Criticism of religion is certainly nothing new. Ancient Greek philosophers criticized religion regularly. Atheism and criticism of religion didn’t really take hold though until the renaissance and not much has changed since. The whole debate has gotten so tired that the Irish Times recently called the whole thing a godawful bore. No new apologetics or philosophy supporting the existence of God has surfaced in decades. New books and essays merely rehash the same old material in interesting and uninteresting ways. This, however, in no way diminishes the importance of the discussion. Keeping religion a personal matter is as crucial as ever.
Three main debates on God and religion remain open:
- The Cosmological Argument: At this point in human development this argument has has become a matter of nitpicking the finer points of quantum mechanics. Any version of this is really a glorified God of the gaps argument and the gaps are closing fast.
- Theological History: Historians who support the Bible and other religions as true are becoming pretty scarce. Even then those kinds of historians are most often interested in the actual history of the times and places spoken about in religious text and not whether or not stories from religious documents are true and/or prove the existence of God.
- Psychology: Supporters of a belief God point to the psychological benefits on individuals, groups, society’s. These benefits are documented as true benefits but are slowly be replaced by affluence and finding independent sources of hope, meaning, and community.
Even these have been done to death and unless you are new to the subject using the same old arguments to supports God’s existence can become stale pretty quick. Arguments in support of God have been refuted again and again and again.
However considering the state of religion in the world currently and how it is used in social and political levels to discriminate and hate, to ignore good science, to impede human rights and divide people then the discussion remains paramount.
‘Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.’ -Averroes