Why don’t people believe in God?

Why don’t people believe in god, but they believe that everything came from nothing? Why is that easier to believe? -Amanda

Great question! This has to do with cosmology. Every single worldview seeks to answer this question, “Where did we come from?” Your question contrasts two distinct worldviews, that of Theism and that of Naturalism.

If I were to answer your question simply, I would say that people don’t believe in God, not based off the evidence, but because of presuppositions. Naturalism looks at the world through the lens of what can only be explained naturally. They presuppose, before coming to the evidence, that there are only natural explanations for everything, and that the supernatural does not exist. Here’s the problem: What if that’s not reality? What if the supernatural exists, and what if the evidence actually points to the supernatural? They would never know, because they presuppose away a whole set of outcomes before ever looking at the evidence. This is called bias, and bias is bad for science.

There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of God, both scientific and philosophical. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does the universe and life itself have such a highly complex design? Where do we get the concept of morality? And the list goes on. If you pursue these questions with a presuppositional bias against the supernatural, you will never arrive at the real answer, if God exists, even by looking at the evidence.

Think of it this way: Let’s suppose that you don’t believe that trees grow leaves. You are adamantly opposed to that notion. It’s an impossibility. Then you go observe a tree. What conclusions do you come to? Well, maybe the leaves grew the tree. Maybe the leaves were placed on the tree. Etc. The conclusion you do not come to is that of actual reality, that trees grow leaves. When you presuppose away a whole set of options, and the evidence actually positively points to those options, your bias has choked out your ability to observe reality.

This is one reason why people believe that everything came from nothing and do not believe that the cause was God. There are two other reasons, but this is the intellectual reason. The others are emotional or willful rejections of God, which aren’t based on evidence, so we can save those for another time!

Thanks for asking!

Jacob

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2 thoughts on “Why don’t people believe in God?

  1. It’s possible that this describes the way some Naturalistic came to their beliefs on cosmology, but this certainly doesn’t describe me.

    I came to the question as an ardent theist, presupposing that God and the supernatural were actual, extant things. I abandoned those beliefs only after I began investigating them and finding that they did not seem to fit the evidence.

    I am hardly alone in this situation, as well. The majority of atheists that I know came from similar backgrounds to mine. In fact, I find that people who have grown up with Naturalist presuppositions are rather rare.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! The scope of my answer is narrow with many other explanations implied but not included. If you read the entirety of the article, you will note that it says, “This is one reason…” The talk of presupposition leads to talk of anti-supernatural bias. This is a truth that is inherent within Naturalism. If one does not have an anti-supernatural bias then they are no longer a Naturalist, by definition. If one looks at the evidence without anti-supernatural bias, then atheism is excluded. Agnosticism would then be the baseline. I have even heard Richard Dawkins say, in his final remarks while debating John Lennox, “Although we can’t disprove that there is a God, it is very very unlikely indeed.” This is an incredible statement, especially in the closing remarks of a debate on the existence of God, by one of the world’s most famous “atheists.” If one cannot disprove that there is a God, then intellectually, God is a possibility. That is called Agnosticism. That is not Atheism. Atheism exists in a vacuum of anti-supernatural bias. That is really my point moreso than the talk of presuppositional bias (which was just part of one of the answers that could be given to the question.) Thanks for asking!

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