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Why does God care if you believe in him or not?

#1darkmaian23Posted 2/24/2013 10:55:26 PM
Frankly, the idea that Christians and other religious people toss around that if you don't believe in God you get to burn is simply nonsensical. Tormenting someone in hell for all eternity (or just not resurrecting them or whatever else you believe) is hard enough to accept by itself. But why would God even care if you think he is real? Out of all the things that could trouble him why is belief so important?

If it were as important as believers think it, why is it not easier to know the truth about God's existence? Let us assume for a moment--as many religious adherents seem to--that a vague emotional feeling of there being something more to life is actually evidence of God's existence and wish to know us. It still doesn't tell us anything about who or what God is.

This feeling leads people to many different religions. Some become Christians, while others become Hindu or Taoist or whatever. Going from the feeling that there is something more to life to the Son of God being born 2,000 years ago to redeem mankind by dying on a cross is a huge leap. The same could be said about going from that feeling to any other concrete conclusion about a god or goddess or any other form divinity. And even if there is only one true religion and some people just get it wrong, there are countless versions of every one of them because no one can agree on all the details of any religion.

So, if it is true that God demands belief in him and has instilled some basic instinct to that effect as many seem to believe, why does he not care that our beliefs about him be correct? Obviously, there is no way to know him in any complete and genuine way right now. If you ask any two Christians to describe their relationship with God in detail, you'll get two very different descriptions of what God is like and what God has "revealed" to the person. How can they all be accurate?

If God exists and cares whether or not we believe in him, why does he not care about us knowing the details? Where is the non-contradictory, objective, detailed account of what he is? Why does the world not know of it? Surely if this were as important to God as people claim, it would not only exist but be widely available so that we could know about God.
#2bratt100Posted 2/24/2013 11:01:28 PM
Chef: Stan, sometimes God takes those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He is a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it, so he doesn't care who he takes. Children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand.

Stan: But then, why does God give us anything to start with?

Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then it would have nothin' to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and help just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.
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#3darklaoPosted 2/24/2013 11:05:48 PM
God told me that he does not give even the tiniest s*** whether or not anybody believes in him.

So there you have it.
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#4FlashOfLightPosted 2/24/2013 11:09:33 PM
darkmaian23 posted...
Frankly, the idea that Christians and other religious people toss around that if you don't believe in God you get to burn is simply nonsensical. Tormenting someone in hell for all eternity (or just not resurrecting them or whatever else you believe) is hard enough to accept by itself. But why would God even care if you think he is real? Out of all the things that could trouble him why is belief so important?


This question is addressed right away in the book of Job ->

35:6-8

"If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man."

So it's not about what you can do for God, it's what you may do to your fellow man, and if you do happen to do something as Cain did to his fellow man, then God, as Judge, will take up the cause of the innocent.
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#5C_MatPosted 2/24/2013 11:17:24 PM
You sound pretty arrogant, TC, if you believe that the only reason you could ever be judged is for having a wrong opinion about the existence of God. I suppose you'd consider yourself otherwise perfect?
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#6FlashOfLightPosted 2/24/2013 11:22:32 PM(edited)
darkmaian23 posted...

So, if it is true that God demands belief in him and has instilled some basic instinct to that effect as many seem to believe, why does he not care that our beliefs about him be correct? Obviously, there is no way to know him in any complete and genuine way right now.


And this second part that you write about here, this is not the case, he does care that all men every where on the face of the earth know him according to truth.

"And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD."

Go around and ask, is it that many people have not altogether heard of God? Or is that they refuse to know him?

And since the 2,000 years ago you mentioned, God has openly declared that he will no longer accept the excuse that people do not have a way to know him -

"But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"
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#7FlashOfLightPosted 2/24/2013 11:35:17 PM
darkmaian23 posted...
So, if it is true that God demands belief in him and has instilled some basic instinct to that effect as many seem to believe, why does he not care that our beliefs about him be correct?


And this part too that you say, about belief, God is not after people wanting to believe just for the sake of it, but once again he wants them to believe for their sakes, for the sake of their fellow men, for righteousness so that they depart from evil, so that wars, and hatred, and murders - the very things non-believers constantly complain about as an excuse and reason to not believe in God - will cease on the earth so that all men can live in peace.

As it states -

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

And again -

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

So it's about righteousness and peace -

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
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#8darkmaian23(Topic Creator)Posted 2/25/2013 12:13:18 AM
C_Mat posted...
You sound pretty arrogant, TC, if you believe that the only reason you could ever be judged is for having a wrong opinion about the existence of God. I suppose you'd consider yourself otherwise perfect?


I've met all kinds of Christians and other vaguely religious people who believe in God. The one thing they all seem to agree on is the necessity of believing in God. Some people say you also need to believe every last word of the Bible is literal truth or you are going to Hell. Some people who consider themselves to be Christians also claim that believing in God is even more important than accepting Jesus (I suspect you'll disagree, but that is never the less what some people I've met have believed).

Many people seem to think that belief in God is the make-or-break aspect of salvation, though they may, again, add more things on to that. It seems strange to me that people think that way and that is why I have made this topic. As an atheist, I think that if there is such a thing as God and we are called to account for the things we did in life, my religious views will probably be at the bottom of the list. Many people seem to think the opposite.

I originally had another paragraph in my first post that explained this but I thought I was droning on so I deleted it. I have done a lot of things in my life that were terrible so no, I don't think I'm perfect. But I also don't think that any God who was really responsible for all things that cared enough about humans to have an afterlife for them would be overly concerned about whether or not you believed he was real while you were alive.
#9darkmaian23(Topic Creator)Posted 2/25/2013 12:16:22 AM
FlashOfLight, would it be fair to say that what you are getting at is that God inspired the Bible so that man could know him, and that all the people on Earth are now expected to know about him because over 2,000 years have passed since the coming of Jesus? That's what I think you are trying to say but I'm not sure.
#10darklaoPosted 2/25/2013 3:26:00 AM
God would like you to try to be compassionate, and btw not worry so much. This is the extent of his message.
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