Go to the Source
Read the Bible! Any version will do! It is a political document, poorly translated, with no original copy. How about a modern bible! Or a lego bible!
The Examined Life
Some need a personal god more than others. For such people, atheist caring may appear as anger, but it is not at God. Why religion is fair game. Why I choose to speak out.
Entertain the Unthinkable
Jesus never existed. There is no historical record indicating so (the Shroud of Turin is forged), nor is there even much biblical “prophesy” of his birth. “If Jesus had been an actual historical figure we have a thorny paradox: Either Jesus was a remarkable historical figure who said and did a host of amazing and revolutionary things - but no one noticed outside his fringe cult for over a century… Or he didn’t, and yet shortly after his death, tiny communities of worshipers that cannot agree about the most basic facts of his life sprang up, scattered all across the empire. The truth is inescapable: there simply could not have been a historical Jesus.” - quote by David Fitzgerald
Consider the Evidence
If Jesus did exist, he was not white, and he resembles Attis, Shamash, Dionysus, the legend of Osiris, or a mythological mishmash. He is a descendant of a long line of sun gods. Abraham, Moses and the exodus story is likewise fictional. And don’t even get me started on the light giver known as Lucifer. Biblical authorship and dates are quite problematic. Archaeology, in fact, casts doubt on New Testament (Josephus’ writings are problematic) and any Biblical veracity. Jesus’ pronouncements support the military campaign of Titus: Christianity was contrived for political purposes, according to astrological principles.
If there is a biblical god, he has deceived us, and he is sadistic, or at least superfluous. He doomed us in a test where we would surely fail. The ancient gods were likely nicer.
Camels in the Bible prove it was not written as early as it supposedly was. And, aside from a book of problematic lineage, what evidence is there for God? About as much evidence as there is for ghosts!
Evolution of Society
Imaginary deities are the stuff of primitive (young) civilizations. Early Judaism provided more than one imaginary deity.
Those who study history (without an agenda) will find that the struggle toward civilization is frequently stymied by Christianity and Judaism. America continues to suffer this pernicious influence. Why does religious leadership make one above the law?
Can we be saved (from Christianity) by the constitution?
Apply reason to faith - think it through! Criticizing your own beliefs is not easy - heck, not being crazy can be iffy. Reason is your true salvation! So it is no wonder that intelligence is negatively correlated with Christian religiosity. Mindless platitudes don’t help.
The limited world view reflected in Pascal’s Wager is another item to think through.
Understanding “God does not exist” allows Occam’s razor to cut through so many conundrums that Christian apologists struggle with. Consider how God evolved, or doesn't evolve, and who created him.
Hard to believe, but some look to celebrities for wisdom. Celebrities get it wrong. They also get it right.
Christian belief so often seems inimical to common sense: God ignored Auschwitz, Hiroshima, etc., so does it make sense for him to listen to your (first world) prayer?
How about biblical math?
How about a creationist geological time scale.
Why are there no kangaroos in the Bible?
Who did Cain and Abel marry? Where did she come from?
The God Delusion has been criticized for not being philosophically rigorous. The Christian Delusion was written to address that concern.
The delusion of miracles, such as crying statues, is all for show!, and, of course, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money!
Debates are useless in overcoming delusion. Thoughtful answers demand more time. Critical thinking and moral honesty can free us from delusion. Free-your-mind radio
Christian fundamentalist belief is inimical to mental health, akin to schizophrenia or neurosis. It is also a tool of manipulation! Belief in prayer is a mental illness, comparable to a childhood neurosis. Institutionally, it gives power to those who would spiritually abuse.
ALL christians are hypocrites and arguably selectively crazy! Part of the problem is the drugged, servile weakness and refuge in cowardice that is faith, as compared to some righteous bravery!
The most heartbreaking effect of Christianity is the victimization of children, who are the most vulnerable to brainwashing. This has been known since ancient times. The Bible teaches that naughty children must die, or be blinded, while the Vatican actively covers up clergy crimes against children. Faith schools are not the place to learn morality. Christianity is truly physically harmful to children who have no other choice.
We also have the sad fact of Christianity versus intact families, and the bizarre Biblical passage that Castration is preferable to marriage.
Then there is the problem of women (it's in the Bible - really!, and it is being used against women and girls): How can a woman who bears a daughter be twice as unclean as one who bears a son?
Fundamentalist Christian belief is often opposed to education, as in the Church versus Encyclopedie. Education (and the internet) is winning! Christian-based homeschooling is nothing short of abuse! How could a kid learn scientific literacy in such an environment? Kids need to be taught critical thinking!
The fact that Christianity feels so obviously threatened by science ought to tell us something, sort of like a flashing danger sign. Science already informs the modern interpretation of the Bible. Science has narrowed the plausibility of any god of the gaps to mere sliver. We are finally exhorted to step up take responsibility: shed fantasy for science. It’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.
Reading one book of fairy tales is so much easier than a bunch of hard books on science. Science provides a spiritual vision based on what is real. Science also gives us critical thinking exercises such as:
Is the earth really on pillars that shake when God gets angry?
How do we see light from the other end of the galaxy if Earth is 6,000 years old?
Evolution is absolutely true, driven by the second law of thermodynamics. It can act rapidly, even in the lab and in humans. Evolution leaves a genetic and obvious historical legacy. The grandeur of life may not seem like an accidental product of evolution, but postulating a divine creator only introduces extra complication in this awesome event.
The relentless in-your-face stupid notion of creationism versus the theory of evolution is no threat to science, but it does threaten science education, science funding, and science policy, often resulting in litigation. Really sad. Scotland got it right.
Evolution can be complicated, and is a bit counter-intuitive, so one must put forth some effort to understand this science. Part of the difficulty is that evolution cannot plan for the future, which results, occasionally, in what we would call un-intelligent design.
A highly respected scientist who is Christian (rare, but it happens!) accepts evolution and uses evolutionary principles in his work. Even Pat Robertson gets it!, but theology missed it!
Here some more fascinating bits on this foundation of biology:
Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor 4 or 5 (or more) million years ago. That is why “there are still monkeys”.
Here is an open source tree of life,
Why it’s not easy to embrace the above, but do it!
Morality arises naturally (ignore the Christian apologists), There is no need for biblical morality which does not deter crime. Christian morality evolves in response to pressure from society. The Jewish backpedalling on racism in the Talmud is an example of this, as is the moral relativism that Christian apologists resort to. Compassion vastly predates the Bible.
Why should I get my ethics from a bronze-age book of gruesome and misogynistic fairy tales that promotes rape, war (God is on our side!), slavery, incest, ritual human sacrifice, stoning for blasphemy, and senseless murder? The Bible drips with violence and genocide. Faith-based morality is not the answer. Christianity also incites lying, criminal behavior, child abuse, spousal abuse, and ….. The Christian god inspires gut-wrenchingly awful behavior and backward-looking attitudes. Consider villians who were/are religious, such as: the pope, priests, and Jesus! The Bible is truly the gospel of intolerance, brandished by a particularly intolerant dictator. The Catholic Church is responsible for African witch hunts and the murderous Ugandan anti-gay crusade.
Cherry-picking only from the New Testament (ignoring Leviticus) won’t help you either! Most don’t even get the Ten Commandments right! The Bible is not a bag of trail mix: you don’t get to pick out the parts you like and ignore the rest!
Would you kill me if God told you to? If “yes”, you are sociopathic. If “no”, you have moral sense independent of the Bible. How much of the Bible do you get to ignore before you’re not basing your religion on the Bible anymore?
Are you bothered that some other folks love differently than you? Do you think that is being a good Christian? Marriage predates christianity, so it’s not your’s to “define”.
How can a genetic condition such as homosexuality be a sin? Nor is there much we can do about fetal hormone exposure. Pressuring kids out of it is a sin! And finally: Intolerance is violence, so don’t be violent!
If the fetus a pro-lifer saves turns out to be gay, will the pro-lifer still look out for it’s well-being?
A more useful 10 commandments, from magician Penn Jillette:
1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)
8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bug-nutty.
More on the Ten Commandments. Bertrand Russell’s version. The Ten Virtues for a Modern Age, however, assumes some moral maturity to start with (we don’t need to be told not to kill!)
Finally, some fun Christian blasphemy. You’ve been watching: Religion! If (oh, so moral) Christianity was real... Images of Jesus! Tell it like it is! God is not great, he is a psychopath! Think outside the box. I am soooo scared! The real reason a crucifix is so effective against vampires. I really wish the rapture had happened: all those who suck at their religion would go poof! I do so love Tim Minchin! Evolution for dummies. Protect your testicles or you will never get to heaven!
Reverse discrimination - for a change! I especially like #10 (Go door to door: Canvass neighborhoods, knocking on doors, so you can tell people the good news about godlessness while they stand awkwardly in the doorway.). I might actually do it!