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Belief is not a choice, but only a result

TruthTrumpsAll
Posts: 1
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5/14/2015 11:51:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Christianity's biggest weak point for me lays in the fact that it assumes we can make a choice to believe in and have faith in God. But I contend that belief is not a choice: it is a result. We can only take action to reach such a result, but that result is not guaranteed. Perhaps I can clarify what I mean by pointing out another example of a result we see in our experiences. Happiness, is a good example. Despite what we might think, we cannot just decide to be happy. We can only take some action to achieve it as a result. One such action might be working hard in school to get a good job we love, etc. By doing this action, we may achieve happiness, but it"s not until we take action that we get it as a result. It"s important to note that doing this action doesn"t guarantee the desired result. We might work hard in school, get a good degree, and find a terrible economy that prevents us from getting that job and thus fail to be fulfilled with happiness. Belief works in the same way. We cannot simply decide to believe in something, we can only take action with the intent on reaching belief. The result is not a choice. The result is also not a guarantee.

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.
JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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5/15/2015 2:36:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If the deity actually exists why not make its presence clear beyond all shadow of doubt, instead of playing stupid games?
dee-em
Posts: 6,444
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5/15/2015 2:57:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/14/2015 11:51:19 PM, TruthTrumpsAll wrote:
Christianity's biggest weak point for me lays in the fact that it assumes we can make a choice to believe in and have faith in God. But I contend that belief is not a choice: it is a result. We can only take action to reach such a result, but that result is not guaranteed. Perhaps I can clarify what I mean by pointing out another example of a result we see in our experiences. Happiness, is a good example. Despite what we might think, we cannot just decide to be happy. We can only take some action to achieve it as a result. One such action might be working hard in school to get a good job we love, etc. By doing this action, we may achieve happiness, but it"s not until we take action that we get it as a result. It"s important to note that doing this action doesn"t guarantee the desired result. We might work hard in school, get a good degree, and find a terrible economy that prevents us from getting that job and thus fail to be fulfilled with happiness. Belief works in the same way. We cannot simply decide to believe in something, we can only take action with the intent on reaching belief. The result is not a choice. The result is also not a guarantee.

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.

Well said. Beliefs are formed, not chosen. We can investigate a particular claim and, through the process of learning about it, come to form a belief in its validity or otherwise. We certainly can't just choose to believe though.

The evidence for Christianity is basically hearsay (mostly anonymous people telling us of their subjective experiences and ideas) and belief is instilled by indoctrination at a young age by authority figures (parents, priests, community leaders). I'm not surprised that you find the evidence unconvincing.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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5/15/2015 12:37:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
While I applaud your reasoning and agree that Christianity has no real, evidential underpinnings, I must disagree with your premise. Believing something in the face of what would seem to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary is a choice. It's a choice to ignore reason, to ignore the illogic of your stance, a choice to accept a comforting lie instead of an uncomfortable truth. If everyone were as diligent as you have been and were as willing to accept the facts, religion would have ceased to exist a long time ago. It continues because people make a choice to continue to allow it to influence not only their lives but the lives of their children as well. Like child abuse, religion is a hard pattern to break.
12_13
Posts: 1,361
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5/15/2015 2:21:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/14/2015 11:51:19 PM, TruthTrumpsAll wrote:
Christianity's biggest weak point for me lays in the fact that it assumes we can make a choice to believe in and have faith in God.

Faith is from of word faithful, which has meaning loyal. I can decide to be loyal to God. It means that I keep his words faithfully. I think it is difficult only if person wants something that is against God"s will (murders, lies etc.).

Despite what we might think, we cannot just decide to be happy.

I can, but maybe I am superhuman :)
Dazz
Posts: 1,163
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5/15/2015 2:31:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:36:07 AM, JJ50 wrote:
If the deity actually exists why not make its presence clear beyond all shadow of doubt, instead of playing stupid games?

And what would you require to be clear about God beyond all shadows of doubt?
Remove the "I want", remainder is the "peace". ~Al-Ghazali~
"This time will also pass", a dose to cure both; the excitement & the grievance. ~Ayaz~
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,566
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5/15/2015 2:37:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:31:49 PM, Dazz wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:36:07 AM, JJ50 wrote:
If the deity actually exists why not make its presence clear beyond all shadow of doubt, instead of playing stupid games?

And what would you require to be clear about God beyond all shadows of doubt?

His existence, of course.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dazz
Posts: 1,163
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5/15/2015 2:49:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:37:23 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:31:49 PM, Dazz wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:36:07 AM, JJ50 wrote:
If the deity actually exists why not make its presence clear beyond all shadow of doubt, instead of playing stupid games?

And what would you require to be clear about God beyond all shadows of doubt?

His existence, of course.
What would you require about God's existence to be free from doubts about His existence?
Remove the "I want", remainder is the "peace". ~Al-Ghazali~
"This time will also pass", a dose to cure both; the excitement & the grievance. ~Ayaz~
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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5/15/2015 3:32:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:21:53 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 5/14/2015 11:51:19 PM, TruthTrumpsAll wrote:
Christianity's biggest weak point for me lays in the fact that it assumes we can make a choice to believe in and have faith in God.

Faith is from of word faithful, which has meaning loyal. I can decide to be loyal to God. It means that I keep his words faithfully. I think it is difficult only if person wants something that is against God"s will (murders, lies etc.).

Despite what we might think, we cannot just decide to be happy.

I can, but maybe I am superhuman :)

Stop believing in God for an hour.

Then I will believe it is a choice.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,566
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5/16/2015 10:37:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:49:40 PM, Dazz wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:37:23 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:31:49 PM, Dazz wrote:
At 5/15/2015 2:36:07 AM, JJ50 wrote:
If the deity actually exists why not make its presence clear beyond all shadow of doubt, instead of playing stupid games?

And what would you require to be clear about God beyond all shadows of doubt?

His existence, of course.
What would you require about God's existence to be free from doubts about His existence?

His existence, of course. Did you not get that the first time I said it?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth