The cause of atheism is critical thinking skills. You likely would want the Easter Bunny to bring you chocolate eggs, or the tooth fairy could in some small way contribute to your dental plan payments, but oh dear. It’s so hard to believe in things too good to be true.
The correct answer to the cause of dis-belief is that to function in a world with natural laws, one has to count on what common sense, logic, reason and predictability offer. To suspend these skills every time one wishes to be in a particularly favored and “blessed” small group, one must be extremely egocentric to think the Multiverse Creator has any interest (in all of eternity) to favor only your football team, your particular faith out of several galaxies full of them, and your species; which cannot even make energy as clean and efficiently as a honeybee does.
The most destructive part of belief versus nonbelief is when someone from either camp takes the self-righteous, indignant attitude that “Those ones are stupid, or inferior or hell-bound, or infidels,( or whatever kind of less than loved otherness) are not included in their favored status. It is interesting that people who believe in an all-loving God can hate and judge just as passionately as those who are not able to believe in any kind of God. Theism may have come before atheism as words. However, as far as believing, no one believed in super sexy Colbert Nation Nut Sky goddess until I just made her up.
Can a God who is powerful enough to create the multi-verse also intervene in human affairs?
People who pray they don’t get shot by the bad guy often say so. The ones who DO get shot by the bad guy never say so. All those dead children in school shootings are not saying whether prayers affected them one way or another. Maybe God will allow them to talk only as angels in dreams, but uh oh, that’s not reliable evidence, is it? People sometimes dream they are flying about on Mars, and it’s almost never actually the case.
The question is often raised why, if there is a God, is such evil allowed on earth? As a Christian, the answer is always a logical one: so people learn to love one another. But when asked why God should choose to have his only beloved son tortured horrifically so that you could get off with a free pass for all your sins, this becomes a strange idea. And, no matter how much a parent may be convinced God is telling him or her to obliterate the family “so we all wake up in heaven together!” there is no one on earth who is going to respect the deeply held convictions of that parent. At best, Nancy Grace will make a killing off the killings, but oh, well this is not about whether Satan is real.
Why religion is a choice?
There are many, many reasons why religion is a choice, one can choose from among thousands of faiths, or discover their own with some gold tablets, hats, and special Ipu gourds. But, atheism, the inability to be convinced of something from which there is no evidence except our own inquiring minds needling us with persistent questions, is not a choice. Despite the Mayan calendar, despite the fiscal cliff, the sun will probably rise tomorrow. You have a choice, each and every day to believe or not believe in Santa, underpants gnomes, macaroni messages, talking snakes, internal fungus talking to your brain, Glen Beck, Tinkerbell, that evil monkey in your closet, and a million billion other non-credible based entities. Sadly, no one can prove such unlikely things exist. However, your ability to function in the world demands you make informed, intelligent, evidence-based decisions on what you can and cannot believe. If you do not stand up for something REAL you will fall for everything that is beyond all logic.
There is nothing more beyond reason and logic than the idea that you alone have an especially arrogant, favored status. For you and those few “chosen” someone died for you and not the first 200,000 years of other people, plants, animals, and planets. For you and the chosen, the entire multiverse was devised, despite that stars go supernova every second. And, most of all, can you really, truly accept that you, and not that multiverse with it’s swirling galaxies, sparkling snowflakes and universal genetic DNA encoding is for one teeny, weeny narrow band of beings? Do you believe every innocent cave baby, early Mayan, and unfortunate modern Hindu child is going to burn in agony for billions, billions and billions of years? Why? Do you believe four billion years of planetary evolution, in all its splendor was not made in the divine image, but only as a special setting for this short-lived, rather precocious primate? If you do believe that, I have some breathtaking oceanfront property to sell you. No, seriously, I do.
I understand why people want so desperately to think they will see their dead babies and parents, or even border collies again. But once past all the fairy tales, the world will emerge older and wiser. People will live as if this world, this creation and all its life forms are precious and worthy of being appreciated for their very time of rareness and beauty. It’s something worth believing in that allows people to open their eyes, and all senses. We may even do this in time to protect life on earth. It also asks of humanity to not close minds, hearts, and connected-ness. The need to unite with love for all life, rather than for a chosen select few, will make the world a lot more divine.