The Case Against Religion
(originally, "Superior Men")
a book by James Hervey Johnson, 1949
Why Does God Allow
Criminals to Prosper
If there is a god, why does he permit criminals and tyrannical dictators to prosper? Innocent women, children, and good men suffer, are sick, lose all they have, and yet tyrants who ruthlessly plunge nations into war prosper and receive the acclaim of the world, and often of great church leaders. Many have seen pictures of helpless children murdered and maimed by war. What wrong could they have done? What sin could they have committed? Yet they suffer agonies. Only a devil or a monstrous God could see these little ones suffer without raising a hand to help them. Yet the tyrants and dictators who are the cause of this suffering prosper and their stupid followers praise them to high heaven. They claim heaven is blessing them, and so it seems, for if God were just, he would not allow them to continue in their lives of murder, destruction, and rapine.
Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Hirohito, Nero, Cæsar, and a host of
murderous sovereigns back through the centuries have brought misery, torture, pain, suffering and hunger to helpless million -- why could God not have stopped them?
The answer is simple: there is no God.
Common Sense Would
The statement of Jean Meslier, Catholic priest, who wrote a magnificent work against religion 200 Years ago, that common sense should dispel religion is very true.
He reminds us that if we would use the common sense of every day life in considering the miracles and dogmas of religion, we would not believe them.
If our next door neighbor told us he had successfully ordered the sun to stand still all day as Joshua claims to have done, we would consider him a plain liar or insane. Thus by using this common sense we would know that Joshua's story is not worthy of credence. Thomas Paine said about Jonah and the whale, "Is it easier to believe that a whale swallowed a man and carried him 3 days in his belly, then cast him up alive, or is it easier to believe that a man lied?" Common sense would discount the report.
If our grocer told us his son had been crucified, but had been raised the third day, and later had ascended to heaven, we would likewise consider him a liar or a "nut." So when we are told such a story by a priest who has read it in a book written by an unknown writer, common sense tells us to consider it a fable.
It is a psychological fact that the average man is apt to believe a big lie while not swallowing a small one. Adolf Hitler, the mad German dictator, recognized this method of fooling the people and said that they do not recognize a large lie because of their lack of mental power, but that they are able to detect small lies because they themselves often tell them.
So the light of common sense, thrown on the stories of making snakes out of rods, of the Red Sea dividing itself, of Christ's making wine from water, curing blind men by rubbing spit in their eyes, walking on water, the story of the flood, God's making the world in six days, of making a woman from Adam's rib; and all the mythical, miraculous stories of the Bible would cause any sensible man to question the veracity of the whole book, including all the stories of the gods, spirits, angels, devils, and the things that common sense tells us are not true.
When we read the Arabian nights, or Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tale,, or Alice in Wonderland, common sense tells us that these stories are for amusement, and the genii which comes from the lamp and gives its owner whatever he wants, the fairies who grant people their wishes, the magic powers of the animals which talk, are all imaginary. Why not apply the same common sense to religious stories?
When we read of the theories held by savage and primitive people, we smile at their belief in evil and good spirits, but these poor deluded people believe such spirits are hidden in each rock and tree. We have progressed enough to know better. It is time we took a step further and discredited the similarly foolish stories written by the primitive, ignorant Jews. We know that the poor savage is under the influence of a scheming, crafty priest or witch doctor who tells him these stories to get the better of him and keep him paying tithes. They play on the credulity of the savage as our priests and religious leaders play on the credulity of our young, ignorant and lower classes of people.
If the waitress in your cafe were to tell you that she had become pregnant without intercourse with a man, but had had a dream that the Holy Ghost had impregnated her, and she was soon to have a child, would you believe it, or would you think she was trying to cover up an indiscretion? Apply common sense to the story of the virgin birth of Jesus and the results will be the same.
So it is with all the other portions of the Bible with its vengeful, wrathful God who showed his hinder parts to Moses; who created people sinful and then punished them for their sins; who ordered the Jews to slay the Canaanites so they could take their land, cattle and virgins; who sent his son to be crucified and then resurrected him.
Apply common sense to the silly doctrine of the Trinity.
And in the end, if common sense is used, we will discount the whole of the Christian religion as a mass of mythological stories, probably originated and propagated for the purpose of giving the priests and rabbis control of ignorant people so they could exploit them and live lives of ease and plenty.
According to Thomas Paine, a revelation is a revelation only to the man to whom it is revealed. After that it is only hearsay. Many insane persons have hallucinations; they think they talk to persons who they think talk to them; the insane asylums are full of such poor wrecks.
Dr. William Hirsch, in a masterly volume, "Christianity and Civilization," gives good evidence that most of the Jewish prophets of antiquity, including Jesus Christ, were insane, suffering from incurable paranoia.
He outlines the progress of the disease from the beginning, of delusions of persecution, delusions of grandeur, hallucinations, and the belief that they talk with others. I have personally known individuals who believed devils were persecuting them; who believed they talked with spirits. It would be easy for the prophets of old, including Jesus, to have God and religious matters on their mind. Who has not heard rumors of people going insane by constant thought on some one subject? Here were these prophets who only had the Bible or traditional priestly story tellers to tell them of the past history of religious matters. There were no other books and few other traditions. Only the fabulous stories could survive or interest people. And the prophets in listening to them, recorded them in their minds. When their reasoning faculties became secondary to the paranoiac impulses, they acted somewhat automatically on the fund of religious data stored in their minds.
Hirsch stresses the fact that such persons are sincere. They know they have seen these visions, they have talked with God; and these delusions and hallucinations are just as real to them as if they actually happened. And it is easy for people who have evolved and survived by reason of their "believing" attitude to be fooled by the sincerity of such men.
Even within the last one hundred years, people have been fooled by such persons as Mary Baker Eddy, who has millions of suckers believing that there is no such thing as disease. We have the Mormons who believe that Joseph Smith was appointed by God to find certain golden tablets and that he had a certain glass, which by looking through, he saw the letters on the golden tablets translated, with the result that the book of Mormon was written and millions of disciples now accept his story.
Then we have the case in New York City, of Father Divine, a negro, who says -- and whose followers numbering hundreds of thousands believe -- that he is God. When such things occur in a so-called enlightened age, such as ours, when we have freedom of religion and discussion and unlimited opportunity to investigate by scientific means all the exaggerated claims of such people, what can we expect of the ignorant primitive of centuries ago when there was no science, when rulers were despots, when less than ten percent of the people could read? Naturally they would be easily misled by paranoiac prophets, who, when they had a following, were able to cash in on their "tall" stories, and their followers would attempt to carry on for their personal benefits the religion or cult which had been started.
Hirsch stresses the important point that these paranoiacs often are men with superior intelligence, that they often lead quiet lives for years and that the disease presents itself suddenly and progresses from one step to another rather rapidly. He points out that the history of the activities of the various prophets is similar.
Whoever has listened to the "revelations" of insane persons, or to the ravings of those under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs, or who has heard the delirious talk of those suffering from high fever during serious illnesses, will understand the peculiar "crazy" ideas which the prophets were able to foist on their followers as being of the same nature.
As Thomas Paine points out in his Age of Reason, had there been a god who wanted to reveal anything to the people he could have done so to all of the people in an unmistakable manner. We would not have to depend on the word of a few anonymous authors who obtained the information secondhand from someone else. Such evidence is called hearsay evidence by the legal fraternity and is not admissible in court, as it is little better, if any, than plain gossip.
Now let us examine the so-called book of Revelation. It is truly no more than the writing down of the imaginings of a paranoiac. Compare the statements as contained in the Bible with reason and this will be self evident.
For 2000 years cults similar to the Seventh Day Adventists and other typical sects have been predicting the end of the world, based on the story in Revelation, yet the first verse expressly says the things will "shortly come to pass." Later we find: "For the time is at hand."
Here, John, who claims to be writing what he heard, says he was on the Isle of Patmos, that he heard a Great Voice, he saw seven golden candlesticks, and an apparition of Christ. "It had white hair, its feet burned as if in a furnace, and out of its mouth went a two edged sword," clearly the delusion of an insane person. The apparition gives messages to the seven churches then in existence such as John himself might have given, but with less effect than if be could make his ignorant followers believe that the message came from God through him.
Why could not Christ have simultaneously given his message to the churches and their congregations in person?
Then John presumably has a vision of the God his mind conceived,
3. "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne in sight like unto an emerald."
4. "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."
5. "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."
6. "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto a crystal: and in the midst of the throne and round about the throne were four beasts full of eyes before and behind."
7. "And the first beast was like a lion and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle."
8. "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within; any they rest not day and night saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was and is, and is to come."
10. "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying"
11. "Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Can any intelligent person believe that this story is different from the vision of a drunkard in the throes of delirium tremens? And so on through the whole of the book of Revelation, a mess of jargon and inexplicable rantings of an insane or drugged mind. Any ordinary intelligent man hearing such a story today would certainly question either the sobriety or sanity of the relator of such a tale. Why then are we to believe such trash because it was written 15,000 miles from here 2000 years ago?
The only explanation which reason dictates is that the author of the story was a paranoiac. And because it was profitable to the early founders of the church to carry on the campaign to make people believe this kind of story, they built up with the help of the sword of the rulers, a strong church which forced the people of Europe into 700 years of stupidity, filth, and poverty. During this period, known as the "Dark Age," intelligent men were persecuted because of their discoveries and their attempts to educate the people.
There is no more reason why intelligent persons should believe the so-called Revelation than they should believe the unreasonable stories of Mohammedanism or any of the other religions. For example, the wretched, poverty stricken slaves of Japan once believed their emperor was a descendant of the Sun God and that they were a chosen people.
With the people of the early ages, whose intelligence was low, whose means of communication were extremely limited, when there was practically no science, when mankind was still barbaric, and nomadic, there was so little opportunity to question the demands of the priests and preachers that people believed what they were told. The people of the lower classes had no better explanation of the growth of the world than that given them by the priests.
Later as the church gained followers and power and then the support of the army under Constantine the Great, people had to believe, or hypocritically profess to believe, or suffer imprisonment or death.
There was only one side to everything, the church side. All opposition was killed. Even then, for centuries the average man couldn't read and the churches discouraged education. If men could read they were prohibited by the Catholic Church from reading the Bible. Even today an intelligent man who reads this conglomeration of myths, fables, records of the delusions and hallucinations of paranoiacs, traditions of primitive peoples, and the stories of priests, cannot help but discover the book for what it is.
When an alleged god reveals to all men what he wants revealed and not to one man, then we can have some confidence in the Revelation.
Religion Has Done Little to
Prevent War, Famine, Crime,
Each religion claims that its god or gods have supreme power. If their god or gods had any such power, they could wipe out all the unhappiness in one gesture. The truth is, of course, that there are no such gods and it is only the imagination of propagandists which originate such gods and such powers.
For ages men have been and still are, human slaves. In the United States of America as late as 1865, black men had little more freedom than dogs or horses. They were owned as chattels by white masters. The masters could and did make them work all their lives without any pay whatever. Every slave could be beaten, mauled, and mutilated or killed, and many have been so treated by drunken and cruel masters. The children of the slaves were sold like cattle and sheep. All of these things were done under legal authority. All of these terrible things were done under sanction of the Christian religion. Most American slave owners were religious Christians. The slaves themselves were supposed to be Christians.
Those who favored slavery quoted the Bible as authority for maintaining this cruel and inhuman practice. The Catholic Church and the Baptist church stood side by side in protecting the perpetrators of this inhumanity and oppression. When the Civil War took place, the Methodist Church in America divided on the question of slavery. The Methodist Church South and the Methodist Episcopal Church existed separately for generations. The Methodist Church South espoused the cause of slavery.
Men who owned slaves preferred to fight and kill or be killed rather than to give up their ownership of their human chattels. Even to this day Christian men, including priests and preachers, countenance and assist the whites of the South in keeping the Negroes there from voting and expressing their political views as all Americans are supposed to have the right to do.
Every office holder who takes an oath to support the Constitution of the United States winds up by saying, "so help me God" and then actually nullifies many of the rights the Constitution tries to guarantee.
There have been more wars since Christianity was established than there were before. Since the birth of Christ there have been only a few years in which there was not a war between Christian peoples. Cruel and tyrannical wars of extermination against the Indians of America were carried on by Christian people. With a Christian cross in one hand, a sword and gun in the other, the early Christian Spaniards conquered the Indians in North and South America. Murder, rape, torture, and enslavement, and in many cases positive extermination, followed in the bloody wars of the Spanish conquests under Pizarro and Cortez. The Catholic Church grew wealthy beyond its dreams as the result of this conquest. The Indians were Christianized under force of arms, but the new god they prayed to was as powerless as the old ones to protect them from the cruelty of and enslavement by their Christian conquerors.
In recent years the Italians under Mussolini, from the most Christian country on earth, coming from Rome, the seat of the Pope, ruthlessly murdered their way to ownership of the lands of Ethiopia, taking the Ethiopians' lands and country in one of the most cold blooded robbing expeditions ever known. The Ethiopian king was only restored to his throne by a more powerful nation, still worshipping the same god as the others.
Did the Pope raise one word of protest? Did any Christian church or Christian country actually do anything to stop them? Did the Christian God that the poor Ethiopians pray to do anything to save them? Did even the same Christian God the Italians pray to deliver the land to them without a fight? No, the men with the strongest arms won in that war as they have in all other wars.
Why must people still remain befuddled and think that their gods control their fates when they see Christian nations murdering other Christian inhabitants of the world; each praying to the same God of "love and good will" to permit them to get their neighbors by the throat so they can slit it?
The Hindus have their gods, Buddha, Krishna, Siva, and a thousand others. Each one is supposed to be a protector of some class or group. Murder, misery, early death, depravity, oppression, serfdom and starvation are the daily lot of the Hindus, the most religious people on earth. The Christian Englishmen with money to buy rulers and guns and bombs to kill protectors told the religious Hindus what to do.
And so it has been from time immemorial, the strong oppressed the weak. The stronger, selfish races murdered those with less strength. The oppressors and aggressive fighters inherited the earth and control it today. Gods of clay, wood, brass, gold, and iron, gods of imagination such as the Christian, Mohammedan, and other gods have been prayed to in vain for ages by gullible fools, by priests, preachers, and rulers.
Only Ignorant People
Claim that the Universe Cannot
Operate Without a God
A man who cannot conceive of a universe operating without the assistance of a directing god is an ignorant man. He is like the savage who cannot conceive of a universe or of the earth being round because his mental capacity is so low that it has not yet reached the stage where abstract conceptions are possible. He attributes every breeze and every noise to the spirits and considers the moon and the sun as great spirits. Those with such a low mentality will never be able to shake off religion and superstition any more than a dog can understand algebra.
The Bible Still Promotes Bloodshed
A typical example of how religion causes bloodshed, war, hatred and unhappiness is the Bible-inspired invasion of Palestine (Israel) by the Jews.
As a result of having been taught from earliest childhood that the Jews are God's chosen people, and with the example of God having ordered the Jews to exterminate the Canaanites, the original inhabitants of Palestine, modern Jews have propagandized their racial and religious adherents so that many actually believe they have the right to take Palestine away from the Arabs who have lived there for many centuries. They have driven the Arabs out, killed those who have resisted and taken their lands goods and lives -- all as a result of the teaching by their fanatical rabbis.
It means nothing to the Jews that for generations they have lived in Europe, Asia or America, that they do not speak Hebrew, and that the Arabs have lived in their land for more than a thousand years.
Cruelly, with great cunning and finally as they grew stronger, by force of arms they are taking the homes away from the weaker Arabs.
By using political manipulation in Britain, the United States and the United Nations and with the great financial support from the United States Jews, they are able to obtain the support of the great powers in thus invading the land of the Arabs and setting up their own country.
The foolish Christians in America think that this is foreordained by the Bible and few think it wrong. Apparently in order to obtain the votes of the American Jews, the politicians gave support to the Palestine invaders.
A great hatred is being engendered among the Arabs, apparently helpless to protect themselves from the might of the great powers who are backing the Jews. The Arabs not only hate the Jews but Americans, British and other foreigners who support the Jews in their invasion. The hatreds, injustices and wrongs, thus engendered will probably last for several generations and thus another center of bloodshed, trouble, possible future war and world distress can be traced directly to religion.
The World Would Have Been
Better Off if Christianity Had
Been Founded on Simple Ethical
If Christianity had been founded on an ethical philosophy, instead of mythological, miraculous, fabulous, conflicting, confusing doctrines and statements, and if Jesus had so preached, the religion might have been a progressive movement. If Jesus had simply said, "Do as you would be done by. Do not lie, cheat, steal, murder, injure your fellow man, or commit adultery," rivers of blood need not have been spilled, nations exterminated and the world set back centuries because of the Dark Age.
But the Bible is full of intolerance, Christ taught intolerance, threatened all who did not understand or believe in his way with eternal hell fire and damnation, came to bring "a sword," to turn father against son, sister against brother, and nation against nation.
If he had said, "We will get rid of all the old trash and start new, we will live according to the golden rule, we will seek for happiness on this earth, we realize that cooperation will bring peace and prosperity; we do not believe in killing others, we believe in tolerance; we will fight for what is our right, but we will not prevent others from having their rights; we will not beg or cringe; we will not fear the unknown gods or devils; we will be good to those who are good to us; we will favor freedom; we will oppose slavery and oppression; we will favor freedom of religion, freedom of speech; freedom of writing," he would have established a basis for progress.
But instead, we find the church supporting slavery; setting brother against brother; reeking with intolerance; full of ridiculous and insane doctrines; degrading women; opposing scientific progress; reaching into every part of men's lives; despising happiness in this world; promising it for the next; preaching a morbid, sickly fanatical gospel instead of a calm rational and scientific philosophy; even promising redemption from the cruelest crimes if the criminal will only believe the dogmas and the doctrines.
Has Never Supported Modern
Thomas Paine, the real founder of modern democracy and an important leader in the founding of the United States, and the Americanism set forth in the Constitution, still the grandest document on human happiness ever written, proclaimed the brotherhood of man.
He did not have the advantage of Darwin's great scientific discovery or of modern knowledge of biology. But he set forth at that time the bold principles that every man should have equal rights without being classed a pariah or an outcast, without inheriting vast wealth or power. He set forth the principle of a square deal for all, justice, equality cooperation, happiness.
This supreme principle eliminates slavery, denies the divine right of kings, sets aside the theory that nobles should dress in silk and the common men in cotton. It rules against slavery of injustice to children and the degradation of women, it sets forth the right of the lowest born to rise to the highest office or unofficial position in any nation. It opposes all of the selfishness and intolerance of special groups or races of people. It wipes out, in a magnificent gesture, the rules, customs, and principles of religion and its horrors.
Paine, a deist, believed that God created man. He did not know that man has evolved from lower forms of life, that there was no beginning. And his great mind set forth his noble principle, in spite of the lack of present day scientific knowledge -- and in fact it was his courageous support of the new government of the United States which has made possible the great advance in such knowledge.
Consider the Biblical story that the Jews were God's chosen people. No equality there. The Canaanites were slaughtered to make room for them. "Slaves obey your masters" is the Biblical injunction. Women were kept down for ages by Christianity, and still are in the more Catholic countries, in India, in the Moslem countries, in Asia and in Africa as a result of religious or superstitious practices.
According to Christ, only his followers would go to Heaven. All the rest were to burn in hell for eternity. There is no equality here. The most religious countries have kings, nobles, counts.
Children born to the blood live lives of ease and comfort, other children are seldom able to rise above poverty, ignorance, and hunger. Their station in life does not depend on their ability or worth, but on their forbears. Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, India and, in fact, most of the world, let no man of ordinary birth reach the wealth and splendor of the nobility. The dictators keep most of their populace in slavery, the women for breeding and the men for cannon fodder. Even the semi-democratic country of England maintains the system of nobility and the extra rights of the king and his family, just as Holland, Belgium, and many smaller countries do.
Nearly all believers of religions think the followers of all other religions will not survive death, or if they do will not go to the best heaven.
With all the jargon, all the ritual, all the millions of so-called holy books, ceremonials, preaching and customs, no religion has ever set forth such a grand principle as that Superior Man, Thomas Paine, that all humans have equal rights. That principle has brought more happiness, more hope, more justice to more men, than any other ever set forth.
And let us not forget that the churches and religions maligned and excoriated, cursed and ridiculed, hated and fought Thomas Paine, the champion of this principle, and that they still seek to besmirch his grand and benevolent character.
Churches Should Pay Taxes
There are many billions of dollars worth of church owned property in the United States which pays no taxes whatever.
Because of fear of the votes of the church goers, the politicians have allowed the churches to go free from taxes.
No income taxes are paid on the enormous and unaccounted for church income.
Those who do not use the churches have to pay the taxes which the churches are exempt from. This is a great wrong and foreign to the constitution, even though a political supreme court would probably be afraid to rule against the churches.
It is wrong because the Federal government has no right to, in effect, allow state or any government to grant churches a subsidy and that is what the exemption amounts to. It must amount to several billion dollars a year in tax exemption.
Another way the churches make money is to buy property in small cities and wait for the town to grow large. As the city grows, the property becomes very valuable, the church sells out at a tremendous profit, then moves out and buys a cheaper lot upon which they build a new church or even move the old one on. They do not pay any income taxes upon the tremendous profits they make.
Taxes could probably be cut 10 per cent on all the rest of us if the churches were required to pay their fair share. In times of high taxes, this would be a big item. The saving in taxes would buy many homes, much food and provide greater education and recreation for those of us who have this tremendous tax exemption fund indirectly drained from our pockets into the pockets of the religious profiteers. (It doesn't go to the members of the churches, but to the leaders.)
By paying no taxes on their churches, schools, and income, they grow richer and thus continue to accumulate more money with which to provide easy lives for the church leaders. They also have the money to spread their propaganda and influence legislation.
One of the greatest wrongs is for priests and preachers to be exempt from military service while the rest of us common scrubs are drafted and subjected to the harshness of military discipline.
Even if priests or preachers volunteer to go to war as chaplains they receive high salaries and are commissioned as officers and thus live lives of comparative ease while the rest of us do the fighting to protect their properties, fat pay, and special privileges.
The development of a race of superior men will be achieved by the development of men who act in all respects according to reason.
They will determine the best way to do the best things necessary, from a study of all the facts, records and experience of their own and others.
They will depend on facts rather than guesses, -- they will employ science rather than prejudice, -- they will use the best methods instead of traditional methods.
They will discard the fairy tales, mythologies, religions, and superstitions developed by primitive, unscientific and ignorant peoples. Freeing the mind from the accumulations of thousands of years of these mental cobwebs will allow greater attention to progressive, constructive, beneficial thoughts.
One of the most important steps in developing this race of superior men is to free men from the superstitions, religious beliefs, and traditions which develop prejudices, which, in turn prevent the use of reason and build a stone wall against progress, intelligence, and science.
It is the purpose of this book to point the way to freedom from religious, superstitious beliefs as the first step toward reasoning.
The elimination of the mental debris of religion will leave room for the development of reason.
This book may be but the beginning of the study to dispel religion; an awakening of e effort of its readers to discard religion and superstition. Such study will require dozens of other books and many days, or even several years, of thinking. But the man whose mind has not been so warped by miseducation that he is unable to reason, will see at least a glimmer of light to lead him out of the mental fog in which the mass of believers grope blindly. He will replace religion and superstition with reason.
Thomas Paine says -- "He who denies to another this right (the right of others to hold different opinions) makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it."
"The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason." And the growth of reason among men will increase the number of superior men.
When the world is ruled by superior men, there will be no wars, no crime, no sickness and no unhappiness. It may never be that superior men rule. It may take thousands or tens of thou sands of years of evolutionary advancement.
Selfish and stupid leaders may destroy humanity with atomic bombs or powerful poisons in a short period. At this time the Russian Tyrant Stalin, or the Jewish terrorists in Palestine, are capable of destroying a large portion of mankind and enslaving the rest if they are able to control the atomic bomb or the powerful poisons, an ounce of which can kill millions.
The stupid, "believing" people breed fast. Superior men are destroyed in all of Russia, Spain, Asia, South America, those countries dominated by Russia, and they are suppressed in the rest of the world, probably least of all in U. S. A. and Great Britain. Not one per cent of the people of the world are able to reason and those who do are destroyed and suppressed by the other 99 per cent.
However, probably the intelligence of superior men, gradually and by hit and miss methods, does increase and the marvelous accumulation of knowledge gives tremendous strength to the intelligence of the few.
It is possible that a few great leaders may, by some manner or crusade, some time gain sufficient following to start a movement culminating in the masses of stupid, ignorant people following the leadership of the superior men.
The great ideals of the superior men who framed the U. S. Constitution of free speech, free press, individual liberty and freedom are still ideals and not facts.
Mohammed, Christ, Moses, Joseph Smith, Luther, Buddha, Cæsar, Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, Ghengis Khan, swept whole nations and great portions of the world in a short time with their philosophies, rules, conquests.
All were based on the ideas, -- the mental plans of the leaders. Some were insane, -- Mohammed is said to have been an epileptic, some were cruel, sadistic, paranoiac and selfish. A desire for doing good may often go with am other characteristic which is detrimental.
Should a superior man start the right spark, it is possible that the rule of intelligence might sweep the world as those insane and cruel religious and military crusades have swept large portions of the world at times.
Once established generally a new era in human happiness will prevent a relapse to the present rule of insanity, cruelty, disease, war, crime and unhappiness.
It is the purpose of this book to point the way, however faintly, toward the goal.
When the churches and their vast incomes are used for schools, hospitals, colleges, and centers for scientific research, great constructive benefits to humanity will ensue. A double gain will result from the cessation of the destructive force of religion, plus the constructive use of the money and energy now worse than wasted in promoting superstition.
The Philosophy or
Ethics of Atheism
The most intelligent men have developed the highest philosophy of life, the best code of ethics, the best rules of the inter-association of men. These rules, principles, and philosophies have been developed by the reason of these intelligent men, based on the thousands of years of history of the human race. The mistakes of the past, the religions of the past, the philosophy of the past have been considered as a part of the mass of knowledge from which reason has chosen those moral practices which are best for humanity.
These results have been reached not by superstition, fanaticism, miracles, bloodshed, terrorism, or compulsion, but by the calm reasoning faculties of the most intelligent men.
No priest, church, pope, bishop, devil, savior, hell, heaven, ritual or special day is necessary to aid the establishment or practice of this set of principles.
Intelligent men believe in the Golden Rule of treating others as you want them to treat you.
They believe in honesty. Honesty among men saves time, prevents misunderstanding, provides security in dealing and living with others.
They do not lie or misrepresent. They do not cheat, steal, rob or assault others. These acts are not necessary for the comfort of men willing to work for what they need.
Work is not disagreeable for those who are well trained, and any man can be trained for what he is best fitted.
They seek to cooperate for the best interests of all, to aid progress and science and to assist in obtaining better things for all men.
They are opposed to wars, except for defense, but believe in being in a position to protect themselves from those who are aggressors or who seek selfish and unfair advantages.
They favor justice for all; no discrimination, freedom of thought, speech, writing, including freedom (now denied) of radio broadcasting and moving picture propaganda, separation of church and state, no special tax or other exemptions or privileges, equal opportunity for all.
They believe in the elimination of criminals just as poisonous reptiles are exterminated, weeds are destroyed and wild beasts are caged; this is not in a spirit of revenge but for the protection of persons who are not criminals.
Above all, they believe that men's minds should not be forced into superstitious channels when they are too young to reason.
Atheists believe in tolerance, that advances should be made by education rather than by force, and that tax exemption of churches is wrong.
They believe that every person should do his share for the common good, that each man should earn his own way, that there is no place in society for loafers, chiselers, and cheaters who want to live at the expense of those who provide for themselves.
They believe in courage, forthrightness and energetic support of their principles.
Weak-kneedness, pussyfooting, cowardice, appeasement of those who do wrong are not approved by atheists.
The atheist approves of those things which benefit humanity -- be disapproves those things which are a detriment to it.
The atheist believes the highest aim of all mankind is happiness -- having what we want, here in this life on this earth, now.
The atheist believes in reason, he disapproves superstition, religion, all forms of supernaturalism, fables, myths, miracles, heavens, hells, purgatories, gods, angels, devils, witches, wizards, and all the imaginative paraphernalia associated with them.
The atheist does not believe men were born in sin, that the sins of the fathers should be visited on the children, that the innocent must suffer for the guilty, that crime can be paid for by saviors.
The atheist believes all men should be happy, cheerful, live full lives with their heads up, not groveling before imaginary, stone, metal or clay gods; not handicapped by being taught that all men are sinners and must suffer eternal torture if they do not follow some paranoiac priest.
The atheist's philosophy is one of the enjoyment of life -- not one of morbidity and fear of antagonizing an imaginary god, manufactured by priestly leaders of ignorant primitive tribes.
Men, Fit to Be Called Men
Must Have the Courage to
Courage is one of the grandest characteristics of a man and it is also one of the rarest. When a man, if he is worthy to be called a man, has arrived at a conclusion, he is willing to stand by it, he is not afraid to express it, especially when that conviction concerns matters which vitally affect his own welfare. When it comes to matters of religion, the average man is fearful of meeting the opposition of the clergy or of their blind followers. As a matter of fact, they can do him no real damage or injury. From childhood he has been bluffed, taught to leave such matters to priests and preachers. It is to be remembered that the latter do not want discussion of any religious matters except by themselves, as a free discussion by all interested parties always promotes doubts in the minds of some of the hearers. It is also to be remembered that leaders of any religion understand that its most important factor in surviving is the suppression of all other religions, if possible, and if not, to suppress all opposition to religion in general.
It is difficult to present antireligious views in the public press, or over the radio, which is under the control of the United States Federal Communications Commission. In Canada it is not permissible to send anti-religious magazines through the mails. Most publicly owned halls are not available for the discussion of anti-religious subjects.
The average man accepts the customs of the country because he is afraid of criticism by business associates or social acquaintances, or he fears the loss of his business, or he does not want to oppose anything because it is not the customary thing, that is: not the style.
Most of these fears, as far as the United States is concerned, are groundless. Thousands who have had the red blooded American courage to express themselves about public affairs including religious matters have not lost business or social prestige, although in a small town where uneducated people predominate, gossip is possible, and at times, damaging.
There are great benefits to be gained by the courageous expression of doubt and criticism regarding common religious practices. From the standpoint of taxes, alone, the churches that own billions of dollars worth of property, from which their leaders derive bounteous salaries and comfortable livings, save their taxes at the expense of the other taxpayers, who must pay heavier in order to provide church exemptions. The elimination of tax exemption for religious property would reduce taxes on all other citizens, possibly as much as 10 per cent.
The churches and religious institutions have generally suppressed science, discovery, progress, research. They have, when they had the power, murdered scientists, progressives, independents, doubters. During the ages they have destroyed untold numbers of the most intelligent people who refused to accept openly their absurd and ridiculous doctrines. Had there been no suppression of science during the dark ages, had men like Galileo been encouraged instead of suppressed, had the energy of observing foolish church customs been put to constructive purposes, the world would have been advanced centuries ahead of today. Every courageous man can do his part to advance science and the progress of civilization by openly expressing himself against the superstitions of the present day. Each progressive step increases the happiness and comfort of all, including the individual who expresses himself.
Beyond the other matters referred to it ought to be a satisfaction to the individual to know that he has enough manhood in him to be able to say what he thinks, to know that he is not a moral coward. No man likes to feel that he has been bluffed, especially by those with inferior intelligence whose actions are harmful to civilization.
Possibly there are among a thousand citizens a handful of men, genetically advanced, who get great satisfaction by doing things which rebound to the benefit and happiness of their fellow citizens. In fact, most of the progress of civilization has been a result of the efforts of this class of men, many of whom have paid with their lives because of the opposition of the church.
Such men often receive the commendation of their fellowmen, and that is worth much to almost any man. It is to a certain extent, proof that the point presented has been carried and approved. It represents a reaping of the fruits of the ideals which have been sown.
Thus there is everything to gain by a courageous opposition to those things which we know are wrong, and much to lose not the least of which is our self esteem, when we cringe before the straw men of religious would-be suppressors.
Our children, descendants, and successors are entitled to our best efforts in their behalf for progress, civilization, and a better world to live in.
Summary of the Reasons Why
Reasoning Men Discard Religion
There is no real evidence of God. Religions were founded by ignorant, superstitious, unscientific, primitive people.
The Bible abounds with contradictions from beginning to end.
The actions of the prophets and Christ appear to be the actions of insane men.
The Christian religion is not based on reason.
Religion has not been a progressive influence, but has led to centuries of bloodshed, warfare, disease, persecution, ignorance, poverty.
The priests and preachers and religious leaders profit by advertising their religions.
There must be something wrong with religion when its supporters try to suppress all investigation and inquiry into it.
If the God of the Christians or of any other religion had the power claimed for him, he would have made no unbelievers.
If the God of the Christians or of any other religion really existed, he would favor his followers instead of exterminating them, the innocent with the guilty, by destructive natural phenomena and by man-made wars.
Good men are caused to suffer, while many evil men prosper.
People accept their religion as true on the word of their parents, rulers, or religious leaders.
The religious leaders promise things after death, because they can't deliver them now.
The Bible is full of immorality, inaccuracies, mistakes, conflicts, war, murder, bloodshed, unhappiness, distortion, and cannot be a divine revelation.
Many of the so-called elect of God were murderers, adulterers, deceivers, liars, and sensualists. A good god would have exterminated them instead of innocent children to the third and fourth generations
The Christian religion has not been able to prevent war, crime, poverty.
The churches have done all they could to prevent scientific progress.
Most religions are intolerant.
If there were a God, he would not have made atheists and then threaten to punish them for being unbelievers.
The so-called miracles such as a whale swallowing Jonah, Joshua making the sun stand still, Moses making snakes from sticks, Christ making dead men revive, are contrary to reason and nature.
The Bible itself is so conflicting that it denies the ideas it tries to propagate.
The great benefactors of mankind have not been religious believers and often had great opposition from the churches.
The Christian religion is a morbid religion of unhappiness.
All efforts should be directed toward the enjoyment of this life which we know, rather than toward a fictional life after death. Reason is unable to find evidence of life after death.
Reason is unable to find evidence of any God, spirits, ghosts, angels, devils or other fancied beings imagined by the feeble minded or ignorant forefathers of the race.
A good god would not allow unhappiness on earth.
Human progress does not require the superstition and ritual which encumber religion.
The leaders of religious movements are not unusually intelligent men, but often dishonest, insane, or fanatical.
The most intelligent men discard religion entirely.
Science and religion are in direct conflict.
The churches are money making and money grabbing institutions.
Church members are not renowned for their fairness, tolerance, justice, and intelligence.
Believers of the Christian religion are sick, suffer, are poor, die just like all other men, and in fact, the most religious countries are the most ignorant and poorest.
Religious believers furnish a much higher percentage of criminals than do atheists.
There are thousands of creeds and cults; each claims the other wrong; if there were one true God, he would let the people know how to worship.
It is unreasonable to believe that God would make people sinful, then punish them for doing what he had put in their minds to do.
The God of the Bible is cruel, vindictive, vengeful, petty, jealous, and a lover of blood and burnt sacrifices.
All the evidence from the Bible, and outside of it, is that it is the accumulation of the writings of primitive, ignorant people, especially by a priest-clan which used the threats of God to exact tribute from its followers
The growth of freedom of and from religion always increases the prosperity, happiness, and well-being of any country.
The most religious countries are the most backward, such as India, Tibet, China, Arabia, Italy, Spain, Romania, and the savages of Africa and the South Seas. In England and the United States where religious freedom is est, progress and prosperity is greatest.
Religious institutions attempt to interfere with the personal liberties of the people.
They get exemption from taxes and freedom from military service for their priests and preachers.
Religions try to force stupid, unreasonable, unnatural customs on the people.
Religions have persecuted, and still do, those who do not believe as they do. They have helped exterminate the best minds for thousands of years.
Religion is based on faith -- not fact or reason. Intelligent men will rely only on facts, reason, and science.
Most of the propagators and followers of religions are not students of all religions and of atheism. They have no right to say theirs is the only true religion until they have studied all others and also the arguments of atheism.
No man has ever returned from heaven to tell about it.
Many teachings in the Bible have been proved false by modern science.
The Bible and the Christian religion did not eliminate slavery and the churches supported this terrible system for centuries.
Millions of people have been killed because of the Christian religion.
Cruel, selfish rulers have used it to suppress their people.
Religion does not have a sensible ethical code.
Religions are a garbled mass of conflicting and ridiculous doctrines and commandments.
Religions have kept the people's minds off their main purpose in life, which is to provide happiness on this earth.
Religion, more than any other factor, is the cause of ignorance, poverty, crime, insanity, unhappiness, war.
It serves no benefit to humanity here or hereafter.
It is a cause of hypocrisy and dishonesty.
Religion is impractical, and its purported followers do not try to follow its silly doctrines.
Religion takes thousands of people out of useful productive life and permits them to remain parasites to be supported by the rest of the nation.
If the Christian religion, backed by Jesus Christ and an omnipotent God, cannot make a better world in the thousands of years they have boon in power, it is time the whole mess was eliminated and a new start made.
Most of the followers of religions are unintelligent and ignorant, or hypocrites.
Most people do not believe most of the things the Bible says. They attempt to explain them by mumbling about poetry, allegory, mystical explanations.
The followers of religions are, for the most part, the evolved believing type of people left after the most intelligent men were killed for expressing doubt as to the truth of the absurd doctrines they were ordered to believe.
If men were not forced to go to church or Sunday school when they were young and were allowed to await the reasoning powers of maturity, they would not believe the doctrines.
Many nations were forced by the sword to accept their religion. The people were not spontaneously religious.
Religions have had to have the backing of the national government here and abroad in the way of subsidies and tax exemptions in order to survive.
Because a man must be ignorant or a hypocrite to believe in religion and because religion has such influence on the masses, only ignorant or hypocritical men can hold high political offices, thus religion indirectly forces us to allow the poorest kind of men to lead the nations.
They have developed because it is to tee profit of their leaders to have them grow and turn in more revenue -- into many billions of dollars a year at present.
If all the energy and money spent on churches and religions was put to productive use the world would be better off.
If men's reason were developed instead of suppressed there would be more happiness.
The churches oppose the development of reason. They oppose the principles of democracy, for their God is a tyrant and a dictator who threatens, and his representatives threaten, all unbelievers with eternal damnation.
Religion keeps the people from understanding and demanding their full rights to live and enjoy life.
The Christian religion is a morbid religion, preaching no thought for this world, no thrift, depravity of the human race, and guilt of all people, even babies just born.
The Christian religion tries to get control of public money to force its ideas on children, the Catholic church tries to keep the Church and State from being separated, and they force unbelievers and atheists to contribute to their support in public funds and by receiving tax exemption which makes taxes higher on those who do pay.
Church rituals are savage, primitive or childish.
The Doctrine of the Trinity is impossible to understand.
The churches seek wealth and power more than they try to improve the condition of the people.
They fill men's minds with fear, intolerance, greed and hypocrisy, and set bad examples in their quest for more power and influence
If there were no profit in religion it would not long survive.