Birthday present

In a previous post I indicated my interest in pursuing some research in an attempt to answer these two questions

  • how far did mission Christianity try to capture or delete previously sacred landscapes in Kenya?
  • how did my/our forefathers respond to such desecration of religious sites and knowledge?

and develop the research further.

My birthday comes in December, but there is no harm in making it happen tomorrow or the week after by gifting me this book. I promise to read it and write a review. And I accept ebooks (epub version).

Thank you already.

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Why is a person non religious

Well, the simple answer is they no longer believe the claims of religion are valid but not according to this Christian. He tells us the reasons for non belief can be summarized as

  • the experiences he or she has had with Christianity insulted their intelligence
  • the experiences they had with Christianity were negative, or even traumatic
  • or, they simply feel they don’t have a need for God in their life.

but forgets or is unaware Christianity is not the only religion. One could be a Jew, a Muslim, a believer in voodoo, heck! There are many religions to believe in other than Christianity. But most importantly, the gods of Christianity don’t exist.

Joseph, he who is all knowing, tells us

Somewhere along their journey in life, they were negatively influenced to the point of openly rejecting God.

and here, I thought if someone were to influence you away from religion, they would have done you a good. I can only say Joseph has not heard of W. K Clifford who said “it is wrong everywhere, always and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence“(extreme, I think, but you get my drift). (This paper (pdf) is a good critique of the Clifford Principle)

But the christian knows the reason you are an atheist is

 a traumatic event

your priest molested you and this led you to call it quits on religion or your cat died and you said no more religion for you.

Or maybe, you are the type of atheist who

doesn’t have any ‘need’ to know God (I don’t know why need is in scare quotes)

resulting from

monetary wealth, an abundance of secular education, and/or a self-professed “understanding” of Christianity in general.

What is the christian to do when faced with any of the above scenarios?

  • First and foremost, you must approach this type of person with humility in your own heart. Talking down to them, or challenging them in any way, will only bring conflict and contention.
  • Second, you must allow them to see how Christ is working in your own life.
  • And three, we must be patient and know that their on God’s time, not ours.

The christian, even after doing the above, maybe faced with the challenge of trying to teach one who wont listen. What is one to do?

Honestly, there isn’t much you can say that will get them to listen to you. But, what we can do is show them the light of Christ in our hearts by how we live our lives. It is this Godly happiness, that can only be found in one who has been saved by grace. When things get tough, they may look to you for guidance on how to be happy again.

What however got me laughing is the comment below this post. The author wrote

You’re off to a roaring start on the blog. Hope you are well and that you gather all the followers you can attract.

And it seems to me the bar is so low in christian circles if this is an example of a roaring start. Or maybe roaring has new meaning.

Hell is for children.

First a song

Then commentary from a man of the cloth

Morrison: What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America, which is there is one guaranteed way not to go to hell; and that is to accept Jesus as your personal saviour.
Spong: Yeah, I grew up in that tradition. Every church I know claims that ‘we are the true church’ – that they have some ultimate authority, ‘We have the infallible Pope,’ ‘We have the Bible.’… The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me.
I mean, God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honour my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God

Confessions 3

If we believe the priests, we shall be persuaded, that the Christian religion, by the beauty of its morals, excels philosophy and all the other religious systems in the world.

Baron D’Holdbach

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected. …[This] convention protects them, and so they proceed with their blather unwhipped and almost unmolested, to the great damage of common sense and common decency. that they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly. Nor is there any visible intellectual dignity in theologians. Few of them know anything that is worth knowing, and not many of them are even honest.”

H. Mencken

My first confession was a story of how I became clever, saw the light and left the faith I had been brought up in. The second confession (very Catholic, if you ask me) was a short story of the past. Then there was reflections on Christianity and finally about atheist experience in Africa.

This posting is about what I have become.

A great amount of care was taken to make me a Catholic. It was taught in school as fact. I went to catechism school. Went through the rites, participated actively in church activities and generally without reflection. It didn’t occur to me to question the truth of this religion I was brought up in. Did I have doubts, yes, but not about the truth of the catholic doctrine. I worried a little about whether I would go to heaven or hell. And the book of revelation (the few times I read it) didn’t help matters in this front with its small number of the chosen ones.

When my faith began to wane or maybe I had lost, I read a lot on arguments for god and why they failed. I read on authorship of the bible, on the existence of Jesus and even on miracles. All this reading led to one conclusion only, revealed religions were a scam. I read a little here and there on Islam and even the Gita.

Does Christianity or any religion for that matter deserve the attention we give them? Is there any good in wasting years trying to demonstrate that religions are all false, that their claims are contradictory and many times impossible? Is there any truth in the claims of Christianity? Is there a way to verify any of it? Is it any more true than the religions my forefathers had believed in? If it had been true and was ordained by a god, why did it need violence, deception, evangelism to spread? Was it important that we, everyone, had a religion or believed in a god(s)?

I am at that point in my life where I can say theism is false. That the supernatural claims religions make are baseless. It is not important that one believes in a god(s) as long as one lives well with others. Be kind. Be useful. Life is simple.

Africa interests me. African religion and philosophy more so. How my forefathers lived, what they believed in and how this knowledge made life in society and community possible. How did they face calamity? Death? Disease? And in times of plenty and bountiful harvests or hunts, how did they celebrate? Now this is interesting stuff.

Talk of gods and miracles bore me.

Hell doesn’t interest me. Heaven is a scary proposition. Vicarious redemption is abhorrent. And the gods? They don’t exist. We make them all the time. The raw material needed is a sick imagination and a people gullible enough to believe.