How Religion Poisons Everything

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Most people consider religion vital in modern societies, for this world appears hopeless and chaotic. Many who are losing grip of their values and purpose in life prefer to commit suicide. Religion, on its own, is the best option to uplift one’s life. But contrary to this, some are looking at religion as irrelevant and the cause of many woes: like wars, indiscrimination, and disunity.

Ultimate case against religion

In Christopher Hitchens’ book entitled The End of Faith, he stated that God is not great and proclaimed that “religion ruins everything.” He even refused to capitalize the word “god,” since that is like acknowledging grammatically an entity that does not exist. Like the other crusading unbelievers, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, Hitchens said that belief in nonexistent entities is like accepting the existence of the unicorns; and the conclusion was that God and religion poisons everything.

Religion is dangerous to health

Hitchens cited how some religions are hostile in treating diseases. The Muslims looked at the polio vaccine as a conspiracy against their faith and did not allow the vaccine to be given to their people, thus allowing polio to spread. He also pointed out how the Catholic Church was instrumental in spreading HIV in Africa by telling people that condoms are ineffective; consequently, many nonusers contacted the virus and died. The Jewish ritual of circumcision is like the traditional African practice of female genital mutilation. It is an unhealthy practice that caused high death tolls.

Religion is an original sin

Hitchens pointed out five aspects of religions that are “positively immoral”:

  1. It presented a false picture of the world. The amount of support for evolution is extremely high within the scientific community and in academe. Ninety-five percent of scientists are supporting evolution;
  2. Like the Aztecs, there is a doctrine of blood sacrifice to appease gods. The bloody ritual is an important part of the Holy Mass;
  3. The doctrine of atonement is harming innocent people. A sinner must sacrifice to atone for his or her sins. Muslim’s Ramadan is a month of abstinence to seek forgiveness for their transgressions;
  4. Belief in reward or punishment after this world. Good people will be rewarded in Heaven, while the evil ones go to Hell; and
  5. The need to follow unreasonable tasks or rules (including views of sex that are considered unhealthy). Catholics observe 10 commandments; the Jews have 613, and the Muslims follow 10 commandments.

The New Testament is even worse than the Old

Hitchens argues that: (1) the gospels are most certainly not literal truth; (2) there is “little or no evidence for the life of Jesus”; and (3) the “highly questionable existence of Jesus” is its biblical inconsistency.

Hitchens also outlines the inaccuracy in Luke’s attempt to triangulate three world events of the time with Jesus’ birth: the census ordered by Augustus of the entire Roman world, the reign of King Herod in Judea, and that of Quirinius as governor of Syria.

There are many “contradictions and illiteracies” found in the New Testament; although written in other books, it has not been explained except as a “metaphor” and a “Christ of faith.”

Religion’s corrupt beginnings

Most religions were founded by corrupt, immoral individuals. Cult leaders like the Pentecostal minister Marjoe Gortner and Mormon founder Joseph Smith were corrupt and immoral people. They were disorderly persons and imposters who defrauded many of their followers.

Miracles are false

Hitchens denied any supernatural miracles had occurred in history. He said that evidence of miracles was fabricated or based on the unreliable testimony of people who are mistaken or biased. Hitchens emphasized that no verifiable miracle has been documented since cameras have become commonplace. Hitchens said that the specific purported miracle by Mother Teresa was perceived as true when, in fact, it is based on myth or falsehood.

No need for religion, just new enlightenment

The human race no longer needs religion as it has in the past. Today, science and reason play key roles in the lives of individuals and larger cultures. By de-emphasizing religion, Hitchens believed that the quality of lives of individuals would be improved, and progress of civilization would be in leaps and bounds. He called on atheists to fight the encroachment of religion on free society.

Conclusion: After all is said and done by Hitchens and his atheistic colleagues, 84 percent of people in the world still believe in the power of faith, the importance of religion, and that God is Great!

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