Do you need to believe in god to be a nice person?

Portugal
June 6, 2009 11:14pm CST
I´m agnostic. I do believe in me, my power to change future, to act over nature, environment, people, events, the universe. I don´t believe in miracles nor in destiny. My family, school, friends and life have teached me, molded my personality, and made me what i am today. I respect family values more than anything else, i cherish life, my health and that of my loved ones. I believe in love, peace, knowledge, respect, multicultural richness. I don´t respect fanatism, can´t deal with ignorance and abominate brutality. Many of you maybe stopped reading right after the word "agnostic", so, i´m probably going to hell.. My question goes to all the others which read the rest... Do I need a religion to be a good person? Do i need to believe in God to have a respectfull life? Peace
3 people like this
19 responses
@magilives (261)
• Australia
7 Jun 09
I believe from what you have said that you are a good person. You do not need a religion to believe in God or be a good person. Most wars are based on religion which goes against teachings of any God. This may go against what a lot of people will say, but I believe that it is enough to live a good life and love & respect others. I was told by a priest once that I would not go to heaven because I had not been baptised so God does not know who I am. I tend to listen to what people have to say but believe what I want. Nobody has the right to tell you what you should believe.
2 people like this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
Thanks for the words, magilives... As for that priest, glad you bring that issue to the debate..it seems to be a common thing amongst certain religious beliefs to instilate fear, frustration and in the end not help you but make you feel you´re wrong, you´re "ugly", you need to change to what they want you to.. My opinion about that is plain and simple: pure religious manipulation. Peace
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
7 Jun 09
I was once told by my Sunday school teacher that I wasn't really saved because I didn't speak in tongues. I was only like 8 years old. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the manipulation stance.
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
What that priest said was pure cruelty...i can´t conceive such religious fanatism, not in XXI century...
@sunita64 (6469)
• India
7 Jun 09
Well when you believe in Love, peace, knowledge, respect and multicultural richness then these are the actual gods I feel and if everyone on this earth starts believing these Gods then the world would be a happier place.
2 people like this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
Great answer, sunita..wish the entire world could read this.. Peace
1 person likes this
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
7 Jun 09
This is one of the best think i've read on this site. You are definetely right.
1 person likes this
• Germany
7 Jun 09
That exactly right.
@trexhero (103)
7 Jun 09
Well I hope not, since I do not believe in God. I do not know how this world came into being, I have a cyclical theory that time is something that humans have created and so in terms of the universe there is no need for a beginning and there won't be an end, so due to this there is no need for it to have been created since time is something we made up. I believe if you treat the people around you rightly and respect the beliefs of others then you do not need to believe in God yourself.
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
Interesting theory, trex...could you explain it a little? What about Big Bang, don´t you conceive it may be right? Peace
@duranv (516)
• Honduras
7 Jun 09
Interesting theory Trex, I personally believe there is some superior being call it God or whatever, but I certainly don't believe in any religion, this cyclical theory is new to me and I think I will look more into it. As for the OP, I really don't think you have to believe in God to be a person who can have a positive impact in this world.
@trexhero (103)
15 Jun 09
The theory is basically that the big bang is just part of a cycle that existence goes through, so whilst it could be seen as the start it could also be seen as the end or anywhere in between. I do believe that the big bang has happened, but as I say I would not be shocked to discover it had happened more than once. Whose to say its not like a computer game, if the God (ie the player) gets bored of the world one way he/she just changes how things work out next time, the possibilities would be endless. So in conclusion, more to think about and murkier waters rather than easier to get your head around sorry.
• India
7 Jun 09
Hi. To me, God is love and if you are the person you have said you are, you are good, very good in fact. I myself don't believe in god and that has not stopped people calling me a good person. When it comes to religion, again I'll say, love is the biggest religion.
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
In deed, coolmail, if Humankind worried more about each other instead of each other´s religious beliefs, we would most certainly live better... Peace
@John4Christ (1598)
• India
7 Jun 09
well the answer is no..... Religion and being good actually has need not go hand in hand.......you can be a good person even if you are not religious...... My version of looking at this is.......religion does give you some guidelines and some ethics on which you love to live in.......like in Christians we have certain guidelines given in bible, love your neighbors, help each others, forgive one another, etc.......so if i believe in god then i believe in what he says, and indirectly it makes me a good person....... But as you rightly say, if you already have a motivation factor and you have decided to live a righteous life then it is really good.....i feel religion acts like a motivation factor for being good.,......
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
I agree with you, John, but don´t you agree that religion gives you as much ethic guidelines as Family, School, Culture..and all educational institutions that surround us... Peace
• Philippines
7 Jun 09
There's actually an age-old philosophical question similar to the one you post: "Can we be good without God". In other words, if we knew there was no heaven, no God, and this is all we get, would we still be good or try to do all the murderous evil fantasies we desire without fear of hell or retribution? I think the answer is yes, we can be good :)
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
That´s a nice pun... And i agree with you... We can definetely be good without God... Peace
@jb78000 (15163)
7 Jun 09
definitely not. i know some very nice athiests, and some very nice christians and muslims but there is a lot of evil done in the name of god
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
You´re definetely right... We talk alot about the Islamic Holly War, and frequently forget about The Crusades or The Inquisition, just to name a few... Peace
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
7 Jun 09
I think that the things you believe in are representative of a positive higher power, regardless of whether you want to call it God or Buddha or whatever. I think that what's important is your intentions and your actions, rather than what so-called "deity" you claim to believe in. There have been a lot of people in history who claimed to follow "God" and did really atrocious things to their fellow humans, and there have been people who didn't claim any religion who did wonderful things to help others.
1 person likes this
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
You said it all, thy, it´s a question of intention and action... Some people spent so many time speaking to their God that they end up forgeting terrain life... They spent so many time worried about hell and heaven that they end up not living no life at all... Religion is, definitely, an opinion. Peace
@srganesh (6344)
• India
7 Jun 09
No!There is no need to become a religious man to behave good.Also all religious men are not to be understood good.Religions are developed to say what is right and what is wrong to follow.If you can be a nice man,you are apart from religions and you don't need them.Cheers!
• United States
7 Jun 09
The answer to your question is best stated in this quote by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius: "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."
• Portugal
8 Jun 09
Outstanding quote...didn´t know it, xtreme...very useful... Peace
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
10 Jun 09
I love this quote, thank you so much for sharing it. It exactly reflects my point of view.
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
8 Jun 09
I know people who don't believe in God but would give the shirt off their back for anyone in need. So no I don't believe you need to believe in God to be a nice person.
• Portugal
12 Jun 09
Exactly, lelin...
@mye_drew (182)
• Israel
8 Jun 09
GOD is not a good person but a spirit.only wirtues and teaching of god are good.,never that the bible says and teaches that god becomes human.its the values of god that are good..don't be confused that is god,.Christ is diff. from god as to natural being coz Christ is the son of god but their goals are the same that is the salvation of mankind.Christ is the mediator of man with god and the savior..he is the medium of god's salvation
@mye_drew (182)
• Israel
8 Jun 09
its virtues not wirtue,..just a mistake of typing...
@wyuhong (57)
• China
7 Jun 09
No, you don't need those things if you don't believe them. I suport you opinions, I don't believe destiny,but we can creat miracles by ourselves. Everything can come true if work hard fot it.
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
Totally agree with you, wy...hardwork and ambition makes the way... Peace
@bearound (133)
• China
7 Jun 09
I don't believe in God too but I know my limit as a human being.I don't think I can act over nature or the universe.I respect something unknown. Religion can be choice for some people who want to be a nice person.I respect their choice thought I have no religion.
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
bearound you act over nature everytime you built a castle on the sand..everytime you throw a rock into the water..everytime you play with your dog...with your cat...everytime you choose not to throw garbage to the ground...everytime you say someone to respect animals, and trees and every living being in the planet... And at the same time, you´re acting over the universe, over every molecule that exists. Religion is a respectful choice, but it is also an opinion, not a dogmatic path to happiness. As for our human limitations, i trully believe every single one of us is limitaded only by how far it´s ambitions goes, and definetely by it´s imagination. That´s why there are some great creations like the Great Wall Of China, the Taj Mahal, or The Treasury At Petra. Peace
@cannibal (650)
• India
7 Jun 09
Nice question really! I'm an atheist. Quite like you, even I don't believe in miracles, destiny, God, heaven, hell et al. However, I do always advise others to believe in God (Lol if my advice counts!) Believing in God has a great deal of advantages in itself. You feel confident as some God is always there to support you. You also fear vice because God would punish you. You unknowingly do some acts which are beneficial to the society as a whole, under the influence of God, His rewards and His wrath. It's great to see that an agnostic like you is leading a positive life. But to be very honest, if you observe closely most atheists fall prey to vices like self pride, arrogance and ignorance. They also fall short of social duties that are to be done indirectly via religion. Even I say that I'm leading a positive life, however you cannot say the same about other non-believers. Atheists and agnostics are more vulnerable to the above mentioned vices. So if your question is an immediate one, I'd advise you to continue the way you are; but you should always dissuade others from following you or me.
• Portugal
7 Jun 09
Hum..i understand what you´re saying, cannibal, but i dare to disagree.. To advise others not to be like me would be the same as saying that what i am is not good. I simply can´t renegate what i believe in, and i do believe my path makes me a better person, makes me happy and make people around feel the same. The path you´re are talking about is an artificial path, an illusion, and such a path can fall as easilly as a castle made of sand. To believe in God just because it suposably gives you principles and morals is just a make up scene, it isn´t genuine, therefore it doesn´t make sense for me. To advise someone to believe in God is precisely to tell them that the the best way to be a better person is to be a religious person. Simply out of question. Peace
• United States
7 Jun 09
Welcome to the Lot, Skills! Faith is a very personal and private issue. A person's faith is not part of what makes them a nice person or not, as far as I can tell. We don't necessarily act as we do because God says we should.
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
7 Jun 09
I know many believers and many non believers. And i would definetely say that this parameter is statistically unrelated with their niceness :D I personally have some kind of personal belief but i don't follow any religion (i don't like others to tell me how to think)
• United States
7 Jun 09
I can say from pure experience that you do NOT need religion to be a good person. I am completely adamant that religion will make you a WORSE person, because: A) You're told and taught that things are wrong, in which other religions may prove to be okay, so you automatically wont like that person B) The Vice Versa of A, you're taught something is good, in which other religions is bad to do, so you'll be looked down upon by them. C) Religions start wars. It's plain and simple, there is no easier way to hate someone than with religion, a person could stab you in the heart but you STILL wouldn't hate them as much as something with a religion in conflict with yours. I have seen things like these happen at least once a day in my neighborhood and school. "Yeah guys! Awesome! Today is pork chop day!", "Yeah Jon, but it's not "awesome for Mort Goldstein the Jewish kid today huh?".At my 17th birthday party my mom bought a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade and offered it to a muslim man who was my friend's dad, but he wouldn't accept it, and my mother got mad at him. Religion just wastes people's time and energy. I find it MUCH easier to live my life agnostic.
@amirev777 (4124)
• India
7 Jun 09
hi no, atleast i dont think it is necessary to believe in god to be nice person-in fact those who believe in god and are fanatic abt their belief, their religion, their god-they are more likely to cause harm to humanity-u must have heard of so many people being killed in name of 'jehad' around the world.