THE ANGRY OLD MAN

MY THOUGHTS AND VIEWS

 

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Some years ago, before I had a computer, I began to write
down some of my views and thoughts about the world. 
Something to leave to my grandkids so they might under-
stand their ol' gramps just a little better. What you will find 
here is some of that material.
The views and opinions expressed here are subject 
to change and have changed over the years. No one, 
at least no one should, stay static in their thinking. 
Change happens, we learn new things, rethink old ideas.
We learn. The only time you stop learning is when you 
are dead.
     I would like to start off with this simple but important
rule of life: EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE, AND IF YOU ARE 
WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE, YOU CAN HAVE, BE, OR 
DO ANYTHING YOU WANT. If my grandkids don't learn
anything else from me, I hope they do learn this simple
fact of life.
That price can take many forms and only you can 
decide if the benefits are worth the price. Do you want 
to be a professional in a particular field or sport, then 
hard work and dedication is the price. If you feel that 
the extra effort is worth the benefits of reaching your 
goal, then do it. This is not a one time thing. You will 
have to make this choice many times in your life. In my
personal life, in order to make the money that was 
needed to provide us with what I felt was needed, I had 
to work jobs I didn't like, work hours I didn't like. But that 
was a price I had to pay for having a good paying job.
Now we come to my opinions and views. What are they, 
what subjects are they on. Well, they vary, from religion 
to government to UFO's to schools. So read on and I hope 
you don't get bored. 
RELIGION
This is my favorite subject. Maybe because I like to 
make people uncomfortable, maybe because what ever 
you say no one can prove you wrong. Or maybe I'm hoping 
someone can answer the many questions I have. Because 
I don't know the answers. I just have a lot of questions 
and opinions.
I  find the discussion of religion both interesting and
stimulating because there are no "right" answers. It 
evokes very strong and emotional reactions in others, 
especially when I disagree with their belief or viewpoint. 
It also gives me a perspective of the other person that I 
wouldn't normally get.
WILL I GO TO HELL?
I don't know. Is there a hell to go to? Many of those 
that I discuss religion with are sure I'll go to hell. Why? 
Because I have the audacity to disagree with their 
views and beliefs. They also like to label me as an 
atheist. I am not an atheist. But I do like to pull their
strings.
WHAT DO I BELIEVE?
That's a hard question to answer because I'm not 
sure myself. I don't disbelieve in God, but then I 
can't blindly accept, without more proof that has 
been presented, the idea of an all knowing benevolent 
God either. I have to say, based on the evidence we 
have today, I just don't know. If I did have to put a tag 
on my beliefs and feelings, I would have to say I fall 
in as a secular humanist, at least in sprit if not in 
practice. If you'll not sure what a humanist is, I've 
included a link to the Humanist Web Site,  which 
tells what the humanist philosophy is.
BELOW ARE A FEW QUOTES, MADE BY OTHERS, 
MORE EDUCATED AND BETTER AT EXPRESSING 
THEIR VIEWS, THAN I AM. BUT THEY DO EXPRESS 
WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE SUBJECT AND I AGREE 
WITH THEIR COMMENTS. THAT'S WHY I CHOSE 
THESE PARTICULAR QUOTES.
 1.The beauty of religious mania is that it has the 
    power to explain everything. Once God is accepted 
    as the first cause of everything which happens in 
    the mortal world, nothing is left to chance or
    change. Religious mania is one of the few infallible 
    ways of responding to the world's vagaries, because 
    it totally eliminates pure accident. To the true 
  religious maniac, it's all on purpose.
 2. Humans are meaning-seeking animals and even 
      the illusion of meaning will do. True or false, it 
     doesn't matter, as long as what is believed is 
     emotionally satisfying.
 3. Man believes what man wants to believe.
 4. Postulating a heaven gives man an out for having 
     been unable to retain the paradise he was given 
     here on earth.
 5. Humans have made up their minds that if some-
      thing shouldn't exist, then it can't.
 6. The human capacity for self-deception, willing 
      to believe what we want to believe, is another 
      major stumbling block on the road to truth.
 7. Faith is the gift of believing without evidence.
 8. The drive to convert people's minds and hearts 
      has caused more grief more suffering, more loss 
      of life than any desire for property, riches or even 
      the necessities of survival.
 9. You always have a hard time convincing people 
     to do anything on the basis of logic. But put the 
     same thing in emotional terms and they're ready 
     to act.
WHAT ARE MY VIEWS OF THE BIBLE?
 One of the problems that religious minder individuals 
have with me is that I don't consider the Bible, or any 
of the other  "Holy Books" of the  major faiths, to be 
divinely inspired or the definitive word of any Supreme 
Being. Why do I feel this way?
  1. One of the very first and basic questions I have is: 
"Who were the individuals who wrote the various 
manuscripts that make up the Bible", or the varied 
other "Holy Books". Were they scholars of that era or
just common men. What motivated them to write? 
Was it an honest effort to record what happened or 
an effort to promote a particular belief?
Were they an eye-witness to what they recorded, or 
is this handed  down from other individuals.
  2. A second set of questions, mainly about the 
Christian Bible, centers around the choice of 
manuscripts that make up the Bible. Apparently
there were a large number of religious writings 
to chose from. I ask,

     a) What individual or individuals decided what and 
         what wouldn't be included. 
     b) What was the basis of their selections. Was it a
         scholarly attempt to record accurately what had 
        happened earlier or were they looking for material 
        that would support their particular beliefs. Did they 
        ignore or destroy material that didn't support their
        belief.
  3. Then we have the language of the original 
manuscripts as well as the numerous translations 
and interpretations that have been made over the
years. How are we to know if the text we are 
reading today is an accurate translation of the 
original text. How much did the personal beliefs 
of those doing the translation affect their work. 
How much "emotional effect" did they employ to 
make it more interesting.
  4. Two examples of what I mean in number three;
A Bible Scholar claims that the term "ANGEL", 
which has special meaning and connotations for 
Christians, simply means "Messenger". Now 
'messenger' in no way has the emotional effect that 
'angel' does. Another example he points out is the 
story of Lot's wife turning to a pillar of stone.
He says that the original text translates as "having 
an heart attack".

Who, in the long list of translators, decided that 
having a heart attack wasn't exciting enough and 
changed it to changing into a pillar of stone. What 
else have they changed.
  5. A few years ago a group of Christian Scholars 
released a report that redefined the role that Jesus 
played. Spurred by new findings in two ancient libraries, 
the DEAD SEA SCROLLS discovered in Palestine in
1947 and the NAG HAMMADI manuscripts found in 
Egypt in 1945, these scholars say that :
a) Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. 
b) Jesus had brothers and sisters and Mary was 
    not a virgin.
c) Jesus said only about 18% of the words and 
    phrases attributed to him. 
c) he didn't rise from the dead.
  6. The above material appears in a book by some 
of these scholars titled, THE FIVE GOSPELS. Another 
book that has caused a stir in Christian circles is 
John Crossan's book JESUS, A REVOLUTIONARY 
BIOGRAPHY. 
This author says that Jesus was a political agitator 
who never claimed to be divine.
  7. One last item should not be forgotten when 
discussing the Bible. And that is the Bible is not 
the only Holy Book that is accepted as the word of
God. Every major religion or belief has it's DIVINELY 
INSPIRED writings that is used to justify and 
validate their beliefs and actions. 
  8. So, to end this, WHICH HOLY BOOK IS THE 
TRUE WORD OF GOD. Or is any of them?
Some general comments concerning religion
Why do we have religion?
 Religion seems to have features that enhance 
survival and reproduction. It also promotes the 
bonding together of tribal groups.
It makes the idea of mortality bearable, mortality 
being the curse of conscious intelligence.
 Further, religion played an important role in 
organizing information about the world in mythic 
form before science undertook more naturalistic 
explanation.
A FEW TRUTHS ABOUT RELIGION!
  1. No one knows if God exist, or any other supreme 
being. You may believe, have faith, accept, assume, 
feel, etc. but you don't know. No one has any special 
knowledge that everyone else on this earth doesn't 
have.
  2. For the sake of convenience, lets say God does 
exist. No human being on earth has any idea of what 
God feels, thinks, wants or does. You can postulate, 
predict, think, assume or feel, but in the true sense 
of knowing something, you don't know.
The lowest drunk in the alley has as much knowledge 
about what God thinks, wants, etc. as does the 
highest church official of any religion.
  3. All religions, by their existence, are both 
dictatorial and oppressive. They cannot tolerate 
dissension, conflicting views or beliefs or different 
interpretations. To accept any other view or belief 
weakens their own doctrine.
  4. There has always been a priest class. A group 
of individuals who claim special knowledge about 
how their fellow man should live. They are safe in 
making these rules because no one can dispute 
their claims that God told them the rules.
  5. The priest class, and religion, has risen as a 
result of man-kinds inherent need to explain his 
existence and why he's here.
  6. Most individuals who claim to be looking for 
a spiritual truth are in reality just looking for support 
for their own myopic narrow minded belief. They 
need justification for their actions.
  7. God is a creation of man in response to death. 
We can't defeat death, we don't know what, if 
anything, is after death. Death is a mystery and 
something to fear. To combat this we invented
a hereafter inhabited by God.
  8. Education is a threat to most fundamentalist. 
They rely on half-truths, innuendos and ignorance 
to promote their agenda. They play on our ignorance. 
They often use big important sounding words. They 
get someone with a PHD to make it sound official.
We don't know, so we can't dispute their word. We 
are awed by the PhD behind their name.
  9. Do we want the truth? Or are we like those in 
Africa who won't accept the fact that the deadly 
virus Embolia is a physical threat. They want it to
be magic. That way they aren't to blame for their 
actions which foster the spread of the virus. Instead
of taking responsibility for our actions we like to say 
"the devil made me do it" or "it was Satan's work". 
It lets us off the hook.
  10. Now If you can get past or ignore the outcries of 
blasphemy, being labeled a heretic, being Satan 
controlled and the out-burst of the radical right, then 
here are a few questions you can  ask:
        a) Who were the SONS OF GOD who mated 
with the DAUGHTERS OF MAN that is told in Genesis. 
Is this an eyewitness account, mythology, or an 
embellishment by the translators.
      b) Who were the giants that the Bible says 
roamed the world. Were they visitors from outer space. 
Or maybe descendants from an earlier civilization.
    c) Could man be an experiment placed on earth 
by some other race or scientists. Or maybe we are 
the offspring's of a mating between the primitive 
people that were here and the survivors of a 
stranded UFO. Never say never!
Now that you know my basic views on religion take
a look at some of my other views and opinions. Let 
me know what you think.
The Angry Old Man