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Posted (edited)

First of all I would like to open this post with a warm hello!

Also, I would like people to post their theories and their beliefs and rebuttals they may have. If we can try to do it without becoming mean or condescending that would preferable. I am always open to these topics and won't condemn or say you are wrong. Atheists are welcome, I love hearing scientific theories as well as scientific facts that support theories or are generally accepted as truth.

There might be some who will be offended that I will be labeling God as a He, I have many theories about gender with the idea of God but for passages sake I will be using He. As an example, I have a theory that God might be all genders (Genesis 1:27)

Above is an example of how I am going to have some Bible verses in this post. I will state my theories behind biblical passages, if you have other books that have spiritual teachings, please post the reference, name of book, and your stance with it. I will get a copy of that material because I research these topics constantly.

My question is:

If God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere how can there be free will?

My theory is that we were made is His image(Genesis 1:26-27). We have a soul, spirit, and flesh. God has three aspects that we know of. God could be the considered the soul, the seat of emotions. There are a lot of passages that claim that God is jealous, wrathful and compassionate, and is the embodiment of love(I believe love is the full spectrum of emotions) when God acts/reacts He expels that emotion to it's greatest severity. The Holy Spirit, who is mentioned all over scripture. Which is the power of God and interacts with this timeline directly, His emotions are something driving that power, so if He is wrathful, it will be extreme. The Savior, Isaiah prophesied His coming and salvation, it is generally accepted by some denominations of believers that Jesus fits Isaiah's description of the Savior. Jesus was a person who is made flesh. That would be God's flesh. 

Since, God Himself has free will. We are in His image. Therefore we have free will. There is a Bible verse that kinda debates that theory, still contemplating that. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

I believe He set things in motion (coinciding with evolution) there was a Bible teacher who knew his stuff, he did a topic on creation. Through that I learned that the word day is misinterpreted, it is actually an old Hebrew word that actually means, 'an undetermined period of time'. So, it says that there is the day and night, then it says that it took an undetermined period of time to complete it's creation (Genesis 1:1-5) 

We were created from the Earth sculpted from it's elements, which could be the best way to describe the process of creation with old Hebrew. Which means, He is responsible for the process still, but it took an undetermined amount of time. It could have been day and night for 1,000,000 years. We are bound by time, so we have evovled into His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10) or still evolving.

I believe we are the ones who shape our will and we ultimately decide our choices. I believe God comes in and out if our timeline. Since He is infinite He has already seen the outcome and can implement His will on the timeline to alter the possible outcome. This would be instantaneous He would already know the outcome of it because He willed it, however He only does this in key parts of scripture. With everything else He let's us decide, and He sees that in the timeline as well. That is how He is omniscient (All knowing). An example of it is the prophets. God let His spirit fall on them and give them glances into the future and heavenly wisdom that turned the heart of David. They are used to implement God's will. Saying He is there at thay very moment using His spirit to move on the Earth and impose His will. 

The Bible verse that says I'm not willing that any would perish but come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) That implies we ultimately decide our fate. The new Testament has the verse about how we should pray and it says 'thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.' Meaning His will is followed in heaven with no deviation, but on Earth our will is our fate. So that prayer invites God's will  to be done here through people, who are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
So God's will is in several key places in scripture, and it has an underlying theme, turn to Him and be received by God. But, we do not have to follow His will. We ultimately shape our destiny and with the freedom to follow our own will.

That is how I answer that question. 

 

Edited by Igobihim
Missed a point, sentences we're not cohesive.

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It's interesting cuz according to neuroscience (not just saying shit this is from two seperate Ph.D. psychologist/neuroscientists at different times) we can't have free will because neurons fire before we are aware of our intention. Since cognition is chemical-it is predetermined how we will react in a given situation because our genetics have already laid the roadmap for what chemicals are available and thus for each specific environmental influence and biological situation there is only one possible reaction. It is said "in the industry" that behavior is genetics+environment- neither of which we can control totally, and no control means no free will. 

Personally, I hate this idea, because if there's no free will life is pointless. But after a lecture from a cognitive neuroscientist and a collegiate presentation I think I hate it cuz it could be true.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Iceberg said:

we can't have free will because neurons fire before we are aware of our intention. Since cognition is chemical-it is predetermined how we will react in a given situation because our genetics have already laid the roadmap for what chemicals are available and thus for each specific environmental influence and biological situation there is only one possible reaction. It is said "in the industry" that behavior is genetics+environment- neither of which we can control totally, and no control means no free will

I didn't know that the neurons fired before we are cognitive aware of it. 

Thanks!

That does open a lot of possible theories that I can riddle my brain with.

Edited by Igobihim

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On 8/4/2018 at 11:39 PM, Iceberg said:

neurons fire before we are aware of our intention.

Did some research about neurons and their firing. Wasn't too versed in that component. I couldn't find where they fire on their own before we have reacted or stimulated the neuron to make it release it's charg. Not saying you are wrong or had been given speculation of how it works. I am saying there isn't that much on it. Of course I could also be missing it.

So, with the knowledge that they fire on their own and they have only been able to observe it with two components, the physical genetics and the environment. They can't measure the spiritual component because we don't have the technology yet. We are making strides in it though.

I am thinking that our spirit wrestles with our flesh (Galatians 5:17) I think that the neurons that are firing on their own have been stimulated by our spirit.

I think our spirit is not bound by time, so it may have insight on what will happen next. Being more aware of your spirit may give you more control over the neurons. I think the Holy Spirit also helps guide decision. If we attune to listen to that voice and follow it it will lead your spirit down the path God designed for us. The predetermined argument then becomes a choice as well. 

Our spirit isn't all know, all powerful and everywhere. It is bound to our flesh which, in itself, is blind to that spiritual realm. Unless we seek enlightening for our spirit. Most teachings that embody enlightenment talk about starving or subduing the flesh to focus on our spirit. 

So, I think that since we are not fully attuned to our spirit we ignore the guiding voice of ourselves and God's., We have an infinite part of us unlike our flesh which is finite and will eventually die. That is why I believe your spirit wrestles with your flesh.

God's will for our lives would be a choice we would need to make. 

Studying that was pretty insightful. I don't know if this theory can hold much water but it does open then theory that the spirit component is stimulating the neuron and causing it to fire.  

 

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Well if u think about it in order to have feelings some chemical process must trigger these feelings which means the trigger happens before you "feel" 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting. That is true that you have to trigger it first before you feel it because it takes roughly 2 milliseconds for the neuron to fire after it was triggered. What I couldn't find is what is stimulus of that negative charge in the first place. The chemical pumps are responsible for the potassium and other chemicals that go in and out of the neuron during it's 'recharge'. So chemically we understand that these chemicals are responsible for the neuron to remain 'charged'.

They fire but by what? And how does consciousness fire in the brain, and are there neurons specific to consciousness, because there are for muscle fibers and such? Stimulus is required right? And that causes all the chemical pumps and neurons to activate and that potential is then triggered. If this is all happening without the environment+genetics formula that they currently perceive as the only way a neuron fires, then we have a mystery on how our chemical pump and negative charge builds and fires on it's own. 

I'm not trying to be upsetting. It just causes so much thought into my already riddled brain. 

Edited by Igobihim
Punctuation, I prob still missed some

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A polite discussion about religion on the internet? I'm not sure such a thing is possible but I'd be happy to be proved wrong. I'm an atheist, but I don't want to convert anyone, and I am quite interested in why people believe what they believe, which isn't limited to religion. I might not agree with you but you sound like an intelligent and thoughtful person who hopefully won't be offended by my arguments about why God doesn't exist.

Darwinism is often held up as proof for the non-existence of God. It does undermine the conception of a loving and caring God, as Christianity portrays Him/Her. It doesn't rule out the idea of a creator, since how life got started is still something of a mystery, but it does make God someone who pushed a button to get things started and then sat back over millions of years of "nature red in tooth and claw", and all the suffering that entailed.

But I think that one of the strongest arguments against the existence of God is an argument which religious people often use against atheists. "You can't prove that God doesn't exist." The usual reply is that it's impossible to prove a negative assertion and so on. But if you can't prove that God doesn't exist then this must be true of all Gods. A Christian can't prove that Hindu Gods don't exist, or that Pagan Gods don't exist, or that Scientology isn't a load of deluded shite. So that argument turns back on these people - if I can't prove that your God doesn't exist then how can prove that none of these other Gods aren't real and aren't the true God(s).

Many of the religions that people have believed in are completely incompatible with each other. So some of them must've been made up. So people are capable of creating a false religion which many people will accept as truth. The true religion for most people is the one that they were born into. The ancient Greeks would've felt the same when worshipping Zeus. Many people at Jonestown felt the same. If yours is the true faith then others must be inventions, and if people can just create religions that can convince millions of people of their truth then how do you know that yours is the real one. How can you know that there is a real one?

But it's difficult to talk about these things without sounding like you're attacking religious people. I believe one thing and you believe another. I think I'm right and you think you're right. Ok, I think that you're wrong but so what? Could be worse, you could be a Trump supporter, in which case I'd have used a much simpler argument - "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?" But we can talk about religion in a civilised and constructive way can't we? That's all just what I think, not trying to ridicule religion or convert anyone.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

But we can talk about religion in a civilised and constructive way can't we? That's all just what I think, not trying to ridicule religion or convert anyone.

You didn't come off mean or condescending. I asked for any and all theories and beliefs.  

4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

It does undermine the conception of a loving and caring God, as Christianity portrays Him/Her

The original languages of the Bible are Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek, from these original languages, the bible has been translated into 636 languages. The New Testament has been translated into 1442languages and portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,223 different languages. With that staggering amount of alterations on the original text you are bound to get misled somewhere. 

 

For people of faith who go by just the king's James version, they believe that's the truest translation. However, that is also false, King James had his Scholars research and put into book form scrolls, rewrites and selection of texts while throwing out others. If it didn't align then it didn't get included which is in direct violation of the original text  (Deuteronomy 4:2) that scripture says that the word should not be altered or added to. Which raises suspicion and for me a need to have original texts/scrolls and the closest to the original languages. 

4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

I think that one of the strongest arguments against the existence of God is an argument which religious people often use against atheists. "You can't prove that God doesn't exist."

That rebuttle that people use is a terrible explanation for faith. It's an emotionally triggered lashback and it's just to shut the other party up. There are Bible versus about starting quarrels and being quick tempered. I have proverbs in mind. It basically says do not argue with someone for the sake of argument especially when they have given you no reason or done you no harm, (Proverbs 3:30) there are several that I won't reference right now. 

I don't expect you to go and read these scriptures. I don't expect you to believe in this, convert to this. That is not my goal or desire. 

Faith is the belief of the unseen. So, in my mind, everything that is regarding the very start of existence is a matter of faith. You have to believe in this format of science or religion because it is tangible that any or all could be true. Is this Christian God a ever loving presence that has all this love and power subject to science? Can this God be proved this way? Can science disprove or prove the entirety of creation, can religion? 

no, neither one has the sources or ability to recreate it or prove anything. There is enough scientific evidence for the majority of scientific minds to agree that evolution must be a fact. So, where did God go in that case. I can't answer that, I have faith that there is a God, who this God is is in the scrolls that are horded by the Vatican. That's why I theorize that God started the top and we have been spinning ever since  

I don't follow just a book that has been mistranslated over and over. I have delved into many spiritual documents and filled my brain space with other God's and their impact on the Earth realm. I believe that there have been other beings that held power and did wonders/displays of power. Which it even says in the ten commandments, you are to have no other  God's before me. He is a jealous God so it would be safe to theorize that there are other God's and the Christian God is jealous of them being followed so He demanded that you only follow Him. Which brings the stance that God doesn't necessarily stay in a loving mood. But I have many theories about emotions and God.

So, that brings into question. If there are several of these powerful beings that are worshipped and followed. Which one is the most likely to be true? Isn't it possible they all are? 

The shut down the conversation with you can't prove it is lazy, condescending and blind. There is science who has evidence, there are peoples who have God's portrayed in temples, there are people who have transcended and seen things and energies that can be felt through meditations. I can't just say you are wrong. I can't just say I am right. 

I don't accept a lot of mainstream christian teaching. I can't because us as humans, His image, are scientifically bound to this dimension, this time line, and this universe. Our understanding is based off of this sprawling space that we have determined is vast enough to be infinite. 

4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

That's all just what I think, not trying to ridicule religion or convert anyone.

I love that you took the time to post your response. It was excellent hearing your take on religious beliefs and your firm belief in science. I can't deny science, but it doesn't have all the answers. I can't deny God because of my personal experiences and my research. So how do I resolve the conflicts? That is why I can't stop the searching. 

Thank you for being awesome. This was a good rebuttal. I respect your opinion.

I am unsure why my text blew up so big in the middle of this, but I did write half of it in a word doc before pasting it over to this. 

Edited by Igobihim
Had to explain a text issue
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9 minutes ago, Igobihim said:

The shut down the conversation with you can't prove it is lazy, condescending and blind

I have to edit that. Because, I was referring to religious stance. I wasnt referring to your particular use of that stance. It is a completely valid thought. I am sorry if that was out of line.

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I stand corrected. It is possible to have a polite discussion about religion on the internet. I was worried that I'd gone a bit too far and I'm glad that I didn't say anything to offend you. I'm not well read when it comes to religion but you don't have to believe in God to appreciate the story of the good Samaritan or what Jesus said about not judging. People are just people and what they claim to believe in is not a good way to tell whether they're a good person or not. Not judging and recognising that people who are different than you can still be good people is something we should all do a lot more.

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4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

. People are just people and what they claim to believe in is not a good way to tell whether they're a good person or not. Not judging and recognising that people who are different than you can still be good people is something we should all do a lot more.

Agreed, religion does not equal morality, neither does claiming to believe. The good people are all around us, some of them are atheists, why would being an atheist make you a bad person? Well, according to the Christian Bible, you and I are gentiles, not God's chosen people. That's where the promise of God comes in through the person Jesus Christ. His promises are about redemption which we could not attain before Jesus.

I won't go much further down that thought process, I have theories about Jesus and how salvation works. That is a heavy topic and it usually takes very open minds and open hearts. Because that story has the intent to convince the receiving party to be saved, I would love to have that discussion with you or anyone really, but that would be a blog conversation and it would have to be agreed by us to be non-condemning and full of tolerance. I would have to keep my heart in check.

I was raised southern Baptist, very conservative and strict. I used to be their perfect product. Constructed by sermons that condemned me. I was always battling the way they portrayed life and the 'secular' people, well this brainwashing that sinners are morally evil and their actions are against Gods will. Like they had a sickness that could catch if we talked to them. I started reading the Bible for myself. This opened the door for my mind to think for itself. Other religious texts entered my library. I found that most of the Christians were operating as lemmings. They would willingly segregate themselves from "sinners" want would condemn them. Not cool.

4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

I'm glad that I didn't say anything to offend you.

I'm loving this interaction with you. I am also pretty hard to offend.

In my opinion, Science has basic laws and rules that our bodies cannot deny or reject, they must follow. Then they have theories and will be put to the test. If they succeed in recreation of the theory, or create/discover something new, or they conclude this is not something that is not scientifically possible. If we relied solely on that it is not possible then there would be no more theory to have, there would be stagnant minds not dreaming of the impossible. Planes wouldn't have ever gotten off the ground. 

Science is a constant, in that, it doesn't have an end and it has always been here and it offers us the ability to discover the unknown. I believe God operates in a realm we will be able to discover, not sure when but we have so many scientific theories about dimensions and space and time and all these awesome topics. The unknown is a seduction for us. We have to find it and discover it, the smartest minds grind their intellect against these great mysteries. I have that desire too. Faith is the belief of the unseen. So I believe there is things science has yet to discover, I have faith in it's process. Yet, I also have faith in God, the unseen. I believe we will discover the spiritual realm and that will unleash so many possibilities.

I am not saying that I am right, or that you must believe this too. 

4 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

I'm not well read when it comes to religion but you don't have to believe in God to appreciate the story of the good Samaritan or what Jesus said about not judging

Well read is a compliment, thank you. Yes I have studied the Bible. The New Testament has the first four books called The Gospels, you might know them by that. Those have the teachings of Jesus. It is accepted by some historians that He did exist and He did die, but they can't confirm a resurrection. 

The good Samaritan is a good story. There are several great teachings that Jesus brought to us. The prodigal son is a wonderful story, my personal favorite.

Jesus taught love. He admittedly got anger and condemning, but that was always aimed at the Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders of that time. They had become corrupt and would punish "sinners" usually by stoneing them to death. You may have heard of Mary Magdalene, the one that was going to be stoned to death for being an adultress. Jesus drew in the sand something that wasn't written down and it has the famous line, "he who has no sin, may cast the first stone". (John 8:7)

A modern Pharisee looks like Joel Olsteen, Billy Graham, westboro baptist church, that church causes me seriously strong emotions, I usually don't say hate, and I want to be tolorant with all things I do, but with them I can't find it in me.

Jesus taught many wonderful things. Grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness. These things we have undervalued down the generations. We right now are exercising tolorance. I am going to actually post two scriptures if that is ok. It's verses that most christians don't follow or even bring up that much.

To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:2

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; Philippians 4:5

Those two versus I follow. Because they have been crucial with how I built my spiritual understanding. I also have other materials that I have studied and want to study more. I know the Bible the most. 

I apologise if that too much Jesus talk. I have been told God is easier to discuss than Jesus. So I attempt to keep those topics short and to the point without being condescending, judgmental or converting. 

As for you being unlearned in Bibliography, that is perfectly fine. I assume it is because it is a book about God and you have atheist bases beliefs, it probably didn't appeal. I could be totally wrong. Assuming is a stupid practice there is no wisdom in it. But, we all do it.

Ok, so I did touch a little more on the Jesus topic, I am hoping it wasn't too cringy. If this was too much, call me out. I would rather you be honest about everything you feel comfortable with. 

5 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

I was worried that I'd gone a bit too far and I'm glad that I didn't say anything to offend you.

You have your beliefs, they are a part of your individuality, if I stripped it out with judgments and condemnations you would either retaliate, get angry and leave, or basically say I am unintelligent because I believe in the magic man in the sky. It's ok, that sounds funny to me too. 

My posts are ridiculously long, I like to talk, as you may have noticed. You have these precise one paragraph answers. I have always been jealous of people who could get their points across with minimal fluff. 

I hope to here from you again. If not in this thread than another would be nice. 

 

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16 hours ago, Igobihim said:

I'm loving this interaction with you.

Me too :D. Too often people descend into insults if they don't agree with another person's opinion and it's good that we can talk about this in a friendly way. "To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." I don't disagree with that. There's quite a lot of arrogance in thinking that people who don't think like you must be either stupid or evil. Grace, love, mercy and forgiveness sounds good, but as you mention some people turn religion into a reason to hate. Eugh! The Westboro Baptist church. If I believed in Hell I'd hope there was a special circle for people like that.

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3 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

The Westboro Baptist church. If I believed in Hell I'd hope there was a special circle for people like that.

Me too. I mean in serious ways. Like let them writhe with the pedophiles and rapists.

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I believe religion is simply ancient politics originating from old folk tales created after aliens descended from the heavens and started fucking all the monkey's. 

I don't believe in free will because it goes against the laws of physics. Action and reaction; cause and effect. The Chaos Theory.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of the horse, the rider was lost.
For want of the rider, the battle was lost.
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost.
...And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. 

My "god" is Gravity. The moment gravity first got it's foothold in this Universe, it was literally all downhill from there. The entire future of existence was written in stone in that one moment. Think of it as the "Little Nudge" heh heh. 

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I don't like the idea of a sentient all knowing all powerful god figure. That would mean the Universe is basically just a big game and we're the pawns on a chessboard for the amusement of someone else. Like an animal in a zoo. In a cage. I hate feeling like I'm in a cage. And I guess that's what religions are to me in a sense; a cage, ruled by dictators. I've read the entire Bible. It's hard to believe that God is benovolent whatsoever; He strikes me as a maniac. I actually like the Devil more than God in the Bible lol. All the Devil ever did was show Humanity the difference between right and wrong. God on the other hand wanted us to remain ignorant, savage primates that were easily manipulated. The Devil came bringing light; which is why he was called Lucifer, the Morning Star. He's basically....copyright infringement. If you look at Prometheus from Greek Mythology, he basically did the same thing Lucifer did, only his people worshipped him as a hero instead, quite logically so if I may add haha. And you know the story of Horus? It just about mirrors precisely the story of Jesus Christ; it just predates Jesus by thousands of years, so Jesus is a ripoff too! Lol. XD

Dang...I was gonna try to be nice. =/

--204

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, 204 said:

If you look at Prometheus from Greek Mythology, he basically did the same thing Lucifer did, only his people worshipped him as a hero instead, quite logically so if I may add haha.

It bears pointing out that as a result, Prometheus ended up chained to a mountain having his liver constantly eaten by Zeus' favorite eagle. Worship of Prometheus? Probably not so much - there is very little evidence of an actual cult of Prometheus in ancient Greece, but everybody worshipped Zeus to some degree.

Edited by Cerberus
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Posted (edited)

First, I’ll start by saying, I rarely debate because it’s terrifying for me, and I often become discombobulated midway through. I lack confidence and it’s something I seriously need to investigate why. I’m 50 now, and I’ve had plenty of time to face this fear.

I’ll start by saying I identify as Buddhist, but because I have serious struggles with reading comprehension, it’s taking me a long, long time to learn what I desperately want to absorb right now. Not because I’m being too hard on myself, but because the practice of the path changes me for the better in a multitude of ways and to degrees I never thought possible and want to reduce my suffering.

I strongly believe we have free will.

We may have feelings that are preconditioned due to past experiences and genetics, however, therapy exists so we can process them, learn how those feelings became ingrained or conditioned by past experiences. After dissecting troubling past experiences, and examining how they evolved in us, and see them differently eventually, our feelings and knee jerk reactions can and often do change.

Will. Next are the thoughts that arise, which, in my opinion, have become habits. Think about CBT and its proven effectiveness. Simply changing what you say to yourself can evoke different feelings. Same as forcing a smile. It’s been proven that simply doing that releases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins! So by forcing/willing a smile, there’s a good chance it can change feelings or thoughts.

If you’re terrified of leaving the house, it’s easy to let those feelings and thoughts dictate your actions. Telling one’s self you can’t do it, reinforces the fear, and lessens the chance of it happening. Exposure therapy works, for at least one person. Me. I hadn’t been talking about it here, cause I had more pressing and desperate problems bothering me.

For the past several years I had severe agoraphobia. But over the past year, my tdoc and I have been using exposure therapy, and and cbt to stop saying I can’t do it, to I will try. I now take Abby to the dog park as often as possible, go to my appointments (for the most part) without extreme anxiety. I definitely still have anxiety, but not stifling.  This is free will. I easily could have continued to keep telling myself I couldn’t do it. But I chose to do something different with my free will.

I was “brought up” -*choke*- as a Christian. Church was never a pleasant experience, as every time we left, I had new bruises on my thigh for simply swinging my legs back and forth and wiggling around in my seat, as I had adhd from a very young age, but my egg donor would have no excuses in church.

 I grew up beaten, ridiculed, molested, and had my life threatened several times with a knife touching my chest, stomach and neck. Most of that was after my dad left us/me. I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. Nothing ever stopped. 

Then the questions started, and have never ended.

Why were my prayers never answered? Why did this god let this happen to anyone, much less me? Why do perfectly good people get killed out of hatred? Natural disasters? Child abuse? Car accidents? How does this all loving being choose who to “bring home”? “He only gives you what he knows you can handle”. “Gives the hard stuff to the strongest” “Why give this innocent little baby genes and/or environment knowing it will end up tortured by mental illness as a result for the duration of their life”

Then there’s science. But I’ve already written a novella so I’ll leave it at that.

For me personally, Buddhism has answered most of my questions and given me the ability to find peace, the ability to love, and improved my ability to deal with this life of mental illness. It isn’t constant, I often forget the principles and cause pain to myself or others, and mental illness distracts me from practicing. But I’m slowly improving. Most importantly, I have learned that I can experience pain, but can also limit suffering. I’m learning self compassion and love. Forgiveness is my biggest challenge, for myself and others, but I’m positive it will happen.

 I’m a firm believer of thoughts become actions, and you are what you think and choose to do.

 I’m also really worried that I’ll be judged harshly for my views. I know some will vehemently disagree, and worry they will not like me anymore as a result. But those fears are what brings me back to the teachings “it is what it is”, accepting I cannot control it, and to remember self love and compassion trump what others think. If I continue focusing and reminding myself. Another one of my biggest stumbling blocks that I’m positive I can change. 

I sooooo hope I haven’t offended or hurt anyone. If I did, let me know so I can apologize and make things right.

 

 

Edited by DammitJanet
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Don't apologize for offending anyone Janet. If you do you'll be apologizing your entire life. People just need to accept the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them and their own personal beliefs. Keep strong. =)

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1 hour ago, 204 said:

Don't apologize for offending anyone Janet. If you do you'll be apologizing your entire life. People just need to accept the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them and their own personal beliefs. Keep strong. =)

Thanks 😊

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On 05/10/2018 at 2:21 PM, DammitJanet said:

I sooooo hope I haven’t offended or hurt anyone.

I might not be the best person to answer this but I don't think you said anything offensive. Why does God let these things happen? That's surely something any believer should ask themselves. Not attacking religion but you can't really think badly of anyone who asks this.

If I didn't like you already I'd like you for using the word 'discombobulated'. I was wondering if combobulate is a word and apparently it is. A google search gave me a definition from a dictionary site of "To get your shit together." I must try to be more combobulated.

Buddhism is interesting. I'll never believe in reincarnation or any of the more supernatural aspects of some variations of Buddhism but it has much to say even without these things. I like the books of Stephen Batchelor, who calls himself a Buddhist atheist.

I don't know if I believe in free will but then it's probably an erroneous concept, and thinking that it doesn't exist might be correct but doesn't acknowlege what does exist. I'm not entirely sure what the hell I'm talking about either.

 

 

 

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I personally don't think there is such a thing as radical free will. Our will is subject to a number of constraints. Our socioeconomic status determines a lot what we can and can't do no matter how much we want to do it. Our upbringing also constrains our free will because we are raised with certain values and beliefs which are really hard to go against. Nature also constrains your free will because we really can't go against the laws of nature. For example, I may want to grow wings and fly, but no matter how much I will it, it's not going to happen. The best we can do is build airplanes if we want to fly. I'm sure there are other constraints as well.

When all of this is factored in, what remains is what we can call free will. 

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I’m a Christian. I believe we were born a slave to sin. We never had a free will until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Unfortunately I had to go thru the ringer to understand all of this. 

 

Im going to go to College to become a theologian. 

 

I like Ike the way you talk. Very open minded but on target!

Edited by sonicwhite

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Whether you're religious or not I think it's interesting to ask if it's possible for God to have free will. Can a perfect and omniscient being act otherwise? Of course none of us mere mortals are perfect and omniscient, and this makes the idea of free will questionable I think. Without the possibility of certainty our actions will always contain an element of randomness, which doesn't make us free at all. But those seem to be the two choices - certainty is no choice but neither is randomness.

And we make those decisions in an unpredictable world based on what we are and what we've learnt. We can't escape our upbringing, our gender, our culture. We never chose these things but they make us who we are. And then there's genetics. The idea that we can all be whatever we want to be, if only we try hard enough, seems dumb. Because you can't play professional basketball if you're 5' tall and you can't choose not to be depressed. We never had the choice but to be who we are because there couldn't be a 'me' to choose otherwise.

All of which probably sounds depressing. A better person than me might say that this is a good thing. We're all in the same boat, which is drifting down the river to God knows where, and none of us wanted to get on the damn boat to start with. And we're all imperfect and flawed but we're trying to do our best. Some people have said that it's necessary to belive in free will in order to preserve our sanity - our brains can't handle the idea that we're following a road that we never chose. Maybe. But it seems like an undeniable truth that we didn't make ourselves, and that leads to empathy and sympathy for others, I think, sometimes, when I'm in a good mood.

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God has restrictions. One is He cannot lie. He would cease to exist if He did. But we’re made in His imagine. Meaning Jesus said before He was crucified I made Gods. 

 

 

 

gods. He is the only God with a capital G!!!

Edited by sonicwhite

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