The difficulty in debating whether or not “God” exists in any form (Allah, Jesus, Buddha ect….) is very difficult to take on. Even more difficult is the position that such a being does not exists. The arguments for God are typically from emotion and introspection rather than from any sort of empirical evidence. It is understandable that past generations needed something to fill in the void of knowledge that our highly overdeveloped frontal lobes have a constant need to accumulate. So ancient civilizations created these sky creatures to explain phenomena such as thunderstorms, earthquakes and anything else that did not make sense to them. As science emerged we became more informed about our surrounding world and had less of a need for the superstitions of the past. But just because a scientific breakthrough is made doesn’t mean that the entire world is immediately brought into the loop. Governments especially, utilized religion as a means of controlling the population. Many that would be willing to resist facing punishment in this life would be unlikely to disobey someone promising torture for eternity in the next life and so the meme of religion was carried on. It is used to justify horrible actions, explain away difficult topics to children and keep entire populations of people under control. Although science has no vendetta for the institution of religion, it appears to be attacking it simply because it’s findings often contradict the Bible. While religion tends to change slowly or often be very static, science tends to discard theories that are proven untrue in the place of theories that hold truer. But what does this have to do with the topic of the existence of God?
As many people before me, who are much more intelligent than I am will tell you, the topic of whether or not god exist is nearly an impossible question to tackle. You are being asked to disprove the existence of something that has absolutely no proof for its existence in the first place. If there is no real proof on either side then even to have someone win a formal debate on the topic would still stand to prove absolutely nothing. In cases like this I need to point out that it is important to understand that THE BURDEN OF PROOF RELIES SOLELY ON THE PERSON MAKING THE FANTASTIC OR OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM! I know that this is seen by many as a cop out, which is why I have agreed to this debate. My hope is that I will have an opportunity to field some questions. I might even possibly be proven wrong and come to find that Jesus is the one and only true God. It might be a powerful conversion story. All that I demand in order for this to happen though is to be shown evidence of God’s existence.
Unfortunately it seems that the majority of things that Christians consider evidence are passages from the Christian Bible. I spent this winter reading Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that demands a verdict. This was supposed to be the” tell all” book of empirical evidence to prove that God exist. The book spends about 120 pages pathetically trying to clear up the ever so clear discrepancies in Biblical passages. Then it spends another 500 pages or so citing the Bible as “empirical proof” of the validity of God’s existence. It seems that it failed McDowell’s logic that this is what is commonly referred to as circular reasoning.
Christians like to explain away Biblical inconsistencies by implying that since God is above human understanding that we don’t have the ability to see the bigger picture. Yet there are so many things in this world that are in such conflict with the type of God that the Christians try to present to the world. For example, if Christianity is the only true religion and the only true path to heaven, then what does God do about the millions of people that were born in regions of the world where Christianity will never even be heard of? Are those people doomed to hell simply through their geographical place of birth?
The countless biblical inconstancies are hard to reconcile as well. There are so many clearly violent and horrific acts in the Bible that it makes one wonder where the idea of a loving and forgiving God came from. If the Bible is proof of god’s existence then it would certainly be reasonable to assume that the god the Bible would prove to be real would certainly not be the god that the Christians are trying to present to us.
The facts remain that every religion, including one’s that were in existence before Christianity have similar types of myths. These range from creation and flood stories to virgin births and ressurections of their saviors. It seems that there is not much to set Christianity apart from other religions of the world, past or present.
I believe that religion can be of value to societies. It gives people with subpar intelligence the motivation to keep living, working and producing for their society. It has some vague moral values with a punisher that will be watching you even when no other person is. The idea that God is necessary for moral behavior is not necessarily true. The basis for what we refer to as moral behavior was developed through a meme as a means of survival.
One of the most important evolutions in man’s history was our ability and willingness at some point to come together and live in groups. This offered protection and safety. New rules had to be established though. It is unlikely that these rules were established by a council, or a meeting or a mythical book that was found. More than likely these rules were established through evolution. If you look at what we call moral behavior, it is nothing more than actions that make survival of a group more likely. If you don’t kill members of your own group, don’t sleep with their mates (adultery), don’t lie, do share your food, and protect your children then your group’s genes and your own have a much better chance of surviving into the next generation. A group of humans that did not adopt this sort of behavior would be more likely to be dispersed and die due to their significantly smaller numbers. There we have moral behavior without god.
So if that is true then we go to the ultimate question. Where did we come from? Christians have a clear answer. They say that god created us. Well considering the lack of sufficient evidence it is another claim that cannot be easily refuted. Christians figure that since science can’t seem to prove it, then that means their argument must hold up by design. All arguments for the creation of our world are ultimately flawed. The true difference between science and religion is that science is willing to say “this is our best theory, and we are willing to research it and change if need be” were as Christians tend to say “This is the truth, you are either with us or against us.”
If it can be proven that Jesus is the one true god, then I would have no choice but to follow him. Unfortunately all I have found in the followers of Jesus is fanaticism, a lack of willingness to seek knowledge or reason, hate, un-acceptance,name calling and bigotry. I understand that it is an exclusive club, but if you want to leave everyone out then you need to stop insisting that everyone comes in!