Individuals in American society today tend to have a generalized feelings towards christianity versus athiesm. While many of them do not even practice any religion, they still claim to believe in God. I have very often heard, "I do not go to church but I do believe in God and the Bible". So many Americans tend to agree that christianity= good while athiesm= bad. Telling someone you are an athiest automatically causes people to form rash judgements about you, regardless of your own morality. They may even be thinking, "I may be just as bad as this guy, but at least I believe in God", as if this is some redeeming quality. (Can't anyone see how irrational it is for someone to think that they can commit any "sin" in the book, drinking, premarital sex, etc, just like an athiest might, but it's ok for them because they believe in God and get to go to heaven for nothing?)
Human progress and developement bring them forward from the primitive idea of a Supreme Being, yet social attitudes keep them from outright denying His existence. Why is this? My personal theory is that too many people take ideas from church leaders, friends, family, and media as truth instead of using their own minds to deduce the truth from facts, reason, knowledge and rational thinking. Much of society says athiesm is bad and christianity is good, so it must be true, right? Wrong. Before I go any further, I would like to stop and say that simply being an athiest does not make you good. I am not saying the reverse is true, I am saying that athiests can have morality and christain doctrine is wrong.
One reason that people accept these generalizations is true is that they believe that humans get their morals, basic rights and wrongs, from religion, even if they do not always practice them. "If there was no God, there would be no morality because there would be no one to tell us what is right and what is wrong". Christains I know have even said "If there was no God, and no eternal heaven, which provides incentive to be good, there would be no reason or other incentive to be moral on earth".
First, I would like to address the issue of a God telling people what is right and wrong, without which, sopposedly, there would be no morals. This implies humans are not capable of using their own minds, their very means of survival. It may be true if man had no standard, nothing on which to base right and wrong, then people would be running around making up values on any whim of the moment. However, there is a standard of value on which to base right and wrong. That standard is Life. that which promotes life is the good, and that which promotes death is the evil. Christian doctrine is evil because it promotes death, but more about that later. For more on the standard of value, please read Morality and Objectivism.
Also, christains claim the reason for being moral is to get into heaven, therefore, if there was no heaven, there would be no reason to be moral, so there would be no morality. The problem with that argument lies in the fact that christains keep looking ahead to death without regard to life here on earth. Their purpose on earth is only to die, believing what matters is the afterlife. The above argument ignores life on earth altogether. What reason does man have to be moral? His own happiness for life now. The morals "God has provided" will not provide this happiness, for these morals are not based on the standard of value of life, but on the standard of self-sacrifice and death. So, yes, they are right, there is no purpose for their morals here on earth without heaven. However there is a purpose for true morality, with morals based on what's right for individual life on earth, and that is happiness. Therefore, even if you were the only person on earth, you would need morality for your own sake. However, since we are all here on earth together and some orderly way of working together, without which there would be chaos, morality works to the benefit of everyone in society. Click for more on the purpose of government.
I grew up in the church of Christ. Now, a lot of people say they grew up in a christain home, and yet still have very little knowledge of the Bible. Even those now in the church evade the real meanings of the Bible. You cannot accuse me of just not knowing the Bible. I know the Bible. And once I stopped evading its real meaning while at the same time preaching it, I denounced it. This is why:
The doctrine of christianity is not a doctrine of life but a doctrine of death. It is not meant for your happiness or even your survival on earth. Those who say "God makes me happy because he saved me and loves me" are leaving out so much information in that statement that it is no longer valid. They are not telling you about the other half of the time when they are constantly racked with guilt over every "sin" or "impure" thought, or when they are constantly trying to be someone they are not, striving toward a perfection they do not really want to reach, and if they ever did reach that perfection, every trace of their true self would be wiped out, and they would ultimately die once they had done so much self-sacrificing that there would be no more self left to sacrifice. They don't tell you that before God makes them feel happy-which is not true non-contradictory joy but only momentary- God first makes them feel like the most despicable person on earth, nothing more than a filty rag. That happiness God gives can only come after he makes you feel like crap. After all, that happiness is only a grateful praise that God has saved a wretched creature like yourself. But if you realize you are not a dirty, sinful creature by nature, than you realize that God has nothing to offer you.God is only for those who can be convinced that they are a weak, terrible person. If you know the truth, you will see God has nothing to offer you.
If this is not how your life is "in Christ", than it is because you are believing in the doctrine your preachers teach, not the Bible. You cannot have your cake and it to. You cannot receive God's "gifts" without sacrifice.
Nearly every phrase passed from christain to christain (they all pretty much shout out the same phrases) in order to reel you into their world is a contradiction of the very "word of God" they hold so dear. They pick out the good, leave out the bad, then profess there is no bad in the Holy Bible. They water down the truth, in this world of tolerance, for they do not even admit the truth to themselves.
So far, I have just been making accusations. Now I will provide the proof, but be warned: I will use the very words they use and the very passages of the Bible to bring to light the truth of it, and for this, they will call me Satan, for it was Satan who used God's own words to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. While I was a member of the church of Christ, every doubt I ever had, every thought contradictory to the Bible, was attributed to Satan. "Don't listen, it's just the devil tempting you!" Then I realized, it is not the devil, that voice is my own mind. It is not the devil speaking to you now, and if you ever doubt your faith, realize that is your own rational mind, TRUST IT.
Genesis 3:2-7 "The woman said to the serpent 'we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'
You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman, for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they saw that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
[Skip to verse 16, where God condemns Adam and Eve] Your desire will be for your husband...by the sweat of your brown you will eat your food...The man has now become like one of us knowing good and evil. He must not also be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he'd been taken"Romans 5:12 Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned...many died by the trespass of one man..."
When I began to think on my own, I realized, God doesn't condemn man for his evils, but for the very things that make him man! I knew this long before I read Atlas Shrugged, but Ayn Rand describes this point so eloquently, so if you haven't already, read this excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, it is essential to my argument:
"What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his [mans] original sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge- he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil- he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor- he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire- he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy- all the cordinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was, that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love, he was not man.
Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives."- p 943-944
"At the crossroads between the choice 'I know' and 'They say', he chose the authority of others, he chose to submit rather than to understand, to believe rather than think. Faith in the supernatural begins as faith in the superiority of others." p961
Isaiah 64:6:"All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags"
Romans 3:23-"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"
Matthew 13:41-42 "They will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"
These are only two of the many, many verses which say that no man is worthy of heaven, we all need Jesus to be saved, etc etc. What is that each individual has done that is so evil, it is worthy of a "lake of fire" where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth"? Man's sins that make him evil according to the Bible are pretty much everything under the sun..every "impure" thought, every foul word from the mouth, any "selfish" act, in fact, anything not done for the glory of God. Really honestly take a look at yourself and think, what have I really done that is worthy of ETERNAL TORMENT? People make mistakes yes, but why torture yourself with guilt over them? Do it better next time.
The perfect person, according to the Bible, is Jesus. Jesus cared nothing for himself, only for others. He sacrificied all of his time while he was alive, and then sacrificied his life. This is what we are sopposed to emulate? What is the point of your life if you spend it giving it away? Why is everyone else on earth more worthy of your own life than you are? The whole concept of sacrificing your life is ANTI-LIFE, which is DEATH.
Psalm 100:3 "We are his people, the sheep of his pasture"
Romans 9:20 "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?"
2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight"
Hebrews 11:1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"
In part 1, I discussed how knowledge can be gained only through reason, and that feelings, hopes, wishes, or fears, do not establish fact. Not only can God NOT be proven with facts, but God does not WANT you to prove him with facts. He just wants your blind faith. Believe without fact, only your hopes. The significance of the do not talk back to God verse is that anytime there is something that you know seems wrong with the Bible, and there is no answer for it, you are sopposed to think, oh well, who am I to question God? His ways are greater than my own, how can I possibly understand? Oh how many times I heard that one at church!! As for the sheep, man is countless times referred to as sheep in the Bible. Why does this matter? Sheep are very stupid creatures. They do not think on their own, they just follow their shepard. God does not want you to think for yourself, he justs wants you to be mindless and follow whatever he says.
Matthew 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the wil of my father"
Acts 2:38"Repent and be baptized every one of you"
Romans 6:3-10 "Dont you know that all of us who were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death...our old self was crucified with him..."
Galations 2:20"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.."
1 Corinthians 10:31"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God
Matthew 16:23 "Get behind me Satan!...you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men"
Matthew 19:21 "If you want to be perfect, sell your possessions and give to the poor.."
Matthew 20:26 "Whoever wants to become great among you must become your servant"
Matthew 25:31-46 "...He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left...Then the King will say to those on his right, Come you who are blessed by my father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me , and I was in prison and you came to visit me. The the righteous will answer him, Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and gave you something to drink?.....I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me"
Romans 2:8 "But for those who are self-seeking and reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger"
Romans 12:10"Honor one another above yourselves"
Philippians 1:21 "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"
Colossians 3:3"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ"
1 John 3:16"We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers"
Wow, where do I even begin? All these verses have several things in common: They say that sacrifice of yourself is righteous, giving of youself to those who havent earned it is righteous, they say we are to consider others above ourselves, they say to be a christain (to be baptized into christ) is to die to oneselves and then to live the rest of your for God and others. What is the true price of "salvation"? You must die to yourself, give away your life to God and others, give up your mind in blind faith, give up who you are to strive to be a sacrificied sheep. And all for an after life that cannot be proven.
Why does Objectivism reject religion? Relgion is all about self-sacrifice. It is about dieing to yourself and living for others or "God". It is about living for the hope that you will be happy when you die while sacrificing happiness you can make for youself now on earth. Don't let preachers fool you. There is a price for Jesus' "salvation". You must pay with your mind, your body, your LIFE. And do not let anyone lie to you. It is YOUR life. It is not God's life, or society's life. Go out and LIVE it.