Executive Summary

In this book we look at God from many different angles. What we find is that God is completely imaginary. God does not answer prayers. God did not write the Bible. God has not incarnated himself.

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How do we know, for sure, that God does not answer prayers? As described in section 1, we simply pray and watch what happens. What we find is that nothing happens. No matter how many people pray, no matter how often they pray, no matter how sincerely they pray, no matter how worthy the prayer, nothing ever happens. If we pray for anything that is impossible -- for example, regenerating an amputated limb or moving Mt. Everest to Newark, NJ -- it never happens. We all know that. If we pray for anything that is possible, the results of the prayer will unfold in exact accord with the normal laws of probability. In every situation where we statistically analyze the effects of prayers, looking at both the success AND the failure of prayer, we find that prayer has zero effect. Prayers for amputees never work. Medical prayers never work. Prayers for "good people" never work. Battlefield prayers never work. That happens, always, because God is imaginary. Every time a Christian says, "The Lord answered my prayer," what we are seeing instead is a simple coincidence or the natural effects of self-talk. Christians never discuss failed prayers, but if we look at all the prayers that fail as well as the prayers that work, a statistical analysis proves that God does not answer prayers. See section 1 for details.

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How do we know, for sure, that God did not write the Bible? As discussed in section 2, we simply read the Bible and note how uncomfortable it is in so many places. We note that God is a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible, despite our absolute certainty that slavery is a moral abomination. We note that God is a huge misogynist in the Bible, despite our absolute certainty that misogyny is a moral abomination as well. We note that God kills huge numbers of babies and small children in the Bible, and we know that this is both an atrocity and horrifically disgusting. We note that God, who is supposed to be all-knowing, knows no more than the primitive men who actually wrote the Bible. And so on. Anyone who takes the time to actually read the Bible will rapidly reach the conclusion that the Bible was written by primitive men, not by an all-knowing God. See section 2 for details.

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How do we know, for sure, that Jesus was a normal human being? As described in section 3, we can ask this simple question: If a man were to proclaim himself to be the son of God today, what would we do? We would ask to see incontrovertible proof. Jesus does not get a pass because he lived 2,000 years ago. We note the fact that none of Jesus' miracles left any lasting evidence. For example, even though Jesus proclaimed that anyone can move a mountain, we note that no one -- not even Jesus -- has moved a mountain. All of Jesus' miracles are either faith healings or magic tricks, and we all know that faith healers and magicians are frauds. We also note that there is no evidence that Jesus is resurrected. Jesus could easily appear to each of us in the flesh to prove that he is resurrected, just as he did with Paul. And he promises that he will. Yet Jesus never appears. If he did, there would be thousands of videos floating around on the Web showing Jesus' appearances. We note that Jesus says dozens of things in the Bible that are plainly wrong. We note that even though Jesus is the all-powerful creator of the universe and promises to answer prayers, all of his churches depend on the money of mere mortals to support themselves. And so on. It is obvious that Jesus was a man like any other and that the Bible's description of Jesus is standard mythology. Jesus, in other words, is like Zeus. See section 3 for details.

It is also interesting to note that, by proving any one of these things, we have automatically proven the other two. For example, once we know that the Bible was written by primitive men rather than God, then it is automatic that God does not answer prayers and that Jesus was a completely normal human being. The Bible is the book that tells us about prayer and Jesus, so if the Bible is meaningless then prayer and Jesus are meaningless as well. The fact is that we have proven all three things separately. Jesus is not God, the Bible is not the word of God, and God never answers prayers. These three things are true, therefore, both directly and by association.

It is plainly obvious to any intelligent human being that all human gods are imaginary. The belief in God and prayer is pure superstition, nothing more. It has come time for rational, intelligent people to openly discuss this fact because superstition and fraud are detrimental to society.

Please see this page for details.

Understanding your delusion

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There is not a single piece of empirical evidence showing that God is real. There is a mountain of evidence showing that God is imaginary. God falls into the same category as Leprechauns. God is a completely imaginary, mythological being that springs from human imagination.

In other words, Christianity is a delusion. Religion in general is a delusion.

I understand that the word "delusion" is uncomfortable. However, it is the correct word in the English language to use. The dictionary defines "delusion" in the following way:

    A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence. [ref]
The invalidating evidence is all around us. Chances are that you have known it for many years, but you have been unable to face the reality of the situation. In Chapter 27 we will discuss why it is so terrifying to face reality.

When I say that religion is a delusion, I am not intending that in an insulting way or a derogatory way. Instead, I am speaking to you as a friend would. My goal here is not to criticize you for your religious beliefs, but instead to help you to recover from your delusion. If you would like to understand how the delusion of Christianity works, please read Understanding Delusion.

All religion is delusion. With any luck you can see that now, and you can start down the road to recovery -- you can begin the process of healing that will free you from your own personal delusions. If you would like to help others with the healing process, please see this page for details.

Understanding why people create religions

The message of this book is both quite profound and quite baffling. It is this: Everything that we associate with religion is imaginary. God, the Bible, Jesus, the resurrection, prayer, the Ten Commandments, the creation story, your soul, everlasting life, heaven... every bit of it is the product of human imagination. The same goes for Allah, the Koran and so on. As a species we have believed all of this religious dogma for centuries, and many people believe it today to some degree. And yet, it is all fiction. It is just as fictional as were the gods of the Egyptians, the Romans and the Aztecs. The clear, unambiguous evidence is all around us.

If it is so obvious that God is imaginary, then why might half of the American population profess belief in God? We have asked this question throughout the book because the whole situation is profoundly strange. Why would we, as a species, create all of this mythology and nonsense over and over again through the millennia? We must do it for a reason.

If we can understand the reasons and deal with them rationally rather than through the silliness and mythology that is religion, we actually can do ourselves a great deal of good.

There are two important reasons why humans fabricate all of our religions:

  1. People invent God as a way to cope with death. Many humans are terrified by death for some reason. They invent religion as a way to deal with their terror.

  2. People invent God as a proxy for goodness. People want a way to promote "goodness" and eliminate "evil" in their societies. In the past, inventing an imaginary God has been perceived to be one way to facilitate that process.
Death and goodness are important to people. They touch on fundamental human emotions. If we can separate death and goodness from the mythology of God so that we can understand them and work with them in a positive way, we can actually do something very helpful. We can create a rational world for ourselves that is focused on benefiting mankind.

In chapter 27 and chapter 28, we will talk about death and goodness. We need to understand the reasons why we fabricate our gods and then act on these reasons rationally.

Once we understand why we create religion, we can begin creating the social structures that will replace religion. Start with chapter 28, and please see this page for additional details.

Would you like to learn more? Here are several different starting points:

  • If you would like to explore the central question of this book - Why won't God heal amputees? - start here.

  • If you would like to start at the beginning of the book with a gentle introduction, click here.

  • Did God really inspire the Bible, or is the Bible a collection of fictional stories written by primitive men? Start here.

  • Was Jesus God, or just a man? Start here.

  • Is Christianity a delusion, or not? Start here.

  • What is God's plan? Start here.

  • Are you a religious leader? Take the Challenge.

  • If you would like to browse the table of contents, start here.

by Marshall Brain

New York Times Coverage
discussed in a
New York Times piece
by N. D. Kristof.
For a counter-point to Mr. Kristof, please see
Chapter 26.

Recommendation by Sam Harris
Sam Harris recommends WWGHA in his book Letter to a Christian Nation.

Endorsement by Richard Dawkins
In a New York Times Letter, Richard Dawkins calls WWGHA a "splendid Web site."

Table of contents

Executive Summary


Section 1 - prayer Section 2 - The Bible Section 3 - Jesus What it means


Other Resources

Important  -  Home  -  Table of Contents  -  Contact  -  Join us  -  God is Imaginary  -  Deciding to Be Better  -  How God Works

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