Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On Sola Fide

“Belief is like love:  it cannot be compelled; and as any attempt to compel love produces hate, so it is the attempt to compel belief which first produces real unbelief.”           Arthur Schopenhauer

The doctrine of Sola fide which is one of the core identifying tenants of most Protestant denominations is the main source of foolishness and cruelty in the Christian religion.  It is the belief that only through faith in Christ can salvation be attained.  It is as wicked as it is stupid, for it proposes not only the idea that a supposedly omnibenevolent and all powerful God would put anyone in needless agony, but that the most loving and upright man if he did not profess faith in Jesus.
It is a contradiction in reasoning that a God that cares for the universal salvation of his creation (or those of His creation endowed with an immortal soul) above all else would put a single soul in Hell.  If He cares about other things then it is not a contradiction but then he is not omnibenevolent, for there is something He cares for more than the salvation of all.  This is so simple that children prove themselves wiser than their parents in seeing through the contradictions of something which cannot be.  Which is not to say that all that is to be taken on faith (that which is not known) is an error in logic.  There is a difference between belief in a tree which is all red and all green simultaneously (a contradiction in logic and therefore impossible) and belief in a man walking on water; something which violates Man’s knowledge of Natural Law but is still entirely possible because the inductive reasoning of science is both probabilistic and superficial.  That is to say that it is both uncertain and deals only with what is seen rather than metaphysical knowledge strictly speaking.  A belief in a God that is the highest epitome of love that tortures a single soul is akin to the belief in the all-green-red tree, rather than Jesus performing miracles involving loaves and fishes.  It is simply an impossibility.
One of the notes of truth that many secular and well educated people find in religion is that Man is by nature selfish but ought to be otherwise.  Now regardless of whether or not this is the case, it appears assuming that compassion towards others is something to be striven for and inculcated when possible, that the encouragement of compassion and good will is a strength of all faiths.  But the notion of those of differing or no faith suffering simply through lack of acceptance of any creed can only encourage hostility and division amongst people.  The child that is told that God, a being he is told to respect the wisdom and benevolence of, puts those of differing faiths in Hell to suffer never-ending torment is told that people who are unlike him deserve hatred and malice.  It encourages division, hatred and simple-mindedness in humans rather than the desired morals of compassion and forgiveness towards our fellow sufferers which Schopenhauer points out is the basis of morality and the strength of the world’s religion expressed through allegory.
Sola Fide ensures the salvation of not the most worthy of people but rather the most credulous.  It is the main flaw of Christianity that robs it of both fantasy (the desired belief that all can be saved) and real-world utility (encouraging humans to act towards each other with compassion and good will rather than malice).
Though the notion of Sola Fide is the main absurdity of Protestantism, there are others that deserve mention.  The lack of focus on asceticism and self-sacrifice is what has helped to make it “America’s Religion[1].”
If the effects of religions are more valuable than the descriptive claims of the religions then every single one should be drastically altered and much of their filler removed to not distract from the main theme.  The Protestant Reformation is known for rebelling against the Papal authority of the Catholic Church and instead of insisting on teaching only that which exists in Scripture.  The Baptist sect of Protestantism should be respected for furthering the argument for a separation of Church and State in our society.  However, those of sound mind and conscience should further this goal of purification to such a degree that Christianity is freed from Scripture itself and instead the general theme of love, kindness, good works, and focus on other’s as ends in themselves rather than merely means be the main message.  This can be done through stories, but those which have a strictly moral and intentionally collaborated upon for quality in both message and story, rather than the random and often immoral fables that the Bible provides.  That way the message will be both clear and entertaining, and it will be clear that religion is subordinate to morality (compassion) rather than attempting to argue the reverse which mangles both[2].

[1] For, by rejecting celibacy and asceticism in general, together with the saints, who are the representatives of asceticism, Protestantism has become a truncated, or rather decapitated Christianity whose apex is missing.
[2] In its death throes, we see religion clinging to morality, whose mother it would like to pretend to be.  In vain! – genuine morality is dependent on no religion, although religion sanction and thereby sustains it.

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