the christian imagination


I imagine some men may well prefer a harem or polygamy, or perhaps unlimited sexual access with no commitment or responsibilities. Than we have the women who prefer no relationship at all, who would rather go it alone with some assistance from the state. From there on out we branch into multiple other kinds of relationships people find logical and desirable, SSM, three way partnerships, communal marriages, swingers, open relationships and so forth. (Insanitybytes)

Christians imagine all sorts of things. They imagine that without the intervention and rules of their imaginary god God, humans would plunge into a dark abyss of destructive, selfish behaviour, seeking momentary pleasure above all else.

My personal opinion is that Christians, in spite of their rules, behave in this way with the same frequency as anyone living without gods, and all for the same reason: placing short-term highs above long-term contentment and well-being. The difference is that when an atheist chooses to live a certain way, they can feel free to do so for reasons they personally choose, rather than feeling bound to rambling rules written thousands of years ago by men from a completely alien culture.

I think it’s fair to say that most people (women and men) like the idea of unlimited sexual access to anyone of their choice with no responsibilities. Men have used religion to develop misogynistic cultures to this end, using women as breeding chattel to be picked up on a whim.  In most modern day cultures seeking equality for all people, this kind of attitude is now frowned upon. The more acceptable option is polyamory, where we can all have happy and open relationships, but not to the detriment specifically of either women or men. Equality in all things.

While I don’t rule out that humans could find a more generally sensible way to live at some point in the future, I have my doubts about polyamory. The human biological make-up plus our cultural heritage currently makes it easier to live, where possible, in romantic relationships comprised of two people, forming family units with offspring where available or desired. Many other animals live in this structure, and it seems to suit our deepest emotional and psychological needs most closely. In general, most people want the stability and continuity that long-term relationships bring. And if they have children, there is ample evidence that life is usually easier for all concerned if the unit can be maintained.

Life, however, isn’t simply about what we want either in the moment or long-term. Events happen, people change and the best laid plans with the best intentions just don’t work out. There are no rules. People need to work out what is best for them and those around them.

The basic structures of nature don’t fall apart when the chosen deity of a culture is not discovered behind the curtain. We go on, experimenting, discussing and evolving. Perhaps one day humans will find a way to have euphoric unlimited sexual access without the emotional fall-out of jealousy and insecurity, without diseases being spread, and without unplanned pregnancies occurring. But, for now, my chemicals tell me my long term contentment is best served in one natural pairing that suits the sexual preferences of my body. Christians may want to tell me that’s a God-designed heterosexual marriage, but nature tells us she’s been hijacked.