As I delved more deeply into my passions for cosmology, biological anthropology, and psychology, I began to develop a deep belief in a power that exists in the universe that is not all that dissimilar to the religious perception of a personalized anthropomorphic god.
Further research indicated that I was not alone. Many of the great minds of our time held, or continue to hold, a similar belief in a universal force that is at one with nature. A benevolent force that does not demand our subservience and worship, but which is the creator and nurturer of the universe, and perhaps universes, and all it contains; including the miraculous creation of life.
My faith in this belief is unwavering, a faith so profound and real that it has supplied answers that were never available to me while I was immersed in, and blinded by what I began to recognize as the improbability of religious dogma.
But does religious enlightenment and freedom from the yoke of Creationist thought mean we will find ourselves living in an atheistic void? Certainly not! By shaking the very foundations upon which religion is based, Faith Without Religion will free you to believe in a higher power without the burden of guilt imposed by organized religion.
WHY THIS BOOK?
I believe that the only way to truly evaluate religious beliefs and their tenets is to look inside the various holy books and texts in order to determine the veracity of that which religious movements claim is sacrosanct and the undisputed word of God.
In Faith Without Religion, I examine all of the principal religious texts, not in isolation, but as a comparative study. The results may shock you, as certainly they shocked me, but with knowledge comes enlightenment, without which we would still be living in the Dark Ages.
Chapter 1: Judaism.
Chapter 2: Christianity.
Chapter 3: Jesus.
Chapter 4: Roman Catholicism.
Chapter 5: Protestantism.
Chapter 6: The Prophet Muhammad.
Judaic belief is a rich mosaic of colourful events based on thousands of years of unconfirmed narrations, beginning with God’s creation of the earth, the heavens and all life, commencing with the first humans, Adam and Eve. In Chapter 1: Judaism I look at the source, the reliability, and the habitual truthfulness of the many anecdotes and legendary stories it presents as being fact.
In terms of numbers, Christianity is the major religion that supports the concept of a supreme deity, but do the foundations upon which it has been created stand up to scrutiny? In Chapter 2: Christianity I offer an appraisal of its convoluted history and roots.
Jesus is perhaps the most enigmatic person ever to have lived, but the question is, did he? In Chapter 3, I examine the purported life and times of Jesus and raise the possibility that his image is a reflection of the recorded story of Yeshua ha-Nostri (Jesus the Nazerite), the son of Mary whose husband was a carpenter named Joseph. Like the Christian Jesus, his predecessor by one hundred years was a Jewish religious miscreant who was put to death for leading Jews away from Orthodox Judaic belief. I also examine the link between a belief in the Sun God, Mithra of Persia, and the Christian Jesus, and the influence Mithraism has had on Christian church ritual.
Chapter 4: Roman Catholicism addresses the formation of the Roman Catholic Church and its rise to power by employing every means possible. While it claims benevolence in the name of God, its history is overshadowed by corruption, suppression, bloodshed, and cover-ups.
The first schism in the Christian movement was between the Eastern Church in Constantinople and the Western Church in Rome, a rift that has remained unresolved for 1,700 years. Although discontent among practising Catholics with the Church of Rome was becoming wide-spread, it was Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, who was largely responsible for the reformation which led to the establishment of Protestantism, from which thousands of secular denominations have emerged. Chapter 5: Protestantism, is an absorbing account of the events leading up to, and subsequent to, the establishment of the other Christian church.
The sixth and final chapter deals with the life of the patriarch of Islamic belief, The Prophet Muhammad, and his legacy that currently claims 1.6 billion followers, representing 23% of the global population.
While many authors simply condemn religion out of hand, my mission was to thoroughly research the available material and compile a balanced history outlining the emergence and establishment of religion in its many, and often hostile, forms.
Faith Without Religion, in conjunction with The God Alternative, Faith or Fiction? and Decoding the Mystery of Life, offers the reader what is perhaps the most widely researched and balanced appraisal of religion from its inception to the present. For many, the concept of medieval religion and its outmoded tenets is no longer pertinent to their lives. They seek answers but do not want to abandon having faith in a higher power.