Many times in forums or chats I am often asked why I don't believe in the God of the bible or in his son and so called savior of mankind Jesus Christ. The reasons are many and in the end my conclusions are the results of cumulative evidences that leads me to believe that all religious beliefs are rooted in mythology. In this blog post I will try to put my reasons in a coherent order and provide a brief description of why I think as I do.
The very first reason I do not believe in the God of the scriptures is precisely because he is a god who finds his origins in the scriptures. Most of those tales have been linked to ancient tales of neighboring cultures such as Babylon and Persia. The influence of foreign myths and superstitions of nearby cultures is quite obvious upon conducting a side by side comparison.
The second reason I can't believe that the bible is inspired by God is because it makes this claim from within itself. It's like taking the word of a used car salesman that the particular automobile you are interested in purchasing is in outstanding condition without researching the cars history yourself. Self advertisement in my opinion is usually suspect and most of the time lacking in honesty. Show me the carfax!
The third reason is that the bible is said to have been "revealed" to its authors by God himself. When it comes to the topic of revelation I stand with Thomas Paine and his opinion on the matter as outlined in 'The Age of Reason.' Here's the direct quote:
" It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation
that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing.
Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication — after
this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a
revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to
believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same
manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word
for it that it was made to him." http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason1.htm
As stated plainly in the above mentioned quote, in order for us to accept the bible or any ancient text, dream, or vision as a revelation from some divine source we must take the recipient of that revelation at his/her word. There is no way to verify the veracity of his claims since we were not present when it occurred and so it remains an event that if it occurred; stays buried in the past.
My fourth reason for not believing is that bible is entirely a work of man. It was written by several authors; many of whom are anonymous. There are no surviving originals of either the Old or New Testament texts, what we have are copies of copies of copies. The bible in its entirety was collected, copied, and edited by men. The actual process of determining which books were considered divinely inspired was carried out by men in what was called a Cannon where church officials of various denominations gathered and voted upon the various texts. It's a little deeper than this but I don't want to get into it since it is a lengthy story that I could not possibly tell in one blog post.
My fifth reason is that the bible is full of all sorts of internal inconsistencies which are not as apologists say "apparent" but rather factual. There are errors in the telling and retelling of stories and conflicts in specific details of those stories. There are errors of historical facts, persons, places, and events. Many of the more revealing errors have been exposed through our current and ongoing knowledge obtained through the various fields of scientific study.
My sixth reason has to do with so called biblical prophecy. The fact that no biblical prophecies to my knowledge have been confirmed without having to reinterpret them in some way as to make them seem that they have. Here is an example:
5Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
6Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come" Mark 13:5-7
Christians to this day love to use this end time "prophecy" to confirm what they already believe to be true. The problem with this one in particular is that it is the equivalent of what psychic debunkers call a cold reading. This can be applied to any time period and literally be used and reused indefinitely. The rest of the text states that "no one knows the hour nor the day when the Lord will return." There will always be wars and rumors of wars and so that part of the prophecy is not a prophecy but rather a statement of fact.
My final reason for not believing is that the god of the bible is way too much like man. He is a mysterious being who has been anthropomorphized. He is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent but the tales in the scriptures and their details betray these traits as being true. All of mans negative emotions are also attributed to this fictional god. He is jealous, vain, angry, vindictive, unforgiving as his imaginary hell confirms. He is similar to an earthly and very human dictator in that he demands obedience and fear from his subjects. Any action against him such as doubt of his existence, defiance of his commandments, etc. are subject to punishment.
This is a very brief outline of my reasons for not believing in the biblical deity. The question of why the universe, our world, or even our own existence is one that I feel cannot be answered fully. Purpose in life for me is found in the here and now, I don't need a god or future hope of an imaginary utopia that exists eternally to be happy now. I have come to accept that life is a series of random events and occurrences that many times is completely out of our hands. Death is something that is imminent for all of us and so my outlook on life is that we all should seek to make the most of it here and now. I am find happiness in the most mundane of things and appreciate every single minute that I am allowed to live life and be with the ones I love enjoying those things which I value the most.
Note: Biblical citations are taken from the New International Version (NIV).