Archive for dogmatism

Arrested Spiritual Development, AKA Theology

Posted in Atheist, belief, enlightenment, faith, random, religion, theology with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by chouck017894

Theology is generally defined as a methodically formulated “study” which dares to claim that it provides “knowledge” and the “science” regarding the nature of God. In actuality theology is more of a speculative exercise system of belief which builds upon the hypothesis that a supernatural being (with humanlike characteristics) created and sits in judgment of everything in Creation. This “study” is heavily promoted as religious truth and theological science which allegedly provides rational inquiry into religious questions. Oddly, all organized faith systems, especially those which are run by the book, pivot upon somewhat differing opinions as to what constitutes “divinity” and what humanity’s relationship is with that alleged “divine being.” The subject of theoloty is marketed as a study course which specializes in “religious research,” and is commonly obtainable at a faith-based university or seminary. In other words, the “science” (loosely defined) is a money oriented study for attaining a salary-oriented career.

The modern use of the term “theology” refers to a rather narrow approach to the universal powers which are imagined to correspond to a super-humanlike being. This is a self-serving mode of propaganda which insinuates that it teaches exclusive knowledge. But in more ancient timeframes such as classical Greece, theology, by the etymology of the word, signified a discourse about the divine Source as ultimate god by men such as Pherecydes of Syros (6th century BCE), a teacher of Pythagoras, and the man Epimenides of Crete (around 600 BCE), who is reputedly the “prophet” quoted by “Saint” Paul in Titus 1:12. Broadly speaking, theology includes the earliest classical understanding as being a discourse about God, but the study also theorizes man’s nature which seems to indicate a distinct (faith system) relationship with that theorized god. This is then easily expanded into speculation of how each person’s life experiences determine the relationship of each person’s destiny with God.

Theological studies assert that “other sciences” such as biology are incorporated, and these true sciences allegedly support and affirm “the scientific explanation of religious life.” Even so, this claimed “scientific” relationship still generates only a system of doctrines, dogmatism, and duties which support and promotes the faith system. Nothing in such a setup really elevates a seeker’s spirit into true enlightenment. It might be concluded, therefore, that theology is an elaborate practice which was invented for the bedevilment of reason.

There is, consequently, an abundance of terms and expressions that have been produced to promote the beliefs which each faith system offers. About the only thing that all these man-formulated systems (categorized under the umbrella of “religion”) actually agree upon is that anyone who does not subscribe to a supernatural explanation of universal powers is damned and those poor souls’ rational skepticism is spoken of as (gasp) “atheism!” In other words,a theist’s judgment is systematically and subconsciously programmed with hatred toward any differing search for enlightenment instead of being infused with spiritual tolerance. Meanwhile the vocabulary of faith system believers remains colored with its descriptive theist tag, meaning “god,” in words such as monotheist, henotheist, polytheist, pantheist, and even atheist, and the misunderstood term deist. Deism, as an example, is the belief that the truth of the existence of the creative Life Principle (which is commonly personified as God) can only be discovered by each individual through the evidence of reason and nature, and without resort to any particular church or to claims of revelation. The bulk of founding fathers of the United States were deists, not Christians, as example. Deism is from Latin, theism is from Greek.

Excesses of any faith system are inestimable, and they flourish under such proudly displayed emblems as two interlocked triangles making up a six pointed star, a dead body hanging on a cross, a crescent moon cupping a five-pointed star, and other faith system insignia. All too commonly religious devotion to imagined divinities has been slyly misdirected and that yearning by seekers for true enlightenment then becomes sacrificed for an indulgence in eccentric procedures. Theological construction utilizes (for it own ends) philosophical terms of value, but rationality is the least valued of those terms. At its best, theological study can only tippy-toe around philosophical dedication to rationality in its pursuit of theological tenets.

True philosophy is the attempt to uncover an ultimate truth by rational means; theology, however, is prone to limit (and heavily so) rational investigation, willingly sacrificing that standard of philosophy for the faith system purpose which strives to impose a submit-and-obey following. To accomplish this, theological study has to incorporate a philosophical starting point if it is to make the study appear rational. Thus are alleged “revelations” which have been handed down by tribal ancestors made to serve as the starting point upon which a pretense of “scientific study” of those revelations may be presented by imitating philosophical premises. Theology’s claimed affiliation with philosophy, we could thus say, is something like an occasional behind-the-barn intimacy. It is akin to a hormone-driven need to feel intimacy with rationality, but those moments of dalliance must be kept hidden from the gullible public.

Exegetical theology is a more recent attempt at trying to include genuine scientific principles in support of their belief system by accepting the evidence of evolution as being active in both the spiritual and material dimensions of creation. In other words, exegetical theology leans strongly toward universalism. By this means, however, the creative life-infusing power which is personified as “God” can never really be classified as Jewish, Christian, Muslim or any other man-contrived membership belief system, for that Source power continues to indiscriminately uphold any and all aspects of whatever mankind may perceive from his limited observation of Creation.

So is it ever appropriate to bestow upon ethnic faith systems a collection of invented theological claims as being “scientific” or “facts”? The central tenets of any established faith system must, of necessity, provide some allusion of historical background for those tenets, but any in-depth investigation of any faith system will reveal that there is not one in existence which has not heavily whitewashed its true history. Ignoring true historical data does not enhance spiritual reliability.

Related post: Haggling Over What To Believe, January 2013

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Spiritual Rigor Mortis

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanism, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by chouck017894

The general consensus among man-fashioned faith systems is that the creative power that is to be ceremoniously appealed to is an omnipotent and omniscient (all-powerful and all-knowing) being.  This raises a nagging question: Why should mortal persons be encouraged to whip themselves into a neurotic conviction that there is only one way—their man-concocted way, of course—to seek higher attunement with that omnipotent and omniscient intelligence?  And why would an all-powerful and all-knowing being feel any need to rely upon a theatrical marathon led by pompous and outlandishly costumed charlatans to accomplish his divine intention?

Something in each faith system’s My-Way-Only approach to attracting universal attention simply does not add up; especially considering that this little planet is swamped with a minimum of 4,200 religions, faith groups, schism denominations, independent churches, tribal beliefs, cultural traditions, congregations, etc.  (These statistics were calculated by aherents.com/)  And every one of them is convinced that they alone possess exclusive access to an afterlife paradise or bliss or something resembling a spiritual country club that defies depiction.

These eternally unanswered challenges should send up caution signals to any rational mind.  We should always question any faith system that seeks to forcibly impose their man-invented brand of religious theatrics upon the masses in the name of that all-embracing creative power that demonstratively expresses creative will in endlessly diverse ways.  The diversity that is found throughout all that is seen as life signals to us the universal truth that one’s connection to that Source may also be achieved in endlessly diverse personal ways—not  just through some unyielding, uncompromising dogma.  It is when something is dead that it becomes stiff, cold, inflexible, and unfeeling; i.e. unspiritual.

Rigor mortis is defined as the progressive stiffening of muscular tissues after death, which is due to chemical changes in the physical body.  And this fact of life illustrates the standard by which we may estimate the life-and-spiritual value in our self-awareness which allows each individual to interact with that sustaining creative power.  The creative force  responsible for all creation grants the privilege of diversity throughout all creation.  When faith is made to shrivel into a rigid, unbending, adamant, pitiless practice (fundamentalism), there is no way that such a dead approach could possibly reflect the all-embracing omnipotent and omniscient will in which all diverse things are sustained.  Such self-centered insolence is not a living spiritual practice, for it is purposely directed to achieve only material-tyrannical objectives. 

The fundamentalists habitually string their beliefs upon a few narrowly selected verses of “holy word,” but ignore that the bulk of those stories which they cannibalize for examples on how to stroke God’s ego were primarily concerned about political struggles that were palmed off by the human writers of those self-serving tales as being divine disclosure.  Thus psychologically conditioned, the insecurity that fundamentalists feel in their belief system drives them to seek legal trickery to enforce their distorted values upon the multitude.  Cultivating hatreds and inciting disorder against all those who do not share their inflexible “faith” amounts to nothing more than an indoctrination practice in which followers are conditioned to act as dedicated assassins of spiritual equality.  That is not an honorable way to serve the hallowed source of life; that is personal spirit in the throes of rigor mortis.  There is advice to be found in the New Testament book of Matthew 8:22 that may be directed to those poor souls who have allowed themselves to stiffen into such spiritual rigidity: there it says, “…let the dead bury the dead.”

Faith 3X3X3

Posted in Atheist, culture, freethought, history, life, logic, random, religion with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by chouck017894

History has shown repeatedly that for any religion to gain followers it must embody at least one of three elements: if it contains all three it is a surefire winner.  The necessary ingredients in the recipe for initiating an organized religion include: 1) a mythology;  2) a claim of miracles; 3) a definite doctrine regarding the “hereafter.”

Most people are brought up in or gravitate to a religion that is colored with mythology that includes alleged miracles about which they may express awe and fear.  Such seekers also generally feel a need for a limitless eternity that is nevertheless alluded to in measurements that imitate their own limited understanding of mortal life.  That way the seekers do not have to measure up too drastically in order to claim the promised reward for believing.

Braided into this recipe for an organized religion are three common restrictions that allegedly assure special favor from heaven.  These are: 1) submit to “the will of god”—which actually means that followers must do whatever the mouthpiece of the cult says;  2) release oneself of personal desire—meaning much the same as the  first restriction; 3) advance the “faith” through self-sacrifice—again meaning the followers must be thoughtless slaves for the “faith.”

Basically these three restrictive demands produce believers that consequently struggle with inner resentments that often become emotionally destructive.  If all the above mentioned ingredients are incorporated into the “faith,” the inevitable result for that rigid belief system is the degeneration into a trinity of deadly sins common to all hard-line religions, which are:  1) literalism; 2) formalism; 3) dogmatism—all of which are designed to crush any sense of personal communication with the universal essences that freely creates as ultimate Cause.  These three sins of hard-line religions then transform what little spiritual content of belief that the belief system might have to offer into material obsession

The reasons for this are:  1) literalism is the insistence upon taking self-serving accounts written by unknown authors–but always attributed to some divinely blessed person–as unquestionable truth;  2) formalism is the excessive and often rigorous adherence to man-invented ceremonies that are concerned entirely with external, extraneous aspects of worship that supposedly attract divine attention; 3) dogmatism is the assertion that particular beliefs are authoritative, and that unproven or improvable principles presented as spiritual guidance must be accepted as absolute truth.

Are such man-concocted indulgences really in the best interest of mankind’s higher potential?