The reasons not to believe in god are as numerable as the reasons to believe in him or her. For every piece of evidence, one person can produce to show his nonexistence another person will perceive that evidence as indisputable proof of his existence.
If I say god does not help the poor but they only help themselves, another person will say god gives them the strength to help themselves. And this kind of banter can go on forever with neither side gaining any ground.
However, if we analyze the very natures of truth and myth, we can perhaps see things a little more clearly. The truth no matter how hard to believe will always sell itself and need little or no salesmanship from the seller. Myth, on the other hand, will always need a good salesman and wonderful storytellers to make it viable.
Think about this; if I tell you sunshine is good for the environment, you will know from experience it is, but if I told you Bigfoot lives behind my house you would most likely call me crazy or a liar. However, if I said I had pictures to prove it or a film clip, you would in the very least give them a look before deciding. Would you need such proof on the case for sunshine? No of course not, and why? Because you have seen it, felt it and experienced it for yourself. The case for sunshine uses our logic and deductive reason, while the one for Bigfoot uses our beliefs, emotions and imagination.
It is for this very reason we cannot prove either side of this argument as fact. As long as logic and reason can be clouded by our emotions we will be at this impasse. Our thoughts dictate our feelings on any given subject, so as long as we think we need a greater power to guide us, a being to love us unconditionally, and to place the blame of evils we do on the shoulders of another; we will always feel the need to believe in a God.
After all the devil tempts us to sin, we don’t do evil on our own, or do we? Of all the bad things I did in my life, I can’t ever remember a voice or being guiding me to do so. It was just me and the choices I made driving me to my goal. Maybe I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to pull a childish prank on someone, but I did make decisions and choices that would lead to that end.
I feel one of the biggest differences in those who believe in a god and those who don’t lie in the way we take responsibility for our actions. It is my firm belief that those who do take full responsibility for the things they do rely less on an unseen belief in a divine being or master of evil.
Here’s my basis for this theory; I go to a casino and gamble away my rent money, afterward I know I made the wrong choice, and decide that I am not skilled enough at gambling to try that again. That is a lesson learned. That same thing happens to a man believing in God; he will decide gambling is a sin and therefore evil, and evil is the work of the devil tempting him, so he goes and seeks forgiveness from God and he soon feels better about it. Of course, after that, he makes better choices and can pay his rent later, but the lessons learned are different. He learns gambling is a sin a temptation of the devil, and I learned I am a bad gambler and shouldn’t do it anymore.
In the end, he feels the devil tempted him and he was weak, and I know I made a bad choice and should try and choose more wisely the next time. They may seem like the same result but notice that he “feels” or believes, while I know and decide. His was an admission by association and mine was an admission by default. I had no one else to blame and he had the devil and himself to a lesser extent.
If my logic does not make you question the existence of god, ask yourself how much sin is enough to make any omnipotent being stand up?
If ethnic cleansing, genocide, children sent to war, and the near-extinction of his own chosen people have not incurred his wraith, what will? A being who can move the world with the flick of his finger cannot take the time to stop massive hunger, disease, and violence in the poorest and suffering of places? How is this possible from a loving and caring god?
How about all of those who kill so many in god’s own name? What do so many suicide bombers yell just before they trigger their explosives? Allahuakbar! That means God is great. Why is that person not stopped before he or she can do such a horrendous act? Well according to many with faith, it was the free will God gave us and the temptations of the devil. However, if you talk to that person he doesn’t give all glory to Satan but to god. He prays on schedule and according to doctrine, lives a cleaner and less sinful life than many Christian priests, and yet somehow he is a tool of the devil.
According to the Bible and so many of the faith, with prayer and faith, all things are possible, yet all the prayer and faith of that person could not enlighten him enough nor protect him from the devil. If the devil can do such vile things with the most faithful and devout what chance does the average person have? Most popes haven’t the same level of commitment in their religion as the devout Muslim must maintain just to be deemed a Muslim.
One of the biggest reasons I question God’s existence is in the way a religious person can become a religious extremist.
If ever there was a time for a god to come forth and make his laws known to all it is in the areas of religious extremists. A person claiming to be your right hand and acting according to your doctrine killing himself and as many as he can, or spreading hate and fear of anyone not of the same faith, while you and your priests profess to love and forgiveness and you do nothing about it? If there were no other reasons to doubt god’s existence this alone would be enough for me.
I do not ask a god of love to smite those who sin in his name, but why not enlighten them enough to stop them? If all things are within his power why is enlightenment so difficult? Why do the sinners and faithful die from the same diseases, accidents, and ailments? Why hide heaven from us if it is so divine and grand? If we could see what we are giving up with our sin do you think we would do it so often? If god can enter the heart of a murderer and change his ways while in prison why can’t he enter the hearts of a president and stop a war?
If he can make a drunk sober up, heal the sick, and perform miracles that defy all logic, why couldn’t he stop the holocaust or enter the heart of Adolph Hitler before it even started? The same reason he doesn’t stop the energy crisis or end world hunger; he either can’t or won’t and therefore is neither divine nor omniscient.
Frankly, there is as much evidence of god’s existence as there is of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, but if I tell I believe in them with no evidence I’m a head case.