Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On the road to Atheism

My favourite quote in all of books:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
It's not until you've sat down and read the Old Testament that you realise how true this is, and it beggars belief that people use it as some sort of moral compass.

If I were to be asked "Why did God create the world?", from this evidence my answer could only be "For The LULZ." From the very opening page, he's messing with the heads of mankind:

"Right, Adam. And you... err... Thingy."

"It's Eve."

"Right. Yes. I'm done here, and it's all yours to do as you wish. Just don't eat that apple."

"What apple?"

"That one. The one with the big sign saying 'Don't eat this apple' or you'll make me angry."

"Then why did you put it there in the first place?"

"Shut up."

"And why's this snake tempting me with evil if you - some sort of so-called benevolent deity - created it?"

Then there's the genocide.

Good grief, he really liked wiping out hole swathes of his creation like a ten-year-old turning over a chess board because he was losing.

"Hey Saul"

"Yes boss?"

"Bit of a problem with the Amalekites. Do us a favour and kill them for me."

"Wait... WHAT?"

"All of them. I created them, but they're not chosen enough. Kill them. The women. The kids. The animals. The lot."

"You're a fruitcake."

"I HEARD THAT. Just wait until I create Americans, they won't complain"
Look, if you're the perfect creator of all things, at least get it right first time. People - on the whole - don't take too kindly to being slaughtered in their thousands, their children sold into slavery and soiled ploughed with salt. It's not good PR.

And that's when reality kicks in. The Bible is, for many people, a superb advertisement for Atheism, and once read you wonder why you believed in the first place. I fully appreciate that others have read the same book and believe every word, and - hey - that's your choice.

I knew that I could no longer worship a god and follow any religion so deeply seated in cruelty.

Then, I realised they're all like that. You can live your life, be a decent example of humanity without spending half your time on your knees.

Then, I simply believed in one fewer god, and was free.

Other people may disagree with the above. Your mileage may vary. No animals were harmed. Except a couple of geese.

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