Friday, April 26, 2013

10 Reasons Why People Don't Believe In God


10 Reasons Why People Don't Believe in God

A previously similar post was 10 Reasons Why People Don't Go to Church, which sparked much readership on petebrookshaw.com. This post takes a different angle. Why do people not believe in God? Let's take this post to mean, 'Why do people not believe in a deity (in whatever form or character that deity has)?' What I am clumsily attempting to say, is that, this post is not about distinguising between the God the Christians follow, from Allah and the Hindu deities for example. That's another complex, interesting, debatable subject for another day. This post is about why some would prefer to believe in no God, than to believe in the existence of a God. 
I must admit the following. I am a follower of Jesus, with a paticular upbringing and viewpoint. This is not a scientific list, but more a discussion starter on why some may choose to not believe in God while others do. The ideas suggested, you may agree with and some may well disagree. That's ok! So here goes, 10 Reasons Why People Don't Believe in God

10 Reasons Why People Don't Believe in God

Reason 1 - Why people don't believe in God - Evolution provides a better explanation of 'Creation'.

I am not seeking to ignite the 'Creation' Vs 'Evolution' debate; there is no doubt plenty of material surrounding that discussion. While there are people who are Evolutionary Theists (that is a God created evolution as the process in which humanity evolved), many hold to the view that evolution in itself provides the explanation of life on earth. You could ask, since when does evolution actually describe how bacteria even came to exist? When you take evolution back right to its beginnings, you are still left with the question of whether that process was created, and if so, how and by whom?

Evolution does not provide a better explanation than creation because evolution is in a sense post-creation. To not believe in God because you believe in evolution is then nonsensical. It would make more sense to say you do not believe in God because you believe in the Big Bang (or atleast adhere to one of the many versions of the Big Bang).

Reason 2 - Why people don't believe in God - Agnosticism makes more sense.

Many choose to be agnostic, as they really cannot say, which way or the other, whether there is a God. Agnosticism according to dictionary.com is, 'an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge'. Agnostics are not naive to the complexity of the earth in which we live, but they cannot nail down the reasons for that complexity as concretly as religious people. In a sense, agnostics prefer to live with the tension of not knowing, than claiming to know something that they cannot prove.


Reason 3 - Why people don't believe in God - There is no proof of such a God.

Christian apologists would disagree strongly with such an assertion. William Lane Craig would bang on about in the inner witness of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God-followers. William Paley has written extensively on the complexity of nature and how it all points to a Creator (The teleological argument for the existence of God). Thomas Aquinas wrote about the cosmological argument for the existence of God.
Anyway, this is not a post to convince unbelievers to believe in the proof of God, as there is much that has been written to say that God does not exist. The question is, who is right? Either there is a God, or there is not. You cannot have half a creator. The onus lies on you to decide, based on the evidence, whether there is proof or not.
I believe there is.

Reason 4 - Why people don't believe in God - Just because.

You must admit, there are scores of people who don't believe in God; just because. There is no intellectual reason why they don't. Just because.

Reason 5 - Why people don't believe in God - The way it is represented

People have mis-represented God badly over the years. No doubt about that. The Christian God (Yahweh), through Jesus Christ, challenges followers to be on about loving their neighbours, forgiveness and living a holy life. Many Christians have misrepresented that message. Though lets get something clear. Many have represented Christianity, or the Christian faith rather, well. I have loads of friends today, who are trying their darnest to follow Jesus authentically, passionately and with integrity.

Here's the thing for me. If a teacher has a sexual relationship with a student, that teacher is appropriately punished. We do not then give up on the education system. Education is valuable and that teacher has misrepresented education. Why are we so quick to give up on 'believing in God' when someone misrepresents the faith they are meant to be following?

Can I say, it is just easy to knock religion and belief in God if you can find (which is not hard to do), someone who has lived contrary to its beliefs. Though, hear me out for a minute - If someone is absolutely dodgy, does that really change whether there is a God or not? No. The issue of personal or coporate integrity is still separate from nutting out whether there is a God or not.

Reason 6 - Why people don't believe in God - Their belief is merely an extension of their family upbringing

Quite often our religious viewpoints are merely a product of our upbringing. This is of course the same as our economic situation, our view on sexuality, our opinion on politics and the like. What I am challenging in this post, is to not simply let your belief or otherwise in the existence of God simply exist because 'that was the belief of my family.' Consider the topic yourself. Does creation point to a creator? Is evolution a reliable and valid explanation of creation?

Reason 7 - Why people don't believe in God - God does not Exist.

This is the atheist viewpoint (as opposed to agnosticism noted above). Accoring to an extensive 2010 survey from Brittanica, about 2-3% of the population hold to this view. The athiest may well say the onus of proof is on the deist to prove the existence of God. The converse argument is of course, the atheist cannot prove there is not a God. This is naturally a circular argument, that goes no where.

Even with all the philosophical and intellectual arguments for the existence of God, there is still an element of faith involved. This is not to say there are not great arguments for the existence of God, but that is to say that quite often arguments/premises are weighed up against each other, and one must have faith (to lean either way) towards an argument. I believe the 'universe seemed to know we where coming' argument (teleological argument) is one of the best arguments that leans towards believing in the existence of God, though you still must step out in faith to believe that premise (the converse is obviously true for the arguments for atheism).

Atheist - Faith is not a weakness.

Reason 8 - Why people don't believe in God - They can handle life without God

Dictionary.com defines believe as, 'to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so'. If someone does not have confidence in the God they believe in, then they may well be of the belief that they can handle life without God. For some, it is not that they don't believe in the existence of God, but that they do not believe in the omnipotence of God. Some would purport that they lack 'revelation' of the character of God. The Christian God for instance has many Scriptures scattered within its Bible of references to the idea that God would never leave or forsake them. The idea, is that God is not only 'up there in heaven' as some say(transcedent), but that God is close and immanent.

Handling life without God, fails to understand and believe the promises of God.




Reason 9 - Why people don't believe in God - World religions are inconsistent.

One may well mention the inconsistency within the belief systems of major world religions. That point is noted. World religions differ. Contrary to what some might say, Allah (Islam) differs from Yahweh (Christianity). Monotheistic religions differ greatly from Poly-theistic religions like Hinduism. Though to choose to not believe in the existence of God because of the relative inconsistency of beliefs seems nonsensical to me.
You cannot 'not believe' in the Big Bang theory for instance, simply because there are so many different scientific views on how the universe came in to existence. That is nonsensical. You must look at every viewpoint, and make an assertion based on the evidence. The same is with God. Whether a deity exists is the first question. Then the second question is, who is that deity? We are looking at the former question, while the argument listed here is looking at the latter. While the latter question is absolutely important to answer, you should not be disbelieving in God because of that question in and of itself. The nature and character of God is a whole other discussion.

Reason 10 - Why people don't believe in God - ???

Why not comment below and add your reason/s on why people do not believe in God. Maybe you are an atheist and have some fired up viewpoints on the topic. I think I have made my viewpoint clear, and you can find out more scattered within many of the posts on petebrookshaw.com.


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7 comments:

  1. Suffering. It is difficult to understand how a loving and omnipotent god could create sentient beings that suffer, many extremely, by nature's dictates.

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    1. we could say the same about parents bringing their kids into the world... How cruel when they are bound to suffer... But we dont becasue we celebrate life and love. The same is true of God.

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  2. Even though suffering does exist in this world that God created, I don't believe that He is apathetic to our plight. I also I do not believe we as humans can fully understand the big picture as He does. I recently posted on this very issue on my blog at http://clearevidence.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/why-the-suffering/

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  3. who is God? and What his purpose?

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  4. God is supposed to encourage child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, mass murders, a permanent trip to burn in the lake of fire, right? All done in the name of god, right. Why then would I want to believe in god? Get my point?

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    1. It seems like you were saying he is real, despite all the bad stuff you THINK he does. I myself believe in god, but it seems you're misjudging him. PEOPLE do that, not him. He sent his son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins, so we can have eternal life in heaven. Humans are sinful, everyone on this earth from a certain race, religion, family life, or otherwise, sins. Don't blame the actions of his straying "sheep" on the "shepherd." Were not perfect, but even so, God loves us. Accept his love for you.

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  5. As a practising Christian I am really interested in the reasons why people find it hard to believe in God. So thanks for starting this discussion. So often their reasons are challenging to the Church; for example some Christians insist that a precondition of belonging to Christ is a literal acceptance of creation in scripture which was never intended to be understood in that way. However Many Christians see no conflict between science and faith, myself included. A long time ago St Augustine of Hippo believed that creation did not take place in 7 24 hour days but the story of his conversion to faith in Jesus and the quality of his subsequent life demonstrated the fact that his faith was real. Ultimately we may have lots of differing views on issues such as creation. However if we make these issues a condition of belonging to Christ we tread on very thin ice! On a positive note if you are genuinely trying to find God don't give up, keep searching, try different Churches, try praying, read the bible, get to know some Christians and you will find him. (Seek and you will find!)

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