Ok, if I want to believe in God, what’s next?

April 17, 2007 at 7:14 am 31 comments

aAlogoI’m a self-proclaimed agnostic atheist. This means I choose not to believe in God but accept the possibility that “God” exists. What if one day I wake up and decide I wanted to be, for starters, an agnostic theist? This means I will choose to believe in God but accept the possibility that my God may not really exist.

Where do I start?

Well, Hinduism is the oldest religion. Should I start there? Should I believe in Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Sustainer), or Krishna (Love, destruction of evil)? What about Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, or Hermes? Should I believe in one of the Greek Gods?

How about Allah? or Jah (he’s got cool music)? Are they the real God?

Since it seems as if many of our readers are Christians, I would assume you’re raising your hand saying “pick the God of the Bible not those gods created by man.”

Ok! I’ll play along. Let’s check out the God of the Bible.

In Genesis 1:1, it says his name is Elohim. Cool. That’s a plural word. Does it mean God is a plurality? So I am to believe in Elohim since God is referred to as Elohim over 2,500 times in the Old Testament? That’s good. Wait! He’s also referred to as El (about 250 times), El-Shaddai, El-Elyon, and others. I guess it’s safe to assume we’re talking about the same God. Correct?

What is Elohim like? He seems quite personable. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He chatted with Cain and Abel and came looking for Abel after he was killed by Cain. Enoch walked with him for 300 years. He gave Noah detailed instructions on building an Ark that would house millions of species.

He came into Abraham’s tent for a visit and had a meal with him. He negotiated with Abraham before wiping out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. He wrestled with Abraham’s grandson all night. Wow! That’s impressive for a mere man to wrestle God for an entire night. Overall, he sound like a very personal God.

I made a mistake and kept reading and now I’m confused. We jumped from this personal God to burning bushes, thunder and lightning from Mt. Sinai, you can’t see God’s face and live, and you can’t even touch the mountain and live. Are we talking about the same God who was just hanging out with Abraham and company? Why did he all of a sudden become this impersonal, untouchable God?

Oh, and now he’s changed his name to Yahweh? Or Jehovah? Or a bunch of Jehovah-somethings? Am I too slow to grasp all of this? Are we still talking about Elohim? It sure doesn’t sound like it.

And, as Richard Dawkins puts it, this God of the Old Testament is:

Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

What? I should not be quoting Dawkins if I’m trying to believe in God. Got it. Point taken. My bad. I repent.

Jesus and GodNow I get to the New Testament. Ah! God is a loving father in heaven who so loves the world. He values me more than sparrows. Is that a good thing? He has numbered every hair on my head. He is compassionate, merciful and kind. He’s even taken on the form of a human.

I have to admit, I like this New Testament God. I can skip over the fact he killed a couple for lying and a few other minor atrocities but overall he seems quite cool.

So what’s my conclusion? Well, let’s assume that man created all those gods not in the Bible. Moses’ God was a bit scary. New Testament God is cool but there are tons of people who believe in him and I like to be different so I think I like Abraham’s God the best (forgetting the whole sacrifice your son thing). He came in for visits and chatted audibly with people. Can this be the God I believe in? Where can I get in touch with him? Does he still make house calls?

– Agnostic Atheist

[Disclaimer: I meant no disrespect if you have devoted your lives to any of the above listed Gods. I hope you’re able to get the point I was trying to make without becoming offended. If you are offended, I do sincerely apologize.]

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Entry filed under: agnostic, agnostic atheism, agnostic atheist, apologetics, atheism, atheist, Bible, christian, christianity, faith, freethinking, hinduism, Islam, Jesus, Religion, skeptic, skepticism, spirituality, theology.

My purpose is clearer now without God My exodus from Christianity: I can’t go back, can I?

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daisy  |  April 17, 2007 at 4:27 am

    Yes, Abraham’s God is alive and well and still making house calls. 🙂 You might like to visit Alpha where you can find people near you who will welcome as many questions as you can throw at them, discuss Dawkins with you, and generally give you a regular space to think through all these ideas without any strings attached. Oh, and there’s usually a free meal thrown in each week.

    Hope that’s useful. Enjoy Alpha. 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Epiphanist  |  April 17, 2007 at 5:50 am

    The Buddha would not answer the question of God’s existence, advising that the answer was not helpful. An established belief system without a God might be what you’re looking for? The Dalai Lama however advises people not to convert to Buddhism, but rather to accept their religious and cultural heritage. A religion which is not particularly evangelistic is refreshing. Zoroastrianism could also fill this bill. I don’t know much about Zarathustra so this would be taking a big chance. A priest I knew admitted that he was not a Christian by choice. This is my category. I require a strong, defined framework to support and renew my spiritual reality without crashing and burning. Some basic, commonsense rules will help you to trust and understand your prayer and intuition, Jesus was good at these. Find yours where you can.
    I am sorry for America’s loss today.

    Reply
  • 3. agnosticatheist  |  April 17, 2007 at 7:18 am

    Epiphanist,

    It’s very sad. I just cannot imagine how we’ve become so desensitized to the value of human life to be able to do something like that. The talk shows are already starting down the path against video games. Could be a possibility.

    It’s heartbreaking.

    I was wondering where you fit on the scheme of things. Thanks for sharing.

    aA

    Reply
  • 4. agnosticatheist  |  April 17, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Daisy,

    The point of my post was to point out the inconsistencies in the way God in the Bible is portrayed. I don’t understand how folks see this as somehow harmonious.

    If you truly become a student of the Bible, you’ll find that Moses could not have written all of the Torah. Even Gen 1 & 2 are a merger of 2 different authors’ accounts of creation. It’s as clear as day to me.

    Their description of God also clearly follows how the understanding of “God” evolved over time and closely matched the supposed “pagan” cultures around them. A good book to read is “The History of God” by Karen Armstrong.

    Christians can choose to believe in a God but he is very different than the God of the Old Testament – who did not even have consistency even within that body of works. Well, the only consistency was his thirst for blood.

    aA

    Reply
  • 5. salahudin  |  April 17, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Great article!

    For like minded individuals, visit:

    http://towelianism.wordpress.com

    While you apologized for any inadvertent offense you may have caused theists, we’re not as concerned… 😛

    Reply
  • 6. tobeme  |  April 17, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I very much enjoyed your article! So many choices! Of course the real answer lies within.

    Reply
  • 7. arrgjonsmad  |  April 17, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    actually (forgive any miss spellings) Christianity is the oldest religion, and it is the only religion that has withstood the test of time. And all the names for God are ether different languages or you can think of them as nicknames.
    and God walked with all of these people, but he only physicaly walked with Adam and Eve. And that is only because they were sinless… at the time. After Eve ate the fruit, that all changed. No one can enter Gods presince with sin. And thats why Mt. Sinai was untouchable, because it was Holy Ground.
    I really hope you know the entire story of the new Testament. and you should probly take into consideration the holy trinity when i talk to you about Jesus’s death. Jesus died as the unltimate sacrifice, for you me and anyone who does OR doesnt want to accept it. And God never changed, he has always been the same. Thats in the Bible. So if i left anything out and you actualy read this, ask me please. I may not have all the answers but i will try my best to find them. God bless and God guide you.

    Reply
  • 8. agnosticatheist  |  April 17, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    arrgjonsmad,

    Why do you believe Christianity to be the oldest religion? Christianity was actually founded about 2,000 years ago.

    The Old Testament was primarily written in Hebrew. What different languages are you referring to?

    The Bible says that Enoch walked with God. The Bible says that God visited Abraham and wrestled with Jacob.

    There are several examples between the time “Eve ate the fruit” and the untouchable Mt. Sinai where man was in the presence of God. There was a significant time lapse between these 2 events. Why did it take such a long time for the chasm between God and man to kick in?

    I read your blog where you said you recently re-dedicated your life to Christ. Remember the focus of a life with Christ should be on living a life of kindness, compassion, and mercy. Ignore all the other stuff that contradicts that. Be consistent in your beliefs and allow your belief in Christ to help you be a better person in life. Don’t be intolerant of others, hateful, or discriminate against any groups of individuals. Good luck on your journey!

    aA

    Reply
  • 9. pastorofdisaster  |  April 17, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for another interesting read. The earliest Christians noticed that there was a great difference between the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some said (as you did) that there was a different, vengeful God of the Old Testament and a loving God of the New Testament. The early church Fathers labeled them heretics and that was the last that they were heard from. Unfortunately, most of the records from their point of view were destroyed by the majority church. It really is interesting to ponder about how differently God is represented in the different texts.

    If I had the power I would grant you absolution from reading Dawkins. Although, I would be worried about any person who is trying to believe in God that wouldn’t honestly struggle with a quote like that. I don’t have to read Dawkins to see some of those things plainly in the text.

    Even though I enjoyed the post as a whole I think one of the most fascinating parts of your writing was your disclaimer.

    Reply
  • 10. PB and J  |  April 17, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    arrgjonsmad

    although i agree with your ultimate conclusion that the God of the Bible is in fact, God, i think you should be careful when you make ultimatums in the name of God. you said “And God never changed, he has always been the same. Thats in the Bible.” sure, that’s what one verse out of context says in english. but did you read that verse in context of the passage, in the original language, with the understanding of the entire Scripture in mind?

    you see, i dont disagree that God hasnt changed, but citing the Bible as an infallible reference doesnt mean too much to someone who discredits the Bible.

    agnosticatheist

    thanks for the post. i really appreciated your thoughts. i think that when looking at the “different” gods of the Bible, it is important to understand what was meant in the different places. in context, the “god” of sinai is not different from “elohim” or the NT god. the way that God related to israel at sinai was that way because of the way that they felt. you see, i believe God reaches us where we are at, not expects us to have perfect understanding of Him before we approach Him.

    therefore, at sinai, you find that the israelites were fearful to approach God. so as they believed such, God was willing to act accordingly. at the same time, as their children and children’s children, etc, matured, He began to reveal Himself more clearly.

    as c.s. lewis puts it “How can they [God] meet us face to face, til we have faces?” until we reach maturity, God reveals Himself in the way that we can understand Him.

    what do you think?

    peter

    Reply
  • 11. agnosticatheist  |  April 17, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    POD,

    I had another line in the disclaimer that read “… I say this because the part of me that still clings to a form of Christianity, was a bit offended when re-reading the post.” 🙂

    Peter,

    I agree with what you’re saying but from a different perspective. I believe that it wasn’t God who presented a different view to people, it was the people’s perception of God that changed. The different faces of God did change as people matured. What I can quickly label as contradiction was really simply a natural evolution of humanity. By the time of Jesus, no one really believed God needed the sacrifice and blood of animals in order to be appeased as they did a earlier in history. Their perception of God had evolved.

    The problem with fundamentalist Christians is that they attempt to fit a 3,000 year old view of God into the 21st Century. If they simply changed their perception of God (as many modern day Christians have), they would be able to function well within society. However, that pesky belief that the Bible is THE Word of God is what gets in the way of progress.

    This is why I focus this blog so much on calling that issue into question. It’s not to be anti-Christian. It’s to attempt to facilitate a discussion on whether or not it’s appropriate for a book written 2,000-3,000 years ago to have 100% application to today’s society.

    The process is there on some issues (you can marry a divorced woman without being labeled and adulterer, women can speak in church, etc.) However, fundamentalist still cling to a few issues like homosexuality. Why? There’s really no method to the madness. Why is that any more a sin than marrying a divorced woman or a woman speaking in church?

    These are honest questions that Christians must ask themselves.

    aA

    Reply
  • 12. HeIsSailing  |  April 18, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Agnostic Athiest said:
    “In Genesis 1:1, it says his name is Elohim. Cool. That’s a plural word. Does it mean God is a plurality? So I am to believe in Elohim since God is referred to as Elohim over 2,500 times in the Old Testament? That’s good. Wait! He’s also referred to as El (about 250 times), El-Shaddai, El-Elyon, and others. I guess it’s safe to assume we’re talking about the same God. Correct?”

    I just wrote an article a few days ago that considers the terms ‘Elohim’ and YHVH in the Garden of Eve story, and where I give the whole story a polytheistic spin. Check it out if you are interested:
    http://heissailing.edublogs.org/2007/04/13/garden-of-the-gods

    Reply
  • 13. HeIsSailing  |  April 18, 2007 at 12:47 am

    PastorofDisaster sez:
    “Some said (as you did) that there was a different, vengeful God of the Old Testament and a loving God of the New Testament. The early church Fathers labeled them heretics and that was the last that they were heard from. ”

    This is true, but these people were also amongst the first to establish the idea and need of a Christian ‘canon’. According to von Campenhausen’s ‘Formation of the Christian Bible’, I am refering here to Marcion, who revered some of the Letters of Paul, and possibly a shortened version of Luke.

    ***************************************
    arrgjonsmad sez:
    “Christianity is the oldest religion, and it is the only religion that has withstood the test of time.”
    I think Hinduism has that one beat by a few thousand years. What about Budhism? Poor old Judaism?

    arrgjonsmad continues:
    and God walked with all of these people, but he only physicaly walked with Adam and Eve.

    God also walked with Enoch. Not physical enough? God appeared to Abraham with two buddies and dined with Abraham in his tent (Gen 18). You can see how the Theology developes over time from these truly ancient stories of a personal God who appeared personally, to the Thundering, Holy, Ineffable Transcendance of something as late as Daniel.

    more:
    “After Eve ate the fruit, that all changed. No one can enter Gods presince with sin.”

    You ever wonder what Satan, the supposed embodiment of Sin itself, was doing in God’s throneroom, directly in the presense of the Holy God in the story of Job? How the heck did this fallen, sinful angel appear there?

    arrgjonsmad continues:
    “So if i left anything out and you actualy read this, ask me please. I may not have all the answers but i will try my best to find them.”

    I gave you a few things to think about, and some other commentators here have as well. I hope you find some value in it.

    “God bless and God guide you.”
    – and you as well.

    Reply
  • 14. MTran  |  April 18, 2007 at 3:34 am

    Agnostic Atheist,

    I enjoyed reading the lines you quoted at the beginning of your comments. I have always had a strong affinity for these lines from the Upanishads:

    Ohm
    Asato ma
    sad gamaya Tamaso ma
    jyotir gamaya
    Mrtyor mamrtam
    gamaya

    From delusion, lead me to Truth.
    From darkness, lead me to Light.
    From death, lead me to immortality.

    -Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28

    Another inspiring/ comforting / encouraging thought for me, which I sometimes repeat to those who ask me why, as an atheist, do I not live a life of dread, one that fears death above all else.

    “I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night”

    From the poem, “The Old Astronomer To His Pupil” by Sarah Williams

    Reply
  • 15. MTran  |  April 18, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Gee, I sure typed in the wrong comment box with my last comment! Serves me right for having too many windows open. Ah well! Lemme try to answer your actual question.

    If I were interested in pursuing a religion, or simply wanted the comfort of one, I would be inclined to attend and join a Unitarian church. You can be a theist, a nontheist, an agnostic, or full blown atheist and still be able to be a part of the Unitarian church. It allows its members to exercise a great deal of independent thought and beliefs.

    Although Unitarianism arose within the Christian milieu, it is not hostile to those who have different styles of expressing their religious beliefs.

    The other religious tradition that I would feel comfortable with would be one of the Zen Buddhist systems of belief. Although this belief arose in a non-CHristian milieu, I have always found it to feel “familiar.”

    I think these two religions are the ones that a best suited to those who are agnostic, atheist, or simply searching.

    Reply
  • 16. arrgjonsmad  |  April 26, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    i believe in God. I believe with no proof. And I have had no regrets since then. Over time it has just been made clearer and clearer. I see no fault in the Bible, actually I find it to be 100% accurate of everything it says. History supports it, thats a good sign. And what about all the prophecies? There are a lot in there and alot of them came true…. thats a big plus! What other religion can claim so many fulfilled prophecies? So, in the end I believe something with no proof of it, and look what I get down the line. PROOF.

    Reply
  • 17. arrgjonsmad  |  April 26, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    OH! PB and J

    Good save. mybad. Im not the thickest book on the shelf.

    Reply
  • 18. PB and J  |  April 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    agnostic atheist,

    on one hand, i agree with you that Christians need to emphasize what is most important (not homosexuality, which i believe is wrong) but love, which i think fundamentalists tend to miss. you see, i love homosexuals, but it doesnt mean i agree with their lifestyle. i love adulterers, but i dont agree with their lifestyle. and more importantly, i should be, and try to, show them love, not condemn them for their lifestyle.

    on the other hand, i dont agree with you that if fundamentalists were more open Christians could coexist peacefully with society. you see, i believe that the message of the Cross is “foolishness” and “a stumbling block”. i believe that there will be offense just by preaching love and peace. you see, i personally am a pacifist, and i have people who “hate” me because i love them. i have people think i am evil because i believe killing is wrong.

    i dont think the message Jesus brought can ever leadd to complete coexistence in this life. like Augustine pointed out, there are two cities, the earthly one and the kingdom of God. they are never going to be the same. so there will always be people who hate Christians no matter who open and loving they are.

    shalom
    peter

    Reply
  • 19. Karen  |  April 29, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Peter:
    you see, i love homosexuals, but it doesnt mean i agree with their lifestyle. i love adulterers, but i dont agree with their lifestyle.

    You’re making a completely invalid comparison there, I’m afraid.

    Is your heterosexuality a “choice” you make or a “lifestyle” or “behavior” you can adopt or discard with some ease? If so, you’re very much a rare person.

    Making a decision to cheat on a spouse (adultery) is nothing like being a homosexual, Peter. If you know and love homosexuals and have talked to them honestly about this topic, you should know that.

    Someone’s sexuality is inborn, inbred and very, very likely determined genetically or during fetal development. New science tells us that being gay is not a “lifestyle” or a “choice” – it is not what you do – it is very much who you are if you are a gay man or lesbian. It is part of your DNA, your personality, your very being.

    Saying you love homosexuals and then condemning them for who they are is a nonsequitor. You can’t love them and hate them at the same time.

    Reply
  • 20. PB and J  |  April 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    karen

    i am sorry, but i just dont agree with you. i dont think its a bad comparison, because i believe it is a decision, just like everything we do in life. it doesnt that some arent more genetically predisposed to one lifestyle or another.

    if you prefer, i could say i love psychopaths, and i love adulterers. but i dont agree with their lifestyle if they make the choice to act upon their inclinations.

    you see, i KNOW that scientists believe psychopathy is a legit thing that some people are “born” with. the point remains the same, though, i dont think that “christians” should be condemning psychos, but rather loving them.

    i think you missed my point entirely. i am saying that “christians” messed up. i think you would agree. so lets work from there. how should “christians” be acting? how should they be loving? i think they need to be sharing their life with those who are choosing bad lifestyles, like psychopaths and adulterers. we cant love someone if we condemn them and stigmatize them.

    i think that almost everyone rejects psychopaths, shouldnt we love them too?

    peter

    Reply
  • 21. Robin  |  April 29, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    So, you want to believe in God? Great… start where Abraham started. He loved God like a friend. God reckoned that love as righteousness. The whole reason the God of Moses turned into that Law giver thing is because the people stopped loving him like a friend. Forget the Law. Love God. You will make mistakes, you will sin, etc, but God will love you and bless you anyway.

    Reply
  • 22. Karen  |  April 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Peter:
    i dont think its a bad comparison, because i believe it is a decision, just like everything we do in life.

    So then you’re saying that you make a decision to be a heterosexual? Do you get up each morning and decide to be attracted to the opposite sex? Every time you have sex do you think, Wow, this is a good choice, but I could have decided to be interested in having sex with someone of my own gender?

    It sounds totally absurd, doesn’t it? Of course you don’t decide to be turned on by women! You just are, that’s an integral part of what makes you who you are.

    So why would you assume that a gay person could decide whom they are attracted to? If it doesn’t work that way for you, why would it work that way for them? It just doesn’t make any sense, Peter.

    if you prefer, i could say i love psychopaths, and i love adulterers.

    No, I do not prefer. Indeed, I find that suggestion deeply offensive. Gay people are not comparable to psychopaths and adulters, and it sucks like hell to say they are. My beloved brother is gay. My incredible, generous, loving sister-in-law is a lesbian. Two of my favorite law-abiding, tax-paying, patient, ethical, community-minded teachers are lesbians. To equate these people with criminals is insensitive at best and disgusting at worst.

    how should “christians” be acting?

    I’m not a Christian anymore, so I’m not qualified to say, but I would certainly hope if you’re a Christian you could see how upsetting your demonization of gay people is to them and to those of us who love them.

    Reply
  • 23. agnosticatheist  |  April 29, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Robin,

    So, you want to believe in God? Great… start where Abraham started. He loved God like a friend. God reckoned that love as righteousness. The whole reason the God of Moses turned into that Law giver thing is because the people stopped loving him like a friend. Forget the Law. Love God. You will make mistakes, you will sin, etc, but God will love you and bless you anyway.

    Should I then just throw away the Bible since Abraham obviously had a relationship with God without it?

    aA

    Reply
  • 24. PB and J  |  May 1, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    karen

    i am very sorry for whatever came across as hurtful and negative toward you or your brother and sister-in-law or any homosexual.

    i think i very badly miscommunicated. i wasnt trying to relate homosexuality to psychos.

    my point from the beginning was that “christianity” is about loving other people. i am sorry because i think i failed to be loving. but i assure you, it wasnt my intention at all. please forgive me.

    peter

    Reply
  • 25. Robin  |  May 1, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Ag – if it is interfering with you being able to hear God’s voice, then yes – leave it alone for awhile. The problem is this: in your years of being churched, you have been trained to assign certain meanings to the scriptures. I think these maybe a stumbling block. God does not need the bible to talk to you. You can be driving down the street, and thinking about something then all of a sudden you look up and you see a billboard that says a certain thing… and it hits you differently than any other time. A line from a pop song on the radio will resonate.

    I have a lot of respect for the bible, but until I could hear God’s voice it was a burden to me, it was a source of condemnation. Now it is a joy – I love the bible but do not worship the bible – do you get the difference? I highly recommend an author to you that frames the bible message much differently than religions do. He has passed away, but hiswriting is still as fresh. His name is Ray Prinzing and he has written many things, but the one that stands out for me is: Whispers of the Mysteries. After reading that, the bible was never the same.

    Ag, here’s what you need to know regardless. god loves you right now. Today. As you stand. Not because of what have done, or might do, but because he created you. And nothing you do will separate you from god’s love. The book of Romans is an excellent start should you ever feel the urge to pick up the bible again.

    Reply
  • 26. Karen  |  May 2, 2007 at 8:56 am

    i think i very badly miscommunicated. i wasnt trying to relate homosexuality to psychos.

    Thanks, Peter, for the apology. Accepted. I think what you did was make a thoughtless analogy and you didn’t even realize how offensive it is (and believe me, I’ve heard something similar many times).

    A lot of religious people who believe homosexuality is a deviant lifestyle or an immoral choice tend to be insensitive to homosexuals as people with feelings, lives, and all the other things we all experience and hold dear. So those thoughtless, offensive comments come out and they aren’t even recognized for what they are.

    This kind of thinking was imposed on left-handed people for centuries – they were believed to be demon-possessed, their well-meaning parents tried to “change” them – until we understood the brain physiology that causes left-handedness is hard-wired. There’s nothing inherently odd, evil or weird about left-handers, they’re simply exhibiting a minority orientation. I believe homosexuality will – sooner or later – come to be viewed in the same manner.

    There’s a wonderful book called A Place At The Table, by Bruce Bawer, that completely changed my thinking about homosexuality. It’s written by a gay Christian who has also written very wisely about fundamentalism. I would encourage you to read it if you want another perspective on the topic.

    Reply
  • 27. PB and J  |  May 4, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    karen

    i hear ya, i will see if i can find his book.

    peter

    Reply
  • 28. Nora L Garnett  |  November 8, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I remember being where you are. I will not tell all the details. I recall stating to The, a, ???, …Creator, :”If you’re real, if you really exist, you have to prove it to me. You’re on one side of the scale and the big bang, etc… is on the other side. Neither makes any difference to me. If you can prove that you’re real, I will be faithful.”
    Well, He did in a way that could not be mistaken/ confused/ considered coincidence, etc…. That occured 20 years ago. I have remained faithful. A word of advice to all and any. Don’t be foolish to put God inside the religiosity box. He is so much more than that!

    Reply
  • 29. leo  |  June 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    hey hi all just wanna share that i have reied for many yrs to believe in god or ‘a’ god i am just so confused with all religions ……….y can’t all be happy with their beliefs ///if it make s then them happy we should respect that

    Reply
  • 30. Fellow Traveler  |  July 22, 2008 at 2:43 am

    A few lines are not enough. What you did by going to the scriptures of the various religions is a logical, but futile exercise. You don’t go to a Ford dealer to find out about Fords. You go to a mechanic. I’m a mechanic. I no longer have a “brand,”

    All I can tell you in a few lines is that God does exist and that the reason his existence is so hard to prove scientifically is that knowledge of him destroys free will. But it’s not like jumping off a building, either. God doesn’t require that level of faith.

    This may sound stupid, but try asking God to do something for you. Ask him something that’s doable, that follows the laws of human and scientific ability. Doesn’t necessarily have to be small. Give him a couple of days to arrange things – more if it’s bigger, but no longer than a couple of weeks. Be open to the fact that he’ll do it his way. My bet is that you get it.

    There is a very long and tedious scientific and hermaneutical discussion that goes along with all of this, but it may have nothing to do with a universal understanding of God. In any case, took me 60 years to get where I am and I’ll bet I’m not half the person you are. I have often thought that rigorous agnostics and practicing atheists are closer to God than the most religious prelate on Earth.

    I hope there is a heaven, but I fear it too. I’m going to have to apologize to a buttload of people.

    Hope to see you there. Not because I know I’ll be there, but because you’ll probably be there, and I hope I will be.

    Reply
  • 31. Eavesdropper  |  December 10, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Fellow Traveler,
    That is a great letter.

    Reply

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Agnostic Atheism Wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God, you will be judged on your merits and not just on whether or not you ignored the lack of evidence of his/her existence and blindly believed.

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