I suspect the question is far easier when you don’t begin from a position of even weak theism. When you begin from a position of “what seems reasonable?” then the notion of gods or goblins simply doesn’t arise in the first place. This is because there is no aspect of existence for which the presence of one or more invisible magical creatures has any efficacy. Inventing such creatures, therefore, is redundant.

Additionally, as anyone can invent any number of such invisible magical creatures, there would be no means by which to select among them. If you happen to believe in a million invisible dancing divine chickens and I happen to believe in a family of invisible magical glow-worms we shall have no method by which to determine the truth or falsity of either proposition. This absence of proof-test renders all such imaginary entities null and void for they have no meaningful function in the world. In our heads, of course, they may provide comfort in a variety of ways, especially if we project our idealized mummies and daddies onto them. But in the external world they are without value for they explain nothing, affect nothing, exhibit no actual phenomenon, and are therefore without merit.

Thus it is not a question of belief or disbelief so much as a simple avoidance of wasting one’s time on pointless propositions.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.