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-   -   Why Should I Believe in God? (http://ravingatheists.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13738)

Rhinoqulous 10-30-2007 12:34 PM

Why Should I Believe in God?
 
OK, here's what this thread is. This is an open invitation to anyone to posit an argument on why I should believe in God. I'm looking for rational arguments, which can deal with proofs of God's existence, moral arguments, epistemological arguments, whatever. This is a chance for any of the theists here (or any that visit in the future) to not only attempt to convert me, but to put down what you believe is the strongest testament to your belief (which would become a handy reference link for you in the future instead of repeatedly typing out the same things over and over).

What I'm NOT looking for are quotes from holy books or references to historical works. Why? Assume your oral/written traditions do prove the existence of your God, you then have the problem of other oral/written traditions proving the existence of other Gods. Also, if God exists, its existence should be able to be arrived at by means other than the fallible methods of oral and written history. Also, it's possible for all written histories of a religion to be lost, and all oral traditions forgotten, so it's reasonable to assume God would want other means than a book to transmit its existence.

I ask that this thread be lightly moderated. What I mean by that is I don't want this thread bogged down by pointless criticisms or jokes (as funny as they may be), I'm hoping this could possibly become a sticky and a reference tool that can be used by current and future forum posters. So if you just have to share a poo joke, start a secondary thread and post it there please.

Anyone can post and/or respond to anything posted, as long as you stay on topic. If you came across an argument for God you've never heard before, feel free to post it. If you have an argument against a position posted (or what you feel is a general argument "against" belief), feel free to post it. I don't really intend this to be a "debate" thread, but more of a thread we can keep reasonably tidy and point people to.

So have at it. Why do you believe in God, and why do you think I (or anyone) should believe in God as well?

Lurker 10-30-2007 12:42 PM

:think: Q: are you going to respond or is this a one-way conversation?

PollyP 10-30-2007 12:46 PM

You should believe in God because you know you need him. Why ask about something you know doesnt exist? Just the very fact that you are curious lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.

Rhinoqulous 10-30-2007 12:47 PM

I'll be responding, and anyone else is free to respond as well. Just Stay On Topic.

Rhinoqulous 10-30-2007 12:50 PM

Quote:

PollyP wrote (Post 446856)
You should believe in God because you know you need him. Why ask about something you know doesnt exist? Just the very fact that you are curious lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.

Hey, PollyP, welcome to the forum.

Why ask about something that doesn't exist? To understand the idea/belief better. It was brought up in another thread whether to tell children about Santa Claus, in anticipation that once the child learns of the lie they will be mistrusting of the parents. That's wondering about a non-existent being without positing its existence. Also, in what ways would you say I need God?

Irreligious 10-30-2007 12:53 PM

Quote:

PollyP wrote (Post 446856)
You should believe in God because you know you need him. Why ask about something you know doesnt exist? Just the very fact that you are curious lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.

I'm not curious about God, per se. It's not a real entity to me, but it is, apparently, to a lot of other people. Therefore, I am curious why others believe in this entity, in much the same way I'm curious why some other people believe in psychic phenonmena, space aliens or ghosts.

Philboid Studge 10-30-2007 01:07 PM

Can somebody in here define 'God' so we know we're all talking about the same thing?

Rhinoqulous 10-30-2007 01:13 PM

Quote:

Philboid Studge wrote (Post 446862)
Can somebody in here define 'God' so we know we're all talking about the same thing?

That would be up to the person posting an argument to believe in God to do. We shouldn't limit this to one definition of God, as different people have different conceptions of what God is. Generically, it's probably safe to assume that when someone refers to "god" without any additional qualifiers, they're referring to the monotheistic, tri-omni creator. If not, they should state so.

antix 10-30-2007 01:22 PM

Quote:

PollyP wrote (Post 446856)
You should believe in God because you know you need him. Why ask about something you know doesnt exist? Just the very fact that you are curious lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.

Welcome Polly. Curious as to how or why I would "know" I need him, when I don't accept the claims to his existence that I have been exposed to. I have seen nothing outside of written literature, personal testimony, and the existence of the universe as "proof" and none of those point to his existance at least as far as I've seen.

I can't speak for any others, but I don't claim to "know" that he doesn't exist either. I've turned down the specific claims to god due to inconsistancies and contradictions within the claims, but as far as a generic, "hands-off" origional creator, I see no way of proving or disproving such a being at this stage of humanity. But by way of being both hands off post creation as well as undetectable, it becomes a relatively meaningless entity.

Choobus 10-30-2007 02:03 PM

Quote:

Philboid Studge wrote (Post 446862)
Can somebody in here define 'God' so we know we're all talking about the same thing?

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1...crazy_shit.jpg

Kamikaze189 10-30-2007 04:02 PM

Quote:

PollyP wrote (Post 446856)
You should believe in God because you know you need him.

I've been living without any gods since I was approximately thirteen. I, and many other people (especially atheists since birth), are contradictory to this mind-reading you're supposedly doing.

Also, I'll head you off at the pass and just tell you not to play the armchair psychology card. If you do, I'll go find calpurnpiso, and have him pm you all his armchair psychology.

Quote:

Why ask about something you know doesnt exist?
It will be difficult for you to find an atheist who holds your strawman view of atheism: "I know god doesn't exist." Most atheists I've met are of the "lacking belief" variant.

Personally, I ask this question simply because I value truth -- and because it's a terrible waste of life if you're killing/dying in the name of a god you can't even prove exists. Or worse, if someone can't even argue for that god's existence.

Quote:

Just the very fact that you are curious lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.
When/if a child asks you if there is a tooth fairy or an allah or a bigfoot or crop-circle making aliens, I hope this same kind of logic goes off in your head and you will finally see the problem with it.

anthonyjfuchs 10-30-2007 04:32 PM

Quote:

PollyP wrote
You should believe in God because you know you need him.

If he knew that he needed your god, he'd believe in it.

The fact that he sees no compelling reason to believe in your god demonstrates rather clearly that he doesn't need it. The question is: why do you think he needs something that he doesn't believe exists?

Quote:

PollyP wrote
Why ask about something you know doesnt exist?

Literature teachers everywhere weep. If you think that asking about things that don't exist is a fruitless endeavor, then you must think that all study and criticism of literary fiction is equally meaningless.

Quote:

PollyP wrote
Just the very fact that you are curious...

He is curious as to what evidence convinces you that a specific supernatural being exists.

He is curious about why you think that a being exists when he sees no reason to believe that it does.

Quote:

PollyP wrote
...lets me know that you know there is a God and that you need him.

This says more about you and your belief than it does about Rhino.


An important thing to remember Polly is that you think that you "know" certain things. The existence of your god is surely one of these things; I'm certain that you don't even consider the possibility that the world exists without your god. I'm certain that you don't think of your faith as a "belief" in god; you simply "know" that your god exists.

But we don't know that. We sincerely do not. We know that the things you claim to "know" are really just things that you believe, and we see no difference between your beliefs and the beliefs of, say, a Muslim, or a Scientologist, or a Greek Pantheonist. And in the same way that you are convinced that those beliefs are inaccurate -- that the beliefs of Muslims and Scientologists and Greek Pantheonists are wrong -- we are convinced that your beliefs -- the things you think you "know" -- are inaccurate.

What many of us are looking for is an explanation of why you believe what you believe. What evidence convinces you that certain things are true; what convinces you that you "know" certain things? And of course you must be aware that if we don't find your evidence compelling, or if you claim that your beliefs do not require evidence, we will be unconvinced of your claims, and we will continue to find your claims unlikely.


All that being said: welcome to the forum.

ubs 10-30-2007 05:00 PM

Pragmatism
 
You should believe in God because it makes it possible for you to participate in politics and because it enhances your ability to make a living.

Do it for the power.

anthonyjfuchs 10-30-2007 05:08 PM

That doesn't require belief; just the pretense of it.

PollyP 10-30-2007 05:20 PM

OK
 
That's fine. Let's not be rude and use such terms as "punk", ok? I have no desire to have ill feelings towards someone I dont even know. Plus, I'm not a punk. I'm a girl named Polly. You can call me Polly or ma'am and that will be just fine.
I'm glad to see that people want to know why they need God. It would be impossible to list all the reasons but here are some basic ones.
1. You need God because you were created for his pleasure and the only way you will find out your purpose is through accepting God. You think your purpose is to be an atheist, but have you ever stopped to ask the creator what your purpose is? I'm sure you will find that it's not to be against the very one that created you.
2. You need Jesus to come into your heart because you are a sinner. Yes, you may disagree, but our very human nature proves it. Everyone is born with sin. Even as babies we express this through stinginess, greediness, and disobiedence to parents. If you die today without Christ in your life, you will not go to heaven. It's that simple, but yet we make it so hard.
3. You need God because you won't be able to make it without him. Our lives are desgined as such that we will always need God. We were made to love him.
4. You need God to feel the void in your life that you know is there but you probably wouldnt admit it.

I could go on and on and on. But the truth is, unless you recognize that you need God, then there's no amount of convincing I can do. Don't assume that your life is as well as it is because you did it. God allowed you to get to this point where I would log on to this site and write all this. So now you are without excuse. Now you know the answer. Choose life. Please don't die and go to hell if you don't have to. God desires that no man go to hell, but by not choosing God, that's what you choose. And why wouldnt anyone want something that's been nothing but God for them? Falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I EVER did. You think people just make this stuff up or it's just in our heads? It's worth the risk my friend. Take that leap of faith.


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