Jesus loves you, but his dad thinks you’re a shit


Here’s a young man trying to explain how a supposedly Omni-Benevolent God can possibly send his children to the bowels of Hell forever. It’s the same doctrine expounded on by St. Paul; you choose to go to hell yourself by not loving him, or his damn son. Well, my simple response is no supernatural being deserves love if the punishment for ambivalence or mistrust is an eternity of pain. Sorry guys, the idea that I have any ‘choice’ is pretty ridiculous. It’s the equivalent of being held up by a robber and forced to chose between giving my money to him or getting shot in the face. Sure, I have a say in the matter, but both fucking options are entirely unappealing.

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Comments (26)

  • avatar

    Кевин

    This video really shows the condescending nature of fundamental Christians.

    Perhaps one of the most annoying things about Christians is their ability to look at a newborn baby and assume, for no reason other than a Bible story, that baby’s a sinner and requires salvation.

    What a load. Would you punish a newborn baby if her parents were murderers?

    Oh, but that’s right– God works in mysterious ways, right?

  • avatar

    JohnFrost

    Ugghh… my eyes are glazing over.

    Bless his heart. “If God wasn’t loving, why did he let Adam and Eve continue living?”
    Yeah, excellent question. God could have put them out of their misery right then, but he chose to allow them to breed and to therefor bring into being billions upon billions of sentient humans, all of whom suffered tragedy upon tragedy… So loving.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    K -
    Read Ezekiel 18. This passage is the first indication of ancient near east cultures realizing that offspring don’t take on the sin of their fathers. Their understanding in that time is much like that of non-Christians today — that is, righteousness means following legalistic rules and is earned.

    But, if God is the one who gave us physical life, how can anything we “give” Him in the form of obedience make Him indebted to us? How does that even make sense? We can’t earn His approval. “Salvation” isn’t a form of approval either. It’s merely a state of being, a relation. It is then in that relationship with Christ that one is able to get beyond the rules-following and actually see the spirit of the laws and come to follow them with His strength because they are good, not because following them obtains salvation.

    For, if there is something within us that we cannot overcome (temptation to be greedy, for example) and it is truly in us, how can we expect to get past it on our own? How does one overcome oneself if they are the problem? Even if you pull yourself by your bootstraps, so to speak, there is always a hypothetical scenario with your given temptation that will be too powerful for you. Freedom from temptation is not the point though. The point is that a life with temptations invites a break/disconnect between you and God.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    John –

    Nice argument. Typical of this culture. Pain/tragedy always = bad. But I would differ with that.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Tragedy is bad. But why are you assuming a good/bad, either/or proposition? That invites the possibility of something quintessentially good. What is that ultimate good?

  • avatar

    Кевин

    Kizzle,

    I really don’t know what you’re getting at here. You remark,

    “But, if God is the one who gave us physical life, how can anything we “give” Him in the form of obedience make Him indebted to us?”

    What nonsense. That attitude is so pathetic; you sound like an abused spouse in denial. You Christians with your shame, eh? You really think so little of our species, don’t you?

    And further, what does your above statement say about your god? That he’s never satisfied? You go on to assert we can never win his approval. Why? Is he that much of a pretentious snob? If I went my whole life without stealing, lying, hating, etc, would that STILL not be good enough? I find it amusing how we “non-worthy” humans often display more virtuous feelings and beliefs than our supposed loving creator.

    The rest of your second paragraph, admittedly, makes sense. Well, it makes sense only if you believe in the childish notion of biblical salvation.

    You third paragraph is exactly what I’d expect to find in something like an AA brochure. You truly believe you need your god to overcome temptation, etc don’t you? Well, I have news for you: there’s a whole world of people out there who overcome great strife without your god. It’s possible. It’s happening right now. Literally.

    Anyway, the point still stands: why is it that humans— even ancients (who wrote, say, the book of Ezekiel)— understand that children aren’t responsible for their parent’s evil deeds, but God doesn’t? Again, one must rationalise this with the supposed fact that “God works on a different level than then rest of us.” I’m not the one who needs convincing of the fact that children shouldn’t be held accountable for the sins of those who came before them. It is your fellow Christians who don’t get the point; the notion that Man is, by definition, sinful (because of original sin) is daft at best.

  • avatar

    Кевин

    Regarding post #5:

    Oh don’t start the whole, ‘there is no good/evil without God’ thing. Not only has Mr. Fortin covered this (probably more than once) in his podcasts, but it’s just a flat argument. What’s next? Are you going to suggest I lack morality because one can’t be good without God?

    Anyway, I disagree with your assertion that the recognition of good/evil invites the concept of absolute good. Basically (or ‘essentially,’ to borrow Jacob’s favourite word), there are just things. They can have a detrimental effect on society, or a positive effect on society. When we say good/evil, it’s really just semantics. Nothing’s absolute.

    Don’t pretend like there is an absolute ‘good.’ You yourself, as a Christian, should know that historically, ‘good’ can mean any number of things based on who you’re talking to and when. ‘Good’ is relative; perhaps unfortunately.

  • avatar

    JohnFrost

    Whoa, this is weird… I was going to type a response to this guy, then I realized that my first post could just be transplanted here and it would be just as relevant.

    Bless Kizzle’s heart. I feel for him, I really do.

    Kizzle, listen buddy… I’ve been where your at. I know how and why your thinking those things. It was actually my fierce and passionate love of Christianity that led me to the pursuit of Truth above any dogma… which, eventually, turned me into an atheist.
    I don’t even feel the need to address your arguments; they’ve been addressed so many millions of times before; the issue is whether your faith is so shaky that you fear looking at differing viewpoints, or if you can say to yourself, “Truth will always win out, so I’ll compare my beliefs to what the non-believers say and see which one wins!”
    And please, no strawmen. That’s all I ever saw for my first 20 years–look at the arguments of real atheists, not what your apologetics books ~claim~ atheists say.

  • avatar

    Infinite Monkey

    Well, the whole “going to hell” arguement hinges on God allowing sin to enter the world. This means one of two things. Either he is unable to remove evil/prevent it from entering in the first place, OR he is unwilling to do so. This mean, in my opinion, either, he is not all powerful, or he is all powerful, just chooses not to use it. So, which is it?

    The counter to that arguement is “free will”, however, again, God is all-knowing, knows everything has happened, is happening, and will happen. Following that logic, not only does he know that evil will enter, and people will go to hell, but he knows who will go to hell also. If it hurts him to send people to hell, and he as the ability to prevent it, does that mean he’s masochistic?

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Кевин-

    Why do you assume I have a low view of the human species? Far from it. I think humans have great potential. The brain is the most complex thing in the entire universe, arguably.

    Would it be logical for God to be indebted to anybody/anything?

    I’m not shaming the human species by saying a creator is above his creation.

    You think that we humans often display more virtuous characteristics than God, supposedly, but your conception of God is off base (and purposefully). I didn’t say he was a pretentious snob, nor did I say that he is never satisfied. We are in fact approved but it’s not because of works. If it was because of works, then that would imply that God somehow owes us something. Christianity does not consider life to be a bargain with God – we follow rules, He rewards us. That’s not what it is. So, your question, “If I went my whole life without stealing, lying, hating, etc, would that STILL not be good enough?,” is correct. But that’s not the point…

    I also understand that people get along with AA programs and their own support/coping systems. I get that. That argument doesn’t really have any bearing on what Christianity is and what God is about. Non-Christians can be good and moral. That’s not the point, as I said in the original post that you missed.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    “Anyway, I disagree with your assertion that the recognition of good/evil invites the concept of absolute good. Basically (or ‘essentially,’ to borrow Jacob’s favourite word), there are just things. They can have a detrimental effect on society, or a positive effect on society. When we say good/evil, it’s really just semantics. Nothing’s absolute.”

    I agree that “good” is often used to describe the effect some action has on society (or you could say relationships). I don’t think it’s just semantics, however. You can view a particular animal, say a goat, as good or bad based on its behavior. But saying a particular goat is bad is really speaking to your own expectations of proper relation. You aren’t expecting the goat to consciously change its behavior. As you travel up the sentient chain, this changes when there is a consciousness involved. You can start describing people (or their actions) as good or bad because of the effect it has on others or themselves and it has bearing because they are aware. If there are actions that are beneficial (good) and ones that are not, then you can envision a set of actions and relations to others that are all good. You can call that morality or whatever you wish. It would make perfectly good sense for their to be an absolutely good way of interacting with people. If God is a being that interacts with other beings of sentience, then could it not make sense that He could/should be absolutely good? Perhaps the source of good?

    Or am I absolutely wrong?

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    i remember reading Chiktracks about how a persons” good works” was irrelevant to making it into heaven. The particular cartoon was about a couple who had worked to help AIDS ridden Africa that was on a plane talking to a convicted killer. He told them that they better believe in Jesus like he did, otherwise they were doomed to Hell despite their good deeds. That’s the fucked up thing about making it all about “accepting Jesus”. It isn’t a reward or punishment for actions but rather a punishment for disbelief. Even if God did exists and this was the condition of not living in hell, the choice is not a moral one.

    check out the sickening cartoon here:
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0041/0041_01.asp

  • avatar

    Кевин

    OMG, Jacob! I have two of those little cartoon booklet things!!

    I thought they were just flukes; poor-quality scribbles that some pathetic, workers’ comp Bible nut made in his garage! But there’s a whole publishing company?! Oh man…

    In the two booklets I have (one I found in a Canadian Tire, the other in a relative’s mailbox in Windsor), the funniest arguments come up– Einstein misquotes, bananas disproving Evolution, and Pascal’s Wager! Good times… spent a weekend in tears laughing over those doozies!

  • avatar

    Кевин

    In response to post #10:

    Kizzle,

    I recognise your high opinion of Homo sapiens. My point is that there’s a contradiction: humans are apparently sinners in need of salvation. This doesn’t sound like a high view of a particular society or species.

    As an atheist, I reject the idea that we’re all sinners by nature. Just think about how ridiculous the concept of Original Sin is: one man makes an error in judgement; man is punished; all his supposed children/descendants are also punished.

    Now, if you believe the above, you must recognise that we, as humans, are sinners destined for Hell should we not accept Christ as our saviour. And this is what I’m arguing is the low view our species. It’s like we’re defective and in need of repair.

    No, Kizzle, you didn’t actually say the words, ‘pretentious snob’ or ‘never satisfied.’ You said, “We can’t earn His approval.” Right. Sorry. My mistake… those are obviously very very different things.

    Okay, so first you say “…if there is something within us that we cannot overcome (temptation to be greedy, for example) and it is truly in us, how can we expect to get past it on our own?”

    Then you go on to say, “I also understand that people get along with AA programs and their own support/coping systems. I get that.”

    I hope this contradiction is your way of understanding that people don’t need your god for… well, anything. We don’t need His help, His guidance, His love, or His forgiveness. What you see is what you get.

    Regarding Post #11:

    In response to your assertion, I maintain there’s no such thing as absolute good/evil.

    My example is the subject of stem cell research, or perhaps abortion. Some people think these things are evil. Very evil. Evil enough to restrict them altogether, or ostracise those who don’t think they’re evil.

    Now if you ask me, I don’t see either as evil. So who’s right? Both parties believe—or ‘know’—they’re on the righteous side, so clearly there’s no absolute ‘good.’ Yes, there are often valid examples of seemingly ‘perfect’ acts; giving to the poor or volunteering. But again, these are just things: they may be a benefit to people, or they may not.

    All we can do is do everything we can to minimize suffering, and encourage discussion on how to go about doing so, as well as what ‘suffering’ really is. Nothing’s absolute.

    Yes, in theory, it makes sense that there should be a perfectly good way of interacting with people. But, of course, this is a fantasy. And in reality, no—it doesn’t make perfectly good sense that there’s a universal ‘good’ way to interact with one another. Unfortunately, this is so because of the wide spectrum of religious, political, and social practices in the world.

    Finally, your view of absolute good wouldn’t apply to God either. His ‘good’ can be anything from the bizarre and seemingly evil habits of the Ichneumon wasp species, to the nameless Zimbabwean orphan starving in the streets. His good? Well, that could be _our_ evil.

  • avatar

    Nick

    I think what this person needs is to read a transcript of what he has said over and over until he spots just how nonsensical it is. He can start with asking himself where Satan came from. If God is all good, why does God allow Satan to exist? Maybe… just maybe that God either isn’t omnipotent or that God -isn’t- all good. Start with that, pluck at the bare, exposed threads of his speech and the whole thing just comes apart.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Good works aren’t irrelevant. They are what Christians are called to do, but you don’t do them in order to be saved, but because God has already begun to save you. It’s a process, in my view.

    If a Christian claims faith in Christ yet takes no notice of what He says (with the idea that deeds make no difference) then that isn’t faith – it is just intellectual acceptance of some theory about God.

    Let me ask this – if good works were done for some motive such as obtaining salvation (or going to Heaven as some understand it) could those actions still be considered good in the same sense? With that motive?

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Кевин

    I see your point of view in regard to the idea that humans are somehow defective. I know it’s not a “high view” so to speak. I’m not arguing for the idea of Original Sin right now, but is it not fairly apparent that we humans don’t deal with each other in a preferable way? I mean war, murder, rape, abuse, hate, rage, mean feelings, betrayal, even cursing each other? That sounds defective to me. If your relationship with a significant other could be described with any of those, I don’t think anyone would call it healthy.

    By the way, my point was we can’t earn His approval, not that He will never or never does approve.

    And no, Jacob Fortin, belief isn’t a purely moral choice. But in a way it still is a reward/punishment for actions because Christians are called to obedience, but not the strict authoritarianism that it may connote. Rather, willing obedience to Christ’s commands, which include moral actions towards one another, but which hinge upon right relation with God.

    Кевин, what I have said is not really a contradiction. People can get help for their addictions, etc. but when it comes to being in the right relation to God, only God can work that (even though we strive for it). It is a synergistic working in my view.

    Regarding absolute good/evil,

    Just because there are two views on a matter does not, therefore, mean there is no absolute right or wrong. It may lend credence, but it has no bearing on the actual truth. It is not “clear” as you put it. Which is exactly why there is controversy…

    You say it makes sense that there might be a perfectly good way to interact, then you merely say, “But, of course, this is a fantasy.” Expound on that please.

    I don’t see how having different religions, or politics, or social customs negate the existence of a right way to relate to people. I’m not talking about specific actions, but behavior in general – love, forgiveness, forbearance, patience, the virtues, etc. You’re drifting away from what I originally meant.

    “Finally, your view of absolute good wouldn’t apply to God either. His ‘good’ can be anything from the bizarre and seemingly evil habits of the Ichneumon wasp species, to the nameless Zimbabwean orphan starving in the streets. His good? Well, that could be _our_ evil.”

    This is merely turning the idea of good into a preference, which totally changes what we humans have called “good”. You are now just playing semantic games, even though I can see how you might think it logical.

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Nick,

    Or perhaps God is both omnipotent and benevolent, and thought it was worth the risk to create beings with the ability to become good or bad?

    The more potential a being has, the better it can be if it goes right, but also worse if it goes wrong. An ox cannot be very good or bad. A dog can be a little bit more of both. A child more still. An adult even more good or bad.

  • avatar

    Nick

    Unfortunately there are no absolute, unchanging definitions of good and evil. There are only the moral codes that us humans live by, doing the best that we can. Us humans come up with rules and laws as to what is good and bad. And this changes throughout history. In a hundred years people will look back and laugh at how backwards our attitudes are.
    I feel a lot of religious people believe that religion is necessary to do good. It really isn’t. You don’t need religion as an excuse – do good for the sake of it!

  • avatar

    Þundur Freyr

    Ebola is just a funny way to say – I Love You

    The other day I decided to teach my children a lesson. A lesson they would not be likely to forget anytime soon. I had heard that my psychotic, evil neighbor had acquired a batch of the Ebola virus so one night I allowed him to inject my little children with it as they lay asleep in their beds. Needless to say they got a rather rude awakening when blood suddenly began to squirt out of their every orifice.

    But don´t worry, I´m not a monster. I had the antidote on me.

    So I told them that if they wanted me to have mercy on them, they would have to beg me for it. I would decide, based on how hard they begged me, whether or not I would cure them. You see, I wanted to be absolutely sure that they truly loved me. That they considered me to be their almighty father and that they loved no one else as much as me. Being a firm believer in the independence of my children I did not coerce them to beg me for my mercy. No, I allowed them to decide for themselves whether or not to do this. Of course if they didn´t… well, the choice was theirs.

    They looked so cute, lying there on the floor, holding their insides in with their adorable little hands. Trying to beg me for mercy in between the violent vomiting. At last though I was satisfied and gave them all the antidote… Well not all of them actually.

    Not to Tommy, his heart just didn´t seem to be in it. I could see it in his eyes, some sort of a broken look, that he doubted my love for him. And there was Susan of course. She begged very hard for mercy and I believed her, but I just like to retain a little bit of mystery around me. I´m just that type of a on-the-edge kinda guy. It keeps everyone in check, not knowing how I´ll react tomorrow.

    Now what was the purpose of these shenanigans you ask? Well it was two-fold.

    For the first part, I wanted them to know how loving and merciful I truly am. Would I have made the effort if I wasn´t? Would I have cured them if I wasn´t? Of course not.

    Secondly, I taught them how valuable life is and how good they really have it every day.

    This I could not have possibly done in any other way.

    An all-loving father

  • avatar

    Kizzle

    Nick, you say do good for the sake of it… that sure sounds like you are saying good is just good. Sounds kind of absolute to me.

    The basic understanding of what is good has not changed for all of recorded history, why do you think it will change in a hundred years. What you are talking about are laws and cultural attitudes, not what is considered good and evil, which I would argue is more innately understood.

    Of course you don’t need “religion” to make good choices, per se.

    What if there is more to life than just “doing good”?

    I really do think that we humans know there is something that is ultimately good, and that we subconsciously use it as our measuring stick. How do you know what is crooked if you don’t know what is straight?

    If there is something, or as I believe someone, who is perfectly good, wouldn’t it be more important to “know” this person than to just “act” like him by doing good? And if he is perfectly good, wouldn’t it be impossible to share communion (relationship) with him if we are not perfectly good? That’s why he gives us grace as we seek to know him and live life in light of that fact.

  • avatar

    Nick

    Kizzle, I completely disagree that what is defined as good and evil, right and wrong doesn’t change. To take an example : only last century homosexuality was a criminal offence in the UK. Now it is widely accepted as being absolutely fine.
    My argument is that all we have to judge what is good and evil IS laws and cultural attitudes. There isn’t a higher power. It’s no good saying “if there is something… if he is perfectly good” as that word “if” contains such a vanishingly small probability (and I refer you to the example of “Russell’s teapot”). We only have ourselves to work out what is right and wrong.
    Just look at all the evil, wrong things that have been done by the religious. Religion causes bad things. Get rid of it and humankind would be much free to do better.

  • avatar

    Кевин

    In response to Post 17:

    “You say it makes sense that there might be a perfectly good way to interact, then you merely say, “But, of course, this is a fantasy.” Expound on that please.”

    As I said, there’s no perfectly good way to interact with one another. Indeed, there are better, more effective ways of communication than others. My point is, ‘good’ is always subjective; meaning we, as a species, would never be able to draw a consensus regarding what a ‘perfect’ way of communication would be.

    Perhaps this is due to the vast spectrum of different view points on certain topics (religious, social, political, etc).

    For example, if I were to put forth my version of ‘perfect’ good, you, as a Christian (for example), will likely disagree with several facets of my version. Therefore, it’s fantasy to assume it’s possible to unite humanity with an ubiquitous, universal version of ‘good.’ Obviously, I say this with a degree of disappointment; the fantasy of universal ‘good’ is, at times, an unfortunate reality.

    Regarding post 18:

    Kizzle remarked:

    “An ox cannot be very good or bad. A dog can be a little bit more of both. A child more still. An adult even more good or bad.”

    This is incorrect. The adult will have an idea of what his/her peers, parents, law-makers, and educators have taught him/her is good/bad. And that adult will act on those lessons accordingly. What if that adult’s taught African Americans are inferior to Caucasians? What if the whole community reinforces this sentiment? In the community’s eyes, the adult’s doing ‘good’ by acting racist. Good for them; evil for others. Good is subjective. This isn’t my opinion. This is commonly known throughout sociology.

    Regarding Post 20:

    Kizzle, if you seriously subscribe to the notion that, “The basic understanding of what is good has not changed for all of recorded history …” then I think there’s no point in further discussion.

    Seriously, that is one of the most daft and just plain incorrect statements I’ve ever heard. ‘Good’ changes all the time. In one century, it could be perfectly logical and good (perhaps necessary) to sacrifice people to the rain god. In another century, it could be perfectly logical and good to burn a woman to death for witchcraft. And yes, perhaps these are ‘cultural attitudes or laws.’ But really, that’s all we have to go on! By your logic, every racist secretly knows they shouldn’t be racist; that they’re wrong. By your logic, Nazis secretly knew their hate and anti-Semitism were wrong. By your logic, the clergy of the middle ages knew their punishments for witchcraft were wrong. But guess what? That’s not how things work.

    People often believe they’re doing the right thing. This has no bearing on what ‘good/evil’ actually are. That is, no bearing, necessarily, on what’s most beneficial to society, or most harmful. The examples above are what people thought was moral, decent, good, and appeasing. Nothing more.

    And why did people think these horrible things were ‘good?’ Because people were taught they were good. By other people. Because ‘good’ is subjective; not absolute. That’s grand that you believe “humans know there is something that is ultimately good, and that we subconsciously use it as our measuring stick.”

    I disagree. Take any of my examples regarding racists, Nazis, or dark-age clergy—and you’ll understand how there’s no such thing as ultimate ‘good.’

  • avatar

    JohnFrost

    Holy crap, this discussion is still going on? (Freyr–brilliant post, BTW. I once compared God’s “gift of Free Will” with the Godfather’s “Offer he couldn’t refuse,” but your description was much more visceral)

    Kizzle– seriously, do you think any of us doubt whether or not you’re just parroting what you’ve been taught by those in authority over you? Buck up, man! Do a little research outside your devotions and your apologetics books–do it to “strengthen your faith” when you see how wrong all those heathen’s arguments are! But get a little perspective, man! And go read Freyr’s post again, and tell me how that’s different from the God of the Old Testament. Because you’re not arguing that there might be some cosmic intelligence or watchmaker out there, setting everything up to play out it’s course… You’re arguing for the God of the Bible, the one who thought it was ok for Moses and his people to ethnically cleanse the entire Middle East (while keeping the virgin women for themselves (Num 31)), but that it was a capital crime for Onan to pull out rather than impregnate his brother’s widow. The God who was furious with Sodom and Gommorah for not worshipping him and for their sexual practices, but found Lot to be “righteous” because he offered the mob his daughters to rape rather than the angels who were staying at Lot’s house. This is the god you want us to believe in and that you’re dedicating your life to, but it’s all OK because Jesus said that we humans are the ones who are fucked up and need to do everything he says so we can go live with that ethnic cleansing dictator?

    Please. Do what Paul said–examine your beliefs and have a good explanation, because aside from “it’s how I was raised” or “I was emotionally distraught and a Christian friend swooped in to take advantage of me,” I just don’t see any reason to believe.

  • avatar

    David Munn

    Personally, if I were God, I wouldn’t make anyone suffer eternal torture. I don’t care what they did. I wouldn’t do that to Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson or that guy who kept his family as sex slaves in the cellar. I’m horrified by what those people did to others, but I think that if they weren’t already in “Hell” they wouldn’t have done those things. The idea that some people are better than other people seems ludicrous to me. Some people behave badly and other people behave well, but the ones who are able to behave well are the lucky ones and need no reward. Our choices can lead us toward suffering or toward happiness. A person who starts a life of crime is making his own hell even if he is “successful”. A person who choses to open there heart to their neighbours and give them help when they need it will reap the true rewards that life offers. So when Jesus said that it was better to pluck out you eye or cut off your hand than to have the whole of cast into Hell, I think he meant that you should consider whether some part of your life should be sacrificed to keep you from a life of suffering. Take a person who is a bit to fond of gambling. If he feels it becoming addictive he is better off cutting it out all together rather risk losing his house and his family and ending up on the street.

    I think the story of Adam and Eve is a very important myth as it is a racial memory of a time probably about 2 million years ago when our species was first developing consciousness. At that time our ancestors would have been living in a state of loving harmony with each other and with their environment, much as bonobo and gorillas do but probably even more lovingly bonded to the group than they are because the human nurturing period is longer than that of our primate cousins. But to develop our newly found intellect and ability to manipulate our environment we would have had to experimented with some forms of behaviour that went counter to our loving, socially-bonding instincts. This would have led to an internal conflict between our conscious thinking mind and our instincts. Thus we became insecure in our sense of self-worth. We became ego-centric, competitive and alienated. In the myth “we ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and were cast out from the Garden of Eden (our idyllic loving state in harmony with nature)”. But where the Bible gets it wrong is that clearly we are the heroes of the story, taking on the onerous duty to develop our intellect and seek out understanding of the world even if it meant the self-corruption that would lead to war, religious persecution, rape, the Holocaust and all the rest of it. Despite appearances we were “on a mission from God” developing “His” greatest creation, intelligence, in the only way we knew how. George Bernard Shaw once said that he believed that God was not the creator of the universe but the end product, that we are “evolving towards God”. That is certainly one way to look at it. But I think the important think is that atheism shouldn’t take the form of a denial of how profoundly fucked up we all are as individuals as a result of this heroic human enterprise. The religious term “sin” has too much of a critical tone to it, be we are angry, egotistical, selfish, superficial beings at this point and the first step to doing something about the mess the world is in is for us to stop pointing the finger at others and start to admit our own short-comings.

  • avatar

    mountain goat 20

    Who goes trip trap over my bridge -Kizzle

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