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Featured God: Do You Believe or Do You Know?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    Many say they believe in God. But there are others that say they know God or that they know God exists.

    Do you believe in God or do you know God?

    Where is the line drawn between belief in God's existence and knowledge of God's existence?



    Note: While atheists are welcome to contribute to the thread, this will not devolve into a "prove it" thread. If you're looking to challenge a theist to prove God's existence, please take it elsewhere. "Prove it" type posts are subject to deletion on sight.
     
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  2. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Atheist and through the other side here. It not that i don't believe there is a god, i know it.

    That said, the other side of the coin must also have its merit for those who know there is a god.

    One thing is sure, there are billions of people each with their own belief and/or knowledge
     
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  3. Amanaki

    Amanaki Veteran Member

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    I am a believer in that God exist.
    I can not understand how everything in this universe would suddenly come to life without God creating it, and set it in motion
     
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  4. Gargovic Malkav

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    I worship and believe in the One I see as the Source of Everything as a result of experience and faith. Label me as you see fit.
    Well, I call myself a believer, not a knower... But this nitpicking and bickering people can have over such nuances causes me to prefer non-verbal or primitive speech over modern language sometimes...
     
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  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Knowledge is always a tricky thing. I don't believe there is absolute knowledge (but I don't know that there isn't).

    So, the question becomes how confident are you in your belief. Are you as confident as you are in the existence of a chair in your room that you are looking at? As confident as you are in the rotation of the Earth? As confident as you are in the existence of radio waves?

    My view is that I consider most standard definitions of 'God' to be so unlikely that I have close to zero confidence that the being they describe exists. I have far less confidence than I do, say, in the existence of the Loch Ness monster.

    But is that 'knowledge'? Sure. is it 'absolute knowledge'? No.
     
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  6. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    "Believe in" is a way of talking about gods that comes to us from faith-based religions. On top of that "believing in" can mean three very different things: (1) ontological existence - a conclusion which is wholly dependent on how one defines existence and is on the whole a trivially low bar to clear, (2) have trust in - a very personal decision that is up to each individual, (3) deeply value or uphold as sacred - also a very personal decision that is up to each individual.

    It is very, very, very important to clarify which of these is meant when the phrase "believe in" is uttered. This rarely happens. The ambiguity of the phrase combined with the general failure to clarify which sense is intended means I just do not use that language. Plus, Paganisms are not faith-based, so talking about our gods as something "believed in" doesn't make much sense for us anyway.
     
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  7. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    If I played devil's advocate and went off my experiences and observations, I'd say I know not believe. I've experience things in life I can't and don't prove to myself in a scientific way, but like being in a relationship or a smile and behavioral expression of thanks, my culture, interpretation, and sense of identity, I guess, lets me conclude that other person's body language and interaction with me is real. It's true. I know.

    People say they know because of their experiences. They don't challenge experiences that they have very strong connections to say a presence of a recently deceased loved one by a feather flying by their window. So, things like that (I've experienced myself), I'd say knowledge.

    I think believe comes in more when we're talking others only because my experiences are, by definition, subjective so to ease confusion, I rather say belief because I do "accept what I experience as true" rather than say I know and have the other question the logistics on it (on RF, that is). Many people in person here really don't get into that detail unless they know you.
     
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  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Its an unfair question.

    The effort needed to know many details at once trains our minds to think in parts. Call it the "Parts bias." It confuses us to think about whole things, even if we can envision them as having parts. This in turn colors our thoughts about time, which we think of as being made up of parts but is not made of parts. It cannot be genuinely understood as having parts, and our understanding is generally flawed. Time has the whole of time and no parts and also is indivisible from the whole of matter and space. To me its 'Before' and 'After', because I divide things. That's how I function. I can't think of the whole universe without losing myself. I have to be in something and part of something. I can't just be universe. I must have arms, hands and time and have thoughts.

    Finally this limits our ability to perceive God, whether there is one or not. If God were small or in some way a part then we could, but we cannot. The philosophical foundations for understanding God are such that if God exists then the entirety of all things, places and times are within God. We can only divide these things and can't think of them all at once nor perceive God nor really...much of anything.

    In this situation knowing there is a God is neither more nor less effective than believing there is, such is the nature of knowledge. You can suspect the invention of God by clever minds, but this would be no different from discovering God's existence. The topic is one which doesn't lend itself to thought and discussion. You can't ever discuss God thoroughly.
     
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  9. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I know that I don't know.
    (And you don't know either.)
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I believe ... strongly. I also believe there are souls who do know, but not in the common way some people claim but because of nirvikalpa samadhi.
     
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  11. PAUL MARKHAM

    PAUL MARKHAM Active Member

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    Which god are you referring to?

    The Abrahamic god starts off with fictional stories and ends with fictional stories.

    Even Jesus is an unknown figure in history and we follow the stories of him written after his death and selected by a panel of people and Constantine.
     
  12. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    They say Faith will set you free.

    God gives us the means to know and Love God and the choice to do so.

    Personally I see that can become certitude that God is.

    Regards Tony
     
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  13. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    IMV, I would say is all you have to do is look at this world and you can believe in God. Today I would say "I know God" because of my personal interaction and relationship.

    However, that wouldn't stop me from creating my own god if I worshipped my wife and said "I believe in her and I have a relationship with her.

    LOL - What am I trying to say? @metis can you help me out of the hole that I have created?
     
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  14. Salty Booger

    Salty Booger Royal Crown Cola (RC)

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    The definition of God cannot be defined, IMO. The word is a label that restricts and confines the absolute. God is me, God is you, God is that pizza crust from last night's dinner sitting in the bowl on my table.
     
  15. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    god = Gad [to me] the deity otherwise known as fortune/fate/luck
    and that certainly is a feature of this thing we call reality.....but that is not the great being, the animating principle....merely a side-effect.
    as far as Luck goes as being a principle aspect to this construct:
    Quote1.jpg tl.jpg
     
  16. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    I fully well rock solid know God.
     
  17. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    The pizza crust has to sit there more than just one night before it gains sentience. And even then it won't help you clean up before your wife comes back from a girls trip.

    *Nods sagely*
     
  18. Salty Booger

    Salty Booger Royal Crown Cola (RC)

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    It may not survive the jaws of death that is my dog. *looking around* Too late, they are gone.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    There are people who believe God exists but they say they don't know that God exists.
    I know some of these people personally.

    Since you asked, here is my position. On this forum, I usually say I believe God exists because atheists get on me for saying I know God exists, telling me I cannot know God exists. If I tell them I know God exists, I tell them I cannot know that God exists as a fact, since nobody can prove that God exists, but I do know that God exists because I have inner certitude. Nobody can take that away from me because it is not theirs to take.

    I have lots of unanswered questions about the nature and attributes of God, but there is no question in my mind as to whether God exists. I know God exists.

    Definition of know

    transitive verb
    1a(1): to perceive directly : have direct cognition of (2): to have understanding of importance of knowing oneself(3): to recognize the nature of : discernb(1): to recognize as being the same as something previously known(2): to be acquainted or familiar with (3): to have experience of
    2a: to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain ofb: to have a practical understanding of knows how to write
    3 archaic: to have sexual intercourse with

    intransitive verb
    1: to have knowledge
    2: to be or become cognizant —sometimes used interjectionally with you especially as a filler in informal speech

    Definition of KNOW
     
    #19 Trailblazer, Oct 19, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
  20. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I firmly believe there is no God. And if there is a God, he ain't nice. But why stop at one eternal being, perhaps there are many!

    Omnipotence don't exist! I know this much!
    Ultimate eternal realities that are unconditioned must exist, that I believe!
     
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