Throughout the history of mankind wars have been fought, people have been persecuted and genocide has been committed in the name of God or against those of differing religious beliefs. I include the Cold War because communism blamed religions for much of the injustices and violence man has perpetrated upon man so they persecuted and band all religions.
I have nothing against religion per se. What I do object to is the way religions practitioners often practice it. I am an agnostic so I am open to the possibility of a God as well as other religions such as practiced in the Eastern world which may not have a creator. One thing I am convinced of is that if there is a creator of the universe who is infinitely wise and knowledgeable (omniscient) then one can only rationally conclude that all of creation must be exactly as it was intended.
For the creator to say to man that he condemns the actions or belief of certain people and that his believers should punish, destroy, or outlaw their actions in his name is to say that God made a mistake and wants his followers to correct that mistake. So these followers are inadvertently admitting that God is imperfect and so weak that he must correct these errors through the hands of his followers instead of by his own hands logically putting in question his omnipotence. Some religious zealots say that they are simply carrying out God’s judgement. If that is the case why did God create man so different from his intentions and why couldn’t he very simply correct these errors himself (omnipotent) rather than placing the power of his wrath in the hands of mere mortal and sinful men? In truth an omniscient God should not be making mistakes.
The logical inconsistencies of man perpetrating violence, vengeance, and vindictiveness upon others in the name of God simply makes no sense for an omniscient and omnipotent God. Wouldn’t such an omniscient God have had the omnipotence to create man without such undesired attributes in the first place thus bringing him pleasure instead of unpleasant evil?
Another alternative is that it was God’s intention to create man the way he is with the free will of choice. In that case why would he give other men the authority to rid the world of sin which is incorporated into his creation? One may argue that God does not operate along logical lines but in mysterious ways. In the creation of the universe everything appears to be created rationally. That is why science, the study and understanding of a rational universe, flourishes today. All of modern-day living is based upon it. Without a rational universe everything would come apart or be held together with something mysterious and not discoverable by science making science irrelevant. But modern science, new as it is, has already revealed much of nature’s secrets. Without it we would still be living in the stone ages. Given a rational universe it would be quite safe to assume that God is also rational and discoverable to a degree by man’s cumulative and likewise rational intellect.
Christianity is not the only religion to have this problem. So do Muslims and other creationist based religions. The problem with most religions is that they try to make us other than what we really are. For example some Christians and Muslims teach self denial of our earthly desires. However God created us with these desires so why would God want us to be other than the way we were created? Why would an omniscient God create us the way we are if it were not his intention? An omniscient God wouldn’t continue repeating the same mistake or making it in the first place.
Christianity teaches that God is Love. But it also teaches that God is vengeful and punishes sinners as a parent punishes their children. But modern psychologist teaches us it’s better using positive reinforcement instead of negative punishment in raising children. Wouldn’t a omniscient God be wise enough to do the same? It would be more consistent with Love.
I believe man should make laws as a matter of preserving social order, not as a means to fulfilling the will of a controlling and vengeful God. It would seem reasonable to assume that only an omniscient God has the right to judge others since he alone truly knows what is in everyone’s heart.
There are many good things done by religious groups to make a better world but this should always be the expectation.