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For Theists: The reason behind your faith.

OK, I'll be straightforward: I am an Atheist. But I'm honestly interested in learning the reasons behind the Theistic faiths, since most answers I have found until now feel too shallow or unreasonable to me. I understand that faith doesn't need to be the result of Reason, but I'm pretty sure many of you will have reasonable arguments to support your faith. So, if you're so kind, please answer the following questions:

Are you a Theistic believer?

95% (43) Yes.
4% (2) No. (Sorry, this poll is not for you.)

45 voters have answered this question.

What's your faith?

17% (8) Catholic Christian.
31% (14) Protestant Christian.
35% (16) Other Christian:
4% (2) Sunni Islam.
0% (0) Shia Islam.
0% (0) Other Islam:
0% (0) Jewish, of this denomination:
0% (0) Theistic Hinduist.
2% (1) Polytheist.
4% (2) Deist.
4% (2) Other:

45 voters have answered this question.

OK, straight to the point: Why do you think there is a deity?

41% (18) "First cause:" Nothing comes from nothing, this Universe couldn't appear out of the blue.
20% (9) Contingency: Even if the Big Bang theory (or your favorite form of creation) is wrong and the universe has been eternal, there must still be something to explain why the Universe exists.
11% (5) Argument from degree: Things have properties to greater or lesser extents. If something has a property to a lesser extent, then there exists some other thing that has the property to the maximum possible degree. So there is an entity that has all properties to the maximum possible degree. Hence a deity exists.
46% (20) Argument from design: This Universe is too complex to be the result of pure randomness.
51% (22) Other(s):

43 voters have answered this question.

Why do you think this deity is a self-conscious, "humanlike" intelligent personal god and not just some kind of impersonal "smart force" or whatever else?

51% (21) It shows a deliberate will to create the universe, and specifically an universe where us humans can exist.
56% (23) I've personally experienced how much It cares for us, in such a way that I definitely couldn't explain it by natural causes alone and just a "smart force" wouldn't possibly do.
39% (16) Other(s):

41 voters have answered this question.

Out of the many present and past (and possibly future) religions, why do you think that your religion and God are the only true ones? (Yes, I know that your Sacred Book says so, but that's a circular argument; I'd like to know *your* reasons.)

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34 voters have answered this question.

Please suppose that you were born in a different time, place, family or environment. Do you think that you would still be an adherent of your current religion / God?

33% (14) Yes, I think God would have guided me to the right path, or as close as possible to it, in despite of the prevailing beliefs around me.
23% (10) No, I admit I'd possibly be an adherent of the prevailing beliefs there or then.
42% (18) Other:

42 voters have answered this question.

As you will possibly know, there were great religions in the past which lasted for millennia, with highly elaborate theologies and lots of adherents who sure believed honestly that was the Truth (I'm thinking the Ancient Egyptian religion ---lasting over 3,000 years---, the Mesopotamian ---4,200 years--- or Pagan beliefs whose origins are lost in Prehistory, for example.) Today, those religions are gone and forgotten but for historians and fringe groups. Have you ever considered that your religion or God could also be "a fad of the moment" (even if measured in millennia) and it will be gone in future ages too?

17% (7) Yes, it's a terrible idea for me but that could possibly happen.
23% (9) No, the End of Times will come before that happens.
35% (14) No, that can't happen because:
23% (9) Other:

39 voters have answered this question.

Do you take your Sacred Book(s) and teachings literally or symbolically?

17% (7) Literally.
5% (2) Symbolically.
28% (11) Halfway.
48% (19) Other:

39 voters have answered this question.

The problem of evil: If your God is all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent and perfectly good, why did He empower the devil(s) to do evil, or why does He allow NATURAL disasters to happen, killing, maiming or otherwise harming innocent people?

30% (12) He knows best. Death is not the end, suffering purifies, and it's possibly the best both for the victims and everybody else, even if our human eyes can't see it.
15% (6) No human can be truly, perfectly innocent. Most possibly that people did evil and deserved it (even the little ones?)
33% (13) To test us and our faith.
66% (26) Other:

39 voters have answered this question.

Follow-on: Maybe you'll know that the Great Earthquake and Tsunami of Lisbon 1755 did wonders to shake the faith of millions and spread the Enlightenment together with Rationalism and irreligion through Europe and way beyond, since so many people got killed, maimed or otherwise harmed in the churches and cathedrals on All Saints' Day. Not a few historians even argue that was the final blow to the old all-religious, all-Theocentric world, at least in the West, giving full way to secularism and modern secular societies. Don't you think that God "scored an own goal" by allowing it to happen?

33% (13) No, God doesn't score own goals: it's all in His plan.
12% (5) No, it helped separate the wheat from the chaff.
0% (0) No, those people were mostly Catholics and thus following the wrong religion for me. God punished them, even if the survivors didn't seem to learn the lesson.
7% (3) I don't think God scores own goals, but I admit I can't see how this was a wise move, since it needlessly shook the faith of millions of good believers through the entire West and beyond, giving much way to irreligious societies.
23% (9) He was testing us and our faith.
0% (0) Maybe it was a wrong move.
53% (21) Other:

39 voters have answered this question.

If nothing comes from nothing, how was God created?

56% (22) He's the "uncaused cause": He's eternal and always was there.
7% (3) He's all-powerful and created Himself.
35% (14) Other:

39 voters have answered this question.

Why do you think that a great God needs to be constantly worshiped, praised and prayed to? I mean, if I had just a zillionth of so much power and glory and all things good and great, I don't think I'd feel the need to be constantly "pampered"... actually I'd find it quite tiresome. Not intending to sound sacrilegious, but it feels to me like a severe case of low self-esteem. What do you think?

52% (20) He doesn't need to be worshiped. It's us who need to worship Him and since He knows best, he ordered us to do it.
18% (7) We must show our appreciation for Him because he gave us everything for free (constantly?)
0% (0) I don't really know.
28% (11) Other:

38 voters have answered this question.

And why does He need to constantly test us? I mean, I can't see the point of creating imperfect beings like all of us humans are, then test us continuously (sometimes under great pressure and suffering) for perfection. Further, being an all-knowing deity, He already knows if we're going to pass or fail those tests. I can't see the slightest logic in that. Again, I'm not intending to sound sacrilegious at all, but it feels to me like some kind of weird, sophisticated flavor of Sadism. What do you think?

10% (4) Actually no human can "pass the test", you're predestined by grace. (But in such a case, what's the point of testing us?)
39% (15) God wants you to live a life of sanctity, as close as possible to perfection. (But in such a case, why did He create us so imperfect?)
7% (3) I don't know.
42% (16) Other:

38 voters have answered this question.

If you believe that we're all saved (or condemned) only by grace, what's the point of evangelization? Wouldn't God do all the work?

61% (21) I don't believe so. I believe that:
38% (13) The point is:

34 voters have answered this question.

Please explain the love of your God to a kid who lost his/her family in an "act of God", ended up in an orphanage where s/he was heavily abused and now s/he is too psychologically wrecked to study or work, in trouble with booze, drugs and the police. Seriously, I mean it:

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25 voters have answered this question.

Have you ever switched religions?

11% (4) Yes, several times, from/to:
19% (7) Yes, once, from/to:
69% (25) No, never.

36 voters have answered this question.

This one is for Christians: Do you think (together with the well-known Christian writer and apologist C. S. Lewis) that Matthew 24:34 ("verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled") is "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible" since His return seems to be 2,000 years overdue?

45% (15) No, Jesus was talking in parables as usual, symbolically, meaning every generation present and future with the same behaviors.
3% (1) I'm a Preterist: Jesus did return spiritually in judgment on the nation of Israel on year 70 AD.
15% (5) Those words of Jesus are out of context. (How?)
6% (2) Yes, I have trouble with that verse too.
42% (14) Other:

33 voters have answered this question.

OK, let's finish with the usual demographics. Your sex, please?

77% (27) Male
17% (6) Female
5% (2) Other:

35 voters have answered this question.

Age range?

2% (1) Under 14
23% (8) 14-19
26% (9) 20-29
2% (1) 30-39
11% (4) 40-49
17% (6) 50-59
14% (5) 60-69
0% (0) 70+

34 voters have answered this question.

Your country or region? _____

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29 voters have answered this question.

Race or color, if you don't mind? _____

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28 voters have answered this question.

Politically, you are:

8% (3) Far right.
14% (5) Rightist.
34% (12) Conservative.
22% (8) Moderate.
5% (2) Liberal.
0% (0) Leftist.
2% (1) Far left.
11% (4) Apolitical / other:

35 voters have answered this question.

Thank you very much! If you'd like to share anything, please feel free:

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15 voters have answered this question.

This poll was created on 2016-02-28 16:38:58 by emcky
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