OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 20, 2014, 11:55:18 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Poll
Question: Why Do You Believe In God?
The Lives of Saints - 17 (8.7%)
The Witness of Martyrs - 19 (9.7%)
Historical Evidence - 18 (9.2%)
Science - 7 (3.6%)
The Bible - 17 (8.7%)
Miracles - 9 (4.6%)
Nature/Fine-Tuned Universe Argument - 13 (6.6%)
Other Philosophical Arguments - 16 (8.2%)
I Just Believe - 30 (15.3%)
A Personal Experience - 50 (25.5%)
Total Voters: 84

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why Do You Believe In God?  (Read 12720 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« on: October 17, 2009, 03:56:04 AM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence. I've set the poll so that you can pick your top three choices. 

Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

The reason I'm asking this is rather personal, in that I find myself believing in God even though I don't really have any concrete reason to. I know about this and that argument for the existence of God, and I also know about this or that rebuttal to those arguments (which I usually find to be as persuasive as the original arguments). I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like. So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe. I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 03:57:06 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Super Apostolic Bros.
Is St. Andrew Luigi to St. Peter's Mario?
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 227



« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 04:42:32 AM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.

I've also come to the conclusion that believing in God is an attitude of the heart. Should science prove that a yearning for the divine is genetically encoded is not a problem for someone like me; rather, it only proves that God wants us to be in communion with Him.

Also, I believe in the power of prayer to effect changes that are external.
Logged
Alpo
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jerkodox
Posts: 7,043



« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2009, 05:44:27 AM »

I believe in God probably because I've always believed and because a thought of godless Universe feels quite distressful. So no, either I have any concrete reason to believe.

I've been trying to justify my belief by gut feeling that there seems to be no reasonable explanation to the existence of Universe, life etc. Which of course may be due to my ignorance of scientific theories but for now I don't find secular explanations convincing. And since for me it's easier to believe in God of gaps than as irrational beliefs that Science will work out everything or that Universe has always existed I choose to believe in God. But that's pretty thin and personal argument so it won't probably convince anybody but me. But hey, I've born into the post-Enlightenment Western world i.e. I can't believe anything without a reason so I just had to work out something. Tongue

Actually I'd like to be an Atheist since it would be so much easier. But since I was blessed/cursed with pious Christian parents I have to bear the burden of religion.

Quote from: St. Augustine
Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.
Logged

Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 06:28:28 AM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence. I've set the poll so that you can pick your top three choices.

I found the choices a bit difficult, but I think I have come closest with 1: the Bible (something that has been constant, though not fanatically so, since childhood), 2: the witness of martyrs (probably because of my admiration for people willing to die for what they believe, even if that doesn't actually prove it to be right... if you know what I mean) and 3: I just believe. (Can't explain that one, I just do believe; always have and couldn't imagine not believing. Probably something to do with the "god gene".  Grin)

Quote
 

Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

Looking at my answers above, I don't know that I would do all that well in an intellectual debate.  Undecided

Quote
The reason I'm asking this is rather personal, in that I find myself believing in God even though I don't really have any concrete reason to. I know about this and that argument for the existence of God, and I also know about this or that rebuttal to those arguments (which I usually find to be as persuasive as the original arguments).

I'm not sure that we, any of us, have concrete reasons to believe. I wonder if it all comes down to simply accepting like a little child and that is something we have to learn to do. If one learned that from a child, perhaps it less difficult that later in life. I have noticed that people who were brought up in atheist/agnostic homes (I'm not suggesting that is the case with you) don't have that lifetime of acceptance. I'm not saying they don't make good believers when they turn to God, but for the lifetime believer there is that something that is so familiar, a comforting backup system even, about always having had God in one's head, so to speak. It's not proof, of course, just an emotional reliance or brain pattern that simply is there. Does that make any sense? Of course, this isn't always the case and people do give up a faith that has been theirs since childhood.

Quote
I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like. So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe.

I'm the world's greatest skeptic when it comes to miracles. I'm not proud of it, but I really find it hard to simply believe all the stories I hear while others seem to lap them up without reservation.  In a way, while some might call it gullibility, it's an innocent acceptance that I sort of envy, because I have found myself reading lives of the saints to my kids and thinking "Oh geesh, like this hasn't been embellished", even though I do accept the concept of miracles and always have. 

Quote
Again. , I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.

I suppose that's something I just wouldn't let happen. I don't consciously prevent myself from doing it, but perhaps, if I'm honest, I simply would not go there. In everything that I read, and I'm sure you are familiar with my interest in science, I always see God reigning supreme. I think that's a "work" part of faith; staying on the path; never veering no matter what seems to suggest otherwise.

I don't suppose any of this ramble has helped.  Grin

God be with you, dear brother.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 08:42:45 AM »

I really don't know why I'm a believer. But I suspect that if there was a "concrete reason" to believe in God, then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be knowledge. I did choose personal experience though because I experience faith as a personal encounter.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,623


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 09:22:13 AM »

"I believe, so that I may understand", rather than "I understand, therefore I believe".
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 09:55:10 AM »

I don't think I believe in some abstract God. Since early childhood, growing up in an atheistic and even anti-theistic atmosphere, I became drawn to the beauty of the Orthodox liturgy and to the "greatest story ever told" about Christ Who, being God, lowered Himself to a humble human and gave His life for the salvation of the world from sin. These two things, the liturgy and the "story," were back then my refuge from, and alternative to, a mundane life in the former USSR that I did not like and did not fit into. It's the same today, except it's not the USSR but the USA.
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 09:55:10 AM »

I really don't know why I'm a believer. But I suspect that if there was a "concrete reason" to believe in God, then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be knowledge. I did choose personal experience though because I experience faith as a personal encounter.

Same here.
Logged

Love never fails.
GammaRay
The Awful Preacher
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 574


Alexandros Papadiamantis


« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 10:34:18 AM »

Because He also believes in me. And I can't let Him down.
Logged

Though I've walked the valley of the shadow of the death, I've fallen not. Not completely. Not yet.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 10:37:40 AM »

To believe really means to love, to hold dear.

From the OED:
Quote
Early Middle English bileven, from bi-, 'be'- + leven; leven from Old English, Anglian léfan, shortened from geléfan, West Saxon gelíefan, gelýfan, a Common Teutonic verb; Old Teutonic *galaubian 'to believe', probably, ‘to hold estimable, valuable, pleasing, or satisfactory, to be satisfied with,’ from galaub- ‘dear, pleasing’; cf. Gothic liuban, lauf, lubum, lubans, Teutonic root *lub-, Aryan lubh-, 'to hold dear, to like', whence also LOVE.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 10:40:46 AM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Andrew21091
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,271



« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 11:57:27 AM »

I have a few reasons. I've always believed in God just by looking at my surroundings in nature or looking up to the stars and just pondering the universe. I could never accept that everything just all of the sudden appeared on its own out of nothing so we had to have a Creator. Reading the lives of the Saints and the martyrs only strengthened my belief that God exists since so many people gave their lives for Christ. Think about it. If there isn't a God then Christ would never have rose from the dead and then ascended to Heaven. If He wasn't raised from the dead the Apostles would have just gone back to their trades but did they? No, all of the Apostles who knew Christ and witnessed the Resurrection went out to proclaim Him to all the peope of the world and all of them (with the exception of St. John) were martyred. I thought, if they just made up the Resurrection and miracles of Christ then why would they choose to face death? Why would they die for something that was a lie? They wouldn't and therfore, I came to the conclusion that God exists by reading about how they witnessed for Christ.
Logged
ms.hoorah
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 866


« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2009, 12:13:31 PM »

Love and peace are the only items that one can acquire that bring true happiness.  Love and peace are the cure for all problems. Jesus Christ is the “Teacher” that provides us with this awesome instruction and was living proof of God’s great love for us.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,963


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2009, 01:19:10 PM »

I believe in a combination of "science" and "other."  It seems to me that the laws of science calls for something intelligent beyond the universe (or multiverse if this becomes a fact).  Now this is quite an assumption, but that's why it must be combined with this "other" that I have, and that is that I believe "vain existence can never exist."  Atheists may argue as to the fact that having no God doesn't mean life is vain  In fact, they take their lives much more seriously knowing that they will cease to exist at some point in life (I find this ironic, since they also find the idea of a God "damning" people to hell eternally quite abhorrent).  But to me, that is vanity.  I am brought to existence only to find myself in the end no longer exist.  The means to non-existence is simply bringing others to exist so that they too may not exist.

This to me is a powerful indicator that there's more to it to life than a cycle of existence and non-existence.

Interestingly enough then, there are those who believe science will solve everything.  Assuming science does bring humanity to some sort of physical immortality and powerful technological advances that make us avoid parts of the decaying world/universe.  What would the purpose of an immortal life mean, especially after and because of the deaths (and subsequent "non-existence") of millions of generations before them?

Perhaps the idea of an "infinite and eternal" God allows one room to grow forever, whereas the idea that science may one day solve all things allow one to ask, "now what?"  Still a vain pursuit, imo.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 01:21:25 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Douglas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 608


« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2009, 01:28:10 PM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence.

I was raised in a Christian home and from my infancy God has been as real to me as my mum or dad.

Quote
Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

Probably not very well I'm afraid. Arguments to "prove" God or to "prove" Orthodoxy or what-have-you have never impressed me (and I suspect they don't impress the majority of folks... just those intellectual types who love to argue religion and throw around hundred-dollar theological big words. I believe what I believe and I'm willing to share this with others. BUT I'm definitely NOT going to try and prove my beliefs. That is the Holy Spirit's job.

Quote
I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like.

I hear you on the skepticism relating to miracles (and in particular the lives of the Saints which I find stretching my credulity to the limit. I know there's a kernel of truth in there, but I certainly don't cotton to the idea of some elder being carried on the back of a demon to celebrate the liturgy in Jerusalem). There have been personal experiences, however, that have confirmed for ME that God is real. I generally do not share these since I see little point in it.

 
Quote
So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe. I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.

It seems to me that a life that is pious (as much as is possible) and filled with peace is the best argument one can give for one's belief. Intellectual arguments, arguments from science or from the bible... for the most part turn the majority off. But a life that is filled with peace is one that cannot be easily blown off. Folks want peace and they are attracted to those who possess it. St Seraphim: find peace and those about you will find their salvation.
Logged

Douglas no longer posts on the forum.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2009, 02:48:27 PM »

Love and peace are the only items that one can acquire that bring true happiness.  Love and peace are the cure for all problems. Jesus Christ is the “Teacher” that provides us with this awesome instruction and was living proof of God’s great love for us.

Absolutely agree.
Logged

Love never fails.
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,136



« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2009, 04:49:33 PM »

My parents and grandparents taught me to pray.  I've always felt God's presence.  As I grew, attending Liturgy and Sunday School, I learned about God and His Faith.  Upon graduation from Sunday School (as a high school junior), my parish priest gave me a book about the Divine Liturgy (by Fr. George Papadeas
-Patmos Press), that brought together all I had learned, but maybe didn't quite understand.  Soon, I attended a newly developing parish nearer my home where the new young priest said the Consecretion in English.  Only the organ played "We Praise Thee..." until after the three "Amens."  Hearing "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these Gifts here spread forth..." made it real to me, beyond imagination.  That same priest gave a tour of our newly constructed church.  I was fascinated about what the symbolism meant. During my 20's, I couldn't find enough to read to satisfy my thirst for knowledge about our Bless Faith. Today, I've been chanting in that parish for 38 years and God has blessed my life beyond anything imaginable. 

Praise God for our Blessed Holy Orthodoxy!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 04:57:09 PM by Basil 320 » Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2009, 06:29:47 PM »

I really don't know why I'm a believer. But I suspect that if there was a "concrete reason" to believe in God, then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be knowledge. I did choose personal experience though because I experience faith as a personal encounter.

I thought of choosing "personal experience", but hesitated because personal experience can be so subjective. I can definitely look at incidents in my life and say that I believe God was involved, but my problem is, how can I be sure that I'm just not allowing my emotions to rule my head - or presuming to count the mundane as divine intervention, and risking pride in the process? Or is personal experience something else? I know of so many airy-fairy Christians who truly believe that God arranges parking places for them when they are running late to an appointment, whereas I might be thankful to get the parking place, I don't necessarily think that God arranged the cosmos so that I did. I guess I'm asking what is really meant by "personal experience".  Grin
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,831


WWW
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2009, 01:52:20 AM »

John 20:28-29 (NKJV) sums it up for me:

28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


I voted: just believe, lives of saints and witness of martyrs.

Edited for context
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 01:53:19 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2009, 02:28:55 AM »

I apologize that I didn't have more voting options. It was only after I submitted the poll and saw some of the responses that I realised that I left some significant ones out (at the very least there should have been an "other" option). It has been interesting reading the responses, though.  I actually expected a higher vote count for the Nature/Fine-Tuned Universe argument. I wonder how different the poll results would be if it was on an Evangelical forum. Thank you for all of your comments. I feel silly saying that, as I know it wasn't just for me that people responded, but I did get something out of the thread, so I wanted to thank you all anyway.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,136



« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2009, 02:57:50 AM »

Re. REPLY #16, Riddikulus, I find myself always wondering about whether God has chosen to influence the mundane things that impact life.  I do not know.  Obviously, in the larger picture, I have a sense for when God is guiding me, in both pleasing and non-pleasing circumstances, but I always question the mundane things, good and bad, as to whether they are Godly inspired, or directed,  or not. 
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2009, 06:32:29 AM »

I guess I'm asking what is really meant by "personal experience". 
In this case, and for me, "personal experience" is an encounter of Persons- my person with the Person of the Man-God. I have met Him, broken and suffering on the streets and in hospital beds. He has smiled and placed a comforting Hand on my shoulder when I've been afraid. He has waited patiently as a Loving Friend when I strayed off and embraced me with joy when I returned. I have been able to do seemingly impossible things despite my fear and instinct for self-preservation because I love Him.
No simple "idea" or "philosophy" can explain these things. The only explanation is that Christ is not an "idea" but an actual Person.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2009, 08:47:38 AM »

I guess I'm asking what is really meant by "personal experience". 
In this case, and for me, "personal experience" is an encounter of Persons- my person with the Person of the Man-God. I have met Him, broken and suffering on the streets and in hospital beds. He has smiled and placed a comforting Hand on my shoulder when I've been afraid. He has waited patiently as a Loving Friend when I strayed off and embraced me with joy when I returned. I have been able to do seemingly impossible things despite my fear and instinct for self-preservation because I love Him.
No simple "idea" or "philosophy" can explain these things. The only explanation is that Christ is not an "idea" but an actual Person.

Oh, yes - I do see. That is very beautiful, George. I feel shamed that I didn't think of "personal experience" in those terms.  Cry

God be with you, dear brother.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Douglas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 608


« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2009, 11:34:10 AM »

I agree. This is very well expressed ozgeorge. Thanks.
Logged

Douglas no longer posts on the forum.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 03:55:41 PM »

Does anyone know of an essay or article online that deals with believing in God based on religious experience (the argument from religious experience)?
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2009, 04:25:27 PM »

I first had to believe that there was an Afterlife. Once I accepted that, it became necessary to prepare. The best way I found to prepare was Christianity. The Christian Church teaches the existence of God. I trust the Church based on it's history and the examples it has set for us to follow. I also later came to believe that the Bible was reliable as well as beautiful.

 
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: I'm Greek and proud of it, damn it!
Posts: 6,279



« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2009, 05:11:20 PM »

As ridiculous as it may sound, I just cannot see myself not believing in God.  Granted, I have gone through spurts where I have not cared whether I believed in Him, but I simply cannot fathom living my life without HIm in it in some way.  I suppose it was just instilled in me since I was young by my parents and reinforced.  It wasn't because of evidence or philosphical proofs or miracles.  In short, I just don't know why.  And I don't think we have to know the answer either.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Byzantine2008
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 280



« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2009, 05:42:29 PM »

A great topic!

I was confronted by a person with this very question. He asked me "Why do you believe in God?"

I was dumbfounded because I did not know how to answer. His eyes were beaming into me waiting with anticipation for an answer.

I looked at him sheepishly and replied "I just believe." His reaction to my answer was one of disdain because I did not give him a logical or scientific answer.

Going home that night I was troubled because I still could not honestly answer that question sufficiently. Other thoughts started entering my mind such as, Does God exist? Have I been misled by the Christian Faith? Am I fool for believing in something without explaining why I believe?

This constant torment of thoughts went on for days. I tried to pray but even started to question the power and effect of prayer...

Eventually I gradually started to realize for myself that I believe in God because He is real!

I believe in God because every day He is calling to me!

He is calling me to repent and change my sinful ways!

I believe He is calling everyone to Himself and in most cases we just do not listen!

We do not listen because we are too busy with other facets of life and His calling is overwhelmed by the constant clatter.

I believe if everyone on earth makes an effort to listen they will hear the calling as I have and continue to have everyday of my life.

Lord have mercy on me a sinner.




Logged

Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2009, 06:10:24 PM »

I believe becaue the existence of God can be demonstrated by reason.
I believe because I think that the order of our universe demands a creator.
I believe becuase there is a strong historical case for the ressurrection of Christ.
I believe because no philosophy but the Christian faith can answer the deepest longings of the human heart.
I believe because when I see people who truely live a life of sanctity I see happiness but when I see man try to satisfy his own desires with hedonism, then I see unhappiness.
I believe because Christ has revealed himself to me in the Blessed Sacrament.
I believe because God loves me and calls me to himself everyday.
I believe because of the beauty of the Catholic faith.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2009, 06:52:00 PM »

Does anyone know of an essay or article online that deals with believing in God based on religious experience (the argument from religious experience)?
Here's a good one.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2009, 06:56:14 PM »

Does anyone know of an essay or article online that deals with believing in God based on religious experience (the argument from religious experience)?
Here's a good one.
That is a good one.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2009, 07:05:59 PM »

Quote
Here's a good one.

Thanks. Smiley Do you know of one that is more philosophical/general, and isn't based on the Christian Scripture?
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2009, 07:52:12 PM »

Quote
Here's a good one.

Thanks. Smiley Do you know of one that is more philosophical/general, and isn't based on the Christian Scripture?
Check out The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis and If There's a God, Why are there Atheists?, by R.C. Sproul
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2009, 08:02:19 PM »

I don't really know if there is a reason; my religion is not a preference or a belief but a relationship. To me, the idea that God could not exist is just as silly as if someone tried to convince me my father doesn't exist. I don't need to be convinced he exists, because I have experienced enough with my father that any argument toward that end would be futile. Same with God; the experience speaks for itself.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,965



« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2009, 09:12:53 PM »

I would say that I just believe.  If I am in danger, my heart automatically cries out to God for help, therefore I know that I believe in Him.
Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,494


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2009, 02:08:58 AM »

I believe in God for the same reason I believe in air. I breathe, thus I know that air exists. I exist, thus I know that God is.

BTW, in regards to the poll, can I vote "all of the above?" Smiley


Selam
Logged

"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2009, 08:32:03 AM »

BTW, in regards to the poll, can I vote "all of the above?" Smiley
I had the same problem!
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
NorthernPines
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 934



« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 11:36:52 AM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence. I've set the poll so that you can pick your top three choices. 

Great question! And those were hard choices. In the end I went with; Historical Evidence, Nature, and a Personal Experience.

Historical Evidence in particular of 1st century Judaism, along with, especially the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Now, technically a guy rising from the dead doesn't "prove" God's existence, as it could have been a string theory once ever 3 billion year event, (though a scientific explanation of course doesn't rule out God's intervention either), but the historical evidence for the Resurrection is pretty solid. People don't think it is because they try to apply the scientific method to history.....which is incorrect. Historical methodology is totally different than the scientific method of say, biology or geology. Most laymen atheists (and apparently most professional atheists) don't know this however (or choose to ignore it) If we required history to be tested by the scientific method we wouldn't know anything about history beyond the oldest living person's lifetime. Anyways, the historical method has pretty strong evidence for Jesus Resurrection.

Second for me is Nature....though not the "fine tuned universe" argument exactly. I accept that idea to a degree, but not the extent that Creation "science" would argue, or God of the gaps or any of that. For me the "God in Nature" is in part based on my 3rd choice, which is Personal Experience. It's not so much that I see a fine tuned echosystem and simply assume an intelligence is behind it, but I see a fine tuned, echosystem and simply perceive something beyond what we can physically see. Definitely arbitrary and definitely more of an experiential thing that "science"....I guess you could say I "see" God's existence reflected in Nature.

Quote
Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

I probably wouldn't do that well...LOL! I'm but a laymen in any areas that could be used to reasonably defend God' existence, though on the historical front I'm probably more well versed that just your typical run of the mill atheist on the street. So I might hold up ok with the historical aspect (which I feel is the strongest evidence).

I also think Science itself kind of supports God's existence IMO, particularly cosmology, but also biology and just how there simply is not scientific explanation for so many things, like sapience, love, altruism for other species, or for example how our gene sequences can be SO darn close to other primates and yet we build cathedrals, create art and music, rocket ships and other primates do not. From my limited study there is simply nothing in our DNA sequences that make sense of what makes us "human"...maybe a God of the gaps argument, OTH even if it is simply a "gap" in scientific knowledge, the aquiring of that knowledge in the future doesn't mean God still isn't behind it all.

Quote
The reason I'm asking this is rather personal, in that I find myself believing in God even though I don't really have any concrete reason to. I know about this and that argument for the existence of God, and I also know about this or that rebuttal to those arguments (which I usually find to be as persuasive as the original arguments). I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like. So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe.

In the end, considering I've come through a period of agnosticism once again, I'd say that for me, it boils down to Personal Experience, being the clincher. Historical Evidence put me on the fence leaning towards belief, but it was the personal experience that put me on this side of the fence again. (for the time being...lol!)

I know, not a good answer for say Dawkins....OTH, there is a lot more "evidence" out there that just personal experience. And while these evidences may be scattered over many different disciplines, and in areas most people simply are not familiar with (history, cosmology, etc) well it only "seems" like there isn't much....to me there as someone who remained more agnostic than atheist, there is just as much evidence to believe as not to believe.....but then if you weigh in history, and certain sciences (including string theory of multiple dimensions which makes things like Jesus "walking through walls" scientifically possible, well....I don't think belief in God is "blind" faith......but it DOES seem to always come down to personal experience in the end. And in fact, for me, it was the experience, or LACK of experience that lead me towards doubt, despite evidence to the contrary.


Quote
I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.

I'm sort of there too. And in fact, I've found myself defending atheists and atheism even as a believer because Christians in particular usually misrepresent atheism just as atheism misrepresents religion. Even people like Dawkins aren't all we make them out to be. (he seems to be someone I could hang out with as long as we didn't debate religion, he's certainly not a raving lunatic or mad scientist bent on killing religious people as he's often taken out of context and made out to be by us Christians) I disagree strongly with his approach, and he can be abrassive, I think Michael Shermer is far more easier listen to or read and he doesn't bash religious people per se....

Ironically, Carl Sagan is another skeptic who's teaching and books have actually helped lead me away from agnosticism, and in the end, he wasn't an "atheist" but an agnostic, and even his widow has implied he may have believed in God, just not in any of the interpretations of God the world religions have put forth. (which is kind of where I usually end up in my periods of doubt....flat out atheism when I truly contemplate it, has always seemed just to rediculous to me)

For the record I was not raised in a "religious home" per se.....I never even set foot in a Church until I was 19 at a friends wedding....we "believed in God" and I was baptized in the Catholic Church as a baby, but the extent of our religious practices were of course Christmas and the baby Jesus, and Easter where I was vaguely aware of Jesus dying on the cross and "rising" from the dead...(though I never took the Resurrection as literal, or I don't think I did)....so I wasn't indoctrinated as a kid and if I "returned to the religion of my childhood" it would be what I described at not what I am now. Smiley

Anyways great question....and timely for me as well.


Logged
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2009, 12:25:20 PM »

Ironically, Carl Sagan is another skeptic who's teaching and books have actually helped lead me away from agnosticism, and in the end, he wasn't an "atheist" but an agnostic, and even his widow has implied he may have believed in God, just not in any of the interpretations of God the world religions have put forth. (which is kind of where I usually end up in my periods of doubt....flat out atheism when I truly contemplate it, has always seemed just to rediculous to me)

I have always loved Dr. Carl Sagan's works.  You are definitely right, he seemed to be an Agnostic that had more Spiritual Naturalist leanings now and then.  I find his views to be some of the healthiest of the "skeptic" field, since he truly sticks to scepticism and doesn't fall into the illogical trap of strong atheism.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2009, 01:47:37 AM »

Ran across this quote in a document I have on my computer and thought I'd post it in this thread...

"The so-called logical evidence for the existence of God is: the cosmological, theological, psychological, historical, ethical proofs, and many more, which, through the passing of time have been formulated into philosophical rationalism. They cannot, in the Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church, have a value of real evidence because they are based on the principles of the relative, limited, sinful minds and senses of humanity. To the Church and the Revelation, the truth about the existence of God is an illogical and irrational hypothesis, which has the need of proof with the basis of logical reasoning, the truth which God has revealed to us, and is therefore the unquestionable, true evidence. As a divine and given reality, this truth is not dependent on proof and arguments from rational functions of the mind." - Fr. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, p. 202
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
witega
Is it enough now, to tell you you matter?
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,614


« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2009, 02:21:47 AM »

I love St. Justin. He captures it perfectly.
Logged

Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2009, 05:45:06 AM »

Ran across this quote in a document I have on my computer and thought I'd post it in this thread...

"The so-called logical evidence for the existence of God is: the cosmological, theological, psychological, historical, ethical proofs, and many more, which, through the passing of time have been formulated into philosophical rationalism. They cannot, in the Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church, have a value of real evidence because they are based on the principles of the relative, limited, sinful minds and senses of humanity. To the Church and the Revelation, the truth about the existence of God is an illogical and irrational hypothesis, which has the need of proof with the basis of logical reasoning, the truth which God has revealed to us, and is therefore the unquestionable, true evidence. As a divine and given reality, this truth is not dependent on proof and arguments from rational functions of the mind." - Fr. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, p. 202

Excellent quote, and I couldn't agree more!
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2009, 07:10:25 AM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence. I've set the poll so that you can pick your top three choices. 

Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

The reason I'm asking this is rather personal, in that I find myself believing in God even though I don't really have any concrete reason to. I know about this and that argument for the existence of God, and I also know about this or that rebuttal to those arguments (which I usually find to be as persuasive as the original arguments). I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like. So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe. I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.


A combination of Experience & Intuition






But I would like to ask you:

Why did the family from which the exorcist movie was based believe in the existence of demons?


Why did the family from which the movie "the exorcism of Emily Rose" believe in the existence if demons?


Why would anyone believe in the existence of something they can't see?








ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 07:12:42 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2009, 07:23:39 AM »

jnorm888,

Quote
Why did the family from which the exorcist movie was based believe in the existence of demons?
Why did the family from which the movie "the exorcism of Emily Rose" believe in the existence if demons?

They read the New Testament and took it seriously and literally, I would wager.

Quote
Why would anyone believe in the existence of something they can't see?

Oh, I'm sure we all believe in things we can't see. Gravity, for example. However, I would say that there's a difference between believing in something we can't see (gravity), and believing in something we have little to no evidence for (demons). While we can't "see" gravity, we can still see the consequences of it, and it is my understand that scientifically-inclined folk have a well-evidenced theory for how/why it works. The evidence for demons, on the other hand, has not done as well over the past 2,000 years.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 07:24:26 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2009, 10:48:26 AM »

jnorm888,

Quote
Why did the family from which the exorcist movie was based believe in the existence of demons?
Why did the family from which the movie "the exorcism of Emily Rose" believe in the existence if demons?

They read the New Testament and took it seriously and literally, I would wager.

Quote
Why would anyone believe in the existence of something they can't see?

Oh, I'm sure we all believe in things we can't see. Gravity, for example. However, I would say that there's a difference between believing in something we can't see (gravity), and believing in something we have little to no evidence for (demons). While we can't "see" gravity, we can still see the consequences of it, and it is my understand that scientifically-inclined folk have a well-evidenced theory for how/why it works. The evidence for demons, on the other hand, has not done as well over the past 2,000 years.
I don't know. Some acts of grave evil in our world seem to be so evil that they deny natural explanation. Of course this is a subjective arguement.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
witega
Is it enough now, to tell you you matter?
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,614


« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2009, 11:10:26 AM »

Oh, I'm sure we all believe in things we can't see. Gravity, for example. However, I would say that there's a difference between believing in something we can't see (gravity), and believing in something we have little to no evidence for (demons). While we can't "see" gravity, we can still see the consequences of it, and it is my understand that scientifically-inclined folk have a well-evidenced theory for how/why it works. The evidence for demons, on the other hand, has not done as well over the past 2,000 years.

But it's only in the last century that scientifically-inclined folk have had a 'well-evidenced theory for how/why it works'; and it was only for a few centuries before that that they had an even rudimentary description of how it worked (other than, 'stuff falls'). That doesn't mean that a first-century individual (or a 16th century Aborigine or a pre-Dynastic Egyptian) didn't *know* that gravity existed. Even if they couldn't begin to explain or even really describe it.

Yes, it's an imperfect anology to the existence of God (and yes, I'm ignoring the fact that this part of the thread was actually revolving around existance of demons), because gravity is a physical force and my first-century individual could *see* things fall. And while most of humanity survived without one, as a physical force, scientists were able to come with an explanation, whereas, by definition, a truly transcendent Deity will never be circumscrible or rationally explainable to contingent minds such as ours. But still, just as I know, in my body (without reference to any scientific textbook) that if I step off a cliff, I will fall, I know, in my soul, that there is a numinous reality beyond what I can see.

Logic, historical study, individual experience, etc went into my determination that that reality is the revelation of Christ, but I could no more disbelieve in God than I can disbelieve in the existence of my body.
Logged

Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Moderated
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 38,142



« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2009, 12:12:29 PM »

Ran across this quote in a document I have on my computer and thought I'd post it in this thread...

"The so-called logical evidence for the existence of God is: the cosmological, theological, psychological, historical, ethical proofs, and many more, which, through the passing of time have been formulated into philosophical rationalism. They cannot, in the Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church, have a value of real evidence because they are based on the principles of the relative, limited, sinful minds and senses of humanity. To the Church and the Revelation, the truth about the existence of God is an illogical and irrational hypothesis, which has the need of proof with the basis of logical reasoning, the truth which God has revealed to us, and is therefore the unquestionable, true evidence. As a divine and given reality, this truth is not dependent on proof and arguments from rational functions of the mind." - Fr. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, p. 202

Excellent quote, and I couldn't agree more!

I was brought to Orthodoxy by Fr. Meyendorf's comment that according to Orthodoxy, the natural religion of man is agnosticism, because finite man cannot conceive of the infinite God.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2009, 12:36:03 PM »

jnorm888,

Quote
Why did the family from which the exorcist movie was based believe in the existence of demons?
Why did the family from which the movie "the exorcism of Emily Rose" believe in the existence if demons?

They read the New Testament and took it seriously and literally, I would wager.

Quote
Why would anyone believe in the existence of something they can't see?

Oh, I'm sure we all believe in things we can't see. Gravity, for example. However, I would say that there's a difference between believing in something we can't see (gravity), and believing in something we have little to no evidence for (demons). While we can't "see" gravity, we can still see the consequences of it, and it is my understand that scientifically-inclined folk have a well-evidenced theory for how/why it works. The evidence for demons, on the other hand, has not done as well over the past 2,000 years.

Eh, we're not quite there yet, even on the 'how' part, sure we have solid theories for how it works on a medium and large scale, but while we are capable of measuring quantum gravity and have a few good hypotheses we don't yet have a good theory of quantum gravity. As for the why it works, we understand there is an interaction between matter and space-time and we can predict the results, but still lack a proven theory on the mechanics of the interaction, though we have a pretty good idea where to look: the Higgs bosons.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2009, 12:38:54 PM »

jnorm888,

Quote
Why did the family from which the exorcist movie was based believe in the existence of demons?
Why did the family from which the movie "the exorcism of Emily Rose" believe in the existence if demons?

They read the New Testament and took it seriously and literally, I would wager.

Quote
Why would anyone believe in the existence of something they can't see?

Oh, I'm sure we all believe in things we can't see. Gravity, for example. However, I would say that there's a difference between believing in something we can't see (gravity), and believing in something we have little to no evidence for (demons). While we can't "see" gravity, we can still see the consequences of it, and it is my understand that scientifically-inclined folk have a well-evidenced theory for how/why it works. The evidence for demons, on the other hand, has not done as well over the past 2,000 years.

Eh, we're not quite there yet, even on the 'how' part, sure we have solid theories for how it works on a medium and large scale, but while we are capable of measuring quantum gravity and have a few good hypotheses we don't yet have a good theory of quantum gravity. As for the why it works, we understand there is an interaction between matter and space-time and we can predict the results, but still lack a proven theory on the mechanics of the interaction, though we have a pretty good idea where to look: the Higgs bosons.
Oh Physics, the coolest of the sciences.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2009, 12:43:12 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2009, 12:58:20 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2009, 01:00:20 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Why should anyone do anything?
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2009, 01:10:39 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Why should anyone do anything?

Just a friendly recommendation, but if you want to sit alone in the dark and wallow in misery, more power to you.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #52 on: November 03, 2009, 01:22:20 PM »

Well, I for one am not wallowing in misery in the dark.

That's a false dichotomy.

However I learned a lesson early on - people you love die and it hurts. A lot.

Love is the point? Give me a break. What next? Sunshine and roses and whiskers on kittens?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #53 on: November 03, 2009, 02:01:51 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Why should anyone do anything?

Just a friendly recommendation, but if you want to sit alone in the dark and wallow in misery, more power to you.
It just seems that the pain of loss (the death of friends and loved ones as well as the breaking of relationships) would make life unbearable for anyone who does not believe in God. The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #54 on: November 03, 2009, 02:19:22 PM »

Quote
The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.

If there is no God, we have to make our own meaning in life. That meaning might include: the survival and prosperity of our species as a whole, a better life for those we love (e.g. our children), and happiness and productivity in our own life. Of course, most religious people would still say "What for? So what? What's the point? If there is no God, I don't see why people would care!"  I understand why some people think atheism should logically lead to nihilism: because for them without God there is no point to existence.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2009, 02:36:17 PM »

Quote
The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.

If there is no God, we have to make our own meaning in life. That meaning might include: the survival and prosperity of our species as a whole, a better life for those we love (e.g. our children), and happiness and productivity in our own life. Of course, most religious people would still say "What for? So what? What's the point? If there is no God, I don't see why people would care!"  I understand why some people think atheism should logically lead to nihilism: because for them without God there is no point to existence.
I don't see how it doesn't lead to nihilism.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2009, 02:39:51 PM »

Before I came into this thread to read your response I said to myself "He's going to say 'I don't understand how it would have any meaning'". Well, I came close Grin
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2009, 02:43:22 PM »

Before I came into this thread to read your response I said to myself "He's going to say 'I don't understand how it would have any meaning'". Well, I came close Grin
Grin I think the atheist has to create some kind of blind faith in "meaning" in order to have meaning in his or her life.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 02:43:59 PM by Papist » Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Moderated
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 38,142



« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2009, 03:06:50 PM »

Before I came into this thread to read your response I said to myself "He's going to say 'I don't understand how it would have any meaning'". Well, I came close Grin
Grin I think the atheist has to create some kind of blind faith in "meaning" in order to have meaning in his or her life.
You mean hedonism?
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2009, 03:15:39 PM »

Quote
I think the atheist has to create some kind of blind faith in "meaning" in order to have meaning in his or her life.

I think you might be on to something with the "blind faith" thing, though I would say it's an assumptive opinion rather than blind faith.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2009, 03:26:56 PM »

Quote
I think the atheist has to create some kind of blind faith in "meaning" in order to have meaning in his or her life.

I think you might be on to something with the "blind faith" thing, though I would say it's an assumptive opinion rather than blind faith.
Semantics
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2009, 03:40:08 PM »

Not really, at least in how I would use the terms. Blind faith would be a leap of faith based on very little data or evidence, or in the face of a large body of contrary evidence. An assumptive opinion would be a view which is based on a moderate amount of experience and reason, but would nonetheless be an opinion which has not been demonstrated to the extent that it could be called a fact.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2009, 03:43:18 PM »

Not really, at least in how I would use the terms. Blind faith would be a leap of faith based on very little data or evidence, or in the face of a large body of contrary evidence. An assumptive opinion would be a view which is based on a moderate amount of experience and reason, but would nonetheless be an opinion which has not been demonstrated to the extent that it could be called a fact.
Semantics when applied to the current situation. There is absolutely no evidence of there being any standard for applying meaning to the life of an atheist.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2009, 05:37:27 PM »

Not really, at least in how I would use the terms. Blind faith would be a leap of faith based on very little data or evidence, or in the face of a large body of contrary evidence. An assumptive opinion would be a view which is based on a moderate amount of experience and reason, but would nonetheless be an opinion which has not been demonstrated to the extent that it could be called a fact.
Semantics when applied to the current situation. There is absolutely no evidence of there being any standard for applying meaning to the life of an atheist.

Every individual gets to choose what gives their life meaning; but in the end, it all comes down to pleasure. We're all hedonists in the end, I seek pleasure in the here and now, some seek pleasure in a future existence, some get pleasure out of helping others, some get pleasure out of hurting others, some get pleasure from creating and discovering, some get pleasure from destroying, some get pleasure in serving, some get pleasure in ruling. But, in the end, we're all hedonists, no matter how we try to dress it up, how we try to justify it, how we try to explain it, everyone, regardless of belief, finds the meaning of their life in hedonism...some are just more honest about it than others.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #64 on: November 03, 2009, 05:39:57 PM »

Quote
I think the atheist has to create some kind of blind faith in "meaning" in order to have meaning in his or her life.

I think you might be on to something with the "blind faith" thing, though I would say it's an assumptive opinion rather than blind faith.

Sometimes it seems to me that people I disagree with have "blind faith."
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2009, 05:43:29 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Why should anyone do anything?

Just a friendly recommendation, but if you want to sit alone in the dark and wallow in misery, more power to you.
It just seems that the pain of loss (the death of friends and loved ones as well as the breaking of relationships) would make life unbearable for anyone who does not believe in God. The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.
It seems to me that it's not so much the idea of "God" that would temper the pain of loss or the unbearability of life, as it is the idea of "justice" beyond this life.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2009, 05:58:26 PM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.
Why should anyone do anything?

Just a friendly recommendation, but if you want to sit alone in the dark and wallow in misery, more power to you.
It just seems that the pain of loss (the death of friends and loved ones as well as the breaking of relationships) would make life unbearable for anyone who does not believe in God. The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.

I don't believe that life isn't as bad as you paint it. Sure, there are losses and they can hurt, but the pain lessens with time. We're amazingly adaptable, we tend to be able to adapt to nearly any situation. And at the same time, without the possibility of loss we'd never truly be able to appreciate those we love, we wouldn't be able to value our time spent with them to the degree we do, there has to be dichotomy to enjoy life. You can't truly appreciate the heights of joy without having known the depths of sorrow, without pain pleasure isn't something wonderful, it's just the boring norm.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2009, 03:57:44 AM »

Quote
They read the New Testament and took it seriously and literally, I would wager.

What about their experience? I chose those two examples for a reason.

You can't deny their experience, and in 2,000 years they weren't the only ones who personaly experienced such things.



Where there is smoke there is fire.









ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2009, 04:00:03 AM »

Quote
What about their experience? I chose those two examples for a reason.

You can't deny their experience, and in 2,000 years they weren't the only ones who personaly experienced such things.

I don't deny that they may have experienced something. Speculation that it was demons I am not so keen on.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #69 on: November 04, 2009, 04:09:39 AM »

For me it was more that I couldn't accept the existential implications of a world with no transcendent moral law. I wanted to be an atheist, but reasoned that it could only lead to nihilism and that ultimately any complaint I had about the "wrongness of wrong" had no teeth behind it.


For me, it was something similar, though not as intellectual. If there is no God, there is no point. Life is a meaningless series of random events, heartbreak, pain, suffering and ultimately death.
If there is no God, then we might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no hope anywhere but in Him.


That's a pretty morbid outlook of the world, there may be random events but there's also accomplishment, there's heartbreak but also love, there's pain (which is really a good thing, the physical type anyway, you don't want to be able to be able to slash through your arm and not feel a thing, good way to bleed to death) but there's also pleasure, there's suffering but also joy...and yes, there's death, but that just gives you more reason to enjoy each day to its fullest.

The main thing is to live this life to the fullest and enjoy every day, make the best of every moment, don't be held back by guilt or fear. Whether or not there's an afterlife, your life on this earth as a sentient being is a rare and unique opportunity, one should make the best of it.

How can you know for sure what an accomplishment, heartbreak, love, joy, and the good is if there is no meaning to ones existence?

It would seem that all of these things would be relative/subjective.


If there is no meaning to life then no one has a right to tell anyone what to do. Nor can anyone get upset at someone else for doing something they don't like.

So at the end of the day, it will all come down to "might is right".








ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #70 on: November 04, 2009, 04:25:39 AM »

Quote
What about their experience? I chose those two examples for a reason.

You can't deny their experience, and in 2,000 years they weren't the only ones who personaly experienced such things.

I don't deny that they may have experienced something. Speculation that it was demons I am not so keen on.

Do you deny that what they were dealing with was an " invisible living personal intelligence" that happened to be evil?







ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 04:30:47 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2009, 04:30:04 AM »

Quote
Do you deny that what they were dealing with was a "living personal transient intelligence" that happened to be evil?

In my non-Orthodox opinion, I'd have to say that I'm not familiar enough with the situation to know. Though generally I wouldn't say that some entity was evil, only (if that entity exists) that they chose to commit evil.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2009, 04:32:27 AM »

I voted for "A Personal Experience."
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #73 on: November 04, 2009, 04:32:47 AM »

Quote
Do you deny that what they were dealing with was a "living personal transient intelligence" that happened to be evil?

In my non-Orthodox opinion, I'd have to say that I'm not familiar enough with the situation to know. Though generally I wouldn't say that some entity was evil, only (if that entity exists) that they chose to commit evil.

Nevermind, I give up.








ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2009, 11:28:06 AM »

Sure, there are losses and they can hurt, but the pain lessens with time...And at the same time, without the possibility of loss we'd never truly be able to appreciate those we love, we wouldn't be able to value our time spent with them to the degree we do, there has to be dichotomy to enjoy life. You can't truly appreciate the heights of joy without having known the depths of sorrow, without pain pleasure isn't something wonderful, it's just the boring norm.

You know, at some of the worst and darkest times of my life, some well-meaning folks told me something similar. For me personally, it was a load then and it's a load now. I would definitely choose the boring norm, if I could.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #75 on: November 04, 2009, 11:31:10 AM »

Quote
It seems to me that it's not so much the idea of "God" that would temper the pain of loss or the unbearability of life, as it is the idea of "justice" beyond this life.

Not even justice - just meaning. If all this is simply random events, then it is meaningless.
One of the things that resonates most with me about Christianity is that it takes suffering seriously.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #76 on: November 04, 2009, 04:58:33 PM »

One of the things that resonates most with me about Christianity is that it takes suffering seriously.

I don't exactly understand this point.  Christianity takes suffering seriously as opposed to?
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2009, 05:01:11 PM »

Buddhism, perhaps?
or Hinduism?
(with the caveat, of course, as I understand them. I realize that these are complex belief systems.)
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2009, 12:20:37 AM »

Quote
It seems to me that it's not so much the idea of "God" that would temper the pain of loss or the unbearability of life, as it is the idea of "justice" beyond this life.

Not even justice - just meaning. If all this is simply random events, then it is meaningless.
One of the things that resonates most with me about Christianity is that it takes suffering seriously.

And if everything is meaningless then any attempt to give meaning to ones life is nothing more than an illusion.

If the meaning to ones life is an illusion.

Then the tendency to slide into hedonism will be hard to resist. And we know hedonism doesn't mix to well with the idea that we must suffer.

Thus, no pain no gain!








ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2009, 12:33:18 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God, and that without said God, self-indulgence would be such a likely side-effect.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,965



« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2009, 12:34:35 AM »

I would say Buddhism takes suffering as a condition seriously, as one of the main aims of the religious system is to 'escape' suffering through detachment.
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2009, 01:11:42 AM »

I would say Buddhism takes suffering as a condition seriously, as one of the main aims of the religious system is to 'escape' suffering through detachment.

True, they do take suffering very seriously.











ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2009, 02:08:39 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God, and that without said God, self-indulgence would be such a likely side-effect.

Without God, life is void of any real meaning, significance, value, dignity, and worth.

Without transcendence one is left with nothing but pure naturalism.

In such a world nothing can really have true value and meaning.

In such a world, one is nothing more than a lifeless, meaningless, worthless, insignificant, and purposeless micro-machine of the Universe looking back at itself.








ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 02:24:59 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,494


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #83 on: November 05, 2009, 02:41:40 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God, and that without said God, self-indulgence would be such a likely side-effect.

Without God, life is void of any real meaning, significance, value, dignity, and worth.

Without transcendence one is left with nothing but pure naturalism.

In such a world nothing can really have true value and meaning.

In such a world, one is nothing more than a lifeless, meaningless, worthless, insignificant, and purposeless micro-machine of the Universe looking back at itself.








ICXC NIKA

Well put!

If there is no God, then human beings are merely material objects to be used for selfish gain. Capitalistic exploitation, slavery, prostitution, abortion, adultery, war, poverty, and pornography cannot be objectively condemned. In the absence of God, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," becomes "Do unto others whatever gives you personal pleasure."

Selam
Logged

"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #84 on: November 05, 2009, 10:07:20 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #85 on: November 05, 2009, 10:08:14 AM »

I would say Buddhism takes suffering as a condition seriously, as one of the main aims of the religious system is to 'escape' suffering through detachment.

That is not taking it seriously - that is, as you so astutely point out, escaping from it.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,965



« Reply #86 on: November 05, 2009, 01:04:43 PM »

That is not taking it seriously - that is, as you so astutely point out, escaping from it.

Thumbs down, and a boo to you as well.

That's like saying that Christians don't take suffering seriously because we hope for the full restoration of creation and the end of suffering.  Theosis is also an escape from our present condition.  I also put 'escape' in quotes for a reason.  It's not necessarily the best term to describe what happens, just one way of putting it.
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #87 on: November 05, 2009, 01:45:27 PM »


Thumbs down, and a boo to you as well.



I don't understand the above.

By taking it seriously, I mean acknowledging that suffering exists and that it is not an illusion. That this is not the way God meant the world to be - that something has gone very wrong.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2009, 01:58:49 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2009, 03:36:49 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.

Fine, if you can live with the idea that your life is meaningless and you don't matter at all, more power to you. It's probably just a personality disorder of mine anyway, to think that, for example, sex is more pleasurable with someone you love and have a relationship with (i.e. "meaning").
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2009, 03:42:56 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.

Fine, if you can live with the idea that your life is meaningless and you don't matter at all, more power to you. It's probably just a personality disorder of mine anyway, to think that, for example, sex is more pleasurable with someone you love and have a relationship with (i.e. "meaning").

I would actually agree that personal relationships have great value, whether intimate or not...but do you need some overarching 'meaning' to your existence to love and care about someone and to derive pleasure from that relationship, be it friendship or romance? Or to put it another way, why can't this person and your relationship with them have value, for who they are and in and of itself, why is their value to you dependent on some philosophical ideal?
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #91 on: November 05, 2009, 03:53:03 PM »

katherineofdixie

Quote
Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Well this is interesting, because the above statement is something I could very well have said, yet I'm someone who doesn't believe that a God gives life meaning. I don't think people who derive their purpose/meaning in life from God could demonstrate it "logically and objectively" any more than I could demonstrate my non-God-derived meaning/purpose "logically and objectively" (with an emphasis on the objective part).
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #92 on: November 05, 2009, 05:23:24 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.

Fine, if you can live with the idea that your life is meaningless and you don't matter at all, more power to you. It's probably just a personality disorder of mine anyway, to think that, for example, sex is more pleasurable with someone you love and have a relationship with (i.e. "meaning").

I would actually agree that personal relationships have great value, whether intimate or not...but do you need some overarching 'meaning' to your existence to love and care about someone and to derive pleasure from that relationship, be it friendship or romance? Or to put it another way, why can't this person and your relationship with them have value, for who they are and in and of itself, why is their value to you dependent on some philosophical ideal?

It's not a philosophical ideal. If I don't matter and my partner doesn't matter, then why should I love and care about anyone? They have no value and neither do I, except what we both (or either) decide to assign to each other. That isn't love - IMHO, of course.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,485



« Reply #93 on: November 05, 2009, 05:26:26 PM »

katherineofdixie

Quote
Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Well this is interesting, because the above statement is something I could very well have said, yet I'm someone who doesn't believe that a God gives life meaning. I don't think people who derive their purpose/meaning in life from God could demonstrate it "logically and objectively" any more than I could demonstrate my non-God-derived meaning/purpose "logically and objectively" (with an emphasis on the objective part).

Exactly. It's all in who or what you do or don't derive meaning from, it seems to me. So assigning meaning or the value of pleasure to a particular experience, is no more valid than saying my belief in God gives my life meaning. (Btw, eating foie gras is not an experience that provides pleasure for me!)
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2009, 05:40:03 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.

Fine, if you can live with the idea that your life is meaningless and you don't matter at all, more power to you. It's probably just a personality disorder of mine anyway, to think that, for example, sex is more pleasurable with someone you love and have a relationship with (i.e. "meaning").

I would actually agree that personal relationships have great value, whether intimate or not...but do you need some overarching 'meaning' to your existence to love and care about someone and to derive pleasure from that relationship, be it friendship or romance? Or to put it another way, why can't this person and your relationship with them have value, for who they are and in and of itself, why is their value to you dependent on some philosophical ideal?

It's not a philosophical ideal. If I don't matter and my partner doesn't matter, then why should I love and care about anyone? They have no value and neither do I, except what we both (or either) decide to assign to each other. That isn't love - IMHO, of course.

I would hope that one could love them for who they are as a person, because of how you enjoy being with them, how you enjoy interaction with them. Not because they are ascribed value by someone or something else, but often people are attracted to others because of money, or popularity, or power...so maybe I'm just a hopeless idealist.

Quote
Exactly. It's all in who or what you do or don't derive meaning from, it seems to me. So assigning meaning or the value of pleasure to a particular experience, is no more valid than saying my belief in God gives my life meaning.

I wouldn't say that pleasure can be equated to meaning, though some philosophers would and have argued as much, it's just neurological programming, that is to say instinct, to seek pleasure and avoid pain. There's no meaning to it, it's just how we are and I can't see why it's bad to simply embrace that reality for what it is.

Quote
(Btw, eating foie gras is not an experience that provides pleasure for me!)

Well, that explains everything! Wink
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #95 on: November 06, 2009, 03:03:21 AM »

We can make our own reality, and what we believe in this earth is our reality. You can make up your mind and choose to believe in something; that is, to accept it merely by faith.  This is the easier path, trust me.  All the skeptical scientific reasoning and questioning, trying to prove/disprove God, leads to an early old age. (And we will never find the answer to our questions, at least in this life!) So what's the point? To have the faith of a child is to be sought after, and leads to a less stressful life.  Studies have shown that religious people tend to be happier in general, and live longer lives.  Hey, even if I was an atheist, that'd be enough reason to draw me towards faith!  angel
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 03:05:08 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #96 on: November 06, 2009, 07:59:24 AM »

Studies have shown that religious people tend to be happier in general, and live longer lives.  Hey, even if I was an atheist, that'd be enough reason to draw me towards faith!  angel
Are you sure it's a causational relationship?
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #97 on: November 06, 2009, 11:43:07 AM »

Studies have shown that religious people tend to be happier in general, and live longer lives.  Hey, even if I was an atheist, that'd be enough reason to draw me towards faith!  angel
Are you sure it's a causational relationship?

*shudders*  The "science" behind sociological studies.  Tongue
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2009, 01:18:25 PM »

Studies have shown that religious people tend to be happier in general, and live longer lives.  Hey, even if I was an atheist, that'd be enough reason to draw me towards faith!  angel
Are you sure it's a causational relationship?

*shudders*  The "science" behind sociological studies.  Tongue
Hey! Watch it! Cheesy
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #99 on: November 07, 2009, 09:08:57 PM »

Quote
The question then, is why should an atheist choose to go on living.

If there is no God, we have to make our own meaning in life. That meaning might include: the survival and prosperity of our species as a whole, a better life for those we love (e.g. our children), and happiness and productivity in our own life. Of course, most religious people would still say "What for? So what? What's the point? If there is no God, I don't see why people would care!"  I understand why some people think atheism should logically lead to nihilism: because for them without God there is no point to existence.

Those reasons are good to a certain extent, but ultimately shallow and nothing more than illusions to make someone feel good about themselves. For life without meaning and purpose can drive someone insane. It will make them disconnected and narcissistic.......a law unto themselves, and only caring about themselves. Not only that, but All these reasons are subject to change. There is no guarantee that someone would want the survival and prosperity of our species after experiences the evils that men do? Like the holocaust, the mass killings by Stalin, and the Asian communist warlords! The evil things we do to animals! After experiences such things an atheist might want our species as a whole to end.

A better life for our children might drive an atheist crazy if they made millions only to wonder if their children might squander their hard earned possessions! Such a thing might make an atheist despise their children as well as not being able to trust anyone with their wealth after they pass away.

And what is happiness and productivity if we are breathing to death? What's the point in trying to make yourself look good with cosmetic surgery, weight watchers, the fitness club if your body is decaying? We are breathing to die! Thus all such things are temporary and shallow. What's the point of it all if it really doesn't matter in the end? What's the point of it all if you die and no one remembers your name and who you are? It's pointless! The idea of "happiness" can lead to hedonism, which gets us back to nihilism.

 And as far as Nihilism goes, yes I truely believe that that is the logical conclusion of Atheism, but like most people we fall short in following through with the implications of what we believe, and so alot of us are inconsistant in what we believe in.

But for those that  wrestle with what they believe and slowly give in to the logical conclusions of a belief, then yes, such people will be more consistant.

And this is why I keep saying that the next generation of atheists will be more consistent. Just look at the "new atheists", and how the old atheist guard feel about them. It will only get worse.


As it should.












ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 09:31:41 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #100 on: November 07, 2009, 09:24:16 PM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.


Hedonism is your meaning to life.










ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 09:25:13 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #101 on: November 08, 2009, 01:12:12 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.


Hedonism is your meaning to life.










ICXC NIKA

That's your position, not mine...I just live as I want to live, I think trying to find abstract reasons behind it is just foolish, the biological reasons are both objective and sufficent...but if it makes you feel better about yourself, that's great.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
livefreeordie
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 750


« Reply #102 on: November 08, 2009, 01:39:07 AM »

I was reminded by my Grandmother's death why I believe in God.  I got a call last Thursday that she was in the hospital due to a burst colon riddled with cancer, and that the surgeon had discovered it had spread throughout her body.  Being 90, they cleaned her out, sewed her up, and said if she ever woke up she wouldn't have long to live.

After receiving that call, I headed for Mississippi and my grandmother's hospital room, along with two of my six children, Mary Inger and Irene.

We drove all night and arrived at 3 in the morning.  Grandma Toodles was awake, but couldn't speak, the cancer was in her throat.  But she could still move her left arm, smile, and sort of move her lips.  I let my girls give her a kiss, then my mom took them to my grandmother's house to sleep. In the middle of the night, that left me, Grandma Toodles, and my aunt Martha. I had brought my guitar so I sang songs, told stories, and then waited to watch the sun rise with my Grandma.

Later that morning, the room was filled with our family and together we sang my Grandma's favorite songs and hymns.  My girl, Mary Inger, sang her favorite, You are my Sunshine, and my Grandma mouthed the words with her. She smiled and moved her lips when she could, but she was fading fast. That room though was something like I'd never experienced. Our songs reverberated throughout the hospital floor, we held hands, weeped, hugged, and for a moment I felt the purest, truest love I'd ever felt in my life.

After the songs died down, I read my Grandmother her favorite bible verses as everyone else prayed.  It was the second half of Psalm 30:5 "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Finally, Grandma Toodles was discharged from the hospital and returned home to die with her family.  Near the end, she didn't move much, but she'd grab your hand and move her lips a little.

Early Sunday morning I got up with my girls to say goodbye, we'd be leaving that day.  I whispered her favorite verse in her ear, "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" and told her everything was alright, she could rest now and I'd see her in heaven soon.  A few hours later, on a sunny Sunday morning, my Grandma met her joy. God had answered her prayer.

This is why I believe in God. Moments like these.

It is emotional, it is based on personal experience. I can't prove it or make someone believe it's more than the chemical reactions in the brain of a mammal who fears death.

But there was something real in that room, and with that women, that goes beyond this world and to me, points to God and points to Heaven.  Whether I'm right and God is real, or I'm just blissfully ignorant, either way, I give thanks for the joy a family of believers experienced together giving thanks to God as Grandma Toodles passed on to the next life.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:43:37 AM by livefreeordie » Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,494


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #103 on: November 08, 2009, 02:28:12 AM »

It is really a shame you see no meaning to life without a God

Then please demonstrate to me, logically and objectively, what meaning there is to life, except what you or I arbitrarily assign to it.

Something I honestly don't understand, why this obsession with meaning? Maybe I'm missing something, but why does it even matter if life has a meaning? Can't we just enjoy each moment for what it is and when it passes, it passes.

Foie gras tastes just as good whether life has meaning or not, sex is just as pleasurable whether life has meaning or not, the Riemann Hypothesis is just as intriguing whether life has meaning or not...well, maybe that last one is unique to a small subset of the population, but you get my point. How does 'meaning' change any of these things? I don't really understand how 'meaning' would add any value to life.


Hedonism is your meaning to life.










ICXC NIKA

That's your position, not mine...I just live as I want to live, I think trying to find abstract reasons behind it is just foolish, the biological reasons are both objective and sufficent...but if it makes you feel better about yourself, that's great.

So you have decided that the best use of your mere biological existence is to spend time on this discussion board trying to convince us how meaningful your mere materialistic existence is? Wow. Look friend, if all that exixts is matter, then you really are wasting your time. There are a much greater biological pleasures to be had than trying to persuade us of the value of your subjective existentialist  fantasies.

Selam
Logged

"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 7,003


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #104 on: November 08, 2009, 02:38:25 AM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,494


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #105 on: November 08, 2009, 02:39:53 AM »

I was reminded by my Grandmother's death why I believe in God.  I got a call last Thursday that she was in the hospital due to a burst colon riddled with cancer, and that the surgeon had discovered it had spread throughout her body.  Being 90, they cleaned her out, sewed her up, and said if she ever woke up she wouldn't have long to live.

After receiving that call, I headed for Mississippi and my grandmother's hospital room, along with two of my six children, Mary Inger and Irene.

We drove all night and arrived at 3 in the morning.  Grandma Toodles was awake, but couldn't speak, the cancer was in her throat.  But she could still move her left arm, smile, and sort of move her lips.  I let my girls give her a kiss, then my mom took them to my grandmother's house to sleep. In the middle of the night, that left me, Grandma Toodles, and my aunt Martha. I had brought my guitar so I sang songs, told stories, and then waited to watch the sun rise with my Grandma.

Later that morning, the room was filled with our family and together we sang my Grandma's favorite songs and hymns.  My girl, Mary Inger, sang her favorite, You are my Sunshine, and my Grandma mouthed the words with her. She smiled and moved her lips when she could, but she was fading fast. That room though was something like I'd never experienced. Our songs reverberated throughout the hospital floor, we held hands, weeped, hugged, and for a moment I felt the purest, truest love I'd ever felt in my life.

After the songs died down, I read my Grandmother her favorite bible verses as everyone else prayed.  It was the second half of Psalm 30:5 "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Finally, Grandma Toodles was discharged from the hospital and returned home to die with her family.  Near the end, she didn't move much, but she'd grab your hand and move her lips a little.

Early Sunday morning I got up with my girls to say goodbye, we'd be leaving that day.  I whispered her favorite verse in her ear, "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" and told her everything was alright, she could rest now and I'd see her in heaven soon.  A few hours later, on a sunny Sunday morning, my Grandma met her joy. God had answered her prayer.

This is why I believe in God. Moments like these.

It is emotional, it is based on personal experience. I can't prove it or make someone believe it's more than the chemical reactions in the brain of a mammal who fears death.

But there was something real in that room, and with that women, that goes beyond this world and to me, points to God and points to Heaven.  Whether I'm right and God is real, or I'm just blissfully ignorant, either way, I give thanks for the joy a family of believers experienced together giving thanks to God as Grandma Toodles passed on to the next life.

Thank you for sharing that beautiful and heart-rending experience. My prayers are with you and your family. What you and your family experienced was hardly a mere chemical reaction, in spite of what others might say.

God seems so distant so much of the time; but when we really need to experience His presence He make Himself known in profound and mystical ways. I rejoice to know that your Grandmother passed from this earth surrounded by such deep love and holy worship.

My Our Lord be with you in this time of your loss. Rejoice to know that the Cross has prevailed, and that your Grandmother passed away in the knowledge of a merciful God and in the presence of a loving family.

Peace to you my brother.

Selam
Logged

"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #106 on: November 08, 2009, 04:23:48 AM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #107 on: November 08, 2009, 05:54:03 PM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Actually, I think you need to speak to Fr. Chris about that.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #108 on: November 08, 2009, 06:07:48 PM »

Or u could just start the thread and blame it on Gabriel for asking you to if you get reprimanded!  Cheesy Wink j/k
Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,146


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #109 on: November 08, 2009, 07:15:22 PM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Actually, I think you need to speak to Fr. Chris about that.

Correct.  The request was forwarded.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 07:15:43 PM by Fr. George » Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #110 on: November 08, 2009, 08:57:45 PM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Actually, I think you need to speak to Fr. Chris about that.

Correct.  The request was forwarded.

Well, hopefully he won't be away from the forum for another eight days Wink
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,494


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #111 on: November 08, 2009, 09:46:08 PM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Actually, I think you need to speak to Fr. Chris about that.

Correct.  The request was forwarded.

Well, hopefully he won't be away from the forum for another eight days Wink

Father Chris is on a much needed vacation. I think he'll be back this week.

Selam
Logged

"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+
ms.hoorah
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 866


« Reply #112 on: November 08, 2009, 11:54:52 PM »

What reasons do you have for believing in God? What are the strongest reasons that make you believe that God exists? Note that this is not asking why you believe Christianity or Orthodoxy is the true path, but it's just about God's existence. I've set the poll so that you can pick your top three choices. 

Also, this is not part of the poll, but if someone asked you to defend your belief in God, how well do you think you would do?

The reason I'm asking this is rather personal, in that I find myself believing in God even though I don't really have any concrete reason to. I know about this and that argument for the existence of God, and I also know about this or that rebuttal to those arguments (which I usually find to be as persuasive as the original arguments). I'm also rather skeptical of things like miracles and the like. So I'm left not really having anything solid that I hang on to, and yet I still keep coming back to believing. So I was curious to see why others believe. I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence, in spite of me believing that He exists. It's a rather strange place to be, intellectually speaking.
(said lovingly) Here are another 37 pages of Christian defense. You could find 19 billion additional pages of Christian defense if you look. Wink
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/defense.html
Because you are an extremely analytical person (not a bad trait to possess), you may never have enough proof. So..try imagining yourself in 50 years?  Do you want to be an old Christian or do you want to be an old atheist?  If you want to be an old Christian, reduce the amount of time you are spending on intellectualizing and start practicing the faith.  Set your goal and head towards it. If you had a bad experience at one church, try another church.  Find a priest and a church family and tell them about your goal. If you can't find a "friendly" parish in your hometown (I have no idea where you live in PA), go to the next town and visit with that priest and church family.  If you start attending a parish and you are positive about the experience, your (significant other, wife, girlfriend, lover, partner)  will likely want to attend with you at some point.  Bring your precious daughter to church with you.  Smiley
Logged
sodr2
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 121


القديس الانبا رويس


« Reply #113 on: November 09, 2009, 10:32:21 AM »

Everyone should be saying historical evidence/the Bible.

All the other reasons for believing in god, especially "a personal experience" can be used by a Mormon, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc. to justify their beliefs. I believe in God because so and so died, or my religion helps me as a person reminds me of that style over substance fallacy.
Logged

"Happiness depends on the relationship between man and God." Pope Shenouda III
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #114 on: November 09, 2009, 10:46:12 AM »

Quote
All the other reasons for believing in god, especially "a personal experience" can be used by a Mormon, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc. to justify their beliefs.

I agree...
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
livefreeordie
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 750


« Reply #115 on: November 09, 2009, 10:50:59 AM »

Everyone should be saying historical evidence/the Bible.

All the other reasons for believing in god, especially "a personal experience" can be used by a Mormon, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc. to justify their beliefs. I believe in God because so and so died, or my religion helps me as a person reminds me of that style over substance fallacy.

Personal experience might not be a good reason for believing in my particular religion, but I thought the questions was, "why do you believe in God", not "why are you orthodox." I'm sure people from all the faith's you listed have truly "experienced" God, even if I might believe there faith is incorrect due to "historical evidence/the bible", etc.

If the question was "why do you believe in the orthodox church" I would have given a different answer.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 10:51:11 AM by livefreeordie » Logged
sodr2
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 121


القديس الانبا رويس


« Reply #116 on: November 09, 2009, 10:55:03 AM »

Personal experience might not be a good reason for believing in my particular religion, but I thought the questions was, "why do you believe in God", not "why are you orthodox." I'm sure people from all the faith's you listed have truly "experienced" God, even if I might believe there faith is incorrect due to "historical evidence/the bible", etc.

If the question was "why do you believe in the orthodox church" I would have given a different answer.
I guess you're right... mankind is certainly convinced of the divine, regardless of how poorly they conceive it.
Logged

"Happiness depends on the relationship between man and God." Pope Shenouda III
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #117 on: November 09, 2009, 10:57:24 AM »

I just wanted to confirm that my intention for this thread was indeed to ask "why do you believe in God" generally, not "why are you orthodox" specifically. I believe that I've asked the latter question on this forum before, though I can't find that thread at the moment using the search function.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #118 on: November 09, 2009, 02:06:13 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
livefreeordie
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 750


« Reply #119 on: November 09, 2009, 02:15:44 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.

How true.
Logged
sodr2
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 121


القديس الانبا رويس


« Reply #120 on: November 09, 2009, 05:19:25 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?

I see three questions.. why does one believe in God, religion, denomination.

Reasons why I believe in God and religion are the same though. God and His pIan has been revealed by Moses and the prophets.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 05:21:13 PM by sodr2 » Logged

"Happiness depends on the relationship between man and God." Pope Shenouda III
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #121 on: November 09, 2009, 05:21:51 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?

I see three questions.. why does one believe in God, religion, denomination.

Reasons why I believe in God and religion are the same though. God and His pIan has been revealed by Moses and the prophets.
Oh Decartes.  Sad
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #122 on: November 09, 2009, 08:22:35 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?


An extreme skeptic would doubt the idea behind cogito ergo sum. In fact, there are critiques of it even by people who aren't extreme skeptics. As for my own take on it, I consider it one of the few psychological truths that we can have a fairly high degree of assurance about. Not everyone would agree, however.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #123 on: November 10, 2009, 05:32:28 AM »

Everyone should be saying historical evidence/the Bible.

All the other reasons for believing in god, especially "a personal experience" can be used by a Mormon, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc. to justify their beliefs. I believe in God because so and so died, or my religion helps me as a person reminds me of that style over substance fallacy.

If God's Energies exist everywhere then yes, everyone can say "they personally" experienced God at some level.

This is one of the reasons why I love saying that Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Faith.

Also Romans chapter 1 allows for all men to personaly experience God to some degree as well. So instead of denying the personal experience of Jews, Hindu, Muslim, Mormon.........etc.  I accept it, because I expect it if God is Omni-present.

At some degree/level, we all can experience God's Energies.


I also noticed, that in using this method, Atheism can be destroyed. If we have a certain level of respect of the nonOrthodox, then Atheism can't survive.

But the minute we view others as void of any light, any grace, any truth, any experience whatsover, is the minute we give ground to atheism/secularism.









ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 05:42:18 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #124 on: November 10, 2009, 11:11:55 AM »

I cannot see that destroying Atheism at all.  Most will continue to think you (revelation-based theists, not specifically you, yourself) are delusional for believing in such energies, and many will continue to search for and discover rational, naturalist explanations.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
sodr2
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 121


القديس الانبا رويس


« Reply #125 on: November 10, 2009, 12:43:30 PM »

I cannot see that destroying Atheism at all.  Most will continue to think you (revelation-based theists, not specifically you, yourself) are delusional for believing in such energies, and many will continue to search for and discover rational, naturalist explanations.
Looking at natural explanations to explain the supernatural seems pretty delusional to me.
Logged

"Happiness depends on the relationship between man and God." Pope Shenouda III
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #126 on: November 10, 2009, 12:53:24 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?


An extreme skeptic would doubt the idea behind cogito ergo sum.
An amoeba doesn't "think", and yet it exists. Descartes missed the boat somewhere.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2009, 03:07:45 PM »

Everyone should be saying historical evidence/the Bible.

All the other reasons for believing in god, especially "a personal experience" can be used by a Mormon, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc. to justify their beliefs. I believe in God because so and so died, or my religion helps me as a person reminds me of that style over substance fallacy.

I said both, along with lives of the saints.
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #128 on: November 10, 2009, 03:10:14 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?


An extreme skeptic would doubt the idea behind cogito ergo sum.
An amoeba doesn't "think", and yet it exists. Descartes missed the boat somewhere.
I don't think that Decartes was saying that thinking causes one to exist. Rather, it is the proof that something exists because if something is thinking, it has to be in order to think.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #129 on: November 10, 2009, 04:55:42 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?


An extreme skeptic would doubt the idea behind cogito ergo sum.
An amoeba doesn't "think", and yet it exists. Descartes missed the boat somewhere.
I don't think that Decartes was saying that thinking causes one to exist. Rather, it is the proof that something exists because if something is thinking, it has to be in order to think.
You're putting the cart before the horse. You're assuming off the bat that "something" exists that is thinking; whereas this "something" is what you have to prove.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #130 on: November 10, 2009, 05:08:24 PM »

I do have to say, if a person is an extreme skeptic, he cannot truely be sure of anything.
Ever hear of... I think, therefore I am?


An extreme skeptic would doubt the idea behind cogito ergo sum.
An amoeba doesn't "think", and yet it exists. Descartes missed the boat somewhere.
I don't think that Decartes was saying that thinking causes one to exist. Rather, it is the proof that something exists because if something is thinking, it has to be in order to think.
You're putting the cart before the horse. You're assuming off the bat that "something" exists that is thinking; whereas this "something" is what you have to prove.
This is where Decartes goes. If I doubt my existence, as you suggest then I am thinking. If I think, I have to exist. How can I have the illusion of existing unless I actually exist so that I can have the illusion?
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #131 on: November 11, 2009, 01:40:42 AM »

I cannot see that destroying Atheism at all.  Most will continue to think you (revelation-based theists, not specifically you, yourself) are delusional for believing in such energies, and many will continue to search for and discover rational, naturalist explanations.

It will destroy Atheism in the sense that no matter what, "Atheism" could never be an option because the doorway that could lead to atheism would be closed, and so indirectly, the human population of non-atheist will naturally out grow the human population of atheists. In modern times, most atheists seem to come from the theist, and polytheist background, and so, if we "philosophicaly" clog the holes to atheism, then atheism will either die out or remain a small population, and since countries come and go, economies rise and fall, eventually the majority of people will control and dictate the flow of information and money and how it's handled.

When the western world collapses, atheism will need anotherway to spread it's doctrines. It will need another machine to fund it's growth.

I see it as "growing a resistance" to atheism. Alot of theists in the past were killed or destroyed by atheism, but overtime, we grew a resistance to it. It no longer can kill us like it use to. This is one of the reasons why I love Panentheism so much. It leaves no room for Atheism, but it does leave room for Agnosticism, and so there is more room to maneuver than in traditional western Theism.


Eitherway, time is on our side for countries, empires, kingdoms, and economies come and go. Infact, a passive way to destroy the western world is for a certain population of people to not buy a thing for Christmass and Easter (2/3 of our economy is based on us going shopping). That alone would stop the governmental funding for alot of things.

And then, we can start all over and have the majority rewrite all the rules.


We are the food for atheists.......for most of them seem to come from us, and so, if we modify ourselves and our arguments, then we will taste awful, and will no longer be food.

And if atheists can't eat, then they will naturaly die out or remain a small group.









ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 02:10:06 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #132 on: November 17, 2009, 10:27:43 AM »

I feel like at this point I could argue against God's existence better than I could argue for His existence,

 I'd like to "hear" all of these arguments.  Why don't you start a separate thread that outlines these arguments?  I think it could be helpful for us all.

I have messaged Fr. Anastasios about the propriety of such a thread. When he gets back to me I'll let you know. Smiley
Actually, I think you need to speak to Fr. Chris about that.

Correct.  The request was forwarded.

Ok, I've been given the go-ahead to start the thread, so here it is.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #133 on: June 18, 2013, 06:56:14 PM »

It's been 3 1/2 years since this thread was active, and there are a ton of new members, and though I have made progress I am still in much the same position, so... bump!
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,996


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2013, 07:11:17 PM »

This is something I reeeeally reeeeally (emphasis added) hate to say, because religious-right Protestant goons used to always say it to me when I became old enough to see how backwards they were (which, was somewhere around 12-14, the atheist age), buuut, I believe that there is more evidence for God than many people would like to believe. Miracles still happen in places like Mt. Athos for example, several monks have levitated while praying without even knowing it, several Saints have seen the Uncreated Light etc. And several of these figures lived relatively recently. St. John the Wonderworker for example lived less than 100 years ago and worked all sorts of miracles that would seem to give atheists the "proof" that they desire so much for God, and several people who experienced them are still alive to this very day. I just think that many people are too busy to really look.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 07:11:45 PM by JamesR » Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #135 on: June 18, 2013, 08:59:31 PM »

It's been 3 1/2 years since this thread was active, and there are a ton of new members, and though I have made progress I am still in much the same position, so... bump!
Asteriktos, glad to see you are still addressing these questions. I'm taking a natural theology class, and its quite interesting.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,937



« Reply #136 on: June 18, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »

When I was coming out of my agnostic phase, I wrote a article kind of to myself laying out what makes sense about believing in a God.  I should see if I could find it and post it so everyone can pick apart my logical flaws.
Logged

Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #137 on: June 18, 2013, 11:06:17 PM »

It's been 3 1/2 years since this thread was active, and there are a ton of new members, and though I have made progress I am still in much the same position, so... bump!

Will you ever reach a satisfying conclusion to your inquiry?

I can empathize. I keep feeling like I can never be sure of Orthodoxy and have all these reservations about it. I've been told both by netodox and realifodox to not join with reservations but I don't want to drag my feet forever. Eventually I'll want to start a family and I can't really do that outside the church. You know?
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
truthseeker32
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOAA- Denver
Posts: 390



« Reply #138 on: June 19, 2013, 12:12:31 AM »

I was agnostic for a long time. I didn't ever really ask why I did or didn't believe. As a young hedonist, God, spirituality, and all those things weren't important categories. After taking an interest in the questions over the past five years or so I have concluded (based on several categories including but not limited to philosophy and personal experience)  that I most definitely believe there is more to the universe than its material components. This I find easy to believe in. That being said, I seem unable to believe anything more than this. Years of unanswered prayers, a lack of spiritual experiences, etc. make it difficult to believe God, if He exists, cares about my personal spiritual path. I suppose I am a neo-Platonist, perhaps Aristotelian, deist of some sort at this point, but I always have an ear out if God wants me to take a different path.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 12:15:27 AM by truthseeker32 » Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #139 on: June 19, 2013, 11:36:35 AM »

I can empathize. I keep feeling like I can never be sure of Orthodoxy and have all these reservations about it. I've been told both by netodox and realifodox to not join with reservations but I don't want to drag my feet forever.

Hm... I'm going to tell you, maybe you should join with your reservations. You're not going to be able to work them all out standing outside.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Ashman618
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 504



« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2013, 12:32:21 PM »

I was agnostic for a long time. I didn't ever really ask why I did or didn't believe. As a young hedonist, God, spirituality, and all those things weren't important categories. After taking an interest in the questions over the past five years or so I have concluded (based on several categories including but not limited to philosophy and personal experience)  that I most definitely believe there is more to the universe than its material components. This I find easy to believe in. That being said, I seem unable to believe anything more than this. Years of unanswered prayers, a lack of spiritual experiences, etc. make it difficult to believe God, if He exists, cares about my personal spiritual path. I suppose I am a neo-Platonist, perhaps Aristotelian, deist of some sort at this point, but I always have an ear out if God wants me to take a different path.


If I may be so nosey, what makes you believe, and can you expand, the universe is more then material
Logged
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,937



« Reply #141 on: June 19, 2013, 01:40:55 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/
Logged

Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,996


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #142 on: June 19, 2013, 01:45:56 PM »

what makes you believe...the universe is more then material?
I can't speak for him. But for me, I'd say it's simply due to the fact I desire more than material. I think that humans need a sense of comfort and happiness that transcends a purely naturalistic worldview. I never got that before I was religious. In a sense, I felt like I was denying myself, denying my own needs and desires simply because it didn't fit in with my naturalistic worldview.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
orthonorm
Moderated
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,670



« Reply #143 on: June 19, 2013, 02:09:49 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #144 on: June 19, 2013, 02:11:38 PM »

what makes you believe...the universe is more then material?
I can't speak for him. But for me, I'd say it's simply due to the fact I desire more than material. I think that humans need a sense of comfort and happiness that transcends a purely naturalistic worldview. I never got that before I was religious. In a sense, I felt like I was denying myself, denying my own needs and desires simply because it didn't fit in with my naturalistic worldview.

I actually felt very similar through the years where I was a materialist. It was a sort of asceticism that didn't have any reward. My inner senses, "spiritual" senses if you will, kept telling me, "Check this out," or "Look how beautiful this is" and I had to keep saying, no, that's not real, because if it's real my ideology will unravel. Of course, now that I believe, I have to fight a nagging sense of atheism, but to accede to it would be to close and narrow my world, whereas my passage to belief was very much the opposite. So I feel a substantial difference between the doubts I faced as a materialist and the ones I face now.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 02:12:32 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #145 on: June 19, 2013, 02:14:31 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Stratopedarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 18,719


"And you shall call his name Jesus..."


WWW
« Reply #146 on: June 19, 2013, 02:19:44 PM »

Given that the question was "Why do you believe in God?" rather than "Why are you Orthodox?", I voted "personal experience" and "just believe".  While I don't feel comfortable saying I have 110% unshakable, certain faith, I also don't feel "doubtful" enough to give it up.  God knows many things would be easier if I didn't believe in God (and I've tried), but I can't not believe that he's "out there".  I've experienced things that won't prove God to anyone, but they work well enough for me to keep me "in the game".      
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.

Please, James, tell us more about women!
Fabio Leite
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 3,511


Future belongs to God only.


WWW
« Reply #147 on: June 19, 2013, 02:29:15 PM »

There are three steps there, two that are rational and one that relates to faith.

The first is that Theism makes more sense and is more rational than atheism. I believe that any person can come to that conclusion with different degrees of clarity, from a perception of a generic "divine stuff" to the more precise "God of Philosophers", in Aristotelian forms.

That would leave us with a generic divinity, not to the Triune Christian God. That is hinted in the Old Testament, but it's really a revelation we get from the life of Jesus Christ. The second rational step, then, is that there is enough historical evidence for the fact that Jesus Christ existed, that the main miracles ocurred and that He was crucified and resurrected in flesh, in history. One can learn that and still not believe, just be aware of a sheer fact.

Now, the third step is faith, trust. Faith points toward invisible things, but starts with visible ones. If this man did what He did, if He truly died and resurrected this is very serious. Enthropy itself was reversed, or, in cultural terms, death was destroyed, if the conscience that emerged on the third day is the same conscience that died on Friday, it means that it was kept above and beyond every natural law. Only that one First Cause could do that and in doing it we are revealed things we could not have assumed: it's personal, it became completely human without ceasing to be completely God. And if this God and He tells us about a Father and a Holy Spirit that we can't see, we knowing the visible Human-God, trust Him on that which we can't see. That's faith. When He promises that bread and wine *will* be His body and blood, we trust Him because of Whom we saw. When He says that there will be *one* community that will be His unbroken body, we trust Him (at least some of us do).
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 02:30:22 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

Multiple Energies, Three Persons, Two Natures, One God.
orthonorm
Moderated
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,670



« Reply #148 on: June 19, 2013, 02:53:51 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.

Nevermind the fact, that is not where we even "start".
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,417


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #149 on: June 19, 2013, 03:02:22 PM »

There are three steps there, two that are rational and one that relates to faith.

The first is that Theism makes more sense and is more rational than atheism. I believe that any person can come to that conclusion with different degrees of clarity, from a perception of a generic "divine stuff" to the more precise "God of Philosophers", in Aristotelian forms.

That would leave us with a generic divinity, not to the Triune Christian God. That is hinted in the Old Testament, but it's really a revelation we get from the life of Jesus Christ. The second rational step, then, is that there is enough historical evidence for the fact that Jesus Christ existed, that the main miracles ocurred and that He was crucified and resurrected in flesh, in history. One can learn that and still not believe, just be aware of a sheer fact.

Now, the third step is faith, trust. Faith points toward invisible things, but starts with visible ones. If this man did what He did, if He truly died and resurrected this is very serious. Enthropy itself was reversed, or, in cultural terms, death was destroyed, if the conscience that emerged on the third day is the same conscience that died on Friday, it means that it was kept above and beyond every natural law. Only that one First Cause could do that and in doing it we are revealed things we could not have assumed: it's personal, it became completely human without ceasing to be completely God. And if this God and He tells us about a Father and a Holy Spirit that we can't see, we knowing the visible Human-God, trust Him on that which we can't see. That's faith. When He promises that bread and wine *will* be His body and blood, we trust Him because of Whom we saw. When He says that there will be *one* community that will be His unbroken body, we trust Him (at least some of us do).
Careful. The first two step will get you accused of being a "scholastic" or a "rationalist."  Cheesy
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,937



« Reply #150 on: June 19, 2013, 03:26:52 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.

I'm not going to defend it, because, as I said, my thinking has changed quite a bit on issues.  I will say that when I stated that scientists "struggle" with it, I meant that they seek rational explanations.  I then detailed some of the explanations that have been put forth.  I could similarly say that theists "struggle" to explain the problem of evil.  It is a difficulty, but not necessarily one that is insurmountable. 

Just to give it some background.  I wrote it upon coming out of agnosticism and was very operating from a scientism based mentality, hence my discussion on science.  I did not struggle as much with the philosophical concept of a God as much as how I could believe in God and still have faith in science.  I did not intend to use science to prove God, but rather wished to be able to understand how the two can be compatible.
Logged

Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 
Ashman618
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 504



« Reply #151 on: June 19, 2013, 04:54:03 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.

I'm not going to defend it, because, as I said, my thinking has changed quite a bit on issues.  I will say that when I stated that scientists "struggle" with it, I meant that they seek rational explanations.  I then detailed some of the explanations that have been put forth.  I could similarly say that theists "struggle" to explain the problem of evil.  It is a difficulty, but not necessarily one that is insurmountable. 

Just to give it some background.  I wrote it upon coming out of agnosticism and was very operating from a scientism based mentality, hence my discussion on science.  I did not struggle as much with the philosophical concept of a God as much as how I could believe in God and still have faith in science.  I did not intend to use science to prove God, but rather wished to be able to understand how the two can be compatible.

I would love to have a grasp on how science and God are compatible, I'm tottaly blind and in the dark on that subject.

Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,996


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #152 on: June 19, 2013, 04:56:01 PM »

I'm just going to point out that the "fine-tuning" argument makes no sense. I think I made a topic discussing this before.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
orthonorm
Moderated
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,670



« Reply #153 on: June 19, 2013, 05:00:22 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.

I'm not going to defend it, because, as I said, my thinking has changed quite a bit on issues.  I will say that when I stated that scientists "struggle" with it, I meant that they seek rational explanations. 

No "they" don't. And who cares about the dispositions of whatever "scientist" you ask has on origins.

Science is not properly concerned with any why but rather the how. Now, in everyday parlance you can often argue how many angels you fit between the meaning of those two words, but I think a more rigorous approach to science would certainly preclude whys.

Sorry but the orientation of your very first line is entirely too loaded. It assumed too much about science and then takes up some scientific chronology as the proper field for the discussion of origin.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Moderated
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,670



« Reply #154 on: June 19, 2013, 05:01:09 PM »

I'm just going to point out that the "fine-tuning" argument makes no sense. I think I made a topic discussing this before.

Its one of those cases when PtA needs to dash in and quote the fallacy, cause it truly rests on a nuanced form of begging the question.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 05:01:21 PM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,996


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #155 on: June 19, 2013, 05:11:17 PM »

Aha, here it is!

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,50550.0.html
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Fabio Leite
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 3,511


Future belongs to God only.


WWW
« Reply #156 on: June 19, 2013, 05:42:23 PM »

Have I mentioned that my building is named John Paul II and it's near "Bosque do Papa" (Pope Woods), a city park formerly marking Polish immigration and renamed after the visit of the Pope John Paul II? They have a reproduction of traditional Polish homes there and sell a Polish dessert said to have been the Pope's favorite.

Ironic, I know. Smiley

(Just noticed they also have photos on that link from the German and Ukrainian Parks... this city really celebrates the immigrants... Smiley )

There are three steps there, two that are rational and one that relates to faith.

The first is that Theism makes more sense and is more rational than atheism. I believe that any person can come to that conclusion with different degrees of clarity, from a perception of a generic "divine stuff" to the more precise "God of Philosophers", in Aristotelian forms.

That would leave us with a generic divinity, not to the Triune Christian God. That is hinted in the Old Testament, but it's really a revelation we get from the life of Jesus Christ. The second rational step, then, is that there is enough historical evidence for the fact that Jesus Christ existed, that the main miracles ocurred and that He was crucified and resurrected in flesh, in history. One can learn that and still not believe, just be aware of a sheer fact.

Now, the third step is faith, trust. Faith points toward invisible things, but starts with visible ones. If this man did what He did, if He truly died and resurrected this is very serious. Enthropy itself was reversed, or, in cultural terms, death was destroyed, if the conscience that emerged on the third day is the same conscience that died on Friday, it means that it was kept above and beyond every natural law. Only that one First Cause could do that and in doing it we are revealed things we could not have assumed: it's personal, it became completely human without ceasing to be completely God. And if this God and He tells us about a Father and a Holy Spirit that we can't see, we knowing the visible Human-God, trust Him on that which we can't see. That's faith. When He promises that bread and wine *will* be His body and blood, we trust Him because of Whom we saw. When He says that there will be *one* community that will be His unbroken body, we trust Him (at least some of us do).
Careful. The first two step will get you accused of being a "scholastic" or a "rationalist."  Cheesy
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 05:46:21 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

Multiple Energies, Three Persons, Two Natures, One God.
orthonorm
Moderated
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,670



« Reply #157 on: June 19, 2013, 05:51:14 PM »


That is classic you.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Miaphysite Orthodoxy
Jurisdiction: The Church of Alexandria
Posts: 5,048


Saint Severus of Antioch - the Eloquent Mouth

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #158 on: June 19, 2013, 07:18:28 PM »

For me personally, it is a combination of all of the aforementioned reasons provided above.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 07:18:40 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ

I am currently not an active poster on the forum. Please forgive any offense I might have caused in the past. Thank you.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #159 on: June 21, 2013, 11:09:54 PM »

It's been 3 1/2 years since this thread was active, and there are a ton of new members, and though I have made progress I am still in much the same position, so... bump!
Asteriktos, glad to see you are still addressing these questions. I'm taking a natural theology class, and its quite interesting.

I've yet to find a good balance between faith, reason, evidence, experience and doubt, but I'm not dead yet so maybe there's hope... Smiley

You Catholics and you're natural theology  Tongue (j/k)
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
ZealousZeal
Gainsaying Helpmeet
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: ✔
Posts: 2,764


look into my lovable alpaca eyes


« Reply #160 on: June 22, 2013, 12:02:57 AM »

Given that the question was "Why do you believe in God?" rather than "Why are you Orthodox?", I voted "personal experience" and "just believe".  While I don't feel comfortable saying I have 110% unshakable, certain faith, I also don't feel "doubtful" enough to give it up.  God knows many things would be easier if I didn't believe in God (and I've tried), but I can't not believe that he's "out there".  I've experienced things that won't prove God to anyone, but they work well enough for me to keep me "in the game".      

This is the closest to how I feel, with minor differences. I've never tried to not believe (although I have considered what it would be like if I didn't). The last sentence in particular sums it up well for me. As an aside- can anyone have 110% unshakable, certain faith? I don't know. I don't think that's the nature of the game.
Logged

"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #161 on: June 22, 2013, 12:21:39 AM »

I've yet to find a good balance between faith, reason, evidence, experience and doubt, but I'm not dead yet so maybe there's hope... Smiley

You Catholics and you're natural theology  Tongue (j/k)

It's your, not you're.

This is the closest to how I feel, with minor differences. I've never tried to not believe (although I have considered what it would be like if I didn't). The last sentence in particular sums it up well for me. As an aside- can anyone have 110% unshakable, certain faith? I don't know. I don't think that's the nature of the game.

For doubters like me anyway, a major obstacle is when you try to balance faith and doubt but the doubts outweigh the faith. It then becomes a thing where you have to decide whether to just go on and ignore your doubts, or deal with them and most likely backslide. Fwiw I find posts like yours and mors the most helpful in this regard.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Stratopedarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 18,719


"And you shall call his name Jesus..."


WWW
« Reply #162 on: June 22, 2013, 11:16:43 AM »

I've never tried to not believe (although I have considered what it would be like if I didn't). The last sentence in particular sums it up well for me. As an aside- can anyone have 110% unshakable, certain faith? I don't know. I don't think that's the nature of the game.

I probably should clarify what I meant by "trying".  It's more accurate to say that not only did I consider what life would be like if I didn't believe, but also found myself living at times as if I didn't.  I didn't intentionally set out to live that way, it just happened based on what was going on in my life, and I kept it going.  But even then, I couldn't really "say goodbye" to God...no matter what, something about that did not make sense.  So I struggle with not having enough faith to consider myself, in my own estimation, a "true believer", but also not having enough faith in the opposite to give it all up. 

I find consolation in Jesus' healing of the woman with the issue of blood.  She didn't get all up in his face and cry for a miracle.  She didn't grab his arm or leg.  She held on to the fringe of his garment, believing that that would be enough to save her.  And he saved her not with his touch, with his glance, with his words, with his saliva, etc., but he saved her with the same fringe of his garment.  If he can do that for her with such a peripheral involvement, maybe there's hope for us who struggle, even if the goal is to enter more deeply into a relationship with God.     
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.

Please, James, tell us more about women!
davillas
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 89



« Reply #163 on: August 15, 2013, 03:32:04 PM »

I dug up my old writing on my belief in God that I wrote after returning to Christianity from a stint as an agnostic.  I didn't realize it was this long, but if anyone is interested, I posted it here.  I will note that it is not written from an Orthodox perspective as Orthodoxy was not even on my radar at the time, so my views on some things have changed quite significantly.

http://musingsofthreefates.blogspot.com/

I stopped here:

Quote
The best place to start when discussing anything is at the beginning which is what we will do.  Scientists, even avowed atheists, struggle with why our universe appears to be so finely tuned.

I think appealing to science, and trying to prove God from DNA, dark matter, quantum physics, what-have-you, is, like, the worst apologetics of the modern age.

I'm not going to defend it, because, as I said, my thinking has changed quite a bit on issues.  I will say that when I stated that scientists "struggle" with it, I meant that they seek rational explanations.  I then detailed some of the explanations that have been put forth.  I could similarly say that theists "struggle" to explain the problem of evil.  It is a difficulty, but not necessarily one that is insurmountable. 

Just to give it some background.  I wrote it upon coming out of agnosticism and was very operating from a scientism based mentality, hence my discussion on science.  I did not struggle as much with the philosophical concept of a God as much as how I could believe in God and still have faith in science.  I did not intend to use science to prove God, but rather wished to be able to understand how the two can be compatible.

I don`t understand why some people think this is the worst apologetics of modern age. Reading how physicists like Nima Arkani-Hamed have tried to explain the fine tuning : " If there are huge numbers of universes, perhaps 10 to the 500th power by one estimate, then it is no great stretch to imagine that at least one of them—ours—wound up having extremely small amounts of observed vacuum energy and a weak force that operates on a scale much smaller than expected ", certainly strengthened my belief in God. There is no competition between one God and 10^500 gods.

http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2005/0511string.shtml
Logged
xOrthodox4Christx
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Protestant (Inquirer)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Christianity
Posts: 3,635



« Reply #164 on: August 15, 2013, 04:05:27 PM »

I wouldn't have a standard to base my life on.

What is the purpose of keeping the environment pure, or having children, or of caring about the rich and poor if there is no god?

The "Supreme Good" in Philosophy is God. If God doesn't exist there isn't a basis for a "Supreme Good" or a "Moral High ground". My morality wouldn't hold any more water than the morality of bin Laden, Hitler, Charles Manson or anything or anybody else.

These debates, or thoughts or things humanity conceives wouldn't matter if there isn't any basis upholding them. Morality exists because men uphold it, and because God upholds it. If God didn't uphold morality, men have no reason to. If men didn't uphold morality, there would be no mankind.
Logged

"Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth.... While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." (Eugene Debs)
Nikolaos Greek
Last among equals
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of Greece
Posts: 203



« Reply #165 on: August 15, 2013, 04:47:05 PM »

Miracles- Personal experience- Other Philosophical arguments.
I believe in God. Christ has proven Himself to me.
Logged

God is Love.
Ό Θεός ἀγάπη ἐστί.
There is no luck, there is no fate. There are always two ways. One is God's and one is devil's. And in each step of your life you have to pick one, always.
Aedificare
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe
Posts: 120



« Reply #166 on: August 15, 2013, 05:08:49 PM »

I have no idea.
Logged
truthseeker32
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOAA- Denver
Posts: 390



« Reply #167 on: August 15, 2013, 07:28:47 PM »

If I may be so nosey, what makes you believe, and can you expand, the universe is more then material
Sorry it took me so long to reply. Each of my reasons are complex and required reding a good number of books to be convinced, but I believe that the movement in the universe requires a first, unmoved mover. Further, I don't believe that the universe is eternal in that I am convinced by the argument that a temporal infininte, extending forever into the past, is impossible. Then there is morality. I believe there are things that are right or wrong regardless of my own opinion, but I also acknowledge that these things would have no binding authority unless there was some supreme Law or Authority of sorts.

These reasons don't get me all the way to Christ, but they do lead me to profess that there is a transcendent, immaterial power. As for why I believe in Christ, the biggest reason is that, no matter how hard I try, I can't stop believing in Him.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 07:29:33 PM by truthseeker32 » Logged
Nicene
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 615


« Reply #168 on: August 15, 2013, 08:03:38 PM »

Probably because the world just makes sense in light of Christianity.
Logged

Thank you.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #169 on: August 15, 2013, 08:33:40 PM »

Or is it that the world doesn't make sense, and Christianity doesn't either, and together they form an unholy alliance of beautiful incoherence?  Smiley
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Nikolaos Greek
Last among equals
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of Greece
Posts: 203



« Reply #170 on: August 17, 2013, 03:51:06 PM »

Without God we are nothing.
Logged

God is Love.
Ό Θεός ἀγάπη ἐστί.
There is no luck, there is no fate. There are always two ways. One is God's and one is devil's. And in each step of your life you have to pick one, always.
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,505


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #171 on: August 17, 2013, 06:58:14 PM »

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen:  not only because i see it, but because by it I see everything. - C.S. Lewis
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 06:58:37 PM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #172 on: September 11, 2013, 09:54:51 PM »

Christianity may win out simply by being the better of two exceedingly unlikely paths.

Oh, and BUMP.
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #173 on: January 14, 2014, 09:50:47 PM »

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen:  not only because i see it, but because by it I see everything. - C.S. Lewis

Could you expand on this?
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,937



« Reply #174 on: January 14, 2014, 09:54:54 PM »

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen:  not only because i see it, but because by it I see everything. - C.S. Lewis

Could you expand on this?
I think C.S. Lewis is dead.
Logged

Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 
WPM
Revolutionary Writer
Moderated
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,734



« Reply #175 on: January 14, 2014, 10:06:18 PM »

For healing, mercy, and peace.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #176 on: January 14, 2014, 10:07:32 PM »

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen:  not only because i see it, but because by it I see everything. - C.S. Lewis

Could you expand on this?
I think C.S. Lewis is dead.

Have you never read The Great Divorce!?!?  Cool
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Stratopedarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 18,719


"And you shall call his name Jesus..."


WWW
« Reply #177 on: January 14, 2014, 10:09:52 PM »

For the safety of the people and the beasts.
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.

Please, James, tell us more about women!
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #178 on: January 14, 2014, 10:45:01 PM »


What about the people and beasts that die in horrible circumstances?  Huh
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Stratopedarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 18,719


"And you shall call his name Jesus..."


WWW
« Reply #179 on: January 15, 2014, 12:53:32 AM »


What about the people and beasts that die in horrible circumstances?  Huh

God, in his ineffable wisdom and according to his characteristic mercy, willed it permitted it for our edification, of course. 
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.

Please, James, tell us more about women!
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,503


« Reply #180 on: January 15, 2014, 01:00:44 AM »

I still don't understand...  but that's completely normal for this thread!
Logged

Large Marge sent me...
IoanC
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,399



« Reply #181 on: January 15, 2014, 04:11:58 AM »

"I Just Believe" would be the closest, but it's not really it. I believe because I believe it's great to believe. The idea of God is infinite and that's awesome! It's what I like: the infinite, power. I don't understand something lesser than that.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 04:12:15 AM by IoanC » Logged

TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,937



« Reply #182 on: January 15, 2014, 09:38:42 AM »

It is difficult to analyze why I believe because I'm sure there are subconcious motives for my belief that I have perhaps not even considered.  I would say the first thing that comes to my head is I don't really know what to do with the historical figure of Christ if He is not God. I think the C.S. Lewis "trilema" is a bit too simplistic, but it is a good first step into understanding Christ.
Logged

Why can't you just take your spiritual edification like a man? 
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.528 seconds with 213 queries.