For a very long time, I’ve wanted to put down the reasons why I don’t believe in god. The end result was pretty puerile the last time I tried. This time, I’ll try to put them down as best I can.
My perception of god was that he/she was an omnipotent and omniscient being, responsible for the creation of everything that exists, a higher power if you will. Yes, I was monotheistic despite being a Hindu, for I had always found the concept of multiple gods quite impossible to comprehend. I think the arguments against the presence of a demiurge would be on the same note, but I have never believed in one. The importance is on cause, i.e. god caused existence and was solely responsible for everything in it. God is one who is invested with goodness, morality, justice, benevolence, knowledge, objectiveness and, of course, power. All the definitions I have come across cover all or most of these qualities, and are, I think, fundamentally flawed.
By resorting to causality, we neglect the one basic question. We say god created everything, but conveniently do not ask for the one cause, the cause of god. (Or, if you would like to go with the explanation that the devil created everything when god wasn’t looking, you can, its all the bloody same except for the fact that now you have to believe in both a god and a red dude with horns and a pointy tail.) Every question about existence inexorably leads to the first cause, which we take for granted. Here I’d like to say that I believe that the macrocosm exists because of itself (insert big bang theory here). My logic isn’t any different now is it? In both cases, something is said to be the cause of its own existence, and it is. Sure, you could counter that by saying that if certain fundamental quantities and objects were just a little bit different, nothing would exist. You would be right on that account, and you would also be ignoring the probability of these fundamental quantities being, well, not different from what they are now. We can assign a value to that probability if we knew exactly how many variables we were talking about, but since we don’t, let’s just stop at the place where we become aware of such a probability. Maybe if we thought hard enough, we would arrive at the conclusion that everything exists here, just as it did not exist (because of the difference in the aforesaid fundamental quantities) in a whole bloody lot of other random occurrences like the one which started this, let us call it, universe. Or, maybe, there are other planes of existence where things are different, and that we haven’t quite broken through to, yet. I’d like to suggest that you read Dr. Corey G Washington’s spark plug analogy – it’s not very comprehensive, but it explains quite a bit.
The above argument brooks yet another one, that of complexity which, in my opinion, is pretty easy to counter. It’s fairly easy to look at the complexities of occurrences and opine that there is some greater power at work. But hey, the laws of physics are mighty complex, and explain what goes on. The anomalies in them merely assert the fact that we haven’t yet begun to unravel what goes on around us, and also serve to make the laws more comprehensive by adding on to them. Oh, and if you’re looking for complex, try researching Brownian motion, that’ll tell you how something that seems so very simple can actually be bloody complex!
But then again, if there was no god, then there wouldn’t be any objective values and only relativity to define the concepts of good and evil. Well, what’s wrong with that? I completely agree! There are no objective values because everything is tainted by thought processes and emotions. It all comes down to evolution and not some higher power who etches morals in stone. I mean sure, you could counter that statement with something like ‘what about the people who go around raping minors and torturing innocent people?’ Well, clearly, the person in question does not think it wrong, so the absolute values notion lies shattered, does it not? Even if the person knows it’s wrong and cannot help it, it doesn’t prove the existence of objective moral values. The act is condemned and deemed shocking because it appeals to human emotions and is also against any kind of social norm, not any sort of objective bullshit that drives us all to act nice.
Finally we come to the human factor. I think every human being has a void inside which he/she tries to fill up with whatever suits him/her. It is always a good feeling to know that there’s someone watching out for you and who’ll correct you if you’re wrong, every step of the way; someone you can count on, every minute of every day, someone you can go to, and more importantly, someone to aspire towards. No I’m not saying we all want to be like ‘god’, I’m just saying that we have this notion of a perfect person in our head, which we aspire to attain unsuccessfully. I believe it’s this notion that took the shape of a higher power, this and the fact that we are obsessed with creating stuff.
Do you think that if there really was a divine being, omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, causing the existence of everything as we know it, invested with objective moral values, and who brings about justice, then things would be the way they are today? Do you not think that if such a being were to create something, it would be perfect and not riddled with the flaws that make up our world? Would such a being even need to intervene to keep things in balance? And, pray tell, how would a being that was both all-merciful and who also brought about justice treat someone who is damnably guilty? By forgiving them? Or by letting them burn in the fires of hell till kingdom come?
On thinking about it, I thought it would be prudent to be an agnostic, because I don’t think anyone will ever have any definitive proof. Well I don’t think it can be proved that god does not exist, because other than cognition, there is no other way to go about it, and someone or the other will always argue against this proof. So, throwing prudence to the winds, I became an atheist, because that is what my logic told me, and that is what it still tells me now.