1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Religulous (religion+rediculous) – a film review April 9, 2009

 

Having an atheistic background I was naturally attracted by this poster – to see it in the middle of still catholic Vienna was a bit of a surprise. The poster was inspiring enough to visit cinema (which is a rare thing for me!).

Did I like it? Let me give you the detalis first and then I will deliver my opinion.

What is the film about?
The documentary RELIGULOUS is a film about organized religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, TV evangelism and even Scientology, with detours into pagan cults and ancient Egypt. Bill Maher, host, writer and debater, believes they are all crazy. He doesn’t get around to Hinduism or Buddhism, but he probably doesn’t approve of them, either. He wants to convince his audience that religion is not only ridiculous, it’s downright dangerous.

How does Maher do that?
Typically anyone trying to make a case against God goes right to the pedophile priests and the suicide bombers, but Maher makes it a point to focus on normal, reasonably sane religious people. He talks to truckers in a roadside chapel, he chats with random, middle-class tourists at a Christian-themed amusement park. He talks to religious shop owners, small town preachers, televanglists, Jews for Jesus, fundamentalist U.S. Senators, Vatican priests, religious scientists, secular Muslims, gay Muslims, people in America (Utah), Europe, and even in Jerusalem. Though those fumbling for an excuse to discredit him may claim otherwise, these aren’t extremists or lunatics. These are for the most part sane, rational, even intelligent people who believe something which Maher believes is insane.
To the film’s credit, Maher never engages in Michael Moore-style gotcha tactics, but rather asks questions that raise more questions, in the form of a Socratic dialogue.
Smart, hilarious and thoroughly entertaining. Although rather a hard-core at some points.

Highlights?
All in all, the film is often funny, frequently unfair, mostly simplistic, at times offensively unethical and ultimately limited. I found stunning Maher’s visit of the Holy Land Experience in Florida, a theme park where you can watch Christ being nailed up three times a day(!) – a kind of a Christian Disneyland. Another interesting part was his interview with priests stationed in the Vatican. Between them, they cheerfully dismiss wide swaths of what are widely thought to be Catholic teachings, including the existence of Hell. One of these priests almost dissolves in laughter as he mentions various beliefs that children solemnly absorbed in Catholic schools. The other observes that when Italians were polled to discover who was the first person they would pray to in a crisis, Jesus placed sixth (and that is in a very catholic Italy!)…

What do I think of it all?
Maher claims he knows nothing and that is always a good approach. What I see is that he is basically battling the BLIND FAITH. And that is a great thing to do. My readers know that I love topics of public manipulation/propaganda and since my childhood I believed that religion is one of the greatest manipulators ever. How did K. Marx say? “Religion is the opium for the folks”, and that is what it is globally seen. Preaching love, it causes wars. Simply because every religion has nothing to do with its founding fathers. Not only Christ has never written the New Testament – but also none of the people who wrote it ever met him(!). Koran was written 40 years after Mohammed Saheb was gone…Knowing that 80% of modern wars are religion-based…What should one say? Seeing the absurdity of that every intelligent persons logically should ask oneself a question about the need of any organised religion.
Another point I like about the film is Maher’s quoting of USA foudning fathers (Jefferson et al.) speaking about separation of religion and the state – compared to the common todays attempts to represent USA as a Christian nation: it has never been one, it is just too diverse for that. And I strongly believe that none of the existing religions should ever be connected to the state – unfortunately also in Russia the Russian Orthodox Church is gaining power and influence.

Who should see this film?
I would like to think religious people would see this movie to broaden their horizons, but horizon-broadening is discouraged by many groups. While they may not explicitly say it, these people are taught to accept without question, and when they do question, they are taught to accept answers with no basis in fact. Yesterday in the cinema there were only about 20 people watching the RELIGULOUS – and that is considering the fact that only one (!) cinema in Vienna is showing it… 20 for a time may be a good number for a Catholic country like Austria, but still… I hope that more and more people will start facing the fact of thier blind faith – by seeing such films or by making truly spiritual experiences.

LOVE, axinia

 

50 Responses to “Religulous (religion+rediculous) – a film review”

  1. Blind faith not only blinds people but it may also turn them into fools. Religions do belong to the primitive age. Looking at the poster, it seems that the director has focussed his attention on the Abrahamic religions. I wish he had covered other religions as well.

    This is the first time I’m hearing of the religious theme park, the “Christian Disneyland”. Strange are the ways of the religious!

  2. swaps Says:

    I would have been the 21st in the cinema….but I was watching ‘Decalogue’, yes, it is on the 10 commandments. It was good.
    I believe in religions, their raison d’etre.

    Why nobody thought of making a movie on why they fail…or rather, we fail?

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  4. Sahaja Says:

    Religion to me just a lifestyle…developed along with evolution by experienced ppl to help the novice to lead a life in a better way nt to make same mistake again to learn it doesnt work………… so def , no hard and fast rule….it shud not be imposed…and all which is happening now is ffew cunning people taking advantage and fooling ignorant people!!

    btw, i thought the 3 monkeys are from Gandhiji…arent they?

    • axinia Says:

      Sahaja, my dear,
      religion is a sensitive issue because it deals with something we do not really know, something very deep inside. I belive that the seeking of the Spirit is a natural need of a human being and any religion does a certain service here in offering some satisfaction.

      You are right, a religion gives a set of rules, the dharma-basics and it must help, especially primitive folks to keep oneself in borders. It is a control which is meant to be good but by now if you look at the core of wars and all hatered …it is a sad picture… how can anyone how believes to be rligious hate others only because they belive in soe other God????? That is something I can never comprehen – but this happens far too often to prove that religion is soemthing we really need.

      Anyway, for me I think I am what is called an experimentalist – I only belive something what I can experiences clearly. I used to be very rebellious in my childhood and youth towards any concepts whatsoever and even now I can only exept things which I know on my central nervous system, percept with all my sense organs. And that is THE ONLY reason I took to Sahaj.

  5. Atlantic Says:

    Axinia, A few short days ago you said that there was more good in the world as aposed to evil. Right? Well… Religion is a big part of the world in which we live. So then I would ask you, is there more good in religion or more evil? If you said more good, than I should like to know why you want to abolish it? But, If you were to say more evil. I shall ask you if perhaps you might agree with “An alien Earthling” after all?

    Just for the record, I do agree with Raj. Yes, There is more evil in the world than good. And yes, more darkness than light. But I would take it a step farther and say there is also more ignorance than knowledge.

    “Why do religions fail? I think its because people are blind and ignorant to the teachings of the prophets. It’s not due to some flaw within the teachings themselves, but rather it’s because of the darkness and evil that exists in the world. The world kills each other in spite of their religions not because of them. They merely use them as an excuse.

    So if the question is why are religions still relevant in todays world than the answer is simple, because the good in them is more powerful than the evil in them. Regardless of the amount of bad even the smallest amount of good is to valuable to lose. And after all, it only takes a little bit of love can change the world, Right?

    Newfoundlander

    • Atlantic/Newfoundlander,

      I’m delighted that I finally have someone who agrees with me that there is a lot more evil than good in this world 🙂

      Religions are responsible for a lot of ills in this world but to blame only religions would be way off the mark. The problem is with human nature. Humans are evil by nature 😡 and what makes them much more dangerous (and evil) than animals is that humans have some extra biological intelligence over animals but their common sense is not equally developed. In other words, humans may be technologically and scientifically much more advanced than animals but their ethical sense has not developed to the same extent. If advanced life does exist on other planets in the universe, I guess their ethical and moral intelligence would be equally developed as their mental (biological) intelligence.

      It’s not as if humans cannot live in peace, harmony and plenty on Earth. There is enough in the world and technology is sophisticated enough for every person in the world to live in a sustainable and peaceful, harmonious environment on Earth. But such a solution is almost impossible because of the basic evil nature of humans. There is little hope for these grotesquely lop-sidedly developed species called humans 😐

    • axinia Says:

      Atlantink,
      I fully agree with you on the pont that “why are religions still relevant in todays world than the answer is simple, because the good in them is more powerful than the evil in them.” – but for the differnt reason. I believe that the founders of religions have been very special people/beings whose litght is so powerful, that no amount of human stupidity can ever destroy their true messsage. I noted many times in my blogs that I highly respect the core messages of Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Moses and others. I only disrespect what the followers have done to it all: I can imagine the heart of Christ must be bleeding if he sees how Chrsitian kill/hate others in his name… Or take protestants and Catholics – how they still fight… the amount of hatered among so called followres of Christ is unbelievable! Same for the other religions…Unfortunately… that is why it is obvious that religions do not fullfill thir mission, because they are ruled by corruped and manupulative PEOPLE, not great human beings.

  6. Caleb Williams Says:

    Great post Axinia! You have sparked off another fascinating debate. … I’ve always been more attracted to those on the outer fringes of official state religions … the rebels, mystics, poets, seers, and sages. Those who fearlessly and bravely pursue an individual relationship with the universe, God, reality, higher consciousness … why? Because I think state religions are all about power and control. An anti-dogmatic Christian mystic from the 13th Century Meister Eckhardt said in his prayers “Dear God please allow me just to “be in God” and release me from the desire to hear about, search after, pray for, and experience God’s finding me” … and also: “we have to take off our shoes and jump straight into the heart of God!”. With such an unconventional attitude and such a direct spiritual relationship to God, Eckhardt was persecuted as a heretic, and died locked up.

    Anyone who has profoundly investigated the literary, and historical scholarship around the beginnings of christianity must swiftly conclude, with a ironic smile, that so much of contemporary christianity … so much the contemporary Christian regards as ‘literal truth’ … is an ‘invention-after-the-fact’ … made up for political reasons by the early propagators of Christianity after Christ’s death. The earliest books of the new testament were written by Paul around 55AD, but he does not provide a single anecdote about Christ himself, who Christ was, what he said, how he related to the disciples. Apart from the crucifixion and resurrection, which is according to Paul the central message of Christ, the historical Christ, the man who lived and taught, does not seem to really matter to Paul at all. The later Gospel authors come along to fill much of this in for us. But also contradict each other on various points, too. Yes, the Bible, contains many beautiful passages. It is poetic. It has spiritual force. But how much was true, and much was made up? Interesting to think that the first Christians did not think of themselves as Christians at all, but Jews. After Christ’s death they founded the Jerusalem Church under James, who was said to be Christ’s brother, but still went on observing what were essentially Jewish practices. The Romans destroyed the church and massacred the population of Jerusalem around 60AD. If not for Paul’s tireless spreading of Christianity in the Graeco-Roman world, Christianity would have been an obscure cult-like digression that functioned within mainstream Judaism. So much within modern Christianity … scriptures, ceremonies, its religious calendar of ‘events’, priestly costumes, architecture, are all add-ons after the fact …. made up for political and cultural reasons, to shore up the power-hold of the church on populations of converts.

    • axinia Says:

      Caleb, what an exellent piece of historical information and a deep thought!-thank you.
      I like your point “I’ve always been more attracted to those on the outer fringes of official state religions … the rebels, mystics, poets, seers, and sages.” – because interestingly, it is these people who are finally remembered and not all those strange Chirch-named saints who are all forgotten today because their contirbution was not relevant to the global evolution.

  7. Atlantic Says:

    “None of the people who wrote the New Testament ever met Christ.”

    Axinia, this is an extremly prejudicial statement considering that christianity is based on the belef that the new testament includes eye witnesses acounts of the life of christ. The oldest manuscripts of Mattew, Mark, Luke, and John have been dated anywhere from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. with the letters being even a little older. It’s amazing that archiologists and scholars could even get it with in one generation after the passing of two thousand years. However if they are right, 70 A.D. would only put Mark in his early sixties. He was not beleved to be more than teens or early twenties when Christ died, and Christ died in 31 A.D.

    World Book Encyclopedia says that only the authers of the first four books are unknown. This is largly because the authors choose not to identify themselves. It doesn’t mean though that we can’t guess. For example, lets just say that you were to write a book and I where to write a book about a simular experince. Don’t you think all of our readers would be able to tell beyond a reasonable doubt which of us wrote what if they were to base their conclusion on what they know about each of us?

    Axinia, I can’t prove to you for absolute cirtain who wrote the new testament because I wasn’t there. Even if I were there, how could I that you would beleive me. On the other hand, neither can you know for cirtain that the writers never met christ.

    Newfoundlander

    • axinia Says:

      Newfoundlander,

      you made it a point yourself – nobody can prove that and I actually do not need any proove. I know who Christ was and that is enough for me. Every time then I say “Our father” my head gets lighter and it means his prayer is a powerful mantra THAT WORKS for real. And that is the most valuable thing comapred to the whole Bible to me.

  8. Atlantic Says:

    9 He that saith he is in the light , and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knowith not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 1John Chapter 2

    “The disciple which Jesus loved”

  9. Arlene Says:

    Hi Axinia, i guess that would be a film worth viewing especially when it is Sabbath in my home. I mean there is no other day to watch a film like that when you need to have be open minded while viewing it.

    I wish you a good week-end!

    • axinia Says:

      thanks my dear Arlene!!
      I wonder what you would say after watching it. it is really a bit heard, but hope you will get the right idea.
      Happy Easter!

  10. Wortman Says:

    Liebe Axinia, ich wünsche dir ein frohes Osterfest.
    Dear Axinia, wish you a happy eastern.

  11. Valusha Says:

    want to see this film 😉
    Do you know how it’s name was translated in Russian? I’ve found some variants: “Верующие”, “Опиум для народа” and even “Религия для чайников” 🙂

  12. Atlantic Says:

    Arlene, I would love to hear what you think of it.
    And by the way, I hope you have a very happy Sabbath!

    An Alien Earthling, I’m sorry if I alowed you to think that you were the only who felt that way. However I did think that you did an awsome job of making your points. Infact I wish I had writen it myself. Perhaps I well go back there one day and make some addional comments of my own.

    Axinia, You are an “Experimentalist”? I must admit, I’ve never heard of this before, but I’ve learned a long time ago from my own experinces that my own personal feelings can’t be trusted. Feelings are often wrong and can sometimes even be dangerous. Feelings are constantly changing and therefore they can’t acurately gage what is truth, because truth never changes. Feelings can be either good or evil. Since I beleive that humans have an evil nature, I think many times we get confused between the two. We put good for evil and evil for good. Axinia, it takes a very spiritualy grounded person such as yourself to have any since of truth what so ever if all a person has to go by is feelings. Even then, your preception of truth Is only the tip of the ice burg. One has to study the natural world of nature as well as historical, mathmatical, Philosophical, and scientific evidence. Only when you have studied all the facts can you reach a conclusion. The answers we find may not always seem to make sence. Perhaps they may even defy human comprehension. This is where faith comes in, but it’s not “blind faith” because it’s based on things we beleive to be true. In a universe as big and as complicated as ours can anyone really claim that they understand all there is to know?

    Am I still missing your point? When you said “blind faith” you only meant those who follow their religions blindly without questioning, What is truth? What is love? What is compasion?

    • axinia Says:

      Atlantic,
      I call myself an “experiemntalist” because I forgot the right word for that (remember studying it some time in philisophy). Anyway it means I trust only my EXPERIENCE – did I say “feelings”??? NO! Feelings should not be really trusted 🙂
      Experience is something which is more complext, which includes many things, also the knowledge but basically it is the PERCEPTION, not feelings. it is like hot and cold – I can clearly percept what is the differnce.
      But my experince is my own thing, I do not claim it to be universal. It is just what I finally trust because it has gone through all my organce of perception, my whole nervous system. It is my own. And that is the only trugh for me.

      Blind faith by the authors of the film is “believeing withtout questions” – but they are all mental people. For me blind faith has something to do with the computer which is not connected to the Inernet – it has got some data (probably via USB stick) but it is not conneted to the source of inromation, it can not percept.

      A truly spiritual experience must be not only understandable, but also turly perceptalbe by ANYONE and should not be based on mental concepts.

  13. Hoping that Raj won’t come to this part of the comments section as he has already commented 🙂 I think that religion should have developed initially just like science. With a good intention of organized living and helping people to realize their true selves. But the protocols and rituals have become so complex and cumbersome (Or made so) that people have started taking advantage of it (Or they think they have taken advantage of it, clever them!).

    After some centuries, if Science is also detested by the intellectual public, for the same reason as religion – that people have not been able to use it in the right way(maybe after a huge nuclear war), how can we blame science? In the same logic, how can we blame religion when people start misusing it? WE NEED TO BLAME THE PEOPLE. OURSELVES. NOT SYSTEMS.

    Destination Infinity

    • axinia Says:

      Thank you, DI,
      but I think it the point I was trying to make – that at the core of it every religion is beautiful, only what PEOPLE have done with it, using it for their power and money interests, that is what ruins it.

  14. Atlantic/Newfoundlander,

    No need to feel sorry, my friend 🙂 I was just a bit surprised to see that despite all the obviously outrageous evil in the world, I was the only commenter who had a different viewpoint in Axinia’s (more good/more evil) post 😕 Are people so oblivious to the evil around them? Or do they think something is evil only if it affects them personally or affects someone close to them? If it’s the latter, which I suspect it is, then all my views regarding humans would turn out to be true – that humans are simply incapable of behaving as a civilised, let alone enlightened, species and that humans are ethically equivalent to single-celled amoebae and bacteria, no matter how biologically advanced they may be compared to other species.

    Or maybe people don’t want to offend Axinia by showing the true nature of humans since she has such a good view and high hopes about them 🙂 If that’s the case, then I apologise for repeatedly being the lone negative voice here, Axinia 😦

    DI,

    If you read my comment carefully, you will find that I’ve primarily blamed the evil nature of humans and religions only secondarily 🙂

    However, science against religion is an entirely different topic and may too big to discuss here. The essential difference between science and religion is that the very nature of science keeps it evolving and changing with every second. Religion, on the other hand, is designed to stay put in the primitive times when it was formed because religions order people to be blind believers and not question religious beliefs, however stupid they may be.

    Science encourages reason, religions encourage blind belief.
    Science is progressive, religions are regressive.
    Science is futuristic, religions are primitive.
    Science is a tool, science is cool.
    Blind belief may turn one into a fool.

    🙂

  15. Atlantic Says:

    “Are people so oblivious to the world around them?”
    Raj, no matter how much evil exists in the world spirtualy good people have a tendancy to focas on the good. Axinia attracts people to her of like nature. I think the situation has something to do with looking at the world through the pink coloured glasses.

    It’s kind of like me saying, I’ve never met a person that I don’t like. It isn’t because people are perfect. Some may even seem to have more bad qualities, but I try to look for the best in everyone. I think of all people as being good because that’s the part of them that I choose to see. I’ve learned that if a person focuses on the good they learn to love, but if they focus on the bad they learn to hate.

    And so it is with all aspects of life. Being overly conserned about the bad things in the world can turn a person bitter. We shouldn’t worry to much about the things we can’t control if we are interested in maintaning our own true happiness. That is why some people only see light when they are surrounded by darkness, because it’s become second nature.

    Newfoundlander

    • axinia Says:

      this is a very wise comment my friend, Newfoundlander!

      I am very glad to read what you say about yourself ” I think of all people as being good because that’s the part of them that I choose to see. I’ve learned that if a person focuses on the good they learn to love, but if they focus on the bad they learn to hate. ”
      Really happy to hear that!! 🙂 Needless to say that I agree.

  16. Atlantic Says:

    Dear Axinia, I liked your comments very much. Very truely, I’m not trying to be disagreeable at all. Just to show that indeed my position is a diffcult one considering that I do beleive in the teachings of Christ. It is very true what you say about the church being “ruled by corupt and manipulative people”. Infact, it was never Christs intention that the church be “ruled” by anyone. A persons relationship to God is a spiritual and very personal one that shoud never involve human beings telling others how they should live their lives.

    You are also right that religions do not fulfill there missions. And not only do they not fulfill them they do the exact opposit. However there is always a minority who keep their religion truely remaining faithfull to the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, and others of the prophets.
    Shall a person not be a Christian because most Christians do evil? I do know that you do beleive that we should still live our lives according to the good teachings of the prophets and the church is merely to be a group of like minded individuals joined together for spiritual support and nothing more.

    “separation of the church and state” hmmm…. When one considers my beleif that some day soon organised religion will be the major cause of ending all civilization, one might wonder why I bother defending it.

    Newfoundlander

    • axinia Says:

      I am a bit surprised you say here ” that indeed my position is a diffcult one considering that I do beleive in the teachings of Christ.” – I wonder if you foudn anyone here who does not believe in the techings of Christ and who is opposing you on that? Me definetly not! 🙂

      I found also intersting that:” my beleif that some day soon organised religion will be the major cause of ending all civilization” – you may laugh, but that is almost the same what Bill Maher from “Religulous” says …

    • Caleb Williams Says:

      “Shall a person not be a Christian because most Christians do evil?” – a very powerful and well-expressed thought …

      • volodimir108 Says:

        I don’t think that most Christians do evil. Most of them are just ignorant but basically good hearted, like most of the people on this Earth anyway.

        • Atlantic Says:

          Volodimir 108, But it’s also ignorants that has the potential to eventually lead to evil right? And the Idea right now being thrown around is that the world would be a whole lot better off without religions. I wasn’t trying to make the point that most Christians do evil! Just that if it were the case, what bearing should their sins have on my own personal and spiritual decision to beleive and hold to religious veiws.

          “Most christians are basically good hearted, like most of the people on this earth anyway.” Wow!! You and Axinia must really get along great!! (smile) There’s a fine line. Even basically good hearted people can do bad things. There’s evil in even the best of us. Axinia????? Well….. We’re still looking. (smile)

          Newfoundlander

  17. Atlantic Says:

    Axinia, my position is a difficult one simply because I’m defending something that I hate in order to preserve somthing that I love. My own personal feeling is that Christs plan and teachings were designed to be within the context of organized religion. It is hard to imagine how one could exist without the other.

    Remember that Jesus himself opposed the organized faith of his day, yet he continued to teach and worship within the Jewish temple and to uphold the tradions and laws handed down by moses. All this he did dispite the fact that the Jews had strayed far from the principles of the prophets.

    Axinia, my belief that organised religion will be the major cause of ending all civilization is prophetic. It’s no secret or hunch. It’s specificaly for told in the Bible. So perhaps its Bill Maher who should laugh! (Smile) Though I do find it hard to imagine that we would have very much in common.

    Newfoundlander

  18. Atlantic,

    I see nothing wrong with hate as long as one’s hatred adheres to the following principle: Hate the sin, but not the sinner. I’m not sure about it, but I guess it’s something that’s said in the Bible.

    Let’s face it, humans are not civilised and have proven themselves to be incapable of ever behaving in a civilised manner collectively throughout millenia. Humans are capable of, and often indulge in, unbelievable evil of every kind in order to satisfy their savage, barbaric, bloodthirsty nature. I see nothing wrong in hating this evil nature of humans whenever it manifests itself in evil deeds. I wonder if having overwhelming love for the world by ignoring all the evil in this world would have any effect at all 😕

    In fact, the reason why I have so much respect for Christ is because he was a glorious rebel who dared to speak out against the utterly decadent society of his time. It’s the same with Buddha.

    In fact, I would even say that Christ was one of the few who tried to civilise the world by preaching against sin. That’s because primitive religions never preached against sin, they were only concerned with the worship of gods. Christ was also enlightened to preach against sin and not sinners. It’s a pity that mainstream Christianity has strayed so far from the teachings of Christ and has become just another ordinary religion.

    That’s not to say Christ’s teachings were completely ineffective. The teachings of Christ have had a profound influence on Western intellectual thought – any civilised concept like equality, fraternity, human rights, disabled rights, peace and anti-war advocacy and to a lesser extent, even women’s rights can all be traced back to the real teachings of Christ despite the pathetic conduct of the Church in mediaeval times.

    In fact, the reason why the West leads the world is not just because of science but also because of the influence of Christ on Western intellectual thought. In other cultures, enlightened people like Christ have always lived on the fringes of society and with one or two exceptions, never had any influence on mainstream society. Ironically, despite the pathetic conduct of the Church in mediaeval times, the teachings of Christ had an impact on Western thought after the collapse of the influence of the Church.

    Most civilised concepts of the modern world originate in the West because of the influence of Christ on mainstream society. In other cultures, enlightened people were confined to the fringes and therefore such cultures find it very difficult to contribute a civilised concept to the world. That’s because humans are evil, savage creatures and if they no access to something (like the teachings of an enlightened one) that limits their savage, barbaric nature, they will exhibit their true colours 😡

  19. Atlantic Says:

    “I wonder if having overwhelming love for the world by ignoring all the evil in this world would have any affect at all.”

    I totally agree with you “An Alien Earthling” but I think you can also agree that having an overwhelming hate for the sins of the world by ignoring all the good in this world is not healthy either. (I know you would never take this atitude Raj. (smile) I’m just making a point.) People don’t want to feel helpless and constantly discouraged by what seem to be hopelesss situations. That’s why some people concentrate on love because that’s what keeps them feeling positive and happy.

    You and I agree, oddly enough, because of my religious and in your case evolutionary veiws. I’m not trying to say that we nessarily always focus on more bad than good, just that in our case we aproach the situation from a totally different perspective and no less valuable either, for I injoy your kind hearted and honest pessimism as much Axinia’s overwelming optimism. Trust me, you balence each other out quite well. (smile)

    Newfoundlander

    • axinia Says:

      Newfoundlander,
      thank you for this kind comment 🙂
      I Always enjoy your arguments!

    • There is truth in what you say, Atlantic. In fact, sometimes, even I wonder how the two of us can agree with each other on so many things, despite our contradictory beliefs 🙂

      Presumably, you regard Jesus as the Son of God who is going to appear on Earth again sometime in the future to save humankind from its own irrepairably evil deeds. And this is more than two millenia after He was crucified for attempting to save humankind from its own sins 😦

      I regard Christ as an enlightened one, a holy saint who attempted to civilise humankind by preaching against sin and laying down the guidelines for ethical behaviour. And he was horribly tortured and killed for doing just that 😡 Christ tried to do the impossible – to civilise humankind. Even after two thousand years, humans are just as ethically advanced as they were when Christ walked upon the planet. On the contrary, they have many more advanced and sophisticated methods to commit their evil deeds 👿 If Jesus Christ were to appear today and preach against sin and promote ethical behaviour, he would probably be tied to a metal chair, administered an electric shock, have incendiary chemicals poured on him and then have his organs ripped out to be sold 😯

      I wonder if even a thousand Jesus Christs would be able to save humankind from its own evil nature 😕

  20. Rosebud Says:

    Hello Axinia,
    I usually quietly lurk around this blog and ShaktiPower ((which I adore to death and beyond)) but…
    I’m a Muslim, and it’s my job to correct what a non-Muslim thinks about us. =) Just like any other person from any other minority would try to do.

    What you said that ‘inspired’ me to write this was how the Qur’an was written 40 years after Prophet Mohammed ((PBUH)) died. While nobody knows exactly how many years passed before it was written, this is partially true. However, the way you understand this statement is wrong.

    When God sent down the Qur’an ((in separate parts, or surahs)) in whichever way He chose, Mohammed ((PBUH)) would memorize it, then let the other Muslims memorize it. After Mohammed ((PBUH)) died, no more surahs came down. So the Muslims went on in life, with wars and whatever…then one of the Prophet ((PBUH))’s closest friends noticed that the number of original ((Not original, but…oldest…the ones who knew and went through life with the Prophet (PBUH)) )) Muslims were dying out, and that soon there wouldn’t be anyone who had the full Qur’an memorized properly. So, to make sure that the coming generations wouldn’t have to depend on their parents’ memories of what God said ((which would surely bring many problems)) , he decided to get all the people whom Mohammed ((PBUH)) recited to, the ones that remembered fully, and they wrote it down.

    So, true, it was written after Mohammed’s ((PBUH)) death, but the message didn’t change.
    Heh heh =) I hope I made sense.

    • axinia Says:

      Thank you, Rosebud,
      your message does make sense, for sure! – but my point was in general that none of the founding fathers of all main religions never wrote anything themselves. Probaly for some good reason, also for us to interpret them as we like?? 🙂
      I think may be because true spirituality is not so easy to describe with common language, it had to be done this strange indirect way…

      • Rosebud Says:

        Well, of course the prophets didn’t write anything. In arabic, a prophet is called a ‘rasool’ or messenger. God sent these to our messengers, they just sort of give it to us. Like the post-man. Have you ever herd of a post-man writing your letters?

        =D I’m glad you understood my last message.

        When the non-believers first heard of what Prophet Mohammad ((PBUH)) was preaching and heard the Qur’an, they tried to write one too, but their words could never be quite as powerful. They’re God’s words! Then of course the non-believers called Mohammad ((PBUH)) a sort of wizard or crazy man.

        Arabic is an extremely hard language, and a single change of a letter or pronunciation of a letter can completely change a meaning. In fact, if you said Mohammad’s name in different ways or in different parts, each one will have a different meaning to it.

        • axinia Says:

          Rosebud,
          I was suspecting that difficulty with Arabic – and also with other script languages…Lost intranslation we are…
          🙂
          I like the example with wine in the BIble – apparently it was the grape juice Christ turned the water into, not wine. But because of the wrong translation they used it so.

          • Rosebud Says:

            Exactly!
            ‘Translation kills a poem’ describes all this so well.

            • Rosebud Says:

              Oh and by the way, I found it funny that the man interviewed homos*xual Muslims, because being g*y is extremely unallowed in Islam.
              So basically he was asking people who are just Muslim by name but not belief, about Islam. HONESTLY the smartness of it all!

  21. digitalawe Says:

    Hi, I enjoyed your review of this movie. However, I am a Christian, and I would argue that it was a poorly-made documentary. I wrote a review of it as well on my blog. Bill Maher makes a number of errors, the most obvious of which is the lack of Christian scholars interviewed. Did he even give men like Ken Ham an opportunity? He could have interviewed Tim Keller, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, or R. Albert Mohler. Any of these people (and certainly many others) would have been happy to discuss his criticisms with him. Yet, I wonder if Maher was even interested in thinking about it seriously. I’m guessing he had his mind made up before he even started filming.

    By the way, I think you are meaning to describe yourself above as an existentialist (which cannot prove things like reason, meaning, or morality, by the way).

    • axinia Says:

      Thanks for your interesting contribution, digitalawe!
      I cannot possible know what Bill Maher of the film director were thiking about while preparing the film. But I think it was good enough to show not the scholars (who can definetly spak very well and give well throught reaons), but normal people believers.

      You are right that what I called myself is probably “existentialist” – I was never consider to be such officially, but if we look at the describtion, then it feets me well:
      Existentialism is a term that has been applied to the work of a number of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,[1][2] took the human subject — not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual[3][4] and his or her conditions of existence — as a starting point for philosophical thought. Existential philosophy is the “explicit conceptual manifestation of an existential attitude”[5] that begins with a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[6][7] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.

      However your point that existentialism cannot prove things like reason, meaning, or morality, – I would consider not correct, at least not for me.
      All my life proves that reason, meaing and morality do exsit and do work – but this I know from my own expierence and not because the BIble, Koran or Gita teach me that!
      🙂

    • Rosebud Says:

      ((I also think that when he was interviewing people, he didn’t give a chance to speak, and that he really did have his mind made before he started.))

      • axinia Says:

        yes, I also had an impression..but that is the style, very American…
        Thgouht all this thought stuff and style he has shown I have seen the main thing – the rebellion against the blind faith and that is what I found the most important.

  22. axinia Says:

    A great video adding to the topic:
    The arrogance of clergy


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