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Why Can I (We ) Not Just Believe?


piper
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I have had a few debates (mostly online) with fundies and I am puzzled at what makes humans tick.

When I had questions as a xtian I would usually just ignore them in hopes they would go away.

They didn't and here I am.

I had a long debate with my brother, sending him the link about the 12 officers http://www.infidels.org/

and he wasn't bothered at all. He actually had perused ex-c about 5 years ago in his search but decided he had more questions without xtianity than in it! (WTF?)

He says we just make God out to be a human, just more so, and that God is so much greater than we are that we have to just let him be God.

The thing I can't figure- why does this logic not work for those of us here? Or for me, why can some people just go on and 'trust' even if it makes no sense? Even otherwise logical people. I sometimes try for a little bit but know that it would never work! What is the difference???

 

I argued extensively with a fundie on facebook showing him how he isn't worried in the least about the Muslim hell or the Quran(peanut butter and jelly be unto it), why would I care a whit about his claims. He just explained that I have never had the gospel of grace explained before! It was exasperating because he SO didn't 'get' it.

 

My wife has questioned but returned to the fold where the safety net is.

She was reading an article from a minister who does the 'demon deliverance' full-time and he was relating the difference he faces when a person with a mental illness or a person with a demon is prayed for.

Apparently a mental illness takes a lot of time and drugs to cure whereas a demon inhabitation is cured instantly with the name of jeebus! What's up w/ that?

 

Thanks for the sanity of this site, I have to go SOMEWHERE where people think for themselves.

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Guest wasachristian
Thanks for the sanity of this site, I have to go SOMEWHERE where people think for themselves.

 

 

 

I think you said it in the final line ... where people think for themselves.

 

If you want to argue a point (or three) with people who have different reference points, you are free to do it to your hearts content but I would suggest that you accept frustration as part of the baggage.

 

The consequences of "winning" an argument are a whole lot different from this side of the fence ... you don't have to be nearly so concerned about their 'soul' as they are supposed to be for yours.

 

Unless they are kids, it's their choice to believe what they want.

 

last suggestion .... maybe have a bit more fun while you're about it.

 

 

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Why Can I (We ) Not Just Believe?

Why can't we believe in fairies? Santa? Osiris? Xenu?

 

 

...God is so much greater than we are...The thing I can't figure- why does this logic not work for those of us here?

It isn't logic. It's a definition of an imaginary being.

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Apparently a mental illness takes a lot of time and drugs to cure whereas a demon inhabitation is cured instantly with the name of jeebus! What's up w/ that?

 

He's most likely lying, falling victim to confirmation bias, or both.

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The thing I can't figure- why does this logic not work for those of us here? Or for me, why can some people just go on and 'trust' even if it makes no sense?

 

Well it's not real logic. Pretty much all of the arguments for god and christianity are NOT logical, although those that believe them think them to be logical. Speaking for myself, when I was a believer, I had many many questions, deep down I knew christianity made no sense, but I just ignored the questions in order to cling to my faith. In the end I just couldn't do it anymore...it wasn't a decision, something just clicked in me and I knew I didn't believe anymore. I couldn't make myself believe now even if I wanted to. Just like I couldn't make myself believe in Islam or Santa Clause!

 

So why do some people come to their senses are others don't? Who knows? I thinks there are many factors that play a part, and also for some people it takes longer than others.. I'm just grateful I "woke up" at a relatively young age (29)...

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Right now I'm of the opinion that faith in God is not a choice. It's something that happens to you or doesn't happen to you.

 

I say this because when I first started doubting god's existence, I tried so hard to hold on to my faith. I did not want to become an atheist. But it happened and here I am! I feel that I'm better off in many ways now, but back then, I was just terrified and depressed.

 

Also, for a couple of days or weeks every year, I believe in god for a short period of time. It's not planned by me, it just happens. It was unsettling at first, but I have learned to accept it and just understand that my faith will come and go like the tides, only less unpredictably.

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Funny, as an ex-Christian things make a lot more sense and I am having a lot more questions answered. The bible makes a lot more sense from a non Christian perspective than it does from a Christian one. Once you realise that it's man inspired not God inspired it all becomes so clear.

 

BTW, your brother is clearly deluded if he believes its sceptics that make God out to be too human. The writers of the bible did this by giving their God human emotions like jealousy, wrath, anger etc etc. The God portrayed in the bible is just so human it's not funny.

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I think, like others have said, it's because it's not really logic. You can't believe it because it it's not rational. I know someone who says "God is unfathomable, it is impossible for us mere humans to know how or why God makes things happen." At first you stop and question the logic there, but eventually you come to a conclusion: that is the complete opposite of logic. It is illogical in every sense of the word. I can think of a thousand things that we could simply apply the "We cannot fathom..." trick to, but it wouldn't make them any more true.

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Funny, as an ex-Christian things make a lot more sense and I am having a lot more questions answered. The bible makes a lot more sense from a non Christian perspective than it does from a Christian one. Once you realise that it's man inspired not God inspired it all becomes so clear.

 

This! 10000000000%!

 

The irony is that I thought the bible made sense when I was a believer, but indeed it makes much more sense now.

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[

BTW, your brother is clearly deluded if he believes its sceptics that make God out to be too human. The writers of the bible did this by giving their God human emotions like jealousy, wrath, anger etc etc. The God portrayed in the bible is just so human it's not funny.

 

 

That is so true. I think THEY are the ones who created the paradoxes to begin with. If their god wasn't so big, powerful and loving one could maybe understand why he doesn't do anything cause he is just overwhelmed!

Instead he CAN he just DOESN"T for some unknown reason!

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I don't get it either. I mean, I know for myself that I can't believe in anything that doesn't have a logical reason behind it. I always figured that people who did believe just hadn't ever thought about it deeply enough, but there are plenty of people I've come across who are otherwise sensible and intelligent who still believe in Christianity, people who used to be atheists who later turned into believers, and so on. I've also come across otherwise perfectly sensible atheists who claim to see ghosts and communicate with spirits and such, which I find to be on par with believing in deities. So who knows?

 

I have always wondered if it had something to do with the need for concrete answers, and feeling that not having some sort of explanation is unacceptable. Religion always has an answer: because God said so. When you get into debates with religious people this seems to be a sticking point as well... if there's any sort of gap in current, solid scientific understanding they fill it with "God did it", while the scientists fill it with "we don't know for sure yet, but we've got some theories...". What happens after we die? I don't know - but Christians do. I think maybe some people just have a fundamental problem with not knowing things - even if what they "know" is not true, at least there's some sort of answer there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great topic, great question. I just wrote this in a reply to a family member today regarding faith:

 

The Bible makes a whole lot of promises regarding what God will be for believers, but it also has just about as many frustrating loopholes people use to excuse their lack of fulfillment. Believers are told not to put God to the test, not to question the potter about why they were made this way, and that it's even better to believe without seeing. We are also taught that we cannot understand the mind of God, that He works in mysterious ways, and when our prayers go unanswered, it’s only because He has a much greater plan for us further down the road. Hey, I have absolute faith that every two weeks my paycheck will hit my desk, because in 16 years of working for my company, they’ve never once failed to deliver. In the earliest days, my boss sometimes had to go without a paycheck just to make sure I did get paid. But if this changed, and that paycheck stopped arriving even just a couple of times, it would shake that unwaivering faith – it would be difficult from that point to believe with absolute certainty, no matter how hard I’d want to. Every Christian will struggle with faith at some point in their walk, and some will never recover. Many religions expect faith not only in things unseen, but despite experience that suggests otherwise. In our everyday world, mature and rational people learn to use a little healthy skepticism in life to protect and keep themselves safe. People who put blind trust in whatever they are told suffer tremendously. But religion expects the exact opposite of us, to throw caution to the wind when it comes to belief in God, and makes US feel bad for doubting when things don’t work the way we are told they are supposed to. What if my boss told me the reason my paycheck didn’t arrive was because I didn’t believe hard enough that it would? Absolutely ridiculous, but that’s exactly what religion does.

 

 

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...God is so much greater than we are...

That statement is nonsense and tells me that the person uttering it is deluded.

I look around and see horrible situations, such as the suffering that continues in Haiti, or what happens to innocent children, such as Zahra Baker, who not only endured cancer and an amputated leg, but apparently has also been murdered. Then I ask myself if I was god would I allow any of this to occur, and the answer is NO. This is not greatness. On top of that, many religious people believe that any of these poor suffering people who haven't "accepted Jesus as their lord and savior" will spend eternity in hell too. Yet, they claim their god is all loving.

How many of us, if we were god, would condemn others to hell for merely questioning a god who never shows himself or proves his existence?

I say we are greater than their made-up god.

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