the badness of sin
I’m a self-evolved atheist. What I mean is, I was born into a Christian family and accepted their religion as the ‘natural’ state of things, but as I grew up, and read the Bible as a young adult, I could not resolve the harsh words and ideas it presented, with the society I lived in and the humanity I felt. So I wasn’t converted by the ideas of others, and I feel my intellectual atheism is probably out of touch. I say all this as a precursor/apology to what is coming, as I expect it’s all been said before and a million times more clearly! (I’m saying it here to vent my rant.)
The concept of ‘sin’ that is bandied round by Christians is a disturbing psychological assault that hits hardest those who face lives that are more complex than the Western mainstream. Contrary to what their faith tells them, the ethical and moral compass of the average human that has evolved in this society, naturally contains many of the basic elements of Christianity. We have evolved and progressed on the back of characteristics that favour a peaceful and loving society for those around us – our family, our friends – and which, for survival, extends as far beyond our circles as we dare to include. Everyone of every faith and culture wants a world that treats their offspring well – this does not need to be programmed into our heads by an imaginary deity.
When the root of your religion tells people that you and all those are around you are intrinsically ‘bad’ and you need to fight all the urges you have to be ‘bad’ and that an evil, unseen creature is trying to trick you into being ‘bad’, you use irrational fear and guilt to mess with the basic moral compass of human nature. When your religion tells people that innate characteristics that bring no harm to others are ‘bad’, that one gender or race is superior to another, you promote discrimination and misery within your society. When your religion tells you that people who commit serious crimes are simply ‘bad’, you overlook the real, earthly causes of criminal behaviour and encourage the cycles of poverty, neglect and abuse that are, without exception, at the root of these behaviours.
I have so much to say on this subject but in the interests of keeping my posts concise will finish with this: guilt and fear generated by this harmful notion of ‘sin’ are the root cause of more unethical and immoral behaviour than would otherwise naturally occur.