Do You Believe in God?

The following is an excerpt from Scott Adams’ God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment that someone shared on another blog. It was in response to an ongoing discussion, but I felt it could stand on its own and decided to share it here as well.

If you’re interested, the book is FREE in pdf format (use the above link) and I urge you to read it if you haven’t already.

One person offered this description about the book: “You may not find the final answer to the big question, but God’s Debris might provide the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read.”

The old man leaned toward me, resting a blanketed elbow on the arm of his rocker.

“Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives to converting others to their religions.

“A belief in God would demand one hundred percent obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few. The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs—an earthly and practical utility—but they do not believe in the underlying reality.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “If you asked them, they’d say they believe.”

“They say that they believe because pretending to believe is necessary to get the benefits of religion. They tell other people that they believe and they do believer-like things, like praying and reading holy books. But they don’t do the things that a true believer would do, the things a true believer would have to do.

“If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.”

“Are you saying God doesn’t exist?” I asked, trying to get to the point.

“I’m saying that people claim to believe in God, but most don’t literally believe. They only act as though they believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so. They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy.”

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21 thoughts on “Do You Believe in God?

  1. Daniel Dennett has much to say about “believing in belief” claiming that such believers outnumber those who believe in a god. Basically, I stole (from you?) the line “I believe in god. God is the most powerful fictional character ever created by humans.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A belief in a god these days is right up there (at least for me) with a belief in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. I’ll give Jack Frost a pass for now, he does really nice things with windwos.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am working on a piece and this was my slug “The religion they defend is powerless without their submission”. They create it, give it power, then submit to the craziness even as it devolves. They continue to change the schematics and buy in quickly to the new change in the name of “new” information, that is old repackaged wording.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Part of their believing in calling themselves christians is believing they will be going to a heaven of some kind. None of them will ever get there. Aside from the fact there is no heaven, they can’t buy their way past repeated lies and ongoing sins. Immoral behaviour, by their standards, is also a factor. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s [partner].” Yet they believe they are following their god’s commands. 99% of them are deliious.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Looks interesting but why oh why did he underline so much? Makes it VERY difficult to read. Nonetheless, I shall make an attempt at some point in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perfectly said Nan. “They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy.” It’s all based on self-regard and fitting a certain perspective perceived by a specific type of people. Earthly benefits..

    Like

  6. Hello Nan. If a person picks and chooses what parts of the bible to follow, basically disregarding any part they disagree with and interpreting other parts in a way they favor, can they still call themselves Christians? I asked the Pastor who can not be named this question when he claimed he did not follow the Bible but followed Jesus the Christ. I have read comments from people who have a view of Jesus totally not in line with what is described in the Bible. I admit I don’t understand. Hugs

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    • This is a very American psycho-babble theology, Scottie? This pastor is steeped in television self help theology and books by gurus.

      What does it mean to “follow Jesus the Christ”? Is He a pied piper leading people off a cliff? Does He follow traffic laws, or is the pastor likely to step into traffic like a texting teenager?

      Is “Jesus the Christ” an Imaginary Friend that a nervous five year old has deep conversations with? Is the person seeing ghosts? Does Jesus the Christ DM them? Do other members of his family see this JtC character-is it a group hallucination? Given that JtC is either a myth, dead, or in heaven, how can this pastor follow such a non-entity. And by non-entity I merely mean non-physically present in the material world visible to others beside the following pastor?

      I would note that it makes one even more SPECIAL if one has an “intimate” relationship with the Creator of the Universe, no? Is it all ego fluffing?

      Too many questions! Many of which have already been asked for sure! But this kind of bland American Suburban Middle Class “I follow Jesus the Christ” statement inspired a rant!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a thoughtful and thought-provoking bit of dialog … thank you, Nan! I will download the .pdf and read as I get a chance. I have come to believe, through the years, that religion is synonymous with hypocrisy, and this only furthers that thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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