Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience in Austin Texas recently posted to Facebook about a debate in Australia between Richard Dawkins and Cardinal George Pell. Dawkins has previously said he would not participate in debates with lay persons. He wanted to face clergy directly. Okay. Well. Now he has. During this debate, Pell has reportedly admitted that the creation story is “a beautiful mythological account” but that it never happened scientifically in that manner.
I’ve heard this Original Sin nonsense since I was knee high to a pew. As it was explained to me, “dogs give birth to dogs, kangaroos give birth to kangaroos, and sinners give birth to sinners.” If there was never an Adam and Eve, and we can’t even prove this Original Sin event ever happened between a god and “The first Man,” how is this not the final nail in the coffin for Abrahamic beliefs? Is this not THE cornerstone upon which judeo-christian AND islamic beliefs are based? There’s more nails than coffin by now. Why can’t we just bury this?
A catholic cardinal has admitted it’s not true. In fact he’s not the only one. This is not exactly new. Others have spoken about how the bible is in many ways not historically accurate. It’s the dictation of oral traditions that were handed down for several generations. In fact when one delves back far enough in history, one can see similarities in Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian, Indian, Asian, and other early civilizations that predate judeo-christian and islamic texts. There were sun gods whose lives reflect the one we’ve been told Jesus of Nazareth led. Being born of a virgin, around the time of the winter solstice. Having twelve disciples. Healing the sick. Being betrayed. Sentenced to death, dead for three days, and then resurrected. These are common plot tropes in tales that have been told for millenia, that eventually got written down in an anthology, okayed by the roman catholic church and spread throughout the world as christianity. not a sun god, but a son of god. And all this can be traced back to astrology. The significance of the winter solstice and the spring equinox in comparison to how the sun and stars are aligned at various times of the year. People interpreted the stars to mean something in their lives. They sought patterns. We still do this, even though there’s no scientific basis for it, because so many believe it must be true, in spite of the evidence.
Whenever I get into debates with believers and I put their bible to task directly, citing chapter and verse, and point out the inconsistencies, contradictions and outright fallacies – of which there are many – they balk. Before I present them with evidence they will say without blinking that the bible is the word of their god, who is infallible and perfect and omniscient and omnipotent etc until they are blue in the face. Then when I point out any one of several “nails in the coffin” they balk. They say that I’m taking it out of context, or that the bible was written long ago for a different audience and we must take that into account, or a number of other apologies and excuses for why their perfect word is imperfect.
The evidence that religion is a bold-faced lie is staring at us in the face every time we open the bible and read it. That it’s nothing but an attempt to fulfill prophecies made up by men countless generations before stares at us every time we look up at the stars. However, so few are willing to accept this. And when one does, they are shunned by others in society, not for being evil, but for accepting the truth.
Now even the clergy is admitting that there never was an Adam and Eve. They can’t prove how the story begins, so why do we even think proving any of it matters at all? Why is this not enough? Did ‘original sin’ ever actually happen? Who knows? Does it even matter anymore? Why does it matter? Is your god this petty, to hold a grudge for this many generations? Humans only behave in the way their “creator” created them. Nothing we do should be considered “unnatural” or “unclean” cuz we are behaving in every action precisely as we were born to behave.
Some actions hurt other people, and that should not be tolerated. Some actions help other people, and those actions should be encouraged. Religion doesn’t do that though. Its decisions as to what is good and evil are much more inconsistent and arbitrary than simply reviewing cause and effect.
Furthermore, why pretend sin is somehow magically a thing, when we can’t prove scientifically it’s anything outside an abstract fabrication made up by people who wanted to control other people? The earliest religious leaders purposefully took the most basic, barbaric instincts and most emotional drives like sex, fear, seeking knowledge, individuality, survival instincts, and told followers that acting on those impulses is sick and depraved. How dare you be what genetics tells you what you are? How dare you behave as your alleged creator allegedly created you to behave? How dare you be human?
If there were a god and he wanted us to not sin, why ‘design’ us so that we would? The more you dissect theology, the less sense it makes. We know this now. We’re smart enough to see it. It’s staring us in the face! Why are we even still debating this? A twenty year old clinging to a bible is like a seven year old clinging to his blankey. Put it down. It’s time to grow up.
What more proof do we need, that there is no proof? Sinners don’t give birth to sinners. Your grandparents gave birth to your parents who in turn gave birth to you. You don’t take responsibility for every single thing your grandparents ever did. Chances are you don’t even know every single thing your grandparents ever did. So why do you believe in a god that holds you responsible for the actions of your earliest ancestors, whose names have been lost in time?
Evolution is not a made up story in an old dusty book. It’s a working theory based on observation via scientific inquiry. To the best of our knowledge, not only was there never an Adam or Eve, there was never technically a first human, magically formed out of clay by a magical being. Over billions of years of time creatures that we would not recognize as us evolved into us. It’s impossible to go back and decide which generation was officially the first homo sapien, and even if we could, it’s absurd to conclude their names were magically Adam and Eve, or that the Abrahamic god created them. The Catholic Church itself has admitted as much. We can see this. We can’t turn our backs on this.
We have put so many nails in this coffin, from Adam and Eve to past Peter and Paul. There’s more nails than coffin in this coffin. Please. Can we just bury this, already? Humanity WILL survive after we put these mythologies to rest. However, if we continue to believe in the idea of a magical being that tells people without words it is okay to kill one another so long as one does so believing in their god, we may not survive one another.