Life

Why I DON’T believe in GOD?

I know its been awhile since my last blog, which was about Alf, (that got no likes by the way). So, I thought I’d return with a question I’ve been asked since I was 19 years old.

Now, before I begin, let me lay down the ground rules for anyone out there, cause I know this is a touchy topic.

So here are the things that I would not like to hear:

For one, saying that I’m going to hell according to the bible, therefore I should convert. Circular reasoning that uses the Bible as justification for belief in God, invalid argument.

Also, telling me how great your new life is after your own conversion story. It fails to acknowledge the fact that you could be completely delusional, that you have no certifiable credibility, or that you would have the same experiences if you converted to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc. Therefore, the argument is invalid. Insults are not arguments, while saying that I am close-minded is completely untrue seeing as I will readily accept good evidence for God while a theist will not readily accept good evidence against God. Both arguments are therefore invalid.

Saying atheists have no morals, therefore I shouldn’t be an atheist. This is poorly constructed and implies that a belief in God is necessary for morality to exist, argument invalid. Being ignorant of basic facts, such as evolution and the age of the Earth. This is a fallacy known as invincible ignorance in which the arguer knows little or nothing about a fact and turns a deaf ear to evidence, therefore all arguments from this approach are invalid.

Finally, saying that you will pray for me. Without proof of prayer having any influence on the physical, tangible, observable world, any argument through prayer is invalid. Saying that I will eventually find Christ and He will forgive me. Irrelevant argument that implies I will find the Truth as you see it sometime in the future without giving any supporting evidence of this Truth; therefore, it is invalid.

SO NOW, ON WITH THE BLOG.

Once again, a fair warning to all, this might be offensive as hell to some. Just try and understand that even though I think religion may be crazy or irrational, that doesn’t mean I universally dislike religious people or that I think everything they do outside of religion is worthless.

See, your religion may be inspiring to you. It may have stories that are inspiring to me. It may be rich in tradition and culture, it may encapsulate important events in human history. It may offer hope to people who have no hope left. It may serve as a useful insight into human nature. Humans may indeed have a preexisting facility to acquire belief systems similar to the one for language. It may provide a valuable ethical and behavioral framework. It may spread like a virus and mutate like bird flu. I don’t necessarily think you are weak minded for buying it, I think peer pressure is some powerful gumbo. But this blog isn’t about any of that.

This is about why I am an atheist, not why you should be one. And by atheist I mean that I strongly suspect that the core, underlying, supernatural claims of religion are nonsense. If you want me to not be an atheist and share your particular flavor of supernatural belief, you need to be able to perform the magic or produce the supernatural being you claim exists and subject that creature to a battery of tests under controlled conditions.

So why don’t I believe in god?

I’ll use Santa Claus as an analogy. Why it is you don’t literally believe in Santa and his North Pole factory. I bet for most of you, it’s not because you hate Santa, I mean who would? It’s probably not because you hate Christmas or despise giving or receiving gifts. I doubt it’s because you dislike having days off or eating awesome food with your family and friends. You probably can’t prove there is no Santa and even if you try, I assure you from long experience in dealing with “creationists”, I can offer a simple counter argument:

There is no evidence for “it”.

We’re adults who can get by fine at Christmas time and enjoy ourselves without “it” having to be true.

I believe evidence by far is the key. Something might not make sense, like Quantum Mechanics or something, but we accept it because of the evidence. On the other hand, something might make sense, like the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, but we don’t accept it as valid, yet, because we have no evidence. The reason for this asymmetry is, as the late Carl Sagan said: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

My primary reason is a fairly common one,  Evil. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and “omnibenevolent”… then why evil? How could evil arise against the wishes of such a being?

I mean, you would think that getting a free ticket to heaven would be a life-changing experience, and you would be right. Just not towards a life of religion and worship. How could you do things that might be considered immoral, or at least wrong in god’s eyes, and still get to the pearly gates by saying you were sorry?

I remember when I was younger, I was pretty “spiritual” and believed in an after life,  a higher power, etc. I didn’t affiliate myself with any particular religion. I would take a interest in the main ones, but always being an independent (some would say stubborn) thinker I reveled in figuring things out for myself. Why my starting position was that of a spiritual nature I’m not really sure of. Maybe it was simply the general consensus in the environment I grew up in.

I can admit that atheism is not the most sunny position in contrast to what religion can offer in regards to death, arguments against the ridiculousness and illogical notions of being immortal and in bliss aside, but not as much as religious people might have you think. Instead of seeking help from a big daddy in the sky in times of being distraught, depressed, etc. , I reach out to my fellow man (friends, family, professional help, etc.). If this life is all we have, and I am quite convinced of this, I will not waste my time reaching out to something that doesn’t answer at all, and offers nothing more than what simple introspection can achieve. No, I will reach out to something tangible, my fellow human beings, and I hope that those who surround me will do the same when they need help. I’m here, I’m real, and I may be able to help. Sorry I’m rambling a little now, but anyway…

Your Thoughts?

 

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24 thoughts on “Why I DON’T believe in GOD?

  1. You mentioned that someone trying to convince you of God would have to provide the evidence by producing the “supernatural being” they claim exists and then “subject that creature to a battery of tests under controlled conditions.” You used Santa Claus as an example of why someone should not believe in something with no evidence. I am curious, what sort of evidence do you require to believe in historical people? In other words, what would it take to prove to you that Genghis Khan existed? Or that Budda existed? Or Muhammad?

      • You give a pretty good answer below, so I’ll reply with another analogy. If I am told by a biologist that he discovered a red lemur on Madagascar, I might be prone to provisionally accept his claim. If an engineer told me he had discovered a method of producing cold fusion, I might require quite a bit of corroborating evidence before I accepted his claim.

      • Good analogy, but pretty much I feel like when Christians say Jesus walked on water, raised the dead, and healed people. Which are all physically impossible, I need evidence of that. But there isn’t any, these things happened supposedly 2,000 years ago, so there’s no evidence of any of this. But some say, “it’s not meant to be taken literally, its all about the message as a whole”….so then its just like a fairy tale right?

    • Thanks for the comment and good question. I believe I may have misspoke when I said, “subject that creature to a battery of tests under controlled conditions.”

      But yes, supposedly, >there are many writings on Muhammad and his grave does exist as do the graves of his companions. Also, the ahadith and sunnah are not just merely spiritual writings; they are actual eye witness accounts gathered by Muslim scholars a few centuries after Muhammad (saw). Many of them went across Arabia and meticulously gathered each account. Not only that, they also made sure that each account had a steady and reliable chain of transmission to it; if there are holes or unreliable people, it is usually marked as such.< Again all this is just assumptions to me.

      All that is known about Genghis Khan originated from 'The Secret History', a book compiled by the Mongols. Secret History is therefore extremely biased and often clouds unsavory points in Genghis Khan's history.
      Genghis Khan, is famed for establishing and expanding the legendary Mongol Empire. Or at least that what the books tell us. Also according to the books, he was born some time in the 1160's although an exact date is not known. He was born in the Royal Borjigh clan of the Mongols. At the age of nine, Temujin's (his real) father died and the clan was controlled by a rival family who exiled Temujin's family from the clan. For a while, the family was very poor and helpless.

      Finally, the religion known as Buddhism is based in part upon the life and experiences of the Indian prince, Siddhartha Gautama. Who was he, and what do we really know about him? The earliest accounts we have of him can be found in the Pali Canon, but this was created some 200 years after Gautama was supposed to have lived and it only represents one of several schools of thought which had already begun to develop around Buddhist teachings. As a result, it is difficult to know what in it can be treated as historically reliable and accurate.

      Basically, let me refrain by saying, sure there is a possibility that these people existed but to me that's all it is at this point. I go by the philosophy of 'I just don't know.' When you say (speaking in general terms) that God is an all mighty force that created EVERYTHING on this planet, including the planet itself, just seems really far-fetched and that is where I would welcome any evidence to support that.

  2. Thanks for responding. So, essentially, if you had more evidence in support of a Creator (as opposed to evolutionary processes as the reason for life), you would consider that God might have created everything? But, as of now, you have not seen evidence that points to a Creator? Am I tracking?

      • If you are up for a dialogue, I am curious as to what has caused you to believe in evolution. What sort of evidence convinces you that life emerged out of nothing over millions of years? If you like, I would be more than willing to share some other viewpoints and evidence on the topic.

      • Please! I’m willing to listen to all view points. But to answer your question, I ask this: why do animals, including humans, have ‘design’ flaws in their bodies? Why did some whales grow hind limbs? Why do most marsupials live on the isolated landmass of Australia? Without evolution, these questions don’t have answers. It’s just hard to think that all of what we saw and are were created by one “being”. If anything that’s a better example of a lot being created out of thin air. What do you think?

      • Great examples you bring up. I will certainly look into these things and let you know what I think. In the mean time, the theory of evolution that I hear about does not solve that problem that you mention of “a lot being created out of thin air.” Even if one believes that life today all came from a single cell organism, where did that single cell come from? Something being created from nothing has to be addressed in the evolutionary theory. I find it important to lay out what we mean by the evolutionary theory, because to do so will help evaluate it. Evolution can be a very vague theory, let’s try to narrow it down just a bit. I look forward to the continued discussion.

      • What’s up Serpentspeaks? (Interesting name by the way.) I just got done traveling quite a bit and I hope to look into those points you have made (whale bones and marsupials) over the next couple of weeks. Did you get a chance to think over what I wrote, about what your view of evolution is? If it is that life simply came from non-life, and information came from non-information, then there are certainly some obstacles to that as well! I can look into the whale and marsupials issue because it may seem like it does not make sense in a Creation worldview. But let’s not let evolution off the hook so easily. Do you lean towards a view that declares a cell to have emerged from non-living, unintelligent material?

      • Hey Hume, I did do a little more research and “soul-searching” if you will. I am starting to see both sides to this debate instead of just one. For instance, the age of the Earth. I’m finding that, it is too short to permit evolution but too long to support creationism, which is based on a literal or semi-literal reading of the Bible. See I feel that The Theory of Evolution requires the Earth itself to be at least 4.5 billion years old. It does not require the “world” (life basically) to be that old. So, even with the unproven assumption that the rates of radioactive decay have altered dramatically over the eons, this is irrelevant to the possibility of evolution having occurred.

        But on the other hand, a more literal reading of the Bible requires the world to be around 6 thousand years old. No discussion of rates of radioactive decay can plausibly shoehorn the geological evidence into six thousand years. Even a semi-literal reading of the Bible, supposing for example that one biblical creation day was really one thousand years, makes no material since. Creationism can not use scientific data to prove its point. Hope that made since, I feel like I’m rambling here but only because I’m, trying to see both sides of this. But your thoughts?

      • Excellent points. I am currently looking into the “whale issue.” But after reading what you wrote, now I am interested in looking into the methods of dating that are usually employed! So much stuff to look at! Anyway, I started reading a somewhat lengthy article on dating methods (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-radiometric-dating-prove). Check it out if you want, this sort of stuff takes time to sort through and quick, canned responses just don’t suffice. I’ll be in touch as I research more. On another note, does the problem of data and information evolving out of nothing pose a problem to evolution for you?

      • Hello Hume, hope you had a good holiday. I did get a chance to look over your link and there are still some things that don’t quite add up to me. From my interpretation, according to Genesis, humans appeared instantaneously out of dust and breath. Science, in contrast, teaches that humans evolved over millions of years and out of earlier species that no longer exist.
        These two verses stick out to me the most in which, I highlighted them: Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
        Genesis 2:7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

        The book also has an error in the depiction of night being separated from day. According to Genesis, God created light and separated day from night on the first day. However, the sun and stars which produce light weren’t created until the fourth day. Since the sun is what separates day from night, that separation couldn’t have happened until the fourth day. So what happened on the first day? Genesis depicts God creating light on the first day before the creation of anything that could serve as a source of light. Again, the stars and the sun aren’t created until the fourth day, even though they would have to be the source of light described at the beginning.

  3. Having an open dialogue with a christian is pointless. A christian can not learn but an agnostic or atheist can so the christian is simply wasting your time.

    You can open up the bible and pick out any main story and instantly laugh it off because it’s the same thing as a Harry Potter novel. Nonsense and some random lesson. The bible or Grimm’s; same difference.

    • Although I don’t believe in God, that doesn’t mean having a conversation or a educated debate is pointless. In fact I’m open to all viewpoints. To say Christians can’t learn is not fair. Its ok if we agree to be disagreeable.

      • I hear many evolutionists refuse to discuss the matter of life with creationists because they say evolution is a proven fact and it is the “scientific consensus.” Interestingly, Darwin’s theory was opposed to the “consensus” of his day. What would Darwin do today if wanted to question the status quo? To refuse dialogue and debate in this arena is a censorship of ideas. Strange that the scientific community would do this when so many scientific discoveries throughout history (often made by Christians) changed the scientific consensus of the day.

  4. An educated debate with a Christian is an oxymoron. They believe without any doubt what that book says is right and can’t believe something else so it takes away from a conversation. I can use logic to disprove a talking snake but they won’t be rattled.

    • With your critique of “Christians” you seem to suggest that evolutionists, on the other hand, ARE at least willing to believe that something other than evolution (namely, a Creator) caused life to emerge. Is this correct?

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