There are many flaws, logical fallacies, no real proof, contradictions with scientific fact, and moral problems with some of the major religions, especially Islam and Judeo-Christianity. I will talk about some of that through the article.
Not only have I been to many churches in my life and been through Christianity and used to hang out with Christians, but I’ve been through the ‘asking him in my heart’ ritual, read some of the text in the bible, watched shows on it, looked at the history of it as well as different religions, and know a considerable amount about scientific fact. I also looked at debates between the obviously devout Christians vs others online and the verses that were posted on certain sites, as well as a site that shows the many contradictions in the religion itself. So I have come to the conclusion that there very well could be a god, but whatever god exists would be above any man made religion. I wouldn’t rule it out. I think Deism makes the most sense. Even some of the US forefathers believed in it. It means they believed that a god or gods created the universe and let nature take over from there. This view is most compatible with any supreme being who is all-knowing and all-powerful.
To tell the truth, I like Hinduism more than Islam and Christianity because it is the most peaceful religion and doesn’t involve demonizing people who disagree or having the ‘know-it-all because I think I’m right’ mentality, but personally these days, I am a combination of deist and agnostic. I keep an open mind so I don’t take sides 100%. Anyone who flat out says there is no god is also close minded. I think it is the personal qualities that matter, not the belief.
The fact is that religion requires one to have blind faith in fallible humans which is a huge leap of faith in human nature. All religions are written by fallible humans prone to misinterpretation, exaggeration, combining and modifying older stories into newer ones to suit that religion, and taking older religions and modifying them, and if you look at the lack of sophistication of religious text – all the symbolism and vagueness, lack of detail about many things, and the fact that all the complexities of reality that we have discovered through science in the past 200 years were left out, it surely seems man made, just as the story of Hercules was. Christianity was modified and influenced by Judeism, Paganism, Greek mythology, Roman mythology.
There is probably some historical truth in almost all stories but no doubt they have been altered and combined and don’t add up with much of scientific fact and have many logical fallacies and even some contradictions within the religion itself. I could also list at least 10 flaws in the flood story, not to mention the water pressure would kill all sea life and plant life and how you can’t get all this biological diversity and cultural diversity in only 4000 years, to name a few. Also the lack of sendiment evidence and the fact you could not fit all the animals on the ark, Noah would have no way of going around the world and transporting them, and all the food they require for a year on a wooden unseaworthy boat half the size of the Titanic. Also how the animals would get onto Antarctica after a flood after getting of the ark doesn’t add up, but it would make sense if one accepts the scientific fact of continental drift. The flood story was modified from previous flood stories (something about Gilgamesh) and also Judaism taking stories from older Mesopotamian and Samaritan Legends. Even the story of Genesis is taken from previous belief systems and also defies what we know about science. Some people will claim it is metaphoric, which if true, would make much more sense, but there are many creation myths out there, and we know that tribes and people created their own religions, especially when there was little to no globalization.
Also back then, they misinterpreted any dream, hallucination, optical illusion, or disorder as some supernatural event. Also they were very gullible by today’s standards and lacked any understanding of natural phenomena. So they were especially prone to misinterpretation. Not to mention that there are like 50 different versions of the bible and many denominations of every religion.
The Christ story is a similar story that was also applied to people who lived long before the supposed life of Christ, such as Hercules, Horus, Odysseus, and even the Buddha.
I don’t see how any religion can realistically be seen as reliable considering all the flaws of primitive humans or humanity in general and their tendency to manipulate through extraordinary illogical claims combined with all the scientific and even archeological evidence that counters. Even archeologists saying that much of it never happened. There is no evidence that the story of Moses was true at all or that Israelites were ever slaves of Egypt, not to mention a great flood. It could have been a local flood or flash flood misinterpreted and exaggerated or the ice age melting raising the sea level, which we do have evidence of old ancient cities underwater.
Also the circle of the earth claim. You know that circle is 2D, right? The Earth is a globe or ball or sphere (3D). And to further back up that they thought the earth was flat, not only is the description similar to Hinduism in that they thought the earth was a circle with a dome, but if you put yourself in the perspective of someone back then and you looked at the horizon surrounding you, you would get the perception that you were standing in the center of a circle with a tent or dome over your head. Some of us probably thought that too when we were children in modern times. So it is obvious to me that the ones who wrote the bible also thought it was flat. Not to mention that in the middle ages, the Catholic church thought it was flat too and that we were at the center of the universe. They loved burning scientists at the stake when they questioned the church or Christianity, like they did to Galileo. Also the idea of aliens on other planets is nothing new. Now we have the technology to detect planets around other stars (suns) and see if their atmospheres are earth-like.
Some people will also claim they felt God or spirits, no matter what their religious belief is of the 1000s of other beliefs out there. We have discovered that people who are more religious have a more active right hemisphere – the side more responsible for emotion. Also during prayer, we detected more activity in the frontal cortex, and we also know that disorders and drugs can induce spiritual experiences. We also demonstrated with something called the God helmet that when you apply magnetic forces to parts of the brain under the right conditions, you can induce a sense of presence. For all we know, it could be in our heads.
Also the nice things about science is you don’t a have to take one’s word for it. It is open source and you can do the experiment yourself. Do you know we discovered molecules similar to amino acids in comet samples? We also have experiments that may indicate we have no true free will even from a scientific perspective since we have hooked people up to a machine and did tests, and the machine was able to predict what that person would do before they even became aware of what they decided, not to mention we have medication in the works that is said to specifically target and eliminate individual fear-based memories in the brain. We already have technology in the works that you can use your mind to control the video game or machine, and even see your thoughts (very low resolution but getting better and better by the day and has been used even on a cat). You can always google it and even see videos on it.
Also throughout history, religion has been used as propaganda for political purposes in order to instill control over people. Also a lot of the barbaric stories of genocide that occured through the actions of the Israelites and Spanish inquisition as well as the events of the Salem witch trials and even the Holocaust mostly had religious roots. Also stoning people because they were homosexual or went against a rule of the religion and then using God as an excuse for it combined with animal sacrifices sounds more like some primitive human ideas and inventions, and other empires also did the same thing (genocide and conquering). Not to mention most major religions breed intolerance of people who believe differently and even the threat of punishment or promise of reward in an afterlife is used as a way of controlling people.
There is a biological reason for that. The same reason why any plant or animal’s priority is to reproduce, take over territory, and repeat the process (humans often did that and made the god excuse as justification for their evil genocidal barbaric caveman behavior) and also try to convert other people to conform to certain cultures and religions. The Israelites did it, Rome did it, China and Mongolia did it, the British and French did it, Hitler tried, many other smaller groups back then have, and in some ways the USA has too. Even Muslims and Christians do it today – trying to turn others into more of themselves. Spreading and converting people could be for the same reasons – an inherent biological or mental intolerance of other views and races. Lots of groups and countries in the past like to invade and change the people of those cultures and religions into their own (assimilation like the Borg). Often you either assimilate or be killed or try to pressure one into believing their religion by using fear tactics of torture and damnation or promise of reward. Humans are no exception to this rule of trying to take over, reproduce, spread, etc., especially ones that lived back then. That is the same reason humans even to this day and especially back then were obsessed with reproduction and baring offspring and having many descendants and pillaging like the Israelites did and even the Scottish.
People are often blinded by instinct like any animal and they try to use cultural, family, and religious pressures to convince people to conform to these biological acts or reproduction. This is one reason why more traditional 3rd world nations often have many more children than the developed more educated 1st world these days. It is the instinct of any creature to do that. Also there is universal morality but there are biological explanations for it, but a lot of morality is also cultural and therefore subjective, which is why each country has its own laws. I could give you biological reasons for some of 10 commandants if you wanted, which by the way we never found the tablets and some speculate there used to be 100 commandments among other cultures and it was changed to 10.
Even kings convinced people that a god was on their side to make it less likely that they would be opposed by the oppressed people (democracy was invented to end this problem). But humans like to dominate and control others. Thankfully democracy was invented, though America these days is more plutocracy/republic and could be deemed a fake democracy compared to many other 1st world nations.
Also animism, Shamanism, and ancestor worship, and also the dreamtime are the oldest religions (chimps have supposedly demonstrated animism too). Hinduism predates Judaism, and some say it also influenced it since supposedly India did have connections with the middle east.
Not to mention that when religious stories and scriptures are translated and copied many times, it is like a game of telephone, which has demonstrated that passing on knowledge gets distorted over time, especially if done verbally, which these religions did for a long time before writing.
Also in the old testament (the Torah), hell actually translates to ‘Sheol’ which means ‘the underworld’ or ‘the grave’ but Islam and Christianity modified it into a place of torture and fire. It was originally supposed to mean a place where all dead people go and not a place of damnation, kind of like the Egyptian land of the dead. The concdepct of fininfinte unshment for a finite lifetime goes against the golden rule, serves no purpose since it won’t rehabilitate you if it lasts forever or traumatizes you, and goes against the concept of an all-loving god. This would mean that most people on the planet would be more loving than whatever god would create such a place and send people there.
Imagine if you lived back then and you saw plants and animals die and decompose. From one’s point of view, they would appear to go into an underground world. Combine this with the fact that volcanoes, like other natural phenomena, were misinterpreted as supernatural events and the inside of the earth was observed to be hot, it is easy to imagine why people invented the concept of a fiery underworld later on. The native American Indians believed that life came from the underworld, which makes sense considering that plants grow out from the ground and they had no scientific understanding of the process.
The problem with the concept of heaven is that you would be serving a dictator for eternity, be perfect and therefore have nothing to strive for, the pleasure would lose meaning and intesity without pain, and it would basically be as if you were in a permanent lobotomized state and having given up much of your physical and emotional freedom. It would also be impossible to feel empathy if you felt nothing but joy for eternity, and it would not be you because you would have been altered. This is just another hell to me and I would not want to gie up my humanity, be perfect, or serve a dictator and be on my tippy toes forever. I like democracy. It seems that the cultures and political styles of those ancient times where they had nothing but dictators and kings influenced the religions of the day, hence religion is about serving a higher power like a slave, not the more recent government form of democracy invented in Greece about 2000 years ago.
Another problem and Christian conrtadiction is that if God has a plan that can’t be changed and knows the future and created the universe knowing full well it was doomed to failure form the start, not only would this mean you have no true free will and only the illusion of it, but it isn’t right to blame the person since with great power comes great responsibility, and who has more power than God according to the Christian point of view? Besides, the claim that God changed laws conflicts with an unchanging god. Another contradiction. Obviously humans wrote the 10 commandments and changed laws as they always do. Is that so hard to figure out because we have plenty of evidence that people always change laws.
I also did some research on near death experiences, (most people claim not to have any NDE) and if we do have an afterlife, despite the fact it has been proven that when you damage the brain, you can lose memory, change personality, emotional states, and even turn someone into a psychopath, the afterlives mentioned are almost always positive, regardless of what one believes and even if you are not the best person. NDEs are the best evidence and most reliable evidence of what happens after we die if it turns out that it is in fact an afterlife and not an illusion.
I also did some research on past life regression and post life progression. It is very interesting stuff. The fact is that the most humble way to put it is we can’t truly know about such things until we are dead for good, and everyone thinks they are right from their point of view, and if it is not measurable, testible, or consistent, than it is a matter of faith. For all we know, aliens could have influenced religion to an extent. There is plenty of artwork in caves and paintings and stories that seem to indicate ancient abductions and ships in the sky. Even the dead sea scrolls and the story of Enoch left out of the bible indicates this possibility. There is mention of ‘star’ people in different religions. Like the story in the 1600s about crosses and orbs doing battle in the sky. Also it is known that many people 1000s of years ago across cultures ate magic mushrooms. The talking bush sounds like an affect of eating a magic mushroom, which what ‘manna’ could have been. And Spacey Casy from Molalla talked to trees, so it sounds similar to some religious stories.
I believe it could go both ways. We could have an afterlife, but we could be deleted like we were never born. I blacked out before and fell and hit my head, but for that one minute that I was out, it felt like I was completely deleted from existence. I didn’t even feel myself hit the ground. That is what happens when you wake up and hop out of bed very quickly. I blacked out like I was completely deleted like before I was born. No sense of time, no pain, no ability to think, no nothing. Then I noticed I felt some back head pain and had a hard time breathing and I saw some stars. I opened the window and sat down pondering what could have happened to me. I still didn’t even know what happened. Then I realized that the only possibility was I must have blacked out immediately and feel down backwards like someone unplugged my avatar and my head hit the concrete floor below me (a thin floor of wood covers it in my room). If I didn’t wake up, it is possible I may not have ever known the difference.
But we can never know for sure what happens until we die and I don’t pretend to know and no one else should pretend to know. For all we know, only some of us have afterlives and most of us don’t, or there could be a creator and no afterlife, or an afterlife and no creator, or neither. Who knows? But when I was gone for a minute after blacking out, it felt like an eternity. Waking up didn’t feel good with that pain, discomfort, and mental disorientation.
On a final note, I must say that if there is a god or gods, I’m sure it (not male or female since that is biological) doesn’t care what you believe in because the fact is people around the would believe whatever they have access to and die not knowing any different. Instead, there are people all over in tribes and everywhere who live and die no knowing any different. So obviously a god or gods hasn’t made an effort to give everyone around the world a chance to know whatever god or religion happened to be correct, which indicates that if there is a god, it doesn’t care about belief. It would be a trivial thing for such a powerful being to worry about anyway. As if I would care what a flea knows or doesn’t know or if I would even notice. This also puts a hole in omnipresence since not knowing wouldn’t be an issue if god is everywhere since you would know by default if this was the case.
Another flaw is that if God can communicate to people telepathically, there is no need to read a religious man made book. That is like telling me I need to read a book to learn about my living mother when I could just go and ask her in person. No need to read a man made logically inconsistent flawed book to know god or gods if I can ask them directly.
101 contradictions of the bible: http://www.answering-christianity.com/101_bible_contradictions.htm
Great flood flaw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XxL8jA3fIQ
Similar stories applied to other people before Jesus: http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/
God helmet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y02UlkYjSi0
Pascal’s wager: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9WRG4e6m2s
Possible alien artwork in religion: http://lithiumdreamer.tripod.com/ufoart.html