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Why do you believe?
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Emperordmb
LSDMB

Gender: Male
Location: The Proud Nation of Kekistan

I'm a Christian because the multifaceted identity and nature of the Christian God presented in Christian theology tie both into the natures I've observed in the world that have helped to advance individuals and humanity as a whole and into the nature underpinning the existence of the universe and the arguments for God's existence.

Additionally, what I have managed to glean from both the Bible and prayer honestly stagger me, I could look over the same story in Genesis for example and notice a bunch of profound shit in there, and then look at it again and have my mind blown by something else, leading me to believe it's a resource I doubt I'll ever truly hit the bottom of in my life. It's like an ongoing dialogue where I find wisdom from my life experiences reflected in Christianity and get expanded by it, and wisdom from Christianity reflected in my life experiences and expanded by that.

One of the most profound things is the elucidation of the greatest dilemma faced by humanity and the solution to it. Genesis sets the claim that with the emergence of self-consciousness we became aware of good and evil, vulnerability, suffering and tragedy, etc. and became ashamed of our own vulnerability and shortcomings and hid, refusing to live authentically and instead developed arrogance, arrogance pulling us into the sinful patterns of things like resentfulness, covetousness, and irresponsibility. Christ demonstrated the proper response to vulnerability and tragedy which was to honestly confront it and take voluntarily accept that burden, moving forward with love and humility, and in doing so we transform ourselves into more heroic individuals willing to atone for our mistakes, forgive others for theirs, sacrifice on behalf of what is good, and adopt proper responsibility in our lives. By doing this we attain meaning in our lives to set against the challenges of the world and become more equipped to help ourselves and other people against them. In this respect I not only believe Christ to be the cosmic savior for the eternal afterlife, but for this life as well as he presents the proper path to confronting our vulnerability and limitations as well as the suffering of the world.

In my practice of Christianity I have found myself continually granted new insight, and transformed into a better person. I'm not perfect, I still find myself possessed by arrogance at times, feeling resentment towards people I come into conflict with, and being irresponsible towards things I know I should be dealing with, but my beliefs motivate me to try and be less and less like that with each passing day, and I have a lot more genuine appreciation for myself and for other people as a consequence of that pursuit and feel much more at peace with myself.

In respect to everything I just said, if I die and it turns out there is no God and no afterlife, I have no regrets about the pursuit I've given myself over to in life.

As for what it would take for me to stop believing, one of two things. The first is evidence that I'm wrong, since the reasons that have earned my faith are more compelling than skeptical doubt. The second would be a complete moral collapse of my character, which I would likely rationalize by abandoning my faith to justify doing whatever I wanted. [SPOILER - highlight to read]: What it won't be that makes me stop believing is snark on an internet forum from someone with a hateboner for religion.


__________________

Shadilay my brothers and sisters. With any luck we will throw off the shackles of normie oppression. We have nothing to lose but our chains! Praise Kek!
THE MOTTO IS "IN KEK WE TRUST"

Old Post May 18th, 2018 12:01 AM
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Rockydonovang
freedom fighter

Gender: Male
Location:

quote:
The first is evidence that I'm wrong

Good to see you've finally accepted that religion can't meet any burden of proof.

Old Post May 18th, 2018 07:39 AM
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Wonder Man
Most Powerful Avenger

Gender: Male
Location: United States Lake Ontario, Ny

I feel that to God religion serves a purpose. Jesus came here to set an example we could all follow.
Try to let doubt go and feel joy every day and you will already be doing what he said to do upon his return.
As for what you will do when the Son rises to His former position?
Remember all your life and what you have said here in the forums and explain love to Himself so you will see Him smile.


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Old Post May 18th, 2018 07:46 PM
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NemeBro
Savior of KMC

Gender: Unspecified
Location: Saving KMC

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
The first is evidence that I'm wrong, since the reasons that have earned my faith are more compelling than skeptical doubt.


Mental gymnastics to justify a worldview you already have because you don't have empirical evidence to justify it isn't very compelling IMO.

You're trying to use thought and "reason" to validate the existence of something you believe to be tangible. Something with tangible effects on the world (indeed, if God exists they have had the most tangible effect on the world above all things) requires tangible evidence to prove.

I'm glad that your faith has helped you and brought you some measure of happiness, but to say it is more compelling than the principles that underpin pretty much all scientific fields is farcical IMHO.


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Old Post May 18th, 2018 08:35 PM
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Wonder Man
Most Powerful Avenger

Gender: Male
Location: United States Lake Ontario, Ny

God said friendship. He explained to the world all about friendship.


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Old Post May 18th, 2018 11:06 PM
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Rockydonovang
freedom fighter

Gender: Male
Location:

quote: (post)
Originally posted by NemeBro
Mental gymnastics to justify a worldview you already have because you don't have empirical evidence to justify it isn't very compelling IMO.

You're trying to use thought and "reason" to validate the existence of something you believe to be tangible. Something with tangible effects on the world (indeed, if God exists they have had the most tangible effect on the world above all things) requires tangible evidence to prove.

I'm glad that your faith has helped you and brought you some measure of happiness, but to say it is more compelling than the principles that underpin pretty much all scientific fields is farcical IMHO.

I think he means compelling as it makes it easier for him morally. I'm gonna be generous and take him saying he wants us to disprove something he never proved as admitting there's no proof and that his faith is for personal convenience.

Old Post May 19th, 2018 01:50 AM
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NemeBro
Savior of KMC

Gender: Unspecified
Location: Saving KMC

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
I think he means compelling as it makes it easier for him morally. I'm gonna be generous and take him saying he wants us to disprove something he never proved as admitting there's no proof and that his faith is for personal convenience.
Please don't piggyback off my post for the sake of bullying him for his religion. That was not my intention.


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Thanks Scythe!

Old Post May 19th, 2018 02:36 AM
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Rockydonovang
freedom fighter

Gender: Male
Location:

Lal, your post was harsher than mine, but okay.

Old Post May 19th, 2018 02:39 AM
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NemeBro
Savior of KMC

Gender: Unspecified
Location: Saving KMC

I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.


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Thanks Scythe!

Old Post May 19th, 2018 03:27 AM
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Rockydonovang
freedom fighter

Gender: Male
Location:

quote: (post)
Originally posted by NemeBro
I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.

It's nice to be recognized.

Old Post May 19th, 2018 03:33 AM
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Emperordmb
LSDMB

Gender: Male
Location: The Proud Nation of Kekistan

@Nemebro, you seem like you're taking a more level conversational approach than... let's say other people... might be, so I'll give you a response at some point when I'm less tired, it's been a rather long day and I've been on a pretty intensive dose of antibiotics so I'm pretty worn out.


__________________

Shadilay my brothers and sisters. With any luck we will throw off the shackles of normie oppression. We have nothing to lose but our chains! Praise Kek!
THE MOTTO IS "IN KEK WE TRUST"

Old Post May 19th, 2018 05:05 AM
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Rockydonovang
freedom fighter

Gender: Male
Location:

quote: (post)
Originally posted by NemeBro
I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.

We said the exact same thing, but hey man, enjoy your high ground.

I'm sure DMB appreciates your "pc ideology".

Old Post May 19th, 2018 07:18 AM
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Patient_Leech
Laichzeit

Gender: Male
Location: Deutschland, USA

I'll preface this by saying, I don't mean to single you out to embarrass you, DMB. I just want to address some inherent contradictions or larger principles at play that I see in some of this reasoning for the "Christian God" and related myths. It's not just you, it's the common beliefs in general.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
I'm a Christian because the multifaceted identity and nature of the Christian God presented in Christian theology tie both into the natures I've observed in the world that have helped to advance individuals and humanity as a whole and into the nature underpinning the existence of the universe and the arguments for God's existence.


So how is the nature of the Christian God presented in the nature that we observe with respect to mass numbers of starving children and natural disasters that kill and devastate indiscriminately? He is either not all-powerful or not all-loving in this case. Or, more likely, he doesn't exist. I guess my point is that the natural world does not reflect good evidence of the Christian God if you really examine the natural world and universe. The universe was not put here for us. We are not the end goal. We are just one of many, many organisms. We are even still evolving. These are things we know now that the creators of Christianity did not understand.


quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
Additionally, what I have managed to glean from both the Bible and prayer honestly stagger me, I could look over the same story in Genesis for example and notice a bunch of profound shit in there, and then look at it again and have my mind blown by something else, leading me to believe it's a resource I doubt I'll ever truly hit the bottom of in my life. It's like an ongoing dialogue where I find wisdom from my life experiences reflected in Christianity and get expanded by it, and wisdom from Christianity reflected in my life experiences and expanded by that.


This doesn't necessarily single-out Bible stories as the best source for "profound shit." Art of all kinds can inspire in all the same ways.

And call it "prayer" if you want, but it's more than likely the benefits of meditation or mindfulness that you're experiencing (which has a lot of scientific support).


quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
One of the most profound things is the elucidation of the greatest dilemma faced by humanity and the solution to it. Genesis sets the claim that with the emergence of self-consciousness we became aware of good and evil, vulnerability, suffering and tragedy, etc. and became ashamed of our own vulnerability and shortcomings and hid, refusing to live authentically and instead developed arrogance, arrogance pulling us into the sinful patterns of things like resentfulness, covetousness, and irresponsibility. Christ demonstrated the proper response to vulnerability and tragedy which was to honestly confront it and take voluntarily accept that burden, moving forward with love and humility, and in doing so we transform ourselves into more heroic individuals willing to atone for our mistakes, forgive others for theirs, sacrifice on behalf of what is good, and adopt proper responsibility in our lives. By doing this we attain meaning in our lives to set against the challenges of the world and become more equipped to help ourselves and other people against them. In this respect I not only believe Christ to be the cosmic savior for the eternal afterlife, but for this life as well as he presents the proper path to confronting our vulnerability and limitations as well as the suffering of the world.

In my practice of Christianity I have found myself continually granted new insight, and transformed into a better person. I'm not perfect, I still find myself possessed by arrogance at times, feeling resentment towards people I come into conflict with, and being irresponsible towards things I know I should be dealing with, but my beliefs motivate me to try and be less and less like that with each passing day, and I have a lot more genuine appreciation for myself and for other people as a consequence of that pursuit and feel much more at peace with myself.


This is charming and I suppose I see no obvious harm in using a mythic figure of great moral character as a kind of model for improving oneself. That being said, my problem is that I hear way too many things like, "Jesus is the answer..." "look to Jesus..." etc. And it's these sort of easy-answer platitudes that seem to promote un-thinking to me. They present what seems like a panacea for all problems worldly or otherworldly and stop thinking about other issues. Example: people praying after natural disasters or major gun violence incidents instead of pushing for action. That's a problem because it doesn't help anything and they think it does.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
In respect to everything I just said, if I die and it turns out there is no God and no afterlife, I have no regrets about the pursuit I've given myself over to in life.


If I remember correctly, you don't necessarily hold to the idea of hell or eternal torment, so I guess I'll leave this alone, except to say that some might follow Christianity "just in case it's true," kind of "cover your ass" belief. But since you don't really hold to eternal torment or hell, then that requires leaving a lot of Bible mythology out and doing some serious mental gymnastics in interpreting it.


quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
As for what it would take for me to stop believing, one of two things. The first is evidence that I'm wrong, since the reasons that have earned my faith are more compelling than skeptical doubt. The second would be a complete moral collapse of my character, which I would likely rationalize by abandoning my faith to justify doing whatever I wanted. [SPOILER - highlight to read]: What it won't be that makes me stop believing is snark on an internet forum from someone with a hateboner for religion.


Lol, once again I'll reiterate that I don't mean for this to come across as "internet snark," but legitimate questions for you to consider. I guess you could say I do have a "hateboner" ( laughing out loud ) for fear- or guilt-based dogmas like Islam, Christianity, and Catholicism. (And I have my own very good reasons for despising it.) But of course I admire you for sort of sifting some of those more toxic elements out of your understanding of Christianity. I went through a lot of that also before I became full-on atheist.


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Old Post Mar 26th, 2019 02:54 PM
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Lord Lucien
Lets all love Lain

Gender: Male
Location:

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Emperordmb
In respect to everything I just said, if I die and it turns out there is no God and no afterlife, I have no regrets about the pursuit I've given myself over to in life. then I won't exist anymore and never will ever again.
Fixed that for you thumb up


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Old Post Apr 12th, 2019 05:48 AM
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Bentley
Seitei

Gender: Unspecified
Location: France

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Patient_Leech
This is charming and I suppose I see no obvious harm in using a mythic figure of great moral character as a kind of model for improving oneself. That being said, my problem is that I hear way too many things like, "Jesus is the answer..." "look to Jesus..." etc. And it's these sort of easy-answer platitudes that seem to promote un-thinking to me.


You see, one of the difficulties of dealing with mythological thinking is this notion of wanting to reduce teachings and ethical variants to single phrases or commandements. I think that learning proper religion will allow people to see the contradictions and find their own way of critical thinking, which is to some degree what you did by decided to become an atheist and in a way, it's a more spiritual path than many people who blindly decide to follow the religious equivalent of memes (the phrases you present).

The other day one priest came out with a single notion that I find interesting. Commandements are things you aren't meant to do, but despite being a religion about forgiveness, christianity doesn't really have a written commandement that says "you shall forgive others". There are a few lines and laws here and there with a more narrow focus and the parables are full of examples of forgiveness. But they are also filled with damnation. This is simply because there are things that make no sense if they are stated as laws. How can you state "you shall not kill" and then follow up with its forgiveness "you shall not kill but it'll be forgiven anyways, don't worry", as you see this is no way of stating a rule, it goes against it's very principle and diminishes it's importance. Yet this is how we establish rules in our household with our children: they mustn't do things but we will forgive them.

This is how I look at how ludicrous the concept of Hell is: it's describing a heavy contradiction that already exists in human society.


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Old Post Apr 12th, 2019 07:49 AM
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Surtur
Astral Shaman

Gender: Male
Location: Chicago

I used to believe in God because I was raised to do so. I never gave it much thought I just did it. My family would go to church a couple times a year, I'd have to attend church more often during school though. And do the stations of the cross at times. I disliked it and it felt like a chore more than a spiritual experience.

I believe in science, but also believe in what I've personally experienced. I don't think there is any single entity that created the universe.

Nothing is impossible, I'd want proof. I think there can be all kinds of interesting lifeforms that exist in the universe we haven't discovered yet. The issue of course is technically you can never prove God doesn't exist. True someone saying "God is real" has the burden of proof, but it's about faith so you can never truly solve this with science.

Then again...now I'm just thinking about Star Trek and the episodes where people with advanced technology used it to mimic god-like powers. So I wonder if we'd ever truly be able to know if it was truly God?


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Old Post Apr 12th, 2019 02:27 PM
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