Religious people often give me the look like I’m nuts for not believing the same silly things they believe. They seem confused that I don’t just readily accept the entire body of their nonsense. And why do I call it nonsense? Because a billion dead people prove it is nonsense, that’s why.
Over a billion dead people, during their lives, believed and told others that Jesus would come back in their lifetime. The end of the world was coming any day now, and they had to be prepared. After all, Jesus and Paul both said the end time was imminent. Jesus said it would happen within his generation. Paul said don’t bother getting married because it won’t be worth it. And while we “don’t know the exact day”, it’s definitely coming super soon and we’d all better get on board that train before it leaves the station! So they all waited and prayed and feared for the end of the world. And in the end, they all died first. They waited for something that never happened.
This pattern has repeated itself a billion times since. The faithful remain in limbo awaiting almost certain death and destruction, and then they just die normally without anything happening.
Sometimes, the religious leaders try to pick the day. Three preachers “knew” that the year 500 would be the date, and even “proved” it based on dimensions of Noah’s ark. They all died without ever seeing the end of the world. Not to be deterred, the faithful gathered together on the 6th of April, 793, and prayed for the inevitable….. which never happened. They all got old and died instead, still clinging to the idea that it could be any day.
During the turn of the millennium, Christians knew the end was here for sure because, well, why not! One thousand years is the perfect timing to stage a monumental, epic comeback, after all. They all died (some of them in riots caused by the panic) without ever seeing the end of the world. Then in 1033, or the 1000th anniversary of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Again, they all died without ever having their predictions come to pass. And again and again. And again. And in the year 2000. And again and again. Hundreds of generations lived and died expecting something to happen “within their lifetime”, just like over 40% of Americans today. They write books on this. The billion dead people that came before were wrong, but now it’s gonna happen for sure, they spout. Yet now, despite being 0 for 1,000,000,000, somehow they think this time the odds are in their favor.
I don’t usually play the lottery, but I have bought a ticket once or twice in my adult life. More of a novelty thing for me, I guess. But the point is, I know that my chances of winning are highly remote- about 1 in 300 million remote- and it isn’t anything I find particularly entertaining. I would rather spend my $5 on a beer and have something to drink at the end. But at least I know that SOMEONE will win the lottery. So whatever the odds, the first number is at least a “1”. In the wait for Jesus to come back and kill all the evil Jews and Atheists, that first number is, and remains, a zero.
Given that zero in a billion people have been right so far, you think the Christian would reflect on that a bit and start asking questions. Questions like “since the odds for Jesus coming in my lifetime diminish with each passing year, should I start living like he won’t come and try and be a better person?” Or maybe “Why do I trust people that have been so wrong so many times?” Or something like “Should we care for our environment, because we might be here for a while longer?” Or possibly even “Is this religion wrong?”
Yes, your religion is wrong. And over a billion dead people can attest to that.
The Spartan Atheist.