1: The Bible has immoral instructions.
The Bible says that women are property and should be silent in church and obey their husbands. The Bible says it’s okay to beat your slaves as long as you don’t kill them. The Bible says to kill your children if they talk back to you. The Bible orders you to kill witches.
If you follow every word of the Bible you’ll become a murderous villain. Period. The only way to be a “good” Christian by modern, Western cultural standards is to ignore these parts of the Bible or reverse engineer excuses for why you don’t have to follow them.
2: The Bible tells you that sinners are evil.
Some Christians say that God wants us to, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin,” but there’s a flaw in that logic. If God loves the sinner but hates the sin, then why is God going to punish the sinner with everlasting torture? That’s not unconditional love. That’s a sadistic ultimatum.
If God is going to treat sinners with such remorseless, self-righteous hatred, then how likely would it be for a fallible, human Christian to rationalize hating, mistreating and killing sinners? History shows that hurtful and murderous Christians aren’t a rare anomaly. They’re an inevitability produced by a wicked moral guide.
3: The Bible tells you to love everybody.
In and of itself this sounds great. In practice, it’s not for two reasons. First, this moral lesson is vague to the point of being useless. What is love? Should you love an invading army? Should you love a serial killer? Should you love Hitler? Should you love criminals? In what way? To what extent? It doesn’t say. It doesn’t offer any clear guidance.
If you follow an unclear moral code, your decision-making process will be unclear. So you’ll have to rely on some other form of guidance, like instincts, reason, culture or other people’s advice. This raises the question, if we’re going to end up relying on other methods of guidance anyway then why not cut out the distraction and rely on the final source of guidance to begin with? Unfortunately, if you believe in a book that teaches you not to think critically you’re not going to question that book’s instructions even when they don’t offer clear guidance. You’re just going to waffle through life haphazardly.
The second reason this commandment is bad is that the Bible has already set us up to hate, hurt and kill sinners and infidels. These contradicting moral messages will paralyze your ethical decisions. It becomes exceptionally difficult to know which path to take.
4: The Bible says the highest virtue is faith.
If you know your Bible verses you should be arguing that 1 Corinthians 13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
But John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
So the way to get to Heaven and survive death is to have faith. That’s what life and death are judged by. That’s the test. That’s the measuring stick of life.
If the most important thing is to have faith, then everything else is relatively irrelevant. You can beat and rape your children, lie, steal, and anything else. When it comes time to make those hard moral decisions, you know that if you backslide a little (or a lot) you can always ask for forgiveness later.
Furthermore, when the emphasis of ethics is taken off of actions and focused on beliefs it cripples your ability to weigh the value of your actions. A real system of ethics, like the one the court of law uses, focuses where it should be, on actions that matter, actions that hurt/help people.
Another problem with faith is that it’s the opposite of reason. If you have unyielding faith in the “alpha and the omega” God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, and you have faith in God’s word, then what else is there? God is everything, and God’s word is everything. Logic would tell you that you don’t need anything else. But in reality, you do need something else. You need a lot more. You need knowledge. You need introspection. You need growth. You need reason. You need money. You need to be selfish sometimes. You need comfort. You need to fulfill your wants. You need self-actualization.
Faith doesn’t fulfill everything. Faith eliminates everything. Faith yields an empty, ignorant shell of a human.
5: The Bible says “good” people are scum.
This is slightly different than the first point that says sinners are scum. While sinners are the worst scum, everybody is still scum. “All our righteousness is like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:4.
The foundation of any reason-based moral code is the value of life. The United States Declaration of Independence doesn’t begin by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all humans are like filthy rags, that women should be silent in church and slaves should be obedient to their masters.” The Declaration of Independence said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
When the foundation of your moral guide says that every human is scum who deserves to burn for eternity, you’re setting yourself up to punish yourself and others. This moral code practically obligates you to hurt yourself and others. It certainly allows God’s spokesmen the authority and obligation to hurt sinful, heretical infidels.
Even if you cherry-pick the parts of the Bible you follow and devote yourself to loving other people, you’re probably still going to end up feeling guilty and punishing yourself for being an unworthy human. A perfect example is Mother Theresa, who was quoted as saying, “Today the passion of Christ is being relived in the lives of those who suffer. Suffering is not a punishment. God does not punish,” and, “I was talking to our lepers and telling them that leprosy is a gift from God, that God can trust them so much that he gives them this terrible suffering.”
These aren’t the words of a sane person. These are the words of a person whose mind has been warped.
6: The Bible tells you to give money to God.
There are dozens of passages saying to give money and goods to God because God deserves your worldly stuff. Plus, since the only way to survive death is to please God, it stands to reason the more you give, the better off you are.
The problem with this is that you don’t get any return on your investment by donating to snake oil salesmen. You just get poorer and more confident that life will work out despite your poverty. But the poorer you are, the harder it is to live much less improve your life.
More importantly, donating to the church takes money from you that you could have invested in your children’s future. The more money the family you’re born into has, the more money they’ll be able to devote to your education and setting you up in life. The better you’re set up in life. Yet when a family has been devout Christians for generations upon generations the amount of money they’ll have given to the church that could have been spent building personal wealth will be compounded. Thus, their loss is compounded, and the chances of raising a miserable, ignorant desperate child who is likely to stay poor are increased.
To this, you might argue that the church uses its money to help people. It does, but it keeps more than it gives. Look at the cathedrals and opulent churches all over the world that have been built instead of building schools and half-way homes. And the church spends a great deal of its time and money spreading the word of God: the word that makes people hate themselves and give up their financial security for a dream that’s never going to pay out.
If all the money the church swindled out of people over the past 2000 years had been spent solely on schools or technological research, then the world would be much closer to Utopia. As it stands, we’re on the brink of an apocalypse, not despite what religion has done for humanity but because of it.
7: The Bible doesn’t offer any clear moral guidance.
This has been the theme of this list. So this point pretty much goes without saying, but it’s important enough that it needs to be stated clearly.
At no point in the Bible is there a coherent, systematic break down of morality. The 10 Commandments is the closest it gets, and even those do more damage than good, and the rest of the commandments following those 10 are maniacal and contradict other commandments elsewhere in the Bible.
Using the Bible as a moral code will leave you confused, self-loathing, illogical and fanatical. There’s a reason the Bible isn’t used as the state code of law anymore. That was tried, and it led to over a thousand years of oppression and misery around the globe. That wasn’t an anomaly. That’s the path the Bible leads to.
To this, you might argue, “I know lots of Christians who are the nicest people I’ve ever met.” That’s because they’re not following the Bible. They’re following an idealized version of their culture’s values and projecting that into the Bible, not the other way around.