Once upon a time, I was a Christian. At least I think I was. It’s a very difficult thing to prove one way or the other. Someone’s bound to argue that, because I eventually turned atheist, I can’t have been a real Christian. I don’t see the point in arguing. I went to church, I sang the songs, said the words. I prayed when I was alone. I think I believed, but it’s hard to remember, and impossible to prove.
Later, I started looking at the religion frankly and discovered things I didn’t care for; things I found pretty nasty actually. I found things that, even if the bible were true and accurate, would cause me to avoid worshiping this deity.
One of those things is the idea of original sin.
The next time a Christian knocks on your door, ask him about original sin. Ask him if he thinks it is fair or just. The concept is thus:
“God, in the garden of Eden, places the tree of knowledge. God instructs Adam and Eve not to eat its fruit, warning that they shall die on the day they do. Along comes the snake, telling Eve that the fruit won’t kill them, but make them wise. Wanting to be wise, she eats the fruit and gives it to her mate as well. This is a sin and the sin of disobediently desiring wisdom is genetically passed down to all human beings.”
It should be noted, perhaps on the side, that Adam and Eve did not die on the day they ate the fruit, so score one for the snake and zero for God on the truth-o-meter.
In the end, God becomes very angry (and somewhat fearful) and casts them out of the garden of Eden. Their sin, you see, was in wanting to be wise and learn things. This is apparently bad. They were supposed to be obedient, submissive and – most of all – ignorant. Now not only was their desire for wisdom evil, it was so evil that their actions placed what the Catholic Church calls a “hereditary stain” (go ahead, look it up) on the rest of the human race. This hereditary stain declares all of us, regardless of our own actions, to be sinful from birth and deserving of eternal torment in hell.
So, in summary: your goal as a human being is to be ignorant and submissive; anyone who wants knowledge is automatically evil. Also, you are *already* automatically evil because you carry the stain of Adam and Eve’s curiosity anyway.
It should be obvious, then, that the various Christian churches are an impediment to both our enjoyment of life and the advancement of scientific knowledge.
If I wanted a short lifespan, with much of it spent killing cats, I suppose I could accept the Christian doctrine of original sin. Since I like the products of scientific experimentation; since I like learning things; since I don’t care for mindless obedience to tyranny or killing cats … well, I think I’ll just stick with atheism, thanks.