Saw this on the Onion this morning and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd share. Granted it is satire, but I was wondering your serious thoughts on the subject matter any way.
He was about to become a free thinker but got cold feet and made the less mature choice of deciding God did it. He could have allowed himself to soar to greater heights and become a more compassionate and reasoned man but because of the fear that religion instils in the mind he could not break free. That is one of the worst things about religions. It enslaves and traps the human mind but it is only as an Atheist that you can understand that. The deluded do not know they are deluded. If only he could have put his faith on hold long enough to view his beliefs critically.
I was cranky about the America - love it or leave it sentiment but then I read this. I think I became closer to self-realization as a result. At the very least, I am much cheerier for the moment. Thanks!
You are welcome!
@Gallup: It's called not taking things too seriously - not even myself, and a willingness to listen - no matter how absurd. I can see the absurdity in the article and laugh, as well as the truth in the article about religious people eschewing personal responsibility in favor using religious doctrine or God in general as an excuse. I, personally, can find some errors of understanding with regards to the author's report with which he uses satire to exaggerate his claims. The character in which he has also developed for the story is also evidence of his misunderstanding, however, very accurate in portrayal of shallow religious folk.
As in my own experience, most people who claim Christ are unwilling to do any of the hard work that is involved in self-realization, which is a critical part of development in the spiritual side of the human being. Why? Because it is painful, and so it is much easier to just claim Christ and carry on as if there is nothing left to do. In other words, it is easier to choose ignorance, and the church is nothing more than happy to carry them on in their ignorance because it allows the church to exert an unhealthy amount of control in their lives. How quaint.
So, Barry, this is one reason why the Christ story is vitally important. What he did wasn't in the least comfortable and easy.
@Belle, the question is REALLY about what you think about the article. As for the other, I am quite comfortable with leaving that to mystery because I understand that, as a human being, there will always be things that I either don't know or don't understand. Also, the only way I will know something or become more understanding of it is based on my motivation to do so. In regards to Christ deity, I am well aware that in early Christianity there were two main schools of thought: Alexandrian and Antiochan. Alexandrian emphasized the deity of Christ, while Antiochan emphasized his humanity. Eventually, through conflict and heated debate, the Alexandrian school of thought won the Western world's approval, and those who adhered to the Antiochan school were declared anathema. However, this debate is not my main concern. What concerns me is the conflict that ensued between the two schools. After all, these are mortal men claiming to know more about the divine than what is actually and clearly revealed in history. I don't consider that wise. I consider that politically ambitious.
RE: "in early Christianity there were two main schools of thought" - actually, there were many schools of thought.
"Adoptionists" believed Yeshua was the flesh and blood son of Mary and Joseph, whose exemplary life caused the Bible's god to adopt him. There were those, even among the Adoptionists, who believed he was adopted at the time of his baptism, while others believe it occurred at the time of his alleged resurrection.
"Docetists" believed that Yeshua was entirely spirit - only seeming to be human, that he could change shape at will, and that he ate, not because he needed the food, but merely to give those around him the impression that he was human.
"Separationists" also believed Yeshua was entirely human, but that at his baptism, a spirit, separate from him, entered into him, an entity known as "the Christ," which left him to return to the "divine realm" as his host, the poor, broken human, hung, dying, on a cross, prompting the corpse-to-be to quote Psalms in his agony (who does that?), saying, "Why have you forsaken me?" "WTF?" I could understand, but Psalms?
"Marcionites" believed that Yeshua was in no sense human, that he was none other than god himself, who decided to pop down to earth for a few years, to see what the hell was going on.
And don't get me started on the Gnostics --
Yes, that is why I said "main schools." There were multiple schools of thought but the ones given most attention was the Alexandrian position of fully divine and the Antiochan position of fully human. These were the two main points that were argued continuously, and from my studies, what you list here are subsets of such thought. What I am speaking to is of course as based on my time studying four semesters worth of Historical Theology - from the Patristic Period to the Middle Ages.
I often wish I had spent as little time as that, I can't help thinking of all of the other things I could have gotten done.
RE: "Yes, that is why I said 'main schools.'" - and the point I'm trying to stress, is that there were a lot of hair-brained theories floating around out there, and yours is only one.
In the East self-realization is not attributable to anything but practise and method. However, the fast track approach is to use god/gods as they make it easier to surrender the ego.
Let's not get too smug with our disparagement. Else our ego might become an obstacle to growth.
Diggerbanks, do you mind if I kiss you?