Oct 1, 2014
4 notes

Rated R16: Religious Fantasy and Conjecture...Infused With Violence and Bigotry...

""Religion should remain a private endeavor for adults," says Giovanni Santostasi, PhD, who is a neuroscientist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and runs the 10,000 person strong Facebook group Scientific Transhumanism. “An appropriate analogy of religion is that’s it’s kind of like porn—which means it’s not something one would expose a child to.”

Unfortunately, even though atheists, nonreligious people, and transhumanists number almost a billion people, it’s too problematic and unreasonable to imagine taking “God” and “religion” out of the world entirely. But we do owe it to the children of the planet to let them grow up free from the ambush of belief systems that have a history of leading to great violence, obsessively neurotic guilt, and the oppression of virtually every social group that exists.

Like some other atheists and transhumanists, I join in calling for regulation that restricts religious indoctrination of children until they reach, let’s say, 16 years of age. Once a kid hits their mid-teens, let them have at it—if religion is something that interests them. 16-year-olds are enthusiastic, curious, and able to rationally start exploring their world, with or without the guidance of parents. But before that, they are too impressionable to repeatedly be subjected to ideas that are faith-based, unproven, and historically wrought with danger.

Forcing religion onto minors is essentially a form of child abuse, which scars their ability to reason and also limits their ability to consider the world in an unbiased manner. A reasonable society should not have to indoctrinate its children; its children should discover and choose religious paths for themselves when they become adults, if they are to choose one at all.

From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zoltan-istvan/some-atheists-and-transhu_b_5814484.html

Oct 1, 2014
4 notes

A preacher's deconversion...

"…I need to tell you that I’ve changed my mind. Where once I proclaimed the doctrines of Christianity with passion and sincerity, I am now convinced that religion, all religion, is man-made. As with the long line of deities dotting the history of our species, the idea of one God, Yahweh, made manifest in Jesus of Nazareth, is our means to an end — to explain how we got here, for instance, or to avoid looking fate in the face or to gain an edge over our enemies.

Deep breath. This was not an overnight decision. I didn’t go to bed one night this week a believer and wake up an unbeliever. I wasn’t blinded on Tuesday by the light of reason that led to a deconversion. I began this journey more than seven years ago. It led initially to me taking early retirement from ministry and has continued over the ensuing five years.

There is not the space here to detail each signpost along my sojourn from faith. They are meticulously chronicled in my latest book, Life Beyond Belief: A Preacher’s Deconversion, being released this week.

In short, after pondering the age and span of the cosmos, the elegant simplicity of evolution by natural selection, the ruthlessness of the God of the Bible, the enigma of expiation for sin by blood sacrifice, the discrepancies in Scripture, the antagonisms and animosities derived from religious fervour and the violence and corruption in church history, adherence to my former beliefs was no longer possible.

All of us, religious or not, should value authenticity. If we do, then we should encourage not only critical thinking but also intellectual honesty without fear of rejection or reprisal. My disclosure carries the risks of losing friends and facing disappointment and disapproval from those who once admired my spirituality. Belief, however, is not something you can fake, or should fake.

If you are wrestling with the tenets of your religion and/or the increasing insights of science to explain reality, if you have elected to eschew religious creeds quietly so as not to offend or feel isolated, then you may be comforted to know that you’re not the only one.

If you are a committed believer, my testimony of deconversion may challenge you to take your convictions more seriously than ever before and examine evidence you may never have encountered before. My goal is not to disabuse you of your faith but to share my personal testimony of deconversion and with it a call for all of us to constantly test and examine our assumptions.

As a dear friend who leads a church in Brooklyn writes in the forward to Life Beyond Belief, “if you’re a Christian, you should take this book seriously, and if you’re not … you’ll find companionship.”

Please remember that I have not changed. The heart that was once surrendered to Jesus Christ, that gave itself to others and infused a vocation with kindness, still beats in me. If you have ever met me, know that the person I was then, I am now, still striving for integrity and capable of profound love.

I’m not lost. I began this journey by asking questions. It continued by not being content with trite cliches or lazy affirmations. Curiosity is an amazing accelerant. I am a passionate advocate for unremitting intellectual honesty, for reason and reality, for love and learning. My advocacy simply no longer assumes a deity.

I still believe. I believe no person or group of persons is inferior to any other. I believe that what matters is not so much what we believe, but how we conduct ourselves for these few short, fragile years of being alive. I believe that being aware of the beauty and wonder of the universe, including this pale blue dot in the remote corner of one of billions of galaxies, is an indescribably wonderful privilege.”

From http://www.lfpress.com/2014/09/26/ripley-how-my-mind-has-changed

Oct 1, 2014
7 notes

Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts...

“Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems none of these writers from first to third century ever heard of Jesus, global miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned,” Paulkovich said in a recent interview.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, also known as the Qumran texts, also contain no mention of Jesus. Even the Apostle Paul, the New Testament figure credited with spreading the new religion that came to be called “Christianity” shortly after the supposed death of Jesus, never says that Jesus was a a real person — even in the Bible itself.

“Paul is unaware of the virgin mother, and ignorant of Jesus’ nativity, parentage, life events, ministry, miracles, apostles, betrayal, trial and harrowing passion,” Paulkovich states. “Paul knows neither where nor when Jesus lived, and considers the crucifixion metaphorical.”


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1504964/jesus-never-existed/#lUg0dQq2igviE4fu.99
Oct 1, 2014
10 notes

"When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not, and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumran and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions, I must conclude this "Jesus Christ" is a mythical character. "Jesus of Nazareth" was nothing more than urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.
The “Jesus mythicist” position is regarded by Christians as a fringe group. But after my research I tend to side with Remsburg—and Frank Zindler, John M. Allegro, Thomas Paine, Godfrey Higgins, Robert M. Price, Charles Bradlaugh, Gerald Massey, Joseph McCabe, Abner Kneeland, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Harold Leidner, Peter Jensen, Salomon Reinach, Samuel Lublinski, Charles-François Dupuis, Rudolf Steck, Arthur Drews, Prosper Alfaric, Georges Ory, Tom Harpur, Michael Martin, John Mackinnon Robertson, Alvar Ellegård, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, René Salm, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, Barbara Walker, Thomas Brodie, Earl Doherty, Bruno Bauer and others—heretics and iconoclasts and freethinking dunces all, according to “mainstream” Bible scholars.
If all this evidence and non-evidence including 126 silent writers cannot convince, I’ll wager we will uncover much more. Yet this is but a tiny tip of the mythical Jesus iceberg: nothing adds up for the fable of the Christ. In the Conclusion of No Meek Messiah I summarize the madcap cult of Jesus worship that has plagued the world for centuries. It should be clear to even the most devout and inculcated reader that it is all up for Christianity, and in fact has been so for centuries. Its roots and foundation and rituals are borrowed from ancient cults: there is nothing magical or “God-inspired” about them. The “virgin birth prophecy” as well as the immaculate conception claims are fakeries, the former due to an erroneous translation of the Tanakh, the latter a nineteenth century Catholic apologetic contrivance, a desperate retrofitting.
Christianity was a very minor and inconsequential cult founded late in the first century and then—while still quite minor—forced upon all the people of the Empire, and all rival kingdoms in the fourth century and beyond, as enforceable law with papal sanction. Christianity has caused more terror and torture and murder than any similar phenomenon. With its tyrannical preachments and directives for sightless and mindless obedience, the Bible is a violent and utterly useless volume, full of lies and immoral edicts and invented histories, no matter which of the many “versions” you may choose to read—including Thomas Jefferson’s radical if gallant abridgment.

The time to stop teaching the tall tales and nonsense to children, frightening them with eternal torture administered by God’s minions, has long ago passed. Parents who do so are likely deluded, and most surely are guilty of child abuse of the worst sort …”From http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/paulkovich.html

"When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not, and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumran and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions, I must conclude this "Jesus Christ" is a mythical character. "Jesus of Nazareth" was nothing more than urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.

The “Jesus mythicist” position is regarded by Christians as a fringe group. But after my research I tend to side with Remsburg—and Frank Zindler, John M. Allegro, Thomas Paine, Godfrey Higgins, Robert M. Price, Charles Bradlaugh, Gerald Massey, Joseph McCabe, Abner Kneeland, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Harold Leidner, Peter Jensen, Salomon Reinach, Samuel Lublinski, Charles-François Dupuis, Rudolf Steck, Arthur Drews, Prosper Alfaric, Georges Ory, Tom Harpur, Michael Martin, John Mackinnon Robertson, Alvar Ellegård, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, René Salm, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, Barbara Walker, Thomas Brodie, Earl Doherty, Bruno Bauer and others—heretics and iconoclasts and freethinking dunces all, according to “mainstream” Bible scholars.

If all this evidence and non-evidence including 126 silent writers cannot convince, I’ll wager we will uncover much more. Yet this is but a tiny tip of the mythical Jesus iceberg: nothing adds up for the fable of the Christ. In the Conclusion of No Meek Messiah I summarize the madcap cult of Jesus worship that has plagued the world for centuries. It should be clear to even the most devout and inculcated reader that it is all up for Christianity, and in fact has been so for centuries. Its roots and foundation and rituals are borrowed from ancient cults: there is nothing magical or “God-inspired” about them. The “virgin birth prophecy” as well as the immaculate conception claims are fakeries, the former due to an erroneous translation of the Tanakh, the latter a nineteenth century Catholic apologetic contrivance, a desperate retrofitting.

Christianity was a very minor and inconsequential cult founded late in the first century and then—while still quite minor—forced upon all the people of the Empire, and all rival kingdoms in the fourth century and beyond, as enforceable law with papal sanction. Christianity has caused more terror and torture and murder than any similar phenomenon. With its tyrannical preachments and directives for sightless and mindless obedience, the Bible is a violent and utterly useless volume, full of lies and immoral edicts and invented histories, no matter which of the many “versions” you may choose to read—including Thomas Jefferson’s radical if gallant abridgment.
The time to stop teaching the tall tales and nonsense to children, frightening them with eternal torture administered by God’s minions, has long ago passed. Parents who do so are likely deluded, and most surely are guilty of child abuse of the worst sort …”From http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/paulkovich.html
Oct 1, 2014
36 notes
Everything evolves…or goes extinct…
No god belief…lives…forever…
Image http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/85/ac/b7/85acb7827abdbd83b2580f173ee2e784.jpg

Everything evolves…or goes extinct…

No god belief…lives…forever…

Image http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/85/ac/b7/85acb7827abdbd83b2580f173ee2e784.jpg

Oct 1, 2014
9 notes
Practice…makes better…!

Practice…makes better…!

Oct 1, 2014
3 notes
Oct 1, 2014
1 note
The only tangible thing believers get from religion…in exchange for ten percent of everything they earn…for ever…
…and, for all their goddam hours, lost…for ever…

The only tangible thing believers get from religion…in exchange for ten percent of everything they earn…for ever…

…and, for all their goddam hours, lost…for ever…

Sep 30, 2014
4 notes

State of the planet’s species…

36 page summary: http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/living_planet_report_2014_summary.pdf

180 page full report: http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/living_planet_report_2014.pdf

http://www.wwf.org.uk/about_wwf/other_publications/living_planet_report_2014/#.VCqBwxZrzP0

***

And the multiple personality disorder god of greed said…Go forth and mulipy…without reasoned restraint…and subdue all the animals and the whole environment…Don’t bother managing it…strip mine it…because I am the god of instant gratification…and of no forward planning…Behold I come quickly…

But the multiple personality disorder god of planning ahead said…OK, not particularly quickly…and remember the parable of the 5 foolish bridesmaids…who used up all their resources before I returned…and I denied knowing them…and locked them outside in the cold…it’s in Matt 25:1-13…

Sep 29, 2014
17 notes
Waiting for god to act…is actually, waiting for a coincidental, fortuitous, random event to happen…or, more commonly, a contrived, manipulated, engineered  event, which involves believers dropping lots of hints to those around them…
For example…they let slip, in passing (right!)…
"I am prayin’ to god, for a better car…"  (hint, hint, any takers…?)
"Dear god almighty…nothing is impossible for you…I humbly ask that you will provide us with a beautiful new building…one that will glorify me…I mean… your holy name…(hint, hint, congregation…?)
"Teach us, oh lord, to be generous…and that it is better to give…than to receive…That the lord loves a cheerful giver…and what we have received…is a provision from god in any event…for us to use to further build my…I mean his…kingdom on earth…!"
***
A religious relative kept mentioning to all and sundry, an appliance they needed desperately…I think it was a washing machine. I had replaced mine, so offered them my older one. They proclaimed it a miracle from god. How could I have possibly known they needed one. I said, that they had mentioned their need, repeatedly, to all and sundry. They looked astonished, and claimed to have never mentioned it to anyone, except to god in prayer…
As a kid, my mum constantly used prayer to drop big hints…”And dear lord…please help John to understand how important it is to you…that cleanliness is next to godliness…and that he should tidy his room…!”

Waiting for god to act…is actually, waiting for a coincidental, fortuitous, random event to happen…or, more commonly, a contrived, manipulated, engineered  event, which involves believers dropping lots of hints to those around them…

For example…they let slip, in passing (right!)…

"I am prayin’ to god, for a better car…"  (hint, hint, any takers…?)

"Dear god almighty…nothing is impossible for you…I humbly ask that you will provide us with a beautiful new building…one that will glorify me…I mean… your holy name…(hint, hint, congregation…?)

"Teach us, oh lord, to be generous…and that it is better to give…than to receive…That the lord loves a cheerful giver…and what we have received…is a provision from god in any event…for us to use to further build my…I mean his…kingdom on earth…!"

***

A religious relative kept mentioning to all and sundry, an appliance they needed desperately…I think it was a washing machine. I had replaced mine, so offered them my older one. They proclaimed it a miracle from god. How could I have possibly known they needed one. I said, that they had mentioned their need, repeatedly, to all and sundry. They looked astonished, and claimed to have never mentioned it to anyone, except to god in prayer…

As a kid, my mum constantly used prayer to drop big hints…”And dear lord…please help John to understand how important it is to you…that cleanliness is next to godliness…and that he should tidy his room…!”

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The quest for a better world reality involves re-examining familiar and comfortable indoctrinated lies. Hi, my name is JohnH and these are some of my musings on the things that I see around me, that are fueling so much hatred and contention in our shrinking, diversified world.


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