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How Does One "Make Themselves" Believe?

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posted on May, 19 2015 @ 04:44 AM
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Hmm... I'm not sure what you're trying to ask? We're all free to believe what we choose, so why would there be a need to "make ourselves" believe? Every believer in a faith usually has experiences that helped them reach that point, just as those who don't believe usually have reasons for their disbelief. "For those who believe, there's more than enough proof. And for those don't believe, there will never be enough enough proof."

Just go with whatever resonates with you. Why not just have a "live and let live" outtake?




posted on May, 19 2015 @ 04:52 AM
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a reply to: WarminIndy

Thanks for your reply.

If I understand what you're getting at, it's that once you experience God, you know absolutely that he is there? Forgive me if in my post I used the word faith loosely. I do understand that the conviction of many doesn't stem from blind faith. It's the kind of faith that is a confidence and trust. A confidence and trust gained from experiencing the "divine" in some way. An experience that makes them know, for a fact, that God is there etc.

That is all well and good. I don't argue that the experiences people have mean nothing and or never happened. It's the conclusions they come to from those experiences that I find to be in error. Though, I readily admit I can't explain them all.

Now factor this in. Every other religion that exists now, or did in the past. The experiences those members in their respective religions have that tell them their God is the right God. They know their God is real, and true, and correct. With as much passion as you do about your God. Do you think there would be Muslim extremists willing to blow themselves up for their beliefs if they did not know with as much conviction? Everybody's God/Gods speak to them in one fashion or another. So who has the real one?

You? Why? Because your God told you as much? Because it's written in your holy book? It's written in theirs too! Perhaps you will demonize the other religions as false. They're doing that to yours too. It's one big divine pissing match when you think about it.

So I weigh all that into my considerations when trying to determine if somebody's subjective experiences with their God is good evidence their God exists. And in my opinion, it just isn't. Depending on the experience, I may believe that something I can't explain happened. But in those cases, I don't chalk it up to God. Anyone's God.

Another thing I factor into the experiences, is how it lines up with the scriptures? A lot of times the message people get from God completely goes against scripture. But since those books are so open to interpretation in a lot of areas it's pointless to point it out to them.

Lastly, I factor in the scriptures themselves. Is all scripture given by divine inspiration? Well the short answer is no. Too many inaccuracies and such. None of it adds up. While I only know this to be true of the Christian Bible, I will assume the same goes for Quran etc.

While those subjective experiences that can't be explained (or seem unexplainable) may be proof of something, they aren't proof of this God or that God or this religion or that religion.

Perhaps they all have a "piece of the puzzel" so to speak. Or maybe all Gods exist and all types of Hells and Heavens. Reincarnation? Perhaps we turn into stars when we die. Maybe I will inherit a planet. Maybe I will haunt the future. Perhaps in the end it is all determined by ones personal beliefs at the time of death. Maybe when we die, that's it. I don't have those answers, and I don't believe religion does either.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 07:36 AM
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From what I've experienced personally, belief is just people older than you telling you things over and over again until you accept them as true. As soon as I realized this, I stopped being religious. Though it's hard to break the conditioning.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 07:44 AM
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Coincidence and optimism are the active ingredients in spirituality. That's how one makes themselves believe.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:35 AM
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Good morning, all!!

Okay, I'm halfway through one cup of coffee and caught up on the thread. Thank you all for your responses!

Many very interesting anecdotes and theories.
I feel compelled to explain why I made this thread, and to clarify my meaning.

DISRAELI made a very valid statement about the three ways the question might be interpreted. I intended it as number one:
A genuine curiosity in a psychological phenomenon. When I spoke in first person, I was relaying my own experience with the concepts and ideas that were 'fed' to me as a child.

I'm now 56 years old. I did not raise my kids with any religion, but we spoke about many different faiths, and neither of them has become an adherent to any set of doctrine or dogma. My mother raised us as Sunday church-goers, and I was in the youth group and the choir. She was the acolyte coordinator. My brothers were altar boys. My mom is now an atheist.
I am an agnostic, and I don't know how my youngest brother believes, but he goes to church from time to time; my other brother lives in another state and I guess he's a believer, based on how he reacted to my dad's death.

Anyway - yes, it's a genuine curiosity.
Thanks to everyone, I'll continue reading along and seeing how you all think about it!



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:43 AM
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I believe in God because I have had many supernatural and divine experiences that have proven to me that God exists and that there is an afterlife. My belief is based on experience. As for the metaphorical stories .. Noahs Ark, Adam and Eve, etc .. they have been proven not to have happened and they are unimportant anyways. And as far as alleged visitations to Muhammad and some others go ... he/they made outrageous claims while offering no proof of their authenticity, and his actions tell me that he wasn't the most spiritually grounded guy on the planet. So I dismiss that as well.

My beliefs change as I learn and experience more. That's a healthy way to look at spirituality. I have an open mind but I'm not a pushover either. Take and keep the good - like Jesus saying 'love God and neighbor' and like the Buddhist 'middle way'. The nitpicking that happens in different religions (like 'dont eat bacon') is nonessential spam that impedes spiritual growth, IMHO.

You asked the question 'how does one make himself believe'? I say, don't force a square peg into a round hole. If you want to know truth then ASK for the truth while in meditation and prayer, and then keep your eyes open and see what happens.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:46 AM
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originally posted by: WarminIndy
Faith is the substance of all things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen.

I understand why you are saying this, given your belief in the Creator-God, etc., and that this is how faith is often defined.

But in my experience, faith is a direct, actual, real, feeling connection to Reality (aka God, the Divine, Consciousness), and is not a matter of hope. Your definition requires belief because belief is always hopeful, as it does not actually know for certain, as you say. Faith in the Divine is not hopeful - as the Divine is self-evident when heart-based faith is the case.


originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
A mark of true faith is the faith in the things we can see, feel, and trust, whether it be oneself, loved ones, or one's surroundings. they are all we can ever rely on when they are needed most.

I agree with this, but must add that true faith is not just a matter of the senses - it is also a heart matter in which one's actual feeling-intuition of Reality is direct, conscious, intelligent, and self-evident.

And as you said, such faith is NOT a matter of belief. I have never been able to believe in some idea of God. Only direct heart-communion with the Divine is the foundation for true faith and trust in That which is Reality. Belief is unnecessary in these matters, and also a hindrance, in my experience, to actual recognition of the Divine Reality.

edit on 5/19/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Before you can assertain the existence of God, you have to believe in the soul.

Do you believe people have souls, or do you believe that we are nothing more than complex meat-machines fueled by bio-chemical processes?



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:53 AM
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originally posted by: beezzer
Before you can assertain the existence of God, you have to believe in the soul.

Why? God can exist without us having souls.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:58 AM
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originally posted by: FlyersFan

originally posted by: beezzer
Before you can assertain the existence of God, you have to believe in the soul.

Why? God can exist without us having souls.



Anything can exist without it being predicated that we have souls.

But the OP was discussing religion, which extends far beyond our life-spans.

I was under the impression that the afterlife was also under discussion because that is under the umbrella of religion and certainly connected.

Do you believe that we have souls?



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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originally posted by: beezzer
Do you believe that we have souls?


I don't 'believe' ... I KNOW. I've had near encounters with the supernatural/divine that make this a known fact for me. I was just curious why you think that before you can ascertain the existence of God, you have to believe in the soul. I don't see the need to believe in a soul to believe in a God. God could exist without us having souls.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: beezzer


Before you can assertain the existence of God, you have to believe in the soul.

Do you believe people have souls, or do you believe that we are nothing more than complex meat-machines fueled by bio-chemical processes?


Hm. Paradoxically, yes, I do believe in the soul.
But that doesn't make me believe in God.

Spirituality doesn't have to include believing in a "God."
I do believe in unseen forces, and have had supernatural-type experiences. I believe in reincarnation.

But not some sentient entity Big Kahuna, Jesus or "God" who is constantly watching everything we do.

EDIT: bb23108 explained it perfectly above.

I have never been able to believe in some idea of God. Only direct heart-communion with the Divine is the foundation for true faith and trust in That which is Reality. Belief is unnecessary in these matters, and also a hindrance, in my experience, to actual recognition of the Divine Reality.




edit on 5/19/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

You can't quanitify a soul, though.

It takes a measure of "faith" to believe in the existence of a soul, correct?



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:12 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Why do you think we have souls?

What is the purpose of the soul?



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: beezzer


It takes a measure of "faith" to believe in the existence of a soul, correct?

I don't know how to answer that. I know that I am the one seeing out of my eyes and experiencing life. I have been acutely self-aware since childhood - I sometimes get this "expanded head" feeling - like my skull is too small....this awareness of an over-seeing "self".

I can't really explain it. I just know it happens.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:14 AM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
a reply to: WarminIndy




Perhaps they all have a "piece of the puzzel" so to speak. Or maybe all Gods exist and all types of Hells and Heavens. Reincarnation? Perhaps we turn into stars when we die. Maybe I will inherit a planet. Maybe I will haunt the future. Perhaps in the end it is all determined by ones personal beliefs at the time of death. Maybe when we die, that's it. I don't have those answers, and I don't believe religion does either.


Yes, that is a fair thing to say, we don't have knowledge of it all, we can only know what we know.

Gods exist and some gods don't exist. The thing the Bible expresses is that one should not worship idols, or things that are made by hand.

What did people believe before their texts were written, that is based on personal knowledge. While some worship attributes and have deified certain attributes, they miss out on the big picture.

I don't know how the Scandinavians came to believe in Wodin, Frey, Freya and their various gods, but they didn't have religious texts. The Prose Edda came later. I think it was a carry over from where they originated.

The Chinese had Shang Di. They also believe (some of them) that they descend from the Great Dragon and that is why they have it part of their culture. Zoroaster had no religious texts before Ahura Mazda and then he wrote the Avestas.

Even in the ancient cultures of Central Asia, the Akkadians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, they also believed in gods before their religious texts were written.

What I have seen is this, people think the Greek and Roman method of borrowing gods and changing names happened between other cultures as well, that is why Ba'al gets tossed around so much as belonging to cultures he was never in. The Romans took much of theirs from the earlier Etruscans. And then there is an assumption that it was all worship of Saturn or the sun.

I say this, I do not think it was direct worship of the sun, I think the sun merely became part of their iconography, because that is how they communicated. They had cuneiform before the alphabet, but the earliest form of communication was in iconography. But later, some people who didn't know their religions or placed a western view and perspective onto them, arrogantly assumed that those ancient people were just sun worshipers and thus began the whole notion that the ancients were stupid.

It really is a shame that western Europeans somehow became the intelligent of all the rest of humanity. Even today western people still believe that. They believe that western scientific authority is sufficient for explaining everything so they take what western scientific authority says, regardless of the fact that western scientific authority rejects the notion that there were more ancient cultures than Greek or Roman. So to make it fit, they claim that Egyptian society must have been influenced by the Greeks and Romans.

Mohenjo Daro and Dwarka are extremely ancient, yet they are routinely dismissed by western scientific authority. Yet, Mohenjo Daro and Dwarka had a religion before the texts were written.

The idea that religion is used to control the masses is a western idea. For people to think that, they are looking at religion through rose-colored glasses, seeing what they only want to see.

The ancients experienced something and it led to great civilizations. They didn't need us to tell them how to think. And we can't place our worldviews onto them, because we don't know what people then really thought in their day to day lives.

I think though, to be fair, you are looking at it through a 21st Century viewfinder, shamanism is the oldest form of religious worship and shamanism didn't depend on religious texts, it was by direct experience with the divine. And these shamans didn't just experience it through mushrooms. That notion is dismissive of thousands of years of cultures and civilizations well before Remus and Romulus ever suckled the wolf mother.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:15 AM
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I see ME as my soul. The real me is called the soul.
Some people think a soul is something separate from themselves.
Something detachable and not necessary like an appendix.
I do not. I, my essence, is 'soul'

I have no idea if a theologian would agree with that or not.
But that's the construct I have in my head about it.
edit on 5/19/2015 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:17 AM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: DeadSeraph


Because you feel you know more than humanity does, or because you are genuinely curious about how human beings are spiritual creatures?


The latter. I am genuinely curious.



You are not even the remotest part curious, this thread is evidence to that.

Matthew 25 29 explains it well, you wouldnt even consider reading and finding out what it meant unless you were baited into doing it

and then there is the fact that Christ came for those who need Him, it seems you need no one.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:19 AM
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a reply to: beezzer


Why do you think we have souls?
Because I just "know" it.


What is the purpose of the soul?
I think more in terms of "what is the purpose of being in this human body", and I think it's for our soul to experience it. I think we are all connected, and equally fractals or parts of an overarching "consciousness". I think our souls migrate into and out of physical forms in order to learn what we want (and need) to learn.

That there's an ultimate goal. I think dreams are when my soul enters a different dimension while my body recharges.

Perhaps the next question is - why do we "sleep"? Why do we need sleep, and why do we dream?
Also, I am an HSP - Highly Sensitive Person - who feels the feelings and can "read" what others are feeling or thinking - an empath. This reinforces my feeling that we are connected, all One. All a part of something huge together. The Universe.
The Universe exploring itself, with uncountable 'tentacles' doing so.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: borntowatch

Don't tell me what I think. I'll tell YOU what I think, and yes, I AM curious.




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