Do you believe in God?

Katheryne Helendale

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I do believe in God in the Christian sense, and I even go to church once in a while. But I do try my best to not bash anyone over the head with my beliefs. So when someone asks if I believe in God, I say "yes", and pretty much stop there.
 

Clara D.

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Yes, though She's a bit unpredictable.

HAIL ERIS.

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Serious answer: Some sort of "universal consciousness" that can't be properly anthropomorphized. The Tao comes closest, I think.

Though to keep it simple I just use Nondenominational Pagan (where Pagan = non-Christian)
 
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Ashiri

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At one time I tried to believe but I the 'problem of evil' got in the way. At least with polytheistic religions there were always the troublemakers like Eris and Loki.

(edit) A thought I had, what if God in "Good Omens" is really Eris?
 

Soen Eber

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I lean towards a belief in God, but used to be agnostic. What clinches it for me was not the question of whether or not God exists, but that there exists an inate God-shaped hole in so many people's hearts which ... must be filled with something. Even if it's only a placebo effect, a kind and just God who insists on love and fairness is a damn sight better than oh, say, objectivism or capitalism or anything else that can be used and twisted by those in power to assert their unjust advantage.

A belief in God may not make all men good, but it keeps the honest honest, and provides a necessary outrage against exploitative acts through shared voices: An army of righteousness, so to speak. It is no accident where that God arose in so many different places during the Axial age, when it was finally possible for some to accumulate significant wealth and power and control in that period.

While an individual standard of morality may be all well and good, but as they saying goes, we either hang together, or we all hang seperately - posting a tweet is a singular act, but joining together in religion creates both community and power. The world we live in drives so many of us to stand alone whether by choice or by corporate and political manipulation or accident of technology, so only something as big as God or a renewed sense of democracy and freedom and social justice can drive these forces back. Concepts and beliefs that cut across so many boundaries are quite rare, and so must be cherished.

One might also say that God does not interfere, that God allows evil and so many other things because God (if he exists) is remote and non-responsive. This is true, and one might say that God allows free will, that God is merely a watchmaker who creates and does not intervene, etc. But consider, if God is only an invention to lay down a common set of behaviors and morality across all boundaries, then this very distance from earthly humanity protects God from being redefined by those with the means and power to twist the interpretation of God to their own advantage. It protects the God concept, and the God concept protects us. It must remain aloof to be safe, for us to be safe.

If God is real, it only proves religion as a test of faith. If everyone was sure God was there and watching and real because he makes himself known in blatant forms, then, well, you should be able to fill in the dots on that one. Faith is an invitation to the afterlife (if this is all real), but if you're a jerk you don't get the invitation, or in common Christian thinking, everyone gets an invite, but if you toss it out in the trash you won't get pass the door guard. The afterlife is God's party after all (if any of this exists). This presupposes of course, that life is temporary and not worth the bother, and that it is the eternal afterlife wich is what matters. Cold comfort in my book but... meh.

I can think of three systems which rejected God and then filled it with their own over-arching principles: the French Revolution, Communism, and Nazism, all of which led to the deaths of millions and misery far beyond even that scale in great number. It may only be a coincidence, or a consequence of intentional acts by a few to sieze power, but breaking something that is maybe only somewhat broken seems to have significant consequence when it comes to principles of morality. At the very least it tends to create bad moments in history.

TL;DNR I don't know if God exists, but for entirely practical reasons we are weaker without him, because a belief in God has historically (at its best) created communities across political, racial, and all other artificial boundaries, the very boundaries exploited by the malicious to keep us separate, alone, and vulnerable.


(Apoligies for non-gender, etc diversity above: of course I also mean women, and he/she/it for God's nature and ... sorry, not up on the muliple gender lingo but that too, but it just reads more poeticly using the archaec pre-"woke" usage. No intentional exclusion was meant).
 
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Tigger

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I was interested to read this thread but I wasn't going to respond. Until I saw Soen's post. There are so many thing in there that instantly get my goat.



A belief in God may not make all men good, but it keeps the honest honest, and provides a necessary outrage against exploitative acts through shared voices: An army of righteousness, so to speak. It is no accident where that God arose in so many different places during the Axial age, when it was finally possible for some to accumulate significant wealth and power and control in that period.
This is one of the most rage inducing things theists ever say. We don't have to look far to see the lie of it.

God does not make any man good, you can argue about what does but we only have to look a little further down the topics in this very forum to see a thread called "The Catholic Church Should Burn" that shows you examples of how those who control the interface between "God" and man are very far from good, even the ones who did not directly abuse were very busy hiding evidence of those who did. Nor is it only the catholic church. If morality and god had anything in common, wouldn't his religious structures be free of this kind of abuse? And speaking of abuse, lets move beyond what's been done to children directly and look at some of the other evils directly perpetrated by gods own representatives on earth, for example the demonisation of homosexuals, the abuses of faith healing, the church based charitable bodies who teach people in africa that aids is spread by using condoms.

God is a way for humans to exercise control over other humans, it gives power to the church. There is a reason why the bible used to be written in Latin and why the catholic church fought so hard to prevent it being readable by the ordinary man.


One might also say that God does not interfere, that God allows evil and so many other things because God (if he exists) is remote and non-responsive. This is true, and one might say that God allows free will, that God is merely a watchmaker who creates and does not intervene, etc. But consider, if God is only an invention to lay down a common set of behaviors and morality across all boundaries, then this very distance from earthly humanity protects God from being redefined by those with the means and power to twist the interpretation of God to their own advantage. It protects the God concept, and the God concept protects us. It must remain aloof to be safe, for us to be safe.
Two points here, firstly a god that is so remote and passive that he is not detectable is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist. Secondly your logic is backwards. If god is remote, if god makes no intervention the distance does not protect the god concept, rather it allows men to remake the concept in ways that benefit them. Hence organised religion.

If God is real, it only proves religion as a test of faith. If everyone was sure God was there and watching and real because he makes himself known in blatant forms, then, well, you should be able to fill in the dots on that one. Faith is an invitation to the afterlife (if this is all real), but if you're a jerk you don't get the invitation, or in common Christian thinking, everyone gets an invite, but if you toss it out in the trash you won't get pass the door guard. The afterlife is God's party after all (if any of this exists). This presupposes of course, that life is temporary and not worth the bother, and that it is the eternal afterlife wich is what matters. Cold comfort in my book but... meh.
This is just a very wordy Pascal's Wager. Believing in god costs nothing but if you believe you stand to win eternal life so why not just believe?
It's based on a false dichotomy. It is not a choice between believing or not believing. There are many religions, so which one do you believe? But be careful, if out of the thousands of options you choose the wrong one then you will be subject to the penalties of the one that was right, if indeed any was right.
You just have to guess at the right set of beliefs, all of them offered with no evidence, and you must be right, or else.

I can think of three systems which rejected God and then filled it with their own over-arching principles: the French Revolution, Communism, and Nazism, all of which led to the deaths of millions and misery far beyond even that scale in great number. It may only be a coincidence, or a consequence of intentional acts by a few to sieze power, but breaking something that is maybe only somewhat broken seems to have significant consequence when it comes to principles of morality. At the very least it tends to create bad moments in history.
This is deeply offensive. You ignore the absolutely butchery of religion and try to blame the actions of these groups on a lack of faith.
But first, let's correct a factual error. Nazism did not reject god at all if you don't believe me go read this: Religious aspects of Nazism - Wikipedia
This, for example was said by Himmler
Himmler said:
"We believe in a God Almighty who stands above us; he has created the earth, the Fatherland, and the Volk, and he has sent us the Führer. Any human being who does not believe in God should be considered arrogant, megalomaniacal, and stupid and thus not suited for the SS."
The French revolution, so I learned, was the result of abject poverty of the majority and the obscene wealth of the few, including the catholic church. It was not anti-religious so much as opposed to the hoarding of wealth by the powerful. And the Catholic church was and still is immensely rich and a wielder of a lot of political influence.

But shall we go and take a look at Holy Wars? the very concept of "Soldiers of god" ?

Being irreligious does not make for evil acts. Being human does. Mankind has always been very good at slaughtering each other with very little justification but one popular justification for slaughter has always been a difference in religious belief.

TL;DNR I don't know if God exists, but for entirely practical reasons we are weaker without him, because a belief in God has historically (at its best) created communities across political, racial, and all other artificial boundaries, the very boundaries exploited by the malicious to keep us separate, alone, and vulnerable.
The only thing I can find to agree with in your piece is contained in this. Relgions have indeed created communities. But they were and still are often exclusive communities that persecute those that do not share their faith.
 

Tris

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No.
I do not believe in God, Gods, Mother Nature or any kind of supernatural Entitys. I also do not believe in fate or anything else preordained.

What i do believe in though is, that on the offchance that something exists that would fit the descrition of a "God", it really doesn't matter if i believe in it or not. Or follow the guidelines in the fineprint (read: religious guides like the bible for example).
Because IF something like that would exist, it's so far removed from us humans, we wouldn't understand it and vice versa. It would be completly alien to us and it wouldn't care about us "ants" either.
 

Sid

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I believe in God. He/She has given us a gift: Life on a beautiful planet, which is part of a for us humans still mysterious universe.
He/She doesn't want a thing from us in return, it is a gift.
We have to handle life carefully ourselves.
God is no ghost from a bottle who grants you three wishes. Don't blame Him/Her for how your life turns out.
In the darkest hours of my life so far, I felt Him/Her very close though.

Is there life after death? I don't care. There is this life to be lived.

Religions are only there to gain power and control over believers, so no longer of any importance for me.

So yes, I believe in God, not so much in religions.
 
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Myficals

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Short answer is "no." The longer, more complicated answer is that my position on deities and the supernatural in general is one of Strong Agnosticism. However, I don't tend to bring this up too often, as when I do other folks* often decide to start lecturing me on what my "actual beliefs" really are. For this reason, I more often stick with the short, less strictly accurate, answer.

* -- Funnily, it tends to be atheists who get more obnoxious about "beliefsplaining." Religious folks more often seem willing to take a more complicated than yes/no binary and accept it (or maybe they're just lumping all non-yes answers into the same bucket and not bothering to think in terms of shades). In short, I meet more atheists who want to convince me that I'm actually an atheist than I meet religious people who want to "save" me.
 

Clara D.

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Since we've gone all Godwin: Nazi's paying lip-service to religion was in large part just a political tool.

In Hitler's early political statements, he attempted to express himself to the German public as a Christian. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches prior to and in the early years of his rule, he described himself as a Christian. Hitler and the Nazi party promoted "Positive Christianity", . . . the vast majority [of historians] believe that Hitler was skeptical of religion and anti-Christian, but recognized that he could only be elected and preserve his political power if he feigned a commitment to and belief in Christianity . . . Privately, Hitler repeatedly deprecated Christianity, and told confidants that his reluctance to make public attacks on the Church was not a matter of principle, but a pragmatic political move
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

Trump signing bibles, anyone?

Positive Christianity allayed fears among Germany's Christian majority as expressed through their hostility towards the established churches of large sections of the Nazi movement. In 1937, Hans Kerrl, the Nazi Minister for Church Affairs, explained that "Positive Christianity" was not "dependent upon the Apostle's Creed", nor was it dependent on "faith in Christ as the son of God", upon which Christianity relied, rather, it was represented by the Nazi Party: "The Führer is the herald of a new revelation", he said.

Nevertheless, efforts by the regime to impose a Nazified "positive Christianity" on a state-controlled Protestant Reich Church essentially failed, and it resulted in the formation of the dissident Confessing Church which saw great danger to Germany from the "new religion". The Catholic Church also denounced the creed's pagan myth of "blood and soil" in the 1937 papal encyclical Mit brennender Sorge.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity

So, it wasn't necessary to accept Christ . . . but to accept the Führer as the next messiah. That's some ballsy WTF right there.

After Nazi Germany had surrendered in World War II, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services published a report on the Nazi Master Plan of the Persecution of the Christian Churches.

Historians and theologians generally agree about the Nazi policy towards religion, that the objective was to remove explicitly Jewish content from the Bible (i.e., the Old Testament, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Pauline Epistles), transforming the Christian faith into a new religion, completely cleansed from any Jewish element and conciliate it with Nazism
So, scrub Christianty of Judaism, while also trying to reconcile it with Nazism in an attempt to make Nazism more appealing to German Christians. Ex: "Jesus was not Jewish, but had Nordic blood from his Amorite ancestors. "
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_aspects_of_Nazism

So, while there may have been truly religious Nazis, Nazism's ties to Christianity were mostly bullshit.

Relgions have indeed created communities
Whether they wanted to be Christian or not...

The final division between me and capital-R Religion (besides seeing too much hypocrisy and hate) was the mistake of studying history on my own. It made it hard to "just believe" in a supposedly 'loving' God that would let atrocities be done in His name. Although not entirely out of the realm of the Old Testament's angry, jealous newborn--smiting God, it was still too much of a tool for those in power (who decided which bits of the Bible to keep and which to throw out, even when it was still being kept in Latin) for my tastes.
 
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