Religion: A Separate Reality
According to the words in the Christian Bible, “God” is an invisible force - an all-powerful, creator and ruler of the universe. He is composed of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit melded into a single male deity that is everywhere, knows everything and cannot make a mistake. This deity cares about us and how we conduct ourselves but He has also given us free will to ignore His commands and to separate ourselves from Him. God lives outside the Universe in a distant kingdom called Heaven where angels and humans who have obeyed His commands live only to serve Him in a state of eternal bliss .
God made Himself invisible to us, meaning that He gave us eyes that could not see Him, and because we cannot see our Creator, we must rely on “holy” men and women to transmit His instructions to us. These instruction can be found in the Holy Bible, ancient Jewish and Greek documents recovered from archaeological sites on the Sinai Peninsula .
The Sad Truth about God
Since God truly cares about us and loves us as the Holy Bible says why He does He not spare us the torments of our human existence? Why arrange for us to be born into sin and suffering rather than make us healthy and happy? Since God is all powerful and able to end our suffering anytime He chooses He has shown by His actions that He cannot help us or does not care to. This became quite clear when European Jews, (His chosen people), were forced from their homes and fed to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Anyone who reads the daily news can see what little hope there is for peace among the deeply religious. Instead of a universal God we can all agree upon, each individual manufactures a personal god and defends it against the multitude of other rival gods. If there truly was a universal God none of this rivalry would be possible.
Belief in creator gods and supernatural realms arises out of two impulses – a desire for happiness while alive and hope for an eternal reward after death. Religion is a risky business when it promises what it cannot deliver in exchange for the surrender of your mental faculties. If you refuse to surrender, a terrible punishment awaits you in hell.
The story of Adam and Eve is an introduction to a state of mind George Orwell called doublethink. Doublethink is the practice of accepting and broadcasting ideas`that are not compatible. Some people call this cognitive dissonance which in its extreme form leads to mental chaos. According to the Genesis story, God the Father instructs Adam and Eve to obey Him even though He created them and had complete control over them. He even tells them they have the free will to disobey Him, but when they do, He unleashes His omnipotent anger against them. He even pretends He didn’t know all along that they would disobey Him. This story is pure contradiction and cancels itself out as a serious piece of writing. In fact, it is laughable to any adult who has reached the age of reason.
According to the holy scriptures, after God cursed A&E and all their unborn for their Original Sin of disobedience, only a privileged few were able to communicate directly with Him. One of the first that we know about was the Prophet Abraham who heard God’s voice inside his head ordering him to lay hands upon his son, tie him down to a woodpile and gut him with a sharp knife. At the last minute God changed His mind and sent an angel to stop him, saying “I was only testing your willingness to obey me. We’ll talk more, later.”
Why people believe the voice inside this man’s head was the Creator of the universe and not a symptom of a mental disorder is a mystery. People say that God works in mysterious ways and perhaps visual and auditory hallucinations is one of them. But the most important question is why God would choose to run a test on a schizophrenic living in a desert tribe when He already knew what He was trying to find out?
Later, one of God’s chosen, called Moses, received two carved stone tablets from a burning bush on a mountain side. The tablets contained The Ten Commandments beginning with the command “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me.”
Stop for a moment and wonder what God meant by “strange”. Does this mean that other gods that were unknown to Him can appear that were not part of His plan? Does this also mean that Almighty God, who lives and reigns from His heavenly Kingdom of perfect happiness surrounded by worshiping angels and saints is needy and jealous?
Another issue that God has, is money. Religious radicals, in service to Allah use faith based charities as cover to purchase weapons to kill infidels. An infidels is anyone who disagrees with them on the faith issue. If Allah is all powerful why doesn’t He kill infidels Himself without asking for money and hiring people to get the job done?
In the Catholic tradition, theologians are referred to as “defenders of the faith.” The Catholic God needs experts to defend Him because without belief people could easily forget Who is in charge and think they were in charge. So this is what I think happened. The ancient documents found in caves and tombs in the Holy Land contain the written thoughts of people that lived an isolated tribal existence. They had no antibiotics, no refrigeration, no wifi, no electricity, no science, no rapid transit and no pictures of the universe from the Hubble telescope. What they had was their traditions and sacred texts (Hebrew and Greek) passed down from earlier times.
Ancient journalists and scribes who lived in this Holy Land of long ago recorded on parchment a record of their daily lives. They kept scrolls on property titles, taxes, rules of government, religious dogma, local news, and literature. Scrolls that were not lost in tribal warfare and grave robbing passed into the hands of their descendants who determined which were important and which should be discarded.
As time passed, the scrolls that contained the earliest attempts to explain the mysteries of the universe must have received the greatest respect by each new generation of seekers. Because they did not know the answers to the truly important questions, they believed these ancient people knew. After all, they were very old and therefore sacred and written with such wisdom and authority that it seemed impossible that ordinary men had written them. They decided that a supremely wise and powerful Being they named “Yahweh” had channeled the details of His Divine work through these holy men.
Then one day something incredible happened. A carpenter from Galilee appeared with the radical message “love your enemies” and before long rumors of a virgin birth, the transforming of water into wine, the walking on water, bringing the dead back to life, and finally crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven, spread across the land. The story bore remarkably similarities to the ancient stories of a god becoming a human to help mankind. In fact, supporters began to search through ancient records for clues that would tie the new messiah to earlier prophets and prophecies.
The centuries long research project produced enough material to create an anthology the project overseers could have titled “The Dead Sea Scrolls". Instead, they named it Hebrew Scripture, then later, Sacred Scripture, then the “The Holy Bible” and eventually declared it to be the sacred Word of God, the Creator of the Universe.
This is how human beings take the ordinary and transform it into something fantastic.
Every Christmas, a popular mythical character called Santa Claus leaves the north pole in a red suit, drives a sleigh of eight flying reindeer and slides down chimneys delivering presents to obedient children. During this magical time proof that Santa exists can be found everywhere in books, Christmas cards, shopping centers, newspapers, and even on the evening news. Proof that God exists can be found all year round in mainstream media, on the Internet and on countless signs along rural highways in the bible belt. We know that Santa isn’t real but we know that God is real because ancient people living in the desert said so, and if we repeat that over and over to ourselves and to our children then it must be true.
Two thousand years have passed since Jesus promised to return in glory to gather up the faithful. Unfortunately for us, he floated up into the sky and we haven’t seen him since.
Despite his preachments, miracles, and numerous references to his Father in heaven, nothing much changed after the Son of Man returned to his Magic Kingdom in the Sky. The poor to whom Jesus offered his love and blessing continued to suffer, the early Christians that believed in the promises and the rewards preached to them hid from the Romans until all of the apostles but one were killed for spreading heresy against Zeus. In the meantime Saul of Tarsus, a known epileptic, was on his way to Damascus to collect a fresh load of captured Christians when he suffered a possible stroke or seizure that knocked him off his horse and a blinding light dazzled him along with a voice that said “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Start my church.”
Christians believe this “road to Damascus” event is proof of Divine Intervention. Some say that those accompanying him heard the voice but saw no blinding light which casts doubt on the possibility that Saul was having an epileptic seizure. Even so, this event only reveals the lack of serious intent on Gods part to end human suffering. Instead it only saved God’s new church from imminent collapse since Saul, or Saint Paul as we know him went on to promote his own version of Christianity which eventually got him beheaded (as some claim.)
Here’s an interesting idea. Did Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and the second person of the Holy Trinity orchestrate His own arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection? He could have. Did Jesus order Judas, his closest friend to betray him? He could have. Did Judas commit suicide because he was forced to obey his beloved master’s instruction? It’s possible.
Which version of the Passion do you prefer? Should it be poor, helpless Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, forced to endure agonizing pain and death in submission to his Father’s Will or an alternative version, that says “I and my Father are one”, and “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”. These are radical claims made in public that nearly got him stoned for committing blasphemy. If what he said is, in fact, true, then Jesus had full knowledge of what he was doing right up to the end and he did it deliberately.
This is why the “Gospel of Judas” was rejected by church authorities from inclusion in their bible. It doesn’t fit the blood sacrifice, atonement and vicarious redemption ideas that is so popular with Christians. (Remember Mel Gibson’s bloody torture flick “The Passion of the Christ” and how the faithful flocked to see that!)
Most bible scholars today agree that the story of Jesus began through word of mouth. Later these oral accounts were written down and organized into proto-gospels which in the final stage of writing became completed Gospels with many versions. It wasn’t until c.185 that Irenaeus, the Catholic Bishop of Lyon in France, finally denounced the numerous Gnostic Gospels in circulation as heresy and insisted on only the few that he personally chose. The accounts were mostly written by more than one person but Irenaeus chose to give them individual authorship as “Mathew”, “Mark”, “Luke” and “John” - a choice that reflected his love for the number four as in “the four pillars of the church” and “the four corners of the earth”. The gospel he named “Mark” was allegedly written first and the others, Mathew, Luke, and John were copied from Mark and with more material added later.
How Bronze Age Beliefs Became the “Word of God”
900 BCE - The first written documents began to appear containing the early attempts by Greek and Hebrew thinkers to explain the mystery of human existence.
First Century AD -A convention of rabbis held at Jamnia (Yavne) in Palestine organized a collection of these Hebrew and Greek documents and agreed to title them Holy Scriptures.
Fourth Century AD - Members of the Catholic Council assembled in Carthage to decide which documents to keep and which to drop. The losers included the liberal “Gospel of St. Thomas” which emphasized indepenent thinking and direct experience over blind faith.
Sixteenth Century AD The final version of the Holy Scriptures came into print under Robert Barker, the King's Printer, entitled The King James Bible - an elegant, yet often inaccurate translation of the Catholic Council’s official offering to the world.
Nineteenth Century - Christian zealots were so impressed by the KJB they decide to elevate the collection from man made to God made – from Holy Scripture to The Word of God specifically the Christian God - the Creator of the Universe.
Despite the best efforts of Christian zealots to convert the ignorant, The Holy Bible subtitled Good News for Modern Man remains an ordinary book conceived and rewritten by mortals and published like any other book on the market. Anyone who trusts simple observation and common sense can see this it true, and still faith-based groups continue to use it to seek rewards and acquire power over their fellow primates. For these people there is only one God (theirs) and He channeled His Divine Thoughts only through their prophets. It is inconceivable to them that schizophrenics and epilectics could have produced the holy words in this book.
Why The Story of Genesis Cannot Be True
As a little boy I attended a Catholic school and memorized Catholic doctrine from a bible-based booklet called “The Catechism” which opened with the story of Genesis, which, in Greek meant, “origin” - the origin of the species.
The story of Genesis explains how our species first appeared through the magic power of an invisible “God”. This invisible God was a “King” who created the earth and ruled over it from his heavenly Kingdom in the Sky. Later, when I became more rational I discovered that the Christian God bore a curious resemblance to the Egyptian, Greek and Roman gods that mysteriously faded away when the empires that made the up, declined. Some believe that the Hebrews made up their god “Jehovah” in their attempt to explain how we came into existence, but others insist it’s a true story. According to the faithful, Jehovah can turn dust into a man, the man’s rib can become a woman and a fallen angel disguised as a talking snake can persuade the woman to gain knowledge and power by munching on an apple.
Despite years of indoctrination, it is still possible for some of us to wake up and notice that God often behaves in ways that that are petty and cruel. First He creates Adam and Eve (the first humans) who live in a world of total beauty and perfection. Then He introduces free will, which leads to their downfall and eviction. Why would He do this?
Faith says. “God wanted to test them.”
Reason says:“Nonsense. If He created them He already knows everything about them.
Faith:“He has reasons for doing what He does that are beyond our comprehension.We shouldn’t pretend to understand the mind of God.”
Reason:“Wrong again. The mind of God is a matter of public record. God’s Plan for the World is broadcast every day in the daily news and through historical documents and geological evidence dating back to the beginning of time.” If this is not evidence of the Plan in God’s Mind then whose mind did it come from?
The Catechism reads that God created Heaven and Earth, then filled Heaven with winged primates called angels to worship and serve Him for eternity. God gifted these angels with free will which allowed them to examine their situation, and find reasons to complain. A struggle for power ensued which resulted in defeat and banishment for the seditious angels into a fiery pit called Hell. But if truth be told, God was never threatened at all by the rebellion because He is all powerful and cannot be defeated. In fact he allowed His “fallen” angels (which He transformed into devils and demons) to leave the fiery pit and wander upon the earth looking for new recruits.
This bit of folklore should have remained in the fairy tale section of the children’s library. Unfortunately, the people who translated and published it as absolute truth for children to learn were teaching them how to play cognitive dissonance or doublethink. Cognitive dissonance is “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.” Doublethink means,” according to George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four: ... the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” The inconsistencies and contradictions are a dead giveaway that the story of Genesis is fiction. The manner in which the biblical god deceives, tortures and slaughters his beloved children is inconsistent with the description of a god of infinite intelligence, love and compassion.
The story also proves that thisl god never intended to create a perfect world.
The Legend of Jesus
The Catechism reads that Jesus is on a mission to free us from a curse his Father in Heaven placed on our species for exercising the free will that He purposely gave us. The curse of original sin probably would not have happened without free will and a little persuation from God’s favorite fallen angel now called Satan the “Devil” to whom He also gave free will.
The Catechism goes on to explains that Jesus is actually God the Father in human form who takes orders from Himself in Heaven. His mission is to baptize Adam and Eve’s descendents by submerging them in water and declaring them free of the curse that He placed upon them a long time ago for something they didn’t do. Jesus’ job is made easier if his creations believe the curse is real and that he has the power to remove it. Unfortunately after only two years of trying to save the faithful, He frightened the authorities (non believers) into having him arrested, tortured and murdered for blaspheming against God and stirring up the people. But after that He rose from the dead and later ascended into the sky to rejoin Himself in His magic Kingdom ,which is “within you”, by the way. However, before He left He promised to return in glory even though He said to his followers, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
A wise person might wonder why a supremely powerful, intelligent Entity with three personalities would go through all this drama when He (or It) can easily remove His own curse anytime He chooses. On the other hand if God is so bound by His own actions that He must embark on a suicide mission to undo what He did, what does this say about God?
God Has Wants and Needs Just Like Us
The Invisible Man in the Sky that we call God The Father is a mighty king who reigns over us from his throne in Heaven. He is complete and perfect in every way but He also has wants and needs too, just like us.
1. God is jealous and needy. He wants us to love and worship Him and no others.
2. God needs money to build churches, mosques and temples so we can worship Him.
3. God commands us to love all human beings except for those He wants persecuted and killed.
4. God cares about us but “allows” disease, starvation, war and natural disasters (which the insurance companies calll acts of God) to test our faith since He already knows the results even before He runs the test.
God is an infinitely powerful, omniscient deity that can form gravity fields and star systems but needs love from tiny primates living on a speck of dust in a far away galaxy. This need for love between the human species and their creator began long ago when the religious community decided to replace the word “Nature”, with the word “God”. Since Nature is female and God is a male this made sense. It also severed the direct connection we had with Nature and replaced it with an indirect connection to a manufactured character that could be manipulated. By applying the rule of dogma to this creator god known as the first cause, reality was split into three parts - God, humanity and Nature.
This made up lie is what sends people into the streets with hate signs aimed at people that are trying to stop them from taking over public education and government. Since when does God need defenders? He’s omnipotent, remember? Doesn’t this prove that religious people are not as certain of God as they claim?
Its obvious that the Biblical God does not want us to be happy. If He wanted us to be happy He would tell funny Bible stories and play tricks on His beloved children and make everone laugh. Has He ever done this? No, not even once. Funny stories and cool tricks are found outside the Bible, in the real world.
Regardless of what people say, the Holy Bible is not the best or only source of truth. No matter what the smiley, friendly folks say, holy scripture is not compatible with happiness or personal freedom. It is written by men that lived in bronze age tribal societies with no access to the knowledge we now have.These prophets and scribes did their best to explain this mysterious universe. They constructed an imaginary superman, a Supreme Monarch, a “King of Kings” that lives in a distant kingdom from which He rules over humanity and appoints “prophets” to transmit His instruction to His people. - a “supernatural” version of the tribal culture they built.
Because their eyes could not see God directly, the authors of sacred scripture in The Old Testament made up stories to lend support to their beliefs. These mythical stories are fun to read but are not congruent with the world that we live in today.
If you consider the giant spinning magnets at Niagara Falls designed by Nikola Tesla in 1895 that supplies thousands of homes with hydroelectric power by grabbing invisible particles from the air and forcing them down a wire, then this is direct proof that these particles exist.
The Hebrew scribes could not see their god Yahweh but they could see natural forces in motion so they decided with no evidence to back it up that Yahweh must be controlling natural forces. It was important for Yahweh to be above Nature and not identical to Nature because they could not control nature but they could control a god that they had invented. These desert dwellers could not imagine Yahweh becoming living structures like clouds, plants, cells and nerve fibers – the same nerve fibers that produce the sensory experience we call reality. And the creator remains separate from his creations because the Bible says so.
1. The Bible is tribal thinking in print. It is not rational, logical or consistent in its preachments, but it is true because it says so.
2. Since God is all powerful we know that He can create a perfect world at any time – but He chooses not to.
3. Since God is all knowing He has no need to test His creations, but He tests them anyway.
4. If God is everywhere He knows where evil arises but chooses not to put an end to it.
5. If God is good then He would not have put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, He would not have given A&E free choice, and He would certainly not have allowed His fallen angel Satan into the garden to tempt Eve to take a bite of its forbidden fruit.
6. The Christian Bible is a written record of an early stage of human thought prior to the age of reason and scientific inquiry written on parchment, translated, rewritten and published by humans, not God.
7. The Bible is no different from any other book. It is not holy or sacred. It is a mixed bag of fact and fiction with very little evidence to justify the claims it makes.
8. The God that speaks through the Bible does not support the American way of life or its legal system. There is no mention of constitutional democracy or individual freedom in holy scripture.
9. The main reason to doubt the existence of the Christian God, is the absence of evidence. The historical record reveals a long list of dead gods that arose with the empires that fostered them and disappeared as each empire fell apart. When people stop believing in their gods, their gods mysteriously disappear.
9. Jesus is imaginary. He exists only in pictures, statues, and holy scripture. He is not a real person and he is not coming back. The best way to treat Jesus is to leave him alone.
10. Theologians think they are defending God. If God is indeed Almigthty why does He need defenders? God can take care of Himself.
11. Why did I give up on religion? Because it insists that I should believe things about me that I know are not true. The people making these claims are schizophrenics and epileptics who do not know who we are, where we came or where we are going any more than than I do. Science is in a much better position to claim knowledge of this universe than they are. They should learn from us not the other way around.
12. What happens if you stop believing in the Christian God? Nothing happens.