I believe that religion and the concept of God are a disease of the mind. There’s very few other ways to describe how people, which presumably are intelligent, can be afflicted by something completely illogical. Or perhaps it is logical if you examine the notion through the microscope of Social Darwinism/survival.
I think the concept of God has evolved to explain to unexplainable and provide people with a false sense of hope to carry on in their darkest moments. While some situation provides no outcome except a dreary end, the presence of God exist to console people in those last moments.
By this lens, it would seem that God is actually a beneficial construct of the human mind rather than a disease, which by definition is contradictory. However, I am one that believes that people should strive for truth by which the notion of a God construct defies. God interferes in people obtaining truth by creating a crutch whenever a situation beyond their control presents itself. Similarly, when an event that has us evade some horrible fate occurs, people are quick to credit God or some celestial being as opposed to chance.
Personally, I think the concept of God is for all intents and purposes harmless by itself. In other words, people are entitled to give credence to things as they see fit. However, the real disease aspect comes from organized religion; in other words, where a select few share their value system of what God is with others in a massively distributed system. This part resembles a plague.
My belief is that those weak of mind typically are the most vulnerable. The idea of coalescing and unifying rather than fending off the tide of peer pressure is far more appealing when confronted with such choices. I mean, organized religion does have its role in society. From a spiritual sense, people need religion to engage in society when otherwise isolated. Even if the guy next to you has absolutely no relationship whether by interest or biology, sharing the same religion will provide a social bond.
The most obvious danger though is when we return to the idea of how people manipulate the concept of God for their own ends, but this time in mass. This is the point of contention that I think is the most pernicious in religion. To sway the weak willed to a few’s bidding to me stinks of politics as usual. However, the masses being unable to desire for truth any longer now assault those who want to obtain truth. But it’s not a point of negotiation in this; they will impinge on others to suck them in and here the analogy of the disease is complete.
Some people may argue, “Well, how do you know God exists?” Naturally, any atheist might reply, “Well, how do you know God does not exists?” Here, we have a Mexican stand off. But for myself, I believe that if a “true” God exists, he/she would not exists as this idealistic, omnipotent entity they many may see as perpetually benevolent. How many times has one asked for something, done everything he/she could do to be a good person but received nothing for something that was so important to them? Shouldn’t the world be better if a benevolent deity exists?
The usual responses would be things like, “God works in mysterious ways” or “God helps those who help themselves.” These are evasive pieces of rhetoric that prove nothing on either side. All it proves to me at least is that the God presented from organized religion’s view cannot exist as is.
That is not to say that a true God does not exist. God might have been one interpretation of what the Sun was, as described by some historians and ancient religions. God also could be a highly advanced species that occasionally visit the earth for one reason or another.
Sometimes, I muse over the idea that God (or the Gods) are just an alien race who either created or discovered the earth and it’s inhabitants and decided to fuck with people. I feel as though we are nothing more than some social science experiment. Or at least we’re under scrutiny. If anything and that these beings were an advance species who came to Earth as observers, the first thing that they must realize about us is that we’re fucking stupid. People never take the most logical path and rely far too much on emotions and some obscure/abstract way of thinking that defies sense.
If we were an experiment and one decided to come down and ask me, “So what do you think?” I would tell them, hey, we’re a huge failure. We’re more like a disease than a lofty species. We take things for granted, are willingly blind to truth, have no desire to care for one another nor the things around us, and just frankly don’t deserve to exist anymore.
Maybe these creatures don’t have the answer to resolving our problems either and are just trying to figure things out for themselves. But you cannot hope to hold humanity as the great savior of the universe the way things are. We need to have real change. But I think no one wants it for better or worse and that’s why we are doomed.