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Dear Religion

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Dear Religion,

Logic, reason, rationale…  etc.  This train is one that has come and gone for you. If the evidence for evolution is something you deny, and you have chosen a god or gods as a guiding influence in your perception of reality, then your comprehension of reality no longer requires any other substantial reason – other than sheer curiosity.

Why?

(for your curiosity)

Typically, theism comes in a package (generalizing, here):

1) Life is a divine schematic.

2) The mind of God(s), nor the mystery of his/her/the/it/their design is not something you claim to know, or understand, or else, you’d be omniscient as well, and not require religious faith.

3) Therefore, debating evolution or abiogenesis is not a wise move – as, your alternative hypothesis relies on a magical being you cannot understand, comprehend, nor explain – beyond honesty.

4) Furthermore, upon acceptance of the divine plan – your will has been entered into a contract, and is no longer yours unless you void the transaction. In effect, this also compromises any conversation with an empiricist, as they fully understand before you enter the veritable room, that your belief system is built upon the antithesis of the refined scientific aim (aka – “Scientific Method”).

After all, how can you enter a debate on the grounds of reason when you’ve already abandoned it? You’re trying to open an account with no currency to justify its existence.

Science relies on an extremely dense type of comprehension – as, its adherents maintain empirically substantiated evidence to support their worldview.  Whereas, religious faith relies only on the will of the adherent.  It must be nice.   lol

In conclusion, you chose to abandon things like reason, logic, and science.  Any empiricist you debate, relies on a level of knowledge that is bound by tenable and testable confirmations grounded in both personal discovery and a coordinated alignment with scientific comprehension to the extent it can be understood.

Ironically, both paths wind toward attaining some degree of omniscience, but essentially lead in opposite directions.  Theists believe in a bridge of understanding reality, while empiricists build theirs.

Now, I have some questions of my own:

-Why worry about what others believe if it is all part of a predetermined plan – a destiny?  

…And, if you believe that your preach/dissent is part of that plan, then:

-If your god does not want to interfere with free will, why has he/she..etc. sent you to tamper with it?
(I assume that is the self-less version of your motive to debate, and/or “spread the word”)

It would be far easier to change my mind (or that of other empiricists) if your god(s) simply …showed up – And, not through you, either.  I see the same stuff you’re made of when I look into a mirror.  lol

 

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

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The Far Reach

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The cultural landscapes of the world today are much like continental shifts.  The original continent, known as “Pangaea,” rose from the ocean as a single uniform mass.  The processes of time, erosion, volcanism, and gravitational forces eventually fractured Pangaea in several areas, sending the pieces adrift in all directions.

Here we sit today, galvanized by cultural and continental division.  In a sense, the human species is no more connected than the continent of Pangea.  Not far behind, our ancestors also set out on their own continental divide and drift, and, in effect, genetically altering future generations of their offspring through environmental acclimation. The people today are as different as the continental regions their ancestors settled on.  Heliocentric determinism racially defined our species based on exposure to, and distance from, the sun.  Those that settled nearest the equator, adapted darker shades of skin pigmentation than others further removed in relation and/or exposure to our sun.  Colder regions dawned vastly different versions of our species with pale skin and unique body hair densities to shield against freezing conditions.

I cannot help but reflect upon the universal consistencies, fluid but bound, in a vortex, spiraling out – into this fractal expansion.  From the atom to the galactic front.  Hurling through the space-time continuum, we are the very die cast by probability.  And, from probability, our species’ propensity for conflict is as evident today as it has ever been.  As the planet builds to a flashpoint with each of our seven billion sets of hands awkwardly scribing in the sum of our ignorance.  Across the planet, egocentrism urges on the notion that violence may be an unsurpassable obstruction to peaceful coexistence.  Cross-culturally, humans have shown that they are the most prolific and ardent conspecific killer to ever arise from the depths of life’s potential.  Out of a seemingly limitless labyrinth of choice, the majority repeat patterns of destruction resulting in a moral erosion – ever outshining any other conflict in existence.  We kill, separate, hate, destroy, waste, take, and consume with a tone of vampirism.  Chaos seems to pull us into its gravitational fields and currents of a looming cultural abyss. Archaic systems of spiritual guidance and political governance are often applied in place of progress, and compassion has become an endangered enlightenment only preserved by the tears of those who care to listen to the wisdom of their hearts.  Let my tears be counted among them.  Let my eyes not weaken as I continuously choose to clear and tune my vision.  I will count each dove that falls and each injustice my heart will carry as my own.  If I can bear it, let me hold the suffering upon my back.  Let me not call for help or cast guilt ridden stones.  This is my choice because it is the conceit, the gluttony, and the measure of an intelligent heart.

If this condition of the world is woven in the acclaimed plan of any cultural god or gods, they are gods to the negligent and equally slain by a heart brandishing intelligence.  Robbed, are these old high path steps, and found devoid of any relevance.  Bow in reverence to the ruins of cultures time has forsaken and lost and be consumed be the height of self deceit.  These false idols will continually finance war and cut its adherents from herds of the apathetic masses of the weak.  The higher path’s beauty and peace frail hearts and minds will claim to know by their ancient master’s preach, but have no more understanding of a light by existing in the dark of shadow.  Many will begin this trek, only to retreat in fear.  Attracted to the light they once sought to know, but blinded are the eyes that have not been enlightened by their tears.  Self centricity is the Sifu of the dumb heart – barred from the high roads, passing too hurredly to bear its beauty, and peace, to the deaf – is rendered silent.  Fervently, many winding masses seek, but the true light dims to those barren of a heart’s tears, like a mirage in a desert or a ghost of time.  The eye of this needle may be forever narrowing in its closing for those afraid of what is within.  A calloused heart is a crippling self infliction, and traveled by billions – apathetic rote practice of empty teaching.  See this torch held,  and not lost in following.  Chasing personal gods lay bare their pursuit as a selfish wish in signs only ever echoed back by the author’s reflection among the chasm called by us, universe, whilst the hand shake the pen in the weary trifling.

Scribbled lines mar the message as knots only untangled by the far reach.  Pulls from within ring tones of truth, and your heart may break, yet strength it flexes in the heal.  The path shirks the weak, as the legend of its rare passengers is seen.  And…I will fear no evil because the strongest hearts align with me. See yourself in another and lift the illusory mirror smoke magic.  Rise and stand at the foot of this mountain, lest, in your heart, you see a mad man.  Anger begot compassion in tilting the heart’s table, and the mind begot a word in this refraction.  If this god is love, beware any hell that fallacies teach – or, this path lose any passage rite in fiction and fable.

Hatched from the extrapolated vibrations sounded by the hums of chaos – We are the anomalies of sentience. Beneath the atomic glue that engages us into this spiraling structure, our faces are the shape and product of chaos.  From possibility, to potential, to probable, and onto algorithmic determinism – the heart each have written is bound to form. Stand strong as the intelligence of hearts begins to feel, else escape, a turned back, returning to the card house of fear.

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The Burden of Proof

 

This is a very common argument in creationist circles. Hence, a perfect example for my demonstration.

First let’s examine the official burden of proof argument…

1) A skeptic, by definition, is one who challenges a claim – not a person who presents one.

2) A believer of anything, i.e. religion, space, time, bananas…ect. asserts a claim is indeed a valid one, and thus owns the responsibility to provide some kind of conclusive evidence for their belief to pass from subjective knowledge to objective knowledge to establish a Commonality between the two perspectives (subjective vs. objective).

Therefore, the burden of proof lies with the ‘believer.’

Furthermore,

Between the two parties, there are generally two different schools of thought on how life began:

1) Atheists/Agnostics/Skeptics may postulate evolution and scientific fact/theory.
However, you will not catch many people in this category claiming to have THE ‘truth’ – due to the fact science does not have all the answers. The most fundamental property of this group is that they position their understanding in credible evidence. There is little or no faith involved due to the fact that assertions on this side can be placed in objective reality either by physical evidence and/or logical conclusion.

2) Believers claim creation.
It is important to note that a believer’s ideas of creation belong to an extremely diverse group of people. There are over 10,000 + different religions alone (not accounting for sub-sects). Considering these numbers significantly lowers the possibility of believing in the ‘right’ religion – due to the fact that the majority, if not all people belonging to these differing variations of religions claim to have the one and ONLY ‘truth.’

Evidence – the only evidence for religion is alleged testimony of people who are typically unable to currently testify and/or teachings/prophecies/allegories passed down through history.

This evidence is:

a. Subject to alteration due to translation(s).

b. Subject to political influence(s).

c. Subject to interpretation(s).

d. Subject to questionable source(s).

Religion also must own up to the following Relative Factors:

a. Cultural Relativism

b. Moral Relativism

c. Linguistic Relativism

d. Psychologism

At this point in my demonstration comes the use of (one of my favorite tools) Occam’s Razor.

After taking all these factors of probability into consideration, Occam’s razor delivers the final death blow to religion when it is pitted against scientific analysis, logical/mathematical proof, and physical evidence. Religion does not hold even when these factors are not taken into account.

And finally:

It would be just as easy to say that of all the billions of people throughout history, none have been able to prove the existence of any deity.

This is known in philosophy as an Appeal to the Masses:

“APPEAL TO THE MASSES: One is committing this fallacy when he tries to justify a belief or action by the support base behind that action. Saying that Christianity is the right religion because it has a billion followers is an appeal to the masses. As with other logical fallacies, there is no logic behind this, just ignorance.

EXAMPLE

“There are more and more people converting to Creationism everyday. Even astrophysicists and biologists are seeing the light. This is God’s work!”

Creationists often engage in an appeal to the masses in tandem with the appeal to authority, as you can see here. In this case, they use the appeal to an anonymous authority with the appeal to the masses. If all the physicists in the world suddenly said that they Earth pulled down at 1,000m/s2 without any proof, they’d still be wrong. If all the Creationists in the world jumped off a kilometer-high bridge, would you? If you said, “Yes,” please proceed to the nearest bridge.”

Again, such arguments are dust in the realms of logic…

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Allegory of the Cerebral Cave

Politics. Religion.  Beliefs.  These are all components of topics I write on, if not the topics themselves.  A good question to ask is “why?”  Why do I write on these subjects?  There is good reason these conversation pieces are forbidden at the dinner table.  Beliefs mark the parameters of one’s mental blueprint.  That is, beliefs are the vehicles used to navigate our comprehension of both social and personal reality.

It could be argued that a belief is not much more than a wager.  Strangely enough, this wager liberates the mind – but, only to various degrees.  This leap of faith lends to the structure of our mental framework.  A stair must first be conceptualized before the climbing may proceed.  It is not conceivable that a person can operate without holding certain prejudices pertaining to reality.  Some choose apathy over understanding the implications concerning these crucial observations.  The choice made to write on controversial topics does not extend from a personal conceit.  I do not think I possess some ultimate perception that governs truth.  Rather, I feel that social paradigms need agitation.  This is my personal belief.

As with argument, I feel that intellectual conflict facilitates communication.  Effective communication stimulates clarity within the collective.  All too often, people settle on the convenience of a belief.  Unfortunately, this behavior breeds stagnation.  I find myself in shock at times when I confront someone’s belief only to watch them desperately cling to it without a shred of rational thought.  I can sympathize with a person that has grown old with a particular set of conceptual schemes.  Their neural pathways are reaching solidification.  There is no known cure for this aside from prevention.  Children are naturally open to fluid belief structures because they are engaged in the process of framing, for the first time, this mental construction.  They seek pieces of understanding to map onto a working dynamic, as their elders did before them.  Older people do not easily correct, whereas, the youth are resilient.  The complication arises; however, when stagnant paradigms are taught to new generations.

Socialization often creates generational cycles within a culture.  These cycles can be progressive, regressive, stagnant, or destructive in nature.  Religious and political ideologies have rarely shown to be progressive.  Only after experiencing a critical mass, does a society seek out resolutions to ratify change in these areas.  Only when groups rise to confront systemic ideology can critical mass be  reached.  Sadly, war has often resulted in the past.  Why?  War is also the result of a belief paradigm – the belief that it provides a solution.  Though, war practiced in defense is the only justifiable means of an acceptable end.   Rarely do small militaries practice offense by attack larger advanced forces.  This only happens out of extreme conceit, stupidity, and/or insanity.  There is always a motivational belief structure at the helm in all cases.  Some ideas are viral, and quickly consume the whole.

The average individual is commonly rendered helpless by massive social movements.  They conform through fear and feel they must pick sides on the battlefield.  Wait…they don’t pick sides at all, do they?  Their allegiance is predestined in correlation with physical location.  Billions of people have signed over their voice during times of war because choice was not evident.

It is my contention that until power is restored to the individual, authentic choice will always elude them.  Some think that discussing these systemic ideologies is a futile, misdirected, and useless aim.  “Leave people alone with their personal beliefs and let them have their freedom.”  From my perspective, liberation is the idea…and it is necessary for real change.  As thought the “Philosopher” of Plato’s Cave.

 

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Calling God

Jesus is often a theist preference when the older part of the bible is questioned. A model citizen of upright character worked as a humble carpenter. He taught peace, love, and moral values. He overcame the temptation of Satan. A feat even his father could not achieve.

Practically flawless, Jesus is revered worldwide today. Jesus, was, above all – an exemplary human being beckoned from the relics of human history. However, people are also taught that he is a god. He walked on water, made festive drink, and commanded the sky to rain fish. Oh, and his resurrection seals the claim. There were many witnesses – none of whom can testify today. Equally, the authors of the text cannot be questioned.

And, of course, the text commands that it is not to be questioned. Interesting reading. If you were to question any alteration of the text, the text will also inform you that this god commanded that it not be changed. How convenient.

Ironically, the god of the bible lifted weights far beyond his capability. He changed the properties of water, violated the laws of thermodynamics, and a Christian favorite – made something come from nothing. Actually, he made a lot come from nothing. Including himself.

This is the very logic that draws many people to belief in a god or gods. The idea that something cannot possibly come from nothing. However, this claim is purely of theist origin. There is not one scientific theory that proposes the something from nothing idea. However, this is common logic that Christians use to assert ‘nothing’ is core fiber of scientific theories. Coincidentally, this nothing is also the origin of Jesus’ second life, summoned fish, father, and the fracturing of his own universal structure. Yet, when theists are accused of hiring the same logic, we are told that our feeble intellects cannot grasp such miracles. The origin, mind, presence, morality, ways of God are held from tangible reach. It seems that this being has abandoned the universe. Yet, unbreakable scientific laws are broken to account for his existence. The god concept is the ultimate catch all.

Welcome to the conundrum where you must either choose to deny what can be known about the universe or deny what you cannot know about the universe. The latter option being the dismissal of a god. Or – a particular god, rather. Upon accepting the god concept, you are invited into a vortex to explain something incomprehensible with, well, the incomprehensible itself.

Conclusion – this option leads nowhere logical, yet appeals to logic. I honestly hear it every time I discuss my lack of belief in a personal god with a person that believes in him – despite its apparent and ominous contradiction. Since when did explaining something in terms that cannot be explained – or, defined, become a reasonable answer? In mathematics, variables are used for hypothetical circumstances. Until defined, they hold no value. God offers no answers. No value. The concept has always been intellectually bankrupt. It is simply an anthropomorphized placeholder for the faithful. A human like universe. A variable that is scientifically untenable. In contrast, scientific discovery does not contradict itself – making such a human invention like a god both dismissible and unnecessary. Scientific discovery is derived from observation – not feelings.

Perhaps, the intellectual Christian may suggest that their god is everything at work that is not yet understood, or defined rather, in scientific understanding to date. Coincidentally, this same unknown body of knowledge is the very pursuit of modern scientific thought. This undefined body of information is revered by atheists alike. Some scientists even call it “god.” Yet, no laws were broken, and consistency is prevalent.

It seems that the ever growing body of science is quickly consumed by the faithful as evidence for their squandering, yet only accepted because it is undeniable. As our knowledge grows, illuminating the dark places, gods are forced into the shadows – claimed as metaphysical, unseen, and unknowable. Just as if they had never existed at all. Yet, universal workings are beautiful whether they have a face or not. Philosopher, priest, atheist, and scientist alike, all gracefully bow in humility before the universe – for the light shines from the dark unknown.

Truth is an ongoing journey that the past has merely hinted of, our imaginations only glimpsed, and our sciences have gently touched.

In the words of Einstein:

The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.” (Albert Einstein,The Merging of Spirit and Science)

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Hell and the Evolutionary Prerogative

Hell. We’re all familiar with the concept. There are many religions that claim its existence. Even the idea of reincarnation offers a dismal look at eternity if the cards one is dealt are not played right. Hell is the ultimate prison. Prison for eternity. I’ve never been to a prison, but can only imagine the detriment of a cage populated with humanity’s worst offenders. People, wicked as any demon, lie in wait for the fresh fish entering their population. I couldn’t fathom being held in an earthly prison – let alone – a metaphysical one for all of time. If I were to believe in hell, I’d probably stammer in my very foundation.

Luckily, the idea has never entered my mind as credible. Yet, I remain civil regardless. I’m a pacifist and see violence as a crude technique employed by the less evolved. I didn’t need hell to scare me into this line of thinking. But…I digress…

I may not stand among the average person when I state such convictions. On a world scale, violence is a reality that refuses to sleep throughout recorded history. It seems to be a reoccurring subject. What confuses me is that though I may not feel the judgment of God or gods – devil nor demon, I choose to live with a code of ethics that surpass those written of in holy books. I would never attend a public execution – or, stoning (depending on what age I find myself in). I want to help those in need. No traditional god or threat of eternal prison has defined this idealism for me. In contrast, a simple look at the natural suffering of life has lead me to this conclusion – ranging from the cuddly herbivore to the human slave.

I have made others helpless under my physical strength in self defense and only felt saddened. This is who I am. I have seen others do the same as well. I have likewise witnessed those who gain some kind of thrill by inflicting suffering upon others. Some of whom believe in hells and gods. I witnessed no difference in their behavior. Perhaps at time – but no lasting influence over their behavior. Yet, holding others in my view only cloud it. Clearly, all I speak for is my self.

I seek the same ends as those that contend morality is influenced by the fire of hellish threat do. I seek peace on Earth. Yet, tales of hell have never accomplished what I feel is a humanistic progression. In fact, the most violent times existed when hells were most widely believed in. Only objective morality has ever paved the way to righteousness. Only through arriving at the realization that our actions affect those around us in a manner that echo universal repercussion have we sought to change direction. This threat is immediate, relative to action, and thus, founded in objectivity. This is consequence in real time.

Hell is scary indeed, but alas, holy books fail us. A real threat walks among us, threatening something we need not imagine – Earth. If future generations do not act – they will be verifiably doomed. Hell is no longer needed. The real threat is written in non-fiction. Facts condemn us – not gods or devils. The pieces are set for all to see – and, any prevention is “holy.”

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Rythem of the Masses

And the masses sway to the popular song.
It would not matter if the lyricist were wrong.
The authority clasped in the illusion of a vote.

Told you had a voice.
Told you had a choice.

Lies spun of slick truths that miss the identity
of what would be a real case in point.
The aim drawn to fool.
The slight hand ever so faint.
If only one sought to ponder human affairs to date.

An aware public crafts an ominous device where the truth cannot slight.
If everyone closely examined our history there would not be much questioning.
Patterns of human nature course the veins of our evolution.

All the wasted potential following each hope of a spell or applauded saint.
Frozen by worship casting you to the lost and hoping.
At Jesus’ robe you are groping, yet his work told in counsel.

Slow student, you damage our world.
So …the deft leader crafts gods you can hold.
Dumb by the sight, the class taught in vein.
And of the miracles explained away?

Since when did magic make more sense than logical evaluation?
Any good teacher spoke on how to live, not mindless wit to give.
The planets held by forces bound by their own definition –
not Atlas, Zeus, or described in the book of Galations.

God is a comfort – not something that bears explanatory power.
I understand you need to comprehend, however…

I seek and have sought far beyond simple religion.
And I’ve graduated this spiritual kindergarten.

Pushing, pulling….shouting “MINE!”
only hurts the treasure you will find.

Intelligence is the metaphorical tree that will drive you out of the caged garden.

An apple eaten expels the tale.
And it becomes yours to tell.
What a burden to shoulder…

I say – better than a blind man’s somber.

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