Christianity is true because it makes happy

How reasonable is it for a moment to acquiesce with these Christians that wherever and whenever Christianity has reached the shores of an unhappy and impoverished community of people it miraculously made them happy and prosperous?
Christians are fond of asserting to us atheists and unbelievers alike that if Christianity is untrue and false then why is it making people happy and fruitful all over the world? Why is it that the Christian Missionaries who set sail for foreign shores so as to ‘spread the word’ raise the status of the inhabitants there and thereby making them happy?
What kind of perspective should we take here? Does it make happy? Or is it happiness as stupidity? The Christians are often fond of telling us that wealth and status do not bring happiness. Of course, the claim is that the Christian Missionaries do not bring wealth and status but the word of God and some message of love about Jesus Christ. If that were true though [all over the world] all Christians would be happy but this is not the case. Jonathan Swift once said “Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well decieved” and this sort of echoes something that Freidrich Nietzsche when he challenges our thinking that just because something is not true does not mean to say that it should not be believed in if it is beneficial for the preservation of the future race.
I think Nietzsche is trying to say that belief in the false should not be an objection and especially if it enables us to live with life. He may be right. Richard Dawkins whom I believe is a very good writer and a briliant scientist says that science is concerned with truth and finding out the truth and that belief and superstition are a hindrance to finding out truth and that scientists should not be concerned with religion, superstition and belief when it comes to matters of truth. He may be right because truth may indeed leave us cold; may show truth as something we don`t want and doesn`t make happy.
Nietzsche approves this position by stating that the truth might be something that makes us perish, whilst untruth may be something that enables us the species to go on existing. This is an aweful proposition for us atheists because as atheists we want believers to know that what they believe in is not true and that fundamentally no-one should be forced to believe in their myths]. It is true that no-one should be forced to believe in these religions but also everyone should have the choice [after learning about it] whether to believe it or not. I don`t think it is possible to erase culture and culture does include religion, tradition, customs and superstitions. It is just unfortunate that a great deal of culture is predicated upon the mystical divinations, philosophies, theologies and whatever else profound, imaginiative and thoughtful that these religions are supposedly based and built upon.

If truth makes unhappy and the false makes happy then the false should not be an objection, right? And of course the other way around may apply. But there is no reason to believe that just because something makes happy then that something must have some truth about it. To quote Nietzsche again: “There is no pre-established harmony between the furtherance of truth and happiness”. I know myself that the weight of knowledge can be depressive; it can actually make someone quite confused and then it ends up weighing you down and making you quite unhappy. But whilst this might be true in my case it is not always true for other people. Bertrand Russell for instance thought that the greatest happiness is achieved when you connect with reality with all ones thinking faculties operating fully i.e logic, common sense, critical thinking, etc. Bertrand is of course right because we can change the way we view knowledge from something that weighs us down to something that carries us on a journey of discovery. Of course, the weight of knowledge may be par for the course and it is not at all clear whether this depressive tendency of knowledge may just be a fantom of the mind or some quirk of one`s own perspectivism.
The heaviness of knowledge for one person may be very lite for another so knowledge might be something relative like power is.

One just needs to change how you view knowledge: a journey in thinking; a testing ground for thought. Or some hard work that makes us feel heavy and weighed down. What if all the weight of knowledge is par for the course? What if it is unavoidable that in order for us to learn and know about what life is for and what it all means we must come upon times in which we will feel unhappy because of all the things we have absorbed and have to go on absorbing? Say we come upon a truth and have peeled the proverbial layers of the onion – what might we find there? Truth? Unhappiness? Or even both truth and unhappiness? We may find nothing at all but won`t this shock us and won`t this make us unhappy?

Rather than go any further with this and get deeper [and possibly further away from the truth] into the philosophical problems of the subject of happiness I will say that even if there is no happiness or “pre-established harmony between the furtherance of truth and happiness”, this does not mean that I should “live and let live” when it comes to disproving Christianity. As an atheist I believe that our children should not be forced or coerced into accepting apparent works of fiction as works of truth for good and righteous living. To make children moral by immoral methods and doctrines is surely a slice of hypocratic social engineering!

The democratic tendency of this century has its best disguises in Christian gestures and moral indignations. As Nietzsche puts it: Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose” ergo: we all become hypocrites of happiness that we are all destined for some grand plan. The urge to make moral is the same urge to rule! The whole point about disproving Christianity whether it makes happy or not is because life is about power and power struggles and this power augments feeling. I`d rather feel power and life and feel unhappy than feel a loss of power and so a loss of the feeling of being alive and have a bit of happiness. Happiness anyway, like I said is relative just like knowledge and possibly power. There are millions of Christians who believe they are blessed and made happy by Jesus Christ and yet confusingly a lot of Christians are self-haters, despisers of the body, puritans at heart, and are often suffering from alcoholism or some other symptom of ailement which has left a stubborn imprint on them. Many Christians the ones whom I have talked with already have come from rather tragic backgrounds: either their parents did not love them, or they were sexually abused or they were beaten, or they were unlucky and impoverished or they were brought up by parents who were alcoholics, drug abusers, adulterers and child neglectors. Behind every Christian lurks some kind of scar. Now I have my own scars but the difference with me is that I never had a malignant conscience. No matter how much of the bible I read; no matter what doctrines they forced upon me at Catholic school; no matter what or who came by and aroused in me a weakness I could never let it drown me out for very long and I could never be seduced by the morality and the teachings and the imaginary psychology that came with living and being brought up amongst moralizers and other such people of religious persuasion. Religious people are known everywhere as “all good” but for that every reason all the more bad!

We may raise the question that happiness is not something demonstratable. This is because we have no way of measuring happiness. A smile on a face is no indication of happiness. What about contentment? I`m not talking about a physiological easiness. I`m talking about content in the nonfigurative sense. That to me spells the end. Content means being humble but humility is mere fantasy; humility means to stop going on; stop learning. And yet in those cultures that have the deepest concern for knowledge humility is merely something talked about and not something done! If we think about the religious adherents today and their concern over humanity and peace we find an endless torrent of pathetic confabulation and meaningless dialogue that serves to bolster the vanity and “egos” of those who take part. Afterall what is religion but vanity and a subtle or even crude egoism? You will no doubt raise the question: is vanity an objection?

The Christian may well delight in what he sees in his religion that faith makes people happy and continues to do so all over the world. But the compass of truth it seems in this case neither points to a Yes or a No. What is certain is that knowledge enriches and if Christianity does raise anything for any good then it is because it is introduced to someone that was not there previously before. One can make the similar claim that Islam has made people happy. So it might be the case that the introcuction of a new knowledge where it was not previously made known could indeed be a form of progress. If that is the case then, yes, no objection could be raised. No-one wants to deny anyone happiness or prosperity or even wealth. But knowledge however much static it may appear to be is still a form of power that can be used for good or for bad and it is a well known fact that the Christian religion divined that if is often the case that ‘to good one must do bad’ and before then the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once remarked that ‘the beast is driven to the pasture with blows.’ It is rather like the idea of discipline where discipline might lead to a better behaved child. Although that might be true it is also true that disciplined children can be over-disciplined or disciplined the wrong way and lead to many problems some impossible to correct.

I can`t really come to any definite conclusion. I can only infer through perspectivism that life is about power struggles and there is no unconditionality. Christians and other religious pious people base their ideas around unconditional explanations for solutions and answers to the problems of life but as I see it no such unconditionality exists; in fact this unconditionality that Christians and other pious people bestow on the human race belongs in pathology! If you want to be happy YOU choose a passion that appeals to your temperament. But many people are indoctrinated by religion and have not choosen a particular belief but rather been seduced or persuaded to believe in it.

But what about the cheerfulness of Christians and other pious people? Often Christians are noted for their cheer; could it be the alcohol? could it be the case that such cheer is a consequence of their intoxication? I don`t deny anyone happiness and cheer but neither should they deny me it. My atheism does not deny those things but it does give me a platofrm with which to work out, live and play the power struggles and that is what life is all about!

Published on January 29, 2007 at 10:40 am  Comments (36)  

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