Saturday, 7 May 2011

Organised religion

Although there are numerous religions in the world, it is interesting to note that the belief in the afterlife amoung human beings predates organised religion.

The numerous religions in the world may appear to differ in many ways, but actually they all present a fairly similar set of concepts when it comes to the question "Is there life after death?".
Most organised religions offer the promise of an eternal life in heaven if one meets certain conditions. The concept is that right now the whole human race is of a fallen nature, we are all doomed to some terrible fate upon death unless we embrace a certain set of actions and beliefs.
This fate could be an endless number of reincarnations into so called lower life forms, an eternity in a firey hell, or being annihilated out of existance. In most of these religions, it is God who judges us and decides our fate, though in some it is simply the accumulation of our actions in our lifetime that decide our afterlife fate.
Note however, that in all of these religions, ones short lifetime right now is the deciding factor of our ETERNAL fate.

Thus in our very short time here on Earth we should all be in a blind panic and rush to discover exactly what it is we need to do to avoid such terrible eternal punishment before we die. We must quickly learn what it is we must do to avoid offending God and get into Gods good books, to become enlightened, to be spiritually "born again" and secure ourselves an eternal place in heaven and escape Gods wrath.

So what's the big problem with these concepts? The big problem is that God will, according to these religions, enflict eternal punishment upon the vast majority of his creation, upon beings which not only are of significantly lower intelligence, but also have an unreasonably short amount of time and very few "clues" with which to learn what it is they must do to avoid this wrath. Does this not seem just a little unfair?
What about all those perfectly kind and loving human beings who mistakenly believed the "wrong" things?

Proponents of all organised religions often like to use the "free will" argument at this stage and say that humanity is doomed due to human error/sin/mistakes and that we must use our "free will" to take certain actions and adopt certain beliefs that will now save us from Gods wrath. But what must be remembered is that the average person leads a busy life- with school, work, relationships and so on, and does not always have the time to reflect upon deeper issues and when they do, we live in a world full of people all claiming to have the answers! Do people really deserve to be punished for all eternity for not being able to figure out what is the "true religion" in their short time here on Earth? Do you think that is really what the actions of an all knowing and all loving God would be?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Some facts about the Bible

Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the bible is totally free of error. That it is the literal word of God and all that it says must be taken literally. These people maintain that the Bible is free of error on all major issues: science, history, psychology, politics, maths, art ect.

Circular reasoning is used by saying that the Bible proves the Bible to be true.

Since they believe the Bible is the literal word of God, scripture is "quoted" to then "prove" that one must live ones life in a certain way and obay certain rules, believe certain things and carry out certain activities. Bible scripture is given a huge sense of authority, as it is quoted as though it were being spoken as a command directly from the lips of God.

 No matter how bizzare, restrictive, counterproductive, unethical or plain silly any of these rules and guidelines are, the continual threat of eternal punishment from God becomes the motivating fear behind all of it. This is coupled with a complacent attitude that simply because they believe in Jesus and read the bible, they have a free and easy ticket to heaven, sparing little thought to the multitudes who arn't quite so "enlightened" as themselves who God will enflict eternal punishment upon.

Is the bible really the work of a perfect, all loving God?

The bible is not perfect. It contains hundreds of contradictions, many statements which are absurd and go against common sense and information which was been proven by science to be factually untrue.

The bible is not all loving. There are numerous examples of gross vulgarity, highly questionable morality and extremely unloving, unfair and horrific acts said to be carried out by God and those who worship God.

Has God used his almighty power to preserve the Bible?

FACT: Original copies of the bible do NOT exist.  We only have copies of copies.

Between the different editions and translations of the bible, there have been numerous alterations over hundreds of years.

The bibles that exist today are therefore going to be very different from the original manuscripts in many important ways.

Is the information in the Bible the literal word of God?

The identity of many biblical authors is completely unknown and annonymous.

Of the few books of the bible that deal with the ministry of Jesus, all of these books were wrote well after the life of Jesus and we have no evidence that the alleged authors genuinely wrote these books.

Hearsay is defined as "unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge" ( This sums up perfectly the books of the bible.

Evidence deemed as hearsay would have trouble standing in a court of law.

Many biblical stories can be traced as adaptations of earlier stories and myths.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Are all non-Christians doomed?

Are all those who are not Christians doomed to either an eternal hell or an eternal destruction? This is what we hear often from Christianity. We hear that if you do not believe in Jesus and you are not a Christian, God will send you to hell forever. Or God will wipe you out of existance forever. Which one you believe really depends on what you think the bible teaches on the matter.

I have carefully examined the biblical case for and against both eternal torture (the belief that god sends sinners to hell forever) and annihilationism (the belief that sinners are perminantly destroyed). Annihiliationism holds that we do not inherently possess immortality, but instead that immortality is conditional.

I have come to the conclusion that there does appear to be a much more convincing case to be made that the bible teaches annihilationism.

  • Psalm 92:7 ...................shall be "destroyed" forever....

  • Psalm 1: 6 the way of the ungodly shall "perish"

  • Matthew 10:28 ..............rather fear him which is able to "destroy" both soul and body in hell

  • John 3:16 .....................whosoever believeth in him should not perish (Greek: destroyed)

  • Romans 6:23 ................For the wages of sin is "death"…

  • James 4:12 ....................There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to "destroy"

  • Philippians 3:19 .............Whose end is "destruction"

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:9 ........Who shall be punished with everlasting "destruction"

  • Hebrews 10:39 ...............But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition (Greek: destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul

  • Revelation 20:14 ..............This is the second death.

  • Annihiliationists will say- why would God choose words like "destroy, perish, death and destruction" to signify anything other than their plain meaning?
    The case for eternal torture in the Bible is altogether fairly weak and does not stand up to closer scruitiny in my opinion.  Check out  for an indepth study into this subect matter.

    I was convinced of Christian annihilationism for some time. But there are problems. Just take a look around you. Lots and lots of perfectly ordinary, decent human beings are going to be destroyed simply because they are not Christians. How is that fair? You could preach to hundreds of people every week and convert them to Christianity, but essentially still over half the planet is going to be destroyed by God. And that is what your "message" is that you are preaching. How is this 'good news'? It's fine if you want to lock yourself away and only ever talk to Christians or love or care for Christians. But how can you tell loving family members who are not Christian that essentially you believe God will throw them in the lake of fire and have them destroyed? What gives you the right to go around "preaching" that millions of ordinary, decent people who may of even been more charitable and loving in their lifetime than yourself, are simply going to be blasted out of existance because they havn't got round to becoming Christians? How is that ever fair?

    Throughout history, our world has reacted in horror to individuals in positions of power who have used their great power to kill multitudes of people who don't happen to believe the "right" things, for example, Adolph Hitler. And yet Christians go around teaching that God, much like a muderous dictator, is going to throw you in hell or kill you for not believing the right things.

    I once read a Christian book which tried to justify the idea of God sending people to hell or annihilating them as comparing it to the relationship between a parent and a child. The book said 'If you were a parent and your child rejected you, would you not be angry?' As if this perfectly justifies the idea of God throwing his children in the lake of fire. Sure, parents would be hurt if their child rejected them, but how many would be happy to MURDER their child or see them thrown into hell to suffer for all eternity because they don't believe what they want them too??

    Sure, Christians will say "God is all knowing and only he can make a good judgement and we have to trust this". But this is just a cop out. This is like saying "yes, I realise how utterly unfair this teaching is but you just have to have blind faith in what I am saying and stop asking so many questions".

    Far from the "love" and the "hope" and the "good news" I was supposed to be feeling by believing this stuff, the more I reflected on all these problems of divine judgement the more I began to feel repulsed. Far from spiritually uplifting, it was dragging me down and making me feel bad. The whole thing is completely driven by fear. I just simply could not go around with a "I'm saved, and you're not" attitude. Sure there are some genuinely evil people in this world, but I believe the vast majority of people have plenty of potential to do good and it really doesn't matter what religion you belong to. I know, deep down, that if there is such a thing as a loving God, and an afterlife, that these utterly rigid and fearful dogmatic set of teachings simply cannot be true. Far too many of Gods children will be destroyed because they did not believe the right things. And we live in a world with an endless number of opinions and people who claim to have the "truth", and yet all we have apparently been left as "evidence" is a book called the Bible, to make up our minds that will determine our eternal fate. What about people in the world who cannot read?? What about the numerous parts of the Bible which appear to contradict other parts?

    When it comes down to it- what evidence really is there for these claims? If we step back and look objectively at the situation, the ONLY evidence that God will do these things are a handful of quotes from the Bible.

    Compare this with hundreds of modern day reports of Near Death Experiences where individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life claim to have an afterlife experience and an experience with God, or Jesus or other religious figures or deceased relatives. These people tell us that although Heaven and Hell exist, they exist to varying degrees and that where one goes depends upon ones charactar during life. But even this is not "for all eternity". According to Christians, only THEY should be in Heaven. So what about all these NDE's where people are meeting non- Christians in heaven?

    The modern day Bible was put together by the pope. Not only does it contain contradictions, but parts of it have been proven scientifically inaccurate. We do not have the original documents. Not only this but all of the writings of the bible are SUBJECTIVE accounts, which render them subject to all of the problems of subjective evidence. I do not believe the Bible should be read and followed in a strictly literal sense, but that deeper, spiritual meanings can be found in it. I do not "reject Jesus", but I do reject going around preaching that non-believers are damned for eternity.

    Ectoplasm: Real or fake?

    First of all, what is ectoplasm? The term "ectoplasm" was coined by a man named Dr. Charles Richet which comes from the Greek words ektos ("outside") and plasma ("something formed or molded"). According to Dr. Richet, Ectoplasm is (quote) "a whitish substance, that creeps as if alive, with damp, cold, protoplasmic extensions that are transformed under the eyes of the experimenters into a hand, fingers, a head or even an entire figure".

    Ectoplasm is said to be a substance that excretes from the body of a medium (usually through the mouth, sometimes ears and nose), a substance which spirits from the other side use in order to manifest themselves in our physical reality. The spirit entity will use the substance of ectoplasm to form physical body parts such as hands and arms or even a voice box to speak with us. Ectoplasm is said to be made up partly of white or colourless blood cells extracted from the mediums own body.

    Only a small number of mediums are said to be gifted in this area and the process of bringing forward spirits via ectoplasm is known as materialization mediumship. The whole process needs to take place in total darkness, due to the ectoplasm substance being extremely sensitive to light. It is even said that sudden exposure to light or other disturbances during the materialization can cause direct physical harm to the medium.

    The materialisation of spirits via ectoplasm was popular many years ago in victorian times, but we rarely see it today. There are however still a small number of mediums who continue this practice.

    The skeptics of course say that the whole thing needs to be carried out in total darkness because it is all a trick and that the reason we don't see much of it today is because the hoaxes and scams must of all been unmasked and exposed in the past so no one can get away with it anymore.

    Furthermore, skeptics claim that the "ectoplasm" itself is nothing more than cheesecloth, which gets stuffed into cavities of the body and then regurgitated during a seance.

    It must be admitted that the old photos of ectoplasm do simply look like a conjuring trick using cheesecloth or other substances and it is easy to understand why at first glance, most people would dismiss ectoplasm as nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

    However, a closer examination of the subject leaves me feeling unsure. For starters, many high standing men of science came to the conclusion that ectoplasm is genuine. Charles Richet himself who coined the term was a physiologist, bacteriologist, pyschologist, chemist and a winner of the nobel prize in 1913. Hardly the kind of individual you'd expect to be easily duped by a hoax using cheesecloth.

    The idea that "all the mediums got exposed as hoaxers" in the past is simply not true. Quite the opposite, in fact many records can be found of materialisation mediums who were in fact scientifically studied under carefully controlled conditions -  bound to a chair, and in some cases gagged. The kind of amazing phenomena that has been documented are not things which any stage magician has been able to duplicate either. There are numerous convincing cases of materialisation mediumship documented and if one takes the time to research into ectoplasm and materialisation mediumship a little more deeply than the initial impression of it, there is a wealth of information there which will make you at least question if it could well be possible.

    If you want to read about some modern examples of materialisation mediumship I would highly recommend you check out The Scole Experiment: Scientific Evidence for Life After Death