Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Modern Christian Idea of Belief

First off, Modern Christians have become rather overzealous about using the word "belief" in a very modern, scientific way. The word "belief" originates from a word that formerly meant "to love, to hold dear to." Believing in Jesus in that sense was something far more transformative, and humble. When Puritans talked about the imperative of loving Jesus with your heart, rather than your mind, they shockingly adhered to the sense of the word that has become lost to the minds of modern Christians who uphold the newer sense of the word; a far more arrogant form that forces one to stoically depend upon the cognitive limitations of their mind alone.  Of course, the Puritans were the progenitors of the Calvinistic obsession with the punitive God that still continues to make Christians neurotically obsessed with the nature of their own "salvation." As evidenced by many of Natheniel Hawthorne's stories, the "Calvinistic" infection made people quarrelsome and stupidly secretarian. More than ever, some modern Christians preach hearsay about a mind that has limits; they routinely ignore historical and scientific reality in order to  make the construct of Christianity become far more hubristic. Nearly all the worst manifestations of Christianity have seemed to redouble against the malevolent bogey of secularism.

In the new-fangled form of belief-centric Christianity, neither murder or anything heinous is the gravest sin in Christianity. Rather, the very possible sin of lacking belief in a litany of human-conceived propositions about "God" is supposedly viewed as the "unpardonable sin" Modern psychology has shown that our brain is largely a very complex organ with heterogeneous thoughts. God should be acknowledging the heterogeneous ideas that are constantly swirling through our minds. Almost all our thoughts have various elements entangled in them much like a piece of Beethoven's music which has a rich array of counter-melodies and other musical factors. 

Contemporary Christianity seems to think "salvation" requires insured doubtless belief in our own ideas about God. There are approximately 39,000 different denominations; each of these claim to have the veritable "eternal" life insurance that will guarantee our spot in heaven. The Christian faith thus is condensed to nothing more than the action of singular, paradoxically doubtless belief in this denomination's regulated theology. 

In the end of it all, Is God really going to judge certain denominations as being unfit for heaven? This obsession with "belief" within the Christian faith makes Christianity one of the more convoluted religions. Except, some of their followers fail to acknowledge this and instead arrogantly reprove our honest questions about a "religion" that has so many logical fallacies.

Why would God be so obtuse to care so much about the level of our "belief?" Is the most important part of our Christian faith really dependent on our ability to believe within Republican ideas, literal interpretations of mythic scripture, and a ton of other abstruse doctrines. The fact remains that Christianity seems to live in a false, immaculate fantasy where we have complete dominion over our minds. There are countless books that help believers "take control of their minds," and purge themselves of any doubtful thoughts that might affect our cognitive ability to believe doubtlessly/thoughtlessly in a number of silly theological ideas.

Things within this world are more complicated than "belief," and "unbelief." When Hamlet first enters the play, he reproves his parents for failing to see the true enigma of his grief that lies underneath his "inky cloak," or "surface-level grief." God is definitely someone who is not shallow and therefore does not just see "belief" and "unbelief." If Shakespeare has managed to write some of the most cerebral plays in the English language, How could the concept of God be reduced to something far more primitive and even insipid.  Does God then not understand the underlying sophistication of Shakespeare? Can he not then descend into the subconscious plane of our psyche, where Shakespeare's plays focus much of their attention on?  (
Later, Hawthorne and Poe would both descend to those same levels)  Is this belief-obsessed God really just an anthropomorphic mold, created by people who are agitated by the limits of the mind. Sensing the limits of their mental powers, they seek power by forcing a certain projection of "God" that seemingly reflects their own fears and desires.  Do we really want "God" to share the worst properties of the narcissistic ruler, who is zealously obsessed over their full acceptance by the people? Is God really just a Machiavellian figure, seeing human beings reduced to mere artless, uncomplicated pawns?

Interestingly,the word insipid means "lacking vigor, or interest." A God that mandates faith upon thoughtless ascension to a set of abstruse propositions about his intriniscally unknowable "existence" is not vigorous whatsoever; it is a religion without the complexity of a Bach composition, or the rich nuance of a Shakespeare play. Even more tragic, its a religion that even ignores the undercurrent of irony and contradictions  that lie below the deceptively simplistic surface of the Bible, which has wrongfully been misconstrued as a text of "fact," rather than something far more vigorous like "literature." 

Even in religious text, there are far more paradoxical complications then the modern church has permitted. Essentially, the principle of Sunday School has made Christianity become more of a "separatist" religion to the extent where the word "secular," means inhabiting the world. Thanks to mistranslated interpretations of several noteworthy verses from St. Paul, Christians now feel that they are righteously obligated to be wholly separated from the world as a whole. Conversely, many Muslims historically were called to fully engage with their world, along with their religion. Unlike the perverse form of fundamentalist Islam, practiced by the extremists, more progressive Muslims are much more like moderate Christians in the sense that they feel Jesus calls them to "engage" with the world. Secular is unneeded because the progressive forms of these religions feel endued with a large instruction to humbly and empathetically engage with the world around them, rather than somberly apprehend the idea of God till one selfishly attains the unreachable goal of having "doubtless belief," in crude notions of a force that lies beyond our cognitive grasp. Progressive forms of religion are far more interested in compassion, rather than the fundamentalist forms. Beginning with Calvinism and progressing with rigid fundamentalist, Christianity and many other religions have been hijacked by a neurosis of fear that as science and history created innovative revelations about our world; the religious revelations of old have become obsolete. As a result, these forms of religion then become very obsessed with legalistically preserving a thoughtless, defensive belief in these older revelations. Are the progressive forms of religion seeking to find a way to help religion survive in our rapidly evolving world?

In the next article, I plan to interpret different pieces of literature from the Christian Mystic Tradition to further support my thesis, surrounding the logical fallacy of the Modern Idea of "Belief." 

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