This one’s from the Christian Post
I once read where the proprietor of a business shared a hypothetical with his staff. He said, “Suppose a young man was to buy a very costly diamond ring and send it to his fiancée, putting it inside a little case that the jeweler threw in for free. Imagine how disappointed and dismayed he might be if, when meeting her several days afterward, she said, ‘Sweetheart, that was a beautiful box you sent to me. I loved it so much that I promise to keep it wrapped in a safe place so that no harm should ever come to it.’”
“Outrageous, you might think. She neglects the diamond for the little box that contained it. Just as foolish,” said the proprietor, “are those who spend all their time and thought on matters that pertain to the body, which is only a case containing the diamond, the real self, the soul, which the Scriptures teach persists long after the body crumbles to dust.”
She may not be so foolish.
A diamond is beautiful, it however has little purpose as a jewel apart from decoration. A box? A box has uses. It is just that our society has reached a stage where shiny rocks have more value than tools. This is not a bad thing, it is just a product of technology making our lives easier.
And this is a common claim. See I prefer nourishing the mind. Sure that is a part of the physical body but I don’t believe an immortal soul exists. Mainly because I have seen enough people injured in tragic motor cycle accidents to know that the human soul is an illusion. It is a hope that our minds live on after our death. Sadly as anyone who has suffered a blow to the head or indeed drunk a copious amount of alcohol would tell you, the mind is a physical entiity that can be affected by physical changes.
The wish to live for ever via a soul is a human fable. No different from a man who brings the world toys (or at least the parts of the world where children’s parents are rich enough!) for Christmas. A lie that we tell ourselves to shield ourselves from knowing that we are alive for only so long. I do not think we need that lie, but if that lie brings comfort and consolation to others? Then that’s their choice. I choose to not believe in the lie and in that I find freedom to create heaven at my feet. The little pieces of heaven are why we endure every day and are what make life worthwhile.
Be it a nice meal. A joke. The TV. Or friends or even the woman (or man) you love. You wish to sell me of a bliss greater than that? Maybe in my mind I cannot see anything better than this, or maybe I don’t think anything that asks me to give up these things is a better heaven. We think of heaven as eternity, but even eternity is dull.
Without loss there can be no victory. Without pain there can be no pleasure to compare it to. If you haven’t experienced heat you will not understand why a cold drink is “just the thing”. And that is why heaven is a construct of wishful thinking. It is a wish akin to that made on a monkey’s paw. Poorly thought out with tragic consequences. To those who suffer? It may seem like a great reward, and there in lies its role.
It is Lenny and George’s Farmhouse. A lie or a dream told to those who suffer to alleviate and justify their pain. A diamond. Carbon with pretentions, worn as jewellery rather than its remarkable properties as the hardest substance we know of.
I think this is like living a life free of scuffs and bumps and eventually dying and have nothing to show for it. I can say I have done things. Stupid things. Good things. Beautiful things. Life is for living, death is for the dead. Telling people that they can live after they die is just sad.
Jesus spoke of our proclivity to live in this fashion. He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). He asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). In his parable of the rich fool, Jesus talks about a man who invested his entire life in his estate, but neglected matters of the soul, only to enter into God’s presence unprepared to meet him and his judgment (Luke 12:13-21).
Jesus also said slaves should shut up and obey their masters.
Not all that wise as a man he was. I think I know what the problem is here.
You see impermanence as a flaw. I see it as a virtue. To you, a Sandcastle is a waste. To me? Transient but beautiful and any event done that makes you feel happy is time well spent no matter how frivolous it is.
We possess a deadly bent toward focusing on the temporal, while neglecting the most important, the eternal. We naturally gravitate in the direction of what satisfies the senses, while overlooking the most important, such as matters related to character.
And here lies the problem with religion. When you truly believe that a single way is the ideal and that if you do this precisely you will attain Nirvana (I mean Heaven!) then you have clouded your mind to other possibilities. Particularly the most important one.
What if I am doing the wrong thing.
The assumption that a secular or a non-Christian life is one of a lack of character is frankly abhorrent. It is why “the good Christian” stereotype exists. It is by this principle thousands of children were molested. The priest touches up kids? Cannot be! He is a good Christian! You are a wicked liar.
Your character is determined by your actions. A man is judged by his deeds, not by how many gods he holds dear or how many times he prays. Whether you are kind, gentle or help others, that is what is important. How you behave irrespective of the gods you choose to hold dear.
This frailty is reflected on numerous personal levels. But it is also seen in our national life in the way we concentrate so much time and energy on issues that impact the economy, forgetting the necessity of commitment to strong values that sustain and make an economy prosper.
And let me guess? Those are low taxation, poor wages and no healthcare?
Few people ever question why Western Civilization has experienced so much abundance in comparison to poorer nations around the world. The reason is inextricably connected to Christianity. The Bible says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). What individuals believe, what nations believe has everything to do with their essence and determines whether they grow, multiply, and succeed.
And here we come to the crux of my argument.
It is simple. The USA and most western nations are built on piracy. Due to a period where they acquired the lands of technologically less developed nations they were able to fund their home colonies using a massive influx of cheap raw materials and manpower effectively setting fire to third world nations. The USA has done that quite recently even. Oh many people will be shocked but remember the Philippines was an American Colony and the revolt there cost nearly a million lives at the hands of American Soldiers. Your history is just as cruel as my country’s. At least the UK didn’t name things after General Dyer but the USA? It rewarded those massacres. And this is without the spectre of slavery and the broken treaties to the Native Americans.
No. I am afraid this is a lie, told to make you feel good as a white prosperous Christian. That your wealth was provided by divine providence rather than the work of others.
This lie is harmful, because it lets the upper class think that such wealth was provided by divine providence and so mistreat their workers. And the lie tells the workers that if they too endure all that, they too can have Millions if they just pray hard enough.
Marx called religion the Opiate of the Masses. Because opiates are addictive and because they ease the pain of life. The harsh truth here is that the USA and most of the Western World developed their natural resources at the cost of other people’s lives. And that the technological prowess was due to this wealth which enabled men of leisure to take part in the sciences and mathematics. In addition? Due to colonialism, a lot of knowledge and educational prowess was simply ignored.
My examples are “No Nobel Prize for Gandhi”, “The Tragedy of Ramanujam” and “Bose”. Gandhi (arguably the greatest peace maker out there and an inspiration for billions) never got a peace prize. Ramanujam would have never been recognised if not for someone in the UK seeing numbers rather than skin colour and Bose’s papers were only read because Einstein read them first. The scientific prowess of non-white writers has long been ignored.
And this argument falls over when we look at the religion of most of Africa and South America. Poverty exists despite Christianity. I am sure they aren’t “true” Christians or aren’t as holy as thou.
I served as a short-term missionary to India on three different occasions and saw this principle worked-out first-hand. India’s economy has been stagnated for centuries. Though I do not mean to disparage that beautiful country, it cannot be denied the two prominent religions, Hinduism and Islam, hold the nation back. Hunger is rampant in India, but not because they don’t have enough food. Hinduism teaches that people who die come back as animals. There are plenty of cows and pigs that roam the streets freely, but no one will slaughter them, even if their child’s belly is bloated with malnutrition. Moreover, two hundred million “sacred cows,” eat up enough food to feed seven people, taking enough sustenance that could feed as many as 1.4 billion. Neither will they kill the mice and rats that devour much of the grain. For those who have embraced Islam, the fatalism of that religion stifles human progress by telling them Allah has fated all that there is and human initiative amounts to nothing. False religion has a stranglehold on their hope for a better future.
Ah yes! The Missionary. The fist of the colonial power is not its killing of your village but the robbing of its soul by destroying your beliefs and replacing it ones that make you docile and believe that you are inferior.
You may wonder how I have this thought despite being British and being proud of my country. It is quite simple. I am British as an equal. My parents were not. There are still inequalities out there but the halcyon days of having to punch some goose stepping skin head with swastika tattoos on your way to school are all but dead.
But the missionary in India? A simple example of the damage they have done is the notion that black is bad. White is good. Countless women and men bleach and poison their skin to achieve a fair look. To be more “white” like the ideal pushed on them.
And the joke here is? As an ex-Hindu I have had enough contact with missionaries who wished to convert me to know enough about Christianity. Can the Missionaries say the same about Hinduism or Islam? I doubt it.
Poverty in India is due to people in the west. Don’t look so shocked! We are all to blame. See we had a green revolution coupled with massive industrialisation leading to the desolation of our farmer’s population. Less than 5% of our population is involved with farming.
India has nearly 70%. Which means labour intensive farming practices. Which means high costs. Which often means that it is cheaper to go to the USA, buy food and ship it to India than to grow food. Many farmers are subsistence farmers and irrigation is reliant on rain. So your food subsidies that give you cheap food and a strategic reserve drop the price of food to the point that the locals cannot compete. Secondly? Small plots mean small profits. And finally? Global warming has effectively started causing more and more monsoon failures.
The crippling poverty of India is due to a long socio-economic process of feudalism similar to the famines of Ireland and Russia which were “really Christian”. Unlike those there were no events causing a urban demographic shift. India’s shift is slow unlike China’s so you still see chronic malnourishment.
It has nothing to do with not eating cows. Frankly? This is just insulting. As a charity effort? This is what I dislike about Missionaries. Idiots who think that “If only they converted, all their problems would be solved”. Well look at Africa.
And India’s malnourishment is the issue of chronic malnourishment. Low calorie and inferior diets. As for the unwillingness to slaughter cows? It is quite simple. Why do you not slaughter your cats or your dogs? That’s the same reason. ANd please don’t look so smug. I am educated enough in Americana to know what a “Double Down Burger” is.
I have seen your fellow man torture themselves to eat. You don’t think we know what a Honey Boo Boo is or don’t get TLC? Newsflash. We do.
And we have seen Man Versus Food. Do you know what is sick? That you attribute such excess to your faith in a god rather than science and economics that you could afford. That you can have someone eat to the point of physical pain and claim that it is due to believing in a different imaginary being.
And you lack that even. See? You are utilising the Vegan’s Farm argument. The notion fails. Cows and Pigs do not eat human food except for Temple Cows and even they eat food like pigs traditionally ate human food. You never fed pigs a three course meal of human food. You fed them scraps. Left overs. The refrigerator killed the family pig because we don’t really have leftovers any more. Do you think we fed our pigs potatoes? Or potato skins? Rice or rice husks? Maybe in the USA, but I know why they can do that. You produce so much food that if the food was released the price would crash. So the food is used as aid, strategic reserve and destroyed. Some of it is destroyed by feeding it to cows and pigs rather than setting it on fire because no one can eat it and no one can store it.
I have no problems with that. As we see food production increase and become more efficient the developed nations will not need to do that. However? Only an idiot thinks he can eat grass or rice plants rather than the processed grain. I don’t think they teach this in “Missionary School”, I think they teach a lot of things about trying to get people to like your particular god but little about why and how people actually do things. Kismet and Karma don’t mean these things.
A simple debunking of this idiotic notion. The Rats. What he speaks of is the Rat Temple of India. A SINGLE temple. Outside of that? Rats are vermin and killed on sight. And unlike the west, Indians are much more pragmatic. ANYTHING that kills rats is used. Poison? Snakes? Dogs? Cats? Eagles? Hitting them with rocks? You name it people try it. I have never heard of any farmer who does not try and keep the rats down. The problem is? Population and Hygiene. No proper disposal systems create small trash dumps that create rat populations. Oh these rats exist in the west in the cities too. Its just that we have city wide pest control to keep their numbers down and they mainly hide from human sight in garbage and sewers. Indian rats are just a lot less hidden away.
A simple point of case? One of the most common ways Indian Farmers kill themselves is via ingesting poison. Either pesticide or rat poison. I repeat, this is a missionary who does my job who doesn’t even know this.
So the affluence of a people doesn’t simply rest with the presence of natural resources as many seem to think. There are plenty of countries that have considerably less natural resources that are more prosperous than those who have more natural resources, but are still not as prosperous. The factor determining wealth is connected more to a people’s belief system than anything else.
Which is why the UAE is such a poor place!
The numerous ways adherence to Christian principles has catapulted the West forward economically are too many to mention in an article as short as this one. Nevertheless, author John Chamberlain in “The Roots of Capitalism” touched on some of the most important in the following quote. He wrote:
If we look at the UK and the USA the most universally upwardly mobile, law abiding, educated and well off group include Indians. In the UK? The same. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with environment and opportunities and what can be achieved within those. And the existence of Ireland during the 1900s is indicative that poverty exists irrespective of your gods.
And this is just a stop gap. An attempt to drum up more idiot missionaries to travel to the ignorant superstitious people of India and convert them into people who believe in an entirely different but more acceptable superstition.
“‘Thou shalt not steal’ means that the Bible countenances private property – for if a thing is owned in the first place it can scarcely be stolen. ‘Thou shalt not covet’ means that it is sinful to even contemplate the seizure of another man’s goods – which is something Socialists, whether Christian or otherwise, have never managed to explain away. Furthermore, the prohibitions against false witness and adultery mean that contracts should be honored and double-dealing eschewed. As for the Commandment to ‘honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long,’ this implies that the family, not the State, is the basic continuing unit and constitutive element of society.”
John Chamberlain is a fucking Idiot if he thinks that theft ass a crime didn’t exist prior to Christianity.
It is awfully hard to build civilisations let alone super powers as the Chinese, Indians, Rome, Greece, Egypt and Meso Americans did without laws against theft. I am afraid personal property is much older than the Bible as we have seen in burial goods which included bows and arrows which indicate a personal possession.
And as for “honouring thy parents”, that we shall turn to Hinduism. Whose rules with regards to the duty of the first son mean that he has to care for his parents. That it is the duty of children to care for their parents. More than “simple honouring parents”.
Get on our level mate!
Or you know? You can respect your parents if they deserve it and treat them like human beings.
In other words, Chamberlain is saying Christian character is the very foundation for fortune.
Unlike that Jesus bloke. But what does he know?
In 1992, James Carville coined a campaign slogan for Bill Clinton’s presidential run, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That phrase has long represented the current emphasis. Whether personal or national, it’s the pursuit of gain devoid of the chase for moral strength that’s driving us closer and closer to economic despair.
No. It was deregulation of personal and private banking by the Clinton administration followed by the monetisation of debt as mixed securities creating a situation of “Deal or No Deal” that created this mess. If it were up to Christianity we would have no banks and there would be no mobility of business as offering credit would not be profitable. The entire banking sector would stagnate outside of loans provided by Hindus and Jews (remember, Muslims have issues with it too).
Not “lack of moral strength”.
We love our little boxes, but not the diamond of a right relationship with God. We cannot serve both God and money, either we will hate one and love the other (Matthew 6:24). May God grant us to see our greatest need for economic reform is directly related to our need for transformation of the soul.
May simple economic common sense tell you that sensible regulation of investment banking, control on debt transfer and securities and job creation schemes are what will help the economy rather than praying to a god that thinks loans are bad things.
In short? This is precisely the problem with Missionaries. You get some kid who read on book and thinks he knows everything being sent into a hostile environment where rather than bringing any useful skills he brings a book of irrelevant superstitious tales while telling other people to ignore theirs. What you do, is harm. If a Muslim came to your schools and told you that your gods were false and that you should be reading the Koran you would get angry. Yet you do the same to others.
What you have shown is the deep ignorance of Missionaries and those who support them, the lack of respect for other cultures and the lack of knowledge pertaining to anything but spreading your religion rather than actually helping people.
While I am no Hindu, I recognise the damage caused through cultural imperialism and a lack of respect for other cultures.