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Original Sin

[This was originally part of a comment on a post about original sin at The Slapdash Godliness of a Good Girl.]

We can blame Augustine of Hippo for the idea of original sin. As such, it is one of the most hellish inventions of mankind.

Let me recap. God wanted to show everyone how infinitely loving he is, so he created Adam and Eve and put them in a paradisaical garden knowing that they would break his rule about eating of the fruit one particular tree. When they broke his rule (just like he knew they would), he cast them out of paradise into a torture chamber inhabited by a malicious demon he refuses to rein in. Adam and Eve and all of their children suffer at this demon’s hands. He creates earthquakes, floods, plagues, famines, pestilences, and all manner of suffering to punish Adam and Eve’s family for the time back in paradise when their first parents dared to eat that fruit that God tempted them with. Before the demon can do this, however, he must get God’s approval to make sure that no one who believes in God’s love suffers more than necessary, such are the protocols of the heavenly bureaucracy. Satan is on God’s payroll, doing all the dirty work God doesn’t care to do.

Millions upon millions upon billions of people are tortured and killed in this torture chamber with God’s approval. God’s sense of justice demands that God punish all of humanity for Adam and Eve’s sin of which they had no part and for choosing evil themselves, just as he created them to do. He couldn’t show his love if people didn’t suffer, so his plan from the beginning was to create humanity in such a way that they would certainly sin, torture humanity when they sinned according to his plan, and come to their rescue.

Seeing his plan was going well (what with all the suffering and dying going on), it was time for God to show his love, so he took on a mortal body. After being tortured for a day or two, he gave up and died. (Or even worse, he tortured and killed his own Son to make up for his own actions.) This made God feel better about the suffering of all the billions of people who he’s banished to his torture chamber.

If God let all those tortured souls live forever in paradise, it would probably make up for all his hellish sadism. Yet he still put a condition on humanity’s relief from suffering. They had no choice to come to this nightmare chamber in the first place. He never asked them their preference beforehand, yet they bear the final responsibility for getting themselves out. They must first believe—while still being tortured—that he loves them. Not only that, they must love him in return. Anyone who can’t muster the credulity necessary to believe that, anyone who doubts his love in the face of all his sadism, anyone who doesn’t thank him for the chance to suffer and die at his behest will go on suffering forever in an even worse torture chamber reserved for the skeptical and the ignorant.

God sounds like one hell of a cult leader.

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  1. Eddie Lee said,

    November 21, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

    The Book of Genesis begins like a fairy tale. And that’s what it really is — except that the tale gets uglier and uglier, until we start visualising God as an ogre rather than a father-figure. But let’s be blunt here — the Garden of Eden never happened ! And yes, Eden has been documented in the Bible, which millions of naive people accept as the ultimate truth. But anybody with an iota of common sense will agree that Eden was never there to start with. It is simply a fabrication by a very active human imagination — and just the type of fabrication we would laugh at in any other religion outside Christianity, Judaism and Islam. What I am trying to say is that the Old Testament is not the ultimate truth. This fact can be verified by the massive miscalculation made in terms of the age of the world. Biblical scholars, counting from the first day in Eden, will have us believe that the world is just a bit over six thousand years years old — a piece of arithmetic that has time and again been ridiculed by scientists who have discovered fossils and such-like that date back a couple of million years. Religious bigots, each with his own agenda, tell us that we must have “faith”. Of course, they know that without this all-embracing word “faith” the churches and organisations, inclusive of the human parasites that live off them, will go out of business. The fact that they have such a wide following all over the world testifies to man’s innate fear of the unknown — after death, what ? From out of this fear was born religion and so-called spiritual leaders who quickly began exploiting mankind’s need for some sort of assurance that death was not a finality. I don’t know why they needed to cook up such incredulous stories that now comprise much of the Old Testament. But then, methinks the stories were already there — parts of Jewish mythology — just waiting to be picked up by charlatans posing as the messengers of God. And so, about Original Sin — you guessed it, it never happened.

    But let me mention here that my opinion about parts of the Old Testament does not in any way interfere with my avid interest in the four gospels of the New Testament — and in the fact that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. And this brings me to point out the Jesus never mentioned “Original Sin” which, I am sure, would have found a place in His teachings if it was true — and if it was as potent as the churches would have us believe. The New Testament tells us that no man is perfect — we are all with sin. But not “original sin”. And here I need to point out that Jesus told his followers: “Be perfect, as my Father is perfect”. Would He have said that had He known that all men carried the stigma of “original sin” and thus could not be perfect ? Actually, “original sin” is a lie cooked up by St. Augustine. It is still being used in an effort to coerce parents into baptising their babies as Christians (Catholics, really) before they reach the age of reason and start figuring things out for themselves.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    November 30, 2007 @ 8:59 am

    I find your conscious separation between the Old and New Testaments interesting. You sound something like a Red Letter Christian.

    I have a couple problems with the idea that Jesus is a friendly face when compared to Jehovah of the Old Testament. 1) No one mentions Hell in the Hebrew Bible. Christians first introduced the idea of eternal punishment for finite sin. Jewish tradition doesn’t hold that the unrepentant sinner is held forever apart from God. 2) Jesus introduced the idea of thought crime. He was the first totalitarian. Jesus could have been the leader of Eastasia.

    For me, Jesus symbolizes two widely disparate ideas: profound, selfless love and soul-crushing shame and fear.

  3. Green Oasis » Lithium for Jesus said,

    November 30, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

    [...] [This post was inspired by Eddie Lee’s recent comment.] [...]

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