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Frank Turek Says the Most Important Question is This: Does God Exist?

frank turek
Frank Turek

Repost from 2015. Edited, updated, and corrected.

In a World Magazine interview several years ago, Frank Turek, author of Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case, stated that the most important question any of us will ever face is, Does God Exist? Here’s what Turek had to say in a Q&A on World:

Early in your book Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case, you say that there is one core question every human being needs to ask and answer. What’s that question?

“Does God exist?” is the primary question because if God exists, then there is a real purpose to life and we live a certain way. If God doesn’t exist, there is no real objective purpose to life and you can do whatever you want. “Does God exist?” is literally the most important question every human being should answer.

Unfortunately, most of our education system, particularly our public education system, assumes the answer to that question is no without even examining the evidence.

Shouldn’t Turek’s question really be: Does the Christian God exist? Turek, like all Fundamentalists, presupposes the Christian God is the God that we must determine exists. Isn’t Turek doing exactly what he condemns the public education system for doing? Let me reword Turek’s last sentence:

Unfortunately, most Christians, particularly Fundamentalist Christians, assume the answer to that question is the Christian God without even examining the evidence.

Most Christians embrace the religion and God of their culture and tribe. This is why most Americans self-identify as Christian. Few of them have actually considered the evidence for the existence of the Christian God, or any other deity for that matter. They just believe because that’s what most Americans do.

No Christian has ever been able to successfully explain to me how one can look at creation and say a deity created everything, and then turn right around and say that that God is the Christian God of the Bible. What evidence gets us from A GOD to THE GOD? There is none. Believing that the Christian God is the creator requires faith, not evidence. This is why atheists such as I do not believe in God. It’s not so much about evidence as it is faith. We don’t have the requisite faith necessary to believe that the Christian God created the universe in six days, six thousand or so years ago. We don’t have the faith necessary to believe in a virgin having a baby, an executed man getting out of the grave after he has been dead for three days, or a man walking on water or through walls.

If apologists such as Turek have evidence for these things, by all means they should present it to the world. Pointing to an ancient text that purportedly was written by men under the influence of Holy Spirit is not evidence. Step outside of the Bible. Where’s the evidence for the Christian God being the creator?

Turek seems to have forgotten Hebrews 11:3:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Through FAITH not EVIDENCE we understand the worlds were framed (created) by the word of God.

Christians do a real disservice to their religion when they try to “prove” the existence of their God. Either people believe or they don’t. Either they have faith or they don’t. Count me as one of the faithless. While I can appreciate the deist argument for the existence of a creator God of some sort, I don’t think the evidence is such that I am willing to abandon atheism. Since there is no threat of Hell or judgment with the deist viewpoint, I am content to try to live a moral and ethical life, loving others, and helping those who are in need.

As an atheist, I have a lot of questions, but does God exist is not one of them. While I am technically agnostic on the God question, I am confident, based on my study and experience, that there is no God. Perhaps a God of some sort will reveal itself to us someday. If I am alive when that day comes, I will then consider whether that God is worthy of my worship. Until then, I am content to remain an atheist.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Troy

    One undeniable asset religion has is that it is spoon fed to children since day one. As a result the concept of “God” is very much fixed into a person’s psyche. While there may be many gods conceived by humans and many more possible that never occured to humans, or no gods at all, the inculcated Christian god is the only god that is ever intellectually entertained as an adult.

    This is also why something like Pascal’s wager is so effective for those predisposed to belief. If one assumes a possible wild array of gods Pascal’s wager is a fools bet, why risk offending other possible gods? If you’re already predisposed to the Christian god with the caveat of belief or damnation it becomes plausible.

    This also reminds me of how some people are incensed with the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet. The planets are something learned at a young age and considered a fact. Some people are outraged by it very similar to any other (perceived) heresy.

  2. Avatar
    HeIsSailing

    Frank Turek:
    “Biblical faith is believing that something is true because you have evidence and then trusting in the implications of that evidence. ”

    WHAT?!!? That is not at all what I was taught when I was a Christian! Faith is a gift from God. Faith allows us to believe *despite* the evidence!!! That is all I was taught!!! I guess the definition of Faith must change in a post-internet world.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Turek also argues that the existence of evil proves God exists. 🙂

      I love to grant them their assertions and then say, OK how do we know THAT God is the Christian God? We always end at faith, the kind of faith you speak of, believing without/despite of the evidence.

      As science marches forward, the “answers” fundamentalists give become more silly and extreme.

  3. Avatar
    BJW

    I still feel a sense of a divine being, but I’m certain if such a being exists, he isn’t the Christian god. And I’m much more comfortable with the idea of basing life and reality on FACTS. Mentioning faith: Christians want atheists to have faith. In my experience, the atheists I know can not have faith. They can’t choose to believe what for them is unbelievable. And Christians harassing them and treating them badly only point completely away from what and who they claim their god is.

  4. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    He presupposes so much about a deity. Whether a deity exists or not may have nothing to do with human purpose. I exist because my biological parents had sex, and the conditions were right at the time for conception implantation, gestation, and birth. Neither of my parents (especially not my biological father, but that’s another story) had any concept of purpose other than having pleasure from sex.

    Even if there were a creator deity, that does not necessarily mean that it created us with a purpose.

  5. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Most people want purpose and certainty. At an early age, they’re taught that a belief in a deity is the only way to achieve either. It’s hard to unlearn that to which one is indoctrinated early in life.

    I think the reason why folks like Turek have such a desire to evangelize others—even to the point of endangering them—is that their need to be right is, frankly, even stronger than their wish for a purpose. What that means, of course, is that someone like Turek simply has to believe harder and harder, and drag others into his fantasies, in order not to confront the fact that there simply can be no way to prove himself right—which would negate the purpose he imputes to himself.

    Been there, done that!

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