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Ask the Patriarch 156
Pragmatic Arguments for Belief in God

from: Jorn

To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.

Hello,

First, I'm glad that I've found your page!

It was the first time, that I found someone, saying what I thought... and saying it precisely, funny, honest ...

I still have to do a lot of reading on your site, but I enjoy every page - and every new thought.

I found that "Pragmatic Arguments for Belief in God" site while surfing the net and I would like to hear your opinion, or thoughts about it.

Regards Jorn from Germany/Hamburg

The Patriarch replies:

Jorn:

Thanks for writing and for your compliments about this site.

The online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an excellent resource and has a number of interesting articles. The article you cite is a good introduction to some of the pragmatic reasons to believe in a God, and some of the arguments against those reasons.

But it still remains that no matter how much of a case can be made is for the benefits of belief in a deity, such a case provides no evidence to support the actual existence of a deity.

Also, those who make the case that it is beneficial to believe seem to ignore the adverse consequences of belief. Based on those negative consequences, I think it would be possible to take every pragmatic argument for belief in God and rewrite it into a pragmatic argument not to believe.

The moral argument particularly concerns me. Too many non-believers introduce their children to religion in the mistaken idea that a belief in God makes teaching morality easier. However, we regularly see acts committed by devout people in the name of one god or another which are profoundly immoral or evil. What a religion-based morality can teach is not a genuine morality based on a fundamental understanding of right and wrong, but a blind thoughtless obedience to a religious code.

In my view, pragmatic arguments for belief must ultimately fail.