I know sometimes I can come off as highly critical of Christianity. There are two reasons for that. The first reason is because I feel my Christian upbringing has damaged me in many unhealthy ways, and that it has and is doing the same to billions of other people. The damage to me has been mental, and emotional (mostly in installing fear and guilt complexes where there was no need for them - a conditioning mechanism that I am dismantling as quickly as possible). For others the damage has been quite physical, and it continues in the religious/oil wars that we see daily on the news.
The second reason is that the criticism is well-deserved, because when you look at the doctrine of Christianity in the cold light of rational and objective thinking, it doesn't make sense at all. It denies basic instinctual urges, represses metaphysical explorations of consciousness, and implies that prosperity and contentment with ones life is solely dependent on one's relationship with a Roman-concocted version of God, and that anything contrary to the belief in this recycled Frankenstein of a deity that has no history before Rome, will damn one to hell; a place that NO ONE has ever seen or been to.
Christianity also ridiculously asserts the idea of 'original sin' as having created the need for redemption, while the term 'original sin' itself, or it's underlying doctrine, is found nowhere in these Christian's OWN BOOK. So who made THAT shit up and why?
Sounds like a classic case of Problem-Reaction-Solution to me...a con-game that's still being used today because it works so well. Identify a problem (Adam sinned so all of his descendants are born sinners), create a reaction ("Oh no, what must I do to be saved?"), provide the solution (accept our version of the savior and everything will be ok).
What Are Sins Exactly?
And speaking of sin, how about these classic so-called "sins" from I John 2:16?
1. Lust of the Flesh - Obviously this implies sexual urges... Umm, but didn't sex get us all here, and our kids too? Aren't orgasms the closest that most of us get to the ecstasy of complete union with God, while we are in physical union with another being. Then why exactly is any of that bad?
If people were really honest with themselves, to a large degree not only do we live because of sex, we live for sex.
As a matter of fact, absolutely everything we do in this life revolves around only three things, sex, chaos and the inevitability of our own death/resurrection/afterlife. That's it, life is no more complicated than that. If you want to know your "true" gods, here they are: Isis, Apophis, and Osiris (IAO) - representative of sex (as in mating and fertility, along with where and how one was nurtured), chaos (as in day-to-day randomness - good and bad), and death/resurrection (the fact that we all need to get our shit together before we die). This is the triune God - the one you need no so-called "faith" to believe in because it's presence is quite evident in your daily life.
2. Lust of the Eyes - implies a lust based within all of the eyes, as in including 'The Third Eye', which implies an urge toward metaphysical experiences and psychic exploration - since the eyes signify perception. Literally all of man's ingenuity in creating tools to make his life better has been the result of his imagination applied to solving problems, bar none. Even if it was only a covetousness that was being spoken of, how the hell can you want anything if you've never seen it before?
Case in point, when I was growing up in the inner city, almost every role model I had was either a drug dealer, or some other type of outlaw. Until I saw with my own eyes a person who had a college degree, and who had been able to support themselves financially as a result, I would have probably become an outlaw myself. That goes for anyone else too. We become what we see in our environment, that's pretty much how human nature and society works. Only very rare people become something, or want something, that they've never seen before.
So at what point is that "lust", and better yet, at what point is that wrong?
3. Pride of Life - pride is contentment with one's life in it's totality. Doesn't pride denote a sense of dignity? A sense of earned pleasure or contentment? How is that a bad thing?
How exactly are these things sins at all? Answer: they're not.
Does Sin Even Exist?I'm not going to say that sin in general doesn't exist, because I really don't know if it does or not. I'll just say that it doesn't exist for me. Maybe that'll change someday, but probably not.
Incidentally, I'd love to debate these concepts with anyone who is willing to NOT use the Bible as their direct or indirect source of reference material. I doubt that'll happen though. Mostly because without that particular circular reference to stand on, Christianity falls flat on it's face, just like most of the more popular religions.
One should always beware whenever a so-called "prophet" claims to have had a "vision" that no one can corroborate, and is intent on delivering a message in the form of a Holy Book that requires others to either convert to believing in it or to suffer some sort of eternal torment or death. Plenty of people have visions, and receive revelations of all sorts, but if you have to convert people to your specific flavor of enlightenment it by the sword, then there's something wrong there.
The idea of "Doing What Thou Wilt" as popularized by Aleister Crowley eliminates all of these issues. It's simple, straightforward, and imposes no restrictions, restrictions being the truest of sins if there is such a thing as sin at all. And, unlike with the popular religions, the religion he started (Thelema) specifically teaches its adherents (of which I am not) to "convert not". How refreshing is that? It's certainly a far cry from "converting with the sword"!
Getting back to restrictions, is the Sun restricted in providing light, energy, and warmth? Do you see any rivers and streams restricting their flows? Do you see the winds restricted in any way? Are any of the planets, stars, or any heavenly bodies restricted in their courses of orbit? No, no, no, and no. And for the most part they cannot be restricted, because if they were our living environment would break down.
More to the point, aren't these all natural things? Aren't we humans also natural things?
Then why do we restrict ourselves in any way, especially in restricting our natural drives and instincts, in an attempt to adhere to this bigoted, misogynistic, contradictory, schizophrenic, and blood-soaked vestige of Roman domination and control called Orthodox Christianity?
My post may indeed be disrespectful, and so be it. In keeping with the nature of my tit-for-tat philosophy, I have no issue with returning the disrespect that has been shown to me personally, and historically to those who believe like me, by Christianity and similarly hegemonic religions. If you consider me a 'sinner' or blasphemer for voicing my opinion about all of this, fine.
I'll return that favor too and consider you a fool.