For us agnostics and atheists, the Bible has a lot-and I mean a lot- of fallacies that make us shake our heads. I used to be a Christian — so yes, I’ve read the Bible. I never had the desire to read it cover-to-cover, but I’ve read a majority of it. Since I left the church, I often find myself reflecting back on those readings and thinking, “Wow, God’s a psychopath.”
Before you assume I’m a God-hater, remember that atheists don’t hate God; we simply don’t think he exists. However, assuming the God described in the Bible were real, by today’s standards, he’d be a complete psychopath. Think about it. How many times in the Bible does it mention that people were made in “His image?” Often one of the biggest confidence-boosters for Christians suffering from self-esteem issues is to be reminded that they were made in God’s image, and to accept their flaws and imperfections.
This is where the Bible begins to contradict itself. Of all the evil-doers and wicked human beings in the Bible, God personally executes way more people than any mortal. God repeatedly commits mass genocide for crimes such as disobeying Him, worshiping other deities, and doing things that are considered evil in His sight. According to the Bible, God also killed innocent children as a way of punishing their parents for not obeying him. Remember the Holocaust, when Nazis killed children in front of their parents to punish them for being Jewish? That sounds strangely similar to what God does in the Bible- killing innocent babies because their parents weren’t followers of the Lord, or even for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Lord also sicced two bears on 42 children simply for mocking an old man’s bald head (2 Kings 2:24)
So if God created man in his image, why does he create them to be bad enough that he feels the need to kill them? Many argue that God gave man free will, but those are usually the same people that accept horrible diseases killing innocent children as”God’s will.” I can’t help but think of the episode of “Criminal Minds” where a serial killer captured, tortured, then released his victims–only to hunt them down. I feel that God and this guy would get along really well. God creates these people “in his image” just to put them on Earth and smite them if they do anything he deems punishable.
As a woman, it’s hard for me to understand how so many women can be so devoted to a deity that created them imperfectly, then punishes them for being imperfect. Many times women are regarded as property in the Bible. Women are considered property of their fathers until they get married.Once they’re married, they’re the property of their husband. If a woman is raped before marriage, the rapist, whom I’m assuming God created, is supposed to be stoned to death. Although this may seem fair, the logic behind it is a little strange. The rapist isn’t stoned to death for violence against a woman. Instead, he’s punished for “stealing” the father’s property. If a woman is raped when she’s married, the rapist is put to death for stealing the husband’s property. Not only is the rapist punished, but the woman is also punished for adultery against her husband.
I find it amusing when any religion argues that their deity is a loving, peaceful god. If those deities really did exist, I would have a lot of questions and would likely not worship them anyways. I see no logical reason to worship a god that punishes his people for being who he created them to be. When people do good, they praise God or Allah for helping them . They may even be revered by their friends and family as good men or women of God. In the eyes of the religious, doing good means you’ve been blessed by God. However, when they do bad, friends and family blame the person. How is that if God is this good, all-knowing, all powerful deity that he still couldn’t override the bad thoughts and feelings people have? Why didn’t he just make that person good? Or does God actually create bad people?
Even for those rooted tightly in their faith, these are important questions to consider. It’s important that we question our beliefs and the way we think. Even as agnostic, I find myself thinking, “maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there could be a God, but I need solid evidence.”