Monday, June 04, 2007

A Cult of Freedom

I am constantly struck by how Christian most Western Atheism is. To quote myself "It is not that Atheists have no god that I have a problem with, many religions have no god, but that they have no religion".

Most religions grew up with "belief" in what was "common knowledge" in their time and culture. The God, or gods resided in the most impressive local landmark, and "religion" was seamless with the rest of existence.

As non western societies grew, their religions grew in place, and great thought was spent in the nature of society and the best way to operate within it.

As Rome was a hodgepodge of such groups, and there was a political class that wished to use Religion as a method of creating power for themselves, religion became something separate from location and culture, and took on the need for enforced "belief" in what could be observationally disproved, or illogical, as well as much that seemed unlikely, and self promoting by those in charge.

Some like "Secular Humanists" have attempted to accomplish an Atheistic Religion, but managed the worst of all cases. The most grievous crime perhaps, of attaching the word "Secular" to a religion, and thus giving Fundies cause to demand equal time with such Secular pursuits as Chess, or Cricket. But also in its antitheist dogmatism, becomes a jihad against other religions and invites the same, but still glosses over those ethics concepts that the Fundies have dodged to keep from accusing themselves.

Confucian thinking is intensely Chinese, and based on an anti Democratic, anti freedom, Imperial mode. It does however offer a glimpse of what a religion can be, that demands no fantasy but an ideal that all humans can aspire to, and methods to make life better for all.

Unfortunately like a Cult that combines celebrating free thought and many opinions, with individual freedom, it is a great challenge to accomplish.


  1. Those concepts are not antithetical to faith either. As a Christian, I believe in respecting and honoring the beliefs (or non-belief) of others, whether or not they agree with mine.

  2. In this particular case I was speaking primarily of many contemporary Atheists, being very narrow by treating the Christian God as impossible, and the many anachronistic reality descriptions as obviously foolish, therefore all religion is useless.

    It has long been a fantasy of mine that we could grow a religion that was not obsessive of a distant land, or at odds with scientific reality, able to grow by discussion rather than dogmatism, and still provide the positive aspects that religions often have.

    Like Confucianism, it would indeed be possible that a Christian or any person could embrace it, if they were not too dogmatic about the provably inaccurate (creationism as example). That would be the discussion part.

    What would not be a good thing is to just add another tribe to a world tribal war that has too many sides already.

    BTW it is only those who use their religious dogma as proof of their ability to disrespect, and indeed subjugate, anyone who thinks differently from them that has my virulent opposition.

    There are many such groups, but the biggest threat to Americans, rather than Islamists, are the Dominionists who believe themselves Christian.

  3. I fully agree. You might want to check my editorial series called 'The Religious Left'.

  4. I like your articles! You are very good at articulating your perspective and hey... I happen to agree with you!
    Regarding religion, there are a few who try to avoid the dogma of Christianity/Muslim/Buddhism, etc. I went to a wonderful "church" outside of San Diego which taught that there were many paths to the top of the mountain, and each path had it's own unique beauty and hazards, yet they were all on the same mountain, heading for the same peak. This church also was excellent at reconciling science and religion, understanding that the two are not mutually exclusive. Rather they study the realm of metaphysics and quantum physics as part of the overall spiritual nature of humans.
    When I moved away from San Diego, I went to other churches that belonged to the same philosophy, but the ministers belief were always different, which would skew the basic concepts. I'm still looking for a spiritual leader who I can relate to and relate with.

    For less dogmatic spiritual principals, check out churches like Unitarian/Universilist, Religious Science (the church I found in San Diego), or Unity - although Unity tends to lean to close to Christianity for my taste, they are liberal and do not exclude anyone from joining them.

    It was great chatting with you last night in Thom's chatroom. :-)
    Kelly in Portland




One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come