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Choose Life, not Religion

I have always doubted all religion. C'mon, magical stories, demons, gods and angels. Is this stuff any different than Harry Potter? Everyone can easily see the silliness of someone else's superstitious primitive magical explanation of reality. Who believes in Thor, Zeus or Poseidon? No one, it is obvious silliness. So is whatever religion anyone espouses. No one really believes in flying monkeys, can it be that much longer before we give up demons, angels, gods, demigods, and magical mushroom stimulated hallucinations of all forms?

Religion only makes perfect sense once you realize it is created by men to control, manipulate, and take advantage of others who believe the myths. If the Bible were God's word, it would be easy to understand, straightforward, and non-contradictory. Thou shalt not kill, cannot be reconciled with Jesus was a sacrifice for our sins. Good does not come from evil. God is love cannot be reconciled with religions' eternal torture chambers. Unlike the bible, Jesus message made huge sense: kindness, forgiveness, being nonjudgmental, finding inner peace, etc.

The bible is organized religion's attempt to subvert Jesus original message, and substitute a message that creates willing slaves and subjects, rather than free men and women who are truly the greatest wonder of the world. Christianity is not about Jesus Christ's message. Roman Emperor Constantine and the Catholic Church got together to create a religion to unify Christians and Pagans. The books of the bible were not written by God, they were written and edited by people wanting to control others for their own benefit. People selling indulgences, fire insurance for an imaginary hell, and creating an imaginary God.

The term hell does not even exist in the bible when correctly translated. Hell is a mistranslation of several words: Sheol - Hebrew For Grave; Gahenna - The Jewish town dump; Hades - Greek word means the same as Sheol; and Tartarus - the lowest form of Greek Hell which I guess you can believe in along with the Greek Gods Zuess, Posiedon, et al. There is no hell, It is a religious hoax used to extort money, and control people.

If you look at it morally, the God of the Bible is a vindictive, murderous, jealous, hateful, punitive psychopath. Who in their right mind could worship such a monster? Jesus message was about kindness, forgiveness and peace leading to an inner awakening, a god inside. Believe in yourself, not carefully crafted religious myths and fables. You are forgiven. Once the guilt and shame perpetrated by your religious upbringing goes away, you can experience heaven right here and now. You are good, not bad. Christianity is bad not good.

Christianity violates almost all Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness, love, being peaceful, etc. Christianity as practiced by most denominations is Anti-Christ. These religions have done more to destroy Jesus message than promote it. One does not need a “Holy Book” or religion to be ethical. I think that simply being human gives us ethics and conscience. As a human, I cannot harm another person without the realization that if I were in their shoes, I would not want to experience whatever harm I'm dishing out.

If one is ethical, the physician’s creed - "First do no harm." should be applied liberally to education, parenting, politics, economics, relationships, and all of one's actions. If the goal of a rational life is to be happy, the goal to an ethical life should be to promote happiness in others by our interactions with them. ... Religion on the other hand promotes a variety of ideas that simply miss that mark. Jesus message was that god is inside us (perhaps our subconscious mind), and loves us and forgives us for making mistakes. So cut yourself some slack, and strive to do better. Life is for living, not a preparation for death or period of penance to insure afterlife in Disneyland.

In short, choose life, not religion.
jthitt jthitt 56-60, M 13 Responses Sep 15, 2011

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Although a man has not studied a single system of philosophy, although he does not believe in any God, and never has believed, although he has not prayed even once in his whole life, if the simple power of good actions has brought him to that state where he is ready to give up his life and all else for others, he has arrived at the same point to which the religious man will come through his prayers and the philosopher through his knowledge; and so you may find that the philosopher, the worker, and the devotee, all meet at one point, that one point being self-abnegation. However much their systems of philosophy and religion may differ, all mankind stand in reverence and awe before the man who is ready to sacrifice himself for others. Here, it is not at all any question of creed, or doctrine — even men who are very much opposed to all religious ideas, when they see one of these acts of complete self-sacrifice, feel that they must revere it. Have you not seen even a most bigoted Christian, when he reads Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia, stand in reverence of Buddha, who Preached no God, preached nothing but self-sacrifice? The only thing is that the bigot does not know that his own end and aim in life is exactly the same as that of those from whom he differs. The worshipper, by keeping constantly before him the idea of God and a surrounding of good, comes to the same point at last and says, "Thy will be done," and keeps nothing to himself. That is self-abnegation. The philosopher, with his knowledge, sees that the seeming self is a delusion and easily gives it up. It is self-abnegation. So Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana all meet here; and this is what was meant by all the great preachers of ancient times, when they taught that God is not the world. There is one thing which is the world and another which is God; and this distinction is very true. What they mean by world is selfishness. Unselfishness is God. One may live on a throne, in a golden palace, and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God. Another may live in a hut and wear rags, and have nothing in the world; yet, if he is selfish, he is intensely merged in the world.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Well said my friend,God is just an insurance in case something goes wrong.All religion are fear orientated.Why can't they trust their own intelligence .It needs immense understanding.But people want ready made answers and start believing that which they know nothing about.There is tremendous possibility if only one can sincerely admit that I do not know,then all possibilities of knowing arise with clarity.

I went to the link you gave me but got this error message "This member has not posted any blog entries yet."

http://jthitt.blogs.experienceproject.com/
It works for me, have no idea why you wouldn't be able to use the link.

You're very welcome :)<br />
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I'm a bit perplexed by your faith in the Gnostic Gospels, to be honest. After all, how do you know they're inspired by God? How do you know they're not just the work of man? What evidence have you looked at to support your belief that they are the Word of God? :)

I am agnostic. I do not know if there is a god or not, but the true test of a philosophy is whether it makes your life better. All gospels are the work of men. To me inspired by God is doubtful other than life itself, if there is a God. I have written more about my religious thinking and analysis of the Gnostic Gospel in my blog post - Choose Life. http://jthitt.blogs.experienceproject.com/

I agree jtthitt:<br />
Life. Religion. Since it is only fact that I could NOT have both at the same time, I CHOOSE LIFE and with that, the right to believe without manipulation and guilt.

You raise some valid concerns. Warfare, terrorism, corruption and the sexual abuse of innocents are perpetrated by those who claim to serve God and offend our sense of justice. Why does Christianity seem to be at the root of so many problems? <br />
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The fault lies, not with all Christianity or with the Bible, but with false Christianity. Its "false apostles [] transform themselves into apostles of Christ” deceiving, corrupting, defrauding, abusing and killing millions upon millions the world over. Their ability to successfully mislead so many should come as no surprise since “Satan himself” has had great success in misleading many for thousands of years, “transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works" - 2 Corinthians 11:13,14. Jesus Christ indicated that false Christianity produces bad works, just as a “rotten tree produces worthless fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17) What fruit does false Christianity yield? <br />
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False Christianity . . . <br />
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MEDDLES IN WAR AND POLITICS: “Across Asia and beyond,” says the journal Asiaweek, “power-hungry leaders are cynically manipulating people’s religious sentiments for their own needs.” As a result, the journal warns: “The world threatens to sink into madness.” A prominent religious leader in the United States declared: “You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops.” His solution? “Blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” By contrast, the Bible says: “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20) Jesus even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) How many religions can you think of whose members engage in war? <br />
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SPREADS FALSE DOCTRINE: Most religions teach that the soul or spirit is some invisible part of a human that survives the death of the physical body. By means of this teaching, many of these religions exploit their members, charging money to pray for departed souls. However, the Bible teaches a different doctrine. “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Jesus taught that the dead will be resurrected—an unnecessary action if humans had an immortal soul. (John 11:11-25) Does your religion teach that the soul does not die? <br />
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TOLERATES IMMORAL SEX: In Western lands, church groups ordain gay and lesbian members of the clergy and urge governments to recognize same-sex marriages. Even churches that condemn immorality have tolerated religious leaders who have sexually abused children. What, though, does the Bible teach? It plainly states: “Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men . . . will inherit God’s kingdom.” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Do you know of religions that condone immoral sex? <br />
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All of this “worthless fruit” is the reason so many millions have turned their backs on God and embraced Atheism, Witchcraft and Islam (Matthew 7:15-17) .<br />
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What does the future hold for religions that produce rotten fruit? Jesus warned: “Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 7:19) Yes, false Christianity will be chopped down and destroyed! But how and when will this happen? A prophetic vision recorded in the Bible book of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, provides the answer. <br />
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Picture the scene. A harlot is sitting on the back of a fearsome beast. The beast has seven heads and ten horns. (Revelation 17:1-4) Whom does the harlot represent? She exerts influence “over the kings of the earth.” She dresses in purple, uses incense, and is exceedingly wealthy. In addition, by means of her spiritistic practice, ‘all the nations are misled.’ (Revelation 17:18; 18:12, 13, 23) The Bible helps us to see that this harlot is a worldwide religious entity. She depicts, not any one religion, but all religions that produce rotten fruit. <br />
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The beast that the harlot rides pictures the world’s political powers. (Revelation 17:10-13) False religion straddles the back of this political beast, attempting to influence its decisions and to control its direction. <br />
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Soon, though, an amazing event will take place. “The ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.” (Revelation 17:16) In a sudden, shocking move, the world’s political powers will turn on false religion and completely destroy her! What will prompt this action? The Bible book of Revelation answers: “God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought.” (Revelation 17:17) Yes, God will call false Christianity to account for all the despicable acts she has committed in his name. In a stroke of perfect justice, he will use her political paramours as his instrument of execution. <br />
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What must you do if you do not want to share the fate of false religion? “Get out of her, my people,” urges God’s messenger. (Revelation 18:4) Indeed, now is the time to flee from false Christianity! But to where can you flee? Not into atheism, since its future is also bleak. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9) The only haven is within true Christianity. How can you identify true Christianity? <br />
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What good fruit should true Christianity produce?—Matthew 7:17. <br />
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True Christianity . . . <br />
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PRACTICES LOVE: Of the very first Christians many were forced to acknowledge, "See, said they, how they love one another, and are ready to lay down their lives for each other." (Tertulian, Apology c. 39) History shows that the same can be said of Jehovah's Witnesses. <br />
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True worshippers are “no part of the world,” are not divided by race or culture, and display ‘love among themselves.’ (John 13:35; 17:16; Acts 10:34, 35) Rather than killing one another, they are willing to die for one another.—1 John 3:16. <br />
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Instead of being "intolerant and divisive," true Christianity, ba<x>sed on the Bible, is "broadly inclusive." The apostle Peter said: "God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him."—Acts 10:34, 35. With over 7.5 MILLION+ members in 236 lands we are a worldwide brotherhood united in worship of Jesus' God, Jehovah. http://bit.ly/pHfvRj <br />
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TRUSTS GOD’S WORD: Instead of teaching “tradition” and “commands of men as doctrines,” true Christianity ba<x>ses its doctrine on God’s Word, the Bible. (Matthew 15:6-9) Why? Because “all sc<x>ripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.”—2 Timothy 3:16. <br />
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STRENGTHENS FAMILIES AND UPHOLDS HIGH MORAL STANDARDS: True Christianity trains husbands to ‘love their wives as their own bodies,’ helps wives to develop ‘deep respect for their husbands,’ and teaches children to ‘be obedient to their parents.’ (Ephesians 5:28, 33; 6:1) In addition, those entrusted with positions of authority must have exemplary morals.—1 Timothy 3:1-10.

Thank you. There are many wise sayings in your post. I commend your enthusiasm. I am mostly an agnostic and quite comfortable with the idea that there are many things I do not know. However, I thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is much commendable in what you say. I doubt the accuracy of any document edited by men. But if all scripture is inspired of god, I would commend the Gnostic Gospels to you. They will perhaps give you a new perspective on Jesus real message.

Actually, the Bible canon was well established before Constantine came on the scene. It was completed before the end of the 1st century CE. Constantine was born in the 3rd century CE. Incidentally, the Gnostic Gospels were written between the 2nd and 3rd centuries. This coupled with the fact that, available today, there are thousands and thousands of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manusc<x>ripts of the Bible should alleviate any concerns about the composition of the Bible canon. In fact, no other ancient writings are as well attested to as the Bible's. When you compare these manusc<x>ripts to modern Bibles it's clear that these accurately render the ancient texts. As such, there's no reason to worry that additions, deletions, edits, margin notes or other changes have affected the text of today's Bibles :)

Obviously, if there are logical inconsistencies in my observations I will be forever indebted to you for pointing them out. That I think is the value of experience project. However, over 300,000 variations from ancient manuscripts have been documented by religious scholars. I would suggest " Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman. A good example of how a simple mis-translation changes things. When Jesus said to the thief on the cross was it: "Verily I say unto you, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise" or was it "Verily I say unto you this day, thou shalt be with me in paradise." ? Also virgin was a mistranslated word. The trinity is a forgery according to most scholars, the list is very long and raise significant questions of biblical innerancy. More importantly, the obvious history of violence oppression, murder and mayhem associated with Christianity raises significant question of who exactly christens worship. Not that the bible is inerrant, however the quote seem to fit: "by their fruit yea shall know them"

Hmmm, if you're not getting your views on Jesus from the Bible what are they ba<x>sed on? :)

The bible was created 400 years after Jesus death at the Council of Nicaea by the Catholic church and Emperor Constantine. There were many gospels at that time purporting to tell Jesus message. Supposedly 85 illiterate voters were convened and could not reach a conclusion of which of these books to include in the bible. The books were left under a table and in the morning some were found on top of the table, and it was decided that God had intervened to show which books were his divinely inspired words. Emperor Constantine's interest are highly suspect. He was a worshiper of Mithra, one of many sun gods that were worshiped thousands of years prior to Jesus. All the sun gods were born of a Virgin in a stable or cave, had 12 disciples, were crucified or died on a cross or tree, were resurrected in three days, were the light and savior of the world and were a sacrifice for our sins among other similarities. The council of Nicaea among other things determined that Jesus was God. According to biblical scholars, the trinity doctrine is a well documented forgery by the church and was not included in the original manuscripts that were adopted by the council of Nicaea as the books of the bible. My views on Jesus are from the bible as well as the Gnostic Gospels. If you consider Jesus message, the bible has huge inconsistencies. Many christian doctrines are in direct contradiction to Jesus teachings. Sacrificing anyone would be in direct violation of thou shalt not kill and be yea kind one to another. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven was at hand ie. here and now and that some present at that time would not taste death before it's arrival. In my opinion he was talking about a shift in consciousness, not life after death. Either he was wrong, or Christianity's take on eternal life really being eternal death is wrong. According to Jesus, god is love. According to Christianity, god is a vengeful, punitive, violent, torturing psychopath, far worse than even Adolph Hitler. It is amazing that sane people could worship such a monster.

How very interesting. I'm curious though, if you believe the Bible was authored by Satan to mislead mankind why should you believe Jesus was real? :)

Because, I like his philosophy. Ever read the Gnostic Gospels? I believe they were much closer to the truth. Why do you suppose the Catholic Church spent so much time trying to suppress them and kill their advocates? Jesus being real doesn't mean that Christianity is correct or that the bible is accurate. In my opinion when Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, he was objecting to the violence of sacrifice. To suppose that he advocated sacrifice is absurd. Paul a pharisee did and Paul created sacrificial Christianity, not Jesus. Jeramiah's admonition to not take up the ways of the heathen was specifically an admonition to avoid animal sacrifice, certainly human sacrifice would be even more offensive. Sacrifice is primitive mans attempt to appease a violent God. God according to Jesus is love, and would never require or advocate sacrifice or other violence.

I wonder, what do you make of all the highly specific prophecies in the Bible which were fulfilled precisely as predicted? :)

In the bible it specifically says that in the last days there will be many false teachers that will profess to follow Christ, but are actually anti-christ. This is, I believe, referring to Christianity in general. So the fact that there are accurate predictions in the bible does not mean that it is the infallible world of God, or that Christianity is sponsored by God. In my opinion, the primary things that are anti-christ are human sacrifice, worshiping a man, eternal punishment, a violent vengeful God, and judgmental intolerance. Christianity is primarily concerned with death and preparing for it rather than this life. Whereas all of Jesus teaching was about the kingdom of heaven here and now and eternal life. I honestly believe the bible was authored by Satan to mislead people, but reasonable minds can disagree.

If I could ask, have you ever read the Bible in its entirety? :)

yes, why do you ask

Okay, you have just answered one of my questions.<br />
I feel this way as well.<br />
Do you really think that no good can come from evil things?<br />
I will have to ponder that further.<br />
Your writing is heartfelt and passionate. <br />
Excellent.<br />
Thank you.

Like begets like. Good does not come from evil, however bad things in our life can be learning opportunities to see reality better and realize that nothing is ever bad or good except thinking makes it so. The exception to this in my philosophy would be life and death. I am uncertain if there is an afterlife or if we are reincarnated etc. I doubt it, but will not know until later. I actually hope I am wrong about this. But until I know, I'm going to lean toward things that promote more and better life are good and things that led to death and cessation of life are bad. At least for now that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

i think this sums up how i think about religion.....