Everyone wants to be happy. So, Jesus.

For some reason, YouTube's ad targeting has stuck this video in my ad rotation, usually when I'm watching music or, as was the case today, a review of a guitar. Totally logical.

The video is pretty standard-issue Christian evangelizing, and whenever I hear the quasi-profound rambling that constitutes the pitch for Christianity, my bullshit detector goes into hyperdrive and I find myself recalling many of the reasons I think Christianity is ridiculous.

This video is notable for really being only a worthy pitch to cultural Christians — y'know, people who have a sort of latent belief in God and an intrinsic association of the church with positive things. That's because it's only moments into the video before the narrator explains that there's this all-powerful being who gives our lives purpose and will judge our eternal souls when we die. I could unfurl a scroll with a list of all the unsubstantiated assumptions underlying such a deceptively simple statement.

Here's the thing. You don't have a soul. Of course, nobody can 'prove' that souls don't exist, but that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Moreover, a deity cannot possibly give your life purpose (a topic for another blog post, perhaps). You have to decide for yourself what is most important to you. And here's the really dirty secret: religion doesn't actually make you happy [1, 2]. Your piety will not make your life any more fulfilling than a non-religious person's.

That's the great thing about being a non-believer: you can live a happy, fulfilling moral life, and you don't have to buy religious bullshit to do it. You don't have to accept, as Christians must, the extraordinarily absurd claim that an all-powerful God picked the people of tribal Israel as his 'chosen' people, established several systems of failed salvation covenants involving gruesome ritual sacrifices, then 'fixed' his own broken covenant systems by sacrificing himself to himself. You don't have to buy the lie that a book of fragmented, often uncorroborated history and dubious authenticity that is full of misogyny and genocidal barbarism was the work of a deity who cares whom you marry or whether you say 'fuck', and that this petulant deity will judge your soul when you die and send you to either The Good Place or The Bad Place forever and ever. It's a fairy tale, and fairy tales are for children.

Never lose sight of the fact that the quasi-academic gobbledygook of apologetic arguments are, at their core, designed to defend beliefs that are indefensible. The core claims and assumptions behind Christianity are unabashedly ridiculous, and I'm increasingly convinced that the only reason such religious pseudo-philosophy exists is to distract people from the prima facie ludicrousness of the central tenets of their beliefs. Maybe the idea that you can literally turn a cracker into a god, and that you then eat the god, and that eating the god has magical sin-cleansing powers, is a proposition that's more palatable if you immerse yourself in the esoteric lexicon of Thomism.

Live your life. Be happy. Be morally accountable to yourself and to others. Do things that bring you a sense of fulfillment. Appreciate the small things. When your time is up, go with the smile of a life well-lived. The sooner you're freed from the shackles of religion, the sooner your sense of purpose, morality, and happiness can blossom.


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