Google
 
Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Monday, February 13, 2006

Moral Responsibility vs Christianity part 3

3. As a corollary of God or a universal force being "in control", we get into another contradiction with moral responsibility : the fact that everything that happens is justified. This is expressed both in the concept of the divine plan and in the concept of karma. If there is a divine plan, then God's will justifies everything bad that happens. If there is karma, then past lives justify everything bad that happens. There is no place for human choice or free will in such universes.

It is also confirmed by the fact that theologians waste a lot of energy trying to refute the Problem of Evil - if there is a solution to the PoE, that means that all suffering is justified. But If all suffering is justified, then there's no reason to try to alleviate suffering at all (here is a formalization of this argument) and there's no reason to feel responsible for any of our actions.

Suppose I do some harm to someone. If I was morally responsible, I would acknowledge that I have caused this harm, and try to repair it. But in a world with karma or divine plan or full justification of evil, I have the equally justifiable excuse that the harm was ordained or justified, and that my actions were only a catalyst.

Even if one rejects the notion that God controls human action (a position which is hard to defend), the fact that God controls natural events is in itself extremely morally repulsive and offensive, as it trivializes and justifies extreme suffering. For every person who praises God for being saved from a horrible disaster, there are thousands who died horribly. Did these people have God on their side also ? This insulting belief is similar to that of thanking God instead of the actual people who did the very real human work. In either case, the Chrisitan rejection of moral responsibility is not only insane but extremely offensive.


4. The fundamental Christian doctrines of original sin and the sacrifice of Jesus (as well as some other OT laws) contradict the basic principle of moral responsibility that a person can only be judged by his own actions. In fact, it completely contradicts it, asking us to judge the entirety of mankind by one person's actions ! It also asks us to believe that the execution of an innocent man can redeem, once again, the entirety of mankind. How can you get any more morally irresponsible than setting up a scapegoat for your own failings ?

Once again this is a similar problem as in karma. In both cases, the individual is deemed responsible for something he did not do. And as I mentioned before, the individual is also not responsible for any evil deed he does commit, as long as he is saved. So Christianity is in fact the very definition of total moral irresponsibility (being responsible for things one did not do, and irresponsible for things one did do).

On the opposite extreme, you have New Age beliefs, which state that the individual is fully responsible for everything that happens to him - as a consequence of the idea that reality is an inter-subjective creation. This leads to the equally absurd doctrine that someone who suffers from a flesh-eating bacteria created the bacteria and agreed to be attacked by it. This kind of position, while totally opposite to divine creation and karma, leads to the same collapse of moral responsibility : if our mind is wholly uncaused and subjective, then no responsibility can be imputed to any of our actions. Everything is essentially random.

Belief in salvation and the afterlife are convenient ways for believers to escape judgment from themselves, their peers and society. By adopting the so-called law of God, they want to feel righteous against the laws of man and nature. They have no regard for how offensive and harmful their beliefs can become because they have no concern for "the world". That is the primary reason why Christianity and other monotheisms are dangerous, amoral, anti-social belief systems. To desire a more responsible, compassionate society is to desire the end of such religious dogmas.

Post a Comment


2 Comments:

At 2/13/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

The Reformed solution to this problem is to argue that we are all worthless and depraved, and deserve nothing more than complete suffering. A pastor I once heard dismissed the Problem of Evil by saying that instead, we should be concerned about the Problem of Good; why does God allow good things to happen, given that we don't deserve any?

 
At 2/13/2006 11:05 AM, Blogger mathyoo declaimed...

Suppose I do some harm to someone. If I was morally responsible, I would acknowledge that I have caused this harm, and try to repair it. But in a world with karma or divine plan or full justification of evil, I have the equally justifiable excuse that the harm was ordained or justified, and that my actions were only a catalyst.

You could take that further and say that to help someone or repair the damage you caused is a sin, because God planned for that person to suffer, and your alleviation of that suffering is in direct contradiction to God's will.

 

Trackbacks:

Create a Link

<< Home