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March 20, 2018


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Most people who sign up for a religion, faith, path are concerned that they will end up in a good place after death or, for that matter, anyplace at all. Maybe they are afraid some god or devil will make them miserable if they don't behave a certain way which ironically may include making other humans or animals miserable.

Religions promise that if you are 'good' according to what they think is 'good' you will end up in a 'good' place. Yet, it is amazing how little information is given about what this good place is going to be like. We hear about being in heaven, a spiritual region, angels, lights, sounds, bliss, being with God, Jesus, Krishna, loved ones, and so on.

But the descriptions of afterlife activities and states are very superficial and sketchy. Would you buy a house only knowing the price without seeing it or at least viewing a picture, or knowing its location, its condition, its layout and all the various details associated with making a decision to buy the house?

With religion all you really know is the price... do this and when you die you will be in a 'good' place. Meditate for many hours a day, pray five times a day, fast for a day or a week, dress a certain way, don't eat this but eat that, massacre infidels, sacrifice a virgin, fornicate only with your lawfully wedded spouse, make sure your spouse is not of the same sex, don't do this or that, do this or that and maybe whoever is in charge won't mess you up real bad.

We do all this without really knowing what we are going to get. It's kind of stupid just going on hearsay or a book or scripture. How do you know they know anything? Maybe when you get to heaven or the highest region you won't like the music despite what the pundits say about how great it is. Maybe bliss gets boring after two hundred trillion eons and you would like a little challenge or difficulty for a change.

One religion says you will get 72 virgins if you die killing people who don't believe in that religion. But there is no description of these virgins. What if they aren't your type? Maybe you like skinny chicks but all the virgins are fat and covered with warts and you don't like warts? Just because the founder of the religion liked warts doesn't mean you do.

The fundamentalist notions you depict do not in anyway describe the reason why many people participate in religious activities. For instance, a while ago church going Catholics in Canada were polled. A small percentage said they attended because it was the "right" thing to do. A slightly larger percentage went because of the desire for tradition. The largest percentage - approximately 50 per cent - went because of how it made them feel, and the majority of them said they didn't really believe, or disbelieve, in the theology.

Brian if you can define whole groups of people you've never met in degrading terms, hiding behind the clinical objectivity of sociological terminology , and then laugh at their stupidity, really, is that fun for you?

Tangentially arguing from the platform of an unrelated sociologists' writing is, well, it's Brian.

In Brian's sandbox All roads point to the stupidity of people who don't think Brianthink. No matter where those roads started, and the actual direction they were taking... ;)

You do seem to love throwing sand at the other kids. You were meant for more than this sandbox. But that conclusion is inevitable. I'm actually excited about your next steps Brian. You, as raw material, are coming along nicely.

Spencer, show me where I've laughed at the stupidity of groups of people I've never met in degrading terms. You can't, because I haven't. I do make fun of religious people because they're deserving of it. I'm also making fun of my past self, because I too used to believe in God without any good reason for doing so other than that it made me feel good -- which is pretty damn funny!

You seem to be shocked that you come every day to a blog called "Church of the Churchless" and find churchless/atheist posts on it. Are you also shocked when you go to a bar and find people drinking alcohol there, or to a beach and find people in bathing suits?

Why do you feel justified in giving me advice, as you do in the comment above? Do you really think that you know me better than I know myself? If this the outcome of your religiosity, believing that you can tell other people what is in store for them?

To Brian:
I watched the 6 part Series on Netflix yesterday, about Osho’s Oregon Ashram and them taking control of the town of Antelope . I am wondering if you were working for Salem Govt. During that time, and if so, considering you were an RSSB Charan Satsangi duriig that time, what did you think about the Osho Ashram taking over the Town, and also, when Thakar Singh was building his ashram on a mountain outside of Ashland, Oregon around 1987-88? I had moved to So. Ca. end of 1979, anf was Regional Manager of the eleven Western States for a Chicago Firm. I faintly remember the Osho event, but had no interest in Gurus during that time, so it escaped my Radar, in spite of my traveling to Oregon every couple of months and servicing my Clients in Portland, Eugene and Salem. The Netflix Series was very well done, and informative. I never knew a lot of what actually happened there. After watching it, it was no wonder the Oregon locals shot down letting Thakar Singh establish his Ashram in Oregon! I can’t imagine any Indian Guru ever establishing another large Ashram any where in tne U.S..again.
Jim Sutherland

Hi Brian:

You wrote:

"Spencer, show me where I've laughed at the stupidity of groups of people I've never met in degrading terms. "


From your post:

"It's amazing, really, that more people aren't taken aback by the fact that almost universally religions have good news for humanity.

Well, us atheists think about this, but few religious people do.

They just accept the stories told by their religion without wondering, "How can it be that everything I want to be true is part of the tales told by my chosen faith?"

Well, because religions aren't constrained by those annoying things called facts. Anybody can come up with a appealing story if they don't have to worry about reality. Fairy tales often end with "And they lived happily ever after."

It's easy to make imaginary stories have happy endings. That's why religions are so popular."

Do you really think all people who devoutly follow a religion, all Catholics, for example, are simply more ignorant than you / atheists?

Whats quite interesting is your blind spot about this.


I don't see anything in Brian's quotes you cited as being degrading or "laughing at" the stupidity of religious groups. I think he's just stating the facts as he sees them. If he makes religions sound unintelligent, maybe it's because they are?

Brian, you asked

"You seem to be shocked that you come every day to a blog called "Church of the Churchless" and find churchless/atheist posts on it. Are you also shocked when you go to a bar and find people drinking alcohol there, or to a beach and
find people in bathing suits?"

I'm shocked by bigger things. The sunrise is absolutely shocking to me. As are the stars in the sky, both inner and outer.

I'm shocked by the resounding harmonies of the orchestra, both inner and outer.

Gas clouds are incredible when you see them up close.

It's just experience Brian.

You seem shocked that you can have a deeply moving experience from things that have nothing to do with religion.

Let's just say that this is not news to most people, even people in religion.

Brian, consider this wild and completely unorthodox notion: Posts about true Atheism are not posts about Catholicism, or Sant Mat, or Religion, or any other belief.

They are about Atheism.

Atheism is no more defined by other religions than a woman is defined by a man.

But this may be a concept new to you.

Oscar Wilde   Anglo-Irish poet/novelist.
“To believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing.”

Q: What does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do?
A: Stays awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog. 

Jen, sometimes fine wine is better than meditation.

Jim, yes, I was working for Oregon state government at the time the Rajneeshees (spelling?) came to Oregon. They were quite a sensation. We'd see members of the ashram here in Salem, dressed in their distinctive garb. At first the ashram was an amusing curiosity. Then, as the darker side came out, resistance grew to them. My wife and I are planning to watch the Netflix series.

Hi D.r,

Nope, no wine for me. No alcohol at all. Living a moral life. Vegetarian diet. Excellent rules learnt from the path of Sant Mat.

Watching the excellent Netflix documentary "Wild Wild Country" that Jim and Brian mentioned. Wow what a difference to the spiritual path satsangis follow. I'm very happy that I'm still sticking to the principles. Don't like sitting meditating much but feel as if my life is a meditation anyway whilst practising being in the moment and presence.

“Religion is a complex of culturally prescribed practices, based on premises about the existence and nature of superhuman powers, whether personal or impersonal, which seek to help practitioners gain access to and communicate or align themselves with these powers, in hopes of realizing human goods and avoiding things bad.” (22)


I like it


Sound practice is totally another Ball Game

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