Ten Sound Reasons for Christian Apostasy
Although Dr. Sam Harris’ "Letter to a Christian Nation" is only about 100 pages in length, I would argue it is even more persuasive than his much-acclaimed "The End Of Faith." Although Dr. Harris, once again, sinks deep into the morality morass, he nevertheless presents an irrefutable argument for apostasy from the primitive Christian mythology. I, myself, am an apostate, having left Catholicism several years ago. [I became an atheist after studying anthropology, biology, philosophy,
1. Christianity—in all its obnoxious denominations—is illogical, irrational, unreasonable and, of greatest import, unscientific. From mammalian parthenogenesis to talking nonhuman animals, from repeated corpse resurrection to impossible human longevity, this particular brand of mythology is unscientific to its core. Various absurdities, found in both the Old and New Testaments, simply cannot be reconciled with science-based reality and natural principles.
2. The Bible, in the not-too-distant past, reasonably has been interpreted to permit—or even condone—“witch” burnings, slavery, torture, female subservience and all manner of detestable horror. True, some passages in the Good Book speak about love, charity, forgiveness and solidarity. However, other passages—equally numerous if not more—prescribe stoning people to death for fictitious offenses such as gathering sticks on the Sabbath. In short, the very same tome that pious people clutch in church on Sundays was in the bloodstained hands of murderous primitives inflicting the thumbscrew on innocents guilty only of non-conformity in a Christofascist, pre-scientific world.
3. James Ussher's Bible-based dating of Creation—that it took place nightfall before October 23, 4004 BCE—is egregiously, laughably fictitious. As Dr. Harris snickers, “This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.” A 6000-year-old Earth is so absurdly in conflict with the evidence as to make the proposition strictly comical and unworthy of scholarly attention. In contrast to the Bible’s small and young (and non-existent) universe, cosmologists have discovered that there are more than one hundred billion (10^11) galaxies in our universe, each featuring hundreds of billions of stars. The sun—the center of our solar system—is merely an ordinary star, in an ordinary galaxy. Our universe is roughly 13.7 billion years old. And, who knows if we might live in some sort of grand cosmic multiverse, of which our universe is merely an insignificant speck.
4. Atheism is the only consistent position with respect to faith-based religious mythology. Christians, for example, are non-believers with respect to every faith except Christianity. Christians are utterly atheistic about every deity (of the infinitely many which could be conceived) except Yahweh. How oddly inconsistent. Muslims, too, reject every world religion save for Islam, which, to them, has a monopoly on absolute Truth. How is it reasonable to reject 10,000 faith-based religions, yet cling to the absolute authority of one? The only reasonable method by which to choose one religion over another would be hard evidence—something all modern religions lack equally. Absent hard evidence, isn't faith in Yahweh equal to faith in Enlil (or any other fantastical imagining)?
5. Historic “heroes” of Christianity are worthy neither of respect nor reverence. Dr. Harris writes, “It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like
6. Yahweh is woefully unworthy of worship. As portrayed in the Old Testament, he is the very embodiment of human frailty: vicious, vengeful, jealous, egotistical, insecure and, most frighteningly, endlessly murderous. Yahweh also seems to have difficulty separating the important from the insignificant, as evidenced by the Ten Commandments. Dr. Harris writes, “And what are we to make of the fact that, in bringing his treatise to a close, the creator of our universe could think of no human concerns more pressing and durable than the coveting of servants and livestock?” Yahweh’s special list of ten alternates between self-aggrandizement, statements of the obvious, pronouncements of the silly and declarations of the trivial.
7. No God, the Christian character or otherwise, should be worshipped given the results with which we live. If Yahweh is real, then cancer, smallpox, AIDS, malaria and aphasia are all products of his cloud-enshrouded laboratory. “Acts of God” such as Hurricane Katrina and the devastating tsunami of a few years ago are exactly that—the life-extinguishing playthings of the creator of the cosmos. Then there are starvation, homelessness, birth defects, genetic disease….
8. Piety can directly result in mass death. Dr. Harris writes, “Christian missionaries have been known to preach the sinfulness of condom use in villages where no other information about condoms is available. This kind of piety is genocidal.” He continues, in a note, “If you can believe it, the
9. Virulent Christian anti-Semitism helped create the environment in which the Holocaust took place. Dr. Harris writes, “…the anti-Semitism that built the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in
10. Let us turn, for just a moment, to the admirable "Atheist Universe" by David Mills: “The Church angrily denounced the introduction of medicines, antibiotics, anesthesia, surgery, blood transfusions, birth control, transplants, in vitro fertilization and most forms of pain killers. Supposedly, these scientific tools interfered with nature and were therefore against God’s will.” The Church’s modern-day anti-science positions, obviously, should come as no shock. Diminishing human suffering never has been a high-level concern. After all, in a mind deranged by religion, there is another life to which to look forward. The earthly is merely ephemeral and, thus, suffering is a-ok.
A Supplement: Five “Classic” Bible Passages
And while the children of
And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of
And all the firstborn in the
And there shall be a great cry throughout all the
And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
Baptism is merely a meaningless incantation and a splash of water. One must not let oneself live a life of blind faith, when the evidence—and our species’ innate moral imperative—so obviously guide us away from the Bible.