A very, very debated question. The reason behind the intense, never ending debate is that the presence of God cannot be proved or disproved (without him/her revealing him/her self or something). I personally find it is easier to believe that there is something somewhere who knows what is going on. It just makes things a little simpler.

Sure.. it makes it simpler because then you don't have to use your brain. If the only reason to believe in god is your own sloth, then you have a problem, my friend.

There are many religions with their own sets of standards and beliefs. Most believe in either a god, or group of god type beings. People believe in gods only because it's easier for them to accept the world around them. I mean, look.. If someone doesn't understand something, then WHAMMO!.. it happened divinely. People might say "Well, if there's no God, where'd the universe come from?" Good question! Now, since you think there is a god, naturally you assume that he made it, and you don't have to think about it any longer. Problem solved. This takes a lot of pressure off their brains. They don't have to think about why the sky's blue (because God made it that way, obviously), or why we're flying though space on a huge rock .

See, people are ALWAYS looking for the easy way out. It's human nature. People also believe believe what they're told as long as they think everyone else believes the same. They're sheep (baaahh)... but there are those who believe in God because they think they've seen him, he's healed them, he's helped them through hard time etc... Well good for you, you're entitled to believe what you want. You have your proof, and that's all you need.

It all boils down to this: are you a sloth?
Sloth: You believe what you do because everyone else does, or because it's easier on you.
True Believer: You believe because the power of God in your life is too overwhelming to not believe.


There _is_ a babelfish, afterall ;P

Putting aside all the silly nodes that are out there involving the existence of a supreme being, I can't help but think this constantly.
What if they're really is a god and I don't believe? Eternity in the proverbial Hell?
What if there is not? Am I wasting my time teaching my children to grow up with some sort of moral responsibility?
This one thing tugs on my brain, at least once a week and it makes me think. Usually on my drive to work, when I see those billboard signs with cute little quotes, that say " something something blah blah. -God".
This worries me, did my grandfather waste his life believing in a god? I think not, my grandfather was the smartest human being I have ever stood in the presence of.
The truth is I do not know. No one knows, no one could ever know. I mean this is something that you have to experience, or die to find out, and not many people these days have experienced the "touch of god", which leaves dying to find out.
If there is a god, I want to be on his side, if not I think I'm doing just fine now.

See you in heaven?
or
See you in hell?

People need something to believe in. Life is hard to handle when you think it means nothing. Being disillusioned hurts. Little children cry for days when they are told that Santa Claus isn't real. They need to think that their actions are worth something, and that morals matter. That Santa knows whether you've been naughty or nice and will reward their actions with presents allows them to live happily. When they lose this belief, they adopt a form of belief that is much harder to break. Instead of presents for niceness, they believe that by hiding their naughtiness well enough they can avoid the ultimate form of the lump of coal. They stop caring that Santa's replacement can see them while they're sleeping (and see them while they're awake) because they're used to the Big Brother equivalent.

My thoughts about god, singular or plural has evolved although I doubt they're particularly original. Religion, organised or otherwise, I have come to learn is something else altogether, and my general rule is to ignore them wherever possible. I feel that religion is at a first approximation a political group. In both good ways and bad. When religious groups come together to say try and feed and clothe poorer people, or evoke antiwar sentiment that's political in some sense, only vaguely related to the notion of god. When religious groups come together to bomb abortion clinics, again only vaguely related to the notion of god, that's also a political movement. Politics, often tending to be divisive, means that religious groups are sometimes drawn into the whole icky mess. But regardless of that, politics has nothing to do with the concept of a supernatural being capable of creation, destruction, and other regular suspension of the rules of the universe. Having said that I will outline my progression of god or gods.

When I was younger, perhaps 16 or so I decided that there must be a big god in the sky if only to create the universe, set up the laws of physics, and just sort of give the whole thing a big shove. To me this satisfied my understanding of the world, and in this sense I viewed the whole thing as irrelevant in a moral sense. God just got things going, but didn't actually do anything after. In a sense, god existed in a superset of our universe where the normal rules of cause and effect (I was very hard stuck on the idea of cause and effect).

After rolling this idea in my head for a little while (maybe two years) I realised that if I just need god to push start the universe, then technically I didn't actually need god to be a conscious being. In addition, there's that annoying problem of infinite recursion. That is, if god exists in a superset of the universe where cause and effect don't work the same, then what created that universe. If I relax the criteria of cause and effect, then strictly speaking I can stick anything to create the universe. That doesn't seem like a strong argument, although I'm not clear whether the empiricist philosophies strictly require good arguments to work. Nature is going to do its own thing, even if you don't agree that it makes sense.
So I just decided, to make things simpler, that I wasn't going to have any gods poking around in my universe, that we'll just throw the god away and keep the superset of the universe by itself. In other words, I was just saying there's a basic rule in the universe that in a complete vacuum, lacking not only gas and matter, but space and time, these things get created. So I was an atheist in the same way Bertrand Russel was; don't believe but can't prove it.

So this position worked for a good deal of time, perhaps five or so years at which point I decided to think a little more about it. Although my position hasn't changed; I'm still an atheist that can't prove it, I no longer strongly believe that the universe can create itself. I think the question of the "origin of the universe" doesn't quite make sense. The reason is, "the universe", in this context basically means origin of all things. So the question can be rephrased as what is the origin of all origins? Origins don't have origins; they are supposed to be the start and when you start asking the origin of the origin you're going to be stuck in infinite recursion.
To put it another way, if we come up with some model of the universe, whether it be god, or the big bang, or whatever else, it seems to me it is always going to have some components. Those components are going to interact in whatever way and the model may even be the best possible description of the world. But the deeper meaning of "is there a god", at least to me, is what is the cause of this model. And I don't think that will ever make sense, at least to me, and it may be impossible for humans to imagine a way to answer that question (assuming the question can be answered). In the same way that a regular grammar cannot model a context free grammar, it may be that the question of the origin of the universe may not be modeled on the human brain. Or at least mine.
The point is, even if you want to believe in a god, gods, big bang theory, turtles all the way down, or whatever, at some point you have to assume something, and as far as I see it, it is impossible to prove that assumption in terms of a larger theory, because then you have to prove the assumptions of the larger theory are also correct, which bring us back to square one. I suspect that this is some kind of variant on Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, but I confess I do not understand that particularly well.

ON THE POSSIBILITY AND LIKELIHOOD OF A GOD OR GODS OR OTHER SIMILAR HIGHER ENTITY

Throughout time, humans have believed in a higher entity or entities. Some called them gods, some spirits, some something else, but all have believed in them. Previously, the belief of a higher entity largely affected an individual's activities on a daily, even hourly, basis. In some places, and with some individuals, it still does. However, with the separation of church and state, a group of individuals has appeared with a question: is there really a higher entity (or entities)? (hereby "the question") These people remained hidden because of prejudice against them. They still do.

Before continuing, we must define the term "higher entity." A higher entity is, in most religions, an omnipotent being. In religions with multiple higher entities each higher entity may have specialized abilities. In most religions, the higher entity or entities (hereby "the entities") wish those who believe in their existence (hereby "believers") to prosper. Supposedly, the entities assist the believers in doing so.


"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."

-- Thomas Jefferson1


There is something called Ockham's razor. It says that you shouldn't assume something when an alternate explanation doesn't need it. That basically boils down to: the simplest solution is usually correct. The main character in the movie Contact applies Ockham's razor to the question. Since she does not believe in a higher entity, she, the prime candidate for a mission to meet extraterrestrial life, is denied the opportunity to embark on the mission. Of course, Ockham's razor is a generalization, so it cannot be taken as scientific proof against the existence of the entities. Nonetheless, this is a great example of prejudice against atheists.

Some believe that the entities were formed by the human mind to satisfy a psychological need. Perhaps the need to know that there is something in the universe (or outside it?) that can actually reduce the amount of entropy in a closed system? Perhaps it is the need for a purely pscyhological antidepressant? I believe that, if the entities were indeed created by the human mind, the need they are satisfying is the need to feel safe and secure. When believers think about the entities, they receive a sense of security. Whether this a false sense of security or not is anyone's guess.


"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."

-- Dalai Lama1


If the entities do exist, they cannot exist inside our universe. At least not until they change the laws of physics. You will remember that the entities are omnipotent, therefore they have the power to change the laws of physics. However, the current laws of physics state that there can be no perpetual energy machine. Everything that uses (converts) energy must get it from somewhere. It would take a large amount of energy to perpetuate the entities. In most religions, the entities are eternal. If they are eternal, then they are, in a way, perpetual energy machines; they can continue infinitely without needing any more energy than they currently have. Since this is impossible in our universe, if the entities exist, they would have to exist outside our universe. This is not to say that they would not be able to affect our universe, but simply that they would not be able to physically enter it.

Many (or most?) people believe the entities do exist, asking how supposed miracles could have happened if the entities did not exist. How could the first aid kit have appeared in the snow? How could Bobby have survived such a crash? How can you pass off Bill Gates as just being smart and lucky? But none of these serves as scientific indirect proof that the entities do exist. Instead, these are much like the generalization that makes it appear that the entities do not exist.

So, is there a God? That is up to you to decide. You cannot choose wrong, for the belief is more importance than the existence. I have provided you with the facts, but you must choose the path…


Sources:
1http://quoteland.com

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