Category Archives: religion

It is the journey that matters

It’s not the end
Not the kingdom come
It is the journey that matters
— Wanderlust by Nightwishes

I think I know why I’ve been happy recently — I found the meaning of life.

And the funny thing is that I found the meaning of life without actually realizing I found it. The trigger to my realization was a video called Music and Life (by Alan Watts) (it’s short enough, I promise).

Zen … does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
Alan Watts — The Way of Zen, pt. 2, ch. 2 (1957)

I think I’m starting to like this Zen thingy.

As it’s the journey that matters, and not the end, being an inquisitive type, I of course started thinking about the end of the journey. And I found out I’m not really scared. When I’m dead, there will simply be void. The same one there was before I was born (or, before I was conscious (btw, this post is not big enough to contain a discussion about abortion)). It’s actually quite consoling… no matter how bad I fuck up, the worst there can be at the end is void.

The only people who have a reason to be afraid of death are followers of various religions that believe in afterlife. Also, life itself is not the ultimate fun for them, as the eternal afterlife is far more important. Oh well, I just couldn’t do without a little trolling, could I? 8-)

The God Delusion

Recently, Merlijn lent me The God Delusion, a book written by Richard Dawkins. He urged me to read it, but I thought that as an agnostic or weak atheist, I will not be very influenced by reading it. Now I can see how deeply mistaken I was. So, big thanks to Merlijn.

// Side note: While I do not believe in a “personal god” (who reads our minds, knows everything, and crap like that), I think that we can’t completely reject the possibility of a being outside of our universe that created it (and watches it evolve). But if that was the case, it seems very likely that this relationship is recursive, i.e. there are other beings on the same level as this one and there is a being above (and so on, imagine a tree structure). But it seems rather unlikely and artificial as well as purely philosophical (= blabber about something we have no evidence for and aren’t ever likely to have it). //

The God Delusion primarily contains a lot of answers to various questions. Answers, some of which I vaguely felt, but which weren’t clear before.

Sadly I’ve already returned the book, so I can’t quote, but I’d at least like to paraphrase few things that I found interesting:

“We are all atheists, some of us just go few gods further than others.” This is wonderful: funny yet it tells a very important message.

“What impresses me about Catholic mythology is partly its tasteless kitsch but mostly the airy nonchalance with which these people make up the details as they go.” Which continues by pointing out how Pope John Paul II credited some particular saint with guiding bullets during the assasination attempt so that he would survive. WTF?

Dawkins also explains why religion is harmful to society. As I have spent more than 10 years in Catholic schools, I was obviously exposed to several biases and incorrect views (and sometimes even lies, I guess). My math teacher told us very passionately how most scientists believe in God, because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to cope with such complex things as infinity. It didn’t look like a very good reason, but I failed to investigate the facts back then (hey, teachers are supposed to be right). In fact there are much less religious people among scientists than among non-scientists (it isn’t so surprising anymore, now that I think about it). I feel deceived and abused by religion, because I was fed various nonsense by teachers during their task to convert me.

I highly suggest watching Dawkins’ two part documentary on religion:

This documentary is basically a substantially shortened version of The God Delusion (the book), and while not exhaustive, it at least addresses some of the important points. However, I would like you to read the book, as it covers the topic in a much more thourough way.

[Although I don’t currently own the book, I will try to get it (not as easy as you might think) so that I can lend it to my friends (afaik there’s no czech version available, so if you’re czech, you’ll also practice english, which can’t be bad for you).]

Let’s end this post with a question: Why won’t God heal amputees?
That’s a very serious case of discrimination from God’s side, if you ask me…

Thank God I’m an atheist

Actually, I ain’t. I’m more of an agnostic. But it’s a cool quote from Luis Buñuel.

Here, let’s throw a couple random links:

Flame me.

Bible on children killing

While reading fullcontactpoker forums I stumbled upon a post named “What’s so bad with killing children?“. I suggest you to read at least the first page of the thread (later it turned into a series of useless personal attacks). Here is the relevant excerpt from the Bible:

2 Kings, 2:23-24.

23: And he (Elisha) went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
24: And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Pretty hardcore, huh? I’d rather suggest following ninth Satanic rule – “do not harm little children”.

I thought that Bible probably contains more inconsistencies and just plainly weird things, so I made a bit of a searching and found Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. It rocks. It contains full Bible thoroughly commented, you can also search by cathegories (such as contradictions (wouldn’t believe there are so many of them), absurdities, cruelty and violence).

Here an example of absurdity, God was angry because “the earth was filled with violence.” So he killed every living thing to make the world less violent:

Genesis 6:11-13

11: The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12: And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13: And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

But it isn’t really difficult to find many utterly ridiculous things there – actually it is difficult to find a page in Bible without contradictions with other parts. I seriously pity all the people who have chosen the Bible as something to lead them through their lives.

PS: Let the flaming begin, I am prepared to dodge bullets. :-P

Satanism

What does your religion mean for you? Do you think that other religions are wrong?

I am a satanist. More exactly, philosophical satanist (read it through before arguing please). No, it doesn’t mean that I eat children and listen to heavy metal (though sometimes I do, but now I am listening to Enya and it doesn’t make me any less Satanist :-)). I also do not believe in any rituals, I just find them boring.

Satamism, as I understand it, is about harmony with nature. Concerning people, you should be nice to the ones that are nice to you, simply because it is profitable for you. On the other hand, if someone gets in your way and is not nice to you, you have no reason to be nice to him either (and no Christian I know of is nice to people who are not nice to him/her, it is just that Christians are waaaaay too hypocritical). When you are going to harm someone, you should be completely sure you won’t regret it, and if it’s so, then just go on.

Satanism also has a bit different approach to sins than most other religions (though satamism doesn’t even seem to me like a religion, more like anti-religion as there is no god, satamism is a philosophy). If it makes you feel good it is not a sin (that is, if you do not harm other people in the process, you should be careful about that).

Also, in satanism, you are your own god. Satanism makes you more yourself as opposed to Christianism that only makes you more hypocritical (I spent 13 years of my life in Christian schools, I know what I am talking about (hello to all my Christian friends who are rather normal despite their religion), btw did you know that Christians (especially their inquisition) murdered and tortured many more people than Islamists?).
Well, that’s about it, I am open to discussion. :)