Funny Paula, your comment about asking "How do you know there's a god" reminded me of an incident early in high school. Actually, I think that sealed it for me regarding Catholicism.
A nun in regligion class told us that anyone who wasn't catholic was venerating false gods. To which I replied, but aren't protestants pretty much just a spin off of catholicism, Henry VIII and his need for heirs and all. She admitted that Protestants might perhaps, just perhaps, be saved if we prayed enough for them and they changed their wicked ways. I mean WTF???
Then I said, "So buddhist, hindus, muslims, they're all bound straight for hell?"
To which she answered, not even a question in her mind: "Of course, they worship false gods, they worship graven images".
Me: "But what about us? What about that christ on the cross?"
Her: "Not the same thing, that is just a reminder"
Me: "That's total bullshit"
Her: "How dare you blaspheme here? Get out of this class! Now!"
No discussion possible. But I did get some handclaps while I left the class. And I was happy I told her off - though it was perhaps a cruel thing to do. I think that's the day I decided that Catholicism was most definitely out for me. LOL.
As for animals being purposely cruel (the chimps, the dogs), ok, granted. But it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
And true, unlike them, we have the choice, we can make a decision on how we want to act. The fact that we can actually decide what we want to do that "it's understanding, we have a choice of what kind of person to be and how to react or act" makes our cruelty that much more, well, cruel. And so many times humans have perpetuated so much cruelty in the name of a god - it boggles the mind. I think we invented god to a) make things easier to accept and b) have a "scapegoat" (for want of a better word right now) - "Gotta do that, it's god's word". The Jazzer has lots of problems with that attitude, and there seems to be a lot of it going around right now. And of course, most people I know who are christian are not like that at all though.
Edited to add: Actually, what annoys me to death is not christianity as such, I have no problem with funamentalist christians even. Believe what you want. What really makes me angry though, is using "God" as an excuse for bigotry, hatred and exclusion (i.e. the whole "god says homosexuality is wrong, they've gotta change their lifestyle" springs to mind as it was quite an issue in a forum I frequent). That just pisses me off to no end. If there was a god, this god of good everyone talks about, I really don't think he'd be sending people off to hell because of something that is part of their genetic makeup.
As an aside which has nothing to do with anything, I find it hilarious how so many men can be totally homophobic, but the idea of lesbian sex just turns them on to no end. Apparently it's the number one male fantasy. How ridiculous is that?
Guys, you gotta stop making me think!!! It's real interesting, but it has to stop!* I've just started an evil cold on top of an evil ass cough from hell** I've been hauling around for over 2 months... This is too much for me. I might just spontaneously combust.
* Naw, not really.
** Ironic that I, of all people would use that expression...