Speaking only for myself here. I can't see inside other people's minds, so I don't if it's the same for them.
When a person tells me about God and Jesus and the whole nine yards, my first natural inclination is that there is no real truth in it.
This non-belief just occurs naturally without any conscious effort.
It's exactly the same as when someone tells me about leprechauns or unicorns. My brain automatically classifies it as fantastic, fictional, and having no basis in reality.
I don't choose for this to happen, it just happens. I can't help it.
Seriously, if I were to become a believer, I would have to consciously, and with great effort, force my mind into believing, and even then I doubt I would really believe. I would only be deceiving myself.
This really is the case with me. And this is why I have such a problem with believers who tell me I am wrong for not believing.
I can't help it!!
My brain naturally does not believe. It isn't my choice. When people say that it is, I really do not understand what they're talking about.
Fairbear, you're absolutely right. That's the point believers can't get their head around. Most non-believers are exactly like you. Atheism isn't a belief in something - it's being unable to see the point of believing in anything. And it's being quite happy not believing in anything.
If a leprechaun knocked on your door, you still wouldn't "believe" in leprechauns. You wouldn't have to "believe" because you would KNOW leprechauns existed.
Belief is trusting someone else's word that something exists which you can't see, hear, touch, taste or smell, without any other proof or demonstration that it exists. People born with very logical minds find that completely incomprehensible - why would you do it? Why would you need to do it?
People with a passionate religious belief have often had a "revelation", which for them is concrete evidence, just as much as meeting the leprechaun would be for you. And that's fine - for them. What they have to accept is that just because THEY think they've got concrete evidence, doesn't mean that everyone else has to take their word for it!
Nicely said! I admire such clear and succinct discussion. I believe this is a fine way to see choice, and it is easy enough to see that to many it is just plain silly to assume a god from the tomes about gods.
To believe as some do, that if someone does not follow the same path they are doomed is a bit loony in my view also.
I've never been good at taking other peoples words for things myself. I have to figure out things for myself, in my own way in my own time, thru trial and error. I know my faith ( I think there is a difference between faith and belief.)came to me slowly, though there have been times in my life I have gone to many different churches, tried a little bit of Native American religion and on and on and then ended up not believing in god at all, or figured if he did exist I didn't want anything to do with him.
Anyway I guess what I am saying is I think everyone is on their own path and that they are right where they are suppose to be at that moment. If any of that makes sense
This must be the dear Abby site for the enlightened progressives. I have never seen a member of a religion tackle a non-believer and try and beat God into them, we should! Religion is the keystone of our soul, it inspires stregth, morallity and restraint. I don't believe you go to hell for not believing thats for our very worst, I believe this is your world and the Heaven you will know. The higher levels of glory are rewards for your faithfulness,deeds and your personal behavior.
Unless you're from Australia or Canada, then it doesn't really matter go have a beer.
I hear what your saying but I believe Religion (Or religions) Are institutions, faith is a relationship.For me Faith is like breath, I am the meteforical fish and God the water. I live move, etc. with in the water, I can jump out of the water and I won't die right away but I will flop around alot!
And if your talking Bible and religion doesn't it say that all who seek shall find? Who am I to say in what direction a seeker should go? That I know better than God who if you believe in him has all things in the palm of his hands? I am no one to judge anyone.
I've seen lots of "members of religion" try and beat God into non-believers - at least verbally. And I think it's entirely inappropriate - and pointless.
As have I. On the other hand, I've seen too many atheists give as badly as they get, trying to verbally beat "enlightenment" into the "brainwashed."
It's just as inappropriate and pointless.
You get that when religionists make biblical quotes "facts"
Not always. Sometimes the "religionists" who don't quote the Bible as literal fact get it anyway, because they're painted with the same brush as the most militant Biblical literalists. Some atheists I've known automatically lump everyone who believes in God in with mind control cults and every other group that's ever committed evil. It's just as inappropriate as believers saying all unbelievers will go to Hell. Both involve jumping to conclusions and making unwarranted judgments regarding an individual's character, wisdom, and intentions.
I was abused in the beginning when I claimed to be enlightened by some atheists but then they were the ones who mentioned kind words when my book got ranked over Holy Bibles and Holy Qurans and it was some so called believers who still gave me attitude .
I've seen that as well, although usually it's in response to a religionist making a deliberately provocative statement. I can see why some people would find it impossible to let some of the outrageous proclamations go by. However I agree it's pointless - the kind of religious person who makes these statements is never going to be persuaded to enter into reasoned debate or analyse their own faith.
Wow, I couldn't have said it better. I don't think I've read a more refreshing post than this since coming to Hubpages. Thanks.
Yeah, I have a very logical mind and see no point in creating a picture in my mind that doesn't already naturally exist there. That would be like putting on blinders and preferring the dark.
And you're right. The problem is when believers tell people like us that we're wrong and they're right. It's frustrating.
this just tells you that you already know better. why the need to believe? you're practically applying religious concepts without belief of a deity. you're doing good already.
This doesn't surprise me in the least bit.
My brain was washed into believing in Santa. It was not a pleasant day to be one of the last who finally did not believe. It was humiliating. And I was gullible.
When my kids were two years old, I told them Santa had long since died. The deal is that we all keep the tradition alive by *secretly* doing what Santa did, and that's the REAL fun of it anyway.
My wife was so pissed. Now my kids are adults, and they are glad I handled it the way I did.
Things exist that we cannot see or really understand. However, there is plenty of evidence in the end that it all adds up and is provable. Hence, if it's too good to believe, if it doesn't ever add up, you're probably right. It's not based in instinct, it's based on clues we pick up along the way and deduce as knowledge.
Just my take.
I think you did the smart and right thing. My family has had that battle every Christmas, because I have always preferred to downplay the whole "Jolly Old Elf" version of Santa Claus in favor of emphasizing the examples attributed to the historic St. Nicholas.
As a result, confirming that Santa doesn't have a magic flying sleigh or a toy factory at the North Pole has not traumatized the kids at all. Of course, the militant atheist won't like what they do believe any better, that St. Nick lives in Heaven rather than the North Pole and rather than delivering the gifts himself, he inspires us to do that for him.
There is no need to force yourself to believe in God and no one can force you to.
Then I must share my story on god those who can relate will
relate and those who cannot , cant do anything about it.
The time will come is not meant in an egoistic way but in a very truthful way as this is how the cosmos functions.
It was the same with me and my ego couldn't handle it when I was told my time will come but today I understand. _
I think I'm with ya on belief and choice. I posted this on another thread: I don't get this whole thing of beliefs being choices. Either you believe or you don't, such as with religion. Either you are something or you're not, such as homosexual or heterosexual. You can lie or you can admit. But I don't get where choice fits in. I choose to treat others with respect or not. Belief just is.
As in homosexuality or heterosexuality?
Ok so what biology books have you been reading? There are no homosexual genes or chromosomes neither more than there are heterosexual ones! Genes and chromosomes make up or construct who we are and are present and all there at conception.
Our sexuality does not even begin to develop until we know and understand what sex is. I have many homosexual friends who openly admit to their sexuality and the preferences toward homosexuality as being a choice. I.E, the "preference". Something that is prefered over something else.
Just as in heterosexuality which is someone who prefers to engage in the act of sex with the opposite sex.
All of us are not "born" with being sexual at all. We are "A-Sexual" in other words. a child not knowing about the act of sex does not have a preference either way. So in that regard has not made any choice as to who to have sex with.
In the same regard, believers are not "born" to believe. Neither more than you or a non-believer is born not to believe. God gave us a choice in that matter as we grow or come into the knowledge of Him.
Religion is a whole other subject all together. Does one have to go to church of any specific religion to believe in God? No.
Does one perhaps adopt the practice of going to church as a believer? Sometimes, but not always. God is the choice, not religion.
Who we are then changes according to that knowledge and or belief in God or not. That is how I see it.
I read your Hub concerning non-belief. I was wondering if I could offer you some adivce. I understand that you automatically don't believe as other people do. God did give us free will.
The question I have is, is this acceptable to you? Would you like to learn what other's are talking about? If you answer yes to the second question then do me a favor please. Do some research, read the bible. Do you realize that it was handed down from generation to generation and even sience has proven that it is real. For instance they have what they think is an image of Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat. There are other instances.
My late husband read the bible many, many times. More than I have, yet he said he was an Agnostic. He believed a long time ago, but when he was a teenager something happened and his faith was lost. However, he could qoute the bible much better than I.
My point I guess is that I appreciate people's right to believe the way they choose. If you however would like to know more, just read the bible and do some searches on the internet concerning sience and the bible.
Good luck to you and have a great day,
Juanita, I sincerely appreciate the kindness of your tone in your post. But...
What makes you think we have not been “students”? That we didn’t grow up going to church and Sunday School every Sunday? That we didn’t teach Sunday School? That we didn’t see the documentaries about the Ark and Mt Ararat seeking to believe? That we didn’t meditate or pray for half of a lifetime to believe? Perhaps it is that essence that gave us our studious nature that made us non believers? Did all of that study change your husband’s beliefs?
you are so nice. do you think that christians out there knew GOD, feeled god, no never they did. i am honouring you for your genuine. they just spreading what they read,listened. not what they felt.
Sometimes we can't automatically believe something even if we think we may want to. Church may not be for you, but keep open mind about experiences. Learning about people's beliefs and why they benefit from religion may help you find your own beliefs and values, not matter what they are. You have beliefs about something somewhere, just finding out what they are is a learning process and part of life. Don't feel like you have to make others happy...
Although I am of a mystical turn of mind, I can absolutely relate to what you are saying. Afterall our beliefs are based on our experiences. Have you ever seen anybody walk on water as Jesus is supposed to have done? I haven't. So for you to believe that would be a struggle indeed. Also, have you ever seen any dead person's body resurrected from the dead? You haven't. And that too would be extremely difficult for you to believe. That's all very understandable give that neither of these experience have you ever encountered in everyday life! So naturally your mind is going to tell you that such events are fanciful and unreal. You cannot believe them.
I understand how you feel Fairbear, I feel the same way about my faith in God as you do about your faith that there isn't a God or higher power. For me it's kind of like breathing, I know when I "plug in" to that power it is there for me in my daily life.
Don't try to force a faith,If you are really interested in finding out if God is there for you, you could do what I did. I had an issue in my life ( an internal struggle)that I could not change and that I had tried to get past for many years. I asked God to help me with that one thing. I did this on a daily basis and it worked! I was something that I couldn't do in my unaided will.Actually I think my talking to God the first time went something like this "I don't believe that you exist, but if you do please help me".
I can relate to all posts so far, and sort of understand what Sybil is saying about "plugging in" we just have a different base of what we call god I guess, and what that is.
Without religion a concept of being plugged in works for me. (But without god)
It is annoying to read the assumptions that anyone who does not believe is sad, immoral or missing something too.
On the flip side, it is also rather irritating to constantly see belief portrayed as something that requires no evidence and to see suggestions that people who believe are gullible or illogical.
I believe that skepticism is as natural as it is for a toddler to ask, "What's that? Why? Why? Why?" I think it's wonderful, particularly when it's applied equally to every opinion, theory, belief, and yes, even non-belief, tempered only by reason rather than preconceived notions or personal biases.
Pretty cool outlook, Sybil.
It just bugs me when a person's faith requires that all people who don't share it are condemned. That's so wrong. I don't detect that with you, though.
eh? it's the same thing as saying people who believes in god or religion are stupid. mocking every person who has a different perspective. ahhhh aren't we all the same?
You are not condemned and just because you do not believe and I believe does not many all of us cannot get along.
I can't speak for Canada but any major Australian city has facilities for any religion you can think of.
I don't think that believers should beat religion into non believers. What believers should do is to beat some sense into each other if any beating is to be done. Denominations, What did they do it for ?? The beast that John saw rise up out of the sea did it(Rev. 13). Yea he also created 100,000 different interpretations for the different denominations to fight over.
This also gave nonbelievers 100,000 good reasons to stay non believing. It was a win win situation for the beast.
Jesus words or Bible is ranked 1 then mine at 2 then Jesus words or Bible 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 upto 50 sorry but you are out of luck.
This is what I mean some are so blind and abusive and they call themselves believers.
This is why I like you so much, mohit. You are so very respectful of everyone. You listen, respond rationally, and simply share your experiences. I wish the forums were filled with gentlemen like yourself. We might even make some progress in that case.
I do believe in the philosophy of "do unto others as you would have others do unto you "because I know all is the self.
This world is full of fanatics and this life is too short to solve this problem something my book will help in after I am gone.
I do like you as well as we have had debates without abusing or threatening each other which is a refreshing change
I believe that most beliefs of all sorts are of choice.However they are influenced by actions of others, social conditions, and experiences. Sometimes life choices are decided at such an early ages or they happen so quickly that we are unaware of their process.. LIKE.. When we loose our temper we choose to do so. Our mind decides so quickly that we are unaware of the process. If you came up to me and hit me in the face my mind thinks,....Hugh... did I deserve that?,who did that? my sister hits harder than that! ha ha ha .. not angry!!! We can forget though about our subconscious mind. Some times it has more control of our lives than we know.
I have to admit and everyone should also agree that there some things that are not of choice. I did not choose to HATE...HATE.. gag me with a spoon HATE ...."I HATE LIVER"
yes there those things which we do not choose Jerami.
I hate liver too!
But isn't then the choice to eat it or not? lol
You might say that the choice to not eat it is a choice. The choice to not eat it was not a choice. In 1958 the first time I ever saw or smelled it I didn't like it. an uncle offered 5.oo if I would eat it. I realy really tried...that was = to 100 candy bars. I COULD not swallow one bite. That was not a choice. Other things in life might be like that for other people and their "LIVER" what ever that is????
You will make a perfect soldier. And "Saint Nick" is a nickname for the devil....
Guessing your parents homeschooled you in case you learned about evolution.....
as questioned in an earlier post, Is homosexuality a choice or is faith in a God or the tooth ferry actually a choice. It doesn't matter the issue being questioned; the answer would have to be sometimes yes and sometimes not. And sometimes when it is a choice it might be the so little of a choice that there is no choice. Jesus said that I should take care of the plank in my eye before I worry about the splinter in someone else's eye. I should mop my floor before We talk about your dirty window.
When I was a kid I did not like liver at all. But now I enjoy liver and onions. Just goes to show that our choices can change. Our taste buds too.
I really tried to eat that liver and get the $5oo from my uncle too chewed for 5 minutes and my throat would not let me swallow. I tried to like it several times in life. couldn't like it. My point was that we can't judge others because they don't like what we like. A rattle snake might really really want to be a teddy bear, but it just caint. I'm not going to judge it and ain't goina hug it up either.
That would be hard to chew liver for 5 minutes when you don't like it. Liver is often over cooked. If it's cooked right I think it's good. Yeah that rattle snake might be just pretending to be a teddy bear, asking questions like a teddy bear for reasons like a rattle snake.
I was trying to swallow immediately but couldn't after 5 minutes of trying. I really wanted that $5.00. = 100 baby Ruth's. I am sure that If I decided to keep on trying I might have been able to overcome my original opinion but in other similar life situations it would be good if I didn't have to try so hard to like it. seems to me that some people do not have as many choices as others. SEEMS LIKE
I was not in any way being anti-loving in my statements to you. Now the following as I was accused in my last post to you of being inflammatory etc. The following then are my observations and my personal opinions to what I know to be correct.
My points were very clear. Homosexuality is a lifestyle, just as heterosexuality is. A lifestyle is a choice.
life style: a manner of living that reflects the person's values and attitudes.
A person's pattern of living as expressed in his or her activities, interests, and opinions.
Children do not have a pattern of living in neither hetrosexual behaviour nor in homosexual behaviour. They are A-sexual. They cannot have a pattern of living in either lifestyle, nor do they express themselves in the act of sexual activities, neither do they have an "interest" either way in the activity of sex, and since they do not know or have any knowledge of what sex is, they cannot have any opinion about it either.
Now can it be said that once learning, once acknowledging the appearance of the natural laws of "attraction", does a child then or could a child then feel rather "different" in their tendency at times to be attracted to the same sex? Yes.
But the lifestyle they develop as they grow older as a result of whatever that attraction is or may be is completely up to them. It is not forced on them. The act of sex whether it is with same sex or opposite sex is not something that one HAS to act on. And again, this is not true of course when you take into account the perverse act of molestation, and rape.
But I digress...
There are people who choose not to have sex at all with anyone. Were they too "born" that way?
I love my friends, whether they are gay or not makes no difference to me as far as who they are. They are people. Making an observation about their lifestyle is not making me love them any less.
Pointing out my observations to you is not me being any less loving towards you either. I see though where I hit a hot button with you. If I sounded rather condescending towards you for that, I apologize.
I also realize that my point of view and or observations may be rather inflammatory to those who disagree with them. so I am apologetic as well for being as candid as I was in some of my statements.
Now, having said all of that,
in respect to Gods love being conditional, I totally disagree. Gods love in not conditional!
God loves you and everyone regardless of your sins. Regardless of whether you are gay, bi or straight. God loves all.
It is the sin he hates. It is the sin which destroys us.
God says lust is a sin.
God says sex prior to marriage is a sin.
Does he then hate or dislike the ones who engage in those sins? No. He loves them regardless.
Does he forgive those sins? Yes, because of His love for the sinner.
And uhm, what would Jesus do? The same as he did with the prostitute, He simply said, "Go and sin no more". He asked that she be repentant and not commit that sin anymore.
Sin is sin rmcrayne. I am guilty, you are guilty everyone is guilty of it.
God loves it out of us all, when we make the choice for Him to do just that.
I think that we should agree as to what exactly is the definition of "SIN" My opinion is that sin is ANYTHING that is harmful to the health and well being, physically,mentally or spiritually to the individual and the group as a whole.
I do not see a mystical meaning of the word sin.
Something to think about ????
This is my 1st reply to anything on this site. So far, I like what I am seeing here. Your title caught my attention. For the record, I just wanted to voice something here. We live in the USA. Everything here is a choice. My father used to say there is really is only 1 thing we have no choice about and that is "death".
We always have choices, don't pay your taxes, go to jail, your choice, don't go to work, lose your job, your choice, have an affair, risk your marriage, your choice. I think you get the picture here. So when you say not believing is not a choice, I have to say it is more something that is instilled deep inside of you, either in your conscious mind or your sub-conscious. I have no problem with believers or non-believers, but it is definitely a choice. Someone on here wrote that 'belief' and 'faith' are 2 different things. They are, but they go hand in hand. If you have faith, then the belief in that faith becomes real.
Consequently, if you think God is a figment of imagination, such as the tooth fairy, that is your choice. However, others choose this: In this life, "I would rather believe that God is real, and fear his wrath, then, find out when I die that He was not real, as opposed to not believing in this life and when I die, finding out he was real." No matter what, it is still and always will be a choice.
Not for me, man.
What I believe is completely involuntary. It's just there. I can ignore it or embrace it, sure. But nothing I do changes what my heart knows is true or untrue.
So, speak for yourself.
Again, with ya Fairbear. We can ignore it, suppress it, in essence, lie or be deceptive about what we truly believe. OR we can be honest and state our true beliefs. Inconceivable to me that so many believers are resolute in their viewpoint that we can choose what we believe. Flabbergasting! Defies my logic.
You speak way out of turn about sexuality. You clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about.
Really? and you do then??
Let me ask you this, what is it about homosexuality being a choice that makes you and rmcrayne so lets say inflamed?
As in you consider my remarks inflammatory?
Being it is a choice, we choose to love who we want, do we not?
What is so hard to believe and then also cause you to be angry about that?
rmcrayne posed that it is beause in that they choose to be mocked, ostercized, etc. from society. But that is not true. People cannot choose how others will react to their decisions.
Are you telling me that homoselxuality is not a lifestyle? What about then, bi-sexuality? Those that have chosen to engage with both sexes? Are they then born to be both attracted to males and females?
And what about those who have chosen not have to sex with anyone? Are they born with that choice?
I don't think so.
You want ot believe that we are all born with sexual urges and desires that is completely up to you.
In that I guess you would conclude that children are born having sexual desires?
Your offensive remarks display that you have a complete lack of knowledge about human sexual development.
Of course babies don't have sexual urges. But they do have the genetic makeup for what their urges will be once they reach the right age. Among other things, it is a matter of the balance of Testosterone and Estrogen in the system. Some men are born with systems that produce way more estrogen than testosterone, and vice-versa for women. These people grow up oriented to behave and think like the opposite sex. It isn't their choice. The fact that you degrade the homosexual community by overlooking this thoroughly studied scientific fact is abusive and self-centered.
It's obvious you don't realize what you're saying. If you did, you wouldn't say it. And if you do, well....
Fairbear,I am definitely speaking for myself and for anyone who would agree with the statement I made as to why I believe and how that is a choice. My thoughts do not discard yours because they are different. I know you started this forum, but have an open mind, enough to allow others a thought, otherwise you are wasting everyone's time.
I used to be the recording secretary for a union grievence commitie many yeare ago. I usta tell em to keep it short, make your point. She ran over your foot. Don't boore them to death with what she was wearing or what kind of hubcaps were on the car. GOOD idea ?????
hi. New here...just browsing around.
Cutting through all the believe/non believe stuff...for man to have evolved from ??? he hasn't done very well to arrive a full life at around 70 to 80 years. Surely one has to sit down at some point and say, "In spite of all my logic and understanding, eighty years...is this all there is? What's the purpose? I've got it all figured out and now I die and it's like I never existed."
What a waste!What a short ride to nowhere.
Folks, this ain't about logic. If you're content to believe in nothing more that this that's your privilege. My logic tells me that my faith is right. I cannot believe that there's no more to life than what I've seen. I can't help myself. My logic is complete enough to tell me that it's impossible for this life to be all there is.
So then I can't help but believe in a creator and a divine plan, and this mortal existence is simply step one.
Mental acceptance of a claim as truth; Something believed; The quality or state of believing; Religious faith; One's religious or moral..
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true
belief - any cognitive content held as true
What is cognitive content?
content: the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
What is cognitive?
Cognition is the scientific term for "the process of thought or
cognition - the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
Hmmm, so belief is
a process of thought of percieved or discovered or learned things that we then deem are true? Hmmm, sounds like a choice there to me
As one could perceive, discover or learn that something is not true and thus not believe it
Now are you still convinced nonbelief is not a choice?
accept as true; take to be true
Then the opposite applies as well
to not accept as true, to not take as true
be confident about something
Or to not be confident about something
There is a choice also! Amazing!
The thought of someone who thinks what they believe or not believe is not any of the above and therefor not a choice...illogical
You can construct and compose any combination of dictionary entries that you want. It doesn't change the fact of what takes place inside of me. I am being entirely honest and forthcoming.
The picture of reality that exists in my mind is a picture that I did not create. No one taught it to me. I didn't read about it in any book.
When I hear about something like, say, religion, I do not make a conscious choice whether to believe it or disbelieve it. Instead, I look within myself [b]to see if what I'm being told is true/b]. I listen to my heart for the answers, not the other way around.
You can make all the testimony you want about your own mental and spiritual experience. But you can say nothing about mine. I tell the truth when I say that my non-belief is not a choice. If you don't believe me, that's your right. But you cannot say I am lying.
the Bible is clearly not God's word, as it is chock full of inconsistencies, and makes God look bad throughout, from his turning people into pillars of salt, slaughtering innocent people, turning people into lepers, condoning cruelty to animals, etc. etc. etc.
Yeah that always puzzled me in church. Merciful, loving, forgiving etc? Old testament god seemed to be in a really bad mood. Lot of wrath there. Lightened up a bit in the New Testament.
Even my religion class in college, taught by Dr of Divinity, said Bible was a collection of stories of the literature, history and culture of the Hebrews. That sounds reasonable.
God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
His wrath has always been justified.
Is still coming as well.
But having said that, Jesus coming as a sacrifice for sin, there was no need for God to then punish people in the ways he did before as Jesus paid the ultimate price for it. Giving Himself (God) providing for Himself (God) to be reconciled with man.
Gods wrath in the Old Testament is not understood by some who see those acts as being evil. When in reality, it was not evil but rather just.
There is big differnce there.
Now some may argue that it was not just of God to turn someone into a pillar of salt. But then who is it that is the judge of God in that respect? The judge of what is just, being not perfect in justice as we are not?
God is ALL
He is perfectly just as he creeated justice. Who better than to know what is good, what is right, what is wrong and to what degree than God Himself who created all those things.
How can man then being that God created him as well assert to know more than God in those matters to judge His actions concerning them?
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