Sunday 9 January 2011

Blasphemy and sin

Blasphemy and sin are two highly emotive words that conceptually don’t have a great deal of value. I suppose I would think that being an atheist, but even trying to put myself in the shoes of a person that subscribes to a religion, I still find them to be words that are philosophically bankrupt.

Blasphemy is the irreverent, impious and disrespectful utterance or action toward religious artefacts, customs, gods and beliefs; so what. What harm can blasphemy possibly do? If you are an omnipresent, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing being then a few words or insults are hardly likely to affect you. They’ll be like water off a duck’s back. A god won’t be worried by a bit of ‘blasphemy’; in fact a god won’t even ‘worry’ surely. I suppose it’s debatable, that were a god to exist, that it would be capable of emotion, but it might. It does seem highly unlikely though. As a god if you were offended by language you’d have left out the offensive language gene when creating humankind, wouldn’t you? And, even if you’d have overlooked it in the original version you’d have made damned sure that you installed an upgrade as soon as you realised. But then if a god was offended by language or some other form of insult this would imply a failing or imperfection on the god’s part. Is ‘an imperfect god’ an oxymoron? Isn’t the nature of a god to be perfect? Imperfections would render one’s god-ship null and void. A god that is imperfect is not a god.

Sin is a different kettle of fish altogether. A sin can only be committed by an adherent to a particular belief system that has proscribed an action as a sin, or if as an individual you believe an action to be a sin. This is because unless you believe something to be ‘a sin’ then it isn’t. Sinners are essentially hypocrites.

Having dismissed both ‘blasphemy’ and ‘sin’ I will now give you an example of one action that qualifies as both. It is the only true ‘blasphemy’. The one true blasphemy is the taking of another person’s life. It is a blasphemy, for those that subscribe to a religion, because you are destroying your god’s ultimate creation. You are saying to your god, “I have the power of life and death. I’m better than you”.

No religion is based on truth or fact but purely on faith. You either have faith to follow a religion or you don’t. Religion can only ever be a personal choice. There is no value in a coerced set of beliefs.

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