Mischieviously divine inspiration about daily affairs.

10 June 2006

Terrorists let us down

So apparently terrorists were planning major attacks on Canada recently. One plan allegedly involved rounding up members of parliament, forcing Canada to get out of Afghanistan, and beheading Stephen Harper. The bad news: somebody foiled the plot. Joke would have been on them cause that would have been a huge f***ing favor. Good news: they foiled the civilian attacks too. Personally I think they just made up all the civilian attacks to make people give a damn. Hell, most people didn't vote conservative; those that did saw Harper as the biggest drawback. Somebody has to get this nut-case out before we end up the newest acquisition of American imperialism. That secretive, power-crazy, cowboy bigot needs to have the living shit smacked out of him before its too late.

14 April 2006

Republican Cowards Run from Intelligent Discussion

Well I just posted my Easter essay below on a republican discussion forum and had my ip banned from posting in about 3 hours. "Reason: You would probably feel more welcome at another forum". The name of this atrocious forum is Typical republican attitude to simply censor any kind of rational conflicting thoughts. Click Here to view the discussion and the ridiculous attempts of its members to form a rebutal after I am silenced. Someone please rip the 'free' right out of that phony bullshit excuse of a forum.

Crucified Literalism Resurrects Gnosticism

The Parable of the Sacrificial Lamb
Easter is the climax of the ancient historic Christian calendar. It is the day God's only begotten son, Jesus Christ (anointed messiah), was crucified to death under Roman Judge Pontius Pilate, for preaching to be the 'Son of Man'. This man had future knowledge of every human being to live in the next two millennia. And, since Jesus loved each one of his future human images so much, he willingly sacrificed himself so that we could be forgiven for the sin of our ancestors, Adam and Eve, having eaten the one fruit that was forbidden for consumption by the God that had created a paradise for them. Humankind was evil from the beginning, sampling an inkling of knowledge that damned its offspring until God felt so bad about tempting the original humans that he sent his own offspring to be slaughtered for the possible redemption of the sinful humans that disobeyed him.

But that was just the beginning; Jesus/God was only giving us a preview. He plans to float down from heaven some thousands of years later to judge the whole of those future people he envisioned and loved enough to sacrifice himself for (not to mention all those who lived before). He will take those that believed in him (raising the bones and ashes of those dead for thousands of years) to a physical paradise somewhere in or beyond the cosmos. Those without the capacity to comprehend the fate of the world or those who turned to other forms of belief (science, meditation, humanism, etc.), will be cast into a scorching underworld filled with eternal horrors and torture. This torture chamber, known as hell, is controlled by a formerly angelic being that disobeyed God and now prides itself in seducing us innocent human beings to turn against God. However, this demonic creature does not recruit people for its rebellion; it tortures those who rebel, similarly, as the creature itself once did. Apparently logic is not a faculty readily available in the realm of the divine.

Easter is the celebration of this ‘historical’ story according to over a billion people worldwide. I wonder if anyone lost in history had ever pondered the question: why?

This seems like a logical question. Why should I not touch a burning stove? It causes me pain. Why is eating at McDonald's bad? The food is fattening and causes health problems. Why should you change your engine oil? A car needs clean oil to properly move the parts in your engine. Why did God create us to worship him as a means to reach our personal salvation? ... Was it boredom? Creativity? Slavery? What the hell was it?

The God Factor
I cannot understand how people can believe in a God. Well, at least not the sentient omnipotent God known to the Christian community; the God that creates a microscopic sphere of clueless pawns roaming around; pawns which must pick up on God’s rare clues of his own existence in order to free themselves from eternal agony. However, the pawns must not only recognize God’s existence, they must worship him too. This God requires every single ounce of strength that can be mustered by his believers. How do people buy this sort of invisible end-in-itself argument that is attached to a historical term for an unverifiable phenomenon? There is no defining purpose to the story of the Christian God; there is absolutely no rationale justification for why that kind of God would create us or create this sort of Doomsday scenario out what seems like a split decision.

Of course the typical response to this problem is that since we are not God, we cannot understand his reasoning (forgive the male connotations for it simply makes the writing flow more easily). Since we cannot fully comprehend God or his intentions, we must believe based on faith. That is the same as saying that Aliens from another planet have created us as unknowing slaves. These Aliens are so advanced in comparison to us that we cannot understand how or why they created us. Shouldn’t there be some way to confirm the existence of these Aliens you ask? Yes, many gifted people have been blessed enough to have been abducted by our galactic creators – however the Aliens wish to remain mostly elusive, escaping recognition by the great majority of human beings. Therefore, since we cannot understand or comprehend the aliens ourselves, we must believe the stories that the alleged Alien abductees tell us – based on faith.

Sure there are thousands of historical documents attesting to the existence of Yahweh (God of the Christians); sure there are millions of people claiming to have a personal relationship with both God and his son Jesus; sure some of us may intuit the existence of a higher power or purpose. But this evidence does not necessarily suggest that the sum of these personal experiences is the experience of the same phenomenon. We assume that our personal experiences are of the same substance experienced by Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, David, Jesus, and so on and so forth. We assume that all of the biblical writers are speaking of the same God or revelation. We assume that the history of Christianity is the clear and linear plan of God. Some brief historical research will show you that Christianity had to viciously slaughter uncountable thousands in order to have the bragging rights to the dominant form of revelation. So now today, like the past two millennia, we are being told what authoritative revelation is. There is no freedom. Christianity just sued most of the other brands of belief out of business. Something feels divine? It must be a creation of the Christo-Cola Corporation. Speaking otherwise spurs a whole infantry of theo-lawyers salivating at the opportunity to pounce with a dust-laden library of references to Christo-claim on any particular recipe for revelation. They can sometimes pose a convincing argument because their preceding henchmen eradicated most of the conflicting evidence.

I want to get back to the intuition argument briefly. Many people believe in God (more specifically the Christian God because of cultural influences) because they intuit the existence of some higher power. Therefore, as the argument goes, their intuitive experience of ‘God’ can be equated with the culturally standard God represented in ancient writings they have been exposed to. Now, as opposed to the Christian view that such intuition is divinely inspired, this equation of personal intuition with the bible is created by a lack of options; people turn to Christianity for an explanation because it is readily available. Why is it so readily available? Because its engineers wiped almost everything else off the revelatory map. Of course there are many different options for belief available these days, but the sea of divinity is overpoweringly saturated by Christian theology (at least in western culture).

Since Christianity is faith-based, it is essentially a belief system based on the suspension of disbelief. Ergo, you suspend your disbelief until there is justification for your belief. One can picture a schizophrenic suspending disbelief in the reality of his or her hallucinations until supporting evidence for the hallucinations is presented. At least a schizophrenic is basing beliefs on immediate experience. ‘God’ tells you how to live; ‘God’ tells you what you can and cannot do; ‘God’ tells you that he is what you must dedicate your existence towards. Why you ask? For a future reward that you cannot possibly comprehend! You take orders like slaves given a vision of freedom as justification for imprisonment. Perhaps the world will indeed come to an end…But that will be because you ended it! You Christians will have carried out the subtle orders of your superiors to bomb the planet in faith that you would be saved – faith not in yourselves, but faith through trusting some sensational external vision. Democracy is molded from within; Authoritarianism is molded down along a filtered hierarchy. Each hierarchy serves to filter the motivation(s) of the prime mover – the defining reason for action – some mysterious shadow that keeps us mesmerized in its ineffability.

So what is the connection between intuition of a higher power and the Christian story of salvation? If God and his mystery can be known intuitively then what purpose does the bible serve? Does it clear things up for you? Does it give you a specific interpretation of personal intuition? What purpose do ‘god-given’ rules have when the realm of God can be realized in contemplation? If intuition is our primary source of knowledge for the reality of God then aren’t the Gnostics the most authoritative source for God’s mystery? Doesn’t intuition imply a personal knowledge of God without the need for an intermediary such as the church?

Gnostricism and the Abominable Literalist Swine
A long time ago, in an authoritarian state far far away, there lived the ancestors of today’s literalist Christian Church. These ancestors pushed for the idea that they alone were the inheritors of Jesus Christ’s true message and story. They, like their Roman counterparts, were well-organized and hierarchal in structure. While the teachings of Jesus were divergent and extensive, this literalist group had a vision for the future. The teachings of Jesus Christ were undoubtedly brilliant; more and more people converted everyday. Finally this force became so powerful that the Romans had to bow to the whims of the people; they would incorporate the story of Jesus as authentic to Roman belief. However, consolidating such a vast and contrasting belief system would not be easy. The Romans were clever however, and structured this new belief system around something that already worked: the dictatorial pyramid.

Of course this meant everyone else that considered themselves Christian was officially banished from Christianity if they did not follow this new Roman-approved system. Gnosticism was repressed because it was enticing; it was extraordinary; it gave rise to the message that each person can escape the imperfect world of physical existence by oneself and not through orders. Gnosticism offered the opportunity to gradually make life and the world better through constant effort. Literalist Christianity suggested escape from the imperfect world as well: but escape through hope of some future event as prescribed by a caste of authority. Literalism allows you to sit back and assume all will be well because it has been preplanned; it allows you to trust that things have already been entirely deciphered so that you won’t ever need to personally worry about it. Gnosticism requires responsibility, conscious effort, and a life-time of hard work. The Christian Coward – The Godly Gnostic.

If you listen to modern ‘scholars’ discuss the issue of Gnosticism then you will notice the obvious emphasis on the dating of Gnostic manuscripts. Their logic goes something like this:

1) The canonical scriptures (i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Letters, etc) are the most historically reliable because they are the oldest in age

2) Since these literary works are the primary evidence for literalist Christianity, literalist Christianity must be the most historically reliable.

3) Since literalist Christianity is the most historically reliable, Gnosticism must have been a later ‘heretical’ creation meant to undermine the authority of the established church

4) Since Gnosticism is heretical and undermining, it cannot contribute any truth about Jesus Christ and is basically a fabricated lie with the intention of creating turmoil for the church

Now why are the canonical gospels the most historically reliable? Well this gets quite mucky but the gist is that the canonical manuscripts are older than the rest (even though they are copies of copies of copies from the originals), according to scientific dating methods. Additionally, they refer to events which coincide with other historical documents from earlier works. In other words, the greatest number of educated guesses establishes those works were composed earlier than say, the Gnostic texts. Here’s the problem: once literalist Christianity flourished under Roman rule, the vast majority of Gnostic texts were destroyed. The Literalist Church sought out all competing beliefs and attempted to quash any evidence of their existence. They came pretty damn close too. We are very fortunate that some Gnostic texts were hidden from reach in what is now known as the Nag Hammadi Library. While Literalist Christianity had the luxury of being protected by the Romans and thus had the means to preserve hundreds of manuscripts, Gnosticism was lucky to survive at all! Literalist Christianity is like the mob killing off murder witnesses to discredit any case against it.

The majority of Gnostic texts do not aim to retell historical events and are therefore difficult to compare with other historical works. Although, many Gnostic texts contain what appear to be direct quotes from Jesus and therefore may be copies of much older manuscripts. There is simply not enough remaining Gnostic evidence to create a nonpartisan case for Gnosticism based on discovered manuscripts. However, the quintessential characteristic of the canonical literature is that it defies the logic of eyewitness account. One would expect historical documentation to be increasingly specific and precise with the increase of proximity to the described events. Literalist literature is the opposite. As you trace the canonical works chronologically, they go from the vaguest description of Jesus’ life to the most detailed. Paul describes practically nothing of Jesus’ life besides the resurrection – while John talks about the virgin birth, star of Bethlehem, John the Baptist, satanic inspiration of Judas, vivid miracles, etc.. Did everyone suddenly suffer from a severe case of amnesia? Did Jesus reappear to clarify the story? Theologians argue that corroborating testimony furthered the detail of the ‘authentic’ Jesus story. But if the Christian community was so dedicated to their beliefs, and the apostles were so close to each other then why did it take over 30-70 years (probably 2-4 generations based on life expectancy) for them to straighten out the story? Or perhaps they checked with the well-documented legal records of the Romans? Wait a minute; the Romans do not have any legal records of Jesus.

If we date the Gnostic texts in comparison with the literary styles of other Christian writings then we find the most similarity between Paul (the most historically reliable) and the Gnostics: little emphasis on the life and details with strong concentration on the teachings and message. Jesus appeared personally to Paul in a vision, like the Gnostics describe of their own revelations. It was not Gnosticism that arrived later in the history of Christianity to undermine the true beliefs of Christianity – it was literalist Christianity that hijacked the teachings of the Gnostics. Literalism refined, organized, and later imposed a strict set of beliefs in order to gain influence. It is hard to merge the humble, vegetarian, and secluded Gnostics of history with the dark Satan-inspired heretics painted by the literalist church. They (Gnostics) taught the perfection of morality, self-improvement, and humanistic responsibility. Literalism has taught the perfection of obedience.

When I think of the treachery, judgment, slaughter, and ultimate resurrection of the Easter story I think about the Gnostics. They were betrayed by one of their own kind (the literalists), judged by the Roman leaders to be heretical, slaughtered for their beliefs to the point of extinction, and then miraculously resurrected at the dawn of the 3rd millennia to dramatically shift the beliefs of humankind. One only has to briefly consider the Nag Hammadi Library, the Gospel of Judas, and the explosion of discussion on the Da Vinci Code to grasp a humble appreciation for the potential implications of this resurrection. As the popular saying goes: God works in mysterious ways…

07 April 2006

Venezuela and the Objectively Bias Mainstream

The recently-elected Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has been taking a lot flack from the rest of the world since his presence in politics. Noted critics have been President Bush, the Catholic Church, and even his own citizens. The fallacious and prejudicial claims are usually along the lines of Chavez being dictatorial or restricting the freedoms of his people. It is a mystery that these voices of authority are unable to do the slightest bit of research. In fact, the past seven years in Venezuela have been the most democratic in its entire history: There have been eight elections or referendums; Chavez received 56% of the popular vote – While President Bush only received 51%. Maybe brilliant criticism only arises from imminent threat.

Now the Chavez administration is being besieged once again for the deaths of 3 children with venezuelan-canadian citizenship. The children were allegedly abducted on their way to school and held ransom for a sum or $4.5 million, which the parents were unable to accumulate in time. Protestors in Venezuela have flooded the streets to complain about the violence and corruption within the country. One protestor was quoted:

"Chavez always criticizes the United States and talks about thousands of innocent people killed in Iraq, but what about the thousands who are killed here?"

Even the victim’s mother joined:

''I want to say to the leader of the republic that by passing over this and failing to give importance to the torture and killing of four people, among them a child with paralysis, I, Gladys Diab, publicly announce: I abhor you.”

Newsflash: People are not only dying in Iraq. Someone please educate this poor fellow and weeping mother on the presence of violence in the entire world. Yes, innocent people are dying in Iraq, Venezuela, and guess what: everywhere. It’s not that wanting a safer place to live is an unreasonable request; it’s just that things could be considerably worse. Perhaps this outraged young man and mother would prefer to live in the United States where the per capita homicide rate is 51% higher(1)? And furthermore, who ever said the killings did not have importance? Just because the killings occurred does not mean they were not important. The irony of the situation is that two journalists were killed while trying to cover the protests. What better way to protest against violence and homicide than with violence and homicide?

Well, I think that we can at least cut the protestors some slack because of emotion, but not so much for the mainstream media. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the media is absolutely necessary to the maintenance of a strong society. But our media is doing a piss-pore job. After reading some 10+ articles on the protests, there was a disturbing similarity between quotes and supporting statistics for each of the articles: Most stories simply republished quotes verbatim and used identical stats in identical places. What kind of reporting is going on here? They are publishing and republishing watered-down garbage and attributing fresh reporting to it. I could have sworn I saw Fox emblem behind Anderson Cooper the other night.

And by the way: Where are the alternative views? Where is Hugo’s response (actually a couple of rare articles had some)? Why does nearly every network and media outlet bow to the whims of the ignorant global consensus of the equation Chavez=Evil? Now correct me if I’m wrong but, isn’t the media supposed to challenge the assumptions of the power structure? Forget the pseudo-scientific notion of ‘objective journalism’ already and do your frickin’ jobs! I’m sick of hearing substance less news drivel attempting at some pie-in-the-sky dream of professionalism at the expense of information quality. Sure people are upset at the killings, but are things truly getting worse? Oh wait that was mentioned…as the very last thing (they got better from 2004 to 2005 by the way).

I love reading the news about Hugo Chavez. It highlights the double standard used by journalists and major media outlets throughout the world. It would seem that having a balanced article is only used when it serves the views of the mainstream. The major media fosters greater deceit with its claims to ‘objective journalism’ than does an editorial columnist spreading hate-speech. It is the claim to be ‘balanced and objective’ that misleads the public. A lack of forthrightness and hidden biases within the mainstream media creates a greater disservice to people than anything else. Through minute alterations in how a story in focused or presented, the media shifts the consciousness of thousands, if not millions, of people. The public does not decide if the media has already made the decision.

If you really want balance to your news then immediately read some non-violent socialist propaganda. It may take years, but once you earn that doctorate in Marxist studies, the balance needle may finally wobble towards zero. Or otherwise come read some more of my future articles; I may even throw in some facetious cynicism. Either way with all this dangerously ignorant rhetoric bouncing around, I’ll see you at the apocalypse in no time.

1. Stats for Venezuela found at CIA World FactBook and taken from Homicide rate cited in an article referring to the child killings. The U.S. Stats found at Infoplease.