Do I Believe in a god?

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The world makes a whole lot more sense when you look at it without a god.

The more we understand about our psychology, our need to know “what caused something to happen”, the more we realise that to believe a god is responsible is just our way of filling in the gaps in our understanding of the natural world (and universe).

As soon as we realise & can accept the possibility that things just happen, due to natural forces, some of which we have yet to understand, (like bronze age people trying to explain lightning or earthquakes etc), and that all religion is just an old- fashioned way of trying to understand ourselves, our own subconscious brain, and our place in the world, that actually god is a man-made construct in our heads, a grown-up version of an imaginary friend, then things begin to make more sense.

Realising there exists such things as cognitive biases & assumptions including visual, auditory & kinaesthetic assumptions, helps us understand why it is so easy to believe in supernatural forces.
Realising that it’s the ‘god in one’s own head’ which is inspiring you & answering your prayers etc, helps us understand & connect with ourselves, our powerful & amazing sub-conscious minds.

As an Agnostic Athiest I do not believe in a god, nor do I think I need to believe in a god.

As a Scientific Naturalist I’m content to accept that some questions will remain unanswered, but that humans will continue to look for those answers using scientific methods, & others using supernatural metaphysical explanations.

I’m very much prepared to accept the existence of a god, but think the likelihood is slim.

For me my god is the universe! Ultimately it was the universe which created me, and sustains me. The universe is immense beyond comprehension & all powerful! I am made from stardust & when I die the elements in my body will return to the universe.

As such I could be described as a Pantheist.

In actuality I’m trying to become a Realist!

I do not believe there is a divine purpose for my existence, nor that I need salvation offered by a Saviour.

I believe we make our own purpose for life, and Secular Humanism describes an ethos for human compassion & service without the need for a god or for divine rewards or punishment. As such I describe myself as a Secular Humanist.

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Marcus Aurelius put it well

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
― Marcus Aurelius

Pascal’s Wager (also known as Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal where he asserts that since the existence of God can not be proved (or disproved) through reason, but since in his view there was much to be gained from wagering that God exists (and little to be gained from wagering that God doesn’t exist), a rational person should simply wager that God exists (and live accordingly).

Pascal’s wager is more about betting on God’s existence and having belief in God. Marcus Aurelius is saying that whether God exists or not doesn’t matter, nor does the belief; what matters is LIVING A GOOD LIFE!

If we go along with ‘Pascal’s wager’, which god do we follow?

If we follow any god on that basis,  we would logically have to follow all gods!

If forced to choose any god, I’d choose the god in my head!

Basically I believe it’s what everyone else does, they just don’t know it!

And my god (in my head) would have my beliefs, & my personality. We would get along really well! ;-)

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11 Responses to Do I Believe in a god?

  1. Stephen Bennett says:

    Who created your god?

    • stevebloor says:

      What god?

      I don’t have one!

      • Stephen Bennett says:

        What god?
        I don’t have one!

        You wrote “For me my god is the universe! Ultimately it was the universe which created me, and sustains me.”

        Now, you are saying you do not have a god. You seemed confused.

      • Stephen Bennett says:

        Are you still confused?

      • stevebloor says:

        Is it any more confused than religion?

        It all depends on what one’s definition of god is.

        I understand the concept of God & how some people think regarding their god.

        Some people believe in the one all powerful personal God who is omnipotent etc.

        Others in a variety of gods.

        As a pantheist I’m using the term loosely to mean creator of the earth & everything on it, because the universe is all powerful & we’re all made from the universe. Some of the atoms in our bodies were forged in the middle of stars. So in that sense God is the Universe, the Father & Mother of us all!

        In another sense I think the gods which people believe in are imagined & are constructed by themselves in their powerful subconscious minds. When their subconscious gives them inspiration they conclude its from their god, but actually they are the source.

        But actually on a day to day basis I don’t believe in a god in the sense that most people think of. God or gods is not a conscious thought process for me now.

        How about you?

  2. Karen says:

    I think it is everyone’s personal journey to develop a belief system that provides them with peace and happiness. I agree that there are just so many questions that we have no answers to, and I think we were never meant to due to our lack of ability to comprehend them. If we knew there was life after death social chaos could occur as we might decide to ‘check out’ when the going got tough. Some would argue that faith is a gift, I don’t believe anyone would be penalised for not having that gift. So to me, it really doesn’t matter whether someone believes in God or not. Rather what their actions are. The interesting thing is though that believers and non believers appear to all believe in ‘Goodness’. So for me – as a believer – I feel that it is God within (my part of a supreme being) that brings me to goodness. It doesn’t really matter in my world how people get to good – aslong as they get there. I respect everyones beliefs as I believe one should: “Never teach a child something they can discover for themselves.” For me though, my God is love, magnficant and unknowable. I can’t let go of the wonder I feel about him and it brings me great peace. Yet for others, I appreciate that not believing brings them peace. For some, hoping for something that they have no evidence for is not part of who they are which I deeply respect. None of us can say any one else is right or wrong – these are simply the great mysteries of life. All the best on your journey Steve and enjoy just ‘being’ living in the present is a wonderful thing.

    • stevebloor says:

      Dear Karen,

      Thank you for your wonderfully warm, compassionate, accepting & gentle comments.

      I love your non-dogmatic approach to belief & appreciate your desire to just be.

      Your courageous honesty, authentic sincerity & genuine empathy have touched my heart & strengthened my resolve to live an authentic life myself.

      I wish you & your family all the very best on your journey through life, enjoying the freedom to believe & live according to your heart & conscience.

      Love & best wishes,
      Steve

  3. Stephen Bennett says:

    “Is it any more confused than religion?”

    Religion never was satisfactory substitute for relationship, not in Mormonism, not anywhere. Religion bereft of relationship is counterfeit, masquerade, void of Spirit and Life, hindrance, not assistance, giving credence and preeminence to the created rather than the Creator. Pantheism is a classic, colossal case of religion.

    “It all depends on what one’s definition of god is.”

    Words have meanings. Meanings given to specific words are correct/incorrect. If this were not so, correct identification, clear representation and cogent communication via written/verbal expression would be neither possible or efficient nor consistent with actual reality.

    By definition and identity a god is an entity requiring worship. Every person has a god or God, to which or to whom they give their most attention and their most affection. It is innate, incontrovertible, life defining in the human personality, emotionality and intentionality.

    “As a pantheist I’m using the term loosely to mean creator of the earth & everything on it, because the universe is all powerful & we’re all made from the universe.”

    Are you meaning that creation is more powerful than the creator?

    What will you do with Jesus Christ, the same as you did with Joseph Smith?

    My friend, I that pray that you shall not. Jesus, not Joseph.

    • stevebloor says:

      Hi Stephen,

      I appreciate your comments. Thank you for taking the time to debate.

      I present my responses to your questions & assertions below.

      When it comes to relationships with God & Jesus Christ I felt I was loved intimately by my Heavenly Father & Saviour. I communicated with them almost continually, but it means nothing when one considers most people talk to themselves anyway. Patients with schizophrenia go even further.

      The definition of god does not require worship, its just a word. You can give what ever meaning you wish to it. The whole “words have meaning” intrinsically is absolute rubbish. If we use your definition of perfect communication and representation, why then do we have lots of disagreement regarding the interpretation of the bible? Its because everyone interprets “words” through a filter. Language is not information in its perfect form. Its just the best we have at copying and pasting information.

      We are made from Stardust and therefore part of the universe, so therefore we are the universe. This does not mean we, the created, are more powerful than that which we are a part of.

      I have no knowledge that Jesus or Joseph Smith is alive, because there is no evidence of consciousness existing after death.

      For a fuller explanation of my non-beliefs please see my latest Blog post:

      How I Gained My Non-Belief | Stevebloor’s Blog – http://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/my-non-belief/

      Best regards,
      Steve

      • Stephen Bennett says:

        I would like to gently and respectfully suggest that whilst mired in Mormonism you mistook the exercise of religion as being that which is real relationship. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day did the same and He told them so repeatedly and unequivocally (yes, words have meanings).

        You mention that you made much of talking, but were you also listening, listening enough? You state that you communicated with your Heavenly Father and the Saviour continually. Dare I ask whether in this communication you believe that the Holy Ghost ever denied the ontology of the Godhead?

        Oh, but then you let us know you were only talking to yourself.

        You seem confused, dear friend, whether you were in communication/communion with your Heavenly Father and Saviour — or instead only talking to yourself, as you have said, like a schizophrenic… but less so.

        Please, how does a person claiming conscious, intimately experiential heart relationship with the Creator, toss the relationship, denying the life dynamic existed, this river of life ever flowed, other than having lived delusionally as a religionist, not ever having been in actual possession?

        Unlike religion, relationship is more than talking and working; relationship is two way communication and commiseration. Cults counterfeiting Christianity characteristically confuse church with the Creator. Cults are church ego-centric. Christianity is Christocentric.

        At issue is who/Who is given the focus, the preeminence, the worship. The one is relationship – awareness and receptivity, revelation and worship, conversely, the other, religion, mere will-worship of corrupt creature/creation, reckoning themselves as gods capable of running their own lives, saving their world and planet earth.

        Truly, we were lovingly created to revel and rejoice in the superscendent Splendor of the Son, to exult in and extol Him, above, before, beyond all else. This is how we, who did not create ourselves, are ultimately, most compassionately useful and best beautifully satiated and scintillated in both time and for all eternity. If more people really knew how beautiful Jesus is they would run through fire and water to be at Him! Not Joseph, Jesus.

        “The whole “words have meaning” intrinsically is absolute rubbish.”

        If your assertion was true, you would not have typed your words for the purpose of connecting to and communicating with the understanding of your readers. You do wish to be understood… yes? You would have merely done something along the order of finger excercise, catharsis, jadedness or taedium vitae. Recall that you posit communication with God means nothing because people talk to themselves. Why are you contradicting yourself… and also God?

        Even Christ, the Creator, is described by the Holy Spirit three places in the New Testament Book of Revelation as the Alpha and the Omega, which are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, the original language of the New Testament. Christ is lucidly mentioned several other places in the New Testament as the Word.

        Places of learning, legal systems and legislature, individual and corporate planning, disciplines of science, architecture, technology, and history, would have no practical useage of any importance if words did not have meaning. Nor would the words my dying brother expressed have any meaning for loved ones either then or now.

        Due to your having put up with and put forth the twistology of theology, sedition of addition, the infusion of confusion which Joseph Smith pushed, in bastardizing Bible belief by radically, ridiculously changing definitions to support his life’s goals of gold, glory and girls, I am not entirely surprised that you are dismayed with dictionaries and didactics, and most importantly with Christ, Himself, the Word of Life.

        Thanks be to the Beautiful God that despite Joseph Smith, Tommy Monson, and the likes, meaning marches on as the word, and in particular as wed with the Word, discerns, divides darkness and triumphs.

        “I have no knowledge that Jesus or Joseph Smith is alive, because there is no evidence of consciousness existing after death.”

        That the Creator is constantly calling to creation — through creation — should be luminously clear, seeing creation expressly, manifestly, demonstrably requires a living Creator. Other than standing in agreement and assurance with this reality, one is given to blind faith which has abjectly as its object fantasy and vain glory.

        “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
        Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the uncorruptible God for an image made like to corruptible man… who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…” Rom. 1

        What are your thoughts about the thousands of near-death experiences? What do you account for the consistency of these experience as related by those who have lived to tell about them. Are you acquainted with the work of the heart surgeon Dr. Maurice Rawlings?

        Do you believe that it is responsible, skillfull living to procrastinate preparation for the time when your spirit/soul separate from your body?

        Why do you think your moral, ethical standards are superior to others of your atheist/agnostic religion, if the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, the One to Whom all things are naked and open, with Whom we have to do, is of no consequence?

        Christ did not deceive you. The Mormon church deceived you.

        Please remember the words “Steve Bloor” are not words only. Intrinsically, they are made of marvel, meaning, momentum.

      • stevebloor says:

        Stephen, it seems that you are defending the meaning of words because they are your tool to mesmerize your audience. To disarm their intellect and to influence them to accept your words as truth.

        I congratulate you on your vivid imagination. You remind me of what Joseph Smith might have been like.

        Stephen, please tell me, if you would be so kind, how YOU feel qualified to comment on MY previous relationship with God? What gives YOU the right to judge MY personal relationship with God?

        At the time I believed I was in a wonderful two-way relationship with God, my Heavenly Father, & His Son Jesus Christ.

        I did lots of listening. I was constantly being led by God. I led a congregation by revelation from God for nearly seven years, whilst I served as bishop.

        Excuse me for sounding rude, but your continued obsession with my relationship with God is bordering on harassment.

        I wouldn’t dare to come onto your Blog & critically analyse your delusions. What right have you got to try to undermine mine.

        As a matter-of-fact, now that I understand the nature of my personal relationship with God as a delusional state brought about by the normal, natural workings of my mind, including in large part my subconscious, I feel more in tune with who I am as a human being.

        I still feel the warm, peaceful feelings I had before, and the amazing revelations which help guide & direct my life, but now I attribute them for what they are, my wonderful workings of the subconscious mind.

        I can now give them the priority they deserve & balance them with other more empirical forms of evidence before making decisions.

        I feel no less spiritual now than I did before, now that I have no God. In fact I feel more in touch with reality. More inspired by nature. More connected to other human beings. More authentic & real than when I believed in supernatural beings & delusions.

        The main reason you keep criticising my blog postings is because you feel threatened. Your concept of reality is being undermined through cognitive dissonance so your brain forces you to rationalize & try to justify your beliefs.

        Some beliefs, particularly evangelical Christian beliefs, are rigidly dogmatic, judgemental, discriminatory, delusional, and all too often cause persecution of non-believers. Those beliefs separate you from others, rather than bringing us together in our shared humanity.

        Dogmatic religions do not honour the thoughts & feelings of individuals.

        I’ve come to realise that when people focus completely on the virtues of God, of another world, and of the future they become separated & distanced from what we know as humans.

        Please, with respect, don’t try to lecture me on the nature of my own personal relationship with God, or my subconscious mind.

        Best wishes,
        Steve

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