I don’t honestly know when I realized that I did not believe God was real. I was about 15 years old when I became dismissive toward my Catholic faith.
A few years later, when I learned what an agnostic was, I jumped on that because it saved me from being labeled an atheist. And it was mostly true. I didn’t know if God was real.
That was approximately 60 years ago. I can now say that I am convinced God is not real. Because of that, I can also dump angels, saints, devils, heaven, hell, eternal life, and even the handy trope, there must be something.
I was reading Greta Christina’s “Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Believe in God.” Since my reasons (and experience) are not identical to hers, I decided to post my five reasons. That’s enough.
- As George Carlin said, I tried to believe in God. For many years I tried. It was hit and miss. Eventually, I immersed myself in Catholic religious practice, after I had previously tried several Protestant denominations. They seemed shallow and superficial. I did it all: Church attendance, ministries, leadership, Bible studies, fasting, lots of extra praying, and much more. I envied believers. So did Thomas Merton as he explained in his autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain. I considered the thinking and philosophies of eastern religions. I prayed to God to cure my unbelief. I said the Apostles Creed (aka the profession of faith) as often as I thought of it. I wanted God to be real. I wanted to believe it. I eventually wrote an analogy to reflect my experience and the eventual outcome (The Man in the Room). I tried everything. Nothing worked.
- The Problem of Evil is a big deal often ignored or dismissed by believers. Is it denial? Too much cognitive dissonance? The abundance of evil in the world and universe creates conceptual problems for us about God. It means that God doesn’t care, doesn’t know, or cannot fix it. Of course, we’ve all heard, “God works in mysterious ways.” I suppose some sort of deist is possible for me, but I still say the more reasonable explanation is that there is no god or creator to step up and take responsibility.
- The existence of any kind of God is less logical than ghosts, tooth fairies, Santa Claus, or Leprechauns. God fails every logic test. All attempts to explain anything about any god’s existence results in mental tap dancing. I might as well believe all the aforementioned myths exist along with the thousands of named gods we’ve created throughout and before history.
- It does not work for me to say, “I am. Therefore, God must be.” The lack of evidence of God’s reality or existence is overwhelming. Unless it is the Sun, a biblical golden calf, or something more than a burning bush, I see no god, hear no god, taste no god, feel no god, and I’ve no idea what a god might smell like.
- Along with evil, there is much good in the world. I’m uncertain if that applies to the universe. People are quick to credit God for good stuff. I wanted there to be a good God. If God is no good, forget it. Love is good. So, they say God is love. Health is good. So, they claim God heals. Not dying and life everlasting are good, as is staying out of eternal damnation. So, they play the God card. The very fact that I wanted there to be a God who met my requirements and did as I asked contributed to my eventual disbelief. When I looked around, everyone else was doing the same thing. Creating their God in their image.
I hope that clears everything up.