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Poll

Do you believe in god or gods?

Certain that my god(s) exist(s)
- 9 (10.6%)
Strongly believe in some theism
- 9 (10.6%)
Lean towards theism
- 6 (7.1%)
True Agnostic (no idea!)
- 13 (15.3%)
Don't really believe
- 9 (10.6%)
Highly doubt
- 21 (24.7%)
Certain that there is no god or gods
- 18 (21.2%)

Total Members Voted: 83


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Author Topic: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)  (Read 19180 times)

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The Epigrammic Poultry

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #105 on: June 15, 2010, 06:27:06 PM »

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MauraLeeBee

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #106 on: June 15, 2010, 07:49:52 PM »

I was never raised as any religion. Despite what my elder's wanted, my mom didn't baptize me, because she felt it was wrong to conform to a religion out of familial habit. She raised me so that I was open to any religion I wanted, and she supports me in whichever way I choose. My mother herself is sort of a Buddhist, and most of my family doesn't really practice Catholicism anymore (except for my one, lone Evangelical cousin. And she's on her own with that one). My stepfamily, on the other hand, are pretty intense Catholics, and they don't even know I was never baptized (it's not necessary for them to know. heh). However, it is a bit hard to explain this whole concept of non-conformist faith to one's ten year-old cousin when she asks if a picture from a ballet recital is a picture from my communion...

All in all, I have a really strong faith in a higher power. However, I think humans DO control their paths, and although we have our own story to follow, we can venture off when we so choose. Example: Mary is born, and has the fate of becoming a doctor, like her parents. As she grows up, she is intrigued by medical sciences, but gets dizzy from blood. She writes medical textbooks instead.

Example B: James has the path of a destructive serial killer. His older brother teaches him to torture cats, but as a neighbor tells him what he's doing is wrong as he gets older, he feels terrible. He becomes a vet to help neighborhood pets. He also has a pet sheep.

It's sort of like that. Sort of an inner-locus type thought, I guess. I think, out there, there is something after you die, and I also believe in reincarnation... I have no idea what belief system includes all of this, plus karma, but it's what I believe, and I'm sticking to it!
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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #107 on: June 16, 2010, 01:57:08 AM »

I don't even know if that's theist or not...

I'm definitely a theist but not of any particular religion... I don't believe in pre-set paths. I don't believe God is controlling them either, but I do believe that if you pray for help it'll come, perhaps not to get you out of a tricky situation but to help you get through it (for example, if you have a friend, dying of cancer, praying might not help him to get better but it might help you get acceptance and strenght).

Not sure what happens afterwards. I like the idea of heaven and hell but on a more spiritual level than as them being places, then again I like the buddhist ides of reincarnation until you get enlightened to join the higher power yourself... Obviously we might as well just not exist anymore after we die, which seems unfair to children who die young or anyone who doesn't get rewarded of good deeds they've done, but if that is true it just makes me want to live my life to the fullest, in case there's just this and nothing else.
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #108 on: June 16, 2010, 03:29:43 AM »

after reading kaken by China mieville (an excellent novel about the nature of religion by the way) i think I may become a Krakenist.... squids are the babies of gods and those gods do not care about us at all....
actually any fictional god is as valid as any mythic god..... Sredni Vashtar would be a good choice.....ferret good of retribution and death!...really.... check him out...I do not kid
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@raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #109 on: June 17, 2010, 07:52:13 PM »

Just a thought...
Does "God" believe in "God+1"?

If there is a God (a relevant God that is more involved in human affairs than a deistic God) would such a God be an atheist? When I say this I mean: Would that God believe that it was created by something else or would it believe that it simply was and that was all there was to it? Would it ask the questions we ask?

For instance, it is a common belief that God is omnipotent but... it is not impossible that such a God had constraints placed on it that would prevent it from understanding what true omnipotence was. Within its God context it would have complete power but beyond it there could be something more that forced to act under certain variables … An Omni-God perhaps?

Perhaps there is an infinite regress of “Gods” and each with interests that are far less interested in humanity than the supposedly human orientated God is.

Some people say that atheists are immoral because they lack "absolute morality." What would this mean for a God that was unwilling or incapable of acknowledging its "creator"? What would its promises mean?

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The Angel Raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #110 on: June 18, 2010, 02:47:35 AM »

actually in cabalic lore this is the Void itself what we see in judeo-christian terms is God but that God was born of a prime universal force
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@raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #111 on: June 29, 2010, 03:40:58 AM »

I would really love to have something to believe in, but I can't.

Way for me to be depressing. haha
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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #112 on: August 07, 2010, 05:27:45 AM »

I'm raised in a prothestantic family, almost all my relatives go to church and stuff.
I don't because I think it's dead boring! I've got better things to do than sit and listen to a guy talking about something I'm not interested in!
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #113 on: August 07, 2010, 06:21:55 AM »

Just a thought...
Does "God" believe in "God+1"?

If you've read the Bible (and I have, several times) it's obvious that God is selfish and believes himself to be the be all and end all of everything.  He is 'the Creator' he does not conceive of anything bigger than himself.
that is only true of the modern edited christian version.... in quabbalic and ancient hebrew texts (what the OT is pretty much) there is a definite creative force that created the OT God who then created the universe and time etc.....
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@raliel

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #114 on: August 07, 2010, 01:19:19 PM »

AH! AAAAH! I am SO excited about god-crap today! Can't fucking wait until I'm studying it at uni xD (although I think they call it "theology" there, rather than "god-crap" xD)

The thing to remember when reading the Bible, and any other ooooold texts, is that, just as we don't expect people back then to talk about cars and planes and computers and whatever, we simply cannot expect them to talk about the world in the same way as we would. They didn't just live in a different time - they thought using a completely different world-view, and a wholly alien way of thinking. For us, to say we're writing a biography of someone would mean that we're writing down a collection of the facts of their life. For them, it meant recording the meaning behind those facts; they would take events and attribute them to someone who had nothing to do with them, just to get across the general idea of what this person meant to them and their people. For example, you know the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea? Now, there have been plenty of very well-meaning attempts to explain this with ideas of regional flash floods or monsoons or whatever, but the simple fact is there is no evidence and no reason to believe that this ever actually happened. However, just after the event, Moses is recorded as having sung a particular song praising God for his help in the matter. I won't bore you with the details of it, but on close inspection it's clear that it's actually a song talking about some other event entirely (I don't remember it exactly, but it's some king's epic win on the banks of the river Jordan). The person who was recording the story of the exile from Egypt just transplanted that song and put it into Moses' mouth in order to show that Moses was pleased about God doing something very wet ;)

The same is true of almost every single thing in the Old Testament at the very least - even the exodus, one of the biggest parts of the story of Israel, simply never happened. It was written as a myth, as a way of explaining why the people of the time had ended up as they were. It's like the creation story - it was written after the Temple got destroyed (the first time xD) and the people of Israel were shitting themselves about how their big and beastie God could possibly have allowed his house (they believed that God existed solely in his Temple at that time) to be ruined and his people enslaved. So the priests and great thinkers of the time worked out a creation story that showed that their God was so powerful that, unlike the other gods of the time, he could create the whole world without having to battle other gods or, um, sea-monsters (no, really xD). They made it so that the whole of the earth stemmed directly from God, so that no one place could either contain him or be alienated from him. The story of being expelled from the Garden of Eden was to offer some sort of condolence or at the very least acknowledgement of that feeling common to so, so many people, past and present, of being distanced and different from the divine. It wasn't written as a literal history, it wasn't ever, ever meant to be read as such - it was meant as myth, to offer an insight into the way people felt.

When you get to the New Testament, the same principle applies; people are writing to express a feeling, a sentiment about Jesus, not his exact actions. When they say he was born of a virgin, that doesn't have any more literal truth than saying Isaac was born to a 90 year old woman - it's just a sort of Biblical short-hand for saying, "This guy, he was special from the off". Luke wanted to show Jesus' love for the poor and the outcast, which is why three shepherds come and visit him (shepherds were not just poor, but their job meant that they were often unable to wash at the ritual times so they were seen as unclean). In contrast, Matthew wanted to show Jesus' love for foreigners and had wise men from the East visit. Every single thing that happens in the New Testament is a way of saying something about Jesus, not a way of telling us the TRUTH about Jesus.


OK, I'm just gonna shut up rambling now and crawl into my little god-freak hole and die.... I LOVE THE BIBLE!! Best. Book. Ever.  o.O
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CeeGBee

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #115 on: August 07, 2010, 04:20:50 PM »

AH! AAAAH! I am SO excited about god-crap today! Can't fucking wait until I'm studying it at uni xD (although I think they call it "theology" there, rather than "god-crap" xD)

The thing to remember when reading the Bible, and any other ooooold texts, is that, just as we don't expect people back then to talk about cars and planes and computers and whatever, we simply cannot expect them to talk about the world in the same way as we would. They didn't just live in a different time - they thought using a completely different world-view, and a wholly alien way of thinking. For us, to say we're writing a biography of someone would mean that we're writing down a collection of the facts of their life. For them, it meant recording the meaning behind those facts; they would take events and attribute them to someone who had nothing to do with them, just to get across the general idea of what this person meant to them and their people. For example, you know the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea? Now, there have been plenty of very well-meaning attempts to explain this with ideas of regional flash floods or monsoons or whatever, but the simple fact is there is no evidence and no reason to believe that this ever actually happened. However, just after the event, Moses is recorded as having sung a particular song praising God for his help in the matter. I won't bore you with the details of it, but on close inspection it's clear that it's actually a song talking about some other event entirely (I don't remember it exactly, but it's some king's epic win on the banks of the river Jordan). The person who was recording the story of the exile from Egypt just transplanted that song and put it into Moses' mouth in order to show that Moses was pleased about God doing something very wet ;)

The same is true of almost every single thing in the Old Testament at the very least - even the exodus, one of the biggest parts of the story of Israel, simply never happened. It was written as a myth, as a way of explaining why the people of the time had ended up as they were. It's like the creation story - it was written after the Temple got destroyed (the first time xD) and the people of Israel were shitting themselves about how their big and beastie God could possibly have allowed his house (they believed that God existed solely in his Temple at that time) to be ruined and his people enslaved. So the priests and great thinkers of the time worked out a creation story that showed that their God was so powerful that, unlike the other gods of the time, he could create the whole world without having to battle other gods or, um, sea-monsters (no, really xD). They made it so that the whole of the earth stemmed directly from God, so that no one place could either contain him or be alienated from him. The story of being expelled from the Garden of Eden was to offer some sort of condolence or at the very least acknowledgement of that feeling common to so, so many people, past and present, of being distanced and different from the divine. It wasn't written as a literal history, it wasn't ever, ever meant to be read as such - it was meant as myth, to offer an insight into the way people felt.

When you get to the New Testament, the same principle applies; people are writing to express a feeling, a sentiment about Jesus, not his exact actions. When they say he was born of a virgin, that doesn't have any more literal truth than saying Isaac was born to a 90 year old woman - it's just a sort of Biblical short-hand for saying, "This guy, he was special from the off". Luke wanted to show Jesus' love for the poor and the outcast, which is why three shepherds come and visit him (shepherds were not just poor, but their job meant that they were often unable to wash at the ritual times so they were seen as unclean). In contrast, Matthew wanted to show Jesus' love for foreigners and had wise men from the East visit. Every single thing that happens in the New Testament is a way of saying something about Jesus, not a way of telling us the TRUTH about Jesus.


OK, I'm just gonna shut up rambling now and crawl into my little god-freak hole and die.... I LOVE THE BIBLE!! Best. Book. Ever.  o.O
So, like, when you write your dissertation, you're gonna send me a copy, right?
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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #116 on: August 07, 2010, 05:57:56 PM »

Those who take the non-literal view of the bible actually find it meaningful for the exact same reasons I don’t. There is an abundance of human interest to be found in the bible but I doubt that there are great spiritual insights to be found in what was, for quite a time, an aural tradition of “Chinese whispers” passed from generation to generation. We can’t keep our ideas straight within ourselves or amongst ourselves let-alone make accurate second-guesses about what ancient heads meant others to infer. There is no “mind” equivalent to the Rosetta Stone to join generations of human subjectivity and after the lexicon of languages and historical contexts are exhausted of pointers there is only guessing left to work with. In the end, what we don’t recognise in these stories will remain inaccessible to us; only the humanity of the stories stands out for us to admire. What to some people shows a revealed “God” is just literary otherness to me and it is not much different to the otherness that people feel when reading well-written horror stories. Horror works with the effect that comes when withheld information is slowly released. It teases and excites, the emotional reward is pure process and not understanding, which is the inherent appeal of ambiguity for the imagination.
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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #117 on: August 15, 2010, 09:30:14 AM »

@Charlie - sure thing, honey xD There will probably be fewer references to the Israelites "shitting themselves" and their "big and beastie" God...

@Morpheus - I think the spiritual truths to be found in the Bible are often completely lost in the sheer vastness of the thing. I mean, there are 613 commandments in the Old Testament - to go through those one by one and figure out if they're offering any kind of relevant truth to you is just not really reasonable. However, the general themes that run throughout, of kindness to and acceptance of those different from you, or of integrity to one's own beliefs, are ones that will always ring true. The idea of a single entity called "God", separate to human beings and different to them, is indeed one of the underpinning concepts of the book, but it's not necessary to accept that in order to find truth and help in the rest of what's said there.
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The Epigrammic Poultry

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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #118 on: August 16, 2010, 09:05:07 PM »

The idea of a single entity called "God", separate to human beings and different to them, is indeed one of the underpinning concepts of the book, but it's not necessary to accept that in order to find truth and help in the rest of what's said there.

I think part of this is that every religion has some truth in it, otherwise no one would believe in any of them. A good example would be the amount of people that think of themselves as Buddist, despite little or no belief in reincarnation or karmic forces, simply because they find the general teachings about how to live one's life a good way to live. Another would be Jesus' parables: they for the most part offer advice about life in a relatively secular way.

When, I say EVERY religion, you could discount most modern sects...
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Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
« Reply #119 on: August 17, 2010, 11:41:20 AM »

@Indja
Point taken… If you’re saying what I think you’re saying then it certainly is a better way of viewing the bible.

However, I believe that it is only the sense of the human condition that people find in the bible and nothing more. As comforting or profound as it might be to its readers, it isn't exceptional in literature; other books have pulled off indirect truths and a bunch of less complete attempts taken together can do a good job of it too. Admittedly, a lot of modern literature might be a little too direct in accounting for the human condition because it has to take us away from the mundane but many of the classics are quite good for experiential content. 

The other thing people seem to like about the bible is metanarrative but that obviously requires the God aspect in order for it to exist. This also comes down to what people get from being immersed in the account of human condition but I suppose it is just as much down to wanting humanity to be imbued with meaning… God is quite taken with absurdism in the Old Testament (at least to my estimation) and because of this I don’t get the sense of metanarrative that other people seem to find in the bible (or in the case of non-reader fans, assume is there). Of course, the sense of absurdity, is in itself a feature of human condition so it can serve symbolic purpose to a non-believer but this too is common in literature other than the bible.

So to me one thing still remains problematic about the bible as the revered book it is to many: If objective truth cannot be found in the bible due to its complexity then how can it fair any better than anything else in this post modern world? It’s only apparent distinction from other literature is its role in a tradition that earned it’s acceptance mostly out monopolising experiential content. 
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