[This is a responce to a Facebook link and is not my run of the mill blog post. Apparently you can’t publish a comment if it runs more than 200 words, or something]
Secular education had nothing to do with it, but I’d be happy to explain it to you. I’d like to thank you too, as well, since you’ve asked me to explain it and for not dismissing my stance outright :)
I was raised in a christian household and my loving parents taught us the good things that loving parents teach. It wasn’t until I was 18 or thereabouts when I couldn’t coincide what I saw in the world (famine, wars, violence, death) with an omnipotent, omniscient God that did nothing to stop it. But I also saw beauty, selflessness, humility, love, and the sheer human will to help others–without God having a hand in that either. This is way simplistic way of putting it but it came down to a niggling feeling that all was not right with the world, and religion had big fat hand in making it that way.
I do believe we evolved from a common ancestor, as did our closest relative, the chimpanzee. This video explains this tired argument (and it’s short!):
Evolution provides a framework that makes our world and all living things in it (including us) fit within the context of our coming of age, if you will. This time frame spans millions and millions of years (not a mere 6 thousand years), with a growing record of fossils, genetic mutations, and biological processes that are natural and non-induced by an invisible hand, or supernatural being. Scientific methods and advances, much of what we use to cure diseases and make our lives better, has helped uncover the fantastic array of life. Here’s a link to a New York Times feature to a project called “Tree of Life,” which can better illustrate the sheer diversity of life in our planet http://bit.ly/2Yfok1 If you take a look at it, you’ll find no evidence of a supernatural guiding hand there either, but rather a complex hit/miss evolutionary ascendancy that favors organisms that adapt best to their environments.
Given the plethora of religions around the world and their fervent belief in *their* god, what makes you think your or another person’s religion is “The One”? Each one of those religions have millions of believers that truly, in their heart of hearts, believe their god is the true one. And we’re not even including other, lesser known religions as well. Anglicans, Catholics, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witness, etc. have followers that believe their religion is right and yours and other people’s is wrong–and will prove it by violent means if necessary (remember 9/11/01?). Such divisive rhetoric is not indicative of a loving God, but of powerful men in positions to “guide” believers in courses best suited for their purposes, not God. I found this quote to be quite insightful on the “God” question: “If there’s an argument for religion that’s convincing — actually convincing, convincing by means of something other than authority/ tradition, personal intuition, confirmation bias, fear and intimidation, wishful thinking, or some combination of the above — wouldn’t we all know about it?” from http://bit.ly/tIWmZ
Finally (thought not really, right?), there’s this video from Christopher Hitchens that I think summarizes why religion is dangerous, and that a radical shift to rational thought and a naturalistic view of our place in the universe is best:
Overall, I think we can lead harmonious and happy lives, lives of fulfillment, ethical living, and joy without having to resort to a higher being telling us to do so, or even teaching us that, should we misbehave, we’ll have an eternity of fiery hell. Or, if we behave, have everlasting life. I don’t see how this as a particularly good option, either way. And it’s a life that is free of gods and all things supernatural. We live and die by how rich we make *this* life, and by the love and that of our good nature allows us to share with friends and family and the rest of this crazy world.
Sorry to be so long winded but these are a few things that make me believe there is no higher being, whatever his name.