Inspired by an article by @PrudenceLouise1. Does god exist?
Before reading this article, please read
this. It is the article that inspired me to write this article.
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I must admit that most of the articles or responses I've posted over the years never did make me any friends. Why then you might wonder do I keep writing these and keep reacting to religious posts? Well, I guess it's a topic close to my heart.
In fact, knowing someone is religious inevitably changes the way I think about them and sometimes even changes the way I treat them.
That alone could be a 100-page dissertation if I went into detail, so I guess a summary will have to suffice.
My, summarized position on the existence of god is formed considering that we are currently able to explain the universe around us from a billionth of a second after the big bang until the last black hole fades away billions and billions of years from now, and we have no need for a god or godlike sentience to create any of it. Add to that the body of "Truths" that have existed throughout humanity's existence that have been abandoned due to evidence, time, or the rise and fall of civilizations (99,9% of all religions that ever existed no longer exist.) and I find the likelihood that any of the religious movements now in existence is the one true demands from omnipotent sentience that created us all, watches us every second we live and then judges us when we die.
Add to that the fact that it is not the truth, revelation, or experience that determines 90% of the religious people's religious beliefs but the geographical location and the religion one's parents adhere to. If you're born in Iraq you're likely to be Muslim. The same baby born in Alabama is likely to be a Christian. Same baby, born in Tibet.... Buddhist. But they all claim to be the one true religion with the one true truth. That cannot be true, so at least two of those religions must be wrong.
When I read discussions like these, concerning religion, the first thing I always think of is the quote attributed to Epicures:
"Is he (god) willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent? Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent? Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?"
The discussion that @PrudenceLouise1 starts also lacks a clear definition of "God". What is God? Or what it often comes down to is the question "Which" God? That is an important question to answer when discussing God, as there are a number of them still being worshipped these days. The Abrahamic club course keeps it simple with a single god. Okay, reading the scriptures closely will cast some doubt on the uniqueness of YHWH but that's a topic for another article. But if you take a look at Hinduism you'll realize that there are a lot of choices there. (even though they're all "aspects" of Brama (if I'm remembering correctly, haven't the time to check this))
I think it's safe to assume though that @PrudenceLouise1 is a follower of one of the Christian flavors of religions. Now for the purpose of retaining her interest at least, which would be polite as we are responding to her article, we'll limit the latter part of this article to the Christian religion and present some thoughts to consider which are also challenges for her to comment on.
Another different consideration is the existence of free will. If everything that happens is part of God's plan, then we have no say in it. At best we are created to want what we are supposed to want according to his divine plan. We think we chose something out of our own free will but that is delusion, for if we had free will we could choose things that would interrupt, delay or change God's divine plan. If his plans could be changed by mere mortals, he's not omnipotent.
Another consideration that is especially relevant to Christians is the inconsistency and contradictions in each of the scriptures, but also between the scriptures. There are so many contradictions in the old testament itself it's ridiculous, and the same goes for the new testament. The contradictions between the old and new testament though are also quite staggering!
THIS INTERACTIVE CHART gives insight into the contradictions in the bible as well as highlights the evil, racism, fascism, misogynist, and pure evil cruelty God inflicts upon the Earth and its inhabitants perpetrating acts ranging from rape to genocide and all evil that lies between.
I could go on for a couple of hours more on Christianity alone, but that would be superfluous to answering the original article's question.
Is there evidence God does not exist?
The body of evidence is frankly so large that I wonder if people who still believe in God after consciously and seriously learning all the evidence against the existence of God shouldn't be excluded from certain types of activity. Before you shoot me, draw and quarter me and then cancel my ass, please let me explain.
We want our elected government representatives to be intelligent, ethical, integer, wise people. We want them to be able to observe, analyze and solve any situation that might arise before them.
The most important quality IMHO is the ability to consider new information and if need be change it to fit the data.
This is not something religious people are known to excel at. Those people have in fact a reputation for their inability to accept new truths and adapt their views to new knowledge.
Religious people have a demonstrated disregard for rational reasoning, logical thinking, and inflexibility to change their views and opinions in the face of irrefutable evidence. They also demonstrated a willingness and zealousness for believing extraordinary claims for which no extraordinary (or ordinary) evidence is provided.
History has also shown us that religious people are willing to kill, torture, abuse, and oppress entire populations in order to eradicate any dissenting views or knowledge.
To those frothing at the mouth and yelling at their screens right now with indignation, feeling deeply offended I would like you to remember the inquisition, the conqistadors, and Galileo and then reconsider your knee-jerk reaction!
Considering that, I ask again: Should we consider if we want those people to be in government? Do we want people like that to be responsible for our defense forces? Do we want religious people in charge of our money?
I am not saying they shouldn't be, nor am I saying they should, all I want is for the discussion of this and similar matters to become possible. Now it's impossible to have this discussion without being labeled a racist or fascist or anti-something. But one day this discussion will be held publicly and one day the answer to those questions will be NO.
In this article, I've limited my focus to the Christian faith but I could have just as easily picked Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, or 99,9% of all religions that have ever existed without having to change much in the article. If the interest is there I'm perfectly willing to expand on this topic or on any other religion. I'd love an open and respectful discussion/debate on any religion-related topic and I welcome all comments.
Thank you for reading this.
Stay safe and stay happy!