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Showing posts from July, 2016

Faith and Reason

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ R ecently, on , I came across an interesting essay by Andrew Kaethler, an Assistant Professor at Catholic Pacific College. The title of the essay is “ Faith Undergirds All Reason .” He argues that without faith, reason can’t really get off the ground. As Kaethler explains, the great French philosopher René Descartes wanted to discover what he could know with absolute certainty. He concluded that the only thing he could know for sure was that he was a thinking thing; i.e., “I think therefore I am.” He reasoned that he couldn’t know anything else actually existed for certain because he couldn’t prove he was not simply (as Kaethler put it), “a brain floating in a vat which is manipulated by an evil demon to see images that falsely appear as the external world .” Thus, Descartes concluded that the only way out was a leap of faith. He conjectured therefore, and Kaethler agrees, that god is good and would not deceive him; the external world is

Make Believe

By Carl S ~ T here's a song from the musical " Showboat " titled "Make believe." It's a love song that says if we make believe enough, then it will come true. Consider some of the words from that song: "Others find peace of mind in pretending. Couldn't I, couldn't you, couldn't we?" Others find peace of mind in pretending. Why can't you? Is it because you "lack" faith? "Faith" is merely pretending. The faithful won't see it that way, of course. No one wants to admit that what's held up to be virtuous is only making believe . But how else can we explain the presence of so many contradictory, (even within themselves), faiths? From childhood on, many are raised in faiths to believe what they're told, with the presumption, if you don't, just pretend to believe. To the child, as well as the adult, it is taught, try as you might, you'll never meet the expectations of God. These things make a uni


By Carl S ~ W hy anyone would take sacred texts seriously is a question usually left up to historians, sociologists, and psychologists. Just thinking about the times in which they were written is a red light blinking, warning us to beware of any wisdom claimed to be in them. Reading scriptures is a good way to see how much ignorance reigned in those days. But, the writers had no ways to prove any of their claims, so who can blame them, unless they were conning everybody, which is possible. Rather than calling them con men, let’s give them the benefit of a doubt. Let's assume they wrote from their sincerely held beliefs. All the same, we must admit that sincerely held beliefs, at any period of history, have no bearing on what is true. Are dreams "true," or are they scientifically explainable? What about the evidence for dreams in scriptures? Centuries later, we are still researching for explanations. Don't spices, intoxicating beverages, hallucinogenic substances, d

Where does morality come from -- part 2

By John Draper ~ I n Part 1 , I introduced the idea that morality is discovered by humans bit by bit over the slow roll of the centuries. Of course, that’s not what religious folks believe. They say we know the difference between right and wrong because God tells us. Their idea is that the bulk of morality—the Law of Moses —was revealed by God all at once, right around the invention of barbecue, as best as I can tell. At least that’s what the fundamentalists insist. Evangelicals won’t quibble about specific dates other than to venture that morality was first revealed by God in a mega-dose in the Olden Days, more or less. We call that mega-dose scripture. After that, God adds the filigree to our moral code —the mundane daily decisions about right versus wrong—through personal revelation, also known as The Still, Small Voice. That’s The System. That’s where morals come from. This post and the next consist of a critique of that system. Long story short, we like to believe that Go

Attention Mothers: Faith is Trust

By Carl S. ~ T he duty of mothers, according to God: "Mothers, raise your children to obey God's word, as revealed in scripture and through his appointed authorities. Raise them to be innocent of sin by protecting them from the influences of the world outside, where the devil goes about seeking those he would entice and devour. Tell your children what you've been taught, what the bible says. Teach your sons theirs is the responsibility of heading a household, and your daughters the duty to obey their husbands, since they represent Christ (even though Jesus never preached this.). Teach the daughters virginity is virtue for, in the bible, "virgin" always means female." It really is a dangerous world out there. And maybe you're overlooking the danger in trusting the wrong people. Is it okay with you for Sunday school teachers to lie to your children, since they mean well? Does “meaning well" justify deception, or indifference to whether somethin

I Can Do Anything

By J.S. Dollin ~ S omedays I think I can do anything. Like I’m made of unscratchable metal and nothing can affect me. I keep pushing forward, making everything morph into what I want them to be and judging everything in my path. I’m free: ready to live the way I want, do the things I want and see the people I want. And yet, I’m scared. I’m afraid of so much. I’m afraid to put myself out there and change something so menial as my approach to sriracha on my tacos. The big changes have come and gone. I keep talking about it because I haven’t gotten over it. The three year break-up. The loss of friends. The beauty of an upcoming move. I’m finally getting out of here. Goodbye Chicago. Hello Denver. And yes, it’s something that I’ve dreamed of. And yes, it’s something that I hope is a stepping stone to something greater. Something like a giant leap into the ocean. But it’s not gonna matter. It won’t matter in the least if I can’t stand up for why I’m doing it. If wh

Nuggets McMiracles

By Carl S ~ T he feeding of the five thousand men using five loaves of bread and two fishes. The parting of the Red Sea. Raising Lazarus from death. Why aren't there any more of those fantastic miracles to prove the truthfulness of a faith? In their beginnings, all faiths have astounding miracles and, it is claimed, these went on for centuries. What happened since then? Why are there no more big miracles to keep proving God or Allah or any of the other deities exists, if for no other reason? What about the last Big miracle on record, in the 20th century, the alleged "Miracle of Fatima"? Thousands of believers “witnessed” the sun falling to the earth. They were the only ones who saw the sun move thus. Mass hallucination? There’s been nothing since then to make any headlines. In our time, all the miracles will eventually be attributed to natural causes. They're mc-miracles, bite-sized junk food which leave cravings for more, for those who partake of them. They're

Driven & Distracted – Meditations On The Journey Home

An Ex-Christian Poem Made on the Commute Home By Jonny Wanabi ~ O h me, oh my,let’s reach out and touch the sky Let’s do the hard work to make things happen And do it with some joy and fingers tapping I mean toes tapping Yeah, there may be some clouds on the horizon But you might get fear in your heart If you give in to fearful surmising In line with all the other local folks But this is real life, it ain’t a hoax This trip is enjoyable, I like it a lot I like it even more when I realise that This life is all I got Turning left on this road of life Overcoming my fear of pointy things Like a pen or a knife Making the most of the moment With subliminal joy in my heart My short life is a canvas With some squigglies you call art Going straight, trying to Keep between the lines And making hay while The sunshines Though often times I romanticise And glorify the lives of the heroes As when they rise up from the dust