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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 2nd February 2018, 6:35 PM   #346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x5 View Post
If that were true, The Clergy Project which provides support to current and former religious professionals without supernatural belief wouldn't exist. Plus there wouldn't be any atheists of which there are plenty, who are former christians.

That said until your god or any other god can be proven to exist with actual evidence as opposed to anecdotal nonsense, I will continue to rationally presume they don't exist.
mkay, feel free. I don't know why you think that someone must convince you to believe in God.
Do you.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 12:08 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
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.

I understand 100% where you are coming from with this. I don't think you are alone. I've felt this way forever. I don't think we're the only ones by a long shot.

I feel like we came from -something- and we're going back there. Always have. (Even though I'm agnostic-atheist.)


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 thought similarly. I recently underwent a major life change when my wife left. I had to find some positivity and I found it at a church... (more in further responses)


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Originally Posted by RecentChange View Post
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.
Recentchange, you should Google "the epicurus question" because the discussions about it may interest you.

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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
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.
Been there, too.

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Originally Posted by darkbloom View Post
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.
I was not raised religious, I was an atheist entirely for 30 years.

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Originally Posted by amaysngrace View Post
I think it's normal to question your faith. Many a great man have.
If you never question the way you think, you are in a TINY minority.

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Originally Posted by Tiger Lily View Post
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.
Faith is the remedy, not faith in anything/anyone... just faith. Everything has worked out for us all so far, why wouldn't it continue to do so? And if there's no god/afterlife... why would it matter to us when it stops (we just stop existing right?). That's the argument my brain would make... if I wasn't reaching for positivity.

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Originally Posted by GorillaTheater View Post
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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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
Thanks for the link. I believe Jesus existed. Even the most liberal scholars believe he existed. The NT has been very accurately transmitted over time too. There are some instances of redaction, but they don't change the really important stuff.
Then you are one step ahead of me... I don't have "saving faith" as the Christians refer to it. I struggle with this and I'll explain in my full reply below.

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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
It seems beyond comprehension that a loving God would either be the source of suffering or sit back and refuse to intervene. That is something I will never comprehend. I don't buy into the idea that our suffering is supposed to be used to glorify God. That's cruel and sick.

But I also agree with you that there are so many amazing things in this world that it's hard to believe God does not exist. Back when I used to hike a lot, I would sometimes look at the views from the tops of mountains and wonder how God could not exist. It also seems unfathomable that when we die, we simply cease to exist. Maybe that's just because I was raised as a Christian, so I always had the idea that our consciousness lives on.
Again, the Epicurus question... It's very interesting.

My full reply:


So, recently my wife left and I was walking around working (I'm a grounskeeper) and I was trying to convince myself that I was fine, she was coming back, it had only been two days. I didn't know about the other man yet... Then this old lady walks up to me (I showed no outward signs of despair, I was laughing at my audio book.) I take out my headphones and she comes and prays for peace with me... She took my hand and asked God to give me peace from my head to my toes.

I was CRUSHED. I had been an atheist/agnostic for 30 years (this was 6 weeks ago). It MESSED my head up. I went inside my apartment and I lost it.

So, I put it behind me... I went about my business, my wife started being HORRIBLE to me. Everthing was my fault, etc. Standard cheater ****.

I started reaching out to others for help. I started asking them what they believe, I started talking to anyone who would listen. It helped. It brought me peace just having others listen. I am being 100% real here. I didn't do this because I thought it was a sign or something... I just did it.

So, I got my son enrolled in a charter school, I picked a teacher with MANY qualifications/certificates... she's awesome. I talked to her about the divorce and how my son has no friends, no clubs, no nothing... I felt like a failure as a parent... so I reached out. She said "this is in NO WAY endorsed by the school, and I could get in serious trouble... but Crossing Church has a great youth group." I called the church, it was closed. I called the prayer line. They called back, they listened to my (horrible) life story... Out on my own at 14, drugs, violence, theft, underage parenthood, child alienation, getting my son at 8 after he was neglected, losing my wife, terrible parents, the whole works.

The person on the phone (preacher?) was STUNNED. He said "I don't know how you've kept going without faith." I didn't know either. He asked me if I would let him pray and he did. His colleagues called me back, talked to me again. This guy asked me if I would like to come to church, he explained that no faith is necessary, they welcome everyone who wants to learn. I decided it was better than sitting in this half-empty house. They asked me "what do you want to get from church?" I said... "I can count the number of people who care about me on one hand... I only know lowlives who can't better themselves... I have no community and no decent people in my life... I want to meet people, help people, and maybe they can help me." He said that is something they can help with.

I told my neighbors I was going to go. They gave me a bible, "Start reading at john 1:1." I did.

John 1:1- "In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word WAS god."

Greek meaning of "word" is not "scripture" (or "the bible") as most think... they meant Logic, ideas, thoughts, words, speech etc... In this context it means "the rational principle that governs the universe" OR "The rules of our reality" (my own words on second one). Their word for "word" is "logos" - the logic of the universe.

So let's replace "Word" with "logic of the universe"

John 1:1- "In the beginning there was the logic of the universe, and the logic of the universe was with God, and the logic of the universe WAS god."

My beliefs as of today: The logic of the universe IS God. God is just a word for logos, the rules of our reality.

Once you get past that, the bible is all just philosophy, and a damn good one at that. I don't believe that the rules of our reality became flesh and died for our sins... I just can't (Yet?) so, I'm not "christian" I do believe that the universe works things out and I do believe that we will all be alright.

I read devotionals every day, the passage of the day on my bible app, I attend mass on sunday, I go to bible study wednesdays, my son is in youth group, we have met a lot of good people... we have gotten out more (which is good) and we are doing great because of it.

One man I met was exactly what I needed. I have no family and this man is quickly becoming like a father-figure to me almost. He was similar to me at 28, he said. He asked about my life and I told him everything, he is impressed with me and helps guide me in every way he can. He checks up on us and has taken us out to dinner. Good, good people in there.

Long post, sorry.

TLDR: it seems like "god" was chasing me down to put me in a better place... however crazy that sounds. Too many things lined up and against all I ever thought I would do. My friends think I've lost my mind... that she really ****ed me up... maybe they are right, but it doesn't seem that way.

I want something better, something more in life and this seems like the way to get it. It has also taught me a lot about how not to constantly worry, like I used to do. I just know that "god" (the universe) is going to make things work out like it always has. It's a good feeling.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 1:58 PM   #348
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Good post, StoicHusband. And, congrats on coming so far in healing from your separation/divorce after just six weeks! (if I understand the timeline correctly?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoicHusband View Post
it seems like "god" was chasing me down to put me in a better place... however crazy that sounds. Too many things lined up and against all I ever thought I would do.
It will not sound crazy to those of us who have had a similar get-hit-over-the-head-with-a-metaphysical-‘2 x 4’, as part of our spiritual-awakening experience. .
Quote:
I don't believe that the rules of our reality became flesh and died for our sins... I just can't (Yet?) so, I'm not "christian"
That is actually only a human-made definition for what it means to be true Christian. Your intuition is correct to have you questioning that version of currently-accepted Christian doctrine.

Since you are already reading ‘John’, you may wish to study ‘The Apocryphon of John’, available through the Nag Hammadi Library.

Wishing you all the best for the highest outcomes to your search.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 2:34 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
Good post, StoicHusband. And, congrats on coming so far in healing from your separation/divorce after just six weeks! (if I understand the timeline correctly?)
Thanks, I appreciate that. Tho today is a rough day. Any day I have to contact her or wait for a reply from her, is. lol

Also I mean, I did all the right things:
I quit smoking weed and haven't drank, so I'd feel my feelings NOW instead of LATER.
I started exercise, so I'd sleep/feel good about my body again.
I reached out for help (daily, still), so I wouldn't drive myself CRAZY with all the thoughts I am thinking.
I came here almost right away, which was probably a key factor.
I FORCED myself to eat at all meals where my son eats (tho I don't finish sometimes.)
I Started writing down all my thoughts/things I wish I could say to her (knowing I shouldn't say, because she won't care.)
I've taken on new hobbies, interests.
I made a few new friends.

These things are essential, in my opinion. The last element is to actually LET THE PERSON GO. Tell yourself and believe it because it is TRUE. When you get left, it's their loss. I lost someone who cheated/lied. She lost someone who cared about her and loves her unconditionally. I lost someone who wouldn't talk to me, but instead talked to someone else about our problems... She lost a man who bared his soul to her.

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Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
It will not sound crazy to those of us who have had a similar get-hit-over-the-head-with-a-metaphysical-‘2 x 4’, as part of our spiritual-awakening experience. .
Lol, I tried to rationalize it myself, honestly. I just couldn't help but realize it was something I can't explain.

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Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
That is actually only a human-made definition for what it means to be true Christian. Your intuition is correct to have you questioning that version of currently-accepted Christian doctrine.
I believe that all of science and religion are the same thing. People wish to understand the Logos. The logic of the universe is all we seek in every pursuit. We want to understand more. You can teach a gorilla sign language, but they'll NEVER ask a question. We are different. We are how the universe can know itself.

However you pursue the Logos, pursue it. Science means the world to me, but I'm only just now seeing I was working with a smaller toolset than some others use. It is possible to have both science and religion. You just have to put in the effort and don't misapply religion or science to where they don't belong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
Since you are already reading ‘John’, you may wish to study ‘The Apocryphon of John’, available through the Nag Hammadi Library.
I will check this out! Anything about this book interests me, so thanks for the link.

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Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
Wishing you all the best for the highest outcomes to your search.
I wish you the same. Take care, Ronni.
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Old 24th February 2018, 11:50 PM   #350
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I've always found many aspects of organized religion to overlap with the simple concepts that lead to a happy and fulfilled life. For example, the idea that many things are beyond your control. I don't understand how anyone can be at peace without surrendering to that. Unless they've lived an incredibly blessed and lamb like life. And even if that's the case so far something bad is coming for you eventually.

Just want to echo what Timshel said and wish you the best on your journey BC.
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