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Author Topic: 10 reasons you should never have a religion  (Read 1192 times)
Migs
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« on: December 05, 2008, 06:56:28 PM »

10 Reasons You Should Never Have a Religion
May 27th, 2008 by Steve Pavlina          

While consciously pursuing your spiritual development is commendable, joining an established religion such as Christianity, Islam, or Hinduism is one of the worst ways to go about it. In this article I’ll share 10 reasons why you must eventually abandon the baggage of organized religion if you wish to pursue conscious living in earnest.

Since Christianity is currently the world’s most popular religion, I’ll slant this article towards Christianity’s ubiquitous failings. However, you’ll find that most of these points apply equally well to other major religions (yes, even Buddhism).

1. Spirituality for dummies.
If you have the awareness level of a snail, and your thinking is mired in shame and guilt (with perhaps a twist of drug abuse or suicidal thinking), then subscribing to a religion can help you climb to a higher level of awareness. Your mindset, however, still remains incredibly dysfunctional; you’ve merely swapped one form of erroneous thinking for another.

For reasonably intelligent people who aren’t suffering from major issues with low self-esteem, religion is ridiculously consciousness-lowering. While some religious beliefs can be empowering, on the whole the decision to formally participate in a religion will merely burden your mind with a hefty load of false notions.

When you subscribe to a religion, you substitute nebulous group-think for focused, independent thought. Instead of learning to discern truth on your own, you’re told what to believe. This doesn’t accelerate your spiritual growth; on the contrary it puts the brakes on your continued conscious development. Religion is the off-switch of the human mind.

Leave the mythology behind, and learn to think for yourself. Your intellect is a better instrument of spiritual growth than any religious teachings.

2. Loss of spiritual depth perception.
One of the worst mistakes you can make in life is to attach your identity to any particular religion or philosophy, such as by saying “I am a Christian” or “I am a Buddhist.” This forces your mind into a fixed perspective, robbing you of spiritual depth perception and savagely curtailing your ability to perceive reality accurately. If that sounds like a good idea to you, you’ll probably want to gouge out one of your eyeballs too. Surely you’ll be better off with a single, fixed perspective instead of having to consider two separate image streams… unless of course you’ve become attached to stereo vision.

Religious “truths” are inherently rooted in a fixed perspective, but real truth is perspective-independent. When you substitute religious teachings for truth, you mistake shadows for light sources. Consequently, you doom yourself to stumble around in the dark, utterly confused. Clarity remains forever elusive, and the best answer you get is that life is one giant mystery. Religious mysteries, however, arise not from what is truly unknowable; they arise from the limitations of trying to understand reality from a fixed frame of reference.

A more intelligent approach is to consider reality through a variety of different perspectives without trying to force your perceptions into an artificial religious framework.

3. Engineered obedience training.
Religions are authoritarian hierarchies designed to dominate your free will. They’re power structures that aim to convince you to give away your power for the benefit of those who enjoy dominating people. When you subscribe to a religion, you enroll in a mindless minion training program. Religions don’t market themselves as such, but this is essentially how they operate.

Religions are very effective at turning human beings into sheep. They’re among the most powerful instruments of social conditioning. They operate by eroding your trust in your own intellect, gradually convincing you to put your trust into some external entity, such as a deity, prominent figure, or great book. Of course these instruments are usually controlled by those who administrate the minion training program, but they don’t have to be. Simply by convincing you to give your power away to something outside yourself, religion will condition you to be weaker, more docile, and easier to control. Religions actively promote this weakening process as if it were beneficial, commonly branding it with the word faith. What they’re actually promoting is submission.

Religions strive to fill your head with so much nonsense that your only recourse is to bow your head in submission, often quite literally. Get used to spending a lot of time on your knees because acts of submission such as bowing and kneeling are frequently incorporated into religious practice. Canine obedience training uses similar tactics. Now say, “Yes, Master.”

Have you ever wondered why religious teachings are invariably mysterious, confusing, and internally incongruent? This is no accident by the way — it’s quite intentional.

By putting forth confusing and internally conflicting information, your logical mind (i.e. your neocortex) is overwhelmed. You try in vain to integrate such contradictory beliefs, but it can’t be done. The net effect is that your logical mind disengages because it can’t find a pattern of core truth beneath all the nonsense, so without the help of your neocortex, you devolve to a more primitive (i.e. limbic) mode of thinking. You’re taught that this faith-based approach is a more spiritual and conscious way to live, but in reality it’s precisely the opposite. Getting you to distrust your own cerebral cortex actually makes you dumber and easier to manipulate and control. Karl Marx was right when he said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.”

For example, the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible frequently contradict each other with various rules of conduct, yet both are quoted during mass. Church leaders also behave in direct violation of the Church’s teachings, such as by covering up criminal and immoral activities by their own priests. Those who try to mentally process such glaring contradictions as coherent truth invariably suffer for it. A highly conscious person would reject membership in such an organization as patently ridiculous. So-called divine mysteries are engineered to be incomprehensible. You aren’t meant to ever make sense of them since that would defeat the whole purpose.

The truth is that so-called religious authorities don’t know any more about spirituality than you do. However, they know how to manipulate your fear and uncertainty for their own benefit. How nice of you to let them.

Although the most popular religions are very old, L. Ron Hubbard proved the process can be replicated from scratch in modern times. As long as there are large numbers of people who fear the responsibility of their own power, religions will continue to dominate the landscape of human development.

If you want to talk to God, then communicate directly instead of using third-party intermediaries. Surely God has no need of an interpreter. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a mindless minion. It’s a mistake to think that turning off your neocortex and practicing mindless “faith” will bring you closer to God. In truth it will only bring you closer to dog.

4. Toilet-bowl time management.
If you devote serious time to the practice of religion, it’s safe to say you practice toilet-bowl time management, flushing much of your precious life down the drain with little or nothing to show for it.

First, you’ll waste a lot of time filling your head with useless nonsense. This includes reading some of the worst fiction ever written. Then there are various rules, laws, and practices to learn.

Seriously, if you have insomnia, try reading religious texts before bedtime. You’ll be asleep faster than you can say Methuselah. Why do you think hotels put Bibles next to the bed? It’s the greatest sedative known to man. I have to give props to the Scientologists for at least incorporating space aliens into their stories. It’s a shame Gene Roddenberry didn’t formally invent his own religion; Stovokor sounds like a lot of fun.

Once you finally realize your head has been filled with utter nonsense, you must then purge such garbage from your mind if you want your brain to be functional again. That can take considerably longer, assuming you succeed at all. It’s like trying to uninstall AOL from your hard drive.

Next, you can expect to waste even more time on repetitive ritual and ceremony, such as attending mass, learning prayers, and practicing unproductive meditations.

If I add up the time I attended mass and Sunday school, studied religion in school as if it were a serious subject, and memorized various prayers, I count thousands of hours of my life I’d love to have back. I did, however, learn some important lessons, many of which are being shared in this article.

I especially remember listening to a lot of bad sermons; most priests are hideously poor speakers. Maybe it’s because they drink alcohol while on duty.

The more time you devote to religious practice, the more you waste your life on pointless, dead-end pursuits… and the more you’ll want to delude yourself with a phony “Hehe, I meant to do that” attitude.

5. Support your local pedophile.
In addition to being a serious waste of time, religious practice can also be a huge waste of money.

For starters when you donate to a major religion, you support its expansion, which means you’re facilitating the enslavement of your fellow humans. That isn’t very nice, now is it? If you feel the urge to donate money, give it to a real and honorable cause, not a fabricated one. Better yet, go outside and do something that really helps people. If you can’t think of anything better, grab a can of paint and clean up some local graffiti.

Your religious donations fund freeloaders who mooch off society but who generally provide little or no value in return. Sure there are some religious people who perform valuable public services, but for the most part, that isn’t their bailiwick. These freeloaders typically operate tax-free, meaning they’re effectively subsidized by taxpayers. That’s a great racket if you’re on the receiving side… not so great if you’re funding it though.

Religions offer a suite of special services to generate additional income. They’ll spout some gibberish while feeding you a crusty wafer, pronounce you bonded to a fellow human being, snip some of your excess skin, pour water on your head, proclaim your manhood, cast out your demons, pronounce your transgressions forgiven, and so on. When they can’t think of anything else, they make up some drivel like confirming you’re still loyal to them. The bill may read “suggested donation,” but it’s still a bill.

When you donate money to a religious organization, you’re doing much worse than throwing your money away. You’re actively funding evil. If you think that spending a billion dollars to defend pedophiles and rapists is a good use of your hard-earned cash, perhaps you should run for Pope. You could hardly do worse. At least Wall Street is honest about its greed and lust.

One of my Catholic high school teachers was later revealed to be a repeat child molester… written up in the newspaper and everything. I didn’t see any suspicious behavior at the time, and to be totally honest, I actually liked that teacher and was shocked to learn of his extracurricular activities. He was shuffled from one location to another by those who knew about his appetite for young flesh. I’m glad I wasn’t on the menu, but I feel sad for those who were. Methinks God should raise his standards… just a tad.

Why aren’t Catholic priests allowed to marry? This has nothing to do with what’s written in the Bible or with any benefits of celibacy. This rule was invented by the Church to prevent their priests from producing heirs. When the priests died, their property would go back to the Church, thereby enriching the rich even more. Apparently God needed more cash. It was a very effective policy, as the Church is now among the richest and most powerful organizations on earth. It’s hard to fail when you have a loyal force of lifetime indentured servants who work cheaply and then yield their life savings to you when they die.

Lay religious people (i.e. non-clergy), on the other hand, are encouraged to have lots of babies because that means more people are born into the religion, which means more money and a bigger power base. Condoms are a big no-no; they’re bad for business. Marriage is a big yes; it means more brainwashed babies will be made.

Would you seriously consider this sort of structure a “good cause” worthy of your hard-earned cash?



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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 06:58:30 PM »

Part Deux

6. Incest is best.
Religions frequently promote inbred social networks. You’re encouraged to spend more time with people who share the same belief system while disengaging from those with incompatible beliefs. Sometimes this is done subtly; other times it’s more obvious.

If you’re one of the saved, blessed, or otherwise enlightened individuals who stumbled upon the one true belief system, then supposedly everyone else remains in the dark. Certain religions are overtly intolerant of outsiders, but to one degree or another, all major religions cast non-subscribers in a negative light. This helps to discourage members from abandoning the religion while still enabling them to proselytize. The main idea is to maintain social structures that reward loyalty and punish freedom of thought.

This us-vs-them prejudice is totally incongruent with conscious living. It’s also downright moronic from a global perspective. But it remains a favored practice of those who pull the strings. When you’re taught to distrust other human beings, fear gets a foothold in your consciousness, and you become much easier to control.

When you join a religion, your fellow mind-slaves will help to keep you in line, socially rewarding your continued obedience while punishing your disloyalty. Why do they do this? It’s what they’ve been conditioned to do. Tell your religious friends that you’re abandoning their religion because you want to think for yourself for a while, and watch the sparks fly. Suddenly you’ve gone from best friend to evil demon. There’s no greater threat to religious people than to profess your desire to think for yourself.

There are better ways to enjoy a sense of community than joining a slavery club. Try making friends with conscious, free-thinking people for a change — people who are willing to connect with you regardless of how silly your beliefs are. You may find it intimidating at first, but it’s quite refreshing once you get used to it.

Since I get asked this question all the time, I might as well answer it publicly. Do I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior? No more than I’d accept a credit card from Crapital One. Either way I’d be worried about the fine print.

7. Idiocy or hypocrisy - pick one.
When you subscribe to an established religion, you have only two options. You can become an idiot, or you can become a hypocrite. If you’ve already chosen the former, I’ll explain why, and I’ll use small words so that you’re sure to understand.

First, there’s the idiocy route. You can willingly swallow all of the contrived, man-made drivel that’s fed to you. Accept that the earth is only 10,000 years old. Believe stories about dead bodies coming back to life. Learn about various deities and such. Put your trust in someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Eat your dogma. Good boy!

Congratulations! You’re a moron believer. You’ll be saved, enlightened, and greeted with tremendous fanfare when you die… unless of course all the stuff you were taught turns out not to be true. Nah… if the guy in the robe says it’s true, it must be true. Ya gotta have faith, right?

Next, we have the hypocrisy option. In this case your neocortex is strong enough to identify various bits of utter nonsense in the religious teachings that others are trying to ram down your throat. You have a working B.S. detector, but it’s slightly damaged. You’re smart enough to realize that earth is probably a lot older than 10,000 years and that pre-marital (or non-marital) sex is a lot of fun, but some B.S. still gets through. You don’t swallow all the bull, but you still identify yourself as a follower of a particular religion, most likely because you were raised in it and never actually chose it to begin with.

To you it’s just a casual pursuit. You’re certainly not a die-hard fundamentalist, but you figure that if you drink the wine and chew the wafer now and then, it’s good enough to get you a free ride into a half-decent afterlife. You belong to the pro-God club. Surely there’s safety in numbers. Two people people can’t be wrong… although 4-1/2 billion supposedly can.

In this case you become an apologist for your own religion. You don’t want to be identified with the extreme fanatics, nor do you want to be associated with the non-believers. You figure you can straddle both sides. On earth you’ll basically live as a non-practitioner (or a very sloppy and inconsistent practitioner), but when you eventually die, you’ve still got the membership card to show God.

Perhaps if you have to throw out so much of the nonsense to make your chosen belief system palatable, you shouldn’t be drinking the Kool Aid in the first place. Free yourself from the mental baggage, stop looking to others for permission to live, and start thinking on your own. If your God exists, he’s smart enough to see through your fake ID.

From time to time, some of my readers take a stab at converting me to their religion. Most of them come across as total loons, but I can at least respect their consistency. I’ve no idea why they bother to read my site (which is about raising, not lowering, consciousness). Perhaps some of them are getting ready to convert from fundamentalism to common sense.

You’d think I’d be quite a prize for any serious religion. With 2.4 million monthly readers, that’s a lot of people I could potentially enslave convert, not to mention how much I could fill the Church coffers by soliciting indulgences donations on their behalf. Henceforth I expect a much better conversion effort. If you won’t do it for the money, then do it for the souls. You can’t let so many of us go to hell without trying in earnest to save us, can you? 

8. Inherited falsehood.
Please tell me you aren’t still practicing the religion you happened to be born into? Surely you’ve outgrown your baby clothes by now. Isn’t it time you also outgrew your baby religion?

What if you were born into a different culture? Would you have been conscious enough to find your way back to your current belief system? Or are your current beliefs merely a product of your environment and not the result of conscious choice?

Many religions are just a mish-mash of what came before. For example, Christianity is largely based on pagan rituals. If those pagan beliefs and rituals had been protected by copyright, Christianity wouldn’t even exist. If you take the time to dig into the roots of Christianity, you’ll encounter various theories that Christianity’s teachings were largely assembled from pre-Christian myths and that Jesus himself was merely a fictional character pieced together from earlier mythical figures. You go, Horus!

Many religious teachers (i.e. priests, rabbis, ministers, etc.) are just brainwashed slaves themselves. They don’t have any real authority and aren’t even aware of the agenda being set by their superiors. This makes them better minions because they actually believe the B.S. they’re spouting and don’t know the truth behind it. A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar, but that’s as far as they get. They may interact with the bartender, but they never get to know the guy who owns the bar. They suffer from inherited falsehood just like everyone else.

Is your religion based on the inspired word of God? No more than this article. Just because someone says their text is divinely inspired doesn’t mean it is. Anyone can claim divine inspiration. The top religions are decided by popularity, not by truth.

Even the central figures in major religions didn’t follow the religions that were spawned in their names. If they didn’t swallow the prevailing “wisdom” about gods and spiritual leaders and such, why should you? If you want to be more like the people you worship, then follow their lead by striking out on your own.

9. Compassion in chains.
Religious rules and laws invariably hamper the development of conscience. This causes all sorts of problems like pointless violence and warfare. Those who preach nonviolence as a rule or law tend to be the most violent of all. Such people cannot be trusted because they’ll violate their proclaimed values with the weakest of excuses.

When you externalize compassion into a set of rules and laws, what you’re left with isn’t compassion at all. True compassion is a matter of conscious choice, and that requires the absence of force-backed rules and laws.

The more religious a person becomes, the less compassionate s/he is. The illusion of compassion substitutes for the real thing. Religious people tend to be the most bigoted and non-accepting people on earth. They’re the least trustworthy and suffer from the grossest character defects. They pretend they’re doing good, but they’re really collaborators in a system designed to push people into unconscious slavery to a “higher” authority. They are slaves promoting slavery.

Historically speaking, religious people loved to fight each other. Instead of unconditional love, they practice conditional loyalty. The only unconditional aspect is their thirst for blood. If you disagree with them, you’re a target… either for conversion or destruction (both of which are really the same thing).

If you value the ideal of unconditional love, you won’t find it in the practice of religion. Real compassion doesn’t arise from believing in God, from practicing various rituals, or from studying the concept of karma. Compassion can only result from conscious choice, and this requires the freedom to choose without the threat of punishment or the promise of reward. If you’re obedient to your faith, it’s a safe bet that compassion is absent from your life. You probably don’t even know what real compassion feels like.

The more we collectively abandon all religion, the better off this planet will be. This doesn’t mean we have to abandon all spiritual pursuits. It just means we must stop turning spirituality into something it isn’t.

10. Faith is fear.
Religion is the systematic marketing of fear.

Blessed are the poor (donate heavily). Blessed are the meek (obey). Blessed are the humble (don’t question authority). Blessed are the hungry (make us rich until it hurts). Blessed are the merciful (if you catch us doing something wrong, let it go). Blessed are the pure of heart (because your brains are switched off). Blessed are the timid, the cowardly, the fearful. Blessed are those who give us their power and become our slaves. Muahahaha!

That’s the kind of nonsense religion pushes on people. They train you to turn your back on courage, strength, and conscious living. This is stupidity, not divinity.

Religion will teach you to fear being different, to fear standing up for yourself, and to fear being an independent thinker. It will erode your self-trust by explaining why you’re unable to successfully manage life on your own terms: You are unworthy. You’re a sinner. You’re unclean. You belong to a lesser caste. Of course the solution is always the same — submit to the will of an external authority. Give away your power. Live in fear for the rest of your life, and hope it will all turn out okay in the end.

When you practice faith instead of conscious living, you live under a cloak of fear. Eventually that cloak becomes so habitual you forget it’s even there. It’s very sad when you reach the point where you can’t even remember what it feels like to wield creative freedom over your own life, independent of what you’ve been conditioned to believe.

Faith is the coward’s substitute for courage. It’s also really good marketing if you’re the one who controls the faith. If you’re afraid or unwilling to assume total responsibility for your life, you’re a perfect match for religion.

Fear in one part of your life invariably spreads to all other parts — you can’t comparmentalize it. If you find yourself frustrated because you’re too afraid to follow your dreams, to talk to members of the oppposite sex, to speak up for yourself, etc., then a good place to start is to rid your life of all religious nonsense. Don’t let fear get a foothold in your consciousness.

Stop trying to comfort yourself by swallowing religious rubbish. If you really need something to believe in, then believe in your own potential. Put your trust in your own intellect.

Dump the safety-in-numbers silliness. Just because a lot of people believe stupid stuff doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid. It just means that stupidity is popular on this planet. When people are in a state of fear, they’ll swallow just about anything to comfort themselves, including the bastion of stupidity known as religion.

***

Religion is spiritual immaturity. That’s a compliment.
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 07:38:49 AM »

11. Religion is humans' futile attempt of reaching up to God through rituals and good works, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God reaching down to humans.


John 17:3
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Romans 4:5
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 08:13:42 AM »

11. Religion is humans' futile attempt of reaching up to God through rituals and good works, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God reaching down to humans.


John 17:3
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Romans 4:5
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 08:38:56 AM »

John 6:28-29

Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 09:21:25 AM »

10 Reasons why Pavlina's take is full of baloney

By MCWAY


1. Spirituality for dummies.

There's a reason that Christians have things called....BIBLE STUDY. It's because believers are supposed to study the Word for themselves. Spiritual growth comes from a working relationship with the Lord, which STARTS with Bible study and continues with communion with the Savior. Once again, we see the pompous, arrogant, and ultimately erroneous take that people of faith don't think for themselves. If people's conscious development and spiritual growth is stunted, it's not from Bible study and participation in religion but a LACK of such. But, many of them do and once they see the love of Jesus Christ and experience it for themselves, they see the condescending (and often bone-headed) statements of non-believers for the garbage that it is and hold fast to their faith.

2. Loss of spiritual depth perception.

This is little more than the standard "Truth is relative" spiel, we get from moral relativists. Identification as a Christian, though hardly sufficient in itself, is the start of acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God. "Religious truths are fixed in perspectives", huh? Funny how non-believers don't think that, when they're the victims of theft, adultery, disrespect, or physical trauma. The irony of it all is that the very people spewing this nonsense hardly see life as a "giant mystery". Let them tell it, they've got all the answers, or at least, the most important ones, namely as it relates to whose doctrine is best: A humanistic (man-"worshipping") one.

3. Engineered obedience training.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to show that this section (heck, the entire article, for that matter) is an anti-Catholic rant. Of course, the point missed in all this is simple. The reason we have Protestants, in the first place, is that people of faith did the VERY THING that Pavlina claims that Christians don't do: THINK FOR THEMSELVES. When people were able to read Scripture for themselves (there's that pesky Bible study again), they saw the somewhat HUGE gap, between what the Catholic church taught and what Scripture actually says.

As for the line about going to God for yourself, file that under the "Tell us something we don't know" category. We have an advocate to the Father in Jesus Christ, so that we can boldly go before the Father, give Him thanks, confess our sins, etc. Priests acted as intercessors for the people at large (until Jesus' sacrifice on the cross). But, even then, people on their own accord made their supplications to God DIRECTLY.

4. Toilet-bowl time management.

Yep, nothing says waste of time, like teaching Sunday/Sabbath school to children, participating in youth ministries (helping keep kids on the straight-and-narrow and off the streets), humanitarian projects, drug-and-alcohol recovery ministries, sick-and-shut-in ministries, food banks (especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons), etc.

You know, all that help-your-fellow-man stuff about which atheists bleat and wail, stuff that people of faith have been doing all the while. For all their mouth about the issue, more often than not, it's the skeptcs who are MIA, come crunch time. It's the Christians who are on the front line, when disaster strikes and people need help. When push comes to shove, people come to the church for help and comfort, not to loud-mouth, pompous atheists, obsessed with someone they don't believe to exist, constantly trying to convince others (and themselves) how much "brighter" they are than Christians.

5. Support your local pedophile.

More anti-Catholic venting. Christians do not intentionally support pedophiles. When they give, they do so with the intent of furthering the spread of the Gospel, helping their fellow man (in some of the venues mentioned earlier), and to give thanks to their Creator. Unfortunately, there are those who abuse the trust of the congregation for their own merits. Their trangressions are addressed and confronted in due season. For those who molest children, it is the congregation's duty to get them thrown in the slammer, in the most judicious manner (I'd prefer the death penaly, personally; but, certain folks, many of whom complain about priests and their misdeeds, would whine about that).

With regards to the celibacy thing and priests, again, see the "Tell us something we don't know" file.

6. Incest is best

How ironic that #7 talks about "hypocrisy". On one hand, Pavlina yaks about people being encouraged to spend more time with people of the same belief system and not branching out. But, if I were a betting man, I'd put $100 that Pavlina (along with other skeptics of his ilk) would scream to the high heavens in utter OUTRAGE, should one of those pesky Christians have the audacity to SHARE HIS/HER FAITH with a non-believer. Don't we hear it here on this forum, from our atheist brethren that Christians need to shut up and keep their faith to themselves (of course, if Dr. Martin Luther King did that, there'd be no civil right movement and one less day workday off for us all in the USA)?

If that's the case, why is Pavlina (or anyone else with similar bend) complaining, if certain believers spend more time with fellow believers?

And, if that weren't ridiculous enough, he then suggest that you should make friends with "free-thinking" people. Weren't his words earlier something to the tune of, "If you’re one of the saved, blessed, or otherwise enlightened individuals who stumbled upon the one true belief system, then supposedly everyone else remains in the dark." I'm sorry, how is that any different than his take that, " There are better ways to enjoy a sense of community than joining a slavery club. Try making friends with conscious, free-thinking people for a change — people who are willing to connect with you regardless of how silly your beliefs are. You may find it intimidating at first, but it’s quite refreshing once you get used to it."

Effectively, Pavlina is the pot to the Christian's kettle. He's blubbering about how Christians see non-Christians as being in the dark and being intolerant of outsiders, while he refers to Christians as members of a "slavery club" with "silly" beliefs, while they're the "free-thinkers". As for his quip about someone being demonized, should he leave the Christian faith, once again....pot....kettle.. ..black. Take a good long look at how some atheists regard Christians, who once rolled in their "free-thinking" circle (i.e. Madalyn Murray O'Hair, one of the most notorious atheists in American history, disowning her son, William Murray, when he became a Christian. She referred to her dismissal of her flesh and blood as a "postnatal abortion").

I'll deal with 7-10 on another post.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 10:24:57 AM »

10 Reasons why Pavlina's take is full of baloney

By MCWAY


(continued)

7. Iidiocy and Hypocrisy

I addressed this a bit earlier, but complaining about how Christians exclude and demonize non-believers, all the while insulting people of faith, calling them slaves, and ragging on former members of their "free-thinking" posse, makes Pavlina a card-carrying member of the "hypocrisy" club.

I could go there and rib Pavlina (and others) about their bowing at the shrine of Darwin, and ingesting the "goo-to-you-by-way-of-the-zoo" doctrine. But, there's way too much other material for me to dissect.....ahem....addr ess.

As for his fixation on pre-marital sex, of course, it's a lot of fun. But, as Scripture says, there is pleasure in sin for a season. What Pavlina conveniently doesn't address is that PAIN that comes during those other seasons: STDs, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, poverty, resulting from fatherless children, emotional trauma on women.

The silly thing is that atheists proclaim themselves to be the champions of "logic" and "reasons". But, it never dawns on them that maybe, just maybe, the best way to curb some of these social ills is by curbing the behaviors, responsible for them. That makes too much sense. As I've often said, simplicity beats skepticism. Too many times, atheists outsmart themselves (or as another verse in Scripture puts it, "Thinking themselves wise, they became fools").




8. Inherited falsehood.

AHHHHHH!!!! The old, "What if you were born...." routine. What if Scott Norwood's kick were 2 ft to the right in Super Bowl 25?

There's a point in here, somewhere, I think. Then, Pavlina pulls the long, worn, and easily-picked-to-pieces drivel about Jesus Christ being forged from pagan figures. How does the saying go again, "Insanity is doing the same thing, the same way, and expecting different results". Atheists have spouting that BS for over 200 hundred years. Yet, their efforts have fallen flat, as their attempts to dismantle the Christian faith have been found wanting. Ironically enough, when some in their ranks do the very thing that atheists claim people should do (study and think for themselves), with the end result being those folks BECOME CHRISTIANS, let's just say that the no-God squad is less-than-pleased (and hardly tolerant) of the result. Two examples that come to mind are two of Loco's favorite authors: Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell, two former atheists, who though that pesky "logic" and "reason" thing, left their skepticism at the door and became member of the Christian faith (I'm sure Team "Free-Thinkers" will scramble for excuses as to why this happened).

9. Compassion in chains.

It seems that Pavlina can't get off the hypocrisy train, despite his best efforts. Or did he forget that some of the most VICIOUS regime on planet Earth came from godless men (Does Stalin ring a bell? He killed more in a year than the Crusaders did in a decade).

"The more religious a person becomes, the less compassionate s/he is. Is that right? Tell that to Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa (and please don't try to pull that "she was an atheist" routine; I have enough silliness to refute, as it is), George Mueller, just to name a few.

As mentioned earlier, who's first on the front line, during a major crisis? Christians, often via humanitarian organizations. We all know about the Salvation Army, for example. How many "Reason Army" centers have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and comforted the afflicted (i.e. all those thing that the supposedly non-existent Jesus Christ instructed His followers, past and present, to do)?
Since I'm breaking out a lot of saying, there's another that goes (and this is especially true in times of disaster), "People don't care how much you know; they want to know how much you care". Maybe, if atheists would spend a little more time, helping their fellow man, and a LOT LESS TIME, flapping their lips about how "smart", "rational", and "free-thinking" they are, fewer atheists would be seen as obnoxious, self-centered jerks.

At the end of the day, Pavlina isn't concerned about "abandoning religion". He simply want his "religion" (humanism) to get the play that Christianity has. And, based on past history, it's safe to say that, for all his whining about violence among religious groups, Pavlina and his posse would be just as willing to "draw the sword" against their opponents, should their "reason" and "logic" not get the job done, with regards to getting people to reject Christianity and other faiths. They simply don't have the numbers or the muscle to do it.

10. Faith is fear.

Blessed are the poor (donate heavily). Blessed are the meek (obey). Blessed are the humble (don’t question authority). Blessed are the hungry (make us rich until it hurts). Blessed are the merciful (if you catch us doing something wrong, let it go). Blessed are the pure of heart (because your brains are switched off). Blessed are the timid, the cowardly, the fearful. Blessed are those who give us their power and become our slaves. Muahahaha!


Too bad there's no "Blessed are those whose reading comprehension is out to lunch". First of all, those "Beatitudes" are from Jesus Christ (you know, that supposedly non-existent guy) who, in His own words, came not be served but to serve.

Secondly, as mentioned earlier, this cat is as wrong as two left shoes on this one. "Don't question authority"? Earth to Mr. Pavlina, how do you think we ended up with Protestants in the first place. "Donate Heavily"? Yep, it's called humanitarian projects. Of course, he was whining about how Christians don't help people earlier; yet he complains about people giving too much.

His stab at the merciful? Again, it's hypocrisy time. When Christians demand the DEATH penalty for rapists, murderers, and the like, guess who starts murmuring about "cruel and unusual punishment". Guess who obsesses more about "fair treatment" for the perps, instead of justice and compensation for the victims.....that would be the no-God-squad.

"Fear of being different"? GET REAL!!! Ever attend some of these colleges, here in the USA. Point out that someone is a Christian there. Or even a social conservative. See how "tolerant" the godless folks (especially some of those lovely college professors) really are.

Then, there's this hackneyed drivel:

Stop trying to comfort yourself by swallowing religious rubbish. If you really need something to believe in, then believe in your own potential. Put your trust in your own intellect.

Dump the safety-in-numbers silliness. Just because a lot of people believe stupid stuff doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid. It just means that stupidity is popular on this planet. When people are in a state of fear, they’ll swallow just about anything to comfort themselves, including the bastion of stupidity known as religion.


And what happens when people believe in their own potential, trust in their own intellect, YET FAIL at achieving their goals, dreams, or their simple quest for personal satisfaction.....then what? And that's assuming they even believe in their own potential. They may come from broken/abusive homes.

Do atheists encourage them, comfort them, or affirm them? By and large, the answer is NO. These folks will simply be brushed off as being "weak-minded". And, the godless, as disciples of Darwin, have no room for the weak, do they.

But, that's where Christianity comes into play. First of all, Scripture warns not to trust in the arm of flesh, as it is indeed weak. Secondly, Jesus Christ wants people to come to Him, those who are weary and heavy-laden, those who are weak. He can and will give strength to those who seek it. There are LEGIONS of people, who were weak in heart, mind, or spirit, yet OVERCAME THOSE WEAKNESSES, through the power of God, to do more than they ever thought possible, possess more than they ever imagine, and expericience peace and happiness beyond their wildest dreams.

Oh, and since Pavlina wants to go there with what he called "safety-in-numbers-silliness, perhaps he should inform those folks attending the "I-can't-believe-it's-not-church" palaces, known as humanist centers. Or, maybe they should disband groups like American Atheists, and the like. Or, better still, make the call to his fellow "freethinkers", to quit screaming for attention by making spectacles of themselves (doing the "Look-at-me" dance) every December, looking for buddies to join in their obsession with worrying about something that supposedly never happened, involving Someone who supposedly never existed.

King David wrote "The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God'" in the book of Psalms. The more folks like Pavlina engage in such childish, divisive and fact-bereft rhetoric (the very thing atheists swear they abhor), the more I'm inclined to believe old Dave was right.
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