A lot of times when atheists argue with or debate with religious believers, we actually take their beliefs seriously and try to refute their claims with logic and reason. This is great and we should definitely keep doing that, but… The hard truth about religion is that almost all of them are flat out ridiculous and we can’t lose sight of that either.
Christianity is a great example. It is basically claiming that some deity that can’t be seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, or experienced in any measurable way created the entire universe (which is fairly big) just for us and that this deity impregnated a virgin girl at the beginning of the first century. This produced a son who was really a clone of the deity himself. Fast forward 30 or so years and that son went around doing magic tricks before being tortured and then rising from the dead. The belief is that he is still alive, but no one can see him?
This story is flat out ridiculous and if someone told it to any Christian and named the kid anything other than Jesus, no Christian would believe it. Go ahead try. Tell your Christian friends that God impregnated some woman down the street and that her son is actually a clone of God and that the kid used to do all kinds of magic tricks. Phil (that’s his name), cured a guy of AIDS and then cured some woman of breast cancer. In college, he turned a pitcher of water into a keg of beer. Do you want to meet him? Oh, I’m sorry but the Department of Drugs, Alcohol, and Firearms shot him over that keg stunt. He’s still alive though, but you just can’t see him unless you sincerely believe in him.
No one is going to buy that story. Tell that to a Christian and he or she will laugh in your face. It is a ridiculous story. No one should believe it and yet change the name of the guy to Jesus and back date it 2000 years and society considers you the crazy one for just being skeptical. Plus, I didn’t even touch the whole Noah’s Ark thing or any of the other even more ridiculous stories in the Bible that so many fundamentalist believers hold as literally true. No, I’m just talking about the basic belief of mainstream Christianity here. It is obviously ridiculous!
I’m sorry if this hard truth insults Christians; that isn’t my intent. But I think Christians and most if not all other religious believers have to understand where we are coming from. Their religions are really ridiculous and if they could just look at their beliefs objectively, this should be pretty obvious.
Now, I know there are some religious believers who will try to point their fingers back at science and make the same claim. We can’t touch the internet for example and that does sound like it is a little out there. I mean you can communicate with people all over the world instantly just by typing stuff? Here’s the difference, we have actual evidence to back up the seemingly ridiculous scientific claims. As crazy as it might seem to some that airplanes weighing tons can fly in the air, we can observe it. We can experience it. Gravity too is pretty hard to fathom on the surface, but again we have strong compelling evidence to support the invisible force that holds us to the Earth.
I don’t expect people to believe seemingly ridiculous scientific claims without evidence and yet we are expected to believe even more ridiculous claims made by religions based on the absence of evidence. We are told that we need to have faith. But faith is only a rationalization for beliefs that lack valid evidence.
So while I am glad that atheists (myself included) can argue the finer points of various claims and discuss the scientific, historical, and philosophical issues with particular religious claims, we can’t forget that the whole thing is ridiculous right from the start. That is what no religious believer really wants to hear, but it is the hard truth.
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- Religion Is Comfortable With Science… Only To A Point (skepticink.com)
- ‘Scientific Method led me to Jesus Christ’ (skepticink.com)
- Criticism Of Religion Doesn’t Equate To Hate! (skepticink.com)
- God is an Oldsmobile (skepticink.com)