Reasons not to believe in God, Reasons to be an Atheist, Reasons not to be Christian, God is not Real


A lot of people, especially in the Eastern areas of the world, do not believe in god. While they may have been exposed to the tenets of Buddhism or local superstition, they have managed to avoid being indoctrinated into Western theology, mainly due to their birthplace. While there are many reasons not to believe in god, people don’t need reasons by default – we’re all born without knowledge of god-centric myths. Disbelief is the default.

The following list, then, is directed at those who have been convinced, coerced, or implored to believe in the god of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Here are the top eight reasons to say, “I’m dreadfully sorry, sir or ma’am, but I do not accept your monotheistic superstition.”

1) The Bible

While used as Christianity’s #1 reason to believe in god, the Bible is an awful book, full of torture, genocide, sexism, racism, incest and slavery, all justified by the jealous, wrathful god said to be “the loving source of all that is good and moral and right.” The only people likely to disagree with this are the preachers, who have a financial interest in convincing their flocks otherwise, and those comprising the flock itself, who are listening to the preachers instead of reading the Bible for themselves.

The silly rules and creepy stories in the Bible show that it makes a terrible moral guide. In the Bible, Lot offers his daughters up to be raped in place of his guests, then his daughters later get him drunk and take advantage of him; it’s not permissible for men to masturbate, enjoy one another sexually, eat shellfish, or wear more than one kind of fabric at once; disobedient children should be stoned to death along with those who work on the sabbath; raping a woman isn’t wrong because it harms the woman, but because rape violates the property of another man; the list goes on and on.

The Bible isn’t only a moral disaster, it lies about the natural world, disagrees with itself, and makes logical errors. The Bible implies that the earth is flat, says a man can live inside the belly of another animal for several days, and suggests that two specimens of every species on the planet could somehow, possibly, amazingly fit inside a giant boat. There are 725 species of butterfly in North America alone – that’s only a small portion of what Noah had to gather.

The Bible contains multiple versions of the creation story, as well as multiple versions of Jesus’ death. Revelations, the story of the end of the world, makes less sense than the writings of Nostradamus. Its author, John of Patmos, wrote it while living on an island famous for its hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Moderates often argue, “Well, the Bible’s not supposed to be taken literally. The stories and rules are metaphorical.” Really? If that’s the case, why are you so sure the Bible’s god isn’t just as metaphorical as the stories about him? On what basis to you differentiate the literal from the metaphorical? It certainly isn’t on a Biblical basis, since the Bible itself states that it should never be changed or edited, but adhered to literally and fully.

2) The Need for ‘Faith’

Faith is the belief in that which isn’t seen or otherwise sufficiently evidenced. Faith is presented by monotheistic religions as something virtuous, but this would mean that to refrain from thinking for yourself, and rather, to believe on no firmer foundation than wishful thinking and fear, as well as what the loudest voice in the room tells you, is the right way to go.

If this were the case, it wouldn’t be right for human beings to take responsibility for their own lives and help others and themselves, something we do all the time by developing science and technology, and advancing human rights. We change our own cultures for the greater good – a good determined not by the contents of a holy book or by what “god thinks,” but by a desire to alleviate suffering.

The funny thing with faith is that while people claim to believe only because they “feel” the truth of god’s reality, this is impossible: if they had never been told that god is real by their leaders, families, and texts, they wouldn’t believe it. Faith is a belief not without any evidence, but without sufficient evidence. It is a belief in an extraordinary proposition upon presentation, without any investigation. It is pure intellectual laziness. It could even be called “deliberate stupidity.”

Why does god need people’s faith, anyway? He showed himself using booming voices, messenger angels, a burning bush, and his own magical son-that-was-really-himself, in the Bible. Yet now – now that the world is full of objective tools of documentation like photography and video – god is nowhere to be seen. Why was he so obvious and visible when it was hard to prove his existence, yet now, when it would be so easy to show everyone that he’s real, does he revert to only showing evidence of himself on the occasional grilled cheese sandwich?

3) Logical Impossibility

The problem of evil, first documented by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, takes issue with the depiction of any god as simultaneously omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient: that is, all-powerful, infinitely loving, and all-knowing.

If he is all-powerful and all-knowing, he knows about evil, and can change it. If he is also perfectly loving, he must want to change it, too. So if he knows about evil, can get rid of evil, and wants to get rid of evil, how can evil possibly exist? Yet, it does. This makes the existence of such a god – the god that most Christians believe in – logically impossible, and thus, easily dis-proven.

Christians have tried to argue against this, but all such arguments (six are common) are easily refuted, because they all forget one or more of the three stipulations. Essentially, god could easily create a world in which evil was not necessary, and all attempts to justify god’s creation of evil fail at doing so.

4) Psychological Damage

Anyone who’s seen the documentary “Jesus Camp” understands the potential for psychological damage when people believe in god. Believing in god means believing in something unsupported by evidence, and if you’re willing to believe in something without evidence, you’re open to all sorts of brainwashing and abuse, although, of course, people are open-minded to varying degrees, and many intelligent people still (somehow) believe in god.

Some people believe in god as some kind of abstract influence on the universe, like the Force from Star Wars but far less useful. Others are polytheistic (the world is god; god is the same as the world) or deistic (god jump-started the universe, but has no influence now). People like this aren’t very dangerous, they’re just being wishy-washy and silly, and in most cases, should probably stop using the word ‘god’ to describe their beliefs, for accuracy’s sake.

Most people who believe in god are Christians, Muslims and Jews, which means they also believe in hell and the importance of absolute authority. This means they think that retributive punishment without fair explanation is a justified thing to subject people to.

No one is as open-minded and easily brainwashed and abused as a child. An authoritative, hell-fearing, retributive upbringing is also known as an abusive upbringing, which stunts and terrifies the trusting, curious little people so often subjected to such situations. Even moderate families, who moderately believe that absolute authority, obedience, and fear tactics are good tools for control, are likely to do some damage to the psychology of children.

On top of this, the conservative rules espoused by many Christians lead to self-denial. Homosexuals, for example, face persecution if they happen to be born into, and come out of the closet in, theistic communities. They face either denying themselves – as it seems the southern pastor Ted Haggard was caught partially doing – or coming out and being ostracized and disowned by their families for no good reason.

5) Anti-Science Attitudes

Believing in any popular notion of god means believing that god made the universe, and often the Earth. Usually, it also means “god did it,” is a sufficient explanation for everything around us. Once we think we have the full explanation already, our curiosity dies. We already have the answer. Why investigate?

Some god-believers are openly anti-science. Ben Stein, for example, has said, “Science leads you to kill people,” and will hopefully adhere to this belief by avoiding all modern medicine and subsequently dying an early death. People like this think it is immoral to investigate the natural properties of the world, often because such investigations, when carried out properly, reveal the truth that the Bible doesn’t contain jack about the natural world. They fund exhibits like the “Creation Museum” in Kentucky, try to push creationism into secular biology classes, and stop AIDS sufferers from using condoms when having sex.

Other anti-science attitudes are less vehement, but still damaging. People fight stem-cell research because they think the biological matter used in research contains “souls.” They get bamboozled into agreeing that it’s okay to “teach the debate” between creationism and evolutionary theory in science classes. Rather than supporting the investigation of reality, they figure, “Everyone can believe what they want, and we should respect everyone’s beliefs.” This is anti-knowledge, anti-truth, and thus, anti-science. Those who think this way really should change their minds, for the sake of truth, knowledge, and education.

6) Other Religions

The world has hundreds of religions, a handful of which are overwhelmingly popular. Most of these religions say something to the effect of, “This belief system is true, and all other systems are false.” None of these belief systems have anything more than legend, superstition, and fable to back them up, and so none of them have any objective basis of support for their self-aggrandizing claims. There’s no way to tell when looking at these religions squarely, which one is the “right” one, if any.

People believe in them for reasons other than whether or not they are “right.” They believe because they happened to be born in a region where that religion is popular; they believe because a religion “feels right,” as though a “good feeling” could mean a story is real, rather than just good fiction. They believe out of fear, they believe because it seems a greater risk not to believe (a fallacious form of reasoning titled “Pascal’s Wager”), they believe because it just hasn’t come to mind that they shouldn’t. None of this thinking is likely to lead a person to the truth, or to reality.

Some religions, like Christianity and Islam, say there is one big god. Other religions, like Buddhism and Jainism, say there are no gods. Still more religions, like Shinto and Paganism, say there are many small gods. Many combinations of the world’s religions – always evolving, splitting, combining, and changing – give many different answers about how many gods there are, how powerful they are, how they created the world, or how the world created them. None of them has any evidence to trump any others.

Why believe in a god when you know your only reason for believing is the circumstance of your birth?

7) No Favoritism for Followers

One of the many benefits of globalization is the ability to gather accurate survey data about large populations – even the whole world’s population. Time and time again, it has been shown that believers are not favored over non-believers. If 50% of the population in an area struck by a tornado is Christian, 50% of the injured and dead will be Christians. The same is true looking at any other religious demographic. If there is a god, that god in no way rewards his followers for believing in and worshipping him.

If anything, believers get the short end of the stick. A recent gallup poll shows a positive correlation between living in the most war-torn areas of the world (which have the most violent death, starvation, poverty and overall suffering), and being monotheistic.

8) Abhorrent In-Groups

A popular bumper sticker says, “Lord, please save me from your followers.” What does this mean? It means that other people’s belief in their god can be a real pain in the butt. You go to them for help, and they pray for your health rather than donating to help you pay your medical bills. You try to teach them about evolution so that they might understand what it is they’re fighting against, and they rudely ignore you. You ask them for emotional support and advice, and they recite prayers at you instead of making an effort to actually mull over your problem in hopes of helping you solve it.

God-fearing people squabble amongst themselves, and since they often center their relationships around religiosity, one “wrong” move – like choosing to “live in sin” with your boyfriend, something that’s your own business – could end a friendship or even get you kicked out of a whole community.

Staunch god-followers tend to be shallow, fickle, and because they make friends only with those who adhere to the same authority they do, very cliquey. You’re in or you’re out. You’re with us or you’re against us. Do you really want to get involved in such an unfulfilling, dramatic social situation?

The bottom line is that god is not real and since our beliefs determine our actions, which tend to have consequences, believing that god is real is bad for both you and the people around you. This is true for belief in anything unreal or untrue. People die if they think they can fly (since they tend to jump from tall buildings rather than taking off from the ground), and people also die if they think they will be rewarded in the afterlife for making a sacrifice (since they tend to destroy themselves and others with bombs, guns, and airplanes). Don’t become part of the tragedy – become part of the solution.

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