If there is a Creator-God, it has used methods of creation that are indistinguishable from nature, it has declined to make itself known for all of recorded history, it doesn't intervene in affairs on earth, and has made itself impossible to observe. Even if you believe in that God... why would you think it would want to be worshiped?
Morals do exist outside of organized religion, and the ‘morality’ taught by many of these archaic systems is often outdated, sexist, racist, and teaches intolerance and inequality. When a parent forces a child into a religion, the parent is effectively handicapping his or her own offspring by limiting the abilities of the child to question the world around him or her and make informed decisions. Children raised under these conditions will mature believing that their religion is the only correct one, and, in the case of Christianity, they will believe that all who doubt their religion’s validity will suffer eternal damnation. This environment is one that often breeds hate, ignorance, and ‘justified’ violence.
Prayer doesn’t work. Perhaps it makes the believer feel better (in the same way that meditation or deep thought would), but prayer doesn’t actually affect the external world. Not only is it ineffective, but it is also a very narcissistic practice… why would a 'God' change its 'Divine Plan' to accommodate any person’s wishes?
If for every well-intended prayer uttered in hopes of making the world a better place, there was instead a good deed accomplished, the world might look as though those prayers had been answered.
Christian apologists who argue that a story about an empty tomb is convincing evidence of a resurrected body are likely unfamiliar with Occam’s razor, which states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. They assume that the most likely explanation is miraculous resurrection through some unproven divine connection, but more likely scenarios include a stolen body, a mismarked grave, a planned removal, faulty reports, creative storytelling, edited scriptures, etc. No magic required.
It’s perfectly understandable, in my opinion, to find good things in the teachings of Jesus Christ or any other figure, mythical or otherwise. But to base your life on the teachings of Jesus as they are portrayed in the Bible and claim that you are not religious is disingenuous.
Christians believe, as is reported in the New Testament scriptures, that Jesus of Nazareth healed 10 men with leprosy. It sounds like an astounding feat, but compare that to Jacinto Convit who saved thousands of lives when he developed the vaccine that protects us from it. In 1988, Convit was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his anti-leprosy vaccine. So, while the promise of Jesus’ healing power is a centerpiece of the Christian myth, the demigod’s results leave something to be desired when compared to the rigor of man’s scientific inquiry.
Because of Jesus’ supposed predestination, God would have had to choose the people who would kill and betray his son, choose the method by which he would be killed (crucifixion), and the time at which the event would occur. Those guilty of killing Jesus would therefore be simply carrying out God’s wishes without the free will to have chosen a path for themselves.
If we presuppose that Jesus and God are one—as many (but not all) Christians do—then we can also infer that Jesus Christ was omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent, and it is with this that the idea of sacrifice is lost. The martyrdom was premeditated on the part of the Creator, and Jesus was resurrected afterward—showing that the act of ‘death’ was not an inconvenience for the immortal ‘man’ who was said to have known that he would be resurrected.
Without cultural indoctrination, all of us would be atheists. Or, more specifically, while many may dream up their own gods as did our ancestors, they would certainly not be ‘Christian’ or ‘Jewish’ or ‘Muslim’ or any other established religion. That’s because, without the texts and churches and familial instruction, there are no independent evidences that any specific religion is true. Outside of the Bible, how would one hear of Jesus? The same goes for every established religion.
Most Christians believe that Jesus IS God, that Jesus is the same jealous and angry God that abhorred homosexuals and condemned them as an abomination. He is the same deity that gave instructions on how to beat slaves and the same divine Creator that suggested the stoning of non-believers and disobedient children. You have to accept the good along with the bad... after all, he came not to abolish the Hebrew laws, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17).
If in some radical miracle, the Abrahamic God revealed his existence to the world, I’d accept the belief in the deity — but I still wouldn't worship it. The jealous and angry God that justified the killings of millions, sent plagues upon first borns, and abhorred homosexuals would not be worthy of my worship.
When you etch your moral code in stone, you have no room for editing. You leave open the possibility that, as our ethical views evolve, your code becomes less relevant. You could find yourself with four of ten divine moral laws describing how to treat God and zero that prohibit rape or slavery.
Not only do I believe that it is possible to maintain moral standards without the crutch of religion—but I would argue that it is the only way to achieve true goodness and express real altruism. Free from the constraints of organized religion, a human being is able to express decency from one’s self—as opposed to attempting to appease whatever higher power he or she may believe in.
What we now call morality was evolved – as nearly all social and physical human attributes were – to aid us in survival and, ultimately, reproduction. This morality requires only that we be guided by our developed conscience (or moral sense) – and not a God or gods.
Would a just God sentence a morally good individual to hell for never having heard of him? And for that matter, would a just God expel a morally good individual to hell who has heard of Jesus, but simply finds no evidentiary reason to believe? According to any reasonable interpretation of Christianity’s key doctrines, the answer is a simple and firm 'Yes.' This is because, according to Christian dogma, it is impossible to be 'moral' without Jesus Christ; I disagree with this on a fundamental level.
My book was not written in hate for Christians or disdain for the principles often associated with Jesus Christ—instead it was inspired by the ignorance that faith and religion often breed in humanity, the type of ignorance that allows people to self-identify as Christians (or any other religion) without having first researched the Holy Scriptures themselves in order to properly evaluate the religion’s veracity or falsity.
The modern teachings of Christianity often preach of a peaceful, merciful, and loving God/Creator. Culturally, this concept of a God of peace is well liked and accepted amongst clergymen and the Christian community alike; however, some scriptural evidence gives us a contradictory and seemingly destructive version of our Creator.
We are all born free from all religious affiliations and only come to believe in such things after being introduced to it ― so, atheism is the default position. Although some children are not indoctrinated with a specific religion before the age of reason, there are many more who are.
Atheism is not synonymous with anti-theism and not all atheists are 'active.' There are many non-believers who aren’t activists, who don’t oppose religion at all, or who are simply not all are interested in discussing belief or lack thereof.
You don’t want atheism shoved down your throat? OK. We will stock knocking on doors spreading our ‘Truth,’ and having tax-exempt organizations dedicated to atheism that have influential political action committees. We will also stop printing ‘In atheism we trust’ on all US currency and saying, ‘One nation, under atheism” in the pledge of allegiance. We will also stop insisting that everyone who disagrees with us will be sentence to eternal damnation… Wait…
If one religion were 'true,' we would expect to see, even if only once in all of recorded history, a religious missionary that had stumbled upon a culture that shared the same revelations — brought forth by the same deity.
If there's a god, it knows exactly what it would take to convince me and has refused to provide it. In fact, it has gone to great lengths to hide any evidence of its existence. That doesn't seem like a deity that wants to be worshiped to me.
Religious people claim that it's just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But there's got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.
Some people spend their entire lives devoted to a religion that claims to be the ‘right’ religion... they often deny scientific evidence that contradicts their archaic holy books, they sometimes oppress those who disagree with them, and they always do what they do in the name of an unknowable deity... but sometimes, they wake up. Occasionally, they realize that all religions are man-made and that none of them are ‘right.’ And when they do, they can live happy and fulfilling lives without dogma and without anticipating or fearing an afterlife.
A question for Christians who accept evolution: When did we gain a soul? Did Homo habilis have a soul? Homo ergaster? Did God only spontaneously add a soul when we evolved into Homo sapiens?
According to your holy book, every single Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, follower of various minor traditions or sects, those who do not affiliate themselves with a religious tradition and the approximately 2.74 billion humans who have never had the 'privilege' of hearing the word of your Messiah will be sentenced to eternal damnation in a lake of fire—regardless of moral standings or positive worldly accomplishments. If this sounds like a fair proposition to you, then I bite my tongue—but I honestly believe that the majority of Christians do not agree with these doctrinal assertions, and instead categorize themselves as 'Christians' out of cultural familiarity or perhaps out of complete ignorance in regards to the topic.
If you think it’s offensive that I call alleged biblical miracles ridiculous, you should ask yourself whether or not it’s ridiculous to insist that Muhammad flew on a winged horse. Or that the earth was hatched from a cosmic egg? Or that Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, brought billions of his people to earth 75 million years ago and killed them using hydrogen bombs? These are all religious beliefs of others, but that doesn't mean calling them ridiculous is an insult - it's an objective fact until proven otherwise.
One of the misconceptions about atheism is that it somehow means someone denies the possibility of a deity. In all actuality, it simply means you don’t believe it to be the case — a point that should not be hard to understand with the complete lack of physical evidence that points to the existence of such a being or beings. Even if you’re 51 percent sure that there is no magical man in the sky, you are an atheist; and admitting that is the first half of the battle.
The requirement to obey and acknowledge God and Jesus Christ has caused the teachings of the Christian tradition to stray from morality to idol worship,creating a world in which a murderer can be forgiven and sent to heaven, whereas a loving and caring skeptic would be cast into damnation.
Isn't it amazing that, historically, the Prince of Peace has most often been introduced to new cultures through extreme violence? European and American colonialists bring this disparity to light in a way that makes me wish that forced conversion didn't work so extraordinarily well.
If you are religious, you believe that your religion is the 'right' one—and, in many cases, all others will be sent to hell. Similarly, a nationalist believes his or her nation is better or more advanced—and a racist believes that an inherent difference between each race make his or her ethnicity superior. All of these ideologies spawn the hate, philosophical disagreements, and prejudices that have been the catalysts for various atrocious acts throughout history.
This life is only a test' is a counter-productive mindset, it encourages wishful thinking toward and elusive and likely non-existent afterlife while often enabling the believer to squander this life as somehow less important.
Explaining the unknown should be left to science, questions of good and bad behavior can be answered by ethics, and inspiration is often found in the arts. There’s no longer a need for the social construct of religion.
Believers often forget that most atheists used to be religious, that many non-believers used to think they had a personal relationship with their God and they used to 'feel' the power of prayer. They've since learned that it was all a farce, that their feelings were internal emotions and not some external force.
I don’t claim to know an over-arching ‘Meaning of Life,’ but I do operate under the understanding that life should not be lived under the pretense that it is simply a test propagated by an invisible, intangible, Creator-God. And it should not be spent identifying with religious traditions and organized groups that, historically, have been at the root of a tremendous amount of oppression and violence.
Miracles are commonplace in religious scripture. Our ancient ancestors are said to have felt Jesus' wounds, verified Muhammad's ascent to heaven, and even interacted with their respective deities directly. Today, believers have no such luxury. They are forced to rely on blind faith that these things occurred, that people were at one time able to overcome or render inert natural laws.
There's nothing more narcissistic than being sure that you are built in the image of an all-powerful Creator-God, and that same God answers your prayers, knows your name, and has a personal relationship with you.
It is my sincere opinion that our precious time on earth should not be spent attempting to justify unbelievable acts of cruelty, death, and disease as a part of 'God’s Plan' or the greater good — and clinging to ancient texts that preach ill-concealed bigotry and sexism. Instead, we should find ways to make this life happy and satisfying, without regard to the unknowable nature of an afterlife.