Perceptions In Reality—A Walk on the Beach

Why each person has their own interpretation of spirituality

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Competition amongst the gods we imagine leaves an ominous gap in interpretation of existence, nature, and purpose.

Join me along the pier for a quiet mid-week stroll. See the snow-capped mountains in the distance while the gentle waves lap against the pilings. Feel the warmth of the sun washing ashore in a whispering, summery breeze, watching an orca, otter, and bottle-nose dolphin frolicking around a piece of large, weathered driftwood. One might call this a spiritual experience. I may say—god is magnificent; or, the creator certainly knew what he was doing, perhaps, pleased with his creation. We could all agree that together, we saw all those things and experienced them in an emotional, or inspirational way. Beauty is a stimulant that we all appreciate. It stimulates our senses (and hormones) while rendering thoughts of contentment. One thing we would all concede in our discussion is we saw a whale, a dolphin, an otter, and breathtaking scenery.

A discussion might follow; god is great, the master creator, followed by nature is amazing—obviously the god of love made this for us—while the scientist mind may imagine eons of selfish genes, double helixes, cataclysms, and the intricacies of diverse life that evolved from the primordial ooze over millions of centuries in different ecosystems and evolutions.

One of these ideas can be proven.

At once, without warning, the whale thrashes the otter into pieces, shaking it violently, tossing it high above the surf, then swallows it nearly whole.

The excitement stimulates the immediate ecology, and a passing salmon is chomped and swallowed without chewing by the dolphin. Reason would immediately favor the scientist. The religious could then pull-start their apologetic motors whirling about higher purposes, the ways of god are mysterious, or god knows best.

The facts suggest that differing neurologies and experiences create vastly different interpretations and perceptions of everything we view. All of us are different, and that is obvious we create our own belief. Some desire a creator (or succumb to the idea) from their training and influence, then manufacture an ideal that suits their purpose, adding personal touches to make sense of the senseless.

Each congregation has as many beliefs as there are people. Take away the churches, and the same would be true. It is you—not god that has generates purpose. I create my own—the believer inherits purpose through conformity and lives a life of pseudo-reality—by choice. And the evidence that shows how hard it is to escape your past indoctrinations.

Which Religion is The True Religion

How heuristic efforts can undo the faith that killed reason.

Guessing which religion is true depends mostly on where you were born, or the one that caught you vulnerable during a crisis. If you were born to a specific faith, that is most likely the One True Church™️—makes perfect sense. With all the options available that certainly makes it a bit easier.

The three lines below represent three major world religions. The religion that represents the line in the center is yours, which initially appears conveniently as the obvious, longest center line in the group.

This is the Müller-Lyer Illusion. If you look closely the center shafts are all the same length, as illustrated below. But appearance is everything in religion. Escaping your pre-conceived (literally in many cases) religion is fighting the odds against honest reason and logic that seems at times an insurmountable challenge against the array of bias research. Heuristics can help with a cognitive hands-on approach. We can train ourselves to be less knee jerk intuitive (belief) and more discerning, or analytical, at the very least, more cautious.

Research shows intuitive people are more likely to believe in god, while reflective, or analytical thinkers are more likely to be atheist. Here is a quick test with answers to see where you fall.

If you got some wrong, no worries. A lifetime of faith can disrupt your natural tendencies (feelings) Many of us spent a lifetime overlooking the obvious acquiescing to faith—and through faith you can know hand-wave the truth of all things.

Monotheistic religions may all appear different, but in reality they all produce the equal ability to embrace contradiction through faith, playing on bias and quirks of herd psychology. It’s so obvious even an atheist can see it. Read More HERE

Polemic Arrival

How the only compromise with religion is tolerance.

As a relativity new anti-godder, turning fifty years of faith into something worthwhile has been revelationary. After escaping the indoctrinations of my youth, dismissing the false integrity of faith (the ability to compartmentalize fallacy and contradiction) produced a truth—the key to understanding the mysteries is unbelief. The ultimate of which is the ability to accept a god in yonder heavens sitting on a throne, even in a supervisory role of the universe.

Compromise has become difficult in this arena. The compromise I’m able to make is between ideologies that do not involve belief—in anything. How can one such as me, with zero belief in any form of god, come to agreement on particulars of supernatural belief when all can and has been explained quite nicely by reason, logic, or one of the sciences? I cannot.

I can’t believe in Jesus just a little bit, nor Allah or one of the Hindu gods. This is an all or nothing game where accusations unfold about my anger towards god, or having sin in my life, or I just don’t understand the scripture. I do understand it quite well. Five years ago the apologists would be backslapping with my level of understanding—now, I was never a true Christian.

So now I’m a polemic. I’m not angry at the religious, because I know the trick and the psychological hold belief and faith (which are required before knowledge) but I am keenly aware of the foibles of placing and defending a value on mere belief. Belief is by its very nature supposed to be a transitional state that is supplanted by reality, not an end-game achievement. Guaranteeing the ultimate reward of eternal life by believing has shown people will believe anything attached to a prize after death. The list of incredibly duped cults is proof we are easily fooled. I believe passionately in nothing. Where is the compromise going to take place debating ambidextrous doctrines of imagination?

Photo by Arkenaten 2018

Building Objective Morality

How to create a system of morality on objective truth

People can be reasoned out of a position they weren’t reasoned in to—Sam Harris

It has been said that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it. Research actually shows that those who do focus on history, are as just likely to repeat it too. Clinging to the past is certainly not helping mold a better future, but only stirs reenactment of an ingrained way of life. Improvement will demand boldness and belief that there is a better way…an easier way. “There’s no easy way out” is the slogan of fools. Occam would surely agree.

What if I told you it was entirely possible to form a universal morality based on reason? One that would trump any religious book or dogma, one that would take into consideration each individuals personal happiness and the right to fulfill the measure of their existence and have their own particular brand of joy? Would it be possible to draft one basic moral guideline that would benefit all life equally, leaving the freedom to act on their own concepts of happiness?

Individual well being of our own design has to be the benchmark of human contentment—Jim

There are hurdles, traditions to overcome—cultural norms. These are deeply ingrained traditions based on the purported “rights” to choose at the expense of another being.

Traditional behaviors are ones of great un-reasons. Religious and cultural traditions both, are behaviors and positions few were reasoned into, therefore can be reasoned out of. Billions born into faith and traditions, not of their choosing, can accept reason as opportunity to just consider there might be a better way.

Medical students are sworn to Primum non nocere, or first, do no harm. How much more encompassing and thorough can we be? The first step to understanding a better way is to realize that old ways can be done away—by reason. We can do better than an evolved, archaic morality based on a violent time. We can live better, more fulfilled, and less contentious if we are kind to all creatures. That is the starting line of reason, not by way of religion or governments, but through science, reason, and tolerance—through us.

No god belief has ever come close to stopping the classes of the world. Continuous epic failures after another, splitting hairs of moral superiority through faith and a scripture riddled with morally divisive contradiction is a conundrum, an excuse to justify cruelty, even to the most helpless of all creatures and exclusion based on individuality. Many talk of ushering in the kingdom of god where the lion will lay with the lamb, then proceed as though it is never going to happen. It can through science, and so can contentment—through truth and simplicity. Do no harm.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a charge to Christians to act now, not as some end-game trophy. Start behaving like that matters.

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves”

–Lord Byron