Stages of Mental Development
The world-renowned sociologist Auguste Comte (1798-1857) suggested that there are three stages in the mental development of a human being. The first and the most illogical, or undeveloped, stage is the theological stage at which a person believes in personified deities which are responsible for the existence of everything we see, hear, and feel, and every phenomenon that occurs in the universe. Second is the metaphysical stage, which is only an extension of the theological stage. It refers to the explanation of events and existences by impersonal abstract convictions. The third and final, and the most developed stage, is the scientific stage. Comte also termed this stage as the positive stage.
The scientific stage of human thinking is the one at which a human being ceases to believe in baseless, unreal, and irrational concepts, and makes observation, experiment, comparison, and research the grassroots of his knowledge or concepts. Conspicuously, the scientific stage is not only advanced, but also completely opposite to the theological stage. We observe today how theological/religious/creationist communities lambaste the scientific community for not believing in personified deities - but when it comes to enjoying and taking advantage of the gifts offered by the same scientific community, they seem to have no problem at all. In fact, they either thank their gods for the life saving drugs and techniques developed via science, or claim out of their inferiority complex that all the facilities, all the technology that we have today is the result of the hard work of their own ancestors who were deeply religious.
Though it is true that many religious people have played their part in the development of scientific knowledge in the past, their religion had nothing to do with it. One can be religious while observing and researching scientifically if they know how to keep their personal religious beliefs within their limits, since science itself is limitless, and religion serves to be a hindrance, a great obstacle to scientific thinking.
Consistency of Theories
If you happen to meet all the biologists on earth and ask all of them about Darwin’s theory of evolution, you would get an exactly similar explanation to the topic based on critically analyzed evidence that scientists have gathered over the course of time. The theory of evolution would not vary from country to country or culture to culture or university to university.
On the contrary, you visit all the religious places, not in the whole world, but only within your own state/province, and ask about the idea of god(s), you would find out that every community has its own distinct convictions about the deities in which it believes.
For example, if I visit a mosque, I would be told that god is one and almighty and that he takes care of everything, looks after everyone all by himself. If I visit a Hindu temple… Well, I will first actually have to decide which god or goddess’s temple I wish to visit. The reason for this immense diversity among different religious groups is that all of them have tried to do their part in making the idea of deities as complex and obstructive as possible so that no one could question it or demand an explanation to it.
Evolution of god
The idea of god(s) has evolved along with us. We have always had two opposite mindset of parties; one that observes, wonders, explores, questions, and analyzes every possible occurrence taking place around it; and the second one that loves to live in fear, is intimidated of critical thinking, and for whom the simplest answer is, “… and therefore, god!”. Over the passage of time, the religious party has always tried to make the idea of god(s) and other deities like Satan, angels, demons, fairies etc., as much immune to question as possible.
In the primitive ages, people used to believe in gods and goddesses like Osiris, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Dionysus, Ra, Jupiter, Hades, and the list goes on. But there was a problem common with all of these: they all were given definite physical properties, disqualifying them for omnipotence and omnipresence.
So, then we had guys like Jesus and Mohammad, introducing the inaudible, invisible, non-concrete gods Yahweh and Allah respectively. Such a god is just perfect! Perfect to be omnipresent, omnipotent, and most importantly, nonexistent. This evolution of the idea of god(s) is the result of the incapability to observe, reluctance towards critical and rational analysis of natural phenomena, greed, and fear of punishment. In fact, if you ever talk to a typical Muslim about any undesirable disastrous event like a hurricane, an earthquake, a flood, or even a Boeing 747 crashing to the ground, he would end the conversation with the words, “…power of Allah”. That depicts exactly how much ill-minded they are.
If we consider science and religion to be two separate houses, the house of religion is a house divided against itself. There are so many contradictions within the house, and a person belonging to a certain room (i.e. religion) within that house is not allowed to question the beliefs of his roommates. Residents of the house of religion constantly castigate and challenge residents of the house of science while they have not even resolved the issues among themselves.
Mental condition of a typical theist
“I know that I am correct because my holy book, which is the unambiguous, unaltered, intact word of god, says so, and I know that you are incorrect because I know that your book is not true and your god is all made up, but I know that the god about whom I have always been told by my family is true and almighty and I do not require any evidence to believe in him. All the miracle videos on YouTube uploaded by people of my religion are true and unedited, and those uploaded by other religious groups are fake, photoshopped!”
If a theist would ask me to convert to his religion and believe in god, I would simply ask, “Which god? And why your god? Among so many gods, how would you convince me that your god is the true one and the rest of gods which we have today and have had in the past are all made up? Why can’t your god be fabricated as well? Why are you so reluctant in converting to some other religion?”
Beauty of Science
The beauty of the house of science is that it does not have walls to separate ideas and does not punish its residents for questioning or critically thinking over something. In fact, the house of science promotes the act of demanding evidence and explanation even to the most critically and carefully tested and examined theories and concepts. There is difference of opinion, which is regarded as a virtue in the scientific society, and an offense in the house of religion. The house of science is united to explore and invent. As far as the house of religion is concerned, all divided and dilapidated.
No one god
Had the residents of the house of religion solved the issues within themselves and come up with an idea of a single, unified god upon which every believer would agree, then them raising their fingers on the residents of the house of science would have seemed less insane. But that is never going to happen because religion simply does not work that way.
There is no religion on earth that would allow its followers to negotiate with other religious parties to develop a god that can be common to all the religions. Some religions even have orders to kill any of the followers who doubt any of the deities described in their sacred books. In such a scenario in the house of religion, what is the point in its residents telling people to believe in their personified deities which they have not yet proven within their own house? But then again, this question does not really seem right; there must be no point because that is what religion teaches from the scratch: to be pointless!