“God” is a loaded word. It is loaded because of the different feelings that the word evokes for different people. Those feelings give each person their different opinions. From those opinions, there are actions, actions that include the forceful taking of life away from those who have different opinions about God. Complicated… the whole idea of God is complicated. That is another reason why “God” is a loaded word.
The fact that people have died, are dying and will die for their beliefs in God makes talking about God’s existence difficult. Are you insane?, the dead may ask. How can you question the existence of God when so many people have died already believing He does? To question God’s existence is to question the validity of over a millennium’s worth of conflict and bloodshed.
Yes, that is true. I do have the luxury of questioning God’s existence, a luxury that would have meant persecution or death for another person in a different country. I am fortunate, not just from being born in a country where I have the freedom to express my beliefs, but in many other ways, too: loving parents (who are still married), aunts and uncles who believe in me, younger cousins who admire me, an amazing woman who loves me, friends and coworkers who respect me, a good college education, and amazing opportunities and potential.
These – and many other – good fortunes are all evidence for me to believe in God’s existence. Not often have I wondered, There is Someone watching over me. There is a purpose I believe that I have… not just here among my fellow human beings, but also in the Great Chess Game in the Sky, played by God and Himself, where I am among the well-placed pawns. My good fortunes are the results of mainly forces and events beyond my control. Had one of my parents been killed in the Vietnam War, I would never have been born. Had my parents not been fortunate, I would have been born to a family poorer still. There would have been many fights in the family over money, stress for my parents from the financial burden that their children bring, and instability for me and my educational pursuits. What if the country was at war? What if someone in the family was robbed and murdered? What if I died in either of my car accidents? What if… many things. There are so many variables, most of which were positive enough for me to be fortunate. These variables, like the constants that define the physical world, all had to be working in concert. Too much for a coincidence. A higher power must have had a hand. Perhaps, God?
Perhaps my good fortune is because of God. In my heart, I am indescribably grateful to the Powers That Be that are responsible for my good fortune. However, my reasons are personal. Just because I have been lucky in my life does not give me the right to determine God’s existence for other people, people who might not have been as lucky.
What about the “challenges of faith,” as Lee Strobel puts it in The Case for Faith:
- Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Loving God Cannot
- Since Miracles Contradict Science, They Cannot Be True
- Evolution Explains Life, So God Isn’t Needed
- God Isn’t Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children
- It’s Offensive to Claim Jesus as the Only Way to God
- A Loving God Would Never Torture People in Hell
- Church History Is Littered with Oppression and Violence
Once again, I’ve reached the same conclusion I made five years ago. The belief in God’s existence (or non-existence) must be on faith. There is no proof-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt either way.
Hi – I added you ‘cos of the LJ random thing and your icons 🙂 Cuuuute!
Yeah. I have thusfar after a hell of a lot of research concluded there is no Hebrew God. The catholics/christians/american sub-christian factions are all wrong. I can base this on chronology, geography, writing, translations, language and predicates. Simple really.
The Eastern religions, however, are more interesting. Oh, and the Odinists. They have some cool nature-istic ideas.
Eastern Ideas Are Interesting, Too
Yes, I agree there is a lot of evidence out there to disprove a Christian/Hebrew god. Yet, I read a book, written in a very logical, journalistic-style that provides convincing arguments for at least a God as opposed to The God. It’s the one I mentioned in my journal entry.
The Eastern “religions”, I’ve found, are not really religions at all. I would call them philosophies that other religions, (such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc.), could incorporate. Perhaps the dogma of such religions would be more well-rounded, eh?
Regardless of an existence of god, the purpose of religion is to provide a guiding light for determining right from wrong. Without religion or a god, something or someone else must do the guiding.
Re: Eastern Ideas Are Interesting, Too
Yeah, it’s sort of like a list of rules, like “the law”.
With rules there’s no question that they exist – you’re told them by various people over the years (maybe this is one of the parts of religious dogma that is used to instill it into you as “truth”). From this you add and add little bits until you’ve got a religion…
There are a lot of people out there who believe in “a God” but think they’re Christians – yet their beliefs only slightly overlap Christianity. I see what you’re saying about the religion telling but half they time THEY don’t follow it themselves.
Look at the amount of people in jail who go to church a lot. We KNOW what is right and wrong – that’s what laws and our social conscience tell us. It’s when they start saying we’ll go to hell for not believing in the invisible man…
Personally I think the control mechanism doubles as a way for weak-minded people to not go insane. If they think they’re going to heaven they won’t go mad at the idea that death is THE END. 🙂
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