I haven’t counted but I’m pretty sure I have asked far more than 1,000 people why they believe in God. And, without a single exception, I have always seen the same result.
The result is that people give me no reason or they give me reasons that rely on fallacious logic or are epistemologically unreliable. I have also spoken to dozens of atheists who have asked believers the same question and they consistently report the same result that I find. Without exception.
Thousands of books have been written about gods but, to my knowledge, none has managed to offer even a single evidentially and logically sound reason to believe any particular god exists.
I am a cautious man and I hate to jump to conclusions based on inductive logic but there must come a point where we draw a line and recognize we have conducted enough trials. Just as a man dropping a stone a tens of thousands of times must eventually conclude that dropped stones fall to the ground, surely it is now time to draw the conclusion that humans have no good reasons to believe their gods are real.
We learn of gods when stories are passed from person to person by word of mouth or by the written word. But did anyone, from the first person to talk about a god to the last to hear of it, EVER have evidentially and logically sound reasons for his belief?
It’s vanishingly unlikely. Because, if there ever were good reasons, why have the good reasons been lost and only the bad reasons retained? We should expect the opposite. We should expect the billions of human minds these ideas have passed through to act as an effective filter to eliminate bad reasons and retain the good ones.
The only reasonable conclusion is that there never were any sound reasons to believe in gods; which is another way of saying: ALL known gods are human inventions.
This may be a conclusion we are afraid to voice but it is not as radical as you may think. Even the most dedicated god-believer knows that thousands of gods have been invented by humans–he just hopes that his own god is the single exception. But the compelling weight of evidence is that there are no exceptions.
Gods are our babies, we conceive them, we birth, nurture and protect them. But still they grow old, and eventually they die. Let them go.