How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?

Friday, October 27, 2006 -- 5:00 PM
Ken Taylor

Today's show will be about the question whether it's still possible for smart, reflective people, fully cognizant with 21st century science, fully aware of the horrors of modernity, to believe in god.

Clearly the answer is -- drum roll, please -- yes. Many smart, reflective scientifically literate people obviously still do believe in god. Thankfully (or unthankfully, depending on your perspective) religious belief is not merely the province of anti-scientific, anti-modern fundamentalists who take every word, comma and period in some sacred text -- like the Bible or the Koran -- to be the sole and authoritative truth about just about everything.

So we thought it would make for interesting philosophical radio to find an intelligent, thoughtful, scientifically-minded true believer and probe in depth the basis of his belief. We did someting similar from the other side awihle back. Then we took an intelligent, scientifically-minded atheistWalter Sinnot-Armstrong, and probed the basis of his disbelief. You can think of this one as giving equal time to the theist. Our guest will be Philip Clayton, of the Claremont Graduate University. It should be fun -- a good way to spend a Sunday Morning.

Below the fold, I'll try to get the juices flowing by thinking aloud about three different possible bases for enduring religious belief in a scientific age, filled with moral horrors of all kinds.

As a philosopher, I tend to want my beliefs to be based on either direct experience or reasoned arguments. Even if some belief of mine is not in fact so based, I like to flatter myself that all my current beliefs are capable of being, as it were, ratified by either some reasoned argument or by the testimony of direct experience. And I'd like to think that if it were to be decisively settled that some belief of mine could not be so , I would more or less spontaneously surrender that belief, more or less without regret or remorse or wishful thinking of any kind. It seems to me one could and should have much the same attitude toward religious belief. One should want to believe in the existence of god only if one is confident that such belief is capable of being ratified by either reasoned argument or direct experience.

Now there are lots of what purport to be reasoned arguments for the existence of god. The argument from design, the ontological argument, arguments from fine-tuning, and on and on. But two things about those arguments strike me. I don't think any one of them is at all rationally compelling. At the very least, an atheist can, I think, argue the theist to a stand-still with counterarguments. If you start out neutral with respect to god and try to reason your way to his existence by appeal to any of the traditional philosophical arguments, you just aren't going to get all the way to positive belief, in my humble opinion. And that I think is the very best that can be said for traditional arguments for the existence of god.

The very worst that can be said for them is that they are all demonstrably invalid and incapable of compelling rational belief in the existence of god. And if the worst that can be said is true, then that seems to suggest that belief in god is a form of unreason.

But here's the thing. I don't think the real basis of most believers' belief even purports to be anything like reasoned argument. I mean I don't think I've ever met a single person who's been talked out of belief by the failure of any of the traditional philosophical arguments or who's been talked into belief by the success of those arguments. Does that mean that most believers are unreasoning? Well, some surely are. But I'm not prepared to say that most or all are.

What then is the basis of belief in rational, intelligent, reflective, scientifically literate thinking people in the modern age? Direct experience of god's presence in the world, perhaps?

A good friend of mine sometimes talks that way about god. He -- my friend -- is a very good person. He recently went to Guatamala, I think it was, to help his church build some houses for the desparately poor people who live in a rural village there. I recall hearing him say something to the effect that he had never felt the presence of god so clearly as on that trip. I think many believers have thoughts like this. They think they experience the concrete effects of god's presence in their own lives or operating through others. When I came closest to sincere belief in my own life, it was because my very devout then girlfriend was a luminously good person. Her religious conviction seemed to me to light up her soul. Certainly her belief was partly responsible for leading her to do many, many good and caring things. I had never met a person quite like her and I really wanted and tried to believe as she believed.

In the end, though, I found that although I admired her goodness and wanted to emulate it to the small extent that I could, I could not bring myself to believe as she believed -- no argument and no experience was sufficient to bring me to belief. Though she perhaps felt god's presence in the world and took herself to be responding to it with her goodness and caring, somehow she was unable to bring me to feel god's presence. Perhaps that's just the way it is. Some people feel it and others don't. And there's not much one can do to get another across the divide.

The problem with the direct perception of god's presence is that even those who profess to directly perceive or feel god's presence in the world, have to confess that god makes his presence felt pretty sporadically and selectively. If I had been a jew in Hitler's concentration camp, or an innocent, peaceful and devout Shia Muslim in Saddam's Iraq or any sort of peace loving believer in the current chaotic and deadly Iraq, I would long for greater signs of god's presence and for greater signs of his love and wisdom. I know that some religious traditions condemn such longings as prideful and arrogant. But even believers must admit that so often, in the darkest hour, in the hour of most need, the voice of god goes silent, his hand is stilled and his face disappears as if behind a dark veil.

Now some believers will admit that arguments run out, that experience is insufficient to dispel doubt. And yet, still they believer. But on what basis?

Some turn to pure faith, grounded in neither reason nor direct experience. But making a leap of ungrounded faith seems tantamount to jumping off a cliff, intending to reach a supposed other side that you have no grounds whatsoever for believing even exists. That, I think, is an act of pure desparation. Is religious belief really such?

At this point, some believers might choose to turn quasi-fictionalist. This seemed to be something like what Howie Wettstein in our show about the meaning of life was getting at. Wettstein posits god as a kind of "cosmic partner." He sees positing god as a way of endowing life with meaning. Doing so enables one to see one's own life as part of a great cosmic drama. Wettstein would prefer to live under the guise of living out a cosmic drama than to live under the guise of living an utterly meaningless life in a universe utterly devoid of meaning.

The problem with this approach, as I see it, is that if you take yourself to be positing god merely in order to endow one's life with meaning and you do so with no rational basis for really and truly believing that god exists, then you seem to be engaging in a kind of pretense. But I wonder whether mere pretense is really enough to endow our lives with meanings that they don't already have. If mere pretense is enough, why can't we just decide to see our lives as meaningful in the first place, and skip the positing of god in whom we don't really believe.

I don't pretend to have answers to all these questions. Plus it's about 7:30 and I have to be in the studio in an hour and half. So I better stop now. I think we'll have lots to talk about. Phil is a lively and thoughtful guy. So it should be fun.

See you soon.

 

Comments (49)


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Guest

Saturday, October 28, 2006 -- 5:00 PM

"If mere pretense is enough, why can't we just dec

"If mere pretense is enough, why can't we just decide to see our lives as meaningful in the first place, and skip the positing of god in whom we don't really believe."
It seems to me that it would be a lot more natural to imagine that a meaningful fiction is true than to imagine that an objectively meaningless universe has a meaning.
Pretending that there is a god on the Christian model, e.g., gives you all sorts of contentful meaning built in (my life is significant in the eyes of an awesome eternal being, "I" and those I love will not be annihilated at death, etc.). This kind of pretense seems at least natural to me; I can relate to a fictional story like that.
Whereas pretending there is godless meaning of life without actually giving content to what that meaning is supposed to be is so narratively unnatural as to be meaningless. Fiction is supposed to have a point, and if the universe is by narrative stipulation pointless, I can't imagine what it would mean to pretend that the universe as described has a point, or a meaning. (For one, if you could give a narratively compelling account of its putatively fictional meaning, then by my way of thinking you would have described the actual meaning!)

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Guest

Sunday, October 29, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

Perhaps, finally, the only place where god need ex

Perhaps, finally, the only place where god need exist is within the person, as phenomenology. If one believes, life long, subsequent to a history of rearing, education and religious practices, the experience and presence of god may be well established within the person, if only as canalized brain processes. Then as life ends one may be truely with god...and perhaps even have a beatific vision in the final moments. For example, it is reasonable to speculate that Pope John Paul was with god as consciousness faded into death.
I'm reminded of this passage from Wittgenstein's Tractatus:
"6.4311
Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through.
If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present.
Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit."
Subsequent to a well established history of faith and belief, being with god in life or eternity is forever present, if only in a final moment, when "Death is not lived through."

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Guest

Thursday, November 2, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

60 minutes of pure enjoyment listening to the huma

60 minutes of pure enjoyment listening to the human creatures with their bicameral brains possessing the limited gift of reason discussing whether I made them. They have the ability to exploit each other, consume the ecosystem and even melt the polar ice cap. But let's see them try to move the planet's rotation off it's rotational axis ! At least the rest of the universe is still safe.

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Guest

Friday, November 3, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

Hey Ken, Here are a few comments from a believe

Hey Ken,
Here are a few comments from a believer?s point of view drawing from what has been called recently ?Reformed Epistemology? (i.e. Plantinga, Alston, & Wolterstorff).
It certainly seems correct to say that most believers do not believe in the existence of God based on reasoned arguments (or evidence). They may have a ?reason? in the singular sense but believing in God based on an argument is mostly likely uncommon.
You say;
?As a philosopher, I tend to want my beliefs to be based on either direct experience or reasoned arguments?And I'd like to think that if it were to be decisively settled that some belief of mine could not be so , I would more or less spontaneously surrender that belief, more or less without regret or remorse or wishful thinking of any kind. It seems to me one could and should have much the same attitude toward religious belief.?
The general principle then is one ought not to believe in things that are not based on arguments or direct experience. As for the former it seems that this has been shown to be an overly stringent view of rationality. If we have learned anything in our introductory epistemology courses it is that arguments for other minds, induction, the external world, that the world wasn?t created five minutes ago and so on and so on are not knock down winners and the dark shadow of skepticism constantly looms. Still this seems to most to be a problem for those arguments and our need for them not for belief in other minds, etc. If our belief in other minds, etc. is rational then it?s not based on arguments, rather most likely experience (or rather it is a basic belief).
The latter then is most likely where I would place belief (rational belief since it seems rationality has extended beyond ?reasoned arguments?) in God, it?s a matter of perception and experience. Your objection here seems to be that the experience is not great enough. That experience is not enough to ?dispel doubt?. This seems arbitrary at best. How much experience is enough to continue on in belief? If there is something else that we have learned in our intro courses its when you find that most of the arguments run out pretty much everything is in the realm of doubt. It seems pretty stringent (Descartes stringent!) to rule out a belief because doubt can still creep up.
As for pure faith, the ?I believe because its ridiculous?, it seems to me that the fideists were trying to get to something like rational belief based not on reasoned arguments but on experience and that has been the project, to a large degree, of Reformed Epistemology. I think Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Turtullian would have liked Plantinga and his cohorts.
One last point. You say;
? And I'd like to think that if it were to be decisively settled that some belief of mine could not be so , I would more or less spontaneously surrender that belief, more or less without regret or remorse or wishful thinking of any kind. It seems to me one could and should have much the same attitude toward religious belief.?
This seems unlikely, if this standard is held I would love to hear your arguments for belief in other minds, induction, the external world, that the world wasn?t created five minutes ago. Assuming you?re not a solipsist I doubt you would cease to believe in your loved ones if your arguments were refuted. Most likely your belief in other minds is based on experience and perception. What if, like your account of the experience of God, that experience just isn?t good enough. Who gets to say that? Especially when all of the evidence or arguments for other minds, etc. probably just aren?t good enough to dispel doubt. Again this doesn?t so much seem like a problem for your beliefs in ?other minds, induction, the external world, that the world wasn?t created five minutes ago?, instead it seems it?s a problem for your views on rationality.

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Guest

Friday, November 3, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

OK, we can look at how a person conceives of, say,

OK, we can look at how a person conceives of, say, an airplane, then proceeds to design, build, and, finally, fly it. From this we deduce that, at least on some level, existence depends on having a maker, which presupposes a designer, which presupposes a conceiver.
Upon this premise, we deduce from observing the material universe that it must have been conceived, designed, and created by someone or something . . . and we call that conceiver/designer/creator, "God."
But if we proceed from this same premise, then "God" must have been conceived, designed, and created. Question: by what or by whom?
Faced with this First Cause question in a philosophy class decades ago, I was unable come up with an answer suitable to support a belief in God.
Later, following experiences that I could not explain rationally, or consistently from a materialistic point of view, I re-examined various beliefs couched in the idea of a creator, and eventually came upon the Tao te Ching, and the concept of "The Eternal Tao." For me, speaking of the Tao does not postulate a god, but neither does it dismiss the mystery of life and existence, positing that some thread - which we constantly seek to apprehend - runs through all existence, unifying and connecting all its manifestations in a never-ending cycle of yin and yang.
For me, contemplating the Tao does not answer the question, "Is there a god." For that matter, it doesn't answer any questions definitively. Rather, it keeps me questioning and questing, which enriches my life immeasurably by expanding my experience of life and all it offers.
Thanks for your program. I look forward to it every week.

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Guest

Monday, November 6, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

I enjoyed the show and found enough of interest in

I enjoyed the show and found enough of interest in what Phil Clayton said to ask him some questions, but I am not expecting that he will overcome my impression (shared by caller Paul) that there is no meaningful content to the question of existence or non-existence of the god that Phil appears to be talking about. In the end, talk of such a god seems to amount to no more than the naming of an apparently unanswerable question and no matter whether we call it 'God' or 'Tao' or something else, it has no moral (or other) implications. (This is not to imply that thinking about it in an "appropriate" way might not have some kind of beneficial calming effect on the human mind - but then so might thinking about any other abstract problem in mathematics or philosophy.)
Another concept of god, which arose in Ken and John's response to Rob's conundrum (about the comfort of acting as a believer despite not believing), was as a "flag" or symbol for the body of shared human values.
To me the confounding of these two concepts (reason and "purpose" for the existence of the universe, and "purpose" or values of human species and individuals) seems highly presumptuous, but Phil appeared to be claiming some linkages so I have asked him about that in response to his follow-up posting. Perhaps it is true that finding some consoling sense of substantiation re both is a common human need, but that doesn't imply that they both require the same "god" (and perhaps some religions - eg Hinduism - are closer to recognizing this distinction than others).
In fact, the "source of values" concept is what strikes me as being closer to what most people seek from religion, so I want to follow up with you, Ken, about some aspects of that.
First, in response to part of what you say in the blog posting, I think it exemplifies a kind of faith that is not in conflict with reason. In fact it *is* possible for a rational person to believe things not based on reason - so long as those beliefs do not conflict with reason. One way to achieve this is by having the beliefs devoid of empirical content (as I have suggested that belief in Phil's god may be). But this does not preclude meaningful content. For example many beliefs are exhortatory in nature. Commandments have impact but are not empirically falsifiable. Whether encouraging such beliefs is a good thing is something I would question (in fact I would strongly deny it, but that's not the topic here so I must hold back), but I don't believe that they can be successfully challenged on purely rational grounds.
Second, and this may be a simple question for you to answer, but I was unable to see a clear distinction between what is represented by the "fictionalist" label you used for Howie Wettstein's "positing", and the "semantic agnostic" applied to Rob's finding comfort in faithless participation (and in fact, if I was going to make a distinction, I'd be inclined to reverse the labels).
Either way, I was disappointed by the comfort you gave to Rob. He should, I believe, have been supported instead in his apparent willingness to acknowledge and deal with the fundamental dishonesty of his position. To adjust the semantics so that a statement of faith is not a lie to oneself does not avoid the misleading effect that making that statement might have on others. In the case of religion, those who find comfort by making a statement that means something different to others than it means to themselves do harm in various ways. One is by undermining and discouraging the truth-seeking of others who may be in a similar doubting position; and another is by lending credibility to the words themselves rather than the concept you mean by them, which empowers those who would turn the same words to a vastly different (and often quite evil) meaning.
This happens all too often with scriptural religion, so I think we need to do all we can to encourage the overt rather than covert denial of literalism.

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Guest

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

I haven't had time to read all of the other posts

I haven't had time to read all of the other posts on this topic, but I will go ahead and state my humble opinion. There is a God. I believe that if you ask people what God is then you will receive many different answers. Thus, God is what believe it is. People have believed in God in some form or fashion since the birth of civilization. I believe that several things can be learned from holding a belief in God. And, depending on your beliefs, a belief in God can foster advances in all realms of human activity. Looking to the past, our ancient ancestors perceived God in many different forms, and each form deserved respect. However, in the scientfic age of today 'things' have been reduced to numbers and all sorts of complex calculations that I won't pretend to understand. But, what do those numbers and calculations represent? The explanation of the physical/quantum world we live in does not make it any less spectacular. I believe that God exists in everything. However, if there was/is no God that does not mean that we should treat the world differently? Should we not pay respect to world we live in and the universe that created it? What would happen if we no longer believed in a God (different from the abolishment of religion)?
In conclusion, God seems to be just a word that people use to describe the concert of magnificent forces that surround them. However, whether these forces act in.....concert or not, they are responsible for life as we know it. Therefore, the being/entity/? we know as God deserves our respect. We don't have to give it to him, but bad things tend to happen when there is a lack of respect for anything.

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Guest

Thursday, November 16, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

I think that if you want a good definition of God,

I think that if you want a good definition of God, you need go no further than St. Augustine's Confessions. Sure, it's a "starter level" book, but St. Augustine's idea of God, Good, Truth, and so forth, is mirrored throughout time by a multitude of thinkers.
And my cynic side has to mention that if you can sum up your religious beliefs, that is, you can infer why/how the universe was created, how you worship God, and so forth, with a single world like "Christianity" or "Judaism"... that's just plain silliness.

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Guest

Saturday, November 25, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

The original question being, "How can smart people

The original question being, "How can smart people still believe in God?" either means god believing people are not smart (as they may think they are), or to answer the "how" in the question (and giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are smart) I offer the thought that these "smart god believing people" have been brainwashed. Society promulgates the god myth so incessantly that very few people can think beyond the thought that god must exist. In the way of analogy, if there are intelligent people that do believe that humans exist as separate races, and not one human race (due to very effective societal brainwashing), then why should we not see that brainwashing by societal beliefs is behind other incongruencies?

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Guest

Sunday, November 26, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

Even ultra-rational folk can share beliefs that ar

Even ultra-rational folk can share beliefs that are not based on solid evidence or rational argument. For instance, NASA has spent many millions searching for extra-terrestial life, despite no evidence that such life exists, nor the slightest idea how probable or improbable the spontaneous origin of life may be. Given the lack of evidence, it seems just as reasonable to assume that ours is the first and only planet in the universe yet pregnant with life, as to assume that life is so ubiquitous that it is lurking under the martian ice caps, sloshing within the frozen void of Europa, or stirring in the methane lakes of Titan. Though I share the fervent hope that life is present throughout the universe, I don't fool myself that this belief is based on anything but wishful thinking.
Ken implies that the believer in God resorts primarily to faith, while the un-believer relies mostly on reason. As one caller remarked, atheists have faith equal to believers that God doesn't exist. Given that neither atheists nor theists have sufficient evidence nor a bulletproof argument to prove or disprove the existence of God, it's reasonable to assume that at bottom, both sides of the argument rely equally on faith.
I suspect that if you scratch any argument hard enough, probing mercilessly with why questions, you will eventually scrape down to a bedrock of irrational and unsubstantiated belief. For even the most rational thinkers, reason and evidence alone are not enough to stir the passion of true conviction. Superficial beliefs are easy to flip with argument and evidence. Deeper beliefs have a protective coil of emotion encircling them like a devouring serpent. Our core convictions will not go down easily, simply because the light of reason is shone upon them.

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Guest

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

The question should be "How can smart people belie

The question should be "How can smart people believe in a single religion?" Belief in a God is between God and oneself. Belief in a religion requires suspension of all doubts and questions that challange a religion's writings and belief systems.

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Guest

Saturday, December 2, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

This is in response to David Chilstrom's comment a

This is in response to David Chilstrom's comment above.
While it is true that absolute belief in the non-existence of all gods appears to lack convincing rational support, this does not contradict Ken's point that the unbeliever relies mostly on reason. In fact the typical unbeliever may simply not believe in either the existence or the non-existence of a god. Having been unconvinced by any argument pro or con myself, I have a lot of sympathy with that position.
The question at hand at the start of this discussion was "How can smart people still believe in god?". I don't think Philip Clayton answered that question for me because I did not find his argument compelling, but I do think that if the god concept is sufficiently abstract then it can be believed in without too much offense to reason.
Perhaps the more challenging question is that raised by Jody - "How can smart people believe in a single religion?"

Bill's picture

Bill

Saturday, December 30, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

If God is just a product of human imagination beca

If God is just a product of human imagination because of hope for life after death, every belief could be easily be dismissed. I'm no keen for the evolution of the human brain to become such as emotional as it is right now but yet it is clear that as the human body learns to adapt itself in every climate the brain does too. I am not a scientist to elaborate a very complicated point of view, nor did I studied theology but there is one clear fact for me. Ninety five percent of the human populace are not smart enough.

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Guest

Saturday, December 30, 2006 -- 4:00 PM

In approaching the subject of "How Can Smart Peopl

In approaching the subject of "How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?" might I suggest that everyone read C.S. Lewis's ideas on this found in "Surprised By Joy," "Mere Christianity," and "The Problem of Pain." "Surprised" catalogs his quest from athiest to agnostic and then to believer. He called himself the most "reluctant believer in England, dragged kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven." If any man proved that you can be smart and believe in God, Lewis did. The movie "Shadowlands," was about him and, of course, "The Chronicles of Narnia," are nothing more than Christian allegory. Lewis's contention was that the Jews, our No. 1 source for God-knowledge in the West, never pointed to proofs from nature to prove the existence of God, as the Greeks did. God, the Jews said, interjected himself into their lives and insisted on being listened to, like a jilted lover. God came looking for man, not the other way around. In the same way Christianity's uniqueness is not taken from great philosophical debate and argument. Christians simply said that God, who created the whole darn shabang we see at night in the sky, chose to enter our history through the birth canal, the only way in, and exit through the grave, the only way out. While here he showed us what God is really like. The Creator took the form of a lowly Jew in Roman times. As Lewis pointed out, he was who he said he was or he was a raving maniac. There is no middle ground. You must decide. You must believe or not believe. It is an act of the will, not based on reason. Reason will carry you so far, but we all must stop at the cliff, and yes, leap into Jesus Christ's arms, for safety. Is it a leap of faith out into darkness with no supporting evidence. That is exactly what it is and why God has made it so, no one will ever know until they go to him and he tells them after they have exited through the grave. The debate will never be solved to anyone's satisfaction. To the true believer, God, or Jesus Christ, as the Christians would say, is reality. The physical universe is only a stage of arranged and ordered particals or building blocks that makes the stage on which human history is acted out. That is why drama grips us so deep down in our minds, because we see something on the silver screen that we have oursleves experienced. Reality is not out there or in here, it is us, we; we ourselves are true reality and the world was made for us to inhabit, to grow and to mature in, until the time for our processing into the next universe comes. And Christ, our only reality and anchor, showed us how it is done. When the Jews and Romans attacked his positions and statements, he did not answer them. I wonder why?

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Guest

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

In the absence of a scientific explanation for the

In the absence of a scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe, whether by 'Big Bang' or not, there is no other option but to believe in a Creator who is outside of the need to have been created Himself - i.e. a god.
God - an eternal being without beginning or end - is the only reasonable conclusion, however difficult it might be for some people to accept, for whatever personal reason they might have for not wanting to accept it.
But even Stephen Hawking (an atheist) admits that science cannot explain the beginning of the universe and he himself says: "for that, you would have to appeal to God."
He clearly doesn't believe in God, being an atheist, but he is honest enough to admit it is the only conclusion which exists to man to account for it. I believe that this is one of the reasons why God says in the Bible: "Only the fool has said in his heart, there is no God."
This in itself puts those who believe in God in a superior faith / belief position to those who do not. Which God is the true God is another matter, which I don't have the space to go into here.

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Guest

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

I am amazingly smart. Just ask me. I have wre

I am amazingly smart. Just ask me.
I have wrestled with this question for over a decade, and have often remarked, "I would be an atheist if it weren't for this whole belief in a god thing I can't shake."
Similarly, I have described myself as, "A hopelessly indoctrinated wannabe non-believer." For a long time, that was my way of rationalizing it. I would non-believe if I could non-believe. I often thought that religion exists solely because a) children are raised to accept it just as they are raised to accept authority* b) the inexplicable good that happens needs answers just as much as the un-checked evil that the 'divine' allows to exist.
* (it's interesting to note that the one universal feature of ALL religions is a built in respect for ancestors be it respect for your personal forbears, or those of the religion itself. Good arguments have been made that religion is a way of authority figures to get un-opposable back up ie - your dead relatives/God would not approve! There is no earthly way to controvert this and so submission to the 'belief' assures your continued acceptance in society and eternity.)
The fact is, all religions, monotheistic or not ask you to do one thing: accept the overtly unprovable. The only variable is the degree to which you are required to 'act like you accept' it. It is impossible to gauge what one believes save for watching their actions, and religion has built in 'actions' that 'prove' you believe, but not that 'prove' your belief is justified.
And so it goes. I think this is the main hesitation (smart) people have with religion: the way in which you are required to subjugate your rationalizations about the world in order to accept the religion. Some people are able to strike an internal balance between the un-explained good and the unbelievable bad. Some cannot and cast off everything for lock-step causation which STILL manages to brilliantly NOT explain a great many things (good and bad).
It seems to me that BOTH ways of doing it are acts of... faith.

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Guest

Thursday, May 17, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to th

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things?and the things that are not?to nullify the things that are;" 1 Corinthians 1:18-28

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Guest

Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

I am 12 years old and I don't belive in go

I am 12 years old and I don't belive in god. Now I know I am only a child and I have no word but I am very smart for my age. The subject of god has been brought up my man for thousands of years. No one can give the right answer. This is why I think why believing in god is good, bad and why people belive in god.
Beliving in god is good because it gives a good balance in your life. Imagine if no one belived in god. People would be killing, slaughtering and

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Guest

Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Im Gian, im 16 years old and i do believe in God

Im Gian,
im 16 years old and i do believe in God. No true believer should see science as something tha limits faith, knowing the meaning of faith i know that Science and God are the same. Science is just the study of God's creation ,ne?

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Guest

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

I suppose that there is nothing new to talk about,

I suppose that there is nothing new to talk about, these days. Just how much sense does it make to attempt to apprehend the infinite? It is, by definition, a futile exercise.
The current argument against "God" seems to be, "since I'm not smart enough to comprehend the Divine, or you're not smart enough to explain it to me, then it must not exist"...
How reflective of our time, when everything is seen through the lens of the "self".
That Dawkins, et al use only the common Judeo-Christian concept of God as the basis of their argument, simply shows their limited knowledge or ability to conceive the Divine.
I recognize the Divine in all things, and just because humans aren't happy with events, simply means that that humans are not the center of creation.
Maybe this energy would be better spent educating people that they are not the focus of creation. Once this is achieved (if it can be, then maybe we can move forward.

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Guest

Friday, June 22, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

How Can Smart People Still Believe in God? They c

How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?
They can't !
If one was to look at the complete reality, the complete truth, then one would have to then step back over and look off to the side to be able to look at a belief, since a belief is an attachment to less than complete truths, hence it is a belief.
Now if the complete truth was reveled by someone such as Jesus Christ at some time, mankind would immediately reject such a presentation, since the complete truth lies outside of the limitations and confinement of a belief system.
The consequences of this is that the complete truth would then be classified by the believers, as a lie.
The Jesus Christ would then basically have been crucified, once again !
Now, the smart people on the other hand, realize that the practice of belief, inhibits the mind from being able to face truth directly. The smart people do not believe in God, but instead can make direct contact with God by being in direct touch with truth.
And so as long as belief is still practiced, complete truths can not be seen, and hence complete truths are not believed !
You don't believe this do you ?

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Guest

Friday, June 22, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

To Smart Guy, The subject of the discussion was

To Smart Guy,
The subject of the discussion was the existence of "God", not the validity of "belief". Sure, there is a difference between believing and knowing, but the current crop of "smart people" are not allowing for this, either.
I don't believe in God, I know Divinity exists from direct experience, and that has nothing to do with the Judeo/Christian/Islamic tradition or religion. Religion is totally seperate from the existence of Divinity.
In addition, I know and believe that the Judeo/Christian/Islam religions exist, but IU also know that they have nothing to do with God, but are a socio-cultural control mechanism.
Until "smart people" are educated to the point that they can seperate themselves from this limited perspective, there is no hope for any growth or realization.
-zz

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Guest

Friday, June 22, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Yep, I have had my experience as well. Mind ex

Yep, I have had my experience as well.
Mind expanded to point of absolute. Met the opposition. Came back to defend mankind. Wrote a web site. Did some Bible code decoding to remind myself of my other self on the other side. Then ran into a bit of a problem when I discovered that complete truths were aways rejected by mankind.
When truth is presented to man, it is assumed to have been spoken by a mad man. Click on Smart Guy for a peek at the Bible Codes such that you too can shoot the truth in the head !

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Guest

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

i do not believe in god.i want to know whether the

i do not believe in god.i want to know whether there is a society/organisation for non/dis-believer on god or any supernatural power.pl email me thanks
my email ads :-
akgghu@yahoo.co.in

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Guest

Saturday, August 11, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

before we argue on existence of god we have to def

before we argue on existence of god we have to define god
what is it god
off course Moslems will tell you what is god then christens will tell you something else or Jews but that?s not the point
what I want to explain you my friends is that when you look around you wherever you you are
you see miracles
lets start by putting in some seeds in the send and after a month or so there something growing
was there any human being that can come up with some formula that he puts in a plant and it starts to grow
and lets go in alittle deeper
since creation of the universe does anybody know about a story that someone planted apples and it came out oranges instead
howmany times do we humens make mistakes even the smartes amung us
that proves my friends that there is some kind of power that?s beyond human understanding
and this is what I call god
if anybody can deny it ? im ready for argument

Robert's picture

Robert

Friday, August 17, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

LOVE IS LIKE GOD IN A WAY THAT NEITHER CAN BE PROV

LOVE IS LIKE GOD IN A WAY THAT NEITHER CAN BE PROVEN ONLY TO THE BELIEVER CAN THEY EXIST,
I think it would be simple but there are many problems involved,
To name a few:
money-trust-temptation-lust-quality-approvals-jealousy-
In other words there?s more against a believer in Love for most believers to believe.
The Sadness but Truth of it all, If any of those things interfere with ones belief, then they are not a believer in love, but a follower of what destroys it.
~RTH~

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Guest

Friday, September 14, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

You don't have to believe in hell; you will still

You don't have to believe in hell; you will still go there. Many people do not believe in gravity but it still holds them on earth. The truth is all knowledge begins with the fear of God; without it all men are fools and lost. It does not matter how smart you think you are or how much money you make if you will spend eternity burning and being tortured for your disbelief. How dumb that is. It is funny that the more education people get the dumber they are. When I was getting my Masters Degree I felt many of the professors were complete idiots. I could not believe what a bunch of odd balls are teaching our universities; and they push their atheistic view on the students. Misery does love company. Wake up before it is too late.

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Guest

Thursday, December 27, 2007 -- 4:00 PM

I graduated from Harvard with a 4.2 GPA. I beli

I graduated from Harvard with a 4.2 GPA.
I believe in God.
Are you saying that I'm "not smart"?

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Guest

Monday, January 28, 2008 -- 4:00 PM

>> I graduated from Harvard with a 4.2 GPA. I b

>> I graduated from Harvard with a 4.2 GPA.
I believe in God.
Are you saying that I'm "not smart"? >>
sure - why not![?]

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Guest

Saturday, September 27, 2008 -- 5:00 PM

not only does no smart person believe in god, nobo

not only does no smart person believe in god, nobody else does either. religion is all a goofy social dominance game, as the policies that issue therefrom clearly show.

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Guest

Monday, September 29, 2008 -- 5:00 PM

1) We are animals first, humans with imaginations

1) We are animals first, humans with imaginations second. We live in a dangerous world, in an unsure world where death is just around the cornor. Try to remember your own anxiety as an infant or notice the fearful stages of growth in your children, especially when they realize how dependent they are on the adults. Humanity was also in this state of anxiety in our early history. Tigers were big and all we had were spears. Part of us feels this all time. We feel vulnerable in our animal natures and limited. We strive for growth, mastery and propagation just like every living thing that has ever existed. We crave and greed for anything that represents more abundant and secure biological life - even when it is actually taken care of in our advanced civilization. In the following essay remember we are animals. Thinking animals but animals nevertheless.
2) However, we are social animals - like some herd or pack animals but not at all like big cats, sharks, or hawks. We need each other and the group to compete against other animals and nature. But we also compete with our fellow humans for mastery and status. Knowing our place allows us take on specific jobs in the group and to feel purpose and meaning. We test and gauge our status wihin the group. We constantly compare ourselves (and judge others) by cultural standards of mastery. Early in history and our physical skills were the important measure but that soon turned to social skills. The function of out direct perceptual senses is guage our level of security, protection and worth within the group. Getting our fellow humans approval and esteem enhances this protection because somebody is literally watching your back. In a sufficiently advanced civlization, when the food supply, healthcare, shelter and education are taken care of the impulse to grow - to have more abundant life - does not go away. That is because the emotional part of us knows we are still limited and vulnerable without our cultural and group protections. So we unconsciously compare worth, significance and power in our society - to find our place in it and to gather as many protectve affliations around us as possible.
3) As our brains evolved and abstraction and symbolic abilities developed we imagined we could be gods! Our situation was so perilous in the wild we tended to make false correlations in nature, thus creating "magic" to allow us to feel more in control. Eventually, our egos created complex systems of symbols representing physical skills. We created institualized ritual to control the environment and its ceremonies to control each other. Magic turned into religion. Religion turned into divine states. Divine states turned into secular society and political philosophies. Thus, magical ritual, religion and its decendent instutions allowed for defined heirarchy, castes, classes and organizational efficiencies.
4) Our egos do not like to hear we have weaknesses or are simply competing status seeking animals, or we are the cause our own suffering or that we are vulnerable, limited and will one day die. So we seek ways of removing our guilt and feelings of vulnerability by latching on to anything or anybody who can make us feel secure, safe and confident that all will be well, and in their care that we will prosper, grow, be significant and live a much fuller life. This is the "heroic impulse". It is pervasive within all cultures except the most simple and egalitarian. We value and acknowledge those symbols (not reality) that which will make us feel safe or make us feel like winners. Of course, this had loads of survival value in the forest because some did have real heroic skills - as hunter gatherers - but the impulse to affliate with the "heroic" has been distorted to an absurd point. Acquisition of possesions, titles, status, large families, and attachment to symbols far and long divorced from actual survival needs is what drives our culture and politics. The impuluse for more, more, more drives our economic systems. In fact, it is OUR need for MORE SECURE LIFE and our unconsciousness of why we desire MORE SECURE LIFE that creates the economic system - a system that depends on 4% growth per year despite that fact that we live in a finite world with finite resources. Unbridled and un-reflective thinking in service of the fear of death is what makes the human animal insane in comparison to other species. The fundamental confusion is taking mere words or concepts to be reality.
6) Biologically, abstracting egos arise from the left hemisphere of the brain. The symbolic processors of the left brain take fear arising from the amygdala and rationalizes an insulating symbolic defense - many of which are words or concepts. The left hemisphere also tends to mask perceptual realities of the right hemisphere since this holistic part does not harbor linguistic processors. The right hemisphere cannot argue for itself even though it harbors many intelligences! This effectively removes feelings of vulnerability and fear from our thinking selves but it also veils broader realities and perceptions that could have survival value. This is a necessary condition for mental health and negotiation in a highly symbolic environments which most people live in. Cultures are systems of symbols that reinforce a consensual strategy against this fear of death. Or, at least, a "social symbolic death" with insignificance or loss of approval among our fellows. Cultural values change as the demands of survival from the environment change. We create complex symbolic absolutist views and cultural sanctioned rituals, rules and behaviors that institutionalize the strategy against death because total faith brings the most confidence. That is why suicide bombers say they love death as much as we love life - they are assured at place in paradise. These emotional displacements provide order and sense of meaning to our world and provide confidence. The value of the concept of immortality, gods and single great hero, God, has provided the greatest sense of relief for many cultures.
7) Furthermore, We create conflict and suffering through mutual exclusive competing symbols within and between our arbitrary rule-bound cultures. Thus, individuals will constantly compare who's up and who's down, one street gang will fight another over graffiti, how clothing is worn, territoral encroachment; soceer games will erupt in violence over a game, republicans and democrats will demean and "symbolically" fight each to other's social death (the inability to influence others). Our egos constantly strive to strengthen its stature compared to others. Our egos are willing to defend, belittle or even fight to the death any symbol or person who threatens our unconscious immortality symbols because our ego's imaginary life is at stake. The impulse to prove oneself right and the other wrong is simply the defense of the ego against imaginary death.
8) Whether it be God, Nirvana or our imagined legacies on earth, or our political philsophies our egos find something to latch on to, no matter where we live. Cultures, religions and all absolutist philosophies exist to provide approval-seeking humans ways of organizing, encouraging, coping, prospering, staving off fear of death and moving civilzation forward toward some imagined good life - even at the expense of present happiness. We are social beings that create our own environments whose need for a sense-of-belonging and self esteem is universal so convienently adopt the prevailing notions that imply worth. The need for human-connection and approval is primary and real, cultural values are secondary and imaginery. This is a very important point!
9) Our egos can be exploited, controlled and abused by those who use our needs, hopes and dreams to suit their own agendas or by those that insist to withdraw their respect unless we tow the cultural line. We all, quite naturally, give our loyalty and our lives to those who best can communicate to our emotions the symbols that promise security and strength but most importantly - a sense of belonging. The sucess of leadership is proportional to the level of alignment of culturally adopted values to the real demands of the environment. Blind following often leads to disaster. Following, a worldview, hero or personal expression is only useful to the extent that it actually haromonizes with the reality of others, other cultures and the physical environment.
10) So, we only contribute more suffering in the world when we allow the ego unbridled comparison, identification and power-seeking or when we let our egos get competitive, huffy and violent over whose coping mechanisms, behaviors, opinions are best. Judgment and negativity is the primary diagnostic of absolutism - whether it is ubridled praise or criticism. Acceptance (tolerance), enjoyment and enthusism is the primary diagnostic for awareness of the extreme comparative activity of the ego.

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Guest

Monday, September 29, 2008 -- 5:00 PM

Human beings absolutely need to develop some "heal

Human beings absolutely need to develop some "healthy" anxiety displacements - at certain developmental stages - to develop self esteem and confidence in growing up. Children need to be assured that a "Guardian Angel is protecting them from the "boogey man" in closet.
Religion and absolutist belief has its place and function. However, when the displacements become rigidly absolute as the world gets more complex and subtle these psychodynamic strategies become mal-adaptive. The fact that people will become very aggressive in defending absolutist belief is - in itself - a major self-inflicted insanity in humans.
There seems to be a healthy arc of development that involves a increasingly generalized worldview.
1) Identification with parental heros and development of self esteem by their early unconditional love and approval from successful negotiation of the social rules they present.
2) Differentiation from the parents by successfully negotiating their familial rules and structures. Then, successful introduction to symbolic social strategie s that provides their own power to influence people and social environment.
3) Getting a sense of approval and belonginess from subcultures that are relatively more aligned to broader accepted cultural values. Choosing heros, beliefs, activities and groups that allow some sense of security, direction, personal expression and sense of worth and significance. That is, following arbitrary cultural rules or societal expectations - or "world of symbols" representing security and approval
4) Final realization that cultural symbols and expectations go beyond survival needs and begin to become vain, wasteful or even maladaptive to the real environment. We begin to search for security, meaning and a sense of approval, belonginess, direction from many alternative strategies. We accept no world view is absolute. Finally separating imaginery status symbols from the actual biological requirements of healthy and happy social life.

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Guest

Thursday, December 4, 2008 -- 4:00 PM

We tends to believe GoD as one who is not seen, I

We tends to believe GoD as one who is not seen, I can show you God, Please listen with a open Mind.
God is Fire, Water, Air. God is the Life, Existance of Life , and Death. These have immense power which does not have a shape. We can see it, We can fell it but we fail to reliase it, We tend to look for answers womewhere else.

Oliver's picture

Oliver

Friday, June 5, 2009 -- 5:00 PM

I am a tortured agnostic erring on the side of ath

I am a tortured agnostic erring on the side of atheism. I want to believe but I can't. I got here by googling 'how can people believe in God' and found this. The article helped, but the comments didn't. Too many of the comments hold the existence of God to be self-evident without managing to provide any substantial reason why. They believe it, and therefore it is true. This scares me because it makes me realise why religions have always historically fought each other - they are unable to give substantial reasons why the other is wrong.
The universe seems meaningless. There is no Great Protector. There is only us, and our meaningless existences, and there is faith, and belief, which people die defending. There is war, and horror, and uncertainty. It is the uncertain man who is intelligent and the certain man who is stupid. The difference is that the certain man has no fear. Irrationality is required for civilization to progress. But irrationality is what makes humanity blow itself to pieces.
I want to believe, but if God created the universe and has the power to stop evil but chooses not to, surely he is evil? What sort of God would sit back and watch something like the Holocaust? What sort of God would create harlequin babies? What sort of God would create a Hell to punish the sinners for ever and ever? An insane one, that's what.

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Guest

Friday, October 16, 2009 -- 5:00 PM

The Insanity of Unbelief by Dan Delzell

The Insanity of Unbelief
by Dan Delzell
Who could ever create a story as wild as the one in the Bible? What mastermind could put together 66 books by more than 40 authors and have it written over a period of 1500 years? Incredibly, all of these authors point to the same two ultimate destinations: first, an everlasting paradise offered as a free gift to those who believe; and second, a place of eternal torment for those who reject the gift.
What could this many authors possibly gain by coming up with such an extraordinary story on their own and then presenting it as truth? It certainly didn't make their lives any easier. Why would some of these same authors allow themselves to be tortured to death rather than recant their message? These clues provide healing from spiritual insanity for anyone who is open-minded. Are you open-minded or close-minded about Christ?
Who would ever make up a story that a God of love sent His only Son to suffer torture at the hands of men? How loving is that unless God really did love the world so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins just as the Bible states? Why out of thousands of religions in the world does only one religion offer forgiveness of sins as a free gift? Why does this one religion just so happen to be the only religion that has each of these 40 authors over 1500 years describing the same reality? How did they all get their writings to fit together so well and with so much consistency?
Were each one of these authors insane, except for their remarkable ability to agree with one another about heaven and hell and the Messiah? If they were not insane, then why would all the authors over many centuries contribute to such a conspiracy of deceit about a mythical God and a far-fetched narrative of redemption? Do you have enough faith and enough evidence to truly believe that it has all just been a worldwide hoax? Are you sane enough to see how it takes more faith based on less evidence to reject Christ than it takes to accept Him as your Lord and Savior?
How insane is it for you to live 80 years upon this earth for yourself just hoping that the Bible is wrong about Jesus and about heaven and hell? How crazy is it for you to risk spending one year in agony, yet alone forever and ever in unimaginable torment? Who would ever lie and make up such a place? In a postmodern age where people are brainwashed to believe that nothing is absolute, are you absolutely, 100% sure that Christianity is a lie and that Jesus was a fraud?
If you don't believe in absolutes, then you are not really positive that Christianity is wrong, are you? Please read this next sentence slowly and carefully: Are you really willing to risk spending billions upon billions of years in hell rather than repent of your sin and accept a free gift from a loving God who has given us a written revelation of eternity? What if you really were insane on this issue? You wouldn't know that you were insane, would you? Are you willing to admit that it is possible that you are insane about Christianity and about your need for salvation?
How can you be absolutely sure that Christianity is wrong and that you are right? You! Not the 40 authors over 1500 years, but you! What makes you the right one? ?There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.? (Proverbs 14:12)
To quote a well-known motivational speaker from the 1990?s, I plead with you to ?Stop the Insanity? before it is too late. Do you realize why God has allowed you to read this article right now at this very moment in your life? If you are unwilling to be healed of your spiritual insanity, then you won?t have a clue about what you have just read. That rejection of God's good news for you would provide you with proof of the insanity of unbelief. Are you too insane to recognize your own insanity, or is there a glimmer of spiritual sanity in your soul today?

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Guest

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 -- 4:00 PM

Being smart doesn't mean you're honest. It might e

Being smart doesn't mean you're honest. It might even mean you're a clever and intelligent liar. While it's possible for smart people who have integrity problems to pretend a belief in god, even smartly--any modern educated human being who truthfully and without evasion asks probing questions about the existence of god will come up with a negative.
But that's been the case for near a 1000 years now.

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Guest

Sunday, December 20, 2009 -- 4:00 PM

God is nothing but a fragment created by the human

God is nothing but a fragment created by the human mind so that they can live their lives believing they are safe.

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Guest

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 -- 4:00 PM

The God in whom I believe has created an infinite

The God in whom I believe has created an infinite universe which is growing at an infinite speed. The God in whom I believe has an unlimited control over us, he doesn't need us. The God in whom I believe has created an automated instant punishment system that he doesn't need an end day. The God in whom I believe lets the death being a transfer to another life, better or worse depending on our yields. The God in whom I believe is the center of the universe, he has created himself from nothing and created the universe instantly without suffering.
This is the God in whom I believe!
The God in Whom I believe doesn't need us to fight for him. The God in Whom I believe doesn't let us fight each other for him. The God in Whom I believe doesn't need us to believe in him.
The God in Whom I believe knows us because he created us, he doesn't need to test us!
The God in Whom I believe doesn't need to limit our liberty as we do not offense others.
The God in Whom I believe has created an automated instant rewarding system and an automated instant punishment system that he doesn't need to do it himself at a verdict day.
The God in Whom I believe is equitable, So if our actual circumstances are different it is because our anterior life yields were different. We deserve our actual life!
The God in Whom I believe is clement. He can't put us in the hell forever for any reason. He just doesn't mind if we believe in him or not because he has all the control over us.

Guest's picture

Guest

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 -- 4:00 PM

There should not even be an argument for this crap

There should not even be an argument for this crap. There is no God, there is no Devil, no one or thing has a soul. Anyone who believes in any of these things is most certainly delusional. I cannot believe that this BS has gone on for so long, has shaped the world we live in, the laws we abide to, the wars we fight... ALL BECAUSE OF A FICTION THAT SO MANY PEOPLE INSIST ON BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO AFRAID TO FACE THEIR OWN MORTALITY AND MEANINGLESSNESS.
All religions are retarded. I respect people's right to pursue happiness, and if that is religion, then so be it. But in no shape or form do I have to respect their choice. You do not even have to be smart or articulate to argue the case of the non-existence of religion. It just is not so. I strongly recommend any person with a sliver of self respect to stop believing in religion, souls, magic, energies, ghosts, or anything of the kind because they do not exist and I will not listen to anyone's argument that they do, because anyone who wants to argue that these things are real is a moron with mental problems and I would rather enjoy sushi, wine, or sex.
God can suck my phallic rod, well actually no, he can't, because he does not exist.
I will sell you my soul for the price of for free, but you won't get anything, because it does not exist.
Maybe I will see you in hell, but most certainly won't, because it will not exist.
Ok, well I am done here. I'm going to go to the homeless guy on the corner and buy him a forty, because I know that it will make me feel good inside, and he will get drunk and forget his life sucks for a minute.

Guest's picture

Guest

Friday, March 12, 2010 -- 4:00 PM

To that guy that claims to have a 4.2 gpa from har

To that guy that claims to have a 4.2 gpa from harvard: There are different types of intelligence and different ways you can get good grades. You may be have a certain strong suit ... maybe you are good at remembering lots of facts that you read and good at regurgitating them for example. If you believe in god however, rational thinking is not one of your strong points.

Guest's picture

Guest

Monday, March 15, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I love Jesus. end of story stop overthinking it, i

I love Jesus. end of story stop overthinking it, its called the simple truth!. GOD is real, if u dont believe me then u can argue that out with him on judgement day, a non-believer has to admit at some point in his life he has felt a gnawing sensation in his heart but didnt know what it was, im right u know it! If u ask for the holy spirit u will get it, he will guide u, and no im not taking any medications, as a nurse i know that alters ur mind.everyone,honestly read the BIBLE IT WILL TELL U WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN AND SO ON!!!!,WOW! the disbelief why do we humans always need physical proof!?,as a young woman,i have figured out that i will never outsmart god, u need peace and truly and honestly ONLY jesus will give u that,i didnt say u wouldnt be able to live life without god, its possible, but best wishes to ya! id be bitter too if i didnt have jesus, thats not an insult by the way. id rather die and find out theres no god, then not give my life to him and find out hell is real. too many prayers getting answered in my life support hes real, i was praying in church and the pastor said the same exact thing word for word when he was describing my situation. the devil is a tricky one, hes smart do not underestimate ur opponent. " greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. I'll be praying for u. Jesus loves u.Jesus loves u!!,oh, i forgot, Jesus loves u! nd hell is real. oh my=p. Wake up from ur sleep all u nations!, jesus is moving across america and worldwide, and coming to a town near u!!,well ok hes already with u.

Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, April 3, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

It is easiest to decide who is "correct" by simply

It is easiest to decide who is "correct" by simply picking out the arguments that are presented coherently. They mostly seem to suggest a lack of a singular God. The Bible has every answer because it is completely contradictory. There is an advert on TV here for a religious show, and the guy on the screen says "Come join me in God's unconditional love" then I say mmm... unconditional?
Hell? Commandments? Pillar of Salt? Unconditional?!
Why are the religions fighting one another? Don't all religions preach peace?
What contradictory Bible verse would be a good rebuttal?

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I do not 'believe' in either god or man, because s

I do not 'believe' in either god or man, because since 2400BCE man claimed himself to be god and demanded to be called Lord. Then he subjugated one gender to the other gender BY LAW. Patriarchy and slavery blossomed into full feudalism. For 4000 years patriarchy was free of checks and balances and developed language to fit H/his control. Yes god exists: H/he is man.

MIke's picture

MIke

Friday, September 10, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Wow - it's amazing what you can find on the Intern

Wow - it's amazing what you can find on the Internet.
As I study for our small group session this week, on making a case for God's existence, I am wondering at the depth of emotion across the spectrum of belief presented here.
I can't force you to believe in God and I can't convince you to believe in God. Only you can make that decision. Jesus died on the cross and defeated a mortal death so that each of us could have a personal relationship with Him. All I can do is share that with you and whether you choose to accept Him (or not) is your decision.
Would the atheists be happy if God forced himself on us? If we were all little white-robed wearing proselytes with no free will? Who knows.
Secularists want me to take responsibility for my own life, yet, when I do that and make the most important decision anyone can make, they mock.
Blaise Pascal had a personal experience that revealed to him the existence of God. Then he chose to present the case for belief in a mathematical, reasoned way. And people still mocked him.
I'm not saying that Pascal's Wager is the best foundation on which to believe in God - far from it. But for those that are seeking meaning in this life, it is one of countless arguments for at least considering the truth of God's existence.
The Bible, from beginning to end, is the story of God's effort to redeem mankind. Over and over, time after time, man turned away from God to his detriment. Over and over, time after time, God gave mankind another chance.
Finally, as was His plan all along, God said, "Here's what I'll do - I will make the ultimate sacrifice and blot out all the terrible things mankind has done. All anyone has to do is believe in Me, accept that what I have done will re-establish the bond I had with mankind in the very beginning, and those who choose to receive My gift will be with Me for eternity, in peace."
When you were a child, you were punished for disobedience. You didn't like that but if you were honest with yourself you admitted that you had messed up and deserved to be punished.
Hell wasn't created for us but as we continued to disobey God over the centuries, it was clear that of the two places available to spend eternity, it was the most suitable for the disobedient.
But you say, "That's not fair!"
What's not fair about it? When you were a kid your parents told you, "If you do this then here's what will happen."
God has told us over and over, time after time, what will happen if we disobey Him. He gives us the free will to do so and the full knowledge of the consequences.
I'd say that's pretty darn fair. If we had no idea - if we went through our entire lives without the Bible or church or any knowledge of God and His eternal plan - and we ended up in Hell because we had stolen a pack of gum when we were 14, then that would be unfair.
But He has revealed His plan to us; He's given us the rule book; He's told us everything we need to know in order to believe in Him and re-establish our relationship with Him. He's given us the road map to Heaven.
And He has given us free will to choose how we will live our lives. To paraphrase Rod Serling, "There's a signpost up ahead, and on it are two destinations."
Which will you choose?

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Guest

Sunday, September 12, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Well, Mike, if the discussion wasn't already dead,

Well, Mike, if the discussion wasn't already dead, that should pretty well finish it. What can anyone say to that iron-clad argument but "amen"?

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Guest

Saturday, September 25, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I belive there is a god. because if you look in th

I belive there is a god. because if you look in the bible in the old testament on what jews can and cannot eat for example jews cant eat crabs,pigs, and with todays technology we can see that crabs are bottom feeders and if they are nt cooked or store properly it can have a health problem same with pork you can eat a steak undercook and u may get some food poisoing but with pork you can nasty things like parasites either its god. or they were smarter then what we credit them

 
 
 

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