1. says

    But would this also eliminate all the political conflicts worldwide? Many of them -- at least this is what we should believe in -- are caused by questions of faith and religion.

  2. says

    Let’s see a perfectly logical argument that proves there is no God. For example your own personal answer to the ontological argument if you will.

  3. says

    You misunderstand, Nate. Mano’s not offering proof there’s no god, just as no one can prove there’s no Celestial Teapot or Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    What Mano is offering is a solution to all theological problems. With the god hypothesis, the problem of evil makes no sense. The multitude of human religions makes no sense. The apparent lengths to which an omnipotent being goes to make itself undetectable, makes no sense. Hundreds and thousands of theological problems make no sense.

    But, if you look at the whole thing — life, the universe, and everything — from a different angle… What if god doesn’t exist? Suddenly, all of those theological problems are solved.

    Of course there’s evil in the world… because there’s no god to prevent it. Of course there are tens of thousands of different human religions all with different ideas of ‘god’… because god is just a human idea! Of course god is undetectable… you can’t detect something that’s not there. Etc. Etc.

    The god concept doesn’t make sense if god actually exists. But if god is just a made-up human idea, then of course we wouldn’t even *expect* it to make sense. This is not proof. It’s just a simple solution to all theological problems: There is no god.

  4. says

    Wonderist has given a better response to Nate’s point than I could.

    As to Robert’s point, it definitely would not end all political conflicts. But it would eliminate some, don’t you think?

  5. Steve LaBonne says

    One’s brain would be a very crowded place indeed if one were obliged to believe in the existence of any entity whose existence can’t be logically disproved. Fortunately that’s a nonsensical demand.

    Also, as has often been pointed out, we curiously never see these demands for logical disproof of the existence of Zeus or Odin. I wonder why that is.

  6. says


    Yes, it could eliminate some of the political conflicts though in many cases God and religion are only weak excuses for simple evil. But maybe that’s another good question: How come that people can so easily use “faith” to justify horrible deeds? Is it because religion is based on a kind of mind manipulation?

  7. Jack says

    Robert, this is from Steven Weinberg quotes

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

    Being born into a catholic family, I have first hand knowledge of what people will do in the name of their religion.


  8. says


    I don’t think it is mind manipulation or anything so sinister sounding. I think that to believe in god requires a mind that is conditioned to accept authority unquestioningly. In such a mindset, people do things that they think the higher power (god or their leader) tells them to do without thinking for themselves about the moral consequences.

    Jack’s quote of Weinberg is one way that happens. Clarence Darrow said something similar, “”It is not the bad people I fear so much as the good people. When a person is sure that he is good, he is nearly hopeless; he gets cruel – he believes in punishment.”

  9. says

    But I don’t want to die. I’m afraid of dying. This is the real problem. It’s not a question of whether God exists but whether you will exist after you die. Are we, or can we be, immortal. Everybody says they “know” they’re going to die. I suspect no one living can really grasp the end of their existence. Trying to prove (or say you know) there’s no life after death is like trying to prove there’s no God. Even if you say you don’t believe in God or immortality, we all probably feel and act immortal so we can function and not be paralyzed by fear. But fear remains. Fear of death. Fear of extinction. Fear of the unknown and unknowable. And I bet more have killed in the name of fear than in the name of God.

  10. says

    Indeed, Mr. Devil, I concur. I wrote something on the question of the primacy of fear in ‘Taking a Step Beyond Awe’ (, where I discuss the root emotion of awe, and its two major variations: terror and wonder.

    Fear of the unknown, and of death, is indeed one of the biggest tools that religions use to gain a firm grip on a human’s mind. But religions provide a non-solution. They pretend to help address that fear, but really they use it as a tool of control. They make death seem so horrific (e.g. hell) that believers cling to their religions in terror.

    The solution to fear-based religion is not to say “But people are afraid of dying, so they need religion.” It is to say, “Religion instills a greater fear of dying than is warranted. I didn’t exist for billions of years before I was born, and I didn’t suffer one bit from it. I don’t expect to suffer when I no longer exist after my death either.”

    The solution to dogmas based on terror are philosophies based on wonder. Instead of cringing from the unknown, we learn to become comfortable with it, to learn from it, and ultimately to let it inspire us to greater heights. Not by fooling ourselves with self-made prisons of false hopes and fantasies, but by honest and courageous explorations of reality.

  11. says


    I agree with Wonderist that the fear of death that is religion’s main recruitment tool. As Gore Vidal said, “The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.”

    This was something that Sigmund Freud also argued in his The Future of an Illusion.

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