The ultimate irony: the religion that so often claims to have a monopoly on morality is based on appealing to people's desire to have a get-out-of-jail-free ...
Morals and ethics are ascribable to persons, not organizations because whenever you talk about intent, you are inevitably talking about people with brains and minds. Whatever ethics a religion has is the cumulative morality or moral "tone" of whoever is in control.
The Church is an organization. Xianity is a belief system with certain precepts; some of those precepts are integral and immoral.
It seems to me that intent has very little to do with anything. Many immoral acts have been carried out with good intentions, believing the end justifies the means.
Bad things can happen unintentionally. EVIL things never happen unintentionally because evil is bound up with the character of the person committing them.
As frustrating as it may be to atheists, the antonym of "evil" is probably "saintly." This kind of exposes the fact that "evil" is a term inherited from religion.In reality, ethics are relativistic and based on people's opinions and gut responses, but religion doesn't recognize that and wants ethics/morals to be absolutist in nature.
Just for fun, I went and looked up the precepts of Christianity. I literally typed that phrase into the google-machine and took the first result;
which I assume to be a representative believer's-eye-view of the religion today. They take the five major precepts of Christianity to be:
Inspiration and Inerrancy of ScriptureVirgin birth and Deity of ChristSubstitutionary atonement of ChristBodily resurrection of Christ from the deadSecond Coming of Christ
I'll cover these in the order they come.
Inspiration and inerrancy of scripture are distinctly immoral to me, because I consider self-honesty and critical thinking to be moral values. Believing anything uncritically is not using your full potential as a rational being. Besides that, if you accept the divine inspiration of scripture, I further consider it immoral to unswervingly accept the authority of a sadistic, power-mad creator. Saying that submission to a creator like the one described in the Bible is moral is equivalent to saying submission to Cold War-style authoritarian governments is moral.
Believing in the virgin birth is immoral for reasons already stated; to do so requires that one accept things that are utterly unbelievable on insubstantial and inconsequential evidence. Believing that Jesus is your lord is immoral for aforementioned reasons; believing he is your 'savior' is immoral because it assigns an inherent negativity (which Christians call 'original sin') to things that are inherently morally neutral, which produces terrible real-world consequences in the form of many types of self-denial.
Atonement (via proxy, which is sort of irrelevant to my point) is immoral for the same reason; it implies that you, through no fault of your own, are wretched and in need of saving. While I agree that humans have flaws, there's no reason to assign moral blame for them, and doing so leads to self-denial and self-hatred over things that usually can't be changed.
Bodily resurrection of Christ; immoral by virtue of being completley unsubstantiated by historical or scientific evidence. In other words; lying is immoral, and there's no reason to believe that the resurrection is anything but a great historical patchwork lie.
The second coming is immoral for many of the above-discussed reasons, but it furthermore encourages an attitude of selfishness and short-sightedness. If your goal is to bring about the second coming, or to be prepared for it, your actions will take distinctly different paths than if you care about real things, like alleviating other people's suffering, or making sure that the planet remains comfortably livable, or contributing to the human race's body of knowledge and culture. Never mind the knock-on effects such beliefs have, like being an apocalypse-fearing gun nut, or ruining the lives of your children by instilling them with a paranoid worldview; the simple fact that you waste your life preparing for the culmination of a childish revenge fantasy robs the world of your other possible contributions to it. Can you imagine how much more advanced human knowledge would be if every person who toiled over the finer points of their religious delusions had instead channeled that energy into useful, substantial things? How many brilliant scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, poets, composers, sculptors, engineers, athletes and inventors were we as a species robbed of by the permanent sidetracking given them by religious brainwashing?
In summary: Christianity, and all religion, sucks balls. The end.
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