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What makes you believe?

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Hammer Britannia
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What makes you believe?

Postby Hammer Britannia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:28 am

This is a question to both theists/atheists/others, what makes you believe in (the) god(s)/Lack of them?

As for me, I don't fully believe in any god(s) but I certainly cannot deny the existence of them. The reason for this is because of a series of events that are too personal for me to talk about on NSG, but what say you?
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The Liberated Territories
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Postby The Liberated Territories » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:30 am

I don't totally dismiss the possibility, but I personally don't believe due to a lack of concrete evidence for the existence of supernatural entities.
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:31 am

As a Buddhist myself, we don't exactly have a belief in one super God. We believe that the universe will die and reborn over and over, and for each one, there will be a new God.

Old Gods and their universes have passed, we currently have a God in this universe, and there will be many more Gods to come.

I hope that is clear for you all. I am just the right amount of devout, but it's been a while since I last do nightly prayers.

* God and Buddha might be used interchangeably. I admit that I still have inadequate understanding of Theravada Buddhism as a whole.
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Postby Kyrinasaj » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:32 am

I am personally more or less agnostic, I don't know what kind of power might be out there to be honest
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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:33 am

I have no reason to believe in any god or gods, so I don't.
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Ithreland
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Postby Ithreland » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:34 am

Raised Christian and witnessed a few miracles that have no proof that I can offer besides the anecdotal, at least not over the internet. I'm actually a statistical anomaly - people on the autism spectrum sometimes can't personalize God because they can barely personalize other people.
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Postby Valrifell » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:35 am

A supernatural being governing the universe seems pretty extraordinary when a universe thats fundamentally probabilistic (and has been observed to be such) seems like a more plausible scenerio given what we know. Plus I think the idea of the belief in a higher power to be a little absurd.

That being said I do have a fascination with religion from more of a sholarly viewpoint and I hold nothing against people who believe in a higher power. Some things of the universe are just unprovable, so there'll always be things that make you question one way or the other.
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:36 am

Hammer Britannia wrote:This is a question to both theists/atheists/others, what makes you believe in (the) god(s)/Lack of them?

The lack of evidence. The same reason I don't believe in ghosts.
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Marginia
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Postby Marginia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:37 am

I believe that my faith is a gift from God. While the Christian world-view isn't in conflict with reason, faith can't arise from reasoning and natural knowledge alone but requires divine revelation, additionally. Still, the more I read the Bible, the more I can see how much sense it makes.

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The Islands of Versilia
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Postby The Islands of Versilia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:39 am

Ifreann wrote:I have no reason to believe in any god or gods, so I don't.

^ This is pretty much the same for me, with the added reasoning that the existence of the supernatural and deities cannot exist.
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The Monza Isles
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Postby The Monza Isles » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:40 am

I'm Catholic. I was born a Catholic. I'll die a Catholic, and only my fleas will mourn me! *door slams*

But seriously. I was born into a Catholic family, baptised, educated. All that sorts of stuff. But I always believed in and continue to believe in God, just on instinct. There was a number of years where I didn't go to church or do anything remotely religious, but then I eventually started going back to church and became involved in religious ministry. It all just was, in a sense. I've never not believed in God.
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Firaxin
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Postby Firaxin » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:46 am

Was raised Catholic, but I struggled to believe for the majority of my life. Though after recently finding Jesus' teachings to ring true, I've believed wholeheartedly.
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Postby The blAAtschApen » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:56 am

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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:56 am

Evidence and reason. Amount of evidence compared to complexity and weirdness of the claim. Occam's Razor and Bayesian induction. And all those points to nothing like an Abrahamic god or supernatural forces.
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United Progressive State
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Postby United Progressive State » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:13 am

1: I was born a Christian and stopped to believe when I was 12, returning to the faith only 3 weeks ago, because watching hundreds of videos about "why there is no God" didn't convinced me.
The arguments about "why there is no god" didn't convinced me, I felt empty knowing that there is nothing after death

2: most of us born and were raised to believe, so that's not a problem

3: I always believed in ghosts more easily than in a God, and always will

4: my father was possessed by demons and swear that they are real, they were chasing after him 11 miles (don't believe me I don't care, you weren't there)

5: Why are we so superior next to other animals by our intelligence?

6: The fear from hell

7: Not going to start an argument, just my own opinions.
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Scinan
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Postby Scinan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:34 am

My current position: Agnostic Atheism

Why I hold this position is somewhat complex. I was raised Episcopalian, and grew up convinced of their model of the God of Abraham by simple virtue of social consonance: it was presented as fact by virtually everyone I knew, and there was little reason to question it initially.

As I grew and studied, I became aware of various problems, at first with the church, then with the scriptural foundations thereof. Issues such as the claim that the biblical canon represents gods perfectly transcribed will, coupled with the fact that there are so many splinter factions within the domain of this one religious family group, to say nothing of the social fractures between larger groups such as Catholicism and Protestantism, Christianity and Islam, et cetera, as well as the fundamental gulfs in cosmology between the Abrahamic faiths and other mythos such as Hinduism, Shinto, et al.

This is further complicated by the existence of many false prophets and outright con-artists such as Peter Popoff, whose presence, participation in and exploitation of faith culture calls into doubt everything about the broader church to which such individuals belong.

At a bare minimum, it becomes clear that, presupposing for the sake of argument that god /does/ exist, human understanding of such an entity, to say nothing of our assumptions about it's purpose and desires for the universe and it's occupants, are woefully inadequate to make any meaningful assertions about them.

As such, my belief in such things is reserved according to the following premises:
1.Assuming, for the sake of argument, that God exists...
2.Further accepting the premise that this extant God meets the various criteria frequently ascribed to it e.g., Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent, et cetera.
3.This God is therefor completely capable of communicating with me pertaining to it's existence in a far more reliable fashion than the putative subjective experiences of a frequently deceptive and self-harming species.

If these things are true, then God can claim my belief through unambiguous action in my life at any time it chooses. As God has not yet done so, I have no cause to hold faith in such an entity, and it is better that I reserve such faith to avoid exploitation by deceptive and abusive individuals.

And if these things are not true, then there is little to nothing worthy of belief to begin with, let alone reverence. Obviously, if God does not exist there is nothing to believe in. A God that is not capable of acting according to good moral standards, either through lack of power, awareness, or moral reason, is unworthy of being revered even if one is aware of it's existence.

A God that chooses to hide itself from it's potential followers cannot reasonably blame them for not seeing it, and any God that would is likewise unworthy of reverence.

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Mardla
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Postby Mardla » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:43 am

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Mzeusia
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Postby Mzeusia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:45 am

I do not believe in a god as there is not any satisfactory evidence that any exist.
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The Huskar Social Union
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:47 am

There is no evidence that gods exist, thus i have no reason to believe in them.
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Postby Idiocarasia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:54 am

Born, raised, and am Christian.
hasn't stopped me form reading up on other religions though
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Les Etats Connuriste
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Postby Les Etats Connuriste » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:46 am

I wasn't really raised religious even though I went to a mixture of Anglican and Catholic schools, but have started to have faith in God for a couple of years now. I don't really like organised religion and I believe the Bible is nothing more than a collection of stories, although I can see why they have importance to some people - for me my religiosity concerns God and pretty much nothing else.

The thing is to me, however, is that science only goes so far in it's explanations of the universe and how it came to be. There's a lot of it we just flat out don't know, and subscription to science and science alone functions as sort of a belief system of its own. The teleological argument for the existence of God appeals to me on some levels, especially with things such as the watchmaker analogy and 'modern' teleological theory such as work done by Richard Swinburne and/or Alvin Plantinga.

Cosmological arguments also appeal to me - the concept of causality teaches us that every effect has a cause, does it not? You can follow the chain of causality all the way back to the Big Bang but you still have to have an uncaused cause or a first cause. Nothing comes from nothing, but if anything ever could come from nothing one might be able to attribute that to some sort of higher power or supernatural force, such as God. Of course, there are other ways to explain it, but they're not any less of an unprovable assumption.

Ultimately, what causes my faith in God is that there's so much beauty in this universe and so much perfection. For example, the laws of physics needed to be such a way in that they permitted life in the first place - even a slight alteration to those would have far reaching consequences - and I have to wonder how they came to just be. For me, the existence of a supernatural being somewhat seems a simpler argument than the astronomically unlikely chain of events occurring naturally - and even they did, you still have issues explaining that, especially relating to first causes and things.

I say I believe in God, but what I really believe in is some sort of higher power. The Christian God is just the concept of that higher power I was raised with in my society. You can't prove either way whether God really does exist or not, but the point remains that it is a possibility, a possibility that I choose to accept.

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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:08 am

Les Etats Connuriste wrote:The thing is to me, however, is that science only goes so far in it's explanations of the universe and how it came to be. There's a lot of it we just flat out don't know, and subscription to science and science alone functions as sort of a belief system of its own.


Well, not knowing (yet) isn't a license to believe into whatever can fill the hole. Not knowing and accepting that you don't know is the first step to later improving knowledge. People didn't know how thunder and volcano worked, they invented gods to fill the holes, but later on we understood how it works. And so on. Sure there are things we still don't fully understand, about quantum gravity, about inflation, about the nature of time, about dark matter/energy, but that doesn't justify plugging a "god" in the holes, just admitting that we don't know that yet.

Les Etats Connuriste wrote:Cosmological arguments also appeal to me - the concept of causality teaches us that every effect has a cause, does it not? You can follow the chain of causality all the way back to the Big Bang but you still have to have an uncaused cause or a first cause. Nothing comes from nothing, but if anything ever could come from nothing one might be able to attribute that to some sort of higher power or supernatural force, such as God. Of course, there are other ways to explain it, but they're not any less of an unprovable assumption.


That's wrong on at least three levels to me. First is that adding "God" doesn't solve the problem at all - you still have a first cause, "God" that doesn't have a cause. You're just passing the bucket to something more mysterious, complicated and for which we have no evidence. The second level is that there are ways to get rid of that "first cause" problem, be it through a cyclic universe, or just by realizing that the time as we know it, and cause/consequence, might only be a higher-level point of view that ultimately collapses, making your question "what is the cause of the Big Bang ?" akin to "what is north of the north pole ?". And the third is what I said above, the "god of gaps" hypothesis which IMHO doesn't make sense.

Les Etats Connuriste wrote:Ultimately, what causes my faith in God is that there's so much beauty in this universe and so much perfection. For example, the laws of physics needed to be such a way in that they permitted life in the first place - even a slight alteration to those would have far reaching consequences - and I have to wonder how they came to just be.


There are a few flaws in that too. First that the universe is sure filled with beauty, but also with horror. A single child dying in agony from cancer is enough to make any attempt to claim "perfection" in the universe to be revolting to me. The second is that beauty is mostly in the eyes of the watcher. To paraphrase Douglas Adams it's like a puddle of mud saying "this hole in the ground perfectly fits me, it can't be due to chance, there must be a God". And finally a much smaller hypothesis than a supernatural ontological complex god can explain that, for example there just need to be a huge set of universes each following different laws for at least to have laws similar to ours. While it's just an hypothesis and I wouldn't say "I believe in the multiverse" yet, there is at least evidence pointing to it, and it makes much more sense than a God.
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Postby Page » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:21 am

I don't believe in the nonexistence of a god or gods, it's more so that I lack belief. This goes for all supernatural things like magic, ghosts, the afterlife.

I lack belief in those things in the way that I lack belief that there's a pink horse in my bathroom right now. Is it possible that someone painted a horse pink, broke through my door without me hearing or seeing, and led the horse into my bathroom? I can't dismiss the possibility entirely, but unless I saw such a thing, I assume that there is an overwhelming probability that it doesn't exist.

The one exception to this is alien life, which I am very much agnostic about. I don't think there have ever been aliens on Earth, I don't believe in Area 51 conspiracy theories, but I think it is equally likely that there are other sentient species in the universe than not.
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Slovenya
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Postby Slovenya » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:27 am

I believe there's one God, and not in the form of any man as most atheist think theists see God as. I think God is the balance, laws, and the code of everything that exists
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Postby Erythrean Thebes » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:28 am

I don't believe anything which is without evidence. And all demonstrable facts, I consider to be true. But even within our knowledge of the facts, space exists for speculation and supposition where the facts are not known. In that sense, I believe in God because there are no consequences to doing so. It does not change anything about what is clearly true. It merely adds to my life by allowing me to make what I like out of the ambiguities where total fact does not exist.

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