1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    USA
    Joined
    14 Jul '07
    Moves
    43012
    20 Nov '13 00:471 edit
    "Why Do Men Reject God?"

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being. They may have had a perverted sense of Who that Being is, but they were convinced that there is a Personal Power greater than man. Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable. That is why the psalmist declared: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The Hebrew word for “fool” suggests one who is not thinking rationally.

    Since unbelief is neither reasonable nor the norm, one cannot but wonder why some people become atheists. I am convinced, after reflecting upon the matter for many years, that religious disbelief does not result from logical conclusions based on well-researched data. Rather, generally speaking, emotional motivation of some sort is a primary causative factor.

    Consider the following case. In 1996, Judith Hayes, a senior writer for The American Rationalist, authored a caustic, atheistic tirade titled: In God We Trust: But Which One? In this treatise, Mrs. Hayes revealed two clues as to why she left the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) and became an atheist. As a youngster, she had a friend who was a Buddhist. Judith was very close to “Susan,” and she simply could not tolerate the idea that her friend, who did not accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, might be lost apart from the biblical redemptive system.

    So, rather than carefully examining the evidence to determine whether or not the claims of the Lord (as set forth in the New Testament record — see John 14:6; Acts 4:12) are true, she simply decided, on an emotional and reactionary basis, that Christianity could not be genuine. Eventually Judith married, but the relationship degenerated. Mrs. Hayes claims her husband was verbally abusive. Again, though, instead of considering the possibility that she might have been responsible for having made a bad choice in her marital selection, or that her husband decided on his own volition to be abusive (in direct violation of divine teaching — Ephesians 5:25ff), she blamed God for her disappointment.

    “How could I possibly have wound up married to a tyrant? Why had God forsaken me?,” she wrote (1996, p. 15). God did not forsake her. He honored her freedom of choice, and that of her husband as well. Human abuse of that freedom is not the Lord’s responsibility.

    The infidel William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was known principally for his skeptical poem, Invictus. As a youngster, Henley contracted tuberculosis, and had to have one foot amputated. He suffered much across the years and became quite bitter. He wrote: In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed. His disbelief, however, was emotional, not intellectual.

    The late Isaac Asimov once wrote: “Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time” (1982, pp. 6-10, emp. added).

    In one of his books, Aldous Huxley acknowledged that he had reasons for “not wanting the world to have a meaning.” He contended that the “philosophy of meaningless” was liberating. He confessed that the morality of theism interfered “with our sexual freedom” (1966, p. 19). This is hardly a valid argument for rejecting the vast array of evidence that testifies to the existence of a Supreme Being!

    Here is an important point. When men have motives for resisting faith in God, and when — out of personal prejudice — they are predisposed to reject the Creator, they become “ripe” for philosophical skepticism."
    (Wayne Jackson) https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/397-why-do-men-reject-god

    What are some of the other reasons for rejecting the possibility of a Supreme Being and accepting the consequences?
  2. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    20 Nov '13 04:48
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Why Do Men Reject God?"

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being. They may have had a perverted sense of Who that Being is, but they were convinced that there is a Personal Power greater than man. Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable. That is why the psalmist decl ...[text shortened]... e other reasons for rejecting the possibility of a Supreme Being and accepting the consequences?[/b]
    It all boils down to the condition of our hearts. That's why I don't spend much time debating the existence of God anymore. Some of the most distant people from God that I've met are very religious. Just look at the story of the Children of Israel. They saw God split the sea, bring manna down from heaven, deal out plagues on Egypt, etc., etc., but their hearts were far from him and they built a golden calf to worship in his stead.
  3. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    20 Nov '13 05:37
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being.
    Can anyone substantiate that claim? I am fairly sure that it is untrue.
  4. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
    Joined
    03 Jan '13
    Moves
    8554
    20 Nov '13 11:27
    Many people are wounded and hurt. To believe in God as something objective "out there" is not that much of a comfort to them. It is only a step in being comforted. You have to believe that God is in order to come forward to God.

    But if you just believe that God is and do not come forward to God to have oil poured on your wounds and healing of your hurts, just an objective agreement in theism is not that useful to them.

    This does not describe every possible rationale people have for rejecting God's existence. But it explains many. They are hurt and bitter for something that happened in their lives. If God had been real it should not have happened. This is not an easy attitude to overcome.

    In one post I don't pretend to be able to solve the problem. And no one here wants to read too many words anyway, because we are of a generation of push button instant gratification. And a verbose Internet post is boring.
  5. Joined
    12 Oct '09
    Moves
    11979
    20 Nov '13 12:001 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Many people are wounded and hurt. To believe in God as something objective "out there" is not that much of a comfort to them. It is only a step in being comforted. You have to believe that God is in order to come forward to God.

    But if you just believe that God is and do not come forward to God to have oil poured on your wounds and healing of your hurts, ...[text shortened]... are of a generation of push button instant gratification. And a verbose Internet post is boring.
    Is it not possible that many people just looked at the evidence before them and decided that god does not exist. Nothing to do with being bitter or "rejecting". Just saying what they see.
  6. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    20 Nov '13 12:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Can anyone substantiate that claim? I am fairly sure that it is untrue.
    It depends on how you interpret the term 'history'. If we take the term as excluding everything that occurred before the advent of writing (pre-history), then it is true. If we take the term as including everything that occurred before the present, then it is untrue.
  7. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    20 Nov '13 12:29
    "Why Do Men Reject God?"

    Because people who accept god are misogynist A-holes who ignore or write off 50%
    of the worlds population?


    Learn to use gender neutral language FFS.



    And you are asking the wrong question.

    To reject gods requires that you believe in gods existence.

    Atheists don't believe gods exist.


    There are many many reasons that people have for not believing in gods.

    Some are good sound rational and evidence based reasons... Some are not.

    The fact that SOME people lack a belief in gods for bad reasons doesn't mean that there
    are not good ones.
    And the fact that some people initially questioned their faith for irrational reasons doesn't
    mean that they have not learnt about and accepted rational arguments since.
  8. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    20 Nov '13 12:44
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It depends on how you interpret the term 'history'. If we take the term as excluding everything that occurred before the advent of writing (pre-history), then it is true. If we take the term as including everything that occurred before the present, then it is untrue.
    It also depends on how you define 'supreme being'?

    People have believed in gods and spirits, for as long as we have records.

    But monotheism with it's singular ultimate being is relatively new.

    I think we can agree that as far as we can tell, people have pretty much always had
    supernatural beliefs about the world including the existence of powerful anthropomorphic
    beings including beings we would currently class as gods.

    And that for the majority of history such beliefs were held by the widespread majority of
    people.



    However even if we take it as a given that the overwhelming majority of the appx 110 billion
    people who have ever lived believed in the supernatural and gods that does not mean that
    they were right.

    That is the Argumentum ad populum fallacy.

    It doesn't matter how much in the minority atheists are (and we are becoming much less
    of a minority nowadays) the fact still remains that the theists, who are claiming the existence
    of gods, have the burden of proof for the claim they are making.
  9. SubscriberPianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    Seedy piano bar
    Joined
    09 May '08
    Moves
    184002
    20 Nov '13 12:48
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Why Do Men Reject God?"

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being. They may have had a perverted sense of Who that Being is, but they were convinced that there is a Personal Power greater than man. Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable. That is why the psalmist decl ...[text shortened]... e other reasons for rejecting the possibility of a Supreme Being and accepting the consequences?[/b]
    "Why Do Men Reject God?"

    A Loaded question, GB! To reject something implies that there must be something there in the first place to cast off or refuse. Atheists do not "reject" God; they do not believe in his existence.

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being."

    It is entirely natural to want to explain the Universe in terms of a "Supreme Being". Since time immemorial this has been the easiest option. Many people, I do not include you, are simply not inclined to debate the matter too deeply, and are happy with the idea of God.

    "Since unbelief is neither reasonable nor the norm, one cannot but wonder why some people become atheists"

    A contentious statement! Also, Since most of the world's population is not Christian one might suggest it is unreasonable and not the norm to believe in Jesus.

    It seems to me to be entirely reasonable to hold the view that without substantial evidence, agnosticism is the only intelligent and logical stance.
  10. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    20 Nov '13 13:05
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    [b]"Why Do Men Reject God?"

    A Loaded question, GB! To reject something implies that there must be something there in the first place to cast off or refuse. Atheists do not "reject" God; they do not believe in his existence.

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being."

    It ...[text shortened]... view that without substantial evidence, agnosticism is the only intelligent and logical stance.[/b]
    It seems to me to be entirely reasonable to hold the view that without substantial evidence,
    agnosticism is the only intelligent and logical stance.


    Oh dear, this again.

    Can we agree that, given an absence of evidence (or indeed evidence of absence) for a proposition,
    it is reasonable not to hold the belief that that proposition is true?
  11. Joined
    01 Jun '06
    Moves
    274
    20 Nov '13 13:203 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Why Do Men Reject God?"

    "Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being. They may have had a perverted sense of Who that Being is, but they were convinced that there is a Personal Power greater than man. Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable. That is why the psalmist decl ...[text shortened]... e other reasons for rejecting the possibility of a Supreme Being and accepting the consequences?[/b]
    Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable
    No, given the evidence available, faith is widespread. The fact that most people throughout history have believed in something supernatural is only evidence that such belief is common, not that it is reasonable.

    “How could I possibly have wound up married to a tyrant? Why had God forsaken me?,” she wrote (1996, p. 15)
    Do you have a reference for this? It does not sound as though she was atheist at this point: you are unlikely to place blame on something that you do not believe exists.

    His disbelief, however, was emotional, not intellectual.
    Do you have any evidence for that statement? The quote you have there is totally irrelevant to the statement.

    Asimov is simply stating a logical truth: you can't dis-prove the existence of God in the same way that you can't dis-prove Last-Thursdayism, invisible pink elephants or fairies.

    Whether Huxley wanted the world to have meaning or not is irrelevant to whether it actually does.

    This is hardly a valid argument for rejecting the vast array of evidence that testifies to the existence of a Supreme Being!
    But the only evidence you have given is that most people through history have believed in magic. As I said at the top, this is not evidence that magic exists, just that lots of people believed it did.

    --- Penguin.
  12. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    20 Nov '13 13:54
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    It also depends on how you define 'supreme being'?

    People have believed in gods and spirits, for as long as we have records.

    But monotheism with it's singular ultimate being is relatively new.

    I think we can agree that as far as we can tell, people have pretty much always had
    supernatural beliefs about the world including the existence of powe ...[text shortened]... ho are claiming the existence
    of gods, have the burden of proof for the claim they are making.
    I would dispute your claim when you say, "I think we can agree that as far as we can tell, people have pretty much always had supernatural beliefs about the world including the existence of powerful anthropomorphic
    beings including beings we would currently class as gods."


    Homo sapiens sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years. The first evidence we have of religious belief is that of intentional burial, the earliest known examples of which date to around 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. Even if we allow for a somewhat earlier origin, it is apparent that the first men necessarily lacked any religious beliefs. It would be my contention that they spent, if not most of their existence that way, then certainly a large portion of it.
  13. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
    Joined
    03 Jan '13
    Moves
    8554
    20 Nov '13 14:00
    Originally posted by deenny
    Is it not possible that many people just looked at the evidence before them and decided that god does not exist. Nothing to do with being bitter or "rejecting". Just saying what they see.
    I don't know. I hear some people say that. I was not always a believer in God. I don't think I never believed that there was SOMETHING. It could have been a force, a vibration, some kind of "oversoul" of which I was a part, maybe Buddhist style. Even if it was just a huge Question Mark somewhere in the universe, I always believed there was some kind of ultimate thing.

    By the way, I think I indicated that the matter of misfortune was not the sole reason. So why are you asking me ?
  14. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    20 Nov '13 14:191 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I would dispute your claim when you say, "I think we can agree that as far as we can tell, people have pretty much always had supernatural beliefs about the world including the existence of powerful anthropomorphic
    beings including beings we would currently class as gods."


    Homo sapiens sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years. The first ...[text shortened]... that they spent, if not most of their existence that way, then certainly a large portion of it.
    Did I say religious beliefs?

    I said supernatural beliefs...

    Are you going to claim that prehistoric man had no supernatural beliefs?

    If so on what evidence?


    EDIT: also if we are talking about the majority of people, as opposed to the majority of time, I would point out that for most of those 200,000 years human population was very small, and it's not until much more recent times that human population really started to grow.

    So it's entirely possible, dependent on whose estimates you use, that even if humans
    had no supernatural beliefs for the first 150,000 years of our species existence, the number of people who existed in that period totals less than the total that have lived after that point.
  15. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    20 Nov '13 15:25
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It depends on how you interpret the term 'history'. If we take the term as excluding everything that occurred before the advent of writing (pre-history), then it is true. If we take the term as including everything that occurred before the present, then it is untrue.
    I disagree. I think the vast majority of people over the ages have believed in various supernatural beings, but that the idea of a supreme being is much more limited and has not been held by 'most people in the world, throughout the ages of history'.
Back to Top