Thursday, July 15, 2010


As an atheist, one is often challenged by the theists to prove there is no God.

It’s a question cleverly designed to elicit the only possible response, which is “No, I can’t”.

All intelligent people realise that you cannot disprove a negative. There is no known way for me to prove that fairies or unicorns don’t exist either.

However, the now famous “flying spaghetti monster” argument, is too easily dismissed by the theists who desperately cling to the “You can’t prove God doesn't exist” line.

So, I thought about the problem another way.

Theists are clearly choosing to believe in a God, and not flying spaghetti monsters (in the main). This implies that they’ve made some sort of discriminating decision in favour of their silent and invisible God.

They have in fact decided it is necessary for their God to exist and be a part of their lives.

So rather than try and argue whether God does or doesn’t exist, I have decided to attempt to prove that a decision to have a God in your life is simply of no benefit, and hence completely unnecessary. As unnecessary as believing in a flying spaghetti monster or fairies.

So how does one argue God is not necessary (another negative)? I’ll first need to determine all the reasons theists use to decide God is necessary, and then argue my case to the contrary.

In doing this, I have utilised my own knowledge of theism, coming from a childhood Australian Catholic background. I have some understanding of the other major religious traditions; however it is very basic in comparison to Christianity. Hence I will ask you to excuse the constant references to the Christian Bible and practices. It is not that I am singling their God out as the only unnecessary one; I just know more about how he is supposed to operate than the others.

I have excluded a few reasons which are unarguable because they actually aren't decisions; e.g. because my parents do, because my country is an Islamic state. If that is why you follow (not chose) a God, good luck to you. You could have just as easily been an atheist on the same grounds.

I may have missed an important reason that you think God is necessary. If so, I will be glad to amend this thesis to include it (subject to the test of logic as above). Just leave your reason(s) in the comments here.

With that in mind, the reasons I came up with for God being necessary in someone’s life are:
To provide a moral code
So you can go to heaven or stay out of hell
· Someone to forgive your sins
· To help with earthly problems
· To explain the mysteries of the universe
· To explain why things happen to us personally
· Someone to talk to

I’ll be tackling each one of these in depth (follow the links) and in the spirit of philosophical debate, invite your comment and counter arguments.

You can save yourself the trouble of warning me of my eternal damnation though. I’m not the least bit afraid and will be forced to respond with ridicule of your intellectual consciousness for the amusement of my atheist buddies. So keep it professional, and I will too.


  1. I was also brought up as a Catholic but have also sought out other religions i.e. other Christian religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. I have read a little of the history of Islam and the Jewish faith, as well as the Hari Krisna's and other Indian sects.In fact,I was ordained into the Japanese Buddhist Soto Tradition of Buddhism and although I am no longer living in a monastry, and do not attend meetings or meditation sittings, I would describe myself as a person who practices "engaged Buddhism" or "Buddhism in action".
    Firstly I think we need to determine what we each mean by believing in God.I certainly do not believe in an individual called God who judges and condemns and then sends his only son to earth to tell us that he loves us.A vengeful God who bullies and punishes is not loving his children and I find this notion contradictory.
    However, I do feel that we are not alone and that there are entities in many realms which are good and evil. An elderly aunt once suggested to me that perhaps God is a word which came from good and the Devil is derived from evil.It makes sense to me.Many people are of the opinion that the ancients were in tune with nature and all of the energies so I can see how that might have tried to given them names.I certainly energies and so do most people. We all the the feeling of walking in on an unpleasant situation;"you could have cut the air with a knife".
    My view is that a faith in something whether it be God or the Moon is helpful in times of trouble.

  2. Thank you for being the first to comment here Linda.
    From your tradition of Zen Buddhism I assume you agree that there is no "god", no "powerful intelligent universal force", no soul, no eternal heaven or hell.
    As for entities in many realms, that's not really the subject of my blog, so I'll leave them alone.
    Reason 4 deals with why I don't think faith in a God (the same would apply for other silent and invisible entities, or natural phenomena like the moon)actually provides any practical help to anyone. Just because it makes you feel better is not really solving the problem.

    Praying to invisible and silent entities, physcial energies, or natural phenomena (like the moon), is 99% futile (the 1% is the accidental chance you'll get what you pray for anyway), somewhat illogical and possibly harmful to your mental health.
    I believe we humans should use our intellect and the intellect of our fellow beings to solve our problems and to help others with theirs.
    If you want an example of why I think this faith based behaviour is dangerous, look no further than the numerous examples of parents who watch their children die of treatable illnesses, while they pray to God (or the moon) to heal them instead of going to a hospital (again, if the Pope finds hospitals necessary, what's the point of you praying).
    Feeling "energies" in nature or in a room does not require a God, nor for anyone to worship them.
    Let's just accept what we feel (or investigate it logically) and move on.
    The Buddha advised his students not to take anything he taught on faith but to test it for themselves against the truth of personal experience. I think that's good advice for everything "spiritual".

  3. Seems you have a choice. There was something that was eternal.
    If there was always nothing, then there would still be nothing.

    What is your eternal thing? A gas. The latest is gravity. Or maybe a molecule.

    And then the question is, where did that come from. And if there was an eternal thing that was there for ever, then why did it decide to to do something?

    Once we have that answer, then there will be an answer. Until then, life itself demands there was life.

  4. Thanks for your comment donsands, although I'm at a loss to follow what you are saying.

    My blog is about why a God is not necessary, do you think one is? If so, why?

  5. I like the concept of your blog. Two things (so far) - 1) under reason 5: "Well smarty, who started the Big Bang?" I was driving home from school (I'm a high school math teacher) and saw a church sign that said "Who lit the fuse for the big bang?" I immediately began laughing and then quickly became angry that another stupid group of religious nutjobs posted this. It is unethical to try and sway the uninformed with a question as illogical as this. 2) also in reason 5: are you sure you want to state that Evolution is a theory stating how humans were created? I believe it is more accurate to bring abiogenesis into the mix, seeing how people like Jack Stosak (spelling) is making major breakthroughs in these studies.

  6. Thanks for the comment DiBattista.
    I obviously share your concern regarding the Church's manipulation of the intellectually challenged.

    I may have misunderstood but it appears to me that abiogenesis deals with how life may spontaneously be created from chemical reactions, where I was really referring to the difference in views that humans evolved rather than were placed here by God.

    I agree that abiogenesis is a convincing hypothesis for the "genesis" of all life on earth, but without evolutionary theory, we'd still not have a counter-argument to the "Adam and Eve-ists", about human origin.