David G. McAfee Quotes
Believers often forget that most atheists used to be religious, that many non-believers used to think they had a personal relationship with their God and they used to ‘feel’ the power of prayer. They’ve since learned that it was all a farce, that their feelings were internal emotions and not some external force.
Without cultural indoctrination, all of us would be atheists. Or, more specifically, while many may dream up their own gods as did our ancestors, they would certainly not be ‘Christian’ or ‘Jewish’ or ‘Muslim’ or any other established religion. That’s because, without the texts and churches and familial instruction, there are no independent evidences that any specific religion is true. Outside of the Bible, how would one hear of Jesus? The same goes for every established religion.
It is my sincere opinion that our precious time on earth should not be spent attempting to justify unbelievable acts of cruelty, death, and disease as a part of ‘God’s Plan’ or the greater good — and clinging to ancient texts that preach ill-concealed bigotry and sexism. Instead, we should find ways to make this life happy and satisfying, without regard to the unknowable nature of an afterlife.
Prayer doesn’t work. Perhaps it makes the believer feel better (in the same way that meditation or deep thought would), but prayer doesn’t actually affect the external world. Not only is it ineffective, but it is also a very narcissistic practice… why would a ‘God’ change its ‘Divine Plan’ to accommodate any person’s wishes?
If you are religious, you believe that your religion is the ‘right’ one—and, in many cases, all others will be sent to hell. Similarly, a nationalist believes his or her nation is better or more advanced—and a racist believes that an inherent difference between each race make his or her ethnicity superior. All of these ideologies spawn the hate, philosophical disagreements, and prejudices that have been the catalysts for various atrocious acts throughout history.
I don’t claim to know an over-arching ‘Meaning of Life,’ but I do operate under the understanding that life should not be lived under the pretense that it is simply a test propagated by an invisible, intangible, Creator-God. And it should not be spent identifying with religious traditions and organized groups that, historically, have been at the root of a tremendous amount of oppression and violence.
Some people spend their entire lives devoted to a religion that claims to be the ‘right’ religion… they often deny scientific evidence that contradicts their archaic holy books, they sometimes oppress those who disagree with them, and they always do what they do in the name of an unknowable deity… but sometimes, they wake up. Occasionally, they realize that all religions are man-made and that none of them are ‘right.’ And when they do, they can live happy and fulfilling lives without dogma and without anticipating or fearing an afterlife.
Christian apologists who argue that a story about an empty tomb is convincing evidence of a resurrected body are likely unfamiliar with Occam’s razor, which states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. They assume that the most likely explanation is miraculous resurrection through some unproven divine connection, but more likely scenarios include a stolen body, a mismarked grave, a planned removal, faulty reports, creative storytelling, edited scriptures, etc. No magic required.