(Original post by janet9)
I used to be a Muslim (Janet's one of my online pseudonyms) and I left Islam when I was 18.
Why? Because the only reason I was a Muslim was because I was raised in a Muslim family. I know for certainty that if I were to be raised by parents of a different faith, then I surely would have followed their faith. My childhood upbringing was learning about Islam all the time and I admit that I used to admire the claims it made of miracles and the prophets. But it was only when I started thinking critically and looking at better and more logical reasons to how the universe came into existence did I wonder whether we were all created with a signature of approval by Allah (God). I would wonder why Allah would have contradictory names such as all-merciful and all-just, and wonder why he creates people knowing that they're going to end up in hell - the meaning of all-knowing and yes, the true meaning of a tyrannical and sadistic *******.
And then there's the concept of eternity, which as absolutely incomprehensible and vile both ways: whether you're in heaven and stuck in a party where you can't leave, where men f**k big-eyed translucent virgins and drink rivers of wine, or when you writhe around in hell and get force fed hot oil and scream to let those in heaven hear. The whole thing is so sinister, and so infantile - and there's not a shred of evidence for any of it. For ANY religious claim out there, there's absolutely nothing to suggest that there was a prime mover.
Think about the wrath that's imagined that Allah has, and how that and all the rest of his characteristics are so human-like. Hint hint?!!
Why does what we percieve of heaven to be so appealing to desert nomads? Why is islam a relatively young religion in the heat of its own self-confidence, why does it roots emerge go back to the last few thousand years when humans clearly have existed for at least 100,000? Why would a god like Allah sit in heaven tapping his toes and do nothing for 98,000 years of war, famine, and savagery before deciding to do something in ONLY barbaric, illiterate and the most backward parts of the middle east?
We have evolved from the most basic forms of life - just watch episode 2 from the series, Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Theoretical physicists have spent their lives researching and have found that YES, a big bang and the resulting universe can indeed come from nothing - the science is out there and it should be read, but you'll find most of the religious community stick their fingers in their ear and shout lalalalala. Because they just won't listen.
Finally, I think the reason we have all the religions out there is because thousands of years ago, people could not comprehend that death was the end. Death is the physical and true reality, and because we are pattern-seeking animals (a good thing about us), we choose to prefer a junk-theory or a conspiracy theory (a bad thing about us) - and what better could we have done this than to delve into the non-physical and supernatural?
I don't need religion to live a just life. I don't see any proof that there is a god, and I don't want to have an eternal life in the hereafter. I want to live here on this tiny blue dot in the universe with a sense of urgency, and if it turns out that I'm wrong, then I would say to the creator why didn't he give more evidence? What harm would it have done? Why bother giving humans a pre-fontal cortex, and why hate the atheists for using theirs in the right way - aren't we the interesting ones? Having still lived a just live and if I'm thrown in hell, then so be it, I wouldn't have wanted to worship a god like that anyway. I don't want to live my life praying all the time (muslims actually pray 5 times a day which was apparently reduced from 500) begging god to put me into heaven. A god who made the rules like that is flawed and therefore has to be man made. And I think it's cowardly to say that god's a higher being who works in mysterious ways so we can't comprehend him - if you worship a person like that, you may as well worship a fool running down the street saying the same thing, because at least you have evidence that the fool exists.