Astronomers have long debated whether — given the material universe — man is a mysteriously unlikely accident or not. But the given is at least as mysterious. And, even given that and man, my (not to mention others') conscious existence is as wildly unlikely as any other mystery. One need not be a spiritualist to recognize that the grandest luck of one's life is itself.
do Faith and Guns have in common?
They're what are resorted to when someone's losing an argument.
Does this relate to why religions & war correlate?
Why be surprised that mass religions so naturally wish to take over nations?
— when their priests' profession is taking over minds.
[That priority is what produces such phenomena as censorship, inquisitions, jihads, art-destruction, murder of cartoonists. Diversity is fine in theory, but when the priestly profession feels threatened, anything endangering it becomes a target.]
The cowed media
treats [singular, since no variation is permissible]
religious “faith” as an awesomely sacred cow.
[Barbara Rawlins notes that no technologically advanced nation's press behaves so lockstep-rigidly as that of the ever-at-war US' — since no other is op-pressed by a media so bound by corporate-rulership love of what religion can do for human exploitation and military conquest.]
People can communicate on beliefs that are based on reason or evidence. (Russell among others used to note that no one speaks of faith in electricity, only adducing Faith when evidence or reason fail.) By contrast, faith-based belief is only shared through common rote “education”. Faith is thus a robotically inculcated bar to communication — and so, unsurprisingly, is a divider of peoples. Which helps explain why mass religions are ever busy at mind-control, anti-alienthought censorship, bunnyrabbitting, intolerance, and war. How else can baseless beliefs thrive?
Among the funniest of theology's many knee-slappers is the one about god's having created an imperfect man and then paternally PUNISHING his own monster for behaving imperfectly.
[Was the Shelleys' Dr.Frankenstein more merciful than god?]
In the context of the 2008 world economic disaster, one smiles at the parallel comedy of capitalism's theologians blaming it all on “greed” — i.e., they are ShockedShocked that when unregulated markets (themselves created by the greedy pols whose hirers also hire the theologians) allow quick fortunes to be made by dishonest leverage-schemes, some desperate people will take advantage.
[J.K.Galbraith used to say that such farcical alibiing would be like a defective rocket's crash being blamed upon the Law of Gravity.]
D: Why would a woman belong to a Church run by 270 straight male popes?
B: You think they were all straight?
Two Decades Versus Six:
If god is both just & real, why does Time damage the average woman's beauty far longer than it improves such?
Are the visibility of evil & death and the invisibility of god &
meant to trick us
into thinking god doesn't really
[Does god regard it as a virtue to believe the contrary of what his own alleged creation's evidence plainly suggests, to the very brain which god allegedly granted us?]
Why is it commonly assumed that Jesus died at about age 30? Since he had the gift of preaching already as a child, there is no reason to reject the distinct possibility that John the Baptist launched him when he was a late-teens charismagnetic big-crowd guarantor.
Bunnyrabbit religions & genocide are like cookbooks & diet-books: if the former happen, so will the latter.
Ducking the Duck Issue
— What It Takes to Get a Red Hat:
In the mid-20th-century, Cardinal Cushing of Boston used to encourage the anti-Commie witch-hunt by observing of suspected pinkos that: “If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's probably a duck.” Curiously, he didn't adduce the same criterion to discern whether Jesus was human or divine.
Religionists are prone to say that atheists make a “religion” out of rational attention to reality. A distinction is easily made here: the very lawyers-for-god who think up such pseudo-profundities do not themselves walk off cliffs and expect to be saved by divine intervention. I.e., they know perfectly well that evidentially-based behavior is wisdom, and they have no faith that religion is more powerful than gravity.
What's god done, that he needs so many theologian-lawyers to get-him-off?
 In the 1970s, William Rawlins made a comment which is revealing in the context of the Church's continuing obsession with sex vs. real sin:
As the Church stood silent while US saturation-bombing of Vietnam killed [along with the foetuses of all pregnant victims] ordmag a million Asian atheists (who have no names on any monument in Wash, DC: DIO 4.2  ‡8 n.23 [p.76] — [and are rarely mentioned by the US press]), in a Cardinal-Spellman-approved war, and turned sections of Vietnam into lunar scenery, Bill suggested: if you want to get the Church upset about this, then: have US airplanes drop condoms on Vietnam instead of bombs.
 There is a remark of Russell's that applies: over a millennium ago, when civilization was collapsing, intellectually & economically, into the Dark Ages, what was Christianity's prime public concern? — the preservation of virginity. (DIO 2.3  ‡6 n.10 [p.93].)
[Similarly, in the 3rd millennium, as the world economic system reels, the prime concern of the globalist-servant world press is: the election of a non-white US president. (Note: DR doesn't care if the prez is black, white, or polka-dot. It's the ownedness — & thus one-sided servility — of a world propaganda machine [laughingly called “the media”] that ought to be of concern.)]
— We Promise to Tolerate Your Vile&Sinful Infidel Beliefs
(Until We Outnumber You):
Springboarded from DIO 4.3  ‡13 n.12 [p.114]:
creationists affect love of free speech when trying to push creationism into bio classes, and (forgetting much ecclesiastical history) the Roman church loves freedom of religion (pope JP2, Baltimore, 1995/10/8). For-now.
[So, will both cults be inviting representatives of dissenting organizations (including atheists) for open debate in their religion classes?]
Man & the State (1951, 1957 Univ Chicago) by Jacques Maritain, described on the book's jacket as “probably the most distinguished living Catholic philosopher” states (p.169 n.25, emph in original): “the commonweal could and should tolerate (to tolerate is not to approve) ways of worship more or less distant from the true one: the rites of the unfaithful must be tolerated, St. Thomas taught (Sum. theol. ii-ii, 10.11)”.
But, when we look up the cited Aquinas source, we find that he states (1975 Blackfriars edition [1974 Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur] pp.72-75, emph added): regarding “rites of infidels ….
clearly infidels sin in performing [their rites] …. Therefore those who [even] tolerate these rites do wrong…
who would support anyone in his celebration of idolatrous worship? [which] … should not be allowed.…
infidelity is the most grievous sin. Yet [lesser] sins, such as adultery, theft, and the like are not tolerated, but punished by law [i.e., gov't]. So also the rites of infidels ought not to be tolerated.
[UNLESS] INFIDELS [ARE] IN GREAT NUMBER.”
[A similar sleight has fooled even the intelligent author Desmond Seward. In his book Napoleon & Hitler (NYC 1988) he shows how strongly the Roman church opposed Nazism (p.122): “In 1937 Pope Pius XI [Ratti] issued the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge” (“With burning heart”), drafted in German instead of Latin, almost certainly by Cardinal Pacelli [later Pius XII] — the former Nuncio in Germany [the VatPol behind the amoral 1933 Nazi-Vatican Pact]. It has been described as ‘one of the greatest condemnations of a national régime ever pronounced by the Vatican.’ It totally rejected the racial theory of Blut und Boden (‘Blood and Soil’) and castigated Hitler for ‘aspirations to divinity … placing himself on the same level as Christ’, calling him ‘a mad prophet possessed of repulsive arrogance’.”
Unfortunately, none of these quotes actually appear in the encyclical. There is indeed condemnation of racism, of statism, of idolatry, and of any competing god; but much of that could be said against Hinduism. (It's just another clash of rival superstitions, garnished in this case with a hilariously ironic condemnation of dictatorships — by an autocratic pope.) The main aggravation was Hitler's contemptuous betrayal of the Concordat; yet since Nazism munificently supported Catholic schools to the very end, Church and Hitler did little beyond bitching about each other, since each sought to gain from exploiting the other. When in 1941 Hitler sent 3 million Nazi troops (c.1/2 of them Catholic) into Russia and slaughtered c.28 million atheistic Commies, culture-of-life VatCity didn't threaten to excommunicate a single one of the murderers — the threat of excommunication was instead reserved for serious sins, like divorce or apostasy.]
Boy to the World!:
Is god an M.C.P.? Each time the Invisible Ruler of the Universe sends an emissary down (up?) to Earth to found a major religion: when he gets born, guess what? — It's a Boy!
[Even sillier: statistically, which gender takes this unsubtle sham most seriously? Girlpersons.]
Religious logic: reject the implications of all contradictions by mentally
filing each away as mere “mysteries” or
By catering-to and
such philosophical cowardice, the gov't-media combine is
systematically breeding a nation of cranks.
[Perhaps the gov't's attitude is effectively pure cynicism (there might, after all, be 1 or 2 cynics in gov't somewhere): only a fool could take its TV 'snews seriously, since it's obviously a serial IQ-test: if you're too dim to see through all the religious and patriotic propaganda, you'll just make a more manipulable slave in the service of the rulership — what's so bad about that?.]
Former TMC-farcefilm-emcee (and genuinely wise philosopher) “Joe-Bob Briggs” once afterworded the classy classic 1984 film Zombie Island Massacre, which embodies the cinematic pinnacles — in art, snow, and implants — of the Hollywood acting career of Rita Jenrette, who effectively never-worked-in-that-town-again. (Rita's then-recently-exed husband was Abscam-bribe-disgraced congressmen John Jenrette.) Joe-Bob, summing-up the no-more-starring-rôles tragedy of one who was unfortunately-for-her connected to a ludicrous failed fraud (against a deeply offended Jewish establishment, including Joe-Bob), lamented-chortled that rôle-deprived Rita is
But if we think of Jesus as god's lone 2000y-ago phone-call to planet Earth (which also got disconnected by a justly-offended Jewish establishment), we must multiply poor disappointed Rita's tearfully-dashed-hopes by billions, a fifth terrestrial ocean — weep-waves of brine, gushing from the piteously lifted eyes of the equally-ever-expectant Christian hopefuls on our planet, who are
[If one is going to get upset at the Jewish priests who joined with the Roman nail-squad to get Jesus, at least give them credit for not stooping to magic-trick frauds to con the credulous, like Moses, Jesus, and the pagan Serapics.]
Ecclesiastical Hypocrisy's Inevitability
— Church Top Prelates Devastatingly Refute Darwin's Ateleology:
If one is smart enough to rise high in Church politics, how can one be (or stay) dumb enough to genuinely, inwardly accept its tenets?
Though not condemning Darwin, the Roman church has never really accepted Darwinian evolution's implication that man is an accident. Well, for once, they're right. Nazi-concordating Pacelli (later Pope Pius 12) was no accident.
[Now, now, historians shouldn't go about raking up the past. That would only be excusable if, oh, say, maybe VatCity elected a pope who learned his authoritarianism in the Hitler Youth or something ridiculously transparent like that. So, let's give bygones the freedom to be-themselves 'til then….]
— Hey, Hasn't Anyone Around Here Noticed That Christians' Two Toppe Theological Arguments CONTRADICT EACH OTHER?
— Some Responsibility-Chains Are More Equal Than Others:
The rise & curiously persistent Existence of evil (in a universe allegedly created by an allegedly all-powerful, everything-creating, AND all-good Christian god) is a “paradox” — i.e., what non-bigots would call a contradiction — for which god's lawyer-klan (“theologians”) has long been handsomely paid to create get-him-off sinuous apologia-for-god, allegedly explaining-away this classic “Problem”-of-Evil (DIO 8  ‡5 nn.51&52 [pp.58&59]). Irony: the reasoning here (REJECT responsibility-recession-to-origin) is the very opposite of the revered Aristotle-Aquinas First-Mover argument (Summa Contra Gentiles 1.13.3-32) for the Existence of god (INSIST-ON responsibility-recession-to-origin): every motion is caused by a mover, so there must be a “First-Mover” or (ibid 33) “First-Cause” — namely, god.
Nun Dare Call It Teasin'?
It's common in convents to find crucifixion-icons on walls:
a skin-tight half-naked young guy nailed to a cross.
Question: if, in every room of a monastary, monks hung on their walls an image of a slim young topless female suffering agonizing&fatal torture-bondage, what would we think?
Pascal's Casino: You're Gambling With Your Life!:
— Holy Church As Ultimate Gambling-Hall — If It's Too Good to Be True…:
Has it hitherto been noted that eternal-heaven-as-reward for finite terrestrial good-deeds has exactly the same insultingly conmanesque Absolute-Guarantee-Promised payoff-vs-investment ratio — as something-for-nothing? — namely, ∞.
[You got lucky enough to get born into an ordmag 100y life; so, the rulership hustles mass-religions (via gov't-Church-media combine) — with Pascal as mathematical enforcer — asking you to believe in the wildcat gamble that, if you throw it all on the table (dash your ONE chance to have a free-fun life), you can multiply your 100y “winnings” infinitely. Sure. Terrestrial gambling casinos just LUUUVE to see folks like that comin' in the door, trying to take-advantage of the poor naïve casino (as expensively architectured and music-filled as any other established, organized mental-opium-den), and thereby win a fortune. (But — don't we all know which side always ends up fortun-ate?) Philosopher-composer F.Nietzsche took the contra-Pascal position that men warp and waste their real lives cringing in fear of (and-or obsession with) the unreal eternal one. I'll go with Nietzsche.]
Is Rulership's Benefit from the Religions It Promotes, Just a Big Coincidence?
How can popular religion, a drug which is deliberately, systematically promoted by all exploiting rulerships, be called “organized” and yet not be regarded as a rulership conspiracy?
[Rulers push mass religions that glorify wards' sacrifice and non-greed — while themselves staying strictly off the battle-fields where their ambitions spill others' blood, instead remaining protected by their spacious, guarded, luxurious abodes and by their hired-guardian “free press” which loves to and lives to inflame the public about all social inequities but these.]
National TV'snews can't help itself from granting pope free airtime,
despite the sexism&non-democracy of his gov't & his refusal to
hold press conferences. Anyway, we have this curious practice to
thank for the following delight:
On 2004/1/27&28, not long after pope JP2 had to deal with homosexual scandals, TV 'snews aired video of a dancer's audience with pope in VatCity itself: a breakdancer — i.e., a spinning-on-head invert floor-act.
You know, there was a time when a guy waving his rump at a priest would have been considered out of place….
Holey Consistency and Celibate Sexperts:
The long fight by Holy Church against birth-control & abortion is (allegedly) based upon natural law — which in this application means that Romosexual theologians have decreed it immoral to use sex for anything other than what WE KNOW god designed it for: pro-creation.
[Though, allegedly out of mercy to man's carnal weakness, a tempting-trap technicality-loophole is allowed: “rhythm”. And (an oldie), whadaya call guys who use rhythm? Fathers. According to Churchmen's practice, only two birth-control methods are permissible: rhythm & altar-boys. Note some differentiations:
[a] One method is for the laity; the other, for the witch-doctors.
[b] So, guess which method works?]
Yet ask the same Church (which claims with certitude that god intended sex only for reproduction): why does god permit virtually all innocent unborns to vanish (from perpetual sperm-egg-permutational automatic holocaust), multitudes of newborns to die in agony (from volcano or tsunami disasters), and millions of heathen to live&die without knowing of Jesus — and the answer is: hey, who are we mere dummy humans to discern god's design?
Media commentators justly laugh at celebrities who're famous for being famous. But, why not a parallel comment that religion is believed primarily for being believed?
Hollywood's Rob't Mitchum (native of Rising Sun, Maryland) once explained why he went into acting:
[Mitchum's cinebeefcake colleague, Victor Mature,
was equally unpretentious about lugdom,
never claiming he had the slightest thespian gifts.
(When he was barred from an exclusive country club for being
in so lowly a profession as acting, he laughed:
“Hell, I'm no actor —
and I have the reviews to prove it.”)]
Mitchum's remark might well apply to elucidating why Jesus fled a dull working career in carpentry (Mark 6.3), for a pre-cinema brand of acting: illusionist-preacher, actually stooping to faking magic-tricks for the masses, a showbiz career (DIO 4.3  ‡15 n.33 [p.132]) that even included — at its most laughable extreme — an elaborately-wardrobed (like Christopher Marlowe's“death”: DIO 18  §N4 [p.37]) pseudo-resurrection-from-the-grave by Lazarus, brother of Jesus' private masseuse, Mary (John 11.1-12.9; DIO 8  ‡5 n.4 [p.46]).
Note: Jesus made a none-too-subtle point about being outta-town at the time Laz “died” (John 11.15).
[The scheme is worthy of comparison to a grand Asia Minor buried-deity-egg set-up (launching yet another religion), pulled off by a slightly later professional-trickster cult-messiah, Alexander. See the classic account by Lucian (2nd century AD): Alexander the Oracle-Monger. (Cited at DIO 1.3  §S1 [p.173].)]
Wouldn't a genuine resurrection — one that could convince non-cultists — require
[Toob-punditz, churches, & other visible opinion-molders correctly sense
that to ask such deadly-simple questions from a public podium
will end their careers there. Just another chapter in the eternal story:
[a] The Christian myth is so patently unbelievable that it can only survive when artificially protected.
[b] The rulership has motive and means to protect it.]
Yet, both (that is: ALL) the resurrections associated with Jesus lacked one part of that essential pairing. Private-croaker Lazarus' resurrection was fully public. As for Jesus' crucifixion (DR tends to spell it “crucifiction” [atheism works in mysterious ways]): publicly-croaked Jesus' 40 day-span (Acts 1.3) of purported post-resurrection life was private (note Luke 24.28-29) — and shakily attested in the untampered-with version of the earliest gospel (Mark). After he'd foreshortened his prophesied (Matt 12.40) 3-day-weekend post-cross furlough to 1 1/2 days (Friday eve→Sunday morn [hey — whose sermon's noticed, right?]), the “resurrected” Jesus appeared only to his closest sidekicks, and stayed hidden — “for fear of the Jews” (John 20.19). This is god. And HE's scared of Jewish power? (Not even the Protocols of Zion ever thought to go that far….) Why private? (Especially odd, given the public purpose for Jesus' ministry, not to mention also Lazarus' suspiciously one-time-only miracle-cure — which, had it been for-real and persisted, could have supplanted medicine and permanently put cemetaries out of business.) If Jesus had walked the streets of Jerusalem only days after being publicly torture-crucified-killed, well — the western world's conversion to Christian-rule certainly wouldn't have required the awful bloodshed of three pre-Constantine centuries and far more later ones. Said vision raises yet another unspoken but obvious internal contradiction (see also, e.g., DIO 1.1  ‡2 §H [p.15] or DIO 8  ‡5 §L [pp.58-59]) in the Christian-theology contraption (for which Christian “theologians” have long been as handsomely paid as other lawyers, to concoct ingenious if transparent alibis): why'd Jesus swiftly leave-town yet again (& see DIO 8  ‡5 n.5 [p.47]), this time forever, scramming back to his celestial abode (to resume his standard-dominant alter-ego as god, a.k.a. planet-Earth's absentee-slumlord), instead of staying-on to finish the otherwise-ever-hopeless terrestrial job of saving humanity in-person? — which is, after all, the purpose he's supposed to have materialized here for in the first place….
Does the Church fight human cloning (by med-doctors instead of witch-dortors)
because it resents the competition?
Questions worth asking a Roman church true-believer who got
that way by lifetime-“education”:
[a] Is it fair that you were so Lucky to have been one of those few humans who were blessed to have Roman parents and sealed-off atheist-frei Roman schooling?
[b] Is there such a thing as being so brain-washed that you don't even know you've been brain-washed? (How would such a victim ever get a glimmer of the means & depth of his mind's warp?)
[Could you really use drumbeat&rote repetion and dissent-deprivation to convince a pupil that:
The Moon is made of invisible green cheese?
That there's an invisible Easter Bunny.
That god operates in invisible ways….]
If there are no atheists in foxholes, why were most of the soldiers who died in WW2's European theatre heroically and successfully fighting to save the atheist USSR?
Hume answered claims of
“miracles” by asking
which is more likely: That the laws of nature were suspended?
Or that human-witnessing was flawed or deceptive?
[USA Today 1991/4/29 p.1 summation of the book The Day America Told the Truth: “A new survey finds that 91% in the USA say they lie routinely. And 36% of those confess to dark, important lies…. ‘Lying is part of [USers'] lives’ says co-author James Patterson, chairman of J.Walter Thompson advertising agency. ‘People … say what others want to hear.’ ”]
It's good that 186 scientists came out in 1975 against astrology. But was that courageous, or proprietary? If the former, then: why don't an equivalent group of scientists come out against religion? — which, though perhaps less wacko, is just as false and has been far more damaging to humanity. Answer: scientists are drawing tax-money from a largely religious public, so they have no desire that their funders know how unorthodox they are. The usual cover-ploy has been to let a few atypical dementos like Warren Weaver or Owen Gingerich sound off in the pop press, hoping that as holy an impression as possible is projected, to distract from what front-line scientists actually think on the subject.
Where Are God's Links?
Religionists claim that the argument for natural selection has Missing Links.
This from those who have no evidence even to start linking.
The only “evidence” for god's existence is surrounding majority opinion.
[Reminds one of Samuel Johnson's argument (in the 18th century) for witchcraft's reality (Boswell Journey to the Hebrides): “You must take evidence”, eminent jurists have sentenced witches to die. (True, including Blackstone & even Coke.)]
For scientists, one of the
of Darwinian evolution is that it offers
a hope of explaining the rise of terrestrial intelligence without religion's
of explaining it by positing celestial intelligence.
[This is on the level of Moliere's “philosopher”, who explains a sleeping medicine's efficacy as due to its “soporific quality”.
Notice well: it is standard practice for religionists to respond to scientific forays into their sacred turf by asking how, say, the human moral sense arose. Their Molierian answer: from a divine moral entity. Hmmmmm. Is anything's origin ever explained by just positing-decreeing that it already existed? Hardly a path to progress in wisdom.]
Anti-Darwin writers traditionally exploit the incompleteness of
the evolutionary record, thereby diverting from plain indicative facts:
[a] humans and apes have obvious (and unobvious, e.g., DNA) resemblances, [b] man has not been found in early geological layers which do, however, contain simpler animals the more remote they are in time.
[Why should an all-powerful “god” require thousands of years to advance to man?]
Thus, typical anti-natural-selection lawyers are unable to see the connexions between man & ape, also cat & tiger, bird & dinosaur — yet are able to read evidence with such expertise and penetration as to make other, more convincing-to-them connections:
god-made unhappy planet Earth ↔ god-made heavenly paradise,
snuffed-disappeared man-Jesus ↔ all-powerful forever-and-ever divinity,
a world where tsunamis kill kilo-babies ↔ loving celestial father,
rigor-mortis-to-decay ↔ eternal life.
On 2005/12/21, CNN released a poll showing 53% of
the US public believes god made man directly, about a third think god did it
and merely 12% think god had nothing to do with it.
(The last datum — as well as common sense and experience — suggests that US atheists are far more numerous than we're told — via polls finding that 98% of the US public believes in god [or is intimidated into pretending to].) The most “respectable” — while least logical (DIO 18  n.60 [p.17]) — of the 3 groups is the middle one (overwhelming fave among college presidents: DIO 4.2  ‡9 n.40 [pp.89-90]), whose members implicitly claim that survival-of-the-sh'test — nature's ultimate-test, hideously mass-painful tooth&claw savagery — is a more Beautiful-Design by god than primitive theology's Genesis scenario, conveniently ignoring the ghastly mass animal pain (see DIO 4.3  ‡15 n.42 [p.136] on C.S.Lewis) and hunger entailed by such a monumentally cruel mechanism.
God's Inherent Injustice:
When I was about 8, a saintly great-aunt
earnestly explained to me how proud I should be to be a Protestant and
— better yet! — an Episcopalian. My reaction was reasonable
(so much so that it still mystifies me as to why it was evidently
quite unusual): hey, if god is
then why should I get a better break than others, in religious heritage?
I.e., there is the seed of a contradiction contained
in the very faith one has in the merit of one's native faith.
[This is a tale that we can learn from, so one hopes that something like it could be widely used to encourage personal humility & social brotherhood. Yet, it tells one something about (current) P.C.'s power — subconscious for persons, conscious for TV 'snews — that we may easily miss something else we can learn from this tale: just substitute Jew for Episcopalian, and you'd never get it on the air in the US media.]
Likewise, is it fair that I exist at all, when almost every sperm-egg pair
dies, without ever even merging
into a zygote (much less a mature person)? — making nature (or god,
if you must) by far the greatest of all abortioners: thus, the universe's
according to anti-abortioners' reasoning.
(See DIO 4.2  ‡9 §D6 [p.78].)
Religion's updated-BS claims validation by modern science's
human knowledge, since now conception can be
pinpointed to the union of sperm&egg; and growing, living foetuses
can be videoed. Neatly omitted from such diversions:
[a] Before science traced conception to a physical connexion between microscopic biological entities, churches conversely used human ignorance of the details to impress their wards with the mystery of birth. (And still do so, for all details not yet known to science.)
[b] If god is omnipotence — and allegedly created the whole universe out of nothing — why would his conception of something as insignificant as a human require the mechanical props of sperms&eggs?
Another question that bothered Dennis Rawlins at about age 8
(while pondering the maple tree that stood in front of our Baltimore home
at 4217 Wickford Rd [where one of the issue
of its spinning seeds now stands instead]):
is it fair to make me a human and so few other creatures so?
[I doubt the maple was complaining, so we have no symmetry here.]
The birth of a Christ creates an obvious ethical problem:
if Jesus' coming to Earth benefits humans, then all those who died
before his birth got short-changed.
[The Mormons have an energetic reaction to this one: many of them are actively busy saving their forefathers. (That of course does not meet the question of why an omnipotent god would require so much human missionarial & secretarial assistance to achieve his goal of purifying the world.)]
If it is protested that god has taken that deficit into account, then: said calibration could just as well have been applied to all persons for all time — so Jesus' coming was needless.
(See also DIO 4.3  ‡13 n.23 [p.117].)
Let's hear it for the infallible college of Cardinals. (Remember, it was those Cards who [at Vat 1, 1870-1871] decreed — and it had better have been infallibly — that the pope is infallible.) In 1939, it picked as pope its top Germanophile (Pacelli→Pius 12), just before WW2. More recently, it installed Benedict 16, former Hitler Youth — the 1st pope who'd actually imbibed his authoritarianism from the Roman Catholic Führer. But, now-now, let's not get confused into Doubt: just think how bad things would be if the Cards weren't infallible?
Is it coincidence that Napoleon, Mussolini, & Hitler all made pacts with the Vatican? Indeed, VatCity as a nation was invented by Mussolini (Lateran Pacts 1929).
The God of False Appearances:
Death is the ultimate proof that there is no god, so pop-religion's hustlers have no other option than to claim that you never really die — it just looks like you do. Likewise, Jesus was divine — but he just so happened (like other all-too-mortal ancient divinities, e.g., Big Julie & Little Augie Caesar) to look like he was a regular human being.
Jesus planned his entire degrading nabbed→tried→whupped→nailed finale — it only looks like he just couldn't dodge the cops this time.
[Deliberate sacrifice needn't look ambiguous, e.g., Brünnhilde's Immolation.]
The world is ruled by an all-good and all-potent god — it only looks like it's ruled by greedy & corrupt humans.
Exactly why god has gotten so deeply into the (we-used-to-regard-as-satanic) realm of creating false appearances is left for (well-paid) theologians to deal with…. Namely, by going thousands of years straight without getting straight with believers about such obvious points.
God Finally Explains the World's Evil —
Solving the Problem of Evil can be most simply accomplished by replacing the Holy Trinity with the Holy Duality: god is Jekyll to satan's Hyde. Had I just possessed L.Ron Hubbard's cynicism (check with Amazing Randi on that one), brilliance, and sense of humor, I could have founded a new religion upon such theorizing — since it can no more be disproved (see similarly DIO 4.2  ‡9 n.9 [p.79]) than any of the other fantasies that wall-to-wall-litter the entire mass-insanity history of the deliberately-inculcated-rulership-tool called Religion.
Sheep's Entrails & Animal-Sacrifice Religions
— the Parable of the Fatted Priest:
Why were animal intestines [a] the food of US slaves (“chitterlings” — the least-desirable part of the animal), and [b] the instrument by which animal-“sacrifice” ancient priests used to claim they could divine the future? A 2nd question might supply the answer to the 1st: who stayed in-feed by eating the rest of the sheep?
It's common knowledge that the history of religion drips with blood. But the detailed reasons are insufficiently-discussed in the media:
Religion encourages conformity, which assists warlike leaders in arousing populaces.
Soldiers will charge into fire, believing in survival (Earth or Heaven).
Suicide-bombs or kamikazes: top defense of inferior arms against invasion.
Bunnyrabbit-religions inevitably clash in war, for living-space.
In most societies, the dominant religion preaches against killing, but: can anyone think of a case throughout all of history in which this trifle ever deterred a society from going to war?
(See DIO 4.3  ‡13 n.14 [p.115] & n.19 [p.116].) Check your own memory: did any major US church (or newspaper) ever put up a serious fight against the US army going into a war? (i.e., the sort of adamant resistance which some churches have to, say, women or homosexuals in the priesthood) — particularly at a war's start, which is the best time to head-off self-feeding bloodmires.
Problems With Alibiing the Problem of
God gave earthquakes & tsunamis free will to mass-visit painful death upon sinless babies. So, if god were ever found to exist, he should be prosecuted as an accessory.
[Renard summed up the situation more deftly: it really would be better for god's reputation if he didn't exist.]
Brainwashing-Away the Problem of MASS-Evil:
Reflection on our mind-mothering-media's post-Sumatra-disaster tidal-wave of theologian-lawyer alibis-for-god, following the Lisbonesque-magnitude 2004/12/26 Indian Ocean earthquake-tsunami:
If man is too low to perceive god's purposes, then how can the same moron tell whether god exists?
[Space&Time — Coagulant Sin:
Do believers suppose that, on 2004/12/26, god suddenly woke up to Sumatra's mass-sin (up-to-now evolving without all-perceiving-omnipotence having perceiving it?!) and decided that an entire, distinct geographical region's peoples had just-at-this-moment cohesively achieved sufficient immorality to merit simultaneous AND contiguous painful-death punishment?]
The devastating 1755 Lisbon earthquake helped inspire the Enlightenment's mistrust of religion — triggering, e.g., Voltaire's 1759 Candide. But that was before mass-misdirection-hypnotism attained its present sophistication-apogee: TV 'snews.
G.Gilbert's Nuremberg Diary (1947) p.210 records a conversation
with Hermann Göring on the subject of one-sided propaganda
regarding the Church, whose actual
pre-1945 public criticisms of Nazism were largely narrow
(grumbling about attacks on Church personnel,
and the gov't's unreliability in living up to the terms of
the repulsive 1933 Nazi-Vatican accord). As for the yet-burnished
image of the Church as a Nazi-hating persecuted virgin:
— We had [in keeping with the Concordat] to pay them close to
a billion marks a year in taxes”. (Support which even continued
all the way through WW2. Holy Church's
silence isn't ever bought cheaply.)
And in the modern US, the Church determinedly aims and works
at exactly the same eternal Roman goal: getting at the gov't trough.
[Recall the wise observation of Ben Franklin on churches: any religion which requires protection by gov't-establishment must be a logically-feeble one.]
Both the First-Cause argument (for god's existence)
and Problem-of-Evil arguments (to then alibi that very existence
in an obviously painful, lethal, uncaring universe)
suffer from grade-school-level internal contradiction.
First Causers claim that all must have a cause — but then deny god does. [a] Anti-Problem-of-Evil lawyer-theologians try to claim that man not god is responsible for creating the world's evil, while demanding that parents give kids religious schooling or stand condemned for bringing-up evil persons — yet they do not blame god for creating a world that otherwise brings-up evil persons. (DIO 2.1  ‡1 §A9 [p.5]; DIO 8  ‡5 §L [pp.58-59]. [DR once encountered a quite religious person, only moderately educated, yet having enough common-sense to wonder-aloud: if Adam was such a bad job, why couldn't an all-powerful god have tried creating man again?])
[b] Problem-of-Evil-alibiers claim that free-will (which lets man choose evil) was god's gift to humanity so that man would not be a mere loveless, virtueless automaton — yet god's own inability to choose evil makes him in effect exactly such a loveless, virtueless automaton. (DIO 4.3  ‡15 n.42 [p.136].) Did god just not want any competition in the Perfect-Guy or Automaton categories?
Is the rather-humanish attribute Jealousy really a component of the ultimate-perfection entity? — Mr.Big-Invisible-Guy…? See god's me-firstness in his very 1st Commandment. (Jesus was the same: DIO 8  ‡5 §C2 [p.46]. Note also ibid §§B1-22 [p.46].) Mr.B.I.G. wrote it in stone (well, maybe: DIO 10  n.168 [p.76]), for Moses to broadcast for-all-time in so-many-words Exodus 20.5): “I am a jealous god.”)
Cults: the Road from Artificial to Real Numerical Majority:
Take a hard, rational look at Christian theology. Invisible god as creator of the whole universe. Also vast (equally invisible) heaven & hell. Alleged risings from the dead. I.e., super-hero absurdities beneath even juvenile Comic-Book-level. (Plus accepting the divinity of a guy who was so mortal that the Jerusalem police had no trouble finding, capturing, and nailing him.) How can a church numerically grow enough among ordinary people to finally (after centuries) make such hilarious fables into cemental MAJORITY opinion?
Answer: MAJORITY opinion! — a theory which at first encounter seems just circularly ironic. But Christian theology is such a bad joke on its face that there is no other way to grow.
[But, how deep is the belief? Ever watched Episcopalian churchgoers roting their way through The Confession? It doesn't even sound like they mean it. Far worse yet for the Romans' speedy-routine Rosary. DR has seen two different talking-in-the-tongues congregations. The tonguers' “voices” were laughably uniform among themselves — but each group's common voice and manner were strikingly different from the other group's. (Awfully odd if from god.) The Holy Rollers were loudly hootin' and twitchin', while the Roman church pentacostals' voices were sedately slithering. I.e., each group's members, desperate to fit-in, were faking. But why should one assume that an Episcopalian businessman at church is any different, while he's conforming to the prayer-motions there? All these performances are consciously thespian: shamming-it-up, often useful for societal acceptance — by others who are equally shamming. How many of those who face their own dishonesty in such acquiescence, perceive the irony that their obeisance-conformity is simply to fellow fakers?!]
So, consider carefully what the foregoing Majority pseudo-paradox tells us: in the period before becoming a majority in the general population, the only way a religion can grow is by insulating its wards during their formative-years via ideologically purified (preferably gov't-established) church, its insulated & doubt-free early “education”, family, school, and (most vital of all, in today's US) MEDIA (an exercise in totalitarianism which the internet will slowly corrode, for as long as that continues to be permitted), and — when needed — silencing non-believers by censorship or fear, in order forcefully (via all the dissent-suppression required) to create the majority-ILLUSION that everybody-believes-in-god. No other way to make effective the crock we call theology.
(See, even in lit-circles, the shunning required to enforce Stratfordianism: DIO 18  §§D1&T6 [p.7&48, resp].) [Thus, theology (of any mass-religion) is a special sub-sub-species of philosophy, peculiarly characterized as one which has never been effective, absent the means to suppress (or kill) those who disagree with it. This, even while theologians pretend it's a noble calling. Heb.(St.Paul) 3.12 [emph added]: “ Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Note here the venerable Christian tradition of equating mere doubt with Evil. See DIO 1.1  ‡1 n.17 [p.8].])
But, this swindle can't work outside the Believers' own closed social unit.
[Auschwitz chief R.Hoess said [G.Gilbert Nuremberg Diary 1947 p.259] that the reason he believed Jews were evil was that throughout his pre-1945 life, “we just never heard anything else”.
No religion ever grew and came to power primarily by logical-persuasion conversions. Note amusing myths to the contrary: e.g., Roland vs Fenacute (Henry Buckle History of Civilization in England 1873 ed. vol.1 p.320) and Alexius 1 vs Manichaeans (Cyril Longo Byzantium London 1980 Chap.5).
Thus, the only ways to make a religion grow and thrive are: [a] war or other force; [b] high birthrate (which itself causes war); [c] pandering to the rulership (handing it docile cheap labor (workers who believe their crummy wages will be made good in the hereafter) & sacrificial soldiers.
So why is anyone surprised to find that the history of mass-religion is inevitably a history of degradation and misery: spirit-killing poverty, too-often interrupted by war's broken families, lost limbs, lost husbands and fathers, maimed children.
Radical question (facing what “pro-choice” sloganeering won't): can internationally-agreed-upon population-control — even very-late-abortion (virtual-infanticide) — really be worse than the otherwise-unavoidable hideous consequences of its lack?
Would Jesus Make It as a
Questions in Passing:
[a] Why did Jesus require about 30y of obscure life before tearing off his mild-mannered Clark-Kent-toga and revealing himself as supergod-on-Earth? What was he doing, during all this maturation-time? Getting a PhD in sonnagodhood?
[b] What must we make of Jesus' provident financial acumen & and his private me-first attitude towards the very eternal poverty class which he's supposed especially to love?
[See DIO 8  ‡5 [pp.46-47] on several points: [i] Was Judas actually an anti-corruption idealist? [I.e., did he betray Jesus? — or did he simply rebel when luxurious-private-life Jesus became fiscally unaccountable and betrayed his movement's purported ideals?] (Judas didn't last long after fingering Jesus. The Bible says he was found hanged: a presumed suicide. Or was it classic cult-vindictive “suicide”?) [ii] Was the “parable” of the talents simply growth-corporation investment-advice?]
[c] We also note that, for a god, Jesus was curiously powerless when the mundane gov't decided to get rid of him — he was visibly tailed, jailed, flailed, & nailed — and was never again seen by the very public he allegedly came to Earth for. (He allegedly bailed to Heaven. INvisibly.) Mel Gibson's Cashin' of the Christ (credit: A.Stewart 2005/3/18 Countdown-Olbermann) depicts the CruciFiction finale (raking in millions for very piously & very, very graphically depicting the sadistic degradation of a virtually naked young man) — with the Approved Message that this is how god suffered for YOUR sins and all of man's shortcomings (skimming over the Problem-of-Evil “free-will” shellgame-alibi for how omnipotent beneficence created a world full of sin in the 1st place: DIO 8  ‡5 §L2 [p.59]; also DIO 2.1  ‡1 §A9 [p.5], and DIO 4.3  ‡15 n.42 [p.136] on C.S.Lewis & animal pain). Thereby deftly diverting from the rather-more-obvious message (which priests live to keep their sheeple from ever pondering): what sort of god lets the state  beat him up, and  kick him right off the planet he came-to-save (but never has)?
Christians' standard alibi (yes, there's always an alibi…): well, you know, actually — god's-truth-to-tell — it was all by plan. Jesus intended the whole thing: planned to get nabbed, shunned, stripped half-naked, & nailed.
It's all a come-full-circle zero-sum process, so let's follow the chain here: god's son atones for [god-created] man's [thus god-created] sinfulness….
That's an awfully laborious, time-consuming, mundanely-inefficient mistake-cancellation process — for an allegedly all-seeing celestial omnipotence.
To end here by getting-real: which of the below-listed options does Jesus' (allegedly desired) sado-degradation finale more reasonably resemble?
[a] The way the universe's ultimo king reveals himself as Earth's true-ruler?
[b] A masochistic prototype for Commodore Belushi&co's immortal “Raging Queen” episode of Saturday Night Live?
[c] An ancient Jim Bakker who, though presumably far handsomer and smarter than JB, nonetheless boldly tried likewise dodging the feds' bunco divisions and finally just ran out of luck?
You know the old gypsy trick about cleansing the spirit by unburdening oneself of “dirty money”? So what's the difference between this and Jesus saying (e.g., Mark 10.25) it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom-of-heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle?
When fundies select among contradictory biblical passages
to prove a point, they must do so by non-biblical criteria.
(Thomas Jackson, Atheist Agenda, MSNBC 2005/12/5.)
It Takes Multi-Gall:
US mass-media have convinced citizens that the US' Founding Fathers were Christian and Hitler wasn't — rather the reverse of the truth. (See DIO 9.3  ‡6 n.75 [p.142].)
On cable-TV's MSNBC (Most-Sacred-NBC, B.Rawlins calls it), during an argument about rightists' fantastic allegation (obviously contrived in total isolation from department stores…) of a “war on Xmas” — a vision pairing hysterical psychology & hysterical humor — Christopher Hitchens had the-galls to mention the non-Christian deism of George Washington & Benjamin Franklin. The reply was simple and revealing (2005/12/1 22h EST): he was instantly gang-interrupted and smothered-talked-over by the emcee and another standard-Christian-fanatic. Projectively pretending that CH was the sole interrupter, the emcee told CH he will never again be invited onto his show. (This makes explicit a long-implicit reality: anyone who dares to go outside the tacitly-understood censorial US-media limits knows he risks self-toobicide by banishment from said media. Few will dare it. This is a prime mechanism of the US' seemingly soft-subtle but precisely ruthless censorship — which is as cleverly invisible as the theologians' god, but [in its restrictiveness & consistency] is plainly more powerful.)
Roman Catholic Hitler's 1933/4/26 discussion with two Church prelates, Paul Steinmann (Vicar General of Berlin) & Wilhelm Berning (Bishop of Osnabrück) is doubly-documented. In this genial chat, the new Chancellor (appointed 1933/1/30) assures them of: his continued Catholicism (Hitler is un-excommunicated to this day), his Catholic mission to stamp out godless Bolshevism and Jews, his support of state-supported Catholic education (which continued munificently right to the very end of WW2), and his insightful view that religion is of vital utility in fighting wars. (Fuller account of this meeting: Guenther Lewy The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany 1964 pp.50-52.) From notes of the meeting, we have Hitler's exact words (ibid p.52), over six years before he launched WW2 (which cost c.30 million European lives) by attacking Poland: “Trouble with Poland is on the horizon. We need soldiers, devout soldiers. Devout soldiers are the most valuable, for they risk all. Therefore, we [the Nazi gov't] shall keep the confessional schools in order to bring up believers”.
VatCity Social Security Creates Dazzle-Gowned PopeStar:
Why does TV 'snews' idea of Zmas & Easter fixate so exclusively upon VatCity's pomp — as if no other Christian but the PopeStar owns Easter?
[And VatCity pomp is ever-reliably Jesus-defying: ostentatious garb (contra Luke 12.24), prayer in public (contra Matt 6.5-6), rigidly rote-performed (contra Matt 6.7) — note highest possible irony at Matt 6.9-15.]
Answer: pope is the best Judas-goat on the market, when it comes to convincing workers passively to tolerate their terrestrial exploitation by plutocrats, since it's Church-guaranteed that you'll get back your genuine wage-value (or worth-equivalent) and then some, when you arrive at heaven. Hey, it's god's-own Social Security! You're piling up (invisible) “treasure” (Luke 12.33) in (invisible) heaven. Like any Wall Street investment counsellor, infallible-pope knows that classy threads inspire confidence: how can you go wrong following the advice of a guy berobed in designer-silk raiment?
Especially in the post-birthcontrol-availability era: the more mindless the religion, the more it grows.
I.e., the less (terrestrially) provident the faithful, they more they reproduce.
Thus, regarding Islam, “War Is Not the Answer” itself avoids answering the hitherto unpeaceably solved question: how does one ultimately deal with the inevitable numerically-overwhelming hordes of a bunnyrabbit religion? Historically, the only solution has been that of Charles “The Hammer” Martel (Dark-Ages France) or Dracula (late-Byzantine-era Balkans): mass-slaughter.
Just do the exponential math. (The cheap-labor-loving owners of our “free press” won't.) In the end, does a non-flagging bunnyrabbit religion's mental-sausage-factory-growth permit any other way?
The US' Orwellian Idea of “Free Press”
TV 'snews as the Real All-Seeing God — protecting the fake god:
Why is it so DIFFICULT for any media outlet to get around to informing the US public that most of the founders of the United States were deists & and explain clearly (with reference to, e.g., the long-published Adams-Jefferson letters) that this means that few of the Founding Fathers were “Christian” in the sense most US citizens mean the term? For instance, Washington was a Mason. And Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. How can this thought-provoking information be censored out of the awareness of the Christian tooboisie for consecutive decades other than deliberately — and by such constant, unsleeping, hyper-attentive, & UNERRING-supervision of what gets to the public, as to rival the gov't-as-ultimate-paranoid-nightmare-god envisioned by Orwell's 1984.
If youth's computer-literacy continues to grow in world-domination,
retaining effectively-nonfunctional coots over age 35 will be
So, will new-theologians re-adjust morality, and end up preaching
that two lives of 30y-span each are equivalent to one ending at 60y? —
so that thus phasing-out oldsters simply means we can double
the number of souls entering heaven.
Where such “creative” thinking can ultimately lead is semi-satirized in one of DIO's earliest excursions (canonizing abortioners) into Christian theology's numerous inevitable internal contradictions: “Some Neglected Modern Saints: the Angelmaker Paradox” DIO 1.1  ‡2 §H [p.15].
If there were genuinely a heaven, great composers like Beethoven and
Wagner are writing wonderful music there. So: why is this music not
communicated to Earth? — which sorely needs
more spiritual uplift.
[That Wagner's brain was allowed to die is all the evidence needed to prove that there is no god.]
If you doubt the depth of man's horribly pathetic sense
of terrestrial loneliness & insecurity, simply consider
the significance of his fantasy-projection prayer-conversational
attachment to an invisible,
non-listening, non-existent celestial Friend &
[How real or valid can democratic rule be, by an electorate this demented? It would be called insanity were its commonness not so systematically nurtured by those who profit from exploiting loons' cheap labor and dutiful cannon-fodder.]
Has it been remarked that the US' increasingly rightist media
invites atheists onto the air
only to argue about such
minority-offenses as “the war-on-Xmas”, or
why atheists object to “under God” in the US'
allegiance-pledge, or why kids can't pray in school, etc
— but NOT for discussing the merits or history of freethought
(including its popularity
among the Founding Fathers),
or how Christianity's omnipotently-beneficent god
can permit a 2004 Xmas tsunami's massacre of hundreds of thousands of
mostly poor people — ordmag 10% of them too young to have sinned at all.
(Did an entire geographical
section of the planet suddenly and simultaneously
become deserving of being wiped out?)
I've heard “conservative” (snicker) TV 'snews GOP whores state they want religion's divisive intrusions into public practice (to promote delusional belief in an inexplicably invisible and ineffectual entity) because: religious folk are a majority — so why shouldn't they have their way in our “democracy”?
[For their real reason: see under Hitler.]
Great, so we should also insert one-nation-under-whites in the US pledge — and if Washington, DC, wanted its own pledge: one-city-under-blacks. What an ingeniously unifying idea! (And someone might get the folly rolling by pointing out that: at least whites & blacks incontrovertably exist….)
Clearly Unclear — on the Painful Death of Infants and Equally
Why can the-miracle-of-faith have the wisdom and power to tell cultists god clearly exists but simultaneously be so unclear about what god's up to?
I.e., most people live entire lives by religious tenets
they never examine logically for 2 consecutive minutes.
[It is said that at the 1925 Scopes Trial, when fundie W.J.Bryan told C.Darrow that he did not think about the things he didn't think about, Darrow asked: do you even think about the things you do think about?]
Human Beauty Vs Sacrilegious Deity:
What would those who worship history's most beautiful women think of a sadist whose attitude towards each icon is slowly but inevitably to inflict wrinkles upon her skin & unfirmness to her flesh. And ultimately to kill her? Always. Welcome to religion's highest hero, “god”.
[Theologians' replies are embarrassingly likely to quote Maurice Chevalier.]
No Respect for Nothing. Too-Tu-Twain: a Hard God Is Bad to Find:
As a frequent hat-wearer and tourist in Europe DR has had repeated encounters in Roman churches, where some worshippers will pester him to remove his hat. E.g., this happened on DR's 1st visit to the RC church in Prag where Tycho is buried, leading him to ask the hat-outraged supervisor whether the Roman church had learned nothing on tolerance of differences, given the permanent embarrassment of having (just a few meters away, in the main old Prag square) a statue to someone the Roman church had burned to death over disagreement (Jan Hus). This and similar conversations in similar settings have also gotten more specifically revealing. The reason given for men removing their hats is to: show respect for god.
But (traditionally, in the same religion) women are required to cover their heads.
[Often also (esp. in Italy) the woman's “shoulders”. (Read underarms, since female erogenous-area hair is as much a no-no for priests as for the equally-het fashion industry.)]
Which naturally led to a pseudo-puzzled DR query as to why women's hatless-respect-for-god isn't similarly decreed.
Usual diversionary response: the women part of it isn't much enforced anymore — leading to DR pseudo-shock at gender-discrimination. Indeed, women today can wear in church any hat they like.
With one eternal exception: the papal hat. (Do churchmen think thus insulting women is justified if their female wards are so dumb they haven't yet figured out that the exception's eternal?)
Evidently, the hat-on-women's-heads rule has something to do with modesty about human beauty. (Since there are no homosexuals in the Church, we needn't concern ourselves about where beautiful guys fit into this picture….) Is there fear that if god reacts too-tumescently to female artifice such as hats & cosmetics, god might go into twaining: a 2nd “virgin” might get-lucky and extrude a 2nd god, potentially competitive with the Jesus-cult's? And: exactly who's making these rules about het-relations between the sexes?
[In the 1950s [when phone-numbers had fewer digits], a popular and heavily advertised brand of liquor was called “Vat 69”. This gave rise to a joke of unanticipated prescience regarding the Church's future direction. What's Vat 69? The pope's phone-number.]
Since rationalists tend more to tolerance than the pious, most of
the US' millions of non-religious citizens are intimidated into silence.
[And the exploitive super-capitalists who have captured TV 'snews (any revolution, even a slow one, knows to take-over communications first-off) have virtually 100% severed the public's access to atheistic logic. Note: ALL the rare US media appearances of atheists nowadays are merely to harass them over school-prayer-bans, etc — never to debate theism.]
Such timidity nourishes the growth of national intolerance. Do non-stitching-in-time rationalists want — by silence — to be a partial cause of this ever-more-dangerous exponential trend?
The following new skeptical argument is based upon
devised by Dennis Rawlins (first appearing at
DIO 8 
‡5 §§B5&L3 [pp.46&59]):
Pascal's intimidating wager-argument (for staying safely religious) is based upon the infinite proposal-lure of eternal life. [The Pascal argument is neutralized at ibid §L1 [p.58].] But, we can examine this spectacular bribe quantitatively by analogy to a simple problem: take two spans in time and ask what are the chance-odds of being in either; obviously, it's the ratio of their spans. (E.g., given that there are 1440 time-minutes in a day, it's 1439 times less likely to be between midnight and 1 minute past than to be between then and the next midnight.) Therefore, if there were an eternal life, the odds are infinitely high that we — who spend but ordmag 100y here on Earth — would be in that eternal life right now. (I.e., if the two time-span options are 100y vs infinity+100y [whose sum equals infinity], then the probability of being in the former span is 100 divided by infinity, a ratio which equals zero.) Since we obviously are not in the hypothesized infinitely long life, one concludes that eternal life is not our fate.
We can re-phrase this as follows: if our finite terrestrial life were followed by an eternal afterlife, then 0% of all time resides in the former. (Again, because dividing infinity into 100 years equals 0.) If there were an eternal life after Earthly death, the probability is exactly 0% that Now would lie in our finite life here; but Now is in it. (See DIO 4.2  ‡9 §K13 [p.84] for the DIO paradox that is a sibling to this one.) A false consequent of a valid conditional proves the falsity of the assumed antecedent, which is two-fold: Earth-life, and celestial-life. Since the Earth-life part of the antecedent is true, we have unambiguously narrowed-down the falsity residing in the two premises to but one part of the pair: the celestial. I.e. —
[Nothing in this argument precludes an infinitude of
serial finite-reincarnations. When considering this option,
we find two opposing forces attracting our sympathies:
[a] Our inability to comprehend our own non-existence (DIO 4.2  ‡9 §K13 [p.84]).
[b] The (slightly nontrivial!) issue of how one's self escapes one's own brain, one's own skull. (How does even theologian-level illusionism convert personality-degeneration [with age — and especially with death] into personality-survival? And: is item [a] an argument or merely a viewpoint-limitation?) Though others disagree (see intellectually-tragicomic upshot of lobby-clash at DIO 4.3  ‡ § [p.118]), I personally have little desire for a life other than this one, beyond its inevitable end. The probability that another life could be even nearly as exhilarating as being Dennis Rawlins is vanishingly low.
(i) All I ask is to be with my wife forever; and the rest of our lives on Earth is a kind of forever, since that span is all there is.
(ii) One's own death is unreal, since it cannot be experienced. So, if infinity is redefined as meaning Everything, then our finite life is (in a subtle sense [see next paragraph]) infinite to us.]
A 2007/1/8 addendum-consideration:
An infinite line is one whose beginning and end cannot be experienced. Therefore, men will most fully enjoy existence (and eschew fear of non-existence) if they realize: each human's life fortunately has the very same property.