Deepfakes—Audio-Visual Technology and Fake News

“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it”—Jonathan Swift. I was just reading about deepfakes in video and audio technology creating authentic-looking fake news. Why does my mind continually compare this to religion? The original creators of fake news still have the largest following of old and new absurdities. Fake news, with its Christian roots have mastered the technique in bible colleges and seminaries worldwide, perpetuating (often unknowingly right up to the point that they do know, then do nothing to stop it) the greatest hoax in the history of humanity.

While computers can now replace the facial expressions with actual, authentic voice matches in real time, manipulating the very words one is speaking is even fooling lip readers. Apologetics continues to change the meaning of simple phrases without flinching, blinking, or detectable changes in pixel density, all while maintaining the mental heirs of actual density.

Why does one continue perpetuate the fiction even after they know it’s bs? Why do they continue to publish a fake news story, even after it is retracted?

See study HERE. “The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories”. Sounds very Christian to me—the greatest of all deepfakes in human history has conditioned its members to be gullible and believe anything.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

163 thoughts on “Deepfakes—Audio-Visual Technology and Fake News”

  1. They can’t let go of the myth, because it gives them psychological comfort. It’s hard to let go of beliefs you invested in deeply, and even further, made a literal part of your personal identity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it primes them to believe nearly anything. Everything needs to be questioned before it is shared, but when you’re already bias to an idea, share baby share! If it sounds true it must be so.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. I don’t mind being corrected, but they never seem to address the points, only criticize and offer nothing better but belief. It’s an d wagon wheel in the wind, just turns and turns.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It is an observed fact that fake news usually spread faster than real news.

    Like Frank J Peter said it takes more to refute fake news than it is to spread them. This may or may not be obvious but most of the time the rebuttal to the fake news doesn’t usually spread that far

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Retractions are read and the fake is willfully and continually quoted for years. Look at the Moses story and the chariot wheels in the Red Sea. Snopes and others refute the story and it’s called a conspiracy to bury evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just say no to everything anymore until I can look a little further. A year ago I got burned posting an unresearched link and it is quite embarrassing. No thanks. Not again if I can help it

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I did a quote from a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Turned out he was quoting someone else on a topic that had been debunked years earlier. It was something I would like to be true, but alas. I have plenty of real arguments to make without perpetuating bs ones.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I was just reading about deepfakes in video and audio technology creating authentic-looking fake news.

    Ahhh, the wide-open Wild, Wild Virtual West where ANYTHING goes! 😄 I liken it to 24/7, 365 days free-for-all sex, sex, sex with no protection… EVER! And it seems EVERYONE wants to participate, according to your study you linked to, especially on the Twitter-twatter bed inside the filthy Twit-Twat Orgy-room! 😈 😲

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Teat twit is better visualization of the trough mentality and the suckling needs to be fed by cleverly worded riddles. Makes one confusedly important

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Lots and lots of cunning Sales & Marketing teams/institutions out there. The one single give-away that they are in the end EMPTY is…

          your ROI isn’t “balanced out” and account closed until death. Then you suddenly realize you’ve let in a Trojan Horse! HAH!!! 😄 I know you’ve seen this excellent video Jim, but still… it’s worth it here:

          Liked by 2 people

            1. LOL… REPENT or I will… or… or…

              I will sic my most evilest demon upon you! 2-foot Toga-beelz-a-bud-lite with his lightening rod stuck in his right-hand!!! FEAR HIM!!!

              Liked by 2 people

      1. With religion as with everything else. Fake religion is fake, true religion is true, and the puerile complaints of the irreligious are unending.

        Like

        1. No comment on the video then? It’s pretty telling of his experience and mine after a life of examination we have the same conclusions. We must be inspired. It is as he says. True religion is as only you say it is. Everyone thinks they have it. None do. No god has revealed himself to anyone. I could use the same techniques as religion and sell worthless junk, I just have the integrity not to. Manipulation from our youth is not god. It’s brainwashing, and no amount of cleverly worded attempts to philosophize this god idea has produced any reality yet. I’m not holding my breath, but go ahead.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Wait, you had the same experiences, and reached the same conclusions, as a 17th century French country priest? For real? But hey, if you’ve truly found a better way of life by another path, then more power to you, brother.

            You’re wrong that God has not revealed himself, but you’re right that his reign has not yet become our reality. His prophets proclaim a new reality that challenges and contradicts what we’re used to: in this new reality, the last are first; the lowly are raised up; the proud are humbled; the mighty are thrown down from their perches; the hungry are filled; the rich go away with nothing extra; the naked are clothed; the blind see; the sick are well; prisoners are free; strangers are welcome; weapons are fashioned into plowshares; hatred and oppression give way to love; people are reconciled; and death has no power.

            You’re right that such a reality seems very far from us. To be a Christian is to join with other people of good will in order to be God’s collaborators in bringing about that reality. Regrettably, there are still those who push a fake religion that only talks about individual judgement and salvation, and that encourages blind faith.

            Like

            1. So if I’m wrong and god has revealed himself, which prophets have shown us a new reality that challenges anything that the churches have created? My post “prosperity gospel” is a product of the prophets and jesus himself. He didn’t really want us to sell all we have and give to the poor. He showed us that it was more important to bathe himself in expensive perfume than take care of the poor. Like the churches today giving their token words and missions to help alleviate problems they created through their decimation tactics that destabilized entire regions. And the reality of the old and new testaments? If I followed those today as written I’d be in jail, and certainly ostracized by society and living in a compound somewhere. If that is the best god could do I’d have no part of it. If there is a god he isn’t what you think, and even Augustine was Leary of your assertions. “God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed” The point i would make is, he knew the entire pantomime was designed to be unattainable and cause mere, wonderful men to engulf their lives in endless conjecture, finally coming to an inner peace with what they decide god is. An abstract idea designed to quell the masses with rules of engagement they have never have followed themselves. Look around. It’s the leaders that make the rules and preach that have never followed the rules they exact from you and me.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Jim…

              You’re wrong that God has not revealed himself…

              You silly, silly blind, deaf man you (Jim)!!! 😠🤭 Did you NOT KNOW that in 610 CE God revealed Himself via archangel Gabriel to His very last true prophet, sealed His Words and Commands in the Quran over 22-years for all of humanity to know and follow!???

              COME ON JIM!!! You are “SO wrong” on so many things right in front of you mister!!!!! 🙄😄

              Like

            3. There’s plenty of fake religion out there, for sure, often mixed in with the good and true. If you think you have found a better way to discern what matters, why we matter, how to make a life that matters — more power to you. But simply railing against fake religion, or the shortcomings (real or imagined) of “religion” and/or theology in general, isn’t all that enlightening, is it?

              Like

            4. No. The enlightenment for us is found in realizing I have the power. No need to wait for deities when we do it all ourselves anyway. A great saying I believe true “the only zen you find on the mountain is the zen you bring with you”. There are some helpful tips, but enlightenment does not come so well searching for it through the scams. Everyone thinks theirs is it. So what is your religion of choice, if you were to think there was an edge?

              Liked by 3 people

            5. Among the few things that one might say with reasonable certainty is that you did not bring about your own existence, nor did humankind bring about its own existence. So when assessing one’s own powers, a reasonable degree of humility would seem to be warranted. That being said, I certainly can agree that any religion that tells people to “wait for deities” is a fake religion. As I said above, we need to be God’s collaborators. That’s at the heart of the Judeo-Christian faith. However, I welcome any faith that reveres wisdom and enhances our access to it. As this inspired poem from the Bible puts it (Sirach 14:20-27):

              Happy those who meditate on Wisdom,
              and fix their gaze on knowledge;
              Who ponder her ways in their heart,
              and understand her paths;
              Who pursue her like a scout,
              and watch at her entry way;
              Who peep through her windows,
              and listen at her doors;
              Who encamp near her house
              and fasten their tent pegs next to her walls;
              Who pitch their tent beside her,
              and dwell in a good place;
              Who build their nest in her leaves,
              and lodge in her branches;
              Who take refuge from the heat in her shade
              and dwell in her home.

              Like

            6. @Nan: Well, it would be rather silly, wouldn’t it, to endorse a choice that you thought was not the best choice. But if you’ve got a better idea, let’s hear it. As I said, I welcome any faith that reveres wisdom and enhances our access to it.

              Like

            7. I like that attitude. It’s a genuine answer. I’m not in favor personally of invoking faith in someone else’s spirituality, or my own, but the search outside of your own self and premade dogma is a start. A search that starts with religion seems to end with religion. If you want to swim your way out of the faith game, maybe looking outside faith games would be a start.

              Like

            8. From what I can tell, shallow, muddled, illogical and uninformed thinking is at least as prevalent outside the faith game as it is inside. An awful lot of people seem content to remained cocooned and quiescent — whether their preferred cocoon is a faith-loving one or faith-hating one.

              Like

            9. You think I’m in a cocoon of faith hate? Simply not the case at all. I just report what I see in my wide array of interests. Atheism is just one of many things I write about, albeit the easiest by far to see the ironies and contradictions. So when I read about religious experiences my mind automatically sees a variety of alternate explanations, then I read the science behind it, whether neurology, psychology, physiology, or wherever it takes me. I have no cocoon, but I do trust my senses, which senses I had given away to a supposed authority for most of my life. Christianity says one thing, but we observe another virtually every time. It’s at the point of comedy, really, and without employing faith the world is quite obvious the moment one stops believing in supernatural explanations. For instance, in the Bible it mentions Nazareth, a common name in Christianity, but alas, no map, no visitor, no archaeologist, nor other topographer has ever heard of it till the fourth century. What does one make of that? Well, it never existed, so here from the humble beginnings we find the story resembling the map from the Hobbit, nothing more than fiction that has even place names added at a later date to construct the story. But who’s looking? Virtually no one outside of atheism “cocoon” seems to care that it didn’t exist. That’s a lot of people believing in something that never existed.

              Liked by 2 people

            10. @Jim: Hmm…. Flatly denying that one is in a cocoon… is a pretty good indication that one is in a cocoon, no? For example, when one throws around words like religion and faith, words that take in an extraordinarily broad, diverse and complex range of human thought and experience, and then presents an extremely narrow sliver thereof as illustrative of the whole pie — that’s just misrepresenting reality, no?

              By all means let’s learn all we can from empirical observation. But there is no warrant for an assumption that that’s the whole story or the whole truth.

              Reconstructing historical details surrounding the origins of the Jewish and Christian religions makes for a fascinating academic exercise, but that’s about it. If that’s someone’s primary focus, they’re rather missing the point. You put your finger on it when you said that it’s of concern mostly to those inside the atheist “cocoon” (as well as “believers” who, like atheists, are strictly literal).

              This article may be of interest:
              https://ehrmanblog.org/did-nazareth-exist/

              And here’s a general fact-checking resource for those who care:
              https://historyforatheists.com/

              Like

            11. We all have our limitation Loy. I make an effort to see as much variety of opinions and data as time allows. I have no particular agenda. However, seemingly determined against reason and logic yourself to prove one point over and over again that has failed the centuries to be redeemed with any facts. That is the nature of living with faith. Thanks for the links

              Like

            1. The only ones that have it figured pretty well, which thoroughly condemns most of mankind to eternal servitude, hell, and real death at the end of this life is the Jehovahs Witnesses. Thats the real truth as far as I can tell.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Interesting bit of fake theology.

              As the Catholic Church was always at the forefront of deeming what was/is ”real” theology, including the compilation of their bible, and also having taken centuries to refine their doctrine – consider all the edicts (did someone say Papal Infalibility?) – plus the eradication of those Christian sects it deemed heretical, (Cathars for example), and the ensuing internecine wars after Luther broke away. Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the denigration and killing of members of other faiths, not least Jews and Muslins ( see: Crusades).
              All things considered, ”real” theology seems to be a moving target at the best of times, don’t you think so, Loy?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. ”real” theology seems to be a moving target

              D’oh. Everything we know about everything is a moving target, since we know so little about anything.

              Like

            4. @Ark: Such is the lot of humankind. Adrift in the unfathomable cosmos, we’re all just making it up as we go along.

              Like

            5. Eating of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the problem we should have stayed in the animal kingdom. I blame natural selection it gave us intelligence as a survival mechanism and inadvertently self-awareness created morals.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I don’t blame you for not taking me seriously most people don’t , but I’m a very serious old man at heart. Let’s see what Loy makes of it eh?

              Like

            7. I am in full agreement of your belief in evolution – if this is what you are saying, here?

              Loy, like every religious apologist, will have a hand wave response that inevitably gives the nod to his god.

              Like

            8. I’m pointing out that Genesis was written about 6000 years ago probably by several authors when scientific knowledge was zilch . The tree story was an attempt to explain the moral nature of man which is very important because our civilisation hangs on morals not on scientific advances. The religious believe morals are objective but we now know this is not the case. Interestingly the writers see the attainment of morals by humans as a foolish step destroying their innocent happiness. I believe it was inevitable and is part of the development of intelligence.

              Liked by 2 people

            9. Well Ark I think it was a pretty good guess with no background knowledge at all. I say this because I feel we must give credit where it’s due these days we are lucky to have so much research at our fingertips.

              Liked by 2 people

        2. The solution to “bad” religion is not “good” religion.

          The very very very best thing any thinking and feeling person can say about religion is that it gives confused, timid, cowardly, vulnerable, stupid, gullible people no shortage of BAD reasons to do good things.
          In other
          words, even when cast in the most generous light, the best argument we have for keeping religion around until we become mature enough for freedom and responsibility is such perverse pragmatism.

          Liked by 4 people

            1. @Ark: Because so far that is where the pursuit of truth leads me. And because of the witness of people like the ones I mentioned and countless others.

              Like

            2. Witness to WHAT?
              You are a disengenious, delusional egotistical shit.
              You haven’t even got the integrity to answer a single question honestly, but just
              like every other Christian apologist, when asked a direct question you put on your dancing shoes and do the theological two-step. You become like every other apologist – a typical Liar For Jesus.
              In fact you are the epitome of a typical Christian.
              You disgust me.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. I answered your question honestly, as I have answered all other serious inquiries honestly and to the best of my knowledge and ability. Where exactly have I engaged in any sort of apologetics? Indeed I’ve said little or nothing about “doctrine”. What exactly are you looking for?

              Like

      2. Jim, Thanks. A great video, one which every believer should, at least, try to understand, but sadly they are so hooked on the scam of being special, nothing gets through. GROG

        Liked by 2 people

        1. If there afraid to look, they generally already have their answer. Faith can’t hold up to evidence, and doubt is a little to uncomfortable to handle head on. Faith only flourishes with a lack of evidence as their definition is a substance of things not seen. Faith can’t hold up in light of any realities.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. The faith of the believer is virtually impregnable! Attacking the faith goes nowhere. The reality of death is what they cannot accept because they believe they are special. Here’s a laugh. My Mormon cousin asked me if he could send the missionaries to talk to me! What arrogance! GROG

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Funny thing about that, according to the doctrine your better off not hearing it. Once you hear it your accountable to it, but until then it’s open living, which is what we experience again after deconversion.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. As you well know, the Mormons have answer for everything. The magnitude of the delusion is unimaginable. How sweet it is to get the burden of god removed. Life is precious because there is only one per each of us. GROG

              Liked by 2 people

    1. @Loy

      As vast swathes of the bible can be demonstrated to be complete fiction why do you put faith in the veracity of your religion – and one would presume , the version of your religion that you adhere to?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. @Ark: Because the veracity of the Judeo-Christian faith does not derive from the historicity of “vast swathes of the bible”.

        Like

        1. Really?
          Perhaps, then you would like to elaborate on this, as I have always been under the impression ( incorrectly, it now seems ) that the ”veracity of the Judeo-Christian faith” stems from god’s word …. the bible, and if there is little veracity in the bible – which seems to be what you are alluding – what on earth do you base your faith upon?

          Liked by 3 people

          1. @Ark: You’re confusing veracity (truthfulness) with historicity (facts corresponding to a given time and place). The fact that my older brother is my older brother depends in some circumstances on the historical fact that we have the same biological parents (if we do). But for the most part that particular historical detail, which we don’t know with certainty, has no salience in our relationship. The truth of our relationship surpasses the facts of its origin.

            Like

            1. No confusion on my side. But I notice the vague hand waving once again and a rather not too clever attempt at obfuscation.
              So, once again …. the
              ”veracity of the Judeo-Christian faith” stems from god’s word …. the bible, and if there is little veracity in the bible (and for your benefit I shall add little historicity) – which seems to be what you are alluding – what on earth do you base your faith upon?

              Are you now able to offer a straightforward and more to the point honest reply?

              Liked by 3 people

            2. @Ark: I base my faith on knowledge — of life, people, love, ethics, the world, etc.

              Like

            3. @Ark: I base my faith on knowledge — of life, people, love, ethics, the world, etc.

              This is much like saying – ”Military Intelligence” – which some consider a contradiction of terms if ever there was.

              In the case of Christianity,basing faith on knowledge means you are blithely accepting unsubstantiated claims with no basis whatsoever in fact.

              As I have been at pains to point out, almost the entirety of the bible is simply historical fiction – and this time I am being generous in this description – you might as well be claiming faith in the knowledge that Harry Potter will someday manifest and take you with him to Hogworts.

              So, once again, as the bible is simply a collection of largely erroneous tales and you are claiming to be a Christian
              do you accept that:

              a) the supposed death of the character Jesus of Nazareth is crucial for your salvation?
              b) belief is the physical resurrection of this character is historical fact?

              For a change I really would like straight forward answers to these two questions.
              Thanks.

              Liked by 2 people

            4. With all respect, you do seem to be very deeply confused about the Christian faith, so I’m pretty sure I do not accept whatever it is you have in mind. With that caveat, I do generally accept that our brother Jesus came into the world for everyone’s sake, ministered for everyone’s sake, and died for everyone’s sake. His earthly remains ceased to exist in time and space, leaving behind an empty tomb to be a sign that death has no power over love, and to proclaim that he invites everyone to share in the power of his incarnation.

              Now, why do you ask?

              Liked by 1 person

            5. A little confused with your particular brand of theological two-step, but not confused about the Christian faith in the least, I can assure you.

              I do generally accept that our brother Jesus came into the world for everyone’s sake, ministered for everyone’s sake, and died for everyone’s sake.

              Excellent! Thank you. And finally, sans obfuscation, you have confirmed that, like all those who claim to be christian, you base your belief solely on faith and have no verifiable evidence whatsoever to support these claims.

              Furthermore, it seems it is you that is patently confused as while you condemn human sacrifice (to be exact, all sacrifice, human and animal) you are, in fact, a firmly entrenched member of a cult that actively supports human sacrifice – namely, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth.

              Like

            6. Now we’re back to the difference between veracity versus historicity. My brother is truly my brother. I so believe based in the first instance on the testimony of witnesses I deem trustworthy but not infallible or unimpeachable. Nevertheless, I don’t demand “evidence” of the factual details concerning the origin of our relationship, because that history would add nothing to the truth of our brotherhood.

              Jesus is truly our brother. I so believe based in the first instance on the testimony of a great cloud of witnesses I deem trustworthy but not infallible or unimpeachable. Nevertheless, I don’t demand “evidence” of the factual details concerning the origin of our relationship, because that history would add nothing to the truth of our brotherhood.

              By offering himself as the scapegoat, God reveals the evil absurdity of scapegoating in all its forms, and redeems through sacrificial love a human nature disfigured by hate.

              Like

            7. Brotherhood and genetic brothering really don’t apply here. This is ridiculous. Probably the most damaging aspect of this society and particularly religion is the failure to question, and an eagerness to agree or acquiesce to nonsense. I don’t believe in gods at all, but I would be in favor of a religion that is open to advance. Holding to feel-good falsehoods is lazy, cheap, and destructive. I’m really suprimes at your apparent wisdom, and lack of. I guess the key to good religion is the ability to ignore the obvious.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. @jim: Failure to question is bad. Acquiescing to nonsense is bad. Not being open to advance is bad. Holding to feel-good falsehoods is bad. Ignoring the obvious is bad.

              Accusing me of all those things is not an accurate or thoughtful or helpful response. To borrow your phrase, it’s a lazy and cheap — and safely cocooned — response.

              Like

            9. Pardon me Loy, having a little trouble making rationale out of your dots. “cloud of witnesses you deem trustworthy”? For Jesus? Are you talking about anciently or your family and friends today. If anciently, this is where the latter would get theirs, I suppose believing in faith because 500 unanimous, unidentified witnesses is not really credible when the source of the “approved” writings is completely in question. I suspect you are versed in the history of the church, the ecumenical counsels, the sheer conjecture and philosophy the entered the nicean writ, the reason they met 350 years after the supposed event to get the story right “once and for all” the hellenist roman redux is nothing but a cleverly worded, highly evolved play on human nature. If that is all you need, then wow! It baffles me how so many that put their heads to this seriously cannot see the utter manipulation at play. The only reason you could possibly hang on to this after all you know, is because you choose to out of some Loy-alty to money, a congregation to maintain, or it’s all you’ve ever studied so it must be true? Be nice to get through this faze of our evolution. The future will certainly laugh at the willful submission faze of our history and chuckle. Like the mythical gods of yore. I have an evolutionary predictor, and it goes like this. Animism, polytheism, hedonism, monotheism, atheism. Aten was wrong, he should’ve gone one step further.

              Like

            10. @jim: I would love to hear about your alternative. That would be what, exactly? I don’t just me a litany of complaints about bad religion.

              Atheism? Atheism belongs to the primordial end of evolution, with man at his most primitive, ignorant and barbaric. Whatever the next phase of human development turns out to be, going back to atheism, as you seem to suggest, would be a costly and tragic retrogression.

              Like

            11. Just maybe Loy it needs to come full circle. Religion had its usefulness in propagating submissive/cooperative genes and culling what it deemed necessary for survival. Now it gone so far as to threaten our very existence. If nothing else, it’s lost its ability to maintain ecological balance, which is part of its long history but not so much lately. Atheism is a great alternative to overpopulation. It’s all in your head anyway, so what’s the worry?

              Like

            12. @jim: No worries, just curious (and skeptical). I will reiterate that there is no such animal as “religion”.

              Like

            13. Maybe not an animal, maybe a gene. What would you call it if you could give it a name? Sorry I missed that if you already said.

              Like

            14. When used to make crude generalizations sweeping in all kinds of disparate unconnected phenomena and milieus, it’s just a meaningless buzzword.

              Like

            15. What is it you want Loy? How can I serve you today? Everything is connected somehow. It may seem unconnected to the untrained, but my mind makes the many seemingly disparate, make perfect sense. Sweeping generalities are $4.99 this week. Would you like to add that to your cart? So many are accused of this SG phenomenon you speak, but that is the eventual outcome of most every religious discussion because it makes such broad claims. See the connection? If I don’t caveat with words like most, sometimes, and way too often, apologists will use that to deconstruct the semantics of the speech, rather than tackle any difficult points. It’s my way of giving you an out, a third option in case your uncomfortable with realities. It’s a slow and difficult process when obviousisities are glaring.

              Like

            16. BTW, are you just as adamantly opposed to Judaism? Because if I accept all your complaints about the origins of Christianity, that would just make me a Jew. Just want to know what my options are.

              Like

            17. I can’t decide which delusion is right for you. Both have the same salvational power. The first one is better sleep therapy, the second is too phony with too many options, with more versions than years. Way worse than iOS.

              Like

        2. Tell that to my neighbor who came by for a visit last night and hugged her Bible the entire time. I don’t think your comment exemplifies Christian belief at all.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Amazing. If my neighbour came for a visit and sat there hugging a bible I would ask if she was feeling ill, or maybe worry she had cut a square out the pages in which she was hiding the mortgage money or a bar of chocolate!

            Like

            1. It’s a leather set with a big leather case and a big zipper. She looks at it a lot. The complete word of god (Sigh) Mel is switching to this mindset as well as Loy. All there is left to Christianity is the metaphorical search. The regular parishioners haven’t gotten the word on the switch yet, and their bibles are actually central over the preachers and apologetics.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. What I find fascinating is the whole compartmentalizing /disconnect.

              While they readily acknowledge that much of the Old T is myth/fiction there seems no answer forthcoming as to why, in the New T, Jesus believed in the veracity/historicity of the most notorious of these mythical characters, Noah, Moses, Abe etc.
              They say they understand the Old through the lens of Jesus, yet is is obvious Jesus (if he existed) was obviously wrong on almost every level.
              This doesn’t even take into account how it is even possible to establish any sort of veracity as to what the character Jesus actually said or even if he said anything at all.

              Liked by 3 people

            3. This side of it is much more enjoyable than the endless excuses that I struggled to convince myself, but did it anyway. But I don’t think a lot pay much mind to it. They just carry on our of tradition.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Please don’t! I donpt often visit these days but out of curiosity I note that he has put up a post on Dever.
              He hedges so much I am surprised he isn’t giving Shelby-Spong the nod.

              🙂

              Liked by 1 person

        3. I so believe based in the first instance on the testimony of a great cloud of witnesses I deem trustworthy but not infallible or unimpeachable.

          There are no witnesses. So where does this leave you?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Well, there you’re quite mistaken. But please don’t make me rehash the veracity/historicity thing.

            Like

            1. Start anywhere you like (Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, Oscar Romero, Maximilian Kolbe, etc. etc. etc.) and work backwards.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. And what exactly were these people witnesses to?
              Could you identify / list some witnesses closer to the supposed time that the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth is claimed to have lived?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. You asked for details. I provided names of individuals whose well-documented lives bear witness to faith in the good news Jesus preached. Anyone with a sincere interest in what makes that faith true can start there.

              Like

            4. So my beliefs should carry the same weight as yours because I found a meaningful, fruitful, and balanced happiness after losing belief in god. I have thirty witnesses here on WP to attest to that. That is my testimony. The power resides within us. A well evolved and specially tuned social trick of religion isn’t producing the growth it promises. But it makes one think they are. To the outside observer it’s quite obvious.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Witness to faith. Yes. But then, faith in this instance is people believing in something based on no evidence whatsoever.
              One could just as easily suggest people such as Gandhi, or Mandela who were considered exemplars of good people.
              I was more interested in genuine witnesses to the character Jesus of Nazareth. Do you have any details of such a person/people?

              Liked by 2 people

            6. @jim – With all respect, neither my beliefs nor yours, nor those of anyone else on this site, carry the same weight — or compare in any way whatsoever — to the faith of the individuals I mentioned, or of countless other individuals of heroic virtue over the last 20 centuries.

              Like

            7. I looked at the people you mentioned. Daniel Berrrigan could have been an advocate for catholic children and looked the other way. https://usefulstooges.com/2016/05/19/stooge-in-a-clerical-collar-daniel-berrigan/ He may have offered some third way grand ideas, and failed in the most important cause ever. Protecting children while he turned the other way. This is not the only outcry against his obvious willful blind spot. Sometimes what we don’t do is more important than what we do.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. @jim – A pathetic comeback, my friend. Until you have gained an understanding of the lives of people like these, all your kvetching is as but a clanging gong.

              Like

            9. I just googled. The woman was quite remarkable, and I applaud anyone who fights with her tenacity. But, Joe Paterno went down with Sandusky. All the good can be erased by one sin of omission. What you want to glorify as a saint, was certainly a man with just enough cowardice. His testimony is impressive, and I’m sure his cronies appreciated him too. Silence speaks volumes. The grand, worldwide scale of priestial abuse.. he knew.

              Liked by 1 person

            10. It’s not smoke. I’m sure it’s upsetting. I’ve had my heroes too, and it usually ends up they’ve overcompensated for a glaring secret. What impresses me about you, is you seemed to have found most of your senses outside of faith. Well versed in many genres, but all to confirm/ conform a belief. Your evidentiary search to prove faith, is exactly where I stood five years ago. As you can see, the two can’t mix, as faith requires a lack of evidence, not the other way around.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. @jim – A poor dear one asked me to help them understand what makes faith true, and I offered examples as illustrations, not as objects of worship. Hero worship it ain’t. Nor am I aiming to justify or prove anything to myself or anyone else. Just offering a different perspective to counter all the fake news.

              Like

            12. @Nan: The most apt retort to your retort would be “likewise”—but then we’d be sucked into an infinite loop.

              Liked by 1 person

          2. @Ark: The lives of those I mentioned, and of countless others, is powerful evidence of the truth of the faith attributed to Jesus and the Jewish prophets. Acquiring all the historical details surrounding the origins of their faith would be a fascinating development for history buffs like you and me. But it would add not an iota to their testimony, because they witnessed to a living faith, not a faith in history.

            (And to be clear, I am happy to acknowledge that there are also virtuous people who follow other faiths.)

            As a history buff, you’re aware that reconstructing the past is a messy business that entails far more conjecture than data. Every student of history forms their own reasoned judgments based on the totality of what they know about people and the world. The nature of history is such that it encompasses conflicting, often contradictory, accounts of the past. Like you, I value the study of history. But it is not the basis for my faith.

            Like

            1. And to be clear, I am happy to acknowledge that there are also virtuous people who follow other faiths. I see this as the missing link of reason for much of religion. I agree. Virtuous people may follow a faith, not the other way around.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. @ Loy

              @Ark: The lives of those I mentioned, and of countless others, is powerful evidence of the truth of the faith attributed to Jesus and the Jewish prophets.

              I notice how you are careful to couch your terms, and avoid mentioning any biblical characters which I had asked for. Kudos. Clever!

              So, faith, yes.
              But absolutely no verifiable evidence whatsoever to support any claim you may make.
              And as you point out, there is no more veracity in your claim as there would be if a Muslim made a similar claim about Mohammed.

              Like you, I value the study of history. But it is not the basis for my faith.

              Actually this is a disingenuous statement as if you truly valued the study of history of Christianity and what it revealed, you would acknowledge that the bible, which is your only source for the character you genuflect to and whom you consider to be your god – is simply historical fiction and so corrupt to be practically worthless as a source of evidence for any claim you may make regarding your ”faith.”
              In fact, most people who are genuine seekers of truth in this regard all eventually reject religion and all forms of god-belief, recognizing it for what it is: A man-made system to exercise control, and, for some, to alleviate Death Anxiety.
              (Consider Francis Collins)

              Thus, your belief can be regarded as simply a type of delusion based upon a form of cultural indoctrination.

              And every single individual who has deconverted has been where you are and some have even offered the exact same excuses for why they remain ties to the ”faith”.

              And for what it’s worth, as a Catholic you are not regarded as a genuine Christian by millions of proper Christians and are very likely going to spend eternity in Hell.

              Ironic that Catholics consider this is more or less what’s in store for all those damned heretics, eh?
              Poor old Luther, bless him!

              🙂

              Liked by 4 people

            3. @jim – Okay, I guess I was not as clear as I had hoped to be, so I’ll revise as follows: I am happy to acknowledge that there are also many people of good will who find virtue in other faiths.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. @Ark: Oh good golly, I never even thought of that! Thank you for sharing such a penetrating and incisive analysis. I just ordered my Richard Dawkins tee-shirt.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. @Loy

              @Ark: Oh good golly, I never even thought of that! Thank you for sharing such a penetrating and incisive analysis. I just ordered my Richard Dawkins tee-shirt.

              *Sigh* Biting wit is not your strong suit, is it? In fact, to tell the truth, you come across as rather wit –less .
              Probably on a par with your honesty.

              Maybe your ”jolly” worldview has been blighted somewhat since the dawning realization you are part of a death-cult that worships a make-believe human sacrifice, and the church you belong to is run by liars and pedophiles?
              Do you find you are having to apologize more often these days?

              Liked by 1 person

            6. @Jonathan: That’s a fair question, but some things we just have to work out for ourselves. If you’re sincerely interested, I would suggest you study their lives and try to understand what they believed, how they came to those beliefs, and how they lived what they believed.

              But we know what they believe – more or less- as they are Christian – ergo, they consider they are sinners, require salvation through the blood sacrifice of the narrative construct, Jesus of Nazareth, failure to do so will result in them be damned for eternity to Hell ( in whichever format they subscribe to)
              Pretty much all believers arrive at this point either because of indoctrination as a child which will include all the cultural affiliations, and this applies to other faiths as well: Muslims raise Muslims and Hindus raise Hindus etc, etc- that sort of thing.
              The born again evangelical type of christian often manifests during teen years or adulthood and is often presaged by some sort of trauma or guilt, be it mild or severe.
              Drugs and/or Alcohol, are sometimes involved.
              Death Anxiety is also cited. Did I mention Francis Collins?

              One thing is certain though – evidence plays no part.

              Don’t take my word for it – ask Jim or Nan or Jonathan.

              Liked by 2 people

            7. The lives of those I mentioned, and of countless others, is powerful evidence of the truth of the faith attributed to Jesus and the Jewish prophets

              This is disingenuous
              If you were saying that the lives of a couple believers were evidence of some of the benefits of religion, though I wouldn’t have agreed with you entirely but that would have been a better case than the one that you are making here
              How does the lives of believers serve as “powerful evidence” for their faith.
              This is a nonsequitur
              How does the lives of mormons serve as evidence that Joseph Smith was visited by the angel moroni

              (And to be clear, I am happy to acknowledge that there are also virtuous people who follow other faiths.)

              It is good to know that you are aware that they are also virtuous people in other faith

              Applying your erroneous logic, then the lives of good Hindus is a powerful evidence of Shiva and the gods avatars
              The lives of good buddisht serve as “powerful evidence” for their faith in nirvana and reincarnation

              The lives of good voodoo practitioners are powerful evidence of the truth of Baron Samedi, Damballah and the other loa rada and loa petro

              Similar can be said for Islam and all other religions

              How does the lives of believers serve as evidence for the existence of a supernatural being

              Liked by 2 people

            8. EXCELLENT, Jonathan! You hit the nail firmly on its head. And Loy’s response is so weak, the words are fading off my computer screen as I type.

              Liked by 2 people

            9. @Jonathan: That’s a fair question, but some things we just have to work out for ourselves. If you’re sincerely interested, I would suggest you study their lives and try to understand what they believed, how they came to those beliefs, and how they lived what they believed.

              Like

            10. @Jonathan: That’s a fair question, but some things we just have to work out for ourselves. If you’re sincerely interested, I would suggest you study their lives and try to understand what they believed, how they came to those beliefs, and how they lived what they believed

              The question we are asking is
              What are the evidences available that show that the tenets of the religious belief is the most probable scenario
              Many people have different religious belief, their conviction is only proof that they are utterly convinced and NOT that their beliefs are true

              The vikings believed that if you were braved in battle and you died, you would be rewarded with a place in valhalla. How did the vikings lived what they believed, they were a warring tribe. So how does this serve as evidence that valhalla exist
              Members of al-Qaeda, boko haram, ISIS etc believe that if they kill infidels they would be rewarded with 72 virgins and a place in Jannah. Did they live their beliefs, yes they did. So how does their acting on their beliefs serve as evidence that Jannah and the tale of 72 virgins are true.
              The is an obligation found in ancient and modern greek culture to treat strangers as honoured guests. In ancient times it was even religious obligation to be hospitable to travelers. How did this come about. This obligation has its origins in the thought that lie in the belief that the gods usually visited humans and so, you never know, these strangers that you’ve just met could well be gods. Zeus or Hermes. So you tell me how does the hospitality of the greeks serve as evidence for Zeus or Hermes
              So does the life of Hitler serve as evidence for the superiority of the Aryan race

              Liked by 1 person

            11. @Jonathan @Ark

              Since you ignored the advice I offered above, I’m not sure how I can help you. I’m not sure you even understand what you’re asking. You’re fooling yourself if you think you already understand the beliefs and convictions of Christian witnesses such as these, or know how their deepest commitments were formed, or grasp the utter reality of their faith.

              If you’re sincerely interested in exploring the questions you posed — and that means assuming the dreadful risk of possibly learning something — then you should take my previous advice.

              Like

            12. The utter reality of their faith proves nothing of the existence of god. Jonathan showed several examples of how that plays out. I believe you have a slight misplacement of reason here Loy. You were born into a certain lair, dependent on to who from where, and if you were born of another time, place, or race, would your argument still stand if you listed Gandhi in your response?

              Liked by 1 person

            13. @jim: You ask, “would your argument still stand if you listed Gandhi in your response?”

              Of course. Gandhi said:

              “…in the midst of death, life persists; in the midst of untruth, truth persists; in the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, truth, light. He is love. He is the supreme Good… God to be God must rule the heart and transform it… This can only be done through a definite realization, more real than the five senses can ever produce… It is proved not by extraneous evidence but in the transformed conduct and character of those who have felt the real presence of God within… Such testimony is to be found in the experiences of an unbroken line of prophets and sages in all countries and climes. To reject this evidence is to deny oneself.”

              As I’ve acknowledged, people of good will can pursue different paths. But I was asked specifically about Christian witnesses. Gandhi also said:

              “The one religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Hence the necessity for tolerance, which does not mean indifference towards one’s own faith, but a more intelligent and pure love for it.”

              Like

            14. But I was asked specifically about Christian witnesses

              Your reasoning is flawed
              You posited the lives of christians as evidence for the truth of christian faith. Applying that logic to other religions, then all those religions and other beliefs are equally true
              You would have a logical contradictions because for christianity to be true all the other religious beliefs should evaluate to false. But according to your erroneous logic that is not the case. Your logic allows for the existence of false positives, which is a sign of problems in your logic

              I don’t think you accept the fact that many atheists don’t participate in any religious activities as good evidence that there is no god

              Since you ignored the advice I offered above, I’m not sure how I can help you. I’m not sure you even understand what you’re asking

              Your advice was a call for me to shut down my thinking faculty. I don’t know how many scientists accept alchemy as valid because Isaac Newton believed it, I doubt they are many scientists who accept the circular orbit of planetary motion because Galileo believed it
              Does the fact that many people believed that big foot exists, that the moon landing was a hoax, that the holocaust never occurred makes all this claim valid

              Your stance that they are people who have a particular belief is good evidence that the belief in question is true is not one that is considered in most scholarly circle. It is plain nonsense
              I am asking for evidence of the numerous claims in the bible and not the rubbish you consider as evidence

              I don’t know how many scholars consider the fact that the Roman historian Tacitus recorded and believed that a phoenix visited egypt as clear evidence that a phoenix visited egypt
              I don’t know how many law courts take someone’s statement as clear evidence that what he or she says is true
              I don’t know how many scientists take the flat earth and young earth claims as valid because people believe them

              If you’re sincerely interested in exploring the questions you posed — and that means assuming the dreadful risk of possibly learning something — then you should take my previous advice.

              Take your advice that is based on erroneous logic
              If you have any sense of sincerity then apply your logic to other beliefs system

              Liked by 2 people

            15. Honestly Jonathan, faith requires no logic, and the less logic and fact, the more faith can be exuded. This is where maintaining ones faith at all cost breaks the barriers of common sense. This is the type of thinking I could no longer apply as a believer, therefore I could not believe it.

              Liked by 1 person

            16. @Jonathan: You seem to have skipped over my last post entirely. Gandhi is far more eloquent than I could be.

              https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/deepfakes-audio-visual-technology-and-fake-news/#comment-9287

              You say, “for Christianity to be true all the other religious beliefs should evaluate to false”. No, I see no reason at all to accept that. That which is true is true, regardless of the idiom in which it is expressed. As Gandhi puts it in the above quote: “Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men [who are] equally imperfect.”

              You also say, “Your advice was a call for me to shut down my thinking faculty.” No, quite the contrary, friend. My suggestion to you — if you’re sincere — is to put your thinking faculty into high gear and turn it loose!

              Like

            17. @Ark: Gracious me, we completely agree on that score! I can’t imagine anyone taking advice from someone who is part of a death cult that worships a (make-believe) human sacrifice.

              Like

            18. @Loy

              @Ark: Gracious me, we completely agree on that score! I can’t imagine anyone taking advice from someone who is part of a death cult that worships a (make-believe) human sacrifice.

              Odd – you seem to consider the people you listed as having merit and yet they are part of the same death cult.

              Also, you seemed frustrated/peeved that Jonathan did not take your advice and investigate the stories of the supposed witnesses you listed?

              Liked by 2 people

            19. @ Loy.
              Yes. Death Cult.
              1. You worship a human sacrífice, the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth.
              2. You consider his death was essential for your salvation to make things ”right” with your god ( who also happens to be Jesus(sic) )
              3. The shedding of blood was crucial to this notion of salvation which was why the character couldn’t simply die of old age or a disease. Furthermore,in the story, he is also referred to as the sacrifical lamb or Lamb of God. A human sacrífice.
              4. Finally, the promise of eternal life in heaven as a reward for acknowledging and worshiping the blood sacrífice in order to avoid punishment – eternal damnation in Hell. ( this is one source of the condition known as death anxiety – see: Francis Collins.)

              Any questions?

              Liked by 2 people

            20. @Ark: You ask, “Any questions?”

              Just one: Do you have your parents’ permission?

              I could phone them up and ask, if you like?

              To ensure you read the their answer, what time do the medical staff at the facility you stay at allow residents to use the internet?

              Liked by 2 people

            21. I think my meme in a recent post sums up faith pretty well. The art of being Christian is knowing what to overlook. I for one, cannot align myself with a system that defends atrocity as merely collateral. Loy, I think you must have encountered the history of Christianity in your studies. This is what faith does. It produces overbearance and denial. The good is god, the bad, not god, while all produced by the same people declaring his greatness. It’s all quite amusing but not humorous at all. The product of faith has had its chance and failed us for 2000 years. Who gets away with that but word smiths of religion? The CEO is incompetent. His words have caused massive division and bloodshed. His prophets and popes incompetent and cruel. Enjoy it. It’s all yours.

              Liked by 2 people

            22. @Ark: You ask, “Any questions?”

              Just one: Do you have your parents’ permission?

              Like

          3. You seem to have skipped over my last post entirely. Gandhi is far more eloquent than I could be.

            I read your quote which was you cherry picking quotes by Ghandhi. If you don’t know, Gandhi was a hindu
            And based on what you are saying Gandhi serves as good evidence that his hindu beliefs are true

            You say, “for Christianity to be true all the other religious beliefs should evaluate to false”. No, I see no reason at all to accept that

            Most religions have one or more beliefs that are contradicting with those held by christianity
            How can christianity be true and the belief in Shiva, Krishna and the other hindu gods be true at the same time
            How can the belief in reincarnation be true and the christian belief that once you die you either go to heaven or hell ( or purgatory depending on the version of christianity)
            How can the belief that Zeus is the king of all the gods be true and the chirstian beliefs about Yahweh be true
            How can the christian belief about Jesus being the son of god ( and in some cases being god himself) be true and the beliefs of realism that Jesus was just a messenger of an alien race be true
            How can the christian beliefs of Yahweh being the creator of man be true and the belief that Prometheus created man be true or that Obatala created man be true
            How can the christian beliefs that Yahweh created the milky way galaxy be true and the belief that the milky way galaxy was created from the spiled breast milk of Hera be true
            How can the christian beliefs that evil came into the world through the actions of Satan and Adam be true and the belief that evil came into the world because Pandora’s box was opened be true

            For christianity to be true all other religious beliefs past, present and future must be false. If you don’t believe me, you can take the time to study other religious beliefs and their various believers
            If you have any interest in inquiring about what is true that means assuming the dreadful risk of possibly learning something — then you should take my advice

            No, quite the contrary, friend. My suggestion to you — if you’re sincere — is to put your thinking faculty into high gear and turn it loose!

            If the condition you use to ascertain that a belief is true is that people believe it, then you have shut down your thinking faculty and chosen to be gullible.
            Your advice is just you saying don’t apply any form of critical thinking to my religious beliefs because it can not withstand such thorough inquiry
            If you have any bit of honesty and sincerity then apply your advice to other religious beliefs

            Liked by 1 person

            1. @Jonathan: I wouldn’t presume to evaluate the totality of Gandhi’s beliefs and every individual one of his opinions. That’s not the question Jim put to me. Jim asked whether I could include Gandhi as an example of someone whose life as a whole bears witness to the essential veracity of his faith. I cited a speech in which Gandhi himself — with convincing eloquence and surpassing intelligence — affirms that very idea.

              You now say that other religions have “one or more” [i.e., some] beliefs that contradict those held by Christianity. But your previous assertion — which I do not accept — was that “for Christianity to be true all the other religious beliefs should evaluate to false” [emphasis added]. To cite Gandhi again, limited imperfect people communicate the truth in limited imperfect language, which is then heard and re-interpreted “by other men equally imperfect.” Nevertheless, whatever is true, is true. Gandhi also said: “Even as there are numerous names of God in Hinduism, there are many names of God in Islam. The names do not indicate individuality but attributes, and little man has tried in his humble way to describe mighty God by giving Him attributes, though He is above all attributes, Indescribable, Immeasurable.”

              Like

            2. Jim asked whether I could include Gandhi as an example of someone whose life as a whole bears witness to the essential veracity of his faith. I cited a speech in which Gandhi himself — with convincing eloquence and surpassing intelligence — affirms that very idea.

              Jim never asked you this. Jim asked you if you would include Gandhi as evidence for his religious beliefs. You went on to cherry pick the part of Gandhi ideology you agree with and ignored the rest of his religious convictions. This is not the same standard you applied to those christians you mentioned.
              What you did was cite those christians as evidence for the christian faith and not specific beliefs like you did in the case of Gandhi. This is pure intellectual dishonesty. You created a double standard

              You now say that other religions have “one or more” [i.e., some] beliefs that contradict those held by Christianity. But your previous assertion — which I do not accept — was that “for Christianity to be true all the other religious beliefs should evaluate to false” [emphasis added]

              A quick google search
              Religious belief is the belief in the reality of the mythological, supernatural, or spiritual aspects of a religion. Religious belief is distinct from religious practice or religious behaviours
              What you cited in the case of Gandhi and those christians you mentioned was just an example of their religious behaviours and not religious beliefs. Can you cite evidence for the religious beliefs not religious behaviours of christianity
              Mention examples of the religious beliefs of other religions that are not contradictory with those of christianity

              Gandhi also said: “Even as there are numerous names of God in Hinduism, there are many names of God in Islam. The names do not indicate individuality but attributes, and little man has tried in his humble way to describe mighty God by giving Him attributes, though He is above all attributes, Indescribable, Immeasurable.”

              In your christians example it wasn’t quotes of what they said you were citing
              You cited Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, Oscar Romero, Maximilian Kolbe as evidence for the life of Jesus but you don’t accept Gandhi as evidence for Krishna

              Like

            3. Thanks for jumping in Jonathan. Been short on time today. I read that and was thinking, where did he get this? It’s a john Branyan tactic I get tiredly annoyed with.

              Liked by 2 people

            4. @Jonathan: I wouldn’t presume to evaluate the totality of Gandhi’s beliefs and every individual one of his opinions.

              I never asked you to evaluate the totality of Gandhi’s opinions. What I’m asking is does the life of Gandhi serve as evidence that his religious beliefs are true. ANSWER THIS QUESTION

              Loy, does the life of Gandhi serve as evidence that KrishnaANSWER THIS QUESTION

              Loy, you haven’t answer this question
              Because someone believes something, how does that serve as evidence that what the belief is trueANSWER THIS QUESTION

              Answer what I raised here
              https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/deepfakes-audio-visual-technology-and-fake-news/comment-page-1/#comment-9255

              Like

            5. No, no double standard. In response to Jim, I included the example of Gandhi on exactly the same basis as the others. All of them hold true beliefs and false beliefs, just as everyone does.

              Perhaps the nub of our disagreement is that I don’t accept the sharp distinction you make between belief or doctrine (orthodoxy) and behavior or practice (orthopraxy). We live what we believe, and vice versa. If a “belief” changes nothing, it is not really a belief, and can’t possibly be true. One’s life as a whole bears witness to the truth or falsity of one’s beliefs. Gandhi as well as the others exemplify lives that bear witness to the essential and overwhelming truthfulness of the faith that motivates and sustains them. No, something is not true just because someone believes it. I assume that everyone has false beliefs. But one’s life is evidence of what she or he believes, and by examining that evidence, we can assess for ourselves (provisionally, fallibly) how closely their beliefs align with what is good and true.

              Again, Gandhi says this better than I can (sorry to repeat, but you keep asking the same question):

              God to be God must rule the heart and transform it. He must express himself in every smallest act of His votary. This can only be done through a definite realization, more real than the five senses can ever produce. Sense perceptions can be and often are false and deceptive, however real they may appear to us. Where there is realization outside the senses it is infallible. It is proved not by extraneous evidence but in the transformed conduct and character of those who have felt the real presence of God within.

              Such testimony is to be found in the experiences of an unbroken line of prophets and sages in all countries and climes. To reject this evidence is to deny oneself.

              Nothing in that passage contradicts the message of Jesus. And I don’t know how I could have made it clearer that I acknowledge Gandhi among that “unbroken line of prophets and sages.” I don’t understand your confusion on these points.

              Like

    2. The solution to “bad” religion is not “good” religion.

      The very very very best thing any thinking and feeling person can say about religion is that it gives confused, timid, cowardly, vulnerable, stupid, gullible people no shortage of BAD reasons to do good things.

      In other words, even when cast in the most generous light, the best argument we have for keeping religion around until we become mature enough for freedom and responsibility is such perverse pragmatism.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fake news is unfortunately more exciting to pass on than real news, which can be quite boring. The new technology puts the lie to the old worn-out phrase “Truth is stranger than fiction!” Truth is never planned, it just happens. Fiction, as most people write it, is well-planned, with time taken to give it greater impact.
    Religions have had plenty of time to write and re-write their fictions. They have studied what works, and what does not work. How many versions of the bible are available today? More than I know, that is for certain. And all the commentaries on the bible, they number in the millions, if not the billions. Other religions’ books like the Qur’an, or the Upanishads, I cannot say. But christianity, it changes with every new preacher who sees a way to live off the avails of prostituting that religion.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Fake news is unfortunately more exciting to pass on than real news…

      rg, you’ve also indirectly touched on the fact as to why America’s (Western Civs?) film and gaming audiences are utterly fascinated with (addicted to?) graphic horror films/games. They pander to some of our worst primate traits. Adrenaline and dopamine, the human body’s double-edged sword, or rather drug.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is certainly another side of life, but one I cannot understand. Even as a kid I did not enjoy horror films like my friends did. They didn’t speak to me, just to my body, as you suggest. I needed things to challenge my mind. I’m still like that today.
        But as long as people want horror, Hollywood will give it to them. And as long as people want false facts, someone will provide those too.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Jim, that is my take too. Every religion is delusional because they worship spirits and gods that don’t really exist, except in imaginings. As you well know, all religions are not equal. Some are deadly. The JCI version of the history of humanity ends with a great battle between good and evil, the outcome of which is already known; otherwise the delusionals wouldn’t believe the story of salvation, resurrection, etc., in the first place. And, they each want to be part of it; the end! GROG

    Liked by 9 people

    1. The great fantasy book ‘ Lord of the Rings ‘ has this same ending of the triumph of good over evil . I have read accounts which say that Frodo was a likeness of Jesus Christ who ultimately saved the world at the cracks of doom. Tolkien was a devout Catholic so he had a sort of good / evil background in his upbringing.
      Of course when you examine most famous films we find the good / evil battle worked out and John Wayne comes through with a shining character. We can pose the question what is the nature of man ? and the modern answer comes close to the religious answer ; a mixture of good and evil , of course good and evil can only exist for moral beings .

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s