If your religious faith is very strong don't read this post; it will only make you mad. However, if you have ever questioned your faith read on; you may end up reevaluating your beliefs.
If one is religious:
- As a US citizen one is most likely to be a Christian. Why?
- If one resides in India one would most likely be a Hindu. Why?
- Iranian residents would most likely be Muslim. Why?
Each question has the same answer: One is most likely to practice a particular religion only because: (1) it was the strongest in the geographical area where they were born, and (2) parents, the world over, instill their religious beliefs in their children. Thus, unless one has studied the other religions and made a conscious choice, the religion practiced depends mainly on place of birth; that's irrational.
Think about that irrationality; in most other areas of life we try hard to overcome ignorance and emotion and let knowledge and fact guide our decisions. Only the foolhardy would choose a college, change jobs or buy a home without exercising due diligence. Oh, but it's vastly different with religion, there's no due diligence; it's based solely on faith.
Faith: Complete confidence in someone or something that is open to question or suspicion.
Is our religion (faith) better than any of the others? Why would it be? What facts do we have that lets us make a rational decision? Are Christians (or Hindus or Muslims) smarter than those of the other faiths so they know the truth and the others do not. With intelligence widely distributed that is unlikely. Does the Bible help? Is it more accurate and truthful than the Quran or the several Hindu holy books? How do we know it is? All of the religions (many now extinct) have their roots in ancient times where superstition outweighed truth and knowledge; so the religious literature that survives from those times isn't of much help in rationally choosing one religion over another. A real god could easily commandeer all the modern means of communication, make his/her presence known, validate or update those ancient documents and demand our allegiance. None has. It's only the dogma of those ancient documents that support faith. Now, centuries later, knowledge is overpowering superstition as discovery by discovery science invalidates much of the religious dogma.
Science: Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
As science is systematically explaining the world/universe, and even life itself, in non religious terms making a choice of a religion to follow based on knowledge, truth and fact is quite impossible. So faith, and only faith, ruleth supreme in the support of all religions. Now, (You knew that I was coming to this, didn't you?) with only faith supporting the (irrational) choice of a particular religion and with science steadily invalidating the religious dogma why would one choose any of them? It's possible to lead a good moral life without believing in any, of the many gods; this Humanist document contains some good guidance for doing so.
Still one of the faithful? Consider that it took billions of years of evolution for humans to emerge - the only creatures capable of envisioning gods. It makes absolutely no sense for an all-powerful god to use such a slow tortuous way to gather flocks of worshipers!
Image courtesy of @Mel_in_Canada on Twitter
With religious zealots flying airliners into skyscrapers, women being subjugated in the name of gods, strongly-religious politicians writing irrational laws and religious factions throughout the world fighting over which faction shall prevail it's clear that the universal abandonment of religions would result in a better world. Not that I expect that to happen anytime soon, but this post is my contribution to moving things in that direction.