Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Richard- guest blogger 2

I was raised a Christian, I did the Sunday School thing from the ages of four to fifteen. I was an altar boy until I was 16. I read any number of religious stories, and was totally awed. Often I read by flashlight under the covers until 2 and 3 am. Two books stand out in my memory.

At thirteen I read "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglass and it brought me to tears. Jesus and God were so amazing for their positive impact on human happiness and security. Still, the biblical and Sunday-go-to-Meetin' stuff smelled of B.S. Then I read "The Source" by Roland Michener. I was bed ridden by mononucleosis at the time, so I read it in about two days. My abstract thinking was already getting pretty good (because reading makes a world of difference in that respect), and I saw the implications for religion.

As a result, I became a Deist of sorts, and saw that the Son of God story was an overblown legend. A story promoted by the greatest orator of the early centuries A.D., St. Paul. The story was written and re-written by early medieval men who thought writing itself was primarily an exalted duty to God. No doubt St.Paul did a lot of the rewriting, to make it more and more captivating for his audiences.

Did the these re-writers read and think? No. They were more interested in the wealth their sheeple could provide.

They embellished the stories a little here and a little there, so it would 'go over' better and better. The illiterates will would accept the authority of the 'educated' and 'literate' men, and believe the embellishments.

It was not until I was in my thirties that I fully grasped that religion, and the morality it espouses, is the biggest con ever perpetrated on the minds of Man. Priests and Witch Doctors are all the same... Liars, Liars, Pants all Fires!

Getting rid of God was very emotional for me. For some months I felt torn in half. Then one sunny morning, walking my dog across fields sparkling with dew, I was still pondering what a Universe without God meant, and I finally understood! I felt a weight lift off me. The Universe and everything in it was mine to explore, and my life was mine to make happy. I imagine I had the same sense of Joy that those who are born again experience, except I knew I was being intellectually honest.

No longer was there any 'super thing' tallying my pros and cons. Since then I have been an enormously more moral and honest person. Why? Pride! Pride as respect and caring for my own character, the same way a craftsman takes prideful care to produce an excellent end result. Pride, in the religious morality is one of the worst sins. Morality by fear & or obedience is a subtle hell, sharply contrasting with the rational pursuit of happiness and self valuing.

If you actually understood Christianity, you would not be a Christian. You too would be an atheist, and be happier for it.

God, and the supernatural cannot possibly exist.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...


Lovely post.

Have you read Misquoting Jesus by any chance?

Poodles said...

Letting go is never easy, but always worth it.

Richard said...

Thanks Sean.

I have not read "Misquoting Jesus", but I just took some time to read it official reviews and Amazon visitor comments. I also noticed a response to the book entitled "Misquoting Truth".

Since both authors accept the existence of God, and believe that at some point the Bible began as a God's Word, their detailed arguments don't mean much to me.

Since God or anything supernatural cannot exist, the Bible cannot be the "inspired word of God". It can only be the creation of men who accepted an increasingly common belief in 'God'.

From there, the consequences of 1500 years of hand-copying of the text, such as I named in the post, are obvious: the original texts were mythological interpretations concerning characters that may or may not have actually existed. Likely, the stories were transmitted verbally for a time, regularly embellished, and then written down. Then the centuries of copying led to today's versions which also vary enormously.

The latter point alone proves all the prior history of biblical development as a man-made work. The fundies are conned, but to protect their self-esteem, they must not admit it. They must seek rationalizations and use 'blank-outs' (conveniently 'forgetting' a damaging fact or point) to evade facing that reality.

We see such behavior quite clearly than in Reg Glob's approach to discussion of biblical issues and morality.

Fiery said...

I remember I cried when I finally realized that there was no god.

Now..."if" the christian god shows up on my doorstep with proof. He better be wearing a cup (read as "box" for the cricketers out there, "groin protection" for the martial artists).

Richard- have I mentioned yet that I'm glad you're here? :)

T&A said...

That was a fantastic post! I can especially identify with the following:

" I was still pondering what a Universe without God meant, and I finally understood! I felt a weight lift off me."

My experience was much the same, although it has probably been more recent than yours.

Thanks again!

Vamp DiVerL said...

"Then one sunny morning, walking my dog across fields sparkling with dew...

Yes, yes, then you feel the enlightenment of freedom, oh yes.

I'd say I believe in good ole Mother Nature and she's at least a little more visual than God, lol. I can see the glory of her work, in the fall, I love best...hahaha! No really I mean it though.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

How true (meaning "I agree"). Everyone's "truth" seems to be different, but although truth has a personal quality, and is variable, the facts are not, and as you say, the facts about what (if anything) happened 2000 years ago are so lost in the dim reaches of time as to be unknowable. The belief in a story passed on from one person to another (and no doubt embellished by each teller), and as you say, written, translated and altered many times over two thousand years is illogical, but understandable. People believe shit on Fox and CNN as though it is absolute. I find it paradoxical that many will not believe global warming is happening unless they "see" proof (as if a human can detect a 1 or 2 degree temperature difference), yet these same people will believe in what is essentially a fairy story, similar to tales parents tell children to encourage "good" behaviour.

Richard said...

Thank-you, Fiery, T&A, VampDiver (VD?????? ;-) and Tex.

Tex, for the record, I am one of those people unconcerned about Global Warming.

For 100s of millions of years the Earth's temperature has fluctuated through a range of about five degrees Celsius. The fluctuations are a function of Sol's varying output, our planet's orbital and axial relationship to the sun, cosmic radiation (alters our cloud cover) and shifting ocean currents. At present the Earth is on the crest of one of these cycles.

In the past (early dinosaur era) the atmosphere has had CO2 levels exceeding 5%. CO2 has presently recently risen from 0.027% to almost 0.04%, which is nothing. 98% of the greenhouse gases (mainly water vapour) are not man-made, so environmentalists would have us all suffer economically and even die. (This is because cars are so light --to save gas and CO2 emissions-- that the occupants are more likely to die in accidents --over 20,000 deaths/yr and 200,000 more serious injuries/yr in the USA alone).

I believe more CO2 would cause a greening of our planet on a grand scale. Even at 0.04% CO2 most plants are struggling to get CO2 for photosynthesis. A doubling of CO2 is known to double fruit crop output, and would likely do similar wonders for most other plant species.

Plants would even survive better in dry regions because they could close their stomata (leaf pores) to conserve water and get enough CO2 to continue photosynthesizing.

As for humans the changes in environment would be so gradual that lifetimes would come and go, so no one will drown or dramatically lose property. In most cases, if someone finds the regional climate to be too hot or wet, they can do what people already do for all sorts of reasons: move a few hundred miles to a place they prefer.

In many ways Environmentalism is a religion (incl. the present anthropogenic global warming furor). It is a belief system that uses snippets of (scientific) fact but only if it suits Environmentalist beliefs*. It even has its goddess, "Gaia", that many believe in either implicitly (revering Nature, over Mankind) or explicitly.

*While Al Gore tells us about melting glaciers, neither he nor the media tell you that Antarctica's Ice Cap is the thickest it has ever been. The breaking off of the Ross Ice Shelf was more likely caused by increased flow of glacier ice off the continent, than by any melting.

Oh Fiery, now I've done it! A can of worms is now open... Heh!

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Great post Richard.

The moment when you finally shrugged off your indoctrinations "and my life was mine to make happy" must have been a beautiful one...rid of the stupid fears that had been pumped into you since childhood...such glory-ass freedom! Inspiring for others who are still caught in the quagmire of religion.

Fiery said...

Tex- warmest welcome (for this chilly time of year here!) to my blog. New South Wales huh? AWESOME!!!!!

Let's see... I've got Aussies in Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Melbourne and now NSW. WOOHOO!!!!!!!

Aussies, Aussies, everywhere.

I am so very blessed. Welcome aboard!

Fiery said...

Yes Richard, I knew you would be unable to leave that can of worms untouched. Ripped the lid right off didn'tcha? Play nice boys! :D

That's ok, we've ripped open worm cans before. Heck the last worm can garnered 100+ comments, though I'm thinking this one, not so much. Though Sean might jump in, he's a bit green around the gills.

I'll give it it's own post so your "escape from religion post" doesn't get cluttered with it.

Richard said...

Thankk-you, my Dear.

Fiery said...

My pleasure! One more in the next 3 days, and I'll just have to make you an official contributer to the blog with your own login.

Consider yourself warned.... or notified... or flattered... ;D

Tommy said...

In a recent post, I compared god to the Finnish mafia. There are no Finnish mobsters in the United States and there is no god.

Richard said...

Finnish Mobsters!!

I like that, Tommy. They are only slightly less abundant than the scientist signers of the 'consensus' on global bore-ming.