Re: December 8, 2009
- From: Mack A. Damia <mybaconbutty@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:15:35 -0800
On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 07:09:26 -0800 (PST), Jeff
I said that it says so in the Bible. If you don't want to read
it, fine by me.
Remeber BS&T? This line?
"I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell"
I hope I have an open mind, but the more I think about it, the more I
have to question. Faith is a wonderful thing, but it's just another
word used to authenticate fantasy. Children have faith in Santa Claus
and the Tooth Fairy. Many adults have faith in heaven and hell.
Did you ever read the following written by somebody associated with
Carl Sagan? I'm not saying that this is the answer, but it is food
These are the 10 basic (simplified) truths I came to understand:
1. All religions and gods are 'man' made, made and made up
by humans. Not necessarily to deceive but as a result of new
ideas and concepts. These evolved over generations and were
then gradually accepted and written down as the (new) truth, the
(new) philosophy of life, the (new) gospel, the (new) 'true'
2. The Christian concept and definition of a 'soul' is untenable.
Why? Evolution is a fact but nowhere in the long line of evolution
was the 'soul' (or something like the soul that makes us immortal)
suddenly inserted in a certain species at a discrete point in time.
If I assume that the soul was suddenly inserted in a living
being, e.g., 1 million years ago, we must then argue that his
or her father and mother did not have a soul. We cannot.
All living beings have a soul or no living beings have a soul. As I
don't believe a worm has a soul, I must conclude that the concept
of a soul in each human being is a manmade construct.
A manmade construct because we have a need to believe that
we (or at least our 'spirit' or our 'soul') are immortal and will
We fear death; we fear being gone forever.
We want to deny death; we need to believe we are immortal.
We have a deep need to formulate a reason for our existence.
We have a deep need to believe that we will outlast all the
pain and misery in our earth-bound lives and will 'live happily
ever after' in a glorious place of light called 'heaven'.
3. There is no heaven and hell. All religions are man-made, and
the concepts of heaven and hell are man-made. They were created
when social groups evolved culturally: To keep individual behavior
in line and within boundaries - to be beneficial to the group or to
its leaders. Heaven was a carrot, hell was the stick.
4. The Christian dogma of sin, with human beings having free choice
to obey or disobey, is untenable, as 'sin', killing, fighting, etc.,
already existed millions of years before human beings came about.
That means in the long line of evolution there was never a discrete
point where the 'first' human being suddenly had free choice to obey
or disobey. That also means the dogma of Christ's death at the cross
to atone for our sins is untenable. Human beings evolved and never
(suddenly) had free choice to obey or dis-obey (=sin).
The man-made Christian God sacrificed his son to atone for all
sins for all people forever for all times. That brilliant idea of
hope and total redemption and forgiveness by the almighty ruler arose
from much older pagan religions that had human sacrifices at
The ultimate sacrifice, as proof of total obedience and worship,
is giving your own most valuable 'asset', which is to give up and
offer/sacrifice your own son (example in the Abraham-Isaac story).
That's why 'man' eventually came up with the idea that Christ
- the Son, God's Son - was sacrificed by God, the Father, and
died for the sins of all mankind.
This was a BRILLIANT and unlimited expansion of the original
idea behind human sacrifices.
Not only did the all-powerful God himself give part of himself (the
on) as the sacrifice, this sacrifice was so big, so ALL encompassing
that it forgave ALL sins of ALL human beings for ALL times --
This idea is really mind-boggling in its ingenuity and depth, and
therefore its universal appeal.
However as our species, Homo Sapiens, evolved over millions of
years, there was never an Adam and Eve 6000 years ago.
That means Eve disobeying God and eating from the fruit
never happened. That means the 'fall' in the garden of Eden
never happened. That also means a 'fall' e.g. a million years
earlier never happened.
That means the philosophy of Jesus Christ having to die for our
original sin, for us disobeying God, has no basis in fact.
Our ancestors millions of years ago did not have the
intellectual capacity nor the choice to obey or disobey.
Even if the ideas of original sin and the fall are allegories,
they do not make sense versus the path of our evolution.
5. The Christian concept that you can only be saved by accepting
Christ as your savior is untenable. As over 4.5 billion on earth are
not Christians and may not even know about Jesus Christ,
it is illogical to assume that God automatically condemns
4.5 billion out of 6.5 billion to hell = eternal suffering.
There are also over 100-200 billion stars in our own galaxy,
and a total of 100-200 billion OTHER galaxies in the visible
universe, each on average containing over 100 billion stars.
Assuming only 1 inhabited planet per billion stars, then there
are over 10,000 billion (!) inhabited planets in our visible
universe. It is illogical to assume that God sacrificed his son
on tens of millions or even tens of billions of planets.
6. All religions are man-made, which explains the huge variety of
religions. Any evolving human society develops beliefs about life
and death, which then often morph into absolute beliefs and then
finally into structured beliefs = organized religion.
That's why there are so many religions, so many spin-offs of existing
religions, and why so many new spin-offs and denominations are
created all the time, all over the world. There are always new
thinkers with new ideas, creative thinkers who reject or modify the
older ideas and entice multitudes with newer messages of hope.
7. All religions and their spin-offs are man-made, and the concept of
'God' in Christianity, Islam and Judaism is man-made.
As nowhere in the material world do we see physical acts/actions on
matter by a 'God', there is no reason to assume that an 'immaterial'
God like the Christian or Islamic or Jewish God (who controls,
guards, acts on matter = interferes in our material world) exists.
8. So we have to face the fact, with courage, and conclude that:
GOD IS ABSENT, IS DEAD OR DOES NOT EXIST.
As I find it illogical that if an all powerful God existed, he would
decide to disappear from our material world = universe into some
other universe, or even die, i.e., disappear from all possible
universes, there is only one conclusion left:
There is no immaterial God applying material forces on or into
our physical environment.
That means all physical and chemical occurrences can be
explained (sooner or later) without having to introduce/assume
a supernatural and 'immaterial' being capable of and actively
acting on matter. Therefore the conclusion is that God as
defined by Christianity, Islam and Judaism does not exist
and was made up.
You can only exist if you are matter or tied to matter.
You only exist if you can act upon matter. When tied to matter,
you can be observed, measured, etc., and thus be proven to exist.
In the 2004 tsunami near Sumatra up to 100,000 innocent children
were killed in just one hour (in total an estimated 220,000 died).
'God' did not do it.
'Satan' did not do it.
Humans did not do it.
The earth core is cooling, forcing huge plates to move,
which occasionally rupture or fracture into earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions, etc., which then can cause terrible
natural catastrophes such as this tsunami.
Nowhere did or does the 'hand of God' act anywhere.
He did not cause it, and he did not prevent it.
9. The mystery of matter and the most crucial question and
most profound mystery of all
--- 'WHY WE (made of matter) EXIST' ----
does not mean we have to assume an all powerful being like the
Christian God who creates, controls, acts on matter,
and rules and monitors everything.
In the last 1000 years more and more mysteries have been explained.
In the coming hundreds of years many more mysteries will be
resolved. That means religious beliefs get pushed back more and
more, away from the current simple absolute religious 'truths'
and beliefs as described in 'holy' books.
Religions always consist of a mixture of man made philosophies,
myths, theories, taboos, legends, laws, rules, remnants of pagan
religions, etc.. Explanations from hundreds of years or even much
longer ago will be pushed back or often voided by science and more
That also means a religion such as Christianity can only survive if
it develops a much better explanation and rationale for the mystery
of matter and life, and for our own existence. However Christianity
cannot 're-engineer' itself. It cannot offer a science-based
explanation of life, or even reform itself into a more rational
philosophy of life.
So it will remain an anti-scientific and mostly static belief system,
based on fixed explanations for life and death, made by men and
women who lived hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
The contradiction between what we learn from science and the
fixed explanations from hundreds and thousands of years ago
will grow. Christianity and other similar religions likely will
have difficulty to survive. The psychological human need for
spirituality will not disappear, but the dogmas and beliefs of
religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism will become less and
less acceptable to more and more people. The rites, rituals, songs,
communal feelings, music, spiritual teachings and social
interactions may survive but the doctrines and dogmas cannot
10. The core issue is really a direct conflict between:
o the religious/emotional/non-scientific approach or persona and
o the scientific/rational approach or persona
Spirituality will stay in various forms; dogmaticreligions based
on ancient fixed beliefs will slowly disappear or remain with
smaller and smaller groups of the uneducated or the un-enlightened
or the desperate or the indoctrinated.
There may be long religious revivals and reactions but
on longer terms science and associated education
will (albeit slowly) void ancient belief systems.
However, religions can very well hang on for a long time,
even when becoming unsatisfactory to many more people, e.g. if
and when there are no other enticing spiritual/social frameworks
as substitutes or replacements. For scientists that could well be
science and the wonders, the size and the unbelievable beauty
and complexity of the physical universe.
But the masses are poorly educated and never get enthralled
by nature or by scientific exploration and thought. They do
get enthralled by food, drink, sex, entertainment, sports, and
the unending accumulation of material possessions:
The absence or substitute for or even opposite of spirituality.
The basic science-religion conflict is also why so many religions,
including Christianity and Islam, in their core must stay so anti-
science. They can never embrace a much more rational belief
system that so clearly exposes the fallacies in their inherited
Why is rejecting Christianity in my opinion a step forward?
Instead of believing in fixed philosophies, laws and taboos
created by men and women many hundreds and even thousands
of years ago (people who did not know any better (not their fault)),
it is much better to determine your own beliefs and truths.
That will enable us to leave behind outdated laws, fears,
prejudices, misconceptions, racism, intolerance,
supremacy feelings, and ancient ideas about death,
heaven, hell, sin, soul, gods, etc.
That freedom will jettison all the religious garbage that is
a constant obstruction and obstacle to a better, more rational
and more humane world.
Rationality does not ENSURE more humanity, but in my
opinion it is a more promising path than non-rationality
including religions such as Christianity and Islam.
Rationality combined with humanism may guide us
to a better world of fairness, the alleviation of poverty,
of global sharing and caring, and to justice and peace.
Do I think this is feasible? Not that much: Power, greed, racism,
and power politics are superstrong human and societal forces
(for injustice, wars, killing, irrationality, waste, destruction,
hate, intolerance, etc.).
But it may show the direction of hope which we can then analyze
rationally. That may empower and enable us to plan a path and
build societal and global structures to channel, restrict or even
partially control the beast
Michael M. Terra - Carl Sagan's Billions
- Re: December 8, 2009
- From: Jeff
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