I have assembled a few items for thoughts on faith. Although a mystic may talk of seeking to know and imbibe the mysteries of the Universe, he or she never recognises that the true and most joyous route is by drinking deeply of the scientific wealth uncovered by cosmology and physics. Indeed, ‘God-did-it’ as an explanation for mankind and the Universe is as empty as a void, and exposes nothing but ignorance on the part of the speaker.

“My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity.” Bertrand Russell, Is There a God? 1952.

“I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.” Richard Dawkins

“As long as we accept the principle that religious faith must be respected simply because it is religious faith, it is hard to withhold respect from the faith of Osama bin Laden and the suicide bombers.” Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion.

“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. . . . A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.” H. L. Mencken

“Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God.” Martin Luther.

“Every man, who reasons, soon becomes an unbeliever.” Baron D'Holbach

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Although faith means many things to different people, I would suggest that it is 'a defective insulator that attempts to shield the human concept of justice from the amoral universe'.

In other words, there is a disparity between what people want to happen (fairness) and what happens. That 'gap' is exploited by religion. "Nothing will fill this gap except the relationship with God for which we were made." (Nicky Gumbel, Alpha Course)

It is defective because, time and time again, it fails to work. (google 'Sago Mining Disaster', 2006)

There is no universal meaning but for the meaning we find in each other. Which is why we should stop killing each other. Just a thought
I am a member of the "Biblical Archaeology Review" Forum, until I get excommunicated. They are really a bunch of brainwashed goof ball Christians who are trying to prove the Bible to be the "Word of God". Here is a summary of what I wrote to really upset them:

The whole of the bible seems to be rehashes of fables from other religions from places like Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and the Greek people. What makes the BIblegod true and all other gods false? Why does the Roman Catholic Church claim it is the "One True Church". Lets look at the founding of the Roman Catholic Church.

The New Testament is a FORGERY on the orders of Constantine I

What the Church doesn't want you to know:
It has often been emphasised that Christianity is unlike any other religion, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have occurred during a short period of time some 20 centuries ago. Those stories are presented in the New Testament, and as new evidence is revealed it will become clear that they do not represent historical realities. The Church agrees, saying:
"Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted."
(Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

It must be remembered that Christianity did not appear until the First Council of Nicea 325CE called by Roman Emperor Constantine I to form one official religion for the Roman Empire with one god. It was at that puerile assembly, and with so many cults represented, that a total of 318 "bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes and exorcists" gathered to debate and decide upon a unified belief system that encompassed only one god (An Apology for Christianity, op. cit.). By this time, a huge assortment of "wild texts" (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, "Gospel and Gospels") circulated amongst presbyters and they supported a great variety of Eastern and Western gods and goddesses: Jove, Jupiter, Salenus, Baal, Thor, Gade, Apollo, Juno, Aries, Taurus, Minerva, Rhets, Mithra, Theo, Fragapatti, Atys, Durga, Indra, Neptune, Vulcan, Kriste, Agni, Croesus, Pelides, Huit, Hermes, Thulis, Thammus, Eguptus, Iao, Aph, Saturn, Gitchens, Minos, Maximo, Hecla and Phernes.

Constantine's intention at Nicaea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity. Presbyters were asked to debate and decide who their new god would be. Delegates argued among themselves, expressing personal motives for inclusion of particular writings that promoted the finer traits of their own special deity. Throughout the meeting, howling factions were immersed in heated debates, and the names of 53 gods were tabled for discussion. "As yet, no God had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter... For one year and five months the balloting lasted."

At the end of that time, Constantine returned to the gathering to discover that the presbyters had not agreed on a new deity but had balloted down to a shortlist of five prospects: Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus and Zeus (Historia Ecclesiastica, Eusebius, c. 325). Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the great Druid god, Hesus, be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ), and thus Hesus Krishna would be the official name of the new Roman god. A vote was taken and it was with a majority show of hands (161 votes to 157) that both divinities became one God. Following longstanding heathen custom, Constantine used the official gathering and the Roman apotheosis decree to legally deify two deities as one, and did so by democratic consent. A new god was proclaimed and "officially" ratified by Constantine (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, 1618). That purely political act of deification effectively and legally placed Hesus and Krishna among the Roman gods as one individual composite. That abstraction lent Earthly existence to amalgamated doctrines for the Empire's new religion; and because there was no letter "J" in alphabets until around the ninth century, the name subsequently evolved into "Jesus Christ".

So brainless Christians believe all this bullshit on faith. Especially Roman Catholics are not allowed to think, to question, to read other than the Church allows.

"Religion is a Poison" (Richard Dawkins)
Some of the writing here appears to be based on faulty scholarship. Krishna is a Sanskrit word meaning "black", not "Christ". Hesus, a Celtic god, is generally considered to be coincidental with Jesus, there being no documented connection between the two names. I just wonder how much else in these paragraphs are fictional.

"Jesus" has forms in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and means "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh delivers". "Christos" means "anointed" and the binomial was often found in the form "Jesus the Christ". The interesting point is that Jesus Christ is a descriptive term, uncannily complimentary to the Christian story.

I think we need to be careful that comments based on sloppy scholarship do not sully the atheist cause.
Brilliant, Robert. Thanks for posting this. And thanks to Richard too.

As to those crackos who talk endlessly about the bible being "the word of god", if they challenge you with that, it can be enough to reply:
"It ain't the word of god. It's the word of simple, illiterate, brain-challenged, desert, goat-herders inventing stories to suit themselves."
Sorry to disagree on my first post but I would suggest that its not as simple as that. First they would never agree with that description of their sainted prophets, who, they would say, were only the conduit through which God spoke. And second, those "simple, illiterate, brain-challenged, desert, goat-herders" demonstrated enough intelligence and creativity to invent a complex religion that extends even now into the electronic age and has the likes of us debating the complexities of it within a medium they could never have contemplated. In fact I am reminded of A C Clarke's quote "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." replace magic with godlike, and, from those ancients perspective, we now exist in a society of Gods. So in effect, us "Gods" find ourselves as manipulated by those "simple, illiterate, brain-challenged, desert, goat-herders" as their followers throughout the ages. I would suggest that the only time we will reach the stage of true atheism is when there is no need, or desire, to consider or debate anything spiritual at all, until then most of us are probably various shades of agnostic.
I suggest that no "debating" of the complexities of religion is going on. Rather the painfully slow and resisted debunking of a long-lived evolution of a collection of myths forced upon the masses as truth.
I have always thought the whole Abrahamic creation thingy really stretches the limits of a decent myth.
The CREATOR of all that exists, created in 6 days (Sunday being a day off). That's everything, from the galaxies to the parasites on a cockroaches back. For the sake of arguement I'll give them that much - consider it a handicap But that HE would pick a clutch of illiterate, nomadic goat herders to reveal himself to and then lay down a bunch of totally bullshit rules that they have to memorize (because they are illiterate). On top of that, the CREATOR treats them like shit for a few centuries and slaps the snot out of them when they screw up one of his stupid rules . This from the CREATOR of all that is? - nahhhh!
Dr. Meaden. I have stacks of material about the foundation of Christianity, too much to post here. I posted this and more taking up 3 posts on the BAR Forum. I have not had any replies to it yet. I don't think those simple, illiterate, brain-challenged members have the necessary intelligent equipment to understand it.

I posted this on their Forum and got an e-mail saying it had been removed by the Admin.

"Christianity is the worst disaster in human history.

The cost to humanity of fifteen centuries of Christian savagery of hunderds of millions of lives brutalised and truncated, sacrificed to war, torture, pogram. Burning, pestilence and plague is incalculable."

I just posted a message telling them what they can do with their Forum. I am waiting to be excommunicated.
I'm sure that we would all like to see more from your collected notes about the foundations of christianity. Post as and when you can.

As for the statement that "Christianity is the worst disaster in human history", it may well be true---terrifying, horrendous and longlasting that it was---but some might challenge by saying that Islam is even worse.
Whatever else, the vile menace from christianity has decreased lately while the greatest threat of the future is likely to come from Islam particularly because they set up a system by which they won't allow criticism. And so we are warned that all humanity is at risk because of the babblings of an illiterate frontal-lobe epileptic whose hallucinated stories got recorded by his wife and others.
Thanks for that Martin Luther quote!
Faith is the belief which springs from the denial of fact. The mind is useless when filled with such insulation.
More on what 'faith' has not done for the unwavering worshippers:

“You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the coloured races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world.
I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.” Bertrand Russell. 1872 - 1970
"For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing."
H. L. Mencken
Over the centuries there has been a tragic waste of intellectual energy devoted to complete hog wash. Newton spent an inordinate amount time obsessing over the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation.




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