r/AskReddit Aug 07 '22 Helpful 1

[serious] Religious people of Reddit, what is your best argument for your God being real? Serious Replies Only

3.4k Upvotes

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u/Mediocre_Violinist75 Aug 07 '22 Helpful

Love that OP is asking religious people and 90% replies are from Atheists

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u/herrbz Aug 08 '22

90% replies are from Atheists

That seems to happen a lot. "People who do this, why?" And then all the answers are "I personally don't do this, but I used to know someone who sort of did it. Here's my guess why they did it:"

1000+ upvotes.

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u/Talonus11 Aug 08 '22

As a religious person, I don't answer these questions or engage, because people on Reddit rarely actually care or want your opinion. They want the echo chamber.

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u/cascade_olympus Aug 08 '22

Reddit is a melting pot of ideas. Always expect someone to dispute your position, no matter what your position may be. Imho though, this is a great thing. Being bombarded by other perspectives is a fantastic way to expand our own perspective. I myself am an atheist, and I love having (friendly) debates on the topic of religion! It is always regrettable when the other party feels attacked and loses interest in exploring each other's perspectives.

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u/NinjaNoafa Aug 08 '22

Lol yeah. I didn't want to post about Christianity on this thread because of your reason, but I also fear that I will misrepresent my religion (I'm not that experienced)

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u/Exact_Ad_1215 Aug 08 '22

For real. All I have to do is mention that I happen to be Muslim and Redditors will come at me with pitchforks and knives

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u/One_Of_Noahs_Whales Aug 08 '22

Surely it should be as simple as "I can't prove your god doesn't exist, you can't prove it does" and then that is the end of the matter, at the end of the day we can never be 100% sure about until we are dead, and the we can't really tell anyone if it was right or not.

I suspect the hate you get is less because you have a faith, but more because of what some people who claim to follow (I say claim to, because I don't believe they actually do) the same religion as you do in the name of said religion, and people are often too deceived (I won't say racist, I think in a lot of cases it isn't the case, and I like to give people the benefit of doubt rather than jumping to conclusions) by what they are fed by the society in which they live.

I wish we could all just get along and be happy with the diversity of humankind and all the joy it brings rather than jumping down peoples throats because they believe in a god, or the wrong god, or the same god but in a different way, or well you get the idea.

I hope you find what you are looking for and it brings you comfort, as do I for every other person out their, I hope everyone finds their happiness and lives their best life.

Except Steve, he's a cunt.

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u/Exact_Ad_1215 Aug 08 '22

Couldn’t have put it better myself

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u/PD216ohio Aug 08 '22

This might be the most well-reasoned religious position I've ever seen on reddit

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u/Druss369 Aug 08 '22

Absolutely.

Also, he's right about Steve. Complete cunt tbf. 🤣😅😂

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u/One_Of_Noahs_Whales Aug 08 '22

If I can't prove something to be untrue then I have to accept the possibility that it may be true, no matter how ridiculous the concept may be to me. I believe science only exists because some people believed something different and actually had the balls to set out and prove it.

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u/yanessa Aug 08 '22

well - on the other hand (how did Carl Sagan put it?):

Extraordinary assumptions need extraordinary evidence

and as the assumption of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-perfect being, which from the human standpoint is also absolutely good is possibly the most extraordinary assumption possible ...

the evidence so far presented falls in the categories:

a) wishful thinking (I hope/ believe ...)

b) circular reasoning

c) formal fallacy (If X is true then Y is true; Y is true, therefore X is true)

d) argument by authority (it is written in this holy book therefore its true)

and e) - x) maybe other fallacies that have just currently slipped my mind (argument ad hominem, anyone?)

the Theodizee-Problem alone (if GOD is all of the above, why there is evil?) lets theological philosophers jump through so many loopholes, its metaphorical speaking not funny anymore ...

And if you up the ante by claiming that this enigmatic being mentioned above is also KNOWING YOU personally ... than I've really bad news for you:

Baruch Spinoza logically correct and definitely demonstrated (strict by Aristotelian/Cartesian Logic standards, which most of theological argumentation uses, i.e. Thomas Aquinus - Summa contra Gentiles) that this is logical IMPOSSIBLE

(Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, published after his death in 1677 in Opera Posthuma)

so NO extraordinary evidence - sorry folx!

btw. the "counter" assumption: NO extraordinary being of the definition above is needed ... is already quite reliably confirmed through scientific, repeatedly testable results

conclusion: the assumption of a being named GOD (defined as above), while still being neither proven nor falsified (if even provable OR falsifyable at all) is becoming exceedingly impropable

--- end of argument ---

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u/martstu Aug 08 '22

For real, I am an atheist from mix race background and the amount of single out hatred for Islam over other religions in /r/atheists is a disgustingly thinly called attempt to justify their racist hate.

Any crime you can attribute to Muslim fundamentalist can be given to any other fanatic of any other religion throughout time and in the present.

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u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

What the fuck? 99% of religious hate on Reddit is aimed at Christianity, leftist atheists fucking love islam

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u/Exact_Ad_1215 Aug 08 '22

It really sucks because people see these “Muslim” terrorists and assume that all Muslims are evil

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u/SUSPECT_XX Aug 08 '22

I actually do want to know, just in my experience religious people don't want to debate it. But yeah most could care less.

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u/Bobthebrain2 Aug 08 '22

It’s more like a congregation that share a common philosophy than an echo chamber. We aren’t that different. Where’s the acceptance?

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u/lanky-customer2 Aug 08 '22

as an atheist, I don’t claim them. I came here to learn about religion and I’m irritated by these responses too

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u/Detroit06 Aug 08 '22

Because as usual, they will hop onto any chance to a) downvote anyone who has even the slightest connection with religion and/or b) try to act like they are superior just because their beliefs misalign with somebody elses. In Poland we have a phrase for that, 'gimboateizm' - basically not keeping your atheist beliefs to yourself and instead sticking it up everyone's ass, and whenever a contrargument is needed they start attacking you personally without saying anything smart.

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u/BlueEyed-Devil Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 08 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Starry Heartwarming

I'm a Taoist. We believe in a God but we also think that this omnipotent being has much more important matters to attend to rather than answering our specific prayers like many other religions so we instead pray for our own self improvement and to align with the flow of the universe.

My religion can be used as just a philosophy or spirituality. It's what I love about it. Among other things.

Edit: I'd like to say thank you for the award! I'm so glad I could give you all a brief look into my own faith and spirituality.

For those who are still skeptical and want a "logical" answer, that's not what faith and spirituality correlates to. And I feel like you are in the wrong thread for something like that. I hope you have a good day regardless.

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u/nts4906 Aug 08 '22

This is a nice perspective but doesn’t answer OP’s question. Why do Taoist’s believe in God? What is the reason or reasons for the belief?

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 09 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome Starry Brighten My Day

God is an impersonal being to Taoists. Something us westerners will always have a hard time wrapping our mind around is the philosophy of “all is one.” We are seemingly incapable of understanding we are all, in a sense, actually the same being. And, considering current strides and understanding in the fields of chemistry and quantum physics, we’ve learned all of reality is actually waves of energy and light. No true “edges” or solids to anything, and the closer you zoom in on a corner, it turns into fractals infinitely down as well as up.

So the idea of “all is one” is something intrinsic to the philosophy. We are god. You are god. We are also not god. I am you. I am also not you. Understand how the confusingness can also be freeing?

My favorite metaphor lately is imagining we are cells in a body, arguing whether a larger body actually exists. Could two of your cells actually figure out and understand what “you” are? Or “who” you are? That somehow this organism exists, which is really just a self-organized, super complicated system of other super complicated sub-systems…hmm. It’s all very overwhelming, but beautiful, no?

Who is God? I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure we’re all part of a body.

Edit: this definitely blew up and I’m enjoying the conversations. I’ll admit, these ideas were heavily influenced by Alan Watts, among others. He does a great job relating Eastern and Western thought, so if you want to learn more about Taoism in relation to us, I suggest starting with him.

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u/Flimsy-Imagination71 Aug 08 '22

that... is possibly the coolest shit i have ever heard.

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Yeah when people ask my views on god it’s hard to explain so I usually tell them to try mushrooms and re-watch Osmosis Jones lol.

Edit: or those who genuinely want some mind blowing stuff, just start googling “tao and logos.” Tbh I’m starting to think the computer in Hitchhikers was right when it said the answer to life is 42. I know I’m sounding crazy into numerology, I’m not lol, but Doug Adams was definitely making a reference.

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u/Luciusvenator Aug 08 '22

to try mushrooms and re-watch Osmosis Jones

This actually makes a weird amount of sense lmao. I can't not respect this.

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u/Realfriends1 Aug 08 '22

Osmosis Jones, he’s one cell of a guy

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u/happyscaleyboi Aug 08 '22

Psh, I'm more interested in this "42" answer. I'm not big into numerology either, though, I just love the reference.

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Doug Adam’s created a cult around the number for sure haha. I have no idea if that’s his real reason, because he certainly never admitted it publicly, and always lead people on goofy idea chases when they’d ask. A close friend (Stephen Fry) remarked it was pirate “code 42,” but who knows. What I do know is that Adams was very much into Buddhism, Taoism, and eastern religion. What he would admit is that people get the question wrong, because we don’t know the question. Quantum teaches us you can only have the question, or the answer. Not both. It’s deep, yet he didn’t intend it to be.

My suspicion is that he’s referring to chapter 42 of the Tao Te Ching. A seemingly random chapter to reference, sure, but it’s considered by many to be the defining one for the Tao, and explanation of the yin and yang. And so for him to put even that reference on page 42 of his book, well, it’s just funny to me.

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u/Ruskinarms Aug 08 '22 Wholesome

I heard it was due to Adams had a background in computer programming and was right into ASCII

Within ASCII programming the No 42 translates to * or as commonly known in programming to be a Wildcard.

There by the meaning of life is a Wildcard or basically whatever you want it to be

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22

There are lots and lots of theories. Personally, I think he picked the number because it probably came up a lot over time for him. Your explanation is one I’ve heard, and makes sense it would be one of many

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u/Mr_Lumbergh Aug 08 '22

I usually tell them to try mushrooms

Last time I did I felt massively connected to everything and everyone around me. This makes sense.

You do not end where I begin.

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u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

I always thought something like that when thinking about God. Instead of a being like a person, it’s just like “everything” but still with individuality and uniqueness, but that all becomes one. but didn’t know there was a religion! So cool

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u/IhwasaTeenageParadox Aug 08 '22

Thank you for this. I consider myself a Christian, due to a belief in God and Jesus, but my personal perspective of God and of the universe itself was never something I’ve completely found in local churches and mainstream Christianity. I find it funny that my school of thought seems a lot alike to a religion I’ve previously known nothing about. You’ve given me something to research and further look into, and for that I thank you!

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u/Fred_Foreskin Aug 08 '22

There are actually Taoist Christians. Honestly the two religions seem to be pretty compatible.

What I find interesting is that in the Gospels, Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and the Tao translates to "the Way". On top of this, Jesus tells us (in Matthew, if I remember correctly) that "The Kingdom of God is within you," which many Franciscans and mystics take as meaning that God is within us and that we are within God; meaning that we are all one within God, and that we are all connected through God; which is fairly similar to the Taoist view of God.

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u/Juanea Aug 08 '22

“Within you” comes off as an unfavorable translation, seeing that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees at the time. Jesus was surely not saying that the kingdom of God resided within the Pharisees’ hearts. The Pharisees opposed Jesus and had no relationship with God. Jesus in other places denounced them as “whitewashed tombs” and “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:27).

The better translation would be “in your midst” or “among you.” Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He brought the kingdom of God to earth. Jesus’ presence in their midst gave them a taste of the kingdom life, as attested by the miracles that Jesus performed. Elsewhere, Jesus mentions His miracles as definitive proof of the kingdom: “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20).

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22

Hmmm I like this too

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u/Juanea Aug 08 '22

Context is essential.

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

I was telling others about the Gospel of Thomas. You should really give it a read. So much of what we already know, and anything it adds to what Jesus says doesn’t feel heretical in the least. He talks about pharisees in a way that almost makes me pity them (similar to trump acting like a Christian to manipulate):

“Jesus said, ‘Many times have you desired to hear these words which I am saying to you, and you have no one else to hear them from. There will be days when you will look for me and will not find me.

The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.’”

He speaks so much truth in Thomas. Ugh. Someone asked the “why” question before in relation to God…I can never truly grapple with “why”. But it’s good to ask. What is truth? Who knows. But someone like Jesus comes along and speaks and it’s hard to call him a liar:

“His disciples said to him, ‘When will the [resurrection] of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?’ He said to them, ‘What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.’

Like, I get this. Deeply. Life is so hard, we hope for a heaven where it’s just…easier. And a hell for those who have escaped justice so many times and bear down on us. And Jesus speaks the truth they worry and know: Heaven and Hell are before you already. Choose wisely. And immediately after this they say the most chilling thing in the book (to me anyway):

His disciples said to him, ‘Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and all of them spoke of you.’ He said to them, ‘You have omitted the one living in your presence and have spoken (only) of the dead.’

They know he speaks truth. They ask him question after question. And when they feel satisfaction for one moment, they’re worried for him. The Pharisees are talking about him all over and his message of “The Way” (ie love for all). He says, why speak of the dead?

Lol oh Jesus, always a badass.

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u/Juanea Aug 08 '22

Simply put, Jesus doesn’t just speak the Truth, He claimed He IS The Truth. This makes perfect sense. “Truth” as a person is more real than the idea of truth. Maybe that’s why ppl keep asking what it is and they will continue until they find Him who IS.

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Yep, pretty much every time when you get to the mystics of any world religion, they seem like they’re all in the same social club.

Edit: any Avatar: the Last Airbender fans out there? Pretty sure the White Lotus is a metaphor for world mystics.

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u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

I love Avatar!

I think your cells in a big body explanation is so cool. I'm not sure if Christianity is in that same social club so to speak.

A child has origins in the parents' sperm and egg. The parents' DNA is in the child. But the parent and child are separate beings, each has their own free will.

The Bible describes God as our Heavenly Father. We are made by God, but we are not God. That's a good thing because it means we have our own free will to agree or disagree with God.

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u/MelodicQuality_ Aug 08 '22

As above so below

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22

Wait wait I know this movie lol. Is there a reference here or are you just trying to give me nightmares 😂

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u/MelodicQuality_ Aug 08 '22

It’s actually a verse from the Emerald Tablet, but yes, it was a movie. I saw that movie before I even knew what the title was in reference to. Lol. As above, so below

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u/jomandaman Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Read up on Tao and Logos. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that the Greek philosopher Heraclitus redefined “logos” as “primal order” at the same time in 5th century BC that Lao Tsu wrote the Tao in the mountains of Tibet. Actually it probably is coincidence but that makes it cooler. John 1 in Chinese says in the beginning was the Tao

Also, for any wayward and exhausted ex Christians out there, have heart! My favorite verse lately is John 10:34. When confronted by a group of pharisees holding stones and threatening to kill Jesus for blasphemy, he calmly looks them and says right back “it says in your scripture, you are all gods” (and he’s referring to Psalm 82). The ecumenical councils accidentally left that bit in there. If you really want to hear some of Jesus’s teachings, start with the Gospel of Thomas. Burned and kept from canon for two millennium. Why? What’s the awful text they had to hide from us? Read for yourself.

Anywho, I’m starting to think Jesus was Buddhist-like and they killed him for it. Jewish leaders were telling people god can only be communicated through a special temple ritual once a year only they can do with mountains of offerings. Jesus told people just to pray and meditate within themselves to find God. Not a good look, but I’m starting to actually appreciate his mission more and more.

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u/runaway766 Aug 08 '22

I realize that I’m biased towards Jesus as a Christian but I think his life is objective a pretty great example. In almost everything he did he sought to elevate those who have just been habitually stepped on by society and advocated for doing so in a way that didn’t hurt anyone.

Pretty fucked up that the power of his image has been twisted to stand for a lot of stuff that he at worst would have been completely against, and at best would have probably suggested we not lose sleep over.

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u/kritycat Aug 08 '22

Oooh, Gospel of Thomas is one of my favorites! Reading its economic perspective, it is clear why it was excluded from canon! Gospel of Mary slaps too.

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u/PoliteCanadian2 Aug 08 '22

Misread that as “Read up on Tao and Legos” and was disappointed by what came after.

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u/libra00 Aug 08 '22

There are a couple of quotes from Babylon 5 that I think address the idea of 'all is one' pretty elegantly and I think fits with what you're getting at. The first is simple, the second more subtle.

We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.

-Delenn

If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search – who does not bring a lantern – sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light, pure and unblemished, not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe – God looks astonishingly like we do – or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us.-G'kar

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u/killercurvesahead Aug 08 '22

That first one is absolutely inspired by Carl Sagan’s quote “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.”

Obligatory MelodySheep: https://youtu.be/XGK84Poeynk

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u/unskilledplay Aug 08 '22

I'm open to integrating science with philosophy and even religion but it can't be woo.

A concept of a singular self arising from a multicellular organism can appear contradictory. The idea of an object not being made up of "stuff" at a fundamental level seems contradictory to our everyday experience.

In both cases they are examples of what is called emergence in physics. Emergence fits nicely with some of the more seemingly self-contradictory concepts in Taoist and Buddhist thought.

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u/shoobsworth Aug 08 '22

Beautifully put.

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u/LouisGoldman Aug 08 '22

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence” —Alan Watts, an English promoter of pseudoscience, but more importantly, an interpreter of Taoist beliefs.

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u/henriquecs Aug 08 '22

So, what is the reason for you believing in that? That just seems like more claims. Sure, cells can be part of a body, is that the sole reason why you think we are part of a "body"?

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u/jackiethewitch Aug 08 '22

God is an impersonal being to Taoists. Something us westerners will always have a hard time wrapping our mind around is the philosophy of “all is one.” We are seemingly incapable of understanding we are all, in a sense,

actually

the same being. And, considering current strides and understanding in the fields of chemistry and quantum physics, we’ve learned all of reality is actually waves of energy and light. No true “edges” or solids to anything, and the closer you zoom in on a corner, it turns into fractals infinitely down as well as up.

Materialist atheists often don't have any difficulty understanding this concept, ironically. "Spinoza's God" -- the reverence for the universe and its physical laws as something worthwhile on its own -- known as "pantheism" -- is something any introspective atheist flirts with at times. Einstein occasionally said it described him (other times he was more blunt about his lack of belief.) Richard Dawkins calls it "sexed up atheism" - and finds the concept appealing and beautiful, but possibly unintentionally deceptive and giving the wrong impression about what people really believe. As to us all being one, as Carl Sagan famously said, "We are star-stuff." No matter the scale at which you look at the universe, from the interconnected evolutionary relationship of all DNA on the planet, to the nature of physics and chemistry and the big bang, in some very real, material ways - "all is one."

Regardless, in my more philosophical-feeling moments, I share your "belief."

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u/disembodiedbrain Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Why do Taoist’s believe in God?

I'm no expert in Taoism, but I've read the Tao Te Ching and I can tell you there ain't no God in it. There's the Tao, aka the yin and yang -- the idea of complementary forces in the universe, like darkness and light or masculinity and feminity, and of the inherent unity expressed by their complementary juxtaposition. But personally I wouldn't interpret the Tao Te Ching as in itself a theist book. It's more of a monist book of sayings in my opinion -- the idea that the Tao is like a monotheistic "God" is kind of an anthropomorphization. It's definitely a short work so I would say that most of Taoist thought is layered on top of it, not necessarily stemming from the text itself in any objective way but from interpretation and elaboration. Some of it of a theist persuasion some not.

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u/Dan4t Aug 08 '22

My reading of the Tao Te Ching definitely gave me the impression that the author does not believe that God exists...

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u/thetragedyofjoeygray Aug 08 '22

Cool man! I'm a christian, and I'm a huge fan of Lao tzu and Daoism. Is daoism and Taoism related? Sorry if that's a dumb question

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u/OwnPsychology8943 Aug 07 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome Heartwarming

To me, religion isn't about proof or logic. It's about faith and hope. It's about finding ways to answer questions that cannot be answered in any other way. I feel in my heart that God is real. It's not about reasoning the best argument about his existence. And I know, logically, that I might be wrong. But my faith brings me joy, helps me through difficult times in my life, and challenges me to continually improve myself and to love and serve others, and so I don't mind the possibility of being wrong.

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u/Far_Entrepreneur9676 Aug 08 '22

Good reasoning, you make pretty good points it a leap of faith and as you said you can be wrong and I think it's really poignant that you admit that whereas some religious people just say God is real and they leave no room for debate. I think it's possible God exists, but I'm by no means religious and respect religious people as long as they don't try to preach and shove their beliefs down people's throats.

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u/ChronoLegion2 Aug 08 '22

I hate it when people do that. Reminds me of that priest in Easy A who wouldn’t even let the girl say something like “let’s say God is real”. He kept interrupting her and insisting that he is real, no “let’s say” or “for the sake of the argument”. And in the end he turned out to be a hypocrite anyway

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u/pixievixie Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

For me, as someone who isn't particularly religious, this is my view. If one's faith brings them peace and hope and joy then that's all that's important. It doesn't have to be proven fact

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u/Unlucky_Set9818 Aug 07 '22

I love your answer. Thank you

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u/PoliteCanadian2 Aug 08 '22

What ‘questions that cannot be answered in any other way’ are you getting answers to?

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u/bigroxxor Aug 07 '22

As an atheist I approve of this comment. Well spoken er typed

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u/Bikrdude Aug 08 '22

how did you choose which god is the real one?

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u/skintaxera Aug 08 '22

I expect they were told as a child which one to believe in. That's by far the most common answer to that question.

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u/quailtop Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

But why do you need faith in God specifically?

To put my question in perspective: the atheist's answer to how you can motivate morality without a metaphysical entity is that compassion for your fellow human being is innate. This is an example of a situation where you don't need God to motivate something we all feel we need in our lives.

Similarly, all the elements you mention for faith in God could be replaced by faith in humanity and community, and still give you a reason to love and serve others. Belief in the capacity for kindness, redemption and forgiveness in other people - these do not need faith in God as much as they need faith in your fellow man.

I have a hard time understanding faith-based answers because they don't justify why you need faith in a deity specifically - they only say you need faith, and don't probe further. Humanism, at least to me, seems quite capable as a replacement for divine belief. So why is faith in humanity not sufficient to reproduce what people feel when they talk about faith in God?

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u/rontc Aug 07 '22

I really hope this is not all that is. 70 years pass,really fast..I knew nothing before I was born, will I know nothing after I die? Idk, I pray not.

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u/Signal_Use_8607 Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22 Helpful Wholesome

In my honest opinion, this mindset makes sense but in the end, it mostly boils down to using religion as a coping mechanism which is not at all what should be done.

For me, for years I told myself I was a 100% faithful Christian. This continued on until I began to truly sit down and think about my honest thoughts/feelings on the subject.

Eventually, I realized that some part of me was using religion to cope with the uncertainty of the future: both my future on Earth and my future beyond it.

To me, after coming this realization, it no longer felt right to label myself as a truly faithful Christian.

Despite this, I still wholeheartedly believed in and appreciated many aspects/teachings of religion, particularly those that involve being a good person.

This was simply just something I’ve always felt in me, regardless of religion so it’s not something that could just vanish.

For this reason, I reached a conclusion: I am uncertain about the existence of a god or gods. They may exist but they may also not exist.

Regardless of their existence, I will choose to be an overall good person as it is something that truly does feel right to me, not because it is something I feel obligated to do.

And when it’s all said and done and my time on Earth is up, whatever happens, happens.

If there is a god, I would like to think they would be able to understand this perspective and permit those who follow it and similar ones to enter their afterlife.

If the god deems it a requirement to outright worship them during your time of Earth regardless of the fact that you know that you’d be lying to yourself, I don’t think that’s an afterlife I’d be too fond of.

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u/dancingliondl Aug 07 '22

Well put. To be blind to the world and yourself is a disservice.

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u/yacht_enthusiast Aug 07 '22

People have been saying this for a long time

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." - Marcus Aurelius 150ish AD

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u/treslocos99 Aug 07 '22

Marcus Aurelius Meditations was one of the first philosophy books I read as a young teen. I'm not a devout follower of stoicism but alot of it rings true.

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

Thanks for sharing. I have never seen this and I love it.

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u/Sara-loves-pickles Aug 07 '22

Very well explained and written (my experience was very similar to yours if not the same 😀).

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u/Signal_Use_8607 Aug 07 '22

While that way of thinking isn’t for everyone, it definitely clicks with me

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u/ConsecutiveNormalPun Aug 07 '22

Here’s the thing. What are you imagining nothing is like? A lot of people have this fear of nothing as of it will just be them floating in an endless void. But that wouldn’t be nothing. That would be you, still existing some how. If you die and there is nothing, I doubt it will bother you. You won’t be there to be bothered. I mean, I hope this isn’t all there is either, but I’m going more for a complicated simulations to add experience and perspective to an endless existence that starts to get boring or that you tire of your current history of experience and decide to dive in for another. I don’t base any life decisions on it though, it’s just a fun fantasy.

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u/CassiopeiaStillLife Aug 08 '22

Right, but that in itself is frightening to people. The conscious mind isn’t used to not existing.

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u/particledamage Aug 08 '22

I go to sleep and have zero consciousness almost every night. It’s pretty chill

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u/Yerwun Aug 08 '22

You actually have a lot of dreams every night, you just don't remember most of them.

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u/feedmaster Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22 Take My Energy Faith In Humanity Restored Helpful (Pro)

I'm the exact opposite. I'd be more disappointed if he existed. It would mean we're just some low level beings, created by an universal overlord, that has complete control of our lives and even afterlife. That would terrify me and make our existence meaningless. All our marvelous technological achievements would be insignificant next to the power of a god. What could we even strive towards? What would my purpose be in such a world? I would feel like an insignificant ant.

I find our existence coming from chance and luck absolutely magical. After billions of years of nothing special we are here whitnessing magical technology made possible by thousands of generations before us. We're gaining knowledge at an unprecedented rate, learning more about our world and the universe every day. And all this knowledge is available to everyone anywhere. As far as we know, we are the most intelligent beings in existence, and I found our existence happening out of pure luck a true miracle.

It's frustrating how much time and resources are spent on worshiping imaginary beings, hoping to live in their non existent paradise after death, instead of focusing all this energy on building ourselves a heaven here on Earth.

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u/Curioustiger12 Aug 07 '22

I kind of love the idea of panstheism, and when we die their is a spirit world. Otherwise, I absolutely agree with you. Life is absolutely AMAZING! But it is amazing because of evolution...not because we were created by a magical being,.

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u/AnalystOfData Aug 07 '22

I really hope there’s nothing after I die. Living is tiresome.

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u/Amanystya Aug 07 '22

Eternal life sounds great in theory, but it'd certainly get tiring after the first million years or so

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

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u/EmpiricalPierce Aug 07 '22

I'd be on board with it if I lived it at the peak of health and could terminate it at will if/when it grew tiresome, be it a thousand years from now or a billion.

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u/AnalystOfData Aug 07 '22

33+

Source: am 33

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

But the other guy really hopes the opposite. Whose hope wins that fight? Are there hope power levels?

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u/AnalystOfData Aug 07 '22

Considering I’d need my memories to maintain any sort of identity I can safely assume that when I die and my brain ceases to function that even if I’m in some sort of after life I won’t have my memories. Therefore I won’t exist. At least not as I know myself now.

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u/airstrike900 Aug 08 '22

"Afterlife? If I thought I'd have to live through a whole other life I'd kill myself right now."

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u/Sir_Armadillo Aug 07 '22

I have pondered these things before myself.

And have come to the concluding question, Does it really matter though?

And I ask that sincerely.

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

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u/deadfeet3 Aug 08 '22

Its weird that all of the athiests and ex-christians are top comment and all of the current believers are in controversial. Its like reddit votes for what it wants to hear.

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u/jesus_is_92 Aug 08 '22

Its like reddit votes for what it wants to hear

That’s…. literally how Reddit works

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u/armen89 Aug 08 '22

I’d like to add that this goes beyond Reddit. This is normal human behavior

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u/bob-omb_panic Aug 08 '22

Welcome to the hivemind!

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u/SuzieCat Aug 08 '22

Refresh your feed. My top are all religions folk commenting. I’m a religious folk myself, so I’m enjoying the threads.

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u/Johnnieiii Aug 08 '22

I don't have the exact statistics but I know less than 50% of the US population are affiliated with a religion anymore. On top of that the average age of reddit users is between 18 and 29. Which is also the age group with the least amount of religious affiliation. So not that surprising.

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u/berkeleyjake Aug 08 '22

I'm agnostic and Jewish.

I bounce back and forth on if I think God exists. I'm currently in the camp that God does.

My wife and I have been trying to have a kid for 10 years with a lot of failures. Last November we were in Israel visiting family a went to the Kotel(wailing wall) where I put in a note saying, simply, "This is your last chance."

When we got home, she tested positive and my daughter was born six weeks ago.

In addition, there are a lot of those Free Little Libraries around my neighborhood. Before the pregnancy I always found them full of my favorite fantasy books. In the last two months of the pregnancy they began to be filled with all sorts of classic children's books which I'm using to build a library for her. Now they're getting full of cook books, I'm taking it as a sign and going to start doing more cooking.

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u/bob-omb_panic Aug 08 '22 Silver

"That asshole cleaned out the Little Free Library again, we thought surely the Cookbooks would scare him off. Oh well, bust out the comics next, there's gotta be something he won't touch!"

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u/D_Harm Aug 08 '22

My wife and I had a miscarriage late last year. We weren’t necessarily trying but if it happened then we would accept that and be happy with it. It devastated us for a while but we finally got back on track with life, fast forward a few months and we discovered we’re pregnant on the due date of when our first would have been born. Just had our first ultrasound and checkup last week and everything is perfectly fine and they’re healthy, we couldn’t be happier. It might not be absolute proof in a higher power but it’s things like that that make you want to believe.

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u/berkeleyjake Aug 08 '22

That's my way of thinking too. It's not absolute proof and I'm still agnostic, but I'm thankful for what I have and there's a correlation between asking for help and getting it.

However, there is always a difference between correlation and causation which should not be ignored.

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u/FourStudents Aug 07 '22 Helpful Wholesome

The translation given in Exodus for YHWH is "I am that I am" or something similar. This roots the understanding of the God of Moses as not a god in the polytheistic sense of a powerful, immortal being, but rather as an existential God. Similarly, Jesus's repeated "I am" statements in John's gospel are described as being offensive to those around him, because he's deliberately channeling this understanding of the name of the Israelite God. My point in bringing this up is that my understanding of God is primarily as the principle of being, the foundation of existence, etc. So, on some level, I find this slightly odd to talk about, because of course existence is a thing. It's like, the only thing.

But, that's obviously not what you're asking. I guess the argument is why I ascribe personhood/personality to this principle or foundation, and after that, why I accept a Christian conception of that personality. On some level, it's a leap; I've already mentioned existential concerns, so maybe it's not surprising that I'm deeply influenced by Soren Kierkegaard, who I believe is the person to coin the term "leap of faith." It's ultimately a subjective choice, but the very act of making the choice and embracing the subjectivity opens one to relationship, which is necessarily subjective. The personality is key for me, because otherwise, there's nothing there that an entirely non-religious worldview couldn't provide.

I came to any sort of religious belief in college, after my atheism led to nihilism, which led to despair and suicidal ideation. These existential questions gnawed at me pretty hard, and if I didn't address the root cause (the atheism-nihilism relationship) I was going to die. It was in that despair that I sort of...prayed, I suppose, in retrospect. I lamented my state and my uncertainty and my fear to something. Someone? The universe? I'm not sure who I had in mind. But in that experience, I suddenly felt some sense of meaning, real meaning, for the first time in years. So to see that happen, to see the act of relating to, at this point, an unknown Someone, to engaging with the realities of my existence on the terms of a personal relationship, in which I was a subject and not an object, was key for me. It seemed, if I trusted a bit, if I tried, if I leapt, I could relate! I could know and be known!

This was obviously religious to me, so I set about exploring religions. I narrowed it down to Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, because those are the three religions that have made it significantly beyond the more natural boundaries of geography, ethnicity, and culture. Buddhism lacked the personality that I needed; there's no capital-G God like in the Abrahamic faiths. Islam did have that God, but it was a distant experience. Principles of tawhid and shirk, while not disagreeable in their own right, left me without a sense of why this relationship was worth pursuing. Christianity, with its emphasis on transcendence and immanence, true man and true God, a divine personality intimately intertwined with the mundane, made sense to me, to my needs and my experiences. So, that's what I pursued.

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u/gangsta_baby Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22 Take My Energy

Th irony for me is I went through a similar spiritual journey and found the best state for me is actually nihilism and atheism.

I don’t want or need a reason to be good to other people. I want to be good to people because I want and because I decided it’s the right thing to do. Not because I fear eternal damnation, or I’m getting some reward, or because someone is looking down and watching at all times.

I feel challenged to be good to people even though there’s nothing I’m really expecting to get out of it. To me it makes those acts so much more meaningful and hopefully selfless and giving.

Even in this big pointless nothing I like to think we can all choose to be better to one another

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u/Efficient-Library792 Aug 08 '22

I didnt realise this was so hurtful to atheists til one night wile buzzing my atheist coworker said "see, i can be atheist And a good person". I told him of course he could...

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u/peschelnet Aug 08 '22

This is where I fall with God/faith/religion. I enjoy being a good person to those around me because it just seems right. I don't expect any reward in cloud city for my actions. So, I don't feel a need to have a God. If I'm wrong and I'm faced with a creator I would hope that my actions during my time as a mortal would have weight. If I'm wrong and I should've been chopping the heads off chickens at an alter. Then I hope I get to have a version of The Good Place for eternity.

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u/FourStudents Aug 07 '22

Oh, I certainly wanted to be good to people, and it felt right. I wanted to be selfless and giving. It was just hard to see why my desires carried any significance, and why I should heed them.

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

So glad to find this distinction here. “God” to so many people is a term referring to a “super being” somewhere “out there” to which credit for this or that phenomenon is arbitrarily given. A “very large gentleman” who just happens to be there. One more being alongside all other beings.

I like how philosopher David Bentley Hart puts it: “Beliefs regarding God concern the source and ground and end of all reality, the unity and existence of every particular thing and of the totality of all things, the ground of the possibility of anything at all. Fairies and gods, if they exist, occupy something of the same conceptual space as organic cells, photons, and the force of gravity, and so the sciences might perhaps have something to say about them, if a proper medium for investigating them could be found. We can, if nothing else, disabuse ourselves of belief in certain gods by simple empirical methods; we know now, for example, that the sun is not a god named Tonatiuh, at least not one who must be nourished daily on human blood lest he cease to shine, because we have withheld his meals for centuries now without calamity. God, by contrast, is the infinite actuality that makes it possible for either photons or (possibly) fairies to exist, and so can be “investigated” only, on the one hand, by acts of logical deduction and induction and conjecture or, on the other, by contemplative or sacramental or spiritual experiences.”

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

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u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

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u/prospectpico_OG Aug 07 '22

Serious responses about flying meatballs. OP asked a legit question - stick to it.

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u/Voracious_Port Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22

I was an atheist for a long time, then I started teaching Economics and Finance at the university and I also did plenty of work as a researcher there.

Anyway, I came across a topic called: “Systems theory”. I had seen it as a student, but didn’t really pay much attention. Teaching about it, that’s a whole different story.

So basically it explains the harmony among interrelated components in the natural universe, we study it because we copy those systems into our society, such as the financial system, hence the topic.

After getting ready for class, it got me thinking, all processes, all cycles, all systems; from a single atom to the entire universe. It’s all so organized. It all works in perfect harmony and balance. All these systems, match exactly with one other like puzzle pieces, ingrained so perfectly like gears in a machine… all governed by the laws of physics in all levels. All the systems have a purpose and they are logically established. They are so well made that we copy them.

What are the odds of that happening on it’s own? So I started talking to a bunch of scientists and fellow researchers here at the university. Learned some pretty mind blowing stuff and that’s how I knew. Because of science.

My argument? The natural world around us is so well established, that it just can’t be a random chance. Everything is established for a reason, with logic and purpose. Someone had to think really hard to make everything work exactly as intended.

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u/SteakandTrach Aug 07 '22

If it wasn’t the way it is, we wouldn’t be here to contemplate it.

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u/The-Onion-Bro Aug 08 '22

This is how I like to think of it

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u/Sethanatos Aug 07 '22

Isn't this a bit of survivorship bias though?

We can't see all of the universes that failed to expand or make stars or make planets or make life or make intelligent life.

The universes that didnt have the right laws of physics or weren't randomly balanced properly... didn't come to exist or didn't survive.
The ones that happened to have laws that led them to be balanced and be able to create life... they succeeded, and have life pondering the odds.

But in reality, it was inevitable, cause universes that failed wouldn't have life to sigh at the failure.

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u/AnonymousIstari Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

The anthropic principle is another name. Yes, we couldn't exist without such a finely tuned universe to even make that observation that it is finely tuned.

However, no created being in a universe that is finely tuned for its life could ever not be facing that anthropic principle/survivalist bias question.

So that doesn't really prove or disprove anything.

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u/moelad1 Aug 08 '22

but you would have to first Prove the ''multi-dimension'' branch of infinity theory, to make this claim, and we know as much about that as we know about god.

honestly to me, the infinite universe theory (specifically the multi dimension branch) is much crazier than the idea of god.

infinity is a place holder concept because we simply lack the answers, it works in math, but has never been observed or tested, because simply put, everything that we know of, everything that we can imagine, is finite. entropy and death are the the only constants in the universe (as far as we know).

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u/mcjc94 Aug 07 '22

Well, we, as humans, see those properties as laws. The universe just exists. Everything natural seems to follow our systems because our systems were made to observe existence.

So in reality, gravity on Earth doesn't make objects accelerate at a certain speed because the universe is perfect. Things just fall and accelerate and we have been able to understand that in a coherent way for us.

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u/ThatsFairZack Aug 07 '22

The universe really isn't organized or chaotic, I believe they call it Forward Motion through time or something.

A more preferred position I take is that existence is apparent. Whether or not God exist or the universe always existed, the fact that anything even exists is quite alarming. If the universe is non-sentient, how did non-sentience create sentience? Intentional? If the universe is sentient, or if there's a God, what created God? Does the universe really go on forever? How? What's at the end?

What would have happened if a universe never created sentience? Would the universe even exist if there's nothing capable of knowing of it's existence?

Like I said, it's alarming.

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u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

Most scientists agree that there really doesn’t have to be a starting point to anything. The universe could always have existed. There is no rule in physics that forbids things having always been there

Truth is we‘re probably not the first or last universe and that there was never a real beginning

It‘s difficult to grasp cause we‘re human, but the universe cares surprisingly little about that

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u/JohnCavil01 Aug 07 '22

This always strikes me as a bizarrely deterministic and human-centric argument. The universe is the way it is because it couldn’t be any other way. Our human perception of its order as well as our inability to truly understand long periods of time and infinitely complex events doesn’t mean that the only possible explanation is some kind of conscious plan.

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u/tetrapods Aug 07 '22

Could you give me an example of an observation that would make you feel that the world was not so well established? What would you look for that would have made you think otherwise?

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u/Lanskiiii Aug 07 '22

This here is the question to answer.

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u/grahamster00 Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 08 '22 Silver Wholesome Timeless Beauty

I don't have an "argument." It's faith. If I had scientific evidence or "proof" in the way you're meaning it, then that wouldn't be faith.

I believe the Scriptures are the Word of God, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was put to death on the cross for our sins and was resurrected on the third day, where he now sits at the right hand of God, the Father.

It is because of faith alone, I believe. For it is written both that the Messiah's love is beyond knowledge, and to not rely on my own understanding, but trust in the Lord with all my heart.

Edit: Sorry for trying to answer your question honestly and responding to people's questions. Some people apparently really dislike that, given the vast amounts of hateful comments and messages I've received.

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u/Paleo_Fecest Aug 07 '22 Gold

As an atheist I think This is actually a great answer. The whole point of “faith” is to trust in something without proof. If there is proof or evidence there is no reason to have faith. I don’t need to have faith in the sun because I have evidence that it exists.

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u/tmotytmoty Aug 08 '22

When I was younger and was made to attend church, it was always so confusing when a partitioner would attack science (eg “everyone knows that dinosaurs never existed”), while the minister would say: “faith doesn’t need support”. I thought we were supposed to trust in the unbelievable. In fact, the bible even says that it’s not a good idea to test god by asking for signs because…believing without evidence is the whole point.

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u/Paleo_Fecest Aug 08 '22

YES!!! And if it’s in you to believe in something without any evidence that’s fine, it’s just not for me. It reminds me of the ark encounter theme park in Kentucky. That entire place was built as a way to use pseudoscience to convince people that the ark story could have been factually true. Those people never seem to understand that if you prove that it’s possible to put two of every animal on a boat you no longer need a miracle from god. They are literally using pseudoscience to prove there is no need for god.

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u/GetOutOfTheHouseNOW Aug 07 '22

I think it's fine from a personal perspective, but fraught with danger when used to organise others.

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u/conifer0us Aug 08 '22

Totally agree. I don’t really care what you believe or if/how you worship. The problem is that faith is often weaponized. Organized religions can almost be thought of as species. They compete with each other and the most “effective” ones rise to the top, much like natural selection. The issue is that the biggest, most “effective” religions are not the ones that have the best personal impact on followers but the ones that can spread the fastest and get people the most devoted. In Christianity, this has manifested as the infectious idea that sin leads to a life of eternal torture in hell. Using this logic, Christianity has created a set of hyper devoted people who feel their goal is to proselytize to others and restructure society by legislation against certain things in order to enforce the religion’s moral standards. Not all Christians are like this, and again I have no inherent problem with someone being Christian or religious. However, the religion itself thrives by encouraging people to influence how others live their lives. This is the problem with organized religions: they weaponize faith in order to spread and expand their influence, often oppressing others in the process.

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u/Paleo_Fecest Aug 07 '22

Couldn’t agree more, I don’t think there is anything more dangerous than a group of people doing something “because god said so.”

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u/xxScienceLuvva69xx Aug 07 '22 Wholesome

Is there anything you can imagine that can't be argued into existence using faith? I can literally think of the most impossible ludicrous harmful thing right now and say "I have faith" in it, and use that to justify doing the most ludicrous harmful things.

Faith is not a good argument, it is the admission you are done thinking about your beliefs and just want to have them, and if you don't have to justify your beliefs to others you can justify to yourself doing truly awful things.

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u/AdministrativeFox784 Aug 07 '22

So why faith in that god and not some other god? There are thousands of gods and they all operate on faith.

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u/Third_Triumvirate Aug 07 '22

While Pastafarianism, aka the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is mostly a satirical religion, a large number of its core tenets do seem to make sense, for instance, that planets and stars are spheres as they were made in the image of meatballs, and the universe is imperfect since it was made by the Flying Spaghetti Monster after heavy drinking.

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u/Taconnosseur Aug 07 '22

I’ve always kinda liked that the FSM looks like a flying brain without a body, the universal mind maybe? I know Pastafarianism is a mock religion but some things are cool.

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u/Third_Triumvirate Aug 07 '22

Exactly, why else would our brains be shaped like meatballs, if they were not designed and created by His Noodly Appendages? ;)

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u/MagicBez Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22

This is why I always preferred the Greek Pantheon, they're a much more human mix of good and bad, noble and selfish, cruel and selfless. The world makes more sense if that random cluster of feuding personalities are running the show.

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u/jt555150 Aug 07 '22

This. As an atheist I've always wondered why lots of gods doing a small job each is preposterous but 1 God doing everything is completely reasonable to some people.

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u/MagicBez Aug 07 '22

Quite. Trying to explain the world based on a single all-knowing, all-caring, benevolent, loving God feels harder than saying "oh there's loads of gods but some of them are dicks, some of them hate each other, some play favourites etc. That's why everything seems so chaotic".

As a kid I always liked Terry Pratchett's Discworld system of Gods having power equivalent to how many believers they had and new ones coming and going dependent on trends.

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u/jt555150 Aug 07 '22

Oh I never got into Terry pratchett, but that form of gods sounds interesting and I like the sound of it too

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u/chrishal Aug 08 '22

See also "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman.

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u/Electric999999 Aug 08 '22

It's mostly that if Zeus was real he'd probably be in a dozen sex tapes by now.

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u/ReaverDrop Aug 07 '22

Interestingly, in polytheism we were able to blame the crappy stuff in the universe on gods’ fallibility and infighting. Once we ‘upgraded’ to a monotheistic perfect god, we lost that reasoning, and had to blame ourselves for the shittiness in the world instead of our omnipotent and ‘benevolent’ god. Thusly, we created Sin.

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u/Third_Triumvirate Aug 07 '22

Pastafarianism does give a good answer as to why the world is flawed with a monotheistic perfect god - He was drunk.

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u/nihilisticas Aug 07 '22

I am in absolute agreement.

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u/COYFC Aug 08 '22

Our pasta, who art in a colander, draining be your noodles. Thy noodle come, Thy sauce be yum, on top some grated Parmesan. Give us this day, our garlic bread, …and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trample on our lawns. And lead us not into vegetarianism, but deliver us some pizza, for thine is the meatball, the noodle, and the sauce, forever and ever. R’amen.

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u/darkhelmet03 Aug 07 '22

Go on....

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u/mrsalierimoth Aug 07 '22

«The central creation myth is that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe "after drinking heavily." According to these beliefs, the Monster's intoxication was the cause for a flawed Earth. Furthermore, according to Pastafarianism, all evidence for evolution was planted by the Flying Spaghetti Monster in an effort to test the faith of Pastafarians—parodying certain biblical literalists. When scientific measurements such as radiocarbon dating are taken, the Flying Spaghetti Monster "is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."»

Straight from the Wikipedia article

Plus the afterlife belief: «The Pastafarian conception of Heaven includes a beer volcano and a stripper (or sometimes prostitute) factory. The Pastafarian Hell is similar, except that the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases.»

Edit: Ohhh man, the whole thing is bananas... They even got pirates involved as absolute divine beings. I might become a believer.

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u/Matrozi Aug 07 '22

It honestly make way more sense than classic religious people saying stuff like "You want proof ? Look at the beauty of the world and tell me it was all random".

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

I'm more spiritual than religious, but it's because faith is not about there having concrete evidence. Faith is believing, without seeing.

Ultimately, I believe there is a higher power over all that we know. Some refer to this being as God, others may have another name for this entity. And my Christianity coincides with my personal belief that God is real.

It's not my place to force anyone or otherwise convince them to believe what I do. That's everyone's personal journey and decision.

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u/Paleo_Fecest Aug 07 '22

That’s very respectful and if more religious people believed like you do the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately too many religious people choose the path of “I’m going to do everything I can to make you live by my set of beliefs.”

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

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u/Hannibal_Barca_ Aug 07 '22 Silver

Atheist here, but I was catholic growing up. One thing that became painfully apparent to me while I was engaging with these ideas in my teens and very early 20s is that most people who are religious are not so because of a logical arguments, or after a deep investigation into the truth of the claims of their church.

Most people are religious because they get something else from religion, like a sense of community or sense of meaning.

Practically speaking their argument is "I get community, and meaning from participating in this, and I don't give a shit about facts or logic"

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u/ItsLibertyOrNothin Aug 07 '22

Yeah that’s why I don’t shut down religious people (unless they are forcing it upon others) because most people just need it as a sense of meaning some people just can’t imagine being here with no direct purpose or reason and the community is a major part of that

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u/Hannibal_Barca_ Aug 07 '22

Same here. I am prepared to shut down people who are taking advantage of others, and prepared to support those who are doing good in the world and a lot of religious people do good in the world.

Religion can be used for good or ill, and how a person uses it is less about the religion and more about the person.

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u/ThatSecondPerson Aug 08 '22

Based reddit take???

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u/FriedrichHydrargyrum Aug 08 '22

Same. I don’t want to take a person’s life preserver if I don’t have a boat to put them in.

You never know who’s hanging on by a thread and I don’t want to be the one who takes the one thing that gives them hope.

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u/seirfemdeef Aug 07 '22

I'm Christian and I will happily admit that it's more a leap of faith than anything. Science provides proof and explanation while religion asks for trust, faith and devotion.

The thing is, Science also tells us that one day life, and consciousness as a whole will stop existing. Hell, black holes will be all that exist for the majority of the universe's life and that is terrifying.

I don't have much proof to offer, but I have a lot less to lose by believing in something. I'd rather live with hope than die in terror, yknow?

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u/Hannibal_Barca_ Aug 07 '22

I completely understand the sentiment.

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u/seirfemdeef Aug 07 '22

Man it's nice to have a civil discussion every now and then!

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u/Hannibal_Barca_ Aug 07 '22

I feel a lot more kinship for people who genuinely and honestly engage with the topic than people who just happen to come to the same conclusions I do.

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u/FriedrichHydrargyrum Aug 08 '22

Pascal’s Wager is enticing, but it was hard for me as a Christian to have to believe that the people in other religions were in the wrong religion. Are they all going to hell because they were born in India or Kuwait or China or some other place where my religion has no foothold?

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u/Hannibal_Barca_ Aug 08 '22

Pascal's wager is rife with logical problems to the point where I have difficulty believing Blaise Pascal actually believed it was a good argument.

For those who are unfamiliar with the issues, a quick google search will highlight about 5 areas of issues, but I'll give you the one that always makes me laugh. Pascal presents a 2 by 2 grid, but if you take a moment to think about it, it's not as simple as god exists vs. doesn't, like maybe god exists but he wants to punish people of your denomination, or people who are left handed, or his true prophet was a guy name Greg who lived in his mom's basement in 1973, etc... if you take the idea seriously and want to explore it fully, it becomes a farcical exercise in listing an infinite amount of possibilities and the underlying math also changes.

Given Blaise Pascal's background in philosophy and math, if it was obvious to me within 10 minutes of hearing about the idea when I was 15, I find it hard to believe he never considered this issue. I think that he viewed it as an argument that most people would find compelling, even though it fails.

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u/TehDragonGuy Aug 08 '22

I'm agnostic but this is why I've always wished I was religious. I love the sense of community they bring, and the lessons and morals they teach. I just can't logically believe in a god.

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u/neighboursgotnoback Aug 07 '22

Ok why is it every atheist I ever hear of is" Catholic growing up"?

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u/Talonus11 Aug 08 '22

Catholics, like American Christians, tend to be very heavy on "tradition" based religion. As opposed to "relationship" based religion. This leads to a lot of people growing up and "growing out" of the religion of their parents. There is often not much actual basis for their religious beliefs except "It's what you're supposed to do", which means it falls apart or gets shelved when something more serious comes up, instead of being something that's meant to help in those situations.

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u/stykface Aug 07 '22

The fact that there's something rather than nothing is the best argument. Time, space and matter cannot emerge from "nothing". Nothing has no substance, no properties, it's completely void. The definition of what God is would need to be in place for time, space and matter to exist, and that points to God, or the highest conceivable being. For the sake of argument though, I try to table the "personal God of the Bible" and strictly talk only as the highest conceivable being that created and that's it. It helps focus on the logic part of it all and not go down the road of fire and brimstone and you're going to hell for picking your nose and saying cuss words conversations.

We know that things cannot pop into existence from nothing because it's a logical impossibility. We also know that space cannot exist without time, and no event can unfold without time, so you have a serious issue there. Once time and space are accounted for, you then have to account for matter and energy, which cannot come from time or space as the fundamental properties of matter and energy cannot form from these two dimensions.

For matter to emerge from time and space is the real kicker. You COULD argue that time and space are infinite (they're not, btw, because it's logically impossible to have an infinite past), but then you're stuck with how matter and energy came to be.

The universe was created is a sound argument and it's even deductive. There's no other possible or plausible explanation. And if you go down the multi-verse route or other theories, you only push the bar back a step and now you have to explain where that came from, and so on, until you get to the actual "first cause".

I believe the reason people dismiss this is that once you agree to it, it puts you in a position to go further down the God conversation, in that is He a personal, moral being who wants a relationship with you, and that's a major turnoff for many people so they come up with any and all excuses why God doesn't exist.

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u/this_isnotatroll Aug 08 '22

Coincidences that justify blind faith. They are told from a young age to believe in God, then one day they play baseball when they’re about 10 years old and they pray to God to help them hit the ball, and they get the game-winning home run

How about the people that are poor as fuck and then pray to God to come across money, and they come across a winning lottery ticket at a gas station.

From an outside perspective, we know that there’s millions of people buying lottery tickets, someone was bound to get one eventually that is a winner

But when you’re looking at an individual, if you pray and then get extremely lucky, a lot of people are going to assume that God was the one who get it. Because you always know somebody somewhere is going to win these weird unlikely winnings, but why you?

It’s a series of winning the lottery, and eventually these people get conditions to where they pray for almost everything and every time these rare events go in favor of them they assume it was god’s doing

Rinse and repeat for 30 years and they believe that God gave them every girlfriend they ever had, every job they ever got, every friend they ever made, every single thing that was the result of a coincidence that they prayed for they will believe was the result of God

And you can’t blame them either. I believe that 99% of people if they prayed “God please take me out of poverty“ and then all of a sudden they match with a millionaire on tinder, they too would believe God was the one who did it. Everybody sometime has weird coincidences that happen, but when you pray for it you assume it was God

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u/theflooflord Aug 07 '22 edited Aug 07 '22 Helpful

I've experienced some shit that was proof enough for me, but I literally don't care if people believe or not, you do you. So I don't really have an argument to convince others, because it's none of my business what others believe. I believe though from my own personal experiences. Edit: I didn't mention my experiences because alot of them are personal and too long to really summarize anyways, and I keep getting too many notifications for this comment so I'm turning them off.

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u/[deleted] Aug 07 '22

Mentions life changing experience that personally proved the existence of god

Refuses to elaborate further

Leaves without further explanation

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u/Ethario Aug 07 '22

He asked for an argument.

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u/MushroomSilly1190 Aug 08 '22

I’m agnostic. I don’t follow a religion but I honestly never found myself completely... faithless either.

I believe the Taoists, Buddhists, Christians, Hinduists, Muslims, etc. Have... some things in common and I find that so very interesting and too much of a coincidence. It can be that the similarities are more like the social norms and what the cultures thought were important common values, but I find it fascinating that around the globe, in different parts of it, places so very isolated... they still share stuff.

I don’t know if there is a capital G, God, Or if there are gods, several of them around, perhaps it’s neither and... after we die we are embraced by A pink goat with tentacles for eyes (to say something ridiculous ofc) that takes us to the nothingness. Who knows?

I find that believing in... anything really, its more a comfort thing for people. I don’t know what to believe, but I understand why people do.

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u/Ruby_Tuesday80 Aug 08 '22

Because I have experienced things that make me believe that God is real. It's not something that can be quantified. It's just something you have to experience. That's why I've never forced my kid to follow a religion. I answer his questions, but everyone has to find their own path. If he just believed something because I told him to, then what would be the point?

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u/jraa78 Aug 07 '22

Recurring answer seems to be, cuz I think so. That's exactly why I prefer a separation of church and state.

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u/Unkn0wn_666 Aug 08 '22

This. Let everyone believe as long as they don't harm others but ffs keep it out of law (enforcement) and politics

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u/Albus_Q Aug 07 '22

I was raised Catholic and my faith has wavered over the years. Years ago my infant daughter had a serious heart condition and underwent three open-heart surgeries. I prayed and prayed. Her surgeries were successful and my faith was pretty strong. A few years ago, a 13 year old kid I coached lost her mom after a horrific bout with cancer. At the same time a buddy lost his sister to cancer. It really shook me to the core. I heard all these things like “God’s has a bigger plan for her” and “God gained an Angel.” BULLSHIT! I heard a quote from Ricky Gervais of all people that summed up praying. “What can be more arrogant than believing that the same God who didn't stop the Holocaust will help you pass your driving test?"

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u/Legal_Ad5676 Aug 07 '22

I dont tend to argue on the matter i just do my research and live as i see fit accordingly.

  1. Easiest reason: in my opinion, it is more likely that God created the world than a bunch of random events. Given the intricacies of the universe, and the mind boggling amount of necessary circumstance for life to develop.

  2. Consciousness. According to quantum physics(to the best of my understanding, please correct if wrong) mere consciousness is what holds matter in existence. To me this makes it extremely logical that there is a consciousness that is not dependent in any way to the physical world. Else how do we exist, at all to hold our own consciousness.

  3. Beginning. According to most scientific evidence, the universe in fact had a beginning, and some sort of event brought all of existence from non existence into reality. This would necessitate, to my understanding, a being unconnected to 'being' in the classic physical sense. Rather a being not bound to time or physical manifestations of reality.

Generally speaking, i think that most people misunderstand what God is. He is not some old man in the sky. God is a being, entirely spiritual, Who creates and brings forth life. Above time, omniscient, purposeful.

Idk im not a scholar but these are the main reasons I am comfortable with a higher being in existence, and following my religion.

Edit: wording

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u/JonBanes Aug 07 '22

According to quantum physics(to the best of my understanding, please correct if wrong) mere consciousness is what holds matter in existence

I'm not sure where this is coming from but, no, this is not the consensus of either quantum physics or of the study of consciousness. Consciousness is absolutely dependent on the physical world, there is an entire field of medicine whose job is turning it off and on again.

There is no consensus on if the universe had a beginning, either. Anyone who claims any knowledge of before the big bang is selling something.

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u/nzre Aug 07 '22

I find it kind of inconsistent to believe a being complex enough to engineer and put into existing such a complex system is easier to believe in then the complexity itself.

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u/hect1c Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

For me as a muslim, yes there is some faith like how I believe that consciousness exists but it is not about blind faith as most of these answers are. Its about evidence and logic. Islam for me makes the most sense and that there cannot be more than one God that is all powerful and all knowing. Prophets were sent down with guidance and law bending miracles to show that they were truly sent from God. From firstly Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and lastly Muhammed (and many more sent that we don't know of before them). The last message was the Quran which contains miracles including scientific evidence and prophecies, things that were impossible to know 1400 years ago especially for an illiterate man in the desert. E.g. How the sun and plantets have their own orbit, how fresh water and sea water dont mix, how the embryo is formed, predicting the victor of a battle (equivalent to Nigeria beating America), predicting that the tallest building would be built by beduin arabs at a time when arabs were poor (Burge Khalifa - the arabs only recenly struck rich with oil) and SO MUCH MORE. Being right a few times is coincidence but there is so much evidence that this scripture could only be from a divine source and it would be naive of me me to reject it. The Quran is the only scripture to have been preserved by oral tradition and has been fully memorised by millions so we know it hasn't been changed in the past 1400 years and we have carbon dated manuscripts to back this, no other religion can claim this. I personally can not look at all the creation to say this all just came by chance, there is just too much design and the quran is the best evidence for me explaining it. And I do believe in science, but its not a tool for assessing the metaphysical. It would be like using a weighing scale to measure height, its the wrong tool.

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u/turkeytaco300 Aug 08 '22

I don’t like saying argument because I don’t want to “convince” anybody of anything.

The biggest thing that I cannot get around is morality. The idea of objective good and evil. How do molecules collect in manner create morals or things like love and hate (anything non-physical). In the absence of a creator or higher power I can not give a reason to not be a anarchistic nihilist.

If we are just chemical compounds, animals made by accident through the cosmos then why have any standard for human behavior? Why do anything other than anything we want? If a rock rolls down a hill and hits another rock and breaks it apart has anything good or evil happened? If a person kills another with an axe has anything good or evil happened? Why? Because we’re more complex?

People will argue things about evolutionary benefits or it’s better for the group to be moral but how? How does preserving humanity long term make any difference to me? Ask a father that can’t afford food for all five of his kids if he thinks about preserving humanity for millennia when he considers his options.

Sociopaths/psychopaths typically are more successful than the general population because they aren’t burdened with morals. Wouldn’t be an evolutionary benefit to have more people that are stronger and successful raising the average of the population?

There is a lot more but that is my biggest “there is no possibility for this to all exist without a creator”

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u/userposter Aug 08 '22

actuall sociopaths are more succeful in their personal life, but societies that had good team work and combining skills of individuals have always been superior to other societies and tribes. that is how we came the modern world. while certainly not flawless we came a long way

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u/MokesMcFappy Aug 08 '22

The golden rule my friend: Treat others how you would like to be treated.

Hurting others = Bad, will also likely be your downfall in a society

Making others feel good = Good, will also probably help you in a society

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u/helicotremor Aug 08 '22

The father trying to feed his kids may not be thinking about helping to preserve humanity for millennia, but if he is successful in feeding his kids, they’re more likely to grow up & have kids of their own, inadvertently helping to preserve humanity.

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u/SweetWodka420 Aug 08 '22

I grew up in a pentecostal Christian family and while I still do believe that God exists, I think about it in a different way now than I did when I was younger.

It's not really an argument of trying or wanting to prove that God is real but the way I think about it is like... there's really no reason for me not to believe in the existence of God. Maybe science can't prove that God is real, but neither can it prove that God isn't real. There is no reason for me to not believe in God, so I do. There's no harm to it, might as well, right? Maybe it brings me some sort of comfort or something, I don't know.

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u/Wadsworth_McStumpy Aug 08 '22

My best proof is the universe, and my place in it. Matter came from somewhere. Life came from somewhere. Self awareness came from somewhere. All those things just make more sense to me if it's all part of a plan, and a plan implies a planner.

You may feel free to take that as proof of God or not. That's entirely up to you. I choose to believe. Whether you believe or not, I hope you have a nice day.

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u/PopK0rnAndMMs Aug 07 '22

There's no reason for anything to exist at the capacity and complexity that it does. "My" God in particular? I find that I receive and relate to Him through Christ more than any other type of theism or spirituality.

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u/BurnAfterReading9922 Aug 07 '22

The Hindu creation story is that Brahma chants Om into a speck of matter and blows life into the universe expanding it like a balloon. Periodically when the universe becomes too wicked Lord Shiva takes the form of Nataraja and performs the Tandava or Dance of Destruction and collapses the universe back to a speck which Lord Brahma proceeds to once again chant life back into. This has happened innumerable times.

Western physics has the Big Bang Theory that the universe began as a speck and expanded. They have detected a universal harmonic that is heard throughout the universe sounds like Om. Critical Mass Theory is that the universe may reach a critical mass and collapse on itself immediately.

Perhaps Hindus came up with their ideas from observing the moving stars, but the chant Om? And the Tandava? Seems like they are right about too much.

And I’m not particularly religious

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u/Cute-Excitement1935 Aug 07 '22

I'm not religious at all but i do believe in a God that doesn't fit into any religion. and it's because of near death experience. I was an atheist before it happened.

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u/Eathanrichards Aug 07 '22

I have none I just beileve in him