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Meditation 914
Critique of Religious Faith
Religious Beliefs Are Harmful (Part 9)

by: Fred Leavitt

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Nobody who talks about life after death has experienced it.

More than two billion Christians accept Jesus as their savior, but the various Christian denominations disagree on key points. More than one billion Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammad, and almost one billion Hindus pray to many gods. Buddhists, Confucians, Baha'is, Jains, Shintoists, and Sikhs together total about 500,000,000 and have widely divergent beliefs. So do about 100,000,000 Mormons, Jews, Scientologists, Christian Scientists, and the spunky Jehovah's Witnesses who ring your doorbell with free copies of Watchtower and Awake. Imagine a science fiction scenario in which extraterrestrial beings land on earth and assemble the leaders of all the world's religions. Eager to know which is correct, they give each leader two days to make his or her case. What evidence would they give? "God told me so." "It says so in the bible." "On Easter Sunday I bought a bushel of potatoes, and one of them was the spitting image of the Virgin Mary."

Many religious leaders argue that sex (at least for others) should be indulged in only for the purpose of procreation. Masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, condoms, and premarital, oral, and anal sex, are all sins. But if procreation is the sole purpose'"if god wanted to produce 7,000,000,000 of us'"why didn't he do it all at once? With no birth canal to navigate through, human heads and therefore brain sizes could have been much larger. Oh well, that may have reduced the number of worshippers.

"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Stephen Roberts

Continued > The Persistence of Religious Faith