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Why should i believe in God?


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That's right, run away from the issue and hide behind pithy sentiment. After all, mock pity makes for such a good counterpoint.

From my point of view the use of Nazis and Holocaust in the arguments are so overdone that it could be said that it cheapens the debate. It would be better to use some other less widely known example to illustrate the point. The history of human race is long enough to provide plenty I am sure.

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So you don't find it at all incomprehensible that a loving, caring and ultimately just god would allow suffering on such a scale? And I'm not just talking about nazi buzzwords here, I'm talking centuries of pain.

It's in vogue at the moment to say that god is like a parent, kind and loving but in the end willing to let humans make their own mistakes in order to further their spiritual advancement. If a parent sees a child fall and hurt themself, they pick them up, dust them off, and let them go again. They don't hide the child from every possible harm, because that would stifle the child's growth.

Bullcrap. There is a world of difference between a scuffed knee and a town starving to death because of a harsh winter. There are parasites that swim inside the eye, eventually driving people blind. Diseases like leprosy have been malforming us since before we were human. People are gored, boiled, burst, perforated, incinerated, exploded all the time. It's not about the nazis, for you ridiculous people who can't see past the first hurdle, it's about suffering that has no guiding hand, no greater meaning, no ultimate reward and no purpose. A pile of corpses is just an example of that. Do they need to be from the holocaust? No. Is their suffering and eventual death lessened by the fact that it was en masse, as you seem to suggest?

Life's all well and good when suffering is just a word. Easy to believe in a loving god when you're comfortable. Reality, however, isn't like that. It's dirty, it's cruel, it's painful, and it is completely without direction. Unless, of course, you can suggest a good reason?

Of course not, it's not for mortals to fathom the mind of god, right? Right.

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So you don't find it at all incomprehensible that a loving, caring and ultimately just god would allow suffering on such a scale? And I'm not just talking about nazi buzzwords here, I'm talking centuries of pain.

Again, you are ignoring the afterlife. All the pain and evil in this world, however massive and incomprehensible it may seem to us, is nothing compared to eternity. If your soul gets to exist forever, then you know what? Starving to death in a harsh winter really is as minor as scuffing your knee.

Life's all well and good when suffering is just a word. Easy to believe in a loving god when you're comfortable.

Actually, historical evidence seems to suggest that religious faith is strongest precisely among those people who are suffering the most. So, if anything, it seems to be easier to believe in a loving god when you are extremely uncomfortable - you know, like being uncomfortably tortured in an attempt to persuade you to change your religion. History's list of martyrs is endless.

Yes, you are right that I have never known true suffering. I've never been mutilated by shrapnel, I've never had malaria, I've never been tortured or had my flesh eaten by parasites or witnessed the death of my entire family. But I know that other people have gone through all those things, and kept their faith. That's good enough for me.

Because, you see, Christianity isn't all about flowers and sunshine and a God that will help you get a promotion. The Christian faith has a lot to say about suffering - real, true suffering. After all, the single most important event for our religion was the brutal execution of its founder. Jesus was tortured and killed, so yes, of course this world is evil. The Christian is called to despise the world as it is and struggle for the world as it should be, to ignore the odds and persevere in the path of Good when surrounded by the utmost evil, to stare alone into the abyss and make it afraid.

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To answer the question of why such atrocities and abject suffering exist in this world, we need to understand who is presently in control of this world.  We as Christians believe that for a vey brief time, God dwelled with man upon this earth until they rebelled against him.  From that point onward, God was separated from the world due to mankind

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Hwi, it's a nice story and all, but for an atheist, what you say is like trying to tell me there actually -is- an arrakis.

Many catholics use the escape of claiming that "It was written in our book, so it must be true"... a dutch cabaratier once used a witty response to this, a response I used in my younger years in defence when talking to a local pastor.. you take a piece of paper, and write on it "There is no god" .. when I told him that, because it was written, it must be true, he was silent for a good minute, I would imagine by both disgust of my lack of respect (I was young), and a lack of easy comeback for him.

After that silence he asked me "So, how do you think the earth was created", at which I answered (mind, translation might mess up a bit here seeing i'm not english speaking by nature) "I don't know how earth was created, but I do believe in what scientists explain on how the universe was created".

He grinned, obviously wanting me to reply something similar... "So you believe in the big bang, right?, well, how did the big bang happen?"

To that I could only respond that I did not know, but I do not believe it was god doing so.

Several years later, I realised that I was a fool for falling for that, and even a bigger of a fool of not responding as I know now...

In medieval times, people did not know why the sun rose every day, and set every night.. they claimed it was god, because they didn't know.. yet

In the same time, the same was believed for the plague, lightning and many other things, because they didn't know.. yet.

There is scientific proof, that earth was created in millions of years, and that life on earth was formed over those millions of years... the holy book tells us the earth was created in days time, including mankind and every being on this planet.

Nothing was mentioned about the extinct beings, like dinosaurs, mammoths and the like, creatures we -know- have lived because of science and proof, we know when they lived, where they lived and even how they lived, and that there was no adam or eve around during that time that resembled anything like described in the holy book.

Another common excuse i've seen and heard over time is the argument of 'order in chaos', the universe is a chaos, and we show order, so we must have a creator.. this is a dangerous sentence for any religious person to say against a scientist, as science has proved that there are thousands of examples where natural phenomena create order from chaos, and are all scientifically explainable.. from grains of sand dropping on a pile in a bucket forming a cone-like shape, to iron being forged into steel.

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We evolved because of one instinct all living beings share, the need to survive.

You mention Charles Darwin in your quote, I quote you to one of his works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

a small quote:

The natural genetic variation within a population of organisms means that some individuals will survive and reproduce more successfully than others in their current environment. For example, the peppered moth exists in both light and dark colors in the United Kingdom, but during the industrial revolution many of the trees on which the moths rested became blackened by soot, giving the dark-colored moths an advantage in hiding from predators. This gave dark-colored moths a better chance of surviving to produce dark-colored offspring, and in just a few generations the majority of the moths were dark. Factors which affect reproductive success are also important, an issue which Charles Darwin developed in his ideas on sexual selection.

Take this process, and supersize it to thousands of years, and you have gotten yourself a small part of evolution.

You quote something about 120 years, this is so incredibly naive, things don't evolve over the course of 120 years, they take hunDREDS of years, sometimes even thousands... now before you ask me proof, go look at the skeletal remains of early mankind, you'll notice significant changes.. over the years we've become taller (my 6'5" is giant-like for people from medieval times), we're living longer (life expectation in some countries is slowly moving towards 100 years, whereas in medieval times this was less than half that).

Keep in mind that technological advancements is also a form of evolution, but at some extreme cases also devolution.

For the animal kingdom, take a look at crocodiles, and you have a good example of an evolutional line that requires little more improvement.

They have survived the dinosaur eras, and they have survived the period from then until now, wth surprisingly little changes

Fred Hoyle isn't opposed to the evolution theory, however, he takes a different approach to the big bang in a theory that the universe has already existed and shall always exist (which, as well, is against the creation theory)

Both Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge and David Raup all try to find differences in fossiles, while evolution is not limited to -just- the layout of an animal's bones, but also it's behavior, it's responses and it's instinct... unfortunately you can't provide proof as those 3 are interpreted, but that doesn't mean it's not visible.

Take dogs for instance, while they might have changed only slightly for centuries, they have changed from a wild beast to now not much more than a common house pet.. tame and nowhere near the predator they used to be.. that should speak for itself.

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You have taken Richard Dawkin's words out of context (or misinterpreted andor misrepresented them).

I barely know anything about him, but I am fairly sure that he was going on about the fact that evolution  did not happen by PURE chance with pieces flying about but that selective pressures assisted (or something to that effect)

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We evolved because of one instinct all living beings share, the need to survive.

Hardly a compelling argument.

You quote something about 120 years, this is so incredibly naive, things don't evolve over the course of 120 years, they take hunDREDS of years, sometimes even thousands... now before you ask me proof, go look at the skeletal remains of early mankind, you'll notice significant changes.. over the years we've become taller (my 6'5" is giant-like for people from medieval times), we're living longer (life expectation in some countries is slowly moving towards 100 years, whereas in medieval times this was less than half that).

You need to read the quote a little more carefully.  It did not say that we

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You have taken Richard Dawkin's words out of context (or misinterpreted andor misrepresented them).

I barely know anything about him, but I am fairly sure that he was going on about the fact that evolution  did not happen by PURE chance with pieces flying about but that selective pressures assisted (or something to that effect)

If you don

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Even though I barely know anything about, even the slightest knowledge of him would have the bearer of such knowledge know that Dawkins did not mean to say that the evolution theory is false.

His most famous and well known attribute is that he supports evolution theory, and is against creationism (so if one was to know something about him, this would be it... and that's all I know him about :P)

Considering that, it is obvious what he likely meant.

Edit: Also, you use the word ''accuse''.

''You have taken Richard Dawkin's words out of context (or misinterpreted andor misrepresented them).''

As you can see, I also listed the possibility of honest error (just in case you thought otherwise).

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Uh Thank-uh ya Sistah Hwi for-uh witnessing-uh to us-uh! Amen, Sistah, Amen! ;D

Wow. :O

What century is this again? ::)

SandChigger, my patience has run out. Consider this an official warning. Keep trolling and I will give you a 24 hour ban.

Insulting people is acceptable, but only as long as your post also contains some meaningful content besides the insult. If it does not contain any such meaningful content - like some semblance of an argument - then it is trolling.

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If I may enter into this debate rather late... may I say that there is ambiguous witness to the effect that either one requires evidence for God's existence (where parties have argued well for both sides) and to the effect that one should have no evidence for God's existence and that in and of itself is the basis for faith (again, argued well), and therefore, I have concluded that God exists, or at least, I act under the assumption that he exists, for no other reason than I am comfortable with it. When I have my daily migraine, it is merely through petition to Him that I achieve some form of relief. Further, though I acknowledge that it may be merely the product of the literature and society that has produced me, I am also fairly compelled to the effect that not only does God exist, but that Christ is his son. Again, for the same reason, it is a world view with which I am comfortable. I impose it on no one. I treat no one any differently from how I would want to be treated. Ultimately, is it not an invasion unto me for others to tell me otherwise? I suppose, but then again, I could be wrong. And though others may use these notions, that I have arrived at rather independently, to justify performance of questionable acts, should I--or should the belief--be judged for the substance of those acts? I think not.

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Ok since suffering and religion was mentioned lets than go into that idea of Religion and suffering.

I will do the analysis of it in atheist mode in other words from the view that religion is engineered by the human beings and not by God. Here I will go into the the whole idea of suffering and its connection to religion.

Christianity and Islam both have a strong theme of suffering in them. I would like to take notice that many of the eastern religions such as Hinduism lack the idea of suffering in them. There are good reasons for that. Suffering in religion is not pointless. People get united in suffering they pull together. Soldiers that suffered through war form tight bonds with each other. Same in other situations. So for this reason it is advantageous to use suffering as binding force for the followers of religion.

People who suffer also are admired. Heroes suffer for the good of the cause. Patriotism is build around people who suffered and/or died (ultimate suffering) for their country. These people become inspirational fro their strength, resolve and believes. Example could be made with American Revolution. George Washington and his soldiers are depicted as heroes who struggled against oppression of British King. The suffered in cold winters, suffered defeat, Washington at one point was afraid that troops would desert them due to lack of money to pay their wages. In the end they won independence. Now lets compare this to John A MacDonald and the other prime ministers of British Colonies that formed Confederation of Canada in 1867. He did not suffer (well except from alcoholism). All he did was together with other prime ministers whose names are even hard to remember, was to draft British North America Act that English Parliament passed that made Canada independent in its domestic affairs including such things as taxation and etc. However while achieving same goal as Washington and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, John A MacDonald and his team are not celebrated as some heroes, because they did not suffer to get to their goal.

So the religion that harnesses this idea and this force of suffering becomes stronger with more dedicated followers. Religion can create saints and martyrs from among its followers that suffered, than use these personalities for inspiration. When its believers would be going through hardships due to their religion they would shown this martyrs as example and told that see they suffered more than you for their religion so why can't you suffer right now. Thus giving moral resolve and strength to the followers. Christianity reinforces this idea by taking it to the next level by saying Jesus who is God suffered for you for your sins. So why can't you now suffer for God he already suffered for you so return the favour. In addition, the religion doesn't make suffering unselfish, there is a reward attached: heaven, eternal life, youth, bliss, 72 virgins, etc.

So the final verdict is that the cost of followers suffering no matter how large will never outstrip the reward that is guaranteed to them. In addition as byproduct of suffering the followers form a bond with each other, as suffering unites them, their religious strength grows and this generation of sufferers would be used as example of martyrs for the future generations.

So Why is it than that Christianity and Islam both use idea of suffering in them. Well consider the target audience for the message of both religions. Both religions advocated against riches, advocated against slavery, advocated against interest charging, speculation. All these things would not make their message popular among the upper classes but would make it popular with lower classes. Now since lower classes would feel oppressed by upper classes and would suffer under upper classes the framework for risk management of question why isn't God relief us of this suffering was needed and so it was formed.

Now as to replies of the reason for suffering they include the following: free will of people, without evil you can't know good, and the classic answer "The Lord works in mysterious ways".

To answer the question of why such atrocities and abject suffering exist in this world, we need to understand who is presently in control of this world.  We as Christians believe that for a vey brief time, God dwelled with man upon this earth until they rebelled against him.  From that point onward, God was separated from the world due to mankind

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Insulting people is acceptable, but only as long as your post also contains some meaningful content besides the insult.

Thanks, Edric. I don't believe I've seen an explicit statement of this policy here before now. Good to know.

Actually, the last line of my post above was the content. It wasn't argument, because I see nothing here to argue about, but rather a comment. Since it was evidently a bit too terse for your taste, here's the expanded, somewhat augmented version:

<b>I am completely appalled that even now, in this supposedly modern 21st century, some still find it necessary to seek meaning or succor in the same primitive superstitions and myths that people have clung to for thousands of years. And I am actually offended every time someone suggests that I respect their belief in things for which they have no real proof, for no better reason than that they believe. It's complete and utter nonsense.</b>

(That last is the ::) )

So there now, if you want to ban me for trolling and calling you a fruitcake, at least make it something interesting; you've simply no idea what a blur 24 hours goes by in at this age.

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Ah, much better. See, that wasn't so difficult. It gives people something to respond to, should they care to respond.

Not that there is much to say in response, of course. I just find it amusing that you look down on those who believe things without hard evidence, yet the best thing you can say in favour of your own views is that they're "modern". In other words, you think you are right just because your opinions have recently grown in popularity. Heh. Would it be better if we invented brand new superstitions, that people have not clung to for thousands of years - you know, to be more modern?

FYI, as far as mod action is concerned, I never hand out bans, even temporary ones, for insults against myself alone. Or for any single post of any kind, for that matter. But you had a whole trollish trend in PRP recently. Now that you found a more creative way to express your disagreement, that's enough for me.

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