People love lists. Am I right? So here is a list of five pretty good reasons why you should be an atheist. Now I know I am not going to convince everyone with this list because god-belief has been indoctrinated into our society for a long time and most people have been raised to believe in some deity or another since before they could walk. But here are five reasons you might want to think about that might cause you to rethink your deeply held faith-based convictions and become an atheist.
1. The Bible is ridiculous.
Have you read the Bible? I mean really read it and not just flip around to the pages that your religious leader told you to or watched some mini-series on television telling you their version of the stories. I don't know why, but those shows always leave out the best parts. Where are the zombies? When Jesus is crucified on the cross the Bible says that there were earthquakes and zombies (Matthew 27:50-53). What television producer in their right mind would leave out the most interesting part of the story? The thing is that the Bible is filled with this stuff like when God sent two bears to maul 42 children for calling a guy, "bald" (2 Kings 2:23-24).
Unfortunately, aside from the surprisingly large number of hilariously ridiculous stories like these, the Bible is pretty boring and that is probably why so few religious believers have ever actually read it. Let me just say this: There is a reason why the Bible is the most recommended book by atheists. That reason is because it is boredom peppered with ridiculousness.
2. We don't need no stinkin' deities.
Ever since the enlightenment, religions have been fighting a losing battle against science. God has moved more and more to the gaps of human understanding. There was a time when if humanity didn't know the answer to one of life's questions, then God was that answer. That time apparently is still the present but fortunately, science is learning more and more answers. Interestingly enough, God seems to be the answer to less and less questions.
Evolution has explained human origin and the Big Bang explains the origin of the universe. So what role did God play? As we learn more about evolution and the universe, God's role will no doubt get even more marginalized. The fact is that there really is no role for a deity to play at all. We can just factor out the deity and come up with the same scientific answers.
3. The Problem of Evil
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
-- Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.)
Epicurus asked those questions a long time ago and we have yet to hear a valid response from religious leaders. My alleged "Free Will" doesn't cause hurricanes, earthquakes,and tornadoes, nor does God's alleged "justice" justify any of the horrible suffering and death that people face around the world on a daily basis.
One doesn't have to go to Africa to see children starving needlessly. Did those kids offend God in some way? Perhaps those kids need to suffer horribly and die to teach us something important. That truly is egotistical, isn't it? What about all the people who have cancer? Does God have his reasons for torturing them? I would very much like to know what those reasons could possibly be. The Problem of Evil continues to be a pretty good reason to be an atheist.
4. Oh, Hell!
The concept of Hell is probably one of the most disturbing religious ideas ever conceived by man. It was great to strike fear in the hearts of evil doers back in the day, but today our morality has evolved quite a bit. We no longer view women as property nor do we consider slavery a valid business model. Most people recognize that torture is wrong and yet we are expected to believe that some deity will torture us for all eternity if we don't believe he exists on insufficient evidence?
Many Christians in the 21st century have woken up to the fact that the concept of Hell is barbaric and these Christians, to their credit, don't believe in the concept of Hell. That's a great start. But Heaven is kind of Hell too when you think about it. That is especially the case if not everyone goes to Heaven and those who do have to live out eternity knowing that their loved ones are being eternally tortured. But assuming we all do go to Heaven regardless of our beliefs or lack of beliefs, than what do you do in Heaven? From what I understand, you sit around worshiping God for all eternity sometimes with a set number of virgins. I don't know about you, but eternity seems like a pretty long time to me and worshiping some deity doesn't sound like much fun, especially after all the virgins are gone.
5. You just don't know.
Let's face reality here for a moment. There is no valid evidence for any deities. If there were valid and compelling evidence, then we would all be on the same page. There wouldn't be a million sects of each religion and there wouldn't be a million different religions. There would be one sect of one religion and God would make his presence known to us in a way that was so obvious that it couldn't be disputed. We would be able to see him, hear him, smell him, touch him, etc. There would be no atheists because we would have no choice but to believe. After all, he's God and he could do that kind of thing. No, that doesn't affect our alleged "Free Will." I know that Kim Jung-Un exists, but you don't see me worshiping him.
The fact is that we are all agnostics. We don't know whether any deities exist. There is no evidence for the existence of any deities. There is no good reason to believe that any deities actually exist. So without any valid reason to believe that any deities exist, I don't believe any deities exist. You shouldn't either. Because we are agnostic, we should also be atheists.
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