Why do many people believe that God is fake and not real?

This is a fairly broad question, and I am afraid it is difficult to give
one answer which will apply in all cases. To start off, let me refer you
to Romans 1:18-23 which explains that unbelievers, in order to reach this
conclusion, must “supress the truth.” In other words, the only way to
reach an atheistic conclusion is to, willfully or not, ignore the clear
evidence of God which hits each and every one of us in the face every
single day. To paraphrase, the fact of supernatural creation is obvious by
the very nature of the creation itself, so that “men are without excuse”
who do not believe.

Nevertheless, even those who suppress the truth about God certainly have
some sort of reason for applying such a deception to themselves. Why would
anyone ignore the obvious and deny the existence of their creator? Let me
suggest a few reasons.

First, it is one of the trends of our culture to deny the existence of
God. Without exception, all early scientists believed in God. Despite
this, the atheistic movement has largely hijacked the scientific
community, or at least intimidated most scientists into hiding their
spirituality for fear of being ridiculed. Atheism is not a new thing, but
the relatively large number of atheists in modern society is a new
phenomenon, thanks at least in part to the philosophy of materialism which
has been created in part by the triumph of modern science.

So one reason for unbelief is that it is a popular cultural trend brought
on by materialist philosophy in concert with modern science. Another
reason for unbelief is the selfishness and pride of human hearts. Belief
in God seems inevitably to lead to some sort of requirement for one to
change one’s life–whether we are talking about Christianity or any other
religion. Many do not believe in God because belief would require a change
in their life which they are not interested in in making. This is
certainly implied by Romans 1:18-32, which describes people willfully
ignoring the truth in order to pursue their own sinful desires.

An associated reason is also found in Romans 1. Some do not believe
because of their pride. Some want to believe that we humans are the
greatest thing in the universe. We do not want to admit a greater power or
authority than ourselves. This would require our submission to that
greater power, which some are not willing to do.

In this extremely brief essay, I have not addressed all possible reasons
for unbelief. Personal tragedy is another. There are more reasons as well.
A bigger question is not necessarily why people do not believe, but rather
what can a believer do to help such people to believe. It can be helpful
to understand the reason for unbelief. If the reason for unbelief is
emotional, then intellectual arguments will not be helpful. Love may be
the simple (but difficult to do) answer in that case. If the cause of
unbelief is intellectual, then perhaps intellectual explanation might be
helpful. This is the purpose of this web site. Of course, I would
recommend by book Reasons for Belief in that case.

John Oakes, PhD

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