Do you believe in God?

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Do you believe in God?

Postby clyzm » Sun Oct 27, 13 12:47 am

Gallup did a recent poll that found 9 in 10 Americans - closer to 94 or 95% - believe in God. This number has not changed overmuch since the 70s, when Gallup first conducted the survey.

That really put things into perspective. I'm in the 5%, and I've been noticing it more and more that people are being ostracized from social groups just because of that. I'm not Atheist, as I try to explain to my less educated friends, but irreligious (I'd characterize myself as a Freethinker)

Recently a friend of mine that I've known for more than a decade told me that he didn't want to associate with me anymore because I don't believe in God. I'm apathetic to the situation but it just concerns me that religion still plays a large part in people's lives to this day, making things black and white for a lot of people. "Either you're with us or against us." I think that was its purpose all along, but that's another topic altogether.

What do you guys think? Is it different where you live?
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Postby Psychotic » Sun Oct 27, 13 1:30 am

From my perspective, the belief in God seems to be very important to other countries, but not as important in Australia and New Zealand. Our governmental systems, for example, do not put as much faith in God as they might in the British monarch, for example.

Personally, I am a freethinker; Or rather, that is what I would call myself if I believed in any religion, of which I personally believe things such as Freethought and Atheism are. Despite the term "irreligion" and the absence of worship, they are still formed by groups of people who believe in a common goal, ambition of "truth". That has always been the definition of religion to me, and once you start acting like a religion, that's when problems arise.

Every single belief is capable of showing people who are intolerant of others. From Christianity to Atheism. Every religion is no better than the other, at the end of it all.

Frankly, the problem is not with the worship of a spectral entity, an object, a person or anything else. Worship, in general, is simply not the problem. The act of believing in something has never been the problem. The problem is not the Gods, the problem is religion itself.

Religion is vitriolic. I have seen absolutely no religion in which all of it's members can actually fully agree with one another. Religion is supposed to be an all-encompassing belief, or so we are told, and yet millions of the religion's own believers will worship and act out on that religion in completely different ways, essentially defeating the purpose of being a united entity.

Aside from this, wars and the Crusades did not start because of a belief in a different entity, they started because religious leaders wanted them to and convinced their followers the other side was so wrong that they needed to die. That kind of belief is horrible in and of itself. It does not exist to serve the followers or man itself and I only see the "leaders" benefiting from such segregation of worship.

Why does it matter so much what others believe? Why do people feel this incessant need to segregate themselves of others who do not believe as they do, perhaps even violently? What is to be gained from absolute adherence to a script that changes every other week?

I do not need a religion, a book, or some mortal being to tell me how to what to worship and how, I do not need need them to tell me how to live my life, what I am doing wrong, and that they're the only possible thing in existence (alongside the worship of their God) that could possibly help me. I do not need any of this to be spiritual, of which I sincerely believe I am, despite the worship or belief in a higher being.

Religion is not necessary. I do not need it. Thankfully, my government and country does not seem to care one way or another.
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Postby Poor » Sun Oct 27, 13 2:42 am

I'm grateful to live in America but the ratio of believers to non-believers is a bit high for me. Thankfully, most American Christians are lightly religious; they believe in God, Jesus, and heaven but are unaware or are indifferent to the other aspects of the religion. Still, a lack of faith is frowned on as being unhealthy. Weddings and baptisms are awkward when you are expected to kneel and pray. It's easier to be a closet atheist.
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Postby Aidan » Sun Oct 27, 13 2:47 am

Canada has the same take as AUS & NZ.

I personally believe there is some supreme force or mechanism we are too dumb to acknowledge (Spiritualistic Atheism is the proper term). Much like humans poke fun at dogs for not knowing what is actually going on around them.

We are the dogs, something else are the 'Humans.' I do not believe in conventional religion, and think it's all a joke.

Asides from the supreme force/mechanism of sorts, I'm firmly science & h+.

On a side note, I think expensive weddings are fucking stupid as well. People often say this, and do it anyway... because they're fucking stupid.
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Postby Psychotic » Sun Oct 27, 13 3:53 am

Aidan wrote:Asides from the supreme force/mechanism of sorts, I'm firmly science & h+.


Whilst I am a staunch advocate for h+ I simply cannot sit around thinking we are the only beings out there. Our world is so tiny in comparison to our own solar system, let alone the very galaxy and universe we reside in.

There has to be something out there, something higher. I enjoy your dog analogy, and believe in it. I only wish I could live long enough to find the answers.

Aidan wrote:On a side note, I think expensive weddings are fucking stupid as well. People often say this, and do it anyway... because they're fucking stupid.


I think the concept of weddings is pointless in general, but that's another topic entirely.
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Postby Aidan » Sun Oct 27, 13 4:30 am

Magniir wrote:Whilst I am a staunch advocate for h+ I simply cannot sit around thinking we are the only beings out there. Our world is so tiny in comparison to our own solar system, let alone the very galaxy and universe we reside in.

There has to be something out there, something higher. I enjoy your dog analogy, and believe in it. I only wish I could live long enough to find the answers.


Yep. If the technology is available, and affordable, I'd like to live indefinitely. I'd love to explore the universe, and figure out just what life is about. The death = bliss concept is debatable, because it's a 50/50 chance. We DONT KNOW FOR CERTAIN what happens when we die, so I'd rather not take a leap of 'faith,' and explore the other side of the coin.

It is said presently, that if you are mid-30s or of lower age, you will see Eternal Life become a reality. We'll have to wait and see though.

Food For thought: On the massive scale that is the Universe; Humans are just large bacteria.


Magniir wrote:I think the concept of weddings is pointless in general, but that's another topic entirely.


I felt the need to say it haha. Yeah, it's just a costly, and overdramatic Human mating ritual.

-but we'll make another topic about that later.
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Postby Psychotic » Sun Oct 27, 13 8:21 am

I do not want to be immortal, I simply wish to choose when to die. I do not fear death, I fear what comes after, the uncertainty of it all. Death is not to be feared, death is natural, but it causes fear because of a lack of knowing. Death itself is mysterious, and I believe that lack of understanding is what people truly fear.

I am very curious as to what happens when we die, because I simply cannot comprehend that nothing will happen. In many ways I am a lot like a God worshiping man in that I desire for something more than simple non-existence, but I accept that as a big possibility, and I do not rush blindly toward my death.

I feel that death is simply another adventure, but it is one we must take after we've had our life, and that our life is just as important as our death. So important, that we should not seek to end it when it has only just begun, no matter the hardships.

You do not get any second chances, at least not ones we know about.
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Postby synthetic » Sun Oct 27, 13 7:44 pm

No, I do not believe in god, and I view any form of religious behaviour within the concept of advanced religions as a trait of relative retardation of some degree or other. In short, if you believe in little men in mars without being able to separate facts from pure fiction, I will warmly recommend that you see a psychiatrist.

didn't want to associate with me anymore because I don't believe in God


I feel for you. Really ugly when things turn out that way. I suppose wearing a t-shirt with "i love jesus" wont be enough to make things up between you two?
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Postby Clancy Stein » Sun Oct 27, 13 7:58 pm

Religion is not philosophy. It is much too assured of itself as THE truth. Religion as a term seems to be a universal misrepresentation of God (if one can attribute such a word to the metaphysical phenomena of a unified organism).

I say religion as a general term is misinterpretation of philosophy because I believe Christ, Sidartha and the honored deities founded philosophies that were groupthinked and bastardized into the antithesis of the initial intention of its founding then further proliferated, specialized, and even segregated to the advantage of an elite majority interpretation.
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Postby synthetic » Mon Oct 28, 13 2:27 am

Lacking time I kept it short earlier, but this subject is as interesting as it is relevant to even these times it seems.

We long for something that god provides us, and as such can simplify it by saying that we find ourselves needing god. Philosophy attempts to give it a meaning or analyse it as well as everything to do with it. Debate on the meaning of this term aside, god is for soul; and philosophy is for mind.

We are an evolved construct, right? I am thinking, if that which we are represents a relative pinnacle of mutation, is the god perhaps not a shared disease? Shared flaw, perhaps? Lot of people posting in this thread will be rejecting god, but as opening post states the amount of religious people, who use their belief as an ultimate solution to everything, is absolutely overwhelming. There has to be some significance in that alone, some kind of reason for this madness.

To be that 5% must feel like being in the sea of zombies. I am lucky to live in a largely atheistic country where my views are generally shared, but people are not much smarter in general (horoscopes, astrology very popular, for example).

The older one gets the less one wants to debate this all, though. These days I don't care if people around me believe in meterfairies or sandmen, just as long as they don't shit in my shoes. My words against organized religion may not differ much from what I'd have to say about organized crime, but in real-life situation I'll treat any believer nice just as long as they keep their god to themselves and don't rape my mind with it.

I think the main reason I find such disturbed individuals so upsetting is that they weren't necessarily born like this.. they have no reason to limit their comprehension this way for they also influence the progress of the entire world with their masses. It is like a person who has two legs prefers to live entire life on one leg.. preference or not, it is upsetting and those of us running on two feet get ridiculed.

edit: best or saddest part - pick your preference - is the moment where people start to combine hard science with the book, in the wrong way. We know now that old scriptures contain real references and locations, but then you have people that attempt to prove scientifically how gravity doesn't exist or earth is only as old as the book would have it. Or argue against evolution. For a dumb *and* religions individual evolution theory itself represents a rivalling, false prophecy. For the observant the evolution is life itself and the study simply represents better understanding of it.

And then there are people that rewrite the book completely and go apeshit. Farrakhan doesn't even know himself what to call his awesome congregation centres.
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Postby Wasted. » Thu Nov 14, 13 3:20 pm

I can name about 5 people I know as friends who are actually religious
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Postby Psychotic » Fri Nov 15, 13 12:23 am

Religion is pretty much indoctrination because, as you said synthetic, nobody is born into such beliefs. They learn them through how they're taught and raised.

But as said, I don't care too much. Like you said: So long as they don't shit in my shoes they can do whatever the fuck they want.

Most of my friends are not religious, they are spiritual perhaps, but not religious. I find religion limiting to the mind; the opposite of an open-minded discussion when done "correctly" ("correctly" meaning absolute requital to the cause).
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Postby ynnaD » Fri Nov 15, 13 3:46 am

Religion in Ireland is more likely to get you killed than anything else

I believe in God, i don't tell many people about it because of that
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Postby synthetic » Fri Nov 15, 13 7:22 am

I find that very surprising, I would've thought that religion and faith are a completely acceptable norm over there. Aren't even your more radically minded kinsmen part of the church? Is it some kind of new trait in the society, the youth rejecting the religion due to mass-communication and perhaps also because of the state the economy is in?
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Postby Psycho » Fri Nov 15, 13 12:22 pm

ynnaD wrote:Religion in Ireland is more likely to get you killed than anything else

I believe in God, i don't tell many people about it because of that

My flatmate is from Derry, and a guy in the flat over the road is from "Londonderry". It's hilarious when you put the two in a room.
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Postby ynnaD » Fri Nov 15, 13 2:15 pm

Psycho wrote:
ynnaD wrote:Religion in Ireland is more likely to get you killed than anything else

I believe in God, i don't tell many people about it because of that

My flatmate is from Derry, and a guy in the flat over the road is from "Londonderry". It's hilarious when you put the two in a room.


Haha, i've a few friends like that, it's all playful banter thankfully.

synthetic wrote:I find that very surprising, I would've thought that religion and faith are a completely acceptable norm over there. Aren't even your more radically minded kinsmen part of the church? Is it some kind of new trait in the society, the youth rejecting the religion due to mass-communication and perhaps also because of the state the economy is in?


They are acceptable, depending on what side you stand on :/, the youth are not as bad as the later generations, too bitter to let things go and can't accept differing opinions
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Postby Kaiden » Fri Nov 15, 13 6:17 pm

I've never been given a reason to believe in God really, although I like to believe there's something. If I stop and think for a moment, it just seems too convenient that there's a happy fun place you go when you die. I feel it's just a story told because people need to believe in something. Although with that said going by the archaic standards myself and everyone I know would probably go to hell anyway, so maybe that's why.

But that's just my opinion, and it could well change, but my family has never really been religious, and I even went to a catholic primary school.
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Postby Clancy Stein » Mon Nov 18, 13 12:02 am

To me spirituality and philosophy are the cornerstones of Belief

while religion is the basis of Faith.

Skepticism invited knowledge through questioning

Religion presents simple answers for convenience.
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Postby Mr357 » Mon Nov 18, 13 9:56 pm

Yes, I certainly believe in the existence of God, but I don't like to say I'm religious because it's simply not the same thing. Churches were created because the people of that time were almost all illiterate, so they relied on the elite to tell them the word of the Bible. This, of course, allowed clergy and political leaders to manipulate the Bible into whatever they wanted, which is the type of corruption I'm sure we all resent. I've known many people who are religious, but have little knowledge of God and the Bible (or the teachings of their respective religion). So before I am a Christian, or anything else for that matter, I am a follower of God.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Nov 18, 13 11:10 pm

Religion was a useful tool of Humanity creating values and construct, up until modernization. It is no longer useful now. It only sets back evolutionary progression.

Religion is indoctrination no matter how anyone slices it. One is not naturally born into the world believing in such entities.

One is born into this world with question. As History proves, we temporarily fill the gap of the unknown with 'what makes sense to us' until we're intelligent enough to discover HOW that very such 'thing' works, or what is IS.
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Postby synthetic » Tue Nov 19, 13 6:50 am

The first sentence doesn't sit well with me, benefits of enslavement should not justify the loss of freedom. Functional tool, certainly.

I suppose ultimately the belief itself is driven by fear of untimely and-or inevitable death, which seems slightly bizarre if one attempts to compare the human to other animals. Makes one wonder if slugs are afraid of death, or if elephants are, or if monkeys are.

Certainly we have a lot of questions, but in the end it still comes down to just plain fear of not being. If we wanted answers then we can always just make them up and write a book. Har, har.
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Postby Siva » Tue Nov 19, 13 10:40 am

I believe in God, only because my limited mind struggles to deal with the prime mover argument. As most of you know, I used to be Muslim even. I still think it's ridiculous to discriminate based on the words of men, though -- surprised your friend after so long just wants to cut ties with you based on something that didn't matter before.
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Postby Clancy Stein » Fri Apr 18, 14 9:15 pm

I find it hard to believe in God in terms of the what the word specifically, literally implies. I tend to think Everything is not being consciously managed or controlled, but exists in an order beyond comprehension. But that just prompts the ultimate question who knows
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Postby Clancy Stein » Fri Apr 18, 14 9:24 pm

I suppose I'd sooner imagine a collective Gestalt or Yjawheh rather than a creator.
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 21, 14 4:26 am

I view 'god' as some sort of mechanism that we can not fathom. I think the multiverse theory is correct, and there is something far far larger than even that.

A good first step for mankind would be eliminating politics for a transparent quantifiable scientific structure.

Politics are a zero sum game, where Science is exponential. Politics have a high chance of leading us into a Dystopian future.
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Postby Wasted. » Mon Apr 21, 14 2:54 pm

how do you eliminate politics for a 'transparent quantifiable scientific structure'

not a troll just genuinely interested in what that means to you
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Postby Alistair » Thu Jun 26, 14 11:25 pm

well I certainly didn't get here through my own efforts - problem is when people become god-like and start causing havok - fundamentalism exists in all spheres. there's a sort of sick irony as most religions will teach against self-righteousness

same can be said for some atheists who think themselves universes ahead of religious people , but you can understand how people get like that - religion can piss you off and you end up boxing everyone together

the problem i find is analysing the beginning where the laws and constants were very different - it requires a paradigm shift which we might never be able to do.

science will tell us how but never why science itself is not a fool-proof system as science is only what we define so thus we are limited in our analysis
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