Reasons to believe

When we see around the world, atheism is actually rare and came much much later in the world with the coming of modernism. Somehow, belief in God is ingrained in all of us. When you look at tribal people everywhere who had no contact with outside world, they do believe in some kind of deity. Never I encountered a documented article concerning meeting any tribal village without believing in some kind of deity…

CS Lewis “mere christianity” argue from the point of morality as a proof of God.

You talk like free will is some kind of magical addition to the laws of nature. While I believe that free will is the very reason for the laws of nature – why God created them. Although as a theist, I agree none of this would exist without God, I think mechanism of free exists in what God created. For that reason I don’t think free will necessarily points to there being a God. And there are plenty of atheists who believe in free will.

No. If you make a new tool for a purpose then how can that purpose be false? And to a very large degree we are the makers of our own life in deciding how we live it. So if someone lives his life according to the meaning and purpose he has decided, then I don’t see how you can say it would not be meaning and purpose of his life. Though… this is not to rule out the possibility of discovering a purpose to our life that we haven’t seen in it before – after all we have many unconscious aspects to us as well as conscious ones. And then there is the roles we play in the lives of other people so that they see a purpose to our existence as well.

And if a book is made up of ink and paper put on it by the way a printing press works, does that mean that the story written in the book doesn’t exist… no real characters or plot and the idea that there is a story there is just something people make up to justify sitting there staring at the thing?

No. The medium is not the content. Not for us any more than the book.

I completely understand what you’re saying here in regards to Human Hope but have you thought about all the supernatural events throughout in history? They do more than just “wishful thinking”. They confirm Hope.

Which deity, what God did Australian aborigines believe in? Or the San? Or the Ainu? Or any stone-age people when encountered by Westerners?

And what deity do Buddhists believe in?

Whose? Which?

The issue raised is about belief in God. Which God is a different issue?

Theism is logical, and there are good reasons to believe. I think Maggie’s account demonstrates that and is an answer to your question (actually it’s two questions), as is the woman mentioned in Tim Keller’s book, just above (I would love to know the details, and expect that I will ; - ).
 

Again, Maggie’s account, and Rich Stearns’, are good logical reasons for believing in the Christian God who is and who providentially intervenes in his children’s lives. They (among many others – I wish I had a compendium) are good examples of objective evidence for God’s reality. It starts with believing honest testimony – Maggie had the firsthand ‘testimony’ of her eyes and ears, and we have a firsthand account. Not every Christian will have had external and objective evidence like she did, but they have had compelling experiences just the same.¹

My own experience was not as dramatic and I did not have to suffer the trauma she did, neither did I have to suffer the traumatic deconstruction of my nascent faith² as many have, some never to recover.

 


¹Two that I have easy access to are these, one, Sy Garte’s @Sy_Garte, is recounted here at BioLogos:

I was preaching a sermon. And it wasn’t coming from me because I was listening as much as I was talking.
Sy Garte: Beginning to Wonder

 
The second is from a book I read after seeing it mentioned here in an article:

 
The pertinent excerpt:

Where the Light Fell, p.244ff
 

²There are probably some Christians who would doubt that I even was a Christian and find my faith suspect, since there was no conscious ‘decision’ on my part that I can point to and no date and time. There can be false ‘decisions’, as well.

When I was a child, I freely accepted the testimony that that Japan existed. I was given it from trusted sources – my parents, teachers, pictures, books, maps and globes. I was a ‘believer’ in the existence of Japan, or maybe more accurately a ‘believist’, a ‘Japanist’, making a somewhat esoteric and technical distinction. Now that I have been there and have seen it firsthand, I am not going to deny its existence, and I am a ‘believer’ – a ‘Japaner’.

A believer, then, is someone who has had something irrefutable happen in their life experience and which they will never deny as being legitimate evidence. That evidence can be as personal and intimate as a recognition of a change in heart and a change in their heart’s desires and a willingness to trust and to be obedient, but it can also include objective events that can be documented (Maggie or Rich Stearns, for example, and I have as well). There are many who count themselves as believers, or say that they used to be believers and have ‘deconverted’, when in fact they are now or used to be merely ‘believists’.

For me, it started in my childhood, like my analogy. My parents were Christians… and before anyone objects, points and shouts “Indoctrination!”, indoctrination can be a good and necessary thing, if the doctrine is true: I have been indoctrinated not to put water in my gas tank or in my car’s engine. So my parents were Christians, and early on I easily recognized that I was not always a good boy, a sweet child. Maybe that is the first thing for me that pointed to the truth of Christianity – it teaches that every one of us is broken and sinful in our very core, not that we are all as bad as we could be. But, “There but for the grace of God go I.” And I recognized that I needed to be saved from myself, if nothing else.

They are not many. At least not that I’m aware of.
Now confirm hope? Well this is a hard thing to say.

If you are justice please do not lie,what is the price for your blind eye?

The answer is bribe.

Answer me my dear friend Eli. How many Christians who hope the same thing try to bribe God everyday?
How many of them do these nasty things to innocent people and then “repent” to get to heaven?

See? Even in the afterlife there is injustice. Just as cruel as this life.

This doesn’t apply to you of course. In a previous comment of mine on another thread you said that you believe that anyone who did not repay back the deeds he did to the person he did them to will burn in hell.

This theology is very different from here and from what I have learned. So yeah you give me hope.
Hope that God is not a bribable just and will indeed punish those who do not deserve it.

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We are told to wait for God in multiple places in scripture. Evidence or interventions are certainly something you can ask for, but some people don’t ask – they in effect demand, because if their petitions are not answered the way they want or within the scope of their patience, they give up and even curse the God they say they don’t believe in.

There is another category which Dale misses here. The people who despite ASKING they received nothing but more trash in their life so they stopped believing.

I see it as something that makes sense, but obviously, as everything good that’s supposed to happen in the future, I hope it happens indeed.

Why can’t it be better?

Well, there are many people that don’t believe something will get better, so I don’t think it’s “impossible” to picture something bad happening. You say that I hope for it because I am scared of alternative but I don’t think you are right, I don’t really feel fear against something like nihilism, if nihilism is true we don’t exist, if we don’t exist then simply whatever my feelings I have don’t really matter, I can accept it.

If I don’t see nihilism as illogical and I don’t fear it, then why don’t I believe in it, you may ask? Simply, because christianity makes sense to me. It explains life better than nihilism, which goes with the easy way, saying nothing matters. Also there’s no incentive to believe nihilism, even if you are a nihilist.

Human behaviour needs and will change, God can make us better, if we acknowledge we are weak and let him do it. If one accepts that then your further thoughts don’t follow.

It’s a very weird situation, because I agree completely that universe was made so that our free will can influence this world. And you also agree that if there wasn’t God to set it up then this system doesn’t have anything that supports free will. Because, why would it?
So I am not sure how to answer those arguments.

Many don’t, many believe in compatibilism, which doesn’t really make sense to me. I don’t think there are many libertarian free will atheists.

If we don’t believe in God, which also makes the system very unlikely to support free will of conscious beings, then we are not real, we don’t have free will, we are mostly determined with some flavour of uncaring randomness. What is then the claimed “meaning” worth, if you can as well make a character in a comic book, give him some desires, some dreams, and make him say that his life has meaning, we know that it doesn’t, he is a comic book character, he doesn’t exist, and the same is with us, if we don’t have free will we can claim what we want, it doesn’t matter though.

That’s exactly what it means, there is no story, no characters, we may use our imagination to insert those characters in our world and derive real meaning from them, but they don’t exist.
It doesn’t mean that reading books is meaningless, we can still learn from this book, we can still feel real feelings when we read it.
But still, if author made some character suffer, even for thousands of years, is the author evil for that? No, the character doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter if it “suffers” or is happy. And If we don’t have free will, we are no different than this character on a sheet of paper.

I fail to see the logic of this

If this life is a right of passage to the next then the result would be dependent on how you had lived this one: reward or punishment? You earn your improvement. (or you have the reincarnation approach whereby the next creature you are is dependent on how you lived with the one you are now)

Obviously, Christianity rejects the right of passage as such because we believe that Heaven is not earned but given.

But why is it so hard to accept the possibility of Heaven or paradise? Just because you find no joy here?

Richard

None of those cultures believe in God. He emerged from ANE cultures less than 4,000 years ago and for one hundred times that 1% of anthropic culture He didn’t exist.

Man’s attempt to communicate with the weather is not a reason to believe.

Joy in what? In how bad people treat eachother? In how sin has poisoned people’s minds that even God’s people(Christians) are behaving like devils? That Christians nowdays can’t keep 10% of the commands their religion says they should?

This world is going downhill and it will keep going

Because I refuse to believe that these self proclaimed Christians will be given a second chance. I refuse to believe that after all this pain inflicted here there should be something better. If there is something better it should already be here on earth this life. But it isnt

Human behaviour will not change. Period. Millennia has passed. Nothing changed. Decades will pass still nothing will change. Your book says so. Revelations.

Arguments? To be sure have some thinking in common and I was pointing out a difference. You seem to equate the scientific worldview with an absence of free will and I do not. You seem to think the existence of free will points to God and or the supernatural, and I do not.

Describes a lot of Christians too, believing in compatibilism with absolute predestination, and that doesn’t make sense to me either. I actually think that the selection of the future from a superposition of real possible futures is a necessity for consciousness. For otherwise I see no difference from characters in a book or movie.

Like I said, I do not agree with this claim. I think that free will is built into the laws of nature. And the puppet dualism (i.e. something non-physical operating the body like a puppet) does not agree with the scientific evidence.

The non-sequitur here is you equating no God with no free will, and that is just wrong. They are completely orthogonal issues, with theists and atheists on both side of the free will compatibilism issue. I am certainly not going to accept a claim that predestination compatibilism is any different than physical determinist compatibilism – or that the former validates free will any more than does the latter. I wouldn’t say that the characters in a comic book are not real. But I don’t think they have any consciousness. And the difference is that their future is written for them. Otherwise, the future is not knowable until it is written. For God who is out side of time this means a choice between knowing the future and participating in the present. The God who simply plans it all and watches all go according to plan is the God of Deism.

So those who read books are just liars, pretending there are stories in those books? :roll_eyes:

EXACTLY! Whether the medium is matter or ink and paper is irrelevant. The essence of our free will and consciousness is that we participate in the writing of our own story.

I do not have time right now to indulge your anger. Suffice t to say you did not actually answer me, you just ranted as usual.

You did not give a reason why any future life should have any bearing on this one. And you ignored the possibily of both forgiveness and God’s grace.

I am sorry you find this world Sh!t. Perhaps if you looked better you would find otherwise. People only see what they “want” to see and you seem to only see the worst of things.

Christians are no worse than any other human being. They should be better but that is just idealism.

I suggest you get off your backside and go into the world instead of sitting at your computer and blowing off steam

Richard

Obviously, humans themselves cannot change their behaviour, no matter how much time will pass, but God can if we let him. That’s also in “my book”.
Ezekiel 36:26 for example.

Saying that we will have the same morality in heaven is unbiblical.

Let those who have ears to hear and who have eyes to see. Your hate and possibly inferior complex of yours trying to picture me as “a ranting boy who does nothing all day but hate and rant on pc boohoo”.

Of course it is. You are the problem . You and everyone here who claim this. You are one of those Christians. Disappointing at least. Seems like God lets his best down while leaving people like you still believe in him. Such a shame

“I know I should be better but nahh I ain’t gonna even try that’s idealism”

You’ve reached my point. I don’t have nothing else to say to you

We won’t. At least the majority. Revelations

I don’t think I said that

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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