Showing posts with label jesuism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jesuism. Show all posts

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Jesuism 2015

Interesting that Christian atheists redirects to a rather useful article on Jesuism.  When I was looking for a title for a thread on atheistic studies of Jesus in Jan 2007 "Jesuism" showed up on Google and other search engines only as an obscure Eastern Cult, and some obscure literary references.  Jesuit was already taken and Jesusism and Jesuanism weren't on target for what I was looking for.

I have since seen it on other blogs, and of course Wiki but it always refers to the sudy of Jesus as a human not a God.  At the time I was thinking about the Christian return to Jesus focusing on the Sermon on the Mount and the Two Great Commandments as an atheist movement in Christianity, but they made an end run around atheism by returning to the personal God of the Jews "Love the Lord Thy God ..."  in effect remaining theists, but repudiating all of John and Paul.  How they warped their minds around The Christ as Jesus remains a mystery to me, but somehow they still think of themselves as Christians focusing on the teachings of Jesus. 

It doesn't matter to me as Jesus was the first radical humanist in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and "Thy God" viewed through the teachings of Jesus may eliminate most of the excesses of the Abrahamic monstrosity.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jesus, Theistic Humanist

So what do you think was "out of the box"?
In the context of the time The Two Great Commandments were downright radical.

In the first he gives God back to the individual, taking mediation for God away from the priesthood. Once God is "Thy God" God can be anything you want Herm to be. True, your conditioning at that time will insure that He is a magical supernatural alpha, but he is your magical supernatural alpha, and he cares about you not the priests.

The second is as radical. Love your despised minority neighbor as thyself. If this isn't radical humanism I sure don't know of a better definition. Sure it is theistic humanism but then I know a lot of theistic humanists today. They have no problem with reconciling the love of God with the love of mankind just like Jesus told them to do.

This may in fact be the salvation of Christianity in a modern cosmopolitan world. "You are going to Hell" or "You are a slut" just isn't going to cut it any more. All of the reasonable Christians I know today have taken God away from the Church and the pastors and priests and have a personal relationship with "The God within" which allows them to interpret God's wishes in accordance with their own conscience.

Shh, don't tell them this is the slippery slope to giving up on God entirely.

We can forget the Beatitudes they were so out of the box that according to some they are stupid, impractical and out of the box today.

Oh yeah, that stupid turn the other cheek bit. Turns out that tit for two tats is optimal in many game theory scenarios.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Was Jesus Extraordinary?

As you know I use the Jefferson Bible as my main source for the details of the ministry of Jesus, mixed with my own analysis of the synoptics prior to discovering the Jefferson Bible. My childhood Unitarian statement of belief read in part "Unitarians believe in the fatherhood of God, the leadership of Jesus, and the progress of mankind (sic) ..." I did not believe it then either but obviously it made an impression.

I read the entire KJV Bible in middle school, gagging then as now on everything past Acts. I did better on the OT as useful myth than anything past John as Christian lies from beginning to end. It wasn’t until my abortive attempt at a philosophy major in the university that I was able to even study the end of the NT with any intelligence. It never said anything of use in the study of Jesus.

Two of my earliest lessons from Jesus that indicated to me that he was extraordinary for his time and place were the cleansing of the Temple, and the forgiveness of the whore. The first was a very public and radical break with the top down Jewish prevailing faith of the time. In effect equivalent to Ginsberg’s Howl for my generation. “You [the Pharisees and the Jewish establishment] have turned my Father’s house…” Note: Not the house of God, but the house of the personal God of Jesus. The very idea of God belonging to an individual and not the Jewish establishment that was the social structure of Jesus and his peers was just wild and crazy. The fact he wasn’t killed on the spot was testimony to the power of his personality and vision. The possibility exists that the "Occupy the Temple" movement was at his back.

The intervention in the stoning of the whore was not only a radical break with the law, but one of the earliest recognition of the humanness of even the lowest of women in ancient literature. In effect his statement “Let he [the human person] who is without sin, cast the first stone [at this female human person.]” Perhaps there were other instances of the treatment of ordinary women as human beings in ancient writings, but they were few and far between, and none that I am aware of that take on a group of angry men doing their lawful job.

The Sermon on the Mount, impractical as it was for actual living at the time, was again the gift of God to the ordinary people of the culture who would have been ignored by the priests and the religious establishment except as butts in the seats offering their hard earned pittances to the priests, er, God.

The summation of the Two Great Commandments particularly in light of his recent inhospitable treatment at the hands of a Samaritan and his subsequent use of a Samaritan as his example of the neighbor he was talking about still gags Christians, let alone the Jews of his culture. I find it significant that “Progressive Christians” have retreated to the Two Great Commandments as the essence of their faith in God and humanity.

All of this attributed as best we can discern to one insignificant itinerant preacher living off the “coins in the hat” as did most of the itinerant preachers who are lost in the sands of time seems to me extraordinary.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Atheists for Jesus

Atheists for Jesus

Of course Jesus was a theist, but that is the least interesting thing about him. He was a theist because, in his time, everybody was. Atheism was not an option, even for so radical a thinker as Jesus. What was interesting and remarkable about Jesus was not the obvious fact that he believed in the God of his Jewish religion, but that he rebelled against many aspects of Yahweh's vengeful nastiness. At least in the teachings that are attributed to him, he publicly advocated niceness and was one of the first to do so.
Richard Dawkins

He also rebelled against the Priestly tradition of God and gave God directly to the individual. "Love the Lord thy God..." Paul soon fixed that and gave God back to the church leaders, mainly himself, and Christianity was formed using Jesus as the intermediary between "thy" and God.

I can get along fine with "Progressive Christians" who have returned to the Gospels and the humanistic message of Jesus, leaving the hate filled Lord Jesus Christ of Paul to the dust of Abrahamic myth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jesus' Sources


There is nothing original about Jesus' "understanding." Virtually everything he said can be found in Cynic philosophy and liberal Pharasaism.

True but it was neither Cynic or Pharasaism, it was his synthesis of the important ideas of both, and certainly his showmanship in presenting the synthesis that made his message so important for its time. The fact that there are still many people trying to emulate his teachings no matter how corrupted, although some are going back to the gospels only, that makes Jesus so important in western religions. Show me a Cynic or a Pharasee of similar influence.

That's not a fair request. None of the Cynics or Pharasees had the advantage of being turned into gods.

Apparantly none of them had enough influence to be considered for the role. Jesus did. Against his specific wishes I might add. Sorry, I can't resist. Over his dead body so to speak.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jesus as theistic humanist.

Jesus as teacher. - beliefnet

Jesus was using the prevailing paradigm of God to teach, but the focus was on being a better human being to and for other humans. In other words you learn from God how to be a better human.

Radically different from the prevailing learn from the priests how to worship God for the sake of God and the priests. A caricature certainly, but not far from reality. Paul went back to this paradigm. Worship Christ for the sake of God and to save one's soul. No concern for the human at all and certainly not for humanity.

I am not talking about The Lord Jesus of Nazareth I am talking about the human preacher Jesus, who was using God to teach his fellow humans humanity. I suspect he believed in his personal relationship to God and believed that his mission from God was to teach what he taught.

All of which had nothing at all to do with what his followers and usurpers did to create The Lord Jesus of Nazareth which he frequently denied having anything at all to do with.

Certainly the radical theistic humanism of Jesus in the Synoptics before the passion has much to teach Christians and atheists alike. It is true some of the idealism is over the top, but none the less effective as an ideal if not a practical paradigm for living.

In some payoff scenarios turn the other cheek seems to be an extremely effective strategy in game theory known as tit-for two tats. Opponent defects once, cooperate. If opponent defects twice retaliate. Practically: If hesh smites the other cheek, kill herm.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jesus as humanist.

Definitions - Beliefnet

The problem with Christian theology is that it has nothing at all to do with Jesus. John was closest to Jesus, but even he tried to wrap theology around Jesus. It didn't work.

Once you divorce Jesus from theology most of the objections to his historical existence as a person evaporate. The miracles become mnemonics, the eclecticism from past religious traditions only shows he was aware of them and incorporated what he thought were the best parts in his ministry. Paul's hijacking of his charisma is for me definitive proof of his existence as a popular preacher probably named Jesus in Greek. The fact that the Synoptics survived in spite of their disagreement with all Christian theology is additional proof for me of the importance and historicity of Jesus.

I find Jesus to be quite human, quite humanistic, and radically respectful of all people. No wonder they killed him.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Atheists and Jesus

Atheists and Jesus -- Beliefnet:

"Since the God Jesus was referring to was a personal God not subject to anyone else's approval I suspect that your secular conscience would be acceptable to Jesus as the God he was referring to. But again, God was the dominant social paradigm at the time atheists and secularists really were non-existent. Even a personal God independent of any religion was radically humanist for the time.

I see no religious establishment in the sayings of Jesus. He was in all sayings directly attributed to him giving religion back to the people. John and Paul were of course trying to build a religious establishment on the back of Jesus. But I don't find that in the teachings of Jesus."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Atheists and Jesus

Atheists and Jesus - Beliefnet :

"I think it is important to recognize in any discussion of Jesus by atheists that we are dealing with a very sketchy story heavily edited to conform with the theistic tenor of the times. Even emperors were promoted as gods.

What I get from the story is a humanistic and anti-religious message. Radical for its time and place. Certainly God is there but it is a personal not a male religious God. I find a strong feminine influence on the message at least as unpolluted by John and Paul who were usurpers not apostles of his message.

Admittedly a lot of soup from one oyster, but when the oyster is strongly and uniquely flavored, it may not be a useless soup. Even for an atheist. I and many Christians frequently use Jesus as a powerful weapon against Christian hate. It is hard to rationalize a hate mongering preacher/pastor in the face of 'love thy neighbor.' In particular when the neighbor explicitly referred to was a member of a hated group that had just caused Jesus to 'shake the dust off his sandals' for one of the most serious breaches imaginable of the social contract of the time. Even the 'love thyself' can be a powerful weapon as the control mechanism of the preacher/pastor of hate is self-hate. 'I confess I am a miserable sinner who can only be saved from Hell by Christ' This of course is pure Paul, and has nothing at all to do with Jesus."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Atheists and Jesus

Atheists and Jesus - Beliefnet :

"Atheists arguing about the existence of Jesus or the 'truth' in the Gospels among themselves are being willfully blind to the importance and humanistic message of the preacher who probably was called Jesus or Yeshua depending on the language assumption.

The story if you will or oral history which was probably the case in that illiterate culture was probably originated by a companion of Jesus in his travels, my guess is Mary Magdalene. She probably helped him hone his message, I see a lot of anti-misogyny in it, at least in the context of the time. No man thought up the tale of the unstoned whore.

I am of course speaking of the Synoptic Gospels, by the time John and Paul came around to create a God the story was destroyed beyond recognition. I think there is a lot to be learned by atheists from the Synoptics, I generally use Jefferson's extract. Hey, if a famous atheist like Jefferson can find value in the Bible who am I to argue.

Disclaimer: I owe much of my interpretation of the Gospels to Heinlein and his allegory of Jesus in Michael Smith and Gillian Bordman in Stranger in a Strange Land. The thinking is of course mine."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seeking God

Standards of evidence - Beliefnet
Finding God has nothing to do with choosing to seek or reject God. It has to do with first and foremost to do with whether there is a God worth seeking. Some people through training and character are willing and able to seek and usually find whatever God a majority of their respected friends suggest is worthy of finding. Others again through training and character tend to examine the God a respected friend or group of friends is suggesting, that is, for example reading the entire Bible, to find out what Jewish and Christian friends recommend as a God worth finding. This is always a disaster. Even the Christians who really read the bible have trouble with their faith.

If you think you know of a God that you think is worth my trouble to seek, give me some data to look at and I will think it over. Warning: I have studied the Mass. the Requiem, and most of the Christian Prayers in depth and read several versions of the Bible including the major Catholic and Protestant Bibles in traditional and modern language versions and while I have learned many valuable things in the process I still haven't figured out a reason to seek God.

I am an atheist Jesuist. But Jesus makes a lousy God, and the one he apparently believed in has been thoroughly evaluated and is not worth seeking.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jesus vs. Christians

Is Life Pointless? : "Please note that Jesus was a man. He was made a God by John and Paul whose Jesus Christ kept nothing of the message of kindness, love, charity and forgiveness. I think you are right that rational Americans prefer Jesus, too bad that none of them are Christian."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why a Jesuist?

Who do people say the Son of Man is? - Beliefnet Forums:

"Paul is the reason I am not a Christian. God is the reason I am an atheist. Jesus is the reason I and many nominal Christians are Jesuists."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Historical Jesus

The Historical Christ non-existant? - Beliefnet Forums:

"If you strip the obvious miracles, especially the resurrection, which Christians cannot do of course without destroying their faith, you find a charismatic itinerant preacher, who integrated a consistent message of radical humanism and independence from the god mediators, priests, and shamans. It was a theistic culture so it is not surprising that he would believe in God. The core of his message was to develop a personal relationship with God directly, no priests necessary or even desirable, and treat all humans as neighbors to be respected, aided when necessary even at considerable cost to yourself, and loved as one loves oneself....

Cults are not started by committees, which for me argues strongly that there was a historical person that was the basis for the Jesus cult for which there is some historical evidence, Paul's Christian Cult. for which there is ample historical support, the Gnostic cults, for which historical documentation has recently been discovered, and other cults rumored but for which no documentation exists.

It is clear to me that this historical person was a human that lived and died in the usual human fashion. He believed in God, but was not one himself. He was the earliest documented humanist, and I think all humanists, theistic and atheistic are indebted to him, if not obligated to worship him.

37...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:37-40 (King James Version)

I find the first optional, clearly an artifact of his culture. All of humanism hangs on the second."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Historical Jesus

The Bible and atheists - Beliefnet Forums: "Given the fact of a strong, reliable, oral tradition among ordinary people in the Roman empire, and a tendency in that culture to deify prophets and emperors, I think it is necessary to look beyond the manifest fictions for the truth of the stories about Jesus.

The existence of a cult whose names and characters have been preserved in the stories argues strongly for the existence for a leader for that cult. People do not generally risk reputation and possibly their lives for a cobbled together philosophy or religion. Also crowds generally do not gather for panel discussions of religion or anything else. The cult had a spokesperson, Ockham's beloved razor says the spokesperson was Jesus and that he assembled and preached the stories that form the basis of his ministry.

The other very strong argument is that a contemporary religious charlatan needed a God like man as a marketing tool to be the savior for his followers who he had convinced were sinners in need of a savior. This charlatan hijacked the charisma and one of the miracles associated with Jesus as the basis for his savior Jesus, now Christ Jesus. The fact that his followers accepted the transfer of the charisma from Jesus to the Christ argues strongly that a popular preacher existed within their lifetimes who could believably be thought of as the Christ.

Note tha"

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Jesuism - Beliefnet Forums: "I suspect most atheists have not bothered to separate the teachings of Jesus the man, from the crap grafted on by John and Paul to create Christ Jesus the savior.

Thomas Jefferson has done this for us in The Jefferson Bible. He littered the floor of the President's office with trash from the bible created by Paul and others, until he had distilled the essence of Jesus from the rest of the bible. I claim Jefferson as the first Jesuist, he certainly was an atheist, (politically a Deist) and wanted to salvage something from Christianity, again for political reasons, to keep the Black Regiment of New England preachers quiet(er.) Whether he succeeded politically or not, The Jefferson Bible is a concise and readable way to discover the ministry of Jesus."

Note: This and related posts have been consolidated on Thinking on the Blue Roads

Footnote the (2011) Wiki article of the same name was simply a ripoff of the name to simplify Jesusism which is what his article is about. But what do you expect from Wiki.

Theistic Jesuism

Jesuism - Beliefnet Forums: "Jesuism is really designed for Christians who, having lost faith in Paul's Christ have moved back to the Gospels for meaning and morality. Once they get comfortable without a savior many of them find they don't need God either. Particularly the God of the OT and Paul who was more worried about idol worship than people treating each other right. They can salvage most of their 'Jesus loves me' conditioning with Jesus as exemplar rather than God, and even worship in their same church.

You will hear them talking about Jesus ministering to the poor, the prostitutes, the gays, the fishermen, and other common people. You will also hear them focusing their religion down to the Second Great Commandment
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself
with the gloss of Matt 25:40
As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

It is the teaching of radical respect for all people which separates Jesus from all of the religious teachers of his time, including Paul by the way. Until Jesus, religion was all about us vs them, 'We are the world's sweet chosen few, the rest of you be damned.' After Jesus it was more of the same. Fortunately Paul hijacked his charisma and caused the preservation of the synoptics to document it, incidentally preserving the message of radical respect to be rediscovered by those who can relate to it.

Some might call them Synoptic Christians since for them the NT stops before John. But they believe Jesus is the Son of God by the Holy Spirit, who was sent to earth to teach the humanist message of Love your neighbors, all of them, even the Samaritans, respect the poor, the meek, the thieves, the whores and even the people who hate you. In short how to live this life. Many of them take the next step and don't worry about an afterlife believing that how they live this life is all that matters to God.

I might agree that there is little of Christ in their beliefs but they call themselves Christians for traditional reasons, as many of them are found in traditional Christian Churches. Some call themselves Progressive Christians, and if I were an arrogant asshole telling people what they believe I would call them theist Jesuists. I am not, so I call them Christians.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Jesuism - Beliefnet Forums: "Jesuism in the West is an atheistic worldview based on the teachings of Jesus as documented in the Gospels including the recently discovered Gnostic Gospels of Thomas and Judas. A Jesuist rejects the supernatural accretions to the stories about Jesus as mnemonic and marketing devices typical of the age, and rejects all theistic references including self-references by Jesus as metaphorical devices to communicate with the prevailing Jewish and Pagan religions.

To understand Jesuism one must understand the concept of radical respect for all people taught by Jesus in the Beatitudes, the Good Samaritan, the Adulteress, and indeed in all the stories involving Jesus directly. While Jesus believed in the eventual judgment by his God to help formulate and sell the radical concept that all people are to be accepted as brothers and sisters, the Jesuist will accept this as part of the religious culture Jesus dedicated his life to changing. Jesus was a Jew who believed in the Abrahamic God concept, but his rebellion was as much against his own God as the religion of the Jews he was immersed in.

The Jefferson Bible is a useful condensation of the traditional teachings of Jesus and could be considered the Holy Book of the Jesuist. And part of the traditional Unitarian “Affirmation”

Unitarians believe in
…the brotherhood of man
The leadership of Jesus...