I’ve written here before about religious beliefs and how reason and logic doesn’t enter into the concept at all. I don’t respect people who can hold such beliefs without any evidence and proudly proclaim ‘even if there was evidence to the contrary, I would still believe’.
However, one of my stated aims of this site is education. To present the facts as they are to perhaps, less well-read minds (often through no fault of their own of course) so that decisions about what position to take on matters like belief can be made rationally. I don’t have any problem with those who ignore any facts that contradict their fervently held beliefs – just don’t pretend that you have come to your position after any thought!
In one of my postings, Proof that God Does Not Exist, I used a rational argument to raise points that many christians (or people of other faith) have probably never thought about, but there are a lot of other points worth thinking about as well.
Some of these are borrowed from other sources and enlarged upon.
Lack of agreement: The many faiths are not in universal agreement about many of the fundamental principles of god. This entails a lack of foundation upon which their premises are derived.
Lack of evidence: There is no testable evidence to show the existence of any of the popular gods, evidence which would make all reasoning people agree that there is a god. Just one ‘I am up here’ message written in space for all the earth’s inhabitants to read (and in every language) would suffice.
Ungodly god: All popular religions portray their gods in temperament and in actions as being very like man with human emotions such as anger and jealousy, and thus not very god-like.
Ungodly demands: The religions all have their gods requiring behaviours of man that would not be required by a god; namely, building ornate temples, praising him constantly, prayers, chanting and various other acts claimed to be pleasing to their gods. Such activities are just what one would expect priests to require of their followers.
Ungodly actions by god: They have their god doing ungodly things like partaking in or affecting the outcome of battles, striking people down (including innocent children), creating a hell for non-believers, heretics, and other bad people, causing natural disasters and making diseases.
False history: Their accounts of history in the sacred writings have numerous conflicts with the archaeological evidence. Any system which will deceive for the sake of benefits is not worthy of any respect.
Uninspired ‘inspired’ writings: Their conception of events in the sacred writings is what we would expect of a pre-scientific people. They have demon-possessing people, talking snakes, witches, gods deciding which side would win a battle, striking people down, and so on.
Conflicts with reason: Reason creates expectations about what a long-lived, super-intelligent being would be like and require of man, but the portrayal in the sacred writings is in conflict with these expectations.
Sphere of god is imaginary: To claim that god is transcendental and incorporeal, thus beyond the material realm is to place their god beyond in the realm of imagination. To invent a category of transcendental, capable of existing in the spirit realm and the material realm doesn’t prove that there is such a being, or that there is a spiritual realm. It is just necessary to create it to justify the beliefs.
Harm: Religions have promoted wars, torture, genocide, repression of liberties, repression of natural sexual behavior and supported (and continue to support) class societies with their exploitation of the lower classes.
False and pernicious morality: By holding that the pleasures of sex is sinful, except when done within the confines of marriage and by considering it better to serve churches than to serve mankind by prohibiting safe sex practices, the followers of gods have promulgated a false morality.
Claims of religion necessary for us to know good and evil: By claiming that mankind requires a god belief to be able to live moral, decent lives is a myth. Humans have, as all primates, evolved to be kind towards others in their ‘group’ and to be intolerant and untrusting of those outside their group. Goodness and kind acts towards others has been demonstrated to actually be pleasurable to us.
Modern world differences: That the world today is much different than the world of the scriptures. Their’s was a world full of demons, gods, prophets and miracles. For most people there are today no demons, other gods, prophets, and no miracles that can’t be explained by chance.
There are, of course, many more and rational readers of the above would be able to come up with some of their own.
And that really is the point. Atheists, humanists and free thinkers, unlike religious believers, will never tell you what to believe. They will simply point out to you that there are alternative ways to think about the world and your faith.
Then it’s then up to you to come to your own conclusions.
It’s what we’ve done and are honestly so much happier because of this..