Religion and Imaginary Friends

It’s a simple fact that the overwhelming majority of people that claim to be religious know extremely little about what they believe.  In previous posts, I’ve cited statistics related to how little American “Christians” know about their Bible.  I doubt most of them could explain away the questions of a ten-year-old.  But, I can understand that group of people – they’re either not interested or are otherwise unmotivated to examine (let alone question) their beliefs. 

What tends to surprise me more are those who claim to actually research their religion and still appear to believe in it.  Just about all religious texts are filled with obvious contradictions.  They’re internally consistent (let alone completely inaccurate with respect to the real world).  Still, the majority of humanity professes to believe in a supreme creator of the universe.

Thanks to a link from RichardDawkins.net, I ran into a web site called God is imaginary.  As the title suggests, the site includes a list of “50 simple proofs” that God does not exist.  It focuses on Christianity, but many of the proofs apply just as well to any religious beliefs.  Here’s a list from the site’s Table of Contents:

    1. Try praying
    2. Statistically analyze prayer
    3. Look at all historical gods
    4. Think about science
    5. Read the Bible
    6. Ponder God’s plan
    7. Understand religious delusion
    8. Think about Near Death Experiences
    9. Understand ambiguity
    10. Watch the offering plate
    11. Notice that there is no scientific evidence
    12. See the magic
    13. Take a look at slavery
    14. Examine Jesus’ miracles
    15. Examine Jesus’ resurrection
    16. Contemplate the contradictions
    17. Think about Leprechauns
    18. Imagine heaven
    19. Notice that you ignore Jesus
    20. Notice your church
    21. Understand Jesus’ core message
    22. Count all the people God wants to murder
    23. Listen to the Doxology
    24. Ask why religion causes so many problems
    25. Understand evolution and abiogenesis
    26. Notice that the Bible’s author is not “all-knowing”
    27. Think about life after death
    28. Notice how many gods you reject
    29. Think about communion
    30. Examine God’s sexism
    31. Understand that religion is superstition
    32. Talk to a theologian
    33. Contemplate the crucifixion
    34. Examine your health insurance policy
    35. Notice Jesus’ myopia
    36. Realize that God is impossible
    37. Think about DNA
    38. Contemplate the divorce rate among Christians
    39. Realize that Jesus was a jerk
    40. Understand Christian motivations
    41. Flip a coin
    42. Listen when “God talks”
    43. Realize that a “hidden God” is impossible
    44. Think about a Christian housewife
    45. Consider Noah’s Ark
    46. Ponder Pascal’s Wager
    47. Contemplate Creation
    48. Compare prayer to a lucky horseshoe
    49. Look at who speaks for God
    50. Ask Jesus to appear

While there’s nothing revolutionary about many of these ideas, I found them to be particularly well-written.  I hope they’ll have the intended effect on readers, but somehow doubt it.  After all, if something is taken “on faith”, then proof really doesn’t have anything to do with it.

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1 Comment

  1. murrayv said,

    August 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Interesting, intellectually stimulating, but smacking of proselytizing.


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