I did some searching today because I knew I had read something similar to what I wrote in my previous post before and I found this related link as well as this one. If you are interested in probing more into it then have at it. You can find counter-arguments at both links.
We’re all different so it makes sense that everyone is going to be convinced by different reasoning (which really applies to most any subject). When I became convinced of Christianity back in the day there were a bunch of arguments that just didn’t strike me as very convincing but were key proofs for some of my friends. Same thing goes for when I “progressed” into atheism. The argument from evil for some reason wasn’t even on my radar as I moved toward atheism (although as I’ve read more about that lately I have seen how it’s evidential form is actually quite convincing when it comes specifically to “classical” theism), but the argument from evil seems to be what a lot of atheists are convinced by.
Where is the Evidence?
John Zande posted this recently which struck me as a very good description of an important reason that I don’t believe in gods. He wrote it in reference to the God of the Bible, but I believe it could be applied to many other gods as well:
The god of the Pentateuch (re-invented in the New Testament, then again revised in the Qur’an) is invisible and inaudible. It gives off no odour and has no perceptible taste. It generates no heat signature, produces no electromagnetic field and provokes no resonance at any frequency. It cannot be detected with any instrument and no measurement of any natural phenomena has ever indicated its presence. Its influence cannot be inferred from any secondary observation, no earthly geological record speaks of its intervention, and no examination of any biological or astronomical system has ever alluded to its agency. It is massless, it displaces neither liquids, solids, gas nor plasma and has no perceptible gravitational effect on anything.
I realize there are some who would argue with some of these points (e.g. argument from miracles and design) and I’ll address that in later posts.
But this really is a good description of an important aspect of why I don’t believe in gods. It’s not just that I don’t sense any god’s presence (although that’s part of it, and that may be my next post), and it’s not just that I know a lot of people who also haven’t sensed him, but when objective investigations are done to find impacts from the existence of gods then they seem to fall short. In fact some of them even seem to falsify their existence (at least for the gods that were prayed to). It seems to me that the study described in that link would have been an absolutely awesome opportunity for a god to show itself to the world – and simple too – just heal everyone who was prayed to. Ah yes, but that isn’t how the traditional God works of course. Or so we are told. That reasoning seems to me to build a wall around the belief and essentially declares it unfalsifiable. So it is simply true by definition – end of story. That is not enough for me to believe. In fact results of investigations like these are enough for me not to believe.
Do Gods Like to Stay in Their Regions?
John goes on in his post to point out another important thing about Jehovah – belief in Him was isolated to a certain region of the world. When I was a Christian I was always bothered by the fact that Jehovah and Jesus were not clearly known about by the communities that were found in South America about 500 years ago. It seemed to me that we should expect that if Jehovah was the god of the universe. Same goes for Allah and Krishna as well of course. The fact that belief in these gods did not independently materialize in other regions of the world is what we would expect if they did not exist, and to me while I was a Christian it was always a conundrum for my belief in the God of the Bible.