You Need To Consider The Possibility Your Religion Is Mythology

This post by Travis Haan originally appeared at The Wise Sloth.

There are at least 4,200 religions in the world today, and countless more have been lost to history. It’s obvious there’s a 0% chance all of them are the true word of God. Some thinkers have speculated that each religion is at least a little divinely inspired and holds a piece of the puzzle left to us by God to put together. But the only way to come to that conclusion is to ignore huge tracts of doctrine in each religion. Ultimately, none of them are compatible. If any religion is true, there’s only one.

This means at least over 6 billion people alive today believe in a religion that was written 100% by human beings and 0% dictated by the creator of the universe. A belief system written by human beings that has no bearing on the factual nature of reality is mythology. The cold, hard truth of reality is that the vast majority of the people alive today believe in mythology and dogmatically refuse to even consider the possibility that’s true. So if you believe in religion, there’s automatically a 99% chance you believe in mythology. If you refuse to question your beliefs, there’s no way for you to know if they’re true, which increases the chance that you believe in mythology to 99.9%. This number is increased to 99.99% if your religion contains any of the following:

1: Human sacrifices

2: Moral values that reflect the needs and wants of a specific primitive culture

3: Instructions to hurt, kill or look down on other people

4: Reasons to look down on yourself

5: A pyramid-shaped authority structure

6: Scientifically inaccurate statements

7: Magical beings, powers or events that no longer exist

Some people have speculated that it doesn’t matter what religion you believe in as long as you believe in something that gives you meaning, instructions and peace. But believing in something that isn’t real is the definition of insanity. It’s not okay to be insane just because you like it because it holds you and society back.

Believing in mythology is counterproductive if for no other reason than it’s a waste of time. It keeps you busy going through meaningless motions while ignoring real world issues that have real consequences to you and the rest of mankind. Your life and everyone else’s would be improved by you focusing on real problems.

To this, you might reply, “But how can we know how to live without religion?” Remember that most of the world doesn’t believe in religion; they believe in mythology. So the real question is, “How can we know how to live without mythology?” If mythology is just a belief system made up by humans, and you’ve spent your whole life living according to those rules, you already know the answer. We can make up our own ethics, and in fact, that’s what we’ve been doing all along. We just haven’t been honest with ourselves about it. If taking personal responsibility for your own ethics sounds scary or haphazard, consider that mythologies can contain horrible rules that can lead you to hurt yourself or others, which makes it all the more imperative you question your beliefs.

This is especially true if you absolutely insist on believing one of our religions is the divine truth. Everyone wants to believe that their religion is the right one, but at least 6 billion people are dead wrong in their faith. Statistically, you’re probably one of them. The only way you or anyone else can find the right religion is to scrutinize yours objectively. This may sound like heresy, but it’s probably not a coincidence that you were created with the capacity for reason, skepticism, doubt, and logic. For the billions of people who believe in mythology, it’s a necessity. If your religion can stand the test of truth, there’s no danger in putting yours to it. If your religion can’t stand the test of truth, objectivity is the only way you’ll ever free yourself.

Your quest for truth isn’t just about you. Most religions encourage you to convert nonbelievers, and even without actively proselytizing on the street corner, you passively send out the message that people should join your faith just by living according to it. If you believe in one of the religions that are mythology, you’re leading unwitting victims into a trap. If enough people in one area buy into mythology, one way or another, their beliefs are going to determine social norms and even laws. This has a harsh real-world impact on people who don’t believe in that particular brand of mythology. Another danger of spreading mythology is that some people will inevitably latch onto the most violent, oppressive, absurd rules within that belief system and use them to justifying hurting other people. So before you go spreading the good word, it’s imperative that you make sure it passes the most rigorous test of truth, not just for your sake but for all of ours.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Travis Haan is the editor of The Wise Sloth blog. The Wise Sloth contains editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial.

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153 COMMENTS

    • More likely Jesus is an amalgam of the many prior god characters who were given those characteristics. If there was a real person as a seed, then he is lost in the overwhelming mythology that replaced him.

      • God is real and knows our every thought. I feel for you when your time comes to meet your maker. You will see the truth at that time, but it will be too late for you. You will be satans child and you will receive him. Believe me it won’t be good. God speaks to me when he needs to. I’ve experienced this a few times but he is always a thought away. Think it over….

        • The problem being is that everyone says that. “My (deity) speaks to me and so I know (he/they) are real.” But if this deity only ever speaks to one person at a time instead of everyone at the same time in an audible and visual manner, like the president doing a state of the union address, how can it be proven he’s real? Read a two year child a historical fact and a fictional story and they’ll believe both actually happened until told otherwise and presented with proof.

          With gods there is no proof for or against their existence, even the books were written by men at some point, I mean physically written, no evidence or proof of divine dictation or lack of. The bible was once a series of disjointed books until fallible men got together and voted on which books fit their mutually affirming narrative of the time.

  1. Born and Baptized Christian. Right now I prefer Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam over Christianity. But on some level they are all like poems intended to help you understand people and yourself.

  2. If no one ever mentioned the word, would you you still seek it?
    Dna evidence has identified the God gene that all people and animals have….google it…there’s something bigger than us and something that created us and for this deathly arrangement of billions of differently minded people to work then everyone must have a word they can identify with to keep the peace✌️&& every body love everybody -there is no right and there is no wrong; only being.

    • "God gene"? Please provide citations…this is the first I have heard of a "God gene". Must make for fascinating reading. I am pretty well versed biology, science & the scientific method – I cannot fathom there existing any evidence [as would be accepted through the process of peer review] substantiating the hypothesis of a "God gene".

  3. h'mmm, I'm with Leonard Cohen here, I'm afraid. There's 'religion' -the sort you rightly denigrate, ignoring the real problems in life, it is scary, immature and nothing to do with what their inadvertent 'founders' were on about. For me.
    And there's 'religious-mind': as the great Sri Ramana Maharshi said – all religions are meant to wake you up to your own beingness now… That is all… If 'God' is anything, it's This Amazing Nowness, This Beauty, this Eternity within me…!
    Your argument near top, takes the absurdity-religions behaviour as its basis and premise -rather than the wiser/heart of them all, e.g. the sufis, .They are all of the Same or similar thing when you indeed get down to it.

  4. God did not create Man. MAN created God. As the creature which evolved through millions of years, eventually developed enough changes to the brain that it developed curiosity and the ability to observe the surroundings and it wondered just why it existed and then decided a 'GOD' had created it. A GOD WAS THEN CREATED BY MAN.

  5. i’m not a follower of any of the Super Best Friends, nor am I an atheist standing on a corner screaming “my way is the right way.” Comparative Mythology seems to me a much brighter road. The way this article uses the word mythology is almost pajorative. If your going to tell someone they believe in a mythology point out sone commin ground with others to seek a larger truth. Even South Park’s Super Best Friends did that…in a very satirical way by giving each mythology a place on “the team”.

  6. As I’ve gotten older, I started thinking about religion and the existence of “God.” I’ve ended up with many questions with no answers. I only have one question for you…. Do you believe that there is a CREATOR??? I also question the story of Adam and Eve but that’s for a different day. Thanks.

  7. I suspect that a very large portion of the worlds population has no self developed internal morals or ethics. The majority depend on their religions teachings to help control their human needs and desires. Without religions they would be rudderless. Would civilizations survive?

  8. I have found Christianity to be a personal relationship with a person. (Jesus) Not a religion. After 40 years of testing this relationship I have absolutely no doubt Christianity is the only way to God. It is based on faith. You either believe it or you don’t. I believe it.

  9. “Most religions encourage you to convert nonbelievers, and even without actively proselytizing on the street corner, you passively send out the message that people should join your faith just by living according to it.”

    This is absolutely wrong in case of Hinduism, which is considered as a religion by many. In fact it is a way of life only, very peculiar to the Indian sub continent. It does not have a Holy Book, a Holy Place, a Holy Prophet or a Holy institutional setup with hierarchy and absolute authority. It is a free for all way of life, anyone can come in, stay or go out any number of times at any time they wish.

  10. There’s a big difference in one believing in a religion or mythology or a cult of belief in some sort of deity and the practice and living in spirituality! There is one creator but billions of creations and we get to choose what who and why we believe in what we do and that’s the freedom of choice!

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