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Proof that being a good person is sufficient
Review by Jeffrey P. Bigham


I'm a young man, and, like many young men before me, I have found myself struggling with the "big questions" of life as I've stumbled into adulthood. I grew up in a Christian household, and in a Christian family, so one of the things I've struggled with has been the existence of God. In this article, I summarize the reasoning that I've been comfortable with for the past couple of years, that proves (to me anyway) that either the Christian God doesn't care if I believe in him or not or simply doesn't exist.

If this claim is true - and I'll hope to prove here that it is - then I have nothing to fear, living a good life up to my own standards of morality. So, on with the proof.

Hypothesis: Either the Christian God doesn't exist or He won't judge someone negatively for not believing in him.


As with any logical argument, I make a set of assumptions in proving my case. This is where I believe most believers in particular will find fault with my reasoning, although I have yet to be convinced that these do not hold true. The most important assumptions to my argument are listed below:

  • There is no tangible evidence that signals the Christian God's existence.
    This assumption simply means that there is no widely-accepted evidence in the world that the Christian God is more likely to exist than say Zeus or another God. A rational person could choose to believe in the Christian God, another god, or no god at all without contradicting evidence. Most Christians will acccept this, as it is essentially what is meant by "faith." Miracles or other unexplained phenomena do not meet the requirements of such evidence because they can just as easily be explained by referencing the abilities of a different God.
  • The Christian God (if He exists) is omnipotent and omniscient.
    Basically, God knows all and can do anything. I don't know any Christian that would refute this claim. For your enlightenment, some definitions of god can be found here and here, among others.
  • Proof

    First, we'll break the argument into two cases, one of which must be true:
  • God does not exist.
  • God does exist.
  • If the former is true, then the hypothesis is supported, and I don't have to worry that being a good person is not enough for God, because he does not exist. It holds vacuously.

    The latter case, in which we assume for argument that God does exist, is obviously the most interesting.

    I present a proof by contradiction:
    Assume, for the purpose of argument, that God does exist and He expects me to believe in Him to gain His favor (avoid eternal damnation, etc.). If we accept the first assumption above, then believing in God requires reasoning that extends beyond the rational. As discussed earlier, tangible, rational evidence does not point to God over another higher power and it does not prove that God exists. God created us with rational minds. If we accept the second of my assumptions, then we believe that God is omniscient, which means he knows all and, therefore, cannot make a mistake. Creating beings with rational minds and then expecting them to disregard rationality would be a mistake and God cannot make mistakes by definition. Such a line of reasoning contradicts the existence of God so if he expects these things, he must not exist.

    This finishes my prove that either God does not exist or he does not expect us to believe in Him.

    Some (Failed) Arguments Against My Proof

  • A Christian may argue that God expects us to believe in him on faith alone. That fails because it does not explain why the Christian God should be preferred. Throughout the world different people in different cultures have faith in many different beings, but, by a similar argument as that above, if the Christian God required you to have faith in Him alone, he would contradict himself and he couldn't exist, so either he doesn't or he doesn't exist.
  • Conclusion

    The arguments that I've offered here help me rectify the notions of God and rationalism and it's the only way I see the two fitting together. I'm sure many will find fault with my logic and I'd love to hear about it, although I've yet to find someone that offers an argument that convinces me. I'd especially love to hear comments that would help strengthen my case, because, as I'm not a philsopher by trade, I'm sure I've left out many important details. For me, the bottom line is that you should be true to yourself and treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you do that, then no God that is good can hold it against you.

    Related Links

  • Why Atheism?
  • 300 Humorous "Proofs" of God's Existence
  • The Ambiguous Existence of Colors
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