I’ve long thought that a person with the combined attributes of ignorance and arrogance was one best avoided. I’ve recently begun considering that the combined attributes of immorality and absurdity should also be avoided, in people certainly, but also in ideology. Christianity boasts of these two attributes and avoiding it will lead to increased mental health and well-being.
First, the absurd. Consider the concept of Christianity and why it would be relevant in any way. In order for any of the Christian theology to even matter, human beings would need to be immortal. After all, the Creator of the Universe is truly only interested in the incorporeal essence we allegedly all possess, which upon the death of our bodies will float off to the Pearly Gates to face St Peter and meet our ultimate fate–the fate that our apparently completely conscious entities will “live” with for trillions upon trillions of eons. If, for example, one could show that this incorporeal entity, this soul as good Christians and bad are apt to call it, doesn’t actually exist, and human beings do not in fact live on after death for hundreds of billions of millenia, then we could regard Christianity as nothing more than a twisted philosophy.
The human brain is quite a complex bit of matter, long studied, but still quite mysterious. We have learned a few things though, and enough I would argue, to put away the childish notion of a ghost inside our machine. We know that when certain parts of the brain are damaged, and by brain I mean the actual, physical brain tissue, corresponding aspects of the mind are damaged as well. The mind is inexorably connected to the physical brain. Damage a portion of the brain, and the person may lose their sense of balance. Damage another, and their sense of smell is destroyed. People lose the ability to speak, see, remember faces, forget the names of common objects, all because the part of the brain that controls these functions has been destroyed. Now take this to its logical conclusion, that is when all parts of the brain are damaged. When all the tissue in the brain is destroyed, i.e. when we die, we are expected by Christian theology to believe that the mind, which we have seen be irreparably damaged when the brain is damaged, will now resurrect itself with all our memories, senses and cognitive function intact and somehow separate itself from the brain and float away to see our great-grandmother in an invisible kingdom.
- An absurdity is a thing that is extremely unreasonable, so as to be foolish or not taken seriously, or the state of being so.
As you can see, to establish Christianity as being absurd, I need only argue that it’s extremely unreasonable. I think a mind that can spontaneously regenerate itself after the death of the brain, completely intact of course, and then live for a trillion eons as a fully conscious entity, able to feel reward or punishment so as to partake in Christian Heaven or Hell, is a highly unlikely, dare I say extremely unreasonable position. As such, Christianity is absurd before we even consider going any further into its doctrines. After all, what difference would any of the rest of it make if we don’t have souls and aren’t immortal?
Now to the immoral. Christians took the Fall of Man from the Hebrew Torah and played on this sinfulness by the FIrst Man and First Woman to create a condition called Original Sin. On the face it, this is a reprehensible idea and one conspicuously without a shred of morality. This hideous concept states that all human beings are born depraved, sick with the stain of a crime they didn’t commit. Unless they cleanse themselves of their guilt, which they acquired without ever committing an act of any kind, they are doomed to an eternal punishment. So every newborn babe, forced into this world by their parents without any say in the matter at all, arrive stained with a black mark upon them. If they are unlucky enough to be born to parents that are not Christian, well they may never know that there is salvation available to them. Doomed indeed.
In order to reach the Christian paradise, one must take part in a filthy and bloody human sacrifice that occurred thousands of years before one’s birth. One must accept that this sacrifice of an innocent man was necessary to remove the sinful nature one was born with. Should one not accept this sacrifice, because it is abhorrent to one’s senses to see an innocent man killed as payment for someone else’s crime, then one will be punished and punished in the most extreme way possible: eternal torture.
So here we have another reprehensible and immoral concept born in the mind of man and spread as Christian doctrine: substitutionary atonement. An entire species of animal, the human animal, can purge itself of guilt and sin by allowing another person to be tortured and killed. “Jesus died for our sins” has been recited so often and for so long by the clerical staff of the church that it’s become an accepted idiom in the language of all human beings touched by Christianity. But let’s consider this in practical terms to expose its hideousness (not to mention absurdity, but we’ve already shown Christianity to be absurd).
I commit a crime against my friend Jack. He has been harmed by my actions and I am liable to him for them, and depending on the nature of the crime, subject to legal punishment as well as compensation to Jack. However, instead I choose to have Phil, who is completely innocent of any crime, tortured and murdered. Now, with Phil’s last breath consumed and his body broken, bloody and devoid of life, I claim my crime against Jack forgiven! I am free to go, in fact I should be rewarded for accepting Phil’s death, and Jack has no more recourse against me. Phil’s death atoned for my crimes via substitution. Who could consider this a just and moral scenario? The premeditated murder of an innocent for the sole purpose of removing my guilt. I go free without payment for my crime against Jack, and Jack has to accept that he will not be made whole from the crime committed against him.
Two key concepts of Christian theology: Original Sin and Substitutionary Atonement, both despicable and immoral. When combined with the absurdity of the entire affair, it is abundantly clear to me that we would all be much healthier, happier and able to think more clearly if we avoided Christianity like the plague that it is.