A trick of religious faith is redefining words to mean things they don’t mean. For instance, “love” becomes something like “conditional acceptance based on obedience to the deity.” Justice becomes whatever the deity says and does. This defies basic norms of language and rationality, and words lose all meaning. The god gets a divine exemption from morality, by virtue of a “divine mystery” get out of jail free card.” But there is no mystery here: the god has committed crimes against humanity and uses clever word games as a cover-up to keep his followers blind to his injustices. The god does things that are the exact opposite of the definition of love and justice, like genocide, torture, slavery. Divine mystery is a way of justifying atrocities, and attempting to make sense of actions and ideas that are obviously wrong. This is the job of religious apologists and theologians: to defend the indefensible. They are forced to do this because they have to justify everything contained in their sacred writings, no matter how irrational. Simple appeals to common sense make such distortions obvious. You don’t need to live with this kind of cognitive dissonance (intellectual confusion and moral double standards) when you let go of this deity. The world will become simpler, freer, and less frightening.

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