Saturday, March 28, 2009

The 'thing' is...

The thing that I detest about the Bible is how it is used by the wealthy by the church to maintain their wealth.

Whether there is a 'baby' to 'throw out with the bathwater', as far as 'the spiritual' is concerned has NOTHING to do with the wealthy and the church 'scratching each other's back'.

The Bible tells two stories. The first is about how the status quo came to be and ought to be maintained by religion.

The Jews trace their heritage, their ownership of their land back to the beginning of time through their God, who is the ultimate owner of everything. HE had, and still has the right to give and take away. HE gave the Hebrews, the Israelites, the Jews that land and only HE can take it away.

This is the Conservative Christian rant. Thoughout history, monarchs have been saying that God gave THEM their kingdoms for them to do with as they pleased.(with HIS guidance, of course.)

But EVERY Conservative Christian has 'the right' to THAT rant, everyone has the right to stand tall and say solemnly, that God gave him/her everything that they own and that only God has the right to take it away.

The Old Testament is that story of God's Chosen People and their trials and tribulations to aquire and sometimes lose the land that God gave them.

The 'thing' is, that it is just not true. I'm not denying the fact that Israelites owned that land for a period of time. I'm not denying that their stories are based on historical truth, as they remember it, when it comes to owning and losing control of that land.

What I AM denying is all the magical thinking that interweaves the stories, justifying genocide of the other inhabitants of that land and justifying their never ending ownership of it, whether they control it now or not.

Here, it is obvious to me that Christians adopted this magical thinking attitude towards any lands and wealth that they have owned, own now, and any that they may own in the future.

"God gave us this land!" (implying that as God ordained land owners they ought to 'call the shots' for everyone ON that land.)

It automatically excludes all non-believers from calling the land, or any part of the land 'theirs', obviously because if God gives and takes away land then unbelievers have no rights to it!

As the New Testament story 'testifies', the Jews God-given land is under the iron grip of the Roman Empire and the believers in Yahweh have not been able to control their God-given land for hundreds of years, the Jews have to have gotten something wrong if God is not willing to send a Messiah to cleanse their HOLY land (which God gave them) of these hideous unbelievers.

The thing is that reasonable people, kings(politicians) and priests alike can see that the only thing they can do is allow the invincible Roman Empire to rule through THEM, trying to keep their culture alive.

The priests might preach a coming Messiah because religious hope(magical thinking) is 'undying' by nature, but that Messiah BETTER ACTUALLY have GODLY powers, not just powers of persuasion which might get the Jewish nation 'put to the sword'.

Still, the priests could not stop itinerant preachers from convincing some of the population that they had magical powers, in fact 'THE POWER OF GOD'!

The New Testament is the story of one such iterinant preacher who had thought it throigh that owning a piece of land could not be the magical-thinking reason for the religion since, while they were still religious, while they sitll had God's promise, they hadn't actually owned the land for hundreds of years. Jesus made the 'move' from God's promise being an actual piece of land to a promise of a spiritual kingdom that could NEVER be taken away.

This is what makes religion palatable to the masses. The poorest of the poor can believe that they have God's kingdom in their hearts.

The wealthy can, with the masses appeased, and the collusion of the church, believe that they have rightful authority over God's land, their land, given to them since the beginning of time to do with as they wish.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once upon a time..

Once upon a time there was a God who wanted to be worshipped by everyone.

HE chose the descendants of Abraham as his vehicle to enter into the minds of everyone in the world.

HE gave Moses the LAW, the first and foremost being that Moses people should not worship any other gods on pain of death.

Moses people believed God and would put any of their people to death for not worshipping the one true God.

When Jesus preached that he was the Son of God and allowed people to worship him, the priests of God convicted Jesus of blasphemy and had him killed.

The people who worshipped Jesus said that the priests who had Jesus killed were wrong because God had just forgotten to mention that He was more of a 'three-in-one' God.

God tricked the descendants of Abraham's people into thinking that HE was just the one God when HE was actually a 'three-in-one' God and used HIS chosen people to sacrifice the Jesus part of HIMSELF to show that HE was not just God of the Jews, but God of everyone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I'm trying to convince Observant and Man_In_Wilderness that the Garden of Eden story is flawed.

The facts.

"Eden's location remains the subject of controversy and speculation among some Christians." (This is straight from Wikipedia, hence the link.)

"..some Christians see it as metaphorical."

I cannot understand how they could do that. Does that not make everything in the relationship between Man and God metaphorical?

If that's it then isn't 'God' just a metaphor for 'goodness' and they are essentially saying that if you're not 'good' then bad shit will fall on you?

I'm disputing the story of the Garden of Eden with it's two magical trees which God sets up as the de facto 'temptation' .

In the story, God LIES to Adam and Eve, telling them that they mustn't eat these fruits because they will 'surely die!'

Apparently God has fooled Satan into believing that the fruit has the power to make humans into Gods or at least knowing things that only Gods ought to know.

When Eve eats the apple, she wants Adam to share the blame for disobeying God. At this point the only thing that the fruit has done for Eve is to make her feel guilty about eating it.

It didn't kill her as God had promised, but it didn't give her any knowledge meant only for Gods or any Godly powers.

The only thing that Adam and Eve 'get' out of eating the fruit is the 'knowledge' that they ought to be ashamed of their nakedness. (But no they don't.)

Seems to me that the Bible could make the opposite case. Adam and Eve being the perfect, and only, human specimens could easily have shed their clothes and God could have come for a look and chastised them for NOT being ashamed of their bodies.

I think that there are a LOT of Christians, Jews and Muslims who would agree.

We can only imagine that the Serpent was feeling a tad 'gypped' too unless he also knew that the fruit had the one purpose of exposing God's lie that Adam and Eve would surely die if they ate of it.

If the story is metaphorical, in that it's a kid's story about how they ought to listen to their mother and father even if they suspect, or are even outrighi TOLD, that mom and dad are LYING to 'protect them' from mom and dad's WRATH and that, by the way, is a totally unforgivable breech of trust.

I'm not sure how Christians could slough off the story as a metaphor when that suits them then use details of this story to explain the entire basis FOR their religion when THAT suits them.

I'm sure that their doctrine is that God wouldn't lie, so any evidence that HE did lie has to be downplayed as metaphor, or the subject has to be changed to Jesus on the Cross but it's all part of the same story to me.

Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. We are all sinners because of original sin. The original sin was NOT BELIEVING God's lie that by eating the fruit, Adam and Eve would surely DIE!

I suppose that, speaking metaphorically, every absolute authority figure from drill sergeants to Stalin to the Pope would naturally be furious at being caught in a lie.

They'd all likely explain by PUNISHMENT that if you had only 'believed that lie' then they wouldn't have to be punishing you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stem cell HORROR!

Here's part of a comment by MIW from here:-

"I mean this murder of the innocent child being born, but not completely out of the mothers womb and then stick a needle in the back of the child’s head and suck the stem cells out and still call themselves a human being much less a Christian."

Okay, MIW and whatever emailed drivel he's reading, is conflating 'stem cell research' with 'brain stem cell research'.

Brain stem cell research is where evil doctors suck the cells out of partially born babies' brain stems. It stands to reason that stem cells have to come from somewhere, right? They MUST come from babies' brain stems.

The horror story that they have concocted is delicious in it's evilicousness. Where are all these would-be mothers who are willing to carry their fetus to term only to have an evil doctor suck it's brain stem cells out?

Can you not picture that horrific scene? The mother is puffing away and squeezing the baby out and the doctor says (as they are prone to saying, "Stop pushing, I see the head!"

He gently reaches down under the sheet and shuffles around. The mother is curious, then shifty-eyed, then a little scared. Suddenly the doctor brings up a gynormous hypodermic dripping with tiny crawly brain stemy life, and the mother screams!

The doctor laughs, "Obamas new rule! We can save some good socialist lives with your baby's brain stem cells. Don't worry, you can have ANOTHER baby!"

The mother passes out as the doctor pulls the dead baby out and tosses it's lifeless (and stem cellless?) little body through a basket-ball hoop and into a garbage bucket, shouting with glee, "Three points!"

Those evil abortionists! MIW is being quite righteous spreading this lie. Abortion is never mentioned as being part of God's plan.

Definition of stem cell research:= cytoblastphemy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Strawman atheist or what?

Brad says, " I believe he said one who (i) makes a truth claim about there being no consciousness after death, yet (ii) holds proof as the measure of truth and thus required in any truth claim, is acting hypocritical for making a truth claim that necessarily can't have any evidential basis in this world."

Well, that is your straw-man. Who, in their right mind would wiggle themselves into a situation where any claim they make is a particular 'truth claim' that REQUIRES proof in situations where proof is impossible?

cl might wiggle a 'theoretical' atheist that he is 'challenging' into such a situation though, right?"

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Challenge!

Public Challenge To Atheists: Why Believe In What Can Only Prove False?

Every now and again I meditate on the fact that the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. By atheist / naturalist / materialist position, I mean the Epicurean idea that death entails the complete and final cessation of consciousness - that after we die, there will be no more thought, no more experience, no more anything.One of the many disadvantages of this world view is that no other option can potentially befall it other than falsification.

That is to say, even if this position is correct, we can never prove it, for how could we ever be conscious of the cessation of consciousness to prove that such was indeed the case? You need consciousness to prove anything, and indeed, the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. It can only prove false, because if even one iota of consciousness continues in any form after death, the idea is effectively bunk. And so the challenge is for any atheist, naturalist or materialist to satiate my curiosity by reasonably or at least politely answering the following questions: Why believe in an idea whose only possible empirical verification is disproof? What of the hypocrisy in committing yourself to a position that claims to rely on proof as the highest measure of truth when the position itself cannot possibly be proven? you go, 'cl' is challenging you to prove a negative, and he's calling you a hypocrite TO BOOT!

Sic' em!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Existence! What does it mean to you?

I always supposed that this was an easy one that we could all agree on. Turns out that there is a crucial difference between what we imagine is plainly obvious when we're talking about things such as tables and chairs, plants and animals, rocks and air and other 'stuff' that can be said to exist..

How about space though? And time?

Most folk will agree that existence is a state, as in the sixth definition of the word here:-

6. form: any form or quantifiable condition in which a physical substance can be, depending on its temperature and other circumstances.

Trust me the other definitions have to do with land boundaries and mental and physical messes.

But of course we'd be comparing things in a state of existence with things that used to exist which would make the existence of particular things a process, a process that ends.

And there's the other option of comparing things that exist to things that don't exist at all. Non-existent things still kind of exist as ideas, characters and objects in books and such.

That's where things take a sharp left into the Twilight Zone. That's where, if you are a Christian, you can go to a church meeting and swear that you saw Jesus, four hundred feet tall, standing in a field telling you that you must succeed in your effort to collect money for some project and the people listening to you HAVE TO believe you!(at least in their capacity as Christians they do.)

Common sense can fly right out the window at the drop of the proverbial hat. Their God exists through all time yet outside of all time, which is a special meaning of the word existence reserved for non-existent things.

Now, if you are a religious philosopher at heart you will no doubt have your special meaning of the word which CAN include the gods or the avatars ot 'the God' that you believe in. No doubt you'll be screaming 'red flag' and 'epistemological nightmare' and drivel like this even though you'd laugh with me at the idea of a four hundred foot Jesus!

Can we really know things? Can we be certain that we can't be certain of anything?

I think that we can be certain of quite a lot of things. Just right off the top of my head, I am certain that I am going to die, I will one day, in fact, cease to exist.

When I started following the arguments set out by Dinesh D'Souza's allies and other Christians using his blog for their own agenda I was sure that there were two words with two meanings. Existence, what we all know about things inside our Universe, and existance, everything including imaginary realms that we can never 'get to' at least while we're alive.

But no, it was just a misspelling, an alternate spelling.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I believe.

(This one's for oneblood, who has somehow managed to not notice me ranting about my beliefs before.)

I believe that I am a streaming consciousness. My streaming consciousness tells me that I am a human being. I believe that my streaming consciousness is connected to my body via my nervous system and my conciousness of my body and it's surroundings is created by my nervous system as multiple feedback loops from my extremities and my senses.

I believe that if there were no consciousness in the universe it would keep doing what it is doing and that processes in the universe were responsible for all life including mine.

Space, time or space-time, matter and energy or matter-energy are what we call existence(in general) and any space and/or matter exists in this existence, space, time and energy ALWAYS being present whether there is matter filling a particular space at a particular time or not.

I believe that there is no space with exactly no time passing and with exactly no energy passing through it.

I believe that the universe is OBJECTIVE REALITY, no being is 'thinking' this universe 'subjectively' into being or ever 'thought' this universe into existence.

I believe that I exist as part of this REALITY and I will continue to exist as a body until it decays, is eaten or is burned.

I believe that my streaming consciousness will continue to exist until it dies.

I believe that my brain is equipped to operate feedback loops, memorize and recall them and build a conscious identity, me, which includes all my internal feedback loops and all incoming senses, in the sense that I KNOW that I am hearing something, or seeing something etc.

This includes knowing when my nerves are misfiring in my ears(high pitched note) not from an external source, or when my feedback loop to my eyes is projecting a 'random' image on the back of my eyelids.

I believe that I learned to interact with my guardians and siblings experimenting with language etc. in several stages called 'growing up'.(write that down).

I believe that when we are very young we learn that we have some trivial choices.

I believe that we learn from our environment (parents etc.) that other people are devious and that we are easily tricked, if only by learning humor and how we can be surprised by 'disappearing' objects, words not meaning what we expect them to mean, being talked down to, being fooled in general, being misled and outright lied to.

We are given clues to be shy about the mysterious 'adult only' things like sex, drinking, drugs and taught to be disgusted by bodily functions and local taboos.

It is in this environment of mysterious taboos, mysterious purposes and mysterious meanings that we learn about the ideas of spirituality and religion.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Ungodly Evil Temple of Evil

All liberals, socialists, atheists, agnostics ought to join a Temple of Evil!

There are no gods to worship!

We could pretend to drink Unholy blood!(actually it would be wine!

We could pretend to eat Unholy flesh!(pizza!)

Drink Unholy PEE!(beer)

Sing favorite Unhymns by classic rock bands.

Sacred Unholy smoke! (Don't tell me you don't know what I'm getting at!)

We would proselytize small business, encouraging them to hire temple members and trade each other's services!

We would make it a POINT that Godly people can just FUCK OFF!

In fact our motto would BE, 'FUCK OFF, Godly people!

We'd need to convince the Godly that they're not welcom by giving ourselves Ungodly names, like Brother Baal, Sister Morlech and suggesting that a right of passage into the temple was to eat an unborn(a raw egg!)

Who is there to tell us that we do not have epistemic warrant?

PLUS, atheists always seem to have the 'herding cats' problem!

Well, no more! Create an Ungodly Evil Temple of Evil and PARTY ON! (tax free)