Atheist Ramblings - 1.4

From approximately July 1997

The Problem with Salvation

...By salvation in this context, I am specifically referring to xtian salvation. Salvation is by no means restricted to xtians, in fact, they stole the idea from other cultures of the time.

...When xtians speak of salvation, they usual couch it in terms of sin. The "original sin" is utterly degrading to man and mankind. The whole idea that we need to be saved from our naturally evil selves is hardly an uplifting idea.

...It really is no wonder I hear often about how happy a person feels under god. When one starts your thoughts from the idea that they are lower than trash, it is easy to feel uplifted.

...In contrast, most of my atheist friends report that they found they were happier when they abandoned their religion. Personally, I find that I am much more at peace with myself now and am more confident and happier.

...Without the burden of "original sin" and without the fear of eternal damnation, one's soul is uplifted just by life.

A question of Morals

...A common thread under most religions is god as some kind of moral compass. The idea being that god is absolutely good and we can use him as a guide.

...In the specific xtian example, we have the 10 commandments as an absolute guide. Xtians claim the commandments are absolute and they violently oppose "relativistic moralists".

...The claim of the relativistic moralists is that everything has gray areas. Xtians don't like to think this way, but it is very true, even for their "commandments".

...For example: "Honor thy mother and father". What about the parents who violently abuse their children and tell their children never to tell anyone. Should the children tell or just silently sit by as they suffer abuse?

...How about "Thou shalt not murder". What if I know someone is plotting to go out and kill someone else. To stop them, I go over and murder them (assuming I have no other choice). Do I deserve to go to hell? What if that person was plotting to kill three people? A hundred? A thousand?

..."Covet not..." Coveting is the basis for capitalism. That commandment promoted communism and socialism, hardly what most right wing theists want.

..."Bear not false witness". Lying isn't a good thing, but what if someone is holding a gun to your head? What if he is holding a gun to my wife's head? What if the person will kill three other people? A hundred? A thousand?

..."Thou shalt not commit adultery". What if a couple gets a divorce and remarry other people. A couple of years pass and it turns out the first marriage was not ended. Are these people bound for hell because they have been adulterating? There is no exception for "to the best of your knowledge". The same holds for someone marrying someone who is already married without their knowledge.

...All morals break down in the extremes. Admittedly, the above are quite contrived situations, but they are all possible. The commandments and the "moral absolutists" do not allow for extremes with their extreme views.

...There is good and bad, but there is no absolute good or absolute bad. It is all just shades of gray, and I'm sure if you think about it a little, you will find any situation that could fit the bill.