This was posted over on Ex-Christian.net. Thought it was worth spreading it here too.
The good news is that today’s apologists find their own core belief indefensible. This is leading to an attempt to draw the debate away from the many core logical absurdities found in the “gospel”, and to a focus on arguments absent from what has lead most of them to their faith. These are just a decoy. Any proposal of a spherical cube of gold can be immediately dismissed due to the impossibility of a spherical cube, evidence of gold not withstanding. In like manner, any proposal of the logically impossible Christian god can be dismissed based on the impossibility of that god, in spite of proffered evidence of “changed lives” or “fine tuning” or perceived weaknesses in evolutionary theory or the need for “objective purpose”. Whatever gods may exist, the logically impossible god of the Bible is disqualified as a candidate due to his logical incoherence. Let’s avoid the intentional distractors, and bring the argument home to the apologists, smack-dab in their incoherent backyard of redemption.
First a definition: Pathological – deviating from normal, healthy, or efficient
Next some considerations of pathology in the context of evolution and society:
Evolution – The proper purpose of behavior in evolutionary understanding is to maximize the survival likelihood of the individual, the genetic line of the individual, and the species of which the individual is a member. There may be many ways to accomplish these ends but of course the ones to be preferred are those that are most efficient since individuals have limited life spans and resources.
From the definition provided above we can see that an individual who is not acting toward the named purposes in efficient ways is pathological from an evolutionary standpoint.
Society – Generally speaking societal behaviors or norms that are preserved in nearly all societies over nearly all times are evolutionarily favorable (and probably evolutionarily directed). Thus such things as family closeness, clannishness, community cooperation, patriotism, traditions, belief systems, and so on are likely to be positive, evolutionary survival behaviors since they can all provide a measure of security, and support that enhances survivability.
Once again, we can conclude that individuals who go outside these lines would fit the definition of ‘pathological’ since they place themselves not only out of the norms but may imperil their own survival by losing the support of community, family, etc.
If my reasoning is right then, I think we may safely conclude that we deconverts are pathological. :D
Matt 5:23,24 – “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
There’s a nice principle. If you have a problem with someone else, you go and reconcile with them FIRST: THEN you come talk to your god. But honestly is this how it really works? No, we know it isn’t.
The church has this set of teachings that say, “God is the one most offended by your sins…. He’s the one you really must apologize to… Get right with him.” And along with those maxims goes the teaching that if you just confess to god, then you’ll be forgiven, shriven, cleansed. You’ll be back in good graces with your imaginary friend and all will be right. ….. or will it?
Haven’t you forgotten someone? What about the real, flesh and bone person who was truly offended and hurt by what you did? He/She is still there. Did you confess to him/her? How’s that relationship?
It’s so easy, so cheap to confess to the air and imagine that everything’s OK. You imagine your deity smiles on you. You may hear your priest pronounce forgiveness for you. But try going to that person you really hurt. Will he/she smile and forgive so readily? Or will you have to actually DO SOMETHING to earn your forgiveness? Might you actually have to change your ways? (That’s another actual bible concept called repentance.)
Yeah, confession is easy. Pronounced and imagined forgiveness from an imaginary being is cheap. But real repentance is hard, and real forgiveness is earned, and confessing to a real person you’ve actually harmed is scary.
But hey, religion is there to comfort folks, not challenge or change them. Not to make them better, just to make them happy.
So go to your altars; and if you have any real issues with real people, don’t worry; tell it to the air, then imagine all is well.
Unless you’re Orthordox in which case you’re still fasting and waiting for 5 weeks. :(
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