Religion is a topic from which many people run scared; afraid of hurting somebody’s feelings, of demonising a faith, scared and sick to death of the age old answers and comebacks that one is about to receive.

I should start this article by stating that I do not believe in the existence of God, I do not practise any religion and the Bible does not form the basis of my moral compass.  Those who wish to maintain their beliefs, affiliations and moralities in the opposite way to me are entitled to and should not be judged for keeping their faith in their way.

I was born into a family with a Roman Catholic background but was not raised in or under the guidance of the church.  My parents have a profound mistrust in the Catholic Church but are divided in their beliefs even ‘til today.  One is an atheist – a total non-believer.  The other believes but is not a devout church-goer and will turn to a higher power when she deems it necessary.  Both had a good knowledge and understanding of the Bible.  So I was essentially raised with an unbiased view upon the existence of God, but always had a cynicism instilled into me about the Roman Catholic Church.  This cynicism has grown and continues to do so.

Why No God?

I like things that can be proved (or that make more sense) with scientific reasoning, facts and theories.  As we progress in science with our research and understanding, certain ‘facts’ will inevitably change.  There is no denying that science can be wrong, but it more easily accessible and understandable than believing in the fantastical.

Children cling to imaginary friends as long as they are able…these are pets, these are comforts and companionships that alter and grow as the children grow.  As adults we know that children will grow out of this ‘phase’ for surely if they continue to talk to imaginary beings, they will be classed as insane and probably be sectioned or under some form of care for a mental disorder.  However, when adults bow their heads and pray to God, a kind of imaginary friend, this is seen to be normal.  To me all believers, though free to hold their views, should be in the category of ‘nuts’.

I have seen no scrap of evidence that makes me believe in God…because there is none.  People will quote the creation of the Earth as a sign that He exists…however science has always given more practicable solutions like the Big Bang Theory etc…  Science also proves that we live on a dying planet…so if God does exist, why create such a beauteous thing only to watch it destroy?  If God created Earth….who created the other planets in our galaxy?  Did they appear the way science explains?  Or did they too have their own Gods?

There are too many unanswered questions for me to believe in God.

The reasons to believe that God doesn’t exist are simple but plentiful.  Here are a few that seem to have no comeback or defence from religious / faithful people.

One child dying every seven seconds in Africa due to starvation and hunger

In 2004 Band Aid 20 was formed with Bob Geldolf (producer) back as leading orator.  At this time it was made clear that every seven seconds one child dies in Africa.  He created a thematic motif that was repeated around the world whereby he clicked his fingers at a regular rhythm saying “every time I click my fingers, an African child dies”.  No atheist can disprove the existence of a greater plan any more than a person of faith can prove the existence of one – however, if there is a being controlling and watching and crafting a greater plan, it’s not a very good, kind or moral one.  So rather than believing in an evil, vengeful God; I choose not to believe in a higher power that allows in its scheme the needless death of millions of children each year.

1,833 people (at least) died in hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed

If a great design was formulated by God then it is heavily flawed and corrupted by ‘natural disasters’.  As an apparently omniscient God, He surely knew that he was creating a destructive force, a dying planet and pain and suffering to millions.  No?  He couldn’t know?  Then how can one claim that God is all-knowing.  Why create a planet and all that exists thereupon only to hurt and ruin it?  Some religious people will quote God’s punishment and vengeance for breaking the ‘natural way’ or for committing sins – but these things we do may be natural to each individual (so called ‘made in His image’) – so to follow the rules and wishes or face the wrath of one being – isn’t that communism?  Isn’t it widely accepted that communism is a dangerous, scary and freedom-repressing regime?  Religion is communism shrouded in mythological clothing!

Our species, according to many scientists, has been in existence for somewhere between 100,000 – 250,000 years.  So if science is to be believed why did God only reveal himself about 3,000 years ago?

Professor Richard Dawkins (amongst others) have proven that Homo-sapiens came to being around 250,000 years ago.  This is via the examination of remains, ancient peoples and social structures and the advancement of the species.  If this is true, which I believe it is, it seems unusual and almost impossible to understand why God only revealed himself 3,000 years ago.  Where was the creator for 257,000 years?  This also paints a somewhat murky concept of the creationist theory.  If God, as inventor, did indeed create Earth and all upon it – why was his help so delayed in coming?

Prayers are never answered.  Natural coincidence, strategies and / or hard work answer prayers

The concept of private prayer is a wonderful thing and can be of comfort and support to those that partake in this medium.  However, aside from the elements of witchcraft naturally applied to praying to an unknown quantity – I find it difficult not to notice the obvious lack of understanding of coincidences and science.  People speak of praying for cures to illnesses for their loved ones, and if their loved one is to recover they say that their “prayers have been answered”.  They completely disregard the medical treatment they have received, preferring to defer to a higher, yet still unknown, power.  This belief is somewhat absurd.  For if prayers were truly answered, and God was truly omnipresent and omniscient – why do we still have famine, AIDS, cancers etc…?  World peace can only be achieved by the actions of well meaning men and women (who maintain their own moral compass) not by speaking to an illusory leader.  If people hear voices or talk to other mentally created beings – they are potentially said to be suffering from delusions or schizophrenia – but this is inexplicably excused when God is the imagined being.

The Gospels are said to have been written around 80 – 100 years after the death of Jesus.  Stories can be elaborated, changed or even invented in that time – the Gospels by definition are hearsay not factual

I won’t dwell on this point too long here as later I discuss religious literature in more depth.  I will say that it is hard to hold good commitment and belief in anything that could be defined as little more than hearsay.  The human race is given to conversation and thought – allowing creativity to flourish – this begins the idea of fiction writing.  Were these works of fiction taken to a literal mind?  Play a game of Chinese Whispers and see what “Gospels” you can materialise.

Not one scrap of hard evidence has ever been presented to prove the existence of God.

No hard evidence, no real proof has ever been presented to the world to prove that the deity exists.  All we have are the words of religious leaders who themselves maintain no real proof except personal belief.  These leaders have also created hatred via their teachings: the denial of condoms, the advancement of genital mutilation (on adults & children), and they have ignored the facets and abilities of the female species for thousands of years.  The Bible becomes their mantle, a book of only limited age containing stories of such difficulty in truth that they would fit well in a Hollywood super-hero movie.  An immaculate conception does not, cannot scientifically happen.  If it did, why have their not been further immaculate conceptions?  Why is their no figure on Earth to spread the message that they wish spread…except human self-ordained religions?  Ask basic questions to yourself and answer them with proof, which I doubt you can: what does God look like?  What does God sound like?  How can he hear the prayers of billions people at the same time?  Supernatural things have no basis in reality or nature and fit the same bill of description as God, religion and faith.

Religion is a man-made invention.  Which teachings or Gods are the correct ones?

Organised religion by its very nature is created, by man, to form a community that obeys certain teachings and follows by certain codes of human-ordained moralities.  Whether Catholic, Church of England, Mormon, Hindu or any other denomination: different structures and teachings (not to mention alternate scriptures) are in place.  This, ultimately, leads to there being different versions of god or gods.  So it becomes impossible to differentiate as to which is the real one, for if only one being created Earth and handed down morality (via the Ten Commandments for example) then how comes so many religions are created.  Surely, one faith is the expected outcome.  Only a man-made difference of opinion and preconceived understandings (handed down through generations) could lead to so many religions (many profiting from the profligation of mythology).

The perceived “power” of God has historically diminished (to believers) and has died to atheists!

The so-called estimable “power-of-God” has clearly weakened or perhaps waned through time.  From the super-power of Earth creation and delivering of miracles on Earth to now seemingly having his “face” or that of Jesus appearing on burnt toast, seems to show a distinct lack of supremacy.  Believers will say that He will come and show his powers again…but how is this known?  Is this merely a figment of fancy planted by the aforementioned organised religions?  I believe so.  The idea of having a powerful creator to many people of faith is a comfort – but, dependant on the texts one chooses to believe, his abuse of power is the equivalent of the abuse of position delivered by many modern day dictators like Hitler, Rafael Trujillo (who made churches display signs stating “God In Heaven, Trujillo on Earth”), Idi Amin Dada, Muammar Qaddafi, Francisco Macias Nguema (who changed the national motto to “There is no other God than Macias Nguema”), Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Kim Jong-Il (who claims a supernatural birth, is praised as creator of the universe, and many of his people are tortured) – yet these tyrants and dictators are supposedly made in God’s image.  This doesn’t give much encouragement or faith in God to me.  Now people will say that God is perfect then why did He make such people in His image ergo He cannot be perfect.  Or are these people, many believing or stating that they carried out their role in the name of God, merely following the despotic examples laid before them in the scriptures?  Flooding the planet (thus destroying and killing), causing plagues (thus harming crops and spreading disease), the smiting of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of Canaanite Cities are just a few of the atrocities handed down by God.  Are these the examples of morality that his power teaches and inform our modern world?  Believers must question the validity of an all-powerful God idly watching as His creations wreak havoc on Earth; where is he now?  Non-believers, like myself, will wonder and do wonder where this so important a figure has gone in our modern day world, and that’s without finding a shred of evidence to his existence in the beginning.  His Biblical demonstrations have ceased…where are the modern miracles?  Where is the Bible of today to inspire future generations to continue the misguided flock on their unworldly beliefs?  From the tempestuous reputation of the Wizard of Oz, to seemingly no more than man shouting rude things through a neighbours’ letterbox.

The advances in neurology and neuropsychology now disprove the religious view and hyperbole that has commonly become known as “the soul”

Those people who believe in the existence of a soul tend to feel that this “soul” carries without some information about “who they are” – the essence of character, personality, self and perhaps memories.  This can act as a comfort to many, especially when dealing with death – but often leads to a supernatural notion of feeling “a presence” which, biblically speaking, is witchcraft.  Those that feel the soul contains some essence of core personality must accept that neuroscience has proven that, in the event of a brain injury, ones personality can be dramatically altered.  So it follows that ones soul would be altered also as it carries the person through their life.  People often claim that a soul can retain memories after the death of the individual has occurred.  Alcohol, brain trauma and substance all kill (or can kill) brain cells which leads to memory loss in many cases.  When a person dies their brain activity ceases, the brain cells die – thus all notions of memories are destroyed not carried away in an ethereal core.  Neuropsychology also states that memories may be altered by suggestions; by repetition of ideas or time-lapsed notions.  The mind is like a computer hard-drive that once erased is blank.  Many will argue that although, in life, we may lose access to certain memories or parts of our “soul” these are always present in the “soul” and can be relived in death.  No proof exists to the existence of Heaven and Hell as no proof exists to the soul – whilst I cannot say with proof that these don’t exist, our scientific advances and knowledge of how the body and mind work distinctly suggest that it is implausible for these things to be.  Energy and atoms may remain forever, but does that make them “me”, does that make them a soul?  Doubtful.

Hereditary religion removes ones own choice and natural feeling to a higher power

Hereditary religion is a term used to describe a system of belief that is given and placed upon a child without their consent or in many cases knowledge.  If your mother is Jewish then so by birth are you, most children are baptised or christened into a religion before they have developed their own sense of values and being.  This means that an ultimate connection has been forced upon them before they have even decided on their faith.  In this day and age it seems irresponsible to allow this institutionalised corruption to continue.  Were someone to be raising their children to be intolerant on race, sexuality, roles etc…then a Social Services team may be excused for investigating.  Although, it must be stated that these prejudices and discriminatory views are a huge part of religious teachings though not exclusive to secular or religious followers.  Surely, it is better to allow any individual to use their own compass and guide their beliefs in their own time rather than have it pushed upon them by those that have already chosen their course.

The incompetence of “God” to carry out the duties and moral code He supposedly created for us

God, in the King James Bible, is referred to or described as Holy, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, majestic, a redeemer, provider, perfection, beauty, almighty, supreme power, truth, beauty and compassionate (to name a few).  These words form much of a believer’s interpretation of who or what God is to them and to the world.  As He is all-seeing and all-knowing – He is aware of the troubles upon Earth.  He knows His creation (Earth) is dying but is unable or just hasn’t bothered to change that which undermines the titles of “Almighty”, “Super Power” and “Perfection”.  On this planet, every day, people die from starvation and thirst – where is the “provider” then?  Where was the “redeemer” during the Holocaust?  Where is the “beauty” and “compassion” to His creations (animals and humans {if I can make a difference}) during natural disasters like the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and its people and creatures?  Where was He during the Chinese floods in 1931 which killed an estimated 4 million people, or in the 1920 Haiyuan Earthquake, or the 1737 Calcutta Cyclone, or during the 1212 North Sea Flood and storm surge?  This all-powerful being seems incapable, and seems to have been powerless, of helping or following his own moral code that he passed down on Mount Sinai.  Believers will now be screaming that this is His way of testing and punishing those for not-believing and for their sins.  That shows a distinct lack of forgiveness and a complete lack of selection.  All sins are forgiven remember, if you are a person of faith – unless Catholic in which case they could lead you to Hell or Limbo.  I am more inclined to follow literature, “be all thy sins remembered”; and I can only hope that if He does exist that He would be punished in the most unthinkable manner for the crimes He has committed (and continues to commit) against humanity.

Religion becomes an excuse

Crimes against humanity are often carried out by the most tyrannical leaders of oppressive, Communist states in the name of religion or the name of God.  Religious Crusades, conversations with God, “it says it in the scriptures” are all excuses often used to hide behind when atrocities are carried out.  Please take the time to look up the Spanish Armada, the Reverend Fred Phelps, the events of 9/11 in America or 7/7 in England, slavery, sex abuse in Catholic churches (many leading figures still hiding away within the Vatican) and so much more.  Religion itself doesn’t cause evil by any means, but its very existence creates a blanket cover for almost anything anyone wishes to carry out.  Many murderers, psychopaths and the like say they acted upon the word of God.  The very existence of God and religion create factions and segregations within communities that are held so deeply that people will do almost anything to uphold their beliefs.

After all of that, I think that I have made my views clear.  As I say, I would never judge the individual believer on the street who are generally nice people, but the very institutions and beliefs must be apologised for.  When religion can and has dictated who one can love, share ones bed with (and in what positions), tells women they are not work or to be submissive to a superior male – there are still messages that must be rescinded.  I shall leave the final words of this article to the late Christopher Hitchens (journalist, atheist and debater), “that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence”.