In most religions, gods are supposed to be the source of all morality. For most believers, their religion represents an institution for promoting an ideal model of morality. In reality, though, religions are responsible for widespread immorality and gods have characteristics or histories which make them worse than the most vile human serial killer. No one would tolerate such behavior on the part of a person, but when with a god it all becomes laudable even an example to follow.
A common characteristic of both theism and religion is their reliance on faith: belief in the existence of a god and in the truth of religious doctrines is neither founded upon nor defended by logic, reason, evidence, or science. Instead, people are supposed to have faith a position they wouldnt consciously adopt with just about any other issue. Faith, though, is an unreliable guide to reality or means for acquiring knowledge. Faith can be used to defend anything and everything equally.
Most religions say that life is much more than the flesh and matter we see around us. In addition, there is supposed to be some sort of spiritual or supernatural realm behind it all and that our "true selves" is spiritual, not material. All evidence, though, points to life being a purely natural phenomenon. All evidence indicates that who we really are our selves is material and dependent upon the workings of the brain. If this is so, religious and theistic doctrines are wrong.
Calling science a religion should be instantly recognized as an ideological attack rather than a neutral observation of facts. Sadly this is not the case, and it has become far too common for critics of modern, godless science to claim that it's inherently a religion, thus hoping to discredit scientific research when it contradicts genuine religious ideology. Examining the characteristics which define religions as distinct from other types of belief systems reveals how wrong such claims are.
Perhaps the most basic reason for not believing in any gods is the absence of good reasons for doing so. Since the burden of support lies first and foremost with those making the positive the claim the theistic, religious believers who say their god exists non-believers don't need reasons not to believe. They may help, but they aren't particularly necessary. Instead, what is required are reasons to believe.
Messiah is a title, not a person. The Hebrew form is mashiah and the Greek form is Christos, commonly rendered in English as Christ. For Jews, the Messiah is the 'anointed' or 'consecrated' one. Kings, priests, and prophets were all anointed in some fashion, but the Messiah is typically regarded as the perfect union of all three: a king, priest, and prophet picked by God to lead his chosen people.
Secularism had not always been regarded as a universal good. There are many today who not only fail to find secularism and the process of secularization to be beneficial, but who argue that it is the source of all society's ills. According to them, abandoning secularism in favor of a more explicitly religious basis for politics and culture would produce a more stable, more moral, and ultimately better social order. Are their critiques of secularism reasonable and accurate?
Is there a real connection between religion and belief in the paranormal? Some, particularly adherents of various religious faiths, will often argue that the two very different types of beliefs. Those who stand outside of religion, however, will notice some very important similarities which bear closer consideration.
Every dictionary has a definition of religion, but not every definition is equally good. Some are decent, but others are horrible. Sometimes older dictionaries have better definitions than newer ones, but more recent comprehensive dictionaries tend to have the better overall definitions of all. It's easier to understand what religion is if you understand the advantages and disadvantages of some of the more commonly cited definitions found in dictionaries.
Everyone probably knows that the first written records of Jesus' life appear several decades after he would have died. Not everyone seems to understand what the implications of this are. Given such a long time span during which nothing more than oral transmission would have existed, just how reliable can we count on the gospels being? In any other context, people wouldn't trust them much.