Christianity; unplugged

I read an analogy that I found appropriate.

Being on the outside and looking in at Christianity is like being unplugged from "The Matrix".

Everyone who is "plugged in" lives in a world where a deity rules supreme, where angels and Satan exist, where the saved mingle with the saints, and the unsaved are forgotten - or worse, they are NOT forgotten!

But outside, there are those of us who look at this complex inner life, and can do very little to change it.  We can talk, we can yell.  It doesn't matter. As Cypher said, "Ignorance is bliss."

I won't strain the analogy by talking about pills of various colors, and whether or not it is a sign of intelligence to be on the inside, or the outside of this belief system.

But I will say that being on the outside has been very rewarding.

I am responsible for my own actions.  I'm not "gifted" - no deity gave me anything.  I have some talent, and some hard won skills, and a lot of luck and support from those who love me.  What I've accomplished I can have pride in, and I can be grateful to those people who have invested in my future.

I don't have a mental peeping Tom.  That realization alone was extremely valuable to me.  In the privacy of my thoughts, I'm allowed to be unkind, to be jealous, to be angry.  I'm allowed to feel, and not feel guilty for feeling.  I spent almost 3 decades believing that my thoughts were monitored, in a real "tinfoil hat" manner.  I was being judged by a deity who knew my least charitable thoughts.

That's gone.  And it is freeing!  And yes, I know that my actions are informed by my thoughts, so I do try to keep good mental hygiene.  But at the same time, I'm allowed to give myself some space to be outraged, to be unkind, to throw my own pity-party.  I just keep it short, and then get over it.  I didn't realize how much I stressed over this silliness.

I've lost my fear of Hell.  That gave me nightmares as a believer.  Even as someone who can lucid dream, some nightmares hurt before I could bring them under control.  With that worry gone, my dreams are much less Armageddon-ish.

All in all, my life is much less stressful outside the Matrix.  It is more relaxed.  There is no "God-shaped hole" in my life.  And there is no more fear there either.


Unknown said...

There are consequences to becoming "unplugged." While I don't agree with your premise that Christianity provides unbearable limits to self expression and the oppression of an all powerful deity, the lack of a grace based Christian world view will lead to bad outcomes for a free society and western civilization. For example, there is no way to get to "all people are created equal" from the evolutionary world view of the survival of the fittest. Without that premise of inherent equality, consent of the governed, inalienable rights, or personal freedom of any kind is supplanted by management by elites. Tyranny is the logical outcome of becoming unplugged.

Calladus said...

I don't agree with your opinion that rights come from a deity.

Rights come from humans. We give each other our rights. We fight, and die, to protect those rights.

Rights are logically deduced from our acceptance of empathy and sympathy for others. We logically understand that if we wish to enjoy the rights of equality, life, liberty, and all the rest, then we must also extend those rights to others.

Without this understanding of rights, with the belief that a deity is the ultimate arbitrator of what is right and what is wrong, then you will always, as we see in today's society, have those people in positions of power who declare that God has told them what is right, and what is not right.

And as Susan B. Anthony said, "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

Also, logically, the idea of God as the ultimate moral arbitrator can be demonstrated to be incorrect by the Euthyphro dilemma.

In a nutshell, is something morally good merely because God commands that it is morally good? This would mean that morality is relative. We can see from the Bible that God can change his mind. We can see that he is capable of lying. (The story of Jonah and the really big fish is a great example of both.) Therefore if God is the source of morality then morality is merely relative to what God says is good at this time. It could change later.

Or, is morality something that is objectively discernable? If so, then why do we need a deity to tell us what is, and what is not good? Could we not seek this objective standard on our own, without a go-between? And, if morality is objective, then could we not use this objective standard in order to JUDGE God? And if so, why call this being God?

There are consequences to being Christian. Few of those consequences are good, as I've shown in my blog.