How To Find The Real God!

Some people claim that science cannot demonstrate either that god does or does not exist.

Though this is probably true, what science can do is study the brain and its functioning – the mind.

In effect, the more we know about the human mind, the more we know about human beliefs. And that incudes the neurological & psychological basis for human beliefs in gods.

As my brother says, “There are many different Gods — and the one which you believe is real lives inside your head, that’s the truth!” ~ David Bloor

Just take a look at the way many different religions claim to find the truth about their version of God:

We know an awful lot about how the mind creates biases and emotions. We know that ‘belief in belief’ is a powerful motivator/demotivator for human beings. That includes ‘belief in anything.’ It doesn’t have to be God in particular, it could be shamanism. Or actually any god. Belief has an effect on the mind. And is itself a product of our minds.

There is plenty of evidence that belief in god or gods is hardwired into our brains.

Human minds are programmed for patternicity. In effect our minds are ‘belief engines’, evolved to recognise patterns that connect the dots and create meaning out of those patterns that we think we see in nature.

Humans also have an innate tendency to bestow the characteristic of agency onto the forces of nature and inanimate objects. To imagine other objects and beings are intentional agents and, using our inborn “theory of mind,” to bestow upon them the capacity to have their own desires and intentions.

This is called agenticity. It is the practice of imparting the patterns we find in nature with agency and intention.

This propensity to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless noise, combined with our patternicity and agenticity, means we form cognitive biases to believe in shamanism, paganism, animism, polytheism, monotheism, and all modes of spiritualisms.

God is the ultimate intentional agent who gives the universe meaning and our lives purpose.

The evidence which comes from evolutionary theory, behavioural genetics, and comparitive studies of world religions, all support the thesis that belief comes first and the reasons for the belief follow.

– (Paraphrased from Michael Shermer’s book ‘The Believing Brain’)

Beliefs can be categorised in levels of realism. Lower level beliefs – just believing that something exists as an idea. Or higher level beliefs – believing that the subjects of one’s beliefs are actual personalities or personages which exist in reality.

Personally, for me now, believing in any god is as useful as believing in Eru Illúvatar from Tolkien’s Silmarillion. He is the ‘One God’ of Tolkien’s fictional universe.

Discussing the relative benefits and problems inherently associated within that fantastical theological belief system can be interesting on an intellectual, probably nerdy, level.

To me, discussing the God of Christianity or Allah of Islam, or the relevance of Satan in our lives is of comparative usefulness as discussing the reasons the Dwarven race in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy worship Aulë, whom they themselves call Mahal, meaning “maker.”

In other words as useful as a fictional narrative.

To me all the religious gods of this world and fictional fantasy rate as lower level beliefs. I believe they exist as fictional characters, but cannot any longer believe they are real, as in a higher level belief.

Most people who believe in god/gods and Satan believe at the higher level of belief.

They have a firm ‘belief in belief.’

This ‘belief in belief’ is indistinguishable from ‘belief in god/gods.’

I think fear plays a massive role in people’s beliefs. Fear of the unknown drives people to believe in false positives. Fear of a fantastical character called Satan and supernatural forces like gods.

Instead of accepting reality based on the evidence, instead of believing that our lot in life is caused by choice, chance and circumstance, there is a natural tendency to blame a mythical third person, Satan, and plead for help from an equally fictitious superpowered being, God.

When really it would make more sense to focus on life right now, for ourselves and the rest of humanity.

One of the most powerful motivators to believe in supernatural forces, including gods, is that often people’s lives can be horribly tragic & painful. Life just doesn’t seem fair, and it is only natural to seek for answers to some of the most poignant questions like, why is there so much suffering in the world.

I guess for many people this one life does not have the opportunities we have, or the relative ease & peace of living in modern industrialised countries. Our life experiences may be vastly different from many born into poverty, or born into a criminal lifestyle. Some people just don’t seem to have much of a chance in life, right from the start.

My heart wrenches in pain when I see photos like this:

image

I find it nearly impossible to be happy thinking that God answers any of my own personal prayers about finding my lost car keys, or doing well in a college exam or business deal, whilst simultaneously knowing that the most important prayers being asked at that moment are being offered by millions of starving kids which go unanswered every day!!!

If God’s help is really this limited and discriminatory, then I prefer that He give it to people who need him about a billion times more than I do.

When I replace the word ‘God’ in every context where I previously used it, for example when reading the scriptures & saying a prayer, with the phrase, ‘my invisible friend in my head’, it all makes so much more sense.

Because everyone else has their own personal ‘invisible friend in their heads’ too, we are all answered according to our own needs, wants & desires. Except tragically these poor little children in Africa who are starving don’t have very powerful ‘invisible friends’.

It really sickens me that some people consider God to be all loving & all powerful, yet are not bothered by the massive amount of suffering God allows to occur to His children who are desperately clinging to life & pleading with their Maker to ease their plight. Whilst at the same time praising their God that he helped them find their keys or blessed them to find a parking space etc.

It seems the ultimate in self-centred narcissistic thinking!

Saying that “God’s ways are not Man’s ways”, and that “we just don’t understand God’s over-all plan for His children,” is a massive cop-out & allows so many atrocities around the world to occur & go on recurring without our active intercession & practical help.

It may be a way of coming to terms with our not being able to help, but let’s be honest about it, rather than blaming God.

In my experience it seems all to easy to accept dreadful human suffering & atrocities when we believe that this life is temporary & only a preparation for the next, more important ‘life after death.’

Belief in ‘life after death’ can also become an excuse for inaction, whilst real human beings are suffering in this ‘one life’ we know we have.

If everyone believed that this life is our one & only chance at conscious existence, maybe the world would be a safer, happier place to live? Certainly Islamist Jihadist extremists wouldn’t be able to die as martyrs whilst preparing for paradise if they believed this life is all there was.

I believe there is no overarching plan and purpose for life. We all have a life based on choice, chance & circumstances. Often not even as a result of our own choices. Most people’s lives are deeply affected by other people’s choices which affect them. For instance which parents we’re born to, and what type of upbringing we have, often set the stage for the rest of our lives.

In considering a purpose of life I just don’t accept there is any compelling evidence for there being any other existence for us besides this one. It may not be fair, or just. It just is!

It is up to us to make the best of what opportunities are available to us, & that includes education and opportunities to develop our minds, as well as what we do to ease the suffering of others.

As a secular humanist I believe very strongly it is our duty to help improve the lives of every single human being on this planet. To do our best to enhance the human condition so that everyone has the optimum conditions to thrive as a person. So everyone gets to choose their own life experience with the best opportunities for developing their talents and skills.

I think it is beholden to us to work towards this goal.

Belief in an afterlife is at best a distraction, at worst an excuse to squander it on preparing for a fantasy which might never happen.

So much time, thought, effort & money is spent on preparing for something which is just a hope.

I have no concern about receiving eternal blessings from a god, or avoiding his eternal punishments either. I think that if there is a god he would prefer we concentrate on this one life we’re living right now and on improving the life experience of all the inhabitants of this planet.

Any time we focus on an afterlife at the expense of this one we’re living right now we’re reducing our effectiveness in mortality.

Any belief system which idolises the afterlife is distorting our priorities. Some people would rather they or their loved ones died rather than change their beliefs. It is sickly tragic when religious beliefs are held in higher esteem than human life, but it happens far too often. It happens in many religions.

Woody Allen had an excellent point to make on this “IF GOD EXISTS, I HOPE HE HAS A GOOD EXCUSE.”

David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, had this to say:

Woody Allen’s words encapsulate the thoughts of the freethinking community and the sneaking suspicions of a growing number of religious people as well. Considering the immensity of the unnecessary death, pain and suffering on the planet, an alleged all-powerful and all-loving god certainly has a lot to answer for.

Nicholls went on to say,

As far as all evidence to date suggests, the universe runs on natural laws with planet Earth just an insignificant speck in an unimaginably enormous cosmos. A god certainly needs to explain why, with such a mind-blowingly complicated system that can be understood using reason, reason should be dismissed in human affairs in favour of accepting answers based in delusion.

I’ve just discovered Ingersoll. My thanks to my friend Jean Bodie for introducing him to me.

I’ve never heard my own feelings expressed so beautifully.

How wonderful is this!?

“When I became convinced that the Universe is natural–that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light, and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world–not even in infinite space.

“I was free–free to think, to express my thoughts–free to live to my own ideal–free to live for myself and those I loved–free to use all my faculties, all my senses–free to spread imagination’s wings–free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope–free to judge and determine for myself–free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past–free from popes and priests–free from all the “called” and “set apart”–free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies–free from the fear of eternal pain–free from the winged monsters of the night–free from devils, ghosts, and gods.

“For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought–no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings–no chains for my limbs–no lashes for my back–no fires for my flesh–no master’s frown or threat–no following another’s steps- -no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.

“And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain–for the freedom of labor and thought–to those who fell in the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains–to those who proudly mounted scaffold’s stairs–to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn–to those by fire consumed–to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.” ~ Robert G. Ingersoll. (1833-1899)

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25 Responses to How To Find The Real God!

  1. John says:

    Just a small question that immediately springs to mind: Why do you continue to use religious terminology to describe your new ‘beliefs’ when you claim that religion is a figment of the imagination? Terms such as ‘belief’ and ‘soul’ degrade your case – and that is without going into the minefield of ‘why would He allow this to happen’. You have apparently forgotten Agency. Unless you wish God to be in control of every little thing from the actions of a virus, to the thoughts of Man, to the movement of the stars? That smacks of exactly the kind of thought that you are positioning yourself against.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi John,

      I accept the fact that I use religious terminology, but isn’t that understandable & expected, considering the only life I’ve known from birth to 46 years of age has been religious. My neurology has been formed around the Mormon belief system. My lexicon and frames of reference is based on my life up to 5 years ago, which was based around a totalistic religious belief system. Would anyone expect any different? Plus I’m trying to understand my religious/theistic belief system as someone transitioning out of my former beliefs and trying to understand why I held those beliefs for so long.

      My potential audience is also must likely going to be other transitioning Mormons. So we have a common background.

      I really don’t see how this undermines anything.

      Best regards,
      Steve

  2. coventryrm says:

    Thanks Steve …this could be me you expressed so much of what I think and feel … looks like our paths and reading material very similar …thanks for the fantastic articulation.

  3. Jared says:

    So the photographer did indeed commit suicide after this. But Please enlighten me how someone could leave when they have the means to do something. Did he pick the baby up and carry it to safety? Did he stay and use his connections to the media to help or just to get him a coveted award?
    I grow tired of the self proclaimed theists that blame God for everything. Our greatest asset is free agency. We have been given the power to help or ignore. Can we help everything and everyone? Not currently but maybe, one day, if we all pulled together. But if we allow God to use us as his hands like it was meant to be, each of us can and will make a small difference. Going back to the old story about the starfish on the beach. “I made a difference to that one.”

    Also, please tell me, would you actually stop and take that picture? I’m not sure I would. I think I would be too busy carrying the baby to worry about my career at that point.
    Snopes states :
    “The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat it. This picture shocked the whole world. No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Carter who left the place as soon as the photograph was taken.” WHO LEFT THE PLACE AS SOON AS THE PHOTO WAS TAKEN” !!!!!??!!!

    If there is no God, if there is no after life, why then does this picture matter? What higher purpose is there than to serve others? The fact that your heart aches when you see this picture tells me you have a soul that is based upon more than earthly life.

    Nature is the vulture in the pic doing what it does. If the universe is “natural” as you state, this photo doesn’t matter. With no God or Eternal purpose, this photo doesn’t matter. But God teaches that this photo does matter. People matter, compassion matters, agency matters. How then can we have compassion if there is no agency? How then can we have agency if there is no consequence? How then can we feel joy and peace if there is no sorrow and pain?

    You stated you were an X Mormon. Please show me where the Mormon church teaches to ignore others and keep your wealth to yourself. Please show me how the Mormon church teaches to withhold compassion. Please show me how the millions of tons of food and clothing that they make and collect don’t ever get sent to the needy. Please show me how the unpaid Mormon bishops all over the world are ignoring those in need around them. Please show me how the faithful Mormons everywhere are neglecting to pay fast offerings to give to those bishops to feed and clothe those in need around them and all over the world. Please show me where the Mormon church teaches to repent then do nothing. Please show me where “natural man” is doing anything but taking photos for awards and screaming for someone else to do something “because they can’t”

    John Lennon said “Imagine if there were no religion”… I say Imagine if the world did what the Mormon church is trying to teach by example. If that was the case this picture would never exist.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Jared, I accept your point. Whoever took the photo should have done something to help if at all possible.

      But my point is I don’t blame or thank a god. I obviously don’t think there are any gods besides those we imagine.

      The challenge for theists is trying to have it both ways.

      Thanking a god for his/her/its beneficent aid, but not blaming the same god for the things that go wrong.

      If a god can be thanked for helping someone find their keys or get over an illness, then surely the bad things in life can likewise be attributed to the god.

      The god believed in cannot discriminate and only be responsible for the good things, surely!?

      Or everything is just a result of choice, chance and circumstance.

      By the laws of probabilities bad things happen sometimes as well as good things.

      Good & bad consequences arise from our choices, and from other people’s choices.

      Coincidences happen more often than we think.

      And sometimes we are put into wonderful circumstances, other times awful, even tragic circumstances by events beyond our control.

      The only thing we can do is choose our reaction.

      Our superstitious pattern-seeking minds might desperately want to attribute blame or gratitude to a supernatural or divine power, but it is ultimately meaningless.

      Good and bad things happen to everyone, irrespective of who we are and whether or not we believe in a god, or not!

    • mvmcentire says:

      Jared, I can see exactly where your church teachings result in the cold shoulder. Did you ever hear the turn of phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps?” Self-sufficiency, right? Every time I post an article about hungry children in Utah (a real phenomenon), my former [Utah] classmates comment about laziness and other reasons about their parents. My post was never about the parents. It was and will continue to be about the children, who have no control over their situation.

  4. Max D. Crapo says:

    Well said, Stephen. As a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust said, “If God exists, he will have to get down on his knees and BEG my forgiveness.

    Until we as humans utterly reject God, we will remain as children, ever dependent on someone to guide our life…and always being subjugated to someone who has claimed unearned authority.

  5. Dan Nelson says:

    I loved this Steve.
    I can see that you and I are on the same wavelength and we are apparently approximately the same age. I just fully got out of the Mormon church about 3 years ago at the age of 48.
    I was able to fully relate to everything you wrote. If I had the talent of writing you have, I could have written it myself, but alas you did it and saved me the trouble.
    Regards.
    Dan

  6. Good Will says:

    Steve,

    Your arguments go off the rails at several points.

    First:

    “I believe there is no overarching plan and purpose for life,” you say. Then you add: “It is up to us to make the best of what opportunities are available to us, & that includes education and opportunities to develop our minds, as well as what we do to ease the suffering of others.” Why, Steve, if there’s “no overarching plan and purpose for life”? If life is fleeting, ethereal and, ultimately, meaningless, who’s to say who is living the “better” life? The guy complaining about the temperature of his latte at Starbucks? Or the kid starving to death, waiting to be eaten by a vulture?

    Secondly, in a later response you wrote:

    “If a god can be thanked for helping someone find their keys or get over an illness, then surely the bad things in life can likewise be attributed to the god.”

    That makes no sense. The fact that I CAN help someone doesn’t “obligate” me to help EVERYONE! Or even ANYONE! Even worse, does YOUR losing your keys — and my knowledge of where they are — make ME “responsible” for YOU losing them (or never finding them)?

    I see people do stupid things every day! Are all those stupid things MY fault, just because I’m aware of them? Can’t people be allowed to make their own mistakes, live their own lives, and suffer the consequences / enjoy the rewards for themselves (with and without God’s help), without rendering “God” irrelevant or non-existent?

    • HaroldTheCat says:

      Where did Steve say or imply that “…life is fleeting, ethereal and, ultimately, meaningless…?”

      “… who’s to say who is living the “better” life?”

      That takes empathy, reasonableness, and common sense to know that.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Will,

      I struggle to comprehend your inability to understand my arguments.

      On your first point, though I don’t believe in an over-arching plan and purpose for life I consider it perfectly natural and actually expected for atheists to have empathy for others.

      When people ask what is the purpose of love and altruism if there is no Plan of Salvation I respond:

      I think human love and altruism is an evolutionary adaption for survival as a species.

      It seems that studies in psychology & neuroscience are revealing a naturalistic human moral compass which has developed to bind societies together & helps protect us as a species.

      If you compare an individual human being to lots of other animals, especially predators, we don’t compare well in many different survival criteria.

      One theory for our survival, thriving, even flourishing as a weaker species, is our high degree of socialisation skills.

      Humans do better as a tribe. Tribal survival depends on individuals within the group cooperating well in the society.

      It’s about choice & consequence!

      Any social skills which promote survival will be passed on to the next generation in an evolutionary fashion.

      So, it is thought morality is an aid to survival of our species. Survival of those best adapted for living in a society helps the species to thrive in a dangerous natural world.

      It most probably has nothing to do with the ‘Light of Christ’, as I used to think at one time.

      And what surprised me most is that atheists seem to have the edge on moral altruism, often with no thought of eternal blessings or fear of eternal damnation!

      In fact, if you think about it, people who are only moral due to religious consequences are actually not being very moral at all!

      Interesting research in neuroscience is showing certain areas of our brains are responsible for our moral compass.

      In people who suffer certain specific brain injuries or diseases, that part of the brain is damaged & consequently their ability to discern between ‘right & wrong’, or their moral compass is adversely affected.

      Recent research in the field of psychopathy for instance is showing some people are born with different brain structures which inhibit their ability to empathise with others emotionally.

      Other research has shown that the ‘moral compass’ can be temporarily  ‘switched off’ with a certain magnetic field placed over a specific area of the brain.

      It all starts to make a lot more sense when we realise their is no spirit driving our brain & body. No ‘Ghost in the Machine.’

      Our minds are what our brains do. The mind is the function of the brain.

      We exist as personalities in our brains.

      Once the brain is damaged through illness or disease our minds & moral compass can change.

      I think it might have been Hitchens who asked the question what did the Israelites do for morality in the generations before they got to the foot of Mt Sinai?  To my mind utilitarian ethical behaviour can stand on its own two feet, and critical reasoning can help us to make wise decisions when faced with difficult situations. In this respect religion and morality can be separated out. ‘Morality’ does not depend on religion to justify its place and its importance in the human condition. Religion has placed another layer of considerations onto ethics/morals through doctrines and power structures. Some of those considerations might help some groups and individuals focus their lives and resources in healthy ways but most religious considerations seem to be damaging, divisive,  unneccesary and counterproductive to happiness.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Will, in response to your second point I would ask “do you believe things happen by chance? Do you believe God intervenes in the lives of people by means of answering their pleas for assistance and blessing them with feelings of peace and joy?”

      If so, how does this god discriminate between those who deserve his help and those who don’t?

  7. When you said: “It really sickens me that some people consider God to be all loving & all powerful, yet are not bothered by the massive amount of suffering God allows to occur to His children who are desperately clinging to life & pleading with their Maker to ease their plight. Whilst at the same time praising their God that he helped them find their keys or blessed them to find a parking space etc. It seems the ultimate in self-centred narcissistic thinking!” I thought yes, this is the most shocking indictment against God that believers cannot, or will not answer.

    • SteveBloor says:

      I’m being challenged for that logic by believing Mormons. There is some shocking rational disconnect in their thinking.

      • John says:

        It is undeniable that some people receive answers to their prayers. Whether that is mere coincidence, or the workings of a higher power, is a debate that moves into the field of faith – either for or against the argument. It cannot be proven either way outside your own mind.

        As to the question of keys and parking spaces (and other trivial matters) – if it makes people happy to think that God somehow assisted in their search, then that is not a bad thing per se. The danger arises when that is taken further, as in your argument, to suggest that God only listens to some prayers, and is content to ignore the pleas of those in peril or anguish. My personal belief is that God does not intervene in the lives of His children. He created them, gave them agency, showed them a good example to follow, gave much good advice and then left them to make their own choices. Much the same as many with their children.

        Pre-destination and all that goes along with that (including intervening to help or deter) threatens agency and favours certain individuals. We are taught above all that God is no respecter of persons. I believe this is absolutely key. He chooses no-one above another. What he does do is provide a Comforter who will sustain us in our innermost self in times of trial, if (and only if) we maintain a state of mind such as to be able to receive that comfort. All else is a fiction created by humanity.

  8. joan barnes says:

    Thank you for what your wrote and for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this subject. I left the mormon organisation last year and its been quite a challenging journey since as ive gone down many avenues in search of truth. It was a shock after 28 years a member to find out iI’d been lied to and i did give myself a hard time for allowing myself to be taken in. They have good recruiting methods. Anyway my journey had woken me up to so much, im careful now and developing discernment. Im trusting myself and my own inner guidance. I appreciate what others share and stick with what resonates with me and always keep an open mind and heart. Thanks again for sharing.

  9. joan barnes says:

    I believe there is a creator and our souls live on after this life. I am still working things out after leaving the church last year realising it was not true. I believe jesus existed and was on earth to bring humanity a message, this message barely got through because it’s been distaughted. I dont accept any religion, i think some people need religion as partvof their lifes journey snd learning and religions do have a little truth in them if u can sift through all the lies to find them and rise above the controls religions put on people. To me the creator is powerful, not sure if its hands on though judging from what goes on in the world and in each person’s life. I think its up to us yo be responsible for ourselves, i dont think jesus or the creator saves us i think we save ourselves byvour choices and we can help each other if we choose to. Im still open and exploring all possibilities and variations on these new beliefs of mine. We are all searching in our own ways snd are free to do so once we have escaped the clutches of anyone or any organisation that tries to inflict mind control technics on us.

    • Ray says:

      I don’t know if you need support however, I have been out for about 4 years and have very similar views (no religion but pray and meditate to God, we are spirit beings in a temporary physical experience. I also believe in after life, reincarnation, past lives, spirit guides, etc.. Basically, I studied psychics, medium, meditation, and intuition techniques. I have personally experienced glimpses of past lives (we reincarnate), many relatives in heaven/after life, and asked a ton of ‘spiritual’ questions and received responses. Am I still skeptical, I am and keep getting experiences every day/week, based on requesting and attempting new things, to further test my new beliefs. I just find that when I tell people my experiences it makes them more open and they soon start having/recognizing ‘help’ in their lives also. We are not alone!

      PS Of course I can’t prove anything to anyone else, just to myself so no need to ask. However, I have had hundreds of predictions, premonitions, visions, dreams, mental reminders, insights, come true or provide very specific messages to me.

  10. Jason Draper says:

    Stevie, Stevie, Stevie. Have you considered the Bronze Serpent lifted up by Moses in the wilderness? What would it mean to not look? Say that you were one of the Children of Israel during that time of trial. You have lived in close proximity to others who have been afflicted by the plague of serpents. You have heard them report that they looked and lived, you have seen them get better. Yet there were people who would not look. That is not merely disbelief, that is doing everything you can to not see. That is a whole new level of bloody-mindedness. And that is what you are doing with your life. Why is this?
    You portray yourself as some sort of Superior Man because you don’t believe in a God, but more critically, you don’t believe in a Plan. If I do right action because I believe in God and His plan, how is that of less value than your right action that you may take when you do not believe? And what right action do you take? As has been pointed out in other excellent responses, there was so much action that could have been taken at the time the photo was composed. What action have you taken in your role as Superior Man? How many have you brought out of poverty and ensured lived a completely fulfilled life where they wanted for nothing? The “logic” you use to say “bad things happen, this proves there is no God” can be logically extended to say “bad things happen in Britain where Steve Bloor says he lives, and since he says he has the desire and means to keep bad things from happening the fact that they still happen means Steve Bloor doesn’t exist. When did you last check to see which children were going to bed hungry at night? You had the opportunity (and responsibility) to do so as a Bishop, but you gave it up for coffee. (Echoing yet another Biblical tale when Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage)
    Just to really emphasize the point, your characterization of your “feelings” (which according to you have no validity, yet you cite them as conclusive in your particular case) of “your heart [wrenching] in pain” upon viewing the photo is mewling twack. Your “compassion” and “pain” mean nothing. Action is all. And what right action did you take on seeing this photo? If you took no action, then what is shown is not “heart wrenching pain” but the truth that this child and others in the same situation mean nothing to you.
    But telling the truth like that takes courage, and courage takes integrity, and we both know that ship has long since sailed for you. It is so sad that what you are doing with this blog is not showing the courage of your convictions, but your extended whinge against the Church and against your Heavenly Father.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Jared,

      The big problem with all religion is people don’t just believe things on no evidence, but also on bad evidence.

      I used to use the story you cite about Moses myself to try to persuade others to “look to God and live.” But I now realise that was ALL about feelings.

      I’m not bothered that you feel I’m being “bloody-minded”. I’m sorry you feel inferior because of it, but I’m not responsible for your reactions to me explaining my rationale for not believing in your God or any of the other five thousand or so gods that people reputedly believe in around the world.

      I only want to believe in a god with good evidence.

      I certainly don’t want to believe in the Mormon god who needs his servants on earth to lie for him, which any reasonable person without a bias can so easily detect has happened on just a cursary inspection of Mormonism.

      Jared, I wish you well and hope you continue to enjoy your beliefs.

      I bid you adieu.

  11. Ray says:

    I am a believer in God but not in religion. However, I find your essay very well written and very logical. I would like to comment on the two issues that hit me.

    That many people get that ‘warm feeling’ that causes them to believe not only in God but religion and every doctrine. I am very concerned with this and that is why so many religions and beliefs so I believe people —– sell out before getting a real answer from God/spirit guide. I, even as a Mormon, was asking for information but not getting this ‘warm feeling’ but completely different feelings/indications to know the answer. I agree I was so brain washed I didn’t ask the right question for too long a time. Finally, I asked for ‘documentation’ to support the truth or falsity of the lds church. I got a miraculous response —— various websites and promptly left the church. After that I had a higher mark for getting answers to prayers. Ask for support documentation, a verbal answer, a dream, some evidence, etc..

    The second point that hit me hard was about the suffering here on earth. I will have to agree I cannot adequately argue against you however, I feel better about it by considering that you need to evaluate suffering from an eternal spirit (which I believe we actually are) point of view who lives many lives in many different physical environments on earth and other worlds and dimensions. Earth and its variety of ‘primitiveness’ is exciting to some spirits. Additionally, it is easy for an onlooker to say the ‘child’ is obviously suffering. However, how much ‘suffering’ is really occurring to the sufferer? I don’t think we really know without ‘being in his shoes’. One example is near death experiences —– while people are dead or apparently suffering they report they are somewhere else and not feeling pain but love. Another example (medium talking to a passed person) is where people in an auto accident reported they were pulled out before feeling any pain by spirit guides —— they didn’t even realized they were dead until told and shown their bodies in the wreck. So, I believe God/spirits help those suffering to ‘some extent’. I can’t speak from experience yet so I will not.

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