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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2001

Why Do Some People Not Believe in God?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Have you ever a met someone who doesn’t believe in God? If you haven’t, one day you probably will. And if you have, then you already know that there really are people who don’t believe in God. That’s hard to understand, isn’t it? There is so much evidence for God’s existence—like design in nature (which demands a Designer), Jesus’ resurrection, or biblical prophecy—that we sometimes wonder how anyone could not believe in God. Who are these people? And why don’t they believe in God?

An atheist firmly believes that God does not exist. An agnostic says it is impossible to know whether God exists. A skeptic doubts that God exists. An infidel doesn’t believe in God, and doesn’t want anyone else to believe in God either.

But why do some people not believe in God? First, a person may have grown up with parents who didn’t believe in God. They never went to Sunday school or church, never read the Bible, and never taught their children to do these things. Therefore, the child—like the parents—doesn’t believe in God.

Second, a person may have gone to college and was taught that evolution is true and that God isn’t needed since "nature" can account for everything. When this happens, belief in evolution takes the place of belief in God.

Third, some people are too stubborn or have too much pride. They don’t want to obey God, but instead want to "do their own thing." If they believe in God, they can’t do that anymore. So they simply decide not to believe in God.

Fourth, some people want to live a sinful life. They want to "do drugs," smoke, drink, or engage in sex before marriage. And they don’t want God telling them they shouldn’t. Therefore, they choose not to believe in God so they can do certain things without feeling guilty.

Fifth, some people see evil, pain, and suffering in the world. They think that if God existed, He wouldn’t permit such things to occur. In their minds, since bad things do happen, God must not exist.

There are other reasons why people don’t believe in God. But if you’ve been reading Discovery for very long, you know that in past issues we’ve shown why none of these excuses is a good reason not to believe in God. We never should get "too smart" for our own good so that we think we can live our lives how we want. God does exist, and one day even those who have refused to believe in Him will have to admit that they were wrong (read Romans 14:11).

Copyright © 2001 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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