Religion & Beliefs

Why I Don’t Believe In G-d (and Don’t Mind If You Do)

[This is a response to yesterday's post by Patrick Aleph, "Why I Believe in G-d, And You Should Too."] Go right ahead and believe! I tried to believe in G-d, but couldn’t take the leap. First, thank you, Patrick, for … Read More

By / October 1, 2009

[This is a response to yesterday's post by Patrick Aleph, "Why I Believe in G-d, And You Should Too."]

Go right ahead and believe! I tried to believe in G-d, but couldn’t take the leap.

First, thank you, Patrick, for not trying to use logic or science to argue for the existence of a supernatural being. Those arguments fail, always.  As your religious experience illustrates, people don’t need science or logic to believe in G-d. There is a very good "reason" to believe: afeeling, a powerful emotional connection, a gut-level knowing, a leap of faith.

Human behavior is largely irrational and emotionallydriven about many things — most things that matter, anyhow. So, keeping that in mind, I see no problem with people throwing logic to the wind and taking a leap of faith to believe in G-d. However, I do have to pick one nit: please give us atheists some credit — just because we don’t believe in G-d does not mean that we "don’t believe in something other than bagels and Seinfeld."

Science and faith are not an either/or. It’s not just science that I believe in. Science is an amazing tool that we witness the truth of every time we switch on a light, make a phone call, or are helped by medicine.I whole-heartedly believe in the power of science to advance our understanding of the world.

However, science is limited when it comes to understanding what should be. Biology and evolution have a something to say about ethics and morals — at least, how they may have developed. But as far as helping me determine how I, one human being on this Earth living one lifetime, should live and find meaning in my life — science does a terrible job.

So what do I do? I choose to believe unsubstantiated things which I feel wholly, in my gut, to be true. Some of things are that people matter, that Jewish people matter, that Jewish peoplehood matters, and that Judaism is a positive force in the world. It is important that I support Jewish peoplehood and have made it my life’s work to do so. It is important to raise my child Jewish.

Without G-d I "believe that the world is worth more than what [I] canpillage and rape from it." Way beyond that: I feel connected to the world and humanity and that my life is meaningful. Can any of these things I take on faith be shown through science or reason that they really matter — as in up in the sky, ultimate truth Matter with a capital M? No. However, I feel these things to be true so I choose to believe. I think it’s great that you get a similar sense of connection and meaning through G-d. But when it comes to me and G-d, I’m just not feelin’ it.