Enoch and the Bible

“Jude 14 contains a prophecy of Enoch. Thus, if the Book of Jude is the Word of God, then the writings of “Enoch” from which Jude quotes are also the Word of God. The Book of Enoch was used in the early church until at least the third century – Clement, Irenaeus and Tertullian were familiar with it. However, as church doctrine began to solidify, the Book of Enoch became an embarrassment to the church and in a short period of time it became the Lost Book of Enoch.

A complete manuscript of the Book of Enoch was discovered in Ethiopia in 1768. Since then, portions of at least eight separate copies have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls. It is easy to see why the church had to get rid of Enoch – not only does it contain fantastic imagery (some of which was borrowed by the Book of Revelation), but it also contradicts church doctrine on several points (and, since it is obviously the work of several writers, it also contradicts itself).

Christianity arose in what was preeminently a miracle-working age. Everything was attested by miracles, because nearly everybody believed in miracles and demanded them. Every religious teacher was a worker of miracles; and however trifling the miracle might be when wrought, in this atmosphere of unbounded credulity, the breath of exaggeration soon expanded it into marvelous proportions.

What proved the strength of Christianity in an age of ignorance is proving its weakness in an age of intelligence. Christian scholars themselves, recognizing the indefensibility and absurdity of miracles, endeavor to explain away the difficulties attending their acceptance by affirming that they are not real, but only apparent, violations of Nature’s laws; thus putting the miracles of Christ in the same class with those performed by the jugglers of India and Japan. They resolve the supernatural into the natural, that the incredible may appear credible. With invincible logic and pitiless sarcasm.”  From: The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll

Note: Twenty-one new claims of clergy sex abuse have been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, a number that has surprised the diocese and could reopen its contentious bankruptcy case.  Go Here for whole story

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Mark Twain Reflects on God

If I were to construct a God I would furnish Him with some way and qualities and characteristics which the Present lacks. He would not stoop to ask for any man’s compliments, praises, flatteries; and He would be far above exacting them. I would have Him as self-respecting as the better sort of man in these regards.

He would not be a merchant, a trader. He would not buy these things. He would not sell, or offer to sell, temporary benefits of the joys of eternity for the product called worship. I would have Him as dignified as the better sort of man in this regard.

He would value no love but the love born of kindnesses conferred; not that born of benevolences contracted for.

Repentance in a man’s heart for a wrong done would cancel and annul that sin; and no verbal prayers for forgiveness be required or desired or expected of that man.

In His Bible there would be no Unforgiveable Sin. He would recognize in Himself the Author and Inventor of Sin and Author and Inventor of the Vehicle and Appliances for its commission; and would place the whole responsibility where it would of right belong: upon Himself, the only Sinner.

He would not be a jealous God — a trait so small that even men despise it in each other.

He would not boast.

He would keep private His admirations of Himself; He would regard self-praise as unbecoming the dignity of His position.

He would not have the spirit of vengeance in His heart. Then it would not issue from His lips.

There would not be any hell — except the one we live in from the cradle to the grave.

There would not be any heaven — the kind described in the world’s Bibles.

He would spend some of His eternities in trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when he could have made him happy with the same effort and he would spend the rest of them in studying astronomy.
Mark Twain, Notebook

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The Trinity and Hell…2 More Christian Myths

“The Council of Nicea met on May 20th 325 AD.  Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions and personally proposed the crucial formula expressing the relationship of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council.  “Of one substance with the Father”…overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only signed the creed, many of them much against their wishes.”  Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1970, Volume 6, page 386

The formulation “one God in three persons” was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century AD.  New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, volume 14, page 299

So 300 years after Jesus died some humans, led by a secular pagan Roman emperor, decided that he was actually, but not quite, God, and threw in a spirit for good measure.

Act 7:55 KJV  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God

Act 7:56 KJV And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

“The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those that die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell [1], where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”  The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 edition, page 270

Ecclesiastes  9:5 RSV   For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes  9:10 RSV   Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, [1] where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

1 Hebrew…Sheol, Hell
My bold emphasis

People of religion constantly interpret the Bible in whatever way they want.

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Proof of God

People of the Christian religion have been trying for 2000 years to prove that their god exists…they have failed…miserably.

They have not been able to provide one single shred of objective, irrefutable, or verifiable evidence in support of their claim.  When science and the Bible tangle on facts, it is science who invariably wins.

The Bible has been used to support the Devine Rights of Kings; it has also been used to support slavery, segregation, and apartheid, and throughout Christian history has been used to keep women from voting, going to college, owning property, from fully participating in the church as ministers or other high offices.

The Southern Baptist Church recently decided that the “clear teaching of the Bible” is that women should be “obedient” to their husbands and they are not allowed to hold senior pastor positions.  It seems kind of silly that here in the US women can be Senators, Congresswomen, Attorneys General, Secretary of State, Supreme Court Justices, Governors, CEO’s of major companies, and All…most…candidate for President of the United States, and yet they cannot become the equal of a religious leader or pastor in your corner church.

Does your God not talk to women?  Does he really feel that women are not to be trusted with His word?

There is evidence that misogynist views were inserted later in some religious writing. The “Mother Church” has always been against women as any kind of leaders in their bailiwick.  Some denominations are trying to break the mold and bring women into the fold and that is causing some big problems for a few of congregations doing this.

Another thing to think about…Many of the old Biblical laws and injunctions are not followed or not even allowed in today’s society; they are recognized as artifacts of a long ago time that no longer have any relevance to our life and times.

Science has disproven a very large part of Biblical claims.  Statistical studies have proven that prayer never works. Most of Genesis and Exodus is proven wrong, both the Catholic Church and many Jewish scholars agree that they are allegorical…just old goat herders trying to explain a world they didn’t yet understand and trying to give meaning to their lives.

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If God Has Spoken, Why is the World Not Convinced

Famous Words About God and Religion

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”
“In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”
James Madison, president

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” “If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?”  Shelly, Poet

“My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”  Abe Lincoln, President

“History does not record anywhere or at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” Robert A. Heinlein, writer

“I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a very low idea of the nature of their god. They made him not only anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather than mercy. I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of women.”  And, “The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women’s emancipation.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, suffragist

“I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.”  Theodore Roosevelt, President

“I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies.” And “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” Benjamin Franklin, inventor

“I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.” And, “Religion is all bunk.” Thomas Edison, inventor

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

“The whole thing (religion) is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.” Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst

“It runs through the entire Christian story, and our case against the Catholic Church is that, albeit it originated in a passionate assertion of the conception of brotherly equality, it relapsed steadily from the broad nobility of its beginnings and passed over at last almost completely to the side of persecution and the pleasures of cruelty.” Herbert George Wells, writer

“I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.” Katherine Hepburn, actress

“The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.” Sir Julian Huxley, biologist

“Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.” Bertrand Russell, philosopher

“No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress.”  Jawaharlal Nehru, statesman

“Since the early days, [the church] has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was an apologist for the divine right of kings.” And, “Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.” Henry Louis Mencken, critic

“Nevertheless I achieved my own ends beautifully. I took the pressure off the boiler, oriented myself in the world, came to recognize what was important and what was not important, defined for my own use such things as morality and evil and ethics in general, and established what satisfied me as being the true psychology and religion.” L. Ron Hubbard, writer and inventor of Scientology

“I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life.” And “I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.” Pearl S. Buck, writer

“You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. . . . Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.” Aldous Huxley, writer

“All thinking men are atheists.” Ernest Hemingway, writer

“I am an atheist, thanks be to God.” 🙂 Luis Bunuel, film director

“I don’t believe in God, so I’m not afraid of dying.”  B. F. Skinner, Psychologist

“When I eat my dinner I don’t do it to the greater glory of God; I do it because I enjoy it. The world’s full of amusing things – books, wine, travel, friends – everything. I’ve never seen any meaning in it all, and I don’t want to see one. Why not take life as you find it?”  George Orwell, writer

“The price in blood and tears that mankind generally has had to pay for the comfort and spiritual refreshment that religion has brought to a few has been too great to justify our entrusting moral accountancy to religious belief.”  Sir Peter Brian Medawar, scientist

“I condemn false prophets; I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will–and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.”  And “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”
Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek creator

“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have.” Isaac Asimov, writer

“It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men.”  And “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  Carl Sagan, scientist

“I do occasionally envy the person who is religious naturally, without being brainwashed into it or suckered into it by all the organized hustles.” Woody Allen, film director

“…men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.”  Aristotle, philosopher

“Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.” – Voltaire, writer

“It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.”
Arthur C. Clarke, writer

“Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions”
Blaise Pascal, philosopher

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Susan B. Anthony, suffragette

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Catholics Search For Aliens

Tuesday (11-10-09) was the wrap up of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts in the Vatican City to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.

“The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable [subjects] and deserve serious consideration,” said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.

Four hundred years after it sent Galileo to the dungeon for challenging the church’s view that the sun revolved around the earth, the Vatican is working with scientists to study the possibility of extraterrestrial life in our universe and what the implications would be for the Catholic Church.

Rev. Funes noted that the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications”, but added that the gathering was focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines may be used to explore the issue.

Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, who was at the conference said “Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe,” he told a news conference Tuesday. “There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe.”

The Catholic Church’s views of our world, the universe, and science in general have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for speculating, among other things, that other worlds could be inhabited.

Scientists have discovered over 400 exoplanets outside our solar system — including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency, and among all of these there are at least 20 multiple planet systems. Professor Impey said that the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.

I wish I could be around if and or when some form of communication with an alien culture happens.  Of course the churches will be right in there trying to find out what, if any, god they worship.  And of course if they don’t have a god or gods, the churches will try their damnedest  to proselytize them however they can.

What if they worship an alien god and try to proselytize us??  🙂

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Evolution vs Creationism…Again

After almost losing out to public opinion where 54% of those polled thought Intelligent Design (ID) should be taught in British schools, the officials in charge of such stuff decided to teach evolution only.

Contrary to many school boards here in the US, it seems they actually listen to and believe their scientists in the UK.  The Guardian.UK reports:

“It’s a great birthday present for Darwin in his 200th anniversary year. For the first time, evolution will be on the national curriculum for primary schools when the new version is published later this year. It was initially excluded from the draft curriculum when it was published for public consultation but sometimes, if not always, it seems government will listen to scientists and experts, many of whom were signatories to an open letter (pdf) to Ed Balls organised by the British Humanist Association in July which called for evolution to be included.”

The scientists rightly argued that teaching such a travesty of true scientific thought would totally confuse young children and seriously hamper England’s future.

“The new primary curriculum, together with the 2007 government guidance that prohibits the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in science lessons, should put English schools in the forefront of education about evolution. Coming in the month which marks the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species and at a point when good science education is a matter of urgency, it could not be more timely.”

Those evangelical fundamentalist creationists here in America and abroad should be ashamed of their efforts to screw over our school children and cripple their education and development in our modern world.  I just can’t fathom what they want of the rest of the world.  Do they really want all of us to go back to how the world was at the time of Jesus, 2000 years ago?

Some religions discourage their children from going on to higher education so that they will not learn the truth of how our world works.  Do they seriously want everyone on earth to think and act like they do?  Do they want to overthrow our secular government and install a theocracy?  We know they want to burn Darwin’s books (and many others) and totally blot out any reference to them and him.  Would we want to live in a world controlled by their kind?  I know I wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t want my children and grandchildren living in it either.

And just who the hell do they think they are… trying to decide how I and my family and friends live our lives and educate our children?

Smack em’  down I say. 🙂

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The Missing Links

Some of our missing links and when they lived.
Note that some or all of these times and general information may change as new data emerges or new finds are made.  Sorry, that’s the way science is.

Ardipithicus ramidus
The Ardipithecus specimen, an adult female, stood four feet tall and weighed about 120 pounds, almost a foot taller and twice the weight of Lucy. Its brain was no larger than a modern chimp’s. It retained agility for tree-climbing but already walked upright on two legs, a transforming innovation in hominids, though not as efficiently as Lucy’s kin.  4.4mya to ??

Australopithecus afarensis
The most famous member of the species is Lucy, an adult female skeleton discovered in 1974 and nicknamed after a Beatles song. Lucy lived about 3.18 million years ago and was fully capable of walking and running on two legs.

Australopithecus africanus
A. africanus was an early descendent of Lucy and lived in Southern Africa between 2 million and 3 million years ago. Its brain was larger than Lucy’s and its facial features were more human-like.  Recent finds are probably going to push this timeline further back in time.

Paranthropus aethiopicus
This early ape-like hominid walked on two legs and lived between 2.8 million and 2.2 million years ago. Based on skull measurements, scientists concluded this species had the smallest adult hominid brain ever discovered.

Paranthropus bosei
It is believed that P. Bosei split from the line leading to modern human some 2 million years ago and lived alongside our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years, but died out after failing to adapt their diets.

Homo habilis
Many scientists believe H. habilis is the missing link between the ape-like hominids like Lucy and the more human-like ones that came after. They had long ape-like arms, but walked on two feet and were capable of creating tools.  2.2 mya to 1.6 mya

Homo ergaster
Scientists can’t decide whether this African hominid is just a failed predecessor of H. erectus or the rightful ancestor of modern humans. It had a thinner skull than H. erectus and was more proficient at making tools and using fire.  2 mya to 1.5 mya

Homo erectus
H. erectus is generally believed to be the direct ancestor of modern humans and also the first hominid to live in caves and tame fire.  2 mya to 400,000 years ago.

Cro-Magnon/Homo sapiens
These people were modern humans and lived in Europe from about 65 to 50,000 BC to present. They are found in Africa from about 200,000 years ago to present. Found in Australia from about 50,000 years ago to present.  Their cave paintings, petroglyphs, and sculptures are the earliest known examples of art by a prehistoric people.

Stocky, muscular, squat and well suited for the cold, Neanderthals looked distinctly different from modern humans. But they were like us in other ways: they buried their dead, cared for their sick and injured and were probably capable of language and music. Bones of Neanderthal have been found in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Scientists not long ago put together a complete Neanderthal skeleton, and have just this year (2009), completed their genome. They have a 99.5% gene match to us humans.  250,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago.

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Atheists are Killing A Continent

Lord Sacks, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth in the UK, is blaming Europe’s falling birthrate on a culture of Consumerism, instant gratification, and neo-Darwinism.

“Europe is facing a population crisis because of attacks on religion by secular writers,” Britain’s chief rabbi said. “The major assault on religion today comes from the neo-Darwinians.”  He added.

He said the continent was dying and accused its citizens of not being prepared for parenthood’s sacrifices.

The 61-year-old rabbi said: “Wherever you turn today – Jewish, Christian or Muslim – the more religious the communities, the larger on average are their families.

Lord Sacks stated that Europe is the most secular region in the world and the only continent seeing populations fall.

He said parenthood involved “massive sacrifices” of money, attention, time and emotional energy.

Lord Sacks asked: “In Europe where will you find space for the concept of sacrifice for the sake of generations not born?”

He continued: “Europe is dying, exactly as Polybius said about ancient Greece in the third pre-Christian century.”

“We are undergoing the moral equivalent of climate change and no-one is talking about it.”

Well that’s one more burden us poor atheists must bear. We are constantly accused of having no morals or reason for living; we are depraved because of lack of belief in some “floaty thing” in the sky, we must be disguised killers and rapist.  Now we are killing a whole continent…Oh the shame.

Some people have said that the earth is overpopulated by about 6 billion people…we’re just doing our part to lower population.

Seriously, that order of God to go forth and populated the world is really not PC anymore, we have to stop growing, not only in Europe but the rest of the world.

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Muslims and Human Evolution

For most Muslims, evolution and the fact that plant and animal life prospered without Allah intervening is largely compatible with their religion. However, many, if not most, find it unacceptable that humans evolved, and evolved from primitive primate forms. The Koran states that Allah created the first man, Adam, out of clay and that settles it for them.

Physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy lecturing at Quaid-e-Azam university in Pakistan said that when he talked about the large sweep of time from the Big-Bang to the evolution of life on Earth, his audience listened without dissent until he got to the part where the apes stand up…mentioning human evolution almost started riots and the professor had to be escorted out of the building.

“That’s one thing that will never be possible to bridge; your lineage is what determines your worth,” the professor said about human evolution and Muslims.

Places like Pakistan that teach biology and evolution will omit information and questions about where the human race came from…that is a theological question that science dare not try to answer.

Some Muslim academics are worried that rejection of some aspects of evolution will leave Islamic countries at a decided disadvantage in their scientific education and their ability to compete in a world economy.

Muslim controlled countries continue to be some of the most backward cultures on earth and their human rights record gives Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International workers constant grief.  Sadly, the religion controls most of their life and kills initiative to build a better life or culture, and as long as this is true they will continue to be 2½ (not quite 3rd) world countries.

I believe also that as long as these people let Islamic religion control their lives so completely the Jewish and Christian world will have to constantly watch their backs and plan to be under attack at any time. The leaders in the Islamic religion seem to be unable to control their followers or themselves as they often instigate trouble themselves.