This entry discusses the concept of God recognizable to most in the Western world, alternative beliefs and views about God/god/gods, and how such views may be more appealing to people at various stages of their lives. Although all people are technically nonbelievers in God—atheists—at birth, many are almost immediately exposed to religious beliefs and practices so that they are effectively religious very early in life. As with most other things, in early youth, people tend to accept what their parents and community members teach them concerning religion, making them believers by default. Whether a young person is religious, his or her interest in questioning whether gods or God exists may be piqued in adolescence or early adulthood, often coinciding with higher education.

When Evidence Is Important

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