Is there a God, and is He Good?

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Natan
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Natan »

I'm an Orthodox Jew. I base my beliefs on the Old Testament written by God, and believe the New Testament is the work of a man and not to be followed at all.

In response to BartVB, it seems that you're against any God because of the pain your grandmother had. I don't know much about Christianity, however, in Judaism, we believe in an Afterlife that is far better that the earth we're on now. We are on this earth to do good deeds to earn the afterlife. Sometimes its hard to see that the jerks have it good in life and the really good people have it hard. But in Judaism, the reason for that is because those jerks are getting it all good here and now, and won't get it later after they die. Those good people that suffered will be rewarded much greater than we can imagine when they pass on.
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bobthehobo
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by bobthehobo »

Ortho eh? Whats up! I'm Conservative though. I have a strong belief in G-d. I believe in the Afterlife. I think there are just some things that happen in the world that can't be explained, and are caused by G-d. I don't wanna take my time to describe my complex view on it, but for the record: I believe in G-d, and He is Great.
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by BMWGuy »

Well, that's at least a start. :)
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Quillz
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Quillz »

BMWGuy wrote:I certainly don't intend to start a war here, but being an innately philosophical person that I am, I'd be curious too see how this thread turms out. My question:

Is there a God, why or why not (if you can think of something), and is He "Good"?

Thanks... :)
I think there is a god (whether you believe in God, Yahweh, Allah, etc...), and I do think He is "good." But everytime I think about this said issue, I think more and more like a deist.

I don't deny God. I believe He is divine, perfect, and created the heavens and the earth. However, I also believe he created a set of natural laws, which He has never interfered with. In other words, I believe in an all-knowing but inactive God.
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Spectral Dragon »

According to myself, there is. I have had several (what other individuals would call) "wierd" experiences that got me into some deep thinking.

I am not of any type of religion or practice in particular, though I guess if you wanted to label my views you could label most and possibly all of my views under western mysticism. (No not new age western mysticism, this practice has been around since before christianity ;))

What I call God is actually the very universe we live in. "We are made in the image of God," Is a commonly known text in the bible that supports this theory of mine. Note that I call this a theory, even though In my own personal view I know it as my own truth, because I do not expect other individuals to take my word on my experiences.(BTW, I may not be christian but I do study christian, gnostic, bhuddhic, and other sources, hence the reason for the bible quote.) When people do start taking my words seriously and ask how I came to these conclusions, I usually go into a little about astral projection and other such things. After a while, if I find they are relying on my own views too much, I will say "go get your own experiences, you can't have mine." You will be surprised how many individuals in religious forums do that, and a good amount of the time they have no good reason to.

Expanding a bit on "God is the very universe," I would also like to add that I don't believe god is an "anthromorphic" diety either. Obviously since god is the universe the universe can't get up off it's butt and talk to you in person (With the minor exception of astral projection which I won't get into.)

I think this is a long enough explanation of my views. Just something to think about of course. After all, what good is gaining enlightening knowledge if you don't work for it yourself?
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Virtuality »

BartVB wrote:According to me there isn't. I've been brought up catholic (well, I went to a catholic school) but my 'faith' in God has always been very thin. It completely dissapeared when my grandmother died in a horrible (painful, humiliating, prolonged) way of cancer. My grandmother was very faithful to her 'god', she praid, went to church, tried hard to live a good life and then her life ended in such a way. At that moment (I was 10 or 11 years old) my ability to believe in god completely disappeared.

In the years after that I gained more knowledge and now I'm completely convinced that there is not a god. Just read some stuff about history and how religions have been created by 'the powers that be' (read: the rulers) to get control over 'the people'. They did that _really_ well, I'm very impressed by that, but IMO it has absolutely nothing to do with a higher power.

I'm sure that there is more to the world than what we know now, Reiki, energy fields, etc, etc do exist to some extend IMO. And maybe there even is a higher power or something like that. But definately _not_ in the form of 'God' and I certainly do not believe in Jesus. Actually I find it hard to accept that there are people with a scientific background that believe in a god like it's described in the bible.

But indoctrination (it has a negative ring to it, I know, I'm sorry but I don't have a better term for it) is a _very_ powerful tool. Especially if your complete environment is convinced that 'The Bible' is the book of truth and that the minister is always right. If people believe in a God then that's completely fine with me, just as long as they don't expect me to join in their joy and as long as they don't use bible related arguments in discussions :D
Since I am extremley lazy, I am just going to repeat what Bart said. My thoughts exactly. :)
Well, I didn't have that experience with my grandmother, I wasn't brought up catholic and neither did I believe in a god earlier.
But the rest of it.
And eh, I'm quite uncertain about the higher power part. Why must there be one? Because otherwise people feel lonley and helpless? :P Probably.
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by BMWGuy »

Spectral Dragon wrote:According to myself, there is. I have had several (what other individuals would call) "wierd" experiences that got me into some deep thinking.

I am not of any type of religion or practice in particular, though I guess if you wanted to label my views you could label most and possibly all of my views under western mysticism. (No not new age western mysticism, this practice has been around since before christianity ;))

What I call God is actually the very universe we live in..............
So, would I be correct to say that you are more a "spiritualist" (possibly even a tad agnostic?), than a follower of a specific religion. :? ;)
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Spectral Dragon
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Spectral Dragon »

BMWGuy wrote:
Spectral Dragon wrote:According to myself, there is. I have had several (what other individuals would call) "wierd" experiences that got me into some deep thinking.

I am not of any type of religion or practice in particular, though I guess if you wanted to label my views you could label most and possibly all of my views under western mysticism. (No not new age western mysticism, this practice has been around since before christianity ;))

What I call God is actually the very universe we live in..............
So, would I be correct to say that you are more a "spiritualist" (possibly even a tad agnostic?), than a follower of a specific religion. :? ;)
Yes, though saying I am a mystic is basically the same thing ;)
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by JPortal »

I think I agree pretty much with what BMWGuy believes, from what he's said anyway.
Roberdin wrote:What about the parts where the bible contradicts itself?
My Bible study group has gone through a study of several supposed contradictions, all of them have simple explanations.
Roberdin wrote: and would you consider it, for example, wrong, in WW2, that we did not turn the other cheek on behalf of Continental Europe and the ethnic minorities/Jews, but we instead declared war on them, a major violation of God's will?
Either way, God isn't going to smite all who disobey them. My view is radically different from that of other Christians... for example, I believe that spirituals gifts (speaking in tongues [which is speaking in another language, despite what many would have you believe], prophecy, etc) were ONLY USED BECAUSE THE BIBLE WAS NOT COMPLETE. The Bible is now complete and I do not believe that anyone today has any of these gifts.
Most Christians today also believe that God and/or Satan are doing stuff to mess with our heads or punish us, I also do not believe this is true. In the past it was true, and in the future it WILL be true, but all the supposed cases of intervention today are clearly fraudulent and, most importantly, the Bible does not support this view.
Roberdin wrote: I'm not trying to disparage your beliefs here, but I consider the Bible to be diviniely inspired, but no more. It was written in the context of the Roman Empire by men who could not possibly have understood concepts such as the 'Big Bang' or the existence of the universe as a single 'membrane' among many - the latter is a very recent theory, in fact.
So, what if the "Big Bang" theory or the existence of the universe as a single membrane aren't true?
People in the past were a lot smarter than anyone today (at least before the fall of Rome).
And that one paragraph of yours contradicts itself - if the Bible is divinely inspired, then why does it matter how smart the men were at the time? Doesn't God know enough to be smarter than men? :?
Roberdin wrote: I think that what is important, like in any book or novel, is not the literal context - especially after three or four translations from Hewbrew > Latin > Old English > 'New'/Victorian English - but the underlying implications and meanings.
The KJV is the only Bible today that still has the original meaning. I have studied books like the NIV and other "modern" translations, and they are NOT "all the same"! They are also significantly harder to understand than the KJV in several cases. And in one case, the NIV refers to Jesus and Satan by the same name! :?

Just my opinion :mrgreen:
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Re: Is there a God, and is He Good?

Post by Roberdin »

JPortal wrote:So, what if the "Big Bang" theory or the existence of the universe as a single membrane aren't true?
They are more likely to be true than any other theory at the moment, given the volumes of evidence that we have supporting the former particularly (M-theory is very developmental at the moment). It would be inconcieveable to return to the idea of an Earth at the centre of the universe, and such a view, is frankly, unsupportable.
JPortal wrote:People in the past were a lot smarter than anyone today (at least before the fall of Rome).
Oh, I wouldn't say that, especially in terms of raw knowledge - could Cæsar write phpBB? I don't think so. Can we speak Latin? Certainly, I know many people who can. Could we build an aqueduct? Yes, no problem. Could they build a 40 kilometre tunnel under the sea? No.
JPortal wrote:And that one paragraph of yours contradicts itself - if the Bible is divinely inspired, then why does it matter how smart the men were at the time? Doesn't God know enough to be smarter than men? :?
No, you misunderstand. The Bible was divinely inspired, as in, that God and Jesus conveyed their 'general ideas and feelings' to the deciples, who then interpreted them according to what they believed.
JPortal wrote:The KJV is the only Bible today that still has the original meaning. I have studied books like the NIV and other "modern" translations, and they are NOT "all the same"! They are also significantly harder to understand than the KJV in several cases.
Are you a sufficiently expert Latin and old English speaker that you have verified the meanings of both?
Rob
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