Asking God to reveal himself?

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
Nils
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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#31

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:31 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:25 am
This part here got my attention:
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments.
What most atheist mean is that they have little to learn from the emotional arguments OF OTHERS.
THEIR emotional arguments work just fine for them.
Which are the emotional arguments you refer to. I, at least, do not know them.

Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#32

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:37 am

Storyteller wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:24 am
Nils...
You say you have no longing for God. Why not?
If God were to be proved to you, would that induce a longing in you?
You say you don't wish to be deluded and if God exists then you are yet you don't long for God. If you don't long for God then why do you care?

Storyteller,
The reason you long for something is that you in some way will be better off if you get what you long for. I don’t think I would be better off if I got to know that there is a God. (relatively to the case that there is no God).
Even if God were to be proved, I don’t know what I would long for.
If God exists I want to know but I can’t say that I long for knowing because I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t exist.
Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#33

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:46 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:26 am
Perhaps you are right but I get the impression that theists often don’t even understand the atheist arguments (that they don’t agree is of course evident). At least they very seldom reproduce the arguments correctly. Examples are fine tuning, morality and evolution. They often even don’t think that atheists really are atheists. They can’t really imagine (or don’t want to) that an atheist position is feasible. That obstructs the discussion.
I can see that.
I mean, I rarely see atheist understand or reproduce theist arguments correctly so I can see it happening the other way too.
I think for many theists, the position of STRONG atheist isn't logical to them, how can a person KNOW a absolute negative like "there is no such a thing as God".
We tend to see most atheist as agnostic or "weak" atheist in the sense that they do not see or feel there is enough evidence for such as things as THEIR understanding of God to exist.
Yes, there may be atheists that say they are absolutely sure but I don’t know any. Dawkins for instance says that he on a scale 1 to 7 is about 6.5 sure. I agree with him.
Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#34

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:37 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:16 pm
Nils wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:31 am
Philp wrote the following in another thread. I comment it now:
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:01 pm
Nils, don't know if I've asked you before - but have you ever attempted asking God to reveal Himself to you? Because if the God of the Bible exists, it's clear He wants you to know about Him. No amount of philosophical investigation, pondering or speculation will be as powerful to answer this question for the person who sincerely wants to if He exists. Have you ever done this? And do you truly want to know the answer? Because if you do, why wouldn't you, if only as an experiment, ask God to reveal Himself to you? And because if all you continue is an attempt to prove what you already are apparently convinced of - then that's likely not going to lead to the answer. While the journey of getting to the truth of the matter is different for everyone, it doesn't have to be complicated. As it can actually be quite simple. It's man who often makes what is quite simple, unnecessarily complex.

Over 40 years ago, I came to a point of serious doubt about God's existence, and so it became very important to me to seek Him. It's how I came to faith. And what I've learned since has only greatly re-enforced it. And mine is not a blind faith, but one that is exceptionally rational - and that doesn't mean my faith doesn't ALSO go far beyond being a merely rational one.
Yes, I think you asked once when I was new at this forum and I answered shortly. But there was no discussion so I will elaborate a bit more now. I think the question is of general interest.

I certainly want to know whether God exists or not. I don’t believe that he exists but if he does, I am deluded and I don’t want to be deluded. Knowing that God exists would probably not change my every day life but it would definitely change my intellectual life.

When I was a kid I believed in God like my relatives but I was sceptical, I didn’t see any sign of God. At the age of fourteen I happened to read about Occam's razor and concluded that if there is no sign of God and no need of God why not postulate that he doesn’t exist. I still remember that moment of decision a long time ago. In school and during the confirmation (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmat ... an_Church)) I was educated in Christianity so I think that I have a reasonable good understanding of the doctrine (even if I haven’t read the whole Bible). When I grew older I got interested in the question how it was possible that I didn’t believe in God when there were so many persons world wide that did. Ever since I have now and then been discussing with Christians to try to find out and during that process I have of course many times been forced to reconsider my opinion but haven’t found any reason to change opinion.

During these discussions I have been asked the same question you ask: Have you tried to ask God to reveal himself. Those times it has been emphasised that I have to do it seriously, it’s not just to ask without really wanting to get an answer. This imposes a problem because if you have no doubt that God doesn’t exist and no desire that he would exist, how can you seriously ask the question? Still I have tried two or three times. I am aware of that it would be foolish not to try. So I tried to contemplate for a while, perhaps five minutes, over the question. I said something like this to myself: “God, you may exist and if you exist I really want to know. Honestly, I don’t believe in you but my knowledge is limited and I may be wrong. So, please, give me some sign.” But nothing happened.

My conclusion was and is that I got further evidence of the claim that if God exists he doesn’t show up and my original idea of referring to Occam was appropriate.

Nils
You say you were educated in Christianity and so you think you have a good understanding of the doctrine but you turned away from it for atheism. And so I would like to ask how atheism could be so appealing to you over the idea of eternal life Jesus gives us and going to heaven.

I mean I really want to know what is so appealing about dying and that is it. Because all atheism leads to is death and i don't see how that could be appealing even if you somehow think you don't believe in God. One of the things that makes me glad I'm a Christian is because of the afterlife Christianity offers over all over after lifes that other religions offer and including atheism where you just die and that is it? Really? Please tell how that is so appealing of an afterlife for you that you are willing to reject Jesus for just death? I mean even if I thought I did not believe in God I cannot imagine rejecting eternal life Jesus offers for just death atheism offers a person when they die. I'd choose Jesus just in case I was wrong over just death. But,what say you? I mean compared to all other religions Jesus made it easy to be saved and have eternal life. How could you choose to reject it?

Some Doubt. For you.
https://youtu.be/VuD7ImXzVMg
Abc,
I think this is an important question. You have to understand that intellectually I am rather sure that there is no God. (6,5 on a 1 to 7 scale I wrote earlier). But emotionally I am one hundred percent sure. I have no longing what so ever for Christ and an eternal life. Why, you ask, do I not want an eternal life. There are several reasons.
The life after death you talk about doesn’t seem to be a real life, it’s definitely not the same as my current life. Still if it were, I don’t want to live even my current life eternally, that seems horrible to me. To that adds that I have emotionally difficulties not to follow my intellect. It is difficult to want something you believe doesn’t exist.
Finally you can argue like Pascal in his wager. But I don’t think his argument is reasonable. If you don’t believe in God it seems foolish to think that you can cheat him pretending that you do. To me it would not be easy, even if I in some way got to long.

Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#35

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:54 pm

Nils wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:37 am
abelcainsbrother wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:16 pm
Nils wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:31 am
Philp wrote the following in another thread. I comment it now:
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:01 pm
Nils, don't know if I've asked you before - but have you ever attempted asking God to reveal Himself to you? Because if the God of the Bible exists, it's clear He wants you to know about Him. No amount of philosophical investigation, pondering or speculation will be as powerful to answer this question for the person who sincerely wants to if He exists. Have you ever done this? And do you truly want to know the answer? Because if you do, why wouldn't you, if only as an experiment, ask God to reveal Himself to you? And because if all you continue is an attempt to prove what you already are apparently convinced of - then that's likely not going to lead to the answer. While the journey of getting to the truth of the matter is different for everyone, it doesn't have to be complicated. As it can actually be quite simple. It's man who often makes what is quite simple, unnecessarily complex.

Over 40 years ago, I came to a point of serious doubt about God's existence, and so it became very important to me to seek Him. It's how I came to faith. And what I've learned since has only greatly re-enforced it. And mine is not a blind faith, but one that is exceptionally rational - and that doesn't mean my faith doesn't ALSO go far beyond being a merely rational one.
Yes, I think you asked once when I was new at this forum and I answered shortly. But there was no discussion so I will elaborate a bit more now. I think the question is of general interest.

I certainly want to know whether God exists or not. I don’t believe that he exists but if he does, I am deluded and I don’t want to be deluded. Knowing that God exists would probably not change my every day life but it would definitely change my intellectual life.

When I was a kid I believed in God like my relatives but I was sceptical, I didn’t see any sign of God. At the age of fourteen I happened to read about Occam's razor and concluded that if there is no sign of God and no need of God why not postulate that he doesn’t exist. I still remember that moment of decision a long time ago. In school and during the confirmation (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmat ... an_Church)) I was educated in Christianity so I think that I have a reasonable good understanding of the doctrine (even if I haven’t read the whole Bible). When I grew older I got interested in the question how it was possible that I didn’t believe in God when there were so many persons world wide that did. Ever since I have now and then been discussing with Christians to try to find out and during that process I have of course many times been forced to reconsider my opinion but haven’t found any reason to change opinion.

During these discussions I have been asked the same question you ask: Have you tried to ask God to reveal himself. Those times it has been emphasised that I have to do it seriously, it’s not just to ask without really wanting to get an answer. This imposes a problem because if you have no doubt that God doesn’t exist and no desire that he would exist, how can you seriously ask the question? Still I have tried two or three times. I am aware of that it would be foolish not to try. So I tried to contemplate for a while, perhaps five minutes, over the question. I said something like this to myself: “God, you may exist and if you exist I really want to know. Honestly, I don’t believe in you but my knowledge is limited and I may be wrong. So, please, give me some sign.” But nothing happened.

My conclusion was and is that I got further evidence of the claim that if God exists he doesn’t show up and my original idea of referring to Occam was appropriate.

Nils
You say you were educated in Christianity and so you think you have a good understanding of the doctrine but you turned away from it for atheism. And so I would like to ask how atheism could be so appealing to you over the idea of eternal life Jesus gives us and going to heaven.

I mean I really want to know what is so appealing about dying and that is it. Because all atheism leads to is death and i don't see how that could be appealing even if you somehow think you don't believe in God. One of the things that makes me glad I'm a Christian is because of the afterlife Christianity offers over all over after lifes that other religions offer and including atheism where you just die and that is it? Really? Please tell how that is so appealing of an afterlife for you that you are willing to reject Jesus for just death? I mean even if I thought I did not believe in God I cannot imagine rejecting eternal life Jesus offers for just death atheism offers a person when they die. I'd choose Jesus just in case I was wrong over just death. But,what say you? I mean compared to all other religions Jesus made it easy to be saved and have eternal life. How could you choose to reject it?

Some Doubt. For you.
https://youtu.be/VuD7ImXzVMg
Abc,
I think this is an important question. You have to understand that intellectually I am rather sure that there is no God. (6,5 on a 1 to 7 scale I wrote earlier). But emotionally I am one hundred percent sure. I have no longing what so ever for Christ and an eternal life. Why, you ask, do I not want an eternal life. There are several reasons.
The life after death you talk about doesn’t seem to be a real life, it’s definitely not the same as my current life. Still if it were, I don’t want to live even my current life eternally, that seems horrible to me. To that adds that I have emotionally difficulties not to follow my intellect. It is difficult to want something you believe doesn’t exist.
Finally you can argue like Pascal in his wager. But I don’t think his argument is reasonable. If you don’t believe in God it seems foolish to think that you can cheat him pretending that you do. To me it would not be easy, even if I in some way got to long.

Nils
I though you said that you were raised in Christian doctrine and so you think you have a good understanding of it? Because you're now implying that you don't know about Christian doctrine because you don't believe in God.It makes me think that you are not being honest with us when you claim you were raised up to understand Christian doctrine. But I knew you would think I snuck in Pascal's wager toward the end there but it was not really meant that way.

But Pascal was a gambling man and knew all about odds of winning if you're gambling,this is how he came up with his wager.It was based on odds of winning when/if you're gambling and increasing your odds of winning when you're gambling with your life. I know you don't look at it like this,but you are,because you could be totally wrong that after you die and that is it,so whether or not you think so you are gambling with your life and since you accepted atheism, you have nothing to hedge your bets with.

This is because you have no evidence,muchless proof atheism is true and that when you die that is it. To me it is an easy choice to make to accept Jesus and the eternal life he offers us just in case I was wrong and especially when I examine other religions and what they offer for an afterlife and compare their evidence to the evidence for Christianity.

But if eternal life is not desirable to you over the alternative of being wrong and facing the consequences then go ahead and make a blind guess with no evidence at all atheism is true,because you choose it and I cannot change your mind. You can choose anything you want to.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#36

Post by Philip » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:43 pm

Nils: Still if it were, I don’t want to live even my current life eternally, that seems horrible to me.
Of course, given an eternity far different and joyous, who would want to see the great wreckage, evil, war, etc. of this world carried into the next world. Who would want to see that they'll never become substantially better, smarter, more loving, more knowledgeable, etc? Or live with the many sicknesses and infirmities common to man - FOREVER? I wouldn't, given something far better. Scripture teaches that death, sin, hatred, anger, and all the many things that make this world a nightmare will no longer exist in Heaven. It's one of the reasons why rebels against God will not infect the eternity to come. And Heaven represents ultimately a union with our Creator - joyous beyond what we can imagine. But it will also be reality in which our potential, growth and abilities will be far beyond what we can now understand possible. Most who attack the Christian beliefs surrounding Heaven have a very false understanding of what they think it will be like - because their thinking is in conflict with what Scripture teaches about it.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#37

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am

Nils wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:31 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:25 am
This part here got my attention:
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments.
What most atheist mean is that they have little to learn from the emotional arguments OF OTHERS.
THEIR emotional arguments work just fine for them.
Which are the emotional arguments you refer to. I, at least, do not know them.

Nils
Pain and suffering for one, evil for another.

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