The Case Against God

By

John B  

 

If making the case for God is easy, making a case against him is even easier.  There's so much documentation that it's hard to know where to start.  Most people start by pointing out the behavior of God's followers down through the millennia, and the evidence is compelling indeed.  After all, you have the Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch burnings, and the Dark Ages just for starters.  Add to that the brutal subjugation of the Americas under the authority of the Cross, and keep on going from there. 

And that only covers the Christians!  I won't even try to detail Muslim violence, which has soaked the pages of history in blood for over a thousand years.  Perhaps the least guilty of God's believers are the Jews, who've spent much of their history on the receiving end of war and murder; yet they've had their moments too.  

But pointing out the deeds of God's believers, critics point out, says nothing about God, just that man is imperfect and prone to extremism.  True enough.  Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all claim to be religions of tolerance and peace; the average followers of these religions do live peacefully and in harmony with their neighbors.  But when they feel threatened, holy war breaks out.  

 

Jihad 

Why is it that people who believe in a benevolent and "peaceful" God are so quick to butcher their fellow man?  No war is deadlier than a religious war.  Northern Ireland has a 400+ year history of religious murder and civil war; a million and a half Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks in 1916 because of religion; countless Muslims were butchered by Christian forces during the Crusades; six million Jews were murdered because of religious differences; and today, all over the Middle East, religion is responsible for thousands of shootings, bombings, beheadings, and general mayhem where the targets are usually unarmed civilians. 

Where does God fit into all of this?  If he's such a peaceful fellow, and these people (on both sides) all follow him -- and he loves them...why isn't he stopping it?  

Maybe it's because the Bible, which claims to define God, is replete with historical excesses of its own.  You want to talk about jihad?  You want to read about unwarranted invasion and genocide?  Read about Joshua.  Read about David.  Read about the Israelites taking over the Promised Land.  The Jews may seem relatively peaceful now, but 'twasn't always so.  They slaughtered scores of thousands; chopped, hacked, burned, butchered, and raped.  And when they were done, they inhabited the land. 

What was God's reason for ordering all this slaughter?  Religion.  The Canaanite tribes worshipped idols, so God (according to the Bible) had them slaughtered. 

So much for peace and tolerance.  Is it any wonder that believers in later ages felt justified in murdering anyone who believed differently?  

 

Myth and Magic 

When you stop to think about it, the idea of an invisible man who lives in the sky is pretty fantastic.  We smile and wink at the myth of Santa Claus, who lives at the North Pole and brings presents to all the good children of the world on Christmas Eve (at least those not brainwashed by COGs do), but why is Santa any more of a fairy-tale than God?  Both are omniscient, both are omnipotent, and both punish and reward based on our deeds.  As children we were taught about both, and for a time, we were assured that both were real.  Then, around the time we started school, our parents said about Santa, "Just kidding." 

But they let us keep on believing in God. 

Yet the idea of God, as we were taught to think of him, is no less preposterous than Santa Claus.  We all know it's impossible for Santa to bring presents to every child on earth in a single night (even with a magic sled pulled by flying reindeer!), yet we completely swallow the notion that God, who lives somewhere in the sky in an invisible place called Heaven, knows our every thought, our every action, our every emotion as they happen, even in advance.  And not only ours, but those of every human on the planet, all at the same time!  

People, that simply isn't logical! 

And it gets worse.  God has a whole bunch of things he wants us to do, and even more things he wants us not to do.  God loves us, but if we screw up even once, he'll kill us.  We can ask for forgiveness, of course, and if we really mean it, he will forgive us.  But the gun is still loaded, still pointed at our head, and if we screw up again, he's still going to kill us.  This cycle of screwing up and begging for forgiveness goes on for our entire lives, and if we die with just one of those sins unrepented of, we go into a lake of fire.  (God isn't content with just killing us, he has to burn us to death!)  All the good things we did count for nothing, if one sin remains outstanding. 

Are those the actions of a "loving god"? 

 

God and Satan 

Christians will tell you that you shouldn't question God.  God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. 

But you have to wonder...if God is so powerful, so all-knowing, why does Satan seem to be winning the hearts and minds of most of the world?  Is it our fault, as Armstrong used to tell us?  Is God losing the battle against Satan because we aren't praying enough, giving enough, tithing enough?  Is it because we aren't doing our part? 

God is supposed to be more powerful than Satan.  And ultimately, we have been assured, God will win.  ("I read the end of the book, brethren, and WE WIN!!!"  ha-ha-ha)  

But all three major religions that claim ownership of the God of the Bible have as yet been unable to convert the rest of the world to their point of view.  (The Muslims are actually doing a better job of it, as their influence is gaining momentum on many continents.  [Shudder])  Judaism is a relatively small, private religion that exists pretty much everywhere but is rarely noticed except when someone sprays a swastika on a synagogue; Christianity is high profile and noisy, and spends billions on missionary activity, but with very little return.  Islam just quietly keeps on recruiting, and few would notice except for the extremists who seem determined to murder every non-believer they can reach. 

In spite of that, at least half the world worships something other than the God of the Bible.  Asia is locked in the grip of Buddhism (which, if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose a religion, is the one I would choose), India worships multiple deities, and native peoples everywhere still worship various forms of nature.  And even in "Christian" nations, crime and decadence seem to be the order of the day. 

Let's face it, folks -- if God is really trying to 'save the world", he doesn't know how to go about it. 

What About the Creation? 

Now we come to the argument that is hardest to ignore.  There is one logical reason to believe in some kind of a god.  The simple fact that life exists on this planet and, so far, hasn't been seen anywhere else (there is evidence of possible past life on Mars, but it hasn't been explored yet; if such life existed, the proof will be many years in coming). 

Evolution has offered an alternative to God to answer the question of existence, but it's less convincing, frankly, than the story of Genesis.  I won't go into it here -- see The Case for God for details. 

But clearly there is no logical explanation for life in all its forms except that someone or something designed it all and set it in motion.  There simply is no other logical explanation in my opinion. 

When you take religion out of the picture, discard all the "holy" books and the conmen who get rich preaching out of them, you may arrive at something approaching the truth, and even that can only be speculation.  No one knows when or how life started, and probably no one ever will.  The most likely theory is that it was something of like a one-night stand: a sailor arrives in port after a long voyage, stops into a bar for a few drinks, and meets up with a girl.  They end up in bed, engage in forgettable sex, and never see each other again.  The sailor returns to sea, the girl is left with a baby.  The sailor neither knows nor cares. 

Maybe something like that happened on Planet Earth.  I don't know.  And neither does anyone else.  It isn't a perfect analogy, but it would explain why the entity that created life here has kept its hands off ever since. 

The painful truth is -- and it will be painful indeed for those who've wasted their lives on religion -- that there is no evidence that God exists, at least not the God we've always been taught to believe in.  The Bible itself is ample proof that he is a fiction, because Bible stories are demonstrably contradictory; the God in the Bible is a bi-polar, illogical individual.  I don't want anyone like that living in my neighborhood. 

And neither should you. 

 

06/04/2005


 

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