comfort and hope

What are the classical religions? Are they very old and compelling traditions based on beliefs and promises passed on by the living to the next generation? Memes.

What is religion’s purpose? Is it to capture (save) large numbers of humans by giving them comfort and hope based on the promise of having a wonderful and never ending existence after death? Who can’t see the opportunity in that?

Organized religion is one of the greatest tools for herding humans. Nothing is wrong with this unless the power is abused by leaders. History is full of horrific examples of organized religion being used to abuse human beings.

Religion is the territory of belief and faith which makes for an interesting game of comfort and hope. But…

The odds are very high there is no afterlife, and if true, evildoers will not get their promised eternity of suffering, and the odds are exactly the same for believers to not receive their eternal rewards.

Is living not being able to know for sure what’s going to happen in the future the best way to live? Is it because the odds of an omnipotent, warlike, and vengeful god calling all the shots are so small, the god might as well be nonexistent.

Did the idea of a god existing come about to explain good and bad events as many have suggested and then did leaders pounce on the power of belief?

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brainwashed

I remember my mother telling this story to her friends.

“When Marvin was very young, I didn’t cut his hair, and it got long, curly, and blond, and when we would ride the bus, many times we had to stand in the aisle.

“That put Marvin close to a sitting passenger, and occasionally, a person would smile at him and say ‘Little girl, where did you get such beautiful blue eyes?’ And Marvin would answer slowly ’God gave ‘um to me.’”

I didn’t know it at that time that I didn’t have a chance to choose what I thought was truth: I was already brainwashed. It seemed adults were right about everything.

Children believe what adults tell them as being true, specially when their care givers are faithful to what they believe is true.

I loved my dear mother and how she cared for me. I was lucky to be her child.

In the early 1990s, a good friend, who lived in Australia, out of the blue, recommended I read The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design by Richard Dawkins.

I read it and relaxed because it gave me more than enough reasons to ignore the magical idea of original sin and gave me the reasons why there was no need for a creator-God.

Understanding why a God was not needed to create the earth and its inhabitants sets us free from magical characters full of magical ideas and happenings.

All that was needed was a Big Bang and a lot of time.

Richard Dawkins, thank you.

Also, The Blind Watchmaker makes it easy to conclude this life is the only life we’re going to have. It’s up to all of the plants and creatures to figure out ways to enjoy it.

Was there a God responsible for the Big Bang? Anyone has a fifty percent chance of being right when answering this yes or no question.

I feel the odds of a supreme God being real as depicted in the Bible wishful thinking. Yet, I can’t know for sure, so I’ll go with the odds real magic doesn’t exist and put my faith in nature and science.

wrong about God

This was a response to an email a friend sent to me which had only a poster presenting this slogan:

“If I am wrong about God,
I’ve wasted my life,
but
if you are wrong about God
you have wasted your eternity.”

This was my reply to my friend:

“ If you are wrong about God,” you haven’t wasted your life. Being a Christian is a legitimate and positive (for the most part) way to live. That Christians desire to do good and participate in making this a better world is proof of their good intentions, and so should be respected.”
(End of response.)

Choosing to not fear what may come after death is not a 50/50 choice as the poster would have us believe.

The magical god of the old testament has left a terrible trail through history. So it’s hard for me to believe in it. But who knows, there may be something or a situation which created our universe by accident, and it’s very doubtful we will ever know what was happening before its creation.

Maybe some type if entity created our universe on purpose and enjoys checking up on what has occurred since the last time it took a look-see. So I’m an agnostic technically because there’s no convincing evidence for or against a creator. But there is evidence that an all powerful god is not necessary to explain our situation in the universe. So I feel like an atheist.

Maybe the universe created itself or just happened as a natural occurrence or by accident. Not knowing for sure is not comforting but learning to live not knowing for sure is an interesting situation.

Reason leads me to think the god of the Bible was probably invented in the same way the other thousand or so gods were created, and it needs to be mentioned that the followers of all those other gods believe as just as sincerely as the followers of the god of the Bible believe that they are believing in the only true god, having the only true scriptures, and the only true faith.

So who’s right? Could it be none of them? Can sincerity of belief create a real all-powerful and all-knowing god? If a person believes with the highest possible sincerity he or she is headed south but is actually headed north, do the thoughts in everyone’s mind automatically change to accommodate this mistake? Do all maps also magically change to accommodate this sincere belief?

If one religion could actually prove its god is the one true god by having their god show up and — instantly and at the same time — create a county-sized governing palace in every country on the earth and be a visible presence in all of the palaces at the same time and making speeches based on “love your neighbor as yourself” and taking away the freedom of all criminals until they have sincerely promised to change their ways, etc. etc.

So, how long would it take for there to be only one religion in the world instead of thousands when each new member gets perfect health and plenty of energy and a sound mind as side effects? What good news! No promises only a wonderful present.

Leaving fantasy land behind, what are the odds of my going anywhere when I die? Is godly magic going to keep me alive so I can be rewarded or punished forever? I no longer believe in real magic, but I know how it feels to believe in real magic, and it’s not a bad feeling knowing you are right and knowing for sure you will exist in bliss forever. This is a very compelling dream from which I have awakened.

I’ve given my trust to science because it deals with evidence, and tries to disprove its own latest findings. Science uses facts and gives really good odds for my future non-existence after death because the “I” in me was created by and is supported by my human animal which has all the goodies: senses, intuition, memory, creativity, etc.

The idea of an eternal human soul is a very clever invention and is used as leverage to control folks and to get some of their money, but the soul does not exist: it’s an idea, a magical idea.

If you can produce convincing evidence there’s a soul dwelling in every human and it will exist forever, write a book and set science straight. You would make a fortune and be famous. People have tried to convince science the soul is real but have come up short when trying to produce convincing evidence. So the preachers say “You will be rewarded for your faith.”

Every group of religious fundamentalists believes their own set of facts because they believe they have the truth and no one else has it.

I have only opinions based on educated guesses. Here’s one. The odds of us identities not making it past the death of our human animals are as close as one can get to a sure thing.

be so lucky

Is it possible one’s god is the only true God out of all the other thousands of true Gods who are supported by their own holy scriptures or bibles? Are all of these other religions created by humans but not one’s own god or religion?

If you are one of these religious folks, you feel, believe, and have faith, as much as all the other religious folks do, that your god is the only real one. Otherwise, why give your time and money away?

How can so many be so lucky? Have they created their own luck?

a word of advice

Son,
a word
of advice,
there’s money and power in
shepherding the
gullible.

— 

Are we
brought up
to be gullible?

Elves in the deep forest and an all-powerful god
hovering above and all through the earth
seeing all and recording all of the
actions and thoughts of
every human
being?

god’s promises

Many preachers say every thought and action of every human is being recorded and will be displayed at the final judgment. Yet how could this happen?

I was told god is all powerful and all knowing. Now, there’s an easy answer. To go along with it, all we have to do is believe in a type of magic that’s real…which is a job for faith.

Faith is firmly believing certain events happened in the past and certain promises will become real as events and take place sometime and in an actual place in the future. And if an all-powerful and all-knowing being actually exists, we should be able to safely believe and trust in what it promises.

Is it that god’s existence has to be believed in, which requires faith. And when a person believes in a god but the god’s promises are delivered by humans, are the odds extremely high we are believing in one of the thousands of gods and religions created by humans?

Where did the all of the gods we hear and read about come from?

All of the gods can’t be telling the truth because almost all of us are claiming ours is the only true God (only the real god is worthy of the capital G) and having faith in its message and promises is the only way into its favor. 

How do we know which humans are telling the right story? Is it that claims and faith are not proofs or evidence? Can believing sincerely create something physical out of nothing? No, but it can create attitude which can create!

Is knowing you can’t be sure of god’s existence or nonexistence comforting? Do we need a real mystery?

It is that the existence of real magic is just wishful thinking and so is a very very long shot. Literally pie in the sky. If we are naturally gullible and brought up and taught by gullible folks, what can we expect? Wars and rumors of wars?

Science brought us out from under the autocratic rule of religion, and science has sincerely listened to and explored the so-called proofs for the existence of a god, all of which have come up short for a lack of evidence, yet science is still open to the possibility; otherwise science wouldn’t be science any longer.

Science states the odds are very very small for the existence of such a magical being as a God. In other words, the actual existence of a judgmental and all-powerful god is not something we should be betting on, but it can be fun and/or terrifying if we go along with all the rules of the fantom god we choose to follow.

God’s will

Do religions hang on to their magical traditions because for the members the magic is truth to its deepest level, even in the remotest of possibilities? How? Everything that happens can be explained as God’s will.

And do magical ideas like this also serve as a way to avoid the actual truth by rarely thinking of the billions of others in the world believing sincerely many very different versions of religious truth? Most folks sincerely believe in the realness and trueness of their own beliefs and are just as sincere as others who worship a different god and have different beliefs. Can they all be right? Hardly, and no one can win the sincereness competition because sincereness is total or it totally disappears. Is it you’re sincere or you’re not?

Our history shows us as curious creatures and easily controlled by magical spells, and we are still susceptible to magic’s ancient pull. Are we born believers? Is it that we had to be believers to survive? 

So how can one survive death? Religion? It’s one of the best rackets. First, invent the human soul which will have the characteristic of existing forever. Now it’s open season on humans everyday of the year because you don’t have to be in a king’s family to have power. All you need is a good story with a place where the soul can live on after death. And if your story isn’t all that good, you can swallow the best religious stories around and make them part of yours.

Believing we have an eternal soul and the existence of an afterlife, we would strain to hitch our imaginary soul to some type of heavenly place and live happily ever after. This would involve magical thinking. Does real magic exist or is there a real explanation (known or unknown) that is not magical. An example: We normally think it’s impossible for a single object to be in two separate places at the same time, but this happens as a normal occurrence in the quantum expression of the universe.

A promised happy afterlife for the soul is the big draw and the biggest muscle of the classical religions (except Buddhism).

If a person believes there’s no afterlife, would he or she be more likely to stop and smell the roses? It’s true, atheism is a belief criminals and good folks both share.

And traditional religious folks don’t like atheistic or agnostic ideas because these two bring attention to the magical nature of religious beliefs and can and do cause doubting which is part of waking up.

Is it that we all snore and that snoring is our wonderful language. Is it that it’s not religion but the habit of language which keeps us in the corral, unable to merge with the all.