Thursday, January 23, 2014

Some Remarks On Belief In God


Nasir Khan,  January 23, 2014

[The following remarks are part of the discussion that started on Facebook with a quotation of English philosopher, Bertrand Russell.]

First of all, there are many people who believe god, devil, angels, etc., are not mere fantastic ideas but they really exist. One proof: they are mentioned in some holy books. And in some holy books god is reported to have spoken to his selected few. The holy books that are revealed are from god; therefore they represent the obvious truth which no one can or should find fault with. In fact, the believers in god have internalised such a mode of thinking that any critical look at it is regarded as wrong and a result of mental confusion. At the same time, the term ‘god’ means different things to different people. But the idea of god entails some sort of belief in a ‘supernatural being’ or ‘power’. In monotheistic religions, starting with Judaism, many deities were finally reduced to only one god (this is despite Akhenaton’s early attempt to introduce Aton as the sole god but the project collapsed after his death).


Secondly, the believers in god have offered some well-known arguments in support of the existence of god. At present, I’ll only briefly mention their names: the ontological argument, the causal argument, the argument from contingency, the teleological argument or argument by design, the argument from religious experience, the argument from miracles and the utility argument. These arguments have been subjected to a closer look by philosophers. None of these has stood the test of analytical scrutiny. All of them have been refuted and put aside.
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