Knowing that men have created gods to explain what they don’t understand throughout history, why would you believe the god you were taught about is any different?

I had an interesting conversation with Josh, my ten year old son, last night. He asked me for tuck money for school, but since I had already given him two days this week, I said no, and suggested he find god and ask him for the money. “But god isn’t real”, he said. “Like Zeus.”

His answer was thanks in part to the Gods of Rome game that he occasionally plays, free from the Windows app store. I’ve used this as an opportunity to help him understand that there have been many gods worshipped throughout history, since we do like to invent them.

And that led me to this simple but logical argument: Knowing that men invent gods, why believe the one you were taught of is real, unlike all the others? That’s madness.

Of course we know how it really works. There are a combination of reasons to believe… The two most obvious are these:

  1. If it was drummed into your head before you could think for yourself, you accept it as fact, and at the end of the day, it is easier to continue believing what you already believe.
  2. The belief also teaches that you won’t die when your body dies, and that you will see your lost loved ones again.

But those are not reasons to believe. They’re excuses not to think.

I’m not going to get into this in greater depth today, or look at the misguided pseudo-logic used by religious apologetics to get around the obvious truth that all gods are made up. This is about my son… In December it will only be three years that he’s been back in my care, and this is a great step forward in terms of his deconversion. I’d worried that those who raised him while I was unable (due to my former addiction) might have brainwashed him to such an extent that deconversion was impossible, but it looks like he is going to be just fine.

12 thoughts on “Knowing that men have created gods to explain what they don’t understand throughout history, why would you believe the god you were taught about is any different?

    1. Funny how they don’t comment on blogs, or write their own books. Men do that for them. Except thousands of years ago… we are supposed to accept credulously that they did show up physically.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Mark 11:24, brother.

    Belief is a powerful thing.

    If you believe that gods don’t comment on blogs, write books. You are right.

    I personally see extraordinary insight, uncanny insight, godlike insight echoed in Principia Mathematica. Musica Universalis. Shakespeare. Bowditch. Nietzsche. Poe.

    Fairies, I believe, do not make themselves. But I’ve been cautioned to never drink anything they offer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the things that you believe god created prove the creation?

      I’m sorry but I don’t buy it. It’s like saying, “God created this potato. [Holds up potato.] Therefore this potato proves god exists because he created it.”

      I call it the “potato; therefore god” argument, but others might call it begging the question or circular reasoning.

      But today is not a good day for arguing. I wrote this more to update the progress on my son’s relationship with me and my disbelief. It wasn’t meant to provoke or insult anybody.

      We can agree to disagree? You have faith and I do not…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I never stated things prove creation. I will comfortably assume that things prove that they exist. Mostly. Probably. I have doubts about some subatomic particles existing with both a determined position and momentum….

    You proposed an excellent strawman and destroyed it beautifully. I would agree with your logic entirely in this case.

    No debate necessary. I think what you are doing is incredibly healthy. It is a very complex dynamic, faith, intellect, belief, perception… To even BEGIN to communicate these ideas to a child is a daring task. Your pursuit is noble.

    Like

    1. Um, no. I was referring to this:

      I personally see extraordinary insight, uncanny insight, godlike insight echoed in Principia Mathematica. Musica Universalis. Shakespeare. Bowditch. Nietzsche. Poe.

      But yeah, it is not my job to tell my son what to believe. It’s my job to try to teach him to think critically, to empower him to make up his own mind. Specifically my aim is to undo the indoctrination he’s had such that he can be in a reasonable position to decide for himself what to believe.

      It’s extraordinarily difficult though. Just because beliefs were imposed on him before does not mean that I can impose my disbelief. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and yet to achieve that, I must still compete with others who have forced some dogmatism on him. It’s hard to remember to inject some disclaimer to differentiate absolute known facts from beliefs/opinions every time the subject comes up.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nowhere in the quoted text did I mirror the sentiment in your strawman.

        Also, I would never presume to tell a father how to raise his son. But I offer this for consideration: imparting your disbelief is much different than imparting…say…your love for truth. Your knowledge of science. Both will inspire a healthy critique of religion, without forcing a disposition.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s the thousands-years record: untold, innumerable hours (billions+) of authoritarian bullshit “imparted” by fearful. disabled religion-discipline parents, vs. a few hours of authentic, reality-based observations from actual parents to their children, and who gets the commenting?
    Great for J. to give the gift of this ove to his son. Though in this mega-media world, children will tend to go their own way, and while there are no guarantees,atheism-raised children avoid religion in much greater numbers than religion-saturated kids have the wherewithal to reject its nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

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