The consequences of faith

Dan Dennet once held a speech at TED, it was called “dangerous memes”. In it, he argued that there exists ideas that are dangerous, both to the individual, and to society at large. Although it might be hard for some to listen to Mr. Dennet, due to the amount of cognitive dissonance he tends to generate during his arguments – Obviously the main idea of his talk is 100% correct. Every idea humanity has ever collectively dreamt up, has consequences. One example can be illustrated by the Christian belief.

According to Christianity, Jesus was killed by the Jews, because they perceived his arguments as blasphemy. Today there are 2.3 billion Christians on this planet. If only a fraction of these blame the Jews for the murder of their Messiah, it’s a fraction too much. You only need to pick up a history book to understand how this can result in dangerous consequences, resulting in justifications for monstrosities, such as the Holocaust, Crusades, etc.

Of course, going to a Christian and trying to explain to him or her that their faith is rubbish, simply doesn’t work. This is true regardless of whether or not your arguments are true or not. Modern science also knows the reasons for this; A counter argument against a deeply held belief, creates cognitive dissonance. Henrik Ibsen wrote it down in laymen’s terms.

If you take away the lies of life from a human being, you take away his reasons to live

At which point of course, the psyche’s “immune system” kicks in, and does everything within its power, to sustain its previously held belief. Arguably Jesus himself was a victim of this, since the obvious reason for his crucifixion, was that he preached about God to the gentiles (non Jews). Before Jesus, only Jews could come to Heaven, or talk to God for that matter. After Jesus, everybody was welcome. This of course was perceived as a danger to the Jewish priesthood’s monopoly on God.

However, religions and “memes” have always gone through “evolution”. For instance, when I was a child, Homosexuality was completely unacceptable within the boundaries of the Christian church, and society at large too for that matter. Today, in many churches, at least in Norway, we even have Homosexual priests. Ignoring the arguments of whether or not this is wrong or not, it proves that religions can change, over time – Yet slowly

The idea of that Jesus died for our sins, also has a lot of other negative consequences, such as sustaining the idea of that you can kill somebody else for your sins, and get away with it. In addition, it arguably creates less responsible humans, since it gives people a kind of “get out of jail card”, where they no longer have to confront their own sins. For the record, if I believed that the Jews had murdered the Son of God and my Messiah, I’d be pretty darn pissed off at them too …!!

I have proposed an alternative, which only slightly changes the Christian dogma, and also changes the Islamic dogma, in addition to that it also feeds into the Jewish dogma. The question of whether or not my explanation is the truth or not, is actually besides the point. The thing you need to ask yourselves is; “What are the consequences of this idea?”

Check mate!

I have just started playing chess on Feel free to befriend me if you wish. My username is “polterguy”. I am not particularly good, with a rating just slightly above 1,000 – But I have studied some of the theory behind it, and find it extremely interesting. In chess, as you move one piece, you need to not only look out for what effect that piece in its new position gets, but also what pieces are no longer protected, which pieces are discovered, and gets to move further as a consequence of you moving this piece. Which pieces can you fork amongst your opponents pieces, and which pieces can you pin down from your opponent’s pieces. In chess, by moving a simple piece, you can accomplish all sorts of mayhem, or not …

All in all, I perceive my idea, as moving a simple piece on the board, not in revolutionary terms, but rather as a slow progression of the possibilities, opened up by the existing board, consisting of all the 3 Abrahamistic religions, without breaking as much as a single rule in the game. In such a way, it becomes a simple move, of a simple piece, in such a way that it doesn’t create huge amounts of cognitive dissonance to any individual religion – While at the same time, it eliminates most of the “dangerous parts” from all of them. If Jesus didn’t die for instance, nobody can blame the Jews for having murdered him. If Jesus didn’t die, the largest incompatibility between Islam and Christianity is eliminated. If Jesus didn’t die, people have to take more responsibility for their own sins themselves, and to a much lesser extent have their “get out of jail card”. And if Jesus didn’t die, he’s arguably reborn metaphorically speaking, which implies by the very definition of the terms of both the Bible and the Qu’ran, we are actually living in Paradise on Earth, which obviously should make humanity at large, become more responsible in our actions and dealings with her (the Earth). And since Jesus is supposed to judge the living and the dead, and he’s obviously not a single person or individual, fewer will be judged for their past sins (obviously!) …

Hence, Judgment Day, becomes more of a “forgiveness day” …

In addition, this simple little move, arguably makes him the Messiah of the Jews, since by “resurrecting” him, the Jews are “off the hook for the most public and cruel murder ever committed throughout our history!” – In fact, if you explained it to an intellectual Jew, I think he’d actually “get it” …!!

Basically, it eliminates a lot of friction, and creates more responsible human beings, resulting in a more beautiful world, with less hate. So instead of trying to teach those with faith that they’re believing in fairy tales, I basically propose the following; “What if you have misunderstood a tiny little detail of your own story?”

Purely scientifically, it makes more sense, from a cognitive, intellectual and immune histamine psycho-sociological point of view – Since it doesn’t require a revolution to believe in, only a tiny step in a slightly different direction. Hence …

One small step for man, one gigantic leap for humanity …

Now if only I could somehow manage to tell the world the following …

Hallelujah, Jesus lives! Will you take him into your Heart? Will you embrace him? Will you Love Jesus?



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