Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Know Science, Know God

In a conversation with a friend who was questioning the disparity between science and religion, I added this:

There are some who believe that to know science is to know God. (In direct opposition to the holy books of the world, all of which predate science.) To see, and try to comprehend, the world around us - from sub-atomic particles to cosmology - is to partially lift the veil and feebly understand the infinite power and knowledge of the Creator.

One Deist Φ

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Bumper Stickers


RELIGION is a RELIC

FAITH is FANTASY


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Snopes For Religion

I've made a habit, among my friends online, to research those silly and sometimes frightening warnings that get passed around on the web. You know the ones ... "Don't join a particular Facebook group because it's run by pedophiles" or "Dial 112 when getting pulled over by the police" or "Eating this rare herb guarantees permanent weight loss." Many of these urban myths and hoax messages have been perpetuated online for years, first by email, and now through social media.

Snopes.com has done a terrific job of either verifying or debunking these messages ... and sometimes it's a mixture of truth and untruth. Sure, it's possible that the unmarked car pulling you over is impersonating a police officer, but it's rare, and you should always dial 911 for an emergency in the US. It's amazing the lengths that Snopes goes through to verify a story - even going back to hard copy newspaper articles. They are thorough, and they stick to the facts.

It occurs to me that religion could use the same medicine. If Snopes had been around eons ago, maybe - just maybe - these superstitious anomalies would have been thwarted. All of the myth, legend, superstition and hearsay might have been stopped in its tracks. Today we have science which discounts every fable in the holy texts of the world. Today we have Reason, logic and methods previously unknown in humankind.

Today's science is yesterday's mystery. Mankind has outgrown the need for religion, but unfortunately it is so ingrained upon our consciousness that many have a complete inability to escape from its grip. Science is utterly open for contest, proof and update; where most religion is steadfast in its resolute adherence to the "unerring"  past. It is almost shocking to consider how far man has advanced in spite of the various religions of the world.

The great mystery for me is why man has not completely abandoned world religions to the dustbin of time?How, in the presence of science, medicine and advancement of society, have we not created a world for ourselves that is vastly superior to the one in which we live? Religion? War? Our mere consciousness, I believe, dictates that we grow up and leave these barbaric behaviors behind us, to amaze our ancestors with the same incredulity that we give the Maya sacrifices.

We are better then this.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My America

I am proud to be an American. Not boastful, but humbly proud. I was raised to be humble and proud of my country. To respect our Constitution, our flag, our president, our anthem. I spent years in the Boy Scouts and years in the military. I have spent my lifetime learning and working to support my family in an average house on an average street in an average town. I have traveled the world. I've seen things that brought tears to my eyes, both from desperation and magnificence. And all of this - the totality of life experiences - surely confirms one thing; that I am proud, humble, and so very fortunate to be an American.

One Deist Φ

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When Asked ...

When asked if I read the Bible - or any other religious book - my preferred response is,
"No, I limit myself exclusively to non-fiction."

Of course much study has been invested in innumerable books of religion and philosophy. But I really enjoy the succinctness and dumbfounded looks this particular answer evokes.

One Deist Φ

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where Is Heaven?

It has been 14 long months since I have posted here. Honestly, I don't know where the time goes. Not much has changed ... still rooted in Deism, following other's postings who share similar (and opposing) beliefs, and just living. But now and then I am compelled to write.

I have written before on basic facts about our Universe ... at least what is known at this time about it. I am utterly fascinated by the science and the sheer vastness. So, let me ask, "Where is heaven?" Such a childish question. So elementary, right? But this is not a rhetorical question; I want to know.

Generally, when heaven is spoken of, we merely need to lift our eyes "up" to know where heaven is. But is this "up" from the perspective of the northern or southern hemisphere? Or maybe it's a perpendicular delineation. Hard to believe that half of our globe is getting it wrong. They should be looking downward, through the Earth, in an effort to express their desire for direction toward heaven. But wait, no, that would show a yearning for hell, wouldn't it? It's certainly not difficult to imagine where the writers of these holy texts came up with the notion of hell, so we'll just let that go for now.

Is heaven in our solar system? Is it in our Milky Way galaxy? Is heaven at least in our own Universe? At any rate, hidden from the multitude of sensors and optics of scientists. How long will it take to get there? Hours? Maybe hundreds, or thousands of years? In the case of the outer reaches of the known Universe, billions of years? Or, as in select texts, in the blink of an eye? This one, in particular, presents a tiny little problem. Can our souls (or risen bodies) travel faster then the speed of light?

What do you mean our journey to heaven doesn't have a speed limit? Hold on. We agree that God created the Universe, right? In His infinite wisdom He created our Universe with space and time. It takes time to go through the space ... and it goes against these laws of Nature, which we agree God created for us, to go anywhere of note in the blink of an eye. In case you don't know, it takes over eight minutes for the light of the Sun just to reach Earth. So, we know empirically heaven is not around Earth, and certainly heaven is not within our solar system, and too, we might all agree heaven is not contained in our galaxy. I would venture that no believers would think heaven is contained at all, even within our Universe. Most would probably allude that heaven is outside of this physical world - outside of this Universe. Wow, well God certainly has presented us a huge paradox. He has created for us a Universe with almost incomprehensible distances, complete with natural laws that limit how fast we might travel the space within it.

Just to recap; the known observable Universe is about 540,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles across. That's more than 540 sextillion miles, or about 45 billion light years out from Earth in opposing directions - 90 billion light years across in total. And scientists believe it goes much further ... that's just what we can see!

So, tell me again, "Where is heaven?"

One Deist Φ

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quotable Quotes

My adaptation of several relatively well known quotes. It's a little longer then I prefer, but it does cover a lot in a small paragraph.
The only thing that makes your particular faith absolutely true, is your absolute faith. It is your faith that matters to you, not truth. And maybe a billion others believe similarly too, but if a billion people believe a lie, it is still a lie. That's what Christians would say of a billion Muslims; that's what Muslims would say of a billion Christians; and that's what I say of two billion with blind faith.
-- One Deist Φ


One Deist Φ

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Deism for a New World

This is a must-read for those who would practice and promote Deism in a positive light.

Celestial Lands » Blog Archive » A New Deism for a New World.

One Deist Φ

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Incredulous Christian

A Christian recently expressed disbelief and skepticism for my claim of peacefulness within Deism. The following represents part of our conversation:
After decades of Christianity I have finally found tremendous peace in Deism. Looking back, I am reminded of the profound faith it took to be a Christian. An unreasonable faith, based on fantasy, fear, myth, prejudice, elementary errors and blatant conflicts as presented in the Bible. For myself, it simply got to the point where I could no longer believe in the perfectness of God as revealed through such an imperfect body of literature. No more apologists, no more rationalizing, no more excuses – it’s just wrong.
G.B. said: I would love to hear more about this ‘tremendous peace’ of which you speak. I hear your feelings about the Christian writings and their story, but I would love to know what specifically your deism offers for you to feel peaceful.

Yes I have tremendous peace in Deism, as well as joy, liberation, comfort in belief, and profound awe of God’s work. I am no longer shackled by the delusions and ascendancy of a select few people, but can lead a sound and fulfilling life which utilizes, to the best of my abilities, the reasonable wisdom of all human history.

The fact is, if you were born into a Muslim family, especially within a Muslim nation, odds are overwhelming that you would be Muslim. And much the same can be said of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. If you are an adherent of one, you are heretical to another. Choice of religion is societal, not divine.

Most people, if fully informed, would look at Scientology as a complete farce. A mind controlling cult that bilks millions of dollars from adherents, created by a science fiction writing madman. Looking at his organization reasonably and objectively, Hubbard’s methods are easily discounted. Those outside the group find it difficult to understand how those inside could have been manipulated into belief. And these same ideals of reason and objectivity can carried over to Mormonism, Christian Science, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.

Those things considered divine in any given faith will not be found unique to that faith. God, satan, immaculate conception, virgin birth, savior, healing, heaven, hell, miracle, angel, prophet and much more, share a common thread in many faiths. Several of those faiths predate and contributed to Christianity as well as other faiths. I understand that the faithful who read this will feel that theirs is the correct one, and that their holy text is the true word, but there are other compelling faiths which present proof within their holy texts. It is paramount to understand that scripture, in and of itself, is not proof.
G.B. said: If Christianity is false then we’ve added rules and codes, morality and ethic that constrains our taking full advantage of our life in the Now.

YES! I want make clear, though, that as a Deist I believe morality and ethics are very important, but certainly not divine. In other words, it’s through God's gift of Reason we find the answers, not revelation.

Religion, in every instance, stifles the progression of man. It makes the world flat (and the center of the Universe), rather then putting a man on the moon. It prays and lays on hands, rather then giving needed medical attention. It credits God for good and bad, rather then discovering bacteria and antibiotic. It rebukes and murders those who lack identical beliefs, rather then finding peace among cultures. It lives in the past, rather then encouraging and embracing the future.

After all, if we ambitiously learn new things we might find scripture errant and unreasonable, right?


One Deist Φ

Friday, September 4, 2009

Farewell Mom

My heart hurts. My Mom has passed away.

I've been away from my home, and my computer, for the funeral and time with family. While my beliefs are unfaltering and my interests are still the same, I never quite realized how much everything else is so meaningless in times like this.

I'm torn as to what I should share with you, and exactly how much. From my previous post, Letter To My Mother, you already know she was a devout Christian. Her entire existence was an extrapolation of her faith. She spent over thirty years studying, researching, analyzing and writing about the Bible. Mom has one published book, had plans for at least two more, and she was a prolific writer on a personal level. She loved her God, her family, her friends, her home and her cats. But oh how she loved her God. No matter how devastating things might have been at times in Mom's life, she never lost sight of her faith.

I suppose you could say it's my fault. In the late 1960's Mom was an encyclopedia salesperson who liked to target homes with children, and I was an innocent five year old riding my bike on the sidewalk. She asked if I lived nearby; I answered yeah, follow me, and raced back the opposite direction before she could get her car turned around. Mom managed to follow me though, met my Dad, and eventually married him. You see, "Mom" was step-mom to my younger sister and I, and the only Mom we ever really knew. My Dad would later quip that most kids normally drag home a cat or a dog, but I had to drag home a Mom, and his wife.

I must admit, most of those years growing up with Mom were rocky. There always seemed to be tremendous lows and tremendous highs. Seldom, it seems, were there times that were just normal, whatever that would be. It was a roller coaster. What hasn't been revealed to you until now, is that Mom had Bipolar Disorder. I believe it was present, although relatively mild, throughout the time I was being raised, but undiagnosed until years later. I should emphasize that the good times are dominating my thoughts right now. Berry picking, family vacations, picnics, camping and lazy afternoons at the lake. Mom was a great cook, and always had a delicious dinner ready at five sharp. She taught me to love and take care of animals, and she gave me the freedom to explore the world around me. Together, my Mom and Dad taught me to love your spouse through thick and thin ... no matter what. Mom was always a person I could talk to, even if it hurt. She taught me that even guys have to express what's inside now and then, and that an apology is better then stubborn machismo. Mom would always give me the straight answers - and angles not considered - no matter how much I tried to rationalize my point of view. Mom absolutely adored my Dad, for 41 years, and I know she loved us kids equally too.

I left my parent's home at seventeen, never to return except for vacations, which we all cherished. In thirty years of vacations I had never visited my parents during Mother's Day until this year, and you can only imagine how poignant that is to me now. Mom's funeral was made very special by the participation of three of my cousins on Mom's side of the family. It was a traditional Christian ceremony of which my cousins made up nearly the entire event. One cousin performed music, one read passages and hand-written notes from Mom's Bible, and the last provided a sermon and lead vocals. The pastor of the church filled in the gaps and provided other necessary rites. Christian indeed, and I would not have wished for anything different. It revered and honored my Mom and the life she stood for. And although I don't believe as she did, I can only hope she found the Heaven and the God she so very much desired.

Well, I was there for Mom's birth into our family, and I was there at her last breath. I loved my Mom; I respected and honored her; and I am really going to miss her.

One Deist Φ