There are some other angles that prove he’s a fiction. I’m referring to god’s spatial, numerical, and temporal contexts.
Ancient Palestine, the place where belief in Yahweh was born, was only a smallish spot on the earth’s surface, an area roughly the size of Wales. The earth is only a tiny dot in an immense, in fact infinite, universe. When we gaze into the night sky, some of the stars are ten billion light years out there, whereas God’s birthplace is not a blink of an eye away in comparison. The enormity of the difference in distance is almost incomprehensible.
The population of Palestine in King David’s day, c. 1000 BCE, was not more than a hundred thousand. There were perhaps fifty million people in the world. So only about 0.2 percent of the world’s people had even heard of Yahweh, and most of them thought of him as just one of many gods. There were hundreds of other gods, yet we rarely hear of them today. Yahweh is not one iota more real than all these already expired others.
“Yahweh” was invented about three thousand years ago, which is only one and a half millionth of the time our tiny earth has been in existence (4 ½ billion years.)
To claim that this paltry band of primitive people, who have only recently appeared on a piffling part of our puny planet, is responsible for explaining the existence of everything in the entire cosmos defies credibility. Anyone who imagines this has an inflated opinion of the Jew’s, and their own, importance in the universe.
The concept of any god, i.e. a supreme supernatural being who has an interest in us, has been around since people started wanting their questions answered. Where does rain come from? Rain meant water for drinking and that plants would grow. Sometimes it doesn’t rain for weeks, why? Man didn’t have the scientific knowledge to answer the questions, but needed to know. The rain god. When there was no rain, man tried to appease the god. He prayed, sang, beat drums, danced, and even made sacrifices. When rain came, god had answered his pleas.
God made sense…to people who didn’t know any better. Ancient man created gods whenever it suited him. Replace rain with nearly anything; for example Yahweh was originally the “god of the armies,” the “lord of hosts,” who would help the Jews in battle. When man needed help in some way, he created a god to fill the gap. We don’t need the rain god now because we have something much better; we know how weather systems work. We don’t want a war god now because, well…why would we?
If humankind had been left to itself, gods would have disappeared as people learned more about the world; replaced by common sense, intuitive explanations, and scientific explanations. Unfortunately, a largish part of humanity wasn’t left to follow this natural development. Certain groups of people saw a business opportunity. They set out to keep others – at least the unsophisticated others – puzzled. They wrote holy books and called themselves priests or prophets or rabbis or Imams, and they invented or appropriated gods so that they could control common people’s lives. They’re still with us today, they don’t have real jobs, they cause an awful lot of trouble, and they rarely contribute anything worthwhile to society. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODetOE6cbbc ).
Religion is a relic from our primitive past still promoted by priests to give themselves a job and an income.
Today’s priests know that they can still sell a spiel because many people want something to dream about. A heavenly afterlife appears comforting. It means there’s something to look forward to, an improvement on the injustices, work, worries and ordinariness of life. Faith is like a lottery ticket; it buys you the belief that one day things will get better because you’ve struggled damned hard and you deserve a lucky break. Yet there’s no evidence anyone ever wins heaven.
We shouldn’t fool ourselves that we have an understanding of the universe by believing in God. Faith, which ignores reason, is a travesty against our intellects. It’s anxiety about the unknown masquerading as certainty. To admit that there’s no god is to face up to facts. We don’t have answers to all of life’s questions, and that’s fine, because it’s the truth. As the decades go by, we’ll know more.
Heaven, the promise of an eternal theme park in the sky, is an insult to our intelligennce. Some claim that to hope for it is harmless, but I think the idea degrades the value of the one and only life we’ll ever have; our earthly existence. Why?
Who remembers what it was like to be a young child?
Picture yourself running around a playground. We didn’t waste time worrying about God, heaven or why we are here. We were too busy exploring every nook and cranny of our world, were unhindered by our experiences, expressed ourselves openly, and we weren’t afraid of being judged. We accepted life with wide-open arms, didn’t deny our emotions, and weren’t cynical or opinionated.
We lived in the present, and were thoroughly happy. I contend people should be more child like by embracing the here and now. When we do that, life has more meaning: the taste of food, a glass of good wine, a friend’s smile, a string quartet, or a Miles Davis ballad can be enjoyed because they’re real and temporary. To experience the pleasure of the present, and stop worrying about consequences, can be like coming out of a trance. It’s about being receptive to the full gamut of the human experience, and that helps us feel more alive. The promise of paradise robs people of the pleasure of living in the present. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus knew that life should be all about the journey, the here and now, not an imaginary destination, which is why we don’t need gods, beliefs, and creeds; we need to let them go! ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epicurus/ ).
When it turns out there’s no god and no afterlife, it won’t matter, because we’ll be dead! We were “dead” for billions of years before we were born, and it didn’t bother any of us in the slightest.
There’s nothing supernatural after death. “Heaven” is here and now, and is what we create on earth through love. Hell is also here; it’s what happens when we hate our fellow man.
In the modern world, “people” should replace “God.” “God” is the human race. Love of “God” should be a love of everyone in our global society.
Dalai Lama., Cutler, H.1998 “The Art Of Happiness” . Hodder and Stoughton. London
Dawkins, R. 2006 “The God Delusion” London Transworld Publishers.
Winell, MarlenePh.D. “LEAVING THE FOLD: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, ©1994, 2006