If all of our ancestors beliefs are wrong then what are the chances that ours are right? Why would god only speak to us and give us a true religion. Religious people believe that their beliefs are so important that youll burn in hell for not believing in them. If they are so important then why werent our ancestors given a chance to believe them? Shouldnt they need the beliefs too? People did horrible things in the name of religion. And it wasnt just a few it was everybody. So if you believe everybody was wrong before now then you should believe that you too are wrong and you should be an agnostic or a skeptic.
If you remove claims about history, geology, geography, human psychology, sociology, medicine, physics and metaphysics from religion, then it has no claim to authority at all. How can one who doesn't understand the world assert any moral authority over it?
In order to claim moral authority, religion has to tell us things about the world we didn't already know, but which subsequently prove to be true.
And there, religion falls short. The claims of bronze age religions are routinely shown to be inaccurate, erroneous, forged or revised after the fact. So adherents have needed to reinvent their claims while pretending their faith hasn't changed.
In fact, faith has changed. A lot more bronze age people believed in the righteousness of slavery, for example, than believe in it today. Fewer people believe in spiritual infestations than believed in the time of the Israelites. So the ancients had no moral authority.
But what about the clerics and proselytes today? Though they deny the flaws in their prophets and sages, have they finally got it right today?
We can be confident that our knowledge of humanity is continuing to grow. We need only look at the innovations in genetics and neuroscience, for example. So religious predictions made based on today's knowledge will continue to fail in coming years.
And like failed rainmakers, religious people will continue to try and evade accountability by pretending that their moral authority is somehow separate from their inaccurate predictions and fallacious explanations.
Religion is a big confidence trick perpetrated by revisionist zealots constantly stealing credit for stuff they didn't know.
A god, no matter which one of the countless thousands invented by man over the millennia, is seen as being something that exists outside of the natural order. Another way of saying this is that a God is 'magic'.
Now, there have been many mysteries over the years that have been solved, from the very simple to the very complex. Evolution, what is lightening made of, where do colours come from, what is energy, where do migratory birds disappear to in the winter, how does the sun burn etc. If we examine the answers to all of these billions of questions you will make a startling discovery: (I must paraphrase Tim Minchin) Not once, not in any capacity, has the answer to a question turned out to be 'magic'.
To think that your chosen current group of people are the ones who have found the only source of magic ever, and furthermore that it will reward you for your discovery and obedience with eternal life living in bliss, is nothing short of absurdly ignorant and self-absorbed.
It will behoove many of you who think that your religion is the only one that makes any sense to look at the thousands upon thousands of other religions and ponder this: Why is it that I think these religions are ridiculous and implausible? Given that for many of these other religions people had far more faith in them than you do in yours in that they gave their live in sacrifices and the like, what makes yours so different? I say that these people had more faith as I assume that on this website in English we are dealing mostly with people who follow one of the many different religions that follow one of the many interpretations of the many versions of the many translations of the many books of the bible.
If I may digress:
It's plainly evident, and frankly relieving, that there are few people, if any, who follow one of these books in every way. For example, all translations of this book say that a person is forbidden from bring a tree inside their house and decorating it as the heathens do(Jeremiah 10:2-4). So many of them have shaved beards(Leviticus 19:27). There are no women I am aware of who sacrifice two pigeons when they menstruate(Leviticus 15:19-30). I am aware of no modern instances in the western world of people stoning a newlywed bride on her fathers doorstep for not being a virgin when married(Deuteronomy 22-21).
Why is it that people do not, for the most part follow these barbaric old laws? Because humans are inherently GOOD CREATURES. We have an innate sense of what is right and wrong based on the way we wish to be treated ourselves and our natural distaste for seeing others suffer. Unless there is a third book written by this same god telling you which passages to ignore from the original two books, then your morals come from within yourself, not from your religion.
What we take seriously now might be a joke later on down the road. We like to think we have squashed up-front racism for example, but what if it is societal norm in fifty years to hate people for their race? Who knows? It could happen - I doubt it, but you can't be sure. People are pretty fickle and silly and easily told what to do and think. We take everything so seriously now. Might not last.
The problem with ideas from 'back in the day' is that they were just generally opinions dressing themselves up as fact so they could be 'credible'. I won't say this doesn't happen today, but it seems that a lot more of our ideas are grounded firmly in logic and facts than those of days past.