Why do people believe in a non-existent Abrahamic God?

From Gezza:


Everybody knows that in various parts of the world there have been cruelties, multiple murders, mass executions, mass shootings, beheadings, suicide bombings, sectarian killings – all carried out by fanatical followers of what is usually claimed to be severe, but utterly perverted, versions of Islam.

And they know that by far the most of their victims have been Muslims, often members of other sects, or innocent people who, for example, just happened to be there, or passing by, when an IED went off.

But many victims in the recent past have been Westerners – Christians, Jews, people of other faiths, or no religious faith. And these attack & victims often seem to attract far more attention in Western media than the multiple murders of so many other victims of the constantly currently ongoing Islamic extremist terrorist attacks & in Africa, Afghanistan, & some Middle Eastern countries, to name a few.

Many Christians & their leaders, as well as what are frequently called, these days, moderate or ordinary Muslims, claim that this is not Islam. This is not what Allah, who communicated the Quran, through the angel Gabriel, to Muhammad, & thereafter, to all believers, ever intended to happen. That these murderers, like the Christchurch mass murderer are deluded, dreadfully misguided, or just simply plain evil.

Christians & Jews & Muslims, however, all believe that their own version of the same, sole, & only Creator God, Jaweh is the true & correct one.

And, they also believe all sorts of patently untrue claims about them, including that, as God, each one – the same one in some form or other – has communicated with ancient, bronze age, iron age, & medieval age, scientifically & educationally ignorant, goat herders, shepherds, song writers, wandering prophets, kings, warriors, warlords, a Merchant Camel Caravan trader – & god knows who else (so to speak).

Communicated in all sorts of diverse ways, nearly all of them, in my view, ridiculous. To tell them how the world, and they, were created. And what this non-existent, mythical God expects, & wanted – and still wants – them to do.

Creating also phantasmal places of eternal punishment – to scare them into obeying its sometimes cruel & bizarre, originating-culture-driven, rules & commands. And creating equally unbelievable temptations of a rapturous reward in a veritable heaven on earth-type utopia after death, or at the forthcoming (completely imaginary) Last Day, the Day of Judgement, if they do so.

Throughout history, at many places & various times, all, or many of the believers in, and followers of:

The Israelites’ Jaweh – the original, Old Testament model (sticking with this spelling, for simplicity) the Jewish God

and

The Christians’ Father (Jaweh), his Son, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit entity – who popped up in the New Testament along with Jesus – the mythical 3-in-1 God; the Trinity – version 2, new & improved

and

The Muslims’ Allah, who instructed Muhammad about everything humans needed to know that mattered, & corrected all the misinterpretations & misrepresentations that had happened with the Jews & Christians over time such that they had now got his messages & information about “life, the universe, & everything” – including his requirements for humans – all screwed up

have carried out, sanctioned, or just ignored or not cared about, countless outrages, cruelties, killings, invasions, repressions, inquisitions, tortures, & resistances to reason or knowledge, by their fellow believers or leaders – simply because they, incredibly, actually believe in the existence & claimed supernatural abilities, & loving, beneficent nature of this bizarre, contradictory, confusing, confused, failure of a god; this non-existent entity.

For God’s sake! WHY?

There is NO convincing, reasoned, logical proof or actual tangible, physical evidence this god even exists. None.

They are claiming something exists that is invisible & empirically indemonstrable, & that it has wonderful properties, that it has given advice, wisdom, knowledge & ultimate rules to humans – that the very holy books & other scriptures these believers use to promote these myths as a viable theory – plus history, plus science, plus simple logic, & observation – all, clearly, utterly disprove.

Why is this “thing” needed? What on earth makes people believe in it?

Is it fear? Are they just afraid that, when they die, that’s the end of their existence? Do they need to believe there’s a way their being, their essence, personality,  consciousness, their “soul” (i.e. they) will live forever?

Are they driven by a psychological need to believe they will one day be everlastingly perfect, & see their dead loved ones, also perfect, again?

Are they convinced that without fear of a post-mortem everlasting punishment, and/or the expectation of a rapturous paradise for believing & obeying – they’d be bad, cruel, horrible, uncharitable, uncaring people, & so will everyone else?

Do they need to believe bad, evil people will one day get sentenced to everlasting torment as punishment? That “too bad, the bastards bloody deserve it – and more !”

Are their current lives miserable ones, & they can’t for some reason expect or act to change them? Is accepting their poor lot as “God’s will” making it something that can be endured more easily, because they really think there’s a mythical paradise, a beautiful, better, everlasting life – with no fears, no worries, just pleasure, satisfaction, peace, calm, no stress, no unmet needs at all to come, one day?

Are they just scared that, despite all the things we have now learnt about how the universe, the earth, plants, animals, humans – the real world, really work – there are so  many, many things we still don’t know? Can they not live with not knowing, but that it doesn’t matter?

I was raised a Christian. It’s the religion I know the most about & have read & thought & debated & argued the most about. I don’t know whether there is a single, sole creator of the universe, but I see no evidence that, if there is one, it has ANY interest in actively intervening in the operation of the Cosmos, or in human affairs, or that it has ever done so.

I know lots of people – apparently rational, sane, educated, knowledgeable, intelligent people – still believe in it. And that at least as many of the same kind of intelligent people, (maybe, hopefully, now a lot more) don’t.

I can say that I have NEVER, EVER seen ANY irrefutable, empirical evidence, or ANY convincing hint of evidence, or any truly convincing argument that the Abrahamic God does, really, actually exist.  Only tortuous attempts at arguing that it does, from the start point of doggedly-committed, already-believing followers, that it does, trying to think up & argue any thing they can to justify already believing in something that’s clearly not even there.

So, I often wonder why some people need to believe it exists? What does it do for them? What need does it meet that the rest of us who know it’s a myth don’t have?

Interested to hear from anyone what they think, and why?


This post has been added to the Your NZ menu for easy access. If there is continued interest in this it may be continued, or there may be further linked posts.

This post and discussion may be confronting for some people – if you don’t like your religious beliefs challenged then it may not be for you.

The usual rules on decent debate and no abuse apply – this is a debate on the concepts of gods and religion, and is not an opportunity for free shots at specific groups of religious followers. Comments that I think are inappropriate may be edited or deleted.

PG

GUEST POST: Muslim Immigration

Events since 911, and more recently the Brexit decision, and now the Chilcott report, have prompted me to think more deeply about an issue that has become of concern in many parts of the world—Muslim immigration.

There are obviously many reasons why people voted for Britain to either stay with or leave the EU. Personally I would have voted to leave, because I’m a proud citizen of what I think is one of the best little countries in the world to live in. I love this place. It’s got its faults. It’s got some big issues it ought to deal with & people don’t always find it easy to listen to each other talk honestly about them. But I’m a New Zealander. I’m proud to be. And, accepting that its current society & culture (whatever that is) have been predominantly forged by two major flows of immigrants—the first from Polynesia, and the second from Britain and other English-speaking countries, I kinda like it the way it is.

In Britain, people who expressed concern about Muslim immigration seemed to just be racists, judging by how mainstream & social media dealt with their views. I bet, seeing many people were making their obvious dislike, even hatred, of anyone with a different skin colour, foreign accent, or way of dressing or living, well-known. Politicians capitalised on it. As some do.

In my opinion, it is too simplistic to just dismiss British people’s concerns about Muslim immigration as ‘racist’. Muslims, truly believe that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad over a number of years and gave him ongoing instructions, from Allah, about pretty well everything, including the moral superiority of their religion over all others, including Christianity and Judasim, which are to be tolerated where Muslims become dominant so long as they accept domination and do not cause trouble for those Muslims who want to live according to Sharia Law.

Sectarianism is rife within Islam (the main divide of Sunni and Shia is 80 to 20% respectively) and has seen them kill each other in large numbers over the centuries. Yes, Christians did that too. They were even doing it in Northern Ireland until relatively recently, and there have of late been one or two nasty incidents of the same thing, showing that it hasn’t gone away. As is often the case, it’s difficult to separate the religion aspect from the political. Catholics have been Irish, Protestants have been British. What they are both now remains to be seen.

But Christianity has undergone The Reformation, and educational reform which has included scientific and social awareness, as well as the growth of secular law around matters such as Human Rights. ‘Christendom’ on the whole has become more tolerant and true to the behaviours exhibited by Jesus Christ, and more secular. In some Muslim countries there is no tolerance for gays, ‘loose women’, atheists, agnostics, other sects of Islam, other religions. A few deranged or Muslim extremists have been abusing and even killing people because of who they are, what they believe, or for saying what they don’t believe.

Personally, I suspect few non-Muslim people who describe Islam as a peaceful religion have actually read the Quran, or any of the Hadith, or Figh (Islamic jurisprudence), or the various versions of Sharia Law, all of which to some degree or other determine what Muslims believe. The extremists are reading the same book as peaceful Muslims. The supposed ‘perfect book’ is repetitively turgid, filled with endless praises of the wonderfulness of Allah, and its verses can be interpreted differently to mean whatever is preached by those who use it to support their particular view of how the world should be run and what other people should believe.

The world is full of peaceful Muslims. I know that. They may have all, or some may have not, read the whole Quran. Certainly many extremists, including children, have been required to learn it by rote. And this book—or if they can’t read or are uneducated, their religious scholar or leader—in some cases seem to tell them that killing infidels & apostates (anybody who doesn’t accept their interpretation of the Quran) is not only right, it is meritorious, and that committing suicide to kill as many apostates & infidels as possible in the cause of spreading the faith of Allah the Merciful, the Beneficent, is especially praiseworthy and guarantees an immediate place in Paradise.

Peaceful Muslims are peaceful because they are peaceful people, not because the Quran is peaceful. But when non-Muslims attack or threaten or kill thousands of Muslims as “collateral damage”, the extremists’ cause is magnified. Anger, and Islam, in this case are a terrible thing. Muslims see themselves everywhere as the worldwide Ummah. They are not just individual groups of believers spread out through a number of separate nations. So when their countries, or their Ummah, are attacked, some are driven by rage, revenge, mental health problems, or it seems by just not fitting in well in their adopted society and being criticised or picked on, to kill the infidels wherever they are.

There’s no getting away from it. It’s been happening all over the world. And it seems that the larger the community of Muslims, the more likely it is to happen. It’s often not parents who carry out these random assassinations of innocent people. It’s their children. Those who are now being exposed to extremist ideas all over the telly & the internet. I’ve found myself thinking when I or my loved ones have gone into an enclosed shopping mall what an ideal target this would be for some religious fanatic, and how that would affect everybody.

That’s my take on this issue anyway, and my concern, and I think the concern of many in Britain & Europe and Africa, and Asia, and other parts of the world. I wondered if anyone else had any thoughts they wanted to share.

Gezza