Tag Archives: religion

Rights

 

 

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Rights

Rights are just one of many similar things that bother the heads of atheists. They don’t really exist but we make them exist by agreeing to honor them. That’s why I tend to speak and write about such examples of quasi-reality in terms of persistence more than existence. This is very important to a full understanding of atheism and I shall have to pay strict attention to my wording from now on. Quasi-real “things” don’t exist in reality; they persist only for as long as some people find ways and reasons to support them. When their time runs out, most will leave on their own.

Use government for an example

Government, at various levels, and by agreements pounded out at the very beginning and since the beginning of the U.S.A., was granted the role of defender of our rights. Government also persists in that state of phantom reality, and so must be accepted by its intended constituents to gain its authority; or else, authority must be asserted by force as in the olden days. The quasi-real contrivances of mankind are so subject to manipulation people can hardly be blamed for qualms about trusting them. As time passes and manipulation progresses, watchful eyes lose their vigilance to age. As new generations come and go, tradition sets in and watchfulness becomes about the developing traditions. From early on, religion asserts itself and makes its presence known and rights become lost to the guise of public protection. Other influences work to promote special interests, greed, power struggles, all aiming to acquire undue advantage for some dishonest person or group.

Whether atheist or Christian, saint, sinner or “none of the above”, our rights are designated as equal. That means no person can claim rights denied to others nor deny to others any lawful rights others enjoy. It means no person can enforce a claim of elevated status due to religion or wealth. It means no person can be legally subjected to persecution for their religious beliefs or their perceived absence. At least, it once did.

We must learn to practice equality. It is not knowledge we possess at birth. We leave it to chance and hard experience, make innocent actions illegal by following a monotheist religion’s prescription or “just in case”. The poor results show throughout our American society, in crime, murder, imprisonment rates, stress rates and more. The precepts sound simple but we seem unable to get past our prejudices to make them work. That,“I will defend your right to practice your beliefs and you will defend mine”, “Your rights begin and end with you and mine begin and end with me,” plus “We will go beyond our differences to defend our families and territories against invaders.”

Another Example

The preachers and priests who contrived organized monotheism released upon the Earth an inevitable development in the evolution of religion. Monotheism, if you have forgotten (or never been informed) was built on the premise that only one god created, and rules, over the heavens and Earth.

Perhaps by accident, those who chose to describe the nature of this god as “immaterial”, albeit in rather dated language, chose the most appropriate term available. This 14th century word also, according to Merriam-Webster, applies to ghosts, spirits and other incorporeal specters, all of which require belief and acceptance in order to persist. Words not in use until relatively recent centuries will find their origins in apologia, where doctrines develop separately from the main guidebook formed by the scriptures regarded as sacred. Except for those scriptures, all else can be different between any two establishments.

Visit a Local Church

You can sense it upon entering the building. Some exude happiness. Some give such a sense of sorrow you need to cringe. Some, plain and simple in pastel colors, give no hint of what to expect. And then, never to be forgotten, there’s the church where you pushed the door open and jumped back, amazed to hear echoes of the minister’s last sermon ringing through the rafters. Though they all addressed their god by the same name, no two versions of the-god-named-God will be identical. Calling on them by the same name doesn’t make it right. That would have the same effect as naming multiple fraternal sisters all “Sarah” and making them figure out, each time you pray, whose name you don’t know this time.

What Does Any of This Have to do With Rights?

If this is at all true, preachers and priests have nothing to answer to beyond the members of their own congregations. They would be kept too busy tutoring their flocks about all the gods and demons, plus learning about new ones “discovered” locally and in nearby towns and cities. New gods get absorbed into the culture as do those from nearby.

Rights” and “freedom” are non-words in monotheism. “They represent blasphemy. They were planted in your mind by agents from Satan. They put you in danger of Hell fire. If we had been able to use our guillotine on Jefferson and his damnable cronies, you would not know to be lusting after such iniquitous pipe-dreams now.” “As you have already admitted in this blasphemous piece, individual rights do not exist. All rights are held by the church.”

I am sorry, but I have already asserted in this rather astute work of mine, that churches can only exist by the agreement of individuals. You will have to accept before that I will argue with you. Otherwise, you don’t understand it. Individuals have objective existence. Until individuals agree about it and provide an edifice or place, churches don’t.

 

Outcomes

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Outcomes

It’s not necessary to know a lot of science to be a good atheist, but it helps you to hold your ground when confronted by the inevitable Christianists lusting to Christianize you. To deal best with them at their own level, however, it might be best to be completely ignorant.

Unlike honest, hardworking Christians, alongside whom you can work for years without getting into each other’s private affairs, they will spend endless hours pulling all kinds of tricks while learning how to Christianize you. Their aim to “win you over” is to WIN whatever it takes. Need to lie? Don’t hesitate, we gotcha covered. Is browbeating required? Of course. Whatever it takes. Never relent. The bastard will give in or give up. Make the bitch run. We don’t want that kind around here! Good riddance!

If you’re alive and breathing, you have probably been subjected to that kind of mistreatment at least once, most likely from someone wishing for you to adopt their denomination. While changing your sects may not be as intense to consider as taking up a whole religion, if you felt happy with your old sect there would be some stress involved.

We can take lessons from Christianist practices; our aim for avoidance of confrontations is our intended outcome, versus the Christianist’s intention to engage you until you give in, or else run for the foothills. That is not a good choice; they have cousins living there who will be alerted to your impending arrival. Unless you feel threatened, it might be best to just stay put and provide a good example of how they should behave. Passing advice without knowing your situation could be dangerous. Act disinterested while you size your culprits up. Arguing will get you nowhere and exasperate you by demonstrating the immense flexibility built into the Christian version of reality.

Real Evidence

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God Called Me to be an Atheist

Bad grammar works both ways: “I didn’t make the original claim, so it ain’t my job to prove anything about it. Without real evidence, only a fool would believe it. Rhetorical evidence cannot be verified in the real world, so it carries no weight. It only serves to inform you about what scares a person, like those ghosts hiding under some people’s beds.” We learn what people think, and nothing about truth.

So, by that, no one should believe the wild claim stated in the title; yet, most people, to support the standard of evidence they claim to uphold, are forced by their own claims to support mine. And, they should. According to their standard, my claim is true. The cognitive dissonance it induces, a common feature of faith-based standards, is one with which they have learned to live. If the majority of people can live with that, so can the skeptics among them. Maybe reading my story will help them understand why my claim is true.

I know you must have heard many stories told by those who felt they had been called to some duty by the god named God. They describe the still, small voice that seems to come from nowhere and everywhere, who whispers so loudly they can hear it above the din, yet remains quiet and persistent so they have to pay attention. They tell of tears shed in the midst of conflict, and the pangs of guilt suffered after each denial. Some call it the voice of God, some name it conscience, or scruples. For me, it’s the perceptive awareness of truth. I realized as a youth that truth is not a thing that exists. I realized much later that truth is about the accuracy of our perceptions. Cognitive dissonance exists to show us where truth is absent. Science exists to show us where truth can be found.

Truth is absent from my story because I have not shared it. Fear stilled my voice: Fear that I would fail to make its plain truth obvious enough; fear that I would be accused of mistaking Lucifer for the god named God. They are easy to identify, even in the Bible or any spoken or written expression: Just ask yourself about it, “Where is the love in this?– or does it spew hatred?” Apply that to any verse in any holy book, and to everything written and anything heard. You will find love in unexpected places, and hatred where you dreaded its appearance.

I was raised in the common American fundamentalism of the 19forties and fifties. A skeptic long before I ever heard such a word, I became known as “that smart-ass kid” with the bad habit of asking the wrong questions. A quiet and shy kid, I never deserved such a title, even if my brow stayed furrowed from trying to figure out the improbable antics so many adults presented as true. Discovering the truth about Santa and the Easter Rabbit filled my head with questions that led to, “If adults lied for my whole lifetime about Christmas and Easter, what else do they lie about?” Still a believer, my trust eroding, I began keeping my questions to myself. “Why all the pretense about Santa Claus while still acting like everything else is real? How can I know for sure what is true? How can I know for sure what’s not?

“If it’s in the Bible, it’s important.” I found many more rules in the Bible than the ten Moses accredited to God, so many more that the ten commandments would never raise a splash in a pool of them. Worse, rather than teaching how to care for our asses and slaves, preachers make up rules that were never mentioned in the Bible, and lie about where they came from. For example, early in the first book we find the reasons given for denouncing nakedness as a sin:

  • Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
  • Adam and Eve realized they were naked.
  • They fashioned garments and hid from God.
  • God cursed the serpent for misleading (“beguiling”) Eve.
  • God punished Eve with painful childbearing.
  • God punished Adam for listening to Eve, and for eating the forbidden fruit.
  • God made Eve and Adam coats and banished them from the Garden.

That is only one example from a multitude. No punishments were meted for nakedness, but only for what led to the realization of their nakedness. The true original sin was that for which God cursed the snake, that act which led others astray. Nakedness was never denounced as a sin or a crime. It was, in this case, made plain that only that which fosters an awareness of oneself as naked, called ‘self-consciousness, leads to punishment, by God. Draw your own conclusions.

I felt no sense of certainty that drove me away from religion. One day I prayed to God my promise that I would follow whatever evidence to wherever it might lead me, no matter what; that I would stay on that trail, without regret, until I reach its end or my own. The trail is endless. I have not learned much compared to what remains. Be there a god or none, I still keep my promise.

“A question: How can you claim to be an atheist and also claim God called you?”

My own question in return: “Should I rely on the old saw about ‘God’s mysterious ways,’ or simply redirect you to the foregoing paragraph about getting the call?”

Myths

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Myths

Myths, a philosopher said, are necessary for human well-being and survival. When people believe the same myths, they think more alike and better understand one another. People tend to care more about those with whom they share myths, and suspect those from whom they feel estranged. That is how myths promote group coherence that increases people’s ability to increase safety and well-being.

Looking at today’s world news should convince anyone: that is a line of bull-larny. There may have been some demonstrable truth there, back in times when people roamed as tribes within their own territories, when their craziest notions and practices could affect no one on the opposite face of the planet. That free reign was doomed by with the development of monotheism. As that scourge spread around the world by the meme-power driving dirty-minded hawkers, humanity took a dive into a world of slavers and slaves, landowners and serfs, employers and employees—one level who makes up rules; one lower level who obeys them. That seems to represent a necessary circumstance for social animals such as humans, apes and dogs, but, in today’s world, it endangers all life by making tribes of nations, wherein even science gets perverted to enable political agendas to blind the eyes of naive commoners in every locale.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.

 

Misfortune

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Misfortune

It is true that we learn to appreciate the good in life by suffering through the bad. Our hedonistic nature enables, or forces, us to learn best through experience if pre-armed with factual information. We seldom get that in our early years when we get force-fed a diet of pabulum and hokum.

Now, pabulum and hokum are great in their place, which is in the world of creating and telling stories. But, why the insistence that impossible stories are the God’s awful truth and must be believed as such, even by people choking to swallow the impossible, the incredible, the deplorable, inhumane and gruesome? Such tales can better make their point without a demand for credulous acceptance. Sensible people who understand a good tale’s logical framework will accept its moral point because its verisimilitude makes it real.

A problem arises when stories lack verisimilitude, as do the stories about creation, Jonah in a whale’s belly, Jesus’ ascendance into Heaven, most of the book of Revelations… Stories at the level of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Paul Bunion, those from which children get the points being made, also train them to separate fiction from fact, lessons that get suppressed by the insistence upon maintaining absolute faith and belief.

That organized religions hasten to condemn, rather than praise, those astute enough to replace belief with doubt must be the premier misfortune suffered by humanity, that believers and doubters share alike.

Mind

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Mind

This cute little saying attributed to Dr. Seuss may portray as much wishful thinking as it does truth. To Dr. Seuss a goose is a goose if a goose is a goose or a gander. That guy. To my brother-in-law, a goose is a goose if a goose is a goose or a gesture. Not that guy.

Wishful thinking, said I? Yes. Over much of the land surface around this world, people who mind will kill those who give voice or script to words with which they disagree. Their numbers far exceed the population of the minority who would question their opinions, and no land can claim to be free of their presence. Well, they can claim that, if they overlook gangs growing up to populate cities with gangsters, people whose only difference from others is religious belief, deluded people who view outspoken people as threats… Rather than frighten anyone, my point is to learn who may pose a danger to you, try to understand their reasoning, validate it (I can be wrong; so can you) according to objective evidence so you can criticize their ideas (or they your own).

Ideas are products of human minds; people are products of reality. Ideas and people must earn respect by showing evidence that they deserve it. Neither gossipers who destroy lives with malicious words, nor arrogant murderers who uphold malicious ideas, deserve the respect they demand. Nor do those who support or defend them.

Merit River

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Merit River
Although a few seem aggressive, most atheists make noises in self-defense and, for the most part, we exist in the midst of the crowd with no one realizing we’re there. When we do make noises, generally about some aspect of the intolerance in which the overall society is steeped, it seems to awaken the squabbling voices of trolls within the crowd.
Seldom do those trolls address whatever issue was raised. To please their own crowd seems like their agenda, with personal attacks wherein they tell us what we believe “in”, describe our “agenda” to us, or lead the topic astray by introducing irrelevant material. They err on all counts but expect us to “respect their faith” without demonstrating a reason to do so. They most never show respect for our absence of their faith. I, at least, respect their absence of everybody else’s faith. I do not respect their errant tendencies, nor their blatent lies.
What is true stays true despite whatever a person believes. Faith, religion, belief, whatever label gets put on it, is about ideas. Ideas with no factual standing must earn respect the same as any human. Ideas earn respect when we know how to demonstrate them as true and have accomplished that, and also when what it would take to directly demonstrate falsity is not known and is recognized as never been accomplished.
The existence of a god: has never been demonstrated and verified; the god must be capable of presence to have its existence demonstrated and verified.
The nonexistence of a god: how to directly demonstrate nonexistence is not known; a direct demonstration of nonexistence has never been accomplished.
The same as with math, the positive (affirmation) and negation of existence bear each other out in their agreement, yielding a result of zero.
Never demonstrated and verified = 0
Incapable of verified demonstration (whether by choice, inability or nonexistence) = 0
(Proof) how to demonstrate nonexistence not known = 0
(Proof) nonexistence never demonstrated = 0
If <0 the god exists; if 0 nonexistent: 0+0+0+0 = 0
Conclusion: the god does not exist.
Since it’s likely that this seems hokey and too simple, let’s prove that rabbits don’t exist, using the same process. Rabbits belong to a different set of circumstances. We will start by describing that:
Existence of rabbits can and have been demonstrated; rabbits are capable of demonstrating their existence.
How to demonstrate nonexistence is not known; a direct demonstration of rabbit nonexistence has never been accomplished.

The same as with math, the positive (affirmation) and negation of existence do not bear each other out in their agreement, yielding a result of greater than zero (<0).
• Often demonstrated and verified = 1
• Capable of verified demonstration = 1
• (Proof) how to demonstrate nonexistence not known = 0
• (Proof) nonexistence of rabbits never demonstrated = 0
• If <0 the rabbit exists; if 0 nonexistent: 1+1+0+0 = 2
• Conclusion: rabbits exist.
Suggestion: try this test with unicorns, hobbits, leprechauns, polar bears, or any other existence you can think of. Disclaimer: like all tests this test yields false results to cheaters.