I can't really explain it. The only answer I can give to this is what I believe: That God has given mankind free will. The situation in third-world countries would not be the way they are if it wasn't for the corruption and greed of their leaders. For god to change the situation in those places he would have to directly interfere with the will of these men. He sent Christ to teach us the way to go and gave us the earth to look after, so now the followers of Christ are God's hands in the world.
You aren't me, so you can't appreciate the things I mentioned. I didn't list them to say: "See, this is proof! Bow down heathen scum!"
I listed them because you wanted to know what kind of things make me into a Christian.
I could go on all day about parts of the Bible that are absolutely disgusting:
"Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back." -Titus 2:9
"Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel." -Peter 2:18
"Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering." -1 Corinthians 11:13-15
"Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says." -1 Corinthians 14:34
Either you believe God gave everyone free will or you don't, but at least be consistent.
Additionally, how do you think he made it easier for you to get a job, or for a friend to lend you money without you asking for it if not through manipulation of those people?
Sometimes there isn't a fucking point in trying to actually converse with someone. For example.
How the hell am I supposed to respond to this? How is anyone supposed to respond to this? The man is so thick he thinks you need to know the precise origin of something in order to know anything about it. And of course his standards for being able to "know" what the origins of something is are so stratospherically high they're physically impossible to fulfill, bar creating a time machine and rubbing his face in the fucking singularity itself.
Not to mention the great fucking flaw of the premise of that statement, that you have to know how something was made in order to know anything about it. General Relativity? Do you know how the fabric of space came into existence? Throw it out. Biology? I don't think so, abiogenisists/darwinists! Get rid of those vaccines this instant. Electronics? Do you know how the Electromagnetic force was CREATED(PS GOD DID IT!!!)? Didn't think so. I already threw out my computer and am sending this post through telepathy.
And you know what? Even if he did see the problem in that, it wouldn't fucking matter. Because he doesn't even know what the hell Big Bang Theory actually is outside of a mediocre sitcom. You want something constructive? Here, I'll fucking explain it for you.
Around fourteen billion years ago, all matter and space was condensed into an infinitesimally small area. I'm sure you know what matter and spacetime are, right? Good. Anyway, from what we can tell at a certain point that fantastically dense and miniscule dot of matter began to expand at a terrific rate. Meaning that spacetime as well as matter were drawn apart. Imagine a rubber band with paper clips attached to it, with Space being the rubber band and matter being the paper clips.
Anyway, at this point, matter is nothing more than a seething froth of radiation and energy, but with time it begins to cool into physical material; the base elements that we know of today. And from there it's just time and astrophysics.
So there. I was informative. If I get a half decent reply back I won't ever be a condescending prick ever again. Maybe.
Just to explain the one about the job, it wasn't widely advertised and wasn't open for very long. I called the company and they just happened to have a software engineer position that needed to be filled when I called.
It may be a coincidence, but I seem to have a lot of happy coincidences when I pray about it.
I tie my shoes and have happy coincidences too. I also pick my nose and cut my toenails. Why is prayer any more responsible for your happy coincidences than my basic upkeep is for mine?
On one hand you could not hate gays because, you know, that's fucking stupid, or you could not hate gays because it's fucking stupid and your word is also better than that of the book of the supreme being you worship.
It's idle fantasy 99 times out of 100, but it's still wrong.
Of course the thought crossed my mind. I'm a cynical bastard.
These are events that happened to me, not to you. There are fairly simple ways to explain every one, but for me, they don't feel like coincidences. You can't tell me how these events felt, you haven't experienced them. I have my reasons, but I can't explain them and even if I could, there'd be no point because they're completely personal.
Hey for all you know, I could be making all of this up. I can't prove anything, I'm just trying to explain what I believe and why.
I've just had enough of people thinking they know everything about my faith and constantly spouting bullshit.
I'd still like to know why you think God doesn't give poor African Christians a job or two, especially after that "Christians are more receptive to God's will" thing.
I DON'T KNOW! I'm a Christian partly because I don't have all the answers.
I originally said that I believe in god because at a number of times in my life, things have happened that to me feel like there is something behind the scenes in control. I mentioned that individually none of them are very interesting, but they are enough overall at a personal level to change the way I look at life.
Somebody asked me to list them.
I listed a few.
Everybody had a nice laugh.
I don't fully understand it, I don't expect you to understand it at all, but I'd like to think that maybe you now have a slightly better understanding of my delusions.
I don't just blindly follow the bible or my religious leader.
I don't just do as my parents told me to do (My parents aren't Christian and I didn't set foot inside a church until the age of 12)
I don't just believe because I don't "believe in science" (I hate that phrase, but I can't think of the real wording)
I don't believe because I'm not capable of understanding the world around me.
We don't know everything about your faith. But what we don't know is most likely trivial and unimportant. What is important is that we know that people are easily fooled and that they look for patterns in things. They look for order. What you're describing isn't a series of divine interventions, it's the warped image of reality created by the human brain unhindered by reason, and we know this because what you're describing is exactly what you naturally and subconsciously seek to find.
Read a bit about the psychology of pattern seeking. You might just find it relevant.
I've never understood why christians/muslims/jews/whatever dismiss other religions as being "false". If you believe in a god, how the hell can you be sure that you have the right one? It's a downright fallacy.
Also, what Mr. Scorpio said, pattern seeking. If you could remember all the times you prayed without getting a "response" of some sort, it would outweigh the times it happened greatly.
There was this study about reinforcement and association in pigeons I read about some while ago.
Basically, when a pigeon pecked on a metal plate, a food pellet would drop. The pigeons associated the pecking with food, and kept on picking. The scientists then turned off the mechanism, so food would not drop. The pigeons tried pecking a few times, and then stopped, observing it didn't work. But when the scientist set the plate to respond at random intervals, the pigeons would peck furiously for a long time, before giving up.
You see, when they didn't know when they would get the food, they kept on trying, and thus reinforced the idea of a reward.
When a religious person prays a bunch of times, and then finally something good happens, they associate it with the prayer, like the pigeon with the food, and keep on trying, attributing the failed times as the mysterious ways God works in.
i dunno, i'm tired, whatever.
And he exaggerates precisely how religion affects directly how society works.
It's not like businesses have to follow a religious code does it?
Nobody has to follow any spiritual code.
Fair enough, we have bad situations involving religion because people have become over-extreme.. but these aren't just simple "reading a book" type of problem. Someone being stoned to death is not a spiritual code, it's merely a pathetic decision made by an extreme/closed minded individual.
There is plenty wrong with the world on that level. But in terms of a book being a book... I see no issue at all.
Wrong, they are just trying to discover infalible proofs that religion is shit
so they spent lots of time there
Now I need to ask you where you (and other religious people) got the right to pick and choose what to believe out of your holy texts? It says you stone adulterers, so why the fuck aren't you stoning them?
Oh right, because atheists thought that was insane, and then your religious leaders decided to pander to the times rather than actually follow their religion.
You can not, on one hand, tell me the Bible is the last will and testament of God/Jesus/Whatever, and then on the other hand tell me we should really just believe in the concept. Christianity is full of so many bullshit interpretations of the same warped and mistranslated book it would set your head spinning if you had to learn about them all.
I had a christian doctrine as a child, until I interested myself in it.
Questioned myself various things, and came to the point I don't believe in that.
Might be someone else's case.
Still, I'm not atheist but agnostic.
Ego: There might be A god, but for sure it's not the chistian God or Jesus, Allah, Zoroaster, whoever.
Everyone who claimed to speak or write the world of a god is clearly an idiot who tried to scam fools.
But, yeah, in my opinion, while there are people that believes without a particular reason,
Everyone who doesn't believe got atleast a reason to do so.
I think it's mostly because religious people have no idea what they are talking about half the time really. Basically, it's so atheists can prove them wrong, but half the time they are just ignorant.
For example, the whole doomsday thing a few months back when the bible clearly states "no one knows the day or the hour" or something like that. Many Christians just choose what they like from the Bible or don't know the full story.
Makes no sense...
And onto your point,
you are now condemning the religious for not stoning people because it says it in the book.
Firstly, the books aren't a "set of rules" in any way. In many ways, the books have been re-edited to mean things that are different from the original intent (apparently).
That being said, it clearly seems that you are jumping the gun with the one-liners you find in a book that obviously requires some thinking through.
I use to be a hardcore atheist but then I stopped because eventually I just realized that people who believe in imaginary things controlling the world aren't really people I'd like to talk to.
But I do have faith that alien lizard people run the US banks.