It really seems, based on my suggested videos over the past few months, that YouTube's algorithm is attempting to lead me towards Atheism or Christianity. It matters not whether the subject matter is conspiracy theories, comedy, politics or philosophy, the overwhelming majority of videos that appear on autoplay or on the suggested videos section, seem to be an attempt to seduce me into one of only two available boxes.
I have also observed that the current debate over the subject of God is entirely saturated with the topic of Atheism vs Christianity. Are we to believe that the supposed greatest philosophical minds of our time are unable to recognize the obvious fact that the opposite of Atheism is Theism, not Christianity, nor any organized religious body?
For any who are almost in a box, ready to shove a label on yourself, allow me an opportunity to explain why I will never go back to Christianity (I was raised Catholic) or Atheism (which Catholicism led me to). Hopefully this can serve to remind you that there are far more options available to you than is likely being presented.
Problems with Religion
There is nothing in this world that leads more people to believe there is no such thing as God, than religion. If I had not been raised Catholic and been forced to attend the most tedious, and to be frank rather creepy ceremonies, then I might have retained a belief in the obvious into my late teens. If the biggest cause of death in history was cancer and not religion, I and many others may have given the concept of God the attention it deserves instead of being offended by the very notion of it.
In truth, and if you will permit me one more instance of frankness, I have come to believe that the Catholic church is designed in such a way as to seduce the mind that questions little into some form of Devil-worship, whilst influencing the more curious and less gullible of us away from the idea of God and towards the atheistic, science-loving mindset. I would even wager that some of the loudest atheist speakers in history have been funded by the Catholic church.
With that said, there are some positive aspects to most if not all religions. But, those positive aspects are likely only there to get one to endorse the rest of the book, which is more often than not ungodly- by my definition at least.
The inherent problem with religious doctrines, or the most significant one I should say, is that they attempt to define morality for us. But morality is not something we can learn from an external source. It is something that is discovered within ourselves as we interact with other human beings. It is our natural instinct to question the morality of our actions- that is, until we arrive at a place where we think we already understand the infinite complexity of morality because we read it in a book, or in a piece of legislation.
This is the fundamental problem with religion, or any organization that seeks to tell you what is right and what is wrong. One who understands that those answers come from within will question every decision they make, and will evolve into a human being who brings little suffering on their self or unto others. But one who is in possession of a written code of morality will have no need to question the decisions they are making, and thus they will remain in a state of moral ignorance, continually making decisions that bring suffering unto others- even their own loved ones.
Another way that religion subverts our morality is by rationalizing acts of evil. I do not think that too many of us would argue that the act of killing a sentient being is morally wrong. However, if you then add on a reason for this murder, let's say that you are hungry and want to eat, or, let's say that it is a sacrifice to a God; all of a sudden does the act of murder become morally justified?
I believe the well known phrase, "the Devil's in the details," speaks to this exactly type of thinking. The Devil is in the details seems to be in reference to our persistent attempts to rationalize immoral acts by clouding them in details that explain why in this instance- it wasn't immoral. The Bible, and many other Holy books, are guilty of cultivating this sort of responsibility-relinquishing rationality within the reader.
There's another aspect of religion that profoundly disgusts me, but I will share that in closing after I speak on why I cannot return to Atheism either.
Problems with Atheism
If you believe on a conscious level that there is no God, then you must believe, on at least an unconscious level, that life is a disease. This is a rather difficult concept to explain, but before any atheists run off to the comment section to tell me why I'm wrong, allow me to try.
I think it is fair to say that for the sweeping majority of atheists, evolution is the answer to our origins. Now they tell us how evolution works, but there is one thing that I have personally noted to be missing from the explanation.
If the process of one species becoming another over time is called evolution; then what is the name of the force that drives it? Where does the importance of life emerge from, that the magic of evolution be able to take place? Why did evolution decide that life is so important and must be preserved? Why not place the potency of an organism's body odour at the top of the priorities list, rather than life?
Evolution explains how humans came to be, the best way it can. But, it does not answer the question; "Why?" If a prosecutor is attempting to put a suspected murderer away, but in spite of several pieces of evidence that suggest they are the killer, no motive can be established- then that suspect will walk free. This is because it is well understood that an explanation without a motive, is no explanation at all.
Now if you understand that I am talking about macro evolution here, and not micro-evolution, which is clearly just another way of saying "adaption," then you will know that this argument against evolution is a good one. Without a reason why life should be so important that creatures would magically grow new information in their DNA that leads them to better survive in their environment, evolution is not even worthy of the title "theory."
And while our conscious minds may be able to ignore this question, I would bet our subconscious mind does not. But if our mind cannot find a sufficient answer to this question, then it will simply classify life in the same category as all other things we know that act in this same way- namely infections, bacteria and viruses.
A bigger problem with Atheism is the fact that the decision to be an atheist, when truly examined, is supernatural. This means that atheism debunks atheism, essentially.
Consider the laws of physics and chemistry that are unfolding - through a chain of causes and effects - throughout the universe, and within your own body. What physical reaction, leading to another physical reaction, has led to your ability to read this sentence and then decide whether you find it valuable enough to think deeper about? At what point does reaction to reaction to reaction lead to the human ability to observe and evaluate a thought, and then decide on what to do with it- and then, perhaps even decide to change their mind?
I will save you some time. There is no scientific explanation as to how processes occurring within the human body can possibly lead to this. But, if you think about it deep enough, you will find that there is a possible explanation as to how consciousness could be occurring. The problem is, that explanation is that our consciousness is part of a different chain of events than that which our physical bodies are reacting to. This means that two separate chains of events are unfolding together, in perfect synchronicity, as made evident by our own belief that they are in fact one chain of events.
Science and math cannot resolve this issue. In fact, science and math argue that it is an impossibility for such an issue to occur. So the ability to make a choice, to change one's mind, or to deny God, is supernatural at its core.
This is why I believe Atheism debunks Atheism, but my main problem with atheism is not a logical one. The most dangerous thing about Atheism is that it strips too many of us of our desire to better the world during out time here. If you believe that when you are dead, that's the end, then you will certainly not be expecting to come back to this Earth again in another body. So for the average atheist, life is more about surviving the disease as long as possible before checking out. But, if atheists were open-minded to the possibility that they may have to revisit this Earth in another life, or in many; then they might all then feel more inclined to do something to better the state of the world, so that they can have more freedom in their next life.
But religion convinces people that they are saved spiritually and they have not the power to save non-believers, as well as the notion that what happens on this world is not as important as what happens in the spiritual one, so it is only the spirit that needs saving, not the material. And atheism teaches us that we are going to die soon anyway, so there's no point spending our life trying to improve a world we will have no time left to enjoy.
Whether you believe in God or not, it is not difficult for one to see that this world is run by evil - or another word to the same effect without religious connotations if that works better for you. Now in such a world, do you think that one could simply walk into a store in their local town and by a book that teaches the epitome of Goodness?
Another question; if God, all-knowing and all-present, understands that modern society forces us to work 9-5 to feed our selves and our loved ones, then why put their wisdom into a book of so many pages and so difficult to understand that everyone who reads it will take home a different meaning?
The word of God, if it exists - and I believe it does - would serve the purpose of guiding us towards morality, joy and unity. But most Holy books do the opposite. They confuse us morally, instill within us more fear than love, and are a cause for division moreso than unity. This is why I believe that the word of God is not to be found written on a dead tree, but in our living consciousness, and specifically in our moral curiosity.
Another lie of religion is that God has chosen people. But, just like everything elsein this world, this is backwards. God does not choose us. We choose God. And when you understand that God is simply the epitome of all that is Good, then it becomes clear that God's chosen people are simply the people who in a world of evil, chose good, and therefore chose God.
I mentioned there is one thing that disgusts me most of all about religion. I was referring to the very nature of its existence as a whole. There is no one in this world who cannot have a direct relationship with God. Understand that God is goodness, and you will see that. All one has to do to get close to God is try their very hardest to be a force for Good. Question everything that you have casually accepted as moral through environmental conditioning. Do this and you will experience God, because you will become a vessel for Good- which is powered by God.
A Christian might call those words blasphemous. Words that literally encourage the reader to be the best version of their selves they can be. That's another problem with religion.
I challenge anyone who read the entirety of this to wait seven days before replying. For seven days, chose Good, and if you do not experience God, then come back and complain to me.
But that means literally every decision you make within the next seven days must be held to moral scrutiny. And for that seven days, you must abide by your own, honest, moral judgement. If you find that means you cannot go to work, or eat anything that is normally in your diet, or any other thing you are accustomed to doing daily- then don't be upset. Be grateful that you have so much in your life you're able to sacrifice, and then sacrifice it in the name of God- and take note here because this is another important deception. Sacrificing something in the name of God will never mean killing a living being. Sacrificing something to God, means sacrificing things in your life for the sake of what is right, or what is morally Good.
Do this, and if the search for Goodness within you does not lead you to God, then I will go and see a neurologist about the profound experiences that this understanding is repeatedly leading me towards.
If any atheists or followers of a religious doctrine are not convinced, or almost convinced, but need more, I always have time to turn people towards Good. Let me know you want to talk and I will invite you to discord.