What Follows If You Don't Believe Any Religion Is True?

Alan discusses the implications of not subscribing to a particular religion and the most probable beliefs that follow.

 

Transcript:

00:06 What follows if you don't think that any religion is true? Well the answer is

00:11 simple. Nothing. Nothing follows if you don't

00:14 think any religion is true. It definitely doesn't follow that no religion is true.

00:18 In fact, nothing follows from any thought or belief that you have. And that's

00:24 because reality doesn't change to accommodate your thoughts or your

00:27 beliefs. You can think whatever you want, it doesn't make it true.

00:31 Now having put aside the question of what one merely thinks is true, the

00:35 question that becomes important is this: What's the true state of affairs about

00:41 reality and about religion? Is there any religion that's actually true and not

00:46 just true according to one's own sort of personal beliefs? Now, you might be

00:51 tempted to think, well, no religion is true, and that somehow would absolve you

00:55 from committing to any particular worldview or having to defend any

00:59 particular beliefs. But here's the thing—even if you don't think any religion is

01:04 true, that doesn't mean that your view of reality necessarily makes sense. If you

01:10 think no religion is true, then you're most likely worldview is Naturalism,

01:14 which is the belief that nature is all there is. In other words, you'll think

01:18 there's no God, there's no angels, there's no souls, there's no afterlife,

01:23 but even this view doesn't get you out of the woods because that worldview

01:27 entails three, what I would call, incredible assertions. First, if you believe in

01:33 Naturalism, if you don't believe any religion is true, then this means that

01:36 the universe came into existence by itself. In other words, your view would

01:41 say that all of space, time, and matter, all the billions of planets and stars

01:46 have just popped into existence from nothing and by nothing. Now, you may not

01:51 believe in religious claims, but you're gonna have to consider whether there's

01:54 any evidence that such an incredible feat can actually occur. Now here's the

01:59 second thing that your view entails if Naturalism is your worldview. And that is,

02:03 you would have to believe that you are just a physical object, yet you still

02:08 have free will. Now, the reason that's an incredible

02:10 claim is that according to Naturalism, you are entirely

02:13 made up of matter, and therefore you have no soul,

02:16 there's no immaterial part of you that can be free from the forces of physics

02:21 and chemistry. And so being a physical object then means that your thoughts and

02:26 your actions are determined, and you have no free will. But I suspect you probably

02:32 believe that you do have free will. You probably think that you have freely

02:36 reasoned and used logic to conclude that no religion is true. But that would be a

02:41 contradiction. You can't have free will and free reasoning abilities that are

02:46 not determined by physical laws in chemistry if you're just a physical

02:51 object. And so finally, the third thing that your worldview entails is that

02:55 morals are completely relative, and therefore there is nothing that is

03:00 ultimately wrong. You can complain all you want that the madman that murders your

03:05 mother didn't do what you would have liked him to do, but you can't say that

03:09 what you did was wrong, objectively wrong. As any careful thinking atheist would

03:14 admit, if there is no God, then an ultimate standard of right and wrong is

03:19 just an illusion. So if you don't think any religion is true, keep in mind that

03:23 it doesn't follow that your view is correct.

03:26 But it does follow that your worldview still makes incredible assertions that

03:30 require a lot of explaining.

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Alan Shlemon

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