Why Don’t You Believe?

Those who claim to be atheists and those who claim to be “Nones” are a growing group in America and the world. If you are such a person, or if you know such a person, I would like to know why don’t you/they believe? One would hope that such a monumental decision was the product of long research and logical conclusions, but I think that rarely is the truth, if ever.

Looking at the world both scientifically and philosophically reveals a universe that appears to have had a beginning, is ordered and fine tuned for life on this planet, is extremely complex, uses information to form living creatures, and suggests that the human mind is not satisfactorily explainable by mere brain activity. All these things point to God. Even the existence of evil suggests that there is its counterpart. Evil doesn’t prove God’s non-existence. It proves the opposite.

Research will lead you to know that something is missing. You can’t explain your existence as the product of mere cause and effect and physical laws, at least if you are honest with yourself.

The sad, real answer for why people are atheists or Nones is right there is the Bible all along:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19

People don’t believe in God because they don’t want Him to exist. They don’t want to be judged. They don’t want to be dependent on grace. They don’t want to live a godly life. So they explain God away using illogical conclusions or just never look at the topic too close.

Could Jesus change this by still walking the Earth and doing miracles. Could He use mass media and infinite power to change minds. I wonder. Would evidence ever make any difference? Would it only make more enemies?

The Bible puts it this way:

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14

I am both grateful and crushed by this passage. On the one hand, I know that my faith is the gift of God. I find the evidence to be affirming. I find the light given by the Bible to be explanatory of the grief I see in the world, but also hope giving for the future. I find purpose that is woefully lacking in those who merely live to entertain themselves or to survive.

On the other hand, I feel the sorrow of God for the atheist and the None. My only consolation here is that some people change.

If you are an atheist. I would love to hear your reasons. I would plead with you to not consider the matter to be settled, but rather to keep looking at evidence. This is more than an intellectual exercise. This is about an eternal fate.

If you are a None. Maybe you can live just fine without God for now. But consider the fact the you too will die. Doesn’t what happens after death (see my blog: afterdeathsite.com)impact what we should be living for today?

If you love someone like this. Keep praying for this person (for the rest of your life is necessary). The Spirit breaking through to them is the most critical part. Be the disciple of Jesus that you are called to be. Your witness of life, attitude and words could be instrumental in saving a soul.

3 Comments

  1. “One would hope that such a monumental decision was the product of long research and logical conclusions, but I think that rarely is the truth, if ever.”

    You’d be wrong then. It is the truth for many atheists. We often were theists and then we come to the conclusion that no god or gods exist after much research and careful consideration.

    When I was a Christian, I read quite a bit about other religions and the sciences. I also read the bible, front to back. I realized that the bible made much the same claims as other religions and there was no more logic to me believing in the same nonsense from one religion and discount it if claimed by another when no religion has evidence for its claims. I prayed for help from this god to keep my faith and got no response.

    Having looked at the world scientifically, there is no reason to think that a god is needed for it to exist. It does seem to have a beginning, at least for this iteration, but again, no god needed. The laws of physics seem to be quite enough for it. The laws of physics also explain the orderedness of it, and the laws of physics can be shown to exist. No evidence has yet come up to show that any particular god exists. Those laws can also be eternal; we just don’t know yet.

    As for it being “fine-tuned”, there is nothing to show that the universe was created just as a stage for human beings. Indeed, the fact that 99.9999…% of the universe is deadly to humans so if you want to claim some god made this all for us, this god is incompetent. If you want to run to the claim of the “best possible world” e.g. that this god couldn’t have made it any other way, then this god isn’t the perfect benevolent being Christians claim it is. If this god is what Christians claim, then there is no need to have stars wither and die or go supernova, both of which would destroy life. We are made by the universe, not the other way around. The usual analogy is a puddle that insists how great the depression it is in “fits” it so well, when it is the puddle that fits it.

    Complexity does not need a god either. Just the laws of physics allow that to happen and no god is needed to “use” information. There is nothing to show that there is something separate from the brain that makes a human being. We have plenty of evidence to know that to damage the brain is to damage the personality and intellect. We have nothing to show that something is floating around separate. Some dualists try to claim that the soul/spirit interacts with the brain but this thing would be able to be picked up with various types of meters since to interact with the brain means it has to interact with an electrochemical organ. No one has been able to do such a thing.

    Since you have no evidence to support these things, they do not point to your version of the Christian god or to any other god.

    You are right, the presence of evil doesn’t show the non-existence of your god. What it does show is that your god isn’t what Christians claim it is. The presence of evil also doesn’t show that your god exists. “Evil” is different to each person, with some ideas of evil generally accepted as universal since some “evil” makes civilization hard to have. And since the bible has this god repeatedly working with what the bible’s many authors call “evil” aka satan, there is no reason to think that this god is good/benevolent, etc. That your god *must* to release satan to corrupt Christians after this god kills every non-christian so it can have another bloodbath, shows that your god is beholden to something else. Or that the author of the story was a complete nut (Revelation 19-21)

    Nope, research doesn’t lead me or anyone to “know that something is missing”. That is your baseless fantasy, your need to believe that existence is something other than what we have now. I can easily explain my existence as the product of cause and effect. You want to lie and claim that people have to be lying if they don’t agree with you. It doesn’t work that way, Tom. People are honest with themselves and they don’t need you or your god.

    You also have to try to lie and claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with you “loves” darkness. Nope, we don’t and we are just as good, benevolent and loving as you are. You aren’t anything special.
    I don’t believe in your version of your god or any god because there is no evidence for it or them. I couldn’t care less if it existed, because I still wouldn’t worship such a nasty thing, that kills children for the actions of others. Something like that has no right to judge me, since I’m better than it. It’s always cute when a Christian tries this argument since any other theist could say the same to them. “Oh, you just don’t want Allah to exist”. Yep, it doesn’t sound impressive from anyone who has no evidence for their nonsense. As for using “illogical conclusions”, nope, we don’t. But you are welcome to present some if you want. It seems that you only try to make baseless claims to attack strawmen atheists since you can’t address a real one. We also look at the topic very closely. Atheists are often far more educated in religion than Christians are.

    That Christians themselves can’t agree on what a “godly life” is shows that there is no reason to think that any of you have some truth. Indeed, what we see is that none of you can do what is promised by JC for his followers to do (Mark 16, John 14, James 5), so you all come off as frauds.

    You use a familiar excuse for your god, trying to claim that if it did miracles, non-christians would still disbelieve in it. That is not the case, but it is convenient for Christians to claim since they know that their god does nothing at all. And its always fun to see Christians contradict each other when it comes to miracles being done. Some claim that they are and some claim that they aren’t. Which Christians are lying in this case? If I witnessed a miracle, say an amputee getting back their limb or a quadriplegic suddenly getting out of their chair, I’d believe in a god. You’d have to show me which god. And I still might not worship it.

    The claim of “spiritual discernment” is just one more excuse for this god’s impotence and evident lack of existence. It’s also quite funny to read knowing how Romans 9 reads since this poor god is so petty that it picks and chooses who can accept it and then damns those it doesn’t choose for no fault of their own.
    Again, you try to imagine yourself so much better than everyone else. Sorry, you aren’t. I have plenty of purpose, and no god and no Tom needed. Your poor god, per your bible, is the source of “grief” in this world. I am glad I don’t have to hate this world so much that I have to have a fantasy about another one. Making this world better is all the purpose I need. I am not a coward who has to imagine that getting out of here is the only answer. Your “sorrow” is only for yourself, that you don’t get the external validation you crave.

    I’m going to guess that this post will never see the light of day, no matter how much you claim to love to hear our reasons. Real atheists seem to terrify theists since we show that your threats and claims aren’t impressive. I’m not afraid of your god or you, Tom. The threat of some hell, again something Christians don’t agree on, isn’t scary. It’s a childish fantasy of people who can’t accept others don’t agree with them.

    You say to pray for us atheists and “nones”. So, when your prayers that we agree with you don’t work, why is that? Does your god love us honest non-christians? Does your god hate you and your request? Or does your god just not exist?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the long response. I will use some of what you say for the next couple of blogs. Obviously, I don’t agree with much of what you say, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect your right to say it.
      I’ll start here with the similar claims of religions. Why should we choose one over the other? I think some similarities exist because they draw from the same experience. God puts a degree of understanding of right and wrong and of eternal existence in people’s consciousness. When it comes down to which religion has the fuller truth about God and eternity within it, you would have to recognize that all world religions minus one teach a moral path to self-justification. Personal experience should tell you that this isn’t going to work unless God’s standards are very loose.
      Christianity teaches that every person falls short of God’s standard and we are dependent on an event in history that God has done on our behalf. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is that event. That event is necessary because the world is far from what God created it to be. Humans in particular have been changed. We struggle with faith in God, as the 1 Corinthians quote states, and we find sinfulness very attractive. You speak of evidence. I think there is a great deal of evidence for Jesus’ life and resurrection. That comes in the form of fulfilled prophecy about Jesus, the eruption of Christianity in the 1st century despite being illegal, persecuted and non-violent, and the experience of God that many have to this day.
      The substitute for believing in the existence of God takes more faith, in my opinion, and I will address the rest of your response on this topic either here or in the blog.
      I am interested in your statement about praying for help to not lose your faith. This sounds very personal. The reason why you didn’t find help could be explained in many ways, but I would need more details. If you would be willing to email me about this time in your life, I would be interested. pastor@redeemerchurch.org

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