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I See No Reason To Believe November 23, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
Tags: , , , , , ,

There are currently thousands and thousands of debates and discussions between atheists and theists regarding their various religions and god beliefs. You name it, and it’s been argued in one form or another – thanks to the internet! But so far, I have not seen or heard a single argument that makes me wonder about a particular god. I generally think about and discuss the Christian god, so I’m familiar with its attributes assigned by just about anyone who believes. God is all knowing. God is everywhere. God is all-powerful. God is all-loving. God is omni-everything. And so on and so on go the attributes from various sects of Christianity. None of it makes any sense to me.

I sometimes wonder if I’m actually just not smart enough to believe. I wonder if I was born without the ability to believe in a god. I mean, I see so many people holding all sorts of beliefs in this god or that god, yet I still see every single god as a man-made mythological character. I was taught about all kinds of ancient gods in school, and every one of them was relegated to ancient mythology, and ignorant humans obviously invented these gods as a way to explain things that science has long since figured out. I have no idea why any particular god has survived that relegation. Especially the Christian god.

My biggest problem is with The Bible. Basically, its a stack of writings all put together into chapters and verses, an old version, and a new one, which is used by every single Christian religion as proof that their god is the real thing. Forgive my arrogance, but since when is a book proof of anything? We use books to write things down, not to prove things. Books are a means of communicating information, facts, fiction, and entertainment to name a few. But by themselves, they are just paper with words on them. If I picked up a book about horses, the book is simply relaying what has been learned and discovered about horses, including pictures, and even more details in certain cases, regarding the various types of horses, and where they are found. Horses can be verified quite easily by anyone who doesn’t believe the book is correct. In fact, someone could refute the information in the horse book, and write their own book! Not so with The Bible however.

One cannot rewrite The Bible, but there are certainly as many interpretations of its stories and messages as there are people who actually read it. Where is the evidence that anything in The Bible is actually true? Sure, there may exist some corroborating documentation on cities or towns, and perhaps some of the characters described could be historically accurate, but what about all of the miracles, and claims that an almighty god created the universe? Where are those backed up by evidence? Too many people consider their belief to be true because they wish it to be true. They have no way to prove it – so they cling to anything that lends support to their beliefs. Confirmation bias hard at work.

The Bible is the main source of information regarding Christianity and God as it is known today, and sadly, that is just not enough to prove anything specific about its claims. They are just stories, interpreted in so many ways, and regurgitated in thousands and thousands of Churches each week to people who feel better when they have religion. I also look at nature.

What do I see when I look at nature? I see plants, rocks, water, clouds, trees, animals, space, stars, etc. It’s all right there in front of me. It has always been there – and people have always looked at it. Many of us see ultimate beauty in nature. Some of us see death and destruction. Some of see both, in varying amounts over time. Tornadoes and hurricanes don’t represent beauty to those whose lives are destroyed by them. But to a meteorologist, a hurricane captured on a satellite photo might be very beautiful. A one-thousand foot waterfall in a remote jungle might be awesome, and strike wonder in the minds of anyone who sees it. A rainbow is stunning after a daytime shower. A mud slide is devastatingly nasty, crushing everything in its path and destroying lives, homes and killing people. Think about an earthquake, or a meteor. Nature is unconcerned with humans, and has no plan. It just is.

Nature is certainly not proof of a god. Especially a loving god, as nature is as destructive as it is beautiful. Claiming that people who are killed or whose lives and homes are destroyed by nature is a part of a gods plan is not exactly comforting to the victims. If God created humans out of love, or to be a loving father, then why add the destructive part of nature to the mix at all? Why not make all of nature perfectly beautiful and nurturing to his “special” humans? None of it makes any sense at all.

I’ve heard all sorts of special pleading about the nature of God, and why things are the way they are, but none of it fits with what we see in the world around us. What I see is that nature, including humans, is a result of evolution and the continuous changing of our planet as it revolves around the sun. I see nature taking its course with no concern over who it kills. I see humans killing each other as though they have a special right to do so. I see animals eating each other because they are hungry. I see forest fires, floods, hurricanes, complete animal extinctions, and I see humans damaging the ecologic cycle with harmful chemicals. Maybe none of this is either bad or good. Maybe it just is what it is. I see no god.



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