He said he once had doubts but feels we can never have proof so he just basically gave up on his doubts and started believing again. He also basically admitted he takes the best of all religions and follows that and he used the "all gods are God" stance, meaning you can't ask him why he doesn't believe in Zeus because he would say Zeus is God but just from Ancient Greece, etc.
Anyway, if you're interested, here's the entire conversation. I'll use attribution but eventually I'll just leave the space in between comments be the indication that the speaker has changed.
HIM: What's up?
ME: Just wondering about religion.
HIM: That's cool. What are you wondering about?
ME: Never been much of a believer. Wondering what makes people believe without proof.
HIM: Well... What do you consider proof? physical evidence? Evidence that you can feel with your senses?
ME: Well, tangible info, data, yes, actual evidence of real things, not stories or myths
HIM: I don't think our senses are real proof, our senses lie to us
ME: How is that?
HIM: Well... I don't have a proof that anything exists... This could all be a dream... I only know that I exist, like Descartes says "I think, therefore I am" People can't really prove anything
ME: So why believe? I know the Descartes' quote, but you could be a brain in a vat.
HIM: Exactly... which means that physical evidence is meaningless...however, there are different kinds of evidence that could be taken as valid.
ME: So life has no meaning? And I didn't think evidence was subject to gradation. It's either evidence or not, no?
HIM: You heard of Thomas Aquinas?
ME: Sure, and his proofs were refuted rather easily.
Yes, from the books I read about him, yes, lots of logical fallacies.
HIM: Anyway... I don't believe my senses, and physical evidence... Only thing that is really evident is that I exist, and that my heart exists... So I tend to follow my heart... and it leads me to religion...
ME: Ah, ok. See I follow my brain. That must be the difference.
You mean you follow common sense?
No, I follow facts and science.
If we think about it... a long long time ago, common sense was that earth was flat... that was the only option... and now we laugh at those people, who knows how people in the future are going to laugh at our common sense
Sure, but that's the essence of science and the downfall of religion in a nutshell. The bible says earth was flat, science proved it wrong.
HIM: Interesting, can you show me where the Bible says the earth is flat? which verse?
ME: Daniel 4:10-11
Isaiah 11:12 (four corners)
HIM: I've said this many many many times before, The Bible is not literal, Almost everything in the Bible are metaphors and stories In Daniel 4:10, he talks about a dream. However, still... the Bible is one very corrupted book
ME: Why ask for specifics if you then say it's all metaphorical? And I agree, the bible isn't worth the paper it's printed on. So what religion are u?
Well.. I don't really follow any religion
But you're religious?
I'm more my own person .. Yeah I'm extremely religious
Wait, how can you be both?
Well, not follow a religion and be very religious.
I'm religious but I follow my own religion I guess. I think in my own head.
Wow, you have your own religion?
I don't follow any dogmas
Are you looking for tax breaks? LOL So what do you base your religion on?
Lol no.. haha... I just follow my own belief. Well... I agree with many things different religions say, but I don't agree with any of them completely. I think there is only one God, the Creator.
So cherry-picking what you like? That sounds like most religions. What led you to believe in one creator?
I was interested in theology a lot, and I have established what I believe into
This one god, must be the Abrahamic god, yes?
Well... I think there is no "Abrahamic" God, just "God" - only one. If you say it that way, it's like there are multiple of them, and one of them is Abrahamic but I know what you mean, and yes.
So you're a deist? Or do you think this creator is concerned with your day-to-day activities?
Well... the other one
No. I think the creator is concerned with my day-to-day activities. But actually.. I'm open-minded...
So that is definitely derivative of Abrahamic religions
HIM: If someone can prove me wrong... why not? Well.. yeah I have a lot of Abrahamic influence in my belief
ME: Well, the burden of proof is on you, not the other way around. I wouldn't prove there isn't a god since I'm not making that claim.
Well.. as I said before, I don't think anything can be proven, so I tend to follow my heart...You're an Agnostic?
You could say that. I don't really think anyone can be gnostic when it comes to this subject
Sure, how can you know for sure? You said it yourself.
Well.. I said I can't prove anything...
So, I don't have proof
Which means you can't know. You can hope, you can have faith, but you can't be gnostic that this creator exists
Well... I have faith... but I don't have proof..
Right, faith (as far as religion is concerned) is believing in something despite there being no evidence for what you believe
So not gnostic, but agnostic
Yes, So it seems that I'm not gnostic
Cool, glad we agree
If you put it that way
ME: Right. Not judging either, just saying. Do you ever have doubts?
HIM: well... I used to... but not anymore...although It hasn't been proven to me, I'm pretty certain in belief
Can you tell me why for both? Why you had doubts and why not now?
Well... I had doubts because I didn't have proof... But now... I don't think It could be proven. I just believe... although I have no reason to
But isn't that reason to continue to doubt?
I guess I can't explain it... Well.. it could be...
Why don't you believe in, say, Zeus
Well.. Zeus, seems to be another Indo-European name for god, that word is related to roman Jupiter (Zeus pater), and Sanskrt word "deva", and english words "deity" and "divine"
Ok, so you fall into the category of "Everyone's god is just the same god through the ages and I believe in one god."
well.. yeah. I believe in God, how ever they call it
And polytheistic religions got it wrong?
Well... There are theories that they evolved from monotheistic religions...
ME: Well, the Abrahamic religions evolved from a polytheistic platform. And Hinduism is older than Christianity for sure and as old as Judaism, and it's essentially polytheistic.
HIM: Hinduism today is an interesting example... it is similar to Christianity, and in it's early stage it. Well, here's what they believe into in Hinduism:
The world was created by Brahman. Brahman is an complex abstract entity that isn't a creature, nor it belongs to any race. So.. Brahman is God. Brahman has 3 forms: Brahma (God the creator), Vishnu (God the maintainer) and Shiva (God the destroyer) According to some traditions, Brahman has 5 forms
They also believe in incarnation, and one of incarnations of Vishnu is Krshna. God-human. Son of God. Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Ganesha, and many more are called "devi" They are a race. A race above humans. But there is nothing above Brahman
ME: So, polytheistic, essentially, and Brahman is the god that is the same as Zeus and YHWH in your mind?
HIM: And Brahman does not belong to a race, and Brahman isn't a part of "devi" he is above everything
HIM: So they are not gods, since there is only one God
ME: Semantics. Let me ask, is this god of yours all merciful, all loving and omniscient?
HIM: Yes, He is a perfect being
ME: Do you believe he gave you free will?
Yes, And yes, he punishes people also
And do you believe in hell?
Ok, I have a paradox for you
HIM: Actually.. I think he Is above good and evil, a perfect being
ME: How can an all knowing, all merciful, all loving god create humans knowing they would choose to go to hell of their own free will?
HIM: Who would chose with his own will to go to hell?
HIM: Yes? There are humans that believe in hell, and want to go there? That are religious and want hell
ME: They choose to go there by breaking god's commandments
HIM: So they believe that it would send them to hell, and do it to go to hell? I don't think that's the case.
ME: Do you believe souls are in hell?
HIM: I think people break his commandments because they don't believe in heaven or hell
ME: Well that can't be true. People know about hell and still commit sins that will send them there. Regardless, God is merciful. Why create those people knowing they would go there?
HIM: He gave humans free will, and option to choose between good and bad,
ME: That's fine, but it doesn't answer the question.
HIM: Some will choose bad, but he is merciful And loving. And all-knowing, he knows they will commit these sins before they do. Are you asking why does He create people to burn forever?
ME: Sure, also, the fact that he's omniscient destroys free will.
ME: Balance? That's not an answer. He's merciful. Besides, who says we need balance? And if that is the case then you are saying there are going to be equal parts good and bad in the world. You're not going to bring up Sith lords and Jedis are you?
HIM: LOL actually, according to some, free will doesn't exist, everything is planned already... I don't know I don't have proof that it exists or that it doesn't, so I guess I'm agnostic about that lol
ME: Sure, it's a paradox. You can't solve it, which is why you need to think about what you believe. The five attributes I just asked you can't co-exist, yet you believe they do. But if you take hell out of the equation it works
HIM: hmm... Well... there are many paradoxes, what about time, what is time? was there a beginning of time? how can there be a beginning of time?
ME: I can see that made you uncomfortable because you changed the subject, just think about it. As for time, it didn't exist until the Big Bang
HIM: hmm what was before the Big Bang? nothing? how?
ME: There was no before
HIM: Well yes I don't know everything, actually I don't know anything, Like Socrates. Can you repeat the five attributes, let's think more about that.
ME: First, you ask what was before because you want to say there must be a cause (ala Aquinas) to which I say why? Because everything has a first cause? Then I ask, who created god? You'll inevitably say he always existed. I say, why can't a universe always exist?
ME: Think on that, too. Anyway, the five attributes are:
1. God is omniscient
2. God is all-merciful
3. God is all-loving
4. Hell exists
5. You have free will
HIM: You have free will to choose between good and bad
ME: Sure, but there are a couple of things wrong with that. First, god is all knowing, so he knew when he created you that you would choose bad and then send you to the lake of fire. Second, if he knows what you will do, you don't have free will.
HIM: So it means that God wanted you to go to hell.
ME: And finally, he is loving and merciful. So if he wanted you to go there then he isn't loving and merciful. It's an unsolvable paradox of faith
HIM: So it means that the God is not all loving, because he wants, and knowingly creates people to go to hell
ME: Well, that's the paradox. All if those things can't co-exist
HIM: So.. the God wants that certain people burn. so.. he loves them, although he sentences them to hell... hmm...
ME: If hell exists, and he created them, and they go to hell, yes, it's his plan, and since those people will suffer then he isn't loving and merciful. That's not love or mercy. Still think those five things about your worldview?
HIM: Hmm... Well.. Let's see... He loves everything, and let's say we do have free will, but he knows what we will do... he doesn't control us, so certain people choose to go to hell, he doesn't make them decide to go there, they choose by themselves, and he still loves them, and it's their fault they burn? what about that
ME: No, because in the end, if they end up there then he isn't merciful. The very definition of mercy is to relieve someone of their pain. If he loves you and is all merciful then he wouldn't let you go there. And he wouldn't create you if he knew you were destined for hell. Plus, the free will is still not there since he knows.
HIM: God is very complex, and human brain can't understand it, so there are many paradoxes that human logic can't solve.
ME: Nah, I'm not falling for that. Believers love to define their god and say what he thinks and does until someone with a rational thought or paradox comes along and then we can't understand him. It's too easy. The answer is there is no god and then everything makes sense.
HIM: hmm.. so you're atheist, not agnostic?
ME: Well, those aren't mutually exclusive
HIM: well.. I guess...
ME: Agnostic is knowledge, atheism is belief
HIM: ... You're a Atheist Agnostic, and I'm Theist Agnostic. It seems that way
Yes, but reverse it. I'm an agnostic atheist. Does that bother you?
HIM: no, everyone has their own brain and is able to think.
ME: Cool, I'm always interested in people's views
HIM: I can't ban anyone from thinking, and just because I think this way , it doesn't mean that is the only way
ME:'Exactly. Hey I enjoyed this. I gotta go to sleep. Thanks again for being so honest and listening
HIM: I enjoyed this too... you're welcome
HIM: Good night, mate. God bless you
ME: LOL. And Zeus be with u.