Hello and happy Easter! It’s probably the most religious day in the Christian calendar and therefore probably the most inappropriate day of the year for me to write a post against being religious. Or possibly the most appropriate, I’m not too sure.
First things first, I don’t want people thinking I am disrespecting them. If you follow a religion that’s up to you and I respect that, as long as you don’t try and convince me to join up. It’s not going to work. I am an atheist and unless God pops down for a chat, that’s never going to change. Here a few reasons why I am not religious:
1) Science. Here in the 21st century there are few things that can’t be explained through science. The creation of the universe, evolution and particle physics all explain things that once upon a time could not be explained. Religion as a way to explain things doesn’t work these days. There is more evidence for scientific explanations than religious ones.
2) History. Whilst most modern religious organisations focus on the religion themselves, most used to use religion as a source of power. The church was traditionally a way to keep control of the people of Britain as were other religious organisations in other parts of the world. It might even be possible that some religions were set up just to exploit people and scare them into behaving. There’s also the fact that the majority of wars throughout history were caused by religion, or at least religion was used as an excuse for them. It’s probably killed more people than it’s saved.
3) Variety. The fact that there are so many different religions throughout the world sort of means they cancel each other out. If there was one then I’d be thinking “must be real then”. But there are literally thousands and they can’t all be right. Many do agree on basic things like their being one all-powerful, all-knowing God but oddly enough it’s these religious groups that seem to have fallen out most. Surely religions just spring up to explain things and make life easier to live and it happened in different ways in different places. In the global community that now exists we know about other religions and surely that means none of them can be right?
4) The bible. Ok so if I was going to be religious I would be Christian seeing as though I live in the UK where Christianity is still the main religion and in an area that is really not very ethnically diverse at all (it’s a genuine surprise to see someone who isn’t White British here). Because the bible is so very old it has been translated many times and is full of errors. There’s plenty of things that weren’t translated correctly when the King James Bible was made. And if you think about how many times the bible must have been translated before that it’s a wonder it makes any sense at all. And we don’t know the people that translated it weren’t embellishing on it, improving the story. Plus some parts of the gospels completely contradict each other and that makes the whole thing very suspicious. There are lots of reasons that the bible just can’t be trusted as a reliable source.
There are other things I could probably think of but for me these are the four main reasons. In my mind Jesus Christ is a similar figure to Robin Hood or Kind Arthur. There’s a fair chance he did exist but he almost certainly didn’t do all the things the bible says he did. I think the bible is not meant to be taken as literally as it often is. It is often said now that most of the stories featured in the Old Testament are not true and are effectively fables, a story as a way to share a message. I think that the New Testament is meant to be taken in the same way. Many of the things that happen could be explained without a holy force being involved. Take the loaves and fishes for example. Perhaps Jesus didn’t in fact perform a miracle but made the people there stop feeling hungry because they were so engrossed in him as a sensational speaker. And to me that seems a much better explanation than a miracle happened.
So there you have it. I think you’ve got the idea that I think most religion is nonsense and that people like Jesus, whilst incredible, was not the son of God. Similar things can be said about prophets in other religions too. However, many of the principles of religion are fundamentally good. As a instruction book of how to live your life, the bible isn’t too bad. Apart from the bits actually mentioning God, who can say that they do not agree with the ten commandments? Clearly they are extremely important and should not be broken. Most other religions have some kind of rulebook of their own, some being even better guides. Some are a bit extreme telling you what you can and can’t eat or wear but in the whole they are wonderful. I disagree with anything that promotes homophobia, racism or sexism but on the whole maybe religion isn’t all bad. If that’s what it takes to make the people of the world behave than it’s no bad thing.
There you go, that’s my views on religion summed up as best as I can manage. Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone in the way I’ve worded this but if I have I apologise, it was by no means intentional. If you have some sort of view on this whole subject which agrees or disagrees be sure to write a comment, it would be an interesting topic to revisit at some point in the future. I’ll be back tomorrow for another edition of Music Monday so I shall see you then.