greg (grysar) wrote,

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Good literature prompting happiness and heresy of an unexpected sort

I've been taking great pleasure in reading Bertrand Russell's 'Why I Am Not a Christian' which Danielle was so kind as to loan me. I consider myself a religious humanist, so while I may disagree with the title idea of the book I find it to be argued quite well and that much of its substance is worth synthesizing with my own beliefs. Oddly enough there is a parallel between a section I just read and the theme of Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, though not surprisingly it is expressed in far greater detail in the book. Ultimately freedom and peace will come from the common people adopting courage, and strictly individual courage, not the courage of a fanatic, zealot, nationalist, or any courage that comes from orders from above. There are many other fine concepts, but as this book is easily available, and more eloquent than I have so far managed to be, I'll simply recommend you take the time to peruse it yourself. But I did promise heresy, though while difficult to predict, it is likely not anything out of character for me to propose after reading this particular work. As a preface and summary of my beliefs, I am Christian, view humanity as God's children, and God as an entity capable of learning and growth, and likely not an experienced parent. Out of habit I refer to God in the masculine, but it would be far closer to my belief for the reader to adapt my pronouns to her or his choices, rather than gripe that I am perpetuating paternalistic oppression of women and the like. :) So here are a series of thoughts derived from my religious training, and oddly put together by this book, though more of the earlier.
  1. Christianity's message strongly incorporates love and the idea of not taking shortcuts to a better world as a whole
  2. Christian Churches' most barbaric atrocities come from ignoring at least one of the two
  3. God, for practical purposes, is omnipotent
  4. Therefore, the outcome of Armageddon, would automatically be victory for God
  5. Armageddon, while certainly a fun topic in drama, by all accounts will suck badly for humanity
  6. So sucky in fact, that most any world that still has hope is superior (see 1984 for a world w/o hope)
  7. At best Armageddon is among the deadliest of shortcuts, as it reaches judgment day by atrocious means
  8. While humanity has the capacity for total destruction or oppression, it has also the potential to build a better world
Based on those principles I suggest.
  • Armageddon would only be justified in a world without hope (see principles 7 and 8)
  • Therefore it would only occur if humanity falls totally under the sway of evil and no other options remain
  • Armageddon is a damn silly thing to look forward to
  • Armageddon is essentially a story of what happens if humanity loses but God still wins
  • What Christians should be working for is a world where humanity wins and God wins, and I don't think this has been adequately explored
Feel free to attack any of my premises or conclusions. Remember I'm not so stupid as to claim proof of anything, only to say that my premises and conclusions should be consistent. Please try to keep critiques interesting and/or funnny.
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