(A Provisional Metaphysical Theory of Everything)
[As regards] those who seek the right path. When one of them rejects anything as false, he will be lifted towards a better symbol which is nearer to the truth and is not open to that objection; and if he is satisfied with it, he will be left where he is. When that better symbol is also rejected by him as false, he will be lifted to another rank, and if he is then satisfied with it, he will be left where he is.
Whenever a symbol of a given standard is rejected by him as false, he will be lifted to a higher rank, but when he rejects all the symbols as false and has the strength and gift to understand the truth, he will be made to know the truth and will be placed into the class of those who take the philosophers as their authorities.
If he is not yet satisfied with that and desires to acquire philosophical wisdom and has himself the strength and gift for it, he will be made to know it.
NOW I am able to go back to these next two "Christmas Messages" and not want to SCREAM to the world WTF?!? because it just ain't worth getting my blood boiling anymore -- it's not good for me! I'm really glad I read those words above before I started writing this post -- (it's much shorter now!!)
Pope says: Worship God not technology
(out of respect, no comment -- a picture says a thou$sand words
A warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury
(no comment out of respect to my elders -- and an even BETTER pic!)
Now HERE'S something for you two gents to think about --Religion does more harm than good says poll and I have come to this conclusion also. After much soul searching over the past few years about whether or not I, as a mother, should be providing my kids a religious (church) experience, I can now say I made the right choice. I am now seeing the wonderful, happy lives that my three children are experiencing as a result of not belonging to a religion.
This piece by Sam Harris is very timely for us. 10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism
The kids at school seem to be noticing that mine have been absent from CCD for a few years now. Quite a few comments have been made to them this past year about jerseycynic's family being atheists. Up until now, I've just told them to respond "yes, that's right; thank GOD I'm an atheist" and see if anybody gets it!
Now that they are older and able to communicate with their peers on a somewhat intelligent level now, I hope they are able to get these great points across. A lot of kids discuss their family's religious beliefs. It's about time my kids were able to discuss the real deal with friends who care to challenge their minds.
I thought these were great talking points:
Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so.
There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
Tell people you are intellectually honest.
"Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows..."
"There is no question that some Christians have transformed their lives for the better by reading the Bible and praying to Jesus. What does this prove? It proves that certain disciplines of attention and codes of conduct can have a profound effect upon the human mind"
"From the atheist point of view, the world’s religions utterly trivialize the real beauty and immensity of the universe. One doesn’t have to accept anything on insufficient evidence to make such an observation..."
"In most cases, it seems that religion gives people bad reasons to behave well, when good reasons are actually available. Ask yourself, which is more moral, helping the poor out of concern for their suffering, or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it or will punish you for not doing it?"
"We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness."
Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.