The three major monotheistic religions all teach that humans are tainted. No matter how hard we try, we are supposedly inherently imperfect and sinful; there is always something intrinsically unholy about humans that we constantly need atonement and forgiveness for.
Christianity refers to Original Sin, brought out by (through retrospective alteration of Genesis) the original lie of Satan to humans.
The irony here is that Original Sin is itself the ultimate Original Lie.
Like a sleazy cult leader, the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions offer you the cure to a disease you don’t have. This is why, for no other reason than divine fiat, various aspects of the world and humanity are decreed wicked and wrong, perverse or unclean.
Why are some animals clean and others in the Old Testament? No logical reason is given, because there isn’t one. Human superstitions were anthropomorphised in a tyrannical god who would be disobeyed on penalty of death.
Why would god give humans perfectly natural biological processes like ejaculation or menstruation and then declare us unclean from them?
Why have women always been treated as second-class citizens wherever religion has held sway? What is so inherently flawed about the female of the species? When you believe that god specially created woman, this sickeningly primitive attitude towards woman makes even less sense. But suppressing women gives men power, and constantly teaches females that they are debase and low, and almost need to apologise just for being born with different body parts.
This is because religion has always been obsessed with sex and diet. By convincing the innocent that their own bodies are disgusting and something to be feared, religion offers the cure to a non-existence plague: atonement and salvation.
Why is extra-marital sex a crime? Why is homosexuality a crime? Despite having no mention at all in the bible, why do all religions treat masturbation as an unnatural act of self-indulgence and debauchery? The Faithful have even gone as far as to invent blatant falsehoods over the “dangers” of masturbation. Why?
For those who say laws on sex etc are there for health reasons, a simple thought experiment will suffice to dispel this myth: ‘if two people who aren’t married, and may or may not be of the same gender, want to have sex but with total protection so there is no chance of conception or disease, is any consensual sexual activity acceptable then?’ If you’re a Believer and you say yes, then good; you should have no problem with the kind of sex “crimes” that religion specifies. If you say no, then your real reasons for opposing sexual freedom are religious superstition, and have nothing to do with what is better for people or not.
Religion is about control. It is a vehicle for human doubts and the fear of the unknown. The Original Lie comes down to this: you are a depraved hopeless sinner, and you cannot help your own nature. Life is a constant struggle against your own desires and urges, as you aim to beseech the help of an almighty overlord who will hopefully forgive you in the future; of course, you have to wait until you die before you realise this redemption.
There is no greater example of injustice than the doctrine that you are guilty for the crimes of others. This is the antithesis of justice, and yet it is the core tenet of Christianity: Adam and Eve’s sin is passed onto all mankind. This is a squalid lie.
Religion is the architect of the biggest con of all: perfectly harmless and even enjoyable things are wrong.
Fortunately, all you have to do is realise the lie to dispel its power. If you cause no harm you can do what you want. There is nothing wrong with you. You have the enormous luck of being alive. As animals go, humans are the most free of all. Religion would have us take that gift and try to exchange it for store credit in God’s Supermarket of Guilt. What a waste!
This is why atheism is about freedom. Atheism means that your life belongs to you, and your actions are your own. Your life and body are your property to do with as you will. Being human is nothing to apologise for.
Perhaps our species will never ubiquitously appreciate that freedom whilst the Original Lie still pervades innocent minds.
17 August, 2007 at 3:41 am
The Original Lie is also the Big Lie. Make it big enough and tell it often enough, an everyone will believe it.
My upbringing tells me that there is no intent to deceive behind the formation of religion, that it was a natural extension of man’s inherent inquisitiveness, and that it was really serendipity that it took the form it did.
But, damn, E., when you put it that way, it sure looks sinister, as if someone in the beginning gave it a lot of thought and attention, in an effort to pull together an airtight scam.
17 August, 2007 at 1:01 pm
it is very sinister, but I don’t actually believe someone sat down and invented the whole thing from the beginning, although I do think priests and clerics have deliberately lied in the past to invent dogma and avoid facts. I also believe that the leaders of religious cults like Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses etc, are sinister and intentionally lie to their members.
But I don’t think religion initially started out as a controlling tool, although it did turn into that. I believe religion has gone through a process of natural selection, and perhaps it just happens to be those religions that make humans ashamed of themselves, fearful, and intolerant, that are the most successful.
Whether intentionally devised or gradually evolved, the doctrine of Original Sin is still a perverse and injust lie.
(That the big 3 religions are based on the same primitive barbaric text doesn’t help either.)