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Do you believe a God exists? posted 31 August 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by RedShift, Candidate

Personally, I view myself as either agnostic or Christian-in-waiting. That is to say, I don't get faith.
Having been raised a Christian, I'm pretty familiar with the Bible, and I like Chrisitianity. I just don't happen to believe it. I don't understand how people can truly believe in something that have no real proof of, nothing at all, and can still tell you that they know that Christ died for them. If God is up there (and for some reason I have an irrational belief that there is some form of deity around somewhere, possibly due to my upbringing) then He knows exactly what will inspire that strange thing called faith in me, and I'm happy to wait for it. Sooner would be nice, but until then I can get along trying to be a good person, and if the occasional prayer helps me feel a bit stronger in the face of temptation, so much the better.

As for Christianity in general, I don't trust the Bible that much, or, for that matter, anyone who does. I believe Genesis is metaphorical. The scientific view of the world makes to much sense not to be true, and Genesis works just as well as a metaphor. Besides, I very much doubt that Moses could have comprehended the theory of evolution, had God tried to convey it to him. The Bible (assuming it is what it says it is) is the Word of God passed on through man, and is thus fallible. Often prejudiced men. I refuse to believe that God will damn everyone who led a fundamentally good life but just ticked the wrong box on the form, as it were. And the constant promises of reward in heaven smack more of man than of the divine. Is the desire for a reward in heaven a good reason to follow a religion? Enlightened acceptance of its moral precepts or a mystical experience and love of its God, yes. Greed (which is effectively what it is), no. Back to the metaphorical nature of much of the Bible, of course people can complain, "If you say that Genesis is metaphorical, then surely you can start saying that about the rest!" Hell yeah. Take most of the time periods, for example. Forty days is taken, even by the most serious Bible scholars, to just be a stand-in for a long time, and three days pops up too much to be literal. The problem I have is with people who feel unable to think that the Bible could be wrong even in the tiniest sense, and that science must always give way to religion. People like that who are unable to take a logical look at their religious beliefs (and perhaps *gasp* even doubt a little) are moral invertebrates and shouldn't be allowed out without adult supervision <!-- s:evil: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_evil.gif" alt=":evil:" title="Evil or Very Mad" /><!-- s:evil: -->

Doubt, I feel, is a keystone in this matter. The ability to doubt says that you are a reasoning human being, no matter how strong your mystical (and I don't mean that word in a degoratory way, I have great respect for reasonable mysticism) side is. Someone earlier asked why God would create humans if he knew we would betray him. To be quite frank, would you want to be worshipped and be loved by a bunch of people who were completely innocent? Had no knowledge? Trusted you almost blindly? I (taking the great presumption of imagining I was God) would far prefer the love of a people who had seen all the temptations of the world and still turned to God. So perhaps suffering is necessary for our own spiritual growth.

Throughout all this, I am always reassured by the fact (or belief) that if there is a God, he will understand what we go through, whether because he became human in Christ, or because he encompasses the universe. If there is no God, then I will still die content in the belief that I have lived a life that has contributed to the world and that if there is ever a reckoning, I will be able to stand up and say, "I tried, and I am merely human."

That turned into more of a ramble than I expected...

EDIT: Just wanted to note that I don't really want to comment that much on spirituality and mysticism because, frankly, I can't experience it myself, so I'm not really qualified. view post


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