Greta Christina

Greta Christina

American author and activist
31 December 1961 —

Follow this author

Greta Christina's books

 TimeFavorites

Instinct and intuition play an important part in human understanding and experience... but they should never be treated as the final word on a subject.

Religion has never once in all of human history turned out to be the right answer to any question - why would you think it`s the right answer to anything we don`t currently understand?

Teaching children about Hell is child abuse. Nothing but the unverifiable promise of permanent bliss or torture in the afterlife would make loving, decent, non-abusive parents inflict it on their children.

Our beliefs affect our behavior towards others. And that makes our beliefs, not just a personal question, but an ethical one.

This idea that belief without evidence is a virtue... it doesn`t just inspire people to trust their religious leaders blindly. It inspires people to trust anybody blindly. Including people who are trying to rob them blind.

Christianity is no cure for anger. Christianity often serves to fan anger`s flame.

Once basic human needs for food/shelter/health care/education/social justice are fairly well met, people lose their need for religion.

You don`t have any more reason to think you have the true faith than any other believer does. Sure, you can quote chapter and verse - and so can people with a different interpretation of the faith. That`s the nature of chapter and verse; it can be used to support just about any interpretation you can come up with.

Believers unhesitatingly attribute every good thing in the world to God - and then respond to bad things by saying, "God works in mysterious ways." If God`s ways are so mysterious, and we can`t begin to understand his thinking behind tsunamis and drought and pediatric cancer, then what makes you think you understand his intentions when it comes to pretty sunsets or cute puppies or helping you find the peanut butter?

0

I`m angry that when people run for political office in the United States, it`s considered legitimate to grill them about their employment background, their positions on legislation, their positions on social issues, the taxes they`ve paid [...]... but it`s considered invasive and intolerant to ask if they believe in talking snakes, demonic possession, magic underwear, magic crackers that turn into the flesh of their god, an Earth that was created 6,000 years ago, or a god who put himself on Earth in human form and then sacrificed himself to himself to atone for sins that other people committed and to save humanity from the punishment he himself was planning to dole out. If someone is going to make decisions about science funding, emerging medical technology, our educational system, and so on... I think it matters if they believe any of that shit, and I bloody well want to know about it.

Believers say that the entire unimaginable hugeness of the Universe was made specifically for the human race - when atheists, by contrast, say that humanity is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, an infinitesimal eyeblink in the vastness of time and space - and then, [...] believers accuse atheists of being arrogant.

Believers say they can know the truth - the greatest truth of all about the nature of the Universe, namely the source of all existence - simply by sitting quietly and listening to their hearts... and then accuse atheists of being arrogant. And this attitude isn`t just arrogant towards atheists. It`s arrogant towards people of other religions who have sat just as quietly, listened to their hearts with just as much sincerity, and come to completely opposite conclusions about God and the soul and the Universe.

When people are taught to let go of difficult questions and trust whatever religious authorities tell them? That it`s better to trust their feelings than their critical thinking skills? That evidence and reason are less important than faith? That "doubter" is a synonym for "sinner"? They become vulnerable to every cheater, chiseler, swindler, con artist, and late night infomercial huckster who` s lucky enough to cross their gullible paths.

If you genuinely loved God, wouldn`t you want to understand him as best you can? When faced with different ideas about God, wouldn`t you want to ask some questions, and look at the supporting evidence for the different views, and try to figure out which one is probably true? Doesn`t it seem insulting to God to treat that question as if it didn`t matter? There are profound differences between religions. They are not trivial. And the different religions cannot all be right. (Although, as atheists like to point out, they can all be wrong.)

When you look at the history of what we know about the world, you see a noticeable pattern. Natural explanations of things have been replacing supernatural explanations of them. Like a steamroller. Why the Sun rises and sets. Where thunder and lightning come from. Why people get sick. Why people look like their parents. How the complexity of life came into being. I could go on and on. All these things were once explained by religion. But as we understood the world better, and learned to observe it more carefully, the explanations based on religion were replaced by ones based on physical cause and effect. Consistently. Thoroughly. Like a steamroller.

Accept

We use cookies to personalise ads and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our advertising and analytics partners. By using our site, you accept the use of these cookies. See details