Lately I’ve found myself questioning my faith and the existence of God. I’ve had doubts before, but they were never in the existence of a higher power, merely how to define it. But now, I find myself seriously plagued by the question of whether God is real or not.
I have always enjoyed going to church because of the traditions, but I feel like a fraud because I just don’t know if I believe in it.
It all seems so implausible. I know, that’s the definition of a miracle, but I just don’t know if I believe anymore.
What’s standing in your way? what’s making you question your faith? Is it science or is it other religions. All beliefs have to have something backing it up, if you question the existence of God where do these thoughts originate from? Ask God to increase your faith in him and I will pray for you.
I don’t feel like a life without God is meaningless. I try to see the good in people and see it in nature, etc. I think people should be good people because it’s the right thing to do, not necessarily because of some eternal reward. I think it’s a part of being human.
My doubts are generally in the existence of a higher power and the idea that there is more than just this. I understand that science has neither proven nor disproven the existence of God, but I am having a hard time accepting the miracles and other events we are supposed to accept as true. Demons? Could be mental illness. Miracles? Could be coincidence or scientific phenomenon not understood at the time.
I guess I’m having issues with the blind faith and acceptance without proof.
It’s entirely possible this period of doubt is a test from God. The saints were often known to have periods of darkness and aridity where God withdrew from them and they felt in darkness. This is the time to hang in there and pray anyway even if it seems silly or pointless. The time of testing is at hand. God has great things in store for you. Set your fingers googling about the saints and their struggles with the dark nights of the soul and the senses and aridity you will see what I mean. It may be comforting to you to know that others have felt these exact feelings, doubts and worries. God bless you and hang in there.
It sounds like you’re appealing to morality and beauty to appease your sense of meaning. You enter some dicey territory asserting that God isn’t real, but that there are inherent moral truths. To simplify a complex argument, if the definition of “good” and “evil” are human-derived, they are subjective. Subjective morality is absurd because I could assert the exact opposite of what you assert is “good” (ie good = evil) and have an equally valid moral framework. Dawkins comes to such a conclusion in River out of Eden stating, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”
Additionally I would assert that there are two types of meaning or purpose: self-derived (subjective) purpose and creator-derived (objective) purpose. I can carve a chair for sitting (objective purpose) and you can bastardize that purpose and use it for murder (subjective purpose). We cannot create an objective purpose for ourselves because we are the subject of that purpose. Additionally, anything with only a subjective purpose exists as a result of misuse of the original, objective purpose-giver’s intent. I would suggest reading Aristotle’s 4 causes.
Unsurprisingly, I struggle with accepting those too. But that’s nothing to do with the existence of God or a god. That’s more to do with veracity of Catholic teaching. You shouldn’t start with Church or even Biblical teachings if you’re struggling to recognize the existence of a God. You should start with the teachings of the Church Father’s and other philosophers.
If you had proof, why would you need faith? Don’t have blind faith either. Blind faith makes you susceptible to the smallest instances of mental dissonance throwing your world into disarray. Read. Learn. You can’t “know” your way into heaven, but you can fortify and supplement your faith with knowledge and reasoning.
I think my doubts come from wondering if God is there. I used to think I could feel His presence in my life, but lately (past few years) I haven’t. I feel like there just isn’t anything there, that this is it.
I’ve read apologetics and various saints; I studied early Celtic Christianity in undergrad and they have a lot on that as well. But somehow, knowing others have struggled with the same doubts only makes me feel like there’s a reason for them. And I don’t know if that reason is a test of my faith or critical thinking.
I want to say I really do appreciate the support. I feel really lost and confused, but it’s comforting to know that people have taken the time to try to help a stranger. Thank you, all.
I know it might seem God isn’t here and why he lets things in our lives happen the way they do, trust me I suffer from depression, but surely God will reward those in the afterlife who keep his word and love the spirit. I ain’t going to type wall of text, but just know that faith the size of a mustard seed can grow into something huge and beautiful. God made us exist, he gave me another day to prosper in his word, what else can I ask of him? The only way people will believe in the Father Almighty is with faith, there isn’t no physical proof that will change people who need to see to believe.
I like John 20:29. For those who haven’t seen may they be blessed. You will be in my prayers. Things will not always go our way, it might seem as if no one is there, God suffers with us and its better to fall of the rock than to get crushed by the rock. God bless.
I returned to the faith at the turn of this year. I’ve never “felt His presence” in my life. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what it means to “believe” or what that feels like. I struggle to grasp abstract concepts like that. I’ve very much thought for about 10-15 years of my life that this life was it. But as an adult, the more I’ve read, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that it just seems absurd. At best, the most scientifically literate atheist minds of our generation can only say “we don’t know” or propose something else that’s immaterial and unknowable. Upon reading the Church Fathers (Aquinas in particular) I’ve become more convinced that a God does exist, and the attributes that the Catholic Church gives to him are most in line with what would be expected of a God worthy of my worship.
You seem to be taking this only one way. I’ve gone from firm atheist to firm Catholic, as have many others. Does that not equally validate doubts of atheism? If not, why?
I tend to liken my faith to exercise. When you exercise you create microscopic tears in your muscles that are repaired and then built upon with additional muscle. Likewise, your faith is going to be torn asunder. If you put in the effort to rebuild, you can come out stronger in faith.
If I’ve learned one thing, change comes from within. You’re the sole author of your life. I won’t convince you of anything here (and I apologize if this sounds harsh) if your heart is hardened. It sounds like you’ve got a head on your shoulders and a journey ahead of you. I wish you the best, and know your family on CAF is always here
Someone once compared it to believing in Santa - you believe because you’re told to, them eventually you start to question it, and realise there is no proof, and you stop believing. But he could be real, we just don’t know. I believed in God, but now I don’t know if He’s real or not, I have no proof He does or doesn’t exist, and I’m caught in the confusion. Some people swear He does and claim they have proof, others say the exact opposite. I don’t know who or what to believe any more, and it feels like I’m being asked to hold on out of tradition and the fear of being wrong. But at the same time, if I demand proof that God is real, will I not find exactly what I am looking for by the very nature of it?
I’m sorry for all the gambling and repetition. I am just so confused and don’t know what to do. I am reading every response and taking it all into consideration. This is the first time I’ve expressed these doubts to anyone human (I have prayed on them) and I’m finding them harder to articulate.
Is this a question? Be honest with yourself. Research other religions and you’ll see that the only original thing Christianity has to offer is Jesus’ divinity. All else is nothing new under the sun. Reach whatever conclusions you want from there.
And then consider the evidence. What kind of God would allow this kind of world? Before accusing me of being depressed or emotional, I’m not. What kind of God defines himself as good yet allows so much breath-takingly cruel things to happen? That’s a logical challenge, not an emotional one, if you’re gonna dismiss me as emotional, don’t bother responding to this.
Don’t put doubt aside, you’ll only feel like a fraud and maybe even stress yourself out. Go to the deep issue with a logical mindset. Consider why your God should be the real one, consider why you should accept unproven conjectures that are passed on as dogma. You have a brain, you have a critical capacity. If there’s a God, he gave it to you. Use it! Good luck, the important thing here is that you stay true to yourself, not to God. Your happiness, not the hapinness of an unproven deity
Why compare it to Santa? Santa is something that is knowable. God is not something that’s knowable in the natural realm. Santa is knowable, so we’re capable of knowing he’s not real. God is not something knowable, therefore we cannot authoritatively make any assertions (by natural means) about His reality. So all-in-all I’d say that’s a poor comparison to make; it’s just a rudimentary version of Russell’s teapot.
“Proof” cannot convince if the heart is hardened. What’s the most provable thing God could do for us in showing His existence? Appeal somehow to our human senses? If Jesus came gliding down out of the sky on a surfboard with a rainbow trail yelling “Believe in Me!”, how could you be certain it’s not an eccentric billionaire, or aliens, or something beyond that that we “just don’t know”? “Proof” won’t convince you if you don’t have an open heart.
Don’t hold on out of tradition. Hold on because you want to. One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept is that I will never have all of the answers I want in this lifetime. Every time one thing gets answered I’m going to stumble upon another question. That honestly scares me. I’m also afraid of being complacent in faith (blind) because those are the people I viciously attacked as an atheist. So, keep your wits about you, keep an open heart, and keep searching.
Have you ever spent an evening looking into the vast night sky, wondering if anything is out there? At the moment, much of the universe is unknown to us. And in our lifetimes it’s likely to remain that way. But when I look out into the abyss of the night sky, I don’t feel bothered or fearful. I’m in awe. And while I don’t quite feel the same way about Catholicism yet, I’m starting to understand why I might down the road.
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