Author Topic: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?  (Read 13504 times)

Outrider

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2015, 08:54:37 AM »
That just shows how easy it is to make the term God mean anything. But I take your point.

That's part of the problem when it come to discussions about religion - there are so many varying depictions and understandings of the idea. Some might be inclined to suggest that it's down to the lack of any definitive evidence, leading to a plethora of cultural and personal influences on an otherwise nebulous concept.

O.
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Gonnagle

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2015, 01:41:53 PM »
Dearest Mater,

Thing is, over the years most Christians on this and the BBC forum have all shared their experiences only to have them stuck under the microscope and examined by amateur head shrinks, so I see where you might find it difficult for some to share.

Gonnagle.
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Rhiannon

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2015, 01:55:24 PM »
And us non-believers get told we're selfish/our lives are meaningless/we are off to the burny-burny place.

Perhaps we should all just stick to discussing football, recipes and puppies.

Jack Knave

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2015, 07:31:22 PM »
Dear Jack Knave,

Where to start.

1. In a prayer answered ( but Gonnagle God does not answer prayers ).

2. In a meeting of two souls ( but Gonnagle we don't have souls ).

3. In a quiet moment.

4. Those times when you awake, smile and say, ha no work today and fall back into the land of nod.

5. In a pub where the atmosphere is just perfect.

6. When my brothers are laughing at me for something daft I have said or done ( which is often ).

7. The time just before sleep overtakes you and you are thinking weird but happy thoughts.

9. In a eureka moment, when the penny finally drops.

10. In a Vlad versus Shaker thread, or a Shaker versus Bashers thread, or a Wigginhall joke which you finally get and laugh because the joke is on you, or a Nearlysane post when you say, bugger I never thought of that.


Gonnagle.
????????????

I was looking for personal testimonies.
I have given mine about three times on this board. I found there was something greater than us through the cosmic wonder of Carl Sagan and God and Christ in Christians and the works of CS Lewis and revelations 3:20.
I must have missed them.

Those are not personal, direct encounters with your God, though. As I said I was hoping for personal testimonies of encounters with one's God.

Please note that Rev.3:20 is addressed to the Laodicea church not to any old body. To understand and get 3:20 into context you have to read the whole letter to them.

Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2015, 07:44:39 PM »
My experience of God was very real and personal. I confess I never heard him speak, but he always helped me and answered my prayers, sometimes positively and other times negatively because that was what was best for me. I felt his presence often in many deeply beautiful moments.

The rest you already know.

Jack Knave

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2015, 07:52:22 PM »
Obviously, this thread is aimed at people who have a faith and a belief.

Usually it is asked why do you believe in your God/gods, which then elicits chapter and verse of some kind or some academic verbiage, but I think the more appropriate question should be what is your personal and direct experience of your God/gods which would then substantiate your beliefs for yourself in some kind of 'solid' manner.

I say direct because you can't include the social acceptance and 'love' of what eventually became your brethren and fellow believers. It has to be a one to one personal experience with your God/gods, not some communal, day-to-day social activity.

Are you a Charismatic then?
What do you mean? I don't understand the context here.

-------------

Oh I see. Not really. I just find it strange that people believe in God, and their particular faith, without having a direct personal experience of their God, but instead give the examples that JC has aired of basically communal acceptance and love, and getting the right pet talk when needed.

The problem with experiences is that they are subjective; how does a person judge the source of those experiences for instance. Experience has to be evaluated. An evangelical would use the Bible as the yardstick for any experience. I have had experiences which I might ascribe to God but my faith is not founded upon them. I mentioned Charismatics as there is a tendency for those at the extreme to exalt experience over the word of God; not a good idea imho.
So what is your faith founded on, then? How do you know that what you believe is true; and all that it says and claims, if you haven't had a fundamental experience of it itself?

Yes, experiences are subjective but without experiences how do we judge and make any assessments of anything? One can't just sit in an armchair, in closed off room, and ponder about what life is all about without experiencing the world around you. That is how we create some idea of what meaning is by having experiences of the world. How can one have a faith of a God and not have had an experience of that God directly? That would be like pondering how sand feels without ever feeling it but just trying to guess at it.

Jack Knave

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2015, 07:57:24 PM »
Dearest Mater,

Thing is, over the years most Christians on this and the BBC forum have all shared their experiences only to have them stuck under the microscope and examined by amateur head shrinks, so I see where you might find it difficult for some to share.

Gonnagle.
Thank you for sharing that, Gonny.

Jack Knave

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2015, 08:03:57 PM »
My experience of God was very real and personal. I confess I never heard him speak, but he always helped me and answered my prayers, sometimes positively and other times negatively because that was what was best for me. I felt his presence often in many deeply beautiful moments.

The rest you already know.
So what made you become an atheist?

2Corrie

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2015, 08:24:53 PM »
So what is your faith founded on, then? How do you know that what you believe is true; and all that it says and claims, if you haven't had a fundamental experience of it itself?

Yes, experiences are subjective but without experiences how do we judge and make any assessments of anything? One can't just sit in an armchair, in closed off room, and ponder about what life is all about without experiencing the world around you. That is how we create some idea of what meaning is by having experiences of the world. How can one have a faith of a God and not have had an experience of that God directly? That would be like pondering how sand feels without ever feeling it but just trying to guess at it.

My walk with God is very much experiential, but my faith is not built on experience. My faith is built upon Christ and the word of God, which I have found to be trustworthy. Like I said before experience has to have a yardstick by which it can be measured. Relying solely on experience imo leaves one open to deception - after all it is said the Satan manifests as a being of light.
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Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2015, 09:02:52 PM »
My experience of God was very real and personal. I confess I never heard him speak, but he always helped me and answered my prayers, sometimes positively and other times negatively because that was what was best for me. I felt his presence often in many deeply beautiful moments.

The rest you already know.
So what made you become an atheist?

The recognition of the cruelty of the prey/predator system. I didn't understand how a God of love could have created such a heartless and vicious form of life. I prayed  to God many times to make me understand why it was so, but received no reply. My faith began to dwindle, and I finally realised that I had been taken in by the whole story.

For a while I was devastated and disorientated, but gradually everything became clear and fell into place. That was indeed a wonderful experience.

OH MY WORLD!

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2015, 10:31:39 PM »
I don't have the answer to why God allows bad things to happen, no Christian has that answer. What I do have is faith and I have seen so much good come as a result of bad. I saw Americans come together like never before after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. I also believe I will have that answer when I've passed on.

jeremyp

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2015, 11:47:29 PM »
II saw Americans come together like never before after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

That's true.

Then they invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2015, 07:04:04 AM »

If you let humanism be your guide and stand up for others as you think is right, I think that is what matters.

Rather than your personal take on reality.

A kind heart counts for much IMO, what you believe, less so.

😀

I have only a sketchy idea of what "humanism" means, but have no need to know more. My personal take on reality is that we should live our lives respecting and helping others if we can, and damaging the environment as little as possible. That is sufficient for me.

Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2015, 08:50:20 AM »

You sound like a humanist.

😀

"Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism)."


That describes me, except that I include empathy towards other species, i.e., not causing them unnecessary pain or suffering if it can be avoided.

Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2015, 08:58:09 AM »

You sound like a humanist.

😀

"Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism)."


That describes me, except that I include empathy towards other species, i.e., not causing them unnecessary pain or suffering if it can be avoided.

Lots of people do include other species 😉

But it is not included in the description of humanism ... and as I consider it essential, I am excluded from that group.

Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2015, 10:43:12 AM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

Nearly Sane

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2015, 11:20:15 AM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?

Outrider

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2015, 11:30:03 AM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?

Legally, no, and there is a small degree of justification for that from medical grounds with the possibility of various conditions being communicable.

Morally - rather depends on how voluntary that painless death was. From an ethical perspective, for me, it's just mean once you're dead.

O.
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Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2015, 11:37:30 AM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?

Only if they have agreed with it! ;)

Nearly Sane

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2015, 12:00:58 PM »
If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?
Legally, no, and there is a small degree of justification for that from medical grounds with the possibility of various conditions being communicable.

Morally - rather depends on how voluntary that painless death was. From an ethical perspective, for me, it's just mean once you're dead.

O.

Of course, we could get a volunteer to allow me to eat them, other than if I go to The Restaurant at The End of The Universe, that won't apply with other animals.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 12:14:41 PM by Nearly Sane »

Questions to Christians

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2015, 05:53:53 PM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?
Painless for you or them.
wwaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhh.......I FEAST on Sh*te New Atheist argument.

Leonard James

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2015, 07:04:15 AM »

What varies is where you draw the line. A humanist can also eat meat and is not doomed to be a vegan.

There is nothing wrong with eating meat if it is obtained by humane methods.

If I kill someone painlessly, can I eat them?

I dunno ... could you?  :)

Dicky Underpants

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2015, 04:16:24 PM »
One question JK, which is there may be those who are no longer theists who might feel they 'experienced' God(s) previously but then decided, for whatever reason, that was incorrect, surely their 'testimony' might also be interesting?

I think it might prove even more interesting. Certainly people like Richard Holloway and Bart D Ehrman, who both ,at one point in their lives, received the whole evangelical God-wallop, make fascinating reading.
Apparently according to an article he contributed to the Scotsman. He became an agnostic very soon after his ordination but continued to rise up the ranks to become a Bishop. He was therefore the Anthony Blunt of the Episcopalian church.....and yes Dicky, Anthony Blunt is cockney rhyming slang.

An Anthony Blunt? Na- more a San Manuel, Bueno Martir - as in the novel by Unamuno.
To quote your hero, C.S. Lewis, "I think I can know a good man when I meet him - I'm certain I know a good man when I read him" (One of Lewis' dictums I actually agree with). And according to that maxim, paradoxically, I'm pretty certain that Holloway is a good man, whereas I'd not give such a wholehearted judgment about C.S. Lewis.

wigginhall

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2015, 05:36:44 PM »
It's surely a deadly riposte to those who argue that personal experience is an argument for God.   I'm not sure how many theists do make this argument, and some are content to say that they have such experiences, without translating it into an objective state of affairs.

But then people who don't, must also count, and as NS said, those who once did, but now don't, also.   The argument is feeble.
no path

Nearly Sane

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Re: What is Your Personal Experience of Your God?
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2015, 05:56:59 PM »
I would just like to say that of all the many people I have met, Richard Holloway impressed me as simply good and loving. If we all be such Blunts this world would be a much better place.