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  1. #61
    ~*taaa raaa raaa boom*~ targobelle's Avatar
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    I think for myself it would be safe to say that I believe in God or a God, to experience what I have in my life and then deny his existence would be pure stupidity on my part. There was a time when I was younger where I just believed I just knew what I knew and I accepted it at face value. I suppose maybe i wasn't suppose to do that. Maybe I am to question it all.

    Now though I just look at it all and I don't know why I bought into it all without questions...... so many questions and some many unanswered thoughts. Not just my own thoughts and questions, but the worlds. The world question Christianity more than any other religion on this earth, maybe because it lacks balance. I mean some things you hear and you can laugh because of the absurdity of it all, yet others, like the bible can make perfect sense in one breath and then in the other it's warped and twisted.

    God is full of mercy and grace the bible says, but you who believe must observe and keep the 10 commandments or else you are condemned. Where is my forgiveness for having a lapse of judgment a lack of understanding. Does that apply to me? Am I better to know nothing and not believe than to know something and believe but question it and make errors?

    I have to realize that the bible was written by man, and taught by man, there will be errors and uncertainty, for man regardless of their relationship with God is at fault, and in imperfect and will therefore make many errors. We are taught that God will redeem this. But really how do I know that to be true and how do I trust that as truth.

    Abraham was promised a son who would have many descendants he was promised this son with Sarah. Yet it didn't happen in his time line so he essentially prostituted his maid and had a son with her. Later a son with Sarah was born. None of Abrahams promises were devoid he suffered no consequences for his actions..... yet we are told that adultery is a sin, fine... I just find it to be contradictory. I have sinned and suffered the wrath and consequences for my sin, why me and not Abraham, why not Sarah either, she didn't believe, she laughed.

    Randomness to pick and chose who gets punished who gets trials who must suffer. Where is the rhyme where is the reason to this????

    and honestly why can't I just shut up and believe it anymore?
    ~t ...in need of hugs please...
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBeatGoesOn View Post
    But the things/people that you have seen/felt/directly spoken to have given you the awareness that these things/people actually exist, therefore you can put faith in that... Why do people insist on believing in something they've never seen and have no good reason to believe in? Other than the fact that we are unable to explain our petty existence but we feel compelled to in order to make sense of our lives.
    This is why I have a hard time relating to "S" individuals (which is a personal limitation and not meant to imply that it's a problem with you personally.) I used concrete examples because I know that "S" (such as yourself and the poster I was replying to) can have difficulty accepting information that is not directly related to your five senses. There are less concrete examples of situations I feel were divinely inspired, but would be difficult for a "S" to accept. For example, a friend of mine, who is a nurse, having an overwhelming need to stop at a particular grocery store - that she never goes to - to pick something up (when the grocery store she usually goes to is just a half mile further down the road), and helping a fellow shopper by recognizing he was having a heart attack.

  3. #63
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    For myself, what I can contrive in my minuscule brain is this:
    A. A god/supreme being exists but he's a sadistic asshole that enjoys "games."
    B. There is no God
    I would have to ask the following.

    1. have you read/studied the Bible?
    2. do you understand how a divine entity could exist for reason/purpose/meaning beyond your own personal experience in this world?

    I provided a link to a place where teaching, not preaching happens. You can freely explore there without all the emotional overload etc. I pick up in you someone much like someone else I know. You are very intelligent, and even show some impressive emotional intelligence for someone your age (do not take that wrong!). However, my need for such information (such as God) can only stimulate emotion if I understand it logically. I do not buy into HOCUS-POCUS. You also have a very intelligent Mrs. M (who I have seen in other posts and I much enjoy her point of view). She is saying some very true things. Sensing types get so hung up on the things before them that they can concretely lean on. This (God and spirituality) takes moving into and developing another side of yourself. Making you well rounded. Something that took me far longer to understand the benefits of working toward.

  4. #64
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlAmerica View Post
    I would have to ask the following.

    1. have you read/studied the Bible?
    2. do you understand how a divine entity could exist for reason/purpose/meaning beyond your own personal experience in this world?

    I provided a link to a place where teaching, not preaching happens. You can freely explore there without all the emotional overload etc. I pick up in you someone much like someone else I know. You are very intelligent, and even show some impressive emotional intelligence for someone your age (do not take that wrong!). However, my need for such information (such as God) can only stimulate emotion if I understand it logically. I do not buy into HOCUS-POCUS. You also have a very intelligent Mrs. M (who I have seen in other posts and I much enjoy her point of view). She is saying some very true things. Sensing types get so hung up on the things before them that they can concretely lean on. This (God and spirituality) takes moving into and developing another side of yourself. Making you well rounded. Something that took me far longer to understand the benefits of working toward.
    1. I never seriously studied the bible but I grew up in the church and in a house of faith (I say faith as opposed to "a religious house" because my family are good and genuine people with their beliefs, not just legalistic and customary or whatever). I went to church every Sunday. Was involved in a youth group. I hit high school and that's when I really began to question and doubt. I fell away from Christianity/religion all together. Devastated my family really... I wish I could be the happy Christian guy, content in his faith. I really wish I was ignorant or able to put blinders on all the things that I see as major issues but that Christians refuse to acknowledge as anything more than "part of God's plan." I don't know why things have worked out the way they have with me and why I have to suffer from a lack of faith... Sorry, I'm kind of trailing off. So basically, I can't recite bible verses or get into any deep discussions regarding the scriptures but I understand the gist/message just fine. Really, I don't think it makes much of a difference if I'm familiar with the bible or have never cracked the book. My questions aren't answered to satisfaction I do know that much...

    2.I hear what you're saying. The thing is that for someone like myself that simply can't be content with the lack of absolute clarity that the bible fails to deliver, I am damned to hell. I can't help that I don't have faith. All the wishful thinking in the world won't make God real to me. Thus, I can not profess that Jesus Christ is my savior, which means I get to spend an eternity in hell. I get to be punished for that. If that isn't a sadistic game... Where the fate of my soul rests on my decision when I don't even feel I have the ability to make a choice for myself. I see what I see, I witness what I witness and that that I can not see, feel or touch I have no reason to force myself to believe it's there.

  5. #65
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by targo View Post
    So I have been lost to say the least. Lost in life at the moment, there was a time when I thought that I knew where I was going and what the path before me held. A time when my faith was strong and my belief cemented. But over the course of the last year I have had some questions and some doubts and there is so much that I don't understand that I feel I should understand.

    I mean is God sadistic? I'm serious.


    I look at various quotes in the Bible.

    You did not chose me I have chosen you

    I will not give you more than you can handle

    I knew you before you were born, planned you and i know your life.

    (adlibed I know)


    As I apply these to my life I feel betrayed by God. Seriously hurt and bitter and I don't trust him. Because while I have the right to choose and I chose, I chose wrong and I failed and um God knew it too yet he still allowed for me to fail. And apparently his reasoning in this is to bring us closer to him.

    Wait back um I think in my mind, you want me closer to you so you set me up for failure and you know what I am gonna do and it's not working. This baffles me, he is supposedly my heavenly father who loves me more than anything and more than I love my children, but I wouldn't set them up to fail just so they would need me more.

    Do I set a candy bar on the coffee table and tell them not to eat it and then condemn them when they eat it, No I don't set them up to fail.

    To me this theory isn't simple it's sadistic

    Am I missing something here? Apparently my life was to set me up to need God more and it's done the opposite b/c I don't trust him at all..... yet he knew this and still he allowed it......
    I think you ought to stop looking for a face to smile down at you from the sky and put the matter in your own hands. The only true path to happiness.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  6. #66
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sassafrassquatch View Post
    That's not what I meant.

    What I mean is that if christianity is true then God created humanity for a purpose. He then reveals this purpose through the bible and God's communication should be so blatantly obvious and indisputable that there should be only a single monolithic church. But that's not the case. What we see is endlessly dividing denominations each with their own twist on things. God should be able to communicate well enough that there should be no room for disagreement about what he wants.
    There was a time when there was a single monolithic church. I believe it lasted that way for about 1000 years or so. Things really were not good in those days, which is why they are referred to as "The Dark Ages". Either you did things their way or you were excommunicated. Possibly you would be burned at the stake as a heretic. I could go on and on about how bad the world is when there is a single monolithic church, because as the saying goes, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

    So the alternative to this is absolute freedom. With all this freedom comes confusion. We don't have all the answers spoon fed to us like we would during the Dark Ages. But I say it's much more preferable to the alternative.

    Consider this: if a single monolithic church leads to such tyranny, then wouldn't God be wise to allow us to choose for ourselves? Isn't it wiser to let people split themselves apart based on minor differences rather than be united into a single cohesive power? Perhaps being right isn't really the most important part of religion anyway? After all if you look closely you can actually find a lot of similarities between Christians if you want to. For example, I haven't met a Christian yet that disagreed with the two greatest commandments. Perhaps there are other benefits to being separate other than the satisfaction that your group is right and their group is wrong?
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  7. #67
    GirlAmerica
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    Where the fate of my soul rests on my decision when I don't even feel I have the ability to make a choice for myself. I see what I see, I witness what I witness and that that I can not see, feel or touch I have no reason to force myself to believe it's there.
    And that is where I believe your intelligence comes into play...
    your mind is already working to comprehend/consider such an idea, and I think you have something inside of you wondering why you would limit yourself not going beyond your senses.
    There are many things about you that are not tangible, though they exist.
    It requires getting past the limitations of your 5 senses.

  8. #68
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    Given the fact that by posing the question "is God sadistic?" it's already being assumed that GOd in fact does exist, and does in fact manifest "itself" in Nature, I would like to pose an additional question, namely:
    " if we accept God's existence, why does it feel that we are trapped in an experiment as soon as we think about "ITS" will, an experiment in which we are observed, watched, and some of us tested to utmost limits (e.g.see Soren Kierkegaard's life...)?"
    The obvious answer to that question is that God does not perform experiments on the human kind since IT already knows the human's reaction, IT already sees in the future (next moment).
    If we are not in an experiment, yet God is aware of us existing on this planet, why does It all of a sudden interrupt everything that IT was doing throughout eternity and focus on us? Can IT even step out of an Infinite Nature and walk into a Finite one? But wait...that would imply that the HOLY/Perfection becomes imperfect muddling ITS nature with human dirt, sin, wretched state.....well here's is where the theologian would jump and attack by saying "out of love for the humans"...
    Yet I am still not sure why the anthropomorphism is necessary, meaning why do we attach humanlike qualities to God (such as It loves, It feels, etc) when these qualities have the force of moving the "Unmover". You hear people say "the Passion" well a passion means a force outside of you moving you to act....but wouldn't that imply that God gave us godlike status in which we have the ability to move GOD !!!
    Here is where the theologian would jump in and say "He created us in his own Image, therefore these emotions have their origin in God, surely it is not the matter in which we resemble Him but the qualities which have a much more infinite aspect" yet if God feels, that means that at one point It feels happy, at another sad, and so on. Though if we agree to this, we automatically eliminate GOD's infinite nature because we have a concatenations of emotions going on at different points in time. The theologian would insist that God is outside time, yet if God experiences everything at once, that means that there is no order no clarity, but IT is everything at once -sad, happy, hurt, remorse, love- just a mix of everything....a lack of reason.
    SO now I ask 'can we even conceive of the notion that God is sadistic?"
    [

  9. #69
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sassafrassquatch View Post
    I think I've argued my position quite well, but everyone keeps coming back with this homemade-cafeteria-style-build-your-own-religion form of chistianity where you can believe whatever you want and God will accept your conclusions. That sounds to me like a human created religion that is in no way divinely inspired. I find this nebulous form of liberal christianity to be impossible to debate with.
    So in other words you can't prove we're wrong?

    Actually, if you ask someone to answer the question specifically for them and not on behalf of a collective or anyone else, you'll find you can have a much livelier discussion. Or even better, a deeper one.

    I don't quite proscribe to 'new left Christianity' or consider myself Christian per sae...I consider myself spiritual but with a few years of church going as a child to give me reference and way points and in the larger context of being steeped in a secular Christian country -- which is anyone raised in America.

    Honestly, I found your description funny and apt -- I know what you're talking about.

    So don't abandon the thread! I want to hear other POVs, especially skeptics.

  10. #70
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    Now that I've had a few days to cool down I'm going to work on a Rebuttal of Great and Terrible Rebutting. In the mean time here's something for the faithful to chew on, a story by Uncle Carl...

    The Dragon In My Garage - By Carl Sagan

    The late Carl Sagan wrote a nice comparison between a belief in god and any other supernatural entity which is unprovable.

    "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"

    Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

    "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle--but no dragon.

    "Where's the dragon?" you ask.

    "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

    You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

    "Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

    Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

    "Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

    You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

    "Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

    And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

    Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.

    The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility.

    Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative-- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

    Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons--to say nothing about invisible ones--you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

    Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages--but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.

    Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence"--no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it--is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

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