Tag Archives | God

Defending God: The Paradox of Violence And Faith

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons, or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?”

– Job 38:31

Despite how one feels about God, or how one defines God, or if God even exists at all, the idea that He needs defense seems a bit weird.

In the quote at the beginning of this post, we see God asking Job if he could change the nature of constellations. Why is this important? The God of the Bible is saying that he was in control of everything. If God plainly says he is in control, then why does he need defending? Why is it that we see him giving a mandate to the Israelites for genocide in the Old Testament?… Read the rest

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If You Hear God You (Usually) Aren’t Crazy

But then again you could be… Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann, a professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University and author of “When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God,” explains at CNN:

In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common.

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On The Death Of Monotheism

Via Soul Spelunker, a celebration of the polytheistic outlook:

In his greatest work, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that “God is dead” … the proclamation of God’s death paves the way for a new epoch of freedom. If centrality suggests control, acentrality suggests theological and psychological liberty.

Humans have always been polytheistic in nature. The word, polytheism, is a way to explain the plurality of living Beings that compose each and every person. Make no mistake, they are real Persons. Monotheism, on the other hand, is the promotion of a single, central figure at the center of the human Microcosm, which we call the Ego. The overinflated Ego is the Minotaur at the center of the maze of existence that consumes all others that challenge his authority. It is a male character because monotheism is very much a patriarchal phenomenon.

Polytheism is just as much a social phenomenon as it is a theological phenomenon.

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Breaking God’s spel?

Users of magick are pretty hot on the idea that the bedrock of their reality manipulation techniques are linguistic. If words are thought control and if you want to become a good spell caster it’s vital you brush up on your articulacy. That includes the basics such as, err, spelling. So, if The Gods really are magick users who manifest their intent with language I suspect this story will annoy them a little more than their followers here suspect. From Oklahoma’s NewsOK:

A Ten Commandments monument is up on the grounds of the state Capitol, but it didn’t pass spell check.

“Remember the Sabbeth day, to keep it holy,” reads one.

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidseruent,” reads the last one.

Rep. Mike Ritze, whose family paid for the monument that was put up Thursday, said the monument company has been contacted and will correct the errors to the words Sabbath and maidservant.

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God in Your Pocket: Temple to Launch Divination App for Faithful

Because your Ouija Board won’t fit in your pocket and the Magic Eight Ball makes it look like you have Elephantitis:

A temple in southern Taiwan is to launch a smartphone app that allows the faithful to seek advice from the heavens while on the move, reports said Saturday.

“With the increasing popularity of smartphones, we will launch our own divination app next year,” said Hung Yang-chen, website designer for Jhen Hai Temple in Pingtung county, according to Central News Agency.

The temple launched a website in 2005 offering online divination services, enabling Internet users to ask heavenly advice about what action to take, whether in love or commerce.

Read more at Raw Story.

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Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?

Victoria Gill reports on a meeting of theologians and scientists to discuss a time before the Big Bang, for BBC News:

Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted – a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang – Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist.

On 15 October, a group of theologians, philosophers and physicists came together for two days in Geneva to talk about the Big Bang.

So what happened when people of such different – very different – views of the Universe came together to discuss how it all began?

“I realised there was a need to discuss this,” says Rolf Heuer, Cern’s director general.

“There’s a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers and theologians the time before or around the Big Bang.”

Cern’s co-organiser of this unusual meeting of minds was Wilton Park – a global forum set up by Winston Churchill.

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Einstein: ‘God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses’

Source: Gazin Auctions

Einstein’s “God Letter” is up for sale at auction. Any bidders? Jessica Ravitz reports for CNN:

Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a “delusion,” one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. “No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Dubbed Einstein’s “God Letter” by the Los Angeles-based auction agency that’s posting it online, the original document will be up for grabs starting Monday. The opening bid: $3 million.

The letter provides a window into the famed genius’s religious beliefs. Einstein wrote it to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, one year before Einstein died, in reaction to Gutkind’s book, “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.”…

[continues at CNN]

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GOD IN SPAAAAAACE! Does Religion Have a Place Among the Stars?

Picture: Ezekiel's Wheel, Artist Unknown (PD)

Via LiveScience:

If and when mankind develops the capacity for interstellar voyage, should religion com along for the ride? A group of religious leaders recently tackled the topic at a symposium in Texas, and opinions were more varied than you might think.

Some argued against it, including a California-based Southern Baptist minister (who has apparently never met his Deep South brethren):

“The only way humanity can survive is if they leave behind the Earth-based religions,” charged Rev. Alvin Carpenter, pastor at First Southern Baptist Church West Sacramento. “If there’s any way to make this fail, bring Earth-bound religions.”

Religions, he argued, breed aggression and conflict, citing the violent history of his own faith, Christianity, in episodes such as the Inquisition and the Crusades. Many religions’ negative stance on homosexuality has driven young gay people to commit suicide, he said.

“When you bring a religion on a starship, you bring the toxicity that we have seen on Earth,” Carpenter argued.

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Did Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Cause The Birth Of Monotheism?

Via New Scientist, a new theory claims that a specific form of genetically-inherited epilepsy among several generations of Egyptian pharaohs is responsible for the sun-inspired visions that led to humanity’s belief in a single supreme god:

Tutankhamun’s mysterious death as a teenager may finally have been explained. And the condition that cut short his life may also have triggered the earliest monotheistic religion, suggests a new review of his family history.

Tuthmosis IV had a religious experience in the middle of a sunny day, recorded in the Dream Stele – an inscription near the Great Sphinx in Giza. But his visions were nothing compared with those experienced by Akhenaten. They encouraged Akhenaten to raise the status of a minor deity called the “sun-disk”, or Aten, into a supreme god – abandoning the ancient Egyptian polytheistic traditions to start what is thought to be the earliest recorded monotheistic religion. If Hutan Ashrafian’s theory is correct, Akhenaten’s religious experiment and Tutankhamun’s premature death may both have been a consequence of a medical condition.

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The Five Heresies (Part 1)

[disinfo ed.'s note: the following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates by Howard Bloom ("I have met God and he lives in Brooklyn" – Richard Metzger), courtesy of the author and Prometheus Books.]

Before we probe for clues to the God Problem, we need to equip ourselves with five tools—the five heresies. Remember the second rule of science: look at things right under your nose as if you’ve never seen them before, then proceed from there. Question your assumptions. To question your assumptions, you have to find them. And that’s the really hard part. But here are five assumptions conveniently overturned for your edification and delight. Five heresies we’ll use to crack the code of cosmic creativity.

  1. A does not equal a.
  2. One plus one does not equal two.
  3. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, that all things tend toward
    disorder, that all things tend toward entropy, is wrong.
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