Neuro Bunk – A Whole New Kind Of Same Old Thing

I’m reblogging this from sixpointnineme but wanted to get categories and such too, so not a normal reblog. Always be aware that what you buy is advertised in a way to get  you to buy what you don’t need. If it’s advertised on TV you probably don’t need it. If it has buzz words, it’s probably bad for you. Think critically, don’t be fooled.

Wednesday Scriptures .. 26 Sept 2013

Here we go with number two on this list. I’m still not sure how this will work out, but I’ll go with it for now. Christopher Hitchens had a lot to say on what was in the beatitudes. I have no doubt that childhood gave him much to think about regarding this topic.

I don’t want to hit each of them and criticize them, rather I want to talk on just a couple of points. The beatitudes are found in Matthew 5. I’m going to borrow some words from newadvent.org both to avoid me messing up the RCC definitions and so that we’ll be clear what the RCC (roughly speaking) thinks is rightful thinking about these topics.

Seventh beatitude – Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)

The “peacemakers” (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed. It is on account of this godly work, “an imitating of God’s love of man” as St. Gregory of Nyssa styles it, that they shall be called the sons of God, “children of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:45).

Eighth beatitude – Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’  sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)

When after all this the pious disciples of Christ are repaid with ingratitude and even “persecution” (verse 10) it will be but a new blessing, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

So, by an inclusion, not uncommon in biblical poetry, the last blessing goes back to the first and the second. The pious, whose sentiments and desires whose works and sufferings are held up before us, shall be blessed and happy by their share in the Messianic kingdom, here and hereafter. And viewed in the intermediate verses seem to express, in partial images of the one endless beatitude, the same possession of the Messianic salvation. The eight conditions required constitute the fundamental law of the kingdom, the very pith and marrow of Christian perfection. For its depth and breadth of thought, and its practical bearing on Christian life, the passage may be put on a level with the Decalogue in the Old, and the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament, and it surpassed both in its poetical beauty of structure.

What Does All That Mean?

I could spend my time talking about what it means and there would be those that might (rightly?) point out that an anti-theist interpreting holy scripture is not right. When I was a fundamentalist evangelical, it was never what the beatitudes said that bothered me, it is what they do not say. Yes, when you have only 66 chick tracts to live your life by, it is important to know both what they say and what they do not say.

The “peacemakers” (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed.

This No.7 sounds like a good thing. Of course, the Jews don’t go with the NT so that might explain some of the issues they seem to be having on the West Bank. Moreover, this sounds a lot like true Christians (TM) need to be accommodating people. The kind of people that ‘restore peace when it has been disturbed’ or so it would seem. It doesn’t appear that any of the monotheistic religions get this part right. Pope Frank might be in tune with this but he’s got a lot of catching up to do. Making peace with all those that were raped/molested by clerics is a Herculean task, if I can mix up religions. There are enough words there to say quite a bit. That said, there are a bunch of things it doesn’t say:

  1. Go to court and fight to keep the 10 commandments in a building that is not a church.
  2. Feed/help the poor but only when you get to proselytize to them.
  3. Fear outsiders or the government or those that do not believe as you do.
  4.  Take over secular education and fight against what is not written in the holy scripture.
  5. Vote only for candidates who would push Christianity on those that do not want it.
  6. Enact laws that specifically protect the rights of Christians to pray publicly in houses of government and education. Of course this one brings us to another verse in Matthew – 6:5-7

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

It appears that few of the most vocal Christians (at least in America) are intimately aware of the beatitudes. Many of their most public actions are clearly not in the spirit of these commandments. In verse 19 the believer is reminded that if you mess these up a bit, you’ll be able to get into heaven, but you’ll be the least of those in heaven. Perhaps you’ll be a toilet cleaner or sewage plant worker?

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Any common reading of these texts will tell you that vocal and common Christians in America are trying hard for that coveted toilet cleaner job.

Having said all that about Verse 9 it should surprise nobody that verse 10 follows up with motivation to go ahead and take the ‘persecution’ that is doled out to them.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It doesn’t appear that there are many True Christians wanting to ‘take up that cross’ for the sake of living up to their stated convictions.

Sure, there are good people who are Christians. The trouble is that being Christian did not make them good.

Things Your Minister Never Told You

myatheistlife:

here is another excellent look at what the bible has to say to christians

Originally posted on The Ethical Warrior:

If you’re anything like most Christians, you have lots of questions about your faith – questions that your minister never was able to properly answer for you.

The question that started me down the path of self-discovery was this: Why does one have to seek the Truth?  The Bible says, that if you seek the Truth, the Truth will set you free.  The implication is that you don’t already know the Truth, not even from reading the Bible.  If you have to seek the Truth, it obviously must not be self-evident.  So following are certain truths about the Bible that your minister probably never told you about:

  • If Jesus was born of a virgin mother, he couldn’t have been the messiah.

The reason is that, according to prophecy, the messiah had to be a descendant from King David and any lineage that Jesus had from King David would have…

View original 541 more words

Benefits Of Believing In God?

As I think through my theory of mind, I try to work out how odd things could be explained – that is to say can my theory of mind make sense of oddities of human thinking and action.

If you are not aware, you can scoot back and read it by searching for the phrase “My World View – Free Will”

Go on, I’ll pause while you read … it’s a lot of reading.

 

Okay then, all caught up?

We all live in the simulation of the world that we run inside our brains. As children we learn the rules of how objects behave along with how our bodies work. By puberty we generally have that sort of stuff figured out to some level of confidence, and we have been solving problems for 7+ years or learning to. Religion teaches children the pat answers to some questions before they have a chance to ask them

  • Why are we here?
  • How did we get here?
  • What is the purpose of life?

That means that these children have been given rules for their simulation that relieve them of having to solve difficult problems. Their simulator has been ‘trained’ to accept magic as an answer for some problems which go outside the scope of day to day activities. Their simulators treat ghosts, demons, angels, gods as real objects, as real as cars or trees and places they’ve never seen but know are real.

Learning new things gets difficult as you get older. The longer a rule is in place, the more difficult it is to change. For ease of explanation lets call the effect of changing a rule an Equivalency of Pain or Stress (EoPS) except it has no physical sensations. It triggers the same responses though. For that reason we are often reticent to change our minds where a rule change is required. It is easier to compartmentalize or ignore facts that are contrary to our simulator model rules than it is to change the rules.

This is why dramatic experiences are often associated with leaving religion. Such events cause us to reject a rule or several because observation does not match the rule(s) we built.

This acceptance of magic rules attributes causes a lot of problems. Magic is not localized or temporal, it can happen anywhere and any time. Before long, all good things come from the good magic and all bad things come from the bad magic. That is how the rules work in the simulation in the brain. Odd justifications can happen as we try to account for observation against our rule sets. We need good in schools, so we must need good magic and thus we need god in schools. Those who have these magic rules can’t think otherwise without having to change their rules which in turn will cause them pain (EoPS) so they avoid it until it is more painful to not change the rules.

Those of you who were devoutly religious once, think about the journey you took that changed the rules in your head. The ways that you slowly dismantled the rules and rebuilt them with new rules so that you had the answers to the same questions, perhaps more answers or better ones, but you had to rebuild the rules of how the world works to do it.

This mechanism of change is commonly known. We’ve all seen stories about boot camp where they try to break the recruits, right? That is an intense period of changing rules and creating new rules in the minds of the recruits. When they are done with boot camp, they have new ways of thinking. Higher education does this also, just slower and with more information being added.

What does this mean for how we can stop magical thinking? Stay tuned. I’ve got some studying to do.

What do you think?

The Good Word

Here is a decent run-down of the basic problems with the new testament of the christian bible. I’m going to have to watch for more posts from the hobit-humanist… now go read

Belief In God Is A Waste

The tragedy in Kenya has brought out the god botherers full force. I won’t link to the blog (sigh) but here is the summary of the post:

I thank God that nobody I knew was hurt. A classmate and friend of mine was in the building when it went down but she was rescued by the police. She is still in shock, but she is safe and thankful. For those who were pesonally affected, I am very sorry for what happened.

They thank god that nobody they know was hurt… screw everybody else, god doesn’t love them. They are sorry for what happened to the victims and their family, but god doesn’t love them enough to save them.

What should matter now is that we stick together as one as we move ahead. As for those evil people, I have one thing to say. Vengeance belongs to the Lord, and he is as fierce as he is just. They will get their own in time, believe it. Whether it be in this world or in the afterlife. Believe it.

Then they get kind of normal… till they bring evil into it. Evil can only be countered by a god, their god. Never mind getting revenge now or setting things right… let god get them in the afterlife! You better believe it too, god said it.

This is one of the most egregious problems with religion – it does not fix anything. Instead it teaches to just turn the other cheek and pretend that life will get better. When it does teach doing something to fix the world we get what happened in Kenya. What is the lesson here? Is it that you should pray to the right god? Is it that god doesn’t really like shopping malls? Maybe it is that there is no god and people do what they want, hiding behind the alibi that god told them to do it.

If you ask me, most of the “real evil” (TM) on this planet wears the garb of clerics and believers. You can argue that point but you don’t have the statistics to back it up.

Whether it is because of holy texts or not, most of the evil on this planet lives their lives by the rules of a holy book.

So according to this blogger, god is going to punish the people he sent to kill hundreds at a shopping mall for killing the people he sent them to kill. Yes, makes perfect sense.

Oh, but I hear you say that the real god didn’t send them to kill, they did that on their own. Well, the ‘real god’ didn’t protect the dead did it?

 

There is no god.

So Close, Yet So Far Away…. “Missed It By THAT Much…”

So I’m thinking about the lack of evidence for the exodus and Moses and all his glorious stories. The following occurs to me:

 

  • Moses goes up Mount Sinai to take YHWH’s dictation. (read that how you want)
  • Moses comes down with stone tablets with rules on them
  • None of the Israelites are obeying them, so he gets pissed, breaks them and goes back up the mountain
  • Clearly YHWH has to be aware that he’s not the most popular deity in the region
  • He dictates 10 more rules – the first four are about how bad ass he is the rest amount to ‘be good to one another’
  • Moses comes back down and has to tighten ranks to get the people to obey a god that was less than 1.5 miles directly above them the whole time

So even back then, god wasn’t so keen on showing himself. All the proto-Jews could have witnessed god first-hand. Nope, not happening. That spoils things to know things for certain.

Arguably, Paul of Tarsus wrote more of the NT than all the others put together. He never saw Jesus or YHWH. He got his news flash from angels second hand. Yeah that story is a bit iffy. Still off he goes to tell the whole world that he KNOWS Jesus is a man god. He just KNOWS it. Now people use Paul’s writings as if they were evidence of a god.

I’m telling  you this, if YHWH was only 1.4 miles away and would not show himself to his CHOSEN people, then there isn’t much hope that any of the rest of us are ever going to meet this god. In fact it rather much looks like this god never existed at all.

What a sham religion is.

It’s all make believe and people think it feels real. Humans are also notoriously bad eyewitnesses. We know what second hand news and rumor is good for… nothing. That’s all we’ve got from religions, especially the monotheistic ones. They think they know how I should be living but they can’t even give credible evidence for why they think that. It adds up to mostly a Nuremberg defence… I was just following god’s orders.

 

My head hurts… did I miss any good points on that topic?

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