The Story of Religion

The Story of Religion

 

Once upon a time there was god. He came from nowhere spontaneously, or was always there. He existed, all powerful, in the midst of nothing for all time. He was powerful beyond all human understanding. He was also inherently kind and loving.

 

He decided that he would make the whole universe of more galaxies than the human mind could comprehend and so he did.

 

He thought it and it came into being out of nothing, just like he himself had done before.

 

He made the whole universe, with its zillions of galaxies, each made of trillions of stars, just so that he could place some humans on a small planet in an average galaxy that was in itself completely insignificant.

 

These humans were the focus of everything. They were the purpose for the existence of the whole universe and gave god a purpose too.

 

He gave them free will but warned them that if they did not obey his instructions and commands to the letter, (despite the fact that he was loving and kind), he would cast them into everlasting agony. But then he told them that if they did obey his every demand to the last full stop, they would have everlasting joy in heaven - for god had a purpose and a plan for them that was beyond their understanding.

 

Then god proceeded to allow different versions of his often confusing and contradictory instructions to be distributed to different people in different parts of the world all purporting to be the only truth – the holy word of god.

 

It created fear and confusion but god did not interfere.

 

Some people believed that god was manifest in rocks, trees, sun and moon, while others believed that he was a series of gods and goddesses living in the sky, while others thought he was three and some that he was one.

 

The only thing they all agreed on was that all the other versions were wrong, heretical and evil and had to be eradicated; that any deviation from the word of the script was to be punished with death.

 

The different tribes fought and killed in the name of their own god. They fiercely brought up their children to believe in their version and fight fiercely in his name. They were determined to enforce the version of the rules they had been given.

 

God watched as they butchered, slaughtered, sacrificed and tortured.

 

He had an unknowable plan.

 

Perhaps the suffering and death was all part of it?

 

It would all work out in the end. All the tribes had faith – different faith – but faith none the less.

 

God did nothing to intervene – not a word.

 

He had given humanity the universe, a place of wonder and awe, created out of nothing, but he was nowhere to be seen, doing nothing.

 

This is the story of religion.

 

It all makes perfect sense to me.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 3:12pm
I just thought I'd change the mood away from politics. I was moved by Tex and the other right-wingers (oops - labelling - you are who you think you are) who have faith.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 4, 2018 - 3:44pm
God is fake. One can only believe in it when strictly appyling human imagination which is not valid for the universe as a whole.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 4, 2018 - 3:51pm
Opher,
Makes sense to me, as far as Western monotheism goes.  However, it doesn't cover all the impersonal concepts of god, such as Taoism or even Buddhism.  The idea that time is illusion, that everything is happening at once and spontaneously, and that there are infinite realities and permutations on infinite themes, and that consciousness exists in all things in one whole gestalt isn't covered in your philosophy.  There are no beginnings, no endings, and everything is in a perpetual process of becoming, maybe.  Only the moment is guaranteed, and we can't be sure even of that.
 
In other words, maybe history we perceive and generally agree on may be one of infinite probable realities.  Who's to say I'm wrong?
Ken Added Oct 4, 2018 - 4:04pm
If there is a God, and if He fixed everything, where wold free will be?
 
Funny how you want to get away from politics and in doing so you attempt to insult everyone who is not an Atheist by showing what an elitist snob you are.
James Travil Added Oct 4, 2018 - 5:10pm
Albert Einstein wrote in 1955 just before his death “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends,” the letter reads. “No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this."
But I guess he was an "elitist snob" for not believing in unprovable fiction. 
Ken Added Oct 4, 2018 - 5:31pm
While I am unfamiliar with his letter, there is a huge difference between the way he presented it and the way Opher did
James Travil Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:07pm
More on that letter can be found here: http://va.newsrepublic.net/s/SFTfQF
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:19pm
Stone - I agree. God is a human invention to explain what we do not understand.
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:21pm
Katharine - nobody can. It makes more sense to me than anything else.
I used to be a Buddhist. I like it. You don't have to believe in anything.
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:22pm
Thanks Ken - so showing the preposterousness of your faith makes me an elitist snob. How's that work?
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:23pm
James - LOL - he must have been.
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:25pm
James that's a fascinating letter and article. Thanks for putting it up.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:26pm
Opher, religion is too complex for you. Stick to global warming.
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:26pm
Ken - you didn't like my story then? I thought it was pretty accurate.
opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:28pm
Ken - I just reread it. Which bit didn't you like?
Ken Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:29pm


Thanks Ken - so showing the preposterousness of your faith makes me an elitist snob. How's that work?
 
It isn't my faith, and simply refering to it as "showing the preposterousness" is absolutely elitist snobbery.
 
You apparently are smarter and know better than billions of people around the world.  You don't posit it in a way that wants to create a dialogue, you just want to show them how preposterous their belief is.
 
that is absolutely elitist snobbery.  In fact, that is the very definition of it.

opher goodwin Added Oct 4, 2018 - 6:34pm
Ken - fine. Then I'm an elitist snob because it sure looks daft to me. As I said which bit didn't you agree with or is it just that you don't like to look at it rationally?
Ken Added Oct 4, 2018 - 7:29pm
It has nothing to do with what I agree with or don't agree with.  It is the tone of your post and then calling it "daft".  You are simply calling out those with faith and calling them stupid for having their faith.  You aren't interested in a discussion, you are just throwing it out there to stir up anger.  You could have posited your point in many way, but you basically took the approach to tell those of faith what idiots they are.
 
I am sure Lynn or others will come and discuss with you if they choose, but nothing they say is going to change your mind anyway and a month from now you will come back with another post and call them idiots again from a slightly different angle.
 
I have been here long enough to see your repetitive aggression toward those that don't see things your way.
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:07pm
War is a fun pastime for human beings. They (we) like killing each over silly reasons, for land, trade, or simply for reasons of superiority (or greatness). 
 
There have been religious wars. There have also been wars 'to take over the world' (both world wars). Many wars are fought for land or trade, and sometimes just for conquest. 
 
This is not unique to religion. 
 
You can make an equally compelling argument that God is at work constantly in the lives of people, on a daily basis.
 
For instance, why do the Jews come out on top of every culture where they choose to live (which causes envy...and leads to other problems)? Does the fact that they are still God's chosen people have anything to do with it (having God's favor resting on them)? 
 
What can explain the centuries of European dominance over the rest of the world from 1500 A.D. - 2000 A.D. (that coincides with the Reformation until now--the age of apostasy--predominantly in countries that embraced Protestantism)? Scientific method? We're obsessed with science today even as our families fall apart and we need drugs to get through the day and occupy our time with folly and seem to hate each other more and more.
 
I'd argue that period especially, 1500 A.D. - 2000 A.D., Europeans (predominantly Protestant ones) had God's favor resting on them as well. They just had it together and transformed the world. 
Logical Man Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:12pm
I posted this about 5 minutes ago on my 'Thinking Freely' thread.
At the risk of repeating myself.........
 
The universe came into being 13.5 billion years ago

The earth came into being about 4.5 billion years ago

There are more stars in the observable universe than grains of sand on all the earth’s beaches.

The god of the Bible made all this so that a bunch of hairless apes could run around and glorify him, but didn’t really bother until a couple of thousand years ago?

Takes narcissism and wastefulness to levels that defy logic.
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:19pm
Some of the author's points are fair. And I have no answer. Even in the Old Testament up until our modern age, why does it appear that the majority of people in the world appear not to be saved. A huge chunk are in the bucket of 'God's People', but most are not. Why is this? I don't know. 
 
The ancient nation-state of Israel, at its outset, was right in the middle of most of the trade routes of the ancient world. So everyone would have heard of the Jews. And while they had a standoffish culture of sorts, anyone was free to join them so long as they 'became Jewish' and adopted the religion of the Jews.
 
You had Mesopotamia to the East, ancient Egypt to the South, various important kingdoms in modern day Turkey (ex: Hittites) and Lebanon to the North. The Phoenician empire (with Tyre and Sidon as the original capitals--Israel's neighbors) went onto have colonies all over the Mediterranean, even out to Spain, and possibly beyond. (It was even said that kings of Israel had joint trade ventures at times with Tyre and Sidon.)
 
So most of the important kingdoms of the ancient world would all have had exposure to the religion of the Jews. 
 
And in the later, post-Roman world. There were Byzantine Greek (Orthodox Christian) churches in China in the 700's A.D. African kingdoms like Ethiopian have been Christian back to Roman days. The Christian church in India, although small, has roots which go back thousands of years, probably back to Roman days. 
 
My point is it seems much of the known world would have had exposure to both the religion of the Jews in the Old Testament and to Christianity in the Roman and post-Roman world (with the exception of the Americas obviously). 

It's difficult questions the author has raised. And it's fine to raise them, there just isn't an easy or concise answer to them. There are plenty of these 'problems' let's call them with the Bang Bang-Evolution theories too (the biggest one--where did the first life come from on earth). 
Logical Man Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:30pm
If you think the question 'where did the first life come from on earth?' is a big question, here's one for you....
If there really is one, where did god come from?
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:34pm
To Logical Man's point - 
 
It's a fair question. I'd say that human beings, when they bring home a baby. They'll buy or build a big house, a large yard, an automobile, lots of other stuff, put money away for the child's college, purchase a crib, a car seat, bottles, miscellaneous "baby stuff" just to care for that little delicate baby. 
 
You could argue, why go to such lengths and such difficulty just for that little insignificant baby? Maybe because that baby is precious to you--even more than the big impressive house or large yard or new car. 
Logical Man Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:34pm
Proposing the existence of an entity that is infinite to try to explain the existence of something you can’t accept is infinite seems a strange way to go about things.
Logical Man Added Oct 4, 2018 - 8:42pm
Cullen, you lost me.
I don't see a connection between what I wrote and your response.
Ken Added Oct 4, 2018 - 9:05pm
The problem with quantifying a God is that you cannot quantify omnipresence or omniscience or omnipotence.  It is like trying to get your head around infinity.  there is no start and no end so we cannot conceptualize it.
 
It would be like a 2d creature trying to explain a 3d creature  or a 1d creature trying to explain a 2d creature.  It is simply impossible to understand  a dimension beyond which you are in.
 
There is a theory that quarks are 16 dimensional objects.  The various states of quarks that we are able to observe are simply slices of the quark in different dimensional views.  Who knows if that is true but it is an interesting theory.
 
There are those that say that God created the universe and created the scientific rules that the universe existed by.  Some of those believe his "miracles" are built into the framework of the design of the complex system and scientifically viable.
 
If there is a God who is to say this is the only universe he created?  string theory could be his experimentation with different styles of universe rules.  If time is meaningless to him, he could have created one universe that everything happens instantaneously and another that it happens from birth to death in cycle so it grows through history from big bang to now for example watching how it evolves.
 
If he also created free will giving the right to choose there will be those that accept him and those that don't, so there will be those that are saved and those that aren't.
 
If there is free will, then he won't step in because we have made our choice and we must take responsibility for that choice.  Some do, some don't. As time goes by, people learn which choices are poor and which are good and society grows more civil and  more enlightened.
 
Who is to say evolution is not part of that physical design?
 
These are all questions that no one can answer, and are all reasonable questions.
 
I don't have a good answer for those types of esoteric questions nor do I have any evidence that there is a supreme presence that is watching everything, which is why I am agnostic.
 
Personally, I think it takes far more FAITH to be atheist (which is a religion in and of itself,don't get me wrong) than it does to be a believer.
 
If you are a believer and you are wrong, you have lost nothing - and studies show those with faith tend to live happier, longer lives.  If you are an atheist and you are wrong you have lost everything.
 
And then you have the Atheists (like the poster) who believe they are superior to everyone else because they KNOW they are right even though they can prove it no more than believers can prove there is a God.
 
They say, believers see miracles every day because their eyes are open and non believers don't because their eyes are not.  It is all perception.
 
The real question for atheists is - why do you care if someone else believes?  Why do  you need to belittle their faith?  Why do you feel the need to prove them wrong?  Does it make you feel superior?  What impact is it on you if they practice their faith?
 
As Thomas Jefferson said "If it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, what business is it of mine?
 
If Opher had approached this topic in this kind of a manner looking for a legitimate discussion I wouldn't have criticized his inflammatory post.  Instead he chose to slam those of faith as idiots for believing in something ludicrously absurd.  He could have voiced his concern in a manner looking for constructive dialogue, instead he just did a hit and run commando attack on those of faith.
Logical Man Added Oct 4, 2018 - 9:24pm
A lot of words there, Ken, but little in the way of sense.
James Travil Added Oct 4, 2018 - 10:41pm
"So everyone would have heard of the Jews. "
Really? Tell that to the Asian people, the Native Americans (of North and South America), the South African and Native Australian Aboriginal people.
One thing is for certain. If a deity exists, it's not the limited plastic, one-dimensional "god" of the Judo-Christian Islamic beliefs. 
James Travil Added Oct 4, 2018 - 10:42pm
Oh and BTW Cullen, my family is far from "falling apart" or hooked on drugs or meaningless nonsense to get through the day. Maybe this describes your existence, but don't pretend to speak for others about their experiences. 
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 4, 2018 - 11:59pm
James, we're all making general statements here. In no way did I say, James...I'm talking you here...then say your family has issues with drugs or is falling apart. If you want to be offended go for it, but I don't know how a reasonable person would take offense at what I wrote. 
 
The U.S. has what the media has called an "opioid crisis". 
 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/25/americas-opioid-crisis-how-prescription-drugs-sparked-a-national-trauma
 
It was a "War on Drugs" that has been an absolute failure because too many people like taking illegal drugs. 
 
The latest wave of illegal immigrants from Central America has been due, in part, to drugs gangs taking entire cities in Central America and the people are fleeing the violence. These drug gangs are so powerful because many people in the U.S.A. are buying the illegal drugs off them. 
 
Everyone knows this. 
 
40% of children in the U.S.A. are born out of wedlock. The biggest indicator for the future success of a child is whether the child is born in a 2 parent household. 
 
Yet, fewer people are getting married (marriage rate is declining). And the rate at which marriages break up is still holding at 50% (although it's lower for FIRST marriages, serial marriers--probably not a word--skew the statistics). 
 
By the way, I noted that my arguments in earlier didn't hold for people in the Americas. I wrote that right in those same comments. That's why I added the questions presented are difficult and there aren't easy answers.  
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:01am
@Logical Man , my 'baby metaphor' comment was addressing your question about why it's reasonable to think in a universe so big that God would care about our little planet earth. 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:21am


A lot of words there, Ken, but little in the way of sense.
 
If that's all you see, you aren't particularly logical or observant

Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:42am
Having dealt with this phenomenon a lot, I kind of agree with Ken here. It is one thing to answer evangelism with this, but this isn’t an answer to evangelism, it is evangelism. Atheists can be very evangelistic. This post says “become an atheist.”
 
I will never push my faith on you. For one thing, my religion forbids it. Morality, yes, but not faith. And yes, the tenor of this post is that if I have faith I must be an illogical idiot. I’m not fond of evangelism from any direction. Because my coreligionists are minorities everywhere in the world except for one small place, we have a lot of experience with it. We’ve of course seen what religious evangelism can do to us, but the Soviets were not kind to worshippers; they wanted us to be atheists, which is what Falun Gong experiences in China. There is a reason the United States has freedom of religion. A call to atheism does not negate it, nor should it.
 
By the way, concerning whoever wrote about faith saving those in the right bucket, my religion does not claim that one has to belong to it to get into Heaven, to the extent that it concentrates on an afterlife at all. That’s not what Chosen means. Chosen doesn’t come with that kind of perk; it just comes with responsibilities and the privilege of having them and choosing to exercise them. 
 
So faith looks irrational to you. There are two ways faith can be rational, but most people only look at one: evidence of the existence of God. The second is if faith produces a positive result. 
 
Aside from persecution, my coreligionists have done pretty well. On average, we’re unusually high achieving, and that is not from genetics, it’s from habits that come from religion. Perhaps more importantly, Judaism is probably the most successful per capita producer of compassion-based activists this country has ever seen. Do you view that as a desirable result?  Many here won’t but I suspect you do. Some will say it’s cultural but not to the exclusion of religion. We see some who are ethnic but ignore religion; however, religion is recent enough in their heritage to have affected their moral development. A few generations without it and I doubt you’d see the same thing.
 
Have you ever attended a Passover Seder? I’d advise looking at it from the standpoint of indoctrinating values in children, both in terms of which values and how to make them resonate. I don’t want to write a book here, but I’ll take one example: a drop of wine is spilled for each plague. Why? Why waste wine over what was ostensibly done to our oppressors? Because suffering is suffering and is intrinsically negative, no matter who is doing the suffering. 
 
I look at a Seder and I ask: What mechanisms do atheists have for teaching those values, tying them to tradition to amplify their importance through continuity, attach them to stories and customs so they’re remembered, putting them in the context of not only being reinforced by family but in having children gain status for mastering the process? We have an effective formula. In the last days of illegal gay marriage, according to polls gay marriage was favored by a slightly higher percentage of Jews than of atheists. 
 
I gain other advantages from religion such as community and of course reinforcement of values. If you want me to give that up, tell me what to replace it with that will do better because, if you don’t, it would be irrational for me to take your suggestion. 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:14am
KS - that is an excellent and well explained post.  We have disagreed on a number of things,but I think you clarified a lot of what I was trying to state from a religious perspective, while I don't know enough about the specifics to just know how condescending toward faith Opher is/was. 
 
I have never attended a passover seder myself, but I understand they are quite emotionally moving.
 
Jews have a phenomenal history in Nobel prizes - the Judeo/Christian morality even if not a believer teaches many strong item about education, responsibility, etc.
 
Compare Jewish Nobel winners to Muslim (or Atheist) Nobel winners is no contest in any category from peace to science to economics.
 
I have studied religion and faith from a lot of ways and just am not convinced by evidence what is right, but I am not foolish enough (or self absorbed enough) to assume I have all the answers like too many atheists do.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:29am
Ken - I can see that you don't get the humour in the post. That's fine.
It was a humorous piece that was intended to show the complete absurdity of many of the things fundamentalists believe in.
Katharine got it right - she came back with some ideas that circumvented some of those absurdities.
You merely take it as ridicule. That's fine - you can take it that way.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:34am
Cullen - I'm not sure anyone can say war is a fun thing. A strange attitude.
Yes there are a number of reasons for war - religion has been one of them and still is. ISIS think they are fighting a religious war in support of their faith, their god.
I can't say I've seen the hand of god in anything. The most terrible wars, environmental destruction and massive poverty and misery hardly looks like the hand of god to me - unless that god has a strange psychology.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:39am
Logical - it certainly defies all logic doesn't it.
I think when you hold it up to the light the primitive nature of religion shows through. It is a superstition that was based in an age of great ignorance. People believed that the universe merely consisted of the Earth (at the centre of the universe) and the sun and moon went round it. The pinpricks of stars was the light of god shining through the canopy from heaven. It was very egocentric.
As science revealed the truth (with people burnt to death for suggesting the Earth wasn't at the centre) religion repeatedly shifted its position.
I think that what we now know makes a mockery of the beliefs of fundamentalists and this concept of god (a very primitive human concept).
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:43am
Thank you Cullen for addressing the issues that were raised in my humorous piece and having the honesty to say there are no answers to the questions raised.
I think we are hard-wired to require religion and faith - it's in our genetics. But that doesn't make it right.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:50am
One can have religion and it's benefits without also being a theist. I do. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:55am
Ken - you don't get it. This post was not really put out as a post to create discussion any more than your post on democrat gaffs. This site has all manner of posts. Some are informative, some argumentative. 
As for me - I went through my spiritual phase. I now believe that religion does more harm than good. And yes it does interfere with my life on a daily basis.
For instance (to show impact in the USA) - the whole Kavanaugh business is religious. The evangelicals want their pro-life votes through to ban abortions and limit contraception, ban sex education and all the other conservative views that emanate from their religious beliefs that they want to impose on others.
I'm an antitheist because religion, given half a chance, would create the type of nightmare that Margaret Atwood described so well in The Handmaid's Tale.
I'm quite happy for religious people to have whatever faith they want except they can't keep to themselves so we end up with ISIS and American Evangelists - both equally obnoxious. One uses human suicide bombs and the other drones.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:56am
Cullen I didn't think you were talking about me or my family specifically, but I was just pointing out that, despite the fact that we are atheists, my family is not having any of those issues you mentioned. None of our atheist friends are either. I've noticed that faith builds dependance and feeds addiction. Addicts and faith-based groups like AA and NA feed on each other and grow one another. Atheists don't have this problem. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:57am
James - quite right. The Abrahamic concept of god came straight out of the minds of nomadic Arabs going back thousands of years. 
A god like that makes no rational sense.
Michael B. Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:01am
Quote from one of my old hippie friends:
 
"I need religion as much as a fish needs a bicycle."
 
 
I like these ones too:
 
"I have no faith in Faith, and don't believe in Beliefs."
Neal Peart
 
"The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires."
Susan B. Anthony
 
"One's religion is whatever he is most interested in."
J.M. Barrie
 
"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses."
Arthur C. Clarke
 
"Die Irreligiösen sind religiöser als sie selbst wissen, und die Religiösen sind's weniger, als sie meinen."
Translation: "The irreligious are more religious than they themselves know, and the religious are less so than they think."
Franz Grillparzer
 
And my favorite one:
 
"The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him a ride."
H.L. Mencken
 
Michael B. Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:02am
One more..."Religion is good for good people, and bad for bad people." Source unknown.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:10am
Kosher - don't take it so personally. 
It was a humorous post that was written to show the absurdity of many of the concepts that are held by religious people.
If people like Tex can put up posts about Jesus as if he was a son of god then I think WB can stand somebody putting up a post that shows the total absurdity of some of the beliefs and stances of religious people.
Personally I find the scare tactics of religion distasteful. Believe in me or suffer in eternal hell.
Repeated above in this thread by Ken.
What have you got to lose right? If you don't believe and it turns out you are wrong you burn. If you do believe and you're wrong you've lost nothing.
But of course you've lost something. You've lost your freedom to live your own life. You've given up huge amounts of time worshipping something that doesn't exist. You've followed all those dress codes, dietary requirements and customs for nothing.
You are also condoning all those obnoxious codes that lead to war and imposition.
Yes there is a number of good things that come out of religious faith. That community you speak of and the rituals that help us focus on good things - such as the suffering of others.
As I said - religion is hardwired into our brains genetically. 
I would replace it with ritualised behaviour with ceremonies and dressing up that celebrates something that is real - nature.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:15am
Ken - I am not sure we are in a position to assess how many nobel prize winners were religious or atheists. I'd have to check that out. The greatest of all - Einstein - was certainly an atheist.
It certainly is difficult for many people to publicly admit to their atheism isn't it?
Like running for office in the States - would it be possible for an atheist to get elected? I doubt it. Trump plays the game of paying lip-service to it and pandering to the religious right who got him elected.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:32am
  Opher and Logical Man. When I look at this argument, I remember when I was in high school I liked to read and learn about electricity. I learned about DC circuits and that capacitors block DC and pass AC signals while inductors do the opposite, and transistors are like valves. I knew everything there was to know because all I could see on circuit boards were resistors, inductors, capacitors and transistors. If I looked inside a radio and followed that logic, I should conclude that the radio does'nt work and that there must be supernatural forces at work.
  But instead of that, I looked at the world and saw that you have to study a lot to learn what electricity is, and that I didn't know everything there was to know about electricity. I didn't know what calculus or differential equations even were. But if I was like you two, I wouldn't have bothered to find out, instead, I would have just adopted a simplistic belief and never bothered to learn anything more.
  Instead of reading about religion from some of the greatest minds that have existed in history (Plato, Kant, CS Lewis, Jesus Christ, Aquinas, ...the list goes on) , you choose to be simple minded. I was simple minded like that as a teenager. Simple mindedness doesn't suffice for adults writing on a blog where its implied that you actually read.
  There is a proof that atheism cannot be correct. Every atheistic society fails for the greed of its rulers. Its been proven over and over again. Its practical proof for the existence on God, but not God that exists in space and time. Most of the things in life that matter, love, hate, envy, etc do not exist in space and time. Everything in life that even matters does not exist in space and time, so why should God exist in space and time?
  If you cant see it, hear it, etc it doesn't exist right ?
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:38am
As far as us knowing religions for thousands of years, it just ain't so. A woman who first exposed the Talmud, back in the thirties, was tried for hate crimes, much like holocaust deniers are often tried today.
  Only recently has knowledge of what is contained in the Talmud come to light. As far as Islam, while they do not make it illegal for non members of the faith to read their books, unlike Jews, no one has been sufficiently interested to open those books until recently, with the Jewish agenda of mass immigration.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:48am
re "The greatest of all - Einstein - was certainly an atheist."
 
The greatest of all ? Are you kidding ? Einstein gets credit in every scientific article that mentions his name, even for the simplest thing that anyone that can string a sentence together could figure out. He gets repeated credit for thinking of the simplest of things. Why so if he was so great ?
Physics of the 20th century isn't even interesting until you look at Noethers Theorem, she was a woman, and a non Jew. What she pulled off blows Einstein and every other physicist of the 19th century completely out of the water. Einstein couldn't handle Tensors, a not really difficult part of advanced math that third year students must and can easily understand. The Jewish media, education system and press just don't see it that way. The principle of least action, and symmetry, Noethers theorem shows that relativity and quantum mechanics and all of physics are consequences of symmetry and this principle.
  Stop watching so much TV. Its bad for you.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 5:42am
Doug - I've read all those in your list and a lot more - Confucius, Buddha, St John of the Cross, Castenada, Nietzsche, Milarepa, Huxley …………. yep the list goes on. Including a dork like CS Lewis??? 
Yes - it still doesn't get us over the simplistic absurdity of religious belief though does it?
God in the sky watching, judging, heaven and hell - making a whole universe for us!!
Far too simplistic and humancentric for me. 
Stick with electricity Doug.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 5:47am
Doug - we could argue all day as to who is the greatest mind couldn't we? 
Einstein's theory of relativity was pretty good thinking as far as I'm concerned.
Regardless of whether he was the greatest he was still pretty good and he though religion was baloney.
You stick with CS Lewis - I'll go with Einstein. How you get out of the wardrobe!
Logical Man Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:05am
Doug, have you actually ever read the Bible?
The Old Testament is a truly scary read. The New is a bit friendlier, but still the same 'god'.
Reading the Bible pretty much confirmed my atheism, as I read it without deciding to believe in it ahead of time.
 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:22am
With Einstein I think it depends when. Didn’t he say earlier that God does not play dice with the universe?
 
Opher,
The issue I really have with the post is that it generalizes about religion. Not all religions are the same, not all sects are the same, and not all religions/sects are fundamentalist. My sect/movement is Reform Judaism, just so you know where I fit. What I find over and over is that people come up with descriptions of “religion,” particularly in terms of intolerance, that don’t fit mine, and yet I get stuck with their baggage. My religion (not just my movement) actually puts conduct before faith, but no one who describes “religion” in global terms ever allows for that possibility, in spite of the fact that we’re probably the oldest religion they’re looking at. 
 
What religion is and what people do with it are very different. People use power for nefarious purposes regardless of where they get it. The assumption that the source of that power is responsible for its misuse is not valid; that logic leads to holding Jesus, a man who preached compassion, reaching out to marginalized populations, and helping the poor, responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, religion-based and paradoxically responsible for the burning to death of Jesus’ own tribe. 
 
And the logic of holding religion peculiarly responsible doesn’t hold up. People will tell you about all the wars and persecution in the name of religion, but the biggest massacres of the twentieth century, by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and perhaps Pol Pot, were not religious. Religion is an excuse more than a cause. People will tell you that religion was responsible for American slavery while utterly ignoring the far greater role religion had in the Abolitionist movement. 
 
You should be careful where you swing that club because it’s an overly blunt instrument. There’s a very tolerant Sufi Imam by the name of Imam Rauf. He lives in the US, he is a diplomat and the son of a diplomat, he has stated that the US is actually closer by nature to Sharia than a lot of the Middle East is (because of what he views Sharia as really entailing) and he has been sent to the Middle East on behalf of the State Department many times. He is pro-American and anti-terrorist, viewing it as a violation of Islam. Why should he be a cause for concern?
 
Because it was his congregation that founded what became known as the Ground Zero Mosque. A pro-American anti-terrorist humanist Imam caught an unbelievable raft of shit from a whole lot of the American polity and the American public because they were all so busy generalizing about a religion that encompasses over 1 1/2 billion people that they smeared the crap out of an ally. 
 
What I’m really telling you is that you’re wielding an awfully blunt instrument and that, coming from an extremely humanistic movement that doesn’t recruit and doesn’t believe non-believers are damned, I object to being hit with it. You may think this is a humorous expression until you figure out what population the butt of the joke includes. 
 
 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:25am
If it helps, I’ll give you a handy way to evaluate religion. It’s actually not bad with politics either, but it’s probably a bit better for religion. Religion has two functions that are sometimes at odds with each other: vigilance and compassion. Whenever compassion has the upper hand we’re safe and whenever vigilance has the upper hand we’re headed for a problem. 
 
Though I am certainly not a Christian, Jesus encapsulated this concept best:
 
Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:33am
Logical - not only a scary read with some extremely intolerant and vicious instructions but contradictory, misogynistic and vague. But people pick and choose don't they? It certainly confirmed my view that it was a product of a rather limited ancient Arab culture.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:46am
Kosher - I don't put all religion in the same bag. I have a lot of sympathy for tolerant religions such as the Quakers or Buddhists. I even agree with some of the things said in the bible and Koran. I don't know much about Reform Judaism so I can't really comment there.
The aim of my post, with its tongue in cheek approach, was to highlight the absurdity of this concept of god and the assertions that go with it.
I think it did that.
Religion is irrational. It doesn't answer any of the imponderables- merely kicks them down the road.
Yes there are many reasons for war and bishops bless guns. Onward Christian soldiers. Jihads and crusades, pogroms and holocausts. I could do without any of them. We have enough reasons to wage war. We don't need another.
I know many Muslims, Christians and Jews who are all reasonable people. On the other hand I have seen what happens when they start wanting to foist their stuff on others in schools and outside clinics, in parliament and in Congress. I have also seen the indoctrination machines they set up to brainwash their kids.
For someone of age religion should be a personal choice.
For a lot of Americans that simplistic image of god, heaven and hell is the one that prevails. It is not only absurd but I believe also psychologically damaging. To threaten people with everlasting hellfire is disgusting - particularly children. I know what I'd say to a god that did that.
I think it needs challenging.
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:48am
Kosher - I do like that - vigilance and compassion. I'll go for compassion every time.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 8:57am
Is there a “God?”  I have no idea.  My parents brought me up to believe in one but I lost my faith (whatever faith I possessed at one time) years and years ago.
 
I do know that the religions I studied are often beautiful things...filled with the heights of human thought and expression.  The problem is humans rarely stick to those ideals.  Why?  Because humans are flawed beyond all comprehension.  We cling to this idea that our “God” or interpretation of our “God” is better than anyone else’s.  The most prejudiced, intolerant, unbending, stiff-necked people I meet are often the most “religious.”  
 
So I’ll continue with my faithless existence.  The cool part of being faithless is I look at all religions the same way.  Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, whatever, it’s all the same to me.  No one is better, they all have essentially the same fucked up history.  All of them took the opportunity to use their religion to oppress others.  
 
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating:
 
If there is a “God” then I’m sure he/she/it is looking down at their creation with bemusement, wondering what the fuck happened and maybe dinosaurs weren’t so bad after all.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:02am
LOL Jeffrey - I agree.
But if there is a god it'll be somewhat nearer to a spiritual force running through the universe on a par with atomic energy rather than a conscious being apart and I'm damn sure there won't be any heaven and hell involved.
I'd be a little open to considering that.
What I have no truck with is simplistic visions or books that have come out of the minds of men (not women) in ancient times. They are all too human and flawed.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:06am
re "Doug, have you actually ever read the Bible?"
 
Yes, the NT is the only part that matters to me.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:14am
Absolutely, Opher.  If a “God” exists it’s a particularly uncaring “God.”
Dino Manalis Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:20am
 Religion isn't a story, it's a human necessity to give us hope and endurance, because money and science aren't enough to solve all our problems.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:33am
@Koshersalaami re "responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, religion-based and paradoxically responsible for the burning to death of Jesus’ own tribe."
 
  No one ever persecuted Jews for their religious practices. Jews have been persecuted for corrupting and undermining the societies they have lived in and have been licked out of these countries and lands over 100 times for this same reason every time.
  As far as the holocaust goes, many people have been persecuted and jailed for questioning the holocaust, but the holocaust itself has never been put on trial (the kind of trial where everyone leaves with their bodies intact, no crushed testicles, etc) , as would normally be required when people seek compensation, particularly the billion$ in compensation paid for the holocaust, deemed "reparation fees", most people that pay these fees were never even alive during ww2, or even lived in Germany.
  None dare question or go near the holocaust on any kind of serious intellectual inquiry, even things related to it are taboo and can cause a prof to lose tenure.
  The holocaust is to create a new religion, holocaustianity, to replace Christian common law, common sense, and to make Jews the race that is beyond question and eventually rulers over us all, making Talmudic law the law of the world.
 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:35am
If you want to write a post arguing against a simplistic approach to religion, fine. If you want to write a post arguing against using religion primarily for self-aggrandizement, fine. Just please be careful about going global with it. 
 
I’ve talked some about the benefits of my religion to me. I’ll give you another one: assistance during times of grief, both in terms of rituals - having something you’re supposed to do while you’re walking into walls - and structured community support. Perhaps some afterlife comfort in there somewhere. I’ve lost a kid. The support mattered. 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:49am
I’m very sorry for your loss.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:51am
I’m not saying that religion can’t be a good thing.  It can.  It helped my brother.
 
The problem is that religions rarely uphold their high ideals.  To me this is where they fail and the fact that “God” hasn’t done anything about it makes me question the reality of this being.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 10:13am
The narrow-mindedness shows itself when believers define atheism as a "religion". Staying in the box is easier than open it and look around. LM has is said perfectly.
 
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 10:16am
Sorry typos.....too hot in Senegal.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 10:17am
Koshersalaami, just to clue you in, Doug is a Holocaust denier and a conspiracy nut.  I like to refer to him as our local cat lady.
 
While the Holocaust denial stuff isn’t amusing the fact that he denies the existence of nuclear weapons is.  
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:01am
Jeffrey - yes - it's all a bit partisan and sadistic.
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:03am
Dino - people can believe whatever fictions they like as far as i'm concerned - as long as they don't force it on people or expect me to believe it.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:14am
Absolutely, Opher.  I honestly don’t care what someone is as long as they don’t pester me about it.
George N Romey Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:24am
If someone's faith gives them comfort in life who am I to judge?  However, organized religion a by product has been horrible to mankind.  Moreover, I have real issues with people substituting "god" for everything under the sun.  Or reading the bible and somehow thinking its applicable to modern day 21st century life.
 
There are some that think "Earth" is nothing more than experiment of superior aliens.  Just the MTV's Real World they want to see what happens when you throw 7 billion, almost all random strangers on a planet together.  These believers might be onto something because human beings have never been rational.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:32am
Doug - your Jewish conspiracy theories and holocaust denials don't wash with me. I think it's dangerous racist nonsense.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:39am
Kosher - I did write a story to illustrate the absurdity of what a lot of people believe. 
I would have thought that it would only cause offensive if that is what you believe in. For those with a more sophisticated appreciation of spirituality it should not cause offense but only open up areas for debate.
And yes I agree - ritual is an important part of human culture. I see nothing wrong in it. I would like to see more ritual not less - but ritual of a secular nature.
I also agree that religion can be a comfort to people in times of trauma.
I am sorry to hear of your loss and I'm glad your faith was of comfort to you.
I have already planned my funeral. It will have lots of ritual - music, poems and celebration of life. I'll have Little Richard blasting, Roy Harper singing about life, my friends giving funny stories, and a humanist ceremony that will be a celebration of the great life I've been fortunate to have. I'm just sad that I'll miss it. I might do a run through just so I can see how it goes.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:39am
That’s my point. I don’t force my beliefs on people or expect them to believe them. But I expect the same courtesy. 
 
S-E, I don’t define atheism as a religion but there are times it sure acts like one. Atheists can be highly evangelistic. I never try to convert them to Judaism but they have tried to convert me to atheism many times. Bill Maher is the Atheist equivalent of Billy Graham.  
 
And that evangelism can absolutely have teeth. Soviet Jews weren’t allowed to worship because atheism was in essence part of what functioned as the Soviet state religion. In China it’s not about Jews but the same issue has surfaced. 
 
As a Jew, it really doesn’t matter to me if I’m persecuted for my religion by Christians, Muslims, or Atheists. All three have tolerated Jews, all three have persecuted Jews. 
 
JK,
I can see what Doug is. And, just to be clear about some of his allegations which I shouldn’t address but I will in one respect, when my grandmother was leafing through a family album with me and said “This page was killed by Hitler,” I didn’t regard it as propaganda because it wasn’t, it was family history. What surprises me about the site is that Doug is not alone. Some of the fictions about Jews I’ve seen here are pretty scary. 
 
No one has made foil out of tin for years but I think some on this site need a supply for hats. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:42am
Jeffrey - I agree. For those who are capable of believing in it then it can be a comfort.
There's always a few positives. But in the balance I reckon religion does more harm than good. When it's good it brings together. When it's bad it divides. When it's good it comforts. When it's bad it creates fear.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:43am
Stone - yes I don't go for this rather silly atheism is a religion daftness. I don't worship anything as a god. My love of nature isn't a religion.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:44am
Jeffrey - I didn't know that Doug denies nuclear weapons exist. What does he think was dropped on Hiroshima?
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:47am
TBH I don’t know, Opher.  He’s only the second one I’ve ever come across.  
 
Only flat earthers are crazier.
TexasLynn Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:51am
While I am glad to have "inspired", Opher would wait until I'm on "holiday" to post something like this.  Luckily, Ken was around to defend those of faith... also a hat-tip to Koshersalaami in that regard.
 
I would not call this post proof of Opher being an "elitist snob" so much as the whole body of his work.  Opher to me is a caricature of a British educator.  Rarely have I met someone more... let's call it "SELF-assured".
 
The first several paragraphs are actually spot on (from a Judeo-Christian perspective); with major exceptions here and there.  Not that Opher ever intended to be spot on on any of it.
 
I offer the following observations only to educate and clarify Christian beliefs.
 
♦ God did not created himself out of nothing.  He is eternal (infinite), backwards are forwards.  (Ken explained well how mankind cannot grasp that and other concepts that are the nature of God.)
 
♦ "These humans were the focus of everything." is directly opposite of Christian theology.  The point (if you care to know) is that we're NOT the focus of anything.  HE is.  And our purpose is to give Him glory by realizing that.
 
♦ While He did give us free will, He did not command us to follow "his instructions and to the letter".  He commanded us to 1) Realize that it was impossible for us to follow His instructions/commands to the letter (the Law) & 2) That he solved that problem by becoming human Himself and doing if for us... then... paying the price for our failure.
 
♦ I don't see Gods plan as "confusing and contradictory", but rather the nature of man to confuse and contradict any and everything.  There is only one Truth and few who find it (a bible reference there Opher).
 
And then he dives off the deep end...
 
Opher >> The only thing they all agreed on was that all the other versions were wrong, heretical and evil and had to be eradicated; that any deviation from the word of the script was to be punished with death.
 
Really Opher... now you know this to be total bullshit... but your hatred (yes HATRED) for Christianity (yes, Christianity in particular) caused you to write it anyway... proving much of the accusations against you in the thread.
 
Opher >> The different tribes fought and killed in the name of their own god. They fiercely brought up their children to believe in their version and fight fiercely in his name. They were determined to enforce the version of the rules they had been given.
 
And the winner of those tribal battles is... atheism... in the name of socialism and communism (the worship of man himself).  Tens of millions of dead, more than ALL other religions combined.
 
I'll stop there... the rest is more of the same...
 
The prophet Isaiah described the end of times as the stars dropping like dried leaves or ripe figs and the heavens rolled up like a scroll.  Every knee shall bow, ever tongue shall confess, and each shall give an account of himself before God.  Only for a few will it be a confession of joy.
 
Side Note: Just a quick break from my "holiday"... signing out... and heading back to the woods.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:01pm
"As I said - religion is hardwired into our brains genetically. I would replace it with ritualised behaviour with ceremonies and dressing up that celebrates something that is real - nature." Hey, that's what we (Satanists) did! We got rid of faith in make believe gods and the supernatural, but kept the rituals, community, and support network that religion provides! It works well for us. I also don't have a problem with other religions, except for the hate groups that masquerade as "religions" and weak garbage that can only survive by being backed up by the state.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:03pm
Ken - I can see that you don't get the humour in the post. That's fine.
 
When you have to point out in virtually every response your "humorous" article - it probably didn't come across as particularly humorous.
 
There is a big difference between religion and faith.
 
Impossible to run for office as an atheist?  There are a number of atheists.  Bernie Sanders is an Atheist (Yes he was born a jew but describes himself as an atheist).
 
the whole Kavanaugh business is religious. The evangelicals want their pro-life votes through to ban abortions and limit contraception, ban sex education and all the other conservative views that emanate from their religious beliefs that they want to impose on others.
 
That is a flat out lie.  Not only does that not affect your day to day life sine you aren't an American, but there is nothing religious about protecting the life of an innocent child.  The constitution even guarantees life for you and your progeny.  As far as banning contraception, sex ed, etc.  that is just a flat out lie.
 
On top of that you clearly don't understand how the Supreme court works, and even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, it doesn't ban abortion.  As I have stated before, if you are going to make political commentary about the U.S. you should at least have a basic understanding of how th e U.S. works.  You clearly don't or you are being intentionally obtuse about it to maintain your flawed position.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:07pm
Funny how the atheist read the bible and find nothing but evil and hate in it and find it "scary".  Clearly not reading it in context and picking out the parts that support your belief rather than reading it with an open mind.
 
I am far from an expert but I have read it as well.  I at least understand the difference between the old and the new testament.  Yes, it is the "same God", but the new testament he created a new covenant with "his children" - which is how he had to treat them in the old testament because that is what they were, immature, violent, adolescents.  The new testament creates a new covenant and supposedly washes away all previous wrongdoing through his gift - if you have faith and believe, then you have a path to eternal peace and happiness.
 
Whether that is true or not is another story, but it is clear that those that say they "read the bible and it confirmed their atheism" were clearly looking for that and picking out of it what supported their view.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:08pm
J.M. Barrie
 
That's my great uncle Michael!
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:08pm
Tex - Thank you and welcome.
I believe I said that Tex - he either came out of nothing or has always been here.
Right so you are telling me that Christians do not believe god created the universe and put humans in it as the focus and purpose of his creation? It wasn't created for us?
So he gave us an impossible task and promised all who failed eternal agony unless they believed in Jesus. That's what I thought.
What is confusing is the contradictions of the bible and the contradictions between religions - one god appearing to different people in different guises with different messages? Or many gods? Or no gods but a lot of people thinking they're hearing voices? People select and use the bits they want to do the things they want to do.
There are no winners in religion Tex. They all think they have the only version of truth. And inside each religion it is split into sects who all argue and fight over various teachings. Catholic and Protestant, Sunni and Shia. They'll burn each other and blow each other to bits over beliefs. They've fought wars, burnt witches, killed each other and persecuted each other for thousands of years. 
Yet Jew, Christian or Muslim - supposedly the same god? Madness.
Yep - and back then they didn't even know what stars were and thought the heavens were a canopy over us. No wonder they imagined it rolling up like a scroll. Behind that canopy they thought God resided.
I guess you have to understand the ancient primitive mind of nomadic Arabs to understand it.
Steel Breeze Added Oct 5, 2018 - 12:17pm
as with those whose religion is liberalism/conservatism, i got beef with them until it intrudes into my life...
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:29pm
Yet Jew, Christian or Muslim - supposedly the same god? Madness.
 
I have explained this multiple times, they do NOT have the same God, or at least they interpret him very differently.  Jews and Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  the muslims believe in the God of Abraham, Ishmail, and Jacob.  It is a subtle but very significant difference and part of why many muslims believe violence is the answer to everything.
 
each religion it is split into sects who all argue and fight over various teachings. Catholic and Protestant
 
That's it!  Those darn methodists, always pillaging catholic cathedrals!
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:37pm
LOL Ken - you mean Ishmael had a different god to Isaac? Where did he come from? If it is the Abrahamic god how can he be a different one?
It is all interpretation.
In my view it is all fabrication and nonsense.
So should all Christians be Catholic? Or Greek Orthodox? or Mormon? Or Methodist? Or Baptist?
I get confused.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:38pm
Steel - I think you'll find that liberals and conservative is politics not religion.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:42pm
Ken - so do we dispense with the old testament now that this covenant has been made?
It's the same god but he's mellowed - right?
I read the bible and I find some beautiful poetry, great passages, great parables and some interesting myths. Then I find some horrendous violence, horrific threats and plain sadism.
It's just what I would expect from archaic documents of its age and derivation - the accumulated writing of various people over a period of time - some good some terrible.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:50pm
Lynn
 
I agree in thinking that everything existed and will continue - no beginning and no end. I don't believe in a big blast as a start therefore.
 
The problem is that "humanizing" of a god, and the so-called creation of man and giving him rules. The whole brimborium around it.
 
In my view, the purpose of religion was to educate. That came thousands of years after the first looked up into the sky and asked WHO made this.
 
They had no idea that there is an outside of WHO. The rest LM explained well enough.
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:50pm
Ken - I seem to remember that Bernie didn't get nominated. Do you think his atheism was a factor?
Maybe some objectivity about the whole US wouldn't go amiss.
Of course the whole Kavanaugh issue is both political and religious. Can't you see that? The evangelicals, who support the Republicans, want abortion banned, contraception limited and sex ed out. They see Kavanaugh as the vehicle. Isn't that obvious?
They want their conservative view represented in the court in order to push through their religious agenda.
A lie? Wow!! I think you need to get real.
Religion seeps all through politics in the USA. It's a backdoor theocracy. Trump knows that. That's why he panders to them. Fortunately for Trump they are gullible. They voted for someone who is the most immoral person around but bless all his sinning.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 1:57pm
BTW: Man thinks in time frames because he is born and dies. So in his archaic thinking he HAD to think that there is a time frame for creation and armageddon. For us, maybe. But not for the universe.
 
BTW: god is no "he". It is as best a "it" LOL
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:01pm
Stone - I agree. Our imagination cannot deal with large numbers for time and we have to have beginnings and endings and reasons.
Perhaps it just is.
And if there is a god its a force not an entity. It's definitely an it.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:26pm
I seem to remember that Bernie didn't get nominated. Do you think his atheism was a factor?
 
No, as democrats have rejected God in their platform in 2012.  I think his socialism was. It is loud but it is a vocal minority still, thank goodness
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:31pm
The evangelicals, who support the Republicans, want abortion banned, contraception limited and sex ed out. They see Kavanaugh as the vehicle. Isn't that obvious?
 
Again, that is a flat out lie.  The US a backdoor theocracy? Again, you preach about our politics and understand them not at all.
 
Kavanaugh voted with Merrick Garland 93% of the time, and he is an evangelical plant?  That is laughable.
 
I have seen no one want contraception limited.  Even most catholics where one of the tenets is no contraception don't seem to agree with that.
 
Since you so clearly understand America and the Supreme court, please explain in any way how appointing Kavanaugh will "ban abortion"?  There is NOTHING the supreme court can do about that.  The supreme court does not make law, contrary to what it has tried to do a few times in recent years.  There is nothing the supreme court would do on any of the talking points you fear monger.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:46pm
Opher
 
"
It would all work out in the end. All the tribes had faith – different faith – but faith none the less.
 
God did nothing to intervene – not a word.
 
He had given humanity the universe, a place of wonder and awe, created out of nothing, but he was nowhere to be seen, doing nothing.
 
This is the story of religion."
 
Again, a biased essay pointing to apparent discrepancies on what some theoretical god might do and omits the very basis of faith based religions: faith itself. 
 
 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:47pm
For a lot of Americans that simplistic image of god, heaven and hell is the one that prevails. It is not only absurd but I believe also psychologically damaging. To threaten people with everlasting hellfire is disgusting - particularly children. I know what I'd say to a god that did that.
 
Who's to say that isn't just some human interpretation?  That is why there are many different religions and many different sects of christianity, judaism, islam.
 
If you were to believe in God, He would be all knowing and man would be the fallible learning child. No person is perfect.
 
If it were real, who is to say that the heaven and hell concept couldn't be as simple as "You have an eternal soul.  God has given you free will to make choices.  You can choose to accept God or not.  If you accept him (from whatever denomination), You are embraced in his love and warmth.  If you don't then your eternal soul (by your own choice) is permanently separated from him?
 
That could be considered heaven/hell conceptually.
 
If you believe in God, perhaps Occam's razor could come into play, and there doesn't have to be some fancy hell fire or Hell ruled by Satan or whatever.  It may just be as simple as that. 
 
I guess we will find out for sure what the truth is once we die - or at that point it may not matter anymore if three is no God.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:50pm
Ken,
 
"Since you so clearly understand America and the Supreme court, please explain in any way how appointing Kavanaugh will "ban abortion"?  "
 
The abortion button is the hottest hot button to push for the left as they demand their pleasure at getting rid of annoying  pregnancies for convenience or other reasons. 
 
But, the Warren Court and thereafter  did make law such as Griswold v. CT, the basis for Roe v. Wade. 
 
Since the left cannot get their radical legislation thru Congress they have relied on activist judges who pervert the law for political reasons. 
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 2:55pm
Ken
 
Apparently you don't understand one thing: REAL socialist theory is much closer to any Jesus teachings than capitalism will ever be. I'm talking of REAL. Get into the writings of Marx and Engels an others.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:00pm
BTW: What you don't seem to get is that you're fighting for one party or ideology while in reality both are the same. The party of money and influence. As everywhere.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:09pm
Stone-Eater
 
"REAL socialist theory is much closer to any Jesus teachings"
 
That depends on whose socialism you look at. USSR was socialism and so was Germany and Italy, Cuba and several dozen spots in Africa, all based on murder and certainly not religions in any sense. 
 
Lenin and Stalin tried to ban religion. REAL socialist theory is rare in practice. Dictatorships are more common. 
Ian Thorpe Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:10pm
Opher, in another, non Abrahamic version: In the beginning (only there was no beginning because the universe is infinte and eternal,) there was a god, some people called him Cronis, some Horus, others The Ancient of Days, you could call him what you liked really, he wasn't listening. He never said anything or did anything, he just was. The he woke up one morning, yawned, stretched, scratched and farted (OK, I'm paraphrasing,) and said the word. And the word was, "Jah" (or perhaps "Ea,") which as anyone who has eaten Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae sauce will know, means I AM.
Then he fucked off. But The Word (see the first few verses of The Gospel Of John,) remained and somehow resonated in the darkness that humans dwelt in, and they all though I AM, and there was a bliding flash of light and they were.
This enabled them to make the leap from Homo Knuckledraggerus (man who knobs goats,) via Homo Sapiens (man who knows) to Homo Sapiens Sapiens (man who knows he knows.)
And it came to pass that man who knew he knew, knew that he was alone, with no big guy to watch his back so he invented one, or several, or thousands, depending on your world view.

Does that make more sense now?
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:24pm
But, the Warren Court and thereafter  did make law such as Griswold v. CT, the basis for Roe v. Wade. 
 
I get that, just as they made law by forcing gay marriage on every state, however, that is not legal nor is it constitutional
 
The problem on a whole different topic is how powerful the supreme court has become.  It started expanding its power all the way back in Marbury v. Madison.
 
The supreme court used to be a sub office in the basement of the capital.  The founders never intended it to have the reach has today.  it is the least "equal" of the coequal brances of government.
 
It was not an accident that the judiciary isn't defined until Article 3.
 
One of the proposed amendments in the Article 5 convention is that a Supreme court ruling can be overturned if within 12 months 2/3 of the states vote against the ruling.  I think this is a fantastic idea.  Bring the supreme court authority back to being answerable to the citizens
 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:24pm
Get into the writings of Marx and Engels an others.
 
I have, and I reject them
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:27pm
Lenin and Stalin tried to ban religion. REAL socialist theory is rare in practice. Dictatorships are more common. 
 
Hitler replaced all pictures of Jesus in Germany with pictures of himself.
 
The reason dictatorships are more common is because socialism leads to totalitarianism in its extreme.  In its extreme capitalism leads to capitalism.  Capitalism isn't a political ideology, socialism is
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:35pm
Ken
 
You still don't understand. Ideology is different from practice, because the latter involves human character. That's why capitalism produces neoliberalism and socialism produces dictatorship.
 
Finally it's about eat or die. We're animals after all. All the -isms, well intended or not, do not reflect true human nature.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:36pm
BTW: Religion is just another tool in that game. And your god can't do fuck all about it ;)
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:40pm
@Ken:
Hitler replaced all pictures of Jesus in Germany with pictures of himself.
 
He did?  
 
Nazi Germany had a very uneasy relationship with religion.  On the one hand die hard National Socialists wanted to abolish religion but Hitler realized that as a Christian nation he needed to tread lightly.  So he decided to let things die on their own.
 
I don’t know about this replacing pictures of Jesus with his likeness, Ken.  Some hardcore Nazis attempted to do this but the outcry made it stop.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:42pm
Ryck
 
Germany was never socialist despite what names tell. Is Congo for example a democratic republic as it calls itself ? Forget it.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:48pm
Ryck
 
If it comes to you, shouldn't Islam be banned therefore ? Since all the bad guys come from your pal Saudi Arabia ?
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:53pm
re "However, organized religion a by product has been horrible to mankind."
 
  Christianity ended (Jewish, Islamic and Black slave trade) slavery, provided a doctrine of good government that built the West, and stopped the Islamic hoards from destroying Europe. Ficte was the father of nationhood [E. Michael Jones], and a disciple of Kant.
  Yes, Christianity was behind the Spainish Inquisition, an effort to get the Jews out of Spain.
  So, how has Christianity been bad for man? The one religion that spreads by itself, through doctrine, without the use of gunpowder has done more for the world than any other.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:54pm
“But in the balance I reckon religion does more harm than good.” 
 
Why is “Does religion do more harm or good?” even the question? 
 
I suppose there are people here who would say something like “but in the balance I reckon government does more harm than good.” You could argue that all day. The Soviet, Nazi, and Maoist governments were terrible. Maybe you think the American government has done more good than harm, maybe you really think the Canadian government has. So, should we have government or shouldn’t we? 
 
“Insects: good or bad?” That might depend on whether you just caught malaria from one or just ate something that had to be pollinated by one; or whether termites just attacked your house or you really love animals that depend on insects as a food supply. But in the balance, do insects do more harm than good? 
 
Why would you ask? The question is ridiculous. What the question really is is way too simplistic. 
 
So why pose it? Answer it one way and you favor a whole lot of manifestations of religion you don’t support; answer it the other and you fail to favor manifestations you do. It will probably rely on population, meaning my religion will always be judged by that which is not us. But why? There is nothing necessary about this. It’s an idle question that attacks people with faith for no particular reason. 
 
My religious beliefs certainly don’t line up with, say, TexasLynn’s. I’m cool with talking theology with him but we come from very different viewpoints and perspectives. In the case of Ken and me, our religious convictions often lead us to opposite political conclusions. Are you saying that both conclusions are wrong? If you agree with one of them and that one was in our case religion-influenced, how would that lead you to conclude that the religious viewpoint that supported your political viewpoint is intrinsically wrong? Are you going to say that only your path to favored conclusions is to be respected, that religious paths are to be rejected on the grounds that they’re religion-based? 
 
Or are you going to say that you don’t like religious-based conclusions because they lack thought? If that’s what you think, you clearly haven’t been exposed to Talmud. That kind of legalistic intricate analysis is how so many Jews ended up in the legal profession. If you’re liberal, that “so many Jews” includes three on the Supreme Court holding up your views. 
Doug Plumb Added Oct 5, 2018 - 3:55pm
Good comments and arguments Ken.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:07pm
Doug
 
Tell that to the people of South America and Africa which have been 'missionized' with the bible in one hand and a gun or bottle of whisky in the other.
 
Believe in our god we know what you need....
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 4:45pm
S-E,
Again, wrong question. Christianity: good or bad? That might depend on whether you’re talking about Mother Theresa or Torquemada. And they’re both from within Catholicism. There’s a lot more once you’re elsewhere. 
Logical Man Added Oct 5, 2018 - 5:44pm
So, Doug, you only like the NT.
Does this mean you pick and choose the bits you like about god and ignore the rest?
Same god in the OT, after all.
Maybe he mellowed with age, but that seems unlikely as he is ageless.
Your god isn't perfect, it shows in his work.
 
 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 5:56pm
The issue I have with only choosing the NT is that Jesus didn’t. 
Logical Man Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:43pm
Kosher, given the 'fact' of Jesus's existence is pretty much based on a single novel, how could we have any clue of any thoughts a such an entity may or not have had, if they actually ever existed?
 
John Minehan Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:44pm
Certain things we assume about the universe, based on best evidence, imply a creation ex nihilo and a sort of an "Operating System."
 
At minimum, that implies a demiurge.
 
Knowing how one type of intelligent species operates, it's desire to create and experiment, it is not illogical to assume an intelligent being of limitless power, with infinity time on its hands, might create a universe (or a multiverse) just to see what happened.
 
Such a Being might also want to create beings capable of moral choice just to see what they would do.
 
This might be what "Art" or "Science" is for "G-d."  
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:44pm
Ken - there's always hope that man's better, more caring side will evolve.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:46pm
Ken - if the high court does fuck all then why all the big hoo-ha about it?
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:47pm
rycK - no - I think I covered faith - it's blind and irrational. I thought that came across.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:48pm
If it makes someone more reasonable and tolerant I say go with just the New Testament. Jesus is just a myth anyway, may as well pick a kinder, gentler one. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:49pm
rycK - you really do not understand socialism at all. USSR was communist. Cuba was communist. Germany and Italy were fascist.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:51pm
Ian - it makes perfect sense to me - and thanks for your input. I enjoyed it.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:53pm
Stone - Yep - Jesus was a communist and totally against capitalism. He turned the tables on the bankers.
But, as Woody Guthrie said, if he came back today the capitalists would have him killed.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:55pm
Ken - I haven't yet noticed any totalitarianism in Scandinavia.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 6:57pm
I posted this elsewhere, but it fits this conversation as well - “Jesus Was a Proto-Communist Jewish Hobo Who Criticized the Rich” https://extranewsfeed.com/jesus-was-a-proto-communist-jewish-hobo-who-criticized-the-rich-99f47e2214c5
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:01pm
Doug - yep - Crusades, Pogroms, Inquisitions, Witch burning, Catholic v Protestant wars, Ireland, Catholic torturing and burning, Armadas, slavery, genocide of Native American Indians, South American Incas, Australian Aborigines, Chinese, South African apartheid, Southern American segregation, Lynching, KKK, White supremacists, New Zealand Maoris, 
apart from that - oh and the death of Brazilian and Argentinian Indians and many African tribes.
apart from that
What harm has it ever done?
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:05pm
Kosher - I cannot see any problem with coming to a personal conclusion about religion, politics or insects. It's a view based on experience and knowledge and it is subjective. You don't have to agree with my assessment and I see nothing wrong in arguing about it.
I thought that was one of the aims of WB? And I certainly like a good argument. I have views that are based on my judgement and I'm quite happy to defend them, listen and reassess.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:08pm
Kosher - is it the wrong question? I think it's valid. All questions are valid. Why is any question wrong? It's the answers that are usually wrong.
Logical Man Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:08pm
Oph, nice list!
You likely missed quite a few, but not a bad start.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:10pm
Log - Doug doesn't like the OT because it was written by Jews. 
The thing is that Jesus and all his disciples and followers were Jews. At the time he was perceived as just another Jewish sect among many. Even his own brother saw him as a Jewish teacher.
But don't tell Doug.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:12pm
Log - well it was off the top of my head. If I thought about it some more I could add quite a few.
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:14pm
James - an interesting perspective that was amplified by Woody Guthrie in his Song Jesus Christ:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDS00Pnhkqk
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:18pm
John - I like the idea that we are an artwork in progress!
John Minehan Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:19pm
"But, as Woody Guthrie said, if he came back today the capitalists would have him killed."
 
Ever read The Grand Inquisitor
opher goodwin Added Oct 5, 2018 - 7:20pm
James - well I certainly prefer the NT to the OT. I didn't like all that bashing babies heads on rocks stuff. There was some mean and vicious stuff in there.
But they still use it to pillory people, to justify intolerance and wage wars.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:28pm
He did?  
 
Yes, he did.  I can't find the specific link I am looking for about it, but here are stories about how he transformed christmas and twisted the protestant church.  He tried to create a state religion but couldn't do that so he inserted Nazism into existing churches as much as possible
 
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1228630/How-Hitlers-Nazi-propaganda-machine-tried-Christ-Christmas.html
 
https://www.history.com/news/the-nazis-war-on-christmas
 
https://www.facinghistory.org/holocaust-and-human-behavior/chapter-5/protestant-churches-and-nazi-state
 
 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:31pm
Kosher, given the 'fact' of Jesus's existence is pretty much based on a single novel, how could we have any clue of any thoughts a such an entity may or not have had, if they actually ever existed?
 
A single novel?  You mean the NT?  It was written by multiple people and there were several books that were not even included in it that continued to assert his existence.  There is quite a bit of archeological evidence that corroborate much of the gospels historically, by extrapolation and other evidence the existence of Jesus.  Was he divine?  A matter of opinion.  Did he exist?  only extreme conspiracy theories say he was fictional.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:34pm
if the high court does fuck all then why all the big hoo-ha about it?
 
because if activists are appointed it will make law as it did in roe v. wade and gay marriage and declaring obamacare fee a tax.  If constitutionalists are on it, it will guarantee that an overbearing big government don't trample our individual rights and liberties and will be an all-important constitutional check on the other 2 branches of government to keep them from overreaching.
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:41pm
you really do not understand socialism at all. USSR was communist. Cuba was communist. Germany and Italy were fascist.
 
Socialism is a stepping stone on the way to communism.  "Democratic socialist" was a term coined by lenin because "Communist" sounded too harsh and he wante the west to seem to have more in common with his ideology.
 
"The Goal of Socialism is Communism."  - Lenin
 
" Socialism, according to Marx’s view anyway, Karl Marx’s view, socialism was something of a stage on life’s way to communism.  Socialism was the stage you needed to have when the authorities and the government took control, forcible control of the entire society.  All the economic decisions, all the personal, moral decisions, they controlled these centrally.  For people who would not go along with the program, as it were, they would be invited, that’s a nice word, but they would be invited for reeducation.  Once the reeducation was complete so that everybody then internalized all of the goals, including the moral goals, of socialism, then at that point, allegedly anyway, the state would wither away.  There would no longer be a need for centralized, coercive authority.  That’s when we would have communism."
 
https://www.mikechurch.com/2016/06/socialism-a-stepping-stone-to-communism/
 
 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:45pm
Yep - Jesus was a communist and totally against capitalism. He turned the tables on the bankers.
 
Context is irrelevant where agenda is concerned, eh?  It was on the verge of passover and they were in the temple.  He also tossed out the people selling animals.
 
They were taking advantage of those who wanted to make a sacrifice for passover and had traveled long distances to get there.  And they were doing it in the temple.  He was cleansing the temple.
 
He was against usury and defiling the temple on the verge of one of their biggest holy nights.
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:48pm
"If constitutionalists are on it, it will guarantee that an overbearing big government don't trample our individual rights and liberties  "
As a big supporter of the so called "Patriot" Act Kavanaugh is the OPPOSITE of a constitutionalist, and is an obvious enemy of liberty and freedom. Hypocrisy much?? 
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:50pm
"only extreme conspiracy theories say he was fictional"
You wish! Prove he existed! Here is proof he did not www.nobeliefs.com 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:53pm
I have previously responded to you about that.  I am not going to keep reposting the same thing over and over.  Funny how that is the only website you ever link as a "denier"
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:55pm
As a big supporter of the so called "Patriot" Act Kavanaugh is the OPPOSITE of a constitutionalist, and is an obvious enemy of liberty and freedom. Hypocrisy much?? 
 
Nope.  I have argued against Kavanaugh a number of times, even posted an article about him being the worst choice on Trump's list (and he wasn't even on Trump's original list that he promised to pick justices from, he was added on after elected).  I am not a fan of the Patriot Act and believe it is unconstitutional.  It was actually drafted in the 90s and lawmakers needed the right event to pass it. 9/11 created that vacuum. 
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 9:56pm
Here is the specific link. http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm
As the article correctly says, there is as much evidence of an historical Hercules as a historical Jesus. It's wackjobery
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 10:13pm
After he died his apostles went out into the world to preach about him so yes in that form it is "hearsay", but that is just silly, they were consistent accounts from people who directly knew him and preached his message.  Sorry everyone didn't have their iPhones recording the sermon on the mount.  There are numerous historical items and people around him that are proven to exist.  They have found evidence of his brother. 
 
https://www.npr.org/2012/04/01/149462376/did-jesus-exist-a-historian-makes-his-case
Koshersalaami Added Oct 5, 2018 - 10:40pm
We have no way of knowing if Jesus existed. I think historians are more on the side of his existing but for the purposes of a lot of our conversation it doesn’t matter. Even if Jesus is a myth, a couple of billion people ostensibly base large parts of their lives on his story. So then the question becomes: If you claim to be Christian, are you really trying to follow him as portrayed? An awful lot of his followers have deeply held views that are inconsistent with his story. The story portrays a man who was angered by intolerance - he reached out constantly to the marginalized - and who was also angered by a lack of compassion, particularly when it comes to compassion of the wealthy toward the poor. He was the polar opposite of a Social Darwinist. 
 
I don’t have a religious axe to grind here because I am not Christian, but the man portrayed in the NT had views that are way more consistent with the current liberal position than the current conservative one. 
 
Here’s what a lot of people don’t get about religion:
Whether or not God exists, priesthoods/clergy do. Sometimes these clergy set very moral examples in the name of their religious beliefs. Dr. King was a classic example. Recently, a MacArthur Genius Grant was given to a social activist pastor in North Carolina named Rev. William Barber, a man responsible for a political movement in NC called Moral Mondays. This is a man who fights oppression in the name of God. I had the privilege of hearing him speak in person once, oddly enough at my old Temple in North Carolina, and he is flat-out the best public speaker I’ve ever seen. God doesn’t have to exist and Jesus didn’t have to either for fighting oppression to be a moral act. 
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:05pm
The reason I don't provide another source to debunk the existence of Jesus is because www.nobeliefs.com already debunks all of the so called "evidence". Provide something new and I will address it but already debunked nonsense doesn't fly. Becides I thought Christianity was supposed to be a faith-based religion. Now you want to pretend it is a fact-based one based itself on lies and debunked garbage. Pathetic, apparently your faith Ken isn't worth much. 
James Travil Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:09pm
Oh and FYI Ken, I don't accept NPR as a valid source for information. If medium.com is not acceptable neither is NPR,it's too liberal for my personal use or to be counted on as an unbiased source. 
Ken Added Oct 5, 2018 - 11:50pm
No problem James  NPR may be leftist (and I agree with you it is), but at least it is considered a news source and is interviewing an actual historian who is a professor providing facts rather than just a leftist opinion rant.
 
Considering you use medium.com as a basis for your facts, however, NPR should be considered far too conservative for you.
 
The reason you don't provide more evidence is because it is all the same "plausible denial".  It supports your beliefs so you are in your safe space.  All of the mythicists come up with the same 3-4 talking points about it and ignore things like the professor was saying.
 
I really don't care what you accept or don't accept.  I post information and you can accept or not.  I really don't care.  There are others here that will weigh the information and the sources and make up their own mind, that is all I can ask for.
 
What faith are you pushing on me?  I have already stated multiple times, including previously here I am not a christian, nor do I believe in God in any way.  Do you just drop in and drop bombs or do you actually follow conversations?  Clearly you haven't read my comments on this thread or others as you keep poking at "my faith" to try and get a rise out of me
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 12:42am
I'm not pushing any faith or religion. My religion is fact-based not faith-based, and a part of it's core doctrine is to always search for the truth, which is why I abor historical revisionists who push outrageous crap like a historical Jesus. History is sacred to me but people like you just shit all over it to promote a bunch of pointless nonsense. I find that offensive. But I say let others read what we both posted and decide for themselves, I'm quite happy with the resource I provided in it's ability to inform and debunk the fables and myths you feel a need to try to paint as "history". 
Ken Added Oct 6, 2018 - 1:26am
Let'stalk about your religion JT - looking at your post.  I would make a separate post about this but i can only post every 48 hrs a new topic, and your post here is old enough it wouldn't be kicked up to respond on the site.
 
is an atheist religion
 
that in itself is false, unless you agree that atheism requires more faith than believing in a GOD
 
We only worship ourselves, life, and perhaps certain individuals who are worthy.
 
 
What does "worship" mean?  What is "worthy"?  Do you "worship" sports heroes? political heroes? or is it just hedonism?  So the most fun loving person you can find is "worshiped?  What does "worship" mean if you don't believe in divinity?  And if you don't believe in divinity, why is ANYTHING worthy of worship?
 
Satan, who is our mascot
 
so you don't believe in divinity, but you use what you consider a "fictional character" as your cover for anarchy and hedonism, simply to oppose a faith you disagree with?  Why are you so threatened by someone else's faith?  Right or wrong, who cares?
 
Satanists use "dark" imagery not because it's "cool" or that we worship evil or death  but because such is the nature of the representation of the Prince of Darkness  
 
That in itself is a complete contradiction.
 
 
All Satanists are atheists but not all atheists are Satanists. 
 
That is flat out wrong.  There are quite a few Satanists that worship Satan as the devil.  Your particular view may look at it that way, but it is false to represent all Satanists in that way.
 
 
 
 
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 1:41am
"That is flat out wrong. There are quite a few Satanists that worship Satan as the devil. Your particular view may look at it that way, but it is false to represent all Satanists in that way."
Devil worshipers and Satanists aren't the same thing. As for the rest, take it to the article and stop derailing Opher's article topic. 
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 1:48am
I will respond to this one last part, just because it's so stupid it's funny
 
is an atheist religion
 
"that in itself is false, unless you agree that atheism requires more faith than believing in a GOD"
ROTFLMFAO! LOOOL! OMG, SERIOUSLY?!? So I guess Buddhists require more faith also? After all they don't have a deity! I already told you that we are a fact-based religion not a faith-based one, are you really that dim and thick you can't understand that?!? Damn! That is hilarious! 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2018 - 1:49am
@Ken:
 "Yes, he did.  I can't find the specific link I am looking for about it, but here are stories about how he transformed christmas and twisted the protestant church.  He tried to create a state religion but couldn't do that so he inserted Nazism into existing churches as much as possible"
 
Ken, you said originally that Hitler replaced pictures of Christ with himself.  Your links didn't support that.
 
Your links also mentioned that most Germans ignored the attempt by the Nazis to insert themselves into Christmas.  Another link did mention the business with the Protestant churches but those churches kept pretty much the same Christian principles with some Nazi ideology mixed in.  The nationalist stuff didn't bother most Germans so that was a pretty easy change.
 
What I would say is that Hitler and Goebbels hoped that religion would die out naturally on its own.
Ken Added Oct 6, 2018 - 1:49am
lol, devil worshipers call themselves satanist, but you are right, huh? and you talk about worship, yet you deny any divinity. I would not derail Opher's topic except you put it out there, and If I posted on your topic from March, no one would see it and there would likely be no response.  I posted something earlier tonight so Autumn will not allow me to post a new topic for 48 hours.  Your view I see as completely debunked by the post, however.  You are simply justifying your lifestyle (which you may live as you choose as far as I am concerned as long as all are consenting), but you want others to accept it as rational, yet your explanation is anything but...
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 3:32am
Dumbass, Anton Szander Lavey codified the meaning of the word "Satanist" by founding the world's first aboveground Satanic organization in 1966. As such Satanism is what ever, he the founder of the movement, said it is. Grow up little man. I thought you were good with ignoring me. I guess your word is for shit. 
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 3:38am
" Your view I see as completely debunked by the post, however. You are simply justifying your lifestyle (which you may live as you choose as far as I am concerned as long as all are consenting), but you want others to accept it as rational, yet your explanation is anything but..."
So your word alone "completely debunks" my religion, even though we are entirely fact-based and you have yet to DEBUNK reality? Insane! And I thought I was supposed to be the crazy one. AND I am supposed to justify my lifestyle to you, why? Who made you the boss of my life? You aren't my boss, my father, my priest, or anything else. Your ego is a thing to behold! 
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 5:04am
Ken - I don't think there is much doubt that Jesus existed. He was mentioned in historical documents of the time as being the leader of a small Jewish sect. If it wasn't for St Paul and Constantine that is how he would have remained.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 5:14am
Ken - Socialism isn't a stepping stone to anything. It is an end in itself. This sounds like the domino effect to me. We have to invade Vietnam and Cambodia. If we don't stop the spread of communism it will infect the whole region.
Communism is not the natural outcome of socialism. The Scandinavian countries who practice socialism do not have any move to or desire for communism.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 5:21am
Kosher - I agree with you. The Jesus portrayed in the NT was much more in line with the Dems than Repub. He was tolerant and against injustices. He was also against the wealthy. Eyes of needles and such.
I think what you say resonates with what Yuval Harari was talking about in Homo Deus - we need a fiction in order to coalesce around so that we can function in large groups. It is a unifying force. We humans are unique in this. We do it with leaders, who we imbue with superhuman powers, religions, nations and money. All are fictions created by us that we believe in.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 5:25am
Jeffrey - that's about the only thing I agree with Hitler on - I too hope that religion dies out naturally. It would help if we replaced it with good humanist ceremonies and rituals.
TexasLynn Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:32am
Opher >> I believe I said that Tex - he either came out of nothing or has always been here.
 
You also said, "He thought it and it came into being out of nothing, just like he himself had done before", which I interpreted as God creating himself.  Maybe you meant something else...
 
Opher >> Right so you are telling me that Christians do not believe god created the universe and put humans in it as the focus and purpose of his creation? It wasn't created for us?
 
Yes... I am telling you exactly that.  A key message of the New Testament is that it (creation, everything) is not about us; but about Him.  Figuring that out is a key part of the Christian path.
 
Opher >> So he gave us an impossible task and promised all who failed eternal agony unless they believed in Jesus. That's what I thought.
 
Yes... that is what you thought; and you were again, wrong (from a Christian perspective).  The task is pretty simple if you legitimately seek it.  That's something you haven't done... thus all this flailing and lashing about in this post.
 
Opher >> ... god appearing to different people in different guises with different messages? Or many gods?
 
It never happened.  You assume all religions are equal (or unequal).  They are not.  Somebody is right (that includes you) and everybody else is wrong.
 
For example, God never spoke to Mohammad.  Islam, at best, is the invention of a mad-man.  One only need to read the Quran to come to that conclusion.  One need only read the Quran and the Bible to EASILY realize Mohammed's Allah is not the God of Jews and Christian.  Allah is closer to Cthulhu (a work of fiction) than anything divine.
 
Opher >> There are no winners in religion Tex.
 
The biggest losers are those unlucky enough to live in those nations who embraced your religion (the worship of man); tens of millions murdered and many millions more living their lives in misery.
 
No religion is perfect... but they all sure as hell beat that fate.
 
All I have time to refute... good thread Ken and KosherS
Doug Plumb Added Oct 6, 2018 - 9:15am
@ Stone Eater re "Doug
 
Tell that to the people of South America and Africa which have been 'missionized' with the bible in one hand and a gun or bottle of whisky in the other.
 
Believe in our god we know what you need....  "
 
That was the Catholic Church expanding its influence. Since White people went to Africa, the tribal fighting stopped and the population of SA went from 2 million to 40 million. You watch too much Hollywood, none of those "historical movies" have any truth to them. Hollywood is the kind of wood that is used for magic, not truth.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 6, 2018 - 9:18am
re "So, Doug, you only like the NT.
Does this mean you pick and choose the bits you like about god and ignore the rest?"
 
I prefer a tablet or PC to a TV or radio as well. Its better. I do not own a TV or radio.
Logical Man Added Oct 6, 2018 - 10:04am
So, Doug, I guess a bully is a good guy on the days he decides not to push you around?
Koshersalaami Added Oct 6, 2018 - 10:49am
JT,
As I’ve said, I have no dog in this fight, being a non-Christian. Whether Jesus existed as a man has no impact on my beliefsI followed your link. The only thing the author proves is that the story is unlikely as written. That followers exaggerated Jesus’ impact at the time would be a reasonable assumption, but that’s not your claim here. Your claim as I read it is that the man didn’t exist. Firstly, disproving the existence of a man based on two thousand year old records is next to impossible if not actually impossible. Secondly, on what basis would anyone assume that a story about a guy spreading a religious message who had a group of followers would be the work of an early Hans Christian Andersen rather than coming from accounts of his followers and others who remembered him? If you’re looking for a smoking gun, that theory is more plausible than the fairy tale theory. It is at least as plausible that the early movement was too minor to be reported contemporaneously than that it didn’t exist. 
 
Your view that he did not exist at all not only does not constitute proof, I don’t think it even meets probability. Yes, those who follow him have an axe to grind, but so do you. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 11:04am
Thanks for that Tex. 
An interesting take on Islam - the workings of a madman. Sounds like schizophrenia to me - but then not much different to what was found wandering around wildernesses for 40 days or up mountains with burning bushes.
But yes - I do assume all religions stem from the same basic human need.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 11:06am
Doug - I'm sure the people of Africa are eternally grateful to the missionaries who made their lives so much better.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 11:24am
Kosher - I tend to think that Jesus was an historical character - not that it matters much to me one way or the other. Being historical does not make you magical and if he was a big guy at the time I reckon he would have made considerably more impact with objective historians.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Oct 6, 2018 - 12:05pm
Opher, I will pay millions to see your face on Judgement Day when you come face to face to God--and the realization flows across your face---that you're damned for eternity. 
 
I see God everyday I see Nature. I walk on God, the earth being a product of God. 
 
Why look on Creation! 
See Order!
Know God. 
 
Your articles against God is your own psychological awareness/deficiency to tell yourself that you're right. You need constant assurance. I, on the other hand, don't have to. I see Nature; I've known miracles; I've met holy men; and I know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. 
 
Justice, Opher, Justice. Justice exists and God is Pure Justice---and you are going to met it one day. I will not; because I've been covered by the Blood of Jesus who paid the price for my sins. Justice is right around the corner, Opher---and you will met it sooner or later. Very dangerous to met Pure Justice without Christ's Baptism and Sacrament of Confession. 
 
Logical Man Added Oct 6, 2018 - 12:24pm
Lindsay, your post suggests a vindictiveness that I doubt the god you describe would reward.
If a just god, should one exist, had to choose between a non-believer who lived a life of compassion and help for others or a believer who was selfish and greedy, which would 'it' choose?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2018 - 2:17pm
Doug
 
When a population grows from 2 to 40 million that doesn't say that lives of ordinary people have impro ed....as people in Soweto and then visit the pope.
 
Apart from that...what RIGHT did we have to interfere ? The result of conquest and drawing artificial borders is seen everywhere - not only in Africa.
 
Maybe Lindsay can explain what "god" had to do in all this ;)
Logical Man Added Oct 6, 2018 - 4:31pm
Most conquests used Christianity and the Bible to justify their genocidal behaviour. It allowed them to kill off the locals with the reasoning that they didn't believe in the 'right' god.
The right to kill a group who have a different sky guy than your particular fave is a recipe for disaster. The world has tasted that dish enough by now, surely.
Humanity is being held back by silly, outdated beliefs, mostly because it's such a useful tool for the control freaks who think they have the right to tell others what to do.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 6, 2018 - 5:46pm
The Chasidim, one of the strictest of the Jewish sects, people who put more sheer constant effort into ritual and ritual obedience than probably anyone you’ve ever met, have a saying:
 
It is better to be a good person and an atheist than a bad person and a Jew. 
 
Not that they act like they believe it, but the concept is there. 
 
The reason I can’t ever be a Christian is not that I think Jesus couldn’t be Messiah but because I can’t buy into Lamb Of God. There are a lot of reasons, but I’ll just talk about one: my grandfather. My grandfather was a not well educated guy who came over from Poland as a teenager. He never hurt anyone, he raised two kids, he was devoted to his wife, he housed his brothers as they came to the US, he prayed at least daily, he was a good man and a servant of God. And I’m supposed to believe that when he died, God said Sorry, you worshipped the wrong incarnation of Me and refused him admittance to Heaven? 
 
I couldn’t worship someone like that. I couldn’t accept someone like that as the ultimate in morality. And so I have a great deal of respect for Jesus but not as much for Christianity, enough to respect a lot about it but not enough to join. I suspect a lot of Christians feel that way about Judaism - they may respect a lot but not enough to join. 
 
And, frankly, I think there should be more to worship than self-preservation. Get yourself washed in blood or be damned? There’s no love in that. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:12pm
Lindsay - yes - I walk in nature and marvel at it. It is a wonder. The universe is glorious and evolution is amazing.
Your post reminds me of all that is wrong with religion. If I were to encounter such a sadistic beast as what you describe I'd be forced to have to tell him. Fortunately that is just fantasy.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:15pm
Logical - IMO you judge a person by how they live their life - their empathy, tolerance, compassion and caring attitude - not what a person believes.
This is precisely why religion of this nature stinks.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:17pm
Logical - yes I believe we are being held back by superstitious, outdated beliefs. The rules and mores of nomadic tribes do not apply to life in the 21st century.
Religion was used as the excuse to invade. It still is.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:20pm
Kosher - these threats of eternal hellfire are counterproductive with me. Any god that worked on such sadistic and frankly daft ideas is not only not worthy of respect they are an outrage.
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:24pm
Lindsay I would give millions to see your face on the day you die only to see that there is NOTHING beyond this life! I know, because I've died and came back to tell the truth, I saw NOTHING. No lights, or tunnels, heaven or hell, NOTHING. Just an endless sleep. 
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:33pm
Kosher my arguments for why I believe that Jesus never existed can be found at the link I provided (www.nobeliefs.com) the "Did an Historical Jesus Exist" article. If you actually read the entire article and still believe that Jesus was a historical character, then you truly have some great amount of faith in miracles. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:40pm
James - me too. I don't know where this medieval attitude of meeting up with a fearsome monster who will cast you into burning pits of molten larva comes from or why it still persists. It is so macabre. You would imagine that any loving god would have better things to do with his or her time.
opher goodwin Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:41pm
James - I keep an open mind on Jesus as a historical figure. I believe he was mentioned in passing by Pliny - not that it bothers me either way. It's of little consequence.
Logical Man Added Oct 6, 2018 - 7:43pm
The I approach concept of death is to think back and think back until I can't think any further.
Once, I didn't exist, right now, I do (Cogito, ergo sum), one day I won't.
Before I existed, I didn't feel a thing. Once I cease to exist, I doubt I'll feel any more.
 
Marty Koval Added Oct 6, 2018 - 8:19pm
Opher:
 
This is an interesting view on the history of religion. On your statement, God did nothing to intervene – not a word, I like to elaborate on this by referring to the Bible scripture Genesis 7:17-24 - For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished-birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
 
This scripture does state that God did intervene and destroyed all of mankind due to his rebellious and sinful ways. The only people who were saved was Noah and his wife, his three sons, and their wives. They were saved because of their faithfulness and obedience to God.
 
This event occurred to give mankind a second chance to prove to God that they could live in harmony and according to God's way. Since God gave all of mankind free will, the vast majority of mankind uses this free will to disobey and reject God's way of living. When this occurs, mankind surrenders to his evil and wicked ways, which create chaos in the world.
 
God is a patient God, but there is a time coming, when God is going to say, enough is enough of this wicked and sinful mankind. The Bible talks about it in the book of Revelation. At the end times, ALL people will be judged by Jesus Christ. There are only two verdicts, Wedding Banquet for the believers and The White Throne of Judgment for the non believers, which are seen in the following Bible scripture:
 
Matthew 8:11 - "I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
 
Revelation 19:7-9 - "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb '" And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
 
Revelation 20:11-15 - Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
 
Ken Added Oct 6, 2018 - 8:22pm
The Jesus portrayed in the NT was much more in line with the Dems than Repub. He was tolerant and against injustices. He was also against the wealthy.
 
Again, you show your complete lack of understanding of American politics and are just spitting out propaganda.  It is exactly the opposite.  The intolerance in America comes from the democrats, not the republicans.  The republicans are the ones that fight against social injustices not the democrats.  Jesus was NOT against the wealthy
Logical Man Added Oct 6, 2018 - 8:49pm
Ken, can we keep the insane 'left - right' political bullshit out of this, just for once.
The discussion is about religion.
 
James Travil Added Oct 6, 2018 - 10:34pm
" Jesus was NOT against the wealthy"
Hahaha, LOL, RIGHT! Only according to the Bible, but like most so called "Christians" you selectively ignore the Bible. 
Flying Junior Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:24am
Jesus really wasn't down on anybody.  He did have this to say in regards to the filthy rich:
 
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
 
I would guess that this mostly applies to the insanely rich who persecute the poor, but I am no theologian.  I'm surprised that you could forget this Ken, being one of His most famous quotations from scripture.
Flying Junior Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:41am
More to the point of Opher's post...
 
I appreciate what you are saying.  Christianity is of my tribe and I enjoy being involved with it.  I consider it to be a rational world view with a positive vision for family and community.  It encompasses some very deep emotions and beliefs.
 
Still, I would never impugn religious thoughts or otherwise that do not agree with my own.
 
I won't say it because Opher is trying to get away from politics, but man if any of you dumb fucking...  Just don't mention his name in my church or I'll carry you out the door.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:35am
Log - my thoughts entirely. We came from nothing. We go back to nothing. Best to make the most of this incredible place while we can, squeeze every last drop and appreciate it.
As my Mum used to say 'You're a long time dead'.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:41am
Marty Koval - well you believe that if you like. I think it is the meandering mythology of an Arabic nomadic tribe from ancient times.
There is scientific evidence of a flood in that region - probably caused by the ocean breaking through and flooding a massive area. Globally that is very local but to nomadic tribes living there it was a disaster - hence it features in mythology.
It's no good quoting sections from a hodge-podge of a book with many authors and a variety of writings, myths and morality lessons based on the misogynistic values of tribes from long ago. We've got better morality now and better laws.
You believe it if you like. As for me - I think it's nonsense.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:43am
Ken - you don't think it might be just you who clearly demonstrates your blinkered approach and selective evidence?
I get a good objective view from over here. It's lunacy.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:46am
How to pick and choose the bits you like and agree with and gloss over the bits you don't.
Jesus wasn't against the wealthy. No - of course not.
'It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle that a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven.'
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:04am
FJ - yes - I think you've hit the nail on the head. Religion, according to Yuval Noah Harari, is one of the fictions we create to bind our tribe together. It is a cohesive force similar to Kings (presidents), Nations and money. They are all fictions we have create that we give great importance to - sufficient to even die for. We have to believe in them or the structure of our society falls apart.
I believe that is what we are seeing right now. The structure of our societies is falling apart. People no longer believe in fictions like they used to. They are not prepared to put their bodies on the line for the old fictions of God, King and Country.
Many do not believe in god.
Many do not believe in nations.
Many do not believe in politicians.
Many do not have faith that their money is going to be stable. It could collapse again.
A world-wide communication has opened our eyes to corners of the world we do not normally see, to ways of life, religions, worship and human nature.
We see different people being devoutly religious but believing in totally different gods, heavens, rituals, customs and dress. We know they can't all be right. It calls into question what we believe in.
We see that nations were artificially drawn up and their boundaries change. War, politics and arbitrary decisions have created nations. What are we prepared to die for?
We see lying politicians, tyrannical leaders, lies and lust for power and we doubt the wisdom of their leadership or veracity of what they say. We are no longer prepared to believe them or follow them into battle.
We see currencies and banks collapsing. We know that money can cease to have value, house prices tumble, markets dive. It undermines our trust in the stability.
Our belief in these fictions that we have based our modern way of life is crumbling.
We have to base our lives on a new and better fiction - I would suggest that a universal brotherhood/sisterhood and a peaceful, sustainable future valuing nature and helping it thrive might be a worthwhile fiction that could be worth dying for.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:49am
re "Many do not believe in god.
Many do not believe in nations.
Many do not believe in politicians."
 
Many people think that a world government should come and that it will naturally be run by kittens and puppies.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:05am
  Opher, you hate the system which is really a product of the change from covert old rule by "nations" (banks) into an overt rule by corporations and banks, with the illusion of the nation state removed (its been bankrupt and powerless since '33). The banks now own your bank account. They can take all your money any time they feel like it. They own your house and your car. Its now widely known by those who read that the armies work directly for the banks.
   You hate the existing corruption yet love the propaganda. Your views are identical to that which the corporate media is trying to propagate, with the possible exception of Zionism, your mind may as well be directly connected to CIA headquarters.
   You hold these contradictory viewpoints and at the same time claim to be both wise and well read. Your words and ideas come directly from the Tee Vee, not from the mind of a well read man. They are simplistic and identical to those likely held by a young teenager in the public education system. None are original.
   You hate everything, typical of the Left. The Left has become a hate filled propaganda movement created to manipulate the young and naive, rather than an empirical party ready to make changes based on the needs created by empirical conditions.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:29am
Doug - I know a world government is inevitable. I just hope we manage to create one that represents people and not the wealthy elite.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:32am
Doug - well perhaps you should read my latest post if you think I hate everything. Because that is pure bollocks.
As for my views being standard propaganda I think you need to look in the mirror with all your Anti-Semitic gibberish and stuff right out of right-wing propaganda sites. Your world-view is one of extremist nutcases with no solutions.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:33am
Doug - nothing contradictory about my views. You just don't understand them.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:26am
re " with all your Anti-Semitic gibberish and stuff right out of right-wing propaganda sites."
 
  I don't like racism, I think its a bad moral idea and I think its wrong scientifically. I also think Jews are behind the idea because nothing divides people more than thinking one group is superiour or inferiour to another. Divide and conquer must be the strategy of those who wish a world government, because the people aren't stupid enough to go along with it, they must be made to fight/hate each other so that mutual destruction is assured.
  Virulent racism and hatred of other races is a key and integral part of Judaism. Every well read person knows this.
  Your remarks wrt anti semitism sound like they came directly from CNN, MSM or directly from the CIA. You sound like you have been programmed when you throw around that term.
  I have never visited a white supremist or right wing propaganda site. I learn from, old books and the only thing new I take seriously is Roger Scruton and a few other conservative intellectuals such as Allan Bloom.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:36am
Racism is the poison that has been mixed with nationalism to ensure that nationalism can never take hold. The word "Nationalism" invokes a Pavlovian response for the dumbed down druelling masses.
  If nationalism did ever take hold, then it would be in the interest of the nationalists to expose the truth to students in schools and through the media. The Jew is very threatened by this because if everyone knew the contents of the Talmud, Judaism would be forbidden.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 7, 2018 - 10:32am
Opher 
 
"Doug - nothing contradictory about my views. You just don't understand them."
 
A recurrent theme in Opher's articles when incoherent  theories or historical inaccuracies are cited to construct some novel government model or program. 
 
"Doug - I know a world government is inevitable. I just hope we manage to create one that represents people and not the wealthy elite."
 
How do you 'know this?' Only Opher understands his positions, none else, and that allows his points to be unassailable by history, reason or example. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 10:34am
Doug - you make me laugh
- I don't like racism, I think its a bad moral idea and I think its wrong scientifically. I also think Jews are behind the idea
An example of racism and very Orwellian doublespeak.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 10:37am
rycK - I know it because the trend in history is obvious to anybody of intelligence. I'm not surprised you don't see it.
I doubt there is not a book written about the future that does not have a global government. It is lodged in the human psyche.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:06am
re "An example of racism and very Orwellian doublespeak. "
 
No, it isn't.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:08am
I cannot believe that I am about to say this, and I can almost promise that I will never say it again, but Opher is right on this: A world government is inevitable. Kant said the same thing. It is the natural evolution of things. Eventually the world will accept Christ and the common law as the Law.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:34pm
Doug - yes it is.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:35pm
Doug - I know I'm right. You don't have to be sorry and neither do you have to be contrary just for the sake of it. I'm sure there's a number of things we both agree on. We don't have to mindlessly ally ourselves to one camp or another.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:36pm
Doug - BTW - religion is on the way out. It's a fiction that's had its day.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:52pm
Oph
 
Not Islam. Christianity is. But whatever...both are obsolete. What comes closest to my thinking is Buddhishm. More of a philosophy than a religion.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:54pm
When there's more concentration on figures than on essence something is wrong.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:23pm
Opher
 
"rycK - I know it because the trend in history is obvious to anybody of intelligence. I'm not surprised you don't see it."
 
A self-laudatory comment that suggests we should picture as a sage or better. 
 
The UN is a failure and so is the EU and USSR and others.
 
as usual, no historical pathways available. We should take you on faith??
 
"Doug - BTW - religion is on the way out. It's a fiction that's had its day."
 
Religion has been around for some 6000 years or more. How will this end Opher??  Can you will this to happen with your mind using  some kind of ethereal psychokinesis?
 
If you do not have the faith then you cannot view religion as others do. You are outside and blind to religion. That is fine. 
 
You will have no effect on government or religion with your unconvincing articles. 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:29pm
Doug
 
"A world government is inevitable. Kant said the same thing."
 
I doubt this as there are dozens of different views on government given the numerous states, continents, types of government and massive armies. 
 
Look at the League of Nations after ww1. What happened to that as ww1 was The War to end all Wars?
 
You need a grand reason for nations to cooperate and I see none at this time. 
 
[Could Trump form a world wide capitalist government?
Logical Man Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:34pm
Religion will only die when the majority of humans discover critical thinking and logical thought.
6,000 years ago humans knew hardly anything about how and why things work the way they do, but things have changed, more in some places than others. I'd think there's an inverse correlation between scientific education an religious belief.
Faith is just self delusion.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:05pm
rycK - typical response gleaned from the same old rightist propaganda. What makes you think that any of those have failed? The UN has done loads of good work, the EU is prospering and Russia is looking pretty good too. A bit of biased thinking I reckon.
Religion is dying. It is old outdated superstition that cannot match rational thinking. It doesn't hold water.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:07pm
rycK - yes we do need a cause to unite nations in order to facilitate a better functioning UN that will evolve into world government. There are plenty to choose from - I suggest the environmental crisis and overpopulation are high on the list of crises. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:08pm
Logical - precisely. The sooner America and the world get properly educated the better.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:09pm
rycK - Trump form a worldwide government???? He can't even pull together his own country. It's descending into civil war. Now that would be a tyrant of the highest order.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:12pm
Stone - Islam is concentrated in one small part of the globe. It isn't spreading and as soon as we solve the ME crisis I reckon it'll settle back down. Then the world will start visiting and religion will go out the window. 
I agree - Buddhism is about the best there is.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:13pm
Stone - yes. We see it with Trump - all that matters is the money but what is really important is the essence. He doesn't get it.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:12pm
re "Religion will only die when the majority of humans discover critical thinking and logical thought."
 
The Catholic scholastics are largely responsible for bringing you science and math, which you seem to worship. Seriously, Kant and Aquinas were delusional ? You could correct their thinking ?
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:13pm
re "rycK - yes we do need a cause to unite nations in order to facilitate a better functioning UN that will evolve into world government. There are plenty to choose from - I suggest the environmental crisis and overpopulation are high on the list of crises."
 
That is exactly what the banksters want you to think. You will give up your rights and freedoms for this, and imaginary solutions to problems that do not exist in reality.  
Logical Man Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:17pm
I think the Islam thing goes back to my comment regarding the death of religion by education. In many parts of the Islamic world, education is in short supply - or non-existent if you happen to be female - and this suits those who benefit from the situation. They are in control of education, and everything else, right now and are scared shitless of educated people so they deny the opportunity to as many as possible.
Ignorance is one of humanity's biggest problems and it is used as a method of control. You can't make good decisions without knowledge and information. Those who wish to control know this and use it to great advantage.
Governments keep secrets because knowledge is power.
Wakey, wakey time, folks.
 
 
Stone-Eater Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:18pm
Oph
 
Look at the map of religions for an info about how big Islam got by now....and compare population sizes too. From Senegal to Ethiopia to Jordan to Malaysia and Indonesia....
A. Jones Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:51pm
But I guess he was an "elitist snob" for not believing in unprovable fiction.
 
You're mentioning Goodwin and Einstein in the same breath? Good grief, Satan Worshiper, you are a dunce.
 
In any case, Einstein believed in other, unprovable fictions, such as the existence of "hidden variables" to explain quantum mechanics, specifically, the odd behavior of electron diffraction and interference patterns in the 2-slit experiment.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:20am
Doug - by definition all religious people are delusional. If you believe in a delusion it follows automatically. Freud said religion was a mass psychosis.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:22am
Log - too true - education in Islam is indoctrination in Madrassas. Reciting the Koran is not education. The same thing happens here with religious schools. It's brainwashing.
What we need is proper education that makes you think and question.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:24am
Stone - but still limited. They are very good at indoctrination.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:25am
A Jones - he should have come and asked you. It would have saved a lot of time.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:43am
A. Jones, I think, maybe I am wrong, but the two slit experiment has been explained by Noethers Theorem (Classical Mech) ?
  I have not yet began to study Classical Mech.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 8:53am
Doug - and you're asking Alex? You're hopeful aren't you?
Logical Man Added Oct 8, 2018 - 11:18am
Noethers Theorem is about conservation laws and symmetry in physical systems. The double slit still stands as being quantum in nature.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:27pm
Opher
 
"rycK - Trump form a worldwide government???? He can't even pull together his own country. It's descending into civil war. Now that would be a tyrant of the highest order."
The war is not over. Maybe he can use Lenin's methods and jail the left  for treason. Works for me. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 6:27pm
rycK - Ho ho. You are a funny one.
Logical Man Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:08pm
rycK, are you telling us you are a Leninist or that you are just OK with imposing your particular world view on others while criticizing others who would do the same to you.
Hypocrisy?
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 9, 2018 - 5:02am
rycK - connect remaining neurone to glossopharyngeal nerve before evacuating air. Then connect it to median nerve.
Bingo! Instant improvement!
opher goodwin Added Oct 9, 2018 - 5:04am
Lo - no rycK is just another mindless right-winger reciting standard garbage straight out of propaganda for cretins.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 9, 2018 - 9:30am
I've been off the thread for a couple of days. Looking back at it, I find it really strange. Some people are telling me all about what religion is like, even though I’m in one and their descriptions mostly don’t fit mine, but for some reason generalizing is thought to be analytically valid. It isn’t. I gather some of you need a lecture on the pitfalls of inductive logic. Others are telling me what Jews think. I’m afraid that’s just outright backward, you’d be better off asking me what Jews think. Some don’t differentiate between how and why religions originated and what they’re like now; mine has had between three and four millenia to evolve. As an aside, some think that tolerating systemic racism in all sorts of areas including access to a decent education, access to decent jobs, and wildly unequal sentencing for equivalent crimes (and criminal records) is somehow the antithesis of racism. 
 
Opher,
Whether or not world government makes sense is an entirely different topic from whether or not it is likely. It isn’t. I can tell you that for a lot of reasons but the one you’re least likely to see, being as I assume you aren’t in the United States, is that there is no significant American constituency for a world government. As a rule, Americans don’t trust the rest of the world enough to consider such a move. I don’t think you’ll find a lot of disagreement on that point from very many people here if any. Of course, if we look at Europe, the most likely model, if anything we’ve seen more Balkanization as of late. That was happening to begin with but the Middle Eastern refugee wave has really boosted that phenomenon. 
 
By the way, your assessment of Islam as concentrated in a fairly limited area is way off. There are major populations in Africa (outside the Mediterranean coast), Asia, and even an indigenous population in Europe. In fact, of the four countries with the largest Muslim populations, none are in the Middle East. 
 
As someone new here, what’s surprising me most is how prevalent dogma is here. Come in with a view, defend it to the death, and “Jane you ignorant slut” the opposition. 
A. Jones Added Oct 9, 2018 - 9:23pm
A. Jones, I think, maybe I am wrong
 
Yes, you are wrong. The behavior of electrons (including a single electron that diffracts with itself to form a wave-like interference pattern on a detector) has never been explained by anyone, and with good reason:
 
It defies common sense. It cannot be "explained" at all; it is merely accepted as an irreducible fact of reality by physicists. There is no way to account for the fact that when experimenters do NOT look at the electrons as they pass through the 2 slits, the pattern the electrons form resemble the interference patterns formed by waves when they pass through two slits; yet when the experimenters DO look at the electrons as they pass through the 2 slits (by means of some suitable detection device), the electrons behave as nice, hard, round particles that result in patterns typical of discrete particles. The upshot is clear as mud: when we look at the electrons, they behave like discrete particles; when we don't look at the electrons, they behave like waves.
 
As Richard Feynman pointed out in his casual lectures on physics at Cornell University in the early 1960s, lots of people understood relativity (contrary to popular belief) by 1925, but no one — even today — really understands quantum mechanics. They merely accept it for the sake of making highly accurate predictions.
 
Regarding Noether's Theorem, her work is actually best known for having supplied some further clarification to Einstein's theory of General Relativity; viz.,
 
"Noether was primarily an algebraicist (as was her father, Max Noether), but in 1915 she was asked by David Hilbert for help in trying to understand the status of energy conservation in general relativity. As we’ve seen, the conservation of energy in classical physics is closely related to the time-invariance of physical laws, but in general relativity there is not necessarily a global time coordinate, so the classical invariance cannot be invoked to establish the conservation of energy. Nevertheless, if spacetime in the region of interest is regarded as asymptotically flat, it is possible to define a conserved energy. This important aspect of general relativity was greatly clarified by Noether’s Theorem."
A. Jones Added Oct 9, 2018 - 9:48pm
 I have not yet began to study Classical Mech.
 
Lots of great places to begin.
 
A fine, 2-volume set, titled "The Rise of the New Physics" by A. d'Abro is an excellent and rigorous summary of classical physics (including kinematics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics) ending with the quandaries shown by black-body radiation, and the introduction by Planck of the new, strange idea of the quantum; then the attempts (mainly successful) to shoe-horn the weird behavior of the submicroscopic-sized quantum world  into some semblance of "classical" behavior by means of Schroedinger's Wave Mechanics and his "Psi" function. Volume 2 discusses Planck, Einstein (the photoelectric effect and his use of the word "Photon" to refer to a quantum of light), Heisenberg, Dirac, de Broglie, Born, Pauli, Bohr, Compton, et al.
 
You might also want to bookmark the famous "Feynman Lectures on Physics" that he gave at CalTech. Feynman was a beloved and gifted teacher of physics, as well as an innovative physicist himself. He had a unique way of explaining complicated concepts, physical as well as mathematical.
 
Finally, you should watch some of the YouTube videos of a mathematician calling himself "3Blue1Brown", which brilliantly combine clear explanations of concepts with computer animations. Once your reading of classical mechanics goes beyond the introductory stage, almost everything you encounter in classical physics involves some understanding of VECTORS, MATRICES, and DETERMINANTS . . . not to mention multivariable calculus. Obviously, you don't need to be an expert; you just need to grasp the essential ideas behind the math to understand the physics they're expressing.
opher goodwin Added Oct 10, 2018 - 5:59pm
Wow! Alex - you surprise me. For once a lucid and informative piece of work. Well done.
opher goodwin Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:04pm
Kosher - it is quite clear to me that Americans, or at least those ones represented here, do not support the UN or any other form of regulating control. They think America is great and is the only one worthy of ruling the world.
I think they are wrong.
My hope is that, with or without America, the UN will evolve into a better controlling body and be able to be effective in the realm of human rights, war, poverty and environmental degradation.
Someone has to stand up for the exploited and protect wildlife or we are all buggered. At present the global elite are running amok and destroying at will.
I think as America loses its moral authority and economic influence that things will change. 
Logical Man Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:07pm
AJ, you surprised me too.
As a serious science head and big fan of Mr. Feynman I'd have to agree with your description. The great thing about him was his disdain for figures of 'authority'. The truth about Challenger might never have come out had it not been for him. Quantum Electrodynamics got him the Nobel. Nobody has deserved it more.
You did however appropriate my words regarding battles, but credit where it's due, I may have underestimated you in some respects.
 
Logical Man Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:11pm
Oph, the problem with the UN is it is run by the elitists you refer to.
America has never held the moral high ground, it has only loudly claimed to. Its economic influence has been, and still is, used to bully smaller nations using finance as its primary weapon. If that fails, then the military have to be called in.
 
A. Jones Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:12pm
 Americans, or at least those ones represented here, do not support the UN or any other form of regulating control.
 
That's because the UN is a disruptive institution of world peace, not a benign, regulatory one. Being a leftist, you're unable (or just unwilling) to see that.
A. Jones Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:15pm
Thanks, Logical Man, vis-a-vis your thoughts regarding Richard Feynman.
 
His family is quite accomplished, too. His son, Carl, is a computer engineer, and his younger sister, Joan (now 91) is a physicist who mainly worked in the field of climate change and geophysics.
Logical Man Added Oct 10, 2018 - 6:17pm
Always open to changing my mind given further information.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 10, 2018 - 7:41pm
Opher,
I’m not arguing about whether the US is losing moral authority. Anywhere with Trump as President is inevitably going to lose moral authority. Nor am I arguing about whether or not the world needs more moral leadership. The question here isn’t about “should,” it’s about “will.” You can’t effectively have a world government without including what is still the most powerful and influential player in it. Not that we will anyway because you’d need to find a whole lot of other countries willing to give up their national sovereignty. Which nation do you see as willing to do this? China certainly won’t. Russia certainly won’t. Japan certainly won’t. Europe has been less successful than they’ve been before about embracing that, with a whole lot of countries moving in the opposite direction at the moment, including Britain. 
 
Whether or not it should happen, which is a different argument, the probability that it will is really low. 
Bill Added Oct 11, 2018 - 9:42am
What Christianity needs to do is permanently divorce itself from thinking the Old Testament is part of the faith. It isn't. It's the foundation of Judaism, a separate faith.
 
If you look solely at the "new and everlasting covenant" through Jesus, you find salvation and meaning in life. The Old Testament is interesting as a fairy tale to frighten children into behaving correctly, but it's no path to God.
opher goodwin Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:08pm
Log - yes you are right. But as it is the only hope one has to work towards getting the agenda right, the elitists out and allowing it to function. There are too many serious problems to leave it to chance.
opher goodwin Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:09pm
Alex - and you're too blinkered to see that without a controlling body we are all fucked along with ever other creature on the planet.
opher goodwin Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:11pm
Kosh - low is better than non-existent any day.
But I am not looking for anyone giving up sovereignty. I'm looking for a body to curb the excesses of the elite, put an end to the destruction of the environment, war, poverty and the abuse of human rights. Without that I cannot see a future.
opher goodwin Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:12pm
Bill - neither is the NT - just a little bit more of the same in a better guise.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 11, 2018 - 5:38pm
Then you may not be talking about world government. You may, however, be talking about agreements between world governments. However, just so you know, you are leaving the impression that you’re looking for everyone to give up sovereignty. 
Logical Man Added Oct 11, 2018 - 7:06pm
Bill,
What Christianity needs to do is permanently divorce itself from thinking the Old Testament is part of the faith. It isn't. It's the foundation of Judaism, a separate faith.......
but it's THE SAME GOD
opher goodwin Added Oct 12, 2018 - 7:56am
Kosher - OK - I'll take that on board. I just want something that works, reins in the mad capitalists and makes things better.
opher goodwin Added Oct 12, 2018 - 7:56am
Log - yes Jesus was a practicing Jew.
A. Jones Added Oct 13, 2018 - 12:11am
Alex - and you're too blinkered to see that without a controlling body we are all fucked along with ever other creature on the planet.
 
Wrong. Only YOU are fucked, Goodwin, because you obviously lack self-control and discipline and require a controlling body of your "social betters" to wipe your ass and clean your nose. Guess what? The majority of other people do not need that, being perfectly able to practice self-reliance for most things while NOT interfering with their neighbors' business.
 
You're just too much of a bigoted control-freak to see that.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 13, 2018 - 12:52am
Self-reliance is all well and good assuming your actions don’t affect your neighbors. If, for example, you put too much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, your actions go beyond your borders and at that point the safest thing you can do is come up with an agreement with your neighbors because, like it or not, you share an atmosphere. 
 
Alex, I think your diagnosis is backward. I don’t think Opher is telling you he needs to be ruled, I think he’s telling you that he wants to take the points that he finds right and figure out a way to make them mandatory for everyone else. Well, actually, you reverse your diagnosis in your last sentence. I don’t know where bigotry enters the equation, unless you’re going back to the post rather than this part of the thread and talking about anti-religious bigotry. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 13, 2018 - 3:04pm
Opher
 
"Alex - and you're too blinkered to see that without a controlling body we are all fucked along with ever other creature on the planet."
 
Again, we see that if there are negative comments or statements of disbelief in opposition to Opher's pipe dreams that our ignorance is  the problem. This is his favorite theme: You are too stupid to understand the beauty of my words.
 
Koshersalaami
 
I don’t think Opher is telling you he needs to be ruled, I think he’s telling you that he wants to take the points that he finds right and figure out a way to make them mandatory for everyone else."
 
I agree. 
 
Opher's Disease here is intellectual impotence.  Only Opher can save the planet! 
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 13, 2018 - 7:16pm
rycK - Gosh I get free psychoanalysis!!