Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Only Difference Between the Atheist & The Christian is a Word

Often times, the only real difference between the Christian Conservative and the Liberal Atheist is a single word. 

The Christian Conservative, for example, is only as anti-government as the atheist is anti-God, or more specifically, anti-religion. The former does not want the man made institution of "government" imposing its rules and regulations on them, anymore than the latter wants the man made institution of "religion," or a man made "God, doing the same thing. 

Hence, the only difference between the two is which "man made institution" is depriving them of their "liberty" or "freedom." The Conservative thinks (at least politically) in terms of the former, of course, while the Liberal thinks in terms of the latter. And even though it is often forcefully argued that the two are wildly different (which is largely a matter of semantics) they are fundamentally the same. 

It is precisely this difference in words - government vs god, and liberty vs freedom - that distinguishes the bulk of the differences between the Conservative Christian and the Liberal Atheist, even though the two are largely arguing over the same thing. Each thinks life would be better if it were not for the other trying to impose some set of "rules" or "dogmas" on others.  

Yet the Conservative Christian will insist that people necessarily need a "God" to regulate the ":freedoms" and behaviors of human "persons," lest real "people" engage in all manner of evils agaisnt their fellow man, even as they likewise demand that government not impinge upon the "liberties" of the corporate "persons," even though such "corporate persons" are as singularly focused on satiating the blood lust of their "profit motive" (which is simply an economic term for what the bible calls "the love of money," and thus the "root of all evil") as the Terminator has in finding and killing Sarah Connor, and often with the very same collateral consequences on everyone in the way.

Of course, the Conservative is not directly demanding that corporations be allowed to pursue their "love of money" (i.e the profit motive) at the expense of everyone but themselves. They simply want the government to leave their own personal liberties alone, which means the gov't is forced to leave the "liberties" of corporations alone as well. And that  means that corporations can increasingly pursue their aim of maximizing profits, even at the expense of people. 

For the Christian Conservative, in this respect, all of the troubles in the economy are the result of gov't regulation, according to prophets of the profit motive like Milton Friedman, while all of the troubles of the society are the result, not of an economy that simultaneously changes society faster than anything in history while raking in profits by plunging into debt the very customers they everywhere addict to their basest desires, but of people failing to worship "God" and go to church on Sunday.

But of course people are addicted to God and go to church every Sunday. It's just that the Christian Conservative fails to understand that in an economy that maximizes profits by turning its customers into consumer zombies, the "church" is the shopping mall and God is the almighty dollar. That's why Black Friday shoppers look so much like a hysterical audience speaking in tongues at a Benny Hinn service.   

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dr Adrain Rogers: Conservative Speak

The nature of the difference between Liberals and Conservatives often comes down to how the two interpret ideas and the world at large. The paragraph that follows, written by by Dr Adrian Rogers, provides an opportunity to illustrate that difference. It was posted on a ultra-right Conservative  Facebook page as a "profound little paragraph" about why Conservatives think Socialists and Liberals are crazy or stupid or both.

But if we go through it, sentence by sentence, we can see how a Liberal could have written the very same paragraph yet intended something very different. It is an example, in other words, of two people looking at the same thing but seeing two very different things, thanks to the different bias they use to interpret it. Here is the paragraph:

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy our of freedom What one persons receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government cannot first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not need to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no go to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

So now let us unpack what I think Dr Rogers means with each sentence, and how that is different from what a Liberal would think or mean by the same sentence.

(1)"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.”

CON: Meaning, you cannot make the poor wealthy by taxing the wealthy into poverty. Although not always, in this sentence, the Conservative generally equates "freedom” with “money.”

LIB:   Then what the hell was the 13th Amendment all about? After all, the Civil War was fought to deprive "wealthy" plantation owners of their "freedom" to make fortunes from their slaves.

(2) What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

CON: Meaning, to provide the poor with welfare is to rob the hard working middle class of the wages they worked so hard for.

LIB: Meaning, to allow the rich live the life of leisure (read Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class) while accumulating unprecedented wealth from the work of those they employ, is to agree that the lions share of the fortunes accumulated by the work of enslaved mice, belongs first and foremost to the fat cat who either thought up the idea or funded it’s development. It just so happens that, much of the time, both the inventor and the funding came initially from the public sector (i.e. the taxes imposed on the mice), as is the case with a lot of pharmaceuticals, the internet and all of the components of the iPhone, to name just a few examples.

In this respect, the "free market" amounts to selling those publicly funded and developed technologies to the private sector for pennies on the dollar, so that the mice pay to develop what the fat cat buys on the cheap and sells back to them at a profit. And all because only the private sector can be trusted to sell an Apple better than a serpent.

(3)The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government cannot first take from somebody else.

CON: Meaning, government can only give assistance to people who don't work, by legally robbing those that do, through taxation.

As is the case in all of these sentences, the CON sees them self as the victim of the poor, whom the government only enables out of a misplaced sense of altruism, by endeavoring to assist. That assistance, as the CON sees it, only encourages the unemployed to be increasingly more indolent. Hence, this perspective casts employment as the highest virtue while unemployment is seen as the greatest vice, even though the wealthiest of all are all "unemployed" as well, living instead off of the investments and the sweat of others.

LIB: This is true, since the government is what gave slave owners their slaves, by first taking away from Africans who had been kidnapped their humanity (which only encouraged all the more kidnapping), and took from Native Americans the land it demands Americans today must pay it taxes to occupy.

(4) When half of the people get the idea that they do not need to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because
somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

CON: For Cons, this claim means that a nation is moribund when the half of the population that doesn't work thinks it can depend for its subsistence on the half that does, by simply getting gov't to redistribute income via taxation and welfare programs. It also means that those who do work will eventually decide to stop working, since their pockets are being picked by gov't to take care of all those who are too lazy to have a job.

LIB: When Jay Gould said he could hire half of the working class to murder the other half, he was evincing just how much this sentence is used to divide and control, by convincing people they always belong to that "half" of the population that has the political power to rob the other half of their hard earned income.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

St. Augustine: The Dark Angel of Ignorance

Catholics lionize the works of St. Augustine as laying some of the great foundations of Christianity in general, and Catholicism more specifically. But this is to recast an angel of ignorance as a beacon of light.

It speaks volumes of the Catholic faith, then, that a man who had a relationship with his mother that was not unlike that of Norman Bates in the movie Pyscho or serial killer Ed Kemper, and who (probably as a result) so vilified women specifically and sex in general, advocated so strenuously for the use of torture as creating "the best kind of converts," and who felt that curiosity was, in his words, "no more than a disease," should be practically deified by the Catholic Church as a "saint." 

In his 2015 book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, senior research fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research,  Peter Frankopan points out that "St. Augustine had been positively hostile to investigation and research." As Frankopan explained, Augustine wrote scornfully that "men want to know for the sake of knowing, though the knowledge is of no value to them."

According to Frankopan, "this disdain for science and scholarship baffled Muslim commentators, who had delighted in the works of Ptolemy and Euclid, Homer and Aristotle."

"Some had little doubt what was to blame," Frankopan continued. "Once, wrote the historian al-Masudi, (known as the Herodotus of the Arabs) the ancient Greeks and the Romans had allowed the sciences to flourish, then they adopted Christianity. When the did so, they effaced the  signs of learning, eliminated its traces, and destroyed its powers. Science was defeated by faith."

"It is almost the precise opposite of the world as we see it today," al Masudi wrote in tenth century Baghdad.  "The fundamentalists were not the Muslims, but the Christians. Those who's minds were open, curious, and generous,  were based in the East, and certainly not in Europe." When it came to non Islamic lands, as one author put it, "we did not enter them, because we see no use in describing them: they were intellectual backwaters."

Perhaps none of this should be surprising, given the Church's canonization of a pope who only helped to hide, and therefore complicity facilitate, the sexual crimes some of its priests and nuns had been committing over the course of several decades, if not longer.   

But the fact that such a pope or St. Augustine can be lauded by anyone as a "saint" can only ever have the effect of making one proud to be defined as a sinner.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Water & Ice

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu counseled that we must "be like water," and course down a mountain side not by fighting agaisnt the rocks and obstacles we encounter, but by fluidly finding the path of least resistance. This idea was embodied in the old religions of paganism and Zoroastrianism, for example, and was the general essence of polytheistic beliefs that simply incorporated new gods and ideas into their theologies.

But then came Christianity, which was not the first monotheistic religion to grow out of the stories of a man who had become a god thru his death and resurrection, but it was the first one designed to exert a spiritual elitism through the branding of exclusivity and infallibility.

Those who sought to join the gold standard of religions, which Christianity had become when the Emperor Constantine established it as the official religion of Rome (which he did after he had a dream that by the cross he would win his great military victory - proving once again that the Cross is a symbol of death triumphant to those who worship it's murderous augury), were required to forego the old gods in favor of the new.

Along with this rejection of all other gods - which is a curious thing when you consider that even the first commandment of "thou shall have no other gods before me" was never interpreted by Jews to suggest there was only ever one god - came a requirement that Christians exercise zero tolerance toward all other religions, beliefs, and gods, lest they anger the "one true god," as they called it.

The kinder, gentler God preached by Jesus, in other words, quickly reverted back to the angry god of the Old Testament, once it had become popularized by an Emperor who declared that the Christian God had proven his supremacy through trial by combat, and those who dared to say otherwise were enemies of the state.   

This extreme sense of intolerance, born out of a supreme sense of superiority by those convinced they had been given an "infallible truth" that they should be willing to die a gruesome death to defend if need be, smacked more of the philosophy of an Attila the Hun than of a poor shepherd boy. While Jesus described "god" as a father and his flock as a family, the new Christianity became a pride of hungry lions,which were  more brutal and intolerant of all other "beliefs" than a Joseph Stalin or a Pol Pot.

Even as early as the emperor Trajan, for example, who ruled Rome from 98 to 117 AD, persecution of Christians was due not to their beliefs,but for their devotion to being just as stubborn in their refusal to accept the authority of Rome as they would later claim that Lucifer had been in refusing to accept the authority of God. 

"I have no doubt that whatever it is they believe," Trajan would explain,"their stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy  should certainly be punished."

Of course, today, Christian churches the world over convince their "flock" that it was certainly not for exercising an obstinacy that surpassed even that of their devil that they were so often persecuted, and as much by the populace as by the decrees of any prefects, but because their "truth" made them as holy as Christ himself (even though Christ himself died NOT for "truth" but for "the least of my brothers").

 But rather than admit that their religion does not have definite answers about everything from sexuality to life after death, and from the nature of gender to the nature of God, too many Christians insist they posses a god-like knowledge of everything they simply choose to "believe" - and for no other reason than that they simply choose to "believe" it  - that is only as "infallible" as the Christian is obstinate in how right they are in everything they simply choose to believe.

In short, while the old religions had worked more like water,  assimilating new wisdom and understanding as any fallible human being does over the course of their life by updating old ideas with new information, the new Christianity decided it knew everything there was to know of any moral importance already, with all the obstinacy of a teenager, and all the pliability of ice.  


The Evil of Knowledge

To the Sanhedrin, Christ was the serpent in the garden, as was every heretic to every other religion that promises paradise in exchange for submission to a "god," a religion, and authority, as well as acceptance and conformity to old  "beliefs" and ways of thinking.

Knowledge, especially new knowledge and new perspectives,  has thus always been greeted by those devoted religiously to a veneration of past ideas, as a heresy of liberalism that threatens to destroy the garden of society that rests so precariously upon the willingness of people not to question or rock the boat; and always by those who, from Socrates to Jesus, challenge the old gods through a new way of thinking. And this is just as true today as it has been with every generation and in every epoch.

Religions and nations alike, then, have built their reputation by enshrining this willingness as the mark of divinity, built as it were on the fear that radical new ideas would sink society into chaos were it not for conservatism's ability to keep the chastity of our ideas under lock and key. And by doing so, they have succeeded in casting knowledge itself as the serpent that threatens to destroy the stability of the status quo through the apple of its insights and new ideas. 

This is why John Stuart Mill once described Conservatives as "the stupid party," because Conservatives seem to only oppose all innovations and to reject all novel ideas. In fact, it has  been said that "it is probably true that the most prosperous, most self satisfied, and least curious members of any society have direct incentives to be conservatives," even though capitalism and technology have only accelerated change in everything from ideas to atoms, and from genes to our concepts of "god."

Conservatism, in this respect, champions an economic religion that has created more change in the world than anything else in human history - and perhaps no where so much as in the world of ideas - while simultaneously championing a monotheistic religion that has often sought only to preserve old "beliefs," traditions, and ways of thinking,  that are continually undermined by such changes.

Fredrich Nietzsche captured the problem with such a blind devotion to old "beliefs" when he wrote,  “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

To hold to such beliefs in the face of any scientific evidence that suggests it could be wrong, not only demonstrates how often facts are thought to be wholly irrelevant to discerning Christian versions of "truth,"  but it also illustrates how Christians prefer to shift the burden of having to learn something new, to simply learning how to find ever more clever ways of defending the old.

Liberals who flatly reject such a perspective, however, fail to appreciate the real virtue that such thinking can produce. Such thinking has, for example, to some great degree or other, contributed directly to the stability of governments in both the UK and America, with the former having not suffered from the wars for power that toppled monarchies across Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, in over 300 years, and the latter in over 200. 

But what the Conservative ignores, or worse even devoutly denies, is that both Christianity and free market Capitalism were once both seen as "radical" and liberal ideas, especially to those who were just as "conservative" about their paganism, their empire driven economies, and general ways of thinking, as both Christians and Conservatives are today. 

This is why the persecution of Christians in Rome started not with emperors, but with mobs of citizens, who blamed the problems in their society on the anti-patriotism of Christians who they accused of being "atheists" for picking one god and rejecting the others, and for their refusal to worship the gods of Rome in the same way Socrates had refused to worship the gods of Greece. And like the "conservative" mobs of Rome who treated Christians much like many Christians in America treat Muslims today, Conservatives blame America's social problems on the Collin Kaepernicks of the world (rather than an undeniably racist war on drugs) while the most conservative Christians in America blame liberals, homosexuals, and Muslims for angering God by snake charming the devil.    
Knowledge, in this respect, has always been a light of hope for those seeking to free themselves from the bondage of other people's ignorance, and the serpent to those who are convinced they posses the power and authority of an "infallible truth" already. 

The Emotional Irrationalism of the Hyper Rationalists

Conservatives often argue that Liberals are controlled by their emotions, as if God calls humanity to improve itself by necessarily becoming as emotionless as those Christians who decided to torture and mutilate all those who disagreed with them during the middle ages, or drop atom bombs on Japan and implement the "final solution" in Germany. But according to research in the neurosciences, the very opposite is true. 

Such a claim by both Conservatives and Christians are not only incredibly ironic, since both subscribe to their "beliefs" for wholly emotional reasons despite the facts and the evidence, but likewise evinces an unfounded worship of  what it means to "be a man."

According to such a myopic and paradoxical perspective, men are thought to be "strong" specifically because they can be as Machiavellian as John Wayne or General Custer in massacring anyone from native Americans to Vietcong to Muslims when necessary, by elevating the cold, calculating Spock like rationalism of a computer or a serial killer, as being the mark not of Cain, but of divinity itself.

And one look at the bible, history, or even the world today, clearly supports such a view, which is why Bertrand Russell argued it made a lot more sense to conclude the world was made by the Devil when God wasn't looking.

That many of today's business leaders have been diagnosed as psychopaths who necessarily operate in the exact same way that Christian and other religious leaders have operated in the past, spilling blood in the service of God as much as gold, never leads most Christians to ever suspect that it is the operant environment of Capitalism itself, like Christianity before it, that is only conditioning people to be this way.

This is not to say that Stalin or Hitler or Pol Pot were not just as willing to be just as murderous as anyone else, in the service of their own respective economic religions, but that all human systems of "faith," however well intended by those who first articulate them, eventually all devolve into similar forms of barbarisms, and for always the same reasons.

Hence the reason Hilaire Belloc described Communism and Capitalism as "hellish twins," even as he failed to understand that such secular economic religions were simply following in the footsteps of the theistic religions that had preceded them, and from which they drew all of their lessons of manipulation, marketing, and control. 

Instead, the stalwart Christian only denies that Capitalism - an economic system that has changed the world the most in the shortest period of recorded history - is in anyway causing the very "changes" in society that both the Conservative and the Christian rail everywhere agaisnt, as simply the result of godlessness, atheism, Liberals, feminists, socialism, and communism, and nothing more.

For them, if people would simply devote themselves to becoming just as obsessive and addicted to God and religion as they are to the drugs, violence, video games, celebrity, beauty, wealth, fashion, status, technology, war, and everything else the Capitalist religion can market to its captured audience of emotionally addicted sycophants, the world could come as close to a Christian Capitalist "utopia" (that Conservatives only ever condemn Liberals for seeking), as spiritually fallen miscreants  could ever hope to achieve.

Conservatives and Christians know this, of course, because they have as much "faith" in their "beliefs" and their "God" as the men sitting around the table in Wannsee in 1942, who all sought to preserve the superiority of their own Christian culture by planning the murder of 20 millions Jews. For such a conclusion is the natural result of the hyper rationalist, regardless of whether it is grounded in the science of Darwin or the religion of St Augustine, who has long since concluded that emotions are for women, homosexuals, and the weak.

To such men, God is Mr. Spock,and the devil has the sensibilities of a poet.

The Narcissism of Christianity & Consumerism

The narcissism of Christianity is the cornerstone upon which the global consumerist culture was built. Upon that cornerstone humanity sacrifices itself as a burnt offering to fame, fortune, power, and luxury, and all under the sheepskin of an image of itself, cast in the guise of a humble Shepard. 

Nothing could be more narcissistic than the idea that the most powerful being imaginable cares more about you specifically than virtually every other thing in the universe. Religions try to temper the extreme sense of self importance they peddle to their willing customers, in this respect, with the "belief" that a 'god' cares equally as much about every other human being (if nothing else), even though that 'god' has created an eternal hell into which he intends to throw all those who are too proud to accept such humility.

Consumerism, building upon the ethos of narcissism peddled by religions, sells its customers the very same sense of love and heaven those same customers shop for every Sunday as they file into the pews of churches around the world, like holiday shoppers looking for discount products on black Friday. The difference is that one offers it in the here and now while the other requires customers to operate on a layaway plan until they are laid to rest (at which point it is obviously too late to file any customer complaints).

Consumerism likewise mimics religion in anthropomorphizing their products into our own image, which is why Tony the Tiger is used to sell breakfast cereal, the Jolly Green giant is used to sell frozen vegetables, and the Marlboro Man is used to sell tobacco. Christianity likewise deifies a "man" named Jesus into as much of a God as any Roman or Japanese emperor, and peddles its giant cathedrals by dedicating them to its myriad saints, most of whom are all men.

Like Christianity, advertisers know that people cannot relate to anything not made in their own image, whether the product is breakfast cereal or an infinite God. So both peddle their products in the guise of man, even as they both deny they are in the business of only ever seducing humanity with its own image, and then transferring our narcissism to the products they want us to buy.

We see this in the use of the Marlboro man, which pandered to the alpha male mentality after World War II, every bit as much as every action movie hero does today, resulting in an explosion of male smokers of over 3000%. In this same way, the gods of the old religions, from the abstractions of sky and wind to the animals, could not compete with the religions that sold humanity images of themselves in the pantheons of Greece and Rome.

While selling "god" in man's image through a polytheism of products worked better than packaging such products in abstract ideas of agriculture, monotheism capitalized on the alpha male mentality by casting God as the Lone Ranger for all those who wished to see themselves as rugged and heroic individuals, fighting as much agaisnt the elements as all the evils of the world.         

And in doing so, humanity repacked god in its own image, and fell in love with it even more than Narcissus. This is why the major religions all package their ideas exclusively in the guise of human perfection, with theologians pilfering the philosophies of Greece and convincing subscribers that the abstract virtues of moderation they preached, could only bring happiness to humanity through an obsession with and excessive over indulgence in, fantasies about obtaining ever lasting life in a vacation paradise, by aspiring to be as perfect as a man-god named Jesus.      

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Conservative Contradiction on War & Sex

Conservatives have always had a rather odd and contradictory perspective on war and sex, assuming that it is simply "human nature" to engage in one every bit as much as the other. But isn't this simply a self fulfilling prophecy on the one hand, especially with regard to war, and a capitulation to our savagery on the other? If like the poor, to put it more plainly, war is something we will always have with us, should human progress then be defined as simply the accumulation of toys, luxuries, power and wealth? 

On war, Conservatives feel it is something we will always have with us, and as such, we should therefore take measures to prepare for it. And by doing so, perhaps avert or reduce the likelihood  or frequency with which we will have to engage in it at all.

 As much as we would like to avoid it, in other words, it is a fact of life that we should accept and prepare for. (That wars have only proliferated with the ever greater sales of weapons, never deters the avid gun owner from the belief that ever more guns will ultimately produce ever more peace.)

On sex, the Conservative takes the opposite approach, and rather than simply accepting that it is also something we will "always have with us" as well, and thus we should likewise therefore take measures to prepare for it, they admonish teenagers - with their hormones all a rage - to rely necessarily on the wisdom of self denial that they themselves did not arrive at often until late into their twenties, or thirties, or even later.

(That this wisdom was arrived at only after the creep of sedentary life had reduced their hormonal levels in tandem with their activity levels, is as ignored by such Conservatives as the fact that St. Augustine's philandering in the brothels of Rome only declined with age.)   

As much as we would like to engage in it, in other words, we should try to control such urges only ever from within. For any attempt to control the consequences of sex from without (even though studies show this works), only contribute to the weakening of a person's moral fiber (even though Christianity and Conservatism have failed to prevent the pedophiles and sexual predation among Christians and Conservatives).

In fact, given the recent rash of sexual crimes and harassment claims agaisnt both Catholic priests and notable Conservatives, it may even be safe to say that even  Conservatives have had a pretty difficult time regulating their sexual appetites through the religious proscription of "just say no."  

From poor countries in Africa and South America to Mother Theresa in Calcutta, however, many Conservatives rail agaisnt the immorality of distributing condoms as a means of preventing pregnancy or the spread of AIDS and other STDs, even as they likewise argue that the best prophylactic agaisnt war is to build and sell more and more weapons.

This is also true of guns in American in general. 

For many Conservatives, who are often as terrified of being denied the right to purchase ever more guns as they are of being denied the right to worship their God, the best protection agaisnt the spread of violence in American society is not to deny people their lust for the latest and greatest weapons of death available, but too only ever find ways to sell ever more guns to ever more people. 

Hence the Conservative seems to assume that our urge for violence is far more natural to us than our urge for sex, which is why they want us to distribute weapons as a prophylactic agaisnt war and violence but not prophylactics as a weapon agaisnt disease and unwanted pregnancy.     

Or to put it another way, the Conservative tackles these two issues by arguing that the best way to help all those suffering from unwanted pregnancies is to sell the children that result ever more guns and God. And while this is like solving the problem of having too few hats by cutting off heads, as Chesterton once quipped, in a system of Christian Capitalism devoted religiously to the bottom line and the love of profit, "all is fair in love and war."


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

God & Herod

I have never understood how King Herod could be considered such a monster for engaging in the slaughter of the first born son of so many thousands of Jews in his day, and all out of a fear of loosing his power to a new born king, while a God  who engaged in the exact same thing to the Egyptians during Passover is so continually worshiped as benevolent and merciful.

After all, even if the whole point of Passover was to change Pharaoh's heart and convince him to let God's people go, why did God feel the need to murder all of the other children in Egypt at that time?

Why didn't God just take Pharaoh's first born son, in other words, or just transport him to hell while he slept, since doing so would've likely convinced him, much as it had convinced the rich man who was too cheap to give anything to Lazarus,  of the error of his ways? It has been said that God did as much with some saints, which seems like a giant waste of time if they were already saints, but refrains from doing so to the greatest of sinners, even though doing so has the potential of turning those sinners into the greatest of saints.

At least then there would've been no need for the murder of the innocence, by either King Herod or God.   

How Military Victory is Always a Failure of Religion

We have the bias of only ever seeing history through the lens of how events played out. We look at the American Revolution and subsequent Civil War, for example, blinded by a bias that things played out according to God's divine plan, even though both conflicts were fought for largely the same reasons, yet with opposite conclusions.

For the Southern states that sought to free themselves from the tyranny of a monarchical Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War was no different than colonialists attempts to free themselves from the tyranny of old King George. Yet the Christian sees the conclusion of both of these conflicts as conforming to some moral plan designed by God, even though victory in the Revolution allowed wealthy colonialists to maintain the very same system of slavery the Southern States were fighting to preserve in the Civil War.

As such, the Southern States believed just as vehemently as the Northern States that "God" was 100% on their side of the conflict, for any immutable God that rightly supported the Colonialists could only be expected to support the Confederacy as well. In fact, victory by the Union only lead the Confederacy to conclude not that they had been wrong to support slavery or to think that God was on their side, but that they were indeed right, for they had been defeated by superior powers much like Christ had been. And in the same way Christ's death changed the world, so to their own defeat at the hands of the North convinced the Confederate states that they were truly following in the footsteps of Christ. 

And there's the rub.

Religion claims that it is an idea that is essential and necessary to discerning morality in general, and the will of God more specifically.  But why, then, is discerning God's "truth" always and everywhere such an ambiguous task?

 Not only did preachers and churches on all sides of both wars invoke the scriptures and their God as supportive of both their perspectives and the justness of their causes, for example, those churches also added fuel to the hellfire furnace of war itself by  convincing everyone involved that their "beliefs" were both certain and moral enough to kill and die for. And so everyone rushed off to do just that, thanks be to God.

Where then, is the insight that religion everywhere claims to better reveal to human hearts of the true "will of God," when it so blindly leads everyone into the meat grinder of war after war after war, and all for a many colored coat of morality steeped in Christian theology?

Christians further assume that one of the sides must have been right and the other wrong. In this sense, every war is seen by the Christian as simply a trail by combat, that legal measure used to determine if a person is guilty or innocent by allowing them to fight to the death, trusting that God will surely defend the innocent and punish the guilty.

That this same mentality was used by both Christian and later Protestant persecutions of witches and heretics, and almost always with the innocent being handed over to the horrors of the religiously righteous as Christ himself had been handed over to the Sanhedrin, is of course devoutly to be ignored.

Instead, the Christian simply chooses to believe that every victory of the American nation always proves that God is on our side, even when we are at each others throats about which side that may actually be. In truth, however, the military victory of either side is always and only ever the surest failure of religion, since it not only seems to NEVER clear up such confusions, but only ever encourages the clearing up of those confusions by following in the footsteps of Christ, picking up our crosses, and visiting upon each other as much suffering and carnage as we have the faith and fortitude to endure and bestow.

All hail the God king, who's blood lust only began with his son, and for whom humanity has been working with all of its might and moral rectitude to slake ever since, even though it is so clearly an appetite that only grows by what it feeds on.     

What is the Fruit of the Tree of Christianity?

The atheist is often left to wonder why Christians seem to universally deny that any of the evils committed by Christians in the name of Christianity, or for God more directly, have anything to do with "real" Christianity. And they very much do the same thing with anything yoked to their Christianity as well, which in America means capitalism.

When the Nazis murder Jews by the millions, such genocidal acts are always seen by Christians as "the fruit of the tree" of Nazism, even though Hitler and the Nazi's were either Christian, or couched all of their antisemitism and justification for genocide on the Christian bible. 

When Stalin murdered millions to advance his own totalitarian brand of "communism," which was as far afoul of Karl Marx's ideas of communism as the Inquisitions were afoul of the teachings of Christ, Christians almost universally argue that such actions are the "fruit of the tree" of communism.

But when Christian preachers and politicians defend slavery, start wars, and drop atom bombs, the Christian everywhere denies such actions are in any way "fruit of the tree" of their own Christianity.

Instead, the Christian insists that the ONLY fruits that can be said to grow from the tree of Christianity is whatever "virtues" they attribute to it, even if the Christian offering such a perspective is alone in the particular thing they choose to define as a Christian "virtue."

This miraculous double standard allows the Christian to lay claim to every virtue that has ever been committed by humanity on the one hand - even when those virtues are committed by atheists and non-Christians fighting against so many evils being committed by Christians in the name of Christianity - while simultaneously insulating the Christian from ever having to take any responsibility for the evils so often committed by Christians for their "beliefs" on the other, and especially when committed by the very Christian using the double standard.

This, then, only illustrates how often Christianity is preached everywhere as a religion of responsibility, even as it is practiced as a standard that simply defers all responsibility for one's beliefs, and the worst effects such beliefs have on others, to a bible, or a God.


The Awful Disclosures

A Christian telling an atheist to prove there is no God is like an atheist telling a Catholic to prove that the anti-Catholic propaganda that was written in 1836 by Maria Monk called The Awful Disclosures, which told of lurid tales of sexual depravity among Catholic priests and nuns, is in fact untrue.

In her book, Monk tells about the horribly painful penances she was forced to perform, which included sticking pins through her cheeks. She likewise details how, after taking her final vows to become a nun, she was told  by her superiors that she must have sex with the priests, and that in fact the convent was actually a brothel and the nuns were entirely at the lascivious disposal of the priests.

Monk went on to explain that these sexual exploits would sometimes lead to pregnancy, which in turn lead to birthing the child, baptizing it, and then strangling it and burying it in the basement of the convent.  She even tells the story of how one nun who refused was eventually strangled to death for refusing to serve as the bride to those who had so selflessly devoted themselves to the Church of Christ. 

The Catholic cannot simply point out that there is no real evidence to support such ludicrous claims, however fabricated such stories obviously were, since the Bible contained far worse stories of depravity and evil. For if the Bible alone is sufficient evidence for a "belief" in the truth claims of Christianity, with its catalogue of admitted horrors lauded always by the faithful as "the will of God," so Monk's book alone is likewise sufficient evidence for a "belief" in Monk's "truth claims" about Catholic depravity.

Hence, the Bible is only as much evidence for the existence of god, as Monk's fanciful propaganda was for the belief that Catholicism came only from the devil.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A paradigm is like a planet, in that only external forces can cause it to turn.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Tragedy of Reality & The Ecstasy of Belief

If you look around the world today, and not just into those corners of it that we prefer to see, but actually paying attention to the homeless people around the world, that we all knowingly ignore like the "bums" we pass on the street, it's impossible to claim that reality is anything but a tragedy, all in all.

That we have moments in our lives that fill us with rapture, love, and joy, does not change the fact that we enjoy these experiences, which convince us that life is a gift, while there are so many countless others of us around the world for whom life feels like nothing but a curse.

To escape that reality, one where we experience so many fleeting mini-heavens of bliss on earth while others feel like they're roasting alive in a permanent hell, we "believe" that it's all out of our hands, and there's just nothing we can do. So we defer to God, most of all, insisting it's all somehow part of his plan, while believing those  responsible for the suffering in the world will one day get theirs.

We just never think that any of us are responsible for any of it, of course.

Because admitting we are, would only pop our little ecstasy bubble of beliefs. And nobody likes to crap in their own comfort zone.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

How Religion Only Worships Man

Christianity often charges atheists with only worshiping themselves, and humanity at large. But the truth is that it is Christianity that only worships "man," and altogether rejects anything that could be considered an immaterial "God." This is not only true in the sense that it is religion that elevates human beings as the central and indeed only important creature in the story of existence, but also in the sense that history and power has always rested in the hands of men; and this is especially true regarding the power of religion.

Christians, in other words, only worship a glorified image of themselves, one that amounts to an infinitely perfected image of humans in the heavens, that they fall in love with like Narcissus, and are willing to die for in a fit of narcissism. And they do this with an "infallible" certainty that their "beliefs" constitute universal, immutable, undeniable, "truth," even as they defend their belief in such "truths" as simply an act of "faith."

In other words, even though all science and human knowledge is necessarily and always subjective, since all of it is nothing but a purely human endeavor, the Christian counts it a the greatest virtue of all to die for their claim that their "beliefs" constitute objective "infallible truth." And they claim that asserting such a "belief," and imposing it on others (with draconian tactics that rival those of ISIS or force of arms if need be), is nothing but an act of pure humility, practiced in "faith," by a "believer" who is only ever trying to avoid the tortures of an eternal hell and win the rewards of an eternally pleasurable heaven. 

And the universe is perhaps the greatest evidence for just how true, and how ridicules, such a perspective "truly" is.

The Christian need to ensure that the Bible was interpreted in ways that necessarily placed humanity at the center of all creation, for example, was perhaps most clearly illustrated by the adamant "belief" that the earth sat at the center of the universe.

That most scientists tended to agree with this perspective is different from the Catholic Church's need to enforce such a perspective as "divine truth" in any number of ways, including execution if need be. Science is as rife with biases as religion, but at least one can admit it is a subjective interpretation, where the other demands it is an objective one, and has readily burned people alive to prove it. Einstein could admit in 1931 that his belief that the universe was static was wrong, and that Edwin Hubble (who found in 1929 that the universe was expanding) was right.

In the challenge between Einstein and Hubble was one between "belief" about the nature of the universe and the evidence. And while Einstein could admit he was wrong, given the evidence, the Church has never been willing to admit it was only human. 

Indeed, the Church would rather burn and torture those that disagreed with it's view of the universe, rather than humbly accept its cross and admit it could be wrong. And it refused to admit it was wrong, because the Church believed that any suggestion that the Earth was not the center of the universe, was to suggest that humanity was not the focal point of everything, the specific object of God's divine love, and perhaps not even the sole reason for all of creation at all.

This need to "believe" that humanity is, in fact, the sole object of God's love and devotion, is perhaps the greatest con job the Christian religion has ever pulled off. If Satan himself wanted to addict humans into worshiping themselves while at the same time "believing" that they were NOT worshiping themselves, there is clearly no better way he could've come up with such a ruse than through a religion that worships a "man-god" named Jesus, who calls all of humanity to adore, worship, and aspire, to be like the most perfect human being God had ever created.

Even our "belief" that the planets moved in perfect circles, because we believed such a shape to be divinely perfect, is nothing but a human bias for circles. That the planets move in ellipses rather than circles, and that the earth travels around the sun, are all examples of a universe trying to tells us just how much our "ideas" and "beliefs" about "perfection" are purely human, and thus utterly useless in understanding practically everything, including ourselves.

Hence, we do not worship a "god" on Sundays, as people flood into their pews to pray to the statue of a man hanging on a cross (which any visiting alien from another planet would no doubt see as truly macabre), but to worship some "belief" in a perfection we believe we are tasked with aspiring to, lest we be roasted forever in a pizza oven by our loving, merciful "father" in heaven.

I mean, that kind of a father is worse than having a mom like Norman Bates.

And the only way Christianity can ever hope to actually make itself relevant, since more and more people are seeing how clearly ridicules and hypocritical its claims are,  is to stop talking to themselves like a maniac and calling it prayer, and start paying attention to what the whole wide world, and everyone in it, have been trying to tell them all along!

God, in other words, is standing right in front of you, in the vast diversity of humanity in all of its differences.

But Christians don't want to accept that God. They want only the God they "believe" in.  That's why Christians do not love "God," they love only their "beliefs" about what they alone want "God" to be. Because without that, if they do not see themselves as the center and the meaning of the universe, they feel incapable of finding any meaning at all. And as sad as that might be, it still has nothing to do with "truth," nor does it give Christians the right to intentionally conflate "truth" with their "beliefs."  

The Hands of Vice & Virtue

One of the fascinating aspects of our modern world is the belief that "private vices will produce public virtues."

This belief, expressed by Dutch philosopher Bernard Mandiville  in 1705, in his book The Fable of the Bees: or Private Vices, Public Benefits, described, in short, “how both the merchant and the con man were driven by selfish instincts.” For Mandeville, it was vice, not virtue, that kept the wheels of commerce turning. Mandeville even captured those sentiments in a poem

Thus Vice nurs'd Ingenuity,
Which join'd with Time and Industry,
Had carry'd Life's Conveniences,
It's real Pleasures, Comforts, Ease,
To such a Height, the very Poor
Liv'd better than the Rich before,
And nothing could be added more.

Upon this maxim has been built the modern global economy, as well as our modern technological financial systems. But such an idea is rife with implications that reverberate across the world in numerous ways, most if not all of which are often completely overlooked. 

Take for example that this contradictory idea seems paradoxical on its face. That it is paradoxical does not invalidate the validity of such a maxim, but it does obfuscate the clear distinctions we like to rely on, which are nowhere preached to be so clearly obvious as by religion, of ideas of "good" and "bad."
How, in other words, can one be expected to clearly determine the difference between "good" and "bad," if engaging in "bad behavior" as an individual can produce "good" results on the whole? In such a paradigm, the more one is willing to sacrifice their own soul for the public good can color everyone a Christ figure, as each person sacrifices themselves to their vices for the salvation of the public economy overall.

Likewise, most people fail to notice the difference between the financial system and the economy. While it is true that these two aspects are typically considered two sides of the same coin, they operate in very different ways. The financial system runs on a zero-sum gain, with each person's gains coming necessarily from another person's losses, a "win-lose" paradigm, while the "economy" of goods and services works on a "win-win" paradigm, with each person "gaining" through the trading of their goods and services.

The idea of the "win-win" paradigm is simple. If I have $5 dollars but need some gas, while a person with plenty of gas needs $5 dollars to buy groceries,  then exchanging the $5 for gas is actually considered by classical economics to have increased the wealth of both through this exchange. But in a "win-loose" paradigm, the person who gains my $5 dollars is enriched, but I have nothing to show for it. 

The trouble with our increasing reliance on financial systems to make money, among so many other things, is that it relies on the illusion that it is operating under a "win-win" paradigm, which is one most people who support capitalism in general correctly see as a virtue, even though it actually operates under a "win-lose"paradigm, which is one of the biggest contributors to the growing inequality of wealth in America today, and the world in general.

But there is another factor that is overlooked as well. How does this paradoxical idea that "private vices can produce public virtues" operate within religion? Well, interestingly enough, it can produce a chiral opposite. 
In chemistry, a "chiral" opposite is understood to be the difference between a person's left and and right hands. The two hands are identical (usually and for the most part) but are opposite. So to, the "private vice = public virtue" idea relied upon as the "invisible hand" in our economy, has a chiral opposite in religion, where private virtue can produce public vice, although not always (obviously).

We see this when a society thinks a particular way of thinking about the world is so virtuous, that it is a reflection of "God's will," and to ensure such a perspective becomes the greatest virtue of all, any vice needed to ensure its survival can miraculously be transformed into a virtue, like water into wine. In short, using vice to defend virtue is how Inquisitions and Crusaders  justify any means necessary for achieving the ends that God desires. 

The Dangers of Religion: Unchaining the Monster We Create

People who believe that religion is needed to keep people's passions in check, never consider just how often such an idea only leads to creating a monster within. How so?

Like Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's, Psycho, we internalize our ideals about morality, and by doing so, we elevate them to the level of what we perceive to be "divine," which has the simultaneous effect of lowering those behaviors that are the corollary opposite to being necessarily "evil."

Like pales of water tied to a single rope, where lowering one raises the other, so to by prizing "virginity" as something as sacred as the Virgin Mother, we simultaneously lower "sex" itself to something that, by comparison, is only the more defiled.

Of course, religions take no responsibility for this, assuming as they do that we can always keep the inner Mr. Hyde in check by focusing purely on the ideas and habits of Dr. Jekyll, even though the whole point of Robert Louis Steven's story from 1885 was to illustrate that the former is largely incapable of being restrained by the social conditioning of the latter.


Well, given the right contextual cues, and the right operant environments, and certainly the right social support, people are capable of doing the worst of things, and almost always for the best of reasons.

Mobs have all the appetites of men,  wrote Will Durant, but none of the restraints.

Consider how often Christians have burned people they "believed" were "witches," and for no other reason than that they "believed" witches existed in the first place. And they believed in witches for no other reason than that they likewise "believed" in angels and gods. Christians likewise lynched black people in the Jim Crow South, and often simply because they were opposed to sharing the same schools, water fountains, or even toilets, as those they firmly "believed" they were better than; and for no other reason than the color of their skin.

This is not to say that Christians are therefore worse than any other mob of people who have ever engaged in wholesale violence, but that Christians are certainly no better, despite the continual insistence by "believers" that they are.  In fact, like the Crusades, Inquisitions, pedophile coverup, and even the Christian churches in Rwanda that fanned the flames that lead to the genocide there in in 1994, Christianity can make things worse by licensing those engaging in such behaviors with a "moral" excuse for doing so.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

By the Pen of Chesterton & The Sword of Columbus

G.K. Chesterton is that kind of Catholic who Catholics like to quote in defense of their Catholicism  more often than even the Bible. But it never seems to occur to those who do, just how much atheists agree with some of the things Chesterton wrote, but just not in the same way he meant it. For example, he once wrote:

"A Catholic is a person who has plucked up courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that something else may be wiser than he is."

For any good Catholic who reads this, this statement is interpreted as a compliment. It congratulates the Catholic, basically, for having the good sense to know "that something else may be wiser than he is," and all because he has the "courage" to admit such a "thing" exists; and that thing can only be God, and the Catholic brand of God at that - one that happens to always hate all of the same things that we do. 

The Catholic denies that the very "thing" Chesterton is referring to is not a "God" who lives in heaven, but in humanity as a whole, in all of its diversity, under the idea that "none of us is as smart as all of us." For them, such a suggestion is simply atheism worshiping humanity and ultimately itself, even though it is the Christian who worships a "man" named Jesus as a God, and all the senses of beauty, proportion, and logic, which are celebrated by Christians as practically "divine," are actually things that are purely man made, even though most of reality so obviously fails to conform to such human "ideals."  

So, out of the fear that he would be worshiping humanity if he were not a Catholic, Chesterton simply choose to ignore the possibility that "All of us" could be the actual source of the "something" he was referring to.

Democracy, then, born always out of some degree of a Liberalism that has always sought to unmoor itself from a devotion to rulers of one sense or another, is the wisdom that suggests that our morality, which time demonstrates operates as an open source code, is something humanity has all been working across time to improve.

And over that same time, no religions can rival monotheism's opposition to allowing those improvements, either in the name of an "ideal" in their own head called "God"- which they only continue to refuse to give a single shred of evidence for - or out of a philosophical necromancy with the past called Conservatism, (that has achieved near cult like status among so many 'Christian warriors" today).

It is religion, then, that confuses humanity's need to ground itself in laws and traditions with its own need to force humanity into serving those laws and traditions, even though Christ said "the law was made to serve man, not man to serve the law."

 Instead, Christians "believe" that humanity must serve those laws and traditions first and foremost, for fear of angering a God, rather than learn from the mistakes of our parents and seek always to improve upon them, using science as a guide, as St. Augustine argued we must.

It's just that there are a number of "Christian warriors" out in America today, who seem so willing to treat anyone who refuses to accept their own special version of "Christian morality," preached so often by Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, like the "Christian warriors" who came over with Columbus treated the Native Americans, and the Crusader's treated the Arabs in Jerusalem in 1099.  


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Christian Opposition to Intellectual Progress

It has often been claimed that Christianity has helped to advance human understanding in all areas of knowledge, but this is a demonstrable falsehood, that only proves how often Christianity practices the very opposite of what it so proudly and loudly claims; and always in the name of humility. Where Christianity has often gotten it wrong, it killed or silenced all those who got it right, until such time as the Church had changed its mind; and then proclaimed to be the first ones to have discovered such "infallible truth" to begin with.

Christianity opposed ideas that the earth revolved around the sun, for example. Christianity also opposed the idea that slavery and later segregation were immoral; that minorities,women and the poor all deserved the right to vote as much as land owning white men;and  that evolution was a more valid theory of the origins of human development than "creationism" or what would later be recast as "intelligent design."

It has opposed the geological understanding of our world, opposing Thomas Cooper's heretical views of rocks in 1832 for suggesting the world was older than the Christian bible claimed.

It opposed understandings in math, like the work done on infinity equations by Georg Cantor and Galileo, which was only seen as challenging the "infinity" that was believed by Christians to be the sole domain of God.

It has opposed the advances in medicine,  by insisting that humanity was not as natural to the world as every other living animal in the world. Modern medicine did not begin, therefore, until some four hundred years ago, “when a group of northern Italians had the courage and the humility to suspect that man, rather than being something appointed by God as apart or above nature, was a part of nature.”

It opposed understanding the human mind, which Islam had figured out long before Christianity, as being something that was as human as our bodies and therefore just as susceptible to deficiencies in biology, rather than diagnosing everything as a demonic or spiritual problem, the cure for which was to expel such demons through exorcism, torture, or burning the person alive as a witch.
And today, we see this trend only continued in Christianity's war agaisnt any willingness to budge a single centimeter on its understanding of the nature of sex, sexuality, and gender as well, despite the growing amount of overwhelming evidence about such matters as being perfectly "normal" and "natural."

That none of the scientific evidence we have today existed when Christianity first grounded its fearful interpretation of such ideas in the medieval minds of those who's only source of "knowledge" about such matters was a bible that boasted of the morality of committing genocide for the glory of a god, is "naturally" ignored.

Christianity only ever uses "evidence" of human nature from animals when it comes to our willingness to murder each other for god and glory, but never in its attempts to understand anything related to sex or gender, since the Bible clearly illustrates just how "moral" murder can be - with God not only repeatedly calling for genocide but also choosing to have us savagely murder his own son for our "salvation," rather than simply "turning the other cheek" as He commands everyone else to do - but makes no such allowances with sex. 

Even more interesting, is how the same Christianity that has so often only ever opposed Darwin's theory of evolution for understanding human development, has just as often used that same theory to support it's economic beliefs in Capitalism, via Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism, which was a bastardization of Darwin's own theory, which Darwin himself rejected as NOT reflecting his own theory. And it does so simply to defend the notions of racism and economic inequality that such a system naturally produces as justified in the "natural order" ordained by their wise and benevolent "God."

The reason it is important to challenge the "truth" claims of Christianity, therefore, since those "truths" are so often the very opposite of anything constituting actual "truth," is because the butterfly effect of getting people to accept the lie that Christianity's  "beliefs" amount to "infallible truths" is the direct cause of those dubious hurricanes practiced in the name of economics and racism thereafter, and always under the sheepskin of a religion that is used to defend both, as ordained by God.    

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Body Count: From Vice to Virtue

In Vietnam, the lack of any clear objective allowed the savagery of war to devolve to the point that the only thing that mattered was the body count. Such savagery, performed by those who saw no discernible point to it, was clearly one of the great vices of America's "war" in Vietnam, regardless of how one looks at that war.

Today, the war on drugs, like the war on terror, likewise has no discernible objective or goal, and least of all to those who, often out of a misplaced sense of patriotism or sense of duty, or in an attempt to simply escape the plight of their own poverty, are sent to fight it.

  But the difference is that, while simply focusing on the body count was seen as only contributing to the horrors of the mistake in Vietnam, and thus a vice, today, the body count is seen as not only a virtue, but as the only discernible objective in the war on drugs and on terror.

And in this way, the body count was transformed from a vice into a virtue.

Jesus Christ or John Wayne Gacy?

Den Fujita, the wealthy Japanese founder of MacDonald's Japan, once said

"If we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde."

What's interesting is that all of the children in China knew the face of Ronald MacDonald, by the 1980's, claiming they  "liked Uncle MacDonald, because he was gentle, kind, and understood children's hearts."

And this just shows how Ronald MacDonald can be presented as a Jesus Christ, who's body is a hamburger and who's blood is coca-cola, and with a side of fries, this trinity of deliciousness is transformed into "the bread of life," and used to seduce children into eating it, by a guy dressed up like John Wayne Gacy.


Nouscide & The Need For Creating Words & Ideas

A person should never be afraid to make up a word, or capture an idea in a term of art, for in both instances we give a voice to the myriad voiceless nuances we swim  in.

For creating new words is like adding new colors to life, it is to design an idea that can be shared with the world with the ease of a whisper, and the power to change all of human history.

If we had never made a single new word, we could never have defined "genocide,"  which wasn't invented until 1944 when Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer, coined the term by combining the rooted words genos (Greek for family tribe or race) and -cide (Latin for killing).

And that's why the need to preserve languages is so important, because with the death of every language, is a little piece of an understanding of ourselves that no one else has; which is a kind of "nous-cide" ("nous" being Greek for mind or source of spiritual perception).


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

God is Jigsaw

If the Bible is true God, is a spoiled rotten child addicted to the video game Grand Theft Auto, but also the serial killer Jigsaw in the movie Saw.

And the world is not only that same video game, but is the elaborate yet macabre contraption designed to force all those who are born into it's hellish embrace, to appreciate their life through the fear and anguish that comes from being alive.

The only difference, of course, is that in the movie Saw, people at least had the chance of escaping with their life, while in this world, no one gets out alive, and some can only expect to be born into a far greater hell than the one they were dying to get out of.

How Pornography & Religion Objectify Humanity

Once St. Augustine had succeeded in slaking his lust for the prostitutes of Rome, he demonized women and sex to a degree that far surpassed anything the Catholic Church had ever concerned itself with, at least up until that point.

Augustine, in other words, was as fanatic a voice for the oppression and vilification of women and sex in his own time, as the Taliban or ISIS are today, even though the Catholic Church had never taken such an extremist view of either one during the days of St. Augustine.

Today, the Catholic Church largely bases its entire understanding, which is as medieval an understanding about sexuality as geo-centrism was of our solar system, on the writings of  men like St. Augustine, who not only seemed to take more pleasure in excoriating women than the Marquee de Sade, but who likewise enjoyed and lauded the use of torture to convert people to his own virulent brand of Catholicism, which was as steeped in its fear of women and hatred of human flesh as was alleged of Satan himself.

 That our consumerist economy now exploits our sexual instincts to sell everything and anything, is exploited in turn by modern day religious fanatics, who all point to just how right St. Augustine was, even though it was St. Augustine's vitriolic polemics agaisnt both sex and women that only served to objectify women as "evil" incarnate in the first place.

Of course, every good Catholic knows it is their god-fearing duty to deny such facts, lest they burn in hell as much as St. Augustine's loins no doubt burned for a return to the pleasures of Eden he found no where as much as in the brothels of Rome.

Those "good Catholics" also know it is their duty to everywhere denounce pornography as simply an objectification of women, which it clearly is to some degree, even as they know they must likewise everywhere deny that their own religion, like virtually all religions, does exactly the same thing, but in a far more subtle and manipulative way.

In both pornography and religion, people are reduced to simply means, not ends, which is essentially the same thing finance and economics does to people, turning each of us into simply a means of achieving something else, whether that "something else" is sexual gratification, salvation, wealth or growth, respectively, and so on.

While consumerism, pornography, banking and virtually every ism there is under the sun, all use people as the means by which they advance their own agendas, religion objectifies them doubly, by first casting humanity as broken by "original sin," and then by using humanity as the "means" by which the faithful obtain their salvation.

Such an idea conjures up images from a zombie movie, as if Christians would literally crawl over mounds of people, using them as mere rungs on their spiritual ladder, just to avoid hell and reach heaven. In fact, that's exactly what we saw in Viet Nam and Cambodia, with Americans clamoring onto helicopters even as they kicked people back into the "hell" America had helped to create, and was now leaving behind. 

In this way, even our most altruistic endeavors are always, at bottom, mere exercises in self interest, since religion teaches us to "love our fellow man," even if we don't really want to, because it is only by doing so that we win eternal heaven and avoid eternal hell. Who, then, without such a bribe and a threat, would bother to love anyone but themselves,  in a world run by the "love of money" and an economic ethos of survival of the fittest?

In such a world, what Catholic priest would die for an atheist, were it not for the hope of heaven and the dread of hell? Would Phil Robertson ever think to die for a homosexual, for anything less than an eternal reward for doing so, and the avoidance of eternal damnation? What arch Conservatives would ever dare to forsake their own sacred political views for those evil Liberals, and what arch Liberal would ever dare to do the same for a Conservative, but for the hope of avoiding hell and winning heaven?

It is in just such a world that our morality is determined by fashioning everyone as a means to our own ends, and nothing more. 

Christianity teaches people to believe that the best in life comes only after you die.