What sort people of faith do we want to be

In this ungodliness world we do find also several people who claim to be Christian but do not seem to worship the God of the Nazarene man Jeshua. They seem caught or tricked by human doctrines or do prefer to belong to the world and its traditions.

We may find ourselves being surrounded by people who do not believe in a god or in the right God above all gods. Though we should be able to find many examples of people of faith in the past. They are mentioned in Scriptures. As such we can read about men and women, like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah and Abraham, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah a.o. who all heard a Voice of an Unseen person and where not afraid to follow His Guidance and do as He wished.

Many Christians forget to look at those men and women who did not follow other men or worldly or human traditions. Though today so many who call themselves Christian do prefer to keep all those human traditions and do not spend much time in the Word of God nor do not go often to worship services.

Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions. This is proven by the fact that we see many empty churches or churches now being used as libraries, community centres but also as entertainment houses or discotheques.

Big problem in West Europe is that the vast majority of people still let their children being baptised by the Roman Catholic church and get that church still inn the church taxes though they do not have so many active members as other churches which do receive no payment from the government or church tax.

When talking to those people who say they were baptized, today though many do not describe themselves as Christians. Some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey of religious beliefs and practices in Western Europe.

The survey shows that non-practicing Christians (defined, for the purposes of this report, as people who identify as Christians, but attend church services no more than a few times per year) make up the biggest share of the population across the region. In every country except Italy, they are more numerous than church-attending Christians (those who go to religious services at least once a month). In the United Kingdom, for example, there are roughly three times as many non-practicing Christians (55%) as there are church-attending Christians (18%) defined this way.

Non-practicing Christians also outnumber the religiously unaffiliated population (people who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” sometimes called the “nones”) in most of the countries surveyed.1 And, even after a recent surge in immigration from the Middle East and North Africa, there are many more non-practicing Christians in Western Europe than people of all other religions combined (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.).

By those non-practicing Christians we do find that the majority are not really believers in the Most High God, but that some might belief in all sorts of fairy tales, like when dying becoming a star or going to heaven or transforming in an animal or in an other person. Not many of them believe that we shall be able to find a Kingdom of God here on earth. Lots of them are doubting that there is such an Eternal Spirit Being that would help them in this life, though some do not mind to believe in a godly man or in God having incarnated and having done that He was tempted (because God cannot be tempted) and who would have faked His death (because God can not die), but do not know or understand why that god would have stayed for three days in hell,because they believe hell is an eternal torture place were all the bad people would come.

Not many of those non-practicing Christians nor many of other Christians have their eyes fixed on the real Jesus who should be the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured all that bullying and an impalement until death took place. That Nazarene master teacher thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering. The short period he taught, he declared his heavenly Father and showed people how they could come to God, him being the way. Jesus also spoke often about the way of righteous people and how man could have hope for a better life but also should be careful not to lose it. His many parables should be a warning for us all that though the grace may be given for free, without works our faith shall be dead.

Prophets in the ancient times spoke about the promised one who would come and bring salvation. The first time there was spoken about him in the Garden of Eden. More than once is being referred to that person God was going to send. Many people in ancient times believed in that promise of a sent one from God. But today not many believe or are willing to put their hope on such a guy of which they even doubt his existence. They should know that no matter if they believe or not in God or Jesus, Jeshua or Jesus from Nazareth is a real political figure born in 4 BCE. For those who believe in the Bible to be the infallible Word of God, this man is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. The world should think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him and people should have believe in him, accepting his as son of God and not a god son, even when so many would like them to believe differently and want to take away their purpose or their courage. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

After all, the lovers of God and lovers of Christ, who want to fight against sin should know that this battle against sin has not yet meant the shedding of blood. From the survey we may see that not many are interested in God and that many have lost sight of that piece of advice which reminds man of their sonship in God. (Hebrews 12:4-6)

We must look in to the past and remember the many people who did not loose faith. We should see how they did not despise the chastening of the Most High. Even when we are confronted with empty churches and not finding many believing people around us, we should not be discouraged when we are laughed at by acquaintances or people at work. But we should not loose interest in God when we do not directly feel Him or His presence.We also should endure suffering as a way of discipline, looking at it as God dealing with us as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:7)

We must always remember that our ancestors won God’s approval by their faith. (Hebrews 11:2) We also should not be afraid to let others know that we trust the Most High of Who we believe made all things and allows all things to happen.  By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen had not been made out of things which appear. (Hebrews 11:3)

The men spoken off in the bible freely admitted that they lived on this earth as exiles and foreigners. Men who say that mean, of course, that their eyes are fixed upon their true home-land. If they had meant the particular country they had left behind, they had ample opportunity to return. No, the fact is that they longed for a better country altogether, nothing less than a heavenly one. And because of this faith of theirs, God is not ashamed to be called their God for in sober truth He has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

So also for us who want to share the same faith as these men, there is the prospect of a city in a better world. by faith we shall be able to live at a time when Jesus shall have send others to their second death.

Longing for a better country, we should put our hope on Christ Jesus to become our King of kings and be grateful that we may look forward to the return of Christ and the entrance to the Kingdom of God for the faithful.

In this world where many hold on the material site of life, do you want to be a lover of human traditions and human teachings, or do you want to be a person who like those men of faith only believed in the One True God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Who is One?

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Please read Hebrews 11-12

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Preceding

Religious matters

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

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Additional reading

  1. Words in the world
  2. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  3. Looking at an American nightmare
  4. Casual Christians
  5. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #1
  6. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #2
  7. Non-practicing Christians widely believing in a god or higher power
  8. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  9. Views on relationship between government and religion
  10. What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups
  11. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  12. Not following the tradition of man
  13. Focussing on the man Jesus and the relationship with God
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  15. To find ways of Godly understanding
  16. Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe
  17. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  18. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church

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Related
  1. The Lord’s Way and TimeThe way to GodThe Way of the Righteous
  2. Educate Me; Make My Life Beautiful
  3. Orthodoxy, Religious Beliefs, and God’s Saving Power during Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana)
  4. Belief & When Americans Say They Believe in God, What Do They Mean? #PewResearch
  5. 18-17 Segment 2: Religion in America’s Prisons
  6. Come Sunday
  7. Massimo Introvigne: Visual Artworks of The Church of Almighty God Convey a Very Deep Message
  8. Hooray! No Taxes For Churches!
  9. Walk with me
  10. Former President Carter Writing Book About Religious Faith
  11. Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Punishment for Religious Beliefs
  12. The biblical definition of ______________
  13. Tell about your father’s spiritual or religious beliefs.
  14. Activity 1-1: How (Dis)Similar Are Muslims and Christians?
  15. One and Only
  16. Pistis ( πίστις)
  17. By faith Enoch
  18. What to do to Grow in the Spirit
  19. Be a God Pleaser
  20. Oh Mighty God! by Penny Chavers
  21. It is impossible to please God without faith. (today’s verse) 
  22. A List Of Ten Things That God Is Pleased About
  23. Please God, and not people
  24. The Seen And The Unseen
  25. When You Want to Step out but You’re Afraid to Fail
  26. Personal Victories
  27. Leadership Insight…
  28. We should learn from each other
  29. Holding on to God
  30. Hey God…
  31. Meditation Monday
  32. Inside the Mind: The Human Soul
  33. Today is One Part
  34. Divine Providence
  35. Lessons from Hopelessness
  36. The Supreme Court Quietly Gives Religious Liberty A Big Win
  37. The Chinese Communist Party Uses “Cult” as a Pretext to Persecute Religious Beliefs | What’s a Cult? | The Church of Almighty God
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Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing

Let us start with the universe, the whole thing, the big picture. Why is there a universe? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how did all come about? These are big questions. Philosophers discuss these questions when looking at what is known as “the cosmological argument”.
There are many different ways of approaching the cosmological argument and many ways of stating it, but here is one common formulation:

1. Everything that has a beginning has a cause
2. The universe had a beginning
3. Therefore the universe had a cause

This is a deductive argument so if the premises (1 and 2) are true then the conclusion (3) is true. Intuitively, I think most people would accept the first premise and nowadays almost all philosophers and scientists accept the second premise, so it seems probable that the conclusion is true.

English: WMAP observes the first light of the ...

WMAP observes the first light of the universe- the afterglow of the Big Bang. This light emerged 380,000 years after the Big Bang. Patterns imprinted on this light encode the events that happened only a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. In turn, the patterns are the seeds of the development of the structures of galaxies we now see billions of years after the Big Bang. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A good way to think about this is to try to imagine the alternatives. If the universe did not have a cause then either it didn’t have a beginning or popped into existence from nothing. But the universe did have a beginning. Around 14 billion years ago the universe began with the Big Bang. But the other alternative doesn’t seem particularly likely either. If you can get something from nothing, why do scientists spend so much time an effort looking for causes and explanations? If universes can just pop into existence uncaused then what is there to stop a brand new universe popping into existence in my shoe, say, or in my tea. If you find it just a little bit too unbelievable that the universe just winked into existence without rhyme or reason, then it must have had a cause.

The obvious follow-up question is what sort of cause are we looking for? The universe is space and time; what came into existence at the Big Bang was space and time. So whatever caused the universe to exist, whatever caused space and time to exist, must not exist in space (non-spatial) and must not exist in time (non-temporal) but – and this is the important bit – must also have cause power sufficient to kick off the Big Bang. And if you think about it, there aren’t that many options. If you are the sort of person who believes in abstract objects (i.e. that things like the number 3 aren’t just concepts but have independent existence) then you might identify abstract objects as potential candidates. After all, they are non-spatial and non-temporal. Unfortunately abstract objects don’t have causal power (the number 3 can’t cause anything). The only other available alternative seems to be an eternal and immaterial mind, and that sounds a lot like God.

“Aha!”, the atheist cries, “if the universe requires a cause surely God requires a cause too”. But this would be to misunderstand the argument. The universe requires a cause because it had a beginning (i.e. it is not eternal). But, God does not have a beginning (he is eternal) and so does not require a cause.

So if you can’t get something from nothing (and you can’t) and if the universe had a beginning (and it did) then it seems you need (some kind of) God.

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To be continued

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Additional literature

  1. Where did God come from?
  2. Attributes to God
  3. No good thing will he withhold
  4. Onsterfelijkheid – Immortaliteit
  5. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  6. Why is the age of the universe so different to the age of the Earth?
  7. Bible and Science (2): In the Beginning
  8. Bible and Science (3): Something From Nothing
  9. Bible and Science (4): How Did the Beginning Begin?
  10. Why did God take 6 days to create the universe? Why not do it in 1?
  11. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  12. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets

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From other denominations:

  • The First Cause (christianreasons.com)
    The Cosmological Argument takes the reality of the cosmos to entail the existence of a something that created it.
  • Why the Kalam Cosmological Argument fails, and why it doesn’t matter anyway (freethinkingjew.com)
    There’s no way this amazing world could have come into existence by itself.  There must have been some sort of “uncaused cause” that created the universe.Philosophers have been aware of these sorts of arguments for many centuries, and yet philosophers have, by and large, rejected these arguments.  It’s easy to see why, when even just an average freethinker like me can see where these arguments fall short.
  • The 7 Most Intriguing Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God (io9.com)
    Nietzsche is famous for saying that God is dead, but news of The Almighty’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Here are some of the most fascinating and provocative philosophical arguments for the existence of God.
  • Allan Gotthelf on Ayn Rand on the Existence of God (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    According to the axiom of existence, “Existence exists.”  Gotthelf takes this to mean that Something exists. (37)  If that is what it means, then it is indeed a self-evident truth.  For example, it is self-evident (to me) that I exist, which of course entails that something exists.  But it is equally self-evident (to me) that I am conscious.  For if I were not conscious then I would not be able to know that I exist and that something exists.  “That one exists possessing consciousness is the axiom of consciousness, the second philosophic axiom.” (38)The first axiom is logically prior to the second.  This is called the primacy of existence and it too is axiomatic though not a separate axiom. “The thesis that existence comes first — that things exist independent of consciousness and that consciousness is a faculty not for the creation of its objects but for the discovery of them — Ayn Rand call the primacy of existence.” (39)
  • The Cosmological Argument: Arguments Put Forward By Copleston In His Radio Debate With Russell (olaleyedesola.wordpress.com)
    The radio debate between Copleston and Russell occurred in 1948. Copleston was arguing as a Jesuit priest with the firm belief that the cosmological argument is a logical proposition that God must exist. Bertrand Russell, on the other hand, was arguing as an agnostic with the belief that not everything has a cause because the whole concept of causes derived from man’s observation of particular things. Therefore, according to Russell, to say that God is the cause of the universe is rather illogical. The debate as a whole was split into two parts: the arguments from contingency and the moral argument.
  • The Cosmological Argument Defined (herose4grace.wordpress.com)
    The cosmological argument is in disguise.  In its premise, it calls on experience to prove the existence of God but in its untainted bounds, it is an argument of reason.  The main point of this argument is the simple premise that something can not come from nothing. It is our experience that dictates this absolute.St. Aquinas proposes the cosmological argument which begins by recognizing certain facts of experience and acknowledges the existence of God to explain these facts.  This argument, therefore claims to be a posteriori, i.e., based on observation and experience as opposed to a priori which is based on reason.
  • Essential Doctrines (Part 1): The Doctrine of God’s Existence (pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com)
    The doctrine of God that needs to hold true for the Christian faith is that of theism. Norman Geisler explains theism as, …the worldview that an infinite, personal God created the universe and miraculously intervenes in it from time to time (see Miracle). God is both transcendent over the universe and immanent in it” (Geisler BECA 1999, 722). Geisler mentions that theism holds that God is both transcendent and immanent. These elements of belief in God are essential to the Christian doctrine. One could prove God’s existence without proving Christianity, but one cannot prove Christianity without proving the existence of a theistic God. Transcendence means that God exists as a separate entity from the universe. In contrast to pantheistic religions, God exists apart from the universe. Therefore, the universe is a creation of God. Immanence describes God’s working within the universe. Deists, like Thomas Jefferson, believe in God’s existence, but do not hold that God works within creation. Creation is like a wound-up clock and is ticking apart from God on its’ own. However, theists understand that God works in creation. God reveals God’s self to human beings (e.g. revelation).
  • William Lane Craig lectures on naturalistic alternatives to the Big Bang (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    This lecture might be a little advanced for beginners, but if you stretch your mind first, you shouldn’t tear anything.
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    The Big Bang cosmology that Dr. Craig presents is the standard model for how the universe came into being. It is a theory based on six lines of experimental evidence.
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    here’s a re-cap of the three main evidences for the Big Bang cosmology from Caltech.
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    The whole text of the article is posted online here.
  • Storkersen: God and The Big Bang Theory (iegrapevine.com)
    The man who theorized the big bang theory, George Lemaître, was an astronomer and professor of physics at a university in Belgium in the 1920s. In addition, he was a Catholic priest.
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    The fact is that while Lemaître attributed the cause of the big bang to God, it has been distorted over time and the cause has been attributed to matter or nothingness.There are various reasons why these two ideas coincide.
  • Does God Exist?: Trying to See Both Sides of the Question (adamstask.wordpress.com)
    Suppose:1) There exist things that are caused.
    2) Nothing can be the cause of itself.
    3) There cannot be an actual infinite regress of causes.
    4) There exists an uncaused first cause.
    5) The word God means uncaused first cause.
    6) Therefore, God exists.
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    the reason we ascribe to scientific facts some sort of objective and, in a sense, absolute nature is that they are validated by real-world experience; science begins in theoretical postulation, but if it is to be validated it must end in prediction of observations. And in the case of many multi-verse theories or other such theories one is left with only theoretical postulations that are less parsimonious and sensible than God.
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    the properties of God have intrinsic maximums. For instance, one could define perfect knowledge this way: for any proposition, an omniscient being knows whether is is true or false. An omnipotent being can do anything that is logically possible. An omnibenevolent being will always do what is right in terms of maximizing the good.
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    One of the ways in which Swinburne creates a more interesting argument for the case of theism is by rejecting deductive arguments, in the spirit of Cleanthes, for inductive arguments. Swinburne’s overall argument is placed within the setting of confirmation theory. He distinguishes between P-inductive statements, where the premises make the conclusion probable, from C-inductive statements, where the premises confirm the probability of the conclusion or make it more probable than it otherwise would be. 
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Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

When one compares the cohesive developments of scientific understanding with the diversity of religious belief in the world you will find lots of variations and many different thoughts of which some will be contradicting.

We do agree with Theo Philo, who writes:

“I must admit with Baggini, the scientific understanding seems to have more continuity globally than does religious understanding.  Although certainly there are disagreements and different schools of thought in science, there is nothing like the full blown comprehensive, fundamental, and irreconcilable contradictions that exist between different religious traditions in the world.”

“In fact, people from radically different religious traditions often find themselves working side by side in the field of science taking for granted the same scientifically established truths on which they base their further inquiries.  It seems reasonable to suppose that such cohesion in the discipline of science is largely owing to the chief method of inquiry: induction.” {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

In the previous article you could find that we do have the things that can be seen and scientifically proven, but that we do also have things which can not be seen and which can not be scientifically recorded or testified. We can witness many things we can not understand, and in the past lots of things where contributed to either natural phenomena or gods, being which should have been responsible, because many people do not want to believe that anything can happen without man intervening or without a god causing it to happen.

Today there are still lots of people who do not want to know about God, but as soon as something serious happens in their life (a death, a serious accident, an earthquake or flood) they accuse God of doing that to humankind, though God has nothing to do with it. therefore many do question:

  “What is the best explanation for the observable phenomenon of the world and the universe?”

People are mostly connected with their inner soul (their own being), their psyche, their rational and irrational thinking. They would love to make sense of one’s own personal experiences of the world rather than global or universal phenomenon in general (which would need to include the personal and social experiences of people in general—including those of other religious commitments). {Theo Philo}

The subtle nuances of Hick’s pluralist hypothesis avoid claims that all religions are different paths to the same truth and accepts as a starting point the contradictory claims of the world’s major religious traditions, views that Baggini rightly excludes as untenable. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Faith should not always be the believe in a god or in the God or be the major element of believing God’s revelation without needing any human arguments to establish it. It is easy to believe in the things we can see, hear and feel. Having faith in the things one has good evidence of is not exactly ‘faith’ but more a believe that it is so.  Faith goes a step further than just believing those things we can be aware of or which can be proven scientifically. It is also more than having the experience of something but it is associated with that inner feeling for those things which not always can be explained. It is also more than the expectation that something would happen because our reasoning just says so and it happened so often before, like the sun ‘going under’ knowing that it does not go deep under the earth or expecting the sun rise, knowing it will not come out of the underworld to lighten the upper-world.

According to Theo Philo:

It seems right to reserve the word “faith” in the common vernacular to refer to belief in God, miracles, transcendent realities and deities in the absence of the “ordinary support of evidence or argument” and therefore either go beyond reason or [at least seem to go] against it (33).  The field of apologetics in the Christian worldview that seeks defend Christian faith need not be taken to presuppose that one must have good evidence and argument before one accepts faith, but can be seen rather as more of a defense mechanism against attacks of skeptics who claim that Christian faith is irrational, as Baggini understands it (93).

Faith is the belief in things not seen yet and having hope in that what the person beliefs would be or become a reality and part of its or their own life. Faith also does not have to be build on everything which can be made clear or would have to sound sensible.

Faith is not the same as believing.  Believing in nothing is also faith, because the person has the faith he is right and the other is wrong. As such atheist also believe in things, like the world is round or did commence with the Big Bang or with something else. They also might think or believe this or that may happen when they die or with the world in the future.

All people have to make choices in their life of what they want to believe and what they want to follow as something where they can believe in or have faith in. In Scriptures we are told that we do have to make choices to take care of our life. In the Book of books is warned that we should make the right choices to find the right path, because there are many directions human being can go to.

Faith is much more than religion, believe in the seen and unseen. It is a state of mind which demands action. In the previous chapter we spoke about the Soul which was presented by the ancient philosophers and storytellers as the Psyche or Eros, which had everything to do with love, which makes us heads turn round. That ‘love‘ is an action which demands an other action. So also faith requires action. It is more than just a state of mind, a state of heart, an intent, or emotion. Biblical Faith is so much more than the worldly faith which can do not much. We do believe the words of the Holy Scriptures which tell us that the Biblical Faith can move mountains.

Faith can be found on earth, though Jesus asks his followers if it would be possible to find it when he returns (Luke 18:8). After Jesus had rested his soul and was resurrected by his Father, the apostles their soul found peace when the Comforter had given them the power to speak about their faith in Christ. Today there are still many, but not so much, who still keep the same faith as Jesus and his followers. They feel they are ‘one’, ‘united in Christ’ having one master, one faith, one hope, one and the same direction on the path of Truth and aiming to enter together the small gate to the Kingdom of God.

” (1)  I call upon you therefore, I the prisoner of the Master, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,  (2)  with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  (3)  being eager to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace –  (4)  one body and one Spirit, as you also were called in one expectation of your calling,  (5)  one Master, one belief, one immersion,  (6)  one Elohim and Father of all,1 who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Footnote: 1Mk. 12:32,34, 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, Mk. 12:29-34.  (7)  But to each one of us favour was given according to the measure of the gift of Messiah.” (Ephesians 4:1-7 The Scriptures 1998+)

Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto the Creator of heaven and earth. Those who want to believe in God do have to take the right steps and must believe that God is the Most High, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after him. (Hebrews 11:6) Those who have faith in Christ would love to have the love Jesus had for all those around him. And there where many people with different beliefs which came to see the Nazarene. The rabbi created a pluralistic community of tolerance where unconditional love was practised and still should be practised by those who call themselves Christian. Jesus world is one where the virtue of good deeds outweighs the virtue of formal creeds and where nobody imposes doctrines on others.

Religious authority may by many placed in a denomination. But the church or community Jesus had in mind is not build on an other than God and on the person Jesus, who should be the cornerstone. In case it is constructed on a book, it should be the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures. Faith and religiosity do not lie in an other person, or institution, but in ourselves. For all people in the community believe should continuously be growing and that should make the religious wisdom ever changing. God His Revelation is continuous and we all have to grown in His Wisdom. All are created in the image of God, believers but also atheists. All have the inner feelings or that what some would call “instinct”.

Faith in God and His son brings people of the same faith together to dwell with each other in peace like brethren and sisters and helping each other to seek knowledge in God’s Gift of Knowledge and Guidance, which can be found in the Bible. In Christ we are liberated of the chains of the world and should also be willing to give all others that freedom, to serve humankind in fellowship — “to the end that all souls (= all beings) shall grow into harmony with the Divine” — Thus do we covenant with each other, and with God.

Most Non-trinitarians or Unitarians do have similar views on our relationship with others in the world, Jesus, the son of God and his Father, the Only One God. They are ware that scientists have good reason to point at the natural causes of disasters. A great deal of the suffering and injustice in the world is owing to human agency, and it is up to human agency to set it right.

According to us those who do not believe in God should still have a purpose in life, and to make the best of it they also should have certain faith in something or somewhat.

Theo Philo quotes in Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

a purpose or meaning given to a creature by its creator just isn’t necessarily the kind of purpose or meaning that we are looking for in life when we wonder what the point of living is for us.  If the only point in living is to serve somebody else’s purposes then we cease to be valuable beings in our own right and we merely become tools for others, like paper knives or cloned workers.  This is why a belief in a creator God does not automatically provide life with a meaning.

We do believe the Divine Creator has implanted in every human being the capacity to think and to make choices. Created in the image of the Creator each person has some elements of God implanted in his or her genes. This makes that each individual can use his or her brains to find the truth. For God each individual is himself or herself responsible for the choices he or she is going to make on the path of life.

God does not want to see or is interested in people being content with being a slave to someone else’s purpose and adopt that existentially for himself or herself so that it becomes not just a purpose for somebody else, but for him or her also.

Baggini compares this to a cast system where a certain class of people genuinely thinks it’s their purpose to work for the aristocracy and the upper class.  This certainly puts a dark spin on the otherwise glowing boast of theists who claim to have a “higher” purpose. {Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

It is wrong to think

the religious has to take something on complete blind trust

The Creator wants people to consider what they do. He would love to see people who make the right choice because they thought about it and have reasons to make such or such a choice. We do agree that there are many religious people who actually don’t have any clue what the meaning or purpose of life is, but that they simply trust God has one for them.

Baggini writes in his book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

“there is still the troubling doubt that a meaning that is given to us by others isn’t necessarily the kind of meaning which makes life meaningful for us. … So God or no God, if life is to be really meaningful it must be so in a way which speaks to our own projects, needs, or desires and not just the purposes of whatever or whoever created us”

Such a personal speaking in our inner self, our inner soul, is what going to form us and shall make us into the being that we shall be at the end of the ‘ride’, the ‘end of life’, when all the books of our being shall be closed and we shall find ourselves facing death in peace or in angst.

When people start the race of life, they at first have not enough background to think reasonably and to put their words and way of thinking in good order. When they get older they should come aware of what is good and and what is bad, even when they do not believe in a god or in the God. As we become older and get more knowledge we can open our mind to the “Beginning of everything” it is the Divine Creator, so that He can call us. When He calls us it it up to us to decide if we want to listen to His Words deep in us and want to find His Words in the Book of Guidance He has given the world. Once called the ball in in our camp and we do have to make the goals.

On our way we can encounter all sorts of people and can read all sorts of book, which can give us more knowledge or can get us to think so that we can build up our knowledge to come to more wisdom. With all the information we can get we can come into a state where we do not need to have scientific proof for certain things. We shall have enough knowledge to know which works (books, documents, documentaries, films) we shall be able to trust. But we shall have also enough knowledge to get to know which words we do have to follow and to believe. The seen and unseen shall than not be so important, because the mind shall be constructed to find the necessary building-stones to continue to build in faith.

When we allow knowledge and intelligence create the background for our life and are prepared to change things, we can let faith conquer. when we reached that stadium faith shall be able to give life. Than faith does the impossible. Though we should be aware that faith has to be practised and that it is dead when there are no works to proof the faith.

“(17)  Now this I say, Torah, that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise.  (18)  For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Aḇraham through a promise.  (19)  Why, then, the Torah? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through messengers in the hand of a mediator.  (20)  The Mediator, however, is not of one, but Elohim is one.  (21)  Is the Torah then against the promises of Elohim? Let it not be! For if a law had been given that was able to make alive, truly righteousness would have been by Torah.  (22)  But the Scripture has shut up all mankind under sin, that the promise by belief in יהושע {Jeshua} Messiah might be given to those who believe.  (23)  But before belief came, we were being guarded under Torah, having been shut up for the belief being about to be revealed.  (24)  Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.  (25)  And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.  (26)  For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah {Jeshua}.  (27)  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.” (Galatians 3:17-27 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead.  (18)  But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.  (19)  You believe that Elohim is one. You do well. The demons also believe – and shudder!  (20)  But do you wish to know, O foolish man, that the belief without the works is dead?  (21)  Was not Aḇraham our father declared right by works when he offered Yitsḥaq his son on the altar?  (22)  Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works the belief was perfected?  (23)  And the Scripture was filled which says, “Aḇraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.”  (24)  You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone.  (25)  In the same way, was not Raḥaḇ ? the whore also declared right by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?  (26)  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also the belief is dead without the works.” (James 2:17-26 The Scriptures 1998+)

People of faith may look at the people of science and may listen to the men of philosophy, but they also should give priority to the Words of the Most High and trust in His guidance, trying to find out about the seen and unseen, and not just taking everything for granted, always should he be prepared to question things and to do his research.

Every day we should try to get more knowledge and consider that the Spirit fathoms all things, even the inmost depths of God’s being. For what man is there who knows what a man is, except the man’s own spirit within him? We should keep looking for answers and new things. From the beginning of creation god has given man the right to name things and to create things for himself. We should not stop trying to answer the many questions that come unto us. We also may look at the world religions where they may or may not worship a godhead. (It is wrong to think religion requires a belief in God. There has never been a universal legal definition of religion in English law, given the variety of world religions, changes in society, and the different legal contexts in which the issues arise. The court decided: Religion should not be confined to faiths involving a supreme deity, since to do so would exclude Buddhism, Jainism, and others)  The Christian religion or faith in God and in His son is all about not just A god but about the True God, though many of us may not know exactly what or Who He/She/It is. (see previous posting.) So, also, no one comprehends what God is, except the Spirit of God.  When we choose to follow Christ Jesus we took a stand and we should know that it is not the Spirit of the World that we have received, but the Spirit that comes from God, that we may realize the blessings given to us by Him.

We should speak about these gifts, not in language taught by human philosophy, but in language taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things in spiritual words.  The merely intellectual man, when he is vain, shall probably reject the teaching of the Spirit of God; for to him it is mere folly; he cannot grasp it, because it is to be understood only by spiritual insight. But the man with spiritual insight is able to understand everything, although he himself might be understood by no one.  For ‘who has so comprehended the mind of the Most High Supreme Being as to be able to instruct him?’

Real Christians, however, have the very mind of Christ.

“(4)  And my word and my preaching were not with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  (5)  in order that your belief should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of Elohim.  (6)  Yet we speak wisdom among those who are perfect, and not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age that are being brought to naught.  (7)  But we speak the wisdom of Elohim, which was hidden in a secret, and which Elohim ordained before the ages for our esteem,  (8)  which no one of the rulers of this age knew, for if they had known, they would not have impaled the Master of esteem.  (9)  But as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man what Elohim has prepared for those who love Him.”1 Footnote: 1Isa. 64:4.  (10)  But Elohim has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all matters, even the depths of Elohim.  (11)  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? So also, the thoughts of Elohim no one has known, except the Spirit of Elohim.  (12)  And we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from Elohim, in order to know what Elohim has favourably given us,  (13)  which we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Set-apart Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual matters with spiritual matters.  (14)  But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns indeed all matters, but he himself is discerned by no one.  (16)  For “Who has known the mind of יהוה {Jehovah}? Who shall instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Messiah.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-16 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding article: Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  2. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  3. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  4. Experiencing God
  5. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  7. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  8. Faith
  9. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  10. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  11. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  12. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  13. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  14. Choices
  15. Always a choice
  16. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  17. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  18. To be chained by love for another one
  19. No man is free who is not master of himself
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  22. Choose you this day whom ye will serve
  23. It is a free will choice
  24. For those who make other choices
  25. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  26. Answering a fool according to his folly
  27. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  28. What’s church for, anyway?
  29. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  30. The one who has not had a taste of love
  31. Casual Christians
  32. Christianity is a love affair
  33. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  34. What Jesus did: First things first
  35. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  36. The Greatest of These is Love
  37. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  38. The task given to us to love each other
  39. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  40. God demonstrates his own love
  41. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  42. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  43. Unconditional love
  44. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  45. No fear in love
  46. When we love we do not need laws
  47. Love envieth not
  48. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  49. Love is like playing the piano
  50. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  51. If we love one another, God lives in us
  52. Spread love everywhere you go
  53. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  54. Blessed are those who freely give
  55. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  56. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  57. Work with joy and pray with love
  58. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  59. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  60. Growth in character
  61. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  62. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  63. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  64. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  65. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  66. Parts of the body of Christ
  67. Breathing and growing with no heir
  68. God loving people justified
  69. United people under Christ
  70. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Additional reading:

  1. Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  2. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  3. Against Religion? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  4. Concluding Remarks :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  5. The Unitarian Universalist Church: A Personal Encounter
  6. What Evidence is There That God Exists?
  7. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  8. Direct Faith & Belief
  9. Understanding faith for our salvation
  10. We Have the Best Home
  11. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  12. Researching outside of the Bible – is it safe
  13. “Exercise Faith” / “Believe” and the New World Translation
  14. Why Watchtower has no place criticizing other Christian faiths as unscientific

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  • Why The Big Bang? (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com)
    The difference in The Big Bang and Creationism and why The Big Bang has credibility and Creationism has none.
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    Believing in something does not make it true. No amount of belief makes something true.
  • Come on, atheists: we must show some faith in ourselves | Zoe Williams (theguardian.com)
    This week a 23-year-old Afghan man became the first person to be granted asylum in this country on the basis of his atheism – which, his lawyers argued, would have made life impossible in his country of birth, where religion permeates every aspect of life.
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    Australia accepts the principle of atheism as a belief to be protected, while the United States doesn’t. It’s one of those things nations can cherry-pick from the fruit bowl of international law without feeling that their “civilised” status is compromised. It may be the only belief of that kind right there in the 1951 refugee convention, but with no back-up institution vulgar enough to insist upon it. That is part of our problem, us atheists: we don’t organise.
  • The Irrationality of Relying on Science Alone: God and Science Are Not At War (stopsines.wordpress.com)
    I want to be clear up front that science is not the means to “discovering” God. Science is an immanent discipline. It studies this dimension of our existence. I have always been curious then as to why we’ve tried to use it to justify our belief or lack of belief in a transcendent being. While we hold that science only tests the physical reality, we do not hold that God is bound by the dimensions of this physical reality. By nature, he is beyond time and space. This is what it means to be God. What potter is confined to the size and shape of his clay pot? God is beyond or outside of our dimensions. This is what I mean by transcendent. This is why I say that science will never arrive at God. It is an immanent discipline, testing only what is confined by time and space, and therefore cannot discover transcendent truths.
  • Philosophy v science: Julian Baggini talks to Lawrence Krauss (3quarksdaily.com)
    Julian Baggini No one who has understood even a fraction of what science has told us about the universe can fail to be in awe of both the cosmos and of science. When physics is compared with the humanities and social sciences, it is easy for the scientists to feel smug and the rest of us to feel somewhat envious. Philosophers in particular can suffer from lab-coat envy. If only our achievements were so clear and indisputable! How wonderful it would be to be free from the duty of constantly justifying the value of your discipline.Philosophy-science-009However – and I’m sure you could see a “but” coming – I do wonder whether science hasn’t suffered from a little mission creep of late. Not content with having achieved so much, some scientists want to take over the domain of other disciplines.
  • Atheists Should Accept the Grim Truth Wherever They Find It (str.typepad.com)
    Atheists should point out that life without God can be meaningful, moral and happy. But that’s “can” not “is” or even “should usually be.” And that means it can just as easily be meaningless, nihilistic and miserable.Atheists have to live with the knowledge that there is no salvation, no redemption, no second chances. Lives can go terribly wrong in ways that can never be put right…. Not much bright about that fact.

    Stressing the jolly side of atheism not only glosses over its harsher truths, it also disguises its unique selling point. The reason to be an atheist is not that it makes us feel better or gives us a more rewarding life. The reason to be an atheist is simply that there is no God and we would prefer to live in full recognition of that, accepting the consequences, even if it makes us less happy.

  • A Bad Reason for Thinking that Atheism is not a Religion (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion.  But atheism is not a mere lack of belief in something.  If atheism is just the lack of god-belief, then tables and chairs are atheists.  For they lack god-belief. Am I being uncharitable?  Suppose someone defines atheism more carefully as lack of god-belief in beings capable of having  beliefs.  That is still unacceptable.  Consider a child who lacks both god-belief and god-disbelief.  If lacking god-belief makes him an atheist, then lacking god-disbelief makes him a theist.  So he is both, which is absurd.Obviously,  atheism is is not a mere lack of belief, but a definite belief, namely, the belief that the world is godless.  Atheism is a claim about the way things are: there is no such thing as the God of Judaism, or the God of Christianity, or the God of Islam, or the gods of the Greek pantheon, or . . . etc.  The atheist has a definite belief about the ontological inventory: it does not include God or gods or any reasonable facsimile thereof such as the Plotinian One, etc.  Note also that if you deny that any god exists, then you are denying that the universe is created by God: you are saying something quite positive about the ontological status of the universe, namely, that it does not depend for its existence on a being transcendent of it.  And if it does not so depend, then that implies that it exists on its own as a brute fact or that it necessarily exists or that it causes itself to exist.  Without getting into all the details here, the point is that if you deny that God exists, this is not just a denial  of the existence of a certain being, but implies a positive claim about the ontological status of the universe.  What’s more, if  there is no creator God, then the apparent order of the universe, its apparent designedness, is merely apparent.  This is a positive thesis about the nature of the physical universe.Atheism, then, is not a mere lack of god-belief.  For it implies definite positive beliefs about reality as a whole and  about the nature and mode of existence of the physical universe.
  • Are Liberals Too “Special” to Go to Church? (religiondispatches.org)
    New research from psychologists from the New York University suggests that the desire to feel unique can undermine consensus, cohesion, and mobilization—at least in political contexts.
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    Stern, et al found that “liberals underestimated their similarity to other liberals, whereas moderates and conservatives overestimated their similarity to other moderates and conservatives.”Further, the researchers found that liberals “possess a greater dispositional desire to be unique,” which, they suggest, “likely undermines their ability to capitalize on the consensus that actually exists within their ranks and hinders successful group mobilization.” The “desire to conform” among moderates and, to a greater extent, conservatives, likewise, “allows them to perceive consensus that does not actually exist and, in turn, rally their base.”Liberals, that is, emphasize in their beliefs, actions, and self-understanding uniqueness, creativity, and non-conformity even in the face of sameness. Moderates and conservatives, by contrast, focus on similarity and commonality even when little may in fact exist.
  • Atheism Was the First to Show Me Compassion (jessedooley.wordpress.com)
    what is the issue with the idea of God that pushes most atheists to reject religion and to see it as the supreme evil?
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    When the tribal deity is the supreme king, and that deity is interpreted from a fundamentalist, all-or-nothing approach, then nothing can penetrate or alter that worldview, regardless of the reasonableness of the argument.
  • Julian Baggini – Can you be too intelligent? (prn.fm)
    Our brains are incredible things, for sure, but without the motivations, desires and preferences generated by our animal natures, they would have nothing to do. At this time of the year, for example, we celebrate good food, good drink, good friends, and family – good or otherwise. From a purely rational point of view, none of these things would have any value, because reason alone distinguishes only true and false, not good and bad, better or worse.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...Religion, religiosity and spirituality are not the same. Many people use the three words as synonyms and see no difference between them. Religiosity has to do with the quality of being ‘religiose‘ or being extremely, obtrusively, pious, sanctimoniously or even sentimentally religious, but in its broadest sense it also used to indicate the sort of activity a person is willing to take on for that what he believes.  It is about the numerous aspects of religious activity a person is willing to undertake, his dedication for that belief or religious doctrine. Another term that would work equally well, though less often used, is religiousness for the person’s belief in a god, the God of gods or in gods and their observance of associated activities.

With the choice of a religion comes the preparedness to follow certain teachings of that religion and to follow a sociocultural program for developing spiritually and for bringing spiritual realizations into everyday life according to the teachings or doctrines of that religion. In that movement about certain teachings concerning the individual and his environment the person shall want to become part of that religion and as such would want to take certain attitudes and do certain exercises in that faith. doing those readings, meditations and exercises for the mind, the person shall use ‘‘spirituality’’ to refer to his or her inner experiences that arise from trying to put such programs into practice.

Folk religiosity and faith

Folk religiosity and faith (Photo credit: AlmaGamil_Philippines)

Through the ages lots of people tried to find ways to come to a higher ecstasy or to get into raptures. Their actions in their faith should bring them “Spirituality” bringing them in exaltation a sense of transcendence, sacrality, and ultimacy, making them ready to bring praise, tribute, worship, acclaimglory, blessing, homage, reverence, magnification, apotheosis, glorification, acclamation, panegyric, idolization, extolment, lionization, laudation, in elation, delight, joy, excitement, inspiration, ecstasy, stimulation, with exhilaration, jubilation, exultation, joyousness. Their religious actions want to trigger the ‘becoming more’ going beyond or exceeding the Self. To do this, encoded signs and symbols may be the means by which experiences not only are generated but are described, even recognized and labelled, as religious. The many religions, the world is rich, have always relied upon several symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world. In most religions the believers try to come into an other stadium of life and of feeling. They even try to come in an other or alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames.

Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

To come to full or real spirituality the person has to give himself or herself to the faith which she want to follow and take on its traditions, demanding not only the will to come to an interior life or religious discipline but also to undertake social action, making ethical choices, family commitments, friendship, to live and work according that faith and to make choices for the way to live and in politics.

Whilst ‘Religion’ is a human invention that centers on specific rituals and a set of stories that outline a basic moral code and belief system, ‘spirituality’ is a natural reaction on feeling and the way people do behave. Spirituality relates to the spirit or essential essence of humanity. People who say they are spiritual are working to grow and better this inner force. Religious people are generally spiritual people as well, but spiritual people do not necessarily have to be religious. They may work to attain a heightened spirituality through alternative methods. Religions often, but not necessarily, have a hierarchy of initiates, bringing those further into the inner circle, leading the rituals for the general populace. Their rituals may look or seem spiritual but often can be performed on automatic pilot leaving the spiritual out.
English: Graph of timelines for major religions

Graph of timelines for major religions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people may be very religious but not exactly spiritual, not interested to dig deep in themselves. Some religious people are not so much interested in doing the things themselves, but just want to follow set regulations and handlings done in the religious community. They for example just want to sit down in church and be passive, looking and hearing what is going on, with sometimes even having the mind strolling of to somewhere else. Whilst the religion may be brought on by their parents or their environment where they grew up to get spiritual they have to undertake themselves the action to be willing to enter the spirituality which stems from their inner soul, and not from the hierarchy of their religion, their pastors or priests, but is dependent on their will to search in themselves, to look for the very essence of their own being. The spirited approach or spirituality like the religion may come form influences of different sources, where the parents, in first instance or the most important one, and from driving forces in the life of the person, like a God Almighty.

Some think spirituality can be achieved only through the use of every moral quality in its proper place and on its proper occasion. Moral shall influence the way of thinking and the background of material shall give possibilities to think about those theories, values and attitudes. Because being bounded to the natural state of our being in the universe, our ‘natural state of man’ has a very strong relationship with his moral and spiritual states, so much so that even a person’s manner of eating and drinking affects his moral and spiritual states. If the natural state of a person is subjected to the control of the directions of divine law it becomes his moral state and deeply affects his spirituality, as is said that whatever falls into a salt mine is converted into salt. That is why several Holy Scriptures like the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an have laid stress on physical and psychical cleanliness and postures, and their regulation in relation to all worship and inner purity and spiritual humility.
According to the Bible the first essential quality of a spiritually perfect man is that his relationship should be correct and right both with his Creator God and man, his fellow-creatures. Both relationships should be right and correct which can only retrieved by having righteous conduct, seeking good influences, safeguarding oneself against conduct which is likely to harm the relationships.
The division of ‘morals’ is to be found also in religious faith and in religious life. It is important, therefore, to be clear about religious faith and religious life. There are people who equate religious life with moral life and think they are the same. To them to be religious is to be moral and to be moral is to be religious. This is incorrect and confusing.In religious life ‘morality’ and ‘spirituality’ may be the cornerstones. A man of good moral character may be just moral and be not necessarily religious. He may be a good man but not a perfect man. His moral part is all right, but not his spiritual part. We as human beings should come into ‘a being’ or ‘a creation’ where moral, spirituality and religion are in balance in a correct relationship with the other creatures and with the Creator.

Religious views generally have a great impact on a person’s lifestyle and differing views can cause conflict in relationships. In history we have seen enough examples where the religion was used to come in conflict with other members of the creation. An atheist may be incredibly uncomfortable if their significant other wanted to attend religious services and continue prayers every day. Likewise, a person who is used to being involved in religious practices may feel like something is wrong with them if their boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t want to come with them to their Holy books study or other religious gatherings.
Icon-religion

Many religions cause difficulties in a family or in a community. – Icon-religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion may become a stumbling block in a family whilst the spirituality may have the family grow, because it can be independent from the religion. In a family religion can really become a hot mess of opinions, beliefs and arguments. Whereas, spirituality is life affirming. Even atheist can be a spiritual human being. Spirituality is a way of life. It is the only way to conquer ignorance. the spirituality is looking to get out of spiritual blindness which may cause enough foolishness, benightedness, unenlightenment. Spirituality may take the person beyond his first thought limits and bring him or her out of mental darkness. It is understanding that we all are part of a whole. The realm of spirituality is mystical and mysterious. When we look at the world with an attitude of wonder and awe, we become aware that the world is filled with spiritual life. Part of spirituality is being willing to admit that something is beyond our comprehension. With our materialistic attitude and ego-tripping of today, many having a high quality ore it is difficult for them to come to the science in understanding the world, trying to find answers they may never find. When we look at the universe and into our own hearts and see that which we don’t understand, we know that we have touched that which is unknowable and holy. To come to the acceptance of nullity is the most difficult part of spirituality. Only by willing to see  the futility of our self, accepting that insignificance we shall be able to become really spiritual. though we may be religious it can well be that we are not at all spiritual.

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Preceding article: Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Read also:

  1. Faith
  2. Living in faith
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Religion and spirituality
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  8. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. How should we react against the world
  11. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  12. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  13. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  14. Childish or reasonable ways
  15. Words to push and pull
  16. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  17. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  18. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  19. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  20. Making church
  21. Church sent into the world
  22. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  23. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  24. True riches
  25. If you have integrity
  26. Happiness is like manna
  27. Happiness an inner state
  28. Poetry of Peace

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Additional reading:

  1. A Soul Wrapped in Vanity
  2. Identify With Your Soul by Ram Dass
  3. Relationship with God

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religiosity-cover-test-2

religiosity-cover-test-2 (Photo credit: jeffmikels)

  • The Rise of Religion Might Be All About Sex (alternet.org)
    A study suggests religion might have arisen to protect certain reproductive strategies, like long-term partnership.
  • Is There Still a Place for Religion? (virtuoussociety.com)
    Sociologists juxtapose the low religiosity of countries in Northern Europe with their low rates of crime and poverty. Unbelievers in America remark that religious people are over-represented in US prisons—and under-represented among its scientists and thinkers. In the opinion of many researchers, the statistical landscape of religion is bleak.
    +
    the US states with the lowest incarceration rates have the lowest levels of religiosity. But when controlling for race, income and other social factors by way of regression methods, Stark finds that religion is actually negatively correlated with violent crime.
    +
    To the extent that social scientists have neglected rigorous analysis in favor of more agreeable correlations, they must re-evaluate their assumptions, and paint their portrait of religious society in finer strokes, and from a wider palette. They will likely find that faith does not cast a shadow on modernity, but rather lights its way.
  • Texas A&M professor blends neuroscience, religion in new course (believervsnonbelievers.wordpress.com)
    In the apparent conflict between science and religion, many are turning to the field of neuroscience to weigh in on debates like whether the Book of Revelation was based on an inspired dream, like Paul said it was, or a simple neurological process.
    +
    With more than 50 years of research and teaching experience across the entire spectrum of neuroscience, Klemm admits that his emphasis is on neuroscience, because, as he says it, “I’m not a preacher,” but he wants the students to take their own religious beliefs and try to make the connection with what he teaches them about neuroscience.
    +
    Religionists hold that humans have free will and are accountable for their beliefs and choices, while scientific experiments have led scientists to believe that free will is an illusion.
  • Supplementary Materials on Spirituality and Religion (chermercado.wordpress.com)
    For those who want to expand their understanding of the topic and Spirituality and Religion, you may refer to the following links below. I’ve provided some points of reflection that should help you re-think things though you may not necessarily agree with them.
    +
    Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
    The tendency of people who claim to be Spiritual but not religious is to treat faith as if it were a buffet: cherry-picking only the good parts and leaving the rest behind (as explained by the meme above). It’s convenient and satisfying but it doesn’t capture the essence of real faith.
    +
    Faith is a matter of reciprocity because it is a two-way street.
    +
    In summary, if your aim is to develop a personal but life-giving spirituality, it needs a check-in balance system to make sure it does just that. This check-in balance is easily provided by organized religion.
    +
    The Value of Community in Christian Spirituality
    To relate with the Church, then, is to concretely relate with Jesus, who is God afterall. If you find yourself having a difficult time dealing with the Church’s imperfection, that’s insight in itself into how it might be like for God to be dealing with each and everyone of us. To relate with others (the Church), then, is to get to know more how God relates with us and how He has to deal with our petty problems and imperfections.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Many people religious background comes from what their parents instill in them but once they reach a certain age is where they find their true calling as to what they think and feel is right. Realistically most people just conform into whatever is most common to them.
    +
    Religion is organized; it’s more of a physical thing. Like something imaginable as far as seeing or feeling. Religion is instituted by man. In a religion there are many gods, although they are serving the same purpose. Just like there are many beliefs in religion. Where a spiritual person does not have an organized way about being spiritual, it is all within yourself. It’s more of being spiritual than something being physical.
  • Religiosity Raises Risk Among Sex Offenders, Clergy More Dangerous Than Other Groups (atheistrev.com)
    Male clergy accused of sex crimes were found to be more dangerous in some important ways than matched non-clergy offenders (Langevin, Curnoe, & Bain, 2000). And religiosity was positively associated with the number of convictions for sex crimes and the number of victims among convicted male sex offenders (Eshuys & Smallbone, 2006). It was also inversely related to the age of the victims (i.e., more religious offenders tended to victimize younger children).Parents place clergy on pedestals due to their presumed connection to some sort of “god,” and they teach their children to do the same. They lower their guard because the pastor wouldn’t possibly do things like that. Clergy are often viewed as morally superior to the rest of us, and the same goes for highly religious non-clergy. They are given the benefit of the doubt again and again. We couldn’t possibly question behavior that would never be tolerated in other contexts. And this continues despite evidence that clergy and highly religious persons may actually be more dangerous to our children.
  • Who is religious? (suryanarayanarajumd.wordpress.com)
    Common man understands religion by belonging to certain religion or belief system, he follows the pattern followed by crowd, mob by going to temple on certain dates, enjoys the entertainment involved in it.But religiosity is an inner science, “doing” is relevent to outer but “non-doing” is the key to inner exploration which does not mean laziness but it demands heightened awareness. With heightened awareness you touch a point from which you witness the seemingly opposite things are complimentary both in the outer and the inner.
    +

    First when you are not doing bodily or mentally which include thinking, concentration, contemplation, when all activity caeses “you simply are”, “just be”.
    +
    develop the skill of watching self activity which is nothing but self-inquiry.As you go on watching self activity from your center of being, thought process slows down, there is radical change in self-activity and one fine day self stops functioning when it is not required. Mind is not enemy but because of lack of awareness in functining of daily activities at present it is dictating our way of life. Mind means past plus future. But life is in the present.
    +

    The whole education makes the human mind conditioned to trust only in objects which he can dissect their basic constituents.

    The problem arises when when one tries to analyze the subject in the same way. An average mans thinks of Self in an objective way.

    But the nature of subjectivity is that it cannot be observed. That which is observable is not your subject.

    Meditation, watchfulness is the key to explore the inner. With watchfulness a distance is created between the watcher and the mind.

    As watchfulness crystallizes the distance becomes longer and longer. Soon the mind is so far away you can hardly feel that it exists.

  • Spirituality is the world around us (realmof13.wordpress.com)
    God and spirituality are pretty controversial subjects in this day and age.  I myself have run the full circle of beliefs, not really wandering, but falling into the next one based of experiences and changes of perception.  I have never been the biggest fan of organized religion, but I have recognized the good it does for those who participate with good intention in their hearts.
  • Religious vs. Spiritual (reginayflorence.wordpress.com)
    Many people study different types of religions. It says “ the fact that many of the negative things which people attribute to religions are features of some forms of some religions(usually Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but not of other religions (like Taoism or Buddhism).” We are stating that being spiritual is expressing our religion. By worshiping our spirit it shows that our religion is more than that. It is a way of getting deeper with him(God). It bring a deeper meaning to us when we believe.
  • Relying on Religion (creativesolblog.wordpress.com)
    Many conversations concerning the topic of religion get quite personal, emotional and out of hand fairly fast. This is the case so often that common etiquette generally recommends that one avoids the subject all together (especially at the dinner table).

The imaginational war against Christmas

American debate on celebrations and holiday season

In the United States we see a debate is going on about the celebrations or holiday season. Several camps are claiming the 25th of December as their special event, belonging to their group.

English: Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co...

Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co’s Christmas float. – Do you see the connection with ice-bears and the birth of Christ? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conservative Christians and the Tea Party members claim everything of Christmas is sanctified and belongs to the Christian community and may not defiled by the heathen atheists.

Call to encourage Christian people to worship God

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wisely advised that if atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God. 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.

“No country has ever fallen while it was truly honouring the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

“So if you were completely areligious, completely atheistic, but you wanted to have a free country, and you wanted to have it safe and protected, then it would sound like — from historical purposes — that it might be a good thing to encourage those who believe in God to keep doing so,”

Gohmert said.

“Because when a nation’s leaders honour that God, that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.”

Historicity of birth of Christ

According many historians it is proven that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, so they wonder why so many Christians keep wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ on that day of the birthday of the goddess of light. Likewise I would like to ask those Christians, like Sarah Paling who says Father Christmas belongs to the Christians and is in honour of God, what this mythical elf had to do with the event which happened on the 17th of October 4BCE, when the Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) became the first-born in the family of Miriam (Myriam/Mary/Maria) and Joseph (Yosef/Iosíf/Josef), from the tribe of king David? What have all those Christmas trees to do with the land of Palestine or Bethlehem, were Jesus was born? (There were and are no such trees in that region).

Poster campaign against Christmas

In the United Kingdom there are also some fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group that have launched a nationwide poster campaign, but they go a step further than the American atheists because they denounce Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in that country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead. though those Muslims should also notice many Islamic families also put the Christmas tree in their living room and give each other presents in this so called Christian holiday season. I do agree also by that population we see the pagan rituals have won above faith and they took over the western traditions, saying the same thing like Christians say about Halloween,

“It is just for fun”.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and America Atheists in the United States also started a campaign to give non-believers a voice in a Christian dominated space and taking back something what belongs to them and not to Christianity.

Holiday season rooted in pagan festivals

Real Christians should make use of the holiday season to make clear to the Christians who celebrate the Yule fest or “Kerst-mis”, “mass of Kerst” (later made in “Christ” in Anglo-Saxon countries), Yuletide or Christmastide and to Muslims that Jesus is the son of God, who is really born, whilst God can not be born nor die, because He is an eternal Spirit.

In West Europe, before the population was christened they celebrated the end of the year and the dark period and remembered the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht, (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”). It was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans where a sacrifice may have been made, and for the Germanic people (like in Belgium) the Germanic Matres and Matrones, female beings attested by way of altar and votive inscriptions, nearly always appearing in trios, to which the Roman Catholic Church placed their Holy Trinity. The earthly spirits and natural spirits where transformed into the natural spirit Jesus who came in the place of the goddess of light and became the Light itself, but would also be the same person as the air spirits or heavenly spirits, becoming the Holy Spirit who at the same time would be God the Father and God the Spirit. Though the Divine Being God Who is One Himself is Spirit according to the Holy Scriptures.

“God is Spirit; and those who worship him must worship spiritually and truly.” (John 4:24 TCNT)

God Himself is not immaterial; He has a Spirit-body (ie 1Corinthians 15:44-54; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:7; Matthew 28:2-4), a Being full of Spirit power, a body with parts. Jesus contrary is a man of flesh and blood who really could be tempted (God can not be tempted) could be tortured to death and was made higher than angels to whom he was lower, but God was, is and always shall be the Most High, Almighty Who knows everything, whilst Jesus had still to learn everything and even did not know when he would be coming back.

“For he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ) is the radiance of the Glory of God and the very expression of his Being, upholding all creation by the power of his word; and, when he had made an expiation for the sins of men, he ‘took his seat at the right hand’ of God’s Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3 TCNT)

“To this Peter and the Apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men.  (30)  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging him on a cross.  (31)  It is this Jesus whom God has exalted to his right hand, to be a Guide and a Savior, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  (32)  And we are witness to the truth of this, and so is the Holy Spirit–the gift of God to those who obey him.” (Acts of the apostles 5:29-32 TCNT)

“He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death–to death on a cross!  (9)  And that is why God raised him to the very highest place, and gave him the Name which stands above all other names,  (10)  So that in adoration of the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth,  (11)  And that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ (originally יהושע Messiah) as Lord (Master) – – to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11 TCNT)

Christians having to choose either to belong to pagan world or to have their own religious world

The Christians should know that they may live in this world but do not have to be active in al the things of this world. As children of God we should not differ from God His best servant, Jesus who is lord of all. As long as that man who did not know when he would return (remember: God knows everything) we should follow the Master teacher, the tutors he trained and the stewards till the time appointed by the Father. So also we, when we were children, were in servitude under the rudiments of the world;  but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  Having now become sons we should no longer be a servant of this world, but a son; and if a son, also an heir of God.  Formerly, not knowing God a Christian may have served beings which are not really gods;  but when converted and baptised they should Now know God, what He likes and what He does not like. Once a person came in the faith he or she should take care not to turn again to the weak and imperfect rudiments, keeping to the traditions of heathen people or gentiles.

The apostle Paul writes:

” My point is this–As long as the heir is under age, there is no difference between him and a slave, though he is master of the whole estate.  (2)  He is subject to the control of guardians and stewards, during the period for which his father has power to appoint them.  (3)  And so is it with us; when we were under age, as it were, we were slaves to the puerile teaching of this world;  (4)  But, when the full time came, God sent his Son–born a woman’s child, born subject to Law–  (5)  To ransom those who were subject to Law, so that we might take our position as sons.  (6)  And it is because you are sons that God sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, with the cry–‘Abba, our Father.’  (7)  You, therefore, are no longer a slave, but a son; and, if a son, then an heir also, by God’s appointment.  (8)  Yet formerly, in your ignorance of God, you became slaves to ‘gods’ which were no gods.  (9)  But now that you have found God–or, rather, have been found by him–how is it that you are turning back to that poor and feeble puerile teaching, to which yet once again you are wanting to become slaves?” (Gal 4:1-9 TCNT)

Christians should remember that their rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) charged his followers to follow his Fathers instructions and to love one another. Jesus warned them that it could well be that the world would hate them because of their (our) choice to follow him. We should know that the world hated Christ before us.  We either have the choice to follow the traditions of the world and showing them that we not only are part of the world but also want to be in the world; Or if we were of this world, the world would be a friend to its own; but because we are not of the world the world hates us.  We should remember the word which Jesus said to his apostles that a servant is not greater than his lord and that if they have persecuted the send one from God (Jesus the Messiah), they will also persecute his followers; if they have kept Jesus his word, they will also keep ours.  But all these things they will do to us, on his account, because they know not Him that sent Jesus. and that is the whole problem. They do not want to know God who sent his prophet to save the world. Today the world should have no pretext for their sin.  It is true that those who hate Christ Jesus also hate his Father. In Christ we should put our hope because we have seen the Works of God in his hands. The whole world has received the opportunity to get to read the Words of God, to listen to them, to study them and to get to understanding for those Words came from the God Who does not tell lies.  so when He says ‘This is my only begotten beloved son” it up to us, living in this world to either accept that Nazarene Jew as the son of God or to make him like so many pagan do with the nature elements and other man of the world (Presley, Spears, Maradonna, Madonna, Jackson, Cyrus, Cano, 1D a.o.)
With Jesus the promise in the Garden of Eden became fulfilled, and the Word of God became a reality, which the world can face now. Jesus came to live in this world so that the word written in their law may be fulfilled.  After Jesus died (remember God can not die) his Father, the Only One God gave them light from His Power, the Pneuma or Holy Spirit. When this Comforter had come, whom Jesus as mediator between God and man, had send them from the Father, the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, he testified of Jesus and the apostles also started to testify without fear about their teacher, because they had been with him from the beginning and had seen all the things Jesus had done in the name of his Father, the God of Abraham.

” I am giving you these commands that you may love one another.  (18)  If the world hates you, you know that it has first hated me.  (19)  If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world–that is why the world hates you.  (20)  Remember what I said to you–‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have laid my Message to heart, they will lay yours to heart also.  (21)  But they will do all this to you, because you believe in my Name, for they do not know him who sent me.  (22)  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have had no sin to answer for; but as it is, they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  He who hates me hates my Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them such work as no one else ever did, they would have had no sin to answer for; but, as it is, they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  And so is fulfilled what is said in their Law–‘They hated me without cause.’  (26)  But, when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of Truth, who comes from the Father–he will bear testimony to me;  (27)  Yes, and you also are to bear testimony, because you have been with me from the first.” (Joh 15:17-27 TCNT)

A pent-up woman using strong men for the opposite they believed in

Sarah Palin addressing a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, NH), September 5, 2011

The American politician, commentator, author, former youngest person and first woman to be elected half-term Governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate, registered Republican since 1982, Sarah Palin, née Heath, said

“Today, in too many respects, it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season and Christ is the main part of Christmas,”

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today he would probably go on Fox News to complain about the war on Christmas.

The freedom of the Constitution of the United States

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the United States of America, Created September 17, 1787, Ratified June 21, 1788

She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles.

“If you lose that foundation, John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly, and we are to be held accountable by our creator, so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lamestream media, especially, who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty – well, that’s why I call them the lamestream media,” Palin said.

Adams who was sixty-one when he took office and by whom theological uncertainty had turned him toward a secular vocation also was not so sure about the divinity of Christ and being the God born on the 25 of December. He was a real searcher and wanted to discover as much he could in the books of law, political theory, moral philosophy, or economy from classical Greece and Rome to Enlightenment Europe. No theoretical works could escape his critical eye. and we can imagine he was also very critical of what churches said and what the Bible said. He was not an abstract political thinker; rather, he read and wrote to understand and solve the problems of society in his own day. At the outset of the Revolution he believed that the superior virtue of the American people would prove sufficient to maintain a balance between liberty and order in the new republics being formed by the states. In his Thoughts on Government, written early in 1776, and in his draft of the Massachusetts Constitution three years later, he advocated popular governments with checks on the abuse of power adequate to maintain their republican purity. I think it would be in-acceptable for him that a political party took the country in banishment like the Tea Party does. what that movement does is also against the idea of Jefferson who wanted a a free and democratic government and wanted to avoid the weakness of the Old World standards. Closely associated with liberal, enlightened circles in ParisThomas Jefferson sympathized with the revolutionary impulse but sought to direct it into moderate and pacific channels of reform.The sorting and synthesizing habits characteristic of Enlightenment thought, having a state free of the connection with religion, formed the core of his thinking.

The challenges posed by the American Revolution (1775–1783)—creating a new nation, defining its form of government and politics, and shaping the kind of nation that the United States would become and the kind of people it would have—lent practical urgency to Jefferson’s investigations of the natural, social, and political world. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008 |}

Two of the three key measures of Jefferson’s lawmaking had to do with the life of the mind and individual liberty; all three embodied his devotion to Enlightenment ideals. Arguing that any alliance between church and state was dangerous to individual liberty and the health of the political realm, Jefferson insisted on strict separation of church and state, denying government any power to direct what citizens should believe or do in matters of religious belief and observance. Jefferson’s proposed system of public education embodied his view that an informed citizenry was essential to the success of republican government. Finally, his measure for proportioning crimes and punishments reflected the profound influence of Marquis Cesare di Beccaria’s (1738–1794) Treatise on Crimes and Punishments (1764), in particular Beccaria’s commitment to humanizing law and setting aside old barbarous punishments as inconsistent with a modern, just legal system. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; 2008}

Although he never confused France with America, Jefferson became an ardent friend of the French Revolution and in time assimilated some of its radical doctrine into his political philosophy. He sought to engender amiability and, wherever possible, to grasp “the smooth handle.” Business was conducted through day-to-day consultation with the secretaries. The cabinet met infrequently, but when it did, usually on critical foreign problems, Jefferson invariably managed to produce a consensus. He led without having to command; he dominated without ruling. {Merrill D. Peterson; A Reference History; 2002; Peterson, Merrill D.}

Liberty of choice and combination of theism, materialism, and determinism

As he viewed the American experiments in government from Europe during the 1780s, Adams lost faith in the political virtue of his countrymen. He saw them repeating the mistakes of Europe, especially in the feverish pursuit of luxury, with its inevitable social and political corruption and its nurturing of class antagonisms. Today we can see how the Tea party and the Republican Party are aiming to go back to the 18th century European tradition and would like to steer to the same mistakes the men in charge of that time had taken.

The French Revolution had further strengthened Adams his belief that political freedom could be preserved only by a balanced government effectively controlling the natural rivalry of men for wealth and distinction and that state and religion should be kept separate. Therefore I do find it so strange Palin is always waving with those bright founders of the American constitution to get the Americans believe in her system which totally opposes the ideas of the founders of the United States of America. It is true that he believed that the quest for equality would inevitably bring chaos and the loss of the freedom that the French revolutionaries sought. He clearly sought constitutional separation of powers.

The Adamses had also been fond of Joseph Priestley, the English scientist and political radical, who attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called “audacious and original”. They where well aware of this man his ideas about Jesus not being God and our task not to worship him like a god. They strongly believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which also led Priestley to help found Unitarianism in England.

So very strange some very conservative Christians who are very devout Trinitarians today use those names to get their ideas in favour and have people to celebrate pagan festivals as their own Christian festivals.

Secularists and their look at religious themes in Christmas celebrations

She seemed to imply that Jefferson, who spent his summers at a home not far from the present-day site of Liberty University, may have been inspired by the religious college founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell.

“Thomas Jefferson and his thinking, I believe that much of it fundamentally came from this area, having spent his summers here, having spent influential years here, two miles away from Liberty University,” Palin said. “Man, there’s something in the water, perhaps, around here – again you are fortunate you get to taste it.”

Palin said Jefferson would likely agree that secularists had set their sights on destroying the religious themes in Christmas celebrations.

“He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” she said. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”

Protection of atheists

Palin said there was a double standard that protected atheists at the expense of the religious.

“Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn – a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” she said. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”

“But heaven forbid we claim any type of offense when we say, ‘Wait, you’re stripping Jesus from the reason, as the reason for the season,’ but heaven forbid we claim any type of offense,” Palin said. “So that double standard, I think Thomas Jefferson would certainly recognize it and stand up and he wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down and shut up.”

Though, Thomas Jefferson did not believe in Jesus being God and wanted a free America were people of different opinions could share the land and live in peace together, respecting each-others believes. He believed in a beneficent natural order in the moral as in the physical world, freedom of inquiry in all things, and man’s inherent capacity for justice and happiness, and he had faith in reason, improvement, and progress.

Jefferson’s political thought would become the quintessence of Enlightenment liberalism, though it had roots in English law and government. The tradition of the English constitution gave concreteness to American patriot claims, even a color of legality to revolution itself, that no other modern revolutionaries have possessed. Jefferson used the libertarian elements of the English legal tradition for ideological combat with the mother country. He also separated the principles of English liberty from their corrupted forms in the empire of George III and identified these principles with nascent American ideals. In challenging the oppressions of the empire, Americans like Jefferson came to recognize their claims to an independent nationality. {Encyclopedia of World Biography; 2004}

Was it not the intention of the founding fathers of America to get rid of all the boundaries they had to endure in their different countries at the European continent? Was their intention not only to protect those who had certain believes, be it in the Supreme High Being, in spirits of the world, or in nothing of that sort? And did they not want to protect atheists not at the expense of the religious, and protect the religious not at the expense of atheists ?

Defending her believes in Christmas

EXPRESS-TIMES

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin signs her new book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” and greets customers during an appearance at Barnes and Noble on Nov. 12, 2013, in Bethlehem Township, Pa.

The former vice-presidential candidate has also written a book, Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas, published by HarperCollins, about the real meaning of Christmas.

She writes:

A tree is best felled if you do it yourself, preferably from your neighbour’s plot or your own. If you do have to buy a commercial tree, watch out for the ones sold as “holiday”, “pine” or “fir” trees. These are not Christmas trees, and Christmas is all about Christmas! Keep the saw handy: after Christmas you can chop up the tree for your burner.

Buy some felt. Collect some fur from whatever pelts you have about the house. For a really wild “frontier flair”, ask a parent to saw buttons from antlers: any species will be fine. Hoohah! “You won’t find that on Pinterest!”

A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories.

Every year buy the Guiness Book of Records and read aloud from it. One year, you might be in it (as, for example, 2008’s most searched name on the internet).

You may wonder how a Christian can advertise to have guns and how it would not harm to point your 30-06 rifle to an other human being.

Perseverance in retaining enjoyable memories

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palin recounts news stories from recent years—such as a North Carolina college temporarily banning students from selling “Christmas” trees—to mount evidence that there are Americans trying to “destroy” the holiday. She generally refers to her foes as “secular leftists” and waffles between how formidable they are, saying “these guys aren’t just a few malcontents with lawyers” and dismissing them as a “few haters and cranks.” Palin prebuttals critics who would say she’s tackling a “non-existent problem” but doesn’t present any shattering new statistics to move the perennial debate.

A central trope in the book is Palin’s disgust and frustration at people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” While hitting on various points about the commercialization of the holiday (it’s good, it’s bad, it’s beside the point), she extolls businesses like Hobby Lobby that use religious imagery in advertisements and shames businesses like Target and Wal-Mart who have eschewed ­Christmas for more politically correct terms.

Reviled and marginalized citizens in American society

Palin argues that Christians are being reviled and marginalized in American society — and that Christian faith should be more central to culture, politics, schools and public squares. Some chapters lean heavy on the Evangelicalism, as she recounts Biblical stories and advocates for more Christ in Christmas. “God,” she writes, “is the only cure for what ails us.”

About that last bit she is right. God is the only cure and people should concentrate more on Him, the God of gods, and should abstain from everything which goes against God His rules, the commandments He has given. His commandments make it very clear that people may not bow down in front of human made images (crosses, statues) but also not honour or decorate trees, honouring gods or natural beings. (Is the Christmas tree not a decorated tree?)

Offensive well-wishes

When people say ‘Happy Holidays’ this is considered offensive for Sarah Paling and many conservative Christians in the United States. She does not seem to see that there is no coordinated campaign against uttering Christ’s name but rather, a seeming gradual shift over decades to awareness that not everyone celebrates Christmas. “Happy holidays,” for those who say it, is not disrespectful but a catch-all phrase to which the hearer can impute anything he or she wants; presumably Palin’s faith in the Nativity is not so weak that a person failing to mention Christ in alluding to the celebration could shake it.

Palin’s claim that “the homogenization of the holiday season” is underway is hard to square with the reality that last year, shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “Grey’s Anatomy” broadcast Christmas specials. In all the Western countries on television and radio stations people can see and hear nothing but Christmas specials. Christmas is inescapable in pop culture from more than a month out — after all, Palin’s Christmas book came out in November, more than a month before the holiday, so that it could be promoted enough and become a holiday sales record.

Critique of “the war on Christmas” and separation of church and state

, staff reporter for Salon’s entertainment section, writes:

This critique of “the war on Christmas” leaves aside a tenet Palin and her fellow warriors hold dear: that Christmas has become more about Santa and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and gifts under the tree than about the glorious birth of Jesus Christ. Per the display copy connected to Palin’s book, “Palin defends the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—whether in public displays, school concerts, and pageants, or in our hearts.” It’s hard to come up with a counterargument to this because, aside from the long-standing separation of church and state (not a new practice), no one is preventing those who celebrate Christmas from hosting pageants or keeping Jesus in their hearts.

Celebration for Santa Claus

Jon Stewart waded into the “war on Christmas” on The Daily Show on Tuesday December 3, mocking conservative personalities like Bill O’Reilly, who was driven to ask “what holiday is Santa celebrating?” after seeing a Macy’s ad depicting Santa Claus helping customers with a “holiday gift list,” as opposed to a Christmas gift list.

“That is a good question,”

Stewart said sarcastically.

"Father Christmas" is often synonymo...

“Father Christmas” is often synonymous with Santa Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Santa, or Sinterklass (sic), (Sinterklaas) is celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which originated in the Netherlands in the Middle Ages and occurs every December 6th. But you might not have heard about that because like every other December holiday, it was long ago sucked into the insatiable black hole that is Christmas.”

Protecting the integrity of Christmas isn’t just about God when you look at all the controversy going on. For Palin Christmas is about patriotism and strangely enough also about the liberty and rights of the American people. Christmas, in Palin’s eyes, is the All-American holiday. Nativity scenes “acknowledge the very real history and identity of the vast majority of our citizens.” (her words) for her. They are according to her a part of “our National Heritage” and should be protected.

A tradition began years after the constitution

The NSM rally on the West lawn of the US Capitol, Washington DC, 2008

To me either she knows and ignores that Americans really began to celebrate Christmas widely only in the second half of the nineteenth century or she wants to get all other thinking people, those with not the same religious believes as her, being pushed in the corner or even better shoved out the country. No wonder so many Neo-nazis are liking her and the weapon industry do not mind providing money for her.

The Americans would do better to think of the reasons why so many left Europe and how many had found out that their church had fooled them with many dogmas. The Puritans who came to the New World to escape religious intolerance in Europe, didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. It was outlawed in New England from 1659-81. The God loving people knew their Bible better than many people today, who keep up the sacred book to wave to the people and shout to them about hell and damnation, but not read it.

Papist extravagance and pagan festivals

The immigrants from the 17th and 18th century wanted to see a New World were people could live together no matter of which denomination they were. But they did not like the Catholic or Papist extravagance. As far as they were concerned “Christmas” was a fourth-century innovation adapted in part from the pagan festival of Saturnalia. To this day there are home-grown American Christians that frown upon the celebration of Christmas because it’s not in the Bible. For them, as for the Puritans, Christmas is a gaudy distortion of the original message of Jesus. Also in many other countries, lots of real God loving people detest any connection with pagan festivals.

In the west of Europe we are full of Celtic and Germanic traditions and so it is understandable that many more people would have problems to desert those heathen activities. The Old colonist had abandoned those rituals, but now the Americans have come back home, into the 17th century Europe.

Danger looming around the corner

Some people may consider Sarah Palin to be a charlatan of no harm because she shall never reach her goal. But they could be mistaken. In Europe we have seen already other ‘charlatan’ who have made it to the top and who have destroyed many other peoples lives. Americans would better look at what happened in Europe, with such nationalism Sarah Palin is trying to imagine or to imprint in the minds of many Americans. Ad some financial crisis’s and we could come back 1930s (if we are not yet there). In Europe we have seen what sort of political figures and monsters it has created. There was also presented an ideal picture of family values, youth camps, and nice family celebrations with national holidays.

First every one shall have to comply with the Christian holidays of a certain Christians group and afterwards no other religious celebrations shall be recognised and would be considered to be an infringement on the national values, even become a danger for the nation. So no Hannukkah any more the state shall say in a few years time, in case the citizens are not careful enough to keep their liberties high in the meaning that liberty is protecting the freedom of the other.

Christians should better notice the trend of the marketeers making all efforts to push the ‘Holiday Season’ trough the throat of every body, making them guilty not to spend enough on Holiday Season Gifts.

Palin doesn’t seek the original Christmas (a fourth-century invention), the traditional American Christmas (they didn’t celebrate it), or consumerism-free Christmas (you Communist!). The festival Palin wants to retrieve is the Christmas of her youth. Palin’s Christmas is a medley of joy-filled eating, present opening, charitable giving, and idiosyncratic family tradition.

Candida Moss writes.

Real Christians should look for the real reason behind the season and be aware of their actions with national, worldly activities and with pagan celebrations..

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Please read also my article on Christadelphian World: Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights

bloggers-for-piece-badgePeace in the community is only possible
when the citizens in that community respect the other people living around them,
no matter which colour or which believes they may have.

Peace can only be there when people are willing to give each other the freedom
to have their own celebrations,
but also by not claiming something as only their own,
forgetting the real historicity.

In case people want to be of the world or in the world that is their own choice.
Christians do have to make the right choice but to respect the choices of others,
having their own celebrations, but distancing themselves from them, not promoting them themselves.

Give peace a chance
and join the movement for peace,
becoming a Peace Blogger.

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Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  14. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  15. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  16. Religious, political, spiritual—something in common after all?
  17. Double Standard for Americans Celebrating Christmas?
  18. Sarah Palin’s New Book About the “War on Christmas,” As a Recipe
  19. Sorry, Sarah Palin: There’s no war on Christmas
  20. Sarah Palin: ‘Angry Atheists’ Wage War Against Christmas
  21. Jon Stewart skewers Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly’s defense of ‘inexorable black hole that is Christmas’
  22. Sarah Palin Is Here to Save Christmas, Thank God
  23. ‘Christmas is evil’: Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
  24. Muslims in Malta condemn anti-Christmas poster campaign
  25. Introducing Buy Nothing Christmas + Learn About Buy Nothing Christmas Here.
  26. Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963
  27. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  28. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  29. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  30. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  31. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  32. American Revolution
  33. Americanism
  34. Constitution, U.S.
  35. Declaration of Independence, U.S.
  36. Enlightenment
  37. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  38. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  39. What Jesus sang
  40. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  41. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  42. What do you want for Christmas
  43. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ

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James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) mee...

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) meet Father Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert Still Yammering About Christian Countries Or Whatever (wonkette.com)
    So how is Gohmert trying to help us save us from ourselves and the total destruction of these United States? Supporting increasing the minimum wage? Encouraging the uninsured to enroll in Obamacare? Free abortion on demand? Hahaha, don’t be Ridiculose. Gohmert’s save America plan today is so much simpler than all that commie nonsense.
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    we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to the end of America, and we’ve already been teetering on the brink, what with our sex educating of our children, which has practically turned us into the Soviet Union. (Gohmert spent a summer there, you know, so he is A Expert on that too.)
  • Atheist Billboards: Deliciously antagonistic or just a step too far? (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    Driving in America is an utter terrifying ordeal, filled with collapsing infrastructure, lunatics behind pieces of large machinery, and completely arbitrary traffic laws an interesting experience. Mainly because as you drive along, you get a good feel for the commercial values of each region of the States in the form of billboards. For example, Wisconsin. A casual traveler through Packer territory will swiftly come to realise that the hardy folk of Wisconsin value cheese, adult videos, and fireworks above all else. Or in Iowa, where they prefer outlet malls, country radio stations, and second-rate Mexican restaurants.
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    I didn’t realise that the Times Square billboard war was continuing until yesterday when Christian author Benjamin Corey wrote an article on the most recent salvo. Mr. Corey identifies himself as a ‘formerly fundie’ progressive Christian who works for a better level of understanding between the various factions of Christianity as well as people of other (or no) religious persuasions. Mr. Corey, having recently written an article deriding the so-called War on Christmas, took issue with the most recent atheist message to go up in Times Square. Sponsored by The American Atheists, the ad essentially asks “Who needs Christ on Christmas?” and proceeds to cross out ‘Christ’ and replace it with ‘Nobody.’
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    Billions of Christians are going to sit down, exchange presents, sing beautiful songs, eat delicious food, go to Mass or services, and show goodwill and kindness to others. Including atheists. And Jews and Muslims and Hindus and everyone else where Christianity is the philosophical majority. Christmas is celebrated for more than a month, it’s probably the singular most influential feature of Western culture. And you know what? It’s Christians who made it that way. Christianity is why I’m guaranteed a few days to be with my loved ones without work hanging over my head. Christianity is why all those pagan practises that they appropriated have survived for thousands of years so they could be enjoyed by us today. Christianity is why Christmas trees are everywhere, why charities do so well this month, and why I can’t listen to “Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel” without cold chills.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer to boost national security (thedailyblogreport.wordpress.com)
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemingly tied Christianity to U.S. national security during a bizarre speech on the House floor on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer for national security (examiner.com)
    Glenn Beck picked a really bad time to claim the Religious Right was dead. That very same day, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the exact same Congressional representative he vowed he would become the “worst nightmare” of to get him to run for the Senate, embraced one of the most asinine Religious Right talking points possible.
  • The war on Christmas trees (coupleofatheists.com)
    Every year of my life the home I lived in had a Christmas tree. Weather that was when I lived with my Atheist father or during college when I stayed with my Catholic grandparents- the tree was always there. For me, it is a symbol of another year ending and preparing for another to begin. It is a reminder of family memories that could have only been made in its presence. When I was a little girl, Christmas eve was one of the only times that everyone came together- and that has remained true well into my adult life.Christians blame Atheists for the “War on Christmas” but as much as they hate when we object to giant manger scenes on government property… they also are unhappy when we embrace the secular side of the holiday… so what if we turned it on them.

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    There is nothing biblical about the fir tree- that is simply Winter Solstice witch craft… thankfully we are addressing this now so you can (hopefully) make right all the wrongs you have done in regards to disrespecting the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  • Sarah Palin Disgraces History With Claim Adams and Jefferson Support Her War on Christmas (politicususa.com)
    If there is one distinguishing feature unique to conservatives, it is their predilection for war. They will declare war on anything, seemingly for sport, but primarily to advance their sick agendas whether it is war against Muslims, women, the poor, gays, or equality; they just love war. It is interesting then, that conservatives of the Christian persuasion claim there is a war on their religious liberty when they are prohibited from forcing compliance to their religious dogmata on the entire population, and then there is their annual outrage that they are victims of the “war on Christmas.” Of course, the aggressors, according to conservative Christians, in the war on Christmas are the dreaded atheists who, interestingly, enjoy the winter “holiday” season as much as the next American, but resent the fact that any sector of government uses their tax dollars to promote the religious aspect of the uniquely commercial holiday.
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    Thomas Jefferson, a deist, eschewed everything divine about biblical Jesus; particularly what he called the “contrary to the laws of nature” virgin birth and resurrection story. What Jefferson did appreciate about biblical Jesus was the humanitarian ethics of goodwill toward human beings, charity for the poor, and his inherent humanism that Jefferson himself espoused.  To make his point, Jefferson gathered 4 translations of the gospel accounts, edited out each and every “contrary to natural law” part, and compiled humanistic Jesus into his version of the gospels minus Christ’s miracles, Christ as divine, and especially the virgin birth and resurrection. In fact, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote to another Founding Father, John Adams, in 1823 that “The 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.” So much for America’s resident dunce counting on Thomas Jefferson joining her in fighting against “atheists trying to abort Christ in Christmas” or the “reason for the season” that is as absurd as a star guiding wise men to Bethlehem around December 25.
  • Atheists to Bill O’Reilly: ‘Religion does more than just hurt people. Religion kills people.’
    On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O’Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed “angry” atheists, asking, “Are they that bitter against religion?”
    Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O’Reilly’s charges, which were part of the cable host’s annual protest against the so-called “War on Christmas.”
  • Makes Total Sense: Rep. Louie Gohmert Says If Atheists Want to Be Free, They Should Promote Christianity
    Gohmert previously received some lovin’ on Friendly Atheist when he introduced the Church Act, a bill that exemplified the literal opposite of church-state separation by proposing a plaque to honor the religious services that were once held inside the Capitol. Prior to that, we noted that he openly blamed the deadly mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater on the godless state of American high schools.

Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain

On ‘A Rutgers Humanist Blog’ Applied Sentience is questioned: Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion.

In our previous posting we mentioned already the right and wrong and the choices we do have to make as human beings. Not always it is every time so clear what is good or what is bad, or what can be the right thing to do or what would be wrong to do.  Lots of time people thought they where thinking to be doing the good thing, but it at the end it seemed to have been the bad thing.

Many religious writers and moral philosophers tried to tackle this intriguing question. The question could be forwarded to them if there are objective facts about what is right and wrong. Millions of words flew out of the pens of thousands of writers thinking about ethics, the way of life and how humanity should run its course.

If there are objective moral facts, why does there seem to be so much disagreement about what they are? After all, experts from other disciplines that seek objective facts (i.e. physics) seem to have converging beliefs about what is true. But also in science many disagreements do come over the counter.

The state or quality of being different or varied should normally not be a problem, though many people do not like it when others do not agree with them. The difference, diversification, variety,colours our world but bring around debated disagreement, the conflict, argument, creating different camps and presenting anew paths for new movements and trends.

Often one might think that the theist and the atheist are just too different in their systems of beliefs to ever come to any kind of consensus on matters as difficult as ethics. Often we do forget that how much we would not like it, we always shall be a product of our time and be influenced by the environment where we grew up. when we look at the freethinker he often does not let the other to think as free as we would think freedom will include.

It can happen that some one’s secular ethics is in agreement with one aspect of the Catholic tradition, while in disagreement with other secular views of ethics.

If they can make the same sort of objections in some cases, then perhaps they really are on the same mountain. Progress can be made! Thus, perhaps religious and secular viewpoints needn’t lead to a special case of disagreement after all.

English: Peter Singer speaking at a Veritas Fo...

Peter Singer speaking at a Veritas Forum event on MIT’s campus on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/ Photo by Joel Travis Sage: http://www.joelsage.com/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In interviews after the Rutgers event, Singer and Camosy each gave the same answer: dogmatism. Camosy elaborates:

Furthermore, I think most disagreement comes – not from differences in evidence in argument – but because of social or emotive reasons. Someone is turned off by a group of people who hold a particular view, or part of their self-identity comes from not being like another group, and thus the arguments are built on top of that first principle as to why such a group holds mistaken views. And so on.

Please do continue reading the interesting article: Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion.

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Look also at the previous articles:

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Morality, values and Developing right choices

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Additional reading:

  1. Words in the world
  2. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  3. Who are the honest ones?
  4. Satan the evil within
  5. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  6. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  7. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  8. About a man who changed history of humankind
  9. History of Christianity
  10. Christianity is a love affair
  11. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  12. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  13. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
  14. People are turning their back on Christianity
  15. Falling figures for identifying Christians
  16. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life

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Different positions of moral skepticism illust...

Different positions of moral skepticism illustrated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Christian ethics and Peter Singer (openparachute.wordpress.com)
    We all “do” morality – its part of being human. We will debate ethical questions till the cows come home. And we will take sides on moral issues, often reacting emotionally, even violently, to those who disagree with us.
  • Should Ethicists Be Held to a Higher Moral Standard? (moralmindfield.wordpress.com)
    if you don’t actually have to do what you tell other people to do (if you even think ethics involves that sort of thing) then you can say just about anything you want. Who cares, you are not going to actually do it.
    +
    For this reason, people have known for a long time that if you want to know what a person really thinks, you look to how people actually behave (“actions speak louder than words”) rather than to what they say. What they do will show what they really think is good.
    +
    Ethics is the study of action with respect to the good for humans, which is happiness. Once you figure that out, shouldn’t you have some practically useful insights from it? Shouldn’t you want to become a more excellent, happier human being (whatever that means to you) if you think you have that figured out?
    +
    if Christians can’t produce academic ethicists who think it worthy at least to try (actually doing it has always proven difficult) to follow their own standards then it starts to look a bit like they don’t believe at all.
  • Ethics (jaheemshamoy12.wordpress.com)
    .Relativism is the belief that there are no universal moral norms of right and wrong. In the school of relativistic ethical belief, ethicists divide it into two connected but different structures, subject (Moral) and culture (Anthropological). Moral relativism is the idea that each person decides what is right and wrong for them. Anthropological relativism is the concept of right and wrong is decided by a society’s actual moral belief structure.Deontology is the belief that people’s actions are to be guided by moral laws, and that these moral laws are universal.
  • Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    I’ve discovered a new arena for combat: The reader’s comments section for stories about religion.When I first started writing about religion for an online news site, I eagerly turned to the comment section for my articles, fishing for compliments and wondering if I had provoked any thoughtful discussions about faith.
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    Readers exchange juvenile insults, condescending lectures and veer off into tangents that have nothing to do with the article they just read.

    For years, I’ve listened to these “holy trollers” in silence. Now I’m calling them out. I’ve learned that the same types of people take over online discussions about faith and transform them into the verbal equivalent of a food fight. You may recognize some of these characters.
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    Camosy has made a career out of bridging religious differences. He’s part of a “Contending Modernites” group, which finds common ground between Christians and Muslims. He’s also the co-founder of a website devoted to dialing down the heat in religious arguments entitled, “Catholic Moral Theology.”

    Camosy says that online discussions about religion are difficult because they are not in person. Tone and nuance gets lost online.

  • Non-religious Beliefs (hibamo.wordpress.com)
    What’s in a word? Non-religious people describe and define themselves (and are described and defined) in various ways. These variations do reflect some differences in meaning and emphasis, though in practice there is very considerable overlap.

    Non-believers” do, of course, have many beliefs, though not religious ones. For example, they typically hold that moral feelings are social in origin, based on treating others as they would wish to be treated (the ‘golden rule’ which antedates all the major world religions).

  • The “Secular” Myth (kurtkjohnson.wordpress.com)
    Since the Enlightenment movement of the late 17th and 18th century, Western civilization has slowly but steadily adopted a paradigm that includes a distinct “secular” space within society.  It has become the mantra of both the “religious” and “non-religious.”  It is so deeply engrained into our culture today and so reflexively accepted that few people seem to think to question it.
    +
    It wasn’t until postmodern theorists began to seriously question the ideas of Modernity that this notion of the “secular” got some serious negative attention and critique.
    +
    We may call ourselves “non-religious” because we don’t lay claim to a particular faith tradition (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, etc.) but postmodern theorists have attempted to show us that our basic human situation is the same, irregardless of what we call it… that there is no universal rationality to be appealed to, and our contributions are always and ever informed by something like “religious” commitments, whether explicit or implicit.
  • Teaching Ethics to Greedy Bastards (ethicsbeyondcompliance.wordpress.com)
    We’d like to think that with the proper ethics training even the most heartless sociopath could be encouraged to at least follow some of the rules.And if we can’t (note: we can’t) encourage bad people to be good people, what are ethicists worth? Well, our roles fall into several categories: 1. Providing ethical answers to dilemmas. 2. Offering ethical analysis of a particular problem. 3. Teaching ethical decision-making, which makes a good-faith assumption that the decision maker is sincere in wanting to be ethical. 4. Holding wrongdoers accountable for their behavior.
  • Life Amidst Moral Chaos (onlyagame.typepad.com)
    For centuries, discussion of ethics has focussed upon the idea of the moral law – a set of rules or criteria that dictate what is permissible or required. This debate has been substantially focussed on two battlefronts: firstly, the long and pointless dispute between advocates of a duty approach (deontology or Kantian ethics) and an outcome-focussed approach (Consequentialism). Secondly, the more recent conflict between all ethical beliefs and the deep suspicion that there is no moral law (Nihilism). The former disagreement has been fruitful but misguided, while the latter has become deeply counter productive.
    +
    We now recognise that different cultural circumstances lead to different ways of life, and different conclusions about moral concerns – and this seems to catastrophically undermine the concept of a viable moral law. The resulting crisis can be expressed in a simple question: if there is no single, true ethical system, can there be ethics at all? Terrified by this possibility, even secular ethicists like Derek Parfit have felt a powerful need to defend the idea of a moral law, and have mounted impressive arguments in it’s defence.
  • Impressions and Lessons from Kierkegaard Exhibit at Haus am Waldsee (rheaboyden.com)
    Kierkegaard believed that subjective human experience and the search for individual truth and faith were far more important than the objective truths of mathematics and science which he believed failed because they were too detached to really express the human experience.  He was interested in ‘inwardness’, people’s quiet struggle with the apparent meaninglessness of life. He was the inventor of self doubt in its modern form and his work and philosophy is more relevant today than he could have imagined. He believed that each individual had to choose for himself what constituted a life worth living, but that suffering was always going to exist because of regret.
  • Hursthouse Reading (eatingmeatinamericatesterman.wordpress.com)
    Hursthouse explains to her readers  that the idea of moral status is completely inconsequential in the discussion of virtue ethics and our use of animals. She discusses the debate over abortion and the fact that virtue ethicists do not even need to consider whether or not a fetus is morally equal in status to anyone else.

English: Pyramid of ethics