Belief in "God"... such a broad topic, right? I have questions about religion and beliefs though, and I'm going to ask here.
OK. So, I believe in a god or gods. I also believe that he/she/they are good, loving, moral, and protective. I've never in my life believed in a "Satan" or "Hell", even though I was brought up Catholic, and attended Catholic grade school. Bible stories, and the stories of the saints were my all-time favorites as a kid. Other than the serpent in the Garden of Eden, I don't recall ever hearing anything about "Satan" or "Hell" in those wonderful stories.
The question here is: Am I obligated to believe in a "Satan" if I believe in a "God"?
I think I believe that there is some cosmic force - supreme being or beings - in the universe. I believe that these entities are inherently good. I believe they have to be loving, protective, and intelligent beings because they're much more evolved than we are. I believe the "powers that be" are watching. I believe they have been here interacting with us in the past, and that they'll be back again - if they're not already. I don't necessarily believe in the Christian construct of a single, all powerful "God" who loves us as his children, etc. But I do believe there's SOMETHING more, something bigger than we humans on Earth. I also believe that if you live a good and decent life, and are kind to people and animals, your soul can't go and suffer for all eternity in an imaginary place they call "Hell".
He is present in all three Abrahamic religions (Shaytan in Judaism follows God's orders to test mankind's faith, Satan/Lucifer in Christianity is the origin of all evil, and Iblis in Islam is basically the same as Christianity's version but is also a genie).
I'd always reasoned that if I didn't BELIEVE in a Satan or Lucifer and Hell, that they wouldn't have any power over me. I know, it sounds like a little kid's thinking, but it's just something I've always felt - as far back as I can remember!
Don't be ridiculous, her beliefs can be just as fictitious as yours.
What it appears that you believe in Universal reconciliation. Some people who believe in it don't believe in satan
I will have to check out this Universal Reconciliation thing. I've been all over the board with this spirituality issue. I even like the ancient astronaut theory somewhat. Some of that is pure nonsense, but there are aspects that make total sense and are logical with respect to events depicted in the bible...
Thanks! I did just read that a bit earlier. Parts of it may apply to what I believe, but a lot of those beliefs I don't share.
Perhaps my problem is my belief in reincarnation. I fervently pray that we are reincarnated so that I can come back and conquer some of my issues in this life. So, if I believe in reincarnation, I suppose logically I wouldn't believe in Heaven or Hell... at least not until the soul has evolved and learned everything it needed to learn. Maybe THEN there's the actual "afterlife"?
(Maybe I just need to get a little sleep. I fear I'm starting to babble nonsense.)
No you're not babbling. The issue with reincarnation is that there's no guarantee that you will come back as a human being. Also, depending on if you believe in the Hindu idea of reincarnation, the belief that what animal you come back as depends on how good of a life you led in your present form.
I've led a pretty non-eventful life, but I'm a decent and relatively moral person. I don't hurt people and I'm not self centered. I try to be kind to everyone I encounter. I help when I can, and when I can't, I feel helpless and frustrated. I believe in do unto others, etc., so hopefully I won't end up a flea in the next round!
No you don't have to believe in Satan. The Christian Satan is based upon personal interpretations of the bible, hearsay and myth. Putting aside claims about what the bible is and what it says there simply is no evidence for Satan's existence.
You're not even obligated to believe in a god, hence you don't need to believe in any other invisible beings.
That's a cute belief, but rather childish. Nothing of the sort has ever been shown to exist, so it's most likely the childhood fairy tales told to you long ago have somehow stuck to your memories. No problem, they are not real.
What's a "cute belief"? I know I'm not obligated to believe in a god. I'm not obligated to believe in anything at all. I just think about stuff all the time, and have so many questions! I'm the kind of person who needs proof - preferably something I can see, touch, feel. I don't know what blind faith is, and I have never in my life accepted customary beliefs without questioning them first.
That would be a perfect example of a cute belief based on blind faith.
In essence, this idea here would contradict the idea of believing in a God or gods because God cannot be physically touched or seen (unless you have a different idea of things that are a reflection of your idea of God)
Believing in God is considered blind faith, unless you have proof that could apply to all people as to the existence of God (which atheists will ask you for here, over and over)
But, none of us really know that for a fact. It is the crux of the apostrophe, so to speak.
*edit* How close was I with the rest of the comment?
LOL, ATM - thanks! Now I've got Frank Zappa on repeat in my head. Oh well, it calms down the burning questions I always seem to have, right? I'm pleased with this discussion. You all are really great! Thanks for your replies and comments. I love hearing the ideas and theories of others, and am always open to different perspectives. Yeah, it sometimes creates another bazillion questions, but it's awesome to learn stuff!
Quick word of advice, atheists will argue that experiential evidence only solidifies things for you but not for others that may be looking for evidence. The term that would be used is "confirmation bias", which basically means that one can take an event and make it fit what they are hoping for..
There is a saying I've heard once: Sometimes you find the things you are looking for, however it is often in your mind. This statement does not mean that what you are looking for is not real, but it does mean that the event in question may not actually be the real evidence..
This is where faith comes in. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen
I love that one.
Probably nowhere in scriptures has such a statement caused so much, ignorance, oppression, bigotry, and destruction over the centuries than that one.
If accepted as true, it can be wielded to justify anything. And, since the definition of faith is a belief in anything without proof, the claim of "evidence of things" is a contradiction, hence the entire statement is completely meaningless.
But, for those who have been indoctrinated to believe there are things that can't be seen without proof will cling to and embrace the statement as fact.
The very idea of evidence to things without proof being claimed to exist with specific characteristics and properties (gods, devils, imps of every kind) goes well beyond the contradiction, let alone the utter meaninglessness of the statement.
Before I respond to this one, let me ask you a question. How would you interpret this statement to mean.?Maybe I missed it here because it appears that you are more giving your opinion of what you think of it. I want to be sure of how you would interpret it to mean yourself
The point I was making is that it is a statement that cannot, by definition, have any meaning whatsoever due to the fact it is a blatant contradiction. It isn't even relevant to the fact that if anything can be be shown to exist from the supernatural, it them becomes evident and doesn't require faith.
It is a statement that has been construed to justify a delusion, hence it can justify anything.
Okay.. I see your point there. On the other hand, given the different definitions of words as well as ideas of certain phrases, there are a lot of statements that can have multiple meanings. This is where understanding context is key too.
Sorry, the statement is clear enough to understand. I can't see how different definitions are going to make any significant differences.
They do make some difference if you're looking at a certain phrase in a literal sense or a figurative one..
For example the phrase "you look hot". With this phrase, someone could be looking at the sweat pouring down your face and making an observation on your body's reaction to temperature or they could be looking at what you're wearing and making an observation about how attractive they find you.
Okay, here you go, give us the context that I'm missing using your example...
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen"
I'm not stating that you were missing a specific context in the statement. I was asking you your interpretation of that scripture. But in looking back at it, I see you stated that it is irrelevant basically because anyone can make it mean whatever is necessary in a particular context
I believe in balance. You cannot have good without evil. This goes for people as well as other types of beings. Weather you want to call them Angel's or Demons you cannot have one without the other.
Sure, you can. What can't you? Why MUST evil exist?
Yes! You have to believe in the devil because you believe in God. The devil is always working against you. He hates you. He wants you to die. He wants you to suffer and never ever be forgiven. Its a fact, we all make mistakes. No one is perfect. We will accidentally hurt others and say things we don't mean, its in our human nature. However, God says, if we acknowledge that we are not perfect and we know there is a perfect God we will not have to worry about our wrong doings. We don't have to bear the burden of hurting our loved ones. He told us long ago, I took this away from you because I love you.
You said you believe in a he/she/they God, correct? There is only One Father God. There is only One Son. This is the family we are a part of. The devil will tell you to believe in many gods because he doesn't want God to have 100% credit. When God has 100% credit, we are blessed by Him. He smiles when He sees us. He knows we will make mistakes, but we are learning. He is glad we feel remorse when we do something wrong to our "brothers and sisters" in Christ. If there was more than one God, I would be totally confused and fearful. What if I pleased one god more than the other? What if this god says that I need to do something, but another god says not to do it? Where do I go to worship all of these gods? Which one is talking to me?
All of these questions come up when you think about serving God. There are angels around us all the time loving, comforting, guiding, and protecting us. They are sent to us by God. He knows when you need His help. He knows when you are scared. He wants you to know He loves you very much and you are His child.
Good luck and God Bless!
No she doesn't. She can make up her own crap. Why would the stuff you make up be any more real then the stuff she makes up?
So you can say mean and horrible things to people (as you've just done) and be guilt free about it? You think you've got an out?
You think there is only one God because any more would be confusing to you? But then you talk of Satan as if he has powers and lives forever just like a God. Terribly confusing.
And yet millions of innocent children starve to death each year, yet the angels protect you. You're not seeing the big picture here.
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