""If God took you up on the mountain and told YOU to sacrifice your child to him, I'm sad to have to be the one to tell you this, but you never would have had the faith to trust him and plunge that knife down into your child."
i spent years preparing to be a Christian missionary to the most dangerous political environments. Not because i was told to be- in fact every person i talked to tried to discourage me because it 'wasnt safe'- but because i thought Christianity was the answer to the world's problems and i cared about the people suffering more than i cared about my own safety- a sentiment apparently not shared by the christians with whom i spoke. Then on chance (though religionists claim their gods will everything), i picked up a book on comparative religion. i soon discovered a fundamental characteristic of human behavior: the man who agrees with you today is wise. The same man, who tomorrow disagrees, has overnight become a fool. As i noted the unoriginality of christianity, which objectively suggests its non-divine nature, my friends soon chose to become my enemies and they were quickly replaced by things that had thus far been alien to me: reason, logic, literacy.... And today, though i once saw what they have forever seen, i now see what they have never seen. i possess something they cannot understand: objectivity. As they grow older, they become more confident in the opinions of their parents and pastors; in their inherited predispositions. And while they have refused to even touch books on comparative religion- because ignorance is held by them in high regard- i continue to build my 5,000-book-strong personal library and am better-versed in the religions than the religionists themselves. i have found that it is the natural habit of humans to invent pseudo-justifications to believe the things they already believe, but rarely is a person able to give a real reason to believe it in the first place. Rarely do people understand where their beliefs and ideas and prejudice come from. They assume them to be innate because they have possessed them for as long as they can remember. It is no surprise that children raised to revere the Quran and pray to Allah, grow up to revere the Quran and pray to Allah. It is no more surprising when Hindus and Christians do the same. And as adults, when religionists denounce other deities as 'imaginary', they fail to realize that in claiming that humans are able to delude themselves into believeing whole-heartedly in imaginary deities, they condemn themselves, for they are human as well. If the so-called lower animals were able to comprehend their own mortality, no doubt they would imagine ways to manipulate and escape it. But for now, humans are the only animal that has suicide, insanity...and religion.
So... i am agnostic in that i understand that humans cannot know that gods DO exist, but also that the nonexistence of something cannot technically be proven. There are many legitimate reasons to doubt the popular conceptions of deities, but they can no more be DISproven than can the Invisible Pink Unicorn or Zeus or Ra. In short, there is no reason TO believe in deities, but no way to disprove their existence. Hence i am not an atheist. i am an Epicurean. If the gods exist, it is their business. They appear to require our attention to the same degree that we require that of insects. Women and children are suffering preventable injustices that deserve our attention. The gods are called omnipotent. Let them care for themselves. Religionists feed their gods with gold and adulation while 40,000 children starve to death every day. They anticipate their future heavens while millions of young women and girls are sex slaves. Let us assume that the gods, if we must have them, desire that we defend women and children. If the gods want something besides this, we should cease to call them gods, for to women and children alone do we owe our allegiance. Dissent is requisite from anyone, mortal or immortal, who demands that we give attention to anyone besides those who need help.
i am a socialist, gynarchist, apatheist, anticleric, outcast, humanist, bibliophile, and madman fascinated with what insanity will be like.
I am so happy to find atheists, as we all share the same thought, and all of us all over the world are one, as all of us are surrounded and targeted by the evil religious powers, and with their evil intents of religious slavery, tyranny, exploitation aiming at controlling, and governing the independent and the enlightened and the illuminated free thought and intellect.
Well, looks like we have a lot in common. I did not begin with a life of religiosity though. Being born in a family of atheists, I was always an atheist but India is deeply religious so I have been in close contact with religious people of all sorts. I think this has led me to appreciate atheists and agnostics a lot more. ;-)
I just read your statement under "about me" and agree with your views completely. It's good to know other people are out there who can see the obvious patterns in all "religions." I am tribally Jewish, but rejected the organized aspects of this and all other religions really early on in my life. On occasion I have revisited the temple and still find the entire concept and the atmosphere impossibly narrow. Call me a pantheist, individualist, humanist. But man, it's hard to be out here on my own in this day and age of religious fervor. Everybody has a "church" they go to! I guess in the end people are just scared to be alone, or to have ideas and beliefs that go against their culture's general grain.
truly enjoyed reading your statement under "about me"...in my journey i have learned that it is a far greater thing to convert folks to rationalism and facing the true reasons for their belief than to work toward prosyletizing for a socio-political construct that has only really survived for reasons other than winning souls. i have yet to become desensitized to the abject idiocy of christianity. every time i write or talk about it, i cringe.
Paul: I just took some time to look at all the quotes you have in your slide show. I am very impressed! I thought I had found all the best quotes for my book, but you have a few I have not seen before. Wish I had seen them before I finished the book.
Paul: Great to hear from you. Sounds like we have traveled similar paths. I wish I had arrived at the conclusions you have much earlier, but glad I arrived, nevertheless. Have read the book? If so, please leave a review on Amazon. We are just starting the publicity for the book and are getting some good reviews. I am also very interested in your response to the book's concepts since you say you could have written it yourself. There is still much to write and explore in this area. I am thinking of my next book and will probably include more personal stories in it. I would love to hear more from you. If you haven't gotten the book yet, we can't seem to keep it in stock at Amazon, but you can order it directly from our website www.thegodvirus.net.
as far as 'justice', its only a word defined in millions of different ways -- AGAIN, AGREED. IT DEPENDS ON WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE YOU ARE ON.
my point was however that men may rape and molest as they please and then have to face MALE judges who dictate laws created by MALES. budgets and legislations are not prioritized to protect women and girls from the most common abuses. money and energy is spent on war toys. -- ALL VERY TRUE, INDEED.
women leaders would prioritize different things and would erradicate the abuse of women and girls by any and all means necessary. -- AGREED, THEY PROBABLY WOULD.
i cannot see how there is any doubt in your mind that feminists in power would do this. -- I GUESS I DON'T DOUBT THAT THE FEMINISTS PROBABLY WOULD, BUT THE PALIN TYPES WOULD NOT. I'VE HEARD RELIGIOUS WOMEN JUSTIFY MALE DOMINATION BEFORE.
and i dont 'want' men to suffer under the rule of women. i said that if, as you say is possible, women become tyrants in turn, i would prefer that men suffer instead of women and little girls. -- OKAY, I SEE.
as far as the average american male, they make the same arguments as men have for millennia: -- I BET THEY DO.
that men are stronger and therefore belong in power; that men are ruled by logic rather than emotion (which is ridiculous) -- BY LOGIC? HA!
they dont see a problem with the way things are -- NO, THOSE WHO ARE CORRUPT AND SELFISH AND CRUEL OFTEN DON'T SEE A PROBLEM WITH ANYTHING. IT IS ONLY SENSITIVE SOULS, THOSE WHO SEEK JUSTICE, AND THE FAIR-MINDED THAT EVER HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANYTHING. SUCH IS THE WORLD, I GUESS! :(
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DISCUSS WITH ME PAUL, I APPRECIATE IT.
Also I don't see how there is justice in "if women then chose to become even worse than their male predecessors and make men suffer under their rule, i would much prefer this to women suffering under the rule of men."
To me, I don't wany anyone to suffer or be disenfranchised, and I have a hard time understanding why you would be okay with that. Is it just about men having their comeuppance?
Also, I'm curious. How does the average American male respond to your arguments you are presenting here? I would imagine you get a lot of flack for it, and a lot of resistance.
Sorry it took me so long to repsondd to you. You said "a sytem that makes it impossible for the few to make the many do something that would harm the many."
To me, that sounds like politics as usual, and I think Republicans are especially adept at convincing their followers to support ideas that are not in their best interest.
However, I don't put as much faith in female leaders as you seem to be able to do, e.g. " would prefer that women had authority, whatever they may choose to do with it.", as I think they can be just as fallable as men. I'll grant that they would do things differently, but when you say "would they create legislature that called for gang rapes of women in the streets? hardly.", and I agree, but men don't have laws that say that is okay either. Though I'll admit that Middle Eastern countries are screwed up for killing women that have been raped. Surely women would change that tradition.