When no man can say with absolute certainty that God does or does not exist

In this world many people can be found who are convinced that there is a god or even is The God whilst others are seriously totally convinced there is no divine Creator or a god.

For that last bit, there being a god or gods they better should listen very carefully to people in the world who call several artists or sports vedettes their god. The word “god” standing for a high or important person or for an idol has been used in that way for ages.

For ages there also have been people who followed their guts or inner feeling and who were aware that there must be a Higher Supreme Being that was the Cause of everything. Opposite them there always have been people keen to argue about that “existence”. A very well known figure of such opposers is the atheist Richard Dawkins who is determined to sweep the world of it so called “stifling delusions of God”.

And by that, of course, he means a supernatural, anthropomorphized, personal God. {“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins}

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Clinton Richard Dawkins in 2010

According to that British evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and popular-science writer, there are enough arguments against the watchmaker analogy, or the argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. He describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker, in that reproduction, mutation, and selection are unguided by any designer. In The God Delusion (2006), Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion.

What Dawkins and the gang seem to be assuming is that the following questions are either senseless or not to be taken seriously: 

 ‘Is the Judeo-Christian god the true God?’
‘Is any particular god the true God’
‘Is any particular conception of deity adequate to the divine reality?

The idea, then, is that all candidates for deity are in the same logical boat. Nothing could be divine. Since all theistic religions are false, there is no live question as to which such religion is true. It is not as if there is a divine reality and that some religions are more adequate to it than others. One could not say, for example, that Judaism is somewhat adequate to the divine reality, Christianity more adequate, and Buddhism not at all adequate. There just is no divine reality. There is nothing of a spiritual nature beyond the human horizon.  There is no Mind beyond finite mind.  Man is the measure.

That is the atheist’s deepest conviction.  It seems so obvious to him that he cannot begin to genuinely doubt it, nor can he understand how anyone could genuinely believe the opposite. {“Some of Us Just Go One God Further”}

Lots of atheists do forget that they too have a belief or faith like others may have a belief in spagetti-monsters,transferring souls, incarnations, torturing demons, extra-terrestrial beings, gods or a god or belief in The God. Though we should be aware that even those who say there is no God often have doubt about a possible godhead or about how everything came into being.

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Richard Dawkins with Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury back in 2012. Image Credit: Telegraph UK

Richard Dawkins has said that he cannot say with absolute certainty that God does not exist, but he then turns around and says “no” to God, living as an atheist as though he is absolutely certain God does not exist. This is quite contrary to reason. If there’s even a low probability that God exists, then shouldn’t Dawkins err on the side of the optimistic and search out the one true living God? Living as though God doesn’t exist is a way of saying,

“I don’t know with absolute certainty but I’ll live like it anyway.”

Is this not an illogical position to take?

Yes, Richard Dawkins and all atheists live by faith in that improbability of which Dawkins speaks: they can’t know with unshakable conviction that God doesn’t exist, but they’re willing to live life without God regardless. They deny that small probability of God’s existence (as he claims).

If atheists can live like this, then what makes Christians irrational should they choose to believe in God in the absence of absolute certainty, despite the possibility that there is no God — and despite the small probability (Dawkins’s words) that there is a God? {Small Probabilities, Big Decisions: Richard Dawkins and Empirical Evidence for God’s Existence}

We can question how much a person needs a belief in what and in something. And what sort of belief does one have to have?

Chris Lansdown writes

if a man is for some reason limited in that he’s not capable of forming a belief in God, it is not an interesting property that he doesn’t believe in God. It is uninteresting for the same reason that we don’t count a man who can’t do even 1 pushup as as physically unfit if the reason he can’t do a pushup is because he has no arms. An armless man who can run a sub-6 minute mile is still quite physically fit. And further, his being fit but unable to do pushups tells us nothing about a couch potato with arms who cannot do pushups because he does nothing all day long. In the same way, if a man has a cognitive defect where he cannot form a belief in God he is unfortunate, but he has nothing whatever in common with someone who can form a belief in God but has formed the belief that God does not exist instead. {Lack of Belief in Belief-Capable Entities}

Each individual has to make his or her own choice, all the time about different matters choosing what to believe

further writes

As you may recall, Antony Flew first proposed changing the definition of atheism to lack of belief, from its traditional definition of “one who denies God,” in his 1976 essay, The Presumption of Atheism. By the way, you can see the traditional definition in the word’s etymology: atheos-ism, atheos meaning without God, and the -ism suffix denoting a belief system. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong in changing a definition – all definitions are just an agreement that a given symbol (in this case a word) should be used to point to a particular referent. That is, any word can mean anything we all agree it does. And if a person is willing to define their terms, they can define any word to mean anything they want, so long as they stick to their own definition within the essay or book or whatever where they defined the term. Words cannot be defined correctly or incorrectly. But they can be defined usefully or uselessly. And more to the point here, they can be defined in good faith — cleary, to aid mutual understanding — or in bad faith — cleverly, in order to disguise a rhetorical trick. {The Dishonesty of Defining Atheism as Lack of Belief in God}

That is the reason why people always should remember that an atheist is not without belief because he or she may believe in totally different things than you and me or some one else. An atheist does not have to have lack-of-belief, though many may say so. Often in ordinary life we assume things don’t exist until we have evidence for them or some one gives proof of such existing.

In science there may be many who go looking for answers on questions about matters they assume could be there.

scientific discovery is entirely predicated on the idea that you shouldn’t discount things until you’ve ruled them out. It’s also the entire reason you should control your experiments. You can’t just assume that other variables besides the one you’re studying had no effect on the outcome of your experiment unless somebody proves it to you, you’re supposed to assume that other variables do affect the outcome until you’ve proven that they don’t. This principle is literally backwards from good science. {The Dishonesty of Defining Atheism as Lack of Belief in God}

argues Lansdown. According to him lack-of-belief atheists their terminology varies, of course, but they will claim that God is in a special category which requires the default assumption of non-existence, unlike most of life. He says

In my experience they won’t give any reason for why God is in this special category, presumably because there is none. But I think I know why they do it. {The Dishonesty of Defining Atheism as Lack of Belief in God}

The special category of things they believe God is in is, roughly, the category of controversial ideas. Lack-of-belief atheists—all the ones I’ve met, at least—are remarkably unable to consider ideas they don’t believe. {The Dishonesty of Defining Atheism as Lack of Belief in God}

We think he has good reason to believe that there are incredible similarities between lack-of-belief atheism and Christian fundamentalism. In a way they are both fundamentalists who want to exclude other ways of thinking. Both groups also do not want to take enough time to study the Book of books the Bible in which many answers can be found. Though their main interest is  and stays in the dogmatic teachings of human beings, who often followed their own dreams, fantasies, ideas or philosophical wanderings.

Lack of Belief Atheists (who I will refer to from here on out as LoBsters) love to say that “atheism is just a lack of belief, that’s it, nothing else” but do not consider that the alternatives to God not existing entail more than just the proposition that God exists.{The Irrationality of Lack of Belief Atheism}

Great problem with such atheists or people against believers in God is that they often look at the discrepancies that can be found in writings of such people that claim to be believers in God or who claim to be theologians. Often by such persons we can also see they have a different God-concept.

For those who want to believe in a Divine Creator God it is important that they learn the Words of That Supreme Spirit Being Who dictated His Words to be recorded in the book of books the Bible. That assembly of set-apart works should be our guide to come to know the Most High.

Theist-atheist dialog is made difficult by a certain asymmetry: whereas a sophisticated living faith involves a certain amount of purifying doubt, together with a groping beyond images and pat conceptualizations toward a transcendent reality, one misses any corresponding doubt or tentativeness on the part of sophisticated atheists. Dawkins and Co. seem so cocksure of their position. For them, theism is not a live option or existential possibility.  This is obvious from their mocking comparisons of God to a celestial teapot, flying spaghetti monster, and the like. 

For sophisticated theists, however, atheism is a live option. The existence of this asymmetry makes one wonder whether any productive dialog with atheists is possible. {“Some of Us Just Go One God Further”}

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Preceding

Existence and difficult recognition of the Supreme Deity Being

High recognitions . . . . All of the Light of the Universe

About the Cosmological argument for proving that there is a Creative Deity

Consciously or unconsciously forming a world-view and choosing to believe or not to believe in God

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Additional reading

  1. This month’s survey question: Does God Exist?
  2. A Start for looking at the unseen and the treasure to look forward to
  3. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  4. Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking
  5. Can a scientist believe in God
  6. Gates to different belief systems in this world
  7. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  8. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  9. How importance on religion is placed
  10. Religion power and authority for mankind
  11. Non-practicing Christians widely believing in a god or higher power
  12. A world with or without religion
  13. Meet the atheist … who believes in God
  14. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  15. Have you also been deceived
  16. Blinkered minds
  17. The post-Christian world
  18. Bible ownership and Bible knowledge slumped
  19. Do you purpose that your mouth will not transgress
  20. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  21. Elohim, Mar-Yah showing His wonders

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Further related articles

  1. What Are Some Problems of Atheism?
  2. An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview
  3. Existence of God Testimony by a Western Scientist The universe cannot create itself, then create the laws that control its existence.
  4. The Value of Belief Systems
  5. Atheists are “Brights”?
  6. The Dawkins Delusion
  7. Richard Dawkins & Brian Greene
  8. The Dawkins Delusion
  9. Why Should We Believe in God? How Do We Believe in God?
  10. Faith to believe in God
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3 gedachten over “When no man can say with absolute certainty that God does or does not exist

  1. You’re right that some atheists oversimplify the issue by calling it just a “lack of belief” (Lobsters… ha!) Atheists get dogmatic, or spend too much time picking on every little text contradiction which annoys me. While, I consider myself to be an atheist, I take a nuanced position… the christian god I was raised to believe probably doesn’t exist, the universe is a massive, wonderful, and mystical place… Mere humans must grapple with these big questions, and I see “god” as a manifestation of our attempt to understand it all.

    Thanks for the pingback on my blog! Great piece.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for your reaction.

      Perhaps you have very good reason “not to believe in the god you were raised to believe in” because it could have been not the God of gods. For example when you were brought up as a Catholic or in a church-group that took Jesus as their god, you probably learned to worship that false god and did not come to recognise the Only One True God above all gods, Jehovah. How could you come to believe in an all-knowing most almighty God when Jesus did not know everything and could not do everything? The same, we believe, could it have been very frustrating when you believed Jesus to be God, that you encountered so many contradictions in Scripture, which would be no contradictions at all when you would have been brought up in the biblical Truth or teaching of there only being One eternal Spirit Being God.

      As you rightly point out “God” is also a manifestation of our attempt to understand it all, but also of our being here, Him being the Giver of life and thought.

      Like

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