Many people continue to clutch to their belief in God, even though there’s no evidence of a higher power. Why?

We’re doing that because if we start with the idea that if God does exist, then we have to explain why there are so many versions of Him (her or it) and why we can’t figure out the right one. Historically, that’s a dead end, stuck in the same battle as Saladin and Richard the Lionheart in the Crusades.

The agnostic position — either we can’t know, or let’s wait until rocket ship (real or metaphorical) finally lands in heaven or some place of infinite vistas from which we can see there is no God — leaves like Samuel Becket’s two tramps, eternally Waiting for Godot.

So we start with “God does not exist,” which demands that we come up with a theory that will explain why we believe, why belief is so popular, and so strong that people will kill and die for their own particular brand of it.

There are other false beliefs for which the evidence is stronger and more easily seen, that people have readily given up.

Such beliefs include: the earth is standing still (it certainly looks like it), that the sun rises and sets (you see it every day), the earth is solid (it has a hard crust over a molten center), that the earth is flat and you can fall of the edge, that matter is solid (atoms are mostly empty space), that something can’t be both a wave and a particle (electrons are apparently both), that all the species were created separately and simultaneously (give or take a day).

Our theory has to explain why belief in God is more tenacious, with less evidence, than those.

It also has to deal with The Atheist’s Dilemma.

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