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RemoveLucy_Skywalker, you say both that you don't believe in god, and then say that you have to go direct to god. What? You also say that you have a library full of accounts of miracles. At the most, you have accounts of certain occurrences that were coincidences, and/or for which people couldn't immediately find a scientific explanation--or didn't want to, perhaps, preferring to believe in miracles instead. I have read many studies that tested the power of prayer, by randomly assigning patients in hospitals to have various churches conduct prayers for them, while other patients did not have that "help". There was absolutely no difference in the outcomes of their recoveries. And I've read many near-death tales. As the label itself explains, they're only near death--no one has been completely dead (and I don't mean the heart or breathing stopped for a short time, until they were revived) and come back to tell the tale, so I see no proof in anything anyone says about white lights and tunnels and overwhelming happiness with old relatives and friends greeting them, especially since I have read that some people, on the contrary, saw horrors and darkness and were terrified--and these were ordinary people, just like the ones who saw good things, not serial killers or child-molesters, so please don't immediately say that they saw what they did because they were sinners headed for hell. Maybe that darkness is really what the afterlife is like, and not the light--or do we discount those stories, because that's not what we want to believe? And I really am tired of people telling me to be open to life and its mysteries and to new thoughts and possible explanations. I'm completely open to them, and have been ever since I realized that the religious faith I was brought up in was just that--a faith, with no evidence at all. So I explore all the facts and evidence and experience (yes, I have meditated many times) out there, and make up my mind that way, not by putting reason aside and going with a guess, a hope, a wish, instead.
Thank you so much, dougdibble! I hadn't checked back to see if there had been a reply once a few days went by after my last comment, so I never saw the continuation of this discussion. I appreciate what you said about my comments, and I agree with your own statements as well, of course. It's so good to find another voice of reason out there, one who is willing to make his voice heard--so often I have been the only one who did that, and I've been on my own against so many from the other side at once. Thanks again! I'm not going to bother answering all of realdemp's "points". I'll just say that I haven't done any attacking, realdemp--you have. And there is absolutely no basis for your claim that 99.999% of the world believes in a god. It's not even close to that! And in any case, if 99.999999999% believed in one, just as if that many believed that the world is flat, it wouldn't make it true. Finally, I'm not a man, and the woman I am certainly does not believe--and has never said--that life is worthless. Again, you haven't read my comments, just babbled on about your own beliefs. There is no point in any further discussion with you.Mariejose, I turn to both my own abilities and inner resources, and to those of my relatives and friends. When I see someone's child die, as in Newtown or in Oklahoma, I don't try to make myself feel better by envisioning that child floating among clouds and angels, living forever, especially when that only makes me wonder why god allowed that death to happen in the first place. I face reality, and deal with it. It's much harder that way, which is why man invented god and gods so many millennia ago, but I don't want to take false comfort in imaginary scenarios.
Speaking as a scientist, intellectual and thinker, I check my facts. There are reams of facts on both sides of Reality, the inner and the outer. I don't believe in God, I know that Great Spirit is real, by whatever name one calls God. Miracles happen. I've a library full of accounts of miracles. Very often, they happen in response to prayer, in desperate situations. Do the research. Be a better, more thorough, more open and more honest scientist than Dawkins. Miracles are things that no humans can do in their own power. The mystery is, why are universities so afraid of, and even dishonest about, confronting the evidence? Yes, I've got the evidence on that too, and it's not from the churches. Oh, and as to religions and churches... they can be serious problems even though sometimes they are nice and even helpful. You've got to go direct to God. That is, go within, go directly within. If you want help with that, try meditation or try reading people's accounts of near-death experiences. Stay with the facts and the experience however uncomfortable; persist, pay attention, ask within for help, be truthful with yourself, and stay humble in front of the mystery of life.
JUST A REAL QUESTION TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD---WHERE OR WHOM DO YOU TURN TO IN TIMES OF TROUBLE, HEARTBREAK OR HARDSHIP? THIS QUESTION IS NOT MADE IN A SARCASTIC WAY AT ALL. I'M JUST CURIOUS HOW YOU DEAL WITH LIFE WHEN IT GETS TOUGH.
I just checked back in on this puzzle to see how the commentary was going. What I am seeing is obviously an epic battle, and a war of words between Pdevredis and realdemp. It's a battle between reality and delusion. Facts versus fiction.Pdevredis, you are obviously the intellectual in this debate. You live your life by reason, and obviously require some sort of proof and evidence before you will acknowledge something as being real. You are obviously well read and probably a much better writer than I am when trying to get your point across. I am pretty blunt and to the point. You use facts to prove your talking points, which is why your arguments will always carry far more weight than your opponents.Realdemp, you and the other hand, are a delusional joke. While you're capable of writing long drawn-out responses (that some may even consider babbling), they are completely devoid of any true facts to prove your points. You are obviously one of those people that cannot see the forest because of all the trees in the way. You think just because you have faith in your man-made god that that makes him real. Human beings have always had a rather large and robust imagination. But just because somebody imagines that something is real, does not make it so.You had stated earlier that you do not show your proof of God to people that attack your beliefs. Why not? Isn't that an easy way to end the argument in your favor? To me that obviously means that you do not have any proof to show. Once again you expect people to rely on faith. I myself do not believe that any of your religions or beliefs deserve the least little bit of respect. I believe they should be attacked at every opportunity. The reason I feel this way is simple. If you had just believed in your imaginary God, and left the rest of us alone, I would be fine with that. But, you guys are trying to take over governments and jam your religion down everybody's throat. Some countries and religions are obviously worse than others.You stated that evolution is just a theory. Wrong again, it's based on thousands of scientific facts. When I have to listen to Congressman and Senators who sit on scientific committees in our own government stating that they believe the earth is only 6000 years old, that scares me. All of your religions are like a cancer on the human race. I for one do not want to live under the laws created by your religious buffoonery.
I have read your comments very carefully and this is what I have found. I have found a man who has decided that his life is worthless and is trying to convince the world that they are worthless as well. I have found someone who demands of God that He present himself and show that He exists. I have found someone who believes one thing while 99.999% of the world believes another thing and then declares that what he believes must be right.If there is no God then for what purpose do we exist? If there is no God, why do we strive to better ourselves? After all, when we die, all there will be is a pile of ash. None of the compute programs we wrote will mean anything. None of the houses we sell will mean anything. None of children we bring into the world will mean anything.You may choose to believe that your life is meaningless. I choose to believe that it does mean something. Now, as for the 99.999% of the world who believe in a God or gods, it does bring them comfort. So why would you want to take that comfort away from them? Why would you want to hurt them? If they will end up as nothing more than a pile of ash, why not let them believe what they want to believe. After all, like your life, their life has no meaning.I have found that you attack peoples beliefs. You want someone to prove to you that God exists because you are too lazy to find Him yourself. So you attack people and hope that they will show you the truth. I do not show the proof I have found (and there is proof) to people who attack my beliefs. Therefore, with this statement, I end this conversation. You may babble on after this, which I am sure you will do, but your words are meaningless and I will not revisit this posting to see what meaningless and hurtful words you choose to spew.The next time you get the chance to talk to someone about their religion, don't start by attacking their beliefs. People don't respond kindly to that. This world runs on faith and beliefs. Remember that the Theory of Evolution is just a theory. No one has proven it true. As is the case with the Theory of Relativity or the Pythagorean Theorem. Think of God as a theory. Oh, and layman's definition of theory is "something that makes sense but hasn't been proven."
First: you should read my comment carefully before you reply to it. I most certainly did NOT say that "all religious people believe in the religion they were born into" as an unqualified statement. I prefaced it with "except for the tiniest minorities who convert". If you have contradictory evidence which shows that it's more than a tiny minority who believe in a different religion from the one they were brought up in, I'd like to see it. Otherwise, I stand by my statement as I wrote it, not as you chose to misrepresent it. And the fact that you study other religions and change your beliefs (in your case moving on from Catholicism, it would seem) means that you are one of that tiny minority, I assume. I have also read the "holy" books of a half dozen religions, including the Koran and the Book of Mormon, and studied many others through histories as well, and each one has a different idea of what god is about, what is prohibited and what is required, what god is willing to do and refuses to do, what is the proper way to pray and what prayers to use. Which leads me to the second point. How did you decide which religion made the most sense, which god and which way of worshiping him was the true one? Did you use reason and logic? I'm sure you think you did, but so do all the others who believe in their particular version of god. Or did you have some "vision" or leap of faith? The people who believed in Apollo and Zeus, in Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli, Thor and Odin, Ganesha and Shiva, Buddha and Kwan Yin, and so on, were equally sure that their god or gods were the only true ones. You don't believe in any of them, and their followers wouldn't have--or won't, since some are still worshiped--believe in yours. And ALL of you are sure you've made the right choice! And ALL of you think that someone who chooses another god, or none at all, is wrong! And ALL of you are actually going by faith, not reason, and certainly not by any proof. There is no proof for any of them. I don't believe without proof that lead can be turned to gold, or that men can levitate' or poltergeists move tables, or tolls and elves cause mischief for us. So why should I live my entire life based on some religious belief that has no proof--especially something that millions if not billions of others think is the wrong one?! As for the definition of a babbler as one who demands of god proof that he exists rather than doing the research himself, research implies a search for facts, for proof, and I have done the research and found no facts, no proof. What facts and proof have you found? Please share them.Third, I most certainly am not blaming god for anything, as you falsely claim I am. I don't believe in a god, so I don't see how I can blame a non-existent being for anything?! What I was pointing out was that an omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent god, which you and not I believe exists, who by definition could stop that nanny from scalding that infant, must have deliberately chosen not to (unless you think he didn't have the power to do so, or wasn't aware of the episode--impossible by definition). Yet he let it happen. Why? WHY? (Aside from the insipid explanation that "he must have other plans"--plans that involve a baby being scalded to death, presumably). Why would you worship someone like that, when you would condemn a mere mortal who had the power to stop it and chose not to? You have decided, since you believe and have faith, that, since evil things happen and god is all good, that there must be a devil, and that all the good things that happen flow from god, and all the bad from the devil. Yet you call me lazy because you claim that (like "babblers" everywhere), I haven't asked myself "What if there is a god?". What do you think all my questions are about?!!! I am describing what I think a world with a god should be like, and comparing it to what it IS like! You tell me to ask myself what I would expect god to be and do, and that's exactly what I've done! YOU tell me what you think a god should be like, and show me the evidence for that existing in this world. I see absolutely not an iota of evidence that a just and loving and compassionate and benevolent god exists, and tons of evidence to show that he doesn't. You won't be sitting anywhere on the non-existent judgement day. And you will have wasted the one and only life you have in trying to find the perfect imaginary friend.
Ah, we have a babbler. A babbler is one who demands of God the proof that He exists. They are too lazy to do the research themselves. A babbler is one who makes general statements like, "all religious people believe in the religion they were born into..." This I know is pure absurdity because I have studied as many religions as I could and I have a much better picture of what God is about than the picture the Holy Roman Catholic Church I was born into, teaches. Unlike babblers, I am still studying and will continue to study until I die. I do not demand God to do anything for me and am honored that He has given me the knowledge I have asked for.I will grant you that there are many who do not apply themselves and blindly follow the one who stands nearest or yells the loudest, without doing the due diligence they should before they accept something as true. But if you would just stop blaming God for the evil Satan does you might start to see the truth.Ah, but I forgot that you are a babbler. I am about to commit the sin I accused you of; I am about to generalize. ALL BABBLERS are too lazy to ask themselves, "What if there is a God." If you aren't lazy, you will be taking on a life time of work. Ask yourself what you would expect God to be and do and separate it from the junk that religions teach in order to control the people. If you do that, I will be pleased to sit down with you come Judgment Day and talk about it.
The only misguided people are the believers. Except for the tiniest of minorities who convert (and 99% of those do so for the sake of a marriage, not because they have researched all religions and come to the conclusion that another religion has the truth and not their own), all religious people believe in the religion they were born into, and every single one of them has been taught, and has come to believe, that THEIR god and THEIR way of worshiping him (or her or them or it) is the one true way, and all others are mistaken in their beliefs. It's been that way since man invented religion--and invent it he did, to comfort and console him when his brain grew large enough to recognize that his life was finite, and death ended his existence forever. And every believer, whether in a cow or an elephant or a bird or a snake or multiple gods or a single god, has firmly believed that his was the only true one......It isn't easier, as you claim, to not believe--it's harder, because there isn't any false comfort available. When children get cancer and die, or are slaughtered in gunfire, there's no sweet relief in (useless) prayers and (imaginary) fluffy clouds with a benevolent angel cuddling them and making them whole and healthy and happy again. It's much harder to be rational and scientific and demand proof, and live with reality and not fairy tales.We're not the ones who have been brainwashed (especially not by an imaginary devil)--believers who have been indoctrinated from early childhood into believing things that have not an iota of proof, and dismissing both reason and any other set of religious beliefs, are the ones who have been brainwashed.There was a recent puzzle, with comments about how, after 3 years of terrible drought, a day came with some rain, and the writers all thanked god and knew he had sent it to them. Did any of them ask where he was those 3 years when their crops were withering in the field and their animals were dying of thirst? The answer always is that god must have some plan that we don't understand, but that he is all good and worthy of being adored and worshiped . He always gets the credit for the rain (unless of course there are devastating floods), but never the blame for the drought. I wouldn't respect or even like a human being who had the power to stop droughts (or tsunamis or earthquakes or cancer or malaria or incest or child-abuse or mass murders or concentration camps where multi-millions died), at no cost to himself, with no effort--so why do believers give an all-powerful deity, who could do all that and more, an easy out by saying, "Oh, well, there's a plan that we just don't know about"? What plan could possibly justify letting a 5 month old be plunged into a scalding tub by a nanny? Even an eternity in heaven doesn't make up for that horrific suffering. But perhaps it's all justified, because Adam and Eve disobeyed god, and so we all have to suffer for things we never did--makes as much sense, I suppose.....
Bravo Mariejose. Keep your faith! Through all of recorded time, there have been misguided children like Doug. They find it easier to believe that there is no purpose to our existence; that all matter in the universe started as a singularity smaller in size than the head of a pin; and that our existence is just one big mistake after another. They have been brainwashed by Satan to espouse their ludicrous beliefs of hopelessness. Imagine their surprise come Judgment Day and be happy for your faith.I acknowledge the atrocities that have been committed in the name of religion, but it is just more evidence that Satan is hard at work attempting to discredit the marvelous workings of the one true God. Just remember, if you want to know the truth, ask God. And, of course, keep your mind open for the truth. Sometimes, it's not what you expect.
WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO OUR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS AND AS A FELLOW HUMAN BEING YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOURS. HOWEVER I DO BELIEVE IN GOD WITH ALL MY HEART. IT'S THE "RELIGIONS" THAT SCREW IT UP. I THINK THAT AS LONG AS MAN IS INVOLVERD THERE IS ALWAYS A CHANCE FOR CORRUPTION AND GREED. I DON'T NEED EVIDENCE TO KNOW GOD EXIST. THE PROOF IS ALL AROUND US IN THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN.
Christianity, along with all the other mythological religions of the world all have one thing in common they are all man-made. Their gods are all man-made. Every single one of them attempts to control their delusional masses through the lies, myths, superstition and fear. I was being nice by simply referring to the myth of the return of Jesus as a joke. I consider religion to be like a cancer to our species. If the human race is to truly move forward, it needs to completely rid itself of this yoke around its neck of religion and Gods. There is absolutely no evidence other than a great many of the representatives of religions around the world telling their delusional masses that this is the way it is because God said so and we told you so. Just a bunch of ignorant religious leaders making up their own rules as they go.Try take a look at the big picture and try demanding evidence for what they tell you. Do not accept the cop-out answer that is always given, such as you must have faith. Faith is simply believing in something absent of all evidence to prove it.By the way I did not do the puzzle, I simply could not help commenting on its absurdity. How could anybody trust organizations that do not want you to believe in science, or evidence.
If this is such a joke to you, why would you read it or even do the puzzle? Jesus is not a joke and he will come back. Perhaps, you will understand one day. You're wondering and hopefully, a need to know.
What a joke. This is more like one of the greatest myths in the history of mankind.
Yes, He is!!! Thanks be to God!!!