Tag Archives | God

Praying To A Tree Trunk: Will The Tree Trunk Help?

Divinity-of-Doubt-Bugliosi-Vincent-9781593156299One of the main things people pray for is peace. But there have already been trillions upon trillions of prayers for peace through the years, yet peace remains as elusive as mercury, as groups and factions and nations persist in warring viciously with each other, the violence continuing unabated.

Wouldn’t one think that people would finally come to the realization that either there’s no one up there listening to their prayers for peace, or if there is, he doesn’t have the power to stop the violence, or if he does, he has no desire to do so? That they may just as well be praying to a tree trunk?

I’ve been told there is some religious sect in the Himalayan Mountains that has been praying for peace, twenty-four hours a day in shifts, for more than five hundred years. Nuns of the Franciscan Sisters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, have been praying for world peace in thirty-minute rotating shifts twenty four hours a day in an unbroken chain of perpetual prayers dating back to 1878.… Read the rest

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Was ‘God’s Wife’ Edited Out Of The Bible?

goddestTIME ponders the suppression of an omnipotent female counterpart to the male God solo-featured in Judeo-Christianity. Was this where the great Middle Eastern religions went wrong?

Some scholars say early versions of the Bible featured Asherah, a powerful fertility goddess who may have been God’s wife.

Research by Francesca Stavrakopoulou, a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, unearthed clues to her identity, but good luck finding mention of her in the Bible. If Stavrakopoulou is right, heavy-handed male editors of the text all but removed her from the sacred book.

What remains of God’s purported other half are clues in ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in an ancient Canaanite coastal city, now in modern-day Syria. Inscriptions on pottery found in the Sinai desert also show Yahweh and Asherah were worshipped as a pair, and a passage in the Book of Kings mentions the goddess as being housed in the temple of Yahweh.

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What’s So Great Up There in Heaven?

Divinity-of-Doubt-Bugliosi-Vincent-9781593156299The main objective of the Christian scheme of life and death is to get to heaven after we die. Why? Because that's where God is, and heaven without God would be like a sunny day without sunshine, an innate contradiction. Christians want to be with God because, they say, he is all-perfect, and eternity with him will be beyond the greatest happiness imaginable. But how many people stop to ask why this will be so. Okay, so God is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even greater. So what? What will this do for me? As they used to say years ago in my hometown of Italian, Slavic, and Nordic immigrants in northern Minnesota to measure the value of what one was doing, "Will it put a chicken on the table [to eat]?" How does God's being so great and wonderful translate into our happiness being far greater than we could ever imagine if we are there with him? I don't get it. So he's incredible and magnificent and perfect and everything else, and I, along with millions of others, am by his side. Now what? Where do we go from there? I mean, what will we do in heaven besides worshiping the Lord? All manner of pleasurable things have been envisioned by people through the years about heaven, the Disneyland of the Christian imagination...
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God’s Name Is “Jealous”

TimmyThe following is another chapter from my disinformation book, 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Volume 2, published in 2004. For more on me go to The Memory Hole or follow me @RussKick on Twitter.

There’s an old joke that says God’s name is Harold, as in: “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name…”

The strange thing is, that’s not too much off the mark, only the truth is even weirder. The Lord does indeed have a name, kind of like Andrew or Beth or José.

It’s right there in the Bible, at Exodus 34:14. Moses has trudged up Mount Sinai with a second pair of stone tablets, on which God will write the Ten Commandments. Moses and the Big G engage in some repartee, then God says:

“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”

This is straight out of the King James Version.… Read the rest

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NASA Completes 52-Year Mission To Find And Kill God (Video)

Kirk Asks "Why Does God Need A Starship?"I have one question: Was James T. Kirk involved with this mission? Via the Onion:
After more than five decades of tireless work, brave exploration, and technological innovation aimed at a single objective, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Wednesday that it had finally completed its mission to find and kill God. "I am ecstatic to tell you all today that we have beheld the awesome visage of the supreme architect of the cosmos, and we have murdered Him," jubilant administrator Charles Bolden said after being drenched with champagne by other celebrating NASA employees. "There have been innumerable setbacks, missteps, and hardships over the past 50 years, but we always stayed true to our ultimate goal and we never gave up." "We finally got the son of a bitch!" Bolden continued. "He's dead! God is dead!"
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Atheists Get Angry At God

Michelangelo's image of God in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo's image of God in the Sistine Chapel

You have to laugh at the irony of this: atheists profess not to believe in God but frequently express anger at the entity they don’t believe in. Elizabeth Landau reports for CNN:

If you’re angry at your doctor, your boss, your relative or your spouse, you can probably sit down and have a productive conversation about it. God, on the other hand, is probably not available to chat.

And yet people get angry at God all the time, especially about everyday disappointments, finds a new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

It’s not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image – that is, what they imagined God might be like – said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

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God May Not Be the Theoretical Higgs Boson: SHE May Be the Already-Discovered Weak Force

Dickey Eason

Dickey Eason

We all have our ideas about how the world and universe work. Some of us see the hand of “God” in everything. Others are atheists or agnostics—still others are guided by spirituality. But no matter where we are on the “believe” spectrum, most of us see a rather benign universe. By that I mean that we do not see specific forces struggling with one another in the cosmos once we get away from earth, which is interesting to me. We see conflict and battles on earth but not in the rest of the universe.

We view it much as we do a documentary—no plots, no dynamics—just an intriguing show. We look at ourselves—human life on earth—as being the real show. But that separation has, I believe, caused us to distort our perceptions of the Big Picture. I think if we start seeing the natural conflicts that exist in the universe, then we might start the process that leads to fewer human conflicts on earth.… Read the rest

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Stephen Hawking: God Was Not Needed To Create The Universe

Stephen Hawking says the Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe -- reported in the Telegraph:
The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed. In his latest book, The Grand Design, an extract of which is published in Eureka magazine in The Times, Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” He added: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”...
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Thinking About God Calms Believers, Stresses Atheists

Brain ScanWhat does thinking about God do to agnostics though? Report from Live Science:

Researchers have determined that thinking about God can help relieve anxiety associated with making mistakes. However, the finding only holds for people who believe in a God.

The researchers measured brain waves for a particular kind of distress response while participants made mistakes on a test.

Those who had been prepared with religious thoughts had a less prominent response to mistakes than those who hadn’t.

“Eighty-five percent of the world has some sort of religious beliefs,” says Michael Inzlicht, who cowrote the study with Alexa Tullett, both at the University of Toronto-Scarborough.

“I think it behooves us as psychologists to study why people have these beliefs; exploring what functions, if any, they may serve.”

With two experiments, the researchers showed that when people think about religion and God, their brains respond differently—in a way that lets them take setbacks in stride and react with less distress to anxiety-provoking mistakes.

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