Sent in by Ray
About twenty years ago I started studying religion seriously after having completed an M.A. in History. Of all the thoughts that started hitting my brain, the theme of how ridiculous religions are was (and remains) a recurring theme. Anyone studying history is reminded that most religions were invented with blind obedience or "faith" in mind, and with no rational explanations whatsoever required. This applies to all of the five major world religions, and not just Christianity. The other four are: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. My point here, is that if you are abandoning Christianity, don't fall into the trap of embracing another religion.
Let's take Islam for example. The followers of that religion (called Muslims) believe in the Koran (the Muslim Bible) which is based on revelations given to a "prophet" in Arabia in the 7th Century of the common calendar era. For Muslims, whatever the Koran says is absolutely true. Among the other things you are expected to believe is that the said prophet was "translated" to Jerusalem one night (by an angel or whoever), and rode up to heaven on a horse with a woman's face and conversed with God directly before returning to Mecca or thereabouts the next morning. If you visit the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Muslims will tell you about this, and how you are standing in the approximate location of where all of this happened to the prophet. Needless to say, this goes against all logic, but Muslims believe this, and will get very angry with you if you let them know that you think that is absolute nonsense. This is what real thinkers have to deal with when debating with the practitioners of the five major world religions.
In closing, just let me say that I am still in the process of "deconverting" from all religion in general. With that said, I would strongly urge you to consider to start doing some serious research and compare Christianity with other religions. A good place to start is by taking a look at the three so called monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam (in the order of their invention) and then tell yourself what you really believe in or think you should believe in.
A very good starting point in this process of "deconversion" is to read Charles W. Sutherland's masterpiece "Disciples of Destruction: The Religious Origins of War and Terrorism". It is available from Prometheus Books for the rather stiff price of $45.98, but can also be obtained free through interlibrary loan systems. Even if you have fully "deconverted" from Christianity it will probably reinforce your decision. If you are still in the process, Sutherland's book might just serve as your premise. Your intellectual premise should always be your starting point, with your personal experiences as secondary. I say this, because a considerable number of us have quit religion based on emotional personal experiences and hurts with no real learning foundations.
If you are lucky, the end result might be a belief in a Supreme Creator or Ruler of the Universe based on a rational premise, and without the claptrap of any formal/institutional Christianity or any other religion. You will become your own "Church of One" and this will include those who decide that atheism is best for them. Finally, I would urge you not to fall into the trap of making politics a religion. Keep in mind that Communism and Nazism were both religions, and with all sorts of disastrous results.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)