Can a scientist believe in God

Once again some debates about science, beginning of the universe, evolution and who can believe in what, is being going on in several heated debates.

English: A composed satellite photograph of No...

A composed satellite photograph of North America in orthographic projection. The observer is centered at (40° N, 95° W), at Moon distance above the Earth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of North Americans seem to have a lot of difficulties with the way people want to look at the creation. For many of them it seems impossible to take the creation as having taken part in different phases others than a day of 24 hours. They seem to forget that God has a total different measuring than our present time system.

In the United States of America many science professors say they do not think it is possible that a scientist believes in God. In other countries we can find scientist who were atheist but by their scientific findings  and getting to see what was written in the Bible did come to the Christian Faith.

, American religious figure.

Billy Graham, American religious figure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association wrote about this question:

Over the years I’ve met many outstanding scientists who not only believed in God, but were also dedicated followers of Christ. Many, in fact, told me that they’d first become believers because of their scientific studies.

Why was this? One reason, they said, was because they came to see that it was more logical to believe in God than not believe in Him. No matter where you look — through the most powerful telescope or the strongest microscope — the complexity and the beauty of the universe point to an all-powerful Creator. In other words, believing that the universe “just happened” takes far more faith than believing in God! The Bible says,

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20).

But my scientist friends also realized that science has its limits. Science can describe what the world is like, but it can’t answer the questions of why we’re here or where we’re going when we die. Only God can give us the answer to these spiritual questions, and He has answered them through Jesus Christ.

Don’t be put off by the unbelief of others. Instead, turn to Jesus Christ and open your heart and mind to His truth as it is revealed in the Bible.

…. Only in Christ, the Bible says,

“are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

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Additional literature:

  1. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  2. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  3. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  4. Are people allowed to have doubts
  5. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  6. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  8. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  9. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  10. Reconciling Science and Religion
  11. Science and God’s existence
  12. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  13. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  14. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  15. Interpretation of archaeological data
  16. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  17. Bible and Science (2): In the Beginning
  18. Genesis 1 story does not take away an evolution
  19. Nothingness
  20. “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
  21. Cosmogony
  22. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere?
  23. A viewpoint on creation
  24. Suboptimal design and special creation
  25. Debating Darwin
  26. Living on the Edge
  27. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  28. Other stories about the beginning of times
  29. Creation Creator and Creation
  30. Background to look at things
  31. Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity
  32. God, the Father, the Sole Creator of Heaven and Earth
  33. Something from nothing
  34. Means of creations
  35. Genesis 1 story does not take away an evolution
  36. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods
  37. The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
  38. How are we sure God exists?
  39. Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
  40. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  41. From waste and void coming into being by God’s Word
  42. How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?
  43. Genesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”
  44. Sayings around God
  45. Attributes to God
  46. Experiencing God
  47. Incomplete without the mind of God
  48. Understanding God’s Word through His Creation -2
  49. A look at evolution from a Christadelphian perspective
  50. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 1
  51. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 2
  52. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  53. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  54. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  55. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere? Inclusive the first generation of Christadelphians their views
  56. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  57. Old Earth creationists and other conservative Christians denying any evolution
  58. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  59. The professor, God, Faith and the student
  60. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  61. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  62. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

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  • David Platt: Church Planting Is Key to Spreading the Gospel “In This Nation and to All Nations” (blackchristiannews.com)
    With over 80 percent of people on our continent now living in metropolitan areas, the need for more biblically faithful churches in key urban centers is critical.Over the last year, I have had the privilege of visiting and preaching in many of the “Send” cities designated by the North American Mission Board. As I have interacted with church planting and revitalization teams, I have been deeply encouraged to see and hear about all the avenues God is blessing for the spread of the Gospel in North America.The rapidly shifting moral landscape of our culture, combined with the sobering reality that many of the most influential cities in North America are filled with lost people — yet are home to very few churches — beckons us to do more together to reach these cities.

    God’s primary instrument for the spread of the Gospel here and around the world is the local church. We know from the New Testament that Christ is building His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

  • No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning (basedheisenberg.tumblr.com)
    The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
  • How we read the Bible (standupforthetruth.com)
    Sanctification is a long process, and sometimes we can lose patience with one another. What is the biblical way to contend for the faith?
  • Abraham Kuyper: God Crowns Creation With Humanity (stream.org)
    Read the article “Abraham Kuyper: God Crowns Creation With Humanity” here: http://blog.acton.org/archives/76377-kuyper-god-crowns-creation-with-humanity.html
  • Being a creationist conservative in Canada ‘gives your opponents a tremendous amount of ammunition’ (themoderatevoice.com)
    Alberta premier Jim Prentice’s hand-picked education minister Gordon Dirks told forum attendees last weekend that he was an “Old Earth guy” – a reference to a doctrine of Creationism that generally rejects biological evolution.Mr. Dirks has declined to clarify his views. He’s also declined to comment on whether or not he accepts the scientifically accepted understanding of evolution when asked directly by the Post.
  • Subcrustal ocean roof found? – National creationism | Examiner.com (servehiminthewaiting.com)
    This team could have found the roof of a now-drained subcrustal ocean. That same ocean, he says, broke confinement about fifty-three hundred years ago. We know that break-out as the Global Flood.
  • Gallup: U.S. Population Highly Militaristic (stateofglobe.com)
    “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” the overwhelming winner had been the United States of America.
  • Old Earth creationists and other conservative Christians denying any evolution (christadelphianworld.blogspot.com)
    conservative Christians gained terrain and could blown up the whole evolution thing in a ridiculous way. A big problem with the creationists is that they all undermine the normal Christian thinking and Christian concept of creation and the relationship of man versus the creation.

Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

Since Stepping Toes was placed from Xanga onto WordPress we had a look at the relationship or coexistence of Science and the Bible.

America’s leading publisher of dictionaries, Merriam-Webster, chose “science” as its 2013 word of the year. Merriam-Webster’s editors cited a 176-percent increase in searches for the word and cited

“heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers.”

In the United States we also could notice many bloggers went on about Creationism and ideas from scientists and what would be possibly been written in the Bible. We can not deny we find it strange that such an industrious and very developed country can have so many people who are sceptical about key tenets of scientific orthodoxy. On such issues as human evolution, the formation and age of the universe and, more recently, climate change, many Americans reject the dominant views of the scientific community.

In a 2008 survey of Floridians by the Tampa Bay Times, only 22 percent of respondents said public schools should teach an evolution-only curriculum, and 50 percent wanted only faith-based theories, such as creationism or intelligent design taught. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science}

On Christadelphian World I discussed already the strange evolution we can see in the U.S.A. of people ignoring how the world evolved and how we have proof certain animals existed. There I also mentioned the Pew Research Center poll from 2009 which found fewer than a third of those sampled accepted the idea that humans evolved through natural processes, while 31 percent rejected the theory of evolution outright.

Top climate scientists issued a report in September saying the evidence that climate change is a real, man-made threat is as convincing as the evidence that cigarettes cause fatal illnesses. Yet a Pew poll from earlier that year found only 42 percent of respondents believed the earth is warming mostly as a result of human activities that produce greenhouse gases.

Some scientists and cultural critics see a dangerous trend at work. Science journalist Michael Specter wrote a book called “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” criticized such disparate tendencies as claims that vaccinations cause autism, bans on genetically modified foods and the embrace of supposed herbal treatments over traditional medicine. { in Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

What most people could see is that it does not originate in the classroom, but that most children get their conservative and creationist ideas imprinted at home.  We also can see that certain people can find themselves at ease by a certain political party because it brings so fervently those conservative ideas which although seem not to do anything with reality can bring people a very strong mood, active to out their voice loudly of what they believe everybody should believe.

A poll in 2011 found that roughly 50 percent of those identifying themselves with the tea party rejected the science behind both evolution and global warming.

from The Ledger tells us that The Ledger requested Gov. Scott, who is aligned with the conservative tea party political group, his personal views on evolution, the Big Bang theory, the age of the universe and human-caused global warming.

The governor said:

“We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state.”

but did not answer the questions. Instead, a spokesman emailed a general statement reading in part:

“In order to grow more opportunities for Florida families to succeed, we must invest in programs that will diversify our economy and create jobs for future generations. Governor Scott has been a consistent advocate for STEM education as a path for Florida students finding great jobs.”

Those conservative Americans let it look like believers may not believe anything what science present to humankind, because otherwise they would deny that they could be a “a walking miracle”. They started doing like the Muslims which always say ‘Inshallah’ ‘If God wants it’ and say “it’s God’s will.”

I shall not deny that it will be God his Will when he lets something happen. But when something happens it is not because God wants it to happen that way. We can wonder if God wanted the Holocaust to happen. Though He might have let it happen because it bringing a good lesson to the people of God. Though God has given the world to man. In case He would intervene every time, it would not exactly given to man to do like he wants. Than God could again be accused of what He was accused in the Garden of Eden, namely having the sole Power to rule the universe and giving man no right to think and handle for himself.

Carol Murray (62) of Winter Haven roundly rejects the notion that humans evolved over millennia from ape-like ancestors. The theory of evolution, developed over a century and a half by scientists through observation and research, has consensus acceptance in the scientific world and is part of the required science curriculum in Florida’s public schools.

“On the one hand, you’ve got kids going to Sunday school, and they’re telling them that God created them, and then they go back to public school and they’re being taught that man evolved from an ape,”

Murray said. “No wonder the kids have problems.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

I think the problem lies more in the hands of the parents who can not explain enough people might have different opinions and can themselves not accept that others might have an other opinion. In case several opinions may exist next to each other they will not create so much confusion. Than every person shall be able to feel more at ease to find they have an other idea, but which many others would also agree with.

An other problem is that many people consider that the first man and woman looked the same as we do now. This concept of having a Caucasian Adam and Eve and a Caucasian, instead of a Palestinian Jesus, is distorting historical reality. A few years ago there was a heavy reaction when there was placed a brown baby Jesus in a Belgian manger. Lots of people could not accept that Jeshua from Nazareth, better known today as Jesus Christ, was brown skinned. In most countries the Christmas scenery is almost always placed in a European environment with fir trees and snow, having nothing to do with the place nor the time that Jesus was born.

Academic figures say scepticism toward science reflects misunderstandings about how science works and confusion about the way scientists use such terms as “theory” and “hypothesis.”

Russell Betts, dean of the College of Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, said hostility toward science often comes down to questions of “thinking versus believing.” Whereas science ideally is a dispassionate quest for understanding, Betts said those who attack scientific theories usually have differing agendas.

“The general public often takes scientists’ willingness to change their viewpoint as a weakness, as if that means they are fundamentally not reliable,” Betts said. “But science doesn’t claim to be absolute.

“It’s always open to change as new and better results become available. Largely, these changes are incremental; but sometimes, there’s a paradigm shift, often dramatic, as new evidence becomes available. Versus belief, which is what it is — unchangeable. That’s one of its characteristics.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p4-5}

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for G...

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for Grownups (Photo credit: PatinaLatina)

As a teacher I, by the years also noticed that many children and parents did not like it when others got to say how things where. They did not want to listen to others and where not interested in details or broader information. You can see that in the latest generations, just looking at the headlines or Tweeter messages, but not going further to click and look at the tweeted article.

Cottle, the FSU professor, said reactions against science reflect a more general backlash against intellectualism in America.

Scientists say the absence of complete proof does not disprove a scientific theory, whether it’s evolution or another matter. Cottle said a lack of absolute certainty is part of science, but he said scientists get defensive when sceptics cite uncertainties as proof the entire theory is wrong.

“When scientists feel that they are being attacked from the outside, they tend to get into a mode where they deny that there are open questions,” Cottle said. “In all our science, we have open questions. …

“I think it’s just one aspect of a broader problem — that we have lost respect for expertise. The idea that somebody else might be an expert and you should listen to them is simply not in vogue.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p6}

“The big mistake scientists make is when they’re being attacked by somebody from the outside that they don’t feel is informed, a politician or somebody else, they can throw their back up and say, ‘No, no, all the questions are answered,’ when in fact that’s not true. I see it in evolution all the time.”

The other great great problem is that several people do want to see the Bible as a literal text and do not understand the descriptive and idiomatic language of it.

In the world we can find many Christians who regard the Bible as a literally accurate description of history. They see a direct conflict to their faith in what are now accepted as scientific truths and do not want to accept that the universe and the earth might be billions of years old and had primitive life forms which evolved through natural selection over millennia to become modern animals and humans. they do not want to see the changes which have been taken place by the years, though if they would look in their own family they could already see great changes of length and form by their own children opposite their ancestors.

A poll by the Pew Research Center from 2009 found that 55 percent of evangelical Protestants said humans have existed in their present form since time began, and only 10 percent of them said evolution has occurred through natural processes.

The poll found that 26 percent of mainline Protestants and 27 percent of Catholics agreed that humans have always existed in their present form. Only 11 percent of Americans with no religious affiliation shared that outlook, the Pew Research Center reported.  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p7}

Like Gaylord Paul Garcia writes in his blog: Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist:

Science and religion are publicly viewed as two different entities that will never reach a connection point where both will agree. They will never harmonize with each other because it has been a withstanding public truth that these two groups see each other’s views as either fantasy or fiction.

But I do not agree with what he considers to be the popular belief, that science and religion are ultimately incompatible – they cannot coexist. He himself knows that such is misguided.

Whether firm believers of this public truth decide to stay loyal to this belief, the truth is science and religion can coexist, it has coexisted, it coexists now, and it will continue to coexist in the future. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

The belief that the universe has an Author Who created everything, Who is all-knowing, and Who has everything planned for us, does not have to mean that He would not have given man the ability to think for themselves and to find many things out how the world was created and developed. It is wrong to think that scientist would work against the Creator or not believe in a or The Creator. It is not because a person believes in the Big Bang that he can not accept that the Cause of that Big Bang was a Divine Creator. To have something happening there should come something in action by something. That something could be that Eternal Spirit who also let the world know that He was and is the causer of everything “I am Who is”, “I am The Being”. Without The Being there can not exist a being or something that is.

Problem with several scientists and many atheists is that they have a generalised idea about Christians and never came to read what the Bible says and compared it what several churches made of it. When they would have done such a study they would have come to see that there are many churches who teaches other ideas than presented in the Bible.

Many Christians, in their turn, may forget that the Divine Creator is the One Who gives knowledge to man and Who has given also scientists the possibility to use their brains properly.

The 18 years old, undergrad at American University, Gaylord Paul Garcia, let us known what Abdus Salam, a physicist born in Pakistan thinks about this situation.

His father was an official for the department of education and because of that, schooling became a major factor in his life. Abdus Salam got his PhD in theoretical physics from Cambridge University at the young age of twenty-five years old. From then on, he received a Nobel Prize in physics for his work – Unification of Fundamental Forces – and created the International Center for Theoretical Physics. What is important of his work is that all of his scientific work has been epitomized by a quote from the Quran. The Quote is from Allah, that says,

“Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then Return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, Comes back to thee dazzled, aweary.”

As said by Abdus Salam, his religious spirit made him understand that there is a divine creator that created these unique systems and they are were created for a reason. He understood that this knowledge is for him to share to those who did not know about their workings. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

People should understand that the Most High has given different gifts to different people. We should trust the Creator and accept that He knows best whom may have which knowledge and whom might be the best one to share the knowledge with others. We all can not have the same knowledge about all the subjects this world has to offer; So there shall be people who are better in mathematics, geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, physics or an other subject we need to put all things together and to let this world turn reasonably well.

We do need chaos. God is a god of order. We should be pleased we can deserve somewhere a place in that universe created by the Almighty God.

Like Abdus, we should trust Allah, God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and be pleased that we can find so many people who are willing to   contribute to the people who are less fortunate. Like he did knew what his role was in life, we should come to get to know our position and be satisfied we can play a role, be it different, in this community.

Abdus Salam did not lose his morals because of his faith and religion.

That despite the amount of knowledge or truths people attain, they are grounded by their faith and it keeps their ethics straight. Like Abdus Salam, he used and shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith. Hence, science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

In our trust in Jehovah we should share our knowledge and be content others have the willingness to share their knowledge about subjects we know less. Like he shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith we should be sharing our knowledge and have others also to see that science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself,

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

It is wrong to think a Christian might not have critical thinking. Religious and scientific descriptions of the world do not in essence require a certain leap of faith. they only need a clear investigating and wondering mind.

Granger, a former Marine who works for a building-supply company, makes a good point when he considers science essential to progress and generally accepts the determinations of scientists.

“If somebody were to truly disregard science and evolution, that would limit what kind of advancements can be made with medicine and understanding the way the human body works,” he said. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p9}

Therefore it would be best for schools to include alternatives,

not just one (theory), and they should get into discussions of it and not just say that theory is it,”

Geraldine Watson of Bartow said. At 78 she teaches a Sunday school class once a month at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bartow, and she regards the passages in the book of Genesis as literally true.

The Florida Department of Education, which sets the curriculum standards for public schools, does not include those alternative theories in its science benchmarks. Biblically based narratives are incorporated into science teaching at some private, religiously affiliated schools, such as Lakeland Christian School.

Lithia resident Jonathan Smith, vice president of Florida Citizens for Science, said some Americans are illogical in rejecting certain elements of science while accepting the rest.

“You don’t hear people talking about, ‘We don’t believe in gravity; we don’t believe in germ theory,’ or stuff like that,” Smith said. “But evolution probably conflicts with people’s religious beliefs, and so does climate change. …

“We use our cell phones, we drive in our computerized cars, we rely on antibiotics — anything science can provide for us, as long as it’s convenient. If it’s anything that might alter your view of the world, particularly from a religious perspective, they reject it.”  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p10}

Dewey Funkhouser correctly says:

Religion is probably the largest business in America and the Bible thumpers want to bad mouth science as much as possible. So-called religion has done more to set America Back than any other thing. If you think the Tea Party movement hasn’t hurt America, you must be a kook.

We should be very careful before we accuse the schools of brainwashing the children. The schools should give a wide or broad margin of subjects and should teach the children the necessary things they should get to know, based on facts and science. Schools and educational programs do have the task to prepare people to stand strong in the world-community, being able to investigate and think for themselves. They should prepare them to compete in life, the world economy, college and anywhere else in life.

Schools in democratic countries also should learn that no religion may be allowed to oppress anyone, and that everyone should be allowed to believe and adhere whatever they want. Freedom of thought should be in the first line of duty.

Let us always remind:

“To think without believing disregards many possibilities, but to believe without thinking disregards more certainties.”

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, to the contrary. Those who are Christian should not be afraid of science when they are standing straight in their shoes. When our Christian faith is strong enough and we are willing to use our heads properly, we shall get to find out how things really work and we shall overcome our challenges without fearing us.

Don Gifford says it nicely:

You should have enough faith in godless humanistic doctrine not to fear me. If we can agree to respect each others rights we can get along just fine and our children will be all the better for it.

Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist notes:

The greatest thinkers and contributors of science have been men and women of faith. The bible or other religious texts should not ever be taken literally as it is not based on scientific evidence. However, religion should not be brushed off. Religion in itself is a way of discovering meaning and purpose, to ignore it means to ignore morals and ethics. To most people, to have religion is to be grounded and a way to not forget to be selfless. Likewise, science is also not optional. Science explains to us the physical universe and how it functions and come about.

The last few weeks people could find a lot on

the much-ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creationism versus evolution (“Ham on Nye”), which only served the purpose of giving Ham’s ridiculous beliefs attention they did not deserve. And, it got Ham enough money from donors an taxpayers to complete his theme park. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

A writer/virtual assistant living in the Philippines writes:

I believe, as a scientist, if you go into science with unshakable, preconceived notions of what is and what should be (creationism), when you insist that only one theory, one thesis is correct, then you’re not being a good scientist. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

as a Christian, it goes against one of our main virtues: humility. Even with the Bible, we cannot assume to know exactly what’s God’s plan is and how he created the universe. He leaves clues and we follow the clues. We can’t just insist that just because it’s in the Bible it’s fact. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

We never may forget that:

God uses science as a tool for us to appreciate the glory of his creation, not to exclude or persecute. And that regardless of whether the universe is young or old, humanity hasn’t existed long enough for us to understand and appreciate it.

All the complexities and inconsistencies that we see serve a purpose we do not understand but can only attempt to comprehend. After all, life’s much more fun if we have a few surprises. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

Science seems to deal often with objects, such as quarks and black holes, that have not been directly detected.

Since multiple universes are strongly suggested by modern cosmology, they must be considered when we debate theological questions. As long as they are not ruled out, they cannot be used as a god-of-the-gaps argument for the necessity of a creator. What’s more, other universes are in principle detectable by their effects on the cosmic microwave background. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

Atheists as well as Theists do have to recognise that both have their dogma‘s. Both are”believers“, be it in having a god or gods or not existing gods or not having a Divine Creator God.

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This article is made possible by using material from a.o. who can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. He blogs about tourism at http://tourism.blogs.theledger.com and about books at http://ledgerlit.blogs.theledger.com.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  2. Reconciling Science and Religion
  3. Bible containing scientific information
  4. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  5. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  6. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  7. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  8. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
  9. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  10. God’s design in the creation of the world
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Incomplete without the mind of God
  13. Belief of the things that God has promised
  14. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  15. Stand Up

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In Dutch:

  1. Wetenschappers, filosofen hun zeggen, geloven en waarheden

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Map of the world, showing percentage by countr...

Map of the world, showing percentage by country who believe religion is important (2002). Data by the Pew Research Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • GOP is increasingly anti-science on climate change, evolution: Editorial (nj.com)ed0103editAbox.jpg
    Forty-eight percent of Republicans now say they believe that humans evolved over time, either with or without help from a supreme being. The numbers of Democrats and independents who believe in evolution, meanwhile, have held steady, and reflect the population as a whole: Six in 10 Americans believe that humans have evolved.

    One can simultaneously believe that God created life, and set in motion the process of evolution that Charles Darwin described — even Darwin made that point. But to flat-out deny the undoubted changes that scientists have found in the study of fossils and life forms is just ignorance.

  • Public, Private Schools Diverge in Handling of Biology, Cosmology (theledger.com)
    Wasemann said he knows a certain segment of his students — and their parents — reject the prevailing scientific theory that modern humans evolved from lower life forms. Aside from the fact that evolution is crucial to a scientific understanding of the world, Wasemann tells his students, it’s also a subject required for high school science teaching under the Sunshine State Standards, the Florida Department of Education’s curriculum guidelines.

    That means it must be included on the exam that comes at the end of the term.

  • Republicans Reject Evolution in Favor of Devolution (planetpov.com)
    Many religious people expressed a belief in evolution, seeing God’s hand in it. Science and religion can indeed coexist for some but unfortunately, not for the extremists. 64% of White Evangelist Protestants (and 50% of Black Evangelist Protestants) don’t believe in evolution.

    The political breakdown…and breakdown may be the right word when one considers the deterioration in Republicans’ belief in science…is most interesting. In 2009, when Pew held a similar poll,  In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats supported evolution. In this week’s poll, those numbers have changed to 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats.

    So in just four years, there are almost 20% more Republicans disbelieving evolution, the 10% gap with Democrats in 2009 has ballooned more than double to a 24% gap (meanwhile, there was a gradual increase of 3% more Democrats believing in evolution).

     

  • Conservatives (including Christian conservatives) aren’t anti-science as much as they’re anti-hectoring and unpersuaded by naked appeals to authority delivered with maximum condescension (climber.wordpress.com)
    First, let’s be clear that there’s very little quality scientific education in the United States (and that applies to liberal citizens as much as conservative).
    +
    Second, daily life teaches us that public scientific declarations are uncertain, debatable, and often wrong. Parents, for example, get bombarded with competing theories over their child’s intellectual and emotional growth, their diet, and their physical health — with incompatible opinions delivered at high volume and with absolute certainty. When it comes to our own diets, how many competing scientific voices are screaming for our attention? And that of course doesn’t count every other aspect of life where scientific certainty shifts, changes, is hotly debated, then changes again.
    +
    Of course, one can be Christian and understand that evolution could be one method of God’s creation, and one can be conservative and completely buy the “consensus” arguments surrounding global warming, but the debate has not been fought on those terms, and the other side has made effectively zero effort to meet Christians and conservatives where they are to make the consensus case.
  • A Move Is Afoot to Keep Climate Science Out of Classrooms (scientificamerican.com)
    For decades objections to the theory of evolution have bedeviled individual teachers, school boards, state boards of education and state legislatures. Educators fought to keep evolution in science classes and creationism out. We resisted intelligent design, the notion that natural selection alone cannot explain the complexity of life-forms, which served as a way of getting creationism through the back door. We are now fighting legislation that encourages teachers to teach the “evidence against evolution”—facts found only in the creationist literature.

    The consequences of antievolutionism are felt in many American schools: evolution is not taught or is taught poorly. Yet evolution is one of the most important ideas in human intellectual history, and students have a right to learn it.
    +
    Some political conservatives claim that global warming is a liberal plot to increase the power of the federal government, which if it reduces our reliance on greenhouse gas–producing fossil fuels, will jeopardize national security and threaten our individual freedoms. Some libertarians believe that policies such as carbon taxes are a socialist plot intended to cripple capitalism. True, some political and economic views cannot accommodate policies associated with combating climate change, but we should not let the ideologies of some prevent or distort the education of the many.

  • [Review] Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, by Donald R. Prothero (kestalusrealm.wordpress.com)
    Reality Check goes in-depth into antiscience in general, as well as specific varieties of science-rejection.

    Prothero’s book begins a discussion of antiscience, its strategies and its tactics, moving to a description of science and it’s fundamental importance in our modern world, insights into its process and thinking, and then an expose of scientists who’ve betrayed professional integrity as paid shills of those with a vested interest in attacking science on financial and political grounds.

  • Creationism vs. Evolution: Where Does Islam Stand? (meditationsofamuslimah.wordpress.com)
    Muslims believe in a Creator, God, who created the universe. But on the other hand, most Muslim scholars do not throw out the entire theory of evolution, but do clearly discard the well-known piece that claims humans have evolved from apes (or ape-like creatures), as well as ideas that one species can evolve into another.
    +
    Regarding dinosaurs, Muslims generally believe that if science and fossil records prove that the earth is billions of years old, then it must be true. This is not a contradiction to Islamic belief, because Muslims believe that when God created the universe in “6 days,” this mention of time does not mean 6 earth days. God cannot be restricted to time as we on earth know it. In fact, the Quran specifically states that sometimes God’s “days” does not mean earth days, but can mean other periods of time such as thousands or tens of thousands of years. So we don’t know what actual unit of time it took, but 6 days most likely refers to 6 distinct phases of creation. In this view, it is permissible to believe that the dinosaurs were created along with other animals, and may or may not have gone extinct before humans were created.
  • Creationists Can’t Be Scientists (huffingtonpost.com)
    William Saletan sees creationism as “harmless” because scientists who espouse it can “compartmentalize” their beliefs. He recognizes its absurdity, but writes that, “You can be a perfectly good satellite engineer while believing total nonsense about the origins of life.” But creationism is part of the larger crusade within the religious right to make “biblical literalism” Christian doctrine and federal law. To espouse it is to preclude practicing science. Saletan believes that a distinction between historical science and modern science is what exculpates the creationist:
    +
    What should make us terrified of the creationist movement is this political mobilization. The movement is deeply intertwined with right-wing fundamentalism. Among the terrors Ham worries about are abortion and gay marriage.  Across the country creationism has tried to force itself into science curriculums, with political maneuvering and outright lies. But Saletan glosses over this concern, mentioning only briefly that seeing creationism as harmless “doesn’t mean we should teach creationism in schools or pretend it’s a scientific theory.” I agree we shouldn’t, but the creationist movement is trying to do exactly that.
  • Religious and scientific communities may be less combative than commonly portrayed (psypost.org)
    The NSB 2014 Science Indicators study, released earlier this month, found that roughly seven in 10 Americans believe that the effects of scientific research are more positive than negative for society — a number that has remained roughly the same since 1979.

    Other recent surveys show a partisan political gap, however, in views on scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.

    Between 2009 and 2013, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the question of evolution grew by 11 percentage points, said Cary Funk of the Pew Research Center. “There had been a partisan gap before, but the size of the gap is now bigger. And what happened is that fewer Republicans said humans and other living things evolved over time.”

  • Why Climate Change Skeptics & Evolution Deniers Joined Forces (motherjones.com)
    anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces. And that makes sense: We know that in general, people gather their issue stances in bunches, because those stances travel together in a group (often under the aegis of a political party).But there’s also the “declining trust in science” theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.
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Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

In the previous article we talked about doubt which can be around the believer and non-believer. We have seen in the previous articles that many people have questions about life and surrounding. They wonder if knowledge of science would stand in the way of their belief. Sometimes people may find themselves dangling at the edge of belief not able to take the plunge.

In case you are feeling like that know that “you are not alone”. If  you are ashamed to ask questions or have reservations that seem insurmountable, “you are not alone”.

Some may consider religion “like a merchant selling its own knockoff of the real thing”.  They prefer to look at it as a “similar imitation, but not the authentic product”.

As recognises in 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us is that it are human beings who made a concoction of religion. He writes:

the problem with religion: it is manmade and lacks the integrity of the real thing. Religion offers the “good enough” instead of the “best.”

But the right religion shall always present the best of what is available at that moment and shall never be satisfied with just offering something which might be “good enough”. In case that is so you are probably looking at the wrong religion.

Churches nearby or far away from home

Percentage of state populations that identify ...

Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than “no religion”, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those Americans who live in the Bible Belt where most people go to a church in their neighbourhoods may be called lucky that they are able to find a church very near by. In certain countries people have to go far for their service in a church. For example our ecclesia its services make that people have to travel between 40 and 360 km to come to the Breaking of the Bread, having our services taking place in Nivelles/Nijvel, HeverleeLeuven, Mons and Paris. This also makes that we do not have many people wanting to join, or to come regularly, because everybody just wants to have their church at the doorstep.

In Belgium the Catholic church shall have to face the distance problem also from now, because most Catholic churches shall become closed from 2014 because there are not enough priests and not enough churchgoers. Five to ten parishes shall be concentrated to one place from now on. We wonder if those Catholics shall travel such one way of 20 km to go to mass. In protestant circles this has not been strange over the years, so they are used to cover some distance to go to church.

The 26 years old, student, writer, sceptic and worshipper (of … ?) says:

Many people are walking away from God.

Faith and religions are some of those things people get confused with. Also the matter if it has something to do with a god or the True God. Strangely enough several people are searching the internet to get something to know about what “religion is.” The young writer finds that our look at religion and its painful presentation of God may be outdated. He writes:

The truth is, religion missed the bus into the 21st Century and now we are faced with an unpopular decision: starting over or being left behind.

and he has good reason to think so. Many churches did not see how time passed but also how times changed. God, Who is One, does not change, but they wanted to create their own pictures of their god how they wanted to see him fitting their age and time and making up their church according to their denominational construction. Most churches do not want to follow the way church has to be formed according to God, but do want to fit it in according their idea of how church should look like. And that is where church went on the wrong track or got on the line of deviations and delays.

English: A map showing the Norwegian Bible Bel...

A map showing the Norwegian Bible Belt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several churches, certainly in the United States wanted to make science the enemy of religion. In Holland several churches got blinded by the American Mega churches and having more than three hundred television channels to choose from, most home-stayers got pulled away by reality shows, series and some by those television preachers which promise all the gold you can think of. In Belgium, just a few, but also too many, found their way to those television churches, which make it easy to sit at home and say you watched a service, so you have done your Sunday duty.

The fight between science and religion.

We have all the seen the ugly fight between science and religion. Whether it has been in a classroom, a courtroom, or a Sunday morning sermon, we all have heard why one is right and the other is wrong.

continues the writer of 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us, where he suggests this is just not the case and says he does not believe science is the enemy. He has good reason to believe that science and faith can co-exist and even work together.

In America it is possible, like in Holland to go to schools where they do not want to accept the world evolved. the author of the above mentioned article also was taught in high school that evolution was silly because of all the “missing links.” but did they get deeper into the subject of how the world could have been going on for millions of years? He does not tell. But we can see here at the European continent that more fundamentalist Christian churches and Christian schools want to give their youngsters an idea of the evolution of the world which is not according the real Bible teaching nor according to findings many scientists and archaeologists made.

Also at the television churches they mock with all scientific findings and ridicule archaeologists and other scientists.

Luckily the young writer who graduated in 2006 has seen new discoveries.

He came to understand that science can teach us where we came from and how the world as well as humans are evolving.

But I also believe that there is a certain point where science (logic and reason) are limited and this is the place faith takes over. Science cannot and will not explain everything, but neither can religion.

It has never been the aim of Christian religion to do this. It is wrong to think that the Bible would or should have to be a scientific explanation book and scientific instruction book. God provided a Guide for everybody whatever schooling they might have had or even also for those who did not get the chance to get an education.

God His Word had to be available and understandable for everybody. You do not have to be a theological scholar to understand God’s Word; That is one of the biggest misunderstandings and the biggest cause of having ‘religious institutions’ having deformed God His Words and having them made dogma‘s many people just took over, because they believed they had to believe what those theologians said, because they could not understands such ‘godly and divine matters’. Lots of people also wanted to have religion co-inside with their traditions and as such found it acceptable to have a three headed god for example. The Trinity made it also possible to have something mystic or something special ‘attractive’ because incomprehensible. It also made that they continue to worship pictures and have many saints or people where they could pray to. Otherwise they only had to count on One Something, Who was not a man but a Spirit, and could not be seen or pictured, because the God of Abraham can not be seen and may not be pictured.

So What Now?

One of the greatest tragedies in life is when people hold on to something when they know it has failed. The denial of carrying a corpse around can be a tremendous burden.

The problem with getting people to come and see about the different ways of religion and how the God of the Bible wants to have people around Him, is that people do not want to break with the past, with the attitudes of their ancestors and with the traditions of the region where they are living. It often takes a move to an other country before people would take over … some other traditions …

Or are people willing to come to the facts? Or do they only want to have faith in something they can grasp?

Spirit or person, reality or tradition

To get people to decide for their own, taking the words for what they are and how they are written down in the Bible is very difficult. When we do our preaching and read parts from the Bible, lots of people continue to bring into it always their background of their trinitarian teaching. when there is written “this person” does this or that, they consider that there is also said that “that person” does this or that, instead of willing to take the “this” person where is written “this” and the “that” person where is written “that”. And as such they keep mixing figures but keep also not seeing clear.
That way we also do find Christian denominations which say God is a woman because God is Wisdom and the Bible talks about “her” and “she”. Also others say God is a woman because God is Love and love is feminine and the Scriptures talk about “She” when it describes that love. Others say God is a man because He is a warrior, or something else which is masculine. But God is none of them because He is a Spirit.

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

People should try to accept that there can be a Supreme Being that is not like them or does not fit their images. God can not be pictured, except that we know He has some elements of us because we are created in His image. Because nobody has ever been able to see God, we also can have no real picture of Him in our mind and we may not make a picture of Him in our life.

” (1)  And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying,  (2)  “I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.  (3)  “You have no other mighty ones against My face.  (4)  “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (5)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (6)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.” (Exodus 20:1-6 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (19)  And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.”  (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:19-20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  Now to the Sovereign of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, to Elohim who alone is wise, be respect and esteem forever and ever. Amĕn.” (1Ti 1:17 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (16)  who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see, to whom be respect and everlasting might. Amĕn.” (1Ti 6:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

Visible or invisible

How many people are wiling to accept that God the Immortal King of the King of kings is and was invisible? In case Jesus was God than nobody could have seen him and stayed alive. Many people saw Jesus of whom the Father in heaven declared that it was His son. In case God twisted His words and the above verses would not be true, nor that what God said from heaven was totally true than people could and should consider God a liar. But God does not tell lies. Though many churches of the Christian Faith made Him one who was not telling the truth or not keeping His words. Those who think Jesus is God should question if Jesus told the truth when he was asked if they could sit next to him or when he would return or when the end times would come. Every time Jesus told them it was not given to him to decide who was to be seated where or when he would come back. He told them he did not know such things. But God does know everything, so those who do not accept Jesus as the son of God but make him the god son are making God into a liar. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony or witness in himself; he who does not believe God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony or record that Jehovah the God of heaven and earth has given concerning His son.

” (10)  The one who believes in the Son of Elohim has the witness in himself, the one who does not believe Elohim has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the witness that Elohim has given concerning His Son.” (1 John 5:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

Denial

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

Atheism brings the denial of the existence of God or gods, but those who have faith in the Creator should know that the God of gods exists and that man still make many gods today.

It is narrow-minded to reduce a naturalist’s worldview down to its negative component of atheism, just as it is narrow minded for a Muslim to consider a Christian anti-Muhhamad.

Theo • philogue writes in Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

Such reductionist labeling can feed into prejudices and hinder mutual respect and productive dialogue.  On the other hand, … I don’t necessarily think the argument Baggini advances in order to accomplish his redefinition of the word “atheism” is sound.

But he also warns:

It seems to me that evangelicals who hold to exclusivists positions ideologically (i.e. that only Christianity is true and all other religions false) have no choice but to admit with Baggini that human beings in general are not good at interpreting their experiences — especially religious experiences.  How can Muslims be so skeptical about the religious experiences of Christians (or vice versa), but be so confident in their own?

Scientific understanding having more continuity globally than religious understanding

According to the Bible when people die they are just death and can do nothing or think anything. But there are religious people who think their soul is some extra element in their body which shall go out of it. In such an instance, when there would be a soul leaving the body, able to think and do things, this ‘soul’ should remain fully conscious after death. When this would the case you should wonder why the soul does not retain memories for those with brain disease, dementia , Alzheimer, etc..

Here it seems that views of consciousness after death are problematic in light of the dependency relationship established by science between consciousness and brain activity.  This area of science is forcing some evangelicals, for example, to rethink their interpretation of biblical language about souls to accommodate the scientific data. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Several people say there is strong evidence for consciousness after death by the “testimony of mediums, supposed appearances of ghosts, and near-death experiences.” First of all they forget the near death experience is an experience the person had when he or she was not death but alive. It is an experience of a ‘living soul’, being the ‘being’ of a person.

Psyche and Amor, also known as Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss (1798), by François Gérard: a symbolic butterfly hovers over Psyche in a moment of innocence poised before sexual awakening.

In the Bibletranslations we do find the Hebrew ne′phesh and the Greek psy·khe′ in certain languages being translated as “soul” and “psyche”. It is not about Psyche (/ˈsk/, Greek: Ψυχή, “Soul” or “Breath of Life”) or Eros the mythical figure which fell in love with Cupid or Amor. It is about the Psyche (psychology) which is the totality of the human mind, conscious, and unconscious.

When we look at the different texts in the Holy Scriptures we can see that it was God Who placed His Breath in the first human beings, plus in the animals,  and as such the person or animal came into a living being. When spoken about a soul, this person or animal was meant. The soul is the life that a person or an animal enjoys and it does not mean an immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. The Bible tells us that when God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that after that action man became a living soul.

“(7)  And יהוה {Jehovah} Elohim formed the man out of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life. And the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 The Scriptures 1998+)

It does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.

“(5)  “But only your blood for your lives I require, from the hand of every beast I require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man.” (Genesis 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)

The “blood of your lives” or the blood of your souls” is not the blood of something different than the normal body we can see. When we see the same word in the original text we should translate it the same or when we use once ‘soul’ and the other time ‘live’ or ‘body’ in the same translation we should know that it is all speaking about the same thing ‘the corps’ the being of something or someone’. The Greek word translated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 for “soul” in many translations is the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and Kx also read “soul.” RS, NE, and TEV say “being.”

” (45)  And so it has been written, “The first man Aḏam became a living being,” the last Aḏam a life-giving Spirit.  (46)  The spiritual, however, was not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  (47)  The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Master from heaven.  (48)  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  (49)  And as we have borne the likeness of the earthy, we shall also bear the likeness of the heavenly.  (50)  And this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood is unable to inherit the reign of Elohim, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-50 The Scriptures 1998+)

When something happens with people the Bible says this or that happened with the souls.

“who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20 HNV) (NHBESY, NKJV, RNKJV, RV,Sawyer, WORNT,
“eight, souls were brought safely through water.” (WPNT); “eight souls, were delivered through water” (NET)
eight souls, were saved by water (RHB)
“wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (KJV, BRG, LEB, LITV, a.o..)
“Those who in the past were disobedient; and in the days of Noah, when the Spirit of God had patience, he commanded an ark to be made in the hope of their repentance, but only eight souls entered into it, and were saved by it floating upon the water.” (1 Peter 3:20 Lamsa NT ) “which were formerly disobedient, in the days of Noah, when the long suffering of Alaha commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it, and were kept alive in the waters.” (1 Peter 3:20 Re. Murdock);  “a few folks” (JMNT)
“those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah, when YHVH in extreme patience, commanded an ark to be made, hoping that they would amend their ways, but only eight people entered it and survived the water during the flood.” (1 Peter 3:20 ToY+ )

In several places, like in Joshua 11:11 we can find that those “souls” could be “stricken” or “killed” or could fall under the edge of the sword.Theo Philo writes:

It seems impossible to contest that the traditional Christian anthropology of body-soul dualism is problematic because it requires one to believe that “non-material thinking souls exist along side brains and somehow interact with them, and that, further, the dependency of consciousness on brain activity miraculously disappears at death, when the soul lives on without the body”

But according to the Bible there is no body-soul dualism at all and when people fall asleep, leaving the world of the living they shall be death and will not be able to do anything with what they collected in their life nor shall they be able to think something or do something, except having their body decaying or to dust or in the incinerator coming to ashes. When life comes to an end it is the breath of the person which goes out the person but not to live somewhere else. The breath is the transfer of air caused by breathing or by being alive.

” (2)  While I live I praise יהוה {Jehovah}; I sing praises to my Elohim while I exist.  (3)  Do not put your trust in princes, In a son of man, in whom is no deliverance.  (4)  His spirit goes out, he returns to his earth; In that day his plans perish.” (Psalm 146:2-4 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (5)  For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know naught, nor do they have any more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (9)  See life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of futility. For that is your share in life, and in your toil which you have laboured under the sun.  (10)  All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (14)  I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. There is no adding to it, and there is no taking from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.  (15)  Whatever is has already been, and what shall be has been before. But Elohim seeks out what has been pursued.  (16)  Then again I saw under the sun: In the place of right-ruling, wrongness was there. And in the place of righteousness, wrongness was there.  (17)  I said in my heart, “Elohim judges the righteous and the wrong, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”  (18)  I said in my heart, “Concerning the matter of the sons of men, Elohim selects them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.”  (19)  For the event of the sons of men is also the event of beasts – one event befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, they all have one breath – man has no advantage over beasts. For all is futile.  (20)  All are going to one place – all came from the dust, and all return to dust.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, which goes down to the earth?  (22)  So I saw that man could do no better but to rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion. For who would bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-22 The Scriptures 1998+)

For us will happen the same as the animals. Our penalty for the sins we have done shall be paid by our death, where we shall end up breathing, thinking, speaking or being able to do anything. For that which happens to us happens also to animals. Even one thing happens to both of us, man and animal alike. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity. There is no evidence at all for life after death and the Holy Scriptures tells us what is going to happen to our body (our souls). We shall all return to dust. Decay shall come over human beings as it comes over plants and animals. We better believe in the stronger evidence for human mortality than in evidence for immortality of human ‘souls’ being some extra spiritual being in man.It is the philosophical ideas of the early writers and of later fantasts which made people dream of adventures lives in some strange after-life worlds or underground-worlds, or several heaven-levels (be it 8 or 12 heavens according some worldly writers).We can not see any different soul than the souls running around on this planet, the masculine and feminine beings, called man and animal. No scientific X-rays or special screening could prove there would be some alternative ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’ in the human beings. What is scientifically proven is the aura or a sort of temperature change around each living being. The aura appears by humans but also by animals and plants. so that also does not proof any existence of an extra spirit in the human beings which would be an other ‘soul’ than the ‘soul’ spoken of in the many books of the Bible where it is meant the persons.

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Next: Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Faith
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. The Trinity – the Truth
  4. Idolatry or idol worship
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. #1 Creator and His Prophets
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Edward Wightman
  8. Dying or not
  9. What happens when we die?
  10. The Soul confronted with Death
  11. Dead and after
  12. Destination of righteous
  13. Destination of the earth
  14. Sheol or the grave
  15. Soul
  16. The Soul not a ghost
  17. Is there an Immortal soul
  18. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  19. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  20. How are the dead?
  21. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  22. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  23. We will all be changed

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Also of interest:

  1. 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us
  2. Direct Faith & Belief
  3. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

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  • No religion ‘is the new establishment’ (christiantoday.com)
    Two surveys conducted by YouGov reveal that out of 8,455 British adults polled, 38 per cent – 3,199 in total – said they have ‘no religion’.

    This is most notable in younger generations, with almost half (48 per cent) of those under 30 identifying themselves as having no religion, while only 27 per cent of over 60s said the same.

    Furthermore, for the first time ever, ‘no religion’ has become the identity of the absolute majority of those aged 18 and 19.

    It is important to note that ‘no religion’ is not synonymous with ‘atheist’.

  • UK Supreme Court: Religion Does Not Require God (clrforum.org)
    Last week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom–since 2009, the highest court in the UK–handed down what looks to be a significant decision on the meaning of “religion” in English law. The decision suggests that, for legal purposes, religion does not require a belief in God.
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    Lord Toulson made clear he was not announcing a categorical test for all circumstances–Scientology qualifies as a religion. The court ordered the government to certify the couple’s church as a place where valid marriages could take place.
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    Religion is inherently communal, and some of the most important benefits the state derives from religion–for example, greater civic participation–depend on religion’s being a group activity. In America, some people have begun to argue for a very individualistic definition of religion, one in which a sole practitioner, following her own inner voice, can qualify as a religion for legal purposes. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected this view, and there are good reasons to do so. I’ll have more to say about all this is a forthcoming paper, to be published next month by the European University Institute. I’ll post more on this subject then.
  • New Statistics: the religious make-up of America (skeptical-science.com)
    The Washington Post has published a rather detailed breakdown of religion in the US … alas statistics, so yes it can indeed be potentially quite dull stuff, I’ll skip a lot of details and cut to the chase of what it is of interest – non-belief is rapidly increasing.
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    40 per cent of people in Boston have no religion at all, and it’s more than half in many counties. As for the 47 per cent of Bostonians who are Catholic “participants” – well, there isn’t much participation going on come Sunday morning. We’re talking about 17 per cent Mass attendance these days –and it was only 20 per cent before the clergy scandals broke. The story is the same in many other supposedly Catholic cities – fewer than one in five Catholics go to church regularly. Compare that to the 70 per cent in the 1950s
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    I am not 100% certain. I am certain beyond reasonable doubt, enough to state that I see no reason to think supernatural beings exist. Any academic and self respecting atheist who embraces science and reasoning would always leave their opinions open for change and new evidence. This is where Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
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    Even without analyzing the long history of Satanic themes in metal, the music itself has always celebrated nonconformity. Its heavy and dissonant tones, developing beginning in the 1950s, by their nature challenge the normal, the usual and the mainstream. Religion, especially orthodox or fundamentalist religion, is the ultimate conformity. It certainly didn’t help that some religious organizations and people, especially evangelical Americans, made metal music a target in the 1970s and 1980s, blaming it for causing suicides, school shootings or indoctrinating kids with Satanism. Against this background, the heavy-handed anti-religiosity of figures like Glen Benton (Deicide) seems more like retaliation than provocation.
  • Visible Religion: Beliefs permeate life in Indonesia (indonesiaful.com)
    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Indonesia has six accepted religions: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (which really means Protestantism), Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It is not acceptable, however, to be atheist, agnostic, or Jewish. The first pillar of pancasila, Indonesia’s guiding political policy, is “belief in one God,” which has enough room in it to accept Indonesian versions of Hinduism and Buddhism, but definitely not the lack of any God at all.

    As a result of “knowing” that everyone has more or less similar beliefs, religion takes a highly visible role in everyday society here. My school’s flag ceremony alternates every other week with school-wide prayer, which is separate for Muslims, Christians, and Catholics. There are different uniforms for Muslim girls (long skirts and sleeves for girls, with headscarf) and Christian girls (short sleeves and knee-length skirts). All students take classes in their own religions, and each school has rooms for each religion.

  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    My Catholic education and religious family background influenced me to be a devout Catholic; no doubt about it. I attended Church every Sunday, received the sacraments, prayed every night, etc. I was a firm believer in God, heaven, and hell. However, as I matured in my college years, I began to have a few doubts about my religion. There was no traumatic life event or epiphany to lead me to these doubts, I just simply began to question. I began researching different religions, asking people of different beliefs their opinions on God (or lack there of) and finally I read a book. I was assigned to read, “God No!” by author Penn Jillette during my Communication Ethics course.
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    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.
  • Religion? (lordmontello.wordpress.com)
    The cause and effect of religion leads to nothing but groups of different beliefs that have waged war on each other for not accepting their beliefs. Without religion their would be no blood shed by religious cults and will prevent mass war between other civilizations belifs.
  • The False Compatibility Of Religion And Science (amitoben.com)
    Religious counterparts will often point out that many scientists are religious, and that most, if not all, scientists in the past were religious as well. This claim is often propped up by such big names as Kepler, Galileo and Newton, and is commonly capped off with a challenge to nonbelievers that takes the form of “Who are you to claim to be smarter than those great religious scientists?”.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous chapter we have seen that already in the time of the apostles there where teachers who took the focus on Christ Jesus, the Messiah his offering and our personal relationship to our own person, the people around us, Jesus and the Father of Jesus, the Only One God, away. By concentrating more on the institute of the church and putting dogmatic teachings as the obligatory string for the community, the self-development and the role of free choice became a minor point to the acceptance and following of the church doctrines and ceremonials.

By the years there were many influences of several theologians who at their turn looked at different philosophers. More interested in the retrieving of power, the real spiritual matters were often put aside or forgotten. Though in that world of many fraternities there were also people who were greatly respected and widely sought after masters who went out into the hills to escape the hustle and bustle of society. some took refuge in a shed in the countryside, others took up residence in a cave, far away from the clergy their institutions.

Several devout people wanted to escape the authoritarian church and did find Christ had liberated us instead of bringing new chains in to the world.

There are many spiritual traditions, each of which has its own unique language and concepts concerning the nature of the ultimate, the path that must be followed to experience the ultimate, how spiritual realizations are confirmed, the nature of spiritual enlightenment, and the implications of spiritual understanding for ordinary human life.

Lots of people spend their whole lives trying to become an idealized version of themselves that they want to be or of that what their church pictures them that they should become. Not having a found foundation, this causes many to  rebel against their natural chaotic states. Not finding enough background or trustworthy teaching they put endless amounts of energy into maintaining stability, and trying to mold their lives into an ordered state that they themselves find pleasing. In short, what we’re fighting against isn’t poverty, starvation, instability, unhappiness.  Mostly they are fighting against entropy; the tendency for ordered systems to degrade into a chaotic state. They may have lots of energy but can not centralise it, not able to pattern it or organise it they seem to be lost in their own world of chaotic thinking. They may receive lots of information from their church, magazines, but do not manage to channel it in accordance with what they can find in the Bible or other sacred books.

Most people are taking their life, their very essence, for granted as though it’s some permanent guarantee and all others have to fit to their life. Having to adapt to others seem too awkward.

It are always the others who cause pain and make our experiences so difficult.

do think many who are confronted with the feelings of inadequacy, loss of perspective.
They also consider others talking to them as a nuisance. Many do find it an infringement on the privacy when other question their sayings or their actions. Certainly today lots of people consider it their right to say whatever awful words or to insult others who dare to come too close to their own personality. Not many do want to hear the voices of others, and the least of institutions or of those who seem to represent institutions or organisations. Luckily there might be others who are hearing the voices of the people who question their actions, but some might loose than the essence of what it is they are trying to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Español: Ralph Waldo Emers...

Ralph Waldo Emerson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wondering what the self is doing demands the question what it would like to do and why it wants to do what. Whilst our society loves ego tripping the spiritual minded person just wants to strip himself or herself from his/her ego. Trying to get into the deeper self it should not be done from some sort of self passion or love for the ego, because then the person would turn round in circles staying in the dark. Like the American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to find himself outside the traditional religion that had coursed throughout his family for generations, many today are also looking for the self and a place of the self out of the classical or traditional church. This at a time were other just want to strengthen the feeling of being part of a church which wants to hold to tradition and to the old values they remember from their grand grand parents. They forget that perhaps their ancestors just reacted against the corrupted society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties. Strangely enough are there people like Sarah Paling crying we should return to the values of the Pilgrims and the founders of the United States of America.  As a trinitarian either she overlooks or she does not want to see that it were just those people who fled the European ties of corrupted and false religion. Those who came to settle in the United States tried to find new grounds to start all over again, afresh and liberated from all religious chains, but grounded on the teachings of the book they read regularly. Today there are not many people who really take every day time to read some chapters from the Bible. Some politicians do want to restrict other people and get them to believe the same as they believe. Often they already think that everybody believes in the same god and the same values as they do. Several people want to have their religion to become the state religion — ultimately corrupting the purity of the individual, and that is want the peoeple who fled Europe had felt and would be afraid of finding such a repeating system. The ones who fled Europe had faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. Today, again as in the time of the gnostics and the church of the 4th and 5th century those who do not want to comply with their believes are considered not to be Christians. Those conservative Christians posing their idea of Christianity onto others are also against the spiritual individu, because that person could be a danger for the group.

But the real spiritual person just wants to become closer to the self and wants to liberate himself or herself from the mass or group. The person looking for spirituality often wants to liberate himself from the person looking for a religion. The spiritual person believes to become at his best when he can be truly “self-reliant” and independent. For them it is also clear that it is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

Sensations and perception not necessarily are the basic and most important form of true cognition. The ones who came into the New World had learned to struggle, to battle against all sorts of weather conditions, and got to walk on their own feet, working with their own hands but they also wanted now to speak their own minds.

“A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.” {1837 speech “The American Scholar}

Again there was a reaction against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. Again people wanted, like some would love to see it again today as well, a form of live where the emotions are again of value in a liberated and radicalised environment. A real spiritual person would love to encounter the inner emotions, because they can be considered as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. In romanticism there was placed such new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe and now with transcendentalism liberal thinkers, “agreeing in nothing but their liberality” {Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 5. ISBN 0-8090-3477-8} could find unity of willing persons to exchange ideas without having to give up their freedom to think differently than the majority, but recognising where in the differences there were/are also like-minded men and women.

Along with Andrews Norton, William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842) was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century

Rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the scepticism of Hume, and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant (and of German Idealism more generally), the transcedentalists movement, intimately familiar with the English Romantics, might have been an American outgrowth of Romanticism. From Unitarianism the transcendentalists took a concern for self-culture, a sense of moral seriousness, a neo-Platonic concept of piety, a tendency toward individualism, a belief in the importance of literature, and an interest in moral reform. They looked to certain Unitarians as mentors, especially the great Boston preacher William Ellery Channing. Theology was in crisis during Channing’s prime. Almost from the beginning there were two warring parties in New England. The Calvinists believed in a jealous God, the depravity of mankind, and the absence of free will. The anti-Calvinists believed in a merciful God, the potential redemption of all mankind, and the existence of free will. As the 19th century proceeded, the fight between the parties sharpened. Channing, after much deliberation, sided with the anti-Calvinists. Channing’s religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, though he never countenanced their views, which he saw as extreme. Transcendentalists came to reject key aspects of the Unitarian worldview, starting with their rational, historical Christian apologetic. Many prominent ministers, reformers, and writers of the 19th century were associated with it, including Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) who was considered the most thought-provoking American cultural leader of the mid-19th century. In Concord he met a prickly young Harvard graduate who became his disciple, friend, and occasional adversary, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Among his close friends were Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), George Ripley, and Theodore Parker (1810–1860).  Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) and Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) also associated with him.

Emerson spoke out against materialism (the belief that material or physical things—not spiritual—are the most important), formal religion, and slavery. Emerson spoke of slavery in the context of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), saying, in one of his rare bursts of obscenity (foul language), “I will not obey it, by God.”
He believed in a reality and a knowledge that rose above the everyday reality to which Americans were accustomed. He believed in the honesty of the person. He believed in a spiritual universe ruled by a spiritual Oversoul (the basis of all spiritual existence), with which each individual soul should try to connect.

A spiritual person should look for those values, trying to be honest to himself in the first place, choosing for those thing he really believes in because he does understands them; and not choosing for dogma’s because others accept them and by not accepting them he would not be able to be part of that group or community. Going to search in one self the person should also try to come over or to deal with human losses and failings. In such essays as “Compensation” and “Experience,” Emmerson tried to suggest how to deal with human losses and failings and in such pieces as “Self-reliance,” “Spiritual Laws,” “Nature,” “The Poet,” and “The Over-soul,” he explained the inborn goodness of man, the joys of nature and their spiritual significance, and a universal god (a god that exists everywhere and belongs to all).

English: A collage of photographs from K Stree...

A collage of photographs from K Street and Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary Schools in Fresno, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Various organizations and periodicals gave the Unitarian and transcendental movement shape. The earliest was the so-called “Transcendental Club” (1836–1840), an informal group that met to discuss intellectual and religious topics; also important was the “Saturday Club,” organized much later (1854). Many transcendentalists participated in the utopian communities of Brook Farm (1841–1848; located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts), founded by George Ripley (1802–1880) and his wife, Sophia Dana Ripley (1803–1861), and the short-lived Fruitlands (1843–1844; located in Harvard, Massachusetts), founded by Alcott. A number of transcendentalist ministers established experimental churches to give their religious ideas institutional form. The most important of these churches were three in Boston: Orestes Brownson’s Society for Christian Union and Progress (1836–1841); the Church of the Disciples (founded 1841), pastored by James Freeman Clarke (1810–1888); and Theodore Parker’s Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society (founded 1845–1846). The most famous transcendentalist magazine was the Dial (1840–1844), edited by Fuller and then by Emerson; other major periodicals associated with the movement included the Boston Quarterly Review (1838–1842), edited by Brownson, and the Massachusetts Quarterly Review (1847–1850), edited by Parker. {Dictionary of American History, 2003}

But also in Europe in the 21st century we still can see such a romantic movement going on, or should we perhaps say more an utopist movement like the one political or social reformer, visionary preacher and idealist Marcus Ampe is still dreaming of. He may not be influenced by Asian religions, but the thoughts and ideas he would love to realise are similar as in many of those and older traditions and religions, but very founded on the Torah, the Old and the New Testament, which he considers the most complete guide for the community. For him it is clear that without going into the inner-self, not being in the clear with the self, a person can not come into the clear with God. Those who have (moral)qualms or who did not yet have come to terms with themselves, loving themselves, shall not be able to love others and shall have it difficult to come in front of Christ, loving him and loving his Father, the only One God. Those who have not seen the light in themselves often want to find light in elements of nature and by doing so will create different gods. This can be clearly seen in the writings on many blogs about God and religion. To come to Biblical Truth, people should study the Bible, look at it from the way of thinking in the periods it was written and in the manner of speaking it was written.

The transcendentalists varied in their interpretations of the practical aims of will. Some among the group linked it with utopian social change; Brownson connected it with early socialism, while others considered it an exclusively individualist and idealist project. Emerson believed the latter. In his 1842 lecture “The Transcendentalist“, Emerson suggested that the goal of a purely transcendental outlook on life was impossible to attain in practice:

You will see by this sketch that there is no such thing as a transcendental party; that there is no pure transcendentalist; that we know of no one but prophets and heralds of such a philosophy; that all who by strong bias of nature have leaned to the spiritual side in doctrine, have stopped short of their goal. We have had many harbingers and forerunners; but of a purely spiritual life, history has afforded no example. I mean, we have yet no man who has leaned entirely on his character, and eaten angels’ food; who, trusting to his sentiments, found life made of miracles; who, working for universal aims, found himself fed, he knew not how; clothed, sheltered, and weaponed, he knew not how, and yet it was done by his own hands. …Shall we say, then, that transcendentalism is the Saturnalia or excess of Faith; the presentiment of a faith proper to man in his integrity, excessive only when his imperfect obedience hinders the satisfaction of his wish.

Many churches do not like to have their members to go to deep in their self and questioning the church or community, because this would be seen as a doubting the community and the church as institution. Many churches  or religions impede on the individual coming to individual spiritual development. Any form of religious dogma should be abolished and church should be able to trust on the choice God makes, because it is Him Who calls. The traditional church got afraid that ordinary people could get a simple belief in human moral, in godly and brotherly love and according to the clergy and theologians the common person would not be able to understand the Bible, but that would mean they say God did not make His Words clear for everybody, so He would have not have given everybody the same chance to be saved. God, Who is a God of order and clarity made His Word clear enough for those who are willing to read it and to think about it. In each individual is enough potential and intuitive capacity for discovering spiritual truth. Divinity or having a Godlike character or the state of being divine, lays in man, who is created in the image of God, and nature, and so true religion means seeking the divine in oneself and one’s surroundings. Inward experience was seen as the ultimate path to spiritual satisfaction, and thus the Transcendentalists cultivated a lifestyle that encouraged contemplation, communing with nature, continuing education, and creative expression. Many kept regular journals, which they considered invaluable tools in the process of self-examination.

The spiritual minded person should seek to cultivate the capacity to do good in themselves and others.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

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Please do read also:

  1. Only One God
  2. God of gods
  3. God is One
  4. Jesus spitting image of his father
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  8. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  9. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. It is a free will choice
  12. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  13. Hellenistic influences
  14. The early days of Christianity: Politics and power first priority #1
  15. Politics and power first priority #2
  16. Foundation to go the distance
  17. Re-Creating Community
  18. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  19. The imaginational war against Christmas
  20. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  21. More-Letter-Words
  22. God doesn’t call the qualified
  23. Can we not do what Jesus did?

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Also interesting to read:

  1. The Hermit
  2. Post 4: Entropy pt. 1
  3. Post 5: Sacrifice
  4. Why I chose Emerson

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English: Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_1940_Issue-3c.jpg...

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1940 ssue-3c.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rewriting History – The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers (homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com)
    Eidsmoe spoke warmly of early Americans who celebrated Christianity. The Constitutional Convention, he claimed, had mostly Christians in attendance and involved God in their work. He dismissed the deist Founding Fathers in attendance as “outliers”. He discussed the message of 18th century preacher George Whitfield, who did much to unite Americans under a common faith, he claimed.Eidsmoe also smiled upon Benjamin Franklin for praising Christian preaching and social endeavors, suggesting that the Founding Father appreciated Christianity. However, I found his portrait of Franklin to lack nuance. While Franklin did celebrate the Puritan virtues of his upbringing and respect preachers such as George Whitefield, he also referred to himself as a Deist in his 1771 autobiography, embraced Enlightenment ideas, endorsed religious pluralism, and spent time at a London Unitarian congregation.
  • Transcendentalism (womenshistory.answers.com)
    Transcendentalists made a distinction between true reason and a merely analytic understanding. They believed that subjective intuition was at least as reliable a source of truth as empirical investigation. They wanted to base their religion and philosophy on principles that were not related to the physical senses. Transcendentalists were familiar with the ideas of the English Romantics. The movement is sometimes described as a slightly later, American version of Romanticism.
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    What is transcendentalism?
  • “Unitarian Universalism” and “Unity” Churches – similarities and differences (ironicschmoozer.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalism (UUism) has been more of an institution-based movement from the beginning, while Unity has been more of a message-based movement, with an extensive publishing outreach that touches people beyond its churches.  Of note is Unity’s “Daily Word” devotional booklet.
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    Both UUism and Unity affirm goodness in everyone and divine love for all.  Both have a diversity of concepts of the divine in their literature and in their congregations.  However, there are very few UUs who like terms like Father or Lord, and Unity is often comfortable with it.
    UUs include many self-describe Religious Humanists–who are atheists or agnostics and don’t respond to God language.  Most UUs, especially Humanists, disagree with the idea that there is a soul separate from the body.
  • 140/365: When “Spiritual but Not Religious” Is Not Enough (makethreesixtyfive.wordpress.com)
    I had chosen not to be confirmed as a junior high student, and my relationship with the church was tentative, though it provided me with such a network of safety, joy, and service.
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    Lillian explain what I have always known: that faith might be personal, but the community of faith is the most important, valuable part of the church. She writes, “Church is a school for sinners, not a club for saints.” In the end, my sin has always been in my faith, in my disbelief. With all things that you are supposed to “just know”, I have struggled: love, faith, life choices. But Lillian says, “I pitch my tent in the field of mystery, and have yet to nail it down,” which I think is a perfect analogy for the journey I’m on now, in all parts of my life, but particularly with spirituality.
  • Spiritual Fathers (krclynn.org)
    calling earthly men “spiritual fathers”.  I hear these words from the mouths of so many carelessly and I always flinch at the sound of it.  Are we to have mentors and people that we look up to in the church to point us to Christ?  Absolutely!  Do we need men and women of God to give us words of direction and minister to us when we face problems in different areas of our life?  Absolutely!  The problem is that the term “spiritual father” is not found in scripture nor is it supported.
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    Did we forget that Jesus is the head of the church and the chief apostle?  Did we forget that God qualified Jesus as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him – Hebrews 5:9.  Although there are more mature Christians than us and have more knowledge of scripture than we do, No Person has no more holiness than the average Christian and is not entitled to be called “these exaggerated names.”
  • Pop culture and spirituality without religion (christiantoday.com)
    Pop artists are fond of provocative religious imagery, but Ted Turnau says that should not be surprising for Christians and rather than getting offended, they should be looking for ways to come alongside today’s secularised pop stars to help them use such religious imagery appropriately.
  • Want to Argue About Creeds? I Don’t (theresauuco.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalists are fond of saying that we believe in “deeds not creeds.”  Almost every Sunday I start the worship service by welcoming visitors telling them that we value diversity of all types. Our congregations include people who self-identify as Christians, Pagans,  Humanists, Agnostics, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Spiritualists, and pretty much everything else.  I say that what matters most is how we treat other people and how we care for this planet of ours.  That is another way of saying “deeds not creeds.” Our faith tradition has a long history of respect for the individual right of conscience.  Believe whatever makes sense to you about God and what happens after we die, but let’s see if we can get together and try to make our own lives and this world a better place.  We can discuss differing theological beliefs. I love hearing what others believe about the big issues, and I like to talk about my own, always evolving, sense of the universe and what this life of ours is all about.  Arguing is pointless, however, and generally serves to increase the distance between people rather than bring them closer together.
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    Unitarian Universalism is changing and we will keep changing; change is in our DNA.  We were formed from the merger of two Christian denominations, both of which date back to the 1700′s in this country.  That history is still part of us, but I don’t think many of our religious ancestors would necessarily recognize us today.  We brought in science and humanism, incorporated wisdom from other  world religions and from the earth centered traditions.  The Transcendentalist also had a huge impact. For those of us who believe in God, revelation is definitely not sealed.  For those of us who believe in the human spirit, change is simply part of life.
  • Is Yoga New Agey? (elephantjournal.com)

    Emerson, one of the foremost minds of 19th century America, was himself heavily influenced by Vedanta, the spiritual teachings of Hinduism, which originated in India. With regard to the concept of karma, for example, he wrote, “You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.”

    Ralph Waldo was a transcendentalist who read the Bhagavad Gita and considered himself a yogi. (Albeit his lineage was more jnana than hatha; more about knowledge and wisdom than breath and movement.)

    The “new” doesn’t refer to time but rather new as opposed to established Western societal beliefs. The “age” refers to the Aquarian Age (as in, ‘this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.’)

  • Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious? (drcindysimpson.com)
    “I’m spiritual but not religious.”  I hear and read this many times.  What does this phrase mean? For people who do research in the area of religion and spirituality, however, separating the two is very difficult, if not impossible.  For millennia the word religious had about the same meaning as the word spiritual.Today religion is popularly labeled as the doctrine and beliefs of a group.  Spirituality, on the other hand, is individualized and only concerns itself with the relationship of that person to the sacred or transcendent (Koenig, 2005, pp. 44-45). Yet current research finds that at least 74% of people do not make a distinction between religion and spirituality.  How then can we best define the relationship between the two?
  • Transcendentalism vs. Puritanism: The Enduring Relevance of Competing Ideologies in Modern American Society (theiridescentbubble.com)
    Transcendentalism and Puritanism share an enduring relativity embedded in modern American individualism. Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau espoused the tenants of a quasi-religion governed by individuality and nature while Puritans like Jonathan Edwards, though influenced by the academics of free thinking, knelt at the altar of altruism governed by an angry God. While we indeed have deep roots within Puritanism as a nation, we are equally influenced by the individualism that is Transcendentalism. In reflecting upon the condition of modern American society, it seems clear that the divisions that separate these two distinct ideologies, their seeds planted during the time of our foundation, still frame the divisions we face as a collective people today.
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    the exploration of the core tenants of Transcendentalism sheds the greatest light on that which differentiates it from its Puritan opposition.  It is a form of philosophical idealism that calls upon the individual to rise above the animalistic impulses in life, as well as the cultural restrictions imposed upon the individual.  In Transcendentalism, God is a life force found in everything which negates the necessity of churches or holy places.  God is found in both nature and human nature; he is a “light” in everyone.  As a rule, one must ruminate over and nourish the inner light to keep it alive and healthy.  Everyone is in possession of intuition or an inherent understanding of right and wrong but culture and society tend to corrupt the intuition.  To actualize the authority of our intuition, we must learn, think, and reflect.  Further, neither our past nor our future should limit the present.  We must live close to nature because it is our greatest teacher and our connection to God.  Individualism is that the very heart of Transcendentalism and self-empowerment is borne of the defiance of social conventions – even God is not the ultimate authority.  To the Transcendentalist, evil is not the opposite of good, it is simply the absence of good, but good is thought to be more powerful.  Finally, all things are encompassed and contained by the Oversoul, which has spiritual power.

Gender roles and Multitasking parents

Women and/or men who choose to remain at home to look after their children face a torrent of prejudice.

Motherism or fatherism

Dr Aric Sigman, at a conference convened by Mothers At Home Matter warned of the rise of “motherism”; a prejudice against stay-at-home mothers, but for the same matter he could also have spoken about the stay-at-home fathers.
The “motherism” he is talking about could as well be called “fatherism” which is as dangerous for the men as the “motherism” is for the women. Both puts women and men off being stay-at-home parents, which is the developmental ideal in the present society.

There is not only a prejudice against stay-at-home mothers, also fathers who decide to spend some time off work to have more time with the kids are scammed.

writes:

There is a presentation of women who look after their own children full time as air-headed, spoilt and dowdy. However, there is also a prejudice against women who look after their children but aren’t dowdy (yummy mummies); women who go back to work after having had children; women who stay out of work but also employ nannies; women who work part-time and look after their children the rest of the time.

Wanting to stay home

How many mom’s would like to be stay at home Mom’s and how many Dad would like the be stay at home Dad, wonders Colleen Fassler of  Mom Wife Family Health Life.

In Belgium that answer would be clear: No body would dare to say they would like to stay at home to take care of the kids. The few who say that they would prefer to stay at home are looked at and considered to be the weaker elements of this society.

Our youngsters will have to work already until 67 before they can retire, but will only receive retirement allotment for the days they really worked to earn money, over their full career. The kids brought up in a one child family did not learn to share and do not want to share much with others. Many of them do not even find a reason why to marry when it is easier and with no strings, just to enjoy sex without any commitments.

SDT-2013-05-fertility-education-01The after babyboom generation with other aims

From the previous articles you can make up that today moms are different from those of the baby boom generation. They are not only more likely to have gone to university, they also want to realize their assets. To convert their knowledge into cash they are more likely to work full-time, less likely to have more than two children, and less likely to be married than previous generations.

In the United States, Pew Social Trends revealed that, from 2008 to 2011, the number of new mothers (women between the ages of 15 and 44 who have given birth in the past 12 months) with less than a high school diploma declined 17%, and the number with only a high school diploma went down 15%. By contrast, the number of new mothers with some college education fell by 6%, and the number with a bachelor’s degree or more fell by just 1%.

Marital status depending upon educational attainment

Although less educated women are a shrinking share of all new mothers, less educated women still have a higher average number of births throughout their lifetime than more educated women. By the end of their childbearing years, women without a high school diploma have on average 2.5 children, and women with a bachelor’s degree have about 1.7. This gap has closed only slightly over the past 25 years.

There are significant differences in the marital status of new mothers depending upon their educational attainment. While about six-in-ten (61% in 2011) women with less than a high school diploma are unmarried when they give birth, this share declines to only 9% among women with at least a bachelor’s degree. {Record Share of New Mothers are College Educated}

Experts have identified a strong linkage between child well-being and maternal education levels. On average, a mother with more education is more likely to deliver a baby at term and more likely to have a baby with a healthy birth weight. As they grow up, children with more educated mothers tend to have better cognitive skills and higher academic achievement than others. It is difficult to determine whether maternal education is causing some of these outcomes, or if it is serving as a proxy for some other causal factor (for example, economic well-being). What is irrefutable, though, is that on average the more education a woman has, the better off her children will be.

Working as hard as ever, but not at home

Moms are working as hard as ever — but they’re spending more time in offices than at home; as a result, moms and dads are more similar now than ever. For most of the 20th century (and before), parents specialized. Dad worked for money. Mom worked at home. But as female education increased — and mid-century technology made housework less time-intensive — moms and dads became less specialized. More moms worked more for money. More dads worked more at home.

At the moment we still may find many families where mothers are much more likely to do the “dirty work” of child care while fathers are more likely to spend a greater share of their time playing with kids or doing home maintenance, like mowing the lawn. But it’s a closing gap, whereby we have developed to a society where the household jobs are considered the ‘dirty jobs’ or jobs to be done by the uneducated and not useful persons. Being a mother or a father, staying at home is by many considered as profiting of the society and not done.

Social media fakes

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today it is just not done to become a parent or not to be able to show off with all the material wealth we can get today. Instead of spending time to create a real family people prefer to have a virtual circle of friends on Facebook. On Facebook a nice world is presented where the lives are consistently full of happy and wholesome family outings, when there are kids in the house, but mostly it are kidless photo-shoots of far away places with ever changing girlfriends or men.

Allison Hart, who says she loves her children, and who has also learned that motherhood is a series of shocks and disappointments, disgusting things under her fingernails, horrifying smells and constant irritation, writes:

In between those smiling moments are thousands of other moments which go undocumented on Facebook.

We all want to share our best moments. We all want that person we knew 22 years ago and haven’t seen since to think that we are living the life. We aren’t bored. We haven’t watched 13 hours of TV today. Our kids are as charming as they are cute so I’m never, ever jealous of your child-free globe-trotting life. The world can wait! Right now I’m doing the most important and fulfilling job a person can. Oh, and that one picture of me that I’ve posted within the last three years? That old thing? Gosh, I think the kids must have snapped that one while I was composting our garden. Yes I do that in silk and heels. Duh.

Preferring not to tell

Many mothers and fathers dare not to to say the things that most mothers and fathers have thought, but few have had the courage to admit. Telling others to chose for motherhood or fatherhood is like throwing oneself in front of the lions or facing the jaws.

The ones still daring to become a mother would like to become hyperefficient, which makes them only to fail in their made up world. They suddenly want to do everything at once. Some may learn to delegate, prioritize, negotiate and, when necessary, take the wrong choice to give up seeing friends, hoping to get themselves more time with their partner — hardest of all — sleep.

In one survey  posted for working parents, 88% of the nearly 500 respondents said they had suffered stress-related health problems (like anxiety and depression) since having kids and going back to work. One woman told her that at the peak of her working-mom stress, she started having seizures at night.

Most hostile country in the developed world for working parents of all income levels

Alcorn writes:

Studies like “The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict” explain that America may be the most hostile country in the developed world for working parents of all income levels. Low-wage workers contend with rigid schedules, no paid time off and a lack of affordable child care, while professionals are often expected to work grueling hours and travel for business. Although we experience the problem in different ways, the result is the same: chronic stress.

To be sure, this is not only a women’s problem. As men become more involved at home, studies show that they too are struggling with work-family conflict. And often they work longer hours than women do. But mothers still do more housework and child care, even when both parents work. Mothers multitask more than fathers and enjoy less leisure time than fathers. And mothers experience more guilt about working full time than fathers do.

It makes sense, then, that women are more at risk for the health effects of stress. We are 60% more likely to suffer an anxiety disorder and 70% more likely to suffer from depression than men. Women may be four times as likely as men to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Women are also more likely to suffer from eating disorders, sleep problems and substance abuse as a result of workplace stress.

Showbizz kids

Natalie Portman encounters the Berlinale audie...

Natalie Portman encounters the Berlinale audience and media (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerusalem-born 32 years old Natalie Portman revealed that she loves being a mother and has learned to be less judgmental in the years following the birth of her son Aleph, two. She had to accept that parenting is an individual endeavour with no real rules of engagement.

‘I love being a mum,’ Portman said. ‘I’m less judgmental than before I had a kid. The biggest thing about parenting is that it is a totally different experience for every person.

‘Everything is cool, there are no rules – I mean, apart from not hurting your kid. Some people breastfeed until their babies are five, and some don’t breastfeed at all.

Showbizz people do not mind letting the world know they want some time to spend with their children. From those actors and actress it is accepted they may take sometime for their children. People are willing to give them some basic support to meet their competing obligations. But for ordinary folks the competitive world have created an impossible situation.

Young having to take care of the older ones

Our society if it is going to have enough young people to work for the payment of elderly their retirement and the non-active population, shall have to review her stance against married couples, parents and parenting.

We do not claim that it is better that women don’t work. They do have to play their role as well as the men and should be able to share the same duties. that means that men also should become equal to the women, and should also have to do tasks people considered a few years ago only for women, now also to be done by men.

Equality of gender a coin with three sides

The equality of gender should go both ways. the population has to give everybody the right to make their own choice about work and leisure? Everybody should be allowed to choose how much time to spend at a job and what to do in the unpaid sector, be it voluntary work or household work.

says:

  • we can’t keep going at this pace. We need more fathers to share the work of raising a family (which means, for many men, working less).
  • We need employers to offer options like telecommuting, flexible scheduling and better part-time jobs to protect all workers from burning out.
  • We need better government policies: things like paid sick leave and paid parental leave, something every developed country in the world except the U.S. offers its citizens.

The bottom line is this: we have to stop making mothers choose between financial stability and their own health.

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Young Woman Mother with Daughter Girl

Young Woman Mother with Daughter Girl (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Preceding articles:

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

Having children interferes with work

Poverty and conservative role patterns

Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now

Gender Roles, What?

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Parenthood made more difficult
  2. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  3. Do stay-at-home mothers upset you? You may be a motherist
  4. Motherhood Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown
  5. Avoiding the big questions
  6. How Motherhood Is Changing Dramatically—in 11 Graphs
  7. I want to get paid for changing diapers, but i don’t want to run a day care
  8. I started off with the little things….
  9. I’m not a Mooch

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  • College Education – Talking It Out With Your Folks (degreesinusa.wordpress.com)
    the rising costs of getting college education can be daunting for some parents to bear. If your parents were not able to save for the day you have to go to college then it will be all bad news. That is why before you set your sights on getting post-secondary education, it is best to consult your parents about your decision. Here are some great tips that you can use in order to convince your parents that getting a college education can immensely make your life better.
  • No more apologies (inadifferentvoice.co.uk)
    Instead of being able to identify with any positive model of what I’m currently doing with my life, I frequently feel obliged to delineate all of the things I am Not. Granted, in small stages, and in comparison to the enormous inequalities of the world, these niggles are a drop in the ocean. I move on with my colossal buggy to face the tuts of another innocent childless pedestrian. It is only when I stop and consider the bigger picture, or talk to other parents, that I find that it is the experience itself which is mind-numbingly pedestrian. To be a SAHM mum is to be a disparaged vacuum.
    +
    I find perspective in unexpected places; conversations with older women for example who have highlighted that in their day it was the working mums who faced approbrium (thanks Norma), or from men who want to be more involved but feel childcare is still left in a box reserved for women.
    +
    Feminists are fairly agreed in their critique of the 1950’s housewife model (despite that many women couldn’t afford not to work anyway), yet it seems to have swept over the fact that despite six decades of development, much of the actual work of the SAHM remains unchanged. I cook, bake, organise activities, tend to children, shop and clean (for visitors, sometimes). I do many housewifey things. But when I look to feminism for positive reinforcement of that, I often feel there’s just a dark swirl of snarky remarks, lack of understanding, and an image of Audrey Hepburn in a flowery frock, shrugging vacantly.
  • The rise of ‘Motherism’ – prejudice against stay-at-home mums (telegraph.co.uk)

    Dr Sigman, a fellow of the Society of Biology and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, has argued in the past that evidence about the long-term effects of sending very young children to full-time day care is being ignored because of a political and economic agenda.

    Addressing a conference organised by the Mothers At Home Matter group, he said that evidence from biosciences showed that mothers provided “unrivalled benefits” to young children that other people, including fathers, cannot.
    +

    Many working families see “full time” parenting as a luxury enjoyed only by those wealthy enough to live on one wage or those on benefits.

    Dr Sigman, who has four children, said that the derogatory attitudes towards stay-at-home mothers appeared to be the result of a mix of political and economic agendas.

    “I suppose the older feminism, liberal-Left feminism, has ended up a strange bedfellow with Right-wing capitalism.”

  • Comment: In pursuit of gender equality and work-life balance (sbs.com.au)
    Sociologists have spent decades looking at work-family conflict and the stress associated with combining work and family roles. The bulk of the research identifies which individuals report the most work-family conflict. Not surprisingly, they find that women, professionals, people who work longer hours and people with greater workplace flexibility are more likely to say family conflicts with work.This research, of course, validates many of our experiences. Yes, there is gender inequality. Yes, people in professional positions struggle with balancing work and family roles. Yes, your boss can hear your toddler harassing the kitty while you are on the phone. And, yes, these are real problems that deserve real solutions.
    +
    in the most gender-equal societies, such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, this pattern changes. Fathers in these countries are the most likely to report family interferes with their work life than are mothers or individuals without children.So what gives? Why are Swedish dads having such a hard time? We suspect that Swedish men may not be able to opt-out of childcare responsibilities while at work like men in lower gender-equality countries because they have an institutional structure that encourages gender equality.
  • “Superwoman: Can Today’s Women Have It All?” (katelynbudroe.wordpress.com)
    The history of women working outside the home began when women entered the workforce during WWII. Men went to war and vacated jobs which required a labor force. In a world where the average housewife did not work outside the home a marketing campaign ensued. The U.S. government lured women with the iconic symbol of “Rosie the Riveter” with the underlying message that it was their patriotic duty to work. After the war when men returned to their jobs there was a new social shift in America and a new generation of women. America had to contend with a new playing field as women’s outlooks and attitudes toward work were born.
    +
    In real life there are far too few women among the highest ranks of the professions, and millions of everyday women struggle to make ends meet and to juggle work and family.
    +
    The increase of women working outside the home has caused an increase in divorce rates. During the recession when many men lost their jobs, women were able to find work quicker than men. This is usually attributed because men could not find jobs that paid them the same salaries as they had before they lost their jobs and women were filling jobs at lower wages. The realization by women that she can be a good provider may be an indication that a working wife will choose divorce over and unsatisfactory marriage. But the reverse is equally probable. Financial problems cause tension and often play a key role in ending a marriage. The lack of two incomes forces men to stay home and sometimes causes a rift in a marriage as the gender roles are reversed and men feel less competent and is no longer the provider. For married women it is difficult to maintain a happy marriage as she becomes the primary breadwinner and more independent.
  • Why “Working Mother” Is A Redundant Term, Part 2 (sarahsiders.com)
    When one of my best friends, someone who vigilantly linked arms with me in our efforts to empower women, decided to leave the workforce and stay home, we both had some philosophical wrestling to do.
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    Being a stay-at-home parent sounded impossible. In fact, my day job felt like an escape. I got to run off into my area of competency all day, got to look knowledgeable and pretend to be “the expert”, with opportunities for acknowledgement for all my contributions.
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    So back to the “working mother” business. This term has got to go. It not so subtly implies that stay-at-home moms like my friend aren’t working, that they are just sitting there catching up on 30 Rock episodes while their Roomba vacuums and a nanny totes the children about to various activities. Hardly.
  • Why Gender Equality Is Not Just About Equal Rights (theage.com.au)
    According to a newly released report from the World Economic Forum [pdf], Iceland is the No. 1 country in the world for gender equality, for the fifth year in a row. And that equality is helping propel Iceland and its fellow Nordic nations to new economic heights. Turns out, the smaller the gender gap, the more economically competitive the nation. Even when that nation is totally freezing.
  • Motherless Mom. (tdawneightyone.wordpress.com)
    For me, there are no words available that will allow me to convey what it is like to be a motherless daughter.  It means something different at every stage in my life.  Hope Edelman wrote in her book “Motherless Daughters” about wanting to shout to everyone that her mom died because it sums up so much of who she is and I get that. The only thing that has impacted me greater than losing my mom at the age of 15 has been becoming a mom myself.
  • Breastfeeding support for mom (utsandiego.com)

    Breastfeeding. Women have been doing it since the beginning of human history, though the practice has gone in and out of vogue many times since then. For some women, it’s harder now than ever to take on the task.

    “There is definitely a very clear understanding in our society … that breastfeeding is absolutely best for babies and mothers,” said Diana West, media relations director for La Leche League International, a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organization that formed in the 1950s.“The problem is mothers understand that intellectually but then the baby is born and they have difficulty.”

  • Lessons in Feminism, From my Father. (thisclimbingbean.wordpress.com)
    It was the mid-80s. We were Anglican Church-goers, and the idea of women in the priesthood was not new, but it was by no means widely accepted, especially not in our small West Australian diocese. My father was a deacon by then, having assisted as a lay person during services for some time. But even though women did help in the service occasionally, and were involved in other areas of the church family, they were not in leading roles.Yet my father didn’t go into any of this. He simply told me that if I wanted to be a priest, then I could. By the time I was grown up, he suggested, there might be lots of women who were priests.
    +
    once he had showed me that the world could certainly use more strong women, and that I could be one of them, he would turn this around on me. I’d bring home a report, I’d do well in a competition, and he would shrug, then say, eyes twinkling, ‘Yeah, it’s alright I guess. For A Girl.‘Because he could throw that line at me now, knowing that I got the joke. It’s not that others had moved beyond that attitude, that prejudice. It still existed. It still does. But it was his way of pushing me, and of praising me without having to say the words.

Having children interferes with work

Today there is a negative attitude towards having children and taking care of children.

Family Portrait

Family Portrait (Photo credit: Gideon Tsang)

It’s true that having children interferes with work. Lots of people do find it hurts their career in the short and long term. some do find it normal that those who get kids should be penalised in their professional career and in the later years of retirement. For them it is very logical that those who stayed at home can not receive retirement allowance for those years they were not productive for the economical world.

As it should, in a fair world. What else can you expect to happen when you take time away from actually doing work? But even if there would be no impact on my career, I still would not want children.

writes .

Breadwinner

SDT-2013-05-breadwinner-moms-1-1

“breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.

A recent study by Pew Research in the States, details the trend: In 15 percent of all households of married adults with children under the age of 18, mothers are the sole or primary breadwinner. That’s up from 4 percent back in 1960, and accounts for 5.1 million married mothers who have higher incomes than their husbands.

Stay-at-home dads face many of the economic challenges and concerns as stay-at-home moms — how transitioning from two salaries to one will impact their family, if the time at home might hinder a return to the job force, and whether new roles will cause resentment. But stay-at-home dads often face cultural stigmas about what it means to be a man in America, and what price tag that role should carry.

Paychecks

More women than ever are CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and in every day households more women are bringing home bigger paychecks than their husbands.
The median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was nearly $80,000 in 2011, well above the national median of $57,100 for all families with children, and nearly four times the $23,000 median for families led by a single mother.
The income gap between the two groups remains when using personal income as the measure. The median personal income of married mothers who out-earn their husbands was $50,000 in 2011, compared with $20,000 for single moms. Both personal and family income was self-reported. There is a small difference between the median personal income of single mothers and their family income. It could be due to financial contributions of other adult family members such as a cohabiting partner or a parent.

Since 2007 (before the recession officially began) mothers’ views about whether and how much they would like to work had changed significantly. The share of mothers saying their ideal situation would be to work full time increased from 20% in 2007 to 32% in 2012. And the share saying they would prefer not to work at all fell from 29% to 20%.

Gains of women and motherhood

Rally for single parents and their children

Rally for single parents and their children (Photo credit: Greens MP Jamie Parker, Member for Balmain)

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the public remains of two minds about the gains mothers have made in the workplace–most recognize the clear economic benefits to families, but many voice concerns about the toll that having a working mother may take on children or even marriage.
About three-quarters of adults (74%) say the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed. At the same time, two-thirds say it has made it easier for families to live comfortably.

In Belgium this can be clearly seen at the amount of divorces which soar the pan. It’s really far out and most children are just dropped at childcare early in the morning to be fetched late at night to be put in bed. the aim to live comfortably having enough luxury to show off to others has become more important than family life.

Primary child attendant

Making the shift from primary breadwinner to a primary caregiver can be so dramatic, especially if that change comes after a job loss, that it got so much negative press to give them who would consider to stay home a nasty shock. Lots of people are put off by the idea to take a part time job and staying some time at home to take care for the kids.

Many youngsters also find it not done that somebody stays at home not being productive in the world economy, and those who would perhaps originally would love to have a family with kids can not afford children and take all efforts not to be with child.

A house or a child

Facing the cost of children many consider it better to by a house instead spening all that money on a child.

And yes, it costs over $200,000 to raise a child to 18. That’s a lot of money to throw away. You could buy a decent house for that price. But even if everything a child would need is was free, even if I was actually paid for having a child, I still would not want children.

writes to the Natalist World.

Bettering oneself through education

According to them having children interferes with bettering oneself through education. Many think when they have to spend time at bringing up children they themselves would not have enough time for themselves. Having children, according to them also takes away the focus from more important work. There are great opportunities for growth and learning even in our sometimes boring 9-5 desk jobs, so why should people use the other time for taking care of the household? After work should there not be fun?
Leisure has become a very important business in our welfare industry.

Well, parents should see that it should already be fun that they are taking the time to invest in them-self and learning more about their world and that they could get other people involved in what they do with their children. There are not only the out-of school events, sports and games the children can enjoy. Also watching documentaries with the partner and kids or work on puzzles with the children, playing trivial pursuit with the family, or discuss new and fresh topics with them and with the friends of yourself, your partner and new friends the children let you know.
Claiming that children will limit your world is not seeing that they will do the opposite, getting you to know more people outside your daily job.

Studying together

English: The Green Children in Bangladesh

The Green Children in Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you would like to study something new, your kids do not have to be a stand in the way. Things aren’t just going to be different for you – your kids will also feel the effect of you taking on a new project. However, they may be so proud of your attempt to forward your career that they may surprise you and help out around the house to give you extra time to focus. One way to include them in your endeavours is to set up study groups for all of you to sit down and do your homework together. Why not? This shall inspire you both and it will be much more fun for them than the ordinary school work they have to do obligatory.

In the old days, ‘bettering yourself’ was usually related to improving your social status, often through education and certainly by getting a better job. These days, you can take a wider perspective. Life is much more than earning money. We do not have to measure everything in the form of investment for receiving financial gain.

Pets or children

Flexcin International, Inc., a company that makes natural supplements for humans and pets, found that according to its recent survey, more Americans are electing to house dogs over kids.

The company polled 1,250 pet owners nationwide (ages 21 to 30) about their attitudes on child rearing and pet adoption.

When asked what’s a better fit for them, more than half (54 percent) of respondents said dogs; 46 percent said children.

When asked why they prefer dogs, 34 percent of respondents said they’re not sure if they can handle the needs of raising a child; 28 percent said they don’t have the time to raise a child; 21 percent said kids are more expensive than dogs; and 17 percent said they “just love” dogs more than kids.

If it was polling people with pets, specifically the kind likely to care enough to give their kids supplements, I would think they’d be more likely to get a pet-friendly answer by such people than they would the general public.

I’m childfree and have one dog, but I did Not choose pets over kids any more than I choose driving a sports car over being slapped in the face. That is, the two things have little to nothing to do with each other. Sure, I prefer one over the other, but that doesn’t mean that I chose one over the other.

Many people who do have kids also have pets. It’s not like people can only have one or the other. On the other hand, even if, for some reason, I had decided to never have pets, I still wouldn’t want kids. It’s not like I’m required to have either.

Unpleasant burden

The writer let us hear a voice we can hear at many places. She like many youngsters today do not care much for children. Pets or no, children would be nothing but an unpleasant burden to them. they prefer to enjoy undisturbed sex with their partner, without having any commitments to this partner or for any off-springs of their sexual action.

They shudder to think of how much they  would miss out on in life if ever they became a mother or father. Kids would be a stumble bloc at their leg, limiting their freedom where to go and what to do. Parenthood is totally undesirable to them. It has even come so far that many think “kids would ruin their life”.

The reality is that parenthood is not a fairy-tale filled with Kodak moments. It’s nasty business. There are gross bodily functions, dangers, bitter fights, sleepless nights, tantrums, and regrets. It’s not always pretty. But even if the life of parenthood really was all sunshine, rainbows, kisses, hugs, “I love your”s, and macaroni art, I still would not want children.

confirms ‘childfree’.

Overcrowding

To her horror,

the world population is over 7 billion. That’s far too many humans for one small planet with dwindling resources and a climate on the brink of disaster. It’s dangerous. But even if the world were not overpopulated, even if it was somehow underpopulated, I still would not want children.

At an early age youngsters do want to enjoy sex and more than once we find kids who are with child and have to stop further education. Taking time away from school has a high price. This lack of further education may also bring more difficulties to higher a person in a good paid job. Resulting in receiving less income than somebody who studied longer, the children often came in the same street as their parents and because of the family struggles also start misbehaving, sometimes criminally so.

Benefits

But having stopped studies early in adulthood should not be a reason not to progress and to continue taking up knowledge and wisdom.

Having children in such an instance should also not be a burden, but could be used as a blessing. When giving up some time to spend with the kids they also can provide new knowledge and reasons enough to study further on your own.

The final stage is to build a series of stepping stones towards your self-betterment. List all the activities that you do now and assess how you spend your time. Then ask yourself which ones contribute to your aim and how. Get not blindfolded by others or get blind by the financial gain you may receive by not being present for your children but at work for an employer.

The work you have to do at home, is not be paid for in money, but it shall be more profitable to you than man think. You yourself have to make the choice, either to be there for your children or to be there for yourself or a company.

Obligation

SDT-2013-05-breadwinner-moms-1-2

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the public remains of two minds about the gains mothers have made in the workplace–most recognize the clear economic benefits to families, but many voice concerns about the toll that having a working mother may take on children or even marriage. About three-quarters of adults (74%) say the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed. At the same time, two-thirds say it has made it easier for families to live comfortably.

As parents it is the obligation to take care for those who came after sexual enjoyment. There are enough preservative measures if people do not want children, but once they are there they shall have to consider them and have the sense of duty.

Both parents shall have to find answers how to manage properly the household. they shall have to choose who is going to play which role, or how they can divide the household tasks. They shall need to change how they use their time.

Banker-turned-financial-advisor Denise Winston of Money Start Here says that when either parent decides to stay home, it’s important to run the numbers on both sides of the equation. Not only is this important for budgeting, but it helps emphasize how the stay-at-home parent is contributing financially to the household, even when they’re no longer bringing in a traditional salary.

“Ask, how much is child care? That could easily be $2,000 a month. Did you have a housekeeper, commute, laundry service? If one parent is now providing those services, that’s a tremendous savings,” she says.

Winston warns that a parent exiting the workforce might need a crash course in domestic finances.

“When you think about how much money flows through that person’s hands — groceries, back to school, prescriptions — if they’re not into getting a good deal, this could potentially cost the household a ton of money. You have to look at it like a sport, or a business.”

Having children may interfere with many plans, and could require another budget use, but parents should be aware it is not the money which shall make them as happy as the blessings and pleasure those children can bring.

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This is a reaction on: Letters To A Natalist World: I Don’t Want Children Because I Don’t Want Children

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Find also:

  1. What I “Regret” About Being Childfree
  2. Choosing Pets Over Kids?
  3. Why are people choosing pets over kids?
  4. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  6. Work with joy and pray with love
  7. Gender Roles, What?
  8. Stay-at-Home Dads Get a Crash Course in Family Finances (and Guilt)
  9. Breadwinner Moms
  10. Only I can change my life
  11. Leaving behind the lives we have touched.
  12. The business of this life
  13. Power in the life of certain
  14. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  15. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  16. Be happy that the thorn bush has roses
  17. Suffering produces perseverance
  18. Change
  19. It is a free will choice
  20. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  21. Monotomy of life
  22. Teach children the Bible
  23. Words in the world
  24. We should use the Bible every day
  25. Created to live in relation with God
  26. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  27. A Living Faith #8 Change
  28. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  29. Choose you this day whom ye will serve

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  • Women rising up as breadwinners of today’s modern family (theage.com.au)
    More Australian women are bringing home the lion’s share of the household income with females nominated as the breadwinner in one in four Australian households.More than half a million Australian households now have a female as the major wage earner – 140,000 more households than a decade ago.Female-breadwinner households are more likely to be couple-only households and households on lower incomes, according to the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling published Wednesday report.
  • The Stay at Home Mom Hobby Guide (coupons.answers.com)
    For much of the day, stay-at-home moms are busy caring for their children as well as the household. Running errands, cleaning, driving kids to school, and washing loads of laundry are just a few of the tasks of a stay-at-home mom. A hobby can be a great way for a stay-at-home mom to take a little time to explore her own talents. She may love to write, paint pictures, or take photographs. These creative hobbies can help her to relax. A hobby can also contribute to maintaining the family budget. For instance, couponing is a hobby that many moms are interested in. A mom finds coupons and then figures out how to use them to her best advantage. In short, the hobbies of a stay-at-home mom can benefit a family’s finances. The following outlines a selection of hobbies that stay-at-homes may want to look into.
  • Stay At Home Mom… (1luckygal.com)
    I guess at this moment I am moving out of the realm of stay at home motherhood and into the work at home motherhood realm, for a minute I was a working single mom and then I was a working mom and before that I was a stay at home mom. So basically I have done the loop. I know that no matter what your motherhood status is, that we are all mothers. We are all trying very hard to raise a child who will go on to participate in society in an appropriate and independent way.
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    Just like there is no reason you should be less or more respected if your doing less of the very hard work of mothering and more of the very hard work of having a career. We should just respect each other because it takes a village and a village missing things like stay at home moms, stay at home dads, two income families, old people keeping track of the neighborhood from their window becomes less of a village then our children deserve.
  • Thought You Noticed More Stay-at-Home Dads? You’re Right! Here’s Why (thebump.com)
    A new study published in the Journal of Family Issues noted that more than half-million dads are staying home with the kids as stay-at-home fathers. The research, conducted by sociologist Karen Z. Kramer of the University of Illinois, noted that when compared to moms staying home with the kids, stay-at-home dads who were not stay at home by choice tended to be older and less educated than moms. Most were also disabled, ill or unemployed. But among men who chose to be a stay-at-home dad, most tended to be higher-income with wives with greater earning potential and had more children under 5.
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    While traditional family roles are changing, so too is the make-up of the typical family.Families with two natural parents and two children make up 28 per cent of all families with kids.Couple families with one child are the second most common at 23 per cent, followed by single parents with one child at 15 per cent.

    However, one of the largest increases has been in the number of blended and stepfamilies – doubling in recent decades, to make up almost 11 per cent of Australian families with dependent children, compared with 6.8 per cent in 1986.

  • Study: ‘House Husbands’ More Common Than Ever (nation.time.com)
    More dads are staying at home with the kids, according to a new study in the Journal of Family Issues.The study used data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to compare characteristics of families in which at least one spouse had a full-time job. Researchers found that between 1976 and 2009, the percentage of households with stay-at-home dads increased steadily.Over the last decade, the percentage of house dads increased to 3.5%, or 550,000 dads. In the ’70s, only 280,000 men were staying at home, representing only 2% of the families analyzed.
  • The Working Mom… an Oxymoron? (milnechelsea.wordpress.com)
    There’s such a thing called “mother’s guilt.”  It starts once she first gives birth and realizes she has some options regarding whether or not she should work.  Interestingly, regardless of her decision, over half of mothers documented by the Working Mother Research Institute in both categories feel guilty.In fact, 51 percent of working mothers feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children.   55 percent of stay-at-home mothers feel guilty for not contributing to family income.  WMRI
  • Number of the Week: Rise of Single Moms Drives Down Overall Income (blogs.wsj.com)
    New data this week showed once again that it’s been a rough couple decades for the American middle class. Median household income barely budged in 2012, and is actually lower, after adjusting for inflation, than it was in 1989. “This isn’t a lost decade for economic gains for Americans,” the Washington Post’s Neil Irwin wrote on Tuesday. “It is a lost generation.”
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    The median income for all families with children under 18 was just under $60,000 last year, up about 3% since 1990 after adjusting for inflation. But what might once have been considered the “typical” American family — a married couple, living together, with at least one child under 18 — has done quite a bit better: Their median income was $81,455, up nearly 16% from 1990.The trouble is, such families have become significantly less common over time. In 1980, married couples made up 80% of all families with children. A decade later, that figure had fallen below 75%. Today, it’s less than two-thirds. The number of families headed by single moms — any mother with no spouse present, regardless of whether she has a live-in partner — has increased more than 30% since 1990, to more than 10 million.
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    In terms of income growth, single moms aren’t actually doing much worse than their married counterparts — their median income is up 14% since 1990, nearly as much as for married parents. But they earn far less in absolute terms. The median income for a family headed by a single mother was $25,493 in 2012, which means roughly 5 million single mothers earn less than $25,000 a year.
  • Recognizing the “SAHD” (timesunion.com)
    A few male twitter users recently blasted me for neglecting to include stay-at-home dads in various online discussions. I honestly hadn’t given a serious thought to the fact that there are plenty of fathers filling the shoes stay-at-home-moms traditionally stand in. I shamefully admit that I was oblivious to men who are staying home to care for their children. While the definition the US Census Bureau has been using to base their family and living arrangement statistics on produces small numbers, the reality is much more impressive: nearly 1.5 million men are SAHDs (Stay-at-home-dads) today, and this number continues to climb as women are assuming more demanding / valuable roles in the workplace.
  • Building a more father-friendly Calgary (metronews.ca)
    How father-friendly is our city? That’s an important question, and not just for local fathers and families. The answer has implications for women, the economy, and the overall strength of our communities.
  • Pew research reveals more women becoming ‘breadwinners’ (nbc-2.com)
    More women are bringing home the bacon, while their husbands take care of the chores at home.
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    According to the Pew Research Center, mothers are the sole or primary provider in four out of ten U.S. households with children.These ‘breadwinner moms’ are broken into two groups: 37 percent are married mothers while 63 percent are single mothers.