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My Thoughts And Questions About Religion - Religion (66) - Nairaland

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Kenerd: 4:35am On Dec 11, 2017
joseph1013:
“Tax Compliance, Transferred Hope and Agaciro”
by Jekwu Ozoemene

I remember early this year when a friend noted in a presentation that the regional offices of Nigeria’s major Pentecostals remit a minimum of N200 Million per week to the centre while the smaller Pentecostal churches generate about N30 Million per week. He had gone beyond that slide when I called his attention to it, noting that he probably meant N200 Million and N30 Million per month respectively (both still very handsome figures), but he insisted that his numbers are correct.

It turns out that Nigeria’s 5 major Pentecostal churches alone generate between N5 Billion to N7 Billion in collections every week; N28 Billion / N20 Billion per month (if you opt for either the upper or lower figures) or N336 Billion / N240 Billion per annum.

To put this in further perspective, Lagos State with the highest Internally Generated Revenue capacity in the country managed N302.5 Billion IGR in the whole of 2016, Rivers State came in second at N85.28 Billion, Ogun N72.98 Billion, and Delta N44.045 Billion. In all, 35 States in Nigeria generated N801.9 Billion in IGR in 2016 (2016 IGR figures for Anambra and the Abuja FCT are unavailable).

And I get the argument that the funds received by these churches are “Free Will” gifts. I even understand when congregants argue that investment by the Church is not determined by the Daddy GO / Papa / Prophet / Pastor, and point to schools, football teams, hospitals, old people’s homes etc being run by these institutions.

It just scares me that the most populous and viable State in Nigeria, being Lagos, with all its responsibilities to 26 million citizens, generates considerably less revenue than the 5 major Pentecostal churches in Nigeria.

For a nation, this is a lot of “Free Will” donations that cannot be systematically and professionally channeled to strategic infrastructure needs (and yes, I know that we already have corruption in public service). The why, if you ask me, could be that there appears to exist a trust deficit (moral rule, sentiments, fairness and relationship between taxpayers and government) between the Nigeria sovereign and her people leading to low “Tax Morale” (the intrinsic motivation to pay tax).

This is further accentuated when you note that the country has one of the lowest Tax Revenue to GDP ratios in the world of 6.1%, ahead of only 11 countries; DRC at 5.9%, Angola at 5.7%, Saudi Arabia at 5.3%, Burma at 4.9%, Bahrain at 4.8%, Chad at 4.2%, Libya at 2.7%, Qatar at 2.2%, Equatorial Guinea at 1.7%, Kuwait at 1.5% and UAE at 1.4% (note the number of laggards that are emerging markets oil producing countries?). Citizens will rather give to the Church and other religious bodies (transfer all hopes and aspirations to God) than voluntarily or mandatorily contribute to government and infrastructure development.

And I hear the argument that we already provide infrastructure through various self-help initiatives; boreholes, private security, generators, even roads, schools and health care, however, all this silo resolutions will ultimately be more effective and less expensive if aggregated.

The Rwanda Government preaches the spirit of “Kwigira” – “Self-Reliance” and “Dignity” on the basis of which they have set up various investment platforms and an Infrastructure fund based simply on citizens “Free Will” contributions. So you see individual or corporate citizens who make free will contributions of up to 10% of their monthly or annual income to the fund (and I agree that there appears to be social pressure to comply), much in the same way that Christians engage in Tithing. The RNIT Iterambere Fund as well as Agaciro Development Fund, a Solidarity Fund (Agaciro is the Kinyarwanda word for “Dignity”, implying that Rwandans lost Dignity from the erstwhile reliance on foreign aid).

But that will be asking for too much from Nigerians. So for now, let us just accept that in Nigeria, “Believing God” and “Sowing a Seed” generates more revenue than taxes. Or (and I say this with all sense of responsibility, conscious of how sensitive religion is to us as a people) we tax the Churches and religious bodies. Should religious bodies act as quasi tax aggregators?

Which way Nigeria?
just 5 major churches oh. I'm stunned...

1 Like

Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 6:56am On Dec 11, 2017
Kenerd:
just 5 major churches oh. I'm stunned...
Amazing, right?

If the top five churches generate more revenue than Lagos State, you can imagine that the Nigerian Church is richer than the Nigerian State. It's mind-boggling to imagine the coins that flows through the fingers of the Faith.
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 7:47pm On Dec 17, 2017
Often times, when people say “Rules are Rules”, it is because such a rule appeals to their sentiments.

We are all emotional humans filled with biases. This is ok. But it isn’t ok for us to deny that we are actually bias. Let’s just admit it.

Let me walk you through what I mean. Try READ THIS POST TO THE END.

1. A woman who wears hijab on her call to bar day won’t be called to bar.
2. Homosexuality is a crime in Nigeria.
3. Women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive unaccompanied in.
4. A Nigerian woman cannot file for Nigerian citizenship for her foreign spouse, but a Nigerian man can do that for his foreign spouse.
5. Gay couples can get married in the UK.
6. In Canada, a man who beats up the wife is required to leave the house for her.

An atheist will like the first rule, and defend it saying “Rules are Rules”.
But same atheist who is an LGBT right advocate will not remember to say “Rules are Rules” when it comes to 14 years jail sentence for homosexuals in Nigeria.

A homophobe will say “Rules are Rules” for the second rule above. But will forget that “Rules are Rules” when considering the fifth rule about gays couples in the UK.

A male chauvinist will say “Rules are Rules” for the 3rd and 4th rule. But they won’t say so for the 6th rule.

*-*-*-*

You see, I don’t take Nigerians seriously when they say “Rules are Rules”, because most often than not, they are just driving a narrative that appeals to their sentiments and biases.

Let me tell you what I think about the hijab issues, and some of those rules up there.

A. If I were a Muslim lawyer, I will not wear a hijab to my call to bar because “Rules are Rules”.

B. If I go to Saudi Arabia, I won’t drive unaccompanied by a male because “Rules are Rules”.

C. If I were a homosexual and I lived in Nigeria, I will hide my sexuality in order to avoid 14 years jail sentence because “Rules are Rules”.

You see those rules A, B, C, huh? If I find myself in a position to obey any rule, I will obey them to avoid consequences.

BUT....

That doesn’t mean I think any of those rules make sense.

I think a rule that prevents a girl from being called to bar because she wore hijab is a silly one. One that needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

I also think that saying women must drive with male companions is a very stupid rule.

I also think that jailing people for their sexuality, when they have caused no harm to third parties is one of the worst cases of insanity.

What’s my point?

All Rules are Rules. I will obey them when I have to, and fight them from a safe distance, as much as I can, and as much as my strength can carry me.

Going to call to bar with a hijab is like making out in a Nigerian market with your same sex partner, because you want to prove a point... your right. You will go down for breaking the law/rule, even though the said law/rule is a stupid one.

When I was in Nigeria, my Dad advised me after a distant relative was shot dead by SARS..... for the most flimsy reason. He said “Nkechi, you know you like to fight for your right at all cost. But let me tell you this; if you find a SARS or police officers harassing you and infringing on your right, act the fool, be the fool if that’s all it takes to get out of that situation alive. Then come home, and we will fight from a safe distance. Because he who fights and runs away, lives to fight better another day”.

You don’t get involved in a gun battle carrying sticks. You will die a fool.

In my opinion, hijab girl was stupid. But I also think that rule is a silly one, which is not inclusive enough for an aspiring diverse society.

She could have “stooped to conquer”, take off her hijab for a couple of hours, and get called to bar. With her law degree and first hand experience, she could have been in a better position to fight against this law which she sees as an infringement of her religious rights.

- Nkechi Bianze

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 9:49pm On Dec 18, 2017
MISSING FATHER & SON

We are told Jesus was a man who was seen by thousands, yet it's not possible to show beyond reasonable doubt that he ever existed.

What then, are the chances of showing that his invisible, immaterial dad (who was seen by no one) ever existed?

Pretty slim, I'd say. Might explain why no one has ever managed it.

5 Likes

Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Kenerd: 11:14pm On Dec 18, 2017
joseph1013:
MISSING FATHER & SON

We are told Jesus was a man who was seen by thousands, yet it's not possible to show beyond reasonable doubt that he ever existed.

What then, are the chances of showing that his invisible, immaterial dad (who was seen by no one) ever existed?

Pretty slim, I'd say. Might explain why no one has ever managed it.
I'll be an ingrate if I fail to acknowledge your efforts from time to time.

3 Likes

Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 3:50pm On Dec 19, 2017
ARE YOU RELATED TO JESUS?

References to Jesus' siblings are a little hazy in the Bible. The book suggests he had four younger brothers (James, Joseph, Simon & Judas) and an unspecified number of sisters. Of course, if Jesus was the bastard son of God, these siblings were only half brothers and sisters but they were born of his mother and would most likely have grown up knowing Jesus very well indeed. They must have noticed he was a uniquely special person.

It is inconceivable that these siblings would have been unaware of the exploits of their older brother; his miracles, his disciples, his multitude of followers, his grisly death and subsequent resurrection. With at least six siblings and given family sizes in the first century, it would be reasonable to expect several thousand people would be able to trace their lineage back to Jesus' family after just a few generations. That would equate to many hundreds of thousands by today.

Being related to God would be quite a talking point for any family so knowledge of this prestigious heritage must have passed from generation to generation with enormous pride. But here is the odd thing. It didn't happen. We don't see thousands of people claiming family ties to Jesus. In fact we don't see anyone making such claims.

If Jesus was a real person, this is a great mystery. Just as it is a mystery that, despite the miracles, the public challenges to religious authorities and the huge following, not a single contemporary wrote a word about him and he left not the smallest shred of physical evidence of his existence.

But if Jesus was a fictional character invented to launch a new religion, this is EXACTLY what we should expect.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 7:06am On Dec 20, 2017
Olatunde Olayinka Ayinde

I met a member of Winners' Chapel in Lagos. Fine girl with LLB, BL.

Naturally our discussion got to religion. I asked her if it wouldn't be safer, saner and more sensible if the annual Shiloh programme was televised so that only those who live near Otta need travel to the camp while every other person coming from far places such cities in the North, Southeast and South south can watch the proceedings on TV.

I reasoned further that this would reduce the volume of travellers on the road and consequently the number of accidents on the road.

Miss LLB,BL said Papa had prayed that nobody coming for this Shiloh would be involved in accidents! So it is those who are not coming for Shiloh that would now be involved in accidents, right? She said no o, all she was saying was Shiloh participants would be spared. What happened to other road users was not her business! In fact, she was certain that continuing that conversation beyond that point would lead her to sin!

Then it finally dawned on me. Miss LLB,BL may not be a bad person. She had just been indoctrinated to be narrow minded. The victims of such narrow mindedness are empathy, a sense of community and concern for the welfare of fellow men.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 3:25pm On Dec 22, 2017
THE LEGACY OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus, if he ever lived, was a revolutionary. He preached love and forgiveness, the redistribution of wealth and equal respect for everyone regardless of gender or social standing. And he did this at a time when such ideas would have sounded profoundly outrageous and shocking.

But his inspirational message came with strings attached. There were two monster strings. First you had to believe in the thoroughly evil, genocidal Jewish God and second you had to believe you will be subject to judgement when you die and, if you don't pass muster, you'll end up being tortured for ever.

Perhaps, at that time, these strings were necessary. Creating a brand new god (or pronouncing there is no god) is fraught with dangers--it is always easier to modify what exists than invent something new from whole cloth. No doubt that is why Muhammad and Joseph Smith followed the same tried and tested formula hundreds/thousands of years later.

The idea of an afterlife, in various forms, had been around for millennia by the time Jesus is said to have preached. It had become a deeply entrenched belief. Jesus refined it and turned it into an effective carrot and stick to encourage the superstitious people of the time to follow his new religion.

In the end it was the strings and not the central message that had most impact on the world. The real legacy of Jesus is not his message of love and fellowship but the message of the hateful, jealous and vindictive Jewish God.

From the Crusades through the Inquisitions to witch burning and suicide bombers, appeasing God and winning a place in Heaven have proved more enticing messages than loving our neighbours.

Great pity and, if Jesus was real, this not what he would have hoped for.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by vision03(m): 4:16pm On Dec 22, 2017
checkout this site --- the reason we are created. .mission of man on earth http://promaila.blogspot.co.ke/2017/12/mission-of-man-on-earth.html?m=1
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by nairanigger(m): 6:53pm On Dec 22, 2017
Nice article but I will not go as far as disputing the existence of God because it is just too evident to suggest otherwise. But let's leave that for another debate.

Religion and Christianity in particular only flourished till today because they used torture, fear and superstition to deter their members from leaving the fold. In the middle ages, to question any Christian doctrine or priest was to invite either prison, death or exile and so freedom of expression was not permitted. Many who dared to flow against the tide were brutally oppressed or killed.

Now that we are in the information and freedom age, we have tons and tons of material at our immediate disposal to carry out research into previously held truths or beliefs.

Like you I am an avid reader, reviewer and researcher into Christianity and the can I opened from my due diligence on this religion has so many worms that some times I just have to take some time off to bask in multiple phews !!!

For example, when I discovered that a lot of the prophecies in the gospel of Matthew were either wrongly applied or fabricated, that shook me. Then the trinity, hell fire and many other doctrines I found to be false and this triggered a zeal for more study.

My question to all of us and you the OP is, when you find one LIE in a book you begin to wonder how many more lies may lie therein. When you discover that most of the doctrines you once cherished were pagan in origin and mostly myths you ask yourself how much of the bible is truth, myth and fables.

It can get scary for a new believer or younger person especially when their pastors warn them to avoid further research with the consequence of hell or excommunication and other threats to stifle knowledge acquisition and application.

My stance is this, any religion or GOD that discourages reason , logic and investigation into TRUTH is not REAL.

So while we have similar stories , I just want to say that despite the flaws in the bible, my belief in God still stands, but my trust in Christianity and churches in general is weak.



First time I'm meeting a like mind, I believe in God but religion and holy books(generally)? Hell no!
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:07am On Dec 25, 2017
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Every Christmas, I repeat this post for the sake of the new readers. Long, but insightful.



Whenever you say Jesus is the reason for the season, you need to be reminded of some historical facts. The history of Christmas is very long & tortuous but I'll try & present an abridged version here. Of course, I expect everybody to know that the origin of Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity but in case you didn't know, your ignorance should be cleared by the time you finish reading this. What you're about to read may be something you've never heard before.

To start with, why December 25? The day Jesus was born (if he ever was born) is not known. That's strange! Almost all persons who have a wide impact on the world have known birthdays. The census reported in Luke (the one requiring Joseph & Mary to travel to Bethlehem) actually never took place and the story of an astronomical event ('Star in the East') reported in Matthew as to have happened around then is yet to be verified by scientists. There was a Roman pagan celebration of the birthday of Mythra, the Sun God.

This celebration took place on December 25. When the Roman Emperors forced the whole world to become Christians ('Catholicism'), they needed to accommodate everybody into the church. One way of doing that was to inculcate some of their customs into the church. Since the Christians at that time associated Jesus with the 'Sun of Righteousness' mentioned in Malachi 4:2, Emperor Constantine drew a parallel between the two 'Suns' (Mythra, the pagan Sun & Jesus, the Christian Sun) and decreed that December 25 should be used to celebrate the birthday of Jesus.

As an aside, every time you go to church on Sun-day morning, you're testifying to Mythra, the pagan Sun god. Before then, Jehovah was worshipped on Saturday while the Sun God was worshipped on Sun-day.

Because of the implications on the religion, some early Christians didn't like the idea that Christmas was a pagan invention. So they invented an alternative theory. 1st century anonymous work said the world was created on March 28. Iraenus (a 1st century historian) plagiarized that & said Jesus must have been crucified on March 25 & if so, he equated the equinox (March 25) with the conception of Jesus. This made so many early Christians BELIEVE (what can't belief achieve?) that Mary must have been impregnated by the Holy Ghost on March 25. And if someone got pregnant on March 25, then she must have given birth on December 25, i.e., 9 months after.

But this attempt is funny. How can you just base your belief on someone else's conjecture? And if the Son of God wasn't conceived through natural means, how are you sure that the pregnancy went the natural way of 9 months? Jesus could've spent 15 months or 3 months in her mother's womb: you can never know.

The caroling was a Christian conversion of the pagan Koliada. The gift-giving spree is reminiscent of an earlier Roman pagan celebration of Saturnalia. The Yule (or Yuletide) is the name of an indigenous midwinter festival celebrated by ancient Germanic peoples. The Christmas tree is a direct importation of the pagan tree worship which was tied to the Thor god. Father Christmas & Santa Claus are fictional figures but even though the idea of the former predated the latter, they later became unified into a single personality.

Santa Claus is the anglicized form of 'Sinterklass' which simply meant Saint Nicholas in Dutch. St. Nicholas was a Greek bishop who was noted for taking care of children and rewarding the well-behaved ones with gifts. Even though the St. Nicholas Day (a feast of giving in its own right) is still celebrated on December 6, the St. Nicholas concept (called 'Santa Claus') was superimposed on the preexisting Father Christmas as a means of further Christianizing a pagan celebration of December 25.

All these pagan origins made a section of the 17th century church to frown on Christmas. In addition, they discovered that no saint celebrated their birthday in the Bible (in fact, Job & Jeremiah cursed their birthdays) and every birthday celebrated in the Bible (Pharaoh's in Genesis 40 & Herod's in Mark 6) was marred by an evil consequence. Called the 'Puritans' (an essentially reformationist Protestant movement), they campaigned against the pagan & unbiblical celebration called Christmas. In fact, they were the ones ruling the English Parliament & they outlawed Christmas for these reasons. As they were the colonial masters of America ('New England'), Christmas was similarly outlawed over there.

Even though, political dynamics restored Christmas to Christianity later (18th century onwards), such puritan sects still exist today. Examples are the Jehovah Witnesses & the Deeper Life Bible Church who don't celebrate Christmas for the same reasons. But some of those Christian sects go to church on Sunday. As I said earlier, worshipping Jehovah on Sunday has exactly the same origin as celebrating Jesus' birth at Christmas: so why they have problems with Christmas & not Sunday services is still a mystery.

Anyway, Christmas is now approaching the status it started from — a non-Christian significance. The progressive secularization of the festival is obvious in the songs: some are outright religious songs (e.g., 'Silent Night', 'Hark! The Herald Angel Sing') while others are purely secular (e.g., 'Jingle Bells', 'Days of Christmas'). There have been campaigns in the US to convert the greeting, 'Merry Xmas', to 'Happy Holidays'. The Philadelphia State outlawed Christmas carol in schools. Christmas is increasingly becoming more of a secular celebration than religious.

Nigeria is one of many countries where Christmas is a public holiday. How that happened is well-represented in the picture above. I'm sure seeing that picture will make you love Xmas as an African. Enough said!

And FYI, in case you think it's the whole world that's celebrating the 'born-in-a-manger' story, you need to read this. Christmas is NOT a public holiday in many countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, & Yemen. Countries like Somalia & Brunei have even banned Christmas celebrations with anybody doing something as simple as wearing a Santa Claus hat to spend 5 years in jail. Of course, that's how intolerant Muslim-dominated countries can be to foreign ideologies compared to Christian-dominated countries. Countries like Japan, where Christians are a tiny minority, widely celebrate Christmas purely for the exotic cultural & secular significance.

Thanks for your time

Merry Xmas (sorry, Happy Holidays) to you all! [/b]

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 9:54am On Dec 27, 2017
WE ARE ALL IDIOTS SOMETIMES

Sometimes atheists are rude when talking to theists. That is wrong and unnecessary, and I do not condone it. However, I understand it. The arguments theists use to justify their beliefs are typically so poor that the least thought reveals their flaws.

But theists focus singlemindedly on defending their beliefs and not on rejecting failed arguments. That's why they miss fatal flaws. It is this that drives atheists to distraction--sometimes to the point of declaring the theist an idiot.

I suspect the real reason atheists stoop so low is that they have been there. They were once theists and they have defended bad arguments. But once they stopped defending arguments and began challenging them, everything clicked into place and they soon realised how simple it is to see through the nonsense.

I'll bet, at some point, almost every new atheist called themselves an idiot for not seeing the blindingly obvious. So there is no need for us to call theists idiots--when eventually their lights go on, they will do that for themselves.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Elparaiso(m): 11:55am On Dec 27, 2017
joseph1013:

I'll bet, at some point, almost every new atheist called themselves an idiot for not seeing the blindingly obvious. So there is no need for us to call theists idiots--when eventually their lights go on, they will do that for themselves.

grin grin
TL;DR Theists are idiots
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 1:09pm On Dec 27, 2017
Elparaiso:

grin grin TL;DR Theists are idiots
Finally decided to find out what TL;DR means. LOL
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 1:10pm On Dec 27, 2017
Elparaiso:

grin grin TL;DR Theists are idiots
Finally decided to find out what TL;DR means. LOL
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Elparaiso(m): 3:08pm On Dec 27, 2017
joseph1013:


Finally decided to find out what TL;DR means. LOL

LOL. That was a nice article. Thanks for the laugh too.
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:37pm On Dec 28, 2017
HOW DO WE GROUND MORALITY?

Recently a theist asked me how we ground morality. He asked, "What is the standard that is seemingly absolute and universal? Theists propose God as the anchor. If you disagree, what is the grounding of objective morality?"

Here is my answer.

I agree there is a sense in which morality is absolute but no hypothetical supernatural being is required for this to be true. Think of morality as something we have to discover--in the same way that the speed of light is absolute, but we didn't know what it was until we discovered it.

Morality references the effect of our behaviour on other humans (or other sentient beings). Actions that harm others are said to be immoral and those that benefit others (or do not harm them) are said to be moral or morally neutral.

There are some actions that are clearly objectively immoral. For example, seizing a random person and lopping off his head is objectively immoral. But there are many things that are not so clear. For example, is it moral to fight a war to save people from genocide or is it moral to add fluoride to drinking water? There are hundreds of examples of moral dilemmas like this.

There is also the problem of unintended consequences. Some behaviours may be intended to have beneficial consequences but turn out to do more harm than good.

In reality, it is hard to find an objective answer to many moral questions because we don't have enough data, or enough computing power. This is why morality is something we have to learn. As a species, we have done quite well over the past 3,000 years. We've learnt a lot and, broadly, our laws, conventions and behaviours have hugely improved over this time (with a few exceptions).

Interestingly, religions have a tendency to hold us back by claiming objective moral laws come from an Iron Age god and, therefore, cannot be changed--leaving us stuck with morality we have outgrown. Islam is the best example of this. Christianity was like this too for most of its existence but has become more flexible over the past 200 years or so.

Since morality is something that has to be learned, it is crucial that we learn and change. We have changed but we still have room to improve. Religion just gets in the way.

We need reason and science to make progress--not superstition.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:59pm On Dec 29, 2017
WHAT IF?

If there was a god and prayer worked, churches would be our most useful institutions. They could systematically rid the world of its problems: poverty, unemployment, hurricanes, wars, killer diseases, earthquakes, global warming, drought and much more. They would surely earn their tax-exempt status.

Churches would deliver heaven on earth. They would transform the world for the better. We would live longer, healthier and happier lives.

But none of these things happen. People in churches fervently pray and the world carries on regardless. Churches are an irrelevant sideshow to the real job of making a better world.

But why are millions of people praying to get a spouse or a pay rise instead of praying to rid the world of malaria? Or is there no benevolent sky daddy helping his devoted children?

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 8:42pm On Dec 30, 2017
TIME TO GROW UP

Humans have progressed to the stage where we can travel to the most distant place on Earth in less than a day. We can hold a conversation with people on the far side of the world. We can identify the components of atoms and we can study objects billions of light-years away.

Yet still most of us continue to believe the stories our species invented in its infancy, when we understood little about our planet and less about the cosmos--a time when a day's travel would take you to the next village.

We believe, in our billions, that the universe was made by an invisible man in a few days. We believe this despite near-certain evidence that it is not true.

And we believe that when we die and our bodies decompose, we will be magically restored and will live forever.

How long does it take for a species to grow up?

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:38pm On Dec 31, 2017
WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG?

The what-if-you're-wrong argument is still regularly wheeled out by theists. We've all heard it--they say it costs nothing to believe and, if you're right, you stand to gain eternal benefits. But if you don't believe, you take the chance of eternal torture. Is it worth the risk?

When I hear this argument, I ask how many ways are there to be wrong? If you are a protestant, you may be wrong because you are not a Catholic. If you are a Lutheran you may be wrong because you are not a Baptist. If you are a Christian you may be wrong because you are not a Muslim.

If you believe in the God of Abraham, you may be wrong because you don't believe in Odin or any of several thousand other gods that may have prepared an unpleasant afterlife for you.

With thousands of gods, tens of thousands of religions and denominations, the odds of anyone being right are a few hundred thousand to one. So a believer's odds of getting to heaven are barely better than mine.

But there is another issue here. The issue of honesty.

Theists often present this argument as the real reason they believe. So ask them if they will stop believing in their god now that they know their reason for believing is flawed. If they will not they are not only logically challenged, they are dishonest too.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Elparaiso(m): 1:18pm On Dec 31, 2017
joseph1013:

But there is another issue here. The issue of honesty.

Theists often present this argument as the real reason they believe. So ask them if they will stop believing in their god now that they know their reason for believing is flawed. If they will not they are not only logically challenged, they are dishonest too.

I love this paragraph because it reminds me of what I ask my Christian colleagues(We don't have Muslims at my place of work). "With all the rules and regulations governing the life of a Christian, would you still choose to be a Christian if the concept of hell was removed?" If there was no eternal punishment awaiting "unbelievers", would we still have "believers"?

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by adepeter2027(m): 1:46pm On Dec 31, 2017
Elparaiso:


I love this paragraph because it reminds me of what I ask my Christian colleagues(We don't have Muslims at my place of work). "With all the rules and regulations governing the life of a Christian, would you still choose to be a Christian if the concept of hell was removed?" If there was no eternal punishment awaiting "unbelievers", would we still have "believers"?
lol

So what was his/her response?
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Elparaiso(m): 1:54pm On Dec 31, 2017
adepeter2027:
lol

So what was his/her response?

I've asked a lot of people and there have been two types of answers so far.

1. Person claims to have transcended the fear of hell and is now in a loving relationship with God. So without hell, they would remain in Christianity. You know, the BS you should expect from a typical BSer.

2. Silence or stuttering. These ones know the truth, they know they've been bound by something.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by adepeter2027(m): 2:08pm On Dec 31, 2017
Elparaiso:


I've asked a lot of people and there have been two types of answers so far.

1. Person claims to have transcended the fear of hell and is now in a loving relationship with God. So without hell, they would remain in Christianity. You know, the BS you should expect from a typical BSer.

2. Silence or stuttering. These ones know the truth, they know they've been bound by something.
Lol

Funny set of people
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 3:21pm On Jan 01
Olajide Abiola

Whether you're single, married or divorced, be happy. Happiness is not defined by relationship status, it is a personal decision. There are happy singles, married and divorced people as there are equally unhappy ones. Happiness is a personal responsibility. I was a happy bachelor and I remain a happy married man. No! Marriage did not make me happy, it only multiplied it because my spouse brought her own happiness too.

Whether you own a car, bike or you have none, be happy. There are many jet owners who are unhappy. In fact, statistics has shown higher rates of depression amongst the haves. I mean, it is a miserable existence when one's happiness is anchored on such material things. Oh yes, material things, money being the fountainhead provide comfort and conveniences but many are unhappily comfortable. Use money and material things for what they are: means and resources. No more, no less.

Now, be wary of many prophetic declarations that puts you under pressure to acquire this or that to signify that you are 'blessed', leading you into unnecessary depression. You will buy a car and own a house when you need to and have the means. Not having one doesn't mean you aren't blessed. If owning cars and houses were the yardstick of measuring being blessed, just imagine how blessed so many Nigerians are. If we had good transportation and mortgage systems in the country, most of the things we display as tokens of blessings would have been made nonsense of.

Religion has taught many to feel cursed when they go through normal life challenges in varied forms, and to feel blessed only when there is money in their pockets. If people you know buy cars or build houses, genuinely be happy for them. Rejoice with them with sincerity but STOP using it to measure your life.

There is no specific year designated for you to buy a car, own a house or become financially rich. These things happen largely by what you do with a sense of good timing. So, don't let any prayer or prophecy put unnecessary pressure on you. Many challenges you will face are meant to strengthen, enrich and bless you. Stop running away from them or binding and casting them. Though many of them too can be as a result of stupidity, folly, pride, greed or procrastination.

You will be fine, but first, be happy.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS ALIKE. BECAUSE AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE, WE ARE ALL HUMANS WITH NEEDS AND WANTS.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 7:10pm On Jan 07
Nwobodo Fortune Chukwuemeka

There's something to be said for an Omniscient God credited with the words "And God regretted" twice.

There's something to be said for a God who made man with freewill only to regret that freewill didn't make them do his will and then allegedly end that world to restart another one that seems very much like the one he ended all those years ago.

Is this his third regret?
Does the one who knows the end from the beginning still make mistakes and regret it subsequently like mortal men?

What then is omniscience because right now, it doesn't sound so special...

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Elparaiso(m): 7:17pm On Jan 07
There is something to be said about how hilarious the introductory sentence is. grin

I never really thought about it.
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by Proudgorgeousga(f): 10:39pm On Jan 07
joseph1013:
Nwobodo Fortune Chukwuemeka

There's something to be said for an Omniscient God credited with the words "And God regretted" twice.

There's something to be said for a God who made man with freewill only to regret that freewill didn't make them do his will and then allegedly end that world to restart another one that seems very much like the one he ended all those years ago.

Is this his third regret?
Does the one who knows the end from the beginning still make mistakes and regret it subsequently like mortal men?

What then is omniscience because right now, it doesn't sound so special...

I wonder...
Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:01pm On Jan 09
Nwobodo Fortune Chukwuemeka

Of humans and common ancestors...

The chimpanzee and man share a common ancestor from about 6 million years ago.

The earliest ancestor for man that we have found fossil evidence of is called Ardi. Ardipithecus ramidus in full. Evidence shows she existed about 4 million years ago.

Ardi is someway between a transition from ancient apes to modern man.
The pelvis is better suited to tree climbing than walking, the cranium (brain) size is smaller (300ml vs 1500ml now) and the arm to body length is increased (for climbing). It also had a more ape like jaw (prognathism) than modern man.

Over time, these features evolved and Ardi gave rise to Australopithecus afarensis, which we have fossil evidence of one called Lucy (fossil dated at 3 million years ago).

Lucy is similar to Ardi in terms of features, just a bit closer in features to man than ape. (eg cranium / brain size of about 450g)

Then after Lucy, we have hundreds of fossil bones we have found. So many different species of ancient man.
The younger the fossils were, the less they looked like ancient apes and the more they looked like modern man. Like a gradual seamless transition.

As recently as a million years ago, Homo habilis gave rise to Homo erectus and 200,000 years ago, Homo erectus gave rise to Homo sapiens (modern man), Denisovans, Neanderthalensis, Floresiensis and maybe even other species that we don't know existed yet because we simply haven't found fossil evidence of their existence yet.

As recently as 50,000 years ago, at least 4 human species lived on earth.

All other human species are extinct now though and all we have left of them are their bones in the form of fossils to tell us that they once lived on earth and parts of their DNA (especially neanderthals) infused in ours to show that they still live, somehow through us.
It's beautiful to think that 1-4% of human DNA is Neanderthal DNA remains intertwined with ours, a souvenir we carry on from an extinct sub specie.

When selection pressures create the urgent need, Homo sapiens may yet become another species. Until then, all we can do is sit back, relax and enjoy the wonder that is the diversity of evolution.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 5:00am On Jan 11
HOW CAN ANYONE TAKE CHRISTIANITY SERIOUSLY?

It boggles the mind. Christianity relies upon two bodies of scripture. The Old Testament and the New.

Look at the Old Testament and you find God apparently orders raped virgin girls to marry their rapists. And God demands that unruly children, gay people and brides who do not bleed on their wedding night should be stoned to death.

Move on to the New Testament and you find God promising that believers can drink poison without being harmed and can heal sick people just by laying their hands on them. It says whatever you pray for will be done for you and it tells us that long dead people got out of their graves and walked through the city...

Really, how can grown men and women take this seriously? How can anyone read nonsense like this and say, "Yep, that's me. I'm a Christian"?

Why is it not excruciatingly embarrassing to admit that? Please tell us.

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 9:14am On Jan 11
It's January again. Don't pay a dime to anyone in the name of first fruit offering. Take your money to the bank, open a savings account with it, and start saving. Every month, don't take your tithe to church, save it in that account.

At the end of the year, if you so wish, collect your money. That's your capital for a new business venture. That's how "god blesses" people to start their own businesses.

Receive freedom from bondage. Begin your journey to financial freedom and a chance to create your own wealth.

Don't pay for another person's extravagant lifestyle, private jet, side chic allowance... Don't grow someone else's business. Start yours.

Beautifully written by Olatunde Olayinka Ayinde

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Re: My Thoughts And Questions About Religion by joseph1013: 12:46pm On Jan 13
Olufunke Philips

3 years ago the #CharlieHebdo shooting happened in France and led to a lot of couched pro-terrorism comments and statements. I wrote this then and it is still relevant now.

This week we mourn for our brothers and sisters lost in the Benue incidents, it grieves my heart to see human life reduced to a tussle about land, cows or even religious sanctity.

When I was in Coventry, I had a housemate that was a British Muslim. His name was Tariq.

This guy gave me the first Dan Brown book I read 'The Da Vinci Code'. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't wait to read the next book.

After I read it, Tariq asked for my thoughts. I told him I enjoyed the book. He wanted to know if that was all I had to say about the book. I smiled and shrugged.

He then went into a lengthy and one sided conversation about how messed up Christianity was. Jesus was a plonker, a self-servicer, blah, blah, blah. Did I not see how Dan Brown exposed all the lies the church brainwash their followers with? The Pope was occultic. Jesus was a mere mortal. I mean, dude was even shacking up with a hooker.

After this diatribe, he asked me how I could still claim to be a christian after reading the book.

I smiled and told him "It was a lovely book. Very vivid."

And that was it.

Fast forward to some weeks later.

A group of us,Tariq inclusive were having a conversation about race and religion.

My friend Dele made a remark about radical Muslims bombing people and the promise of virgins in paradise and Tariq flipped out.

When I say flipped out, I actually mean went crazy. He got so upset and started cursing and swearing at us. He said we were animals. Infidels. Stupid. How could we dare talk about Islam. We didn't understand anything. We deserved to die for being so stupid. That's why the bombings won't stop. Until people learn to respect Islam, attacks won't stop. We were all fuckers and pigs etc etc etc.

And he went up to his room slamming the door.

For about five minutes after he left, nobody had moved an inch. That's how shocking the tirade was. You see, this was not a random person. This was our friend. Going crazy because someone said something about Muslim terrorists.

----------------------------------------------------------------

This is for the people that say "I'm not justifying the killings in France but they shouldn't have published......."

Sorry to inform you but you ARE justifying it already with that 'BUT' in your statement.

Nothing justifies it. Nothing.

It's not like I wasn't pained when Tariq was ranting about Jesus and Christianity. I was. Very annoyed in fact. I just didn't let it show. But at no time did the thought cross my mind that he needed to be killed because he called Jesus a love-vendor. I didn't think of getting a gun and blowing his head off because he blasphemed about Christianity.

Why didn't I? Because apart from being a Christian then,I am also a RATIONAL THINKING human being and my common sense trumps my feelings of attachment to a religion.

You are not a normal person if at the back of your mind you think the Charlie Hebdo staff got what was coming to them.

Check yourself, you might be a latent terrorist just waiting to explode.

You have a right to your religion. They have freedom of speech. But above all, the right to live trumps all your religious bullshit.

Especially in a country where it isn't a crime to blaspheme.

There are countries where blasphemy is a crime. Relocate there and knock yourself out.

Let normal people reside with normal people.

Go and look for your kind.

If you have zero chill and can't tolerate people talking smack about your god that you need to go to the extent of getting a gun and blowing their heads off, you need help.

You are no different from Boko Haram.

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