Struggling with God in the Modern Times

Hey all. Recently I have been dealing with some doubts about God’s existence. I am a firm believer in science (evolution, age of the universe and cosmology), but I am struggling more with this knowledge. We know that these things evolved, we know all of these planets exist, and we know the facts of the universe. It seems like we know how all of us got here and how our world exists without God’s help.

For instance: There are growing theories about our universe and how it arose from “nothing”. It is possible to have a universe without a prime mover, or that something can come from nothing. How can I justify my belief in God when my very existence is a product of natural phenomena?

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well … without any Zeus-like god’s help anyway. It sounds like it’s the [a] cosmic tinkerer who needs to tweak something here, push something there, and carry on pretty much like a human engineer thinks of doing things. If you’re having trouble believing in a god like that - it might be for pretty good reasons because gods like that probably don’t exist. Or at least many believers on this site don’t believe in any gods like that. God as the ground-of-all-being, however - that’s a whole 'nother level. One doesn’t expect to find God as just another entity lurking around the universe, unless one is willing to go looking in all the least likely spots - like in the eyes of a frightened child or a desperate mother, or an itinerant carpenter peasant walking the dusty roads of Palestine. But that doesn’t seem to be the sort of God that interests very many. So it isn’t any great surprise that many search in vain.

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It gets worse massam : )

Nature is eternal. It lacks nothing at all.

And faith is undermined. Not by this. But by two thousand years of anything but the gospel. The simple, outrageous, totally inclusive gospel.

Only that in its purity can withstand the rational, axiomatic, self evident, obvious, plain truth.

Does God only exist for you as an explanation of what you don’t yet understand? I think for many people God’s existence is known through personal encounters with his love and grace, not just as an intellectual exercise.

I justify my God-belief based on personal experience with God, not on the conclusions of philosophical arguments. I really don’t care if my “evidence” is only valuable or convincing to myself.

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The first step would be to look at your sinfulness. Then look for the one who can forgive you and save you from the power sin has over you. That is the most important issue in your life and everyone elses.

Here is a post I made on the forums a while back but essentially it came down to me making a choice by faith:

My Brute Fact: A Choice by Faith
So where does that leave me today? Well, I realized that everyone needs a brute fact. I will be the first to grant anybody that the laws of nature themselves are sufficient to produce everything that we see here including our universe. Maybe there’s a multi-verse, I don’t really know but think that would be so awesome. But, for me it’s either the laws of nature or some kind of deity are my brute fact. So perhaps the laws of nature are just there, and they are a fact that you just accept. Or, my brute fact is that there actually is a creator who fashioned and up holds such laws of nature. And this is where I have no amazing knockouts apologetics, but a simple thing that I choose to believe by faith.

And then even this doesn’t get me anywhere past deism. I personally think that natural theology can only ever bring someone to perhaps a deist position, and anything beyond that also enters this realm of what I’ve discussed as personal experience and faith in a ‘brute fact.’

I’m not sure what this means from a scientific perspective.

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Christy,

I absolutely agree. My problem is that I am such a skeptic by nature. Sometimes that’s good for me and sometimes it’s not. The thing is, I haven’t had any of these moments in my life. I have others around me that have shared their testimonies and experiences, but the skeptic in me doesn’t know if I should believe them because I don’t know if they are telling the truth.

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Like many others here I see no reason to doubt any sound scientific finding, and it would be irrational to hold any empirical beliefs which go against clear scientific consensus. But I don’t see why any Christian should look to the Bible for empirical truths. Unfortunately in the United States so many denominations have a problem with evolution, an old earth or something else which makes them choose between believing their eyes and believing theology which insists the Bible trumps science. I haven’t been able to interest any of my Christian relatives in checking this site out but I am glad you are here. You really can have your cake and eat it too. But to hold onto your faith and your intellectual self respect you need to delve deeper into what the Bible is and how to make sense of what it means. If you get that right I think you’ll see that no conflict with science is possible.

I myself am neither a Christian nor believe in God, but I do acknowledge in my own experience much which would support God belief. What that is is real and important. It doesn’t get me to the resurrection but more and more I’m finding myself less sure that there isn’t consciousness and intent in the universe outside of brains. I don’t know about you but what it is I have faith in is pretty important to me. If yours is important to you too I wish you luck in finding a way make both your heart and your head happy.

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Thank you Mark. I think if I left my belief system I could really only be an agnostic. I can’t seem to justify the Richard Dawkins type of atheism I see in the world. I find most atheist arguments unconvincing, but it is hard to find super solid evidence of God. Sometimes it just feels like I’m in limbo

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Frankly I think it behooves everyone to cop to some degree of agnosticism. It is rare and special to find a person of faith who will. I don’t think people who make a cult of certainty on either side are really credible.

But I agree with you about anti-theism. Given the limits on what we can know there no reason to take such a position. Mere atheism is almost always in relation to a particular formulation of who/what God is supposed to be. I think there is something but I’m unconvinced about the particulars so I prefer to save room for something that remains a little mysterious. I’d rather respect its dynamism than trade it in for a settled doctrine. But I know plenty of Christians who totally make that work. I’m not sure any one size will fit all.

I will. I don’t know how God does it in his sovereignty, wonderfully orchestrating the timing and placing of events in his providence, but I absolutely on pain of death will not deny him, nor my older adoptive Brother.

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Science is irrelevant to that rational fact, apart from informing it via observable uniformitarianism, [from] which [rational uniformitarianism] just continues beyond the empirical. Rationally there can’t not be an eternal self tuned multiverse. Faithfully it’s that that God grounds and incarnates in and encourages [the creatures that inevitably arise in] and transcends.

I get the same thing too.

I am actually a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Biology and since I was a kid I was so curious and most of the time my questions are answered by science. It actually gives me a bit of creeps whenever I try to question God’s existence. I believe Him. Mark 9:24

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Where? If God exists then the multiverse is in his consciousness for sure. But consciousness outside of brains isn’t otherwise meaningful. Even in the transcendent consciousness would have to be embodied.

Hello, Sam B. I want to suggest that the scientific study of the natural world may never be able to answer your questions regarding the existance of God. Christian faith in God (which I understand is many steps down the road from the question “does God even exist?”) is really dependent on historical events, particularly the life, death, resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Even God as we see him in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures, if you prefer) never demanded faith of people without revelation of His existance beyond what was observable in the natural world. I encourage you to start looking into a different set of categories related to history.
@massam

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I would always have said the same. But i think I’d been guilty of starting by defining what we are looking for as that with the specific characteristics we experience. Heck even slime mold acts purposefully somehow. Even matter surprises me by undergoing the sorts of self sustaining chemical reactions we call life. Some of it is happening much more gradually than we can recognize easily as with trees. Heck, we probably look almost inert to a hummingbird. I’m not so sure that consciousness and intent is something which emerges only when organisms reach our variety of complexity. I’m not prepared to argue otherwise but my jury wants to mull it over more.

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I also don’t believe in God over science. I don’t think that science will create a blueprint , or any kind of signature that is going to be a direct link back to God. But I still believe the beauty of nature, the beauty of ecology, and how all the laws did come together is a byproduct of the creator. To me that’s faith.

As others have mentioned experiences with God defines it as well. But even then, even with prayers being answered and unlikely coincidences popping up that could be explained away or the fact that Buddhists, wiccans, and Muslims all also have these same experiences. I pray that my fiancée will be safe despite some kind of terrible situation and she comes out safe and I praise God. Another leaves a fruit offering for fairies and the same thing comes true.

This is what I see. A beautiful world full of lots of amazing things. I see people’s life’s being changed for the better, including my own, with Jesus becomes their teacher and I see how the love of God helps transforms people. I place my faith in God over it. I can’t what if all the time. I was born in Iran would I have became a Muslim based off of the same experiences? Impossible to say. I know people born in Iran that despite all cultural statistics and expectations became a Christian. I know white Americans who were republicans that went to jail and found Allah and came out of prison and are happier , kinder, healthier people. So it’s impossible to say.

What I do know is that I believe in God and choose to believe in God based off of faith. Sure I see God in gaps, and I see God in unlikely coincidences, and I see God in the life of other people and I choose to attribute all those things to God.

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The belief in God is not a panacea for human problems. Quite the contrary, it can be immensely helpful to make a shift in either direction from atheism to theism OR from theism to atheism. That is what psychiatrist Scott Peck found in his work with clients. They made progress with both of these shifts. So give atheism a try and see if that works for you. You may change your mind later on… or your children may decide that theism works better for them. Theism works for me (Christianity in particular), but atheism looks like a perfectly rational alternative to me also.

But… uh… don’t atheists all go to hell? Well I don’t believe that Gnostic gospel of salvation by secret knowledge distortion. I am Christian because I think what Christianity teaches is true, NOT because I think it gives me some advantage in the judgement of God and the afterlife. Pascal’s wager is pure garbage.

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They’re sincerely cold reading their own lives.

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I’m definitely very skeptical. Not because everyone lies, but because there can be many things that misleads someone such as mental disorders, delusions, pranks never brought to life, and ect… like all the people that believe in Bigfoot and that they’ve seen him. I don’t believe they did.

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