is anyone out there?

Even if you disprove, at least in your mind, that Christianity is illogical and therefore the Christian god is an illusion…that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. You may be familiar with it (Christianity) but you are not familiar with all 4,200 religions and their gods. So, why are you even an atheist?​ (chicagoja)

I thought this question I was asked earlier today over at Ark’s spot was worthy of a whole post, rather than clogging up the comments over there with too many words.

Finding the ‘true religion’ may well be a starting point for many recent deconverts leaving the faith of their culture behind them. I certainly thought at some point that I’d have to study other religions to find the true one! 

I can’t deny that there’s a tiny, tiny chance that one of the other religions in the world is true. But there are four main reasons it’s logical to dismiss them all without spending the rest of my life trying to find out for sure:

1. Even with a basic understanding of just a few religions, we can be fairly sure that they developed to fill gaps in our knowledge and their existence can logically be explained by our need to assign agency. They are essentially superstitious stories that developed structure over time.

2. The stories demonstrate some common themes (invisible powers making things happen that we can’t explain, thinking outside of ourselves) yet have enough differences to show they don’t come from a unique external source.

3. On the 0.01% (or near) chance that the above is wrong and there are creator gods out there, it would be clear from what we have in front of us that there are natural explanations for everything here – that must be part of the ‘design’. It would also be clear from the mess of assorted religions that have developed that the gods don’t really care about sending a useful or even coherent message.

4. So many people have spent so much time dedicated to these questions and all of them have come to different conclusions. Either there is no truth, or the truth doesn’t need to be found.

I think anyone who is interested in history and psychology should spend time finding out more about all the religions humans have developed. It would be fascinating in many respects. But given the chances of any of it being true, and given the amount of time that has already been wasted on these questions, I’m quite sure it won’t be a path to the Truth about our existence.