Friday, April 8, 2016
Why do you believe in God?
I believe in God.
Why do you believe in God?
Because I've felt it in my heart.
What have you felt?
I've felt his spirit, and his love.
How do you know it this is God?
Because I believe it is.
Why do you believe it is?
Because it makes me happy.
Why do you believe it is God making you happy?
Because I feel it is true.
Why do you feel it is true?
I was taught to pray to know if it is true, and I prayed and felt it.
What did you feel?
I felt peace.
Why does peace mean it is true?
Because peace comes from God.
How do you know peace comes from God?
Because I was taught that all things good come from God, and he will give us peace if we pray to know he is there.
Who taught you all things good come from God? And who taught you to pray to him?
Who taught them?
The missionaries, who were sent by the prophet to teach God's word.
Where did the missionaries learn?
Probably from their parents.
And where did their parents learn?
I see what you are getting at. Not only do they learn from their parents, but from reading scriptures and praying to know if it is true.
Where do scriptures come from?
So God wrote scriptures?
Yes, through his prophets.
How did they know they were writing what God wanted?
They felt his spirit and were prompted, and received revelations.
How do you know those revelations were real, and not just hallucinations?
Because I feel they are true, I've prayed about it. And they bring peace and joy into my life as I read them and live by their teachings.
So you pray to know if what you are praying about is true?
But you pray to know what you are praying about. How does that work?
Because if you pray with faith, God will reveal himself.
Why, the one and only God.
How do you know he exists?
Because I have felt his spirit at I pray, I've told you this.
How do you know what you are feeling means there is a God?
Because I was taught this, and I've felt it as I practiced it. The prophets and my parents and my leaders have all taught me that I would feel God's spirit as I prayed, and I have.
Where did they learn to pray?
From those who came before them. For instance, Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and he taught his followers about them. And what it feels like to pray to them.
How do you know he saw God?
Because he said he did, and I prayed to know if it was true.
And you felt it was true?
Yes, I felt it was true.
How do you know what you are feeling is real?
I just know. I can only base what I know on what I feel and what I was taught.
So you were taught to pray, and you were taught what you would feel if you prayed, and you were taught that that feeling meant God existed.
You were taught what you would feel and how to interpret that feeling.
Based on someone saying they saw God somewhere along the lines.
You pray to know if what you are praying about is real. You pray to God, who you cannot see, to know if he exists. That is like whispering in an egg to ask the Easter Bunny if he is real, and then getting a warm fuzzy feeling and saying that is proof the Easter Bunny does in fact exist.
But we know the Easter Bunny is just a story, this is God, the creator we are talking about.
How do you know he is the creator?
*sigh* Because it is what I have been taught.
And you prayed about it?
And you felt it was true?
Because someone told you if you prayed and got a warm feeling that meant it was true?
I'm sorry, but I'm really struggling to understand how this is escaping you. Let me try another example, I went to see Harry Potter in the theater. I felt chills, goose bumps, excitement, happiness. The same exact things I felt during a heartfelt moment in church. Can I conclude Harry Potter is real from this experience?
Because we know for a fact that Harry Potter was made up.
Perhaps he's not, perhaps it is actually Harry speaking through J.K. Rowling the prophet, and Harry Potter is scripture. And everyone who doesn't believe in him will go to hell.
That is ridiculous.
What if I told you I prayed about it? And got that confirmation you were explaining about?
I wouldn't believe you.
Because you have no proof, and Harry Potter is clearly fiction.
I have no proof?
Can you provide me proof of your God?
Yes, I can.
Then please, by all means.
I have proof in his creations. In the way I feel when I pray. In---
Okay, I thought we had gotten past that. Feeling something is true, does not make it true. Assigning meaning to things does not indicate a God.
But it is all the proof I have, what I have felt in my heart.
Because someone told you that you would feel that way if you prayed.
And someone told them, and someone told them, and someone told them. And back and back, like Jonas in The Giver. While someone gets rich off of people like you praying and paying them to keep telling you to pray. It's a vicious cycle of I believe because I believe because I believe because I believe. I believe because I have felt it because it is true, because I believe it is true. And around and around and around.
But I felt it was true. I really felt his spirit.
A feeling is not a measurement of truth. A feeling merely indicates a state of being. Feeling it will rain will not make it rain. Feeling it is rainy on a sunny day does not make it rainy. The problem is people feel it is rainy on rainy days and take that as a confirmation of their feelings. When merely, it is a coincidence. If God truly existed he would answer prayers, yes?
Yes, and he does--
Then explain to me, we are in a room. There is a priest and a boy. The priest begins to rape the boy. The priest is praying to not get caught. The boy is praying for it to stop. It seems god favors the priest when the deed is done and no one knows. God did not answer the boys prayer, does god exist?
God can't answer every prayer, and he cannot stop people from doing bad things.
Because that would interfere with agency, and God knows what is best.
So rape was best for that boy?
Of course not!
Then why didn't god stop it? The boy prayed.
Because he couldn't stop that man's agency.
But the scriptures are full of God stopping people's agency.
In extreme cases, God will step in---
Who determines that?
God is supposedly omniscient and omnipotent. If he is all knowing, he knows what we will do. If he is all powerful, he can stop anything. Tell me then, how can anyone possibly have agency?
Because they can still do what every they want.
And God will punish or reward them for what they do, based on rules that he made up?
No, I believe God is bound by eternal laws.
Like, thou shalt not kill?
So, God is going to be punished for killing all of the men, women and children of the Canaanites?
Why not, isn't killing against an eternal law?
Well, all life is in God's hands.
So it isn't eternally wrong to kill.
Not if you are God.
So God is absolved from consequence of actions he says are bad?
Bad for us.
You sure make a lot of allowances for your God.
Look, all I can say is Ii've prayed and felt it was true.
Which God did you pray to?
The one and only God, God the Father.
What if you are wrong? What if Odin is the one true God?
Well I don't think that he is...
Because I just don't, Odin is mythology.
Why isn't your God?
Because he isn't.
Because I believe he isn't.
Because you prayed.
Like you were taught to do.
Yes. Look, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
So you'll base your life on an assumption that you might be right? Just in case? And you will be perfectly okay looking down on everyone who doesn't agree with you, and deny yourself living because someone 200 years ago said they saw God when they prayed??
More power to you my friend. I'll just take my leave and let you to your crazy. Don't forget to pray about what you are praying about before you pray to the god you are praying to know exists before you pray tonight.