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Found 61 results

  1. Well seeing as there's a thread about Christian bronies, I think it's only fair we have an atheist brony thread! So, how many of you reject all that religious non-sense?
  2. You know, whenever I look around on the Internet, school, or anywhere else, I see a lot of intolerance when it comes to other people's religious views. Frankly, I think if there were more tolerance and less hatred, this world would be a much better place. Anyways, this thread is dedicated to those of us who are tired of such ignorance, and want to help others learn about certain religious views and (hopefully) clear up any misunderstandings and stereotypes. What I want you to do is state your views, explain a little bit about it (a brief description will do), and try to debunk at least one misunderstanding about your religious view. I also ask that if anyone here disagrees with someone, either PM them, or keep it to yourself, because we don't want any petty flamey/passive aggressive wars here. I'll start us off: I am a Christian, and I believe that my duty in life is to remain loyal to my Lord and also try to be the best person I can be. I have no specific denomination. I just want to apologize for any homophobic, dishonest, oppressive "Christians" you may come across. I assure you that our religion does NOT encourage rudeness, or threatening people with Hell...
  3. This entry is sure to upset a few people, though it is not my intention to offend anyone. I simply want to discuss reality as best I can. I spend a fair amount of time criticizing religion, and writing and arguing for reason and rationality. I do this for many reasons. There's no shortage of reasons to oppose religion. Take your pick. Dogma of any kind is antithetical to conversation, logic, rational thought, and progress. Religion has caused a massive amount of senseless violence, death, and misery throughout human history. It has retarded scientific progress, and continues to do so today. Religion provides shields and justification for irrational bigotry, intolerance, and hatred. Religion also gives us jihadism, arguably the greatest threat this generation faces. Moreover, all of the good things that people get from religion, and all of the good that religion does (and I will concede that there indeed is some good), can be found and had through benign, secular means, if only enough people would get started on such a project. Rather than spend too much time explaining why I oppose religion and risk letting this essay spiral too much out of control, I will simply point to the works of writers and thinkers such as Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Matt Dillahunty for anyone who's interested. I mention these people on the forums a lot, (probably to a fault) but it's only because I believe so strongly in what they have to say, and I think it's of the utmost importance. I am an atheist. I don't believe in any god because there's evidence for one. But I honestly have no objection to a belief in a god(s), provided that the believer is intellectually honest with themselves and others, admitting that we can't know for sure what there is or isn't, and if there is a god(s), we can't know who or what it is. In other words, I have no quarrel with the deist. The deist is one says, "I think the universe must have had a creator, so I believe in something, but it's impossible for us to know what it is." I can't imagine that that way of thinking would be very harmful. My problem lies with the theist. The theist is one who says, "I know there's a god, I know which one it is, I have a personal relationship with God, I know exactly who and what God is, I know His will and His commands, I have the authority to speak on His behalf as His representative, I know what foods you should and shouldn't eat, I know which days you shouldn't work on, I know how and when you should pray, I know exactly how much of your genitals should be cut off, I know who you should sleep with and in what position, and failure to comply with any of these conditions will result in an eternity in a lake of fire." It shouldn't be an mystery why I'm not keen on this way of thinking. No one has any right or authority to tell others how to live. I don't believe because I don't see any reason to, but I understand why some might arrive at a different conclusion. The universe is, after all, a mystery. We know the big bang happened, but we don't know the story of how or why, or what was here before that. One could lose their mind contemplating such mysteries. To think about these things can be terrifying, and, in my opinion, a lot of fun. I can understand why some might feel that it makes no sense without a designer, that there must have been a creator of some type. The catch though, as it seems to me, is that a god doesn't really get you anywhere. If your explanation for everything is God, then you can stop wondering where the universe came from, but now you have to start wondering where God came from, how long he was here, what was here before God, or if he was here forever, how is that possible, and so forth. The mysteries don't end. You just have different mysteries. You can't escape mysteries. This is a fact we have to live with, and it makes some people very uncomfortable, evidently. But like it or lump it, you're going to be stuck with one mystery or the other for the time being, and as I see it, there's just no reason to throw a god into the mix. It's an unnecessary variable that needlessly complicates the equation. That said--that's just my opinion. Perhaps there is a designer. I don't know, and I can't know for sure, and that's the point. I have no objection to generic, elastic deism. Once again, my problem lies with dogma--with the doctrines that claim to know the truth, seek to enforce it on others, and tell people how to live their lives. This is pure delusion, as it is impossible to know any of this for sure. The biggest plothole of orthodox religion, it seems to me, is quite simply the fact that there is more than one. Why do people believe in their specific religion, their book, and their god? Why is the Christian a Christian? Why not a Muslim? Why does the Christian believe in the Abrahamic god and not Zeus? Or Odin? Shiva? Anubis? Why your religion, and not another? You will almost never hear an honest answer to these questions, because the only honest answer, as it seems to me, is essentially an outright admission that all of these religions are human-made, fallible, and nonsense: because they happened to have been born where they were born, and this was the religion taught to them. That's it. By and large, that's the reason why anyone is the religion they are: because they were born into that culture, to parents of that religion. Any feelings, signs, or experiences that they interpret as evidence are seen as evidence of their god. The Christian will have some feeling of profundity and know it to be evidence of Jesus. The Muslim will have the same feeling of profundity and see it as evidence of Allah. How convenient. Religion obeys geography, and believers will interpret any possible evidence as confirmation of what they already believe. Confirmation bias continually reinforces each person's belief in their own god, even when the evidence remains consistent across the board. People are born into a religion, and thus, that is what they believe. The Christian believes in the Bible and Jesus because they were born to Christian parents. If they had been born in the Middle East to Muslim parents, then that's what they'd be. If they'd been born in India, they would be Hindu. If they had been born in Denmark in the time of the Vikings, they would have worshipped Odin and Thor. If they had been born in ancient Greece, they would have believed in Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon, ancient Egypt, Anubis and Horas. Any experience they have that reinforced their belief does so for their specific god--the one they were born with. If they had been born in any of those other places, the experience would have reinforced the belief in that god. How do believers reconcile this? How does this not bother anyone? I am completely and utterly mystified as to how this simple fact of religion does not cause a complete derailment of the faith, an instant full-stop, causing everyone to say, "Well, wait a minute. If everyone over there believes something totally different, then how do we know that any of us is right?" Time and again, you will hear the same answers to this: faith. They just have faith. They just know. Well, all the other religions claim the same thing. How does this not bother anyone? What reason is there for anyone to think that they just happened to be lucky enough to be born into the right religion? People seem to believe that theirs has to be right, simply by dint of the fact that it is their religion, and for no other reason. The fact is that every religion is equally unlikely, and none of them have unique authority. From the outside looking in, the Bible and the Qu'ran appear no different than the teachings of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, or any other. Just uncorroborated, unsubstantiated, fantastical stories of gods. And yet, for completely arbitrary reasons, we are admonished to regard modern religions with utmost respect, while we file the old, dead gods into the graveyard we call mythology. The idea I'm trying to get across has never been articulated better than this: Yes, this video is satirical, mocking, and comical, as is this youtuber's style, but the points are completely accurate, and make this problem with religion crystal clear. There are many believers who will argue that which religion you are doesn't matter, and that they basically all worship the same god, just with different names. This simply isn't true. Each holy book tells a completely different story, and they are all incompatible with each other. Take Islam, for example. Islam says that Jesus was not the son of God, and that it is blasphemy to say he is. Worship of Jesus will lead you to hell. This obviously doesn't square with Christianity. People who argue that all religions basically worship the same god either haven't actually read the books, or they cherry-pick and interpret the books to fit what they already believe, which is something that came from the people around them, or from themselves, not from the books. I would argue that such people are more deists than theists, and their elastic interpretations of religions are less harmful. However, at that point, I would submit that if one is going to cherry pick the holy books, then you've already broken the "rules", so why not jettison the rule book entirely and admit that we do not, and cannot know? But I digress. What explanations could there be for this massive discrepancy between religions? There aren't many possibilities. Each religion claims that their holy book was written or dictated by the creator of the universe, and that it is his immutable word. At most, only one book could possibly be true, because they all contradict each other. Therefore, the possibilities are as follows: 1) God wrote all (or some) of the books, but only one is true. He gave one group the truth and gave the rest gibberish. 2.) God wrote one book. He gave the truth to one group, and just ignored the rest. 3.) God wrote none of the books. Humans wrote all of them, and none are true. This means that either A.) God is a troll, B.) God is a jerk, or C.) Humans tried to explain existence with extremely limited technology and knowledge, each culture invented a religion and wrote different flawed books. Which scenario seems more likely? Many theists will claim that this discrepancy between religions is actually by design, and that it is a test by God. They claim that God is testing their faith, and that they will be rewarded for keeping faith in their religion despite the disagreement between the others. To be blunt, I cannot overstate what a hollow, non-sequitur cop-out this claim is. What motivation could a supposedly perfect being have for deliberately sending us flawed, confused, mixed messages, and then demanding that we believe one of them with no sound reasons or evidence? What could be gained from this? Why would a perfect being reward blind faith? In what possible sense is blind faith a virtue? Why would God not instead reward us for questioning, for thinking critically, and for using the mental faculties that he supposedly endowed us with? Why would he not appreciate a commitment to truth, to intellectual honesty, and having the courage and integrity to follow wherever the evidence leads? The answer is quite simple: because the gods of our holy books are petty, vindictive, vain, and selfish. Chief among their concerns is that we worship them alone, above all else. It seems to me that an omniscient, perfect being would be wise enough to more concerned with how people actually treat each other, rather than if we worship him blindly. Only a selfish being would demand worship. I submit that a being who demands worship is not worthy of it to begin with. I can't imagine that I will ever understand how believers are able to wave away this glaring plothole. It seems that they either haven't given it any thought, and simply take the religion that was thrust upon them without question, or... they actually have evaluated other religions, questioned, thought, and reached a conclusion that theirs must be right, and all others must be wrong. If the latter, then I don't understand how this conclusion can reached. What reasoning could there be to think that yours just happens to be right? Believers must surely be aware that all other believers of all other religions have reached that same conclusion about their own faith. If all people of all faiths are reaching the conclusion that theirs is right and all others are wrong, then something isn't adding up. This is clearly a demonstration of confirmation bias in its most elegant form. I'd like to offer one more elegant summary of this plothole before I move on: I have heard from people who identify as a particular religion, and yet their views are so malleable, so flexible, that they admit that all religions could be wrong, believe that all could be right in some bizarre way, and believe that all you have to do is be a good person and you'll wind up in heaven. To these people, I ask why they still identify with their religion? Many will say that it is for the community aspect, the social bonds and fellowship that it provides. This is understandable, but these things can be obtained without subscribing to a divisive doctrine, and without believing anything on insufficient evidence. At this time I would like acknowledge the fact that there are some smaller, independent-type churches that are not dogmatic, and teach a very generic and malleable form of spirituality. Such churches are usually much more tolerant, open-minded, and don't tend to threaten people with ideas like sin and hell. These types of churches seem fairly harmless to me. While I personally don't see the need to bring spirituality into the mix, I also generally don't object to churches like this if they aren't doing any harm. I have been asked why I write essays like this, and why I fight against religion. People have called me hypocritical, saying that I claim I want religion to leave people alone, and yet I won't leave religion alone. Why can't I just let people believe what they want if they're not hurting anyone? Well, the reason is because I believe that orthodox religion is always harmful, even if it doesn't seem that way. Even if a particular subscriber keeps their faith private, doesn't push it on others, and doesn't appear to be causing any harm, I argue that they are still causing harm in unforeseen ways simply by being a part of the religion. They're still supporting an organization that is damaging to the world. It may encourage others to subscribe or continue subscribing to the religion. It encourages the perpetuation of superstition. Even if a particular church or religious denomination seems harmless and loving from the inside, in can still be perpetuating and encouraging a larger world of dogmatism and irrationality. I'll concede that there may be particular individuals who are so private with their faith that they truly aren't hurting or affecting anyone else, and I'll stipulate that those people aren't directly causing any harm, but I will still fight to change their minds so as to gain a potential ally in the war of ideas. I will continue to fight against the doctrines because I dream of living in a world where divisive dogma doesn't impede science and progress and cause needless suffering. I want to stop theocrasy from continually creeping into public policy. Most of all, I dream of living in a world where people stop fighting and killing each other over flawed, ancient books. As always, it's impossible to say everything I want to in one essay, and I'm sure I've left things out or made some errors or contradictions that may come back to bite me. I also realize how touchy this is, and that I've probably angered a few people. For that, I do apologize. Sometimes I think it would be better to keep my mouth shut rather than invite the flames and reap the whirlwind. That's exactly what I did for twenty years, and I still choose to write in this quiet corner of the internet that is more tolerant and open-minded than most. But I've decided that it's better to speak up, at least somewhere, because my time on this planet is so limited, and I want to do what I can to make the world a better a place. Thanks for reading.
  4. There's no question that we've made an enormous amount of social and scientific progress over the centuries, perhaps most of that progress being in the last half century or so. Even though the current political landscape and discourse can make us feel the contrary, things are definitely the best and most evolved that they've ever been in the history of our species. However, as I see it, there remains one major hurdle that desperately needs to be overcome in the near future: clearing up misconceptions about atheism, which is the purpose of this essay. Whether you are an atheist or not, we need to start having more honest conversations about the topic. We can still have disagreements, of course. People can disagree about the existence of a god(s), but do so in a civil way in which no one is portrayed as a villain. Here's the short of it: atheism is nothing more than a lack of a belief in a god, but an inordinate amount of people, still today, believe that atheism is some sort of immoral doctrine. This insanity has to stop. Let me explain this very plainly. Atheism is not a doctrine nor a dogma, it's not a belief "system", nor a choice. It simply means that one hasn't been convinced that a god exists. That's it. "I've seen the arguments for and the evidence against, I've read the books, and I'm simply not convinced that a god exists." Nothing more. And yet, it seems that there are still a lot of people who think that atheism is some sort of unethical, immoral, evil, dogmatic belief system, some sort of hedonistic chaos doctrine that says, "nothing matters, so let's all just have orgies willy nilly and kill each other." Nothing could be further from the truth. Atheists, by and large, belief that life matters a great deal. In fact, it is specifically because of the finality of death that we believe every moment is precious, but that's a larger tangent that I don't want to get into right now. The point is that atheism isn't a set of rules or some sort of satanic belief system. It just means one isn't convinced. If I handed you a copy of Harry Potter and said, "Now, do you believe that Lord Voldemort is real?", you would obviously say no. Even if the book itself said that every word was literally true, you probably still wouldn't be convinced. Not without evidence. What if I asked you if you believe in fairies? Unicorns? Dragons? You wouldn't be convinced of the existence of any of those without evidence. It's not outright impossible for any of those to exist, but we have no reason to believe they do. We've never seen a shred of evidence. So, you wouldn't be convinced. It's no different with respect to atheists and god(s). We're just not convinced. It's not a choice, and it's not an active rejection of any of the good teachings of god or the bible (of which there aren't many. :/ ) It's simply a position of looking at the bible and going, "Eh, I just don't see any evidence. I'm not convinced." Before continuing, I'd like to add that atheist are not dogmatic. We don't say that it's impossible for a god to exist, and absolutely nothing can change our minds. No, not at all. Quite the contrary. You show us some evidence, and our minds will be changed accordingly. If a god descends from the clouds and says, "Here I am," they by golly, I'll be a believer. I simply don't believe in things for no reason with no evidence. Not being convinced that a god exists is clearly an amoral belief--neither moral nor immoral. It has nothing to do with whether you're a good person or not, just as not being convinced that unicorns are real has nothing to do with morals. Arguably, not believing in a god often results in better morals because one must get their morals from themselves and other people, and modern people are far more moral, and far better arbiters of morality than an ancient book. Moreover, most religious people don't get the majority of their morality from their holy book. If they did, they'd be executing gays and stoning their children to death for back-talk. Religious people still get the vast majority of their morality from the other people in their culture, and that morality is a product of centuries of secular progress. For instance, figuring out that gay people are just people, and deserving of the same respect, rights, and compassion as everyone else, was the result of secular ideas and pressure. This realization didn't come from rereading and reinterpreting the bible. We have become more moral and more ethical throughout the ages because we are thinking beings with an innate ability to reason, to tell right from wrong, and improve our morality. Morality doesn't come from a god. It comes from us. But whether or not you believe in a god, it's time we stop thinking that atheism is inherently immoral. I chose the subtitle for this essay because there have been so many social hurdles that have been cleared, and are now commonplace and widely accepted, but atheism still has so far to go. In the not too distant past, the issue of the day was civil rights, racial equality and integration. Even though racism is still a problem, there is absolutely no comparison to how it was in the 1960's and prior. We've had a black president, interracial relationships are completely commonplace, and there's lots of black people in the entertainment industry, and in media, and has been for many years. Even though it's not perfect, I'd say we're basically past that hurdle. In my generation, the big issue has been homosexuality. I'd say we are by and large past that hurdle as well. We got gay marriage, and there's a quite a lot of gay representation in entertainment. I mean, you've got sitcoms like Will & Grace, you've got gay characters on shows and in movies, you've got entire LGBT networks, and hell, just the other day I say a jewelry commercial--y'know, one of these "a diamond is forever" things--that featured a lesbian couple. Sure, there's still lots of gay hatred and intolerance, but homosexuality is brazenly out there in the media, and most people seem cool with it. Most shows/movies/networks don't seem afraid to have a gay character. Most filmmakers or tv show producers, or game developers for that matter, don't seem to be scared that if they include a gay character, they'll lose their audience. It's not an issue. But atheism hasn't made much headway, here. Atheism is still kept in the shadows, and having an openly atheist character is taboo. The only openly atheist characters on tv are edgy cartoon characters like Brian Griffin and Rick Sanchez. The makers of these shows get away with it, in part because of their target audience, but also, I believe, because people have an easier time stomaching this position from a cartoon character who isn't real. I suspect that if live action sitcom characters were openly atheist, people would have a completely different and objectionable reaction. I suspect they'd become soured, start hating the show and the character, and possibly even conflate the character with the actor, thinking that they are immoral and such. Cartoon characters don't seem to have this problem as they are so much further removed from the real world. Personally, I think it's tragic that the Big Bang Theory guys are not openly atheist. Of all people, they absolutely should be, and yet with some of them, they just don't mention it, and with others, they are "culturally" religious--they identify as a particular religion, but don't seem to really practice it. I have no doubt that the writers felt that openly atheist characters would drive the audience away. This is absolutely shameful. It is time that we have atheists represented in entertainment at the same level as gays. One of the only openly atheist characters in television history was Mike from All in the Family, a show that was far ahead of its time. Atheism needs to be commonplace in the media. The misconceptions about it will probably never stop until people start seeing atheists in the media and realizing that they're just people, not a cult of vampires or something. We need to start talking honestly about atheism. We need to stop tiptoeing around the word, saying it hushed tones, and being afraid to admit that we're not convinced that a god exists. Regardless of one's beliefs about a god, it needs to be understood that atheism absolutely is not something unnatural, sinister, or immoral. You may have noticed that I always used the phrase "a god", not just, "god", like a name. I do this intentionally to raise awareness that the Abrahamic god is not unique, special, or different from the thousands of other gods that have been created throughout history, thousands of which are still worshipped today. The god of the bible is just one god--one among many. Every believer is an atheist with respect to every other god that's ever been worshipped. We non-believers just take it one god further.
  5. Trump recently attended some type of voter summit where he belted out to a crowd of adoring fans about how he would restore Christian values to a nation that had lost its religious roots. Allowing companies to deny women birth control on the basis of religion was just the beginning. Every day that I wake up, it's some new unspeakable horror. Most days, I wish I didn't wake up. Yes, this blog entry will be provocative and probably offensive to some, if you haven't figured that out. I can't pull any punches today. The fact is that losing our religious roots is the only way that we have made any progress. Outgrowing our attachment to divisive, irrational, superstitious dogma is how we move forward, improve our world, grow out of the infancy of our species, and become adults. And yet, fans cheered with joy as Trump touted about rolling America back to a more traditional and religious time. He said, (paraphrasing) "My, how the times have changed, but mark my words, they are changing back." The actual quote was something extremely close to that. Trivially different. That's the sentiment he conveyed. Trump's vision is bad enough, but the cheers from his fans is what upsets me the most. It fills me with a horror so dark, black, and unspeakable that I sometimes I feel like my heart is literally going to cave in from despair. Knowing that, most likely, the next ~7 years will spent watching my culture crumble and eat itself makes me wish I was dead. Yes indeed, our country has drifted too far from its religious roots. We have drifted too far from burning witches and heretics. We have drifted too far into the realms of reason, rationality, sanity, compassion, knowledge, science, truth, fact, tolerance, and equal protection under the law. No sir, we cannot have any of that. We must return to a dark age when god's law was THE law, and if your beliefs differed from those in power, then it's a fiery death for you. We must return to a time when the Earth was flat and the sun revolved around us, as it should. Letting companies discriminate on the basis of religion is a good start, but certainly not enough to meet our goal of returning us to circa 1314. We must outlaw gay marriage, and interracial marriage to boot. We must then teach pseudo-science in school. All public schools must have a creation class, followed by bible studies, prayer, and alchemy. We'll want to destroy most modern medicine, as god never intended for us to play him with our bodies in this way. We must get rid our doctors, surgeons, and therapists and bring in priests to perform exorcisms on children with schizophrenia. We must roll back women's suffrage--after all, what good has a woman ever done in this world? Oh, but that's still not enough, is it? No. We'll need to reinstate slavery as well in our quest to make a world worth living in. Above all, we must roll back our world to a time when gods came down out of the sky and flooded the earth and performed miracles, because that time was far more interesting, romantic, and exciting than the boring world of today when all we can do is make self-driving cars, look at the microwave background radiation of the big bang, and move silly carbon monoxide molecules around to make a stop-motion movie with atoms that can only be seen under an electron microscope. I apologize profusely for the exaggerated sarcasm. I realize that that last paragraph probably went too far, and was offensive, but my gut-wrenching despair is often too much to bear, and it helps to vent honestly. I'm sorry. Please understand a couple of things: first, I am in favor of reason, rationality, secularism, and equal protection under the law. That last paragraph was sarcasm intended to paint a vision of the most horrific world possible. Secondly, I am not in any way saying that every religious person, or every conservative, or every republican wants the dark world I just described. Of course not. That's crazy. And I'm not in the habit of painting entire groups of people as my enemy. But what terrifies me day and night is that a sizable number of people really do want to roll back time, not to the middle ages perhaps, but to the 1950's, absolutely. Many people desperately want the bible to be a part of our constitution. They want god's law to be federal law. They want homosexuality to be a capital crime. They want segregation. They want pseudo-science taught in schools. They want birth control banned. They want to take away all rights that a woman might have over her reproductive cycle. I must take a quick tangent to say that while the abortion debate is at least a valid debate, with valid opinions to be heard on both sides, the idea of contraception, of preventing unwanted pregnancy to begin with, being immoral, is purely medieval. Believing contraception to be immoral is perhaps the darkest, most backwards and disgusting stupidity that our pathetic species is capable of. Many people want to undo a century of fantastic progress, and I do not doubt for a second that Trump is one of them. I genuinely believe that if Trump were made lord emperor of earth, with absolute power and no checks of balances, he would roll back our civilization to the dark ages. I desperately wish to be told that I am GREATLY exaggerating, but I fear am I not. I fear that we are on a knife's edge, and with the slightest nudge, the enemies of basic human sanity could win. I fear that forces of superstition, lunacy, and religious fanaticism may be gaining an unstoppable amount of momentum. It doesn't help that people are losing trust in liberalism due to the outrage culture, what with free speech being hindered due to political correctness and such. I fear that the agents of ignorance will never stop trying to eat this world, and if we relax and grow complacent, they might yet win. We need to keep speaking out against dangerous ideas with every fiber of our beings.
  6. Trump's inauguration was stomach churning enough already, but in my view, what was far more horrifying was the fact that the presidential inauguration is, in 2017, still chocked full of religious benedictions and prayers. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave. There is supposed to be a figurative wall of separation between church and state. As I often point out, it is only by this wall that we are guaranteed freedom of religion in the United States. And yet, this wall has never been more than a weak, crumbling fence. Regardless of anyone's religion or spiritual views, religion must have no place in our government, laws, and public policies. "One nation under god" in the pledge is not a separation of church and state. "In god we trust" on the money is not a separation of church and state. Prayers and benedictions at the presidential inauguration is not a separation of church and state. Requiring legals oaths in government institutions to be taken while placing one's hand on a bible is an embarrassing and archaic tradition that should have died out when our country was founded. The horrific truth is that, beyond the invention of some pretty nifty gadgets, little has changed since the time of ancient Greece. Compare the following two clips; the first, a scene from a movie depicting ancient Greece, and second, the benediction from Trump's inauguration: (The first 30 seconds or so of this one will suffice.) There is little difference between these two scenes. Imagine the change in tone, the change in reaction, the change in the world, if Reverend Graham had substituted the word "Apollo" for "god". Imagine if the reverend stated that Poseidon had blessed Trump's family, administration, and presidency. Think for a second about what that would have done to the good Mr. Graham's reputation, as well as Mr. Trump himself, and most of the people involved with the inauguration. I don't think I need to elaborate or extend this analogy any further. It should be quite clear how such a statement would be received at a presidential inauguration. And yet, what was said is absolutely no different. The names have been changed. That's it. There's no more evidence for the existence of the biblical god than there is for gods of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, or anywhere else. It's not like at some point along the way, humanity disproved Zeus but not the god of Abraham. This was not a discovery made in the third century. The fact that a moment from the presidential inauguration of 2017 can sound essentially exactly like a scene from Troy should terrify every one of us. It certainly terrifies me. Go watch Troy. Right now. That's basically our world. Give everyone in Troy a smart phone, and that's the world we're living in. There's really no fundamental difference. Anyone who believes that this is a great exaggeration is either delusional, grossly ignorant, or willfully blind.
  7. I've seen that this question hasn't been here on the forums yet and I'd like to see your answers, I myself am a deist.
  8. I been thinking about this and I think I want to share my views with people they are still somewhat work in progress but if you have some input then say it. So to the questioñ What is life? What is the purpose of our existence? Who are we? Why we are here? Why we are like this? What is going on here? I'll try to answer those questions from my own point of view and from what I believe through my research and thinking. Let's lay out some base points here: first. I created my belief on basis that everything that exists has to have some kind of significance. So basically if something exists it has to be true up to some extent or contain at least something that can be used or leveraged as a part of your growth. And by exists I mean everything even ideas on peoples head. Second: I think that the goal of everything is to move forward/grow/gain more information. That is the base of existence if something doesn't move forward it cannot exist at all it is not possible. Third: I think the key to growth and that way existing is work. And I don't mean like physical work I mean work in a sense that physical or spiritual energy is being used so basically everything that requires you to use up energy is work which in turn moves your forward. Fourthly: everything in my theory leverages quite heavily on christianity as that is the religion that I've had most experiences with. That in mind I still believe that every religion and non religion has some significance as they couldn't exist if that wasn't the case. So what is life? To put it simply I would say that it is our first step in a bigger staircase. I think that what we are currently experiencing is our spirit controlling the flesh that is our body. The goal of this life I think is for the spirit to become one with the flesh. To achieve that I think the key is to work focusing your flesh and spirit to one and that way moving forward. But our life is just one step in our way of growing and moving forward as an existence. That leads us to question What is the purpose of our existence? I think that after becoming one with our flesh and spirit next step is to start becoming one with everything else that exists. Basically absorbing everything into yourself so it exists within yourself but it still exists as separate entity as Well. After you've became one with everything in this plane of existence you must rid yourself from this plane of existence that you exist within and become your own plane of existence while .still being part of the original plane. Next you are able to create your own universe inside if yourself and there you will be able to create existences by shattering yourself into pieces staying still whole thus creating your own mankind. In there a single existence might have similar experience as you are having right now as I think what we are right now is actually a part of that kind of bigger existence in this infinite loop of growth and moving forward. There is still more to it but that is kinda the general point on what I believe in.
  9. I never understood the concept of arguing over differing philosophies. Especially those which involve religious ideals. When you truly believe in your chosen faith, it becomes a part of your very being. A part of who you are. When you insult that part of a person, they're not going to ignore that. No matter how much you argue, you'll never get them to change their mind. They'd have to change their entire psychological structure to even be okay with it. The only thing arguing will result in is both parties being totally pissed off at eachother, and the ultimatum that nobody knows exactly what the truth is. It is for this reason that, in my opinion, faith is less about knowing what is true, and more about knowing thyself, who you are, and who you will strive to become. So what do you all think? What is your opinion on religious diversity? ¦D
  10. I'm just asking this because we really don't know if there is anything of the sort in Equestria (which I guess kudos to the writers for that). I know we have the princesses but that doesn't really constitute a religion.
  11. I had to move and add a few to make them make sense, so don't correct me! These are also the religious holidays of those of us in The Pinkie Sense religion or "Pinkics." *Celestia's Birthday -January 1st (New Year's) *Winter Wrap Up -the day before the first day of spring *Bunny Day -lines up with Easter *Clover Day -lines up with St. Patrick's Day *Discord Day (April Fool's) -April 1st *Gummy's Birthday -April 28 *Pinkie's Birthday -April 29 *Mother's Day -May 11 *Father's Day -June 15 *Summer Sun Celebration -lines up with the summer solstice *Harmony Celebration -July 4th *Nightmare Night -October 31st *Thanking Day - November 27th *Hearth's Warming Eve/Day -December 24th/25th
  12. Hey guys, I'm quite new to the forums but have felt very welcomed into the community. The more I search the more I see threads of Brony's trying to find others who follow the same religion. I'm a firm believer in scientology and would really like to meet fellow scientologist brony's out there. Please do not hate on this thread because you dislike scientology. It is a legitimate religion and I am a strong believer. Any scientologist brony's out there make yourself known on this thread! Would love to meet some
  13. It is getting harder and harder to fully understand where I fall categorically in regards to politics, and other aspects as well. After watching this video I'm really at a loss for words, and at a loss for thoughts. Even bearing in mind no human is infallible beforehand, I've almost come to believe every human is bound to succumb to hypocrisy because there is no foreseeable way to exit the system, and no way to get along with others who won't allow themselves to fall farther from the apple tree than they need to.
  14. Where do you stand in life? Personally, this is my score: I think it's a little far on the left, but otherwise pretty accurate. I'm a Christian fundamentalist but I am economically closer to a neoliberal like Barack Obama. I don't think this belongs in the political section because this is it identification and not discussion. I could be wrong though :/
  15. The more I watch this show and view the fan creations the more I am convinced that Princess Luna is a representation of the Great Goddess. Luna exists as Deity in her own right, being an immortal being with the power to raise the moon and stars. She possess the ability to use magic and uses this magic to enter other ponies' dreams. What Scootaloo did in "Look before you sleep" was essentially a magical technique called Pathworking with Luna as her Guide.The show itself features characters from mythology such as a minatour, cockatrice, and manicore. And don't even get me started on the fan animations. I specifically asked one of the co-creators of "Children of the Night" and, although might have been unintentional, the video is heavily laden with Wiccan themes and patterns. "we will forever be Her children of the night", "Nopony knows that we are still here, smiling beneath the moonlight while remembering our dear Mother", and the fact that Luna takes 6 perfect couples (plus herself would make 13, a witch's number) is too great to ignore. Is there anyone else who feels this way too? Is there anyone on these boards who is Wiccan (Trad. or otherwise)? How do you feel about using a character to enhance your own understanding of the Divine? Blessings, Dave Cline
  16. Welcome to Pagan gathering grounds A place to share your beliefs, and hear others in theirs. (Fluttershy approved) This is not a debate thread! This thread is simply to share your ideas, and experiences, and see who else might share in your beliefs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Paganism is a broad category, and covers a wide range of beliefs from Norse to greek, to witchcraft and even tribal systems of belief that may be very fringe compared to many. For the most part, Paganism is defined by it's close ties to the natural world, where the trees and animals are sacred. I'll begin by saying that all religious systems are right to those who choose to believe in them. Faith doesn't really get chosen so much as it chooses you. If you never find belief in one, and remain atheist, that's alright too, but the most important thing is to always listen, and never be ignorant to those ideas you don't agree with. Personally I'm friends with Atheists, Muslims Christians, Pagans and Buddhists alike. I favour none over another, because I see the value in all forms of belief to those who follow these ideas, and I encourage all of you to embrace this idea as well. Love and tolerance! What do I believe in? So How about you? Do you consider yourself pagan? If so, what sort of thing do you believe in? Have you had any interesting experiences based around these ideas?
  17. Say, Hasbro sells MLP at Country X, whose people consider gryphons as sacred animals in their religion. As a result, many customers from that country (not just little girls and their parents, and any local bronies and pegasisters) go to toy stores all over Country X to buy any sets with Gilda figures, to use these plastic images of that particular she-gryphon as idols to worship their gods. How would Hasbro react to its customers, from that particular country, treating some of its toys like religious items? Would Hasbro stop selling the worshipped toys to preserve its secular image, or to avoid religious controversies? Or would Hasbro not only continue selling the worshipped toys, but also theme those toys after the customers' culture and folktales? Or even use this unusual tradition to promote an event influenced by Country X's local traditions, to promote their toys and entertain their customers?
  18. Source: SJW as related to religious naivete and charity scams, and how to solve it.
  19. You! Bow down before your god! Discord, the creator of chaos, we all are your humble servants. Blind are those who do not see the true beauty of chaos and disharmony without which there would be no life on earth. Fools are those who think you're evil, their eyes were clouded with false speeches of those who have the audacity to call themselves the rulers of Equestria. We are the last who have not forgotten the truth. We are the last who still believes in you. Alicorns invaded your territory, seeking for your treasure. They managed to defeat you by trickery and deceit, trapping you in stone prison for ever. They underestimated your strength. Soon you will come back and Equestria will go back to its original chaotic state. After receiving your treasures alicorn decided to humiliate you. They named you evil and proclaimed themselves as saviors. They were so greedy that they could not share the wealth and tried to destroy each other. Using your greatest creation, the Elements of harmony, the eldest of the Alicorns trapped her little sister on the moon, since your creation was not created to destroy. As soon as the younger sister was locked on the moon, the elder began lying about the fact that her sister lost her mind and became a monster. Thus older sister again exposed herself as a hero. Fortunately, the Elements could not keep her younger sister in her prison for more than a thousand years. But older sister knew it. She raised herself a pupil who had strong magical abilities and blindly believing in false speeches of the Alicorn. After that, she sent her to fight with her younger sister. Once the pupil has won, the eldest Alicorn wiped the memories of her younger sister not to let her reveal the truth. We are the only survivors of the powerful chaos order who worship you through centuries. We are here to bring you back and reveal the truth to the world. Glory to our God. Glory to Discord. And let the chaos illuminate your way.
  20. I am an ex-Christian. When I was a Christian I was engaged by wanting to avoid going to hell in any way I could so I did research and eventually found out it was false, but my point is I'm not ignorant on religion. I also grew up with some final fantasy, and it was incredibly engaging and confusing but motivating and sorta inspiring. But yesterday I recognized more similarity between fiction and religion. Namely the Abrahamic religion is so popular its essentially a no contest, and that means its doing something right other religions are not. Final Fantasy was a best seller so it too was doing something right, and recently I was looking up theory sorta final fantasy videos then I realized, the greater the cost to not adventure in Final Fantasy, is the greater the motivator to adventure. I realized religion is similar, the threat of eternal hell, an apocalypse, muddled history and conflicting messages. Jenova of ff7 was also confusing, being controlled through Sephiroth to take on his form, and you are actually chasing Jenova the majority of the time. And yes Jenova sounds alot like Jehova. But then how about mentioning the epic of Gilgamesh and Gilgamesh's role in the final fantasy world. Anyways. I come to the accurate conclusion that the greater the cost, the more willingness to be invested. And what greater cost is there really? This could be incredibly useful for fictional writing. If we look to tv shows their stakes are high if they are popular. Or at least are acted as if they are high. Like it could be a lower stake but presented more dramatically or meaningfully. Its due to value, you threaten everything a person is or can have, then it motivates them to charge ahead. But what motivation is it? In a story that is popular its the force behind communicating about it like a fanboy, discussing it after because you feel motivated by it. Sort of like those who understand the risk and consequence of hell better who are Christian tend to try educating themselves more to see what is the way to ensure heaven over hell (and then the bible says only 144,000 can go to heaven lol and being the logical person you are you realize the odds are basically extremely low so you need to find out even more and cannot rely on assuming your god has your back. Eventually there are things in the bible that contradict reality and itself enough so one day a flood of realization occurs after one new fact then you are like desensitized briefly cathartic and numb and can't think due to being stunned, that it was really so obviously fake in hind-sight.) So anyways, sorry but this is a blog I'm allowed to get personal. Anyways I think its a great theory for story writing, even if its basic in a way. Its basically like saying certain shows or forms of media or stories thrill us due to the subconscious risk we associate with it, and because it motivates us it seems fun. But something feels off about it, that's where final fantasy throws in a Sephiroth being a loony so you feel off right when you should, it seems more natural even. There is a saying about logical studies that is something like, if you are confused it means you heard something that doesn't match up with what you currently believe. Religious bypass that with faith to ensure their long term confusion and doubt are buffered against. But another thing they have in common is mystery and limited information. The only source of information in the story you get is through the conflict, like in religion. It sorta sets up a batman and joker complex, you rely on the enemy for something. It might even be similar to Stockholm syndrome. And thing is, with so many other religions, or at the time the idea of heaven and hell were made Christianity wasn't entirely in power, so what do they do is make you feel important because you don't feel empowered. Its your source of power, this psychologically forces your new neurons and brain expenditure to be filtered through that first. Its a type of conditioning. Its exactly like gratitude to a hero. You want to see if you can support their cause. And the heaven vs hell thing applies even more because if you are a minority in the world you can be tricked into thinking you are the one of the few elite. This is an appeal to egotism, just like playing hero in a story is an appeal to egotism. Just like being a martyr can be satisfactory because it still says you were important and persecuted and if anything is a confirmation bias proving you were better than them. Its a really anti-social mindset if you look at it in one way. 'Them'. This just means psychologically speaking your neurons associate pain with 'them' which increases aggressive and antisocial attitudes. This is why in the bible it says the world is evil, that's why in ff7 the world is practically run by shinra. It makes you hate reality, doubt humanity irrationally. You vs the world. That's what fervor is. And I recognize fanboying is rather similar. They can defend their fandom to the death and are eternally hyped. Heroes in stories are tremendously popular, and also an aspect of alot of modern and pre-modern religions. Like Celtic religions had alot of bloodshed and battles and heroism, then there was complex plot for Rome and Greece religions because of how many mixed cultures it was. Even final fantasy is western due to Japan practicing a combination of religions including some Christianity Shintoism Buddhism and I forget the fourth. And there is a game theory on how ff is anti-organized-religion but pro spiritual, and I can def see that just look at half the stuff Aerith says then Shinra is a corrupt organization in power. Look at the history of the catholic church, its literally impossible the rulers actually believed what they were saying, AND they had more information which implies they knew a god didn't exist the whole time which is why they feel free to be hypocrites at the top levels. Because they both know more, and decide that means god isn't real, and continue telling you to believe, and they built the Vatican off of their greed and to this day are eating til they are fat. They aren't monk-like or humble, they are disgusting and the most popular organized religion of the world yet. And they force others to submit to fear more often because they are more aware of how one can feel low, to be forced to serve through them. Like showing submission in their churches asking to be forgived in their churches already psychologically causes an inferiority complex similar to master slave relationships. Please god forgive me [or eternal torture] please don't [send me to hell] I'm sorry for everything [you deserve pity, feel graced I will allow you to be forgiven then serve me more in the future due to gratitude that I won't eternally torture you today]. Then in final fantasy 7 you feel powerless and such. At one point Sephiroth gives you a materia by throwing it at you with force and then your character can barely stand up (Cloud) then you take the materia after anyways. And Sephiroth is motivated by being the chosen one (just like in Christianity you are the chosen line of people, reminds me of the teacher's pet sorta deal). Idk I guess I said it all already and am half rambling due to lack of feeling like a strong conclusion occurred. Post your thoughts below.
  21. So people can be pretty awesome. I think most of us tend to forget that or maybe some choose to ignore it because cynicism and misanthropy are "safer" for some reason. However, people have done great things, towering things, things that never had been done before. From the forums of Plato, to Michealangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, to Darwin studying on the Galapagos Island, to Armstrong landing on the moon. Speaking of which, here's a quote I sometimes turn to: "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." ~President John F. Kennedy So in honor of such men, or women, who dreamt of things that never were until they made them, who are some of your favorite people, their accomplishment(s) you like, and why?
  22. I was at church yesterday, and during the sermon I thought to myself how ironic it is that I'd grown up going to this church, which teaches and preaches of things I do not agree with... *Sigh* For a long time I've been realizing the amount of attention that religion has been getting (here [on the forums] and everywhere [in real life, generally]). It's sad to see that more often than not, the people talking are, on both sides, stubborn. I know what you may have been thinking, "oh great, another rant on religion" - but I ask you to hear me out, because this isn't like the rest. --- Humans. We are all humans. So, that's the one string that should keep everything tied together to begin with. We believe what we see and hear in the ways that we want to, and develop our own opinions on things. And that's fine. Actually, that's great. This is a good thing. The bad thing is when people forget that they might not be right, and that there may be a better opinion on something. Close-mindedness creates a plethora of stubborn people who become hard-coded, stuck, unchangeable. --- We see all these threads/topics here on religion, and recently I've begun to grow stale of responding to them. Yes, I'm a Christian, so you ask, "Why? (am I growing stale of responding to religious threads)?" They aren't going anywhere, that's why. Circle after circle, they wind up ending where they began, with the same people supporting the same exact opinion they held from the beginning. *Hits the table* Seriously, what the heck is the point of discussion that is meant to enlighten others if it cannot progress? I am sick of seeing these circles. A discussion that goes nowhere is worthless and I'm not going to respond to people who aren't going to listen to me. --- if you're going to engage in discussion with others about something - about anything - don't think that what you believe, what your opinion is, is perfect. It isn't. My opinions are FAR from perfect and I know that, which is why I love to discuss things; I like learning! --- Open your ears and close your eyes. You can't see anything but what you already know. You can only see what others see by listening to them. This is why I've named the title of this blog what I did. Children are easy to teach because they are listening; they are ready to learn; they seek answers to things they don't know. Children don't know enough yet to have their minds closed; children learn because it's what they seek. When we grow up we must force ourselves to keep seeking in the same way children do. Otherwise we grow stale, close-minded, and unable to learn anything; from here, the circles begin. I'm talking to BOTH sides here; the religious and the non-religious. If you shut your ears to others you are limiting not only yourself, but you are making what others say worthless to say. --- (and now we're shifting gears, finally, into overdrive) --- "Was the Bible written by man or God" - "[insert circle talk]" / "Does God contradict Himself?" - "[insert circle talk]" / "Is the Bible infallible" ... "Does the Bible actually promote hate" ... "Does the Bible hate gays" ... "What does the Bible say about [x, y, z...]" ... AAARRGGGHHH No. I must keep it together. LISTEN. The Bible is the WORD of God... NOT GOD HIMSELF. The Bible is a TEXT that has been TRANSLATED many times. The Bible is NOT to be WORSHIPPED for ITSELF. GOD is to be WORSHIPPED if you want to be a Christian. --- Stop talking about contradictions, stop talking about "the Bible promotes [this and this]" ... Start LISTENING to Jesus Christ. If you are [a Christian]... We are followers of Jesus. We are His Children. He is our Messiah, Saviour, Teacher, Lord, and our BASIS for any creed we are going to believe in. Stop using your eyes and start using your EARS to listen to what He says. Don't read it; hear it. --- What is religion? It is a belief of a creed; a set of rules placed by a deity that we follow. What is Christiany? It is a FAITH in the Lord. A creed is placed using the Bible to record the rules God has given AND to record the history of the times it was written. The Bible is a historical text because it includes memory of things from the past! --- The Bible is split into two halves: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is OLD. It is Jewish Law. It is history. We as Christians must not read the Old Testament thinking that we are to follow its rules. We aren't Jewish! We're Christians! JESUS CHRIST did not exist before the New Testament. The Old Testament is the recording of rules placed for the times that were BEFORE CHRIST. Our religion is called Christianity because we are to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The teachings of Christ are in the NEW Testament. What does Jesus say about the Old Testament??? He says that the greatest Commandments are to LOVE. To Love God; and to Love each other. Why? Why are these the greatest of commandments? Because GOD IS LOVE And he wants us to love Him and everyone and everything. --- "The Way" There is sooo much misinterpretation about what "The Way" is. There isn't just one way to the Lord! There are infinite ways to the Lord because there can be infinite people who can love. On the other hand, there's only one way to not follow the Lord. There is only one way to following the Devil. That is hate. There is only one way to Hell and that is to hate people and to hate the Lord. The Devil doesn't want you to love anything. Not even him. He wants you to hate anything and everything. God wants you to love Him and love each other and love everything. So what is "The Way" that so many Christians like to debate about? "The Way" is your path to the Lord. "The Way" is how you love the Lord and love each other. How do you love? Everyone's love can differ. So there are multiple ways to love. There are infinite ways to love. There is only one way to not love and that is to hate. And there is only one way to hate, and that is to not love. --- That is a Christian ROCK song. It is about asking for life; asking for the breath of life to be breathed into us. What is life - how do we live? You speak LOVE you speak LIFE. Love is life. How do we love? We love in our ways. --- Jesus Christ was a contemporary. And so should we all be. Be contemporary, and open your mind. Be contemporary, and open your heart. Listen to Him. The most important rules of being a Christian are to love God and to love each other. ALL The other things of the law and the prophets hang on those commandments about love. The BIBLE hangs on the LAW OF LOVE! That is the greatest Law of all! LOVE. --- So when I hear other Christians preaching to live by other rules, to believe that God wants us to do certain things and everything else... I shake my head because that doesn't matter! The Bible is only about love. The New Testament fulfills the Old, and Jesus tells us that all that matters is to LOVE. So stop pinpointing the rules of the Old Testament and saying that God is anti-this and anti-that. God isn't ANTI ANYTHING. God is LOVE. And He sees and hears the hearts, the souls, the minds of EVERYONE. The Holy Spirit of God is in us ALL and it pushes us to learn the truth about what God wants us to know. It pushes us to know that God loves us, and that we should love Him, and that we should love ourselves, and that we should love each other and everything. LOVE is not about limiting others. LOVE is not about setting rules against being who you are. LOVE is not about stopping someone from doing what isn't wrong. The Old Testament was written in a time where certain rules needed to be put in place because God was protecting His people from harm. Don't eat certain meats; men should be circumcised; do not have pre-marital sex; do not have sex with prostitutes; do not be a prostitute, etc... God doesn't hate anyone. God wanted what was best for his people at a time when there were many diseases and health issues that could be the death of His people because they didn't have the knowledge or tools or doctors able enough to cure those illnesses. TIME CHANGES. We are now in a time when we DO have all that. We have the knowledge, the tools, and the doctors... NOT ONLY to treat those illnesses, but to prevent ourselves from getting sick in the first place. We leave in a MUCH cleaner world and we DON'T need to worry about the rules of the OLD Testament because Jesus fulfilled the Old with the NEW Testament. Think about it, fellows. Does it matter that some of us might eat those certain meats; that some of us might not be circumcised; that some of us may have sex before marriage; that some of us may have a sexuality other than straight? NO! It doesn't matter! Because the NEW Testament fulfilled the old with the new. The New Testament is NOT a contradiction; Jesus did NOT contradict God's words by overruling the old law. Jesus FULFILLED the Old. Jesus knew that we would grow into a society where we HAVE the ability to prevent and cure these illnesses. Jesus knew that as time passes, things change, and that to be PROGRESSIVE and move forward WITH time, that the NEW LAW did NOT need to worry about the same stuff as the Old Law did. WE CHANGED; not God; but God WANTED this change to happen, and He knew it would; and it makes Him happy that we can move forward with time and be PROGRESSIVE. We aren't "playing God" by preventing and curing illness. We are bettering ourselves under His name. He wants us to become better and smarter! He likes it that we have been able to overcome the illnesses that humans once used to be unable to deal with. That's why Jesus was able to create His progressive stance. Jesus wanted us to move forward and be contemporary. And now, in our contemporary world, it is 2015. We have come so far! Look at the amazing things we've been blessed with! To have hospitals to bare a child in! To have doctors to help with the birth of new life! To have technology to become connected on an online web of data where we can store information and talk to each other and create new societies! To have technology to build vehicles so we can travel long distances in short periods of time! To live in a greater world... It's AWESOME! And God LOVES it. He is sooo happy that we have been able to do this! THIS... right here... this website dedicated to letting people who like a show about LOVE, a show about ponies where the leader's duty (Twilight) is to create HARMONY among the people! God Bless it! Thank you God for giving us this show and this website that allows us to be able to create such a wonderful community... Thank you for being with us when we came together here! In Jesus name, AMEN! --- Can't you understand now, that Christianity is about LOVE! Spreading His Word doesn't need to be done with the Bible, for, we spread his word every second we breathe when we are loving each other and loving Him! Love, Yours Truly, Miles
  23. I see religious extremism as simply an intentional distraction to human spiritual evolution, to focus on hate instead of love, at a crucial time of awakening in humanity's history. The goal is to keep people hating and divided, so that they focus on the external problem, and not the internal problem - their own personal evolution - arising from their own issues. This war is an external manifestation of the internal hate in humanity. Divide and conquer - hate should not be what unites us, but a desire to provide a spiritual solution. The extremists have an edge because they are religiously focused and feel religiously justified to bring about Armageddon through bloodshed and conversion. We are only united in our hatred to eradicate them. This will not work, because you cannot fight against an ideology with violence, that only encourages it. In addition violence in an area destabilizes regions around it, which the virus of extremism then preys upon to increase their numbers, so while you are fighting them on one front they are converting locals to their army on several other fronts. ----- there are ancient texts on war, esp. in asia that state that if you can convince an army that their cause is not just that they are fighting for, and that yours is, that you can defeat an enemy simply by disintegrating their army into yours. You cannot win a war where religion competes for space with civil law. If you fear causing war over angering ones religious rights by standing up for what YOU believe by not giving in to what THEY believe then you have already lost. This is why groups allowing refugees in are learning the truth - if a people are in an area long enough and brainwashed by its ideals - even if they are suffering and fleeing, when they are welcomed into another country they will take those twisted ideologies with them, and try to convert the country, and use violence if necessary. Nomadic tribes who have honour based systems and clans do not think like democrats. Their status is earned religiously, not just given out. They see our customs as infidelic, and can use any manner of scriptures to justify their actions, even if another scripture contradicts it or is questionable in its validity. War breeds citizens willing to antagonize and be converted to soldiers, and criminals eager to commit violence for a cause, any cause, even one they don't originally adhere to. ----- Half of the problem here is that we do not understand how the enemy thinks - the other half is hubris. These people have survived for thousands of years on their own systems of nomadic governance, and we as outsiders are barreling in guns a blazing on a crusade basically to convert these people to democracy, thinking it is better for them, when in reality it has had questionable results even for the "civilized" world. And that is the other problem - the outside world sees these people as barbaric. This is not a war on terror - this is a war of hate. And that is a war that people in the shadows want to keep going, because the more you hate, the less focused you are of changing the world into somewhere that is actually stable and based on spiritual principles. I read up on these events to educate myself - but I do not hate these people. Justice and good and bad are all a matter of perspective - if someone comes in and bombs my home I am going to think they are evil, no matter what justifiable guise they wear, and no matter who struck first. ----- The solution here is spiritual. People need to work with local tribes to get them to fight back against these groups in the ways that have kept their culture going for thousands of years. They were able to deal with things before we stuck our noses in the way. When someone commits violence you punish the people, you do not react with hate. A reaction from hate is like poking an infected wound - the hatred has to already be there, deeply ingrained, for such a hateful reaction to occur. We have turned into an intolerant planet - fed hate by the media. Religions who all follow the same god destroy each other over things written in books. If I wrote a book that told people to kill people and someone claimed it was their religious right to follow my words, I would be executed as a cult terrorist leader and all those people would be put in jail. It's time to stop playing the pc coward. Religion abolished paganism under threat of death, stop allowing such practices with questionable violent intents to allow to be practiced. It is not religious freedom if the texts state to kill for ANY reason - those are not religions - those are dogmatic texts of violence and terror. ----- You can ban a book. You can outlaw a religion to be practiced. If a christian or jew went into muslim territory and tried to practice it they would most likely be killed. The reverse can also be applied. Don't provoke the enemy but also don't allow them to intimidate you. Say no. Focus on the spiritual practices of taking care of yourself and allowing those more equipped to handle these people deal with it, like the neighbouring arab countries and states. This is not a world government, and as harsh as it sounds, certain regions have been waging wars for thousand s of years, and they will continue to long after we are gone - it is a long standing feud. Don't bring the feud to your doorstep. If you are going to go in and pretend to take over a country in the guise of democracy then just do it the proper way - either let them fight their own wars or take it over and forbid practice of any extremist practices. It is not religious freedom to bring your hate into another country - it is a violation of that country's rights. I do not go into another persons house and smack a woman for not wearing a burka - your house, your rules. Your country, your rules. ----- Stand up for your rights, and realize that hating these people only cripples your own spiritual evolution, and fighting these people only causes them to recruit more. The only thing you will accomplish is destroying more and more of the world population - with a faith you can recruit the world, until your hubris destroys everything meaningful and all are caught in the crossfire. Instead focus on building a spiritual solution, practicing it, and offering it as a choice for these people to follow instead. The ONLY way to fight a corrupt religious ideology is with a pure spiritual ideology. That is what I have attempted to do with my source teachings - I am providing alternate things to believe, using that belief like a vector virus to heal an existing virus in an ailing war torn body. In addition - don't allow them to provoke you, and forget your own spiritual teachings and delve into ego, pride, revenge and hate. Rise above it - mourn the loss of the victims, and work on showing you are the better acting person by example, and perhaps all those rushing to convert to these extremist religions due to observing their families and homes blown up by "the west" might convert to something more stable and healing.
  24. Would Princess Celestia and Princess Luna be worshiped as gods by humans? Note: These Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are a bit overpowered than canon version... for example they can create entire galaxies with a flick of their hoof and their bodies can withstand the heat and pressure of a hypergiant star's core without even a scratch. Would such a religion rise in popularity? Over the last several decades since they made contact with us they have stopped us fighting, cured many horrible diseases, saved our environment and even stopped world hunger and stopped other bad things for humanity. Or would they be merely viewed as celebrities? The real (close to canon anyway) Princess Celestia and Princess Luna... not evil ones from certain fan fictions that shall remain nameless.