intelligent design or evolution

It’s an age-old question, “Do you believe in God?” Do you have faith that a Creator, Supreme Being or Intelligent Designer (insert title of choice) really exists? Are you utterly convinced that there is no such entity at all? Or are you yet to be convinced one way or another? Those who believe in an all-powerful being do so with complete conviction and faith that we are watched over and guided by a God while those in the opposite camp view this as an entirely fanciful idea. Some of us remain endlessly curious, yet to be persuaded one way or the other, open-minded, heuristic, questioning everything but convinced of nothing. Is there any proof one way or the other? Is it true that a God exists or is it mere coincidence that many people (even societies) have independently arrived at that conclusion?

There is an argument called Argument from Desire that claims The fact that so many societies have independently come to religious belief requires an explanation. Is this just a coincidence? Or is religious belief a natural psychological defence-mechanism against the difficulties that life inevitably throws at us? Or is there some truth that this widespread instinct to look beyond the physical world leads us towards?

That so many societies believe in such a being is not, of itself, sufficient proof that it exists, neither does it make the argument in favour any more plausible. Many children, for example, believe in one version or other of a Santa Claus but we know, in that case, that belief is not proof of existence; if it were, then Santa would be a reality not a happy childhood myth.

If believing does not make reality, it follows that lack of belief is no proof that a God does not exist. This has all been argued by philosophers and great minds down the years; all highly plausible arguments that are still no closer to resolution. The believers and the non-believers remain divided, both sides convinced that they have the truth of the matter. But what convinced them?

At some point in the life of every believer or non-believer, something must have happened to persuade them that they were right … or is their point of view simply that of their parents and they have never thought to question it? Well I have a question. It is addressed to people who firmly believe one way or the other, that there is, or isn’t a God. What happened in your life that persuaded you to your current point of view? If you are a believer, what has actually convinced you that the God you believe in is not simply the subject of myth, legend, fable … call it what you will? What proved it for you … beyond any doubt? What was the evidence that finally convinced you of the reality? Those of you who do not believe, what was it that convinced you that such a thing as a God could not possibly exist? Why do you see such an entity as being possible only in fairy tales? Why do you NOT believe?

Why do you believe there is a god, why do you believe there is not? Is there anything you could say to another person that would actually persuade them to believe that you are right?

What would you say to me that would convince me that your belief is correct, and what evidence can you show me to support your position?.


Wow, what sparked this one off? More to the point, what do you mean Santa isn’t real?!

The use of the phrase “intelligent design” suggests you have had this conversation elsewhere, just recently.

This is going to kick off a massive debate but I hope that it won’t get overheated.

The short answer to your question is I am a Christian, I totally believe that not only does God exist but He watches over us all and desires for all of us to have a father/son relationship with Him.

First of all to establish what a Christian is (which will open up a whole can of worms, in itself).

A Christian is NOT someone born in this country, it is NOT a default religous category that everyone falls under unless they follow a different religion.

A Christian is someone who has accepted the fact that Jesus (who was God’s son yet fully God and fully man) has died on their behalf as a once and for all sacrifice to wash them clean of the one thing that keeps us separated from God, that is, sin. More importantly a Christian is someone who has turned their life around to no longer live their life for their own ends, but to serve God. This is repentance, a total 180 degree turn around that says they don’t want to be separated from God anymore.

This is what I did on July 27th 1997. For me that was a very significant date because my life started again. Yes it is part of the whole “born again” experience which is thrown around so casually but there really is no other way to explain it.

Why do I believe? This is the difficult bit to explain. Firstly I always believed that God was “there” watching over me. Mainly because that’s what I was brought up to believe. Yes, I’m happy to admit that, it certainly made it easier to accept the evidence which I had experienced. (Remember that the same piece of evidence can be interpereted two different ways depending on your original beliefs, your pre-suppositions).

After 20 years of my life, I always felt I was a Christian, simply because I believed God existed. Yet, somehow I knew I had to do more. A friend of mine, who I went to school with was a Christian, he had been brought up in a Christian family, and he used to tell me of all his experiences in his relationship with God. I used to love hearing them and had no problem believing them because I already believed God existed. Yet somehow I couldn’t bring myself to make that decision of repentance and to walk God’s way instead of my own. After all, what the heck did I need to repent of? I was a good person, I didn’t steal or hurt people. I wasn’t “bad”.

Added to all this, I prayed to God and I had those prayers answered. Silly selfish things usually but God was always faithful enough to answer them, in spite of us being totally separated by my sins.

Then one day, I went along with my friend to his church which used to meet at Norton School (yes a school, not a “church” building). God had answered a prayer of mine and I thought it right to go along and show my grattitude.

I’d done this a couple of times over the years, not to many mind you but this particular time my mum had come along because she was worried as to what I might be getting involved with. Especially as they didn’t meet in a building. What kind of cult was it?! Was I becoming a moony?! I can understand her fears and so we went along together.

The strange thing was, that day was different somehow. For some reason, the biggest fear I felt over repenting was somehow gone and that was the day I did it. Lol, my family (except mum) still believe I joined a cult.

It started off that I believed because I was always lead to believe that God existed, now ten years later, I believe because I have my own experiences of God. Experiences of God guiding and directing me. Experiences of God helping and protecting me (like the day I overtook on a blind corner and destroyed my Fireblade, yet walked away with a grazed knee in spite of only wearing Jeans and a leather jacket).

I wish I could convince you all that God exists, I wish I could demonstrate evidence of Him. Even if I were to try though, that evidence will be interpreted by you from what you already believe. If you believe then you will accept it, if you don’t then you will right it off as coincidence or explain it some other way. That of course, is your choice and I have no desire to take that choice away from you.

All I can say to you is that I know that God loves all of us and his one desire is that we would all have that relationship with Him. That is why He sent His son to die in our place. That sacrificial act took away the sin that we carry so that now.

He’s done everything to make it as easy as possible for us. All it comes down to now, is a choice. We either choose Him, or we don’t. He will never make us choose Him, what loving father would want that anyway? He leaves it down to us.

Let the flame wars commence? :slight_smile:

I’m a pagan, generally means I don’t believe in one god or supreme being. I am my own goddess :smiley: What does it mean? Buggered if I know! Still walking my path and working it out as I go along.

Was raised CofE and my mum was RC… I have no problem with other people doing what they feel right but what I absolutely loathe are hypocrites. Those who say they are Christain and as far from the true meaning of that faith as possible. I loathe the damage religion does to people… if it feel right do it… don’t sit and confess to something that made you feel good about yourself. (unless of course it’s morally wrong… but that’s a can of worms).

I have just bought my son a selection of story books that tell Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish and Christain stories etc. I’m sick of one thing being taught in our schools. I hate the whole conditioning them at an early age… I went to a CofE primary school and we had all those hymns and prayers drummed into us. Education is great - brain washing isn’t.

I have friends of all denominations and faiths. The pagan community isn’t any different to the others. Paganism is anything that doesn’t worship one god - so anything not Christian or Islamic is covered under that umbrella.

Right, shouldn’t have got involved in this topic… I’m supposed to be getting ready! byeeeeeeeeeeee x

Ahhh, it’s always the non-Christians who criticise the Christians for not being Christian enough ;):slight_smile: I find that amusing :cool:

An old Scotsman who lived in the USA lost his wife and a year later moved back to Scotland to be with his remaining family. Unlike him, most of his family went to Church regularly and one day the Minister called round to say hello to the old man. Over a whisky he asked the old man if he’d like to come to Church with his family but the old man said “There are too may hypocrites in Church, never find me going there.” to which the Minister replied “Theres always room for one more !” :cool::slight_smile:

i think that there is a god but he/she/it will not interfear. he/she/it may have created everything, set things in motion but thats it! we’ve got to get through things by ourselfs and we make our own hevan or hell

Fair enough. Was one so can comment on personal experiences …like the RE teacher of H boys school who ran the brownies in my village, kicked me and my whole family out of all the activities she ran, because I took my little sister to church. She was quiet and attentive and I was 8 years old. Stuff like that…

Another example: woman on the corner is a born again. She said to me ‘I can’t call myself a true christian because i smoke’. It had nothing to do with the fact she was a coke dealer, going out with the bloke who used to run the brothel in ickleford AND more importantly had threatened to stab one of the neighbours kids (aged 7) :w00t::w00t: that kind of thing.

I know some very dedicated, wonderful people of all denominations. I was the Secretary of the SNU church in Letchworth 3 years ago… have no probs with those who have faith, just those who claim to live by a set of rules and don’t.

Vive la difference!

I suspect those people have been confused by what they believe being, in this case, a Christian means. Won’t go into it now but being a nice person has nothing at all to do with being a Christian, you can be horrible and still be a Christian and be saved etc, because it’s about faith and what you believe, not what you do.

It’s sad to hear of the people you mention but just as there are rouge pagans and spiritualists there are also rouge Christians, they tend to be more common because there are more Christians than pagans.

Like I said… those people are NOT truely christains. They are deluded and fly under a false banner. The good people I know don’t need to shout it from the rooftops but lead their lives according to their teaching. So you are right. :slight_smile:

No, it’s the other way round :hehe:, they are/might be but think they aren’t which is really sad because they have been confused by non-Christians into thinking being a Christian equates to being a good person or a person who does worthy things :slight_smile:

runs away from topic* don’t want to offend anyone so gonna shush and run :smiley:

i was brought up in a very christian environment, church every sunday, mum was baptised, prayer meetings every week, you know the drill. I think it turned me off it completely in the end.

my personal view that religion is for the weak, for those that feel they need a little something that they cannot get from life itself, a clash of religious belief is behind almost every war you care to name (bar the recent one over oil but thats another story!), and religious leaders are among the richest in the world, while religious followers are often among the poorest.

faith is just that, a faith, you believe in something that cant be fathomed and cant be proven so it is faith…great for starting wars…

it has no science, and the facts that exist are all stories told by men renowned for their story telling…

God does exist in the minds of men…yes and women although intrestingly enough god seems to think women should not be disciples or church leaders etc etc etc…now I wonder why that is…

For anyone to truly believe they have to believe stories that are 2000 years and more old…they have some element of truth…and sense…thou shalt not kill for instance but who can remember the 10 commandments…I bet non on here without looking it up…and even then in the bible its difficult to know what are the actual ten commandments…its all baloney made up by some very odd men from the past I had a vision, THE PROPHET SAID AND THE LORD CAME UNTO ME The prophet happened to be high on opium at the time so what do you expect…

God is for the weak who need to believe we are here for more than just riding bikes…fast…well we are not in my humble opinion…

I believe in man, in that he has the power of his own destiny and that once he is dead he is gone…full stop. Ghosts and spirits dont exist, heaven and hell are here on earth, my ex wife believes her mum and dad (adopted) talk to her… she believes in ghosts but not god…hmm and she sniffed glue and smoked pot and she wonders why her brain is addled…


respect to you both for your honesty… i didn’t dare. :slight_smile:

For the weak ? Oh yeah, I forgot, we’re all weak aren’t we so it’s there for everybody if you want it :wink: Religious people are still people so they still act like people, there’s nothing about being a Christian or a Jew, or a Muslim, that will stop you being a dictator and murdering people, they are still people, I can have a strong belief in animal welfare but still enjoy a good steak :slight_smile: People seem to equate being religious and having a faith with automatically being a good person and it’s not about that, there is no automatic correlation.

Faith isn’t something you get because somebody told you something, you gain a faith based on personal experience, nobody will start to believe something just because somebody else told them a few facts, that would be meaningless. It’s got to be based on personal experience.

You’re closer than you’d think with this actually.

According to the bible we WERE put in charge down here. The idea being that we would rule over creation through God (kind of like a family business :)). Literally being “made in His image” carried that same authority over creation. In fact, we had the authority here to the extent that we were able to give it away, which is exactly what Adam did when he sinned and he gave authority over this world to Satan.

He even says as much when he tempts Jesus at the beginning of His ministry (“All this belongs to me and I will give it to you if you will bow down and worship me”, to which Jesus replied, “On yer bike Satan” - or words to that effect :)).

everyone is entitled to their opinion BB, just because it differs from others who should say who is right or wrong. I may well be on my way to hell for all I know, but it will be too late by the time I get there!

i would never abuse someone for having their own opinion, as i would not expect it for having mine. I m all for a healthy debate :wink:

I don’t believe in God, in gods, in anything beyond ourselves, simply because I feel no necessity for such belief. We all die, and at that point we will all know what, if anything, lies beyond life. To spend time now pondering what will happen, when it is unknowable, is to waste the present moment.

It is a question that will be answered. Just be patient and concentrate on the quality of Now.

I have felt this way since childhood. I can’t remember exactly what age, but it was before my teens when a priest asked me if I ever thought about love in the wrong way. That he believed that there could be a wrong way was enough to convince me to abandon all pretence of faith. As an adult, the absurd morality of religion, the oppressive idealism that demeans human life as something impure, as something from which we should avert our eyes, is a constant reminder that such faith is useless to me.

some fair points there, but i think faith is different to a religion, and yes some people will follow a religion just because they have been told a nice story - based on fact or fiction.

I would definitely agree with that. It’s certainly possible to follow a religion and a set of traditions but not really have a faith in the god which the religion points to.I would add though, from experience, I know that I believed, when I was younger, because that is the way I had been taught but that only meant that the evidence which was shown to me was easier to accept as being something of God rather than instantly dismissing them as coincidence.As I’ve continued to live in my faith, those experiences have increased and so now my faith is based on what I’ve experienced.There are some areas where my faith is weaker. Not because I don’t believe that God can do them but because I’ve had little to no experience of them. Like healing, for example. I know that God can and do miraculous healings. I’ve seen them and I’ve heard 1st hand testamony of healings which have happened to friends of mine. Yet, in the same breath it’s not a strong area of my faith because I don’t see it as often as I’d like. For instance, I still wear glasses and my wife still has a genetic condition that causes her a lot of discomfort.I’m ok with it though because God is far bigger than my doubts and fears and my faith will grow the more I learn. I’m still a baby really :slight_smile: