The Oppression of Religion…?

“If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.”  Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation  My bold emphasis

Logical Religion

Among all the religions that have contradictory Gods…only One or None can be right.  It is just as likely that none are right or that some other god with entirely different characteristics or that multiple gods with different characteristics exists. We have no irrefutable proofs of any kind that any proposed god exists.  All we have (or have ever had) is personal anecdotal attestations of belief.  As far as the Abrahamic religions go, two thirds of the world doesn’t think this  God exists.

Muslims believe in a god who is utterly transcendent, non-anthropomorphic, and to whom we humans are required to submit in total obedience.  The Christian god, however is partially transcendent, three persons in one, anthropomorphic, and whom we are supposed to show love.  The Jewish God is less transcendent, has a special role for the Jewish tribes, and they are singled out from all of humanity.  The Hindu God or gods are so alien to my Western way of thought that I can’t even go there yet.

All religions except possibly some small sects in India do not account for all the proven hundreds of thousands of years man has been on earth. Most all Jews, Christians and Muslims (the Abrahamic religions) believe life began on earth 10,000 years ago, or less, and this is despite all the fundamentalists’ claims provably false.  Some of the Christian denominations of late are recognizing that science is actually right on the long ages, and evolution and accepting this, but have so-far not fully integrated these facts into their dogma.  If you are a fundamentalist; Where do you think this god was for 190,000 +- years?

How is it rational for anyone to believe in something with logically contradictory characteristics?  It is not rational to believe in something that is defined one way…when the alleged same thing is defined in a different way down the street in another Temple/Church/Synagogue.

Christians maintain that serving their God is what gives them purpose and that all their morality comes from this God, seemingly disregarding the fact that billions of other people can find purpose to living and loving and can act with morality, all without belief in a transcendent being.

Albert Einstein denied the existence of the traditional monotheistic God and refused to believe that said God could even be moral if He and the religionist’s claims about Him were true.  If this God was omniscient and omnipresent as Christianity claims, He would be ultimately responsible for all of the suffering of humanity down through the ages.  Gods that reflect human frailty are not moral or real gods.

Some Christian sects/denominations define God as being so powerful that free-will is nonexistent, that who we are and what we do is entirely up to Gods interference.  Others will define god as one who gives us tremendous freedoms/free-will and hardly ever, or never, interferes.

A person looking at all these differences would be justified in just staying away from all of them.  After all only one or none of them could possibly be right, and us mere humans could not possibly pick the right one…if there even was a right one.

“While 40 million people died of starvation in the last decade, churches spent $10 billion on campuses.” Steve McSwain
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Religion And The Mt. Toba Eruption

I was recently checking on one of the blogs that I follow and came upon this little excerpt from a scientific paper and it got me going on a hunt for more information.  See blog link below and thanks to Mathildas Anthropology blog for the brain jog. http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/

“The depositional position of the tephra in the Jurreru River Valley, together with new chronometric and geochemical evidence, indicates that the ash is a product of the 74,000 year old YTT event (Petraglia et al., 2007). The recovery of Middle Paleolithic assemblages in dated deposits below and above the ash provides the first firm archaeological association, helping to resolve some of the uncertainty about archaeological associations in India. The recovery of Middle Paleolithic industries without major technological changes after the ashfall, indicate that populations survived the super-eruption. We have suggested, based on a variety of datasets, that modern humans were present in the Indian sub continent before the super-eruption, and that these populations survived this event.”

Searching a little further I found this Paper from the University of Oxford

“An area of widespread speculation about the Toba super-eruption is that it nearly drove humanity to extinction. The fact that the Middle Palaeolithic tools of similar styles are found right before and after the Toba super-eruption, suggests that the people who survived the eruption were the same populations, using the same kinds of tools, says Dr Petraglia. The research agrees with evidence that other human ancestors, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the small brained Hobbits in Southeastern Asia, continued to survive well after Toba.” University of Oxford, UK
http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/100222_1.html

Continuing my search a bit more I found the following information on the dating of the YTT (Toba event), and for you Young Earth Creationist’s (YEC’s) who erroneously think that C-14 dating is wrong, you will notice it didn’t make use of this particular bit of science.

“Toba ash has been dated using the K-Ar, the 40Ar/39Ar and oxygen isotope/biostratigraphic methods. The abrupt drop in sea water temperature was determined with the oxygen isotope (O18/O16) method. The diverse methods used on a variety of Toba materials are in rough agreement as to the dating of the event: it definitively took place sometime between 77,000 and 69,000 years ago.” George Weber @
http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/originals/Weber-Toba/textr.htm

Some research data was obtained from Science magazine @
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/317/5834/114 Subscription required for full article.

So basically what all of this stuff is saying is that modern type Homo sapiens were living in India sometime before about 75,000 years ago, and they were making tools and procreating and in general doing what humans do, and we have proof of this.  And then this same info is saying that after the Mt. Toba eruption—which is thought to have cooled off the earth and caused a 1000 year lengthening of a ongoing cold snap that the earth was undergoing at the time, and caused a human population bottleneck where breeding pairs, on earth, may have fallen to as low as 10,000 people.  In other words, near extinction of the human race—We were still around, albeit in smaller numbers.  Whew!

This is pretty reliable data and it shows once more that humans have been walking the earth for many tens of thousands of years and leaving evidence behind that men can find, research, and interpret to determine that we were not placed on a newly created earth by some sky-god only 6,000 or so years ago, and also confirms that the Adam and Eve story is just myth…they never existed.

Just sayin’…..
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