|Hint… You are wrong|
In a stunning move the christian’s have begun the annual battle for Christmas with a sneak attack in April.
This Easter it seems that atheists have a lot to rejoice about. According to the latest poll released by the U.S. Census Bureau in its American Religious Identification Survey, the number of self-proclaimed atheists in America has nearly doubled since 2001 — from 900,000 to 1.6 million.
In a nation that once prided itself on its Judeo-Christian heritage, one out of every five Americans now claims no religious identity whatsoever; and the number of self-proclaimed Christians has declined by a whopping 15%.
I thought as a nation the USA prided itself on being secular and being borne out of a need to avoid religious persecution and the idea that a man’s god or lack there off is a personal belief. And I am pretty sure the doubling of atheist numbers does not mean that 1 in 5 people have no religious identity. Unless the USA has only 8 million people in it.
We can’t reduce the whole of reality to what our senses tell us for the simple reason that our senses are notorious for lying to us. Our senses tell us that the world is flat, and yet it’s not. Our senses tell us that the world is chaotic, and yet we know that on both a micro and a macro level, it’s incredibly organized. Our senses tell us that we’re stationary, and yet we’re really moving at incredible speeds. We just can’t see it.
We cannot. Which is why we have experimentation. We thought the world was flat millennia ago. Seriously we knew the world was a sphere due to some very very elegant mathematics and observations.
We build tools to analyse at a micro and a macro level. What Stephano is trying to pull is a “god of the gaps” argument. It is at it’s heart a request to “Beware, you who seek first and final principles, for you are trampling the garden of an angry God and he awaits you just beyond the last theorem.”
And if you cannot understand relative velocity then you are completely lost. All of us are on the planet earth which is moving at X velocity. However we too are moving at X velocity held on by the gravity of the earth which is caused by “fancy physics” that I will not explain for fear of getting it wrong as I am a biologist and medic at heart rather than a man of mathematics and mechanics. Since both of us are moving at the same speed, the relative velocity is “Zero”. However if we compared our velocity to the Sun, we are whipping around at a fairly sprightly pace.
But the most important things in life can’t be seen with the eyes. Ideas can’t be seen. Love can’t be seen. Honor can’t be seen. This isn’t a new concept. Judaism and Christianity and Islam and Buddhism have all taught for thousands of years that the highest forms of reality are invisible and mysterious. And these realities will never be reducible to clear-cut scientific formulae for the simple reason that they will never be fully comprehensible to the human mind. God didn’t mean them to be.
Buddhism has not taught that. Buddhism has taught that the greatest principles of creation are available to a man willing to diligently pursue the truth. The buddha himself (Siddartha Gauthama) was an atheist/deist and would have laughed at your ideas.
Ideas can be seen. Love can be seen. You can literally take an MRI of people using their brains to solve puzzles and chart ideas. You can take MRIs of people in love and see how their brain works. It is chemical, but that does not make it less amazing. Would you rather think that love is driven by the arrows fired by some fat baby or by awesome biology? What a boring idea! That Ideas and Love cannot be seen.
Honour is a product of society, not that of religion. It is the expected protocol of people. There is no difference from the twisted sense of honour possessed by the Empire of Japan during WW2 which caused them to butcher and enslave millions than the one you claim. Both are constructs, we are better to base our “honour” on principles of logic and reason and humanity than that of religion.
Too many people go through life today with their eyes closed. They miss out on the mysterious because they’re so fixated on what they can see and smell and touch and taste and hear. They’re so steeped in the “superstition of materialism” that they’re totally blind to the existence of another world — a radically different world than the one they’re familiar with, but a world nonetheless: a world of miracles, a world of grace, a world of angels, a world of diabolical warfare, a world where the highest values are completely opposite from those of our secular society — where weakness equals strength, sacrifice equals salvation, and suffering equals unlimited power.
It is we who go through the world with our eyes open. We don’t require a fantasy world to exist in to bring us happiness. It’s highly delusional and highly childish. If a child believed in Narnia we would quietly nod our heads and slowly encourage him to live in the real world. Why should we treat heaven differently. There is no grace in Stephano’s world view, only that of a parasite who leeches of the achievements of the rest of humanity in order to live in a private fantasy. If he stated that he lived in the world of Conan the Barbarian and sought the answer to the Riddle of Steel we would try to get him committed to an asylum. Because he believes in an culturally appropriate delusion (AKA Christianity) he is allowed to write for USA Today, while I am forced to write for a tiny blog in the middle of nowhere. The roles should be reversed
But is it wishful thinking to believe in hell, the devil and demons? Is it wishful thinking to believe we’re going to be judged and held accountable for every sin we’ve ever committed? Is it wishful thinking to believe the best way to live our life is to sacrifice our own desires for the sake of others? Is it wishful thinking to believe that we should discipline our natural bodily urges for the sake of some unseen “kingdom”?
Yes it is. If you really truly believed in “sacrificing your life” you wouldn’t be an author of spiritual books living a comfortable lifestyle. You would give it all away to charity and go serve the people of this world.
Your natural bodily urges? Such as what? Those aren’t natural urges in human society. Our rules stem from our society rather than from our faith. Rules came first, religion second. Rules in a society make society run smoothly and smooth running non fractitious society is stronger. 10 men with the same idea in mind can defeat 10 men who are constantly squabbling. Rules are made to stop the 10 men from squabbling with each other.
If human beings were going to invent a religion based on wishful thinking, they could come up with something a lot “easier” than Christianity. After all, why not wish for a religion that promised eternal life in heaven, but at the same time allowed promiscuous sex, encouraged gluttony, did away with all the commandments, and forbade anyone to ever mention the idea of judgment and punishment?
Because religion is a whip. It needs to have punishment so that people follow it. It thrives on misery and the best way to generate misery is to make the normal behaviour of humans not permissible. You cannot control human beings without the threat of punishment.
Why is promiscuous sex wrong? Because it’s fun? Because God says so? Why?
Gluttony is wrong because you will get fat and indeed gluttony is only mentioned in one paragraph as a warning that if you live solely for consumption then you may end up without one day.
Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense? And yet, atheists persist in this ridiculous notion that human beings “invented” God merely because we’re afraid of death and want to see our dead relatives again. Amazing.
My old faith is Hinduism. One of the most surprising things about it is it’s age.
The civilisation dates back to 3000 BC. That seal is an image of Shiva. Hinduism is nearly 5000 years old. A full 3000 years older than Christianity. Why should we assume Christianity is the true faith? Why not follow Hinduism? It’s a large religion and an older one than even Judaism. It thinks Christianity is a load of horse manure.
We invented gods and spirits to explain that which could not be explained. In the darkest of nights when we first made our steps out towards the lofty height we have reached now the dark held real and unreal terrors for us. We were scared. We made up stories of the dark and of the forces which we could not control. Thor is now nothing more than lightning. The very principle of lightning boggles the reality of Thor. As we speak I am posting using tamed lightning
Your god is a small god. A tiny one. The universe is far more impressive than your imagination. A single bacteria has more complexity than your entire philosophy. And we should not hold to such a security blanket.
Jesus didn’t rise. Shiva will not dance. Moses did not cast down stone tablets. These are stories and fables. Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and every religion out there are just that. Not real.
Although one good thing that comes out of Easter….
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