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God is a question, not an answer

(106 Posts)
thatbags Tue 29-Mar-16 06:13:36

Title of essay by William Irwin brought to me by Bo Winegard on Twitter.

Allowing that understanding God as a question rather than an answer is a very good way of putting it, there is no mention in it that I could find on a cursory reading of people like me who don't care one way or the other. I think a lot of people don't understand the concept of suspended belief, where one just doesn't put any effort into believingor doubting something because one doesn't think it is worth any effort. I think my suspension of belief (or doubts about, whichever way you want to look at the question) in gods, has enhanced my life and made it less cluttered up with stuff I don't need.

obieone Tue 29-Mar-16 07:48:39

There are those that say that Hell awaits. It wouldnt make any difference whether belief had been suspended, or whether it had not been acted upon I should imagine.

obieone Tue 29-Mar-16 07:50:48

Someone sent this. I havent looked at it, but was told it was very good.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 29-Mar-16 08:07:31

Are you wavering Bags?

mernice Tue 29-Mar-16 10:22:03

God is different in the minds of every single person, from those with strong faith to those with no faith. No one KNOWS, it's one of those questions that some people choose to believe, some choose to ponder on and others choose to ignore. It's one of the things that makes us human.

lizzypopbottle Tue 29-Mar-16 10:36:23

I typed a long, opinionated piece about God and religion then caught the wrong key and it all disappeared into the ether sad Somebody up there....

Synonymous Tue 29-Mar-16 10:45:20

thatbags it is all about faith and so hard to know what you need when you have never experienced such a thing. hmm

lizzy very likely. smile

grandMattie Tue 29-Mar-16 10:50:56

My opinion? i believe in God, I 'm happy to believe in Heaven as a concept - but I would never push it on to other people and ram it down their throats.
What annoys me are the people like the Jehovah's Witness or Mormons who ram religion and "saving" down your throat. Even more annoying are the atheists who rubbish your beliefs and want to forbid any sort of "religion". Why don't they live and let live? Some people believe that crystals will keep them safe. I don't but it is not my place to rubbish them...

thatbags Tue 29-Mar-16 10:56:12

That's a very good way of putting it, synonymous. I never have experienced faith so I guess I can't really imagine it.

thatbags Tue 29-Mar-16 10:59:22

I agree, *GMattie, that it's completely wrong to 'rubbish' people whatever their beliefs are.

I don't think it's wrong to 'rubbish' (I prefer criticise) beliefs though. Beliefs are ideas and ideas are, or should be, always open to criticism, whatever those beliefs happen to be. That means, of course, that atheists' ideas are just as criticisable as religious ones.

Anniebach Tue 29-Mar-16 11:08:59

I have found atheists more to the fore for airing their belief in no God than JW's , JW's don't mock , some atheists do. I have been mocked and it has no effect but there was a post on this forum sometime ago which really hurt, comparing belief in God with belief in the tooth fairy , never understood the need to take mockery to this extreme . Perhaps I am fortunate in only having encountered polite JW's who accept - no thank you. Little experience of Mormans.

I respect people of faith or no faith so yes, live and let live

Juggernaut Tue 29-Mar-16 11:16:20

I'm an atheist, always have been, but I have never rubbished anyone's belief, nor do I want to ban any sort of religion!
However, in the course of my career, a client whom I had known for over twenty years, and had a good, friendly relationship with, upon discovering that I was an atheist, refused to be served by me, and wrote to my superiors, asking why they saw fit to employ a 'heathen', and demanding that I was removed from their employ with immediate effect! Needless to say, they ignored her!
On another occasion, a colleague of ten months, upon realising that I have no particular faith, said, "Oh, you always seemed so nice but obviously that was all an act"!
So, according to those two people, an atheist is by dafult a horrible person, and shouldn't be allowed near 'believers'.......I wouldn't call that a very Christian attitude to take!

Anniebach Tue 29-Mar-16 11:25:33

thatbags, belief is more than an idea , why should you challenge my faith? It doesn't affect you in anyway just as your atheism does't affect me , I respect your non belief and don't think I have any right to challenge it, . I think it arrogant.

Anniebach Tue 29-Mar-16 11:31:43

Juggernaut, how unpleasant to have that said, people do have odd ideas, you get - you being a nice person was an act, if I get involved in a discussion which gets rather heated and I say something because I am irritated I get - that's not Christian. No pleasing some

durhamjen Tue 29-Mar-16 11:32:49

Is it not just another term for agnosticism?

Synonymous Tue 29-Mar-16 11:40:36

Anniebach Prov 15:1 smile

Synonymous Tue 29-Mar-16 12:02:01

obieone I have - you should look at it too! Thank you. smile

Elegran Tue 29-Mar-16 12:07:33

Someone (I can't remember who) posted a while ago on a thread about secular schools (that is, schools which do not specifically teach religion as a faith to be followed or not followed, but leave it to personal and family decisions) to say that they would not like their child to be taught by an atheist.

Is that not the same as Juggernaut's experience of being rejected for her missing faith?

Phoebes Tue 29-Mar-16 12:09:09

I believe in God and I try to live my life as well as possible and set an example by being kind and helping people. I wouldn't dream of ramming my beliefs down anyone else's throat, so why should anyone criticise mine? Live and let live!

Luckygirl Tue 29-Mar-16 12:18:29

I do not know whether God exists "and I try to live my life as well as possible and set an example by being kind and helping people. I wouldn't dream of ramming my beliefs down anyone else's throat, so why should anyone criticise mine? Live and let live!"

Luckygirl Tue 29-Mar-16 12:19:44

God is indeed a question not an answer.

No-one KNOWS, not even those with a firm faith. Belief and knowledge are two different things.

Anniebach Tue 29-Mar-16 12:53:17

Synonymous, if it's the proverb I think it is - a gentle word etc, doesn't work on this forum with all,

Pamish Tue 29-Mar-16 12:59:43

I once did an action that was pretty charitable and cost me a bunch of ££, because it was the right thing to do, and affected many people that I know. (Not selling a house to someone who would have been a bad neighbour.) I was then told that this was a christian thing to do. Very very annoying. No, it was a decent human thing to do.

sunseeker Tue 29-Mar-16 13:09:46

Whether you believe or not has nothing to do with being a decent human being. Just because I believe in God doesn't mean I don't respect those who don't or think that my belief makes me a better person. We are all guided by our conscience.

Synonymous Tue 29-Mar-16 14:18:17

anniebach That isn't the point though. smile