This is a challenge.
Here I prove that theists don’t really believe in God. They just pretend to. Be it you, your parents, the priests or even the pope himself!!
Before we move on, we need to clarify a few things.
What is god ?
I need to do this because some clever folks take a very tricky stand at times and disguise his god as some invisible energy/magnetic field sort thing that fills every place and guides all that happens .... blah blah.. Nonsense!!
However hard the theists try to escape scrutiny, the God he is speaking about and worshiping is the same as the one widely accepted as an invisible, unperceivable, omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing) being that created the universe and everything in it. The God that is keen on justice. The God that has advised us (through a third person) about what should be done and what should not. The God that listens to prayers and interferes for the faithful. THAT is the God I am talking about, irrespective of the name given to him or the book regarded as his 'publication'!!
What is a believer?
There is no actual measure of belief. One who believes the above described god exists, is a believer. One who does not , is an atheist! And it is these believers I am talking about!
There are numerous subsets in believers, based on the type of gods, customs, practices, the books they follow, places of worship, and regarding the concept of god itself. And subsets within subsets a hundred times over.
Some people, when they begin to learn things, get convinced that God might not be the one behind the creation of universe, but still believe in the 'presence' of god who watches us from above, and has the control switches to everything on earth- earthquakes, rains, floods, famines, weather, and what not! The believers I am talking about includes ALL these people.
Is this belief really true??
Now if someone truly believes something, we expect his actions to be according to it. Suppose if you are living in an apartment on the coast, say calicut, and the weather forecast is that a heavy cyclone is going to hit the coast and everyone is asked to vacate the place, what would be your immediate response if you really believed in the forecast? You would definitely move on to your relatives place far away from the coast. Similarly if u find a fly in your tea, u wouldn’t want to drink it, because u believe that it has been contaminated. Now if you really believe there is a God,
- Why would you go to the doctor and not to the temple/church/mosque when you are sick?
- Why do you go to the police/ lawyer/court when you seek justice?
- Why go to the bank for a loan when badly in need for an amount of money?
Isn’t it obvious that everyone turns to govt officials, professionals and fellow beings in need of help? Why not bypass all these bureaucrats and take our complaints directly to god? Why do we need the service of these people at all, when we have this universal watchman called god? We almost never choose the path of absolute prayer. Even when u claim to believe in God, you depend on the police, the court, and the legislature for justice. All the time you knew that god has strictly laid down rules and regulations and by himself declared the punishment for violating those rules.
Isn’t it true that although you talk about god's powers, deep within, you are not convinced by them? Isn't it that although you get satisfaction and consolation from the feeling that there is almighty protecting us from above, you know that you cannot count on it? That's why I say you really DONOT believe in your god!!
The Pope never tires of praising the lord, describing his infinite powers, and his unconditional love. But he does not seem to have noticed the irony of all the guards and the bullet-proof glass that surrounds him. Doesn’t he seem to understand god has the power to stop a bullet in its path or deviate it? Or inflict a fatal heart attack on the assassin at the right moment? But the pope and the Vatican do not seem to take into account these powers of god.
On May 13 1981, an assassination attempt was made on Pope John Paul II by Mehmet Ali Agca. Was the Pope taken to a Church? How about a Cathedral? A Chapel? No – as a matter of fact, he was rushed to a hospital where surgeons worked tirelessly to save his life. What would the faithful have said if the Vatican authorities had decided to take him to a church / cathedral / chapel instead of a hospital? Would this not be the ultimate test of God and the power of prayer, faith and belief? But the Vatican, despite its enormous reserve of 'faith' with millions to pray for him, decided to rely on the skill of scientifically-trained surgeons. What does this say about the Vatican’s professed “belief”??!!
After several days of critical care, the Pope made his first public statement, where he gave credit for his hair-breadth escape to Our Lady of Fatima – saying that he believed that she guided the bullet away from his vital organs. Prof. Richard Dawkins has said in his book, The God Delusion, that if Our Lady of Fatima was in the business of guiding bullets, why not guide it away from the Pope's body altogether? In fact I would want to ask why the Pope wasn't ready to leave his wounded body to the mercy of our Lady of Fatima, instead of summoning the surgeons? But believers never ask such questions because these statements are not supposed to be questioned, but swallowed at once!
We are raised in a culture which was based on faith and belief. 'Faith' is the 'default' position we are born into!
The general notion is that faith itself shouldn't be questioned. Faith is believed to be a part of good character. We are never expected to examine the validity of our faith. And so we never ever try to think about whether we truly 'believe' in what we claim to believe. So a normal person is a born 'believer' and the society gives no encouragement for a self examination of this faith. So he is continues to be regarded as a 'believer' without actually being one!