Proof

As you can probably see, I’m an “Atheist”. As in, that’s what I marked my religion as being. This is not because I do not believe that there is some sort of a “god” or “divine force” in the universe - it merely means that I do not believe in any established, conscious being in the universe.

The question I’m asking in this post is this: why do you? It’s a serious question. Why do you believe in whatever religion you believe in?

I’m not asking for proof that there is some divine force in the universe. I’m asking for proof that your particular religion is true. I’m not asking for you to convince me. I’m asking for you to tell me, in your own words, why you believe in your religion. What it is that convinces you to believe in it.

I mean no disrespect - I just want to know. Thank you.

It is a great question.
Briefly. For me, I was raised in the home of a Lutheran pastor, so obviously, faith was there from the start. And I witnessed the faith of my parents, and others, strong and certain, and that was and still is an influence on me.
But as I got older, I could see for myself His work in my life. Not coincidence, or luck, or happenstance. Evidence I could not deny, or write off to “events”. I can, particularly at low times, feel his presence around me.
Can I prove it to you? No, I can’t. But, for me, He is here through the Holy Spirit.

Jon

Oh, its a very serious question, and I understand why your asking! No worries man.

Let me start this by saying that I go through doubts all the time. How could you not? When I see a child with cancer, or think of the holocaust, many things make me question the existence of a Deity.

Than , I think of Jesus Christ. The existence of this man is pretty much accepted fact. From there, it gets cloudy for some people. For me, Jesus Christ IS the son of God, therefore, there has to be a God.

Now, why I’m catholic is a longer story. I grew up Catholic, but left the church in my early twenties. Even thought about becoming a methodist minister or Anglican priest! Eventually, I came back to the church for many reasons that would bore people in a thread like this,so I’ll sum it up-The Real Presence, Confession, 2000 years of tradition.

I still don’t like alot of things in the church, and some Catholics I think are, well, downright cruel and mean. So I’m still a work in progress, like we all are.

for me i was born into a Catholic family and was sent to Catholic school. but my faith never really grew and i was tested in my early adult life. i have experienced God in my life and now i fully believe that He is always there for me, all the time. and as long as i submit myself to His will, everything will always turn out alright

For me there are three reasons why I believe (I’ll leave feelings aside for now:

  1. I think it makes the most sense
  2. The Catholic faith has the most sound system of establishing the authority of interpretation and doctrine. I can’t find a single hole in it in two thousand years.
  3. Miracles. It would be one thing if all the miracles happened 2000 years ago and one could dismiss them as embellishment or something like that. But even those had too many witnesses. But the larger thing is they have continued to happen and are happening still today, and there is NO other reasonable explanation.

We have mystics with supernatural powers - bilocation, floating, ability to read hearts, healings, and other things periodically from Christ to now. A consecrated host, 1500 years old, bleeding real blood and it’s still fresh as if it just leaked out of your finger, accompanied by a piece of real human flesh that contains tissue from all four chambers of the heart, and of course the host itself, in the form of wheat bread, all of these still fresh as a daisy 1500 years later. I lady in my home town cured of complete, total kidney failure when the doctors had given her ZERO chance of survival. One minute dying, the next ready to get up out of bed and go home with fully functional kidneys.

Another women, trapped in a fire, burned almost 80% of her body, we’re talking charcoal briquette looking burning here, and overnight ALL her burns heal and when she is unwrapped to change the dressings her skin is not just healed, it is completely NEW skin, as in like the skin of a baby, complete with the thin, light type of hair that grows only on infants.

Hmmm.

So these could be some sort of occult thing, or they could be the handiwork of God. How do I tell the difference? Well, it seems compelling that when people pray to God for these miracles, they sometimes happen. I have never seen anything this dramatic happen as the result of someone doing a dance while shaking some chicken bones. Add to this the fact that in the case of the mystics, it always seems they are fully obedient to the Church even when it restricts their ability to experience these beyond normal experiences. Always there is some greater good that results. If these were random occurrences, one would expect a few here and there to bolster the Catholic belief, while an equal number would tend to diminish it, but we never hear of those.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these things and they continue to happen. I have no other rational explanation for them, and certainly no other that would mesh with my #1 and #2 at the top of this post.

I am a Catholic Christian because of Jesus Christ. You can read my conversion story for more (link in signature).

I’m a dualistic pantheist. To me, “God” is a supernatural essence in the Universe permeating all things, he is life, the flow of the Universe. I don’t believe he is a conscious being, but rather a semi-conscious being, the sum of all conscious life in our Universe. He does not direct, or control, but he DOES make things happen through us. He’s like fate or destiny or something, a web we are all caught in, something we are all connected by. He’s like the souls in all of us, something extra that just can’t be explained by atheism, but is utterly ruined by organized religions, and abused. I am not a Deist, it seems unlikely to me that there is a singular, man-like, God.

I think that my beliefs answer a lot of philisophocal (i.e.why am I myself, and you you? If we are all part of the same sorta thing, it kind of explains it) and even a few scientific questions (how everything often works out so perfectly, like evolution, or dreams at pivotal moments in our lives).

I was raised Catholic, and by 13 or 14, I had REALLY started to question the Church. It just seemed that there were too many particulars for what they said to be true. I think that the Church uses these particulars to control people, personally. I think that God is a very non-specific, stripped down thing. I personally like the Tao-te-Ching’s description of him best.

I DO try to keep an open-mind, though I require some sort of evidence to change my mind. Blind faith is foolish, and opens you to being used or abused by whoever’s dogma you subscribe to.

Whoever your God is bless you! Or if you have no God, take care!

-PantheistsRule

I can understand your position.

However, I think that whatever is true will end up being quite particular.

For example, you might say that unicorns and dragons are silly but detailed fantasies, and I would agree.

However, rhinos and giraffes are real, and they are equally detailed and fantastic.

Don’t assume that reality will be simple and symmetrical.

There are many fine reasons given above.

Perhaps a more pertinent question would be why does an Atheist even care an iota about any God Believer? Could it be You are having doubts about your Atheism?

After all no God, no heaven, no hell, No need to really follow any type of authority especially any that have ties to a Religious Beginning.

Or is it more likely that somewhere deep in side is that nagging Doubt about your Atheism? Something that tells you there is something more than “Just This” . Something you can’t quite put your finger one. But that you can’t reason away either.

vivat Jesus! :smiley:

No proof is possible; which as it should be. If you proved the existence of God to me - an impossibility BTW - I wouldn’t even bother reading it; I would burn it. A god who can be proved to exist is not worth a turd; IMHO, people who try to prove God exists, or to prove the truth of doctrines, ought to be shot. :mad: Faith is more than enough - reason, as Luther said so very rightly, is a whore. And I’m not even Lutheran.

Faith is more than enough - reason, as Luther said so very rightly, is a whore.

…Seriously?

Verner,
I wish you well in figuring out your own answers to the deeper questions about an existence of a greater guiding influence in the universe than just chance and natural law. My religion explains the foundational principles for every unknown as to the underpinnings of why we are here in this world, what this life is all about, and why God has allowed so much that would seem so unreasonable to someone who thought such a Being as God would exert more direct proof that He exists than giving the world the Bible (through inspiration and revelation to prophets), the Holy Spirit (to those who seek that guidance in particular), the power of love and the power of pure and true faith that one can see operating in the lives of people all over the world. Other religious traditions make all the sense in the world to many wonderful people, but they would leave me feeling a lack of answering some very deep, basic why questions that I have sure and certain knowledge about that make it so that all of this life and the history of this world are completely explainable as to why things have happened the way they have happened, and where this world is headed. It’s so worth it to find and understand those answers!

I hope that has made some sense to you. I hope you’ll read the New Testament as you think about the influence religion can have in a person’s life.

Since Islam teaches that the Qur’an is the verbatim Speech of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, then I think it would be very much better that the Creator Himself tells you in His own words why Muslims believe that it is indeed the Truth.

Is it difficult to identify a play by Shakespeare… or a musical composition by Mozart… or a painting by Picasso?

I do not think that it would be very difficult for a connoisseur of the arts to do this because every one of these great master craftsmen of their respective trades would leave a distinctive mark in all of their masterpieces which would be identifiable as coming only from them and no one else.

Similarly, is it difficult at all to identify the work of the greatest ‘Master’ there is?

There is indeed a way to test and ascertain whether or not the Qur’an does come from the greatest “Author” of all.

The following are all the relevant posts from the thread for anyone wishing to determine for themselves the truth of the Qur’an:

1, 13, 34, 65, 126, 131, [136](“http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php? p=2105491&postcount=136”), 144, 147, 162, 191, 238, 253, 258, 260, 263, 278, 301, 302, 319, 323, 336, 351, 352, 356, 361, 369

And from other threads: 1, 2

In Judaism, Ezra is a honored by Jews as a priestly scribe who led Israel out of exile. But according to the Qu’ran, “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!” (9:30).

Error found!

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong. Tell me the Qu’ran isn’t wrong because it tells you it isn’t. Tell me the Qu’ran isn’t speaking about all Jews but only those who lived at a certain time during Mohammed’s life, even though the Qu’ran is the eternal word of Allah. Tell me I am not using the Qu’ran but a translation of the Qu’ran and so am wrong in my argument. Tell me I am a liar and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah. Tell me I am interpreting the Qu’ran wrong. Go ahead, pick a fallacy and use it. Pick an emotional argument and use it. Use the pseudoscience and false research that Islam sites have to prove me wrong. You’ve done it many times before.

To properly answer this question would require an exegesis from people who are considerably more knowledgeable than me.

Fulfilled prophecy convinces me every time.

Brought up and grew up as Catholic. Never had any problem with the religion but there was a patch when my practice of it was nominal. It has been better since then.

Belief and faith is good; you do ask question once a while not because of disbelieve but because of wanting to understand - sometimes religion/God is a mystery.

I had some experiences where proof seemed to be graced to me.

I have no doubt about God’s existence because ultimately there is a ‘being’ responsible for all this. You know, this, this and this. I am not the type that when I run out of answer and say well it is there because it is there. I cannot understand everything, and therefore there is a higher ‘being’ that’s part of it. To me that being is God.

I believe Catholicism is a true Christian religion because it is the Church that was founded by Jesus Christ. His marks and his foot prints are still there. Everything about the Church is first hand Jesus Christ. If I am to be a Christian, it therefore has to be a Catholic.

I take a more philosophical approach as to why I believe what I believe as a Catholic; I believe it because it is true, it is not true because I believe it to be so.

"I can understand your position.

However, I think that whatever is true will end up being quite particular.

For example, you might say that unicorns and dragons are silly but detailed fantasies, and I would agree.

However, rhinos and giraffes are real, and they are equally detailed and fantastic.

Don’t assume that reality will be simple and symmetrical."

I think that PHYSICAL reality can be particular, and is. But to make supernatural things particular is to define them in the same terms we define physical things as. God is as likely a rhino as a human, and it is most likely he is neither, to me. God is not physical, as it is agreed by all, and by definition, supernatural means beyond the physical realm of reality, and thus beyond all our laws, rules, and ideals. Assuming there is a singular deity at all is unlikely, as singularity is a concept of the physical realm. Any God must not be conscious or singular, he must be beyond all physical definitions and ideals,. As said in the Tao-te-Ching, the more you try to describe the Tao/God, the more his true identity eludes you.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway. I try not to define God TOO too much :slight_smile:

Peace :wink:

Have you ever had a personal encounter with God, or something unexplainable like experiencing an overwhelming feeling of love or peace that seems supernatural?

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