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As I read each of the posts here I feel a little sad. Not sad in some religious nut sense to where I am worried about your collective immortal souls- just sad because I don't know how to explain the way I feel about God.

I don't worry about the universe and how it was made. I never even consider it because it doesn't affect me. What I do think about is the life before me and how to make it better.

I think we could all agree that positive thinking is a plus in anyone's life. Well, that's what I believe. The Bible was written too long ago to be taken literally at every turn. Rather than look at it like a book of laws, I look to it for guidance when my own moral code fails me.

As to God, sneer if you like but I cannot deny that I have faith. I can't claim to understand God, prove that He exists or explain how I feel, but I am okay with that. I am also fine with people thinking less of me because I believe- I'm used to it.
I don't have anything against a belief in God. I think if He does exist, he's infinitely more complex and beautiful than the worship of inanimate objects can convey. I don't think a divine intelligence would demand our tears or futile rituals. Books have tempted me towards belief, such as one of my favourite novels, The Violent Bear It Away, which contains this marvellous passage: ‎"'The Lord is preparing a prophet. The Lord is preparing a prophet with fire in his hand and eye and the prophet is moving toward the city with his warning. The prophet is coming with the Lord's message. 'Go warn the children of God,' saith the Lord, 'of the terrible speed of Justice.' Who will be left? Who will be left when the Lord's mercy strikes?'"
"who will be left when the lords mercy strikes",isn't that a contradiction?
It seems like one, doesn't it? I think the statement is ironic. The Lord's mercy is so infinite that no-one will be left untouched by it.
a lot of that bibly stuff sounds like a load of gibberish to meBig Grin ,written by some crazed shaman zonked on mushrooms
(04-06-2012, 12:13 PM)srijantje Wrote: [ -> ]a lot of that bibly stuff sounds like a load of gibberish to meBig Grin ,written by some crazed shaman zonked on mushrooms

said the revolutionary thinker, touching wood......

Big Grin
(04-04-2012, 08:10 PM)Touchstone Wrote: [ -> ]"how do we sort out the believers from the players then" Why do you think we have to do that? Whether someone genuinely believes in an imaginary friend or only claims to believe in an imaginary friend makes no difference to me. Either way, they're delusional and best avoided. If you mean how does a genuine believer tell whether someone else is a genuine believer or not? Again, what difference does it really make whether they're giving their life savings to a madman or a conman?

The root cause of belief is a desire to understand the inconceivably complex. "The universe is so big how could it have possibly come about?" "How much do you know about astrophysics?" "Um...I'm a Leo..." "Right. Yeah. Well, the universe was knocked up as a sort of DIY project about 6000 years ago by an old guy who was lonely and we're sort of like his pets." "Ah, yeah, my mother has a rabbit--it's all she's got now that dads dead. Thanks."

A belief gene? Not specifically. All humans want to understand things. All humans are capable of creative thought, and of comparing ideas. But humans are all different. Different hair colour, different IQ, different weights, different propensities to seek closure or to be able to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty.

Hear, hear, good reply to a complex argument Touchstone, you're a thinking jester and that's a good combination! Cheers! Big Grin
okay, it looks like we're becoming polarised with the christian faith as opposed to belief in general. while i see it can be good to believe in a god, that's not what i'm primarily asking. let's take scientists for instance. some believe the big bang theory, some believe that wasn't the beginning. and what about belief in self. we hear how language and the ability to solve problems make us different from animals, what about our ability for belief. we believe we can do great things and while some can most don't. for some reason we're taught to have belief in ourselves. let's take poets for instance, many believe that they're truly great poets... why, how do they come to that conclusion? is it belief that drives us,
Do beliefs drive us? Certainly we do things based on our beliefs about the results. But beliefs have to be formed in the first place so you would be more correct in saying we are driven by combinations-of-inclinations-and-experiences-which-we-abstract-for-ourselves-and-label-beliefs.
Interesting topic Billy. For me, I spent many years of my life without a religious belief. I wasn't indoctrinated into one, and I found the whole idea a bit stupid. At I certain point I had a string of experiences that changed my mind. I remember reading the God Dellusion a few years back and agreeing with Dawkins on every chapter except the one on personal experience. My belief is rooted in those experiences but here's the kicker...I don't expect anyone else's belief to base itself on what I've experienced. I'm not interesting in arguing or convincing anyone. I don't feel the need to. I believe because I actually believe. I don't think God is a means of making my life easier. I just believe that there is definitely something more than this material experience. So, while I do self-identify as a christian (I'm sure I would make many of them uncomfortable on some though probably not all points).

I feel the same way, Todd. That's why I don't jump at every chance to insert Jesus into the conversation because I have no innate desire to convert anyone. I just believe what I believe and that is good enough for me.
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