Where the Evidence Leads

How abrahamic religion is an artificial belief—made in Israel

If we draw conclusions by simply following evidence that developed naturally from the vast variety of sources (not just our select cultural few) maybe there is something rather than nothing. Let me give you an example.

Is the entire world crazy, or is it reasonable to accept that billions of humans have spiritual needs, unique perceptions, meditations, visions, dreams, and complex neurologies? Then, add the possibility of the data stream, akashic record, or 3D computer simulation, to those skilled in the meditative arts, or the paranormal tendencies of certain neurologies, the worldwide congruent teachings and vision quests of the shaman, the voodoo acolytes, those historically rich in the metaphysical oneness of reality and non-ordinary reality (non ordinary today) they do not even remotely resemble the god of Abraham or any form of omnipotence. Nor does it even remotely resemble Jesus, unless you want to discount every other human experience by creating your own evidence and forcing a lesser way through power.

Perhaps there is more to the story than the judeo-christo-muslim interpretation of the monarchial boss that has NEVER produced the desired results except—add more faith and fight it out. Even physics can merge with spiritual energy and matters of matter, which appears to be just energy anyway.

Viewing all the evidence with a blank slate I could safely say, that if independent research of all these experiences and possibilities were laid on the table, comparing it all without the coercive bias and threat of hell, it does not equal the god of the Bible or Quran (take your pick) and the nearest thing encapsulating science with all the other available information we would find panpsychism—the closest, non-contradictory reality to every idea but one.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us“—Black Elk, Oglala Lakota

Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one“—Black Elk

Christianity is not a naturally occurring religion. It is a foreigner to a strange enough land.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

66 thoughts on “Where the Evidence Leads”

  1. Hi, everyone, I’ve decided to stay off social media during the season of lent, and spend more time in meditation and self reflection.

    But, I wanted to share this link to illustrate some of the diversity of thought that is out there in the church relating to something like the nature and purpose of the Scripture, and this idea of “inerrancy.” I’m probably not as progressive as McLauran. But, am definitely not a fundamentalist. I can see this tension, particularly in the OT documents between the priests and voice of the prophets which is evolving.

    https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2015/January-2015/The-Progressive-Jesus-didn-t-treat-Scripture-as-infallible-nor-should-we

    Peace.

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    1. I agree with you buddy, but really, if there is anything at all, just following the evidence of all the claims, Christianity and Islam are so riddled with contradiction it’s hard to even keep tack of them. Where panpsychism can incorporate everything into one inclusive idea. There’s only one right answer, so that really narrows it down. Easy, right?

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      1. I’m not convinced panpsychism offers a good explanation and the top comment from this article summarizes the reason why::

        If panpsychism is true then everything has consciousness – including a dead brain. So it seems brains must have two kinds of consciousness; the sort they still have when dead, and the sort they only have when they’re alive and working. So now we have two kinds of consciousness to explain, as well as the relationship between them, if any.

        It’s much simpler to suppose that consciousness arises (somehow) out of the functioning of the brain.

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  2. My own severe upbringing in old conservative, Latin speaking Catholicism tells me that there is no possibility of compromise within the Christian religion, at least not by adhering to its orthodoxy. Even in its ever-expanding web of splintered sub-cults it maintains a kind of unification of mission statement as a credo or creed:
    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible:
    And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages;
    God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God;
    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father,
    by whom all things were made;
    who for us men and for our salvation descended from heaven. (etc.)
    It was required of us to memorize, in Latin, the Credo for our confirmation.
    Any “church” that adheres to this “mission statement” can be considered Christian, any that do not are not Christian, whatever their claims. Therefore there can never be any thought or possibility of compromise with any other religious institution that teaches otherwise.

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    1. Well now, with somewhere between 30-40,000 different Christian sects, the most irritating trend in Christianity is now the appeal to purity. No real Christian would do evil against another. They weren’t real Christians, or, no teaching of Jesus ever instigated an evil. But that isn’t really true is it? His system of religion leads to this, and if unchecked by civil laws it gets ugly quick, every time.
      Is it any coincidence that the RC church lost members as they also lost the ability to enforce its laws?

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      1. Allowing for a moment that there is “a God”, the theory that there is but one God and that there is no division within it, is untenable in a system based on duality, a system which the creed claims he created. This is where it all falls apart but people of strong and stubborn faith, of which I certainly was, are blinded to any fact that doesn’t fit the mission statement. Physically, mentally, spiritually, blinded. You can present any fact you care to, to a faith person, she will always have an “interpretation” that will fit her Credo. We consider that a gift of the Holy Spirit – eg., 1Pe. 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
        the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
        Most Christians these days ignore the “gentleness and respect” part but they remain convinced that no matter how they “rebut” a non-Christian argument, they are always correct. This must be understood in debating with a Christian.

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      2. It seems to me that we should be extremely careful about attempting to determine who is or isn’t a “true Christian.” This discernment is definitely beyond my paygrade. I mean if someone is doing evil, it can certainly be said that they are not following the ethic of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves or to care for even enemies. But, then what if the person has been badly abused or perhaps has mental health problems? This could also then be impacting their choices and behavior . I think we should just care for people, full stop and let God sort it all out.

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  3. Ever notice how all the Abrahamic religions ban or restrict practices that have effects on the normal working of consciousness? Most Christians I have seen are highly suspicious of meditation. “Shamanic” practices are usually the first things they attack, after those are gone the rest of the people are easy prey. And the text’s obsession with banning oracles, communication with spirits, divination, and all that. Christians have long been anti-nature because every people on Earth has believed in spirits associated with all the things we lump together as “nature”. Talking to a tree was considered a sin for a long time because of this. If anything, Christians wanted to promote a purely materialistic view of the world. That works much better for their goals. It took a long time, but they eventually got what they wanted.

    There is another thing that Christians have been obsessed with destroying. Go back to the early Christian writers, up to the early modern period. They were obsessed with quashing the belief that was near universal, that the dead and the ancestors can take note of the living, and can be called on to help. People venerated their family’s dead so they would have good relations with the departed. I have seen even Christians that believe this, that grandma is up there looking out for them. The earlier Christians said that the dead know nothing, that they cannot help you. In fact, the old penitential books and the Inquisition prescribed punishments for anyone who believed that grandma was up there looking down on them. Even the tiniest expression of this sentiment could get you in trouble if a Christian priest heard of it. But the church found that selling tickets out of purgatory for the dead made a lot of money. Many observances for the ancestors were changed into prayers for the dead in purgatory. There was no real concept of a soul separate from the body to early Christians and Jews. The “future life” was to be right here in this world. Christians wrote apologetics proving that resurrection and recovery of all the bodies’ former particles was possible. The Jewish scriptures don’t have an afterlife at all. They repeatedly assert that the dead know nothing and have nothing. It is constantly assumed by characters in the Old Testament that if they don’t get something in this life, that’s it, they will never get it.

    Instead of all that, you are told to only rely on a book and a priest that will tell you what the book says. I suspect that these bans were really about restricting information. What if someone found out that what the Jewish priests fabricated wasn’t true? Even prophets were later restricted, as new prophets is always a problem for the establishment. How is a Christian to know what any “spiritual realm” is really like? They have already decided that they know how everything works. They will just ignore anything else no matter what they experience. The Jewish texts already say that if a prophet makes true prediction, with signs and all, but does it in the name of some other god, they are to be killed. In other words, people are to listen to the text and ignore actual experience. “Satan” was a later invention that was perfect for helping to reinforce this.

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    1. I had just posted a similar comment above to Sha’. Suppressing your natural expressions is the way of modern faith, but who among us can change out personalities or our consciousness? We simply learn to hide them or not speak of them because of the social climate and stigma. It isn’t “evil” or demons, it’s just energy and different peoples perception or interpretation of it.
      Or, it’s all just a twisted and confusing neurological three pound fat ball just lucky enough to function at all.

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      1. Have you ever looked at what prophets are described as doing in the primary history? That would be from Genesis-2 Kings. And have you taken note of the digression where the writer explains that people “used to go to seers” back in the old days? The seer was a different figure from the prophets we are given.

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        1. I have noticed that. Now the talent has been sequestered so long, anyone that has it thinks themselves crazy, or something wrong. It took my wife many years to embrace who she was. Like Alan Watts said, “real psychotherapy can only begin when the organism no longer has to apologize for being an organism”—East and West

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  4. I’ve read, read, and re-read this post, and also all the comments. Fascinating.
    1st quote: “is it reasonable to accept that billions of humans have spiritual needs, unique perceptions, meditations, visions, dreams, and complex neurologies?”
    Do we accept what is a mass of evidence for this? Could it be said that without the above, religions of any kind would not exist, that they would have nothing to anchor themselves to? Religions exist in an intertidal zone of thought and perception, feeding from the largess brought on by each new tide. That doesn’t make them useful or beneficial to anyone or anything, it just makes them shape-shifters and chameleonic. As I see by many comments, as society becomes increasingly materialistic, denigrating its human spiritual nature and heritage, so does religion, for it feeds on whatever society throws up in the tide of the times. The arguments turn to literature, personalities, history, archeological records and science in desperate attempts to stay in the game by “proving” the material legitimacy of a particular religion. This makes me laugh since the more “materialistically proven” a religion is, the more of a secular organization it becomes so that its entire reason for existence is negated by its apologists. (In this thread, “Joe’s” arguments fit the bill, “Becky’s” less so) If we already have all those things which religion needs to legitimize itself, why have religion at all?
    2nd quote: “Even physics can merge with spiritual energy and matters of matter, which appears to be just energy anyway.”
    I would contend that yes, it is all “just energy anyway” but that we really have no idea what energy is. For myself, being scientifically and mathematically challenged, I can only relate to the concept as this overall force I call “Life.”
    3rd quote: “Christianity is not a naturally occurring religion. It is a foreigner to a strange enough land.”
    Agree again, only to add that no organized, officially recognized religion, is naturally occurring. All claim some sort of connection to a god, or gods or higher spirit/s. Christianity and Islam are by far the most alien as they denigrate nature and are particularly hateful of the female principle, taking it out on the female of the species. Misogyny can never be said to have naturally occurred – not EVER – yet misogyny defines the Abrahamic religion and its spawns, Islam and Christianity. Christianity may have temporarily hidden its greatest sin but that horror remains alive and well in the wings, itching to be re-established. One needs but to read “The Handmaid’s Tale” to realize what it is like to live in a totalitarian theocracy. That’s the direction the US is currently heading in.
    Black Elk’s sayings and Crazy Horse’s dream are also my reality.

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    1. I think they are valid questions. Although I have had my own experience, I would not classify it as “spiritual”, but simply an opening or view that nothing is as I was taught, and that the universe is much more complex, interesting, and different than abrahamic hierarchy. It’s a happening in a whole sense of infinite varieties. I’ve thought for a long time that if any of it was true in the Bible, the good guys lost and the world is ran by some mob boss like the Catholic Church.
      It wonders me why they carte blanche demonized any other way of being in the world, while maintaining there own mystics and astrologers. Now one must go to the priest, when before each person had the right and ability to chart their own path.

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      1. To the victor belong the spoils. Except for England after the split with Rome, the Catholic Church essentially ruled, dominated or guided every European empire as they fell upon an unsuspecting and helpless world, creating chaos, havoc and destruction. Any counter expression of spirituality was direct competition and had to be snuffed out. In its weaker beginnings the Church simply absorbed pagan traditions into itself but later it could afford to be implacable in its attacks upon the competition. It was and remains all about power and wealth. Go among the internecine warfare of Muslims – same thing.

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          1. Yeah, God is good, God is great, God is wonderful… and if anyone doubts that, there’s an entire book called the Old Testament to bear witness to God’s impeccable moral superiority. Quick, get me a barf bag!

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      2. Imagine that on a bed lies a truly beautiful wedding dress, waiting for the bride to enter and put it on. In comes a rival who replaces it with a rough dress of homespun, making the wedding dress disappear. Imagine the bride coming in and seeing this ugly garment. She is horribly disappointed but convinced she must wear it for the ceremony as her wedding dress, so she dutifully puts it on. Imagine the shocked surprise but quiet acceptance by those in the church, or hall and the ceremony proceeding as if everything was normal. That is what religion has done to spirituality.

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        1. Great analogy. And promising the ultimate religious experience but making faith the pinnacle of the experience, effectively shortchanging the process by skipping the final phases, knowledge and utility. But they’re convinced they have the whole package.

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          1. In a nutshell, you are correct. Speaking of shell, that is all that remains of true spirituality in a faith-based religious person. The church is like an exoskeleton in which the natural body and mind atrophy and die.

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            1. I think you used the word calcified a while back. Atrophy happens in the speech centers in the brains of feral children. After about 6-7 years of age they can no longer learn to verbalize language. I wonder if there is a actually a neurological connection Christianity has killed?

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            2. I would think that it “hypnotizes” rather than kill since obviously some seem to get that neurological connection going again, ofen with a much clearer, broader understanding of life, like a man coming out of solitary confinement after many months, exhilarated by what seems open air, even if it’s just the same old prison yard. A blade of grass will reflect the universe. Life takes on a much greater meaning after releasing oneself from the straight-jacket and solitary confinement of religion. That’s speaking from personal experience.

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  5. “Even physics can merge with spiritual energy and matters of matter, which appears to be just energy anyway.”

    Ok but please don’t claim I am the only one using fancy mumbo jumbo. 🙂

    “Viewing all the evidence with a blank slate I could safely say, that if independent research of all these experiences and possibilities were laid on the table, comparing it all without the coercive bias and threat of hell, it does not equal the god of the Bible or Quran (take your pick) and the nearest thing encapsulating science with all the other available information we would find panpsychism—the closest, non-contradictory reality to every idea but one.”

    Are you saying naturalism is most probable then panpsychism is next in line?

    Do you think Christianity Judaism and Islam are only popular because of threats of hell?

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    1. I don’t think they are only popular because of hell, but the sword for 1500 years brought it to mainstream life. Even Black Elk became a Christian. We see in Latin America the masses now support the language and religion of their oppressors. All over the world, Africa was horribly brainwashed and their histories erased. The Native American, the African, the Latin American, they have no history. I was chatting with a Filipino the other day, he said the Philippines were founded by Catholics. I asked him “what about before that”? He didn’t know more than a couple of cursory facts about his true heritage. Now the ethnosphere is nearly erased, with one monochrome life after another. Shameful really.

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      1. For history to be erased it had to be written. I agree that in the situations where histories were erased it was horrible.
        I gave you an example of a bishop doing that. But in many places there were no written histories or they were just destroyed by natural causes.

        Lots of Christian scriptures were sadly destroyed by Romans.

        The sword played a role in Christianity but not nearly as much as the sword played a role in Islam or atheism. The enforcement of atheism in the modern world in places like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia etc has been pretty much without peer. Hopefully that will change in China and North Korea.

        Then you have Islam which of course involved conquest and material advantages for those who accepted the religion and the sword to those who might decide to leave Islam as well as those who are not Christians or Jews.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests_in_the_Indian_subcontinent

        Many of the mostly Muslim countries tend to be fairly unforgiving of people who have different religious views.

        Judaism seems to be one religion that did not spread by the sword and indeed typically did not seem motivated to spread at all. Although Israel itself is a safe haven for Jewish people which given the way they have been attacked by just about everyone in the world is IMO a good thing.

        Hinduism is so ancient it may be hard to know how it initially spread.

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        1. History is mostly unwritten. And culture is much deeper than that. Even the written history, Christians have destroyed and distorted much of it. It isn’t a big secret. Christian leaders openly boasted about destroying texts. Mass book burning campaigns happened very early on. If they had managed to get their claws into Asia, I guarantee that most of the texts of China and India would have been committed to the flames as well. Christians and Muslims have both actually made some attempts at that, but they never got very far. I have seen that “most texts were lost by time” excuse from Christians before. Then why is it that over in Asia, despite even more time passing, despite periodic disasters, that they still have an intact set of classics and ancient texts? Their traditions were never broken, and they know their own stories and their own songs. Late Zhou period texts have been recovered in China, over 2000 years old. And their local oral traditions go back very far as well. Meanwhile, our classics often had to be taken from a few scattered manuscripts, or were rediscovered as palimpsests, with the original texts scraped off to make prayer books. If it weren’t for shifts in church power, and the Renaissance humanists, the Christians would have finished even those off, by neglect or another wave of destruction. And the oral traditions suffered greatly too, there were concerted efforts to wipe them out, or paper over them by linking the stories to something Hebrew.

          Though I would not rate all that as the main sin of the Christians. There is something related and worse, but not many will make the accusation, and Christians have blinders on when it comes to it.

          Judaism was spread by the sword, during the rule of the Hasmoneans. They Judaized all of the territory they controlled with convert or die campaigns. Many areas that we take for granted as “Jewish” by the Roman period were the result of this policy. There is no evidence of Judaism as we know it before the Hasmoneans. There are older documents, and they show a polytheistic West Semitic religion practiced by Judeans. And no individual mentioned in these documents had any famous names from the Bible.

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          1. “Then why is it that over in Asia, despite even more time passing, despite periodic disasters, that they still have an intact set of classics and ancient texts?”

            I have not heard that the gaps in texts from these areas is less than the gaps we have in the west. I would be interested in the evidence that would support your claim.

            “Late Zhou period texts have been recovered in China, over 2000 years old.”

            OK but that does not mean they have a culture that better preserves their texts. We would need to know what percentage of the written texts are recovered.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-china-library-officials-burn-books-that-diverge-from-communist-party-ideology/2019/12/09/5563ee46-1a43-11ea-977a-15a6710ed6da_story.html

            https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/burn-books-bury-scholars

            Unless the environmental conditions are just so or the texts were written on stone or something like that it is hard to keep such old texts from falling apart.

            Christian monks worked hard to preserve not only christian writings but other writings as well. They placed more value on christian texts that is true, but they also copied other texts as well.

            “And their local oral traditions go back very far as well.”

            How could you possibly know that? If there was nothing written then how would you know what the far back oral tradition was? Can you speak with the dead? If it was written then ok you might not be dealing with oral tradition.

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        2. “Lots of Christian scriptures were sadly destroyed by Romans.”

          Oh really? So the claims about how complete and perfect the bible is are lies?

          “The sword played a role in Christianity but not nearly as much as the sword played a role in Islam or atheism. The enforcement of atheism in the modern world in places like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia etc has been pretty much without peer. Hopefully that will change in China and North Korea. ”

          More Christian lies. Those countries were/are ruled by megalomaniacs and their atheism wasn’t responsible for what they did.

          That so many Christians have no problem with those countries now, is lovely evidence Christianity isn’t what you claim it is.

          “Judaism seems to be one religion that did not spread by the sword and indeed typically did not seem motivated to spread at all. Although Israel itself is a safe haven for Jewish people which given the way they have been attacked by just about everyone in the world is IMO a good thing. ”

          didn’t read the OT did you?

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          1. Nobody in these scenarios were killed in the name of atheism. However, plenty were killed over disbelief in Jesus and the faith/belief system they had moral superiority.

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          2. Christians destroyed a lot of Christian scriptures. As soon as they got the chance, Christians went after their Christian rivals. No one hates Christians more than other Christians. I can’t think of any texts the Romans destroyed. They never put a lot of effort or time into doing that. Even during the big persecution, the one under Diocletian, prominent Christians were able to get by. There were some Christians in the imperial household. The Manichaeans seem to be the ones that really got persecuted there. The Christians capitalized on the weakening of one of their rivals.

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            1. exactly. I’ve read a fair amount of Christian history and writings of the early christians and I don’t recall any of the “winners” saying that anything was lost.

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          3. “Oh really? So the claims about how complete and perfect the bible is are lies?”

            You will have to ask people who say that. But just because many scriptures were destroyed that does not necessarily mean we lost all of the scriptures and can’t reasonably know what they are.

            And again people can have disagreements that do not involve “lies!”

            “More Christian lies. Those countries were/are ruled by megalomaniacs and their atheism wasn’t responsible for what they did.”

            Well you might think it is coincidence but I don’t. That said I certainly don’t think that every atheist must be a psychopath like these guys.

            “That so many Christians have no problem with those countries now, is lovely evidence Christianity isn’t what you claim it is.”

            I’m not sure what you mean.

            I don’t read the ot as history. But even there it is relatively rare that they are forcing conversions by the sword. Lots of wars and killing but not so much conversion at sword point. Maybe if the religious Jews had more power they would have but I tend to doubt it.

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            1. No, Joe, I’m asking you. You made the claim ““Lots of Christian scriptures were sadly destroyed by Romans.””, you get to support it. It’s no surprise that you made a false claim and now are running away from it when you are called on it.
              I know you don’t like the term “lie” Joe. Too bad. That’s what its called when you make false claims for your benefit. These aren’t just “disagreements”.

              Again, Joe, you try to make a claim that atheism caused genocide and you have no evidence, no cause and no correlation. When I can show correlation and causation, you are offended since I took away your favorite reason to try to attack atheists. Now, you do say that you don’t think every atheist is a psychopath “as these guys” so again, your claim of “no coincidence” is a false statement. Straight up, do you believe that atheism causes genocide or not?

              We have you again trying to ignore something that is very clear. Why is it that so many Christians have no problem with dictatorships “ The enforcement of atheism in the modern world in places like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia etc has been pretty much without peer. “ now? Conservative Christians by the millions support Trump who claims how great Russia, North Korea, etc are.
              As a Christian, you are stuck with a supposed messiah who did supposedly read the OT as history. Per this character, the flood happened, etc. Why decide JC was wrong, Joe? You just do this to try to pretend your god isn’t as described as in the bible. Making up your own god and religion.

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            2. hmmm, Donatism is one more Christian sect that other Christians insist isn’t Christian, just like they all do now when merrily attacking each other and all having no evidence that their version is any more right than the next.

              So, exactly where does the Romans destroying scriptures come in, Joe? You claimed this ““Lots of Christian scriptures were sadly destroyed by Romans.””

              The wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donatism does a wonderful job at showing just how ridiculous Christians are when it comes to their splintering and nonsense. We have a mention of one roman gov asking for the physical scriptures of one Christian group. Are you trying to claim that these Christians lost some scriptures we don’t have today? No evidence of that at all.

              What we seem to have are Christians attacking each other and attacking each others scriptures and beliefs.

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            3. Augustine uses the Donatists as the catalyst to start using force and “compel them to come” back into the true fold. From then on it was mayhem through the globe. Just refusing to buy into the nonsense has been terrible on multiple fronts for those who don’t believe, just the right way. Christianity is evil, though many Christians remain good people in spite of it.

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            4. again, no evidence at all for your claim “Clearly many church officials had to turn over scriptures since donatism was a huge issue” or this claim “You will have to ask people who say that. But just because many scriptures were destroyed that does not necessarily mean we lost all of the scriptures and can’t reasonably know what they are.”

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            5. That the whole Donatist dispute came about due to priests turning over scripture to be destroyed by the Romans is indeed evidence that the materials were turned over and destroyed by the Romans.

              The evidence of what the Scriptures said is confirmed by finding copies in various locations and seeing how they all match up.

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            6. I would not dispute that during Diocletian’s religious persecutions, scriptures were burned. He and his colleagues(there were two emperors and two lieutenants) decreed that all the books of the Manicheans(a large religion at the time, originating in Persia) be burned. Manicheans were ordered to leave the religion, and the clergy were to be sent to work in mines. Christians were targeted a bit after that, for similar reasons. Churches(of all sorts, including all those heretics) were ordered to disband and hand over their books. There were some executions of leaders who did not comply, including one Christian bishop who disrupted religious rites in public. But most made it through, as the later controversies show. The main Christian writers of Constantine’s reign, Lactantius and Eusebius, both got through it. A bunch of people at the council of Nicaea had lived through it.

              What I do say is that there were no Christian texts eliminated by the Romans. Nothing like that is indicated by anyone. The ones responsible for eliminating all sorts of other Christian writings were Christians. It is no secret, there is plenty on the viciousness of the Christian persecutions of other Christians. The Donatists themselves were ruthlessly persecuted by the established church. And it took no time at all for Christians to start demanding book burnings. The first official book burnings by Christians, were from a decree from Constantine that went out for writings to be burned. The works of Porphyry of Tyre were the ones targeted. Diocletian’s persecution lasted at most 9 years, and then the government just gave up and went back to the normal tolerance. The Christians never relented in their persecutions. Book burnings, massacres, forced conversions, economic warfare, whatever it took.

              What exactly is to be learned from all this? Is it to prove a point that others aside from Christians can burn books? No one disputes that. Though I don’t know why Christians bring up this persecution as some kind of proof of Roman or “pagan” intolerance. Christians themselves were never tolerant. The Romans and Greeks tolerated all sorts of religions. It wasn’t even tolerance in the modern sense, it came from the understanding that every people(tribe or city) had its own religion and gods, from long held custom. Denying this was tantamount to admitting that one was godless.

              It is much the same with Qin Shi Huangdi’s burning of books and burying of scholars. It happened, but it was not sustained for long. It did not destroy China’s literary and cultural heritage, and it did not replace Chinese culture or religion with something else. Qin Shi Huangdi for most of Chinese history has been regarded as an archetypal tyrant. Constantine meanwhile, was worshiped by the Christians as a demi-god for centuries, and still has his statues and monuments. The ones who have tried to find something positive about Qin are the Chinese communists. No surprise there, communism is a political religion very much in the mold of Abrahamic thought. Communists have always tried to destroy culture, religion, and heritage so their ideology can replace it, much like the Christians. Just read the early writers, they practically bragged about the “new age” they thought they were bringing about. John Chrysostom was happy that in his time, Greek philosophers were being replaced with Saul of Tarsus. Book burnings and decrees against “pagans” and “heretics” were constant, and the punishments kept getting more severe. Communism and the Abrahamic religions are fixated on an idea of linear history progressing toward some permanent end, that their group has special knowledge of. Like Abrahamism, it is intolerant and evangelical. All people must get with the program or perish, all people must live under the one correct system. Communism and Abrahamism demand rigid orthodoxy, and both have as a rule policed people’s beliefs, opinions, and thoughts as much as possible. They are hostile to culture and family, if those get in the way of the ideology. I don’t think it is any coincidence where and when communism started, either. Around the time secularization set in in Europe(most of it), all these replacements and political religions framed by an Abrahamic mindset sprang up.

              Nothing from Islam is going sway me either. Islam is another Abrahamic religion, spawned from Judaism and Christianity. Why would I expect anything different from Islam? I know they burned almost every library and temple in Northern India. You can still see in Afghanistan and Pakistan the remains of Buddhist viharas and stupas. That area used to be the center of Buddhism, from whence many texts were spread into East Asia. No one would be able to tell that from looking around today.

              Liked by 2 people

            7. The whole controversy was due to traditors who often handed over their scriptures to be burned by roman authorities:

              “Traditor, plural: traditores (Latin), is a term meaning “the one(s) who had handed over” and defined by Merriam-Webster as “one of the Christians giving up to the officers of the law the Scriptures, the sacred vessels, or the names of their brethren during the Roman persecutions”.[1] It refers to bishops and other Christians who turned over sacred scriptures or betrayed their fellow Christians to the Roman authorities under threat of persecution. During the Diocletianic Persecution between AD 303 and 305, many church leaders had gone as far as turning in Christians to the authorities and “handed over”[2] sacred religious texts to authorities to be burned. Philip Schaff says about them: “In this, as in former persecutions, the number of apostates who preferred the earthly life to the heavenly, was very great. To these was now added also the new class of the traditores, who delivered the holy Scriptures to the heathen authorities, to be burned”.[3]”
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditors

              So it is odd for you to say:
              “What I do say is that there were no Christian texts eliminated by the Romans. Nothing like that is indicated by anyone. ”

              Christian societies are the most educated societies. They are also the societies that tend to protect minority views.

              Here is a list of book burnings from WW1 on. Occassionally there will be a crack pot church in the south burning books, but mostly it is the anti-christian governments like the nazis and communists trying to destroy information.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_book-burning_incidents#World_War_I_and_interbellum_era

              “Nothing from Islam is going sway me either. Islam is another Abrahamic religion, spawned from Judaism and Christianity. Why would I expect anything different from Islam?”

              It is different. And that fact should tell you, that your views of the world are overly simplistic.

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      1. When there’s nothing and no one to believe in but yourself, it’s way too frightening for some people…yes, you are alone out here in the Universe. All we have is the person next to us.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Seems to me that for every person that would like to see some evidence of the gods, spirits, and supernatural in general, there are 1000 airheads that just know something is out there…

    They also spend a lot of time and money on magic crystals, pyramids, and x ray glasses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was happy with my lucky rabbit foot, then I found out it was a synthetic, mass produced Chinese POS, and suddenly my luck changed. Weird

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  7. It is amazing the Black Elk knew Plato! It is understandable that people believed in spirits. Did not their dead relatives visit them in their dreams? And it is understandable that people believe in spirits inhabiting rocks and brooks and mountains, because of the Theory of Mind, by which we can “read” what is going on in another person’s head. We, as always, went overboard and “read” motives into wild animals and then trees and plants and rivers and …

    At what point do we admit “My bad!” and fess up to the fact that we deluded ourselves and maybe we should stop doing that? People fling around the word “spirituality” as if we knew what that meant and that it were a real thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a plethora of sources, but is it merely the human imagination ignorance, and delusions of grandeur? Likely so, and somewhere along the line it became imperative to believe in something over living life as is. Thanks Steve.

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  8. But, folks there are various strains of theological /philosophical thinking within the Christian church. This sounds very similar to me as panentheism or process theology. What I think is happening is that people are taking a certain strain of thinking such as “a rigid indoctrination void of reverence for nature” and assuming that this represents the whole of Christian thought.

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    1. You probably don’t like my replies very much. I am going to admit something. I was raised with a rigid view of Christian “orthodoxy”, and my way of thinking and study led me to initially become even more rigid, until cognitive dissonance and further questioning broke that down. I initially studied the Bible so much because I was concerned about “getting it all right”, not because I was against it. Reading it made me even more concerned at first, because I read about the repeated examples of horrific punishments in the Bible for the slightest mistake, the tiniest disobedience. Mormons, spiritualists, and Catholics were heretics as far as I was told. I remember being told several times to beware of Mormonism, and some members of my family were not happy that my uncle married a Catholic. A lot of that has died down over the years, but I still know a few that hold to views like these. Maybe my background still influences how I treat this subject.

      I understand that you hold to your beliefs, and you are nice about it. I have my own beliefs too. But most Christians completely discount what anyone else believes or experiences. The religion requires it, and I see no way for there to be a compromise. There will be no possibility of any as long the Abrahamic followers continue to carry out the program set forth by the Jewish priests that wrote the Torah. You and others have said that there are different ways of interpreting Christian texts. True, but interpretation can be like alchemy on a text, making it mean just about anything. And with legal texts, direct commands are very clear and understandable. I don’t see anyone trying to read the Code of Hammurabi, or the United States Code, as a mystical or allegorical treatise. Mystical ideas existed before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But because their books and their “prophets” have been forced on so many people, many had to find ways to cope. I think this is very apparent in Islam.

      Besides that, why can’t other texts have special interpretations only understood by those who already believe them? I have seen plenty of times where Christians do studies of religious texts just to pick on them and subtly(or openly) belittle them. I remember one on the Bhagavad Gita done by some Christian group. They analyzed, levelled criticisms here and there based on their Christian and Protestant preconceptions. I saw no attempt to really understand. The most egregious offense in my opinion was their treatment of the context of the dialogue, getting Arjuna to go fight his enemies. Something like “Oh my, such violence!” sums up the reaction to that. One thing I can say is that the Vedic(or Hindu) texts do not promote wholesale slaughter of entire populations. In fact, the rules for wars in the shastras forbid a warrior to harm a woman, child, or non-combatant. It was considered dishonorable to kill someone with their back turned, and it was advised to try to capture those fleeing rather than run them down. Arjun was told to go fight the enemy army that was literally in front of him, full of warriors eager for a fight. In fact, Arjun in the story was hesitating to fight because he knew many people on the other side, so he balked at the last minute. That was considered cowardice on his part, and a betrayal of those loyal to him, if he lead them there and then gave up. Arjuna was never told to go murder infants, pregnant women, and the elderly, like the Jewish texts exult in. In fact, Arjun is never commanded to go fight them, the dialogue is meant to convince him not to give up. Christians seem to be blind to this sort of thing. Christian moralizing is something I often find very strange.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. First thought that came to mind – Christian mythology thrives on rigid indoctrination void of reverence for nature – God created everything, God is good, God is great, God won’t let global warming inconvenience his creation so reject fake climate hysteria and trust his wisdom. Whereas ancient mythology embraced acute observation of natural surroundings and imperative to protect humanity’s fragile existence by reacting to recognizable fluctuations in nature. Just saying. Sigh….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Maybe I have an idea—I wrote the sentence. It’s interesting that Christianity doesn’t even align with the nature of the supernatural. What we see of the world from the empirical to the theoretical, Christianity is more like theater. A fantasy that has to be taught, hairsplit, and lines rehearsed til it’s just right.

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