Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The prevalence of religion as an argument against religion


Responding to the argument that the prevalence of religion is evidence for the truth of one of them:

Yes, religion has been near universal throughout history. Humans have created hundreds of thousands of religions and claimed the existence of hundreds of millions of unique gods. But no proof for these gods is to be found in these numbers. If anything, it is a compelling argument for the likelihood that all gods were invented. More to the point, key contradictions between those hundreds of thousands of religions do not help make the case for any single belief system being correct. One billion Hindus believing in millions of gods does not reinforce the claims of 1.5 billion monotheistic Muslims, for example. The disharmony among believers today and throughout the past suggests just one thing: we look very much like a species that loves to make up gods and invent religions.
— Guy Harrison, 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True (Prometheus, 2011), p. 254.

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