Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

Summary: 31-year-old Alexander Aan faces up to fives years in prison after he declared himself an atheist on Facebook. The Indonesian man is in protective police custody because he fears physical assault.

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31-year-old Alexander Aan faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for posting "God does not exist" on Facebook. The civil servant was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of dozens who entered his government office at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board on Wednesday. The Indonesian man was taken into protective police custody Friday since he was afraid of further physical assault.

The posting was made on a Facebook Page titled Ateis Minang (Minang Atheist), which Aan created. At the time of writing, it had over 1,700 Likes. Aan's posting has been removed, but supporters on the Page are urging police to release him.

Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz said the district branch of the council and other Islamic organizations believed Aan had defiled Islam by using passages from the Koran to denounce the existence of God and highlight his atheist views. "So it meets the criteria of tainting religion, in this case Islam," Chairul told The Jakarta Globe.

On Facebook, Aan said he was brought up as a Muslim. In 2008, however, he came to the conclusion that God could not exist. In addition to his comment about the possibility of a deity, he also declared that he did not believe in angels, devils, heaven, hell, as well as other "myths." He was aware he could lose his job and was prepared to do so to defend his beliefs.

Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, recognises the right to practice six religions in total: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism. Atheism is, however, illegal. According to Indonesian criminal law, anyone who tries to stop others believing in a faith could face up to five years in jail for blasphemy.

Aan was charged because he used Facebook to spread beliefs that violate the law. Furthermore, it was pointed out he lied on his job application by saying he was Muslim. Aan asked police investigators: if God really exists and has absolute power, why doesn't God prevent bad things from happening in this world?

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Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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271 comments
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  • Apostacy

    Atheism is every much a religion as a religion. The various religions know/believe that God exists, while atheists know/believe that God does not exist.

    Sad to see yet another high-profile instance of religious intolerance. (Atheists have been known to be intolerant too.)

    I wonder what they think of individuals who are not sure? Or believe that religion A is pretty much the same as religion B? Perhaps these folk are merely sent to Madrasass for brain-washing.

    Oh, well. All this has gotten me in a bit of a religious mood. Now, where did I last place my copy of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" ...
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • definition of religion

      @Rabid Howler Monkey sorry but you are incorrect... religion is the belief in a deity. So how is Atheism a religion if there is not deity to believe in ?
      The word CULT also shares a similar definition although it is usually used as a derogative term for religion.
      See it helps to understand the definition of words before you misuse them.
      And Agnostics are the ones who are uncommitted (fence sitters).
      optyk
      • RE: definition of religion

        @optyk wrote:
        "religion is the belief in a deity.

        You have provided a rather narrow definition of religion. Here's a better one with more of a religious studies bent:

        "Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

        Do all religions have deities? More on atheism:

        "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.
        "Although in Western culture atheists are usually irreligious, some are spiritual. Moreover, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Neopagan movements such as Wicca. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods, whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid, but difficult to follow spiritually.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

        Finally, a purely legal view applicable to the U.S.:

        "Atheism is a Religion Says US Supreme Court
        http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977925893

        I realize that this is a hot-button topic for some, but you have grossly overplayed your position with this statement:

        "See it helps to understand the definition of words before you misuse them.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Yes except swallowing a dictionary won't make you smart

          If atheism is a lack of belief how can you call it a religion? It takes no effort of will to suspend belief in the divinity of Jesus if only because there is little to no proof such a character ever existed especially the one written about in the bible. The U.S. supreme court is a authority on the law, nothing else.
          kevin@...
      • RE: Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

        @optyk

        "So how is Atheism a religion if there is not deity to believe in ?"

        Religions have been known to worship nature and ancestors without a specific deity, and one can believe in the existence of a spiritual world without believing in a specific deity. A big thing in popular culture has been spirituality without believing in any particular god.

        So yes, it is certainly possible to establish a religion without deities.
        CobraA1
      • Religion requires no deity

        @optyk Sorry, but religion requires no deity. Buddhists have no conception of a deity whatsoever. Neither do Scientologists. Nor animists, often. One could argue that Shinto does not either.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • RE: Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

        @rbethell

        Scientology isn't a religion. It's a pyramid scheme dressed in spiritual mumbo-jumbo with sci-fi characters thrown in.

        L. Ron Hubbard was a genius and a total b**tard.
        bhartman36
      • Atheism a religion?

        @optyk Pat Robertson disagrees with you. He stated that secular humanism, which he disapproves of, is as much a religion as any other.
        Badge3832
      • RE: Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

        @drobinow<br><br>Could you provide reasoning for this and your definition of a religion. Then, if secular humanism is a religion, why aren't all other worldviews a religion? Finally, why should we consider Pat Robertson as a credible source? Opinions don't prove anything.<br><br><br>Wiki defines religion as:<br>"Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values."<br>--Secular humanism has nothing to do with spirituality.<br><br>Dictionary.com defines:<br>"a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."<br>--Secular humanism doesn't involve the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, neither does it involve devotional and ritual observances.<br><br>Merriam-Webster defines:<br>"a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance"<br>--Again, no God worship or devotions or faith.<br><br>The Free Dictionary defines:<br>"1.<br>a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.<br>b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship."<br>--I think you get my point.<br><br><br>Arguing semantics is stupid, but it seems most people don't know the meanings of words and like to put their own meanings in them.
        Zakh
      • Irreligion as "religion"

        I'd offer that atheism is a "religion" by virtue of the zeal with which atheists seek to prosletyze others, and excoriate those who don't share their views.

        They have a Crusader's scorn for the "fidels" and work to verbally disembowel believers in any religion.

        I may see religionists attack other religions--I went to a parochial school that specialize in it--but I have never seen religionists exhibit the foaming, vicious scorn and hatred that atheists pour into the Internet on so many religion-related topics.

        Whatever corner of the hippocampus atheists think religion resides in, it gets more fully electrified, exercised, and primordially vicious in atheists than it has in any religious person since the Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.
        archetuthus
      • Existential threat!

        Sorry, but while the world wrestles with whose religion or deity is the correct one, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, their refusal to pay attention to the science around us is dooming all of us. Lose the Stone-age BS and get with the space-age and the science that made it all possible, OR DIE! That's where we're going, extinction or pay attention to the science before it's too late.
        yonnie2
      • Definition of religion

        If you are saying that Agnostics are 'fence sitters', I would point out that Atheists and Theists alike share a common arrogance. They both unquestioningly and belligerently believe that they are correct. Agnostics suffer no such arrogance. Agnostics are absolutely certain that absolutely nobody knows the complete truth about the existence of a deity or deities. In the absence of said deity actually appearing on this Earth and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do exist and that they are as all powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing as theists believe, I say that Agnostics have a much better grasp of logic and a more preferable approach to the question. Until all humans know for sure whether any gods exist, no one has the right to call Agnostics 'fence sitters'. Agnostics simply refuse to decide such an important question for everyone else. Agnostics prefer that people think for themselves.
        bni1369@...
      • @archetuthus

        You do realize that the Salem Witch Trials and the Inquisition and lest not forget the Crusades, were all done by Christians.
        Axsimulate
      • Agnosticism Is No Less Arrogant than the Others.

        @bni1369@...
        What you say about agnostics not being arrogant, while theists and atheists are arrogant is not true. Your own statement bears this out: "Agnostics are absolutely certain that absolutely nobody knows the complete truth about the existence of a deity or deities." Being so absolutely certain that nobody else knows is just as arrogant of an attitude as any other viewpoint. In reality, you can't tell for sure whether someone is arrogant or not no matter which position they take. Any of these positions can be assumed either arrogantly or with at least some degree of humility. The only position that absolutely requires at least some degree of humility is some kind of belief in God because you believe in something higher than yourself. That doesn't mean someone who believes in God can't be arrogant about it though.
        CFWhitman
      • definition of religion

        I'm sorry but your wrong, Religion does not necessarily mean a belief in a deity ; The word 'Religion' was first used in 12th century France and was formed from the Latin words 'Religio' meaning 'bond' or 'obligation' and 'ligare' meaning 'to bind to' and was originaly used to denote the relationship between an indentured apprentice and their master. It was only in the late 13th century it started to be used in conjuction with the Catholic/ Christian Faiths.

        whereas a Cult is a group or sect controlled by one person who claims to be the voice of their God on Earth, but even thsi word has been corrupted from it original meaning - 17th century Latin 'cultus' meaning 'worship', from the Latin 'colere' meaning 'to cultivate'.

        technicaly the Catholic Church is a Cult.

        I know a little about this having spent 7 years training as a Priest of my Religion
        Lil' Green man
      • I dunno.. this

        ... seems to be a common misconception held by many atheists. The problem appears to stem from an assumption that an atheist holds the higher ground. The truth is that the majority of people DO believe there is a god in some shape or form.

        If atheism were not a belief system, then why be so vocal, both in pronouncing oneself an A-theist (as in 'I am one without god') and in outlining the things that an atheist DOES believe in. For example, out of necessity an atheist must very often express wholehearted belief in science (to centre ones beliefs around 'understanding'), in humanity (to explain morality and self betterment), in evolution, very definitely in abiogenesis (otherwise nothing would be here presumably, or at least no one to care) and of course the icing: in the wrongs of all OTHER religions or theisms.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but atheists appear to have MANY religious doctrines of their own?
        12312332123
      • @Traxxion

        Atheism is not a religion because there are no required beliefs to be an atheist, you only have to lack a single belief, and nothing else.

        "If atheism were not a belief system, then why be so vocal, both in pronouncing oneself an A-theist (as in 'I am one without god') and in outlining the things that an atheist DOES believe in."

        That's stereotyping. You're saying it as if all atheists are vocal, which of course they aren't. Atheists would prefer it if the word 'atheist' didn't exist at all, because it's a word that describes the non-belief, like a word that would describe someone who doesn't play chess. If there were no 'theists', there would be no 'atheists', we would all just be people. Atheists often have to be vocal and detail exactly what they subscribe to because people constantly misunderstand and think wrong things of them. Exactly what you're doing in this post.

        -----

        "For example, out of necessity an atheist must very often express wholehearted belief in science (to centre ones beliefs around 'understanding'), in humanity (to explain morality and self betterment), in evolution, very definitely in abiogenesis (otherwise nothing would be here presumably, or at least no one to care) and of course the icing: in the wrongs of all OTHER religions or theisms."

        An atheist doesn't have to subscribe to any of these understandings. 'Atheist' simply means that the person doesn't believe in a god, and nothing else. NOT that it's impossible for God to exist, just no evidence of a God has been provided so it's impossible to believe in it. The reason science is prioritised is because there is no religious belief that prevents them from accepting evidence. You speak of science as if it's some separate thing too; science is everything. A pencil is science, a car is science, a soda is science, this Internet is science. Science is all we have to help us understand the universe correctly, and you can't just accept the bits you like and ignore the bits you don't (but religious people tend to do that with scripture too so it's not surprising that they pick and choose what they like with everything).

        Subscribing to humanity would make the person a humanist atheist, but this is not a requirement of atheism. You can be a good or horrible atheist, because atheism doesn't have anything to do with morals.

        An atheist doesn't have to believe in evolution either, but all the evidence and research points to evolution being true, and if evolution is false, then the foundation of all modern medicine and biology would fall apart.

        "definitely in abiogenesis"? On the contrary, abiogenesis is a relatively new field and little is understood. Abiogenesis has yet to provide concrete evidence that it is completely possible under natural conditions, and it is far from proving that it is the origin of life on Earth. Other hypotheses such as panspermia are also on the table. The current correct answer for, 'Where did life come from?' is, 'I don't know'.

        Pointing out the wrongs of religion is sometimes out of anger (and if you say all atheists are angry you're stereotyping), or they are being objective about it. You have to admit, religion messes up a lot of the time just like every other group, we're all human, but religion often gets a free pass because it is religion. People are afraid to criticise religion, so the only ones who can are atheists. ALSO, atheists are the most hated minority in the world; since you're keeping score, compare how many times religious people point out the wrongs of atheism VS atheists pointing out the wrongs of religion.

        As you may find, religion hates atheism way more than atheists hate religion.

        -----

        "Correct me if I'm wrong, but atheists appear to have MANY religious doctrines of their own?"

        Corrected =) I hope I was clear enough. Basically, these understandings are NOT required to NOT believe in God. You can be an atheist and not agree with any of this.
        Zakh
      • @Zakh

        "Atheism is not a religion because there are no required beliefs to be an atheist, you only have to lack a single belief, and nothing else."

        I'm afraid I don't agree, but I do accept that it is a little grey and dependant on perspective. I will try to explain.

        What you say is correct, IF you hold atheism to be a neutral approach with the assumption that god 'doesn't exist' therefore, you simply 'lack' a belief. From my perspective, by definition if you lack belief in God you simply MUST host a whole superset of beliefs to fill the gaps. What gaps? asks an atheist. Well, as I was attempting to point out in my previous post, an atheist IS denying the design of the universe, by extension implying a LACK of design.

        It is a bit like me saying that I am an ascientist. That is, someone without science. You would then say that by extension I do not BELIEVE in science, or you could say that my beliefs preclude belief in science. Either way, in order to claim a modicum of credibility, I must believe SOMETHING, or no one will take me seriously as an ascientist (strangely enough meaning roughly "without knowledge" ;) ).

        To me, many atheists appear to want it both ways, so let's look at this from the other perspective. An atheist does not accept the explanation of complex natural systems as being designed by a God. Now, as we have established for the ascientist, the person cannot claim credibility unless they can support their position with some alternative beliefs. Again, if I were an ascientist you would demand of me some alternative belief system, or else, write me off as a nutter (and justifiably so).


        Now I completely accept that religions the world over attribute gods to the wind-air-water-"wafer biscuit", etc, so to say religion is a muddy area, goes without saying.

        I agree with you that I am stereo typing, but I do not agree that it is incorrect to do so. There are some quiet people I have met, who become pretty vocal when God is mentioned. I would say the majority of atheists I have ever met or talked to are at least as vocal as any theist when the topic comes up. Yes, I am generalising, but that is honestly my experience. But of course, for someone to have reached the point where they 'realise' that there is no God, many have gone through or observed something unpleasant (unless they were raised an atheist of course).

        "An atheist doesn't have to subscribe to any of these understandings. 'Atheist' simply means that the person doesn't believe in a god, and nothing else."

        Then they subscribe to NO understanding, because that is pretty much all you've got. Unless of course, you believe in nothing (which is rare) and therefore lack credibility. Please note: there is a difference between being open minded and denying. An atheist denies.

        "NOT that it's impossible for God to exist, just no evidence of a God has been provided so it's impossible to believe in it. "

        What you describe sounds more like what I would associate with agnostic. An atheist has chosen a title which denies the existence of God.

        "You speak of science as if it's some separate thing too; science is everything. A pencil is science, a car is science, a soda is science, this Internet is science. Science is all we have to help us understand the universe correctly, and you can't just accept the bits you like and ignore the bits you don't (but religious people tend to do that with scripture too so it's not surprising that they pick and choose what they like with everything)."

        I'm not entirely sure if I am picking you up right? I do not have anything against science at all, but what you have stated seems to reconfirm what I said. Science is not seperate, therefore it can form the basis of a belief system? With an atheist, since there is nothing else, it is 'everything' as you correctly stated.

        "if evolution is false, then the foundation of all modern medicine and biology would fall apart."

        How so? Evolution has not aided the understanding of a single medical advance. What has, is studentsa and surgeons hacking bodies apart to understand them and 'reverse engineering' what is already there. Evolution has not predicted the location of a single natural product adapted to medical science. The only possible role I can think of medically where evolution may have played a part, is the use of pigs organs, but I think this is more attributed to genetics? There are more gaps in evolution and other theories than there are synaptic links for me to remember them all.

        "Abiogenesis has yet to provide concrete evidence that it is completely possible under natural conditions"

        You've got that right...

        "Other hypotheses such as panspermia"
        which doesn't explain the origin of anything, since it had to already exist in the ifrst place? Big gap....

        "Pointing out the wrongs of religion is sometimes out of anger (and if you say all atheists are angry you're stereotyping), or they are being objective about it. You have to admit, religion messes up a lot of the time just like every other group, we're all human, but religion often gets a free pass because it is religion. People are afraid to criticise religion, so the only ones who can are atheists. ALSO, atheists are the most hated minority in the world; since you're keeping score, compare how many times religious people point out the wrongs of atheism VS atheists pointing out the wrongs of religion."

        Correct, correct, correct - agreed and I would say that both sides are even on that count. I agree with all of what you just said. I always try to be open minded, although I do have beliefs of my own.

        "As you may find, religion hates atheism way more than atheists hate religion."
        Uhm... no I don't think so.... not in my admittedly limited experience anyway.

        "Corrected =) I hope I was clear enough. Basically, these understandings are NOT required to NOT believe in God. You can be an atheist and not agree with any of this."

        Thank you! :) unfortunately I do not agree....
        12312332123
      • @Traxxion 2

        Thanks for reading and responding sensibly! A rare occasion on the internet haha!

        "From my perspective, by definition if you lack belief in God you simply MUST host a whole superset of beliefs to fill the gaps. What gaps? asks an atheist. Well, as I was attempting to point out in my previous post, an atheist IS denying the design of the universe, by extension implying a LACK of design."

        You seem to be unnaware of the 2 types of atheists. The Agnostic Atheist and the Gnostic Atheist. These terminologies are not separate. An Agnostic Atheist is the most common position for atheists, I'm sure you understand these words independantly so I'll assume you understand how they work together. There are wiki articles and my other posts here explain more. I'm an agnostic atheist, and I don't know what gaps you are talking about.

        -----

        "An atheist does not accept the explanation of complex natural systems as being designed by a God. Now, as we have established for the ascientist, the person cannot claim credibility unless they can support their position with some alternative beliefs. Again, if I were an ascientist you would demand of me some alternative belief system, or else, write me off as a nutter (and justifiably so)."

        I do not accept that God designed anything due to lack of evidence. However, I do not posit any alternative belief. I do not know how life began on Earth. The "I don't know" position seems to be largely ignored and rejected as a position, when it usually is the most honest and credible. I am not trying to claim credibility with another explanation, I just don't know and I will remain this way until some kind of explanation with substantial evidence surfaces. Am I a nutter?

        -----

        "Then they subscribe to NO understanding, because that is pretty much all you've got. Unless of course, you believe in nothing (which is rare) and therefore lack credibility. Please note: there is a difference between being open minded and denying. An atheist denies."

        Credibility has nothing to do with belief though. I'm not sure why you keep linking them together. I find holy scripture completely incredible, but people still take them seriously. I'm an atheist, and I'm not denying anything. I suspend the acceptance of a claim until I have reason to do otherwise. This is the kind of misunderstanding that causes so much hate towards atheists =(

        -----

        "What you describe sounds more like what I would associate with agnostic. An atheist has chosen a title which denies the existence of God."

        Like I mentioned before, agnosticism is not a middle ground between atheism and theism. Atheism--Theism/Agnosticism--Gnostism, the words deal with different areas. Allow me to share a link that I think explains the concept properly:
        http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/

        -----

        "Science is not seperate, therefore it can form the basis of a belief system? With an atheist, since there is nothing else, it is 'everything' as you correctly stated."

        No, science isn't a belief system, modern science is quite simply using the scientific method to asses our surroundings, then using the findings to our advantage. A belief system needs to have things to 'believe'. Belief in this case means faith, and faith is the belief without evidence. Also, science being a part of everything doesn't mean it's the only basis for a world view. You can be a humanist, marxist, etc. There are countless worldviews that can be religious or secular.

        -----

        "How so? Evolution has not aided the understanding of a single medical advance."

        I know a single link isn't super credible but I think you can search on your own from here:
        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topicbrowse2.php?topic_id=47

        -----

        "which doesn't explain the origin of anything, since it had to already exist in the ifrst place? Big gap...."

        Well I meant the origin of life on Earth. If panspermia turned out to be possible, I would think it would be almost impossible to track where life began in our universe, if it was ever a single point @_@ It could also turn out to be both, but now I'm just toying with ideas.

        -----

        "As you may find, religion hates atheism way more than atheists hate religion."
        "Uhm... no I don't think so.... not in my admittedly limited experience anyway."

        Hmm, well there are plenty of cases where families disown their children, torturing people, etc. The article at the top shows the hate towards atheism. In many countries around the world, being an atheist is illegal, and if you're found out, you can be jailed, tortured, or even executed. Atheists don't actually hate religion, they hate the power religion has over the lives of the non-religious. If religion stayed out of government, civil liberties, and public education, I don't think atheists would have much of a problem with religion.

        -----

        "Thank you! unfortunately I do not agree...."

        I hope I managed to clarify a few more things in this one =) Do point out anything I failed to explain properly.
        Zakh
      • @Zakh - hello again

        Thank you. I'm glad it is going across ok to you, although I've noticed I'm being voted down like a tax hike ;) I certainly respect your stamina and that you are willing to explain things to others.

        Ok, I perhaps didn't before, but I do now understand your position as an agnostic atheist and I do not personally find the statement "I do not know, but I do not believe" unreasonable. It would be very difficult for me to prove to you that there is a God (I could try) in the same way that is difficult to prove that there isn't. I also think you might see that my argument was really directed at gnostic atheism - "there is no God". That position does not seem uncommon - in fact it is the position taken in the subject of this very article. Notice - "there is no God" - that is a definite statement, it is someone stating their belief, in public.

        At the most basic level, my personal belief is that something does not come from nothing. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, etc. An argument we've probably all seen in its different forms, is that you can't attribute the existence of a car or a house to no one - it had to come from somewhere? I'd like to start with something more basic than that to show how I just cannot myself reconcile the absence of design. If I were walking on a beach and stumbled across a single perfect cube shaped rock I would pick it up and be quite excited. The chances of a perfect cube shaped rock, eroded and washed up by the sea for me to find - pretty remote. I turn the cube over and on the back is inscribed a single letter of the alphabet (any language). What are the chances of that? I don't think I have to walk as far as finding the temple/object that this cube was washed away from to know that someone has interacted with this cube. If I show it to a random stranger, regardless of their other 'beliefs', they will reach the same conclusion as me - there is just no chance at all, that this cube came from the bottom of the ocean, chipped off some random rock and washed up. That is why I link credibility with belief, because we are not talking about something so simple or random.

        I don't think I need to go into the detail and order required for our physical universe to exist and function (let alone life and the genetic code) as it would make for a lengthy paragraph. Whether I can explain or prove how all this exists is irrelevant to me. I find it interesting when people try, but for me, there is no way all this came from nothing and nobody - just no chance at all. The rights and wrongs of religion and the fact that the creator would have to be much more powerful than I am, doesn't affect my conclusion.

        Thank you for the research links you provided. I have followed a couple of them already, but will keep looking if/when I have chance.
        12312332123