Image by Swamibu via FlickrBy Ty H Philips
For over two thousand years, western society has been influenced by the teachings of an obscure mythical figure known as Jesus of Nazareth. Why he was called this, is unknown, aside from his disciples trying to fulfill prophecy on their own, because he was neither born there, had family from there, nor ever lived there. Many, including myself, will argue that we are less influenced by the stories of Jesus as much as we are by the teachings of Paul and the future Roman Catholic Church. This paper will be a detailed refute of the ethicalness of the Judeo/Christian faith.
I have been plagued, harangued, and fearful of my own objections on many grounds. First being raised in a fundamental and charismatic Christian household, I have ingrained in me, the teachings of a school of Christian thought called, Dispensationalism. This school of thought was created in the 1800’s by John Nelson Darby. Prior to this period, no Christian had heard of such terms as the rapture or the tribulation period etc. Today however, any charismatic or evangelical church that you walk into, will be explaining the bible under the influence of dispensationalism.
However, without too much digression, this is not so much a paper on the history of Christianity, a refute of the historicity of Jesus, or a comparison on how the teachings of the old and new testament are borrowed, extensively one might add, from other, older religions, including the creation myth and up to the virgin birth, death, and resurrection of a savior god man. Almost every quote and miracle that Jesus supposedly uttered and performed was spoken and done in other, much earlier, religious myths.
There may be sporadic reference and arguments, such as the prior, littered through-out this text, but the main body will be an explanation of the ethical objections against the faith as a whole, both Judaism and Christianity. Please understand, this is not a pro-Islamic paper, I simply require a paper in itself to dispute the illogical and morally objectionable material that encapsulates the faith of Islam. That being said, let us move into objection one.
My first objection is the idea or notion that God is not only omniscient but also omnipotent. Not only is this idea a contradiction in terms, which has been shown by any clever philosopher, but its very idea negates free will. How you ask? Well, allow me to explain. Creation was an act of will, by a creator deity that has all foreknowledge of his creation, prior to the act of creation itself. The bible has god stating that the names of the saved were written in the book of life prior to times existence.
This act of foresight means, by definition, that free will is negated. Many a clever pundit will try and argue my rational no doubt, but will come to the horrible end cause of truth. You have no free will, if your actions are pre known and pre destined. This being part and parcel of the Christian and Judaic creed, it also brings into account the creation of evil, suffering, and HELL (more on this topic later).
Many Christians blame the devil and his fallen angels (now called demons) for the evil that is in creation and that tempts us from doing the right thing on a daily basis. A man’s struggle with lust who winds up cheating on his loving and devoted wife, blame it on the devil tempting him with lust. A mother drowns her own children in a bathtub; blame it on demonic influence ad naseum.
Not only does this bring up the case of personal responsibility (which we also no longer have thank you to PC and liberal government), but it brings up the major issue of God knowing, and willingly creating it anyway. This, in any human society, would be known simply as sadism for the sake of sadism. How does one willingly create death and destruction, pain and suffering, and call themselves a loving, holy being? Ahh..but he does not call himself that does he? According to the Old Testament he is a angry and jealous god who was willing to dole out the most vindictive punishments against anyone who stood in his “chosen peoples” path, and I might add, against his own chosen people.
A simple ethical argument can go as follows; If a man, knowing his wife has the intent and willingness to kill her children, hands her a loaded gun, knowing full well that she intends to turn around and shoot the children, is he not also to be held responsible? No, he did not pull the trigger, but he did, knowing full well that she would use the weapon to murder, provide her with means and opportunity. This is culpability, and willful cooperation in a murder. How much worse then, when a god creates an angel, knowing that this angel will rebel against him, taking 1/3 of all of the angels in heaven with him in rebellion, be cast down to earth and given reign over it and allowed to tempt, mislead, and cause the endless suffering of mankind?
To further this argument, what of the Garden of Eden; God creates a perfect paradise, again being fully cognizant of the outcome prior to its creation, puts two people in the garden and takes them over to a special tree, because we all know that fruit makes people do crazy things, and says, “look guys, don’t eat this fruit ok?” First of all, why put the tree in the garden to begin with unless you intentionally want to tempt someone into wrong doing, and secondly, why put the tree there KNOWING they are going to be tempted by the devil you created and eat the fruit you told them not to, even though you already knew they would.
Can we not all see how poor this logic is? It is just cyclical in its sadism; every action done, with foreknowledge of its outcome, done anyway regardless of the untold suffering of billions of people. I see the pettiness of the Greek gods all over again. With such contradictory nature, let us not forget the complete lack of similarity between the new testament turn the other cheek god and the old testament, kill’em all, including their children, animals and women, unless they are virgins, then it’s ok to keep them for your own personal pleasure. Am I the only one seeing a problem here?
The second objection to this faith being; the need for a blood sacrifice; this statement alone should be enough to send anyone with any ethical and moral upbringing, running for the border. No doubt, many Christian and Jews will read this paper, and start to expel the reasoning behind the need for innocent blood to be spilled in order to get close to God. Before you make this attempt, please be aware that I am already familiar with the argument. The need in itself to spill blood, be definition, makes it immoral.
Please allow this slight digress, as I am sure the choice of my term immoral will no doubt start a secondary argument on only a pure good can give rise to moral and immoral, hence there must be a god. Please allow me to retort simply by saying, save it. I am not proving or disproving God by this paper, and no argument submitted as a rebuttal will do the opposite.
Moving right along; many people no doubt being raised either Jewish or Christian are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve’s fall and hence the punishment of all man and womankind through the remainder of history. This of course sounds perfectly reasonable to me, does it not to you? Why not punish a whole population for one man’s mistakes, even if the rest of the population was not aware that this man and woman even existed, and of course, the entire race not being born yet, nor did they will themselves into existence.
Anyway, this fall created a chasm between god and man, and god could no longer talk face to face with man, but required a sacrifice to be made, in order to atone for man’s ugliness and sinfulness. And what better way to do this then to find some innocent animal and cut its throat. Hey, I know if I screwed up, I could not think of a better way to deal with it then slitting a few throats and watching the blood pore.
My first objection is the idea or notion that God is not only omniscient but also omnipotent -- (the) very idea negates free will As we move along into biblical history, we see a mass of rituals and regulations that are now required in order to see god face to face, which still actually cannot be done accept by one man, the high priest, who if not clean enough, god kills him too. I mean, can you feel the love people?
This, skipping a few genocides, rapes, baby killings, some incest, and a biblical hero who kills a man in order to sleep with the man’s wife…well, the man’s widow now; we find our self in the time of Jesus. Who was of course, born of a virgin, and god incarnate. God now, feeling bad for all the horrible things he has done to people over the last few thousand years, decides he will be born and kill himself, in order to spill innocent blood yet again, so that people can have a personal relationship with him once again, even though he never talks back…yes I have tried.
The problem, three pages later, remains the need for the blood of innocents to be spilled. There is a fundamental repugnance to this that any person with even the slightest bit of ethical standing would sense. The idea is like me telling my children, “even though you didn’t ask to be born, you are horribly flawed, filthy bastards and in order for you to see me, not only do you have to figure out where I am, by clues hidden in some obscure text that makes no sense and is littered with contradiction, but you must kill a perfect, innocent animal or I just can’t bear to look at you.” Something tells me that no one but the vilest and perverse parents would make their children suffer in such a way, of course unless the devil made them do it.
This leads me to the objection of prophecy. Prophecy, again in the biblical sense, is an utterance from god on the future happenings of the human race, in particular the church and the nation of Israel. This type of prophecy purportedly not being the mad ramblings of the local drunk, is not open to interpretation, but is a direct transmission from god to humanity. Here is the issue of free will again. If a prophecy comes true, it is a negation of human free will. Biblical prophecy can only be true, if it is set in stone from the foundation of the earth as god states in the bible. If this is true, and it is set in stone, then we are all just pieces, most of us minor pieces, on a chessboard. Again, we see the overwhelming sadism behind this entire mindset.
I have come across the verse John 3:16, widely held as the most recognized verse in the bible, that states, “for god so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, will not perish but have eternal life.” I have often found myself wondering, if we are loved so much, why not walk and talk with us like a father should? If you want our love so badly, why not earn our respect and our friendship by being honest and open with us in a daily life? Many Christians reply that they do have a real, daily relationship with god. To this I can only testify to mental illness or delusion. If any parent did to their children, what god has done to his own creation, they would be facing the death penalty.
Now what of hell? Here is a real debate and idea that has been in every major religion known to man in some form or another. Egyptians, Zoroastrianism, Greek Philosophy, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc.
The funny thing is, Jews do not believe in hell, or for that matter, much of an afterlife. Not until the Hellenistic influence was felt by Judea do we see more ideas of a hell concept.
Many people, both believers and non, feel that the concept of hell has some merit. A place for people like Hitler, Stalin, Pal Pot, Mussolini and the like, to pay for the crimes they have committed against humanity. Here however is where we falter…according to Christianity, everyone who is not born again will go to hell. Now keep in mind, this means more than just mere belief. This means 100% dedication, love for, and belief in Jesus Christ. The bible states that god will “spew the look warm from his mouth.”
So, just because you say that you believe, this is not good enough, because god, being all knowing, knows a man heart. Any semblance of being wishy washy in your belief and down to hell you go, for all eternity, to face not only eternal separation from god, but eternal torment and torture in a lake of burning sulfur. Now honestly folks, what good parent doesn’t create a place like hell, for their unruly children to spend infinity, for the actions of a finite life.
The idea of hell, although I feel it is completely human, if divine, would take the intent of its creator to be the perfect place of suffering. This takes us back to the chosen being “written in the book prior to the foundation of time” and a knowing god who created hell, knowing full well that he intended to send the majority of his creation to it. This should be a reason for conscientious objection for any rational person.
In closing, many people have come to me and stated, I have free will in either choosing or rejecting god. To this I state, god also had free will in his actions that are so horribly cruel and vindictive, and it is my choice to take a moral and ethical stand against such a cruel and horrible being. If it brings about my eternal punishment, then so be it.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)