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Point of realization.....

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posted on Jul, 12 2007 @ 11:25 PM
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This is a question to all interested. When did you realize that god did/didn't exist? At what point did you figure it all out? Can your mind be changed, and faith be shaken/realized?




posted on Jul, 12 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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Just because I can't see God dosen't mean he dosen't exsist- The proof is all around me. The sky I see, the air I breathe.

Just say this earth didn't create itself. Somethings are not meant for us to understand.



posted on Jul, 12 2007 @ 11:54 PM
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I'll bite, if I may.

When did I realize god didn't exist?

I have known it for quite some time now, I just haven't admitted it to myself. It's only in the past couple of years I've gotten secure in it. There is so much pressure to believe in god, if not the Christian one, then ANY god, just about. I live in a really religiously diverse area. Most everyone I know believes in some form of god, from the monotheistic Jehovah all the way through to totemists who think every rock and tree have a spirit you can communicate with on some level.

I've been so very curious most of my life about the supernatural. I went to several Christian churches from age eight until I was nine and a half or so, then decided I didn't like church and quit going. I had problems with inconsistencies and some of the questions about religion I still have to this day, that have never been explained in a way I can relate to.

I went through a phase in my teens where I was into paranormal investigations. Seances, ouija boards, cruising supposedly haunted houses, demonology, tarot, reading every book I could get my hands on, from the Malleus Maleficarum, to a very handsome leather-bound special edition Necronomicon my grandfather gave me, to as much of Aleister Crowley's egomaniacal ravings I could stomach, Linda Goodman, herb books, ghost books, folklore and witchcraft. I tried a lot of different experiments. Looking back on it now, what I thought were eerie events that sort of explained what I was researching were really just imagination mostly, and autohypnosis. The ghost class I took in college had a final exam that consisted of going to "the most haunted house in Ventura" and doing a walkthrough, recording what we felt/saw/heard out of the ordinary on a floorplan we were to take with us. I wanted to believe, I really did. So very badly. But even then, part of me was held in reserve. I don't think I 100% believed any of that stuff at the time, either.

Then I went through a secular time, followed by a rock and roll lifestyle that ultimately led up to homelessness with a pretty bad drug of choice. I had psychotic episodes out there caused by staying up for days, even weeks at a time. There were several inner journeys I took under the influence of a particular psychedelic drug that took me -- so I thought -- to other worlds. I saw ghosts, thought I could see through time to different layers, hundreds of shadow people. My dead cat followed me in the corner of my eye for a long time after he was killed. I thought I saw a dead friend come back to check on me a week after he was murdered. I actually hadn't slept for a week and had a fever from a bad case of bronchitis and malnutrition.

I even went through what was apparently a very common psychotic episode amongst the other street dwelling users I knew: I went through a religious psychosis, where I'd worked up that the antichrist wasn't evil at all, I can't remember why, that Christianity had it all backwards, and that I was manifesting that energy through me -- all as I wandered the streets sleepless at 3 a.m., dumpster diving for whatever I could scrounge. I filled up notebooks with this weird stuff, part poetry, part art, part ravings about the end of the world, and an incident of sleep paralysis I'd had where I was convinced I'd died and was floating through blackness and I wanted to scream but I couldn't because I didn't have a mouth, let alone a body. I still have those journals. Everything from before that part of my life is gone, auctioned off with my storage locker for failure to pay the bill. I lent the main journal to a friend of mine who was studying ritual magic and she said she was afraid she'd lose sanity from it, just like in an HP Lovecraft novel, when the protagonist reads Unaussprechlichen Culten and flips out, never to be seen as a human again.

When I left that life, I knew that those things I experienced were not real. Once I was sober and working on my psyche in therapy, I knew that those incidents were not real. They felt real at the time, but I was literally not sane. I'm lucky I got out of that life without any brain damage.

The friends that took me in and got me out of that life were shamans. They practiced a conglomeration of rituals and beliefs in a uniquely Berkeley style of spirituality. I tried that too, for years. I never really felt anything real. I couldn't tolerate sweat lodge, it was too hot and I couldn't breathe, and it was never a gateway of anything to me except perhaps being muddy all over and cranky and dizzy. No spirit ever talked to me. I worked on it, but nothing.

About ten years ago, when I met my ex, is when I think I started realizing that I didn't believe in god, spirit, or the supernatural. I'd sought it all my life, studied it all my life, and nothing. Not a thing happened that I didn't know in my very gut had to do with my biology and body chemistry, and the funny things the human brain gets up to when it's not acting quite normally.

I was extremely suggestible when I was younger, but that's wearing off. And now that I'm examining this stuff for myself, if I am completely honest with myself, I cannot believe in a higher power. I've read too much and self-educated myself too much in the sciences (for a layperson) to be able to believe in anything other than the laws of nature, from the law of gravity, through the theory of evolution.

It would take a whole lot to change my mind. I can't imagine what it would take for me to believe in something that the very core of me has never believed in, even when I was looking for answers. I don't like to say never, because there's always a possibility something could sway me, but it'd have to be something extraordinary. As Michael Shermer says, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. I would need extraordinary proof of a god for there to be a god. And I always look for the rational, worldly explanation because I do not believe in the supernatural.

I am having a harder time dumping the superstition of astrology than I ever did in "getting over god." :bnghd:



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:32 AM
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Majormalfunction, that's quite a story you have there, very interesting.
Anyway, back on track.
I realised that there was a God after i did an Alpha course just to see what it was all about. After six weeks i asked Jesus into my life and its never been the same since. Not all good mind you, However I have had so many experiences with God that i could never deny his existance now. To many things have happened that have made me see with my own eyes that he is real.
I came to faith when i was 47 and i am now 56 so its not like i don't know the real world from the make believe.
I am a bit like Majormalfunction in that it would take something extraordinary for me to question my faith.
hope that answers your question.
Jon



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 06:07 AM
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i think i realized that god didn't exist when i realized that there was no need for that thing to exist for the universe to function. there was no need for god to exist for the universe to start and there is no need for that thing to exist for the universe to keep going.

basically occam's razor... but i didn't know about occam's razor at that point and had thought i was incredibly clever for thinking it up until someone revealed to me that someone had thought it up a few hundred years before me...

i think i was a freshman in highschool.

but yes, you could make me believe in a god.... if you showed me EVIDENCE.

it isn't all around us (as someone would say) because the universe obviously is just a natural system. the earth did just form on its own, as did the sun, the universe did just go boom on its own, and the stuff that went boom has always been here.

it's science, you should try it sometime, it's an eye opener.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 06:27 AM
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if my memory serves me correctly it was around the age of 11 that i started having serious doubts in god and was probably put in the agnostic category. i grew up in a catholic family and went to a catholic school. i didn't know any better and just believed what i was spoon feed about the greatest fraudulent story ever told. i don't think it was one point in my life were i just changed my mind and had a very strong disbelief in god but rather a gradual 100% to around the nil believe i hold today.

[edit on 12/17/2004 by cheeser]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 09:00 AM
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I became an atheist when I realised the so-called sacred scriptures were far too imperfect to have been written, or inspired by an onmniscient all-loving entity.

My conclusion : The universe is natural, and ruled by natural laws. Life is just another natural occurence and will appear if the conditions are met. Life is part of the universe just as much as asteroids and solar winds are.
The origin of the universe is currently unknown, and religion is man-made, all of it.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
i think i realized that god didn't exist when i realized that there was no need for that thing to exist for the universe to function. there was no need for god to exist for the universe to start and there is no need for that thing to exist for the universe to keep going.

basically occam's razor... but i didn't know about occam's razor at that point and had thought i was incredibly clever for thinking it up until someone revealed to me that someone had thought it up a few hundred years before me...

Compare God and the universe to a Painter and his painting. After the artist finishes the last few strokes on his painting, you could say that the painting is now independent and does not need the Painter to interfere anymore, since the painting is finished. And, when you say that the universe started, I assume you mean the big bang. And if you mean the big bang didn't need anything or anyOne to start it... well everything needs a catalyst to start a reaction, Madnessinmysoul. Especially if that reaction is the largest explosion in the history of the universe.

I find Occam's razor to be much too simple at times.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier
And if you mean the big bang didn't need anything or anyOne to start it... well everything needs a catalyst to start a reaction, Madnessinmysoul. Especially if that reaction is the largest explosion in the history of the universe.



Then who created god? If something so big and complex as the universe needs a creator, then so did god. And then we go off into an infinite regression of gods who make gods who make gods. It's all rather silly.

Occam's razor is elegant and is correct. Just because you don't want it to be true, doesn't mean it isn't.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 01:56 PM
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All things being equal, the simplest answer is probably the correct one.


Philosophically and logically, an infinite or self-starting Universe doesn't work. Let's use the kalam argument to show the foolishness of a self starting universe.


  • From nothing, nothing comes.
  • Therefore, if nothing existed in the past, nothing would exist now.
  • Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  • If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • The universe began to exist.
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • An actual infinity cannot exist.
  • An infinite regress of cause and effect would be an actual infinity.
  • Therefore, something must always have existed that is the cause of all other things.


All the scientific evidence we have points toward the beginning of the Universe. (The Big Bang). To say that the Universe had cycles or previous Big Bangs is simply guessing with no scientific proof, and illogical since infinite regression of the past would negate the present. It could have never arrived.

Given the facts that the Universe had a beginning and nothing that begins is it's own self cause, and it could not be infinite crunch/bang since real infinity does not exist, what do we have? Using Occam's Razor, the simplest answer is that an uncaused timeless something caused the Universe. We don't have to understand what that something is. That's a totally different subject. The point is that not understanding God does not exclude the fact that the universe had a beginning and was caused.

Saying that you don't believe the Universe was created because you can't see God is like believing that the Mona Lisa was self caused because you have never seen the painter. While the painter is of interest to the plot, seeing the painting is proof enough. We can see the Universe and understand it had a beginning. Understanding the Creator takes more time.

In keeping with the topic, I became a Christian at 9. Since that time I've had ups and downs of believe and uncertainty. Although it's nails on a chalkboard to an atheist, it's scientific reasoning and philosophy that cemented my faith. I can't find good reason to believe that God does not exist.

[edit on 13-7-2007 by dbates]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by dbates
Philosophically and logically, an infinite or self-starting Universe doesn't work. Let's use the kalam argument to show the foolishness of a self starting universe.


  • From nothing, nothing comes.
  • Therefore, if nothing existed in the past, nothing would exist now.
  • Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  • If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • The universe began to exist.
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • An actual infinity cannot exist.
  • An infinite regress of cause and effect would be an actual infinity.
  • Therefore, something must always have existed that is the cause of all other things.



but there was never a point at which NOTHING existed.


dbates, you're either setting up a straw man (which i doubt) or it's a misunderstanding. no atheist is arguing that there was ever a point at which there was nothing and then something. it's always been something. just not in the current form



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 04:12 PM
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See point 7


An actual infinity cannot exist.

That includes time. Besides, to say that(it's always been something) is to step ouside of science into...faith
That's what you call believing something where you don't have any proof.


[edit on 13-7-2007 by dbates]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Then who created god? If something so big and complex as the universe needs a creator, then so did god. And then we go off into an infinite regression of gods who make gods who make gods. It's all rather silly.

I have no way of knowing who created God or whether or not God was even created. Its impossible and foolish to say that I would know.




Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Occam's razor is elegant and is correct. Just because you don't want it to be true, doesn't mean it isn't.

Occam's razor is good and all, for explaining SIMPLE things such as why a tree falls over. But try explaining the existence of the universe with Occam's Razor and you'll end up sounding like this guy.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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I went through many stages in my life. Belief and...YES... Non belief.

I say these things before you with the hopes that ALL will listen.

I want everyone to first LISTEN to my words. If you please?

I thankyou all kindly.

Here I go.

I was baptized into a 'Catholic' faith. (Gee...you'd think that I could start off my opening 'KERPLUNK sentence with something better?)...AHEM...

Ok...now you ALL see that I have a 'Christian' influence. So friggin what? A bright eyed spiritually squirrely youth - Gee friggin whiz (the thoughts I thought - I wanted to smack myself up side the face with?)

Brace yourselves:

I actually went to an 'ALL girl catholic school'! Ooh...Ahh

Do I concider myself 'Catholic' now? ~ No freakin way

Let me just back-up here with some info...

~The day I drove the Catholic Sisters nuts~:

You see, I'm a curious individual, and whether because of my sensible upbringing or the fact that I couldn't stand to hear 'crap' from people who concidered themselves 'intellectualls', I...um...felt the need to ask pretty valid questions. I stuck my scrawny ducky neck out and poked a few in the rib with "WHY" and "HOW" and all sorts of nifty things that people couldn't normally and reasonably(?) give credence to.

I asked one of the sisters a few valid questions concerning scriptures in the bible:

* "When Adam and Eve born Cain and Abel; Cain slew Abel. then Cain was left and then... AND THEN Cain sought out a wife, (for some reason, there were 'women to be had' east of Eden)...hmmm. Oh... but of course the Sisters of the convent had an answer to that one. I listened to the 'Mysterious ways of God"... shook my head...then went around the corner of the convent/school and wished I had a bucket to throw-up in ...

Ok...I held my stomach. Didn't 'actually' want to throw my guts up, but I was 'disturbed' by the fact that some 'authority figure' was willing to dish out something that didn't sit quite right with me. Still had a 'feeling' that there was more to life than what meets the chemical eye.

Time to change my 'major' in highschool.

Highschool was fine and dandy...sigh.. then I went on to college.

In my first year of college (before I finished my last exam of the year) I was chosen to be a flight attendant. (ok.. I have the wings ...YEAH.. thats' close to heaven?) What the hell was I thinking? Gee freakin Whiz...

Then not toooooooo long after that...Ahh...Motherhood...Ohhhhh man .. I'm soaring the heavens now! What the hell?!?!?

Now you're probably wondering..."What the hell is Ducky talking about?"

Between this and that....and that and this...and all the friggin raz ma taz...

I have discerned unto myself things that are important to ME alone.

I was married, widowed, has a son who survived cancer, has a daughter who's 16 - going on stinking 30, making my life make sense like everyone else, lost property, gained property, lost relatives, gained knowledge...blah blah.. FREAKIN blah..

And do I BELIEVE that there is some being who freaking holds the 'marrionette puppet strings' to peoples' lives and their timelines?

Strings? Hee ...freaking HEEEEEE

I still have my 'ahem' ...beliefs, I still think Science 'licks a good stamp' for delivery, and I'm still...Me.

But every once in awhile...

...looking up everyonce in a while when I sharpen 'My Scissors' over the wet stone...waiting to cut the misinfor'freakin'mation out of my life.

I still have beliefs in life. Some I 'don't cut or can't cut from my life.

I've had insomnia over spiritual aspects.

I like to strike a blow everyonce in a while. What I, or science can't explain...perhaps I turn over the night covers of my spritual bed side to dream about. Mabey it's more than a nagging feeling.

When I do 'pray', I pray for the best outcomes; for the best that my existance will and can offer to others.

Remember before? I asked you to listen to my story? I asked that you would LISTEN to me?

THANKYOU for reading right down to this line. And before you go on to the next interesting thread...

Thankyou for seeing my side. Thankyou for not judging too harshly. And most of all?

Thankyou for participating in this thread and showing that we have many facets to our lives.


[edit on 13-7-2007 by TheDuckster]



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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Even as an kid I didn't think that Jesus came back to life from the dead. At one stage during my second year of primary school once an week someone read bible stories to the class. At the time and I still regard bible stories as no differnt from any other fictional stories.

When I started to mature in my teens I became an Atheist.
I became an Atheist because I put logic and science before blind facts and faith in an concept that has no supporting evidence.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 02:18 AM
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I guess you could say I'm just an extremely inquisitive person, probably like most on the board. I definitely haven't counted out the existence of God, but as for believing on the God that any single bible has portrayed, I think I've run pretty much dry. There's no one incident that led me to doubting. It was more of a culmination of different things to which I had no answers. For years, I had complex questions, and I'd go through step after step to convince myself that yes, it definitely is possible for God to exist. That worked for me until I realized that the only reason I was jumping through so many hoops to justify God's existence is because I wanted him to exist. It's much more reasonable to realize that after so much praying, hoping, believing, this all loving, all powerful, all caring God had given me absolutely no solid proof at all that he exists. In fact, nobody has any proof that he exist. And if the end result of not believing truly is going to Hell, how could any loving deity just sit back while so many people either don't find him, or have their faith slip away like mine was doing?



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by dbates
See point 7


An actual infinity cannot exist.

That includes time. Besides, to say that(it's always been something) is to step ouside of science into...faith
That's what you call believing something where you don't have any proof.


If infinity cannot exist, then if god exists he will "die", or maybe he already has "died" !!



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by DarkSide
If infinity cannot exist, then if god exists he will "die", or maybe he already has "died" !!


so nietzsche was right! muhahahaha
wait...if god dies, does that make atheism right or wrong?



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by JessicaS
When did you realize that god did/didn't exist?


I'll let you know when that happens.




At what point did you figure it all out?


If anyone has it all figured out, let me know!




Can your mind be changed, and faith be shaken/realized?


My mind can absolutely be changed. I am fairly free and unattached to any "belief" as far as the existence of a creator. I don't have a need to know. I'm open and comfortable remaining so.

I don't have "faith" in a story, so no, my faith cannot be shaken.

dbates, you are very interesting and I enjoy reading your posts on the subject.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by dbates

Philosophically and logically, an infinite or self-starting Universe doesn't work.
  • From nothing, nothing comes.
  • Therefore, if nothing existed in the past, nothing would exist now.
  • Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  • If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • The universe began to exist.
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
  • An actual infinity cannot exist.
  • An infinite regress of cause and effect would be an actual infinity.
  • Therefore, something must always have existed that is the cause of all other things.




  • Interesting argument, dbates, but then you get the same problem: where did god come from, and who created him? If something can't come from nothing, where did god come from? If god has "always been there" why can't the universe have always been there? Why does there have to be a supernatural explanation for that which science cannot yet answer?

    That argument is flawed, fatally, if trying to prove god, because god also is described out of existence by it. So somewhere in that fallacy is incorrect information, which I believe is the fact that the universe has always existed in some form, just one we don't have information for (yet).



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