For those who try good luck, to those who accept the futility of it, I’ll continue to explain my reasoning.
Allow me to begin with a story. Adam and Eve were given one simple command to continue living in the garden of Eden. Don’t eat the apple. Adam and Eve were created in gods image. They ate the apple. What this means is either God is an imperfect creator and created beings that weren’t in his image and therefore were susceptible to sin. Or God created flawed beings with the intention of having their sins manifest through their eating of the apple. Giving him the opportunity to exile them. This makes God an asshole, and also imperfect because he’d be motivated not by benevolence but by pride. Pride in his own superiority as the one and only creator. Which he later told us was a sin, the hypocrite. So that either makes God not omnipotent or it makes him a sinner. Either way it means the bible is wrong because it tells us God is neither.
But he can’t be. One can’t achieve perfection because even the closest of creations decay eventually. Even the universe which God supposedly created will eventually cease to exist. Will this particular universe return? Probably not. Will another in its place? Perhaps. Maybe God intended that as well and we’re simply a small step in his immense cosmic plans. But why would I accept that at best I’m just a stepping stone in his plans for cosmic domination.
I won’t. Because he’s not real.
I won’t because regardless of these arguments if I tell God he doesn’t exist he won’t respond, whereas if I tell you who does exist that you don’t, you’ll laugh and tell me to prove you don’t, thereby proving that you do.
The best defence believers have for gods existence is that you can’t prove he isn’t real. However the onus of a claim is on the claimant and if you can’t prove the claim that he is real the only logical conclusion is that he isn’t. Besides that, life’s boring if God exists.
It means this life we lead is just a test to assess whether we’re a good fit for heaven. It’s basically a lifelong behavioural job interview that ends 99% of the time with damnation. The reward for getting the job? Everlasting bliss. But I’m supposed to believe that if I’m a flawed creature down here I somehow lose those flaws from a change of location.
If an asshole moves to Peru, is he a better person? Is he somehow not an asshole? No. He’s the same damn person but somewhere else. And if we’re all created equally in Gods image why are some of us punished? Is God just toying with 99% of us, giving us hopes of salvation when he already knows the flaws he placed within us at the moment of our creation were too much for us to overcome.
So therefore Gods either an asshole, or a work of fiction preached by those who sought to further their own ends. Which is more realistic? That some people are greedy and will manipulate to achieve their ends, or that an omnipotent dickbag is playing a lifelong prank on you.
I choose to believe the former. People are biologically wired to pursue their owns ends so it only makes sense that cardinals and bishops would preach the lords word if it meant creating wealth for themselves. Has it occurred to many people that the bible is vehemently against homosexuality and yet the current pope is tolerant of it. Is he not in contact with God? Did God change his mind? What if he changes his mind about what constitutes a righteous individual, and to you who have been living righteously to his old code. Well I guess you’re fucked.
I do see the value of religion for society, assuming people follow the values and not the fiction. Values like respect, kindness and empathy. But personally I carry those values because I want to, not because some dude told some people a few thousand years ago that I should or else.
I don’t believe in God because I believe in me. And that’s all the “faith” I need.
Furthermore I believe society and you are better off without religion so long as you understand the worth those aforementioned values have. But if you can’t be kind or productive without a cosmic father figure telling you to be, then continue to be religious because the world is better off with a deluded, self righteous but productive you.
This is why I don’t believe in religion because it can’t be proven and I’m better off without it. But also why I do see the value of it for those who can’t live well without its guidance.