5 Things No One But Me Believes

OK, someone else believes all of these things. What I really mean is that the following tend to fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

1. George W. Bush is a genius. We’ve had our fun laughing at his speaking errors, but I do believe he got the last laugh. He wants that Texas accent to lull you off guard, and it did. In college, my calculus professor spoke with a deep drawl and he didn’t laugh, he guffawed. I thought he was a yokel until I realized, “he’s a calculus teacher.” He drove off into the sunset in his Benz and I got a D. That’s kind of how W treated the citizenry at large. Our 43rd president is many things, but slow is not one of them.

2. Barack Obama’s popularity will take a serious hit before he leaves office. He’s golden now; I’m as caught up in the wonderfulness of the man as anyone. But just look at the precedent: Bush II was bulletproof after 9/11, but look at his popularity now. Clinton mopped the floor with Dole in 1996, only to be impeached in 1998. Bush I lived and died by his “no new taxes” promise. Reagan lost his memory and credibility with Iran Contra. Jimmy Carter was more or less before my time, but I know he lost big after one term. Gerald Ford couldn’t get himself elected, Nixon was forced to resign, Lyndon Johnson bowed out because of Vietnam, and someone somewhere obviously hated JFK….I’d bet Obama will see a 2nd term, but will he still be seen as the indomitable amalgamation of Che, Gandhi, and Lincoln in 7 years? No.

3. All religions are good. Most believers think that their way is the only way–that they are the only ones who have access to and acceptance from the true and living God. I grew up Baptist, and we were taught that while Methodists were started by John Wesley, Presbyterians by John Calvin, etc., the Baptist church was started (of course) by Jesus himself. I can’t speak intelligently about Satanism, but I do know enough about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Voudou, and a few others to know that the religions of the world are human attempts to connect with the divine. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. A person can only devoutly follow one path, but that doesn’t negate the others. It would be tough to be a great doctor and a great plumber, but one vocational choice isn’t inherently better than the other.

4. We’re going to run out of oil. One day soon, humanity is going to suck the last drops of petroleum out of the ground. It won’t be the end of us, because there are so many other energy sources at our disposal, but it will be a serious wake up call. We use some 80 million barrels a day now worldwide– just burn it right up into the sky. Demand is going up in China, too. Can we still have Vasilene without petroleum?

5. Humans have supernatural powers. We have convinced ourselves that we’re ordinary, but we are extraordinary. Most people could potentially read minds, levitate, heal others by touch, and make something appear out of nothing. Most people could also potentially learn to play the piano–it just takes concentration, dedication, and learning from someone who already knows how to do it.

Am I right or am I right?

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10 responses to “5 Things No One But Me Believes

  1. 1. Is Bush stupid? No. Does it seem as though he was a bit of a puppet and was kept safeguarded from the overarching opinions of many? Yes.

    2. That’s the way politicians always are. There is no magic bullet, and Obama is far from perfect. And Clinton was not impeached, but rather just underwent the proceedings.

    3. Good is a very vague term. Satanism is glorified hedonism set in a pantheistic mold. I enjoy it a great deal. What religions inspire people to do, as far as slaughtering one another, is reprehensible. Religion, in the sense that it drives giant wedges between people because every Abrahamic religion claims that theirs is the true route, is bad for humanity.

    4. All things are finite. Oil is no exception. Truly renewable energy sources will have to be tapped with more exuberance as we continue and our population continues to swell.

    5. Supernatural… if we all have supernatural powers, then they’re certainly not supernatural. Anything technology or achievement sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic. Perceptions that are perceived to come from a separate sense are just an existing sense fully utilized. Some of your claims, however, are truly ridiculous on a scientific standpoint. Reading minds is no harder than reading body language and knowing a person well. Levitation is a little silly. Healing others by touch can be as simple as realigning the scientifically proven energy fields that flow around the human body. The something out of “nothing” is the truly ludicrous claim, however. Energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed…

  2. In response to danaofthebells’ comment #3, it’s actually only two of the three Abrahamic religions that claim theirs is the true route; Judaism does not. Also, generalizing from what 2 out of the 3 Abrahamic religions teach, to the conclusion that all religon is bad for humanity, doesn’t make much of a case for what exactly is bad about any of the religions other than those two. I agree that much harm derives from Christianity’s and Islam’s claims to sole truth, but even those religions do offer quite a bit of resources for spiritual self-improvement too.

  3. There are four Abrahamic religions, Baha’i being the fourth. Judaism, as far as I understand, views the others as misguided. The Jews, as a religion, seem to understand how silly all of the fighting is.

    I was simply arguing that all religions are not good. Good, I feel, is far too subjective of a term. Just because they offer good points does not make them good. Forest fires allow a new life into the forest, but they also kill many animals and stupid people. The fact that some trees cannot germinate properly without the fire does not make the wildfire “good.” Now, nature can’t really be given to the concepts of good and evil in the simplest senses, but that’s the best analogy I can think of at the moment.

    Self depreciation, the desire to kill or oppress those that do not follow your religion, and the indoctrination of children are not good things. Many people turn from one addiction to another, supplanting alcoholism or co-dependency with religion. Many people feel their lives and bodies are perverted when they’re not obviously destructive because an old book says so… That is not healthy.

    A few good points does not excuse a religion from the burden of its other actions, unfortunately.

    Can good come from religion? Yes, I suppose it can. Does it have to? No. Does religion offer act as an enabling force within people’s lives? Yes. Does it often help people to overcome more destructive behaviors? Yes.

  4. I didn’t know Baha’i is Abrahamic. Does it also make the claim of sole truth, or not? On the rest, I pretty much agree with you. “Religion” is much too broad a concept to be classified as good or bad. What we can say is that it is a very powerful influencer of human behavior, and therefore has the capacity for both great good and great harm. What is unfortunate, is that many people are so unwilling to allow rational analysis of religious beliefs. Anything that is as powerful as religion, really needs to be well understood and controlled in its use, for good. If people would allow for changes to their religions, then religions could be improved as we use historical experience to understand what characteristics tend to lead to harmful results, and what characteristics have led to beneficial results. But there seems to be an all-or-nothing attitude, or fear, on the part of certain religions in particular, that if any one little part of the religion is allowed to be questioned or improved, then the whole thing might not be “true”. And that leaves believers in a heaven/hell afterlife in a very uncertain place, which I think is the main obstacle to engaging in meaningful religious improvements.

  5. “Good” is a subjective term, and I can’t argue with much of what has been said in the comments so far. What I meant is that all religions have some redeeming qualities, not just the one a particular person belongs to. Also worth pointing out is that they are responsibile for some bad things, thought that wasn’t my point. Still, I agree. When asked which religion is the right one, unfortunately I have to reply, “they’re all wrong.” As a specific example, while Christ is perfect, Christianity as it is practiced almost always misses the mark in one way or another.

  6. @ seth

    “When asked which religion is the right one, unfortunately I have to reply, “they’re all wrong.”

    I agree totally. I think we would be better off without religions (here religion specifically means organized religions whose followers believe in a supernatural entity who answers prayers and works miracles etc). Religion is not the basis of morality but human beings are. We are the ones who expanded our moral values and created religions with those same values . Although many believers disagree going so far as to say that atheists are responsible for immorality and genocide.

    I wrote a post about it earlier…I am attaching the link below..

    http://nitwitnastik.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/genocide-as-proof-of-atheist-immorality/

  7. We share some sentiments, but I don’t think that the world would be better off without religion. Even if there were no religions, we would have to invent them. Great souls come along (Jesus, for example) and show us the way to live, show us that all things are posible. He wasn’t preaching religion per se, but as the centuries pass, his kernel of Truth has turned into a big, unwieldy institution that can do as much harm as good. The key for me is to follow Christ, not necessarily Christianity. But, if there were no Christianity, how would I have ever come to know Christ?

  8. Thanks for your reply seth. However I have a few questions

    “I don’t think that the world would be better off without religion.”

    What is that religion can achieve that we cannot achieve without it? Is there a single thing a religious person is capable of doing which is impossible for an atheist/agnostic to do (other than blind faith of course)?

    “show us the way to live, show us that all things are possible”

    If by all thigs you mean supernatural phenomenon I don’t believe that is possible even with religion. However if you mean other mundane possibilities why do we need religion to show us that. Then isn’t religion a crutch?

  9. I have a theistic leaning, so you’ll have to bear with me. Jesus teaches that all things are possible with faith. I can attest that I have been able to make my life move in certain directions through prayer, meditation, fasting, and faith. Maybe I would have found my job, birthed a healthy child, or managed to not get sick in years without specifically praying for those things. Maybe all my prayers go unheard and I’m just putting so much positive intention in to the ether that these things end up happening. Maybe I’m God. I don’t really know musch about God for all the talking and writing I do around the subject.

    I do believe supernatural phenomena are posible. Anything is possible. Who’s to say where the line is drawn between natural and supernatural? A lot of things that looked like miracles in the past now have perfectly rational explanations. We don’t know the “how” behind a lot of things. I don’t know how an apple grows or how a computer works, but I can make the most of them. I also don’t know exactly how I can pray for money, believe, and receive it, but I do. I don’t need religion for mundane possibilities–I need it because the mundane is so, well, mundane, and something tells me that there’s more to life.

    Humanity is crippled by violence, doubt, guilt, fear, anger, and other afflictions. Religion helps people to move through life despite being crippled. In that sense, maybe it is a metaphorical crutch. Those without it are hobbled, but those with religion (true connection with the divine, not just going to a church building) are walking, running, and even flying, impossible as it seems.

  10. All man knows is what he sees, yet he senses that he has other faculties that transcend his current existence.

    The subjective (man) and the objective (God, Allah…) as most view affirms the notion of man being 1)created by another entity 2) The other entity being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. 3) the entity embodies clones of himself to in the form of a human body to give help to what is known as hell (earth) in the ancient scriptures. Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammad, Zoroaster…all have testimonies of man being able to walk with this entity in earth (hell).

    But really it’s pretty simple. A story will always be told about great spiritual men who recognized this Entity and pursued the path upright and righteously for the majority of their lives. The average person, especially in the western society, can barely attend church consistently.

    Indeed, most men do not reach the consciousness of Jesus, Buddha, and the likes.

    But mans inclination to embrace higher knowledge becomes books of old scripts from Jesus found in the dead sea. Mohammad spoke pure prophecy as his companions wrote down the words spoken by the angel Gabriel. Buddha embraced the inherent nature of suffering and by doing so mastered his mind. We could keep rolling the saints off…

    The Entity is viewed subjectively by man, allowing each individual to perceive it as they may. Most have no idea how we all got here. There are many theories but do they not speculate based off of what there subjective intelligence produces for them? And as much as we’d like to admit, the whole a sperm cell created me just doesn’t add up.

    My intelligence surely surpasses a sperm cell if I can produce it! LOL

    Who would care about these men if religion did not exist? Man has proven to follow folly MOST of the time. If it wasn’t for certain set principles, disciplines, understandings being transmitted internationally, who knows where man would be NOW.

    Religion is like politics. From the outside it looks like crap. But down the road, somehow you realize it works. Thats because religion breeds spirituality for those who may choose to learn. (But only a few get it).

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