| WARNING: If you take this personally when it's addressing ideas and possibilities, then we're not on the same page. So don't even bother reading it. Your mind is closed off. Some say it's rude to talk about religion in public. I just hope that you guys/gals are more open-minded.|
I'm not asking you to believe or forcing you to accept my views. I'm pointing out some of the things that I question. You can do whatever you want with it.
I'm not trying to convert you unlike some other groups. I'm only questioning what's out there in this society, on this earth, and beyond.
I'm not asking you to provide answers either. After all, it's not about your ego or your understanding of your own faith. It's about questioning rather than blindly accepting (which I don't consider as faith).
Note: I'm using lower case g for the word god to show respect by not directing towards any god in particular, same goes for other religious names or titles. And please don't confuse questioning with bashing.
Why do some supposedly devout religious believers invest so much into preparatory to the heavens and not in their current lives on earth when god made this world as a gift for humankind? To take it further, wouldn't it be considered blasphemous and insulting to god to not accept god's gift? Sure seems like it that some religious folks focus so much on preparing for the afterlife that they lose perspectives in their current life. It's as if they're spitting at god's gift and waiting for a better one, like children throwing hissy fit on christmas day after receiving disappointing gifts. So, if you do good in this life, you will be rewarded in the next. Is that what religion has boiled down to: a reward system?
The reward system (which includes judgments) is an example of human sociology, not from a godly mentality. Coming from psychological point of view or a man's psyche point of view, only a man would use a reward system on his subjects, like a king for instance. Only a human would quarrel over worldly issues such as: believers and nonbelievers / friends or foes / insiders outsiders / judgments / stipulations / trust issues (e.g. story of god testing Abraham to kill his son Isaac) / offerings / picking sides on the battle field / etc it can go on and on; you get the point. They (coming from the actions, the behaviors, the mindset...) seem like the doings of a man not of a higher power / god. Only a king would behave in such ways as to control or try to control his people. The rules (if there are any) that govern a supreme being would be transcended above these relatively petty earthly rules. The idea of god would not be bounded by earthly temptations, mindset, quarrels (eg. reward system, choosing sides in battles as documented in the bible etc). After all, by definition, god is the supreme being (if it is even a being) that created the universe and everything and all the rules that govern everything, and more. The personality described in the bible does not sound like that of a god or the supreme being (which would be too great to fathom by definition), but of an earthly person like a king for instance. Not that I know or speak for god, but one can gather from the information presented that the religious texts are earthly/manly in nature not godly. Though, this is my opinion. Nonetheless, it makes me at least question the text. To not question anything presented to you is to be willfully ignorant, which is hypocritical for a truth seeker.
One may back their actions and claims with the bible, but who's to say that the bible, which was assembled by priests (who are people not gods) in the catholic church long time ago, is completely accurate. What if some lies or misinformation was mixed in with the truth. One may argue that it's stated that god will strike those who give false witness or misinformation. How would you know if god did or didn't strike those who were involved in compiling the bible back then. Besides, where's god when millions of people died in whatever catastrophe happened, or when religious figures harmed the innocent. One may argue that there's lessons to be learned and we can't comprehend god's will. That may be a possibility and in-denial is also a possibility. But who's to say that there may not be a lesson to be learned in the alleged idea that some misinformation is mixed in with the truth in the bible, or that the entire book is false witness written and calculated/premeditated by the catholic church or romans or jews or whoever. Sometimes I feel that it would make more sense in this world if the current god worshiped is actually the devil, while the lesser worshiped/condemned devil is the actual god. (and please no i read more bible than you i know more about the bible than you so i have authority on the saying than you type of comebacks. even satan read/knows the bible.)
Although I may question the religious texts, it does not mean that I do not believe in god or in jesus. It only means that the text, some books, some chapters are at least questionable. Having said that, what other things may be of question in the text: afterlife. It seems to be an earthly thought to romanticize a heaven and a hell. It's earthly because humans take everything and personalize it. For instance, a tree may be blowing in the forest but a human would romanticize and fantasize it being a supernatural phenomenon, like the tree is talking to him. Humans personify, put meanings into everything as if they need any more validities of their existence, like what people do in the ancient times: I'm looking for a sign; the gods have spoken to me. etc. Oh the sky turned dark; thank you for the sign. etc. When in fact, it is just a tree blowing, probably due to the wind. This same case is relevant in today's world as well. Even though we're more technologically advanced, people still personify the things they see/experience and people still think like the way the ancients did. Example: the earthquake is a sign of god's anger for what I was just doing or thinking. The weird creepy noises coming from the other room is a sign. etc. And to say that we're better and smarter than ancient people is just somewhat arrogant, since most philosophical achievements are made during the ancient times by ancient philosophers. So, our thinking has not changed or progressed (much). Why do people romanticize occurrences into fantasies? Or allow themselves to be immersed in this (subconsciously) self-induced realm? What's apparent is that the actions from romanticizing and personifying have given humans that extra strength to achieve the impossible (or at least perceived relatively impossible). I think it is part of the subconscious the ego, or the unconscious the id, that guides us and gives us that extra boost like moral support by believing and immersing in self-conceived self-important fantasies, probably (more likely) for survival sake. The mind is an untapped powerful tool. Although human emotions can be channeled for the good, emotions can also cloud judgment. Because of emotions, humans personify what they see and feel and experience. Humans exaggerate and romanticize. So only basing the belief on stories in the bible or religious texts or stories you've heard otherwise or personal experiences clouded by emotions is just biased. The existence of god does not necessarily mean that there would be an afterlife, let alone judgment/heaven & hell. One does not necessarily mean the other. Again, it's questionable. Personally, I think there's an energy in each and everyone of us. And after we die, that energy has to go somewhere. But any speculations after that are merely speculations. Maybe they are recycled. Maybe they transform from energy to something else. Who knows. But please keep in mind that, existence of god does not mean automatically that there is an afterlife. Or the existence of afterlife does not automatically mean there is a heaven and a hell. It's questionable if it's only based on the bible or other personified type of religious texts. god, religion, bible are all separately different things and may not necessarily mean one equals the other, or one's truthfulness does not mean the other must be true also.
Why is it that the western religious believers, eg. catholics/christians/muslims, (not purposefully excluding eastern ones; I'm just not familiar with them) always try or have an urge to share their values, lifestyles, doctrines with others. It's like the stereotypical american way of spreading the so-called democracy to the world. Or the crusades back in the day. They feel that their way is the right way, which is fine with me. It's understandable: when you find something good, you want to share it with your friends. But when they feel that their way is the only way / the ultimate truth, then I'm not ok with. Forcing and controlling other people's lives, to mold them into "your liking" is anything but christian, right. One may argue that that point is too extreme and most people are not like that. But I strongly disagree. People may not realize the implications of their actions (including talking) even minuscule ones that they may find insignificant, but the implications of indoctrinating new views and lifestyles are still there. It may just not be apparent to the doers perhaps but it's apparent to an outside observer. One may ask how is it forcing or controlling. Especially the born-again christians or evangelical groups who feel like it's their duty to instill (even, to force in extreme cases by some) their new found doctrine in non-believers or even in the believers of semi-different branches of practically the same religion. It is said that to force values and views onto others, or to persuade own views onto others is just as sacrilegious as voodoo practice. And this was coming from a priest.
I've seen churches teaching fresh-faithed followers to evangelize outsiders like pumping factory built soldiers to take on the world. Is that what love is?! to fight like on a battle field. They've taken the name of god in vain. I've seen young so-called christian soldiers asking their priests or religious elders how to defend themselves against non-believers in the outside world, as if they're defending god against evil-doers (who are merely outsiders/nonbelievers) or as if god needs their help, when in fact they're merely defending their own insecurities and significance of their lack of faith or as if religion and spirituality have become this earthly war. Where's the love in war?! Asking elders for come-back advice would only make them/born-again christians/christian soldiers/new believers/etc steer away from the path. Is that how significant or insignificant their belief & faith have become, boiling down to an insecure kid defending against a bully on a playground. Is that what current religion boils down to, a pissing contest, a debate club, a psychological ring fight. Also, if they can't even convince themselves why they believe, then why should they and how can they (so-called) preach to others. Or say "you just have to have some faith", when they themselves lack credibility.
So many people speak in the name of god that god may not even be on the same side as them: violence in the name of religion, so-called holy crusades, power corruptions, money laundering, political agendas, sexual molestations, sexual perversions, forcing own will onto others, egos and arrogance .... hypocrites. Like I said, false witnesses mixed with truths. And of course the same would be applied to what I've been saying. I'm not forcing anyone to believe or agree with me, but just question: question yourself, question the world, question what you've been taught, question what you've heard, question.
Having said all that, on the other hand, atheists negate god(s) and religion. (and to label people into groups such as atheists or agnostic etc is too convenient and lacks accountability in what you say. it's black and white like whether you're against me or with me in a war. very childish and pro-conflict. how is that christian-like!?) One may suggest that religion is just a form of denial that humans need to keep the engines running so to speak. It is therapy, to make us feel better and give us a sense of purpose in life or this life at least, and to give the poor hope, and the rich the sense of control (reminds me of the idea seen in the movie "The Matrix 2" when the Architect informs Neo that Zion and the process of building & destroying it is just another level of control) (though the example may be cheesey and insubstantial, it's just a thought to help clarify the idea, so please look beyond your criticisms on the movie etc). So in a sense, religion gives us (willful) ignorance (consciously or not). To not consider the possibilities is to be willfully ignorant for believers and nonbelievers alike. Willfully ignorant does not help in finding and understanding the truth. For a religious believer whom by definition a truth seeker to act willfully ignorant is just hypocritical.
As long as both sides (if there are even sides)/people are not willing to come to terms with the possibilities out there, then it's counter-productive/destructive and there will not be progress in understanding, but only be closed mindedness.
Here's another thought. Have you guys ever considered that god may not even like you. Why else would jesus come down to earth. So you're not worshiping god but jesus. But jesus is also god, part of the trinity. And since god doesn't like you from the old testament, jesus doesn't like you. So jesus saved you because not out of like but love. But which kind of love? pitiful love. In that same logic, the only person that's making you special and feeling loved is driven by your own insecurities, while jesus pities you. So stop the hopeless romantic act and worship out of thanks, not romance.
Along that same line of thought, if god exists and doesn't even like you,
then how would you feel about your views and faith?
What if god doesn't care or is indifferent about you?
What if there is no afterlife for you but there is still a god, the creator of everything?
Would you still continue on with your hopeless romantic attitude towards god?
This is not a threat. but mere questioning.
Not arguing or questioning your faith.
But it is your motives that I question.
Perhaps god isn't a god but merely a creator, like a scientist who clones lab rats. Then the stories and actions within the stories (bible) would make sense, since those actions depicted were imperfect just like a scientist may be, as oppose to perfection which is by definition what god is. In this analogy, the scientist would be the creator of the lab rats but not necessarily the supreme being, the god of everything. Because the scientist is just a creator, the scientist may not necessarily be perfect. And this imperfection may cause the scientist to find alternative ways to communicate with the lab rats rather than directly, since he's a human and his subjects are lab rats. From the premise of him being imperfect and not able to speak the language of lab rats so to speak, the scientist can create an artificial lab rat that can communicate with cloned live lab rats. So, the scientist speaks through the artificial lab rat to get to the cloned lab rats, so to speak. Having this idea in mind as a premise for the bible, then one would find that the god depicted exhibits human or personifying characteristics. Then the idea of a creator who is imperfect would make more sense than a god or supreme being who transcends even perfection who has done all those imperfect things in the past and now.
Believing in something greater and divine doesn't have to mean believing in what the bible suggests or other religious texts for that matter.
Perhaps the idea of religion serves only one purpose, the main purpose, which is to provide a purpose: an illusion of choice, so that humans will keep on going and continue to act out the mundane repetitive tasks without questioning or objecting, to keep us under control. The circle of perceived life.
The other thing that I was gonna talk more about was how people perceive the world. Some people are too narrowly focused in their own world that they don't realize the negativities they may propagate out into the world, which in turn affects them as well as others. Even though they may think being selfish is beneficial to them, but because they live in a world where we are all connected and share the same space, their negativities can come around and end up affecting themselves negatively as well. It's like karma: what goes around comes around, which is evident as you may see that one person doing harm to another person and that affected person passes on that negativity onto another person and so on. Because we all share the same space, the likelihood of that negativity comes back to the original doer is high. And if that person doesn't travel much and lives in one area for many years then that likelihood increases dramatically. So I think people (the ones who don't realize it) should become aware of that. Then this world would grow and advance much more promisingly and prosperously. It's somewhat of a communal idea.
The movie "The Man from Earth (2007)":
"At his farewell bash in a cabin in the remote woods, Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) makes a shocking confession to his fellow scholars: he is actually an immortal who has been living on earth for the past 14,000 years. So begins this thought-provoking sci-fi drama which follows his colleagues as they struggle to figure out whether Oldman is telling the truth or merely deranged. A long-running project of STAR TREK and TWILIGHT ZONE scribe Jerome Bixby, the film's screenplay was finally completed on his deathbed in 1998."
If you're interested in the movie "Man From Earth", you can download it from http://www.mininova.org/tor/1042591
... has many ideas that are very similar to mine. I'm glad to have found that there are others out there with similar mindset, similar thoughts and ideas, and question similar things as I do.
This leads to another thought, that is, perhaps we're all connected in some ways that cannot be seen or physically felt. And it is this connection that causes us to have similar thoughts. Why else would I have thoughts of some philosophical ideas and questions similar to others' including ancient philosophers' when I've never read any of their work or learned from them before I conceived my thoughts.
Or because we're in actuality a one entity, one human being. Hence, the like-mindedness. And all of these human beings on earth are spawns of the one. or ghosts of the first human being like what the movie "Aeon Flux" suggests, in which the people were replicas repeated over and over again for generations. It's similar to the idea of reincarnation. It would explain why I dream of stories that I've never experienced physically in my past but felt like they were somehow my pasts.
Maybe we as humans are repeating life or life cycle. Everything that we do and every conceived thought is repetitive and has been done over and over again. We are reincarnating in an endless goalless non-progressive cycle, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. In this case, there's no change, no progression. How can one run away from and get out of their humanity? Because we are human (not to downgrade our qualities but to show us people as one of the same kind), we exhibit similar way of thinking, the human way of thinking. We're therefore limited to this way of thinking, so that's why all of our thoughts and ideas are similar. In other words, because other philosophers, other people, and I are all of the same species, human, the probability of having the same thought/idea is very likely (even if one did not study or learn that same idea/subject from others elsewhere, i.e. textbooks). There's only a limited amount of thoughts and actions/responses from us humans, that is not to say that limit is any smaller, but still a finite amount that can be predicted by mathematical probability. Hence, human behavior, sociology, psychology, etc. can be studied because of patterns (finite responses). Otherwise, it would be impossible to study randomness. And human behavior is anything but random, neither is nature random. So, we have been instructed by nature or something else higher, to exist and live in this way with rules and regulations beyond our control or understanding. And if we try to get out of this way of human thought-processing, this way of existing as humans, then we as humans wouldn't exist, because to go against the rules that regulate us or basically nature's law, is to go against our human existence.
Furthermore, maybe there's a thing, an entity that gives us this information, this human way of thought processing, these shared thoughts amongst humans or shared ideas. Perhaps, this entity is a higher power or god or someone. Can it be another person in higher form, in higher dimension, who broadcasts this shared information to us? or is it only convenient to suggest it to be someone or human, since we're humans, just like it may just be convenient to paint god as a human being/form since we're human and we created/conceived that notion of god and higher being/source. For instance, if we were fishes, then it would be predictable and logical to assume that our god would also be a fish. So, does this predictability makes the probability of god or higher power, who's orchestrating these broadcasts of shared thoughts and ideas onto us humans, being similar to us go way down? In which case, the probability of god being non-human would be way up? Or knowing that information doesn't affect or hinder the probability of god being human or not? Interesting questions nonetheless...