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When Everyone Is Guilty of Everything, No One is Guility of Anything

Consider how the actions we engage in as human beings today, often have some harmful effect, however small it maybe, on someone else on the planet.

If you use a cell phone, you're contributing to child labor in the mines of the Congo for cobalt. If you drive a car, you're contributing to America's dependence on oil and thus its wars.

No matter how attenuated the connection by myriad other things two points may be, there is always a connection, and often there is more than one - a lot more.

But all we have to do is find a way of either denying any such connections exist, or that the good of what we do outweighs the negative impact we may have, however unintentionally and ignorant we may be of the ultimate effects of either one.

This, then, requires us to actually exercise a God-like hubris in our understanding of how things are connected. And we do this, even though we admit our brains, and even our computers to date, have no ability to map such an infinity.

So, either we d…

The Castle & The Prison Are Often the Same Thing

A castle is a fortification designed to keep and enemy out, while a prison is a fortification designed to keep an enemy in. But often, and maybe even always, they are basically the same thing. And both are like our beliefs.
 In a sense, everyone is the king of their own castle of ideas, but religion takes this to a higher level by encouraging a person to trust their imagination when it tells them they are doing it, not for themself, but for the glory of God.
By believing that their "beliefs" are necessary to survive, have meaning, or even control their own appetites and desires, people are encouraged to become ever more dependent upon the God-drug that all organized religions push. And like the man selling heroin, so religion sells holiness, and both trigger the same release of endorphins in the brain that make a person feel warmly loved.
The only difference is that one of these drugs is illegal and the other is legal. And it's not only legal, it's even encouraged …

Killing Gays for God

There are a number of Christians (and Muslims) who think homosexuals should be killed. After all, homosexuality is why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, still too many of them will insist.

I think the vast majority of both (at least I certainly hope the vast majority of both) do not agree with this. But those that do, claim to be "moral" and virtuous, even as they commit murder to avenge an "all powerful God" for having to watch two people of the same gender having sex. Talk about being overly sensitive!

Say hello to moral relativism! In this way, such Christians are operating under the "belief" that murder, at least for the right reasons, is not as evil as "sex," even though committing murder is an act of death and sex is an act of life. As such, they allow a Commandment to be overruled by a footnote. 

But even among those who disagree with the idea that homosexuals are monstrous pedophiles that need to be killed, there are those who believe t…

If The Bible Were True, We Wouldn't Be fighting Over It

I was recently reading William Faulkner and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and realized that people still read their words not just because of how they said things with words, but the very ideas those words conveyed. Those ideas were "truths" that anyone who reads them can appreciate, even if on different levels and in different ways.

I was also reading The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and the writings of Seneca, and was moved by the precision and clarity of truth which they seemed to effortlessly convey in their prose. This is the same with Shakespeare and countless others, from poets to philosophers and from scientists to shamans.

Yet no one reads their words and thinks such "truths" must be properly understood, lest humanity fall into chaos, even though they are so unambiguous in their writings and the Bible is so opaque.

Do we argue of the Canterbury Tales or Aesop's Fables, or over the "true" meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh or the importance of the Code…

Abraham the Psychopath

I am not comforted by the though that Abraham did not sacrifice Isaac, when I heard he'd been listening to a voice inside his head that, at the last second, told him to go kill an animal instead.

Most serial killers start off by killing animals.

An Email to God

Yo God! What up!? 

Christians are an ironic bunch in America.

The more I study the strange little world you have growing in the mole spores in your basement, the more I marvel at the behavior of that species who proclaims to be humble while insisting they are not only made special, and in your image, but that the entire universe  was made specifically for them.

They tend to believe that everything is a kind of propaganda designed to lead them to doubt that their "beliefs" are necessarily "true,"  but they never doubt, for they feel they are not allowed (or are simply not able) to doubt, that what they call "true" is simply a "belief" that isn't true, but is simply the mother of all other propaganda.

They even feel they must believe such a conflation or wind up in a place they call "hell," which they also imagine is like the ovens of Auschwitz, that place I told you about earlier, during what many of them refer to as "the Sec…

Aliens Would Treat Us As Bad As God

If an extraterrestrial alien species landed on Earth and encountered humanity, why would we not think that they would treat humanity the same way humanity has treated every other living species on the planet?

And in so doing, would they not be treating us exactly as God did, in the Old Testament?

And since we are "made in the image and likeness of God," no wonder what God did to different peoples and eventually humanity overall in the Old Testament looks so much like what we have all been doing to each other ever since.

In fact, if Christians or Muslims encountered an advanced alien species of far greater intelligence than our own (since we all so often assume that all other species on Earth are far less intelligent than ourselves), would they not, at the first sign that such aliens would either refuse to accept or threaten to reform the entirety of their religious beliefs, treat such an advanced species no differently from the chickens, deer, or insect, or even the lowly Ch…

The World In A Nut Shell

The US Financier and Railroad businessman Jay Gould, once said he could "hire half of the working class to kill the other half." And if you look around, it doesn't seem so far fetched, if you think about it.

Basically, half of the people in the world are waking up to the reality that war is ultimately always the culmination of artificially created means of division, from race and creed to economic class and country, and the other half which is willing to go to war to prove such divisions are not only real but necessary.

It's as if such a taxonomy of people, one that ranks everyone's own race above that of every other, can only be overcome by other lesser races by learning the culture and the language (i.e. the "beliefs")  of the race of the "chosen" people. It is to assume, in other words, that everyone else is born with a defect (i.e. original sin), but can be redeemed by their assimilation and conformity to that culture (i.e. they are conve…

Sex & Murder: The Morality of the Christian Mind

Two basic activities that both humans and all other species engage in are sex and murder. Virtually all species are forced to eat some other living thing to survive (although a "merciful" omnipotent God could've obviously created a world where this was completely unnecessary) and nearly all species rely on sex, for both pleasure itself and to produce offspring.

Yet these two activities are rationalized within the Christian mind in two very different ways. Even though murder is one of the "sins" explicitly forbidden by God in the Ten Commandments, "sex" in many forms is thought by many Christians to be expressly forbidden, even thought the only mention of it in the Ten Commandments is limited specifically to adultery.(Christians have gotten around this rule concerning adultery, by the way, by simply implementing polygamy, like the Mormons and the Old Testament.)

A Christian may tell you, for example, that "murder is always wrong," but will t…

The Trouble with the Belief that God is always "Good"

The trouble with the belief that God is always "good," as so many Christians and Muslims believe, is that it means that anything God does or has ever done, is simply "good" by definition, because God did it, even if it would be the greatest evil of all when lesser versions of the same thing are done by or for the devil. 
So when the Hebrews of the Old Testament brag about committing genocide for God, it's necessarily interpreted as "good," at least in comparison to whatever practice evoked God's righteous call for genocide anyway. But if we say that all of the genocide committed in the 20th century alone was committed by or for the devil, we consider genocide to be the greatest evil of all, even though most of the genocides that occurred in the 20th century were, in many instances, related to Christianity. 
When child sacrifice is carried out for Satan worship, Christians call it an abomination, even though Christians worship a God they believe t…

What If No One Had Ever Heard of Jesus?

What if no one had ever heard of Jesus? What if something happened and, over time, the story of Jesus Christ, along with all reference to him and anything to do with Christianity, was eventually and entirely lost from all human memory, and not a single shred of evidence existed anywhere about him, or the Christian God?

This is the problem with the idea that we must "believe" in a story of a God-man, who died for our sins and rose again. It is also the problem with all such "stories" that any religion has to offer. It never considers what happens if humanity on the whole exercises as much amnesia about Jesus as it does about everything else.  Think about it.

If ALL of the stories of the Bible were suddenly wiped from both human memory and from our entire universe, then there would obviously be no way for anyone to "believe" in a man, or a story, or even our fall and redemption, even though they needed to "believe" such a story to save themselves …

Each of Us is Christ

In case you haven't noticed this before, and I am sure many people have, each of us is Christ.

That is to say that each of us is quite convinced we are persecuted for the "truth" of our beliefs, even to the point we feel we are being "crucified" for them, metaphorically if not literally.

So we are not only each experiencing, at least metaphorically anyway, the life and death, but indeed the passion and resurrection, of Christ. And we rise again from the dead, so to speak, the way the lotus sheds its skin, and the caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

We rise like the phoenix from the ashes of our "beliefs" and, all too often, end up creating new one's that are different from the beliefs that proceeded them in name only. Just look at Judaism and Christianity for example.

The Catholic Church has risen to become far more powerful than the Sanhedrin ever was, and has murdered far more people to defend its authority over truth than the Sanhedrin or the He…

The Trouble With Original Sin

Assuming we are born with a penchant for murdering each other is just an excuse we give for murdering each other.

Only God Makes Genocide Moral

Perhaps the greatest "miracle" of religion is that it has convinced so many billions of people that the God who threw us into this gladiatorial arena of life and death, should be regarded as necessarily "benevolent" for having done so.

Many Christians often claim that a "belief" in God is not only necessary for people to know the difference between "right and wrong," but to act accordingly as well, "for you will be judged by God at the end of time." This is true, even though the idea of "God" such Christians are referring to necessarily operates outside of any such distinctions. And he operates outside of those distinctions by being something - in fact, the ONLY thing -  that is per-determined by Christians as necessarily "good" a priori, so that anything such a "God" does, must therefore be good, even if it would be "evil" if anyone else engaged in anything even close to it. 

If Joseph Stalin o…

The Difference Between the Rich & The Poor

When Jesus says "the poor you will always have with you, "  what he was trying to say was that as long as we have a system of money, we will always have a system that allows some to have all and others to have nothing.

The theology of money is economics, of course, of whom Adam Smith is considered to be the Abraham of American Capitalism, and Milton Friedman is the Messiah of the "Money Changers" in the temple of Wall Street, who politicians everywhere worship like a golden calf.

Wealth and poverty demark the boundaries between Heaven and Hell, with a "middle class" that languishes in the purgatory of always fearing the one and hoping for the other. But they do not constitute immutable objective realities, like gravity or the seasons, but are wholly man made. And they are wholly man made out of a clever means of power and control, which is based on nothing but a "belief" in money.

 Make no mistake, there is no real "god" that humanity…

The Torture of the Comfy Chair: How a Comfort Zone is like an Iron Maiden

The comedy troupe Monty Python once did a skit about the Spanish Inquisition, only instead of using the kind of actual torture instruments relied upon to convert people of God's love and existence by the actual Spanish Inquisition, the torture instrument used by Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition was a  "comfy chair."

That we think of a comfy chair as being the very opposite of a torture device is actually illustrative more of how our own mind tends to categorize things than the actual difference between a comfy chair and a torture device. And this is because, in many ways, a comfy chair can be one of the worst torture devices there is.

I remember watching a Navy Seal show marathon one weekend with my room mate, where both of us say on our respective couches for no less than 10 straight hours watching people pushing themselves through excruciating exercises during boot camp training, just so they could become Navy Seals.

After that 10 hour session, our backs were kil…

God & The Pleasure of Pain

It never seems to occur to people that, if we are made in the image and likeness of God, then perhaps the pleasure we enjoy from inflicting pain is simply a reflection of God as well. After all, God certainly seemed to enjoy the great flood and the brutal murder of His own Jesus, at least as much as He enjoyed the Crusades and the Inquisitions. And even if God didn't "enjoy" all of that, we certainly seem to. Just look at the 20th century alone.

Toward that end, I have never understood the great flood story of how God drowned everyone on earth for being so evil, since everything that has happened since that time has essentially played out like Cain slaughtering Able, much in the same way the Sanhedrin slaughtered Christ, writ large.

If you consider that all of the starvation in the world, and the wars, the genocides, the diseases, the slavery, and the poverty and brutality (and what is poverty but a highly designed man made system of brutality?), as well as the growing …

Religion & The Paradox of Submission

Religion teaches children that they should be independent from their biological parents, but totally dependent upon their "spiritual" parents, Mary and God/Jesus. (That Jesus is both Mary's son and God, makes the Bible a bit like Oedipus, of course.)

It is also a religion that teaches people to love freedom and hate authoritarianism on the one hand, even as it requires them to be submissive to the will of an authoritarian God (and his Catholic Church, at least spiritually speaking anyway) in order to achieve "true freedom."

That a person can only be "free" by hypnotizing them self into believing they must always "obey" an authoritarian God, only demonstrates the miracle of how the human mind can make sense of pretty much anything it wants to believe, no matter how paradoxical or self contradictory it may be.

Such a claim is not merely an indictment of religion, of course, but of the human mind itself. For it is how all institutions, be they …

Have You Ever Noticed...

Have you ever noticed that the American Revolution is essentially the story of every conflict there is, was, or has ever been?

And our interpretation of that conflict boils down to our "beliefs" about which group of people - the indigenous or the foreigners - should rule.

And the ones we always think should rule are the ones we think are most like ourselves.


You Cannot Truly Love Someone You Fear

Love and fear are probably the two most powerful human forces we know of. But they are clearly not the same thing, and are very often the very opposite of each other.

But God is a paradoxical figure who commands (how can a person be expected to "love" on command?) that we engage in the paradox of both loving Him, and fearing Him, lest we be thrown into a lake of fire for failing to do so to His majesty's liking.

More interesting, however, is how this clear contradiction, is never a problem for the Christian, who is so afraid of the fires of hell and the immorality of secular society, that they actually mistake their "fear" for a "love" of God who will save them from both, even though He created both.

There is probably not a Christian alive who would ever "love" a Muslim Shah or Caliph or King, simply because he commanded them to, or be tortured and executed. Yet such a Christian expects the Muslim, and all others for that matter, to willfull…

The Fatal Yet Inescapable Problem with Beliefs

For "believers" the world over, the entire point of life comes down to nothing but what you believe. Regardless of basically ANYTHING else, one's life boils down to simply standing before a "God," who will judge how a person should spend eternity based on their "beliefs."

Those beliefs come down to having "believed" in the right religion, or the right god, or the right morality, or the right whatever. If anyone FAILS to "believe" the right things, then, they're thrown into hell for being such a dolt.

But if life is all about necessarily having the right "beliefs" about God, religion, morality, etc, than it can only work if everyone on the planet is willing to accept - necessarily! - that someone, somewhere, HAS the right beliefs. And more importantly, that person has to know exactly how to apply those beliefs in an ever changing and increasingly complex world.

Of course, the Catholics have their Pope, who can speak &q…

The Trouble with Marian Apparitions

Mary, the Mother of God, is said to have appeared to many people over the years. One of which was the apparations at Fatima to three children in 1917.  But looking at the transcripts, one is left with the lingering sense of "what the fuck!?"

First off, sending Mary to appear to children is a bit like Bill Gates sending his mother to tell an employee that their department is under-performing, and the big guy upstairs is getting pissed off.

But aside from that, if we look at the transcripts, as I said, it gets even harder to believe. In fact, if these transcripts were provided to Christians from Muslims who claimed they were spoken by Mohammad (or his mother, Aminah bint Wahb) while he (or she) appeared to three shepherds, not a single Christian on the planet would take them seriously.  

For example, one of the children apparently asks Mary where some people they know have landed after they died, and Mary lets them know they're not all love'n it in the Golden Arches…

The Pros & Cons of Thinking About Religion

I think too much. And in an information society, this habit of thinking too much can make a person's natural curiosity feel like quicksand. But that only happens "if," and after, a person realizes they think too much, and they begin to notice how much their own "desire to know" everything - a "desire" which led Adam & Eve loose Eden in a gamble with a serpent - can potentially sabotage all of their other desires.

Religion is, to my mind at least, the perfect example of this perfect paradox of thinking too much. On the one hand, the rituals, teachings, and beliefs of religion, serve to make "thinking" easier regarding morality, death, existence, love, and so on. Hence, a person can rest assured that their life has meaning, that their "salvation" is secured (as well as it can be), and that justice will be meted out to all perfectly in the end.

On the other hand, religion assures that same person that they can only rest their mind…

Fostering Our Dependence on God

One of the great paradoxes almost universally overlooked by stalwart Christian parents the world over, is how such parents strive to teach their children how to be independent in life but dependent in religion, as if the latter is the only and necessary means of obtaining the former. In fact, Conservative Christians loath the idea that anyone should be dependent upon "big government" for anything at all, even as they practically demand that everyone is, and should be, dependent upon God (i.e. their Church and their religion) for everything!

What parent thinks it is best to raise a child to forever need to rely on their parents? What parent thinks the best way to raise a child is by first teaching the child they are flawed and sinful, but by devoting themselves to loving and worshiping them alone, the parent promises to make that child better?  And yet, this is exactly what St. Augustine is applauded for doing to Christians.

Basically, St. Augustine argued that everyone bare…

Of Love & War

So I am watching this movie and before you know it, these two girls start having sex with each other, and it was not a porn movie.

Fifty years ago, or less, people in America would've thrown a public fit about such a scene, but today it's only the staunchly Conservatives Christians who get their feathers all ruffled by it. For them, such scenes are NOT simply a reflection of reality (at least the reality for some people anyway, the way L. A. gang movies represented reality for poor black kids growing up in the ghetto) but intended to lure people into accepting the idea that homosexuality is NOT an abomination, as the Bible claims.

Putting aside the fact that the Bible is responsible for, and brags about, more genocide than Mein Kampf ever was, that such Christians stake their moral convictions on a book in which God repeatedly calls for genocide, the murdering of babies and women, and plenty other blood soaked horrors that makes a book by Stephen King look like a Harlequin ro…

Why God Is All Too Human

If a ant or a gorilla suddenly gained the same sense of self awareness that humans have (and it's not a proven fact that they do not already) would their first questions be, "why am I here?," " where do I come from?" and "what's the meaning of life?"

Well, only if we expect that they think exactly like we do. Consider how much like a human being, human beings presume God to be.

Assuming, or really presuming, that God created human beings is NOT to think like a God, but to think exactly like a human being. After all, if we find a watch, we assume it was made by a watch maker, who happens to be and think exactly like ourselves, at least on some level. And why? Because we "make" things.

Hence, to say "God made everything" is simply to demonstrate how imprisoned by our own human perspective we really are. But would not a species that has no need for making watches imagine a "god" or "gods" in a very different wa…

The Devil's Universe

The theological questions raised by the prospects of a multiverse are as infinite as they are fascinating. Consider this:

Christians and Muslims alike tend to think in a very binary way, as if there is simply this life and the next, and the next is either an eternity in heaven or hell. But the multiverse poses an infinite array of problems to such thinking.

For example, how can we know that the universe we are trapped in is not one that the Devil created behind God's back, and that that's why everything on planet Earth is forced to survive by eating each other?

Maybe Lucifer got kicked out of heaven for demanding to be "like God," because he had, like the Wizards apprentice, stumbled upon the magic necessary for creating universes. Or perhaps, like Egor working with Dr. Frankenstein, he had learned how he could do with the raw materials that make up our physical reality, not simply all of the very same things that Christians "believe" only God himself could…

House of Cards

It's ironic that it was only after people thought up the concept of God that we may have ever started treating each other like the devil.

If you watch House of Cards, what is interesting to notice is how Francis and Claire Underwood are like Adam and Eve, with America being a "garden of Eden" compared to much of the world, and the apple that dangles before them is power; power to hold central control over the Garden of Earth, which was the same power that Satan tempted Christ with in the desert; power to shape perceptions, especially your own, so you can act "like God," by acting like Satan to ensure people "believe" you're their Savior.

Or as Shakespeare put in in Hamlet, "And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With old odd ends stolen forth from holy writ/And seem a saint when most I play the devil."

As such, given the amount of murder and lies that they are willing to engage in, we can also think of the Underwood's as the personific…

On Mistakes

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "Mistakes are the stuff of which the web of life is made, and he who lives longest only spins out the more of it."

Every single person in history, that we revere, love, and admire today, for their courage to do what was right, started out being hated by the majority. They are like Juror 8 in Twelve Angry Men, played by Henry Fonda, who everyone opposes and some even hate, until he is able to win them over, one by one, to seeing things more clearly, to seeing the "truth."

It is only later in history, from Christ to Martin Luther King or Mohammad Ali, that societies recognize them as hero's for trying to improve humanity. The majority always sees them as an enemy to humanity at the time, however.

So it is with our mistakes, that we often think we are doing something right even when it turns out later to have been a huge mistake. It is often only after an outcome, that we can know whether to label a past decision right or wrong, go…

The Apple Is Every "Sin"

Christian's think the Genesis story in the Bible, about how Adam and Eve disobeyed by eating an apple in the Garden of Eden, only tells about "original sin," when in fact, it is the story of "every sin." And the story of Christ as being about a God who became man to redeem us for that "original sin," when if fact it is also the story of how mankind is God, in a sense, which is why the Catholic's say that "the Body of Christ" is humanity. But in that same sense, humanity is also the devil and the serpent.

Every good and every evil that humanity exhibits and endures, is an act of charity or cruelty that it alone visits upon itself. The story of Christ, in this sense, is simply an allegory, using a "man-God" as a metaphor for mankind, with every drop of blood that drips from "the body of Christ" representing the poor and the oppressed, who all must suffer what they must, at the brutal yet indifferent hands of the powerfu…

What if the Bible is The Serpent's Lie?

What if the very "knowledge" that the serpent promised Adam & Eve they would receive by eating the forbidden fruit from the "tree of knowledge," was the Bible itself? After all, the serpent told them that, by eating that fruit, "they would become like God, knowing right from wrong." And isn't that exactly what the Bible purports to do? 

If you think about it, the claim that the Bible is "infallibly" inspired by God, a "truth" that even the "gates of Hell shall not prevail agaisnt," then why has the Church worked so hard to prevent anyone from challenging what it says?

Like the famous scene in A Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise asks Jack Nickolson's character, "If you gave an order that Private Santiago wasn't to be touched, and soldiers always follow your orders, then why was there any need to transfer Santiago off the base? Why the two orders?" why would God declare that "the gates of hell would…

Why the Bible Flood is to Blame for All Genocide

In the Bible, God decided that the people he had created, addled with the stain of "original sin" that He chose to allow them all to be born with, were just too "evil" to be allowed to live. So he decided to kill them all.

Christians want people not to think too much about this, of course, because even though God must have fully known he would eventually murder all of the people he had created with a great flood, God's "righteousness" is always far greater than any system of "universal natural law" that He offends in exercising it. Praise Jesus!

What God does by killing all of the sinful bastards he had created with a flood, is set an example that he clearly demands his subsequent "children" must follow. After all, Jesus even tells us that, to avoid the fires of hell, we must strive to always "be like God." That the serpent in the Garden of Eden tempted Adam & Eve to engage in the "original sin" using the ex…

Why Set Adam and Eve up to Fail?

IN response to the question, "Why set Adam and Eve up to fail?," a Christian replied: Skeptics often complain that God set Adam and Eve up to fail. However, God had to give Adam and Eve a choice. Without free will to choose, Adam and Eve would have been mere puppets. True love always requires choice. God wanted Adam and Eve to choose to love and trust Him. The only way to give this choice would have been to command something that was not allowed.Since God had planted in the garden all the different trees from which we now get fruit,1 the test was not too difficult. Adam and Eve had plenty to eat and a large variety of fruits from which to choose, and could have chosen to believe God. They were only commanded not to eat from one tree out of the many.

RESPONSE:

What must be noticed about this answer is how truly insane you have to be to believe it.

What this answers boils down to, in short, is that God - the most perfect, loving, caring father ever! - basical…