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Old 10-20-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
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Default A question on faith

I don't want to get a preachy topic started, and I know this isn't exactly a great place for a question like this but I have been doing some reflecting tonight, and have been going through some personal troubles with my life for a while now and thought I would just ask and see if anyone had some input.

Here is a pretty serious question for you guys. What does it mean to have faith, and is it enough to want to be part of a faith or religion and have even an ounce of doubt or be even a little bit unsure. I understand part of faith or religion is about strengthening your faith and relationship with god. Despite what I have said here, a part of me really does want to have faith. Its an absolutely beautiful thing no matter what I have said bad about it in the past. To be able to love and be loved by god over all others and to have a personal relationship with him. Though my better judgement tells me there probably isn't a god, there are still so much in life that can't be explained, and doesn't need to be explained to prove their is a god. My problem is I am a person who is either all or nothing, which is why so many things in my life have been wasted, and so many opportunities missed. Its really a curse to be that way I think. Which is what leads me to not seek faith or religion. To me, if you don't devote all of your heart and mind to faith, it shouldn't be done. Its not something to half way believe in. Id say the better part of me doesn't have faith, but there is always a small part of me that does, and wants something more out of life.

I just honestly can't see how its possible to believe with anything less than 100% confidence. That would be like saying you think the checker piece is red, but it might be blue. The better part of you wins over the other.

Actually, let me take out the word religion. One can have faith without being part of a religion can't they? What would that make someone? What I meant by faith was belief in a god, not necessarily any churches teachings. I have studied too much corruption and false teachings in various religions over recorded history to really ever be able to accept any of them. That leads to another problem for me, I don't understand my definition of god. I know there is something in me that is empty, I can only assume its something like faith, but there is no religion I have seen that I can fully agree with. I don't think one needs a religion to have a relationship or understanding of god, or to have some sort of faith in something higher than themselves. Which is maybe why I have always ignored it, I'm too complicated and can't understand myself in this respect.

I know from the evolution topic that a lot of you here consider yourself religious or people with faith. What say you on my dilemma? Please no Christian vs Atheist fighting, and no smart *** comments here, I just want some people with some serious input. I need food for thought and would really appreciate any input, good or bad, as long as its respectful.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:34 AM   #2
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That's the human condition man, we all have that empty feeling from time to time. Some people fill it with booze, some with drugs, an awful lot fill it with god. As you say the idea of god is very comforting even to me (militant athiest). But the idea of santa is comfoting too, doesn't make it any more likley to be true. I have always thought, as you do, that even a shred of doubt would make the whole thing null and void for me. Even when I was a kid (Christian privae schooled in the deep south) I thought that, and as I have gotten older the doubts got more and now they far outweigh blind faith for me. Sounds like you may be going the other way, and more power too you you'll be in good company. It's all about what gets you thru the day man.

The trouble arises, again as you have said, with organised religion. If god was invented to comfort man, religion was certainly invented to control him.

Be interested to see where this thread goes, as this forum is very varied.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
I don't want to get a preachy topic started, and I know this isn't exactly a great place for a question like this but I have been doing some reflecting tonight, and have been going through some personal troubles with my life for a while now and thought I would just ask and see if anyone had some input.

Here is a pretty serious question for you guys. What does it mean to have faith, and is it enough to want to be part of a faith or religion and have even an ounce of doubt or be even a little bit unsure. I understand part of faith or religion is about strengthening your faith and relationship with god. Despite what I have said here, a part of me really does want to have faith. Its an absolutely beautiful thing no matter what I have said bad about it in the past. To be able to love and be loved by god over all others and to have a personal relationship with him. Though my better judgement tells me there probably isn't a god, there are still so much in life that can't be explained, and doesn't need to be explained to prove their is a god. My problem is I am a person who is either all or nothing, which is why so many things in my life have been wasted, and so many opportunities missed. Its really a curse to be that way I think. Which is what leads me to not seek faith or religion. To me, if you don't devote all of your heart and mind to faith, it shouldn't be done. Its not something to half way believe in. Id say the better part of me doesn't have faith, but there is always a small part of me that does, and wants something more out of life.

I just honestly can't see how its possible to believe with anything less than 100% confidence. That would be like saying you think the checker piece is red, but it might be blue. The better part of you wins over the other.

Actually, let me take out the word religion. One can have faith without being part of a religion can't they? What would that make someone? What I meant by faith was belief in a god, not necessarily any churches teachings. I have studied too much corruption and false teachings in various religions over recorded history to really ever be able to accept any of them. That leads to another problem for me, I don't understand my definition of god. I know there is something in me that is empty, I can only assume its something like faith, but there is no religion I have seen that I can fully agree with. I don't think one needs a religion to have a relationship or understanding of god, or to have some sort of faith in something higher than themselves. Which is maybe why I have always ignored it, I'm too complicated and can't understand myself in this respect.

I know from the evolution topic that a lot of you here consider yourself religious or people with faith. What say you on my dilemma? Please no Christian vs Atheist fighting, and no smart *** comments here, I just want some people with some serious input. I need food for thought and would really appreciate any input, good or bad, as long as its respectful.
I just wanted to MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that everyone here has read and understood that part of your post. Almost every other day I see someone post something trying to disprove God/religion on a forum, or mock it in some way or other. I know there are crazy religions out there that do extreme things and are completely out of their minds, but please don't LUMP ALL BELIEVERS of God into that category.


That said, I think this is an extremely touchy subject. Many get all heated about it and try to disprove the other. As much as they try, there has since the beginning of human beings (figuratively speaking) been both sides. Neither can prove, with EVIDENCE that the other is wrong. Its a matter of FAITH, just like you said. You either believe it or you don't. No one, I reapeat NO ONE can just convince you to be a christian or an atheist. People will try to tell you things, but until you see/feel it for yourself you will have no idea what they're talking about.
I believe in God. In my life I have proven to myself beyond a spec of doubt that there is a God. Just my .02.
You just need to figure it out for yourself. This is not something someone can "point you in the right direction".

Just to be clear: I'm not convincing you in any way or trying to disprove the non-believers. Just what I personally believe.

Last edited by 18psi; 10-20-2009 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I just wanted to MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that everyone here has read and understood that part of your post. Almost every other day I see someone post something trying to disprove God/religion on a forum, or mock it in some way or other. I know there are crazy religions out there that do extreme things and are completely out of their minds, but please don't LUMP ALL BELIEVERS of God into that category.


That said, I think this is an extremely touchy subject. Many get all heated about it and try to disprove the other. As much as they try, there has since the beginning of human beings (figuratively speaking) been both sides. Neither can prove, with EVIDENCE that the other is wrong. Its a matter of FAITH, just like you said. You either believe it or you don't. No one, I reapeat NO ONE can just convince you to be a christian or an atheist. People will try to tell you things, but until you see/feel it for yourself you will have no idea what they're talking about.
I believe in God. In my life I have proven to myself beyond a spec of doubt that there is a God. Just my .02.
You just need to figure it out for yourself. This is not something someone can "point you in the right direction".

Just to be clear: I'm not convincing you in any way or trying to disprove the non-believers. Just what I personally believe.
Well see, that was my question. Can you still be considered a man of faith even if its not unwavering faith, even if you have doubts. I hear stories all the time about people having questions about their faith and have to struggle to keep up their faith. I don't want to commit myself to something knowing that its not a 100% thing for me. On one hand I believe in evolution and nature, on the other hand I think there is possibly a god that had his hands in things from time to time. Its also a very comforting thought to expect a wonderful afterlife. As much as I want to have faith that it exists, its another one of those things I can't truly accept. I'm too much a man of science and thought and look too deeply into everything, which usually leaves things looking worse than they started. I wish I could just accept faith blindly, but I know its not possible like that. So I guess its not possible to have faith and at the same time find faults in it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do to fill that hole in my life. Most people resort to drinking and drug abuse, but I've never been that kind of guy and I hope I'm able to stay strong and continue to be that way. I'm lacking something in my life and I don't know what it is. I'm not exactly depressed, not sad, not all that lonely, nothing really. I'm just not the person I used to be, I don't get any enjoyment out of life. I have good days and bad days, but most days are just days. I've just never felt complete as a person.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:08 AM   #5
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Can you picture yourself not existing? Think about it. I'm not talking about your body, I'm talking about your soul. No one in this world can comprehend the feeling of NOT EXISTING. We simply are not made to be able to imagine something like that. Which gets you thinking.

Now before I talk too much and have this whole damn forum on my *** talking crap and saying I'm crazy I'll stop.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:09 AM   #6
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That's the human condition man, we all have that empty feeling from time to time. Some people fill it with booze, some with drugs, an awful lot fill it with god. As you say the idea of god is very comforting even to me (militant athiest).
Thats my main concern. I didn't see it likely that I could be of faith and not give it 100%. But if I don't fill it with faith and comfort, that doesn't leave many bright options. I was raised in a family with alcohol and drug abuse and it really rips my heart to pieces thinking about it. I don't think I would ever take that path, too strong willed maybe. It has to be filled with something though. These last few years have been really tough on me. As bad as it sounds, I sometimes find myself staring at my gun thinking bad things. I don't think I would shoot myself, but I do sometimes wish that maybe I could just go away. Its not that I am unhappy or depressed really, its just this lack of whatever it is. I don't feel complete and never have in my short adult life. Last time I felt like myself was probably in high school, maybe 8 or 9 years ago. Since then its like a part of me has fallen off and I just drag through the years, no real bright outlook, just dull. Maybe I just need a change of lifestyle, I dunno. I'm in a pretty pitiful way though. Kind of embarrassed to just drop my problems out on the table like this, but sometimes it helps to see your thoughts and feeling written out.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:10 AM   #7
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Can you picture yourself not existing? Think about it. Which gets you thinking.

Now before I talk too much and have this whole damn forum on my *** talking crap and saying I'm crazy I'll stop.
I don't quite follow. But I think I can imagine it.

Maybe this thread title should read Crisis of Faith lol, it reads a little more fucked up that it sound being typed out. Despite what it might look like, I'm not crazy
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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How can you possibly imagine yourself not existing if you have NO IDEA of what death is like? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AFTER YOU DIE? Your mind, your soul. No one has experienced complete death and was able to describe it. I'm not sure you understand or maybe I'm explaining it wrong.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
How can you possibly imagine yourself not existing if you have NO IDEA of what death is like? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AFTER YOU DIE? Your mind, your soul. No one has experienced complete death and was able to describe it. I'm not sure you understand or maybe I'm explaining it wrong.
I may not be understanding. I imagine not existing being blackness. Eternal sleep I guess. It would be my hope that when you die, its like what everyone would want in their perfect afterlife. Love, happiness, being with all of your family who may have passed away, seeing people you missed, people you respected, never having fear, sorrow, doubt, pain...

As much as I want to believe that is what happens, part of me thinks its not that way. I don't think its enough to just hope its that way, you have to know it, you have to have faith that its like that. If there is a god, I guess you have to hope that he forgives your sins and allows you eternal happiness.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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I've heard that question a lot about comprehending death. It's hard to imagine, but you basically do it every night while you're not dreaming. Time just disappears to you, but you can't imagine it because there's nothing to imagine. You wake up in the morning and nothing really changed. We can't be conscious while being unconscious.

Back to the real subject, though...faith is necessary for everyone. It doesn't need to be in God if you can't make that work for you. Just have faith in something. Have faith in yourself, your family, friends; strive to be a better person and just give yourself a reason to live. You can certainly have faith in God without being part of a religion and you really don't have to go all out. It's what you believe. In my mind, God is like a father figure. He's a person you want to please and make proud. You don't have to call him every weekend, but he does like to know what you're doing from time to time and he's there for you when you need him.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
How can you possibly imagine yourself not existing if you have NO IDEA of what death is like? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AFTER YOU DIE? Your mind, your soul. No one has experienced complete death and was able to describe it. I'm not sure you understand or maybe I'm explaining it wrong.
I'll be worm food.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:15 AM   #12
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Crazy as this might sound coming from me, to me faith is the fact that you believe in something. For me, it's the absence of something, but it's a belief nonetheless.

I'll keep my ranting in the other thread.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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boring. this thread needs more boost.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:28 AM   #14
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I grew up in a Baptist Household, but the older I have gotten the more distanced I feel from God. Do I believe in a higher power? Yes, but I have no idea what that is. You have to be careful with organized religion and the doctrines that they teach. They all have different beliefs and faith. No one has all the answers, even though a lot try to tell you that they do, You need to soul search and look at everything and ask yourself what do I believe in. If you don't believe in something, then it will be hard to put your faith in it.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:46 AM   #15
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boring. this thread needs more boost.

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Old 10-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
How can you possibly imagine yourself not existing if you have NO IDEA of what death is like? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AFTER YOU DIE? Your mind, your soul. No one has experienced complete death and was able to describe it. I'm not sure you understand or maybe I'm explaining it wrong.
Imagine going to sleep, not having a dream and never waking up.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #17
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Faith has very little to do with what you believe in as Koto said. it just means that you commit to it and dont have nagging doubts that overpower your belief that something IS.

For what it's worth, my grandmother died because my aunt and uncle believed god would take care of her and that they didn't have to do anything to help her. that is faith. and also why I'm an athiest.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:08 PM   #18
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boring. this thread needs more boost.

Leave it to Braine to post a pic of a strap-on *****.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #19
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:31 PM   #20
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It is a problem of rational thinking mixing with emotions. Emotions tell you that there must be something more, but rational thinking tells me there isn't. That doesn't really bother me as I really don't look at anything from an emotional standpoint and all from a rational. This is hard to deal with in my marriage, becasue my wife is very emotional and doesn't understand how I calmly anaylze everything based on logic. Drives her insane. She believes in the soul, heaven, god, the whole sha-bang, and trys to tell me that I should too. I don't try to tell her not to believe.

You will drive yourself crazy trying to find a definate answer. Nothing can ever be proven 100%, so there will always be some doubt. Commit yourself to something you truely believe in, and not something you have been told to believe in. That is faith.

The way I live my life is through simple goals and my end is my death. I want to better other peoples lives around me, while still providing for myself. My goal is to have as few regrets as possible in my life. That is my faith
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