OK, let's say for the sake of argument that I decide that a god or gods created the universe. Now I want to make sure that I choose the right god, because as we all know, each religion has dire consequences for not choosing its god. To me they all seem equally possible (or impossible). What do I do now? My very soul is at stake. The reason i bring this up is because it seems to me that if god existed he or she or it would provide some way for me to discern the correct god. How, as a theist, do you know your god is the right one?
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I guess i should mention the possibility that if there were a god such a god may not be the god of any religion we know of. I'm posing this question to theists, most of whom claim a particular religion. If I need to worship some god, how would you propose I go about finding the religion with the right god? I say it is impossible to do so, in which case your all just playing dice.
If you were in ISIS country you had better choose Allah or some maniac would saw your head off slowly with a Buck knife. If you want to run for political office in the U.S. then Jesus is your best bet. You could be Jewish in the US. Government but don't get to uppity.
Well I was a theist in fact a Christian for many years So I know a little about that particular religion, But I know longer believe in Christianity as A supposed God revelation to humanity. I am now somewhere between an agnostic and atheist, I find there arguments now much more convincing. I know that some will say that I sided with Christianity on several of my responses to posts, but I was only playing the devils advocate here. I cannot really recommend a particular religion to you, But if you go by sheer numbers I guess they would be the Abrahamic faiths like Christianity islam or Judaism.
Choose the one that makes sense to you. Simple.
My point is that no religion actually has evidence or even a convincing argument that their god is the true god. Its all based on tradition or culture. Christians say those who dont believe in Jesus are going to hell, yet their is no argument that I know that Christianity is any more valid than say Hinduism. If there were a religion that was the religion of the true god, why wouldn't that god make it so people could discern this? Because this is not the case, I can't see how any logical person actually believes in a particular god. I want to here from theists on how they know their god is the right one. I can't imagine a reasonable argument being posted.
Good point chimp3.
"I can't see how any logical person actually believes in a particular god"
That's really just for lack of trying, or lack of imagination. Where you ever religious? Did you ever believe there was a God? If you haven't, then I suspect you never sought for the answer on your own.
If you've never invested an ounce of intellect into the question, why are you looking for a debate on the question?
To paraphrase Harris, religion is as useless of a word as sports, there are so many and very few overlap. The same applies to their deities. From my perspective, I can't imagine a reasonable argument that suggests all religions are the same, and why you can't choose one over the other.
John 6, its not so simple. We are talking about the eternal fate of your soul (if you believe in that). Picking the one that makes sense to you does not sound like a good strategy. I mean, you HAVE to know its the right choice, otherwise there are supposed dire consequences. What possible train of thought could lead to such knowledge? If there is none, then its all just a gamble. Would a benevolent god leave his or her creation in such ambiguity over something so serious?
Its precisely because it could affect our soul, that you need to choose the one that makes sense. Maybe its just a Christian thing, but freedom of conscious is foundational.
In the words of Luther: "To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."
I don't think a benevolent god would leave his creation in ambiguity. Evident by the fact that I'm Christian. I believe God himself walked among us. See? Just with that question alone you can shave off a number of religions of your list.
If you truly think its a gamble, then mathematically speaking, choosing any religion is better than choosing no religion. But of course, you don't truly believe its a gamble, hence why you're still atheist.
I used to believe in god, and I was sincere about it. The problem was that I kept on coming up against things that made no sense to me. I studied multiple religions in my search for god, but each time I found too many holes. The thing is, each religion truly believes it is the right one. If one of them is truly right, why doesnt it have an argument for its authenticity that stands up to basic reason?
Right.. I guess I just don't see the problem with that the way you do.
Can you imagine a religion that DIDN'T believe it was the right one? It gets an automatic disqualification.
As far as basic reason, the majority of the world is religious and has been so for ages. You either have to conclude that no one has basic reason, or that religion at least does have basic reason.
I used to believe in god, and I was sincere about it. The problem was that I kept on coming up against things that made no sense to me. I studied multiple religions in my search for god, but each time I found too many holes. The thing is, each religion truly believes it is the right one. If one of them is truly right, why doesnt it have an argument for its authenticity that stands up to basic reason?"
Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He came here as prophesied, was tortured, as prophesied, was killed and arose from death, all as prophesied. You may mock, you may ridicule, you may scoff and play your word games all you wish, but Christianity has more adherents than any other belief system in history. Elsewhere I have posted compelling evidence of scientific, historic, medical, legal, and anthropological nature all of which attest to the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We pledge allegiance to that God. His name appears on every dollar you have spent, notwithstanding claims that Eisenhower required the imprint only in 1956. It was even on the 1935 silver certificates.
Darwinism was revived by Stalin in an effort to scientifically promote atheism. He gave power and money to scientists toward that evil end. And it has born considerable fruit, of which you and your friends here are evidence.
More is known than can be proven. You deny all forms of basic reason whenever it is convenient for you. Rhetoric is NOT "basic reason."
Do you need me to post more picture links to further embarrass yourself?
I will take your lack of reply that you are too much of a coward to respond, realizing that you got it wrong.
Freefromgod makes a good point here and one that many have made. People believe in a god but only the god that they have been subjected to because of where they live. That is evidence that all gods are products of human imagination.
Atheism is also subjected to where you live.
Not at all JohnB. Atheism isn't a belief. It is an understanding of facts. It isn't an organization. It is never forced down someone's throat. Even in communist nations, atheism hasn't been forced. China has many churches, temples, synagogues, even cathedrals. There are even religious organizations in North Korea. Although proselytizing is banned.
Try to improve society by not believing in any God or Gods plural, Secular humanism is the best approach it deals not so much with the history of human kind as with the understanding of approving things now for the better.There is no room for god or gods here with the climate changing and rogue nations like north korea firing icbms and Iran with there electromagnetic fields that there working on it is time to stop going into the past but to look to save the future.You know one interesting there here is that every weapon man has made has been used, I`m really worried that we just may have a nuclear war.
@Simply Agnosticism: "I`m really worried that we just may have a nuclear war."
We already had one. In fact this Sunday will be 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
"We learn from history that we do not learn from history." (Hegel)
Funny how no one has offered an argument for why their god is the true god. The best we have gotten is John 6's choose the one that makes sense to you. Why do theists get so passionate over something they can't even make a decent argument for? If you can't make a sound argument for why your god is the right one, then you have to wonder if your right. Would something like the eternal state of your soul be left up to a big maybe? Would god really leave it up to that? How then can damnation be justified? What if I just didnt know and picked the wrong religion? Does eternal damnation fit the crime given the lack of evidence for the true religion?
"Maybes" don't bother me. Uncertainty is just the very nature of our universe. You can learn to cope with it or pretend it doesn't exist. Of course I have good arguments, and good reasons for my beliefs. The problem is that you've heard them all before.. I can probably argue them differently and uniquely, perhaps even eloquently, but they are still the same arguments. You've made it clear you think those arguments fail "basic logic" so why do you want to hear them again from me?
Damnation doesn't work that way in Christianity.
From what i remember, Jesus is the only way to heaven in Christianity. All others are damned. Do I need to get the bible verses to back this up?
Sure, I don't mind verses.
But pay close attention to what you said, Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Notice you did not say Christianity, notice you did not say the person. Christianity teaches that God came to save humanity, not to save Christians.
Christianity is unique in that it doesn't teach that people can save themselves. In most other religions salvation depends on you, how hard you pray, how much money you pay, how long you walk on your knees. I've never been taught Buddhist won't be in Heaven, or Atheists. Quiet the opposite, there's bound to be more of them than actual Christians. Some of the harshest rebukes, and threats of damnation are directed toward the Christians in Scripture, not towards outsiders
Why follow religion/christianity at all, if the atheist that gets to sleep in every sunday gets heaven too?
I would say the atheist that does what they know to be right, that loves their neighbor as themselves, and walks honestly, has nothing to worry about. The atheist that sleeps in every Sunday... not so much.
Presumably you've heard the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritans were not part of "God's People," they were hated by the Jews, and considered to be lost, the way you guys claim Christians view atheist. But in that parable, Jesus says that three Hebrew priests walked by and didn't helped the wounded man, but the Samaritan did. Therefore the Samaritan [atheist] is justified, while the Jewish [Christians] stand condemned.
Right, because the supposed supernatural creator of the universe cares how long a slightly less hairy ape sleeps during one rotation of the planet's axis out of seven. For anyone who believes that: would you like to invest in a bridge on the moon?
Cool, I do not sleep in every sunday, I do what I know is right (as much as any "good" christian I know.) And I treat my neighbors like most "good" christians do. And I feel I am quite a bit more honest then just about any christian I know.
Not that I believe in your god/heaven, or any god, but it is cool to know my bases are covered, in the extremely unlikely event that I am wrong and your god is real.
Here's another way to look at it: Say I'm born in India. My whole family and all my neighbors are devout Hindus. I'm never exposed to any Christians or Muslims or any other religion, I've heard of them, bit thats it. Now I chose to become a Hindu. According to the bible, I'm going to hell. Is that a fitting consequence given my circumstances? Am I really expected to know that some other religion is the right one? Yet this is exactly what religions expect of people. It makes absolutely no sense.
Don't know what Bible says that. Mine actually says the complete opposite:
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles [Hindus in this case], who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."
This would have been a perfect place for Scripture to say what you suggested, and it doesn't.
Well, that would be fine John except for your bible also demands that you do not worship any other god.
Of course, but the question is when is that demand is executed. From what the Bible says, not until you know the Truth.
This is what Paul told the idol worshipers at Lystra:
"We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God.... In past generations He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet He did not leave Himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness" -Acts 17:30
God didn't condemn this people for having worshiped other gods, Paul is basically saying God still watched over them, even though they didn't worship Him. But the time does come when people have to make a decision.
So the first christian that told me god is real, did me a real disservice then? If I never listened to that christian I was all set, as long as I was a good person?
But now that a christian came along I gotta go to church and "accept god" or I will go to hell? That is a pretty unfair, just because I was born in a christian dominated area and understand the common language of the area? If only I lived in the woods by myself all my life, I would not be going to hell because I demand real proof..