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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 4th May 2017, 10:02 PM   #61
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The really interesting question to me, what happens when we figure out how to extend life indefinitely? And, no, it might not happen in anyone's lifetime alive today, but it will happen, either though better medicine or some "Matrix style upload" (my brain is in the cloud, literally).

Does God cease to exist if death is no longer a "thing"? I have no idea, and can't answer any of these questions, I struggle with this all the time, I was raised atheist, spent years in religious schools studying/reading the scripture, moved away from it, and then recently started to get back into it. IMHO, religion can be a force for good in people's lives, and, of course, it's also a mechanism of mass control, so it's pretty obvious why it came about. There are always unanswerable questions; and, until we can answer them all, we will always need faith in something. Can be science (we will figure it out) and can be a higher power. But something, because, without that, we can't truly understand the world around us.

Maybe we will some day answer all the questions, but, I suspect we'll get to "live forever" first; if so, what happens to religion without the promise of an afterlife?
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:52 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Haydn View Post
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
I've been really happy that so many people stopped by to share their experiences. I always want to call you Morrissey.
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Old 5th May 2017, 1:18 AM   #63
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Awesome thread, such a catchy thread title!
When my eldest girl started to read, she loved stories about Jesus. She would devour books about him. I guess her belief and interest improved her reading no end.

Not quite divine intervention but `he` helped.

Obviously now a lot of her reading revolves around `one Direction` and Justin Beiber.

Yes the conversations that took place with her and still do. A walk in the park would turn into a theological debate in which i was hopelessely out of my depth. I would look longingly at the swings....

But i would never tell her it is all rubbish and there is no God etc.. That`s not my right.

For myself, something happened, that made me see things differently and i have been reading a lot recently. An open mind is usually good in all things.
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Old 5th May 2017, 5:15 AM   #64
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When my eldest girl started to read, she loved stories about Jesus. She would devour books about him. I guess her belief and interest improved her reading no end.
Exactly.

Ironically, some of the most open-minded people I have met are also some of the most religious people. I don't mean the 'preachy', intolerant, self-righteous type who will see the bad in every religion but their own, or those who follow their religion like a dogma; I mean those who think about their faith in a more philosophical way and accept that their religion can be wrong sometimes. This is actually perfectly illustrated by this thread because the premise is one of open debate and personal experience, not judgement.

It is always easier to talk to a tolerant person about religion / God than to someone who can't think for themselves and parrots their sacred book without critical thinking, or someone who refuses to see the positive things about religious beliefs and won't even accept that believing in God can bring peace to others.
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Old 5th May 2017, 5:46 AM   #65
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On ething that makes me feel peace truly is having faith in gods plan...because only then what i hav egoen through and what many people go through who go through much more pain that i have ....all has a prupose and a design that promise given in the bible and the psalms that soothe my soul......are truth...


all tears shall be wiped and be no more..no more pain or sorrow for anyone...that everyones sins are forgiven by a higher power that still small voice that telsl that they are forgiven...and also that god will judge those who intentionally hurt and maim others if they dont repent....if not from god..

that voice is simply a product of my mental illness...a voice that is untrue and diseased...which is what shrinks have told me ...i am sick in the head....not so bluntly....they use medical terminology.........is too hard for me to bear ......

god...makes sense to me..Jesus giving hsi life....i understand that too..dont particularly like the fact he had to die in agony and suffering the way he did.....in fact ...cant handle it...i cry like a baby even thinking of it....but i believe in him...in his ministry on earth...his power...his miracles...his goodness....... and his death and his resurrection..because he just has to be true...for me to go on...for me being here for me to be forgiven...for all people to have peace ..for life to make sense and be right and not just wrong and pointless..

when i think of god...i feel him...i am sure that i do...and i am comforted.......and hopeful ...that humanity has a divine given purpose good and bad...it will all make perfect sense one day perfectly intricate and full of grace and wisdom...and ill understand why......deb
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Old 5th May 2017, 1:28 PM   #66
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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.
Why is your mind in strife on a daily basis? Is it the world's dysfunction or the thoughts of losing people you love...or both? You do not have to believe in God to be peaceful/content.

Either you will carry your parent's dna, what you have learned from them, the memories of them turned to action in your every day events and they are ashes returned to the earth...Or, there is consciousness after the body dies that is eternal and ever present...or both.

The truth will occur no matter what you believe as it simply is and is not dependent on your belief. Take that off your plate at least BC1980.
You don't have to make up your mind about God in order for what will happen to occur.

That you are troubled over this means, imo, that you believe something. It only isn't readily definable. I don't see any reason to rush; stillness and presence have been a good teacher for me.

It's a journey and it does not stop until the moment that we can no longer tell. LOL
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Old 5th May 2017, 1:42 PM   #67
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Why is your mind in strife on a daily basis? Is it the world's dysfunction or the thoughts of losing people you love...or both? You do not have to believe in God to be peaceful/content.
How very true!!

But I think, perhaps, a lot of the strife comes from an internal pressure to decide...something. Which honestly I think comes from religion. Christianity, for example, says that unless you believe that Jesus was the son of God and you "receive" him and all that, you will not "go to Heaven."

So for some, there is such a deep level of indoctrination, it makes it hard to put this idea to rest. We may think down deep that there is an everlasting consciousness...but what if Christianity was right?? Ack. Or some other religion we've never even heard of?? Ack. We would have needed to "accept" that form in order to participate in the 'good' side.

And typing all of that out just proved to me further why I think religion has messed with our ability to believe.

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Old 5th May 2017, 1:53 PM   #68
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Southern Sun, if there is a God, it's inside..not out. Fear is a false litmus. Serenity in acceptance of the unknown, which is pretty much everything. We know nothing...first rule of science and abundantly clear to science on a daily basis.

I would say never have faith in fear. God (bible) says 'Be still and know that I am God.' This transcends all religions.

No gender by the way, ha ha.

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Old 5th May 2017, 2:40 PM   #69
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IMO, death is a horrible and catastrophic event. There isn't much more that is crueler than death. To suddenly rip away a family member is insanely cruel IMO. To live a life and form relationships and have a consciousness that is unique. . . . and then for all of that to cease to exist because of death. I think that is one of the worst things I can think of.
I think this is the most telling post of all.

Cruel to whom? The living, right? Certainly not the dead. Afterlife or no, the dead won't suffer from what you've described.

And cruel is a word that implies intent, a personification. Cruelty requires an actor.

I think you do believe in God, deep down inside. You're just frustrated by the uncertainty and by your inability to discern a clear purpose.

I think the truth is that if you truly believe, you can't make yourself not believe, and if you don't, nothing short of a miracle will change your mind.
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Old 5th May 2017, 2:45 PM   #70
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I think faith can be a strong motivator.

I look at my aunt, someone in her late 80's, a devout Catholic.
She survived breast cancer...her faith unwavering.

Her brother, similar age, lost his wife to breast cancer and he himself suffered from serious medical ailments.
He is a former jesuit, strongly believes in God and honors God every day.

They lost both their parents (my grandparents) when they were young but forged on somehow... I am glad that I am/have been able to witness such an unbreakable and all powerful faith in this lifetime.

And no one hated going to Catholic school and Church more than me, I think.
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Old 5th May 2017, 3:10 PM   #71
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I think this is the most telling post of all.

Cruel to whom? The living, right? Certainly not the dead. Afterlife or no, the dead won't suffer from what you've described.

And cruel is a word that implies intent, a personification. Cruelty requires an actor.

I think you do believe in God, deep down inside. You're just frustrated by the uncertainty and by your inability to discern a clear purpose.

I think the truth is that if you truly believe, you can't make yourself not believe, and if you don't, nothing short of a miracle will change your mind.
I really like this. My mom, an atheist and after my dad died told me this:

Mom: Goodmorning (me), I called to tell you that I saw something this morning that made me think about God.

Me: What?

Mom: An eagle landed at my window while I had breakfast this morning and hovered for a while...I know that it meant something. I don't believe in God but for a minute I knew that it was (dad.)

Me: .................................it's the quiet things mom.
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Old 6th May 2017, 1:05 PM   #72
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I have read some of the post here and find them interesting. A few observations to contribute and be a part of a very complicated discussion that neither the believer nor the non-believer is fully capable of discerning...

1. The most cruel thing that any God could inflict is ETERNAL DAMNATION AND SUFFERING. Something that most traditional Christians don't like to publicly remind us of, but something they embrace with some celebration.

2. The greatest and most fundamental battle with the 'church' is between the non-believer and the believer.....it's within the doors of those who confess to believe. You lukewarm believers (hypocrites) do more damage to the church than the non-believer ever did or does. The vast majority of evangelical christians supporting and celebrating Trump (unquestionably a non-Christian) is an example.

3. The very reason Christians like to give to believe are the very same reasons they need to believe. Uncertainty. Questioning of their purpose, so easier to create a deity to give them 'purpose.' Christians are well known for their recursive explanation for the existence of a deity (or God).

4. There was a saying that I saw not too long ago that really explains the atheist's POV. To paraphrase, an atheist recognizes that this is all there is, so live life to the fullest and best way you possibly can. This also involves how those around you are affected. Simple and quite utilitarian.
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Old 8th May 2017, 7:29 AM   #73
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4. There was a saying that I saw not too long ago that really explains the atheist's POV. To paraphrase, an atheist recognizes that this is all there is, so live life to the fullest and best way you possibly can. This also involves how those around you are affected. Simple and quite utilitarian.
The interesting thing is that the Atheist and Theist both come to the same conclusions - but for completely different reasons.

The fundamental conclusion of both a theist and and atheist are that we must live this life the best way we possibly can - the theist because of god\afterlife - the atheist because we only get one life so we must live it well. So to argue over who is right becomes kind of pointless when you understand the way both seek to live there live's is fundamentally the same.

In this sense torturing ourselves over whether god exists or does not exist can sometimes distract us from that core goal - to live the best life possible and do the most good in the short time we are here
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Old 8th May 2017, 7:20 PM   #74
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Which "God" do you want to believe in? The ones that are taught by the major world religions, the ones the make you feel good...or the true living God? If you seek with all your heart and strength like it's a hidden treasure, God takes the initiative to reveal Himself to you. Humans cannot know God through their own effort and study. A good starting point is the Bible. But even the Bible, without the Spirit of God's guidance, will do you no good. Are you ready to learn who he really is? Are you willing to know--even if it means acknowledging things that make you uncomfortable? God will reveal himself if you seek his face and come humbly before him with empty hands and admit that you lack knowledge.
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Old 29th May 2017, 10:05 PM   #75
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The interesting thing is that the Atheist and Theist both come to the same conclusions - but for completely different reasons.

The fundamental conclusion of both a theist and and atheist are that we must live this life the best way we possibly can - the theist because of god\afterlife - the atheist because we only get one life so we must live it well. So to argue over who is right becomes kind of pointless when you understand the way both seek to live there live's is fundamentally the same.

In this sense torturing ourselves over whether god exists or does not exist can sometimes distract us from that core goal - to live the best life possible and do the most good in the short time we are here
I'll accept that. But of course, the 'believer' will tell you that it is not enough to live the best life you possibly can. In fact, some will scoff at the suggestion and simply tell you that your belief in God is all you need....now whether that translates to doing one's best....that something they tend to dismiss.
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