Moments that validated God's (in whatever way you want to define him) existence to you.

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So I am what one of my friends called "an ethnic Jew of a Muslim" which basically means that i adhere to many of Islams principle ideologies on discipline, culture, charity, ect, but I am not a devout Muslim, I do not pray 5 times a day, I have not been to mecca, I don't make my CHRISTIAN wife wear a hijab, etc. Generally speaking i am what you get if you cross an Agnostic with a black Muslim (NOT nation of Islam). I find organized religion illogical, silly, and sometimes reprehensible. But I find the idea that there is no higher power or divine architect just as illogical.

Anyway, obviously I do believe in God. This is partially due to sciences inability to fully explain plenty of elements of the universes origins, and the basis of the spirit and the divine, but this is also greatly because at plenty of times in my life I have felt the comfort of God's presence and have been the beneficiary of God's will.

Perfect example just happened very recently; I just had my first child. He was born 2 months premature because of a heart defect that popped up out of no where after regular prenatal screenings. It almost cost him his life.

During the turmoil of that circumstance I began to question the concept of "God's will" and whether it made sense to pray for my son's health. On one end, "true faith" promotes the idea that "God works in mysterious ways" and that God's will and yours will not always align, blah blah blah you have likely hear all of this before.

Well that obviously wasn't good enough for me in the moment, so I prayed furiously for my son's improved health. Unfortunately this did not occur for a while. In fact, for around a 72 hour period my Son's health steadily declined and doctors at two different hospitals (we were moved when one hospital basically tagged out) seemed to have had exhausted their options for treating him. With that in mind I took a break and went home. While there i genuinely gave a prayer of thanks that I had had the opportunity to at least see my son and hear his voice for a few moments when he first came out. I prayed that God's will be done for his life, however short, and I prayed for strength to support my wife in dealing with what seemed an inevitable conclusion.

Of course as if out of a TV movie the following morning the medicine "kicked in" and my son's heart got under control. For about a month he has been recovering and we expect him to come home in a week or so with no lingering issues other than some heart medicine. He will make a full recovery and live a normal life.

This is not the first time I have been the beneficiary of either an extremely fortunate coincidence, or God's blessing. I learned to internalize long ago that being "blessed" had little to do with my adherence to religious doctrine. however, I have found my faith rewarded on plenty of occasions and significantly strengthened by this experience.

Also, of course the early experiences of fatherhood also put you in the mind of questioning and seeking understanding about the nature of existence beyond scientific explanations of carbon and oxygen (look up kangaroo care therapy for a fascinating bit of real magic from the human body).

Either way, for the devoutly religious, non religious, and even the atheistic. What are some personal experiences that defined your faith( in god or science), or lack thereof.

Oh my, this could turn out catastrophically, please try to behave people.

OT: I guess studying biology and medicine on the side I find it quite easy and logical to be an atheist is all, it's not hard to explain many "wonders" if you're just willing to look into the sciences. But I can see the psychological need for a higher power and the interpretation bias that comes with it and as long as it's in a reasonable frame there isn't much to object.

I think it would probably just be best if atheists stayed away from this thread. If you do choose to involve yourself, please don't be a dick.

I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

I see faith as something like listening to radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh. You either love what they say and every pronouncement is a revelation, or you think they are total wackos and every word makes you angry. For faith it's a two sided coin- you either see a god that helped in your son's heart problem (yay!) or a god that allowed your son to have a heart problem to begin with. I fall on the later and you clearly fall in the former.

Personally, I think there is a lot of comfort in knowing there is a supreme being looking out for you. I just struggle with all of the terrible things that happen in the world and why it happens.

Regardless, I'm glad your son is doing well. As a father of 3 month old who experienced a traumatic delivery (but otherwise healthy baby) I empathize with your situation and hope for the best.

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

I'd echo these statements as a gay youth. I don't think most people had that 'moment' honestly, it's something most people grow up with. They grow up being told there's a God so they sort of just believe it and then take the fact that they never really thought about it for granted. Though I'd still be interested in seeing responses to the topic anyway.

I've heard explanations for situations like this. Those of faith would say that God allowed tragedy to strike because when the solution came about, people would know with certainty that it was through the will of God.

_

I didn't stay in the faith I was originally in(Christianity), but I did have such a moment. It was a semi-regular day at church. All the teenagers were moved to the chapel to hear someone speak directly to them. I Don't remember what the message itself was about, but it most have hit home.

I had a weird feeling when the music was playing near the end. In influx of emotions came in from fear, to sadness, to some type of weird mental clarity. Back in those days, I'd define it as an interaction with the holy spirit.

Now though, I'm still wondering exactly what it was.

darron13:

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

I'd echo these statements as a gay youth. I don't think most people had that 'moment' honestly, it's something most people grow up with. They grow up being told there's a God so they sort of just believe it and then take the fact that they never really thought about it for granted. Though I'd still be interested in seeing responses to the topic anyway.

Is it reasonable to say that God is not an all loving and benevolent being?

feeqmatic:

darron13:

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

I'd echo these statements as a gay youth. I don't think most people had that 'moment' honestly, it's something most people grow up with. They grow up being told there's a God so they sort of just believe it and then take the fact that they never really thought about it for granted. Though I'd still be interested in seeing responses to the topic anyway.

Is it reasonable to say that God is not an all loving and benevolent being?

Epicurus would then ask you why you were calling him god then.

Well, I did have a religious experience once. It was drug induced, but whatever.

It was very strange, we were sitting in my apartment, just tripping and chilling, when suddenly I get this irresistable urge to go outside.
I walked for a bit, came to a barren field surrounded by trees, made a fire (Also because of this strange urge), and waited.
Suddenly I saw something moving in the sky; the city lights were morphing and changing, and I saw the shape of some great bird in those lights, searching and looking.
After watching that, I lay down in the grass, and I looked up and saw a black spider web in the night sky, with an even darker shape moving in it, also searching for something.

After a while the visions stopped, and I came back to earth again. It is strange, before that experience I couldn't even begin to imagine what faith is like, and then suddenly I knew, I knew all about it.

Still an unbeliever, tho, but at least now I understand.

Shadowstar38:
I've heard explanations for situations like this. Those of faith would say that God allowed tragedy to strike because when the solution came about, people would know with certainty that it was through the will of God.

_

I didn't stay in the faith I was originally in(Christianity), but I did have such a moment. It was a semi-regular day at church. All the teenagers were moved to the chapel to hear someone speak directly to them. I Don't remember what the message itself was about, but it most have hit home.

I had a weird feeling when the music was playing near the end. In influx of emotions came in from fear, to sadness, to some type of weird mental clarity. Back in those days, I'd define it as an interaction with the holy spirit.

Now though, I'm still wondering exactly what it was.

Could be infrasound. You can feel it but not hear it, so it makes you feel 'spooky'. It's thought that a lot of Holy places and Church architecture have acoustics that produce these sounds, and is apparently what the really big horns on church organs are thought to be for. http://www.skepdic.com/infrasound.html

feeqmatic:

darron13:

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

I'd echo these statements as a gay youth. I don't think most people had that 'moment' honestly, it's something most people grow up with. They grow up being told there's a God so they sort of just believe it and then take the fact that they never really thought about it for granted. Though I'd still be interested in seeing responses to the topic anyway.

Is it reasonable to say that God is not an all loving and benevolent being?

If it's the Christian God or the Muslim God you're talking about, then yes, it's perfectly reasonable to say that. He sounds like quite the sadist sometimes, actually.

I dunno. I'm an atheist, so it's not like I've really had a moment that "validated God's existence" to me. But I've had plenty of religious experiences, even after I dropped my religion. A close call or two while driving or working with power tools, enduring loss, even going to church several times (there's a really nice Catholic church near me that my good friends sometimes invite me to). I've had some really profound and humbling experiences in my life, and I do feel "blessed" for my situation in life, though I try use that word without implying agency on the part of a higher power.

I kind of look at these more-or-less-religious experiences as events that everyone has their own take on. Plenty of people like to think it's one of God's blessings or miracles. As someone without that kind of faith, if I had a child that was saved from death, I would give thanks to the doctors for their knowledge, attentiveness, and care. I think it's just as profound to be humbled by the laws of probability as it is to be gracious to God.

When I get an interview, a personal demonstration of omnipotence, several independent studies of said God which clearly defines God as the same as the Judeo-Christian God and not some imposter or illusion. Then I'll assume his identity is validated.

I was a Christian for 17 years. Visiting some VERY religious friends (Father is a pastor, both of his sons are either pastors or studying to become one) I talked with them about my lesbian parents. My best friend told me straight up: "I love your parents, but they will burn for eternity in hell for what they are doing."

I became agnostic that very second. I refuse to believe the God of love, kindness, brotherhood, and mercy that I was raised to believe would condemn two people to oblivion for loving one another in an adult, consenting relationship. I refuse to believe in the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" spiel. And I will not share a belief system that would tell me that the best parents I've had, and a step-mother that is LEAGUES better than my abusive father, will burn in hell.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
I was a Christian for 17 years. Visiting some VERY religious friends (Father is a pastor, both of his sons are either pastors or studying to become one) I talked with them about my lesbian parents. My best friend told me straight up: "I love your parents, but they will burn for eternity in hell for what they are doing."

I became agnostic that very second. I refuse to believe the God of love, kindness, brotherhood, and mercy that I was raised to believe would condemn two people to oblivion for loving one another in an adult, consenting relationship. I refuse to believe in the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" spiel. And I will not share a belief system that would tell me that the best parents I've had, and a step-mother that is LEAGUES better than my abusive father, will burn in hell.

So. You were Christian for 17 years, and the thought did not occur to you that maybe this person is simply, I dunno, wrong?
What gives said person, even if it is a pastor, the right to speak for God with absolute confidence? If such a simple thing were enough to cause you to abandon your faith then I suspect that you already had your doubts.

Realitycrash:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
I was a Christian for 17 years. Visiting some VERY religious friends (Father is a pastor, both of his sons are either pastors or studying to become one) I talked with them about my lesbian parents. My best friend told me straight up: "I love your parents, but they will burn for eternity in hell for what they are doing."

I became agnostic that very second. I refuse to believe the God of love, kindness, brotherhood, and mercy that I was raised to believe would condemn two people to oblivion for loving one another in an adult, consenting relationship. I refuse to believe in the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" spiel. And I will not share a belief system that would tell me that the best parents I've had, and a step-mother that is LEAGUES better than my abusive father, will burn in hell.

So. You were Christian for 17 years, and the thought did not occur to you that maybe this person is simply, I dunno, wrong?
What gives said person, even if it is a pastor, the right to speak for God with absolute confidence? If such a simple thing were enough to cause you to abandon your faith then I suspect that you already had your doubts.

Because of what I had seen and heard. For every Christian group saying that only God was allowed to judge and accepting homosexuals (such as my church in Lawrence, Kansas), there were 4 or 5 like Westboro (before people realized they were just scam artists), Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, and the like. Overwhelmingly, I was told that God hated gays, and it became very real when my friend, someone I trusted, told me as much.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Realitycrash:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
I was a Christian for 17 years. Visiting some VERY religious friends (Father is a pastor, both of his sons are either pastors or studying to become one) I talked with them about my lesbian parents. My best friend told me straight up: "I love your parents, but they will burn for eternity in hell for what they are doing."

I became agnostic that very second. I refuse to believe the God of love, kindness, brotherhood, and mercy that I was raised to believe would condemn two people to oblivion for loving one another in an adult, consenting relationship. I refuse to believe in the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" spiel. And I will not share a belief system that would tell me that the best parents I've had, and a step-mother that is LEAGUES better than my abusive father, will burn in hell.

So. You were Christian for 17 years, and the thought did not occur to you that maybe this person is simply, I dunno, wrong?
What gives said person, even if it is a pastor, the right to speak for God with absolute confidence? If such a simple thing were enough to cause you to abandon your faith then I suspect that you already had your doubts.

Because of what I had seen and heard. For every Christian group saying that only God was allowed to judge and accepting homosexuals (such as my church in Lawrence, Kansas), there were 4 or 5 like Westboro (before people realized they were just scam artists), Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, and the like. Overwhelmingly, I was told that God hated gays, and it became very real when my friend, someone I trusted, told me as much.

I have a hard time picturing this supposedly all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient being as hating anyone. It would be as if I went around hating black ants, but not red ants.
If I ever would come to believe in God, it would not be in a being capable of hate on such a level as humans are. Then again, I would not believe in the Bible or the Koran either, since they are man-made.

Realitycrash:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Realitycrash:

So. You were Christian for 17 years, and the thought did not occur to you that maybe this person is simply, I dunno, wrong?
What gives said person, even if it is a pastor, the right to speak for God with absolute confidence? If such a simple thing were enough to cause you to abandon your faith then I suspect that you already had your doubts.

Because of what I had seen and heard. For every Christian group saying that only God was allowed to judge and accepting homosexuals (such as my church in Lawrence, Kansas), there were 4 or 5 like Westboro (before people realized they were just scam artists), Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, and the like. Overwhelmingly, I was told that God hated gays, and it became very real when my friend, someone I trusted, told me as much.

I have a hard time picturing this supposedly all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient being as hating anyone. It would be as if I went around hating black ants, but not red ants.
If I ever would come to believe in God, it would not be in a being capable of hate on such a level as humans are. Then again, I would not believe in the Bible or the Koran either, since they are man-made.

It is the belief that God hates those who sin, because they are spitting in the face of the being that created them. The holes in that logic are large enough to sail a carrier through, but that is the gist.

You know, there probably never was a particular point in time. Having always been an Atheist, it was that distinct lack of particular events that ensured I'm still an Atheist today. That said, having experienced some amazing sights and feelings of awe for the natural world (especially while hiking) probably helped to solidify my view that religion is unnecessary for me, even for so-called "spiritual experiences". Nature, the universe, the starstuff has all of that in spades.

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

This, so much this I was born a hermaphrodite and religion taught me that I was an abomination and HAD to conform despite the emotional hell it caused. Thanks god! Thanks a REAL ****ing lot for ruining my life!

Can't wait till I burn for all eternity simply for being pissed at you!

Zeckt:

Jayemsal:
I can tell you what invalidated it, growing up with the immense self hatred, depression, and daily thoughts of suicide that came from being a transgender youth. No just and loving being would ever allow that to occur.

This, so much this I was born a hermaphrodite and religion taught me that I was an abomination and HAD to conform despite the emotional hell it caused. Thanks god! Thanks a REAL ****ing lot for ruining my life!

Can't wait till I burn for all eternity simply for being pissed at you!

Sounds more like you two should hate religion as opposed to God. I've never had much use for religion but as far as God goes, I know he is around and loves us all. This is validated almost everyday in my life but there were also bigger miracles in my life as well. I'll just leave it at that.

Skeleon:
You know, there probably never was a particular point in time. Having always been an Atheist, it was that distinct lack of particular events that ensured I'm still an Atheist today. That said, having experienced some amazing sights and feelings of awe for the natural world (especially while hiking) probably helped to solidify my view that religion is unnecessary for me, even for so-called "spiritual experiences". Nature, the universe, the starstuff has all of that in spades.

Would i misrepresent your ideology to use the adjective "divine" to describe the experiences you have had in nature?

I know that I have had plenty of the same experiences hiking and whatnot, I just attribute them to a more personified entity as opposed to "nature." Is it the word "god" that bothers atheist, or is only the element of organized religion?

feeqmatic:

Skeleon:
You know, there probably never was a particular point in time. Having always been an Atheist, it was that distinct lack of particular events that ensured I'm still an Atheist today. That said, having experienced some amazing sights and feelings of awe for the natural world (especially while hiking) probably helped to solidify my view that religion is unnecessary for me, even for so-called "spiritual experiences". Nature, the universe, the starstuff has all of that in spades.

Would i misrepresent your ideology to use the adjective "divine" to describe the experiences you have had in nature?

I know that I have had plenty of the same experiences hiking and whatnot, I just attribute them to a more personified entity as opposed to "nature." Is it the word "god" that bothers atheist, or is only the element of organized religion?

I know this will come off as hostile to some degree but it is part of the fact that religious people feel it necessary to force their beliefs upon others (speaking purely of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism purely) coupled with the trend of religious cultures showing a gross intolerance to any sort of progress that the human race might experience. Faiths that support equal rights instead of trying to crush them are an exception and not the rule, faiths that try to force people into assigned roles are an exception and not the rule, faiths that try to impede scientific advancement using any number of scumbag tactics are the rule and not the exception. It's all these reasons, as well as some things that are more personal, that are why atheists (and agnostics and antitheists) will refuse to acknowledge a god or pantheon.

If these zealots are the chosen people of any cosmic being than I shudder to think just how disgusting the thing behind it could be, assuming there is a thing behind it, which I personally think there isn't as religion was a creation of a largely backwards people who were filled with superstition some thousands of years ago to try and organize our idiot ancestors. It worked, but in my opinion it's largely overstayed it's welcome now that it's actively trying to ruin society just to make itself relevant again.

So, it's twofold: we believe that either your God doesn't exist and your beliefs are a crutch that have too many cons attached to it (religious crusades, religious interference in what should be secular politics, fearmongering to drive people to your religion, institutionalized bigotry, etc) or that even if your God exists, that he's psychotic and why anyone would want to follow him is beyond me.

Realitycrash:
I have a hard time picturing this supposedly all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient being as hating anyone. It would be as if I went around hating black ants, but not red ants.
If I ever would come to believe in God, it would not be in a being capable of hate on such a level as humans are. Then again, I would not believe in the Bible or the Koran either, since they are man-made.

You clearly don't understand how God works. He is almighty and perfect in every way. He can love more than any person and can hate more than any person.

God coined the idea of eternal, unending, constant torment akin to living out your greatest horrors or suffering the greatest pain for every unwaking moment.

Trust me, God's got hate down real well.

He's a passionate guy.

comraderichard:

feeqmatic:

Skeleon:
You know, there probably never was a particular point in time. Having always been an Atheist, it was that distinct lack of particular events that ensured I'm still an Atheist today. That said, having experienced some amazing sights and feelings of awe for the natural world (especially while hiking) probably helped to solidify my view that religion is unnecessary for me, even for so-called "spiritual experiences". Nature, the universe, the starstuff has all of that in spades.

Would i misrepresent your ideology to use the adjective "divine" to describe the experiences you have had in nature?

I know that I have had plenty of the same experiences hiking and whatnot, I just attribute them to a more personified entity as opposed to "nature." Is it the word "god" that bothers atheist, or is only the element of organized religion?

I know this will come off as hostile to some degree but it is part of the fact that religious people feel it necessary to force their beliefs upon others (speaking purely of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism purely) coupled with the trend of religious cultures showing a gross intolerance to any sort of progress that the human race might experience. Faiths that support equal rights instead of trying to crush them are an exception and not the rule, faiths that try to force people into assigned roles are an exception and not the rule, faiths that try to impede scientific advancement using any number of scumbag tactics are the rule and not the exception. It's all these reasons, as well as some things that are more personal, that are why atheists (and agnostics and antitheists) will refuse to acknowledge a god or pantheon.

If these zealots are the chosen people of any cosmic being than I shudder to think just how disgusting the thing behind it could be, assuming there is a thing behind it, which I personally think there isn't as religion was a creation of a largely backwards people who were filled with superstition some thousands of years ago to try and organize our idiot ancestors. It worked, but in my opinion it's largely overstayed it's welcome now that it's actively trying to ruin society just to make itself relevant again.

So, it's twofold: we believe that either your God doesn't exist and your beliefs are a crutch that have too many cons attached to it (religious crusades, religious interference in what should be secular politics, fearmongering to drive people to your religion, institutionalized bigotry, etc) or that even if your God exists, that he's psychotic and why anyone would want to follow him is beyond me.

That still sounds more opposed to the traditional Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) codification of God Vs. the more "new age" concept i described. IE an opposition to religion Vs spiritual ideology. Am I wrong or is the avg Atheist more turned away by religion than the broader concept of a great deity (or deities)

If I had such a moment, I would not be agnostic. I know some family members that had some moments, but nothing I ever experienced.

feeqmatic:
Is it the word "god" that bothers atheist, or is only the element of organized religion?

This wasn't directed at me, but if I may weigh in with my own opinion. I'm not sure you'll find any consenus among atheists, though personally I am not so much bothered by the concept of god, or organized religion, it's just that I don't have any use for them. Now, I am very much bothered by what people do in the name of their god and organized religions, but that's a little different.

feeqmatic:
Would i misrepresent your ideology to use the adjective "divine" to describe the experiences you have had in nature?

I think so, yes, because "divine" implies all sort of supernatural baggage. It's purely secular. I don't like the term "spiritual" either, because it implies such a thing as a separate "spirit", another notion I don't believe in.

I know that I have had plenty of the same experiences hiking and whatnot, I just attribute them to a more personified entity as opposed to "nature." Is it the word "god" that bothers atheist, or is only the element of organized religion?

No, it's not just the word, although its baggage doesn't help, either. It's the notion of an entity that bothers me. There's no reason to assume an entity, no evidence for it. Not to mention none of the things we see around us are the product of supernatural meddling.

In fact, I'd argue that the universe is far greater than the gods humanity came up with, especially the Abrahamic ones: Caring about things like gay sex or abortion? When there are galaxies colliding? Stars exploding? When there are billions upon billions of stars out there? These gods we came up with in the past, they are small as our imaginations were back then. Nature is far more impressive and complicated. But even nature is not an "entity". No, gods are mirrors of our societies, as they were and as they are sometimes. Clinging to them means clinging to the past, often even dangerously so, like when it comes to intrusive rules about "moral conduct".

As for the element of organized religion? Organized religion is why I oppose religion on a lot of things, especially politics, moral policing, intrusions into others' private lives and so on. If that element of organized religions going for real-world power and spreading of influence/its ideology didn't exist, I'd care a lot less. I'd love to see religion be a purely personal thing. But I wouldn't adopt any of those supernatural beliefs then, either.

For a comparison: I don't believe in horoscopes. But if a person checks out a horoscope for themselves and believes it, that's fine. I think that's silly and may end up hurting them, but as long as they don't bother me or others about it, I don't care too much. Let's take a different example: Antivaccers. They tend to try to spread their beliefs among the populace, they cause real-world harm - not just to themselves, but to their kids, others and the kids of others. Them I have a much bigger issue with. I don't believe either of these things. But one is much more offensive and dangerous than the other.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Realitycrash:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Because of what I had seen and heard. For every Christian group saying that only God was allowed to judge and accepting homosexuals (such as my church in Lawrence, Kansas), there were 4 or 5 like Westboro (before people realized they were just scam artists), Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, and the like. Overwhelmingly, I was told that God hated gays, and it became very real when my friend, someone I trusted, told me as much.

I have a hard time picturing this supposedly all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient being as hating anyone. It would be as if I went around hating black ants, but not red ants.
If I ever would come to believe in God, it would not be in a being capable of hate on such a level as humans are. Then again, I would not believe in the Bible or the Koran either, since they are man-made.

It is the belief that God hates those who sin, because they are spitting in the face of the being that created them. The holes in that logic are large enough to sail a carrier through, but that is the gist.

..That would be like me hating my children for doing stupid shit. I might be disappointed in them, but HATE them? They are my children, and they can't harm me, and I am the loving father..How the hell does this compute?
Yeah, flawless logic indeed..

Realitycrash:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Realitycrash:

I have a hard time picturing this supposedly all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient being as hating anyone. It would be as if I went around hating black ants, but not red ants.
If I ever would come to believe in God, it would not be in a being capable of hate on such a level as humans are. Then again, I would not believe in the Bible or the Koran either, since they are man-made.

It is the belief that God hates those who sin, because they are spitting in the face of the being that created them. The holes in that logic are large enough to sail a carrier through, but that is the gist.

..That would be like me hating my children for doing stupid shit. I might be disappointed in them, but HATE them? They are my children, and they can't harm me, and I am the loving father..How the hell does this compute?
Yeah, flawless logic indeed..

you just stumbled on to a basic version of the Problem of evil.

OT: I define god as an idea in the minds of men nothing more.

feeqmatic:

Either way, for the devoutly religious, non religious, and even the atheistic. What are some personal experiences that defined your faith( in god or science), or lack thereof.

Sure, I'll bite. Even if I'm painting a giant target on my forehead.

I was born with an innate sense of Christ (Evangelical Christan beliefs). Just like I was born with an innate sense of right and wrong. I had always known that Christ was very real and worked in my life. With that said, there were moments that REINFORCED my faith, but nothing that defined my faith. Again, my belief is and always has been, EVERYONE has, is and will be born with an innate sense of Christ. But I digress....

1. Walking through the various mountains, valleys, forests and meadows of Julian, California (and also eating their top-notch pie). It payed homage to the verse,

Romans 1:20 "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."

2. Billy Graham concert in San Diego 199X (Can't remember the exact date). The Lord's presence was so overwhelming it was intense. I can't remember a time when there was more praise and worship going on then that night.

3. My daily reminder that I am not in control of my own life. I cannot will my heart to beat or will myself to wake up everyday, it's a pure leap of faith. It's a moment of praise every time I wake up and go to bed.

4. They way my life has come together and the way doors have opened and closed.

To the outside looking in, this will appear delusional, evil, and bordering on lunacy. Well, they thought the same thing of Jesus.

This song about sums it up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN0FFK8JSYE

andrewfox:
Again, my belief is and always has been, EVERYONE has, is and will be born with an innate sense of Christ.

Just a non-aggressive question, and I don't intend to cause any offence;

Do you believe this also applies to those billions who, throughout history, had never heard of Jesus Christ?

Kaulen Fuhs:
I think it would probably just be best if atheists stayed away from this thread. If you do choose to involve yourself, please don't be a dick.

See, this guy here, he's got his head on straight, and that's speaking as a pretty hardcore atheist. It's not your beliefs, so don't meddle if your meddling will just stir up anger.

For me, the personal experience was resolving conflicting values at the age of 14. Previously, I attended Jehovah's Witness congregations because the idea of a god of law and order appealed to me. The JWs are Biblical literalists and their defense of some of the crazier aspects, such as the flood, was awful pseudo-science. No matter how much I wanted to believe it, it was contradicted by what could be reasonably determined. Despite years of trying, I could not marry what I wished to be true and what I could reasonably determine. I could not make Biblical theology compatible with scientific knowledge. I realised the the only way to resolve the contradiction was to dump one of them. I left the congregation and never looked back.

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