I don't really care what you, personally, believe. Believe in God? Good for you. Believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I'm in love with that thing - excellent. Believe in no God at all? Awesome. Really. (You're also like I was between the ages of 0-24.) Believe there might be a God but you don't know who or what that's about? Wonderful (and also describes me between the ages of 24-32).
Believe you can't choose to believe in God anymore than you can choose to believe your foot is a potato? I'm awestruck at your powers of perception - no seriously, I am. Some of us come to very big decisions - like whether to marry, believe in God, have kids, rob convenience stores - after much wrestling, it seems.
That's what's both brilliant and just hilarious - the wrestling - the sheer number of brain cells some people work like they're on steroids in order to disprove any idea of God.
There's so much wrestling going on in this post and the comments that follow it that I have to finish reading them in between the migraines I keep getting trying to take all this obvious DEDUCTION and REASONING power in.
The deductive powers of the post, which I'd like to gleefully boast I inspired - and which in fact I did inspire, whether my name or link was used or not - are utterly exhausting (I swear, if nothing else, I'll sleep like a baby tonight).
It proves people waste tremendous time and energy arguing what they can't know, which in and of itself is absurd and makes me question their sanity. I think the only thing most sane people know is that you can't prove that there is a God (I'm solidly in this camp, despite numerous miraculous experiences that *do* sway me toward a more steadfast belief in him or at least in "something"). And you cannot prove that there isn't.
Anything beyond that is a waste of time - and ought to be an illegal waste of brain cycles.
If indeed there is no God, you haven't lost anything - not intellectually, not emotionally, nor physically - in believing there is, unless you take the hardline Christian approach - given to us by God's son - that in order to properly believe, you must sacrifice your property, your lifestyle, and your family in order to "follow him". It's a beautiful sacrifice but a hard life, so most people don't choose it, even if they do believe quite strongly.
Similarly, the idea that any moral code comes from God - and that you "sacrifice" in order to practice morality - is bizarre and insulting, since it implies we have no ability to make a moral code of our own without some great other-worldly influence upon us, or at least the idea of one, and it also implies that we would be just fine - perhaps better off - without morality, since without it we could have "more fun".
But it's illogical to say that doing what we want, even when it hurts others, is a "religious sacrifice". It's also illogical to say that it's part of an unwanted "moral code" thrust upon us by who knows who or what. Such views trivialize right and wrong beyond redemption. It's like saying you'd rather be an anarchist except for all the stupid laws holding you back - in which case I say pee or get the off the pot - nothing's holding you back, hypocrites.
I see such an illogical stance as the hallmark of psychopaths so determined to do what they want that they'll even blame the idea of God for there being any sense of right or wrong in the first place. Really, now.
Far from proving your intellectual capacity, you're proving to anyone with perception just the opposite - that you're like heathen, blaming people's supposedly self-imposed creation of an imaginary God for the icky morals that hold us back from actually "enjoying ourselves". Those damn religious nuts, ruining it for EVERYONE, even us smart and witty non-believers! But, hey...maybe the next life will be just as lawless as you seem to wish this world would be.
But in the meantime you're stuck with this world, ha ha.
And this world hangs its societal structure on an almost dizzying array of moral codes that you must follow whether you believe in God - or believe that morality only comes from false belief in God - or believe that God was imposed on us by authority figures in order to control our behavior (another insulting premise, since it implies humans are morons without some other human who's smarter and more all-knowing than the rest of us to lead us around by our noses) - or not.
So who cares if there is a God? Or whether or not you can control the act of believing in him? We're all going to die, anyway - and that really does end all arguments.
In the meantime, unbelievers waste more time and fizz debating the topic than it would take to build the next tower of Babel, while believers generally shut the heck up and believe what they want to believe.
I'm saying all this for a reason: This person actually hopes - wishes - desires! - to un-convert me by proselytizing on topics such as the Council of Nicea. So while I, a believer, say "live and let live", he, a supposed unbeliever, is actively trying to undo my hard-won beliefs. Why? I cannot answer this question. Can anyone?
I get what he's saying: that religion is a man-made dead-end designed to control us - those who "invented" it know it's no more useful than believing in the Easter Bunny, except from a "let's control the peoples" standpoint. Well, knock me over with a feather. This, my dear friends, is supposed to make me flee from any idea of God in terror. I just think it's so funny.
Non-believers act like they want to win some sort of mental Olympics with me and even each other. They could actually BUILD US GOD in the amount of time they waste in such futility. I'm glad your minds are so facile, so nimble, so sure, but do something more constructive with all that obvious technical brilliance than shoot the breeze with me - or anyone - about God.
Why can't you do that?