Let me declare myself: I am not an atheist. I am quite prepared to believe in God. But at the same time, I am not agnostic. I am not of two minds about the existence of God. I am certainly not a believer. I see nothing to believe in.
Where is the evidence?
Surely it is not possible to think objectively and critically, and still believe in God.
For me, it all comes down to evidence. In the absence of any, there is nothing for me to believe in, be in two minds about, or disbelieve.
If presented with any evidence at all, I would be prepared to enter the debate about the existence of God. In the absence of any, I view a belief in God nothing short of bizarre – as is the suggestion that the Bible is evidence.
A book is never evidence of anything. A book can, at best, be a record of evidence - and having read the Bible, I am apprised of no evidence whatsoever. It is more or less a document that has been translated and altered many times, which reflects the stories and attitudes of a time.
I have already written on my view that none of us choose what we believe and, as such, while we can and should be held responsible for our behaviour, we should never be held responsible for our beliefs. Our beliefs differ from person to person, place to place and time to time because we've all had different upbringings with different stimuli causing different beliefs.
Indeed, this is why the followers of every faith are as convinced that every other faith is wrong as they are that their faith is right. There are also the feebleminded in every faith that say they ‘know’ there is a God. This is no more or less bizarre than saying that one ‘knows;’ there is no God. There is no evidence required to know anything of the sort. We can at best ‘believe’ what we believe.
I, for one, know and believe nothing. What is more, I have no driving force to do either. I am quite comfortable with the fact that people die, have no fear of my own death and see little, if any, merit in everlasting life. I have no need to believe in a supernatural being and even if I did, needing something does not make it so. I can think of nothing positive that religion has done for the world. Morality existed before religion, there are plenty of immoral churches and believers, and there are as many non-religious charities as religious ones.
I have seen nothing that cannot be explained without the need for a god, and many things that cannot be explained with the existence of a god.
The Bible, and indeed most religions, suggest that God is all powerful (he can do anything), all loving (he loves all living things and in particular mankind – which was apparently created in his image) and all knowing (nothing slips his gaze).
This being the case, why do 10,000 children die every day in Africa from starvation? And it is not because of free will.
Of course, there is also the notion that ‘God moves in mysterious ways’. This might well be the case, but it would be equally valid to say that ‘science or nature moves in mysterious ways’. Either way, this is not an argument with any merit whatsoever.
If you take offence from, or exception to, this missive, provide me with just one piece of evidence that there is a god and I will start looking harder for the rest.
But to quote Thomas Hardy, the son of a priest: “Ï have been looking for God all my life, but alas, I have not found him.'' Incidentally, Hardy said this in response to a priest suggesting he read him the last rights when he was on his death bed.
In the absence of any evidence at all, I view a belief in God as bizarre.