50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

BOOK: 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
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50
reasons people give
for believing in a god
 
50
reasons people give
for believing in a god

Guy P Harrison

Visit www.guyharrison.info for essays,
book reviews, and more by Guy P. Harrison.

For Natasha, Jared, and Marissa.
May your minds be curious and free forever

 
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR
50 REASONS PEOPLE GIVE
FOR BELIEVING IN A GOD

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but now Guy Harrison has
given us 50 ways to believe in God, or not if you care to read this
engaging and enlightening book in light of what it says about the cultural and psychological power of belief. If the number one predictor
of which God someone believes in is what culture and time period
they happened to have been born in, what does that say about the
actual existence (or not) of a deity? Read this book to explore the
many and diverse reasons for belief."

-Michael Shermer
Publisher of Skeptic magazine,
monthly columnist for Scientific American,
and author of Why Darwin Matters

"Guy P. Harrison does a splendid job of critically examining the
many reasons people offer in support of their religious beliefs. He
shares the exhilaration of moving beyond religion, but Harrison
doesn't bully or condescend. Rather, he approaches the reader gently.
Reading Harrison's book is like having an amiable chat with a wise
old friend."

-Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan
Authors of The Top 10 Myths about Evolution

"Religion is as universal as language, which hints at a biological basis.
Why did our ancestors evolve an attraction to the supernatural? The
fundamental question is not whether this attraction is rational or notwhich is the subject of a dozen recent provocative books-but what
exactly faith delivers to those who possess it. The present book treats
this question respectfully, listening to the answer of the believers
themselves, which seems an excellent place to start."

-Frans de Waal
Leading primatologist, author of Our Inner Ape

 
Acknowledgments

thank editors Steven L. Mitchell and Jacinta Meyers, and
Prometheus Books for helping to make this book a reality. I am
deeply grateful to my wife, Sheree, for her consistent encouragement
and my son, Jared, for his helpful advice. I also thank Andrea Roach
for her invaluable comments and criticism. My greatest debt of all,
however, is to the many people around the world who openly shared
with me their reasons for believing.

 
Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
7

INTRODUCTION
13

1. My god is obvious.
17

2. Almost everybody on Earth is religious.
23

3. Faith is a good thing.
27

4. Archaeological discoveries prove that my god exists.
37

5. Only my god can make me feel significant.
45

6. Atheism is just another religion.
49

7. Evolution is bad.
57

8. Our world is too beautiful to be an accident.
65

9. My god created the universe.
71

10. Believing in my god makes me happy.
77

11. Better safe than sorry.
85

12. A sacred book proves my god is real.
91

13. Divine justice proves my god is real.
101

14. My god answers prayers.
107

15. I would rather worship my god than the devil.
117

16. My god heals sick people.
123

17. Anything is better than being an atheist.
131

18. My god made the human body.
139

19. My god sacrificed his only son for me.
147

20. Atheists are jerks who think they know everything.
153

21. I don't lose anything by believing in my god.
161

22. I didn't come from a monkey.
169

23. I don't want to go to hell.
175

24. I feel my god when I pray.
179

25. I need my god to protect me.
183

26. I want eternal life.
191

27. Without my god we would have no sense of right and wrong.
197

28. My god makes me feel like I am part of something bigger than myself.
207

29. My religion makes more sense than all the others.
213

30. My god changes lives.
221

31. Intelligent design proves my god is real.
225

32. Millions of people can't be wrong about my religion.
231

33. Miracles prove my god is real.
235

34. Religion is beautiful.
241

35. Some very smart people believe in my god.
247

36. Ancient prophecies prove my god exists.
251

37. No one has ever disproved the existence of my god.
263

38. People have gone to heaven and returned.
267

39. Religion brings people together.
273

40. My god inspires people.
281

41. Science can't explain everything.
287

42. Society would fall apart without religion.
295

43. My religion is so old, it must be true.
303

44. Someone I trust told me that my god is real.
309

45. Atheism is a negative and empty philosophy.
315

46. Believing in a god doesn't hurt anyone.
325

47. The earth is perfectly tuned to support life.
331

48. Believing is natural so my god must be real.
337

49. The end is near.
343

50. 1 am afraid of not believing.
349

 
Introduction

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of
science or a dose of common sense.

-Chapman Cohen

No gods were harmed in the writing of this book.

-Guy P. Harrison

have asked many believers in many countries over several years a
basic question: Why do you believe in your god or gods? This
book is a response to the fifty most common answers I heard to that
question. Many people gave me virtually identical reasons for belief,
despite being adherents of contradictory religions. I learned that the
gods may be very different and the faithful may sometimes hate and
kill one another, but believers are remarkably synchronized on why
they believe.

BOOK: 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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