Kissing Hank’s Ass

I don’t have time for a full post this week—and I figure it’s time for a little comic relief anyway—so here’s an amusing, Quentin Tarantino flavoured religious satire. It’s based on a parable from the web site jhuger.com, which features a lot more material casting a very critical eye over religion as well.

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Here’s an interesting discussion of this video from an interesting site, the Preacher and the Skeptic, which actually features discussions of matters related to religion by a real preacher and an atheist!

  
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This video highlights the real problem with beliefs in the first place, as they are seldom linked to facts.
Stepping away from religious beliefs for the time being, lets look at “Common Sense” beliefs. Usually the statement starts out as
“Everybody knows X causes Y, it is just ‘common sense’”. However when people actually look at X and Y in a scientific manner, the actual outcomes of cause and effect in most cases really doesn’t coincide like “common sense” dictates.
Most of the time, these “common sense” ideas come from people in authority, then trickle down into society where they get changed or misrepresented etc, so the end result is actually many phrases of the same issue, but they are not all addressing the same “common sense”.

Taking this back to religion now, the New Testament in the Bible, is a religious example of “common sense” organized after the fact. The Apostle Paul went and preached, and wrote most of what we know to be the current version of the New Testament, over 20 years after the death of Jesus Christ. However there were so many different beliefs out there about what Christianity was about that it wasn’t until around 397 A.D. when it was finally “agreed upon” what the New Testament was actually going to be as canon.

Here is one well researched timeline:
http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/christia.html

Here is a national geographic timeline for the same time frame:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/lostgospel/timeline_nf.html

This timeline says the council of Nicea settled the beliefs of the trinity (325 A.D.) and then final resolution of what was final gospel took place at the council of Constantinople (381 A.D.)

Whatever the case, it is apparent that between 300 to 350 years after the death of Christ and much political infighting, wars, schisms, declarations of heresey, that not much was left completely intact from Jesus’s actual teachings or actions.

So it is the belief that many religious people have that these are the “direct words of god”; however, under any level of scrutiny this claim is simply unbelievable for the New Testament. The Old Testament/Torah etc, also has similar problems of revisionism and the Koran of Islam has had the problem of schism, almost as soon as it came out between the Sunni and Shiite groups.

There are several readings/interpretations of the Koran –
http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/seven.htm

This doesn’t even get into the fact that now there are more than 100 different versions of the Bible (old and new Testament).
http://www.cezwright.com/books/versions.htm
http://www.av1611.org/biblecom.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_Bible_translations

Of course Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Hinduism, Seekism, and almost every other religion has also become convoluted, contrived, mistranslated, misinterpreted, reinvented, abused, corrupted and co-opted for similar purposes as well.
http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/ljzg/3585/3592/3598/t17970.htm
http://www.cezwright.com/dhammapada/buddhist_scripts.htm

Then there is the mixing of Buddhism with Christianity (This may be a revived form of gnosticism)
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/buddhist-christian_studies/v024/24.1may.html

So for all intent and purposes those who subscribe to any organized religion and the books that are represented as the “Literal Words of God” are just as likely to be subscribing to the “Word of Hank”, or the oft referenced necronomicon which H.P. Lovecraft used to great effect –
http://www.cezwright.com/books/refs/Necronomicon/necronomicon.html

or that current fad/craze of scientology:
http://www.mindcontrol101.com/members/SciBible_pdf.html

The link below is a large file and is a PDF download.
http://www.mindcontrol101.com/pdfs/scientology-ot-levels.pdf
This links to the actual “high level donor” tracts of scientology (600+ pages long) that celebrities pay 100K or more to get admittance into the organization. Obtained by Wikileaks.org.

Just because a belief is new/old doesn’t make it correct, as when you use the word belief, it often means that there aren’t many facts surrounding where that belief came from.

The additional problem of knowledge vs. belief, is that people are funding research that attempts to establish “facts” where no “facts” exist.
$20,000,000.00 to build this – Creationsim Museum
Motto – Welcome and be prepared to believe!
http://creationmuseum.org/

In the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s Doctors were paid to say things like this:
http://healthandsurvival.com/2008/01/05/doctor-recommends-cigarettes-for-better-health/

And of course, currently this institution, who’s research is bought and paid for by the extraction resource industry and most conservative viewpoints on everything suggests that we should keep on keeping on -
http://www.cato.org/
We have the right to drill for petroleum/coal/nuclear energy sources on public lands, smoke, (of course not marijuana), drink, private health care, small government, invade foriegn countries for national interests/safety, global climate change doesn’t exist and/or isn’t man made, low taxation for rich people, etc.
If you are looking for these kind of “facts”, the Cato Institute is the best one stop shopping source for your every rebuttal need, even if it contradicts 97% of the rest of the world scientific community, in every field and supports whoever’s position was looked for by whoever paid for the study to be done!

Yay conservative/religious/groupthink/non-interested marketplace of singular repeated ideas designed to keep 87% of political power and resources in the hands of .001% of the population of the world. This line of thinking has had the impact of redirecting an estimated nearly $350 Trillion U.S.* away from the working people of the world into the hands of these elite groups and corporations/coglomerates/religious institutions worldwide over the last 30 years. What is worse is, it isn’t a conspiracy. Instead it is just the actions of individuals looking out for #1 (themself and their families) as best they can, in an environment of accumulated lies and half-truths expounded upon for hundreds of years.

*(The World marketplace has generated and grown substantially over the past 30 years, but the average take home pay per capita worldwide has remained similarly close to $2,500 U.S. averaged, with 87% of the workers in the world averaging less than $1,000 U.S. per year. Over the past 30 years the world has produced a Gross World Product at just over $1.1 Quadrillion U.S. Dollars. Thus the number sited (350 Trillion) would relate to just over 1/3 of the Gross World Product that was essentially taken away from the workers as a result of these conservative/religious exhortations. In other words these ideas are seriously hurting the advancement of humanity in many different ways, and it’s only purpose is for the short term gain of these individuals and corporate/religious entities.

So much for common sense, leading to rationality, leading to outcomes that maximized the benefits to the public in general. It appears we have all been swallowed by Thomas Hobbes’s “Leviathan” after all due to the worlds leader’s repetition of societal lies like those talked about in “The Republic of Plato”.

  
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