The three Abrahamic religions started up way back in the dawn of time – in a time of medieval ignorance.
Judaism has its roots 3000 years ago.
Christianity 2000 years ago.
Islam 1500 years ago.
They originated in nomadic tribes of Arabs in a small area of the Middle East renowned for its many sects and religious fanatics.
They all claim that ‘God’ spoke to their originator when they were alone in a cave, up a mountain or in the wilderness – with no witnesses.
None of the originators wrote anything down.
The writings in the holy books were either accumulated from the prevailing genesis stories or myths or written down generations later from accounts passed down by word of mouth. Yet the adherents claim they are the exact word of God (despite the inconsistencies, obvious social context pertaining to that Arab culture, ambiguities and contradictions).
These holy words have been used as excuses to wage war, destroy the environment, justify all manner of obnoxious behaviour – including torture, misogyny, slavery and murder, and used to persecute whole races and vilify anyone who does not believe the same set of words.
These religions claim all manner of strange things from paradise/heaven, angels, cherubs, Satan/devil and Djinns to Hell – without a shred of evidence for any of it.
They used to say that the world was flat, that the sky was a black dome with holes in letting the light of God to shine through, that hell was under the ground, all plants and animals were created, that the universe was created for human beings, and that the earth was the centre of the universe. As our knowledge grew these notions were modified or abandoned. Religion moved the goalposts. They used to burn people for thinking differently.
I can see that religion is a comfort to many. The bereaved like to think of their loved ones safe somewhere nice after they die. People find death hard to face. There is comfort. The church provides a psychological prop for the needy. There are good things done. People like to believe in a caring God in the face of a world of atrocities and evil. The man rescued from the mine thanks God for his rescue (not the rescuers) while his tens of colleagues who perished had prayers unanswered. It is perverse. What did the perished do wrong? Where is there a shred of evidence that prayer worked? Or that there was a God who cared?
People need support and comfort in times of need. But can’t this support be better carried out by trained social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, counsellors and friends?
Nowadays if a man was to come into town claiming God had spoken to him he would likely not receive a good hearing and nobody would write his ramblings down.
Isn’t it time we left these outdated religions, and superstition, back in the medieval Dark Ages they were spawned in and moved on?
Isn’t religion defunct in these enlightened days?
Now spirituality – that is different.