The question whether God exists or not has been asked for many ages from people of different cultures. God is usually described as an ultimate being, wholly good, omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, one that lacks any manlike qualities. Huge chunk of the world’s population believes in this eternal being, while many other consider the possibility that this being is socially and psychologically constructed. For some, evolution and other scientific discoveries are more easily accepted through religion. Religious people assert their belief in God based on fundamental ideas such as the bible and miracles that have occurred in one’s life.
Additionally, the bible is also consisting of contradictions and flaws and many scientific discoveries that have been incorrectly put in or not mentioned at all. Also, many philosophers focus their studies on and write about religion. While some philosophers support the idea of an existence of God and reasonability in belief, others completely deny it. Philosophers use different techniques and strategies to prove or disprove one or the other.
For example, Mackie finds a way to prove that God is not perfect and not all powerful. Clifford, on the other hand, claims that people should base their belief upon sufficient evidence. The existence of God, that is socially and cognitively constructed, is disproved through many biblical contradictions, scientific discoveries and philosophical ideas.
Belief in God is socially and psychologically constructed in order to make people feel more comfortable accepting wrong or right doings. Religious people stick to a belief because those beliefs are directly tied to ones’ idea of right and wrong. Even with concrete evidence those people hold on to religious belief. A good example of this fact are the terrorist organizations who believe that murdering is moral. This cognitive and psychological experience starts from early age.
Another great example is Jesse Bering’s study that was performed on two groups of children – one group that was left unsupervised and another one, watched by the invisible “Princess Alice.” The unsupervised group was seen cheating, while the group that was watched by “Princess Alice” played fairly because the children felt the moral obligation to play fairly in order to avoid punishment from the “Princess.” This invisible enforcement of moral behavior equals religion and God. Thus, people feel the need to believe that someone is watching in order to eliminate bad and unmoral behavior.
The Christian bible is full of contradictions, flaws and many untruthful discoveries that have been proven by science. The bible is referred to as God’s holy word and Christians use it as a tool to prove God’s existence. If God is omnipotent and omniscience then why is the bible full of errors, flaws and contradictions? An eternal and all-knowing being should be able to provide a bible that consists of accurate information that is not known by primitive men. The most inaccurate information in the bible is the view of the universe. “The biblical view of the ‘universe’ is that the earth is a flat expanse, held up by pillars, with a hard bowl…” states Thomas Shoemaker in “Historical and Scientific Problem in the Bible.”
Additionally, the human population could not have come from just two people or was it ever as low as eight people as mentioned in Noah’s script. Science experiments of our genes claim that if the human population drops under 1500 not related individuals there could not be such genetic diversity. The bible does not mention the existence of DNA and genes that are the blue print of life. Furthermore, the bible excludes the existence of microbes, virus and bacteria. According to the bible, disease is caused by the devil or evil spirits while science has proven that illness is caused by virus and bacteria.
Humans and all living creatures are not created by God, humans and all planet life have evolved over a period of millions of years. Charles Darwin is the one who wrote “On the Origin of Spices,” a book that proves that all living things on this plant have evolved from primitive life forms by natural selection. Darwin’s theory challenges the idea that “…God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). An example for evolution in modernity is the constantly changing flu virus. The virus keeps forming new strains. Also, the variety in the plant and animal kingdoms that has developed over thousands of years is another proof. Therefore, the argument that everything needs a creator does not hold a stand with the evolution theory.
The presence of evil in the world contradicts God’s existence. The arguments from evil states that because evil is present, either God does not exist or he does not have all the inhumane properties (omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence) that describe him. This idea can be explained through the following statements. The first one is that if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good. Another one is that if God does not know that evil exists this makes him unaware. The last contradiction is that if God cannot prevent evil, he is not all powerful.
In the “Problem of Evil,” Mackie supports this statement with the following words: “God is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists. There seems to be some contradiction between these three propositions, so that if any two of them were true the third would be false.” Likewise, the problem of evil exists in two forms – logical and evidential. The logical one shows that God and evil cannot coexist, while the evidential one shows that given the evil in this world there is no eternal and wholly good God. Therefore, evil cannot coexist with an idea of a wholly good God, because a wholly good God would not allow evil in the world.
Belief that is not based on sufficient evidence is not justified. Clifford claims that ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence.’ The philosopher uses an example of a shipowner with a rickety ship. The shipowner puts his trust into his rickety ship instead of investigating if the ship is in a good condition and able to safely transport all the people. As a result, the ship sinks, and everyone dies. The sailor had no right to believe that the ship was safe. It is wrong of him to believe that even if nothing happens. This is analogous with belief in God.
A person’s judgement could be clouded while trying to carry out the necessity of investigating facts. Clifford believes that the moral wrongdoing is in the negligence and the risk creation, but not necessarily in the bad outcome. An example is the drunk driver who belies it is luck not hitting and killing anybody. Clifford’s theory does not try to disprove God’s existence but instead, the philosopher tries to show believing in God is unjustifiable.
God existence has been disproved with a lot of evidence from numerous scientists and philosophers. The existence of God has been socially and cognitively constructed in order for people to accept ones’ moral compasses. The biblical flaws also disprove the existence of God. The bible lacks in mentioning many scientific discoveries, and the ones that are mentioned are incorrect. Science has proven that humans and all living creatures are not created by God, humans and all planet life have evolved over a period of millions of years. Philosophers base their disbelief through the proof of evil in the world and lack of belief ethics.
- Contemporary Review, 1877; reprinted in William K. Clifford “The Ethics of Belief”, Lectures and Essays, ed. Leslie Stephen and Frederick Pollock.
- Mackie, J. L. “Evil and Omnipotence.” Mind, vol. 64, no. 254, 1955, pp. 200–212. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2251467.
- Matthew 6:24 ‘No One Can Serve Two Masters. Either You Will Hate the One and Love the Other, or You Will Be Devoted to the One and Despise the Other. You Cannot Serve Both God and Money., biblehub.com/genesis/1-27.htm.
- The Argument’s Best Friends: Ethos, Logos, & Pathos, www.mesacc.edu/~thoqh49081/handouts/bibleproblems.html.