This is a piece I wrote on Apr. 15, 2009 for the now "defunct" Iranian.com but I think it's still relevant.
Recent duels among followers of Bahai, Babi, Muslim, etc., have reminded me again of why I don’t give a dime for any of the major or minor religions. What separates the “God-sent” prophet from your ordinary philosophers and moralists is one or all of the following:
1) People in his immediate surroundings are so primitive or savage that the only way he can guide them is by scaring them into obedience using avenging God -- kind of like “stick and carrot” expression so loved by western media. A good example is the God of the Old Testament.
2) People in his immediate surroundings are rich people who contribute to his rise in order to calm the angry masses by promising them a better life after this one. This situation is valid for Christianity, Islam, and most other religions.
3) He is delusional to start with or becomes so during his preaching – so much so as he starts to actually believe that only one sent from God can be as smart as he is.
4) Or he is simply just an opportunist that sees it as his right to manipulate and exploit the “lesser” people.
I watched a sermon by an American TV evangelist the other day. His fine clothes were man-made. The high-tech microphone attached to his fat head was man-made. The broadcasting equipment was all man-made. The podium was man-made. The building and everything surrounding the jackal was man-made and he had the audacity to stand up there and attribute all these things to God. But people are waking up.
It is no wonder that the number of “prophets” has dramatically decreased in recent times. Let us rid ourselves from these archaic ideologies and watch out for new ones. As man becomes smarter, “the prophet” becomes smarter too – kind of like antivirus and virus. Now we have Bahai, Scientology, Moonies, and the like. These new religions, having recognized that people are not fooled so easily these days (U.S. an anomaly), have become soft. No more a saber-rattling God, no more burning in hell, but ascension, and transcending to a higher level of existence has become their motto. Same ass, different saddle!
If we, as human beings, start taking responsibility and open our eyes to consequences of our actions as individuals, we will not need another person’s God to become ours.
Let us from now on each have a god per person. With 8 billion gods, the chance of any of the gods becoming too powerful will almost be null and voila no more religious conflicts.