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God and religion
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Do you believe in God?
yes
65%
 65%  [ 30 ]
no
28%
 28%  [ 13 ]
a little
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
not sure
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 46

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Rosie
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe in evil...just not the devil.
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afatherthatcares
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this debate with much interest tonight as it has been one that I have struggled with many times in my life and have recently struggled with again. For the past year or so I have searched within myself for the answers to questions that have caused me sleepless nights. I have no answers that are based on scientific finding, scripture, or conjecture from persons on both sides of the debate. The answers that I have concluded have come from my life experiences, observations, and a something deep inside of me that I cannot explain.

I hold to no particular religion in the sense of choosing a church, a particular form of worship, etc. I do believe in a Supreme Being of some sort that I call God. I could call this being by many names but I choose God because it is a fitting name for me. This I am sure comes from the fact that as a child, attendance at church, sunday school and vacation bible school was a part of my life. I was first baptized as a young man in my early 20's in an AOG church and later re-affirmed my baptism and faith in a First Baptist church. Even with my baptism and re-affirmation and my attendance in several churchs, I was still left wondering and unconvinced of all that I was being taught. So what do I call myself? I am somewhat of an agnostic in the fact that I myself feel that I can neither prove or disprove the existence of God. I am atheist in that I know that I have a brain that is capable of thinking and that I am "free-thinking". I am Christian in that the Supreme Being that I believe is there is named God. So what I call myself is a human being.

What I have come to believe as the answers to my questions are fairly simple. As for the good and evil question, it is simply that one cannot exist without the other. If we want good there must be evil. God represents the good and Satan represents the evil. Creation or evolution, I believe in both. I can hardly accept that the world and all that is in it was created as an happen stance event such as a big-bang or any of the other theories scientists have postulated. The incredible odds that this perfect earth and that life in general could form by accident are staggering. There must have been a greater intervention for this to have occured, a grand creator. I believe in evolution as it is scientifically evidenced that all forms of life are constantly evolving in the attempt to survive our changing environments. Many of these occurances of evolution on the surface to the casual looker may have the appearance to have occured rather suddenly, but all these occurances were gradual over a long period of time.

When I pray, I pray for understanding and for knowledge. Not that the understanding and knowledge come as an immediate and great revalation simply because I asked for it, but that I obtain the understanding with the effort of research and learning. I do not pray to God asking for the world to be all right and harmonious, that is our own doings. If I need money or a new truck or whatever, I do not pray for it. A new truck is obtained from a car dealer not God. Those that ask God for everything in their life and believe that God will provide it to them if it is meant to be are the fanatics and are weak minded in my opinion. Those that explain why they believe and what is evidenced in their life to support their beliefs are not the fanatics. I have read several times about those that believe demonize those that do not. I know this happens by some but have seen no evidence of that here in this discussion and have run into few in my personal life that have done so to me because of the way I believe, which by some would be termed a disbelief because I do not adhere to their strict doctrines they hold dear. Also in relation to this part of the discussion, the act of believing is also the act of being "right" or "correct" for that person. To explain or defend that is no more being a fanatic or just as much being a fanatic, however you care to look at it, than the person that explains or defends his or her disbeliefs.

It comes down to this, we all have the ability to know right from wrong. We recognize that if we do something, there are consequences to our actions. If we base our decision to act upon something with the intended outcome to be good then we are doing good. If we intend to do harm, then our action is bad, wrong, evil or whatever you want to call it, all those words have the same basic meaning for all of us. Right and wrong, good and evil it all means basically the same thing. Gods law or morals as I prefer to call it, its all the same. It is in us to do good, because some choose for whatever reason to not do good, does not condemn all of human-kind to not be inherently good in nature as I believe that we are.

Yes I believe that our purpose for life on earth is for an opportunity to live and nothing more. To experience life is a great and wonderful miracle and it is the responsibility of each of us to make our experiences the best we can, to deal with the trials and tribulations that we all face and then try to make life better for others during their time of need.

So many problems we face in our time in this world and we search for explanations and reasons. In light of recent events many of us have around the world have questioned why. Of course, many of us look to God for answers while others look at the recent events as more of a reason to disbelieve and yet others don't know what to think. I do not believe times are any worse now than they ever were and I do not think we are in apocalyptic times. I think we are in a time where there still exists in the world intolerance for others for many reasons. Those reasons may be religious beliefs, intolerance for homosexuality, or disgust for a countries indulgence in a better life style to name what I see in the news as the biggest issues for bitter disagreement at this time. It is high time that we as humans work towards tolerating others that are different from ourselves in beliefs, race, sexual orientation, etc and learn acceptance of one another. To look at both sides of the story and try to gain understanding of one another and I truely believe that much of the evil in this world would be gone. To respect each person as a human being and look past our differences would change so much. But now I stray from the subject.

I will end by saying, we all believe in something. If we choose to call it God or just a desire to do good it really matters not. I am sorry for the extremely long post and I hope it was not too disjointed and difficult to follow my thoughts.
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Rosie
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well heck daddy. i just believe in me...so, i'm my god i guess but oh well. besides if god were real, we wouldn't have all this darn snow. Laughing
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afatherthatcares
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is kinda what I am saying Tasha. God is in us all.
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tim2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont believe there is any absolute value of right and wrong or good and evil. I think everyone does things to make them feel good. For most people making other people feel good makes them feel good and making other people feel bad makes them feel bad. Laws are made because people are made to feel bad by what someone else has done and when people think about whether they would feel bad too and decide they would then a law is made to stop that happening again. If a man abuses someone and feels good about that, he isnt going to suggest a law preventing it, the law is made by all the people who feel bad if they imagine it was them that was abused. Laws try to prevent most people from feeling bad from the actions of someone.

Laws dont tell you what is right or wrong they tell you what you can and cannot do. Laws try to prevent the majority of people from feeling bad by stopping some people from making others feel bad even if it makes them feel good. What you think is right is what makes you feel good, and if some one does something that makes you feel bad then that is what you think is wrong. Everyone has a different idea of what is right and wrong depending on what makes them feel good or bad.
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carter
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by carter on Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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afatherthatcares
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read again Carter, I did not say that a belief in a higher power was innate. I said a sense of right and wrong are innate. I also said in my rather long post, possibly the reason my meaning was lost, that I call a higher power by the name of God for the sake of having not come up with any other name. God or higher power or energy or whatever we want to call it, it is our creator and at the same created by us. Paradoxical I know, but I doubt humankind will ever be able to answer these questions without an element of faith mixed into the answer. Nothing is concrete and that has been part of my point.
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baypoint
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed pondering Carter's point about the "indoctrination" of children with a belief in a higher power, and that it someone would be hard pressed to find someone who hadn't grown up with a religious belief of some sort.

Yup, my children are taught a belief in God, as I was taught a belief in God, as was my father, as was his father, as was his father, as was his father (still going with Carter's assertion here), and so on, and so on, back through the generations, until we reach, oh, probably, Adam, who couldn't believe anything else, seeing as how his father was the Creator himself!

I think that the widespread existence of spirituality (even in its diversity of forms) is a great argument for the existence of God. Unless someone can point to a time in history where there was no belief in God, followed immediately by the "kooky idea of a Higher Power to blame stuff on" that somehow took off. I doubt it.
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carter
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by carter on Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ivonne
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, how about now?

Loads of people do not believe in the existence of a higher power or god or whatever. I'm one of them.

The time in history is now. We've all been taught about how "god" was responsible for genesis and all that and I'm not buying any of it.

Morphogenetic fields, chance and circumstance inescapably lead to the origin of life and ultimately to the human race and probably beyond us to... whatever.

Prove to a non believer the existence of God? I doubt if it can be done, but have fun trying...

Just because everyone believes something (which in this case is not true) doesn't mean it has to be true.
Every American seems to believe that Osama Bin Laden ordered the attack on the WTC. That's not the result of truth coming to the surface, more likely the result of an incredible media campaign to convince us about that.

So here you have rural stone age: Someone sais GOD exists and has told him it was going to snow in the wintertime. By golly, it snows and aren't the natives impressed? So God (and his priest) is firmly established, after all without God would they have gathered all that firewood... Come off it.

Ivonne
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