6/06/2015 | Share this article: View CommentsBy John Shores ~
It's all just noise.
Is there anything that is truly essential to the Christian faith? I mean, if you threw out the Book of the Acts of the Apostles for example, would that at all impact Christian doctrine? Not really. Just how much of the Scripture can one do without and still have the Christianity that was defined in 324 A.D.?
I asked this question for a long time and I talked to a lot of really smart Christians along the way and in the end, it really comes down to just one thing. There is only one item that Christians claim that Christianity cannot do without; the Resurrection of Christ.
Now, a Resurrection implies a life and a death. But if the story of Jesus of Nazareth ended with his death and there was no Resurrection, there would be no Christianity, at least not the Christianity that is recorded in history.
I would like to approach this subject using two assumptions:
- Any personality who created this universe must be extremely intelligent
- Being intelligent (and creator), he ought to know how humans operate
I'd like to take a closer look at the second assumption above.
Human beings are rather complicated. We have a long history of pulling the wool over people's eyes, cheating, stealing, and basically running amok to the point that we are complete idiots if we simply take every person'sword at face value.
When it comes to understanding how the universe works, we have a very long history of just making stuff up rather than admitting that we don't know something.
And as a species, we seem to fare better when there is healthy skepticism that questions claims.
If someone was to come to you right now and tell you, "God told me to kill my only child as a sacrifice to Him," chances are that you'd think the person was off their rocker. After all, it's crazy (and more than a little megalomaniacal) to claim that god communicates with people in such precise ways. Right? And of course such a declaration would contradict the idea that god is good.
As a rational human,you would want some sort of evidence to help back such a claim.Right?
Now, killing one's offspring is nothing new under the sun. And it's not at all difficult to imagine that someone hears voices that aren't there. So, on the incredulity meter we have some measure by which we can"make sense" of such a claim (e.g. "this guy is nuts!").
Rising from the dead is another matter entirely. I mean, it's not really something that one runs across often, is it? Of the 107 billion or so people who have ever lived, there are perhaps, what, a dozen people who have been reported to have been raised from the dead? I think that's a fairly generous number.
So, God works out this plan to become human, live to adulthood, die, and then resurrect in bodily form all so that the human race can be saved from eternal damnation.
If such a thing happened, would it not be reasonable to say that it is the most important event in all of human history?
Here's my first problem with the Christian story; The Christian God is a complete idiot.
If you are doing something important and you want people to know about it, there are some definite, reliable ways to making the message known. Let's see how the Christian God managed to make this most important information known to mankind at large.
All we have is the"Gospels" (at least those that were selected 324 years after the alleged events took place by the heads of the winning faction of what had to that point been a completely divided religion). The earliest of these was penned four decades after the death of Jesus by a second generation Christian who was not an eyewitness.
Now, let's be generous and say that this document was simply a matter of recording an oral tradition. OK. I'll give you that.
It's still idiotic. Not just because the story is idiotic but because of the logistics of the whole thing.
We're talking about God here. Right?
I think it's cruel to portray god as having a sub-par intelligence.Did it not occur to God to have the resurrected Jesus show up to Caiaphas and the other religious leaders and say,"Well, you played your parts well but as you can see, I'm back and everything I told you was true. Now, sit down, shut up, and listen…"?
Perhaps it would have made sense to mosey on into Pilate's office and say, "Chill! I'm not here to bring retribution. You just did what I knew you would. But how about getting some scribes together? I have some things that need to be said and passed down to future generations."
In fact, why bother returning to heaven at all? If a guy comes back to life and is still marred from his execution enough that a person is able to place a hand into his side, that person could go anywhere and do anything and round up humanity pretty nicely. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Presumably he couldn't be killed again.
The absolute worst thing, logistically speaking, would be to leave the single most important message from God to mankind in the hands of people who simply started a 4+ decade game of Telephone.
The more we understand about ourselves, the more ridiculous I find the whole way this message has been delivered. Eyewitness testimony is the least reliable method of arriving at the facts of a case. One would think that God would understand this.
No matter how I look at it, I find it impossible to believe that a god, any god, could be that incompetent.
And, let's be honest here, if he's going to be that stupid about the most important event in all of human history, is this really a person who can be trusted? Do you really want him mucking about in your personal affairs? I wouldn't.
Isn't it something of an insult to any actual god who may be out there that we have a higher standard for CPAs (or any other professional) than we have for him?
This is one of the reasons that I left Christianity and became an atheist. OK, agnostic maybe. I don't know if there is a god or not.
But I simply don't have it in me to believe in a stupid god.
Isn't it kinder to believe in no god than to believe in one that is not even as smart as you or me? I means, I'm no astrophysicist or anything and my intelligence level is average at best. I think it's cruel to portray god as having a sub-par intelligence.
Indeed, I find it baffling that Christians can be so cruel as to ascribe such nonsense to their object of worship.