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Aug 24 13 3:07 PM

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Christianity is based on fear
Christianity preys on the innocent
Christianity is based on dishonesty
Christianity is extremely egocentric
Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality
Christianity breeds authoritarianism
Christianity is cruel
Christianity is anti-intellectual, anti-scientific
Christianity has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex
Christianity produces sexual misery
Christianity has an exceedingly narrow, legalistic view of morality
Christianity encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils
Christianity depreciates the natural world
Christianity models hierarchical, authoritarian organization
Christianity sanctions slavery
Christianity is misogynistic
Christianity is homophobic
The Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ's teachings
The Bible is riddled with contradictions






 If Christianity is ever to disappear, it will be because individual human beings wake up, abandon their destructive, repressive beliefs, and choose life, choose to be here now.



1. Christianity is based on fear. While today there are liberal clergy who preach a gospel of love, they ignore the bulk of Christian teachings, not to mention the bulk of Christian history. Throughout almost its entire time on Earth, the motor driving Christianity has been—in addition to the fear of death—fear of the devil and fear of hell. One can only imagine how potent these threats seemed prior to the rise of science and rational thinking, which have largely robbed these bogeys of their power to inspire terror. But even today, the existence of the devil and hell are cardinal doctrinal tenets of almost all Christian creeds, and many fundamentalist preachers still openly resort to terrorizing their followers with lurid, sadistic portraits of the suffering of nonbelievers after death. This is not an attempt to convince through logic and reason; it is not an attempt to appeal to the better nature of individuals; rather, it is an attempt to whip the flock into line through threats, through appeals to a base part of human nature—fear and cowardice.
2. Christianity preys on the innocent. If Christian fear-mongering were directed solely at adults, it would be bad enough, but Christians routinely terrorize helpless children through grisly depictions of the endless horrors and suffering they'll be subjected to if they don’t live good Christian lives. Christianity has darkened the early years of generation after generation of children, who have lived in terror of dying while in mortal sin and going to endless torment as a result. All of these children were trusting of adults, and they did not have the ability to analyze what they were being told; they were simply helpless victims, who, ironically, victimized following generations in the same manner that they themselves had been victimized. The nearly 2000 years of Christian terrorizing of children ranks as one of its greatest crimes. And it’s one that continues to this day.

As an example of Christianity's cruel brainwashing of the innocent, consider this quotation from an officially approved, 19th-century Catholic children's book (Tracts for Spiritual Reading, by Rev. J. Furniss, C.S.S.R.):


Look into this little prison. In the middle of it there is a boy, a young man. He is silent; despair is on him . . . His eyes are burning like two burning coals. Two long flames come out of his ears. His breathing is difficult. Sometimes he opens his mouth and breath of blazing fire rolls out of it. But listen! There is a sound just like that of a kettle boiling. Is it really a kettle which is boiling? No; then what is it? Hear what it is. The blood is boiling in the scalding veins of that boy. The brain is boiling and bubbling in his head. The marrow is boiling in his bones. Ask him why he is thus tormented. His answer is that when he was alive, his blood boiled to do very wicked things.
There are many similar passages in this book. Commenting on it, William Meagher, Vicar-General of Dublin, states in his Approbation:


"I have carefully read over this Little Volume for Children and have found nothing whatever in it contrary to the doctrines of the Holy Faith; but on the contrary, a great deal to charm, instruct and edify the youthful classes for whose benefit it has been written."
3. Christianity is based on dishonesty. The Christian appeal to fear, to cowardice, is an admission that the evidence supporting Christian beliefs is far from compelling. If the evidence were such that Christianity’s truth was immediately apparent to anyone who considered it, Christians—including those who wrote the Gospels—would feel no need to resort to the cheap tactic of using fear-inducing threats to inspire "belief." ("Lip service" is a more accurate term.) That the Christian clergy have been more than willing to accept such lip service (plus the dollars and obedience that go with it) in place of genuine belief, is an additional indictment of the basic dishonesty of Christianity.

How deep dishonesty runs in Christianity can be gauged by one of the most popular Christian arguments for belief in God: Pascal’s wager. This "wager" holds that it’s safer to "believe" in God (as if belief were volitional!) than not to believe, because God might exist, and if it does, it will save "believers" and condemn nonbelievers to hell after death. This is an appeal to pure cowardice. It has absolutely nothing to do with the search for truth. Instead, it’s an appeal to abandon honesty and intellectual integrity, and to pretend that lip service is the same thing as actual belief. If the patriarchal God of Christianity really exists, one wonders how it would judge the cowards and hypocrites who advance and bow to this particularly craven "wager."

4. Christianity is extremely egocentric. The deep egocentrism of Christianity is intimately tied to its reliance on fear. In addition to the fears of the devil and hell, Christianity plays on another of humankind’s most basic fears: death, the dissolution of the individual ego. Perhaps Christianity's strongest appeal is its promise of eternal life. While there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim, most people are so terrified of death that they cling to this treacly promise insisting, like frightened children, that it must be true. Nietzsche put the matter well: "salvation of the soul—in plain words, the world revolves around me." It’s difficult to see anything spiritual in this desperate grasping at straws—this desperate grasping at the illusion of personal immortality.

Another manifestation of the extreme egotism of Christianity is the belief that God is intimately concerned with picayune aspects of, and directly intervenes in, the lives of individuals. If God, the creator and controller of the universe, is vitally concerned with your sex life, you must be pretty damned important. Many Christians take this particular form of egotism much further and actually imagine that God has a plan for them, or that God directly talks to, directs, or even does favors for them.(1) If one ignored the frequent and glaring contradictions in this supposed divine guidance, and the dead bodies sometimes left in its wake, one could almost believe that the individuals making such claims are guided by God. But one can't ignore the contradictions in and the oftentimes horrible results of following such "divine guidance." As "Agent Mulder" put it (perhaps paraphrasing Thomas Szasz) in a 1998 X-Files episode, "When you talk to God it's prayer, but when God talks to you it's schizophrenia. . . . God may have his reasons, but he sure seems to employ a lot of psychotics to carry out his job orders."

In less extreme cases, the insistence that one is receiving divine guidance or special treatment from God is usually the attempt of those who feel worthless—or helpless, adrift in an uncaring universe—to feel important or cared for. This less sinister form of egotism is commonly found in the expressions of disaster survivors that "God must have had a reason for saving me" (in contrast to their less-worthy-of-life fellow disaster victims, whom God—who controls all things—killed). Again, it's very difficult to see anything spiritual in such egocentricity.

5. Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality. It's only natural that those who believe (or play act at believing) that they have a direct line to the Almighty would feel superior to others. This is so obvious that it needs little elaboration. A brief look at religious terminology confirms it. Christians have often called themselves "God's people," "the chosen people," "the elect," "the righteous," etc., while nonbelievers have been labeled "heathens," "infidels," and "atheistic Communists" (as if atheism and Communism are intimately connected). This sets up a two-tiered division of humanity, in which "God's people" feel superior to those who are not "God’s people."

That many competing religions with contradictory beliefs make the same claim seems not to matter at all to the members of the various sects that claim to be the only carriers of "the true faith." The carnage that results when two competing sects of "God’s people" collide—as in Ireland and Palestine—would be quite amusing but for the suffering it causes.

6. Christianity breeds authoritarianism. Given that Christians claim to have the one true faith, to have a book that is the Word of God, and (in many cases) to receive guidance directly from God, they feel little or no compunction about using force and coercion to enforce "God's Will" (which they, of course, interpret and understand). Given that they believe (or pretend) that they’re receiving orders from the Almighty (who would cast them into hell should they disobey), it's little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers. This is most obvious today in the area of sex, with Christians attempting to deny women the right to abortion and to mandate near-useless abstinence-only sex "education" in the public schools. It's also obvious in the area of education, with Christians attempting to force biology teachers to teach their creation myth (but not those of Hindus, Native Americans, et al.) in place of (or as being equally valid as) the very well established theory of evolution. But the authoritarian tendencies of Christianity reach much further than this.

Up until well into the 20th century in the United States and other Christian countries (notably Ireland), Christian churches pressured governments into passing laws forbidding the sale and distribution of birth control devices, and they also managed to enact laws forbidding even the description of birth control devices. This assault on free speech was part and parcel of Christianity’s shameful history of attempting to suppress "indecent" and "subversive" materials (and to throw their producers in jail or burn them alive). This anti-free speech stance of Christianity dates back centuries, with the cases of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno (who was burnt alive) being good illustrations of it. Perhaps the most colorful example of this intrusive Christian tendency toward censorship is the Catholic Church’s Index of Prohibited Books, which dates from the 16th century and which was abandoned only in the latter part of the 20th century—not because the church recognized it as a crime against human freedom, but because it could no longer be enforced (not that it was ever systematically enforced—that was too big a job even for the Inquisition).

Christian authoritarianism extends, however, far beyond attempts to suppress free speech; it extends even to attempts to suppress freedom of belief. In the 15th century, under Ferdinand and Isabella at about the time of Columbus's discovery of the New World, Spain's Jews were ordered either to convert to Christianity or to flee the country; about half chose exile, while those who remained, the "Conversos," were favorite targets of the Inquisition. A few years later, Spain's Muslims were forced to make a similar choice.

This Christian hatred of freedom of belief—and of individual freedom in general—extends to this day. Up until the late 19th century in England, atheists who had the temerity to openly advocate their beliefs were jailed. Even today in many parts of the United States laws still exist that forbid atheists from serving on juries or from holding public office. And it’s no mystery what the driving force is behind laws against victimless "crimes" such as nudity, sodomy, fornication, cohabitation, and prostitution.

If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian "morality," you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life.




http://www.seesharppress.com/20reasons.html#numberone 
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#1 [url]

Nov 26 13 10:40 AM

Mainly, Christianity simply isn't true, in the sense that its claims about god, Jesus, etc. are inaccurate. But your list is a very good summary of problems with the world's most popular religion. I think the list applies to most if not all religions, especially Christianity's very close relatives Islam and Judaism. Isn't it weird to think that a primitive sky-god cult evolved into the world's dominant set of supernatural beliefs?

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#4 [url]

Dec 13 13 7:41 PM

I find it hard to make any general statements about Christianity because it has historically been all over the map.  The New Testament is full of inconsistencies which may be viewed as a negative if you crave logical consistency, but can be viewed as a positive if you want to cherry pick which rules to emphasize.  And this flexibility allowed for numerous forms of Christianity.

Before answering the individual points, I want to point out that Christianity produced the world's most productive and successful culture, namely recent Western culture.  The Enlightenment was a direct product of the Reformation.

1.  I support fear.  Most people need fear to keep them in line.  Without fear, people behave like beasts.

2.  I don't see how this differs from #1.

3.  The basic complaint here is that Christianity isn't true.  I don't care much about truth, I care more about morality.  Most people don't have enough intelligence for truth to make any difference in their life.  Those that do can choose a light form of Christianity like Deism.  Anyway, each culture supports it own lies and modern culture is no different in this regard.

4.  This seems like a combination of #1 and #3.  Making people believe that God is watching them helps control behavior, much like Santa Claus does for children.  So I support it.

5.  It is hard to separate arrogance and pride.  Every successful culture in history has had arrogance/pride in itself.  This encourages people to support it.

6.  The issue of authoritarianism goes back to my initial point of the many varieties of Christianity.  Catholicism was certainly authoritarian.  But most of Protestantism was not.  The American concepts of freedom of speech and religion come directly out of traditional Protestant values.  Now that America has lost meaningful religion, freedom of speech and religion are in decline.

My overall feeling about Christianity is mixed.  I much prefer the Old Testament to the New Testament, so I identify most with Karaite Judaism.  Most religions are a mix of good and bad.  Pure evil is only found in secular systems like modern culture which have no basis for encouraging people to behave morally.

Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture

Last Edited By: fschmidt1 Dec 14 13 10:21 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#5 [url]

Dec 14 13 8:38 AM

Thank you for a thoughtful contribution fschmidt1. I find that I agree with you on the necessity of fear. I believe it is a central tenet of the Abrahamic faiths particularly Judaism in that it is written, Fear is the beginning of Wisdom. It seems that fear goes hand and hand with learning if there is an end (to which I think there is) to this system of belief. It would seem that the sole imposition of mankind, from the Judeo/Christian/Islamic perspective, is its humanity; the vestigial animal impulses which compel its existence. Through the institution of morals and ethical principles it seems that these particular religions were trying to purvey the brute (base nature) into higher form of social and mental existence thereby cultivating a type of ethereal intellectual pasture whereby increasingly higher, spiritual modes of consciousness and perception could be experienced. For example, The Knowledge of God or the Knowledge of the Lord, etc.

I was brought up in a pseudo-Christian environment where Church was a weekly experience. I was never devout and found that the best part of my early church-going experience was in singing hymns! Later in my adolescent years I stopped Church altogether and didn't discover that I had an interest in religion until I was in my early thirties - i'm in my mid forties now. Interestingly enough, I began to delve deeper into this mysterious concept called God and found that almost all religions had certain things in common. Ultimately this study led me to various traditions of which esotericism figured most prominently. Following this I came to believe that religion, all religion may just be some sort of unconscious human evolutionary projection. An ideological Jaccob's Ladder, if you will, into greater existential refinement. A type of systemic blueprint to the great beyond of human potential. The jury is still out but thus far my feeling are a cross between pantheism and atheism.

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#6 [url]

Dec 14 13 12:54 PM

pan0ptic, I am glad that you agree about fear.

I find Spinoza unreadable, so my opinion of pantheism is just based on the wikipedia article.  The biggest problem with pantheism is that it doesn't define God as cause.  If God is everything, then God is both cause and effect.  Without the separation of cause and effect, one can't construct an effective argument for morality.

Let me try to list the components of an ideal religion.

1.  It should allow for both supernatural and scientific interpretations so that it can appeal across the spectrum of human intelligence.

2.  It should contain a strong element of fear to keep people in line.

3.  It should contain a strong patriarchal god to serve as the virtual alpha-male of the religion.  This addresses the fact that humans are primates who naturally organize into tribes around a leading alpha-male.  Having a god fill this role allows for an egalitarian distribution of political power among humans.  Without such a god, a man will fill this role and there will be dictatorship.

4.  It should encourage obedience to abstract moral principles, and disobedience to governments that violate those principles.

5.  It should have some holy text to serve as an anchor for the religion.

Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture

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#7 [url]

Dec 16 13 7:19 AM

The biggest problem with pantheism is that it doesn't define God as cause. If God is everything, then God is both cause and effect. Without the separation of cause and effect, one can't construct an effective argument for morality.


Hmm, I would lean towards disagreement on this because knowledge of an originating cause is unnecessary from a spiritual perspective. Additionally, pantheism, for me is an attempt at reconciling the anthropomorphism seen in many religions. For example, instances where nature is viewed as an office or station. Specific atmospheric phenomena, i.e. lightening, storms, dust clouds,etc. It seems that a quality of the human "thought process" is the tendency to personalize phenomena by projecting human attributes, i.e. feelings, mannerisms, character, etc.


Let me try to list the components of an ideal religion.


Do you believe there is an end to religion or that it might have a naturalistic origin?

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#8 [url]

Dec 16 13 11:30 AM

pan0ptic wrote:
Hmm, I would lean towards disagreement on this because knowledge of an originating cause is unnecessary from a spiritual perspective.

Unnecessary for what?  How do you support morality without cause and effect?  In most religions, God or some supernatural force is cause which rewards morality and punishes immorality.


pan0ptic wrote:
Additionally, pantheism, for me is an attempt at reconciling the anthropomorphism seen in many religions. For example, instances where nature is viewed as an office or station. Specific atmospheric phenomena, i.e. lightening, storms, dust clouds,etc. It seems that a quality of the human "thought process" is the tendency to personalize phenomena by projecting human attributes, i.e. feelings, mannerisms, character, etc. 

Most people are best off picturing God as a guy with a long white beard.  This is an image of a benign alpha-male.  For those of us who don't need this, I have a better alternative to pantheism here:



pan0ptic wrote:
Do you believe there is an end to religion or that it might have a naturalistic origin?

I am not sure I understand the question.  Religion serves an evolutionary purpose by making tribes stronger, so it is unlikely to end.  Some argue that religion has taken on a life of its own, see Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society.

Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture

Last Edited By: fschmidt1 Dec 16 13 3:30 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#9 [url]

Dec 16 13 12:59 PM

How do you support morality without cause and effect? In most religions, God or some supernatural force is cause which rewards morality and punishes immorality.


I'm under the impression that morality (methods of effective social cooperation) are an emergent quality of order and that order is a quality of intelligence. Causality is something that science addresses and I don't believe it is necessary to view a supernatural agency as responsible for causality. Times are a changin'...

Most people are best off picturing God as a guy with a long white beard. This is an image of a benign alpha-male. For those of us who don't need this, I have a better alternative to pantheism here:


I don't believe so, most people aren't better off picturing or believing in an imaginary personage in the sky, male female or otherwise. This is just plain delusional and serves as nothing better than a coping mechanism at best and at worst it creates irresponsibility and detaches the adherents from reality. I will agree that there is a need to be spiritual and to cultivate a spiritual consciousness.

-Your link didn't work.


I am not sure I understand the question. Religion serves an evolutionary purpose by making tribes stronger, so it is unlikely to end. Some argue that religion has taken on a life of its own, see Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society.


I was asking if you believe religion is naturally occurring? The book looks interesting.

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#10 [url]

Dec 16 13 5:45 PM

pan0ptic wrote:
I'm under the impression that morality (methods of effective social cooperation) are an emergent quality of order and that order is a quality of intelligence.

What is the basis for your impression?  I disagree based on my knowledge of history.


pan0ptic wrote:
I don't believe so, most people aren't better off picturing or believing in an imaginary personage in the sky, male female or otherwise. This is just plain delusional and serves as nothing better than a coping mechanism at best and at worst it creates irresponsibility and detaches the adherents from reality. I will agree that there is a need to be spiritual and to cultivate a spiritual consciousness.

See my point #3 of an ideal religion.


pan0ptic wrote:
-Your link didn't work.

Fixed.  This silly forum software included a space in the URL.

Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture

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#11 [url]

Dec 16 13 8:51 PM

My reasons for leaving my Roman Catholic religious upbringing

First and Foremost the Bible was written in a time when the church ran everything.
They used the Bible as a means to establish political agendas
They manipulated the populous of that time by interpreting the writings of the Bible all wrong.
All wrong, on purpose
Why?
To control the people
That's why!

In fact, let's look at Christmas
A fun holiday, but by no means is it the birth of Jesus
Who, if memory serves me ...was born in the summer

The reason why they moved the birth of christ was to fall in line with a pagan holiday which was already established
Therefore, if they did that...what else did they do?
So...when someone tries to tell me that the Bible is the Word of GOD himself, I say 'boohooky'smiley: happy

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#12 [url]

Dec 17 13 4:55 AM

Hello Tiglibud,

Thank you (for participating) and welcome to SA forums. I think we can all agree that religion, specifically the Abrahamic faiths, has an element which is designed to control the behavior of the adherent. This doesn't need to be interpreted into the document as it is self-evident. Behavior modification (altering ones thought; values and actions) plays an important part in Judeo/Islam/Christianity. I tend to take your position that it was intentionally altered but at the same time, I have to wonder what was it altered from? What was the original message?

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#13 [url]

Dec 17 13 5:01 AM

What is the basis for your impression? I disagree based on my knowledge of history.See my point #3 of an ideal religion.



Maybe you can start a thread presenting your ideas? Like what you believe about the history of religion that supports the development of morality. And what relationship that has with causality other than from the vantage of common sense.

By basis for impression, I'm suggesting that morality came about from mankind's need; preference for order. The need or preference for order came about from intelligence, possibly anomalous intelligence or extraordinary cleverness.

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#14 [url]

Dec 17 13 6:14 AM

I don't often encounter someone more cynical than I am, but fschmidt, you surpass me in that category, and so does Tig. There is absolutely no doubt that people have used religion for control, but if that was all there was to it, why would anyone join? Religion speaks to several human psychological and social needs, and can be a force for disorder and disobedience too. Far from being the foundation for morality, I see religion as being parasitic on our innate moral feelings. I hope someone starts a thread on morality (if no one does, I'll get around to it), because it's one of my favorite subjects. No one needs religion to act morally, but religion can induce people to act astonishingly immorally (suicide bombers, anyone?). Modern societies are very different from traditional or primitive (to us) societies. What worked for them is not working for us. The human imagination started emerging from its religious cocoon in the Enlightenment, and we're halfway out now, spreading our wings and beginning to think about flight. Hanging on to religion because it proved arguably useful in more backward times is a huge mistake. If we ever needed it, we don't now.

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#15 [url]

Dec 17 13 4:09 PM

Is there such a thing as a 'Realist Christian', as opposed to a 'fundamentalist, literalist Christian', or is everyone here going to say that is an Oxymoron?    If there is such a thing,  I would like to claim that title for myself.  

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#16 [url]

Dec 17 13 5:09 PM

bardoXV wrote:
Is there such a thing as a 'Realist Christian', as opposed to a 'fundamentalist, literalist Christian', or is everyone here going to say that is an Oxymoron?    If there is such a thing,  I would like to claim that title for myself.  

 
I'm not sure Bardo but one thing I am sure of is you can be whatever you want. :)

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#17 [url]

Jan 1 14 1:16 AM

To love God with all your heart mind and soul does not a Christian make. Satan realized the power of religion and established the church to bring Rome the power of Christianity. Then the church used the ignorance of the masses to control them with fear of hell. These are doctrines of Demons. The common people did not know Latin and until Gutenberg had no access to the bible . By then it was too late. The bible had been canonized and a curse put on anyone who dared touch it. You have made my house a habitation for all manner of devils and evil spirits. The gates of hell is the church and when the elect realize this they will come out of her and then the others will have lost their Job which was to keep the elect prisoners of the Satanic church. I have come to set the captives free. No those who cannot hear my voice but those who rejoice in my coming. The biblical story where the prisoners had been beaten to a pulp and then put in jail speaks of this. Then when the angel blew the gates wide open the prisoners hesitated to leave even if the guard was asleep for the sake of the jailor. You owe the church nothing come out of her because she is going to be exposed as what she truly is. They will say weren't you that guy that attended every Sunday? Hew! how disgusting a real live Satan worshiper. You will be ashamed of what you are now proud of. Every man shall be abased and repent . Every man. You too.

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