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Why I'll Never Be Religious
Are you religious?
A main reason why I'm against religion is because it teaches us to be content with not knowing much about reality. Take for example the mystery of how life began exactly, it could have been a sort of intervention by an inter-dimensional super being, sure, but more likely life began through ordinary physics in the confines of natural laws. We could find out how life began, or we could say god did it. Most religious people are perfectly content to say god did it. They don't seem to be curious about the kind of magic god used, they're just saying, god did it. This god of the gaps argument is all over the place, how will life on earth end? God will do it. How did god begin to exist? God. How does the human eye work so well? God. Why do humans have emotions and thoughts that can't be fully explained by neuroscience? God. I see this argument coming from religious people all over the place, rather than being genuinely curious about natural phenomena and how they occur, god done did it.
Atheists on the other hand are willing to be uncertain, for it is better than having answers which might be wrong. However, atheists maintain a sense of curiosity and are willing to say that they don't know. How did the universe begin? I don't know, I'm not the best at cosmology. How did life on earth begin? Well I'm not entirely sure, but there are a number of reasonable hypothesese which may be proven right at some point
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.— Benjamin Franklin
I'm going to create humans with original sin. Then I'm going to impregnate a women with myself as her child. Then I'll have myself brutally killed as a sacrifice to myself, to save you from the sin I condemned you to. Ta Dah!!— The LORD
Almost all religions teach us a fundamental lie about our nature as humans. Religion teaches us that we are scum, lying, sinning, unworthy, ungrateful, greedy, murderous, perverted human garbage. Now you can deny that all you want but let's be honest, the centralizing idea of religion is that people are cursed with sin and they need to beg for forgiveness from their creator.
In reality most humans are not sociopaths, psychopaths, or narcissists. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of humans cannot wrong their fellow human without feeling guilt and remorse. We homo sapiens have an innate sense of right and wrong, an internal morality. Religion tells us that although we have this, we're cursed to do wrong inevitably, and we need gods help in fixing our inner immorality. To me, this is absurd. Humans are naturally loving, empathetic, kind creatures, but we are constantly told by religion that we are unworthy of moral sovereignty over our own life. Religion tells us that without a super human controlling power, our society would collapse under its own debauchery. This idea only sets people up to be lazy, rather than changing themselves and their society, they look for the non-existent super human controlling power to come and save the day.
As an atheist I think society would be much better off if we told children that they have their own conscience, and that they know when they have wronged someone. We shouldn't be training kids to believe that they are reprehensible immoral garbage that desperately need the forgiveness of a super being. It creates an unnecessary sense of unrelenting guilt that is only disguised psychological abuse.
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.— Friedrich Nietzsche
Praise and Worship
Nearly all religions have another centralizing idea, that God's require worship and praise from imperfect humans. What always struck me as odd about this idea is that you would think an omniscient, omnipresent, perfect, and all powerful super being wouldn't have such a weak ego that he needs the praise of billions of little sentient creatures he created. What's worse is that God will actually test people in order to get more praise and worship. Take for example the common news story of one child surviving a crash or a natural disaster, and what do they say about that one child, well he or she is god's miracle. So essentially god will let a number of adults die, and leave one child alive just to prove his majesty so that people can be in awe of his mysterious ways and worship him.
It always made me feel somewhat strange, a perfect being would create a bunch of imperfect beings just for the satisfaction of having those imperfect beings worship and praise the perfection that they will never achieve. Religion is a kind of phenomenon where there is a super being that needs or wants the worship of cursed beings, it's just difficult to wrap my mind around how this has become so common.
I never really thought much about this when I was a christian because I was genuinely afraid of eternal damnation. Now that I'm an atheist I look back and think how incredible it was that nobody in my church seemed to notice the pettiness of god. God has some very pathetic characteristics that are not exactly in line with his esoteric qualities but are nevertheless there in most holy books. God is a jealous, war and fear mongering, rage and hate filled tyrant. He get's angry about the things he created. Just step back and really think about this for a second. A perfect super being creates a bunch of imperfect beings, and get's intensely frustrated with their imperfection, after deliberately creating them with imperfections. What kind of sick joke is that? How do people not see this? Well to be honest I know why I didn't see it. I was afraid of seeing it. Religion keeps you ignorant because it makes you afraid of knowledge and of certain kinds of questions and thoughts.
One thing I will never be able to get past is the blatant hypocrisy of religious people. They openly pick and chose which verses they want to follow out of their holy book. Even when they chose verses about kindness, generosity, and empathy, you'll see that they often live in a house that's far larger than they need, they haven't given their riches to the poor, and they're still chasing monetary gains in the rat race. You'll notice that religious people are still consumed by vanity and materialism, they follow fashion, wear makeup and so on. Another thing you will notice about religious people and their blatant hypocrisy is that they will pretend to not notice it at all until you show them a verse from their holy book that clearly condemns what they are doing or how they live their life. That's another part of their hypocrisy, they haven't even read or memorized their entire bible. You'd think that if the bible was our only connection to a super human controlling power that holds the keys to our eternal fate that we would know the book from cover to cover and we would follow each and everything it has to say, but no, people do not do that. One thing about the hypocrisy of religious people is that it shows me that they don't even take their own religion seriously, so how can they expect me to take them seriously or respect their beliefs?