What are the other ways of knowing the Biblical God exists


#1

When I was an atheist I did not see the necessity of the biblical God. In my world view miracles did not exists and prayers were not answered. Thus there was no such thing as the supernatural, and it seemed more likely that there were only natural laws but no evidence of the biblical version of God. If there was no evidence of the supernatural, why not just restrict belief to the fact that nature has order and be done with it?

I only started believing in God because my prayers to the biblical God were answered. I asked for some experience where I would know He exists because I just could not muster faith to believe in something I saw no evidence for. If there were no miracles then there was no need to believe in the personal God who is all-powerful. My prayers were answered in the form of mystical experiences. So I believe. None of the other gods ever answered my heartfelt prayers.

I was recently criticized for believing in God because of miracles and answered prayers, as though my supernatural path is a "lesser" way of knowing God. What other ways are there of knowing the biblical God exists? All I can say we can point to is that nature has laws and a beginning. Isn't the Christian faith based upon a belief in a miracle that defies natural laws: the resurrection?


#2

Ignore the criticism. It is based on the assumption that natural causes must come first in our search for explanations. Yet our primary source of evidence is intangible reality!
We infer the existence of the material world from our perceptions but we have direct, immediate and incontrovertible knowledge of the activity of our mind. Without spiritual experience we are no more than biological computers incapable of controlling ourselves or understanding anything (being on the same level as that which we claim to understand!). Machines don't know what they are doing because they are trapped in a purposeless, mindless world...


#3

[quote="InJesusItrust, post:1, topic:285424"]
I only started believing in God because my prayers to the biblical God were answered. I asked for some experience where I would know He exists because I just could not muster faith to believe in something I saw no evidence for. If there were no miracles then there was no need to believe in the personal God who is all-powerful. My prayers were answered in the form of mystical experiences. So I believe. None of the other gods ever answered my heartfelt prayers.

[/quote]

Which gods did you pray to? What were your experiences? How do you know it was the biblical God and not another god pretending? Is the biblical God to whom you prayed the same one who destroyed every man woman and child in Jericho? Are you ok with that? Why?


#4

private revelation is a very valid way to know God.
his moral law is another, beauty is another.
logic is another.


#5

Never mind. Private revelations are against the rule but I can just say that if you thirst for God with all your heart He will help you find Him.

EDIT: The other post is now gone. For the interested lurker another person asked my how I know that it is the Christian God and not another. The experience pointed straight to the truth of the resurrection.


#6

I'm glad that nobody asks me to defend my faith because I have no desire to. If I were asked I'd just say that God can't be known by thought, only by love. Let them ponder that. If you give them logical arguments, they will think about the arguments and not God.


#7

[quote="J_Peterson, post:6, topic:285424"]
I'm glad that nobody asks me to defend my faith because I have no desire to. If I were asked I'd just say that God can't be known by thought, only by love. Let them ponder that. If you give them logical arguments, they will think about the arguments and not God.

[/quote]

"Personal revelation" is convincing only to yourself. Therefore, if you are satisfied with whatever your revelation was that is fine. Keep in mind, however, that it will be inherently unconvincing to anyone else.


#8

[quote="InJesusItrust, post:1, topic:285424"]
What other ways are there of knowing the biblical God exists?

[/quote]

Excellent question, my friend! Please consider the following additional method of knowing and understanding God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity, and His Church:
Do the following:
1. Want everyone to be able to experience happiness (contentment to intense joy) without ever losing any peace (freedom from disturbance).
2. Set out to master being unconditionally patient and kind so that your relationships and self may experience happiness without losing any peace. Patience and kindness in the face of impatience and meanness is the major growth factor.
3. Find the solution to the following problem:
Given ALL the following:
-You, as a thinking, feeling, acting, living being exist in solitude (Hint: It is best to think of yourself existing as a single-celled being, similar to how you first came to be).
-There is nothing else in existence.
-The only method to create something, living or non-living, is to first think of it in full detail.
-You want to experience limitless happiness without ever losing peace.
How do you make that happen? I recommend first thinking about what are the requirements and the purpose of each requirement.

Isn't the Christian faith based upon a belief in a miracle that defies natural laws: the resurrection?

What is brilliant about Christ's methods is that He lovingly presents His Church as faith-based, so that we may freely choose to follow and love Him, as He loves us.


#9

[quote="InJesusItrust, post:1, topic:285424"]
When I was an atheist...

I only started believing in God because my prayers to the biblical God were answered

[/quote]

So you considered yourself an atheist, yet you prayed to God? Why? Did you also pray to Allah, or Zeus?

What's more, the argument from answered prayers is inherently and obviously flawed. It sounds like neither your alleged atheism nor your subsequent religiosity are the result of any considered rational thought.


#10

Actually turning to God is the most rational decision. For if there is no God morality is a sham and truth is whatever a dictator decides is truth. There is nothing transcendental to anchor these things to so they are just temporal.

If there is no God, the most rational response to suffering is suicide. If there is no afterlife nothing matters. On the other hand if there is an afterlife we can argue there is an objective meaning to life. To argue that there is only subjective meaning means there is no meaning, for then contradictory meanings are true and so holding that position is illogical. Nobody can truly live their life as if there is no meaning, truth or morality. Everyone falls victim to living their life as if one or more of these things exist.

Furthermore atheists speak as if it is courageous to never reach out to God even if it is a necessity for a person. They call it weakness. Yet on the flip-side one could argue that they are too proud to take help when help is needed. That is not strength but weakness, being a slave to your own vanity. If one reaches out and touches God they will inherit all things. But if one does not touch Him they lose nothing, but gain the truth, that God does not exist. But that can only happen if they seek Him with true intentions, because if the absolute God exists He knows all things.

It is simply rational to listen to theists when they tell you to seek out God and pray with your heart that He reveal Himself. The only obstacles are not being able to reason out why it is rational or not being able to risk being a fool.

“There are only three types of people; those who have found God and serve him; those who have not found God and seek him, and those who live not seeking, or finding him. The first are rational and happy; the second unhappy and rational, and the third foolish and unhappy.” - Pascal


#11

[quote="InJesusItrust, post:10, topic:285424"]
Actually turning to God is the most rational decision. For if there is no God morality is a sham and truth is whatever a dictator decides is truth. There is nothing transcendental to anchor these things to so they are just temporal.

If there is no God, the most rational response to suffering is suicide. If there is no afterlife nothing matters. On the other hand if there is an afterlife we can argue there is an objective meaning to life. To argue that there is only subjective meaning means there is no meaning, for then contradictory meanings are true and so holding that position is illogical. Nobody can truly live their life as if there is no meaning, truth or morality. Everyone falls victim to living their life as if one or more of these things exist.

[/quote]

And did you believe all this before you became religious? Because it sounds like the usual theistic trope to me; it completely fails to grasp the reality and colours everything with a religious pre-supposition.

I find it really hard to believe you were ever an atheist. And I stand by my previous comment that your conversion and current belief are not the result of any critical thought process.

Furthermore atheists speak as if it is courageous to never reach out to God even if it is a necessity for a person. They call it weakness.

Can you cite me an example? I know of no atheists that call it a weakness. We call it wrong. It might seem to be a psychological necessity for a person to do it, but that doesn't make religion true. No evidence exists that any religions are true.

Yet on the flip-side one could argue that they are too proud to take help when help is needed. That is not strength but weakness, being a slave to your own vanity.

Not at all - if there were evidence that calling upon this help actually resulted in help being provided, then there would be very few atheists left. But there is no evidence that this works. In fact, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary.

If one reaches out and touches God they will inherit all things. But if one does not touch Him they lose nothing, but gain the truth, that God does not exist. But that can only happen if they seek Him with true intentions, because if the absolute God exists He knows all things.

I have no problem with you believing this per se. I just think you're wrong to do so.

It is simply rational to listen to theists when they tell you to seek out God and pray with your heart that He reveal Himself.

Is it rational to listen to Muslims telling you to seek out Allah? What about Hindus exhorting you to seek Shiva, or Ganesha?

The only obstacles are not being able to reason out why it is rational or not being able to risk being a fool.

No, sorry, I can't figure out why it's rational to believe in something for which no evidence exists, and which is completely unnecessary. To me that seems patently *ir*rational.

Nor do I think it's foolish to disbelieve in that for which no evidence exists. I might be proved wrong, but I would be wrong for the right reasons, so I could not be counted a fool. That said, I have no problem being exposed as a fool if I do something foolish. I do not count atheism as foolishness.

“There are only three types of people; those who have found God and serve him; those who have not found God and seek him, and those who live not seeking, or finding him. The first are rational and happy; the second unhappy and rational, and the third foolish and unhappy.” - Pascal

Pascal, is entitled, as are you, to an opinion. However, the evidence is clear to see - atheists are no more unhappy than theists, and "foolishness" is in the eye of the beholder.


#12

Any intellectually honest atheist has to embrace nihilism because without the trancendant everything is subjective. By what standard do you claim anything is objectively true? Why should anyone accept anyone's ideas, including atheism, as more than an opinion? My rationale is that in either attempting to seek the truth is more beneficial than doing nothing even if the quest ultimately fails. You lose nothiing important but can gain much.


#13

[quote="wanstronian, post:9, topic:285424"]

What's more, the argument from answered prayers is inherently and obviously flawed. It sounds like neither your alleged atheism nor your subsequent religiosity are the result of any considered rational thought.

[/quote]

I'm curious, it seems like you are suggesting that personal experience of God is not a good reason to believe in Him. Why do you think this? Even another skeptic on this thread admitted:

"Personal revelation" is convincing only to yourself. Therefore, if you are satisfied with whatever your revelation was that is fine.

So, he agreed, as I follow him, that personal revelation is a good reason for an individual to believe, it just doesn't transfer to other people (unless other people are willing to trust in your personal experience).

But you seem to think that people should doubt personal experience, why? I trust my senses in the absence of a compelling reason to doubt them, why shouldn't a Christian trust his sense of God?

No, sorry, I can't figure out why it's rational to believe in something for which no evidence exists, and which is completely unnecessary. To me that seems patently irrational.

So, you are suggesting that we should only believe things that we have evidence for. Now, I deny your claim that we have no evidence for Christian belief (here), but I am more curious at the moment about your claim that it is wrong to believe things without evidence. Here are some things that we all believe, reasonably, with no evidence for them:

  1. that the universe was not created 5 minutes ago with the appearance of age and we with built in memory traces.
  2. that there are minds other than my own
  3. that I am not a brain in a vat.

or another example:
- A friend of mine is arrested for a crime. All the evidence is against him such that on the basis of it he is certain to be convicted and everyone else is convinced of his guilt. Am I obligated to believe him guilty on the evidence? Or because he tells me that he is innocent and I know, not the evidence, but him, can't I reasonably believe in his innocence?

However, the evidence is clear to see - atheists are no more unhappy than theists,

Since you brought it up...

gallup.com/poll/153374/churchgoers-boast-better-mood-especially-sundays.aspx


#14

[quote="danserr, post:13, topic:285424"]
Since you brought it up...

gallup.com/poll/153374/churchgoers-boast-better-mood-especially-sundays.aspx

[/quote]

That's not as clean cut as it might first seem.

minnpost.com/second-opinion/2012/04/are-religious-people-happier-atheists

Sarah x :)


#15

[quote="atheistgirl, post:14, topic:285424"]
That's not as clean cut as it might first seem.

minnpost.com/second-opinion/2012/04/are-religious-people-happier-atheists

Sarah x :)

[/quote]

"Some research" was not very revealing. It has already been long known that "social support" is an intricate part of church going. What morally based gatherings are atheists attending to increase their well being? For that matter, is civil unrest and the consequences of law breaking the gel that holds Atheistic morality together? Why have any morality?


#16

[quote="johnnyjones, post:15, topic:285424"]
For that matter, is civil unrest and the consequences of law breaking the gel that holds Atheistic morality together?

[/quote]

Yes that's right.

The ONLY thing that stops someone like me from going beserk and killing, murdering, and stealing all before me, is the possibility I might get caught and I really don't want to go to prison.

But man, if I thought for one second I could get away with it .....

:rolleyes:

Sarah x :)


#17

[quote="johnnyjones, post:15, topic:285424"]
What morally based gatherings are atheists attending to increase their well being?

[/quote]

I've no idea. I'm not a spokewoman for atheism.

I don't need ''morally based gatherings'' to feel good about myself.

I derive my wellbeing from a loving family, the best friends in the world, a successful business that provides jobs and wealth locally, my animals, and knowing I give back as much as I get from the community in time, expertize and money.

If all of that was taken away in a flash, or, if it never existed, I'd still have a high sense of wellbeing and happiness, because I'm a happy person by nature, and see the positives and the good in everything, everywhere.

Sarah x :)


#18

[quote="johnnyjones, post:15, topic:285424"]
Why have any morality?

[/quote]

Try and think about that one, for yourself, and see what you can come up with.

Sarah x :)


#19

[quote="atheistgirl, post:16, topic:285424"]
Yes that's right.

The ONLY thing that stops someone like me from going beserk and killing, murdering, and stealing all before me, is the possibility I might get caught and I really don't want to go to prison.

But man, if I thought for one second I could get away with it .....

:rolleyes:

Sarah x :)

[/quote]

Again, instead of the typical sarcasm you like to employ, how about answering why, outside of laws, are you moral? I find often with my posts you, get an answer, then disappear.


#20

[quote="atheistgirl, post:18, topic:285424"]
Try and think about that one, for yourself, and see what you can come up with.

Sarah x :)

[/quote]

The Christian faith, and much of society's "moral compass" is derived from organized religion. Personally I follow, not with perfection , the teachings of the church. That is the basis for my morality. What is yours?


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