Just a personal note from someone who is not religious, but very practical from a spiritual point of view. God, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Heaven, Self, Great Spirit, the Absolute, Atma, Allah, Yahweh, Tao and many other names attributed to God or the Self are the same thing and are interchangeable. No church with its stained glass windows, books, rituals, "Holy" figures and materials can take you to the Self. The churches believe that God is stuck in their institution or some "Holy" book and they claim that they know the way to God. That's where you find Satan, you know, the other guy, the keeper of darkness. The foundational knowledge of the churches is baseless. With all the religions in the world and millions of people praying one would expect this planet to be pristine and heavenly. It’s not. It's a convenient way for the elite few to control the many by turning everyone who follows the faith into mindless "sheeples". This is a very objective and destructive approach and has no value to a seeker of pure knowledge and wisdom.
There is a pathological reason, a mistake in the mind's machinery that results in the belief in God. God is ultimately compassion towards onesself in the eyes of a theist. There exists a falacy, though, because there is nothing that you need forgiveness or compassion for from God.
Psychologically, what happens to the theist (and many people throughout all of human existance) is that they develop a complex of subservience that is a result of the evolutionarily advantageous maleability with which each of us has as a child. The human child is designed to listen and submit to it's parents out of necessity to survive. It does what mommy says because mommy cares about her child and gets very angry and emotional if her child is in danger. The child gets scared and does what mommy wants. But mommy doesn't always know best, and the child may develop a belief that, in fact, many of it's actions will result in mommy being angry, and thus many of it's actions are "wrong." The child begins to understand what is right and wrong from mommy's reactions.
A TALE OF TWO C.T.' S
One of the things I hear and read about a lot these days is the notion of conspiracy theories. I am sure you have run across this as well, as many media sources often quote it as a phenomenon amongst ordinary men that suggests a fragility of the mind. All the way from the top on down, from PhD's to political commentators, to refined journalists (as of yet I believe there still are a few), to talk show hosts, it has become a conceptual mindset worthy of ridicule and belittlement to offer an alternative plausible theory to a seemingly random but catastrophic world event. I am here to say: I beg to differ. But I will not beg. I will simply explain the differences between a delusional thought system, plagued with unprovable, unverifiable implausibilities that simply stretch the imagination further into the domain of 'belief', as opposed to the development of a keen awareness of possible or at least plausible knowledge systems that lend a strong hand in allowing a person to clearly see what is truly going on, often right before their eyes. Actually, more like strategically placed in their intellectual blind spots.
I have always questioned life and existence. In high school, so true to the norm of rebellion, I questioned even deeper and began to cease my church going experience and began to study and to practice various occult and pagan theosophies. In this search of another outlook on the super-natural, I found myself at the cornerstones of Thelema and Satanism...the O.T.O. and The Temple of Set (Thanks to a very special person who, once, regularly manifested himself in my world). Because I still questioned the existence of [GOD] as "He" had been a huge part of my nurtured life, I read The "Good Book" front to back and back to front and determined that a real christ-like person would exemplify what the Bible terms as "the fruits of the spirit." I saw very few of these kinds of people in any and every church I attended or in any venue of those that labeled themselves as such. I found more athiests, agnostics, evolutionists, satanist that bore more of these fruits than the common christian...it seemed these "learned" people (here on out referred to as the "doubters"), due to their knowledge and acceptence of humanity's biological and fleshly needs and desires, seemed to be able to display better understanding and patience with other human beings. Their "faith" was knowledgable (to varying degrees), not blind. I found talking to the "doubters" was much more of a pleasant experience than talking to the "truthsayers" (i.e christians or any other zealous faith based human). The "doubters" spoke using fact based quotes and their own personal experience and perspective. Most of the "truthsayers", not all mind you, quoted or flung irrational quotes of their book or their teacher when something offened them...they in no way kept their cool.
At my college they had a "debate." I use quotes because a few of the speaks wanted to call it a discussion. I thought it was interesting, but the ID side was lacking. One it wasn't arguing for ID it was arguing for young earth creationism and the man didn't know science. Two the other person arguing for it was more of a stand in. It was like arguing for gun control when you really aren't for it.
Young earth creationism isn't really what ID would be. I do think it is a re-labeling of creationism, but most of the people who argue for it don't use the bible to date the globe. (he did)
I say he didn't know science because he tried to use the carbon-14 complaint and people finding clams on mount Everest. I person in middle school should know how mountains form and there are other things people use besides carbon-14.
While it is widely believed that The Salvation Army is simply a charitable organization with a commitment to giving, it is important not to forget their entire mission though:
"The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.
Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination... The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines . . . which are professed, believed and taught by the Army"
It just seems to me that humans are unsuitable for life on this planet. I mean, look at people. Either they are all foolish morons yelling and screaming about things they know nothing about, or they are stupidly sitting around wishing that the world would conform to their expectations.
People are, quite simply, dumb.
So we have people running around trying to force, by arms and by dogmatic assertion, others to believe in invisible gods, magic, and "higher powers". Dumb! Still others state that they support "reason", yet uphold religious morals and ideals as valid. Dumb!
Is there any intelligent life on this planet at all?
I will attempt to give you a brief summary of why I believe. Please understand that the evidence presented here is in no way comprehensive. Presenting a comprehensive argument from my perspective would take at least a book, if not an entire series. I am not saying that to reveal that I am somehow more intellectual than anyone here. I truly believe that we are all in this together. We are attempting to make sense of the world, and to understand how and why we are here. I have said this before on these forums, but let me restate it before I start just as groundwork to what I am arguing. All of us view the world through a (narrative) framework. I use "(narrative)" because most of us do not think of things in this way, but I think it is a proper way to understand this concept. Our stories are the framework through which we view the world. Our narrative framework then becomes the ever adapting, ever changing worldview through which we interpret reality. For instance I believe in the conept of "car" and understand a car's purpose based on the stories that have been told to me (other's experience), my own stories (my experience), and the interaction between the two. I am not sure if that is well explained, but I will assume most of you understand what I am attempting to say.
People cannot stand defiance. When someone is in a position of considered authority, and issues a decree, those who actively defy such decree are considered to be trouble-makers and problems.
Thus it is that those who are defiant inevitably are considered to be moral deviants. To defy from a subscribed standard is to deviate from the established norms.
This is particularly true in the modern era when speaking of sexuality. Sexual minorities are often referred to as deviants. Yet, in light of an overtly-oppressive dominating theology and legislative demands, oft times those who become part of a sexual minority are simply acting defiantly against domination and control. In effect, they are rebelling.
"What do I love when I love my God? Not physical beauty, or the splendour of time; not the radiance of earthly light, so pleasant to our eyes; not the sweet melodies of harmony and song; not the fragrant smell of flowers, perfumes, and spices; not manna or honey; not limbs such as the flesh delights to embrace. These are not the things I love when I love my God.
And yet, when I love him, I do indeed love a certain kind of light, a voice, a fragrance, a food, an embrace; but this love takes place in my inner person, where my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space; when it listens to sound that time never takes away; when it breathes in a fragrance which no breeze carries away; when it tastes food which no eating can diminish; when it clings to an embrace which is not broken by desire fulfilled. This is what I love when I love my God."