I have been wanting to write more lately, but each time I sit down to write, I can’t seem to figure out what to write about. I have had a lot of ideas in mind, but just can’t seem to settle on one to write about. Between the uproar over Atheism+ and the current political campaign, plus personal things going on, I’ve been in a bit of a muddle.
So it seems I’ve made an unconscious decision to not write, perhaps to allow my mind to sort things out. I think I am also trying to figure out where I want to go as a writer. Do I want to focus on writing about skepticism or atheism, or maybe science? Right now I just don’t know.
One bit of cool news to share is that my article that was accepted for publication last year in Skeptical Inquirer magazine will soon be published! I’ll post the details when I have them.
I just finished watching the documentary, “Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest.” It tied the four Indiana Jones movies to real archeology. For the first 3/4 of the show, it was a really interesting, fact based, documentary.
The last 1/4 though, got away from facts and into the ideas that extraterrestrials gave mankind 16 crystal skulls that were spread across the world and would all be found when humans were at a world-wide crisis.
There was no countering that idea with facts or science. Only anecdotal evidence of supposed experts in UFO’s. It was presented as, if not fact, at least very plausible. Of course, every one of these types of claims have been shown to have no evidence at all, and the things they try to explain have been shown to be completely terrestrial.
I love documentaries, but in the past 10 years or so, documentaries have become entertainment, with sensationalism being the driving source instead of facts and evidence. If any of the producers of these types of documentaries believe that they must put this tripe into their shows because otherwise people won’t watch documentaries, they should take a look at the works of Ken Burns, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, or David Attenborough.
I honestly believe that most of us are smarter than the TV network executives give us credit for. I find it sad, and a bit frightening, that even our supposed science shows are dumbed down. What kind of society will be be in another generation if this is now the norm?
I saw a commercial on TV today. Some guy (I didn’t get his name, and it’s not really important) was selling a book that he claimed contained his secret to overcoming any addition. You see things like this all the time. Someone has a cure-all for whatever might ail you.
I’m not going to talk about the details of this guy’s supposed cure. I’m not going to analyze the efficacy of him claims. I want to look at the idea of selling hope; why it is a sign of selfishness and perhaps even sociopathic.
There are plenty of reasons why dubious claims are harmful, just browse the what’s the harm website for a plethora of details. There are many examples there of people who have died because the chose to follow programs that promised a cure for a medical condition. These stories are sad and unnecessarily so.
What what I can’t help but wonder about guys like the one I’ve mentioned here is, if they truly have cure or treatment that is revolutionary and that does what they say it does, then why do they always insist on charging for it? Sure, I know people have to make a living, but I can tell you that if I came up with a treatment that could cure and help a lot of people, I’d want to help as many as I could.
To have a treatment, a real cure, for a disease like MS or cancer, or a treatment that will get people off their addiction and keep them off, would be an amazing thing. The ethical, the moral, thing to do would be to share this with the medical community, to allow others to test it and perfect it, so that it can benefit everyone.
Sure, get compensated. After all, you worked for it. You discovered it. Drug companies would pay millions for something like this. But to horde it, to sell it only to those who could afford your asking price, it the ultimate in selfishness and immorality.
Yesterday I talked about the horror behind the story of Noah. I had considered expanding on the concept horror embodied in the idea of sacrifice found in the Bible by also talking about the who Jesus story, but decided to just keep it simple and stick to Noah. I saw a comment on the Noah post that made me wish I had talked about Jesus.
It’s sad to hear that this is what the message of Christianity is becoming about. Dead religion will tell you one of two things about God…(1) He’s schizophrenic (He loves you but He hates you) or (2) He’s mysterious (nobody can figure Him out). But here is Jesus, who arrives later on as the Messiah. It is in Christ where God’s nature is revealed, and He is a God of Love.
Things may still be unclear about the Bible and there seems to be a lot of contradictions on God’s nature. But, the Cross made a significance, a proof, to how much God loves us (John 3:16). Hope that helps!
His argument is one made by many Christians to negate the nastiness of the Old Testament: that God suddenly became a merciful and loving god once he sent Jesus (or became Jesus, the Bible is a bit confusing on that point) to save us all.
Even if you grant that this argument is valid, the whole idea of sacrificing someone, someone who is supposedly innocent, is just as horrible and depraved as anything in the Old Testament. Sure, it’s just one guy, not every person on earth, but the number of those sacrificed isn’t the issue. The issue is the need for a blood sacrifice at all.
I was raised Catholic. I could never understand why God required a sacrifice to free us from sin. If he is all powerful, why not just forgive our sins and be done with it? The priests explained to me about Original Sin. That didn’t make any sense to me either. Why would God punish every human who ever lived just because the first two people sinned? Why not just forgive Adam and Eve their sins? Or if He couldn’t find it in his all loving heart to do that, why not just strike them both dead and be done with it? He’s God. He could just make more.
The idea that Jesus, the only son of God, the innocent lamb, had to die just because the rest of us were sinning bastards is insane. That isn’t love, it is sadistic and cruel. Worse, it is pointless. If God is all powerful, then either forgive each of us our sins or smote us, don’t go killing your only son, especially when he doesn’t deserve it.
The idea that the god of the New Testament is now a loving, merciful god as opposed to the angry, vengful god of the Old Testament; that he is somehow a new and improved god, is absurd. The sacrifice of Jesus is no different than asking Abraham to kill his son, or the killing of all the first born of Egypt. It is just as cruel, just as horrible and depraved.
The fact is, God, both the old and new versions, is a dick, pure and simple.
I saw this drawing on DeviantArt today.
While it is outwardly whimsical, at second glance it is full of horror.
The Story of Noah’s ark is often told as a story of salvation. God has saved Noah, his family, and two of every creature from a world wide flood. He sets them down in a new world with the sun shining and a rainbow in the sky. It is given to us as a story hope and a lesson in God’s unending love for us.
In this story, God decided to destroy his creation. It is claimed that he did the because humans had almost all become sinners, loving nothing but sin and debauchery. So he decided to destroy them all, all except Noah and his family, who loved him and we good and decent people.
What is overlooked in this story is the complete horror and incomprehensible death and destruction that was perpetrated by a vengeful, capricious god who thought nothing about wiping out almost every living thing on earth. Even if you accept that everyone but Noah and his family were sinners, were they all so completely evil that they all deserved death? Even if you accept this, what about the animals? Were they all sinners as well?
What this artwork shows is a glimpse of the horror of the wonton death and destruction that this “loving” God visited upon his creatures. What about all of the people? Can you imagine seeing millions of bodies floating in the ocean, stretching from horizon to horizon? What this reveals is utter destruction and death on a scale unimaginable perpetrated by a vengful and evil god, one who’s anger is far greater than his love, and who requires destruction and death in return for salvation.
This is the unacknowledged and overlooked horror of religion. That message is that God will save us. What is unspoken is that he is saving us from himself.