I have committed various actions in order to rid myself of the instilled dogma prefered by most westerners and what seems to be the world. At age 17, my Christianity Rebellion, if you will, truly began when I finally heard my youth pastor ask for the umpteeth time that he wanted to have a debate with my father. Mind you, he knew that my dad was a biology teacher at my local high school and that he was an "agnostic." I had so little doubt of my father's answer that one could call it faith. However, it wasn't my dad's answer or re-action to my pastor's desire to convert him (or whatever his true intentions were) that caused me to start completely doubting my "reason for existence;" it was the overwhelming realisation that I knew there was no way on earth my pastor would win such a battle. Instead of questioning my youth pastor, I started questioning myself. When it finally occurred to me that my doubting the very existence of God was considered a sin to my Christian community and that I no longer wanted be led along by blind faith. Or in other words, I realised that I could no longer live on bread alone--I needed facts and proof, not just stories and law. I had already heard enough bull from my god-fearing peers in school during science calss and from adult christians at any given time about how God ceated the world in only 6 days. This seemed utterly ridiculous to me and not just logically speaking, as they were inadvertantly claiming that they knew God's Time! No where in this book did it ever say God created the world in six 24 hour periods or six human days...All I could think was," Come on! Get with it. Don't just read your Bible, comprehend it; question it and ask God about it!"
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It is just so bloody stinking ridiculous!
Atheist like to pretend that they are, by and large, the most persecuted minority group around today. In fact, it is brought up repeatedly as a mantra of sorts, that atheist are the last grouping of people to whom it is considered acceptable to persecute.
This is, of course, wholly untrue.
Thing is, there are other groups who are far more ostracised and persecuted than atheists. In some cases, they are far more numerous, and yet there is no end to the social stigma and heavy weight of political and social persecution towards some of them.
It doesn't matter what form of oppression it is, the inevitable consequence of oppression is aggression. The "firm hand" of parental control will cause children to become very angry, which leads to teenage and adult aggression. Oppression from ideological or religious systems leads to misdirected aggressive tendencies. Political and legislative oppression leads to criminal or political aggression.
It is all a matter of personality. Certain personalities hold tendencies towards directing their aggression in a positive manner, and yet others just flail about.
There are many psychological conferences regarding childhood violence. It isn't the violence in movies or television that cause children to lash out violently, it is the oppressive tendencies in the community around them. Television and movie violence did not cause the rise of Al Capone and the gang wars of the prohibition era, it was government oppression.
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"