Tag Archives: religions

Elihu Palmer

was born 245 years ago today, in Connecticut, U.S.A.,
a lawyer, he was a writer & lecturer in favor of deism as well

“Another important doctrine of the Christian religion, is the atonement supposed to have been made by the death and sufferings of the pretended Saviour of the world; and this is grounded upon principles as regardless of justice as the doctrine of original sin. It exhibits a spectacle truly distressing to the feelings of the benevolent mind, it calls innocence and virtue into a scene of suffering, and reputed guilt, in order to destroy the injurious effects of real vice. It pretends to free the world from the fatal effects of a primary apostacy, by the sacrifice of an innocent being. Evil has already been introduced into the world, and in order to remove it, a fresh accumulation of crimes becomes necessary. In plain terms, to destroy one evil, another must be committed.”

“Deism declares, that the practice of a pure, natural, and uncorrupted virtue, is the essential duty, and constitutes the highest dignity of man; that the powers of man are competent to all the great purposes of human existence; that science, virtue, and happiness are the great objects which ought to awake the mental energies, and draw forth the moral affections of the human race.”


Religulous

a film I went to watch a couple months ago at a movie theater the night it premiered, October 3, 2008, I was well satisfied with it as a whole, it is a documentary style film following Bill Maher as he discovers some amusing yet disturbing sides to religion, it points out things worth wondering about, let alone gives us a chance to realize some of the absurdness religions have caused in our world, directed by Larry Charles


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)


Joyce Carol Oates

was born 70 years ago today (in Lockport, New York, U.S.A.)

“Is there any mystery like who you finally turn out to be.”

“We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.”

“How can people still be superstitious, still believe in nonsense and astrology and grotesque demonic religions of every kind, every fundamentalist religion crowding us on all sides?”


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.


F.A.C.T. Net

Fight Against Coercive Tactics 

“Since 1993, Discussion, Resources, and Support for Survivor Recovery from the Abusive Practices of Religions and Cults”

http://www.factnet.org/


pastafarianism

followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:   http://flyingspaghettimonster.org/ edit: the link has expired

UPDATE: for those who have been “touched by his noodly appendage”, there’s a new site here: http://www.venganza.org/