As far as I can tell, religion is the poor man's opium. It is the same delusion and escapism, but without any of the messy needles or side effects. The psychotic gibbering in 'tongues' of born-again Christians in their churches and the psychotic episodes of LSD users are probably much the same. The 'acid trips' (spinning flaming wheels, wrestling with God, etc) described in the Bible no less surreal than the 'acid trips' of drug users today. Not only has God refused to show himself in this new world of video tape evidence that can definitively prove if someone is lying or telling the truth about meeting Him, but all the side effects of God are also gone. All the witchcraft, demons, miracles, saints, angels -- everything immediately disappeared at the exact same time as the video tape was invented, never to grace the world again. There is no reason to believe in anything that cannot be observed, whether it is God or the tooth fairy, but there is even less reason to believe in God -- because only God is so hypocritical as to shower the world with his Presence, his Saints, his miracles, his Messengers, his Visions so long as the video tape wasn't invented, but then immediately pick up camp and leave the second after it was.
The hypocrisy of a God constantly intervening in our lives, answering prayers, displaying miracles, physically coming down to Earth to talk to us, and then suddenly stopping the moment the video tape recorder is invented, proves that everyone must have been lying from the beginning. Either God never shows himself and never intervenes in the world, or he always does. God can't be inconsistent or fickle and still be the God of any of the world's religions, nor can anyone show what enormous change occurred in the world exactly simultaneous to the invention of the video tape recorder that would somehow mean God was still dealing with mankind equally and fairly. It's not like all mankind after the invention of the video tape recorder was too sinful to deserve saints, visions, miracles, or prayers -- we can assume that if people before the video tape recorder got to see Him, those afterwards had the same right and should have gotten the same statistical distribution of Appearances as before the video tape recorder. Why did everyone in the past get Prophets, miracles, visions, answered prayers, if nothing else divine retribution -- but all we're left with is an old book and some meaningless rituals? Is this fair? Is this even-handed treatment? If God loves us, and not just people from BVT (Before Video Tape), shouldn't he go through as much trouble to save our souls and earn our faith as he went through for everyone else previously? I'm not asking for God to appear to every single one of us and prove himself, even though that would be the most rational course for a God trying to save our souls from eternal hellfire, who supposedly loves us and wants to redeem us, all I ask is he treat us equally to those he dealt with in the past. Surely we deserve the same statistical proportion of miracles, visions, saints, angels, and answered prayers as everyone in the past kept talking about. The middle ages were full of them. The fact that AVT (After Video Tape) has yet to receive a single documented, recorded miracle, visitation from Heaven, or what have you, is extremely stingy of God, who used to be so profuse as to walk among us and heal our wounds and raise the dead. What's the deal, is God camera shy? Give me a break. A God who cannot appear is as good as no God at all. If God can't interact with the world anymore, whatever excuses said God might have for his behavior, it's obvious that though God might have been a swell being in BVT, in AVT he's a totally useless and meaningless slacker.
Since God has abandoned AVT, even though he was such pals and showed such favoritism to the people of BVT, we AVT'ers may as well abandon God. Turn about is fair play. Or, if God prefers, "eye for an eye." Why should we pay any attention to a God who pays no attention to us anymore? Does God think a single, old, dusty book written in a dead language is enough effort for the seven billion people inhabiting the globe today? Does he really think a 2,000 year old book that has failed to fulfill any of its prophecies is 'sufficient' to shepherd his flock? Give me a break. God's own apostles wouldn't even believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he appeared, alive, before them. So we have to believe it all because we read it in a 2,000 year old book written in a language we can't understand? Yeah, that makes sense. Way to show your consideration, equality, and justice for us AVT'ers there Jesus.
Suppose God were a CEO of a company with two billion consumers. Suppose God refused to offer any new products for hundreds of years, in fact, he shuts down all his previous product lines and wraps them up in mothballs, whole factories of 'angels' and 'prayers' and 'visions' and 'miracles' are left unemployed and shut down. It's a veritable rust belt in Heaven, since all God is willing to produce anymore is more copies of the same old book he ghost-writ 2,000 years ago. Would any other CEO, other than God, not be fired for his absolute negligence of his customer base?
Why do we give God special treatment? God can do anything he wants and get away with it -- flood the world, massacre the babies of Egypt, torture us in pits of fire for eternity, even hypocritically lie about how much he cares about us and how he'll always answer our prayers, then sit on his hands laughing and doing nothing when his people beg him to fulfill his own word. Why is it that all standard morality goes out the window when we start talking about the Most Moral Highness? What about God is moral from any viewpoint? He never helps anyone, he never does anything, he lies, breaks his promises, slaughters the innocent, pillages, enslaves, even orders his followers to conduct genocides on his behalf. How can anyone worship a monster like that? And what a divine joke that the best evidence of God, the Bible, is the most damning possible evidence against him? If the bible is true, God is the Devil. If false, God has no proof of existence at all. Just one more delusion like Zeus or Anubis before him.
There's no point mentioning how stupid it was for God to create a world full of suffering, death, evil, natural disasters, disease, finite resources, competition, predation, parasitism, etc. You'd think an all powerful, all knowing, all Good God could get it right the first time -- but then we are told that no, it takes two tries for God to get things right.
You see, this world, this life, is the prototype. God made it when he was still just an amateur, a loser, a complete muck-up, before he could even get his angels into line, and a full third rebelled against him. Heaven, the afterlife, is the finished work. God needs two tries to create a good world for us to live in. In one, he intentionally left the Devil to rule it until the end of days, and ignores all the suffering therein. In the other, he grants all our dreams and fixes everything back up. This makes so much sense. If I were an all powerful, all knowing, all good God, I would make sure to abandon at least half of my creation to the Devil, the incarnation of pure Evil, too. I mean, wouldn't you? I'd also make sure that anyone who gets to enjoy heaven must first undergo all sorts of misery and hardship in the first life, as a test you see, or perhaps as a spice to make heaven feel sweeter, or maybe it's to help build character, or as a punishment for Adam and Eve's sin, or maybe something else altogether -- Christianity never did get that part straight, but then that's the problem with explaining the inexplicable. There never is any rational explanation for what the Hell God is thinking.
But then the afterlife makes the situation all the worse. Quickly, we learn that Heaven is slated for only a tiny few, an elect. The vast majority gets to dive into the lake of fire. We are told that at the very least, belief in Jesus is a precondition for going to heaven, but that already leaves out nearly everyone. Apparently, God loves us so much that he'd see to it that the vast majority of us are tortured for all eternity, because we didn't believe his unbelievable, laughably weak and impotent efforts to convince us while we were alive. Most believers in Jesus also go to Hell, they'll just be more surprised. But the Bible is full of phrases about how even they are doomed to burn. "It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven." "It is better to marry than to burn." With just those two quotes we can assume that anyone who has a higher standard of living than a rich person in the year 30 AD and anyone who has had premarital sex is going to Hell, Christian or not, believer or not. Another example of how dismal one's chances are of reaching heaven, "Narrow is the passage, few the people who get through the Gate," and "I say that even if one looks at another man's wife with lustful thoughts he has committed adultery."
Let's suppose one gets to heaven though. They navigate their way through a wretched life, full of death, pain, illness, loneliness, betrayal, depression, despair, and so on. God never helps them even once, but the mortal still clings to faith. The people around him all treat him like crap, but he still forgives them and treats them 'as he would like to be treated.' He takes communion (And who has ever heard of a more ridiculous ritual than eating another person's flesh and drinking their blood through magically transformed jesus-bread as a form of worship?) every week and goes through all the proper rituals. He finally gets to heaven, only to find that most of his friends and people he cared about didn't make it, and are stuck in hell forever. No matter how much he intercedes on their behalf, he can't save them, or visit them, or see them again. He's stuck forever in some land of pearls and clouds, but he can't have sex, because there is no marriage in heaven. He's allowed to sing about how Great God is, which seems like a rather narcissistic 'Heaven' to me. I mean, who is Heaven for, the believer or God? Why doesn't God serenade us with how great we are? This is supposed to be our reward, not His. God never did anything difficult or trying in his life, so I don't see how he deserves to reach Heaven in the first place, much less receive our praise who actually had to surmount tough challenges to get here. This must be another one of those 'special treatment' privileges God has.
But let's suppose the Bible was inaccurate, there's more than robes, pearls, harps, and songs in heaven. The problem is Jesus specifically said there was no more marriage or children, and it's obvious people in Heaven can no longer visit the Earth -- so we're left with the question, what use is an afterlife? You can't make anything real or permanent in Heaven, nor can you interact with anything real or permanent on Earth. All you can do is sit around and enjoy yourself. Even if there's really good food and drink, and your body stays young, and so on, what's to stop people from getting bored out of their minds? We are talking infinity here. Why would anyone just want to play the harp, chat with friends (the tiny few who made it to heaven at least), and eat fruit for ETERNITY?
There's no use saying that our minds, our souls, our bodies, will be transformed into some higher being that could better enjoy the fruits of heaven. It's no use saying that our divine personages will be quite suited to the divine pleasures of heaven -- because then it is not OUR afterlife. It is someone else's first life. What if the offer God made us went like this?:
"Okay, here's the deal guys. You'll be born on Earth, where I will test your faith with all sorts of pain, suffering, loneliness, and death. You'll all be regular Jobs. It'll be great. But if you persevere, here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to totally dissolve you, your personality, body, likes and dislikes, dreams, desires, all of them. None of them will survive to the other side. On the other hand, I'm going to make an entirely new being, born out of spiritual particles, that has a proper heavenly bent of mind. It will really like singing, and pearls, and harps. Most of all it likes sitting around forever doing nothing and changing nothing. It likes to not make any important decisions, to have no ambitions, to ignore the world, praising me, and most of all it enjoys celibacy and sterility. This being will be granted life and a ticket to my super-duper-amusement park, and all because of your efforts. This being will even be called by the same name as you, and if you work really hard, he'll be given the golden ticket and enter my pearly gates."
Would anyone really take him up on said offer? Why the hell would I give a damn whether someone else reached heaven or not? Why would I go through so much trouble and so much toil just so that some complete stranger can get stuff he likes, but I never did? Let's make this simpler, if you told a child that if he behaves papa will give a random Ethiopian a lollipop, will the child find this prospect very exciting or the exchange exactly fair?
There's no use making a 'new person,' whether through some sort of transcendence, or through reincarnation, and punishing or rewarding that person, for the acts of the living. The living have nothing to do with the after-living, they're two completely different people. Either the after-living and the living are different, and the living have no motivation and no reward for their tasks on Earth, or they are the same person, and heaven is just a prison, another, fluffier hell that souls can never escape from as they sit around, bored, forever.
First off, what gives God the right to judge us in the first place? When did we ever surrender our sovereignty to him? It's ridiculous to say we owe allegiance to our maker. Kids don't have to do what their parents tell them when they reach adulthood, so why should we follow God either? What right does he have to go in and start assigning us places in his afterlife? When did we ever sign up for this? Just because God is powerful doesn't make him just -- that's up to our own independent judgment. Who died and made God king? I never voted for him. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed." So how dare God try to govern us without our consent? How dare he use his Providence to control our fates on Earth, or assign our positions in the afterlife? He's just usurping authority he never earned. Maybe if God restricted himself to ruling over his own believers, his actions could be justified. But no, God just has to rule the entire world and punish unbelievers as though they owe him something. How is this not a psychiatric disorder in anyone other than God? And why should God get a special exception just because he's strong?
It makes no sense that God had to perform human sacrifice in order to 'forgive mankind's sins.' First off, human sacrifice is barbaric and inhumane. Second off, God is all powerful. God can do whatever the hell he wants. Furthermore, what the hell does a physical act -- killing someone -- have to do with a mental act -- forgiving someone? Why can't God just forgive us without any dramatic gestures? Somehow the rest of mankind manages to forgive each other via words and hugs -- only God is forced to come up with a stupid plan like killing himself then reviving himself three days later. (Which kind of makes the sacrifice meaningless. I mean think about it, since when was a sacrifice something you could just indian give? Was it a three day loan or a freaking sacrifice? When we perform sacrifices, we lose whatever we sacrificed forever. But when God performs a sacrifice, he only loses a puppet/avatar/whatever, not the fullness of himself, then he revives it three days later anyway, thus completely erasing whatever puny effort he put forth into his self-sacrifice. God loves us so much he cut off his pinky toe for three whole days before magically regenerating it -- that's the true 'price' God paid to forgive our sins.)
What is the use in punishing people in Hell, when it's too late to prevent their actions on Earth? We don't need dead people, who are completely harmless and can affect no one else anymore, to be taught the error of their ways. We need living people to be reformed, we need living people to be protected. If God wants to punish evil-doers, why not intercede at the last second before a war breaks out, or a crime begins, and stop the evil right then and there? It's too late to reduce the amount of evil in the world once they're dead -- it's too late to do anything. So what's the use in punishing anyone? It doesn't change anything, it doesn't solve anything, it doesn't prevent anything. it just adds pain to the equation. It's meaningless torture for the sake of torture and nothing else. Who could worship such a sadistic being?
Why do Christian nations continuously kill each other while worshiping the "Prince of Peace?" Why do they break all of God's commandments and teachings, while still claiming they are Christian? Why don't Christians even read their own Bible? Surely the single message left behind by an all knowing, all loving God is worth reading at least once in one's life? It's because in their hearts, even Christians realize their God is a joke and only idiots follow Him. They are all cynical hypocrites, saying one thing but believing another in their hearts. Even the priests who spend all their time worshiping God become like the venal corrupt Popes of history, or the current breed of homosexual child molesters that the Catholics can take such pride in.
Due to Christianity, the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans was lost, and Europe was plunged into the dark ages. Only by throwing off Christianity, and throwing off Catholicism in particular, did any part of Europe start to progress again. It's no wonder that Europe's most dynamic, rich, and accomplished regions both historically and in the present are protestant -- like England, Holland and Germany. Since Protestantism is one step closer to atheism, it can share in many of the benefits that true atheism would provide.
Due to Christianity, several important technologies and discoveries have been delayed, like flight, vaccines, astronomy, evolution, stem cells, eugenics, birth control, cloning, etc. Christians always object to anything that might improve the human condition. Christian Scientists even refuse to give their children modern medicine, relying entirely on the strength of prayer instead. There is no telling where technology would be today if not for Christianity constantly holding it back.
Christianity has caused too many holy wars to ever be forgiven. Countless millions of lives could have been saved if Christians hadn't killed each other over stupid questions like whether Jesus was magically bread or not during the Protestant Reformation. What causes people to kill and die over such trivial things except belief in God? It's also unforgivable how Christianity treated the pagans, 'witches,' heretics, etc. How many innocent people must a religion kill before it is totally discredited?
Tales like Noah's Arc are physically impossible. By conditioning people to believe outrageous lies like these, people end up ready and willing to believe other lies as well. Religion is like AIDS, it weakens the rational immune system, allowing all sorts of lies to co-infect the host and bring us down. the moment we believe stupid fairy tails like Samson and his super-powered hair, we also end up believing in junk like 'souls,' 'free will,' 'the sanctity of human life,' 'universal equality,' and so on. Opportunists can always link their lies up to the lies of religion. In fact, Bertrand Russell once proved mathematically that given any lie, anything can be proven. Just one lie is enough to prove anything else from there. Therefore forcing all children to believe a lie at birth by teaching them Christianity, is permanently disarming them from all other lies for the rest of their lives. It's practically infanticide.
Christianity likes to brag about how practical their religion is. "Even if it isn't true, it's too risky not to believe in Christianity." But anyone can write a book. What if the Koran is the true word of God and all Christians go to Hell? That's a useless way of thinking. Or another 'practical' argument -- "so what if Christianity isn't true? Life is more enjoyable if you pretend it is. It makes us less afraid of death, helps us keep our words, gives our lives meaning, etc." But for these baubles we must make a mighty sacrifice -- Truth. If something isn't True, no matter how good it is, it's worthless. If you want to live in a fantasy, you may as well go the whole way and just take heroin instead. There's no qualitative difference between the two lines of reasoning. Moreover, why would people ever wish to live in a fantasy? The Truth is innately Good. Everyone wants to know the Truth and not be lied to -- so why do they suddenly reverse course when it comes to religion? All human instincts find lies repellent. What kind of sophistry can convince people of the opposite? Human dignity is such that we would all rather face reality head on and overcome its hardships than act like cowards, or children, and just escape under our blankets and wish our troubles away. Was mankind really built to act in this manner? Were men really born to hide from reality and lie to themselves? Is this all we're worth, all we're capable of?
How practical is it, really, to pretend that this life, and this world, is worthless, and only the next life, which doesn't even exist, matters? How many people's calculations in this world have been thrown off due to this pernicious lie? Is the world really improved by teaching people to despise it? Christ actually told us that we must hate even our parents and our children, and everything of this world, and instead 'follow me.' Is this really good advice? Hate your family? Prefer an illusion? Sacrifice this world for the sake of another? How many naive idiots actually followed this guy's advice? How much have we given up in pursuit of God's empty promises?
I could list off a dozen more objections, but these should suffice for now. I can't wait for the future history of science and reason oriented secular humanists to conquer the world and get rid of all this obsolete garbage, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism alike.