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People Keep Asking Me What I Believe Now


MrMalone
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I'd tell my friends that I don't believe in many Christian things anymore, many relating to the Bible, and of course their natural reaction is to ask what I believe now. I would argue sometimes in defense of God, many times sarcastically, but reasonably based on arguements from the Bible. (Although these were typically tongue in cheek, to highlight hypocracy, or to correct a Christian friend in their theology.)

 

Other times I would of course speak against God or Christian things and take another stance and it always begged the question, "So what do you believe." I wasn't really able to answer them and I realized its because, I believe, or can feasably take different possitions. I'm still open to some ideas in Christianity and Christs potential role in human salvation, even if I can't determine what the salvation would be from.

 

I've posted it on my blog and wouldn't mind seeing if anybody feels similar. Where, perhaps, you lean toward one train of thought but there are certain possibilities as real options for one to believe.

 

Placebic Alpha and Omega; The Great I Wish

 

If this doesn't end up working, I suppose I can copy it off my blog.

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If you don't mind, I wanted to add my two cents in on this part of your blog

 

Objectively, from all points of view that I can consider in my experience all life, science, faith and gut feeling, God is still the best explanation for the origin of the universe.

 

Naively, I will add that the phenomenon of miracles still serves as a condition of life that although potential natural circumstances could explain some of them, some also seem to go beyond pure chance and luck, if nothing else, simply due to the timing of the perfect set of variables. In some cases, it does seem that certain things are best explained as having supernatural intervention.

 

My only objection is: Just because it is the best explanation at this point in time, does that mean it is the right one? I think it is okay to claim ignorance in certain issues that at this point in time cannot be understand or explained. For example - look at the time before Colombus' voyage. Eveyone believed the earth was flat for the same reason you believe there is a god - it was the best explaination. They didn't understand the concept of the earth being spherical just like we don't understand our own origins.

 

I like your post, and I'm glad you are willing to open up and consider all these possiblities. Being open-minded has it's benefits.

 

Welcome to the boards :)

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I am in this position at the moment. I don't know what I believe right now.

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Thank you Dra_Mucd_Uha for your reply.

 

I agree with you that how I feel about how objective I am may not provide the ultimate right answer, it's really all I have to go on. And ultimately that's what we have to do to determine anything. Like I say, it's a summary of everything I can sense, know or feel about the world I'm in. I think the best excercise is to do everything one can to not see just what they want to see, but to just compile their possition based on everything they have access to, and just be honest with themselves.

 

It's that process that has led me away from Christianity, but at this point it hasn't exactly forced me into the arms of something else. Saying that for sure God didn't create the universe doesn't get anybody anywhere anyway, so in my opinion, until its much more beyond any sense of feasibility, which it probably won't due to the nature of "god", then I feel its still a viable option.

 

I've noticed a lot of emotional lashing at God, Christianity, Christians, etc. on these forums and I sense that many people that are here are just as guilty of running with blind faith and emotional silliness as the Christians they tend to bash.

 

I just think the best way to approach anything of faith, or anything at all, is from a grounded sense of how you understand the world, open-mindedness, and honesty; not just with others, but being honest with yourself. Admit that you might be wrong.. and that will get someone much closer to truth than anyone that claims they've found it.

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It sounds like your still searching for answers. So say "I'm still searching for answers on my own."

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Anyone who asks you "what you believe now" is someone who cannot see a supreme being without some form of belief system or religion attached to said being. This is very primative thinking.

 

Why would a supreme being need any adoration, worship, or grovelling from us anyway?

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Anyone who asks you "what you believe now" is someone who cannot see a supreme being without some form of belief system or religion attached to said being. This is very primative thinking.

 

Why would a supreme being need any adoration, worship, or grovelling from us anyway?

 

Hmm, I don't know. I think their question is genuine and I don't think the question begs the implication of what they believe on what I believe. It's the very fact that they don't know which is why they are asking. Where they DO get confused is when I typically reply, well nothing really. They assume that I must believe in something and to a degree they are right, but like you are suggesting, they probably assume that I have to have a "belief system" of some sort, regardless of which god I ally with.

 

I just don't like the stigma attatched to the idea that I'm "questioning a lot right now". In fact I feel I have a lot more answers now than I ever did before. It's the typical Christian point of view and I don't blame them or hate them for it.. they truly don't understand. Mostly they find it hard to believe, as many of us here know, that one can actually turn away from God.

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If the questions are bothering you, just say, "It's personal and I'd rather not talk about it." You don't have to justify your beliefs to anybody. It's ok that your beliefs are still forming right now. A healthy spirituality is fluid and open to knew ideas while maintaining it's core values without strife. That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a god or religion. Many atheists are very spiritually healthy (spirituality in this case meaning "A persons own private beliefs usually in regard to nature or ethical matters.")

 

I do recommend you try not to discuss it with too many random people while you're thinking things over because it can lead to more confusion and emotional pain. Especially if someone takes it upon themselves to "save you" at all costs. You don't need that. Real spirituality is born out of our own conclusions, not others.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you Dra_Mucd_Uha for your reply.

 

I agree with you that how I feel about how objective I am may not provide the ultimate right answer, it's really all I have to go on. And ultimately that's what we have to do to determine anything. Like I say, it's a summary of everything I can sense, know or feel about the world I'm in. I think the best excercise is to do everything one can to not see just what they want to see, but to just compile their possition based on everything they have access to, and just be honest with themselves.

 

It's that process that has led me away from Christianity, but at this point it hasn't exactly forced me into the arms of something else. Saying that for sure God didn't create the universe doesn't get anybody anywhere anyway, so in my opinion, until its much more beyond any sense of feasibility, which it probably won't due to the nature of "god", then I feel its still a viable option.

 

I've noticed a lot of emotional lashing at God, Christianity, Christians, etc. on these forums and I sense that many people that are here are just as guilty of running with blind faith and emotional silliness as the Christians they tend to bash.

 

I just think the best way to approach anything of faith, or anything at all, is from a grounded sense of how you understand the world, open-mindedness, and honesty; not just with others, but being honest with yourself. Admit that you might be wrong.. and that will get someone much closer to truth than anyone that claims they've found it.

I understand, but I think you may have missed my point. Claiming ignorance is one thing, saying there isn't a god at all is another. I cannot honestly say God was not behind creation, because I haven't looked into the creation vs. evolution debate much (or any other origin theory). I claim not to know. I'm not saying God didn't do it, but I'm not saying he did either.

 

Regarding his actual existence, I say the Christian god does not exist. If there as a god at all, Christian or othewise, then I am not aware of his existence and do not accept it. I have my reasons for declining the Christian god. When it comes to other gods, I again claim ignorance. To be honest, I'm not the kind of person who enjoys deep study and looking into unless it's absolutely necessary. I did this with Christianty, and discovered it to be false. I have not done this with any other religion because I have no desire to. Many people look down on this, I understand. But life, in my opinion, is too short to spend looking for answers to every question.

 

I won't deny your claim of emotional lashing out - it's only natural. Many people here have dedicated the majority of their lives to Christianity, only to find it to be false. It could almost be considered unnatural for there not to be lashing out. But I'm sure many here (hopefully) make sure their "lashing out" does not interfere with their search for truth.

 

I do hope everything goes well for you. I agree with the other posters, you seem to be on an honest path for truth. I admire that. Good luck.

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I have more material on my blog if anyone wants to sift through.. add to favorites.. I try to keep my topics short so people read them. Malone's Musings, BA History Pardon the first post.. most of my blog is about God stuff :)

 

Thanks again Dra_Mucd_Uha,

 

I'm like you, I don't feel the pressing need to search out all other god theories to see which one is better. I feel that I don't have time for that. In fact from my perspective, if anything Christianity is still the best of the possible options, (based on the little I know of the others of course).

 

Thank you for acknowleding my honest quest for truth. For me right now I'm just pretty focused on finding out the truth of Christianity. It's origins, it's development, the real reasons for certain ideas to prop up.. things like that. Maybe that will lead me in a round about way to discover "truth" if that's possible. All I really care is that I'm not tromping down the path that is almost certainly wrong, well maybe not completely wrong, but misunderstood or just not complete

 

Kurari,

 

Actually, I don't mind the questions at all. It gives me a chance to share what I've learned. I don't struggle with my possition. Any emotional pain I experience is because I really miss some things about living a spirit filled life seemed to provide me. Life was grand, God was in control, He had a plan for me, He was my guide, I loved (and still love) the worship, Nothing could phase me because I KNEW God was on my side.

 

I kinda like it when people try to save me. Actually I love it. Sometimes I just sit in admiration watching them stretch themselves with their faith.. because I know how scary it felt sometimes. Sometimes they are very convincing and I don't want to crush their hearts by revealing that their testimony or perspective of me or my life is irrelevant. I actually find pleasure in strengthening some Christians in their faith. Most of the time, it would be because that's exactly what they need at the time. Other times, it's simply because they just aren't ready for the blatant obviousness of the problems.

 

Thank you for your input.

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I read your blog post on the different beliefs that you draw from. I tend to agree with the skeptical position and the "worse case scenario" (though, I don't see it as a worse case scenario, but rather the opposite). I think the best case scenario would actually be worse because there are so many people that haven't seen any proof of Christianity or even experienced it. If that was "the way" there would be many people not following it and missing out. It would be better, in my opinion, if there were not a god or any belief system people had to line up with.

 

When I first left Christianity (it was actually a 4 year process of deconverting) I had a lot of the same feelings you do. I was a praise band leader and missed worship leading. Also, I missed having a god to pray to that seemed to make me feel better. However, as I studied psychology, and also the history surrounding the Bible (mainly in Asimov's Guide to the Bible), I began to see how those experiences were just in my very powerful mind. They weren't linked to any higher being that was blessing me. Things continued to turn out for me about the same when I was a Christian as when I wasn't, indicating to me that there was no hand of god that was helping me. Prayer is sort of a self-assuring thing that does help many people simply because they are talking through their problems and they have an illusion that someone is listening who cares. The same thing can be accomplished through a close friend or a good counselor (or even self-talk). Once I realized that the emotions and "good time" I was having were not connected to a higher being, the experiences started to lose their value. After all, I could have plenty good times with people and by myself outside of it being related to god. As my new experiences (viewed through a different lense of "no god") took the place of the old experiences that I had missed, I began to not miss them so much. I hope I am making sense. It can be hard because you can lose a nice group of friends with whom you had things in common. But you can find other groups of people who you will find other things in common with. It just takes some time, I think. I just said all that to kind of let you know that I think you'll feel better and better about leaving Christianity as you learn more and become more independent from it. Christianity defines a person and so when a person leaves the religion, they often have to start from scratch to define themselves and figure out who they are and what they want.

 

Also, there is something else important I want to address. This need for a "belief" in something is not necessary, in my opinion. Because of the construct of Christianity, many people, I think, who leave the religion feel a need to have another belief. However, it is quite possible to go through life without a firm belief in any sort of religious contruct or ideas. You can have ideas about things and never have to have a black and white belief or answers for things. I actually think that belief in anything almost always cancels out the possibility to believe in something(s) else. I think it is important to define who you want to be and what you might want for your life, but even those things (especially what you want for your life) should even be open to change. Because we don't know all the answers to everything, new information is always coming in. To believe in something might make one cancel new information that comes in because as humans we have a need to confirm what we believe and only see what we want to see that won't compromise our beliefs and opinions. This can be overcome by constantly keeping oneself in check to keep an open mind, and also, I think, by not having certain black and white "beliefs". Belief, at least in most cultures, is a very strong word and should be treated as such.

 

One more thing. In your post when you applied Occam's Razor to creation, I think it would be better applied in a no god situation. You see, to assume god created us and exists then makes a person have to assume someone made god. There you get into multiplying entities which is what Occam's Razor, in part addresses (at least to my understanding). I have come to the conclusion that it is better to say I have not seen or heard of any proof for the existance of god, therefore I shouldn't think there is one. It's similar to the idea that I have not seen or heard of any verifiable e.t life so I don't think it is there. It's a position of skepticism. There is no reason anyone should believe anything until there is reason to believe it. In my opinion, we shouldn't just believe in god or anything else just because we can't disprove it. It would only take one event or piece of evidence to prove the existence of god while it would be nearly impossible to take everything ever attributed to god and disprove each piece. I hope I've done an okay job of explaining this.

 

I have posted on this site on another thread my personal beliefs if you are interested. I must also add that the things I have written are just from my personal experience and I understand that everyone has to go about their lives based on their own conclusions. I say this just because I have been told I come across strongly sometimes, and I don't want to be misunderstood in my intent. I simply hope to give you food for thought as I hope others will give me.

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Hi Your Mother Atheist,

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

 

"You see, to assume god created us and exists then makes a person have to assume someone made god."

 

Well, actually it's the lowest explanation in the uncaused cause idea. By definition, god is the best possible being that can be concieved. (There is still a slight problem with this definition, but I don't need to address that right now). This would therefore entail that He had no cause. It's more accurate in my opinion to call it a entity with sufficient power and intelligence to create a universe. It just typically gets the label of "god".

 

I couldn't help but notice you form much of your belief systems cited from other works. I suppose most people do such a thing and altogether, we pretty much have to pull our ideas from somewhere so.. yeah nevermind.

 

"I have come to peace with the idea that I am not going to live forever and will at some point die and cease to exist, though I cannot fathom the idea."

 

I find this particular statement very interesting. I think this problem is exactly the whole foundation for faith in an afterlife. It's that we as human beings cannot fathom the thought of ending. It goes against our emotional nature. "It can't all be for nothing... My life must have meaning" point of view. I find it ironic that you say you have peace with this, and at the same time cannot fathom the idea. That I find contradictory. One thing I'd say, (for people in general, many people even on these forums) that it's easy to say there is no god, but it is rather difficult to live like it.

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I think that I can live for myself and my family and I need no other "meaning" or "purpose" outside of that. Even if I did want some meaning outside of those things, there isn't one to be had without lying to myself. What I mean by not being able to fathom death is that I cannot imagine what it will be like. The closest thing that I suppose I have to compare it to is sleep. I am, of course, scared of actually dying, because it could be a slow and painful process. But, in the words of Epicurus, "

Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist." Because death is the end of the senses, I will not be conscious of the experience, therefore I do not fear actual death. It is this way that I can live at peace with knowing I will die one day. I see death all around me. It's just the way things are. If people need something more to believe in, they choose a religion. Most people, I think, are not prepared to live not knowing the answers and would rather have a religion or belief system that gives them answers. I would rather live without the answers than placate myself, but that is just me. I understand other people are different and that is fine.

 

Oh, and on the references I used, I felt that the people who wrote the statements I quoted just expressed what I wanted to say. They just said it really well! I form my opinions based on everything I take in in this world. As you said, that's what everyone does. The key part of the statement is "form". I don't just completely swallow what I take in around me without thinking about it first and forming an opinion on the matter.

 

Thanks for commenting.

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"Well, actually it's the lowest explanation in the uncaused cause idea. By definition, god is the best possible being that can be concieved. (There is still a slight problem with this definition, but I don't need to address that right now). This would therefore entail that He had no cause"

 

 

....or "she" has no cause. :rolleyes:

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Guest HereticChick

People seem to be aghast when I tell them I'm an atheist. I dunno why! I actually had 2 people tell me I'm "spiritual". What the hell does that mean? I'm the antithesis of spiritual, in my book anyway. :shrug:

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You know, I've only been deconverted for about 3 years now, and when people whom I know are Christians ask me "what I believe" now, I usually quote Romans 14:22 at them: "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God."

 

That seems to shut them up.

 

It's not really anyone's business but yours, and I encourage in your open-mindedness, and your willingness to think for yourself.

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People seem to be aghast when I tell them I'm an atheist. I dunno why! I actually had 2 people tell me I'm "spiritual". What the hell does that mean? I'm the antithesis of spiritual, in my book anyway. :shrug:

 

Probably because you don't fit the mold of 'evil, amoral' person, they have to slap you with the spiritual label to make sense of your inherent goodness to themselves :)

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"Well, actually it's the lowest explanation in the uncaused cause idea. By definition, god is the best possible being that can be concieved. (There is still a slight problem with this definition, but I don't need to address that right now). This would therefore entail that He had no cause"

 

 

....or "she" has no cause. :rolleyes:

 

Yes of course. ;)

 

 

You know, I've only been deconverted for about 3 years now, and when people whom I know are Christians ask me "what I believe" now, I usually quote Romans 14:22 at them: "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God."

 

That seems to shut them up.

 

It's not really anyone's business but yours, and I encourage in your open-mindedness, and your willingness to think for yourself.

 

 

Thank you. I am happy to share with anybody who asks what I believe. I don't find it imposing, rude or annoying. In fact, I love sharring with Christians. I love challenging them because it will do one or two things for them.. It will help them better understand their own faith properly, if they look into things, and in either case, it will hopefully cause them to think, which is basically what got me where I am now. And I feel that it is a good thing. :)

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