|Since first gazing upon the Heavens above, Man has undyingly questioned his very existence, thus giving birth to “The Ultimate Question,” which asks quite simply, "How and why is it that Man came to be?" Little did he know at the time however, that in order to attain such powerful knowledge - assuming that such knowledge could indeed be obtained, that is - a great many lives would be forever lost, payed, in essence, as payment for knowing "The Answer."
In hopes of finding "The Answer,” being the relatively primitive creature he happened to be since first questioning his existence, Man would ultimately turn his attention to Nature. Regrettably, to his dismay, Nature gave no such answer, leaving Man even more baffled beyond belief. Yet even after all his tireless searching, Man refused to give up his quest for enlightenment, turning his attention instead to the Supernatural, which, in turn, gave rise to Religion. Unfortunately for all of Mankind however, with the rise of Religion, death was sure to follow, killing millions in the years to come, all for the sake of some theoretical God/s who could not and can not be physically observed with any of the five senses given to us by none other than…Nature.
It's often said, “the proof is in the pudding.” If that's the case, then looking back through history should prove to be quite the delectable and learned dessert, proving to hose with a closed mind exactly how deadly Religion can be.
In ancient times, many cultures around the World, including those mentioned in the Holy Bible, commonly practiced religiously sanctioned human and/or animal sacrifices, offering to each culture's chosen God/s the blood and/or organs of the sacrificed in hopes to please their God/s so that they might receive blessing. As for each human sacrifice, whether or not it was strictly on a voluntary basis is highly debated amongst archeologists and anthropologists to this day, as is the death toll pertaining to those who had unfortunately met their end. Either way, this is but one example of the nightmare that is Religion.
By the year 1095 AD, much of Latin Christian Europe was in the midst of war, particularly the Franks (who's territory stretched from the Netherlands south of the river Rhine, all the way to Belgium and Northern France) and the Holy Roman Empire (a union of territories in Central Europe under the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor). More commonly known as The Crusades, these warring territories waged war against that of the infidels (the Muslims), killing an estimated 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 “nonbelievers,” All this simply to selfishly restore Christian control to the Holy Land. “Deus vult,” the Crusaders would often shout in battle as they relentlessly stabbed their enemy, merely mandating that, “God wills it.”.What ever else has God willed, I wonder?.
As it turns out, you need not pay an overpaid doctor to know that a lack of belief in God in fact be hazardous to one's health. To prove it, one must only look to the European Reformation, taking place in the years 1480 AD to 1700 AD. During this time of "reform," an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 suspected witches were legally sanctioned to be put to death...and so they eventually were. All because they simply chose to lead a life away from the Christian God, whom, as they found out the hard way, was proving to be quite the selfish, revengeful God.If only these next persecuted religious practitioners could have foreseen the destructive power of Religion headed their way, perhaps a many lives could have saved.
Intending to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdom by converting Spanish Jews and Muslims to Christianity, in 1478, Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile began their conquest called the Spanish Inquisition. In total, an estimated 8,800 to 32,000 innocent people perished, murdered only because they were religiously different. And here yet once again, if you think all is well and good, think again.
Beginning in the Mid 16th Century, and lasting ‘til the year 1598, The French Wars of Religion (a battle between the Huguenots [i.e. Protestants] and the Catholics) unwaveringly waged on. During this time, sadly, an estimated 2,000,000 to 4,000,000 lives were lost. A massacre however, though The French Wars of Religion truly was, even more lives would be lost only fifty years later.
Perhaps the most detrimental religious war of all, the Thirty Years War raged on from the years 1618 to 1648. Due only to religious confliction, here again the Protestants battled the Catholics, causing an estimated 3,000,000 to 8,000,000 people to perish, the likes of which would not be matched for another 290 years when World entered its second World War - not a religious war. But that was then…this is now.
Sadly, even Today, where there is Religion, there is also death. Take religious cults, for example, which almost always end with death, ending by both murder and mass suicides. Such cults include: The Uganda Doomsday Cult (2000) - 1000 deaths; Solar Temple (1995 - 1997) - 74 deaths; Heaven's Gate (1997) - 40 deaths; Tienanmen Square Self-immolation Incident (2001) - Six deaths; The People's Temple, Jonestown (1978) - 918 deaths, and, most notably, Al Qeada (September 11, 2001) - 2, 975 deaths, including pilots of the planes. (If you've been lead to believe that the attacks on September 11, 2001 were in no way religiously inspired, you have sorely been mislead). The question is, for God/s' sake, when will it all end!!
The sad fact is, that had Religion never been born at all, millions of lives could have been saved, rescued from being lost lost to the Ages, thereby also saving knowledge and technologies once mastered by the Ancients. While it's true that some of this ancient knowledge has survived to this day, most has not, leaving Mankind wondering how it is his ancestors managed to achieve such wondrous things; things of which we are only just beginning to understand.
It's true, I believe that without Religion, we would indeed be much better off than we are Today. - J.A. Frischman