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I really wish I believed

Discussion in 'Theism' started by Lintu, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    I don't think I believe in God anymore, but I really wish I could. I particularly wish I could believe in an afterlife. I find death extremely scary now that I don't :(
     
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  2. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i think you should refrain from pushing yourself into believe something that you do not believe

    i'd offer help and guidance, but without knowing you, any help or guidance i give you could be pretty much useless, but i hope you find your path :hug:
     
  3. Daria

    Daria Member

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    i get what you mean, but death doesn't need to look so scary now... because maybe it's just the end of everything, and so when you die, you won't realise that you don't exist, and so it wouldn't matter that you no longer exist... does that makes sense?
     
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  4. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    Oh definitely--once you're actually dead, if it really is just the end, you don't know. But the thought of consciousness being gone forever scares the bejeesus out of me.
     
  5. sahra-t

    sahra-t /me loves frubals

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    But it's the same as how it was before you were born! Were you scared then!? :)
     
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  6. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    Hahaha...nice :) Although who knows...maybe the transition WAS scary and we just can't remember it!

    I do sort of believe in reincarnation, now that you bring up birth and pre-birth. But the thought of reincarnating after this life is scary in itself given how the world is going.

    I wonder how people 400 years ago, 1000 years ago, 20,000 years ago would have felt about reincarnating. I bet they found the world scary too, but in other ways.
     
  7. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    Just some suggestions:

    Maybe get away from the news channels for a while, change your daily routine. Lose track of the time at your neighborhood library. Take your lunch with you to a park and watch the people play.

    When you have more time pack another lunch and go on a nature hike. Buy a telescope and study the night sky. Visit your towns animal shelter and bring home a pet. Volunteer a few hours at an elementary school, grading papers during classtime, but during recess make sure you go out and participate with the children.

    And when you are not so down on life maybe you'll see that there is happiness in the world.

    God will be waiting for you to return. He is in no hurry.
     
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  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I disagree. I believe I was fully cognizant for a few billion years before I was born. :eek:
     
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  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I'm curious as to why you feel that way. I mean, I do believe in God, and in an afterlife, but I don't think I'd find the idea of non-existence particularly frightening. In trying to imagine how I'd view the inevitability of death if I believed death to be the end of my existence, I think I'd feel sadness or regret, but not really fear. From your OP, I'm gathering that you were once a believer. May I ask how you came to lose your belief?
     
  10. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    Maybe it's not so much fear as what you're saying, sadness or regret. I think I'm just getting to a point in my life where family members are growing older (I've had several extended family members pass away recently) and I'm finding it hard. When you believe you'll see them again later, it helps.

    Yes, I was once a believer. But then once I started believing that it wasn't possible for one religion to be right (at the exclusion of others), most of the theologies started to fall apart. (If that makes any sense). And it just started seeming to me that God was invented over and over again by different groups of people, sometimes for good purposes and sometimes for bad. So then God became less of the humanlike father and more like an underlying spirit. I still believe there could be an underlying unifying spirit, but not a God that comforts and punishes and leads us all into an ultimate goal.

    And Super Universe, I'm not saying that there isn't happiness in the world. It's just death in particular that I find really troubling without faith, more so than most other issues.
     
  11. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    I think your top quote has more truth than any bible.

    My suggestions were not to prove to you that there is happiness in the world, they were to get you involved with them.

    If death is something that you have been around lately then perhaps a double shot of life at it's fullest will provide some balance.
     
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  12. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    Wow it is great to see you!!!! Hey so last time you were here you were all gung-ho about converting to Judiasm, having conflicts with your conservative christian mom about it....what happened between now and than?
     
  13. caminante

    caminante Member

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    If you go outside you will realiza that the trees are the same, the sky is the same, the smile of the children are the same, life is the same.

    do not believe in God now, nor disbelieve, have an open mind, nobody can help you to believe in God, only you.

    That is why i do not like if you believe in God because your parents told you, or because society tells you that is the right thing to do. You MUST believe in God because you have seen that with Him you find peace and you feel you are never alone.

    " every man has the right to doubt of his beliefs and abandom them once in a while; the only thing he cannot do is forget about them. Who doesn't doubt of himself is indign, because he blindly trust in his capacity and sins because of proud. Blessed be the one who goes throught moments of indecision" -Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain 59)
     
  14. uruk

    uruk Member

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    I feel ya. I'm kind of where you are, too. I'm really trying to hang on to my Christian beliefs, but they're flowing down the drain and I can't find the stopper!

    Funny, I always had trouble truly beling God forgave me of my sins. I have struggles that I just couldn't overcome. Places I really wanted to reach but just couldn't no matter how much I fasted and prayed and begged God for help. So, eternal damnation was a thing I had trouble with.

    But, I'd rather there be no afterlife at all, than to have an afterlife filled with eternal burning in a lake of fire. I mean, I really believed in it and was afraid of it. That scared me more than having nothing at all to look forward to.

    If I understand correctly, you converted from Christianity to Judaism? Jews don't believe in eternal damnation like many christians, right? My facts aren't straight on that, so don't quote me on it. :)
     
  15. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    You will have trouble believing that God can forgive your sins until you forgive yourself for them. Make a concerned effort to sin no more and go on with your life. What person is without sin?

    Fasting and prayer are for you, your body, not for God. He does not wish for anyone to suffer. It is certainly not in His name that you do this for.

    There is no reward on the earth, the reward comes after.

    Look up eternal damnation in the bible, you will not find it because there is no such thing. It does not exist other than in the human imagination. Why would God create such a place?

    God does not work through fear. These things that you have learned come from the imagination of people not from God.
     
  16. uruk

    uruk Member

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    I must admint, you make a good point. Unfortunately, my religious background is so full of a "works" oriented dogma. In one ear, I've been taught that God loves us and forgives us and the blood of Christ will wash us. In the other ear, I'm told that if I don't "get my life right" I'll forfiet the cleansing power of Christ and end up in "the Lake". So, having to depend on my own spiritual growth to maintain God's grace becomes frightning -- for just as you said, "what person is without sin"? I know what the teachers and preachers of my religious system say. But in the end, all the talk of mercy and grace gets contradicted in practice.

    I was taught that fasting provided an edge in one's spiritual growth. Fasting is how you "kill" the sinful nature and cause the inner or spiritual man to thrive and grow stronger while the sinful nature is deminished. We had a saying at my church . . . . "if you don't fast, you won't last. If you don't pray, you can't stay". Suffering is the way into God's kingdom to many people from my background. You couldn't have told me a year ago that I wasn't doing any of this in His name. If I wasn't, I truly believed I was. Just giving you insight into my past so you can better see where I'm coming from. Not trying to pick a fight on anything.

    Eternal damnation seems to be there. Maybe it's just the way other people have always interpreted the bible to me. Revelations comes to mind -- the last three chapters. Maybe eternal punishment is only for the "beast" and such and everyone else just gets dumped into the lake and is burn up once and for all. But it's sounds clear to me that the end for unbelievers and sinners will be at least painfu -- if taken literally.

    Why would God create such a place? I've wondered that lately. Perhaps it is all human imagination; thus, my waning faith. But, all I've shared is what was programed into my head from a child. So, it's hard to let go of the idea of unforgivness and eternal punishment.
     
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  17. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    Right, there's no official teaching on the afterlife in Judaism. I practice Reform Judaism, which means that most of the nasty bits are taken out anyways! That's partially good (takes out the scare factor) and partially bad (for a person who prefers guidelines).

    Eternal damnation definitely is a scary thought (something I'm occasionally afraid of despite not really believing in it...sort of a "what if"). When I was brought up Christian, it was one of the types that believes that you can't go to hell once you've been baptized, so lucky it wasn't an issue for me.
     
  18. Lintu

    Lintu Active Member

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    Hey supermod! :) Same to you, always great to see a familiar face! Well, I still like Judaism. I like the community, I like the belief system (regardless of how I feel about God). But my husband still always wants to do Christmas with his family even if we don't celebrate it together, and I don't want to raise our future kids in multiple religions. I'd prefer to do one but let them know (once they're old enough) that they can go in their own direction with our blessing. I just think kids need consistency. Also, we're really wanting to move back to TX, which means I couldn't just get away with not telling my mom or grandmother!

    It was funny, I went home for a visit this one time and my mom started asking me all these questions about Judaism. I thought for sure someone had told her! But then it just turned out she had been having a discussion with a friend. She's come to the understanding that no one religion is necessarily the right one, but still believes too much in the role of Jesus to accept that any other religion is better than hers. That's fine--that's her right--but I wish she'd understand why other people don't believe in it or dislike it.
     
  19. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    "The Lake?" And where would this lake be?

    We are intended. We are not an accident. God created the universe so sentient life could host a fragment from Him, the soul, which is also your conscience that tells you right from wrong. We are to develop it into a mature being and provide it with a full life experience.

    Why would He destroy this important part of Him, the thing that He created an entire universe for?

    There is no lake of fire and no eternal damnation. Our sins on the earth are forgiven. It is understood that our normal connection to God is veiled so we can live a more free existence but that does not mean we automatically get to continue onward. We have free will and with it we can decide to do good or be selfish but God has no use for a selfish being.

    If you choose to live a selfish life then your human personality will be dominant over your soul/conscience and it will reduce itself to almost nothing. God will not force you to choose good. It must be your wish.

    After death your human personality will go to it's judgement, the soul will await the decision. If you are found to be full of self, then your human personality will be eliminated by a form of energy that's best described as fire and the soul will try again with another human personality.

    If you live a life of searching for God, choosing good, and listening to your soul conscience, then your soul conscience permanently fuses with your human personality and after death you will continue on with your universal career.

    Religion is a creation of man, not God. The angels did their best to reveal that the Creator exists but I think they gave us too much information and it was far beyond what the ancient humans could understand. After all, by today's standards, they were quite ignorant.

    Do not trust religion or anyone over yourself. Connect with your conscience and let it guide you. Do you really need a priest to tell you right from wrong? Don't you already have it within you to be a good person?

    Choosing good is developing a greater connection with God than any religious ritual.
     
  20. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    Dear Miss, religion is a creation of man, not God. He does not place one religion above another and He certainly does not need us to perform rituals.

    What value is a person who commits every ritual, attends every service, but has an angry, distrustful, and selfish heart?

    Choose to be a good person. Care about others, do for others without asking for anything in return. Search for God in everything. Desire to have a greater connection with Him and it will be so.

    These things are greater than any religion.
     
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