Friday, June 28, 2013

Christian... never again

Sometimes it seems that Christians are wasting their time trying to convert non-believers. First, their own book says that blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin:
And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10).
So if the Bible says that I can't be forgiven, why bother wasting your time and mine trying to force your religion on me? Perhaps they just ignore that passage along with the many that they often ignore on a regular basis. We'll assume that this is the case here as well, and instead look at the fact that I could never be a Christian as I once was.

Let's assume that in the future, that the Christian god has been proven to exist. How would this impact me? Would I admit I was wrong? Yes. Would I acknowledge that he exists? Yes. But would I become a Christian and worship the Christian god. No, I wouldn't. Morally, I couldn't. If the Bible is an accurate description of the Christian god, then he would more be a being to be repulsed by, rather than one to worship.

Quite honestly, God comes across as more of a devil than a loving deity. My conscious simply wouldn't allow me to worship such a vile being. One problem is that of original sin. The Christian god somehow deems it appropriate to assign permanent transferred penalty for doing something that they couldn't have possibly known was wrong, until after they did it. Because of this, he tells that all are born deserving of eternal torture. This is quite the injustice! I could not worship a being that says that all should be burned alive for all eternity without ever having done anything wrong. Such a being would be one that doesn't value life in the least.

This god is also assigning infinite penalty for finite transgressions. Again, justice is the last thing that seems to be on his mind. Rather, the priority appears to be to scare people into submission, rather than genuine care. Furthermore, even if you are a good person but not a follower, your 'reward' is the same eternal torture as someone who was a genuinely bad person. No justice at all!

Then there is the issue of Jesus. We are told that his death was a sacrifice to pay for the sins of all. But why? If God wants to forgive those that are worthy, why doesn't he? Why necessitate the acceptance of a human sacrifice? Morally, I can not be party to a human sacrifice. I refuse to support this barbaric practice. Second is the idea of scapegoating. We are posed not only with a human sacrifice, but the sacrifice of an innocent. If I wrong someone, I want to may right with them, not some uninvolved party. Willing or not, human sacrifice is something I could never support.

This god's book also speaks lowly of women, allows slavery, commits numerous genocides, as well as other horrors and absurdities. Frankly, this god strangely values unquestioned submission over reasoned thinking and an actually valued and honest relationship. These are not the actions of someone who should be worshiped and praised. A god so unjust, that thinks so lowly of humanity and is guilty of such egregious horrors is not a deity that I could bow to in good conscious. I would sooner take my chances with Hell, than submit to such a tyrant.

But what about other religions? If they were true, could I become a follower of one of those faiths?

Judaism: This is still the same god of Abraham that Christianity worships, so I'd have most of the same issues that would keep me from being a Jew.

Islam: Another Abrahamic religion, meaning my same issues would hold for this faith as well.

Norse: Admittedly, I enjoy the Norse gods/goddesses and the Norse stories. But could I follow Odin, Thor and the rest? I'm not sure that I could. This is mainly because of the rough and tumble nature. I'm a fairly laid back guy, so the Norse tradition may be a bit too rough for me.

Egyptian: Admittedly I'm not overly knowledgeable about this faith, but the practice of human sacrifice would be a deal breaker for me.

Greek: One story from Greek mythology that does not sit well is the punishment Zeus bestowed on Prometheus. There is also the nature of Tatarus and how vain and paranoid the gods can sometimes be. Not as ugly as Christianity, but it does have a dark side.

Hinduism: There is the support of the caste system and the holy book's low position on women for starters.

Wiccan: While I do like the nature-based nature if this religion, the additional belief in magic would be a hard sell for me. Unless magic was also proved to be real as well, I'd probably have trouble signing on.

Buddhism: All-in-all, this looks to be a nice and peaceful religion today. But history shows a rather violent past. There is also the nature of karma. Some Buddhists will claim that if you are having troubles, that you are simply being punished for a previous life, and do nothing to help. How much of all that is individual interpretation, and how much is accurate to Buddhism would likely decide if I could seek Buddhist enlightenment. If the modern picture of Buddhism were the true truth, I'd be fine... But the truth isn't often that simple.

Shintoism: This religion is one that I could see myself okay with from what I know about it. I'm sure there's more to it than what I know, but for now, it's on my short list of religions I could maybe sign on with if it were proven true.

So, Shinto looks good. Buddhism could be good depending on what is rooted in the holy texts and what's not. Wicca would also be acceptable as long as the magic was also proven to be true as part of the deal. But as none are supported by evidence, I happily remain an atheist.

But I couldn't see myself ever joining on with the others mentioned. Above all others, I could never be a Christian again. Maybe that's because that's the religion I know best. But it is a religion with a abhorrent god. A vindictive bully that wishes eternal torrent on innocent people unless they agree to be party to a human sacrifice. That is a vile god that any moral person should never worship simply to keep a clear conscious.

-Brain Hulk

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