The Personal Connection

X: God for many people is not just an abstract philosophical idea; people usually have a personal and emotional connection with God that is independent of whatever theological conception they may have of the deity. God is something that gives meaning to significant events of their lives: surviving hardship and grief, experiencing the death of a loved one or even moments of success and happiness; the prayers and gratitude colors a lot of that. So realize that, when you are arguing with people about God, you are not just arguing about a dead concept; you are trying to tell them that the way they have perceived their whole life is wrong. No argument, no matter how logical, will suddenly be able to convince people of that.

Comments

Komal said…
Though much of what you said is correct, I would advise taking a less patronizing tone. God isn't a crutch, but is something intimate that can't be challenged because it's real (to the people who believe in it).

When you argue with people about God, you're arguing about a living reality; the point is not that people 'need' to believe in God (whatever that means), but that it's ridiculous to challenge something they experience on a moment-to-moment basis. It's like challenging the existence of your own consciousness. You know it's there because you feel it, and that's good enough.
God bless the "X" :-). Please pass on my praises to him/her.

I love God and no matter what logical explanation you give me against him, I wont listen, because I love him, just like I wouldn't listen to you if you were to say anything bad about my human lover.

Its that connection - Love - and it is the most powerful one :-)
Salman Latif said…
Well...once a deep emotional connection is established with any notion, no matter how absurd, it's very hard to distance it's believer from that notion. The argument extends beyond belief in God. As for the originality or reality of the belief in God, well...since it's subjective, it varies from person to person. But once a person takes the leap of faith, it only gets stronger.
Nadia said…
Awais, 'all' of us make that journey. All of us have been in this stage of not wanting anything being shoved down our throats, and wanting to find our own bearings...
BUT, please bear with patience those who try to show you a glimpse of how they connect with their... Wali, Wadud, Salaam, Mujeeb... They only wish you well. Give them an ear sometimes at least.:)
Know what these names mean? :)
Protecting friend, Lover, Source of peace, Responsive... That's my Allah.
Alec Lindsay said…
People may have 'a personal and emotional connection with God', but that doesn't mean there's anything there. It's the personal and emotional connection' that's real. This argument has always gone back and forth, and always founders at the point of proof. Both belief and non-belief are articles of faith. I tried substituting 'abstract philosophical idea' where you had wtitten 'God' and the piece still make sense. I agree with the conclusion.
Nadia said…
@Alec

How exactly does it founder at the point of proof?
Alec Lindsay said…
Simple enough. Nobody has ever produced any evidence for the existence of a god or gods that can be conclusively tested. Similarly no evidence has ever been produced to disprove the existence of a god or gods. Belief and non-belief are both matters of faith. I don't have a problem with that except in so far as some religious people will not rest until they have 'persuaded' me that they are right. I acknowledge their right to their faith (up to, that is, the point where they start hurting people to make them believe what they believe) - some of them are not prepared to allow me my belief that there isn't a god or gods.
It's what we in the sad, degenerate west, where it is imperfectly practised, call tolerance. Such tolerance is advocated in the Koran, and used to be practised (probably equally imperfectly - but that's mankind for you), in Islamic societies. It seems to be equally and increasingly under threat in both east and west. Bigotry is the universal trend. How sad is that.
This intolerance