If you haven't read the bible, let me summarize. It's about 1,000 pages long, it's incredibly dense, and it's mostly boring and repetitive.
It's not too surprising that it's rather a mess, when you consider that it's the product of dozens of authors spanning many centuries, and re-re-re-re-translations of oral traditions. Unfortunately people who have a deep-seated emotional investment in it being "true" about everything, are going to do whatever mental gymnastic games they have to rationalize the parts that don't work.
Is christianity, though, a necessary evil? Has anyone got a model for how the herd of sheep would react to the loss of its shepherd?
Personally, I don't think religions such as Christianity are "a necessary evil" so much as they are inevitable byproducts of human society. I've seen many atheists who think that most of humanity's problems would go away if you got rid of the spiritual religions, but I really don't think so. People would be just as stupid, and more importantly will still have the biological hard-wiring for projecting patterns on to things and forming ritualized expression. If Christianity went away, the herd would just create and cling to some other sort of ideology. In most cases, they already have.
Also, as you point out, the details of Christianity have changed a lot from century to century and culture to culture, so this begs the question of how exactly we'd recognize the "death" of Christianity. For example, I'd say the Christianity from 500 years ago is essentially dead.
I fully accept that there is more work to be done, but is it better to destroy christianity from without or change it from within?
Actually, I think Christianity is already doing a good job of destroying itself. Fundamentalists like Fred Phelps and charlatans like Benny Hinn do more to turn people off
from Christianity than I could ever hope to on my own! And of course, there are other religions to deal with too. Religiously speaking, I'm just as anti-Muslim or anti-Buddhist as I am anti-Christian.
Reverend Bill M.http://www.devilsmischief.com
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