5 votes

What If God Is A Brutal Authoritarian?

If you don't pay your taxes you'll go to jail.

If you don't believe in God you'll go to hell.

But of course, each is "voluntary" and you have the "free will" to object?

HMMMM...

If force against peaceful individuals is wrong, then why would God do it to those who peacefully reject him? Just something I've been increasingly thinking about.

The reason we object to the income tax is because it's backed up by force, therefore there's no "free will" or freedom to choose otherwise without the potential for serious repercussions. Thus it's not a choice and is a tyrannical act of force against peaceful individuals and WRONG. We see the reality of the income tax - it's the act of a brute or tyrant, not the act of a peaceful or benevolent person.

Well, when it comes to this belief in a hell - I see the same glaring contradiction, only this one is much bigger.

You have free will to choose to believe in God, but if you don't then you'll be burnt in perpetual agony in a place with no doors and no time. If God cannot even grant his own creation liberty, what makes us think it comes "from God"? And if it does, then why hold the threat of hell over our heads when doing so is basically a shakedown by an intellectually weak or dishonest authoritarian?

This question is posed for those who actually believe there is a physical hell and that God will send us there should we CHOOSE not to believe in him, and that it's a perpetual punishment/pain. If there are any on here... lol




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There is a creator that is in every particle of creation

and whose spirit and consciousness dwells in us and experiences through us. Really there is only One Being experiencing everything through its creation. That is right. YOU ARE that Being.

When we descend into the duality of the third dimension we forget that we are actually very high light beings choosing to have a human experience, in order to experience separateness from all of creation. It is a little like going to the circus just to experience all the wild rides.

The many higher dimensions all experience their connection to the creator, and only in this human experience can we feel completely separate. We are also given the challenge to try to remember and reestablish contact while we are here. Jesus incarnated and reconnected because that is what he was seeking to do. Seek and you will find. ;) Many are re-connecting at this time because Earth has earned the right to ascend to the fifth dimension. Those who reconnect can go with her.

Forget all that stuff about hell and all the power plays by humans trapped in their egos and forgetfulness. They are so lost and think this 3D Earth reality is all there is. They want all the wealth and power and control over others they can get, and have so forgotten who they really are. Be wary of any institution that wants to control you, and that includes the church.

buh-lo-nee

Complete nonsense. There is one true and living God. You find Him in the Bible, and He is separate from His creation, not part of it. We are mere creatures, not part of any nonsense about other dimensions and consciousness, etc. That stuff is baloney.

Get with the program and give your life to Christ.

No King but Jesus, no President but Ron Paul

I assure you that I know Christ Jesus well

and that is at a spiritual level, and not just a mind level. I assure you we are more than mere creatures. We are children of God, sparks of God consciousness, sons and daughters of the Divine Creator.

Try silencing your mind and listening during meditation, and the truth will be revealed. Yes, there is much truth in the Bible, and much misinterpretation. I have studied it for a lifetime. Seek truth from the Spirit of God within you.

No, you don't

The jesus you are talking about is not the Jesus of the Bible. Your jesus is made up and does not exist.

No King but Jesus, no President but Ron Paul

Seek truth from within. God will answer.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in ... you are God's Sanctuary, and that the Spirit of God has His home within you?"

Corinthians 3:16

What if Jesus was misunderstood

Or deliberately misinterpreted. I found this fascinating talk by Alan Watts on Jesus and his teachings.

Part 2 of 4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7kKxxjyDfA

Part 3 of 4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOaAuASFoLI

Part 4 of 4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIehB9c94D4

What if?

What if the Bible is 100% inspired and inerrant? What if Jesus told the truth when He said, "unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins," and "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me?"

That rules out everything else, doesn't it? What if you are believing a lie?

No King but Jesus, no President but Ron Paul

The universe embodies the Christ Consciousness

like a cloud that fills all of space. Jesus was filled with Christ Consciousness and it spoke through him, because that Consciousness is God's mind in all creation.

When we come to Earth in a human body we forget who we are and forget our connection to the Christ Consciousness and God. When Jesus speaks of being the WAY and the TRUTH he speaks of the Christ Consciousness that is within him. It is only through becoming aware of Christ Consciousness such as it is in Jesus that we can become aware again of our connection to God.

I believe that is what Beloved Jesus was saying. It was basically too deep a concept for the people of the day, but it is well understood in Yoga and Hinduism, and the truth will be revealed by God and Jesus if you ask for an explanation during meditation or just before going to sleep. .

Hogwash

When you know the real Jesus, you don't "ask for an explanation" - that's hogwash. Your approach yields lies based on having too much pizza or demonic influence.

No King but Jesus, no President but Ron Paul

You forgot righteous

Righteous, brutal, authoritarian.

“For with what judgment you judge,
you shall be judged. And with the same
measure you use, it shall be measured
to you."

.

Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The error of free will

If God is Sovereign, then we do not have free will. Christ died to bring Salvation to the whole world - if free will can prevent this, then He died in vain. Free will also implies we can save ourselves thru some "act". It is an invention of organized religion and has done more harm to our relationship with God than any sin ever could. Hell, as religion teaches it, is also a false teaching.

Random thoughts

"If you don't believe in God you'll go to hell."

I believe that organized religion (specifically top down authoritarian military style, with the "local heavies" up on stage, bedecked in robes and jewels) created this question specifically to avert many inquiring minds away from the possibility of some higher power, eternal consciousness, and other such worthwhile metaphysical pursuits.

These same "heavies" have always been intertwined with other (power hungry) people who call themselves "government". The last thing a bunch of power hungry madmen want is for all the good people around them (who are the majority) to believe in these things, for fear of dying is a mighty strong tool of control. "Would you like a little extra 'security' for your: a) job; b) school; c) health; etc.? Just let us take care of you!"

I suppose it's even possible that the "heavies" have knowledge of such things that they keep hidden from the rest of us. One thing I do know is that a lot of them are into satanic rituals. This of course is not proof that real devils exist, but it does mean these people are wrong in the head (heart) regardless. Perhaps their worship of the dark side is their penance for having occulted away truth? Hmmm...

GoodSamaritan's picture

Jesus often confronted the "heavies"

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." Matthew 23:27-28

In fact, He proclaimed seven such "woes" in chapter 23 to expose the "heavies" in front of the crowds and disciples who followed Him.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

I get it

Perhaps I could have been a little more clear on my views. If you reread my post, I never discounted the validity of Christianity per se, only the use of it as a tool of control by men around us and throughout history. In fact GoodSamaritan thanks for helping make my point with your quotation.

I personally believe in some sort of creationism/higher power/everlasting consciousness, but I will be the first to admit I've never read the Bible, so I don't know exactly where my views fall within the scope of Christianity. I am however curious if anyone here has ever read any of Jan Irvin's works on entheogens in ancient religions. Also, Proof of Heaven is a book that I am dying to read (pun intended), but I just bought it for mom as a Christmas present and she hasn't finished it yet. Anyone here read that one?

As for the down vote, tough crowd! LOL

GoodSamaritan's picture

You're Welcome

I understood your point and immediately thought of those verses.

If I may make a suggestion since you've never read the Bible... I just finished reading through the Bible (again) in 2012. If you're willing to take about 5-10 minutes out of your schedule each day this year then please consider making 2013 the year you read the entire Bible.

If you don't understand a passage, just keep moving! You'll have bragging rights this time next year. If you have any questions, you can post them on the DP or send them to me directly. There are plenty of Christians on here who can help with interpretation.

A couple of translations I use that are very accurate and fairly easy to read are the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Here is a recommended resource for a reading plan: http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/ Just select a plan, click the date, and the relevant passage appears.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Whose interpretation are we talking about?

"There are plenty of Christians on here who can help with interpretation."

It is not automatically correct to say that the Christian interpretation of the Bible is a correct one and at the same time of course also there is many different Christian interpretation traditions (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Gnostic, etc.), but also other reading traditions like hermeneutics, discourse analysis, deconstructionism, etc., etc. How to choose which way to read? Or how about maybe read in many different ways?!? Already different translations of the Bible are different interpretations of the Bible. Also already Jesus did not speak Greek, but Aramaic. This of course already means that the translations of Jesus' words from Aramaic to Greek are already interpretations. Who knows if these early interpretations are good or bad or is it that the same sayings of Jesus could have been translated into Greek quite differently than they actually were. Maybe there was different interpretation traditions of the words of Jesus, but most of them were destroyed by the ruling interpretations. Why isn't there left any Gospels in Aramaic?

Is there any ONE correct way to read such a multi-layered book as the Bible? Can there be many different way to read the Bible and can many of them be in some ways fruitful. This does not of course mean that all different ways of interpretation are equally right.Is there only one truth of interpretation? If there is, then who has it? Are we talking about totalitarianism here?

Interpretation is one of the most difficult tasks of human consciousness, but most of the people do not understand the difficulties of our continuous interpretive way of existing in the world and towards all meaningful objects, for example, books including the Bible (the Book) or the sometimes called the Book of the Books. Our culture is made out of interpretations of Greek philosophy (for example fundamental concepts like 'idea', 'politics', 'logos', etc.) and Judeo-Christian religion, but these original roots of our Western Culture could be interpreted in numerous different ways. Is it possible that actually the Greek or the Latin way of interpreting the Bible is not at all the best way? Most of the Bible interpretation is done within the conceptual frameworks of the Greek Philosophy or actually a certain way of interpreting the Greek Philosophy.

Most of the Christians have forgotten to read with astonishment and open mind the Bible as they have learned already a certain kind of way to read, to interpret. The more one is locked into a certain way of reading the more closed minded one's interpretations become. No tradition has the truth about what is the meaning of the words of Jesus for example as we do not even know for sure what he actually said as there is no Aramaic Gospels any more and even if we would have them still to say what is the meaning of his Good News would be always question of interpretation.

"Air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy....aerial joy is freedom."--Gaston Bachelard--

GoodSamaritan's picture

What's your point?

Would you have preferred that I said, "There is no one on here who can help with interpretation"?

And if Christians cannot rightly interpret the Word of God, then who can? Am I to trust Buddhists or Atheists to do that for me? Or maybe I should just toss the Bible altogether because the original manuscripts are no longer extant, despite the thousands of cross-validating early manuscripts in the original languages without substantive differences between any of them.

It's not my problem that there are multiple interpretive traditions. I am required to "[hold] fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." Philippians 2:16

2 Timothy 2:15 clearly implies that Christians are capable of properly interpreting the Word of God: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

If your objective is to persuade me that interpreting the Bible is a hopeless task, you're wasting your time.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Interpreting the Word of God

Where in the world did you got the idea that my point was "that interpreting the Bible is a hopeless task". I did not say that anywhere. What I said was that the task of interpreting of any text or any meaningful phenomenon and in our case the Bible is much more difficult task than we normally understand. I never said that it is 'a hopeless task'. And in a sense it is not a hopeless task as everybody already understands the Bible in some way; even if not most probably in a way that some others would accept as right kind of interpretative understanding, but still understanding nonetheless in some sense as even misunderstanding is always a form of understanding. This is because human being is a being of meaning, a being who always understands everything in someway, in some sense. Okay, that is the human condition and a point of departure for any human endeavor to interpret something. For example, we could not have this exchange without both of us having a certain kind of understanding of the biblical texts. So in this sense already "interpreting the Bible is [not] a hopeless task", but then the crucial question is why do we happen to have a certain kind of understanding of these texts and why do we interpret them in a way we do and why does that differ between us. From which kind of background does our interpretation arise is an important question and it is important to recognize this interpretative background.

I can say that I am not Christian, but I am neither atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew nor anything like that. I do not identify myself with any of these labels, because each label gives one a certain kind of framework and vested interest in one's mind. Talking about Christians it is of course important to remember that Jesus and Paul were not Christians because the whole term was not yet even around during their life time. More labels one identifies oneself with less free one is in general and less free to see different interpretative possibilities in particular as every conceptual framework, for example, Christian or atheist narrows one's capability to see clearly. You might most probably disagree with that, but already that you wrote to me "And if Christians cannot rightly interpret the Word of God, then who can? Am I to trust Buddhists or Atheists to do that for me?" tells to me that you didn't think that there could be an opening to interpretative space which is not Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, or some other label. I am like a child who has not been given any belief-system to believe in and to defend. Atheism is also a belief-system. And as you know even Jesus says that one should become like a child to enter into the Kingdom of God (whatever he meant by the expression of 'Kingdom of God', 'Reign of God/Heaven'). But then what does it mean to be childlike in this context is highly difficult interpretative dilemma as well as what is meant by the Reign of God/Heaven.

First of all, already it is an interpretation of the most of the Christians that the Bible is "the Word of God". How is it possible that the Bible is 'the word of God'? You would most probably answer by quoting Paul's words: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," (2 Timothy 3:16) But already with one sentence of Paul we are in a deep interpretative dilemma and this is only one sentence of so many sentences of the whole Bible. So what is the dilemma? Well, there is plenty of dilemmas here. First one is are we to take seriously Paul's statement. Okay, let's in a name of argument do that as you seem to take it seriously. This means that you already as most of the Christian community interpret the Bible from Pauline perspective at least in some sense. But what does Paul mean by "All Scripture"? Does it mean 'All Scripture' which existed during the time that Paul wrote Timothy or does it mean also the Scripture to come in the future which "is breathed out by God"? None of the Gospels or Acts for example had not been written yet when Paul wrote Timothy. During that time only the Old Testament texts existed plus some of the Paul's Epistles, but there was not even an idea of something like a 'New Testament'. So then when the Gospels where written under the inspiration of God (already a certain kind of interpretation based on Timothy) there where a LOT of texts and Gospels about the life of Jesus and sayings of Jesus as well as stories about the disciples of Jesus, but why were only certain kind of texts chosen to the Bible. Why, for example, the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John were chosen, but not the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Mary? Now you (and the Christian Community) might answer that these others are heretic texts or false gospels of which Paul warns us of in some of his Epistles. (But does he warn us of these texts as he never mentions any of these texts by name?!?) Why would these texts be heretic or not part of the Bible? You (and the Christians in general) might answer that they are not "breathed out by God"? Well, how do we know that something is 'breathed out by God'? Who is able to make this important judgment? The Bible (what you would call the ALL Scripture) is of course quite late compilation of texts. It got its final form some 300-400 years after the death of Jesus and during those 300-400 years there was many different interpretations of the message of Jesus who held different texts as authentic, as 'breathed out by God'. Some groups valued the Gospel of Thomas, some the Gospel of Mark and others the Gospel of Philip and so on. Also they who were thought of by some Christians as heretics called themselves Christians and thought themselves as Christians during those few first centuries. Certain kind of interpretation of the teaching of Jesus as well as certain texts were chosen to be the authentic texts, the ones 'breathed out by God'. But seriously who can make this decision? It was made by some Christians and other Christians were not invited to this process of deciding the authentic texts and after this decision of the Orthodox texts was done other texts which were not chosen as the true ones were seen as wrong, dangerous, satanic and so on and for this reason they needed to be destroyed as was done by many so called TRUE Christians. Sounds more like Nazi Germany than Kingdom of God and if these same people who wanted to destroy these so called 'heretic' texts were the ones who decided which texts to interpret as the ones 'breathed out by God' can we even think of them as trust-worthy to make these crucial judgments concerning what is authentic and what is not. One could ask were was so called Christian LOVE when these so called heretics and their texts needed it the most?

So the major question is who are the wise enough people to make this crucially important judgment with huge historical consequences of which texts are really 'breathed out by God'? How can you trust that these people in the powerful Christian positions made the right decisions?

Then also if 'All Scripture' came to mean also the texts that were written after Timothy, then why wouldn't it be possible that new texts could be added to the Bible still today? Maybe there has been texts written after the Bible which were also 'breathed out by God'; who knows?!? Shouldn't they be part of the 'All Scripture' also? If there isn't any other texts 'breathed out by God' after the Bible, then why would this be the case. Did God lost His inspiration? Could he get His inspiration back? Is it possible that actually there has been written texts after the Bible which were 'breathed out by God', but the Christians haven't noticed them? Can you see it possible that after the New Testament there could STILL come out 'the Latest Testament' or 'the New Testament 2.0: the Last Testament'? Maybe the Christians who made that crucial judgment about which texts to include to the Bible made mistakes and for this reason you have missed a lot of the wisdom of Jesus because you have not studied the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Mary or the Gospel of Thomas, etc. as well as you have studied the Establishment version of 'All Scripture', that is, the Bible as we know it. We do not even know if Paul himself would have accepted all the texts of the New Testament part of 'All Scripture' which were written after his death and we will never get to know the answer to that.

We have gone so far, but we have not even yet thought of the meaning of 'breathed out by God' as we have just taken it with some kind of average understand thinking that we all know what it could mean. If the Bible is 'the word of God' because it is 'breathed out by God' then what kind of implications this idea could have? If We the People, that is, all human beings have gotten our life from our Creator and it is He who has given us life and it is He who keeps us alive in the fundamental level doesn't this mean that we are all 'breathed out by God' in some similar way as God breathed into Adam in the Genesis to give him life. If this would be the case, then isn't there a possibility that anybody of us if properly attuned could breathe out the word of God and expand the so called 'All Scripture'? If God breathes life into me, then what is it that comes out of me as I expire/exhale or speak/sing as forms of exhalation? How do you know that what I am writing to you now is not 'breathed out by God'? How can you make that judgment or how can somebody else for example, a priest make that judgment?

My whole purpose is just to make questions? To open myself to the mystery of life which does not have any labels in-itself. No child who is born into this world will tell that he is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist, or whatever. The Bible is such a jewel that to interpret it one needs the innocence of a child, the open mindedness, freedom to wonder and more one identifies with any labels less free, innocent and open one is. Interpretation is difficult because people have so many prejudices. These prejudices can be Atheist, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, etc. prejudices. One should wash ones eyes clean from all prejudices to see clearly, to interpret clearly without any prejudgments, and vested interests. PERHAPS that was what Jesus meant by becoming again childlike to enter the Reign of Heaven. And childlike is a person who still has free, innocent and open mind, that is, a person who is not yet a Christian or Atheist or any other label that narrows one's existence. Perhaps a person who experiences the breath of God in one's each breath running through one's body and if this is the case, then perhaps this person can toss 'All Scripture', that is, the Bible away, because now this person has himself/herself become the living Scripture (breathed by God) as he/she can with each inhalation feel or experience the God's breath inspiring him/her and with every exhalation this person expresses the word of God.

HOW ABOUT THAT for an interpretation GoodSamaritan?

"Air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy....aerial joy is freedom."--Gaston Bachelard--

GoodSamaritan's picture

God created and preserves His revelation to us

Nineteen centuries of ongoing scholarly examination has yet to overturn the essential composition of the Bible. The texts included were chosen based upon authorship, direct reference by Jesus, His Apostles, and their immediate disciples, among other reasons. Traceability and internal agreement were essential to inclusion. More importantly, God is able to preserve His Word to us.

No new texts may be added to Scripture because Jesus Himself warned us emphatically not to do it once His revelation to John was complete (see Rev 2:18-19).

"If this would be the case, then isn't there a possibility that anybody of us if properly attuned could breathe out the word of God and expand the so called 'All Scripture'?" No one but God is capable of theopneustos. See Jesus' warning about adding to His Word.

Paul used the Greek term theopneustos, a compound word that means 'God-breathed' or 'breathed out by God,' and this tells us that the Scriptures are the creation of God, that they are the words of His breath, His speaking. This is similar in concept to His speaking Creation into existence, except that He created Scripture through men.

"Talking about Christians it is of course important to remember that Jesus and Paul were not Christians because the whole term was not yet even around during their life time. More labels one identifies oneself with less free one is in general and less free to see different interpretative possibilities in particular as every conceptual framework, for example, Christian or atheist narrows one's capability to see clearly. You might most probably disagree with that..."

You're right, I do disagree. The term "Christian" merely means Christ-like. Calling one's self a Christian no more limits one's interpretive skills than labeling someone a "teacher" interferes with their ability to impart knowledge. It's just a term of convenience for identifying a follower of Jesus Christ. Some use the term more loosely than others, but it identifies me with Christ.

"Interpretation is difficult because people have so many prejudices." Interpretation is sometimes difficult because God intended it to be studied carefully by those to whom He gave the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor 2:12-14 and 1 John 2:20, 27, for example). Jesus made plain the meanings of His parables only to His disciples and deliberately kept everyone else in the dark (see Matt 13:10-15, for example). Proper interpretation is only possible by those who have the Holy Spirit and study the Word carefully.

"One should wash ones eyes clean from all prejudices to see clearly, to interpret clearly without any prejudgments, and vested interests. PERHAPS that was what Jesus meant by becoming again childlike to enter the Reign of Heaven." That's not what it means. Nowhere does Scripture teach that we must remove our prejudices in order to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus interpreted His own words for us so we don't have to guess:

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4

Entering the kingdom of heaven requires childlike humility. James and Peter, teaching on salvation and quoting from the Old Testament, said, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5). Without the childlike characteristic of humility, God will not save us - we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Bravo! Your reply is powerful work of Nature, telepathic.

This thread is for intellectual masochists. I notice, though, that no one so far has waded in with answers or comments to your great questions, telepathic.

"I'm right" "No I'm right" "You are both satanic, I know the correct interpretation" And on and on and on, arguing over the true message of three millennium of ancient texts... several that have disappeared long ago from the archives.

Now, as our civilization is facing collapse, many of our brighter colleagues would rather argue dogma, then they would engage in a discussion of new ideas.

Maybe, the biblical works have a kernel of solution in them. But we will never know. Those ideas are thousands of years old capsules of truth frozen in ancient time. Doesn't anyone notice that they haven't led us to any significant new beginnings after thousands of years of influence.

Sometimes, I have a feeling, that many of the worldviews reflected in these messages that are based on scripture, (and its "one and only" (sarc) true interpretation,) find some comfort in that the proponents do not have to really fully participate in finding a new path for humanity. Let's just get right with God and take care of our afterlife because there is little that we can change for the good in this world.

That's their rightful choice. But, it sucks as an idea when you factor in the needs of the many new generations of children to come who would have greatly benefited if we had just organized a viable escape plan for them.

Tough to be a brutal

Tough to be a brutal authoritarian if there's no proof of God's existence.

Tough for me to think of God as any sort of authoritarian since his existence(or non-existence) has zero effect on my daily life.

If only brutal authoritarian regimes of men were so hands off...

I'm glad you've come to the

I'm glad you've come to the realization that anarchism as expounded by some is a religion and has its basis is faith and man-invented principles. This explains the self-righteous haughtiness of the anarchist fanatic when asked to present real-world proposals that a real political philosophy lives or dies on. He need not do so any more than a Christian must defend the ten commandments with anything other than an appeal to authority. At least the Christian's authority is God and not the ipse dixit of a few fat intellectuals LOL.

Ventura 2012

.

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Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster we have His guidance and don't have to rely upon all those old ancient Hebrew plagiarized stories to know how to live our lives.

You completely missed the

You completely missed the point of my post

Ventura 2012

lol at the downvotes... the Abrahamic cultists were and are...

the worst thing that happened/is happening to the human race.

The Catholic Church built western civilization

You ought to be grateful in at least some ways.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Anonymous
http://youtu.be/cjkvC9qr0cc

I wouldnt go that far

It was the reformation/renaissance revolts against the Catholic Church that ended the appropriately-titled "Dark Ages". The Catholic Church maybe be a force for good right now but it was not back then, with its book burnings and torture dungeons.

Ventura 2012

Excellent point.

I appreciate your opinion from your years of experience and PhDs in world religion, PhD in sociology, PhD in anthropology and world history.

Oh wait you dont have those?

So, that's just your uneducated, unscientific, sweeping generalization, divisive personal OPINION?

OH!

But you state it as fact, or as some kind of reasoned position - no different than any other religionist.

( L O L )

Wait

Wait a minute. I once read this: "You have free will to choose to believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster , but if you don't then you'll be burnt in perpetual agony in a place with no doors and no time."

Now I don't know which one to choose, The Flying Spaghetti Monster's way to righteousness or that of some other god.

Since there is zero evidence for either the Christian god or the Flying Spaghetti Monster it is all 100% dependent upon who brainwashed you.

How about some evidence? I hate accepting things on faith like the followers of Jim Jones did or the Heaven's Gate folks. I'm sure many of them thought their faith was the true one.