If I believed in God, what would I believe?
The most fundamental thing that I would have to believe is that God created everything. The universe, the world, and man – pretty much in that order. That’s why everyone calls God, “The Creator”. The belief that some god created everything is true of every religion because it answers the primal mystery: Where did the universe come from? Even science doesn’t have the ultimate answer to that question.
If I believed that God created the universe and everything in it, including us, then what should I believe next? The Christian priesthood tells me to believe the Bible. They say that God wrote the Bible to tell us who He is and what He expects of us. In fact, one of the first things that the Bible tells us, right in the first few verses of Genesis is that God created everything.
But when I read the Bible, I encounter a problem almost immediately. Genesis says many things that are different from what we see in the world. The geological and fossil record tells us that the earth was not created in seven days. There was no Garden of Eden filled with modern animals at the beginning of the Earth because modern animals came much later. And so forth.
In fact, almost every verse in the first chapters of Genesis is contradicted by easily observable reality. Even the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib cannot be true. That would make, Adam and Eve, and their descendants, us, be genetically identical. Obviously we are not.
Others have listed the contradictions between the Bible and the real world. Google it. There are a plethora of web sites that describe the contradictions in exquisite detail. I will simply assert that either the Bible or the Earth is an error and leave it to you to read what others have written if you doubt me.
Instead, let’s talk about the what the contradiction between the Bible and reality means.
Why would God create a universe, write a Bible that described His universe incorrectly, and then give man more than enough intelligence to recognize the myriad falsehoods in the Bible? Is He a fool or a liar?
If I believed in God, I would believe that He was neither. Rather, when I was forced to choose between reality and the Bible, I would chose reality and disbelieve the Bible.
My logic is simple. Man cannot create a universe, not now nor at any time in the foreseeable future. But anybody can write a book. Even me. Even men living in a Middle Eastern desert thousands of years ago. And anybody can write in that book that he is writing God’s words. Nothing stops me from writing the lie down. Or stops other people from passing the lie along through the generations.
Some men will be especially eager to propagate the lie if it serves their purpose to do so. If a book helps convince ordinary people to tithe their money to support priests, then the priests will venerate that book. They will insist that every word is true. Even if those words contradict what we see in the real world all around us. Those priests will tell us to disbelieve what we see, have faith in their words, and keep doing as we are told.
But me? And all the other people like me? If there is a contradiction between what God created and the self-serving words that men have been repeating for centuries, then we have to believe in God’s world, not the priests’ words.
God would not want us to do any differently. He would not want us to dismiss His great work. He would not want us to ignore the miraculous world that He created nor would He want us to abandon the wonderful intelligence that He gave to us.
He would want us to see that His true word is written in the stones of the earth and the stars of the sky. It’s written small in the DNA in every living cell and huge in the spectra of distant galaxies.
If I believed in God, I would not believe in the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, or any of the other dozens of scriptures holy to one religion or the other, and all contradicting in some way, our observations of the real universe.
Thus, by extension, if I believed in God, I could not believe in any priesthood that tells me to follow some book written by men long dead and ignore His creation that I see around me.
Believing in reality – accepting reality and believing that man can, with enough study, understand what he sees – is the most satisfying spiritual experience that I can imagine. If that means that I must dismiss the petty, foolish gods that religious men have invented, then I count that as a bonus. Seeing no one offering a reasonable God, I see no need to look for a better one myself. He would be superfluous.
This miraculous universe makes me happy to be an atheist. And, if I’m wrong, God, not a priest, can come and tell me so, Himself. So far, He hasn’t done so and I’m not wasting time, sitting around waiting for Him to show up. Life is too short.