God is some kind of intelligent force in the universe?

But, again and again and again… What about all the really shitty things that happen to people? Diseases and accidents and the war in Syria…

God gives you a house…

Doesn’t seem like a healthy balance of weal and woe, somehow.

But, hey, I’ll play the game. If all wars, diseases, and accidents stop tomorrow, I will believe in God.

No. It means you were open to the idea that getting a rental was evidence that god exists. And you’ve already stated that if you didn’t get it, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that god doesn’t exist. You are making it really easy for yourself to believe that god exists. You’ve lowered the bar to the point where you can pretty much decide what does or doesn’t constitute evidence for god. That strongly suggests that you want to believe in a god. To go back to one of your own analogies, it’s a bit like interpreting a bird landing on the windowsill as evidence that I can fly.

I am open to the possibility that god might exist but he would have come to me in person, take me behind the scenes, and show me how everything was done. It would still be more likely that I’d gone mad, but that is as close as I could get to being convinced.

Like I mentioned, maybe a truth is “life is suffering”… I think Buddhists believe that there is an intelligent force in the universe. It doesn’t mean that this intelligence has to be against suffering… well if you use their principles you can help deal with the reality of suffering.

The house makes it possible for us to have kids with a fairly good standard of living… maybe there are some things that “should happen” given the right circumstances… BTW if the four of us couldn’t live together we’d be paying a lot more rent per couple (nearly 50% more) and each have less room per couple.

BTW I just remembered what Jesus said to the devil when he tested him “Do not put the Lord to the test”. I think he was quoting the Old Testament.

Yeah I want to believe in a god… not a god that wants me to worship his “perfection” and infinite “goodness” though. I’d like to believe that I’m part of a larger purpose even though I’m not sure what exactly the purpose the synchronicities have. I did say that I wanted to know the truth, no matter how depressing it might be. I’m not looking at the evidence objectively enough… maybe I’m like a Christian who has a childlike faith because their faith suits them and they feel it is making them happier. But anyway this is just my personal belief. I don’t think I have sufficient evidence to persuade others to believe in my version of god.

You want to believe in a god that’s fits with your idea of how a god should be. You want it to provide meaning to your life in a way that you find acceptable. The Christian god carries a heap of baggage that you find distasteful. Can you not see that it is incredibly unlikely that the universe just happens to really be the way you want it to be? The chances of the universe being one that you find personally satisfying are essentially zero.

What if I were to accept that “life is suffering” (one of the “noble truths”) and from there tried to work out how to deal with it… that would be pretty “personally satisfying” to me. I was basically satisfied with the universe as well before I learned about the house.

But why does it need to be suffering. For a lot of people it isn’t suffering. What if you start with the premise that life just is, and work from there. If you need meaning to your life, how about “our purpose is to create more of us”. If you think that people who don’t have children are being left out, that’s ok because we all maintain a society that allows our species to continue, even if we don’t personally procreate.

Surely everyone suffers from time to time… they would experience some form of physical or emotional pain even if it is mild. Or they at least know of others suffering - and empathize. It doesn’t matter why life involves suffering - but I’m just accepting that “noble truth”.

You believe in a God that wants you to suffer?? Sounds like a cruel creature that needs to be opposed not worshiped.

I never said I worship God (at least at this point in my life). I just think there is an intelligent force in the universe. BTW lately I was learning about what makes a good story and it said that in a story, basically anything that can go wrong should go wrong, and the protagonist should be forced into doing something they don’t want to do. I think that our reality can lead to engrossing stories… like a “neverending story”… without suffering there isn’t any drama… and that means a boring story.

Why intelligent though? Why can’t we have suffering purely because there is no one looking out for us except us and we don’t always do a good job of it?

If you’ve watched any reality TV you’d know that real life drama generally needs to be exaggerated and sometimes created completely from nothing for it to actually be dramatic. For every engrossing story out there there are a hundred mundane ones. Except our own, we are always engrossed in our own story, but they are only engrossing to us and those close to us.

I suspect that if there was no suffering and nothing undesired happening, people would seek it. Life would be meaningless if things went to smoothly. BTW there are a lot of females in particular that self-harm - I think they do it so that they don’t feel so numb or something.

In the case of Buddhism they usually believe that there is something there besides physical reality… e.g. some believe in reincarnation. I don’t know much about Buddhism though

The (lynda.com) course I listened to much of says that lots of stories fail to follow her rules and so become boring, etc. They do things like add details that aren’t relevant, etc.

From Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story with Lisa Cron (lynda.com)

  1. Suspense and Conflict:
  1. What Can Go Wrong, Must

Some people say that how can God exist if there are wars/suffering, etc. Maybe the point is that drama, opposition and suffering leads to meaning. Perfect order can be seen as meaningless. Opposites can be defined with each other. (e.g. “good” vs “bad”)

In the case of the Christian God he apparently made a perfect creation, it rebelled (Satan/angels/humans), he cursed it, he “saved” it and in the future the conscious beings will either be eternally punished or rewarded (allowing them to eternally worship him). That story is more interesting than if they hadn’t have rebelled and suffered.

We get bored and like drama - drama in movies, games and life… BTW I’ve been manic before and in my experience, and in other people, we push our comfort zone and do crazy things. It is too boring to just be content with ordinary life (with ordinary fears gone).

But why does any of it need god? Can’t we have suffering without a god?

Yes. A good story. Have you seen Life of Pi? A film about a boy who is stranded on a life raft with a tiger. People often prefer the better story to the true story but that doesn’t make the better story true.

We can have suffering, joy, and all sorts of other emotional experiences without a god.

The thing about God is, He seemed to have a real hands-on approach in the early days, when the whole world only stretched as far as the Mediterranean coast, but lately He’s been strangely absent.

Suspicious, if you ask me.

I’m pretty sure it’s the Christians who take the Bible in the literal sense.

And besides, if the Bible is a work of fiction, why should I giive myself to Jesus, a fictional character?

Why should I take any of it seriously?

Bolding mine:

What’s the point of eternity then? And why should Christians strive so hard to achieve it?

BTW: I agree with the bolded statement. I just don’t think God has anything to do with it.