Tag Archives: sin

Jesus = get out of jail free card

30 Mar

I had an Atheist epiphany yesterday. My religions professor once tried to tell me that without god, people can do whatever they want with no consequences. I rebuked her on this well enough (I think I have a post about it somewhere on here) but I thought of another good reply. How is having a god that will forgive you every time, no matter how heinous your crime any different? At least Atheists take responsibility for their actions. Atheists don’t have some magical being to absolve them of guilt for having done something terrible.

Fear of atheism

1 Jan

One of the things I think stands in the way of atheism is people’s fear of it, fear of the implications. I know from personal experience that this was one of the things that kept me in the christian faith for as long as I was.

I was having atheistic thoughts a few years before I eventually shed my faith, yet I was scared of these thoughts. I remember lying in bed at night thinking there might not be a god, but I wouldn’t want to live in a world like that. It would be so……boring……. No spirits? No dark forces of the devil to combat as  a holy soldier for christ? No magic? It just didn’t seem like any fun without that stuff. Later I realized that I was just holding on to wishful thinking instead of facts, but the idea where this is all there is, nothing but math & science (and I hate math) to explain everything just didn’t appeal to me.I was afraid of the implications of atheism, boredom.

There was another implication, however, that scared me more than the fear of boredom. It was: if there is no god then all the religious wars in history, all the martyrs for every religion, all the sacrifices in time, money, effort, and lives, everything was for nothing. I think fear of this realization is something very powerful that keeps people away from atheism. It’s just so horrible you don’t want it to be true.

The historical implications alone are mind blowing. The crusades, for nothing, the inquisition, for nothing, the European religious wars, for nothing, the destruction of Incan and African cultures, for nothing, religious and ethnic “cleansing”, for nothing, terrorist attacks, for nothing, just to name a few things in Western history alone in the past few centuries.

The present day implications are also not too pleasant. How many hours each year do people spend in church? How much money is spent funding a church, or new construction when the money is badly needed elsewhere? I have an uncle who has gone through several stints of unemployment, and yet he still tithes 10% of whatever he makes to the church. It’s all for nothing and he’s throwing away 10% of desperately needed money that could go to help feed and house his family.

I had to cope with problems like these before and shortly after I deconverted. When I finally accepted reality, my fear that everything might be being wasted for nothing soon gave way to rage. I wanted to stop the waste. I wanted people to start using their resources to better their lives here and now. So much time and effort is squandered on what might be when we’re dead that nothing is done to help alleviate the suffering of here and now.

As for the boredom, well when I started to look into scientific explanations for things more closely, this gave way to excitement and awe. They always say truth is stranger than fiction, and the real ways things come about is so interesting. Before I was limited to only thinking about this planet as all there was, but in reality, through science, we have the entire universe to explore! There is so much cool science out there that you can’t possibly be bored. As for fighting demons and what not, well, Diablo III should release sometime this year…hopefully. ~_^

You’re a sinner!

23 Dec

Earlier tonight I turned on the tv while getting a snack and landed on the history channel. For those of you who haven’t watched the history channel for years, they have slowly devolved from focusing on history to focusing on either the apocalypse, aliens, or the bible.  A commercial flashed across the screen that made my cereal loose it’s tasty sugary goodness. The commerical: “Do you like to eat? Are you desirous of a woman? You could be a SINNER and not even know it! Next week is 7 deadly sins week, on the history channel! ”

This got me thinking about sin and what it is. For the catholics, the 7 deadly sins are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. For the protestants it’s everything that brings pleasure. (Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of things that are pleasurable are viewed with suspicion) Now what does that tell you about god? If the majority of things that are pleasurable are bad, that implies a doctrine of “salvation through suffering.” I don’t know about you, but as a humanist, I would like to limit human suffering. Sure, telling someone that they can’t have sex before they’re married because it’s a sin might not cause huge suffering, but telling someone that wearing a condom is evil does. (Unwanted children, STD’s and the medical bills and social stigmas both bring) I feel that any group that devotes a good amount of attention on furthering suffering is guilty of  crimes against humanity, and ought to be stopped.

What is the purpose of sin? Why does sin exist? If god loves us so much and hates sin equally so, then why give us the free will to sin? If all he wants is for us to love him, then why not just make us like that? He is god after all. Some might respond with “but this life is just a test, to see if we’re worthy!” Well if we’re born with original sin, and we naturally seek pleasure over pain, dangling something pleasurable in our faces while at the same time telling us that we’ll burn if we enjoy it is sick. If he’s omniscient then he already knows if we’re going to sin or not (see predestination) and free will goes out the window. So why bother with the dramatics? Why go through all this if the end is already decided?

As a humanist, the concept of original sin really pisses me off. Christianity in particular keeps pounding on this idea that you are worthless. You’re a worm. A horrible sinner. And unless you buy their product you’re going to regret it. This just makes me wonder what kind of psychological problems the founding church fathers had. It’s a kind of masochism.

You see, when it comes to human beings, there is a huge difference between humanism and christianity. Humanism is very positive. Instead of scum, humanists believe you’re an amazing being, capable of wondrous things.  You weren’t born evil, you were born with the potential for great goodness! Just look around you, it’s mind blowing what we are able to do! We’ve built massive cities, altered out environment, created artificial intelligences, cured diseases, invented art!, conquered the skies, and put people on the moon! All this from simple beginnings! 500,000 years ago as our ancestors looked up at the moon, they could not have imagined that one day we would walk on it. They couldn’t imagine Mozart, or the Red hot chili peppers (depending on your tastes), they couldn’t imagine van Gogh, Picasso, or Rembrandt! All this by our own hands! I don’t know about you, but I’d take joyous awe at human potential over despair of worthlessness any day.

triumph