Why I don’t want to believe in God. A Reply to Peter Hitchens’ question: ‘Why don’t you want to believe in God?’

To put it bluntly if there were an omnipotent God then I think He should burn forever in eternal hellfire in deepest depths of hell.

peter-hitchens

Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens, columnist for the Mail on Sunday has on several occasions asked the question ‘why don’t you want to believe in God?’ in his debates with atheists. He believes that as it is unknowable whether there is a creator to this universe arguments presenting evidence for and against the existence of God and the historical validity of scripture are irrelevant. He has also stated that the reason he wants to believe in God is because he wishes that there was some sort of universal justice or in other words it is highly implied that the reason that people don’t believe in God is because they don’t want to and the reason they don’t want to is because they don’t want there to be universal justice, they want injustice, they want to get away with their evil actions. Hitchens also brings up the fact that he wishes that his dead relatives and friends do not simply disappear and that this is also why he wants to believe in God. Hitchens also implies that as these were his motives for not believing in God in his youth they must be those of his opponents.

Let me start by addressing the last point, I admit that some people may wish not to believe in God because they don’t want to be held morally accountable for their actions however some religious people may want to believe in God for selfish reasons too, for example they may simply be faeces-licking cowardly opportunists with no regard for morality or truth or others but who are simply after a blissful afterlife(pure hedonists) not to mention the moralizing hypocrites and authoritarians who will like leaches latch on to anything  including but not limited to left-wing ideologies and Christianity. The point I am trying to make is that it is possible to believe or disbelieve in God for reasons that have got nothing to do with morality, truth or selflessness. I think it is only fair to mention both.

I don’t want to believe in God for moral reasons – given the level of injustice in this world throughout history which I am sure he is aware of, even if I did believe in God I would only hate him for all this cruelty and I don’t want to live constantly with that sort of hatred in me. This argument is commonly known as The Problem of Evil. To put it bluntly if there were a omnipotent God then I think He should burn forever in eternal hellfire in deepest depths of hell. Speaking of hell Mr. Hitchens fails to mention that to believe in the Christian version of an afterlife means that he must also want to believe that there is a possibility that his close relatives and friends may be burning in that hellfire. Just as the existence of God is unknowable the criteria to get into heaven and into are hell are unknowable, I don’t want to live under constant fear that I or my close relatives and friends may end up in hell for breaking unknowable rules, Hitchens assumes that the Christian rules he adheres to are the right ones but he can only ever assume, frankly this is Orwellian, I think it is Orwell who said that all totalitarian states are in effect theocracies, as it also opens holes for baseless moral authority to seep through and such baseless moral authority can only devalue moral authority as a whole by binding moral authority to superstition and then when the superstition is burned so will the moral authority be gone. I do not wish this to happen and this is why I don’t want to believe in God.

I would also not underestimate the desire for truth in itself as a motive to disbelieve in God. The distinction between agnostic and atheist is an illusive one, most agnostics tends in practice to assume that there is no god, that is to say that they do not believe in god and both insist on the need for evidence to explain phenomena and to brush off the lack of historical validity of the bible is disingenuous. I doubt that Mr. Hitchens would as a journalist given a source which makes ordinary falsifiable claims trust in the unprovable extraordinary claims which it makes simply because it affirmed his own biases.

Note: In the debates I have watched I have seen Peter Hitchens also equate theism with deism and yet provide no justification for this. I feel confused by this point. It would be nice if he could provide some further clarification. Not that I would expect him to read this little blog.

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