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God Is Not Great

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posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 01:41 AM
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I was asked to answer in philosophy class the following question:
What’s A Good Reason To Believe In God?
I cold only think of one of my heroes, Mr. Christopher Hitcheons, as I wrote this:
It is a difficult question to answer for starters and one’s definition of God is always

relative. The definition of God, according to Princeton University’s online dictionary, is

listed below in order to have, at the very least, some sort of starting point for answering

the question:

S: (n) God, Supreme Being (the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and

omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in

monotheistic religions) (wordnetweb.princeton.edu...)


The definition given is obviously applicable for Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, but

does not cover the gods of the rest of the world’s religions, neither past nor present. The

ancient Greeks, Romans, Mayans, and Aztecs all held to a pantheistic worldview, as do

contemporary followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. Many individuals, however, do not

believe that a God exists; let alone multiple Gods. As an atheist I already have my

answer. There is no good reason to believe in God. I must slightly alter the question in

order to participate in this assignment. (And because turning in a paper that simply says,

“There is no good reason” could easily imply a lack of thought, interest and/or effort on

my part. Also this is the first assignment of the semester and you, as my professor, could

not know how much I have contemplated this question if I simply turned in a one-

sentence answer. The question now becomes :

“What’s A Good Reason To Believe In God, according to someone other than me?”



The economist, writer, and forefather of communism Karl Marx was quoted as saying

“Religion is the opiate of the masses.” I concur with this statement and I mention it in

order to make a point. From the perspective of those who have ruled the nations and/or

the world in the past and those who rule the nations and/or the world now a belief in God

among the people is, no pun intended, a godsend. Marx knew how much more easily the

masses could be controlled when the majority of them all attended a religious institution

which taught that suffering is a part of life and that one should learn to live with it. A

belief in God also is notoriously connected with an acceptance of suffering coupled by

belieiving that “all things are in God’s hands.” Such thinking prevents the masses of God

believers from questioning their governments’ actions to such a degree that would be

disconcerting for the individuals in power. This point is more potent than ever when

juxtaposed with the hard, cold reality of how corruption has always existed and still does

exist today within the ranks of political leaders. In the eyes of a corrupt politician a good

reason for a person to believe in God would be so that said politician could wield more

power and control in the life of the believer.
The ancient ancestors of humanity were tormented by rain, hail, and snow until they

learned to live in caves and then, later on, to build primitive structures as dwellings. They

suffered from extreme cold and had no ability to warm themselves until they eventually

discovered how to create, control, and utilize fire. They were at the mercy of the elements

in ways that much of today’s people cannot even imagine due to the conveniences of

modern living among advanced cultures. Our race has only recently, in the

anthropological sense, discovered the advantages of agriculture. Before farming was

discovered and utilized our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. From finding shelter from the elements to ensuring that enough food was available to

eat, all of early humanity’s efforts toward survival were based on utilizing reason. Our

ancestors did the best they could to manipulate their environment in such a way as to

improve their odds of survival. But what must have early humans thought when they lost

newborn babies due to malnutrition? They did not know what malnutrition was and could

therefore do nothing other than to contribute such a loss to a long list of the unexplained.

When game could not be found, or when, generations later, after the agricultural

revolution had occurred, and a crop failed to appear in the fields after months of slaving

on the land, then our ancestors could easily have attributed the reasons behind such

circumstances to some source of power beyond their control. What was that source of

power? One reason to believe in God would be to explain that which you do not

understand.


The greatest mystery among our experience as humans is that of death. It is the source

of great fear for most cultures, but it is a cause for celebration among others. No culture

in history has been able to find a cure for it. And to this day it remains the ultimate

unknown. Religious people of the world assert that they know what happens after one

dies based on their own religious beliefs. This assertion is, in this author’s opinion,

nothing more than an attempt to explain the unknown.


John Lennon wrote the following line in one of his songs, “God is a concept, by which

we measure our pain.” Is he right? It’s only his opinion but his question is intriguing.

How much pain did the first humans feel when they lost that newborn due to reasons they

did not understand? The pain that they felt could very well have been the driving force

behind the creation of the God concept. They needed an explanation and so they

invented one. They invented the concept in order to deal with the pain, but more

specifically because they were looking for an explanation. Suffering people who can’t

find any kind of reason for their pain can often suffer much more than those who at least

understand the cause of their suffering.


Considering the point of this philosophical composition was to answer the question

“What’s a good reason to believe in God?” I can only refer back to my opening paragraph

to give my answer. In my opinion there isn’t a single reason to believe in God. There is

only the understanding of how and/or why individuals in our world would invent such a

concept




posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by dragonsmusic
 



good reason to believe in God


Reason (definition): a rational motive for a belief or action

Spiritual things are discerned spiritually. You can't "reason" your way into a belief in God, any more than you can catch trout in a sand dune.

And actually, I shouldn't say "you can't". I should say, it's not the approach most likely to result in an affirmative outcome.

Were I you, for the paper I'd probably have thrown some Pascal's Wager at him.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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Not believing in God in my opinion means you don't believe in your SELF. Are you not a spark of the original flame? Look in the mirror and there you will find your God.

If the word God brings up images of an old bearded man on a throne, use the One Creator, or Spirit, or whatever works for you.

Back in the day I called myself an athiest, too. Recently I woke up to a world of wonder. There is so much life out there!



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:35 PM
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It is clear to me that you (and almost every other god hater on this site) has no idea of where the monotheistic religions actually came from.

They simply do not know the history.

Also, you obviously are unaware the Buddha said himself that Jesus was divine.

I'm not dissing your post, it is very good and very well written even if I disagree with it. Perhaps you should do some historical research and see what you can come up with.

Have you ever read the Bible, Koran, Torah?

Your quoting only modern figures, perhaps if you look back a bit further you could find more information to back up your claim. If this is a college paper you would probably get a better grade that way. Also it would be much more impressive if you where a bit less biased. I know it's hard to do because you are an atheist but try telling both sides of the story maybe?

[edit on 3-9-2009 by DaMod]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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Karl Marx was quoted as saying “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”


I would now propose that "Opiates are the opiates of the masses", but thats a different monster all together.

As for your original question......there are many good reasons to believe in God, its not all bad.

But the negatives far outweigh the positives if you ask me, i would agree with your title, God is not great.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by LiveForever8
 


Yes but you also have to agree that humanity's view of god is biased.

If there is really a god he is what he is not what we make him so therefore humanity's definition or applications would be inherently flawed because they would be the embodiment of themselves and not of god.

For example when people use god for their own personal gain is that god doing that or the person? When people use god to gain power is that god or the person obtaining power?

See if there is a god he would be more the natural correct?

Well wouldn't you agree that we live in two totally separate worlds? There is the natural world. The mountains, the plains, jungles and all the wildlife plants and creatures in it. Then there is the world we created, with society, government, money, politics, economy, sex trade, drug cartels etc.

Where do you think god would more likely fit into place? You can see why our view of him would be flawed.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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I wish I could give you my heart so you could feel the peace I do... Even when I'm in the middle of hell...

I wish I could give you my faith so you could know what I know... Even when I know nothing...

I wish I could let you feel the warmth I’ve got in me, that isn’t me, the warmth that has no flame, no reason or rhyme on Wiki, or a dictionary, but is there in side my soul...

It doesn’t burn bright like a flame, at least not yet, because I’m not that good at it I guess.

But its a constant warmth no matter how cold I get, no matter how much pain I see, or feel.

It’s the best constant I have, the only constant I have in this very changing and relentless world.

He’s what I depend on, what compels me, what gives me courage, and what picks me up when my courage runs out...

God is great.
We’re only here, then we’re gone, in a blink of an eye, but we will never, ever die.
That’s how great God is.




posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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thats not ur reasons. those r definitions and u fail in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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From a first cause argument, one could say the reason to believe in God is because of creation or the existence of existence. Because I am, this is, and you are, there is a God. From a scientific perspective, the universe as a quantum holographic information processing medium brings about the possibility of a self aware universe, so there's another reason.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:44 PM
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The universe and existence, or life, is the most awesome, miracle, ever. God IS great - I just had to say that. When you think of the breadth of it all, while recognizing that Bell's Theorem is valid, proving non-locality is a valid frame of reference, being no view and every view, from every angle and perspective, for all time, fully informed, fully self aware - pure consciousness, pure love - if that IS the reason in turn, for creation, to share in the experience, in the kingdom, then I have to say to God - "how awesome you truly are"



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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God is a generic term. I do believe in a Supreme Creator. I look around at the trees and critters, the flowers, the beauty of things as simple as moss....the oceans, sands, the stars....everything around me that is not man made...that is why I believe. It is a knowing in my soul...it is NOT because some book says I should.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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[edit on 3-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by blujay
Not believing in God in my opinion means you don't believe in your SELF. Are you not a spark of the original flame? Look in the mirror and there you will find your God.

If the word God brings up images of an old bearded man on a throne, use the One Creator, or Spirit, or whatever works for you.



Well that is pretty much what I was going to say.
So I agree. There is nothing outside of Source. IMO The word God is a bit
annoying to me, as I feel, it illicits a certain concept of Sorce that is outside/above or beyond, and in my opinion, it is not.

Just saying...

Peace!



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 12:04 AM
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reply to post by silo13
 









posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by happygolucky
 


I do think for myself.

You've no idea the life experiences I've had - not a clue.
You've no idea what I've been through, and what God has gotten me through.
You've no ideas the joys I feel, and the heartaches, the miracles I've seen, and the downright depths of depravity too.

So, yes, I DO think for myself, and, I'm sorry that scares people.

I'm sorry using the word God *annoys* people.

It's a shame when people are so afraid of being a part of God, they point the finger at others due to their own fear.

You've no idea who my God is, and, that's a shame for you, but it works for me.

You'll also never see my trying to shove anything down anyone's throat so I'd appreciate the same respect form you.

This is a thread about God, an appropriate place to *air* my beliefs - so I did - with joy, and with PRIDE and you or the small thinkers here, can't take that away.

Believe me life has tried to take it away, and failed, so you're small beans compared to that.

Peace



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by silo13
 




You've no idea what I've been through, and what God has gotten me through.



That's just it...


You give credit for your own accomplishments to an ideology that is a fallacy at best...how 'bout giving yourself a pat on the shoulder..?






You'll also never see my trying to shove anything down anyone's throat so I'd appreciate the same respect form you



Really..?



I wish I could give you my heart so you could feel the peace I do... Even when I'm in the middle of hell...

I wish I could give you my faith so you could know what I know... Even when I know nothing...

I wish I could let you feel the warmth I’ve got in me, that isn’t me, the warmth that has no flame, no reason or rhyme on Wiki, or a dictionary, but is there in side my soul...



That may not be shoving it down my throat, but it's definitely a nudge in your direction...


Spin it how ever you want...just trying to nudge you in my direction.





posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 01:02 AM
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reply to post by dragonsmusic
 


here's a good reason to believe in God or a higher being ...

what's the worst that could happen to you, if you do believe, when you die? you might get let down, you might not? who cares? you're already dead.

[edit on 4-9-2009 by baseball101]



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 02:17 AM
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Originally posted by happygolucky
You give credit for your own accomplishments to an ideology that is a fallacy at best...how 'bout giving yourself a pat on the shoulder..?

How presumptuous, and arrogant, the atheists are, to begin with such a presupposition and assume based on it that they must be right and that everyone must therefore be deluded.

Some people have a knowing based on experiences, as well as rational thinking and logical analysis, which results in a belief in God as a higher power, supreme being whatever.

I wish the atheists would just f-off with their insults to believers, they just don't understand, and that's fine, but they ought to take their anti-God crap and go away. What's it to them what other people have discovered, experienced or know.

Yes, it's getting rather tiring, the God-bashing nonsense.



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


There's a line from Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Now I'm not saying this is true 100% of the time, but I think frequently those that protest the loudest about belief in God are secretly hoping to be convinced.

Think of it as an opportunity to be an example. Even if it's only 1 out of 100, I would hate to think I did anything to discourage that one person from continuing to question and search.

I sure don't know it all. I search for answers every day. Once you think you have the answer, you quit looking and questioning, which in my opinion is not good.



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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this one is interesting to me, because I am a believer.
I also practice yoga, Kundalini Yoga, to be exact. So, I have the spiritual faith and the conscious practice of feeling connected to the Divine.

Can this be replicated in a lab? No, because in order to do that, someone would have to be in this body, this brain, in this mind.

I don't fault atheists for a lack of belief - but I don't share their lack of belief. then again, I don't get reality TV either, and its the most popular genre of TV on.

I'm also a martial artist. the great paradox for any martial artist is the sense of the utter calm you feel in the middle of a bout/match/session. at the most violent, you find the most calm. At least, this is how it works for me.

Its not the hurricane, the thunderstorm, or the earthquake that I hear/see/feel God, but in the quiet breeze.

Does that mean I quit seeing because I've had the experience? No. Does a person quit seeking sex after their first time. Unlikely.



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