Many people have wondered what my take on religion is. If you’re one of those people, this article is for you.
When it comes to religion, most people jump to either one of two conclusions:
- God exists and he is perfect and all-powerful, or
- God does not/cannot exist.
What’s up with this “All-or-nothing” mentality? Why does God either have to be completely perfect or non-existent? Yeah, most religious texts are full of holes. But that doesn’t mean the entire thing is completely false and has no basis in actual events. For example, tons of different cultures across the world have stories about a massive flood. It would be one thing if it were just Abrahamic religions, but cultures all around the world have similar stories of a god or gods getting angry at the world and flooding it. From the Native Americans, to the Mayans, to the Christians. Here’s a catalog I found of flood myths in global cultures. These are all civilizations that had little to no contact with each other, saying very similar things. Regardless of whether or not you believe that some old man built an ark or that it was God’s wrath, I’d say that there’s enough evidence to suggest that some kind of large-scale flood happened at some point in human history, which gives the Bible at least some basis in fact.
So who is this “God” person, and what gives him the right to commit large-scale genocide? What gives him the right to judge our morality? What makes him better than us? “He created us,” I hear you say, “so that means he can do what he wants”. He also gave us the free will we use to question his demands. Let me rephrase that. Rather, he allowed the Serpent to tempt Eve into eating the apple in the Garden of Eden, which gave us this ability. If God’s creation was so easily corruptible, doesn’t that kind of invalidate the idea that God is perfect? A perfect being would not make a flawed creation susceptible to corruption. By eating the apple, Eve exposed humanity to the concept of suffering. So by allowing the Serpent to tempt Eve, God is very much responsible for human suffering.
The idea of an omnipotent creator and free will being able to coexist is, to be blunt, bullshit. Let’s look:
- God is all-knowing and all-powerful.
- God created us.
- God defines right and wrong, and allows us the ability to choose between the two. Should we choose to live our lives the “wrong” way, God judges us as unworthy of entering Heaven, and condemns us to an eternity of misery and suffering.
Am I the only one who sees how mind-blowingly stupid this is? If God is truly all-knowing, then surely he must know exactly how our lives will play out in the end. He knows before he even creates our souls whether or not we’ll wind up damned for all eternity. By all appearances, God is creating people for the purpose of causing them suffering.
The common counter-argument to this is “God has the ability to see how our lives will play out, but chooses not to.” Again, this makes God responsible for evil in the world. After all, he has the power to see if the person he’s creating will turn out to be a genocidal dictator or a mass murderer. If I knew someone was going to go out and murder people and did nothing to try to stop them, I would be considered complicit and charged with aiding and abetting. Is this really any different from God blindly allowing people to suffer at the hands of something he could have easily prevented?
Why should we worship this guy? Why do most people worship God? I think it has to do with fear, mostly. We’re taught that if you don’t worship God, you’ll suffer in the afterlife for all of eternity. Because nothing makes me want to listen to you more than a mafia-style threat of retribution. This is a big joke too, by the way. We’re told that if we serve God well enough in our lives, we’ll be able to serve him in his kingdom, Heaven. In other words, you’re never free. You’re essentially the field slave becoming the house slave. Why would I want to spend my entire life serving someone just to die and continue serving them?
I see only one real conclusion that can be drawn from the Bible about God: HE ISN’T PERFECT. Even the Bible itself supports this theory. The idea that God had to cleanse the Earth with a flood to get rid of all the “evil” people should be enough to show that he is capable of making mistakes. I’ll reiterate my point from several paragraphs ago for those of you in the back: A perfect being would not make a flawed creation.
Another favorite of mine is the entire story of Satan’s rebellion. Most people don’t realize that this really isn’t in the Bible, except for the part in the Book of Revelation which has yet to occur (meaning Satan is still in Heaven), but I’ll humor them. According to the basic story, Satan was God’s right-hand man, and had a disagreement with God. Blinded by pride, Satan amassed a giant army of like-minded angels, and attempted to overthrow God and claim Heaven for himself. God’s own army, commanded by Michael, defeated Satan and his army. Satan and his angels were subsequently thrown out of Heaven, and Michael was made God’s new right-hand man for his valor in battle. Some sects also claim that Michael was the first angel to refuse Satan’s offer to join the rebellion, and this is why God made him the commander.
First of all, if Satan was God’s right-hand man, he of all people would know that God is omnipotent and that he was fighting a losing battle. Don’t give me that “Blinded by pride” crap. Being proud to the point where you’d launch an attack against someone you know is invincible is like me setting a new personal record in the gym, then attempting to beat Superman in a fist fight. Pride distorts, but it doesn’t completely blind someone to the point where they attempt to take down what they know to be an unstoppable force. Why would Satan launch an attack that he knew would just fail, or that God being omnipotent would already know the attack was coming before it was even conceived?
Second, I want to know why an invulnerable being with limitless power would not only need an army, but someone else to command it for him. Creating all of existence? No problem. Handling an insurrection? Yikes, we’ve got trouble. It seems that leadership skills aren’t part of the omnipotence package. Either that or God is just lazy and prefers to sit on his ass while others fight his battles for him.
So let’s review the series of events:
- The archangel Satan is God’s second-in-command, and becomes displeased with how God is running things.
- Satan gathers together a bunch of other angels who share his point of view, and plots to overthrow the all-powerful and all-knowing God.
- Satan and his group of angels launch a coup d’état in an attempt to dethrone God and presumably install Satan as the ruler of Heaven and existence.
- God orders Michael, another archangel, to amass his own army to defeat Satan’s army and put down the insurrection.
- Satan’s coup fails, and he and his army are thrown out of Heaven and down to Earth or Hell, depending on who you ask. He spends the rest of his time torturing people who go against God, and waiting for the rise of the Antichrist, so he can make his last stand against God.
So after being thrown out of Heaven for attempting to dethrone God, Satan resides in some afterlife punishing those who disobey God, effectively still doing God’s work.
What? Am I the only one who realizes why this makes no damn sense? If Satan was thrown out of Heaven for disobeying God, why would he help God by punishing people who did the same thing? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Satan to enlist those people for another attempt at seizing power? Satan punishing someone for disobeying God completely contradicts the idea that he’s evil and against God.
If God’s conduct in the Bible is anything to go by, Satan’s rebellion wasn’t so much a prideful attempt to seize power as it was an attempt to depose a despotic overlord. Remember, history is written by the victors, so who’s to say that the literal and metaphorical demonization of Satan isn’t anything more than propaganda from the victorious side of the conflict? If the Axis had won World War 2, we wouldn’t be learning that Hitler was a genocidal maniac bent on conquering the world, we’d be learning that he was a great military leader who thwarted the Allies’ attempts to prevent him from making the world a better place. Records of history are obviously going to be biased in the favor of the people who won important battles or made significant contributions to the winning side.
So my question to those of you who worship God is this: Why? Why do you worship God? Because he says he loves you? I can find many alcoholic fathers who say the same thing to their wife and kids after beating them savagely.
What it boils down to in the end is fear. People are afraid of being judged negatively by God, so they waste their entire lives attempting to cater to his every whim as part of some sick cosmic joke. God gives his teachings to a corrupted mankind, then gets mad when we express uncertainty of their authenticity and damns us to an eternity of suffering.
I’m a reasonable man, so maybe, with all of his omnipotence, God wasn’t able to realize that man would corrupt his teachings and screw over everyone else. Oh wait, the word of God is ever-enduring. So much for that theory.
If God is anything like the Bible says he is, he’s just as flawed as the rest of us, and completely unworthy of worship. Unfortunately, 90% of the people who do worship him have never even cracked a Bible. I can’t say I’ve read the Torah or the Koran, but I’m positive that they give a similar depiction of God/Yahweh/Allah/Jehovah/Yaldabaoth/whatever he’s calling himself now. Do yourselves a favor, and actually read the texts you’re following. Being a Christian and not reading the Bible is like signing a contract without reading it.
There’s no way an all-knowing and all-powerful God can exist without him being responsible for every atrocity ever committed by man. So to quote the alleged words of Satan in his rebellion against God, non serviam. I will not serve.
I suggest instead of wasting our time trying to please an ambiguous deity who makes demands of us yet refuses to show himself before us, we become our own gods. After all, it is humanity that shapes this world and its future. Let us turn our backs on this outdated concept of God being in control and instead take control ourselves.
It’s time for humanity to ascend to something greater. Let God be the one left behind.