Some people berated me yesterday, after my otherwise trenchant post in the wake of the Paris bombings, when they thought that I tacked on an observation about how there is no God. They felt it was gratuitous and unnecessary.
But it wasn’t gratuitous and unnecessary. It was the whole point. “Allahu Akbar” is not true. God is not Great. God is not at all. That part wasn’t an aside to yesterday’s post. It was the point of yesterday’s post.
- People need to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to belief in God.
I recognize that belief in God provides a great many people a great degree of comfort. And even if I could, I would be very hesitant to remove that source of comfort from anyone.
But anyone who has ever been to a personal growth workshop knows that people are constantly being advised to step out of their comfort zone. They are advised that no growth can occur while in your comfort zone.
And the problem is this: as comforting as belief in God is, it’s still a grand delusion. It may be a beautiful delusion, but it’s still a delusion. Perhaps what people need to be is massively uncomfortable for a long period of time, so that they can appreciate the magnitude of the delusion.
And the delusion takes many unfortunate forms, such as the belief – and I don’t really know how else to phrase this – of these motherfuckers in Paris, who really believe that there is a God anywhere who would approve of, bless, or reward their slaughter of innocent civilians.
- The only proof of God’s Existence is the belief in God. No other proof exists.
The only “proof” of God’s existence is the number of people who seem to have acquired their belief in God – a belief with which they are not “born,” but which they really do have to acquire along the way. Other than people’s belief in God, there is no independent verifiable proof that God, several Gods, many Gods, a cornucopia of Gods, or any God exists. “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence,” as Hitchen’s Razor prognosticates.
As anyone who has ever argued with a believer knows, the believer will always assert that you have to begin with faith.
Because there is nothing else that would lead you to a belief in God than beginning with faith.
Again, I recognize how comforting having faith is, but the problem with faith is that, by definition, it is belief without evidence.
- I would rather know the Truth than be Deluded.
If you believed – because some Shaman had prognosticated – that you were going to live to be a thousand years old, whereas you actually had a case of terminal cancer that was going to end your life within six months, would the belief in the thousand years be comforting?
Of course! But it would also be a massive delusion.
I’d rather know what I’m facing: six months or so, and a clear time line to get my life in order before I die.
And so it is with existence, generally. I would rather know the truth than be deluded.
Now, before you philosophy students take me apart, I know that truth is relative and not absolute. There are, of course, degrees of truth and degrees of delusion. But belief in God is not a small delusion. It’s a massive delusion. In this, the 21st century, where we know so much about the Universe – it’s approximate size, scope, duration, and incomprehensible complexity – to believe in a sentient God who cares about each of us individually and will bring us to an afterlife that is bifurcated between absolute good and absolute bad, is just childish. I’m sorry, my friends, it’s just childish.
And it’s time that we all grow up.