Thursday, December 31, 2015

New year thoughts

Cheers to a new year and we get a chance to set things right. 2016 is at our doorsteps. Let us ring out the old and ring in the new-with fresh hope and faith for a better tomorrow. I wish Happy New Year to all my friends and acquaintances worldwide. 
2016 should never repeat itself.
It is no time for hatred or terror as it happened in 2015. We have just an average of 100 years or little less on this earth. No god or religion shall make us live with the illusion of an after life. If anyone of you get fooled by the promises of any god and put an end to your life, your allotted time is over once and for all.  Let us use each second of it till the last one: it is a wonderful cosmic experience, not to be thrown away for any material heaven promised by anyone or any god.    
We have seen heartbreaking terror in the bygone year.

On 7 January 2015 at about 11:30 local time, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with assault rifles and other weapons, they killed 11 people and injured 11 others in the building. After leaving, they killed a French National Police officer outside the building. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, who took responsibility for the attack.
On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis. Beginning at 21:20 CET, three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants, and a concert hall in Paris. The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police. There were 368 people who were wounded, 80–99 seriously so.
There has been over 27535 terrorist activities by terrorists since September 11 attacks  when 4 passenger airliners—which all departed from airports on the U.S. East Coast bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists to be flown into buildings. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed, with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse in the Pentagon's western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people (including the 19 hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage.
Despite 14 Years of the US War on Terror, Terror Attacks Have Skyrocketed Since 9/11.74 percent of all terror-related casualties occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Syria.
Even in today's world religions do more bad than good. A considerable percentage of man’s resources and time have been wasted for religions. Moral principles would have evolved anyway as they are essential for the peaceful co-existence of man. Religion has not contributed much even to this and each religion enforces different moral standards. Non-religious societies have been found to be more humane, loving and good to one’s fellow travelers.  
Millions of innocent people have been tortured and killed in the name of religions and holy fight in the bygone eras.  This is still going on and terrorism is still rampant. Major religions, although they deny accepting this fact, ill-treat Women.  There is, I think, no reason to believe in the superiority of the male although this is extolled by them for their own selfishness
If there was no religion, there would have been no Anglo French war, no suicide bomber, no 9/11, no Crusade, no witch-hunt, no Hindu Muslim rivalry/war, no Arab Israeli war, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacre, no persecution of Jews, no gas chamber, no honor killing, no Jihadi, no terrorist, no Taliban, no Osama   Bin Laden, no oppression of women, no beheading of blasphemers and no persecution in the name of religion
World mourns the lives lost. Only emotional attachment to a god can make men do such evil as that in Paris now, earlier in the Twin Tower massacre or in the Mumbai blasts. The world should take concerted action to wipe out religions from the face of the earth so that terror disappears.
Let no life get lost in 2016 because of a religion or a god.  Let none keep ill-feeling to a fellow traveler-after all we are all of the same stock.  If religions disappear from this earth, man will live happily here forever more.   As Tennyson wrote "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering it will be happier."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jesus did not start Christianity

Who really founded Christianity? Was it Jesus, as most Christians believe? Did it directly evolve from the Essene with Jesus at the central point? Or was it Paul who established this new faith? Probably it was an amalgamation of all the three but the role of Jesus was insignificant. He perhaps wanted to reform the hypocritical Jews and make people live as per the tenets of the Torah. It was St. Paul who gave a divine meaning to the passion and death of Christ which had not been thought about by anyone else.  He invented the idea that Christ died for the sins of the world. It is obvious that most of the Christian sacraments and rituals were not introduced by Jesus. They are found in the writings of St. Paul who could have borrowed them from the mystery religions like Mithraism and monastic sects like Essene.
Pauline Christianity is the most prominent one that shaped the early Christian communities. Many of the best references to support the theology which Christians hold on to and support are gleaned from the epistles of St. Paul. Hyam Maccoby (British Jewish scholar and dramatist who specialized in the study of the Jewish and Christian religious traditions) believes St. Paul formed a new religion, taking ideas such as baptism, the Eucharist, Christology, the Holy Spirit, and eschatology and melded them with Jewish sacred history, Gnosticism, the teachings of Quran community and the pagan mystery religions like Mithraism. The teachings of Jesus had common elements with the Jewish Pharisaical teaching and that of the Essene. Jesus was born a Jew; he lived and died one. Jesus did not wish to abrogate Judaism, but was only in conflict with certain practices of the Jewish elite. He wouldn’t then accept his own divinity. The Synoptic gospels prove this point, but not John's  as it was done much later after the establishment of the theology propounded by Paul. Even the Synoptic gospels were written 30-40 years after Christ’s death and there was plenty of time for the Pauline theological ideas to creep into them and shape them.
Retionalist Cochin kerala

Paul was a free man from the Greco-oriental world of Asia Minor whose Roman name was Paul. In Asia Minor there were many mystery religions, and they were centered upon young gods who died young and resurrected. Sacraments of bread and wine prevailed too.  And those were considered to be bonds between the gods and the faithful. Through them people thought gods bestowed on them divine life.  He had all these in mind when he went to the land of Israel.
Paul was originally a Pharisee who persecuted the Christians.  He was conscious of the inefficiency of his own religion and was probably looking for a better one. Paul would have compared the doctrine of the pagan mystery religions  which proclaimed about gods who had passed away in the bloom of life and risen into a new life with the one of whom the Christians talked about who died young on the cross. It was a part of the Jewish faith that the dead would be awakened again.  A prophet had spoken of the revival of the Jewish men on the third day. Like the pagan sacraments, nourishment with the bread and wine and the baptism of initiation could be found among the new Christian communities too. Baptism with water had been a sacrament of Judaism. The thought of the prophecy about the coming of a mighty ruler flashed across his mind. Then he could feel not only the hopes of the Jews, but also the yearnings of what had been promised in those mysterious realms. But before the Messiah would return, faith in him might grant everything that the mystery cults promised to offer to the initiated through the sacraments.
Paul has a vision
Soon he joined the congregation of the followers of Jesus. He read whatever he could get on the Nazarene. He was awe-inspired at the life of this ideal man who loved the poor and preached eternal life to them. He tried to find a new meaning for his crucifixion and passion. Why did he have to die like that? What did he do to deserve it? Was he not the best human ever? Still he was scourged, beaten up and made to carry a big cross on which he was crucified.  He had a new awakening. One day He saw Jesus coming to him with a big cross in an apparition. The sight of the Messiah carrying a heavy cross upon his bleeding shoulders was enough to deduct that Jesus was carrying the sins of the world. He could find out a meaning for the suffering Jesus underwent. He wanted to repent for all his sins and he started preaching his new awakening and the new revelation to whomever he could find.
Paul’s faith became the center of his life.  The vision he had consumed his whole being. What had happened in Paul was a revolution, a transformation rather than a mere conversion. He had to forget many things: his past life, its wrong deeds and its beliefs. The manifestation made him a new apostle, a new revolutionary. His old Jewish Theo-centered-faith got converted into a new Christ-centered one. The vision had disclosed to him the celestial meaning for life. Jesus became the promised Messiah and the Son of God whose death and resurrection were his main concerns.
The romantic certainty with which Paul spoke was derived from the psychic experience. It had the power of a revolution. He seemed to get the truth finished and completed. Jesus seemed to speak to him and he had only to listen. Any person who has such an experience, according to psychologists, gets the feeling that grace has descended on him.
Paul organizes a new religion
Paul was a man of letters and he could command a literary skill.  He was well-versed in the common religious tongue of the Greek. He also had artistic and poetic talents. All these are reflected in Paul’s writings.  Later the Church canonized his writings and they are included in the Bible. The letters of St. Paul propound the Christian faith.
These writing are different from the Gospel narrations. He speaks not about the doctrine of Jesus but about him.  The gospel teachings and the new faith they enshrine take a sidetrack; theological discourses of the sacraments and the rituals the believers have to perform take prominence. His incarnation, death and resurrection displace the good deeds and the teachings of Jesus. According to scholars on St. Paul’s writings, Jesus had remained a Jew always; but Paul the Jew became Paul the Christian. Jesus, the founder of the sect had been a prophet and dreamer and Paul organized and built up the foundations of a new religion. He introduced a new ethical code. And to spread a new religion from the faintest outlines, he borrowed a lot that was pagan.
As mentioned, it was St. Paul who gave a meaning to the death of Christ and to Christianity. Many think he was the real founder of Christianity. He was the one who developed the idea of Christ as both divine and human. The relationship and analogies of Paul’s religion with those of the mystery cults are so evident that sometimes historians think Paul is the founder of a new mystery cult.
He thought of Christ as a personal redeemer, savior or Lord through whom mankind will attain salvation. These terms were all known to the mystery cults like Zoroastrianism that they were easily assimilated by the new converts. Further, to attract the intellectuals of Greece, he borrows the idea of ‘logos’ from Philo’s philosophy. He had taught that God, the All father, had contact with the earth only through intermediary beings known as Logos, ‘the word’, ‘the son of god’, and ‘the Holy Spirit’. See how Christ became the Son of God and the prominence ‘word’ and Holy Spirit got accorded to in the gospels.
Paul adopts pagan rituals and holy days
Many of the sacramental rituals of the pagans were simply adopted as such. In many of the mystery religions there had been means for entering into communion with God. The raw blood of the bull was eaten to have divine life of the deity concerned. The priest’s administration ‘to cut up and minister the cake and distribute the liquid to the devotees’ recorded in the fragmentary inscriptions from Tomi on the Black sea scroll indicate the same sacramental element (like the present day bread and wine sharing) in the Samo-Theracian cult. St Paul established the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist form such mystery religions. The sacrament of baptism was also derived from the Pagan religious rituals. In the worship of the Pagan mother-Goddess, Cybele and her cohort Attis, initiation into a blessed immortality was secured by anointing the body of the novice with a mixture of mud and bran. 
To spread his new religion St Paul as mentioned, adopted many of the sacramental elements of the pagan religions. He adopted the Mithraic Sunday instead of Jewish Sabbath. The Mithraic holidays such as Christmas, Easter and epiphany were simply adopted as such. The sacramental ritual of the Mithraic religion was preferred to the Jewish temple sacrifice. Like the mythological gods, Christ, the Son of God came to be conceived of a virgin. Pictures of Jesus and Mary which had a remarkable resemblance of the older picture of Osiris and Horus were set up in the new Churches.  Almost all the Christian ceremonies are, in some way or other connected with the ceremonies of the mystery religions. Many authors have brought them to light. Gerald L. Berry, ‘Author of Religions of the World’, draws a parallel between the past mystery cults and Christianity and shows clearly how the latter evolved from the former.  
There are scholars who believe that the Gospels are opposed to the material found in the letters of Paul. They point out to many supposed contradictions between that which Jesus taught and what Paul wrote. These according to them prove that the message of Jesus, a true Jewish Pharisee, was not the same as that of Paul’s. Other scholars believe that that Jesus and Paul are not in full contradiction with one another, and that most of what Paul claims are already in the Gospels though in a different way. One of the reasons for this stand could be that most of the New Testament books were written after the theology of St. Paul was well established and known to all early Christians.  Because there are no known writings from Jesus or any direct apostle, or anyone that actually knew Him in the flesh. Most of what he taught is lost forever. 

Why Paul does not mention anything that Jesus is said to have done in the Bible?
In all the Epistles of Paul, there is not one word about Christ's virgin birth. Does it mean that the story of the virgin birth had not yet been invented when Paul wrote?  A large portion of the Gospels is devoted to accounts of the miracles Christ is said to have wrought. But Paul has not given the slightest hint that Christ ever performed any miracle. Is it conceivable that Paul was not acquainted with the miracles of Christ? Didn’t he know that Christ had cleansed the leprous, cast out devils, made the blind see, deaf hear, dumb speak, raised the dead and walked over the lake waters?  Why Paul didn’t write a single line on the wonders Jesus did? Could it not be possible that the accounts of the miracles wrought by Jesus had not yet been invented or recorded anywhere when Paul's Epistles were written? (Obviously, the gospels were a later product.)
Paul was not only silent on the virgin birth and the miracles of Jesus; he did not have the slightest knowledge of the teachings of Jesus like the Sermon on the Mount. Paul had not heard of Lord’s Prayer now recited by every Christian in the world. Christ taught in parables; Paul was not acquainted with them either. Paul, the man who perhaps established Christianity is almost ignorant of the teachings of Christ. Why does he not quote a single line of what Jesus Christ said in all of his thirteen Epistles? 
 Is it not a wonder that the teachings of Christ had not been known to Paul? If he did, he would have made use of them in his writings. Why did  a Christian missionary would go to foreign lands and work for  many years to convert people for  Christ, and never once mention what Christ had said to the masses,  the Lord's Prayer or at least  of one of the parables and be silent on the master’s precepts? The Churches have been teaching throughout the centuries these teachings of Christ-the virgin birth, the miracles, the parables, and the precepts of Jesus not mentioned by St. Paul.  The answer could be that the virgin-birth, miracles, preaching of Christ, parables, Sermon on the Mount, Lord’s Prayer and all were not known to the world in Paul's day- or they were not yet invented!
The Christ Paul knew was the Christ he saw in a vision while on his way to Damascus and not a living, human being, who preached and worked among men. The Christ Paul knew and the Jesus of the Gospels is two different beings. Paul does not speak of a Christ, followed by the multitude or one who performed miracles and taught substantial things. He was more concerned with why he had to die and what rituals the Christian followers Had to practice.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Why people believe in gods?

A comprehensive survey revealed that only about 14 percent of English speaking professional philosophers are theists.  Most professional philosophers regard it as a strange aberration among otherwise intelligent people. Surveys of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, composed of the most prestigious scientists in the world, show that religious belief among them is practically nonexistent, about 7 percent only.

In the European Middle Ages belief in a God was ubiquitous, while today it is rare among the intelligentsia. There has been a dramatic change in the last few centuries in the proportion of believers among the highly educated in the Western world.
I genuinely find the gods of religions like Christianity, to be less plausible than, say, Father Christmas. I'm astonished that people can believe in such stuff. Why people still believe such stupid stuff?
Indoctrination into Religion:  
People tend to stay with whatever religion they were raised in. People acquire a religion before their critical thinking skills develop and that religion become the true religion for them. That's really not a very good reason to believe the religion is true.
Indoctrination into Anti-Atheist Bigotry
Many societies think that those who don't believe in god are evil, immoral, and a threat to the society. And consequently the people never dream of dropping their religious belief. Who wants to be regarded as immoral? American Children learn in public schools that USA  is a nation for people who believe in God and this message is reinforced throughout their lives by preachers, politicians, and all community leaders.
Religion seems to be enormously important to families and communities, creating a tremendous amount of pressure on individuals to conform to religious practices. People who step out-by choosing to live different- are perceived as rejecting one of the most important bonds which keep a family together.Secular Thinker Kerala India

Fear of death-cessation of existence- is a nightmare for many. They subconsciously long to live forever and hence afterlife appeals to them emotionally. And they insist on believing that somehow their soul or mind will continue to exist eternally in heavenly bliss. Some believe they will be reincarnated in a new form. They all want to believe that physical death is not the end of this life.
Many conservative believers from many religions seem to be happy that there is a god who wants them to exercise unchecked power over women. This seems to be the real reason why some men cling to their religion. As their scripture is clothed with divine authorship it is believed by the women too.   
Some other reasons:
Religious beliefs make it possible for believers to avoid taking personal responsibility for what's going on. They don't have to be responsible for ensuring that justice is done because God will provide that. They don't have to be responsible for solving environmental problems because God will do that. They don't have to be responsible for developing strong moral rules because God has already done that.
Believers Lack basic skills in Logic and Reasoning. They are blind to reason; their faith swallows every reasonable thought or argument. There is no reason to believe in a god. Perhaps the most basic reason for not believing in any god is the absence of good reasons for believing. Those who believe must find support for their beliefs, not the other way round. Non-believers don't need reasons not to believe.
Just think: Why does the theist disbelieve in all other gods except the one or a few of their own religion? There have been tens or thousands of gods throughout history. Why believe just in those of your religion? Many of the gods are already dead. Some of them still live on, but they will die too eventually.  
An atheist simply doesn’t believe in any god. He is not interested in denying any god.  Atheism is nothing more or less than the absence of belief in gods. Living an atheist is difficult as a vast majority in the society think poorly of atheists. Atheism does have an advantage over theism as theists are unable to provide good rational, logical and empirical reasons to believe that their god exists. Their Belief is decided by circumstances, family and early childhood experiences. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Non productive clergy of a harmful religion

As of 2010, Around  2.2 billion -32% of the world’s population-are Christians,  1.6 billion (23%)  are Muslims,  1 billion -15% are Hindus,  nearly 500 million -7%-are Buddhists and 14 million -0.2%- are Jews. More than 400 million people (6%) practice various traditional religions. Slightly less than 1% of the global population belongs to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, etc. Christians are obviously the majority in the world. This does not give any indication that the religion is superior or its doctrines deserve merit. 

Christians have been disintegrating into various sects of opposing beliefs and contradictory doctrines from the beginning. The greatest wars have been fought between Protestants and Catholics and between Christians and Muslims. There have been excommunications and counter excommunications between the orthodox and Catholics, between the Catholics and Protestants and between the Catholics and Anglicans.

Popes, cardinals and bishops and priests have always enjoyed spiritual, political and worldly pleasures while the common man suffered indescribably.  In the medieval centuries papal palaces had been the abodes of harlots. And a number of popes made their illicit sons the next popes.  There is an era in papal history called the rule of the harlots. Catholics had burnt poor women as witches, thrown those who did not believe their foolish Christian doctrines into the dens of lions; scientists were burnt or interned as they disagreed with their stupidity. They persecuted the Jews for 2000 years and killed so many of them. 

Hitler killed thousands thinking he does the will of the Christian Almighty.

Millions of priests, cardinals and  popes have lived luxurious lives at the expense of the poor faithful and their luxurious, licentious lives have prompted people to react like they did in the French revolution.   Even now there are 119 cardinals, 2946 bishops, an equal number of auxiliaries,  2, 19,583 parish  priests and 2,79,561 religious priests who lead a care-free life at the expense of the faithful.  Apart from this there are now 7,05,529 sisters, and 55,314 brothers. There must be perhaps an equal number of  clergy in the other denominations too, doing no work, but living as parasites feeding on the earnings of the faithful.  If they could earn and live like others this world would have been a better place. A good percentage of the resources of man have already been spent for religions like Christianity.  

There are other problems too. Pope Francis has revealed that one in every fifty Catholic priests is a pedophile. If they have harmed 5 children each, total number of children harmed during our period will be more than 1.5 Million! The number of priest-sodomites will be much more. Between 20 and 60 percent of all Catholic priests are gay according to one estimate cited by Donald B. Cozzens in his well-regarded: “The Changing Face of the Priesthood Nov 30, 2013.”

Dan Dennett has been studying the phenomenon of preachers who don’t believe what they preach, and the paper and commentary are available at the Washington post. Strangely, the newspaper has headlined it as Skeptical clergy a silent majority. If priests don’t believe what they preach why should others? It’s interesting stuff to atheists. These are people who entered the ministry  full of belief but as they delved into religious dogmas and scriptures, they discovered they were all rubbish. But the brain-washed people-who perhaps read Bible only, that too with absolute faith-do not even think of it as nonsense.  

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Jewish God massacres Jews later!

The Jews, during the time of Jesus, cherished a supreme hope: the coming of the kingdom of peace and justice, when the former glories of King David and Solomon would be seen again. When the Jews were in exile they had longed for such a triumphal period. Israel’s ideal Messiah would be an ideal David and greater than him. Even during the times of Jesus, the Jews, as they were under the Roman subjugation, dreamed of such a redeemer. This could be why the evangelist makes people sing: Hosanna to the son of David (Matthew: 21:9).

The Jews have not accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Their standpoint is clear. Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies mentioned in the scriptures. Messiah was to bring an age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34). This has not happened.

Secular Thinker UK
The Bible specifically says he would build a third temple. ( Ezekiel 37:26-28) and gather all Jews to the Land of Israel. He would usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. He would Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one (Isaiah 43:5-6). Nothing of these has ever happened.
Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible's description of the expected future King and prophesies concerning him, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. Christians believe that these promises will be fulfilled in His Second Coming. This is a way of escapism when you cannot counter the facts. In the Jewish Bible there is no concept of a second coming of the Messiah.
The mainstream Jews have totally rejected Jesus-that too for valid reasons- and his story has harmed the community in many ways. Some modern Jewish thinkers feel that the historical Jesus may have been closer to Judaism than either the Gospels or traditional Jewish accounts would indicate. Jesus was born a Jew; he lived and died a Jew. He never even thought of instituting a new religion; perhaps St. Paul did that dirty work. 

The original Jewish God is the Christian God too. But as Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jews, Christianity encouraged hatred towards Jews and when it became powerful-after the Roman Empire made it their official religion. In 380AD Theodosius I decreed Christianity to be the official state religion of the Roman Empire. Thereafter the Jews were looked down upon and their troubles began. Ambrose, the bishop of Mediolanum, opposed the efforts of Theodosius to acknowledge the civil rights of Jews, pagans, and heretics as equal to those of Christians. In a public confrontation with the emperor, in his cathedral, Ambrose made the emperor back down. He proclaimed that Christ was killed by the Jews and God the Father might avenge them, whom they do not acknowledge as Father since they do not acknowledge the Son.  This became the typical Christian attitude for centuries to come. Christians’ conviction that the Jews had crucified Jesus and that the Jewish descendants have to share their sin - hereditary guilt- (like descendants of Adam and eve share the original sin). The correspondence of Gregory 1 shows that Jews lived untroubled among Christians in certain regions and were treated cruelly by others. In the century that followed Gregory’s papacy, the expulsion of Jews started in Europe- France under King Dagobert (626) and under the Spanish monarchy expelled them with the collusion of the Church. By the end of the 7th century the Jews had two options: choose baptism or slavery. All the time Christians believed that Jews were being divinely punished or will be punished for not accepting the new belief.
The Jews of Western Europe began to suffer new indignities as the crusades came on. The Christian mobs and crusaders slaughtered Jews or committed pillage and it lingers long in the Jewish memory. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the slanderous charges against Jews often led to massacres. Many German Jews fled eastward. Even Martin Luther, towards the latter part of his career, wrote against the Jews and termed them ‘damned rejected race.’ From the early 19th century, anti-Jewish sentiment of the Catholic and the Protestant Europe was becoming more pronounced. Anti-Semitism was simply targeting the Jewish ethnicity.
The Jews were often preyed upon by the Christian majority and harsh infringements of Jewish rights got censured and restrictions were imposed on their full participation in the society. They had to pay for crucifying Jesus and for not accepting the new religion! Some Christian historians observe that although such cruelties and enslavement did take place but the Jews were not eliminated as it happened in the Nazi era!  The cruelties and enslavement have continued for centuries up to the modern times.  Many of today’s Jews and a good section of the world community are convinced that the horror of Hitler’s days (recall the gas chambers at Auschwitz) was simply the culmination of centuries of "Jew Hate" entertained by the Christians.

 Thus Yahweh-the common God of the two groups- inspired Christians to kill His own people whom He had selected so judiciously and freed them from the Egyptian slavery by punishing Pharaoh and all Egyptians. He had helped them settle in the land of Canaan by massacring surrounding kingdoms and guarded them like a possessed one and with whom he traveled in the desert in an arc always. It is contradictory to the nature of any god to let his chosen sect persecuted and killed by a new sect owing allegiance to the same God.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

On the Birth of Christ

Many Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter were adopted almost as such from the mystery cults.  The birth of Jesus was pictured with shepherds, wise men, divine star; a dictator trying to kill the child and so on as seen in the stories of the births of many mythical gods that were celebrated on December 25th.  In the Zoroastrian cult there were elaborate celebrations on December 25th:  bells were rung, hymns sung, candles lit, sacraments of blood and water administered to the initiate. The ‘Roman Saturnalia’ a festival held on December 25th in the mystery cults of Italy, was one of the brightest of all festivals held in the early times. Christians simply adopted these; “Santa Claus" and “Christmas tree" were all later additions.

Wintertime in Palestine was very harsh and traveling very difficult and uncomfortable. It seems unlikely that the shepherds would be sleeping out in the fields while tending their sheep during that season. Hence many scholars feel Jesus was born not anywhere near December 25.

Image result for jesus baby 

The stories of the shepherds and wise men that recognized the child as the son of god are preserved in Mathew and Luke. Remember David himself was a shepherd in the fields of Bethlehem. The said narration could have been inserted to show the coming of the Messianic Shepherd from David’s line. Mathew describes the attempt of Herod to destroy the child and hence Joseph and Mary took flight to Egypt and returned back to Nazareth where they settled down. If Jesus was recognized as the promised King by the shepherds and if Herod accepted this fact and took measures to kill the babe, why did he emerge as a stranger from Nazareth to begin his ministry? Why were the gospel writers silent on the thirty years of his life? Why didn’t any one recognize him during his public life? An attempt is made in the 4th gospel (A much later production) where Jesus is accepted by John the Baptist and the first disciples. The other three gospel writers make him Christ only by making Peter confess at Caesarea Philippi. After his birth, Christ vanishes into thin air. Nothing is known of the life of the Almighty God until he has reached the age of thirty years and the whole gospels are about his ministry which lasted just one year according to the synoptic gospels and more than two years according to John.

The story of the Immaculate Conception and connected legends and the miracles were invented to picture him as a god. Remember many of the mythological and pagan gods of those times had Immaculate Conception and they had done many miracles. Present day scholars find the genealogy given in the gospels- added to show that Jesus is the heir of the promise made to Abraham- totally wrong. If he was born of a virgin what is the use of giving the genealogy extending to Joseph?

Matthew says he was born when Herod was King of Judea. Luke says he was born when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria. He could not have been born during the administration of these two rulers for Herod died in the year 4 B.C., and Cyrenius, (Quirinius in Roman history), did not become Governor of Syria until ten years later. Herod and Quirinius are separated by the reign of Archelaus, Herod's son. Between Matthew and Luke, there is, thus a gap of at least ten years, as to the time of Christ's birth. The gospels authors were not recording actual history.

No early Christian knew when Christ was born. The Encyclopedia Britannica says: "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth." Nobody knew when the Almighty god was born on this earth! The date and month of his birth were unknown. As Antonmaria Lupi, a learned Jesuit, has mentioned, the nativity of Christ has been assigned to every month in the year, at one time or another. 

Gospels try to show that Nazareth of Galilee was his home town for obvious reasons. Matthew, Mark and Luke say that thirty years of his life were spent there. Matthew says he was born in Bethlehem (to fulfill a prophecy in the Book of Micah). But Micah had prophesied the coming of a military leader, not a divine teacher. Luke says his birth occurred at Bethlehem, where his mother had gone with her husband, to make the enrollment called for by Augustus Caesar. Of the general census mentioned by Luke, nothing is known in Roman history. In any census, the Roman custom wanted every man to report at his place of residence. The head of the family alone made a report. Wife or any dependent was not required to do so. Still Luke says that Joseph left his home in Nazareth and crossed two provinces and went to Bethlehem with his pregnant wife, Mary on the very eve of her becoming a mother. Can this be true? The Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem, the city of David. And hence, as Ernest Renan, famous for Bible criticism says his birth was made to take place there. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Evolution of a tribal all father into the Almighty God!

Christians now believe their religion has been established by the omnipotent, omniscient and Almighty God. But it will be interesting to see how he evolved over centuries. Earlier he was the tribal god of the Israelite, making covenants with them, protecting them like a fiend, killing millions like an ethnic maniac, travelling with them in an arc, giving vent to his anger and vengeance on the people when they went against even his remotest wishes. But after the coming of Christ this god turned against Judaism and inspired Christians to persecute and kill his chosen people for centuries. When Islam was formed, they adopted the same god but bloody wars were fought for centuries between Muslims, Christians and Jews who all believe in the same god!    

Bible’s classic pagan deity, Baal-worshiped by Canaanites-was a fertility god and was sometimes called the Lord of Rain and Dew. He was a second tier deity in the pantheon of the Canaanite gods who were presided over by EI whose cohort was Asherah. Yahweh a warrior god and the lord of a number of nature phenomena-like storm, fire and earthquake in the Mid-East region somehow got into the EI group of gods and later when each god was assigned a kingdom he became Israel’s deity. 

Retionalist Thinker Australia

Yahweh was originally a storm god. He was not a god of the settled people. His habitation was in the southern desert, Nogeb. The mountains rocked at the presence of Yahweh, the god of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:2) Yahweh came upon his tribe from Sinai and dawned on them from Seit. He shone forth from the mountains of Paran, and advanced from Marybeth with lightning bolts at his right hand. He also manifested himself as a mountain god and revealed his powers in volcanic eruptions and seismic disturbances (Exodus 19:18, Deuteronomy 4:5, Judges 5:4, Kings 19: 8-14). Like any other primitive god he also spoke in thunder. His theophany to Moses was in a flame of fire (Exodus 3:2). He appeared to them in thunder lightning and fire(Exodus 19:16; 24:15) He is continuously remembered as a storm god throughout Hebrew history. (I Kings 8:11, Isaiah 4:5, 30:30). Like the original storm god Baal, Yahweh was known as the rider of the clouds. (psalms: 68:4, Isaiah 19:1)  Aramaic Papyri discovered in 1907 at Yeb revealed that in the 5th century BC female consorts were assigned to Yahweh.

He is called a warrior god in Exodus 15:3, ‘God of hosts’ was his frequent title. When he turned a storm God, his war nature and war-capabilities got displaced. It was by  a ‘blast of his nostrils’ that He made the red sea do his will (Exodus 15 :8,10) It was by a storm that he slew Israel’s foes at Bethhoron (Josua10:11). He differed from the other tribal all-fathers in that he interfered with the affairs of the Hebrews.

In the course of time, Yahweh began to assume human-like attributes. He was thought to be in human terms with voice, thoughts, emotions, and everything quite like a man. The tribe being nomadic, their god traveled with it in its wanderings. He guarded his tribe by accompanying them everywhere. A tent was provided to house him and he was carried from place to place in a sacred ark.

Abraham who might have lived around 2000 BC was the father of the tribe and his god was Yahweh. In the Judaic  traditions, the god of the Hebrews is the god of Abraham. Later he became the patron god of the Israelite. Christians and Muslims, like Jews, trace their god back to the god that, according to the Bible, revealed himself to Abraham in the second millennium BC.  Though all the three groups claim the same lineage for their god, they don’t seem to worship the same god. If they worship the same god, crusades, jihads and other Muslim-Christian wars would make us conclude that Yahweh is fighting Yahweh!

Moses who succeeded in his mission of liberating Israelite from Egypt gave Yahweh, the storm god, a slight universal appeal and he instilled a peculiar place for him in the worship and the life of the people. He interpreted his luminous experience in the burning bush during the period of his exile in Median in terms of a revelation from the god. Afterwards, Yahweh is known and worshiped as the god who brought the tribe form Egypt. The Hebrew religion is really grounded in their exodus from Egypt.
According to the prophets this god rebuked the selfish and the oppressors. Assyrians destroyed Israel in 722 BC and Isaiah a prophet of this period foretold the destruction of the Assyrian host because they opposed his god. All prophesies were made in certain difficult periods, to project the power of Yahweh to the tribe. 
Later spiritual leaders of the Hebrews de-anthropomorphized Yahweh without converting him into an abstraction comprehensible only to philosophers. He was a god without form or shape but with emotions of anger, love and vengeance. People could understand their deity. The picture of Yahweh was vague and hazy even at the time of their flight from Egypt. Hebrew spiritual leaders managed to evolve this deity into a concrete one and implanted his power in the Hebraic in the course of generations.

Like all the deities of the primitive tribes Yahweh also demanded sacrifices and they were elaborate rituals connected with them. Yahweh liked burnt offering of first fruits and herds but there are statements in the Bible which indicate that he liked human sacrifices too. The story of the attempt to sacrifice Isaac for Yahweh shows that human sacrifice was not repugnant to him. Further there is clear evidence that he demanded the first born. “The first born of thy sons shall thou give unto me (Exodus 20:22, 23:33).This line of thinking is reinforced by the annual commemoration of that terrible night when his angel set forth in the bloody campaign against the Egyptians. The paschal ritual of the Jews was conducted in the memory of the great massacre of the first born of Egyptians. The first born of Israelite could have been sacrificed in the course of the festival for their god.

It was during the time of Jeremiah that a thorough going monotheism appeared among the people. As a scholar puts it, ‘Imperialism was in the air; monotheism was nothing but imperialism in religion.’ Second Isaiah ridicules the idea that there can be more gods than Yahweh. Yahweh slowly loses his earlier character as the tribal god and becomes instead, the universal god. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

No freewill& hence no meaning for Christianity

If there is no freewill the whole edifice of Christendom will simply crumble into myriad pieces and disappear incognito.  
If God is a just god who wants to reward those who respond to His commandments and punish those who do not, He must have endowed each one with equal freedom. Has everyone got equal freedom or has everyone been able to exercise freewill equally?  Unless every man is equally free to do good or bad, there will be no meaning for God's  judgment.
Freewill implies that we are free to think and decide and that we are in control of many of our actions unlike the involuntary things going on in our body like our heartbeat or digestion, unlike the instinctual imperative of a bird's nest-building or a dog's conditioned responses. As we are aware of our ability to think of the consequences of our choices we should claim responsibility for our actions. Freewill is the ability to freely choose one of several possible alternatives. It supposes that human choices are not predetermined.  It means we could have done otherwise. 
Even Catholics admit that many factors determine the human will.  Mind is a function of the corporal organism which is determined by the internal and external forces. The biological nature of our body does influence our will. The individual composition of our cells received directly from our parents and indirectly form our ancestors do affect our volition. Our actions are influenced by the genetically programmed brain structures and chemistry. The balance or imbalance of the endocrine glands is very significant in the use of our mental faculties. A defect in the functioning of one or the other of these glands can impair the functioning of the organism. In extreme cases the functioning of the freewill is rendered impossible. Excessive thyroid problems can harm deliberations too. 

The psychotic, patients of hysteria, the mentally retarded and so on cannot deliberate or use freewill as normal men can. The feeble minded, and the hydro cephalic do not use it either. The degree of freedom differs from individual to individual. Many do not enjoy freedom to deliberate and decide their actions.  Since all cannot exercise freewill in an equal way, any judgment under a general norm is meaningless and absurd.    
Further, our actions are very much influenced by how we have been brought up and how we have been programmed. There are parents who bring up kids according to strict moral codes and there are others who inculcate loose morals. The society one grows in influences individual actions too. One’s approach to sex is based on the existing culture. In a strictly puritan society people may try to abstain from it. But in a loose one their tendency is to indulge in it. Many of our actions are conditioned into us.  To a large extent we are determined by our genes, parents and relatives, homes (peaceful or broken) schools, environment, culture, religion, friends, education, literature, media. All of us have to respond to these influences. It’s not one’s fault that he got wrong influences and does wrong and it’s not the merit of another who got good influences and does good. Why to venerate saints then? 
There is little doubt today that our complex abilities like awareness, cognition, learning, and motor control - are products of the mechanistic operation of our brains which is largely inherited. Science shows that our mental abilities emerge from the specific interaction between neurons, molecules, and atoms. Furthermore, the indications are that these interactions are entirely subject to the known laws of physics and chemistry. Justifiably, modern science takes it for granted that, in time, machines will have all the functionality of animals. Where is the question of freewill then? 
Neuroscience and genetics throws much light into the way our brains function. Neuroscientists argue that we can peer into the brain now and see that there is no "agent" there making choices. They do so by analyzing results of brain scanning tools like ‘ functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI). John Searle (1997) approaches consciousness from a biological perspective and argues that our brain is no freer than the liver or the stomach. Geneticists are discovering that many psychological experiences are linked with gene-environment interactions, such that people with a specific gene are more likely to react in a certain way. Van Roekel et al (2013) have proven this by showing specific human behaviors. Many of our “free" responses are really determined by our biology, our environment, or both.
Simply put, we are not all that free in our deliberations or life choices. We lead a life and act according to the biology and structure of our brain, body constitution, early childhood experiences and prevailing culture we are brought up in. There isn’t a lot of freedom of choice as we have been made to believe. If there is no freewill the whole edifice of Christendom will simply crumble into myriad pieces and disappear incognito. 

Even If we admit the doctrine of free-will we will come to contradictory conclusions. God is the cause of all things that exist and may exist in future. But if we admit man is free to do the way he wants the principle of causality has an exception. Man’s free actions will be outside God’s will/knowledge/determination. If God allows man to be free to choose his actions God will have to change what He has known for all times and then He will be no more God.    

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Only Bible for the poor!

It is really a sad thing that almost 80% of the people living today believe in one religion or another. They don’t know what they believe. They have been conditioned into it and they blindly do so. If they were born into another religion as children they would have followed that and considered their present one nonsense.

It’s good to recollect that almost all people are atheists except that they believe in their own religion. Every religion cannot be true anyway. And hence we have to believe that either none of them is true or all are true. If all are true the gods who represent them would have forbidden their own followers from massacring followers of their brother gods. They would have taught them to love others. But the followers of one religion hate those of another one and insist on seeing them with apprehension, if not hatred. They also maintain that no other religion is true.

Secular Thinker Kerala India

There is only one option left. The various gods of different religions are in rivalry and are competing with each other. Wars, conflicts, massacre, killing and hatred continue everywhere. Gods of some of the religions themselves have massacred millions of innocent people. Some of the gods have chosen to murder others and annex their territories for their chosen ones.

Killing men, women, children, the crippled and the invalids do not in any way show compassion or love. We should believe that gods who do such heinous deeds are demons. They have played bullies so far. They have been cruel and angry with man who is in a  miserable plight down here. Gods have been killing children mercilessly; they have been sending natural calamities like quakes, floods, famines, volcanic eruptions, tempests, cyclones, tsunamis, horrendous diseases and plagues. There is no help coming from any one of them any time.  No prayer is being answered ever. No help reaches the poor billions who die of hunger, malnutrition and diseases.

The only thing available in abundance for the poor is the religious text like Bible. Quakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, plaques, famine, diseases, poverty and horrendous viruses are in abundance too killing children, teens and adults. Even after a fllood, plague, quake or flood the pious Christians distribute Bible free to the survivors!  In Nepal after the horrendous quake and its aftershocks missionaries distributed Bibles. In Chennai (old Madras) after the recent  devastating flood, Bibles were given free too.  

Does mankind require such religious texts anymore? They harp on an afterlife and discourage people from making most of this life. A considerable percentage of man’s resources and time have already been wasted for religions. Millions of innocent people have been tortured and killed in the name of religions and holy fight. Such books inspire people for terror and killing even now. Why should man waste his time reading such nonsense?  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


There were popes who were more licentious than any immoral ruler and who made their illicit sons the next popes.  At other times they were merely puppets at the hands of emperors and kings who made many they wanted as popes. 

The Roman Church had become wealthy and strong by the 8th century. Popes became imperious and acted with high-handedness. Many popes were from wealthy aristocratic families and they increased the wealth of the Church by demanding gifts in return for prayer and mass for the dead. The Church by AD 800 had become the greatest landowner of Europe. The papacy of the Roman Catholic Church fell under the influence of harlots and this era is generally termed pornocracy (the rule of the harlots). Pornocracy or the more polite Saeculum obscurum (Latin for the Dark Age) began in 904 AD with the installation of Pope Sergius III. The Pope was completely under the control of Theodora, the beautiful wife of Roman consul Theophylactus, who used sex to wield power. Theodora's 15-year-old daughter Morazia became the concubine of Pope Sergius III. Their illegitimate son later became Pope John XI. The era of Pornocracy ended with Pope John XII (the grandson of Marozia) in 963. He was so immoral that the Basilica of Rome was converted into a brothel under his rule. The luxurious Vatican palace had become a place of orgies and degradation. Prostitutes were welcome in the palace and the popes became licentious and drunken revels.

Pope becomes a puppet of Kings

Otto the Great, German king from 936 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 962 until his death in 973, chose his own popes. During the reign of  John XIII he took full control of the papacy and the Pope could do nothing about it. He appropriated the right for papal and higher clergy nominations and he selected popes and bishops and cardinals. They were not holy at all. As a large part of the land was owned by bishops and abbots, landlords got easily into these positions. Anyone could be made a bishop or a priest, if these powerful people wanted, without ordination or consecration. The next emperor, Henry III had deposed three rival popes. Over the next ten years he personally selected four of the next five pontiffs.

By the 13th century papacy acquired immense power. Popes introduced a method of nomination of bishops and other ecclesiastical authorities for which a fee was levied. A complicated and oppressive system of taxation was devised with a large number of papal officials sent everywhere demanding money. King Philip of France, being offended by such greedy plans of the Pope, determined to seize for himself the revenues of the Church and to impose heavy taxes. Pope Boniface VIII who was elected pope in 1294 argued strongly with the king and excommunicated him in 1303. To assert his authority, King Philip brought papacy under the domination of France.  He defied the Pope with impunity. Philip elected a Frenchman as Pope Clement V and made him take up residence at Avignon in 1309 in the south of France. He made nine French cardinals. Aside from Clement V, there were six other popes in Avignon. They were Pope John XXII from 1316-1334, Pope Benedict XII from 1334 to 1342, Pope Clement VI from 1342 to 1352, Pope Innocent VI from 1352 to 1362, Pope Urban V from 1362 to 1370 and Pope Gregory XI from 1370 to 1378. After a few years, persuaded by a pious nun, Pope Gregory returned to Rome. It was through a great effort that the Church slowly regained its ecclesiastical powers.

How can then papacy be a divinely instituted thing?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The most foolish religious belief!

I do not think there can be a more foolish thing than the Christian beliefs. They believe God created the first parents out of His immense love. But He put them to a test and they failed. The loving God immediately opened the gates of hell and started roasting the souls of men, women and children for all eternity. God is not moved by their agony or screams but pushes them down into the nether depths of fire to suffer, suffer and suffer.But He is love itself!  

Christians believe God created us to know Him, love Him and gain eternal reward by using our freewill. Demographics suggest that about half of all children born so far have died before they reached 15- when perhaps they become accountable to what they do. What is the purpose in creating billions and billions of children and killing them as infant, toddler, children and teens? Why does He create the mentally retarded, imbeciles, the psychotic and the feeble minded who cannot even know what God expects of them?   If God is rewarding them heaven-without any merit from their side, why the hell He insisted on a Test from the first parents to prove their loyalty and brought in all the evil?

 Secular Thinker UK

He could have forgiven them--after all Eve was tempted by the serpent God had set upon her for the purpose. But instead, God has been sending natural calamities-quakes, tempests, cyclones, floods, volcanic eruptions, famines, plagues of all kind to kill millions of people with all their dreams each year.  God has been sending horrendous diseases like cancer, diabetes, BP, cardiac arrest and so many others and He has released deadly viruses like AIDS to make man suffer, suffer and suffer.

Why did He reveal Himself to a small tribe of semi-stupefied nomads to the exclusion of all the others? He killed entire armies of Canaanites in the worst ethnic cleansing ever witnessed in the history of the world to settle His chosen tribe.  Where is the universality of God’s love in this story? He should be a mad demon to kill His own children for the sake of a few others He had chosen as His own. Only a stupid person will reveal what he wants to a minuscule tribe leaving all others in the dark. How does this God expect people to do His will when they do not know what He wants? Muslims believe their religion and their god is the true one. Jews believe theirs is the truth. Christians think Christianity is the way to God. Buddhists, Hindus Jains all follow their faiths thinking theirs are true.

There cannot be anything more foolish than the teaching that God Almighty sent His only son (who is his wife?) to die for the sins of man. A simple nod of His little finger --if He is anthropomorphic--was enough to do so. Much easier, he could have simply forgiven the first parents’ simple disobedience and the entire mankind would have been free of the Original Sin. It’s more foolish to think Almighty God walked through the rugged terrains of Palestine to get struck, scourged and crucified! I do not think any writer/poet or dreamer has ever woven more fictitious stuff than what is in the Bible.