God isn’t dead though for many He is not relevant

In the 1960ies we often heard it said that God was dead.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, was appointed pastor at Röcken by order of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, after whom Friedrich Nietzsche was named. Before Friedrich Nietzsche’s fifth birthday his father died in 1849. He was left to live in a household consisting of five women: his mother, Franziska, his younger sister, Elisabeth, his maternal grandmother, and two aunts.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876)

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After attending a private preparatory school, the Domgymnasium, he was admitted to Schulpforta, Germany’s leading Protestant boarding school. Having graduated in 1864, he went to the University of Bonn to study theology and classical philology.  Influenced by the textual criticism of the English and German classicists Richard Bentley and Gottfried Hermann, F.W. Ritschl, in full Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl became a classical scholar remembered for his work on Plautus and as the founder of the Bonn school of classical scholarship. It was under the tutelage of Ritschl in Leipzig that he further developed and became the only student ever to publish in Ritschl’s journal, Rheinisches Museum (“Rhenish Museum”). Ritschl assured the University of Basel that he had never seen anyone like Nietzsche in 40 years of teaching and that his talents were limitless and as such would be the best candidate to receive a professorship in classical philology that fell vacant in 1869 in Basel, Switzerland.

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882...

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882; One of five photographies by photographer Gustav Schultze, Naumburg, taken early September 1882. Public domain due to age of photography. Scan processed by Anton (2005)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his mature writings Nietzsche was preoccupied by the origin and function of values in human life.With his protestant background one can wonder if his expression “God is dead” was not misinterpreted.

Many people seem to assume that this implies God was once a living creature, and he has since passed away. But this is a misconception. Nietzsche was an atheist, and thus never believed that a God existed in any form except as a figment of the human imagination. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

Though we do find this man writing a lot about God and looking at the Judeo-Christian tradition, which according to him made suffering tolerable by interpreting it as God’s intention and as an occasion for atonement. For him this clinging to a flattering doctrine of personal immortality, could also seen as man having created its god to feel safe and sure, but those who did not believe in a god or God also tried to cling to an other “true” world, also offering symptoms of a declining life, or life in distress.

But for Nietzsche when there  is no god man also has not need of a god and man did not have to create a “slave” and “master” world, but should be himself the master. Facing the gut (“good”), schlecht (“bad”), and böse (“evil”) was something we made up ourselves as a nonmoral reference to those who were privileged, the masters, as opposed to those who were base, the slaves. For him his generation had come in a timespan where religious and philosophical absolutes had dissolved in the emergence of 19th-century positivism.

With the collapse of metaphysical and theological foundations and sanctions for traditional morality only a pervasive sense of purposelessness and meaninglessness would remain. And the triumph of meaninglessness is the triumph of nihilism: “God is dead.” Nietzsche thought, however, that most people could not accept the eclipse of the ascetic ideal and the intrinsic meaninglessness of existence but would seek supplanting absolutes to invest life with meaning.{ on Friedrich Nietzsche in the Encyclopaedia Britannica}

Many do forget that as a thinker it might well be that Nietzsche also had come into conflict with the trinitarian thought and the sayings in the Scripture that there is only One true God Who is One and an eternal Spirit, not having bones, flesh or blood, whilst so many people around him worshipped a god with flesh, bones and blood who was born and who died. All such contradictions with what is written in the Old and the New Testament could have muddled his mind.

Eventually the faithful get so worried about the well-being of God, that they build an armour to protect him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

When Nietzsche like others would have thought of that in such saying, he also could see the first sign that people were losing faith in God, also noticing around him how many people had lost faith in Him and did not trust God to take care of himself and able to endanger their safety.

The wannabe-philosopher of Finnish origin continues

Still at first, God is safe inside the armour and people continue to worship him. Over time though, God gets pissed off at the whole situation and leaves, or simply suffocates, leaving the armour for people to worship. People keep worshipping the hollow armour, and religion becomes a meaningless ritual with no substance to it. This is what “God is dead, and we have killed him” means. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

An “Autobiographical” philosopher also looks at the German philosopher, extremely critical of Christianity, but sees, like us, that we may not just take it as a sort of atheist statement which would be the “ultimate truth”. For Gabriel J. Mitchell

“God is Dead” simply means “The Christian god is becoming increasingly irrelevant to philosophy and culture”.  {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Mitchell writes:

In popular culture the phrase is often mistaken as an anti-Christian statement. Some sort of declaration of Atheism. This is most obviously manifested in Christian content like the film God’s Not Dead. In the movie, a disgruntled atheist professor demands his students declare the death of God and embrace atheism. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

With his background and his protestant family it would be strange that with his pretty bold statement that would be going against his own family’s belief and bring a serious anti-Christian message.
The saying „Gott ist tot“ or “God is dead” also known as “the death of God” first appeared in Nietzsche’s 1882 collection “Die fröhliche Wissenschaft” or “The Joyful Wisdom” also known as The Gay Science,  also translated as “The Joyful Pursuit of Knowledge and Understanding”. The German Wissenschaft never indicates “Weisheit” or “wisdom”, but concerns any rigorous practice of a poised, controlled, and disciplined quest for knowledge, typically translated as “science”. Nietzsche speaks about “what if” which does not mean “it is”.

As such Nietzsche writes

What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ […] Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’ — [The Joyful Wisdom §341]

Buddha in Sarnath Museum (Dhammajak Mutra).jpg

A statue of the Buddha from Sarnath, 4th century CE

A demon or sick person often is seen as a mad person or some one not by his senses. That mad man also can look at different deities and ascetics and sages like Gautama Buddha, probably a very attractive figure for Nietzsche because of all the philosophic thoughts of that teacher who lived in northern India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries before the Common Era.

We find the first occurrence of the famous formulation “God is dead,” first in section 108.

After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is dead:
but as the human race is constituted, there will
perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which
people will show his shadow.—And we—we have
still to overcome his shadow! {— §108}

FW82.jpg

The Joyful Wisdom or The Gay Science, first published in 1882 and followed by a second edition, which was published after the completion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil, in 1887.

Section 125 depicts the parable of the madman who is searching for God. He accuses us all of being the murderers of God.

“‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers…”

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? {Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann}

Mitchell explains

The line is part of The Parable of the Madman a section from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. It depicts a maddened individual running around a village asking where he can find God only to declare that God must be dead. In his ever creative style Nietzsche is using this madman as an outlet to explore an idea. Particularly he’s interested in the shifting values of European culture during his lifetime. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

More and more people took distance from religion, most people confusing God with Church. Having found so many lies in church they considered “God” also being a “fat lie”. Though many wondered what their life was to be and if there was nothing behind it or something hidden for them.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel also had pondered the death of God, first in his Phenomenology of Spirit where he considers the death of God to

‘not [be] seen as anything but an easily recognized part of the usual Christian cycle of redemption’

But there some thought Jesus Christ to be the God, and when Jesus is God and Jesus died than really God would have died. Naturally Jesus is not God, because God is a Spirit Who has no beginning and not end and to Whom man can do nothing. In case Jesus is God and has died God would be dead and this did hurt Hegel, who writes about the great pain of knowing that God is dead

‘The pure concept, however, or infinity, as the abyss of nothingness in which all being sinks, must characterize the infinite pain, which previously was only in culture historically and as the feeling on which rests modern religion, the feeling that God Himself is dead, (the feeling which was uttered by Pascal, though only empirically, in his saying: Nature is such that it marks everywhere, both in and outside of man, a lost God), purely as a phase, but also as no more than just a phase, of the highest idea.’.

Nietzsche recognizes the crisis that the death of God represents for existing moral assumptions:

“When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. This morality is by no means self-evident… By breaking one main concept out of Christianity, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands.”

Nietzsche saw how man went away from the faith in God and by doing so was looking for new answers or better answers than the churches could give. When not any more believing in the beautiful masterly concept of creation by the Divine Maker belief of cosmic or physical order also fell to the ground.

Nietzsche saw Europe was slowly transitioning into a sort of cultural Nihilism. As advancements in science and technology lead to more and more questioning of the status quo, Philosophical values were beginning to shift. What Nietzsche is getting at here isn’t a declaration of the truth value of Christianity. In fact truth is a topic Nietzsche is extremely critical of. Instead he’s pointing out the weakening of Christian influences on society. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Clearly the church was loosing its grip on the citizens. The ability to have the Bible in print and available to lots of people, made them also aware that for years those churches had lied about many things. Those who really went to study the Scriptures where confronted with many things the church said which were not written at all in the Bible.
An other problem arose by the growing knowledge and advancement in the sciences. Several people wanted to play for god themselves.

Later on people can take a look inside the armour and see there is no God there, and say God never existed in the first place. Whether or not God actually exists or existed at any point as an entity in the universe is not as relevant as the fact that there is an inherent need in most people to have faith in God. That in itself does change how people behave, hopefully for the better.

To put this hollow armour analogy in a more abstract way, is that at first people had a genuine faith in God whether or not this faith was reciprocated by an actual God. Over the course of time this genuine God was replaced by a man-made image of God. Man got rid of the real thing in favour of a man-made facsimile. I suppose the underlying motivation is that if man made God, man can also control him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

Seeing how man went away from God Nietzsche probably was very well aware that this could bring man in trouble.

Given Nietzsche’s strong animosity towards religion, you would think people realizing that ‘God is Dead’ would make him happy. After all, Nietzsche was dedicated in his quest to try and rid the individual of dogmatic and supernatural beliefs. Surely, people disregarding religion would be a comforting sight to Nietzsche. But this was not the case. Nietzsche was deeply troubled by the lack of a God, he feared that this may lead to the destruction of our society. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

The end of Christianity for Europe might bring desolation and chaos. Churches had fostered on human dogma‘s and now people had come to see how different they are to Biblical dogma’s. But when one finds that a church has lied so much would one go for an other church and not face the same problem? Mankind always have nuzzled dogmatic beliefs that are widely held and accepted by society and do not want to do away with so many traditions.

Many of these beliefs go unquestioned, and thus we live in a sort of ‘herd’ similar to sheep (the term sheeple is probably the best representation of this). By overcoming the herd perspective, a man can free himself and achieve new heights. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

When there is no God or when man himself is god, then man may be the master of everything (does he think). When there is no God,like so many think, then man loves to be as a god being the super being or Ubermensch, to which nothing is to small or to big and everything can be made possible. When it is not possible to do something today than it will be possible tomorrow or in the future, so why worry?

The Ubermensch is supposed to act as the answer to the problem of nihilism. Since God is dead, that means there is no objective truth or morality. Thus, an Ubermensch acts as his own ‘God’, abandoning the herd instinct and determining his own morality. He is neither slave nor master, as he does not impose his will on others. He is a master of self-discipline. He must be willing to embrace suffering and learn from it. In a way, the Ubermensch is the next step in human evolution. It’s a new intuition, perspective, and greatness for mankind. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

For sure, man has to take a long way before he shall reach such a state. He also seems to forget that is what the Word of God demands from man, that man work at themselves transforming their character to an ideal being without faults. Only problem that than poses, is to know what would be faults, and what would be the right things to strive for. For a Bible Student no such problems arise because he can find all answers in the Bible. But those who do not want to take a serious look at that Library of ancient works, still many questions shall stay unanswered.

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)
  2. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  3. Christian values and voting not just a game
  4. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  5. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)

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Further reading

  1. Moral Collapse Didn’t Begin Yesterday. Occult Paris
  2. Everything and Nothing
  3. No Lives Matter
  4. The Nil God
  5. Wake up; There is no God
  6. The death of God (and politics?)
  7. Because God is not efficient in revealing himself to us, He must not exist.
  8. With God vs Without
  9. God
  10. O God…
  11. Lunch n’ Bats
  12. Collecting our thoughts: opening prayer
  13. A walk on the sea
  14. The End of the World
  15. A Defense of Religion (From an Atheist)
  16. Seraphim Rose: “large numbers of Catholics and Protestants are hardly to be distinguished from unbelievers “
  17. On Nihilism
  18. Dostoyevsky’s Übermensch in Crime & Punishment
  19. God’s Heartbreak
  20. Can You Be A Happy Nihilist?
  21. Ep. 48 – Calvin Warren and Frank Wilderson III on Antiblackness, Nihilism, and Politics
  22. The New Nihilism
  23. A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 3 | The Grandfather Of Stupidology Part 1
  24. The Weaponisation Of Popular Culture
  25. Chapter 6
  26. What We Can Gain From Detachment
  27. Nietzsche and Buddhism
  28. Buddhism, Nietzsche, Jung, Christianity, and Plato: Religious and Philosophical Themes in Westworld
  29. Identification
  30. Who I am and why I’m here
  31. Übermensch
  32. Nietzsche #7 – Der Übermensch
  33. Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence (Part 3)
  34. Nietzsche, a philosophical biography (Rüdiger Safranski, 2000)
  35. Übermensch by Mathew Babaoye
  36. Editorial 23: Frank Castle, Ubermensch
  37. How to become Superman: Nietzsche’s overwhelming concept and questions to ask yourself
  38. The Ubermensch as an Archetype

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Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

 

Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking

English: Bill Maher attending a ceremony to re...

Bill Maher attending a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arch-skeptic Bill Maher, famous for his anti-religious stance, has spoken out repeatedly in opposition to Western medicine, in particular against vaccination. In his show ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ (4 March, 2005), Maher said he did not believe in vaccination, and made the false claim that Louis Pasteur had recanted the germ theory of disease.[1]

In his comments on the Larry King Live show (15 December, 2005), Maher claimed that ‘A flu shot is the worst thing you can do’, that flu vaccinations don’t prevent flu, and that repeated flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.[2]In a 2008 interview on ‘Late Night With David Letterman’, Maher opposed Western medicine and dismissed medical journals.[3]

In an interview on his own show with a heart surgeon (9 October 2009), Maher denied the efficacy of the swine flu vaccine, denied the value of vaccines, and expressed doubt that the swine flu was dangerous.[4] [5]

During the same show, Maher expressed the view that pregnant women should not receive the swine flu vaccination.[6] In a later interview with HBO, Maher insisted he does not deny the germ theory of disease, nor that vaccines can be efficacious in some circumstances, but still maintained his anti-vaccination stance and said he would not be vaccinated himself.[7]

Maher also wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of the book ‘What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?’ (4th rev. ed. 2006), by Christine Maggiore.[8]   Maggiore’s book denied that HIV causes AIDS, and insisted that people who appear to die from AIDS-related complications in fact die from lack of general health, and illness caused by factors unrelated to HIV or AIDS.[9] Maggiore’s claims have been dismissed by the professional medical consensus, and she was condemned by doctors for contributing to AIDS-related deaths resulting from promotion of her ideas.[10]

In 2009 the Atheist Alliance International presented Maher with the ‘Richard Dawkins Award’ (an award unrelated to Dawkins’ own ‘Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science’). The award is granted each year to ‘an outstanding atheist’ on the basis of criteria including the promotion of ‘public awareness of the nontheist life stance’, and the advocating of ‘increased scientific knowledge’.[11]

This decision was publicized and criticized widely by a number of high profile atheists and skeptics.[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] On 21 July 2009, Richard Dawkins posted a response pointing out that the award had been granted by an organization unrelated to his own, but acknowledged he had been contacted over the decision, agreed with it, and defended it.[17] Dawkins’ defense of the award has also been criticized by prominent skeptics.[18] [19] [20]

________________________

Albert Edelfelt - Louis Pasteur - 1885

Albert Edelfelt – Louis Pasteur – 1885 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[1] ‘I don’t believe in vaccination either. That’s a… well, that’s a… what? That’s another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur theory, even though Louis Pasteur renounced it on his own deathbed and said that Beauchamp(s) was right: it’s not the invading germs, it’s the terrain. It’s not the mosquitoes, it’s the swamp that they are breeding in.’, transcript, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’, 5 March, 2005.

[2] ‘MAHER: I’m not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can…  KING: You mean you don’t get a — you don’t get a flu shot? MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do. KING: Why? MAHER: Because it’s got — it’s got mercury. KING: It prevents flu. MAHER: It doesn’t prevent. First of all, that’s… KING: I haven’t had the flu in 25 years since I’ve been taking a flu shot. MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there’s ten times the likelihood that you’ll get Alzheimer’s disease. I would stop getting your… KING: What did you say? MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.’, transcript, Larry King Live, 15 December, 2005.

[3] ‘Maher: You know, I do love health as an issue. This is what I read about when I have time off. Letterman: Are you interested in medical journals and that sort of thing? Maher: Not Western medicine, I think we’re being poisoned…I would love for you to investigate the possibility that your health issues might have arisen from the fact that you’re being poisoned by America.’, transcript, Late Night With David Letterman (2008).

[4] ‘Mr. Maher: Why would you let them be the ones to stick a disease into your arm? I would never get a swine flu vaccine or any vaccine. I don’t trust the government, especially with my health. Dr. Frist: On the swine flu, I know you really believe that. And let me just … Mr. Maher: (interrupting) You say that like I’m a crazy person. Dr. Frist: Well, here you are. I think here you are.’, transcript, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’, 9 October, 2009.

[5] ‘Mr. Maher: This is not a very serious flu. Let’s be honest. There must be something more to this. I cannot believe that a perfectly healthy person died of this swine flu. That person was not perfectly healthy. Western medicine misses a lot.’, ibid.

[6] ‘Dr. Frist: I know you don’t believe this, but I’m telling you the facts. Because if you send a signal out telling pregnant women not to get this vaccine … Mr. Maher: (interrupting) I do.  Dr. Frist: Well, you’re wrong. I’m serious.’, ibid.

[7] ‘What I’ve read about what they think I’m saying is not what I’ve said. I’m not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs. But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No.’, Slotek, ‘Needling Bill Maher’, Winnipeg Sun, 28 October, 2009.

[8] ‘This is a book everyone should read, and not a moment too soon! One of the most corrosive flaws in America is our tendency toward conformity; in the quest to understand AIDS, it has been stifling. Christine Maggiore prompts the kind of questioning that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry.’, http://www.aliveandwell.org/html/top_bar_pages/whatif_eng.html.

[9] In 1992 Maggiore tested positive for HIV, but insisted she never had AIDS; a daughter subsequently born to her died on 16 May 2005 (the autopsy revealing HIV, and evidence of AIDS-related death), and Maggiore herself died on 27 December 2008 (although there was no autopsy or biopsy, Maggiore’s death certificate indicates contributing causes which are congruent with HIV infection and AIDS-relatead death).

[10] ‘AIDS researchers and public health advocates have overwhelmingly condemned her work and personal life as deadly. “They caused the death of thousands of South Africans by delaying treatment and spreading infections,” said Dr. Charlie van der Horst, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Van der Horst referred to a journal study that estimated 330,000 lives were lost to new AIDS infections during the time Mbeki blocked government funding of AZT treatment to mothers.’, Cox, ‘Death of an AIDS Skeptic’, ABC News Medical Unit, 1 January 2009.

[11] ‘The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who through work or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins.’, Atheist Alliance International, 6 May 2011.

[12] ‘Don’t you think you’d better find out about the stances he’s taken on medical questions, Professor Dawkins? After all, Bill Maher is going to be given an award with your name on it, but his level of rationality when it comes to science is more appropriate for the homeopath and alternative medicine mavens you interviewed in part 2 of Enemies of Reason than for the recipient of an award that bears your name. Heck, his level of rationality when it comes to medicine is more appropriate for Deepak Chopra (whom you also interviewed in Enemies of Reason) than it is for a recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award. No, I’m not exaggerating, either. There’s a very good reason why a number of people are ticked off at Maher’s receiving this award.’, Orac, ‘Bill Maher gets the Richard Dawkins Award? That’s like Jenny McCarthy getting an award for public health’, 23 July 2009.

[13]‘Maybe some of the people attending the Atheist Alliance International Convention can educate Professor Dawkins about just what an anti-science loon is being given an award, part of the criteria for which is to champion science and reason.’, ibid.

[14] ‘Thanks to an anti-religion movie (Religulous) and his frequent stance as a “skeptic,” many of my fellow skeptics consider him one of our own, even to the point of giving him an award named after Richard Dawkins. Yet, when it comes to medicine, nothing could be further from the truth. Maher’s own words show that he has anti-vaccine views, flirts with germ theory denialism and HIV/AIDS denialism, buys into extreme conspiracy theories about big pharma, and promotes animal rights pseudoscience. That’s not a skeptic or a supporter of science-based medicine.’, Gorski, ‘“Oh, come on, Superman!”: Bill Maher versus “Western medicine”’, 7 September, 2009.

[15] ‘Note one of the major criteria for the award: “Advocates increased scientific knowledge.” Certainly Maher earns an EPIC FAIL on that aspect, at least. Given that Richard Dawkins made an excellent two-part documentary about pseudoscience for the BBC, entitled The Enemies of Reason, the second part of which was primarily about quackery and medical pseudoscience, you’d think that he’d be unhappy about having an award bearing his name be given to a person who would not have been out of place as one of the quacks that Dawkins skewered in the second half of his documentary, The Irrational Health Service.’, ibid.

[16] ‘Giving the Richard Dawkins Award to Maher was the equivalent of giving a prominent advocate of creationism and intelligent design a science award because of their opposition to the 911 truther movement. I suspect that such a decision would not sit well with Richard Dawkins and some others who were perceived to be soft on AAI’s decision. The analogies to Miller and Hitchens are not apt – Maher is so far outside the scientific mainstream on medicine that it is incongruous to give him any science award.’, Novella, ‘Bill Maher Followup’, 12 October 2009.

[17] ‘The Richard Dawkins Award (RDA) has no connection with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS). The RDA was instituted by the Atheist Alliance International (AAI) several years before RDFRS was founded, or even thought of. This year, the committee of AAI took the decision to give the RDA to Bill Maher. They asked me, as an individual, if I approved, and I was delighted to do so because I find him, and especially Religulous, very funny. I know nothing of any stance he may have taken on medical questions. This year, RDFRS agreed to jointly sponsor the annual conference of AAI. The decision to do so had nothing to do with the AAI’s decision to give the RDA to Bill Maher.’, Dawkins, 21 July 2009.

[18] ‘In essence, the great Richard Dawkins, the man who is viewed as standing up for science and reason against the forces of superstition and pseudoscience, the man who made a documentary largely about medical pseudoscience (The Enemies of Reason) that contained one of the best illustrations of why homeopathy is nonsense I’ve ever seen, in essence pled ignorance. That in and of itself wouldn’t have been so bad. What was so shocking to me was that, given his history and prior stances on medical pseudoscience, Dawkins showed such an utter lack of curiosity over whether there was anything to the allegations against the person receiving an award that bears his name. In other words, he came across as simply not really caring much about whether Maher promoted anti-vaccine views and quackery or not, as long as Maher was against religion.’, Gorski, ‘“Oh, come on, Superman!”: Bill Maher versus “Western medicine”’.

[19] ‘It’s a shame that neither Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, the Atheist Alliance International, nor a fair fraction of other self-proclaimed “skeptics” seems to “get it” with regard to this simple fact. From Maher, I don’t expect any better. Richard Dawkins and the Atheist Alliance, however, should know that actions speak louder than words, and right now their actions belie their dedication to science and the promotion of scientific knowledge.’, ibid.

[20] ‘On RichardDawkins.net Josh Timonen gave was [sic] appears to be the official defense of the decision: [“]Whilst Richard was not involved in the decision, he is nevertheless happy to go along with it. Just as he worked with Bishop Harries to protest against creationist schools in the UK, and just as he regularly recommends Kenneth Miller’s books on evolution to religious people, he understands that it is not a prerequisite to agree with a person on all issues in order to unite in support of a common objective. Richard and Christopher Hitchens don’t see eye to eye on all political matters, but that doesn’t stop them from working together against the dangers of religion. Honoring the creation of ‘Religulous’ does not imply endorsement of all of Bill Maher’s other views, and does not preclude Richard’s arguing against them on future occasions. It is simply showing proper appreciation of his brilliant film.[”] This misses the point, in my opinion. If the award were solely for Religulous, and that were clear, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. But the award specifically cites “science” as a necessary criterion for the award’, Novella, ‘Bill Maher Followup’, 12 October 2009.

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A world with or without religion

Last week Europe was shaken like the world got a shock in 2001.

European newspapers could fill their pages with the recent and potential terrorist attacks in France. Analysts, experts, and commentators take time and space to discuss and debate the facts, often with skewed and confused perspectives on Islam, and offer a variety of political and emotional responses.

Since the Wednesday January 7 terrorist attacks on the satirical magazine, there has been not only a sharp increase in anti-Muslim attacks in France, but in many countries, again lots of people are saying that it would be better not having any religion and than we would have more peace. Those claiming it would be better without religions do seem to forget it is not the religions which brings the fighting under people. In case there was no religion and in case people had no faith in certain higher values than life provides at the moment, it even could be that there would be more fighting going on in the world.

Would people seriously think that there would not have any terrorist attacks against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo or against the Jewish supermarket in Paris, when it would not have been Jewish but would have been part of a certain political group or certain chain?

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those who agreed to the statement that “there isn’t any sort of God, spirit, or life force”. Colour enhanced from the original: contrast -0.5; gamma 0.7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you take away religion you still have people who can think differently over certain matters. Atheism would not guarantee that they all would agree with each other. Having no religion shall not take away the differences in political thinking and shall still give, and perhaps even more, reason to disagree and react heavenly to other political parties. Have a look at how many different political opinions and how many different political parties there are in the world.

Interior Ministries would have much more work with different opposing groups, who would not mind to try to get rid of the others, no matter at what cost, because they would know a human life having no value when it is done with.So, by taking care of other opinions they shall be happy to be the only ruler and would not fear anything but the strongest human being, and therefore shall try to do everything to become the strongest themselves.

Now with ethics still playing a role and with people led by their faith to organise their life, people shall feel restricted in what they are allowed to do or in what can be done. With not ethics their shall be no boundaries.  For those who think when people do not belief in The God or any gods, the world would be safe of fightings, I would like to tell them that atheism in a certain way is also a religion and when it can not be considered like that it is at least also a faith.

In atheism there are also many thoughts, like there are many denominations in Christendom or in any other religion.

When there would not exist religion people would, as they did, find it out. It is true there would not be Islamophobia or Judaism fear, but still homophobia, racism would still exist. Even having no gods around people would create themselves high persons and idols, like they still do today. Even people who do not believe in God or gods call their idol ‘god’. Just look at the titles they give in the world of sport and how many gods can not be found under the footballers, tennis players and boxers.

Please also do not forget that ‘god’ is a tittle, meaning a higher person or being an important person. In the Bible we do find several called god. Angels are called god in the Holy Scriptures, but also Pharaoh, Moses, Apollo, Zeus and others. Some even think because Thomas at one point says “my god” think he is taking Jesus as his god and as God. Those readers do not see or hear the “and” before “my god” and do not understand Thomas is speaking to one person about that one person and about an other person, the God of Jesus, the God of Abraham, Who is the God of gods.

In this world when there would be no religion we also would see various god-men around the world, with whatever title the people then would give them or whatever word may be used in their language to denote such a figure. Everywhere in the world of religious and non-religious people we can find human beings who seem to be having this delusion that they have special powers or abilities that promote them to a pedestal that is higher than that of us mere mortals.

thinks that’s what makes them excel in their line of business. He also thinks it is good to have faith in a guide/teacher/guru and have a direction in life. I also believe it is very important that children have a good example they can look up at and follow. Teachers or educators or leaders in a youth or adult movement have helped many a men realize their potential (in movies, mythology, and real life).

Throughout the ages the world has seen many inspirational teachers, gurus, masters of with, inspirational thinkers, who stimulated others to think for themselves and to make a real quest in life.

Every age has got its master or people where others looked at or wanted to follow. Jeshua, the Nazarene (also called the Christ) was also such a man who got a lot of followers though others did not like that at all. Mahatma Gandhi and Luther King also were preachers of peace who did not want to create a new religion, like Jesus did not want to do that.

India has always been a very fruitful region for spiritual leaders. Also in this century a new special guru has found attention.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insan, as he calls himself (you can’t miss the mass appeal there) happens to be this socio-religious (and I think political as well) leader in India that has a huge following. His ‘fans’ claim that he is a do gooder who is trying to rid youth of the nation from the evil clutches of drugs. He carries out blood donation drives, and his many followers unquestioningly tread on the path illuminated by him. Why should anybody have a problem with such a man who is working for the society? {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

This man who is born Gregory House frequently referred to overt acts of philanthropy and generosity as underlying symptoms of a disease.

In his vitriolic style, he mocked people for having the “God Complex”, while it can be debated that he had one too. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}…

But then, he decides to make a movie and star in it as a (super)hero. The promotional trailers of MSG-Messenger of God are on the telly and some people like me who are on a highway to hell by India’s religious standards are having a good laugh. His fans have come out all guns  blazing on various social media platforms, silencing the detractors and rooting for their babaji. They counter the arguments by asking questions that are only beaten in absurdity by the movie itself. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

We also love to live a moving picture show, loving to see a better world for us than we can find in this real world. Have a look at Facebook, and you will understand what I mean. There you can find a beautiful example how people present themselves differently than they really are. Also there they love to show others how they can interact and build themselves an empire of friends and activities wherewith they can show off.

Those supporting the movie (most of whom are followers of the baba) innocently question that when other movies can show miraculous escapes and stunt scenes, why can’t Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s movie show him performing miracles?

Second. more important question is that when other movies get away with questioning religion in the name of ‘freedom of expression’, shouldn’t the makers of MSG be allowed to have their freedom too?

The last few days it was all about that freedom in Europe. Having received a big slap in the face we had to cry out loud our anguish at our hurt community. In which way were we to be pushed or to be allowed to go? Where is it that we want to go with our society and ow do want propaganda, brainwashing, infiltration allow our lives to direct?

After the Great War, lots of people thought never such a cruelty would come over them again, but soon World War II was on their doorstep. After that calamity the West soon recovered and thought it was now safe. But on September 11, 2001 the dream of the Western World was demolished by the crash of three air-planes. The material world of successful accomplishments could experience the deadliest attack ever launched on American soil, leaving them asking again:

Why did God permit such a thing to happen?

and

How can human beings be capable of such diabolical savagery in the name of religion?

2015 January 11 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom - Attack on Charlie Hebdo mazazine in Paris, France

2015 January 7 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom – Attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France

On Wednesday January 7, 2015 it was again of the same sort. Once more the West was attacked, fired in the middle of their weak heart.  Again there were people who said it was done in the name of their god, though in the Abrahamic religions there is no such God who would agree with such violence. Others said it was the fault of the religions, but they seem to forget in case there were no religions there still would be other groups fighting each other.

Lots of people do accept opposition from one or the other side but not from certain other sides. But also to be questioned is how much and in which way do we want to accept opposition.

In case there where no religions and no people believing in The God, a god or gods, they would have favouritisms for certain civic believes or political ideas.

Already from the beginning of mankind people sought ways to live with others and to form communities. Therefore different systems where thought of. The different opinions how to make the best of life would also trigger differences to have people arguing and even coming to fight with each other. Economical and political factors would be there to have people coming against each other and even being prepared to kill others for it. History can proof that.

To say therefore that religions are the cause of such misery is doing injustice to those religious people. Most of them look for ways to come at peace with each other in respect of certain values which they consider very important for making a good working human society. They mostly have ethics which they want to give priority to material or personal gain.

What we see from those who claim to be fighting for Allah is that they mostly do not follow the Words of that Allah and even do not mind killing other followers of that God. Boko Haram and ISIS are very good examples of that letting the world see that they are not afraid to rape and kill children, women and men, who also believe in their God. those jihadists also have no scruples to bomb mosques, temples of worship for Allah, and to burn Holy Scriptures like the Quran.

Those people who terrorise others misuse religion to bring more reason to frighten others for what they are doing. The jihad-fighters want people to believe that the Quran justifies their actions. Others do want to believe them and do want to believe others

Islam’s “victorious-with-terror” prophet (Hadith, Bukhari 2977) commands Muslims to mimic his example (Qur’an Sura 33:21) by ruthlessly pursuing non-Muslims (Sura 4:104, 48:29) to “terrorize” them (Sura 3:151, 8:12, 8:57-60), to “siege and slay them” (Sura 4:89, 33:57-61), to “murder” and to maim (Sura 5:33; Hadith, Tabari 9:69) in order that they be “subdued” and “destroyed” by Allah at the hands of Muslims for the cause of Islam (Sura 2:244, 4:76, 8:39, 9:14, 29-30, 9:38-39, 9:111, 61:10-12). Yet when the light of truth is shone upon the horror that is Islam the willingly ignorant still choose to remain in the dark, for to expose pure evil is to expose a monster they’d rather not see … {The Ghost Of Charlie Hebdo And The Purple Beret}

Many do not want to show true respect for those who believe in certain values and in certain elements which are above our human intellect, like spiritual beings and The God of gods.

Pope Francis I, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion. The leader of the Roman Catholics insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs.

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,”

he said.

Religious or not, we all should see what happens in the context, of how human beings act. We should see that even without religions we would have agitators and “provocateurs”. They often are not interested in ethics and what a majority wants. They want to push their believes and their wants on others. They just want to have power over the rest of the world.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Vatican has sought to downplay reports that it is a potential target for Islamic extremists, saying it is being vigilant but has received no specific threat. Francis I said he was concerned primarily for the faithful, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking “prudent and secure measures.”

In many countries it is the unbalance of one group opposite the other that creates problems. In France for example we can see that 5 million Muslims account for 10 to 12 percent of the country’s total population (the largest Muslim population in Europe) and Jews (478,000) are outnumbered by its Muslims 10 to 1. The extreme right party National Front receiving 4,712,461 votes in the 2014 European Parliament election, finishing first with 24.86% of the vote and 24 of France’s 74 seats, should give a clear sign of the danger that could come up to France even when those Jews would not be religious Jews and the Muslims would not exist but still be from foreign origin. The Algerians, Moroccans a.o. North Africans and Turkish people would face the same danger as now with their own religions.

Reburied in Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem the Jewish cell phone salesman Ilan Halimi got a garden named after him in Paris where he was kidnapped on 21 January 2006 by a group called the Gang of Barbarians and subsequently tortured, over a period of three weeks, resulting in his death.

Without religions we also would have headlines about the hatred between people and could find articles about unspeakable murders like the one of the French Jewish man of Moroccan descent Ilan Halimi in 2006 which heralded a sharp turn back to Europe’s most notorious hatred, at the hands of its newest population. More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Paris, demanding justice for Halimi, on Sunday February 26, 2006. Initially buried in the Cimetière parisien de Pantin near Paris his funeral in Paris drew a large Jewish crowd. It could not stop the violence against Judaic people. There have been thousands of attacks on French Jews and Jewish sites in the years since Halimi was killed.

We should know that not only

nationalism is a foundational aspect of French life. Old nationalist allegiances have made it hard for well-meaning Muslim immigrants to integrate into society, as they have no direct ties to Metropolitan France. They live largely among themselves in banlieues, whose customs and norms closely resemble those of the inhabitants’ countries of origin—not those of their new home. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

America’s premier monthly magazine of opinion and a pivotal voice in American intellectual life “Commentary” does see the problem of our European community. Also when there would be no religions we would have people from all sorts of places in the world gathered in our regions. After the second world war we had great dreams of a united world. In the postwar age we needed workforce to build up the country again and invited people from other continents to work for us. The doctrine of multiculturalism, the idée fixe of postwar Europe, has not only a strange relationship with French nationalism:

Though it would seem nationalism’s ideological opposite, multiculturalism offers rosy-cheeked cover to France’s deep unwillingness to allow anyone without centuries-old roots to become “French.” Nominally, according to the postmodern ideal of multiculturalism, no one culture is more virtuous than another.

And so the anti-Western, anti-Semitic Islamism practiced by France’s most dangerous citizens is not to be vilified, but rather understood and, ultimately, tolerated. As a matter of daily reality, however, multiculturalism allows the French to keep the Muslims separate—and unequal. And it allows some in France to entertain the belief that Jews, too, can never be French. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

Several may wonder now what France and its neighbour countries are going to do now they seem to be caught between the deadly reality of radical Islam and the potential manifestation of a neo-fascist revival. In case there would have been no religion there was still the matter of all those ‘foreigners’ and all those ‘coloured’ living in Europe, the same as in America you could find immigrants and coloured people.

In Europe we notice that there has come a certain pressure on many, who have seen in the economical crisis and the political evolution a similar situation as in the 1930s. Therefore many religious as well as non-treligious Jews have chosen to go to their promised Holy Land. Last year, a record-high 7,000 French Jews immigrated to the Jewish state — more than double the year before. The Jewish Agency, which oversees immigration of Jews to Israel, now estimates that some 15,000 French Jews will make aliyah in 2015.

In case there would have been no thought or no idea of a god or gods and no religions, people would have invented something to classify the different groups and ideas between the many different folks. Those classification would be there like we already classify the continents with different names and can find in each of them a multitude of political parties, which have nothing to do with religion. We can see between those political parties there are also battles going on the same as their is competition between economical forces.

With or without God, people would find enough time, arguments, money and weaponry to make their differences hard.

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You may also find to read:

  1. About what happened in France: , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6, Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world, Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  2. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  3. Religious Practices around the world
  4. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  5. Faith because of the questions
  6. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science and God’s existence
  9. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  10. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  11. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  12. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  13. Immigration consternation
  14. Green Claims in Europe
  15. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque
  16. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  17. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  18. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  19. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  20. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  21. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  22. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  23. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  24. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  25. Occupy South African Embassies
  26. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  27. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  28. Classes of people and Cronyism
  29. Economics and Degradation
  30. How do you define religion?
  31. Atheists, deists, and sleepers
  32. Where is the edge
  33. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  34. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  35. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  36. Christian values and voting not just a game
  37. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  38. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  39. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  40. Migrants to the West #1
  41. Migrants to the West #2
  42. Migrants to the West #3
  43. Migrants to the West #5
  44. Migrants to the West #6
  45. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  46. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  47. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  48. Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator
  49. Quran can convert to Christianity
  50. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  51. With Positive Attitude
  52. Stand Up
  53. Helping against or causing more homophobia
  54. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  55. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today

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Additional reading

  1. Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to freedom of expression when faith is insulted
  2. Krauthammer: Obama: Charlie who?
  3. Of tweets, twits and the factually deficient
  4. Pope Says He’d Punch Someone Who Insulted His Mother
  5. Invention of religion

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  • What the Charlie Hebdo terrorists have won so far (bangordailynews.com)
    Although French police have hunted down and killed the suspects in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack, the terrorists have, on at least two levels, already won: They’ve scared a number of powerful news organizations into submission, and they’ve stoked European Islamophobia, whose rise will help militant Islamists recruit more supporters.
  • Anti-Islam Rallies Growing in Germany (guardianlv.com)
    After the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in France last week, anti-Islam rallies in Germany are seen to be growing rapidly. The rallies are being held by a group known as Pegida, which means in English: Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.Pegida is a right wing organization in Germany that is holding protests in various cities to fight against the growing influence of Islam in the everyday life of the country. The organization claims that the influence of Islam is slowly destroying the European culture. They also are against certain immigration practices, asylum seekers, and they want the “protection of Judeo-Christian culture” for the Western world.Although the protests in Germany have been taking place for some time, the number of attendees has been rather small in the past. On October 20 of last year, the first rally only had about 350 people present. At a meeting on January 5, there were 18,000 protestors there. Once the killings at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices had taken place, the number of participants has grown greatly.
  • Hypocrisy Abounds: Free Speech as Cover for Islamophobia (truthdig.com)
    A magazine that most people outside France had never heard of before Jan. 7 now has legions of followers and fans around the world. The dominant narrative that has emerged from the horrific massacre of 10 staffers of Charlie Hebdo (plus police officers and hostages) is that the very foundation of freedom itself was attacked last week in Paris, and that the best way to fight Islamic fundamentalism is to uphold the ethos of Charlie Hebdo’s irreverence and satire. After all, in seeing their own values embodied in Charlie Hebdo, holders of “Je Suis Charlie” signsseem to be positioning themselves on the “right” side of freedom and democracy.
  • Anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rallies grow in Europe (thestar.com)

    A grassroots anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant movement is continuing to move across Europe in wake of the terror attacks that hit Paris last week.

    A crowd of nearly 25,000 attended an anti-Muslim rally in Dresden on Monday. For the last several months, the German group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, has been holding the demonstrations, calling for stricter controls on asylum rules and tighter immigration policies.

    Germany, along with northern European countries, is experiencing massive influxes of migrants from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. Vast numbers of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others caught up in war, persecution and poverty are all trying to settle in wealthier European countries to begin new lives.

  • A dying Western culture is the problem (thecommentator.com)
    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We need to say that right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism should not be allowed any place in our society.” That was the German Chancellor’s response to Pegida, the burgeoning movement in Germany against what its supporters see as the relentless Islamisation of Europe.Ms Merkel’s comment was a politician’s slur. The problem for Angela Merkel is that it’s not Pegida that is anti-Semitic, but large numbers of Europe’s Muslims. This is a truth that the EU political establishment refuses to acknowledge, even when its own bureaucrats produce the hard evidence.For example, a 2003 European Union study on anti-Semitism found that Europe’s anti-Semites were not the usual stereotypical suspects (white, skin-headed Nazis), but Muslim gangs. The report was suppressed — Europe’s PC politicians did not like the findings — and only became public when details were leaked to the Jerusalem Post.But who needs a study to show who the anti-Semites are? You can hear it and see it on Europe’s streets.
  • ‘Charlie Hebdo’: why jihad came to Paris (irishtimes.com)
    Nearly 1,300 years have passed since Charles Martel turned back the Islamic invasion at Tours, and there was a historic resonance to the policeman’s words.
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    Amid the blur of stained glass, incense and candles inside the cathedral, Fr Emmanuel Da alluded to the atrocity. “Whatever his religion, whatever his culture, a human being is your brother, and violence is a prison,” he preached. “Harming one brother with homicidal violence is harming God. There is no act more repugnant to God than homicide.”
  • Charlie Hebdo Attack Could Induce Spread Of Anti-Muslim Sentiments In Europe (eurasiareview.com)
    Elmas stated that Turkey stands as one of the most exemplary countries in terms of showing that Islam can coexist with the values of democracy, rule of law, etc. Here, Elmas underlined that Turkey should continue to cooperate with the EU and that the two parties would greatly benefit from identifying and acting upon the lowest common denominator between them when it comes to the issue.
  • European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    Governments throughout Europe have responded to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France by moving quickly to push through a raft of anti-democratic measures. They are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the event in Paris to take actions… European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack
  • Timeline of European terror attacks (seattletimes.com)
    A gun assault on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday was the deadliest terrorist attack in France’s recent history. Some other terror attacks in Western Europe:

How do you define religion?

Without spirituality, the preparedness to use the mind to wonder and to form ideas, religiosity can not come to existence, but with all sorts of rites and repeated actions to bring an outer sign of a faith in something religion may find seed and fertilisation in the aim to belong to something or somewhat.

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Today people may find themselves living in a world full of gadgets which promise them a lovely world to live in. They become more embedded in a wider world, full of tempting distraction from the real valuable things. Loosing all interest in the spiritual  our world we live in has become more secularized.

 .

As social welfare and general empathy increase, religiosity will also decline. Several people consider religion the opium of the people which will no longer be needed when they can get that “fix” from their government and community providing them with free health care, maternity and paternity leave, and help when they’re old or ill. Though we should know that only god’s foreseen Government shall bring the most complete and successful Kingdom.

 .

When a person uses his mind to think and is prepared to do spiritual exercise, opening his mind to the creation, he probably shall come closer to the Person or Spirit behind that Creation. Then the open minded person shall be able to find the Divine CreatorOnly One True God. With the knowledge gather the spiritual person shall come to understand he not only has to accept the existence of that Divine Creator. He shall also come to the insight he has to  stick to a moral code written in “their respective holy scriptures”. Their ultimate goals should than become to worship and to serve God as well as they can in the way the Bible, Torah or Q’ uran has told them.

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In Buddhism we also can find rites and also see that those followers of Buddha try to find enlightenment and escape the never-ending cycle of reincarnation, which is often considered to be a state suffering in the faith.

 .

Yet there is an obvious similarity between the Abrahamic religions and Buddhism; the concept of reaching a spiritual goal.

We would say this link remains there with Hinduism and in other polytheist believes where the people try to take care of their gods, giving them clothes and food.

If Vishnu is part of everything in existence, then there is a spiritual link between everything.

 .

Most religions have in common such spiritual awareness and goals, and people wanting to believe in something which can guide them through life, do not mind offering time of their life to show others that they want to belong to a group of people who believe in certain matters and want to use their body and spirit (soul) to take action for bringing those believes into life, by worshipping.

.

We remember:

It is therefore not belief in God that separates moral organisations from religions, but spirituality is what makes an organisation a religion.

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Additional literature:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  3. Faith
  4. Soul
  5. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  6. Living in faith
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  9. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  10. Religion and spirituality
  11. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  12. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  13. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  14. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  15. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  16. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  17. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  18. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  19. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  20. Experiencing God
  21. The Supreme Being God of gods
  22. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  23. Only One God
  24. God is One
  25. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  26. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  27. Preparedness to change
  28. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  32. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  33. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruit
  34. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
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  • The continuing decline of American religiosity (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    Grant’s post reports 61 years of measuring “religiosity” (the degree of religious belief) in the US, using statistics he developed in a 2008 paper (reference and free download below). In that paper, Grant combined 14 indices of religiosity into one, and developed a way to not only present that statistic in a way comparable among years, but to check its reliability. (You can read about the “validation” of his measure, the Aggregate Religiosity Index [ARI] in the paper at the bottom.
  • Moving away from formal religion – toward a one-to-one relationship with God. (findingtheinnerway.com)
    You have a yearning to connect with something greater than yourself. So you fill that need with a hodgepodge of spiritually-related activities. You pray and/or meditate. You read spirituality books. You take yoga, engage in mindful exercise or go outdoors to find a spiritual connection with nature.
    +
    It’s all about staying “in tune with the rhythms of nature and the pulse of your life”. In following your own path, you discover, sometimes through trial and error, what activities work best for you. In time, you create a spiritual practice that is true to you, removing the veil of religion, until nothing separates you from God.
  • Religion vs Spirituality, Part One (mettahu.wordpress.com)
    A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural practices and world views that codify the relationship between human beings and the spiritual entity commonly thought of as the Creator, regardless of what it is called in any particular language.  In the various world religions, “God” is known by many names in the various languages, even by people who practice or consider themselves members of the same religion.Each religion has a slightly different understanding of the Divine Being, and a different understanding of the relationship of humans to the Being they worship.  Religions provide a code of morality or code of conduct for their adherents.  They spell out what humans must do in
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    Part of the problem is that there are some who seem to feel that their own religion is the only one favored by God.  And yet these same people tend to ascribe to God the quality of omnipotence.  Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if God wanted only one religion, human beings would not have been able to create so many systems of belief?  And yet here we are, all 7 billion of us, with countless religions, some practiced worldwide, and others practiced by a few in local areas.
  • Science Vs. Religion: Beyond The Western Traditions (wnyc.org)
    In the United States, the debate between science and religion seems to be powered by a perpetual motion machine. The claims that Neil deGrasse Tyson’s inspired Cosmos series was anti-religious stands as the latest salvo in a long battle that generates lots heat but very little light. Having been in many of these debates, both formally and informally, I’m often struck by how narrow the discussion remains. That’s because often people don’t want to talk about science and religion; they really want to talk about science and their religion. It’s exactly in that first step that the conversation goes down hill for all sides.
  • Buddhism & Humanism: Two Sides of the Same Coin, Part 1 (appliedsentience.com)
    Buddhism and Humanism are two geographical sides of the same philosophical coin.  They’re twins with the same DNA, separated at birth, and brought up by different parents.  The same dish with spices added by different cultures.  Buddhism is Eastern Humanism and Humanism is Western Buddhism.
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    Buddhism and Humanism share a deep common core unique to them compared to other religions and worldviews.  To make this point I’ll start with Buddhism.  Damien Keown in his pioneering work relating Buddhist and Western ethics makes this point for Buddhism explicitly.
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    All religions and worldviews prize Reason and Compassion, of course.  However, all also have other ideals that they hold just as highly.  My point is that Buddhism and Humanism are unique in holding these virtues up and only these virtues up.  For instance, take the Abrahamic religions which put concepts like obedience, faith, and purity on the top of the list.  This inevitably creates conflicts which Buddhism and Humanism don’t have, like how faith often trumps reason, e.g. Galileo and Darwin, or obedience trumps compassion, e.g. OT genocides.
  • Spiritual Experiences Vital for Black American Women’s Mental Health (madinamerica.com)
    Spirituality and transcendental experiences are even more important than religion to the psychological well-being of many Black American women, according to a study in The Journal of Black Psychology. University of Illinois researchers noted that 84% of Black American women report that religion is very important to them; however, they hypothesized that previous studies had conflated spirituality and religion. “Where religiosity is typically defined in terms of participation in religious institutions and adherence to prescribed beliefs, spirituality is defined as one’s relationship with divinity and focuses primarily on subjective individual experiences of the transcendent,” wrote the researchers. They conducted surveys with 167 Black American women and found that experiences of the divine were the key contributing factors to mental health.
  • Does Record Number of Religious “Nones” Mean Decline of Religiosity? (religiondispatches.org)
    Judging by the media excitement over the latest poll illustrating continued growth in the number of people who answer “none” when asked with what religion they are affiliated, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seems to have pulled a similar trick for those interested in how religion is changing in America. “‘Nones’ On the Rise,” released on October 9 by Pew in affiliation with PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, gives the sense that we can see what’s really going on across the American religious landscape and understand it.
  • Owning our Health: In an emergency, do you respond or react? (blogs.vancouversun.com)
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    “The active and constructive religious response to Japan’s 3/11 catastrophe caught some by surprise and it has received fairly scant attention. But what happened may well stand as an important landmark. It shows what one leader calls the unconscious religiosity of the Japanese: an amorphous sense of being connected to something transcending the self, a gratitude to the ancestors, divine beings, and people in general. It is alive, he says, even within those who say that they have no religion.”Marshall concludes, “this religious story shows an important if often obscured face of Japan. It is part of Japan’s remarkable response to the disaster, part of the fortitude, community solidarity, and determination to rebuild that we must admire.”
  • Can you be too religious? | Giles Fraser (theguardian.com)
    There are Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus. No one practises religion, as such. And second, precisely because the word “religion” describes the common outward format through which these very different belief systems express themselves, it cannot describe each in its specificity. This is particularly tricky when it comes to Christianity, because at its heart is a figure who was thoroughly suspicious and condemnatory of religion.
  • Is Humanism a Religion? (appliedsentience.com)
    Religion may be impossible to define, whether we ask ourselves what the word means or what specific things count as “religious.”  In his classic text The Sociology of Religion, the famous sociologist Max Weber argued that “Definition can be attempted, if at all, only at the conclusion of the study” of religion.  However, as Nicholas Wade points out, and does in his own book, The Faith Instinct, Weber never defines religion – even at the end!

 

thoughtofvg

My teacher for Philosphy and ethics recently asked me to do some extra essays and background reading after i didn’t quite get the grade i was expecting from a recent exam.  I thought I might share a very short essay i have just done, as its quite an interesting topic. Before you carry on, this is my opinion on the matter and is open to dispute.

How do you define religion?

It is certainly difficult to explain what exactly the definition of religion is. If one attempts to describe it in terms of belief in God, Buddhism wouldn’t be considered a religion and comparatively, Any organisation or collective group would be labelled a religion if the definition of  “a group in which all members have  similar moral beliefs and goals” were used.  A more accurate definition would perhaps be found by comparing the world religions and by discussing what…

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Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

Morality Breach

Morality Breach (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

Making moral decisions is not always easy. Sometimes we get pulled in different directions; maybe our heart says one thing and our head another. But some things are crystal clear – some things are just plain wrong. The murder of an innocent person is wrong. The abuse of a child is wrong. Rape – regardless of the gender or the circumstance – is wrong. But where does this moral conviction come from? Why is it that we think that morality is important? Why is it we spend so much time worrying about whether something is right or wrong?

Atheism does not provide very satisfying answers to these questions. Some atheists say that human morality is just a happy coincidence – we could have developed differently, but luckily we happen to think that murder and rape are wrong. But this isn’t very encouraging, if our sense of right and wrong is just chance. Nor does it seem to reflect our experience of moral decisions – morality isn’t just a trick of our brains, some things are obviously bad.

Some atheists say that human morality developed as a survival strategy – a society without lots of murders will work better than a society with lots of murders so evolution should select for the society without lots of murders. Whilst that’s true, it is also true that it is even better for the survival of my genes for me to feign morality when it suits me and to behave immorally when it suits me better. We would expect evolution to equip us with a survival instinct but we would not expect evolution to equip us with values of self-sacrifice, compassion and altruism. And yet, we just do think that self-sacrifice is morally good and that murder, regardless of the selfish motives, is bad.

Some atheists say that morality is a consequence of our rational faculties, that when evolved rational minds we realised that murder or rape was wrong. But morality is something different from reason. Reason is great working out how to get what you want but it cannot tell you what it is you desire. If I want to be successful and powerful then it is perfectly rational for me to commit immoral acts to further my career (if I can get away with them). Reason can help us make our moral decisions but only once we have some moral values to work with.

In contrast theism has a very straightforward explanation for why we think morality is important – God has given us this moral capacity for our benefit. God is good and God wants humans to be able to form relationships with him, so has given them this moral capacity. Our morality capacity is part of what makes us personal and relational beings.

This is not to say that atheists can’t do good things (they can). All human beings have this moral capacity and can choose to act upon it or not. The question is where does that moral capacity come from? Why do we think that morality matters? If morality is real, if some things are just plain wrong, then we cannot explain the universe in purely physical terms. Our tendency to think in moral terms indicates that there is moral being behind the universe – and that is God.

New Morality

New Morality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing

Why think there is a God? (2) Goldilocks Effect

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Find also to read:

  1. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  2. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  3. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  4. Book of books and great masterpiece
  5. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  6. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  8. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  9. A risk taking society
  10. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  11. Satan the evil within

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Also of interest:

  1. An Introduction to Logic
  2. Life Amidst Moral Chaos
  3. A Friendly Discussion (Morals, Ethics, and Theism)
  4. Ethics
  5. The ethics of admitting you messed up.
  6. Teaching Ethics to Greedy Bastards
  7. About My Humanist’s Perspective
  8. Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion
  9. Ethics and Answers: Leave pirating to the high seas, not your cable box
  10. Louis P. Pojman – Ethical Relativism
  11. Question Time: Absolute Morality?
  12. Morality: Objective vs Relative
  13. Objective Morality
  14. The foundations of morality
  15. Morality and Conscience: Chapter 14 Prayer Service
  16. Art and Morality
  17. American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Bill Maher, High Priest: Defining Morality in America
  18. Programmed To Be Moral?
  19. Moral values aren’t absolute, but aren’t arbitrary either + Moral values aren’t absolute, but aren’t arbitrary either
  20. This View of Life: Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind
  21. Born that way
  22. Virtue and Evil
  23. Notes on “Breaking Bad”
  24. Welfare politics
  25. Ravaging Politicism (excerpt 3)
  26. Hursthouse Reading
  27. Should Ethicists Be Held to a Higher Moral Standard?
  28. Christian ethics and Peter Singer
  29. Multicultural apocalypse: Stealth jihad has taken root in Europe and is coming to America
  30. Let’s keep America exceptional
  31. Breaking: “American Freedom Law Center”
  32. It’s out with the old as Christian values fall away
  33. “The Fear Of God Is Not In This Place”
  34. Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism
  35. “Spiritual But Not Religious” and the Path to God
  36. There is the Law of love, and then there are the Ten Commandments
  37. Ten commandments to lose the first 4?
  38. The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 4
  39. He who does the commandments and teaches them shall be called great
  40. To what extent should government enforce the moral law of God? The example of divorce.
  41. The Ten Commandments and non-believers
  42. The Ten Commandments and Christian Living
  43. The Catholic Church Changed The Ten Commandments?
  44. Fully Human: Why Think Part I: The Rich Ruler and Jesus
  45. Why is islam such a dangerous foe of liberal democracies?
  46. The Gift of Connection
  47. Torrance on Natural Laws
  48. Barth on God’s Love
  49. Being a “Good Person” Part 2
  50. About Greed
  51. So Be Good for Goodness Sake
  52. Russians find homosexuality more immoral than drinking, infidelity or abortion
  53. I Have No Survival Instinct
  54. The Rules of Survival
  55. Survival Of The Fittest
  56. Chapter 3 of The Journey – My Invisible Scars
  57. Rust: A Beginners Guide (Part 2)
  58. Unpredictable Life.
  59. Survival of the Richest
  60. It doesn’t really matter What I Do…..
  61. Humble Your Life, Before Life “Face-Plants” You
  62. Leaving the Nest
  63. Things That Were Lost In Our Vaginas
  64. Article: States Where Rape is Most Common
  65. What Is Rape Culture? Why You Should Care.
  66. The Rape Epidemic in Alaska
  67. Zimbabwean Pastor imprisoned for half A century, for raping 4 members of his congregation
  68. Ignorance Means Acceptance: A Stance on Rape Culture
  69. Shut Up, Rape: Gender Politics in “Super”
  70. Functional repression
  71. Farrah Abraham Claims “Dark Times” During Her Time in the Porn Industry
  72. The beatings, and fear, and rape that permiated my life
  73. I No Longer Want Chocolate Cake for Breakfast
  74. Chapter 1, part i
  75. Chapter 1, part ii
  76. Thursday, February 6th, 2014
  77. Male on Male Prison Rape – Where is the Outrage?
  78. Is it rape if you let it happen?
  79. Men of a Nightmare
  80. Why I Rise for Justice
  81. Send to me Thy Trials so that I may Heal
  82. I Am An Abortion-Hating, Same-Sex Mongering, Marriage-Smearing Hypocrite
  83. This Is A Story About Rape. But More Importantly, This Is A Story About Survivors.
  84. The Intrinsic Links: Violence Against Women, Poverty and Impunity
  85. Call To My Childhood Rapist Teacher Charged
  86. Life decisions and getting raped
  87. Rape legal in Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan?
  88. Solomon vs Bullard – why it matters
  89. So You Were Saying Porn Is Not Dangerous…huh!
  90. Fighting/Self Defense: Two sides of the same coin
  91. please help me!!!!
  92. Boasting immorality…
  93. Repent or Be Judged – A Warning to the Nations

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  • Do atheists believe that slavery is wrong? Can atheists condemn slavery as immoral? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    For a Christian response to the complaint that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, see this article and this article for slavery in the Old Testament, and this article for slavery in the New Testament. These are all by Christian philosopher Paul Copan. You can watch a lecture with Paul Copan on the slavery challenge here, and buy a book where he answers the challenge in more detail. There is also a good debate on whether the Bible condones slavery here, featuring David Instone-Brewer and Robert Price. My post is not a formal logical essay on this issue, it is more that I am outraged that atheists, who cannot even rationally ground objective morality, insist on criticizing the morality of the Bible. I think that atheists who are serious about finding the truth about these issues should check out those links, if they are interested in getting to the truth of these matters.
  • Chad Meister: can atheists make sense of morality? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Atheists often argue that they can make moral claims and live good moral lives without believing in God. Many theists agree, but the real issue is whether atheism can provide a justification for morality. A number of leading atheists currently writing on this issue are opposed to moral relativism, given its obvious and horrific ramifications, and have attempted to provide a justification for a nonrelative morality.
  • An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination.
  • The Problem With Atheistic Morality (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    If God is a mere delusion, I find it impossible to develop any objective moral framework.  I think most atheists and naturalists would agree with me on this statement, but most would say that it doesn’t matter.  When asked about absolute morality, atheist Richard Dawkins claimed “The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include stoning people for adultery, death for apostasy, punishment for breaking the Sabbath… these are all things that are based on absolute morality.  I don’t think I want an absolute morality.”  First of all, there are several things wrong with this statement.  Number one, he takes into consideration only ancient religious extreme morals.  This just goes to show how incredibly ignorant Dawkins is of Christian moral values.  The second problem with Dawkins’ statement was how he didn’t give any explanation for the moral framework that everyone seems to follow.  Why are we moral creatures?  Why are all of the terrible, awful people such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. not justified in what they did?  Under an atheistic system, I will admit, you can see the evil of a situation for your own personal value, but you cannot in any way, shape, or form claim that the situation is absolutely evil or unjust.  The last part of Dawkins’ statement about not wanting an absolute morality is absurd, considering Dawkins puts so much emphasis on what is absolutely true and what is absolutely not true.  Just because you don’t want something to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
  • The morality of Atheism (siftingreality.com)
    The debate over morality between Atheists and Theists is forever ongoing. I think Atheists mistakenly believe Theists claim they can’t act in a moral manner, but this isn’t the issue.  Most Atheists, in my experience, are relatively honest, caring people with genuine concern for their fellow man.  However, I have always been puzzled by the Atheist’s claim that a godless, non-transcendent worldview can somehow produce an objective ethical code which supplies moral prescriptions to persons who share different opinions on what is and isn’t moral.

    Inevitably, what the Atheists argues for is some form of relativism, be it individual or cultural.  Either of which have no solid immovable standard.

    Individual relativism, or personal ethics, isn’t really morality.  One’s moral convictions are limited only by the will-power and sensibilities of the individual.  There is nothing binding on the individual to keep his or her own standards.

  • 7 fatal flaws for Relativism (thecatholicdormitory.wordpress.com)
    Relativism makes it impossible to criticize the behavior of others, because relativism ultimately denies such a thing a ‘wrongdoing’. If one believes that morality is a matter of personal definition, then you surrender the possibility of making objective moral judgments about the actions of others, no matter how offensive they are to your intuitive sense of right or wrong. This means that a relativist cannot rationally object to murder, rape, child abuse, racism, sexism or environmental destruction if those actions are consistent with the perpetrator’s personal moral understanding of what is right and good. When right and wrong are a matter of personal choice, we surrender the privilege of making moral judgments about the actions of others. However if we are certain that some things must be wrong and that some judgments against another’s conduct are justified – then relativism is false.
  • The Moral Of The Story (edwardhotspur.wordpress.com)
    One aspect of morality comes from within. Just the simple viewpoint that you don’t wish someone else harm, as long as they haven’t harmed you or someone you know. But sometimes you trick yourself into believing that something someone else has would be better served in your possession. So you just take it. But in time, you’re not 2  years old anymore, and you learn societal morals such as The Prisoner’s Dilemma.
  • How can Atheists be ethical? (angelamaldita.wordpress.com)
    most atheists agree that there is wisdom and morality in the Scripture. How can this be? Well, we, atheists, think that values, including morality, come from people like themselves; the values and morality are the same whether one believes in a god or not. The morality found in scriptures of various religions is remarkably similar, even if the theology is very different. The common thread of morality in these different theologies is the people who wrote them. Atheists, just like any of those people, share the same sense of morality.
  • Did God Make These Babies Moral? (newrepublic.com)
    People can be selfish and amoral and appallingly cruel, but we are also capable of transcendent kindness, of great sacrifice and deep moral insight. Isn’t this evidence for God? This version of “intelligent design” is convincing to many people—including scientists who are otherwise unsympathetic to creationism—and it’s worth taking seriously. Like other intelligent design arguments, it doesn’t work, but its failure is an interesting one, touching on findings about evolution, moral psychology, and the minds of babies and young children.
  • Moral Law (totellthenations.wordpress.com)
    if the law emanated from Someone outside the created order, and indeed, were a reflection of that One, two points become clear. That the Law came from a Supreme and immutable Law-giver and that as such the Law very much is and must be immutable.These are points that must be reflected upon both by the atheist, the agnostic and one who places trust in a Higher Power. If I am not responsible to a Higher Power and this Moral Law stuff is all made up, then murder and torture are indeed no different from acts of kindness and altruism for there is no Immutable Standard. If the Moral Law (however difficult to define) exists, than we humans are held to that standard and are responsible for upholding it.

     

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Atheists, deists, and sleepers

Today many, who call themselves Christians, but spit on other Christians, are more considered about their material than their spiritual welfare. Lots of people have become only Christians by name; have become blind and deaf for the Gospel-message and have become “in the world” not much interested in God as the Most High Being. They do not take much time any more to read or to study the Bible, the Word of God given for us all to be our manual and guide for ever.

English: "John Wesley," by the Engli...

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Remember from this article and John Wesley his sermon “The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption.”

  1. A kind of peace by not fearing the pit, not knowing the danger + Having not enough understanding to fear
  2. No dread of God, because total ignorance of Him
  3. Different types of Christians and non-Christians, to be “natural” men and women, dead to the life of the Holy Spirit and unaware of God
  4. Today also many are spiritually dead and in need of supernatural intervention
  5. We appear to have largely abandoned the concern that men, women, and children stand under eternal judgment
  6. People clinging to religion because they don’t want to face the reality of their own demise
  7. Genuine prayer and true submission missing ingredients

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Casual Christians
  2. Something Most False Christians Have In Common
  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  5. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  6. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  8. An Ex-Muslim’s Open Letter
  9. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  10. Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace
  11. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  12. Where is the edge
  13. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  14. Jew referring to be religious or to be a people
  15. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  16. Halloween custom of the nations
  17. Giving cogent reasons to young people why Christian faith is relevant to them
  18. Faith antithesis of rationality
  19. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  20. Grow strong in weakness
  21. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin

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  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists Should Encourage Worship To Protect The Country (huffingtonpost.com)
    If atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert argued Thursday during a House floor speech.Gohmert, who has a penchant for tweaking people who do not believe in God, was delivering a speech about the lack of attention given to Christians who are persecuted around the world.Although he also declared that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as an aside he argued that only nations that turned away from the Judeo-Christian god have ceased to exist.
  • The Strange Fire Rationalists (cwoznicki.com)
    In The Reasonableness of Christianity John Locke engages in a project of making the Christian religion palatable to modern sensibilities, so he argues that Christianity (at its core/at the kernel of truth) is very rational. Locke argues that you don’t need to believe all sorts of metaphysical/spiritual claims about Jesus in order to be called a Christian, all you need to do is confess that Jesus is the messiah, who was foretold in the Old Testament prophecies and that his mission was authenticated by miracles.
  • Atheists: Nobody Needs Christ at Christmas (secularnewsdaily.com)
    American Atheists launched a major billboard display on Tuesday that declares Christmas is better without the Christ. The huge 40′x40′ digital billboard is located in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Using motion graphics, the billboard proclaims, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” A hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” appears. The display then says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas” and offers a series of cheery words: family, friends, charity, food, snow, and more.
  • Sarah Palin Says Atheists Want to ‘Abort Christ from Christmas’ (thedailybanter.com)
    As part of her book tour, Sarah Palin spoke yesterday at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
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    If you visit the official Monticello website, there’s a section about Jefferson’s religious beliefs and it’s quite clear that, as a deist, he didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ. Specifically, regarding “the reason for the season,” he wrote to John Adams in 1823, “[T]he day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
  • Does Science Attack God? The Atheist Perspective (troutasher.wordpress.com)
    there are some Atheists who are so consumed with their own opinions and beliefs that they can’t consider anyone else’s view points or reasons they believe what they do.  So in some cases people do use science to attack God because of an unwillingness to understand another view point.  However, not every Atheist is out to disprove God’s existence.  Therefore another answer to the question “why does science attack God” is that it doesn’t.
  • Atheist group: Take back Christmas from Christians! (syndicatednewsservices.com)
    People might be better served, said Silverman and American Atheists PR director Dave Muscato, by returning the holiday to its pre-Christian, traditionally pagan roots.“Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,” Muscato said.
  • A Response to Greg Stier’s Article “How to Share the Gospel With an Atheist” (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    If we want to engage someone in a religious debate, we’ll defend our own stance just as fiercely. If, as in most cases, we don’t care to be prostelytised to, we simply nod politely and tune it out.
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    Stier also specifies that Christians should find out whether the person is agnostic or atheist, completely oblivious to the fact that one can be both. Like me, for example. I reject every man-made concept of spirituality because it lacks compelling evidence and does great damage to the world. But I do not know what other powers and reality is in existence, and I have no way of knowing. I’m an agnostic atheist. An atheist who does not know. Not an atheist who says ‘There is nothing else out there.’ Hopefully that clears things up for Mr. Stier, if he were to ever stumble across this.
  • Are you an atheist…or something else? (fluidtheology.wordpress.com)
    What is strange to me is that the atheists I have met online do not act like atheists.  Now, I think most of them do actually reject the idea of any god but the things they focus on when they argue on blogs makes them look like they are not atheists at all and instead they are something else: anti-deists.  For example, they say they don’t believe in God but then constantly rail against the way he behaves. They say they don’t believe the Old Testament is true, but then they go on and on about the atrocities in it.
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    Anti-deists believe that God is not good. As one such anti-deist has said “Even if you were to prove to me that your God were real I would never worship him.  I would not even piss on him if he were on fire.”  They are opposed to God and to be opposed to something gives it some form of validity.
  • Stranger than a Manger- Atheist Christmas Displays (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The motto of the “out of the closet” campaign is: “Many faces make Enlightenment work.” Each billboard pictures and features a different local atheist or freethinker, using his or her own words. More than 55 participants are involved, since some of the billboards feature couples, friends or families.
  • None does not equal Atheist (religionron.wordpress.com)
    There are two misconceptions in Christianity today.  The first is that we were a Christian nation at one point where everyone was Christian.  Sorry to burst your bubble but if we are going to use modern definitions only 17% of those in America during the colonial times were members of a church.  That would make America over 80% none at founding.  So what are we at now 35% None?   So what happened why does this misconception exist?This happened because several denominations especially the Methodists and the Baptists had revivals in the frontier.  This helped get the percentage up to 35% throughout the country.  Then with the corporatization of American churches we got it up to over 70% in 1950.   So while there is a huge decline since 1950 its still bigger than it was even 90 years ago.   Why is this?  Its because many people were part of a church by coercion.   You had to be part of the church if you wanted to do anything.  You were expected to be in church on sunday.  It really wasn’t a voluntary religion.  Now its voluntary again and people get bent out of shape about the decline.

John Meunier

John Wesley writes about the person he describes as spiritually dead or asleep in his sermon “The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption.”

The darkness which covers him on every side, keeps him in a kind of peace; so far as peace can consist with the works of the devil, and with an earthly, devilish mind. He sees not that he stands on the edge of the pit, therefore he fears it not. He cannot tremble at the danger he does not know. He has not understanding enough to fear. Why is it that he is in no dread of God? Because he is totally ignorant of him: If not saying in his heart, “There is no God;” or, that “he sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and humbleth” not “himself to behold the things which are done on earth:” yet satisfying himself as well to all Epicurean…

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Where is the edge

The rim of the unknown

Are we living on the edge? How far do we want to go in our life?

Many of us are afraid to come into the unknown. Because of that they never come further. Because of the fear for what they do not know they shall never know.

Cover of "Unknown World (B&W)"

Cover of Unknown World (B&W)

The unknown, the do not see, may just be that place filled with wonder, curiosity, joy, gratitude, compassion and integrity. An extraordinary place that lives beyond our fears, beyond our wants and desires, a place filled with peace, a place silent but for the vibration of love. the Creator God provided it for us but we do have to be willing to go and see it, feel it and experience it.

To live in certainty

Lots of people prefer to live in the certainty and want to keep on to the traditions which they have kept from generation unto the next generation. They are afraid for that unknown world and do not understand their fear may just be the mask shielding us from fully experiencing life. We encounter many people who dare to ask us some things, but have to notice that mostly they consider the “what if”, “why so” and when we offer them different views they come up “what would my family say”, “what would others think”. And then they answer us “maybe” and “someday,” before going back into their old routine of the certainties they think they have with their ‘old thinking‘.

It shows how difficult it is for many people to encounter different ideas than they are used to and how more difficult it is to change the ideas which were brought into their minds by the years of denominational habituate. the things people are accustomed to is not easy to liberate from.

To follow people or to choose a path

Do you ever think about it that when you just follow the path everybody is following, you might perhaps having a smoke screen in your life? Did you ever thought that by continuing the way you were used to from childhood, enjoying the sphere in the community, you could perhaps been lying to yourself? How many people are not trying to have an unauthentic life filled with trying to look good and with the aim to please others?

When we look at the people around us, we can not ignore that we see a lots of people having a life filled with waiting. Waiting for the weekend, for a better life, for time to pass. A life longing for a made up past, or a mystical future that does not exist. A life devoid of passion and inspiration. A life absent from the present. A life hidden from the miracle of right now.

Using own personality

Though the Creator God, who created each person in His own image, has given each member of humankind the possibility to use their brains. To let the streams of knowledge come into the brains. The Supreme Being prepared man so that he can explore the world and be a unit in the universe.

Each individual has to go his or her own way and has to find out himself or herself what the world can offer to him or her. Each individual has to make it for himself or herself. They may want to go the easy or the difficult way. they might go beyond any thought of what is possible, fully experiencing and embracing all of life without fear. It is here on the edge that life transforms, that we see things we couldn’t see before. It is here that the world is no longer flat, or the sun orbits around the earth, or that we are the only sentient beings in this universe. It is here on the edge that we do not know the truth as the truth is only a context.

Squeezed between beliefs and the sceptic world

Also in our congregation we can find people who have doubts about our beliefs, like in so many denominations where people have to grow up and consider or question what they do want to believe. We all should question what we do believe and what we should believe. Each believer should have a moment where he or she goes ‘Living on the edge of certainty’.  Then they should come to  ‘Live on the edge of credibility’, addressing the challenge of defending their beliefs and preaching to other religious people and atheists. For sure we who believe in One God may be ‘Living on the edge of society‘, addressing the challenge of belonging to a Christian community with beliefs and values typically rejected by modern society. this should not frighten us and should not have us to let us run away or let us to hide for others.

We as Christians should value scepticism and should have no fear to meet people who do not believe in the One God Creator of heaven and earth. We should not mind facing ‘New Atheism’ and its critics and understand that atheism is not a guarantee of rational thinking. When we see how many people in this world are ‘Living on the edge of doubt’ we may consider the challenges to belief in the Bible.

Christadelphian writer Jonathan Burke

A book about living on the edge

The archaeology columnist for a theological journal, Jonathan Burke, a Bachelor of Arts with a Classics major (including a working knowledge of Greek and Latin), provides the background for his interest and knowledge in history related to Christianity, and a Masters of Information Management and Systems has trained him in research methodology and information verification. He had three theological books published in Australia. Two of his books are available on Lulu. As an expatriate Australian, brother Jonathan has been living in Taiwan since 2004. He is a regular volunteer worker with Taoshan Elementary School (桃山國小), Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會), Harmony Home (關愛之家), Zhong Yi Foundation (忠義基金會), Brightside (臺灣嚮光協會), Taiwan Sunshine, and Rangi (人跡協會). His latest publication brings an overview of “Living on the edge”.

In this new publication Jonathan Burke talks about upholding and defending the Christadelphian beliefs and values. Many may wonder if those beliefs are relevant to the modern world.  This book aims to provide that evidence which non-religious people hopefully will find convincing.

The book does address issues such as the relationship of science and Scripture, the age of the universe and the earth, and whether the flood was local or global. However, the author aims to minimize controversy. For example, since evolution is a highly divisive issue the book does not address it at all.

I have not read the book, but look forward to read some parts of it in the coming days. (Look at the coming publications on Stepping toes: The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (1+2); Were Gnostics the original Christians?; Is faith rational?; Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking; and Ian Plimer proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking)

Today I wanted to open this matter of debate about “Living on the edge” because it looks like many people today do not dare any more to stick out their neck and to try out new things. Lots of people want to make sure that they can keep their job, and are afraid to question what happens at work and how it happens.

Taking a poor view

Today several Christians do think we are in the midst of a ‘war’ on Christians all around the world mostly being perpetrated by radical Muslims and mostly ignored. On the other hand others think that most Christians in the West aren’t really aware of how huge this resistance against Christians really is.

But we can resist those opposing us by letting them understand how we think and how we are willing to handle them and how we would like to find peace in the world. We can show them that they do not have to be afraid of real Christians who are like them, created in the image of God. Having elements of that Creator we, like them, cannot travel the path until we become the path itself. We should show them that we also are parts of this world willing to share it with others.

Respectful thoughts

The other believers should come to recognise that we, as believers in a Creator God, have respect for that Creation of the Supreme High Being. As followers of His son who loved his Father and loved the world, we also should love the Father and the world the Father allows us to live in. With the love of God should also come our love for others and also our happiness which we should be willing to share with others, believers but also to non- or unbelievers or better: different believers.

Seeing the beauty in the depths of unknown

The Fear of God

The Fear of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not mind going onto the edge of the cliff, which people push us to the boarder of it.  On that edge we should like to see the beauty of this world and find happiness which can rise from the depths of our soul. We should be able to find ourself smiling, smiling because we are a witness to the grace and beauty of the universe, to that of some greater power beyond ourself, beyond those superficial concerns that held us so tightly before.

We should not get blackened or fall out because of the fear for the bottomless abyss. The yawning chasm should not bring us willed with horror, but there we should encounter the challenge of the classroom of the universe where we can learn so much. It is here that we can see the beauty in every moment, that our concerns and frustrations in life are self-induced, illusions of suffering that we are clinging to in the midst of such wonder and beauty around us.

Standing on the edge of life, Showing happiness

We should not be cordoning off or stake out our beliefs nor our faith-life. Standing on the edge of life we should see the opening in the world where so many can live together in the best circumstances, in case they are willing to open their mind as well.

Those who love God and who are feeling and believing in the love of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, should call to action and bring, like Jesus asked them to do, the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To bring that Good News we should ourselves become part of those Good Tidings and being identifiable as good news ourselves, spreading happiness.

To show more happiness we should get id off the fears which may still be there tempting us. Sometimes we are not fully aware of those fears, therefore we should first of all identify the fears in our life that are blocking us. We should get to see them, recognise them and go against them, looking at them for their insignificance.

Not postponing the action

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not tarry. Procrastination may be big fashion now, but a dilatory attitude may bring us nowhere. We should not show tameness for the matters that need action and to wipe out those things that stops us in life. Do not postpone and take action to step beyond these fears. Confront them head on. We should see where we are going, were the world is going, where the world wants to push us, where the borderlines are and how far we can go to the edge. Make sure you have the good ‘Foundation to go the distance’ and ‘Live on the edge’.

God of gods has given us this life. It is short. God also warns us that we should make the best out of it and not wait until it is to late. We do have to live each moment as if it is the last because it might be. For this reason Jesus has warned us more than ones, and given enough examples with his parables. We should learn from them and take them at heart. Living today according to the Will of God and preparing ourselves to be ready when the end of our life shall confront us with death. Remember when that moment shall be there it shall be to late to change course, to walk strong on the edge or to fall from the edge in the depths of nothingness.

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Continuation of: Preparedness to change

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Additional reading:

  1. A time for everything
  2. If you want to go far in life
  3. Live …
  4. Control and change
  5. A Living Faith #8 Change
  6. Only I can change my life
  7. Change
  8. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  9. Foundation to go the distance
  10. When discouraged facing opposition
  11. Suffering produces perseverance
  12. Compassion and Discipline
  13. If you have integrity
  14. Faith and trial
  15. Concerning Gospelfaith
  16. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  17. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  18. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  19. Wondering
  20. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  21. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  22. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  23. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  24. Happiness an inner state
  25. Happiness is like manna
  26. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  27. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. A man who cannot forgive others
  30. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  31. Be kinder than necessary
  32. Growth in character
  33. Be holy
  34. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  35. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  36. God should be your hope
  37. Give your tears to God
  38. We will all be changed
  39. Church sent into the world
  40. Bringing Good News
  41. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation

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  • Mkmma… Week #5 (daw2621masterkey.wordpress.com)
    My goal in life is to have one 24 hour period where I didn’t fear something in my life. I’d love to meet and interview the person that doesn’t suffer from this universal disease … I don’t know if I would believe a word they said because I’ve never met anyone that lived without fear to some degree.To live without fear and hesitation would be an absolute paradise. What kind of lifestyle could you live? How much personal power would you possess if you could meet every challenge with total faith that you were up to the task? Now
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    Why doesn’t every person live on a higher plane of thinking and life condition? Where there is total belief there is no fear. Where there is light there is no darkness and vice versa. Where there is paralyzing fear there can be no belief. Where does this fear originate? Isn’t belief and fear total opposites? Isn’t poor self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image all cousins to ignorance and lack of belief?
  • 90 Days With Yeshua- Day 66: Reconciling the Banished Heart (soulfullheartblog.com)
    The heart has nothing to hide. It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
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    It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
  • Beliefs,living outside your comfort zone (nerdvolution.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever noticed that you have a certain belief about how everything needs to be done? Like maybe how you should behave on a date, how fast you should go and stuff like that. Or even like how you should respond when something bad happens or someone wrongs you. It’s like that for me; I have certain beliefs wired in my brain that direct how I do everything. The weird part is, the beliefs never seem to match with reality. My actions, based on my beliefs usually produce the opposite reaction to what I expect.
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    I now seriously think growth is outside your comfort zone.
  • How to answer top 10 Atheist contentions (short version) (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    blind belief is prevalent in many cultures/religions/worldviews including atheism and not necessarily a feature of religions. In fact, the basis of atheism and secularism was founded upon blind belief. Secularism, for instance was born out of a clash between the Church and state in 18th century Europe, where any person who held a view contrary to religion was deemed heretic and was persecuted. The authority of the state was not to be questioned as it was granted by God. Therefore thinkers called for the scientific method of enquiry as the more rational method and used it to challenge the authority of the Church’s religion which they saw it as blind and based on imitation.
    This gave way to an emotional reaction causing 2 kinds of blind belief
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    What is most troubling for the atheists/agnostics/skeptics is that their views are purely naturalistic and empirical. So they imagine this infinite cause to resemble like us and then find it troubling how this cause is infinite. The case is that we cannot from our limited human mind rationalize how he exists in the infinite realm. The limited mind cannot understand the nature of the unlimited Cause. All we can know and reason is that this cause must be infinite, unlimited and independent.
  • The Quarter Life Crisis (courtneyheff.wordpress.com)
    A few years ago, I heard my older friends talk about their experience of a ‘quarter life crisis.’ Of course I understood the premise of it, but the expression seemed melodramatic and self-aggrandizing. I didn’t understand how anyone could face a life crisis at that age. A few weeks before my twentieth birthday, I realized that my friends weren’t being melodramatic, as I faced a substantial quarter life crisis of my own.
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    We’re told constantly that we can change our minds and change our careers many times throughout our lives. My only vision of the future when I think of career changes is an image of my seventeen-year-old self crying because I couldn’t even get a job at a grocery store. Most of us require an illusion of certainty in our lives, and don’t necessarily want to face the idea that we have no idea where we will be a year from now, let alone in a decade. If you’re one of those people who can face an abyss and jump right in, I envy and applaud you. Though I very much valuable spontaneity – you never know where you’ll find me on a given day
  • Fear (anemptyroomofmyown.wordpress.com)
    “Fear!”, says the old man / His voice grating the edge / Of the abyss of civilized / Polite, sincere insanity
  • Remembering Albert Camus and Longing for the Old Atheism (ekhava.com)
    as an unbeliever, Camus offers a powerful counter-example to the stridency and animus of the “new atheism” associated with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and others. Indeed Camus makes us long for the days of the “old atheism” when religious people weren’t mocked for their so-called irrational beliefs; bullied by the charge that “religion poisons everything”; and told to step aside while secularism sweeps clean the religious debris from public life.
  • What Would You Say to the Religion Professor Who’s Had It With ‘Strident,’ ‘Bullying’ New Atheists? (patheos.com)
    When, post-9/11, atheists no longer felt forced to use only their inside voice, people of faith — and the media — were quick, almost gleeful, to attach the adjective “strident” to the noun “atheist,” as if the two are conjoined twins.
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    for close to a millennium, being found out as an atheist all too often meant persecution, imprisonment, torture, forced conversion, and death — thuggery perpetrated by men of the Church and the state alike, who all claimed to do God’s business. I’d say that kind of actual violence goes a damn sight farther than “bullying,” wouldn’t you? Are we supposed to brush that chapter aside, but believe that when academics like Harris and Dawkins retreat to their studies and tap away at their keyboards in scholarly fashion, they’re the real bullies?
  • Answering Top 10 Atheist contentions (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    The article ‘Does the Belief in a God make sense?’ raised some interesting responses, both positive and negative. So I thought it would be of benefit to write on the common atheist arguments against the case of a Creator including those specific to the previous article. These answers are only my attempt at addressing questions which I have come to understand from more learned people.
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    science has a scope and should be used in its proper areas (medicine, technology, etc.), however it has limitations to its scope which makes it irrational to use for questions which are beyond the scientific method and it certainly has no place in answering or proving the existence of an unseen omnipotent Creator that is beyond time and space.
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    To atheists another ‘blind belief’ is that all religions including Islam enjoin ‘blind faith’ in their beliefs and teachings. There are several verses in various places in the Qur’an asking and urging man to reflect and contemplate his own existence and that in his surroundings.
  • When Your Purpose is Found in a Transcendent Creator (str.typepad.com)
    As an atheist, I was satisfied with the purpose I had created for my life. I found meaning in my work, my family, and my responsibilities as a father and husband. I also loved the idea that I was in charge of my purpose; that I was the one who got to decide what life was all about. It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized my ideas about purpose and meaning were far too small and limited.