An Informed Atheist Re-Addresses Christianity
09 April 2018 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
(written on Good Friday, at that)
Nietzsche and other atheists before and after him have addressed Christianity, condemning it roundly as myth and especially for the wars it has given rise to. The condemnation on wars has been historically a fair one, but wars in the name of Christianity, as opposed now to capitalism and democracy, seem to have seriously tapered off.
So what is left of the general criticism of Christianity. The critiques are: It is all myth. There is no God. It is all imagined. But are these criticisms enough to condemn Christianity? On reflection, I now think not, although yesterday I mistakenly wrote, "Faith in god isn't worth much without a demonstrable god." Thinking about it, I was wrong. God is not necessary for the real benefits of Christianity to ensue. All that is need is faith in God, not God himself. Why, you should ask. I explain.
What are the benefits of Christianity? Moral instruction, for one, needed by many, if not most now, for sure. Since God is Dead we are beset by acute moral rot. The more primitive the individual, the less enlightened he or she is by natural law and the more instruction and reminding on morality is necessary. Measured by behavior, I think much such instruction is required for many if not most in this shabby age of decline, lying and deceit.
Community and society are two others. These and teaching morality are the core businesses of Christian Churches. Community is part of the human condition but it requires a bit of impetus and organization for fruition and social cohesion, and churches also provide that. The collateral benefit which ensues, when broadly conceived and implemented, is a good and functional society.
Protecting the welfare of the disadvantaged is a fourth benefit of Christianity. This is often also done by and through churches and is a legitimate function of them.
Individual prayer, as a form of contemplation covering all that is, is a fifth benefit, as a sort of meditation. I could go one with this list, and refine it, but the point is now obvious.
It is: no God is needed to obtain these benefits. A belief in God and general New Testament teachings are sufficient. God per se is superfluous. A belief in him is not. Most people need that belief and its benefits, although a few do not.
A further point to emerge is this: attacks on belief in God and on God himself, of which I have been guilty, are destructive and harmful to the benefits which can and do ensue from Christianity. I must and will learn to not address my personal views here publicly. They can be and have been harmful to others. The higher natural law interpretation I now provide here is needed. So into silence I go here on many of my views on Christianity and I now wish it well, God speed and freedom from abuse.