Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Popes apologize...

Pope John Paul II made a sweeping apology for the Church’s 2,000 years of violence, persecution and blunders from the Altar of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on March 13, 2000. He sought forgiveness for the sins committed against Jews, heretics, women, Gypsies and native peoples. He had also pleaded for a future that would not repeat the mistakes. "Never again," he had said.

The present Pope Francis has already agreed that one in 50 priests (including bishops and cardinals) is a pedophile which is 'leprosy' infecting the Catholic Church. He also said that many more in the Church are guilty of covering it up, adding: ‘This state of affairs is intolerable.’ He added that the Church needed to apologize and explain how ‘utterly devastated’ it was about its history of child abuse. He has not explicitly mentioned how its priests and bishops sexually abuse girls, nuns, women, wives and others.

It is time for the present pope to make another apology to mankind for the Church’s policies against abortion and artificial contraception. The poor proliferate and their life is a real agony now as it has ever been. There are billions living in abject poverty now. The heavenly father who feeds the birds of the air does not help them at all. According to the United Nations World Magazine the Vatican’s treasure of solid gold amounts to several billion dollars! The golden throne of the pope will fetch a very good price too.  Further, the church is the biggest real estate owner; it has large investments in the leading banks of the world and has more wealth than any government or corporation in the world. Anyone would be outraged of the Church’s wealth and why don’t they help the millions of the poor, the sick, and the orphaned?  Is it not defying the express command of its founder, Jesus who ordered to sell everything and give it to the poor?  

Monday, February 22, 2016

10 common sense reasons why there cannot be a god

1.      The presence of an eternal hell where the souls of men and women are roasted for some temporal sins they committed in their earthly life. The said punishment is unimaginably disproportionate to the crime. No timeless or temporal Being can punish anyone so cruelly. It is against every natural justice.

2.      God chooses a small tribe as his own and conducts bloody wars killing other tribes to settle them.  He lets his tribe kill the elderly and children, burn orchards, and take virgin females as sexual slaves. An Almighty cannot love only a small stupefied nomadic peasant-tribe to the exclusion of all the others.
3.       He wanted animal and human sacrifice; the sweet smell of the blood and fatty meat was required to appease His anger, to make Him pleased and to pardon the sins of his people. Animals are also His creations and no sensible Being would want to kill that which He created.

4.       He sent His angels to slit the throat of the children of Egyptians. Can we assume God creates children and then cuts their throats to punish His enemy?

5.       God wants circumcision and genital mutilation!  Can a supernatural Being be more vulgar and stupid?

6.       In most of the religious books women are oppressed. They are pictured as instruments for man’s pleasure which is an utter nonsense and incompatible with the genetic and biological make up of man and woman and the universality of any god.

7.       All major religions disintegrated into thousands of warring sects that culminated into prolonged and bloody wars. Catholic Church excommunicated the heads of the Patriarch of the East, the ruler of England, Martin Luther, John Calvin and many others and thus paved the way for bloody and prolonged conflicts.  Martin Luther opposed the pope’s selling of indulgences as it was wrong to assume that souls would be freed of their punishment in purgatory by giving money to the Pope. Islam has also diversified into opposing sects that wage bloody battles.

8.       Inter-religious rivalry has ended up in major wars like crusades, Hindu-Muslim, Jewish Arab wars, of the medieval and modern times killing millions. Man’s hatred towards his co-traveler starts from his desire to prove the superiority of the God he believes in.  

9.       There is nothing divine in the history of any religion. There was a time in the Church history when harlots ruled papacy and the illegitimate sons of the popes became the next pontiffs. Many powerful rulers like the king of France and the German emperor chose popes of their whim and fancy.
The inquisition courts of the Catholic Church labeled many honest people as heretics and burnt them at stake. It burnt English men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale who translated the Bible into English. It burnt Bruno and persecuted Galileo for advocating the heliocentric theory. Even during their times the Catholic Church stood for the foolish geocentric theory. Inquisition courts from 1100s to 1808 routinely arrested and tortured Jews, Muslims, dubious Christians and numerous other religious followers. The tortures were beyond belief, including hanging by the toes or thumbs, toe crushing, bone breaking, simple beatings, foot roasting, and blinding by red-hot pokers. After such tortures, the condemned was strangled, and then burned at the stake. The so-called “witches” were rounded up tortured, burnt and slaughtered for centuries throughout Europe. The average total of the dead is around 100,000. Even the capable Joan of Arc was burnt at stake.

10.    Modern church has more wealth than any government or corporation but it does not help the poor at all. The clergy lead a licentious and luxurious life here. Jesus said: “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor.”  Christ also said in unequivocal terms ‘love your neighbor.’ The Catholic Church has flaunted both of these commandments since its inception. 
There is no help coming from above and the poor proliferate making their lives a pure agony. Still why is the Church against abortion, artificial contraception? According to the United Nations World Magazine the Vatican’s treasure of solid gold amounts to several billion dollars! The golden throne of the pope must fetch a very good price. Jesus was the poorest of the poor-he had no home, no good food, not even a pillow upon which to rest his head. Roman Catholicism, which claims to be His church, is the richest and the wealthiest institution on earth. Anyone would be outraged of the Church’s wealth and why don’t they help the poor, the destitute, the suffering and the sick? Is it not proof-enough that it doesn't believe in its own God? 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Life after a century

When you sit and think about 100 years ahead, the whole scene is hazy and vague. It is not practical to look that far into future with any precision whatsoever. How will life be in the 22nd century? What will all be the innovative technologies?  No one can certainly predict them. However, we can create a vague picture based on the present-day life, technologies and developments. I had already published an article on the same topic in the internet site, almost 10 years back and this is an improved version.
It is now commonly accepted that humans are growing taller. In a century the American average height grew by 2”. But there is no way to know whether this height increase will continue unabated. If so, after a millennium people will be 1’8” taller what they are today-which is highly improbable. How human body and gravity  react to the height change is yet to be seen.
Longevity is going to increase. Average life span has already reached 85 years in the advanced nations and it will, after a century, peak at 110 or more. There will be many who will be living beyond 120. Major killers of today-heart attacks, diabetes and cancer would become curable and preventable. Embedded and wearable biosensors will track our physiological metrics and hospitals will be less frequented except for operations or special procedures.
In the advanced nations, emphasize will probably be on super-intelligent and disease free kids. Genetic engineering and biotechnology would remove all traits of genetically transmitted afflictions and help bring more intelligent, healthy and better humans. There is a lot of research going on  to prolong human life. With Ray Kurzweil, I believe will man succeed in conquering ageing. In another century, perhaps, man will decide when he will die. We are already on the verge of synthesizing successful anti-cancer drugs. Creating effective immune drugs will be a great leap in the medical field.  It is thought that Nano robots will flow around our body, fixing cells, and they will be able to even record our memories! Now Nano-robots and non-technology are both fast growing and developing. Electronic immortality technology will be available at reasonable cost too.
Family structure will erode and very few women will opt for permanent marriage or child bearing. More will rent wombs or resort to artificial insemination (many couples are already opting for it). Marriages of convenience will be more sought after. As man is going to live beyond 100 years it is highly improbable to assume that a couple would stay that long together. Will marriage be replaced by annual contracts? The already weakened family-bonds are bound to erode further and there will be professional homes to bring up children. Gay marriage will increase and some scholars say 80% of all marriages will be gay –which looks too high an estimate. Gender discrimination is bound to close even in the most backward regions. 
Human population as per the present estimates will stabilize around 10 billion by 2050 and then gradually decline. Already there is a negative growth rate in the advanced nations. To feed 10 billion, man may resort to tapping oceans more and better methods of agriculture would be around. A revolution can be expected in food habits and food production. The elaborate cooking now seen commonly will be gone and ready-made-foods cooked in electronic bakeries will be in vogue.
All of us know there will be a communication revolution. Every nook and corner will access Internet using smartphone or other communication device rather than PCs. The world would have shrunk further. There are futurologists who think man will be able to communicate with each other though brain waves without seeing or hearing. Some sort of a telepathic communication will be highly probable. But as humans love physical contact, this development may not be accepted all that easily. Man will be using computers to make our brains work faster and more efficient. By the end of this century people, at least in the developed world, will use machine-augmentation of some sort. Picking up thoughts of one brain, recording and transmitting the same to another may become possible too.
Another safe bet seems to be in the area of space travel. There will definitely be a strong acceleration of space development and there will be organized vertical tours. As space travel is not going to be all that cheap only a select class will be able to enjoy them. There is also a thinking that science and technology will develop new ways for covering long distances and our present-day trains and air planes will give way to more sophisticated and faster models.
A few languages like English will become much more prominent and as link language. We will witness the gradual dying down of little spoken languages and linguistic communities. They are already dying. Perhaps Mandarin, French, German and Hindi may be around even after a century.
Solar energy would be used much more replacing conventional fossil-fuel based energy sources. Wind and tidal energy would be tapped too. Let us hope there comes a time when our roads and environment would be less polluted with solar powered automobiles, offices and homes.
No appreciable climate change is expected as this large earth has good resilient power to absorb minor changes in the content of its atmospheric gases. There will be neither a serious warming nor any flooding of low lying areas. The eco system will go on undisturbed. Some more species will go extinct and a few new ones discovered. We will have new technology to control whether: it is possible that man will be able to diffuse tornadoes and hurricanes and he will try to make rain where he wants.  Development in technologies like geo-engineering will protect humans against some of the adverse climatic natural calamities.
There will be a full rush to develop the artic area for commercial use: It should be possible to do so without damaging nature.  There will be tension as to who all will have the control over the region's resources and in finding equitable and sustainable ways to share them.
The chance for the emergence of a world government or a single currency is receding. There will be a further fragmentation of large nations. See how the former USSR has split up into so many! Now there is already a move to cede California from USA.  Richer regions don’t want to share their wealth with the poorer ones.  On a single world currency possibility, it is good to note that the trend is actually more in the opposite direction. The internet is enabling new forms of bartering and value exchange. Local currencies are also now used by several hundred communities across the US and Europe.
 Imaginative people predict the invention of water-fuelled engines and nuclear fusion the biggest inventions of all times!  It means that the price of water will probably rise and it will contribute to the development of high-technology machines and stronger satellites. Pilot-less aircraft, submarines and ships will be plying in their respective areas.

Will religions have the mad sway which they enjoy now in the underdeveloped nations and in countries like the US? In most of the developed world people are deserting religions and becoming atheists. In one hundred years, at the present rate of deserting religions, at least 50% of the world population will be atheists. Half of all people would still be clinging to some sort of a religious belief. As the religious roots can be traced to the very beginning of man’s evolution, and as human brains have been fully programmed into god-belief it will take a few more centuries for the total death of religions and their gods. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Who was the real father&wife of Jesus

Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph. But Gospels ascribe his fatherhood to Yahweh, the Jewish God. It is strange to think that Yahweh had the endowments to impregnate Mary! His parents circumcised him as per the Jewish laws (remember the covenant of Yahweh with Abraham) and he grew up with his brothers James, Joseph (Joses), Judas (Jude) and Simon and sisters (names are not mentioned in the gospels.) It is not clear whether Yahweh fathered the brothers and sisters also –there is no mention of it in any of the gospels-or he left the job to Joseph who accepted Mary although she had cuckolded him in the first place. 

Mary and Joseph were poor people. The family grew up to be a large one (4 brothers and some sisters, as mentioned above, are given in Mark 6:3). Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus evidently got apprenticed to this trade. He grew up a Jewish boy among the Jews. He studied the Jewish scriptures first at home and then in the school attached to the synagogue. As he felt he was thorough with the Torah, he had noisy and quarrelsome arguments with the Jewish scholars.
After his birth, nothing is known of the life of this Almighty God until he reached the age of thirty years except that like Buddha he had a scholarly debate with the Jewish scholars in the Jerusalem Temple when he was twelve. He grew up an ardent Jew with fire in his belly raving against the hypocrite deeds of the Pharisees and Scribes.  He exhorted the Jews to return to the ways of the Jewish God and his laws. He started preaching when was thirty and it continued for I year as per the synoptic gospels and for two or three years according to John.  How many years he actually roamed and preached? None Knows. 

Jesus seems to have had developed a great quality like today’s Yehowa’s witnesses. He must have had learnt the skills of today’s healers mixing his preaching with halleluiahs and deafening noises. He could have been a real performer like the modern day Pentecost. He could thus cast away devils, cure nervous diseases which are termed miracles in the gospels.

With his fiery eloquence and steadfastness, he got a few rustic followers anywhere he went and there were a few women who really got attracted to him too. The beautiful Mary of Bethany -in all probability Mary Magdalene-who lived a sinful life, was the most conspicuous among them. She anointed Jesus by pouring the contents of an alabastron jar of nard (or spikenard), a very expensive perfume, which angered some of the onlookers especially Judas who felt the perfume could have been sold for a year's wages—300 denarii—and the money given to the poor!  But Jesus liked the whole episode and Mary became dearer to him. By loving a prostitute of his time he must have had become a revolutionary. 

 They probably got into a relationship that ended up in a marriage. They had a few children but the ardent preacher-gospel writers wanted to make him a virgin god unlike his own father who was quite virulent and they simply ignore this part of his life. But the gospels do mention he was a Jewish rabbi and hence he had to have a family (a wife and children). The gospels also mention about Mary’s decision to visit his body on the Sunday after the Crucifixion-to wash and anoint it. Scholars feel women of Jesus’ times never washed rabbi’s or male bodies. Only males did it —unless you were the man’s wife. Mary washed and anointed his body and this shows she was his wife.

The Lost Gospel(based on a manuscript written (570AD) on Vellum–treated animal skin-in Syriac, a language closely linked to Aramaic(spoken by Jesus) found in the British Library reveal many things previously unknown. Professor Barrie Wilson -a professor of religious studies in Toronto- and writer Simcha Jacobovici  an Israeli-Canadian film-maker who translated the text-feel the sources have enough evidence to prove Jesus and Mary were married and they had two sons.