To want to make myself believe in god?

(1000 Posts)
HopHopHopSkip Thu 25-Jul-13 22:55:10

I have always been very logical and so despite going to a Christian primary school, having a very religious mum(though not in a pushy way) and reading the bible when I was younger(the story version grin I was a bit of a book worm) I have never really got my head around how god could be possible.

But I really wish I had the extra "something" that some people seem to find by believing in god. I'm probably not making much sense, but I wish I could get myself to feel like there's somebody watching out, that there's something after death, that everything happens for what'd ultimately a good reason/what's meant to be so on.

AIBU to try going to church for a bit even though I don't believe in god? Or am I just being silly, is it something you can't 'make' yourself feel?

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 26-Jul-13 11:27:06

I would love, just once, for there to be a thread discussing religion that didn't use the words "sky pixie" or "sky fairy".

It's rude and unnecessary, particularly when people are discussing their personal beliefs.

If you find your atheism to be so benefical, surely you can discuss this without belittling the beliefs of others, unless feeling superior to others is all you get out being an atheist.

ZingWidge Fri 26-Jul-13 11:31:28

gosh well said.

it's a free for all forum, but I don't know why non-Christians feel the need to be rude and so negative.

someone asks for help but gets some responses saying they should not.
weird

Angelfootprints Fri 26-Jul-13 11:33:25

I agree GoshAnne.

Im unsure on the existence of God, but it makes me cringe inside to think of those suffering whos only comfort is God having to read such hurtful things said about their belief -or even themselves (such as believers must be stupid).

Some people really do have no empathy Im afraid.

ANormalOne Fri 26-Jul-13 11:58:21

springe that is because Christ is the only way to God.

That seems pretty unequivocal to me.

Zingwidge

but I don't know why non-Christians feel the need to be rude and so negative.

I don't see why you feel the need to make generalizations, I'd consider that to be incredibly rude and negative.

I try not to be outright rude when discussing people's beliefs, but the fact is I believe the majority, if not all, religions are founded on lies so the comfort they give to people, in my opinion, is a false comfort, regardless of how much it helps people it's simply not true.

I'm sorry if that upsets people, but that's my belief and my opinion and I have just as much right to share it as anyone else.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 26-Jul-13 12:02:35

gosh only one person mentioned sky pixes probably best to focus on the atheist posts pointing out you can find fulfilment in life through many routes. Don't get hung up on just one post saying something you would rather not hear.

ZingWidge Fri 26-Jul-13 12:10:39

anormal

I'm sorry if I offended you.

I used to be like you, thinking it was a hoax.
I would love to tell you how and why I know that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are real, but I don't like to evangelise.

OP I hope you will find God - all you need to do is ask Him to enter your life! smile

Crinkle77 Fri 26-Jul-13 12:12:13

Think I get where you are coming from. I am not religious myself but I can see the appeal. It must be nice to have your faith to cling on to in times of trouble and also the sense of belonging that it can bring. Why not go along a few times and see how your feel? You've got nothing to lose.

ANormalOne Fri 26-Jul-13 12:15:24

ZingWidge

You didn't offend me, you generalized, which is what you should be apologizing for.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 26-Jul-13 12:16:38

There is such a variety in Christian beliefs, that it is sometimes difficult for people to understand what they have 'signed up' for. I am a logical person too, with a scientific background, and don't have any problem with things like evolution, big bang theory etc. I believe that we have been given our brains to use, and that includes exploring how the world works. I view science as complementary to my faith not something to be wrestled against.

Having that belief is never going to be on a completely logical basis though. I do have my reasons, but they are certainly debatable. One of the big conclusions I came to about the bible was that it is not an instruction manual or a history book, but a way of telling us about the nature of God and ourselves and how we should treat each other.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 26-Jul-13 12:22:34

When - it gets trotted out on every thread there's ever this sort of discussion on and I find it tedious and rude.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 26-Jul-13 12:23:45

Zing - Psst, I'm a non-Christian wink

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 26-Jul-13 12:34:31

It wouldn't be much of a discussion if people only said what you want to hear.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 26-Jul-13 13:05:10

When - I am more then happy for people to discuss that they don't need faith, I just wish they could do so without throwing insults around.

Again, to be really clear - terms such as "sky fairy", "sky pixie" and "imaginary friend" aren't people discussing their own beliefs, but insulting the beliefs of others and adds nothing to the discussion.

Is really that so difficult to understand?

niminypiminy Fri 26-Jul-13 13:07:18

Well said!

Dahlen Fri 26-Jul-13 13:10:23

I'm an atheist and I agree with GoshAnneGorilla. You lose the validity of your argument when you resort to belittling someone else's.

I have very firm views about religion and am more than happy to argue against the existence of God and the harm that organised religion (as opposed to faith) can do IMO - but it is just that: an opinion; and everyone else's is as equally valid as my own and as equally deserving of respect as long as it does not cross any legal lines about hate, discrimination or prejudice.

Beastofburden Fri 26-Jul-13 13:15:15

I suppose I think that you shouldn't try to persuade yourself to believe in god because it would be kind of nice. It's too important for that. It's like getting married- you should only believe in god because you honestly think it's true, and you can't bear to live your life without that faith.

doingthesplitz Fri 26-Jul-13 13:19:41

Well said Gosh. Some very rude, narrow minded and intolerant people on here.

OP I believe in God and an afterlife. I always have but when my father died last year it was the only reason I was able to cope with such a huge loss. I don't mean I used it as a crutch but really understood the strength I got from what had always been a quiet but very sure belief.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 26-Jul-13 13:26:08

Hang on I didn't use the term sky fairy. I personally wouldn't insult or belittle someone's faith.

I pointed out that only one poster mentioned sky fairies and it might be better to focus on the many more reasonable atheist postings coming from people such as yourself dahlen

I think people have a right to criticise religion if they so choose, I don't think it's the right way to go about having a debate personally but people can express themselves however they choose.

Beastofburden Fri 26-Jul-13 13:28:44

I will post an alternative but I hope not rude or narrow minded view.

DS2 is profoundly disabled and I have sent a long time discussing with people of faith how it is possible for him and similar children to be created and/or not cured by god. I have heard all the arguments there are- from the "it's not god, it's nature" to "you learn so much- it's a blessing". I could go through why none of them works, but this isn't a faith blog so perhaps too much detail. But the killer comment is "in your shoes, I would probably feel the same".

What that means really is: "As long as my own kids are OK, I am going to put yours out of my mind and enjoy the benefits of faith. Not in a nasty way- it just doesn't seem very real until it happens to me".

Now I know there are people who love god so much that they can recognise this problem very clearly, recognise that there is no good answer, and trust that one day they might be told why- because of their love, they have no way out of this dilemma, and they are doing their best in a difficult situation. But there are also lots of people who quite fancy believing in god for social reasons or whatever.

It's just that it's like a tiny slap in the face, every time. Everyone who chooses to believe in god is saying that they find the problem of suffering acceptable. To those of us living with it, that can be hard to take.

niminypiminy Fri 26-Jul-13 14:05:02

Beastofburden: I'm not in your position ( though I'm not free of troubles either), but I would never say to someone 'in your situation I would feel the same'. That's presumptuous and silly - how could anyone know? It's better, and more useful, to listen to how you feel.

But I do take issue with the idea that by having faith in God I find the problem of suffering acceptable, I don't. Suffering is obscene, awful, unfair, undeserved, unjustified. Suffering is a scandal. Through Jesus, God put himself through suffering, and he is there with us in our suffering. Even if we have nothing else we have God's love, and we can never lose it - no matter how much we rage at hi or hate him. When we are alone in our extremest suffering, he is there with us, loving us. That may not be much. But it is better than suffering alone and unloved. And ultimately we - and all our suffering is redeemed. That is the core of Christian hope.

Beastofburden Fri 26-Jul-13 14:12:27

Niminy- I didnt mean that you thought that suffering was no issue. Of course you dont think that- no decent person could. What I mean is, that you have found a way to believe in god despite the existence of suffering. The way that you describe, which works for you, is one of the ways I have had proposed to me many times, but it does not work for me at all. I wish you well in your faith, but I can't join you there.

i hope that you can see that atheists sometimes are not arrogant and unfeeling, just that we have been presented with a problem which we are unable to solve.

Which is why I posted above saying, OP, you should not believe in god because you think it might be quite nice. It is much too important a statement for that. Only believe in god if you honestly think it is true and would be unable to live your life without it.

ZingWidge Fri 26-Jul-13 14:18:23

anormal

ok.confused I'm allowed to generalize though. I think. based on experience.

ZingWidge Fri 26-Jul-13 14:19:59

gosh grin

Whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 26-Jul-13 14:21:13

I find this topic fascinating and like the OP wonder why I don't believe in God whereas others do.
However, although I enjoy a good discussion about this topic, I don't feel anything missing in my life. I work in a faith school so I often get to question what is faith and the only bit I find a little difficult to cope with is the assumption that you need religion to help you live in a moral and ethical manner. I think my morals are just fine without the need for additional guidance.

ANormalOne Fri 26-Jul-13 14:45:49

ok I'm allowed to generalize though. I think. based on experience.

hmm

Erm, no.

Would you be happy if I said Christians are homophobic because I've spoken to a fair few homophobic Christians?
Or that Muslims are terrorists because I've seen terrorist incidents carried out by Muslims?
Or that men are pigs because I've had a lot of shitty relationships?

It's a bigoted, illogical, point of view, so don't do it - especially if you're complaining about non-Christians being 'rude' at the same time, it makes you look like a hypocrite.

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