Religion is Contrary to Reason

By James Hervey Johnson | 1949
Positive Atheism

Most religious teachings are contrary to reason. We are told to believe that a god who must look like a man, because a man was made in his image, made the world in six days. This god took some clay in his hand, molded it, blew on it, and a man was formed.

Science teaches that the world was formed as an offshoot from the sun, over a period of millions of years, and that man evolved through the ages from lower forms of life.

Religion tells us that Christ was born from a virgin. Reason teaches that this is impossible. The Bible says Christ made wine out of water. Reason denies such a thing is possible.

The Bible says Joshua made the sun stand still. Science and reason could not countenance for a moment such a fabrication. The Bible says that God of the Jews cut the Red Sea in half and let the Jews escaping from Egypt, walk between two walls of water. Science denies such a possibility.

There are hundreds of “miracles” reported in the Bible and thousands in the traditions and writings of all religious works. All these miracles purport to set aside natural laws. The miracles are supposed to be phenomena which men are unable to do but which gods and supernatural beings can do. Any modern magician can perform any number of tricks which people do not understand. By relating these miracles, listeners are supposed to be convinced that the people who tell them are correct in their religious belief or propaganda. No miracles in Christianity of any consequence have been reported during the last 1900 years. The farther away, and the longer time back in history, miracles are reported, the less they are subject to investigation.

“Miracles” are for the purpose of “selling” the prospective convert the religion the “promoter” has to offer. It is a method of getting the “prospect” to sign up and join the religion. Those who head the religion or church usually are well paid for their work. After a few years an organization is built up which tends to be self-perpetuating. All the “promoters” have to do is to keep talking. They toil not, neither do they spin. Their “gift of gab” keeps them on the payroll.

Their arguments are, of course, always contrary to reason. The miracles they tell about are contrary to reason. The philosophy they propagate is not originated on a basis of common sense, practical benefit to people, and the production of happiness. On the contrary, the following of religious philosophies often is the greatest cause of unhappiness in a whole nation.

If the series of miracles and Biblical stories can be disproved, the whole Christian religion can be shown, like all other religions, to be merely the outgrowth of the distorted mental functioning of primitive people, shaped by self-seeking priests and preachers.

The Bible says God made the world in 6 days. A well-educated twelve year old school-boy now knows that the world is an offshoot from the sun and has been evolving for millions of years from a gaseous stage to a solid sphere.

The Bible says birds, animals and fishes were “manufactured” by God in a few days. Science, by hundreds of years of research, shows that the growth of animals took millions of years to evolve the present forms and that the higher forms evolved from the lower.

The Bible says that Joshua made the sun stand still. Science proves that the sun does not move around the earth, which in itself is sufficient evidence that the story of Joshua is foolish, but science also shows that the whole solar system and possibly more, would have to stop if the earth stood still for a moment, and that there is no scientific record of either the earth having stopped whirling or the sun having shone an extra day.

The Bible tells a story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale and of his remaining in the whale’s belly as a guest for three days and of his then being cast up alive. Science first says that whales could not swallow a man whole, that if he was swallowed, he would be digested in less than three days, that the man would be suffocated within ten minutes without air, and that whales do not breathe air into their stomachs but into their lungs.

The Bible says that the Christ walked on the water. Science says that men are about the same weight as water and that while they can float partially submerged, they cannot walk without artificial assistance on water, although very salty water will float a man more buoyantly than fresh.

The Bible says that Jesus was born without his mother having had sexual intercourse. Science says that this is not possible. Even though artificial insemination is possible, it was unknown at the time Christ’s birth is claimed. And what difference would it make if Christ or anyone else were born without his mother having had sexual intercourse?

There are insects which bring forth eggs without having had intercourse with males, and others once impregnated, such as bees and ants, lay eggs for long periods of time without further impregnation. But of what significance is it? There is no reason to believe that because of this condition they are more intelligent than if they were developed in the ordinary way.

A man should be judged by what his philosophy is and what good he does for mankind.

We have the claims by four authors more or less anonymous that Christ was crucified and three days later arose from the dead. The four men who tell of this “event” conflict in their testimony. Matthew takes only a few words to tell of what was supposed to have happened after the resurrection. The others tell of Christ having appeared at various times and places to different people. But if he conquered death, why did he not remain and preach for another three years? Why did he leave so suddenly? After once having conquered death, he could have done so again easily. Of course, the truth is (if such a man ever lived and if such an event ever occurred) that the story told by the Jews is the fact. The Bible reports it as follows: Matthew, Chapter 28, Verse 13, “Saying, say ye, His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we slept.”

“14, And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.”

“15, So they took the money, and did as they were taught: And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”

At this point it is well to call attention to the words used by whoever wrote the story, “until this day” which usually means a long time afterward, indicating that the story was written or told a long time afterward with great opportunity for magnification, error, and msunderstanding.

All of the story of the crucifixion and resurrection is unsupported by ordinary non-religious history and scientific evidence.

As a matter of fact, millions of suckers, fools, and dupes still go to see the “Holy Sepulcher” in Jerusalem. They fight and kill one another to get to it and buy candles and offerings from the priests who become wealthy operating the so-called shrine. Now if Christ ascended into heaven, why would he have needed a sepulcher? Where has the reasoning capacity of the people gone? It has been suppressed by the churches, because they know that their arguments will not stand comparison with reason and they know that only by compulsion and ignorance can their profitable churches survive.

Any student can go through the Bible and find hundreds of conflicts between science and the Christian religion. An intelligent man can convince himself in a few hours of the true character of the foundation of the biggest money-making religion of all time.

James Hervey Johnson (1901-1988) was an atheist and outspoken critic of organized religion. For nearly a quarter of a century he was owner/publisher and editor of The Truth Seeker from 1964 until his death in 1988. Through his efforts as an activist and benefactor, Johnson contributed significantly to freethought in the mid to late twentieth century.

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