Class Warfare Blog

February 22, 2021

I Love Mark Twain

Filed under: Culture,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:24 am
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Note I forgot to post this yesterday. I like to post something of a religious nature on Sundays as a Sabbath exercise. Steve

This post was stimulated by the following quotation:

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

This is attributed to Mark Twain but, of course, was never spoken or written by Mr. Clemens. Who actually authored it is unknown, but it seems relatively recent. It has a preachy tone to it which tells you, right there, it is not a Twain quote.

To me the key phrase is “find out why.” A purpose for your life is something you create, not find. The “find” people are all selling a particular brand of snake oil. These are religious creationists who believe we were created by their god for a purpose, for a special purpose, a purpose only they know and you don’t.

Unfortunately, if you ask these people why your or my purpose of life is, you will get wishy-washy ambiguous answers.

Let us take a step backward and ask ourselves, why would a being such as the Judeo-Christian god create a sentient species such as us? Let us set aside for the time being that an incredibly vast universe was created, presumably for a reason and if that reason is so we could be created, then this is more than a spot of bother. Imagine having to build an ant farm the size of the state of California to raise a few dozen ants. (Mind boggling but my analogy erred on the side of caution.)

This god is an asetic god, a being complete and whole in and of itself which needs nothing, so the reason for our creation had to be a want, rather than a need.

So, what purpose could we have been created to serve?

To serve others is often suggested but that makes no sense. If I was created to serve others, what are the others for? To serve me? (My cartoon mind dredges up the Twilight Zone episode with the cookbook “To Serve Mankind.”) To serve god? This also makes no sense as such a god needs no servants. I have wondered why the Judeo-Christian god has so many “helpers.” For example angels. Angels are “spiritual’ beings believed to act as attendants, agents or messengers of God, acting as “benevolent celestial intermediaries between god and humans.” So, God needs attendants? To attend to what? God needs agents? To do what? God needs messengers? Direct revelations weren’t satisfying? This God seems pretty weak if he needs all of these servants to run his business. The Book of Revelations says that there are “myriads of myriads” of angels, so that means 100,000,000 or more of them. No wonder this god’s mansion has so many rooms. (I wonder if there is an upstairs-downstairs arrangement of rooms?)

So, old God doesn’t need company or conversation or someone to make a good beer. So, why did he need human beings? According to the Bible, he must have created humans to learn what it was like to regret and change his mind (both were done in association with the Great Flood, don’t you know). (Both of which contradict His All-Knowingness.)

Now, I am going to take a wild ass guess and suggest to you that many Christians will mumble something along the lines of God created humans to have people join Him in Heaven and to commune with Him. (Does that make God a communist? Just asking.) The more honest sort say that their God wants humans to join Him in heaven so we can worship Him directly. It will be worth it, they say, because we will be blissed out merely to be in “God’s presence.” This, of course, also makes no sense at all because these same people will tell you that this god is “omnipresent,” which means he is everywhere all of the time, so He already is in our presence and we are in His.

Gee, is this making sense, at all? I can see why these religions don’t have question and answer periods after sermons, like there are after virtually every secular speech.

Oh, my point is writing this? Yo, people, stop besmirching Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain’s legacy by attributing things to him he neither said nor wrote. Just stop.

July 26, 2016

Why Does God Need Helpers?

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:02 am
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According to Christian scriptures, their god has a great many helpers. With a little help from the Internet (especially howstuffworks.com for the descriptions of the various kinds of angels) I have found the following about God’s minions. Most are called “angels” which stems from the Greek word for “messenger” as does the Hebrew analogous word mal’ak.

How Many Angels Are There?
According to Revelation 5:11, there are many: “ten thousand times ten thousand” which gives a number around 100 million. Apparently many hands make light work. Actually since two thirds of the globe’s people believe in the same god, you would have to add 4-5 billion more to that number, just to account for all of the guardian angels.

Are There Different Kinds?
Many sources indicate there are nine kinds but I have found 10, namely:

Seraphim
These are the angels who are closest to God. They encircle his throne and emit an intense fiery light representing his love. Seraphim are considered “fiery serpents” and not even the other divine beings may look at them. There are only four of them and each has four faces and six wings. When they come to Earth, they leave their serpent appearance behind, preferring tall, thin, clean-cut human embodiments.
Cherubim (Cherubs)
These angels are the keepers of celestial records and hold the knowledge of God. They are sent to Earth with great tasks, such as guarding the Garden of Eden from the re-entry of humans after Adam and Eve got evicted. Ancient art depicts cherubim as sphinx-like, winged creatures with human faces, not the fat babies with wings that now grace greeting cards and book covers. Ophaniel, Rikbiel, and Zophiel are cherubim, as was Satan before his fall to evil.
Thrones
Thrones’ appearance is perhaps the most bizarre. They are said to look like great glowing wheels covered with many eyes. They serve as God’s chariot and dispense his judgment in order to carry out his desires for us. The angels in the second choir can exist in a state of transition between the celestial and human worlds. They are considered heavenly governors, attempting to strike a balance between matter and spirit, good and bad.
Dominions/Dominations
Dominions receive orders from seraphim and cherubim, then dish out duties to the more mundane angels of the lower orders. Their main purpose is to make sure that the cosmos remains in order by sending down power to heads of government and other authority figures. Zadkiel (sometimes called Hashmal) is the chief of this order.
Virtues
Shaped like sparks of light, virtues are in charge of maintaining the natural world, and they inspire living things in areas such as science. They also take orders from the angels above and convert them into miracles for the deserving. When they make themselves known to us in their earthly form, they are musicians, artists, healers, and scientists who work with the power of love, as well as physics. The two angels at the ascension of Jesus are believed to have been virtues.
Powers
In their celestial form, powers appear like brightly colored, hazy fumes. Powers are border patrol agents between heaven and Earth. They are the angels of birth and death. Some believe that they also preside over demons who wish to overthrow the world, while others, namely St. Paul, thought the powers themselves were the evil ones. In any case, powers are a group of experts who serve as advisers in terms of religion, theology, and ideology.
Principalities
These angelic beings are shaped like rays of light. Just like a principal in school, it’s the principalities who oversee everything. They guide our entire world – nations, cities, and towns. What’s more, they are in charge of religion and politics. They are also in charge of managing the earthly duties of the angels below them. Busy, busy, busy.
Archangels
They, along with the angels, are guardians of people and all things physical. But don’t call on them to help you personally; archangels respond best when dealing with matters involving all humankind. They are the first order of angels that appear only in human form. As such, they function among us as pioneers for change in the form of explorers, philosophers, and human rights leaders. This order is most commonly known because they are mentioned by name in the Bible — Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Guardian Angels
Angels are the true intermediaries between God and individual people. Angels don’t watch over nations; they safeguard households and individuals who believe in God and keep them safe from demons. They nurture, counsel, and heal. We all have a “personal angel,” better known as our guardian angel, with us daily.
Demons
Demons are referred to as angels gone bad … time and time again, so they constitute another category.

What are Their Job Descriptions?
They can be inferred to be:
Executioners
Care Givers for Believers as They Die
Answerers of Prayers
The Agency of Strengthening and Encouraging Believers
Deliverers (Helping Believers Escape Dire Straits)
Protectors
Providers of Victuals, etc.
… But Their Primary Role is to Worship and Praise God (of course)

Questions, Questions, Questions

  1. Why does an all-powerful, all-knowing, able to create a universe with a single thought god have a need for helpers? Is it because there is something they can do what he cannot?
  2. Is there any greater evidence that these writings were created by the minds of men? Either they misunderstood the powers of their god (sheesh, he created light an darkness, for Pete’s sake), or they felt that to accomplish all of what he did, he needed to have help, as any mortal would. They also created a hierarchy of angels with authority ladders, etc, which may be needed by humans but would not be needed by a god who already knows what is going to happen and can talk to anyone or any angel in their head.
  3. Since scripture indicates angels aren’t born, nor do they die, where did the additional 4-5 billion guardian angels come from to handle the load now that the global population has swelled from a few hundred million in biblical times to the 7.4 billion now (two thirds of whom believe in this same god). Were they sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for an assignment? In the book of Genesis, God is indicating that he created Adam to tend his garden. Couldn’t he have used a team of those unemployed guardian angels?
  4. Feel free to add to this list.

May 13, 2016

Religion: You Couldn’t Make This Up

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:19 am
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According to the Asian Correspondent (asiancorrespondent.com):

“Indonesians living in the remote village of Kalupapi believed that an inflatable doll was an angel which fell from heaven, but later discovered it was a sex toy. One of the villagers by the name of Pardin had discovered the doll while fishing and brought it back to his village where it was revered for its supposed divinity. After rumors and reports about the ‘angel’ spread rapidly, police arrived to investigate, quickly concluding it was instead an inflatable sex doll.”

Clearly the definition of an “angel” needs clarifying.

And isn’t needing minions to do one’s work a tacit admission one is incapable of doing it all oneself? Why are angels needed?

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