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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 3rd May 2017, 10:03 AM   #46
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Great Thread, I have enjoyed reading it and everyone's input.

I was born and raised a Catholic - since I left for college almost 2 decades ago, I have been non-practicing since. Church was always a chore to me. I was never 'into it' if it makes any sense.

I have a toddler now and he's never been baptised nor in a church for a real mass. Family is not happy, but whatever. We (his parents) have decided to let him find and follow his spiritual journey when he gets older. The other day he asked me what happens when you die (really at that age?!?!) - Got me thinking.

I don't buy the Bible/Quran/other religious books. What I do buy is that there HAS to me someone/something that made something, from nothing. It all started with the BigBang they say, what about before the BigBang? Was there nothing?

Some Supreme Being/God has to be out there. Either that or the Matrix, haha. Has to be. I also believe that "I" will never truly perish. I may not be in the physical form when I leave this world, but I don't believe it just 'ends.' - Will I remember this place? Dunno. What about all my family/friends/etc... No idea. I don't think God is sitting up in the clouds with his gray beard as so many describe 'Him' but I truly believe there are other forces at play that we just cannot comprehend, and who knows if we ever will.

I'll be sure to update this thread with my findings after I die in hopefully 70 years or so.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 11:37 AM   #47
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I have a toddler now <snip> The other day he asked me what happens when you die
Isn't it the truth that some children can really make their parents think? I guess, "Thank goodness for that."

There are a couple of articles that I really wish one or both of my parents would have had access to when I was a toddler: The value of teaching spirituality [to] children
and Introducing spiritual concepts...to children.

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I'll be sure to update this thread with my findings after I die in hopefully 70 years or so.
. I for one will be waiting with bated breath!...so, please don't disappoint. OTOH, if I get there first, I will update you. Fair enough?
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Old 3rd May 2017, 4:46 PM   #48
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All I know is I wish I had the faith my mother had at times. Especially as she lay dying. She was so at peace with death, so at peace just "knowing" that there was a God waiting for her. That her family would be well, and that she had another place to waiting on her.

She had been in hospice care at home unconscious for over a week, we finally called a priest (Catholic) to give the last rights as the hospice nurse said it was time. As the priest started reciting The Lords Prayer, mom stirred, she opened her glassy eyes and smiled slightly. She closed them as the priest held her hand. Later that night, she passed. I often think, she was waiting for that priest, for the Last Rights and her last sacrament.

She always had a strong, but not fanatical, belief in God, and I'm sure in many ways, that was also part of her strength. I do hope she was right, and she's somewhere happy with God now.

I wish I had her faith...
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Old 3rd May 2017, 5:45 PM   #49
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What I do buy is that there HAS to me someone/something that made something, from nothing. It all started with the BigBang they say, what about before the BigBang? Was there nothing?
Why does there have to be someone/something that made something from nothing? There actually doesn't. It might make us feel better to think there was, but there certainly doesn't HAVE to be.

Here's how something could come from nothing.

If 1 is something. Say 1 = matter.
And -1 is something. Say -1 = antimatter.

Then 0 (i.e. nothing)=1-1.

But more importantly, why did there ever have to be nothing? It seems like there has always been something. The Big Bang just says that at the beginning all the stuff was in a different form. Still something, just different than it is now.

And if there was something that created something, what created that 1st something (to infinite...)?
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Old 3rd May 2017, 5:53 PM   #50
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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.
The Bible says that faith comes from hearing the word of God (the Bible). I would suggest reading the Bible starting with the New Testament. The Bible also says he who seeks God with their whole heart will find him. I will pray for you... I think the fact that you are struggling with this is a great sign that you are ready for him in your life. Also.. I would try starting with praying once a day.. whether it's on your way to work, right before bed.. it's just a conversation between you and God. Also- know that God loves you just as you are right now.. you don't have to clean up your life to talk to him or come to him... the Bible says he loved us at our darkest. Please feel free to message me if you ever need someone to talk to!
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Old 3rd May 2017, 8:34 PM   #51
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And if there was something that created something, what created that 1st something (to infinite...)?
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Old 3rd May 2017, 8:56 PM   #52
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i know theres a god.......i want to understand people better than i do god..god makes sense to me....people dont.....the pain they inflict or actually we inflict on others ....what people do to others...the news prime example.....so easy to blame god for it......

or say god doesnt exist...deb
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:06 AM   #53
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But more importantly, why did there ever have to be nothing? It seems like there has always been something. The Big Bang just says that at the beginning all the stuff was in a different form. Still something, just different than it is now.

And if there was something that created something, what created that 1st something (to infinite...)?
My question would be: where did the first something come from? It's mind boggling to think about.
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:21 AM   #54
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBRdfpGyLyI

I was an Atheist but now i am Agnostic. (Something changed)

My kids believe. It`s theirs to decide whatever they want to believe.

Really interesting thread, BC1980
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:33 AM   #55
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I think that not being able to cope with death is a particularly modern thing. Losing loved ones used to be a very common part of life. Not that it was any less painful, but it was something which happened more regularly because of bigger families and childhood mortality. People died at home. They were washed and prepared for burial by family members. People would pay respects to the deceased in their own homes. Heck, the Victorians even took photos of the deceased. (Google Victorian post mortem photography if you're not aware of this).

Now it's all life support and hospitals and morgues. People who would have died 100 years ago are now kept alive. We are less connected to death and I think that makes it harder to process.
I think this is a good observation. 100 years ago, kids died of ear infections. That just doesn't happen today. Also, we have vaccines today. We're all shocked and horrified when a child dies today, but that was the norm at one time. People had large families because they knew some of their children probably wouldn't make it to adulthood. I wonder if people lived more day to day back then.
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:41 AM   #56
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You don't have to rationalize it or even understand it. Whenever conflict enters you mind, just tell yourself to stop thinking about it and just tell yourself to let God take care of your doubts. Don't worry about why other people believe or don't believe. Try not to look at other people's actions as a reason to not accept Christ. If you use others as the standard for whether to accept Christ or not, you will be sorely disappointed. Just look at Christ. If he placed his faith in man, he would have never made it to the cross! Everyone betrayed him and even the most holy and wise, handed him over to be killed. Look at Christ as the example, not other people's motives like fear of death, healing, ignorance, (which none of us really know, only God knows). At the end of the day, the choice is up to each person, individually. What others do or don't do, ultimately makes no difference.

I think the fact you even bring it up so much is because you are saved, not by your ability to rationalize it though, but because of God's Grace. If you weren't, you would not care or worry about it IMHO.

If that doesn't work, I think you should look into Methodism or some Wesleyan denomination. Methodists tend to take a more scientific/methodological (hence the name) approach to doctrine (textual criticism, etc.). It might be the more Pentecostal persuasion is just not suited to you (you mention you are annoyed by people praying for healing, etc.). A lot of times I think you are just annoyed by certain Pentecostal denominations lol There are all kinds of denominations of Christianity. Contrary to secular opinion, most denominational differences are not because of infighting, but because people have different preferences. There really are not a lot of fundamental doctrines in Christianity (see Acts 15), which provides a lot of latitude for personal preferences.

Hope this helps!
It is true that the differences in denominations aren't that great when it comes to doctrine. The basics are the same. I don't consider something like what happens during the Eucharist to be a huge difference. I have attended a Methodist church, on and off, for many years, and I found that it has suited me well. I think a lot of my problems come from overthinking things. There aren't answers to everything, and even science, though it offers many answers, can't answer everything.
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Old 4th May 2017, 1:22 PM   #57
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Sometimes I think it's religion itself that causes our difficulty in believing in God.

We have all these different religions, and if only ONE is the right one, and the rest of us are wrong...it seems unfair. Improbable.

Our religions tell us that the books on which they are based are infallible, and yet they are full of discrepancies. Another problem.

Our religions are full of magical stories, making it hard for us in this day and age to blindly accept.

If we could just drop religion and get straight to God or a Higher Power (whatever you call it), we might have an easier time with this.

I also believe using the issue of suffering in the world as a reason NOT to believe is faulty.

I agree that some suffering seems senseless, just egregious. But if most of us on here believe that God is not personally interfering with our lives, answering prayers for some people and not others, then God would neither be preventing suffering for some and not others. Humans generally are the cause of our own and others' suffering.

My real point though is...who are we without it? If we never encountered any obstacles, how would we grow? Muscles must become sore to get stronger. Knives must be passed vigorously against a stone to become sharper. There is no change without meeting resistance. Certain things that cause suffering are inevitable. Others that seem totally unnecessary might be horrific but they almost always contain the potential to be a catalyst. If we literally never experienced ANY PAIN OR PROBLEMS (imagine it...seriously), would there be a thing accomplished in the world?
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Old 4th May 2017, 1:31 PM   #58
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According to scripture,

The "First Something"...God, is the uncreated creator, God simply exists and has always existed. God created 'time', but God in and in itself does not exist in the realm of scientific space and time.

Time is merely a measurable quantity from one point to the next through sequence.

A prime example are black holes, "a fraction of a second inside a black hole, eternity has passed outside the black hole".

So, science in terms of universal time is observable within only a small percentage.
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Old 4th May 2017, 3:20 PM   #59
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It is true that the differences in denominations aren't that great when it comes to doctrine. The basics are the same. I don't consider something like what happens during the Eucharist to be a huge difference. I have attended a Methodist church, on and off, for many years, and I found that it has suited me well. I think a lot of my problems come from overthinking things. There aren't answers to everything, and even science, though it offers many answers, can't answer everything.
Often our greatest blessing can be our biggest curse.

You have a very rational mind, which I believe helps you in your medical profession. However, (and I have it too, being a researcher), it is easy to fall into what I call paralysis by analysis. There are some concepts Paul taught on that even Peter said "were hard to understand"...if that's an apostle struggling with certain topics, I think we have some latitude to doubt

Some things like "how can God be eternal"...are just outside of our ability to fully grasp. We only exist and experience temporal causality; realities in which causation breaks down, might be feasible to model mathematically, but in terms of trying to understand it from an experiential perspective, well...good luck.

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Old 4th May 2017, 6:08 PM   #60
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Awesome thread, such a catchy thread title!

I'm in the same predicament, OP - I want to believe in God, and I suppose I could if I had more time for it, but ultimately I can't be bothered.

I was raised by open-minded parents; dad is a (posh) Marxist, mum was raised in a Jesuit school, both have ties to Islam but they didn't impose their beliefs on us. We talked freely about religion and politics at home and were encouraged to read about all faiths and make our minds up as and when from a young age.

In my younger days I had a 'Muslim phase' after a trip to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and seeing how serene and peaceful those who were praying there seemed to be, which ended with my first sort-of boyfriend in prep school, who was Jewish and almost tempted me into his faith. That was followed by a 'Christian phase' after visiting the modern Catholic Church in Liverpool and talking to the priest, who seemed very wise and passionate.

I did study the three books enough to get my own idea, and decided I'd be better off following the path of common sense and kindness to others. I also think I'm too rational and practical to believe in God, but I do believe in the human race (at least most of the time).

My kids attend a faith school because it's the best in the area; my youngest is quite taken by Jesus and the stories surrounding his birth and his death, but my eldest is a little more inquisitive and skeptical, which makes for interesting conversations a the dinner table about God's parental responsibilities towards Jesus and how great of a step-dad Joseph was.
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