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Why dont you belive in God?

Please give three reasons. I have my RE final and i need 3 reasons from an atheist.

Posted: November 8th 2012

Dave Hitt www

I can only give you one reason, because I find only one reason is necessary.

There is no proof of such a creature. None. In all of mankind’s history, among all the thousands of different gods that have been worshiped, there has never been even the slightest bit of hard empirical evidence that any of them have ever existed.

Posted: December 7th 2012

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Eshu www

I’m afraid this might not help with your final, but the question is a bit wrong.

For comparison: do religious believers give reasons they don’t believe in other gods, say Zeus or Odin?

People don’t generally need reasons not to believe in something. Not believing in things is the default position; it’s the position we’re all born with. This is implicit atheism – not believing in god(s) because no one has ever suggested to you the idea of a god.

The other answers, with which I largely agree, give reasons are those of explicit atheists – people who’ve thought about at least one conception of god and found the ideas unconvincing.

These are probably similar reasons why you don’t (presumably) don’t believe in fairies, unicorns, alien abductions, etc. Perhaps that analogy will be useful in your final. It might depend on whether the exam is looking for reasons that atheists give for not believing or the reasons that believers think that atheists have for not believing in their god.

In my experience believers either assume or are taught that atheist don’t believe because:
a. They don’t want to be told what to do by a god or religion.
b. They find religious believers annoying.
c. They hate God. (This one doesn’t even make sense. How can you hate something you don’t think exists? Do you hate Thor?)

Actually, the exam may be looking for arguments against the existence of god(s) – explicit atheism again. My guess is that the following answers would score full marks.

1. The problem of evil (how does a good god allow evil and human suffering?)
2. The problem of religious confusion (so many religious make contradictory claims that cannot all be true)
3. The problem of divine hiddenness (If god wishes to be known to humankind, why is his/her/its presence not clear and obvious? If you think it is obvious, see 2.)

Really these are reasons that specific religious claims are wrong, the detail of “We don’t find any religious conceptions of god convincing.” – but it is probably what the question wants you to say.

It might be worth reading more about those three arguments, and there are many more. You can start here.

So I hope that has been some help. If you actually want to understand atheists – good for you – see answers from real atheists. To get the points for the exam, I’d suggest 1, 2 and 3 above. If you want to suck up to a narrow-minded believer, try a, b, c – or be a hero and educate them about real atheists! :-)

Posted: November 10th 2012

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George Locke

  1. Parsimony. There is no fact that would be inexplicable if God didn’t exist, so there is no reason to suppose that God does exist. In the absence of any compelling reason to believe, I prefer the vastly simpler hypothesis that there is no God.
  2. The gods described in the various holy books are absurd. Claims about their supposed powers (e.g. “faith can move mountains”) are demonstrably false unless you perform a ritual dance whereby obviously incorrect notions are rendered metaphorical while certain items (“Jesus was God’s son and He died for our sins”) remain literal.
  3. For some, “God” is so poorly defined that it’s impossible to believe or to disbelieve in it. The gods described by liberal theists are essentially nonsense. They act but don’t act. They’re present but not present. They love us but they’re totally impersonal. The religion of liberal believers is so confused it’s not even wrong.

Posted: November 9th 2012

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Galen Rose www

(1) I see no acceptable direct evidence of a god. No god has ever shown himself to me or anyone I know, and I see no useful evidence in nature as there as many good things as evil in nature, and as many ugly things as beautiful.

(2) I see no logical necessity for the existence of a god. In fact, logically, I find the idea that a god created the universe absurd. That would mean that the most complex entity in the history of the universe was the very first thing to exist. The unanswerable question here, of course, is by what process did that entity come to be?

(3) The entire case for gods amounts to nothing but hearsay (what others have written or said – no gods have ever been directly observable), and humans are fallible and very often dishonest.

I suppose there may be some overlap here, but I tried to give you 3 answers since that’s what you asked for.

Posted: November 9th 2012

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brian thomson www

First of all, be careful asking atheists about “God”, because the answer might be another question: “which one?” There are plenty out there to choose from. Why not Ganesha, or Allah, or Saturn? You are risking an incorrect assumption: that atheists see the same “God” that you see, but are making an active decision to not believe in he/she/it. Speaking for myself, I don’t detect any of them, in any form, so what is there to believe in? The only place I see “God” is in words written by other people, but words are not true just because they say they’re true.

My main reason, if you want to call it that, is simply this: I don’t believe because I have no reason to.

If that answer is unsatisfying, it’s probably because you see many people who have no reason to believe, yet many do. So the question is not whether or not there are reasons, but whether people heed those reasons (or lack thereof) and act accordingly i.e. rationality. It is an important question, potentially affecting many aspects of my life, so I take it seriously. Given the complete absence of evidence for any god, why would I want to make myself believe in something for no good reason?

Posted: November 9th 2012

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