Saturday, 13 October 2007

Jesus died for Your Sins

Sacrifice based on apparent sins of others, is perhaps the most disgusting of all the monotheistic concepts. The idea that an individual would sacrifice his life for someone Else's sin. Indeed, I have already commented in another post why sin is a meaningless man invented concept.

But if we take sin to just mean doing something bad or harmful.... But of course it doesn't just mean that; it means bad or harmful according to God. Indeed, sin in this context has no connection to justice for the victim, but is based around pleasing a none existent entity in the sky.

There is nothing noble or good to the human psyche, in sacrificing one's otherwise healthy ego, in an attempt to take on the sins of others. The whole idea of such a disgusting concept is that it is noble to sacrifice oneself and at the same time, excuse the crimes of others and say 'I will unburden you by taking responsibility for your actions'.

Where is the morality in sacrificing oneself for the apparent sins of others. Any healthy minded individual can immediately see that this is not a healthy believe system. What one is really doing in saying one should sacrifice oneself for the sake of others, in an attempt to ease their misery and take that burden on yourself.... What they are really saying is... "I am a disgusting worm and my pride is my sin and I must sacrifice my ego to the masses".

There is nothing moral in the concept of sacrifice or sin... They are very powerful weapons in the hands of the church when coupled together and have been effectively used to manipulate the minds of those befuddled with religious mysticism. Indeed, when sin and sacrifice are brought together and guilt is also added to the 'pot' then the church masters had it almost to easy in manipulate the minds of the masses to their own ends... Sometimes, very wicked ends indeed.

All sacrifice really means is giving up on pride and one's otherwise healthy ego... That is the fundamental teaching of Jesus. That one should sacrifice oneself to God... Give up on this life and spend your days in prayer-fullness so that you can leave this 'miserable' existence to enter paradise. Once one is constantly bombarded with the lie that sacrifice is noble... Is it any wonder so many Christians feel worthless.

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Thursday, 2 August 2007

Christian style 'Taliban'

The major monotheism's seem to be peaking at this moment in history. But I just think it is a glitch in the trend. It is rather like a 'saw tooth' line on a graph. There are dips and peaks, but the overall trend is upward towards more secular societies. Much of Europe is largely secular and religion is a 'dying breed'.

In recent polls, Sweden was shown to be around 80% secular, even the UK was around the 40% mark ...These are not small numbers. Even in the UK, the majority of Christians are moderate to the point of not even attending Church. It has also been noted, that many of these so called UK Christians, are only Christian by name and simply haven't give it much thought and if they did, they would perhaps realise that they are not religious at all... at least not in the Biblical sense. So the figures for the UK may well be even higher than 40%.

If you visit America... It is not at all odd to be asked "are you a Christian" but in most of Europe such a question is rarely asked. Indeed, if someone does ask such a question; at a dinner party for example, it is liable to lead to chuckles of embarrassment. Religion in most of Europe; has partially secularized and is largely kept going through tradition and ceremony.

As a society advances it seems to naturally give up on mystical ideas, but some are harder to shake than others. We don't practice alchemy and phrenology anymore for example, although I'm sure their may be small minorities that do. But there are still plenty of subscribers for astrology and of course Christianity is still well subscribed, despite the overall trend away from religion, in much of Europe.

America seems to be a strange exception to the rule that religion is on the way out... Of course, I am talking specifically about the Christian religion, Islam is a different matter and seems to be expanding rather than shrinking. Although even here, there is evidence through authors such as Ibn Warraq, that Islam has many 'apostates' and the numbers are growing rapidly.

The point has been made by Professor Richard Dawkins, that the religious obsession within America, is perhaps because it is the only country, where religion has become 'big business and free enterprise' ...Indeed, just becoming a preacher in America can lead to generous perks; such as the huge tax breaks, that are offered to religious organizations, that apply for charity status. Many Secular societies have decided that these religious organizations have had it there own way far to long and such organizations are themselves, now applying for charity status.

Religious organizations, such of those of the late Jerry Falwell, the drug possessing Ted Haggard, the convicted 'jailbird' Kent Hovind and the megalomaniacal 'hate everyone', Fred Phelps ...These religious individuals and their organizations, often have huge power and political influence in America. Indeed, it has been noted that George W. Bush apparently has a direct phone line to Ted Haggard, or rather he did.

So, it seems on the one hand in most of Europe that religion has lost its grip and as noted by British born Physicist Paul Davies, when discussing religion, with reference to England and Australia (where Davies now resides)... He said "unlike America, these countries are essentially post religious societies... The 'corpse' may still be twitching, but nevertheless for most people, religion just plays a role that is largely ceremonial" ...So on the one hand, religion is losing its grip in Europe, but in America and much of the Middle East, religion seems to be burgeoning and it is a religion of the ugliest most fascist form... These religious fanatics will not be happy, till the 'infidels' convert or die. Now of course this applies specifically to Islam... Nevertheless, there is a form of Christian fascism growing in America that as Professor Richard Dawkins has noted, could very well be leading to a "Christian style Taliban".

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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Here Come the 'Faith-Heads'

What is faith anyway? - To hold a position based on faith... Is really saying that one holds a position devoid of evidence. But of course that is the nature of religion. Religion without faith, would be a very odd kind of religion. Indeed, to the religious mystic, it is somehow more noble to hold a position purely on faith, than it is to present evidence for one's position.

The trouble with faith is, that by its very 'nature' it flies in the face of reason. If a person holds a position based on faith, then this can lead to unreasonable behavior and it does so, because reason is not applicable. But worse still and even more destructive than faith on its own, is the combination of faith and religion.

The fact is that the more 'honestly' religious one attempts to be; then the more one is reliant on a faith position and at the expense of reasoned behavior and this inevitably leads to dishonesty. The fact is that we now live in a World being torn asunder by individuals, that truly believe that a position held purely on faith, is somehow more reasonable than reason itself.

We now live in a World that is under attack by religious extremists, who think their position held purely on faith and without any evidence, gives them the 'God given' right to bully 'infidels' who rely on more reasoned behavior. Those infidels of course, also include the less faithful religious moderates, who while still holding irrational beliefs are at least more tolerant.

The difference between a "faith-head" who bullies and initiates force, such as in the form of suicide bombing, as apposed to the more mild fundamentalist "faith-head" who feels the need to bully in the form of religious indoctrination, by undermining science education and attempting to "pull down the Wall" of separation between Church and State... The difference is only of degree and not of kind. Each is hostile to reasoned argument and think they have the right to bully and coerce from a position of faith. Indeed, they want to drag us back, to living in a Dark Age World, where reasoned argument and scientific inquiry; are trumped by religious fundamentalism.

Many individuals hold positions that are believed purely on faith, such as those that believe in astrology or homeopathy both of which have no evidence in their favor. But the faith of astrological and homeopathic believes does not seem to lead to extreme fundamentalism. But the combination of religion and faith is a devastating combination. While we live in a World, where individuals believe that the faith of religion somehow trumps reasonable argument, then while those beliefs are held, then we will live in a World which is separated in conflict, between the reasonable and the irrational.

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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Socialism Leads to Sacrifice of the Individual

Socialism fails because it is based around a collective ideology and it leads to the sacrifice of the individual to the State. The socialist mentality is based round the premise that there is no such thing as an individual, but rather, each human being is meshed into a unit and that unit should function as a whole. The individual is essentially left out of the equation and sacrificed in favor of the group.

To the degree that a society is run as a Socialist State, is the degree by which it collapses into ruin. To the degree that Capitalism is aloud to function in such a society, is the degree by which it is kept alive. Indeed, it is the 'blood' pumped into the 'veins' of a socialist state, through capitalism, that keeps that State alive. But socialism leads to 'gaping wounds' and sooner or later such a society 'bleeds to death'.

State systems such as fascism, socialism and Communism are all based round a collective ideology. Such ideologies always have and always will lead to sacrifice of individuals to the 'group', the 'State, 'the God', 'the emperor', 'the cause' - et al.

One of the biggest lies ever perpetuated on the collapse of a socialist State... Is to blame the capitalists. But in reality it is the capitalists that allow economies to grow. When the Jews in Germany in the Second World War were sacrificed to the National Socialist Party (Nazi party)... This was a perfect example of the sacrifice of the individual to the cause. It was also a classic example of an attack on the lifeblood of the German economy... Capitalism.

When anyone tells you that success in an economy is directly related to the ideology of socialism, don't believe it. There is really no such thing as a purely socialist society other than societies that are totally self sacrificing, indeed, a purely socialist society would de facto, destroy itself. No socialist, except the most extreme, would really want to sacrifice all the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs... They know full well that these individuals are the life blood of the economy. These socialists just want to curtail enough freedom, so that they can have there unearned cut, taken from the effort of the capitalists.

Capitalism is the healthiest form of economy, because it raises the standard of living, not just for the rich venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, but for everyone. In a capitalist society that allows free market competition, prices free-fall, as competitors try to out-do each other; for their slice of the 'economic pie'. Even a pauper in a capitalist society has a richer pickings from the garbage can, than he would in a socialist economy.

A purely capitalist society has never existed. It is a tug between socialism and capitalism... The closer toward the capitalist ideal a society reaches, the freer and richer everyone becomes. Capitalism grows economies, socialism is the nemeses of capitalism and is the destroyer of wealth, freedom and the individual.

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Monday, 30 July 2007

Astrology and Relationships

Astrology not only doesn't have the ability to solve problems in relationships, it cannot. To build a relationship and then attempt to sustain it, built around Dark Age practices, says little for common sense. But then, if mankind as a whole lived by common sense, we wouldn't still believe in monotheistic religions either.

The idea that the faint celestial forces from outer-space, can impact and influence the human mind, is to say little for an individuals ability, to have self control, over one's own life. But then to judge another individual based on this mystical belief, is to rank the human mind below that of idiocy.

On what basis do individuals believe in astrology in the first place. Well it is certainly not held up as true by the power of logic. Rather, it is believed as 'true', as all nonsense beliefs are believed, by the power of faith and only in that simple conviction alone. It is not believed because of the evidence, but in spite of it. Indeed, if there were any scientific evidence for astrology, then I would not be surprised to see individuals paying less interest in it. The fact that it is believed based on mystical premises, is what draws people to it in the first place.

We live in a society that seems to thrive on the mystical, but as soon as anything is presented through reasonable argument, such as, the reasonable proposition that astrology is unlikely to be true, because there is no evidence for it and never has been... When you present such logic to the those of a mystical disposition; then their belief trumps reason, every time.

The newspapers are filled with astrologers dishing out the 'truth' ...just as the gullible masses of mugs want to here it. But dare to criticize their position or argue for reason and the conversation stops dead. The astrologers who dish out this clap-trap, have never had it so good. How many astrologers really believe this stuff themselves? - I have no idea, but I would not be surprised that many of them know that it is garbage. It is easy to fool the masses and they will pay you for it too. Why work a real job, when you can just spend your days, making stuff up.

Problems in relationships are solved by confronting those problems openly and honestly, they are not solved by believing that the only real problem, is that your star signs are not in alignment.

Individuals in our modern age have passed over alchemy for chemistry, for the simple reason that chemistry identifies known elements within physical laws, alchemy on the other hand is just 'witchcraft' bunkum. The same can be said for the art of Phrenology... or determining characteristics through bumps on the head. These old traditions have floundered because there is no evidence for them. Why then is astrology so popular, when it is equally as nonsensical as Phrenology and alchemy?

...It seems that the key is, the fascination with the stars, mystics like to make a tenuous link between astrology and astronomy and make claim that they are both sciences of equal worth. But the connection really is a tenuous one, the only real connection is that they both involve stars. But the approach of the astrologer, is one purely based on mythical speculation, that harks back to the Dark Ages and has no element, that one could determine as reasonable. Astronomy on the other hand, is a disciplined science that does not come to its conclusions, based on mystical premises, but based on directly observable evidence of real phenomena.

It is not surprising that astronomers are so hostile to astrology. The astrologer will often gives astronomy a bad name, by ridiculing astronomers for being so 'closed minded'. But the facts are the opposite. Scientific inquiry demands one has an open mind to investigate all possibilities, but such possibilities have to be qualified with reasonable assumptions. Thus, it has been said, that scientists have to be 'open minded, but not so open minded that their brains fall out'. The mystic on the other hand... Makes claims for open mindedness.., but in reality it is a false claim. They stand up for open mindedness until you criticize their position, for lacking evidence. Then they clam up and ignore reasoned argument... How more closed minded could one be.

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Plato's Shadowy Cave

Plato believed that we all live in a shadowy cave and can only see the shadowy reflections of reality, but not reality itself. He believed in aspects of physical objects in a literal sense; of them actually possessing an entity of form, which one could move toward understanding through intellectual discourse. The closer one came to identifying the form, the close one gets to reality. But in Essence we are all trapped in a dark cave and only the intellectual elite were capable of at the very least, shining a dim light of understanding into the 'cave' of 'unknowable' reality.

What Plato meant in more specific terms, is that every object such as trees, dogs, books etc, has a perfect form within the universe and what we grasp is only a shadow of that perfect form. In reality, what this really means, is that the universe is fundamentally unknowable, because the fundamental form of every physicality of nature, is forever beyond our reach.

It was Plato's ideas of form, that later coupled with religious edicts from individuals such as St Augustine, lent credence to the concept of heaven. Plato believed that there must be a "perfect Platonic heaven" where we go to at death and experience the 'forms' and step out of the dark cave. Well, this concept of platonic heaven, fits perfectly within the Christian concept of heaven. St Augustine was a big fan of the works of Plato and exploited this Platonic concept to the full, to strengthen the framework of the Christian ethic, built around heaven and hell.

Plato could best be called a subjectivist in the sense that nothing in reality is objectively knowable, because the 'forms' of reality are always out of reach. This was in direct contrast to Aristotle who was the student of Plato. Aristotle has been called the first true scientist by many. Aristotle was the pole opposite of Plato, in that he did not buy into the theory of forms and he believed that the universe was knowable through the process of logic and observation.

Plato essentially believed that, to understand reality (though never perfectly)... One simply had to intellectualize and could do so independent of observations in the real World. The simple process of intellectual discourse and study was the process necessary to get closer to understanding the "forms". The history of the idea of the 'unwashed masses' as apposed to the 'intellectual elite' stems directly from these original ideas of Plato. This idea is still prevalent among many academics, who often as just one example deride open source information, such as that in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, because the authors are the general public... 'the unwashed masses' ...This begs the question of course, are the general public any less able to intellectualize than the elites in high places. From the studies of Wikipedia that have been carried out, it appears that the articles are no worse than that of mainstream encyclopedias and many of the articles may start of in unfinished form, but because of the editing progress a natural and one might say almost organic, editing process occurs, that leads to increased corrections which build on one another, which leads to articles that are no less accurate than those found in 'standard' encyclopedias.

The influence of Plato is far reaching and can be seen in the many existentialist ideas that permeate modern society. Indeed, politicians are often big fans of Plato. perhaps because of his "absolute truths" ...Politicians are very fond of absolute truths and often throw about statements like "unquestionable" "absolutely no doubt" "we are the one true party".

Another big influence that can be traced back to Plato as the subjectively unknowable are the teaching methods of John Dewey... Dewey like Plato believed that learning could be achieved independent of observation and merely as an intellectual exercise independent of that observation. This led to a spate of teaching methods based on the idea of simply "throwing an idea at a child" and then letting them "run with it" and "see where it leads" ...In reality, this has led to an appalling dumbing down of the education system, which should be based on the concept of the teacher, teaching the child real knowledge and not leaving the child to 'teach' itself.

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The Atkins Diet Good or Bad?

The Atkins Diet is targeted around a balance of carbohydrates and proteins. The Atkins diet, was developed, based on the premise, that the majority of overweight individuals are so, because they are living on high carbohydrate fast food diets. they eat too much sugar... Basically they are filling their bodies with fast food and are becoming carbohydrate junkies.

The correct balance of proteins and healthy carbs, such as the protein found in chicken, Salmon, mushrooms and avocados and the carbs one finds in dark leafy green vegetables, leads to a decrease in unhealthy sugar cravings. Sugar is essentially dead food and turns to starch in the body, this 'starchy fat' leads to weight gain. The same that can be said for refined sugar, can be said for refined flour, both foods plump the body up; into unwholesome shapes.

The reason that refined sugars and flours are so deleterious to the human body, is because we have not evolved a digestive system that can handle them. We only started farming late on in our evolution. There is therefore a mismatch between our digestive system and what we now eat. We evolved on the plains as long distance running animals and would eat meat and the occasional berries of trees and just a few wild plants. Refined foods such as flour and sugar are a 'man-made invention' that do not exist in nature, we quite simply, have not adapted biologically to handle these food stuffs.

Problems have been associated with the Atkins Diet and claim has been made, that the Atkins Diet is not safe, if not combined with a strict exercise routine. The Atkins Diet has been linked with heart problems. But then again, one could say that a high carbohydrate, junk food 'diet' is not particularly safe either.

Another diet, very similar in many ways to the Atkins Diet is The Zone Diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears. This is considered to be a safer diet than that of Atkins and indeed, Sears, takes a much more scientific approach.

Basically, how both the Atkins Diet and Sears Diets appear to work, is simply because the body cannot digest a lot of protein, without very quickly feeling 'full-up'. The opposite of course can be said of carbohydrates, indeed, I'm sure everyone reading this has at one time or another, ate a whole packet of cookies in one sitting and still felt hungry afterwords. If you combine a high ratio of protein in your diet, you stomach 'fills-up' very quickly and this counters and stops the sugar cravings. This limit on junk foods, leads to weight loss.

Carbohydrates are not unhealthy per se... Indeed, the human body needs a percentage of carbohydrate. But there are good and bad carbs. The healthy carbs are those found in dark leafy vegetables. We have evolved to break down the enzymes within the 'primitive' carbohydrates, but the carbs in refined sugars and flours 'knot' together and do not easily breakdown in the body, instead an accumulation of starchy fat build up and leads to weight gain.

The main criticism that one can make of the Atkins Diet is that it is not combined with a fitness regime and many scientists do now believe that the Atkins Diet is unsafe, if not combined with a good Aerobic program that gets the heart rate working, such as running or brisk walking. The other minor 'by-product' of the Atkins Diet, is that it makes one smell and not a pleasant smell either.

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