Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I Live.


Why do you desire to accomplish well your endeavors? Are you pleased with your creations / your accomplishments?  - 

Since they are in fact the meaning of life or at least mine, I had better accomplish my endeavors well, as they are how I affect others in my community, and how I will be remembered by them.  Overall I am quite pleased with my creations and accomplishments.  I chose most of them carefully as being beneficial to my community, and molded and shaped them to the best of my ability to
continue in the paths I set them on. Sooner or later I will die, leaving to my community my creations, my accomplishments, and "This valuable and useful space which I have occupied temporarily"  John Dobbs, atheist, from Legacy.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

More on Historical Jesus

A rational analysis of the available data admittedly limited to the Gospels and some recently discovered Gnostic writings, shows that the Nazarene cults centered on Jesus were popular enough that a century after his death they were documented by literate followers of the major cults centered on the male disciples.  A year or so after his death the cults were important enough that Saul was sent out by the Romans (Jews?) to suppress them.  After his famous incident on the road to Damascus, Paul found it necessary to promote the leader of these cults to his Christ, either as a political move to co-opt the cults, or as a cynical move to debase the populist leader to a conventional God.  In either case it worked and Christ became conflated with Jesus as "Jesus Christ."    In any event it was necessary to canonize the Gospels when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire.  Permitting a clandestine few to retain the populist, humanist ideals of Jesus with the Holy Bible as their writ albeit a la Jefferson a whole bunch of the NT was ignored.  The Enlightenment may be the flowering of these clandestine cults.  The parallels between the populist, humanist teachings of Jesus and the Enlightenment are apparent to all who wish to look with an open mind.  

A few fictional stories about Jesus mainly Passion and birth related became incorporated in Paul's Christianity, but that says nothing about whether or not there was a real Jesus that preached in the early first century.  The Passion fiction was the reason the synoptic gospels were included in the canon, but the inclusion of the earlier stories in the Synoptics suggests that even in the 4th century the preacher was a significant historical figure.  While Christianity was the main Jesus cult in the 4th century there were others that for political reasons had to be wrapped into the package.

I find it reasonable that there are two completely different Jesus histories in the first century.  The fictional God man of Christianity, and the radical hippie who created the groupies that made the God man fiction necessary.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Social Reality


I think of morality as a socially generated reality.  It is not coexistent with physical or science reality as there is no way to measure it directly. It becomes real over time with a steep learning curve in childhood, and eventually becomes internalized as conscience. 

Like all realities it can change as new information is internalized, but by adulthood new information is strongly blocked by the belief system in the brain.   There are several other socially generated realities, religion and politics are the most prominent, and status of other humans seems to be another social reality, which is in my view independent of morality.  Morality deals only with "My people" whatever that means to the particular individual.

All socially generated realities are real only for the individual although within a small tight social group there may be many commonalities. 

Understanding social reality may be a key to dealing with others who may have a completely different reality.  Fundies as an example inhabit a reality that may even exclude physical science as real.  Pretending that they are deluded only complicates the issue of dealing with them rationally.  Presenting facts that conflict with social realities as fact is ineffective in dealing with the social reality of the fact denier.