much sense as anything else we have been able to come up with. Six days of creation followed by the Garden of Eden? Maybe. I wasn’t there so I cannot say for sure.

One thing seems to be evident and that is that the world exists and we exist. If we follow time back to the beginning, whenever that beginning was and whatever form it took, the physical universe had an origin. (Even if you believe that time is circular, having no beginning and no end, some intelligence must have set up the system.) Where did the matter that comprised the big bang come from? Even if one can explain away the origin of the inanimate universe, where did the first spark of life come from? In my opinion a powerful creative mind brought all things into existence, although what form it took initially I cannot say. In other words, if the big bang theory is correct, then that is the method by which God chose to create the universe.

faint4b wrote: … I ‘feel’ Him. And those miracles that have happened in my life and family explain it all. …

andielle wrote: I believe in God because of the personal relationship that I have with this entity. …

These two commenters say they believe because of personal experience. This is the other main reason I believe in God. One of the things I have always prayed for has been that God would reveal himself to me in a way I could understand. In my youth I was a Christian fundamentalist. I honestly think that it was this prayer, fervently made over time, that helped me see that the church was more about control than about trying to find the true God. I succumbed to pressure from religious leaders, the Bible, and other church members into believing their fear-based dogma until the true God finally got through to me and broke the spell.

My creator showed me that I have a mind to think, eyes to see, and a heart to feel. Ever since then he has encouraged me to use these gifts to question my faith to see if it is true. I no longer believe something just because I am told it is so and as a result my faith is stronger now than ever before. Now I know what I believe, but even more importantly I know why I believe it. Unquestioned faith is weak and will not stand up when things get tough because its not really your faith. It belongs to someone else.

Ron H wrote: … There are two ways to find God: by wanting to find him, and by not wanting to find him. I started at the former, gradually receded into the latter, and I never found Him. …

This commenter is an atheist because he searched for God and never found him. I can buy that. I respect this person’s point of view more than that of a “religious” person who has never really searched for God at all, never really examined their faith. At least Ron looked and didn’t allow the words of a man in a fancy robe standing on a stage or the phrases written in an old book to replace his moral duty to search for God himself.

Don’t delegate your search for the truth to the church! If you want to find out if God exists or if your understanding of God is genuine, go to God himself for the answers. Anyone who professes to be a Christian has doubts. There is a reason for that. The true God, the one who created you is trying to get through to you directly. God doesn’t need a priest or a holy book to reveal himself to you. Religion is man-made and has twisted the original message. Ask God to reveal himself to you in a way you can understand and he will.

sulochanosho wrote: We need not believe in either of these dirty things: theism or atheism. Just LIVE your LIFE totally here and now. That alone is beautiful and GOD comes to you unasked!

Kudos! This is perhaps my favorite response because it best embodies faith in God. If God is truly transcendent, why do we need to worry about finding him at all? Don’t you see? By not worrying about it, by just living our lives totally, here and now, we leave it up to God to take care of the details. Even the Christian Bible says that we should have the faith of little children.

Do children worry about the details or do they just live their lives? They believe what they believe because they believe it. As they mature, new beliefs take the place of outgrown ones. As children grow, they are subjected to more and more reality until they become (in the best case) fully-functioning beings. Children explore their world and ask questions about everything. Isn’t this the ultimate purpose of life, to grow and mature until we become fully-functioning spiritual beings? Isn’t that what God wants for his children? So don’t worry, be happy, explore your faith and ask lots of questions. If the answers don’t make sense, go to the top and ask God himself.

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Why Do You Believe in God (or Why Not)?

December 3, 2007

I was wondering why you believe in God, or why you don’t believe in God. This is an honest question, and I hope you are willing to give an honest answer.