Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Difference Of Perception Between the Religious and the Not

I have gotten into  visual aids as a means of explaining complex, yet basic, notions lately. I would like to share one. A little Tuesday Philosophy if you will.  This is a picture that I drew of what I could simplify as reality. Reality is represented as the color green. Reality is an independent thing that influences us, control us in certain aspects, and depends on us in others. The circles labeled (P) are people, who are forced to live with reality as everyone must, whether reality is enjoyed or acknowledged. The red dots inside the circles, circles which I will refer to here on out as people or (P), are the independent thoughts, ideas, emotions, reactions, likes, and dislikes that go on inside a person. Things that other people are not privy to, for the only way to experience these things as the (P)erson them self does they would have to be inside their green circle. For the sake of argument and understanding, we will not breach the subject of telepathy during this discussion.

This picture is the same green circle of reality with another element shown. Reality is independent of people. People can influence or be influenced by reality, but reality is what it is despite what people may perceive of it. This concept is very important to retain as I move on.  The green lines are reality interacting with us. Reality has several aspects. Reality is the objects and locations around us. Even if one is unaware they are in a building, the building still exists. That is reality. Reality does not change with perception. Reality has a second part, events. Events influence (P)eople heavily mostly by the result they cause; such as death, injury, sudden wealth; or the journey of the event alters our internal self somehow (becoming depressed due to a bad work environment). These green lines represent these events. These events can come from our surroundings, mother nature (such as a hurricane destroying your house) to communications and interactions between people (a fight with your sister, a first kiss). The same event can affect more than one person as well.  If you are in a heated argument with a sibling, and the sibling says something you don't remember, reality dictates it still was said, no matter what is remembered or perceived inside either person's (P) circle (red dots of perception). A single event that influences two people who each percieve the reality of the event differently.

This is the final diagram. This diagram has red lines covering the lines representing reality. These red lines represent the perception people have of reality. Some people perceive certain events very clearly, their red line of perception closely matches the green line of reality. Some people are far removed from the reality of an event and have completely misspercieved it, not even coming close to intersecting their red line of perception with the green line of reality. People's inner workings (red dots) influence the way they perceive things. It does not change the reality of the actual event, object, or location, but people will always perceive things in their own red lines, some people perceive certain things closer to the actual reality and their red lines are not altered by the (P)erson's inner red dots, or inner monologue.  What is important to note at this time is that people cannot perceive each others red lines. Everyone has their own, individual red lines of perception that cannot be perceived by others, but it certainly can influence other red lines and be influenced. These red lines are the way we deal with things on the inside. Going back to the fight with the sibling, what if your sibling thought you were way out of line in what you said during the event, that you shouted at your sibling and got in their face during the fight; but in your perception you remained calm and reasonable, you did not shout or get in the personal zone of your sibling, nor did you think you disrespected them.  This is an example of how we all have our own red lines of perception that others are not privy to. We can communicate about our red lines of perception, but no one will ever be able to enter into your mind and see your thoughts and feelings like identity theft.  

Now it is time to explain my red lines to you from a personal perspective. Religious people perceive God into the green lines of reality. Whether someone believes "God did it" or not, it does not change the green lines, they are a constant no matter what we perceive into them. When some one says God delivered a blessing upon them, they believe God had a hand in the green line itself. I believe, as someone who thinks that if the possibility that there is a God is true, he does not meddle in these green lines. My red line, my perception, is that wonderful things and events are delivered upon me, someone who does not pray for anything, at the same rate and degree that they are being delivered upon "the blessed by God".  Whether my red line of perception is any closer to the green line of reality than a religious person, there is really no sure way to tell. But I have dedicated myself to making my red lines match the green lines of reality to as close of a degree as I can. I believe I can do this by asking hard, sometimes uncomfortable questions, and being willing to examine my own red lines for faults and delusions that do not travel the same track as the green line of reality. Close scrutiny of one's own red lines is not an easy or incredibly gratifying task at first, but I believe that this may be the only chance I ever have with these green lines, why miss it simply because of an unwillingness to tame my own red lines and miss literally the most important opportunity of all existence? Why are we here if not to experience reality? The only thing that tells people of the Christian faith to read God into the green lines of reality is a book called the bible. A book I have read and do not agree with. I am able to accept the fact that some people read the bible and start to alter their red lines of perception to it to satisfy what it says, even if what the bible says is far removed from the green lines of reality. The bible teaches not to question this altering of one's red lines. To not examine the green lines for what they are, and the red lines for what they are. People start to perceive that their red lines exactly match the green lines, whether it is a true perception or not. When people start to think that their red line perception should be everyone's red line perception, through will of congress, I have a very big issue with that. It is in no way fair to reality or to the fellow (P) in the green circle of reality, to expect them to substitute their own red lines for others, simply because it's what the overtaker wants. It is disturbing to me that a book as dismanteling as the bible holds such a sway over the red lines of people. I believe that we could live in a happier place if we could all try to follow the green lines, rather than a book that tells us to ignore the green lines in favor of long dead, corrupt men's own red lines.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why shouldn't I do the wrong thing? Because I shouldn't do what everyone shouldn't do, like preaching opposite messages....

...because if everyone did what they know everyone shouldn't do, then no one would be left to do the right thing.

So there was a topic at bible study this week that really caught my interest. They started off talking about the different branches of Christianity, such as protestant, catholic, and evangelical. They were referring to the rituals each church performs and does that have anything to do with what Jesus actually wanted for his "children". I'll have to admit, I was impressed to hear many people say no, that that's not what Jesus would want. They talked about the catholics and how they pray to the virgin Mary. Some one made a reference to how the protestants don't really get in the spirit with the singing and songs. They avoided speaking about the rituals I've witnessed almost every Sunday since I've been going, like the baptisms. I know Jesus was baptised, but if you've read any of my blogs, you know I don't believe Jesus was a God, so to me, it's just another religious ritual. They also didn't talk about the body and the blood of Christ in the form of the cracker and grape juice. I haven't seen them do that yet, but I'm pretty sure they do.

Getting around now to what really made me interested in the topic this week, the conversation went into if evangelicals are even a religion (I really tried not to scoff at that one, especially when the dude running the show read off the definition of religion). Then the great question that I've been wanting to blog about: What do people outside of our religion think about us? What do they see us as? What are some character traits that Christian's seem to have in common, to the outside eye?

I can officially say that there was no one more qualified than me in that bible study to answer that question. I didn't answer it. I tapped my feet and had a smile on, but I didn't say a word. They said it, I didn't have to. They didn't say all of it of course, but I'd say they covered the main areas; such as judgmental, and hypocrites. Are all Christians this way? Of course not, but the fun that us non-believers get is pointing out how the self claimed mighty fall as often as us "lesser" people. And how us lesser people rise as often as well. That has to put a damper on some one's claim of having the "true knowledge" of the only way to happiness. If God is everything that is good, and atheists have no God, then how come atheists still receive good? The bible says all sorts of shit about non-believers, like they'll get plagues, their wives will be raped and their children taken away, house burned down, ect.

What I found so damn amusing about this bible study though, is that this group talked about being seen as judgemental as though it were something bad. That they shouldn't be striving to come off as they did in the prior weeks sermon. Judgemental is the textbook definition of what they did last Sunday. The part that sticks in my throat though is how Christians want it both ways, they want to judge the shit out of you when you don't practice their beliefs, whether it be homosexuality, or accepting Jesus as your savior......but Christians don't want to be seen as judgemental.....because we all know that being judgemental is bad.....even though the bible tells you differently many times, in many ways, throughout the entire, you heard me, the entire book. So I guess it is possible to get morals outside the bible...........gee, if you don't get your morals from the bible, where DO you get your morals from? It's nice to ask that of believers, instead of the other way around, for once.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Now I Am, Now I'm Not, Now I Am A Christian?

When I confront a believer on things such as "why does your mythological book, written before there was ever a word for such a thing as science, why does that get to overshadow verifiable facts such as evolution? Why are churches being allowed to cast huge doubt over science, when they have no place to? Why do churches get to DE-INTREST kids in science because they tell them that it's bullshit (creation VS evolution)?" I always seem to get the same answer to these questions.

Science only only only deals in verifiable facts. Science first tries to disprove something (verify or unverify) before it even begins to believe it to be true.

The bible is a bronze age mythology written by people who had no idea what science was, how it worked, what it was for, or how it could help us. The people that wrote the bible were as guilible in the areas of science as were the people in the tales of Ulysses.

When talking to a believer last night, talking about creationismVS evolution, she said that she would be more accepting of the science behind evolution and the big bang if she could see verifiable proof, all the background of the studies, what is the credibility of the scientist doing the research, ect.

As she was saying this, I said "But you don't need that kind of proof to believe the bible..."

She responded "well that's because I believe the bible in my heart."

I said "why does your belief in your heart get to cast doubt over science, which can only use reality and facts, never possibly faulty beliefs, to prove what it is saying?"

Her basic response was "Its the bible and God wrote the bible, therefore God overrules science."

I pointed out that the book is the only thing that says it was written by God, and that God, creator of all matter, cannot be contained within the 4 corners of paper and ink.

This fell on deaf ears. God does not = bible, why is this so hard for people to understand? Not even the bible itself says it IS God, it makes the claim to be the WRITTEN word of God, but not God himself. Why don't people understand that if you never saw a bible in your life, you could still know god "in your heart".

The believer I speak of, she seems to distance herself from Christianity every time it says something that she doesn't agree with, such as "science is bullshit", then re-associates herself with it when it is convienent for her. I wonder how God would feel about this leave take relationship many Christians seem to have with their religion. When a priest molests children, suddenly catholics aren't Christian. When they need to boost their numbers to prove that this is a Christian nation, suddenly catholics are counted as Christians again.

How convienent.........Seems to be a trend with Christians, this convienience.....just close your eyes and pray...sins go bye need to make anything up to the people you wronged, because your imaginery friend "Jesus" will take care of all that........inconvienent for those of us who actually have to right our wrongs to the people we hurt. Christianity = taking the easy way out of your life responsibilities.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

God Doesn't Believe In Free Will? How Can God Answer Prayers While Giving Everyone Free Will?

Lets say you prayed to God (in your prayer journal or whatever) to give you a certain set of dishes, and a few months later, a friend gets you that set because it's what you told them you wanted.......then you go around telling people that GOD answered your prayers by having your friend get you the dish set you've been wanting.

Lets examine this under the "free will microscope" shall we? What would God have had to do to your friend to get them to buy you this dish set? Let me guess a Christian's answer: God put it on my friends heart because I prayed.
-Well, if God put it on your friend's hear to do this, then it must be God's will right? Would you disagree with that? No, ok then, make sure you stick with that answer as we move on.

Now, lets say God put it on your friend's heart to buy you that dish set you've been praying about, and your friend buys you a tupperware set instead.....did your friend just disobey the will of GOD? So let me get this straight, when your friend doesn't get you want you want for your birthday....then your friend must be disobeying the will of God? Let me guess your answer to this again: It must not have been God's will for me to get that dish set.

I guess the only question I have left when confronted with a load of bullshit so deep and smelly there doesn't seem to be a bottom to it is: Isn't funny how God always seems to want what you want? Think again about the scenario above, with your friend, who GOD put it on her heart (and bank account) to buy you that dish do you know that God did that? How do you know your friend didn't buy you the dish set because ITS WHAT YOU ASKED THEM FOR? What if God actually wanted them to buy you the tupperware set instead? How would you know any different? Isn't it a little, um....Godly of you to decided what is the will of God and what isn't, seeing as the only way you could know any of that is if you yourself had the same insights into the world as A GOD? So you have powers equal to God, do you? How does God put his "will" on people's hearts while still letting them have free will? If God told your friend to get you the dish set, isn't that taking away your friend's free will as to what to with her money, her time, her gift? Why would GOD manipulate the will of everyone around you just so you can have what you want? Then if your friends don't do what you want, they're disobeying GOD? Wow, that's convenient.....for you....not so much your friends.....

If You Have God, Why Do You Need A Doctor?

Well? If God heals all things, God is always with you, God never leaves your side, God will always protect you from harm, blah blah blah, then why do you go to the doctor when you get sick, need surgery, need a prescription? Why not just leave it up to God? Instead, you pray to God while the doctors do all the work, then thank God for doing only what the doctors accomplished.

Oh Oh, I want to play this game! Ok, let me try:

I picked up a book, read it, memorized the termonology, and God helped me, I know, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) gave me the ability to read! No, brain did lets see, um.....shit. I'm not very good at this game. When I see a cause and an affect, I don't "insert GOD here" wherever and whenever I feel like. When the mechanic fixes your car, do you pay the mechanic, or God? When the doctor uses medicine to help you get better, do you pay your doctor bill, or God? Let me guess, you pay God through prayer and worship? Well, I haven't paid my GOD bill in quite some time, and I gaurantee the mechanic fixed my car, and the medication the doctor prescribed me works just as good on me as it does you. So, why does it help you, physically that is, to "insert God here" in situations like going to the doctor? Do you think your surgery turns out better than mine because you say "GOD DID IT"?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

God Needs A Book To Remember?

The lambs book of life. I just got done reading the entire book or Revelations, and wow, what a load of shit that was. Entertaining though...

So my question is: Why does God need a book to put all the "saved" people's names in in heaven? Is it because God can't remember them all? Does God need things to be symbolic in the spirit world too? When a book dies....does it go to heaven? What trees did people in heaven chop down to make this book?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Broken and Without a Purpose?

That's what they said about me at church today. They said that people who don't have JESUS are broken and have no purpose, that their lives are pointless. Over a 100 people in the clergy, listening to this, no one stood up and said "you're wrong, there are plenty of people all over the world, with all different beliefs, who's lives are very purposeful and meaningful, who help people and change the world for the better" (you know, like Gandhi and stuff). Matter of fact, a few people even went up to the altar (stage) and I guess gave themselves over to Jesus after this sermon.

I really enjoyed the hellfire and damnation speech today.

If God is all good, why does it take the threat of hell to turn (some) people to him?

Today reaffirmed that I don't understand religion, or religious people at all. Even when they have a pastor on stage, misleading everyone to think negative things and prejudge people they've never laid eyes on, they don't bat an eyelash.....when did that become OK? Since the dawn of religion apparently. Even my friends and family who were with me in church today, knowing the kind of person I am, and that I don't match what the pastor was saying, nobody came to my defense. Nobody, out of all those people, stood up and said "excuse me, pastor, but I think what your saying isn't true, and I don't appreciate you getting up on stage at church and saying things that aren't true, a.k.a lying in the name of God." There were children there, listening to the pastor say these things about non-believers of Jesus. Over and over the pastor kept saying that people who don't believe in Jesus have something wrong with them, they are broken, they have no purpose. Children heard this, but they didn't hear or see anyone stand up and say "Pastor, I think your wrong." So what are we teaching kids in church these days? To be prejudice. To prejudge people simply because they don't share your beliefs. The pastor didn't tell all those kids in church today (or the adults) that you should take into consideration some ones character, their lifestyle, their choices, how they treat others. Only their belief in Jesus. That's all the pastor said you need, belief or not belief in Jesus, to tell whether there is something wrong, about a person they don't know, and now probably will never get to know.

Why is it ok to be prejugdmental about some one you've never met, so long as all your basing your judgments on is their religious orientation? Why didn't any parent stand up at church today and say "don't teach my kid to be prejudice?"

Thanks church, I couldn't be further away from your God right now than if God were once again forming one of those good old testament mobs to come and stone me to death like the biblical days when we didn't have to try to "fix" broken non-believers, we just killed them by hurling rocks.

They say religion is being attacked every day........really? Is this Stockholm's syndrome (for lack of a better term) kind of psychology the only way to get people to believe in God? Or just one of the many fucked up ways (lets not forget hell fire and damnation)?

If I was at a meet up of fellow non-believers, and some one started saying that all believers are broken, that their lives have no purpose, ect. I would be out of my chair objecting before the speaker was even done talking. I don't pretend to agree with people even when I don't. When some one says something not true about my family and friends, I will be the first person and the last to defend them. Too bad I can't say the same of them.

Maybe nobody stood up in my defense at church today because they agree with the pastor. Maybe they think I am broken and that my life really doesn't have a purpose. What kind of friend thinks that about another friend, simply because they don't share a belief in an invisible being, despite all the evidence to the contrary? Religion is being religion attacks back.....with what? Teaching the next generation to prejudge anyone who's different from them?