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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christian Halloween Propoganda

“Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan” – Paul S. Taylor, Eden Communications

Many Christians have a major problem with Halloween. As the above quote shows, they are under the false impression that Halloween is a Satanist Holiday with connections to ancient paganism. Yes, adults still fall for the myths and urban legends that unite Satanism with Halloween. My goal is to explain why Conservative Christians are wrong when it comes to Satanism and why Pagan origins do not matter for most other Christian holidays.

Origins of Halloween


Halloween stems from two religious holidays: the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints Day. The combination of the two Holidays plus modern myths have created what we know today as Halloween, celebrated on October 31 of every year.

The Festival of Samhain

For the most part, Samhain was a celebration of the end of harvest season. It also had a second importance: It was the Celtic new year. The Gaulish Calendar seperated the year into two parts; the Dark half and the Light half. Samhain was the beginging of the dark half of the year (What we know as late fall and winter). During the medieval era, Samhain become the up most important holiday. It was celebrated for three days in Tara (where tradition says the High King of Ireland was seated ans was a very sacred place for the Celts) where many people would assemble. A large bonfire was lit on top of the Hill of Tara, which was to signal people all over Ireland to light their own bonfires. And while the festival was to celebrate the end of harvest and to bring in the Celtic new year, it also had a spiritual side. It was believed by many ancient Celts that during this festival, the doorway to the other world would be opened for the dead and other “evils” to enter our world. This is the origin of many of the scary traditions associate with our Halloween.

All Saints Day

All Saints Day was started with Pope Boniface IV. Boniface chose May 13, an already pagan holiday known as the Festival of Lemures. The Festival of Lemures was a day in which people feared and exorcised restless malevolent spirits from their home A little more than one hundred years later, Pope Gregory III changed the date of All Saints Day to its current date. The holiday usually fell within a couple of weeks of the Celtic holiday Samhain.

The Satanist Urban Legends


Much of the current urban legends that unite Satanism with Halloween stem from an ignorance of the origins of the term Satanism and of the religion itself. With this misunderstanding of Satanism, fears spread widely through the Christian church about the practices and beliefs of Satanists.

The biggest Church/Organization termed Satanist is the Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in the 1960s. The first and biggest misconception people have about the Church of Satan is their worship of Satan, The followers do not, in fact, worship a Deity of any kind. They place major emphasis on the power and authority of individual satanists, rather than a Deity or quasi deity.

The second biggest misconception about Satanism is ritual sacrifice. Urban legends spread throughout North America that Satanists would sacrifice babies on Halloween. This is urban legend was never verified, but was shown to be false by law enforcement agencies in the areas where these urban legends sprung up. Satanists believe that all life is important and place emphasis on Children as the purest form of life. They would never do anything to intentionally harm a child.

Paganism in Christianity


Pagan origins is one of the main arguments Christians make against Halloween. Apparently these Christians do not realize that their most sacred holidays come from Pagan origins.

Easter

The name of the sacred holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second person in the Holy Trinity in Christianity, the God incarnate, is comes from ancient Anglo-Saxon Paganism. The name Easter is derived from the name of the Goddess Eastre. And as you can see, there is only a one letter difference between the name of the pagan goddess and the name of the Christian holiday. But it is not just the name that comes from pagan origins, it is the symbols within the holiday as well.

Eastre was the Goddess of fertility. Her animal was the hare. The pagan symbol of the Hare is still used today during Easter celebrations, but the name of the animal has changed to a “bunny”. Eastre’s symbol, since she was the goddess of fertility, was the egg. Once again, still a symbol used today during Easter celebrations.

Christmas

Christmas is another sacred holiday celebrated by Christians with pagan origins. This Christian holiday is used to celebrate the birth of their savior and God incarnate. Yet, like Easter, it stems from ancient paganism.

During the winter solstice, ancient Pagans used to cut down evergreen trees and bring them into either their homes or their temples in order to celebrate the coming of winter. And this, of course, is still used by many Christians today. The trees are known as “Christmas Trees”

Another similarity between modern Christmas and ancient paganism was the day known as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti or The Birthday of the unconquered Sun. This was a day in which the birth dates of several sun gods were celebrated on the same day. This day was celebrated during the winter solstice or mid December.

Conclusion

As you can see, Christian fears and complaints of Halloween are usually not grounded in reality. Many of the fears they hold are lies created by earlier Christians in order to deter their brethern from celebrating this particular holiday. The issue of the pagan origins can be found within their most sacred holidays, yet they use the pagan origins of Halloween to stay was from this so-called “evil” celebration. The lies and hypocracy of the Christian Chruch, when it comes to Halloween, is enormous.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Helium



I am going to take a quick intermission from Deism, because I want to explain something that might be useful to some of you. There are many sites out there that allow for a writer to earn a little bit of money. If you just pick one or two of these site to write on, don't expect there to be a lot of money in it. But whether or not you choose to write for money or not, it is a great way to great your writing out there in the public arena. Some sites are:

Helium (link above)

Associated Content

Triond (this one has really low pay, but it is my favorite because of the community on the forums)

And many many others.

So, you can find any of the sites not linked by googling their name. If you need help finding one, comment and I will give you the URL in the comment section.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Richard Dawkins: The Failed Philosopher

There was a time when Atheists earned the term “free thinker”. It was a time when Atheists used their rationality and logic to try to solve philosophic problems that are created when one believes in God, but it is no longer that time. Atheists now have a single religious leader who tells them what to think. Richard Dawkins is the most quoted atheist of our time. Atheists seem to look up to him as a wise leader and expect him to answer these questions for them. Their trust could be put in the hands have a much more qualified man than Dawkins. Dawkins, while he may be a gifted biologist, fails as a philosopher. His own made up definitions of philosophic positions, such as Pantheism, are completely wrong. But Atheists follow his divine words with such gumption, they could never admit when he is wrong. When I state that Richard Dawkins is a failed philosopher to Atheists, they usually say “He never claimed to be a philosopher”, and one time an Atheist even added, “That must be the wisdom shining through”. Whether or not Dawkins has claimed to be a philosopher, he is ultimatley acting as one when he discusses philisophical positions and/or philisophic problems. Now, I want to correct all who believe the lies and bull spewed by Dawkins when it comes to philisophic matters. philosopher

Pantheism

Dawkins has described pantheism as “sexed up Atheism”. Dawkins says that pantheism is simply atheism, because they don’t believe in a God. He says they use the term God to refer to nature. If you were to walk up to any pantheist or philosophy professor and gave them this definition, they would laugh at you. It is simply wrong.

While pantheists do use the term God to refer to nature, there is more to it. Pantheists do believe in the divine. They do believe in God, even though they do not believe in the common Judeo-Christian concept of God. Pantheism comes from the Greek words for “all” and “God” and it literally means “God is all“. If Dawkins could even take the time to understand the name, he would realize just how wrong he is. They believe that the universe is one with an all-encompassing, immanent God.

Atheists have even gone as far as making up a new term to try to prove their Lord and Master, Dawkins, right. This new term is “Scientific Pantheism”. A scientific pantheist is exactly what Dawkins describes Pantheism as: sexed up Atheism. They do not believe in a God, rather they refer to nature and the universe as a whole using the term “God”. Scietific Panthiesm is just one way in which modern day atheists are trying to highjack a philisophic position that has absolutely nothing to do with Atheism.

It is this very wrong definition of God that makes Richard Dawkins believe that certain people are atheists, though a good understanding pantheism proves otherwise. One example is Albert Einstein. Einstein is quoted in saying, “I believe in Spinoza’s God”. And for that reason Dawkins have not only claimed Einstein was a Pantheist, but also an Atheist. But if Dawkins had taken the time to look at a couple of things, he would never have made this mistake. The first is this: What did Spinoza really believe? The second is: How much did Einstein really know about Spinoza’s God? Max Jammer, a close friend and colleague of Einstein, wrote in his book (Einstein and God) that Einstein actually knew very little about Spinoza’s God. In fact, Einstein, says Jammer, stuck to Spinoza’s writings on ethics Though, if Einstein had learned more about Spinoza’s God, he would know that Spinoza did believe in the divine. In fact Spinoza wrote, “It is utterly false to suppose that it is my intention to equate god and nature” in a letter.

Deism

Another philosophic term that Dawkins gets wrong is Deism. Dawkins referred to Deism as “watered down Theism”. While it may seem like so to Dawkins, that is entirely wrong. Theists believe in a personal God based solely on one religious text or another. Deists use logic in order to infer from the universe that a God does exist, but that God does not reveal himself to humans. The reason Deists do not believe in a personal God is not because they are a watered down version of theism, but because they use their reasoning and logic to try to understand God. Deists have come to the conclusion, through logic and reasoning, that God has not revealed himself to mankind through any forms of special revelation because there is no reliable evidence to make such a claim.

He fails to grasp the basic beliefs of Deists when he uses like “I do not believe in a personal God” to prove Einstein was an Atheists. Deists do not believe in a personal God, either. To claim someone is an Atheist simply because he does not believe in a Personal God is, quite frankly, stupid.

Agnosticism

In discussing agnosticism and how agnostics look at the question of God’s existence Richard Dawkins says “The alternative which I favor is to renounce all euphemisms and grasp the nettle of the word atheism itself.” Here Dawkins is clearly stating that Agnostics should consider themselves Atheists. Why? Agnosticism has absolutely nothing in common with Atheism. Agnostics believe that God might or might not exist, while Atheists believe God does not exist.

Dawkins has a [wrong] answer to this, as well. Dawkins says that Atheism is the gospel of “I don’t know”. That is completely wrong, yet Dawkins’ religious followers grab on to that too. Historically Atheism has aways been the “gospel of there is no God” yet, with one man saying different an entire community of Atheists jump on the band wagon.

Conclusion

It is clear that those Atheists that follow Richard Dawkins religiously are no better than organized religion. These atheists are dogmatic, fundamentalist and lack the use of logic, much like Dawkins himself. If Dawkins wants to continue to philosophize, he should learn more about what he is talking about. He cannot change the definitions of words simply because it suits his agenda.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Natural Philosophy of Deism

“The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.” - John Adams

“Is it because you are sunk in the cruelty of superstition, or feel no interest in the honor of your Creator, that you listen to the horrid tales of the Bible, or hear them with callous indifference?”- Thomas Paine

“When I do good I feel good; when I do bad I feel bad; and that’s my religion.”- Abraham Lincoln

Introduction

A Deist is often described as a “free thinker”. And that simple phrase is a great description. Deists think freely without any special revelation (Scripture,prophet,messiahs,apostles,etc.) to get in the way of your wonder and thoughts about God, the universe, man and how they all relate. We have the freedom to look at who God is and how he works with out an impeding presumption that comes with revealed religions.

Forms of Deism:

  1. Classical Deism - Belief in an God that created the universe then left it to run on its own. Many non-deists see this as an evil God at worst or an empathetic on at best. But those who follow this one believe that God has created the best universe possible and so no intervention is necessary.
  2. Personal Deism - In this view, the creator takes on a bigger role. He also the sustains the universe. He intervenes on occasion
  3. Pandeism - This is a view that after God created the universe, he became part of it. So, while God once was a separate entity from the universe, he and the universe are now one and the same.
  4. Christian Deism - This is an odd form of deism. They accept most of the same beliefs in deism, but they view Jesus Christ as a deist as well. They think much can be learned from studying his works and sayings in the Christian gospel

Deism

Deism is many and varied due to the ability to think outside of a religious text. But we all share common beliefs, views and principles. The main thing we have in common is the idea that God is a God of nature. God reveals himself through nature alone, not through any religious text. It is only studying nature and the natural laws of the universe that we can truly come to know God.

Deism is a far better system of belief than revealed religions, because with deism you can get a whole picture of the universe that God created and the way he created it. When it comes to religions like Christianity, you do not get this big picture due to creation myths. Christians seem afraid that science will rule out any possibility of God, when on the other hand science confirms the existence of a higher intelligence. So, to combat this sudden spur in scientific discoveries, Christians accepted the 6-day creation myth as the official stance of most Christian denominations. It is also better then revealed religions, because it does not put humans on an undeserved pedestal. Christians think that God created mankind alone in the universe. And, as the only intelligent life forms, we deserve a special place in the universe. This is arrogance. To think that life could not have arisen on other planets due to the Creator wanting them there is wishful thinking. And since Deists do not give themselves a special place in the universe, we treat the Earth on equal footing. We believe that, since it is a creation of the Creator, we must do our best to take care of it.

Deism is a more reasonable stance then atheism, as well. Atheists tend to think that some part of the universe has always existed, even if it was just energy. But, you cannot turn energy into matter no matter how big of an explosion it creates. Do not get me wrong, I accept the Big Bang theory, but there had to be something more. Some singularity that made it all happen. I believe that due to the complexity of the universe and the seemingly order of its design, that God had to be that singularity.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Failure of Special Revelation

A great astronomer (a man today known as “the father of science”), was persecuted by his own religion and declared a heretic. He was sentenced to imprisonment for life (though, that was later converted to house arrest), and the book he had written that declared the universe as heliocentric (A model of the Universe that shows the Sun as the center and the Earth and other planets rotate around it) was banned and the copies that were already printed were burned and destroyed. This was all due to an ancient writing written nearly 5,000 years ago. The writing is known as “The Holy Bible”. The man was Galileo Galilei.

The American Religious Identification Survey stated that in 2008 the number of Deists was 12% of the American adult population. The ARIS also recorded that Deism is the fasted growing American religion with a growth rate of 717% in 11 years. While Christianity is losing followers by 10.2% between 1990 and 2008 and Judaism has shrunk by 0.6%, Eastern Religions (Religions who believe in the sacredness of nature, rather than focus on special revelation) has grown by 0.5% and Atheism as grown by 0.9% both from 1990 to 2008. But why are these changes happening? And more importantly, will they continue?

These demographics show a curious, yet exciting, trend. What the “Moral Majority” and the Christian Right call a Godly and Christian nation, seems to becoming less Christian and less focused on the gods of revealed religion. But what causes these trends? I asked this question to a friend of mine who works with Computer sciences. His answer surprised me, but it was very well thought out and had good points I had missed. He said, simply at first, “The Internet.” When I asked him to explain, he replied, “Before the Internet, you wouldn’t get all these opposing viewpoints, proof for this and lack of proof for that. Basically the Western religions were so big because people didn’t really have enough information on anything else and weren’t aware that there were that many atheists/deists.” And he finished with a smile and said, “That’s just my two cents.” But i knew he was on to something. So I asked him why thought Eastern Religions were so popular (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etc) and not just the naturalistic western religions and philosophies. He replied, “The reason there’s an influx in eastern religions is, in my opinion, due to much of it is about making you better rather than follow this rule and follow that rule”. Another good answer, I thought. While I do believe that both of these are true, I think there is more.

Revealed Religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islam are called revealed religions for a reason. They accept special revelations (Holy Scripture, prophets, messiahs, etc.) as 100% inspired by God and without error. This has caused a lot of misunderstandings about humanity, nature and the relationship between them. For centuries humans believed that we lived in a geocentric universe, that is, a universe that revolves around the earth, simply because of sacred writings like these:

Tremble before him, all the earth!
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

(1 Corinthians 16:30)

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed in majesty
and is armed with strength.
The world is firmly established;
it cannot be moved.

(Psalms 93:1)

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them,
they all stand up together.

(Isaiah 48:13)

After being forced to recant his claims, Galileo died under house arrest, ignored and belittled. And, fortunate as we are today, the modern scientific community ignores the ancient ramblings of a delusional religion, and has made the heliocentric model the official model of the universe. And though, the majority of mankind accepts the facts that point toward a heliocentric model, few people still claim that it is wrong. Few people still believe in the geocentric model of the universe based on the writings of ancient men who had no background in mathematics, physics, astronomy or any other science.

History shows humans the mistakes we have made, and how not to make those same mistakes over again. And yet, like with politics, government, economics and war, we continue to ignore History’s warnings when it comes to religion. The same mistake that revealed religions have made 400+ years ago is being made today. Thanks to two chapters in a book written 5,000+ years ago (Geneses, also known as The First Book of Moses) gallop polls done from 1982 to 2004 show that Adults believing in Creationism (The earth was created in 6 special acts of God 5,000-10,000 years ago) has gone up from 44% to 45% while Theistic Evolution (Evolution with a personal God thrown in) has stayed at 38% and Naturalistic Evolution (Evolution with no help from a God or very little help, includes Deism, pan-deism and pantheism) has only gone up from 9% to 12%. Museums have been created to teach kids and adults alike that humans once rode dinosaurs like people might ride horses. This kind of bull is even being taught in public schools around the country.

These Gallup polls show a continuous rejection and denial of a scientific theory with 200 years of evidence behind it. I think that in an era where evolution is all but a scientific law, people are starting to wake up to the unchanging anti-intellectual irrationality of revealed religions. I, personally, have witness firsthand the irrationality of these revealed religions. For twenty years of my life, I was a Christian. For about four of those twenty years I accept Theistic Evolution as the best theory of how the universe came to be. When I entered a Christian college, I was belittled for my views. These Christians who preached about a loving God could not love me the same as if I were a delusional creationist. It was this bigotry and intolerance that led me to rethink Christianity as a whole. And I am glad I did. The only regret that I have was that it took me so long to rethink what I believed.

I believe that the same anti-science bigotry and intolerance that led me away from Christianity and to Deism is the same thing that is leading the majority of people in America away from revealed religions. People are beginning to wake up to these lies and see the true face of revealed religion.

And It is about time. People, for too long, have suffered under the tyranny of the religious absolutes that are all too often completely and utterly wrong. As Galileo once said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

Friday, August 14, 2009

Deist Principles From Modern Deism

I was going to write an article that simplified Deism...That is, until I found the best list of Deist principles on the web. Modern Deism does a wonderful Job explaining these ideas in a beautiful manner.

"You shall honor and worship the Creator in a fashion that suits you

You shall treat others with dignity and respect and you shall insist that others respect your dignity as well

You shall live life pragmatically and use Reason as the cornerstone for all you think, say and do

You shall be honest and not lie, cheat or steal

You shall not harm another unless it is in defense of yourself or loved ones

You shall treat others as you want to be treated

You shall take responsibility for your actions

You shall have faith in yourself

You shall honor and be faithful to your Father, your Mother and your Loved ones

You shall learn from the mistakes that you will make

You shall find awe, inspiration and beauty in the creation and the natural order of the universe

You shall search for truth and be willing to accept new ideas based on reason as you are exposed to them"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Introduction, my personal Deism

"Deism is belief in God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a "revealed" religion. The natural religion/philosophy of Deism frees those who embrace it from the inconsistencies of superstition and the negativity of fear that are so strongly represented in all of the "revealed" religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam."
-World Union of Deists: Deism Defined


My name is Dean and I currently attend a small community college in southern Illinois. I am planning on getting a degree in Philosophy. I was a Christian for most of my life, just recently "seeing the light" about a year and a half ago. I even spent some time at a Christian College and Seminary to study Youth Ministry. When I converted, I lost a lot of close friends who were Christians. My ex left me, the youth minister from the church I used to attended, whom I had become very good friends with, started avoiding me like the plague. Though, he had never acted the same towards me after I told him I was a Theistic Evolutionist while I was still a Christian, it got much much worse when I left Christianity behind completely. I was extremely upset by this at first, but I began to realize that if they could not accept me for who I am, then they are not the kind of people I want to be with. I cannot help what I have come to realize about Christianity and I cannot help the truth that has come to smack me in my face. Nor, would I want to. Truth is something, to me, that cannot be ignored. Willful ignorance is never bliss, it only makes you miserable.

Deism, to me, is not a Religion. Deism is a philosophy of God and Creation. Deists believe in a God who has only revealed himself in nature. Deists accept no special revelation such as a Holy Book (Like the Bible or Koran), no Prophets, no angels, no God come to earth. In other words, no superstitious nonsense. Some Deists have taken up prayer (Which I see no point in), not to petition a personal God, but to thank him and honor him for creation. I personally do not pray. I do not see the point in it. If there was a God who was personal enough to listen to prayers, he would have revealed himself in a religion. And if a true God revealed himself in a religion, it would be more believable than the bull we have today.

The purpose of this blog is not to wipe out Religion as a whole, but to wipe out the irrationalities and the delusions that cause perfectly peaceful religions to turn into murdered abortion doctors and terrorism and other fanatic violence.

Added in italics

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Albert Einstein Quotes