My Essay Against Religion for English Class
*It's a long read, I know, but in my opinion it's worth it. If you can, try to find anything to make it better or something I can improve on before I turn it in on Monday! Thank you!*
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is, than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring” (Carl Sagan). In my early years I was required to go to church. I acquiesced, absentmindedly, and I fumbled about through the Sunday school lessons and the congregations. The one thing I remember vividly about church was the free food they had there. Little did I know is that I was being molded and shaped by the leaders of that church. I was being force fed lies, backed into a wall by the ultimatum of being damned to an eternity of painful fiery hell if I did not conform to the doctrine they placed in front of me, whipped into partaking from it. The ultimatum they gave me, believe or go to hell scares small children. It so happens to scare many adults too, unwilling to give up their irrational, delusion inducing imaginary friend. Some may say I’m crossing a line; upsetting an unwritten, unspoken social taboo. I say that is a steaming pile of feces. It is acceptable, often encouraged to debate and openly discuss sports teams or politics. That’s perfectly fine to talk about those things in society and everyday life. I just replace presidents and linebackers with religion and superstition (those two go hand in hand). Religion, in my opinion, is the worst thing to happen to this world. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. Isn’t that ironic, because doesn’t the commandments say not to commit murder? Religion has had influence over the most prolific and horrid murderers in history. For example, Adolf Hitler, who eradicated over six million Jews, once said “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter”. People, mainly bible thumpers, who use Hitler as the opposite of my argument, saying that atheism gives murderers and those who advocate genocide moral support to do so, are ignoring history when they say Hitler was an atheist, when he himself confessed his Christian faith and belief in God. Over the course of the rest of this essay there will be multitudes of illogical, irrational and contradictory questions and observations concerning the nature of God, the belief system of religion, and other aspects which really yank my chain as a logical scientist. As a critical thinker and as a scientist who can only accept things that come with evidence, I feel it is my job to speak out against this fallacious and totally irrational concept of religion, faith and God.
First off, as many Christians who I talk to frequently point out to me, God is omniscient and omnipotent; which means all-knowing and all-powerful respectively. The nature of God is somewhat of a paradox for me. For example, the bible often says “then the Lord saw…”, but he’s omniscient, didn’t he see beforehand? When I get told that I’m going to Hell for being atheist, I retort without a moment’s hesitation, “If God wanted me to love him and worship him, then why did he make me atheist?” They respond, almost one hundred percent of the time, with the fact that “our Father” (so God is male? But I get told by the same people God has no gender) gave us free will. If he gave us free will, that means he does not have a Divine Plan, because we can do exactly the opposite of what God wants. Furthermore, how can God “want” something if he is omnipotent, meaning when he created the Universe, he could have just made it so we do the thing he apparently “wanted”, but if we don’t do that thing he “wants”, then we are damned to Hell for eternity because we are defying God which in turn means we’re sinning. My question is this: why didn’t God just make us do the things he wants so he wouldn’t have to go to all the trouble of punishing us for sinning because we didn’t do the thing he wanted, when in the first place he could have easily made us do the exact thing he wanted us to do! Another thing I have trouble understanding is that God made us in his image. It couldn’t have been a moral or physical one, because God has no morals (because he is perfect) and is not physical. Therefore, one would suspect he made us in his exact image, one that cannot sin and is perfect. Oops, looks like that one didn’t work out (yet if he’s omnipotent how did he mess up that one?). To make it easier for people like me to believe in Him, why didn’t he make something so fantastic and “miraculous” as we would be fools not to believe in Him? For example, instead of the Ten Commandments, why couldn’t he have sent down a message with Moses that went something like this: “Two lines intertwined is the recipe for life”. That hints at deoxyribonucleic acid, the stuff of life. Or: “The fourth world from the fire is rusty”. That indicates Mars, which is a scientific fact is covered with rust. Instead, he sends down ambiguous details that if you asked someone who’s never heard of religion would scoff in amusement. Another flaw in the nature of God is the whole idea of him flooding the earth to remove evil. Evil came right back, in the event that Noah got drunk immediately after finding land, then shouldn’t God have known this since he is omniscient? So why did he bother flooding the earth when he could have just not created evil in the first place? Speaking of Noah, how did he fit all the animals on the Ark? Every insect, every bug, every mammal, every fish and every plant he fit on the Ark? How did it not sink into the water? Some say God used his divine powers to hold it up. Why couldn’t God just fashion Noah an Ark out of metal, some tough, sturdy metal, which is found on earth by the way, and whip up some contraption to keep it safe instead of working all that time for 40 days and nights keeping it aloft, because afterall, he made us out of dirt (but why is there still dirt on the earth then?), and I suppose since he is omnipotent he could just whip up something for Noah? To add to that, how did God kill sea creatures during the flood? How does one go about drowning fish? And did Noah even bring fish onto the Ark? If he didn’t, how could they still be alive now? So I guess he did bring them on, but were they salt or fresh, because a salt water fish would die in fresh, and fresh would die in salt, so it had to be one or the other, but yet both are still alive and kicking (swimming) today. Speaking of the flood, the highest rainfall ever recorded was in 1947 in the Reunion Islands during a severe tropical storm in a 24 hour period and that was only 47 inches. To cover the mountain tops (5.6 miles is Mount Everest) it would need to rain at a rate of 372 inches per hour over the entire surface of the earth. Where would all that water come from? And where did it all go? And wouldn’t the tides and dynamics of the earth be so out of equilibrium that the globe would be unstable and just topple off into the rest of the cosmos like a basketball falling off a unskilled player’s finger? While we’re still on the subject of death, what happens when we die? To those living before 5000 BC, before reading and writing were invented, how were ones able to worship God and get into heaven? I guess they’re all burning in Hell… The opposite of death is life, and God created man to “Rule over fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1:28). Then how is it possible, if our omniscient and omnipotent God created man to rule over every living thing that moves (I guess this is how some back up their reasons to kill in the name of God, even if it is over other humans, they move after all), that some animals are able to devour humans, such as a bear or a shark? That’s just another illogical aspect of religion and the nature of God which irks me. In addition, what is this talk of Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice? If Jesus is a part of God, that makes him both omniscient and omnipotent, thus making him aware that he would be resurrected from the dead and going and leading the Kingdom of Heaven. Where is the sacrifice? If there are any Christians reading this, they will probably be telling me to go read the bible and try to believe and accept God for who he is. You know there are people out there like that. Okay, I agree, and this is what I will do. Take a close listen to what I’m about to say. In 1 John 4:8, it reads “God is love”. In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it reads, “Love is not jealous”. But in Exodus 20:5 it says “I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God”. Follow those in that order and it takes you on a one way ticket to Hell because that just logically proved God does not exist. How can God be jealous when love is not jealous and God is love? God equals love, love does not equal jealousy, yet God equals jealous? It just does not logically follow. I guess those bible thumpers didn’t want me to read it after all. Talk about your own medicine…
The way some people use religion to get ahead in life disgusts me, for example, they consider Leviticus to be “old law” therefore they don’t obey it any more. Then why is it, when they say homosexuality as an “abomination”, they use Leviticus to defend that belief? Another irrational way they think is that they love to defend God’s “love”, is that they say baby’s who die go to Heaven. Then why are they so against abortion? All God is depriving them of is the chance to sin and the opportunity to go to Hell. Either that or God expects unborn fetuses to worship Jesus… In an attempt to inject a little humor into this humbling and logic inducing essay, I will continue on. “Atheism is a non-prophet organization” (George Carlin). Also, ten to twenty percent of all women who find out they are pregnant suffer a miscarriage. It is also estimated that all pregnancies end in a miscarriage about fourteen to fifty percent of the time. Take into account that this is all according to God’s Plan, doesn’t this make God the world’s number one provider of abortions? Another example of faith thinkers in the world today happens to be when they say “God bless America”, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But seeing as how Bin Laden and the terrorists were just carrying out God’s Plan (he after all, did make one), then if God did bless America, why would those attacks happen in the first place? This is a logical conundrum, somewhat like how athletes who win give thanks to God, as if they think he picked them when he could have easily given the loser the same equal opportunity to win.
I think a good way to wrap up this essay is to have another few examples of religion’s irrationality. Jesus loved doing this, so I’m willing to bet religious people will enjoy this too! Many people tell me I will “burn in Hell”. That’s all fine and dandy, but how can my soul burn seeing as how it is not a physical entity? It’s important to note that some Christians will say we are given new bodies after death, which urges the question: what is the point of a soul or spirit at all then? Another irrational hazard imposed on us is that in the “Last Days” Jesus is supposed to appear to us in the clouds. How are the people at the other end of the world supposed to see him? Or the people who work underground or those in deep space? Are there going to be millions of Jesus’ all staring down at us in the clouds? What about those in places where there are no clouds, and the sky is all blue for as far as the eye can see? The biggest thing that irks me about religion is that it is usually always anti science. If it were not for science, the world would still be overcome with polio, and children would be dying off one by one. Science is the best tool ever devised for understanding how the world works. We interrogate nature using it. It has helped improve our lives so much; it’s laughable to say the world would be better without it. If anything, science humbles us. Carl Sagan once said “If we long to believe the sun rises and sets for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?” I don’t think it does, because it humbles us on the deepest of scales. We are so small compared to the vastness of the Cosmos; it’s almost a disrespect to think that a God who created it only cares about us.
My point is religion is an irrational and illogical way of thinking. If you think deeply, you’ll find there is no proof for God. God is nothing without faith, and faith is the belief without evidence. So if any Christian or any other religious person for that matter says there is proof for God, you can look them straight in the eye and without blinking tell them you just proved God does not exist. Douglas Adams, author of the esteemed Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, once said “’I refuse to prove I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’” As a child, I was too immature and my critical mind was not developed enough to understand the lies I was being fed, and the ultimatum I was given to either believe, or spend an eternity in Hell. This is why if I ever have children, they will not go anywhere near a church until they are old enough to think for themselves, and if that is what they want to do, then so be it, it’s their choice and they’re accountable for it. But if one grows up with the lies, it is hard to break out of it and come to the realization that life with religion is a life full of lies and irrationality. Religion suppresses any type of thinking, critical and logical, and promotes a life of anti-knowledge (Adam and Eve were prohibited from eating off the Tree of “Knowledge” ). This world would be a better place if it wasn’t for religion and the irrational thinking it promotes. Dogma is the worst thing that has ever happened to this world. As Richard Dawkins so duly noted “Be thankful you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.” In my opinion, the belief in God is irrational and illogical, and to be so irrational leads to delusion; which I think the belief in God purely is. The Christian God can’t make up his mind on anything, and the fact that he is both omniscient and omnipotent leads us down a path of irrationality and illogic, and the contradictions in the bible clearly show that. “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies living at the bottom of it too?” (Douglas Adams). I sincerely believe the world would be a better place if religion was not existent. The religion of today will be the myth of tomorrow. Religion is nothing more than the story by which scared and ignorant historians gauged the universe to console them. Science has uncovered things in physics that back then, people would see as miracles. The hypothesis that Jesus was an extraterrestrial using advanced technology to pull of these miracles has the same odds that Jesus was the son of God. Religion, specifically Christianity, in my opinion, is nothing more than a fairy tale and has no place in today’s society. It is the root of all the world’s problems, because the two billion people who make up the two greatest religions on earth think they can tell the other four billion people of the world what to do. They threaten us with eternal damnation for “straying” off the divine path. They frequently tell me I need to find Jesus. I didn’t know he was lost.
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to known." - Carl Sagan
"Atheism is a non-prophet organization." – George Carlin
"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." – Richard Dawkins