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Featured Poll: Why do you believe in God?

Discussion in 'Theism' started by Hubert Farnsworth, Jan 25, 2019.

?
  1. The universe doesn't make sense without a creator

    10 vote(s)
    35.7%
  2. The organs of living things are too complex to have been created by natural selection

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  3. God is necessary to account for the laws of logic and math

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  4. God is necessary to account for the love and beauty in the universe

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. God personally intervened in my life, so I know he's real

    11 vote(s)
    39.3%
  6. Someone taught me to believe in God, and the belief makes sense, so I believe in God

    5 vote(s)
    17.9%
  7. The vast majority of people in the world believe in a creator, so it makes sense to hold the belief

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  8. The belief in God is a comforting belief to hold in the face of mortality

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  9. Fear of going to hell if I do not believe in God and God exists (Pascal's Wager)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Other (please elaborate)

    17 vote(s)
    60.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Choice selection is unlimited, so select any choice that applies to you.
     
  2. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I voted other. Science or universe does not prove existence of God. And just because i get comfort, does not make God real for me. My belif in God wholy relies on the person of Bahaullah, and the Bab, and their Revelation.
     
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  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I grit my teeth when I use the word god. However, I did pick Other.

    God is not a mystery once you really observe the god-experiences among people who believe in any type of god that intervenes within all. Those who do not, probably are like me, don't use the term. I explained it a couple of times on RF; but, there was no getting by the deity-like god. So, it's hard to explain; but, other, nonetheless.
     
  4. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    A loaded question. Upbringing and environmental factors for one, personal predilection and philosophical attraction to the given concept being another.

    I certainly don't think a 'Supreme Creator Being' is necessary for making sense of the universe. In and of itself, the Standard Model of physics has proved largely adept at doing that. The physical world is mechanistic (in terms of classical Newtonian physics/general relativity) and probabilistic/indeterministic at the subatomic, ‘quantum’ level. It is not teleological. God isn't needed here.

    Natural selection is entirely sufficient for explaining the diversity and origins of organisms, and it is not a guided, directed or goal-driven phenomenon. No God needed there either. A magical hand from above breathing a vital force into the earth is definitely not required or consistent with the evidence.

    So, why do I believe in God?

    While I believe that science is all we need to understand the cosmos and biological life (and religion should stay out of it), I don't submit to the notion that it is all we need to understand us, by which I mean not the muscles, DNA and matter of our physical constitution but rather our conscious awareness as purposeful beings, capable of leading meaningful lives, in a universe that is seemingly devoid of any purpose.

    I'm talking here about possibility spaces. Human beings are capable of leading meaningful lives or finding purpose in their experiences yet we have to accept, nonetheless, that the natural world (viewed as separate from the world as experienced by conscious beings) is not itself guided by any purpose.

    All of human history is characterized by purpose - our love, hate, war, progress, regress, culture - which has come into being in the universe through our species.

    I would argue, being a theist, that the reason purpose comes into existence is because it is possible for purpose to come into existence and the reason why there is this possibility of purpose coming into existence is because the laws of nature which we have are not brute facts (i.e. eternal, immutable, universal, precise, pre-existing mathematical axioms that we just have to accept as a pre-existent given) but rather emanate from a real space of 'abstract' existence, distinct from physical existence, which I view as hailing from a supreme intelligence who willed to create a universe with physical laws that made the emergence of purpose-driven conscious life possible.

    How does purpose and meaning and awareness and qualia just emerge from purposelessness, meaninglessness and consciouslessness inert matter, unless the possibility for this to be so first exists somewhere in the abstract along with mathematical objects and the laws of nature themselves? We are the universe, inert matter, aware of itself - able to reflect on itself, study itself and relate to itself. This is only so because we live in a universe with laws of nature and fundamental constants that allow for the possibility of beings like ourselves to emerge from mechanistic physical processes and natural selection. They needn't have had to. Theoretical physicists have used modelling software and their own knowledge to conceptualize innumerable ways in which the laws of nature or constants could have been different, with just a few minor tweaks in values here and there, resulting in no possibility of complexity of any kind emerging - like stars, planets and galaxies, let alone conscious life - other than clouds of hydrogen and helium floating around eternally in a vacuum.

    As the great theoretical physicist Professor George Ellis stated in an interview a few years ago:


    George Ellis

    "From my view point, existence isn’t just physical existence: there’s these abstract existences. That space of abstract stuff (i.e. truths of mathematics, world of ideas) was sitting waiting to be discovered and eventually minds reached a sufficient complexity that they could discover it."​


    There are many other reasons, but that's my first one.
     
    #4 Vouthon, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I wouldn't describe my acceptance of the gods with "believe in" language, because it really isn't a matter of belief. It's a matter of recognizing that gods are that which peoples and cultures view as worthy of worship and identifying what I consider to be worthy of such behaviors. That which I found worthy of worship is a product of my upbringing, and to no small extent, the study of natural sciences. But nobody really taught me Paganism or polytheism. I had to arrive at this place on my own.
     
  6. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I have several direct experiences that were sufficiently convincing regarding the reality of Brahman. As I have written in my profile:-

    I believe that there is a singular root entity that is the substantial essence of everything, actualizing all physical phenomena that exists as well as all logical and mathematical structures that give physicality form. I believe evolution has granted human mind a limited cognitive ability to perceive this essential reality at a subconscious level (for most) through which we gain the ability to make creative connections and also gain our enhanced sense of meaning making and self awareness. Spiritual practices can bring this cognitive awareness to the level of conscious apprehension, though incompletely. We Hindus call this entity Brahman, but it may also be perceived as a personal entity, in which case it is called God.

    I have had certain meditative experiences that indicate the above description is true. Which is the reason that I believe, along with the fact that the intuitions about ethics and reality I had gained from them had stood me in excellent stead both in my personal development and as a scientist.
     
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  7. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I voted "Other" and we are in the lead.

    I am non-dual (Advaita) believer. God in my belief is pure undifferentiated consciousness. God-Consciousness is fundamental and the universe is a derivative of God.

    Why?: It is the claimed direct experience of those who I believe have delved deepest into the nature of reality. Also it is without peer to my reasoning more reasonable than any dualist or atheist philosophy I have come across.
     
  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    This is my reason as well. But I would add they came unbidden, and surprising.
     
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  9. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    God in my imagination would be so far beyond us all. I invented God to aspire to the highest virtues. I see no God forthcoming. But its nice to aspire to one that is beyond us all.

    To love all as ones self and that all be worthy of love one day. I couldnt find a higher aspiration then that.
     
  10. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    the other reason.....science

    science would have you believe.....
    for every cause there is an effect
    for every effect there is a cause

    now granted......we cannot stuff God.......of His creation
    into a petri dish

    there will be no photo, no fingerprint, no equation and no repeatable experiment

    and science runs into the singularity and stops there
    no cause seems possible at the primordial starting......'point'

    but here we are

    and Someone had to be First
    and substance is not 'self' motivated
     
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  11. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Active Member

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    I personally have faith sealed in my forehead. Faith in life is hope.
     
  12. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Interesting response. Unfortunately I am very short on time so will not have time to address your points now. I will say that your assumption that the fact that a sense of purpose exists in humans points to purpose in the universe is an interesting thought, but I think it's ultimately fallacious. There is no reason to suppose that a belief in purpose means that purpose exists outside of the mind.
     
  13. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    Because it makes the most sense to my experience.
     
    #13 Disciple of Jesus, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  14. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Same. The initial was a spontaneous experience...the others, through meditative practice.
     
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  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I get both kinds now. Since I'm basically lazy, I much prefer the spontaneous kind. Much less work.
     
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  16. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Mine take a bit more effort. My mind does not easily reach stillness on its own accord.
     
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    The entire purpose of a properly running Hindu temple, (or home shrine) once the devotee gets in tune with the inner workings of it, is to bring on the presence of God. So with so many years of practice, it's right there with little effort. Still I can go, and feel nothing, or have nothing happen, but those times are rare. Generally I'd have to be in some mental circle thinking about some external activity, hence not really open to it, clouded over by ego thoughts of competition, or some other mundane activity disabling the process. From a mystical inner view, the light there lightens the devotee's aura. 'lightening' everything up.

    You never really know to what degree it's going to happen, and there are many factors going on simultaneously.
     
  18. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
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    I believe in God the Creator for the complexity of life and I trust that a spirit of wisdom and love showed me a better way to live and my other reason is that I need a friend who is loyal no matter what. And, what @Thief says.
     
    #18 savagewind, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  19. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    I voted this

    The universe doesn't make sense without a creator
     
  20. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    I put other because to give a positive response would be to assert a belief in God. On that point I'm agnostic, although I obviously believe in gods. When designing a poll, you need to remember that a third of the world's theists are not monotheists!

    I believe in gods on the basis of personal experience, both my own and that of millions of others.
     
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