Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Through Jesus-tinted glasses.

When I was a Christian, one of my major gripes about atheists was that "they spend more time talking about God than we do." And I've come to realize that... it's 100% true, but it's not because of our "god-shaped holes." It's because you really don't see all of the problems of religion until you're on the outside looking in... then you see people suffering, being lied to, killed, abused, etc, etc... an entire spectrum of immorality, dressed in sheep's clothing.

So the purpose of this post is just to give you guys a rundown of some of the foundations of my Christian beliefs, followed by what I now believe (which will be bolded). You tell me which set of statements is more ethical, kind, and rational.

1. We were created in God's image. We are animals, with complex brains that evolved over billions of years.
2. Satan tempts me to do evil things. I make my own choices... there is no supernatural being trying to influence me to do "evil."
3. Humans are inherently bad and we all deserve to burn in hell. Humans are born as blank slates--our genetics and our environment determine whether or not we will become "bad" people. We are born innocent.
4. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and rose after three days to take his rightful place at the right hand of the throne of God. If Jesus existed, he was most likely a charismatic man with delusions of grandeur, who very well may have died by being crucified... but his story ends there.
5. Isaiah 64:6 -- "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags." (In the original Hebrew text, "filthy rags" were used menstrual rags.) I am a flawed human, and I make mistakes, but I am capable of doing good things and being kind. I am appalled that Christians are proud of Isaiah 64:6, and what it says about their "righteous" God.
6. Everything happens for a reason... even the most insignificant details of my life are part of God's divine plan. Even if god existed, he would not give a damn about the frivolous details of my life like my shoe size and my favorite foods.
7. True love waits. My body is my own, and if I choose to have safe, responsible, premarital sex with someone I care about then so be it.
8. Homosexuality is an abomination against God. Safe, responsible sex between consenting adults is harming absolutely no one.
9. Atheists are bitter, hateful people with god-shaped holes in their hearts. Atheists are people who do not believe in god. There are millions of us, and we're all very very different. Some of us very well might be bitter and hateful... but many of us see life as a beautiful, precious thing and we aim to make the most of our short time on Earth.
10. I'm going to heaven when I die, where I will worship God for all eternity. When I die, I'll be buried.


  1. Great post, though I would argue with your statement "Humans are born as blank slates--our genetics and our environment determine whether or not we will become "bad" people. We are born innocent.".

    Since we are genetically influenced, we CANT be born blank slates. We have instincts and urges, as well as brain configurations. I recommend reading The Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

  2. Thanks Brandon, and I totally get what you're saying. The wording "blank slate" was kind of some mindless writing on my part haha... I probably shouldn't make it a habit of making claims that I haven't thoroughly researched myself haha... lest I become too much like the adherents of my former religion :p

  3. Brandon beat me to the punch. =P I whole-heartedly agree with all of your statements except for a slight problem with the wording of your 'first' belief. The age of the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old with the first signs of life appearing 3.5 billion years ago; according to scientists. The first organisms with our modern concept of "brains" occurred hundreds of millions of years after that. In fact, the first multi-cellular organisms only occurred one billion years ago; with animals with the first "brains" being found 600 million years ago (being generous). To say that the brain evolved over billions of years is a bit of a mischaracterization. Perhaps change the wording to "millions of years" or "hundreds of thousands". Unless you are just referring to the processes of evolution by means of natural selection that has occurred for billions of years. =)

  4. 1. God was created in our image.
    2. I tempt myself into evil things.
    3. Humans are the product of their upbringing and environment.
    4. Jesus, whatever he was, probably looked more like Bin Laden than Robert Powell.
    5. The bible is filled with a thousand different excuses for treating women like crap.
    6. A lot of things happen for no bloody reason whatsoever. For example, Justin Bieber - no possible explanation exists.
    7. True love comes from a lifetime of shared experience, evolving as the both of you grow together.
    8. Homosexuality is quite fun (ok, I'm bi, so I should probably say that heterosexuality is equally as fun) :)
    9. Atheists are people who can back up way, way more of their claims than you can
    10. I don't care what happens when I die, because I'll be dead. As long as I'm worth remembering, that's all that matters.