Why?

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Santa
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Why?

#1

Post by Santa » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:25 am

Hey everyone,

Just a few thoughts!

Why are believers so positive that Christianity's real? I just don't get it. You all say faith, but that's just basically "wanting" something to be real. I'm only 18 but a few years ago I'd always find myself dismissing anything that made me doubt god was real - but that's behind me now. As much as an 'afterlife' would be nice there's no way any of the religions are true. If there is a god, I'd say it's one that has nothing to do with any of them.

My biggest problem would have to be the way 'non-believers' or 'bad people' are BURNT in HELL for EVER! WTF? Just because somebody mightn't be a believer, or they're a bit 'bad' or pretty much deadset evil I don't see how such a great god would even consider that. I don't think anyone deserves that amount of pain. You could argue it's a metaphor, but that seems to be the answer for everything in the bible!! "Hmm, this is a bit f**cked up - must be a metaphor!!". Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but that's the way it seems most of the time.

Another thing that annoys me is the people that say they're believers because of the "great morals" in the bible. You don't need to belong to a religion to have any of them. I'm pretty sure I haven't killed anyone. ;) And I'm not a bad person.

I'd like to hear what you guys have to say.

Did I mention I'm atheist?? ;)

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Re: Why?

#2

Post by DannyM » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:04 am

Santa wrote:Hey everyone,

Just a few thoughts!

Why are believers so positive that Christianity's real? I just don't get it. You all say faith, but that's just basically "wanting" something to be real. I'm only 18 but a few years ago I'd always find myself dismissing anything that made me doubt god was real - but that's behind me now. As much as an 'afterlife' would be nice there's no way any of the religions are true. If there is a god, I'd say it's one that has nothing to do with any of them.

My biggest problem would have to be the way 'non-believers' or 'bad people' are BURNT in HELL for EVER! WTF? Just because somebody mightn't be a believer, or they're a bit 'bad' or pretty much deadset evil I don't see how such as great god would even consider that. I don't think anyone deserves that amount of pain. You could argue it's a metaphor, but that seems to be the answer for everything in the bible!! "Hmm, this is a bit f**cked up - must be a metaphor!!". Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but that's the way it seems most of the time.

Another thing that annoys me is the people that say they're believers because of the "great morals" in the bible. You don't need to belong to a religion to have any of them. I'm pretty sure I haven't killed anyone. ;) And I'm not a bad person.

I'd like to hear what you guys have to say.

Did I mention I'm atheist?? ;)
Hmm, you have the language of a true atheist. If "faith" is defined as believing in something which is beyond demonstrative proof, then your atheism is also a faith. You believe there is no God. Philosop[hically, we both have faith. "Faith" isn't "wanting something to be real";faith is believing something which cannot be proven; religious faith begins with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence; religious faith is the consent of the will. Christianity is a rational faith. Your faith merely comes from a disbelief. And like it or not, there *are* metaphors in the bible. "Hell" for me simply means eternal nothingness; oblivion.

And your morals come through God, and handed down through 2000 years of western civilisation, built on Christianity. Any morals you possess have nothing whatsoever to do with your faith - a-theism, which was founded as a protest. Your morals come through being born and raised in a Christian culture, and you are parasitic on that culture.

May you find God, but all in good time :ewink:
credo ut intelligam

dei gratia

Santa
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Re: Why?

#3

Post by Santa » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:22 am

Been there, done that. ;)

I went to a Catholic primary and high school btw, so it's not as if I haven't been exposed to Christianity or anything.

I just don't see the logic in a god deciding to have a book (containing his 'word') that's open to so many interpretations. If he wants people to find him, or whatever, then why didn't he ensure it made complete sense? Why the mind games? Surely he'd have realised some people weren't going to have followed him blindly based on no evidence and a bunch of metaphors. The whole idea doesn't seem realistic to me.

Anyway, assuming god's real, people like me simply aren't going to exist once we die? All because we're genuinely a bit skeptical? That doesn't seem fair to me.
Last edited by Santa on Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:01 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Why?

#4

Post by Santa » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:33 am

And why a 'test' in the first place? Why would he isolate everyone from him and wait for them to 'find' him through a book?

I'll rip my hair out if you say "God acts in mysterious ways". lol

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Re: Why?

#5

Post by harth1026 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:37 am

Santa wrote: I just don't see the logic in a god deciding to have a book (containing his 'word') that's open to so many interpretations.
Perhaps when individual sections of the Bible are taken out of context could you interpret it differently. But if you understand the complete narrative of the entire Bible from beginning to end, you would actually see that only one interpretation could be true.

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Re: Why?

#6

Post by Santa » Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:10 am

Fair enough - but what about the creation story? Many people seem to have different beliefs on that.

Another thing I've wondered (once again assuming god exists): what happened to the people born BEFORE the bible hit the shelves? Or people who are incapable of even reading the bible. If there's any special considerations, doesn't that pretty much defeat the purpose of even putting any of us here? Seems like a strange way for god to go about things.

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Re: Why?

#7

Post by Gman » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:43 am

Santa wrote:Fair enough - but what about the creation story? Many people seem to have different beliefs on that.
Well there are just as many people that are confused on how evolution works too... You have to accept it on faith.
Santa wrote:Another thing I've wondered (once again assuming god exists): what happened to the people born BEFORE the bible hit the shelves? Or people who are incapable of even reading the bible. If there's any special considerations, doesn't that pretty much defeat the purpose of even putting any of us here? Seems like a strange way for god to go about things.
Answered here.. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... heard.html
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Why?

#8

Post by jlay » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:29 am

but what about the creation story? Many people seem to have different beliefs on that.
Pardon my snarkyness, but so what? Many in science say that nothing created everything. Christianity says that the uncreated something created everything.
I don't think anyone deserves that amount of pain.
Serious question Santa. Does Hitler deserve this type of pain? I'm sure you are aware of his crimes.


This is all I have for now. Nothing against your question, but this board attracts a lot of drive by posters. Who stop in ask a question, assume that we are to take them seriously, and then evaporate after someone makes a sincere response.

Myself and others will be glad to answer questions if you are sincerely seeking answers.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why?

#9

Post by cslewislover » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:12 am

Hi Santa. You have a number of questions here, not just one. And there are many threads here that address all of them, so it would be good for you to look around a bit and read some of the articles on the main site that address your questions. After reading some articles, you could post questions about them; that would be interesting and beneficial I think.

I was 18 once and was interested in religions, to a point. I read and all that. I went back and forth between saying I was an agnostic or an atheist. I didn't believe in the God of the bible for a long time, and my belief came only after He personally intervened. At your age, you can't possibly know that much about the world's religions, and having only experienced Catholicism so far, I'd venture to guess (based on what MANY people have told me they learn in Catholic church) that you may not really know all that much about Christian theology or doctrine, or about other Christians outside of Catholicism. Since you are so young, your decision is based simply on your will, not years of research and life experience.

Have you read this? http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... a_god.html, There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. I haven't read it myself, but maybe I'll pick it up today! That would be interesting to discuss, I'm sure.

Anyway, there are a number of threads on hell, on whether God created evil and what his role is in it (if any), on what parts of the bible are metaphor and which aren't, why the violence in the OT, etc. It'd be great to see you read those and make new posts with questions you might have.

Vicki
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"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

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Re: Why?

#10

Post by Gabrielman » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:57 am

Hey Santa, just my 2 cents on some of the things you said in the op.
Santa wrote:My biggest problem would have to be the way 'non-believers' or 'bad people' are BURNT in HELL for EVER! WTF? Just because somebody mightn't be a believer, or they're a bit 'bad' or pretty much deadset evil I don't see how such a great god would even consider that. I don't think anyone deserves that amount of pain. You could argue it's a metaphor, but that seems to be the answer for everything in the bible!! "Hmm, this is a bit f**cked up - must be a metaphor!!". Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but that's the way it seems most of the time.
I don't see it as a metaphor. Hell is utter seperation from God. Those who choose in life to be away form Him have that in death. He will not choose for you, He will let you decide where you want to be. It was actually an old Jewish idea that "hell" as it is now termed, was/is seperation from God. Yes many Churches over the years have changed it bit by bit, but the original idea was being seperated form God. Tell me this, would it be fair for God to force you to be with Him if you didn't want that? However without Him you will feel empty, and have no desire to go on, we were made for God, to be with Him, without Him it is hell. I could be in some eternal paradise, but if God was not there, it would be hell.
Santa wrote:Why are believers so positive that Christianity's real? I just don't get it. You all say faith, but that's just basically "wanting" something to be real. I'm only 18 but a few years ago I'd always find myself dismissing anything that made me doubt god was real - but that's behind me now. As much as an 'afterlife' would be nice there's no way any of the religions are true. If there is a god, I'd say it's one that has nothing to do with any of them.
So far as faith is concerned, you are good to question. The Bible tells us to question everything, so I must comemorate you on this. How ever you must ask, can you prove God does not exist? It takes faith to believe, but it also takes faith to not believe in God.
Just my thoughts, but I am out of time and I will be back later to say more.
God bless, and keep searching for answers. We will be glad to help where we can. :D
Once I was trapped in a perpetual night, without even a star to light the sky. Now I stand in the glory of the Son, and not even a faint shadow of darkness remains.

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Re: Why?

#11

Post by waynepii » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:20 pm

How ever you must ask, can you prove God does not exist?
It's impossible to prove He doesn't exist.

Just as it's impossible to prove Santa Claus, leprechauns, the tooth fairy, or in fact anything doesn't exist.

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Re: Why?

#12

Post by waynepii » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:37 pm

If "faith" is defined as believing in something which is beyond demonstrative proof, then your atheism is also a faith. You believe there is no God. Philosop[hically, we both have faith. "Faith" isn't "wanting something to be real";faith is believing something which cannot be proven; religious faith begins with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence; religious faith is the consent of the will. Christianity is a rational faith. Your faith merely comes from a disbelief.
Not true. Atheism (actually agnosticism) is the absence of belief. Do you believe in Zeus? (Many people did in the past.) If not, you're an agnostic wrt Zeus.

I think virtually all "atheists" are really agnostics. Not believing in Santa Claus is a form of agnosticism, not believing in other people's gods is a form of agnosticism. An agnostic just happens to not believe in YOUR god as well.

Agnosticism is rational and evidence based. An agnostic doesn't believe Santa doesn't exist, an agnostic simply hasn't seen proof he does. Should concrete proof of Santa's existence be presented, most Santa-agnostics would become Santa-believers. Likewise, should concrete proof of Zeus's existence be presented, most Zeus-agnostics would become Zeus-believers. Etc.

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Re: Why?

#13

Post by Proinsias » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:51 pm

waynepii wrote:
If "faith" is defined as believing in something which is beyond demonstrative proof, then your atheism is also a faith. You believe there is no God. Philosop[hically, we both have faith. "Faith" isn't "wanting something to be real";faith is believing something which cannot be proven; religious faith begins with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence; religious faith is the consent of the will. Christianity is a rational faith. Your faith merely comes from a disbelief.
Not true. Atheism (actually agnosticism) is the absence of belief. Do you believe in Zeus? (Many people did in the past.) If not, you're an agnostic wrt Zeus.

I think virtually all "atheists" are really agnostics. Not believing in Santa Claus is a form of agnosticism, not believing in other people's gods is a form of agnosticism. An agnostic just happens to not believe in YOUR god as well.

Agnosticism is rational and evidence based. An agnostic doesn't believe Santa doesn't exist, an agnostic simply hasn't seen proof he does. Should concrete proof of Santa's existence be presented, most Santa-agnostics would become Santa-believers. Likewise, should concrete proof of Zeus's existence be presented, most Zeus-agnostics would become Zeus-believers. Etc.
There is a distinction to be drawn between hard and soft atheism, there is possibly some philosophical mileage as to whether newborn children are atheistic or not ie. without theism. Agnostic is also something which covers quite a lot of ground, in my understanding one can believe in God but still be agnostic about God. As in one can truly believe in god but still be seeking a gnostic experience of God. Being convinced something is there and looking for direct knowledge of it with all your heart is rather different to not believing in santa or Russell's teapot until presented with evidence.

I would imagine many devoted monotheists are not simply agnostic in regards to other gods but have a more atheistic stance towards them, although there is always the stance that the other gods are merely people misrepresenting the true god which the monotheist follows.

I think the label atheist tells even less about a person, as it is essentially a negative statement, than labeling someone a monotheist or polytheist.
Last edited by Proinsias on Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why?

#14

Post by Proinsias » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:06 pm

DannyM wrote:And your morals come through God, and handed down through 2000 years of western civilisation, built on Christianity. Any morals you possess have nothing whatsoever to do with your faith - a-theism, which was founded as a protest. Your morals come through being born and raised in a Christian culture, and you are parasitic on that culture.

May you find God, but all in good time :ewink:
I was under the impression that the term atheism was coined by the Greeks before the emergence of Christianity.

To claim that any morals one possesses are the product of being raised in a Christian culture seems a rather shaky position to me. There are many morals which are common to atheists and are shared by people coming from non-Christian upbringings and cultures. Which morals is it you allude to that come from being raised in a Christian culture as opposed to an Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, secular, pagan or .... the list goes on?

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Re: Why?

#15

Post by Santa » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:34 pm

Gman wrote:
Santa wrote:Another thing I've wondered (once again assuming god exists): what happened to the people born BEFORE the bible hit the shelves? Or people who are incapable of even reading the bible. If there's any special considerations, doesn't that pretty much defeat the purpose of even putting any of us here? Seems like a strange way for god to go about things.
Answered here.. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... heard.html
That doesn't answer anything for me. Isn't that a flaw in god's plan if there's people who'll go their entire lives without even knowing of the bible's existence? And even those that do, like me, who never come to a conclusion on whether or not it's to be believed - we either simply don't exist, are separated from god or are literally sent to hell because of that?

What if an agnostic or atheist was generally a better person than some of the believers? Tough luck? Don't believe in god, so you're sent to hell? Like I said before, that doesn't seem fair.

It's almost as though those who aren't aware of the bible are given a free ticket in. If not, then you can only assume they're wiped out of existence or sent to hell. Once again that doesn't seem fair.

jlay wrote:Serious question Santa. Does Hitler deserve this type of pain? I'm sure you are aware of his crimes.
I might've exaggerated a bit there. But still, since when is god big on revenge? It'd seem a better idea to wipe someone like him out of existence.
jlay wrote: This is all I have for now. Nothing against your question, but this board attracts a lot of drive by posters. Who stop in ask a question, assume that we are to take them seriously, and then evaporate after someone makes a sincere response.

Myself and others will be glad to answer questions if you are sincerely seeking answers.
All my questions are serious. ;) I just wanna know what your thoughts are.
Gabrielman wrote: I don't see it as a metaphor. Hell is utter seperation from God. Those who choose in life to be away form Him have that in death. He will not choose for you, He will let you decide where you want to be. It was actually an old Jewish idea that "hell" as it is now termed, was/is seperation from God. Yes many Churches over the years have changed it bit by bit, but the original idea was being seperated form God. Tell me this, would it be fair for God to force you to be with Him if you didn't want that? However without Him you will feel empty, and have no desire to go on, we were made for God, to be with Him, without Him it is hell. I could be in some eternal paradise, but if God was not there, it would be hell.
So what if your parents sent you to another country after you were born so that you weren't forced to to be with them - and waited until you found your way back? It'd be a out there wouldn't it? Isn't that essentially the same thing that god's supposedly done?

It all seems a bit pointless to me. Weren't 'angels' created in 'heaven'? Apparently they were able to make a choice on whether or not they'd like to be with god. But the thing is, they at least knew of his existence. We don't, which seems pretty unfair.

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