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Is Atheism Inevitable? Or Is God Real?

Updated on November 1, 2009

This may surprise many of my readers, but I, Hope Alexander, have a degree in Religious Studies. I undertook this degree initially in the hopes that the ennui and existential crisis which I am capable of generating just by looking at a blade of grass might be assuaged and answered by understanding religion, the theology of the real. They weren't. But of all the hubs I've ever written, I'm the most objectively qualified to write this one.

The conclusion I have come to after obtaining this degree and then pondering it for several years is that we are dealing with a dual reality.

So, for those of you with little time and other places to click, here is my TL, DR conclusion:

God is both real and not real.

For those of you who prefer a more thoughtful approach, read on, I have endeavored greatly to make it worth your while. In order to lay out the thought process which has lead me to my conclusion, I use the never ending conflict between Christians, Jews and Muslims as a starting point.

Christians, Jews and Muslims have not always been killing each other. Initially they were regarded as being brothers, children of this one God. Then one of the kids realized that his oil had gotten underneath the other one's sand (a simplistic contemporary explanation for a conflict which has raged since the time before the Crusades, but you get the idea,) and they've been killing each other ever since whilst God allegedly backs one of them, then the other.

This makes God some kind of child pit fighter. If we don't like Michael Vick for making his dogs fight, then why do we not despise this God fellow for sticking a bunch of his children together in a world with limited resources and letting them go at it whilst he watches from afar?

Fundamentally, the concept of such a God is either false, abhorrent or both.

Yet, in spite of massive logic breaks in every single religion worldwide, people still tend to believe. Is this because they are stupid? I don't believe so. I have enough faith in humanity, and not quite enough arrogance in my own views to believe that fully half the population or more is entirely deranged.

My theory is that some people are simply created to believe. Whether or not there actually is a God objectively is entirely irrelevant. For those with the right wiring, God exists.

Of course, there are also those without the right wiring. I feel that I, and other atheists, fall into this category. To those without the right wiring, the idea of believing in a God is ridiculous. The notion of 'faith' seems silly. These people are more able to use science and rationality to explain the world because they are always seeking, always wanting to explain the existence which those provided with faith and religion do not worry about overmuch.

Atheists tend to be arrogant and think that people who have beliefs are mentally flawed, kidding themselves, or worse. I think this is a mistake. The fact that beliefs in Gods exist around the world entirely independent of one another is evidence enough for me that for some people God is real.

As Christians say “Jesus is in me.” For them, he truly is in them, he is hardwired into their brains. I don't believe that it is actually the Christian Jesus which is hardwired into their brains of course, I believe that culture overlays this 'God Center' with whatever beliefs it has and people come to associate this sense of the divine with whichever deity they grew up with.

Richard Dawkins often uses that approach to shoot Christians down. “Why,” he says “If you were born in ancient Norway, you would believe in Thor.”

Yes, you would, but that does not prohibit the sensing of the divine from being potentially real. Cultural overlays may muddy the religious person's perception, or even simply provide them a framework for understanding their feelings, but that does not discount their feelings entirely. Who is not to say that some of us are more adept at sensing the divine, as some of us have better sight, or better smell?

Both sides of the debate need to understand that reality is subjective. Always. Our perception is always colored by our limited knowledge, by our experiences, by our fears, desires and needs. This goes for the religious and the non religious alike. For some humans, God is a real and active force in their lives, for others, he or she is not. We are not dealing with an argument over what reality really is, we are dealing with the clash of two separate realities which co-exist in the same world.

For some, God is real. And from among those who believe God is real, someone needs to step up and tell him to stop being a jerk and feed those starving kids in Ethiopia already. My dollar a day doesn't seem to be cutting it.


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    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      This is fun to read and fascinating. As one one who believes in the tooth fairy, I believe there might be something we refer to as God out there! But, why anyone feels they absolutely know anything is beyond me, and why we have blowing each other up and burning each other at the stake for choosing another brand of belief is another of life's great mysteries. Of course, as you mention, oil and other goodies of the earth are the real reasons. Kartika

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I believe in God,if by "God" you mean a metaphore for all things unknown or unknowable.In the begining was the word,well a word is a sound and a sound is simply a vibration,a wave,on again-off again,it exists and doesn't exist,Interesting concept.My question is this;if God exists,why cant he manifest himself in an unambiguous manner?

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      9 years ago

    • bayareagreatthing profile image


      9 years ago from Bay Area California

      Hope- May I request a hub from you? I have complete respect for your position as a non believer-- I know that God (from an atheist estimation) may seem unprovable via science. I have asked this question of some of my atheist friends without much success. Because you are highly educated in the subject I was hoping you could satisfy my questions from an expert standpoint.

      Please write a scientific explanation from an atheist worldview for hope, faith, love, and goodness( some of the things we Christians claim are "God things"). I have often wondered what tangible proofs (of course other than point to the actions of people--that really isn't hard evidence otherwise we would have to use that same measure for the existence of God)there are that cause us to readily accept these things as truth.

      Perhaps quotes from scientific studies on the issue would be helpful as a back up. I love science and am intrigued by how we pursue discovery in order to explain our world and how it works. Of course- from where I stand I always say that God is the most amazing scientist of all :)

      I look forward to more of your writings as they are fascinating to me! (I am a Christian so I know we have some differing views on things) I like to hear what non-believers have to say.

      Thank you!!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      9 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      Actual when you put freewill, the devil and sin in the picture it should begin to make sense,God doesn't cause us to be born or to fight,the whole universe is there for us contribute as we see fit and ever warning of consequence ,people break laws of ethics, make poor choices and epic crap tends to be the result,even beyond the control of man, God and the devil,I think even the devil runs for shelter when our unmentionable products hits the fan of fate as it were!

      He laughs while doing so I would imagine!:D

    • treasuresyw profile image


      9 years ago from Savannah, GA

      I must say that your article was very enlightening. I enjoyed reading it. Peace.

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      9 years ago

      Thank you guys, I'm glad I haven't alienated the non panty wearing audience entirely. It's always about more than the panties, even when it's about the panties :)

    • profile image

      JM Black 

      9 years ago

      Best Hub I've read so far. Tolerance and thoughtful reflection might not as sexy as vitriol and hatred but they are the keys to our species' survival.

      Again, well-written. I knew there was a reason (since men's panties don't do much for me) that I followed your work.

    • Jim Bryan profile image

      Jim Bryan 

      9 years ago from Austin, TX

      Great Hub, Hope.

      Lou, good point about religion, but I would go further and say the belief is born from man's struggle to feel powerful against things they have no power against. From warding against storms, to performing exacting rituals to bring a good harvest, to the desire to believe that when we die, that we will live on, in some place where there is no suffering.

      Sounds nice, but only on the surface.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Here is a thought, "God is the manifestation of the collective thought of the thinking entities within the universe of thought; as God is the reality within which one thinks"...

      As for doubt, it is choice indecision; and it minimizes certainty's confidence of conviction and assurance to understand we are the God we seek ~ once we accept the responsibility, agreement and stewardship for our actions...

      Religion is an invention of humanity to control like all the other edifices of human ego... It has nothing to do with God or they would all be of one opinion...

      Keep on thinking...Oh yeah! good post, got me going...

    • profile image

      Manny aka indrag13 

      9 years ago

      Hope, what a surprise to hear of your learned degree in this subject. This is one of my fave subjects, the history of religion and esp matriarchy which is what I prefer to believe if I had to chooses. In the navy we had a saying: "I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of..." ciao one of your fans

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for your tangentially related comment!

    • bayareagreatthing profile image


      9 years ago from Bay Area California

      Ah...we should all feed the starving...after all it is the kind thing to do.

      James 1:27 (New International Version)

      Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


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