Post # 76
Husband and I are both athiest/agnostic. I was raised Catholic (we went to church somewhat regularly most of the time, did confirmation, etc) but my parents were not hardcore religious. Both sides of my family are mostly Catholic. My husband was raised some type of protestant and his mother overly pushed religion onto him which made him resent her growing up. I have a BA and MA in religion and a BA in anthropology. I do like the study from a historical perspective (hebrew bible/early christianity) along with history and archaeology but I’m athiest/agnostic in any sense of a patriarchal “God”. You don’t need religion at all to be a good and decent human being. I am perfectly fine with religion as long as you don’t push it onto others (including in schools, healthcare, etc) although I’m not a fan of organized religion myself for many reasons. Will definitely not be sending my kids off to an organized religion.
Post # 77
elderbee : I would caution against treating existence and non-existence claims the same. In science we always place the burden of proof on the person making the existence claim (for the new substance, new particle, new effect). This is also how everyone deals with their everyday life. Is there a jaguar in my closet at home? I’m not sure – I’m not currently observing my closet. But I default to assuming there isn’t, unless someone gives me evidence for the claim.
If someone accused you of murder, you’d probably hope the justice system would make them produce evidence that someone had died and evidence that you had something to do with it. But if you treat existence and non-existence claims equally, the burden would also be on you to produce video evidence covering your entire life showing all your actions 24/7 so you could prove murder wasn’t one of them.
Theism and atheism aren’t mirror positions. The burden of proof is on the theists.
Post # 78
I believe in God, but there are many parts of organized religion that I disagree with.
I like to say that God and I have a personal relationship outside of the bounds of religious teachings and the church.
That being said, I was raised Lutheran and my SO was raised Southern Baptist. Even Christian denominations have a ton of room for disagreement. He and I acknowledge that we have the same general beliefs, but we also know that any kind of religious debate isn’t worth it due to fundamental differences. We’re completely happy with our arrangement.
Post # 79
- Wedding: June 2019 - City, State
Yes. I do. And over the years what that means (and my relationship with it) has changed, and I’ve had to learn to keep living in the questions. I enjoy not-knowing.
I am ordained in a religion I no longer really practice, as I have issues with organized religion’s rules that feel too judgemental to me. But I still endeavor to honor my ordination and lineage by giving help to others when they ask.
I have a compulsion to defend and speak up for the ones who express they feel disenfranchised or unspoken-for, and that doesn’t always work well with being a traditional pulpit-wielder.
and I do believe in God. I just feel that everyone should be able to have their own exploration of faith. Not a big fan of “we are right and they are wrong” attitudes that seem to be the rule in many religious organizations. (I didn’t say all! Please understand it’s not my intention to point fingers at anyone personally)
Post # 80
I don’t know. I classify as agnostic as well. I am a physicist. I feel there is no proof there is a God nor is there proof that there is not.
I also know that some people who are religious really hate the concept of science. As if it is totally there to debunk and discredit religion. Those people want to get in heated arguments over whether or not the big bang theory is real or evolution. I do not think those things debunk a God. If anything they are just as mysterious as the concept of a God.
To me… hell yeah it is real, science. Or completely understandable based on a science education. It is is right there and thoroughly proves, or, shows why scientists stand behind the theories.
But to me… proving or thinking those things exists… does not go against there being a God. If you believe in God, who are you to say that 4.5 billions years (the assumed age of Earth) isn’t 7 days of creation in the eyes of God. God is evidently someone so powerful and heavenly… and therefore can do whatever the heck he/she wants?
I guess my point is… I don’t know. I lean more towards science… but hell… science is so unreal and magical to me on a physics level, that it makes me ride the fence and never say no to the possiblity of a God.
Post # 82
adastra : Thank you for stating this so eloquently. It is absolutely true that the burden lies with the one making the claim, NOT the one denying it. Nothing in science or law functions the other way. One might think that would be obvious, but with the number of believers… I guess not.
Post # 83
I want to take the time to thank everyone for the open and respectful responses! I know this is a touchy subject so I appreciate it. I was actually expecting the vast majority to be a firm “Yes” so these results are very interesting.
Post # 84
Absolutely I do. After all He has done for me throughout my life, and after all I have seen Him do, or have heard about Him doing in the lives of others, there is no way I could not believe in Him.
His Word is true, and it really works. He proves Himself faithful to those who believe in and place their trust in Him. Life isn’t easy. We don’t always receive whatever we want whenever we want it, because His ways are higher than our ways, and He calls His people to fulfill His purposes, not our own.
As someone who has lived long enough to see a major shift in people’s belief patterns on this topic, it grieves me to see younger people walk away from Him simply because they have become disillusioned with what some people have said and done in His name.
People will fail us. People will intentionally or unknowingly mislead us. What Scripture calls our “flesh” i.e. our inherently selfish human nature, will often get in our way of obeying and surrendering to God’s plan and His will. But that does not make Him or His Word any less real or true.
And one of the primary reasons so many people no longer believe in God is that they also no longer believe in Satan and demons, the very real forces of evil whose goal it is to deceive people into thinking there is no God and/or that the God of the Bible isn’t real.
I owe God everything. I am so grateful for His unfailing love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, protection, healing and provision that He has provided to me (and to all those who believe) through His son, Jesus Christ.
Post # 85
Brielle : Very well said!!
Post # 86
i dont know what i am. i would say agnostic because i feel like theres something going on beyond our realm of understanding but i dont believe in religion at all.
fwiw every single person ive ever met that have been deeply religious on the outside have been the worst human beings on the inside. im talking just horrible people. and they hide behind their religion. puts a really bad taste in my mouth.
Post # 87
I don’t consider myself particularly religious. More of a “I think there’s something bigger out there that we can’t comprehend.” I was raised in a mildly religious household while my husband’s family is very religious. My husband identifies as a Christian but we have had many discussions about how we both definitely question things. We are both very rational and have a deep belief in science.
DoubleD : I am always interested in these kinds of aspects of religion. I started watching Leah Remini’s series about Scientology and it’s completely insane. There were so many people who followed L. Ron Hubbard pretty much on little else than a couple books and his word that he was some divine being. And while Scientology is a cult, it also makes me wonder…How is it that different from older, more widespread religions? The ones that are considered “legitimate”? Yeah, L. Ron Hubbard was a nut job who thought he was an alien that was going to “come back” for his body later after he’d died. But does that really sound that much crazier than an invisible, omnipotent, omnipresent man in the sky? Or a virgin giving birth to a child and that child working miracles, being crucified, and rising from the dead?
I mean, I’m hugely oversimplifying it, but the basic principles of most religions seem to start with one person managing to influence many people, and it growing from there. Unfortunately, many times I find myself feeling like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. are all just versions of the Scientology scenario.
Post # 88
My husband and I are both atheists. He was raised Catholic, I was raised by a Methodist mom and Jewish dad, so, functionally atheist . I think just the fact that there are SO MANY religions, and all of them are convinced they’re right, played a role in my coming to the conclusion that humans created the idea of God or gods. I also reject the notion that people can’t be kind, loving, and decent to one another without the threat or promise of repercussions in the afterlife. I think the idea that there is nothing after this life is actually so powerful and motivating – we get a short time on this earth, we owe it to one another to leave it better than how we found it, to the best of our ability.
That said, I think the sense of community that can be found in religion is a wonderful thing, and certainly many of the principles described in foundational texts are good ones – if only peole who consider themselves followers actually did follow those tenets! If I had to pick a faith community to spend time with, based on my own experience, it would be Judaism. I’ve never enountered another religion that so encourages curiosity and questioning. I like that they don’t proselytize. I did have a bat mitzvah to please my dad, and am glad that I had that experience and do still feel somewhat connected to the community, culturally. Rituals are powerful things, and I feel for people who don’t have something like that to connect to.
Post # 89
Yes, my husband and I are Christians.
Post # 90
Maybe this is getting worn out and too New Agey, but you seem like the ideal person to ask. What are your views on quantum physics in terms of what scientists are discovering about the nature of reality?
Does anything in quantum physics have the potential to reshape beliefs, both among scientists and the lay public, about God, or some kind of higher power?