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Old 10-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
Rhinoqulous
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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?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:42 PM   #2
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:50 PM   #4
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PollyP wrote View Post
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?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:53 PM   #5
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PollyP wrote View Post
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.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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PollyP wrote View Post
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.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:02 PM   #7
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PollyP wrote View Post
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.

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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.

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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.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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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.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #10
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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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Old 10-30-2007, 05:27 PM   #11
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Reality is not a belief. We do not take it on faith, it confirms itself whenever we see physics, chemistry, biology etc. working as predicted by their various empirically obtained rules. - Sternwallow
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:43 AM   #12
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Just a thought

Does the reason to the existance of the universe lie within the universe itself ? If not, then it follows science will never be able to provide an answer to the reason for existance of the universe. So it follows the reason for the existance of the universe will forever remain a question of belief/faith ? If the answer is yes, then either science have found the answer or it will one day find the answer. If science have found the reason what is it ? If science is yet to find the answer, how can atheists already know that the answer will proof that no God exists ?

How can the coming into existance of the universe be called a naturual event, if there was ultimately nothing including nature (spacetime, energy, matter) ? If the coming into existance of the universe wasn't naturual, then it is proof of at least one scientifically unexplainable (supernaturual) event occuring ?
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:54 PM   #13
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PollyP wrote View Post
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.
lily?!?
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:11 PM   #14
Rhinoqulous
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PollyP wrote View Post
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.
First, so many misconceptions. My purpose is not to be an atheist, just as not believing in Santa Claus is not your purpose. It's a property I happen to have. Also, if I'm an atheist, why would I stop to ask what God's purpose for me is? I don't believe in God. I'm not against God, I don't believe it exists (or at best I believe any God that could exist seems to be a trivial belief). Your job in this thread is to attempt to convince me that God exists. After you've done that you can start speculating on God's purpose.

Quote:
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.
Sorry, telling me I'm bad and I'm going to be tortured for eternity is not going to convince me God exists. I don't believe in metaphysical sin, and certainly don't believe in the unjust concept of original sin (which is what I assume you mean by being born with sin). Bringing the behavior of non-moral agents (babies and children) into this has nothing to do with anything.

Quote:
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.
Make it where? Through life? That's certainly not true. Plenty of people make it through life just fine without believing in God. As for being made to love him (wouldn't that be "it"?), again, you're presupposing God exists, God created us, and God created us to love him (is he lonely?). Again, you're supposed to convince me God exists first, then you can get into reasons why I should worship it.

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4. You need God to feel the void in your life that you know is there but you probably wouldnt admit it.
The only void I feel right now is hunger, I need to make me some supper. Even if there was this "void", why would I choose your God to fill it? Why not our Jewish pal YHWH? Maybe tea with Allah? How about Cghene, or Krishna, or even the Screaming Blue Ants?

Quote:
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.
Wow. So even though I'm an atheist God gave me my job, house, possessions, interweb connection, as well as the interest and background in philosophy, just so I can start this thread and have you post here. Thanks God! You know God, while you were doing all this for me, there were billions of people actually suffering you could have fed, or clothed, or cleansed of disease, but whatever.

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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.
Again, threats of eternal torture will do nothing but irritate me.

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Falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I EVER did.
Uhm...

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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.
Yes, I do think people made this stuff up. That's not saying they didn't actually believe it, just as children actually believe in Santa Claus, but it still isn't true.

Swing and a miss! Who's up next to convert me?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:25 PM   #15
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Rhinoqulous wrote
Sorry, telling me I'm bad and I'm going to be tortured for eternity is not going to convince me God exists.
You make an interesting point here, similar to one of my favorite arguments against the argumentum ad consequentiam fallacy so gloriously displayed by Carico 2.0:

The threat of punishment, no matter how terrible if true, is only as effective as my willingness to consider it as a likely outcome. Imagine that I tell you that you will suffer eternal agony in the molten lava fields of Mercury unless you turn your life over to the Triomni Charonian Unicorns.

To be sure, we can both acknowledge that an eternity spent in the molten lava fields of Mercury would be an unimaginable horror if it were true. But we both know that, as horrible as it might be, there is no reason to believe that it is a likely outcome. You are therefore unlikely to turn your life over to the Triomni Charonian Unicorns on the basis of a threatened punishment.

Similarly, you (and I) are not going to consider the biblical settings of heaven or hell to be likely outcomes. There is as much evidence that they exist is there is evidence that Middle-earth or Narnia. Believing that heaven or hell exists because someone wrote about them in a book is identical to believing that End-World exists because Stephen King wrote about it in the Dark Tower.

And since we do not consider hell to be a likely outcome, we will not be compelled to accept any claims in an attempt to avoid it. We will be no more likely to turn our lives over to the fictional Jew named Jesus to avoid hell than we will be to turn our lives over to the Triomni Charonian Unicorns to avoid an eternity in the molten lava fields of Mercury.


Or, put another way: "I neither desire your Heaven, nor fear your Hell. I cannot be bribed or threatened. Now let us discuss your evidence."

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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