On the Immorality of Christianity
For this occasion, I shall define morality in terms of both descriptive and normative ethics, such that when I make the claim “Christianity is immoral”, I mean to say that it undermines the very basis of our generally-agreed-upon concept of morality and human dignity, as well as to say that Christianity is demonstrably genuinely poisonous — to both the human mind, and to the society to which it belongs.
Let me first address the very fundamental concept of the Christian doctrine. Noble, it would seem to the faithful, that the Creator of the Universe so loved the world that he sent his own son to be tortured and gruesomely murdered for the sins of imperfect humans. But — far from noble — this whole notion of so-called ‘redemption’ actually seems to me to be plainly obscene. Simply imagine the following scenario: in a courtroom, a judge finds the defendant guilty of murder beyond any reasonable doubt. The defendant is to be sentenced to a lifetime of captivity in a maximum-security prison, but then the judge says, “No, you don’t have to do that. My own son will serve your time instead,” and the defendant jumps in joy, “Thank you! Thank you!”
So I try my best to find any moral justification in the judge’s kind provision, but am left feeling somewhat deprived. It goes without saying that the whole ‘redemption’ business stems directly from the very primitive idea of animal sacrifice, and of scapegoating: the idea that you can get away with doing something wrong just by slaughtering a goat and offering it to the gods, whoever that may be. It is a practice still very much in effect in many cultures today. And since I do not find the idea of animal sacrifice or scapegoating morally pleasing, for me the story of Jesus dying on the cross disappoints more than it impresses. Admittedly it seems a very nice thing to do, to willingly suffer in someone else’s place, but as kind and generous as this offer may appear, it is one offer I would not accept. How would I ever live with myself knowing that someone else has suffered or even died for my misdeeds — the answer is I wouldn’t. But not only that, God actually presents us with a black-and-white dictum. We either accept this sacrifice, or suffer the cruel punishment. No, there’s no way of saving yourself; that is out of the question. No matter what you do, the only single way to earn your redemption is through your acceptance of a human scapegoat who supposedly graced the earth some 2000 years ago, so long ago you weren’t even there to witness it.
But what makes this whole concept all the more ludicrous is the fact that it is plainly unnecessary. God could have forgiven us by a simple wave of a magic wand, but no, of course he didn’t; he had to go through all this Jesus rising from the dead business. Likewise, he could have wiped the world out in the flick of a finger, but he’d rather go through the trouble of flooding the world and having Noah build a floating zoo, because God really does work in mysterious ways. Confronted with this argument, the Christians scream in unison: “but God is giving us free will!” but that excuse doesn’t even do justice… to think an almighty god somehow has to resort to petty, human sacrifice, to solve a divine problem which he himself invented in the first place. Makes no sense to me.
Let us not meander too far away from the real argument here. I’m not really trying to show you how stupid the Christian God is. I’m more interested in the immorality of the doctrine itself, but the moral shortness of a religion and the intellectual shortness of the god which it glorifies go hand in hand, and the latter could well explain the former. As for this Jesus our Saviour business, I strongly believe that if people are “sinned”, then they should be held responsible for their “sins”. No, there should be no easy escape. You can’t just rape a child and expect someone else to be punished for your actions. The whole notion of throwing all your sins on a scapegoat is so plainly absurd that you’d probably make the Buddha shed bitter tears. (On a different note, Ray Comfort wrote in his special introduction to the Origin of Species that Buddhism is wrong because it doesn’t address the issue of sin. No logical fallacies there at all.)
And if the idea of scapegoating isn’t repulsive enough, wait until you hear about original sin. Saying that we bear the guilt of Adam is like saying “your great grand dad was a serial killer”, so because you’re descended from him and have his blood in you, you are therefore punishable for his wicked acts. What a sick and primitive outlook, and one for which many newborn babies had surely suffered in the Old Testament. So sick and wicked, in fact, that I really need not elaborate more on this point, and if you disagree with me, then you actually shouldn’t be reading my blog at all. Simply go back to the Stone Age whence you came and never come back. You’d be doing the world a real favour.
On top of everything I’ve said so far, I find not the slightest trace of morality in the worship of a deity who would willingly send people to eternal damnation, for any reason. If God is truly omniscient, then he would have known even before creation that humans were doomed to fall from perfection. Why invent hell then, especially an eternal one, given that he knew beforehand the fate of his own beloved creation? Somewhat more understandable it would be if God would send people to hell on the basis of their actions, but sending people to burn forever on account of whether they have “faith” in something so lacking in empirical evidence is reminiscent of an ill-formulated monocracy. Totalitarianism is already obviously bad, but God certainly likes to take things to the very extreme. Praise the Lord!
Having been a Christian once myself, I truly (once) believed that anyone who didn’t believe in God would burn in hell — and what wicked thing to ever teach a child such as I was. Come to think of it, if a sadistic god did truly exist and I had to worship him or else I’d burn in hell, I’d rather punch the bearded bloke in the face and then happily go skinny-dipping in a lake of fire. I do not take kindly a god who carries with him such a strong whiff of self-importance at all times. To be honest, it’s just beyond me why anyone would want to worship a divine being who is so clearly trapped in his own ego, that he created hell especially for people who don’t like or believe in him, in the first place. Just look at some of the ten commandments and Yahweh’s penchant for egotism becomes far clearer than the brightness of daylight.
It is perfectly clear from the Bible that the Christian God is one that rewards the faithful and punishes wielders of reason. But the Bible itself is full of vile notions arising from a much outdated set of morality, and reason tells me that any man who wishes to defend a book so morally reprehensible as the Bible probably possesses some very questionable moral standards himself.
Because when you put so much faith and certainty into your God and your holy book, binding your moral code to any one particular text and making it the authority of your life, your livelihood, and the livelihood of others, you automatically enslave yourself to the limited moral imagination of the few men who wrote it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read the bible. You certainly should if you’d want to call yourself a Christian. But read it, along with other books, and, by all means, read it with an open mind. Question everything you see without resorting to the presupposition of biblical infallacy or literalism. Of course, you’ll never know what critical thinking can do until you’ve tried it.