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Help me believe in god

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posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:39 PM
I realize some may feel this is better suited for the religion forum, but this is more of a philosophical discussion on how to change a belief, then it is a discussion about religion itself, please keep that in mind, this isn't the place for religious arguments.

As a child I was brought up in a non-religious household, but oddly enough was sent to sunday school or whatever the local church's equivalent of that would be, once a week for quite some time. One of the (public) school's organizations my mother was a part of was operated out of the church, so that might have played a part.

Anyway, among the typical things one would hear at such a place, is that to be saved, you must believe in God and Jesus. Being brought up in a non-religious household, god and religion weren't taught as bad, they just weren't really a part of anything. But the ideas weren't totally foreign to me, as some extended family was religious, in addition to it being impossible to avoid knowledge of such things in today's world.

As a young child my views on what exactly religion did and was weren't accurate at all, I saw some sort of bizarre web of "gods" that you had to avoid pissing off in order to avoid eternal torture. It seemed more about things you were supposed to avoid doing, not what you were supposed to believe. I wondered why people would get involved with groups that made them do things to avoid getting tortured.

So once I realized you were supposed to actually believe in god and Jesus in order to be saved, as opposed to just doing what they told us, I was confused. I figured, why would you need to believe in someone like god or jesus? They are such powerful and well known figures, so as a young child my mind told me these "people" must be real, but why people would follow them still confused me.

Upon figuring out that the reason we are supposed to believe in them, is because they don't "exist" in the way that "normal people" exist, I became even more confused. Typical "how I became an atheist" story follows, although I don't consider myself an atheist.

Sorry for the long lead in, but the issue I always had was that you are supposed to believe a certain way, and that somehow you can be "converted" or convinced to believe in god.

My lack of religious beliefs doesn't stem from hatred of religion, a desire to rebel, or to avoid judgement for my actions. It comes from my total inability to believe, with any significant conviction, that god exists in any form even remotely approaching what is taught by most all major religions.

So to get to the basis of this thread, how do you change a belief? The way I see it, belief is based on input just like anything else. You believe something is true based on reasons, and will continue to believe it's true until you are given additional input, or previous input is found to be faulty. Which is just another way of saying I'll believe in god when he pops up on my couch one evening.

So how can I believe in god? What actions and thoughts could I take that would lead me down a path that would result in my actual beliefs being changed? It seems many people have experiences that are turning points, where something happens and they instantly "find god"

Other than that, what can be done to change a belief? If I really, really wanted to become a christian, or a muslim, I couldn't do so honestly unless I actually believed in god.

The obvious answer to me, is that nobody can ever really be "converted" you can change your "official" title but your beliefs don't change. You can trick yourself into reconciling certain things, in a similar way an abused wife convinces herself that her husband still loves her, but deep down she still knows he doesn't. This isn't a judgement towards anyone here who has changed religion. If your inputs changed and caused a change in belief that makes perfect sense.

I'm speaking more about the practice of forced conversions, conversions in order to marry, and the idea in general that any religion can "save" people by convincing them to believe in god.

Maybe I should go chat with someone at a church and say I really want to join, but honestly I don't believe in god, but would like my mind changed on that subject. What could be done? Quoting scripture does nothing, as the non-believer gives no legitimacy to the scripture in the first place. How can my belief be honestly changed? Is it a long journey of exposing myself to certain circumstances and experiences, or is there a nugget of wisdom that one comes across and instantly it all clicks?

What are your thoughts?

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:45 PM
Your mind is free of a religion. Why do you want to imprison it with ancient dogma that can easily be disproved with basic science?

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:48 PM
I have more faith in my beloved Chicago Cubs than I do any "god". Good luck to you. I truly hope you find the answer.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by James1982

Hi there.

No one can help you believe. Except to give you a Insight in what they themselves believe. Faith is a personal quest.

There are a lot of Things you can do on Your own. The first thing would be to try and prove the existence of God to Your self. If you can't prove this small little thing to Yourself, no one else would be able to do it either.

If you don't know what God is. How can you believe and have faith in God?

When you have figured this out, you would not have to ask us for help. The answers will come all by themselves.

edit on 27.06.08 by spy66 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:51 PM
reply to post by James1982

Well I used to be really into religion and thought it was a blast, met many wonderful people and was truly at peace.

Then I went to college and took some political religious classes.

This is where I noticed how completely similar all religions are, with the exception of a few, and even Native American cultures share the same beliefs.

A supreme being, the concept of a Heaven and Hell, the list goes on but they are all there. It was then that I realized that religion is probably something that human's form a need for to accept things such as death or to basically cope with life.

How else do you explain all religions containing the same components? Then there was the whole pre-destiny issue that simply cannot be explained by anyone professing to be Christian so I consider myself to have arrived at the place your trying to leave.

My advice to you based off of my experiences is to find a Church that you feel comfortable in and start spending time associating with the members.

Be up front about your doubts with everyone but remain open and you will hear all sorts of wonderful tales about God. This is all you need to do to change your beliefs because if your in the right spot, and remain open to the possibilities, God promised that he will take care of the rest.

If you even have the slightest inkling that God exists, let him do the work. All you need to do is be ready to accept his gift when he offers it.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:51 PM
reply to post by catfishjoe

then why are they not in Boston,,hehehe,,8 one?,, good game.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by James1982

So to get to the basis of this thread, how do you change a belief? The way I see it, belief is based on input just like anything else. You believe something is true based on reasons, and will continue to believe it's true until you are given additional input, or previous input is found to be faulty.

You just answered your own question. This is how it's done.

It seems many people have experiences that are turning points, where something happens and they instantly "find god"

Yes they do. For me, after almost 3 decades of Christian fundamentalism, my turning point came, and I became an atheist.

There must be an underlying belief there somewhere, or you wouldn't feel the need to force yourself to believe in something you've already deduced doesn't exist. Otherwise, why would you want to change that belief?

edit on 10/24/2013 by Klassified because: grammar

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Your mind is free of a religion. Why do you want to imprison it with ancient dogma that can easily be disproved with basic science?

This is where you are wrong. Science can not disprove creation. You should know that if you understand science.

Hint; Plank Time. Starts 10^-44 Seconds after the Big Bang/First Light. Do you know of any science that can prove anything before that?

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by James1982

there is a difference between Spirituality.. and organized Religion.

my advise.. dont waste years of your life listening to what men believe you should do..

based on a book written by men.

take the spiritual path..

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:57 PM
Well, defining "God" will basically determine the outcome of whether or not it is something to be "believed in."

Previous bias will also tend to dictate how seriously you pursue these things.

I think that something that has the parameters of "omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient," exists but the term itself changes due to culture.

It is not strictly bound to religion, either. In fact, trying to find the answers to such a question is rarely done by trying to copy others beliefs. This will also tend towards a behavior of constantly addressing people of opposing beliefs in a converting manner, since the current belief system was put into place in essentially the same way.

So, with the rambling done, what do you define God to be? And, currently, why do you feel those parameters are not met?

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:59 PM
reply to post by James1982

Why do you want to believe in a god? And please, answer me with absolute honesty. I'm not here to play games.
edit on 24-10-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:59 PM
reply to post by Klassified

Because he is questioning, like many of us had.

Sometimes you need to make that journey to come back to the point you left in order to fully understand it. I would not be nearly as knowledgeable about the subject today if I hadn't spent such a long time in the Church before realizing I could not accept it.

Basically, you don't know you won't like it unless you try it. Someone who calls themselves an atheist without ever having gone through the religious experiences is similar to taking advice about quitting drinking from someone who has never had a drink.

I'd much rather get advice from a recovering alcoholic who has lost everything.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:59 PM

reply to post by catfishjoe

then why are they not in Boston,,hehehe,,8 one?,, good game.

Yeah..yeah...yeah.....hey, there's always next year.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 02:59 PM
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God.
- Epicurus

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by spy66

I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic so I don't go around trying to do something futile like try to disprove creation. However, my point still stands. Religion is easily disproved by basic science. The world wasn't created 6000 years ago. It isn't the center of the universe. It isn't flat either. All these things can be proven with some simple science. If you want to get even more fancy, you can throw simple logic into the mix and come up with a vast amount of paradoxes and discrepancies that don't make sense.

I never said God doesn't exist, however I can say with relative certainty that if He does, none of the religions on this planet represent Him (maybe Buddhism, but even that I have my doubts on).
edit on 24-10-2013 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:02 PM
There is something out there that we call god. There are beings that interact with this reality that some refer to as angels. There, does that help you try to believe? Sorry if I cannot give you a lot of religious propaganda formed by different religions, god is not crabby unless you piss him off.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:03 PM
reply to post by Krazysh0t

I think each religion is more of a cultural understanding of the driving force behind and within the world around us.

It changes depending on approach, but we are all working with the same data set, just with different biases based on everything from technological advancement to individual and collective approach.
edit on 24-10-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:08 PM
Meditation, a healthy pineal gland and thats all you need to figure it out

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:11 PM
Your Goal is not belief in any one thing or another!!

Your Goal is to Master Sin within the Simulation...

Genesis 4: 6-7 NIV
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

The issue is, you NEED belief to Master Sin!

Mastering Sin = Mastering the game!!
edit on 24-10-2013 by AbleEndangered because: addition

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:11 PM
This is more of a thought exercise, and it's not specifically about any one religion, but more of the idea of believing in a god in general. I just mentioned the religions I did as examples.

I'm just very interested in how to actually be convinced of god, it seems everything depends on how you view certain events, giving meaning to some, while ignoring others to perpetuate the idea that someone above is intervening in your life. Or flat out trickery by others.

I'm reminded of the story, I can't remember what explorers or who did it, but a group was stranded without food, and the native american tribe in the area refused to help. The group knew that there was an eclipse coming up, and told the tribe that their god was angry with them for not feeding the group, and that he would show a sign of his anger by darkening the moon or something along those lines.

They didn't feed the group, and then the eclipse came as it was supposed to, and it terrified the natives and they started feeding the group. That's some clever trickery, but I bet those natives truly believed in god in a way i likely won't ever.

Trickery and interpretation (whether accurate or not) seem to be the cause of most people's belief in god, I feel like I'm pretty hard to trick in that regard, and I'm not prone to making simple things into signs telling me something, so maybe certain people are just destined to never believe? Their life circumstances combined in such a way that the idea itself will never be believable? If that's the case, how can anyone judge a non believer, if lack of belief is the only outcome for the life the person has lived?
edit on 24-10-2013 by James1982 because: (no reason given)

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