To an even moderately sophisticated and well-read person it should come as no surprise that any religion at all has its hidden as well as its obvious beauties and is capable of profound and impressive interpretations. What is deeply objectionable about most of these interpretations is that they allow the believer to say Yes while evading any No.
Did god make man too perfect,
So that a piece has to be removed
What is needed is not that a religion be true, meaning that what it claims exist beyond the ink it is written with in a holy book. That is hard to prove. What is important is that a religion be a good system to help us mere mortal deal with our short and troubled life in the universe. Whether what we hope for in the afterlife materializes or not is not important, what is important is that we believe it will materialize and that gives us hope.
The reason why God doesn’t show his face is because he stands behind a wall that can be broken.
The survival of religion is on the basis of torture and punishment; end of torture is end of religion.
Because, you see, God-whatever anyone chooses to call God-is one’s highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.
An all-loving god would surely not damn his children to an eternity of torture simply for being born into a culture that believes in the wrong deity, follows the wrong holy book or attends the wrong type of church services.
I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion …. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?
So much enthusiasm about the non-existence of God is somewhat bewildering, as no one appears to be nearly as excited about a similar absence of belief in unicorns, vampires, werewolves, astrology, nation-building, or the Labor Theory of Value. Nor is anyone dedicating much of their time to writing books and giving speeches at universities and conferences with the avowed goal of convincing others not to believe in them either.
I would not say I was a nonbeliever; rather, that I gave little if any thought to celestial concerns. It did not seem to me that God, whoever he was, would be the sort of god to take an interest in the minutiae of human affairs, or that this fact released us from the duty to go about our lives in a spirit of decency to others.