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Is there a God - or isn't there?

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#1 George.

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:16 PM

Is there a god? Are there a few of them? Is there no god and never has been?

 

Until two or three decades ago the church could be quite a busy place with men, women and children all there, and all too often they would be there on a regular basis but since then thing have changed - and not just the churches that we see around here. All parts of the world seem to have gone the same way. Faith has changed, unless you're looking at Islamic countries where they are told to believe what they're told to believe.

 

Nowadays the churches are empty. The local Church of Scotland church opened every second Sunday when I moved in here. Now it opens for birth, deaths and weddings but you can forget Sunday's.

 

Is that because not enough people believe there is a god now? Is it because they are too lazy to go to church, or don't have time due to work commitments, family problems etc.

 

Is there at least one god, and if there is, is there any proof to support it?

 

 

 


Edited by George., 13 October 2018 - 10:25 PM.


#2 Colin

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:42 PM

Is there a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy ?


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#3 Lerwick antiques

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:16 PM

It's folks believes and lifestyles that have changed.

 

Sunday was a day of silence where no activity would happen apart from going to church, reading the bible, sewing and some men would shave while singing hymns. Golf was illegal on a Sunday and so were many other activities. If you had hens then the cockerel would be put in a basket or under a kishie so he couldn't indulge in activities with the hens. Even when the radio and TV came first, it was kept turned off on a Sunday. All shops was closed and no one worked unless for a doctor or nurse.

 

Nowadays Sunday is just really like any other day with folk working overtime, various shops open etc. Only folk that are lying low is folk with hangovers from the night before.

 

So, that is how society has changed.

 

Religion does not have the same appeal either, it is more seen as being old fashioned and boring. No one I know goes to church on Sunday's. Some who don't go to church may still have a religion or faith but feel it is no longer necessary to go to church every Sunday.

 

As far as "Religion" goes, that covers all religion. We as a nation are a christian nation with celebrations such as christmas, easter etc and follow a christian law of what is right and wrong.

 

I find that there is however a greater interest in the spiritual, supernatural instead of the church religion.

 

I myself do not believe in a god, devil, heaven or hell. When we die then there is no reward or punishment. My view of the bible is that all these various stories that make up the bible have some truth in them, but a lot of it is fabricated. If you take the bible as a book written to follow, it basically boils down to live your life the "good way" then the reward of heaven awaits, but live your life the "bad way" then the punishment of hell awaits. Going back to when the bible was published in around 1600 if memory serves me correctly, there was hardly any control over what people did, so it helped to control folk and their actions by creating a god fearing nation.

 

It's just the same as everything else, it only holds it's appeal for so long then the more we find out about the world then the less believable it is. Similar idea when folk believed the world was flat, there was monsters from the deep etc. The more educated we get the less believe we have.

 

There was a interested incident in Russia I think it was, where they drilled a very deep hole into the world and claimed they heard the screams from hell, they even recorded it.


Edited by Lerwick antiques, 13 October 2018 - 11:28 PM.


#4 Sacre Bleu

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 02:50 AM

"All parts of the world seem to have gone the same way"

 

[most] predictions show a decrease world's population affiliating as atheist, agnostic or non-religious 

 

From the PEW Reseach Centre (generally considered to be non-partisan) http://www.pewforum....cted-growth-map

 
Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …

  • The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
  • Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France [and the UK] – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
  • The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
  • In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
  • India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
  • In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
  • Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.


#5 George.

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:10 PM

Religion is no longer as powerful as it used to be. It no longer has as many believers, it no longer has anything like the number of people going to church on a Sunday and it no longer marries one percent of what it used to.

 

Why are non-religious schools banned from Scotland?

 

Who has the right to inflict their religion and their beliefs on us without permission, while forcing their faith upon us without asking?

 

 

Humanist Society Scotland


Edited by George., 14 October 2018 - 12:20 PM.


#6 Sacre Bleu

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 01:14 PM

"Religion is no longer as powerful as it used to be. It no longer has as many believers, it no longer has anything like the number of people going to church on a Sunday" - this is a sweeping statement. Are you just referring to denominational Christianity in the UK?
 
"it no longer marries one percent of what it used to" - what do you mean by that?
 
"Why are non-religious schools banned from Scotland?" - it is an odd and unpopular policy and is largely for historical reasons. Currently, parents are entitled to withdraw children from religious observance, and it is likely that pupils will gain the right to withdraw from religious observance without parental consent when the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is incorporated into Scottish law. I expect whole schools will be able to opt-out soon afterwards.
 
"Who has the right to inflict their religion and their beliefs on us without permission, while forcing their faith upon us without asking?" - governments, usually.

Edited by Sacre Bleu, 14 October 2018 - 01:18 PM.


#7 tarsus

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

Wow , This is interesting, now what about reincarnation and past lives.


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#8 George.

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 01:59 PM

"Religion is no longer as powerful as it used to be. It no longer has as many believers, it no longer has anything like the number of people going to church on a Sunday" - this is a sweeping statement. Are you just referring to denominational Christianity in the UK?

No, I'm not referring to the UK. I'm concerned about Shetland, and Scotland as a whole.

 

"it no longer marries one percent of what it used to" - what do you mean by that?

In the not too distant past almost everybody got married in church. Now almost nobody getmarried in church. I think that saya lot.

 

"Why are non-religious schools banned from Scotland?" - it is an odd and unpopular policy and is largely for historical reasons. 

I would suggest that it has nothing to do with any form of history. It happens because believerwant to inflict their belief upon us - regardless of the fact that there ino proof to justify their faith.

 

"Who has the right to inflict their religion and their beliefs on us without permission, while forcing their faith upon us without asking?" - governments, usually.

If you're right and it is done by government, it shows just how democratic we are. However, I disagree. The religious amongst us inflict it upon us. Religion is no more than a control mechanism, and is all too often used and abused by those and such as those.

 

I would be interested to see any proof you have that shows the existence of a god. Any god will do.


Edited by George., 14 October 2018 - 02:18 PM.


#9 Urabug

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 02:44 PM

Biggest problem i see with the Christian religion is the number of different denominations all preaching from the same bible but I assume interpreting it in different ways .

 

They cannot all be right.

 

If everyone was going to the same church then possibly christianity might survive.

 

What other religion other than the christian is like Heinz with 57 varieties. To many of us very confusing  :ponders:



#10 Sacre Bleu

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 02:54 PM

"In the not too distant past almost everybody got married in church. Now almost nobody getmarried in church. I think that saya lot." - I'd be interested to know what evidence you're basing this assertion on. I've been to 3 weddings in Shetland this year and all have been in churches.

 

"I would suggest that it has nothing to do with any form of history." - the law you refer to dates back to 1872, and it is currently being reformed, ergo it has historical context.

 

"Religion is no more than a control mechanism" - it has indeed been used as a control mechanism, but that is only one aspect of the subject and sweeping assertions like that aren't productive.

 

"I would be interested to see any proof you have that shows the existence of a god. Any god will do." - I'm an atheist.

 



#11 George.

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:04 PM

What other religion other than the christian is like Heinz with 57 varieties. To many of us very confusing  :ponders:

 

Islam


Edited by George., 14 October 2018 - 03:05 PM.


#12 Sacre Bleu

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:05 PM

Biggest problem i see with the Christian religion is the number of different denominations all preaching from the same bible but I assume interpreting it in different ways .

 

They cannot all be right.

 

If everyone was going to the same church then possibly christianity might survive.

 

What other religion other than the christian is like Heinz with 57 varieties. To many of us very confusing  :ponders:

 

The 'adaptability' of Christianity is one of the reasons it could spread and be interpreted/adopted by so many cultures. Compared to some other religion's texts, the bible is fairly light on detail about 'how' to worship, and it can be done individually or collectively.



#13 Ghostrider

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:19 PM

Define 'God'

 

Using human logic and reason, all that there is had to come from somewhere somehow. If you boil down the term 'God' to its base definition, that 'somewhere somehow' arguably is a reasonable fit for the term 'God'. We do not know a what/where/when/how about that 'somewhere somehow', so 'God' by default is a total unknown.

 

Religion and 'God' are two very different things, the only connection between the two is that the various religions have hi-jacked the 'God' term and created it in to a 'character' in an attempt to ligitamise their own philosophies. theories and actions.

 

Religion was maybe all fine and well back in the day when human knowledge and understanding was restricted to what the eye could see, and as we species were totally ignorant about what lay beneath our feet or was in the sky above our heads. It had the potential to stop mass panics and total destructive chaos whenever an eclipse, thunderstorm, earthquake, famine etc came round. It also allowed certain rules of conduct to be established through the setting of societal standards that allowed folk to live in a certain level of peace and maximised their survival.

 

Leaving aside the abuse and mis-use of 'religion' perpetrated by both those within its higher echelons, and by outside forces allying with them for mutual gain, which is a whole other viper pit. In the last century or two 'religion' has rather outlived its usefulness and purpose, science and other knowledge has rendered it obsolete as a means of explaining the unexplained, and we're being smothered in groups of people, both large and small, who do nothing but attempt to force their own beliefs of societal standards upon everyone else.

 

Certainly some folk still choose to believe in 'religion' and find it of value in their lives, and that of course is their perogative, but they'll have to explain themselves on that one, as its beyond me. The majority though I think are in possession of adequate knowledge and reasoning powers to conclude that religion is a concept that's a very long way past its sell by date, that's been grossly over-hyped and over-sold for most of its existence, and is now latgely obsolete.

 

No longer having religion being compulsory in all but name, as it used to be with the powers that be browbeating and brainwashing it in to folk at any and every possible opportunity, does go quite some way to allowing folk to rationally and objectively decide entirely for themselves what it is, and isn't though, and what we're seeing occur on the ground with 'religion' is the result of that. Folk are voting with their feet.


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#14 George.

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:21 PM

I've been to 3 weddings in Shetland this year and all have been in churches.

Three ministers getting married? A lot of marriages used to go on at my local church. It is still available for marriage but I can't remember when it was last used.

 

"Religion is no more than a control mechanism" - it has indeed been used as a control mechanism, but that is only one aspect of the subject and sweeping assertions like that aren't productive.

Religion and the religious around us invented sweeping assertions.

 

 

I'm an atheist.

We have more in common than first thought.



#15 Colin

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:54 PM

In some ways, this is a fairly non-productive discussion as neither side can absolutely prove, or disprove, the existence of a god(s), and the many religions that surround us are nothing more than artificial constructs of human origin.

 

Personally, I have no doubt that religions evolved quite naturally to explain events that were beyond the knowledge of the times,and that it wasn't to long before they were hijacked by the unscrupulous in order to "control the masses" and, maybe, amass a little "wealth" and "status" as well.

 

You could argue that "educated" people no longer need religion, and that it has outlived it's usefulness.  Although, I know quite a few well educated, intelligent, people who are regular churchgoers.  Maybe it's more of a "social" thing with them ?  Certainly, I do not fully understand why anyone who is religious HAS to go to a church to "worship" when It can be done from the privacy and comfort of your own home with none of that noisy bell ringing or shouting from towers stuff. :ponders:

 

Just glad that I do not subscribe to any of them as I would hate trying to support the unsupportable and defend the indefensible.



#16 Ghostrider

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:30 PM

In some ways, this is a fairly non-productive discussion as neither side can absolutely prove, or disprove, the existence of a god(s), and the many religions that surround us are nothing more than artificial constructs of human origin.

 

Surely the onus is on the 'believers' to prove the existence. Disproving existence can't be done, regardless of subject matter.

 

I'll tip my hat to the mind(s) that conceived 'God'/religion though, as what they created must be near perfect to convince the masses that it exists, without having to produce one shred on tangible evidence of its existence.

 

As an exercise in mind control and capitalising upon inherent human fears and weaknesses, it excells.

 

It seems one of very few ways not to be drawn in in some way by it all, is to be someone who when the 'Why am I here', 'What is the purpose of life', 'What happens when I die' etc type questions come up. Can truthfully answer 'Don't know, don't care' to them all.


Edited by Ghostrider, 14 October 2018 - 07:36 PM.


#17 Lerwick antiques

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 08:30 PM

It's hard to imagine how a nation of "believers" can be taken in by the bible, as there is no evidence any of this is true or exists.

 

I think it's more of folk believing what they want to believe. To some folk, going to heaven after death is a comforting thought, being reincarnated is a comforting thought, some find eternal darkness as a comforting thought, some find "going to paradise" a comforting thought.    

 

Many folk get into religion after doing a crime, drugs etc and confession their "sins" helps them make peace with what they have done to folk, society or themselves.

 

As for spirits/ghosts, strangely there is more evidence to support that theory through sightings etc, but I would also discount this until I see a ghost of a dead person then might believe that.

 

Many folk are follow religion as it's what they want to believe and what brings them comfort.

 

Bearing in mind, there has been many occasions where folk has committed terrible crimes against society or a person as this is what they claim to be correct through their perception of the bible.



#18 tarsus

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 08:39 PM

What about cases where people have been visited by someone who seems to have come to say goodby  then the person finds out that the visitor died before he was seen.



#19 Colin

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 08:46 PM

 

In some ways, this is a fairly non-productive discussion as neither side can absolutely prove, or disprove, the existence of a god(s), and the many religions that surround us are nothing more than artificial constructs of human origin.

 

Surely the onus is on the 'believers' to prove the existence. Disproving existence can't be done, regardless of subject matter.

 

I'll tip my hat to the mind(s) that conceived 'God'/religion though, as what they created must be near perfect to convince the masses that it exists, without having to produce one shred on tangible evidence of its existence.

 

As an exercise in mind control and capitalising upon inherent human fears and weaknesses, it excells.

 

It seems one of very few ways not to be drawn in in some way by it all, is to be someone who when the 'Why am I here', 'What is the purpose of life', 'What happens when I die' etc type questions come up. Can truthfully answer 'Don't know, don't care' to them all.

 

Agreed.



#20 Ghostrider

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 09:13 PM

What about cases where people have been visited by someone who seems to have come to say goodby  then the person finds out that the visitor died before he was seen.

 

I think you're heading down the road of ESP there, rather than 'religion'.

 

There are endless accounts of folk making some sort of invisible and unknown 'connection' with each other, even if it should be nothing more than someone comes to mind for reason, only for the phone to then ring and its that person calling, for it to be entirely written off to 'coincidence'.

 

Theories to explain it are scarce though, and AFAIK 'religion' hasn't been in the habit of stepping up and accepting blame for it either.