Have you ever questioned your faith?

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Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Jademcgrail » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi everyone,
For my third year at university I have to write a dissertation. I have chosen to write my dissertation on ‘Why do people question their beliefs in times of need?’ I myself have always been an atheist and have not questioned it, however I am intrigued to speak to others who have. So if anyone has the time would you be able to answer the following questions for me?
1) Were you brought up in a religious household?
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
3) Have you ever questioned your faith?
4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you?
5) How do no your belief is the truth ?

Please take note, none of these questions are to cause offence, each of these questions are being asked to a range of people
Thanks a lot, appreciated,
Jade
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Dr Mundo » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:37 pm

What about the topic interests you?
The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway]
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Jademcgrail » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:37 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tKQZecXGx4
It was this video that sparked my interest.
Having never questioned my own, and then to hear about someone who went to such extremes, and then finding God really does intrigue me.
Maybe it's because when I put myself into Tina's shoes, I think I wouldn't be thankful for God, and if anything I would be more resentful of his existence for the pain and suffering he put me through. However it nice to see she finally found happiness despite the traumatic events in her life she went through.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Dr Mundo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:28 pm

Jademcgrail wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tKQZecXGx4
It was this video that sparked my interest.
Having never questioned my own, and then to hear about someone who went to such extremes, and then finding God really does intrigue me.
Maybe it's because when I put myself into Tina's shoes, I think I wouldn't be thankful for God, and if anything I would be more resentful of his existence for the pain and suffering he put me through. However it nice to see she finally found happiness despite the traumatic events in her life she went through.

Right on. Well I hope you do well with it.
The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway]
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:35 pm

1) Were you brought up in a religious household?
No. It was an extremely liberal household highly critical of the Christian establishment. Both parents majored in psychology and one was an active communist.
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.
3) Have you ever questioned your faith?
Yes, constantly -- and it has been frequently changing.
4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you?
Faith is the foundation of human knowledge because absolute proof for things is very rare and certainly insufficient for the living of your life. So faith is living your life despite the fact that you have no proof that the way you are living it is correct. It means making choices about who you are and thus how you will live your life accordingly. Blind faith sticks to things even when the objective evidence is against it. Rational faith adjusts those things believed to be true according to the objective evidence when it is found.
5) How do you know your belief is the truth?
What I believe to be true is what is most consistent with the totality of my experiences. Knowledge is that end of the spectrum of belief where you are certain enough to live your life accordingly. Any other distinction is nothing but hot air and self-importance.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:21 am

2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.


Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), god would have "found you" like you say and if he had, would it be the same god you believe in now?
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:09 pm

mash wrote:
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.


Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), god would have "found you" like you say and if he had, would it be the same god you believe in now?

I said no such thing, so lets fix that first.

Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), you would have "found God" like you say and if you had, would it be the same god you believe in now?

1. If God wants you to find Him then living in a different country would obviously not be much of an obstacle to Him.
2. There is only one God so yes it would be the same God.
3. Do different people being raised in a different country believe different things about this same God? LOL Yes. People believe different things about the same God even when they are raised in the same house by the same parents in the same church. And this is not because we are talking about God for the same is true if no matter what we are talking about. Siblings believe different things about the same father of them both even when they raised in the same house.

However, the overall framework of your question makes your question practically meaningless. Whenever you have a statement of the format "if A then B" the statement is always true if A is false. The statement is only false if A is true and B is false. So I could answer your question as follows:
If I were raised in a different country THEN I could run around the earth faster than light, make chocolate ice cream out of termites and I would have found God on mars married to my mother.
The statement would be entirely true because the premise is false and doesn't matter what the consequent is at all.

This is why the question I actually addressed was a bit different than the one you asked.

When God wants people raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America) to "find God", would they "find God" like you say and if they do, would it be the same god you believe in now?

Of course there is also the counter-factual use of the the conditional in natural language and the example given in Wikipedia is:
If Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, then someone else did.
This is certainly logical because it is certainly possible that Oswald did not shoot Kennedy and then we certainly can conclude the consequence from the fact that Kennedy was shot. But if the premise is actually impossible and counter to the facts then it becomes completely inaccessible to logic. Like this...
If 2 were 3 then would 5+7 equal 12?
How can you answer such a question rationally?
Ok, so perhaps we can cast this in to class of question all its own where we are to imagine a different circumstance entirely.
Imagine that you are on a beach in Miami then would you go swimming?
But are we really capable of imagining a situation where we are not who we are? I don't think so. It seems to me, that anything we say under such a premise is made up gobble-dee-gook and probably nothing more than self-serving clap trap.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Dr Mundo » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:13 pm

mash wrote:
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.


Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), god would have "found you" like you say and if he had, would it be the same god you believe in now?

I am fairly certain that given statistical probabilities being raised in a Muslim environment tends to raise more Muslims than any other religion. Being raised in a Hindu environment tends to create more Hindus. But there is no sense in speculating what could have been had Mitch been raised in a different country, he was raised here in the states and he is a product of his biology and his upbringing.
The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway]
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Razor » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:22 pm

mash wrote:
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.


Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), god would have "found you" like you say and if he had, would it be the same god you believe in now?


Please excuse mitchellmckain, and don't take it personally. While your question is perhaps not phrased in the best possible way, it is valid. I think you mean something along the lines of: Was the God you found (and the Christian-like faith you now have) influenced by the religion of those around you and the culture of the country in which you resided? If the answer is yes ( I would suggest that hardly anyone would say yes to this {it would almost be an admission that their God is no better than that of the next man} despite the fact that it seems to be the case around the world) then it would be suggestive of the idea that had he had a different environment he would have found a different God.

My answers:
1) Were you brought up in a religious household? Not really, but my granddad was a minister (mother and father non-religious/never really mentioned it.)
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why? Nope, I'm still an atheist
3) Have you ever questioned your faith? Well, I question lots of things all the time. I don't have any faith to question tho.
4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you? Thinking something is true without evidence
5) How do no your belief is the truth ? Again, no real belief but without being facetious - I don't. I think what I think is the most likely explanation.

Finally, if you really are in your third year of university please please tell me you are not at university in an English speaking country? Was you raised? How do you no? I may be a bit pedantic but still...
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:07 pm

Dr Mundo wrote:
mash wrote:
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?
Yes. Because God wanted me to. There can be no other legitimate reason because finding God is otherwise impossible.


Do you believe that had you been raised in a country other than yours (I'm going to assume North America), god would have "found you" like you say and if he had, would it be the same god you believe in now?

I am fairly certain that given statistical probabilities being raised in a Muslim environment tends to raise more Muslims than any other religion. Being raised in a Hindu environment tends to create more Hindus. But there is no sense in speculating what could have been had Mitch been raised in a different country, he was raised here in the states and he is a product of his biology and his upbringing.

Incorrect. I am a product of my choices but many of those choices are presented to me by the culture and family in which I raised. People raised in a different country, culture, area or in different families are likely to be presented with entirely different challenges and things to choose from. So of course they will be different, but that does NOT mean that they are entirely a product of their environment, biology or upbringing.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:50 am

Wow... umm Mitch, I never accused you of saying any such thing, I simply read your statement and it prompted me to ask the question of you. So to be clear, it was a question and not a statement or an accusation.

Now I'm sure you will disagree with me here but I think you are being a little bit picky with the wording of my question. 99.99% of the English speaking population would have understood exactly what I was asking you and your response in my eyes is just plain subject avoidance. It seems like you are trying to drown the answer in a sea of splendidly worded twaddle. I was hoping that you would answer my question in a clear and concise manner. Clearly you haven't.

The facts are that in, for example, the UAE, you will not find a single native Emirati who has any religion other than the one they were brought up with, and I can guarantee you that they will not agree with you when you tell them you have the same God. So had you been born there, you would not have the beliefs that you have now. You can dissect and reword that statement as much as you like but the fact still remains that that statement is pretty much undeniable.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:24 am

And sorry, I forgot to answer the original questions.

1) Were you brought up in a religious household? Not really, my parents believe in god but were not really active church goers.
2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why? I renounced any beliefs once I had grown up.
3) Have you ever questioned your faith? I don't have a faith as such, but of course anyone with an open mind will question anything that he/she believes
4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you? Many things, but in this subject matter, faith to me is a coping mechanism for all those unanswered questions among other things
5) How do no your belief is the truth ? I don't, I don't seek the truth, I just don't like lies.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:41 am

mash there was no hostility in my response whatsoever. But there certainly is in yours and I shall return your hostility right back at you.

mash wrote:Wow... umm Mitch, I never accused you of saying any such thing

The only one turning it into an "accusation" is you! That word is NOWHERE in what I said. But the fact is that you wrote the following.
god would have "found you" like you say
And I did not say any such a thing. I am sorry for you that you are either unable to comprehend the difference between "you found God" and "God found you" or that you cannot handle tiny simple corrections like that.

mash wrote: 99.99% of the English speaking population would have understood exactly what I was asking you

Evidence? Cause I think you are just making that up.

Now I have little doubt that over 50% of the population may indeed "understand" your question the way you did, kind of like the way that over 50% of the population has an IQ under 100. I am sure you can find a forum or even other participants that are more your speed.

mash wrote:your response in my eyes is just plain subject avoidance.

Incorrect. I answered the question as best I could. Apparently you were not really interested in the answer.

You just wanted to shove some insipid canned rhetoric down my throat. Sorry your bullshit didn't go quite the way you planned.

mash wrote: It seems like you are trying to drown the answer in a sea of splendidly worded twaddle. I was hoping that you would answer my question in a clear and concise manner. Clearly you haven't.

Yes it is quite apparent that you were not prepared to handle an answer that had any care or thought put into it. I didn't know you enough to know how much I needed to dumb things down for you.

For future reference, there is no need to be offended just because you don't understand an answer that was given to your question, you can simply say that you don't understand.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Razor » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:26 am

Stop being so damn belligerent. I got what mash meant and I would suggest most people would (perhaps not 99%). In fact mash has characterised you rather well (and rather like many others here do) with
mash wrote:... your response in my eyes is just plain subject avoidance. It seems like you are trying to drown the answer in a sea of splendidly worded twaddle. I was hoping that you would answer my question in a clear and concise manner. Clearly you haven't.


How many times has this or similar been leveled at you? I have talked this way about you a number of times and I can recall KTR and other doing similar. Just like when you insist on having a personal definition of a word that is in contrast to everyone else: being different is not a good thing in and of itself.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:15 am

Mitch, you started your statement by saying "I said no such thing" which is implication that I accused you of saying something you didn't, hence why I reiterated the fact that I was simply asking you a question. Your hackles were up from that very moment. I admit, you didn't say that God found you, but you still said that he wanted you to find him. Something that would still be impossible if you were born and raised in the UAE.

Anyway, I'm perfectly aware that you are going to nit-pick at everything I say on this matter, but lets be clear, you are outright accusing me of having a lack of intelligence, or an IQ below 100. What I may lack in ability to express myself in the written word, I make up for in common sense, enough to know that having read a small chunk of the pap that you write on here, you are a hypocritical, self obsessed nut job who may have a six figure education, but clearly you lack in any kind of street smart or any ability to communicate with normal people.

I make a very clear tongue in cheek comment about 99.99% of people understanding my question, and you ask for evidence!!??

If you don't mind though, because I am genuinely interested in the answer to my original question, could you pweese dumb it down us inferior beings?
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