Life as an Atheist knows it is a one shot deal. We are lucky enough to have even been born in the first place, to survive in the womb, to survive the birthing process, to survive illnesses and to grow and adapt to the world around us.
What confounds me the most about religion is how it seems to lead people to live to their death. Religion glorifies the afterlife so much that it seems that this life is not worth living until you get to paradise, doesn't that seem a little odd? It most certainly does to me, religious people say that our lives are 'nothing' without God, or similar verbal diarrhea constantly. What they seem to fail to see is how that message devalues the greatest thing anyone has which is living in the first place. I know when I die that I will be dead, that's it, no afterlife no reincarnation no nothing. That makes me want to live my life to the fullest in every way possible, not squander it away with religious dogma.
Countless wars have been fought over religion, and countless have died fighting such wars, and it is a sad reality to see so many people throw their lives away for their favorite imaginary friend. Why? why do so many see the sacrifice of their own lives a necessary thing? It's because throughout their lives religious organizations have done all they can to prove how invaluable we are as an individual, (unless we accept their teachings and even still that doesn't change the message much it just becomes more subtle) The books of these religions becomes a banner of war, and through the implied intolerance of anyone who disagrees it becomes justified and accepted.
So many followers of faith are so convinced the world is going to end on a certain date that they don't care about the rest of the world. I watch as the earth is polluted, exploited, and trashed with reckless abandon because too many people seem to think its all going to end anyway so why care. It is sad, and I am lucky enough to be at an age where I can watch those dates come and go with nothing happening, just like Y2K. My main fear is that in their frustration of nothing happening (not to mention many of us Atheists telling them "i told you so") will drive them around the bend and that in their frustration will try and create the end of the world on their own just so they don't all look like morons. This prospect is a possible scary reality, and I can see it happening all to easily, which is also extremely unfortunate.
Some food for thought, thanks for reading.
I don't disagree about the devaluization of life. I would think that God would want us to be happy while on earth, make the best of our selves, help others, learn, and then we would rewarded. And that as long as we aren't harming our brothers, we should be okay. But religion seems to make people believe that all they have to do is pop out of the womb and start judging everyone else. What's worse is that the major religions have a history of not acting civilized.
1) They were founded by men that pretended to be celibate while they practiced the ancient practice of pederasty (sex with children). All of the religions did it and are still doing it. They were men that thought they were God and could play God on children. And they leaked molestation into other churches and society.
2) They chased people down and executed them
3) Currently, they get pleasure out of forcing people into a depression by making fun of those that are not like them...their religions condemn eachother for crying out loud.
4) Ironically, they act like monkeys when the mere idea of evolution is even brought up in a conversation
Not to mention their hypocrisy
1) Saying that places like New York City are Babylon with their mixture of tongues. While the New Testament is a mixture of various languages (Hewbrew, Greek, Roman).
2) They like to claim that those that don't want to join them are selfish. But they are constantly in a race for material possessions. The pope and all of the televangelists are in to God for the image and for money. The pope judges the televangelists and society for being greedy. Yet the Catholic Church has always expected people to give them their land and money.
3) The Catholic Church judges humanists. However, humanism is more in line with the concept of God from the Old Testament. Which was largely in favor of people loving their brothers. It seems that Christianity was designed to put people in tiers and make the priests out to think that they are divine.
Religion as whole makes me think of Married with Children and Al Bundy. I'm thinking it was created by some stone age man in his 50's that missed his high school years with the other cave people children and decided to create an organization. After forming the organization they went around making fun of everyone else that didn't want to join.