Why should I believe in it again? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Why should I believe in it again?


As a child growing up I've always believed in the christian god, up until learning how that religion has been introduced in my region (Caribbean).

It was introduced through slavery, genocide and brain washing. And further reading about the atrocities committed during that period, I began to wonder why God allowed all of these horrible things to happen to innocent people, and these evil acts were done in his own name and justified by his holy book by evil people. You'd think a god would come down and smite those who misrepresent him, where was he?

Why should I believe in God again? When the only reason why people in my region know about him was through slavery? When the only reason why its been introduced to us was to strip us from our culture and keep us under submission?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 01:10 PM
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You don't have to believe in the God those people believed in. Their God was a violent, cruel, and abusive caricature of Jesus Christ and a reflection of the violence and cruelty of humans in general. You don't have to believe in a God that looks something like Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in a Hands of an Angry God." You don't have to believe in a God who delights in war and blood sacrifice. And really I've been thinking more--it would be much better to not believe in God at all, if she's not a God of love. I believe in a God who has every intention to save. Can I solve the problem of evil for you? Nope. Can I give you proof of that God's existence? Nope. Can I convince myself I believe in that God who is love? Sometimes, most of the time. Could I tell you of the experiences that have me convinced.
Yes, though they may not mean much to you and I'm still skeptical of them. When I believe, I think that God loves the whole of humanity dearly and has every intention to save people. You do not have to believe in a God who is cruel. Please don't.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 12:34 AM
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IMO you should certainly not believe in that god -- why would you want to? Christianity has a long and blood-soaked history -- a fact that the vast majority of adherents will either deny or ignore. The forced conversion of indigenous peoples all across the world is one of the very serious problems in the history of Christianity that I could never reconcile with their insistent claims of "peace and love" -- and I'm white. Many of the worst atrocities in the history of humanity can be attributed to religion and "divine right." In point of fact, Christianity is only the "largest religion in the world" today thanks to their often violent suppression of other cultures and religions. And you can't support Christianity without at least passively supporting those acts.

"Sin" is an imaginary disease invented to sell you an imaginary cure.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 01:37 AM
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Ask yourself how important it is to you to have the most accurate understanding of reality. If the answer is 'pretty damn important', the next step would be to figure out what would be the most reliable method for achieving this. If that method leads you to God, then you'd have your answer. And if not, then you'd be satisfied that you followed a rational path and arrived at your position without compromising your intellectual integrity.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 09:06 AM
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I know a lot of religious people find solace in their faith, and as long as they're good people (that hopefully don't try to convert others; I find that annoying, and sometimes funny) I don't have that much of a problem with it. So try not to be offended by this mentally ill, soul-sick idiot's opinion: I don't see any reason why you should buy into any religion. Certainty about things you couldn't possibly know much about rubs me the wrong way more than atrocities committed in a God's name, unless those are ongoing. I also don't find a God's inaction to prove they don't exist. I just find it kind of ridiculous to believe in books just because others have decided (or been coerced into) believing they are holy. They're not. That said, I'm alright with people creating their own beliefs and gods, that's creative and can be pretty cool. It's just believing things because someone said it's the truth without questioning it I don't like, and some specific behaviors.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCaple View Post
As a child growing up I've always believed in the christian god, up until learning how that religion has been introduced in my region (Caribbean).
Yes, it is appalling that those atrocities have occurred. Some "believers" (kinda hard to call murders believers) forget that their task is only to share the gospel - it's up to God to convert people. The gospel is like a seed that can either be tossed into the trash (which everyone has a right to do) or grow into a faith in what Jesus Christ has done for all of us sinners.

There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10)

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8 )

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Romans 6:8-11. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. ... In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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You'd think a god would come down and smite those who misrepresent him, where was he?
The day of judgement will come but no one knows when. It will be a surprise. Will you be ready? Will you trust in your own sense of righteousness or the righteousness gifted to any sinner who believes in what Jesus has done for us?


John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 08:09 PM
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I really don't think it is an option for most of us, there really is no choice that I can think of when it comes to belief or non belief. On several occasions I have thought it would be nice to believe there is something out there looking after me, and definitely could see the benefit of thinking that. I've never really been able to force myself to believe it though, at the very best all I can really do is acknowledge my own uncertainty and inability to know anything for certainty.


If you had the choice, then it would be beneficial when it comes to thinking about death, about losing loved ones, I could see how it would help with finding purpose and your place - you could create your own God as you see fit. Your God could be all loving, and an eternal hell could be removed from the religion as it has been from some denominations.



I can think of reasons as to why having a God would be a good thing, it would be like having a parent that loves you unconditionally and is looking out for you - there definitely is an appeal to it. There have been several moments in my life, where I had wished to have such comfort to lean upon, and found myself empty handed when looking for it.



One thing to note here, is that a lot of people who believe in God, don't really believe he was some evil entity, they don't even try to justify things written in the bible, they have their own interpretation of God. Hell, it was pretty funny when I had to explain to my own mother that reason why Jesus died for people's sins, she hadn't a clue.. she did not know he died for our sins - despite being a Christian for decades! I think most believers, have their own idea of God going on.


I think for every person out there that believes in a God, they are worshiping their own version. If you think about it, there are billions of different Gods out there, all defined by billions of different people. Some Gods we can see as evil, some are good, some are a bit of both. What is wild, is that some people are so obsessed with their version being the correct version, that they will go out of their way to convince others that their version of God is wrong. It is pretty wild to think about, but then, there is a reason why there are thousands of different denominations. I suppose people feel the more people that agree with their version of God, the more real their version is.


I think it is pretty crazy just how far people take it, just asking Jesus for forgiveness for being a sinner is not good enough anymore, now you have to "know" him in a manner that others "know" him. If you don't understand him in a way that they understand him, then you are doing it all wrong and destined for an eternity in hell I wonder if pronouncing his name incorrectly is means to an eternity in hell as some people may believe.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 11:49 PM
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it's mostly aesthetics and psychology and philosophy. it's about how you want to come at life. because you know you're going to die etc and there isnt any purpose or reason baked in. so you produce it yourself. a life that makes sense is oriented toward something foundational.

I prefer Taoism to god though. generally atrocity-free and the book is short etc etc 😂

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ― Mother Teresa
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2020, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by andy1984 View Post
it's mostly aesthetics and psychology and philosophy. it's about how you want to come at life. because you know you're going to die etc and there isnt any purpose or reason baked in. so you produce it yourself. a life that makes sense is oriented toward something foundational.

I prefer Taoism to god though. generally atrocity-free and the book is short etc etc 😂
Ya know Andy, I've read some of the Tao te Ching. We worked with it some in a couple of my philosophy classes. I still own it, so I need to read it one day. One of the things that I thought was interesting about Taoism is this idea that "the tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." I find that most religious traditions have this sort of via negativa language in which their understanding of the divine or ultimate reality or God, can't really be contained within language--every description before the divine is an inescapable error, an idol. In some sense, that everything we say to try and describe the divine, ultimate reality, or God, does no justice to what it is--which defies our categories. In Judaism/Christianity this same sort of language exists in apophatic (negative) theology. Ever read any Moses Maimonides (Jewish Rabbi)?

"'In silence I worship the unutterable' (Cyril of Alexandria). The spoken Word is inexpressible; this unutterable is the Word." - Bonhoeffer

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2020, 04:18 PM
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I prefer the god of the Tanakh over the Christian god, because he's more honest about who he is and what he wants. He's also more "raw". He acts on his impulses and interacts with the world more simply and directly. He's very much like the old world gods than most people like to think. He's just more jealous.

---

There's a novel by Stephen King called "Desperation". I really like how god is portrayed and described, especially this phrase "God is cruel". I just love it.

Quote:
“Listen to me, David. I’m going to tell you something you didn’t learn from your minister or your Bible. For all I know it’s a message from God himself. Are you listening?”

David only looked at him, saying nothing.

“You said ‘God is cruel’ the way a person who’s lived his whole life on Tahiti might say ‘Snow is cold.’ You knew, but you didn’t understand.” He stepped close to David and put his palms on the boy’s cold cheeks. “Do you know how cruel your God can be, David. How fantastically cruel?”
David waited, saying nothing. Maybe listening, maybe not. Johnny couldn’t tell.

“Sometimes he makes us live.”
^ The book is not anti-God btw. It presents the god we know vs. primordial & "totally evil" gods. So "our" god becomes the good guy. It's kind of interesting.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2020, 06:30 PM
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I'm not so sure it's God lacking honesty, it's Christians being duplicitous, violent, and generally fake. Even though the presence of Jesus (the Word of God incarnate according to John) in the world puts to question all violence, tells us to turn the other cheek, and gives us a normative ethic that almost sounds pantheistic ("For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’) only a few of us really live this way (and that doesn't really include me, I'm a pretty ****ty Christian all things considered). Christians are supposed to be servants to the marginalized, the sick, prostitutes, prisoners, and the impoverished. I genuinely don't blame people for not being willing to conversate with Christians, as I realize most people's interactions with them have been dominated by fundamentalists who threaten hellfire and brimstone and have no sense of the world outside of their bubble (I believe God loves this world, very dearly, and responds to it's suffering by suffering with us). The point of the incarnation is that a God we otherwise would have no capacity to understand or relate to, knows the fullness of human suffering. The only reason I still call myself a Christian is because I feel the need to take responsibility for all these people saying they follow Christ. Part of the problem is Christians melding nationalism and authoritarianism with Christianity--some scholars call this Christendom rather than Christianity. The og Christianity, before it was even called "Christianity" was basically a nonviolent, peasant revolution.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2020, 06:24 AM
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People's idea of God varies a lot, both between and within religions - spend some reading and thinking about what God really means for you, and hopefully you find peace through this process x

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