A follow up to my open letter to the religious.

As I should have expected, some people that read my open letter to religious people missed the point entirely. So I will illustrate my point with this color diagram:

What all religions look like from the outside

This is what the world religions look like to me. If you look at any religion in the world, past or present, it is just one of thousands of religions on a mosaic. Instead of color, the religion mosaic is about symbolism, politics, customs, societal norms, structure of godly lineage or power, types of worship, influence of the religion on any number of humanly events, geographics, regional national disasters, wars, power, etc.

As far as I can tell, every single religion looks extremely similar to the one next to it. If I were to try and pick Christianity out of that color wheel, or even ask a Christian to pick Christianity, we might accidentally grab Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, or even ancient Roman paganism. They share so many similarities that archaeologists often confuse the two, because they were both in the same place at the same time until they spread. They are very nearly the same, just as any two religions in a similar region at the same time were.

I see the religions of today the same as we look at ancient Greek and Roman religions. It is so well known that they basically shared gods that it is frequently referenced when discussing them. Zeus is Jupiter. We all know this. He was the head god over a pantheon of gods in both. Borrow the god, update a little, and new god is born, only it’s just the old god in a slightly different culture.

When I look at the bible, for example, I see a highly plagiarized story book full of re-worked myths from other cultures in the region. Every single attribute of Jesus was something that other cultures in the area claimed for other deities long before Jesus, and indeed were deities that were being worshipped at the time Jesus was supposedly doing his thing. Christianity is just Romanized Judaism. Judaism is just a monotheistic and warlord focused religion from earlier polytheistic societies. Islam is a younger and more intense version of monotheism. On the other side of the world, Hinduism and Jainism are so similar I can’t tell the difference as an outsider. Buddhism is a complete color wheel all in itself, along with all the far east religions.

So what I am asking you, dear religious reader, is to demonstrate that your religion is not merely another religion that is nearly the same and just a product of every other religion right next to it. Why is it wrong when I say Christianity is just reworked Zoroastrianism? Why is it not just universally understood that Jesus is just one of the rising and dying savior gods of the middle east from 2000 years ago?

Whatever religion you ascribe to, tell me a category or criteria or something that completely negates other religions and makes yours stand out. Your religion should look like this:

What a true religion should look like from the outside

For the color map, I’ll say the criteria was ultraviolet light. I’m making this up, but you get the idea. When I supposedly use UV light, then one thing totally pops out from everything else. This one thing is unique and different.

What is that one thing or things for your religion?

The Spartan Atheist

64 thoughts on “A follow up to my open letter to the religious.

  1. Christianity is just reworked Zoroastrianism — YUP! You hit the proverbial nail with that one!
    But the entire post brings it all home. Of course, never to the True Believers™ …

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I keep hoping somewhere there is someone that reads my blog and goes “gee, I guess this thing I super believe in is just another fake religion in a sea of fake religions.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t hold your breath …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So, according to your comment, you really aren’t seeking the one true religion, you are just hoping to convince me that mine is fake.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No, Randy. I keep hoping a religious person thinks.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I guess, then, that I am not a religious person.
        I agree with that.

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      5. Oh? You do not have any beliefs of any gods?

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      6. Oh. I always understood that religion was defined as man’s search for a God or gods.
        I’m not searching. Anymore.
        I found Him.

        Or, He found me.

        But, you could so by that definition that you are not religious. Maybe even anti religious.
        You do not want to find God.
        Right?

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      7. Nope, I’m using the definition that basically everyone in the world uses.

        So go ahead and tell me, Randy. How can I find your god?

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      8. I’ve told you before. Search for Him with all your heart. Believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
        If you do believe He exists, realize there is nothing you can do to erase everything you have done to defy Him in the past. The only way to belong to Him is to let Him pay for your “ticket.”
        But it all begins with a deep desire to find Him.

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      9. So exactly like every other religion. Your amazing one true god is exactly like every other god.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Above all, infinite, creator of everything.
        Not like any other.
        You believe in the theory of evolution, right?

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      11. Good one! Haha.
        No, above all gods. The beginning and the end.

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      12. Evolution ia a tough one. A lot of people say their gods made evolution happen. Others say evolution is fake because their god made everything. But no consistency god to god.

        Either way, not a standout feature. You got anything else? I need something that makes your god stand out, now.

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      13. You didn’t know me or many of my friends before.
        It’s hard to explain to one who doesn’t have “this Life” what it means to live in it.
        But, to be honest, the best evidence is a changed life.
        Long term change.
        Long term love, long term trust in what you call an imaginary being.
        Oh, how I wish you could taste this life!
        I can’t make you desire it, but that is the only way I can be found.
        I do love these conversations though.
        Thanks for indulging me.
        The reason I asked you about evolution and whether you accepted the premise was to figure out what you do believe in that can’t be proven.

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      14. So, the same as 99% of the gods….

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      15. The reason I asked you about evolution is to find something that you do believe in that can’t really be proven.
        There is no way I can describe to you “the LIFE” I was given that you could understand, because the only way it can be understood is to have it.
        I do love these conversations, and I really appreciate your tolerating my take on these matters.
        But, I really really wish you could taste this life for yourself.

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      16. Lol! Randy, I appreciate “the life” you have. But I’m not asking if you are comfortable in “the life” or you enjoy “the life” or even if you were changed on an emotional level by “the life”.

        I’m asking if your god is real. And so far, everything you have said is pretty much exactly the same thing people say that honestly believe in a completely different, incompatible god.

        So… What distinguishes your god?

        Liked by 1 person

      17. You must believe the said god exists. Then search for it diligently saying a prayer for good measure and throwing something into the collection basket as insurance & then let your heart do the searching

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      18. Nan, you’re playing a game, now. This is serious to me. You not having the life I speak of makes me sad, because you cannot taste of the goodness of my God.
        I really wish that that was your desire.

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      19. “Taste your God” Don’t the Catholics eat Gods flesh and drink his blood. Fat lot of good it did them, many thousands of paedophiles priests and now the hierarchy have had their illegal fingers in the Vatican money pie. What went wrong with them or more precisely your almighty God?

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      20. Anyone can choose his own way. You know the results of that. Even “religious” people can choose their way. They just miss out on the LIFE that is offered to them.

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      21. “The life offered to them”? I have at no time ever seen any advantage of that life over any other. Being guided by God does not make an exclusive happy life. Maybe some Christians have benefited through phycological means in such issues as suicide and relationship problems but in the real world is mostly taken care of by professionals.

        The Christian fanatics get it totally wrong, the “pray the gay away” doctrine turned out to do more harm than good and is banned in many countries. Just tell me where the most decisive advantage lies for Christians in this life and the one true God?

        Liked by 1 person

      22. No game, Randy. I just discarded any and all belief in a non-descript unseen supernatural (?) entity many, many years ago. I was where you are for 15 years, but eventually realized it’s all a mirage of the mind.
        Your wishes for me are counteracted by my wishes for you that one day you recognize the fallacy of your beliefs. 🤞

        Liked by 3 people

      23. Oh, Nan, I know exactly what you are talking about. I was there for about 26 years. I finally realized “what’s the point?” Right on the verge of turning away, I sent up one last prayer.
        The answer came.
        I gave up my right to my way and took on His right to me.
        Everything changed.
        I’m sorry you turned away so soon.
        Don’t think that because you figured it all out, you figured it all out.
        You just left before you received His Life.
        Thank you for answering.
        Don’t underestimate the power of the Almighty LORD.
        Or the love that draws you to Him.

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      24. Randy, thanks for telling us all about your personal experience and all, but again, I talk to people of wildly different faiths that say the exact same thing you are saying. Again, yours is the same as all the rest. What is DIFFERENT?

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    2. chris schilling August 21, 2021 — 8:09 pm

      Shouldn’t Christians be paying royalties to Zoroastrians every time they borrow — sorry, “invoke” — Lucifer as a cause for any and all misfortune? The way Christians go on, you’d think they had copyright on the Prince of Darkness, or something.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good point. Christians do twnd to usurp lots of things and pretend they had it as the original. The devil… Christmas…. Dying and rising gods…. For 3 days….. Read Nan’s book for a bunch more….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t you know the Christian God is unique because his holly ghost opens your heart?
    Of course at the same time he closes down all rationality and logic within the brain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Holly ghost? Is that a Santa reference?

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      1. A reference to indoctrination, a reference to the senior church gutter dwellers feeding on a persons and especially a child’s emotions including their naivety and freedom. Of course it could reference a Santa but likely the other way around.

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  3. Holly ghost? Is that like a Santa reference?

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  4. I’m drawn to ‘Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.’ My flesh.
    Ritual is out, fellowship in. A living, working relationship with God. Personal relationship.
    “Deny yourself, take up YOUR cross (in day to day life) and follow me.”
    He asks me to give up my right to myself, to him. To make decisions based in him.
    How? “I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you.” Personal relationship.

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    1. Arnold, I would think by now you might have a least a tiny inkling that such comments are simply taking up space. SA has CLEARLY expressed his views — and yet, people like you continue to blather about your “personal relationship” with Jesus. My take is this: if it’s a personal relationship, why not keep it that way and stop trying to make it “public.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nan, I’m answering SA’s question from my shoes. Plus, his readers may be interested.
        I’m learning and practicing to merge my life with Christ. To consciously meet his eyes with my thoughts, intents and actions.

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      2. So Arnold, where do you meet with God? Your amazing brain will accommodate you with what you want to happen. If you do not believe me ask Christ why does he not prevent 20,000 children from dying every day from starvation and sickness or prevent the rape of Christian children by Christian priests, yet you want him to keep you safe and he willingly accepts you into his flock. Do you not agree something is not right here? There is no answer because there are no gods, only the one that exists between your ears.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The answer to atrocities IS, ‘something is not right here.’ Life is a tragic mess that ends with death.
        Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” I believe him. What do you make of him?

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      4. Jesus I believe may possibly have been a man who was made out to be something he was not. If Jesus was really part of the God trinity as described in scripture with the unlimited powers he supposedly demonstrated not just in the New Testament but also as Yahwah of the Old Testament, something truly has gone wrong in heaven and on Earth because he has totally failed humanity.

        It is all very well to have Biblical instruction on how humans should love our fellow man and the Godly behaviors that allow Christians into heaven for an eternal life without actually leading by example. The Bible is as much about justifying death and destruction as loving thy neighbour and to allow the same needless suffering to continue on Earth with justification from the Christian churches shows exactly the reality of invented religious doctrines and the extreme levels of indoctrination.

        What is the use of a God if he does nothing on Earth but only promises an eternal life that at best is also BS.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I hear you. Yet, I don’t think we understand the infinite extent between us and God. Nor his ways. He says we turned our backs to him.
        Thanks for your response.

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      6. I also thank you Arnold for your response, however there are so many questions that Christianity cannot answer. Your infinite extent you claim is an emotional mindset and we all know people react under various emotional states of mind over many religious doctrines. To summarise, your religion and your God is as thespartanatheist says, you have no evidence to claim it is any different from any other.

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      7. From one of Christ’s disciples: ‘God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.’ It’s there in black and white. No emotion- only eyewitness accounts, to believe or not.

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      8. No, Arnold. We have no witnesses. None at all. If we don’t know their names, if we don’t have their individual testimony, then we don’t have witnesses. We only have another detail in a story.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. And that is exactly what it is … a “story.” Similar to those one finds in fairy tales.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. It most definitely is emotion Arnold, it is indoctrination into believing these stories are real. The church has always claimed through repetitious teachings that the Bible stories are real and any contrary scientific evidence, logic or genuine doubt about the Biblical authenticity by trained experts in their field is totally ignored and refuted by the church and yourself through requoting the Bible and relying on faith that on its own is an emotional state of mind. Therefore Arnold, why would you think you are not emotionally connected to the Bible stories and God?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Sure, I love and live the bible stories. That’s emotion. However, my decision for Christ is based on reported facts surrounding him. His words and doings are throughout the bible. Moses told us to keep an eye out for him. I’m drawn to the Christ, so I made a business decision with my heart.

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      12. Arnold, not to keep bringing this up, but that makes your religion just as mundane and uninteresting as all the rest. Anyone can write a story about old prophesies being fulfilled 80 years ago. It’s easy.

        Add in the fact that you have not a single eyewitness to these events, and that is why I don’t believe it.

        I don’t care how many supposed witnesses saw Muhammed ride a winged horse to heaven, in the end, its just part of the story. As, it would appear, so are the foundational stories of your beliefs.

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      13. A living relationship with God means every moment is prepared. And so shared. That’s exhilarating!

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      14. Yes, you talk to your imaginary friend. Just like every other religion. And you believe it. Just like every other religion. And it makes you happy. Just like every other religion.

        But telling us what every single religion does is not the assignment, Arnold. The assignment is to tell us why your religion stands out and is true.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. He stands out to me, not you. My assignment is answer to him. He said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all people to me.” A magnet has 2 poles, I suppose.

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      16. Arnold, I asked a question, and now you have specifically stated that you aren’t even trying to answer it.

        So, go away.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. My first comment answered your question: ‘Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.’ God lowered himself into “this mess.” Who is like him? What religion compares?

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      18. I can’t speak for SA, but IMO, all you’re doing is evangelizing. You’re NOT answering direct questions.

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      19. To me, Jesus Christ IS the direct answer- ‘I am Alpha and Omega, etc.’

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      20. Again, just like a whole bunch of other religions.

        Its like pretending English is unique because it was given to us directly from a deity, when we can actually trace the beginnings and evolution of English from other languages.

        Christianity evolved from other religious influences, most notably Judaeism and Zoastrianism. It is not unique. It is not interesting.

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      21. Yeah, Arnold. Dying and rising gods are an entire class of religions. They were extremely popular in the middle east and east, with Jesus being one of the later, and heavily plagerized versions.

        The older dying and rising gods had many attributes of the later Jesus, including being born of a virgin, with the birth announced by angels or other messenger, on Dec 25th, they were often called the “lamb of god” or such imagery, called “the way, the truth, the light”, had a following on earth, were crucified, died for 3 days, often went to hell to fight the demons or devil, rose back to life, ascended to heaven.

        I keep asking you, what is DIFFERENT.

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      22. Okay, I’m done. I haven’t dug into like-minded world religions. Hey, thanks for your patience SA.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Thanks for the civility, and good luck! Lots of interesting religions out there.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Arnold, I’m glad you are drawn to something you find comfortable. But alas, this puts your religion on par with all the others.

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      1. I appreciate your response.

        Like

  5. ah i have found fellow atheists. great post, ive always wondered how they dont see that theyre all the same lie/tool of manipulation.

    Liked by 1 person

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