Why I Am Not A Christian:
This email was inspired by the consistent assumption of Christians that if I believed the Bible were true, I would become a Christian. For a while now I have been a called a heathen and the like. The new thing now is telling me and yourselves that “God Will Call Him” or “You will know when he comes to you, this is just a phase”. Moreover, I have attempted to offer my insight to explain to you why I believe what I believe yet no one will listen instead begin the power cycle of trying to show how wrong I am without the understanding of my thoughts and feelings. The leading response to my attempt to shine light on how I feel is that “there are scholars who study the bible and believe in God and you are not smarter than them so get off your high horse”.
There are several reasons for why I choose not to believe in God or any higher power for that matter, the leading of which is the idea of a higher power is not probable in light of current scientific data. The second of which is I do not find the state of the world in accordance with an idea of a loving and merciful higher power. Then of course there is the bible. While I can assure you that there are several different aspects of religion I could rant about, I would rather stay with what is collectively the proposed solution to my lack of faith, reading the bible. While I am certain it’s hard to have your “faith” questioned and even more so you may find my thoughts offensive and that is fine. I only ask that you hear me out and read what I have to say. (Please don't skim through, there is a lot of work here).
For years I have listened to CCD teachers, priests, family members and staunch believers in faith and the Christian lifestyle. I am not here to bash Catholics or rag on you for your beliefs. I am simply writing to give you my side of the story. It’s only fair that I am given a chance. I don't expect you to change your views or to convert to whatever it is you think I am selling but rather indulge me in understanding where I come from and not resort to simple dismissal of my thoughts and feelings.
I am not out to nitpick the bible and only pull out what suits me, (Sorry, common practice amongst Christians), I plan to examine the Bible with critical inquiry. This email will not be based upon scientific facts and how they disprove the Bible. I am not even going to list what I feel are contradictions of the bible. I am simply going to take the Bible at face value. It shall be an application of my emotions regarding compassion, love, mercy, patience, and justice. I hope to explain more clearly why the God depicted in the Bible violates my idea of a moral being. This shall be done over a series of topics. Each pointing out how God is undeserving of my worship. I will utilize Biblical verses to support my claim as well as what I consider to be logical reasoning.
Now would be the time to ask you to please take out your bibles for consultation. Seeing we are online, you can simply go here to look up what I am talking about. http://bible.com
. (Sounds like a joke link but that really is the link) I will only cite the verse and a brief over view. Frankly, I don’t want to include the entire quote because I don’t want you to miss anything I am talking about. I especially don’t wish to spew out so much information that I run the risk of overloading those people who dislike reading. (Funny confliction here, isn't it? We are online, in a purely textual world, and people still have the audacity to complain about reading.) In the case that you dislike reading long emails, I recommend you print this out and thumb through it at your convenience.
Hell, of course, is the mother of all of my problems with the bible. It is perhaps the most despicable and hideous of all of the God’s crimes. Indeed, the cruelest of all concentration camps. (Certainly far worse than the ones created by the Nazis.) Described biblically as the “lake of fire”, “the place of eternal torment with weeping and gnashing of teeth” Jesus said in Mark 9:42-48 That it is better to commit suicide or self maiming then to be delivered unto hell. So, according to the bible I assume that all here can agree that there is an existence of hell, and that hell is the worst of all circumstance. Knowing this, let me indulge you as to why the existence of hell paints God as not fit for worshiping.
I consider myself a pretty compassionate individual, rational, moral, and for intents and purposes nurturing. Most of all I am a creator, sort of. Jolie is the creator as the mother but I am a contributor but for argument sake, I propose this to you, a human question. Can we all, Christian or atheist, safely say that if there is a God, he is our greatest thought magnified? Whatever emotion we feel as a human, being created in his image, God is infinitely more feeling? For he is the creator of all things created, I believe this concept is pretty safe to assume. With this being so, my love for my son must be a fraction of God’s love for his children. Speaking as a father, I can safely say that if my child were to commit the greatest harm upon me tomorrow, I would never wish him harm. Why? Simply because he is my creation. I know this certainly hits closer to home for some.
If my son were to maim me, slander me, etc. I would still love him, for my instinct and emotion demands of me to protect and care for him regardless of his actions, much like all rational beings. So now I pose the question, why then would God condemn us to hell for something as menial as lack of faith? If he is not infinitely more so loving then me, why would hell even exist? Any true loving being would never condemn his own children to everlasting torment, especially one that proclaims himself to having the very essence of forgiveness.
But “God Is Just” You Claim:
Most Christians have responded to this statement with the following rationalization. “God can not let all of his creations into heaven because he is just.” I ask in rebuttal to this, since when is justice more important than love in the heart of a parent? Is hell even justice, or is it simply cruel and unusual punishment? The bible states the system of justice very simply. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” There is also another variation of that system with the biblical verse “eye for an eye”. God violates his own system of law when he ****s his creations to eternal suffering for sins as menial as theft or blasphemy. I hardly think, nor would any logical person, that throwing someone into a gnashing jaw would be justly befitting of nearly any crime. (With the exception of murder and even so, eternal punishment is pretty excessive.)
Most courts of law would take custody of your child from you just for an
excessive spanking. We as a people enacted these laws, for we thought them to be logical. Is God above logic, or what we deem as compassionate behavior? After all he pitches a majority of his children into a lake of “fire and brimstone.” How many of us would want a parent like that? Anyone of us would immediately sever our ties with such an abusive person. Yet Christians knowingly continue the insanity of giving worship to a God so cruel!
“Free Will”, You Say?
It is also written that I was given free will with which to choose if I will go to hell or not. How can you possibly deem something free when you must fear consequences? That completely conflicts with the definition of free. If I were to hold a gun to your head and say “you have free will to not give me your wallet, but if you attempt to defy me I will kill you.” Does it really feel as if you have a choice in the matter? Of course not, free means to give or receive something without an expectation of return. The whole free will concept is self defeating. Call it Circumstantial Will, for that is what it truly is.
Despite this, I have still had the displeasure of debating with many people who believe who accept hell as a rational and fair wrath of God. They defend God’s creation of hell with the opinion that those who are committed to hell go voluntary, as if it is a consequence rather than a punishment. That indeed, we as children of God, chose rather to be hell’s inmates then God’s disciples in heaven. It’s an interesting idea. However, you don’t have to hurt anyone to get into Hell. All it takes, according to Scripture, is knowing about Jesus and not accepting him as Savior. It doesn’t matter how virtuous you are, how much good you do, how happy an environment you create for others. Given this, the voluntary entry argument doesn’t make sense. The same argument could be used to justify the sending of Aryan opponents of Nazism to concentration camps: they voluntarily chose not to give homage to Hitler, so they chose to be interred. Why should we blame the Nazis for the inmates’ choice? Why should we blame God for the choice of the ****ed?
I hear a lot about God’s “infinite compassion and mercy”.
Instead of harping on me about something so unapparent, they should go tell it to the Midianites. (Please open your Bibles to Numbers 31) The following verses are a classic example of wholesale slaughter and rape under the direction of the same God they claim to be so merciful. A quick sample of this tale: On the way to the promised land, God had Moses wage a war campaign against the Midian. Moses was told to put every Midianite to death, plunder anything of value, set fire to their towns where they lived and all their encampments. Moses gave the orders to his troops (the sons of Israel) and went on a further campaign. On the return of his troops Moses was enraged with the commanders of the army. He said, “Why have you spared the life of all the women and children? You are to kill all the children and kill all the women who have slept with a man. The lord says spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves, so that we may multiply into a great nation.” Yes, friends, this is biblical infinite mercy and compassion for you. I particularly like the way that Moses got upset with them for sparing women and male children, but allowed the young girls to be kept for later raping.
I have had some Christians proclaim that these Midianite girls were not taken for raping but marriage. How ridiculous! If you continue further in the scripture you will find that marriage to a Midianite was a crime against God. A man named Zimri, broke the law and married a Midianite woman this angered God so he sent a plague among the Hebrews. Fortunately, a zealous son of Israel speared Zimri right through the genitals, and the plague went away. So now I ask you, if you could not marry a Midianite, just what were these “virgin woman who were to help multiply” good for?
I don’t think the first born in Egypt during the captivity would have agreed with the verdict of compassion and mercy either. (Exodus 11:5 & 12:29) First of all, God is the one who purposely hardened the heart of the Pharaoh so that he would not let Moses and the Jews go. God messed with someone’s free will. God could have even teleported the Jews out of captivity without bloodshed, or put the Egyptians to sleep while they left, but no. God decided to set up a situation in which he knew he would have to punish the Pharaoh although he didn’t do that. What actions were taken then? He punished the children instead. Judging from God’s previous actions, killing innocent children is much more his forte.
Lastly, please attempt to read the entire book of Joshua some evening. It is a long sequence of atrocities. I won’t point out specific exampled because I urge you to look them up for yourself. Especially for Christians who are not familiar with the bible. It will leave you not only shocked and in question of just what you are worshiping, but it will give a new definition to all morality you claimed was a derivative of God. If by some chance you read Joshua and you are still compliant with the loving notion of God, I suggest you re evaluate your code of ethics.
(And before anyone says "This was in the Old Testament and things were different then." Why is it ok to dismiss parts of the Old Testament and yet parade around other parts as the "Definitive" meaning of both God's rules and love. We are able to dismiss the slaughtering but be sure not forget the 10 Commandments which is also located squarely in the old testament. Sorry, had to cover that because I know many of you were probably thinking that. To be fair that is common practice to dismiss or rationalize different parts of the Old Testament that deals with Slavery, Slaughter and other "Dated" practices.)
To get back on track, let’s talk about common rationalizations used for this slaughter. I have discovered via my discussions that there are two major forms: the corruption argument and the mercy argument. The former says that those slaughtered were evil and deserving of their fate; the latter says that since they were religiously incorrect, it was a mercy to terminate their existence.
The corruption argument simply does not hold up. The people slaughtered in the Old Testament were almost uniformly blameless (with a few exceptions, of course for instance, the Sodomites violated the conventions of hospitality.) Usually, no justification is offered beyond the fact that since they were of another tribe, it was OK to kill them. It goes without saying that the hordes of slaughtered children were innocent. (Interesting Fact, It is said that “Abortion is a Crime against God” although there are several excerpts from the bible that call for women to have abortions for cheating on their husbands as well the calling for the executions of pregnant women .)
As to the mercy argument: If I don’t claim to be suffering, and don’t ask to die, neither you nor any god has the right to decide that you know better. (This would of course be a violation of my free will.) If a person tried to do this to me, I would quite frankly attempt to kill him; if a god tried, well, the only weapon I would have would be withholding my worship. Are you beginning to see why I do not comply with the worship of God?
Most of us, given omnipotence, would be able to do a far better job than God. What would you do if given omnipotence? If your answer is anything other than “abolish world hunger, disease or save the earth”, there’s something more than a little skewed in your perception of mankind. There is no question that the very balance of life is in peril. To wish for these things doesn’t take “infinite mercy”, just normal compassion and a bit of common sense. God’s supposed infinite mercy is apparently the same thing as no mercy at all.
What makes this particularly unforgivable is that even Jesus’ own standards demand feeding of the poor. See Matthew 25:35, in which it is stated that the blessed feed the hungry, and that the ****ed do not. I find it funny that God is held blameless, though, for not feeding them. Does not the old saying “practice what you preach” apply to God? Is his lack of action a hypocrisy or a sin? Could it perhaps be both?
Usually, when I bring this up in a discussion, someone says, “No. It is the evil of men that is to blame; they have lots of money and keep it to themselves rather than feeding the poor.” This argument uses a double standard. Men are held guilty for not feeding the poor, while God is held innocent for doing exactly the same thing. In fact, it would be far easier for God to feed all the poor with his omnipotence, than for any mortal man to feed even one! Mankind is certainly not blameless here, but it is God who is the true villain.
Another popular rationalization is that life without “challenges” would be boring and dehumanizing, so God does not remove them. The fallacy here is grouping all challenges together. While I may live a very challenging and satisfying life, I have not lately had to flee any volcanoes or earthquakes, go without food for a week, or suffer the ravages of some terminal disease. Sure we have been through a hurricane or three but when it comes down to it, in comparison, how bad was it really? I would be quite happy, in fact, if I never do have to face such challenges as those. There is plenty of room to improve the human condition without making it dull. Does it not defeat the purpose of living life if you are to starve to death?
Faith Is Required To Know God:
Suppose you were an omnipotent god, and you demand worship, such as God. Would you give proof of your existence to those who wished to follow you? I imagine for God that it would be quite simple to perform a continual sequence of verifiable miracles. It would be quite logical in practice too, for it would keep God’s followers from delusion and doubt. There is no such luck with God though. He demands absolute fidelity without any demonstration of his existence. The only so called record of his existence is the bible. I think it pretty much goes without saying that not only is the bible 2,000 years out dated, but it is also very unoriginal. Any Christian who proposes that the bible is indeed evidence for God’s existence is proposing a double standard. There are many books which claim to be actual accounts of a higher power. With this in mind, why not believe in Allah from the Koran? Could it be because your faith is what determines your belief and not your so called “factual” book?
Let’s examine what faith is. The definition of faith is hope for a circumstance or thing that is not proven to be true. There is no virtue in accepting something on faith, since it may very well be false, and it is clearly not virtuous to believe the false. Faith has also been proven throughout history, time and again, that it is equivalent to massive hysteria; IE: Crusades, Burning Times, Inquisitions, Holy Wars, etc. On a grand scale faith, thus far, has only proven to be an intellectual weakness, and a significant barrier to scientific and moral progress. With all of this in mind, how can God possibly expect us to view faith as the greatest way to glorify him, let alone demand this of us?
Most importantly, the point to remember here is that if we don’t believe in him, we go to Hell, and this is a greater evil than a lack of the “virtue” of faith or a stunting of science, or anything else conceivable. If God is truly concerned about the good, he will do what he can to keep us from Hell, and withholding vital information from us is the exact opposite of this.
God Is The Creator Of Evil:
I am frustrated at two specific verses in the bible, which applies to this particular topic. The first is the biblical statement that “God is the Alpha and the Omega”. Loosely defined it means the beginning and the end, the all knowing, which of course implies that all of his actions and the results are fore known to him. I have a real problem with this notion. For if God was to know ahead of time that someday he would send me to hell for being an Atheist, I ask what was the purpose in him creating me in the first place? Was it simply to watch me be tortured? That seems to be the most logical explanation. I can think of no other rational explanation, nor neither has any Christian who I posed this question to. Some people have attempted to tell me that God has a purpose unknown to us, and that we must simply accept his will. Would you keep a friend who commits evil and offers no self-justification or remorse? Of course not, so why is this same judgment not applied to God? It’s seems rather contradictory that this trait is despised in humanity, yet, it is worshiped in religion.
Secondly, I want to reinforce the fact that God is indeed the creator of evil. Please read verse Isaiah 45:7. “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I the lord do all these things”. If God outright claims that he is indeed the source of evil, how can he then claim to be sinless?
To be more specific, let’s talk about the lord’s creation of evil, let’s talk about the conception of Satan. This being was created and unleashed by God. God knew (for he is the all knowing) that at the time of Lucifer’s creation he would eventually become Satan, and spend his existence wreaking havoc on mankind, leading people into criminal activities. Suppose I were to build an evil robot that I knew would go around torturing and murdering people. Whose fault would it be if I let it loose? Mine or the robot’s? Of course it would be mine, for I created it with that purpose and unleashed it for that purpose. Now I ask you, whose fault is deviltry in the world? Is it the PUPPET Satan or the being that deliberately created
Now God Plays Switch-A-Roo and “Humans Are The Creators Of Evil”. Not only does the bible imply, but so do many Christians that we as a people are the creator of evil. It is clear for reading the bible that this is untrue, but the speculation still remains. Supposedly, when Adam and Eve fell from grace, they single handedly brought evil into the world. All you have to do is think logically for a moment, and you will obviously see something is very unjust with this concept. Could any rational being hold a starving infant in Ethiopia responsible for the actions of two long dead people? Or perhaps, would you find it fair to be convicted of Jack the Ripper’s crimes? The connection in both of these instances are not only ludicrous but, disgusting to nod your head at. People who use this argument are simply attempting to
While I am not attempting to intentionally insult people, I have to that a Christian that walks into a children’s ward and insists that it is correct that children suffer as a result of the original sin, must destroy themselves of all compassion and mercy. I insist that those who worship the lord knowing this hypocrisy must be as cruel as the God he/she believes in. A complete and utter moral degenerate, taking stabs at protecting their belief system. A person as such would just as easily worship Satan as God in their blindness and faith. For apparently, no amount of evidence could convince him that God was bad once they decided to worship him; their basic assumption is that they are correct, which makes them untouchable by any amount of rationality.
One of the criticisms most frequently leveled at me when presenting any of the above arguments has been that I have no right to judge God. Christians proclaim that God is the definition of good. All morality proceeds downwards from him, so it makes no sense to apply moral standards to him. But I must interject. God allowed my ancestors Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, allowing us “to be like gods, and know the difference between good and evil”. This very biblical verse, written in the first book of Genesis, conflicts with the same argument these Christians attempt to use. If we as humans are now capable of knowing good and evil “like the gods” why can't we use our judgment? How can it be lower than God’s if God is the one who claimed that we are like him?
Let’s say for the sake of argument that I should not judge God. Well then, would it be fair to hold him up to his own standards? Please consult verses Matthew 25:41-46 We hear Jesus say: “Go away from me with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me. . . And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.”
Now, I have never personally seen Jesus feed the hungry nor, have I seen him give drink to those who thirst. But, I do personally see thousands of people die of starvation. I do not recall Jesus dispensing clothes. He has never made me feel welcome, let alone acknowledged. I see and have seen the faithful sicken and die on a daily basis. In light of this Jesus himself is the worst of all sinners; if there is no double standard he will be at the head of the line into eternal punishment. He is guilty of every crime of which he accuses the ****ed.
I don’t think I could ever complete a whole list as to what I find objectionable regarding the bible. There are many more topics in which to tackle such as sexism, infanticide, homophobia, and the likes. Frankly, I find it too tiresome to go on any further. This was comprised of simply taking the bible at face value, devoid of interpretation or a break down of contradictions.
As I read over all that I have wrote I simply wish to close this email with a very brief summation: I do not believe in the reality of God, except as a psychological phenomenon.
Quite simply I believe this… I believe we should love and embrace our humanity instead of god. I believe that heaven is something for which we should work for now – here on earth for all to enjoy. I believe that I can get no help through prayer but that I must find in myself the inner conviction, and strength to meet life, to tackle it and overcome the problems and enjoy it. I believe that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. I believe in strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. I want disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. I want an ethical way of life. I believe that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter. I believe that we are our brother's keepers; and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible people and that we are responsible for the here and now.
Again I reiterate that this was not intended to sway or convince you to believe what I believe but rather to offer you a window to see how I see and interpret things and to hopefully alleviate the harassment and the belief that “God will find me” or that again “This is just a phase”. Most importantly to debunk the fact that I don't go to church because I am to lazy or that I make uneducated rationalizations.