There are literally thousands of religions being practiced today. Here are 20 of the most popular, along with an estimate of the number of followers:
If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.
In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.
In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to "believe" in one of them.
The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:
A rational person rejects all human gods equally, because all of them are equally imaginary. How do we know that they are imaginary? Simply imagine that one of them is real. If one of these thousands of gods were actually real, then his followers would be experiencing real, undeniable benefits. These benefits would be obvious to everyone. The followers of a true god would pray, and their prayers would be answered. The followers of a true god would therefore live longer, have fewer diseases, have lots more money, etc. There would be thousands of statistical markers surrounding the followers of a true god.
Everyone would notice all of these benefits, and they would gravitate toward this true god. And thus, over the course of several centuries, everyone would be aligned on the one true god. All the other false gods would have fallen by the wayside long ago, and there would be only one religion under the one true god.
When we look at our world today, we see nothing like that. There are two billion Christians AND there are more than one billion Muslims, and their religions are mutually exclusive. There are thousands of other religions. When you analyse any of them, they all show a remarkable similarity -- there is zero evidence that any of these gods exist. That is how we know that they are all imaginary.
You will frequently hear believers make the following rationalization:
The fact is that religion is a form of delusion. By believing in an imaginary god, you have not "lost nothing." What you have done is commited yourself to a lifetime of delusion, instead of commiting your life to reality. Non-believers live moral and loving lives without having to resort to delusion.
The fact that there are so many gods proves that all of these gods are imaginary. If there actually were an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving "god" in any form, that would be obvious to everyone and we would all align on him. His existence would be undeniable and impossible to hide.
Last updated by Morgan Matthew Aug 20, 2008.