Anonymous said…(btw, I know anonymous personally):
It all began in earnest, although the inklings were there for many years, when I was exposed to a very bright Ethics professor who asked the following question: What does an omnipotent being need?
Point being that the notion of moral decision-making based upon religious authority is fundamentally flawed. The answer to the above question is obvious; an omnipotent being does not, nor cannot, by definition, need anything. Therefore, there can be no bargains made with such an entity. Moreover, if one devotes all of their life to following the conflicted moral teachings found in the bible this does not guarantee anything post mortem. You still have to be chosen…
Consequently, we cannot possibly owe such an entity anything. The argument goes, in religious fundamentalist thinking, that since we were given the gift of life we owe our creator something in return. But this is a contradiction in terms – a gift is, by definition, not an act which requires something in return. If it does, it is not a gift it is a bargain or transaction (a trade, if you will). If it is such a trade, then the other side is in need of our actions or inactions in the bargain. But if the person we are trading with has zero needs, truly omnipotent, then what’s the point?
That’s right, there is no point.
In the case of Christianity, the supposed trade is that we ought to adhere to God’s will and to live under his explicit code. Problem is, we are instructed what this cod is not by direct, personal, direction from an omnipotent being we can see, touch, smell or hear with our ears but rather by other highly flawed humans presuming to know the mind of God.
Such hubris is stunning…
Moreover, if one considers the Christian concepts of morality and justice one can only come away with some really serious issues and questions. Christianity represents the complete rejection of Greek thinking and Greek justice (Aristotelian), and a philosophical slide back towards the primitive.
Per the Sermon on The Mount, humans are not to judge because, as humans, we are fundamentally worthless-we are all sinners (so goes the “logic”). So, rather than make judgements (use your mind) we are instructed to love those whom we would otherwise deem as worthless; Men and women of questionable character, criminals, tyrants and dictators, are to receive our love and not our judgment.
But to love is to value – just as you cannot have causeless wealth or causeless health, you similarly cannot experience causeless love. To require men to ‘love’ because of edict is to render ones mind useless and to require that one not use his inate abilities of reason, the very trait that allows us to survive.
All of this is based upon one giant intellectual ripoff – original sin. If man is evil by birth, if he has descended from a state of perfection into something else, that something else must be less than perfect ergo we are all flawed (evil) by birth. Sort of like a game played with loaded dice. This fall from a transcendent state of perfection (The garden of eden) is consistently found in virtually all religions and it requires man to worship death rather than life. Religions are all anti-human in their fundamental forms in this regard.
Ayn Rand said it best when she stated the following:
“If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched.”
My journey out of Christianity was one based on hard and long thought, and full due consideration. I respect others rights to worship as they see fit but I can no longer live, intellectually, in a dualist universe.
November 26, 2007