Friendly Atheist comments on a pyramid of the hierarchy of religious beliefs here. And here is the original article at The Reason Stick. The author comments: “While much thought and effort is directed at tackling those at the top of the pyramid, society seems equally keen to continue fuel the system from the bottom, ensuring that we have a constant fresh supply of enough receptive minds to climb to the top of the pyramid.”
I don’t believe in an form of afterlife except for shelf life: For a short time after I die, my body will not stink of death. But if I DID believe in heaven, I wouldn’t want to go there, for many of the reasons set forth by Valerie Tarico of ALTERNET. Here’s one of her many reasons why she wouldn’t be excited to spend time in heaven–endless worship:
Your celestial day (and night) job is to sing God’s praises. What do the faithful do in Heaven? The same thing the angels do. They worship God and sing his praises. The writer of Revelation even offers us a sample song. In one passage, 24 elders “fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:10-110).
As one graduate of Evangel College (Assemblies of God) observed wryly, “Having spent some time in N. Korea, where the incessant praise music and propaganda were required and all-pervasive, I sometimes wonder if the dynastic leaders there somehow lifted a page from an older playbook.”
It has been said that the only god worthy of worship is one who neither wants nor needs it. What are we to think of a deity who creates the earth and her inhabitants—in fact the entire universe—so a few bipedal primates, most of whom were never born, can spend an afterlife in this posture of praise and adulation?
Most Christians I meet embrace only the most popular teachings from the New Testament, but ignore all of the embarrassing passages from the Old Testament, all the while claiming that the Bible is the most important book in the world.
This site reminds Christians that Jesus himself embraced all the Old Testament.
1) “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV) Clearly the Old Testament is to be abided by until the end of human existence itself. None other then Jesus said so.
2) All of the vicious Old Testament laws will be binding forever. “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17 NAB)
3) Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” (Matthew 5:17 NAB)
3b) “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16 NAB)
New article at Raw Story is titled, “These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world.” If only religions would divest themselves of these tendencies. But then, if they did so, they wouldn’t be considered religions.
Blasphemy – Blasphemy is the notion that some ideas are inviolable, off limits to criticism, satire, debate, or even question.
Male Ownership of Female Fertility
Bibliolatry (aka Book Worship)
“Challenging long-held views on the origins of divinity, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, presented findings Thursday that confirm God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, evolved from an ancient chimpanzee deity.
The recently discovered sacred ancestor, a divine chimp species scientists have named Pan sanctorum, reportedly gave rise over millions of years to the Lord Our God, Maker of Heaven and Earth.”
Explosive headline concerning the alleged transubstantiation. Here’s the title and opening sentence:
Vatican reeling as DNA tests show communion wafers contain 0% Christ
The Vatican is this morning facing a further crisis after routine DNA tests revealed that the communion wafers used in Sunday mass contain 0% of the body and blood of Christ.