Maturing in Faith

How we must allow pretending and self-delusion to win over logic and reality—just believe

America’s True-Christian submits to lasting faith, line upon crooked, twisted line. Precepts that turn, juke and spin until acclimation settles in to accepting his eastern religion merry go round as the one true faith. He is now a foreigner in his own mind estranged from reality, celebrating human sacrifice over the unblemished ram. It all makes perfect sense.

The trouble spots he noticed along the path burrow deep in the back of his mind, ignoring to recall. Like a smoldering trash fire he saw on the news years ago, occasional flames are fanned but retreat to smolder under the help of reason (ah, the explanations) the same reason surrendered at the door of faith.

Like eyes blindfolded at night—unable to see the light of day, he hopefully presses on to find the meaning of it all. At daybreak the blindfold tightens under a mask beguiling self. Light tries, creaks in, but now it is only a disciplined annoyance distracting briefly from the human needs to be herd—and find meaning he never knew he lost until it was so astutely pointed out.

Has he ever the courage to risk all his effort and walk away? Rarely, although he wants to. But he has found solace pretending to believe. Pretending to get it. Pretending this faith matters—then do and behave however he wants? That is the true Christian—following the example of the Bible god.

The reality is there are no true believers. Each has his own market cornered on his own brand of delusion. Reasoning their own judgement away one must construct just the right wording to find any possible way it could make perfect sense. Acquiescence

Atheism is the manifestation of integrity. Or should I say, accepting your atheism is the foundation integrity. Saying out loud what everyone already knows.

Having enough courage to say what is rightfully so, we have now matured in the faith. The red words of the Bible have trained us up to be men of honor in all areas but one. And we are now supposed to dishonor truth by pretending. I don’t believe there is a god, but we can do it for the kids.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

51 thoughts on “Maturing in Faith”

  1. So much truth to this. I’ll never subject my children to church, religion, worshiping something, etc. “Disciplined annoyance”- exactly. I had a friend in Arkansas, a staunch believer, admit that she only believes because she’s never studied the Bible enough to question it. She said, “I’m not looking for facts..I don’t view the Bible based on a historical perspective.” I stood there..my knees getting weak, vomit rising…😂😂 Not really.. BUT I did say, “What in f-ing tarnation.” 😂😂 Awesome thinking Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only have fifty years experience holding on to your position. I’m not assuming you are wrong—I know you are. I also know how those excuses for the charade eat at you until one day you mature in truth to develop the integrity to stop pretending. It’s ok. The key to unlocking the mysteries is unbelief. Until that one day you look back and say wow! I can’t believe how thoroughly duped I was. How can such a smart person be so herd bound and deluded? There is still time for you to enjoy a meaningful life based on the good you. The real you.

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      1. Jim:
        “I only have fifty years experience holding on to your position. I’m not assuming you are wrong—I know you are. I also know how those excuses for the charade eat at you until one day you mature in truth to develop the integrity to stop pretending. It’s ok. The key to unlocking the mysteries is unbelief. Until that one day you look back and say wow! I can’t believe how thoroughly duped I was. How can such a smart person be so herd bound and deluded? There is still time for you to enjoy a meaningful life based on the good you. The real you.”

        Joe:
        This comment just seems odd. I doubt you have ever even understood many of my positions let alone held them. Your continual assertions that you know things that you clearly don’t know is not going to be helpful to any rational person. Is it doing something for you? Does it reassure you? I really don’t get it.

        Why not admit there are things we don’t know for certain and try to do your best with what we have?

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        1. Attempt the same experiment every day for thirty or forty years and the results are never predictable, always varied, and have a 50/50 coin flip explanation for accuracy, you wouldn’t say hey, this isn’t working out? Except for religion. Sorry Joe if I came across as arrogant. After two thousand years the best minds have nothing to show. In fact, the search has gone wildly serpentine here and there and each has gone his own way. Which is where it should be I suppose.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think you are after the question of “Is there a God.” But I think religion generally is after a different question than “what is.”

            As far as what to show for it I think the west has one of the best cultures ever in the world when it comes to how we should live and view each other.

            There is a distinction between what is and what ought to be. Religion is what distinguishes these two things. Science makes no attempt, rather it just helps us understand what is.

            “There is still time for you to enjoy a meaningful life based on the good you.”

            What makes you think life has meaning? Has this been tested through experiments? Often I find people want to apply very strict standards to whether they will believe God. But then when it comes to other beliefs they will say “oh well I just make it up!” Or “I don’t believe there is any meaning, but I am glad I am living a meaningful life”

            I say simply I have a certain amount of reasons to believe what I do. Do those reasons make what I believe “knowledge”? Who knows or cares? The reasons are not stronger just because we try to squeeze them into the term “knowledge.”

            Either there is a real good way to live or there is not.

            If there is not then ok. But how sure am I of that? And if we say there is a chance there is really a good way to live shouldn’t we explore that chance even if it is less than fifty percent? What do you think?

            What if no one could ever “prove” there is really a way we should live. Shouldn’t we take the path that has the best chance of being really meaningful instead of just throwing up our hands and saying oh well I will just make it up?

            How could someone know what is a really meaningful way to live? Do you think we might find it by examining rocks in geology? Or by seeing how sub atomic particles work?

            I don’t need to pretend Christianity is more likely than not, in order to believe it is the best option I have. At least we have some evidence Christ knew things beyond our ability. (even if we think that evidence is very weak) So I am not following L Ron Hubbard or and idiot celebrity who I know can only see things as I do. I recognize we don’t see hear feel taste or smell morality so it is not something we can know empirically. But that does not mean there is no real morality.

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        2. I do think the key to understanding your position is to have an awareness of the foibles of human perception and where good feelings come from. The hormones released in your brain in times of meditation, prayer, worship, and so forth are the worker bees, while the hypothalamus is the queen. No hormones, no Holy Spirit. Numerous studies and research bare this out time and again. The key to the ministers success is causing carefully timed emotion. Business actually assist the churches in creating this format. It is not god but men of words that have hijacked your mind. Your ideas are not your own, but I bet as sharp as you are you’d have some good ones if you ever learned to observe without the crippling bias of faith.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. How the hypothalamus and all the chemicals in our brain works tells me some interesting and helpful information.

            But it doesn’t answer the question how should I live. That is an important question for me. Others seem not to find it so important. For them it is like a secondary consideration as to whether they should believe some thing should or shouldn’t exist – or whether the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds – or whether evolved etc. I just find those questions of secondary importance the question how should I live of top importance.

            BTW I also think the hypothalamus works in nonreligious people. We all have chemical cocktails that effecting our thoughts. But perhaps there is someone there who can make some good or bad choices nonetheless.

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            1. @Joe — You indicate that how you should live is a very important question for you. Yet you allow an external and unseen force make that decision for you.

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            2. I think we all make our own decisions. But I do admit I try to follow a guide. I think if our decisions are unguided we are just acting arbitrarily. If you think there is a guide with better prospects of being right about moral decisions than a person who claimed he was of God and we have evidence he performed miracles to prove it then, I will listen.

              But really my main point is try to get unstuck from the tired old arguments for and against the existence of God and start thinking, ok now what? I never found any argument for or against the existence of God an absolute proof so we have some uncertainty lets deal with it rationally and live life.

              That is why I am interested in meta-ethics. I am not saying atheists can’t have reasoned views on this. But I do think they have some particular problems in this area.

              I was listening to a debate and the speaker said he had a friend who confided that he traveled a lot and pretty much every night he would spend so much time looking at all the various netflix program options he would typically just fall asleep before he picked a show.

              I thought that was an amusing comment and if I traveled (and didn’t have my wife to tell me to pick a show) I would do the same. But sometimes when I ask some atheists what they think about morality they will answer with things like – oh well atheists can have any sort of metaethical view they want. And I think that is pretty much true. But nevertheless are we going to pick one and what does that mean? Similarly I hear about some vague notion of “flourishing” or “wellbeing” that again can mean almost anything. So its always this search for flexibility in morality when really there comes a time to pick a show. Im not saying it has to be too early and I think it is good for people to think it through first. And many people are so busy in life they may not be able to think things through until they are quite old.

              But ultimately when you get into some things are the right way to live and others are not well whats the evidence? And how are you going to chose? Are we just going to admit we are just making it all up? (like the various anti-realist views) If we want to think we are living a life that is not based on make believe then how can we tell what is true about morals?

              In answering these questions I think there are some good reasons to stick with a religion.

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            3. Joe, the morality arguments may be bookworthy here. I think you misinterpret atheist morality. We are quite good at framing law and working inside the construct of such laws.
              Being societal creatures we find the the morality we request protects us and everybody else from harm. But this equilibrium is not a god give, and it’s not unique to humans. If I May quote a friend here:
              “I’ve always 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”.
              I have followed many of these animal studies and this bears out time and again.

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            4. Jim
              I am pretty sure your friend has never read even an introductory text about meta-ethics or the problems it deals with if that is his answer. I mean there are meta-ethical assumptions in his response but it doesn’t really answer any basic meta-ethical questions.

              Here is a rough guide to what I consider the 4 basic views:
              https://trueandreasonable.co/2014/01/20/what-do-you-mean-im-wrong/

              What we find is that atheists tend to be all over the board on the fundementals of what morality even is.

              Sure atheists can make laws to force their moral views on the rest through laws like everyone else. But the fundementals of what morality is, is far from uniform.

              As a factual note I think the jury is still out as to whether the long finned whale is really more morally attuned than humans.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Just curious where you sit Joe. So we know a little about our stance, I don’t read much commentary about anything. Religion, politics, and this is no different. I am an observer. I examine what is said, follow different studies and come to my own conclusions with as little outside influence as possible.
              My quest as “the common atheist” is to discuss these topics with everyday people. After finding the evidence for god quite ridiculous without the outside persuasion, I have written these 400 posts in my own words with an occasional quote that I saw here on WP.
              As far as your assumption that John is not well read, let me just say this up front. That’s a laughable assertion.
              Rather than rewrite this over and over, here is a post about my thoughts on your thoughts. https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/11/03/building-objective-morality/
              Your link was very concise and informative. Thank you. Mine is short as well. The comments are worth the time if your interested in how and why I hold this position, although I’m open to learn more.
              The only real trouble we get into with morality debate is the insertion of God. If you start with that premise there in no room for reason.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I don’t think John ever read a book on meta-ethics. I don’t think he understands the basic issues.

              He may know quite a bit about animal behavior though.

              If morality is objectively real then we don’t construct it, we discover it. Constructing morality typically just means making shit up.

              Like I said in an early post plenty of atheists are ready to tell us about their new vague definition of morality.

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            7. Well I’m not willing to submit to morality from an archaic and brutal time. We can do better over coffee. Really. So, other than posting someone else’s ideas, you have not even a tidbit to offer?

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            8. What about morality from reality?

              If there is no such thing then what do you mean we could “do better”?

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            9. Better is a moral framework that allows individual right within a safety net of law. Let’s look for a moment at Christian morality. No offense Joe, but it has resisted equality and fairness with a set of Jim Crow laws that pits belief over people—by chosen people. Haha. Belief that has never produced the promised bliss. For hundreds of years it ignored individual rights, now claims to be a champion (although LGTB people would certainly disagree).

              Liked by 1 person

            10. Seriously I mean you are just making crazy assertions that Christianity is a racist religion that supports Jim Crow. How odd.

              What rights are you talking about and what do you mean a safety net of the law? Are we getting all this from just do no harm and autonomy?

              And again better in what way? do you mean it is more congruent with what real justice requires? Or is there no such thing? Perhaps you just mean you would like it more?

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            11. You can’t see it because you’re in it. No one can worship and be objective. No one! You gave that away at the alter. That is why all the handwaving atrocities of god (those in power) breaking their own commandments. Jim Crow is in the style of ancient Israel. Special laws for special people. Truth.

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            12. Jim
              You seem unaware of how the story of exodus and other bible stories inspired so many black people in the south.

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    1. My life is defined in BAW (before Alan Watts) and AAW (after Alan Watts). I had a very traumatic childhood and NOTHING ever made very much sense to me throughout my adolescence and most of my adult life. My brother suggested him to me and I was hooked. He put into words my exact beliefs and opinions that I had no idea how to unlock much less verbalize. Not to sound corny or cliche, discovering him totally changed my life for the better for giving me answers to the questions that I didn’t even know how to ask.
      Have you been a lifelong fan? How did you get “turned on” to him?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only stumbled across AW a couple years ago. I found him during the collapse of my Christian Faith. Fortunately I had a wonderful childhood so it’s more an interest than a need.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, well I’ll be damn, your not all looks…..you have brains underneath that above average beauty!! Haha!!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. The reality is there are no true believers.

    Have you read Scott Adams’ short story, God’s Debris? (It’s free online). This section seems pertinent here:

    The old man leaned toward me, resting a blanketed elbow on the arm of his rocker.

    “Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives to converting others to their religions.

    “A belief in God would demand one hundred percent obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few. The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs—an earthly and practical utility—but they do not believe in the underlying reality.”

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “If you asked them, they’d say they believe.”

    “They say that they believe because pretending to believe is necessary to get the benefits of religion. They tell other people that they believe and they do believer-like things, like praying and reading holy books. But they don’t do the things that a true believer would do, the things a true believer would have to do.

    “If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.”

    “Are you saying God doesn’t exist?” I asked, trying to get to the point.

    “I’m saying that people claim to believe in God, but most don’t literally believe. They only act as though they believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so. They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy.”

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thanks John. I saw that manifest here too. Remember this from last week? This from Joe—”Hitler hated the church but wanted to use it as much a possible” B-I-N-G-O. That is True-Blue™️ in a nutshell.

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    2. I thought it was truly awesome and very pertinent, especially in today’s society. Have you ever read Alan Watts or listened to any of his lectures? You can find a wide variety on YouTube and Soundcloud. If you have not, I highly recommend him.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. One of my favorites from Psychotherapy East and West—“Psychotherapy can only begin when the organism is no longer compelled to defend itself for being an organism”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. He was a great and eloquent philosopher. His views on most everything touch me profoundly in a way I’ve never known. I’m not religious, if anything I’m a science nerd and cynic, but in my humble opinion he just makes EVERYTHING so clear. I NEVER get tired of listening to him, which is saying a lot with my ADHD, easily distracted self😊
          Please let me know what you think.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. One difference is when the ants go down the hole they easily come back out, unlike Christianity’s rabbit hole it takes us many years to find our way back to the light.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Excellent Jim. And even though a Christian told me yesterday on my latest post that my blasphemy will come back to haunt me one day, I will say this: I don’t believe. So there. Now you know. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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