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81,264 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 14 years ago by happybob

Do you think people who believe in God/a god/gods are inherently weaker than people who don't need faith?


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14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 11:00:59 AM EST (GMT-5)
That's like saying people who don't wear a helmet on a motorbike are better than people who do
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:25:24 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 11:00:59 AM gnrcsm wrote:
That's like saying people who don't wear a helmet on a motorbike are better than people who do


No it isn't. It's nothing like it at all.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:31:55 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 11:00:59 AM gnrcsm wrote:
That's like saying people who don't wear a helmet on a motorbike are better than people who do
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:25:24 PM Mizu wrote:
No it isn't. It's nothing like it at all.


I thought it was a fair analogy. To believers, God is the protector. It isn't weakness that brings people to God any more than weakness brings people to wear a helmet.

14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:37:28 PM EST (GMT-5)
I agree with gnr and CD. That's the opinions of 3 Christians, but none of us is arguing here (yet) that faith in God is inherently *stronger*, either. If I read them correctly, the 3 of us are all saying that "needing faith" is irrelevant to strength or weakness.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:47:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
First, I wouldn't agree that "weaker / stronger" is necessarily analogous to "better / worse".

Secondly, in the "helmet" example, the wearer has a choice of whether they put the helmet on or not. As a Christian, do you feel you could "chose" to stop believing in God? Could you say, "actually, today, I don't feel like believing?"

I think that - for me at least - is where it breaks down.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:51:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
I suspect that most Atheists in the world today have chosen to stop believing in God...
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:53:24 PM EST (GMT-5)
No analogy is perfect. We wouldn't use them otherwise. You can nitpick any analogy to death if you want.

Theoretically, yes, I think faith is about choice, but then again, no, I could not simply choose to stop believing arbitrarily.

I think weak/strong and worse/better are close synonyms in this question.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:54:48 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:51:35 PM CowDung wrote:
I suspect that most Atheists in the world today have chosen to stop believing in God...


I disagree. I don't think you can *chose* whether to believe or not, you just *do* believe or not.

Isn't that the very nature of belief? I couldn't - for example - chose to stop believing in gravity, or that the Earth is round, or that my mum is my real mum - these are fundamentally just things I believe.

One day I may *start* believing in God, but I won't just wake up one day and chose to - it would be triggered by some event or other.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:58:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Having never been an Atheist, I wouldn't really know if actual choice is involved. I based my statement on the fact that most Atheists seem to have been involved with religion/faith in God at some point in their lives and have since abandoned those beliefs...
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:59:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
Like your initial complaint about the helmet analogy, mizu, I think we could all nitpick your choice of comparisons about belief. You could one day stop believing your mom is really your mom, but like beginning to believe in God, you'd have to have a reason that triggered it.
Nevertheless, there's probably not any point to arguing that you do have a choice if you believe otherwise. It's not like you'd actually make such a choice if you didn't believe you had such a choice to make in the first place.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 5:07:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
Of course you could IRL, and you're right, one day I may stop believing my mum is my real mum, but I wouldn't - and couldn't - simply "choose" to. Something would have to happen for my beliefs to change.

I would ask you - do you have a "choice" as to whether or not you believe God exists?
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 5:12:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
I sneaked a post in between CD and your response to him. You may have missed it:
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:53:24 PM IRLIteach wrote:
Theoretically, yes, I think faith is about choice, but then again, no, I could not simply choose to stop believing arbitrarily.

On some level, yes, I do think I chose to believe, or I chose to be willing to be convinced to believe. I think whether we believe or not becomes such a natural thing that we ultimately lose our awareness of the process, like other things that become second nature.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 5:13:13 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, of course not. I also don't feel the analogy works well.
I never chose to believe in God when I did, I just did. I didn't choose to stop either, I just did.

I don't think I was weaker because I believed in God, I wasn't using him as a crutch of any sort. Now I will admit there are people who do use it as a crutch, and those people might be weaker, but it would be over generalizing to say it so broadly as the question does.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 5:40:30 PM EST (GMT-5)
everybody is weak. those that believe in God, tend to admit more openly their weak. Its not about needing a crutch, faith is faith.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 6:53:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
Doesn't matter whether a person's faith in a diety matters in how weaker or stronger. Every person on the planet has a talent. How it's brought out or discovered is up to that individual, and how that person uses that talent.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 6:56:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:51:35 PM CowDung wrote:
I suspect that most Atheists in the world today have chosen to stop believing in God...


I can't say I've chosen to stop. First, I've never believed in God. Second, it's not a choice I can make. I mean, I can choose to tell everyone I believe in God, but I'd just be lieing.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 7:18:13 PM EST (GMT-5)
I wouldn't say that the people who believe in God(gods/godesses) are weaker or stronger than the people who don't. I think it's stupid to think that just because someone chooses to believe in a "existing" for them being, to fit them in the "weaker" category or for those who don't believe in anything are "stronger".

Everybody is entitled to their own belief and people who don't believe/who believe shouldn't judge people who do/don't believe.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 6/10/08 - 10:37:38 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:54:48 PM Mizu wrote:
I disagree. I don't think you can *chose* whether to believe or not, you just *do* believe or not. Isn't that the very nature of belief? I couldn't - for example - chose to stop believing in gravity, or that the Earth is round, or that my mum is my real mum - these are fundamentally just things I believe. One day I may *start* believing in God, but I won't just wake up one day and chose to - it would be triggered by some event or other.

I don't know about that. I know people who once believed in God, and just one day said... Nope, I don't think so, and moved on to something else. It takes faith. It's not a weakness by any means. However if you don't believe in God, nobody should judge... really, to each his own.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 12:33:22 AM EST (GMT-5)
Weakness. Maybe, maybe not. When it comes to things like that, I'm hesitant to make a universal judgement, and here's why.

Let's say that by this standard 'strength' equates to strength of will, yes?

Well, from my point of view, there is no god. Appeals to a higher power are pointless.

BUT -

If someone feels that those appeals have an effect and is then capable of performing feats of will that another person would find difficult or impossible, then (from my point of view) they must've done so unaided. Thus, they must've been 'strong' from the start.

By the same token, someone whose only motivation to be a good person is the firm and irrevocable belief that they'll be punished if they don't do good, I would call weak-willed (and immoral, but that's neither here nor there).

So weak or strong can apply to someone with religious beliefs, thus I'm going to say 'no'.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 1:57:37 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:51:35 PM CowDung wrote:
I suspect that most Atheists in the world today have chosen to stop believing in God...
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:54:48 PM Mizu wrote:
I disagree. I don't think you can *chose* whether to believe or not, you just *do* believe or not.

I 100% disagree with you on that one, I've seen and know peoplethat did belief-in something, and thenshortly after stop believing it, and I'm talking about religion and God.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 2:02:40 AM EST (GMT-5)
If I chose to believe in God, I'd also have to believe in Hell, so no believing in God, no Hell, and no guilt trip.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 5:28:28 AM EST (GMT-5)
everyone has faith, has beliefs. you can be the most devout atheist, but you still believe the world is a certain way, you still depend on that. so even if faith is deemed weak, faith in a god is no weaker than faith in science or equality or rights or nihilism.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 7:59:26 AM EST (GMT-5)
I agree that it's no weaker or stronger, bog, but I wouldn't define all of those things as faith. Believing in God is faith. "Believing" science is accepting something provable. Belief in equality is more of a value.
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 9:21:46 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:51:35 PM CowDung wrote:
I suspect that most Atheists in the world today have chosen to stop believing in God...
On Tuesday 6/10/08 - 4:54:48 PM Mizu wrote:
I disagree. I don't think you can *chose* whether to believe or not, you just *do* believe or not. Isn't that the very nature of belief? I couldn't - for example - chose to stop believing in gravity, or that the Earth is round, or that my mum is my real mum - these are fundamentally just things I believe. One day I may *start* believing in God, but I won't just wake up one day and chose to - it would be triggered by some event or other.

you can choose not to, but you can't exactly choose to
14 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Wednesday 6/11/08 - 1:36:56 PM EST (GMT-5)
I find people with faith are stronger than those without because we have something to look forward to

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