Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HONEST TO GOD?

According to a recent Harris-Decima survey, 23% of Canadians, roughly 7.6 Million people, DO NOT believe in a god.. any GOD.

A new ad campaign has arrived from the Motherland that is aimed at opening up a discussion on religion.

This is the controversial bus banner.

However only 8% of Americans DO NOT believe in a god, and the other 92% presumably are convinced that they believe in THE GOD.

My guess is that 92% of the 92% of the Believers in America are not interested in researching the origin of THE GOD.

Paleo-Anthropologists and Geneticists tell us that Homo Escapeons have been in their present form for for atleast 140,000 years...all of our DNA can be traced back to Mitochondrial Eve, our most recent common ancestor, who lived somewhere in Eastern Africa. This is a maternal pathway and she wasn't the only female alive at the time...the Eve part is purely metaphorical to emphasize a start date.

So why do you suppose that THE ONE TRUE HONEST-TO-GOD GOD wait so long to introduce itself?

He waited for more than 100,000 years before appearing to the...
Hindus @ 1500ish BCE ?
Confucianists & Buddhists @ 500ish BCE ?
Jews @ 600ish BCE ?
Christians @ 30ish?
Muslims @ 600ish ?
Sikhs 1500ish ?
Mormons @ 1800's
Scientologists @ 1950's

Hmm.

What exactly did GOD have against the millions of Human Guinea Pigs who lived out their lives before he introduced himself to his new favorite group?
Did he just notice one day that we Humans were performing unspeakable acts of cruelty upon each other and think," D'OH! I had better go back down and see if I can clean up this mess."

It is safe to say that all of these Religions started somewhere with someone..

so let us not split any hairs and agree that they are all essentially manmade.
This simple fact is what started my re-dedication to AGNOSTICA over ten years ago.


I cannot say for certain whether a god or THE GOD exists or not, but I have been convinced that Homo Escapeons created all of the current reigning GODS in our own image.
..and yes, perhaps it was out of necessity. They all seem awfully Human. One would imagine that an entity capable of structing the universe on a sub-atomic level wouldn't have much to be jealous about?


Prehistoric people didn't know that vertebrates are formed as default female (ergo Men are Mutants)..if they had, it would have made perfect sense for the females to run the show and they would have invented the GODDESS.

Life would be totally different if the men had not usurped the female's natural role as the dominant gender. I doubt whether anyone would care to argue about how the males have made this world a living hell for billions of people who lived before us.


So, don't you think that it's time that the next generation deserves to be taught comparitive religion from a purely historical perspective?
Why wouldn't we teach it with the same matter of fact methodology that we employ when we offer instruction on Language or Math?


Why do we still let people (especially parents) play fast and loose with
THIS during the child's formative years?

Why are we still hanging on to the past? What is so scary about not having a prefab, made-up, explanation concerning WHY we are here? Most of us don't understand how our cars, stereos, or computers actually work but we don't lose any sleep over it.


We don't wiggle around with the basics when we teach other subjects why can't we stop this cycle?

44 comments:

  1. YAY first!

    My parents tried to make me believe in god - a god. Obviously the one they believe in. It was never a question.

    I think it was because they, themselves needed to believe there was something out there. Something divine. They don't care if it came from France, somewhere in Africa or if Bette Midler cooked it up in her childhood home in Hawaii.

    They needed to believe in something that would make it all seem that much easier. My middle brother died when I was 5 and they needed something to tell them everything would be fine. Which of course it never will, but that's neither here nor there.

    It was a good story, which made it seem like my brother was taken good care of in the heavens and all that. I think it prevented my mother from going insane. So for that I thank religion and God.

    I'm not a believer because if you think about it. Then God took my brother away - why would he do such a cruel thing if he is all about love?

    Ramble over.

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  2. I must confess the whole argument is meaningless to me. I am perfectly certain in my own mind of the non-existence of any and all gods. This is probably the result of a completely religion-free upbringing: the topic of religion was simply unimportant in my house. I suppose the immediate realities of milking cows and collecting eggs were rather more relevant.

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  3. You see, I have some issues with this little time-line thingy at the top - issues which I think accurately reflect the weaknesses of a purely historical study of religion. (There are some niggling little things, like the fact that Buddhism seems to have miraculously appeared in Japan some couple of hundred years before it actually did, Jews seem to have completely disappeared from existence, as does 'hinduism' at some point etc, etc.) Obviously this analysis is based upon the 'religion' of the ruling powers at the time, which is such a load of balls. Historical studies of religion tend to be fixed more on the military expansion and legislation of empires that adopt specific religiosities rather than what those religions are or how they interacted on a day-to-day basis.

    Another issue is this concept of the 'founder'. I don't get why Krishna is picked out as the 'founder' of Hinduism (which certainly didn't exist as an 'all-india' phenomenon until the 19th century, in my opinion.) Krishna was by no means the first manifestation of Vishnu, nor is he the last, and he is certainly not 'The God' of 'Hinduism'. Moreover, from an Historical perspective, Abraham did not invent Judaism hook, line and sinker, and his descendants were still arsing around trying to decide what they were all about for centuries afterwards. Same with the Buddha. Same with most 'founders', in fact. I reckon Jesus would be most surprised to see what passes as Christianity these days.

    Just because all the green bits are ruled by Muslims, doesn't mean that they are all Muslims. Just because the Mughals were Muslim didn't mean that 'Hindus' vanished from northern India. Why isn't there a big black hole in the middle of China when Mao tried to systematically destroy Buddhist authority? Sigh. Gets my goat.

    The trouble with over-emphasising an historical study of religion is that it imposes beginnings, middles and endings onto things that just don't exist as concrete entities or continuing narratives. Of course we should put religions into their historical context, but this should be a starting point for a more anthropological/sociological study - what ARE religions and how do they affect REAL lives? DO they have structure or practice? How do they interact and mingle? And, where appropriate, how do these practical elements relate to the 'official' doctrine or theology - how do the abstract justifications of religious practice work? This is good and useful. The History of Religion is just one facet in the History of Human Civilisation. It can't be studied on its own as a separate phenomenon.

    The most silly thing about this map (which addresses your delayed-revelation issues) is that it completely ignores the pre-existing religious systems of these areas. Judaism didn't leap out of a religious void. Every civilisation has had religious systems of some kind, and I reckon all of these so-called world religions have grown out of these more localised/tribal religions. They all had deities and spirits and methods of understanding the world, which is perhaps evidence of our inherent awareness of (or wish for) an 'OTHERNESS', a transcendental. God, or whatever you want to call it. Scientologists are not so weird you know.

    OK, scientologists ARE weird. Sorry, I don't know what came over me...

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  4. CYBERPETE
    My Parents went through a similar experience with my younger brother. I remember thinking the same thing WHY?
    Since then I have lost 4 Grandparents, my Father, and now I seem to be attending funerals for people that I went to school with.

    At the last ceremony the Pastor asked the audience whether they were saved or not..the difference between Goodbye and See You Later...
    I guess that Death is still the number one reason why we need to have a god(s) and most people could care less where we got them.

    STACE
    I grew up in an era when it was ridiculous to NOT believe in THE GOD and I have actually tried to 'get it' several times...the last during the 80s.

    However I just can't seem to fit all of the shapes into the puzzle.
    Some of myu favorite people are believers, and I cannot estimate how different they would be if they didn't hold themselves accountable to a higher power..I suspect that they would be wonderful with or without any religious influence.

    FATHORSE
    Awesome. To be fair I wished that there was a chart from the early animistic times but this is a relatively new field. When I was a kid all of the Biblical stories were assumed to be actual historical events..including Genesis..and that was only 40 years ago.

    History IS written by the conquerors and the success and failure of all religions are usually directly connected to the military and economic success of the people behind them.

    I would examine the phenomenon of religion from a paleopsychological perspective...WHY and WHEN did our ancestors actually start thinking about the Big Picture? It is fascinating how they have evolved alongside and more often than not, driven the rest of our other institutions.

    We'll never know a lot of these answers and that's fine, but we still need to be honest with ourselves about what we can deduce.

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  6. My goodness, Donn! You seem to be stuck in auto-repeat. What do they call it when there is a loop in the time-space continuum again???

    Well, I was raised in a totally non-religious family and have no beliefs regarding any gods, other than that if any do really exist, they are probably all ego-maniacal, self-centred idiots like Q from Star Trek TNG - no common-sense whatsoever and just playing higgledy-piggledy with people's lives just for the 'fun' of it. We probably live in a giant petri dish anyway and are just an scientific experiment for someone in a lab.

    But teaching religion from a paleopsychological perspective would probably be a pretty cool course. Let me know if they ever come up with one - would be interesting, I am sure.

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  7. I want to know if Neil Armstrong is an atheist. He was the one glaring omission in the otherwise excellent documentary In The Shadow Of The Moon. It got a bit Goddy at the end and I wonder whether he didn't want to be involved in it because of this.

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  8. When I turned 12 all my grandparents had died and I never met my grandfather on my mothers side. I assumed it was like that for everyone but then we got to talking in school and they all had theirs.

    It was odd.

    Was the pastor trying to drum up more donations and visitors?

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  9. This is so right:

    "History IS written by the conquerors and the success and failure of all religions are usually directly connected to the military and economic success of the people behind them."

    Religion has often been used by governors to manipulate people in many ways, order to obtain their goals. And it worked all the time.

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  10. I was thinking of founding my own religion again - you might remember my plant worshipping church only attracted 3 members...

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  11. u r right! this proves once a for all that God is an alien. He waited for the first humans to start a civilization before giving them religion. OF cource no idea why he waited longer for Scientology...probably he saw couch killer Tom Cruise coming... :D
    And whats the deal with Mormons?!

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  12. I've got lotsa questions too....and it seems stuff seems to find me and it all gets deeper and more complex...

    This is what I am working through now; heard an interview with Dr John Dickson while travelling and just his passion and enthusiasm for answers to his own questions was really interesting; am considering getting the dvds, because I missed the tv doco:

    http://www.thechristfiles.com.au/

    "The Christ Files is a full-scale historical documentary based on the book of the same name by Dr. John Dickson, Director of the Centre for Public Christianity and Honorary Associate of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Australia.

    Filmed in seven countries the documentary reveals the earliest and most important manuscript evidence for Jesus of Nazareth, including the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, the apostle Paul and the controversial Gnostic Gospels.

    Neither a work of fanciful scepticism nor of Christian propaganda The Christ Files provides viewers with a front row seat to the facts behind Western civilisation’s most influential story.

    Interviews with twelve of the most prominent scholars and historians and access to some of Israel’s most important archaeological sites give this documentary a unique authority."

    ...and then Wendy posted this info:

    http://andrewnewberg.com/

    His thoughts are also interesting!

    ....and then this!

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/newberg.html

    Excerpt:

    "Can religion and spirituality be considered purely as "neural blips and fluxes in brain chemistry"? Using recent advances in brain imaging and neuropsychological research, co-authors Dr. Andrew Newberg and the late Dr. Eugene D'Aquili, both of the University of Pennsylvania, explore that question and arrive at some surprising conclusions about material and spiritual "reality." This article, adapted for Science & Spirit magazine from their 1999 book The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experiences, presents an overview of some of their findings."

    I'm still working through it all...thought you may find interesting.

    Pam

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  13. Of course religions benefit from the sponsorship of the local ruling class, but this is just one part of a much wider and very eclectic religious scene. In many cases, in fact, the religious observance of rulers may be far removed from its 'popular' rendering. I think people tend to study religions from one of two viewpoints (and here I am, of course, generalising. it's something I do well.) Either they assume it's all true, or they assume it's all a nasty conspiracy. Yes of course people have used religion in nasty manipulative ways, but they haven't necessarily been cooked up precisely for that purpose. Take Christianity, for example - we can point to the Christian establishment for a massive number of evils in the name of God, but they were not always supreme in the West. In fact, if we remember, in the beginning Christianity was truly an outcast - disowned by its fellow traditions within the 2nd Temple, and persecuted by the Roman state for a good couple of centuries before it got a break. The original missionaries were not in positions of power and faced certain death for their beliefs. They broke the law, stirred up unrest and happily courted execution. One might even go so far as to say they were terrorists....

    In short, not a religion invented by an Emperor as a cunning way of repressing and manipulating his subjects, but one later adopted by a shrewd Emperor due to its popularity and unitative powers. For better or for worse, religions are grasped upon by rulers in this way, but the idea that religions are 'invented' wholesale by the ruling authority is simply historically inaccurate.

    Sorry, I keep rambling on. This will happen, you know, if you mention the 'R' word in my cyber-presence...

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  14. Most religious people think that the alternative to GOD is despair, and that scares them. They cannot accept that some part of them might not be eternal, or that they won't be rewarded for kissing ass or making other people kiss ass, or making them miserable.

    Whatever happens to what makes us who we are is going to happen, or not, regardless of our own personal fantasies or desires. Even if my afterlife is nothing more than a brief flash of brain chemistry going into shutdown, at least for one comparitively brief moment in history, I was here, and I think I'm willing to be happy with that. It sure beats damnation at the hands of some kind of spiritual Nutcase.

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  15. Opening a big can of worms here, eh?

    Can't really compare religion to English and Math, can you?

    Religion is NOT matter of fact, and this cannot be taught that way.

    Plus, thinking 2+2=5, will not damn you to eternal hell....

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  16. PONYGIRL
    We obviously needed to create an explanation why LIFE could be so fickle...our early ancestors must have wondered why their family members and fellow clan members were suddenly killed by predators, other humans and even more baffling disease.

    There must have been a moment, way back when, when the one person asked the question WHY?

    Geoff
    That's a good question. What I remember most about Armstrong is that Chuck Yeager, THE pilot's pilot, paid the ultimate compliment to Neil.

    Yeager said that you could put some wings and a motor on a soapbox and Armstrong could fly it.
    The Right Stuff is one of my favorite movies..have you seen it?

    CYBERPETE
    I was lucky to have known my Grandparents..there is a special freedom for them with their children's children.

    I know that the Pastor was looking for future tithers..his concern was genuine..he believes it with every bone in his body.

    LENI
    There are so many great movies about the excessive and egregious crimes committed against humanity in the name of religion...like The Mission.

    I always try to temper my rage with the knowledge that most of them are from the pre-Enlightenment period and Science had yet to wash the 'scales from their eyes'...although like everything else, there were sincere people who wanted to save souls but more often than not the power got in the way and it became political.

    MUTLEY
    Don't give up! Almost all of the dominant organisations started out in some guy's dining room with a handful of people.

    GHOSTAY
    God would most certainly be an Extrterrestrial Alien and I have long since given up trying to predict whether it would look more like Yoda or Charlton Heston.

    What about Mormons..I've done a few posts on Joseph Smith..and the Osmonds..like every group there are charming and tedious Mormons...I know a few charming ones and I always enjoy 'chatting' with the young 'elders' who go door to door....prolly more than they enjoy chatting with me because I know the 'wrong' questions to ask and these kids are far from home.
    I'm always courteous.

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  17. SIENNA
    Thanks I will check it out. The one thing that usually interferes with religious studies is that they are usually presented with an agenda..that being to solidify the belief system of the organisation.

    Archeologists are our best bet as they are more or less handcuffed to evidence. That being said we know that Josephus was a Roman sycophant and many of the historical records have been tampered with and massaged to fit the doctrine.

    Christianity owes it's existance to Paul and Constantine..without the influence of these two it prolly would have been reabsorbed into Judaism as the vast majority of the early adherents seem to have desored.

    I really enjoy sifting the fiction from the fact and I hope that a new generation will be able to shed more light on the turn of events without assumiong that the audience is already cheering for the Christian angle. When I was a kid there was no distinction between a History Book and the Bible. None.

    FATHORSE
    Before I start agreeing with your excellent reply I just want to say that this is exactly what I thought blogging would be like...finding other open minded people who really, really, really wanted to find the answers to questions like this.

    OK I didn't mean to imply that governing entities dreamed up these doctrines..but they certainly recognised a fabulous way to manipulate people whether they crowned themsleves god's representative or struck a deal with the high priests.

    I would think that most religions were sincere or benign attempts to organise a methodolgy that could help people resolve the unanswerablre questions...however once people in positions of power start to believe their own spin they abuse their power and their mandate usually centres on maintaining that power or expanding it.

    Certainly inward solitary reflective methods from fertile edenic locations differ from the Monotheistic war mongering sects of the desert that were created to embellish patterns of behavior that were in place long before a coda was written.

    Also millenia of prehistoric animistic rituals need to be examined to see how they evolved from worshipping the powerful beasts that surrounded ear;ly man to morph into a more humanist entity...we needed a 'human' face to complete the transference.
    The pagan christ is a good example of how older gods were improved and ideas were borrowed to facilitate the new and improved deities.

    THE MICHAEL
    Right On. That explosion of neuro transmitters and endorphins that the brain releases during the final moments creates a nano second THIS IS YOUR LIFE feature film in your head that people talk about when they discuss their near death experiences.

    I intend to create my own version for posterity sake.. so that my children and their children will see what I saw during my brief tenure.

    I still have a lot of problem accepting that the edicts of nomadic misongynist warriors who lived over 2,000 years ago, should have any relevence over how I should manage my life. We have learned so much about the WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY AND HOW about the Human experience since then that these makes most of their assumptions utterly antiquated.

    ANGELA
    Yessiree!
    Well if we eliminate the rhetoric and treat it as a paleopsychological adaptation we could study it as plainly as we do other subjects. Take out the BUZZ and disarm the emotional part...deal with it as matter of factly as we do filling out our tax forms.

    This guy said this and then this and this happened and so on and so forth.

    This is waht Universities are supposed to be doing anyway..except of course the 'religious' institutions which have a great deal to lose if their specific entity comes across in a bad light due to a lack of evidence.

    We need to completely ignore anything about history form pseudo-educational organisations that have everything to lose if their version of history cannot be supported by evidence and tangible data.

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  18. what always surprises me is how many truly intelligent people seem to have a religious belief - how do they do that?

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  19. Greta post Donn, and great discussion.
    I always think so many people, like most of your commenters, get Religion and God muddled up. They are two separate things. Religions are belief systems made up by humans for whatever reason, and God is nothing to do with it. Religion's view of God is some superior being or some place we go to when we die - all stuff in the human imagination.
    But tell me this - just because that is all so crazy, why does it mean you can't have such a thing as God. And I don't mean here, some imaginary thing. Could God be the energy behind this creation. For me it is what keeps my breath going in and out. That's my God. It's pretty amazing, it's beyond understanding, man can't fathom it. And actually, if you think about it long enough, you have to appreciate its beauty. It comes without any belief systems or crazy rituals. It comes fairly to the whole planet. It doesn't say, you are this way so you can live, but you are this way so you can't. There is no bollocks attached to it and it's not in your imagination.

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  20. The religious people that I know and love tend to be those who embrace all of what I think of as the "better" aspects... love and respect and whatnot. And, as you suspect, I also suspect they would feel the same without the belief in god.

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  21. Donn - YES! it's all about transition. Belief is fluid you see. It's always evolving. There've been loads of documentaries recently on British TV (usually on channel 4, who seem to just love Richard Dawkins a little too much for my liking) where people come along and say "guess what we've discovered - the early church fathers CHOSE the gospels! OH MY GOD! The Bible didn't just leap into being! And guess what else - they didn't decide this-and-that doctrine until the 4th century! OH MY GOD! We've been duped! Everyone panic!" as though this is all new and terribly controversial. It makes me laugh, it's such a load of bollocks. the Church has NEVER tried to hide the fact that it is a developing tradition. In fact, wasn't that what the reformation was all about? Sheesh. Of course religions had grown over time and borrowed bits and pieces from their neighbours. This doesn't necessarily make them invalid, does it?

    It's interesting what you say about putting the 'human face' onto tribal religions. Here's my theory, completely made up and based upon no evidence apart from my probably misguided common-sense: I reckon the transition from nature-worship to self-worship occurred as man began to take over nature. The more we realised that we don't have to rely on nature to come through for us - we can make it come through for us - the more we became aware of our own power and supremacy over beasts and landscapes. Man becomes the judge of life and death. Also there's probably something to do with hero cults in there. I dunno. These are just my peculiar thoughts.

    "however once people in positions of power start to believe their own spin they abuse their power and their mandate usually centres on maintaining that power or expanding it." - agreed, but this is a reflection on humanity, not a religious system. Note that religions that tend to survive the ages are not self-destructive, 'cannibalistic' ones. They are all focused on peace as a primary goal. religions on the whole do not specifically direct certain persons to start being arseholes - these people manage that by themselves. Every system has its loopholes.

    I don't know what it's like across the pond, but certainly in Britain the current trend is to denounce religion as the tool of the government - as a kind of cosmic crowd control. As soon as people find out what I'm studying they start haranguing me about how evil religions are and how I could possibly be interested in them. It just makes me angry, 'cause all they're doing is making excuses for the failings of ourselves as people by shifting the blame onto our philosophies and ideals. I blame Richard Dawkins. He's a nob.

    TOM
    Because I don't feel this comment is quite long enough.
    This is the philosopher's god, isn't it? The Transcendental, prime cause, unmoved mover, and all that malarkey? I think religion is what we get when we start thinking 'what if?' thoughts. For example, some of the most basic cults revolved around 'mother-earth' worship - there is a force that makes the sun come up in the morning and the rain fall from the sky. Which is fine. As soon as you start wondering 'what if the sun DOESN'T come up one day?' you start wondering why this might happen. Then you wonder what you can do to prevent this from happening. yada yada yada. Et Voila! 'Religion'.

    I'm going to shut up now.

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  22. ZIGGI
    There is safety in numbers. Many people believe that Hey if 2 Billion people believe this there must be something to it...and someone else has done all of the heavy lifting.

    Most people don't want to reinvent the wheel. Traditional doctrines are all prepackaged and tied up with a bow...very convenient. It's like a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant, all you have to do is pull in, pay and off you go.

    TOM
    I agree that the two are mutually exclusive. Unfortunately Humans are at the very beginning of undertanding how we came to exist on this piece of cooled molten rock spinning at 60,000 miles an hour out in the vast emptiness of space. It's only been a few hundred years since we started separating the wheat from the chaff.

    We do have vivid imaginations and we made god in an anthropomorphic image because we needed to dumb it down..we can't fathom anything being 'Alive' and sentient, that isn't a bipedal mammalian grandfatherly and like Santa, he is a jolly old soul who loves to hand out pressies to the 'nice' kids and turns the bad kids into pillars of salt.

    STACE
    That's so true eh? People are either charming or tedious and most of the salt of the Earth souls that I know whould be wonderful because they are naturally charming, kind, thoughful, patient, and caring.

    It is no surprise that they gravitate towards all of the nice things about the happy, good, god...at the same time the tedious lot have that self righteous, holier than thou mentality based on their ever expanding ego. They think that they are so great because they are joined at the hip with the creator of the universe who personally chose THEM because they are so much like him!

    Either way dealing with other people is the biggest task that we have to face down here and the nice people make it bearable.

    FATHORSE
    Awesome...thank GOD that religion is always reinventing itself because perhaps one day one of them might actually confront the obvious and decide that like Clouds, 'we've looked at god from near and far, and still some how, and we really don't know god at all.

    I like your theory, the more confident we became and the better we got at manipulating our environment and freeing ourselves from circumstancial existance, the more we altered our image of the gods.

    Religion really morphed and took off once we stopped having to follow the herds and finally set up a permanent camp. We organized all of the jobs that needed to be done to run a city, so that a few could work on the god thing.

    I am torn on Hawkins and Hitchens and their antagagnonistic-agnosticsim..on one hand some people really need to give their head a shake but this is a very personal matter. It's like playing soccer on a minefield. Nobody wants to admit that they are wrong they need to discover things on their own in order to have meaning.

    Personally I think that since we were given or won this amazing brain through evolutionary roulette or design or some unfathomable combination of the two...the very least that we can do is to flex it.

    The truth may never be known but the more pieces you can squeeze in the less puzzling Life/God/Whatever will be.

    To borrow some famous movie lines..
    The Truth is out there.
    You want the Truth,
    You can't HANDLE THE TRUTH!

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  23. I don't worry about this issue much anymore, except as it concerns the forcing of religion on others, religious persecution and the like. Once I had reconciled myself to the idea that a belief in God/gods is unecessary, I stopped worrying about wheteher others beilieve. I just want people to fidn some reason, ANY reason, to behave with decency.

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  24. Seigel and Shuster invented Superman and it didn't do them much good...was it because they were Jewish?

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  25. YES! I do believe children deserve to learn about all these religions and their historic references. Why the hell Americans aren't allowed to learn about it boils down to a simple concept: MIND CONTROL! Yeah, we're supposed to be this most-powerful nation and crap, but we're all a bunch of frickin' idiots, and our leaders don't want the world to know that. Those statistics that you quoted are frightening...whether God exisits or doesn't is irrelevant, in my opinion. Most Americans would impale me for saying that too...the more relevant issue is that Americans are so close-minded about the rest of the World religions...and doesn't care to learn or see them from an open-minded point of view. That's the big problem.

    If there is a God...he, she, it would be appauled at what the hell is going on.

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  26. "Who is this GOD person anyway?"

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  27. Ziggy, I have a religious "belief" that accepts that as a mortal being with a brain, just about anything I believe in can be wrong. That's where faith comes in. I have faith that it is highly unlikely that whatever I think devinity might be, I could be so far off the mark it would be rediculous.

    So, I just allow my own logic and observations paint a nice little picture to put myself in and await whatever the cosmos wishes to reveal to me, IF it chooses to.

    What I CANNOT accept is some extremely powerful big baby with an ego problem using me as a pawn in some cosmic chess game that is already won (so why in the fuck is it even being played?).

    I will revert to being an atheist when science proves beyond all doubt that there can be nothing greater than ourselves outside what we see in our telescopes and beneath our microscopes.

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  28. CITIZEN MONDO
    I am astounded by some folks who believe that it is impossible for others to act ethically without the fear of eternal damnation prodding them. Really?

    You have a good attitude...I mean people will believe whatever they want and as long as it isn't shoved down my throat or imposed on my family others can knock themselves out.

    I just wish that we could get to some sort of concensus that yes I believe in spite of the lack of evidence..NEVER HAPPEN of course but think what we could accomplish globally if we put aside this great pissing match? Much like the parable of the Tower of Babel...

    Genesis 11
    "6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now NOTHING will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

    Apparently this made Yahweh very nervous? Interesting isn't it...that the Creator of the Universe would be intimidated.

    ALLAN
    SUPERMAN! Schuster was a Canuck!
    They sold the first issue in 38..50 years after Nietzsche wrote the Übermensch in Thus Spoke Zarathustra in 1883.

    "All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…

    what is the point of a discussion like this without throwing in some
    Nietzsche?

    RANDOM CHICK
    Gadzooks you really laid it on the line!? Now I don't know what it feels like to grow up in the most powerful country in history..I cringe at all of the Nationalism and self congratulatory rhetoric.

    Obama finally won enough delegates tonight to shut Hillary up and try to unite the 50% of moderate Americans who are concerned with how America is perceived globally and want to engage in a relationship with the 'Rest Of The World'...so perhaps a new era is dawning.

    However the divisivness of religion has reared it's ugly head in this excruciatingly long campaign and all of the sanitized images of a big happy family were laid bare for the world to see.

    My guess is that this generation will have to relinquish power before any verifiable change can happen..Obama may be the tip of the iceberg but here is hoping.

    Now hopefully Hillary will ZIP IT and save her glaring hubris for her memoirs...sorry to get off topic but your political system is absolutely intercoursed and excessive..ugh! Enough already.

    WHITESNAKE
    Idunno?
    *shrugs

    THE MICHAEL
    Excellent point..we desperately want there to be someone or something out there in charge and with a plan because we Humans have proven time and time again that we are incapable of overcoming our self destructive nature.

    Homo Escapeons was named after the idea that we have escaped eons of extinction level event behavior.

    That twilight area betwixt data and imagination, thought and evidence is what really separates us from the other Earthlings..of course now it is very serious because we are capable of altering the entire biosphere. Usually Mother Nature does this when she shuffled the deck 5 times before and let the next species have a kick at the can..I'm surprised at how long she has let us dick around.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow. Yeah, Donn, you WOULD love this fascinating discussion.

    I love this from you: "My guess is that 92% of the 92% of the Believers in America are not interested in researching the origin of THE GOD."

    I was baptized, confirmed, was an altar boy in the RC church, the whole bit...

    But I think Tom909 has a point in making the distinction between God and religion.

    I have no use now for the church as a man-made institution because of what I've seen that institution become: just another weapon of war on any number of fronts, including in the military fashion.

    But it doesn't mean I can't believe there is some being or entity that's there, cracking jokes at our expense as we fumble through it all.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I scheduled the following to be posted on 1st of June as I took a break for 4 days. As you did not deem fit to visit the lowly creatures like me, you misssed my post. I think that goes well with yours.

    If/when you have time, do go read voice of reason.

    Naah, GO READ NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  31. welll... even though i am vascilating right now in how badly i want to follow god (the christian god) and his rules, i don't doubt in my heart that he is all powerful. to me its simply a matter of faith. to each his own...
    fascinating post as always donn!

    ReplyDelete
  32. you see I wasn't dissing intelligent people, I was making the point that if those with far more cognitive understanding than I, believe; what is it that I, in my ignorance, am failing to see?

    The human race is far, far more evolved than other species, but does this make us anything other than a far more evolved species? Those with a a belief in god whether they use a religious system or not, please tell me, do you believe in heaven? hell? do you believe in life after death? These are the bits I have trouble with. I think, like that cow/pig/sheep you just ate (if your not a vegetarian) when your dead your dead; how can it be otherwise?

    ReplyDelete
  33. God dun bother me anymore...neither do I bother him anymore.

    GREAT POST btw Donn!


    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  34. And Donn, come ard n share with me ur phone dramas. :)

    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  35. And Donn, come ard n share with me ur phone dramas. :)

    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh Donn... I admit to not reading all the comments before me... all I can say is my approach is to cherrypick all religions. I take what is good and fair from all and have created my own personal belief system.

    Keep writing these brilliant posts. I love you so!

    ReplyDelete
  37. WITHINSKY,
    You and I have literally had Saganian 'Billions and Billions' of discussions about this..and you can bloody well expect more the next time we meet.

    GAUTAMI
    What would I do without my weekly cyber-spanking from you EH?
    I came
    I saw
    I commented

    a very pertinent posting.

    ANGEL
    You gotta do what ya gotta do. If you peel away the obvious add-ons you can't go wrong living by the basic tenets...here on Earth anyway...
    if everybody could even manage half of the ten commandments this world would be fabulous!

    ZZIIGGII
    Love your new Av!
    I understood what you were saying and I have often wondered if my head is so far up my arse that I am totally missing some key element..but after pondering the evidence for 40 years I am fairly certain that I haven't overlooked anything that might alter my view. That being said I am keeping my mind open enough to keep my ego in check and making sure that I am asking the right questions.

    KESHIROO
    If I did get a visitation or message from the great beyond I would certainly blog about it.. and hopefully well before the burly lads with the large butterfly nets escorted me to my 'plush' accomodations replete with padded walls.

    I'll be right ovah!

    KINDNESS
    When you start to cherrypick younotice that most of them are a recycled version of Everything That I Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

    Seriously the basics should be painfully obvious to everyone except sociopathic Serial Killers and Telemarketers!

    ReplyDelete
  38. You've moved to the left.

    Are you a shape shifter?

    ReplyDelete
  39. MJ
    It's just a jump to the left
    And then a step to the right
    With your hands on your hips
    You bring your knees in tight
    But it's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane,

    Let's do the Time Warp again!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Moved to the left?
    Hm, here you moved to the right! (maybe you're swinging. Maybe you're trying to make your readership dizzy, hahaha).

    PS.- The playlist is cut on the right. But the songs can still be heard (maybe only a piece of them hahahaha).

    ReplyDelete
  41. holy smokes...what happen to ur blog? ur a leftist now don? hehehe...k that wsa not funny.

    ReplyDelete
  42. ..oh, I'm here. Carry on.

    *stands nearby trying to look erudite*

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Why do we still let people (parents) play fast and loose with
    THIS during the child's formative years? Why are we still hanging on to the past?"

    Because it is the way Cthulhu wants it of course!

    I'm going to have to come back and see what prompted the Rocky Horror reference.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm one of those who you brilliantly call out for believing in a higher power, but not giving enough of a crap to go researching it and finding out anything for myself....

    Seriously, I took 2 semesters of theology and I never napped so well in all my life.

    "It is safe to say that all of these Religions started somewhere with someone."

    Look, I'm a queen at making crap up and starting 'urban legends' around here. Do you know how many haunted house stories are linking to my imagination?

    Just sayin.

    ReplyDelete

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