Many church or mosque goers believe religion gives their lives “meaning.”  It’s a delusion, an appealing but false concept.  What meaning could being credulous enough to believe the preposterous give one’s life?  If anything, I think a good and magnanimous god would disdain such behavior.  They’re abandoning reason for self-interest and wishful thinking. 

In biology, the Prime Directive (PD) governs all life down to insects, worms and beyond.  The force that governs all life is “self-preservation and reproduction” as much as possible.  In other words, the meaning of life for the rest of the animal world is to spread DNA and increase biodiversity.

In my “Ten Reasons Not To Believe” I conjecture how devastating and destructive it is to teach that people are separate from nature.  The word “religion” itself stems from the idea of “to retie” as in “ligature”.  This is anthropocentricism and has resulted in near destruction of the planet and a drastic decrease in biodiversity since the last extinction, the K-T Event, (Cretaceous Paleocene Extinction, 65 million years ago) which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.  We are right now in the middle of the Holocene Extinction and most religious leaders refuse to recognize it and/or don’t care.  Over 52% of all vertebrate species on the planet in 1970 is gone forever! 

They believe the Return of the Holy Prophet or the Second Coming of Christ is imminent so why even care what happens to the Earth.  (See my video on Youtube under “endmeme.”)  If your house is about to be foreclosed, why keep it up and make repairs?   

How the heck can the pope and other religious leaders fail to connect the dots, i.e. fail to recognize that humans are animals and start treating Gaea as the mother of life and not some plastic figurine, the Holy Mother/Virgin Mary? 

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Humanist-Essays-Richard-Goscicki-eboo...

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Comment by Rich Goss on January 20, 2015 at 1:07pm

I first heard about the Belgian province, the Borinage, from Herman Wouk’s Lust for Life.  As I mentioned Van Gogh wanted to work with the people and connect at a more personal level.  He actually descended deep into the mine shafts and helped with the physical work as best he could.  He never complained. 

Here’s a beautiful video of “The Potato Eaters” he painted there which is considered by many his first masterwork.  Not only the painting but the accompaniment, Chopin’s Andante Spianto, are very dear to me—(my family owned a Polish restaurant across from the Brooklyn Yard during WWII).  In my view the peasant family shows how the poor have a tranquil dignity that the upper classes rarely see or care about. 

Just as in “The Starry Night” perhaps Van Gogh was predicting the spirituality of future man when even the lowest poor people have dignity and worth.  Ever notice that the sky in the painting depicts not yet discovered galaxies and not stars?  Van Gogh was seeing views from the Hubble Telescope in 1890 Province, France. 

  

Comment by Rich Goss on January 20, 2015 at 1:01pm

From Joan Denoo to Richard Goscicki 

I didn't know about the Borinage region of Belgium until I read your comment about it. I have known for a long time about the Beguinage of Flanders. The Beguines have a fascinating history that may be of interest to you.

I first heard about the Belgian province, the Borinage, from Herman Wouk’s Lust for Life.  As I mentioned Van Gogh wanted to work with the people and connect at a more personal level.  He actually descended deep into the mine shafts and helped with the physical work as best he could.  He never complained. 

Here’s a beautiful video of “The Potato Eaters” he painted there which is considered by many his first masterwork.  Not only the painting but the accompaniment, Chopin’s Andante Spianto, are very dear to me—(my family owned a Polish restaurant across from the Brooklyn Yard during WWII).  In my view the peasant family shows how the poor have a tranquil dignity that the upper classes rarely see or care about. 

Just as in “The Starry Night” perhaps Van Gogh was predicting the spirituality of future man when even the lowest poor people have dignity and worth.  Ever notice that the sky in the painting depicts not yet discovered galaxies and not stars?  Van Gogh was seeing views from the Hubble Telescope in 1890 Province, France. 

Comment by Rich Goss on January 19, 2015 at 12:14pm

Knees, There's a interesting comment on this from the great physicist Niels Bohr back in the '20s.  "The meaning of life is that it's meaningless." 

Barbara Walker, my collaborator, says:  Look up at the universe some night, the vastness of it.  What meaning could it possibly have?

Albert Camus, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for literature, says life is surreal and the most logical thing to do is commit suicide. 

But my opinion as an atheist is enjoy life as much as you can.  Death shouldn't concern us 'cause when we're alive we've too busy having fun, and when we die we no longer exist.  The only meaning it can possibly have is to the life that follows us, that's why we should try to be good and make the world a better place for further generations. 

The renowned South African poet Breaker Morant said before his execution:  We poets do seek to be immortal.  (With his thoughts and ideas, that is, memes.) 

Comment by On my Kneesus for Jesus! on January 19, 2015 at 11:44am

The meaning of life is simply to give life meaning.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on January 19, 2015 at 12:32am

Religion may appear to give their lives meaning, but it is the same meaning for all, to be subservient to a megalomaniac usurper.

Hardly a meaning worthy of pursuing.

It is much better and far more satisfying to strive for and achieve your own meaning in life.

Comment by Rich Goss on January 18, 2015 at 12:30pm

kh,  Right on!, as we said in hippie days. 

Comment by Rich Goss on January 18, 2015 at 12:25pm

Jay, well said.  I was referring to Gaea theory as proposed by James Lovelock and William Golding, the writer of The Lord of the Flies.  In brief, our planet is a super-organism composed of millions of species and diverse life forms.  Not only that, there are circulatory systems and metabolic systems just as in an individual organism:  the lakes and rivers, the air we breathe are part of the living system of life.  The mountains, deserts, the sky itself comprise a single entity that the theory calls Gaea, the goddess of the Earth. 

Notice that to the ancient Greeks, Gaea is a Titan, wife of the Sky (Uranus) and mother of Tethys and Oceanus, together the Great Panthalassic Sea.  When we refer to the distinct oceans, Atlantic, Pacific,  etc. that’s an illusion.  The great oceans are all one magnificent connected body. 

It’s my belief, though it can’t be proven, that life sprang up out of the very ingredients of the planet and our bodies are composed of the very stuff of the Earth—water, calcium, nitrogen, potassium etc.  There is nothing supernatural about it.  This is called abiogenesis, life without parents, you might say. 

If we accept this hypothesis, my point is that we should love and respect our planet as the parent of life in the same way Christians love and adore their Sky-God Creator and Mother Mary.  We wouldn’t be polluting every niche of the world and leaving our “carbon footprint” as right-wing Christians like to say.  As it stands, humans are nature’s spoiled outgrowth, a Frankenstein, but have the potential to burst out of nature’s bondage, the PD, and become a spiritual entity.  To me, as I tried to bring out in Pot Stories, the key to escaping the mental cage (organized religion) is ART.  But, of course, the first step has to be to control population growth. 

I was told the book was misnamed, by the way, because readers get the wrong idea.  It’s more about classical music, art, literature and opera than sleazy drug deals.  I tell the narc, I bet you didn’t know that The Merchant of Venice is Antonio and not Shylock as many people believe.  He answers, “No kiddin’, I’ll write that down so I can tell all the boys at the precinct.”  The Arts aren’t part of his life as sports are, but should be.

Comment by kathy: ky on January 18, 2015 at 10:25am
It makes me crazy that this area is all about coal. Jobs. No epa regulations. Which part of 'if we don't have a planet you won't need a job don't they get' ? And most of the stupidity comes from their religious beliefs.
Comment by jay H on January 18, 2015 at 8:30am

Great points but I am puzzled by the line

How the heck can the pope and other religious leaders fail to connect the dots, i.e. fail to recognize that humans are animals and start treating Gaea as the mother of life and not some plastic figurine, the Holy Mother/Virgin Mary?

The whole Gaea thing is a wrapping of religious imagery around a purely mechanistic system.. There obviously is no 'mother of life', personification of the earth as some kind of goddess, even if meant metaphorically, distorts the picture. The planet does not take care of us, millions of species trying to take care of themselves, have destroyed millions of others and settled into a form of biological standoff.

There is no kindness, no caring, no altruism in nature.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 18, 2015 at 12:33am

Rich, I am glad you reminded me of your post on 

Richard GoscickiJune 26, 2012, Ten Reasons Not To Believe 

and your reference to 

Greta Christina,The Top 10 Reasons I Don't Believe in God.

I wonder what ever became of that cop who stopped you and Kelly? Probably still on the merry-go-round. 

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