Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
He died a tragic death after living a heroic life
That’s just like so many others
To perpetually weep for Jesus is to be blind to those people
Those people are who are important
The accumulation of those many acts has built the world
The greatest tyrant is he who is made into an impossibility
Follow Jesus, they say, after they’ve falsified him
The truth is always too dangerous for the scum who surround it
Jesus could afford no defenses, and they took advantage
The biblical writers used Jesus to promote their own narrow agendas
They even turn your attention away from that, with the story of the “betrayer”
Churches claim to be honoring Jesus, but it seems rather that they are dishonoring everyone
Would Jesus have wanted to be worshiped instead of followed?
Would Jesus have wanted a giant cross to be his legacy?
Would Jesus have wanted a man elevated two feet above others telling them what to do?
Jesus has been exploited by the churches for centuries for their own profit and power
The world has betrayed Jesus, and betrayed themselves
Americans don’t understand. They say “What’s wrong with liking money”?
Capitalism is a monotheistic religion. Everything boils down to money, just like everything boils down to God for the God-followers. Worship of the “bottom-line” is like a religious fundamentalist who lives every moment for God.
Money is a single entity like any other. So let’s say instead of worshipping money we worship love. Americans might then say “What’s wrong with liking love”?
Money is fine. God can be ok. Love is fine. However, it’s obsessive and self-destructive to raise any of them above everything else in life.
Capitalists destroy billions of human lives in the same way that God-followers destroy those who do not follow God. However, unlike God-followers Capitalists are always at war. They are a Crusade that never ends. Or rather, that ends only when they are destroyed.
Poor People are to the Capitalist as Satanists or Heathens are to the God-follower. Their life has no value, and to whatever extent the Capitalists have power the results are precisely as expected.
It’s not so much that Capitalists like money that’s the problem – it’s that they like nothing else. They worship one god and everything else are false idols. That’s what it means to “maximize profits” – to not let any other interests factor in – to shun all other gods. If love gets in the way of profits love is discarded. If humans get in the way of profits humans are discarded.
Socialism must also be rendered non-monotheistic. There can be no god placed above other gods.
Democracy is the promise of a new dawn. In a democracy there is a god on every street corner, many gods within each human. Love, money, humans, compassion, can all be honored because none are raised on high.
We need to stop arguing over what god is better than another. It’s a tragic argument with only bad resolutions. It’s not our place to argue that – it’s every human’s place to decide that for himself.
It’s time we built a world of gods instead of a world of emptiness. It’s time that none of our gods wants a world where only he exists.
Take a close look at morality throughout history: “Make love not war”, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, ethics, justice, truth, morality.
All of this morality is directed at the rich and the powerful. The poor do not wage war. The poor have already supported solidarity and brotherly concern. Justice is executed by judges – truth is executed by the knowledgeable, ethics by the noble – the poor and scrabbling and downtrodden and desperate meanwhile have no time for morality – all they have time for is life.
So now not only do the rich and powerful have wealth and power, they have the only morality as well. Not only do they wage war, sometimes they “make love not war” and get to be called good for it. Meanwhile, the poor man who doesn’t wage war doesn’t “make love not war” and therefore cannot be moral.
Moralists lament suffering, and thus focus their attention on those who cause it. So they give their morality to the very people they should give nothing to. Cause someone to suffer and receive a great morality… how is that not a good deal? Jesus talked to the Moneychangers… it’s therefore good to be a moneychanger. Instead of giving morality to the poor Jesus patronizingly “healed” them… he saved his intelligence for the people he should have despised.
The Quakers say “speak truth to power”. But the powerful deserve nothing, certainly not truth. That the powerful live in their bubbles spouting the propaganda that they often themselves believe… that’s the closest thing to justice that exists in the present world. The American People love to hear Cheney, and Bush, and Gonzales, and Rumsfeld spew nonsense and falsity… that they degrade themselves is the price they pay for their travesties. I say let them spew! Make them invent all-new tortured propaganda and lies! Then send them to jail for it! Then make the next ones who follow the same policies do the same thing!
Jesus says “love thy enemy”: but whenever he does that he isn’t loving his friends.
What we need is a great morality: that is to say a morality for people we don’t despise, a morality for the honest, the just, the caring, the compassionate, the often poor. We need to stop seeing them as irrelevant because they do not have power.
Jesus is the greatest Con the world has ever seen. The world needs to wake up.
The powerful do not deserve a morality in order to make them tolerable: they deserve nothing. No truth, no love, no respect, no obedience. To the people who wish to exterminate all hope from the world they should receive for themselves only what they wish for humanity.
How about following that morality?
Take a look at aspects of “democratic progress” in America… the end of slavery, the expansion of voting rights, the expansion of civil rights. Who was executing this morality?… who was changed by this morality? It is the rich and powerful… they are the ones becoming more just, more civilized, more moral, more ethical. Meanwhile the victims benefit only insofar as the master’s hand strikes them with less force, that the master’s voice becomes more persuasive and sweet and infectious instead of harsh and brutal. When will the poor receive some benefit from morality? When will the poor be changed? When will the poor receive progress?
Jesus told the rich and powerful to honor life. Obviously he did – the poor already honored life. The poor have been fighting for life for time immemorial. But only after Jesus do we have the morality of “the value of human life”.
This morality and supposed “progress” treats the poor as an object upon which the newly moral force acts. And all progress subsequently has acted in the exact same way – to benefit the powerful and ignore the non-powerful.
We need a new vision of progress – a progress for the people who all along were the ones deserving of it.
Jesus is dead.
72 Virgins. Such is the number promised to Muslims (I assume just men) who go to heaven.
I can’t understand why that is not the penalty for Muslims who go to hell.
In order for one man (assuming the afterlife presents full functionality) to please 72 women, he’s going to have to spend his entire afterlife having sex with them. That might sound like paradise until exhaustion and boredom set in. It sounds like paradise to a man used to having only one (very much non-virginal) woman… he’ll quickly find that his old idea of paradise is a terrible burden.
That’s the short-term story. The long-term story is far more horrific.
First comes 72 children. Then 144. Not long after hundreds of children are born. In a way that’s good (for him)… now these women can spend happy time with their children instead of demanding sex from an overworked and exhausted man supposedly living in paradise. But if we’re going to suppose a reality in which sex exists and ejaculation exists and virgins exist then obviously food exists, and these kids need food to survive. So now these 72 women and 1 man are going to have to work for food, or scavenge heaven for food, or pray to Allah or whatever other method they can devise.
We suppose 72 virgins must be heaven because on earth 1 virgin is heaven (actually, experienced women are more heavenly, but who am I to denounce the kind of people who believe 72 more desirable?) but sometimes more is not better.
You might say, well kings throughout history have had many women, sometimes concubines, sometimes wives, depending on the culture. That proves that more is better.
Those women have been in all cases of large numbers slaves. Thus the 72 virgins would be slaves but heaven cannot possibly tolerate slavery, thus the women have sexual and material demands on the single, overworked, exhausted, man.
Perhaps he’ll pray to Allah for deliverance from that life. Perhaps he’ll invent an afterlife for the afterlife. Perhaps he’ll even invent a religion to justify his desire.
Gotta love humans.
To be fair, this is perhaps better described as ignorance, but I’ll give Christ the benefit of the doubt and assume a lack of wisdom wasn’t involved.
Helping the poor is a natural thing. It existed prior to his time and it will exist long after he’s forgotten. What Christ did was to politicize the issue, especially within surrounding cultures that were not very amenable to it.
Once an issue becomes politicized, it gains power. That is to say, if I call Christ a hypocrit I stand alone as a private citizen, but if I call someone a “dirty smoker” I get to have the backing of countless anti-smoking campaigns and policies. You might therefore call the support of politicized positions fundamentally cowardly, and you might be right. I’ll leave you to draw conclusions based on the fact that the vast majority of human statements are supporting of or criticizing politicized positions.
But that’s a bit of a side issue. My main point is this: you can only help the poor if you’re not poor. Its a curious thing. By elevating “help the poor” Christ is restricting morality to the non-poor. All the poor can do (according to Christ) is to receive handouts from the people Christ has shamed into giving.
It has to be one of the larger misunderstandings in history: Christ issued a morality, but not to the poor… his morality was FOR the rich.
Only after Christ were the poor reduced in stature. Poverty has existed eternally, but the poor as a *moral recipient* instead of as human has not.
This has several curious effects. Since the poor are taken out of the possibility of morality, its *imperative* that people not be poor themselves and thus lose their Christ-issued moral ability. Thus, ironically, its critical to in some cases steal from the poor or helpless in order to have something to then make a show of giving to the poor. You can determine for yourselves whether the Republican Party ever employs this technique.
It also introduces the idea of class based on economic status. Previously class was a function of social status (what social group you were part of). Notice that post-Christ, humans are *very* conscious of their economic status, eventually resulting in the emergence of money as the most powerful force in the world. This consciousness is based on adherence to Christ’s morality. The need to NOT be poor is partly based on adherence to Christ’s morality.
You might think this is a good thing, an added motivational factor is just what the poor need. I’ll just shake my head sadly and say that that attitude also…
Don’t get me wrong in all of this. I think its perfectly fine to encourage the rich to give to the poor. The travesty was the misunderstanding that this was FOR the poor… if you change someone’s behavior the result in a change to THEM, not to any other humans that might be involved in some way.
It was a double blow to the poor. Not only did Christ HELP the rich and not the poor, but he claimed to be helping the poor and not the rich. And humans bought into every word of it.
You can see this based on attitudes towards the poor which are far worse now than they were previous to Christ.
But, according to those marvelous creatures the Christians, that’s all fine. It doesn’t matter if you despise poor people. It doesn’t matter if you hate poor people. It doesn’t matter if you think they are lazy no-good ignorant horrible cretins.
All that matters is that you put your coin in the beggar’s jar, or give some taxes to support welfare. That’s your role. That’s your reponsibility.
This has nothing to do with “multiple personalities”. Multiple personalities is less problematic.
The way I used to operate intellectually was to take inside myself what I was examining. I experienced the denial will problem firsthand. I’ll tell you what it is and then I’ll put it in some context.
At its basic level its simple. Lets say you are going to the grocery store, the result of your (ostensibly) dominant will. The denial will’s point is to deny the correctness of the “dominant will”. This occurs with respect to *every* thought you have, *every* action you take, *every* action you don’t take or thought you don’t have.
This causes the dissolution of the dominant will.
Since all it takes for the denial will’s position is denial, it doesn’ t have to have *reasons* for it. It denies blindly, stupidly, eternally.
My contention, based on viewing the world and experiencing the things I have gone through to understand it, is that this is one of the most serious problems facing America. And that its MUCH more common than people think. It may be the core problem of the Neocon/Authoritarian/Religious Right segment of America.
Having a denial will is an extremely miserable experience. There is no joy in the lives of these people, because any event that would otherwise be joyful is simply denied by the opposing will. There is also no torment for these people for the same reason… all emotions and eventually all values are drained away. Humans make the mistake of “he’s tormented by inner demons”… the only demon is denial and torment is not its result.
What happens in people with denial wills is that that is only the *beginning* of the experience. They don’t just roll over and accept it. Religion for example… they accept God’s will in order for them to HAVE a will that can overcome (in some cases) their own denial. God the All Powerful, All Knowing, All Seeing… that’s what it TAKES for them… anything less would simply be denied.
Its a big mistake to think the denial will is “the conscience”. This is another trick of these people. In truth denial wills destroy the conscience because there’s no point in taking good actions since regardless of the action or the thought it will be denied. Good and bad become one and the same.
People call this “nihilism”, but nihilism is only one of the *outcomes* of the denial will.
Denial will people look for ways to overcome the denial will inside themselves. For some its buffoonery, people who become self-farces. For others its belief in the Law as a control mechanism… a sort of social conscience and restraint for people who have none of their own. Still others turn to Ideology, a way to control the world, put it under a system of thought and behavior.
Still others turn to Solipsism and Authoritarianism… they define the value of the world in terms of whatever specific vision they have for it.
Denial wills occur in the first place IN ORDER for humans never to have to suffer being wrong (“evil”). Since every aspect of yourself has its denial, if the action you took was wrong there is always your denial will that was right, and since you care as much about the denial will as about the action…
Of course this is nonsense, because the denial will has nothing behind it *other* than denial, but people with denial wills manage to take considerable comfort from it nonetheless.
Denial will people care about Yes and No, about Black and White, about Right and Wrong, and have no care whatsoever for what lies behind these terms, no cares for the *whys* or *hows*.
Denial will people reduce human existence and the world to at best a hollow shell.
To denial will people there are no questions… there is only what you do in service of whatever authority even your denial will can for the moment bow before. Since what you do is always in service of a higher good, it cannot be questioned or challenged.
In the lack of such authority denial will people will create another, as soon as possible given their panic.
The 20th century was obsessed with the denial will after a variation of it was described by Nietzsche. Hard work, personal responsibility, hedonism, secularism, relativism, and anti-religion all tried to counter or subvert the denial will.
Given the present results in America, its obvious none of that worked. If anything, the denial will merely moved underground, became better at hiding, became more determined of political victory.
People with denial wills CREDIT the denial will for their ABILITY to worship “higher concepts” like God and Absolute Law and Ideology.
The funny thing in all this is that people *without* denial wills can quite healthily follow gods and laws and even ideologies. Hence the Black and White concept of God being bad is wrong and people that say “I don’t believe in ideologies” can be just as blind as the denial will people themselves. In fact, that can even be a *belief* of denial will people.
The denial will may have its symptoms, but place too much stress on the symptoms and the denial will merely moves to different symptoms, as a virus adapts. No solution exists to “kill God”… the only solution is to kill the denial will.
Its too bad Nietzsche didn’t write “the death of the denial will” instead… we’d all be much better off if he had.
As I love Jewish culture except for the whining about being Jewish I’m trying to reconcile my religious beliefs with Judaism. Its probably an effort in complete vain, but anyway…
My beliefs have been classified as Atheism, but I don’t agree. Atheism merely states “There is no God”. The *reason* for there not to be a God varies… it could be either spiritually or scientifically based.
My understanding of any god, including God, is as a cultural creation, a work of fiction, who provides a definition resulting in honor and worship. A useful myth.
Note that this God, like Moby Dick, is completely existent, except in material form. You can think about Moby Dick. You can talk about Moby Dick. You can describe exactly what Moby Dick is like. You can give an eventful history of Moby Dick’s life. You can pretty much do anything except provide material evidence of Moby Dick or anything related to Moby Dick in the physical world.
To what degree it *matters* that God is a work of fiction and not non-fiction is debatable. If it doesn’t largely matter, then “There is no God” also does not matter. To test this, lets make something material a god. Lets say Tom Chick is a god.
The difference seems to be that a living god can affect change in the definition of the god. Tom Chick can say new things, he can do different things, and this changes what Tom Chick is. Change is *centered* on the god itself.
Yet similar things happen with a traditional god. A new writer comes along, adds to the fiction, modifies the fiction, and a new aspect of the god is born. The only difference is that the change is centered on the writer.
So “There is no God” seems to me to be impossible. There is definitely a God, but whether you *care* or not is up to you, just like some people care about Moby Dick and some do not.
Why do some people care about Moby Dick? Because they think the story is cool, because they learn from it, because it has benefitted them.
God? Pretty much the same thing. If the worship of God’s *definition* is valuable, the worship of God is valuable. Why should it matter if God is fictional?
So that brings me to the question of whether God’s definition is valuable. I say that it is not. I much prefer the Secular world. I’d like to see a modification of Secularism, but I do not find God necessary within that modification.
So I say that God is not valuable to me *personally*, but I interact with lots of people for whom it is. Thus I see God, literally, fictionally, within them, just as I can see the experience of Moby Dick in people. How can I honestly say that God does not exist?