I know God exists because of the changes He's brought about in my life.. everyone has SOME kind of addiction, for me it was pornography. I would watch it day after day, even though I'm married, and blessed that she has a great sex drive. Anyway, I've tried I don't know how many times to quit, but I just couldn't do it; I would always end up coming back to it.
After rededicating my life to God I realized that pornography was something that needed to be thrown out of my life.. I began praying each day, "Lord, give me the strength I need to overcome this sin, allow me to push this sinful thing from my life and to focus only on my wife and you." For a month or so, I would go a couple of days without viewing it then come back to it, then seek forgiveness and the strength to overcome. The next church service I attended, I had decided to get baptized, and once I had done so, I felt there had been a major change that occurred; but I couldn't figure out what it was. Over the course of the next week, I realized that I no longer needed or really desired to look at pornography, I just had a desire for my wife and for God; THAT is how I know that God is real, not because I've had revelations from Him, even though I have a few times since this occurrence.
Btw, it's been a few months since overcoming this addiction and still haven't had to struggle with it.
Not as an offence but your argument is same as saying, " I know there is god because he found my car keys for me".
This is called transference of one addiction for another, it works but it is debateable if the addiction to religion os better or worse than your addiction to pornography. At least porn does not require you to become a fool.
@Jomine I see no problem with God showing me where my car keys are if I lose them, I'd rather them be pointed out to me directly than spend 30 mins looking for them
@Recommend1 I would like to point out that I'm not addicted to religion, religion in all actuality is pointless.. you can check out why I say this here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYl … ture=share I see no point in calling me foolish for believing that someone died for me long ago, that person being Jesus Christ, others do it for us on a daily basis, THESE people being the military and other heroes. I find that others, such as yourself, have a problem believing this because you choose not to believe that someone would freely do this for you.. am I wrong in my implication?
That is called confirmation bias, if you toss a coin it most probably will be 50 times head and 50 times tail. But if you pray before, you'll ignore the times you lost and say only the times you won and use it as proof of god.
Or other words, your premise and conclusion are the same, which is a fallacy.
Even while starving children suffer and die without an once of assistance from your God? How utterly absurd.
Without any REAL evidence whatsoever of this claim, it does appear to be quite foolish.
Soldiers are real. Comparing their sacrifice to an imaginary being is disrespectful.
You are totally misguided - I have been the military that you think would die for you and I can assure you that every soldier and sailor has their own reasons for being there and doing what they do, often totally misguided. It is no big deal that the christ figure died for something he believed in, millions have done the same thing - and this applies whether he was a real figure or myth.
@Jomine The symbolism you used with the coin is irrelevant to me, God is more than a coincidence or probability, that's kind of like flipping a pizza and it landing toppings down.. regardless of how it lands it's still a pizza and regardless of how YOU feel or how many people back you up, God is also real.
@Getitrite Children don't suffer because of God, Children are made to suffer for many reasons, for one, they're brought into the world by people with no regard for human life; because they can't take care of the lives they bring into the world. Two, it's EVERYONE'S fault that they suffer, for we are the ones who sinned at the beginning of time, not God. Third, God is only allowing the world to run it's course for a predetermined amount of time, once that time is up, you'll see millions of people across the world vanish and the rest of the population be consumed by chaos.
@Recommend1 I was also in the military, I know what it's like to serve and I know why I joined. Each person does have their own reasons, you're right, but they all join knowing full well that they may well lose their lives serving their country; which is an honor. The difference between Christ dying and someone else is that Christ was blameless and sinless in his existence; He was in all actuality God in the flesh. Jesus knew from the beginning that he would be sacrificed by those who did not believe, yet he did not run. Instead, he decided to be the human sacrifice that would allow our sins to be forgiven for all eternity and to provide us with the gift of eternal life. Just because you can't SEE these gifts doesn't mean they don't exist, just like Jesus; you may not see him or hear him, but believe me, he's alive and well.
Did you KILL a lot of people for JESUS?
BELIEVE ME! He does not exist! But - AWESOME that you can ignore the commandments and get away with it.
After all - it is 4 ur Kuntry.
Oh wait. U iz gonna burn.
Ahh, the ever pressing question of did you do it for Jesus? I'm not sure little Marky, did you learn to behave like a good boy all on your very own or were you taught by somebody else like your Mommy? Instead of throwing out irrelevant and rhetorical questions, why don't you do something a little more constructive with your time, like idk, putting together a card house or something.
Oh an btw, no, I didn't kill anyone.
Just to elaborate on your lack of knowledge dealing with the Bible, the laws, or commandments as you so put them; are no longer required, now they're more of guidelines. Here's why!
In the Old Testament, the laws were created as the way that people could get into Heaven, along with also sacrificing a pure animal as the payment for their sins. Here's the cool thing though, God sent his only Son, Jesus, down as the LAST sacrifice that would cover EVERYONE's sins, therefore making it so that we no longer HAVE to follow the commandments as the only way to get into heaven; which is now through Jesus.
Like I said, they're now just more of guidelines in which we do our best to live our lives.. see, you learn something knew every day marky mark.
Awww - u must be very upset that u dint kill no 1 fer jeebus. Maybe next time innit? Like wot jeebus sed.
SORRY - FORGOT TO SHOUT IT!
Neh, I could care less about killing people. I had originally been in for spec ops but dropped it after a while; call it a change of heart if you will. An I don't shout, I'm simply to lazy to bold the font, that's all.. I like you're awww's though, they're really cute Marky.
That would be why you joined the military I guess? LOLOLOLOLOL
Them int kill no wun izzit?
Lazy? - Agreed.
A familiar face.
Still working on that spelling method I see.
How old are we now Mark? About ready to see what's beyond last breath?
Can't wait to see what's really there I bet.
Nice to see you again.
Yep. Well, have fun.
Sorry to disappoint you - if my grandparents and parents are anything to go by - I still have another 40-50 years in me. I already know what is beyond last breath.
But - thanks for validating my opinion of christians. Awesome with the veiled threats - like wot Jesus said.
I wonder if your invisible super being burns hypocrites worse than non-believers? Bet you can't wait to find out - how odd you are still here spreading christian "love."
Satan must be very proud of you - I gather he likes a bit of ill will and hatred spread around in the guise of "loving."
Save me a place by the fire.
Well Mark, you already know I love you.
I wouldn't even bother with you if I didn't.
And energy is eternal and eternity exists but we disappear? Come now Mark, lets not be unreasonable.
That wasn't a threat, that was a thought provoker.
I see you spelled His name right this time, it's nice to see you care. I bet your really a super nice guy underneath all that biased hostility.
And I can't be on both teams at the same time now can I? Jesus did say so, kind of like "don't step in front of the moving vehicle" is kind advice.
Amazing grace... I once was blind, but I became humble and now see.
40-50 years? Kind of like the ones that are gone and never to return already?
We wouldn't want you to think that's a long time now.
And I'm just the messenger Mark. You wouldn't be the kind of guy to shoot a insignificant little messenger I know.
I guess we've found God's weakness then: Free will is apparently His Kryptonite, rendering Him a complete wuss.
If we have to do the work of your all powerful God, explain why we need Him? What a worthless god you serve.
Oh! Will God finally be able to usurp free will? I guess something magic is gonna happen at that time. Maybe He could then, finally untie His all powerful hands, and feed the starving children...oh, wait! they'll all be dead by then.
Does it even bother you that you spout this childish nonsense, without one iota of proof?! You read a book of ancient fairytales, and conclude that it is reality? This sounds absolutely psychotic.
You ARE a religious addict!
Wow! This thread has been fun to read, although I am kinda overwhelmed by the childishness and sarcasm. It seems to me that part of an intelligent dialog is to listen and respect other people's views even if you don't agree. At the same time, the nastiness and insults don't really answer the question that was asked. If Chasuk actually wants to have some input into his question, it seems to me that we have kinda lost our laser-like focus on the answer.
Personally, I have not met a person yet who doesn't have "confirmation bias." This makes sense since, by definition we are ALL biased towards what we already believe, whether there is a foundation to our conclusions or not. Of course Christians have confirmation bias, because their faith is after all, faith. It assumes a certain measure of confidence in what you can't see or prove. Confidence in the Bible as a revelation of God is ultimately a faith position. But this principle is true of every religion and philosophy known to man. Karl Marx believed that every capitalist country would automatically become communist as a result of unstoppable natural forces. Many people have lived out their faith in Marx, and I guess only history will reveal whether he was right.
The only disciplines that aren't open to a measure of opinion are Math and Physics, and after reading Brian Greene's, "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality." and the recent issue of Scientific American on "The Quantum Universe" (Feb. 2012) I can tell you that physicists are as biased as everyone else on their theories, all of which are proven by and based upon the most immutable and basic laws of the universe.
I think that we need to reformulate the question. To ask whether revelation or inference is arguable is a question for the realm of Rhetoric. And I think that this thread has proven that, yes, we can argue it. Even if we don't argue the issue at all. I think the question you are asking is - Christians claim revelation and inference to KNOW the existence of God. Are either of these claims PROVABLE? Now we have entered the realm of Epistemology - How do we know anything that we know. Jerami's illustration of turtles is compelling. If you imagine the sea being full of turtles, that is what you know - it is true, until some evidence proves otherwise. (To throw an interesting twist in here: remember John Lennon - "Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try." The point is that he pre-supposed that there was NOT a heaven and that is why it was easy for Him.) But isn't discovery the whole point of a threaded dialog? To try and wrestle your way to what really is true?
Lol sorry guys, guess I did allow things to get out of hand, with it being MY responsibility to halt the conversation; being the Christian example and all. But you also have to realize, even Paul debated with non-believers over beliefs and teachings, it's a modern world, remember that; the insults are nothing more than poking fun and stoking the fire a bit more haha.
Yes, but only with christians...
They seem to think that a long dead, semi retarded rabbi Is going to come back from the dead and save them. It's been drilled into their closed little minds since they were children, so of course they think it's real and that they know something. Their egos have been fueled by the ignorant masses, attendees of the same venues, encouraging children to heed irrational and mind closing doctrines.
One correction, and one observation.
Correction, You say, "They seem to think that a long dead, semi retarded rabbi is going to come back from the dead and save them." I am not sure what historical reference you are citing to make the claim that Jesus was "semi retarded." It would be interesting to read your sources on that one. But for the record, Christians don't think that Jesus is "going to come back from the dead," they believe that he has already come back from the dead. Not a big deal since you don't believe it, but you might as well get it right. It seems to me that if you want to be intellectually honest, you need to present what other people believe accurately.
An observation: I was raised by parents who were atheists who took me to church anyway. There was never a time where I felt that anything was "drilled" into my mind. In fact, I went to church for decades, taught Sunday school, and I was an atheist like my parents. That being said, as an atheist, at that time, I never would have concluded that my mind was closed, nor little, as a child or ever since. I was an atheist and I was teaching classes I didn't even believe. Even now, I read and study from extensive and varied disciplines, and find numerable views interesting and engaging, even the ones I disagree with. At the same time, after reading your post, you leave me convinced that your mind is thoroughly convinced about your position on Christianity. Do you consider yourself, "open minded?"
We're all semi-retarded. What I mean is, we're all damaged goods. It's good to want to be better and I can see where religion may help, but when enough people get together, the stream may become tainted.
So we are very impressionable, especially when a crowd says it's the thing to do.
I addressed this in a hub. I don't believe they are. How can you possibly determine if the person claiming divine revelation is telling the truth? It is a completely subjective experience.
Just as long as you realize that your belief that there has been no revelation is a faith statement as well. You can no more prove that God didn't reveal Himself than I can prove He did. This is not like arguing something in Math.
In addition, and this is true for all religions that believe in a form of revelation, it is primarily a question of interpretation. Because you pre-suppose that God has not revealed Himself, you will read any sacred text and reject anything that supports the claim that God said it. A believer reads the same and the story is a comfort because it supports his faith. This same dynamic takes place if we both read the same issue of Time magazine or if we listen to a political speech. Ultimately, how you interpret what you see is based on what you already believe.
No. There is no way to determine whether what the believer is saying is true or not. It's not a difficult argument to grasp.
I can read what Time magazine says, and you can read what Time magazine says. We both can OBJECTIVELY see the same words on the page written by the same author in the magazine. I have NO ACCESS to the believer's "interpretation" of God. It's solely his subjective claim.
It doesn't mean God does or does not exist. It simply means we cannot know anything about God based on such a subjective state of affairs.
When analysing anything we look at many things - if nothing can be proven we then can still look at the source of the information for integrity etc. In the case of revelations the self-witness is invariably openly bonkers or self obsessed or would follow anyone who pays them any attention.
So it is possible to apply reason to the situation, and in the clear light of reason the twaddle generally melts away.
It is not only arguable, but it is very easy arguable on both counts: revelation, and inference. Brandonakelly gave one of the best arguments; Jesus Christ changes lives in a revolutionary way. However, atheists will not buy into that argument; therefore, let's attack this from another angle.
Christian's claim God's existence by both revelation and inference. Revelation is God's creation itself. Inference is the result of scientific and mathematical analyses of that revelation( Creation), and concluding from it that God exists. I hasten to add that neither science nor math are needed to make this conclusion; an exiguous amount of common sense is all that is needed. Molecular biologist claim that order of nucleotides is important in DNA. The number of permutations for 6 billion structures is 10^(50,000,000,000). This number may be argued but it does not consider the permutations of the atomic structure of the nucleotides themselves, nor does it consider the three dimensional permutations; therefore, I consider the figure to be simple but conservative. It is estimated that the number of subatomic particles in the entire universe is 10^81. If we were to fill the entire universe with sand and even make the universe a billion times bigger, we still are only up to 10^100. So how can random processes fight against such odds as 1 in 10^(50,000,000,000)? How does the electromagnetic force( emf) know how to specifically make a DNA molecule, or proteins, along with billions of other molecules, cells, and complex organic structures throughout our biosphere? I can answer that question. The Bible( God's Word) says at Job 38:36 that God puts wisdom in the inward parts. The emf accesses this information and wisdom( knows what to do with the information), and uses it to make complex structures.
How do our antibodies recognize thousands of toxins and then know what to do with them? Job 38:36 that's how. How does the emf know how to make 3 perpendicular tubes in our inner ear, and then wire up sensors to our brain so we keep our balance. God is clearly the Designer of all that He created by Jesus Christ.
Entropy( the tendency of all things to go from order to disorder) rules. The wind is not going to clean up your yard; a tornado is not going to build a house; erosion and weather is not going to add pages to a book that is left outside. In nearly all of science, entropy rules, but not in biology. In biology random processes rule. Entropy is proof of God's existence because it is not possible that the complexity inherent in the universe could have occurred by random processes. How can anyone ignore this fact?
You can't argue that the percentages are low, and then say therefore God. It's highly unlikely any one individual will win the lottery, BUT SOMEONE DOES. Just because it's highly unlikely that no God guided the process, it does not follow that God did. That's a ridiculous argument. I could use it with the lottery. It's highly unlikely anyone will win the lottery, therefore no one will win it.
You could try using an inference to the best explanation with your percentages. However, that doesn't help with predictions, testability, verifiability, or falsifiability. If God is the creator, then..... What predictions? How can I verify or falsify God's direct existence? Outside the realm of human understanding? Not a scientific question? If it's not a scientific question, then there is no way to justify putting it in a science classroom, even if it's true. If it's outside the realm of human understanding, then that is self-refuting because it would be impossible to talk meaningfully about it at all.
When does a believer of any God first begin to believe?
And when they first came to believe in God, what was it that they believed?
I think that it is about the "what" than it is "IF"!
As a child, I stood at the shore line and believed that there was something beneath the surface of the water.
I knew I was right! And I was rught!
But I was wrong about exactly WHAT was under there.
The first thing I saw was a turtle. So I imagined the sea being full of turtles. I was still right ! And I was still wrong!
Nah, I actually joined the military to get away from my life back home.. it wasn't until getting in and out of boot camp then attending training that I had the change of heart; good guess though. Like I said, I could care less about killing people, it was more or less just the idea of being in a physically demanding job; I love fitness and spec ops is the cream of the crop, just no longer liked the idea of having to kill people.
All I hear is "lazy"
We agree then. Perhaps you should keep quiet about Jeebus?
Nah, still not lazy either, I'm a gym rat.. there every morning by 8 and stay for about an hour and a half; love it. I'll never stop talking about Jesus though, you'd have to kill me first, and that my friend IS why Jesus was killed. He wouldn't stop proclaiming himself the Messiah, performing miracles, and speaking of God; the Jewish leaders grew jealous of and hated him, so they had him killed. The cool thing is, he rose again and continued preaching anyway! Pretty much slapped them and their execution in the face huh? haha
All I hear is "lazy".
U reel brave tho - like wot jeebus sed ter do innit. Fight n kill fer it innit.
How brave of you. LOLOLOLOOLO
You're a funny guy Marky, lub ur phuny speach n ur cents uh hewmer! Heysoos lubs u two gi!
Awwww. Sorry you did not understand. Maybe your preecher or Sargent could splain it fer ya. Since u int kill no won.
U prolly homeskooled innit? Like wot jeebus sed ter do.
I'll leave killing in the name of Christ to the old catholic way, which I never really understood; I'm much more into saving lives than taking them.. thanks for playing though, you've been a great contestant!
Awww - once again you did not understand.
oh well - Killing for Uncle Sam - as you did int wot god sed innit?
I wonder if God looks down on you and smiles when he sees His reflection on your head
Mark you are being even more banal than usual, have you changed your medication?
I'd say both of those claims are arguable. And I count myself as a Christian, a member of Lyndale United Church Of Christ(and many of the members of my church would also say those claims are aguable). But then it seems that a huge number of people only consider someone to be a Christian if they subscribe to a very narrow set of beliefs that pretty much define the fundamentalist religious right. A lot of people have claimed I can't really be a Christian, but I don't let other people define who and what I am.
At any rate, I would say that whatever you believe, you cast doubt on those beliefs when you act like anyone who doesn't agree with you is wrong and/or evil. I have my beliefs, but nobody, including me, has all the answers. That's why I have people of all religious stripes, from conservative to liberal... AND atheists... among my friends, and listen carefully to what all of them have to say. People who call themselves Christians but close themselves off to other voices, well... I guess that's their right. But I certainly don't agree with it.
They do know, for themselves and themselves only. For others, it's madness.
To say that we know God is like saying that we have intimate knowledge of the salesperson who helps us when we need it at Home Depot.
It takes a lifetime to really get to know ourselves, some people don't even try to, and thats OK.
I know that God does exist because I have been experiencing "some" of that which he is all of my life.
What is it? (GOD) I do not know. It seems that he is different things to different people. The same way I am perceived differently by my Son, Mother, Brother, Sister, a customer or my next door neighbor. Ask them and each one will have a different view based upon different situations.
Some will appear to be completely contradictory.
And yet I do exist unless I and everyone else that I know are just figments of my own imagionation.
Come to think about it? I can't prove that my imagionation really exists.
All things one experiences, are recieved as electro-chemical signals by the brain and interpreted as stimuli. So then, in essence, everything is an illusion supplied by the brain. So yes, everything you see, touch, hear, smell and taste is an illusion created by the brain.
I agree. that thin line between fantacy and reality keeps moving from left to right.
The brain even sees light patterns, invisible when looking straight on. Hence shadow figures and light flashes, seen out of the corner of the eye. The illusion, really, is in the terminology we use for said stimuli. We tend to use labels and symbols to define, that which has no true definition... The words we use, are truly the illusion.
So, Jerami - what you are suggesting is that everything is relative and there is no way to actually know anything about anything. So if I suddenly had the impression that my next door neighbor was a frog, that would be an accurate conclusion that I could base my behavior to him on? Next I imagine that I can leap tall buildings at a single bound and they find me as a street pizza. If "reality" or "Truth" are merely the ways our brains perceive things, we have no way of interacting with anything at any time - there would be no certainty, in fact, we couldn't even claim what is probable.
There is that illustration about the blind men touching an elephant. One grabs the trunk and claims that the elephant is like a snake. One touches his leg and concludes he is a tree. One touches his side and says he is like a wall. This is similar to your illustration of how you are perceived by your son, mother, brother. But notice that both of these illustrations leave us with the outside viewer's perspective. We "see" the elephant, so we have the ability to understand why the blind men come to different conclusions about the nature of the elephant. ALL of their claims are true, but we are wise enough to realize that they don't see the whole picture. That is alright, NONE of us see "the whole picture" about anything. At the same time, we can observe you and your son and mother and brother, and if one of them suddenly claimed that you were a can of clam chowder based on feeling a can that you were holding at the time, we would offer a correction. Not because his specific observation is wrong - but because we are certain about some things about you. And that certainty is NOT based on a spectrum of fantasy and reality, it is not based on shadow figures or flashes of light. Jerami is a human, not a can of clam chowder - no matter what anyone else claims.
The question of whether there is any way to "know" anything has been debated for thousands of years, and will probably go on for thousands more.
Oh, and for the record, when a person goes into Home Depot, there is no need to claim "intimate knowledge" of the sales person. We claim "sufficient knowledge." That is, we believe that the sales person is someone who can help us pick out the proper tool, and that is enough that we can trust the advice we get.
I do not understand HOW or Why you precieved my words the way that you did.
Maybe you haved proved something? What I do not know!
But from my prospective, you have missed my point entirely.
But that is OK.
I, at the same time, don't see how you could have missed my point. Let me clarify and see if I do understand your point.
Your whole post seems to indicate that God is not knowable, but he is merely, as you say, "figments of my own imagination." You claim that knowing God is like claiming to know a clerk at Home Depot. You even specify how unknowable God is: You ask the question "What is it? (GOD) I do not know. It seems that he is different things to different people. The same way I am perceived differently by my Son, Mother, Brother, Sister, a customer or my next door neighbor."
You claim that each of these people will have a "different view based upon different situations."
My point, which was really my only point, is that all of these different "views based on different situations" does not in any way change the underlying reality. Who you really are is not dependent upon how your son, mother, or brother perceive you. In the same way, the fact that people have different views of God does not exclude the possibility that there might be a real "true" view of God independent from all of the views that people hold.
I have re-read your post carefully eight separate times and I am not sure how I missed your point.
You cant prove that a god exists but you can prove that your imagination exists. I move that what you think you know about any god is a figment of your imagination.
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