Sheesh, it has been over a month since I last posted. I believe I've learned quite a bit over that time in several areas, as well as reaffirmed (considerably) that my choice in de-converting/becoming an Atheist was what I thought to be the proper thing to do. :-)
I've even developed interest in and begun planning to write a book and perhaps a trilogy if things go well. Here's hoping. :-D
Over the past month-ish, I've looked quite a bit into many areas of study and discussion which (to me) proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the absurdity of religion and belief in ANY deity.
It is said that "those whom believe absurdities will commit atrocities", and I find that a perfect description of the results of the aforementioned beliefs, especially those like Christianity which emphasize such a ridiculous notion as faith as necessary and ascribes it virtuous. What deity would put gullibility above reason, logic and evidence?
Faith is the belief in things without evidence. In the case of a belief in a god, it's not <b>just</b> a lack of verified and even existent evidence, but also <i>in spite of</i> contradictory evidence within holy books <b>with themselves</b> and verified scientific evidence about life, our origins and the universe itself. These books state many things as truth that don't match up with reality.
Take a typical Bible for instance. In Christianity, one of the central precepts of that religion is that of "Original Sin". Essentially, in the Garden of Eden, the serpent (created by Yahweh) managed to get Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (also created by Yahweh and stupidly placed in the Garden). Before I even get into what's wrong with that premise, I'll finish this bit up.
So, Christianity holds (based on the supposed teachings on Jesus/Yeshua) that all of humanity was tainted by Adam's "sin" in disobeying Yahweh by eating that fruit. Thus, even if by some absurd chance someone lived a life without commiting a "sin", they would still be complicit in the hereditary sin passed on from that Original Sin and be sent to Hell for eternity. Well, this goes COMPLETELY against at least one previous passage back in the Old Testament. I believe it was somewhere in Deuturonomy 24 (don't currently have my annotated Bible so these are all from memory). It roughly says the following:
"Sons are not to be held accountable for the sins of their fathers and their father's fathers."
Notice the obvious conflict? Thought so. Well, this Original Sin is part of the reason Yahweh apparently had to create a loop hole to a problem entirely of his own creation: He had to sacrifice himself (Jesus), to himself, by ironically having a carpenter nailed to a piece of wood to forgive everyone's sins (as long as they telepathically accept him as lord and master....). It doesn't matter how good a person you were or how excellently you lived your life, unless you throw away any sense of rationality and accept Jesus - "The Way, the Truth, the Light" - you go to Hell. Thus, even say a child rapist could gain entry to Heaven by simply doing so before death.
And the entire premise of the Crucifixion is immoral. Basically, Yahweh creates a massive problem so the best way for humanity to achieve what he wants them to is to abdicate all semblance of moral responsibility and have a man (who was himself) die a horrid death in the Middle East. We then dump all of our sins on Jesus and were are forgiven and gain entry to eternal tedium with an immortal monster.
Now, let's take a look at that origin story again. Yahweh is making a bunch of junk (and the story is clearly false, such as Light and Day & Night existing <b>before</b> the creation of the Sun, Moon and stars), and after several Days makes the first human, Adam. Then, he realizes (apparently not foreseeing it, despite supposed omniscience) that Adam is lonely without a comparable partner among the animals and crafts a woman from a rib of Adam's, Eve. Now, Yahweh instructs them not to eat a fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (...which he put in the Garden...) or they will "surely die in the day they eat of it" (which was a lie actually, as Adam lived to be 930 years old), so they don't.
But a talking serpent (I know >_>) - which obviously had been made and placed in the Garden by Yahweh and was NOT said to be Satan - convinces Eve to convince Adam for the both of them to eat a fruit of that tree. And the Genesis account describes "their eyes being opened" and gaining the titular knowledge of "good and evil", as described in the contradictory account given in Genesis chapter 2.
See the problem? They didn't know of good and evil ,and thus right and wrong, so how would they know not to take the talking serpent's word for it over Yahweh's or that there was even anything wrong with disobeying Yahweh? They wouldn't even likely have any concept of what "death" even was. They were hardly different from young children mentally at the time and so Yahweh punishes them and the rest of humanity rather than doing something constructive?
Well, that's hardly the worst that thing the vengeful, childish deity did in the Bible. Later on in Exodus, God (or perhaps it was his emissary, Moses) instructs the Israelites to kill all of the Amalycite men and old women and to (I quote, from memory), "keep all the young virgins for yourselves".
What. The. Fuck? And it's obvious what they're being kept for, even the less intelligent I am sure can tell. I believe this EXACT same thing was later done to the Middianites.
And even worse than that, Yahweh had MILLIONS of humans killed throughout the Bible, and that modest estimate is without even knowing how many humans and animals Yahweh killed with the absurd worldwide flood...minus 8 humans. As I recall, just with the number said to have been killed by God and on his orders in the Bible, it totals around 2,036,500.
This deity, whom appears to have the emotional state and control on a 6-year old throwing a temper-tantrum, is the one whom you get your morality from? I should hope not, lest you begin to use such argumentative fallacies as 'special pleading'.
And that brings me to my final point of this post: morality. Religions like Christianity espouse such a dread as "absolute morality". Some people point to the 10 Commandments as such. That's patently absurd. For one, there were AT LEAST 4 different revisions of the 10 Commandments - with almost <b>no</b> similarities - in the Old Testament.
Secondly, they don't even begin to account for most of the evil in the world throughout history because they were clearly the work of a more primitive man and society, as why would an omniscient being need to revise ANYTHING (Omniscient, omnipotent Yahweh seems to fail a lot)? For example, there is no Commandment against slavery and the Bible not only condones slavery, but Yahweh instructs his Chosen People on how to treat slaves (they can beat them as long as the get up in a day or 2), who they can enslave and for how long. There's no Commandment about how children should be treated by their parents and other adults, and at one point Yahweh sends two bears to slaughter some KIDS who called a Prophet a "bald head"....that's it.
I've heard it claimed that it was a gang of thugish teenagers threatening the Prophet, but oh no. Every translation says it was a few youths/kids who ONLY called him a "bald head". How childish can you get?....Oh right, the worldwide flood. Because that solved EVERYTHING.
And if I remember correctly, the 10th Commandment basically puts women on the same level as livestock, which is just what I would expect from such mysogynistic and bigoted stories of a bunch of Bronze Age men who wanted to feel special and validated in their group sociopathy. /rant
And Christianity takes some of these even further into the realm of absurdity. One of the Commandments tells men not to commit adultery. Well, Jesus comes along and proclaims that in even THINKING about commiting adultery, "one has commited adultery in thine heart." So basically it's an offense to Yahweh to even have thoughts which arise from our anatomical processes which HE endowed us with and he can then convict us of Thoughtcrime, JUST for what we think and use that as among the justifications for eternal torment in a lake of fire and sulfur. If that isn't among the height of absurdity, ridiculousness and immorality, I don't know what is.
Anywho, I don't think we want an 'absolute morality', as religion has shown why we should to the fight against one. I'd much rather have our morality (which is a social construct anyway) be based upon evidence and consideration for the impact of our actions on those around us/society and our environment.
There's a lot more I could go into. For example, the origin of their deity "Yahweh" is he was literally a stolen deity (even the name) from the Caananites and their religion to those of the Israli. The "Israelites" took that war deity (Yahweh) and combined it with the Caananite "El Elyon" (also known as "El Shaddai"), the father of the Caananite deities and later on proclaimed him the one true God....after they got ass-kicked and relocated by the Babylonians.
Or the fact that everything about Jesus relating to the Supernatural was COMPLETELY plagiarized off of other much older religions and their deities, such as Dionysus and Ra.
However, I think I've covered some of the most important points that demonstrate the utter ridiculousness and lies that religions such as Christianity and Judaism spread.