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« Back To School: My Book Report & How I Spent Four Summers | Main | Addendum: He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear »

Thursday, March 27, 2008


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Miss Luongo

I'll never understand Creationists.

Although, the stuff with kids is difficult because at times parents are forced to explain big philosophical points to them before they're ready.

KID: Your grandpa is dead, Mommy? What does that mean?

MOMMY: It means that we never ever get to see him again on Earth. And maybe there's an afterlife where we will be able to see him, but no one really knows.

KID: (panicky) Are you going to die and be gone forever?


KID: Am I?


KID: (Meltdown, childhood scar, overblown fear of death, adulthood risk aversion)


MOMMY: He's in heaven with God and he's happy and watching out for us.

I think a lot of religious beliefs are just easy explanations, usually metaphorical, for children that adults have carried over because they're scared of death.


ML - You forgot to add "with the angels". Angels in heaven go over well with kids.

When my grandmother died, I never gave the heaven story to my kids. I don't believe in the heaven that religions talk about. I do believe there's an afterlife and that our loved ones who have passed can hang where they want. I'm not alone in this train of thought. Alice Sebold illustrated the EXACT version of my heaven in The Lovely Bones.

"Something tells me that should your particular version of God turn out to be the real one, he'd still be very pissed at you for adhering to such nonsense and calamity."

I do believe in god. My proof is my own. And I couldn't have been more thrilled to read the above line. Because you're right. God is WAY pissed off right now over this whole mess. He sent an offspring to deliver peace, love, and understanding. And THIS is what he gets in return? I can't stand people who are like, "Where was god on 9/11?" or "Where was god when our son was gunned down on the street?" or "Where was god when my daughter was abducted?"

Where was god?

He was laughing his mother fucking ass off.

...okay, that was harsh. He probably wasn't laughing. He was probably more uninterested than anything.


I think that the kind of comforting lie that you're talking about, Miss Luongo, is one thing. It's like lying about Santa Claus. Speaking as one who was kept awake nights as a child, terrified of burning in a bloody and fiery hell for all of eternity however, I think I would rather have done without either. This is the sort of emotional abuse which Dawkins feels is a good reason to not tell children tales meant to instill fear so that they'll grow up to be good Christians.

Personally, I feel that if you yourself don't believe in God or heaven, it's exceedingly dishonest to tell children that their grandpa is there. Maybe giving children a head start on dealing with death by telling them the truth is better than giving them false hope.

A major by-product of believing in the afterlife, really believing in it, is that it makes what you do in this world less important, other than following the rules originally laid down by old power hungry Catholic cowards as to what constitutes good Christian behavior. And very twisted rules they are. (Or the twisted rules of Islam, or Judaism, etc..)

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."


Sissy, my best response to you is another good quote:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not Omnipotent.

Is he able but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is God both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"



The thing is, most people have cultivated their image/notion of god from the bible. But humans wrote that book. Humans wrote that god would deliver us from evil. Then humans created religion. If we extracted the bible and religion from the concept of god, I genuinely believe we would be left without argument.

To date, although I don't own a copy and barely recall the specifics of its content, the Siddhartha made more sense to me than the bible and conventional religion at the time I read it.

I forgot to mention earlier that I love the above 15 commandments. I am going to hang them on my wall.

"Do unto others as you truly feel like doing unto others."
-Richard Bach

Mr. Crowley

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"


I like Orwell's definition of patriotism (as opposed to nationalism)

"By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’(1). But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."

My son believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny. I think it's up to him to figure it out for himself what the deal is with that.

I'm not sure what to tell him about death. I personally think that the "afterlife" is something that doesn't make any sense and is wishfull thinking. But I can't really tell him that. I plan to seek some advice about how to talk about death. I think kids can handle it better than we think though and in the USA we're overlly afraid of death and that's why we tend to like to live in a fantasy land regarding it.


Hey Gary that's a good distinction. I like it. Still though... Patriotism has such a nasty connotation for me after that day with the planes and the buildings and all that. Patriotism is the new Nationalism. It's that whole doublespeak thing.

"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
-PRESIDENT George Washington

"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
-PRESIDENT Thomas Jefferson

"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
-PRESIDENT Abraham Lincoln

"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church."
-PRESIDENT James Madison

"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice."
-PRESIDENT John F. Kennedy

"The United States is a Christian nation founded upon Christian principles and beliefs."
-pres George W. Bush

"I don’t know that atheists should be considered patriots, nor should they be considered citizens".
-pres George "Daddy" Bush


Sissy, I'm unclear as to where else the modern human cultivates their idea of god from if not from some Holy Book, as dictated to you by some other human who was in turn indoctrinated by the concept when he was young. In the old days, it was a nature thing. Nowadays, it's a brainwashing thing.

My whole thing with God is that I'm unwilling to rule him out because Science, awesome as it is, hasn't yet explained everything. Maybe when we finally reach the bounds of the Universe, we'll see God's eyeball from the business end of a God-sized microscope. It's unlikely, though. Mainly I think the real reason I can't let him go is because I was raised that way, and I'd be lonely in my head without my God Concept to talk to. Bad habits are hard to break.

Mr. Crowley, The Devil has all the good music, but that's as far as I'll go.

Mr. Crowley

"Mr. Crowley, The Devil has all the good music, but that's as far as I'll go."

A most excellent start on our slippery slope - eh, young pilgrim?

Mwa ha! Mwa ha ha! Mwa ha ha ha haaaa haaaaaaa!


that's my epic and silly post on the afterlife, with fun comments by Miss Luongo and others. I'm mad that they removed that Flips song though. It fit in so well. Still listen to the Talking Heads song anyway.


Hey, did you have Professor Roche du Coppen?! I had him for sociology, and he told us that story about the ski lodge and the fondue... although I remember it being more freaky because he had this thing where he wanted to ski down INTO a huge bowl of cheese fondue and swim in it with his friends. Kind of freaked me out.

Miss Luongo

Oh, thanks for reminding me...I'm still working on those tenants.


yeah that's the guy, though I don't remember that part. he's a weird dude for sure. sometimes I watch his shows on tv13. he talks a lot of new-agey shit but never really gets into any details. I don't think I learned anything real in that class. It was all from his own book and I think it's all a bunch of made up shit that he wrote while on mushrooms or something.


Is tv13 the Stroudsburg local access channel? I didn't know we had one of those... crazy.

Anyway, I may have done that thing where I embellished his story in my mind at the time he told it because my impression of him was that he was such a freak, and over time my version has replaced what he actually said because mine is better. Of course I'm not sure, fabricated memory being as real as real memory, but it's a possibility.

George Roberts, Venerable NewsAnchor

"Is tv13 the Stroudsburg local access channel? I didn't know we had one of those... crazy"

It's not. It's just a local channel that someone you know may or may not have been a videographer for. It's not *much* above public access, but you gotta sell 'em on yer show idea, or buy the airtime.


Hmm... a local channel that someone you know may or may not have been a videographer for... What kind of low profile is that, George?

George Roberts, Venerable NewsAnchor

I'm an honored public figure!

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