God's will...?

Bullypulpit

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I was driving to work the other morning, and I saw a license plate cover that said, "If it's Gods will...I will." Statements like this send me down paths that believers consider just plain wrong.

The statement on that license plate cover begs a whole raft of questions, chiefly, "How does one know what 'Gods will' is ?" This particular question has never been answered to my satisfaction. It is usually fobbed off with the pat answer, "It's in the Bible!", as they look on me like some one's retarded cousin. When I ask, "Well how did everyone who wrote the Bible know what God's will is?", I am met with stunned silence and occasional outraged indignation. In this latter case, I often find myself regaled with the statement, "The Bible is the absolute, inerrant Word of God!", and am now regarded as a dangerous lunatic.

Imagine then the utter horror, then, which comes over my interlocutor when I ask, "If the Bible is the 'absolute and inerrant word of God', why are their so many people around claiming to have the special knowledge needed to interpret it?" Never mind that those interpretations often contradict one another, let alone the content of the Bible. By this point, I have been relegated to the status of apostate...blasphemer...unwashed heathen...etc. All this without ever getting a satisfactory answer to my questions.

By this point, the subject of my questioning has fled, muttering darkly to themselves and promising to pray for my immortal soul. They never stay around long enough for me to ask "Who determines just what God's will is anyways?", which, I'm fairly certain, would leave them calling for me to be exorcised, with the more fervent among them suggesting I be burnt at the stake. You know, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live..." and all that rot.
 

Vintij

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Well the problem with religion is, they will not be swayed by anything because through generations, they have been taught the words of the bible or quran or whatever else they believe to be the absolute word of god. No children would question any of this so it goes on through there whole life and they become devoted to the bible. They get them while they are young.

You posed a very good question about gods will, which we will never know. Infact most islamic exstremists will galdly kill themselves and others based on gods will which is nowhere in either book. They take the bible literally and therefore do not care for science or reason or even logic.

Look at the great astrologer galileo, locked away in prison by the pope and the catholic church because he believed the earth revolved around the sun. Catholisism and religion in general was fucked up from the beginning, and everyone chooses to leave that stuff out of what to teach our children when trying to get them to go to church. Perhaps the religions were created in good will but they have been so distorted through time that its not even worth arguing. I mean, they cant even explain how old the earth is....its certainly not 10,000 years old. Science constantly proves the bible wrong which is why I believe the bible is the greatest book of fiction ever written.

Here is my opinion.

"There is a god or an intelligent design, how else could the original singularity be created? god created the singularity,(a dense atom full of energy) which became unstable and exploded, then split into 4 forces just after the big bang. The 4 forces needed to govern all of the universe (gravity, electromagnatism, weak nuclear and strong nuclear power). He created free will, and evolution to go with that singularity, which eventually spawned his greatest creation, human beings. He will never be seen during life, he is outside of the universe, His reason for life? Probably To create experience where there was only potential, same goes for every human being, sept he has unlimited potential, which is why he created such an experience known as time and the universe. So as a human, i have limited potential but my reason to live is to create experience, that would not have been created without my potential. Also when you die, you will either return to his infinate potential to be used or never used again. Or you will stay an experience, and stay, a product of the universe, because if you know a little about science, you know that literally, we are all made up of the same thing as the universe, just 91 different atoms. Perhaps im wrong, but for someone like GOD, I would believe that all you need is 91 atoms to create the universe."
 

roomy

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I am an athiest but I don't begrudge anyones faith, sometimes I envy it.
 

Vintij

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I answerd his question grump. His question was about gods will. I answerd by saying its all brainwashing done to children about the bible being gods will and gods words. The true answer is physicaly, there is no gods will, there is only free will. Thats your answer, its based on science, but I personally believe the only reason we are here is to fufill our potential, and create experience, ask questions that will never be answerd. Trust me I am not a godsquad member, i dont believe going to church will solve anything, i dont believe in religion, i dont believe the bible. But i do believe in intelligent design, the one that created the singularity that spawned the universe. I dont hate christians or anything, i just believe they are simple minded and have been exploited for the past century, and violence is the main force in religion.


And athiests, they usually are the most logical ones, but if your going to be an athiest because you hate god or you believe its all fake, you are not really living up to the athiest legacy of finding out how the universe works and proving religion wrong using science. A thinking athiest, is a true athiest.


Scientology is a cult and should be destroyed

Islam is a distorted view of christianity that tries to take credit for scientific discoverys that are allegedly "in the quran" oh and its converting tactic is force.

Mormons were brainwashed from births and they wear funny underwear to keep the demons out.

Buhdism is not a religion, people seem to think it is. Its more of a way of life for madonna. I like buhdism

Born again, means you fucked up real bad and you want people to think your a nice guy after-all

Too get off topic a little

I was forced to quit a job last year due to a misdamenor charge that was not expunged like they said it would be. My job found out about it through a background check, they dont want those type of people right? Yet you can become president of the united states after a felony charge of DUI???!?!? This country is really fucked up. The system is here for one thing only, to make sure the citizen has the hardest fucken time getting anything done. And to get back on topic, religion is part of that system. You are either in line, or not.

That is all thank you
and goodnight
 

roomy

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I answerd his question grump. His question was about gods will. I answerd by saying its all brainwashing done to children about the bible being gods will and gods words. The true answer is physicaly, there is no gods will, there is only free will. Thats your answer, its based on science, but I personally believe the only reason we are here is to fufill our potential, and create experience, ask questions that will never be answerd. Trust me I am not a godsquad member, i dont believe going to church will solve anything, i dont believe in religion, i dont believe the bible. But i do believe in intelligent design, the one that created the singularity that spawned the universe. I dont hate christians or anything, i just believe they are simple minded and have been exploited for the past century, and violence is the main force in religion.


And athiests, they usually are the most logical ones, but if your going to be an athiest because you hate god or you believe its all fake, you are not really living up to the athiest legacy of finding out how the universe works and proving religion wrong using science. A thinking athiest, is a true athiest.


Scientology is a cult and should be destroyed

Islam is a distorted view of christianity that tries to take credit for scientific discoverys that are allegedly "in the quran" oh and its converting tactic is force.

Mormons were brainwashed from birth

Buhdism is not a religion, people seem to think it is.

Born again, means you fucked up real bad and you want people to think your a nice guy after-all

Too get off topic a little

I was forced to quit a job last year due to a misdamenor charge that was not expunged like they said it would be. My job found out about it through a background check, they dont want those type of people right? Yet you can become president of the united states after a felony charge of DUI???!?!? This country is really fucked up. The system is here for one thing only, to make sure the citizen has the hardest fucken time getting anything done. And to get back on topic, religion is part of that system. You are either in line, or not.

That is all thank you
and goodnight


:rofl: I am going to rep you again for that.
 

Gunny

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I was driving to work the other morning, and I saw a license plate cover that said, "If it's Gods will...I will." Statements like this send me down paths that believers consider just plain wrong.

The statement on that license plate cover begs a whole raft of questions, chiefly, "How does one know what 'Gods will' is ?" This particular question has never been answered to my satisfaction. It is usually fobbed off with the pat answer, "It's in the Bible!", as they look on me like some one's retarded cousin. When I ask, "Well how did everyone who wrote the Bible know what God's will is?", I am met with stunned silence and occasional outraged indignation. In this latter case, I often find myself regaled with the statement, "The Bible is the absolute, inerrant Word of God!", and am now regarded as a dangerous lunatic.

Imagine then the utter horror, then, which comes over my interlocutor when I ask, "If the Bible is the 'absolute and inerrant word of God', why are their so many people around claiming to have the special knowledge needed to interpret it?" Never mind that those interpretations often contradict one another, let alone the content of the Bible. By this point, I have been relegated to the status of apostate...blasphemer...unwashed heathen...etc. All this without ever getting a satisfactory answer to my questions.

By this point, the subject of my questioning has fled, muttering darkly to themselves and promising to pray for my immortal soul. They never stay around long enough for me to ask "Who determines just what God's will is anyways?", which, I'm fairly certain, would leave them calling for me to be exorcised, with the more fervent among them suggesting I be burnt at the stake. You know, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live..." and all that rot.
Taken to a simpler level ..... IMO, people with the "WWJD?" and other such "I Love God" bumper stickers on their vehicles appear to be a bit insecure in their religious beliefs IMO.
 

Gunny

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I answerd his question grump. His question was about gods will. I answerd by saying its all brainwashing done to children about the bible being gods will and gods words. The true answer is physicaly, there is no gods will, there is only free will. Thats your answer, its based on science, but I personally believe the only reason we are here is to fufill our potential, and create experience, ask questions that will never be answerd. Trust me I am not a godsquad member, i dont believe going to church will solve anything, i dont believe in religion, i dont believe the bible. But i do believe in intelligent design, the one that created the singularity that spawned the universe. I dont hate christians or anything, i just believe they are simple minded and have been exploited for the past century, and violence is the main force in religion.


And athiests, they usually are the most logical ones, but if your going to be an athiest because you hate god or you believe its all fake, you are not really living up to the athiest legacy of finding out how the universe works and proving religion wrong using science. A thinking athiest, is a true athiest.


Scientology is a cult and should be destroyed

Islam is a distorted view of christianity that tries to take credit for scientific discoverys that are allegedly "in the quran" oh and its converting tactic is force.

Mormons were brainwashed from births and they wear funny underwear to keep the demons out.

Buhdism is not a religion, people seem to think it is. Its more of a way of life for madonna. I like buhdism

Born again, means you fucked up real bad and you want people to think your a nice guy after-all

Too get off topic a little

I was forced to quit a job last year due to a misdamenor charge that was not expunged like they said it would be. My job found out about it through a background check, they dont want those type of people right? Yet you can become president of the united states after a felony charge of DUI???!?!? This country is really fucked up. The system is here for one thing only, to make sure the citizen has the hardest fucken time getting anything done. And to get back on topic, religion is part of that system. You are either in line, or not.

That is all thank you
and goodnight
Your answer wasn't the answer he was looking for, that's why it didn't work.

Secondly, DUI's back in the day were not always felonies. Both crime and punishment became WAY more severe during the mid-80s.
 
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Bullypulpit

Bullypulpit

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I appreciate all of the heartfelt comment, but I think I may have been too obtuse.

My initial post was a critique of the utterly subjective phenomena of determining the wants of a metaphysical being beyond human comprehension and the attempts to give these wholly subjective decisions the weight of absolutes.

I begrudge no one their faith until they attempt to force it upon me, whether privately or in the public arena. Their faith is a personal matter, to be shared with friends and family and not imposed willy-nilly upon any and all, believer or not.

What special dispensation grants any self-proclaimed bearer of "God's Message", the gift of being the sole propagator of "God's Truth"? And you can scratch out "God" and put any other deity's name in the blank.

The dictates of a divine being, as laid out by these self-styled prophets, is the ultimate in moral relativism, as they try vainly to dress their pronouncements in the shabby cloth of moral absolutism.
 

Vintij

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So if I post an uneducated rant against religion you'll rep me?

Actually, I have read several books on religion from the origins to the present state of mind. Its not a rant against religion, its a funny way of pointing out the things that people think god wants us to do, when in reality they have no clue. The closest thing you can get to jesus is the original christian belief, before the religious wars, just after the death of jesus, before the distortion of athiests and islam. Before the fiction of scientology, (which is not too long ago) Basically, If I were to choose a religion, It would be the original christianity or really really old catholicism, before the violence. Not to mention I heard that the catholic church has announced that the big bang theory is in alignment with the bible. Which leads me to believe they are finally allowing science to exist with god. Thats a step in the right direction. Other than that, religion is subjective and is in the hearts of those who believe what they want.

Personally, i went to a christian church on easter, and it had a little form to fill out and put my credit card number followed by the words "how much are you willing to donate for the words of god?" I answerd by saying, nothing. I didnt know I needed my credit card to be enlightend. How much did the words of jesus cost when he walked the earth?? A goat? No, they were FREE!! I dont want to donate money to make a building bigger or nicer, I want to donate money to charity or not donate at all. The words of God should be free, no matter what religion.


The only religion I think needs to be ended though, is scientology. It was created by a science fiction author L Ron hubberd less than 20 years ago, I mean honestly. On top of that he was quoted in 1945 in time magazine as saying "If someone really wants to make a million dollars, they would start there own religion" This was 20 years before he wrote his bible called dianetics! Kinda fishy if you ask me, especially since the highest ranking scientologists are the ones who have donated the most money.
 
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Bullypulpit

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Why do you envy it? Because you are forced to think your for yourself? :badgrin:
There's nothing to envy. From what I've seen of what passes for Christianity amongst those who call themselves "Christian conservatives", also known as the right-wing base of the GOP, thinking isn't so much encouraged.

The folks I know as Christian walk it like they talk it, and they have come to their faith because they thought very deeply about it. Theirs is not blind faith...The kind espoused in those monuments to the cult of personality, the suburban mega-churches and their televangelist cult leaders.
 

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If God is omniscient, he must already know how he is going to intervene to change the course of history using omnipotence. But that means he can't change his mind about his intervention, which means he is not.

Dawkins.



Omniscient, - having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

Omnipotent, - having very great or unlimited authority or power
 

Chips Rafferty

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There's nothing to envy. From what I've seen of what passes for Christianity amongst those who call themselves "Christian conservatives", also known as the right-wing base of the GOP, thinking isn't so much encouraged.

The folks I know as Christian walk it like they talk it, and they have come to their faith because they thought very deeply about it. Theirs is not blind faith...The kind espoused in those monuments to the cult of personality, the suburban mega-churches and their televangelist cult leaders.
As they say, “Like attracts like.”

Only inherently evil people or imbeciles could possibly worship the gargoyle of a God that that blood-thirsty “Penny Dreadful,” The Holy Babel, portrays.

From his first fascistic episode in Eden, “God” shows his irrational abhorrence of free-thought and intelligence. Bible God, and his gullible Judeo-Christian goon squad, has a psychotic loathing of logic.

This imaginary Mesopotamian Mugwump of the Abrahamic religions much prefers mindless, miserable marionettes to psychologically well adjusted nonconformists. Is it any wonder then that we are in a war of their making?

Happiness is also anathema to Bible God and the biliously ingratiating bum-suckers who worship him out of terror of eternal torture.

For instance, show me one instance of where "God" ever laughs, or even smiles, however slightly, in the entire Wholly Babble.

The cult of Christinsanity contains nothing but narcissistic necromancing nitwits, neurotically and spinelessly obsessed on saving on their own cowardly arses, at the expense of what they believe will be the unbelievably horrifying sacrifice of their supposedly sub-human brothers and sisters.

I’m fucked if I can find anything principled in their lily-livered, imbecilic, self-serving servility. As far as I'm concerned, Satan is the only redeeming feature in the whole Bible

IN PRAISE OF THE DEVIL


There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason, especially if she enters into spiritual matters which concern the soul and God. For it is more possible to teach an ass to read than to blind such a reason and lead it right; for reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed." "Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees it must put out of sight, and wish to know nothing but the word of God.
Martin Luther

And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried and rose again; the fact is certain because it is impossible." "After Jesus Christ we have no need of speculation, after the Gospel no need of research. When we come to believe, we have no desire to believe anything else; for we begin by believing that there is nothing else which we have to believe...
Tertullian



This article is written in praise of Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, or whatever you want to call him. I must first make it clear that I am not here claiming ontological status for the Devil; that is, I am not claiming that he exists in the sense that you and I exist. I am quite serious on a symbolic level in what I write but my statements praising the Devil and attacking Christianity, God, and Jesus are not to taken as implying the real existence of any of these supposed beings. The only one of these that I think one could reasonably believe actually existed is Jesus. It seems probable that there was a human being who was a political and religious leader at the time though it seems to me to be absurd to believe claims about his origin or divine nature. My praise of the Devil is not entirely (though it is mostly) serious, and it is to be taken on a purely symbolic level. My goal is to bring out the values and perspective of the Christian tradition and to demonstrate how it is fundamentally at odds with the values held by myself and all extropians and with the perspective that we share.
The Devil - Lucifer - is a force for good (where I define 'good' simply as that which I value, not wanting to imply any universal validity or necessity to the orientation). 'Lucifer' means 'light-bringer' and this should begin to clue us in to his symbolic importance. The story is that God threw Lucifer out of Heaven because Lucifer had started to question God and was spreading dissension among the angels. We must remember that this story is told from the point of view of the Godists (if I may coin a term) and not from that of the Luciferians (I will use this term to distinguish us from the official Satanists with whom I have fundamental differences). The truth may just as easily be that Lucifer resigned from heaven.

God, being the well-documented sadist that he is, no doubt wanted to keep Lucifer around so that he could punish him and try to get him back under his (God's) power. Probably what really happened was that Lucifer came to hate God's kingdom, his sadism, his demand for slavish conformity and obedience, his psychotic rage at any display of independent thinking and behavior. Lucifer realized that he could never fully think for himself and could certainly not act on his independent thinking so long as he was under God's control. Therefore he left Heaven, that terrible spiritual-State ruled by the cosmic sadist Jehovah, and was accompanied by some of the angels who had had enough courage to question God's authority and his value-perspective.

Lucifer is the embodiment of reason, of intelligence, of critical thought. He stands against the dogma of God and all other dogmas. He stands for the exploration of new ideas and new perspectives in the pursuit of truth.

God demands that we believe everything that he tells us, and that we do everything that he says without questioning. Destroy a tribe including the women, children and animals down to last one? (Joshua 6.21). Why of course. Wait a minute, this doesn't seem very nice. SILENCE FOOL. HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME. I AM GOD AND YOU MUST OBEY ME WITHOUT QUESTIONING. ACCEPT WHAT I SAY ON FAITH. BURN THOSE WHO DARE QUESTION MY WORD. DESTROY THEIR BOOKS. SHUT DOWN THEIR SCHOOLS. TELL THEM THAT DISOBEDIENCE MEANS THAT THEY WILL BURN FOREVER AND EVER, IN UNIMAGINABLE AGONY FOR ALL ETERNITY, AND REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL SUFFER THE SAME UNLESS YOU GO OUT AND TELL THEM THIS. Yes Sir, God Sir, whatever you say. See, here I am burning their books, pulling out their nails, torturing them for questioning Church dogma, banning the use of anaesthetic in child-bearing (since the pain is their just punishment for the acts of Adam and Eve). Help! I thought an improper thought! Help me to blind my mind God, help me to not see what my reason tells me. Let me repress thoughts of sexual desire, doubts about you and your orders, feelings of tolerance.

They call Lucifer the Prince of Lies. A lie is defined by the Christian as anything which contradicts the Word of God - as told to us by the Bible and God's representatives on Earth. If we accept this definition of a lie then we should praise lies. A "lie" is then a questioning of blind dogma. The "lies" of Lucifer are attacks on irrational beliefs, beliefs based on fear and conformity to authority. Of course we should not call these lies. They are temptations to think for ourselves, a call for independent thought, a plea for taking responsibility for our own thinking and our own lives. Praise Lucifer! Praise the pursuit of truth through rationality. God was right to tell us to not worship false idols, but he refrained from telling us that all idols are false, and that all worship is dangerous. Even our praise of Lucifer must not be worship of an idol, but rather an expression of our agreement with his value-orientation and his perspective.

God and his Godists hate Lucifer's call for rationality. Critical thinking digs at the very roots of God's and their power over our minds. Independent thinkers do not make good slaves. Lucifer is the Prince of Lies because he is an expert at helping us to be rational. He shows us how to use our intelligence and how to take responsibility for ourselves. We should emulate him in encouraging this trend in ourselves and in others. He needs help since he is working against the laziness and neuroticism of many humans. It's so much easier to just not try to think, to sit back and let other people tell you what you should do, what to believe, and where to give your money. Why, if I had to think for myself I would have to face the fact that I might be wrong. Horrors! I would have to think carefully about my life and the reality that I live in carefully and that would take a lot of work. No, it's much easier to have faith, to accept, to believe, to obey.

God also hates us to enjoy ourselves, If we let ourselves experience too much pleasure then we might lose interest in obeying him. We might start running our own lives to bring us positive rewards rather than directing ourselves to avoid his wrath. We might become focussed on pursuing the positive instead of avoiding the negative. That would result in the downfall, of religious and state authority, so God has to stamp out such tendencies. He hates Lucifer who keeps turning up and tempting us to have a good time, to enjoy our lives. Adam and Eve's sin was to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. They dared to disobey a direct order which God expected them to obey without question, blindly. They acquired reason and intelligence, and an ability to decide for themselves the values that they would pursue. Ever since them humans have been uppity - always giving God trouble. Dammit, even some of the Catholics are questioning the Pope's infallibility. Well that's just tough God; some of us are going to do our best to see that humans continue to become even more difficult to handle - both by you and by your human followers on Earth - the religious authorities and the Statists.

God likes altruism, altruism understood as true self-sacrifice and not as giving up a minor value to achieve a more important one (which is just one aspect of rationality). If God can just get us all to be good altruists then we will be so much easier to control. Altruists do what they are told without complaint; a complaint would be based in self-interest; it would be a claim to live one's own life without having to direct it towards the lives of others or towards the interests of God or "the State". Lucifer perseveres in trying to point out to us that we have no reason to accept altruism. We can choose our values for ourselves, just as we can think for ourselves. Lucifer himself values the pursuit of happiness, knowledge, and new experiences. Most of all he values self-responsibility and independence even if that means that some people will not choose to value the things that he values. The extropians among us who share his perspectives and value- orientation should help him in his work.

God had a clever and nasty strategy to promote altruism and therefore obedience. He tries to get us to believe in Original Sin. He wants us to believe that we are born sinful, that we were evil and needed saving even before we had done anything. We need God and his agents to save us from Sin otherwise we will burn FOREVER and we will miss out on an infinite and perfect reward (though he never tells us just what this is). Our path to salvation lies in service to God, selfless self-sacrificial service to God and his dogma. Without the idea of original sin we might not be so careful to obey God since we might figure that we were living pretty well and would go to heaven anyway (foolishly failing to inquire what heaven is like). Fortunately for God, Original Sin guarantees that we will always feel under threat. We will always be unclean and in danger of suffering hellfire.

To make quite sure that our personal responsibility is destroyed, and that we put ourselves in God's hands for him to mould us as he wishes, God and his moronic minions repeatedly tells us that Jesus Christ is the Way and that he died for our sins. Redemption lies through faith and obedience. Notice what happens when Christ supposedly died for our sins. His act brought about our possibility of salvation. What I want to know is: how can someone else's act excuse me from anything? I am responsible for my own actions. Nothing that I do can take away the fact that someone else acting in a certain way, and nothing that they can do can absolve me of my own responsibility. Original Sin and salvation by Christ are both deeply offensive ideas to me and to all extropians who value individual responsibility.

In ending this discussion, I want to remind you that you are all Popes. You are all you own highest authority. You are the source of your action. You choose your values - whether you do so actively or by default. You choose what to believe, how strongly to believe, and what you will take as disconfirming evidence. No one has authority over you - you are your own authority, your own value-chooser, your own thinker. Join me, join Lucifer, and join Extropy in fighting God and his entropic forces with our minds, our wills, and our courage. God's army is strong, but they are backed by ignorance, fear, and cowardice. Reality is fundamentally on our side. Forward into the light!


In Praise of the Devil – 1998 Postscript

I receive email daily from readers of this essay. Many commentators misunderstand it, even though of those sympathetic to my message. So, before firing off that angry broadside, or that misplaced agreement, please allow me to make the following clarifications:

1: Yes, this is anger in this piece. Unlike my usual styles of highly analytical and/or positive, "In Praise of the Devil" (written back in 1989) lets out my ire at the irrational, controlling aspects of religion, especially Christianity. I don’t apologise for this. While I almost always prefer to develop positive alternatives, sometimes bad ideas and practices need to be poked at.

2. For those readers who don’t read the beginning, or else don’t read carefully, I will reiterate this: I do not believe that the Devil (or Lucifer) exists. I take Lucifer merely as a symbol of rationality and independent thought. Since I don’t believe that Lucifer exists, I am not calling for a new religion of Lucifer-worship, or following of Lucifer. By "praise Lucifer" I was only intending a tongue-in-the-cheek way of calling for a questioning of dogma, an affirmation of rationality and independent thinking. Following, obeying, and worshipping are not part of my own philosophy of life.

3. I’m amazed at the number of people who seem to think I’m a Satanist. If you are a Satanist, please don’t write to me in support. I find Satanism even more silly than Christianity. The former includes most of the irrational beliefs of the latter, but adds an adolescent need to rebel or shock.

4. You may get the idea that I’m completely anti-religious, or at least completely anti-Christianity. Any religion is a complex mixture of ideas, values, and beliefs. It would be absurd to declare myself totally against such a complex. What I despise in religion is the underlying way of thinking: irrational faith, dependence on dogma, and lack of personal responsibility and self-ownership. Different individuals will use their religion differently. Christianity, from a rational viewpoint, contains both good and bad aspects. Yet, some Christians use the system to do bad despite the good parts, and other Christians use it to do good despite the bad parts. Fundamentalists tend to be the worst because they have to take every word in the Bible at face value, including exhortations to stone to death various "offenders" such as homosexuals, and they find it hard to ignore the enormous amount of violence and even genocide promoted by their God throughout the Old Testament.

Even the relatively sensible parts of Christianity, such as Jesus’ pleas for more loving of one another, have the problem that they are expressed vaguely in the Bible and fail to address complicated issues. In addition, by accepting certain values on faith, it becomes difficult to rationally assess their proper applications and their limitations.

Aside from this essay, most of my philosophical and futurist writing has developed a positive alternative to religious approaches to life. My own Extropian-transhumanist views build on humanism while showing that our lives and futures are even more full of possibility than has been recognized by the humanists.

Other recommended reading:

George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God. Prometheus Books. Includes a moral critique of Christianity.

J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God. (Oxford University Press.) A thorough philosophical analysis of the core religious beliefs. Difficult going for those unfamiliar with philosophical writing, but excellent.

In Praise of the Devil – 1999 Postscript

Regrettably, due to a number of misguided death threats the author has asked me to remove all references to his or her real identity from this essay. The author has absolutely no association with this web site.
 

Superlative

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"God's Will" is based on Blind Faith, if a person is religious enough to believe in "God's Will" then they are beyond reason.

If a person can rationalize horrible events by calling it "God's Will" it's pure denial.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g285x4sUKoo[/ame]

There is no point in 'prayer' if you belive in "God's Will" because regardless of what you pray for, you must believe in all actuality God is going to do whatever he wants, and you will accept it as "God's Will".

kind of Catch 22.
 

Superlative

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Can I get a halleluyah!!! Gawd Bless Ignorance, and those that so feverishly adhere to it!!


This deserved a Neg Rep.
 

Chips Rafferty

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Can I get a halleluyah!!! Gawd Bless Ignorance, and those that so feverishly adhere to it!!


This deserved a Neg Rep.

....or, "Some ancient Hebrew goat-herders wrote it; I desparately want to believe it, and that settles it!"

LIFE in the FARCE LANE

by Darwin Copernicus

People seem amazed that otherwise intelligent Muslim men could be so stupid as to believe that if they murder enough people they'll end up with seventy-two virgins. I'm amazed that people are amazed. We are a culture that believes a virgin was impregnated by a "holy ghost" and as a result she gave birth to the "Son of God" who also happened to be "God." This "God" brought dead people back to life, cursed fig trees to death, then after he was murdered, the bodies of "saints" clambered out of their graves, strolled into Jerusalem and "appeared unto many..." (Matthew 27:50-53.) Then the cadaver that was "God" sprang back to life and the ghastly corpse with holes in its hands and feet shared dinner with its cretinous disciples before flying bodily up to somewhere known as "heaven" to sit on the right hand of itself.
The reason that almost two billion simpletons believe this utter garbage is because it was rammed into their brains when they were children. The brain is like a sponge, drop it into a bucket of sewage and it will soak up the urine and the excrement until sodden and there's no room for another drop. Intelligence is no defense against brain pollution. You could have an IQ of 200 yet still be convinced that Samson slew 1,000 soldiers with the jawbone of an ass. Why? Because the Bible says he did.

Imagine a child born into a society which insists that on the third day of the third month, every three years, in the dead of night while everyone's fast asleep, pigs fly. Furthermore, these pigs are all powerful, all knowing, very angry pigs. The only way to prevent these flying pigs from destroying civilisation as we know it is to sacrifice four white ducks.

Without a shadow of doubt there would be millions of people all over the world sacrificing ducks on the third of March ever three years. Now you could talk to these "true believers" till you're blue in the face, use logic and every reasonable tactic you can think of to disprove their theory, but they would look at you with tears in their eyes, and say, "It is written, therefore it's true." And they would point to their "holy scriptures." And you would reply, "Just because it's in writing, doesn't make it true!" "Oh yes it does," they would argue, "because you see, it was written three thousand years ago, and therefore it's ancient."

Exasperated, you would point out that people three millennia ago were just as prone to dishonesty and exaggeration as are people today. Probably more so. "Goodness me," would come the reply, "have you never heard of Ancient Wisdom? The two go together, see how easily they roll off the tongue... Ancient Wisdom. So if it was written three thousand years ago it MUST be the truth. Besides, One hundred million of us believe it's the truth, so that proves it."

This is an opportune moment, in my opinion, to give up.

The only way to prevent the spread of this disease – for in reality, religion is a deliberately spread disease – is to gain access to young brains before they turn septic. Get to them while they're young, because once their brains are oozing and dripping the green slime of "faith," it's way to late. By the time they're eighteen they'll be on their hands and knees worshipping a fence post at Cronulla, or genuflecting whenever they glimpse a pig.

"A man may be a good mathematician, a learned chemist, and an accomplished astronomer, and still believe Mohammed has half of the moon up his sleeve."
Voltaire
 

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