Belief/Faith as a concept, poses a fatal flaw to veracity of Christianity
Debate Rounds (5)
Therein lies the problem. In order for Christianity to have any possible basis, we must all have the ability to believe in it. And quite frankly not everyone has this ability. The only way to actually attain belief is to look at the evidence (take action) and hope that there"s enough to convince you enough to at least have faith. Remember, we're only talking about faith so PROOF is not required, but evidence is. For the most part, this consists of the Bible, scholarly research and interpretations from religious leaders. But this evidence must also be weighed with evidence from the null that goes against the credibility of Christianity (other religion lineages, contrary scientific evidence, etc.).
For me, I've tried intellectually finding enough evidence to force my mind to cross into belief but have been convinced of the null in the process. I cannot accept the evidence as convincing enough to facilitate the desired result of obtaining belief. If God were real, he would not set this up as a possibility because everyone is said to have the opportunity to follow God. This poses a problem that is fundamentally damning to Christianity"s veracity.
This is why belief/faith as a concept, poses a fatal flaw to veracity of Christianity.
There is no gray.
We have a choice to accept to accept God based on his track record. An individual can be happy in a chaotic environment. Happiness is when a person is content with the simplicity of life. You mention external happiness(school and a job) Happiness is internal. There have been alt of Millionaires who have taken their lives because the external happiness could not fill their hearts and souls with purpose and joy. Christianity is based on choice. Adam had a choice to eat the apple that God forbid him to eat. We have a choice to pray to God and ask for forgiveness. We believe Jesus 1st and Christianity(religion) 2nd. I have seen and heard stories of ex drug users and atheist stricken with cancer who found Jesus without even looking for his presence, and they were humbled, left in awe by the presence of God. The problem I have with you argument is that you're approaching this matter with man made intelligence and totally disregarding the element of wisdom needed to understand Christianity. Love is the symbol of Christianity god sending his son down to earth to die for our sins the principles of Christianity are practiced and copied by other religions faith and belief are not concepts, they're attributes needed to follow God. This religion does not promote vanity or selfishness. THIS RELIGION PROMOTES LOVING PEOPLE WHO HATE YOU, this religion transforms non believers into disciples. Paul in the bible had no belief in God and he killed Christians, but God
Changed his name and brought light in his dark world and made him a prophet he was against God and God used him to spread the gospel.
First off, you did not begin to address my point that belief is not a choice. This is the whole argument. You spit off a bunch of irrelevant comments about what is told through the Bible, but did nothing to convince me that I have a choice to believe that any of that happened. That is what this debate is about. Please review my claim and feel free to ask any clarifying questions in the comment section so you can fuel yourself with the information needed to further this debate.
You begin by asserting, "We have a choice to follow God" and "We have a choice to accept God based on his track record". But as I stated, you give absolutely no evidence and are just throwing assertions out there without any backup. This is terribly lazy and does not further this debate at all.
You define happiness as internal versus external. It"s well stated, but I"m afraid it does nothing to counter my point. You state, "an individual can be happy in a chaotic environment". I agree! You don"t need materialistic things to be happy. Yes, some millionaires are unhappy and some poor people are happy. But you are missing the point. The point is I don"t think anyone just decides to be happy regardless of their situation. There is something fueling this happiness. Maybe it"s family, maybe it"s being driven by a cause. Whatever that reason may be, happiness is the result of those circumstances. There is no conscious choice on anyone"s part.
Think of it this way: Let"s say your family is what makes you intrinsically happy. Now imagine going through a rough period of time where you cannot find work to feed your family. Finally, after busting your butt to find work you land a killer job and you can now provide for your family. How would you feel if this happened to you? You"d be very happy about it, right? I certainly would too. But, did we decide to be happy about it? Or did it happen outside our control? If you think you had any control over that feeling, you"d be wrong. The only control you had was on your actions to attain the desired result - happiness.
Belief works the same way as happiness " which was just one example " in that they are both results that occur outside of our control. Like I said in my opening, we can"t decide whether we are happy or whether we believe in anything, we can only take action (like busting our butt for a job in my example) to reach the desired result (happiness). Same goes for belief. We can only take action (read Bible, research how credible and likely it is that Christianity is true) to attain a desired belief, but the result is not in our hands.
Maybe another example of a different belief will make this more clear. Let"s think about something both you and I cannot believe in. How about Santa Claus? We know too well he doesn"t exist because the evidence tells us otherwise. When you are a kid, eventually you figure this out even though you might really wish he were true. Once this happens, you cannot simply just decide to believe in him. You"d only be lying to yourself, right? That proves that belief is not a choice, it is a result. In this example, despite your action (trying to believe) you are unable to. That is what I meant in my opening when I stated that "The result (belief) is not a guarantee". This comparison parallels my struggle with Christianity because the evidence is overwhelmingly against it being true. You can say all you want about God said this, God said that, but any follower of any other religion can say the same thing, it does nothing to provide evidence of truth.
You failed to address this main point of my argument and instead decided to state what the Bible says as if it"s any sort of relevant argument. I don't have any more space to counter your other errors, but since they are not directly related to my main point, I'll just let them go for now. Again, please focus your argument on how belief - in any context - can be a choice.
Belief is a choice . I'll speak from personal experiences. I was recently in a car accident in the midst of heavy traffic on the highway,My car spun out of control on black Ice, believed that the chances of me making it out of this situation was impossible. Miraculously my car spun to the side of the road and my car had a small scratch that wasn't noticeable . From this encounter I believed that God had spared my life. Another example,I had applied to hundreds of jobs and was rejected by every employer. I was frustrated but I kept at it ,and continued to get on my knees and pray , I asked God to provide me with a a opportunity. Someone who I knew one of my friends called me and asked me if I needed a job without me mentioning anything to them about being in need of Job .I filled out the application and I applied to a job that I had no experience in, I was late for my interview and was unsure if they would reschedule my interview later in the day,long story short, I was offered a full time position with this company, without credentials, but my belief in God carried me through a roller coaster day.
Another Example when slaves were brought to America, forced to work in cotton fields for 16-17hours, without a break and without water. Many of them found God through this brutal experience as a comforter. None of them physically saw God, but they had a hope and mustard seed faith that they would be delivered from enslavement. They could not read or write but many of them communicated with the crumbs of Christianity that was exposed to them in white churches they were able to communicate with each other through song and they were singing songs like "sweet chariot" being free from bondage like the Israelites were freed from Pharaoh.
I noticed in round 1 that you singled out Christianity. Belief is associated with every religion on earth. Have you studied Christianity at face value or have you studied Christianity from the outside looking in..?
You have to put in work to get anything you want in life. Christianity gets a bad rap because people assume that God will reward lazy people, but faith without works is dead what I mean is that you have to be willing to work even when life is filled with trials and tribulations. Christians decide to follow God based off of miracles and testimonials and divine intervention in their life or in someone Else's life that will influence them to do more and more as human being. Maybe for you the result is not a choice or a guarantee, but maybe for someone else, it is life or death. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to dictate how a person should believe.
Have you ever sat down with Christians or non Christians and asked them how they came in contact with their belief in God.
You mentioned "take action?" God supplies everyone with the tools and the ideas and the strength to carry on , but it's by his grace and mercy that we are allowed to make things happen with his assistance. You MENTIONED you have searched for evidence to cross your mind into belief god never forced us to serve him. We are given a choice you don't believe in Christianity because you don't understand it, you have to deny yourself and approach this faith with wisdom and leave man made intelligence at the door don't hear you questioning science,Which is flawed and incapable of finding truth.
Belief is a choice because it takes action to believe
You're making a choice not to belief based on closed minded research
I'm making the choice to believe based on personal experience and acknowledgment of history
I"m Very happy that you were lucky enough to survive what must have been a terrifying experience. But I"m glad you brought this story up because it points out one of the things that angers me most about religious followers of any kind. The thought that God decided to save you shows an underlying narcissism that you don"t mean to possess, but do. Don"t you think it"s more likely that you were just a lucky statistic? What about all the other people, Christians even, who die in car accidents? Why didn"t God save them? Single parents die in accidents. Children, babies " why would he save you and not them? If you believe God is real, doesn"t it make more sense that he doesn"t step in to do things like this? Wisdom (knowledge through experience) should tell you he certainly doesn"t.
Furthermore, people who don"t believe in God have close calls with death as well. To me, it"s very easy to see that a much more rational, logical explanation for such an event is that either God doesn"t exists (or doesn"t intervene) and that you were a lucky statistic just like those that die in accidents are an unlucky statistic. I"ve been hit by a car myself as a pedestrian. I would be dead if I didn"t instinctively react and jump out of the way and am still amazed at how I was able to get away without serious injury. But, I"m able to look at this as an anecdotal experience instead of some key that reveals divine intervention.
But as you say, this is enough evidence to convince you. But you still contend that belief is a choice. So tell me, with your experiences that led you to believe, would you hypothetically be able to make a conscious decision to no longer believe? If belief is indeed a choice as you say, you must have that ability. My point is that real belief is not something you can decide. We can't decide we believe in Santa Claus no matter how hard we try. We must have sufficient evidence.
What does this gibberish about the slaves finding God show? It"s well documented that those in turmoil turn to religion (much like the drug addict example you provided earlier). People in such a situation generally do so out of blind hope when they really don"t know of any other option. They do so irrationally. They hear that they can be forgiven and don"t think twice above following without asking questions in many cases. That is not true belief.
You noticed that I "singled out Christianity". You are right, but the same argument goes for any religion. But, the reason I focus on Christianity is because I was raised as such and have lost my faith through intellectual reasons and am hoping to find a great mind on the Christian side to give me a sound enough argument to help my mind cross that bridge to belief. For that reason, I don"t really have any interest in arguing against any other religion.
I"ve studied Christianity enough as I have been pretty devout years ago. But I don"t want this argument to be about me. I want it to be about whether or not belief is something someone chooses, or if it is merely a result beyond our control.
Some of the other things you say are just absurd. Who thinks God rewards lazy people? I have listened to plenty of Christian and non Christians about their beliefs. I recommend a few of the best. Christians Don Johnson, D"Nesh D"Souza, Atheist Dan Barker (a past minister of 19 years) and Christopher Hitchens.
You assume I don"t understand Christianity because I don"t believe. This is lazy and presumptuous. Does Dan Barker, a 19 year devout minister who lost his faith also not understand Christianity? People like him are not uncommon.
Respectfully, you missed the point I was trying to convey. Slaves endured harsh treatment in America. , Some slaves who were robbed from Africa refused to come to America and jumped overboard off of the slave ship and killed themselves. Then you had the Slaves who made a decision to "believe" in God, even though they could not anticipate the mistreatment they would receive in America, this belief which led to the creation and 'belief' in Black churches, the oldest institution and pillar of the black community, which led to belief in Black universities, which led to the belief in the civil right movement, which led to the March on Washington. Can you see where belief can take a person? I used African Americans as an example, but I'm sure other races and religions have similar stories in regards to belief .You're doing yourself a disservice, comparing 400 years and counting of oppression to drug abuse. I do agree that some Christians accept every word the Preacher speaks on the pulpit, some refuse to do their own research, but don't forget to acknowledge the fact that there are people who chose to have faith in the unseen and their lives have dramatically changed. You didn't make the argument for other religions you devoted all of your time and energy towards to debunking Christianity.
I believe humans are given a choice to believe in something that will aid them in their journey of becoming a better person, internally and externally. Since we're discussing Christianity, I will mention the fact that there is a popular belief that there is healing power in prayer. A psychiatrist by the name of Elisabeth Targ has been involved in prayer studies for numerous years
".In her first project, she enrolled twenty patients with AIDS and randomly assigned them to two groups: one that received prayers from experienced healers and one that did not. The patients and healers never met, and neither the patients nor their doctors knew if or when they were being prayed for. To Targ"s surprise, 40% of the control group died and no one in the prayer group died during the six-month trial period. She repeated the study with 40 patients but by then, protease inhibitors were being used that kept people on AIDS alive. No one in either group died, but those in the control group suffered six times more complications and illnesses than those in the prayer group."
You might ask why I'm mentioning prayer, I brought it up because we're discussing if people make a decision to believe in God.
Prayer (a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.) At my church we have intercessory prayer during service and we prayer for members and non-members who are facing challenges in life, we also prayer for strength for difficult days ahead. our Prayers are filled with thanksgiving and adoration for god's mercy and favor Prayers are not always answered when we want them to be answered, and some have died waiting for their prayers to be answered, but we are sure of what we all experience with God, Every person who believes in God has a different tailor-made relationship with God. We believe what we experience; we hear what we allow to be spoken to us. To say belief is a concept is to say that God subsumes particulars.
You asked why bad things happened to innocent people. Well, have you considered the fact that Good things happen to bad people too. Society has adopted the belief, that the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence will decide their fate in future existences. If there is a "God" why would he intervene every time something tragic occurred if he knew how powerful an omnipotent, He would have to be aware of the past and the future, why would he abruptly alter his predestined plan? Why would he have to justify his actions or his plans to people he"s not forcing to follow him? If God answered every prayer, why would we need to call on him to seek guidance and strength?
Now to entertain you"re hypothetical, in the spirit of debating, If God didn't exist, and I would find no need to love or care for anyone. I would not have a conscious; I would mistreat every individual I came in contact with on daily basis. I would not respect my elders or feel the need to hope for the future. I would have no morals or principles. No respect for the law. I would lie, steal and kill and not worry about the consequences because there is no heaven or hell to through me in, I would be self-centered and I would worship me, and all that would matter to me would be my thoughts my gifts my talents and everyone else"s struggle or bad circumstances would be an afterthought to me.
From a Christian perspective, Prophecy has to be fulfilled. We"re the actors and actresses in life and God wrote the script before we were born. God will not change for man, men and women change for God. The problem I have with your argument is that you're treating Christianity or should I say approaching Christianity like it's a flawed experiment. You "believe" in evidence that support your beliefs
Sounds like you"re debating in circles.
Why do you believe the evidence?
You believe God doesn"t exist because that"s what the evidence tells you, and you believe the evidence because you decided it"s true..?
Like I said, I chose Christianity because it"s the religion I grew up in. I have not defended any other religion or practice. But Christianity is based off belief so it naturally makes sense that it"s the one I"d debate about anyway.
You say that if you didn"t believe in God you"d be basically an ahole in every single way. I doubt this is true, but if so, the only reason you are not an ahole is that you are following God as a means to a reward only. You would be nothing but a fraud. Why don"t all atheists behave in these ways if you are supposing that anyone not religious behaves in a similar fashion? This is ignorance at its finest.
I"m done with this debate. I will find someone else to have an intellectual discussion with because your just throwing garbage around and displaying your foolishness.
So basically you dodged every question.
You asked and i answered your question.
Since you're a quitter.forfeit the debate.
You haven't defended your argument.
God bless :-)
Two possible things will happen here.
One: you say yes and you can make the choice to not believe God exists. In this case, you didn't really believe at all and are just fooling yourself. Here's an example that parallels this situation. Most everyone has someone that they trust greatly in their life. A parent, a friend, whatever. They have faith in that person that they will do the right thing and keep your best interest in mind. Think about who that would be for you and imagine being in a situation where you needed their help. Try to make a conscious decision to not believe they will help you out. IF you are able to do this, then it shows that this supposed BELIEF was really nothing more than a HOPE.
Two: You say no, you can't make the choice to not belief in God. This is because you have taken the evidence and that evidence has convinced you that God is more likely to exist than not exist - notice I'm not being one of those annoying atheists requiring the unattainable proof. In this case, it proves that belief is not a choice, but a result. It appears to me you would fall in this category based on your experiences which are unconvincing to me, but that doesn't matter for you because they are able to convince you. In this case, my point is made. (Side note not directly related to the argument at hand: If God is truly real and divine, he would not provide evidence with the ability to literally disallow others to believe in him no matter how hard they try.)
You see Con, you are only thinking of yourself in the grand scheme of things. This is a big world. To think that God exists on the sole basis of YOUR experiences points out a selfishness that is truly perplexing to me. I can't picture a reality where good people go to hell because they never heard of Jesus and people like you go to heaven who blatantly admit that the only reason they don't steal, lie and commit atrocities is because they don't want to go to hell. How virtuous of you...
You have done nothing but explain that you do believe but have said nothing to convince that belief is a UNIVERSAL choice as this debate was about.
I hope you can think critically about the points I'm making. I wish you the best.
Talking in circles.
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