Apologizing For God

Instead of God having to apologize for some of the fools He’s created.

Let us pray for atheists to come to know our Lord.
Why??!  😯

Because as a Christian I want them to go to heaven.
The same question still applies, Why? What do you gain/How do you benefit?? The Bible says that God hardens the heart of some people, who refuse to accept Him. Would praying to change that, not be contrary to His divine plan?

So, let me get this straight: do you think that God hardens the hearts of people because they refuse to accept Him or that people refuse to accept Him because God hardens their hearts? Following that question, do you think there are some great sinners who eventually repent?
I don’t believe in (your) God, and I don’t believe that this ever happened, before, during or after.  I was just interested to see the size and shape of the wiggle-room religious escape hatch you would provide.  🙄

Then, what God do you believe in?
Ah, there’s that desperate, “You must believe in at least one God, so that we can prove it’s the wrong one.”
The All-Just and All-Forgiving God cannot exist.  The All-Just God would dole out punishments consistent with the severity of the crime – something the God of the Bible can’t seem to do – inflicting infinite punishment for the finite crime of merely not believing in Him.  The All-Forgiving God is not “just” because He has special treats and privileges, only for members of his somewhat exclusive group of sycophants.  It’s sort of like Oprah Winfrey giving free cars just to people who visit her live show – only, I actually have proof of people driving her cars, but I have no proof of anyone receiving everlasting life from God.

Atheists, and also many Christians, are in the habit of pulling one verse out of scripture and judging it on its own, very often out of context, and without any understanding of the whole. That never leads to the truth.
An example of this is Pharoah in Exodus. In Exodus 7:3 where God says: “3 But I myself shall make Pharaoh stubborn and shall perform many a sign and wonder in Egypt.”
But we see that Pharaoh’s heart is already hardened way before that. In Exodus 1: 22 we read: “22 Pharaoh then gave all his people this command: ‘Throw every new-born (Israelite) boy into the river, but let all the girls live.’”
A man’s heart is hardened by the sins he commits. The consequence of sins is to harden man’s heart. This is the sense in which God hardens man’s heart, by allowing the consequences of man’s actions to follow their course.
Great little excuse. I’m sure you believe it, despite providing a Bible quote that proves it wrong.

With all due respect, I seem to have given you a fairly detailed response and you have brushed it off as an excuse.
A detailed response does not constitute a valid answer.  Exodus 7:3 plainly states that God claims the responsibility, and clearly says that He shall make Pharaoh stubborn.  God does not use the excuse of free will, to allow Pharaoh to perform despicable acts which eventually coarsen and debase his soul.  This is not the same as “Hardening his heart,” which means to become or remain stubborn and/or obstinate, not accepting another’s opinion or desired course of action.  Anyone who would present that as an argument obviously knows neither Theology, nor proper English usage.

Show me a later context verse where God says, “You know that thing that I specifically said over there??!  I didn’t really mean it.”  BTW: You still haven’t given an answer to why you want Atheists to ‘know Jesus.’  I haven’t had my daily chuckle, so you might try to convince me that it’s strictly through religious altruism, and not to assuage the insecurity caused by people who won’t join your club.

You’re the last person I’d turn to understand scripture.
If I’m feeling sick, I go to the doctor. If my tooth aches, I go to the dentist. If I want to know something about the cosmos, I go to a cosmologist not to the Flat Earth Society. If I want to know something about God, I go to a theist, not an “A”theist. If I want to understand the Christian scriptures, I go to those who have the authority to interpret the Christian scriptures, not some deluded anti-Christian.

You just keep repeating that as long as it makes you feel good.

B.T.W.

I just realized that the graphic which I inserted at the top, might be construed by some, to be Atheist(s) refusing to accept proof of God.  It should only be regarded as someone refusing to accept the claim of the existence of God, without sufficiently convincing evidence.

Fibulous Fibbing Friday

Each month, Pensitivity101 publishes a list of questions or statements that we are encouraged to provide creative, adventurous – if not exactly truthful – responses to.  The following is my most recent attempt.

  1. A stitch in time saves……………………………………..
    2. Too many cooks…………………………………………….
    3. Many hands make………………………………………….
    4. A bird in the hand ………………………………………..
    5. Actions speak louder……………………………………….
    6. All that glitters………………………………………………
    7. People in glass houses……………………………………
    8. Fools rush in ………………………………………………..
    9. Don’t count your chickens ……………………………..
    10. Give them an inch…………………………………………

A stitch in time saves – me from having to complete this 5K “Fun Run” that I so unwisely signed up for.  If God had intended us to run, He wouldn’t have invented Uber.  😮

Too many cooks – add so many red-hot peppers, that you could die at a Texas Chili Cook-off.  😥

Many hands make – a complete game of bridge, although I don’t understand why anyone plays it.  I just don’t have the attention span.  😉  😆  See what I did there?  😕

A bird in the hand – can be quite messy.  Always use your COVID gloves.  The drunk said to the host, “If you don’t have any lemons, I think I just squeezed your canary into my drink.”  😳

Actions speak louder – to get the attention of members of the Woke generation.  Sometimes it takes a good slap upside the head to convince them that they’re not as right as they imagine they are.  😯

All that glitters – is impossible to vacuum out of the carpet.  Who invented that shit?  Chinese terrorists??!  Sawdust is guy-glitter, but at least you can sweep it up.  😎

People in glass houses – should buy thick curtains.  Clean windows are important, but so is privacy.  😛

Fools rush in – and guys like Trump get elected.  😳  😯

Don’t count your chickens – because I raided your freezer.  I came over last week to ‘borrow’ a cup of Zinfandel, but you were driving your husband to the airport, so I ‘borrowed’ an entire bottle while I waited for you.  (Don’t count on your wine supply, either.)  I didn’t have anything in stock for supper, and one thing led to another….   😯

Give them an inch – and the anti-vaxxer conspiracy nuts won’t be any closer to protecting themselves and the rest of society.  😳

I’ll publish another post in a couple of days.  I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….ish.

Blog Theme Prompt

Bite the bullet
decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.
To “bite the bullet” is to “accept the inevitable impending hardship and endure the resulting pain with fortitude”. The phrase was first recorded by Rudyard Kipling in his 1891 novel The Light that Failed. It has been suggested that it is derived historically from the practice of having a patient clench a bullet in their teeth as a way to cope with the pain of a surgical procedure without anesthetic.

I guess I have to bite the bullet, and accept the challenge to

Bullet point your entire day

1 PM-ish –

1:30 PM –

2 – 4 PM –

4:30 PM –

5 – 7:30 PM –

8 – 9 PM –

9 – 10 PM –

10 – 11:30 PM –

Midnight –

 

 

1 AM –
Tue/Thur/Sat/Sun

12:50 AM
Mon/Wed/Fri.

1 – 3 AM –

3 – 5 AM –

5 AM –

I am number one with a bullet.  Now you know all about me, and realize how little that actually is.  If you promise to stop by again soon, I promise something of a little more truth and substance.

Guilty Of Innocent Lawyer Jokes

All rise for these funny lawyer
and attorney jokes.

Guilty Of Annoyance

A defendant isn’t happy with how things are going in court, so he gives the judge a hard time.
Judge: “Where do you work?”
Defendant: “Here and there.”
Judge: “What do you do for a living?”
Defendant: “This and that.”
Judge: “Take him away.”
Defendant: “Wait; when will I get out?”
Judge: “Sooner or later.”

The Case Of The Imaginary Dogs

My niece was dragged into court by a neighbor who complained about her barking dogs. At one point, the judge asked the neighbor a question. The neighbor didn’t reply. “Sir, are you going to answer me?” The neighbor leaped to his feet. “Are you talking to me?” he asked. “Sorry; I can’t hear a darn thing.” The case was dismissed.

The Best Legal Advice Ever….

…was spotted on a billboard ad for the law office of Larry L. Archie: “Just because you did it doesn’t mean you’re guilty.”

Court Of Less Appeal

Justice isn’t just blind—it’s snickering at these real courtroom give-and-takes:

Judge (to young witness): Do you know what would happen to you if you told a lie?
Witness: Yes. I would go to hell.
Judge: Is that all?
Witness: Isn’t that enough?

Q: Isn’t it a fact that you have been running around with another woman?
A: Yes, it is, but you can’t prove it!

Q: Have you ever heard about taking the Fifth?
A: A fifth of wine?
Q: No, the Fifth Amendment.

Q: What did your sister die of?
A: You would have to ask her. I would be speculating if I told you.

Liar! Liar!

As a potential juror in an assault-and-battery case, I was sitting in a courtroom, answering questions from both sides. The assistant district attorney asked such questions as: Had I ever been mugged? Did I know the victim or the defendant?

The defense attorney took a different approach, however. “I see you are a teacher,” he said. “What do you teach?”

“English and theater,” I responded.

“Then I guess I better watch my grammar,” the defense attorney quipped.

“No,” I shot back. “You better watch your acting.”

When the laughter in the courtroom died down, I was excused from the case.

It’s Funny ‘Cause It’s True

How many lawyer jokes are there?  Only three, the rest are true stories.

You Can’t Get Mad At Gravity

How do you get a lawyer out of a tree?  Cut the rope.

I Witness

What separates witnesses from the lowest form of life on earth? The wooden partitions around the witness stand.

Good Question

A man went to a lawyer and asked what his fee was. “$100 for three questions,” answered the lawyer. “Isn’t that a little steep?” said the man. “Yes,” said the lawyer. “Now, what’s your third question?”

Pull!

What do you call 25 skydiving lawyers?  Skeet!

The Blue Pill

What does a lawyer get when you give him Viagra?  Taller.

Bad Dude

What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer? A bad lawyer might let a case drag on for several years. A good lawyer knows how to make it last even longer.

There’s Hell Below

As a lawyer woke up in the hospital after surgery he asked, “Why are all the blinds drawn in here?” The nurse answered, “There’s a fire across the street and we didn’t want you to think the operation had been a failure.”

How do attorneys sleep at night?  Well, first they lie on one side, then they lie on the other side.

Edison On Religion


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Alva Edison:

…What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.  When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day… If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things.

Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.

The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased…

I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.

I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.

I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do… I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation.

The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study….Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.

True Colors

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where a Christian/Atheist religious discussion goes, when it doesn’t go where an evangelical apologist wants it to go.  Sooner or later they show their true colors.

I love when you write about religion and faith because this is my favorite topic. However, it seems like you only want to engage in discussing the worst ideas that Christians present, rather than actually dealing with the difficult questions. Of course it is true that as an atheist you are capable of making moral choices. And I accept that if evolution were true, you would be capable of caring for others through an evolved empathy. However, what if my evolutionary pathway didn’t cause me to have empathy? What if my evolution led me toward conquering others by any means necessary in order to survive? What if I sincerely believed that killing you and stealing your stuff was a moral choice? If you are a cosmic accident, and I am a cosmic accident, then you have no standing on which to claim that anything at all is good or bad. There is no such thing as good or bad. It doesn’t matter if 7 billion cosmic accidents decide that killing is bad. You could put me in jail and stop me from stealing and killing, but you couldn’t actually call my actions bad. There is no one on earth who could say anything is good or bad if we are all cosmic accidents. You put up a meme that says, “Not wanting to know the truth is what makes you stupid.” I completely agree. So, where do you stand on that? If you really want the truth, then why do you tear down stupid arguments and avoid answering real questions? Thanks!

I tear down stupid arguments, because they are stupid arguments. Like assembling car models or collecting coins, it is a retirement hobby that fills some spare time, and gives me a pleasant feeling of accomplishment. What are some real questions that you feel need answering, and why do you think that it is incumbent upon me to answer them??

I accept a wide array of ‘facts’ and opinions which I believe to be the truth, because I have been presented with what I feel is, sufficiently convincing evidence. It is likely that some of my beliefs are false, because of incomplete or incorrect information, but if someone presents me with new evidence, I am open to changing my mind. What ’Truth’ do you think exists, that I am not accepting? I do not discover truth by telling others what I believe, but by asking my own questions, and listening to others.

You are correct that there is no good or bad, and you are also wrong! Good and bad do not exist as concrete, clearly-defined, unchanging, imposed-from-without, terms. They exist because we – individuals and societies – say they do. Good is what increases my well-being. Bad is what decreases my well-being – and my family’s – and my city’s – and my country’s – and Humanity’s. They are amorphous, constantly changing, constantly being negotiated. They require continuous thought and consideration. We need to be responsible for our own actions and attitudes.

I did not mean to say that you have an obligation to answer any argument. I only wondered why you seem to avoid addressing good Christian arguments, and only pick on the stupid ones. You asked which truth I think exists…and I think you know the answer. God exists and there is plenty of evidence for his existence. I have offered to take the time to show you the evidence, but you did not respond to my offer. I’m glad that you at least admit in this comment that good and bad do not exist in a concrete way, since that is consistent with your worldview. But you said that good is what increases your well-being and that of your family, city, etc. You also said that good and bad exist because we say they do. What if my society decides that what is best is to kill millions of Jews, because our race is superior? Does that make it good? And what if I personally decide that what is best for me and my family is to kill you and take your stuff? What if my city decides that what is best for our city is to take over your city and make you our slaves? Is there anyone in the world who could say that would be morally wrong? In your world, no there isn’t. Would you disagree? And on what basis would you disagree?

I pick on stupid Christian arguments, and ignore good ones for a couple of reasons. One is that I don’t seem to ever find good arguments, just ‘less dumb’ ones. Another is that this blog-site is an outlet for my creativity. It is for education, entertainment and amusement. It is not a Theological debate site, and I am not a theologian or trained debater. I am, however, capable of holding foolish claims and statements up to ridicule. I do it with social, political, legal, logic, and linguistics. If you don’t want to see your ox gored, don’t watch. It’s like news services; they don’t run ’Dog bites man’ stories. They run MAN BITES DOG. So do I.

I have not accepted your kind offer for various reasons also. First, better men than you have tried and failed. Second, you don’t seem to be offering anything new, only a protracted brainwashing program that will eat my time, and benefit only you. It will not lead me to the truth, only an attempt to convince me that what is offered is true. Lastly, if the Christian God exists, the Bible says that He hardens the hearts of many people, making them unable to see the truth. All your hopes and prayers are ineffective against His plan.

Your questions indicate that you still view Good and Bad as concrete entities. What is good for you (and yours) is bad for me. We each need to consider what will produce The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number. The victors get to write the history. That’s what the Holy Inquisition was all about. If only Nazi Germans had survived, strong and prosperous, then killing Jews would have been good – for them – but each city and nation must live with, and get along with, the rest of mankind. I don’t steal, because I do not want anyone to steal from me – or kill, or rape, or enslave, or invade, or destroy – Do Unto Others. What would the world be like if everyone did that??

At the end, you slide into ‘morally wrong.’ I would disagree, because this is an entirely different concept from ‘Good and Bad.’ If God does not exist, then “Morals” do not exist, only the evolutionary empathetic urge to assist and improve the lot of individuals, and Humanity in general, so that our lot will also be improved. Be good, for goodness’ sake.

You said that “we each need to consider what will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” But if I follow your worldview to its logical conclusion, then it doesn’t matter whether I shoot up a school full of children or bake them all cookies. Those are moral equivalents, because we live a meaningless existence. You atheists want to play pretend that things actually matter, while holding a worldview where things don’t matter. And then you cry when someone shoot (sic) schoolkids (sic). Why be upset just because a cosmic accident decided not to play your game of pretend? Your worldview is completely inconsistent with your actions. I suspect that you know God is there, you just don’t want him to tell you to stop looking at porn. Enjoy it while you can, Archon! Thanks for your response. I won’t bother you anymore since you are not interested in spending your time this way.   (My emphasis)

Five minutes after I got the above comment, I got a frantic email – not apologizing, (s)he still stood by all the claims, but was worried about how it would make this ‘loving Christian’ appear to the public.

I will totally understand if you delete it

No, no! Just the opposite. Not that anyone will come back to this post and read it, but I am leaving it up as a cautionary tale, and an object lesson.  Congratulations!  You get to be the star of one of Archon’s ‘Christians vs. Atheists’ posts.  Your date with infamy will be Feb. 24/21 if morbid curiosity drives you to investigate.

Two weeks later: I guess it is just going to be another post where you congratulate yourself for being such a good and intelligent person.

More interested in winning than engaging in a discussion, when it became obvious that they were not going to be taken seriously and agreed with, it quickly devolved into insults, personal attacks, strawman arguments, claims to be able to read my mind and insist on what I ‘knew’, calling me a liar, and accusations of my immoral behavior.  For those who have waded through this saga, what are your thoughts??  😕

Some Thoughts – Domestic And Foreign

All teachings are mere references.
The true experience is living your own life.
Then, even the holiest of words are only words.
Deng Ming-Dao

To determine the true rulers of any society, you must ask this question; “Who am I not allowed to criticize?”

‘All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician [to keep the hoi-polloi in order], and ridiculous to the philosopher.’

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was not an Atheist. He was Catholic and realized how he could use religion to rule the masses.

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.”
Isaac Asimov

If prayer actually worked, we’d see two things:
1 – Ambulances would take patients to churches
2 – Christians would have longer life spans than the rest of the population

Most people are not looking for provable truths. Truth is often accompanied by terrible pain, and almost no-one is looking for painful truths. What people need are beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning. This is where religion comes from.

My favorite part of the Bible is where God gives everyone free will, and then drowns everybody in a flood for not acting the way He wanted.

CREATIONISM
The idea that we are not related to apes, no matter how many genes we share, but are in fact, descended from dirt.

Religion has at every age kept the human mind in darkness and held it in ignorance of its true relations, of its real duties, and its true interests. It is but in removing its clouds and phantoms that we may find the source of truth, reason, morality, and the actual motives which inspire virtue—Jean Messlier 1704

How many religious people does it take to change a light bulb?
None! They just sit in the dark and demand that you believe that the light is still on.

The cold, hard truth is worth so much more than a comforting lie.

“In religions and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are, in almost every case, gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who themselves have not examined the questions at issue, but have taken them second-hand from other examiners, whose opinions about them are not worth a brass farthing.”
Mark Twain

When you have to ignore mountains of evidence to hold a belief; when your words are those of others to preserve your faith; when you refuse to use logic, to protect your fantasy, your willful ignorance does not make you a unique individual. It doesn’t afford you special consideration.

Actually, it means that you are just plain wrong. It means that you have nothing to add to intelligent conversation. Believers show all the hallmarks of long-term abuse, unable to distinguish threats, fear and degradation, from kindness, love and self-worth.

Atheism says absolutely nothing about the issues of Northern Ireland, Shia/Sunni wars, genocide in Rwanda, questions of religious freedom, stem cell research, or gay marriage.  Atheism is not a belief, it’s not a set of values, it’s not a political movement, it’s not even a platform.  It merely is the understanding that all the religions seem made up.  And since we have no way to figure out if any of them are real, we must deal with life on our own.  We must use our brains.  So let’s quit being dicks to each other, roll up our sleeves, and figure these things out.  And keep making fun of religions.

PopeClown

***

 

Is Atheism A Bad Idea?

Atheism

He was an Atheist for 40 years, then one day, he became Catholic. (Or so he claims. I suspect a troll.) Not A Catholic – merely Catholic. He and I had some words. They grew too numerous for a comments column…. so here we are again.

And how miserable does atheism make you? Choosing it is a bit like choosing to be fatherless in the world. Left to your own devices.

For someone claiming to be Atheist for forty years, his assumptions and questions are bewildering. He seems to imply that morality must be applied from outside. A moral framework must be accepted internally, even if it is supplied from the outside. I know “Good Catholics” who believe in divorce and remarriage, gay marriage, and priests being married – all ‘sins’ to the church. Atheism does not make people miserable. It frees them to enjoy the natural beauty of the world and the Universe, revel in the companionship of friends and family, and be proud of how much better they’ve made and left it all.

He seems to feel that he needs some kind of social and moral crutch. Most Atheists want to be left to their own devices. They have the strength of will and character to deal with life and reality on their own. Is he too stupid or lazy to formulate and apply his own moral code??

True Atheists simply do not see convincing evidence of the existence of God, or gods. They do not “choose” to be Atheist. Anyone who claims they do, or that someone else did, is mistaken and often an intentional liar.

Do you have children? Do you have a set of values? How do you pass them on? Do you even want to pass them on or do you want to just let the thousands of ancestors of yours who struggled to survive only for you to say, “eff it, my line is OUT”? (He wants me to continue to be Christian – and fruitful – simply to please my dead predecessors??!)

I have a set of values – Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. – which is neither original, nor exclusive, to the Bible. Do the greatest good for the greatest number. I passed them on to my children, and now to our grandson – who received a small award in college for his assistance to others. I not only told them to aid and be kind to others. I showed them how, by doing it myself. From empirical observation, our practiced moral values are better than many ‘Good Christians.’

I certainly feel my/our moral values should be passed on. Some of my ancestors were deeply religious. Others were completely not, but I’m sure that all of them would agree and be proud of me and the good I do.

I hear you and agree with most of what you say, however, I don’t condemn all of Christianity because some people abuse it or make it look bad. But let me ask you this question, beyond those phrases like “do unto others” how do you guide someone to resolve complicated moral issues? Do you ever talk with your children about morals? Is that enough to lead a person through every moral quagmire he or she might face? Not in my view.

He doesn’t say why he feels that’s not enough. Perhaps I’m simplistic, but I do. Adultery is wrong – not necessarily a sin – but wrong. Her husband may beat her, or ignore her. That makes it more complicated, but that’s social, not moral. It’s still wrong. You wouldn’t want to be her husband, nor her to be your wife. You’re not doing unto others, nor the greatest good for the greatest number.

I grew up in an atheist household, and we had some discussion of morals but it was very infrequent. Until atheism offers me the discipline of continually working to be a good person, I decided I’m done with it. And given that atheists or secularists tend to not marry or have kids at nearly the rates of religious people, how do you expect your values to live on beyond a generation or two?

I don’t view life – or religion – as a contest to be won. I hope to influence my descendants, and society in general, by my example. I would not dare to attempt to impose my code on others. People who do that are called ISIS. I believe my opinion to be the best, but if it dies out after I do, that’s not my problem.

Unlike Religion, Atheism has no real structure. There is no Pope, no hierarchy, no Bible, no tenets, no dogma, no sin, and no handy rule-book with a ready-made list of acceptable actions. People have to work that out on their own. He makes no mention of belief in God, Jesus Christ, salvation, Heaven, or everlasting life. He just wants someone to hold his moral hand and lead him down the Holy Garden path. It’s like someone wanting to save the Earth from Global Warming, but buying a Hummer because it has cool wheels.

Hummer

Jim says

“The reason you returned to religion is self interest. That’s how it always is. Just because you failed to find a meaningful life outside of faith, you have joined the herd to find solace. I, and many like me, find complete satisfaction finding our own way in the world. You on the other hand, profess belief in something you don’t believe, to have community. That is hypocrisy and lacks integrity.

There is no meaning but what you make it. Searching for it inside of prearranged dogma is cheating yourself of possibilities. Spirituality comes in billions of options that are quite fulfilling outside the plug-and-play religions. It’s even true inside religion. Everyone just picks the parts they want to believe anyway. Your mind has now been hijacked by the herd.”

 

The Need For Myths

Fairy Tale

Myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance. We all need to tell our story and to understand our story. We all need to understand death and to cope with death, and we all need help in our passages from birth to life and then to death.

It may really not be possible to do away with myths. The myth is as much a part of the human need as the allure of it. Even when one does not want to, there will come a time when a person feels the need for a story. This inner need expresses itself as a search, or as a desire. It may come early in life or it may come late. Nevertheless, a person who thinks, is bound to realize a sense of emptiness. Nothing but a story could fill it. All a person would want or hope for is to find a good story, and then, live it.

Finding one’s myth

This is where one person differs from another. It’s easy to understand. What isn’t easy to understand is always, why one person chooses one story to understand his reality, while someone else chooses another. It is to be understood that: Till the time a person finds the story – the myth – that satisfyingly explains his existence and gives purpose to his mind, his soul, the power within is still not released. It is looking for its expression. The myth provides the expression. Only then, when one goes deep into his personal myth, is it no longer just a story, but life itself. Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.

Every culture ought to provide a satisfying myth to the people it holds – one might say – captive. Yes, cultures hold at least some persons captive, while the vast majority are simply organized by it. This is what we understand to be a society. Is that not true? The exceptional individuals of society – the artists, the searchers, the thinkers, and the visionaries – if they succeed in finding their creativity-unlocking-myth, will then become the heroes and the leaders. They may even one day become legends that others recall with some fondness and some fear.

Another Challenge – No Argument

Another Challenge

#16 – 3 things you are proud of about your personality
Only three??!  They all blend together.  I like to think that I have (almost) no ego, and yet I have a blog-site where I claim to be opinionated.  With the ego comes humility and tact.  I can claim that I’m right, without ever insisting that you are wrong.

A man I worked with suddenly, out of the blue one day, said, “If I don’t like someone, I tell them.” Without much thought, I said, “I do too.”  “No you don’t.” he replied.  “If someone asks you, you’ll admit it.  If someone else is badmouthing them, you’ll agree.  I’ll walk right up to them and tell them I don’t like them.”

And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the difference between truth and tact. Truth without tact – honesty without compassion – is just cruelty.  There is little to be gained by actively making enemies.  There are too many of them to go around as it is.

The humility helps me accept and deal with reality. Unlike Fundamentalists, I don’t insist that I’m ‘right’, when there is proof that I’m not, or at least reasonable doubt.  I have changed my thinking and opinions on a number of issues, as more evidence becomes available.

#20 – The last argument you had

Here’s another place where the list compiler’s mental problems/viewpoint become apparent. This question shows that he believes that Everybody argues to resolve differences, and they do it on such a regular, continued basis that we each have a mental list of arguments, with the ‘last’ one at the top.  Sadly, that happens all too often –Just Not With Me!

A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Mr. Myagi say, way to avoid punch argument, not be there.
Never argue with an idiot.  People might have trouble telling which one’s which.

I learned very early that arguing wasn’t a good idea, that it didn’t really solve anything, and just caused more problems.

When I was 8, and the neighborhood smart(ass) kid was 9, we got into a real argument about what Tarzan’s victory yell from the movies sounded like. I thought that it was like this – he thought it was like that.  Here were the two of us, nose to nose, noise polluting the neighborhood….when I suddenly realized that we were at odds over a fictitious movie sound, from a fictional character.  The noise level quickly abated.

In my early teens, during the “Beach Boys, Jan and Dean” period of surf and hot-rod music, I came home from high school one day. Since I usually had an hour to myself, I put on a recently purchased 45 RPM record about a ‘Bucket T’, a 1923 T-model Ford hot-rod.  I cranked the volume and played it 5 or 6 times, trying to get the lyrics and musical pacing.

Suddenly my Mother came scowling out of her bedroom. She had felt ill, and came home from work early.  How dare I keep blasting this song about ‘bucket seat, bucket seat, bucket seat?’  I opened my mouth to argue that it was a ‘Bucket-T,’ when I realized that it was not about what it was about.  What it was about, was that my Mother needed quiet and rest.  She got it – no argument.

Where profanity is the last resort of a person with no language skills, so too, arguments are the last resort of those with no tact, communication abilities, or anger management skills. If a discussion/disagreement has deteriorated to the point of arguments, both parties have already lost.  It is often no longer about who is right, or what is best, but rather, WHO WILL WIN.

Even if you prove the other person wrong, especially in public, you have not won the fight, or a follower, but rather, someone who will bear a grudge and backstab and bad-mouth you forever.  I will clearly state my case, but I stay out of arguments.  Too often, they involve third parties – (soon-to-be-ex)bosses, police, attorneys and ambulances.

There’s no argument that I would like to see you all here again in a couple of days, for some more of Archon’s nuggets of wisdom.