1.) Human condition:
Religion (especially Biblical religion) speaks to the human condition via a position of authority. Now how is this authority expressed and gained? This authority is assumed. One must assume that an invisible, immaterial being deserves to dictate how we live, think, and behave. In other words, religion erects an authority structure that does not stem from in depth analysis of the natural world as well as other cultures and their religions. If one is accepting a religion, they are also accepting a region. A way of thinking and worship that was established in a particular part of the world from a specific cultural context. It’s important to know how much context comes into play here!
2.) Sin and virtue:
Religion attempts to universally understand what is both good and evil. Not only this but it attempts to define it in great detail and then dictate how the masses should think and behave. It is important to consider what is being ignored here. Other cultures and the various differing conditions that they find themselves in have erected differing moral frameworks. These are different attitudes and tastes pertaining to what is either sinful or virtuous. Certain kinds of expression that are virtuous within one religion and its culture are outrightly condemned in another. This speaks against this idea of a God given conscience and far more toward a species that is simply trying to understand the world and build a framework from its own context.
Religion attempts to do justice in response to terrible human acts and behaviors. It claims to have meted out the proper punishment or reward every single time. Let us briefly consider the notion of assigning eternal consequences to finite actions. In what scenario is this ever justified outside of religion? It would seem that this is a complete breakdown in logic. It assumes that the human condition is beyond correction once we’ve broken a certain threshold. It also becomes insurmountably cruel in the sense that the punishment, anger, wrath, and torment is said to never let up or stop. It defies mercy, goodness, and compassion in every way. It also willingly continues human suffering forever. How is this in any way a valid solution toward evil and suffering?