Faith and the Demise of the Human Mind


Consider the human mind, our one most precious faculty as a species. As rational, thinking mammals, we humans achieve the privilege (not a right) to comprehend reality.
Truth is the prize of the daring, disciplined mind, not for those who indulge in unwarranted inferences about reality. [Resurrection and Reception, 182]
From its inception, the Christian religion has divided humanity into the faithful and the damned. “Faith” (Gk., pistis) became the liminal conversion rite, the pass for admittance into Christian society. Both the Pauline and the Johannine traditions in the New Testament describe faith as the single requirement for divine acceptance, salvation, and eternal life. What is faith, however? A critical look at this principal tenet of the Christian religion reveals a quite disturbing circumstance. By humanistic definition, to have faith is “to indulge the mind in unwarranted inferences about reality in the face of inadequate or contrary data.” In other words, to become a Christian is willfully to violate and to vandalize the integrity of your own most precious faculty, your very mind, resulting in a volitional onset of psychosis, that is, to make public and private claims about reality that lack rational justification.


This all passes as acceptable in Christian society for any number of reasons. Draping a mythic fairy-tale world over the at times cold, unpleasant realities of the human disposition can provide some seductive (albeit, utterly false) comforts. This is what religion does at its core; religion wraps the most challenging, unsettling, and traumatic aspects of human existence in mythology. Consider where we tend to find religion intervening in society: weddings, wars, animal slaughter, births, illnesses, deaths, funerals, etc. People turn to religion to help them cope, that is, to process their most difficult experiences.
Christianity was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in "another" or "better" life. Hatred of "the world," condemnations of the passions, fear of beauty and sensuality, a beyond invented the better to slander this life… [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Trajedy]
Being human is not an easy business. So, we delude ourselves with religion as a master-crutch, a fantasy world altogether buttressed by the social forces and rhetoric that comprise any religious society. Despite the fundamental claim of the Christian religion, to believe is not a virtue. Quite to the contrary! To believe, at its root, is to reject reality, to enter a degenerative, systematic game of self-deception that can only lead to suffering. Some mis-cope with the foibles and angst of human life by turning to drug abuse, others embark on the psychosis we call religion. At its base, to become a Christian is to reject the wonders and challenges of human reality, preferring instead a Peter Pan world. In the aggregate, the species cannot afford to remain in this unscientific dim, the needless continuity of the Dark Ages perpetrated by religion upon our endeavor to civilize the species.

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