Why I Still Believe in God

Why I Still Believe in God September 9, 2014

Religious Spectrum Andy Gill Patheos

I still believe in God.

Hesitantly.

With many theistic believers proposing that God exists because our world is unexplainable we’re finding the more we explain the less impact that argument has. I want to admit upfront that this could very well have more to do with my personal needs and given heritage than it does objectively given facts. There is some what of an understanding that my given context has handed me my language, family, geographical location, and therefore my overall epistemology which has greatly impacted my set of beliefs.

Perhaps I am willfully making a subconscious attempt at managing my fear of mortality by continuously deceiving myself into believing God not only exists but furthermore that God is relational and benevolent. Some call this, “terror management,” a theory that “proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable” therefore producing terror forcing one to buy into just about anything that would promise them an escape from death and a continuing life of immortality [1].

I would say there is the strong possibility that Sam Harris was right and that we are nothing but “biological puppets” living under an illusion of free will. I’m entertaining the thought that using a basic understanding of physics there is little place for volitional control coming from us as homo sapiens, or rather biological puppets, made up of grey matter that is governed by laws of physics.

Maybe Calvin’s theory of predestination did have some validity to it.

But what I’m saying is that those of us who believe in God believe because there are thousands of factors that are happening, or have happened, to us daily in which we are unaware and unconscious of. I’m not speaking about mystical happenings, but regular everyday happenings that go unnoticed. These factors effect our actions, thoughts, and once again one’s given epistemology.

I admit, I’m treading in dangerous waters combining neurological science, philosophical thought, and a vague [mis]understanding of the nature and character of God. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it any ways: human academia can many times seem to be nothing short of intellectual derelict.

I’m acknowledging that I have, intentionally and unintentionally, been manipulated by others and the laws of physics, and with that I am making as much of a valiant effort [in vain or not] to objectively reason my given circumstances and belief in God.

Putting it plainly: I believe in God because of forces that are outside of my control, although I will still attempt to take and/or have some sense of control.

To me this is a paradoxical means of thinking.

Because, why would any rational thinker believe in God? More specifically why would any rational thinker believe in a Christian “theistic” version of God?

Think about it (because Christian’s usually don’t) if God is omnipotent, omnipresent, possessing dominion and control over everything: ISIS, wrought governments, “Mark Driscoll’s,” greedy billionaires, children dying of dysentery or a lack of basic necessities, etc… Then was not Jesus, a person who was against all of the listed above, a direct negation of His father? 

With this, one can see why Nietzsche said this:

“I regard Christianity as the most fatal seductive lie that has yet existed, as the great unholy lie: I draw out the after-growth and sprouting of its ideal from beneath every form of disguise, I reject every compromise position with respect to it—I force war against it [3].” – Nietzsche

This is not even mentioning the detriment of religious institutions, I agree with many atheists and agnostics alike that it is utterly ridiculous to remark that without God there is no morality. The irony and level of ignorance that comes with religious individuals accusing atheists of immorality is palpable, embarrassing, and shameful [3].

But still yet, I believe in God.

Yes, I have hope for a better future filled with equal opportunity, free from a patriarchal oligarchy where justice is had and the presence of Jesus negates the omnipotence of “God.” The only explanation I have is through my acknowledging that my belief in God is seemingly a baseless-fallacy. Perhaps, as Richard Dawkins might call it, “a God-Delusion.”

But I personally like to think of it as a paradox encompassed with hope in which has spurred me forward to actively creating a better world.

[If you liked this post head over and check out my Facebook page and give it a “like” to follow along with future posts]

[1] With over 400 empirical studies showing this so-called theory to be true, it is becoming less of a speculation and more of socially accepted given. If you haven’t seen it already here’s a TedTalk that’ll give you a quick rundown.

[2] Nietzsche, The Will to Power, 117 (Book II, #200).

[3] Not to mention studies in which have shown atheists are far more moral than Christians these days.

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  • ksed11

    With many theistic believers proposing that God exists because our world is unexplainable we’re finding the more we explain the less impact that argument has…..

    The argument for the universe’s existence based on its inexplicability on atheistic naturalism isn’t a simple pointing to some detail here or there within the universe. Rather it attempts to answer the question, “why does this contingent universe exist rather than nothing at all?” The entire universe itself requires an explanation for its existence. Since the universe represents the totality of space- time- energy, we have here a piece of evidence that points to some entity beyond the universe that must be the universe’s explanation for being.

    the strong possibility that Sam Harris was right and that we are nothing but “biological puppets” living under an illusion of free will.

    Justice depends on moral responsibility, which in turn depends on the ability to choose among alternatives. Choosing requires creaturely freedom. There would be no point in trying to convince others to increase social justice in the world if they are biologically determined not to do so. If people are morally responsible, then it seems that they exercise free will.

    why would any rational thinker believe in a Christian “theistic” God?

    And why would any atheist think that he is rational? Under atheistic naturalism, rationality itself is a highly dubious outcome of the evolutionary process. . On the other hand, rational beings would not be unexpected if a rational God wanted to create certain creatures.

    I agree with many atheists and agnostics alike that it is utterly ridiculous to remark that without God there is no morality. The irony and level of ignorance that comes with religious individuals accusing atheists of immorality is palpable, embarrassing, and shameful

    It is true that many atheists are more moral than religionists. This , however, does not answer the question of the provenance objective morality. The claim “without God there is no morality” is a claim of moral ontology, i.e. what provides the sufficient foundation for morality to exist. This claim contrasts
    with the claim that one must believe in God in order to be moral, which is
    patently false. So one ought to be sure to frame the question correctly.

  • Andrew

    I disagree with the morality concept you talk about with atheists but this was an interesting read.

  • I hear that, and it’s fair to disagree with for sure.