An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!


There are many religions in the world, each with varying interpretations, varying levels of belief and in some case: varying versions of Holy Books. To me, religion has never made much sense. Having been dragged to church by relatives through most of my childhood, the concept always appeared foolish to me. I’ve seen many MyTakes surrounding why people believe or the “evidence” (and I can’t use the term lightly enough in this instance) that their particular brand of religion is THE one. So I’m going to take you through some of the reasons why I personally don’t believe. It should be noted that while I am going to talk about religion as a whole, there will be a focus on Christianity. This is simply due to it being the religion I was most exposed to growing up and happen to know the most about.

Chinese Whispers

An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!

One of the hardest things for me to grasp as an atheist is this idea that knowledge has apparently made its way through the centuries unaltered. If we use the Bible as an example, many of the gospels were written decades (some up to 60/70 years) after the supposed events took place. Not to mention all the numerous edits and translations that have taken place since then. We only have to look as far as the difference between Hebrew texts and English texts to see the impact that this has on the meaning. To give you an example:

Isaiah 40:22

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the Earth”

This verse is often used to make the claim that the Bible speaks of a spherical Earth. In reality, the only thing that it is evidence for is how difficult it is to translate languages without losing the original meaning. You see, there is little evidence to suggest that this “circle” refers to the Earth as being spherical when we consider the Hebrew version of the text:

In Hebrew, the word we’ve translated into circle (חוּג, chug) is unrelated to a sphere. We find this root word only appearing once within the Hebrew version of the Bible (Job 26:10). In nominal forms, the same root occurs four times, three as the noun חוּג - chug; Job 22:14, Prov 8:27, Isa 40:22, and once as the noun מְחוּגׇה - mechugah; Isa 44:13. This term refers to a "circle instrument," a device, what we call a compass. I could explore this point a lot more (and if you take issue with it, let me know and I’ll provide my full argument) but I feel like you get the picture.

We can’t simply look at modern versions of the Bible (particularly the English versions) to prove small points based solely on the appearance of certain words. Cherry picking in this manner is ineffective and useless as the word could have an entirely different meaning in earlier languages. This is a book that dates back at least 3,000 years and we also have to consider that it never started out as one singular book. This is particularly true when we explore the New Testament where certain gospels were decided somewhere down the line to be canon or non-canon.

Anyone interested in the earlier meanings of the Bible should consider reading The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John M. Allegro which explores how we can discover entirely different meanings of key biblical texts and Old Testament stories by exploring the Sumerian language and the mythologies of Ancient Sumer. Christians won’t want to hear this but the book makes a VERY compelling case for the Bible being based on the stories of a mushroom cult which was forced to cover its practices during Roman occupation. I’ll save the details for a future MyTake.

Blind Faith

An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!

Imagine you were raised to believe that a magical unicorn followed you wherever you went. Not only was it invisible but you couldn’t touch it, hear it, smell it, taste it or detect it in any form…but it was always there. Your parents explain to you that misbehaving makes the unicorn angry and when he’s angry bad things happen. Being well-behaved makes him happy and this causes good things to happen. They tell you that it’s also possible to pray to the unicorn. The issue is that he won’t always respond but occasionally you might see a sign such as a shape in the clouds or chills across your body. You can ask for his help and sometimes he’ll give you it (and when he does, you should be thankful) but other times he won’t but it doesn’t matter because he knows what is best for you and so of the unicorn didn’t help you, there must be a good reason for it.

Would you not worry about such a person going through life with this belief? People only believe in their particular brand of God because they’ve been told about him. If someone was never exposed to any religion, they would never come out with any knowledge of it. Someone living away from all religions wouldn’t suddenly reveal themselves to know about any of the events described in the Bible or the Qur’an. Why? Because NOBODY has EVER been able to show any sort of genuine connection to a God beyond those mentioned in religious texts. That’s why we have thousands upon thousands of denominations of thousands upon thousands of religions. If people could ACTUALLY connect with a God, there would be no confusion. People aren’t actively trying to follow the wrong faith or believe in the wrong God.

Is God Bi-Polar?
Of course there’s nobody who can deny the very obvious switch from the Old Testament God to the one of the New Testament. Ignoring the moral implications of his actions and focussing solely on the actions themselves, God did the following in the Old Testament (to name but a few things):

-Drowned almost every animal, man, woman and child on the planet. Not to mention killing most of the aquatic life (you can’t combine all the oceans, lakes rivers into one giant body of water and expect everything in them to survive) (Noah Story);

-Burned cities to the ground (Genesis 19:24)

-Unleashed plagues which include (but were not limited to) the murder of children (Exodus);

-Asked a man to murder his own son (Abraham);

-Promises to provide individuals with armies so they can conquer their enemies which includes a number of Genocides wholeheartedly supported by God (Joshua, Deuteronomy, Numbers and Samuel);

-God kills thousands of people for complaining about God killing people (Numbers 16:41-49)

-God kills people for being curious (1 Samuel 6:19)

-God kills people for inventing a God (Exodus 32)

-God threatens to force the Israelites to eat their own children (Jerimiah 19:9)

-God burns men alive simply to prove he is God (2 Kings 1:9-10)

I could go on (like much, much longer) but I’m sure you can get the point I’m trying to make here. We’ll come back to these points in a moment to explore a different idea but compare this to the God who sent Jesus down to Earth. Jesus, who preached forgiveness, cured the sick and disabled, died for the sins of humanity, who preached his Father’s love…etc, etc. It isn’t until we reach Revelations that we get back to the twisted fear-tactics. Revelations which every new generation of Christians believes is “coming soon”.

You also have to consider that God exists outside the universe and time (he’d have to otherwise he couldn’t be everywhere at once, at all times and be the creator of the universe itself) and that’s how he knows everything that is going to happen. Arguably, God chooses rather bizarre moments to step in and show himself. There have been religious wars (in some form or another) going on practically since the earliest histories but certainly for the last 1200 years…yet God has never once stepped in during these 1200 years. Sure, you may attribute natural disasters or victories during war to God but in every other instance he let his presence be known.

“Do as I say, not as I do” - God, the Egomaniac

When it comes to what is moral and what isn’t, it seems that many religious people are happy in the knowledge that anything God says to do is moral and anything he says not to do is immoral. This is of course very convenient to cover their tracks. God provides the 10 Commandments but then if he tells you to do otherwise, these commandments become redundant.

The commandment, of course, contain about 4 out of the 10 that are entirely based on worshipping God. Why? Why does an all-powerful and apparently the most enlightened being in the existence of everything need such trivial displays of devotion and affection?

Of course it is impossible not to discuss the notion of God needing to be loved. Clearly suffering from being an only child, God forces people to love him, worship him, speak to him, and overall just obey him at all times. What happens if you don’t? Well, you could potentially be sent to hell for all eternity, suffering unknown and unimaginable tortures because the Kim-Jong Un of the God world needs love and appreciation that much.

Misunderstandings of Science

An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!

One of the main reasons I’ve always felt pushed away from those in religious communities is their lack of knowledge when it comes to scientific theories or principals. I’m not saying everyone is like that, I’m not even saying that the majority of religious people are like that. But growing up hearing “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys” and realising that perhaps the reason people don’t like science is because they don’t understand it. I mean we didn’t evolve from monkeys, nobody ever claimed that. “How can something come from nothing” is one that usually leads to roundabout responses such as “well what made God?” We end up in the typical chicken or the egg debate…but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some aspect of this worth discussing.

Unlike religions, science and those within its communities (again, I am generalising and not referring to everyone) don’t claim to have all the answers. I have no idea what existed before the universe. Maybe there was another universe. Maybe there was a giant chicken and we’re simply inside its egg. Science lacking answers is NOT evidence of a God. You can’t fill in knowledge gaps with “God” or “The bible says…” If you communicate with God, why don’t you ask him how he came to be? Ask him what other planets in this universe have life. You’ll notice that the Bible or any holy text or any religion never provides an answer to a question that would be useful. God has never presented humanity with technology or guided us to safer areas to live or gave us ways of spotting moral or immoral people (outside of religious texts).

Intelligent Design

An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!

One argument we often hear from the religious side is that all of this couldn’t have come about by chance. Why not? Humans are far from perfect. We have eyes that fail within our lifetime (sometimes earlier). In fact 75% of adults in America require some form of vision correction (1). Up to 85% of us have wisdom teeth removed at some point or another (2). That’s fine if you believe we’ve evolved but if you’re a religious person who thinks evolution is false, then the only real explanation is poor design. Not to mention your appendix which poses a threat to 7% of people’s lives and has to be surgically removed (3). Not to mention the 7.8% of adults who are literally allergic to nature (4)…

I’m not here to debate evolution with you. Whether that is true or false is not part of my argument. I’m simply highlighting that falling back to the “God works in mysterious ways” argument is really the only cover you have when it comes to claiming intelligent design.

I mean we could go a little further if you liked. Why do we swallow food down the same passage we need to breathe through? Why does sex feel good if its sole function is reproduction? Why has God created a range of plants that when consumed in a specific manner cause psychedelic trips? Why do we have to eat other living things to survive? I don’t just mean animals; even if you’re a vegetarian you’re cultivating life for the sole purpose of consuming it. Plants are alive as well!

We can leave humans if you’d rather explore other aspects of “God’s creation”. Why did God create a world where 99.9% of all life has already become extinct? (5). You can’t claim that it’s the result of free will as many of these extinctions took place long before the existence of humans. Why did God hate the dinosaurs, for example? Of course looking at the very nature of intelligent design becomes even more difficult to grasp when you look out into the far reaches of space.

I know what you’re going to say: “We can’t begin to get into the mind of God” but let me ask you this, why would God bother creating a universe so large that it’s not even possible for us to see a small fraction of it? To put it in perspective: the distance from Earth to the edge of the observable universe is 46.5 billion lightyears. Why is this important? Well, getting back to the original argument here about the conditions being “so perfect” and “astronomical” as to host life. Let’s consider this:

We are one planet in one system in one galaxy in one small section of a vast universe. So let’s take a moment to consider what that actually means. In our galaxy alone (the Milky Way) there are estimated to be anywhere between 100 billion and 400 million stars (6). Almost all of these are considered to have at least one planet. You then have to consider that there are estimated to be at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe alone (7). This puts estimates of the number of stars in the observable universe at 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1 billion trillion), most of which have planets. I could get into discussing the Drake Equation but it’s not hugely relevant to my point.

For starters, you have to assume that God made all of this, both in the observable universe and beyond for no reason (I know, that’s an assumption that has me acting as if I can think like God) OR you have to ignore the odds of life generating on just one of these planets near one of the 1 billion trillion stars. A question to any religious people: What would you think if we found life on another planet? Would you assume God made that or would you be swayed into thinking that life forming of its own accord isn’t such a crazy idea?


Even as a child, I found the Bible to be morally lacking. I understand that many religious people are quick to say that God is the only moral authority. Allow me to paint you a little picture: regardless of your views of the start of humanity, conservative estimates have dated the earliest human as being around 100,000 years ago (ranging to as high as 500,000 years ago) (8). So up until the arrival of Jesus and his teachings, even from a religious standpoint and even if we limit the earliest human to 10,000 years ago you have to assume that God was fine with everything that happens in the Old Testament for 8,000 years! So beating your slaves (and owning slaves) as long as they didn’t die was acceptable. Treating women as subservient was acceptable. War was acceptable if it was against people of different faith. Not to mention that God waited a LONG time to share his rules with humanity.

When a God burns, drowns, crushes, poisons, essentially murders huge numbers of people and then sends these people to hell for ALL ETERNITY, I find it difficult to view this being as remotely moral. At the very least, they certainly aren’t all-loving. I’m not “all-loving” and yet I wouldn’t condemn ANYONE to an eternity of punishment. I also wouldn’t condemn people to an eternity of blissfully worshipping me either. You’ll see from my previous examples that the God of the Old Testament is not remotely loving. He is a cruel, vicious, jealous, violent and hateful God.

The Evidence

I’m not going to get into the evidence (or more importantly, the lack of it) as I don’t think any amount of evidence against the stories of the Bible or any other faith would sway believers. Blind faith causes blindness in other areas. I will, however, mention some things that I believe to be relevant in terms of my own opinion.

I agree that there was a flood at some point in human history. I don’t see any evidence to suggest it was a global flood by any means but there are at least 60 other flood stories from different cultures around the world. All different and all fitting to the traditions and beliefs of those cultures yet none talk of Moses or even the same God. I’ve never found any evidence to suggest that there was a mass exodus from Egypt or that the people of Egypt suffered plagues beyond what they faced living through fairly regularly at the time anyway. I think the Jesus story has been butchered, edited and made to fit a certain narrative. I mean there is a reason that the tradition of Christmas is almost entirely Pagan traditions.

If anyone reading this has genuine evidence, I’d be all ears. I happen to find the very nature of God in religious texts to be more similar to descriptions of the Devil (9) but who am I to judge, right?

Final Thoughts

An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!

I want to use this final section of this MyTake to discuss why I often describe myself as an antitheist rather than simply an atheist. I first heard the phrase used by Christopher Hitchens who proceeded to describe it in simplest of terms: someone could be an atheist and still wish that God was real. They may view the idea of a heaven and hell as fair or desirable yet not believe. They may like the idea of having a creator but not believe. I am not one of these people. Not only do I not believe in a God but I am GLAD that there isn't one.

To me, all these God's that have ever been described are wicked, vicious and violent. They aren't moral, they are clearly in over their heads and are nothing short of dictators. I don't find the idea of heaven and hell to be blissful or frightening, I'd rather avoid spending an eternity being forced to worship some being who has created me for the sole purpose of worshiping him. To me there is no reality more horrifying than one where such a being exists at all places, at all times, can read all thoughts and know all intentions and has the final judgement. I mean what did Hitler do that God hasn't either carried out himself or encouraged others to do?

I welcome any healthy and productive discussions. If you want to debate a point, let me know. I'm not some close-minded atheist. If there is a genuine argument to anything I've mentioned, I'm happy to listen to your point of view and explore it further.










An Atheist Perspective on Not Believing in God or Religion!
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