Grasping at Straws—A Lecture on Faith

How faith supports evolution in a self serving grasp of ego.

All our efforts at a spiritual life are prompted by self-interest—Alan Watts

Yet again, the promise of Christianity to make one a better person through faith, to dispose self interest for the greater good of mankind, to nobly tame the natural man through the submission of will actually intensifies self interest. The intent does not produce the desired outcome—again. Christians are Christians at the promise of reward and the escape of death. Fear is the underlying motivation of all perceived good in the name of religion. God (the writers) would have you believe you are doing it to please God, but the farther one goes into fundamental belief the more arrogant and self serving that interest becomes.

Psychotherapy and liberation are completed in the moment when shame and guilt collapse, when the organism is no longer compelled to defend itself for being an organism, and when the individual is ready to own his unconscious behavior”—Alan Watts Psychotherapy East & West (1961)

Be-lief comes from the Anglo-Saxon root lief, which means to “wish.” Belief is the fervent hope that certain things are true. A wish

Faith is contrary to evolutionary laws of altruism and self sacrifice for the good of others. Promoting the general welfare through be-lief has put obedience to pious men of words above natural good sense and love—Talk about living a conflicted life. The harder one tries the farther they get from the destination. Like the expanding universe, the more we measure our lives through faith, the farther away they delve into confusion and self interest—the self perpetuating life of grasping at straws.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

236 thoughts on “Grasping at Straws—A Lecture on Faith”

  1. PS Just wanted to add that I’d like to separate out ‘Christianity’ as a product of Constantine and his editorial staff, from ‘the teachings of Jesus’ as far as we might have uncensored access. I have huge reservations about Christianity and the Bible but far fewer about Jesus as a man, teacher and as a way for people to access the ‘existential orientation of Faith’ that I’m speaking of. Anyway, big conversation…

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  2. I think there has been so much written and spoken about Faith and God and Christianty and so much confusion around the Bible that the value of Faith has been lost in our having the wrong kind of conversation about it. I have struggled to reconcile the Church with the Bible and Christianity and my understanding of human beings and nature and science and, well, the whole bit. I don’t struggle as much any more because I have an understanding that makes sense to me now. It’s impossible to distil this down into a comment box. But I’d ask whether anyone has considered Faith as an existential orientation to Being?

    At the risk of being misunderstood I would suggest that Jesus’ message is one that invites us all to align ourselves with life in a new way. Unfortunately that message has been reduced to a kind of Santa Claus understanding of God and Heaven and Faith itself as some kind of agreement that a person has to make with an invisible God to behave oneself and in return we’ll get into Heaven after we die and, somehow ‘live forever’. They metaphors have been taken literally. And as such we’ve turned the message into a children’s bedtime story that no-one takes seriously. Read as metaphor and allegory, the message is very different and we rob ourselves of the power of Faith by misreading metaphor as literal instruction.

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    1. I really like this comment. I can agree that “Faith as an existential orientation to Being?” After reading through some of your own posts (nice job btw) it seems you have some genuine thoughts and are putting some fairly decent clarity behind your ideas. The trauma in your life has forced you to look outside of yourself to validate your worth. This is a process with being exposed to faith as a cure for what ails, essentially assuring/assisting your own innate ability to see what you’ve now been primed to see. Without getting too awfully long, when I lost faith and quit believing in god I had a great calm and perspective on my life. I have been doing this in my own for ever and I realized “I’ve got this”. I always had. Faith may drag you out of the doldrums, then it cripples personal progress and growth. There is no Jesus walking you through life. You’ve got this! Christianity disempowers. Nothing has changed but placing belief out in front of your journey. This same “belief” can turn people into monsters or get them to explore new worlds.
      I just got another great comment a few days ago about this as well, so here’s what I think. It takes some very clever wording and thought process to make sense of it all (Christianity) You now have your own unique way of interpreting everything to suit you. That is great, but take away the Bible and faith and it was you all along. When I deconverted after so many years in the church, no self esteem crashes, no misery, no fear. I’ve still got this just as I always have. I do hope you’ll drop by now and then. I appreciate your insight.

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      1. Thnaks Jim. There is more to my understanding of Faith. It’s not simply a way of getting out of personal anguish (I’m not sure whether you’re suggesting that specifically). That would reduce Faith to the status of a technique or psychological crutch. For me Faith is more than could be explained in positivist terms. But it’s very tricky to write about it here because of the risk of misunderstanding of something that is subtle and very easily lost in the cracks between how we speak to one another and the intellectual paradigms people have used here from which to understand things.

        What I will say is this. Faith and the kind of morality Jesus spoke about go together. His view of ‘eternal life’ is, in my humble understanding, a metaphor for our alignment to life in a way that is an existential attunement. Morality is more than just a choice within a morally relativistic Godless, ‘meaningless’ universe. It is, for me, an invitation to align to our potential as beings with the fabric of life (and its necessarily mysterious nature) in a way that pure self-interest cannot. Self-interest without a set of values only gets us the shitty world we have today, which to my mind is an utter failure of humanity to live up to itself.

        I share your desire for truth. And I genuinely believe that Faith can offer you something more than technique or membership to Christianity. But I suspect we’d have to sit down with a few beers to get to where I mean. I don’t have any egotistical or intellectual gain to make or axe to grind but genuinely think that there may be a piece in this puzzle that could be of real value to you (assuming I’ve grasped your position on all this correctly.

        All the best for now.

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        1. All the best to as well. I get the feeling you are finding a meaningful life for yourself rather than having the pat answers given to you, if that makes sense. Myself I love insight to the human condition but have a incredible lack of interest in spiritual things. I tend to take a middle stance between faith and atheism, though I don’t believe in any gods, I don’t passionately believe in anything. I think the answers so many seek will be found is some way we’ve not even discussed yet, when it comes to truth.

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  3. I see you found a special one. Be sure to not let it escape the confines of your blog Jim. We should have a quarrantine button! 😉

    This one is playing ring around the rosy for kicks. You will get nothing by engaging.

    #bottomlesscupocrap

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      1. A Pauline with epilepsy, blindfold, and both arms tied behind your back representing “faith” and total human depravity — everything that disempowers Believers from their best innate virtues. 😦

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          1. Then claim individual and group “special divine esoteric revelations” of interpreting their 4th-century canonical, Hellenic Bibles that are significantly amputated in the first place. A never-ending merry-go-round. Geezzz.

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  4. I wonder what your view on Islam is? Or do you only target Christians? Seems rather simple minded from what I can tell. People have been killing and slandering Christians since before Christ.

    What other religions do you trash?

    I wonder what the response would be if you replaced Christian with Black or Woman or Gay or anything else other than Christian?

    Christians are an easy target. The question you must ask yourself is, if you can judge a Christian, then a Christian can judge you.

    No one is immune, no one is innocent. Realize this and you may start to accept people for who they are. Rather than what you think they should be.

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    1. I’ve done posts on Islam as well. The overwhelming majority here in the states is Christian and that’s what we’re most influenced by. Christianity and Islam have the same evolutionary track, just 600 years behind. It all pretty predictable. And sure, you can judge me all you want. The picture and name are my own. I have no secrets. It’s just extremely easy to see the outcomes of faith don’t match up with the desired results.

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        1. Simple observation. I’ve never read an atheist book. Maybe watched five videos that were linked. Don’t really you tube either. If you put aside all the influences and just look around, it’s amazing what you see. The first one “go into the world and preach my gospel”. Then shake the dust off your feet. Basically designed to divide the world from the getgo if you know the cultural implications of that verse. From the beginning to the end, nothing matches up with objectivity. It’s all propped up with words, and developed by force. Very few non compliant genes left to fight.

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          1. Maybe, but then again, the words of man twisted to gain power, influence and riches.

            Look at how many bands become Christian Rock, just to make a killing financially. Look at the church and how that has twisted the words of God.

            Never underestimate human behavior, people will do whatever it takes to be crowned ruler of man.

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            1. Offhand? I am sure there are a few, but in the main most deaths were the result of internecine wars.
              Christians have been slaughtering each other over doctrinal points or power struggles since around the time they first concocted the story.

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            2. Sorry, you’ve lost me.
              Your comment doesn’t make any sense.

              More Christians have been persecuted and killed by other Christians.

              This is simply undeniable historical fact.
              Even today, the Catholic Church is largely responsible for untold numbers of deaths of its members through HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa, because of its stance on contraception
              Maybe I am missing something as I fail to see the point you are trying to make?

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            3. People kill people, whether they are Christians or other black. It doesn’t change the fact that murder happens.

              People are people no matter where, no matter when.

              I get that you are trying to point out hypocrisy, but how hypocritical is it to only look in one direction. Why is blame placed on the entire population rather than the person who did it?

              No people are a monolith.

              Why do you think all Christians are the same?

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            4. Very. I do get a little impatient when people that have only seriously looked at one issue their entire life, have the scoop on truth. But, I’ll wait.

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            5. What the hell are you talking about?
              I never mentioned ”black”.

              Your initial comment:
              Any other people you can think of that killed Christians?
              I answered and stated that Christians were responsible for persecuting and killing other Christians than any other.

              Your method of phrasing comments suggests you neither read the post or are able to frame a relevant thought.

              Be specific.
              What was the point of your comment in the first place?

              Liked by 1 person

            6. Ah … a specific question. Excellent.
              Let’s see if we can make some more progress, shall we?
              Please define exactly what you mean by the same.
              Thanks.

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            7. Are all Christians the same in your opinion? Do you subscribe to stereotypes? If all Christians are the same, what other people are the same in your mind?

              Are blacks a monolith?

              Are gays a monolith?

              Do you see the label or the person?

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            8. As people, of course Christians are all different.
              The problem is their/your differently interpreted indoctrinated worldview.

              When an individual identifies themselves as a Christian, they usually have an agenda.

              After all, you are commanded to spread the word, are you not?
              And this is where all the trouble begins ….

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            9. Ah, so now I’m indoctrinated? How do you know that you have not been indoctrinated as well?

              So you associate Christians as having an agenda? One might say your have a prejudice towards Christians. I know it has become popular to trash God and Christianity.

              If you view Christians as having an agenda, where does it stop? Does it stop solely at Christians? Or are there more peoples you take issue with as well?

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            10. Ah, so now I’m indoctrinated? How do you know that you have not been indoctrinated as well?

              You are a member of a cult that worships a human sacrifice – the work of narrative fiction, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth.
              You believe you are a sinner and that the only way to attain eternal life is to acknowledge this and also acknowledge that the only way to achieve this is to believe the character Jesus of Nazareth is divine.
              Of course you also believe that failure to believe and failure to accept this as fact ensures you are doomed to spend eternity in Hell,a demesne created by the deity you worship and who you consider is a loving and just god. This punishment will naturally include the majority of humanity.
              And all this belief is based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever.
              Simply on the strength of believing this utter garbage one would have to presume you are indoctrinated and likely delusional as is anyone else who adheres to this nonsense.

              If one compares this to any individual who does not believe in gods of any description, a secular humanist for example, then the question of which of us is indoctrinated is pretty straightforward.
              The winner is You, Hands down.

              Yes I am most definitely prejudice against all religion.
              I am prejudice against Christians who wish to export their fallacious and vile doctrine and especially when they abuse children with it.

              I’m sure there are plenty of agendas, some benign, some not.
              Christianity most definitely sits among the latter.

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            11. Hahahahaha, your zeal comes through in your writing.

              Why do you feel you need to win?

              Then again how do you know anything you say is true?

              Time will tell what is true and what is not. If time and history has taught us anything it is that people are people no matter where no matter when.

              You seem quite impatient. Eventually the truth will be revealed.

              “I know that I know nothing” – Socrates.

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            12. Why do you feel you need to win?

              Why do think I am trying to point score?
              You popped over to Jim’s spot.
              You obviously have a beef with those who are not god botherers like yourself.
              All I am doing is responding to your rather silly comments.

              Then again how do you know anything you say is true?
              Hmm, I am beginning to wonder if simple minded might not be the right label for you? After all you did suggest some might consider you so.

              The rest of your comment which completely failed to address a single relevant point suggests you may have
              to adjust your bib.
              Making you should rather focus on ”smokin ass” as you seem to have little understanding of why you are an indoctrinated god-botherer.

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            13. Hahahahahha, oh man. Hilarious, you sound hysterical! Yeah, are you afraid of conversation with those whom don’t share your beliefs?

              Thanks for reading some of my posts. I wonder why you were too afraid to comment though?

              Who’s got a beef? One cannot ask questions? Why do you believe in the cult of science?

              Sigh, oh well. I guess your anger gets the best of you every time.

              When’s the last time you had a piece of smokin hot ass? Maybe that’s the problem, you’re too busy trying to convert everyone, lecturing them on how they are wrong to even take a break and get laid.

              Take is easy there Arkenaten, breath. You gotta relax if you’re gonna make it through Thanksgiving.

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            14. Anger? *Smile*
              You make so many assumptions that you are risible.

              Let’s remind ourselves that it was you who came here.
              I hope you realise that almost every visitor to Jim’s blog is an EX-christian and you are simply making a fool of yourself.
              You can be assured of this. Some are cringing at your words, others may be a little more sympathetic, having been where you are at some time in the past.
              However, all will be shaking their heads at the sheer stupidity of the worldview you represent.

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            15. I’m used to humiliation. I enjoy it. Keep em coming. Am I not welcome here? Can I not ask simple questions?

              Now I have a stupid world view, hahahahahahah. Oh man, you’re too much. I’m sure I will outlast you in this argument.

              Your stamina is already waning, the more put downs and insults you hurl you show your exhaustion.

              It’s ok though, you can always just stop replying. I’m sure your readers will understand that you can’t win em all.

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            16. You insult yourself. You need no help from me.
              My readers are used to fools such as you, trust me on this point..
              Win, win what?
              Every deconvert I am aware came to the realization of the untenability of their position/worldview on their own.
              Once cognitive dissonance kicks in and is strong enough deconversion is inevitable outcome.

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            17. Ah ha, so that’s how it works?

              A few questions:

              Do you wish you would’ve come to this awakening earlier on in your own life?

              Are you ashamed of what you once were?

              Do you appreciate your journey or do you now try to make up for lost time?

              The reason why I ask is because you come across very militant and quite annoyed.

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            18. Thank you for reassuring me on this point. I shall not mention how much of a fool you are again.
              In fact this will be the very last time you see any mention from me about how you are making a fool of yourself.
              I am sure that it is glaringly apparent to all those reading along just how much you are making a fool of yourself and any future mention of how much of a fool you are will be completely unnecessary.
              Foolish even.
              Carry on, Sergeant.

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            19. Time for the fools to be put right! There is bit one God, Allah! And there is but one truth! The Quran! Read the quote below, oh, yea foolish people, and weep! For it is TRUTH you all deny, and it is punishment that awaits you for doing so!

              From the Quran:
              “This Book is not to be doubted…. As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them. ”
              Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10

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            20. We’re talking religion here. Deflecting isn’t acknowledging a problem. I’m sure china is worse too, but that doesn’t address Christianity and their failures. Christianity is supposed to set a height standard. It falls short of what regular people can do on their own when they have accountability, doubly so.

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            21. What is the standard that is unattainable? To simply accept Christ and that he died for our sins. That is all anyone must do to be saved.

              There is nothing else that is asked. It is simple, accept Christ into your heart and acknowledge that he died in the cross so we could be saved.

              Christ absolved us of our sin, forever. All that is required to be saved is quite simple.

              When did I deflect? Please be specific.

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            22. Black crime? Simply accepting Christ does nothing to improve accountability and personal growth. It diminishes society when you can pass off your problems to another.

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            23. Who passes their problems off? What is your measure of improvement? Are there others with even higher standards than yours? Would you be able to live to their standards.

              Simply setting standards for others to live by is both ignorant and incredibly passive aggressive. Live your own life and allow others the same.

              How would you lift society Jim?

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            24. accept Christ into your heart and acknowledge that he died in the cross so we could be saved.

              Except for the myths presented within most religions (Christianity in particular), there is nothing to be saved from! “Sin” is simply a word that came into popular usage many centuries ago and is currently used by the religious to create fear of a non-existent “hell” or similar unpleasant end-of-life experience.

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            25. That’s why I read physics, psychology, genetics, and other disciplines. I don’t listen to fake news (or any news) and come to my own observations.

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            26. Psychology is the darkest of the arts. There is no need for psychology, all you must do is like you said, talk with and observe.

              Who knows how to truly read and understand genetics? Do we even know what we are looking at? Can our minds even comprehend genetics?

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            27. Psychology has shown the fine manipulation of religion. Combined with neuroscience it has provided some outstanding detail of the conversion process.

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            28. Do your own research then. Unless your afraid to look. Hands down there are superior explanations to god. No supernatural explanation has ever supplanted a natural or scientific one. Your god is getting smaller. You won’t here it from the money pulpits that for sure. Denying the obvious is a unique Christian ability. Nice work. Talk about hubris!!

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            29. You sound like a holy roller with your obvious conviction. Why are you so sure of yourself? Why is it so important that people acknowledge science over faith in your opinion?

              Why can’t people just be people in your mind?

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            30. I think you projecting a bit sir. I post one minute info blogs about the faith Trap. I am fairly confident in my conclusions because I tune out the banter and view outcomes. Then I work backwards. My thought are my own. Yours are not yours, but in submitting to authority you have parroted the teachings of others. You’ll see what I mean when you deconvert. I’d not have believed it myself had it not happened to me. Now I’ve found a plethora of others that agree. The key to the mysteries is unbelief. True true.

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            31. I pretty sure you are. After fifty years of excusing contradictions and division, I took a look around. Alone, three weeks unplugged in the Panama jungle. Nothing was as I was told. Not one point.

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            32. One way is by rationality and reason. Please watch this 15 minute video. It’s not a religious, but a reason. Let me know what you think.

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            33. What he is preaching is the religion of science. I know that wasn’t what you were looking for, but that is what it is.

              He is a very good speaker, charismatic as well. Just like any other religion.

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            34. I draw my conclusions from a wide variety of sources. I believe nothing at first glance. I know we are susceptible to cling to false info. Twitter studies prove that. False information travels farther and wider than truth by sevenfold. Goes deeper into the shared threads and is rarely retracted. I make a conscious effort to be accurate. Just as I am with this post. My thesis is correct and solid. You have disputed nothing.

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            35. Twitter studies?!?!? Next you’re gonna start talking about polls! I was simply asking questions and participating in a discussion.

              How do you know your thesis is correct and solid? Isn’t the term “thesis” a hypothetical proposition, or a theory even? I’m surprised you would use the term thesis.

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            36. You still haven’t shown evidence to the contrary. Typical apologetics. Start flinging shit and never offer proof. Faith and I believe, are the words of an untested fool. No signs follow any of you, but the outcome of each argument is predictable. I see you doing it with Ark as well. You have nothing to offer.

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            37. A fool am I? I wonder how much of a staunch believer you used to be? Why are you so disgusted with your younger self? Just because you used to believe but now you know?

              How do you know? How are you so sure? It’s a simple question with a simple answer.

              The believers in science alone are often afraid to admit that their faith in humans and in science is all they actually have.

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            38. How do you know? What sort of crisis it indoctrination brought you to Jesus.
              I know there is no god based on simple comparison and the fact he never showed up when I asked to keep my faith. Also, no prayer has ever been answered in the history of the world. Also, the text is an immoral platitude that requires mere men to do gods bidding. Millions of pages of explaining the simplicity of the gospel. 750,000 Christian publications each year. There is no source but each is embracing their own, and finally, morality.
              I’ve found the morality argument for a god to be the absolute weakest for the simple reason that we have hard evidence that this thing we call “morality,” which is really nothing but a formative sense of good (positive) and bad (negative) behaviour, is a product of neurological processing power. The more neurons, the more accute an organisms understanding of it. Countless studies, across numerous species, prove this beyond any rational doubt. It is not a human phenomena, and its anything but complicated.
              There are more reasons than a comment section can handle, but not one point or catch phrase of Christianity equals what we view in reality. You can have it.

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            39. What makes you so important that God is beholden to you? That he must show himself to you? Hubris Jim, none of us are of any importance. We are all inconsequential. Realize this first and maybe you may come to either accept or reject.

              Life isn’t that hard once anyone realizes that they are of zero importance.

              God is real and he is true, just because you refuse to believe doesn’t mean it isn’t.

              You can believe whatever you desire, just as I can. The difference is, I was just asking questions. It seems that you are inclined to convert others. I was just looking for conversation.

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            40. Personal, my belief and faith is personal. We all have choices to make. We believe what we believe. We all have our own criteria for what we believe.

              Like I said before, time will tell. There is no rush.

              You just happen to believe that you know more than others. Good luck with that. I hope it works out for you.

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            41. Reality, as you say is merely your perception and interpretation. Just as my faith.

              Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Jim. It’s as simple as that.

              You gotta let people make their own choices.

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            42. Faith has no reality. You can split hairs with philosophical bs, but you carefully avoid the scientific advances all around you. They have a history of succeeding and will continue to provide “real” results. That is reality. Not mine. It just is.

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            43. There are plenty of documentaries addressing that. Even Netflix has some right now that are quite good for the lay person. I prefer scholar.google.com for peer reviewed studies and journals. There is enough free stuff to get by on. You ever use google scholar?

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            44. I have not used google scholar. But the peer review process is actually quite political. If I’m not mistaken there were a few guys not that long ago purposely getting their thesis’s peer reviewed and approved just to show how political the whole system is.

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            45. Marten Baudry ran a sokal hoax on two religious symposiums. It can go both ways. Scientists though in general would love to uproot the establishment for ego. It regulates pretty well.

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            46. I know science can lead to more misery as well. I’m not blind to that. There are benefits and there are weapons. There is measurable progress in genetics and much of that is based on evolution. My head is not in the sand the way Christians are, but no denying there is verifiably proof that comes from theory.

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            47. The best and brightest physicist have historically been recruited to make weapons. But those advances have helped discovery as well.

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            48. God is real and he is true, just because you refuse to believe doesn’t mean it isn’t.

              “God” is not real. And just because you refuse to believe this doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

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            49. I just don’t understand why you feel you have to back up your assumptions with citing 50 years?

              We all have to find out for ourselves. People are people no matter where or when

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            50. It was a long time to experience the many things that don’t add up. Faith is an unreasonable request and a blinding, but neat little trick on human psychology. That’s all. Even the nuances like the point of the post, Christianity does not produce goodness as it says, it creates more sense of self. An evolutionary trick?Makes one feel better and comfortable in their brief, while improving the preservation of self without even an awareness of it.

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            51. Just think it through. That’s all. I had complete faith and devotion and gave myself to it. I had no criteria but observation. None of the catch phrases or scripture leads to a positive truth. The road to enlightenment is to start with one. One irrefutable truth that can stand in its own merits and be validated by someone outside of your closed system. Religion is a masterful shell game that continues to expand beyond your grasp. That is because it is not real.

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            52. Science has Improved. Not just changed, but improved. Gotten closer. It took 100 years to prove general relativity but we have been using many of the concepts for decades. It still had traction because it worked. No faith required

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            53. Do you really think people are that smart? It seems you’re talking from your own perspective. That is projection.

              Everything is subjective.

              “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

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            54. Every time you use a gps you are using part of a theory. All technology comes from theory and trial and error. I’m not projecting. Yes, there are people that are that smart and paving the way, even against opposition. The human genome has been mapped. This is not new, nor is it so difficult that labs and universities all over the globe are using this technology. Evolution is an accepted fact except the pulpits of America. It is so detailed and accurate it’s scary. But, it’s a theory that has provided countless understandings about the human condition. The pulpits (and I heard this as a believer many time) man cam from apes—You want that or created in the image of god? Evolution takes more faith than religion… rubbish. Their is so much proof, missing links, marine fossils on top of Everest and on and on. Too much for a blog comment. This is a 100 million year process, and geneticists are very close to identifying LUCA, our last universal common ancestor. Quite fascinating what there is to learn after dumping faith. While religion makes its scientific claims, they reject sound observation but have no explanation of their own.

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            55. Where is this proof you speak of? If it exists then it must be simple to point towards.

              Why is your only concern with God and Christians in America? Evolution is still a theory. It has never been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Sure, many may suggest that it fact, yet there is no solid evidence linking everything together.

              Have you seen any of this proof firsthand? Did you read and recite books on what might be proof? Or have you done all of the research yourself to know for a fact?

              You see, you still listen to other people? You take their word as gospel and you still exercise faith in science.

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            56. The proof is in your hand or on your keyboard and a million other things. My only concern is not with Christians. It is with believers that abandon scholarship over archaic violent text, then fight social equality, historically at every turn. Islam is even worse, but that’s no excuse for you.

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    2. Jim, myself and many others who follow this blog are ex-Christians. In other words, we have seen Christianity for the crap that it is (in my words), and decided that it isn’t real and/or not a way that we want to live. Other religions have just as many problems sure, but it’s personal for us since we have lived it.

      “I wonder what the response would be if you replaced Christian with Black or Woman or Gay or anything else other than Christian?” False equivalency there brother. Christianity isn’t a physical characteristic or something you’re born with. It is a religion and a lifestyle, which has harmed a lot of people, and this is evident. So yes, we can judge Christians. Saying no one is immune or innocent is just a cheap way to deflect blame for something too. Is such an excuse fine for the many Catholic priests who molested children and ruined their lives?

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        1. That’s absurd. You don’t get a pass on Christianity. Separating yourself from the body of Christ when it suits you. The teaching of god (the men in power) has been a failure. No bliss after 1000 year dominance is a failure.

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            1. Do I have to spell out every detail. You are part of the problem. Christendom is composed of Christians. The outcomes are your doing as well as others. You don’t get to pick and choose what free passes you want. You being a true Christian and the others not…is absurd.

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        2. Well, I’m going to go blame God and Christians. How moral is it that you demand people believe in you (without evidence), or else they will be suffered eternally in Hell? Many of the characteristics of God in the OT depict him as a jealous punishment seeking God, and that’s without going into the whole Adam and Eve fiasco (where their descendants get cursed simply for disobeying an order to not eat fruit… which God set up by the way, as part of some messed up convoluted plan).

          But I don’t believe in a God, so yes I am going to blame Christians for Christianity, since they started it and practice it after all…

          I’m not going to speak for anyone else here, whatever religion you believe in is fine by me, and many Christians are relatively good people. But their belief system doesn’t correspond with sound evidence, and it often does more harm than good.

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          1. In your opinion. That’s the thing, you blame God and Christianity for what you interpret. These are your interpretations. How fair is it that you exercise your interpretation onto others?

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            1. Pretty fair. It’s my blog. You can write whatever you want on your blog. You came here looking to validate your faith. Not my fault you can’t produce anything.

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            2. I’m not looking to validate anything. Just asked some questions. Wanted to have a discussion and conversation with people from the other side.

              I can’t stand echo chambers, I’d rather be challenged than confirmed.

              Iron sharpens iron.

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            3. Yeah man I did. It’s a bullshit post to be honest. It’s based in hyperbole and pick and choose history.

              It’s your opinion, it’s written well, but I think you’re so far off base since you’re clearly more concerned with converting rather than talking or simply communicating with your fellow man.

              Don’t take it personal. It’s not a knock against you.

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            4. Exactly, that’s your take on the matter. That’s the thing, it’s your observation. Some might ring true for some, maybe not for others.

              At the end of the day all you can do is present your evidence or your stance and allow people to choose for themselves.

              If the evidence is good enough it will stand on its own.

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            5. Interesting you say it’s a bullshit post, while you admit Christianity is in disarray. Your own beliefs are a can of jumbled worms, and the more you try to understand, the farther away the truth lays. You have nothing concrete but adamant about your belief. Selfish. Self centered and right. Proof my post hit its mark.

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            6. Here we go, alright Jim. What’s the difference between religion, the church, Christianity and faith?

              People are in disarray whether they believe or do not believe. You assume you are insulted because you fool yourself into believing that somehow you’ve had this profound awakening.

              So what do you do, preach to people about how religion or faith or church or Christianity is a lie. You go around, looking down your nose at people. Suggesting that a belief in God is akin to a virus.

              I mean come on, your standing in a pile of shit telling everyone else they stink.

              Hey, you believe in science. For whatever reason that is what makes sense to you. I disagree with you and you commence to preaching and lecturing some more. Then your blogging buddies jump in to help you. It seems you atheists cannot take care of business yourselves.

              You blame me of hiding behind a bible or Jesus, when all you do is point out the discoveries of others, hiding behind their work!!! Then you throw in a number of years of you doing something as if to validate your stance.

              Yeah, the post was bullshit in my opinion.

              But it doesn’t take away what you believe. I never slandered your belief all I did was ask questions.

              Why in hell are you so damn sensitive? If you believe it, why isn’t that enough for you?

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            7. Still haven’t addressed anything in the post. My comment hit a nerve? Lol. I’m not sensitive at all. I’m not going to connect every dot and spell it out for you. Nice tantrum. Apologetics 101. Offer no truth or proof but angry rebuttal. You’ve criticized me for my openness. I have a lot of perspective and have been right where you are today. Thank god I’m no longer like you.

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            8. Hahahha, you’re a riot Jim. I wonder what will change in the next few years? You’ve gone from one extreme to the next. Aim towards the middle next time. Good luck

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            9. I’m actually in the middle. You asked about atheism. Really you discussed religion on an atheist blog. My feelings are we’ve been given basically two choices, belief or atheism. Those are both wrong choices again. Just like left and right, conservative liberal, capitalism or socialism. Their all wrong, but you never asked.

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            10. Yeah it’s my interpretation, and that of several others too. Well it’s totally fair. I should be able to express my beliefs and so should you, you don’t have to agree with me.

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            11. It seems as if a Christian is not welcome in this group. I can understand, but at the same time it seems quite hypocritical. You know with all the bad stuff the church did and all of the exclusion they exercised.

              I just wanted a discussion. To ask some questions. Iron sharpens iron. I seek out adversity since I cannot stand echo chambers.

              I want to be as good as I can be. So I came over here, not to talk shit but to be seriously challenged.

              I didn’t come here preaching anything, I just asked questions.

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            12. Christians are more than welcome to my page. I just took issue with your comment which basically suggested that Christianity shouldn’t be criticised, and you made a sweeping hand motion of ‘No one is immune, no one is innocent’. So I calmly addressed this with a few of the issues that Christianity has. But the thing is, you didn’t address this, or anything Jim said, instead you just fired back question of your own, calling my statements ‘interpretations’. Dude, the stuff I said about God is written in your Bible and easy to find. I’m sure Christians are welcome here, but if you take issue with something then you need to back that up, and not sidestep like a certain person named Loy. Damn Loy should be a Tango dancer or pro footballer with all the sidestepping he does.

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            13. I don’t know who Loy is?

              Anyway, I was just asking if all Christians are the same in his mind.

              Come on with the dramatics.

              What do I need to back up?

              What is the breakdown in communication? I asked questions, I spoke only of my own faith. No one else’s faith. What are you looking for specifically?

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      1. You put that pretty clear. There is no rebuttal but belief, but when one compared that belief against the outcomes it falls flat. Like the point of the post, being tricked into believing something in this case, leads to more selfish attributes, not less. It’s a neat trick, most likely the selfish gene. Have you seen the Dan Dennett video I linked? Dangerous memes? It’s a 15 min TED.

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    3. Are you sure about that ‘before Christ’ part? I mean…at least attempt some street cred, if not logic. Do you think many/most Christians (Jews, Muslims, pick you tribe) do not judge atheists? Are you serious or just (self-edited out)?
      This is not about people. This is about religion and how it controls the minds and hearts of people and making them straw-people. It’s not about race, gender, or sexual orientation (but religion may be). Remember, most of us have been there and done that. I’m not gunna play. 222 comments is enough for one day.

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  5. Altruism ah there is the crux . Some believe true altruism does not exist , that all good deeds require a motive and that maybe survival .
    Live now pay later , or the alternative pay now and live later , the latter being a Christian perspective. Most of us vacillate between these two extremes, we are just too fragile , and anyway we like to hedge our bets and enjoy the best of both worlds.
    Christians point to the perfect sacrifice in the life of Jesus ‘ greater love hath no man than to give up his life ‘ they have a great fall back ‘ do not lay up treasure on earth where moth and rust corrupts but in heaven ‘ now that one’s not too bad because you need not be totally altruistic just make sure you put plenty by.
    We have a reputation to keep , we worry about what others think of us , are we good hearted generous fellows ? , but hang on life is for living we can’t care for everyone but ourselves. Christians are hypersensitive about their behaviour they have a standard to live up to — it’s tricky for them. I often console myself by repeating that well worn saying ‘ I’m doing my bit ‘ are you doing yours ?

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  6. I am holding out my hand to be rapped across the knuckles for introducing Lander 7 to your blog, Jim.
    Fortunately you are holding your own here. I suspect he is as well ,but that is a different kettle of fish.
    And talking of fish ….
    He is as slippery as they get and one quickly gets the impression the word disingenuous was coined for one such a as him.
    But it is fun to read his replies!

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    1. I read your dialog over at his blog. His version of Christianity is whatever he wants it to be for the moment. The ultimate result of dissipated energy, but none can admit or see it’s them.
      And thanks for the introduction. I have a virtual finger for your eye. Hehe

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      1. His encounter with his god had an element of trauma involving a tragedy at sea during time spent in the navy and later an encounter with a woman asking for directions.
        It is all fear based, all indoctrination, and only they can ”work it out for themselves” (to quote Life of Brian)
        Like every deconvert, ( * Smile* Here I am, preaching to the choir!) and you know this perfectly, all are well-versed in many apologetic arguments used in defense of the faith.

        Yet, the arguments they put forth are cringe- worthy to say the least, and no doubt you must occasionally also cringe and think:
        ”Damn, was I like this? How could I have been such a jerk to believe this crap try to convince others?”
        Simple …. indoctrination.
        As Rawgod noted, once he had kicked Hell into touch, reasoning became simple.
        I suggested Lander7 go read the testimonies of former professional pastors over at the Clergy Project to get an even broader picture from those who spread this crap for a living.
        I have no idea if he has bothered.
        However, I suspect at this point with someone like him there will always be a …
        ”Yes, but ….” line right around the corner.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Fear of death,
    fear of God,
    fear of priests?

    The terms are synonymous. And only the last above genuinely disturbs me.

    (If the church (weekly) serves in the office of a social club then perhaps atheists are missing a trick in not holding meetings in especially dedicated buildings—maybe we too can get tax breaks … why the hell not?

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          1. I’d do it myself like a shot … but to quote a true genius: “I’d never join any organisation that would accept me as a member~!”

            Liked by 2 people

  8. If someone is religious but does believe that science can produce immortality does this mean a corporation promoting the general welfare of the people, with a promise to escape death (cybernetics), is just a universal goal for those who don’t want to die?

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    1. I think we realize that is quite a ways off. But I would guess that yes, eventually that would be the case. At least quality of life could be improved. A realistic approach and patience, unlike Christianity making scientific claims of creation and afterlife, providing zero evidence for such claims or how it would even be possible, and have stifled the search for answers by a majority of the worlds population because they just know…god did it. God is getting smaller by the minute, as answers are coming and replacing superstition. No supernatural explanation has EVER supplanted a natural or scientific one. I won’t be sorry to see religion go. It has outlived its evolutionary usefulness.

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      1. You stated – “I think we realize that is quite a ways off.”

        My response – I would say less than 35 years. So, let’s agree to disagree on this line of thinking.

        We both seem to agree that man will not end his quest for immortality and will continue to give loyalty to anyone who can promise it. So, nothing new here. This part of your post just changes hands.

        You stated – “God is getting smaller by the minute

        My response – This I find fascinating. Did you mean religion, or do you actually mean God?

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        1. I actually mean gods purported influence and dominion over the weather, earthquakes, disease, and hurricanes, and so forth. Many things once attributed to god is no longer reasonable. We have explanations. Virtually every discipline has replaced what was once attributed to god. Now we have neurology, philology, archaeology, biology, anthropology etc. the last puzzle is creation and we may be a few Einsteins away from that, but it’s coming.

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          1. Ahh, I understand what you are saying now.

            I’m not so sure that’s true, I’ve noticed that religious people are starting to claim science for themselves.

            Deepak Chopra may be the first real push in that movement. Jordan Peterson may even be the next phase. You may be surprised to wake up to a new more robust religion based on science.

            Don’t quote me on this

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You never addressed submitting your will—Not my will but thine be done? This is a basic Christian position and you were having trouble remembering it. Being saved? Accepting the lords will over your own?

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            2. You stated — “You never addressed submitting you will”

              My response — I didn’t know there was a counter question, I thought that was just your answer.

              To answer:
              “Submitting your will” is a context-based response generally used when one has reached a limit Luke 22:42. Also if someone is doing a task but it’s beyond what they understand (they can’t see the reasoning) They could then choose to submit to a higher understanding John 5:30.

              You seemed to be suggesting something much grander in your post that would lead to every decision filtering through such a process. I’m not sure how that would be applied to buying ice cream and such.

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            3. There is a couple that lives behind me up the trail a ways that isn’t far from what you just mentioned. They pray for guidance on nearly everything. I’m not sure how you got started in christianity, it’s no wonder you seem happy since you’ve missed this widespread submission to the lords will. Thy will, not my will, even from the Lord’s Prayer. Are you sure you’re not missing something?

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            4. It’s the context that’s missing. In church it’s a good talking point until you ask someone something like, “How did the Lords will treat you yesterday”. The answers are going to be nonsensical like , “Great, I got 10% off on gas”.

              As you can see in the actual verses where it was used it was in a context of limitation.

              You do it everyday with other people right now. You do it at work with bosses, at home with spouses, and out in town with the government and corporations.

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            5. I don’t think Augustine would have not approved. Maybe it’s watered down for the better nowadays. Submission was a huge part of the church from the fourth century on for a 1000 years. Even by way of torture and death. Starting with the Donatists and moving across the globe, submission conversion was even acceptable. I guess this falls in line with the other post I sent you where the source is no longer connected. Everyone does what they want.

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        2. Lander, Jim:

          Has anyone ever actually thought that one through? Meaning:what does immortality actually mean?

          I posted a wee story on just this somewhere back in the depths of my bloggings. A few folks got the point, most didn’t. I say that if Man wants immortality then Man lack imagination. (Actually, I’d bellow it if I thought anyone would listen …)

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    1. Yes, true, but Christianity has provided no superior guidelines that any mom and pop or committee, or a single sentence from Jainism. Last best estimate is .02% of the US prison population is atheist. Let that sink in for a moment. Religion is very good at producing a facade of good while it’s business as usual. Google clicks don’t lie. The most religious areas have the highest internet use of what Christians would say is “debased” viewing.
      Atheism produces personal responsibility. No third party absolución is required. Grace by faith is as destructive a doctrine on humanity as anything ever invented.

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      1. There was a lot there in the response and it was very interesting but I want to first address the statement.

        I asked “Do we produce laws and law enforcement to “tame the natural man””

        You stated — “Yes”

        So is taming the natural man the right thing to do or should we not have laws?

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        1. Of course. And don’t play ignorant please. Of course we need laws in a society. Certainly don’t need a make believe entity (archaic writers) to influence us from their violent times.

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          1. Let me explain myself so you don’t get upset with me asking questions.

            You stated earlier that Christianity was a way “to nobly tame the natural man through the submission of will”. I was curious about this statement since I have never seen it in Christianity, so I pondered where I do see it (law and law keepers) so I wondered to myself if you believed the same and you confirmed that you did.

            Of course, you also took time to accuse me of playing dumb which is of no value to me, but I can understand why you did it.

            This is where I would like to have a short discussion with you about something I was thinking after reading your post.

            Is it possible that religion in general allows men to embrace the “natural man” man rather than tame it? They can then do as they please without the burden of society standing in the way. What if it works in the opposite of what you stated? Not that it’s a good thing lol but it did make me wonder.

            What are your thoughts?

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            1. I would offer that is the intent for it to work in opposite, but not what we observe in reality. The point of the post is the faith that is supposed to make one better, actually entrenches them more firmly in self. As an evolutionary observation, the gene has created a comfortable deception. What one thinks is noble growth is actually stagnating to serve its purpose.
              Sorry about the curt answer earlier. I have a couple of apologists that ask the same redundant obviosisities and I misread you.

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            2. You stated — “Sorry about the curt answer earlier. I have a couple of apologists that ask the same redundant obviosisities and I misread you.”

              My response — No problem if you can accept my apology for throwing it back in your face with the later comment in your other reply.

              Where we disagree now is with your statement, ” The point of the post is the faith that is supposed to make one better, actually entrenches them more firmly in self. “.

              Faith is actually designed to separate and provide loyalty too an individual. It’s not designed to make anyone better, if anything it makes people worse for society, family and friends (this is stated often in verse.)

              So, I literally don’t see anywhere for your statement to ring true unless we were talking about religion. Now I would agree (if you had said it) that religion makes a claim. It claims to make better people but in fact it can’t and falls short every time. On the back end they may even be worse if they use religion as an excuse to abuse others like minorities within society.

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    2. The ‘natural man’ is a hairy-arsed thug, hence the desperate need for laws.

      Orfor more philosophers like Ayn Rand (who smoked like a chimney when ladies didn’t …)

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    1. Sure, and right up front too. There’s no deception about that. What Christianity does is have you give yourself to “god” with a promise of contentment, charity, and more love that in fact makes you more unloving and even less to anyone that doesn’t agree. in fact makes one more self centered and laden with continual guilt because you’ll never measure up. Always the unprofitable servant. An unintended consequence of my unbelief was tolerance. I never saw that coming but it’s a pretty widespread revelation.

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      1. You stated — “What Christianity does is have you give yourself to “god”

        My response — As a Christian myself I would like to understand this first part. How do I give myself to God if I think he owns everything? I am not familiar with this concept. Can you explain?

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        1. Surrender your will? It’s widespread in Islam and Christianity. While 2/3 of the world adheres to a doctrine worth dying for, and oppressing over, the rest of us have a doctrine worth living for.

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          1. So you are saying that “give yourself to god” is really “Surrendering your will”

            So what does surrendering my will look like? I’m asking because I don’t know what you mean. I am having a hard time remembering when I did that or what it was when I did it.

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            1. You didn’t answer my question.

              You stated — “I’d hate to think you’re no true Christian.”

              My response – Don’t play dumb there is no such thing a true Christian.

              Let’s have a real conversation and end the silliness. I’m curious about your point of view. Let’s talk a bit.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. You stated — “in fact makes one more…. laden with continual guilt”

        My response — As a Christian I believe I have been forgiven. Why would I feel guilty about anything. Can you explain what you mean by this?

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        1. Sure. Easy enough. Delayed recompense and forgiveness by a third party through grace produces zero accountability here and now. That guilt free feeling your having must feel good. Forgiven for what, and by who. Did the offended party agree to that?

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          1. I don’t mind answering your questions but once done can you get back to mine since you skipped it.

            You stated — “That guilt free feeling your having must feel good.”

            My response — To be honest there is no feeling in the absence of another feeling. There is more time that can be applied to something else but that’s about it.

            You asked — “Did the offended party agree to that?”

            My response — No.

            Now can you get back to my skipped question:

            You stated — “in fact makes one more…. laden with continual guilt”

            I asked — …….Can you explain what you mean by this?

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            1. The recurring guilt theme requiring a life of habitual repentance. In some faiths confessing to a priest, a bishop, a minister, or going directly to god to ask forgiveness. Does that answer? I did try to get to all your questions. Sorry I missed one. The concept of grace through faith and “repentance” is the easy way out of personal responsibility. “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” is misused to absolve oneself to real change and being truly decent. An excuse, maybe the proper way to look at it.

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    1. We are told what the results will be and apply faith to overlook that fact as well, while the results are not what they say…as usual. I have this underlying feeling that I’m fighting the selfish gene. I’m not entirely comfortable doing that other that the fact that religion has outlived its usefulness. I really appreciated JZs share on the logic of it all as well. That was a great add- on. Thanks Ark.

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      1. Why the hell fight the ‘selfish’ anything?

        Everything we do boils down eventually to ‘selfish’. No?
        Every breath we/you take is selfish.
        Every fish you eat or carrot you rip screaming from the ground is because of your selfishness.
        Selfish is good. Selfish is survival.
        Selfish is what made us create and use fire, and tools.

        Selfish is what all the altruistic religiosi parasites employ in vast amounts AGAINST altruism. Selfish is two-edged, and the conception of it depends on whether you’re holding it by the handle or the sharp end; and who you are using it against.

        As for me: I am selfish, very selfish—and it’s what keeps us all out of the deathtraps of parasitical religions.

        Selfish? Be proud of the fact—it’s otherwise known as the Survival Instinct.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Really great post Jim. Victoria and I have often talked about the giving up of self that Christianity asks of you, because of course you are a sinner and you must let Jesus into your heart to do His will and not your own. This in itself seems like a cruel thing to perpetrate on humans, and of course contradictory the idea of God’s supposed gift to man of free will. The message “God has given you free will, it’s a gift. Now give up that gift, so you have no free will so you can do the will of God.”

    I guess it never really struck me the contradiction though of how this submission into selflessness is also selfish in many ways. There are certainly some people who do it for the reward in the afterlife, and this I would say is the most selfish and most sad because nothing even awaits them. And shame on religion for making them believe that it will happen. But I do think there can be a self-interest which is not maybe so selfish, but because a person simply does not trust themselves, feels broken and doesn’t know how to fix it. Maybe they have addiction, maybe they’ve experience trauma. For such people I don’t know the heavenly reward is as valuable as the community they might now be a part of, the stability they can experience, or how the practice of religious habits and rituals can help distract them from more harmful things they might do to themselves. Of course there are non-religious ways to deal with this kind of problem as well that probably leads to a better long term happiness. But yes in the end it is still self-interest. Just maybe not selfish if that makes sense.

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    1. That does make sense. And along with that there’s the 35% that will always look to enlightenment outside of themselves, even when their lives are fine. Connecting the dots here would lead me to believe (lol) that religion is a product of genetic commandeering. We’re tricked to think we’re making progress as an individual while we serve Mr Helix. I wonder what the future holds with genetic engineering bypassing the slow, natural evolution and circumventing natural selection? Since the Industrial Age our bodies cannot keep up with the rapid change. Obesity is a study in that proof.

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      1. Well I think a lot of the obesity has to do more with the increased sedentary lifestyles we lead since less jobs involve being physically mobile, we also have increased leisure time which unfortunately isn’t often used for exercise but rather distractions like TV and social media.

        But I think the key here is that spirituality and religion need not be connected, and when you look at organized religion, spirituality isn’t a big part of it. They might promise you such experiences, but I suspect that many regular church goers couldn’t site a spiritual experience as connected to their faith. I think spiritual experiences are part of a healthy life. Just as a lot of things are, and could be argued to be out of self-interest, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to seek out such experiences, but believe in Gods need not be required to get there. I think mindful meditation movement right now which is rooted in secularity is a good example of that. And of course you can get there even through LSD. Not that such a thing is for everybody, but there is good evidence to suggest that this would help many people and give them a greater sense of happiness in their life by simply experiencing increased connectivity through these experiences. Spiritual experiences are, and always have been physical experiences through a part of the brain. There is nothing divine going on…even if it feels divine. 🙂

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    2. SWARN:

      you used the word ‘contradiction’. If you read me at all you’ll know my thoughts on this topic and why all infants should have it schooled into them from the cradle—without knowing how to recognise and resolve apparent ‘contradictions’ they are vulnerable to every blasted charlatan with his incense burner, black frocks, ritualistic (but genuine~!) cannibalism and all the rest of the trappings.

      ‘Free will’, and God’s ‘omniscience’ … am I alone in seeing a contradiction here?

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    3. Well said. Yes many people fall into religion due to not being able to trust themselves for whatever reason. I have a friend who falls into that camp. He was abusing a lot of drugs and just off the rails for a while. But then when he became Christian he became very ‘legalistic’, as in he had all these strict rules and regulations for himself (which he tried to force on others of course). I guess what I’m saying is religion was like a double edged sword to him. It helped him with some problems, but then made him be unnecessary restrictive to himself, and thus created more problems. He’s living well now, but I imagine what would happen if he didn’t believe in God anymore, since to him God is holding everything together?

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      1. What’s interesting about that, is understanding how that healing took place would allow him to apply it in other aspects of his life. Real empowerment. When he realizes there is no god, it would be a real eye opener…he’d know the power is him.

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        1. Yeah I agree, but whether he comes to that realisation or not I don’t know. He’s really entrenched in church life, along with his family. People react differently to there not being a God. For me it was certainly more empowering than not, but for others I’d imagine it to be depressing.

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      2. Yeah I mean I think it’s clearly the development of these strict rules to guide himself. Now obviously anybody could create a code for themselves, but this would take introspection and some trial and error. If you have an addiction problem, trial and error probably isn’t going to work too well. It’s easier just to take a set of rules somebody gives you for you to follow. That’s sort of the basic philosophy behind 12 step programs. It’s giving you a set of rules to live by. People can be successful if they actually buy into it. I would agree that shattering his belief system could have detrimental impacts to him going back to addiction. He would have to come to the realization himself that what was most important was to have rules to follow, and that the rules of a particular religion didn’t really matter. He could also realize that he had to change himself to develop those social connection and have community. You can have all those things without religion, but it’s the same story for everybody who is religious. The gifts that religion has given them are not unique to that religion, they can be had with any religion or even without religion. I’d like to believe that on some level Christians realize this, but because the logic of the details of their religion doesn’t really add up so trying to convince other people that it all makes sense is part of how they keep sure of it all in their own minds.

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    1. 1. We are moral agents with moral autonomy and a responsibility to exercise it
      2. Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral
      3. God is a perfectly good being worthy of worship
      4. Worship is the recognition of one as inferior and subordinate to a greater being
      5. Worship of God includes the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favour of blind, non-questioning obedience of God
      6. This is immoral, unless we can continuously be sure the being we are worshipping is (perfectly) good, and that the being we are worshipping is indeed a (or the) “God”
      7. To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy
      8. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it
      9. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral
      10. Therefore, no being is worthy of worship
      11. Therefore, God does not exist

      In short – worship makes it impossible to know the object of worship is good, and a non-good object of worship isn’t worthy of worship. It is said that it can be known that God is good, and that God is worthy of worship, which is a contradiction, which cannot exist.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. JZ:

        We are told … lots … that God is good (it also means moral*).

        Should we hold an impartial vote? Your virtually lone voice against hundreds of millions of religiosi?— you haven’t a chance, Dude.

        * I think in their book it especially means double-plus Good. In fact, ultimate Good (beat that!). And good must mean moral … whatever that is. (We need a definition rather than assumptions from common usage.)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Praying fits well with the gist of this post. People who pray claim their prayers are for the benefit of those they pray for, but in reality, they are entirely for the benefit of those doing the actual praying. It makes them personally feel much better about whatever they’re praying for, and as a bonus, it does so without them actually having to get off their butts & do something about what they are praying for. A win win situation……..

    Liked by 7 people

    1. The prayer demonstrates their altruistic goodness. No? But who to? To whom? (Bugger …)

      But how many actually sell all their goodies, reduce themselves to one sackcloth suit and give the proceedings to the Church to distribute to the poor?

      Me neither . And I still won’t, even after the Catholic Church and the head Allah wallahs do so first.

      I think my piggy bank is safe from altruism, for now. (But God knew that even before He created the universe …)

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Many people who see someone in need and say “I will pray for you” end up not even praying for you.
      And some of those who pray for you wouldn’t do anything substantial to help you

      Liked by 3 people

  11. It says that one must override their own moral reasoning and simply and blindly obey…That obedience while still has good things, all can be done without religion but much of the hateful intolerance is mostly done with religion for without would have zero basis… 😡

    Like

    1. The trick is to get someone to think they are doing one thing, while outcome after outcome reveals another. The gene may have commandeered our abilities to see clearly. Like the ant brain and the fluke virus, we’re doing something virtually against our will and we think it’s to our benefit. The idea then self perpetuates and the gene sits back for the ride—for thousands of years.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Very good. There are others that rhyme with this, that also are tools of self preservation presented as noble traits that are actually self serving. Shall we do some flag waving today?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Patriotism. If your in the US, look south. It’s a pretty big deal in certain Bible belts. It’s also a great marketing tool. Just wave the flag and you can get away with nearly anything.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Oh… You meant it literally! …. Ha!!! True! I never liked overzealous patriotism. Enough so we don’t hate our country, bot not so much it becomes a cult,..

              Like

            3. I do mean literally. The flag is used to commandeer everything from support to wars nobody wants and to sell cars. The flag was instrumental in keeping US automakers afloat when they produced shitcars for two decades.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks buddy. I have ideative abilities to connect seemingly disparate subjects to see the things hidden under our noses. Reading Watts doesn’t limit anyone’s imagination either.

      Liked by 2 people

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