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Thread: Why do people believe in God?

  1. #1
    This sentence is a lie aaqucnaona's Avatar
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    Why do people believe in God?

    To all the theists - why do you believe in god? Why do you think people believe in god?
    To all first generation atheists - why do you not believe in God? Why do you think people believe in god?

  2. #2
    Well, I am neither a theist nor a first-generation atheist, but I'll reply anyway:

    I think that people who actually believe in God*, do so because they have divine inspiration to do so.


    *Just because a person claims to believe in God, doesn't necessarily mean they do. People say all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons.

  3. #3
    Be kind to yourself always. cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    A friend of mine says he has "faith" that his God exists and that's good enough for him.

  4. #4
    Valued Senior Member Motor Daddy's Avatar
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    Depends on how you define God.

    I'm an atheist and I go to a Christian church. I do not believe that some god in the heavens (whatever, and where ever that is) created the universe. I do not believe God exists outside of the human mind.

    I define God as a spirit that resides in people that believe. The spirit is always with them. The spirit has real healing power. The spirit has a positive psychological impact on their existence. I also believe that in believing in that God, a person can find true peace in themselves, and in turn make a difference in the real world. In other words, if I believe in god I in turn can make your life better. So with that concept in mind, god is powerful to all.

  5. #5
    Valued Senior Member gmilam's Avatar
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    God means many things to many people. Many ideas and concepts get muddled together into the one non-specific word.

    Love, creation, sin, compassion, judgement, nature, good, evil, reward, punishment... For example, what does something like the Golden Rule have to do with the creation of the universe?

    This is why all the discussions end in futility. No one can agree on what the word means.

  6. #6
    I don't believe in a god because I'm not wired that way. I never believed as a child, and I don't believe now. Today I can rationalize my unbelief, but as a kid I just never felt compelled to believe.

    I used to identify myself as an agnostic because I thought it was the only intellectual position to take, and that all agnostics are atheists "in practice." Then I realized that the opposite was true: I'm an atheist because there is no evidence for a god, and all the evidence in the world that the major world faiths are entirely man-made. My agnosticism is implied in my position as an atheist, so to call myself an agnostic would be redundant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaqucnaona View Post
    To all the theists - why do you believe in god? Why do you think people believe in god?
    To all first generation atheists - why do you not believe in God? Why do you think people believe in god?
    I'm not a theist and I don't know what the phrase "first generation atheist" means. Atheist convert? Former-theist?

    Whatever, I don't think that our personal histories, however interesting they may be, will be very much help in understanding why people in general display some kind of religiosity. That's a rather different question.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmilam View Post
    God means many things to many people. Many ideas and concepts get muddled together into the one non-specific word.
    Yes, I strongly agree with that.

    This is why all the discussions end in futility. No one can agree on what the word means.
    We could perhaps ask both theists and atheists what 'God' means to them. Try to determine what it is that they think that they are affirming or denying.

    The problem is that many theists will seemingly use the word 'God' to suggest different things, depending on context.

  9. #9
    Valued Senior Member Arioch's Avatar
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    @Yazata --

    I'm not a theist and I don't know what the phrase "first generation atheist" means.
    I think it means "people who weren't raised atheist", whatever one might want that to mean.

  10. #10
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    people usually go along with what there parents believe in. and there parents parents. so whos parents are right? my grandmother was a athiest and told me the only heven or hell is what you make for yourself on this earth.

  11. #11
    This sentence is a lie aaqucnaona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazata View Post
    I'm not a theist and I don't know what the phrase "first generation atheist" means. Atheist convert? Former-theist?

    Whatever, I don't think that our personal histories, however interesting they may be, will be very much help in understanding why people in general display some kind of religiosity. That's a rather different question.
    THen the "why do people believe in God" still applies.

    Anyway - I picked up the generations of atheism from Fraggle - he is a third generation atheist - grandparents and parents were atheists.

  12. #12
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    People believe in god because it gives them comfort that someone cares about your daily life and knows you better than you do, that a perfect judge will account everyone and that there is a purpose in living.
    The reality is God's existence and getting to heaven to have eternal bliss both don't have any understandable ultimate purpose.

    I don't believe in god because I don't have evidence to, it's the default position since the burden in proof is on the one who makes the claim that extends your knowledge. Knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God(s) are both a positive claim, no one has proof for either.

  13. #13
    Motor Daddy: The question remains, though. What makes you feel compelled to believe in such a spirit, or how would you react to people skeptical about a spirit inside you?

    Reasons off the top of my head explaining believers: The universe might seem overly natural and complex to have occured naturally, your faith gives you some purpose, you're afraid of death and/or it's comforting, you feel there should be some form of karma (good go to heaven, ect.), and more.

    By the way, I'm not a believer.

  14. #14
    Valued Senior Member Arioch's Avatar
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    To paraphrase Laplace:

    "I have no need for that assumption."

  15. #15
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    Everyone/everybody needs to believe in something.

  16. #16
    Valued Senior Member Arioch's Avatar
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    Oh I believe in many things, however I believe in nothing for which there is no evidence. I merely said that I have no need of that assumption, which is completely true.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Arioch View Post
    Oh I believe in many things, however I believe in nothing for which there is no evidence.
    For which there is no evidence,

    or for which you have no evidence?

  18. #18
    Evidence is not subjective, or it's not evidence.

  19. #19
    Valued Senior Member Arioch's Avatar
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    @wynn --

    There is no evidence for any god or god-like being. Period. You can talk about your experiences all you want, but until you can show that those experiences were, in fact, caused by whatever you call a god you do not possess evidence that god exists.

  20. #20
    hey people get all pissed off about religions and saying what is write and wrong with them. but look at science its not perfect for a long shot. one could say the study of science is a religion.
    science is wrong a lot of the time.
    people thought the earth is flat
    we revolved around the sun
    the atom is the smallest thing
    were always changing what we determine what is right and wrong religion as just made up its mind already what they determine what it is to be right

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