By MG (Monk)
I once had a question and answer session with a devout Church of Christ member. This was a few years ago, and I couldn't possibly tell you how much of this was/is my thought and how much came from other sources as I was deep into my de-conversion studies at the time. I do not wish to steal ideas (or otherwise plagiarize) but to promote independence, inquiry, and rational thought.
With that prelude, the following is derived from a piece I jotted down after our debate:
Religion is the greatest menace the world has ever known. As long as religion exists, we will never see a unified world, a world at peace. You might ask, "Without religion, why bother with a unified world? What would be the point?" I say for the betterment of man, a LASTING betterment -- to take care of the carnal vessels that have sustained us this far: our bodies, the planet, each other. No one is coming back to save you or your children. If you don't save yourself, nothing else is going to do it for you.
Religion should never have been an end but a means. It should only have been a bridge between barbaric ignorance and modern scientific inquiry. As a means for the well-being of humanity, it has failed; it is obsolete. As a means to control the ignorant and the masses, it always has, still does, and always will excel. Rational thought may one day win, but the battle will be hard fought. Once upon a time, I wished I was wrong when I had these thoughts. I feel overwhelmingly now (as I also did then) that I am not wrong.
You say, "Do you feel that there is no god?" I would be tempted to say that I don't know. How could I? Certainly, the evidence is against a god of any sorts.
As Christianity preaches god... NO, absolutely not. Why does there even have to BE a god?
Do Christians not realize that they are worshiping a man (Jesus) and a god (Yahweh... etc., etc.) that originated in the Middle East? You cannot understand Christianity outside of the context of its region of origin. Resources are scarce, and if you aren’t part of their particular club, tribe, religion, etc, they will probably NOT be very nice to you. They weren’t when they gleefully recorded the genocide of rival peoples in the Old Testament, when they gleefully killed each other for absurd reasons, or when they gleefully slaughtered a man that sought to reform their original decrepit religious views. Not then and certainly not now. Yes, this is the same region that has spawned Islam and Osama bin Laden and 9/11. No, not all Middle Easterners are evil. Nor all Jews (no antisemitism here). None of this changes the fact that Christians subscribe to a religion that espouses hatred, bigotry, ethnocentrism, and the slaughter of all things different from itself. When the bible was written, these people often had to act in these ways to survive, but do you really want to be part of a religion, here, now, in the 21st century, founded on (and laced with) such evil? The good you proclaim your religion has done does not offset the bad. Period.
You say, "But nothing makes sense to me without god." I say which one? The god of the Bible? Zeus? Krishna? The little voice that whispers sweet, delusional nothings in your head? If you want to speak of origins and Christianity's supposed primacy as being the SOLE word of god, consider the many common threads of the world’s religions. I’m not going to list them; go find them yourself. I promise that they are there. Doubtless there was a root to it all... but a root one could trace back to primitive man's need to feel like he could in some ways control or lessen the hardships of life, not one that traces back to an "omniscient" and "benevolent" deity.
Christianity has become little better than a substitute for tribalism; it has NEVER been anything useful. It is perpetually destructive. The Romans tried to use it as a social control mechanism to solidify a crumbling empire and failed. I used to hear it said that "if only the Roman Empire would have been CHRISTIAN, it might have survived." In the end, it WAS a Christian empire... that fell. Why is that? Didn't god care that the most powerful country in the world was Christian and about to fall?
Further, I loathe the guilt... the guilt that Christianity thrives on and that is the SOLE reason that I feel many of the "faithful" pretend to believe. How many people do you think really believe and follow Christianity’s teachings because they truly "love" Jesus and god? And, no, they don't follow the bible—oh no! Even the most devout often remain remarkably ignorant of it... most biblical knowledge comes to Christians in a second hand fashion. I wager that even those that do claim to love god and Jesus are duping themselves into belief. How many deep down are just striving to be "better safe than sorry?" How many are really only looking out for number one (something they hypocritically say is secular humanism's only purpose)? How many are just too lazy and tired of life to try and improve what we know we have: the here and now... what's right in front of us at this moment... reality?
"True" Christians are terrified for me and for my soul. I am terrified for my fellow humans, for the future.
To Christians lurking in the background: why is a sincere questioning of the faith, of the whole dubious enterprise, such a terrible (and apparently, DAMNABLE) offense? What "Father" doesn't want his "children" to learn, to question? How dare he send otherwise good people to a hell to suffer for USING their "god given" ability to reason and then calling foul when they unfailingly find something amiss?
You think with God you've found peace? Why don't you try to finding it with your fellow man?
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)