Other parts of this website look at reasons to believe in God. But of course there are also reasons that might lead us to disbelieve.How strong are these arguments?
Reasons atheists give
Discussing with non-believers has exposed me to more than a dozen arguments used to critique belief in God and justify atheism. I take a quick look at a bunch of them in Atheist arguments.
I conclude that evil in the world is a significant problem for the believer. Some of the other arguments raise interesting points, while some of them seem to me to have little merit.
Suffering and evil in the world
We experience a world where suffering and evil take away so much human happiness. If God exists and is good, we might reasonably expect the universe to be a good place, and religion to be a force for good. But these expectations are not always met. So the sometimes painful reality can make us wonder whether God is really there at all.
Is there any answer to the question of how could a good God allow all this, or is this the ultimate proof that God doesn’t exist? I have looked at this question in detail in God and evil.
I have summed it all up in 5 questions in How can God allow evil? I don’t think we can avoid the fact that suffering makes it harder to believe in God, but there are some factors that lessen the impact of this argument.
War and terrorism are particular forms of evil that cause enormous suffering, and religion is often accused of being the main cause. But looking at these accusations, I find that the experts say otherwise. Most wars and most acts of terrorism throughout history, and even in the present day, have political, perceived injustice and personal causes, and religion is generally only a smaller contributing factor. In fact it turns out that atheistic governments caused more deaths in the twentieth century than religious governments have caused in 20 centuries.