Is it rational to believe in God or other supernatural powers? Are there good epistemic reasons for holding religious convictions, facts that speak for their truth? The empirical evidence would seem to suggest there are not. Posters of St. Christopher do not reduce the number of accidents on passing roads; miraculous cures do not occur more frequently in Lourdes than elsewhere in the world; and prayer provides no more help to us today than burnt offerings did to people of antiquity. As for theological defense, traditional proofs for the existence of God come up short as well. The belief that the principle of sufficient reason implies God's existence is nothing more than a leap of faith. And Darwin’s theories explain the origin of species and the complexities of evolution far better than the assumption of an intelligent creator can. Even attempts at theodicy fail in the end. Whoever lets a person suffer to reach some other goal treats people as a means and thus acts immorally. An honest review of the evidence does not speak for the existence of God; quite the contrary. The world’s suffering offers a conclusive argument against it.
Prof. Dr. A. Beckermann lehrt an der Universität Bielefeld.