Hi there, I'm Angelo, a junior highschool student and I'm just here to know what your opinions are in this matter. Basically, I'm a Christian, and I have read the Bible ( not the whole though ), but after years pass by, I began doubting my religion, not God, but his people. And yes, I believe in God, but why is it so difficult for me to accept that he exists?,I'm starting to think logically about the happenings of the story that's written on the bible, I don't believe in "miracles" that is said to had happened. Any thoughts for this?, anyone?
Hey Angelo! Welcome to the community. Let me say first of all that you've already take the hard first step of being open with yourself in admitting that you're having these doubts, that you're asking these questions, rather than burying them and ignoring them. Just continue to let the evidence take you were it will and you'll never go wrong!
In answer to your question, there's really two reasons that people believe things. Either because they have a reasoned justification for thinking the belief is true or because they have faith that it is true even when there isn't a reasoned justification for thinking that belief is true, and even when reason stands against a justification of the belief.
So, my advice to you is to do what former minister John Loftus advocates for which is to commit to taking an Outsider Test for Faith. Examine the truth claims your faith makes as an outsider would. Examine the truth claims your faith makes the same way you as an outsider to Islam examine the truth claims of that religion. What reason to we have to think that the Muslim claim that Allah exists and Mohammad is his prophet who rose up to heaven on a winged horse is any different qualitatively as the claim that Jesus was the son of god who after being crucified was resurrected and ascended to heaven? Remember, you'll run into a double standard if you say that the Muslim's faith in the truth claims of his religion aren't reasoned while the truth claims of your religion are because neither the Christian or the Muslim has anything but an inner conviction, a faith, that those claims are true. So if you're not prepared to accept the truth claims of Islam then you must consider why you would accept the truth claims of Christianity.
So examine the claims of your faith as an unweighted agnostic, someone who has never before heard of Christianity or indeed even of religion. It's not an easy thing to do because of the culture you were raised in and because of your personal upbringing, but you can do it. And when you do you'll see that Christianity (and none of the other religions) doesn't pass the Outsider Test. But it didn't have to be that way. They could have passed. They just don't.
And so, to come around to your question now, I think in your mind, somewhere in there that you've been trying to ignore, you're already aware of this. And that's why it's been so hard for you to accept that God exists. That reasonable logical skeptical part of your mind, that part of your mind that wants to have as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs, it just won't shut up.
And thank goodness it won't!
Wow! I just joined a day ago and the well thought out replies, like this, are amazing. I look forward to reading more.
Hi Angelo, Nice post. You are certainly getting to grips with some big questions and I hope you find the answers you need. These answers may not be the truth but if it works for you then so be it.
My advice is... deconstruct.
Deconstruct everything that has no bearing on what you know and what you observe.
If you think that couldn't happen today then have the mental confidence to realise that couldn't have happened then either.
Religion is about being in a gang. There is something very rewarding about belonging to something. Atheists have no congregations, have no social glue, have no belief that makes them stronger.
All they have is truth, and whilst truth is a noble ally, it is not particularly strong in the face of consensus.
Best of luck.
Hi Angelo. Well done on thinking critically... we all think critically about all kinds of things and now you (as most of us here have done) have naturally applied it to religion. And why shouldn't it be applied to religion? It's entirely normal and healthy to do so.
Here are a couple of truths that I found useful when I started to think like you:
Good luck on your journey.
Suppose you started from a position of nonbelief instead of having the local religion shoved down your intellectual craw from a young age.
Would you then believe that the universe was created by a magical sorcerer people call God? I think you'd see what an incredibly ridiculous notion that is, and that simply not having a belief makes more sense.
To me, one of the most devastating facts, once you consider it, is that people tend to become very emotionally committed to the local religion. It's part of the culture, not a system of truth, like science. If you had been born in India, you'd probably be a Hindu; in Saudi Arabia or Iraq, a Muslim; in Cambodia, a Buddhist; and so on. Once you realize how people come to have a religion, you see that probably none of them are based on truth.
BTW, I always recommend Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not A Christian, probably because it was the most influential book in terms of my own intellectual journey.
Just keep thinking: Lake Of Eternal Hellfire.
Ha ha ha - that is SOOOO LOVING of you, Jesus, :D
Just keep thinking.
Welcome to the forums. It's good to see people who apply logic and reason to things. I believe the most important questions you can ask yourself are what you believe in and why. The journey down the path of rational thinking can sometimes be difficult but is always rewarding.
If a Christian man dies and he is not married, is he allowed to "spank the monkey" in Heaven? (Eternity is a long, long time).
In Heaven, you'll have no use for your joy stick.
Keep thinking "logically," Angelo, you're almost there.