Nigel Warburton interviews Richard Norman and asks why he rejects the idea that God exists. Norman gives a good clear succinct answer that would cut through a lot of the disputes that keep turning up like clumps of dust under beds.

I believe that the onus is on those who believe in the existence of a god to provide reasons for that belief. (This is a point which the philosopher Antony Flew has well made.) I can’t prove that there is no god, but in the absence of good reasons for believing that a god exists, I live my life without belief in a god. In particular, the success of scientific explanations of the natural world makes religious explanations redundant. It’s in that sense that there is a tension between science and religion. The two are not logically incompatible, but the more we succeed in discovering well-founded scientific explanations of the origins of the cosmos, the origins of living species, and so on, the more the explanations in terms of a divine creator become redundant. They add nothing.

There. Quite simple really. We can’t prove there is no god, but in the absence of good reasons for believing there is one, we don’t. There are good explanations of the natural world, so the religious ones are redundant. They add nothing. So – we do without them. That’s all.

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