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Disclaimer: Religion is a topic many hold close to their hearts. This article is in opposition of established religions. If you're uncomfortable with this, that's perfectly fine. Don't feel obligated to read this article. You can, however, come back to this article whenever you want.


The most rational belief is as follows: You cannot be sure about the existence of a god. This means that there could or could not be a God. God, however, does not exist in any way described in any biblical texts. All religions that you know of are false. If a God were to exist, it would not be a biblical god. This guide will explain why.


The more evidence you have, the more confident you can be. But religion completely bypasses this.

Pretending to be confident when you aren’t—when there is no evidence—is an intellectual and a moral failing.

The simple truth is that God cannot exist as any biblical text describes.

Gods follow logic

Believers often point out that God doesn’t follow logic as we know it. This is a case of special pleading and doesn't prove anything. Atheists tend to reject these counters to the logical arguments, as they mostly beg the question of a creator's existence and, very arbitrarily, plead that a creator can be exempt from the same logic used to "prove" its existence.

Divine command theory

This is a religious belief where everything God commands is good.

So when God commands that the Israelites slaughter the Amalekites, that becomes intrinsically good because God commanded it.

Take, for example, the Muslim suicide bombings. Believers in divine command theory can only say this is wrong because they are praying to the wrong God. If they prayed to the right god, their actions would be justified.

Belief in belief

In many cases, religious believers don’t believe that God exists; they believe in their belief in God.

To explain belief in belief: If you say, "People are bad," that means you believe people are bad, and if you say, "I believe people are nice,” that means you believe that you believe people are nice. So saying, "People are bad, and I believe people are nice," means you believe people are bad, but you believe you believe people are nice.

So saying something like, “It isn’t logical for God to exist—but God doesn’t need to follow logic. I believe God is real,” means that you believe that God’s existence isn’t logical, but you believe you believe God exists.

For example, you may remember when you first began to doubt Santa Claus, but you still believed that you were supposed to believe in Santa Claus, so you tried to deny the doubts. Where it is difficult to believe a thing, it is often much easier to believe that you ought to believe it. There are so many contradictions and logical errors with believing in God. So, it’s often much easier to believe that it is proper, good, virtuous, and beneficial to believe that God is real. Dennett calls this “belief in belief.”

Believers often don’t believe that God exists, but they believe it is beneficial to believe that God exists.

Faith is nothing more than the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail.

People don’t behave as if God exists. If God did actually exist, and angels routinely descended to carry people’s souls to heaven, then it would be hard to imagine people sleeping in on Sundays.

Bad evidence

According to God, those who suspended their disbelief while alive will be free to enjoy themselves for all eternity.

God made salvation depend on believing in him based on flawed evidence. Of course, if you lived 2000 years ago, there would have been tons of evidence and miracles. But God got tired of being so helpful.

Impotent or evil

Nine million children die a year. That means before you finish reading this sentence, a child has died in terror and agony. Is this God’s plan?

Any God who would allow children to die like this either can’t do anything to stop it or doesn’t care to. Therefore, he is impotent or evil.

People may say, “Human standards of morality cannot judge God, because God is above human morality.” But human standards are what the faithful use to establish God’s goodness. Also, any God who could concern himself with something as trivial as gay marriage or the name by which he is addressed in prayer is not as mysterious as he is made to be.

The ethics of purgatory

Most children who die, according to religion, will go to hell to be tortured for eternity. This isn’t their fault at all. It doesn’t matter how good of a person they are; they are doomed.

Worst of all, God was the one who made it so that they did not believe in him. He was the one who made these children be born in India—where no one believes in Christianity—and then he made the consequence of this ignorance eternal suffering. So, in effect, he created souls just to make them suffer for eternity.

But a serial killer in America, who spent his life raping and torturing children, can come to God on death row and then spend an eternity in Heaven.

Luckily, there is no evidence to say that this exists.


Believers say that God is loving, just, and kind. But the truth is the opposite. God is cruel and unjust because he makes people suffer at an impossibly large scale.

But religious people say that God is mysterious rather than recognizing his evil.

If something happens to a Christian—say they feel some bliss during church—they think God is good. But when thousands of children die, they say God is mysterious.

This is narcissism because they think only about how God supposedly affects them and ignore how he allows others to die by the millions.

Take the example of Hurricane Katrina.

If God exists, he heard the prayers of those who fled; he chose not to answer them. These were good, faithful people. The reality is that these poor people died talking to an imaginary friend.

80% of Katrina’s survivors claim that the event has only strengthened their faith in God (Washington Post). The survivors likely imagine God spared them.

This is narcissism. “God saved me.” Meanwhile, he drowned infants in their cribs.

The reasonable answer

Of course, there is another possibility, and it is the most reasonable: The biblical God is a fiction.

We are all atheists concerning Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realized that the biblical God is no different.

Types of beliefs

There are fundamentalists and moderates among religious believers. Fundamentalists attempt rational justification, moderates cite only the good consequences of religious belief.

For example, when a tsunami killed 100,000 people, fundamentalists say it was God’s wrath. Moderates refuse to draw any conclusions about God from his work. They conclude that God is a perfect mystery.

The issue is that so many intelligent people can believe the unbelievable and think it’s the pinnacle of moral wisdom.

It is perfectly absurd for religious moderates to suggest that a rational human being can believe in God simply because this belief makes him happy, relieves his fear of death, or gives his life meaning.

Take the following example: Someone believes a diamond is the size of a refrigerator in their backyard. If he followed the example of religious moderates, he would say, “This belief gives my life meaning,” or “My family and I enjoy digging for it on Sundays,” or “I wouldn’t want to live in a universe where there wasn’t a diamond buried in my backyard that is the size of a refrigerator.” They are the responses of a madman or an idiot.

Atheism is moral

That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion—to religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions, and religious diversions of scarce resources—is what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity. The atheist, by being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors.

Consider the case of an individual who knows all too well that their relatives or friends will spend an eternity burning in Hell because they hold to the “wrong” religion.

And just as religion can motivate for good, it can be used to motivate people to go to war, slay neighbors, or impede various classes of people from access to equality (or even the basic right to exist).

No society in recorded history ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

There is a correlation between measures of health: life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, infant mortality, and atheism. The United States is a typical outlier in these.

This proves that atheism is perfectly compatible with civil society and that religious faith does nothing to ensure a society’s health.


Religious conflict

Religion has been the explicit cause of millions of deaths in the last ten years.

Conflicts in Palestine (Jews versus Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians versus Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians versus Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants versus Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims versus Hindus), Sudan (Muslims versus Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims versus Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims versus Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists versus Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims versus Timorese Christians), Iran and Iraq (Shiite versus Sunni Muslims), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians versus Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis versus Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point.

From a believer’s standpoint, believing in the “right God” is the difference between eternal happiness and suffering.

Suppose someone believes that calling God by the correct name is the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering. In that case, it becomes quite reasonable to treat heretics and unbelievers rather badly. Suppose a person thinks something that another person can say to his children could jeopardize their souls for all eternity.

The problem with atheism

Don’t be fixated on your beliefs of God and atheism.

Do not be even-handed in your treatment of religion. You do not need to oppose all faiths equally. We should be quick to point out the differences among religions for two reasons:

Not all religions are the same.

Consider the unique features of Mormonism. Mormonism is—objectively—just a little more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be because it is Christianity, plus some very stupid ideas. For instance, the Mormons think Jesus is going to return to earth and administer his Thousand Years of Peace, at least part of the time, from the state of Missouri. Why does this make Mormonism less likely to be true than Christianity? Because whatever probability you assign to Jesus’ coming back, you have to assign a lesser probability to his coming back and keeping a summer home in Jackson County, Missouri.

Islam is scarier than Christianity.

  • Sam Harris
  • Eliezer Yudkowski
  • Other unlisted sources

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All guides are researched and created by me, Levi Hanlen.