Examining the fundamental problems of human existence — The Origin of Life, Health, Governance — and the rational means for their solution. Without an understanding of where we came from, we cannot know where we are going. Without health, a full life is not possible. Without liberty, human potential is but a wish.


  



Dr. Wysong's Blog -

HOLY BOOKS AND RELIGION VS GOD AND CONSCIENCE


Although science, insofar as it obeys reason and facts--as opposed to speculation and ideology--has done much to help us understand our world, it has its limits. It can only explore and help explain the material four dimensions, and, by means of quantum physics, tell us that there remain unknowables underneath our perceived reality such as other dimensions, timelessness, infinity, and irrationality. It most certainly does not, and cannot explain ultimate origins or purpose.

Unable to grasp these great unknown, hearing an inner ethical voice, and sensing that eternity is at stake, we look for help. Holy books and religions are the first (and often the last) stop in this quest.

But is this our only and best option? Why must we assume that someone else must answer these questions for us? Let’s explore the possibility that we might be able to figure these things out on our own.

To begin, we can conclude that there is a truth underlying our reality. Maybe it cannot be fully comprehended, due to the constraints of our material brains and the four dimensions it is designed to navigate, but we know it is there. This great unknown truth that explains everything is perhaps the best definition of God.

Truth (God) is not contradictory, is consistent with fact, and is of the highest ethical order. By contrast, humans and their works always fall short of truth. Humans may come to know some truths to a degree (math, chemistry, physics, astronomy, ethics, etc.), but we are never responsible for their existence. All we do is discover morsels of the truths that are already here. We are mere explorers and manipulators of the reality that has been given to us. So, in our quest for truth (God), we must be careful to discern that which comes from humans as opposed to that which is an actual reflection of reality and truth (God).

The way to know the difference between truth and mere human, is how the thing, the idea, stacks up in terms of being consistent with itself, in accordance with fact, and ethical. The only honest and reliable tool we have for checking consistency with these criteria is open-minded reason.

Fear not if this means putting cherished beliefs you are absolutely sure about to the test. Could God possibly incriminate us for seeking truth? Is not seeking truth the same thing as seeking God? Furthermore, since we cannot possible know “the truth” regarding anything, since at any given time our knowledge is incomplete and imperfect, constantly seeking truth is the only honest thing we can do. To settle on a given belief, as if we have determined an end point in knowledge on any given matter, is nothing short of a bald faced lie.

If there is a religion that truly represents God, how do we find out which one? There are currently about 4,300. Each of them will argue they have the truth. But what if they are all actually just human creations, are we then left stranded with no hope of finding answers to the big questions of our existence and purpose? Can the road to peace and happiness be one with 4,300 forks in it where people veer off in every direction obeying the words of their holy books and leaders, rather than each of us reaching within to hear the voice of inner conscience and duty? Let’s fearlessly explore these questions.

The world’s experience with belief in religions and their holy books has not been commendable. Reading the Koran for what it says is the basis for terrorism. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent world wide and countless lives are being lost to fight those who are trying to follow this holy book. But Jews and Christians should not be too smug. The Bible commands that Jews slaughter their neighbors. Christians used the Bible to justify Crusades and Inquisitions. Holy books and their religions have always pitted one set of people against the heresies of another and soaked the pages of history in blood and human misery. Read for what they say, holy books obscenely celebrate violence. One could make the case that the barbarity celebrated in holy books is not befitting humans, let alone God.

You might say that’s all due to “extremism” and misunderstanding “context,” and that a proper rendering of holy books will cause the incandescent message of peace and love to emerge from their pages. But we must differentiate what we want such books to say with what they actually do say to actual people, and the actual results they produce in the world. Every time you go through an airport and get patted down, every time we hear of young men being killed on the battlefield, every time there is a Jones Town-type mass suicide, when we watch beheadings, women being flogged until they admit adultery so they can then be stoned to death, and when people fly airplanes into buildings while chanting holy book verses we should be reminded that following holy books is not benign.

You might say such acts are not your religion. If that is the case, you have secular society to thank. Holy book barbarity has not been tamed by a better rendering of texts, but by society imposing rational and ethical restrictions. Only when society tells religions they cannot stone people who violate the Sabbath or date someone of another religion, do believers seek a “new and better understanding” of their holy books. The common position that the books are never in error or unethical, just our understanding of them is flawed, is dishonest since it insulates them from disproof. Something that can never be disproved, is really not saying anything at all.

Is the confusion in holy book understanding just the price we imperfect book readers must pay for the necessity of having a book written by God? That’s the common assumption. But we need to back up a bit and ask the prerequisite question of whether the only way we can know if there is a creator and have ethical direction is by means of a holy book? Do we really need an unquestioned book and some great unquestioned philosophy to understand our place and dwell on the inner and greater life?

On its face, the claim that the creator of the universe wrote a book is breathtaking. If it’s true, then every person on Earth should have such a book and be studying and obeying its every letter. If its not, then a lot of people are wasting a lot of time and committing a false accusation by attributing something to the creator that does not belong.

Many people, wanting the simplicity of written instructions about salvation, or simply acceding to religious ambiance, credentials, tradition, or what they were taught as a child are predisposed to believing in the Bible (or other holy books), and will take any kernel of proof as sufficient. For these who have permitted faith to stop the critical thinking process, reason is perverted to chase belief.

Others are more skeptical and feel a sense of duty to truth (God)—wherever that may lead. For example, Bible critics argue that it is impossible and hubris to parse holy book writers who existed thousands of years ago in their own parlance. For example, since the Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew that had no punctuation, interpretation is particularly difficult. In the sentence, “Woman without her man is nothing.” placing commas after woman, and her, results in an exactly opposite meaning than using no commas at all. In the first instance man is preeminent, in the second, woman is. A four line poem can be the subject of endless interpretations. How then can the 80,000 verses and 180,000 translated words in the Bible not be? Varying interpretations are not the same as one axiomatic truth (God).

Further, there was no “Bible” deposited into the hands of Adam and Eve. The Bible is really not a cohesive “book,” but rather an assemblage of song stories passed down by humans for generations. This creates the problem of oral transmission and memory prior to inditement. A sentence whispered through a class room will end up entirely unlike its beginning. As for memory, people have a hard enough time remembering what was said a week ago, much less hundreds or thousands of years ago. If you say that any problem with transmission and translation has been caused by religions and not the Bible itself, and that God carefully guided the integrity of the book, then you are left trying to explain the hundreds of different translations and the thousands of different religions that attempt to follow the same book. Each of these religions is atheistic with respect to all the others, i.e., they don’t believe in the God of other religions.

Various methods have been used to prove that the Bible was authored by God. Let’s briefly touch on each of these:

(1) Prophesy is commonly considered to be supernatural. Bible texts are cited that putatively predict some historical event. But retrospection (retrodiction) is uncertain because it permits orienting ancient words to fit history. Attempts to use the Bible in real time for prospective predictions, such as the thousands of attempts at predicting the end of the world, always fail. Additionally, the ability to foretell the future is not really a supernatural feat, since quantum reality is actually timeless, and people who claim no inspiration from God have been able to foretell the future. (See Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters [BQ] for an explanation of how this can happen and has.)

(2) Some say that the Bible is prescient. But critics point out that it has provided no scientific revelation and instead is responsible for retarding knowledge and human welfare. Examples given would be such ideas as a flat and geocentric Earth, the doctrine that celestial bodies have to move in perfect circles, that it is heresy not to believe God hung the stars out in the heavens each evening, witchcraft, proscribing hygiene, and blaming disease on the devil and sin. Science does not fare well using prior religious commitment. Granted these ideas may have been due to wrong interpretations—religion speak rather than Bible speak—but then the question arises as to why interpretations have to enter the picture at all?

People of good heart always have and always will interpret the written word differently. That’s because words themselves are a human construct that artificially define pieces of reality. Since reality takes on the hues of each person’s life experience, words will always mean different things to different people. By its very nature, language is inexact and thus the use of it to define absolute truth (God) is doomed.

(3) For every claim that a mathematical code has been found in the Bible that is consistent, not explained by chance, or that cannot be found in other books, there are proofs to the contrary.

(4) It is commonly held that the Bible is necessary for man to be ethical, that it forms the basis for social order and the Constitution, and that it should be taught in schools to train children. Critics, however, point out that the book advocates genocide by (not of) the Jews, their intolerance and supremacism (they write a book that coincidentally claims they are God’s chosen race), and established laws such as killing people for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, stoning to death sons who disobey their parents, and penalties for not trimming beards properly.

(5) The Bible’s claim about itself that it is the word of God cannot really be considered a proof because any author of any book could make such a claim. For example the Koran makes the claim. If God is author of conflicting books, then he is contradictory, which is an oxymoron.

(6) Testimony from experts is insufficient proof because experts can be found on every side of any argument.

Bible apologists have counterarguments to all of the above, critics do too. On and on the debate goes. One’s whole life can easily be consumed by trying to sort through this.

The point I wish to make here is that all this debate is so unnecessary. If one is brave enough to set aside the stock premise that a book is necessary to prove God and learn ethics, a whole new way to look at truth is opened up. And isn’t truth-reality-God, what we all should be looking for?

Although people commonly think that the only way to deal with the big questions is to become intellectually anesthetized with faith, in fact, no faith is required at all. Our existence and the physical world provide unequivocal evidence of a higher intelligence. Reality/truth (the clear fingerprint of a creator) is not ambiguous, needs no translation, never contradicts itself, provides perfect prophesy (e.g., 2 plus 2 always equals 4, if I release something it will fall, etc.), is ethical, and is there for anyone on Earth to plainly see. It needs no printing presses, clergy, scribes, polyglots, or interpreters. Nothing can provide a more clear, precise, provable, and incontrovertible definition of God than reality.

Neither materialism nor evolution can explain the origin of matter, energy, natural laws, life…anything at all other than what humans fabricate using the stolen parts and laws from creation. We are clearly not our own cause, nor can the origin of the world we find ourselves in be explained by spontaneous processes. We need no person or book to explain this to us. It is obvious to anyone with a pulse. (For those who have faith in evolutionary, materialistic, or religious propaganda, Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters [BQ] proves such faith is unwarranted.)

With regard to ethics, it would seem that conscience, not the tens of thousands of religions at war or at odds with each other, is the best means to living an ethical life. Conscience is like an internal gyroscope we sense, that if obeyed, keeps us in balance. Following a construct of rules laid out by others (morality) shifts responsibility away from where it belongs, squarely on our own shoulders. Memorizing and quoting holy book passages does not equate with spirituality and conscience. In fact, following other humans and their books is a form of idolatry and hero worship.

We should never be content in the discharge of any act as duty to the words of others. Believing that following other’s rules is our total obligation to morality (deontology), gets us into more trouble than it solves. After all, don’t the terrorists simply follow the words in the Koran? Did not the Jews simply follow the words of the Bible when they practiced genocide, killing every man, woman, child, and beast, keeping the “young virgins for themselves?” (Yes, that is actually in the book.)

There are ethical laws in the universe as sure and true as the natural ones, like gravity and inertia. Cruelty, murder, theft, and dishonesty are just plain wrong. The truth of their wrongness no more comes from a book than the truth of 2 + 2 = 4 comes from a book.

Unfortunately, probing and obeying conscience (adulthood) is much more difficult than leaning on the rules and dogma set by others (permanent adolescence). This is why religions, with bookish men chasing proofs by attempting to ape the behavior and words of ancients (pursuing the dead into death), rather than seeking truth in the living present (what was true in the past is true today), have so easily usurped conscience. No religious claim to knowing what we manifestly do not creates even one ethical principle (as opposed to doctrine about dress, holy days, etc.) that could not be gleaned by conscience alone—in its true and natural state, not usurped and tainted by culture and dogma. (I have repeatedly asked those who insist that religion and holy books are necessary to teach us ethical behavior to present to me even one ethical principle that cannot be obtained by probing conscience. Never have I gotten even a single example.)

In contrast to looking to creation and conscience, religious dogma and doctrine (things of human origin) require study of ancient human manuscripts, which in turn requires immersion in study of human archeology, ancient human Hebrew, human Aramaic, human Greek, and human latin and vulgate languages, human modes of transmission of human written words, history of the human Constantine (a pagan) who decided which human manuscripts to include in the Bible, an assessment of the influence of preexisting human religions of the Egyptians, Minoans, Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, etc. and their human holy books. Whether one does this leviathan research first hand or relies upon theological cognoscenti, trust in humans is necessary at every step since all documents are human in origin.

Also keep in mind that relying on those with the most book learning means relying on those with the most second hand information.

In this examination, one must answer why religions that predated the Jews and Christians contained stories of god sons (such as Osiris and Adonis), resurrections, atonement, baptism, virgin births, blood sacrifice, good and evil spirits, the golden rule, etc. (See BQ for a thorough analysis.)

Whole lifetimes can be consumed under the presumption that focusing one’s life on such study is somehow more holy, more righteous and ethical, and puts us in better stead with the creator, than simply listening to conscience and trying to be a better person in tending to family, Earth, and fellow humans. In effect, such people trust a human made thing, a book, more than a creator made thing--our mind and conscience. That makes no sense, but neither does it to claim that one has no time for the study to sort all of this out. If a person does not have time for critical analysis, then they should have no time to believe either.

If one engages openly in the examination of religions and holy books—not simply seeking the affirmation of a cloud nine preexisting belief or hope—humans, not a perfect creator, appear. Humans are bunglers of the creator’s revelation manifest in the creation. After all, it is people who devise imperfect and imprecise interpretative language, letters, and writing. They are the ones who make paper, pens, typewriters, word processors, printing presses, bindings, and books. Humans are the experts to “explain” it all. No book in existence is absent the imperfect finger of humans.

By contrast, the creation, reality (a true reflection and definition of God), and conscience are a perfect and immutable standard that will never fail us in our search for meaning and purpose. If you want to know if there is a God, afterlife, soul, and purpose in life, you need look no further than your own heart and reflection on the reality you experience every day. (Granted our man-made world has blinded us to the obvious. BQ will help you remove those scales from the eyes.)

One must be extremely cautious about attributing a human made thing, a book (paper, ink, binding, printing press, human invented words, anthropomorphized god), to the creator and letting that substitute for reason and conscience. If that book is found to contradict itself, contradict reality (God), or be unethical, one could be guilty of blasphemy, sacrilege, libel, calumny, and slander. In the end, if we are to be held accountable, it seems only reasonable that perfect justice (which is what underlies reality) would demand that we take responsibility for ourselves, rather than have only the Nuremberg defense, "I was only following orders—doing what I read and was told."

PART I

(This is an unusually long blog. In order to effectively deliver it to you via email it has been divided into three parts which will be sent on three separate days, with the videos following PART 3.. The length is necessary to properly develop this sensitive and critical topic for the dangerous times we are living in. Even then I feel it is too short because so many questions can arise for readers. For a more complete and fair development of the subject see, Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters. I am so confident it will help you that it is being offered to subscribers with a satisfaction guarantee.)


Although science, insofar as it obeys reason and facts--as opposed to speculation and ideology--has done much to help us understand our world, it has its limits. It can only explore and help explain the material four dimensions, and, by means of quantum physics, tell us that there remain unknowables underneath our perceived reality such as other dimensions, timelessness, infinity, and irrationality. It most certainly does not, and cannot, explain ultimate origins or purpose.

Unable to grasp these great unknowns, hearing an inner ethical voice, frustrated by the difficulty of obeying it, and sensing that eternity is at stake, we look for help and salvation. Holy books and religions are the first (and often the last) stop in this quest.

But is this our only and best option? Why must we assume that someone else must answer these questions for us? Let’s explore the possibility that we may be created with the capacity to figure these things out on our own.

To begin, we can conclude that there is a truth underlying our reality. Maybe it cannot be fully comprehended, due to the constraints of our material brains and the four dimensions it is designed to navigate, but we know it is there. This great unknown truth that explains everything is perhaps the best definition of God. Each facet of it we come to know is therefore a facet of God.

Truth (God) is not contradictory, is consistent with fact, and is of the highest ethical order. Keep these three criteria in mind when deciding what is of God, and what is not.

By contrast, humans and their works always fall short of truth. Humans may come to know some truths to a degree (math, chemistry, physics, astronomy, ethics, etc.), but we are never responsible for their existence. All we do is discover morsels of the truths that are already here. We are mere explorers and manipulators of the reality that has been given to us. So, in our quest for truth (God), we must be careful to discern that which comes from humans as opposed to that which is an actual reflection of reality and truth (God).

The way to know the difference between truth and mere human, is how the thing, the idea, stacks up in terms of, to repeat, being consistent with itself, in accordance with fact, and ethical. The only honest and reliable tool we have for checking consistency with these criteria is open-minded reason.

Fear not if this exploration means putting cherished beliefs you are absolutely sure about to the test. Could God possibly incriminate us for seeking truth? Is not seeking truth the same thing as seeking God? Furthermore, since we cannot possibly know “the truth” regarding anything, since at any given time our knowledge is incomplete and imperfect, constantly seeking truth is the only honest thing we can do. To settle on a given belief, as if we have determined an end point in knowledge on any given matter, is nothing short of a baldfaced lie.

To find the religion that truly represents God, if there is one, is no small task. There are currently about 4,300. All of them argue they have THE truth. But the road to peace and happiness cannot be one with 4,300 forks in it where people veer off in every direction obeying their interpretation of the words of their holy books and leaders.

The world’s experience with belief in religions and their holy books has not been commendable. Reading the Koran for what it says is the basis for terrorism. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent worldwide and countless lives are being lost to fight those who are trying to follow this holy book.

But Jews and Christians should not be too smug. The Bible commands that Jews slaughter their neighbors and loot their cities. Christians used the Bible to justify Crusades, book burnings, Inquisitions and, like the Jews, exterminating any who spread false doctrines. An estimated six million witches (a number contested, but even one is too many) accused of trafficking in demons were burned alive to obey the Bible’s urging to “offer up a pleasing smell to the Lord.”

Holy books and their religions have always pitted one set of people against the heresies of another and soaked the pages of history in blood and human misery. Read for what they say, holy books obscenely celebrate violence. A strong case can be made that the barbarity they condone is not befitting humans, let alone God.

You might say that’s all due to “extremism” and misunderstanding “context” by ignorant bigots only pretending to be Christians. All that is necessary is a proper rendering of holy books to permit the Norman Vincent Peal incandescent message of sweet and light, peace and love to emerge from their pages. All that is needed to solve the world’s woes is for everyone to turn to the Bible. (There was such a time. It was called the Dark Ages.)

We must differentiate what we want such books to say with what they actually do say to actual people, and the actual results they produce in the world. Every time you go through an airport and get patted down, every time we hear of young men being killed on the battlefield, every time there is a Jones Town-type mass suicide, when we watch beheadings, women being flogged until they admit adultery so they can then be stoned to death, when protestants and Catholics kill one another in Ireland, and when people fly airplanes into buildings while chanting holy book verses we should be reminded that following holy books is not benign.

Most religions in modern society are peaceful and philanthropic. But holy book barbarity has not been tamed by a better rendering of texts, but by society’s governments imposing rational and ethical restrictions. Only when holy book followers are told they cannot stone people who violate the Sabbath, date someone of another religion, kill heretics, etc., do believers seek a “new and better understanding” of their holy books in order to remain relevant.

The faith that the books are never in error or unethical, but that it is only our understanding of them that could be flawed, is dishonest since it insulates them from disproof. Something that can be interpreted endlessly, cherry picked for metaphors, be all things to all people (no wonder holy books are best sellers), and never be disproved, is really not saying anything at all. One might as well look to tea leaves and blotches of ink.

Is the confusion in holy book understanding, which leads to thousands of religions, just the price we imperfect book readers must pay for the necessity of having a book written by God? That’s the common assumption. But we need to back up a bit and ask the prerequisite question of whether the only way we can know if there is a creator and have ethical direction is by means of a holy book? Do we really need an unquestioned book and some great unquestioned philosophy to understand our place and dwell on the inner and greater life? Perhaps the only straight and narrow path is for each of us to reach within to hear the voice of inner conscience and duty.

PART II


On its face, the claim that the creator of the universe wrote a book is breathtaking. If it’s true, then every person on Earth should have such a book and be studying and obeying its every letter. If its not, then a lot of people are wasting a lot of time and committing a false accusation by attributing something to the creator that does not belong.

Many people, wanting the simplicity of written instructions about salvation, or simply acceding to religious ambiance, credentials, tradition, or what they were taught as a child are predisposed to believing in the Bible (or other holy books), and will take any kernel of proof as sufficient. Most cannot understand much of what they read, but read as a ritual, much like spinning a prayer wheel, counting beads, or chanting in Latin. That which cannot be understood is simply skimmed over as a divine mystery to be revealed in His due time. For these who have permitted such faith to stop the critical thinking process, reason is perverted to chase belief.

Others are more skeptical and feel a sense of duty to truth (God)—wherever that may lead. For example, Bible critics argue that it is impossible and hubristic to parse holy book writers who existed thousands of years ago in their own parlance. For example, since the Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew that had no punctuation, interpretation is particularly difficult. In the sentence, “Woman without her man is nothing.” placing commas after woman, and her, results in an exactly opposite meaning than using no commas at all. In the first instance man is preeminent, in the second, woman is. A four line poem can be the subject of endless interpretations. How then can the 80,000 verses and 180,000 translated words in the 40 different English, and 1,400 non-English versions of the Bible not be? Varying words and interpretations are not the same as one axiomatic truth (God).

Further, there was no “Bible” deposited by God into the hands of Adam and Eve. The Bible is not really a cohesive “book,” but rather an assemblage of song stories passed down for generations. This creates the problem of oral transmission and memory prior to inditement. A sentence whispered through a class room will end up entirely unlike its beginning. As for memory, people have a hard enough time remembering what was said last week, much less hundreds or thousands of years ago. If you say that any problem with transmission and translation has been caused by religions and not the Bible itself, and that God carefully guided the integrity of the book, then you are left trying to explain the hundreds of different translations and the thousands of different religions that attempt to follow the same book. Each of these religions is atheistic with respect to all the others, i.e., they don’t believe in the God of other religions.

Various methods have been used to prove that the Bible was authored by God. Let’s briefly touch on each of these:

(1) Prophesy is commonly considered to be supernatural. Bible texts are cited that putatively have predicted some historical event. But retrospection (retrodiction) is uncertain because it permits orienting ancient words to fit history. Attempts to use the Bible in real time for prospective predictions, such as the thousands of attempts at predicting the end of the world, always fail. However, even if correct prophesies could be found in the Bible, the ability to foretell the future is not really a supernatural feat, since quantum reality is actually timeless, and people who claim no inspiration from God have been able to foretell the future. (See Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters [BQ] for an explanation of how this can happen and has.)

(2) Some say that the Bible is prescient. But critics point out that it has provided no scientific revelation and instead is responsible for retarding knowledge and human welfare. Examples given would be such ideas as a flat and geocentric Earth that sets nested in an endless ocean, the doctrine that celestial bodies have to move in perfect circles, that it is heresy not to believe God hung the stars out in the heavens each evening, witchcraft, proscribing hygiene and surgery, blaming disease on the devil and sin, and condemning flight and outer space travel. Science does not fare well using prior religious commitment. Granted these ideas may have been due to wrong interpretations—religion speak rather than Bible speak—but then the question arises as to why interpretations have to enter the picture at all?

People of good heart always have and always will interpret the written word differently. That’s because words themselves are a human construct that artificially define pieces of reality. Since reality takes on the hues of each person’s life experience, words will always mean different things to different people. By its very nature, language is inexact and thus the use of it to define absolute truth (God) is doomed.

(3) For every claim that a mathematical code has been found in the Bible that is consistent, not explained by chance, or that cannot be found in other books, there are proofs to the contrary.

(4) It is commonly held that the Bible is necessary for man to be ethical, that it forms the basis for social order and the Constitution, and that it should be taught in schools to train children. Critics, however, point out that the book advocates genocide by (not of) the Jews, their intolerance and supremacism (they write a book that coincidentally claims they are God’s chosen race), and established laws such as killing people for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, stoning to death sons who disobey their parents, and penalties for not trimming beards properly…to name only a few.

(5) The Bible’s claim about itself that it is the word of God cannot really be considered a proof because any author of any book could make such a claim. For example the Koran makes the claim. If God is author of conflicting books, then he is contradictory, which is an oxymoron. This self attribution to inspiration also begs the question in that you cannot accept as a major premise the conclusion you need to prove.

(6) Testimony from experts is insufficient proof because experts can be found on every side of any argument.

Bible apologists and professional defenders of the faith have counterarguments to all of the above, critics do too. On and on the debate goes. One’s whole life can easily be consumed by trying to sort through this.

The point I wish to make here is that all this religious debate is so unnecessary. If one is brave enough to set aside the stock premise that a book is necessary to prove God and learn ethics, a whole new way to look at truth is opened up. And isn’t truth-reality-God, what we all should be looking for?

Although people commonly think that the only way to deal with the big questions is to become intellectually anesthetized with faith, in fact, no faith is required at all. Faith only need enter the picture when people start making claims about things they really have no idea about, such as what God says, what his personality is like, what he wants or doesn’t want, and how he is or isn’t guiding lives.

Our existence and the physical world provide unequivocal evidence of a higher intelligence. Reality/truth (the clear fingerprint of a creator) requires not faith, is not ambiguous, needs no translation, never contradicts itself, provides perfect prophesy (e.g., 2 plus 2 always equals 4, if I release something it will fall, etc.), is ethical, and is there for anyone on Earth to plainly see and experience. It needs no printing presses, clergy, scribes, polyglots, or interpreters. Nothing can provide a more clear, precise, provable, and incontrovertible definition of God than reality.

PART III

Neither materialism nor evolution can explain the origin of matter, energy, natural laws, life…anything at all other than what humans fabricate using the stolen parts and laws from creation. We are clearly not our own cause, nor can the origin of the world we find ourselves in be explained by spontaneous processes. We need no person or book to explain this to us. It is obvious to anyone with a pulse. (For those who have faith in evolutionary, materialistic, or religious propaganda, Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters [BQ], proves such faith is unwarranted.)

With regard to ethics, it would seem that conscience, not the tens of thousands of religions at war or at odds with each other, is the best means to living an ethical life. Conscience is like an internal gyroscope we sense, that if obeyed, keeps us in balance. Following a construct of rules laid out by others (morality) shifts responsibility away from where it belongs, squarely on our own shoulders. Memorizing and quoting holy book passages does not equate with spirituality and conscience. In fact, following other humans and their books is a form of idolatry and hero worship.

We should never be content in the discharge of any act as duty to the words of others. Believing that following others' rules is our total obligation to morality (deontology), gets us into more trouble than it solves. After all, don’t the terrorists simply follow the words in the Koran? Did not the Jews simply follow the words of the Bible when they practiced genocide, cruelly killing every man, woman, child, and beast…but keeping the “young virgins for themselves”? (Yes, that is actually in the book.)

There are ethical laws in the universe as sure and true as the natural ones, like gravity and inertia. Cruelty, murder, theft, and dishonesty are just plain wrong. The truth of their wrongness no more comes from a book than the truth of 2 + 2 = 4 comes from a book.

Unfortunately, probing and obeying conscience (adulthood) is much more difficult than simply caving to emotion or having faith in the rules and dogma set by others— a sort of permanent adolescence. Children and animals are gullible, dependent, and obey emotion and fear. Adults should use reason guided by facts.

If you say reason cannot be trusted, that’s only because we either improperly use it, do not totally surrender to it, or pervert it with our emotions. It is the only reliable tool we have and the one that is responsible for every human advance. It alone gets us close to reality (God).

It makes no sense to partition the mind with reason on one side and faith on the other. The reason side is used in our jobs and around the home. Then, when the subject of God comes up, a flip is switched forcing all thought to the other side of the partition to be obedient to a faith in who knows what cockamamie idea.

Faith has no grounding in anything other than desire, fear, dependence, and whim. If I say I believe in X which I cannot prove with reason and fact, putting X into any sentence explains nothing. People would never invest their entire life’s savings in something they have no evidence even exists, but they will surrender their mind to an idea that has no basis in reality by giving it the sanctimonious moniker of “faith.”

Religions, with bookish men chasing proofs by attempting to ape the behavior and words of ancients (pursuing the dead into death), rather than seeking truth in the living present (what was true in the past is true today), are no substitute for the individual exercise of conscience. Would people ever blow themselves up in a crowd, murder innocent children, or torture those who do not believe a certain way by probing their own conscience?

No religious claim to knowing what we manifestly do not creates even one ethical principle (as opposed to doctrines about dress, holy days, etc.) that could not be gleaned by conscience alone—in its true and natural state, not usurped and tainted by culture and dogma. (I have repeatedly asked those who insist that religion and holy books are necessary to teach us ethical behavior to present to me even one ethical principle that cannot be obtained by probing conscience. Never have I gotten even a single example.)

In contrast to looking to creation and conscience, religious dogma and doctrine (things of human origin) require study of ancient human manuscripts, which in turn requires immersion in study of human archeology, ancient human Hebrew, human Aramaic, human Greek, and human Latin and vulgate languages, human modes of transmission of human written words, history of the human Constantine (a pagan) who decided which human manuscripts to include in the Bible, an assessment of the influence of preexisting human religions of the Egyptians, Minoans, Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, etc. and their human holy books. Whether one does this leviathan research first hand or relies upon theological cognoscenti, trust in humans is necessary at every step since all documents are human in origin.

Also keep in mind that relying on those with the most book learning means relying on those with the most second hand information.

In this examination, one must answer why religions that predated the Jews and Christians contained stories of god sons (such as Osiris and Adonis), resurrections, atonement, baptism, virgin births, blood sacrifice, good and evil spirits, the golden rule, etc. (See BQ for a thorough analysis.)

Whole lifetimes can be consumed under the presumption that focusing one’s life on such study is somehow more holy, more righteous and ethical, and puts us in better stead with the creator, than actually listening to conscience and trying to be a better person in tending to family, Earth, and fellow humans. In effect, such people trust a human made thing, a book, more than a creator made thing--our mind and conscience. That makes no sense, but neither does it to claim that one has no time for the study to sort all of this out. If a person does not have time or fears the inconvenience and potential insecurity of critical analysis, then they should have no time to believe either.

If one engages openly in the examination of religions and holy books—not simply seeking the affirmation of a cloud nine preexisting belief or hope—humans, not a perfect creator, appear. Humans are bunglers of the creator’s revelation manifest in the creation. After all, it is people who devise imperfect and imprecise interpretative language, letters, and writing. They are the ones who make paper, pens, typewriters, word processors, printing presses, bindings, and books. Humans are the experts to “explain” it all. No book in existence is absent the imperfect finger of humans.

By contrast, the creation, reality (a true reflection and definition of God), and conscience are a perfect and immutable standard that will never fail us in our search for meaning and purpose. If you want to know if there is a God, afterlife, soul, and purpose in life, you need look no further than your own heart and reflection on the reality you experience every day.

One must be extremely cautious about attributing a human made thing, a book (paper, ink, binding, printing press, human invented words, anthropomorphized god), to the creator and letting that substitute for reason and conscience. If that book is found to contradict itself, contradict reality (God), or be unethical, one would be guilty of blasphemy, sacrilege, libel, calumny, and slander.

In the end, if we are to be held accountable, it seems only reasonable that perfect justice (which is what underlies reality) would demand that we take responsibility for ourselves, rather than have only the Nuremberg defense, "I was only following orders—doing what I read and was told."

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The first two videos demonstrate how that we can never be too sure about our conclusions. That applies to what we see, feel, hear, touch…and read. The last video gives a glimpse into the marvels of our world that can only be accounted for by an intelligence and power beyond our comprehension, an intelligence and power that is certainly not anthropocentrically reducible to a book.


Thinking Thought — "Allegiance to and belief in that which you do not put constantly to the test of open inquiry, is one long sin"— R. Wysong

Thinking Word — inditement - \in·dite'ment\ Click for pronunciation -noun: to treat in a literary composition, to compose or write


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