Some people believe in God because of the fear of extinction. We all want to live forever. Death scare us and we seek comfort in the idea of an afterlife.
That is one of the reasons religionists hate atheists so much. They don’t want their comfort stolen.
But it’s not only our own extinction we fear, it’s the extinction of our loved ones. To realize that there is no heaven and no reunion is too much for some people. They just can’t or won’t face such a prospect. And the only guarantee of an afterlife is God. Therefore we desperately want God to exist.
Atheism is the lack of belief in God. It is rejecting the claim that there is evidence that God or gods exist. Atheism is not a belief, but a lack of belief. Atheists do not make the positive claim that “God does not exist.” He may or may not, there is just no evidence of one.
Faith is accepting a claim as true. Christians accept the claim that God exists, the Bible is true, and that Jesus died for their sins. Atheism simply doesn’t believe those things. It is simply a lack of faith. It has no faith in supernatural claims that have no sufficient evidence.
Norman L. Geisler’s book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, makes the mistake of thinking that atheism makes the positive claim that God does not exist. He may or may not. We simply don’t know, because there is no evidence. And a claim can only be known to be true if there is evidence for it. If we are going to believe, we should have good reasons to believe. Christian’s don’t.
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Can there be a spirituality without God? The Pew Research Center recent survey shows that those who claim none as their religion is fastest growing religious category. More and more people are calling themselves, “spiritual but not religious.” The word spirit simply means “breath.” Breath is something that is unseen but real. So the spiritual refers to the non-tangible realities of experience. Buddhism and Taoism are both a spirituality without God. So spirituality without God is possible. Positive Psychology is the science of human flourishing, and it is telling us how to be happy. No God is required.
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Five Minutes With Jay Forrest, Copyright © 2015 Jay N. Forrest.
When you get a Christian into a corner they will often pull out the get out of jail card. In this case it is Isaiah 55:8, in which reads, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (NRSV) They take this to mean that logic doesn’t apply to God. God has his own logic.
This is ridiculous. God may be illogical, but he cannot have a different set of laws of logic. First, because we are supposedly created in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Second, because the Bible continually tells us that God wants us to reason. For example, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” Isaiah 1:18 NKJV). And Paul supposedly spoke “the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25 NKJV). Reason is logic in action.
If we throw out the laws of logic, then nothing is true. For truth is the correspondence of truth and reality. Logic simply tells us whether there is a correspondence or not. A contradiction tells us that a correspondence does not exist, therefore what we believe is not true. Without logic there is no difference between truth and error. And so, Christianity cannot be true, for truth depends on logic.
There is a growing number of pastors who are losing their faith while still in the pulpit. They no longer believe in God, but still have to preach every Sunday morning. The struggle they endure is heart breaking.
I left the ministry before becoming an atheist. I was lucky because I was bi-vocational most of my years in ministry. So I had a vocation to fall back on. Many pastors don’t have that option. They have to start over.
If you are a pastor struggling with your faith there is help. The Clergy Project is a safe haven of protected, anonymous online community for former and active religious professionals who no longer hold to supernatural beliefs. I am a member of the group and can tell you that you are not alone. If you are looking for help, please check them out. It is an anonymous online community and they screen all applicants.
The Clergy Project