Thursday, August 21, 2008

Can't Believe I Missed This

Well, PZ's got a post up that ended up getting a comment from some guy named harv who managed to make a point I somehow never thought of. I suppose given that Christianity is so messed up, I can't be expected to tally up every way in which it's fractally wrong. It's kind of a big argument against the purpose of evangelism.

For those who didn't click over to read, here's the gist of it: If people who've never heard of Christianity are given a free pass (not applicable to all fundies, obviously, since there are plenty just happy to condemn those people to purposeless eternal torture), wouldn't that be a good reason to not evangelize? If that's the case, wouldn't God set up the whole crazy blood sacrifice thing to occur in obscurity?

If you're going to argue that Christianity contributes positively by making more people pass the alleged moral bar who wouldn't normally do so, well, you've got a lot of work ahead of you, since I don't see it. Every alleged good thing about Christianity is easily done without supernatural hullabaloo. Quite frankly, I tend to see the modern not-psychotic Christians as a result of "corruption" by secular values. Without the secularism of the enlightenment, I would think Christendumb would remain nasty with inquisitions and war on a routine basis. I've been reading something of an abridged Bible, and there is a LOT of bloodshed that strikes me as completely pointless. And yet, it's written as if I should be cheering on the winner.

Anyway, I'm kind of drifting off the point there: If ignorance of Christianity lets people get into heaven on morality alone, I think that'd make for a good reason to refrain from evangelism. I suppose that'd be a good way to rub it in the stone idol's face by getting people in despite putting in the arbitrary, amoral second hoop.

6 comments:

Maronan said...

Naturally, that argument isn't applicable to all fundies, as you said, but the fundies to who it doesn't apply aren't exactly off the irrationality hook, since there's another argument that works well against them.

In short, if people who never hear about Jebus go to hell, then God's an asshole. If people who never hear about Jebus don't go to hell, then the evangelists are assholes.

Dunc said...

Ah, the old one about the Indian and the missionary:

INDIAN: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I still go to hell?

MISSIONARY: "No, not if you did not know."

INDIAN: "Then why did you tell me?"

David RIckel said...

The bible says (I heard this at some thumper graduation ceremony and haven't bothered to verify) that the Second Coming won't occur until The Word has been preached to all the peoples of the world--they don't have to convert, they just have to have the option of converting. After that, we get the rapture and the chosen ascend bodily into heaven and all that.

So. Missionaries are spreading The Word because they want to bring about the destruction of the world.

Dunc said...

The bible says (I heard this at some thumper graduation ceremony and haven't bothered to verify) that the Second Coming won't occur until The Word has been preached to all the peoples of the world--they don't have to convert, they just have to have the option of converting. After that, we get the rapture and the chosen ascend bodily into heaven and all that.

No, sorry. All that rapture crap was made up in the 19th century, and has very shaky scriptural backing. Try actually reading "Revelations" sometime - it (a) bears very little resemblance to what most people think it says, and (b) makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever. It's word salad. I've read free-association "poetry" composed under the influence of powerful hallucinogens that makes more sense.

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah. I skimmed some chunks of Revelations at a trip to Skeptic's Annotated Bible, and to me it reads like a poorly described drug trip.

Dunc said...

It's one possible interpretation. I tend more towards the "some kind of schizoid episode" interpretation myself... Having been around both, they're really very difficult to tell apart. But I don't know of any tradition of hallucinogen use in that time and place (although there's always ergotism...) On the other hand, we know that what we now call mental illness was often regarded as divine inspiration at the time.