I read a book once called the "The last templar", and it really changed my viewpoint on religion in general. I consider myself an atheist (and have been for the past ten years or so). But the book posited that the new testament of the bible was made up of four books selected by the church out of many hundreds that had been claimed to be accounts of events. The church selected these because they made Jesus into a mythical being with strange, miraculous powers. The reason for doing this was to strengthen the attraction of christianity to create unity. They later find a gospel written by the man himself. In which he was but a wondering preacher, teaching about what he saw as a better way of life. None of the son of god, or miracle malarky.
And that is what I believe happened. Chinese whispers distorting memory of events, and a selective and manipulative church creating a religion (which i accept was probably a good thing at the time) out of it.
It's hard to put across how persuasive the book was, but I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone. And the book doesn't try to convert you. In fact, the ending leaves you to pretty much take what you want from it. But I just thought it put across an interesting idea,
As for my personal views on whether there is a god? I couldn't care less. If there is a god, I am not spending my time worshipping them. Not if they can sit by an allow/cause all the hardships in the world to carry on. Far too many people close to me have died for me to be grateful for his potential existence. If there is a god, he completely ruined my life growing up, leaving deep emotional and mental scars. First my father. Then my favourite nan. And then my gran. And then my aunt. In the space of about 18 months I lost them all. I went from an happy and innocent 8/9 year old to a a shy, withdrawn kid with trust issues. Something I only really recovered from in recent years. In my view, there is no god. Not if something like that could happen to a church going family who hurted no-one.There is no god, no afterlife. Nothing. Religion was a device used to comfort the needs of humanity "Mourning? Don't worry, they've gone to a better place". "Feel useless? Well everyone has a god given purpose." "Confused as to what to do? Follow these moral laws."
I'm not saying religion is a bad thing. Indeed, the people that went to my old church were really nice people on the whole. If you're in the UK, the Lee Abbey christian retreat in Devon is an awesome place to visit. I just despise what it is based on.
"The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it's a world, or a relationship...everything has its time. And everything ends."-Elizabeth Sladen: RIP.