Tuesday, July 16, 2013

God is not a valid hypothesis

A few days ago I wrote an article on why I thought that agnosticism was not a valid position to hold when it came to the existence or non-existence of God or gods in general. I stated that my main reason for thinking this was that the idea of gods came from ancient myths and superstitions. In this post I would like to take the opportunity to elaborate on my position. First off I would like to inform you as you might have already guessed, that I am an atheist. I am convinced that there is no reason to believe in God or gods nor to use them as explanations for things we cannot understand at this time.

Superstition : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.

I'm going to go out on a limb and state here that all religious beliefs that posit the existence of a God or gods are rooted in superstition. The above definition of the word superstition outlines three of the most important elements necessary to qualify a belief as a superstition. They are ignorance, fear, and a false conception of causation. For those with reading comprehension skills or a limited vocabulary causation means exactly what it says. It refers to why things happen or what causes things to happen as they do. 

The first element necessary for the birth of a superstition is ignorance. I know it's an ugly word and of course no one likes to be called ignorant. But in reality we are all ignorant about a great many things in this life. Ignorant just means that we are uninformed about a certain body of knowledge or field of study. Not everyone is an expert on every subject we can think of. So in this sense, we are all ignorant about a lot of things. Thankfully for mankind there are a number among us that is not satisfied with not knowing. People like myself and the many great scientists that have dedicated their entire lives to the pursuit of knowledge. For people like us ignorance is not bliss because of the fact that we have restless minds that thirst for knowledge. 

Ignorance is not bliss!

In today's day and age ignorance is not bliss, it's embarrassing! A perusal of some of our ancient ancestors religious beliefs and practices will quickly reveal some of the things that any particular group we study were ignorant about. Ignorance about natural phenomena such as lightening, thunder, solar and lunar eclipses, earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, tornadoes, and other natural occurrences or disasters were greatly misunderstood. Primitive man did not know why these things happened nor how they happened. In fact it was our early ancestors desire to know why and his habit of anthropomorphism that I believe gods came about. 

Ignorance was the first step towards superstitious beliefs which was followed by fear. Fear is the main ingredient of all religions ancient and modern although Christians would like to deny this fact by reinterpreting what the bible means by fear.

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, Deuteronomy 10:12

4“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him Luke 12:4-5

Fear: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger 
Primitive man feared the elements, what he perceived to be evil spirits, in some cases even angry spirits of their enemies. It was an age of superstition that surprisingly still exists even today amongst many cultures and modern day societies. It wasn't too long ago that people being accused of being witches in league with the devil were being executed in Salem Massachusetts. Man has worshiped everything on the face of this earth at one time or another. Man has worshiped nature, animals, dead ancestors, imaginary gods of his own creation, evil spirits that serve as gods nemesis (also of his own creation), other men both living and dead, the planets, stars, some societies even created female deities to compliment their male gods. All gods known and unknown are the creation of men!
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship--and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:23
It's ironic but in the above cited text Paul is visiting Athens and finds an altar with the inscription:"To an unknown god!" Lol Paul then takes this opportunity to preach his gospel of Jesus Christ to the Athenians. Greek mythology was riddled with gods who controlled different elements of nature such as Zeus,  Poseidon, Thor, etc. Paul played the famous god of the gaps ploy that modern day theists play with atheists and skeptics. It goes a little something like this: Science cannot tell us how the universe began to exist, or how organic life came from inorganic matter, so it leaves us to conclude that God did it! 

As nice as that hypothesis seems it is not a valid and or logical hypothesis. In fact, it is not an hypothesis at all. It's an irrational insertion of an unverifiable belief.

Hypothesis: A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.
As seen in the above definition when it comes to the god hypothesis we have one big stumbling block that is simply insurmountable while at the same time making this hypothesis implausible. First and foremost it can't be tested scientifically. There is nothing in all of human experience that objectively or empirically confirms the existence of a god, whether it be a supernatural conscious being or some impersonal undetectable force acting surreptitiously in our universe.This so called god did it hypothesis is undetectable, untestable, untenable. 

Finally, positing the idea of some god to fill in all the gaps in our current scientific knowledge would create more problems than it would solve. The first and foremost problem would be to define this god in terms that we could all understand and agree upon. Then we would have to try and discern what exactly are the properties of this god and where did it come from. If we accept the premise that there is no such thing as an infinite regress of time and that everything that began to exist must have a beginning then to state that this god had no beginning is simply begging the question. 

If you consider as I do that all the gods of the past are man made this includes the Judeo-Christian God. Then to imagine yet another god without evidence with a bunch of impossible and improbable properties is no better than what our ancestors were doing. We are literally attributing the existence of the universe and our very own existence to the realm of myth and superstition. This is not science this is pseudo-science.

Notee: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version and all word definitions are taken from the Merriam Webster online dictionary and the free dictionary online.


  1. "Ignorant" need not be a dirty word. Since, as you point out, we can't all know all there is to know, ignorance is best viewed as an opportunity to explore and discover new knowledge. Many people are ignorant of the workings of an atomic pile, for example, or even of an electrical generator, but for those who see ignorance as an opportunity and not a handicap, there are numerous avenues available to obtain knowledge of these and literally millions of other things. Combined with curiosity, simple ignorance can be a spur to expanded knowledge: "I don't know, but I'll find out!"

    Willful ignorance, on the other hand, (perhaps coupled with intellectual laziness) often leads only to superstition: "I don't know, therefore god."

    1. "Willful ignorance, on the other hand, (perhaps coupled with intellectual laziness) often leads only to superstition: "I don't know, therefore god."

      That's exactly the kind of ignorance I find hard to accept. I hate intellectual laziness or outright abandonment of reason.

  2. There is no sign of this God, even though one of the main requirements of its religion is to believe. If that's its plan, it must be a bungler of a God - not worth the title at all.

  3. I think one of the reasons a lot of people stay with religion is fear of what happens when they die. I am happy and way more peaceful now that I know what happens when I die.....NOTHING.

  4. Replies
    1. It's as mythical as all the other religions and gods that man has created for himself.