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Do you believe in God

 
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:

Well, regardless of who wrote the gospels, the christian bible was still put together by a committee of people long after Jesus's death. Keep in mind that the people in early church, who compiled the christian bible, are likely to have political agendas (just look at some of the church organizations today). With an agenda, it is very easy to manipulate the text to say anything you want to by simply discarding and destroying conflicting gospel text as "inconsistent". Ok, I do not know whether this was what actually happened. It is just highly probable given the deceptive nature of human beings.
Even worse, throughout the history, the bible text has been subjected to many different interpretations. For example, today, some people invoke the bible to fight against gays or abortion rights while completely ignoring the passages that call for stoning people to death for minor "sins". For me, it is hard to believe that an "almighty god" would give us a book of such ambiguity to follow.


This could be a topic in and of itself. And this is usually what is heard from skeptics and non-believers in the Bible.
My opinion on this is that the entire Bible is divine; divinly written, divinly inpired, and divinly protected. God tells us that His word is protected.
So, if you believe in God you have to believe that He would protect His word. And I believe He did.
 
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Mathematician Pascal said chance of existance of God is 50:50.In words of Greek philisopher Epicurus:
Is god willing to prevent evil but not able?
then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing?
then he is malevolent
Is he both able and willing?
then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him god?
Ohio-USA based risk consultant Stephen Unwin has written a book "Probability of God:Simple Calculation that proves ultimate truth"
Does god exist?.He says God exists and he can give the probability almost equal to one that God exists!!
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

This could be a topic in and of itself. And this is usually what is heard from skeptics and non-believers in the Bible.
My opinion on this is that the entire Bible is divine; divinly written, divinly inpired, and divinly protected. God tells us that His word is protected.
So, if you believe in God you have to believe that He would protect His word. And I believe He did.


I heard of a story of an office where the boss used to come only for one hour, but when he came, he would gather the whole office, the clerks, the typists, and tell them jokes. He had only three jokes to tell, and it was a very strange situation: those people had heard those jokes thousands of times, but still when he told them -- because there were only three, that means each joke would be repeated at least twice in a week -- they would laugh so loudly as if they had heard them for the first time.
Even the boss sometimes thought, "What is the matter? Do these people forget all about it?"
But one day the secret was disclosed. One typist girl did not laugh. Everybody looked at her: what has happened to her? She has always been laughing louder than anybody...
The boss also was very much hurt that he had told a joke and she was simply sitting there, not even smiling. He said, "What is the matter with you?
She said, "Nothing is the matter with me. I have accepted another job; now I will laugh there, not here. Let these idiots continue to laugh. It is because of your jokes that I am changing my job! I am tired because you have told these jokes so many times that sometimes I find myself telling them to myself. It has become such a difficult thing... in the night, in my sleep I am telling the joke and then I wake up perspiring. These three jokes have become my nightmare.I have changed my job and now for the last time I have come just to see how it feels not to laugh. I am feeling so good because for the first time it is my original face that you are seeing".
Just be original.God only loves original people.God dont like people smiling blatently.There is no need of slavery by decepting ur own mind.Study about religeons.learn abt good and bad.be passionate towards good.Throw away the deceptive masks.and always do good and continue it.You'll experience heaven as god told.and that is the only way to follow the god instead of this smiling deception.
---
basha
 
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OT:

Does god believe in US?
 
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God exists and God doesn't exist. He exists for those that believe in Him and for those that don't believe, well, He just isn't there. They don't feel Him, hear Him or anything. It is futile to try and prove His existence, or lack of, considering the nature of faith which is belief without proof.
The only time proof of God's existence should be insisted upon is when laws are being created/changed/defended in whole or in part due religious beliefs.
[ May 02, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
God exists and God doesn't exist. He exists for those that believe in Him and for those that don't believe, well, He just isn't there. They don't feel Him, hear Him or anything. It is futile to try and prove His existence, or lack of, considering the nature of faith which is belief without proof.
The only time proof of God's existence should be insisted upon is when laws are being created/changed/defended in whole or in part due religious beliefs.
[ May 02, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]


So something can exist while not existing? Either God exists or He doesn't. You can't have it both ways.
and for those that don't believe, well, He just isn't there. They don't feel Him, hear Him or anything.
That doesn't mean He's not there. I don't hear or feel the wind in China. So I guess it's just not there.
It is futile to try and prove His existence, or lack of, considering the nature of faith which is belief without proof.
It is futile to try and prove His existance, or lack of, using earthly means.
The only time proof of God's existence should be insisted upon is when laws are being created/changed/defended in whole or in part due religious beliefs.
Which in the U.S. should be never considering the seperation of Church and State.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
OT:

Does god believe in US?


God created us, so, yes.
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Either God exists or He doesn't. You can't have it both ways. - Sure I can If one believes in God due to feeling His presence and/or through careful thought and deliberation then for all practical purposes, God exists (or at least He is believed to exist). If one doesn't believe in God either because His presence isn't felt and/or through careful thought and deliberation then He doesn't exist (or at least He is believed not to exist). Believing or not believing (in this case) amounts to the same thing as existing or not existing because conclusive proof can't be provided either way. We just 'know' what we 'know'.
That doesn't mean He's not there. I don't hear or feel the wind in China. So I guess it's just not there. - I could go to China a take a look for myself.
It is futile to try and prove His existance, or lack of, using earthly means. - Unfortunately I only have earthly means at my disposal. We'll find out when we die whether there's an afterlife or not. That would seem to be the only real test.
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
God created us, so, yes.


With all respect to your beliefs, Gregg, how would that explain the evolution of human beings? Science proves we were not created, we evolved!
 
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If (as Terry Pratchett maintains) gods are created by the belief people put into them, things can become interesting.
Gods will exist, but not like many people think they do.
Each miniscule religious sect will have their own god, not just a different interpretation of one all-encompassing god.
As such, god will exist yet not exist in that the god that people think exists doesn't exist yet the god they put their belief in (which is a different god) does.
 
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:

With all respect to your beliefs, Gregg, how would that explain the evolution of human beings? Science proves we were not created, we evolved!


Human beings might have evolved but we are still created. That may sound contradictory but it is not. Creation is from nothing to something. Evolution is from something to something. If you believe that God created all, then the 'elements' used by that single cell to evolve to a human being all comes from God. In short, without God's blessing, mankind will not exist at all.
 
Alton Hernandez
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Trying to prove God's existence using ONLY our limited mind is certainly going to be fatal. Why? Because Man is a limited creature, of limited ability. In short, Man is bound to fail - without God. Why do you think the Tower of Babel collapsed? Because they were trying to reach heaven and God on their own. So in order to prove the existence of God, you have to ask help from God. You have to believe in God, and you must have faith in Him.
 
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Alton Hernandez:
If you believe that God created all, then the 'elements' used by that single cell to evolve to a human being all comes from God.


Sure, I understand that logic, but why they why the saying 'God created us in his own image". Well, you could say the 'image' is nothing physical, but more spiritual - but as I said, too many contradictions ultimately prove certain points, well, wrong!
Then of course, God is about beliefs, not facts.
 
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Alton Hernandez:
..You have to believe in God, and you must have faith in Him.


And, IMHO, that belief that you trust, is God. There's nothing else anywhere in the universe, that you can point and say 'that is God', but our collective belief.
Now does that make me an athiest? I am certainly not an existentialist!
 
Alton Hernandez
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:

And, IMHO, that belief that you trust, is God.


Yes, it starts with belief but it does not stop there. You ask questions and you learn. So it certainly is not blind faith.

There's nothing else anywhere in the universe, that you can point and say 'that is God', but our collective belief.

I beg to disagree. If you believe, then you see many things that points to the existence of God. But then again, people can question what you see and make their own conclusion. So I guess in the end, it is between you and God.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Alton Hernandez:
Trying to prove God's existence using ONLY our limited mind is certainly going to be fatal. Why? Because Man is a limited creature, of limited ability. In short, Man is bound to fail - without God. Why do you think the Tower of Babel collapsed? Because they were trying to reach heaven and God on their own. So in order to prove the existence of God, you have to ask help from God. You have to believe in God, and you must have faith in Him.


If god created Man in his own image, that by definition means that god is also limited and imperfect.
That belies all religious groups who, if on nothing else, agree on the fact that god is perfect and unlimited.
I furthermore refuse to believe in any god whose only proof of existence is a circular reference like "the bible says god exists therefore god exists as the bible is god's word and god always speaks true".
 
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Why do you think the Tower of Babel collapsed? Because they were trying to reach heaven and God on their own.
The way I read the scripture, the Tower of Babel didn't collapse -- it was destroyed by God. This story has the same connotation as that of the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. That is, people are capable of becoming like God, but the deity is highly egocentric and protective of his exclusivity, and he uses extreme measures and punishment (such as the pain of child birth) to keep his distance. Thus, to become God, one must be at least as omnipotent as God himself, to overcome the great distance and resistance.
 
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I prefer to think of the Bible as a guide. What I can use to help me find what feels right to me, I use. What doesn't make sense to me I keep in mind for a day when it might become clear. What seems wrong to me, I reject.
None of these things have to do with any other person's approval or disapproval. And for that reason I hold the Pope in no higher regard than any other person seeking spiritual enlightenment. I find the Church only as helpful as it feels able to include any person at its table for any reason -- not because they are Catholics, or even believers, but because they come into that community knowing that others have gathered in God's name and they want to be there too -- for the company, for the food, for the shelter, whatever.
There is a living God and He [sic] will speak directly to you. Neither do you need anyone else to speak to God on your behalf. It is really just that simple.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
I furthermore refuse to believe in any god whose only proof of existence is a circular reference like "the bible says god exists therefore god exists as the bible is god's word and god always speaks true".


Ok, so this poses a question:
Aside from God coming from the Heavens and saying "Hey everyone, I'm God", what proof would anyone consider to be enough for you to believe in Him?
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I prefer to think of the Bible as a guide. What I can use to help me find what feels right to me, I use. What doesn't make sense to me I keep in mind for a day when it might become clear. What seems wrong to me, I reject.
None of these things have to do with any other person's approval or disapproval. And for that reason I hold the Pope in no higher regard than any other person seeking spiritual enlightenment. I find the Church only as helpful as it feels able to include any person at its table for any reason -- not because they are Catholics, or even believers, but because they come into that community knowing that others have gathered in God's name and they want to be there too -- for the company, for the food, for the shelter, whatever.
There is a living God and He [sic] will speak directly to you. Neither do you need anyone else to speak to God on your behalf. It is really just that simple.


Oh man, we almost agreed on something 100%. Then you had to blow it with..
What seems wrong to me, I reject.
There are parts of the Bible that make me cringe. There are parts that just create a thousand more questions. But I don't believe any part of the Bible is flat out wrong. And if someone rejects any part of God's word, then they aren't doing what God wants us to do.
 
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yes I do.
 
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GB: And if someone rejects any part of God's word, then they aren't doing what God wants us to do.
Perhaps "... what we think God wants us to do" would be more accurate wording. How do you know that you understand Him right?
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

...But I don't believe any part of the Bible is flat out wrong. And if someone rejects any part of God's word, then they aren't doing what God wants us to do.


I agree 100% with Michael Ernest. Who is to say the Bible is God's Word?
If you think so, you must agree with these scriptures. This is no God of mine.
In believing what you do about God, you are not wrong, but you must realize, regardless of how large your circle of like-minded believers is, if you're going to enter my circle, or anyone else's for that matter, your beliefs will be open to error, and they will be challenged, and when you inevitably judge "everyone else" and discount them as non-believers, you are positioning your religion as superior, your God as the only God and this is your downfall.
Express your views and I will listen to them, even consider them. But, if I'm told I'm a sinner, I'll always be a sinner, and that everything I've achieved is because of God...no thanks, take that proganda somewhere else. So much religious rhetoric abandons the notion that we, as humans, are quite capable of achieving great things and doing wonderful deeds on our own, without the assistance of God. Sure, the belief in God may help guide some of us, but for others, we're perfectly capable of it on our own.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

But I don't believe any part of the Bible is flat out wrong. And if someone rejects any part of God's word, then they aren't doing what God wants us to do.


I'll be blowing it even more right here:
I believe the Bible is nothing more than humankind's best take on God over the years in which the books were written. God's Word, I believe, is available to each and every one of us. The Bible is merely a collection of translations of that voice. To call it God's Word, in my view, dictates that we replace, rather than complement, what God is in our own hearts with those words.
I am not saying, in some Jeremy Bentham-like Pleasure Principle way, that I reject what I don't like. Being a son of a stage actress and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life, for example, I have grown up around a fair number of gay people. I cannot accept as a life lesson anything in the Bible which views homosexuality as innately evil or working against God's purpose. These are God's people just as I am, and no less close to God, as I see them, than anyone else. This simply must be, as I see it, a cultural bias that crept into the writings, some communal belief that conjugal love between two people of the same sex somehow offends God.
If there is a literal Judgment Day, and it turns out God says, "No, Michael, the Bible has that right," well then, guess I got that one wrong. Feels more like a comedy sketch than what might actually happen, though.
[ May 03, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Gregg Bolinger
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If you think so, you must agree with these scriptures. This is no God of mine.
I love it when skeptics take a single verse from the Bible and say it means something that often times is completely out of context. Not all the time, but most of the time, this is the case.
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
If you think so, you must agree with these scriptures. This is no God of mine.
I love it when skeptics take a single verse from the Bible and say it means something that often times is completely out of context. Not all the time, but most of the time, this is the case.


Gregg,
I'm a little confused: is this verse out of context?
Also, just generally to everyone, please settle down, and treat each other with brotherly love, or I'll be forced to smite this thread
thanks,
M
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Aside from God coming from the Heavens and saying "Hey everyone, I'm God", what proof would anyone consider to be enough for you to believe in Him?


Depends on which version of God. From the outside, they don't all look the same.
It strikes me that for those of us who don't accept things on faith, proving the existence of god may be counterproductive. Suppose you could in fact prove that, say, the Douay bible was literally correct and the Catholic God literally existed exactly as described therein. Then I'd have to believe that He existed - but his existence would then be mundane, like any other provable part of the world, rather than mystical. For example, I might give up all my graven images - but it would be because I feared petulant retribution from this deity, not because I'd really believe that graven images were evil, any more than I think a cow jumping over the moon is evil just because it's prevented by a provable law of gravity.
Is that the kind of belief you're looking for? It's not, apparently, what the Catholics are looking for, so the Pope, wisely in my opinion, doesn't try to prove the existence of God. As someone else pointed out, faith is belief without proof, and offering to 'prove God' may actually undermine that.
 
Jeffrey Hunter
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

I love it when skeptics take a single verse from the Bible and say it means something that often times is completely out of context. Not all the time, but most of the time, this is the case.



In all seriousness, and with the advance notion that you will have my utmost attention, please explain to me why, according to the Bible, if I was not "fortunate" enough to be an Israelite, I did not share the same rights as my fellow man, and I could be bought and sold as a slave.
The entire chapter is here, so please explain what it means, if not to advocate slavery of foreigners.
[ May 03, 2004: Message edited by: Jeffrey Hunter ]
 
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
I'm a little confused: is this verse out of context?


In a page full of quotes, most of which are taken out of context, which verse were you asking about?
 
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http://www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_Articles/Canon/canon.html
http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html


The fourth-century canon has been durable, but it was not regarded as final and has never been universal. Among Eastern orthodox churches the canonical diversity in evidence before Constantine continued. The Syrian church's canon, for example, is that of the Peshitta, a Syriac version of the New Testament dating from the fifth century. The Peshitta lacks 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. Luther placed Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation last in his translation of the New Testament in 1522, because he had doubts about their claims to canonical status. The Gustavus Adolphus Bible (Stockholm, 1618) identifies these four as apocryphal writings. William Tyndale,"the father of the English Bible," placed these same four writings last in his translation of the New Testament in 1526, apparently following the practice of Luther.
The Roman Catholic Church did not issue an authoritative statement about the contents of the Bible until 8 April 1546, when the Council of Trent, by a vote of twenty-four to fifteen, with sixteen abstentions, declared the writings in Jerome's Latin Vulgate version to be the church's official canon. The Roman Catholic canon differs, however, from the Bible accepted by most Protestant churches: it includes the Old Testament Apocrypha, a series of intertestamental books omitted in Protestant Bibles.
No single canon, in fact, has ever been accepted as final by the whole church. For the church universalcatholic with a small "c" � the status of the canon today resembles what it was in Eusebius' day: it is both a matter of consensus and a matter of difference.


There is no standard Bible. Not even a catholic one. As mentioned in the url Bible was cannonized with Political motives in mind. Romanization of the new religion was single most important event in history of Chirstianity. Before that we had teaching of Chirst after that we had DIVINITY of chirst. With no regards to his teaching.
[ May 03, 2004: Message edited by: achit bhatnager ]
 
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
Also, just generally to everyone, please settle down, and treat each other with brotherly love, or I'll be forced to smite this thread


"All men are brothers; like Cain and Abel."
 
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Aside from God coming from the Heavens and saying "Hey everyone, I'm God", what proof would anyone consider to be enough for you to believe in Him?


Even then, if it happens, I suggest everyboby look "behind the curtain" first!
As in the Wizard of Oz.
 
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Ok, so this poses a question:
Aside from God coming from the Heavens and saying "Hey everyone, I'm God", what proof would anyone consider to be enough for you to believe in Him?


Well, I think the very logic of this question is flawed: God, by definition, is capable of anything. Why does he have such hard time convincing some of us to believe him? All he needs to do is to show the proof that each of us would consider sufficient to believe him. For me, it is to present a verifiable theory unknown to the scientific community (I am not asking God to break the physical laws, just show me what they are); For some people, it is to make the crippled walk again; And for someone else, it might be as simple as turing water into wine.
OK, one of the arguments I heard is that God wants us to have free will and faith. Hence, he does not provide physical evidence to force the belief. But even if that is the case, why did Jesus go around to perform miracles and try to convince people of his day?
 
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:

OK, one of the arguments I heard is that God wants us to have free will and faith. Hence, he does not provide physical evidence to force the belief. But even if that is the case, why did Jesus go around to perform miracles and try to convince people of his day?


I believe the argument is that Jesus( and, supposedly, other holy men), did not perform miracles to convince anyone. They just performed miracles, which, in turn, are recorded.
M
 
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:

OK, one of the arguments I heard is that God wants us to have free will and faith.


I read a discussion recently pointing out that God can't be omniscient and Himself have free will. See, if He knows everything that will ever happen, then He knows in advance every choice He ever makes, and its outcome, and therefore can't be said to have free will in any meaningful sense. If, on the other hand, He indeed does have free will, then He doesn't know how the history of the Universe will unfold, as it's no longer a closed system, and is subject to unpredictable influence via His actions.
Just a stone's throw from George Carlin's "Can God make a rock that is too heavy for He Himself to lift?" I know, but still something to think about.
[ May 03, 2004: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]
 
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First, one can count on exaggerations in the number and nature of the so-called miracles, inflated to captivate an audience even more (remember that the Roman church was interested (not any more, I think) in power and money and control of people's minds).
In my studied opinion, those were not "magical" type miracles, but demonstration of psychic laws by very well trained and practiced individuals like Jesus. What was he doing all his life between the ages of 12 and 30?
Of course it's impossible to revive one from the dead. It's possible though, to come out of a coma-like state. It's not necessary to change water into wine; its taste can be altered.
And I agree that these were not demonstrations to incite belief in anything but only good deeds by an even better person which may not had been, IMO, any more the son of God than any of us is, BTW.
But certainly he was a much better person than us including in his Mastery of the Laws of Nature that are a little bit hidden (but still available) in all of us. And certainly much more attuned with the Cosmic as many Avatars have been.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:

OK, one of the arguments I heard is that God wants us to have free will and faith. Hence, he does not provide physical evidence to force the belief.
But even if that is the case, why did Jesus go around to perform miracles and try to convince people of his day?


In Catholic doctrine, Man's Original Sin means that Man can never know God. From the moment Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden, that company is lost. Thereafter in the Old Testament, God is dictatorial, vengeful and, none too soft on those who anger him.
At some point, so the Christian story generally goes, God gives his Son human form in order to to bridge the chasm between Man and God. Jesus' teachings show it is possible to get in touch with God through him. Ultimately Jesus' execution is an act to take all of humanity's sins upon himself. Jesus dies for our sins, so that humanity itself can be restored to a connection with God, but through faith in his goodness and mercy, not through direct apprehension.
In the Christian understand, knowing God is out of the question. We're too far gone for that in our mortal coil. What we can do is express our faith in him through Jesus' teachings and prepare ourselves to know him in the afterlife.
I imagine there are plenty o' spins on this story, but that's the one I was raised on. The question of proof is ruled out once the Garden of Eden closed up. God tries to convince us of nothing. The same free will that brought about our knowledge of good and evil, which we accepted in spite of God's demands, is also the free will that will bring us closer to God if we choose it. Having proof of the Old Man precludes that choice, don't you think?
 
John Smith
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Michael: But even if that is the case, why did Jesus go around to perform miracles and try to convince people of his day?
Max: I believe the argument is that Jesus( and, supposedly, other holy men), did not perform miracles to convince anyone. They just performed miracles, which, in turn, are recorded.

It does look from both the Old and the New Testament that both the father and the son were in the show business, trying to impress the audience. For example, in Exodus 4:21

And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.


I always wondered why the Lord would harden the Pharaoh's heart, instead of softening it. Same goes for his offspring -- Jesus liked to cure selectively, as if for show. True, he sacrificied himself eventually for all of us the sinners, but in retrospect it seems like a futile excercize, considering the Sodom and Gomorrah that ensued in the next 2000 years since he was crucified.
On the other hand, one can see God's miracles everywhere and everyday. It's no less than a fucking miracle that a single electron can be in two places at the same time, that you see the distant star as it was 100 million years ago, that a beautiful rose can grow from a seed, that the Universe is expanding faster than the speed of light. The miracles are, indeed, everywhere. The question is, where do they come from?
 
Mapraputa Is
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There is some observable quantitative disparity between believers and skeptics...
Brother Gregg, in case you feel a little like under attack, let me say that we love you.
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mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:
Well, I think the very logic of this question is flawed: God, by definition, is capable of anything. Why does he have such hard time convincing some of us to believe him?


Yes, God could make you break dance on top of the fridge but then what of free will? You are asking the wrong question... the right question is, "Why do I make it so hard for God to convince me that He exists?"
 
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