Someone trolled the South African Atheists Facebook group with, “Why don’t you believe?”
So… This was my answer. I have written similar things here before, but this, in a nutshell, is the simplest answer I have for not believing in god, one that I could type in a minute or two and still get the point across. I hope someone might find it handy…
God is no more than a magical placeholder for the unknown. Here’s why…
Imagine you could draw a straight line to represent all known history of us and the universe, as far back as we can extrapolate… What you’d have is a point at the end, called *now* and a point at the beginning, where it all began.
On that scale, you can add another point, right beside *now*, which represents the first time “god” showed up. Yet by definition, this god must be inserted at the beginning of the line. It is thus a ready-made explanation to put there instead of the dreadful unknown.
In other words, god is just a little box, a placeholder to draw at the start of our straight line, that *by definition* was always there. And by definition we must accept this, despite no evidence and despite the recent invention of this god.
So that’s all god is… a placeholder for the unknown – magical thinking. To insist that god does not need a creator himself is an example of special pleading, because if he doesn’t, neither does the universe. Take away the little box and instead you have the unknown. I’m OK with that. I don’t need to fill it in with some made up explanation.
Insisting that I must believe because it can’t be proven that this made up god isn’t real, is simply an argument from ignorance, as is almost every argument in religious apologetics.