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Is there a God?


Congalltee

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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,211
'Faith requires no evidence' is the usual response. 'He who asserts has the burden of proof' is a typical response to that or 'a godless universe is the neutral position'.

I mind it remarkable that so many billion people believe in a god or gods and those who are atheists -by choice - are a tiny minority of the world. Why is this so?

Why have witchcraft, ghosts, werewolves been banished to non-believer land when stories of virgin births, turning water to wine, walking on water, rising from the dead, moses being about 600, judgment day after the brimstone etc of the end of time can be accepted at face value?

If there is a god - is he not pretty crap at his job? Leaving aside bad things happening good people, cancer, floods, massive world over-population, humans sowing the seeds to our ultimate demise through famine, wars etc just what does he do? He created the planet 4.5bn years ago, created man 80,000 million years ago, left decent evidence of man's existance from 10,000 years ago but it took him 8000 years to send his only son, and we have had barely a peep for the last 2000 (unless you count apparitions, moving statues, voices in head etc).

Many intelligent people believe in a God - some of them are on this site - but how do they do so? I can appreciate believing in things due to blind faith, i am a Liverpool fan afterall, but in order to justify the interference by the religious in peoples' lives should there not be something more tangible, you know like, proof?
 

Ard Eoin

Active member
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
290
'god moves in mysterious ways'...

theres a 'cover all' answer that really pi$$eS me off....

i feel it all boils down to mans inability to accept the finality of their existence here on earth...

and their mind cannot explain the infinity of the universe...so of course some big fella with a beard built it....
 

cry freedom

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Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,400
'god moves in mysterious ways'...

theres a 'cover all' answer that really pi$$eS me off....

i feel it all boils down to mans inability to accept the finality of their existence here on earth...

and their mind cannot explain the infinity of the universe...so of course some big fella with a beard built it....
Spidermom will kill me for this, but I think the need for a god is stronger among women than men. How else would you explain the shyte they have put up with down the generations from mostly male clerics?
Losing a child is a dreadful trauma, and they were lost in their millions until medical science greatly reduced the infant mortality rate.
To a grieving mother, with such an emotional, financial and hormonal investment in her child, the idea of an afterlife must have brought some comfort to an almost unbearable situation.
When you have invented heaven
you need someone to run it, and of course who better than a man with a beard, sitting on a cloud.
And then the bloody males turn around and invent LIMBO.

Other contributing factors:
War and pestilence.
Thunder and lightning.
The power of the seas
Marsh gas.
Famine and crop failure.
The fact that some unseen hand seems to drag the sun down in the winter.
Trying to make sense of an uncertain and cruel world in a time of ignorance.
[For which, IMHO we should not blame our forebears]
Short lifespans.

By the way I also think that women invented agriculture.
But thats another story!
 

Cato

Moderator
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
20,561
By the way I also think that women invented agriculture.
But thats another story!
You are only saying that to prevent Spidermom hunting you down and killing you like a dog for blaming women for religion!
 

cry freedom

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Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,400
You are only saying that to prevent Spidermom hunting you down and killing you like a dog for blaming women for religion!
I'm going to seek refugee status in Portmarnock Golf Club.
 

typical

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Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
I mind it remarkable that so many billion people believe in a god or gods and those who are atheists -by choice - are a tiny minority of the world. Why is this so?

Why have witchcraft, ghosts, werewolves been banished to non-believer land when stories of virgin births, turning water to wine, walking on water, rising from the dead, moses being about 600, judgment day after the brimstone etc of the end of time can be accepted at face value?
We are communicative animals and we have evolved to accept the accumulated wisdom of our peers as truth. Most people don't actually think about either their belief or disbelief in any detail, they just assume the position of those they respect and see as authoritative.

If there is a god - is he not pretty crap at his job? Leaving aside bad things happening good people, cancer, floods, massive world over-population, humans sowing the seeds to our ultimate demise through famine, wars etc just what does he do? He created the planet 4.5bn years ago, created man 80,000 million years ago, left decent evidence of man's existance from 10,000 years ago but it took him 8000 years to send his only son, and we have had barely a peep for the last 2000 (unless you count apparitions, moving statues, voices in head etc).
I'm guessing but i suspect this is a good example of cumulative wisdom, these are fairly silly (not to mention widely and perfectly logically answered) questions that you probably haven't thought about or researched. You probably accepted them as "unanswered" or "unanswerable" because those you respect told you they were and you believed it to be the case.

Many intelligent people believe in a God - some of them are on this site - but how do they do so?
The nature of belief in humans is just like that. We all believe some thing's on faith, otherwise we can't function.

We believe other drivers will stick to their 5ft of road, we believe we'll wake up in the morning and we believe that the flow of electrons will stay inside that thin rubber sheath in the kettle flex. Evidence might exist if you go looking but, mostly, you don't bother looking, you take it on faith.

People believe whatever makes most sense to them based on a mix of their own feelings, their peers opinions and their experience. What you believe might be totally different to me but the way we came to believe it is probably exactly the same.
 

typical

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Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
Cato, terrible photo's and all but a religious person might say that god has provided the means to cure starvation, fight disease and reject cruelty but that man chooses a different path.

They'd have a point.
 

Cato

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Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
20,561
If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to
Then He is not omnipotent.

If He is able, but not willing
Then He is malevolent.

If He is both able and willing
Then whence cometh evil?

If He is neither able nor willing
Then why call Him God?

Epicurus, translated by David Hume.
 

typical

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Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
Good and Evil are a matter of perspective.

If the soul is eternal then allowing death is not evil.
If suffering educates the soul, and the soul is eternal, allowing suffering is not evil.

Evil is a lack of goodness in the same way darkness is a lack of light, God allows no evil if he never leaves us in the total absence of good.
 

fluffykontbiscuits

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Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
7,141
If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to
Then He is not omnipotent.

If He is able, but not willing
Then He is malevolent.

If He is both able and willing
Then whence cometh evil?

If He is neither able nor willing
Then why call Him God?

Epicurus, translated by David Hume.

Very good reference Cato. This is a discussion I have with my da on a regular basis when I go home. He comes back at me with the whole free will argument to which my response is , if God didnt want us to commit sin in the first place why give us the ability to do it?
 

cry freedom

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Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,400
Good and Evil are a matter of perspective.

If the soul is eternal then allowing death is not evil.
If suffering educates the soul, and the soul is eternal, allowing suffering is not evil.

Evil is a lack of goodness in the same way darkness is a lack of light, God allows no evil if he never leaves us in the total absence of good.
Could you give a few examples of how "suffering educates the soul"?
 

typical

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575
Could you give a few examples of how "suffering educates the soul"?
I mean stuff like;
Being hungry teaches you to be thankful for your food.
Being sad teaches you to enjoy being happy.
Being poor teaches you to appreciate the important things money can do.
Being oppressed teaches why it's important to take care of the weak.

It's just the old saying that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". It's not a new idea.
 

fluffykontbiscuits

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I mean stuff like;
Being hungry teaches you to be thankful for your food.
Being sad teaches you to enjoy being happy.
Being poor teaches you to appreciate the important things money can do.
Being oppressed teaches why it's important to take care of the weak.

It's just the old saying that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". It's not a new idea.

Suffering tortures the soul and its up the individual to make provisions to either prevent or lessen the suffering. Being sad teaches us that there is a mechanism to cope with a bad situation when it arises, it doesnt teach you to be happy, you become happy by either finding your way out of a predicament or knowing the solution to the problem at hand.
 

typical

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it doesnt teach you to be happy
No, it teaches you to enjoy being happy.

Happiness is fairly fleeting, you might be content a lot, if you're lucky, but happiness comes and goes fairly quickly. Sadness teaches you to appreciate and enjoy it as it happens.
 

typical

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I wonder as they lay there choking to death, buried alive by an earthquake, what did this mother and the baby she cradles learn from their suffering?
Assuming they have eternal life? They might have learned that the most important thing in either of their lives was their love for each other.
 

Cato

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Aug 21, 2005
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20,561
No, it teaches you to enjoy being happy.

Happiness is fairly fleeting, you might be content a lot, if you're lucky, but happiness comes and goes fairly quickly. Sadness teaches you to appreciate and enjoy it as it happens.
Nonsense. True happiness is lasting and does not depend on, or long-term effected by, external events. I'm happy all the time, even when I am ill as I am now, even when I lost my job and was facing a long period of hardship. Freedom from desire and from the ups and downs of Fortune is the key.
 

Cato

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Aug 21, 2005
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Assuming they have eternal life? They might have learned that the most important thing in either of their lives was their love for each other.
A large assumption for which there is no evidence. I somehow doubt that the baby learnt anything - it simply died in terror and in suffering.
 

fluffykontbiscuits

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No, it teaches you to enjoy being happy.

Happiness is fairly fleeting, you might be content a lot, if you're lucky, but happiness comes and goes fairly quickly. Sadness teaches you to appreciate and enjoy it as it happens.
Im happy a lot of the time....so I wonder does that blow it out of the water?
 

typical

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Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
Nonsense. True happiness is lasting and does not depend on, or long-term effected by, external events. I'm happy all the time, even when I am ill as I am now, even when I lost my job and was facing a long period of hardship. Freedom from desire and from the ups and downs of Fortune is the key.
I'd call that contentment, when I say happiness I mean that bubbly giggly feeling that's the opposite of sobbing sadness. You might have that all the time, good for you if it's so, but most people aren't that lucky and need more than a zen like composure.

A large assumption for which there is no evidence. I somehow doubt that the baby learnt anything - it simply died in terror and in suffering.
Well then, I'd suppose we're both making a large assumption based on what we imagine we'd feel in that situation, seeing as there's little evidence either way.
 
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