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God and BIBLE

By whodisan215 (23, M, San Francisco, CA) NOISEmail whodisan215 Zarqawi Assassination

I'm not certain what to think about an Enlightenment type of rationalism, which was always prevalent in American history (i.e. founding fathers and deism). I professed adherence to this sect in middle school when my teacher demanded to know what Halloween costume I was wearing, and I replied philosopher and then proceeded to name which philosophies I followed. However, I experience a marked shift in my ideological bent after 7th grade, when I definitely grew cynical of the power of enlightenment rationalism, humanism, classicism, etc. Turning towards postmodernism, surrealism, existentialism was a response to the failure of pure rationalism in describing the world and making sense of it.

So, I definitely have a problem with coldly scientific-rational atheism because it is rootless and ultimately unfulfilling. I'm currently reading thru this Tikkun magazine to determine whether spiritual progressives are on the mark. I don't think faith is bad. I think faith is good for society, as long as its progressive, open, tolerant...I think it gets people into trouble when they push their system onto others and develop attitudes of spiritual and ethical exclusivity. But in terms of the philosophy we want to push in the new BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), I think we just need to go shopping to see what's out there intellectually. Because ultimately we have to place our system in the spectrum somewhere. While it's nice to feign neutrality, objectivity, pure rationality, atheism, etc, I think this is an ill-advised course, replete with spiritual alienation and disingenuous motives.

Human life is ultimately and profoundly self-regarding. We exist to propagate ourselves. As an extension of this, we seek to reproduce our intellectual systems by spreading our cultural moeurs and ideas. So we certainly do have a stake in it all, and there's no sense pretending we don't follow a god (god being either the guy in the sky, one's guiding principle of pi, or just the admission that we can't really figure out why). While logical humanism, positivism, and all those beautiful Western constructs are certainly a central part of our social and emotional universe, they're so full of incorrect assumptions about human nature, economics, world history, civilizations. Regardless, GOD is just an excuse that gives people a justification for how they wish to act. In that way, I wish fundamentalists would just admit that they personally don't like black, Arab, or gay people, rather than pretending that their authority is based on some textual or holy precept that issues them the right to exert moral suasion. God just describes anyone's vision of a controlling identity/entity, the super mover and shaker, intelligent design, original energy, higher power. But in an everyday sense, it describes SOCIETY and the SUPEREGO.

RockFaerie asks, "I don't say that to offend people (though I'm sure I did, and I'm sorry), but if you look at what they teach you, you will understand. Question everything you learn when it comes."
"...what they teach you..."
Saying that god does not want me to steal just means that my society has a law forbidding this. God arose in the human consciousness when people began to understand morality as a guiding force and the idea that maybe their past and present actions had an effect on the present and future. So essentially, I don't think you can eliminate the word GOD from the discourse. To do so would be myopic. It doesn't matter how much people talk about god if their morality and worldviews are progressive. It's just that fundamentalists have monopolized the discussion of god. It's the same thing with regards to "values." In America, conservative "values" connotes this traditional sense of nostalgia for some mythical past in which the family, state, and society were so much better. On the other hand, when it comes to left-of-center rational-humanist discourse, the vocabulary always comes down to the words pragmatic, practical, secular, etc. I think this word choice hurts the discourse because leftists and progressive try too hard to be objective, practical, idealistic.

But the truth is, leftists are pushing values too, they believes in a certain code and have a specific vision for human society. One, this is wholly subjective, and two, a function of cultural, psychological, and personal background. Realistically, I think we have no choice other than to be partisan in this discourse. And not exclusive, hardheaded, arrogant like the traditional leftist-secular-atheistic-rational discourse. The leftist-secular- atheistic-rational creed implies a GOD no less than any other creed. It's just that this GOD is contained in us all (or at least most of us all), since in the Lockean-Jeffersonian code (derived from a blend of Renaissance neoclassical philosophy and Protestant theology,) we are all created equal with the same ability to reason. So in our new BIBLE, our god might instead be some type of novel conception. I think it's just being honest to say that one's outlook, motivation, sense of purpose, etc is equivalent to god. God is internal, external, everywhere. Don't bother excluding god. It's not only a waste of effort, but it's embracing a different lie. While that lie isn't as blatant as the religious-fundamentalist-originalist lie, it's a lie nonetheless. Atheists just have a different god. They worship (among other things) civic duty, science, western culture, neoprimitive culture, etc.God is just a way of naming what is considered most important in life. If YOU believe that a viable, progressive code of ethics, personal happiness, and future generations are the most important things to you, then this is your god. That god happens to be more individualistic, compassionate, progressive, etc than the typical Western-Christian god, but this is nonetheless a god.

The fact that 90% of Americans believe in god just means that 90% of Americans enjoy being part of the herd. It's just a group mentality. Despite all the dispossession, spiritual dearth, and cultural alienation of modern life, people like to feel that they're a part of something greater than themselves. And this manifests itself in a romanticized conception of the past (family, morality, country), and this has been monopolized by the religious right. Americans are so outwardly religious because they are so overworked, brainwashed, burnt out that they must desperately proclaim faith in something in order to die knowing that they lived for some greater good. I read a great article a while back saying that Bush won because people are way too overworked and that people wish they had more free time. I.e., they don't have enough time to think through the issues, and they vote for a simpler, Manichean, binary candidate who addresses their straightforwardly spiritual needs. That's the Republican way. Brainwash people so they can all be your corporate slaves. Then, in the little free time they have, make sure they worship the God of free markets and God of white Christianity a little bit more. And then they can die happy.

The western corporate-governmental-bureaucratic-media-entertainement-legal-medical- scientific-intellectual power structure has gotten so much more exponentially powerful every single year for the past 100 years, especially in America, that people have no choice but to turn to the irrational, the faith-based, and the frankly stupid answer because it comforts them. And which side of this power structure are we on? Do we side with the corporate-governmental-bureaucratic-media-entertainement-legal-medical- scientific-technological-intellectual elite? I think it's comforting to identify with the dominant culture because it involves the path of least resistance. However, we thoughtful types have innate tendencies to resist this conformity. Yet, insurrectionary intentions are not rewarded in our system. I personally tend to give credit to people who are individuals and can resist this power structure. I believe that this is what makes people unique, when their energies, creativities, imaginations, can resist the allure of our oppressive social order. Even if there cannot be a revolution at this point, there are little ways that all of us can be progressive, compassionate, unique. I just fear that I will ultimately succumb to this power structure because it is indeed a mammoth. In my capacity as an intellectual-journalist-activist-artist-social scientist-humanist- existentialist-postmodernist, the behemoth SUPEREGO is my enemy. My Freudian ID does not appreciate the absolutist-totalitarian controls that the MAN imposes. But, the truth is, the only way to understand, and then critique, and then challenge the SYSTEM is to get inside of it.

And the only way to get inside is to be a part of it. So my answer is to be simultaneously inside and outside. Is my perspective useful to the system in that its criticisms are constructive and can be used merely to strengthen the systemic controls over ordinary people? Or is my perspective parasitic in the sense that it attacks intellectually the source of its own material, social, and cultural heritage? Perhaps this is eternally the role of the outcast-outsider-wanderer, who is simultaneously so successful at beating the system, being the system, and bringing down the system.

  Blaming God

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Talk Back: Comment on this Article
The true God| Nephilem
Religion is a very controversial topic because every one wants to think that they are right. However they can't all be right, For example an atheist saying that God does not exist and a Christian saying that God does exist cant both be right. God can't exist and not exist at the same time. So then the task becomes figuring what religion or belief is true and which aren't. So to begin with is there a God. Yes there is. The more scientists' research the more naturalistic theories about the origin of life, and the theory that the universe has no beginning are brought into question. Because of this scientist give a place for some type of beginner. This beginner would be what mankind refers to as a supernatural being. So which god out of all the world's gods is The True God? Well to begin with we know that they can't all be right because most of them claim that their god or gods are the only gods. Once aging they can't all be right. I am being raised in a Christian home but when I got to about twelve I started to examine what I believed and to look at if the religion that I was in was a true religion. I started to do this by looking at the alternatives. All the other religions that I looked at had some teaching that could be disproved, so I rejected them. Then I looked at my religion and while I ended up changing some of my beliefs on some aspects of Christianity I remained a Christian. So my main point is that Christianity is not some false religion or pacifying drug for the masses but instead it is a religion that has proved itself better then all the others.
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Wanted to commend you!| trys2bopenminded92
I just wanted to say, that i think that it is great that you at least looked at other religions before deciding on chrisitanity. I personaly, am an atheist. But so often people preach about christianity, without ever having looked at any other religions. If your going to preach, then please at least just have an understanding of the other person POV
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Thanks| Nephilem
Thanks trys2bopenminded. I agree with you that it is irresponsible to preach about your religion, if you have not even looked at the alternatives. I try to get other Christians to understand this idea as often as possible, because a lot of people don't know why they believe what they believe. By the way, I don't know exactly what you've seen in terms of religions, but I wanted to recommend to you some of the works of a man named Hugh Ross. He is who I attribute a lot of my changes in beliefs. He is a big figure in the Intelligent Design movement and has some great books. I liked the creator and the Cosmos, and The Genesis question.
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Wait just a second.| ForgivenAndFree
I'm a Christian born and bred, and I'm certainly not going to lie to you, I haven't done much in-depth research on other religions, but what I've found has never been good. Every other religion aside from Christianity contradicts itself in one way or another, and I have done enough research to prove it. I know Christianity is the pne true religion, and I know my god is the one true god. Aside from that, let's say the scientists are right, and the universe has no creator, I'd rather have gone through life being Christian, and just dying because I was wrong, the go thrugh life not being Christian and dying and going to Hell because I was wrong. And I'll be darned if I'm not going to do my mission as assigned in Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make diciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" I'm gonna do what I can to make sure no nonbeleivers are going to suffer for eternity simplt because they never heard the Word of God, And if you have a problem with my preaching, maybe you need to reconsider your beleifs.
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no you wait you neo-fascist prick| clashcityrocker92
OTHER religions condradict themselves! Christianity is the biggest contradiction on earth! they claim to be for love and peace, when actually they kill and steal to satisfy their insurmountable greed and lust for power. spanish "conquistadors" were literally religious conquerors that killed indigenous people that refused to believe as they did. chew on that and now you should reconsider YOUR beliefs!
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Calm down | Nephilem
Was your response targeted at me or at Forgiven and Free? Christianity does not contradict its self. There will always be people from every religious group that do horrible things, the question is, are those actions in line with the religion. The example of the Spanish conquerors demonstrates this. They were not acting in accordance with the bible.
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