On Christianity

Christianity: The supplemental conditioning to a good, decent raising which claims credit when the person is “good”, yet which casts blame when in the event of the alternative.

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A Theory of Secular Ethics

It is my theory that morals and ethics are based on natural principles.  It follows then, that I believe such standards are developed and maintained by natural processes:

Morals and ethics are of course guideline’s for personal social conduct.  For the individual, such distinguishes that which is seemingly right from that which is seemingly wrong.  An understanding of the natural standard for proper social conduct is the foundation for the process by which natural morals and ethics are developed and maintained.  In this regard,  I suggest that the universally natural aversion for suffering is the logical standard by which conduct is generally deemed right or wrong.   I furthermore suggest that the natural effects of social experience and a raised awareness of the effects of suffering are means by which one’s morals and ethics are developed and maintained.

Our natural aversion for suffering of any degree is evidenced by most every decision we make throughout any given day.  The clothes we wear, the setting of a thermostat, and other such simple decisions we make on a daily basis such as whether  to open or close windows, when to eat, and when to relieve ourselves are but a few examples which demonstrate that the founding principle for each such decision is a seemingly natural aversion to suffering shared by us  all.  The baby cries when hungry and the dog seeks shade on a hot summer day for the same reason we make most every single decision of any given day:  A natural aversion to suffering of any degree.

Our natural aversion to suffering in general is demonstrated by the compassion which develops naturally from within most every person as we develop socially.  Few and far between are the people who are not internally distressed at the sights or sounds of the suffering of any sentient being.  It seems to me that the experience of being exposed to the suffering of sentient beings fosters an empathy for our fellow beings which is a natural guide for our social conduct.

Thus, matters of “right and wrong” are not judged by whether actions adhere to or violate a written doctrine or even a societal law.  Natural “right and wrong” are matters of effect.  The effect which assesses the rightness or wrongness of an act then being whether such action causes unnecessary suffering. I honestly cannot think of a single incident of “right and wrong” which is not based to some degree on the concept of suffering or discomfort.

Naturally moral and ethical conduct then is not referenced so much by what one does, but rather by how one’s decisions affect others. Moralists such as Confucius and Jesus reportedly encouraged their followers to practice principles of reciprocity in their social dealings, and rightly so.  For in so doing we of humanity maintain ethical conduct suited to our natural empathy for the suffering of others.

Such is the way of moral and ethical conduct based upon our natural aversion to suffering of any degree AND by anyone.

The Intrigue of the Limitless

The nature of the universe intrigues me.  As do theories related to the same.  It interests me that most religions are based upon theories of the universe which predate modern science.  Which leads me to question whether there would even be such a concept as religion had the knowledge which is available to to us now been available to those who initiated religious theories to explain the unknown way back then.  I am even further intrigued by the limits of our knowledge today even in light of the advances of modern science. It seems to me that nobody knows for certain the limits of either space or time.  Which perhaps intrigues me the most.

Who Me? Nervous?

Convenience Stores:  Places that sell Skittles, Canned Iced Tea, AND Tampons under the same roof make me feel nervous.

Walking the streets:  Gun toting Neighborhood Crime Watch people make me feel nervous.

Walking the streets:  Teens armed with Skittles and Canned Iced Tea make me feel nervous.

Churches:  People carrying loaded guns make me feel nervous.

Texas:  People carrying loaded guns make me feel nervous.

Austin, Texas:  Women carrying Tampons make me feel nervous.

Austin, Texas:  Governor Good Hair makes me feel nervous.

Texas Rangers baseball games:  Governor Good Hair’s mentor makes me feel nervous.

Texas Rangers baseball games:  We are in Second Place to the Oakland A’s.  That makes me feel nervous.

Colorado:  Schizophrenic states make me feel nervous.

Massachusetts:  Free thinkers make me feel nervous.

Vermont:  Free thinkers make me feel nervous.

Australia:  Free thinkers make me feel nervous.

Florida:  Florida makes me feel nervous.

Latin American countries: Democracy makes me feel nervous.

Santa Claus:  Myths makes me feel nervous.

The Easter Bunny:  Myths make me feel nervous.

Iraq:  WMD’s makes me feel nervous.  NO WAIT! File this under:  Myths make me feel nervous.

The USA: WMD’s makes me feel nervous.

In my car:  The driving of other people makes me feel nervous.

In my car:  My driving makes me feel nervous.

Walmart:  Underpaid workers make me feel nervous.

Women:  Underpaid workers make me feel nervous.

CEO’s:  Overpaid “workers” make me feel nervous.

Heterosexual couples:  People in love make me nervous.

Same gender couples:  People in love make me feel nervous.

Interracial couples:  People in love make me feel nervous.

Republican Conventions:  Corporate puppets make me feel nervous.

Democratic Conventions:  Corporate puppets make me feel nervous.

The Bible:  Fiction makes me feel nervous.

Kurt Vonnegut novels:  Truth makes me feel nervous.

Political speeches:  Double talk makes me feel nervous.

This post:  Double talk makes me feel nervous.

Facebook:  People who agree with me make me feel nervous.

Facebook:  People who don’t agree with me make me feel nervous.

The News:  Being informed makes me feel nervous.

The News:  Being misinformed makes me feel nervous.

Ignorance:  Not knowing makes me feel nervous.

Apathy:  Not caring makes me feel nervous.

Cynicism:  I make myself nervous.

Conclusions:  Conclusions make me feel nervous.

The End:  The End makes me feel nervous.

Goodbyes:  Goodbyes makes me feel nervous.

Long drawn out conclusions:  Long drawn out conclusions make me feel nervous.

Okay, I am finally finis–:  Posts with no actual end makes me feel nervous.

Jehovah On Trial: Global Drowning (The Uncut Version)

The recent acquittal of George Zimmerman has me thinking about trials and free passes.  Which naturally got me to thinking:  What if Jehovah were put on trial?

The charges?  Multiple counts of homicide, attempted genocide, infanticide, animal abuse, sex trafficking, slavery, and torture to name a few.

The witnesses?  Well, if you buy the notion that the Bible is “the word of God”, then upon that very premise, do we not have a confession?  In case of  point, if indeed the Bible is “the word of God”, then every biblical account which records such misdeeds by Jehovah or under his command are in and of themselves true confessions, are they not?

As to the multiple counts of homicide; oh where shall I begin?  Well, how about the infamous global flood.  Yep, long before there was global warming there was global drowning!! In fact, so as to not bog ourselves down with too much information at once, let’s confine ourselves at this time to this one particular Biblical account, so as to only have to consider the charges of multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse.

Genesis 6-8 gives us the general account of the setting involving the flood.  The specifics as to why are a matter of record:

  • “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”  (Genesis 6:5-8)

So, because humanity was so evil that everyone could only think of evil continually, God destroyed everyone except the Noah family. Yeah, I guess those animals must have had nothing but continually evil thoughts as well.  And the babies, those beady little eyes peering out of their cribs.  No doubt they were just waiting to get on their feet, start talking, and plotting evil against the Lord their God!

There you have it folks.  Multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse all in one neatly packaged Bible story.  Hell, I will even give Jehovah a pass on the attempted genocide rap.  After all, he did spare Mr Noah and family.

Everytime I read that narrative I chuckle as I think back to my church days, which is admittedly not so many years ago.  The story of Noah and the flood is a favorite in Bible Classes in the Church of Christ.  It seems that almost every Toddler’s Class that I can recall came equipped with toy Arks on wheels that the kiddos could roll around the room while their well meaning Teachers indoctrinated them with accounts of God’s love in sparing Noah’s family and the animals which he gathered into the Ark.  The kiddos would place small plastic animals into the Ark, and pull the Ark around the room and sing songs of God’s love and grace.  Good times….

But what we never told the kiddos about were “the others”.  The other animals.  The other people.  The other toddlers their very own age who were not lucky enough to be born to Mr and Mrs Noah.  (What was her name anyway.  Oh yeah, this is the Bible, the names of wives are somewhat insignificant to the overall plot.  For example, you know we are told to “Remember Lot’s wife”?  Well, how the hell do you remember someone whose name you do not even know?  I mean really, come on!  You tell me how evil she was in “looking back”, and you tell me that she was instantly transformed into a pillar of salt, you tell me to “remember her”, but you don’t even tell me her name?  Oh, come on!!  Well, there are lots of details that get left out of Bible Stories, which brings us back to the victims of The Flood.)

Just once, just once, I would like to see the uncut version of the biblical account of The Flood presented in a Toddlers Bible Class.  Can’t you just see it?  Envision a whirlpool set up in the corner of  the classroom.  After the children had helped Mr Noah load the wife and kids and all the local pets into the Ark for the world’s first cruise, then they could help Mr Jehovah destroy everyone else by tossing plastic toy babies, animals, trees, and such into the whirlpool, and then fire that baby up!  Imagine the looks on their curious little faces as they saw the image of the lifeless little faces just like their own floating and swirling around in the whirlpool while the Bible Class teacher told them about the love and grace of God, and lead them in choruses of “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hand”.  It damn near brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it!

Well, that is enough for today.  By his own confession as recorded in Genesis 6-8 Jehovah was guilty of multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse.  We will get to sex trafficking, slavery, and torture some other time.  I am short on time as it is.  Its Sunday morning, and I am late for Bible Class.

Playing God and Real World Issues

As a general rule, I refrain from offering my opinions of issues related to women’s health. Frankly, my ignorance as to such simply embarasses me.  Even more embarrassing is to hear those of my own gender speak flippantly and with presumptive authority as to matters which quite frankly do not concern we males.  Until such time as I suffer the natural physical hardships which burden the female community, I simply do not feel qualified to opine regarding issues so involved.  However, I do feel inclined and somewhat obligated to speak out when representatives of my own gender take it upon themselves to share a patriarchal perspective which is critical and judgmental of decisions made by women related specifically to feminine issues.  More to the point, I have in mind at the moment Arkansas’ own Public Preacher/Politician/Patriarchal Commentator; Mike Huckabee.

It seems that the good Reverend has decided that when a woman chooses to abort a pregnancy she is thereby “playing God”.  Now his private opinion as to such matters is his right, but his public proclamation as to such merely exposes his ignorance and insults the intelligence of free thinkers in general.  To coin a southern colloquialism, this is a matter of “the pot calling the kettle black”.  It is in fact Mr Huckabee specifically and the religious community in general who “play God”.  Whereas I admittedly feel somewhat uncomfortable discussing feminine issues due to my ignorance of such matters, “playing God” is a practice with which I am all too familiar.  As one who was for many years a very involved practicing Christian, I know all too well the experiences of “playing God”.

People of all religious types “play God”.  Some play “Jehovah God”, some play “Allah God”, while others play “Elohim God”.  Some even enhance the experience by playing “Jesus God” and “Holy Spirit  God”. Now although I have left the Christian community, and reasoned my way to Secular Humanism, I nonetheless continue to fully support the right of Mr Huckabee and the entire religious community to “play God” as they will; yet in PRIVATE.  In a free society, people should and must have the freedom to practice religion as they so choose.  Yet whether folks play “Jehovah God”, “Beelshebub God”, “Assher God”, “Ra the Sun God God”, or “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster God”, regardless any and all such “play God” experiences are exclusively a PRIVATE right, and simply must remain so if we are to legitimately be a free society.

Frankly speaking, there is no place for religious theories in discussions of real world consequences.  The stakes of real world issues are simply too high for intelligent beings to be burdened with the introduction of unconfirmed theories and ancient myths into the discussion.  The Mike Huckabees of the world are completely entitled to their personal practices and beliefs, yet an intelligent society simply must sift reality from fiction in order to function in accord with natural human intelligence and with respect to actual human rights.

If Mike Huckabee wishes to look to his beloved Jehovah as the source of all life, such is his prerogative.  If Mike Huckabee wishes to regard Jehovah as the reason abortion is wrong, in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah drowned innocent children (so much for the “all loving” nature of God) because people did not turn out the way he wanted them to (so much for the “all knowing” nature of God); and in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah promoted the mutilation of innocent babies who were born of a certain lineage (Hosea 13:16 for the curious); then such is his prerogative.  But an intelligent and free society simply must distinguish between fact and fairy tale when addressing real world issues.

As to those who are inclined to go the way of the Mike Huckabees of the world, I will ALWAYS defend their right to “play God” in private.  Yet, the freedom of religion NEVER gives Religionists the right “play God” in public.

As to men who are inclined to opine regarding a woman’s rights as to her personal health and choices, I recommend that we males enjoy our natural qualities such as facial hair and deep voices, and leave the female gender to deal with their own bodies and choices as they deem reasonable.

Myth and Reality

Heaven is make believe,

Hell is a myth.

Each a product of the portals of the imagination of the human mind.

Heaven is for those who yearn for more than nature allots.

Hell is for those who fear more consequence than that which naturally accompanies ill advised decisions.

Heaven is an assumption of the hopeful.

Hell is an assumption of the fearful.

Yet assumptions do not a reality make.

Reality is time and place.

Reality is situation and circumstance.

Reality is a legitimate where…

Of a legitimate who….

At a legitimate when…

Performing a legitimate what…..

Reality is the here and the now.

Heaven is make believe,

Hell is a myth.

Each a product of the portals of the imagination of the human mind.

We Are All The Same

 

Some are in it for the money,

Some are in it for the fame.

Silly fools are these,

We are all the same.

Some say there is an afterlife,

Some say we’ve lived before.

Eternal bliss or damnation,

Or ever passing through another door.

Some say there is a god,

Some say they just don’t know.

Some say it’s irrelevant,

As onward time does go.

Whatever the case may be,

In a state of constant change.

Of one fact I am sure,

We are all the same.