What would you answer to someone that tells you that people believe in God because they are afraid of death? I hope you can answer me.


I am sure that there are some people who believe in God, at least in part, out of fear of death.  That is not why I believe in God, but it is probably why some believe.  I am sure that the great majority who believe in God do not do so because they fear death, but some do.  Here is my response:  What matters is whether God is real.  What matters is the evidence, both pro and con.  The fact that one person believes in God for a particular reason has nothing whatsoever to do with whether God is real or not.  I believe in God because of the evidence from science and from evidence for the inspiration of the Bible.  But that is just my story.  Why I do or do not believe is irrelevant.  This should not influence anyone.  People ought to be influenced by the evidence!  The only question that matters is not why person X believes in God.  The only question that matters is whether God exists or not.  That question ought to be settled based on what the evidence says.  What is the evidence most consistent with–that God does or that God does not exist?  This is a smoke screen, plain and simple.  The person who throws up this smoke screen ought to be asked what his evidence is that God does or does not exist.  The reasons that a random unnamed person does or does not believe in God is completely irrelevant to whether he or anyone else ought to believe in God.

Some people do not believe in God because of a bad experience they had in church.  Others do not believe in God because of rational arguments.  Fine, but the fact that one disbelieves because of anger, and another because of arguments is irrelevant.  Again, all that matters is what does the evidence say.  I say that all the evidence is consistent with the conclusion that God is real.

John Oakes





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