Archive for the ‘Catholicism’ Category

Oh sweet religion, the only concept where you are praised for delusional thinking. So delusional you become detached from logic and reasoning. This is followed by encouraging an entire group of like minded delusional thinkers to plan one day a week where they can all go to a building built on a foundation of pure insanity. What happens within those walls is what makes religion stand alone as man’s most destructive creations. 

I have come a long way from the days of intensely trying to save all of these poor delusional people before they cause any further damage. I am more open minded and speak softly during discussions on theology. I came across this quote a few days ago, and it has been bothering me to the point where I have to get into the always risky “I don’t give a fuck what I say next” delusional writing. 

To be completely honest with you I sometimes wish I could be delusional enough to have what they call “Faith.” Over the last year I have tried to find faith… it’s always a star which is just out of reach. 

There are so many places to go with this, but I am in no shape to write intellectually here, so Google “The Problem of Evil” Please remove any abd all delusional thinking and read to understand, use logic to guide you. 

This is great it saves me the time and energy and places it on your shoulders. Stay delusional, or become enlightened. 

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“If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is – holy war.”
Steve Allen

Would a Holy War really disgust God, or would he smile in approval? I suppose this may depend upon which God you believe in. I know with certainty that Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism would never teach nor condone a Holy War of any sort. This does not mean they have never known war, because the east has known many, but none of these wars to my knowledge were based off the notion their religious beliefs dictated them to go to such a war. I think this is a bit different when it comes to Christianity or the Muslim faiths.

I was talking religion with my dad awhile back, and the topic of the Quran came up, and he went on and on about how the Quran promotes violence and the killing of infidels. I immediately disagreed with him. I told him the Quran teaches peace, it is just misread by the extremists. We went back and forth on this topic and finally I told him I would read the Quran and prove him wrong. I have read various different religious texts but for some reason I have never given the Quran a detailed look. I figured this would be a great learning experience for me. I think I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew!

I kept putting this chore off because I was a bit intimidated by this daunting task I had just committed to. When I had a free minute here or there I would pick it up and skim through it. Although I must admit I couldn’t really get into it all that much. The reading was rather dry, kind of like the Old Testament. I could not put my full attention into the reading. Through the brief reading I did, I must say I found some evidence of the Quran promoting violence. These scriptures are not that vague, as to be completely misunderstood, in fact they are rather to the point.

 “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” Quran 4:74

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” Quran 8:12

 “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”Quran 8:57

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” Quran 9:123

In my research I had found a total of 109 verses in the Quran calling Muslims to war against non-believers. I am certain if you read these verses and considered them in the historical context of the writings, these verses may mean something completely different. This however is not the point, what matters is how current day Muslims would consider these, and many other verses, would apply today. This then got me thinking about Christians and their stance on war against non-believers. The Bible is just as guilty as the Quran, as it promotes violence against those who believe differently. I included some verses I have come across in the Bible. I know Trey (The Rambling Taoist) could offer many other examples.

“The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”  So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD’s vengeance on them.” Numbers Chapter 31 Verse 1-3

“The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:3

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence. Luke 19:26-27 **Note this was Jesus speaking**

Also, in Deuteronomy Chapter 13 verses 6-16, God is instructing his believers to go out on a murdering spree killing all those who worship any one but him. The verse is rather long, so if you are interested I encourage you to check it out. I think within these few verses you get the feeling that both the Bible and the Quran do not always teach peace. Both God and Allah are jealous and vengeful towards those who believe differently. In the wrong hands these few verses can and do lead to “justifiable” Holy Wars. I am not sure I believe the God of the Quran or the God of the Bible would be disgusted with a Holy War, possibly they would encourage one if it meant that in the end the survivors believed in Him and Him alone.

 

Sorry for the repost

“Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”
Blaise Pascal

Imagine if society as we know it were to completely crumble, ravaged with war, along with our complete loss of technology. Countries would soon begin to crumble; social unrest would cause unimaginable destruction. Lets take our imagination exercise further; during all of this chaos and destruction, only 5-10% of the human population survived. All technology and anything related to it is gone, and very few things such as books, paintings, or structures remain. Being resilient creatures it is only logical mankind will slowly start to re-build.

Everything we know today would be a distant memory. Soon future generations would have no idea what “The Mona Lisa” looked like, or in some cases didn’t even know it had existed. Now imagine if the Bible and all other religious scriptures had been destroyed in the mayhem. With every passing generation the concept of religion as we know it today would have all but disappeared. It would be foolish not to factor in the 5-10% of those who survived, for arguments sake lets say there was no one dominant believe system among the survivors. The people who survived each carried with them one of our many different theological beliefs, but no religious doctrine survived.

Let us continue down this rabbit hole of imagination and say a few Greek Mythology books survived the downfall of man (Yes I am aware this can be considered theology, but I include it only because unfortunately it has been downgraded to “mythology”.) Future generations would logically begin to worship Zeus, and the many other Gods behind said “mythology” and believe this to be religious fact. Even if these books did not exist it is possible for a new generation to create a completely different religion based on the remnants from the downfall. Of course these remnants would be added to with stories passed down from generation to generation.

I feel it is impossible to have a society without the driving force of religion; whether it is to calm fears or to control the population. Religion although perverted and corrupt is a necessity; eventually new religions would be formed to meet these needs. Imagine if the book “Moby Dick” survived the collapse of man. All it would take is one charismatic individual to start preaching the “religious” lessons contained in this book, and just like that a new religion is born. In time as other books are collected they are added to the “Holy Scripture.” Let’s say “Huckleberry Finn,” “Hamlet,” and “The Lord of the Rings” also survived. These various works of fiction are then woven together in a collection of stories to form a new Bible, and out they go to preach the Word, promising life hereafter in Middle Earth.

People are hardwired to need religion in their life, if this were not the case religion would have died out long ago as man discovered science and logic, because of this primal hardwiring they would latch onto this with all their might, replacing, refuting, and stumping scientific and logical advancements. I am sure whoever put this “Bible” together would take some liberties and add their own material just like the Catholics did when choosing which books to include in the Bible. This new congregation would set out to spread the gospels of William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, murdering all those who believed differently then they do. In time this religion and its created deities would become reality.

Now here is my question. If all of these things were to actually happened, then does the God of the Bible now cease to exist? If no one knew what a Bible even was, would the God of the Bible come down and start interacting with humans to show us he still existed? Although God made a promise he would never do it again, would he burn then flood the entire world only leaving one family to partake in incest to rebuild the world? If we look at history there have been many different religions that people have blindly followed. As time passed newer, cooler, more convenient, and better suited religions for social control became dominant. Causing all of the long forgotten deities (sorry Zeus) to be left behind and forgotten.   

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes try to think about what our lives would be like if we had no religion. Would chaos and anarchy rule supreme without some spiritual moral compass to guide us? Would we as a civilization just instinctively know how to treat our fellow man, or do we require a “reward” in exchange for our good behavior. This is a hard question to answer since the concept of religion is engrained in every man, woman, and child in existence. This will continue to be the case till end times, so we are for better or worse stuck with religion.

I often times write and speculate as to why religion was created in the first place. I have two theories which I feel answer this age old question. The first being the fear of the unknown and unexplainable and the second being social control. I personally think religion was first created to subdue early mans fears, but then when the slightly more intelligent man realized how much influence it had on the masses he transformed it into a form of social control. Since this discovery; generations of generations of people have fallen victim to the soothing swan song of religion.

I have always wanted to write several books on the topic of religion, and one such idea is building a religious timeline; starting from the very first religion all the way up to where we are today. I would track the origins and expansion of said religions. I figured I wouldn’t get too detailed I would just provide the basics of each religion. One detail I would touch on is the impact the featured religion had on the civilization. There were about eight other things I would cover, but are not pertinent to this post. I started this project last year, but when I was faced with the grand scope of the project I decided to shelve it until/if my “Dylan Thomas” books took off.

I really cannot think of one thing other than religion which has had a bigger impact on human existence. Religion although sold as a ticket to salvation and as a guide on how to properly treat your fellow man, it has also been a tool to control the masses. The rulers of old used religion as a tool to give the masses some spiritual guidelines. These guidelines were necessary to keep order, and the people who were being ruled feared for their life hereafter, so they fell in line with their spiritual leaders. We can look out in the world today and still see religion being used by political leaders.

In reference to this specific quote I think we need to look at civilizations through history. I wrote about such a time period a year ago when I touched on the alliance between Rome and the Catholic Church. This was a time when there were two classes the rich and the poor. The rich Romans during this time had the power and influence of the Catholic Church on their side. They parlayed this influence to socially control the people. They fed the fear of hell into each and every one of them, so the thought of standing up against their repressors equaled eternal suicide into a lake of fire. I am not too familiar with Napoleon time period but I would be willing to bet it resembled the time period I wrote about. I think I may just have to read up on this a bit.

The poor will only stand so long being the class which is shit on for so long before the people realize they out number the rich and decide to take over. Religion is the perfect tool to keep social order amidst such repression. I think this point is illustrated even in today by studying some of the countries in the Middle East. In America religion is still a dominate force, but I do not know the extent of social control it has today. I suppose it keeps the religious nuts focused on salvation instead of murdering and having sex with small little woodland creatures. I suppose in this case religion is doing something worthwhile.

“The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages – as if the savages weren’t dangerous enough already.”
Edward Abbey

This quote always makes me chuckle, but then I realize the truth behind this statement. I think one of the greatest achievements of any empire, individual, or institution is the Christian movement. The Christians have successfully spread the Word to every inch of this world, and not always peacefully. It is truly amazing if you think about it, but is this necessarily a good thing? If you look back through history you will find many religions snuffed out by the Christian movement. Many of these religions were taken out during the various inquisitions. I remember reading this large encyclopedia on the world religions past and present. I kept on finding a common theme for why these religions are still not around today. Catholicism and Christianity converted them and like I said before not always peacefully.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
Edward Abbey

When I read this quote and ponder on it I think of the show Star Trek. In Star Trek one of their major rules is to not interfere with lesser civilizations. They would go through great pains to not make themselves known. They did this because as a civilization these primitive people were not ready for such knowledge. If you were flying through space and came across a world where they just invented fire well then these people are not ready to have the knowledge of knowing there are people with giant ships and death rays. They did this because they did not want to interfere with the natural progression of these people. I think the same can be said about tribes in the heart of Africa, or small civilizations in the rain forest. They are content with their own little niche in this world. I understand the Christians motives; part of their belief is they are responsible for spreading the Word of God. I think the Christians could have learned a few things from Star Trek. The “savages” have their beliefs and who are we to try and take that from them. Imagine for a second that the Taliban went out as the Christians did to the savages and preached their beliefs. Within a very short order you would have a tribes of people armed with the most deadly of tools… wayward religion. Instead of hunting and dancing by a fire they would have a new directive; they would go forth and kill the infidels.

 “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
Desmond Tutu

Like children I believe the “savages” need to discover “advanced” religion on their own time and their own terms. I do not agree with sending missionaries out to teach them of a “better” religion. How pompous are we to tell these people that our beliefs are better than theirs, and if they believe what we tell them to believe then we will bring them cool shit from America. The Muslim extremists are currently doing this, but are not just limiting themselves to savages they are trying to infiltrate as many places as they can to further their cause. I suppose I am appreciative that the Christians beat the Muslims in vastly spreading their faith. In the end I am 100% against any religion trying to manipulate their way into “converting” people. This is one of my biggest disputes when it comes to Christianity.

To end this I would like to add one final quote by Annie Dillard, which is humorous in a way yet very true. It is funny how the purpose of missionaries is to “save” the souls of those who not only don’t believe, but are not even aware of these beliefs. Gaining the knowledge of a higher power which can condemn your soul to an eternal damnation is scary shit for the “savages” to deal with. Yesterday these people where worshiping the Polar Bear God, and the Ice Princess. The missionaries awe these people with our advancements in life, and they just follow suit. Not because they are now magically saved, they are simply just gullible.   

Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”
Annie Dillard