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10/20/06
A Reasonable Belief
Jill Carattini

"Lecturing at a Veritas Forum several years ago, Dallas Willard spoke
pointedly on the topic of "irresponsible disbelief." That is, choosing to
disbelieve in something without a commitment to coming to that disbelief by
way of sound reasoning. The burden of proof, he argued, is equally
significant for both belief and disbelief. To ignore this is to address
reality irresponsibly and foolishly.

If belief is the readiness to act as if something is true, it follows that
unbelief, whether chosen consciously or unconsciously, still affects our
behavior. There are consequences to our non-answers in the same way that
there are consequences to our answers. And yet, in our society where
skepticism is almost encouraged, belief and unbelief are treated quite
differently. We do not feel compelled to justify our disbelief in the
same way we feel compelled to justify our belief. We expect a certain
reasonableness about belief that we don't expect of disbelief, in
part because we've been conditioned to see skepticism and disbelief as
logical, and belief as emotional or irrational.

This is largely the case when it comes to belief or disbelief in God. As
Napoleon once quipped, "Religion is excellent for keeping the common
people quiet." Belief in God is seen as a superstition reserved for
non-thinkers, while disbelief is thought scholarly. On the contrary, Paul
Vitz, a professor who has written extensively on the psychology of
religion, observes that quite often the decision to disbelieve in God is
largely made apart from logic and sound reasoning. He writes,
"The major barriers to belief in God are not rational but--in a general
sense--can be called psychological.... I am quite convinced that for every
person strongly swayed by rational argument, there are many, many more
affected by non-rational psychological factors."(1) His words are
noteworthy; disbelief in God is more often a decision made by personal
biases and emotions, than it is a decision made by sound reasoning.

In fact, such was often the case in the crowd's responses to Jesus.
Speaking to the religious leaders of his day, Jesus once observed, "You
diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess
eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me! Yet
you refuse to come to me to have life" (John 5:39). Jesus points to their
irresponsible disbelief, their resolve that under no circumstances
could he be the one they read about, the one to whom Moses pointed and the
prophets announced. Therefore, Jesus concludes, "Your accuser is Moses, on
whom your hopes are set" (5:45). All too often, the question of Jesus's
identity is answered by a determination not to see the one standing
before us.

Yet Jesus repeatedly voices the subtleties of our hearts, calling out our
false hopes and misguided determinations. He reveals how often our
expectations and biases establish our beliefs and disbeliefs instead of
sound reasoning and honest investigation. His words pierce our faulty
logic and the conclusions we have drawn irresponsibly, and he calls us to
account even as he calls us home. The burden of proof is a burden the
heavens have not overlooked; the God of all wisdom has not asked us to
believe in Him without extraordinary attempts to be known."


Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.


(1) Paul Vitz, Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism
(Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 2000), 33.
 

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I only read the first paragraph...

and to that I say, Do you believe in Aliens and that they helped build the pyramids? ....Prove they didn't.
 

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miykl said:
I only read the first paragraph...

and to that I say, Do you believe in Aliens and that they helped build the pyramids? ....Prove they didn't.

Well, if you only read the first paragraph then it kind of confrms the article.
 

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Here is the reason why I believe in God:

Things happen when I pray.

Pure and simple.
If anybody out there is confused about Jesus, or doesn't believe in Him, or whatever you may call it, try this out and see what happens. Pray, sincerely, every day for 30 days, "God, I don't believe in You. You have not proven Yourself to me sufficiently for me to know that You exist. I want to know whether or not You do exist. I am asking You to reveal Yourself to me in a way that I cannot deny Your existence. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
I seriously doubt you will have to continue this prayer for very long. Just be open to the miracle when it happens...ie...when He reveals Himself, Satan is going to immediately try and take that away from you. "that wasn't God, that was just coincidence.." he will tell you. Don't listen to him.

The Bible says (in 3 different places) that God wants all to come to know Him. He also says that when you pray within His will, your prayers will be answered.
Give it a try.

I ran from God my whole life. It took my wife being in labor 5 months prematurely for me to get on my knees and say "God, if You are really there...if You exist... now would be a good time to prove it to me. Help me!" That was before I was even a Christian, before I was saved.
And He helped me then and continues to answer my prayers. You should see how he has worked in my life since then.

All glory and praise to my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
 

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All of this is really great, some people out there need God more than others, however I hope that for your sake that you are not in a cult.

There are many cults out there.. the number one thing to look out for are churches that claim that they are the only ones who will have salvation...

Check out the cultwatch websites for information what churches are known-cults and use cult-like methods to indoctrinate their followers by psychological trickery.......


=)
 

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Belief
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Belief is usually defined as a conviction of the truth of a proposition without its verification; therefore a belief is a subjective mental interpretation derived from perceptions, contemplation(reasoning), or communication.




NOT FROM WIKI


Please disprove my gods (and yes I use a plural) What make them less than yours?

"If you can change my mind you are a much wiser man than me for I will not listen to a fool long. However if you can change my belief you are a god or a tool thereof"- Devin T McBride

A belief is not irresponsible because it is not yours, a belief is irresponsible when it causes harm to others
 

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casey said:
I ran from God my whole life. It took my wife being in labor 5 months prematurely for me to get on my knees and say "God, if You are really there...if You exist... now would be a good time to prove it to me. Help me!"
Wow, different but same. My come-to-Jesus (a true rescue story) came while breaking away from a pseudo Christian cult some 6 years ago.

That combined feeling of clarity, discernment and love is/was the most powerful thing I have ever experienced in my life. I also have good friend at work who met the Lord sitting in the NICU with his first son (4-months). Alan explains a situation where he picked up a Gideon's and began to read, only to find the passages reading him (convicting, yet leading to hope).

I sure wish I could earn all that I have been given, but that would ruin the story :badteeth:
 

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fordfasterr said:
All of this is really great, some people out there need God more than others,
Not true. We ALL need the Lord. Romans 3:23 says For ALL have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
however I hope that for your sake that you are not in a cult.
Thanks for your concern. But my church teaches the Bible.
I don't care much for the differences in denominations, I don't particularly care for religion period. It's all about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Digger440, you have just made my prayer list. Personally I can't disprove your 'gods' to you, but I know somebody that CAN.
 

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If people only knew what a sure-of-myself atheistic Christianity-hating do-it-on-my-own person I used to be.
If you guys could only see how much I hate to hear MY OWN arguments coming out of your mouths (keyboards?). It frustrates me. I want you to know what you are missing RIGHT NOW!
But the Lord doesn't operate on Casey's timeline. So I will have to have patience and continue to pray.
 

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Yea...I read about the author....biased person indeed. Thumpers like to use this as "proof" that anyone who believes differently is just wrong, period.

Faith is defined as a belief in an unknown unproven thing. If you know your god is real, why do you need faith?
 

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casey said:
Just be open to the miracle when it happens...ie...when He reveals Himself, Satan is going to immediately try and take that away from you. "that wasn't God, that was just coincidence.." he will tell you. Don't listen to him.

The Bible says (in 3 different places) that God wants all to come to know Him. He also says that when you pray within His will, your prayers will be answered.
Give it a try.

.

Dang- all those pieces of toast I ate before checking for an appearance from the Virgin Mary.:eyecrazy:

Must have been satan making me hungry.

BTW- isn't capitalizing his name giving satan a little too much respect?
 

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casey said:
If people only knew what a sure-of-myself atheistic Christianity-hating do-it-on-my-own person I used to be.
If you guys could only see how much I hate to hear MY OWN arguments coming out of your mouths (keyboards?). It frustrates me. I want you to know what you are missing RIGHT NOW!
But the Lord doesn't operate on Casey's timeline. So I will have to have patience and continue to pray.

Your experiences are just that, yours. You can not compare your life/thoughts/beliefs to others. We each have our own experiences and our own beliefs. What works for you may not work for others.
 

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Sands - I understand the point you're trying to make. It's impossible to prove there is a God and likewise it's impossible to disprove there is a God. Even the Bible says that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Not something you can use to prove the existence of God to someone who doesn't believe.

But faith is a form of evidence and some people are able to follow the clues and discover that there's more to life than just birth and death.

I think it's important that we respect each other no matter what our beliefs are. Christians should not demean those who do not believe. Christ did not teach such but rather taught us to love others as we love ourselves. To me that word “love” encompasses a lot of things, and dictates that we treat others with respect.

I believe in God. That’s not intended to offend those of you who don’t. I don’t understand why it would (but sometimes it does…). And I realize that some would consider me a fool for my beliefs.

The article is saying that some people's negative reactions to religion/spirituality are irrational. I think you can learn that in two minutes on any internet forum. But some people’s actions in the name of religion are just as irrational. That’s just people. We’re all individuals and it doesn’t make sense to make blanket statements about groups as large as “believers” and “unbelievers”. It’s a lot more complicated than that.
 

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Code said:
...I believe in God. That’s not intended to offend those of you who don’t. I don’t understand why it would (but sometimes it does…). And I realize that some would consider me a fool for my beliefs....

Some do not want to think they are accountable for their thoughts/actions, and they do not want to hear about that accountability and/or reminded of it.

They don't want to think about all the "really good people" burning like crazy right now.

I consider myself a good person, but I also know it falls short of God's standard. I have ALOT of flaws in my life. My only hope is in what Jesus did on the cross.

God's Justice(judgement, sentence) which was for me, fell on Jesus instead, satifying the Father's wrath. God's mercy(not getting what I deserved) was revealed to me. God's grace(Getting something I did not deserve to get), was given to me in the form of a new life here on earth, and a place in Heaven made just for me(and other things too numerous to list).

Someone mentioned that capitalizing Satan is giving too much respect to him. Firstly, its a proper name, which is capitalized. Secondly, he's one of the most powerful angels God created. He is out to get us, we must respect our enemy or we will be more vulnerable to his attacks.

Fortunately he is not omni-present as God is. We must be ever watchful and put on the full armor of God(Eph 6:10-17 ...belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit) to protect us from Satan's schemes.
 
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