I can’t deny that there’s a tiny, tiny chance that one of the other religions in the world is true. But there are four main reasons it’s logical to dismiss them all without spending the rest of my life trying to find out for sure:
1. Even with a basic understanding of just a few religions, we can be fairly sure that they developed to fill gaps in our knowledge and their existence can logically be explained by our need to assign agency. They are essentially superstitious stories that developed structure over time.
2. The stories demonstrate some common themes (invisible powers making things happen that we can’t explain, thinking outside of ourselves) yet have enough differences to show they don’t come from a unique external source.
3. On the 0.01% (or near) chance that the above is wrong and there are creator gods out there, it would be clear from what we have in front of us that there are natural explanations for everything here – that must be part of the ‘design’. It would also be clear from the mess of assorted religions that have developed that the gods don’t really care about sending a useful or even coherent message.
4. So many people have spent so much time dedicated to these questions and all of them have come to different conclusions. Either there is no truth, or the truth doesn’t need to be found.
When I read ‘s post, it occurred to me that not so long ago I could have written something much the same. Therefore, I thought it might help if I addressed her four main reasons.
1. Christianity stands out as unique, not as just another gap filler. One reason for that is that the Bible is not something men would have written unless God inspired them to do so. It does not flatter us, not at all, but it does tell us of our sins and our need for a savior.
As a historical figure, Jesus’ influence is unsurpassed. Given the claims made for Him in the New Testament, that’s no surprise, not if He is who He said He is. Given the affect Jesus and the Bible have had on Western Civilization and the rest of the world, no one can rightly call themselves well-educated unless they have carefully studied the Bible.
2. God is not unique, external source? The real problem with miracles is separating the “miracles” performed by charlatans and our over-active imaginations from those we can only attribute to God. Nothing of that sort is ever easy.
3. There are natural explanations for everything here? Actually, science doesn’t have answers for the most important questions. The Bible does.
- Why am I here?
- What is right and wrong?
- What brings me meaning
- What happens to a human being when I die?
Science does not have the tools to deal with those questions. Scientists are just human; they cannot experiment with God.
We can observe the miracle of birth. We can fret over the decay of death, but what happens to that spark — that soul — that made someone special to us? Where did it come from? Where has it gone?
4. The fact that different people come up with different answers for those four questions doesn’t mean that we should not seek the Truth. The fact that we come up different answers just means God did not make us with a cookie cutter. Yet if we don’t want to know the Truth, it does help if we do not look for it, and that is one of the answers we come up with.
If there is a God (I believe we can know something about Him through Jesus.), then we exist for His purposes, not our own. We are His creations. We did not create ourselves. So what are God’s purposes? If there is a God, how would we know? Would it not depend upon what He wants us to know? Would it not depend upon how He wants us to learn? The Bible provides some answers, but no one knows the mind of God.
What do we know? Soon after we begin to perceive it, we begin to comprehend Creation as beautiful, marvelously complex, and outrageously big. The notion someone made Creation is astounding. The notion that Creation just is — that it just happened — is absurd. Hence, Atheism is not a good answer.