Tag Archives: gods

Margaret Knight

a freethinker, an author, she was born 105 years ago today

“Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with the dogmas that will not bear examination.” (taken from Morals Without Religion)

“It is a terrible commentary on Christian civilisation that the longest period of slave-raiding known to history was initiated by the action of Spain and Portugal, France, Holland and Britain, after the Christian faith had for more than a thousand years been the establised religion of Europe.”

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalise mankind; and for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel”.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

another excerpt from this book I’ve been reading:

“In most cases, according to scriptures and legend, it happened in a flash. Mohammed fasting and meditating on a mountainside near Mecca and-flash!-ecstasy, vast revelation and the beginning of Islam. Zoroaster hauling haoma water along the road and-flash!-he runs into the flaming form of the Archangel Vohu Mano, messenger of Ahura Mazda, and the beginning of Zoroastrianism. Saul of Tarsus walking along the road to Damascus and-flash!- he hears the voice of the Lord and becomes a Christian. Plus God knows how many lesser figures in the 2,000 years since then, Christian Rosenkreuz and his “God-illuminated” brotherhood of Rosicrucians, Emanuel Swedenborg whose mind suddenly “opened” in 1743, Meister Eckhart and his disciples Suso and Tauler, and in the twentieth-century Sadhu Sundar Singh -with-flash!- a vision at the age of 16 and many times thereafter; “…often when I come out of ecstasy I think the whole world must be blind not to see what I see, everything is so near and clear… there is no language which will express the things which I see and hear in the spiritual world…” Sounds like an acid head, of course. What they all saw in… a flash was the solution to the basic predicament of being human, the personal I, Me, trapped, mortal and helpless, in a vast impersonal It, the world around me. Suddenly! -All-in-one!- flowing together, I into It, and It into Me, and in that flow I perceive a power, so near and so clear, that the whole world is blind to. All the modern religions, and the occult mysteries, for that matter, talk about an Other World – whether Brahma’s or the flying saucers’ – that the rational work-a-day world is blind to. The-so-called!friends-rational world. If only they, Mom&Dad&Buddy&Sis, dear-but-square ones, could but know the kairos, the supreme moment… The historic visions have been explained in many ways, as the result of epilepsy, self-hypnosis, changes in metabolism due to fasting or actual intervention by gods-or drugs: Zoroastrianism began in a grand bath of haoma water, which was the same as the Hindu soma, and was unquestionably a drug. The experience!

– pages 127-128 of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)

The Fires Of Paratime

by L.E. Modessit Jr.

a book I borrowed from somebody & read a couple years ago

Chapter XX

page 204

“Life is too easy to face the hard decisions, and so we plan, and watch, and wait, and hope, and are the compliant victims of the schemers and the madmen.” [Sammis to Loki]

page 207

“… and no man or god would know his place while blew the wild winds of time.”

page 211

“The universe has no gods and while some have the power of gods, those who thought they were indeed were mad.”

page 214

“The histories, the might-have-beens, the was and the were, the is and the are, warred upon each other. Through the black windows of time hung in front of us, battles never fought were fought, all at once, all together, and the new turning points of history and parahistory, of space and para-space, were hammered out in the fires of para-time.”

Barbara Smoker

was born 85 years ago today in London, England

she was president of the National Secular Society (in the UK) (www.secularism.org/uk) from 1971-1996

“The one function that most gods seem to have in common is to give human existence some ultimate purpose — and, while it is not possible to disprove an ultimate purpose, there does not seem to be any evidence for it. That is not to say, of course, that there is no purpose in life at all: we all make our own purposes as we go through life. And life does not lose its value simply because it is not going to last forever.” — taken from “Why I Am An Atheist”, a script recorded in June 1985 (& broadcast on BBC World Service four times that year)

for more info on her: http://www.barbara.smoker.freeuk.com/Biography.htm

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

a 2008 movie featuring Ben Stein

while things are tied together kinda nicely, over-all it just comes across… sloppy

the main point seems to be that the idea of “intelligent design” is rejected by the scientific community, but doesn’t go so far as to delve into why that may be the case (if it did, I missed it)

now, I don’t claim to be an expert on all the concepts of evolution, or “intelligent design” either, but here’s what I appreciate about science: its theories, & that they are just that, theories, & if the answer to something isn’t ultimately known (at least not yet) then that’s what is said: we don’t know, but nonetheless, scientists proceed in investigations and explorations, seeking answers, but then, to give the “intelligent design” take on it – god did that, or a higher power did that, or some other force out there in the universe with a mind of its own, & whatever else have you did that – that, to me, if you’ll allow for my slanguage, is a total cop-out, OF COURSE the scientific community is going to reject that, it’s a dead end, it gets us nowhere

would we except this alternative attitude in other areas of our daily life? take the examination of a crime, we may not immediately (& sadly, sometimes, ever) know who killed so & so and with what weapon, but does that mean we give up on trying to figure it out for ourselves & just conclude “evil forces in the world did it”? if that was the conclusion written at the end of an autopsy report, for instance, and the writer of that report was then dismissed from their job, who would protest that?

if this movie is going to harp on how ideas of “intelligent design” could fill the gaps of evolution (& other scientific theories, for that matter), I would like good examples of exactly how accepting this as an explanation advances scientifc progress

sorta gives the subtitle No Intelligence Allowed an ironic twist, doesn’t it?

Charles Darwin may not have produced the answers to life, the universe, & everything, but “intelligent design” sure doesn’t seem like the way to go instead

as for linking Darwinism to Nazism, besides being a cheap shot, I would like to sarcastically say what a great point that makes, cuz’ it’s not like religion has ever killed anybody, it’s not like people who believe they were “intelligently designed” ever use that belief to wage holy war against those they judge as infidels, or anything like that… oh, hell no

but seriously, this is part of what makes this movie sloppy, cuz’ discussion of how a civilized society should behave, that’s a broad topic of it’s own, discussion of ethics, still a broad topic of it’s own, discussion of abortion & euthanasia, topics of their own, eugenics, another topic of it’s own, & this movie is nowhere near long enough to give much of any sort of overview of any of those things, yet throws them in anyway, which actually might be alright if they were all strongly inter-connected to one another & building up to a climatic conclusion, but if they did, what was it? If it was all to attack Darwinism, then I don’t see the logic in how finding flaws in Darwinism somehow validates Intelligent Design as science, which, again, seemed to be the point of the movie.