For friends, family, and fellow freethinkers you may ask why I’m not a Christian. I submit some random rambling thoughts.  I'm neither a writer nor an English major, so forgive me for which you're about to read.  I’d rather tell you why I’m not religious, as that should answer more effectively the question at hand.  Understanding life is much like a game of chess.  Rather than playing on a two dimensional board, we play out our lives on a multidimensional field of reality.  Life is complex and somewhat random all the while being predictable on many accounts.  If one plays the game narrow mindedly, its game over when it comes to understanding reality.  I’m not saying that people can’t think for themselves.  Some of the time it’s the lack of critical thinking skills.  The ability to spot and keep in check logical fallacies.  Not stepping back and looking at the big picture.  Other times, it’s the herd mentality.  Actually, it’s a combination of all of those things and a few more I'll neglect to mention. It’s human nature. I'm often guilty of this too.  We can and do simplify things, and act as a “Pawn” in many aspects of our lives.  In the dimension of faith, reason, or knowledge I will not be played as a pawn on a one-way dictate of the here and now.

 I’m non-religious because I don’t subscribe to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Neo-Paganism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, or Scientology.  I do not take the default position that I was given at birth.  Even at that, my views are skewed toward Christianity because that's what I've had the most exposure to.  Much like the quote: “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”.  We could also say: “When you understand why you dismiss all the other major religions, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”.  Let alone the 33,000 Christian denominations to pick from.  Just like playing chess!  Have you looked at the other sides and put yourself in their shoes?  Don't forget the fourth dimension of time. Pardon the expression, but have you played devil’s advocate?  Or, are you being played as a “pawn” and accept the default position by your social environment in the here and now?  As a programer, I have to load many aspects of a program in my head in order to successfully finish the code.  As a chess player I load past, present, multiple potential future moves, and past games in to my head and let natures best computer do its work.  I do the same with trying to understand our existence on this planet.  Yes, we don’t have the time or mental capacity to analyze all of the possibilities. It’s also no excuse to take it on faith and what feels good based on the social dictates of our time and place in history.

Under the category of “Have your cake and eat it too”, I have the following to say.  Which way is it?  In regards to prayer, does it work?  We pray to have our favorite team to win and for ourselves to outperform our competition.  We pray for health, wealth, and the Godspeed to those that we care for.  Texas prayed for rain, and then the state caught on fire.  If prayer actually worked, it could be demonstrated.  It has not been proven to do so.   People tend to count the hits and ignore the misses.  When the misses are acknowledged, it’s chalked up as God has a plan, or God works in mysterious ways.  Yes, we can have our cake and eat it too.  Deep down, I think we really know that prayer doesn’t work.  We do so anyway to double down so to speak.

 If you were to witness a loved one having a heart attack, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Was the first thing in your mind to call 911 or to say a prayer?  Do you say a prayer first and see if that works before doing something else?  I know most of you would call 911 and then pray.  God should be able to work in milliseconds compared to an ambulance.   I think that should be first on the list of things to do.  Would you in your right mind say a prayer and call it good and skip calling 911?  While waiting for EMTs to arrive, you and others prayed for the loved one.  Do you go out and meet the ambulance and tell them you don’t need them anymore?  Come to think about it, you should have prayed that your loved one wouldn’t have any major health issues long ago.  In fact, you have many times.  Does God have a short memory?  Yes I know that’s not how God works, but when I listen to Christian prayers you could have fooled me.  Which way is it? 

To top that all off, I say “Really”.  God cares to heal you when you are sick and most of your other prayers while every year 2.6 million children die of hunger,  2.7 million HIV-AIDS, 3.8 million respiratory, 7.2 million heart disease, and 1.8 million diarrhea?   Cancer?  Oh yeah, and over 50% of us on this planet lives on less than $2.50/day.  Or that 80% of the world lives on less than $10/day.   If you don’t believe these facts, then I beg you to Google this [global poverty statistics].  I lecture all the time about standing back and looking at the big picture.  Don’t bury your head in the sand on this one. This is an important level of the 4D Chess game we play, and without it our understanding of reality is severely handicapped. REALLY!  Are we serious in what we’re asking of God?  God is going to kiss your broken ankle or help you get a job when all of that is going on?  The bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God’s deep concern for both.  Then we worry that Obama is leading us towards socialism.  Have you looked at wealth distribution trends?  Have a clue?  Which way is it?  I’m not going to drink the cool-aid with this cake.  The incongruity of this is colossal!  The irony of this is mind boggling!  The reality of this is a tragedy.

Do you believe in “transubstantiation” whereas bread and wine change to the body and blood of Christ?  Catholics do, but I’m sure many other denominations take it as symbolic.  Either way, I don’t want to have anything to do with cannibalism.  I don’t care if it’s real or pretend, it just plain sick.  Denominations are based on disagreements over the interpretation of scripture.  An example would be the meaning and purpose of baptism.  Is baptism a requirement for salvation or is it symbolic of the salvation process?  There are denominations on both sides of this issue and have used the issue to separate from other denominations.  Which way is it?  Some denominations believe in Hell, and others do not.  Which way is it?  Pope Benedict XVI changed the Church’s stance on unbaptized babies and limbo.  Which way is it?

As Joe Biden would say:  “This is a Big F-ing deal”.  What religion is purposing is a big deal!  That there is a God that is bigger than anything we can imagine.  That based on our actions, or should I say based on our faith in such a thing will determine if we go to heaven or hell.  Would you write a book on how you wanted your children to remember you, worship you, and how to live their lives?  Don’t make it too easy to understand either.  Put a bunch of stuff in there that’s hard to understand.  Make it so they will have to depend on others to interpret what it says.  Make sure there are many people that can interpret it in many different ways.  Leave your babies on someone’s door step with that book to never have them know you physically.  In a language that they don’t understand and will never learn.  That has to be translated and re-translated by people they will never know.  Tell them that one of your previous children that you had hundreds of years ago were a bad little boy and girl.  You had told them not to do something and they did it anyway.  So, you’re going make this new child accountable for their actions.

Oh, and you didn’t write the book yourself.  You will rely on so called eye witnesses and anonymous writers that wait 70+ years before they start writing it down.  Then while they transcribe the manuscripts from one to the next, the originals are never to be seen again.  Have a few different versions lying around and then have a bunch of people get together a few hundred years later and decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss out.

The original language basically dies away.  You can’t leave them any physical evidence either.  No pictures or home video. You should also know that they will more than likely not read the book in its entirety.  If they do, it will just be a chapter here and there.  Just the parts that sounds good to them.  Tell them that if they don’t believe in you and live the way you want them too, that they will burn forever and never get to know you and live with you forever.  Would you actually do that to your children?  Isn’t there a better way?  Oh, and that book you left them.  What if you were to leave them with a fake book that’s not written with you in mind?  Or leave your child no book at all?  What if you were to leave them with an Atheist, and they brainwashed them in to thinking you’re not real?  Still want to burn them forever and ever?  For me this is a major problem. This is such a big deal!  This flimsy, hearsay, mysterious, discriminating, confusing, barbaric, subjective, circumstantial, contradicting opinion story telling is all we get?  For something so huge, we get so little?  The incongruity of this is colossal!  The irony of this is mind boggling!

Some interpret the Christian bible as literal and other not so much.  Some believe in the flood, and others do not.  Some think the creation story actually happened in six days, and other think the earth is billions of years old.  Some believe in evolution and other do not.  But yet, all of those "Christian" people believe in the same God.  Which way is it?  In biblical times, was slavery a moral thing?  Was it a moral thing to sell your daughters in to slavery? Okay if a man marries and then decides that he hates his wife, and all he has to do is claim she wasn’t a virgin when they were married?  Okay to stone her to death at her father’s doorstep?  Okay to kill hundreds of people and cut off their foreskins to buy your first wife?  Okay to kill tens of thousands of men and woman, young and old, ox, sheep, ass, and burn their cities down?  Keeping all the virgins, silver, gold, brass and iron!  Be happy while taking and bashing babies against the stones?  Okay to kill every living person, animal, and plant life on the planet except for one family and a boat load of animals?  Don’t give me that was a different time line.  Don’t tell me they deserved it.  I don’t care what time it was.  I don’t care if “Up” was “Down” and “Down” was “Up”.  I don’t care if the earth rotated a different direction.  You have to be sick to think these things were ever a moral thing to do.  The Christian God ordered all of this.  Don’t tell me that it all goes back to the first two people.  What would your child have to do today, that you would want to handicap all of their children and their children’s children for the rest of time? Can you think of one thing?  Just what might that be? Would you want the majority of your children and their offspring to suffer eternity in Hell?  Sounds like a “Hell” of a plan to me.  Talk about a experiment going horribly wrong!  I’ll stop here, but we could list hundreds of these types of outrageous things mentioned in the bible.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  What do we have to hang our hat on?  Well, they tell me it comes down to faith.  Sorry!!  This is far too big for that I’m afraid.  Look around you, and you can see many people that have faith in various things that you know are not true.  Heck, you can probably think of a few things that you’ve had faith in over the years that turned out to be wrong.  Well, you say it sounds like a good story and feels good in your heart.  The majority of the people around you have the same feeling and opinions. Let’s take two of the largest Abrahamic religions for an example.  Christianity has 33% and Islam 21% of the world’s adherents.  The two of them together are just a little over 50% of the total population.  Yet many on each side think the other side is going to hell.  Even if we were to say Christianity has it right, two thirds of the rest of the world had the wrong position.  You say nobody could make something up like this.  Mormonism is the fastest growing religion in the United States.  For my non Mormon readers, I like to use this as an example of how something can take off from basically one person saying this is what I know.  This is basically in our time and right under our nose.  I suspect most of my readers don’t buy it and try to ignore it.  But, if you were to talk to a Mormon they have very strong convictions and just as much faith as you do in your religion.  Which way is it?

I submit L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.  Dang, I’m so sorry to say that he was born in Tilden Nebraska.  I think that’s in the Norfolk area.  Here is someone that is even more modern and lived in most of our lifetimes.  He wrote science fiction and fantasy stories and then kicked off a new religious movement. Oh, the irony again.  Someone or someones writing fiction that turns in to a religion.  Hmm, I wonder if that’s ever happened before?  You can talk to a Scientologist today, and they will have just as strong beliefs and convictions as you do.  Does it make it true?  I don’t think so, and I suspect the most of you don’t either.  Which way is it?   This should be the light bulb moment!  My light burns so bright, I need sunglasses.  If things like this can happen today, why not in the past?  I didn’t want to pick on one particular faith or another, but wanted to show that self replicating myths or stories can grow legs and take off all the while gaining adherents.

Now I try to stay away from the “Majority” logical fallacy.  I’m not using the following example as the majority can’t be wrong argument.  I am saying that because of the majority position, that God’s plan is a bad one.  From the beginning of time to the time for which the future is yet to bring, you and I are in the minority.  I don’t care what your religion or lack of religion is.  The majority of the world has had and will have had a different belief than you do.  What’s up with that?    Which way is it?

You know what!  When you look around, you would think the earth was flat.  When you step back and look at the big picture, you notice that it’s not.  Same goes for any of the religions of the world.  When you lose yourself in the dogma, it’s hard to see things for which they really are.  This is a self fulfilling mind trap, and all it takes is a little push from society in the time and place you hold on this planet.  Given another time and place, and your convictions would be different.  When a child takes on a dogma of their parents regardless of the time and place in the earth’s history, it makes me think.  So much so, that my eyes open up so far that for once I can see straight through this and I avoid the mind trap we’ve set for ourselves.  They all hold with the same fervor their beliefs as do all others that have held or will hold a place and time different than their own.  This is so key folks!  This tells me that just because you were born in to a particular dogma, it doesn’t make one a true belief.  Not saying with certainty that it can’t, but it deserves to be questioned don’t you think?  Which way is it?  All of these beliefs can’t all be correct, but they can sure all be wrong.

What about this big religious hat we are trying to hang?  For one thing, we have no physical proof that we can lay our hands and eyes on.  We have a book that didn’t start getting written down till 70+ years after the death of Jesus, and put together as an complete book as we know it today over 300 years later.  When you find other older religions that have many similar stories as Islam or Christianity do, one has to ask questions.  When I debate Christians, it usually ends up with them telling me that I must have faith.  For many of the reasons I've stated here, no I don't have to just have faith.

Where do I hang my hat?  Science and reason does the trick for me.  Much of this will be for another blog.  I suspect you are falling asleep by now.  Basically I don't have to know everything.  I will not substitute a God for those things I don't know or that society as a whole doesn't know.  History has shown that the questions of the past that been attributed to a higher power now have scientific answers.  Evolutionary biology and Astronomy of the mainstream scientific community and their peer reviewed journals goes a long ways to explaining the mysteries of life for me.

My goal is to know as many true things and as few as false things as possible in all aspects of life. Yet, I'm not afraid to ask hard questions about life.  When doing so, I look from the outside in rather than the inside out.  This is so crucial.  I hate to use the word brainwash, but when parents expose their children to their respective beliefs and nine times out of ten their children will obtain similar beliefs it makes me think.  The deck has been stacked without us knowing any better.  We must not start here.  If we get stuck with the first thing presented to us and refuse to look at anything else we've failed.  We have lost on this level of reality.  We must shuffle the cards that have been dealt to us.  It's intuitively obvious that this requires us to evaluate such questions by standing back and looking at the whole universe with respect to time and then zoom back in to the here and now.  From that perspective things get very clear and it makes me very happy.  I suspect that the feeling I have is similar to what faith does for the religious .  It's very powerful.    

 

Please Note:   This is not intended to offend anyone's particular faith.  This is intended to give an idea of how I look at things in regards to reality.  I might ask you questions, but these are the same questions that I've asked of myself.  The overall theme of 4D perspective is what I hope to hit home with.

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Tags: Atheist, faith, perspective

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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 22, 2013 at 10:30pm

Wow! Powerful! Unequivocal! You wrote it and I like it.

Tour 6D

 

Comment by Luara on March 22, 2013 at 8:56pm

some more rotating tesseracts :)

Comment by Luara on March 22, 2013 at 8:35pm

Does look like it's the projection of a rigid tesseract, rotating in a plane that includes the viewer.  Platonic solids in 4 dimensions, with a movie of a rotating 24-cell.  John Baez says if you gaze at it long enough you may become enlightened.  But first, you become dizzy.  

Comment by Luara on March 22, 2013 at 3:15pm

Todd,

So the original tesseract is rotating as a rigid body in 4-space?  Just curious, I haven't tried to work out the details.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 22, 2013 at 2:15pm

Glen Rosenberg, yes, publish it far and wide! People need to read these words. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 22, 2013 at 2:14pm

Excellent! Please put me on your email list! Your words resonate, percolate and even seep in as I read them. 

Comment by Todd McCarty on March 22, 2013 at 2:02pm
Yes, its a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional simulation of a four dimensional tesseract. Best I can do. :)
Comment by Luara on March 22, 2013 at 11:42am

So what is the  tesseract doing in that movie?  seems like it might be a rotation in 4D before being projected into 3D, or something like that. 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on March 21, 2013 at 10:17pm

Todd, nice ramble, rattle and roll. Now publish it in a letter to the editor or something cuz we are the choir.

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