What is Christianity FOR?
1. What is Christianity FOR?
2. Are the things that Christianity is FOR rational?
3. Which of the things that Christianity is for are EXCLUSIVE to Christianity and inaccessible or impossible for non-Christians?
When I use the word FOR, I mean something VERY specific. I mean that in order to answer this question, a Christian may not use ANY
"negative" terminology, that is, one must leave what God is "against" out of the answer.
To say God is "for NOT being gay" or "for NOT sinning" is missing the point of the question.
We can make a long list of every single thing that we should NOT do. We can do this both in secular culture and religious culture. We have a large number of laws in secular culture to tell us what we're not allowed to do. This also occurs with religious culture, but interestingly, there are a significant number of religious laws that are NOT secular laws. This is evidenced by the fact that only 2 of the ten commandments are laws: killing and stealing.
But creating an enormous void is not going to tell me what I SHOULD DO with my life.
Give me some THOU SHALTS, but omit all the THOU SHALT NOT's.
There is another important caveat to this question. A rule for answering, if you will. When one answers the question, he should also eliminate any answers about what we should do concerning a propogation of the message of what we should not do.
In other words, we must use a thought experiment and imagine a perfect world in which there is no one to preach to... In this perfect world, everyone gets the message and agrees to the list of what people should not do. There is essentially no one to preach to. We assume that there is no one to kill or persuade because we all share exactly the same beliefs.
Now, I will attempt to pre-emptively address each of the prescriptions that Christians might provide.
A. Pray, worship, and glorify God.
B. Make and raise lots of babies.
C. Charity and generosity.
D. Be nice and kind to people.
E. Enjoy God's creation... but not TOO much, and only certain parts of his creation. (Looking at boobs is off limits.)
F. Collect brownie points for heaven.
G. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
To what extent am I allowed to have fun? Are there specific pursuits that I should follow that are righteous?
Question 2. Are the things that Christianity is FOR rational?
Question 3. Which of the things that Christianity is for are EXCLUSIVE to Christianity and inaccessible or impossible for non-Christians?
A. Pray, worship, and glorify God. This one is logically contradictory with God's assumed property of perfection. If God is perfect, then no amount of prayer, worship, or glorification will add to his already infinite perfection. This is exclusive to Christianity, that is worshipping Yahweh, BUT, who cares? He needs no worship, and it does nothing. Prayer: The best way to do nothing and think that you're still helping.
B. Make and raise lots of babies. This is also flawed. It makes sense in prehistoric times to make babies to prevent extinction... But NOW, with rampant overpopulation of the world as evidenced by global warming, making babies may actually LEAD us to extinction. We can have families as atheists, though, so this is not exclusive.
C, D. Charity and generosity. Being nice to people. I agree this is good. Not exclusive to Christianity.
E. Enjoy God's creation, but not too much. My enjoyment of music, art, and nature is no different than that of a Christian.
F. Collect brownie points for heaven. This is extremely irrational because it nullifies the basis for ethics. The reason you do good things is for the people you're doing the good things, NOT to help yourself out!
G. Accept Jesus. This is both part of worship, which I have shown to be logically contradictory; and secondly, it violates my request not to add things that we should NOT do. Accepting Jesus is required to save you from your sins, so at the heart of accepting Jesus is another expression of the things that you should NOT do. In other words, Jesus is the logical solution for Christians getting out of this trap of so much negation of activity. Perhaps Jesus is so important because he creates a center upon which to focus on for purposeful action... But when the worship of Jesus is examined, it is really just another expression of what you can't do.
My point is that after you cut through all the bullshit that Christianity has to offer, and you eliminate all the things you're NOT supposed to do, you have a core set of positive prescriptions for action. Some of these are extremely irrational, and the ones that are rational can be experienced by atheists as well.
I see major problems with the fact that there is so much negation in Christianity. Things we should NOT do... Given my prior scenario where all the world is perfect and without sin, there's really nothing to DO when we look at Christian doctrine. We just sit on our asses and sing Kum-by-ya around a fire, trying to be as inactive as possible because we are afraid of sinning.
Ultimately, I ADD some things to the Atheist list of things that we should do, considering the same scenario.
1. ENJOY YOURSELF AND THE COMPANY OF OTHERS PROVIDED IT DOES NOT HARM OTHERS.
2. BE NICE TO EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF RACE, RELIGION (OR NON-RELIGION), AGE, GENDER, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, DISABILITY, INTELLIGENCE LEVEL, OR NATIONALITY.
3. CULTIVATE AND SHARE YOUR TALENTS WITH OTHERS, AND USE YOUR TALENTS TO MAKE THE WORLD A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE.
This is for Christians and atheists both. Atheists, what would you add to the list of atheist "Thou should's"? And Christians, how would you answer each of my questions?
Any clarifications needed?
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM.