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The Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

One of the issues that I have with the Christian system of belief is that it is very pessimistic. The attitude that it encourages is an attitude of distrust and fear. While none of this speaks to the truth value of the claims, I really don’t think it is a useful system either. At the core, Christianity sees all humans as evil sinners as opposed to Humanism which sees people as a work in progress making progress.

When people are convinced that they are inherently evil sinners, it makes it easier to do things they know are morally wrong. We are all sinner after all, so what is one more sin? The thief believes everyone steals. Also, if we see other people as evil sinners right from the start, then we act distrustful of others. This makes people paranoid and fearful and prevents people from giving others the benefit of the doubt. This line of thinking often causes Christians to assume the worst in others rather than try to understand where others are coming from.

By contrast, when we view people as evolving and progressing, we are working toward being better people and so we treat others as working toward that goal as well. We also are inspired to be the best we can be because we are working toward that progress. We treat other people as people of value right from the start.

Christians often try to flip this around by claiming that they view human beings as specially created by God and that atheists believe that we are just animals. But the problem is that Humanists don’t think animals are absent of value. This again shows the pessimistic side of Christianity.

Humans are animals, but we are rational animals and because we have the ability to reason, we can reason that we have value. Our value comes from our ability to reason, because we are living beings, and because we are the ones doing the valuing.

The “we were created special” argument is hollow since the Christian believe claims that human beings fucked it all up. The blame is on us and as a result of our infraction, everyone is considered to be evil sinners intrinsically. So really the Christian argument is that we “were” created special, but now we are all just evil sinners and it is all our fault. Again the glass is half empty and Christianity presents a pessimistic view of humanity as a whole and people individually while Humanism presents the view that we are all learning, evolving, and progressing.

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