What makes someone who wants to believe in a God incapable?
No matter how much I want to be part of the majority my brain just doesn't allow for the belief in a God. What is different about the brains of non believers (or maybe it's just me) that makes me/us incapable of belief even when their is a real desire?
The problem may be with the word "God". The word seems to make people focus on all kinds of imaginary teachings and mythology from ancient cultures. The word is only a symbol. It can never be the infinite creative power itself. If you see God as an infinite energy that is everywhere, but invisible, that is all powerful, even inside of you, then there is an elevation in consciousness. That is the ultimate teaching that most people are not ready for. It is hidden in a lot of teachings because most religions fear the power that the individual will access. The object of some religions and governments is to make the individual powerless and dependent on them. They control the society through false information, the power of negative suggestions, ridicule and the media/propaganda. If you look at them and their rules, you will ignore the infinite power within you. And they will attempt to manipulate your freedom, your life, your income, create more problems and even the ideas about the afterlife. If you see the " Power" within you, they become a farce. How can they block an infinite power? They can't. You have infinite power. You are the reality. You have the greatest power in the universe within you. They cannot control anybody. Which is their greatest fear. It has been said, the truth will set you free.
This falls in line with what I believe. I call myself an atheist because I do not believe in a diety that is separate, but I do believe in an energy that permeates all beings and connects us.
THERE you go. I believe in the UNIVERSAL FORCE a/k/a God. Beautiful, succinct statement indeed.
Beautiful CristinS. God is not separate. It's our decision (ego) that made us separate. And this is beyond energy. Energy is physical. Spiritual oneness is non-physical and source of things like energy, space, time and mass
Since there is no hard evidence that "God" actually exists, it takes a leap of "faith" to believe in God. If one has a highly logical thought process and brain structure that thinks extremely logical, with no room for unprovable things to be taken seriously, then it would extremely difficult for that person to suspend their logic and believe in something that requires a different thought process.
Are you skeptical about a lot things that are hard or impossible to prove, such as ghosts or conspiracy theories?
There is no hard evidence for evolution either.
There is hard evidence for evolution. Ask any archeologist.
hard evidence is kind of a relative term. there actually is evidence for both evolution and God it depends on what you accept as reliable or satisfying. to each claim. this is why the issue is always debated even among archeologists.
I'm referring to scientific evidence. It's true that anyone can interpret evidence however they want, but our society runs on evidence that can be discovered, studied and tested. Evolution fits that method, god does not.
funny you say evolution fits that when many secular scientists deny it to be true for varying reasons. also you specified archeologists. which also backs up biblical accuracy about its events. more of a forensic type science really.
I referred to archeologists because that's how we've discovered the bones that display the evolutionary process. And, while the same digs can reveal that the bible used real events and places, it can't provide evidence for the existence of god.
Perhaps it's just a lack in faith in God. You may have placed your faith elsewhere which has served you well. I don't think you can "make yourself" have faith. You either will develop it or not. I do believe in God, but people can get through happy, healthy lives full of giving and love without God as the center piece.
Don't try. Just enjoy life and do the things a good person does. If you are meant to feel faith you will, otherwise, you will know you've put forth your best effort toward your fellow man.
There could be many factors that are influencing you.To truly figure it out one must make an honest self examination. No doubt you are trying to do that and so hopefully my answer will provide some help with this. The hypocrisy of religion has affected people greatly, some feel that God does not exist because they only see religion as a tool that man has used to control people and to make money and also use it to do bad things. Then there is the fact that the world is full of injustice and corruption and so they wonder if God really exists why does he allow these things to happen? Or they may just truly wonder if there is a Creator because they cannot help but wonder how they themselves got here. Some have tried praying but they feel like their prayers were not answered and so they conclude that God does not exist. These reasons among many others can influence a person's believe in God. If you could know the answers to those questions, would you feel more confident to believe in God? That something to think about. There is overwhelming evidence that a creator does exist and I encourage you in your search that you try praying to him and ask him for guidance in reading his word. I'll leave you with this point, Hebrews 3:4 - "Every house is constructed by someone but the one who constructed all things is God." Think about it.
other than just having a different mind set as an individual, i dont know if an atheists brain is really any different. If you dont believe in God, even though you want to, its most likely because you just arent convinced that its true. are you someone who normally seeks for evidence to find the truth? if so , what kind of evidence would convince you of God's existence. other than just wanting to believe, have you done anything to search for evidence or convincing proofs? I was an atheists for a long period of time for many reasons, such as human suffering and the problem of miracles, and what i thought at the time was a lack of evidence. What do you see as the biggest reason or problem with the existence of God? If you truly want to believe, I would do research on the questions you have, and if you dont find convincing answers, at least you can be comfortable with your decision that there is no God. Do you listen to podcasts? if so , heres some shows i listen to that may help you in your decision. if not , you can still listen to these shows online.
stand to reason with Greg Koukle ( christian show)
the atheists experience (atheists show out of austin)
unbelievable (christian and atheists debate show from across the pond) this one you can find on itunes or premier.org.uk
you can also visit the website www.answerforatheists.com
hope this helps
I don't think belief in God has anything to do with the structure of your brain. Belief in God is mostly about having faith but you can do research too. Look into science and evolution and look at the arguments for and against. It is easy not to believe, especially these days. A person will get applauded for simply saying that they don't believe. And people are constantly discounting our experiences, "that didn't really happen", "prove it". I've had experiences that made me believe in God 100% but people discount those experiences. It's a battle to believe.
I think there could be many different reasons, depending on the person's background and intellect. One reason could be events from childhood. They might have been around adults who were hypocrites. I grew up around several people who professed to be Christians but were not. Or they might just have been born with a questioning attitude. Perhaps they learned in History class about evil committed in the name of God. All I know is that faith cannot be forced; it is either in you, or not in you.
Speaking for myself, I would love to just relax and say, Oh everything happens for a reason, or, when a door closes, God opens a window, or He doesn't give us more than we can bear, or all those other things people of faith believe. It seems to me that living without a belief in God is way more difficult, more stressful. But what is a person to do if the faith and belief are simply not there?
Silva, Yes! It takes a great deal of self-discipline to kindly smile when someone tells you "Everything happens for a reason!" I wish they would say, " I understand your pain, and I know you'll be able to CREATE a reason and purpose out of this"
I think it is not that they don't want to believe in God as much as it is "They want to understand their relationship to their higher self.... not follow some crazy dogma"
Mystics, Secret Societies and Quantum Physics all see the concept of God in the same way.... which is more truthful than dogmatic theosophy.
Dogmatic religious jargon hides the truth, yet religions have led mankind to the understanding of moral values. It is time we (mankind) abandoned the building blocks of kindergarten and moved on..... religious jargon must give way to a more scientific approach. Back To Zero. Build a new man from the inside out.
As it is written "Ye ARE Gods."
I am that I am.... is missing a comma. I Am That, - I am!
Beautiful answer, Neil. WE ALL are Gods, however, WE refuse to realize this. Stop depending upon outside religious structures and cultivate our own unique spirituality! That is THE MARK of true spiritual maturity!
Thanks gmwilliams :-)
There is so much literature out there to support this... and my personal experience continues to unfold/reveal this truth to me as well.
I like, "It is time we abandoned the building blocks of kindergarten". It's as if we never got beyond the literal alphabet and can't see that the "t" in little is pronounced as its cognate "d" in running speech.
Billie - thanks - I like your observation
I feel Sri T has already gone a long way to answering your question but I would like to expand on it some.
From as early as possible people are nurtured into an education based on human logic and so called empirical evidence. This amounts to a form of brain washing because the school education system does not cater for open debate and questioning of the subject matter. Teachers would not be able to deal with a real didactic education system based on two way dialogue because there would be need for about ten times more teachers than there are now. Without real open dialogue within the education system then it simply amounts to a form of instructional brainwashing.
What this amounts to is the vast majority of people educated in this way to these constraints cannot believe in a more spiritual life because there is no or very little empirical evidence to support it. We are conditioned into a human logic based on so called mathematical logic and science which leaves no room for the existence of God because it is not mathematically or scientifically possible to prove there is any such existence.
The reality seems to me that science changes constantly and is no more absolute than God but it has been used to wrestle people away from a belief in something greater than human beings themselves. This then gives human beings a so called legitimate power over others based on so called logic.
The thing is by just asking this question, it means you are in doubt, which also means you, like many others will eventually find your own way, which in tern amounts to a real education not brainwashing for some others privilege.
All answers are in dialogue.
As a scientist and mathematician, I agree it's not possible to prove God, but I've seen too many miracles not to believe. Those who don't find empirical evidence don't want to find it.
Scientist's and mathematician's haven't found the answer either but they would like us to think they know it all. The new propaganda is, we can artificially recreate it all and you wouldn't know the difference, unless you actually care as you seem to
I believe we all have free will, and I never pass judgment on anyone for their beliefs.
I became a Christian at 7 years old after being taken from my mother. All I had left was hope and faith. If it's simply a fantasy, then at least I had something to hold on to when the hurt became too unbearable for me. I feel I have nothing to lose by believing. But, the good news is we are all free to make our own decision!
In the Bible, there are many passages that reflect how to achieve your desire.
Having hear you say openly, on HP that you have a real desire to believe, I will share with you some passages, only because you asked. (I would never force my beliefs on anyone.)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
As many know, my son has Autism. Through my Faith, and watching me read the Bible, my son came to know Jesus at age 4. I never forced my beliefs on my son. He chose to believe. He wrote it on a paper. He drew a cross with a happy face on it and said Jesus died for our sins and rose again.
It takes believing even when you can't see. I wish you the best my friend.
Peeples, I think it is how the concept of God has been present to you that is causing the problem.
I wrestled with that dilemma at one time. I have said many times on HP that one of my parents was an atheist and the other was a Christian who raised me in her church. I believed strongly in the church and was baptized at age 10. I heard my dad’s viewpoint many times, and when I was small, I tried to convince him that he was wrong. I started to question the church when I was in high school, not because of the world situation, but because much of the Bible didn’t make sense to me anymore.
In my 20s I decided that I didn’t believe in God and for awhile I wondered if I was an atheist. In my 30s I found my spiritual truths, and what I realized was that I just didn’t believe in the teachings of organized religion. I had been presented a picture of an old man in the sky who loved me, but he had a bad temper and could punish us greatly when we didn’t do his bidding. I couldn’t accept that.
I think you should follow some of the advice already given here by the cooler heads, especially Sri T. Ask yourself if you believe that after death we go to nonexistent blackness, or do you believe in a consciousness that lives on after the physical body dies but has no relation to the religion that you have been taught. If it is the latter, you are not an atheist and you don’t have to feel guilty for not believing in the Bible, the Koran, or any of the other religious books.
Love yourself for yourself and don't let anybody make you feel guilty regardless of what you decide to believe. You have proved to us that you are a strong woman to have survived your childhood, and I salute you.
Well now that you brought up the brain aspect, I'm thinking! (pardon the pun). Are you left-handed? (tee hee) I worked in an office with four main staff members, 3 of whom are left-handed (myself included) and all of us were either agnostic or atheist or otherwise non-believers. Three out of four? So, hmmm. "Veddy" interesting.
It takes a very brave person to go against the tide and to say "Hmmm, nothing here makes sense to me. It seems to make sense to everyone else, but it makes no sense to me."
We're all on a journey and we have to examine what is revealed to us through our intellect and our soul otherwise, we become inauthentic human beings.
I personally am not interested in trying to solve puzzles where the pieces are missing. And with all due respect to believers, I find the belief that one CAN piece together the whole picture from the tiny fraction of the immense universe that has been revealed to us, to be quite arrogant.
I find comfort in good old Thomas Jefferson's quote:
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
If that was good enough for Tom Jefferson, it's good enough for me.
peeples - there is a real conflict in your question. "No matter how much I want" and "their is a real desire" conflict greatly with "my brain just doesn't allow."
If your brain doesn't allow, you cannot really have a desire or want.
Try the Humanist movement - atheist is such a nasty word - I think almost everyone alive is really a Humanist, if they think about it
I love the humanist mind set! I see what peeples is saying. At's really hard to be at the periphery of the mainstream, especially recently, it seems. Very lonely. That's why the Unitarian Universalist Church is "calling" to me
I guess the desire is to make sure I have tried my hardest to look at the possibilities and see if I can make it work for me. Being married to a Christian, makes me want to at least do my best to see if I can relate.
Peeples, that may be the crux of the problem. Are you being pressured by a Christian husband? Follow your subconscious, not his."Faith" can be a four-letter word sometimes despite the extra letter.
Ms B, Me thinks that the Christian husband may be the crux in 1 way or another.While some religionists respect the rights of those of differing belief perspectives,others insist the "other" is in error,wanting to "save" the later.
Actually it is me. I know he has belief and if by some crazy chance I am wrong and heaven is real, I'd be kicking myself if I never even tried to spend eternity with him. I doubt I'll ever be able to believe but I owe it to us to make sure.
RBJ, there can be conflict in the mind -- desire vs. fear
Peeples, you're on the right track. You've started with love
For me, it's just a matter of how long one can lie to themselves. For example, a smoker can argue with non-smokers that cigarettes are fine and there is no real evidence that they cause cancer. But, deep inside, that smoker is probably worried about getting cancer. For whatever reason, your upbringing and personal experiences have led you not to believe in god. Trying to convince yourself, and others, that you do believe is just a lie.
It's possible that some experience in your life later will change that view, but as of right now there is nothing you can do to force it into place. Some people might be better at lying to themselves, but it appears you aren't one of them. Contrary to popular belief, atheists have a strong moral compass and that compass makes it incredibly difficult to deny ones true feelings.
its interesting thats the same argument that many christians use against atheists. saying they really do know God exists but that they are just lying to themselves so they can keep on sinning. this doest seem to prove or disprove anything.
Christianankist, Trust me, atheists are no more interested in sinning than Christians and in many cases hold themselves to even higher moral standards. It's not me I'm talking about; it's the numerous "non believers" that I've known.
i realize that. the most fundamental rule of christianity is to admit we're a sinner. I was only pointing out to M.T. that he is using a similar line of thought many atheists accuse christians of that leads nowhere. i try not to use this reasoning.
It is the same argument. My point was that we can't lie to ourselves. If we believe in god, we can't pretend we don't and if we don't, we can't pretend we do. The most important thing is to be true to oneself.
peeples - belief in Jesus Christ is not a simple common brain activity but a heartfelt love of righteousness based on acceptance that the Spirit leads by a higher form that presents itself daily unto us. The Bible informs us that we reach the love of righteousness not through questioning, but by actions that follow the path laid out by our Lord in the 10 Commandments. Our Christian actions then reinforce his love of righteousness through every day until the end.
Christians are inspired through pride of life and the righteousness that is produced under good work produced by faith.
Ecclesiastes 9 13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. 17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
It is wonderful that you want to love God but it is God that first showed His love for you and all of us by giving His Son to die on the cross for forgiveness of our sin. God draws us to Himself for that salvation. Are you responding for salvation?
I am not an intellect, a psychologist or a theologian. But I am a recovering alcoholic. No, this isn't an AA lead. But we talk, in depth about taking personal inventories and trying to find the sources of things we have done, not done and things we have felt. To my amazement, the word "fear" kept coming up. Maybe you are capable, but you just won't. Maybe you're afraid of a relationship with something that cannot be proven. Maybe you fear faith itself. I've always wanted to skydive. I'm capable, but I won't. Why? I don't trust the parachute. So you add fear and trust, or lack of trust, and you have you, right where you are at. The one guy is right. Leaps of faith are not easy. But denying yourself that chance may be cheating yourself out of something that you've wanted all along. Remember, those of us that believe don't make God do things. We let him. It's up to us. Besides, what do you have to lose? You can always go back to not believing any time you choose.
I think you hit the nail on the head, faith requires risk, it can be uncomfortable but "no pain, no gain"! I like your other comment, "what do you have to lose", this always made sense to me.
Wba- Thanks. Sometimes fears disguise themselves too. I thought I feared that leap of faith. But with time, I realized I was afraid that I wasn't worthy of God's blessing, therefore, hiding. We are all worthy. Even the skeptics. We must love ourself.
Many people believe in religion and/or in God because it is the majority social construct. Many people who profess in believing in religion and/or God do because of familial and/or societal expectations. Subconsciously, they do not believe in religion nor God but do it for appearance's sake. If one question such people, they will divulge that the concept of religion and/or God is totally atavistic in this postmodern society; however, in order to please and be in good standing with family members and be socially accepted, they go along with the prevailing societal religious construct.
Many people also see belief in religion and/or in God as an afterlife insurance. They believe in religion and/or in God not because they want to but because of fear. They contend that they must believe in a religion and/or in God because if they do not, they will be damned to eternal punishment. So they "believe" in a religion and/or in God as afterlife insurance protection.
Those who elect not to believe in relgion and/or in God are brave souls. They are thinking people who refuse to go along with the prevailing construct. They have minds of their own and see the lemming like beliefs of others. There are some people who do not see the need to believe in religion and/or in God. That is perfectly fine and acceptable. There is no such thing as ONE belief construct.
There are many beliefs out there which should be respected, nurtured, and encouraged. NO ONE belief fits all people. If one choose not to believe in a religion and/or in God, that is his/her right. Decency, humaneness, and spiritual evolution is exclusive to a belief in religion and/or in God.
Many atheists and agnostics are inwardly focused spiritual people. They do what is right because THEY KNOW what is right. Many religionists do what is right because they WERE TOLD such by their respective religious indoctrination. In other words, they were outwardly programmed to such. Such people are living by OTHER'S rules, NOT their inward rules.
This is a lovely interpretation/explanation. Sometimes, for agnostics and atheists, the belief of "God" as preached from the pulpits and from the Bible seems as if would be insulting to a Creator of the Universe.
Thank you so much Billie. It is greatly appreciated in kind.
Yes, beautiful, GW. Those who follow because it is popular are really only following ego (the heart of selfishness). That's not good. It never is.
But there is an ultimate truth. We have to remain humble and to search for it
In short a thinking person believes what they CAN believe not what they would like to believe.
It has to make sense that is logical to you. If your mind can accept the concept of an all powerful and controlling super-being that can not be detected by any scientific means then you may believe in a monotheistic god.
If your mind can accept the concept of a universal order and whole as having some sort of logical consciousness then you might believe in a universal god but not a theistic god.
If your mind can't accept either and can only accept that which can be proven and measured then you are more likely to be atheistic or agnostic.
There really is no right or wrong. This is probably the most important thing to understand! All that matters is what is right for you. You shouldn't base your beliefs on something as simple as majority rules. The majority has been wrong almost as many times as right, maybe more.
Non-believers generally don't choose to be non-believers; they are incapable of "believing" something that their minds can't accept as true. To them the concept of a theistic god is illogical and a universal god too improbable to be accepted as a truth.
Most non-believers are open to considering any tangible reliable proof of the concept of gods but simply don't see any.
Most non-believers also differ in that they don't require instant answers to age old questions. While believers tend to think that it is ok to make up answers to these questions and accept these answers until they are disproven or replaced with more provable ones.
As far as the concept that if a majority of people believe something it must be valid to some extent? I would point out that no matter what one's belief, or non-belief, is you are in a minority. There are more people who believe something else, be it a different god, concept of god, or non existence of gods.
At presence the fastest growing belief is non-belief, or at least non-belief in theistic gods.
I believe that if your truely looking for God that you will find him. This is my personal experience and the experience of countless others. I believe there's a reason we all want God, its because he's waiting to reveal himself to us . Some things supersede knowledge and reason like Love and God, they're bigger than our minds and powers of reason.
It doesn't mean we have to throw our brains out the window to believe because the evidence for God is everywhere. God's handiwork can be seen in His creation, its vastness, genius and beauty. Having said this though, I believe there must be a step of faith to encounter God.
Maybe this is my problem. I truly searched out a god as a child and never found anything. I was young so I doubt my intentions were wrong. I think this is where it all started. Faith seems to be only something I can gain for those close to me.
Its my experience that the only way to find out about God is to take the risk and step out to put your trust in Him.
Powerful question, peeples.
From my experience, I think fear is the biggest barrier.
Logic and the rules of science are crutches in an uncertain world. Also, there is the "what will other people think" part of ego that can cause some people trepidation when contemplating that "leap of faith."
But I think the greatest fear I had was the "what if I swallow the wrong poison" fear. I looked at the Holy Rollers, evangelists and the like and it felt as if some of them were blind and arrogant -- adrift without a paddle. I didn't want to be the blind following the blind.
I had to find my own way.
I grew up in a mixed household. My Mom was the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, but my Dad loved reading more than the Bible. He'd frequently read things like the Bhagavad Gita, There is a River, Autobiography of a Yogi and other wonderful works. He read Dianetics and cured my mother's earache. When she went into their bedroom, she looked like death warmed over; when she came out, she looked more angelic than I had ever seen her. Two years later, we moved to Washington, DC so my father could study Scientology. I was 12.
Six years later, I studied Scientology, too. Then I experienced, over the next decade, dozens of miracles. When Scientology started to change, I left. Later, I studied Buddhism, then Judaism, Kabbalah and back to Christianity.
Along the way, I studied science, engineering and art. I became a Hollywood artist with screen credit. I co-authored a science fiction novel, published by Tor Books, New York. Later, I switched to computer science, earning a bachelors degree, summa cum laude. With my skills in mathematics, plus my lifelong interest in astronomy, I created 3D space software, "Stars in the NeighborHood."
All the while, my strongest interest was in the spiritual. Now, I'm comfortable with my knowledge. I've moved beyond "belief." But I also maintain a strong humility, because I know I don't know everything.
With all the miracles I've seen (confounding science), including being outside of my own body (without the trauma, drugs or surgery that many require for an out-of-body experience), I know with perfect certainty that I am a spiritual being who happens to have a temporary human body.
During every miracle I've experienced, there have been common elements that have helped me see the path I need to take -- love, humility, responsibility and fearless confidence.
It is wonderful that you want to love God but remember that it is God that first showed His love for you and all of us by giving His Son to die on the cross for forgiveness of our sin. God draws us to Himself for that salvation. It is important that we understand who God is and what He has done for us because He offers us an opportunity to enter into a love relationship with Him and the Word of God describes that relationship. Once you understand who God is and why His Son died for you, you can respond to His invitation of salvation through a born again experience. It is not a head decision but a heart decision based on your understanding that we are all sinners, living contrary to the word of God and we come to Him so that we can live a life pleasing to Him. Read John Chapter 3 for more understanding, visit a Christian church for the preached word of God and respond when are ready to make a commitment to give your life to the Lord. That is the best decision anyone can make but get more understanding first and do it in love. God will lead you from that point forward.
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