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Is there, or is there not a God?


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As an athiest, I do not believe there is a god, although many people around me do believe there is a god. I tolerate these people, but find myself getting very frustrated when they can not answer my questions on the Lord. So it has come to this question: Is there, or is there not a god? Does anybody out there have any evidence that there is? Does anybody out there have any evidence that there is not?

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Hi. The most interesting source (for my money) in the whole debate, is Tom Paine's classic work 'The Age of Reason'. He reaches the position as a committed 'Deist', believing in a scientific explanation for everything, noting only the evidence in observable creation. This was many years before the 'Voyage of the Beagle' and therefore Darwinian Revolution.

Strange then,that the Amercan website 'tompaine.com', should be a religious organisation! They must only have read his seminal work 'Rights of Man', the founding document of the American Revolution.

Age of Reason

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For my money....No. Though I envy those who believe in God as I would like to believe in God, so I am therefore in a religious limbo.

Church leaders will tell you that it is about faith, but that faith is completely blind.

As for Jesus Christ, I believe it possible and likely that he once lived but that stories of him were contorted.

I have always found it irrational that myths of the Arthurian age are shrugged off as mere legend while feats Christ was said to have done which were equally unbelieveable are taken as fact. This to me is the principle reason for my disbelief.

So many intelligent people can believe that christ turned one loaf and one fish into many is ridiculous, plain and simple. I would believe it if you told me that Jesus was generous enough to share all this bread and fish that he had.

Christianity is no different from any other cult, except that it is widely accepted and beaten into your head at a young age.

I can't wait to see what 'miracle' the vatican comes up with to make john paul a saint, a man that stiffled growth like no other.

How ridiculous is it that priests are not allowed to marry, that women are not allowed to become priests and that people are not allowed by the church to use condoms, especially in this age of STIs.

The Catholic church needs a reformation big time, for hundreds of years it has refused to change with the world.

Ireland is a prime example of what a disastrous effect the church has when given too much power. Schools were run with an iron fist, you were told you were going to hell if you had innappropriate thoughts about someone of the opposite gender.

How many wars have been started in the name of 'God' .

If religion did all it says it was created to do (peace, brotherly love and friendship) then I would be all for it, but in my opinion religion has created nothing but trouble.

The only proof that God doesn't exist is that there is no proof that God does exist ,and thats good enough for me.

Prove me wrong

John

Edited by John Geraghty
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John writes:

How ridiculous is it [...] that women are not allowed to become priests.

Our local vicar (who conducted the wedding ceremony of my elder daughter and son-in-law) is a woman - but our local church is CoE. I'm not religious, but I enjoyed the ceremony.

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It is clear that no one can prove or disprove God's existence. It is a matter of personal faith - or lack of faith, if you wish.

As an evolutionary biologist, it pains me to see a scientific theory derided because some people of faith have so little faith that they demand science support their particular world view.

I, personally, believe there is a God, but that God is (to me) not a Christian god, or Allah, or Yaweh. If you had to put me in a category, I would fit best with the pagans in believing that all things have a Spirit.

When I die, I believe my body will rot. My spirit will live on, for awhile, in the memories of my family and friends. There is, to me, no Heaven or Hell - unless we make them ourselves. Mostly, we make Hell - and we often do that to force others to believe as we do.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Mike, an elegant reply, thank you.

John, I too envy those who truly believe,When my father died a few years ago I was out of the country, and did not get to say goodbye. How I would like to think I will see him again, but I would also like to believe in father christmas, and a socialist future.

Steve.

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John Geraghty wrote:

For my money....No. Though I envy those who believe in God as I would like to believe in God, so I am therefore in a religious limbo.

dgh01: I believe the term is call 'agnostic'... ?

Church leaders will tell you that it is about faith, but that faith is completely blind.

dgh01: as is American Justice, nice premise but difficult to achieve...

As for Jesus Christ, I believe it possible and likely that he once lived but that stories of him were contorted.

I have always found it irrational that myths of the Arthurian age are shrugged off as mere legend while feats Christ was said to have done which were equally unbelieveable are taken as fact. This to me is the principle reason for my disbelief.

So many intelligent people can believe that christ turned one loaf and one fish into many is ridiculous, plain and simple. I would believe it if you told me that Jesus was generous enough to share all this bread and fish that he had.

dgh01: when it comes to mans destiny; the sum total of man's decesions have got us to this point in time -- if THAT'S positive, by-all-means knock yourself out over the NO GOD side of the: GOD - 'No' GOD issue.

Christianity is no different from any other cult, except that it is widely accepted and beaten into your head at a young age.

I can't wait to see what 'miracle' the vatican comes up with to make john paul a saint, a man that stiffled growth like no other.

dgh01: stiffled growth? towards WHAT pray-tell, END? I need a 30th floor view here, a little vision if you will.... LOL

How ridiculous is it that priests are not allowed to marry, that women are not allowed to become priests and that people are not allowed by the church to use condoms, especially in this age of STIs.

The Catholic church needs a reformation big time, for hundreds of years it has refused to change with the world.

dgh01: make your case: the "world" is going in the right direction, it might make sense to Sunday morning Americans...

Ireland is a prime example of what a disastrous effect the church has when given too much power. Schools were run with an iron fist, you were told you were going to hell if you had innappropriate thoughts about someone of the opposite gender.

How many wars have been started in the name of 'God' .

dgh01: "the name of God" ? Should read; "man's interpretation of what GOD wants and suggests..."? Don't you think? Who owns the onus, THEN?

If religion did all it says it was created to do (peace, brotherly love and friendship) then I would be all for it, but in my opinion religion has created nothing but trouble.

dgh01: absolve man from his responsibility to his fellow man? I respectfully suggest you read the LORDS Prayer -- with vengence! Then we can move on to understanding: "render unto to Ceaser what is Ceaser's, unto to GOD, what is GODS --

The only proof that God doesn't exist is that there is no proof that God does exist ,and thats good enough for me.

Prove me wrong

dgh01: by the mere fact you participate in this thread, you've cause for concern regarding YOUR proof, as for me: hearing a young child sing if proof enough for me -- then again, I've always been a simple minded Irishman from Boston. Take care John Gerharty, you've many miles to trod... :D

David Healy

John

Edited by David G. Healy
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  • 2 months later...
As an athiest, I do not believe there is a god, although many people around me do believe there is a god. I tolerate these people, but find myself getting very frustrated when they can not answer my questions on the Lord. So it has come to this question: Is there, or is there not a god? Does anybody out there have any evidence that there is? Does anybody out there have any evidence that there is not?

This is an interesting question Adam. The answer for me is simple. but how to really explain to someone who doesn't believe?

I op in a christian channel and am often asked just that question. I'm sure there are better or more sophisticated answers but mine goes something like this. God's realm or kingdom is not material. The senses we use to understand the material world can't be used to understand the world of god. If we don't believe in god then there is no god. If we choose to believe in god then instantly he reveals himself. And bingo, there's the proof.

How does a rational person choose to believe in something that doesn't exist? One way is to wait attentively. Go on with everyday life, remain rational. But listen....

While waiting, contemplate what god might be if you DID choose to believe. Obviously a god to choose to believe in would not be bad. this god would be wise, or to use some terminology : omniscient , omnipresent and omnipotent. To me this god would also be into freedom not prejudice, and into forgiveness and righteousness. 'there is no shadow to gods turning' ie when he responds to you asking for attention and god turns to you, god doesn't turn away from me. In other words, a power so awesome that nobody on earth could ever hope to come close to being the same. A pretty good god to believe in, trust in.

As gods realm is in the spirit, and in choosing to believe that, one is then translated into gods kingdom, and the material world reveals itself for what it is : changing, in a continual flux, cause and effect on and on and on. In no longer attaching self to this flux, a balance is approached, imbalances resolved, healing. God has proven his existence, because you choose to see.

Edited by John Dolva
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  • 4 months later...

Yet it is not an abstract question like how many angels can dance on the point of a needle is it?

Bush and Blair conduct a crusade in Iraq and thousands die. They torture people at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and many other undisclosed secret prisons in the name of a loving God.

Al Qaeda conduct a "holy war" and thousands die.

People who believe the literal truth of the bible are poised to take over a swathe of the education system in the UK and relegate evolution to an "alternative explanation" to the "true view" that the world was created by magic in six days.

People have every right to their religious convictions but when it comes to imposing them on others they lie and people die.

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Although a non-believer, I feel it fair to make a small point here. Some of the more recent posts have begun to merge the god/no god debate with religion.

Just about any religion (an organised set of beliefs and behavoiur to match) has been created by men of privilege in their own image. Hence it has often led to war.

We shouldn't let a crap (can I say that before 10.00?) invention get in the way of a good debate.

I was in a pub last night discussing this issue with my RE colleagues following an Inset on Catholic Ethos. I am struggling with a response to the 'primary cause' argument. This suggests that in Physics, each event has a (set of) cause(s). We can trace these back to the Big Bang, or, if you'd prefer, a series of Big Bangs and expanding and contracting universes. If you trace back through all of them, there was a start somewhere, some 'primary cause'. How does Science explain that (without the use of faith??).

Interesting that the first post was by Adam. Shame the second wasn't by Eve.... :huh:

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One wonders whether the final post won't be by some beast with the phone number 666 ;)

The Big Bang is a theory. Nobody is required to worship it or to kill non-believers AFAIK. If I found out before I die that the Big Bang was not the explanation then I would be fascinated rather than mortified.

What came before time? What exists outside of space? I don't know if these are profitable questions at all but if anyone is to explore them then "God" is not likely to be a fruitful field of enquiry. On the contrary it is the opposite of scientific research. Don't ask questions, just believe.

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  • 1 month later...

I think it is one of the saddest ironies regarding humanity's entry into the third millenium, that men and women have in my opinion allowed a dynamic of blending 'God and religion' to some extent to be in some cases a single entity. Adam's question is one that has occupied the hearts and minds of arguably, the tidal wave of humanity throughout the epoch of time.

Logic dictates that the answer or, the attempt to answer his question to not be answered with an agenda or anything that is other than a honest answer to a direct question.

I have my own personal outlook, generally similar in outlook to millions of people who have a belief in God but are personally appalled at how the current mindlessness in America has thrown God into politics, which, for those with more than a passing knowledge of world history is fraught with peril for everyone, on the other hand the Constitution (rightly) stipulates that 'freedom of religion' is a uninalienable right, recognizing that you cannot have a democratic society while not protecting the freedoms and rights that so obviously are inherent to those who live in that same democratic society, so the bar can and does throughout history 'swing both way's,'

Even deeply religious people are 'somewhat acquiescent' with the statement that eliminating the line between 'separation of church and state' is not exactly a 'great idea.' Even some deeply religious people would agree that some of the greatest crimes in world history have been 'committed in the name of God.'

As an attempt to answer Adam's question without advocating or suggesting anything in particular, philosophy in some respects provides a less contentious method of delving into the subject free of the encumberances so characteristic of what some with a religious faith background call the 'culture war.'

I myself believe there is a book that many have advocated as a philosophical approach to the subject entitled 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Victor Frankl.

The book is a story in itself, Victor Frankl from what I remember (I read the book ten years ago) was a Jewish doctor who was thrown into a Nazi prison camp and had thousands of pages of his research confiscated, he then began to study how his fellow prisoners dealt with the issue of survival in relation to their faith, his conclusion after the war was over (which is the basic theme of the book) was that people who believed in God were 'more likely' to survive than those who didn't.

I personally am not attracted to controversy, although some of my posts on the forum might seem to suggest otherwise. But I definitely detest the dynamics so prevelant in the US of A of inserting religion into the current political climate, I think in many way's Dennis Hopper was right when he said 'the 90's will make the 60's look like the 50's' he was just off by a decade. Good Night and Good Luck

Edited by Robert Howard
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