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Thread: Why is God so difficult to believe in?

  1. #1

    Why is God so difficult to believe in?

    Why is God so difficult to believe in? It is an interesting question and one that I think I have some experience in answering. I have not always believed in God. I had to develop that belief through various means. I suppose that I will have to break it down for examination.

    Why would be the first part of the question. We always have to have a reason to do something. Otherwise our entire life would be robot-like and there would exist no will of man in order to pursue that which brings his life meaning. That brings up a whole slew of new questions that we could be asking as well. These are questions that we should all ponder at least once in our lives. What is the meaning of life? What purpose am I serving in my life. Why is life worth living in the first place. When we pose these questions and answer them honestly we must use logic. That seems to be the only useful tool in tackling these tough questions. Back to the point at hand, we must consider our reasons.

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is a classic law of physic that also finds it's way into many areas of philosophy. It rings to the same tune as 'do unto others which you would have done unto you'. What I am getting at here is the active part of the reason, which is the effort that we use to support that reason. We have a choice placed in front of us and we choose. How is that motivation found? Obviously this relates to this question perfectly. Can most people actually confess that they have never been confronted with the choice of a spiritual position? I'd say that if you are reading this article or anything of the like you could not answer that in the negative. Our choices are motivated by our reasons, but often our reasons can be quite blurred. Therefore, I believe that I can conclude that our reasoning comes from a very basic moral level which we have developed over time in our lives. If one is brought up in a Christian household then most likely their choice to accept God will come from the reason of their moral upbringing. For them it would just not be right to turn away from God. That was ingrained into them. For others it is not the same. Many are not brought up in that environment, so we come across our reasoning in a different way.

    The difficulty of belief in my opinion is simple. It is selfishness and pride. I look at myself and my life over the last few years and from where I stand it is in bold writing how obvious this is. For years I lived as a non-believer and for those years I made one bad decision after another. There reasons for these bad decisions were found in my motivation to make them. That motivation was purely self-indulgent. I wanted this for ME, I wanted that for ME, etc. Family meant much less to me than I meant to myself. Friends were thought of in the same light. My own story there is a very dramatic disproportionate level of love that I gave out to others versus myself. For some I am sure that the levels are not as dramatic, but it is there. Be aware, I am about to make a very bold statement...please do not take it personal! If there is not a service towars something higher than yourself, for example the common good and welfare of others, than your life loses a great deal of it's meaning and purpose. I am not saying that it makes one worthless, only that it lessens the impact that you have on others and the world. There are billions of people in the world and we all live under the same rules and regulations. There are many things that govern us which are universal. I must conclude that God is difficult to believe in simply because we cannot get over ourselves. It requires a great deal of effort and motivation to allow yourself to willfully surrender to a greater purpose. It is not easy, but from where I stand now, it is well worth it.

  2. #2
    I wholeheartedly tried to believe once, owing not a little to my admiration for Kierkegaard. However, I found it impossible to believe and still do. Mostly because there is no way of proving God's existence. Then because of my intense disgust with the hypocrisy of organized religion and the terror it still brings upon the world. Then there's the problem of evil and so forth. And while phrases such as "God is the universe" certainly have so catchy a ring to them, they're naught but empty jingles. You could replace the word god with anything and it still would be just as credible.

    I'm a biological living organism with five senses and a limited lifespan. I don't intend to spend it believing in something I cannot with any of these senses perceive, hear, feel or taste, etc.

  3. #3
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    So, to sum up your theory, you believe people who aren't religious are selfish. I happen to care about those around me and still don't believe in God. Tyeing selfishness with atheism is like saying all atheist are immoral. Generalizing in such a way about any religious group is ignorant and offensive.

    God is difficult to believe in because there is no scientific evidence for his existence. We are all raised to believe in reason, and faith, by its very nature, defies reason. I'm not saying believers are wrong, I am just saying their belief in a god does not stem from reason.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  4. #4
    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    God is not difficult to believe in for everyone. He is not easy to believe in for everyone. In fact the concept of God is different for everyone, and it is as different from one person to the next as the people are themselves. In the Bhagavad-Gita it says that all paths lead to God. For some people self-realization is not possible without God; such people undoubtedly not have this position if they didn't think that turning away from God (doubting his existence) was false to what they felt was real.

    I will contest my belief in God here, if anyone wishes. My belief does stem from reason. I do not need to be able to understand wholly the infinite, for it to be wholly reasonable for me to have faith in that infinite God. The idea that most religions have is that God is the source, and the infinite. Pascal said this, and Plato before him, and many Hindu mystics before Plato.

    My experiences have removed all doubt that there exists a higher and more true reality, to the phenomenal or material reality that I know through the senses. I've always cared about my mental, emotional and spiritual development. The world of learning, is just one world that is a 'higher' reality beyond the senses. The spiritual world is another one of these. The big question then is whether anything or everything spiritual is real, has value, or is nothing more than illusion. There are countless ideas that are invaluable in spiritual growth, especially in Eastern traditions, but which are doubtless widely unknown or misunderstood in the West. And of course every time information changes hands, it gets distorted.

    To be an atheist has nothing to do with morality. Some people are self-realized without God. The Buddha was atheist, after all. It is only because of our limited understanding or vision that we make comparisons of atheist or believer in the first place. A thought which occurred to me during a mystical experience was how brute-like human thought is; how limited. A word or human concept in the eyes of God could not possibly different from a grunt. Yet we can fix our eyes on the divinest human, and take from that our model of what divinity really is.

    I've been reading some really interesting stuff recently about and by various mystics, of different faiths. It's funny how sometimes they'll get one idea so dead-on target, but then another they'll just be spouting limiting, limited or negative blah. But then I guess, I was never really any good at communicating, so I'll leave it to y'all...

  5. #5
    Registered User Silvia's Avatar
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    In my opinion, to say that atheists only believe in what they can hear, see and touch is a little bit diminishing....I do not believe in God, but my reasons for this are not to be found in reason or science. I just happened to ask myself why I used to attend Church and pray, and I got no answer. I think believing in God simply doesn't come from my heart, but maybe it'll change some day...

  6. #6
    Actually, Captain was not trying to insult anyone-he was simply stating something that in the majority of cases is true. I lived many years as an Atheist and have spent alot of time with and alot of time talking to non-believers, both before I repented and after I repented. Face it-we are raised in a world that tells us to put ourselves first. If you can't see it and touch it, it's B.S. If someone doesn't like you, f*** 'em. You've only got one life to live, party it up! There are some who believe in things they cannot sceintifically prove, also, but still do not believe in God. But I digress to my original point. As we grow older and meet more people, we are bombarded with choices and a glimpse at how the world REALLY is. Nowhere is it promised that each person's life is to revolve solely around them; nowhere was it promised that everything in life would be fair; nowhere does it promise that a life riddled with immorality and selfishness will be without consequence. We are the "me" generation. We were not raised with any guidance as how to handle obstacles that stand in the way of our gratification and selfish indulgence. Hence, as one popular book makes very clear, we are not only the "me" generation, but also the most lonely and depressed. I grew up with an attitude that nothing and no one was better than me, and that I deserve to do whatever I want. Then when the realization sunk in that that is NOT how the world works, I was truly miserable.

    Even though I did do generous things sometimes and on many occasions put others first, I still fell deep into a suicidal and self-righteouss haze. Until I gave up one dark dark when on the brink of the ultimate act of self-hatred, and He saved me after I asked for His guidance. Humbling oneself and accepting your role under the One and Only loving God is beyond explanation and I cannot adequately describe the feeling of genuine repentance. I can only live my life as best I can following the word of God and hope that my kindness and honesty will inspire others to look beyond themselves. I know my repentance was highly inspired by the shooting of those 10 girls at the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse (or more importantly, the forgiveness and compassion the Amish granted to the murderer and his family just days later).

    As for hypocrasy-if it is hypocrasy you despise, I dare you to take a good hard look at yourself and every last person you know, as well as the world. It is brimming with hypocrasy, but do not blame the error of Christian humans to obliterate the pureness of Jesus Christ. Believing entails believing in Him, not the world. I struggled greatly with the issue of church and dealing socially with other Christians because of my dislike of hypocrasy, even though I lived as one for many years and somedays in some areas I still find myself acting as such. That is why it is vital for Christians to truly live life practicing worship, charity, forgiveness, unconditional love, compassion and generosity. You will not find one human being absent of hypocrasy, and since organized religion is organized by human beings, well-what do you really expect???? Though that was one of my big reasons for not believing when I was an Atheist, I now find it to be a convenient and rather shoddy excuse for throwing out religion. There are many devoted, sincere Christians, just as there are many severely flawed, imperfect and struggling Christians. I grew up with a bad image of Christians and Christianity itself in turn, only to be found speechless by reading of how the father of one of those little girls murdered said he forgave and that he hoped this would help people to look to Christ. I thought to myself-WOW. I recalled Columbine and the papers "The monsters next door", etc. The vengenance, spite and hatred I had grown accostumed to hearing was nowhere to be found. So who was this Jesus really and how has He left such a profound imprint on the Amish???

    After looking into Christianity and not looking at Christians and the denominations, I found there to be an astounding amount of perfection; and most of it consists of living for others before ourselves. Answer me honestly-what IS so bad about a religion that requires and encourages in EVERY CASE love, forgiveness, generoisity, selflessness, charity, endurance, support, encouragement, understanding and wisdom???? In fact, don't post your answer-answer it truthfully to yourself, for that is the only answer that I want you to find.

    I understand why it is hard for many to believe because I have been there, but just because I understand does not mean I agree. The best I can do is give what food for thought I can and try to follow in God's footsteps better everyday, to be an example of Light and mercy.

    God bless you all,

    Bonnie

  7. #7
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    The fact that you "lived many years as an atheist" gives you neither the right nor the ability to speak of what motivates us all. The idea of believe being easy or difficult is kind of silly anyway, because believing is not something you can make yourself do. If i say "Start believing in Santa, Go!" you couldn't do it.

    My athiesm has nothing to do with egocentricism any more than does your disbelief in Santa Claus. Do you think yourself so great that you are not just a name on his list, to be judged either naughty or nice.

    Besides Plato argued being just affects one psychologically and being a good person will be rewarded with happiness in this life not the next. There are other motivations for being a good person besides fear of a vengeful diety.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  8. #8
    Registered User Shield&Sword's Avatar
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    And you found it easy to believe in: "once upon a time (time 0) there was a little mass, alone, from where it came? no one know, any way, this mass exploded alone and made big big big bang, and this big big bang through some mumbu gumbo* reactions (see word reaction started to appear) made planets (!!!!!!!!!) for coincidence (!!!!!!!!!), and then earth started to be formed for "coincidence" and then a cell from no where appeared (through same mumbo gumbo process) in the sea, this cell (always through mumbo gumbo process) became fish, this fish in "coincidence" decided to take a walk on earth, so (really i dont know how to write this, we have 3 possibles, the fish made Valsalva maneuver and appeared legs or the humble nature gave it legs according to the fact "if your leg was cut then your child wont have it and the opposite is right" or it wait untle the "intellegent coincidence" give the legs, i know all 3 are ....).
    Any way this fish became lizard and lizard became bird and other lizards became animal, and with time a monkey appeared and then the man appeared, others when i tell them the final part they correct me and say monkey is brother of man they both came from the same ancestor.
    Any way this was the story of the man, if you want the story of physics and chemistry and biology and and and ... i wont finish.
    * Mumbo gumbo is the "intelligent" "coincidental" reactions that came from no where and decided all things. (If any one find "intellegent" not suitable i will cancel it, i know coincidence and intelligent cant go with conicidence)
    Easier to believe in ?

  9. #9
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    Simply because you do not understand a scientific theory does not make it "mumbo jumbo." For instance, the first life in the oceans came from the slow buildup of molecules that eventually formed amino acids, which make up proteins (this process had been confirmed through replication in the lab). These proteins then joined to form protocells, and there are a few theories to explain how this happened. The one that I think is best is the bubble theory, you can wiki it if you want to learn more.

    Anyway, the point of explaining this was that things are easy to dismiss when given funny labels like mumbo jumbo, but doing so is to actively guard your ignorance, rather than to explore new ideas. It is easy for me to believe in science because it demands evidence, whereas religion is based in faith.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  10. #10
    SirRaustusBear,
    Believing is as simple as that-I finally said "I can't do this alone, there is more to this than simply me, or simply only the things I can comprehend or simply only things that can be thoroughly explained to me as physically possible, etc". The proof of God is shown to each individual after they repent. As I said, it is indescribable and I believe nothing I will tell you in attempts to describe it would do it justice. Pretty much everyone else who has repented would tell you the same.

    Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are two completely different things, therefore not a good example. Who cares about some guy who smashes himself into the chimney of every home that celebrates Christmas all in one night???? Jesus Christ came to earth to make God's word anew, right wrongs and teach the lost-and then to die a brutal death to show just how much He would go through for even those who condemned Him. The ultimate display of love, forgiveness and compassion. Nowhere did God say He would scientifically prove His existence to us-He does, however, prove Himself to those who will believe in Him without demanding whatever it is they think they deserve as a human being before they will believe in God, their Creator. I hear people tell me that all the time-about how they have prayed and/or thought about it, and if this happens or that happens or this can be proven, then God must be real. That is not repentance or believing. Repentance is the confession of sins, starting your life anew, turning to Him and allowing His love and guidance into your heart.

    You really said nothing I have not heard before, such as-"I want proof, or else it isn't real". "I can't just FORCE myself to believe." Human beings CONTROL their thoughts, actions and feelings, just as we control what we believe. Things I once believed to be true, I now believe are false. If believing were beyond my control, that would be impossible. I looked at life and everything that way before, and it leads only to discontentment, bitterness, disappointment and dissatisfaction. And yes, I AM saying that those who do not know God are lost and will never achieve the fulfillment and satisfaction that believers do-He even says so. They may experience happiness, joy, and a good number of them are still generous and many non-believers do what they can for others. But they are still denying God, and without Him, fulfillment is impossible. I firmly believe that as a Christian.

    So, like I said, I always listen and do my best to understand others, but that does not mean that I agree with them or condone things they do which clash with my beliefs. Hopefully someday something will strike you and you will understand humility and salvation. And yes, I really mean that.

    I do not find God to be a vengeful deity, by the way-"God is merciful", "God is faithful" and let's not forget that God forgives all sinners who confess and repent. Sometimes people repent, fall back into sin and rededicate themselves, and find themselves being blessed by God more than ever. Jesus taught us to be like God; not judging, not hating; in fact, loving everyone, even those who do you wrong, forgiving and loving unconditionally. I do not fear God, I love Him, am grateful for all He has given me, I look to Him for guidance and I am proud to say Jesus is my Savior.

    "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:...Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." -Proverbs 3:3 & 5

    "All people are worth more than the worst thing they did in their lives." -Sister Helen Prejean

    "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;...Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things".-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    "...God is faithful..." -1 Corinthians 10:13

    "The Truth shall set you free" -John 8:32

    Christianity is not a vengeful religion. I didn't even tap into the gospels for any of those quotes, and Jesus had much to say on not seeking revenge and the like.

    And if you think the idea of souls going to hell is solely a punishment or God seeking revenge-ponder this: God gave man free will; God wants man to have what man wants; if a person does NOT wish to spend eternity with God, why would He force them???

    Just a few points I though might make you think a little bit harder about it. None of this was meant to offend you or anything. I just wanted to provide a response to what you said about what I posted. Thanks for reading what I have to say.

    Bonnie

  11. #11
    'sunflower' Tournesol's Avatar
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    Do we hope?
    Hope to catch the bus? [time]
    Hope it doesn't rain? [weather]
    Hope that the one we love, loves us? [love]
    Hope the maid remembered to feed the dog? [working of the brain]


    Think about these things.


    If we hope for things everyday, to what/whom do we hope?

    Who controls these things?

    Every single being has to hope for something, or has a hope of something.
    If you hope, WHO do you HOPE TO?
    WHO do you expect will FULFILL your HOPE???

    Have you thought of it?

    Is God still difficult to believe in?
    "My warm hands have made the paper limp,
    So that its feel reminds me of slept-in sheets: comfortable and safe"


    "All these things I say... I say them because I want you to know, I don't ever want to regret afterwards that I didn't say enough, I would rather say too much." ~ Samuel Selvon

  12. #12
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    If God gives you two choices: be Christian or go to Hell, than that isn't a choice at all, it is an ultimatum, much like saying give me your lunch money or I will beat you up. Sure, you get to choose, but your options are rather limited.

    And the "proof" that is felt after repentence may be described by Christians, but it is also described by Scientologists. Since it is "proof," are both opposing beliefs true? Rather than admit to this paradox that would likely tear a hole in the space-time continuum, I'm going to assume that neither is truly proof, but only a feeling that reinforces your belief.

    Belief is not under our control. Children do not want to believe in ghosts, and tell themselves they are not real, but they are still scared. I don't want to presume to describe your own religious experience to you, because you obviously have a much firmer grasp than I on what happened, but your description seems to be more of a realization than a choice. Choice implies that you could go either way, but you seem to have realized God's existence. At that point could you have chosen to disbelieve in God?

    Oh, and I want to say that I appreciate the open mindedness and willingness to discuss ideas demonstrated by most people on this board. I hope I put forth the same respect that I recieve and if I say something that offends feel free to let me know, as that is certainly not my aim.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  13. #13
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    Hope does not need a diety to exist. What you described seems to be prayer. When you blow out your birthday candles and make a wish for a brand new car, are you asking God to deliver you a car?
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  14. #14
    Registered User Shield&Sword's Avatar
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    Hmmm, i hope you have read the definition of mumbo jumbo.
    As i see you cant read between lines, and you thought that mumbo jumbo was about reaction we dont know how they work.
    My point was that if all universe is coincidence then all reactions must be mumbo jumbo, coincidence lead to disorder, order are made by controlled and pre-studied actions. hope you understand cant be more clear than that.
    Coincidence doesnt lead to formation of L-proteins which are indispensable to build a living form. I hope you understand what i mean by L, Levo and destro.
    When amino acid is formed by coincidence then its mumbo jumbo, when its made by wise designer then its reaction, proteins are made by mumbo jumbo if they are coincidence, alfa elica proteins are mumbo jumbo if we use the coincidence lent to look at the process, and they are controlled process by wise designer.

    My post wasnt so difficult to understand.
    I want you to tell me only one thing: the amino acid and protein and chemical reactions, are they made by coincidence (i dont talk about the process but about how they stardted from the very beginning). Did coincidence determine all? or NOT?

    By the way take it easy,
    Last edited by Shield&Sword; 03-09-2008 at 04:00 PM.

  15. #15
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
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    While coincidence does play a role, everything did not come from one cell. The process of transformations from amino acids to living cells repeated itself many times, so it isn't as if a single coincidence created life on earth. The conditions at the time made this process probable, just like if a community lives near an unsafe nuclear reactor and several of them develop cancer, it isn't a coincidence.

    Single coincedences can be very important, and an asteroid could wipe out all life on earth at any time, which would be a very significant event based on the coincidental crossing of gravitational paths, but they do not determine all.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

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