To Believe Or Not To Believe
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TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE
To believe or not to believe is an age old question when it comes to God. On one side we have always had those with faith. They have faith that God exists. On the other side we have always had those with faith also. The difference is they put faith in the belief God does not exist. Both, the belief in God and the belief there is no God take faith. That is ironic when it comes to the question of religion’s foundation. Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus copyrighted in 1988 defines faith as “belief, credence, and credit”. This definition applies to both of these belief systems, the believers and the non-believers. It requires belief, credence, and credit to stand on either side of this issue.
Essentially non-believers will tell you there is no proof “positive” that God exists while believers will tell you that there is no “positive” proof that God does not exist. Without proof on either side, that only leaves faith to support both opposing views on the existence of God. Believers have faith that God is real. Non-believers have faith that God is not real.
Then there are those in the middle struggling with their faith. These do not know what to believe. Therefore, in essence, they have no faith at all, one way or the other when it comes to believing in God or not believing in God. Some are trying to find their way. Others reside themselves to the philosophy that as long as you do good and live life the best you can in your own set of circumstances, that is all that counts.
One thing that seems to make sense to all of us is logic. Whether we believe in God, do not believe in God, or do not know what to believe we each have a basic understanding of logic and can grasp the concept of logic. We all utilize logic every single day we live our lives. So, before I apply logic to the basic question of whether God exists or not, let’s define logical. According to Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus copyrighted in 1988, logical means “rational, intelligent, reasonable, sensible, and sound”. Believers, non-believers, and everyone in the middle for the most part will agree that rational, intelligent, reasonable, sensible, and sound or all adjectives that apply to just about everyone. Therefore, we can admit logic is tangible. As children growing up we learn to hone our logic so by the time we are adults we have mastered the art of what is considered logical. With logic we are able to balance the pros and cons to anything.
So now let us get back to faith. What are the advantages of not having faith in God or put another way having faith there is no God? Frankly, the only argument I have ever heard is it gives one license to party, drink, fornicate, gamble, kill etc. because there is no accounting of how you lived your life, once you have died. Not every non-believer takes their faith there is no God to these lengths, but some do. Basically with this belief system, we have been taught we die and that is it. Life is over!
So what are the advantages of believing in and serving God? The biggest advantage is we have been taught we will have everlasting life in Heaven with God and our loved ones. There are other advantages as well, but for the sake of simplicity we will just deal with the big one here.
So not knowing for sure what if anything is going to happen when we die, one might weigh the two alternatives using logic to help them decide where to put their faith. Ok, if I choose to be a non-believer and believe when I die I just basically become fertilizer mind, body, and soul then I have nothing to gain after death. However, if I choose to be a believer, and when I die, only my physical body becomes fertilizer, and my mind and spirit get to dwell with the Lord in Heaven for life everlasting. Now that is a huge bonus and from what we are taught Heaven is a pretty nice place, much better than your mind, body, and soul rotting in a hole in the ground. Logic dictates that going to Heaven and living forever is a better deal! Right? Granted we have to accept that there is a Heaven in the first place, but that is what having faith in God is all about. It is the same as those that choose to be non-believers are banking that Heaven does not exist and being there is no proof it does not, they are putting their faith in the belief it does not exist. There is no difference because both beliefs only have faith to go on.
So why would anyone want to believe that we just die? Whether you put your faith in one or the other it takes just as much effort to defend your beliefs when confronted by the opposing sides of this question. So why would you not just put your faith in the Lord? It is much more desirable to think we have a chance to live forever than it is to think we are just going to die, and do you know what? If you choose to believe in God, and it turns out you do not go to Heaven and live forever, you haven’t lost anything. You still get to rot in the ground just like the non-believers thought all along.
However, if you choose to be a non-believer and you were wrong, guess what? You do not get to have your mind, body, and soul rot in the ground after all. Your mind and soul get to go to Hell and your new landlord is the Devil! Or at best you get to go to Purgatory. That is the “downside” of not believing in the Lord. Hell, as we have been taught is not a great place to reside for eternity. And Purgatory is just a place where you are put till it is decided what to do with you. So looking at this logically as we have done, why would anyone choose to not believe in God? It does not cost you a thing other than finding and having faith in God, and you have so much to gain. Look what not having faith in God might get you. It is just not logical to choose Hell over Heaven. It is similar to saying here on earth, I want to go to prison instead of being free. Remember, it takes a non-believer just as much faith to believe there is no Hell, as it takes a believer to believe there is.
This may not be the most ideal method for deciding to put your faith in God, but you have to admit, the logic in it makes sense. For those struggling with where to put their faith, using this logical approach may help with the answer. My point is, it is a step in the better direction at least logically. So often when we hear or read the word faith, we think or apply faith to just one side of the equation, having faith in God. However on the other side of the equation, in reality non-believers are putting just as much emphasis on having faith God does not exist. Non-believers have no proof God does not exist, so they are relying totally on their faith that God, Heaven, and Hell do not exist just as much as believers rely on their faith that God, Heaven, and Hell do exist.
So now based purely on faith, which is for the most part all we have to go on with both sides of this issue, using our sense of logic, where does it make more sense to place our faith?
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