Faith No More

Aug 24, 2015

Sebastien Thibault

By Mario Quadracci

I could tell you how I morphed from a young Catholic boy, sweet and epistemically snug in my first communion cardigan, to a middle-aged skeptic comfortable with existential uncertainty. I could describe how the death of a child rattled my preconceptions about an all-good creator and led me on a spiritual search through theology, philosophy, biology, cosmology, mythology and history, ultimately leading to a rejection of all things supernatural.

I could try to convince you that we reside in a purely naturalistic universe. I could attempt to demonstrate the human authorship of all of history’s gods and the holy books ascribed to them. I could labor to show the historical, scientific and logical fallacies of many of religion’s claims. All of this could be done.

But these aren’t the reasons I abandoned my belief in God. The reason has nothing to do with the substantial evidence for the nonexistence of a deity. They have only solidified my position. The reason I’m an atheist has everything to do with the entire lack of evidence for a god.

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13 comments on “Faith No More

  • The absence of Jesus’ footprints on the water doesn’t prove He didn’t walk on it ! There again the absence of Yeti footprints among the Kew Gardens flowerbeds, nor any reported sightings, or other trace is highly suggestive that Yetis don’t walk among Kew Gardens flower beds.

    Isn’t it strange that the universe appears to work in exactly the same way that you would expect as if it were obeying the laws of physics ? No deity required, thank you.

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  • There is no evidence that Pegasus exists either. Why would anyone “believe” in the existence of a winged horse– even if I wish it were true? There is no evidence that anything in mythology exists… and there is no reason to believe that any of it is true no matter the particular story. Lack of evidence is all a rational person needs to dismiss nonsense– any god included.

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  • You can always fall back on probabilities. While they are not proof of a fact, they are indicative, and are used all over the world to make significant decisions. What are the odds of Pegasus, a winged horse flying around. What are the odds that an as yet undiscovered Yeti is walking Kew Gardens, or the Himalayas for that matter. What are the odds that the holy books of the world are all written by men, and not an infallible god, given all of their mistakes, contradictions, plagiarisms, atrocities, immorality and down right lies.

    What’s the probability that god, omniscient, omnipotent, not a sparrow falls, is controlling every quantum fluctuation in the universe. Or “God Light”, the cosmic switch flicker who set the things going with the appropriate constants, then waited 13 billions years for his chosen tribe to evolve. And with the alternative explanations, the Standard Model, Quantum theory and the entire collective scientific knowledge of humanity explaining almost everything, Ockham’s Razor disposes of the extra complication that god introduces.

    In the absence of any evidence that god exists, and given the extremely low statistical probability of the need for a god, I remain a skeptic, until the evidence changes. If my Australian native bottle brush bush in the front garden starts burning, and talking, I’ll let you know, but the probabilities…..

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  • Meanwhile in the legal systems of some cultures, faith-thinking persists!

    India’s Supreme Court has suspended an order of the Rajasthan high court banning santhara – the controversial Jain ritual of fasting unto death.

    Earlier this month, the high court had ruled that the voluntary religious practice of santhara was a form of suicide and, therefore, illegal.

    Jains had protested against the order, saying suicide was sin, whereas santhara was religion.

    On Monday, the top court said it would take up the issue for consideration.

    Legal experts say they expect the case to take several years to come to a conclusion.

    In the absence of evidence based reason, and with paid advocates, some issues take years to reach conclusions!

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  • Ryan
    Aug 26, 2015 at 12:33 am

    As a former Catholic and also from Wisconsin too, this was an interesting read.

    It seems the pope is venturing out of the Vatican cocoon – as least as far as the streets of Rome!
    Pope Francis pops out of Vatican to buy new glasses

    While the optician normally delivers new glasses to the Vatican, Pope Francis insisted on travelling to the shop in central Rome this time.

    Large crowds gathered outside the shop as he spent an hour inside, at the end of which he insisted on paying.

    Pope Francis has reportedly expressed regret at not being able to walk freely on Rome’s streets.

    The Pope was accompanied by an assistant, a bodyguard and several police officers on his visit.

    I was not aware of regular opticians providing “faith-blinkers”! 🙂

    While archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was often seen travelling on public transport or walking through the city.

    “I really liked to do that. In this sense, I feel a little penned in.”

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