Since we are here, there must be a beginning. If there is a beginning, then someone or something created all of this. "God"-no, creator, prolly. Satan? Hell no, unless you count the ground you walk on.
SURVEY: Who Believes In "God"?
If there is a beginning, then someone or something created all of this. "God"-no, creator, prolly.
An assumption exists here that bothers me. Many say there must be design due to the fact that we live in a very complex universe.
But then, wouldn't the Creator of the universe logically be even more complex and sophisticated than his creation?
SO --- where did the Creator come from? Did he just appear out of nothing? If he is infinitely complex, he too must have had a designer, etc. -- by the "complexity requires a designer" assertion.
And the "Creator never had a beginning" explanation is unsatisfying, it evades my question.
(BTW Worldtraveller this isn't directed solely at you, I'm just inquiring in general.)
and by that I mean The Supreme Being or Jehovah or Jesus or Buddah or whatever you might consider to be "God". I started out believing in God as a Witness. I saw the truth about the troof and left in 83 Then I read the bible and for a time considered myself a Christian. Then I saw the the truth about the bible. I have very little faith in the bible or Jesus. Other than there are bibles and Jesus is locked up in cell block C. I believe I am typing this right now. But theres not a whole lot I believe about anything. Except I believe I'll have another beer. Actually I am drinking wine and strawberry cola tonight. I listen to coast to coast radio with George Noory at night. Men put forth many possibilities about our origins. Who knows what's going on. And when you find the person who knows. Watch out stay away. Remember the witnessess how they knew and how sure they were about everything, at least back in the 60's and 70's they were.
"The Ethiopians say that their gods are flat-nosed and black, while the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair. Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw and could sculpture like men, then the horses would draw their gods like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own" (Xenophanes) .... Indeed, if I could but get over my reservations concerning whether God, being God, could be personal, I myself would likely be a devotee of a god embodying those qualities I like in myself and those I love, only perfected and empowered. I realize that one can't treat God exactly as if he were a man, but that's exactly what the notion of a personal God constantly invites one to do. Much of the Bible is fiction and much is a reflection on history by religious people, attempting to see the hand of the personal God in the affairs of man. If the personal God is the Jehovah depicted in the Bible (i.e., the being who sends prophets to demand social justice but has those same prophets foretell the bloody dooms of whole nations for transgressions against a god they do not know), I don't think he's a fit object of worship. If God is impersonal, it would not require worship. If God is a personality similar to Jesus or Siddhartha Gautama, I could see myself worshiping him, but my experience and knowledge of the nature of life on earth and the universe in general does not lead me to that conclusion. God does not go around feeding the starving, healing the sick, or giving our lives a sense of meaning. Rather, kind and creative human beings go around feeding the starving, healing the sick, and generating meaning for their lives. I have weighed the God of the Bible on my scales, lowly though they may be, and I have found him wanting. Do I have this right? I don't know. But I have nothing else to go on but my own sense of what is rational, beautiful, and good. And, if the sort of impersonal God I'm still agnostic about really exists, does not my sense of such things find its origin in him, who is Rationality, Beauty, and Goodness itself, however imperfectly I reflect it? This, then, is why I don't believe in Jehovah. As to whether or not there exists a "thought thinking itself" or a first cause or any of the other notions some of you have mentioned, I remain interested, curious, but uncommitted.
Gopher, you may find this unsatisfying as well, but it is something I read recently that made sense to me. It is not so much based on the complexity of the universe but its being limited, finite, dependent:
The scientific method is limited in that it can only deduce rules by repeated observations of physical phenomena. Thus the question of the existence of God does not and cannot fall into the realm of scientific thought because science deals with the mechanisms of events and phenomena within the universe i.e. the tangible and not intangible. To test the hypothesis to apply scientific proof for or against God, one would effectively have said that God is "testable".
Therefore, logically one would conclude God to be within the universe since God must be physically tangible in order to test. Since God is tangible and contained within the universe, God must be limited and therefore cannot be God. Thus scientists are falling into the same trap as the blind followers of religion, which is they are implicitly defining a role to God as the 'one who makes things work'. Since scientists have explained how things work the question of God does not arise. Those who argue from this angle have falsely assumed an attribute/essence of God in the same way Christians say God has a son or is love. To prove or disprove the existence of a creator we need to go beyond the limitations of the scientific method and proceed rationally for it is only rational thought which has the ability to deal with an issue like this.
When we look around at everything we can sense, these things share one factor, and that is that they are all limited. By limited we mean that they have restrictions, a starting point and an ending point, and they all have definable attributes, i.e. they are finite. Man is born and he dies. There is no one alive who will not die. During his life span, he will grow to a certain shape, height and volume. The universe is defined as all the celestial bodies... All these objects have a certain mass, shape, volume and so on. The life span of a star may be very long, but a point in time will come when it will cease to exist.....No matter how hard we try, man is unable to find anything unlimited around him. All he can perceive is the finite and limited. A further attribute of everything around us is that they are all needy and dependent in order to continue existing. They are not self-sustaining or independent.... Nothing man can perceive is self-subsistent. So things exist, but do not have the power of existence....
There is one fact that emerges from all this. If something is limited and finite, and does not have the power to be self-subsistent then it must have been created. Applying this to everything we see will bring us to a conclusion. If everything in the universe is created because it has not the power of being in existence on its own, and is finite and limited, then there must be a creator. This creator by contrast has to be unlimited and not needy and dependent on anything to bring it into, or sustain it's existence. The universe, the sum of all finite and dependent objects, is finite and dependent - but dependent on what? Dependent on something to start and sustain life, and something to plan and develop life. The only rational and intellectual solution to the question of creation is that there is a creator who has accounted for all that we see and perceive. R[eason] tells us that nothing can be created without a creator. Ultimately there must be a creator who is unlimited every aspect. Some scientists challenge this with a theory that everything depends on something for existence, which in turn depends upon something for existence, and so on ad infinitum. This theory is irrational, as it...uses an idea of 'infinity' that we know does not exist in reality....
Hence, looking at any planet in the universe, contemplating on any phase of life, or comprehending any aspect of man provides a conclusive evidence for a Creator, what Muslims call Allah(SWT) - This intellectual proof of the existence of Allah(SWT) is an understanding open for everyone and obligatory for all Muslims to be convinced of. Each person must explore to the limit of his understanding. Blind belief has no place in Islam. -Believing through instinctive emotions is unreliable and dangerous as emotions can change and [give] error to ones belief and actions. And if the basis of belief is irrational and weak, how can a system of life be built upon it?
From another source, as to the nature of God:
...the natureof Allah (SWT) is too vast to be encompassed by the human mind or to be conceived by human ideas because however high the human mind may soar or however far human understanding may go, it is always limited in power and ability....
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said that a group of people used to debate the nature of Allah, glory be to Him, and the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, said to them: "Ponder over the creation of Allah and do not ponder over the essence of Allah because your minds cannot possibly encompass that."
This command does not mean to curb freedom of thought. It does not mean indifference to the search for truth nor does it restrict the exercise of reason. Rather it is meant to protect the mind from falling into the pits of misguidance and keep it away from handling questions which it is not equipped to study, nor handle, however great its powers may be. This is the approach of the righteous servants of Allah who realise the greatness of His essence and the majesty of His position....Yahya-ibn-Mu’aadh was also asked about Allah, glory be to Him, and he answered: ‘Your Lord is One.’ He was then asked ‘What is he like?’ He said, ‘He is the Lord, the All Powerful.’ He was further asked, ‘Where is He?’ He answered: ‘He is the Ever Watchful (over His creation)’. Then the questioner further said: ‘I haven’t asked you about that.’ Ibn Muaadh said: ‘What I have described to you are the attributes of Allah. Anything else is the attributes of the created.’http://www.youngmuslims.ca/online_library/books/the_creed/index.htm
I thought about starting a thread once, asking how one goes about questioning the existence of God because, although I have questioned almost everything else, this was never a question that arose in my mind. I was wondering how to go about it. I could understand why other people question it, but could never understand nor explain why I didn't. I felt that this was an indication of a flaw in my reasoning process that should not go unaddressed, so I am trying.
Put me in the 'non-believer' column
I am open but, no!
I believe in the God of the bible and the one he sent, Jesus Christ. I've tried the other beliefs in this world and this is the only one that fills my heart.
I do , I do , I do.....