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My rebuttal to Matt Clarks 7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me

My rebuttal to Matt Clarks

7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me 

 

You can find this article at:

http://www.walkingtheshoreline.com/7-reasons-why-atheism-makes-no-sense-to-me/

 

greek-pantheon-of-the-gods

 

 

I have copied his numbered points and then wrote my response below them. Also, please remember this blog is reactive to his so if you are not reading his, some things may seem rather random.

 

#1: Because its practitioners don’t believe insignificance but still look for it
And
#4: Because it leaves truth up to individuals

 

I find that many religious folks forget about this thing called a conscience, and they tend to believe that a person who doesn’t believe in a god does not have ethics and morals.

 

If you’re not a full-fledged psychopath, then you have one and it keeps you on a moral and ethical path. That and your family, community, and environment over time add to it.  

As time passes some people stop paying attention to different aspects of their conscience. There’s also those folks who like to add to it and may even insist others do the same. Regardless, all these kinds of deviations are found in every religious and nonreligious people group.  Funny thing about this, atheist make up the least amount of people in prisons. If they didn’t have a conscience, morals, ethics, and a vision of their future, there would be way more.

 

I often describe myself as a science-based atheist cause your right, there are some that get stuck on a glitch and keep repeating the same thing over and over and don’t move on. It’s annoying when religious, atheists, and really anyone does this.

 

The science behind evolution and the big bang have been validated, but what was before all that?  Scientists are still searching. They are gonna make mistakes and their peers are gonna point it out proudly causing them to go back to the drawing board. This is a good thing. 

 

The human mind stays healthy when it’s learning and just like we have instincts to do things to keep ourselves alive and to keep our species alive, our mind is no different. Gods or no gods, a mentally healthy person will do what they can to stay alive and to enjoy life because of instinct.

 

I’m not saying that it’s this way for everyone. Some folks need more than just instinct for various reasons. Saying it’s low IQ or mental illness is not realistic, it’s really a variety, just like anything. Besides our intelligence and mental state, there’s also the environment we were raised in and are currently living in.  


Personally, I’m not looking to disprove deities.

 

When I left Christianity I still believed in the supernatural and the possibility of gods and goddesses. The “there’s only one god” thing didn’t really make any sense anymore. I won’t say there are no gods cause you can’t prove something invisible isn’t there. I just don’t believe there are any gods. However, if there ever happened to be proof of a god or gods I would believe, but, I would not worship it or them.

 

Btw, as a Christian of 38 years, I never saw so clearly how arrogant American Christians are until I left that way of thinking. Well, not all of them are arrogant, but a lot are. And yes, I was too. Thinking that your religion is the correct religion and all other religions are incorrect, and that your god is the only god and all other gods are not only false gods but are demonic in nature, and to add insult to injury by preaching that anyone who doesn’t believe in your religion and obeys its rules and “loves” it’s one god will go to hell and burn for eternity, well, that is some solid arrogance.

 

Truth, in some ways, is relative. There are folks who want to pin it down, make it black and white. But life isn’t that way. In some ways that could be considered easier and I’m sure that’s why some folks want it to be that way. Others want it that way because they can use it to control people.

 

In most cases, besides one’s own conscience, a person’s family and their community decide what is right and what is wrong, what is and what isn’t.

 

Everyone is wrong at many points in their life. We often learn better by mistakes. It’s when we keep repeating those mistakes that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. But making a mistake isn’t a call to stop believing in oneself, it’s a call to learn, adjust, and move forward. If it’s a repetitive mistake, well, that’s a sign one may need outside help. Whether it be family, a sibling, a friend, a therapist, a doctor, a spiritual leader, a trusted community member, a hotline, AAA meetings, and so on, whatever it be, it’s important to get help overcoming the obstacles you can’t seem to conquer.

 

There are things to me that I can never accept. I know in the back of my head that in some cultures they are accepted, but because I know they cause human suffering, I can not, nor will I ever accept them.

 

#2: Because it still requires faith somewhere

 

About the “belittling of faith”, I find it distasteful when people do this. However, I understand that in some settings, like in settings where there are no people that would have their feelings hurt, making jokes about faith can help some people let loose and release some of the pinned up tension they’ve been holding inside. This can also include lots of other things besides faith, like anything causing mental tension.

 

There are some atheists that are founded on faith, but for most of the atheist I know, this is not the case. I’ve seen too many reasons not to believe in Christianity, so if I were to find a reason to believe in deities, the Christian god wouldn’t be one of them. Still, I haven’t found any reason to believe in any god type being. And as I said before, if I did find a reason, if I did find undeniable proof, I would believe but I wouldn’t worship it. Many of the atheists I know feel the same way or at least part of the same way. A more scientific outlook kind of way. We aren’t actually believing there is not an Easter Bunny that lays eggs by faith, just like we aren’t believing there isn’t an all powerful, all seeing, … god by faith. Faith isn’t applicable. 

 

#3: Because it often poses questions that it doesn’t seem to want to answer

 

I agree with some of what you said. Some atheists are philosophical and enjoy the questioning and not necessarily the answers.  I’ve seen that with some humans in general, not just atheists.

 

And I also agree about being able to question. When I was religious, we could question to a point. However, if someone kept at it they were rebuked and shut down. At the time it seemed fair because they were quite annoying. But now that it’s been years and I can ponder this as an outsider, I realize the reason they wouldn’t quit was that they didn’t receive a good answer, and that’s all they wanted. I’ve also met folks both atheist and pagan who in the past were told to leave their Christian church because they had taboo questions. One of them was a child at the time. Their questions were genuine and even now I could easily answer from a Christian perspective, but their pastor/Sunday school teacher felt threatened.

 

I do understand that some people ask questions in a circle, as in circular reasoning. No matter what belief or non-belief, that’s annoying and not worth engaging in.

 

Most atheist I know have studied and researched before making any decision to believe or not believe. When I come across one that hasn’t and is outspoken I kinda cringe cause it’s very obvious and it isn’t pretty.

 

About Epicurus creed, I get it, it makes sense to me. I don’t blame god for all the people starving in third world nations, for the mother trying to suckle their babies but they have no milk so they watch their infants die in their arms. I don’t blame god for taking my dad’s life in such a horribly painful way, I don’t blame god for the suicide bombings and school shootings taking loved ones away from each other. I don’t blame god for the carnage done to women and children around the world. I don’t blame god because I don’t believe there is a god. I wouldn’t blame a fairy tale character or a mythological Titan, and to me, the modern gods are no different.  However, since most people in the world believe in deities, I have to face the issue of god, or no god, and if there is a god then what kind of god.  And that is why Epicurus creed is so relevant.

I’ll repost it from Matt’s blog. Here it is;

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?

 

#5: Because it’s inconsistent with our beliefs about everything else

 

Good point! Maybe it was Michelangelo, or maybe Steve Jobs.

But really, just because we don’t know how or what or who set everything into motion doesn’t mean the things our ancestors made up out of a lack of information and out of superstition is true. While it may seem obvious to some that a male god created everything, it’s obvious to others that were part of a computer program, thus making the programmers the creators or gods. There are many other ideas out there. You can pick one if you want to, but not picking one shouldn’t be looked down on and condemning those who don’t pick your belief of choice isn’t cool and in my opinion, it’s unethical. Personally, while some ideas may seem fun, I’m not convinced of any of them. And not knowing is okay. I enjoy learning and bettering myself and being an inspiration for others. If I have it all figured out, or at least pretend to, I won’t be able to learn, so that’s not happenin.

Btw, for those who don’t know, here’s the definition of the anthropic principle according to Merriam Webster online dictionary.

: either of two principles in cosmology:

a : conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist — called also weak anthropic principle

b : the universe must have properties that make inevitable the existence of intelligent life —called also strong anthropic principle

 

#6: Because it’s usually birthed in a bad religious experience

 

Again, I agree, well, at least in the US.

 

I’ve noticed three types of Atheists, though I’m sure there’s many more, on this subject, this is what I’ve noticed thus far.

 

One is the people born into it or may have had religious parents but were not indoctrinated and had a decent past. They are usually pretty level headed and content. Which makes sense because they haven’t lost their community and loved ones because of making the drastic choice of not following the religion they were born into.
The people born into it that had rocky and difficult upbringings are like anyone in their shoes, some get bitter, some turn to religion, some use it to make them a better person, and so on.  

 

Two is the people who were hurt and are reactive. They’re like little balls of fire ready to explode at any time anywhere. Or if they aren’t the type to explode then they may be easily offended, run, or some other extreme reaction. Often these are the folks who “blame God” or “hate God.” They haven’t healed. A lot of them return to their previous religion.

 

Three, these types have taken their time and didn’t give up their religious notions easily. They studied and researched. Most of these folks can engage in conversation with a spiritual person respectfully and are often open not just to share their experiences and ideas, but also to listen and learn from others. Not that they don’t get exasperated by hearing the same arguments from people who seem to think it’s the first time they’ve heard it. But really most people would be annoyed by that.

 

Some of the folks in the third category cross between two and three because of the way they have been treated by religious folks. They started off nice and understanding and open to learning, but being barraged with circular reasoning, extreme cognitive dissonance, proud ignorance, and bullies has caused them to put up a shield and for some to become offensive.

 

#7: Because of my personal experience

 

While I again agree for the most part, naturally there are exceptions.

I, for one, worked to keep myself from ascribing to a belief system or even non-belief as a reaction to my own personal experience. I won’t say I’ve been perfect with it, but it’s something I check from time to time. I believe part of this may be part of my personality, but I also believe it’s from that time in my life when I was thirty-eight and had a giant rude awakening. I didn’t just wake up to the realization that I was in a cult, I also work up to basically my whole life and that I was lied to about almost everything I was taught. Once I was ready to start rebuilding my life I decided I wanted to have a foundation of truth even if the truth was unpleasant. This is why I didn’t jump at the opportunity to become an atheist. It was several years before I realized that I no longer believed deities existed. I do my best to take a scientific stance, and science is an ever learning field.

 

No one can claim that something they can’t see, feel or touch doesn’t exist. They can personally not believe in it, but they can’t disprove it. That’s why the burden of proof is on the claimer/believer. If someone told me that there are invisible, untouchable, flying unicorn horses shooting rainbows out their butts, I can choose to believe or not believe. However, if I don’t believe, it’s not my job to prove such creatures don’t actually exist. That job would belong to the claimer. It’s really quite simple.

 

I was a firm believer and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ for the first 38 years of my life. I was immersed in the Bible and I took my “relationship” with Jesus very seriously. Over the years I too witnessed and had miracles, saw people hear from the Lord speak from a prophet, pastor and lay people, and be point-on. I’ve felt the presence of the Holy Ghost and so on. For all those years besides all the indoctrination, I also had a solid background of things that added up in my mind. What I was lacking was an education. I’m not saying religious folks aren’t educated, but I was one that wasn’t. I was taught that a person who is truly saved doesn’t get depressed and that meds for mental issues like depression open one’s mind up to demonic oppression and possibly possession. I was taught that psychologist, psychiatrists, therapist, and counselors, including Christian ones, were bad. That people who went to college were in danger of being fooled and believing lies and losing their soul. Not that we didn’t know folks who were educated and active Christians, they were exceptions I guess. So, although I studied and researched back then because my material was influenced by the religious community, I was quite ignorant.

 

I believe that my parents were afraid that if I pursued a college education I would get smart and start seeing the lies they and others had been feeding me. I believe this is a common fear in many religious communities. Even back then I would have found it silly. Personally, I wasn’t afraid of going to college. If something is solidly true, why the fear?

 

I learned over the years little by little that the things I saw as miracles and words from the Lord were basically the same as a magic show, slight of hand, a trick of the eye, and psychological games. For all those amazing testimonies of healing I heard from others, I have to admit my gullibility which many people just won’t do. Those folks were likely lying or misinformed. By misinformed, I mean that when we don’t have an answer for how something happened we tend to label it a miracle when in fact there likely is a scientific reason we just don’t know about. For folks who say they saw this miracle and that miracle and there was no way it was caused by any outside force other than god, I’d like to remind you of your modern appliances and home equipment. For instance your TV and computer. If you walk outside you will not see a big projector shining into your window causing the image to appear on your screen. We know it’s not a miracle because we grew up being told what it really was whether we remember and whether we understand it or not, we just know it’s a science thing that’s true. Many things people see as miracles and supernatural, from a person trained in that field, there is a logical explanation. But when you really want to believe it’s a miracle or that you’re hearing from the Lord, it’s easy to dismiss the science behind it and ignore it even when it’s presented to you.  I’ve personally seen people get angry over this. Our desires are strong and we guard them often ferociously and often subconsciously. Hearing from god, prophets and so on was a big one for me. My ex-cult leader was considered a prophet. I saw him tell folks about themselves that he never met before and knew nothing about. It was amazing and exciting to see the Lord at work. Now I understand that there are people that are very good at reading people. The little things like a slight expression change and body stance add up and all mean something to a person who notices it and comprehends what it means. I do believe there are people who are inclined to have this ability more naturally that don’t realize they have it. In that case, I can understand why they think they are hearing from a god or spirit. There’s also a lot of liars. I know I keep saying this, but, it’s true. People fib… often, they even lie to themselves. Many, over time, end up believing their own lies. It’s a psychological thing. This is a major plus for religion.

 

So, yeah, I held on to beliefs for as long as I could but one by one I learned the truth behind the illusions wither I liked it or not. Sure, there are still many things I don’t know about or understand, and that’s actually pretty cool cause that means I get to keep learning and discovering. I’m also okay with being wrong. Once I learn I am wrong about something it gives me a better opportunity to learn more truth.  

Back to psychology, many so-called miracles can be explained by how our brain works and thinks. While it may be disappointing to some when a miracle bubble is burst, I think learning how our brains work is just as fascinating. This explains why people all over the world with very different beliefs experience the same exact miracles, healings, words from the supernatural, that amazing feeling, and so on. It’s not because all beliefs are correct, that wouldn’t actually work for quite a few of them, but it does add up when you start learning how amazing our very own brain actually is and how what we know is small compared to the knowledge that has been gathered by humans and that is small compared to what we will learn in the future. Life is still very exciting without the aid of deities.

 

As far as folks getting “saved” often, I keep telling people that it’s in style to be a Christian in the US at this time. Actually, if one is an atheist or Muslim, they are often looked down on. They may even lose their job and friends or can’t make friends because of it. It certainly is quite difficult to get elected if you don’t claim to be a Christian. I really can’t blame people for lying about being a Christian just to get voted for in politics and other national and local voting things. I don’t think I could lie about it, I don’t think it’s necessarily right, but I understand it.  There are some places in the US where this doesn’t apply. But as a whole, Christianity at this time in history is being used to dominate and even bully its way not just into everything, but into being in charge and having the last say in everything. It seems like every reality show I watch on TV, like the news and reality shows and so on, someone brings up being a Christian and how important their faith in Jesus is. Their words are always met by the loudest applause of the night and often met with praise later on in some way. It’s one thing to be proud of your beliefs, but it’s another to push them on to others.  

 

About Matt’s ending remarks.

I appreciate this invitation to share beliefs and reasonings in a respectful manner. Although I am an atheist, being a science-based atheist I know that I don’t and will never know everything. Just because someone may be a Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Pagan, Mormon or Satanist, etcetera, doesn’t mean they do not have an intelligent brain and that they have nothing to bring to the table. Being divided is a great way to halt progress. I’m pro progress and I believe in coexisting. I will ask you to please understand that those who have been hurt by religion need time to heal at their own pace and coexisting may sound horrible to them. That’s is perfectly understandable. Laying judgmental thoughts aside and giving people room is important. Like Matt said, “We’re all people on a journey trying to discover the truth in our own lives.”

define atheist

 
Written on 6/30/18 & 7/4/18.

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My thoughts and memories after watching the video about the Islamic ‘Feminist’ Cult.

I’m having trouble attaching the video link on here. For now you can click on one of the links bellow and you should be taken to the video by either one. Also, I had trouble with the formatting. I’ll try to remember to go back in and see if i can fix things later. 
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Islamic Feminist Cult interview by Broadly

This is a snap shot, not the actual video. The link to the video is bellow.

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Watching the ladies sit there and defend their state of being with a sound of convinced authority that is well rehearsed gave me a sickie feeling. The same with watching them move to the music on cue. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it at the time, so I just chalked it off to how strange it all was…
Until now.
While the cult I was in, for me, wasn’t glamorous. There was no makeup allowed, no pants for woman, those who had money were given church positions and allowed to teach from time to time. Those who didn’t, like me, were expected to take care of everyone else along with tithing and offerings regardless of how it affect the kids and myself. Still, there was something familiar after all.

I remember defending my “church” with the same authoritative conviction. Back then I wouldn’t have agreed that it was rehearsed, but in a way it was. I spent hours, days and weeks in church and Bible study having the prophets teachings drilled into me over and over. Than, I would go over them in my own head and fit the lessons into place like a puzzle securing the cognitive dissonance with a thicker and thicker bubble membrane. So, when challenged, I mean asked, I had it all down pat. I could defend my faith with the same intensity and conviction as that one lady who did the most talking. It felt good, it made me feel strong, and even invincible in a way. No matter how much I was taken advantage of, or how much I was put in my place in front of everyone, or how much it was a struggle to take care of my kids because the leader was sucking the finances out of us, it was those moment that refueled me and made me feel like it was all worth it, that God was working through me, and that was my life’s desire.

 

Then there’s the odd “dancing” to the music. What was so familiar about that? Oh, yeah, we looked way more genuine. Lol! Raising our hands, swaying, closing our eyes, singing and calling out our praises to Jesus and speaking in tongues. I never really did the mad dancing and running around the church like my hair was on fire stuff. But I was happy for most of the folks who did. The ones I wasn’t happy for were the ones faking it. Oh my goodness, if that isn’t judgmental…
I remember this one young lady who, like the rest of us, was being pressured into being filled with the Holy Ghost. One night at a church service she went forward to be “blessed” and ended up braking out into a dance while having hands laid on her.
For those who are not failure with this, it’s where the preacher or evangelist or prophet, apostle, elder, pastor, and so on… would put his hands on a persons head and loudly pray over them for various things like being filled with the Holy Ghost, being delivered from this and that, and so on and on. It gets very intense and usually the person being prayed over gets a jolt of “electricity,” hollers out, maybe spins around, and goes to dancin “in the holy ghost while the congregation applauds and yells things and stomps to the off beat of the super loud rythm and hittin the tambourine to the music. Some of the congregation will get the jolt of electricity feeling and either run out to the isle and start dancing or running or they start jerking back and forth threatening the structure of the pew.
So, back to that young lady who started dancin. Later, when we were no longer in the church building and it was just our small group our leader, aka prophet, aka Elder, let into her about fakin it.
Man, I just have to shake my head and pause when I think about this. Not everyone who gets “touched by the holy spirit” is faking, there is this thing called group mentality and a lot of people can be effected by it. Not that it’s actually a spiritual being effecting them, but rather a state of mind. But for those who aren’t affected, well, some feel judged or left out or like they won’t be admired and respected. Thus the faking, and there is a lot of that going on too.
I don’t just feel annoyed by the way that young lady was called out for faking because it’s common to fake it, or just because the person who called her out was using the opportunity to use the incident as a means to dig his claws deeper into our heads, but because letting it all out, wither it’s dancing, running like a crazy person, hollerin out words that are understandable and not understandable is a much better way to get the stress of life out than doing harm. Judging people and calling them out for faking it or doing it wrong, is not okay. Also, I just gotta add, falling on the ground, aka slayn in the spirit, in a place that is well trafficked is just plain stupid. If it really was a good god spirit that was “blessing” you, it wouldn’t lay you out where someone dancing in stilettos might put your eye out, for cryin out loud. So if you’re gonna get touched by the spirit, be it faked or group mentality, as in you might think it’s really the ghost of god, then please proceed with enough of your brain to keep you and others, and the pew, safe from harms way. Thank you.
Back to the trance like dancing while sitting ladies in the video. I remember that sometimes I felt very uncomfortable with what was happening around me. Still, I maintained the “blessed by god” appearance. While singing most of the church songs was fun, raising my hands and really trying to concentrate the Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t. My arms would hurt like crazy, my mind would wander and I would feel so bad about that. It was basically torture. I wanted to please the Lord, but often found myself mentally beating myself up instead. I was sincere, which was the problem. I can understand why those ladies sit there and have poker faces that turn to fake looking smiles as they “dance.” I understand the desire for it all to be real and the mental torture when I fell short. I may not have looked like a Stepford wife, but my mind was trapped just as much as theirs likely is.
Just because they appear to live in affluence doesn’t mean they are happy. To me, they didn’t look genuine. But then again they are from another culture so tale tale signs may be different than what I’m used to. If they really are genuinely happy then that’s wonderful. I doubt it, but I’m okay being wrong.
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stepford wives series pic

 

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The Youtube channel called Only Human posted this lovely video about an amazing artist. The video is titled Child Prodigy is a Self-Made Millionaire from Selling Her Incredible Paintings SuperHuman: Geniuses.
I added my thoughts about it under the video.  

 

 

My thoughts on this story. 

First I’d like to say that I enjoyed watching this video. Though I may have a different perspective on some things, this young lady is exceptional and her art work is enchanting. Though I can’t know for sure, it appears that though her family is benefiting from her talent, they don’t appear to be taking advantage of her. They all work for her and are doing a grand job. It’s seems that they are quite the team. I hope I am right in saying that she is fortunate to have them.

I really like what her mother said about her schooling and about education for children in general. Personally I found it easier to learn challenging things once I understood what those things were for and why I needed them. Other wise I either failed or did poorly on the tests and when I did well it was from short term memory unlike the subjects I liked and or understood their value in my regard.

I’m not actually a home school advocate, I believe it can be helpful in certain cases at certain times, and other times quite the opposite. But public school and parochial school also have their issues so I believe the same about them.

I also thought her mother had a good point about what other children are doing with their time.

Regarding “god” directing her, if there are gods well than there ya go, they are helping her. And I wouldn’t want to take that from her, not that I could, but I am happy for her success and happiness regardless.  However, it would be nice if the god or gods would do the same for children who are starving to death in countries that oppress them. Not with art, but with guidance on how to fix the situation for themselves and the rest of the starving and oppressed in the world. While some may say that’s impossible, well, so is a four year old doing the kind of art this young lady was doing at that age.

I believe the god she hears is a part of her subconscious. She is obviously gifted and likely is gifted in more areas than just art. It’s possible she has very keen perception and an extraordinary memory. It makes sense. After all, for artists who paint life with such detail making their art look alive takes perception and memory.

The reason I bring up memory is because her dad said they didn’t read the Bible so they were surprised she knew the spiritual things she claimed god was telling her. (I did not quote him word for word.) It would not be surprising if she was around other people who talked about such things wither it was to her or just near her. Just because her parents weren’t interested doesn’t mean her young self wasn’t either. Maybe conscious or subconscious or both, add that to a gifted memory and you have yourself a spiritual prodigy.

Like many people, when one finds themselves surprisingly talented at something, it’s common to attribute the ability to a deity and not to psychology and ones own ability as it is. I think most folks don’t understand the amazing things the human brain is capable of. Like prophets and fortune tellers, some are quite accurate and even many of them believe it’s a spiritual gift. They don’t understand the psychology behind their own ability. Most likely they have been paying attention while others are not. They see the little things, even small facial expressions and body movements that other people don’t pick up on. They likely hear the things others hear as filler words and don’t pay attention to. They may even think everyone else is like them, so knowing things about people that others don’t is amazing to them as well because they don’t understand their own brain. They give the glory/credit to god, gods, the goddess, spiritual beings, spirit guides, ancestors, and so on. They don’t believe they are capable of doing amazing things on their own, they sell themselves short and their fans support the misconception. Of course there are those who know these things but claiming them to be spiritual is more lucrative and or better for getting attention. And there are those who are just frauds and rely on other people and equipment and act like it’s a natural gift. There’s still some talent there too, just a different kind. I respect the ones that know why they know what they know and don’t hold back that piece of information while still using their talent to make money and help people.

If you think I’m just grasping at straws, well, believing her gift comes from an invisible man whispering in her ear, well, that’s right up there with the fun stories we call Greek mythology, Sci-fi, fairy tales, Santa and the Easter Bunny and so on. Unless you believe in those too. If that’s the case, okay, have fun with that!

 

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Often we question why God allows us to suffer.
Sometimes we can easily see how it was for the best, how the suffering made us a better person and so on.
However, some times those reasons are murky or down right impossible to see.
You see, when a human can’t explain why they are allowing another human to suffer when they have the ability to stop the suffering, telling that suffering person and the others wondering why, “have faith in me, I work in mysterious ways,” is not an acceptable answer, it’s not okay, and people who do this are bad. Plain and simple.
But, when God does this, we need to accept that answer blindly, we need to have faith.
It’s not abuse because it’s something God is doing, not people.
When people do it, it’s abuse.
In other words, do what God says to do but don’t do what he does.

The late Dr. Stephen Hawking is a good example of great knowledge coming from suffering.

-God allowed Stephen Hawking to have ALS

-so he could become an outstanding scientist

-and discover that there is no God.

Presto!

I know! Right!
On a more serious note, there was a period of time that Dr. Hawking believed that there most likely was some sort of god or creator. However, over time he came to understand that it didn’t actually take a creator/god to cause the big bang and all that was put into motion from there.


From what I’ve read and understood about Dr. Hawking, his realization that there isn’t a god didn’t come from a place of pride, obstinance, bitterness and so on, but from keeping an open mind and an ability to keep questioning everything, even things he himself felt he knew. He never got to a place where he couldn’t learn more, learn better, see mistakes, and better his understanding. 

I’m bummed that he passed. I don’t know how much he was or wasn’t suffering. I’m not educated much on ALS. But if it got to be too much than I can be happy for him. Instead of thinkin he’s in a better or worse place, I know his legacy lives on in the lives of many of the living in the here and now and the future to come.

Does God have a plan for your life?
Do you know what it is?
What you really need to be asking is, do you have a plan for your life?
Do you have a list of the steps you need to take to get there?
If you really feel you need to believe in a god or gods, fine, but you still need to find your path and create a way to accomplish it.
You also need to include giving back and passing it forward and the steps you need to make that happen along side of your goals.
If it makes you feel better, I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s gods will, or the goddess’ will, or the gods and goddesses will… for you to make your own way, to pave your own path, to set your own goals, to help others along the way, to overcome obstacles, to find inspiration when you start doubting yourself, to keep building, keep moving, keep believing in you, rest here and there and catch your breath, than carry on, keep going, keeping your goal in your sight.

Remember people like Dr. Stephan Hawking, let their tenacity inspire you to keep going even when everyone around you knows it’s over and your goals are impossible. If you can’t find people who will encourage in person, find them online, with caution, and find them in videos, books, magazines, shows, fill your mind with the stories and tales of people who went against the odds and succeed and let them help you push out self doubt.

 

I love that Dr. Hawking got to experience Zero-Gravity! 

place inspirational quot here

Just thought I’d give you a head start! 😉 

 

god has a plan

When I bring this up people still go on about why God is good and so on. I usually don’t go on anymore about it with them because if they are willing to excuse a being who turns a blind eye to the horrors so many are going through, than what more is there to say.  They melt into circular reasoning. Carrying on with them becomes redundant and a waste of time. Not that the person is bad, or isn’t worth my time, maybe there are other areas where we can communicate with reason. The way people defend their imaginary sky daddy is the same as the way people in cults defend their abusive leader. It’s rare for someone to just get it and detach themselves. Maybe they will think about what was said later, maybe not. So, I usually move on to the next subject and hope they can do the same. 

 

wwgd wwjd

trust in the lord not yourself

 

 

 

 

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Specious:  having a false look of truth or genuineness
                :  falsely appearing to be fair, just, or right
               

When I was still new to United Fellowship House of Praise, aka the cult, and still in the San Diego area, I recall one evening being at Monica’s house with my mom, Elder Turner, aka cult leader, and possibly some others. I was excusing myself because I had an arrangement to meet up with my dad to go see a movie. Elder Turner had a stern talk with me about how the word of God is more important and should be priority over anything else, even one’s own appointment with their dad.

 

It hurt to call my dad and tell him I wouldn’t be meeting up with him. It hurt even more when I heard the disappointment in his voice.

 

Though I’d been raised since I could remember to put the work of the Lord above all else and though pleasing God was my top priority it wasn’t the only reason I canceled the father daughter date. The other reason was because I was a gutless wonder. Elder Turner had God on his side, so to speak, so he had the upper hand and I really didn’t know how to stand up to him. I totally wimped out. I have no doubt Howard Turner, his first name isn’t Elder, knew exactly what he was doing and fed off intimidating people.

 

But was it entirely all my fault? Maybe not. Maybe my dad was actually getting a taste of his own medicine. Not something I would ever want to dish out, but it happened. My dad had applied the same pressure Elder Turner did on many occasions. I grew up with this type of life, I was conditioned by my dad and mom, and also by my sister. They each had their own twist to using manipulation. When in the past I tested the waters of standing up for myself I would get knocked down so hard with no room to try again. The same thing happened in the cult. Except in my family I don’t really recall them telling me to stand up for myself and to speak up and all. But, the cult did, I was told to do those things but when I did I was rebuked harshly and used as an example for months afterward.

 

And here’s the thing about people gettin it back, how often do they actually realize that’s what happened. I’m pretty sure when I talked with my dad that night on the phone the times he used his “god given” status to control me in a situation most likely didn’t come to mind. We joke and say, “Karma’s a bitch,” but if we really think about it, the jokes on us because when what goes around comes around, the person getting what they dished out usually has no idea, they don’t connect the dots and they are the down and out victim.

 

Sure, I still wish I had told Elder Turner to suck it, walked out the door, watched the movie with my dad, married Ray, moved to the Midwest and lived happily ever after. (Okay, I was going way back there to pre Turner times.) But, that’s not what happens to people who are conditioned to be the low down servant who does as she’s told and will be put in her place wither she ever left that place or not. Oh, and to add insult to injury, any potential relationships were scared off by my parents and later by my pastor. Well, that is until one came along that the pastor was able to manipulate. There wasn’t mental freedom for people like me, and in many cases there isn’t physical freedom either. 

 

I also wish I could still go see movies with my dad, and be able to tell him that I disagree about a lot of things, but that I love him and respect him no matter what.

 

You see, that’s the thing about cults that you can never really get over. It’s the things that were stolen from you. The precious treasures, the little moments of time, or even big moments of time, taken, gone, unrecoverable, and no amount of religion is gonna fix it, because it’s gone. Things that didn’t actually have to be, but were. Things that should have been, but weren’t.  

time fleating

 

Pity, prayer, this god or that saviour, positive thinking, etcetera, those things may provide some comfort for some people temporarily, but the painful memories caused by being in a cult and then getting out come in waves. Once a person gets through the initial shock and all luggage that attaches itself to them, the mental pain comes and goes. Over time the pain can become less intense. Though there may be times it gets stronger. What really helps is being in touch with people who are going through the same thing. Unless they have reattached themselves and are trying to get others to attach to their old or new cult. But understanding that like the waves of the sea, the feeling will come and go. It’s just nice to know even that, as simple as it sounds. It also helps to understand that it’s okay to get mental and medical help. I was taught that therapists were bad, even Christian ones, and that meds for depression would open one’s mind up to demonic oppression and possession. Even though a person my know that those things are not true they still may have a mental block and need help facing it.

waves hawaii oahu lorenakoran

 

There’s more, but I’ll stop for now, because I could go on for pages and pages and….

 

If you are in need of a non judgmental ear, or you know someone who is in need, I recommend contacting Recovering From Religion (RR).  It’s a hotline for folks who are questioning their beliefs, and have other issues about one’s faith or lack thereof and need a non bias person to talk to. They are not there to talk you out of your beliefs, they are just there to listen and be supportive and understanding. The hotline number is 1-844-368-2848.

 

Also, I know of quite a few groups and I may be able to help you find a meetup group or a support type group online if you need it. I certainly would try anyway.

Here is the web page for RR with the hotline phone number, email and other information and resources.
https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/#rfr-welcome

 

recovering from religion

844-368-2848

 

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3/17/18 & 3/26/18

 

My St. Patties Day Poem
By Lorenakoran

***
On this fair eve of this fair day

when the green is worn

and on display

and friends cheer

and dance and sway

while throwing back beer

For this green holiday

**

I think of the pagans across the lake

and wish them well

And may their so called snakes

return to them

and once again be free

to worship whom so ever

they want and please

**

We celebrate a man

And make him a saint

Who with vengeance in hand

Murdering whom he pleased

While converting pagans

Whom likely couldn’t sleep

For fear of their oppressor

Their new master and priest

***

st patricks kiss my butt

Personally, I don’t celebrate St. Patrick. I’m also not a Catholic. I do, however, like holidays, sometimes. Some people complain that holidays are just consumerism, and that’s pretty true. It’s also why I really don’t mind having holiday fun. I don’t take it seriously. Sure, the history behind it sucks. But now days, at least in the US, it’s pretty much about celebrating the Irish, wearing green, and getting drunk.
I have some Irish in me from my dads side and some Scotch Irish in me from my moms side. So I like the idea of wearing both green and orange.
I love the folk music that comes from Ireland and some of the more contemporary music. The troubles they went through really show up in the more contemporary music making it very deep and emotional and beautiful. If you want a crash course about Ireland’s civil unrest read one of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. I think it’s in his book titled David and Goliath. But in case I’m wrong just read all of them. May as well.

I’d really love to see Ireland and Scotland one day. That would be awesome!

 

Written on 3/17/18 & 3/26/18.

 

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If you’ve read my blog you already know I’ve had to deal with chronic sleep paralysis for a large portion of my life. For those who haven’t I’ll give you a brief history.

 

It started when I was under the age of nine. I don’t actually know how young I was but I was old enough to remember it. Of course it was traumatic so it’s no wonder I remember. That first episode took place while we still lived in the house in Orange County. I don’t recall having any more episodes there but it’s possible I forgot. I do remember them being what I call chronic sometime after moving on the boat.

My dad said he had them as a child as well along with vivid nightmares that he sometimes would end up sleepwalking with. So, I’m not sure it was actually sleep paralysis for him or not. But I do know sleep paralysis can lead to very vivid nightmares. I was also a sleep walker but that was not attached to the sleep paralysis episodes for me.

Through out my teens I had the most episodes of sleep paralysis. My mother discovered that it often happened after she and my sister had a fight, which was often. So she suggested the two of them make up before going to sleep so I wouldn’t have the “attack”. And when I say attack, I mean “demonic attack” because that is what she believed it was. She thought that because I was being targeted because I was the youngest and most vulnerable.

John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

So, most my life I dealt with sleep paralysis as though it were demonic attacks. And as you’ve likely figured out already, that idea makes them so much worse.

 

For those who don’t know what sleep paralysis is, I’ll explain real quick. It’s when the chemical in you body that causes you to not act out your dreams doesn’t recede in time so you wake while it’s still present which means you are temporarily paralyzed until it finished receding. The best way I know of to handle it is to relax and let it finish receding. It’s a time you can use to just chill or even play with it. While in that state you can also lucid dream. Since you are still in a dream like state you can fly, jump high, and do whatever amazing thing you like cause there are no laws of gravity and so on to stop you. Fighting it wears you out, it’s better to relax.

When you’ve had years and years of dealing with it as demonic oppression it takes more than a notion to just relax and enjoy the ride. I’ve had to have talks with myself and help myself get out of the nightmare and not fight and take it easy and maybe have some fun.

By the way, I didn’t know the science behind it till a few years ago. Although I stopped believing it was demonic attacks, I really had no idea what was happening so it was still pretty scary.

 

As a Christian who believed in demons and believed it was demonic attacks , naturally I dealt with it from a “spiritual” aspect. I used my beliefs in Jesus to “overcome” it. Although I was harmfully misinformed I did learn a great deal from these terrifying episodes. Some of the lessons were actually very helpful in real life. But, like I mentioned before, I’ve written about this before and this blog is about my latest experience.

In my twenties and thirties I rarely had sleep paralysis but I did experience it from time to time. After leaving Christianity I still automatically reverted to my religious way of dealing with it. It was a life time habit. Those things don’t just go away. When I have several not far apart from each other I stop dealing with them religiously and do what I know is better and  more effective. I don’t really enjoy it most of the time though. There’s been some exceptions. When I don’t have it for long periods of time I revert to my default settings of fighting it with religious ideas. However, my brain always has a conversation with me about it in the dream state and reminds me that I no longer believe in such myths. It’s actually always quite an interesting conversation I have with myself. Lol! Once I do fully wake up I find it very interesting and entertaining, and I usually learn something new.

Okay! So, here’s my latest sleep paralysis experience.

It happened about three nights ago. I was dreaming about something and in the dream I laid down to rest. While laying there I felt a presence start to lay on top of me, a freaky scary presence. This is a common start to sleep paralysis for many people, btw. Even folks who are not spiritual.

shutterstock_207313597-e1451791440770

My automated system came online so I called out to Jesus to help me. Then I heard a voice challenge me by reminding me that I didn’t believe in Jesus. I playfully challenged back, “Yeah, but he was a nice guy!” Not that I believe in him, I was having fun challenging the voice back. Of course the voice was my own, and I do challenge myself awake, so it’s no surprise that I would do it in my sleep state as well. Than Satan was brought up. I shrugged and said I didn’t believe in Satan. I than started singing a fun church song. I was challenged about that as well but I ignored the challenge. I decided that as long as it made me feel better it didn’t matter. Singing has always helped me deal with fear. It gives me courage and helps me think things through.

And thinking is exactly what I did. I thought about hypnotism and how people use the “one, two, three, wake up” method to bring people out of it. I wondered if that would work for me. I decided to give it a try and right away started the count. While counting my mind reminded me that one had to be told to do it first in order for it to work. Not that I’m an expert, I’m far from that… Or am I? Lol!  But I was already in the count so I finished it with the “wake up”. When I finished I felt a jolt on my right side by my eye area as if that area had dislodged from the paralysis. I’m not saying it did, just that that’s how it felt.  So, this time I told myself that when I counted to three and said “wake up”I was to wake up. I counted, I said “wake up,” and immediately my eyes opened and I was fully awake.

Yeah, I was actually shocked. But happy. It was just so strange yet cool. The science behind it? Well, I’m sure there is some but I don’t know what it is yet. The brain is so very interesting. It’s possible anything would have worked because maybe the paralysis chemical had already receded. Or, maybe not and there more to it. Even if it did receded already, waking one self from the dream state can still be difficult. Possibly the hypnosis thing worked for that.  I’d love to know! I’m sure there are folks that will still try to attach something spiritual to this. To them I will “smile and wave” and keep learning the real facts instead of the alternative “facts” .

keep-calm-and-just-smile-and-wave-boys-34

I don’t look forward to trying it again. I don’t look forward to having sleep paralysis period. Though I know one can have fun with it, I have too much baggage, lol. It’s more than just dealing with it, it’s also dealing with my past which makes it tasking. But, I do enjoy the stuff I learn and experience when they are over. It’s really quite interesting.

Fuseli-henry-fuseli-the-nightmare-min-1200x630

I thought this pic was funny. And funny thing about it, after mentioning to my daughter that I had a sleep paralysis episode she said it was likely due to the cat sleeping on me. The cat didn’t actually do that, but it’s still funny.

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