Do you believe in God?

danielravennest

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As someone with a physics degree, God is an unnecessary assumption. Maybe it exists, maybe not. But it isn't necessary to assume God to explain the world as we observe it. So why clutter up our thoughts with something we don't need? You could just as well ask if I believe in the Tooth Fairy or ghosts. I believe in relativity and quantum mechanics, because smartphones wouldn't worth without them. Quantum mechanics underlies how modern electronics works, and relativity is needed for GPS to work correctly. So if I observe smartphones working, then I *assume* those two physical theories are correct. What observation requires God to exist?
 
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I'm an atheist. I did *try* to believe when I was very small, mostly out of the fear of Hell, but it didn't take. I had a lot of moral qualms about God (Protestant/Church of Scotland) so I was a worried anti-theist child before I came to the conclusion that the adults were talking pants and there was no actual God.

I have logical issues with God(s) but I can't claim my atheism is entirely about science and facts, it's more that I don't *like* God anyway and I feel no sense of divine presence to make me believe in him.
 

Brenda Archer

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The Mormonism I grew up in was polytheistic, which is not a well-known fact. That makes the Mormon Father God a local (in the mathematical sense of local) deity who has a parent, and makes any human and Jesus into siblings. I think they’re trying to de-emphasize this now to get converts, but it still shows up in their hymns and other older materials.

I didn’t so much leave Mormonism as take the natural slide into polytheistic Paganism, with plenty of input from Humanism and atheism along the way.

Now I would say that anything stated dogmatically is a lie. People expect you to “believe in something” in great detail, but there’s always a chance that subjective religious experiences are just all in our heads. And most of them must be, in any case.

But this isn’t agnosticism about the God of Nicene Christianity, which I’ve never believed in. So to such a Christian asking if I “believe in God” my answer must be no. I don’t have a belief in any omnipotent deity.

The rest of my position generally falls under the Pagan umbrella, without my being willing to insist spiritual metaphors are necessarily facts. My working metaphors vary but are generally Heathen, Chaote or Wiccan. I still have a belief in ancestors, which actually is also in Mormonism, but I’m not going to be dogmatic about what that “really is.”

I like what TST is doing - a lot - their core people are all atheists and de facto Humanists. The larger community just outside includes people I want to describe as Gnostics and LHP Pagans. I find this community very congenial.
 
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Worthless Whore

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The Mormonism I grew up in was polytheistic, which is not a well-known fact. That makes the Mormon Father God a local (in the mathematical sense of local) deity who has a parent, and makes any human and Jesus into siblings. I think they’re trying to de-emphasize this now to get converts, but it still shows up in their hymns and other older materials.

I didn’t so much leave Mormonism as take the natural slide into polytheistic Paganism, with plenty of input from Humanism and atheism along the way.

Now I would say that anything stated dogmatically is a lie. People expect you to “believe in something” in great detail, but there’s always a chance that subjective religious experiences are just all in our heads. And most of them must be, in any case.

But this isn’t agnosticism about the God of Nicene Christianity, which I’ve never believed in. So to such a Christian asking if I “believe in God” my answer must be no. I don’t have a belief in any omnipotent deity.

The rest of my position generally falls under the Pagan umbrella, without my being willing to insist spiritual metaphors are necessarily facts. My working metaphors vary but are generally Heathen, Chaote or Wiccan. I still have a belief in ancestors, which actually is also in Mormonism, but I’m not going to be dogmatic about what that “really is.”

I like what TST is doing - a lot - their core people are all atheists and de facto Humanists. The larger community just outside includes people I want to describe as Gnostics and LHP Pagans. I find this community very congenial.

A Satanic Mormon - that just makes me grin from ear to ear for reasons I really can't explain. 😁
 

HEX

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</HEX>I don't believe in God. Things start to get nebulous somewhere past there. I was raised Catholic, but little of it resonated. In 1999, the bright and shining center of my universe was ripped out. My atheism probably solidified there but my lifestyle was utter nihilism, I almost destroyed myself. Clawing myself out of that hole took years. On the climb up I studied Buddhism, philosophy, to quiet my mind, but avoided the mystical/spiritual bits when encountered.

That nebulous stuff though? You ever met people who just knew things were about to happen before they did that had no business knowing? Not grifters like John Edwards, just a buddy who's like "This is about to happen, I think. IDK why." Is that something supernatural or just some serious pattern recognition? It can be eerie sometimes.

Realistically though if you can't point to science it's probably just intuition and the power of belief at work. If someone wants to believe 'God' or some sort of mystical/spiritual force assisted someone in their intuition, the power of belief will look for supporting evidence. It's a powerful cognitive bias. <HEX>
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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That nebulous stuff though? You ever met people who just knew things were about to happen before they did that had no business knowing? Not grifters like John Edwards, just a buddy who's like "This is about to happen, I think. IDK why." Is that something supernatural or just some serious pattern recognition? It can be eerie sometimes.
It's tricky when that happens; it's hard to tell in those cases whether the person really has good intuition or just made a lucky wild-arse guess. For what it's worth, I pretty sure that, statistically speaking, there should be at least a few people around who are just anomalously good guessers.

Story time: when I was a kid I actually predicted the Columbia shuttle disaster - if you ask one of my friends. We were talking about it off-handedly for a few moments the day before the launch and I told him I "kind of have a bad feeling about this one, I hope nothing happens". The reason I said that was because one of the mission specialists going on that shuttle mission was the first Israeli astronaut, and I imagined the possibility of like some kind of sabotage or something preventing the launch. But I didn't say anything about all that to him at the time; all I'd said to him was the bit about having a "bad feeling" and "hoping nothing happens", so that's what he remembered when something bad did happen during reentry. I didn't find out until like my last year of high school that he'd been really freaked out by that situation, and I had to explain to him that what I was thinking when I said those things really wasn't related in any way, or even close to what eventually did happen to the space shuttle.
 

Worthless Whore

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It's tricky when that happens; it's hard to tell in those cases whether the person really has good intuition or just made a lucky wild-arse guess. For what it's worth, I pretty sure that, statistically speaking, there should be at least a few people around who are just anomalously good guessers.

Story time: when I was a kid I actually predicted the Columbia shuttle disaster - if you ask one of my friends. We were talking about it off-handedly for a few moments the day before the launch and I told him I "kind of have a bad feeling about this one, I hope nothing happens". The reason I said that was because one of the mission specialists going on that shuttle mission was the first Israeli astronaut, and I imagined the possibility of like some kind of sabotage or something preventing the launch. But I didn't say anything about all that to him at the time; all I'd said to him was the bit about having a "bad feeling" and "hoping nothing happens", so that's what he remembered when something bad did happen during reentry. I didn't find out until like my last year of high school that he'd been really freaked out by that situation, and I had to explain to him that what I was thinking when I said those things really wasn't related in any way, or even close to what eventually did happen to the space shuttle.

In rebuttal: I can remember a launch a while before this one where I just "KNEW" that it was going to explode. As it sailed into the air I felt this overwhelming sense of dread, expecting it to explode at any moment.

In reality, it achieved orbit just fine and landed without incident.

So yeah, I was full of shit.
 
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