I’m the kind of guy that says if I don’t see it, then it doesn’t work.  And nobody can show me god.
-- Kerry King, guitarist for Slayer

Doubtless there are believers out there who would label the above statement as simplistic, but boil it down and what’s left is the single biggest reason why religion ultimately will have to either collapse or descend into irrelevance.  Regardless of the tradition or culture it may come from, all concepts of god share one unavoidable characteristic: the inability to decisively demonstrate said god’s existence.

Believers have been cognizant of this problem very nearly from its onset, and their response has been virtually universal: make god inaccessible.  Put god on a mountaintop.  If the mountain gets climbed and (of course) no deity is found, then god is in the sky or in the deep recesses of the earth.  Once those hiding holes are eliminated by troublesome human explorers, relocate god to other dimensions or completely beyond time and space.  At the same time, break out the convoluted explanations, the exceptions and special pleading which allows their pet deity to circumvent the laws of nature and the contravening evidence.  If god’s proponents can’t give physical substantiation for him/her/it, make god’s existence a philosophical argument, and the more complicated the better.  Keep shifting the goalposts, the burden of proof, and the topic of conversation if necessary to obfuscate the persistent fact that their god fails the most fundamental requirement: evidence that it is at all.

“Nobody can show me god.”  Indeed, hasn’t that been the sticking point from the beginning and the cause of all the hand-waving and excuses and apologetics?  That’s all the believers would ever need to do to convince us, and yet to date, it has never happened.

And I for one suspect that it never will.

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Comment by Loren Miller on May 10, 2015 at 6:02am

Ahhhh, the milk jug!  Yeah, that's a real goodie, as Arte Johnson used to say!

Comment by Michael Penn on May 9, 2015 at 11:14pm

I agree. That's why we pray to the milk jug. :)

Comment by Loren Miller on May 9, 2015 at 10:20pm

50/50?  Hell, for somethings, I wouldn't even give it 90/10 with the breaks!  What can happen does; what can't, doesn't.  Not certain you need a god to know that.

Maybe some intestinal fortitude, though.

Comment by Michael Penn on May 9, 2015 at 9:02pm

In my earlier life I would have not agreed with what I'm writing now. I would have simply have swallowed it all and went with the flow.

I see church billboards all the time in my delivery job. One reads "Nothing Is Too Hard For God." They want to get you in church and everybody plays a game of pretend. The way I see it, god has done nothing. Never did. Never will. Pray if you want to. Everything has a 50/50 chance. As for god, we made him up.

Comment by Pat on May 9, 2015 at 2:14pm

"Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen."

Michel de Montaigne.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 9, 2015 at 9:59am

I always thought the whole fish-and-bicycle simile was a bit much myself as regards men and women.  The need for any form of deity, however, comes far closer, especially considering that while we demonstrably have fish and bicycles, we can't say the same for Yahweh, Zeus, or Brahma or any of the other like inventions.

And if by some chance a promise made under the aegis of some religion were to be fulfilled, how do you trace back that fulfillment back to the being that made it happen?  Where's the cause-effect link?

No ... it's still hand-waving and wishful thinking, and I can't imagine that will ever be anything other than that.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 8, 2015 at 2:57pm

I like that post Gerald.  And Joan, even though I had less than 1% of your troubles with religion, my reason for leaving and choosing science instead, was exactly the same as yours: 

"My problem as a christian was that none of the promises made to me occurred."

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 8, 2015 at 2:41pm

I've been asked many times what my reaction would be it some god appeared from thin air. I've thought about it and quite honestly I'd probably be totally indifferent, If some entity presented itself on Earth as the historical author of everything that's gone on since time immemorial, we would have to see it in the light of human morality. He'd have to admit responsibility for so much needless suffering, that dropping to ones knees, or enacting some sycophantic Muslim belly-flop would be the very welcome he didn't deserve. I simply have no interest in gods, imaginary or real.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 8, 2015 at 1:47pm

Joan - you remind me of a saying that was bandied about a lot in the 70s - A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. (Maybe god is a fish with a bicycle.)

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 8, 2015 at 1:41pm

My problem as a christian was that none of the promises made to me occurred. If I prayed, The beatings continued. If I yielded to my husband's will, things got worse. If I submitted without complaint, my children witnessed things they should never see happen to their mother. Nothing freed me from my reality. 

Packing up the kids when they were ten years old, setting out for who knows where to start a new life was the first step. I had no income, no work experience to speak of, a college drop-out to marry a dental student, no health insurance, no access to bank loans to get on my feet. I just jumped off the edge of a cliff, taking three 10-year-olds with me and the beatings stopped. 

Why? I asked my new minister and heard the same old Passive Gospel, yield, pray, obey, turn the other  cheek, put my trust in the lord,  forgive, give myself as a sacrifice in imitation of the crucified christ, rejoice in my sacrifice. 

Why do I have to sacrifice myself if Christ gave his life for me? It does not make sense!

I asked my uncle who was a superior court judge why the police and courts did not protect me.

Judge Denoo began to pound on the desk and state in his judge's voice "that is the problem with our country, lesbians and niggers got the vote! 

I knew what a he meant by niggers, but what was a lesbian? 

"A lesbian is a woman who has control over her own body!" 

Yes, that is what Judge Denoo said. It does not make sense!!

Floundering around for a few years, reading and asking questions, exploring, experimenting, and examining ideas. The clarity of there being no god to hear my prayers, no Jesus to protect me, No angel who looked over me. My religious community all believed the same things as my minister. The courts did not recognize adult women as mentally healthy mature adults, and my family thought I did not live up to their standards.

I am alone! I can think and reason and make decisions for myself, I had all I needed to stand with pride and dignity and take control of my life. 

My children began to heal, my fears evaporated, my anger carried me through to a new plane of living. 

There is no god, no Jesus, no angels, no assistance to become a mentally healthy, mature adult woman. I HAVE ALL THAT I NEED TO JUST DO IT!!!

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