God is a big part of life.
It's become a contentious topic in life for many to discuss.
So people are so driven by faith.
And many others find it just a fun fantasy.
But what many of us believe is deeply personal.
And that should be respected.
Redditor Glittering _Leading74 wanted to talk about one of life's most controversial issues: God. They asked:
"Do you think God is real, and why?"
I believe in God. I just sort of have to. I'm also afraid of death.
NoBored Episode 15 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"At this point in time, No. I've explored several denonminations and attended a church faithfully for a big part of my life, participated in Sunday school as a child and adult, read the bible, prayed."
"But finally accepted that I don't believe in God. I think the God concept is more about feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. Feeling connected to yourself and others. But I don't feel connected and I don't have faith or trust."
"Live a good life. If there are Gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are Gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. - Marcus Aurelius"
"I really hope God is real but lacking any proof it seems like a fantasy to me. I'm terrified of death currently because I don't have a real belief system. I'd be so comforted if I were able to rely on any afterlife at all."
"Yep if God doesn't understand why I didn't believe then he is not God! 1000s of religions pick the wrong one suffer for eternity! Once again all eternity humans are full of sh*t were barely a blip in the universe's timeline."
"One of the biggest reasons I don't believe in God is precisely because i presume it was an invention made by a group of people who used their new religion as a weapon to earn easy cash thanks to the fact that it was really not hard to fool people in that era (even easier considering that they probably targeted poor people who needed something to give them a will to keep living in awful conditions)."
"Thats why they tried to silence a lot of intelligent people (for example, Galileo Galilei, who supported the idea that the Earth and the rest of the planets were the ones orbiting around the Sun, instead of the greek theory that the Catholic church imposed that said that the planets and the Sun orbited around the Earth) who, if they hadn't been stopped by the Church, technology would be a lot more advanced than what we have today."
Lost Itjesus GIFGiphy
"No, was raised a Christian but have had so much loss and general not having enough proof and such and just didn’t enjoy it that I quit believing in it."
Being raised certain ways can lead to more questions than answers.
IdeasDesign Idea GIF by Veo Branding CompanyGiphy
"I do but I don't really follow any religion. I have my own ideas about everything. And there ain't really a reason why. I guess I just wanna believe that there is life after death or something."
I can’t handle that...
"My dad was a minister. I tried SO hard to believe for my parents’ sake mostly. But I just can’t. I also cringe so hard when people talk about 'God was with him, that’s why he was ok' or 'God saved her!' or 'God was obviously present in this terrible tornado because the bibles in the pews were unmoved.' I can’t handle that. That’s like saying God abandoned the person who wasn’t ok."
"God didn’t want to save that other person. God cared more about bibles in a building than he cared about the actual real lives lost in the tornado. I can’t believe or worship something like that. I also used to say I believed in something, but wasn’t sure it was the Christian God. Now I’m not even convinced of that. Most of the miracles I see happening are the pure results of science."
"I have major issues with organized religion. But I can't be sure about anything else. I feel like maybe there is something there, and idk what it is. But I'm trying to live my life as a decent person either way. I do like the story of Jesus. With or without all the majorly religious stuff, he was just a good guy running around being nice to people and telling people not to be a**holes."
"I like the way that Jesus didn't have any problem with anyone who wasn't victimizing another person.
ETA - honestly it's the story of Jesus that gives me such huge issues with organized Christianity. This is their savior, right? Paid for sins and set the world right. But apparently they want to keep Judas-ing him, the way they act."
"Having faith of a God kind of just gives me more purpose and makes me more at ease about whatever comes after death. Even if he turns out not to be real then the important thing is I had guidance to follow instead of pondering the point of my useless existence and living for nothing. It's not about following God, It's about following your own beliefs that give you comfort in this crumbling world you will one day leave."
No AppealOver It Wow GIF by The Comeback HBOGiphy
"No. Raised religious but it just never appealed to me. I don’t think about it, question it, or wonder about anything religious or spiritual in nature. Just complete non-interest."
This will probably never be an issue with an answer that makes anyone happy. So believe what brings you comfort.
What do you believe happens after death? Let us know in the comments.
When it comes to religion, a person either believes in a god or doesn't believe that a higher power exists.
But people are more complex than that. As we evolve throughout our respective journeys in life, we are known to vacillate between conforming to some ideas while dismissing others.
What we used to believe in no longer applies based on our negative experiences and vice versa.
Does it work the same way with faith and believing in God?
Curious to hear from non-religious people online, Redditor Graysie-Redux asked:
"Atheists of Reddit: What could change your mind?"
The proof is in the pudding.
"Every single paedophile/rapist in religious positions of power being simultaneously struck by lightning."
"Any actual evidence. Also change my mind about which god(s)? Yahweh, Zeus, Osiris, Amaterasu?"
"I'm always amused by people not understanding what athiesm is. It's not a belief. Its a rejection of a claim and that's it. It's not what evidence would convince me otherwise, it's what evidence do you have. I observe said evidence and say that's not sufficient evidence because..."
Deeper Persuasion Required
"Nothing could suddenly change my mind into believing in the Christian (all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving) God. Proof of an entity with reality-changing powers would certainly change my world-view, but only to the point where I recognize that such a thing exists in the known universe. Ability does not imply divinity (or altruism)"
A Father's Experience After A Heart Attack
"My dad is an atheist, and had a major heart attack last year which came extremely close to killing him many times. He was in a coma for more than a month."
"During that time, several Christian family members wondered if he was having a religious experience, had seen/spoken to god or maybe his late daughter as an angel, and would awake as a religious man now."
"I said there was zero chance. Even if he did actually have these experiences and then come out of the coma and tell us about them, he would never say 'I talked to god while I was in a coma.' He would say 'The chemicals in my brain did an interesting thing while I was in a coma.'”
"As it happened, he did live and was able to tell us about his experience. None of it was remotely religious. It was mostly memories of thinking the hospital staff were torturing him."
"The closest thing he had during the coma was a dream where he saw my wife telling him that my dead sister and my wife’s dead sister were talking in heaven."
These atheists believe in heavy sarcasm.
The Mythic Creature
"As a former atheist, what changed my mind was that, i learned the flying spaghetti monster existed."
"Christians, what would convince you to worship the Egyptian god Ra?"
"Whichever one, Christ or Ra, shows up in front of me first and bitch slaps me."
"Edit: if one of you offering to slap me are a God please teleport to my location to prove it you coward."
"I don't even need proof. I'll believe in him for €10m. I accept cash."
"Now that's a conversion method I could get into."
The jury is still out for these Redditors.
Time To See Someone
"Don't know if there's anything. If some god appeared I'd still wonder if this was some hallucination and make an appointment with a psychologist."
Seeing Is Believing
"I think for me god would have to appear on a societal level in addition to seeing them myself. If my friends and relatives (who are also mostly atheist or agnostic) testified to also seeing god, as well as the general public and it became a known thing that god was real and making appearances I would probably believe it too."
Hearing It From The Source
"A god showing me they're real."
"Not a person telling me why their god is real. That's evidence of nothing."
"Gods shouldn't need middlemen."
There is not enough convincing that can persuade atheists to believe in an all-powerful, omniscient entity.
Many of them would attest to a higher power if they could be presented with tangible evidence of its existence.
Yet, I'm pretty sure most people who claim to have faith have not witnessed any appearances by God.
So this is an interesting conversation about what leads people to believe or completely dismiss the possibility that there might be something greater out there than any of us can ever imagine.
What do you think?
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.