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skip2mylou's avatar

Do you believe in a God or Higher Power?

Asked by skip2mylou (79points) February 21st, 2016

I know this question has been used and abused. I just want to hear peoples opinions. I’m a Christian and I want to believe there is a God or Higher power. However I’m not so sure. When I look at the world we live in, and realize how cold, cruel, & heartless it is.. I lose begin to lose faith. Is our existence really meaningless? Are we just here to do what ever we want then die? I would like to believe every creation has a creator. If God is all knowing & powerful….I feel he should be able to help humanity somehow. These are some of my thoughts.

1— Why does the good die so young. I have some friends over these few years. Lost 4 people this which broke my heart. People say it happens for reason. But what possible reason can there be for people to die so young sometimes so brutally.

2— Many Churches act like a business these days.It’s all about fashion & status (referring to churches I’ve visited). Only a few are really genuine. Christians these days are some of the most hypocritical & judgmental people. Most are only Christians on Sundays, then have the audacity to criticize “worldly people”, when they are doing the same thing.

3— Heaven & Hell. I believe in Heaven, however Hell seems too cruel for me. I feel if a person lives a good life they should be allowed into heaven despite their beliefs and/ or Religion. Sometimes I feel there is no afterlife. Maybe when we die that’s it. Maybe death is really the end. I really don’t know.

4— These days I feel all life is just greed, money, war, sex, & corruption.

Its seems the good don’t prosper why the evil doers get the best things in life. That’s just my opinion.

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23 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

I am a non-believer. I don’t believe in any religion, and I don’t believe that this world is ruled by anyone. I honestly don’t want to offend your belief but here are my thoughts of your questions from my view:

1. I said I’m not a believer, so I blame God when bad things happen. I think things happen for a reason, but not God related reason. And sometimes bad things just happen. I used to lose someone very dear too, they died very young and for no reason at all, but now I just accept that they’re gone and I can’t do anything about it and move on. I think you are going through the state of grief. Please just let yourself experience the grief fully, that’s the only way to get over it.
2. Or maybe the churches are just too drawn into getting more followers? But then again there are churches that think because they follow God they are superior to the non-believers. That I have no comment.
3. I don’t know either. How can we know what the afterlife is like if we aren’t already dead? I don’t believe in Heaven and Hell because I don’t know if they exist. “Believe” is a pretty strong word for sonething so uncertain. I advice you that it’s better just practicing saying “I don’t know” instead of visualizing anything and feeling bad about it. Save you from thinking too much. After all everything can happen.
4. Greed, money, war sex, corruption… they have always been here in this world. But people still carry on and even prosper. Maybe right now you are in a faith crisis and all you can see is the negative side of the world. This is what I have to be thankful for my disbelief in religion. I don’t have to question why God doesn’t do anything to help this world and just do my best to help the world myself.

ragingloli's avatar

The Q are quite real. And incredibly annoying. Ever spent a day as a Targ? It is not pleasant.

cazzie's avatar

I think exploring the ideas of faith is important for personal growth and we all do it at certain times of our lives. I grew up in a Catholic household, but my mother never made me finish catechism or get confirmed. I had too many awkward questions, so my mom just decided to let me be me. After years of reading about different things and accepting a type of ‘Christian Lite’ and then doing some reading with a Jehovah’s Witness, I feel off the bandwagon. The whole thing made no sense to me anymore. I was also reading and studying science and cosmology at the same time and writing science articles for online news.
I often say that belief is personal. Keep it that way. Religion has always been a tool for politics. I think organised groups of people listening to a charismatic leader with no questions asked has always been a recipe for disaster.
Ask the questions and learn to think rationally. Accept that there are no answers to some questions if the made up stuff doesn’t sit right with you.

ucme's avatar

I definitely believe in a higher power, our electricity bills are astronomically high.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

1— How do you know they die? Read a letter from one of your dead friends. That letter still represents their thoughts just as much as it did before. Where are the thoughts that letter represents? The letter is not equal to the thought. It just represents the thought. Where is it? And where is the mind that the thought must exist upon? Kill your radio. That doesn’t affect the broadcast.

2— Don’t make the mistake of equating “Church” with a god.

3— Bible says hell is a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Welcome to hell baby. Your only hope to find heaven is to make one in the midst of this mess we’re in.

4— Greed… etc… Welcome to hell. Make your heaven.

Cruiser's avatar

To answer this question you need to find the answer on your own. What I or anyone else will say is theirs of my definition of a God or higher power.

I suggest you continue to ask the obvious questions of yourself as you have done so in this question you asked here. Take it a step further and deconstruct each of the 4 things you touched on here. Ultimately you will see that there is no scientific or logical answer to your question. So I suggest that the real meaning to life or God is not something you will find in an answer someone else has defined….you will only find this answer in what you discover and determine it is for you.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

God? No.

Higher power? Yes.

Individual ethics or morality is the ultimate force. Higher than Government or the Rule of Law.

The State simply cannot improve a society by force. Improvement only comes by each individual choosing to behave to a moral standard and employ common sense.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Really anything behind the veil of reality is possible. The odds that the universe is being computed are high. Any creation, god, or other human concocted fantasy,,,,, odds are nearly zero.

We don’t really know anything beyond where science and philosophy can take us.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’ll allow for the power of God, Heaven, and Hell when they can be rationally explained.

I’m not holding my breath.

dxs's avatar

The FSM

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, I feel the presence of the Divine. The Force of Creation is present everyday, and evident to anyone open to it.

kritiper's avatar

I was raised Catholic. But when I leaned of the “big bang” theory I began to question what the church had been teaching. After much thought, I became an Atheist. But there was still some questions that Atheism brought up, so I began to think of myself as Agnostic. But that also brought up questions. So I had to make a decision based on what I did know, and what I could assume based on what I had learned as an Atheist, which was, if this so-called “God” could not exist in the world of the here and now, neither could he exist in any other. Basic physics, IMO.
So I am an Atheist. There is no “God,” there is no heaven, there is no hell.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@kritiper A game programmer/artist/storyteller does not exist in the world(s) they create. “Here and now” is a matter of perspective and semantics. Their worlds may eventually seem as real as ours yet can be saved, stopped, started copied..etc. If our world can be completely described only with information then “here and now” is not even really a thing anyway.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t believe in a higher power of any kind. My lack of belief in a god has nothing to do with whether the world is good or fair, or the way I think it should be. (Though I will say that I think life is beautiful, and I am happy to be here for as long as I can be.)

It doesn’t make sense to decide whether or not to believe in a god based on whether or not it seems that such a being made the choices you would make in its place. Magical creatures don’t just wink in and out of existence to fulfill your own sense of balance or righteousness. Either there is a god, or there isn’t. I see no evidence for one at all. The world is no less extraordinary because it wasn’t created by a magical creature.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I turn to my mother for guidance.

basstrom188's avatar

Not any more

Misspegasister28's avatar

I believe in a higher power, but not necessarily a God. More of like, a higher force or something.

kritiper's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I never thought of myself and the world around me as some description in a story. And my usage of “here and now” was not meant to be all inclusive. To a 14 year old boy who was searching for a sufficient answer, it was good enough.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@kritiper Nothing was more satisfying than thinking of the nature of the universe as a teenager, except for possibly thinking about getting laid.

Seek's avatar

I am a former Christian; an apostate.

Long before I stopped believing in God, I told him that I rejected him. I said that I had seen through the veil of love into the face of the petty, hateful, vindictive, callous thing that he truly was. He was all knowing, all powerful, all benevolent? Bullshit. Look at the state of the world and tell me you see the results of a god that loves his creation.

I was fearfully and wonderfully made, in his image, perfectly by his intelligent design? Explain my failed organs, my chronic pain, my eyeglasses. Explain why following his plan to marry and have babies nearly killed me, and why I was only saved by scientific medicine. Explain babies with cancer and good Christian women who die at 42 of a bum heart three days before their son’s high school graduation.

Explain why pastors who do not work live comfortably while those saints who pay for that man’s existence go to bed hungry and can’t pay their bills.

Explain to me the story of Job, the faithful man and his family. The entire family was murdered, the man himself tortured for years, but it’s all OK because God gave him a new family? Bullshit. You can’t replace my children and erase the years of sick glee you took at my devotion. Fuck you.

No no, if God does exist, he is not my god.

I would happily swim the fire of hell before spending a moment in Yahweh’s heaven.

dabbler's avatar

Some say the horrible frictions of the human condition refine the soul toward unified GodHead of all consciousness. This presumes reincarnation. But delayed gratification systems usually exploit the believers for the benefit of the folks driving the bus.

Some would say instead that collectively as human beings are wired together by the nature of our nervous systems and we need to take care of each other for our mutual benefit, whether there is a god(dess) or not. Balancing that the devil has provided us fantastic distractions (movies, gadgets, fake opportunities) whose attention-sink powers disconnect us from our fellow folks.

There have definitely been moments and times in my life when the direct experience of divinity was part of my conscious stream.
If that divinity has a personality it is much much bigger than I could even perceive, or it is all personalities. I can’t tell if that divinity is gone when I don’t feel it or if I have ‘fallen from grace’ by getting angry or drinking the wrong amount of booze or succumbing to despair at the hardships that life dumps on each of us.
But when it’s noodly appendage touches me I feel nourished on all levels. We might as well call it the Flying Spaghetti Monster, at least the koan of absurdity that conjures gets the mind toward the path to god-awareness.

Bill1939's avatar

Some would doubt that I believe in God because I do not accept the common conception of an uber-Male sitting on a throne in a heavenly city judging who should live there after death or be cast into a lake of fire. I believe that a creative energy, a spiritual force directs the evolution of the universe, which has led to human existence that is not the purpose of creation. However, we have the power to work with the flow of this energy or against it.

Most religions have a common teaching. If, as I do, you regard Jesus as the model for how one should be, then you will try to see with His eyes, care with His heart and as He would, seek ways to free others from their suffering. This is working with the Spirit of God. Or you can work against it by looking only to satisfy your desires. I leave it to you to decide whether I believe in God.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I’m a Christian and I want to believe there is a God or Higher power. However I’m not so sure.
I would have to ask why not? If you know God, not just know of God, then you would not have to ask that.

When I look at the world we live in, and realize how cold, cruel, & heartless it is.. I lose begin to lose faith.
Why? The Lord said it would be this way because there are many ungodly people who are lovers of themselves and pleasure; they do not want to have a King or Lord, being their own de facto god. Christ has overcome, but because man has grace and not punished straight away, people believe he is asleep at the wheel.

Is our existence really meaningless? Are we just here to do what ever we want then die? I would like to believe every creation has a creator.
Without God isn’t that the default position, here for no meaning, living out an existence that is totally useless? You are correct, the visible attribute and proof of God’s existence is everywhere, but because he allowed us puny humans to figure some if it out, we believe in everything other than He who created it.

If God is all knowing & powerful….I feel he should be able to help humanity somehow. These are some of my thoughts..
2 Chronicles 7:14, the formula is there for nations or man, if people do not use it then it is to their fault, Not God’s. On an individual those who believe in Him, and seek a relationship with Him, He is a help in a time of need. How can someone help if you reject the help or do not believe in Him? When he does help, sometimes the ungodly people get blessed too but they never give the credit to God.

But what possible reason can there be for people to die so young sometimes so brutally.
Because if they lived longer they would fall to sin and die in their iniquity, because they were not his and they died as a consequence to a wicked world, their death caused others to reevaluate their ephemeral existence.

Christians these days are some of the most hypocritical & judgmental people. Most are only Christians on Sundays, then have the audacity to criticize “worldly people”, when they are doing the same thing
That is no surprise, for one ”Christian” has been watered down and made so generic it is applied to people who are not truly Believers. As you noted, some people want the Kingdom only so much to have “fire insurance” but they do not want the King of the Kingdom. However, the same pragmatic logic used of worldly things should be sued here; not all ungodly people act like Pol pot, Genghis Khan, or Son of Sam, some do things beneficial to others. With all the trigger happy cops and shootings that seem wrong, no one says we should axe enforcement of law or dismantle the police force, people are people, you cannot use the incorrect application of the Bible to prove the bible is wrong any more than you can use a trigger happy cop to say the police force is wrong.

I feel if a person lives a good life they should be allowed into heaven despite their beliefs and/ or Religion.
With so many having ideas of what a “good life” is, which is correct?

These days I feel all life is just greed, money, war, sex, & corruption.
I agree, I tell people the US, at least, suffer from a PMS problem (Power, Money, and Sex), seems like hedonism is at an all-time high.

The wicked may seem to be getting over, but if you are a Believer you know their expected end and you can only mourn for them, to pass up an eternity way more abundant than their imagination can hold for trinkets here on Earth which measured against eternity is even less than vapor.

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