Religion and Spirituality – part 1

Basilica Rome

When I was younger it seemed that religion was the default setting that we were programmed with; this is a view I no longer have. As soon as someone told me that God ruled everything, I asked ‘who made God?’ I have never been given a suitable answer to this question. In fact, I have only ever been given two answers; the first is: ‘He has always been there’. The second, ‘we cannot know’.

The first of these answers is insane, and I am not sure how absent-minded you have to be to swallow that without hesitation. The second is more compelling, although it is more dangerous. The reason I say it is more dangerous is that there are people who claim to know about God, and these people have real power over you in the only Universe we can be sure exists. They say they know what ‘God’ wants and command us to do what ‘God’ says, whether it is to mutilate our children’s genitals or my personal favourite commandment, the tenth. Not only is keeping up with the Jones’ a sure fire way to remain in debt to the man, but it is also a sin. It would seem marketing is even eviler than I thought.

‘You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.’

Shortly after this, I heard about the ‘Big Bang’. My question was almost precisely the same ‘what was there before the Big Bang?’ The only answer I have been given to this is ‘ We cannot know’. The difference is, with the Big Bang, the numbers add up, and those numbers tell us that the universe is roughly 14 billion years ago.

When I was a teenager, I started to ask my peers if they believed in a God. Most of them did not. In my family it is only my grandmother that believes in any form of spirituality; I don’t know precisely what her beliefs are, but she does believe in heaven. I was lucky not to have anyone’s beliefs thrust upon me: I was allowed to think for myself.

Since I have learned that there are people that do believe there is some supernatural being or an entire supervisory Justice-Leagueesque team of supervisors, I have been interested in why people believe this answer. I have never heard an argument for the existence of anything supernatural where you do not have to make big leaps in imagination and except things because someone else says so. It is not often in my discipline that I come across anyone willing to believe; whenever I do come across them, they are never above average regarding their ability to use their initiative.

If you’re willing to believe a negative, because you cannot disprove a negative then you must surely think the following. There is a tiny invisible, undetectable penguin that accompanies each of us around. If you cannot prove me wrong, it must be true.

I will write about life after death in my next post, but before we depart ways, I will leave you with one final thought.

There are estimated to be 4200 different religions I believe in zero, and therefore I believe in zero percent. If you do believe in one, you believe in 0.0002% of religions. Of all the different God’s that have been dreamed up by humans which is well more than 100,000, what are the chances the one you believe in is correct?

 

P.S –  The term atheist… Do you think it is stupid as I do? After all, why do you need a word to say you do not believe in something? I don’t have a word for my non-belief in the penguin I previously mentioned, should I have?

Author: Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

80 thoughts on “Religion and Spirituality – part 1”

    1. IF YOU GOT A MINUTE, I HAVE EXPERIENCE A DIRECT COMMUNICATION OR RESPONSE FROM CHRIST, THE REASON I KNOW IT WAS CHRIST BECAUSE I FOUND MYSELF TALKING TO HIM, SAYING HIS NAME IN A VERY QUIET PLACE AND SITUATION IN MY LIFE. PEOPLE OFTEN WANT TO BELIEVE IN SOMEONE OR BODY, THE WAY THIS WORLD IS AND HAS BEEN , WELL WHO REALLY KNOWS THE REASONS FROM WHERE WE COME FROM AND WILL GO OR WHY. SO , I SAY TO YOU, IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE, OF COURSE IT IS A CHOICE. THERE IS ONE THING I MUST SHARE HOWEVER, WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG, THEN WHAT ?

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          1. If I lose Pascal’s wager? I will at least learn one more thing! If they lose, they have wasted a little bit of time worrying about things they perhaps shouldn’t have. Looks like someone made a nice infographic about what would happen.

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  1. Good thinking! I don’t believe in religion. God (or the Universe, or anything we want to call them) became terrifying and covered in a plethora of rules only in the hands of power-hungry humans. I am however a believer and I also accept that God might very well be a figment of my imagination. But that imagination helps me go through everything that happens in my life. It helps me to accept that I don’t have control over anything nor anyone but myself. It also helps me get in touch with my intuition and make better decisions for myself, since it pushes away fear of death and every insecurities I have that might stop me from moving forward. There are as many Gods and spiritualities as there are people living on this planet. We’re just social animals, we like doing things in group, hence the 4200 religions that now exists.

    Have you ever felt awed and grateful for the existence of this universe? For knowing that parts of your DNA is shared by everything that exists? That we are built of elements that created the stars? Does it make you feel somewhat in love with existence? If you can feel at ease knowing that you are to remain a part of this universe, even after your death, inside the wombs of worms, who will feed birds, who will feed other predators, that’s what the idea of God is for. For you not to feel scared and to do what you truly want to do anyway. For you to be patient in your experiments, of life, art and science. For you to learn as you go when you are right and when you are wrong.

    Is God real? No matter what you believe in, if it makes you love yourself, your neighbours, the whole universe, and be at peace with the idea that we all will die one day, this is all that matters. That’s what faith is for. We don’t need God. But we sure need something to hold onto that will get us out of our own fears and do something good for ourselves and, as a side-effect, the people around us too. And if we need to call this thing God, why not?

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    1. Did you say that you are a Believer?
      God is not a myth or an idea to ease our way through life. He is real, and He is amazing! I can honestly say that I know Him. He is so kind and gentle and absolute perfection in everything good. His love is so powerful and transforming that when He Spoke to me every fear and insecurity immediately vanished, and I was afraid of everything after years of torment by the devil who is also very real.
      I truly thought I was going crazy for awhile, because of the things that were happening to me. God finally came and spoke to me, because He knew that I was not going to make it if I didn’t have actual evidence and proof to continue fighting a battle against the most evil and ruthless powers of darkness that were working to destroy the children in foster care and everywhere really, but my specific focus at that time was children being sold into sex trafficking and children in foster care.
      I didn’t know if God was real at first, but I had no options left. I had tried everything that I could to stop the evil, and no one seemed to care or want to bother with helping these children that were suffering severely in our own communities. I was heartbroken and exhausted, so I cried out to God for help. I asked him to please save Just one kid a day. I said that if he cared enough to create this world than it would only make sense that He had to care about these evil crimes against the innocent children. After my prayer, I felt a peace about me, but didn’t think much of it. Three days later I get a call about a girl that was rescued from a motel room over the weekend, and she was going to a safe house that I was helping. As soon as I heard this, a voice whispered, “She is alive, because of your prayer.”
      I had never heard that voice before, so I was freaking out. The story is too long to continue here, but I can tell you that thousands of children have been rescued, because of my willingness to ask God to help. That weekend he rescued around 185, and he told me to pray bigger, because he wanted to save more than one a day. I can share hundreds of stories to prove how real God is, but you don’t need to find out second hand. You only need to ask Him to reveal himself to you and show you that He is real. He is real! And He is awesome!!! He told me that most people that say they know Him, have never known Him. That should tell you something about the religious people in the world. They don’t know the living God, because they are living in religion and following the things that Jesus actually came to set the people free of over 2000 years ago. Laws that bind and oppress people and keep them from coming to God for help. He is real. He is perfect love and once you meet Him, you will never want anything more in your life than just to be close to Him. He protects, provides, heals, helps, teaches and fills you with love that overflows to all the people you meet. He is too good to ever turn away from. The people that turn away or preach hatred or use judgement against people don’t know God. They only know what they were taught by people or a Book. I will pray for all of you that posted on this sight and ask God to open your spiritual eyes, so you can enjoy the Blessing that He is waiting to pour into each of your lives right now! Please feel free to share with me after you are freed from the lies and you know the Truth. I believe that all of you will be saved and find perfect love this week!

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        1. He only has authority over what we give him authority over in the earth. He won’t intervene in matters that no one has asked for him to help. That is just the way He is. He desperately wants all of us to pray to him to intervene and help these kids and all those suffering! But if no one is willing to pray and ask for him to help, then it is up to people to fix the problems. I am not making that up. He wants to see all of us happy and healthy even more than we want it!

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        2. He isn’t causing those things. People that are filled with evil do those things. Obviously those people don’t know God, or they wouldn’t behave in such a vile and horrific way to other human lives.
          Start praying for him to help rescue them! I can only pray for so much everyday, and I have seen thousands rescued, so if everyone would cry out for help, think how quickly we could see good flowing across our nation and world?!
          I know that I have been slacking on my prayers for these issues, but it is tough to know what to pray for when a person is no longer in that area of work. If all the people would pray for all the things and people in their area of focus or job, it would be enough, because there are plenty of people that claim to be Believers, but if they were really all Believing, they would also be praying for others and not just themselves. I pray for the police, the firemen, the nurses the doctors, the teachers, the government leaders, the church leaders the church members, the people I pass on the roads everyday, and anyone who asks or that I see need help. I pray over the streets for protection, over the communities to be set free from poverty and oppression, I pray over accidents, cars broken down on the side of the road, the schools, the nation’s, the crimes that are unsolved and seriously everything that I can pray over, because I know that God will help every one of those people and issues after I ask. He has transformed my city and over leadership and much more through this one voice crying out continuously for help!
          You have a voice and one day you will see and understand everything that you have been blinded to in the past was because of your choice to be in darkness and speak against God’s existence and love for you. He didn’t blind your eyes, your own words caused you to be blinded and hardened. All that you have to do is ask God to forgive you and open your eyes. It isn’t like it takes a lifetime of begging to find God’s love. He said that anyone that calls on His name will be saved.
          He has made it so easy that even a gay man that I was sent to help one night was saved because he was saying, “Please Jesus, just don’t die right now!” To his cell phone! I found him on a bench at 1am after his mother had just passed away. He was so upset that he could barely speak. I asked if he had been praying for help, because most people that I am sent to help usually are, but he said, “I am gay. I didn’t even know that was an option for me!” He then said that he had been stressing about his phone and saying, “please Jesus! Just don’t die right now!” Although he didn’t know he was calling on Jesus to help, because the name Jesus had become a slang for his vocabulary, that was enough for him to be rescued that night and saved for all eternity! It was heartbreaking that he thought that he couldn’t be loved by the one that created him because he was an outcast by the churches. God has sent me to heroin addicts, drug dealers, prostitutes and even church leaders to help them, because they don’t know the real God and they don’t understand how great his love is for all of His creation. You should get a copy of the Passion Translation of the Bible. It is a great interpretation viewed through the true Heart of the Father. I met God and He told me some really cool stuff. He isn’t an angry and mad God. He is a lot of fun and always full of love and joy. He is wonderful. He did actually tell me that U had to avoid negativity and to not watch the news anymore. He doesn’t work with negative, but he turns everything into a positive! Just believe and ask him to forgive and help you. He is waiting for you to ask him.

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        3. What makes you think God is making these things happen? Truth is that we humans have free will, and sadly that often means choosing to walk away from God and do things that hurt others. Gid gives us the choice to come to Him or refuse Him.

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        4. Wow! I can almost feel our Lord’s joy by those of us who feel it necessary to defend our beliefs. I don’t know all of their reasons nor how they feel about the subjects that have been raised, but I will tell you this “up front” as you phrased it in your message to me. I like it that way. Thank you for trusting me with your desire to learn more about writing. It is the same as asking questions of or of challenging others, and if I I do not have a desire to challenge others about their beliefs or their non-belief stand. Here are the reasons; you are not a believe but you have reasons to believe you are correct. I am a believer and I, also, have reasons for my belief. Is this enough for us to begin a discussion/?

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  2. The tiny penguin remind me of Bertrand Russell’s teapot.

    I don’t pressure others or look for universals. We all kind of mature from being self righteous, eventually. I think religion is a response to bring some significance to the void of our life. Our consciousness is where we all fight socially on acceptable behavior to sustain a way of life. That is where the murky origin theories exist between the micro cultures Catholicism being the largest. We choose religion however impractical because, number one we are selfish and don’t want to die. Number two we are social and don’t want to die alone.

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      1. Ha. Well I’m sure believers appreciate your tact. We forget that most of the celebrated martyrs lived, what they believed and in our current atmosphere. It is sold. If we are to be a reflection of the best of humanity then why start with the worst? Money. If all it takes to be a Messiah is to be broke and half of humanity lives on less than three dollars a day. Well, you’re smart. The “second coming” would not come from a developed nation. So why does it have that control in the richer countries? We like stories. We like taking sides.

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        1. IN my opinion, the why is irrelevant; logically however we can learn in Ephesians 2:3 of a logical reason for the creation of man. Therefore, I believe he wanted the companionship of people as is often a desire from within us. These two thoughts prompt another. He made us in his image and in his likenes, Genesis 35, 37; the book of Isaiah , then in chapter 45, the prophet Isaiah, told his people a small portion from another chapter, 45: we are given fascinating information in which he says “he chose us in :, him before the foundation of the world and we “walked with God in the garden as long as man was obedient to his desires.
          These three texts are full of the information and being so, the information in a vital to understanding Him. IN the garden he asked that Adam and Eve obey his one demand regarding the tree of knowledge. That command was for their own safety. Remember,they were not informed as a Why? This is why i do not believe our obedience should be capped by the Lord ( our laws were their laws) and he is not a respector of person. Therefore there acceptance stemmed on whether they would do as he had asked, which was a matter of Adam and Eve believing God or believing Satan. This was their the sin of rejecting God rather than that of eating an apple. Today, our charge is exactly the same without the apple. If God says not to eat the flesh of hogs, there is a reason mot of the flesh itself, but because their manner of cooking could kill them from the manner of failing to get the roasting hog hot enougth to destroy the virus within them at certain times of the year. I hope you are able to see God’s love that prompted rules. I will just give you the tiny look into other issues. Seeking God, if a person seeks he will find, Forgiveness grace, mercy and asking for reconciliation.

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          1. That’s all, great. Every culture has a creation story. Divinity is a hell of a drug. I don’t know if you’re directing this sermon to me or the blogger but, I’m aware of the stories. It is hard to counter a God argument from a single source. Your devotion makes the story come to life but, may fall flat to others that seek, substance. An existence that proves fact to some. He’s not knocking religion and neither am I but, during the creation of the United States 40 million Native Americans perished because they didn’t believe. The newcomers came in search of religious freedom but did not extend that freedom to those “savages.” Even allowing slavery as the church ruled slaves as 3/5 human so, without God’s mercy. How could God and His believers choose that in fairness? The Bible was written by men to control other men. The spirit of God sits in the words falls short when men act in the name of God to control other men. First rule of writing, know your audience.

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            1. I think I am Immune to preaching because I can never understand how the person who is preaching really believes what they are saying. I think it might be that I haven’t grown up in a particularly religious society. Although as someone living through ‘Brexit’, I understand how people can take things at face value and never think any deeper.

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              1. I still have to read about Brexit. Sure it will affect us here, somehow. Especially, if powerful nations are picking teams for a potential conflict. Our mirror neurons and amygdala and PFC love a good story. When you love a good story you tend to share it. There’s a book I can’t remember the title at the moment that delves into the meaning, of meaning. The origin of major religions and their cross sections like, tree cuttings. We as humans have only had the power of language for less than say, 8,000 years and we’ve had written language for about half and books on the cheap for, about a century. We needed religion as a unifier to promote a society that didn’t feed on itself. Hence, the notion that even if you don’t believe in God, He believes in you. That part is true in that if you tell enough of the poorest people to respect something they will, learn to respect themselves. So, you come to terms with the contrarian beliefs as you pointed out. Who created God? The need to defend a belief over actually getting into the mess of the ideas. There is a difference between the man that can lose everything and still believe and the lady at the church pew that holds judgement, over everyone. Never challenged. They are exerting the same belief even if it contends with reality. She sees him as needing a little more “prayer grease” and his pride won’t let him ask for help. Both are pride and yes, that’s a sin. But, nobody is perfect. Even the Bible is imperfect removing some books that would put a damper on the climactic ending borrowing (some might say plagiarism) from the Quran. That’s not what you’re asking entirely, I know. The Bible is not the product of the society it created. It should also not be the inhibitor of others that do not believe. Jesus, that guy. Never taught that. He didn’t even say priests should be celibate. The strangling voice of the church created the voice and everyone, followed without question. That’s what is scary. I know, on your side, you have the sensibilities to not speak so directly. I’ve been over here too long. 😂💪

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          1. Causality proves origin. Sounds fun, like a God phone. We already have Jesus appearing on those profane gluten items toast and pastry. Don’t Jesus know our struggle? I forget he’s always ripped and has unlimited breadsticks like those chain restaurants. A message, would give back all the years kneeling and all the Sundays but who’s Sundays. Who’s God? Every religion has a message from an original mover so I kind of, disagree. I feel like that’s part of the problem. Humans are pattern seeking which gave us many solutions to human problems but, a God solution to our God problem? Would make the receivers also God’s, oh my bread is burning looks like oh, maybe St Michael. Damn.

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          2. You haven’t received the point yet, TM. Yes, God could demand anything, but he is not a demand God. Are you married? Do you have children? If so do you demand everything of wife and children or do you love them and bring them to you in a gentle manner? Those who demand seldom receive what they want. God wants our love. After all look what he did for us. Is it too much to ask for love? Love Jesus as he first love me…does he really expect me to sacrifice my life because he did? Yes, if it is the only way and in the fashion of spirituality, it is the only way. But then we are dead. No, brother, for the first time in your life you would be free and not only free, but alive, Yes, alive to worship him in love. free from sin because he made it possible. If you can die to yourself you can live for God. If you live for God, you can be reunited with Him in the freedom of love. Look for it brother, it is the most valuable thing in this world. Free from unbelief but living in love for the one who made it possible. Does he really live and do I believe it? You can bet your bottom dollar I believe it. And I pray for those who won’t let them selves believe it. May he bless you.

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            1. Do you think the same god that failed to stop the Holocaust — I imagine lots of people prayed — cares about the prayer of one individual?

              You’re correct I haven’t received the point 😦

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              1. Thanks for the reply Louis. I have not replied to some of your preface requests, so let me begin by saying I consider your articles superb, your conclusions not only interesting but subject to great hustle by the professionals in order to learn what they have left out in their formulas that enabled you this brief time capsule to present there “baby” back into their hands. I consider it remarkable. As you may have noticed I have difficulty staying on the correct keys, much less do what you have done in a field I suspect had never been considered. I base my theory on the premise that there is usually a time of self-satisfaction before one comes to the challenge you have accomplished.

                I hope sincerely that the corrections submitted in which I found a few places to make corrections were helpful. Though what I believe is true is that you were already there…by the vast change in your subsequent pieces.
                ‘o I think the same god that failed to stop the Holocaust”

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              2. I tried logic and you didn’t even reply. I tried scriptural texts and I could here your voice (even though I have no concept of its tone) saying “don’t be ridiculous, if I don’t believe in him I’m not going to read the stupid book about him”; am I off base? If so, I apologize. So, I had to think about this seriously because it is a serious thing for me in order to be accurate. And I recalled that the apostles were told to tell others about Jesus. Jesus is the key, even though you do not accept that at the moment, that is my responsibility. So I’m going to begin with the Holocaust and try to explain how this became God’s decision to make and allow. I am not saying that God spoke to the people involved in Washington, because I am informed through the history of scripture that God no longer arbitrarily tells man directly what to do. He gave that responsibility to man. Sometimes man gets it right and is blessed, sometimes he gets it wrong and has to suffer the consequences.
                Now for the “how”. I am not on absolute solid ground here because I have not seen for
                myself the math involved in man’s struggle to learn whether it would be fewer people to die by dropping the atom bomb or second question whether or not the natives of that location were included in the decision, or if it just involved the American citizens. So you can see this dilemma within my mind when I offer it to you. What I learned of the situation was learned from the news of the day coming from the then President Truman, the newspaper results that strangely seemed (at one particular point) to agree with the decision. You know how that goes. However having lived in that era I do not believe it was a fraction of the kind of hate and misguided information that is rampant today. So, the decision was made and the deed was done and America profited in many ways and the subject if holocaust became mute…for a time. IN these times and the upheaval of the way people think, it would doubtless be marked as the wrong thing to do, but I will take a phrase from you and say “unfortunately after the decision, the facts can’t be altered.”
                We did benefit from all of that, and who blessed us and why? Is it because we are such wonderful people, far superior to the rest of the world or (please use this part as a metaphor to the apple of the previous illustration) was it because our leaders (Washington) tried to do what is right…namely the saving of lives.
                I am going to complete the metaphor now and refer again to scripture which is not your favorite place from which to receive information, but I ask you to bear with me and give it some of your ability to sort these things out, which means from my perspective, please, at least think about this as I have tried to present it. If the metaphor of the apple and eating of meat that might make the “eater” ill is correctly presented then the metaphor of saving lives is also true and the leaders in Washington were able to arrive at the correct decision and were for that present time blessed.

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  3. Thanks for you post throwing science in the face of hypocrisy! I too am a PhD (1973 pre internet) who came from and reacted against a very fundamentalist religious upbringing. You cant argue with “faith” and, if you are a scientist, you cant argue with facts. SO…again, what’s a person to do? VOTE DEMOCRAT! The Republicans have been waging a war on science for decades and now they have a stooge in power to enforce their idiotic assault on ideas, logic, facts and oh….wait for it…our PLANET. I was cheered to see the reception he got in the UK recently. I hope you were there.

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    1. Hello there!
      I describe God as the one and only non-contingent being, the un-caused cause, the one entirely independent being, the ground of all being, the unmade maker. There are really only two possibilities for the existence of the universe; either it had a beginning and therefore a cause outside of itself, or it has always existed, and is self-causing. Many non-theistic scientists recently have been affirming their view that stuff created itself (their actual literal wording), which is unintelligible to me. The modern view of the big bang, that all stuff emerged from “an infinitesimally small point” is not far removed from the theological view of creation “ex nihilo,” or “out of nothing.” It think it takes more faith to believe that there was not cause, or that stuff caused itself, than to believe that there was an intelligence behind the design. Otherwise, how do you explain the complexity of, for example, DNA, which is a code of information complex enough to be identified as a language in and of itself.
      Anyway, just a few of my thoughts for consideration. Cheers!

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  4. I enjoyed your post- very well thought out, though we would disagree on some points.

    We were raised Catholic (though I no longer consider myself Catholic per we due to the atrocities committed against the children and the shuffling around of predators by the Vatican), but were always told to think for ourselves first– that is to say don’t just swallow what you are told, but explore life and religion and spirituality for yourself, otherwise you end up being nothing more than one of many automata.

    I’ve come to believe in God through my own personal experiences. I can’t prove something so subjective to you. I have no desire to. I have no need to. Your belief in something or nothing has no bearing on my life whatsoever.

    What irritates me about hardcore atheists and solo scriptural Christian is how alike they are, at least in how they perceive the world: they are absolutely terrified, or too conceited to admit that there are things out of their field of study to admit there are things they do not know (science and religion).

    Every individual, and therefore the institutions they form are naturslly aware of right and wrong. And every such institution, whether religious or secular has done terrible things. Nobody can claim the moral high ground. This is why balance is necessary- because any force, unfettered, will ultimately become oppressive and destructive. It is foolish to believe otherwise.

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  5. If you believe that something created it, then surely you believe that something created the creator and then you have an infinite loop on your hands.

    It is very simple to explain the complexity of life if you have an understanding of biology and statistics.

    Furthermore, people who believe in the big bang, don’t know what came before it and do not claim to know, that is the difference between believers and non-believers in my eyes.

    Thanks for stopping by and adding to the debate, I love this subject!

    I wish you all the best.

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  6. atheist is a word for one who isn’t content to not believe, but instead want to recruit others to not believe also. I believe that I do not know enough to state with certainty that there is no God

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  7. I believe there is an Infinite Source of energy that rules this entire creation. Some call it “Creator”,”God” or “the Universe”. It is just a matter of perception and belief system that determines whether God exists or not.
    Some say the Creator has created us who is so powerful that nothing is required to create the Creator. That’s still a mystery unresolved. By the way, I loved your insights about this topic.! 🙂

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  8. Even if you are right and there is no God, I who am a believer don’t care who made God, if someone made God He would not be God and you would be right. I will say this if the atheist is right and the Christian is wrong, I would rather live my entire life with my faith in God and the Traditional Catholic religion because it brings me great peace of mind, happiness, and joy. Whenever I read blogs here speaking about this subject it seems they are confused and find themselves believing fantasies anyway!

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  9. If you truly “have been interested in why people believe”, perhaps you would consider reading the following books written by incredibly intelligent, deep thinkers, some of whom set out to disprove the existence of God, only to become convinced otherwise. “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, “Cold Case Christianity” by J. Warner Wallace, “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller, “Can Man Live Without God?” by Ravi Zacharias, “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis.

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      1. Nevermind the books, Faith is a gift from God and you would receive it if you asked for it in prayer, sincere prayer.
        Pray for the gift to love the Truth and to know the Truth. My husband was an atheist and I begged him to pray for Faith finally he received it, after several years. One time we were speaking about values and he said his Faith is most valuable because it took him a long time to get it.

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      2. My first choice would be the one by Ravi Zacharias. He is an amazing thinker and speaker who has world-wide, cross-cultural appeal and is very knowledgeable about non-religious thinkers and world religions. He is in high demand at prestigious universities at home and abroad and has also spoken to gatherings of diplomats. I believe that includes UN officials at some point.

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  10. I respect your views but I don’t agree with them. I feel sorry for those who have no hope of eternity, and I would never want to live in a universe where God is not present. He is the One who holds all things together. He is the reason that evil hasn’t completely taken over the world. We are promised that evil will increase, but that God will triumph. And I’m sorry you can’t believe that He is eternal and self-existent. It had to start somewhere, and it started with Him.
    Please read the series I am starting about why I believe. Even if it doesn’t win you over, you may get a better glimpse of why others believe. It isn’t always the blind following the blind, or upbringing. It can be a conscious decision based on evidence and a personal interaction with the Almighty.

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    1. Hi Brenda thanks for sharing! I respect you as a human being, but I do not respect your beliefs as they are not grounded in evidence. I will read your series, I can’t wait!

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      1. Jesus said ” You believe because you see. Blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe.” But despite what you think, there has been plenty of personal evidence of His presence in my life.

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  11. My first choice would be the one by Ravi Zacharias. He is an amazing thinker and speaker who has world-wide, cross-cultural appeal and is very knowledgeable about non-religious thinkers and world religions. He is in high demand at prestigious universities at home and abroad and has also spoken to gatherings of diplomats. I believe that includes UN officials at some point.

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  12. I don’t believe in the ‘god’ advertised. I’m not sure what I think about god. However, I believe in a creator.
    There was a big bang some however many years ago. What came before the bang? The world started as energy – what was before the energy. What we DO know is that with the big bang was created time, space and matter.

    The world as we know it. For this finity to exist – the world is ever expanded, still has the radio waves out there – there must, in my mind, be an inifinty. For something finite to exist there must be something infinite. What is this infinity? Well I’ve never studied maths/chemisty and I should.

    One of the things repeated a lot by physicists – by some – is that the world being a particle/wave duality (where everything in the world is both a particle and a wave) is thought to be based on information (think of the double slit experiment – where depending on whether there were one or two slits of light open, where the particles of light went).

    I’m not sure why I’m rambling here…. You certainly sound like you’ve thought things out and done your research.

    I definitely agree with your last statement 🙂 Although I don’t believe in most atheists. Atheism means that there is no creator. Some people have beliefs that they’re proving. Most I’ve met didn’t know why they did/didn’t believe. To be an atheist you have to be able to prove it isn’t. Just my opinion. Which you can just ignore if you like 🙂

    Happy Sunday!

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  13. Thank you for your reply; I do not intend to be ‘preachy’ in anything I say. If I seem to be at any time advise me to come down off my high horse . What I want is to share in the form of information that you may not have so you can move about more confidently as you pursue this part of your study. I look forward to hearing from you again and hope you have a good rest.

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  14. I haven’t read through all of the comments, but many seem to be an attempt to convince you of the existence of God without address your question that is essentially ‘how can people believe without proof?’ I grew up in  the Bible Belt of the Southern American states. I was raised in religion, and when I began having questions I was told to ‘have faith.’ The way to people believe is blindly. They swallow their questions and doubts, and even believe it adds value it in the strength of their faith to have overcome these concerns. There is also, for lack of a better term, a mob mentality. If you’re in a crowd of people who all ‘feel his presence’, it’s a very convincing psychological pull to want to see and believe the same things as those around you. And as far as you come away and forget your values during the week, they are reinforced every Sunday. Finally, I want to address a point which is a variation of Pascal’s Wager- the existence of a God doesn’t necessitate my belief in it. One true God wouldn’t stop existing simply because people don’t believe. 

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    1. Thanks for the comment! The social aspect of belonging to a group or ‘flock’ does seem to be a draw for many people. As for your last point, a God that cares about his creation certianly does not seem to exist.

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