What I mean is "why?". I am going to use this thread to sorta work thru it all and you are welcome to add or comment or be disruptive.
To begin with, the judeo-christian belief system is based on the two books of the bible. If they are bunk, then the religious edifice is bunk since it would not have come into being (in it's current form) without them. If they are made up by humans then they are the bunk. They must needs be divine for there to be any relevance to them. Right? So, are they divine in any way shape or form?
I have read the bible, both books. I am no scholar nor am reasonably familiar with the texts, except for snippits. But this is my take away:
I. There is nothing there that even vaguely suggests the hand of an advanced power/intellect. Nothing, not one thing. It is something that human beings of the time would have no problem cobbling together.
As Ingersoll said (I was floored when I cam across this, he wrote my thoughts exactly. Again, thanks to Nyasrl for directing me to him. Didn't know he existed.)
Every religion in this world is the work of man. Every book has been written by man. Men existed before the books. If books had existed before man, I might admit there was such a thing as a sacred volume. Man never had an idea—man will never have an idea, except those supplied to him by his surroundings. Every idea in the world that man has came to him by nature. You can imagine an animal with the hoof of a bison, with the pouch of the kangaroo, with the wings of an eagle, with the beak of a bird, and with the tail of the lion; and yet every point of this monster you borrowed from nature. Every thing you can think of, every thing you can dream of, is borrowed from your surroundings. And there is nothing on this earth coming from any other sphere whatever. Man has produced every religion in the world. And why? Because each religion bodes forth the knowledge and the belief of the people at the time it was made, and in no book is there any knowledge found, except that of the people who wrote it. In no book is there found any knowledge, except that of the time in which it was written. Barbarians have produced, and always will produce barbarian religions; barbarians have produced and always will produce ideas in harmony with their surroundings, and all the religions of the past were produced by barbarians. We are making religions to-day. That is to-say, we are changing them, and the religion of to-day is not the religion of one year ago. What changed it? Science has done it; education and the growing heart of man has done it. And just to the extent that we become civilized ourselves, will we improve the religion of our fathers. If the religion of one hundred years ago, compared with the religion of to-day is so low, what will it be in one thousand years?
II. The bible if fraught with inconsistencies. The Goliath thing is one, the question of the timing of the second coming is a biggie in my view since it is pretty unequivocally stated. It is not the inconsistencies that bother me as much as the apologetics that go around them. To believe you must accept that God wrote his holy word in such a way that a lawyer is required for understanding. That, my friends, is noinsence. It suggests that God is incapable of making a clear case.
III. placeholder ... the difference between a reality defined by gods existence and that that would have occurred if there were no god. Is there a difference?
IV. place holder "You cannot know gods plan/will/intentions/purpose" the ultimate get out of jail free card. It seems that if this is so then God is a kidder and you can not, by definition, have any idea of what he wants so you might as well live your life and hope for the best. If he is a kidder, you have no idea what is true and what is not so you might as well simply live your life according to your god given judgement. Right?