God, on the other hand, is an entirely subjective construct, which has no basis in objective reality. We could, of course play Descartes' little game. Briefly summarized it goes: everything that exists must have been created; everything that is created must have had a creator; everything must have had an original or first cause; that first cause cannot itself have been created; the only thing that could exist without being created is God. God Exists! It is game, set and match to Descartes.But hold on! The match was a set up! It was fixed! Let us all agree on the idea that there was a first cause. It's hard to argue against. Let us now ask what objective evidence there is to help us define the nature of that first cause.
God is usually defined as non physical, pure spirit or supreme intelligence. OK, let's see if this makes any sense. Think hard, think really hard. Can you come up with a single verifiable example of anything which processes consciousness, without having a physical existence? I know we all love ghost stories, but the question is, is there the least thread of evidence for any such consciousness?
Don't we see how consciousness and intelligence develops as the child develops physically? We may disagree on the stages at which consciousness development, but no one has yet produced objective evidence, to show that human intelligence exists outside a physical context. Yet with God we are told infinite intelligence always existed outside of the physical. This contradicts all the objective evidence we know about the existence of intelligence.
But hold on! Somebody must have made the world! Must they?
From my window I can see a number of tall old trees. I have been thinking very hard about this and d I just can't seem to remember seeing anyone sculpture the branches. Now it is true that trees can have their branches trimmed but massive forests can grow with any interference of a living intelligence.
Now I can also see a church; it is a beautiful old building. I have read records of when it was build. Isn't there an attempt, by believers, to treat the trees in the same way as the church? Their logic seems to go: Buildings need to be actively planned. There need to be intelligence for them to be constructed, therefore mustn't living things also need one? They conclude that the Universe needed an architect.
Let us return to Descartes' argument. The first cause we are told was a non physical entity. Yet we have no evidence of consciousness ever existing outside the physical. On the contrary all that has conscious is first physical. The objective evidence supports physical and not non physical explanations for the beginning of existence. Does continuing existence need the interference of an active intelligence? No. As we have seen forests need no external intelligence.
So if the arguments for creation are so weak, why is faith in God so persistent? There are plenty of people who will testify to the value of faith. This is never rational or objective. We get wonderful claims like "God helped me to pass my exam," or "God helped my team win." This is the same God who did nothing to save the millions in Nazi concentration camps, or who year after year allows countless children to die of starvation.
Oh but it is not for us the question the ways of God, with all his divine love. So when good things happen God is praised and the bad things are, either nothing to do with him, or part of a greater plan we mortals can't grasp.
These claims are self contradictory and irrational. God is good because good things happen and a comfort in times of trouble but he is also all power, so could stop bad thing , yet doesn't. What a friend he is!
God is no more than a product of the human imagination. There is not a single shred of objective, verifiable evidence to contradict this.
This imagined deity has been used to justify wars, suppress populations, and confer a status of purity onto those who abused children. This imagined being has been called on by both sides in: Northern Ireland; the long conflict in the middle east; the terrible destruction of 9/11, the Iraq war, the war on terror; the list is endless.
All these conflicts and so many, many more have been driven by these deeply irrational beliefs.
A world free from this deeply destructive irrational idea would be far from perfect. There would still be wars, but at least it would be rid of one great source of harm. We would reduce the reasons for war and there would be fewer conflicts.
It is not so many centuries since a time of witch trials, or when claims of a round earth were treated as heresy. Belief systems do advance. Sadly they often take time to catch up with the evidence. If we are to build a more peaceful world, we need to start being realistic about how destructive a belief in God can be. This will start with individuals honestly assessing the true nature of their beliefs. The idea of God simply does not make sense.