it is that time of the year

or is it the moon that some of you have been encouraged by your imam or is it the profit that you should fast. That the lord likes it when you fast. Chapman Cohen wrote

ar more suggestive, however, than the association of religion with what we may call the normal social forces, is its connection with conditions that are now clearly recognised as abnormal. From the earliest times we find the use of drugs and stimulants, the practice of fasting and self-torture, with other methods of depressing or stimulating the action of the nervous system, accepted as well-recognised methods of inducing a sense of religious illumination, or the feeling that one is in direct communion with a supernatural order of existence.

Religion and Sex by Chapman Cohen

but i think it is Zera Yacob who said it best

God does not order absurdities such as ‘‘Eat this, do not eat this; today eat, tomorrow do not eat, do not eat meat today, eat it tomorrow. . . neither did God say to the Mohammedians: ‘eat during the night, but do not eat during the day.’ ’’

Go yea and enjoy food, whatever you tastes are.

open comments post

Today I don’t want to bore you with stories about running. I know some of you, I will not mention names, get tired from just reading about running 1mile. SO telling them about running 10 miles would make them ten times tired which reminds me of one of Mark Twain’s tales. I think in the story he goes to the Alps to hike. He has a binoculars and a guide. So he sits at the base camp and tells the guide to go hike while he follows him with the binoculars and gets tired in the process. Maybe that’s how I should do my next hike or run. But enough of that.

You could be a theist, deist, atheist or anything in between or Nan or Barry. I hope that leaves no one out. I am interested in hearing from all of you what, if you have considered them, is the most fatal argument against the existence of god(s). And if you are a theist, what you consider as the most persuasive argument for the existence of god(s) and why?

I hope this should be fun. Give it a go. Surprise me. But you can talk about running if you wish to 🙂

thank god i am not a believer

because if I did and wrote something like this, I should be accused of blasphemy. The juicy part that caught my eye is

People in Hell exist. I think this is the most tragic, but also the most tragically beautiful part. Going back to Point 3: all things that exist only exist because God loves them into existence and holds them in existence through His love. Thus, the fact that people in Hell don’t just “disappear into oblivion” is because God is constantly saying to each one of those souls, “I love you, exist in my love. I love you, exist in my love.” Every single soul in Hell is as loved by God as souls in Heaven, Earth, and Purgatory. But, as Point 4 notes: Hell is a prison that is locked from the inside. 

God loves you enough to keep you in hell but not to forgive you and send you to stay in heaven with him. I don’t know what understanding of love this is, but it is the kind I am sure I don’t want. I think this is hat happens when one is committed to a position that is indefensible. You try gymnastics to make it sound reasonable but it doesn’t work.

God loves, even in hell, it just will not get you out.

The so called protestants

But what is happening in the camp of the so-called Protestants, led by a German peasant by the name Martin Luther, stormed out of the universal church? The camp? When the fellow, holding the arm of his nun wife called Maria, shouted, ‘I will not repent, I will not recant. Here I stand !’ the chorus from the so-called camp was deafening. All manner of ‘leader’ repeated the defiant war-song, now not addressed to the Vatican, but against Luther himself, and against each other. And it has continued to the present day. There is not one but numerous camps. It may be there is not one person in the world today who knows exactly how many they are, whatever their differences or similarities.

Artist the Ruler by Okot p’Bitek

This observation by p’Bitek leaves me amused all the time I think of it. Everyday there is a schism in a christian church somewhere. They often claim a difference in doctrine or disagreement on management but mostly it is about the cookie jar, not that one, but the other one and a million reasons excuses in between. What is always important is to justify the need to start a new church.

So my friends, what are you protesting?

Have you read your New Testament lately?

Because that could be only reason you are an atheist. So dear friends, atheists especially, pick up that dusty old bible of yours wherever you have been keeping it, jump to the new testament and Jesus will minister to you on every verse. Can I hear a loud Amen.

And then if you are lucky, you might just marry an international healing evangelist willing to compete with the local shaman in a village of your choice. Amen.

But this works well if you try it while undergoing a traumatic episode in your life. You can start with the 30 no-pay- trial period before you purchase the full version. What are you waiting for?

Or maybe you have the stomach for this. I didn’t.

Questions

Happy Monday everyone.

Those who read this blog religiously have, I am sure, read the questions of Zapata. I am not going to re-post them here. No, the questions we have are more interesting, but before the questions something we might all agree with.

Everything for which we love and venerate the man Jesus becomes a bitter and absurd mockery when attributed to the Lord Christ

James Thomson, Satires and Profanities

Now the questions

  1. he went about doing good; if God, why did he not do all good at once?
  2. he cured many sick; if god why did he not give the whole world health?
  3. he associated with publicans and sinners; if god, why did he make publicans and sinners at all?
  4. he preached the kingdom of heaven; if god, why did he not bring the kingdom with him and make all mankind fit for it?
  5. he loved the poor, he taught the ignorant; if god, why did he let any remain poor and ignorant?
  6. he died for love of mankind; if god, why did he not restore mankind to himself without dying? and what great thing was it to seem to die for three days?
  7. he sent apostles to preach salvation to all men; if god, why did he not reveal it at once to all men, and so reveal it that doubt had been impossible?
  8. he lived an example of holiness to us all; if god, how can our humanity imitate deity
  9. why did he ever let the world get evil?

I hope to hear your responses and have a great week everyone.

On historicity of Jesus

I have been reading Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography and in there he talks about his book the quest for historical Jesus which if you have not read yet, I suggest you do. But that’s not what caught my eye. He mentions the works of J. M Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, James George Frazer, Arthur Drews as those who have contested the historical existence of Jesus.

He writes

It is not difficult to pretend that Jesus never lived. The attempt to prove it, however, invariably produces the opposite conclusion. In the Jewish literature of the first century the existence of Jesus is not attested to with any certainty, and in the Greek and Latin literature of the same period there is no evidence for it at all. Of the two passages in his Antiquities in which the Jewish writer Joseph’s makes incidental mention of Jesus one was undoubtedly interpolated by Christian copycats.[…. ] It still has to be explained when, where and how Christianity originated without either Jesus or paul; how it later came to trace its origins back to these mythical personalities; and finally for what curious reasons they, both Jewish, were designated as the founders of Christianity. To prove that the gospels and epistles are not genuine one has to explain how they were written without being authentic.

Out of my life and thought: an autobiography

just thinking

History is not about the knowledge of the events, it is about the ability to recognise the continuum of the resulting influences on our consciousness, carried through to the present day.

I have been reading a book, Civilised to death, recommended by my good friend, Mary and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the bible considered not as god speak but as a response to a changing a world. Consider the garden of Eden as the natural habitat of the first humans where they lived as hunters and gathers and the fall as the beginning of agriculture.

The many wars are not really about god’s chosen ones but intertribal wars over land and watering points.

The book of kings can then be seen as state formation with their rigid rules and demands. For example taxes and all. In this way, the author of kings is not writing about things to come but things already experienced.

Jesus, then represents the archetype of the socialist or anarchist opposed to big government (here I kid) but you see where this is going.

I think Schopenhauer, that pessimistic philosopher, already tried to give the bible a very generous reading. Devoid of the claims of god inspiration and what nots, the bible begins to make sense as a response of those living in the crescent to the changes in lifestyle from hunters ad gatherers to farming and all.

What are your thoughts? Am i making any sense?

On justice

I must say first that if you have time, pick this book by Robert A Heinlein and you will not fail to find something totally hilarious. In some place he writes

…justice is not a divine concept, it is a human illusion. The very basis of the judeo-christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the old testament, then it reaches its height in the new testament with the notion of the martyred redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually or a messiah nailed to a cross and “dying for your sins”. Somebody should tell all of Yawheh’s followers, jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Job, a comedy of justice