Throughout history, humans imagined thousands of gods. The Jewish deity Yahweh was one of them, just like Zeus, Venus, Donar, and many others. Archaeologists discovered that the worship of Yahweh was first much like other local deities in Canaan. And the evidence does not support much of the historical account in the Hebrew Bible. Atheists often use these arguments to refute existing religions.
There is an issue with this view. Somehow the worship of the Jewish deity in all of its forms survived and grew, so by now, nearly half the humans in this world believe that Yahweh, also known as The Father or Allah, is the only true God who rules our world. This universe could be a virtual reality running a script, so that may not be a historical accident, and this deity may be a veil behind which the owner of this universe is hiding.
Existing faiths cannot be correct. Not only do they conflict with the evidence, but there can be only one explanation of our existence. Christianity comes with more than 45,000 denominations, all claiming to be the one true faith. And there are two entirely different religions, Judaism and Islam, with fewer branches but similar claims. And many of these religions declare that non-believers will go to hell, even when they never had an opportunity to learn about the one true faith.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share an apocalyptic worldview featuring a final battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil and a day of reckoning. That makes little sense with today’s knowledge. Humans are social animals that live in groups, and morals help humans cooperate. Good actions benefit the group, while evil actions harm the group. Depending on which group people belong to and estimates of benefits and harms, views on good and evil may vary.
Latest revision: 13 June 2022
Featured image: Donar by Gustaaf van de Wall Perné (1911). Public Domain.