World Without God

There are many reasons why I am an Atheist, but at the core, I believe it is far more likely that we live in a world without God rather than one with one. Ask yourself, what would the world look like if A) there is a God controlling it or B) there is not. Then ask yourself whether our world looks more like A or B?

So lets begin with A. If there was a world controlled by a God, its fair to assume that it would be perfect (assuming God can do anything and loves us). The whole world would be a lush and fertile garden and we would never worry about not having enough to eat. If Earth was created for us, then obviously we could live almost anywhere, eat almost anything and have no fear of wild animals (after all if animals are on Earth to feed us, why would a God design them to be a threat?). There would be no disease or natural disasters as these serve no purpose except to cause death and suffering. The world and the universe would be created with us especially in mind, with the Earth literally at the centre, with other planets existing solely to benefit us.

Religion would be a lot simpler in World A. Everyone would have incontestable evidence for the existence of God. Not only that, but it would be very clear which God we should worship and what his rules were. It would be simple to find out which was the one true Church and any confusion could easily be cleared by divine intervention. Being led by God himself, this church would be a model of purity for the rest of the world to emulate.

Life would be far better too. Any of life’s problems could be dealt with by prayer. We wouldn’t have to worry about losing jobs or getting sick as prayer would protect us and cure us. Being religious would be enough, everything else would follow. There would be a lot less to worry about. There would be no war or massacres or genocides. No senseless slaughters or pointless deaths. If we were in danger God would intervene to protect us and keep us from harm. Why would he let his people dwell in poverty or misery?

Now lets look at World B, a world without any God. It would be a more random place without any overall plan. Even its existence would be down to pure chance, a combination of random cosmic forces. It would be an insignificant dot in the general scheme of the universe, an isolated exception. It would not be an especially habitable world, probably full of wide spaces where no human could possible live. It would need a lot of work to overcome natural forces and live. Wild animals would have to be fought off, disease would have to be cured, even the landscape would have to altered just to survive.

Religion would be a confused and messy affair in world B. Without a God, religion would be little more than superstition and ancient myths. The rules would be contradictory and lacking divine wisdom, while their stories would be untrue. Religions would be limited in size and scope, which each tribe having its own Gods. There would be no clear sign as to which was the true religion with belief instead being centred on which religion your parents and neighbours follow.

Life would be very different. In essence, we would be on our own. If you got sick, you would have rely on medicine and doctors, no amount of prayer would work. There would no guardian angel to keep harm away from the door. There would be nothing to stop war and genocide. There would be enormous suffering, meaningless pain, widespread poverty and little we could do about it.

So tell me, which does Earth look more like? Do we live in a paradise guided through our actions by a God? Or are we on our own making the most of a flawed existence?

Some might find option B too negative and wish A was true. But that is merely to delude yourself. It doesn’t matter how much you want something to be true, we must accept the world the way it is. Awareness of the true state of reality is far more valuable than living in a fog of fantasy. Would you prefer to delude yourself into thinking the government is composed of the greatest geniuses the world has ever seen or accept that they are a pack of incompetent chancers? The second option is certainly less positive, but it is closer to reality. Once we accept reality for what it is, we can begin to change it for the better.

So that is why I am an Atheist. When I look at the world, I see no sign of a God, no sign that we are living in a divinely crafted world. Instead of a perfect world created by a loving protector, I see war, famine and poverty. Instead of being the centre of a master plan, I see humans struggling to adapt to our tiny planet, insignificant and unnoticeable compared to the vastness of the rest of the universe. Instead of a God who can do anything, I see only petty religions whose Gods only live in their tiny corner of the world (why do the Greek Gods never venture beyond Greece? Why does Yahweh never perform miracles outside of Israel?). If you were to describe to me what a world without God would look like, it would be identical to planet Earth. That is why I am an Atheist.

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67 responses to “World Without God

  1. It looks like you are an atheist as a counter to the idea of God promoted in the monotheistic religions. But if you are an atheist why should you give credibility to their version? The polytheistic religions – Hinduism – there are as many gods as there are grains of sand. The ancient Greeks – the gods are higher beings, not necessarily virtuous, and play their battles out in men’s lives. The Norse, with the evil god, Loki. The North American Indians who held the view this world was ruled by a trickster god.
    Do you think human beings are the highest form in the universe?

    • Perhaps I should have stated that by God, I meant God as conceived by Abrahamic religions, though it would extend in a sense to all Gods. I’m not sure if it is possible to rank living beings, so I can’t answer whether or not humans are the “highest form”, but I do know that there are no supernatural beings or “higher powers”.

      • Mmm. How can you know? It is a huge universe and very old – is it likely that the universe hasn’t come up with beings superior to us which may include powers we would view as super natural, as such powers are only not-natural, to us?

        • Sure there is probably other life forms out there somewhere in the universe but none that would resemble God of the Bible (or at least that haven’t been in contact with us).

            • You’re asking the wrong question.
              It’s not a question of knowing.
              The question is: Is there evidence to support this theory?
              Just bc it is theoretically possible does not mean it is reasonable to hold out hope for a god to exist. This is not a claim to knowledge. This is looking at the world as it currently is and assessing the information we have available. No evidence that we currently have points to the existence of any deity. Just as no evidence points to the existence of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Thor, Odin, Zeus, Herakles, Quetzalcoatl, Isis, Osiris, or any other deities. There’s no evidence of dragons, demons, elves, fairies, sirens, banshees, sorcerers, witches, magic, telekinesis, precognition or any other magical or psychic beings or abilities. The evidence does not exist. Until the evidence *does* exist, it is not reasonable to be “agnostic”. As things stand, I do not believe in any of the above because there is no evidence. If and when evidence is uncovered that supports the existence of these beings or abilities, then I can reassess my opinion. But to run around being agnostic about the abrahamic god, or Set, or telekinesis is silly. No proof. No reason to believe. Bring me proof. Then I’ll believe.

              • My background was objective materialist. Always, where is the evidence, where are the facts. However, everyone’s knowledge comprises mainly of ignorance, and very little knowledge. Even an expert in their field, does not know everything about it. Their knowledge is neither complete nor infallible. And that is an expert in one area of expertise. The most pre-eminent brain surgeon may be effectively an idiot if asked to build a bridge or a skyscraper, or outline the activities of a farm for a year. There isn’t even one human being who contains the knowledge of the entire race. Our ignorance is hugely greater than our knowledge. We have a tendency to fill in our knowledge deficits with off the cuff assumptions, which challenged often turn out to be incorrect. To avoid false beliefs about reality the strongest position is just to say – I don’t know. I have to say I have no vested interest in persuading anyone either way, both my father and late husband were atheists their entire lives. Were very virtuous men who never thought about religion and I envied both their position and resultant happiness. Also I have no commitment to persuade anyone of the truth or otherwise of the monotheistic religions. I do not believe they are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I “believe” there are truths in there, but also lies, mistakes and omissions. In every area of life and human activity you must be on your guard.

          • Isn’t the point of atheism to reject unsubstantiated humbug associated with religion. Coming to the conclusion that a particular religion has been misleading does not prove anything about the topic of religion ie God.

            • It’s not meant to prove anything. Atheism isn’t about “proving” anything. Atheism is about not believing in deities. Without the proof there’s no reason to believe. I don’t believe in invisible pink unicorns that far rainbows bc there’s no evidence. I’m not going to say I’m agnostic about it either. There’s no reason to. Unless the evidence supports the assertion, there’s no logical reason to hold it. Reality currently does not support the idea that any deity exists.

              • I’ll go into a bit of background here. I was an atheist, up until the age of 11 when something a teacher said hit me like a ton of bricks. I realised this adult believed there was a “God”. Up till then I had supposed that “God” was just another lie adults told children to keep them under control, alongwith stories of fairies and Santa Claus. I was deeply shaken and forced to do some hard thinking. I examined all my memories to see if I could see any evidence that “God” existed. I couldn’t see any. Then I thought, maybe I am looking in the wrong place. Do I know what I am looking for? What would be evidence that God existed? And what would be evidence that God didn’t exist? I realised that in order to prove conclusively that God didn’t exist, I would have to know so much about what it would mean for God to exist, in order to exclude the possibility of his existence, and that knowledge is equally unknowable. Therefore the only logical conclusion I could arrive at was – I don’t know. The agnostic position. But the agnostic position will itself have a bias. In favour of belief or in favour of disbelief. At that time I concluded that I was an agnostic with a bias in favour of disbelief. To be an atheist, as is sometimes the situation of those who claim religious faith, is is to state an opinion based on the absence of evidence. A scientist can in many situations prove that something is the case, or alternatively that something is not the case. But there are also occasions where a scientist will say – there is no evidence either way.

      • Zig

        I have some trouble with the first paragraph of this article. How, claiming not to know God or understand him, is anyone supposed to “imagine a world controlled by a god” If indeed you’re skeptical of a creator, wouldn’t you want to well understand who he is supposed to be and what he wants from you? I’m amazed that there aren’t more sincerely curious skeptics. Most of the rhetoric strikes me as mocking or blatant denial with little discussion of substance. “Let me explore my imagination to define a god i don’t understand, so that i can better understand a world with or without him” There are answers to many of the questions you have. I think if you’re willing to ask all of the questions and analyze the body of knowledge from a position of understanding, you’ll come up with the truth. I hypothesize that you won’t do this because you’re afraid to be convinced.

  2. Your argument appears to overlook something: World A assumes that God / creator is benevolent and is even aware of, or cares about us. Isn’t it possible that who/what ever created reality / existence did not intend the ‘natural’ order of things just to benefit an insignificant living species like us?

    Then again, it’s possible that I don’t understand the philosophy of Atheism.

    • Well a world where there is a God who is unaware of our existence and/or does not intervene in our lives at all would look the exact same as a world with no God at all. The end result is the same either way.

  3. The question is: are you a believing atheist; do you actually believe there is no god? Or is it simply that, on the basis of evidence, it is reasonable for you to hold the opinion that there is no god?

    If you are not an atheistic believer, then is there room in your reasoning for World C, which may have been set in motion by a god of unintended consequences?

    • Does it make a difference? The argument over whether its a lack of belief or belief in no God, never interested me. I believe that based on the available evidence there is no reason to believe that God exists, therefore we should reject the hypothesis.

      What would be the difference between your World C and my World B? Surely a God that doesn’t affect our lives is the same as one that doesn’t exist?

  4. Reblogged this on Enquiries on Atheism and commented:
    Couldn’t have said it better.

  5. Robert, I reblogged this on Enquiries on Atheism. Fantastic. Accept what they say and then question it. It is almost as if the world were made for life … or black holes, or tsunamis or nuclear war …

    Regarding “Do you think Human beings are the highest form in the universe?” question above. Egad, we know a little abut 0.00000001% of the universe and this bloke wants to know if he’s Number One? Maybe it is egotism that fuels religion. “You are special.” “You are the highest form of being.” Ick.

  6. cutyjo

    Nice thought…I am an Atheist too. Life without blind faith makes us much more stronger.God is just a fake figure to console people who doesn’t have strength to say that they have control on their life..because they are too weak for that,they are not strong enough to change their way of life their grief reality…Time waste religious stunts they are idiotic…but on the other hand I don’t wanna disrespect people believes..because we all born with our own mentality.

  7. This is a great post. There are some questions above that are good, but I think it was obvious that you were talking about the Abrahamic god. And according to the tradition – despite their holy books demonstrating otherwise – the Abrahamic god is supposed to be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, etc. So, if this were the case, we should expect to see World A. Instead, we see World B.

    However, to the credit of at least one of your previous critics, reality could have been created by a supernatural deity that was malevolent, or impotent, etc. Thus, if a supernatural deity is absolutely necessary, my money would be on a figure such as Yaldabaoth, who is after all just another interpretation of Yahweh.

  8. Why I don’t believe in god is simply this-
    When faced with disasters [ earthquakes, floods, famine, disease etc.,
    this god if he existed would have three choices,
    1. He can do something
    2. He can,t do something
    3. He won’t do something
    No. two he can’t do something is obviously dismissed as a omnipotent god can do anything-yes?
    So you are left with 1 & 2 He can or he won’t, invariably it always seems to be won’t, and this is the main reason I don’t believe in god, if you have the power to help people you would! you wouldn’t stand by and watch people suffering!
    Postscript which throws all belief in god into question, who is responsible for earthquakes, floods, famine, disease? anyway god? say no more it doesn’t make sense its denial of intellect!
    I agree with every word of the article by Robert Neilson brilliantly put.

  9. truth

    Hi there i think world A you are describing sounds like Eden before sin entered into the world. God’s plan is to restore the earth eventually back to that after Jesus returns to the earth. If you read Isiah it talks about a new heaven and earth where 100yrs will be considered a young age and there will be no suffering or pain………..The earth is ruled by the devil as a result of sin….sickness poverty etc are all consequences of sin…That is why God sent Jesus to restore man..If you read the bible he has given us promises to overcome these issues..The restoration was done 2000 yrs ago when Jesus died..If you dont know to apply these principles the devil will try to cheat you…It says he came to steal kill and destroy……Life’s a battle field and Gods word is our armour but you have to know who you are. I encourage you to set a certain time daily to seek him may be half an hr.Talk to him in that time. Do it for 2 weeks at same time. Let me know what you find…

  10. Brilliant, from the first word to the last.

  11. If God exists as being all perfect? what is the meaning of perfection? if God is perfect I would need to see God as a human being rather than God who has no manifestation on the human plain, Is suggest as a authentic condition of working here on this planet, only those who have a commitment to non corruption, can become as God, this is not meant that the individual can not be corrupted but the individual who comes to the realization he or she has been set up can take action to extract from the situation or pay the price of becoming entrapped.

  12. Lloyd Njikho

    our wolrd today really looks similar to option B, but was this the state of the world when God created the world? do u believe that there are forces of darkness which are warring with forces of light? spiritual things are spiritually discerned, u wil never come to understand this if you wil not humble yourself. God says in Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  13. Pingback: Rethinking Nielsen’s World Without God | With All I Am

  14. This is a wonderful piece Robert. I started responding it first as a comment but your argument was so sweet and intellectually engaging that I ended up responding it as an article.

    You rock Robert. Thank you for keeping us thinking. :)

    • Thanks Prayson. As always your far too kind, this post was a bit rushed and doesn’t deserve to be the subject of a whole post. I’ve been too busy lately so I haven’t been by your blog in a while. Hope you’re keeping well.

  15. Great post, Robert. It is worth noting that there evidence of a “god” here on earth. It’s the devil. He’s everywhere, right? At least, according to many Abrahamic religions. The devil rules the worldly; god rules the “heavens.” That’s why we have exorcists to “remove” the devil from possessed humans/animals/objects. Funny thing, though, he wasn’t really important until the New Testament, when the idea of a personal god took hold. The devil then became the explanation for “Why evil exists.” He also became a very convenient tool for manipulation of the masses, just like god.

    • Hi Deborah. I am sadden by the Christians who taught you such a misunderstanding of God or Judeo-Christendom. I had a similar problems with Christianity when I rejected it. Why wife, then a strange girl, taught me to understand first before rejecting or accepting anything.

      The devil is not an explanation for why evil exists. As a matter of fact there is no classical Christian theologian nor philosopher(from early church fathers to Augustine to Aquinas to Luther) in Church History that held such an idea.

      The Greek word “cosmos” which is translated world ought not be understood as material earth, but a domain of fallen beings. Thus Satan rules where human freely choose to do evil things. This is why those who are freed from doing evil things are said to be “out of this world” :) yet we know they were on this material earth.

      I think it is okay to disagree but sometimes I feel that we tend to disagree even when we absolutely do not understand. We think we understand but sadly we do not. It was not until I starting understanding before disagree that I rejected my old rejections of Christendom.

      • Knock it off, Prayson. We’ve been down this road before. I know you’re not “saddened,” and you certainly don’t have any better understanding than the next person who reads and studies. I find your condescension offensive. When did Satan step onto the stage?

        _____

        • Deb, I truly am sadden. C. S. Lewis was correct in saying the problem with Christianity is Christians.

          I do not claim to know than a next person who studies theology or philosophy of religion. What I know is that that understanding of God and satan is wrong for any one who wish to know and understand first before disagreeing or rejecting something.

          • The problem is two fold, Prayson, Christianity and Christians; their religion is an anathema; a doctrine based on lies and originally forcibly indoctrinated in humans largely through fear of brutal recrimination, either in this world or (sic) the next.

            The Pentateuch is fiction, the claims of NT being fulfilled prophecy are ludicrous and demonstrably fallacious.
            The god-hood of your ‘messiah’, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth, was bestowed upon him by the church. The internecine heresy wars tht followed this proclamation are clear evidence of this.

            The most singularly ignorant proponents of the idiotic diatribe of Christianity are the believers themselves; who will tacitly ridicule other god beliefs while maintaining claims of veracity for their own ridiculous beliefs.

            • Ark, do you ever get tired? Every single day, for years you have been posting insulting comments to Christians. What do you hope to achieve? Do you think if you call them idiots enough times they’ll lose their faith? Do you really think insults are the best way to convince people?

              • I understand you have a different approach, Robert, but let me ask you; in the years you have been blogging have you ever had a christian reconsider their position and thank you for enlightening them?
                A christian like Prayson, revels in obfuscation and uses philosophy to try an justify his ridiculous beliefs.
                Furthermore, the supposed benign christians are the merely bland side of the extremism.
                Fundamentalism such a ACE who are poisoning the minds of children across the English speaking world and need to be stopped.
                And of course this applies to all religion, but primarily the Abrahamic religions
                It ALL stems from the same fallacious doctrine, a doctrine based on a foundation of lies.
                Look over many of the comments from your ‘christian’ visitors and read once more their heart warming response to you anti religious posts.

                They have had of 2000 years and then some to come up with some verifiable evidence to back their preposterous claims.
                And what have we got?
                Little but violence, death, division.
                All in the name of one god or another…and it is still going on in the name of some god or another.

                If just one agreed that they would acknowledge an individual’s right to choose and acknowledge that children should be allowed to make their own choice regarding religion then I might afford them some respect.

                Meantime, they deserve to have all the scorn one can muster heaped upon them.

                • I’ve been at this a long time, too. Have to say that Arkenaten makes many valid points. I think s/he is actually speaking more truthfully and deserves respect for that….

                  • Lloyd Njikho

                    where did life come from? btwn a man and a woman, a male and a female beast, what was first to evolve? why did they stop evolving and start procreating? the earth evolving around the sun, the complex sytems that makes up any living being, all this by chance? to argue that because there’s all this evil in this world therefore God does not exist is fallacious. these other questions u need to ask the owner of the universe

                    • Nope, you cannot use presuppositional apologetics to bolster your case, which already has more holes in it than a Galilean fishing net.
                      Start with a blank slate, an open , honest mind and follow where the evidence leads.

                    • Lloyd Njikho

                      “No matter how strenuously some may deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires just as much faith to embrace that God does not exist, even more belief than a Christian would need to believe that he does exist” Anonymous

                      1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

                    • Bullshit!

                      This asinine comment demonstrates exactly what presuppositional apologetics is about.
                      And that you use Christian scripture to justify a Christian god merely illustrates that you have zero understanding of the argument you are trying to prove.
                      In fact, the all this does is merely demonstrate how effective indoctrination is.
                      Really Lloyd. Quoting the bible to an atheist? This is like quoting letters from Ferrari fans to the Porsche owners club.
                      And what sort of idiot would do that?
                      Truly , I despair of such mindless drivel.

                    • Lloyd Njikho

                      I have to read about wat atheist believe and if any atheist quote of Darwin, Prof.Lawrence Crauss etc I don’t think I would call that bullshit. atheist read the bible (maybe you are different) and why should they be furious when one quotes the bible? If I were you I would rather analyse the text just as Deborah did. do not generalise that all christians have been indoctrinated and do not think christians have no brain nor think of yourself as more enlightened. we have learned people in both circles and that aught to be respected. no wonder Robert had to say something about your posts all in all your comments do not intimidate me rather they make me smile and at times laugh, appreciating diversities

                    • I actually have no clue as to what you are talking about here, as no particular point is being made.

                      All I can ascertain from this comment and in the one before is that you seem to think that atheism is a belief system , simply on the basis of NOT believing in a god.Something like the hobby of non stamp collecting.
                      This is why I stated you haven’t a clue as to what you are talking about.
                      Best you go and research exactly what atheism is before you copy and paste comments by someone else…you will garner more respect as it demonstrates that you have actually done the work of finding out and not simply parroted some mindless drivel.

                      Intimidate you? Good grief! LOL…. Your religion has done a good enough job of that for thousands of years. All I’m doing is pointing this out and showing what nonsense it is and one would hope give you a moment’s pause for thought in case you might be considering imparting this crap onto children.

                      As for indoctrination: if you are a Christian or follower of any religion you are indoctrinated.
                      Those who exercise critical thought deconvert.
                      It is as simple as that.
                      it may be a difficult, slow process, but the outcome of critical thought regards religion is atheism. Period.

                      I sincerely wish you true enlightenment, free of the insidious crap of religion.
                      If you continue to believe…as an ADULT…then this is what choice is about. But please, do not proselytize to others and especially children, okay?

                    • Lloyd. Does that even make sense? If you don’t believe in my unicorn, is your unbelief in my unicorn a “belief system?” What exactly would you “believe in.” Its non-existence? Do you have a book for that? A set of rules, expectations and guidelines by which your live your a-unicornism? Do you pray to your absent unicorn? Send money to her representatives here on earth?

                      How does ONE belief (a belief in God) create two separate belief systems?

                      >

                    • Lloyd Njikho

                      if you do not believe that God created the universe then you have to believr In something, the big bang theory, evolution…. all of which require faith.

                    • Llyod You are conflating two separate meanings of faith. Faith means two things. 1. A strong belief in god or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. and 2. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (https://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A+conflating&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGHP_en&gws_rd=ssl#q=define:+faith&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address)

                      You have faith in god (definition 1). That requires no proof, right? If you had proof, we would not be having this debate and the question of “does god exist” would be answered. You and I both have faith in other people, ideas, institutions (definition 2). For example, we have “faith” in our doctors, not because we think that doctors know how to perform surgery without going to school, but because we DO understand and know our educational system and the rigor required to become a surgeon. Our faith in doctors is based on what WE know to be true and logical. So, you would allow a doctor in a hospital to operate on you because you know that the hospital has vetted its doctors, but you would not permit a woman on the street to perform open heart surgery on you. We place our faith in others-pilots, doctors, scientists-because we don’t have the time and training to do it all ourselves. We cannot be experts in everything.

                      Evolution is a fact and theory because it is supported by so much data and so many observations. You and I can even see the evidence of evolution in a lab in organisms that have short life spans. Evolution explains diversity and complexity, too. There are theories, such as the Big Bang, which are more speculative at this point in humanity’s journey. As I said, we don’t have all the answers. But science recognizes and admits this. It also corrects itself, which religion does not. The scientific theories we have are not implausible or unrealistic but are based in our existing knowledge base, in things that make sense and have factual support.

                      Our knowledge and understanding is still growing. However, in places where we (nonbelievers) don’t know the answers–for instance, “Why are we here?”–we don’t insert god into the equation. God doesn’t make sense, especially the god reflected in the bible. The concept of a deity, good or bad, does not fit with any knowledge, observation or understanding we have as humans. God can hear everyone praying, even if we were to pray all at once? God has a plan for each of us? (Never mind about the people who got dealt a shitty hand.) God will somehow transport us to a paradise after we die? These are not logical. They are not factual. They are wishful thinking. Yes, we would all love to live forever, but there is no evidence that suggests we can or will.

                      However, after having said all that, if you prefer to have belief because it brings you peace, then I don’t want to talk you out of your belief. It’s a comfort to you. I think, though, that this should be a choice given to adults and not forced on children. They do not naturally believe in god. We are all born nonbelievers.

                      The reason why I used my time and energy toward this debate is because Prayson and others believe that their way is the right and only way. Yet there are no facts and no logical reasons to support his assertions. We must be intellectually and emotionally honest. If we were, we all would not be arguing about this topic. We would leave each other in peace. And we would not try to legislate morality as the SCOTUS has done in the recent Hobby Lobby case.

                      Belief in an unproven deity should be something personal and should not be forced onto others.

                    • It seems odd that a god would play the game suggested in Corinthians. Moreover, a wise man who can be confused by the foolish wasn’t really wise, and a “mighty thing” that can be brought down by the weak was not that mighty.

                      And if “god” did/does play an active part in teaching and confounding man, well, then this Epicurus quote applies:

                      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
                      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
                      Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
                      Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

                    • Lloyd Complexity is a by-product of evolution over a time period that we cannot easily comprehend. We did not create ourselves, and therefore, we are still figuring out the answers. And that’s okay. We don’t have to have all the answers or make things up. You can see the short-term evolution of species in a lab, in bacteria or viruses. Man and woman are still evolving–but small changes over a long period of time. We procreate as we do because, for the human animal, semen is destroyed by air. There are many organisms that spread their seed through the air or water, yes? That made them successful. There are a lot of planets that revolve around suns. Man is complex, yes, but there are many, many, many things about our system that, if we assume a creator, show flaws or poor design. For starters, we have the ability to pass along flawed genes, to make children born with Down Syndrome, birth defects or thousands of other software flaws. Did god plan that into the system, too? IMO, it is much more honest to say, “I believe in god because I am afraid of my mortality and because I want immediate answers.” If god gives you peace and comfort, then that is a good thing for you. But it is not by any means “truth” or good for the rest of society.

                      _____

                • Ark, for every person who comments on this blog, there are a couple hundred who read it but don’t comment. For all I know I have convinced someone. Conversion is not something that happens suddenly but is rather a gradual process over months or years. My aim with this blog is to slowly chip away at opposing beliefs not to crush them with a sledgehammer.

                  However, comments like yours undo my job because you automatically put Christians on the defensive and they close their ears. If all you do is insult people, Christians will think that Atheists are nasty and simply stop listening to them. Then how do we convince people? Insulting people only makes them even firmer in their belief and less likely to consider other viewpoints.

                  And yes I have met many Christians who recognise people’s right to choose and don’t force their religion on children. You need to stop focusing just on the extremists.

                  • With much respect to you and your blog, Robert, I think one thing Ark was doing was calling Prayson out for a disingenuous remark. I have a similar philosophy as you, but-after many years of blogging-I also know when someone is criticizing our views. If you look at what Prayson wrote, it was in no way less offensive than Ark’s. Ark was just more up front and straight forward. Some people pretend they are tolerant, but they still think nonbelievers are wrong and ignorant (and that they are educated and enlightened). They still aim to convince you that you are wrong. They don’t care to understand. Truth is, what is right for Ark or Prayson or me are all different things. As long as we are not harming each other, then it doesn’t matter our different views. We didn’t create ourselves, so we will not know with certainty our beginnings-at least not at this time. Moreover, there are no facts to support the existence of the deity presented by modern religions. So religion is a comfort rather than definitive proof of anything. And that is okay, too. Religion brings comfort to many.

                    Your post was about your views as to why god doesn’t make sense. I agreed with you. If someone tells me he doesn’t agree with my statements to you for x reasons, that’s totally fine. If the person says he pities atheists because we were taught wrong and don’t understand or haven’t been educated correctly, that is that presumptuous (reread Prayson’s comment). Just because one person hides behind polite language does not mean that what he is saying is any less offensive. I will take intellectual and emotional honesty any day over pretense.

                    Just my two cents. Thanks for listening.

                    >

                    • Hey Deborah, I enjoy your comments here so I hate to argue with you but for as long as I’ve been following religious debates on blogs, Ark has been posting insulting comments. While I disagree with a lot of what Prayson says, one thing I can never complain about is his tone. He is by far the politest person I’ve ever disagreed with. Ark is the opposite. We’re both Atheists, but aggressive and insulting comments don’t help anyone and give Atheists a bad name. They defeat their purpose and only make theists dig in deeper.

                  • PS. It’s funny. That disconnect between what Christians say and do and what they say they *should* say and do is part of the reason I stopped believing in the institution of religion.

                    >

                    • Hi Robert, “I think it is okay to disagree but sometimes I feel that we tend to disagree even when we absolutely do not understand. We think we understand but sadly we do not..” In other words, you and I can disagree, but you don’t really do not understand. You think you do, but you–absolutely–don’t. Maybe it’s because you haven’t learned from the right people. Or maybe you just haven’t learned the “right way.” :)

                      I agree there is no place in a discussion for rudeness and aggression. It derails the conversations, as it has here. I’m sure you know that people can be passive-aggressive, too, and that being disingenuous is not polite either. A smiley face tacked on to the end of a comment does not make someone’s remarks polite. And, yeah, I’m familiar with some of the people who comment here.

                      Anyway, I do enjoy your posts, even when I don’t comment. Take care.

                  • If you read Prayson’s post, and when I say read I mean read you will note that while he comes across as polite his intent is notto consider that he may be wrong.

                    He begins with the firm belief there is a god and Yeshua is that god.
                    Everything he writes is from this POV.

                    I have no tolerance simply because if he was genuine he would be openly critical of Fundamentalism, YEC, ACE Ken Ham, AIG, etc etc ad nauseum.
                    However, to be openly critical of these barbaric forms of Christianity leaves the middle of the road and supposedly benign forms of Christianity and their follows open to severe criticism because of their beliefs surrounding such rubbish as the Virgin Birth, Prophecy, the Resurrection, inharmonious text etc etc.
                    Most will keep their own counsel about the extremes of their religion and raise ne’re a word unless pushed up against a wall.

                    As mentioned before, I could not give a damn about Prayson’s sensitivity regarding his religion when there are millions of people out there suffering abject horror because of
                    one form of god belief or another.

                    You prefer the slowly, slowly approach, I prefer to tell them to stick it in their ear…and I suspect if a child who had suffered because of the abuse of religion were present they might well cheer for my side!
                    Personally, I believe Prayson, like so many of his ilk, is a patronizing hypocrite and I just don’t think the religious should be allowed to get away with murder..literally in some cases.

                    However, ’tis your blog. You must chastise me as you see fit.
                    I appreciate the opportunity to call people like Prayson out.

  16. XXXXX

    Eliminating God from the equation only takes us a quarter of the way in perceptual ascendance. Accepting that we continue past death by a natural means in recurrence takes us half way. Understanding the arguments that have gotten us this far takes us three quarters of the way. Accepting the new religion intended to outcompete all false reality institutions takes us all of the way.

    • See, all of that is nonsensical. Where’s the evidence to support some notion of “perceptual ascendance”? For that matter, what does that mean and how did you come to know about it?
      3 quarters of the way to what?
      Accepting what ‘new religion’?
      It sounds like the same kind of quantum quackery spouted by Deepak Chopra. It’s a ‘deepity’ that doesn’t actually mean anything.

  17. Pingback: A Brief Exposition | The Good Battleship

  18. Brilliant post. I too have been trying to verbalise my unbelief from the perspective of reconciling religious views with the reality of the world we live in. You did it perfectly. You also highlight the issue of wishful thinking. Of course, like you said, B isn’t as upbeat and promising as A, but it is fact, whether we like it or not, it is closest to the reality we have. My favourite quote of Ricky Gervais – Facts should change a person’s beliefs, not the other way around.

  19. The problem with God, is when this word is used rarely do we understand what sense the writer is meaning as what they mean by God?
    If God is in all things manifested and all what is known and also is all what is unknown, you are unable to say whether God exists or not? this is because to say God exists, you need to know what God is in relationship to God not existing? if it is said God is not in existence then, as agnostics may say how is it possible to think God is not?
    What I think most people think of God being, is that God is a prime mover of what is, as a force outside the universe of what is known, and that becomes a problem, as to the say, as example Gods only Son? how is it possible for a reasonable person to think that God had this one Son?
    What is a more plausible dimension is for the individual to say I am no longer participating in corruption? as one might think would be a reasonable aspect of say the Prophet Jesus, the struggle with leading a life of taking a stand of being not corrupt, is formidable, such issues as not having a bias of cultural indoctrination and taking a stand of being against nationalistic ideology, would be of great difficulty.

  20. Robert Nielsen (another one)

    But think about this, how could anything exist without a higher power to start it all?

    Also God wants people to hose there own way so that they an have a real relationship with him.

    Nowhere in the bible does it say life would be easy and not filled with hardship

    • @Robert Nielsen (another one) Think about this: “How could anything exist without a higher power to start it all?” You could use this argument to question God, too. How can a Supreme Being exist without “something” there to start it all? Who created God? And that God and on and on? How do you know what God wants, that he “wants people to choose their own way”? Maybe God already pre-programmed you to make certain choices. Or maybe we created God and therefore understand what he wants.

      _____

    • If one is a atheist, how is it possible to equate dark energy? that is unlike matter as we know it? as scientists state, they know something is their such as the force separating material stuff like stars and galaxies, if gravity is supposed to pull mater in? what is pulling the Universe apart? it is not possible to say God is not in existence, as this claim would be as if one would know the all of what is?
      The significance of dark energy, is it is a greater part of the Universe, this is the problem? and a fairly recent major discovery, that to say the least, at present a mystery, the best minds, have not been able to decipher.

      • donwreford, No one can state with 100% certainty that a god(s) do not exist. Nor can you state with 100% certainty that my pet unicorn doesn’t exist. (You can’t see him? Well he is really tiny and really fast.) With your statements, you offer no proof other than, “We don’t understand, therefore, God.” The universe is expanding, presumably from the Big Bang, but into what we do not know either. We do not have to have all the answers. We can just say, “Mankind doesn’t know yet.” That is the most honest answer. There will be a day when the myth of god is seen as simply that. We needed god when we did not understand the world around us–where thunder came from, for example, or why a person became sick. We’ve pushed god further and further into the cosmos. Merely several hundred years ago, the heavens existed not too far from our planet. With space travel, we’ve discovered those heavens aren’t there. Most of us know that god does not make sense, but we hold tight to him because our egos won’t let go. Yes. We are just another animal, albeit more advanced. Yes, we will one day die, too, just like your pets.

        _____

        • It is with some reluctance I am replying to your comment, I suggest this as being difficult to formulate, I refer to one, The Higgs Boson, theory, this is also known as the God, particle, as it is a peculiar theory of quantum mechanics, the problem with this idea is it had been described as the missing link in research, and as a result, the scientific community, dropped God, as it became a problem for this community as its credibility, Two, I assume the atomic structure of the Universe was decided at the time of the Big Bang, the Universe, could only follow its course of being and becoming, from its manifestation in terms of the time factor, like Man, could not say manifest before say the amoeba, what I am saying is the Universe is around 14 billion years ago in its becoming from no thing to some thing, what this means is that you, me, and all that exists was in the first moments of what is, so in one way all of us are approximately here from the beginning of the Universe in its history and its outcome.
          In one way if you are not in a state of realization, you are a able to claim moral indifference, it is only when you become realized that you are no longer able to claim that you are not responsible, for what you do as a moral excuse.
          As you are not able to know your history because of the brain and limitations of the brain, it is only when you know the Universe, in its distribution of small particles, such as what you find in physics, that can only be no choice, but is not a excuse for not having a moral conception.

  21. Hudson AG

    Here is what i think, we have two options: believe and not believe.
    If i believe in God and do what he ask for, a heaven is waiting for me, but if i don’t believe i have nothing to aim. What i said resumed in two things: One, if by the end God is true and i did everything he asked for, i have a heaven, and who didn’t, lost a heaven and have to handle the consequence. Two, if God don’t exist, by the end, we both loose anything.

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