Sunday 20th of September 2020

the face value of chimpism...

jesus

To most advanced atheists, the existence of god is irrelevant. Totally irrelevant, not even seen as a negative counterpoint. Atheism is not a non-belief despite its earliest definition. 
Atheism is more an affirmation with evidence:
We are evolved from this little planet's soup of DNA and one of our species reasonably close relatives are chimps. 
There. This is not so hard... 
Repeat after me: the existence of god is irrelevant. We are evolved from this little planet's soup of DNA and our species relatives are chimps, gorillas and orangutans.
Atheism should be renamed Chimpism or Stylism (as I have done for many years). Some fluid section of atheism have been called humanism.

There is no need for a religious superiorly-dished morality. There is no need for "negative" or anti-god "belief". We, as homo sapiens, can work our own knowledgeable status of relationship in evolution — of which the religious strictures were on stagnating erroneous pathways, for too long a time. 


Too long.

These faulty religious views had sort of been "accidents" of historical developments, deliberate or not, in misunderstanding the natural environment. The proper questions were never asked. 

There is no divine intervention in the universe. 

But, much of humanity invented such intervention — or several versions of one, or versions of a few gods. 

Why? Por que? Warum? Pourquoi? In general, these views, including Buddhism, were mostly designed to control the people, mould the social majority into certain shared behaviours maintained by rituals and give (false) hope in the face of (individual) death. 

The Abrahamic religious views also included wars against those who "did not believe in the same god". Idiotic. Views that still go today as unashamedly presented by the "god-fearing" reborn religious rightwing republican candidates and the ISIL/ISIS revolution.

On this subject, many Buddhists will defend their patch with violence should they be under threat. Violence is not exclusive to Abrahamic religions, nor are Atheists immune to becoming violent, but there is an atheistic hope to minimise violence — by managing our animalistic reactivity through our understanding of it at its level and at a stylistic development. Nothing is universal in our various understanding, but we can get closer to creating a humanistic stylistic vision with room to move and be happy without the framework of religious imposition. 

Religious dictums are designed to make you feel stained with sins. The out-clause is to give you (sell you) the concept of repentance, rather than that of greater responsibility from the onset. Religious dictums sell you the hope of a better life — once you are dead. That is a neat trick, designed to stop you from becoming as important as king and castle in real earthly time, in a system in which the king (religious ones such as Popes and genealogically self-appointed ones such as kings/emperors) decide there is only one of him (sometimes but rarely of her) and you will be his servants — dishing out flattery, adulation, sweat and belief, under their rules.

By all means, there could be some superior beings on planet 3B (called Dorkth by the locals) of the stellar system 4256S, but they would be in the same boats as us — or possibly came from another planet (45Bx-bis) that blew up 54.32 million years ago, but they manage to escape in time. 

And these superior (or inferior) beings have buckley's change of contacting us before another 354,986.7 light years. That's life.

The trinity was invented as a stop gap solution in the 4th century AD by bishops' argumentation about the "one" god. Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, points out at Scientists' "belief" in the Higgs Boson "despite having seen none". This is not a reference to blind belief such as the religious belief. Should a new theory or new calculations come along disproving the existence of such particle, it would be dropped from the quantum mechanic theory which as such is only accepted as a theory to explain stuff religious people have no idea of, but profit from because it works wonderfully well and is still being challenged nonetheless by the people who are working on the theory, unlike the stale-bread of religious dogma which is slowly crumbling.

Soft atheists like John Gray could be happy to let the religious mob run the show — and he can live in his little corner of relative happiness. So why is he spruiking against other atheists? Some hard atheists, like Dawkins don't like the religious mob dictate the next moves of the human species in a religious revival, and I can live with these "hard" atheists views made public. Gray seems not.

So. Capiche?

The history of god of course has interfered with atheists' lives, mostly pushing them out of the social loop for yonks. For believers, quiet atheists, like Gray, are a nicely restrained polite oddity. One cannot swat all the flies. 

On the other side, believing that we are the "sons (or daughters at a pinch) of god" borders on humble sociopathic aggrandisement. It is an inflation of whom we really are for the purpose of deluding ourselves and our other fellow humans into a controlled "unself/selfish-improvement".  By this I mean, that we need "to be good" to get our lolly. There is no altruism. And we can make valiant religious excuses for being bad. The bible is full if this. 

There is no specific altruism in atheism either, but we can plan for a better life without the religious neck-brace and the dick-monitor of religion. Yes, most religions are strong on controlling the reproduction of the human species. Could it be that the "original sin" was the performance of a sexual act, under the guise of eating the forbidden fruit? The mind boggles. 

Anyway, in the light of the Presidential Republican race, one can see old deluded men and women engrossing themselves with evangelicals galore. No atheist could win this race to the White House. Imagine a black gay atheist leading the world ! Blasphemy !

So why is John Gray saying?:

Many who are atheists in this sense (including myself) regard the evangelical atheism that has emerged over the past few decades with bemusement.

Why make a fuss over an idea that has no sense for you? There are untold multitudes who have no interest in waging war on beliefs that mean nothing to them. Throughout history, many have been happy to live their lives without bothering about ultimate questions. This sort of atheism is one of the perennial responses to the experience of being human.

Like religion at its worst, contemporary atheism feeds the fantasy that human life can be remade by a conversion experience - in this case, conversion to unbelief.

The answer to this tirade is simple. Abrahamic religions though they don't make any sense - neither philosophically nor intrinsically, control 99 per cent of the Western world activities, including those of the middle east. They are a hindrance to the development of proper humanistic societies, though I admit we are getting there, slowly, despite the screaming fanatic religious mobs pulling us in the opposite direction. Contemporary hard or new atheism is trying to accelerate the process, while sensing religions as a block to the next step in human evolution. Because humans are evolving, still. And this time, nurture (or lack of it) is becoming a greater part of the process.

Most western religions (including Islam) are constructed to operate like armies, governments, companies and entire countries. They all feed on falsehood. 

Most atheists are individuals, without any sense of structure because we have nothing magical to sell collectively — and we do not try to control people's behaviour. May be we should? We cannot dazzle a dumb gullible public with illusions of gods cloud-sitting in heaven. The atmosphere is thin and fragile. We mitigate our existence with understanding the enormous stress we are dealing to this planet's other inhabitants. We are often called the "godless left" by the gun-totting greedy right for which raping the planet is done in the name of god. Lucky, the Pope put a caveat on this one, but, then, the ultra religious evangelical nuts, don't like him either.

What has to be realised is that many atheists come from an original religious position. In time past, it would have been impossible to get an "important" job in the social network, should one be an atheist. One would have had to live in a dark hole. Even people with disregard for religion had to admit to be religious in order to exist. NOTHING MUCH HAS CHANGED. 

It would be funny — as I think Gray finds it — if the whole religious rigmarole was not so tragic. To see grown up men professing to adopt religious evangelical standards and in the same breath claim to want to carpet bomb the shit out of Syria is beyond the pale. Their hypocritical views are either deceptive or sociopathic and both. And these idiots vie to become the leader of the "free" world, in which Christianity allies itself with guns and greed, like in a crusade once more, chanting "Jerusalem". Blimey. The scary part is that many good people believe and support these monsters. Yes, despite some jocular bonhomie, these candidates are monsters.

Most atheists were educated in the system of religious thinking, because it permeates all governing bodies, the media and many organisations, including charitable set ups. To a great extend, becoming an atheist from this set up demands hard work to dismantle, not only the erroneous belief, but also the entire structure of thinking and of moralisationing.

It is naive of John Gray to think that becoming an atheist is a conversion to unbelief. It is far more complex than this for many atheists. 

All the structural benefit and hindrance of our social network is based on religious beliefs. Some people hang on to these, with extraordinary vigour. Despite the natural evidence pointing to the contrary, religion is the centre of their life. Becoming an atheist from this position demands great care, because of the realisation that our life so far has been a based on a lie — the religious lie. This can be very unsettling — traumatic even. People, especially young people commit suicide to deal with this trauma. This does not mean that becoming an atheist is a religious conversion in reverse, though it can be, but it can provide a new sets of values which can be often hard to find. We need to reconstruct a system of trust in our self. Easier said than done. Other influences, including peer pressures, can lead us up the wrong alley. With a genuine thoughtful atheism, we can eventually improve our life for ourselves and for the community from our own natural strength. But this is very difficult in a very structured social network in which all the values are religious based — whether people believe or not.

This is the crux of the matter... It is also un-genuine of Gray to mention evangelical atheism. Evangelical proselytising is based on the bible, There are some atheists called the "new atheism" who push a bit harder than others. They are not "evangelical", though they could appear fanatical and stirring. They need to be. Nothing wrong with that.

To say the least, there is something called "the rape of the mind"... We're all doing it as soon as we try to enter the world of philosophy, but the religious mob hypocritically deny doing it, though we see blatant example of such daily. 

At least, with atheism we can develop the tools of acceptance and rejection of ideas on an equal footing — without the fear of a forgiving/unforgiving divine master and of loosing a place (that no-one deserves) in heaven, for a ticket in eternal hell. The proposition of religious belief is such ludicrous.

Here follow two quite similar views about the value of what has been explained above, though they come from opposite directions. There are both aiming to discredit the work and worth of "hard-nosed" atheists. 

Here is Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology:

I am always saddened to hear when someone I know decides to turn away from their Christian faith. There is greater sadness still when the person involved provides a public explanation and defence of their position to justify their stance.

When the person is also a colleague working at Australian Catholic University, it adds a certain piquancy to the situation. I have known Nick Trakakis and worked with him in various capacities for a few years now, and hope to continue to do so.

Of course, people turn away from their faith for all sorts of reasons. I know people who were raped by Catholic priests and who find the thought of entering a church nauseating. I can appreciate this. I know others who were similarly abused but who continue to hang in the church, not accepting that the abuse they suffered is truly representative of God or the church.

There are two fundamental elements to Nick's very public statement. There is, in the first instance, the narrative of his own experiences within the Greek Orthodox Church - some good, some bad, many unfortunate. Such personal, existential factors affect people in different ways, each of us with different sensitivities to negotiate. I am not in a position to know how the very personal narrative Nick provides affected him or measure the degree of its importance in his decision. That is a matter for Nick to sort out.

Such an appeal to religious tradition and authority is inimical to the Enlightenment mentality which rejects the possibility of revelation and any authoritative truth this revelation may proclaim. It asks us to believe not on the basis of what we ourselves can know, but on the basis of the testimony of the tradition itself.

Of course, some find this offensive to reason, an insult to human dignity - as Nick puts it, "religious commitment [is] incompatible with philosophy." Indeed, it may well be incompatible with philosophy conceived as a solitary search for truth. But as Alasdair McIntyre has argued, even philosophers dwell within traditions of reasoning; no one starts from scratch. Even in those paradigms of reason, mathematics and science, believing in the results of others is fundamental to the progress of the discipline.

Most scientists do not know for themselves that the Higgs boson exists, but they believe in the testimony of those working with the Large Hadron Collider, and move on to the next issue. Some may feel the need to duplicate the results for themselves, but most would accept it as scientific fact. Most mathematicians do not understand the work of Andrew Wiles in proving Fermat's Last Theorem, but they trust the process of review by those who do understand, and move on. This structure of belief allows for genuine progress to be made in these disciplines without always going back to basics.

Conceiving of philosophy in individualistic terms seems to condemn it to endlessly recapitulating in oneself the various philosophical dead ends of the past. As Etienne Gilson observed, the history of philosophy is littered with failed philosophical experiments. We do not need to repeat their mistakes.

***

In no way do I wish to condemn or criticise Nick for the decision he has made. Many people I know have left the faith for all sorts of reason, some more articulately than others. And often those articulations conceal as much as they reveal about the actual dynamics of the situation. But given the public nature of Nick's decision and the reasons he has stated, it does call for a public response. I wish him well on his journey, wherever it may take him.

Neil Ormerod is Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University and a member of the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry. His latest book (with Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer) is Foundational Theology: A New Approach to Catholic Fundamental Theology.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/12/15/4372933.htm

Nick is correct. Neil is wrong. Simple.

Now, here is John Gray, "one of Britain's most exhilarating and controversial public intellectuals"

Atheism and liberalism

In itself, atheism is an entirely negative position. In pagan Rome, "atheist" (from the Greek atheos) meant anyone who refused to worship the established pantheon of deities. The term was applied to Christians, who not only refused to worship the gods of the pantheon but demanded exclusive worship of their own god. Many non-Western religions contain no conception of a creator-god - Buddhism and Taoism, in some of their forms, are atheist religions of this kind - and many religions have had no interest in proselytising.

In modern Western contexts, however, atheism and rejection of monotheism are practically interchangeable. Roughly speaking, an atheist is anyone who has no use for the concept of God - the idea of a divine mind, which has created humankind and embodies in a perfect form the values that human beings cherish and strive to realise. Many who are atheists in this sense (including myself) regard the evangelical atheism that has emerged over the past few decades with bemusement. Why make a fuss over an idea that has no sense for you? There are untold multitudes who have no interest in waging war on beliefs that mean nothing to them. Throughout history, many have been happy to live their lives without bothering about ultimate questions. This sort of atheism is one of the perennial responses to the experience of being human.

Like religion at its worst, contemporary atheism feeds the fantasy that human life can be remade by a conversion experience - in this case, conversion to unbelief.

Evangelical atheists at the present time are missionaries for their own values. If an earlier generation promoted the racial prejudices of their time as scientific truths, ours aims to give the illusions of contemporary liberalism a similar basis in science. It's possible to envision different varieties of atheism developing - atheisms more like those of Freud, which didn't replace God with a flattering image of humanity. But atheisms of this kind are unlikely to be popular.

More than anything else, our unbelievers seek relief from the panic that grips them when they realise their values are rejected by much of humankind. What today's freethinkers want is freedom from doubt, and the prevailing version of atheism is well suited to give it to them.

John Gray is one of Britain's most exhilarating and controversial public intellectuals. Formerly Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, he is the author of many books, including Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other AnimalsThe Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death and The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. His most recent book is The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom. You can listen to John Gray on The Philosopher's Zone on RN.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/06/16/4255799.htm

I find that both Gray and Ormerod are both over-simplistic and wrong in their criticism of "hard" atheism. Trying to attach Atheism with the racist card is also below the belt. And no, the unbelievers are not panicked in any way by "rejection from much of humankind". 

"Freedom from doubt" in atheism? Wow ! John Gray is wanking lyrical. 

No. Freedom from dogma, and in search of the uncertainties and exploration of stylistic development — away from an arse-divine morality — can be (and is) the prevailing version of hard atheism. That these hard atheist men and women expose their views publicly should not been seen as a self-deluded liberalist promotion. The way I see it is that some of the "new" atheists walk on Gray's philosophical patch and he does not like it.

Gus Leonisky

Your local artist of the mind.

a face like jesus...

The image at top-right is the latest in "forensic" re-creation of Jesus' face — in opposition to our fanciful illuminations over the years, including the shroud of Turin — which under this new forensic light should be proven to be a fake... The "true" face of Jesus was reconstructed from genetic and social information of the time. Thus we now know, all the many fanciful interpretation of Jesus' face were designed to make sure he mostly looked like us: blond and blue-eyed, with long hair to appear like a benevolent hippy. 

 

Not the case apparently. According to the laws of the day, he would have had shortish hair and according to the prevalence of genetics, Jesus would have had a middle-eastern honker and a darkish face, with brown eyes. So There.

 

see, we've known this for at least a year (or 2000 years for some), but the info is just surfacing:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a234/1282186/

 

Warning:

Forensic depictions are not an exact science, cautions Alison Galloway, professor of anthropology at the University of California in Santa Cruz. The details in a face follow the soft tissue above the muscle, and it is here where forensic artists differ widely in technique. Galloway points out that some artists pay more attention to the subtle differences in such details as the distance between the bottom of the nose and the mouth. And the most recognizable features of the face—the folds of the eyes, structure of the nose and shape of the mouth—are left to the artist. "In some cases the resemblance between the reconstruction and the actual individual can be uncanny," says Galloway. "But in others there may be more resemblance with the other work of the same artist." Despite this reservation, she reaches one conclusion that is inescapable to almost everyone who has ever seen Neave's Jesus. "This is probably a lot closer to the truth than the work of many great masters."

jesus of caesarea...

 

 

Token Podcast: is yellowface always racist? And does it matter that Jesus wasn't white?

Monica Tan and Michael Safi jump into the divide between racism and political correctness to assess the most interesting news of the week. Can actors and comedians play characters of different races or is it always offensive? Should we remove racist words from old artworks? And why might Michael look more like Jesus than many renaissance paintings?

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/audio/2015/dec/22/token-podcast-is-yellowface-always-racist-and-does-it-matter-that-jesus-wasnt-white

 

See Red Dwarf for a full philosophical discourse on the subject, between a Cat, a Human (monkey), a Hologram (hollow human) and a Droid (a mechanical washbasin)... in an episode called "lemons".

here we go again...

From the religious department at the ABC (Australia):

 

Do you want to be a good person but find yourself always falling short?

It may not be your fault.

These days it is difficult to feel like a good person. In fact, the more you try, the more you may feel like a failure.

Updated (http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/12/16/4374047.htm)

etc etc blah blah blah...

---------------

This is another furphy by whomever is writing this drivel. In the 17 century, Blaise Pascal wrote something like this: "The more we try to be good (like angels), the more we act like beasts..."

The fact that we live in a more complex human environment does not change this relative concept. But trying to have ethical views for the common good is more compelling than to have a tight-arse morality based as an opposite to sinning.

I know, I know... Thomas Wells ends up with a sarcastic (I hope) view about The Moral OffsettingTM Guarantee... Guffaw...

a coup d'état...

CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS is a work of investigative history. It documents and describes Christianity’s creation-event, which occurred in the year 49 or 50, in Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey), 20 years after Jesus had been crucified in Jerusalem for sedition against Roman rule. 
At this event, Paul broke away from the Jewish sect that Jesus had begun, and he took with him the majority of this new Jewish sect’s members; he convinced these people that Jesus had been a god, and that the way to win eternal salvation in heaven is to worship him as such. On this precise occasion, Paul explicitly introduced, for the first time anywhere, the duality of the previously unitary Jewish God, a duality consisting of the Father and the Son; and he implicitly introduced also the third element of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost. 
This book also explains and documents the tortuous 14-year-long conflict Paul had had with this sect’s leader, Jesus’s brother James, a conflict which caused Paul, in about the year 50, to perpetrate his coup d’état against James, and to start his own new religion: Christianity. 
Then, this historical probe documents that the four canonical Gospel accounts of the words and actions of “Jesus” were written decades after Jesus, by followers of Paul, not by followers of Jesus; and that these writings placed into the mouth of “Jesus” the agenda of Paul. Paul thus became, via his followers, Christ’s ventriloquist.
A work such as this can be documented and produced only now, after the development (during the past 70 years) of modern legal/forensic methodology. Previously, the only available methods, which scholars have used, simply assumed the honesty-of-intent of all classical documents, especially of canonical religious ones, such as Paul’s epistles, and the Four Gospels. 
Only now is it finally possible to penetrate deeper than that, to reach the writer’s intent, and not merely his assertions, and to identify when this intent is to deceive instead of to inform. Whereas scholars have been able to discuss only the truth or falsity of particular canonical statements, it is now possible to discuss also the honesty or deceptiveness of individual statements. 
This opens up an unprecedented new research tool for historians, and CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS is the first work to use these new methods to reconstruct, on this legal/forensic basis, not just how crimes took place, but how and why major historical events (criminal or not), such as the event that started Christianity, actually occurred. 
The author explains: “What I am doing in this work is to reconstruct from the New Testament the crucial events that produced it, without assuming whether what the NT says in any given passage is necessarily true or even honest. Instead of treating the NT as a work that ‘reports history,’ the NT is treated as a work whose history is itself being investigated and reported.
Its origin goes back to this coup d’état that Paul perpetrated in Antioch in the year 49 or 50 against Jesus’s brother James in Jerusalem, whom Jesus in Jerusalem had appointed in the year 30 as his successor to lead the Jewish sect that Jesus had started. 
The Gospel accounts of ‘Jesus’ reflected Paul’s coup d’état – not actually Jesus, who would be appalled at the Christian concept of ‘Christ.’ That concept was radically different from the Jewish concept of the messiah, and Paul knew this when he created it.”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007Q1H4EG

black in the face, white in spirit?

Earlier, a Black Lives Matter activist called for the removal of statues and murals portraying Jesus Christ as a “white European” amid the ongoing campaign addressing racial prejudice around the world. And the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby agrees that the Church of England should accommodate global depictions of Jesus in different cultures.

A painting of the Da Vinci-inspired Last Supper portraying Jesus Christ as a black person will now be installed in the UK’s St Albans Cathedral in “solidarity with the Black Lives Matter” campaign, the Daily Mail reported, providing the image of the art work in question.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/viral/202006301079760134-whats-next-black-jesus-...

black jesus

 

Remember Dali's:

dali�s

 

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