It is estimated that around 15%-20% of the world’s population does not believe or follow some religion. For a race that is quickly becoming more technologically advanced and science is making more breathtaking discoveries, this number needs to increase. Religion needs to be abandoned for the future of the human race, as I will explain below. Please note that this is not hatred or discrimination against any religion, I am an atheist, and there are tons of amazing things that religion has brought to humanity (such as architecture), but it’s time we moved on!
I will, in particular, be aiming this at Christianity as that’s the religion I’ve grown up surrounded by, and I don’t have years of being around the other religions under my belt.
10. Religious Divide
Even today, you can be granted or prevented access to certain things depending on your religion. Some of the top schools put priority on children who follow their religion; some employers might not hire certain people due to their beliefs in their religion, and some restaurants have to change their menu to cater to a small minority. Being treated differently because of your religion (or lack thereof) is wrong.
Even though religions are not officially businesses, they get a ton of money through donations- that’s right, people actually throw their hard-earned money at their religion. The money that goes to maintaining their fantastic buildings is great as they hold a lot of our history, but that’s the only thing religion contributes to today’s world – history. Donations should be completely removed, and local communities, charities or government organizations should maintain the buildings. Church staff like vicars took a vow of poverty, they should charge for services if people really want (like marriage or baptism), but otherwise, they should get a job that contributes to society, like the rest of us. This would add hundreds of millions of pounds back into the UK economy and closer to billions of dollars for the US!
8. Population Control
Let’s look at the average Christian couple; they get married and have a child. Then that child is baptized, a one-year-old (or even younger) now belongs to the Church before they can even say “religion”. They will then grow up, get married and have children etc, and like what we have now, millions of people swear by the book and the Pope. Sure, getting baptized is more of a social event rather than an actual religious ritual, but that shows how integrated it is into our lives. Children have an important choice that they should make, made for them. As long as religion has this kind of population control, we can never move on.
7. Dedicated Lives
For the most part, as long as you’re happy, then who cares how you spend your life? Why does it matter if it doesn’t affect others negatively? That’s like saying you want to live in the sewers, feeding off whatever you find; that’s fine. If someone said that to me, I could easily say, “Ok, whatever makes you happy”, but I would feel obliged to advise them to follow a different path. People will spend their lives blindly following their religion and spreading the word, they are happy doing this, but they could and should be following bigger and better lives. Imagine if everyone who works for or volunteers for religion would spend their time helping others and contributing to society; the world would be a lot better.
6. Preventing Human Advancement
If you look at the human race as a species, we are super-predators, the most intelligent and powerful species ever to grace the Earth. However, we are by far the finished article, and before we can evolve again, we must abandon things holding us back. We need to stop everything that divides us and work together as a species because “survival of the fittest” doesn’t apply anymore due to everyone surviving. Previously, if you had a mental illness, you would have less of a chance of surviving, so your genes would not pass on, and future humans would have evolved to not have these genes. Nowadays, everyone is reproducing, and it’s become impossible for us to evolve as an entire species naturally. The only way we can evolve is through technology, like now we have “evolved” smartphones to make our lives easier.
Religion isn’t the main reason we are evolving slowly, but it does contribute; the next 100 years with religion would be completely different from the next 100 without it and not for the better.
5. Belief replaces reason
One of the most frustrating things you can find religious followers doing is things that don’t make sense, but they are doing it because they believe that is the right way. Some people will get an illness, and instead of using science-provided medicine, they will pray daily. What ends up happening? The illness remains untreated and gets worse. This happens for too many things, people refusing gay marriage and religious divides like the #10 entry. A lot of lives would be made a lot better if this wasn’t the case.
4. How can we trust it?
It’s said that the victor writes history; this quote couldn’t be more relevant today than perhaps our entire history. The famous books and scriptures containing each religion’s details could easily have been misinterpreted or have parts re-written over time. Laws and guidelines that people follow could be completely false! In fact, it could turn out that these religions were nothing more than fiction. There’s also a chance that each bible created today is exactly the same as the first one that was ever written, but would you take that chance? Some people do!
Now we get to the good stuff. The truth is impossible to determine, and I doubt we’ll ever find out if the God (s) each one of the religions follow exist or not. The main argument for religious followers is that “I would rather live my life believing and find a lie when I pass away than be a non-believer and find religion is true”. This is actually a half-decent argument, but if you look at it properly, it has a lot of flaws. People are using this to justify their belief in something; there is no evidence that actually exists; it’s blindly following something without reason. Look at the actual truth and facts; there has been no real evidence besides books written hundreds/thousands of years ago, and even then, how do we know they are correct? (see previous entry). This is a reason why we need to abandon religion; there is no real truth, only belief.
Out of everything that is previously on this list, this entry is far more important than those. Due to population control, thousands, if not millions, of people, will gladly give their lives for their religion. Wars in themselves are pretty stupid, but allowing thousands of people to die in the name of your religion is outright idiocy. Religion has been nothing more than a tool for ruling bodies to take advantage of. Look at World War 2; Hitler used propaganda to make his population believe it was the Jews who made Germany lose the first world war, and in return, he almost conquered Europe. Look at what is going on today; Western governments are making their populations believe Islam is a terrorist religion so they can bomb the shit out of Islamic countries for their resources.
Since the beginning of civilization, Aztecs sacrificed millions of their own people, Christian colonies slaughtered each other, the Crusades, and the never-ending battle in the Middle East. Too many people have died for some possibly made-up, un-proven gods that will likely be laughed at in 100 years’ time.
1. We only used religion to explain what science couldn’t
The age-old debate, religion vs science. I’ve actually seen people claim that medical breakthroughs like cures are acts of God rather than scientific creations. It seems brilliant scientific minds create something, and millions of people will thank God for such a feat. The fact is, science is actually true, while religion is hypothetical. A thousand years ago, a meteor shower would be called the scourge of God, then the civilization who witnessed said meteor shower might sacrifice a few hundred virgin women or pray for three days straight to appease their creator. Then maybe a military leader or a Pope would say they have spoken to the Lord, and he/she is angry that such religion does not control certain parts of the world, leading to another war. Let’s travel to modern times; a meteor shower is a meteor shower. Thanks to science!
Ever notice why there are no more “acts of god”? No more “amazing cures”, no more stories to rival those of the ones told by religious propaganda? Because the things that were determined to be “caused by a higher being” a thousand years ago are easily explained today. If we abandon religion, then there will be no more arguing; everyone will know the truth of science. I am not a scientific fan boy; I am a fan boy of every human and the future of the human race. Religion can’t be part of it if we need to evolve as a species.