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  1. #1

    How can anyone still believe in God



    After reading this quote


    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"


    I know most of you have probably seen it, but I'm kinda bored and want to start a religious debate. So christians, please explain your reasoning.




  2. #2
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    Are you talking exclusively about the Christian God?

    If not, define God. Also, define evil.
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

    –Eleanor Roosevelt




  3. #3
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    Atheist, but chiming in to play Devil's Advocate (pun intended). The idea that God could prevent suffering isn't seen as a failing on his part. He could only prevent suffering by denying us free will, in which case we'd be mere thralls, bound by his will and not truly responsible for our lives. Instead he lets us make our own choices and errors and rewards in heaven those who suffer as a result. Consider the view point of a believer, is any suffering on earth truly material when an eternity of bliss awaits?

    All that said, my atheism lies in skepticism. I see no evidence of god, and thus choose to withhold belief in him. I live a good life and treat others well, if this is it and there is no afterlife, then I will have been a good person and maybe left the world a little better than it was on my arrival, and if there is a god, I would hope that he would understand my skepticism and embrace me in the afterlife in spite of it when compared to a life time of relatively good behavior. After all, Thomas didn't believe Christ had risen until he could stick his fingers in the womb, and he got in.
    My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. -Hank Aaron




  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActualSpamBot View Post

    All that said, my atheism lies in skepticism. I see no evidence of god, and thus choose to withhold belief in him. I live a good life and treat others well, if this is it and there is no afterlife, then I will have been a good person and maybe left the world a little better than it was on my arrival, and if there is a god, I would hope that he would understand my skepticism and embrace me in the afterlife in spite of it when compared to a life time of relatively good behavior. After all, Thomas didn't believe Christ had risen until he could stick his fingers in the womb, and he got in.
    Thomas Jefferson said it best, and I'm inclined to agree. "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

    –Eleanor Roosevelt




  5. #5

    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirdowski View Post
    Are you talking exclusively about the Christian God?

    If not, define God. Also, define evil.
    Well I didn't come up with the quote obviously but I my interpretation is that it applies to all gods. Evil=anything negative and all suffering in this case.




  6. #6

    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    Quote Originally Posted by ActualSpamBot View Post
    Atheist, but chiming in to play Devil's Advocate (pun intended). The idea that God could prevent suffering isn't seen as a failing on his part. He could only prevent suffering by denying us free will, in which case we'd be mere thralls, bound by his will and not truly responsible for our lives. Instead he lets us make our own choices and errors and rewards in heaven those who suffer as a result. Consider the view point of a believer, is any suffering on earth truly material when an eternity of bliss awaits?

    All that said, my atheism lies in skepticism. I see no evidence of god, and thus choose to withhold belief in him. I live a good life and treat others well, if this is it and there is no afterlife, then I will have been a good person and maybe left the world a little better than it was on my arrival, and if there is a god, I would hope that he would understand my skepticism and embrace me in the afterlife in spite of it when compared to a life time of relatively good behavior. After all, Thomas didn't believe Christ had risen until he could stick his fingers in the womb, and he got in.
    I know that's most christians justifications for it, which is why it's impossible to win a debate with them because all they resort to in the end is "god said so" "we weren't meant to understand god", and they basically speak FOR god, making up anything that seems like a quick response when they can't come up with anything rational.




  7. #7
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    Having said that, I believe, truly for lack of a better word, in "God." My conceptions and my understanding of God is always changing. I think, personally, necessarily so. In my mind God is entirely abstract with respect to our ability to reason. This is why I believe God is always seen as love. Love is the purest abstraction we are capable of conceiving.


    As far as evidence goes, disregarding any God of the gaps arguments, I think we are finding more and more evidence to support that our reality is a subset. A subset cannot prove itself, it requires reference to a higher system. This isn't mysticism, it's scientific fact. More than just scientific fact actually, it's a fundamental pillar of logic, which is itself the foundation of mathematics and science; any formal system cannot prove it's own validity. With this being the truth of the matter, how can we rely strictly on formal systems of logic and mathematics (empirical science) to claim absolute truth, when even if there was, these systems could never prove it? This is why scientific reductionism is futile. This doesn't somehow make science a lesser endeavor, it just simply means it is limited.
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

    –Eleanor Roosevelt




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    I don't think the explanation I provided was "because god said so". It was more along the lines of if there is an afterlife, and its eternal and only the good are there (I'm leaving the concept of hell out for simplicity) then why should a life of suffering, even a long one of 90 years or more, be viewed as a great hardship compared to eternity of bliss and reward? It's not a compelling argument from an evidentiary standpoint since there isn't any proof of it, but its a logical one.

    We all make choices with negative outcomes in the short term (I won't buy this new car I really want) because we expect a positive outcome in the long term (With the money I save I can put a down payment on a house.)
    My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. -Hank Aaron




  9. #9
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    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    Can you see where the wind comes and where it goes? Of course not.

    If you can't understand earthly things, how can you understand heavenly things. CHRIST TO DISCIPLES

    He also said you believe because you see, blessed are those that believe but cannot see.




  10. #10
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    Trap has a point, ultimately this debate comes down to faith. No amount of logic will convince the faithful that god is not there, and no amount of exhorting will convince a skeptic to take it on faith.
    My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. -Hank Aaron




  11. #11
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    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    Thanks, man.

    Millions of Christians died for that faith when they were persecuted over 300 years after the crucifixation of Christ. Those people died for that faith including millions of women. Some were submitted to public beastality and then put to death. Some by drowning. Nero hung Christians up
    and put them on fire along the road leading to the Coloseum at night and used them as lamp posts.

    Right now millions of Chinese Christians are persecuted for their faith. Pastors are imprisoned while preaching and their families cannot have food. Anyone caught providing for them will be imprisoned.

    Yet, there are about 100M Christians in China and that number is rising. Just Like Nero and the Roman emperors couldn't stop the early church, the gov't cannot stop the Chinese church.
    Last edited by AirFlacco; 04-07-2013 at 01:41 AM.




  12. #12
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    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    Quote Originally Posted by ActualSpamBot View Post
    Trap has a point, ultimately this debate comes down to faith. No amount of logic will convince the faithful that god is not there, and no amount of exhorting will convince a skeptic to take it on faith.
    Not entirely true. Not to brag but I've led many skeptics to Christ including former atheists.
    I preached to an entire class in college and the professor said he'd keep me from graduating but
    many in that class alone came to Christ. They said you have such faith. What you said must be
    true. We want to believe like you, not the teacher.

    I too was persecuted. That prof said he would keep me from graduating. He even took me before the dean on trumped up pleagerism charges. I had to go back to 3 libraries and get 20 books to show the dean that every word was properly cited. When I told him the real reason I was there he threw the prof out and said don't ever bring another student into my office again and he changed the grade from an F to an A.

    I was just a kid and put my entire future on the line for God and he protected me but I'm convinced I'll see that prof in heaven some day. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been so upset.

    I've even had posters in this forum PM me and say how I opened their eyes to God in here. Even on scout a certain mod said Trap, don't worry. When push comes to shove I'll join God's team.
    He was an atheist. That was quite a statement from him.

    And I've always been praying for Galen, HR and Spam Bot in this forum. I'm convinced I'll see them in heaven some day too.

    When I was in Nest 1 and a couple of young guys died and everyone was upset the Prez said I know a lot of you guys are upset. If anyone has any probs over this see Trap. He's the only one here who knows God.

    That same guy whom I prayed for many years went under the knife himself for cancer surgery and said Trap, when they put that mask over me, your face was the last face I saw. I remembered every thing you told me about God. And when he survived the surgery he said he now believed in God like me and he always respected me for not drinking.
    Last edited by AirFlacco; 04-07-2013 at 01:59 AM.




  13. #13
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    Like Sir, I too believe in God but no particular religion.

    Too much evidence in nature and, oddly enough, in science for me to think otherwise.

    Organized religion, to me, is the vein attempt by the finite to explain the infinite. By simple definition, we cannot begin to understand or explain the infinite.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  14. #14

    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    One of my students asked why God didn't perform miracles anymore, since they were such a huge part of the Bible. I thought about an old song and used that to explain my views.

    There's an old Ray Steven's song called, "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival". This kid goes to church and is showing off a squirrel he caught to his buddy. The squirrel gets loose during service and hilarity ensues. The last verse ends, "Well you've heard the Bible story I guess, how He parted the waters of Moses to pass. Oh the miracles God has wrought in this ol' world. But the one I'll remember to my dying day is how he put that Church back on the narrow way with a half-crazed Mississippi squirrel."

    God showed us miracles back then because we didn't know about Him. The Christian religion is based on faith, and if God were going around sending plagues of locust, or splitting the seas every other day, then we wouldn't have faith. See, I can touch my computer monitor. I don't have faith that it's there. I have proof. I think the miracles God works now are less obvious. Like the German scientist working on the atomic bomb. They missed a simple calculation at the very beginning and that's why the good guys were able to win that war. That, to me, is a miracle because folks who work with radioactive material tend to be the sort of anal retentive types who double and triple check their figures.
    "A moron, a rapist, and a Pittsburgh Steeler walk into a bar. He sits down and says, “Hi I’m Ben may I have a drink please?”
    ProFootballMock




  15. #15
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    Re: How can anyone still believe in God

    God performs miracles and heals every day, just like in Jesus time. The book of James talks about divine healing and even shows how to do it with specific steps. In my own case I came within 3 days of dying 8 years ago via an infection that went straight thru me. The family and church members prayed daily. The pastor visited me several times and performed the steps according to James and I was healed.

    Millions of Christians are healed daily and not necessarily at these shows you see on TV.

    God has never stopped performing miracles. Israel is another example. Just like God protected Israel in the Bible times he is still protecting Israel today like in the Yom Kipper war in the 70s when they were attacked. The tiny country is attacked on all sides but God still saved them.

    Of course God uses the US but that is one of his tools.




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