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Help me believe there is a god

(45 Posts)
littlenamechanges Mon 15-May-17 18:25:13

I really want to believe God exists but at the moment I'm really struggling as there is so much pain and suffering in this world! When I asked someone why this would happen if there is a god their reply was there is also a devil but isn't god all powerful? Why would he let innocent children go through so much pain and suffering?

OdinsLoveChild Mon 15-May-17 18:31:32

Why do you want to believe a God exists?

I dont believe for the very reasons you posted. I follow a pagan path which I find personally very fulfilling.

PlymouthMaid1 Mon 15-May-17 18:41:53

Unless you have blind faith you can't believe as you will never get any actual concrete proof. I think that there is no God but even if I am wrong he is either not omnipotent or he is a heartless sadistic git.

Heratnumber7 Mon 15-May-17 18:44:22

I went to s lecture once on the subject of whether our supposed Christian benevolent god might actually be a malevolent one instead.
Made me think..,.

RebelRogue Mon 15-May-17 19:03:46

This is a very simplistic view:

Well first of all no once can convince you to believe. You either do or don't.

Second,it depends what kind of God you're "looking" for and wether you believe we have free will or not. So a controlling God that reacts and interferes/a paths is already written and decided for all of us, or a God that allows everyone to choose how they live and the "judgement" comes when you die.

Feyenoord Mon 15-May-17 19:17:57

A priest explained it to me (much better than I can translate it though):
God doesn't dictate life. He doesn't make the bad things or the illness, that's just part of the physical life that just exists. he is there beside you to help you get through the difficult parts. He will never leave you. You will never be alone in your struggles. If you seek him he will be there to comfort you. He is part of the mental life.

And I quite like the reasoning behind life of pi. Maybe god is a choice.

I don't know. I do believe that there is something. I feel like there are unexplainable good and bad things. I am very uncertain if it fits in a religion though.

Strawberrybubblebath Mon 15-May-17 21:58:41

I found these people very helpful to discuss questions like this

christianity.org.uk/

Personally I feel it's not God who causes the bad things - it's the wrong choices that humans make that cause all sorts of consequences for other humans and the environment.
God doesn't intervene because where would he stop?
What is considered ok when it comes to bad things? Is stealing ok? Is bad mouthing ok? In fact I think God thinks all these are wrong, not just the big things but the little things too. So what should God do? Zap us all? Turn us into robots which do his bidding?
No I think God has given us everything we need to make the right choices (a conscience, 10 commandments) and then hopes we will choose to do the right thing, much like we do with our children. Again much like with our children he still loves us even though we may do terrible things (although he doesn't like the bad things we do).
He understands us and knows we will continue to make bad choices and because he is very Just there will be consequences for those that have done wrong things (i.e.all of us). Fortunately for us he loves us so much he has given up his only son to take our punishment for us. He can't take it out on us because he loves us so much, so instead he sent his son (who is in effect God himself) to be crucified. If any justice is served on us God has already taken it on himself for us.

littlenamechanges Tue 16-May-17 06:03:21

I can understand that not all bad things can be stopped i.e. Swearing / bad mouthing but I still do not understand how he can allow suffering to innocents. If someone has done something bad then yes they should be punished appropriately but how can he not intervene when someone is suffering at the hand of these monsters? Surely babies/ children who have not yet had a chance to believe in God can gain no comfort from his existence mentally. That is where I believe some form of physical intervention takes place. I don't know how this would happen but I just think it would be a very comforting thing to know he is watching over and protecting us. I do want to believe in a god as I find it comforting and I know when the time comes that I loose a loved one I will hold on to the fact that Someone will take care of them, whoever that may be. I just hope any life after this one does not contain so much evil.

Deranger01 Tue 16-May-17 06:14:43

The only answer I've ever seen to the problem of suffering that made sense is that God did not create the suffering, this world is a fallen world in many respects and he's a source of strength you can draw on during tough times to walk through it with grace. My faith always fails me on this question though, I'm not sure you can reason yourself to belief although C S Lewis's works might help.

CrimsonKing Tue 16-May-17 06:18:18

He doesn't exist. I suggest you don't waste your time trying to make sense of something so clearly made-up by man.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 16-May-17 06:33:00

I'd love to believe in God, but I can't reconcile an all-powerful and benevolent God with sickness and premature death.

sashh Tue 16-May-17 06:43:14

Personally I feel it's not God who causes the bad things - it's the wrong choices that humans make that cause all sorts of consequences for other humans and the environment.

Cancer in children?

smallpox, malaria, polio?

I suppose part of the answer is to ask what sort of God you want to believe in?

I suspect that many people want a God to be the parent who takes all the responsibility for the bad stuff we do. This is an infantilising God as we would never have to bear the consequences of our actions.

Defining God is hard. For Christians the core belief is that in Jesus we see God. Other faiths have their own approaches to the divine.

Then there is the nature of belief. Then you start trending on philosophical territory which most people are not familiar with. What is truth and goodness? Can I prove I exist let alone God? The naive realist world view which says that what I can see exists separate from ourselves does not hold up to serious philosophical investigation but we have to live life assuming that it does. Which is all very confusing.

As some one who does believe and has done for all her adult life I would say that I live with doubt. That is the nature of faith. I sit with the dying. I listen to the bereaved when I do tragic funerals. As a Christian I believe that Jesus is with us in the mess of this world and that sometimes doesn't seem to be enough but I keep going. Very occasionally I bump into the divine in religious experience and that reminds me that God is still there even if If defining God drags you into poetical or artistic territory. Words fail mostly.

Maybe the answer to the OPs question is to go somewhere like a cathedral and sit in a few services. Christians encounter God in worship,and prayer. Or if you are more activist get out and volunteer with a Christian charity working with the homeless or refugees and see what faith in action looks like.

There is a series of books called The little book of..... and they are short and written by really good writers. Their is one on suffering by Robin Gill which might help.

littlenamechanges Tue 16-May-17 07:43:17

As much as I would love to believe that God can stop all evil I know deep down that he doesn't so what I want to believe is that he can give strength to those who are suffering and ensure they live on in eternal happiness and love in another life away from the hell that we live in now.

thethoughtfox Tue 16-May-17 11:40:14

The world makes so much more sense when you accept that there is not god and people make the best of what they have. Any of the arguments and justifications for a god/ God just don't make sense. If you have been brought up with a faith, it can be a difficult realisation.

pottered Tue 16-May-17 11:58:00

i've certainly had times in my life where I've felt that God was helping me with suffering, and live in the hope that people I've lost too soon are in a better place. I also think the point about doing good things to make you feel you're countering the suffering in every day life is helpful - wherever you ultimately go with your faith.

sugarplumfairy28 Tue 16-May-17 12:25:24

I don't believe in God however a scene from the Matrix does suggest an answer to the suffering and struggles that face people, if you are that way incline.

In case you're not as much of a nerd as me, the Matrix was created by a man, who is exempt from being in the Matrix, called the Architect, he is portrayed as being vaguely god like. He created the Matrix to provide a place for the human race to live. He generally provides for their needs and tries to deal with the bigger issues surrounding life. In the case on the Matrix, the machines, which are an unknown issue to most of the human race.

He did create a perfect world for the humans to live, no disease, no famine, no struggles, but rather than humans being happy, they died off. They had nothing to work for, nothing to overcome, nothing to recognise their struggles or accmplisments with. So he had to create a world where people had to over come struggle, where by there was a comparison and therefor a reason to strive for more. But in order to over come problems there will always be those that don't, and in that you appreciate what you have. Neo can be perceived as being Jesus, he is the connection between the creator, the evil and the human race, and it is him who has to face the ultimate struggle and sacrifice.

Thought provoking if not anything else.

littlenamechanges Tue 16-May-17 13:51:28

Sugar plum I'm not talking about daily struggles, I'm referring to people/ children who are suffering at the hands of another human being. Surely no one needs that in their lives !

pottered Tue 16-May-17 13:53:55

no, nobody needs that in their lives and that's where the 'being tested' sort of suffering falls down for me, there are daily struggles and then there is horrific suffering and I can't comprehend that at all.

All you can do op, is try and find a way to help in a positive way, donating to relevant charities or volunteering for them, it's not much, but it's more reliable than a faith you can't always feel (speaking from experience).

sugarplumfairy28 Tue 16-May-17 14:06:29

*little I'm not suggesting that at all, just offering something to think on.

Personally I think religion is one of the biggest causes of hate and struggle in the world, and people would be better off without it.

All you can do is help how ever and whenever you can, and encourage others to do the same thing.

JustAnotherPoster00 Tue 16-May-17 14:14:01

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

- Epicurus

RebelRogue Tue 16-May-17 15:37:16

OP do you believe in god? Do you believe we have free will?

AcrossthePond55 Tue 16-May-17 16:51:54

Read "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by H S Kushner

Westray Tue 16-May-17 21:22:21

Personally I feel it's not God who causes the bad things - it's the wrong choices that humans make

Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Ebola?

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 16-May-17 22:06:51

I do think it's important to seperate religion from God (or whoever the spiritual entity is that people wish to believe in).

God is God - humans have just come up with ways to follow him, that involves - in far, far to many instances - being hateful, violent, exclusionary, murderous, spiteful and bigoted.

I feel certain, that if God exists, he disapproves of the way most people act in his name. I'm even more certain that Jesus wouldn't agree with the way many people enact their religion.

But even separating them, I still don't understand premature death, especially of babies and children, and natural disasters.

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