Thinking About Religions

Posted by MacZad
Feb 07 2013

If your religious faith is very strong don't read this post; it will only make you mad. However, if you have ever questioned your faith read on; you may end up reevaluating your beliefs.

If one is religious:

  • As a US citizen one is most likely to be a Christian. Why?
  • If one resides in India one would most likely be a Hindu. Why?
  • Iranian residents would most likely be Muslim. Why?

Each question has the same answer: One is most likely to practice a particular religion only because: (1) it was the strongest in the geographical area where they were born, and (2) parents, the world over, instill their religious beliefs in their children. Thus, unless one has studied the other religions and made a conscious choice, the religion practiced depends mainly on place of birth; that's irrational.

Think about that irrationality; in most other areas of life we try hard to overcome ignorance and emotion and let knowledge and fact guide our decisions. Only the foolhardy would choose a college, change jobs or buy a home without exercising due diligence. Oh, but it's vastly different with religion, there's no due diligence; it's based solely on faith.

Faith: Complete confidence in someone or something that is open to question or suspicion.

Is our religion (faith) better than any of the others? Why would it be? What facts do we have that lets us make a rational decision? Are Christians (or Hindus or Muslims) smarter than those of the other faiths so they know the truth and the others do not. With intelligence widely distributed that is unlikely. Does the Bible help? Is it more accurate and truthful than the Quran or the several Hindu holy books? How do we know it is? All of the religions (many now extinct) have their roots in ancient times where superstition outweighed truth and knowledge; so the religious literature that survives from those times isn't of much help in rationally choosing one religion over another. A real god could easily commandeer all the modern means of communication, make his/her presence known, validate or update those ancient documents and demand our allegiance. None has. It's only the dogma of those ancient documents that support faith. Now, centuries later, knowledge is overpowering superstition as discovery by discovery science invalidates much of the religious dogma.

Science: Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

As science is systematically explaining the world/universe, and even life itself, in non religious terms making a choice of a religion to follow based on knowledge, truth and fact is quite impossible. So faith, and only faith, ruleth supreme in the support of all religions. Now, (You knew that I was coming to this, didn't you?) with only faith supporting the (irrational) choice of a particular religion and with science steadily invalidating the religious dogma why would one choose any of them? It's possible to lead a good moral life without believing in any, of the many gods; this Humanist document contains some good guidance for doing so.

Still one of the faithful? Consider that it took billions of years of evolution for humans to emerge - the only creatures capable of envisioning gods. It makes absolutely no sense for an all-powerful god to use such a slow tortuous way to gather flocks of worshipers!


Image courtesy of @Mel_in_Canada on Twitter

With religious zealots flying airliners into skyscrapers, women being subjugated in the name of gods, strongly-religious politicians writing irrational laws and religious factions throughout the world fighting over which faction shall prevail it's clear that the universal abandonment of religions would result in a better world. Not that I expect that to happen anytime soon, but this post is my contribution to moving things in that direction.


Categories: Defending Religious Freedom, Seeking Truth - Debunking Dogma

2012 Index

Posted by MacZad
Dec 17 2012

For my final entry for 2012 I thought it would be good to index the year's entries. A little checking of page popularity and some organization produced the index below.

Credit for the popularity of many of the pages goes to my Twitter followers who have viewed, and often re-tweeted, them to their followers. @MacZad thanks you all, and I wish all a happy holiday season and a great 2013.

Blogging again in January!

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MacZad's Musings - 2012 Blog Index

There are 5 categories below. The cartoons are at the bottom.

MacZadsMusings - Latest 5 Posts ------ Too late in the year to rank

This Index
Contraception and Religion
Seven Quotes Appropriate to Our Current Situation
My "Fiscal Cliff" Letter to President Obama
A Different Take On The "Fiscal Cliff"

MOST VIEWED - ROUGHLY IN ORDER OF POPULARITY:

Slouching Toward Theocracy By Our Votes
The Rise of Inequity Since 1980
Pity the Poor GOP Strategist
Who creates jobs? Surprise- we do.
The Grand Con
Creating Realities?
Thoughts About Money and Motivation
A Christian Nation?
Some Wisdom From The Mouths Of Republicans
The Wisdom of Henry Ford
Father Charles Coughlin, et al
Do You Get Your "News" From Fox News?
Some Quotes Of Note
The Rejection of Knowledge
Debt Reduction Isn't Paul Ryan's Goal
Grover Norquist's Anti-Tax Pledge
Some Links Of Interest

OTHERS - LESS POPULAR - UNRANKED:

The Foundation - The Fellowship - The Family - C Street
On The Need For Political Engagement
Books - Greedy Bastards & Why Nations Fail
Wisconsin's Recall 
The Two Faces of Regulation
The Danger of Disillusionment
The Second Amendment Craziness Of Our Leadership
Motivation Revisited - With a Focus on Wall Street
The Democrats Won, But Citizens United Still Matters
It's A Grand Old Flag
Because They Can - Part 1
Rail Transit - A Local Issue

ELECTION RELATED - OUT OF DATE?:

Election 2012 - Questions for Candidates
Not In The Top 1%? - Then Why Vote Republican?
A Most Interesting Thing About The Political Convertions
Nikki Haley's Hard Sell
Romney - The Businessman?

CARTOONS:

The Sunday Funnies - Congressional Style
From An E-Mail - Awesome Humor!
Conservatives Embracing Evolution?

Categories: Miscellaneous

Contraception and Religion

Posted by MacZad
Dec 10 2012

What is it about contraception that raises the hackles of the religious? The Catholic Church and many Fundamentalist Christian sects are strenuously opposed to it, but, as discussed below, their objections seem quite illogical.

Quote from an earlier post:

Rick Santorum (Speaking with CaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011) "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.... Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

What he is saying is that contraception is "against nature" which are the words that I have seen others use. I'll agree that this is correct, but it is illogical to pick just this one thing that is "against nature" and subject it to prohibition while passing on many other things in the same category.

A few things that are also unnatural: We are the only creatures that wear clothing, flying, caesarean section birth, plastics and much of modern medical treatment.

Why is just contraception condemned? Perhaps it's just that the illogicality of the prohibition isn't apparent to them or that there are scriptural restrictions, but it also could be that some religions quietly wage a "War on Pleasure." Despite promoting the "Life is Good" stickers seen on many cars, deep down, many religions don't want us to find things too nice here on earth lest we abandon the quest for a heavenly reward. Consistent with a "War on Pleasure" dancing and music are also sometimes condemned.

I must thank my good friend S. P. who pointed out that I was missing a very important reason: To continue the faith religions need lots of births so they have a generous supply of children to indoctrinate. This goal makes their condemnation of contraception quite logical to them. (Updated 2/7/13) However, fortunately for the world's rapidly growing population, people massively and increasingly ignore the religious dogma and use birth control if it is available to them.

When the history of the triumph of contraception is written religions will, once again, be shown to be intransigent inhibitors of progress.


Categories: Seeking Truth - Debunking Dogma

Seven Quotes Appropriate to Our Current Situation

Posted by MacZad
Dec 05 2012

I intended to write something about the current Fiscal Cliff struggle, but quickly realized that smarter men than I have been saying things relative to it for centuries. If only the GOP would read and heed.

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men." ~ John Adams

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it." ~ Woodrow Wilson

"There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." ~ Warren Buffet

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises; the moral justification for selfishness." ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." ~ Frederic Bastiat, (1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both." ~ Frederick Douglass - American abolitionist, newspaper publisher, orator, author, statesman, and reformer

Categories: Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance, Seeking Truth - Debunking Dogma

My "Fiscal Cliff" Letter to President Obama

Posted by MacZad
Nov 27 2012

Below is the text of an e-mail letter that I have sent to the President with copies to my Senators and Representative.

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Dear Mr. President,

Please be very tough in negotiating a resolution of the "Fiscal Cliff." Your reelection has given you the upper hand and all of the Republicans' tax policy dogma is in shambles, and deep down they know it.

For 30 years the lobbyists for the corporations and the wealthy have successfully secured preferential policy and tax treatment for them. The result is exacerbated inequality between the top 1 or 2% and the rest of the nation. This is very unhealthy for a democracy; we're almost a Plutocracy.

This preferential treatment of wealth also reduced federal tax revenues far beyond what was prudent so now we have a "Fiscal Cliff." Since low revenue is the cause, it's logical that the first step in resolving the "Cliff" is to increase revenues by reversing the preferential policy and tax treatment that the corporations and the wealthy enjoy.

Reductions in government programs should only be considered if the tax receipts from drastic increases in the top tax rates, making the use of offshore tax havens more difficult and perhaps the removal of the cap on SS contributions fail to produce adequate revenue.

I am an ex-Republican and like many others I voted for you (and, for the first time in my life, a straight Democratic ticket) as the only hope of reducing the drift (Hell, it's not a drift, it's a rush) of the country toward Plutocracy. Please don't disappoint us. The wealthy have had their day (30 years worth), and it's time for government to aid the common man in regaining some stature.

Thank you for considering my views.

Regards,

Thomas A. McKee


Categories: Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance