Hard Not to Believe—Maybe Not…NDE’s

How gullibility improves faith through modern fiction

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Up until the point you no longer believe, it can be hard not to believe what we want, or have been conditioned to believe. Doubts come and go, prayers go up and in spite of our efforts…Nothing! But everyone can’t be wrong, can they? Did I miss something? Then, along comes spectacular proof!

Take the The near death experience of the 4 year old son of a preacher who left his body during surgery, a year later said he went to heaven during the procedure, sold a million books and got a movie deal. Heaven is for real.

Another 6 year old said he went to heaven, sold 5 million books then recanted, says it never happened—after the money came flooding in. Theologians still debate the boys descriptions of heaven in The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, NYT Best seller.

While the first story is very easily dismantled due to inconsistencies and leading questions to a never-dead, sedated, 4 year old preachers son HERE. (Psychology Today- great read, excellent analysis) but believers aren’t asking.

It’s amusing to see the “real and authentic” theologians disputing these “fake” accounts and insisting that their own understanding of the unknowable is superior to the “real” accounts of the unknowable. Nearly identical stories. Both never happened, but hey, if you can take money from fools, is that a sin?

The best new term of the 21 century —HeavenTourism. Millions of gullible Christians line up to get a glimmer of what they know is not real, but believe it anyway.

Horrible Ideas Inspire The Most Philosophy—Faith

The simplicity of the gospel has publishers rolling in cash generated from Christian publications.

Before self publishing access boomed in the early 2000’s, about 7500 new Christian titles every year crowded book stores shelves in USA English with cluttered explanations on every jot and tittle. This is when publishers could filter out the weak from the sellable versions. Now the numbers are around 786,935 English language books published are assigned a catalog number per year in the U.S. on Christianity alone. Finding new and improved ways to exonerate the confusion and simplicity of the gospel is a competitive cash-cow of cleverly worded conjecture.

One publisher stated, “Most of our (traditional) publishers are trying to figure out how to get more out of fewer books“. It’s the same story over and over—good luck with that.

We often turn to the Greeks for their wisdom and eloquence in presenting wordsmithing sense into religion using philosophy. Remember, it is a cleverly worded failure from a collapsed society that mixed religion and politics with the grandest, most beautiful of explanations. We still look to anything scribbled in Greek to conjure up validation. They were so eloquent in their words that even fiction has spawned archaeology hunts.

If shear volume of religious commentary are any indication of another society in the brink, Christianity today is ripe for collapse. And someday, hopefully, we’ll all write about surviving that blessing. The most declinitive words to ever influence the numbing of human thought, leading whole civilizations to their celebrated stagnation—Do you believe in god?

The Bible in the Barrel

Fall, 1988—While surveying nearly 800 miles north of the 49th parallel in Canada’s wilderness, time swallowed an abandoned homestead. Vacant sounds that once teemed the soil and timbers—like a still-shot from a ghost town, a lonely and staggered cabin held on from memories of a past love and dead dreams. No sounds of children nor echoes of ranch-work, only a flutter of birds escaping the hollowed rafters broke the silent still as we approached. The crew, focused and shuffling lodes across the the clearing slowly woke the silent void of near twenty years.

Behind the try, a rusted steel barrel leaned un-statuesque, gently yearning for the earth to bring her home. I loosened the ring and pounded off the rusting lid to look inside.

My survey crew was a pretty rough bunch at the time. José, our resident Latino catholic thought it was left by god—for us”. He said, (in his Mexican accent) “no matter where you go jefe, no matter how far, Dios lo ve todo, mal jefe!” “It’s probably still there because they ran out of matches”, said one of the men. Either way (or maybe another) we were in the possession of the holy bible for the night. We made camp and The crew passed a bottle. Chuck had mothering duties for the day, so he got a fire and some food on the grate as darkness fettered us in a cloudy, moonless night. It was cavern black looking beyond the fire. We faded fast to sleep.

Sounds of thick crows broke the morning silence at dawn. We all stumbled around to get our bearings, stoked the fire and coffee’d up for what was supposed to be a long day, but, curiosity piqued us into a more human task, and by chance, or maybe drawn-in by an unsettled past, we started our day with a quick look around the homestead. Chuck, still half unzipped in his sleeping bag, shouted, “hey boss-man, look at this”. He was thumbing through the Bible looking for a good passage to quote me—he liked disingenuous humor at my expense, but this didn’t seem too funny by the look on his face. Flattening the creases he unfolded a paper in his hand and started to slowly read, like a translator.

“This cabin and 40 acres is claimed by me, Daniel Granger. I came here in the summer of 1964 and built this cabin with the tools I could carry. In ’65 I returned with my wife Carol, our son Eli and daughter Caroline. Abandoning my loves and home is cowardly hard to do, but all that is left for me is to save my own life from one last unknown tragedy. My boy disappeared in ’66. We never found him. He would be 14 today, if this is September 14, the day of my departure”.

“We all came here with a trust in god. I and my colleagues convinced my wife of the lords providence—by faith we would thrive. This book you are holding is the last thing on earth I would impart to a decent man. Its only job now is to hold this note in hopes that it can at least do that until somebody finds it, should I fail to return. While many of the words are poetic and wishful, the promise of healing and signs that follow them that believe with the lords bounties are false premises only an untested fool would believe. You all survive down below because of people. Nothing more. My horse was killed by wolves while he was on the line. Then my hogs. My wife and daughter I love are in deep graves just east of the clearing. I moved them out after the spring thaw to their permanent rest. Look east between the two tallest cedars if they’re still standing. Two small rock piles mark the spots. I leave them here and plan to return as soon as I can. D.Granger,1970″.

Humanity took over our crew. We looked around for the day, found some odds and ends, toys and tools and tack, but nothing of importance—That, lies between the cedars that stand guard. We cleaned up the grave sites and packed our gear for a short move. Another 20 years it will all be forgotten. I took it Mr. Granger got sidetracked, lost, or died in his failure to return—I guess the road home has forks in it too—I’ll see if I can locate this Mr Granger.

Undeveloped Film

Nature is an excellent teacher to the obvious inadequacy of faith.

I read a book when I was a teenager called The Tracker, by Tom Brown. I still have a copy and my 7 year old daughter is a big fan of identifying tracks we find out on our hikes.

Anyway, I was living in the mountains working as a wrangler, guide, and packer for an outfit called High Country Packers and I read The Tracker. There’s a section about stalking deer, and if you’re patent and do it right, you can walk right up to them. So I gave it a try. There was a two point mule deer enjoying a salt-lick we had near camp to attract wildlife and I started after him. I guess it took an hour or so to walk up to him. He kept staring, dipping his head, and shifting his ears with a curious look on his face. Deer are reactive to movement, sound, and smell, so the trick is to be downwind, only moving when the deer isn’t looking—and be patient (and try not to laugh). I got to within ten feet and I gradually knelt down, took my little 110 out of my shirt pocket and took a whole roll of pictures. When I was done I moved a little hand wave and said “boo”. That deer bolted with an ass-over-tea-kettle stumble and off he went. Boom! I got back home when winter came and the film was missing. It’s a great story but I have no proof.

One difference between my story and religion; you can test the story for yourself and I am confident many if you could have similar results. Christianity has a story too, and if you test it you will see that it doesn’t add up in even one category or catch phrase.

I would like to find that film someday but no worries, I have honed the craft pretty well over the years. Unlike religion, it can be tested and demonstrated without excuse. Religions deferred method of responsibility is killing the planet. Nobody is coming to fix this, but unlike the deer, it won’t seem to go away with a hand wave and a boo. But like the deer, their colorblind to the obvious standing in front of them.

Simplicity of Non Belief

How unbelief is more believable.

I am curious to know how it all happened, I’m just not convinced in any way it was a who that made it happen. Therefore, there is no why it all happened. Once you realize there is no god, the simplicity of life brings peace, and how it all happened loses its urgency, although I am still curious and will someday have more answers. I’ll wait rather than believe in a god to simply satisfy the impatience to want answers with no effort, then act like they’ve found something special in a plug-n-play religion. “I believe” is a foolish notion lacking quality of character.

The Way it Was

I, Having been indoctrinated and guided carefully into belief and faith most of my life, and having studies most lengthy and focused in one particular area of religion I have come to the point where the things I believe, even though preposterous, I believe are true. They will stand the test of time and scrutiny, for my knowledge of these beliefs is vast and as solid as the very foundation of reason and right. I cannot be swayed in my faith, for god has shown me through revelation and feelings and the persuasion of his servants the truth, and now it is my obligation to share that truth with you. To push and persuade you to believe as I believe because I am right! My singular disciplinary approach has not given me the “well rounded” preposterous man made knowledge base to blend experience of the world and science causing a man made “common sense”, but my knowledge is directly linked to god through his prophets by his holy word. How can you doubt the truth when it is the most useful thing in the world to maintain order and peace? Through fantastic miracle, god has used regular men to convey his word in a most uncanny and unlikely fashion. He has used deplorable sinners, forgery, and money grubbing lying preachers to pass his truths and to preserve his words for all the world. Who could do this but a god? Who could circumvent the physical world and the learning of men in such a way as to bind their very tongues with his absolute truth and authority and perfection? My presuppositional truth will dare to challenge your very existence with an ambiguous, morally elastic, fraudulent piece of imperfect, infallible literature that causes the entire world to endless conjecture and debate. You will believe this “one” all perfect god has revealed himself, not to all his subjects, but to only those few that believe in him without any proof of existence. Neither spiritual nor physical evidence is needed. You will believe based on my word and the confusion the words create. You will believe in spite of doubt because of fear and persuasion of the most loving kind. This is the blindness of faith in gods. This is where a person stays without careful scrutiny of the facts and an ounce of self awareness. This is the prison of fear to peek outside the lens if faith and see the world is not as they said, and the courage to see inside the faith is not what they said either. This is the nonsense of being raised in faith. Professing wisdom they remain fools.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle

You have the right to defend the belief that you are right, but in the end belief is not truth. Why is appearing to be right and self validation more important than truth?” You have nothing to offer to the discussion when all you have is belief. Jim

Family Farm

I know some of you are animal lovers. For 3507 years now my family has been keeping a pretty big flock of a mixture of special animals. We saved them as kind of a hobby. When the book of Job came out, Behemoths became the rage. My dad bought one at an auction and he’s had it ever since. He said it may be a collectible some day. Man he got that right. I don’t think it will ever die. The thing is cursed or something. Our hay bill is outrageous, but since we feed it instead of tithing it’s probably cheaper in the long run. I did some sketches since they don’t like being photoed. Ever since dads daguerreotype caught on fire they hide from the camera.

He also bought a Leviathan as a baby. We kept it in a small pool so it didn’t get big. They’re like goldfish and stay small if you hold back the food and keep the pool small. It’s a nasty little thing but dad likes it since it talks a lot. I’m pretty sure this would be the beast from revelation, so keeping it small is probably the best thing.

When dad was just a kid he picked up a serpent looking thing in the garden. He says it used to talk to him, but sometimes I just think dad talked to it a lot when he was little. It’s about as smooth as a used car salesman though.

His pet dragon is the coolest of them all. Frickin thing is ancient and still lays eggs. I was raised on them. We never need matches or anything. I tried to get dad to convert its stall to a thermal breathing heater but he never did. All that energy wasted all these years. He says he bought it from a guy on Patmos Island? Where is that any way?

Well, there’s more but I have to go out and feed. I lost a finger last week to that fuckin cockatrice so I feed it last just to piss it off. Little bastard!