Archive for miracles

History, Traditions and Religion

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanity, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , on June 5, 2010 by chouck017894

History, according to most theologians of the western world, is the unfolding of God’s purpose.  And the stress that is placed upon the claimed historic value of their faith hinges upon a strategic rewrite of some unsettled conditions in one vicinity of the world in a narrow timeframe.  This perspective that it is their belief system which has historic value is quite unlike older faith traditions that were  more spiritually centered and which held that historical facts were of sparse value in terms of soul expansion.  The difference in the two approaches rests in the fact that the “miracles” credited to the central character in Eastern and older Pagan belief systems were accepted as incidental signs which attested to his divine authority.  Western religions, however, make the alleged “miracles” of the principal character the main essence of its alleged history.  The supernatural elements packaged into the scriptural accounts of Jesus, for example, are supposed to be accepted as historical happenings.  As summed up by an early Christian apologist, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then is your faith vain.”

Genuine history always leaves tangible evidence behind that attests to particular persons and/or events.  Simply claiming historicity of biblical narratives is not legitimate evidence of historic happenings.  The time of the writing of various biblical accounts is of historical value, however, for the conditions of life in the region where the accounts were penned (not the setting of the story) colors the relationship to what is claimed as history.  That consideration of real-time and place is steadfastly avoided in both the Hebrew and Christian traditions, and by extension Islam as well, unless it happens to play into some claim that they put forward. 

God is presented in western faith systems as a being possessing an objective and permanent reality, a belief which for the faithful correlates as hard fact.  And this has made for western world cultures in which believers struggle with subliminal resentment over miracle happenings in antiquity that are apparently no longer granted to mortals by heaven.  Religious dogma does not allow sect members the luxury of logic, and as a result the devout (especially the fundamentalists) fail to see that miracles have been produced abundantly in modern times: we have received them through mankind’s pursuit of science and technology. 

Ironically, Christianity more than any other religion has served as the seedbed for man’s scientific and technological experiments in seeking some command over nature.   These pursuits for dominion over the physical world rest wholly on the Judaic/Christian scriptures that assert that man was meant to have rulership over earth life.  Other faiths never presumed such a thing, insisting that one should live in harmony with all life expressions.  But the holy word of God, as the western theologians chose to interpret it, subtly instilled a state of mind that lusted to impose transformational power over the physical world. 

If history is the unfolding of God’s purpose, as the devout theologians declare, the progressive movement of history has indicated that science and technology are Heaven’s favored path into transformation through the determined closing down of finite limits.

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Saints and Religious Propaganda

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, politics, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by chouck017894

Religious adherence, like any marketable product, needs a variety of representations and catch phrases to keep sales active and appealing.  In western religious practice one of those tools, especially as taken over in Christian practice, is the use of the word “saint.”  That word is commonly traced back as translating some derivative of the Hebrew qados and/or the Greek hagios.   In both cases these words were applied primarily to the gods that inspired awe and therefore rightly warranted adoration.  Of course those in the business of selling belief found it profitable to extend the meaning to include those persons or things that allegedly had a unique relationship to the gods.  The advertising ploy was that this special relationship of certain persons or things had been set apart from the unhallowed world and made sufficiently clean (rendered holy”) by man-concocted rites so that they could be used for sacred theatrics. 

Thus in religious phraseology the political minded priests of Yahweh at work in Jerusalem c. 850 BCE (their works would not be codified until the early 5th century BCE) declared anyone devoted to their god made up the “holy people” of Israel.  This necessitated that the priests indulge themselves in a bit of flim-flam, for “holy” in this use did not imply any moral sense: it was simply the priestly claims of being specially selected as God’s people.  Behind this priestly indulgence of smoke and mirrors, the true purpose had nothing to do with people’s personal spiritual advancement; it was totally focused on attaining and maintaining material advantages for their “faith” project.  Thus the followers of the Yahweh priests were declared “holy people”—or what we are taught to think of as “saints”—in their  meaning a nation set apart (self-segregated) for worship or service to God under priestly administration.

This false sense of spiritual entitlement that was introduced in the “faith” that was being manufactured in Jerusalem cultivated characteristics that guaranteed the faith could never reflect the all-embracing, liberal power that they claimed to serve.  By their self-serving interpretation of material  existence the incalculable diversity displayed throughout Creation is said to be manage through a system of favoritism and discrimination.

The rise of a counter doctrine was inevitable, especially since the  devotees to the priestly politics of spirit in Jerusalem had made for unending skirmishes through the young muscle-bound Roman Empire.  The invention of Christianity occurring in this timeframe was primarily a political undertaking, not some miraculous intervention of heaven to “save” the (Roman) world.  It is for this reason that the starring character in the new movement was cast as a Jewish rebel, whose name was derived from the Torah‘s brutal messiah named Joshua.  Thus in the anthology that became the New Testament there is found a heavy draw upon things Jewish in hope of clearing away at least some of that gang mentality that was the core of Judaism. 

The new faith movement was conceived and fleshed out primarily in Rome, not Jerusalem, but the authors had a certain amount of familiarity with the governing families in Jerusalem.  As the Christian counter movement evolved, borrowing strong attributes from other religious cults active in Rome at that time, the emphasis remained on a more moderated and less special interest understanding of things that function  beyond human comprehension.  But various authors brought different colorings to the new cult, among which was  the absorption of the notion of special category of persons that supposedly pleased heaven and which also appealed to the egos of converts.  Thus, as the people of Israel had been presented as “holy ones” or “saints,” there had to be allowance made that placed the competing “faith” movement in Rome on an equality basis with the unruly Jews.  Consequently God suddenly found himself possessed with a whole new variety of “favorites.”

The political minded authors of the Christian cult therefore cleverly incorporated into the new holy works the idea that those who comprised the church were “holy” and “saints” because they were set apart for God (not by God), and the church itself was the alleged new Israel.  So we now read in Romans 1:7, written 100 CE when the authors were restructuring the  earlier Christian strategies, that Christians are referred  to as God’s own people.  This theme is also implied in 1:1 Philippians undoubtedly written much later that the 64 date commonly insisted upon.  By this time Roman annoyance at the Jews spiritual arrogance was being channeled toward a practice of spiritual intimidation—which reached its orgiastic conclusion in Revelation (written c. 135 CE) where a new Jerusalem is lowered to Earth.

As the Christian movement grew and its tentacles spread from Rome across Europe, the movement became the replacement  for the collapsed Roman Empire.  It cannot be said to have been a true blessing for the world.  But its “saints” had amazing self-breeding capability.  The first “saints,” of course, were the supposed disciples;  the church could not have been built if they had not been systematically put in place.  In this is found the clue for church respect for all those it has promoted as “saints.”  From that starting point every figure ever presented as a “saint” throughout Christian history has been so honored because that “saint” in some manner advanced the corporate church itself.  In no way did any of those church approved “saints” ever advance man’s understanding that the universe responds directly to each person if each person learns to approach it in true humbleness.

So how have religion’s “saints” advanced the spiritual potential of mankind?  A look at the many schisms in every organized religion suggests that the evil so railed against by all of them is actually nurtured primarily within those practices of imagined superiority.  But the magic acts are still being indulged in even as we pass through the front hall of the 21st century—a calendar dating system, incidentally, based on a “holy” character whose existence has never been proven.  Amazingly, the Roman Catholic Church is still indulging in the old self-promotion scams, and plans are in place to elevate the late Pope John Paul to “saint” status.  All that is needed is a miracle that can be credited to him.  As the old adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

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?