Is There a God?

I am likely to revisit this question repeatedly in this blog, at least to respond to various arguments for the existence of a diety.

For the time being, I wish only to give a short description of my top 15 reasons for not believing in the Christian god in particular. I have never believed in any other deity, not really. Some of my logic comes from Richard Carrier’s short book Why I Am Not a Christian. I have not bothered to give a thorough defense of any of these reasons, but this should give a hint of the type of thing I’m focused on.

1.
My first reason for losing belief was that I learned evolution is true. I’m not going to list the evidence here because I don’t have space and am not a biologist, but one thing that helped me reach this conclusion is that humans have a chromosome pair that is two chromosome pairs stuck together. This chromosome was a prediction from evolutionary theory because apes have just two more chromosomes than humans. (See this video for a better understanding from an actual scientist.)

Obviously, evolution by itself doesn’t disprove any deity; there could be something supernatural starting/guiding the process. What it does show, unless you refuse to admit that animals can suffer, is that suffering existed for billions of years before any humans existed to commit the Original Sin that many Christian doctrines say is the cause of suffering. Besides, if the Garden of Eden is entirely metaphorical, why take the Crucifixion and Resurrection literally? There is much theological argument trying to work around that problem, but it is at least a crack in the wall – something Christianity cannot immediately explain away.

2.
On that note, one of the historical problems of the Bible is that there is absolutely no evidence for any Adam or Garden of Eden. In fact, there is much evidence against it, most of it from the findings that support evolution.

3.
Another historical problem with the Bible is that it is abundantly clear to any student of geography that there has never been a global flood. There cannot have been. There’s no evidence from the rocks. Besides, there isn’t enough water on the planet.

4.
Further, not even Abraham is a historical character. He is a literary invention, as even Wikipedia shows.

5.
Continuing the historical problems, Moses is another character from the Bible who never existed. There was no wandering through the desert for 40 years, and no plagues of Egypt, and no Commandments from Mount Sanai. I’m not a historian and this is meant to be brief, so I’m not presenting the evidence for these last few assertions, but these Biblical figures being fictional is almost as commonly accepted among historians as evolution is among biologists.

6.
On a different hand, there are several moral problems with Christianity and/or the Bible. In particular, the Bible forbids neither slavery nor rape. Indeed, it allows the beating of slaves as long as they don’t die for at least a day or two (Exodus 21:20-21). In the case of rape, the woman can be put to death for adultery if she doesn’t scream loud enough (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) or be forced to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Clearly, these are NOT moral positions! (If you disagree, please seek help.)

7.
Further, many sects of Christianity still forbid all forms of homosexuality, masturbation, and extramarital sex. While we should certainly not approve of cheating, there is no reason to forbid other consenting acts of sex. Masturbation has multiple health benefits, such as reduction of stress, and men are biologically programmed to ejaculate occasionally because they never stop producing sperm. Wet dreams happen for a reason, and that reason is purely biological. Homosexuality is a natural phenomenon observed in multiple species around the globe which, again, has a biological origin. To forbid it entirely is to forbid many people from ever experiencing the great pleasure of a romantic relationship. Extramarital sex, meaning sex without marriage or even sex outside of one’s own marriage with the consent of one’s spouse, has no legitimate reason to be forbidden. It can cause a great deal of pain, but with caution and without being forced to think sex is wrong, it can also bring a great deal of harmless and healthy pleasure.

8.
Another moral problem with Christianity, or at least many sects of it, is that it forbids abortion and contraception. There is no moral argument for forbidding contraception. It does not end a life; it prevents one from beginning. To equate those two concepts is extremely irrational and logically leads to calling women murderers for menstruating or men murderers for masturbating.

Abortion, on the other hand, is less clear cut. It actually does entail the ending of a life, although not an independent one. However, if it is entirely illegal, it leads to women being thrown in jail for miscarriages. To me, this alone is enough to convince that abortion needs to be legal for at least the first trimester. Further, many of those who seek abortions are in extreme situations, such as rape or severe poverty. There is much more argument for either side, but it is obvious to me that abortion is morally justified in several cases, even if I think it is immoral in some.

9.
Perhaps one of the more galling arguments put forth by Christian apologists is that of morality, claiming that the existence of morality is proof of their god. This is ridiculous for two reasons. First, if you use the Bible as a source for your morality, you are using the wrong source, as I illustrated in point 6. Second, morality has an entirely natural origin, as shown by the study of bonobos. For further info, look into the work of Frans de Waal – I’ll be leaning heavily on his research when I discuss this reason further.

10.
The least moral Christian teaching, however, is the requirement of faith to avoid Hell. I hope I need not explain more than to point out that some people, such as myself, are apparently incapable of holding a conviction without evidence. Why would a god make me this way, then doom me to eternal torment for being this way?

11.
This leads nicely to one of my other problems. If the Christian God were real, if He were omniscient, omnipotent, and wanted me to join Him in Heaven when I die, and if believing in Him was the first requirement for that, wouldn’t He give me everything I need to believe? And yet, I find absolutely no evidence, not evidence a convincing argument. I simply cannot believe, and if the Christian god were real, I would.

12.
Indeed, it is difficult to tell that all Christians believe in the same god. There are so many disagreements between the over 40,000 denominations that one is forced to wonder how all-powerful that god could be. After all, I could probably write a book that is interpreted fewer than 40,000 different ways; why couldn’t god do that with the Bible?

13.
The most classic reason to doubt Christianity is the problem of evil. I simply cannot believe that an all-loving being is watching over a world wherein child rape exists. I differentiate this from the problem of suffering, in that I could accept that some suffering is necessary even with an all-loving and all-powerful God in charge, but the unnecessary and ceaseless suffering of countless innocents in natural disasters worldwide is simply too much. Tsunamis, hurricanes, child cancer, parasites that eat a lamb’s brain as it slowly dies… how can anyone look at that and still believe in a loving deity capable of stopping such monstrosities?

14.
I have one last historical argument. The character of Jesus in the gospels is possibly fictional, and certainly not as miraculous as described. Historical consensus is that the man did exist, but there are compelling arguments that he was a myth who was historicized, much like Hercules. In any case, most historians see all the contradictions among the various gospels as evidence that many of the events described never happened. Indeed, very little is left. However, this is an argument I am still studying.

15.
My final main point is that Christianity causes harm. I cannot begin to list the harms that have come from following Christianity. From slavery, to child abuse (“Spare the rod, spoil the child”), to persecuting gays… These are not isolated incidents. They happen over, and over, and over. Why would a loving god allow such behavior from his earthly representatives?

(List over.)

I have many other reasons, most of which I plan to flesh out over the course of this blog. One argument of which I am particularly fond is what I call the Bored Pantheon Hypothesis, which shows that miracles aren’t good enough evidence to prove a specific supernatural being – they could just as easily show that a bored pantheon is messing with humans and making them think a certain religion is correct for the game of it.

One argument I have heard from a Christian is that Christianity is a properly basic belief. I will probably deal with it more fully in a later post, but my initial and immediate response is that nobody has ever come to believe Christianity all on their own. Christianity has only ever spread through the work of missionaries or soldiers.

My final thought is this: I do not believe in any god because I see no evidence of one. That’s the only argument I should ever need.


10 thoughts on “Is There a God?

  1. Oh of course there is a god. I have met him. He is not what you and others claim he is, and all written works misquoted him for political gains. He is not perfect or all knowing or all powerful. All he wants to do is help the human race survive it’s own ignorance. To grow and evolve.

    You human beings sure are skeptical of even yourselves. If only you had faith in yourself and others you could do great things. But instead you doubt youselves and others and refuse to work together.

    This universe was an accident. God is the scientist trying to fix it.

  2. Of course there is a god, I met him. All written books on him have been edited for political reasons. So everything you humans think you know about God is wrong.

    The universe was an accident and God is the scientist trying to fix it. God is not perfect or all powerful so he needs our help. But you human beings are too skeptical and too full of doubt. You hold back progress due to your lack of faith and your ignorance. You should work together, but instead you fight each other. You mock and insult religious people and call it a reason rally? Really? What part of science has mocking and insulting? What part of reason or logic has mocking and insulting? God calls such people as scumbags.

    1. I do not think anything I have said is mocking or insulting to anyone.

      You speak as though you are not a human. Are you an angel?

      Can you introduce me to god? I am very interested to meet such a being.

      1. I am clearly beyond your limited understanding of the universe. God would not like to meet you because you have developed yourself into a low functioning sociopath and narcissist who is wholly ignorant of how the universe works. I have measured your IQ at below 70, and noticed you lack empathy and compassion of others. This is not your fault as society has conditioned you to become this way. You speak like a high school dropout, and make arguments like an angry child. If you cannot even understand how the universe works, you cannot clearly understand god. You are not without hope, you can still learn empathy and compassion for others and you can learn the people skills and social skills needed to evolve beyond your low functioning sociopath status. You claim god cannot exist because he didn’t punish you for your misdeeds. Clearly you don’t understand that god forgives and gives you a chance to confess and become better before you die. Only after you die is when you are judged, and you got a lot of religious stuff wrong because of that. I am sorry some religious people picked on you for being a skeptic, but that does not give you the right to turn into a sociopath and bully against religious people. Since you have botched evolution and natural selection, you must learn it again. I strongly suggest Khan academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/evolution-and-natural-selection/v/introduction-to-evolution-and-natural-selection

  3. The evidence against a Christian god is absolute. It’s impossible, and if they did exist then they would be considered by all accounts – a homocidal psychopath. Condemning people to eternal suffering for having sex with their teenage girlfriend before they’re married. Very much worse than Hitler, or Stalin.

    However, the idea for intelligent design is not absolutely gone. In terms of the observable universe, every action so far has obeyed – essentially – Physics, Biology, Chemistry, that we now know. To a rough scale at least, many phenomena still require investigation.

    But in terms of super string theory, the multiverse, the idea of an intelligent design is not out of question. As for anything with any kind of influence in our universe – preposterous.

  4. Let me try. Because you like Wikipedia, so will I. But i’ll be cropping your arguments if they are too long, I will still answer the whole, original “argument”. Please realise, though, that this is not answered by a priest nor scholar, but a believing student that shares his point of view on “common sense”.
    i’ll also accent words by _underscoring_ not CAPSING because it focuses way nicer.

    Dear erisblastar

    “1. My first reason for losing belief was that I learned evolution is true. (…)”

    If your argument is based on dissing with a “Christianity cannot immediately explain away” concept, it’s not an argument. Does a discussion require a clock? I find this more of a neutral statement. As of the evolution – it’s just a theory that may or may not be true. How come other animals didn’t evolve to create hivemind or other exotic form of civilisation?

    “2. On that note, one of the historical problems of the Bible is that there is absolutely no evidence for any Adam or Garden of Eden. In fact, there is much evidence against it, most of it from the findings that support evolution.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden#Proposed_locations
    While we are talking about the Garden – there was no apple, but a “fruit” due to error with translations in ancient times of past.

    Adam:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam#Etymology
    same goes for Eve:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve#Etymology
    let’s also accept:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_and_Eve#Scientific_community_criticism
    I know also of a translation in my language,
    that instead of “Adam and Eve” uses the “the Man” and “That-of-the-Man”.

    While I don’t prove that Garden existed, it may be treated like a story.

    “3. Another historical problem with the Bible is that it is abundantly clear to any student of geography that there has never been a global flood. There cannot have been. There’s no evidence from the rocks. Besides, there isn’t enough water on the planet.”

    That’s a good one 🙂
    It is true – there is not enough _fluid_ water on the planet. Lets grab the glacers then!
    also – there _is_ evidence:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myth#Claims_of_historicity
    I see here at least 5 good hypotheses.

    “4. Further, not even Abraham is a historical character. He is a literary invention, as even Wikipedia shows.”

    Well, if wikipedia says so. But even Wikipedia is _unsure_ wherever he did or did not exist.

    “5. Continuing the historical problems, Moses is another character from the Bible who never existed. There was no wandering through the desert for 40 years, and no plagues of Egypt, and no Commandments from Mount Sanai. I’m not a historian and this is meant to be brief, so I’m not presenting the evidence for these last few assertions, but these Biblical figures being fictional is almost as commonly accepted among historians as evolution is among biologists.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses#Historicity

    I have to comment on your “haste”. If you want me to take this argument seriously, please: present evidence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagues_of_Egypt#Historicity

    “6. On a different hand, there are several moral problems with Christianity and/or the Bible. In particular, the Bible forbids neither slavery nor rape. Indeed, it allows the beating of slaves as long as they don’t die for at least a day or two (Exodus 21:20-21). In the case of rape, the woman can be put to death for adultery if she doesn’t scream loud enough (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) or be forced to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Clearly, these are NOT moral positions! (If you disagree, please seek help.)”

    So. I disagree. Grab Catechism of the Catholic Church if you’re looking for law regarding men.
    Also I have _never_ seen, heard etc of using Deuteronomy in our “time”.

    Is this a problem with Christianity? No.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22&version=KJV
    Bible doesn’t forbid slavery and rape?
    I. It’s the Old Testament.
    II. From what I know slavery isn’t forbidden because it’s common (do you realise I’m talking about the times author wrote the Deutheronomy?).
    III. Because rape is not forbidden it _does NOT_ mean it’s allowed.
    (sorry for using KJV)

    “7. Further, many sects of Christianity still forbid all forms of homosexuality, masturbation, and extramarital sex. While we should certainly not approve of cheating, there is no reason to forbid other consenting acts of sex. (…)”

    O. Sects? Okay…
    I. How does this prove || disprove God?
    II. Because homosexuality is unnatural event. We (so do I) believe that God created “Adam and Eve”. That’s how babies are not born.
    III. Wet dreams? Show me quote of the Bible concerning this.
    IIII. Love is not only about senseless and brainless pleasure.
    V. You say before God, that you love her/him (your spouse) and next few years you say: “well, God. I don’t love her but I love another one. Sorry but I made a mistake”. There may be good reasons for divorce, that’s why it’s not forbidden, but _strongly_ and often denied (more of a last resort).

    “8. Another moral problem with Christianity, or at least many sects of it, is that it forbids abortion and contraception. There is no moral argument for forbidding contraception. It does not end a life; it prevents one from beginning. (…)”

    My, you are totally wrong and you even don’t know it.

    I. _If_ “There is no moral argument for forbidding contraception. It does not end a life;” Well done, you just used your own argument to prove, that if purpose of _abortion is to end life_ (KILLS) it is morally “wrong / bad / evil”.
    II. Contraception pills? You mean those hormones and chemicals women take, and then the fertilized egg can’t merge(?) with womb? It’s the _same_ as abortion, but here the child doesn’t have the body which could defend it from killing her.

    The problem with abortion is not due to killing – we all should know that’s bad.
    The problem lies in rape.

    “However, if it is entirely illegal, it leads to women being thrown in jail for miscarriages.”
    Please – evidence. I need to use arguments, so i need sources.”

    “To me, this alone is enough to convince that abortion needs to be legal for at least the first trimester.”
    This is becoming absurd. Hey, lets kill someone if we “just don’t have the time to be a parent”.
    Absurd: Yes, it’s legal to kill during first trimester, but you shan’t kill a second after.
    Who gave you right to decide of life and death?

    “9. Perhaps one of the more galling arguments put forth by Christian apologists is that of morality, claiming that the existence of morality is proof of their god.”

    When we are done ridiculing each other’s beliefs – so if I disprove your argument nr 6 and your second argument, do I win disproval of number 9?

    Morality _is_ natural, even if it has been created by God.
    How does it disprove?

    “10. The least moral Christian teaching, however, is the requirement of faith to avoid Hell. I hope I need not explain more than to point out that some people, such as myself, are apparently incapable of holding a conviction without evidence. Why would a god make me this way, then doom me to eternal torment for being this way?”

    Bad point, bad argument. It’d be an honour to have it explained, cite or something please.

    Until I get an answer, I shall only say : It requires faith because of nature of God.
    If religion named “Randomigion” was based on _knowledge_ not _faith_ what would it be?
    We all knew God existed, thus we all because of _fear_ of going to hell became “Randomigion believers” and stayed this way, crumbling and dying while thinking if we did something against our God.
    But we (at least I am) are Christians of Christianity. We know we require faith because of not knowing of God’s Power and Might we have _free will_ and _love_ that we can display to others. We can believe or not. Also – Jesus said we all have been saved. But we still have to learn the love the way it truly and really is.

    “11. This leads nicely to one of my other problems. If the Christian God were real, if He were omniscient, omnipotent, and wanted me to join Him in Heaven when I die, and if believing in Him was the first requirement for that, wouldn’t He give me everything I need to believe? And yet, I find absolutely no evidence, not evidence a convincing argument. I simply cannot believe, and if the Christian god were real, I would.”

    Well, this argument is based on same concept as number 10, so my answer applies here as well.

    “12. Indeed, it is difficult to tell that all Christians believe in the same god. There are so many disagreements between the over 40,000 denominations that one is forced to wonder how all-powerful that god could be. After all, I could probably write a book that is interpreted fewer than 40,000 different ways; why couldn’t god do that with the Bible?”

    Because of translation errors and way the languages change, we get other tenths of 9,000 different ways and wording of “Jesus walks on the water”.

    “13. The most classic reason to doubt Christianity is the problem of evil. I simply cannot believe that an all-loving being is watching over a world wherein child rape exists. I differentiate this from the problem of suffering, in that I could accept that some suffering is necessary even with an all-loving and all-powerful God in charge, but the unnecessary and ceaseless suffering of countless innocents in natural disasters worldwide is simply too much. Tsunamis, hurricanes, child cancer, parasites that eat a lamb’s brain as it slowly dies… how can anyone look at that and still believe in a loving deity capable of stopping such monstrosities?”

    I. Animals have no souls, think of them more of automatons.
    II. All pain is due _Original sin_.
    III. http://carm.org/if-god-all-powerful-and-loving-why-there-suffering-world

    “14. I have one last historical argument. The character of Jesus in the gospels is possibly fictional, and certainly not as miraculous as described. Historical consensus is that the man did exist, but there are compelling arguments that he was a myth who was historicized, much like Hercules. In any case, most historians see all the contradictions among the various gospels as evidence that many of the events described never happened. Indeed, very little is left. However, this is an argument I am still studying.”

    Show me contradictions. I don’t know what the other people said, but i really want to.
    I take you are still studying this argument, so i will wait for it to be refined.

    “15. My final main point is that Christianity causes harm. I cannot begin to list the harms that have come from following Christianity. From slavery, to child abuse (“Spare the rod, spoil the child”), to persecuting gays… These are not isolated incidents. They happen over, and over, and over. Why would a loving god allow such behavior from his earthly representatives?”

    Once again this I have answered, thus repeating an argument doesn’t mean is a new one.
    Also, if you cannot begin to list the harms, how can you prove it does cause harm?

    From what i see, you are willing to release more arguments.

    If you are truly looking for an answer for the question “Is There a God?” please write to http://carm.org
    they’ll gladly help you look and discover your Path 🙂

    If your post is just because you can write this on internets and you are looking not for an argument but a way to badmouth Christians for their beliefs, please don’t do it – you’re an adult and can manage your time to do better, like proving we are wrong by _doing better_ than an “average” Christian does. Help the poor, feed the homeless, help the old, learn to love etc.
    If you do so, I’ll personally come to you and thank you. (it may take some time though, as I’m studiying)

    TL;DR; Really i took some time. Try to read please, because that’s the point of discussions.
    and visit http://carm.org

    Yours
    Greg

    1. Minor point, but I am the author of the post, not erisblastar.

      Perhaps you should wait until I have made an argument before trying to rebut it. This post is barely more than a list, and as you note, I provided no evidence for my assertions, nor did I claim to. Even many of the things you respond to are not things I said – I never mentioned an apple, nor would I have. I spent most of my life as a Christian and a young earth creationist; five years ago, I would have responded much as you have.

      If you do wish to rebut my arguments – many of which are merely rebuttals of Christian arguments that would be found on sites like carm.org or reasonablefaith.org – please keep watching this blog. 🙂 As I believe I said, I plan to construct thorough arguments for each of these fifteen points later on.

    2. Evolution has many patterns and designs in it. Fibonacci sequence, Ackerman numbers, Complex numbers, and the golden ratio of 1.68 that has more proof of a god that intelligent design or creationism. So evolution does not disprove a god exists. In fact physics states that energy and matter cannot be created nor destroyed, Your argument, which is made like a child who has been bad and then lies about past behavior and saying the bad thing he did never existed, states that everything was created out of nothing because there is no god. It violates the laws of thermodynamics when you claim that. These patterns and designs came from a creator. Just not the god you think he is, and you have botched even high school science by violating physics and chemistry and you’ve botched biology and evolutionary theory as well. Based on what you wrote, your arguments don’t hold water because you don’t understand math and science enough to do a proper argument. Everything you write violates the laws of thermodynamics and shows your clear ignorance of math and science.

  5. Sir you tend to write a bunch of nonsense and don’t show any proof or evidence for it. You lack a basic understanding of math, science, logic, reason, and critical thinking. The only thing you cite are videos and books written by frauds and tricksters who are only in it for the money. I myself died, and came back to tell you that God is going to cut you down!

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