Faith vs Integrity

How can we change the world when we’re stuck in an archaic past?

The life of faith is in a race with integrity. The trick is to die before the vector of integrity is tempted to intersect faith before the finish line. Development of integrity can cost you your soul. Dying in unscrutinized belief is the safer bet. Have no fear. Your faith is the sure safety that nothing will change until you get your catastrophe.

Meanwhile, be content in the outcomes of faith which we have witnessed now for two millennia. Don’t complain, and please no worries. This is the life you choose through belief.

The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish”—Eric Hoffer

“Ye are the light of the world”. What do you say to that when everything faith touches lives in a constant state of regression? Living in the past, hoping the future ends. Would a good god condemn you for truly not believing? Seems to me such integrity should be rewarded.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

72 thoughts on “Faith vs Integrity”

  1. Humility in an ancient Near Eastern context was different from what we think about it. It was mostly about knowing your place and making sure to show the requisite fear and deference to your superiors, including the god. This attitude is not unique to the Bible. The Israelite view of Yahweh presented in the Bible is very similar psychologically to how the rulers of Assyria or Babylon were treated, or the national gods of those places Assur and Marduk. Love, fear and obedience were linked in the minds of these people. For example, when the Assyrians punished Babylon for rebelling, they knocked down the temple of Marduk and most of the city buildings and deported a bunch of people. The priests of Marduk claimed that this happened because Marduk was angry with his people, and used the Assyrians to punish them. Does that sound familiar? Just like on the Moabite tablet, where Omri was allowed to oppress Moab because Chemosh was angry with his people.

    I have a translation of some Hittite texts on hand. Most are fragmentary, but one is about the city of Ebla and the attempt by the ruler to get his leading men to agree to a debt forgiveness plan. Most don’t like that idea(they would have to release people that owe them too) but the ruler insists. Also, it says that Teshub(the god) wills that there will be a debt remission. If the city does this, they will defeat their enemies and have good harvests. If they don’t Teshub will smite them with a list of things right out of the Old Testament. And there is a proverb in there too. Disrespect your parents, and Teshub will smite you, he will cut off your lineage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You Stated — “This attitude is not unique to the Bible.”

      My Response — I agree. It’s not even unique in any environment. Jobs use fear to keep us working, insurance uses fear to keep us paying, spouses use fear to keep us in the house ;).

      The larger issue is that no one ever talks about what can be done to eliminate fear. Maybe we should put aside religion, politics, culture and focus on the prime motivator.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You Stated — “The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person…… He who is not of his faith is evil”

    My Response — That’s an interesting perspective but I’m not sure how it applies to a christian since we believe only god is good.

    There is no indicator in the bible that I’m a humble person or good. The bible only states that I’m a person living life for myself subject to the temptations of the world that I desire.

    This line is also confusing, “He who is not of his faith is evil”. It doesn’t really say anything.

    You Stated — “The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.”

    My Response — I’m not sure how that would work. People are only humble from time to time, there is no true dedicated humble person. I suppose if one is being humble to shame others it could increase that persons arrogance but there is no one size fits all for managing personal behavior traits.

    Some people are better when they calm down and are more humble and others are just jerks when they do it.

    You Stated — “Living in the past, hoping the future ends.”

    My Response — I’m not sure how this applies to me as a christian. I’m a futurist by trade (I deal in technology). I’m not sure why you would think I want the future to end. You might need to explain that one to me.

    You Stated — “Would a good god condemn you for truly not believing?”

    My Response — As far as I know children don’t believe and they aren’t condemned Oo

    We are all gods children 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said “but I’m not sure how it applies to a christian since we believe only god is good—You are not a true believer, then. You can be good and raised up in the end if you’ll only listen to what Jesus (now his messengers) have to say. In Hoffers context of the TB and mass movements, certain personality types are required for success. The milk toast participants like yourself play a vital part, but mostly are just along for the ride.
      This line is also confusing, “He who is not of his faith is evil”. It doesn’t really say anything. “Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents … Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.” —Eric Hoffer. If you are having trouble seeing what evangelicals (the fastest growing segment) does to use fear to perpetuate there movement, I can’t help you, but it’s thematic and only their interpretation is going to save you at the end.
      I’m not sure how that would work. People are only humble from time to time, there is no true dedicated humble person. I suppose if one is being humble to shame others it could increase that persons arrogance but there is no one size fits all for managing personal behavior. Submitting to an authority and worshipping by obedience is the king of pretended humility and leads to acts against certain types. Believing That they are messengers from god and what they have to say is more important than ethical behavior. What you see in the mirror is not what others see in this type of true believer.
      James Rachel on moral autonomy—
“To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy.
Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it (or submitting to it)
Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral. There is no moral autonomy for a TB
      ”I’m not sure how this applies to me as a christian. I’m a futurist by trade (I deal in technology). I’m not sure why you would think I want the future to end. You might need to explain that one to me.”Again, you are not a true believer. There are millions in the US, right now that are hoping and praying for the end and the return of jesus. I have many neighbors in this mindset, and not only hoping it comes, but hoping to see the destruction when Christ wipes out the heathens. Do you deny huge segments of your believers are of this mindset? Every thing I’ve stated is very grounded. Only through the lens of faith is it even remotely confusing. This is the problem with faith—it dismisses the evidentiary outcomes of itself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *You Stated — “The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person…… He who is not of his faith is evil”

        *My Response — That’s an interesting perspective but I’m not sure how it applies to a christian since we believe only god is good.

        You Then Stated — “You are not a true believer, then. You can be good and raised up in the end if you’ll only listen to what Jesus (now his messengers) have to say.”

        My Next Response — Like this Jesus? Oo — Mark 10:18
        18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

        I don’t know what a true believer is since believing is just a position on whether a god or gods exist. But when it comes to being good or humble I was just saying that it’s only written one way (none good but one).

        Good and evil are great concepts for the divine but from a human perspective we are simply driven into good or bad behavior by our mindsets response to the environment. We are not good or bad just human, this is to say we do good and bad things.

        Like

        1. “but I’m not sure how it applies to a christian since we believe only god is good” Aah, is he now? I thought you didn’t judge whether beings were good?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. This is how conversion works. They typically share all the good parts and withhold the hole story. Works pretty well. So your ok with 1400 years of forced conversions and genocide, because it brought us to here? The church of Christ finally became respectable because they no longer are allowed to use force. Only the majority compliant genes have survived. Have you ever seen the Russian fox experiment? That is what happens when we force a modification on nature.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. You Asked — “So your ok with 1400 years of forced conversions and genocide, because it brought us to here? ”

              My Response — Nope, I’m not ok with it. That’s why I never join organizations with that mentality or agenda.

              For the record I do live in America and I’m also not ok with years of slavery which is why I never join those organizations that are.

              I’m so not ok with such things that you can view them all over my site with my own opinions out for everyone to see.

              Case in point:
              https://realitydecoded.blog/2019/07/02/the-loved-slave-ship-jesus-of-lubeck/

              I’m also not ok with how people are treating LGBTQ so I’m doing something about it in my city.

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            3. I’m also not ok with how people are treating LGBTQ” This treatment of certain groups is the detriment of “we believe”. I’m embarrassed to say that when I was a believer I spouted of a lot of things I was taught to believe. “We believe” is essentially mental hijacking, groupthink at its finest. It all went away when I no longer believed in god, all the side effects disappeared too. No one is as dumb as all of us—

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            4. I’m seeing a lot of hate from believers and non-believers but I’ve never involved myself until now.

              When I was in the Navy most of the crew I knew were non-believers and the hate level was set to physical violence against gays. The religious groups are nearly the same with verbal abuse.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Perhaps the navy was a condoning agent of discrimination? It was a belief in the navy at that time that gays didn’t belong (I remember those days and the religious outrage of gays in the military) It was a belief that led to the attacks, like many of the churches today. I live in a highly religious area. You should see the community Facebook page some day. From last week, this lady was looking for gender neutral clothing for foster kids (you know, clothes that work for either sex in the middle of the night when often these children arrive). The comments were atrocious, ie; “You had me helping til you said gender neutral” was the one that stands out to me. Their religious belief breeds this type of behavior even to shun a needy child.

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            6. Could be but what was coming out of peoples mouths was more like they didn’t want them in the sleeping birthing (room). Like they were scared of being looked at in an undesirable fashion.

              If you ask me, those guys were brutal to women in general, it was sickening. I think they must have just viewed themselves falling prey to the behavior they delt out. These were not kind hearted people if you know what I mean.

              Just a thought

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Interesting, I will check it out tomorrow.

              I still have to finish some Python Programming training, another Chapter in “The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius” and a bit of the last book of Enoch.

              All before my wife wakes up and finds me on the computer Oo

              Liked by 1 person

            8. On a side note: We’ve been using cedar oil lately to improve sleep (it works very well).

              Just saying, since it’s from one of the ceremonial plants associated with the wheel.

              I ordered a number of biblical oils to see what effect they would have. Only the medical grade oil from Young Living

              Farm to table

              see ya

              Liked by 1 person

      2. You Stated — “If you are having trouble seeing what evangelicals (the fastest growing segment) does to use fear to perpetuate there movement, I can’t help you”

        My Response — I’m not sure how this applies to anything I said. It seems easy to observe that evangelicals use the fear of punishment to motivate and control others. Fear in general is the go-to motivator throughout all cultures on earth. I’m not sure why this would be hard for me to see since it’s a standard for the human condition in politics, religion, culture, work, school, etc.

        Like

      3. You Quoted — “To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it (or submitting to it) Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral. There is no moral autonomy for a TB

        My Response — That’s an interesting perspective but it’s nonsensical.

        I have no reason or need to evaluate if anyone is good, that would be a waste of my time. I also have no moral responsibility (whatever that is), the bible is not a book or morals its a book of commands. People are not forced to follow it from a bible perspective.

        I suppose I have to follow certain moral obligations in certain environments as a common courtesy or respect for others. That is , if I want to fit in or be part of a group. This changes from group to group.

        This is to say that from a bible perspective there is nothing other than
        “moral autonomy” otherwise sin couldn’t exist. Individuals commit sin so they would have to be autonomous to do so.

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        1. But you should evaluate whether your god is good, but when firstly submitting to worship this god, you acquiesce your autonomy to obedience (Submit yourselves therefore to god) God (the leaders who claim to speak for him) then can command any atrocity anywhere and people obey, as witnessed throughout history, god is not good, nor does he command ethical living but strict obedience. And believers support his warring and “divine command” because god can do whatever he wants. A non believer clearly sees this god as not good, but through faith one can excuse anything. Just look at you Old Testament.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve never done this anywhere else in my life and I wouldn’t know how to do such a thing.

            I joined the Navy without evaluating if it was good or not.

            I join companies without evaluating if they are good or not.

            I got married and I know how naughty me and my wife are so no need to evaluate good there.

            We don’t live our lives going around with a judgment book on trying to figure out how good anyone is.

            It’s an interesting idea but not practical.

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            1. You worship a being without consideration of what it does? Can you recognize this blind obedience to a faulty premises through faith puts people condemning other people over beliefs? Ok

              Liked by 1 person

            2. You Stated — “You worship a being without consideration of what it does?”

              con·sid·er·a·tion
              1. careful thought, typically over a period of time.

              My Response — I can’t read gods mind so how would I know if a being has considered things that a being has done or not?

              I think you are conflating a being “thinking about it’s behavior” with what you view as “bad behavior” on a beings part.

              I don’t judge anyone, not even god 😉

              You Stated — Can you recognize this blind obedience to a faulty premises through faith puts people condemning other people over beliefs?”

              My Response — Gods don’t kill people, people kill people.

              At the end of the day people can blame anyone they want… but the guy at the door wearing the klan outfit is still the only one to blame for his prejudice against blacks.

              He can’t blame his friends, he can’t blame his parents, he can’t blame god and he can’t blame society.

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          2. You Stated — “believers support his warring and “divine command” ”

            My Response — Where? Who? I don’t see anyone living that divine life. People are at best decent until you pull on their arm to ask a favor and then they smack you.

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            1. You Asked — “Why was it justified for the children of Israel to slaughter women and children?”

              My Response — I don’t know why.

              Sometimes the best answer is, “I don’t know”.

              I don’t know why god does anything because I don’t know his thoughts.

              I don’t know what came before the big bang.

              I don’t know many things but I haven’t given up trying to find out 😉

              Liked by 1 person

      4. There are millions in the US, right now that are hoping and praying for the end and the return of jesus. I have many neighbors in this mindset, and not only hoping it comes, but hoping to see the destruction when Christ wipes out the heathens.

        You Stated — “Do you deny huge segments of your believers are of this mindset?”

        My Response — I’m not sure how they are “my believers” but sure, people want everyone to die seems to be a theme on earth with many groups including Christians.

        So to test this theory: Many christians want everyone to live and not die….. Does this now mean the opposite is true? Oo

        If a bunch of people want something does it then mean everyone wants it?

        The world is a beautiful and sometimes sadistic place. Some people want to die but the majority of all of us want to live. I can prove it by how much Christians are paying for health insurance Oo

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        1. I actually never said all Christians (but millions) take this faith and use it to condemn the rest of the world. Because all don’t feel this way does not excuse those that do.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And millions take faith to lift up others with hopes the world will not end.

            But we are just talking about things we both already know.

            My dad was an atheist and he wanted to see the world burn and a friend of mine at my old job was a christian and he wanted to see the world burn. I even have a few who think aliens are coming to kill off the bad humans Oo

            At the end of the day Jim I really think you and me want the world to wake the fuck up, and soon, before the nuts on both teams blow us all up 😉

            I believe that god is real. I read the bible.

            I can’t account for nut cases who want the world to end. Most of the Christians and Atheist in my life just want better healthcare and jobs for their kids.

            If you want to call me a “Not True Believer” that’s your right as an individual and any label you apply seems fair to me since it’s your opinion.

            My opinion of you is, “Very Interesting Individual”. I find talking to you to be very thought provoking.

            This post is Very Interesting by the way, well done.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the post and I’ve been a Hoffer fan since college. But I enjoyed the comments here even more. Jesus, Jim, I never knew you were such an obvious button pusher (snicker). Of course, those of faith see it as having inherent integrity. How dare anyone say doubt is the best option? Happy Hump Day.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. lol I did a full response on his page.

            You can’t give me an article that good without me dropping pages on it 😉

            I would say I’m not listed. People don’t seem to value minority positions.

            I would be a “God really talked to me but it’s no one’s business since they don’t pay my bills” Oo

            Liked by 1 person

    1. You Stated — “I never knew you were such an obvious button pusher (snicker).”

      My Response — As a christian I find his button pushing to be too stealthy to detect. You may be giving us to much credit. Oo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your opening question is a good one. Someone (Einstein?) once said “You can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.” Considering what a mess the Bible has been making of the world, it hardly seems like the go-to source for answers!

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    1. You just don’t know how to interpret scripture. It appears nobody does…or really, everybody does. How are you healing up, Ready for a marathon? I guess finishing your gold rush book will be a long enough race! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The sarcasm is an exercise in restraint. If I didn’t refrain it would turn into a book in the form of a comment. And thank you. I remember when I awakened from faith I was at a crossroad with myself vs the doctrine. How could I be so blind as to look at what the brethren already know?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the specie? Heh, No wonder we never agree. She certainly is agreeable with anyone who agrees with her though. Its part of the Jehovah Effect ©. This missionary in Africa said to me, “why won’t you people listen!”? They can become very important after they learn a few tidbits about god. Everyone else is just stupid.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I don’t think we’re being duped. I do believe in God and but I don’t pay a church. I just feel we are all entitled to our opinion and I don’t see why anyone had to be so hateful to you. You can believe whatever you want, I certainly would never judge you…hey you’re a nice guy! I have no reason not to believe however a member of my family no longer believes and reading your posts helps me understand their way of thinking. Even though I don’t agree with them, I don’t judge them either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diane. I do feel most Christians are just real people trying to do there best. The apologist types here work very hard and post deception on many levels when they tag “atheism” then muddy the waters of simple unbelief. There are a few of us that dabble in correcting them. They are angry (probably having a faith crisis) and very “un” Christian in their intolerance. There’s quite a difference between apologists here and regular Christians. They’re both wrong (haha) but hey, glad you chimed in. Now gimme a recipe! You do have a great blog for food! Love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Is it really just an opinion? I see atheism as a conclusion based on evidence and the lack thereof. You say that you have no reason not to believe. Do you have a reason to believe in a god? And if that god told you to kill your family member who no longer believes, would you?
      Based on your post, you seem to have a default belief in a god, but maybe you’re not such a fan of any religion. I have to wonder why. If your belief/faith has no basis, isn’t that what this post is about?
      To understand the thinking, try watching some “The Atheist Experience” episodes (maybe you have). It can be enlightening from both sides. NOW FOR THE FOOD! 🙂 I agree with Jim. I’m glad you posted here and you certainly are entitled to your opinions.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “ The life of faith is in a race with integrity.” Fantastic thought. I guess integrity won my race. Thank goodness. All those lies—called Truth—were eating me up. This post really is an excellent depiction of everything wrong with all religions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Certainly there are a fair amount of people still pretending to believe as well. I met 2 this week at work I would have never guessed were non believers. I work at a very religious company though. I think it’s also just politeness to listen to their constant references to god.

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  7. Interesting post. I don’t believe a good god would condemn anyone for not believing. Also I think I see where you’re coming from in that everything faith touches lives in a state of constant regression, but I don’t think it’s everything faith touches – Just a lot.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. His believers, particular the WP apologists certainly curse us. Made in gods image, no less.
      With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness”—James 3:6

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        1. I am referring to the living, proselytizing Christians here in WordPress. This week I’ve been called everything in such a hateful way. “I am a loving person, I just can’t stand that your so stupid and deny god” And this one was pretty good for Jesus too “I’m sorry your autistical mental handicap keeps you from believing the obvious you idiot”.
          I just thought it was interesting that it was related to a bible verse, that’s all.
          At some point we all question our faith. Why is that? I’d say that’s is a legitimate warning we’re being duped, not stupid.

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          1. Ah I see I see. Those “Christians” who say those hateful things to you are not Christians.
            “In truth, there was only one christian and he died on the cross.”― Friedrich Nietzsche.
            Yes, we question our faith or disbelief, or relationships, or etc etc. Maybe it’s human nature to question? I think Christians might say that God designed up to question faith so that it can be strengthened, and that if we knew in God for certain then there would be no need for faith..Just playing devil’s advocate.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. That’s a good point. There is no need for faith Well said! (I know, out of context) There is one reason—to divide humanity. Why would you suppose the founders appealed immediately to faith, even with the supposed Christ standing right there? They quickly put the cart before the horse. Yet non of those that make the laws follow them. To me that all very “coincidental”.
              Humans have the will to resist evil, but through faith have license to inflict it. Because “we believe” hijacks the decency out of many good men and continues to divide people even today—because the religion says so. The old saying, “no one is as dumb as all of us”, is the epitome of following dogma.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I see where you’re coming from. The people who claim to be faithful but inflict evil, are not faithful to a good god, if existing, but they are faithful to dogma, like you mentioned. It is true there is a lot of division created because of religion, faith, beliefs, etc – many people aren’t thinking for themselves. I wonder how we can escape dogma and influence others to escape dogma and think with their own mind?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. This is how ethics outperforms belief. The first allegiance is obedience to god, and if he says, they obey. God and country, in that order. While ethics is purely focused on fairness to every kind.
              Ethics benefits everybody, religious obedience favors the majority.

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      1. Maybe it would be good for the WP apologists to post , and for all of us really ,to post ICor. 13 on the mirror. Just saying. 🙂 James 3:6 is good too.

        I mean, seriously, why do we all have this tendency to get “our knickers in a twist” because someone has a different opinion or to automatically assume the person has malevolent motives?

        Then it somehow becomes more important to win an argument than to show love and care for each other.

        Liked by 2 people

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