Various religious texts condone: slavery, wife-beating, death by stoning for working on the sabbath, genocide, infanticide, misogyny, homophobia, ingnorance and fear of knowledge with the threat and punishment of heresy and eternal damnation.
There is only one alternative explanation to religion regarding morality. Whatever morality we live by, has been developed by man and possibly or even likely assisted by evolution. Religion is its own worst enemy. Religion is anti-morality.
It cannot be moral to burden a newborn with a debt it did not incur. The concept of original sin is immoral.
It cannot be moral to allow, nor to accept the torture and killing of another in your place for a crime you did, or did not, commit. Clearly, that is the pagan practice of scapegoating. Christ's death cannot absolve you of anything. It would be immoral for you to accept his torture and death.
Transubstantiation during the eucharist IS the pagan cannibal ritual of devouring the deified leader. If you believe it is not the actual body and blood of your martyred leader, you nonetheless eat him symbolically. If you have moved beyond those primitive practices...good for you, now dump the rest of the nonsense and we are good to go.
The beginning and development of the universe?
On one hand, we have Genesis which is at the same time vague and actually wrong, on the other, we have the scientific explanations provided by Stephen Hawking, Victor Stenger et alia? My money is on Hawking et alia.
The origin of man?
This was an early round knock-out of Genesis by Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, Gould, and Myers. Did a god fashion us in his image, or were we the result of evolution, gradualism, speciation, common ancestry, natural selection and nonselective mechanisms of evolutionary change? Thank you Jerry Coyne for that scientific itemization of the modern theory of evolution!
What happens when we die?
Nobody knows. Anyone who tells you they know is either lying or deluded.
Why are we here? What is the meaning of our lives?
We are here, as Prof. Dawkins wrote, because "we are the lucky ones." The reason is biological. That's it. You provide the meaning in your life. You may choose to follow a myth, or figure out your own path. Either way, it is your responsibility.
God did it?
No evidence in support of that claim.
The new "sophisticated" arguments for religion?
One does not make the myth of god real by developing a more sophisticated argument. See: Silk-purse, sow's-ear.
Only an immoral, insane god would "bless" a family with a baby that the god has marked with a sin for an act it didn't commit, then kill himself to save us from his eternal damnation.
We are not born as slaves, shackled by sin to some mythical ancestor.
Science, Reason and Logic for the win.
Earn and display your PhD In Heresy diploma, wear our heretical apparel in public, and the faithful will question you. These actions present an opportunity for you to explain why science, reason and logic are necessary to overcome superstition and myth.
Richard H. McCargar
Dean of the College of Heresy
Fighting Religious Intolerance and Dogma since 1957!
Bart D. Ehrman
Posted on: 10-15-2010