All religions are made up, surely?

My mother thinks people won’t respect me because like many post-modernists I have made up my own religion. From my point of view people who adopt pre-existing ways of thought deserve the least respect, especially if unlike me they actually believe their religion to be true!

There are certain things in my life important to me – like my autistic need to eat certain things on certain days. So I have found Biblical stories that I can use to justify these lifestyle choices. If I were using the Bible as many do, to be homophobic, sexist or bigoted in other ways then maybe my mother would have a point. But apparently those people are “traditional” and it is some how fine for them to have a made-up religion that they are using to justify their lifestyle choices, which unlike mine harms others and their rights!

It is argued by a Facebook friend, Donn, that people of all religions believe they are right and others are wrong. This is true, but with the exception mine, which in my view lacks any basis in reality whatsoever! It is completely made up, just like all others!

For me as an expert troll making up one’s own religion is a good way to expose the lack of objectivity in people of a different religion. For instance, Atheists are as deluded as the Christians they try to prove wrong. Atheists are as Abrahamic as Christians, Jews and Muslims. They try to use science to prove the Bible wrong, but in doing so are saying the Bible is a legitimate document!

I am of the view that science has an inherent duty to refute every claim in the Bible. If it is not possible for science to prove a claim either way in the Bible then it should evolve to do so. When the Origin of the Species was first published it was as irrefutable as the Bible. Darwin had no proof we descended from the Great Apes, he just put 2 and 2 together and as it seems from the research published in Nature in the last week, he got 5 instead of 4. This is because scientists have now found human DNA that is 300,000 years old, suggesting a different direction of evolution to the Great Ape theory, of which the oldest Human DNA is 200,000 years old. This means that whilst Darwin’s theory of natural selection is correct, which he discovered after Welsh scientist Russel Wallace discovered it, his Great Ape theory is now thrown into turmoil.

Should we now be asking for Darwin’s theories to be taken out of science lessons and taught in history classes along with the Bible? From my point of view, because of this publication in Nature, both the Bible and The Origin of Species are historical documents that provide an insight into the thinking around the Origin of Man at the time they were written, but have no place in the teaching of science, which had found the histories in these books to be unsupported by evidence.

Refuting the existence of deity – a call to physicists

There is something many true Atheists (e.g. Humanists) and Monotheists (e.g. Christians) have in common – both groups “know” whether or not a deity exists.

I have struggled to find a label for my religious state of mind. Like Charles Darwin I have never been a-theist. I was once, like him, an Agnostic, in that I didn’t know whether or not a deity existed. I have certain theological beliefs about how the three Abrahamic texts should be interpreted, but these are separate from my scientific beliefs, though I try to find common ground among the two. So at the moment I think the best title is ‘Non Conformist.

I have a faith – that science will one day be able to prove the existence or non-existence of a deity. I don’t think this deity need necessarily be the one in the Abrahamic texts, as I see the three Testaments as a collection of historical accounts from the time they were written, along with re-purposed folktales, legends, to create myths. The Abrahamic texts provide the ‘best truth’ at the time they were written. Science has evolved, and in my view it should be seeking to refute every claim the Bible makes. Whether by biologists, historians, or physicists, the truth about the world’s history that led to the tales in the Abrahamic texts need to be uncovered.

It is my view that the only way we can prove whether or not a deity of any description exits is through the hypothetico deductive reasoning model. This is where empirical evidence is collected to try to support two alternative hypotheses in order to reject the null hypothesis. These are:

H0 – There is no evidence to prove a deity exists
H1 – There is enough evidence to prove a deity does not exist
H2 – There is enough evidence to prove a deity does exist

At the moment we can only accept H0, as there is not enough evidence to prove either H1 or H2. But I have a challenge for physicists.

Newton said it was gravity that made the world go around, but it was ‘God’ that set it in motion. Scientists do not currently know what gravity is, or what causes is – they only know what it does and where it comes from.

So my challenge to them is try to find out whether what Newton says is true or false. By trying to find out more about gravity and understand what causes it, then it might be possible to prove, or otherwise, the existence of a deity, which may or may not be ‘God.’

Some of my role models

Kier Hardie
A principled man who was not satisfied with the current political offerings so set-up his own party with others to realise his ideals.

Bill Clinton
When he was at the start of his career, Bill Clinton wasn’t the greatest public speaker, but he worked on it and then became one of the best. The first election he won was unopposed, but then he built a good team around him and went on to win two terms of office.

Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was a good and principled man, he started his religious journey as an Anglican Christian. He then understood a scientific and philosophical journey and concluded that he was not ‘A-theist’ as he did not believe a deity did not exist, but was ‘A-Gnostic’, because he acknowledged that science couldn’t prove whether or not one did exist, and it was more important for him to have complete proof than faith either way.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates started with virtually nothing and went on to create one of the biggest technology research, development, and exploitation firms in the world.

My Christmas Day Truth on Jesus Christ – The Pretended Saviour of the Universe

When one reads religious writings, such as the Abrahamic Texts, in my view they should be treated no differently to any other works. One can analyse or parody Shakespeare, and I wish to do the same with religious texts and religion.

For me it is clear in religious terms that Christ was a prophet – the second Messiah and Son  possibly. He was from the line of King David (who was the first Messiah), which King Solomon (the Second Messiah and first Son), which Mohammed (the Third Messiah and Son) also was. Christ made claims about the origin, nature and future of the planet.

In my self-determined faith/religion I am making up, best called ‘Non Conformist‘ – I have decided to also regard Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking to be prophets like Moses was, but not Messiahs. They made claims which on the basis of current science at the time they made them they were not entirely provable.

In is my view that Christ was not ‘crucified’. I personally think he did a deal with Pontius Pilate to pacify the Jews. Pilate said that Christ had committed no crime, and that he’d ‘wash his hands’ with the Jews.

So, reading the Gospels, there was this part where Doubting Thomas trues to prove Christ has ‘resurrected’ by putting his fingers though his hands. Thomas put his fingers through the centre of Christ’s hands and not his wrists, which proves to me Christ was not crucified the same as the others. Also, it is claimed that Christ spent 40 days in the desert, yet he only lasted a couple of hours on the Cross, so I find it unconvincing from a consistency point of view also.

It is known that the Roman’s ‘auctioned off’ all of Christ’s property between themselves. I think the purpose of this was so that when Christ was meant to have taken part in ‘assentation’, he was propertyless and therefore meek, like all those he said would inherit the earth. If he had not been ‘meek’ when he was ascended into heaven then he would have been a hypocrite.

Now turning to Paul and his conversion from Saul. I think it was Saul who wrote many of the unsigned  letters to the Romans and in fact Paul was a pseudonym used by Christ in the various letters he dictated to others following crucifixion. Christ had to dictate these letters because as he had holes in his hands and couldn’t write from his plams being nailed to the Cross and so Saul and others acted as a reasonable adjustment for him in continuing his good news message. Saul was not the only transcriber in my view, as one can see from Romans 16:22 another person, “Tertius”, transcribed that letter in place of Saul.

My interpretation of Romans 1 and 2 will be controversial from some, but reading them was essential to the inner-peace I find in myself today. In Romans 1, Paul has a complete condemnation on homosexuality, and in Romans 2 he defends it, saying those who condemn homosexuality will become homosexual themselves. I think this was based on Christ’s personal experiences working with Saul.

When I started having thoughts and feelings towards men, I found it completely disturbing. I thought I was becoming gay, and would therefore no longer be attracted to women, whose ‘assets’ I hold dear as desirable adornments to them, especially those which have been Photoshopped in ‘lad-mags’, but for which Photoshopping was not necessary in my first love!

So I became homophobic towards myself, but not towards other homosexuals in the way I treated them. In fact, while I was coming to terms with these experiences, I recruited the first two openly gay members to the Treforest Labour Party, and designed the discussion programme around things I thought they would be interested in, so that they felt more included and willing to participate.

My auto-homophobia didn’t reduce the thoughts they made them more powerful. And then I would have no control over them coming into my mind at times I would not want them. I have now accepted these thoughts.

So it could be that the reason Christ wrote Romans 1, was because he was having thoughts that he didn’t want towards Saul, who he became close to, and this was his way to deal with it. So although his auto-homophobia his thoughts then increased so that he became orientated towards men, which led to him writing Romans 2, where he said condemning homosexuality will make one homosexual also.

So as you can see, I don’t think Christ had any supernatural powers. I am not willing to believe in anything supernatural until the day science can fully explain it so it can become natural. I think Christ was a very advanced psychiatrist of his days. None of his miracles including making those whose legs were amputated grow again. Most of the people he helped had neurological problems that were acute and treatable. Though talking to people at length and knowing which parts of the mind to manipulate he acted like a placebo, giving people a sense of confidence and home they had overcome their problems. Nothing is said in the Abrahamic Texts about whether Christ’s interventions actually had any long-term efficacy. And so called miracles like ‘walking on water’ were actually misinterpretation of the Abrahamic Texts, as in this case it was simply a case of when Chris’s boat approached the seashore that he walked on the wet sands, or something like that so I’m told by a Christian Minister.

I’m convinced that Christianity was created not by Christ, but by the Romans. Many stories in the New Testament have been shown to relate to local folk-law, like the rolling back of the stone to Christ’s resting place. So the Muslims may be right that Christ was not actually crucified, nor may he have ascended into heaven. By being of David’s line, however, he could have be a Son, and also Messiah.

 

Who gives a monkey’s?

I have kept this blog password protected all year, but since reading this article on The New Scientist website I feel I can come out of the cold.

When I was 21 I was sworn into the Anglican Church on the basis of a baptism and confirmation of my faith in the values and beliefs of Christianity. All I had read at the time were the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My exposure to science was limited, but I’ve gone on to gain three science degrees – a BSc(Hon), MSc and MScEcon.

Over that period I have decided I do not wish to follow any way of life prescribed by any religion. I do however like the Christian message of tolerance and forgiveness, accept that the Old Testament’s conception of vengeance means that forgiveness can’t exist without it, like black can’t exist without white, or day without night. However, I put my faith in science so that it will be able to answer the questions about God one day, even though it can’t at the moment.

So what I am about to present may not be able to be proven or disproven by today’s science, but one day it definitely will be able to, if my faith becomes fact. When Charles Darwin wrote the “Origin of Species”, his theories were based on the best evidence available at the time, and many have been supported by modern science, others not. I think the ‘Great Flood’ story in the Bible was based on an actual event like a tsunami as historians suggest, and the writer of the story changed it to encourage people to believe in a higher power, called God.

The battle towards science and religion is on the basis that science can’t prove God, so that creates a conflict. Atheists regard this to mean God doesn’t exist. Christians, for example regard this to be that just because one can’t prove a higher power like God exist doesn’t mean it can’t – and they strongly believe God does exist and they see the prophets who gave voice the Bible as proving that. Both of these positions are protected in the UK by the Human Rights Act and Equality Acts.

I would like to suggest a consolidated view of evolution theory and creationism theory, where both can mutually exist and neither be wrong. This may be wide of the mark for devotees, but open minded scholar may find it thought provoking. I invite people to leave comments, and if they’re fair and balanced and non-offensive I will approve them.

What made Lucy so different from her ancestors? Courtesy: Columbia University
What made Lucy so different from her ancestors? Courtesy: Columbia University

Consider Adam and Eve. It is claimed that when they disobeyed God that he forced Eve to have more pains in pregnancy and because they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they both had better decision-making abilities. Interestingly, scientists have discovered a biological ancestor of ours, called Lucy, who was the missing link between earlier claimed ancestors and more obvious less old findings. The difference between Lucy and primates was primarily that she had better decision-making capabilities (like post-sin Adam and Eve) and better child rearing capabilities (like post-sin Eve). Some coincidence, eh?

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve and had three sons, who both had three wives – but it doesn’t say where they came from and the vicar of the church I was confirmed at couldn’t say either. It was this passage in Genesis 3 that started the loss in faith I had, as I could only assume at the time they were their sisters, but we all know that that causes evolutionary deformities and birth defects.

However, when I re-read Genesis 1 to 3, I had this strong sense that there was life outside the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1 appears to create beings (maybe Neanderthals) prior to createWhat if it followed that after God banished Adam and Eve from it that with their new knowledge and breeding capabilities they created their three sons, whose wives could only have been primates?

As wild as this may sound, scientists don’t know whether our ancestors species could or could not cross-fertilise with other species. If we have the view that science and religion are both compatible, then we can’t rule this out. It could be that Lucy was the offspring of one of Adam and Eve’s sons being crossed with a primate, and could explain why we have over 99% the same DNA as a chimpanzee, as we share a common ancestor.

As a scientist I think that for evolution theory to be at least 95% provable, it needs to be repeatable. At present only ‘natural selection’ is one of the few premises proven beyond reasonable doubt. But it may be that with advancements genetic science we could one day know whether the split between the primates that led to us and the ones that led to chimpanzees was because of those primates cross fertilisation with an advanced life form?

If evolution theory is to be proven at least 95% right, we will either have to replicating our ancestral path or find examples of other evolved life on this or other planets.

Does future science hold they key to our distant past?

We could, through ‘DNA regression’, match fossil records to a hypothesised ‘pre-human genome’ through advancing genetic research to the extent where we can generate a 3D computer model of what an organism would look like based on its DNA – as with dinosaurs in the sci-fi Jurassic Park. Then we can using this and doing the same with chimpanzee DNA, see what our common ancestor looked like. After that we could using embryonic research replicate it – then we will have the answers!

The other alternative is to find evidence of earlier intelligent life before us, with no links to us, from billions of years before we came into being, even before the dinosaurs, or on other planets. But then again, would this not confirm that Genesis 1, where ‘God’ tells people to go forth and multiply, is at a different point in history to when we existed, as is depicted in our creation through Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.

My primary religious beliefs (premises)

Any question the Church and Politicians can’t answer today Scientists will be able to answer tomorrow.

Any advancement towards peace among individuals, families, communities and nations today, will have been envisaged by those Prophets and Disciples who wrote the Bible yesterday.

Those who make scientific theories that can’t be proven today are the Prophets who may be proven right tomorrow. For instance, the Charles Darwin is being proven right in many of the claims he made which couldn’t be refuted at the time. One who considers the Bible to have legitimacy should only do so in so far as science has not proved to to be false. Equally, any scientific texts should be considered true only in so far as they are falsifiable by other scientific texts or processes.

Everlasting life comes after death by being in the minds of the people of the future, whether in memes such as through literary works or in physical presence, such as via cryogenic restoration.

God exists in the minds of those who know of the concept, just as Robin Hood does. Science will one day be able to measure the existence of God. Until then Go should be assumed to refer to all the knowledge there is possible to be known that science does not know.

This list is not complete and may be extended.

A typical Friday Night at the Pontypridd Constituency Labour Party

Pontypridd CLP Chairman: Does anyone have any ideas about how we can better understand the meaning or cause of life?

[Disruption while the Councillor for Ty Nant questions the Chairman]

Cllr Darwin: I think we descended from apes, we quite clearly share so many characteristics we must have a common ancestors.

Llantwit Fardre BLP Chairman: Shut up Charles you don’t know what you’re talking about!

Freeman Newton: I have a suggestion.

CLP Chairman: One minute Issac, the Councillor for Efail Isaf wants to speak.

Efail Isaf Councillor: Well I think it’s disgusting we’re having this conversation in the first place. No one thought to invite the science minister, and why are we holding the meeting at 5 o’clock in the evening, it must be that the executive want to stifle debate.

Freeman Newton: Can I…

CLP Chairman: One minute Issac. Stephen, you wanted to say something?

Cllr Hawking: Far from being mathematical curiosities which appear only in special cases, I think singularities are a fairly generic feature of general relativity.

Dr Einstein: I agree, the source is not mass. In my opinion mass is part of the energy-momentum tensor, which includes both energy and momentum densities as well as stress.

CLP Chairman: You wanted to say something Issac?

Freeman Newton: I was going to say that a body’s motion can be described as a combination of free or inertial motion, and deviations from this free motion. But Albert and Stephen have moved on since then.

CLP Chairman: Are we ready for the minutes?…