Category Archives: Religion

Beliefs – Process – Facts

There’s an unending discussion between a belief in an existential life and a supernatural, post mortal existence. The “ungodly” are generally looked down upon as sinful, by the worshippers of deity.  The “theists” are often seen as foolish by atheists. Are we satisfied that one group are ignorant and the other are knowledgeable?

Part of this conflict arises from the thousands of differently held beliefs among the ~ “6 billion believers”. Each one has a perspective which may not be in harmony with other beliefs. If there is a God, wouldn’t there be some type of uniformity in description and purpose?

Are we operating as collective adolescents. Struggling for answers but all the while fighting among ourselves over ideology?

Some things should be obvious when it comes to knowing things. You would think for example, that people know the earth is a round three-dimensional body, yet there are those who insist the earth is flat. How do you go about determining which opinion is correct?

How do you test your own limits in knowledge?

Perhaps there’s a way of knowing, but not proving?

There are others who explain their beliefs as …

Can a scientist believe in God?

What happens to us when we die?

What are the problems if any, with a belief in deity?

Another person with an after death experience shares her story.

I don’t have any of their experience or the brilliant intellect of some of the people you may have watched in these videos. I have my doubts about an afterlife or supernatural existence, but I admit to my inability to know for sure. Anyone that reads these words might think, well he’s admitted to his own ignorance, and that is true.

What also is true, I’ve been a devout Christian, a member of the Lutheran Church while a youth, then joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), as an adult. I left that organization voluntarily in the ’90’s. I’ve read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, several times, and taught adult classes. None the less, the more knowledge I gained, the more doubtful I’ve become in the authenticity of any of these religious texts.

You’re comments, as long as they’re civil, are welcome. Your opinion can be completely different from mine and that’s not a problem. We’re all in an experience which we may think we know, but in reality there’s a lot more we don’t know, if we’re being honest.

____________________________________________________

How Badly Has the Bible Been Corrupted?

We should always be in pursuit of the truth, no matter what the cost.

DaVinci atomatronic model graphic

emergence from the knowledge abyss

I know this might bother some people, because this challenges ideas which people have become comfortable. It’s far easier to think in terms of absolutes, than it is to recognize it’s complexity. Truth is like seeds in a flower, some seeds are good, some aren’t going to lead to another flower, and many are hidden.

That flower and seed description is simplified, but it’s a start to a huge discussion on theological / religious thought. I’m focusing on Christianity, but the texts, history, and beliefs of every major religion have been altered, evolved.

For example: the King James version of the Bible has had > 100,000 textual changes during the period of 1611 (1st edition) to 1769 (3rd edition). *1We can’t be absolutely certain the Bible you hold in your hands is exactly the same words and meanings as the original apostles and associates wrote.”

All original manuscripts have been lost. All manuscripts would have turned to dust by the 2nd century. Papyri- made from reed paper deteriorates over time, especially if handled.

The numerous variations of manuscripts, the presence of the vast number of manuscript commentary over multiple centuries, as well as the existence of many manuscripts, suggest there’s ample support for the desire to carry forward these stories.

The Codex book form wasn’t invented by Christians, but came into favor during the 1st century by them. Scrolls fell out of favor. Copies of the original manuscripts may be traced back to about 150 AD. This suggests the original texts can be traced back before the end of the 1st century. (For those that don’t follow – a manuscript copy doesn’t precede the original)

What common kinds of variants are found? Over 99% of the textual changes are spelling.
Egyptian godsWord order changes due to language rules. Greek word order can be accounted through inflection not necessarily rewording.

*1 Daniel Wallace biblical scholar and author speaking at Purdue University 2016

_________________________________________

Mark Twain on the Bible: “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.

Why the Gospels are Myths

_________________________________________

What is more likely, a liar or a talking snake? A liar can make up a miracle story, and have it embellished by later authors / theologians. Why should any rational person believe absurd claims just because someone wrote it down thousands of years before?

An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of assumption? There’s no believable evidence that supports two people initiated all people on earth, and from them came all racial variations. Consider the moral and physiological problems associated with this type of family incest.

Where’s the evidence to back up these claims?

  • Snakes and donkeys don’t talk.
  • Bears don’t attack children because some old man was repeatedly called names by these youths, then asks deity to condemn these children to death for their insults.
  • Eight people can’t feed, clean up after thousands of animals confined together on a large boat
  • Those animals would have nothing to eat after the earth was claimed to be totally flooded. Brackish water kills most plant life.
  • Men don’t part water through their words.
  • Virgins don’t give birth.
  • People don’t walk on water.
  • People don’t come back from the grave after being dead for 3 days.

If you claim these things happened, then there needs to be more than continually referring back to this incredulous text as support evidence.

── The Myths Continue ──

 

 

Myths Mad Men & Immortality

Humans have contemplated their reason for existence for eons. The rise of human collective knowledge wasn’t necessarily based on objective studies or provable criteria. Many people pondered things unknown, and believing those things were in the realm of intelligence beyond their own, fabricated deities associated with those areas of immense power, or an age in the distant unknown past, or unforeseen future. Egyptian gods

Our significance, our self importance was now defined by our ability to understand the mind & will of  ‘diety’. We were given explanations for things we don’t and can’t know, by people claiming greater knowledge and insight than ourselves. We attached our beliefs to their explanations and convinced ourselves, by their routine communication, that we could understand our life’s journey and tying it to the eternities.

This was of extreme importance as we developed attachments to people and animals, which at their demise, we were left with grief. Our losses could become temporary, as was all of our lives.

By special social & codified procedures and behaviors, we could rejoin all those we love. Conversely, all who we knew, who were unruly, unmanageable, or vile could be cast into eternal torment. This seemed perfectly reasonable to pre-bronze age cultures. Should those same ancient beliefs be particularly important today?

Harvey_Pooka_image_aThe fictional character in the play & movie, HarveyElwood P. Dowd: “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.

Among the greatest of unknowns, what happens after we die? Mystics, Shamans, Clairvoyants, and Prophets arose among them, to explain the gaps in our knowledge. Eventually, those oral stories found written form, and once structured to a language that could be passed to future generations, these words became codified.

Knowing the will of god is an interesting exercise.

It goes something like this…


You read from a collection of very old texts, connected together by a common theme, a god and various interaction with humans.

You read an interpretation of what was once an oral story, which later was written down and passed through several translations. The interpretations of these writings are frequently contested by another group or individual who claim, they understand what was anciently written, better than someone else.

Many of these written words contain stories when looked at with reasonable precision either contradict, or explain ideas that make little sense to contemporary culture, and in some instances, are foolish. Not all are wrong ideas, so there’s often ‘cherry picking’ going on for the least offensive or minimally ridiculous.

Then, the devout person prays to someone they can’t see, or hear, but insists this imaginary person is real, and answers prayers. On average, using the least scientific or objective criteria, the imaginary being is attributed credit for things when they turn out in the way the person praying, desired. Often, things don’t turn out in ways the individual had hoped for, but attributes that to the mysterious nature of god’s will. You know, the one in which they said they knew and were banking on to justify their reasons of belief.

It’s quite possible there’s another god figure. One in which things were set in motion and then left to themselves to manage or act upon by outside forces. Of course, you can’t have it both ways. Either you have a concerned, passionate, all powerful, all knowing god, or you have a god that is capricious, uninvolved, letting people do what they want, permitting disease, pestilence, natural disasters, horrible depravity by other humans, unintended consequences, random outcomes in spite of human desire, and allowing the rules of physics to do their normal stuff. Orthodox-Apocalypse-Fresco

Which is the god you know? The all caring, all knowing, all powerful, involved with humans and their myriad of wishes, or the uninvolved, laissez-faire, super being from a distance unknown?

You pick, you decide, but either one makes little sense. No matter how hard a person searches or acts in “faithful” ways, unless they just ignore what’s truly occurring, pretend that outcomes of life activities are measured and directed under a super being, and ignore accumulated science and understanding of how things really work, it’s a fruitless exercise.

My conclusion is, unless I wish to surrender my values of reason, objective intelligence, and ignore contradiction, then I may recognize value in established myth.

I believe I live a more productive and happy life without tying myself to a confusing set of rituals, myths, and paganism.

If I’m wrong, and god is this loving and compassionate being, he, she, or it, has had many opportunities to achieve an equitable, understandable, reasonably clear method of helping me to realize they exist. It needs to be more than a feeling. People have routinely acted on their feelings, not only were they often wrong, in some instances their ‘inspired feelings’, were harmful to themselves or other people.

😱👺👻💀🙈🙉🙊