Saturday, October 25, 2008

Life is Sacred

And I guess that is why I'm not religious.

The Christian viewpoint, when brought to its logical conclusion, was explained in a recent blog post:

"Any good secularist can think life is sacred. Of course what the secularist means by the word sacred is interesting, but the idea that Christians are about the maintenance of some principle separate from our understanding of God is just crazy. As a matter of fact, Christians do not believe that life is sacred. I often remind my right-to-life friends that Christians took their children with them to martyrdom rather than have them raised pagan."


THANK GOODNESS most Christians no longer practice this disastrous belief. If it weren't for the rise of the moderately religious, who pick and choose their beliefs with reason and a moral compass honed by natural selection, then I have little doubt that the human enterprise would plunge once again into a Dark Age.

Of course, the problem with moderates is that they wish to have their cake and eat it too. 'Sure, I profess to believe that life is not sacred, that maybe it's better to martyr myself and my children, or better yet, kill my enemies, rather than bear witness to false beliefs, but just because I say that's what I believe doesn't mean I'd ever do it.'

WAT?

As for the right to life argument, I think the right of those already living trumps the right of those who are not yet living. If a mother's health is at stake because of a complicated pregnancy, it is a greater tragedy to lose the mother, whose complex neural network constitutes sentience and precious memories, than the fetus, who has known nothing and has nothing to lose.

3 comments:

matt said...

THANK GOODNESS most Christians no longer practice this disastrous belief.

Well, they don't in the West, because it's no longer a capital crime not to burn incense to the Divine Diocletian. But in places where either organized governments or vigilantes are committing violence against Christians just for being Christians like in China or Iraq, martyrdom of children may indeed be a consequence of being a Christian family.

"Sure, I profess to believe that life is not sacred, that maybe it's better to martyr myself and my children, or better yet, kill my enemies, rather than bear witness to false beliefs, but just because I say that's what I believe doesn't mean I'd ever do it."

This is a bizarre quote, where did it come from?

SuiginChou said...

I pretty much agreed with Jay when I first read this, just not enough that I would be driven to blog about. I thought it foolish and pedantic of the original blogger to say, when backed into a corner to defend his faith and his worldview, that he indeed did not hold life to be sacred; and that he indeed would rather have his children die than that have them live as pagans.

The reason the orthodox Christian is forced to make this ludicrous argument is because he must attempt to rationalize the stories of the Old Testament; and inescapably the Old Testament shows us an old man who brings his son out a butcher-rock and prepares to decapitate him because a voice inside his head told him to. To the educated 21st-century American, this sounds an awful lot like a case of schizophrenic father homiciding his son. Philosophically, I wonder how the 21st-century Christian can contentedly answer that the schizophrenic "is just plain nuts" and ought to be tried as a criminal for the attempted (if not successful) slaying of his boy, yet Abraham ought to be exalted as a hero of faith and humanity. Were we living contemporaries of Abraham's, we would have no way of telling him apart from the schizophrenic. We only have his word to go off of.

"If you really are the Son of God, prove it!" The same lessons learned from this story about Jesus and Satan hold true for our relationship with God. If he will not prove himself to us, and we are to take Him as true and wise on faith alone, that's fine -- but it goes both ways. Creator of the Universe, all-powerful and all-knowing, yadda yadda yadda -- it is foolish to sell yourself so short as to not make someone prove himself to you but to entertain his demands that you prove yourself to him. Either you mutually prove yourselves to one another or neither of you does.

The problem is, God is the ultimate authority figure for the faithful; and so (to reverse the grammar there) we see that the faithful are the very sort of people susceptible, willing to submit to people in positions of authority. They don't question orders. They shut up and do as they're told. If they tell me "No I don't! I do too question orders!" then I ask them would they question God if he told them to kill their son to prove their fidelity.

I won't allow them or anyone else to have his cake and eat it too. Be a Christian for all I care, but admit that you're praising men who kill their own flesh and blood just because a voice told them to. If you're not praising these men? Fantastic. You're a blasphemer, sure, but fantastic.

I just know someone is going to say "the days of the Old Testament were special times and they called for special measures" / "what Abraham did back then, Jesus Christ saved us from having to do by dying for our sins," blah blah blah: it doesn't change the fact that these men are praised for the actions of placing a voice before king, country, family, and friendship.

Jay said...

It's not a real quote (I tried to denote this by using apostrophes) so there's a chance I'm just setting up a strawman. But that's the kind of mental gymnastics I have to do when I try to put myself in the shoes of a moderate Christian.