This article contains some brief thoughts on things that seem inconsistent in the Christian view of things and in religion more generally. Some of the thoughts are a little sarcastic.
The bible records God killing or ordering the deaths of over 2 million people. And that's without the great flood. It records Satan killing 10 people - and all of those were with God's consent.
God deals in plagues, floods, famines, marauding foreign armies, fire from heaven, hail, ground that opens up and swallows people, snakes and other wild animals summoned to kill and worms that eat people's insides. Satan deals mainly in sex, drugs and rock and roll.
We only have God's word for it that Satan is the bad guy.
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God made Adam and told him not to eat the fruit. Then he made Eve, but didn’t tell her.
Because of that small oversight, everyone will die and most of us will go to hell.
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Igor went into town last night and saw some hooligans, drunk, swearing and generally making a nuisance of themselves. This angered him; he felt like killing them. But instead he went home, got his son out of bed and killed him. That appeased his wrath, so now he doesn’t have to kill the hooligans.
In his defence he said, "I thought that was very godly of me."
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God made man with far more capacity for pain than for pleasure.
As hell is planned for most of us, we can see why he would do that.
I don’t understand why Judas Iscariot is so vilified by Christians. Had he not done his bit, Jesus would not have died for our sins, and we would all be going to hell. Gratitude seems to be more in order. Even the bible vilifies him, showing how little thought went into making the story coherent.
The knowledge of good and evil showed Adam and Eve that nudity and their reproductive organs were evil.
Which means God created them evil.
If I believe the things a religion tells me, it can give me the comfort of thinking that God won’t torture me after I die.
Though others are just as sure that I will still be tortured because I picked the wrong religion.
Why did God plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Who was the fruit meant for?
If you are indoctrinated into the right belief system, then you will receive an eternal reward.
If you are indoctrinated into the wrong belief system, then you deserve to be tortured for ever.
Once you realise you were wrong, there is no hope of forgiveness.
That may seem unfair, but then who ever said God was fair?
God is love. He made mankind with the intention of loving them. But then he also made the devil, knowing that the devil would be his enemy, fight him, get the better of him and cause him instead to subject nearly all of humanity to the worst imaginable horror for all eternity. This is a logical contradiction which makes the whole story very unlikely.
Christianity requires faith (Eph 2:8-9).
Faith requires certainty (Heb 11:1, NIV).
Many Christians are certain.
Many adherents of other religions are certain.
They can’t all be right.
So it’s possible to be certain and wrong.
Once you realise this, you can’t be certain.
So you can’t have faith,
And you can’t be Christian.
Christians can move mountains (Matt 21:22) and drink poison (Mark 16:18).
No one can do that. So there are no Christians.
Church goers are all in for a big disappointment.
Most people in the world believe in God. Surely, so many people couldn’t be misguided.
But those people all have quite different ideas about who he is, what he’s like, how he speaks to us, who his messengers are, what he expects of us and what he’s going to do to us if we don’t do what he says.
So, maybe they could be misguided.
They say the bible is the only reliable and absolute source of morality.
So, if slaughtering whole villages because they have a different religion from you and you want their land is good enough for God and his chosen people, then it should be good enough for us.
In 100 years I will be dead and forgotten.
In 5 billion years, the Sun will die and the Earth with it
In a trillion trillion trillion years, the universe will have suffered heat death.
But billions of creatures from one species on one planet will still be being tortured because they were indoctrinated into the wrong belief system a trillion trillion trillion years earlier.
One might wonder ‘What is the point? Why couldn’t God just forgive them?'
We are faced with numerous conflicting religious doctrines. Pick the wrong one and we risk being tortured for ever without mercy. It’s an important decision. And, unfortunately, most people on this Earth get it wrong.
Some people fear atheists because they think they worship the devil, have no morals, kill people and eat babies.
Religious people worship the devil and sacrifice children. Religious people torture heretics, burn witches and stone blasphemers. Religious people fly planes into buildings and murder innocents on the street in the name of their god.
Atheists don’t do any of those things.
People demand the freedom to practice their religion, even if one of the expectations of their religion is that they ignore everyone else's beliefs and force everyone to follow their religion's rules.
Isaiah and Revelation are interpreted as saying that Lucifer and a third of the angels rebelled against God and became the devil and his followers. They don’t say when or why this rebellion took place.
If I were an angel and God said he was going to destroy the whole Earth with a flood and kill almost everyone (including all the small children) and all but an ark-load of the animals, I would probably object. Quite possibly, one third of the angels felt sufficiently strongly about this to withdraw their allegiance from God.
After that, heaven would have been divided between the rather evil, murderous and vindictive God with his loyal angels and the more compassionate and peace-loving Lucifer with his angels.
Of course, it’s God who got his version of the story into human hands, so he demonised the rebels, claiming that they are the source of all evil and all rebellion against a good god.
Unfortunately, religions were never meant to be dabbled in; they were meant to be taken seriously and totally. The commandments in Leviticus weren't offered as suggestions. The only two rational approaches in relation to a religion are to be a fundamentalist or to not bother. Dabbling and picking and choosing the bits we like doesn’t come with any rewards.
WHAT IF . . . every school student studied philosophy – researching all the major world views – like mainstream science, conspiracy thinking, spiritualism, new age ideas, astrology and the various religions, along with the evidence for and against each; and also the various commonly held philosophical views on existence, knowledge, ethics, politics etc.
As a culmination of this, over the last couple of years they could decide on their own preferred worldview and provide a detailed account of the view along with the evidence for it, and the reasons why others don't share it.
Would people be better thinkers and harder to indoctrinate into spurious ideas?
After the flood, Noah got drunk and fell asleep naked in his tent.
His son, Ham, went in unsuspecting and saw him. He came straight back out again and told his brothers, Shem and Japheth, who went and covered him up, without looking at him (or treading on him).
Because Ham saw him naked, Noah put a curse on Canaan, Ham’s son (who was in his own tent at the time, playing with his toy camel and minding his own business).
Because Canaan was cursed, God told the Israelites to kill all his descendants, the Canaanites, when they invaded their land.
According to Genesis, the Israelites were descended from Shem and were therefore Semites; the Canaanites were descended from Ham and therefore not Semites. Funny thing is that the Hebrew and Canaanite languages were both Semitic and were so similar that they could quite readily understand each other.
When European society was torturing heretics and burning witches, there were no violent TV shows or video games to blame it on. It was inspired solely by unwavering loyalty to the church.
Until they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve wouldn't have known that disobeying God was wrong.
In Matthew 5:27-29 Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.”
Matthew 7:21 says: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Presumably, if Jesus tells us to gouge out our right eye, then that is the will of his father in heaven.
So most Christian men should have gouged out their right eye. As they’ve invariably not done so, they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Will there be any men there at all? Maybe the gay ones won’t have trouble with this command, but they won’t be there anyway, for a different reason. It seems heaven will be populated by women. Maybe there is method in the madness of the male god.
Satan: Devil-307138.svg, Wikimedia Commons
Temptation: Phillip Medhurst, Wikimedia Commons
Finger of God: Picryl
Adam and Eve hiding: Heinrich Aldegrever, Wikimedia Commons
Firey devil: JonaDav on DeviantArt
Jesus: Wikimedia Commons via Picryl.com
Twin Towers: Flickr
Lustful look: Courtney Carmody on Flickr