Archive for the nontheism Category

Keep ’em Dumbed Down

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, enlightenment, history, humanism, life, logic, nontheism, prehistory, random, religion, science, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by chouck017894

Knowledge or expanding one’s intelligence was not exactly a high priority in the early Christian movement. The pursuit of gnosis (Greek, meaning knowledge) was actually regarded as heretical by the early shapers of church thought such as Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and others. The pursuit of knowledge was regarded as a threat to the fledgling sect because those who sincerely wanted to know how the seen and the unseen interact would always ask too many unanswerable questions. This trait to seek out rational explantions is what is referred to in the book 1 Timothy 6:29 (written c. 103-105 CE) as “falsely called knowledge.”

This approach was introduced into the emerging movement’s literature with the character of Paul (c. 84-90 CE) who is presented as seeking to reach and shape adherents from the throngs of common people, i.e. the lesser educated masses. If one doubts that the struggling movement that was to become Christianity sought to keep people in ignorance look more closely at the New Testament for enlightenment. Matthew 10:16 (written c. 70-75 CE) equates wisdom with evil! Matthew 10:19 and Mark 13:11 (revised c. 70-80 CE) instruct persons not to study a problem but to pray and ask for divine guidance. In 1 Corinthians 3:15 (written c. 94-100 CE) it is declared that wisdom is foolishness! And the Roman mindset is disclosed in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (c. 100-105 CE) stating that every thought must be a slave of god—meaning that the church would do the thinking for each person. And because confession was regarded as good for the soul, it is admitted in 1 Corinthians 1:18 and in 2:16 that Christianity was directed to the ignorant, not to the learned and wise.

Wisdom and the quest for wisdom was regarded by the early church “fathers” as a menace, and later theologians captivated by this aversion to seeking genuine wisdom sought to rewrite history by declaring that pre-Christian Gnosticism had attached itself to Christianity like a parasite and drew sustenance from the narrow tenets of the movement! The Gnostics may have early-on expected the young movement to embrace a more rational system of belief, but they refused to knuckle under to what the Gnostics rightfully perceived as being the perversion of supernaturalism that was being marketed as “Gospel.”

Gnosticism sought to reconcile different beliefs through rational study using such interests as Greek philosophy, Jewish cabalistic mysticism, Babylonian mythology, Mithraism, and Persian dualism as inspiration. The Gnostics believed salvation was made attainable by resisting the temptations of the material world that such beliefs encouraged; the Christians and Jews, on the other hand, kept their tight focus on the material advantages harvested in life even as they condemned them.

There are few devoted Christians today who recognize the influence that Gnosticism had on Christian writings, for the church brought all its might to bear to eradicate Gnosticism as a “hated doctrine.” But the “fathers” were unknowingly outmaneuvered—and that is shown in the material presented as the book of Revelation (written c. 135-138 CE), which is a reworking of ancient Gnosis once taught by Pagan mystics. Certainly by c. 135 CE.  the character of Jesus had undergone dramatic psychological changes from the earlier portrayal of him as a gentle teacher, and in the final installment of the NT, Jesus acts more like  the son of the Demiurge who in an orgiastic frenzy passes judgment upon a ravaged world to bring his followers back to materialism (new Earth, new Jerusalem, etc) and his dictatorial order.

God’s Political Addiction

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, enlightenment, history, nontheism, politics, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 9, 2009 by chouck017894

After World War II the faith market in the United States quickly recognized the then-new technological wonder of television as a godsend for spreading their pious propaganda. By the 1950s enterprising soul-savers still clutching their newly minted bible-mill diplomas, and sniffing the gold to be made through the far-reaching media, latched on to electronic ministry with holy lust. In those early days of TV the divinely driven were complaining bitterly and loudly that the media ignored them—which was not exactly true (surprise!)– for if it had not been for the media few persons across the nation would have known that such a wide array of moral champions existed at all. To garner attention, one scheming servant of the sacred launched the so-called “Coalition for Better Television,” the real purpose of which was to impose upon the gullible public the religious right’s particular version of “moral code.” Thus religious extremists embarked upon a political power grab in the name of religious devotion.

In 1961 an attention-grabbing faith-based, politically inspired group was parading under the banner of “Moral Majority,” which sponsored its first seminar on “Understanding Politics.” The training session had absolutely nothing to do with making oneself spiritually worthy of god’s blessing: rather the ideas being eagerly shared were on how to shove their particular version of religion into the workings of national government.

As is common among the faith-driven, other divinely inspired keepers of god’s word were receiving slightly different instructions from heaven. Oddly, the governments of the world–especially the government of the US–seemed to trouble god much more than did the conduct of his strange array of messengers. And stranger still was the emphasis placed on their attainment of materiality for the sake of spirit’s advancement! So to advance this seemingly contradictory means of attaining spiritual worthiness, various rightwing movements showered the faithful with an endless assortment of manuals and pamphlets. Titles of these propaganda texts always implied that only they held the keys of salvation. The advice, however, ususally pivoted on taking over national management.

The movers and shakers of the religous right groups–although not exactly chummy–sought to establish a modus operandi to achieve political power. Topping the list for achieving a power base was the necessity to recognize the givers and takers–meaning, in other words, go after those who will donate the most cash. To implement this drive they had to have a plan which would include:
    1) have a focal-point candidate or invent some supposedly urgent issue;
    2) be organized and keep it organized;
    3) establish a means of keeping money flowing, which meant finding easy-to-sway persons who would get personally involved in collecting money for their movement.

To effectively siphon money into their temporal cause, the advice was:
    1) project the income necessary for the operation and expansion of their rightwing bloc;
    2) define the levels of donations to be aimed for;
    3)devise programs for attracting donations;
    4) implement the plan.
The advice on how to pursue collection of donations stressed the necessity of never emphasizing with a contributor: learn all you possibly can about potential donors, but never, never emphasize with them. The reason for this was the fear that to emphasize with a contact might inspire the donation seeker to pass judgment on whether or not a contact would donate.

Always the mantra was think big, and that necessitated keeping the path open for people who might be inclined to give thousands of dollars. How should they pursue this? The most effective way and the least costly way to reach the most people and raise money was determined by the holy schemers to go direct response–which meant use the Postal Service. They then drew upon persons with writing talent to compose fund raising spiel letters, and the principle thing the obsessed authors had to remember was the basic psychological quirk that inspires people to release their grip on money. That ignoble idiosyncrasy is that people tend always to be most willing to lend support against something than they are to show willingness to support something!

And that may be why neither organized religion nor hard-right politics seem capable of any genine integrity.
(See also related entry, God’s Henchmen.)

Days of the Prophets

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, culture, enlightenment, history, humanity, life, nontheism, random, religion, science, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 2, 2009 by chouck017894

In Old Testament lore, much respect is extended to the select “prophets” who were allegedly privy to god’s plans to test man’s endurance and faith. There is a peculiar sequential order in the appearance of the “prophets” in scripture, with early minor “prophets” named Hosea, Amos, and Jonah said to have been in Israel. The most revered of the “prophets” are depicted as having been active prior to the “exile;” those being Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Obadiah, Micha, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephariah. The post-exile “prophets” are the lesser known Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

Of the pre-exile prophets, one has to wonder about why and how Jonah came to be listed as a “prophet” to the Israelites when he is portrayed as uttering only a five word “prophecy”—and that was not to the Israelites but to Nineveh! (The reason is explained in The Celestial Scriptures: Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancients.) The “prophets” Hosea and Amos sound more like priests, for their “prophecies” are that the people must repent or they would be thrust into exile. And another “prophecy” is a promise that god would bring them back and then he would love them.

The alleged history as set down by the priests of Yahweh in Jerusalem during the seventh century BCE was influenced by the frightening celestial events that planet Earth had witnessed for generations and which still caused severe aftereffects. Tradition has it that Isaiah was born c.760 BCE (and guesstimated to have died c.700 BCE) and he would therefore have grown up in a period of time when strange electromagnetic interactions were taking place between Earth, Mars and Venus. Indeed, Assyro-Babylonian records from that time attest that there was no eclipse of the sun in the regions of Babylonia or Assyria between 762 to 701 BCE. Isaiah, being of “noble” parentage (priest-parent), would have been trained to keep watch for any peculiar activity in the heavens. In other words, he was trained as an astronomer. With this knowledge of planetary interactions Isaiah “prophesied” the expected conditions that would alter circumstances in human life around the world. This was the god-given insight by which all the pre-exile “prophets” were able to warn people of times of coming turmoil.

A sudden and catastrophic change in climate occurred c.747 BCE: Isaiah would have been around thirteen years old if time estimate of his birth is correct, and his reliance on the science of astronomy was already the fixation of his life. The “prophet” had an observatory-watchtower from which he pursued his study, and it was from here that he issued warnings of upheavals that were to occur. Thus it is recorded in Isaiah 29:5-6 that “…a multitude of terrible ones” (meteorites) bombarded the Earth–the reference is to the rain of destruction caused by the inrush of meteors initiated by the interaction of electrical fields of Earth and Mars. The Isaiah account continues by describing, “…thunder and earthquake, and great noise, the storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.” When this “prophet” spoke of “stones falling from the sky,” it was not some colorful phrase of a priest-author fear-merchant, he meant stones falling from the sky.

After 747 BCE the polar axis of Earth pointed to one of the stars in constellation Ursa Major, a fact that was commented upon centuries later by the great Roman playwright Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE). In Babylonia the New Year was recorded from this 747 BCE event; across the planet the peoples of Mexico also began observing the New Year from this same period; and in China, too, a new calendar was begun from this same time frame.

Morality and Religious Conceit

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, enlightenment, freethought, history, humanism, life, logic, nontheism, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 1, 2009 by chouck017894

Is religious posturing really necessary for a person to learn true morality? Rationality prompts one to ask, if moral conduct is attempted by a person because they fear retaliation from some unseen deity, can that really be called “morality”? In truth that amounts to nothing more than pretense encouraged only from self-interest. A few statistics show some facts that are at variance with the religionists’ claims of moral superiority and reveal the genuine integrity of nonbelievers.

In 2005 the United Nations Human Development Report revealed some startling findings that clearly discredit the ideas that without religion all society would be in moral chaos. The U. N. report covered various national standards in regard to such things as life expectancy, per capita income, adult literacy, gender equality, educational attainment, health, homicide rate, and infant mortality.

Ranking highest in all these quality of life and practices of human conduct were the least religious societies such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, the lowest fifty nations in the report in terms of human develoment and social conduct were all doggedly religious. This, of course, does not prove that societal dysfunction is the direct result of religious escapism practices. On the other hand, the report clearly shows that an atheistic approach to life is fully compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil and compassionate society.

Even so, in the United States nonbelievers have long been routinely maligned as being immoral, sinful, untrustworty, devious, etc. Using these typical claims of the religionists we should logically expect that atheists, humanists, free-thought persons and nonbelievers would be the ones that society would most often find necessary to incarcerate in our nations’ many overcrowded prisons and penetentiaries. Curiously, such is not the case. Studies have shown repeatedly that nonbelivers are far less likely to indulge in crimes than are the devout.

Could it possibly be that the minimal criminal indulgences of non-believers is because they take responsibility for their own acts and do not expect some divine overseer to clean it up for them?

What’s in a Name?

Posted in Atheist, Bible, biological traits, Christianity, culture, enlightenment, freethought, humanism, humanity, life, logic, meaning of life, nontheism, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 26, 2009 by chouck017894

A curious event is presented in the book of Genesis (chapter two) where–after the heavens and the earth were finished–the Lord God brought “every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air” to Adam to see what he, Adam, would name them. This little story element contains an enormous amount of coded information that for generations seems to have escaped detection by even the most professional Bible thumpers.

For one thing, the storyline incident indirectly reveals that the tale is fashioned on information handed down from some older, more scientific teachings on the creative process by which energy is transformed into matter-form. The “Lord God” of the Genesis account personifies the source or the quantum conditions out of which dimensions of energy are radiated. Adam personifies the Life Principle–which is to say, the element of energy activity that is infused with sensitivity–or that which may otherwise be identified with consciousness. It is this primary stage of energy variation radiating from Source (personified as “Lord God”) that units of energy attract into definable patterns (proto-matter-forms), and these are what Adam, personification of the Life Principle, “names.”

Translated into modern understanding, the “name” of the life-form is determined by the DNA and RNA, and we, as energy forms, carry the sensitivity (consciousness) to perceive and interact with other fields of limited energy. As noted in the book The Celestial Scriptures: Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancients (page 334), “To know the name of a thing means that there is recognition of diverse combinations of energy involvement that have been utilized as individual fields of energy.” And this illustrates the subtle truth of creation: that there are no “names”–or limitations–in Source; there  is simply the potential for everything. As energy-substances involve with purpose (defining as form) they are baptized in the “waters” of creation (amniotic fluids) and given a “name.” And the “name” identifies the form of limitation that has been imposed upon that unit of creative energy.

Also from The Celestial Scriptures: “Unfortunately, the power of a name has been widely misunderstood as being the means of invoking magical powers for personal benefit, which is the implication in the alleged advice of Jesus to ‘…ask in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:14) The Life Principle (personified as Jesus) will indeed give forth all the energies necessary for personal expression, but the name by which it is addressed or appealed to will also determine the delivery limits that the name invokes.”

Each of us has been DNA/RNA “named,” and as an energy-entity we are each capable of expanding above our limitations–but that is not going to be accomplished by calling upon a “name” that was defined by its own material limitation.

Holy Astronomy

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, freethought, history, nontheism, random, religion, science, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by chouck017894

Astronomy is the most ancient of all sciences, and the knowledge was so all-encompassing in its means of charting and presentation that star groupings (constellations) also served as illustrations for instruction on cosmogony as well as on lessons on life’s meaning. Of course such in-depth knowledge was not available to everyone, but the basic premises and the imaginative illustrations associated with the arbitrary groupings of stars were widely recognized by the masses almost everywhere.

Each constellation’s imagined figure–the symbols for the divisions of the ecliptic groupings and the symbols for the planets–were so intriguing that they passed into lore. This remarkable illustrative tool of astronomical charting is still known today, and we call it the Zodiac.  Astonishingly, the origin of that illustrative tool has been traced back more than 10,000 years. Zodiac figures such as Capricornus and Scorpius are known to have existed in their complete form even then. (The Zodiac’s true purpose should not be confused with the later horoscope practice of astrology.) Since the Zodiac figures and divisions were complete even in those ancient days, it means that the Zodiac, which was mapped out in precise degrees, has to be even older. There is, by comparison, no manmade religion that can claim such an ancestry.

Heavenly events were of much concern to the inhabitants of Earth for many generations through the second and first millennia, for neighboring planets were adjusting their orbits. This fact is even attested to in the OT book of Jeremiah (44:18-19) where it is recorded that there was a long history of women offering wine and incense to the heavens from the roofs of buildings.  The planet Venus was of especial interest to them, and it is referred to more than once as “Queen of Heaven.”  Even so, during generations of global upheavals the intimacy once felt for the ancient “celestial picture book” was lost, and the lessons once associated with the star charts became the treasures held as privilged information by a select few. In the passage of time the ancient knowlege became fragmented but would be incorporated into the world’s “holy books.”

The biblical character of Ezekiel, for example, is declared to have played the role of “prophet” of doom from c.597 to c.586 BCE. His most memorable storyline allusion was to a “wheel within a wheel”–which is actually a crafty reference to the Zodiac. And the “faces” that he claimed to have seen in connection to the “wheels”–man, ox, lion and eagle–were ancient references to the quarterly divisions of the Zodiac. These were and are Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpius (the eagle was the Hebrew symbol for Scorpius). The “eyes” spoken of  in verse 18 as being within the “rings” are but poetic reference to the stars. There are many more disguised zodiacal references throughout the Old Testament.

Naturally such a treasure trove with heavenly implications was not neglected in New Testament literature either. Probably the most prominent example of Zodiac association was the borrowing of its emblematic figures by church fathers to represent the four alleged authors of the approved Gospels. After much shuffling of Gospel story elements, the church fathers decided that Matthew was to be represented with a human head (man=Aquarius) because, they said, he had started the book’s narrative with the genealogy of Jesus. The book of Luke began with the story of the priest Zachary, and so it was deemed appropriate that Luke be represented by a sacrificial ox (Taurus). Mark began his version of Gospel events with the mission of John the Baptist who dwelt in the desert, and because the lion was an inhabitant of the desert it was deemed appropriate to symbolize Mark with a lion (Leo). And finally “St.” John, who began his text version with the words “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God…” was given the attribute of an eagle (Hebrew figure for Scorpius), for eagles were widely accepted as symbolic and representative of the higher God in Heaven.  And we should not forget that Jesus is said to have had twelve apostles who revolved about him as the Zodiac signs seem to revolve about the sun. 

Unfortunately, even greater perversion of the ancient Zodiac presentations and the lessons associated with them were looted for use and abuse in the book of Revelation.

Much more detailed information is presented in the books The Shiny Herd and in The Celestial Scriptures. How it all came together for modern evangelical power-plays to build upon is given in Time Frames and Taboo Data.

Faith or Obsession?

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, culture, freethought, history, humanism, nontheism, random, religion with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by chouck017894

Obsession and faith often tend to  share a perverted relationship. Indeed the definition of mental imbalance referred to as “obsession” too often also applies equally to religious “faith” to an alarming degree.

Obsession is defined as a compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or compulsive feeling that generates a driving emotion—more often than not with symptoms of anxiety. When unreasonable ideas or emotions infect mental function to the point of preoccupation, extremism becomes the inevitable consequence. The now-archaic understanding was that obsession was the state of being beset or actuated by the devil or evil spirits. On the other hand, hearing voices from a burning bush or from visions that no one else could detect is presented as  being divinely endowed.

Such “faith” is routinely whitewashed as: “A confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness” of an idea, thing, or person. Religious “faith” is therefore presented as a reliance that need not depend on logical proof or material evidence–miracles, to them, are answers, not things that are questionable. “Faith” is also praised for an unquestioning loyalty to man-formulated doctrines and for extending numb trust that “sacred” texts that were written by various unknown mortal beings present the only access into spiritual enlightenment for man. The difference between “faith” and “obsession” thus hinges soley on how an individual’s egomaniacal temperament functions.

Both the words “faith” and “obsession,” in actuality, refer to some form of ego-gratifying conviction that panders to a sense of exclusivity. And any sense of exclusivity always results in mental obstructions. The next step for the faithful or the obessessed is then extremism–a condition that today infects so much of the world.  When “faith” fanatics try to take over worldly politics, history has shown that the end result has always been disaster for the subjugated, and mankind’s potential for truly moral conduct has been rendered impotent.

Recent research into brain activity has revealed that prominent neurological occurances linked with religious impressions are activated and intensified in the limbic system–the part of the brain governing basic activities such as self-preservation, reproduction, and expressions of fear and rage. It has been shown also that the prefrontal system of the brain–the prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex of the brain–play an influential role in an individual’s religious devotion. Interestinly, persons suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders are shown to have dysfunctional activity in the same prefrontal systems.

Secularism and History

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, culture, freethought, history, humanism, nontheism, random, religion, secularism, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 19, 2009 by chouck017894

Human history has shown that secular thought—by which is meant the evolved life essence that seeks unity and mutual respect in human affairs—is not exactly a natural animal ambition. In this regard we might therefore conclude that secular dedication—or humanism—is spirit (if you will pardon the expression) that is evolved above the ego-gratification that activates religious posturing and which seems constantly seeking victims to put down.

For those of us who prefer to think for ourselves and subscribe to rational interactions with others, it must be admitted therefore that we are not exactly following animal inclinations. Secularism is something of a cultivated, cultured awareness of human inner potential that develops out of a calm intellect and wide-ranging compassion. This is a bit unlike religious practice that wears a benevolent mask to cover a face of emotional and spiritual insecurity. These are animal fears, which drive them to pretend exclusive access to, or favoritism from an alleged prejudiced “maker,” and from that sand fortress they seek to climb to heaven over the bodies of those not related to their pack.

The underlying drive in animal behavior is physical survival, whether loners or pack animals. Devotion, respect and love does not extend beyond their immediate needs or wants. Seen in this light, the practice of organized religions is anchored in and dedicated to the primal animal inclinations from which we should be striving to evolve above, for catering to such inclination cannot be said to be the means of approaching humankinds’ higher potential.

In a very real sense, secularism/humanism is an abiding understanding that higher human potential is not shackled to theistic pretentiousness. However, liberal humanism is a relatively recent development in human affairs—an unfolding–or the evolvement–of intellectual empathy that heralds humankinds’ ability to transform itself into a more noble status. The religionists’ idea of Heaven seems likely to be but a dim primitive perception of this process of evolution into higher potential. Unfortunately, they have yet to learn that ultimately the only means of approaching and receiving man’s higher potential is to meet the diverse faces of life with genuine respect, compassion and integrity.

Hanky-Panky in the Promised Land

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, culture, freethought, history, nontheism, prehistory, random, religion, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by chouck017894

As the stories in the Bible have been passed down from the editing pens of priest-authors, the deliberate misinformation that was incorporated as “holy word” has well served them as the core of a mind control system that is held in regard as religion. We have also seen in previous web postings that modern archaeological and anthropological finds have proven that a heady amount of revered “holy” accounts simply do not jibe with evidence that has been systematically unearthed and studied. The conquering of the “Promised Land” known as Canaan, it is shown, did not occur through an invasion of war as the “holy book” stories imply.

This means that all the blood and guts of Joshua’s holocaustic indugences was simply priestly abuse of facts–probably fabricated in the hope of intimidating the more powerful neighbor-nations around them.

The priest-authors were often sloppy about characterization and plotlines, and certainly would have made lousy generals. But taking of Canaan–supposedly promised to them by god, of course–was made into an epic with a cast of thousands. Moses and Aaron are portrayed as leading the Israelites out of Egypt under god’s promise that “…you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. Curiously, the Creator of all things seems always to have to rely on the bestial side of his favorites to accomplish anything of merit among humans.

There are a number of things that are rather sidestepped in the epic of “capturing” Canaan for god–and his priests. After the invasion was set, Moses appointed twelve men to advance and reconnoiter the land to be occupied. Among those men selected were Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, a member of the tribe of Judah. Much is made over Joshua’s bloodlust as a heroic obsession which propelled him into virtual savior status among Jews. (So admired was he that even the name Jesus is derived from the name Joshua.) But of Josua’s buddy, Caleb, there are some tolerable references but a sparse storyline.

Part of the priest-authors’ downplay of Caleb rests in the name itself, which is Keleb in Hebrew, and means “dog.” Although Caleb had been admitted into the tribe of Judah, the later account says that Caleb “…again separated himself from god, while remaining faithful to the q’deshim” (or “holy ones”). The part that is brushed aside with this statement is that Caleb adopted Canaanite religious customs, the q’deshim cult in particular, according to Deuteronomy.

Genuine history shows that early Hebrews had sacred prostitutes in their temples–a common custom in Babylonian, Assyrian and other neighboring cultures of the time. Female prostitutes were known as q’deshah–and the male equivalents were the q’deshim, who were known as dog-priests for the positions they assumed for their service. That Caleb was an acknowledged member of the tribe of Judah is consistent with the legend that Judah himself was an unashamed user of temple prostitutes.

Apparently in that historic age the Lord had not yet gotten all his prejudices sorted out, for a personal favorite of his, David, came from the tribe of Judah (and he had loved Johathan), and David had used Caleb’s territory, Hebron, as his capital until he supposedly captured Jerusalem.

Gnostic vs. Judaic/Christian

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, culture, history, naturalism, nontheism, religion with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by chouck017894

The writings we refer to today as the Old Testament were regarded by Gnostics as the accounts of Jehovah’s crimes against humanity. Jehovah (Yahweh) was not accepted by them as the true god but was assessed as the identity of a Demiurge (creator of the material world).  Such OT characters as Abraham, Moses and the like were regarded as the henchmen of Jehovah who were dedicated to misdirecting the souls of humans into matter and ignorance. This, of course, was considered heretical by the Jewish priests and Christian fathers. But the Gnostics believed that inquiry into spiritual truth was of  more spiritual value than brainless adherence to priest-concocted rituals and ceremonies.

Of the Gnostics themselves very little is known of their true doctrines, with most of the accounts of them provided by opponents and detractors, thus those accounts are probably not too reliable. Because the Gnostics did not regard matter-life to be the true residence of the human spirit they tried to avoid creating material evidence of their entrapment in this material plane. Any writing or illustrative work on Gnostic belief was regarded with contempt, for it was judged by them to provide the means of engendering new errors. As a result there is very little true Gnostic literature or artifacts available for study.

Despite the accounts by opponents and detractors whose interest was promotion of their own belief systems, Gnosticism was, for the most part, centered on the highest ethic. That their concept of ethics was held to be judged from an amoral perspective is difficult to comprehend by modern western religions that insist that everything is to be classified as either good or evil, black or white, or positive or negative. Sex, for example, was not deemed a horrendous wrongdoing by them as western religions chose to pretend and have used to chain people to dogmas through a sense of guilt. Sex was held by the Gnostics to be strictly the business of consenting partners or participants. As Basilides, and Alexandrian Gnostic master of the early first century CE said, “The perpetration of any voluptuous act whatever is a matter of indifference”–to the highest powers.

Indeed, consensual sexual activity was held with positive regard in the little that is known of Gnostic theology, for it was recognized as the means of experiencing the indiscriminate Life Force. The sexual impulse was understood by them to be the highly personal energy field that can open a release from the constricting pressures of this matter world. In other words, sex was seen as a means of re-creating their identity within the universal creative powers –the primary intent of sexual activity. And since the Gnostics sought to avoid entrapping others in this material plane crafted by the Demiurge, procreation was regarded as less than of secondary importance. To the Gnostics the command to go forth and multiply was the enticement to moral and ecological disaster.

Maybe they were on to something.