Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


 SOME GOD ARGUMENTS REFUTED

Argument: We have an innate desire for God.

Answer: Many disagree and why are most people not that interested in God?  You have no right to say God lets terrible things happen when you only believe in him because you want him to exist.  Even if that is part of the reason it is not good enough.  The matter is too serious for that.  If you see a miracle, an act that shows that God makes and controls nature by doing something that looks magical - eg making a brick talk to you, then you will not care unless you already want to believe in God.  The desire argument is the true driving force behind the argument that miracles show God exists.  Religion says a miracle is done to show God's love and that magic is different.  But in fact both claim to change nature so essentially there is no difference.  And religion loves unloving miracles and the loving ones are a matter of interpretation.

Argument: We experience God.

Answer: What God?  Those who experience God communicating with them soon learn that they are imagining it.  Nobody just an experience of God - they have an experience that God has revealed himself in a book or religion but all those accounts contradict each other.

Argument: Beauty shows us there is a God.

Answer: But God has no parts!  If he can make beauty good for him but he cannot be beautiful.  The beauty should be better than him!

Argument: If there is no God there is no morality - moral opinions yes but nothing you could call a moral fact.

Answer:  A dying baby needs help because it is a baby that suffers and not because there is a God.  If you had to think either of God or the baby then the truly human person will think only of the baby.

THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

Attempts have been made to show that once you understand what God is you will see that he has to exist just as surely as once you understand that what an equilateral triangle is, you will see it must have three equal sides. Such attempts are doomed to failure. They seek to prove a God who is goodness itself literally. But good is abstract. It is not a thing. It is not a thing in the way 1+1=2 is not a thing. If God is 1+1=2 then he cannot exist. The idea of God is at best beyond our understanding and at worst contradictory. The latter is the correct assessment. Ontological arguments are based on human arrogance and on a sleight of hand. What we have said refutes them in all their forms.  
   
THE PARADOX PROBLEM
 
Even if the proofs worked or were evidences for God rather than certainties, there is still the proof of suffering and the experience that we are not God to stand against them. This would be a paradox. We would have to conclude that there is something we cannot grasp that explains it. We need not assume that our reason is defective at this point. And we know that the proof of suffering and experience would be stronger than the other proofs for the other proofs are worked out like sums while suffering and experience prove themselves without working them out and are more direct. What is proven directly to my consciousness supersedes even what is proven by reason in a more indirect fashion. Or what is direct supersedes what is indirect and harder to prove. To ignore the evidence of human suffering and prefer to assume there is some explanation when you donít have one speaks of a certain hardness in your heart.

CONCLUSION
 
There is no evidence that God exists. Therefore there is no obligation to believe in him whatever the Bible and the Church might say. Any harm done over the belief is evil because there is no evidence to support the belief. God or not, the opportunity arises to do good and he is irrelevant. We have to get on with it.
 
WORKS CONSULTED
 
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AN INTELLIGENT PERSONS GUIDE TO CATHOLICISM, Alban McCoy, Continuum, London and New York, 1997
AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS, John Hospers, Routledge, London, 1992
APOLOGETICS AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Part 1, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill, & Son, Dublin, 1954
APOLOGETICS FOR THE PULPIT, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne LTD, London, 1950
AQUINAS, FC Copleston, Penguin Books, London, 1991
ARGUING WITH GOD, Hugh Sylvester, IVP, London, 1971
ASKING THEM QUESTIONS, Various, Oxford University Press, London, 1936
BELIEVING IN GOD, PJ McGrath, Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1995
CONTROVERSY: THE HUMANIST CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTER, Hector Hawton, Pemberton Books, London, 1971
CRITIQUES OF GOD, Edited by Peter A Angeles, Prometheus Books, New York, 1995
DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION, David Hume, William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1907
DOES GOD EXIST? Brian Davies OP, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1982
DOES GOD EXIST? Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1972
DOING AWAY WITH GOD? Russell Stannard, Marshall Pickering, London, 1993
GOD AND PHILOSOPHY, Antony Flew, Hutchinson, London, 1966
GOD AND THE HUMAN CONDITION, F J Sheed, Sheed & Ward, London 1967
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
GOD THE PROBLEM, Gordon D Kaufman, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1973
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, VOL 2, Frederick Copleston SJ Westminster, Maryland, Newman, 1962
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM Press, London, 1963
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
IN SEARCH OF CERTAINTY, John Guest Regal Books, Ventura, California, 1983
JESUS HYPOTHESES, V. Messori, St Paul Publications, Slough, 1977
NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
ON THE TRUTH OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH, BOOK ONE, GOD, St Thomas Aquinas, Image Doubleday and Co, New York, 1961
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PHILOSOPHY AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, Colin Brown, IVP, London, 1973
RADIO REPLIES, Vol 1, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
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RADIO REPLIES, Vol 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND RELIGION, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
SALVIFICI DOLORIS, Pope John Paul II, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1984
TAKING LEAVE OF GOD, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1980
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, Edited by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2007
THE CASE AGAINST GOD, Gerald Priestland, Collins, Fount Paperbacks, London, 1984
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The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett, SPCK, London , 2008
THE HONEST TO GOD DEBATE Edited by David L Edwards, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1963
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THE LANGUAGE OF BELIEF, A SCIENTIST PRESENTS EVIDENCE FOR BELIEF, Francis S Collins, Free Press, New York ,2006
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, Brian Davies, Continuum, London-New York, 2006
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF BELIEF, Charles Gore DD, John Murray, London, 1930
THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
WHAT DO EXISTENTIALISTS BELIEVE? Richard Appignanesi, Granta Books, London, 2006
WHAT IS FAITH? Anthony Kenny, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992
WHY DOES GOD? Domenico Grasso, St Paul, Bucks, 1970
 
THE WEB
 
www.colorado.edu/philosophy/wes/Tooley2.html
 
THE ARGUMENT FROM EVIL AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD by Michael Tooley.
 
http://www.nd.edu/~rpotter/courses/finitism.htm
 
FINITISM AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, R Dennis Potter,

www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august97/barker.html
 
THE FREE WILL ARGUMENT FOR THE NON-EXISTENCE OF GOD by Dan Barker