Sunday, 2 January 2011

There is no God?

Recently I've been thinking again about ways that Humanists and Believers can accommodate each others' views, and live side by side, disagreeing but respecting their differing view on the fundamental reasons for our existence.

For a long time I've tried to accommodate the views of believers, based on that aphorism that I can no more disprove the existence of God than a believer can prove God's existence.  I thought I understood religion and chose to reject it on the probability of evidence, and because I found rational explanations so convincing.  But recently I've been trying to really understand religious motivation in a lot more depth, half hoping that I might find something there that would provide a better reason for intelligent believers to believe. 

I have to say that I have failed to find anything.  On the contrary, religion seems all the more ridiculous the more I study it. I presume religion is still ingrained into the human psyche as a by-product of the evolutionary need to find meaning in everything.  I suppose that if one makes that leap of faith and accepts religion as being valid and wants it to be a core part of ones life, then it is relatively easy to find 'truths' that reinforce and augment that desire.  One has only to read many of the blogs that deeply devout people write to witness how they convince themselves at every stage that they are doing the right thing, often relying on hugely partial 'evidence' and ignoring or explaining away that which does not fit their chosen narrative. 

Is that aphorism really valid at all though?  Is belief in a supernatural entity just an idea on a spectrum somewhere between belief in the celestial tea pot and belief in the laws of physics?  And isn't it really quite a long way towards the celestial tea pot?  If so, then am I acting morally in doing nothing to try to stop people leading their whole lives believing, and sometimes ruining them as a result?

To a believer this may sound extremely arrogant.  I would prefer to think that it was an honest statement of how I feel about this.  As ever, my thoughts are very much work in progress.  I record them for future reference.  I wonder how I will feel about this in 6 months time.

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