Losing faith in god?

Help! I had to ask the question, does god exist? It won’t go off my mind! Im usually a DEEP believer in christ, but stupid logic and intelligence keep getting to my head!! Yes, i do know about the eye-witness events, and the signs of an external force out of our universe being found, but i keep thinking, “theres a reason for that!” I feel like I KNOW gods not REAL, AND I WANT HIM TO BE REAL! Ive heard about all those books and I’ve read a couple of CS lewis’s books. They don’t help at all, none of them do! Is this normal to go under this faith changing activity? If not, HOW DO I FIX IT! Please i just hope god to be real, I’m 13 and i just WANT him to be real! I thought god promised us for those who seemed him with all our hearts, would find him? PLEASE HELP!:(:(:frowning:

Yes! God is very real. Even in the scientific community, presently, they cannot all agree it was just a big bang. There is such a well thought out formula to the creation of the universe. A big bang could not fulfil such a complex formula.It is as if a very intellectual being structed the universe…duh!!! The Lord has worked immensely in my life. I was living a sinful life at one time and the Lord changed my heart ad my life is soooooo much better. I will tell you like this. Wouldn’t it be better to believe than not to believe?? In other words Wouldn’t it be odd to get to heaven and find out there was a God, when you choose not to believe ? Faith is believing. The Lord has touched my heart and if you believe and give Him a chance, He will touch you in some way too …when you get that feeling of the holy spirit you will never forget it.I am praying for you…praying for you. You are around my daughters age…God bless you !

Hello, young one. I’m sorry for your difficulty :console:

Sorry it’s taken so long for anyone to answer you. Seems like it’s a slow night on CAF, so I’ll jump in with some thoughts.

First of all, yes, it is normal – especially at this point in your life – to go through times of intense and sometimes painful questioning. Doesn’t take away the pain, I know, but at least you can rest assured you are normal and your experience is a normal part of growing up.

Second, your questions are excellent. Don’t ever be afraid to ask them, and even keep asking them after you’ve received the answers. Why keep asking? Because as you grow in years, in knowledge, and in wisdom, and as that brain of yours becomes more fully connected, the answers you find will be fuller and richer and more meaningful and powerful.

Part of what I think you may be experiencing is that you are at an age when you are able to start asking some seriously deep questions, but your knowledge isn’t able to keep pace with your questions. You seem to have a great start with the basics – the eye-witness events, for example – but there is so much more you don’t yet know (and don’t ask me, because even at 46 I’m just barely scratching the surface of Catholic theology, history, apologetics :blush:)

So you’re probably wondering, screaming at the computer even: So how do I know there’s a God??? Beats me. But I can tell you what helps me in moments of darkness.

Read the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read one chapter (or LESS) everyday. But as you are not the same person you were when you were little, try to be open to the possibility that your understanding Christ’s life and words will also be more mature and intelligent. In other words, don’t go into your reading with the attitude of “I already know all this.” Instead, look for what you were too little to notice or understand in the past – look for what you don’t know yet.

Make little acts of faith when your brain feels like it’s about to explode from all the questions and doubts. Something like, “I don’t have the answers to this yet, but I’m placing my hope in you, Lord.”

Faith and science are absolutely NOT in conflict with one another. I adore science (even though I’m a music teacher) and can’t wait until I can take more college level science classes – maybe next summer. I already have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, and have completed all the coursework for a doctorate. I love research and I love science. AND I have no fear that science or any future research will ever disprove what the Catholic Church teaches.

Again, what you are going through is normal, and proof that you are crossing from childhood into adulthood. And keep asking questions, and don’t ever stop. There’s no greater sign of immaturity than living an adult life with childhood answers (to questions they never bothered to ask more than once – stopped either by fear or laziness).

God bless you, dear one! I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

Gertie

God is real. He will survive all the doubts and all the questions. But that takes time. Never fear the doubts. Always explore them to their logical conclusion. That is how faith is built. good luck in your journey.:thumbsup:

There’s nothing stupid about logic. And intelligence, by definition, cannot be stupid. But I know what you mean.

There are lots of people on this forum who are both logical and intelligent. I like to think I’m one of them. I have an advanced degree in mathematics. I have worked as a mechanical engineer and a computer programmer. In my spare time I like to watch lectures in quantum physics.

And I find nothing illogical about faith in God. I find many things in physics that are more illogical to me, yet they are believed.

Take the Big Bang for example. I believe in it, but it’s an absolutely absurd thing to believe in (and it has been shown that it is impossible to prove or disprove). The whole universe (with it’s billions of galaxies) originated from a zero-dimensional singularity (which, by some definitions, would be considered nothing). For the first fraction of a second after the Bang, none of the laws of physics applied, and there was no such thing as gravity. Space expanded at an insane rate - after the first second, the universe was up to 80 light years across (so it was expanding WAAAAYYYYY faster than the speed of light), but then something (?) caused that crazy expansion to slow down drastically. The only elements that existed for millions of years were hydrogen, helium, and a little lithium. All heavier elements were created in the cores of massive stars that formed and went supernova (so you and everything around you really are made of starstuff).

I believe all of that (even though it can never be proven), but it’s crazy. If I can believe that, I have no problem believing in God. Little children can believe in God, but try explaining the Bang to them. Believing in God is easy. Believing in physics requires a complete suspension of our concept of reality.

Clearly I haven’t found God myself yet. But I can say that I don’t think intellect and logic get in the way of God. I think they can compliment each other. What intelligence and logic is bothering you?

I have found that God is very willing to show us His reality, reading books can only go so far, God understands where you are at, and if you are searching, you will seek answers from Him, personal answers, obtain by personal questions directed to Him. And if we listen carefully, we will receive an answer specifically tailored to us. God wants to do that for you.

The faith of childhood and the faith of adulthood are generally different, and for you to reach that adult faith you need to go through this process of questioning, researching, prayer, etc. You might want to research the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, which is a similar thing that happens to adults (even saints), but rest assured that what you are going through is a normal part of growing up. Make sure you actually look for the answers to your questions.

I wish that someone had told me, when I was your age and looking for philosophy, to read Thomas Aquinas. Back then, I had the time and the stamina to devour things like that: maybe you do too. If so, don’t go searching for someone else’s summary of his main ideas: find a translation and read it for yourself.

As with the Dark Night of the Soul, make sure you are looking after your prayer life. Are you praying every day? Are you sharing even these frustrations with God? Are you creating moments of quiet contemplation in your life, times when you can be quietly listening? The rosary can help with this, even just a decade if you haven’t had much experience with it.

Someone somewhere has told you that reason and faith are in conflict. Set your mind at ease on that one: you belong to a Church which considers both reason and faith to be vitally important, that they go together. That is why, for example: Mendel (of Mendelian Inheritance, the other half of the modern evolutionary synthesis along with Darwin’s ideas) was a Catholic monk who researched the very first ideas of genetics; Joseph Plateau was a practicing Catholic who came up with the first animated image and rules on bubble films which are still used in various areas of maths and science today; George LeMaitre was a Catholic priest who came up with the Big Bang Theory which was originally viewed with suspicion by the scientific establishment because it fitted too well with Catholic theology, as opposed to the then mainstream scientific consensus that there could be no sudden changes and everything must always have been essentially as it is now. There is no conflict between faith and reason, science and religion, except in the minds of people trying to create conflict.

I hope this helps.

We can easily know by Logic and Intelligence that God is real. Get the book "New proofs for the existence of God from Physics and Contemporary Science by Prof. Robert Spitzer, Phd.

Don’t resist logic, reason, and intelligence from participating in your faith. If you just go on blind faith alone, and have no foundation of understanding and confidence, then your faith is going to be extremely weak and fragile.

There are so many philosophical proofs that support the existence of God, and I’m sure in due time you will investigate many of these. You’re 13 now, which is still extremely young. You have doubts. That is very natural. The thing about God is that He is intrinsically tied into the concept of “hope,” not pure knowledge and understanding.

Heb 11:1:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hope and faith cannot exist when something is right in front of you. When science proves that Earth is round, you cannot hope that the Earth is round. You cannot have faith that the Earth is round. What would faith and hope in God mean if we were presented with scientific proof of his existence? We cannot rely exclusively on empirical evidence for the existence of God, because that is contrary to the nature of what we’re called to do.

Why does reality exist rather than not exist? If everything in time and space has an extrinsic cause (cause-and-effect), then there must be one, ultimate, first cause that is outside of time and space that pushed reality and existence into effect for us.

Science, logic, reason, and intelligence mostly explain how things work. How the universe operates, how nature participates in reality.

Our religion explains why things Are. They compliment each other, and don’t explicitly seek to answer the other’s root questions. Science will never, never be able to explain and prove God, because science is focused exclusively on the material, physical plane of existence and reality. God and all things of the Spirit operate beyond and outside of its very scope, and therefore it’s futile to compare the two as though they’re competing to answer the same question.

Some day, science will prove what caused the Big Bang as some natural phenomenon, and then that natural phenomenon will have its own natural cause, and so on and so forth. Science, at the end of everything, produces more questions than it solves. And that’s a wonderful thing. Our universe is meant to be understood via intelligence because it is marked by the very element of intelligibility.

But don’t put your intelligence on a pedestal as though it’s capable of understanding absolutely everything there is to know. That’s idolatry at the end of the day, granting the faculty of human reason divine qualities. It’s capable of error, just as any other human faculty. We are subjective experiencers of reality. No matter how hard we try, we cannot objectively analyze what it means to exist, because we are in the throes of it. You can’t be neutral on a moving train.

I hope you don’t mind if I share with you some apologetics that I have enjoyed.

I believe to follow the concept of a purely material universe to it’s logical conclusion, pulls the rug out from under the New Atheists. As John Lennox say’s, If as they claim, there is nothing in the universe except matter and energy, some of which blindly and randomly evolved into the human mind, then how can we rely on our minds in the first place to arrive at this conclusion? Our minds are themselves, according to this Darwinian view, mere random purposeless movements of atoms, unable to recognise truth, or beauty, or goodness, to know anything, or to do science for that matter.

And yet other scientists of undisputed intellectual stature with diametrically opposed views concur that, ‘The reason why what is in my little mind can understand a bit of what is out there is because both of them are traceable back to the same grand designer.’

C.S. Lewis I believe also explains it very well.

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.” - C.S. Lewis

“The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words true or false.” - C.S. Lewis

And I believe John Lennox also explains it well.

*"The very fact that we do science, means we believe that the universe is rationally intelligible. Why does a scientist believe it is rationally intelligible? Atheism tells us that the human mind is the human brain and it’s the end product of a mindless unguided process, why should I believe anything it tells me if that’s the case? Whereas theism tells me that there is intelligence behind the universe and behind the human mind which fits perfectly with science.

In fact the rise of science in the 16th and 17th century came about because people expected law in nature, because they believed in the Law giver (God). So science and faith in God fit perfectly together."* - John Lennox

There was also a poster in another thread that I believe put it well when he said,* “I believe in God because I believe in free will. If all we are is matter, then all our actions are due to the laws of physics and random movements of particles. The concept of an immaterial soul allows for the possibility of free will. That’s what really allowed me to grab on to faith in God. I made the decision to decide that I had free will. If I am wrong, then nothing really matters and I can’t control my thoughts and ideas anyway.”*

Please continue to next post -

I also like this quote from C.S. Lewis -

And this one by John Lennox regarding the ‘God of the Gaps’ idea -

I hope I have helped, please feel free to reply/refute anything I have said.

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

most encyclopedias of philosophy has a summary of the basic arguments for God’s existence. It sounds like you have having problems connecting on an emotional level.
Consider reading the Psalms, they are mostly about David connecting with God on that level. :slight_smile:

Hey Tadtomczyk,

Your post reminds me exactly of my own thoughts at 13… Except I wasn’t reading C.S. Lewis by that age. :slight_smile:

In short, you are beginning to realize that everything could have a natural cause or explanation, and therefore there is no logical basis for the Christian faith–everything Christian depends on making assumptions.

First, realize also that there cannot ever be proof that Christianity is false–If the universe was created by an intelligent Being, than undoubtedly he could break the physical laws which he set to govern it. In other words, it is impossible to use the physical universe to prove that the universe’s Creator does not exist. So while you realize that a Christian faith must be based on assumptions, you realize also that a lack of Christian faith must be based on assumptions.

I believe some have already touched on this, but it’s one of my favorites… Pretend, for the moment, that there is no intelligent design in the universe. Everything, every natural occurrence, is only the blind, aimless result of another natural occurrence. Most importantly, since there is no intelligent design, it follows that everything must have a natural cause, or be the result of another natural occurrence. So, everything can be linked back, as a string of causes and effects, right to the beginning of the universe. However, if there is no God, the beginning of the universe must have a natural cause too–this is only logical. But it’s also ridiculous. Before there was a universe, there can’t have been anything to cause the beginning of the universe with. (This is a very famous argument–that there must be an uncaused Causer.)

If you make the assumption that Christianity is false, and that there is no God, it also follows logically that there can’t have been a beginning. The only possibility is that everything has been caused by something else, infinitely backwards in time. There have only ever been “results;” the process was never started.

The fact that the world works physically, however, and the fact that we can understand it, does not mean that it (and us) could not have been created by God–in fact one could argue that the world works a little too well to be the result of unintelligent chance. All the atoms and the unexplained natural laws which govern them coming together in such a perfect way so that matter and time work so definitively…
That it works in this set way, however, certainly does not mean that there cannot be exceptions to the natural laws. (The eye-witnessed miracles you mentioned.)

Basically, logic slants in the favor of the truth of the Christian Church. It can never be provable that God does not exist, but it is certainly provable that he does exist–all it takes is a single miracle. It is called “faith” because we have total free will, even to the point of choosing to disbelieve in the world as it is, or that everything in it points to its Creator, or even in our own reason. In short, we are not forced to believe anything–even and especially not facts. In this sense, and a very good thing it is, too, everything really does depend on making assumptions.

-Greg

@Tadtomczyk, What did you think of Prof. Spitzer’s evidence? Did that help? Do you have any questions about it?

Keep asking questions and keep searching for the truth!:slight_smile:

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