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Want to believe in God but can't


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 24th April 2017, 7:05 PM   #1
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Want to believe in God but can't

I thought I would make a thread about this ongoing issue in my life because I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone about it. I've always had doubts about the existence of God, but those doubts never seemed to matter until the past few years. To me, the world seems depressing and pointless without the hope of God or an afterlife. I think a lot of this has been spurred on by seeing my parents get older and finding it very depressing that when they die, they may cease to exist and I'll never see them again.

Part of me thinks religion is a complete sham that we made up because we are all scared to die. Heck, we spend our entire lives fighting against death. Another part of me feels that the idea that God doesn't exist is just as preposterous. How can the world be so complex without some kind of divine creator? I'm not really interested in debating if God exists or not. I'm looking for people who have similar struggles who would like to share how they cope. I feel like my mind is full of strife on a daily basis, and it's kind of affecting me negatively at this point.
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Old 24th April 2017, 7:56 PM   #2
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Hum... I don't believe in God, and I never have.

I tried mightily to believe once - I was going through very difficult personal problems and really wanted to believe. I felt it would make everything more tolerable.

But in the end I failed, I could explain every "sign" away with logic. I have never been one to have blind Faith, and I simply couldn't muster it.

I am sure the eventual passing of my parents will test me (I am such a daddy's girl - it's going to ruin me when he goes).

Unlike you, I do not see the world as a dark place, I am a positive person, and see an immense amount of beauty in the world.

For me, science can explain the vast majority of the natural world - it's the suffering and darkness that makes me further question how a "supreme being" could allow so much horror.

I am often reminded of a 80's song:

https://play.google.com/music/previe...gnid=kp-lyrics

Dear God, hope you get the letter ......
But all the people that you made in your image
See them starving on their feet
'Cause they don't get enough to eat from God
I can't believe in you....

We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image
See them fighting in the street
'Cause they can't make opinions meet about God....

I won't believe in heaven or hell
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well
No pearly gates, no thorny crown
You're always letting us humans down
The wars you bring, the babes you drown
Those lost at sea and never found
And it's the same the whole world 'round
The hurt I see helps to compound
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Is just somebody's unholy hoax
And if you're up there you'll perceive
That my heart's here upon my sleeve
If there's one thing I don't believe in

It's you
Dear God

Last edited by RecentChange; 24th April 2017 at 8:02 PM..
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Old 24th April 2017, 8:14 PM   #3
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I need to put a 'ditto' under Recent Change's post - it resonates strongly with me.
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Old 24th April 2017, 8:29 PM   #4
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Hum... I don't believe in God, and I never have.
<snip>
For me, science can explain the vast majority of the natural world - it's the suffering and darkness that makes me further question how a "supreme being" could allow so much horror.
I agree. Science can explain many things. The immense amount of suffering in the world is certainly a reason that I have trouble believing in God. If there is a God, I don't think he meddles in our affairs. I cringe when people pray for healing. I don't see the world as a dark place, but I do find it depressing that when we die, our consciousness ceases to exist. Basically, we cease to exist. I don't understand the point of all of it if that is what really happens.

It's interesting that you said you tried and failed to believe at one point. Me too. I never doubted the concept of free will until I realized that I couldn't will myself to believe in God or Jesus. I've read all type of books that argue for the historical evidence of Christianity, ect., but I never found any of them convincing. I'm not sure we have free will at all actually. I think we have control over our actions to some extent but not our beliefs. Certainly not our emotions. And that leads me to believe that beliefs are heavily reliant on emotions.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 31st May 2017 at 11:46 AM.. Reason: Edited quote of entire previous post. ~JC
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Old 24th April 2017, 10:09 PM   #5
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I was raised very religious. There was always talks of God in my childhood.

A few years ago I went through some pretty dark times. I prayed and prayed and I didn't feel like anything changed. I started doubting whether there was a God.

I have always struggled with whether he exists or not. I need there to be a God to make me feel better about death. Otherwise it would eat me up. I don't neccesarily know if I believe but I try and convince myself I do.
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Old 24th April 2017, 10:34 PM   #6
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I think it's normal to question your faith. Many a great man have.
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Old 24th April 2017, 10:51 PM   #7
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I was raised very religious. There was always talks of God in my childhood.

A few years ago I went through some pretty dark times. I prayed and prayed and I didn't feel like anything changed. I started doubting whether there was a God.

I have always struggled with whether he exists or not. I need there to be a God to make me feel better about death. Otherwise it would eat me up. I don't neccesarily know if I believe but I try and convince myself I do.
That is exactly how I feel. I realized it was all about what happens after we die. I've finally realized that I just have to accept and live with my doubt. I have no control over it. I'm just wondering how to cope with it. It makes me wonder how many people sitting in church feel the same way but don't talk about it.
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Old 24th April 2017, 11:02 PM   #8
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That is exactly how I feel. I realized it was all about what happens after we die. I've finally realized that I just have to accept and live with my doubt. I have no control over it. I'm just wondering how to cope with it. It makes me wonder how many people sitting in church feel the same way but don't talk about it.
I haven't really given any thought to what happens when I die. I just accept that I will no longer be. My focus is on making my life a good one.
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Old 24th April 2017, 11:55 PM   #9
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I feel like my mind is full of strife on a daily basis, and it's kind of affecting me negatively at this point.
What do you think the remedy would be for feeling strife daily?

Scientific reasoning about the world and the solutions the "scientific"/medical field offer so often don't seem to fill that "god-shaped hole" inside us.

Before I became a believer, I saw the faithful as weak. Now I know there is nothing more difficult than trying to follow God. And nothing more fulfilling.

Praying that you find peace, BC1980.
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Old 25th April 2017, 1:03 AM   #10
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I never doubted the concept of free will until I realized that I couldn't will myself to believe in God or Jesus.
Hi BC1980.

There are a couple of articles that speak to your questions: How free is free will? and When your life does not seem to change (even after using spiritual techniques and rituals or giving prayers).

When my dad died when I was 13, I just decided that his life wasn't going to be for nothing and meaningless...which necessarily meant that I had to also believe in some kind of 'life after this life'...which necessarily meant some level of some kind of belief in some kind of 'God'. (It wasn't that I was looking for God; only for my dad's life to have meant something.) Now, many decades later, I'm still coming to terms with what this 'God' is and what is the nature of this 'God'; and what, if anything, am I supposed to be doing for this 'God' and what can this 'God' do for me.

I guess my point is that you don't have to go 'all in' all at once; you can start with one small decision (like I did) and just see where it goes from there.

For me, I don't see it as either science or God. There is clearly scientific evidence for Darwin's (mechanical) evolution, but the 'missing link' might point to there being a creative evolutionary process, as well. Which I think quantum physics is closer to uncovering, and will once they start to more deeply explore and examine how the physicist's consciousness interacts with and influences his/her experiments and results. Entanglement speaks to something going on beyond/above the physical-material level or spectrum (higher frequencies, planes or 'dimensions' of vibrations, and seemingly with some kind of intelligent (scalar?) communication between the photons and quarks and neutrinos). They're even looking for the 'God' Particle...so even science isn't totally against the idea. .

Wishing you all the best in your search for Truth.
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Old 25th April 2017, 4:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
Part of me thinks religion is a complete sham that we made up because we are all scared to die. Heck, we spend our entire lives fighting against death. Another part of me feels that the idea that God doesn't exist is just as preposterous. How can the world be so complex without some kind of divine creator? I'm not really interested in debating if God exists or not. I'm looking for people who have similar struggles who would like to share how they cope. I feel like my mind is full of strife on a daily basis, and it's kind of affecting me negatively at this point.
..
I've finally realized that I just have to accept and live with my doubt. I have no control over it. I'm just wondering how to cope with it. It makes me wonder how many people sitting in church feel the same way but don't talk about it.
Hey BC - I'll try and answer from my past experiences. I was raised in a very religious family - catholic - but from a relatively young age I found the idea of the god described in the bible to be pretty ridiculous. That kind of metaphorical man with a white beard living in the clouds watching everything seemed pretty absurd. The way it described things didn't seem to align with the real world - and I guess even more disconcerting was the church itself didn't seem to align with or follow their own teachings.

As a result in my teens I switched to the opposite end of the spectrum - Atheism - thinking that must be the only other option. One extreme to the other - Old style religion to Atheism. I became comfortable with that idea. I also became that guy at parties that felt it was my duty to tell anyone with a religious or spiritual inclination how absurd their beliefs were and how silly religion was. Yeah really annoying I know Strangely looking back I think this is an important step on the journey.

Anyhow fast foward another 10 or 15 years and after some pretty nasty stuff happened in my life the concept of god was once again raised to my consciousness for reexamination. Perhaps in a similar way to what your experiencing now. Though I had thoroughly dismissed the notion that any higher power existed I felt some weird desire to blame him for what happened. I ended up in a weird conflicted state of becoming angry at a god that I believed didn't exist. The angrier I got the more insistent I became that he couldn't be real - cause if he was then this couldn't happen. Basically I got the point where I was conflicted between the idea that either he didn't exist - or he did and he was a F*** ass-hole and I wasn't entirely sure which was better or worse

I'm not sure if it will end up the same for you - but for me that kind of started a process of a deeper journey of personal discovery and indeed personal spirituality. The start of the search for deeper meaning always begins with unhappiness or dissatisfaction. With life - with your understanding of life - maybe with yourself and your circumstances. If youre happy with the teachings of religion or science\atheism - you never look any further. You would simply sit in church like those people you mentioned. If you are satisfied with life then you never try to see what lies beneath it. If there is something deeper. That disconnect - that cognitive dissonance you feel now is what makes people look deeper into other options and start the process of seeking. The way to get rid of it - is to follow it and see where it leads you. For many people they will start deeply exploring areas they haven't looked into previously. Other teachings from the east - eg: Buddhism, Taoism - perhaps also meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong and alternative healing methods. Also modern or new age spiritual teachings. Alternative perspectives and ways of approaching things. An expansion of the ideas of what life might entail. But more then anything it often starts the journey inwards to know yourself.

I can't say what will happen for you but I followed a path similar to that - and for me it ended up with a pretty profound direct experience of god - the universe - the higher power what ever you want to call it. Unlike most religions I'm not saying this to convince you that god is real, tell you to do what he says or to try and sell you my idea of god. There are more then enough people trying to do that. I would simply say the only way to know for sure is to go on your own journey - search and find out for yourself.

A talk from a teacher I like which I think cover this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smPVh4vg66M

Good luck

Last edited by Justanaverageguy; 25th April 2017 at 5:25 AM..
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Old 25th April 2017, 10:20 AM   #12
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Good golly, Justanaverageguy, that was a lovely post! .
It probably describes a good part of my own personal/inner journey as an adult better than I ever could have...and better than I even knew in my conscious awareness.

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Though I had thoroughly dismissed the notion that any higher power existed I felt some weird desire to blame him for what happened. I ended up in a weird conflicted state of becoming angry at a god that I believed didn't exist.
That part made me laugh and laugh. I have found though, that it is a most common reaction of atheists. "God is making all this crap happen - or is the Creative Consciousness behind it - so, conclusion: God doesn't and cannot exist."
You've explained it so delightfully well. .

Quote:
- but from a relatively young age I found the idea of the god described in the bible to be pretty ridiculous. That kind of metaphorical man with a white beard living in the clouds watching everything seemed pretty absurd.
You didn't mention that that same white-bearded 'man' was also said to be angry, vengeful, wrathful, harshly judgmental and jealous...all in very capricious and inconsistent ways. (I was also raised Catholic, so this was the 'God' of my childhood, too. As I said, I had to toss it at age 13, when my dad died.)

I think it's a belief in that (crazy, pathological, nut job of an) Entity as the Creator of the world that causes one to question whether it's at all worthwhile seeking or following such a Principle...nevermind believing in the premise of its existence in the first place.
Like you, it also didn't make any sense to me. .

I'm still working on my own way back. One of the things I've recently uncovered within my own consciousness is a subconscious anger and hatred against God and God's Mater Light; and blaming God for the fact that I am on this (crazy, pathological, nut job of a) planet in the first place.
Now it seems a little more obvious why I don't have the Creative Power of Will to change my circumstances at will. . God actually has nothing to do with it; turns out it has all along been my own free will decisions and choices that are out of alignment with Cosmic-Universal Laws that have kept me limited and stuck. (Of course, as I said, those free will decisions are made at a higher or 'quantum' level and not in the physical-material plane, which is how they can stay subconscious.) Who knew??? .

Thanks again, Justanaverageguy, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking post.
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Old 25th April 2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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I haven't really given any thought to what happens when I die. I just accept that I will no longer be. My focus is on making my life a good one.
I wish I felt the same way
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Old 25th April 2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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What do you think the remedy would be for feeling strife daily?

Scientific reasoning about the world and the solutions the "scientific"/medical field offer so often don't seem to fill that "god-shaped hole" inside us.

Before I became a believer, I saw the faithful as weak. Now I know there is nothing more difficult than trying to follow God. And nothing more fulfilling.

Praying that you find peace, BC1980.
The remedy would be to know what happens are we die and have absolute certainty that God exists. I've realized that those things aren't going to happen because they are out of my control. So I have to learn to cope with them.
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Old 25th April 2017, 12:09 PM   #15
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I get it, BC, I really do. I believe that there's a God, but He doesn't seem to care too much about suffering, and so much basic Christian doctrine makes no sense to me at all. I've struggled with this for years and have absolutely zero insights to offer as a result.
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