The million dollar question

Most of you know my friend Club. She has just received a million dollar bill and wants help in spending it. If you are anywhere in Pen just give her a shout-out.

The bill had a challenge which we thought we should share with you our dear readers. It reads

Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heard. The Bible warns that, if you are guilty, you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent his Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God’s law, but Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. Please repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus alone, and God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.”

The thing about this challenge is in my view it has impossible standards. It is the basis for thought crime that one finds in George Orwell’s 1984. We lie all the time and for various reasons. If by lying to a cop I can get away with a traffic offence, throw all the stones you want to, but I will lie through my teeth.

Who cares about heaven when we have other people headed the other way? How can you be so insensitive to think there is nothing wrong with your god punishing people for eons for crimes he could have prevented with his omni-powers. Who trusts a god who instead of a blanket forgiveness killed his son to save men from his anger?

I know people who have used god’s name in vain, and they are countless. Listen to those making out, how many times god is invoked is countless, and tell me if this is not in vain :-P?

The Christian should know the world is bigger than Jerusalem. If a god existed and it loved the world, it would have made it a point to address each person at their own time in their own language. It is asking too much us from us to believe on the say so of men who every evidence show that they were ignorant, tribal and susceptible to believe the most ridiculous things.

I will plead guilty to not being able to accept incredulity. I will tell the judge that I can’t believe something just because it is impossible and that I don’t choose what to think, what to believe. If this god is powerful, who can win against it? Am I as powerful that I could defeat its will?

I am an atheist and I am amoral

There I said it and before you start running away from my blog thinking am going to kill you, take a moment and listen to me. Well, now that you have settled down to hear me out, atheism makes no claim about morality. If you have just arrived from Mars or do not own a dictionary, atheism is a lack of belief in gods/ deities. There is a big problem here though. What gods are, no one knows. In a sense, the talk about god is meaningless. Where are we going with this you may wonder, but not too long.

Every so often, a believer sits behind her keyboard and shares with the world their profound insights about atheists lacking morals because they have done away with childish things. Many times the believer forgets the writing of Paul when he says

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

You see, as a child, depending on where you were born, and especially if you were unlucky to have religious parents, they told you to do this or that so god ain’t angry with you or that sort of thing and you believed it. Now you are an adult and the admonition god wouldn’t be impressed is not as scary as spending your life in jail or facing public scorn when found out and you realize that god can wait besides you can always repent and ask for forgiveness.

So you understand how deeply disappointed I felt when I found this post of a believer who has had a profound moment and is sure the principle of do no harm is not a good basis for morality. We will look at what they say in a moment and see whether their thesis has any merit or not.

They start thus

Fact: God cannot be removed from the morality equation. If you try to remove Him, nothing will add up.

but this isn’t a fact. It is an assertion. There are problems with this assertion, and chief among them is we don’t know what god is and as such we can’t reasonably say they have a say in what is moral or immoral, whatever these are.

I proceed to say their next question though looking profound it isn’t. They pose

If you say that what is morally good is that which reduces over-all harm, then on what basis do you validate that assertion as being a proper moral standard?

The standard is given in the statement. To test this, one could as easily try to harm others and see the response. Morality has no relevance to us if it is not about how to live our lives. It can’t be abstract, that is, morality has to be practical.

Their next question suffers the same fate as the first. They ask

If reducing overall harm is the standard of morality, then should a nation that is being attacked by another nation not practice self-defense since by defending itself it would increase overall harm to both nations?

and we must ask why would the first nation want to attack the next? Why would they be so interested in violating the will and the peace of their neighbours.

And I must say some religious people need to see a shrink. They are a risk to themselves and the societies where they live in. How else would someone ask

If reducing harm is the standard of morality, then is it okay to sexually assault a comatose person if no physical or emotional harm is suffered, and the person is never aware of it?

It is a case of derangement to want to rape anyone, a child a comatose patient or yourself for that matter- if you can- that is. So whether the do no harm is a good standard, yes it sure is. I don’t want to be raped when am sober or comatose. Well if you fancy sleeping with dead people, go ahead, but please don’t rape those who are alive. You will cause them harm.

Depending on where you grew up

If reducing harm is the standard of morality, then is it okay for people to lie and commit adultery as long as others don’t find out about it, and there is no physical or emotional harm incurred by anyone?

lying may not necessarily cause harm. Being asked by a fat person if they are fat and saying no, though a lie is not really bad. And adultery is a problem because someone thinks the only natural way is to have one sex partner. It is a fact, a sad fact, that many people have extra pair copulation. The sooner this is accepted as fact, the closer we are to dropping such puritan ideals that help no one. While on the adultery case, you can nail me to the wall all you like, but the case is that it is not becauseof moral weakness or failure that people have EPCs[ Extra pair copulation]. There are many factors at play and it is useless to take a moral high ground just because one has not found themselves in a similar situation.

The two next questions, I will say could only be asked by a very ignorant person. Any reasonable person will tell you that no one chooses what they believe or not believe. It would be absurd to punish people for their believes. It harms the society at large. Only a sick society would think jailing atheists or believers would help their cause.

The last paragraph would be

If incarcerating Christians and/or atheists becomes the morally right thing to do because society decides it will reduce overall harm, then can you legitimately complain against the actions of the Nazis and the Jews of the Old Testament since both societies also wanted to reduce overall harm to themselves and preserve their societies?

the case whether it was believers or non believers in charge. It is possible a christian leader may think it morally right to damn atheists now given that they are already headed for hell anyway and get enough deluded christians to follow him. The belief in a god would not make this right.

In my view, there is no advantage the OP has shown us that believing in a god would be more beneficial than a lack of belief. In fact, we have had cases reported in the media where nurses have sexually assaulted their patients and these nurses were not godless. Those who have read the Euthyphro Dilemma would agree with me here that gods have no say about what is good or bad, whatever these terms mean.

Each man, must be his own priest and king to work out his morality. It is always important to remember there could be a police officer at the corner to apprehend you for what he/ she thinks is a violation. Go on and live your life, if there are gods, they have no say in your morals, your neighbour however does.

Chronicles of YHWH 30: Take Her Back

Take her back

Garden of Eden – three weeks after creation:

Adam: Take her back, Lord.

YHWH: Huh?

Adam: The woman. Take her back. Please.

YHWH: Why, what’s wrong?

Adam: She’s driving me nuts. I find it hard to believe that she’s flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone.

YHWH: What exactly has been going on, Adam?

Adam: That’s part of the problem, Lord: I often have no idea what is going on. Except for the general knowledge that I’m somehow in a fight with her. A fight whose origin and nature I haven’t the vaguest clue.

YHWH: You need to communicate more openly with her. Show her kindness. Bring her the occasional flower from the field. I’ve provided you with hundreds of different flowers in the field for exactly this purpose.

Adam: I try, Lord. I really do. But the other day, out of the blue, she started counting my ribs, while muttering to herself.

YHWH: Counting your ribs?

Adam: Yeah. Said that she suspected that I had given you another rib to fabricate for me another woman.

YHWH: Whoa.

Adam. I know right? Nuts. Also, she’s formed a weird friendship with that talking snake. They are forever together, discussing fruits and trees. Why did you create a talking snake, by the way?

YHWH: One of my private jokes. I find it amusing.

Adam: I don’t. I think that the snake is up to no good.

YHWH: The snake is fine. Relax, Adam.

Adam: Yesterday, the woman asked me if her butt was big.

YHWH: Uh oh…

Adam: I said yes, and she exploded. Told me that I hated her. So I quickly corrected myself, and said no – that her butt was fine. But she almost tore my head off then. Called me a liar. I quickly run into the farm, and came back with pomegranates and loquats in a bid to make peace. The heat is still up.

YHWH: Listen, that question about her size doesn’t have a correct answer.

Adam: It doesn’t?

YHWH: No, it doesn’t. Never attempt to answer it, in future. Next time she raises it again, run away from her, and bring me a burnt sacrifice. I’ll hide you until she cools down and forgets that question.

Long pause.

Adam: I’m losing my mind. Please take her back.

YHWH: No. LOL.

 

Chronicles of YHWH 29: Tupac

Tupac

By 2014, YHWH was completely miffed by Tupac. Tupac was still somehow recording new songs with his former, earthly record firm. So YHWH held a conversation with him:

YHWH: Pac, stop producing more secular music with Death Row Records. You are dead, remember?

2Pac: I’m an Outlaw Immortal – a G-Star forever. Up here in heaven, and down there amongst mortals, All Eyes are On Me.

YHWH: You should join my choir and start singing heavenly hymnals and chorals. Like any other normal dead guy. I don’t like your gangster lyrics.

2Pac: It’s a thug life. My baby mama on the other side cries for my voice. It aint easy – me here, her down there. I search for a Nickel bag of sess weed, spiked with hash, but your angels aren’t packing any. Give me a twelve gauge, and I’ll rule over all of them winged fairies!

YHWH: If you don’t change your ways, I’ll send you down to hell, Pac.

2Pac: Hell is right up in my hood. You wanna send me down there, I aint mad witcha. My homies are all crushing down there, actually. Heard they are all tearing hell a new one, kicking up dust.

YHWH. Sigh. Look, I need you up here so that you can train these angels some new melodies. They’ve been singing the same old songs for a very long time. It’s getting a bit boring.

2Pac: I ask you – are them fairies down with the thug life?

YHWH: They are angels, not fairies.

2Pac: Fairies, angels, leprechauns or spirits, it’s all the same. Same difference. I don’t discriminate. I’m a thug on a mission. If they wanna keep up with a G-Star, they better start downing shots of alazhay.

YHWH: Can you train them, though? Help make their music more… contemporary?

2Pac: Yeah – if there is a vision, there is a way. Nothing can stop me but a slug. I’ll open my poetry armoury, and you’ll pick the first track for the angels. Straight gunning with the lyrics. I’m down with that.

YHWH: Excellent! It’s a deal, then. You train my angels, and I’ll let you have your leafy stash.

2Pac: And the Alazhay.

YHWH: And the Alazhay, of course.

 

(In Loving Memory of The Great Pac)

 

Sex in religion

Or the God- idea of the Ancients by Gamble, Eliza Bert

is a book most of us should read, that is, the god people and the heathens who are headed the other way as Dickens would say. It is a book, for lack of a better word, I will call thorough. The author has managed to convince me, this was not hard though, that Christianity and to an extent Judaism represent a degeneration in man’s idea of god. That the idea of a male only deity represented by christian trinity is a far cry from the intellect of early antiquity where the woman was worshiped as a creative deity.

In this book, the author advances the thesis that a triunion god is not unique to Christianity but that this has always been known through the ages. That early man always worshiped a trinity in mother earth. She argues that in Nature- worship, deity had always been represented as mother and son and creator deity. That the representation of a mother- virgin mother- holding a son is not unique to Christians. Further of interest is, which is now known to most of us, is that Christianity is an extension of Pagan worship. The christian would not like to hear this, but any honest study of Pagan religion will dissuade even a blockhead who believes Christianity is an original invention.

The other thesis advanced in this book is the idea of sun worship which is also seen in Christianity. That Jesus myth is about a sun-god who dies and rises. That the sun is both a destroyer and re-generator is an obvious fact. That nature worship has always been about creation or rather about destruction or regeneration will become apparent to any student of antiquity.

The story of flood and ark is seen as a retelling of older stories and is associated also with the different sun cycles after which there has been a new beginning or prophet so to speak. That Noah had three sons in the ark is analogous to the idea of the trinity.

Another interesting thesis in this book is the idea that there has always been a conflict between the worshippers of woman as a creative deity and those who have exulted man above her. That the deification of the male above the woman is a recent occurrence starting with the ignorant Greeks and adopted by the Jews. It is this conflict that results in woman being sin as the harbinger of evil in Genesis 3.

Go read the book, am certain you shall all find it enlightening and it is a short book.

Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius all get favourable mentions in this book. Am off to reading the Analects of Confucius.

Chronicles of YHWH 28: A Metastable Figment

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Angel Gabriel once found YHWH pacing up and down in his library, deep in thoughts. YHWH seemed deeply distracted and anxious.

Gabriel: Lord, is everything alright? You look a bit pale.

YHWH: I’ve just finished reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, Gabriel.

Gabriel: And?

YHWH: I feel terrible now. That book raises some pretty disturbing points. I’m now half convinced that I don’t exist in reality.

Gabriel: But I’m talking to you, right now.

YHWH: What if both of us are figment’s of someone else’s imagination? What if we both only exist in the minds of religious people?

Gabriel: That can’t be. You sent your son to the humans sometime ago, and he appeared to them physically.

YHWH: Sometimes I wonder whether that actually happened. What if that too is a false memory by some of the religious people? After all, my so called “son” left no verifiable proof of his existence down there.

Gabriel: There are billions of Christians down there now. They are enough proof that your son really walked on earth.

YHWH: Dawkins states that the human mind is susceptible to memes – ideas that become viral and spread within a population very fast, if left unchecked. Memes can be based on reality, or on fiction. What if we are a fictitious meme – of a particularly contagious nature?

Slight pause.

Gabriel: Surely, there must be a tangible way of verifying our existence, Lord.

YHWH: I can’t think of any. We are invisible, intangible, and our very nature keeps changing, depending on who is describing us. Some Christians describe us as loving and forgiving, while others describe us as militant and vengeful. Gabriel, what are we, really?

Gabriel: Whoa. Let’s try and live apart from the perceptions and thoughts of these human beings. Let’s try and manifest independently of the human mind.

YHWH: I’ve tried that already, Gabriel. And failed. Apparently, we can’t exist outside human minds. This is terrifying.

Long pause.

Gabriel: I need a stiff drink now.

YHWH: Make that two.

Chronicles of YHWH 27: Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction

YHWH: Lucifer?

Lucifer: Speaking.

YHWH: What’s that bluish glow I’m seeing in hell?

Lucifer: Radioactive cores. Uranium and Plutonium.

YHWH: What are radioactive cores doing in hell?

Lucifer: I run out of sulphur and brimstone a while back. Too many sinners trooping in. Besides, the radioactive cores create a much hotter flame. And they can last for much, much longer.

YHWH: Ah, interesting. Good thinking. How many sinners are you barbecuing, currently?

Lucifer: Almost five billions. The atheists, the Muslims, the Rastafarians, the Hindus and Buddhists, the Communists, and the Pope. I hear that some evangelical Christians are also on the way.

YHWH: Yeah. Some of them were wearing linen underwear, against my orders. Who wears linen against the skin, anyway? Creeps.

Lucifer: One impending problem, though.

YHWH: Yes?

Lucifer: The increasingly higher amounts of radioactive material needed might soon reach a critical mass, and detonate in a massive explosion. Hell will be no more.

YHWH: That’s fine. I’ll move heaven further away.

Lucifer: Oh. Alright then.

YHWH: Just ensure that those Christians wearing linen pants are nearest the cores when the explosion happens.

Lucifer: Uh, alright. Will do.