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Showing posts from May, 2017

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…

It is Not the Lie of Christianity That Bothers Me

It is not the "lie" of Christianity that bothers me. It is the insult to one's intelligence, and the attempt to "gas light" someone into believing they are suffering from some mental defect, if they are unwilling to accept that their invisible soul is marred by an invisible cancer, that can only be healed by an invisible God,  who they are partially responsibly for murdering, who the local witch-doctor/priest can communicate with as if through an invisible walkie-talkie, so that they won't end up roasting like a pig at God's everlasting pig roast in the sky.

 And if you are unable to make sense of this story, that is so obviously "true" that the only people who would even ever THINK to question it are those who MUST be in league with Lucifer,  it is because, as the bible says so plainly, God has decided NOT to give you "the gift of faith." In other words, if you can't "believe" the Bible story is true, that your eternal…

On Truth

Religions all claim that their "beliefs" are "the truth," and the people who "believe" these claims never once care to consider how often a "belief" is so often different from, and even the opposite of, the meaning of the word "truth."

But despite the fact that "truth" and "beliefs" are so often direct opposites, this does not give a single person who knows there is a difference a moments pause in their willingness to conflate one for the other. Ironically, they are the FIRST to scream and shout at the top of their lungs, if ever they suspect anyone else is daring to do the same thing, mind you; but that never seems to bother them.

If the Christian gets up and says their "beliefs" about sex, sexuality, gender, marriage, Jesus, original sin, heaven & hell, God, the Bible, the Devil, and so on, are all "the truth," they take offense to anyone who is awake enough to point out that "beliefs&…

The Crucifix & The Power of Our Confirmation Bias

If you have ever looked at a crucifix without the lens of your own confirmation bias, the only thing you see is a torture device depicting the brutal murder of a man. People pile into churches around the world and stare at this ghoulish piece of art, convinced that it is a celebration of their salvation. And in this way, it is the most obvious example of just how truly powerful a person's confirmation bias really is, and how that bias can be used to make people see whatever it is you want them to see.

There is no doubt that anyone who was NOT a christian already, who was presented with any image of a person being savagely murdered using any number of horrific murder devices - like a machine gun, an electric chair, an iron maiden, the rack, a pack of lions, or a crucifix - would naturally and automatically be horrified at the thought that any of these such devices were hung on the wall of someone who knew a loved one who had been put to death by any of them.

This would be even of t…

Metamorphsis

I am in the process of metamorphosis, but in the opposite direction of Kafka or Buffalo Bill. 
In this process, it is interesting to notice the irony of how much of a comfort zone is made up of caring about what other people think. Yet the professional, and all those encumbered by the pursuit of their career, are often forced to cultivate the latter so that they may "rest in peace" in the former. 
And all those who fail to do the same, no matter how much of a coffin it proves to be to the flourishing of their own soul, are seen as heretics by "Christians" and political conservatives who everywhere proclaim, without a hint of irony, that the liberty of the individual is paramount.
Remarkable!
Such a thought is hardly worth the effort to write it down, especially so far beyond the meridian of midnight, but I have often found myself set upon by a thought that will not let me rest until I have pried its gnawing teeth from my mind and set them to paper. And h…

On the My Lai Massacre, Manson, & Muslim Terrorists

The My Lai massacre happened in March of 1968, when a US company of soldiers in Vietnam savagely murdered around 500 defenseless innocent civilians, most of whom were women and children. The US soldiers, who had been traumatized by the brutalities of the Vietnam War for months prior to the mission into My Lai, had gone into the village under the assumption that they were about the meet the enemy who had been picking them off one by one for so long.

But they had bad intelligence. The Viet Cong soldiers who they thought they were about to finally engage in battle, and whom they thought they would finally be able to take out their anger and frustration on, was no where near that village of My Lai. But when the soldiers who had gone into the village, guns a blazing, discovered that they had reason to suspect the information they were working with was wrong, most kept killing the people in the village anyway. That's what the trauma of war does to people.

This was the case with soldiers…

Bernie Madoff, Pascal's Wager, & The Ponzi Scheme of Salvation

Bernie Madoff made off with a lot of people's money by running a $50 billion ponzi scheme. A ponzi scheme is when you basically take money from one guy and give it to another. You do this by convincing both that they're both making money in the process. You use their "greed," in other words, to entice them.

Basically, you convince people that their initial investment is steadily earning them ever more money, even though it isn't. In some ways, if you actually understand that "money" is not actually based on anything but people's "faith" in it, the entire global financial system is really just an extremely elaborate system of self-replicating ponzi schemes.

This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. The "faith" that leads the entire financial system to bilk the whole world (it hides the worst of it's effects either by minimizing our view of it via media etc, or it blames what misery we do see on everything but itself) is the…

Extremism vs Terrorism: How Language Is Used to Cultivate Conformity

If you watch CNN, or pay attention to nearly any news outlet, you may notice how often the words "extremism" and "terrorism" are used interchangeably. But they not the same thing.

Using the two interchangeably, however, creates the impression that anyone who is the former must therefore be the latter, and vice versa. Keeping in mind the difference is important to understanding how the deliberate use of these two words as being synonymous is used to cultivate conformity.

Terrorism, after all, is the willingness to engage in violence and bloodshed in order to scare people into accepting an idea or to engage in some action. 9/11, for example, was an act of "terrorism" perpetrated on the US by Muslims who, depending on who you believe, either wanted the US out of Saudi Arabia or for America to accept Islam. (If you believe the alternate interpretation, it was a "false flag" perpetrated by the US on itself, for the purpose of blaming Obama Bin Laden,…

Why The Bible is a Polemic Against Religion

People see the Bible as being the basis for religion, especially the "big three:" Judaism, Christianity, & Islam.

I, however, see the Bible as being nothing but a sustained polemic agaisnt religion.

From the idea that the "apple" that the Serpent gave Adam & Eve to eat, which the serpent promised them would make them "like God knowing right from wrong," was religion itself, to the idea that the story of Christ on the cross is simply an adaptation of the story of the "serpent in the tree of knowledge," religion has been sold by soothsayers as the "truth that will set us free," even though it is simply a "belief" that is used to keep people in bondage.

Aside from the fact that a "belief" is often the very opposite of "truth," organized religions  are simply man made institutions, like a labor union, a corporation, or a government, which ALL claim to be working to improve the lives of its members, and…

UFOs & Apparations of The Virgin Mary

Some people claim to have seen UFOs, other's claim to have seen the Virgin Mary. How the hell should we tell which of these claims are true, especially since there is far more evidence for the former than the latter?

And if both claims are true, what are we to make of that?

Those who claim to have seen God, or the Virgin Mary, or any other such apparitions (how come people never claim to have apparitions of Mohammad or Moses, and so on?), are often convinced that they have been chosen to then enforce the rules of the religion she is associated with. But how could such people ever know that they were not simply the subject of an elaborate experiment/hoax/fraud, that managed only to fool them into believing they had seen the Virgin Mary, instead of having actually seen her?

The only answer such people can offer, of course, if "faith," which is just about the flimsiest answer anyone could ever offer to anyone else.

What should a person make of such an experience? Assuming t…

Being Judged For Your Beliefs

According to religion, the whole point of our entire life boils down to whether we held the right beliefs, and whether we did the best we could in allowing those beliefs to guide us in making decisions that were pleasing enough to the almighty "Creator" who presumably made us, that he would, out of mercy for our earnest efforts, have the heart not to throw us into the eternal fires of a blast furnace. 
That he created us in such a way that both He and we knew fully well that it was impossible for such flawed beings as ourselves to ever live up to the moral perfection He demands we spend our whole life aspiring to reach, only makes such a quest a fools errand at best, and an act of pure futility at worst. Since we know we can never achieve such a goal, we are left to hope "in fear and trembling" that we are judged to have at least exerted enough effort to win us the mercy of a heavenly father who, so the Bible tells us, created us so flawed to begin with that we ar…

To Live With Your Fiance or Not: Taking Off the Training Wheels

My neice, at a precocious age of only 22 and in pursuit of her masters degree, recently moved to a different state far away from that of her parents. In doing so, she was forced to decide if she was going to live with her fiance (of fiancee?) or not. And what is interesting about her dilemma, at least too me anyway, is how much religion contributed to making that decision weigh upon her head like a crown of thorns. 

Her parents are pretty Roman Catholic in their beliefs, as is she more or less, and although they imparted upon their daughter their religion as well as their wishes concerning the matter, they decided it was high time  they trusted her to make that decision for herself.

To do otherwise, they concluded, was like teaching someone to ride a bike using training wheels, which are essentially what all of the lessons our parents impart to us during childhood amount to, until the parent becomes convinced that riding a bike without such training wheels is altogether too dangerous…

An Atheist's Interpretation of the Bible

When you're a "believer," you tend to simply accept what it is you're told to "believe" about the stories in the Bible. But if you stop simply "believing" what people tell you to believe, and risk going to hell if you choose to think for yourself about such stories, you begin to see the stories in the Bible in very different ways indeed.  And it's particularly interesting if you think about what the Bible may actually have to say about religion itself.

Take for example the Story of Adam  & Eve. Traditionally, "believers" see this story as an example of the fall of humanity from God's grace, and all because we wanted to be like God. John Milton, in Paradise Lost, describes Lucifer's fall from heaven in the same terms. What's more, if you think about it, Christ was crucified by the Sanhedrin after being blamed for pretty much the same thing.  And today, Christians preach that we must all be like Christ (i.e. like God) t…

Beauty & The Beast: How Our View of Nature is Like Our View of God & Religion

Have you ever noticed how much our view of nature is like our view of religion or even God?

If we look at a breathtaking landscape,for example, or the heavens above, we can be overcome by the wonder and beauty of it all. But this wonder and beauty, which is directly connected to the limitations of our own vision and imagination, hides a great deal of death and violence that we fail to see or often even consider.

If we look at a Ansel Adams picture from one of America's National Parks, say Yosemite for example, we may find ourselves overcome by the immense amount of magnificence and beauty  we behold. But in doing so, we fail to notice that, included in that landscape, are animals who mostly survive by ripping each other apart, limb from limb.

On an even smaller scale, insects and creepy crawlies of every kind and degree, live a life that has been described as the most monstrous and cruel existence imaginable. The amount of suffering and pain, as Werner Herzog has pointed out, is i…

Does God Exist? How Some People Think Coincidences Are Miracles

Robert Nelson further argues in his article about the likely probably of God that mere coincidence should be interpreted as rational evidence for the existence of God. He doesn't put it that way, of course, but that's what it boils down to, once you strip away all of the adjectives he throws in to make his conclusions sound profound and enlightened.


There are plenty of problems with his reasoning that Nelson simply chooses to ignore.

For example, Nelson states in his article:

Miraculous Ideas at the Same Time? For the past 10,000 years at a minimum, the most important changes in human existence have been driven by cultural developments occurring in the realm of human ideas.

REPLY: Okay.. and.. so what? Human beings have been around for roughly 200,000 years. Why should it be so surprising that "ideas" are what drive changes in human existence? After all, humans must have ideas before they can ever implement those ideas into actions. It would only be truly"mi…

The Evolution of God & The Hubris of Men

If you study the evolution of our ideas about God, you'll find that our ideas about God have changed dramatically over the course of centuries and millenniums.

While today many and perhaps most people in the world tend to be subscribe to monotheistic religions and "belief systems,"  hundred of years before Christ, the trend was quite the opposite, with the majority of people in the world apparently having more polytheistic beliefs, worshiping many gods instead.

When the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ikhnaton  declared circa 330 BC that there was only "one God," most of the people thought he was a bit of a weirdo, for example, since such an idea was rather uncommon. Today, it's the other way around.

But the hubris of human thought to conclude that our finite and feeble understanding of that which we describe as "infinite" in every way, stands as a testament to just how much like a god we humans think our "beliefs" really are.

Think about it: H…

Does God Exist? How One Man's Poverty of Imagination Led Him To God

Robert H. Nelson is a Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland. In his book, God? Very Probably, he shows how the poverty of his own imagination leads him, again and again, to a singular conclusion. The question any half cognizant reader is left to ask is simple, however: why does he only ever conclude there is a God, when the evidence is so undeniably ambiguous? 
Probably because he wants you to buy his book. And no one buys books proving God more than those who already wish to "believe" that God exists already. And Nelson probably knows this, and is laughing about it all the way to the bank. But that's something true "believers" who buy such books, simply refuse to believe.
Consider this excerpt from his recently published article to see this poverty of imagination in action, and notice how he preys upon the biases of his audience to not only mask his assumptions, but to lure his audience into accepting those assumptions as virtual facts that cann…

Get Out & The Legacy of Ellison & Baraka

The new movie Get Out, by director Jordan Peele, is a horror film version of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, with Sidney Poitier and Spencer Tracey, but it's a lot more than that.  Like Stanley Kubrick's The Shinning, there is a treasure trove of complexity and meaning to the film that lay behind what is shown on the screen.  But to see it, one must watch the movie on multiple levels at the same time, and understand not only how it conveys ideas about race and society in multiple ways in a literal sense, but how it also does so in a metaphorical sense as well.

In the opening scene, for example, we see a black man who, appearing to be lost, is trying to navigate his way through "a creepy, confusing-ass 'suburb.'"  In a literal sense, the idea of an urban black man walking through a presumably 'white' suburb not only illustrates how scary the latter can be to the former, but also how the neighborhood itself represents the social construct that can be…