Can believing there is a God ever be rational?

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Jo's picture
Can believing there is a God ever be rational?

These are my words, and my understanding as expressed below. If I misstate anything or make a mistake, it is not intentional. I think I have a good grasp of the textbook definition of atheism, but when discussing it and thinking it through I have a lot of questions. When I refer to God I mean in the God in the Bible, and I am a christian. Hopefully I will do a better job on this forum topic than I did on my last. Here is my question.

If two people say that they have considered all the arguments, done research, thought about it at length, tried to consider everything, tried to have no presuppositions, and really tried hard to be objective and unbiased. They gave it a good faith effort to come up with the right answer and not what they wanted the answer to be. Then after all that, one person states the they are now very confident that there is a God. The other person states that they are now very confident that there is no God.

Why is the “no” conclusion the logical, rational, unbiased, scientific, reasonable, with no presuppositions conclusion, while the “is” conclusion is the opposite? Is there any way a believer could be justified in believing?

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Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Is there any way a

Jo - Is there any way a believer could be justified in believing?

Believe whatever you want. But if you want to convince others (us), you better bring some evidence.

CyberLN's picture
Jo, you asked, “Is there any

Jo, you asked, “Is there any way a believer could be justified in believing?”

I don’t know. I do know, however, that I haven’t met any believers so far who I would describe that way.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo -

@ Jo -

Is there any way a believer could be justified in believing?

There is no need to justify your belief.
Caveats:
Unless you are trying to convince others that your belief is based on reality.
Unless you are trying to pass laws based on your religion
Unless you are trying to brainwash children as to the existence of your god or gods
Unless you are seeking domination (look up the origins of that word, illuminating) because of your religion/sect.

The only defence for the theist is "personal revelation". That is it.
You are entitled to believe in your Jesus the redeemer as I am in Eric the Rainbow Farting Unicorn Who Lives in MY Garage. As long as I don't insist, and pass laws that make you build a garage for Eric's brother ( who you can only see if you have faith in Eric) believe what you wish. There is the same amount of evidence for both.

Like your genitals, keep your beliefs to yourself, keep them in your pants, don't take them out in front of children, do not shout about them in public. We all know you got them so don't flaunt them. Understand most of us have have them as well and are quite happy with them.

Kataclismic's picture
The non-belief side is

The non-belief side is falsifiable. You can never falsify a belief. That's what makes it irrational.

There are only two possibilities: A god exists/doesn't exist. If a god can't step up, declare himself for himself by himself then why are we to believe anything written down?

Jo's picture
@ Kataclismic

@ Kataclismic

Thanks for your response. Some follow up questions to help clarify to me what you mean.

Are all beliefs irrational, or just beliefs in God?
Am I right is concluding that you would select the God does not exist choice?

Kataclismic's picture
@Jo

@Jo

Any belief which cannot be falsified is irrational. What would it take to convince you that there is no god?

doG's picture
Yup...Like Kat said, evidence

Yup...Like Kat said, evidence is key.

I have faith in fellow human beings, as we know, innate morality, has been key to our species survival...we have also witnessed human behaviour unfettered by religion or mental illness and observed it to be good, much much more than bad. This faith is grounded in reality.

Cognostic's picture
RE: Can believing a god ever

RE: Can believing a god ever be rational. SURE, Have one show up so I can take a picture with him and I will believe he is real. Worshiping him on the other hand.... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...... not that murdering bastard. I would rather turn him in for the reward.

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

Why is that a negative assertion about God (murderer) would not be a claim, but to assert something good about him would be a claim?
It is confusing to me. Seems to be inconsistent.

doG's picture
Why is that a negative

Why is that a negative assertion about God (murderer) would not be a claim, but to assert something good about him would be a claim?
It is confusing to me. Seems to be inconsistent.

Yup, you are confused, or dishonest...one of the two.

There you go, misquoting again...uncle cog never said anything of the sort.

They are both claims made by a book claiming to know god. It is irrelevant if they are negative or positive.

What you should be concerned with is why your god murders.

PS. you really don't sound like someone trying to understand anything, other than refuting challenges to your belief system. You are the typical christian fodder.

Jo's picture
@ doG

@ doG

I see the word murderer in Cognostics post. Is it not there? Who is the murderer he is mentioning? Did you say my God murders? Whom did he murder?

Yes I am refuting challenges to my belief system. Is that not a good way to test it? Shouldn't everyone do that?

doG's picture
Yes I am refuting challenges

Yes I am refuting challenges to my belief system. Is that not a good way to test it? Shouldn't everyone do that?

No, it's a terrible way to seek truth...and quite lazy on your part.

Typical response from someone that wants to learn: "Thank you Cog, that is interesting...I never looked at it that way. I will have to go research that. Any suggestions on reading material?"

Instead, you refute anything mentioned that contradicts your belief system.
How transparent you are...and typical for run of the mill christians visiting this site. What, you think you are different? LOL.

Cognostic's picture
Why would you think calling

Why would you think calling him a murderer is not a claim. (I am of course referring only to the God of the Christian Bible.) The claim is evidenced by the Book that describes him. He is a murdering bastard.

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

Are you saying that if God was clearly and unambiguously evidence in the natural world, than you would believe he was supernatural?

Cognostic's picture
No, I am referencing him in

No, I am referencing him in the same way I would reference Harry Potter, a character in a book. If you know another way he could possibly exist, please share. I would love to see your evidence.

Sheldon's picture
" I think I have a good grasp

" I think I have a good grasp of the textbook definition of atheism, "

No you don't, you have already described it repeatedly as "believing a deity doesn't exist", and this is not remotely the definition of atheism. Atheism is defined as the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities. Theism is a belief and therefore the affirmation of a claim, atheism is simply the lack or absence of that belief.

Jo's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

Yes, you are right, I did not state it correctly.

However, it seems to me that in practice, that is not how it always is portrayed by atheists. Many times I have heard (not just on this website) atheist say things like they are 99% sure there is no God. Or God almost certainly does not exist. Not quoting, just trying to give some general examples.

If someone says the are 99% certain there is no God, that is rational, If someone says they are 99% certain there is a God, that is irrational. Seems like a double standard to me. How am I wrong?

doG's picture
If someone says the are 99%

If someone says the are 99% certain there is no God, that is rational, If someone says they are 99% certain there is a God, that is irrational. Seems like a double standard to me. How am I wrong?

You are wrong.

As mentioned a thousand times to you...if EVIDENCE that supports the likeliness that a god does not exist, outweighs the EVIDENCE for a god, which in this case, is overwhelming...then still believing in a god, is irrational.

Jo's picture
@ doG

@ doG

I understand about the evidence. But isn't saying the evidence is overwhelming somewhat subjective?

I admit I have not supplied a lot of evidence. That is partly do to wanting to discuss other areas. It is also because I am not clear on what would be good evidence to an atheist. I have mentioned the natural laws, the impossible odds of everything happening to give us our life and ability to reason and consider God. Life only occurring once in the history of the universe (as far as we know), and that life is so profoundly complicated. That the universe looks rigged. The universe being logical and rational indicate purpose, meaning, and a logical mind behind it all. That laws indicate a law giver, looking like it was designed, indicate a designer. These are the obvious and most rational conclusion to me, until shown to be wrong.

When I take as broad and deep look as I can, consider everything, and ask the tuff questions, I come up with God. I could also give many personal accounts of my own experiences that have confirmed God for me. I am not talking about God moving a mountain for me because it was blocking my view. More like I am a lot better person than I was before I became a Christian. I know none of this holds any water for you, but that is my story. I have been on a search for truth since I was a child. This is where I have arrived.

doG's picture
LOL...too funny...a deluded

LOL...too funny...a deluded person, deluding themselves with deluded information to secure their confirmation bias...LOL.

Consider everything do you? Not once while you have been here, have you considered doing research into the likeliness that none of your religion is real. You have arrived at where you are...by design...just not your design.

Jo's picture
@doG

@doG

I realize that having this discussion on the site is a lazy way for me to do research. Doesn't talking to those who do not believe my religion is real count for something?

doG's picture
Obviously not...just look at

Obviously not...just look at your responses. Your protectionist responses belie your stated intent.

Cognostic's picture
@Jo Well, Sheldon pointed

@Jo Well, Sheldon pointed out that you haven't a clue what atheism is about so I don't have to repeat that. What's next is this bullshit. "When I refer to God I mean in the God in the Bible, and I am a Christian."

There are 30 thousand Christian sects and NONE OF THEM AGREE WITH EACH OTHER. Does your god live on Golob with his sons Satan and Jesus. Were you with your god before you decided to wipe your mind and come to earth. Is your god part of a Trinity or independent? Does your version of the Christian God answer prayers or did he create the earth and move on? Does your god preach the prosperity Gospel because Jesus was a rich man or was he a poor son of a carpenter? Did your god write the bible and it is inerrant. Or did your god only inspire people to write it and that is why there are so many errors and contradictions? DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING CLUE WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT WHEN YOU SAY YOU BELIEVE IN THE MURDERING BUTCHERING RAPING CHILD KILLING GOD OF THE BIBLE?

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

I was just trying to give some basic information about myself. Often atheist ask theist to identify their God, or give some explanation as to their belief system. I was just trying to answer those questions.

But to briefly answer your question, I believe God is one, not a Trinity. He was the poor son of a carpenter. I would not say the Bible was inerrant, because it cant be. It was written in an imperfect language by imperfect people, and not translated perfectly. But definitely inspired, and highly reliable for its intended purpose. Basically no to the rest of your questions on my specific beliefs.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

How can a god be a poor son of a carpenter? What we know of genetics would preclude him being anything but human. The early jewish christians had the jesus figure adopted by god, the Marcionites had ascend to god, the gnosts had him as a spritual figure not divine...so please clarify which definition you have for this "god" of yours.
Once you have done that please highlight exactly why he is differentiated from the many other self proclaimed Messiahs that abounded in 1st Century Judea.
Oh, I will point out that carpenters in 1st Century Judea were very much top of the tradies tree, a very wealthy class of trader. Very definitely not 'poor' . That is a medieval European take on a story.

Diotrephes's picture
Old man shouts ...,

Old man shouts ...,

"How can a god be a poor son of a carpenter?"

The Jesus character was made to be the son of a carpenter becuse in the biblical stories wood workers made wooden idols. The writers made Jesus a wood worker to show that he was a false god. It was clever writing. And they topped it off by nailing him to wood where he has become an eternal idol for people who don't know any better.

Remember, the Jesus character never did anything godly. He was all talk and parlor tricks. The story is just a prank.

Cognostic's picture
Then the obvious next

Then the obvious next question. How in the world do you rule out the other 99% of Christians and assert your faith is the correct faith.

God is not part of a trinity.
Jesus then was just a man, nonexistent, a man adopted by god at his baptism, the divine son of god born to a virgin, a spirit and not a man, the word who was with god at the beginning, or some other version?

Same question. What in the world makes you think you got it right?

How do you know which verses in the Bible are from God and which are from men who made mistakes? Bart Ehreman in his book "Forged" has a whole lot to say about Bible passages that can not be trusted. 70% is plagiarized and inauthentic according to him.

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

The Trinity is not in the Bible. It says the opposite, that God is one. Same God from cover to cover.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - The Trinity is not in

Jo - The Trinity is not in the Bible. It says the opposite, that God is one. Same God from cover to cover.

Are you saying that Jesus and God are two different entities, or are you saying they are the same entity? Just curious.

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

The same one. Different titles, (Father, Son, Spirit) but the same entity. Just as I can be a Father and a Son, but one person.

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