Thanks, man! I'm glad I decided to sign up.
Which bible? There are so many different versions, who can keep track? I have read many of them. The Quran. The Torah. And eastern religions. And animist religions. And Native American religions. And sci-fi religions. With and without a god. And with many gods. (Point of irony: all religions with gods are polytheistic in my view.) And in several languages. Anyway, just not a fan of the stupidity of it all. The hypocrisy bothers me, too, but it's really the lack of logic and its global impact that I would like to see diminished. I was raised as a Christian but with the right not to be. Nobody in my family forced me to believe anything, and luckily, they are readers, and they were open to philosophical discussions about the universe. For years, I co-existed with the religious, recognizing there are "sheep" and even crazies in every group no matter the group. Secretaries. Doctors. Teachers. Bartenders. Whatever. But the older I get, the more disturbed I am at how the modern global political machine is making a huge shift, killing public education and leveraging superstition. This is not a conspiracy theory. It's just what's happening. Sample the evolution of legislation from various countries. And that's fine. I can move when necessary...and then move again. But it really seems to me that any philosophy that relies on ignorance and subjugation of the mind and spirit is a threat to civilized society and personal freedom. I don't have a personal ax to grind with any particular religion. I don't have any more bad experiences with religious people than any other group of people. I just think religion as a concept is the strongest doctrine in the world limiting personal agency, scientific and socio-economic advancement, and political stability. In the United States, political values are so wrapped up social judgment, that the original meaning of liberal and conservative - the speed with which change is implemented in a given political system - has been lost. I believe there is a humanist imperative, a morality if you will, but I don't need the threat of a hell or the promise of a heaven to conduct myself ethically with a conscience. I also believe that I should be able to be a non-believer fiscal conservative who comes from a Southern WASP family married to a mixed race man from another country trying to raise my children with conservative moral values which are based on the notion of personal safety and consideration for others not on a voyeur god. I don't give a damn about sexual orientation or the color of your skin or what your parents and great-grandparents did. Are you a decent human being? Do you lie? Do you steal? Are you selfish? Or greedy? Do you manipulate? Do you use people? Do you pray instead of do something? Do you whine and blame instead of do something? Do you read? Do you think for yourself? Can we disagree intelligently? Are you discerning? Are you thoughtful? Can you admit your mistakes? Can you change your own thoughts and behavior based on the consequences of your actions? Are you considerate? Empathetic? Do you speak for what is right and defend those who need defending? I would like to contribute to making the world a place where nobody responds to tragedies with a hastag-pray-for picture. And where there's a national media industry devoted to news not propaganda. It's a pipe dream, but we've all got to work for something. And yes, I read a lot. Everything I can get my hands on. My (main) home library contains upwards of 5000 modern and antique books, and that doesn't count ebooks and audiobooks, and a/v materials like our purchased or saved documentaries, podcasts, etc. The main area downstairs, which is also the kids' study, is arranged according to the Dewey decimal system.There is a huge section on religion, with everything from the aforementioned books to the the Book of Mormon, books on witchcraft, (as in actual spell-casting books), the teachings of Confucius, American 1980's cult scare histories
It's just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Agree!