An Honest Testament
This is very personal. You will learn a little about both me and my mom here. My mom influenced my initial view of god and religion. As I grew up, I tried hard to reconcile concepts of god and religion. At times, I tried to take my notions of them as an authority and it always backfired because of the frustration of trying to live by their principals as I interpreted them. I felt like a liar every time because I was acting my life instead of living it. Also, I lost some confidence in myself each time because my interpretation of religion kept telling me that the real me was worthless and that I had to re-manufacture myself into something totally different. In fact, I never could be clear about what the verses of the Bible that I had read meant, even though I spent an enormous amount of time pondering them over. I always had doubts about the validity of god and religion no matter how hard I tried indorsing them.
As time went on, I began to feel cheated by them because it was becoming clear to me that all the versions of the Bible and other religious texts were written, edited, passed on and promoted largely by people who were in a terrible mood, frightened, feeling helpless, angry, frustrated, distrustful of others, and willing to lie. I concluded that they could not have thought clearly about the religious that they were promoting.
Those people that I have associated with though out my life, which seemed to be the most religious, were the hardest to be friends with because they were so judgmental. Many seemed to be on a conquest to change everyone else to suit their interpretation of their religion and that was irritating. There were times when I tried to fit in. You could say that I was trying to go with the flow to be accepted and that is unfortunate. I lived a lie those times and worse yet, I was trying to indorse a fictional world that was not really the same one that I thought most everyone else lived in. I struggle with trying to be myself to this day.
Some time during the late 1970’s, it was downing on me that I that my pondering and frustrations related to religion, god, and nature led me to conclusions, and it was not until 2002 that I tried to write them down. I hired someone to clean up the grammar, and she made it clear that what I wrote was hard to understand. Even since, I have created lots of drafts, edited them over and over, clarifying and putting all the points I made in logical order. This version of An Honest Testament is very different than the original even though it expresses mainly what I wanted to get across in 2002.
Now, I feel that what is written here is pretty good, factual but not complete. A lot more needs to be said so this is work in progress. There will more drafts of this, trying to clarify and organize it better too.
This is different than most texts related to religion because no myths are promoted here. Also, it is impossible for there to be any conflict between nature and anything factual related to any religion. Reality is reality regardless of what we understand about it or misunderstand about it. An Honest Testament attempts to clarify something significant about god, religion and nature by being scrupulously honest about them. There is a lot more than that here, but first here are some important specifics about god & religion, and some new definitions.
One thing common to all the gods throughout history is that they all were presented as being supernatural; regardless of all the other ways each one was described. Similarly, regardless of what one imagines a god to be, and regardless if one says that they believe in a god or not, every god is always presented as being supernatural. So if there really is something that is supernatural, then it being supernatural is the one characteristic we can count on.
A few examples of gods are Allah, Athena, Brahman, Deity, Deities, Father, My Father, God, Hermes, Intelligent-Designer, Jehovah, Lord, and Zeus. It would be impossible to provide the names for all of them but surely you get the idea. Again, if there really is something that is supernatural, then it being supernatural is the one characteristic we can count on.
Even though nothing here proves or claims that something supernatural exists or not, you will find it enormously revered and respected through out this Testament, simply by being honest about it and not putting words into its mouth.
The word "godish" is used here to mean any of the gods that ever have been described or imagined in one or more ways besides being supernatural. The reason lowercase is used for "godish" is that; to me capitalizing it would be like saying that they are all real because the word covers all them.
The words "The-Unfathomable" is used here to mean something supernatural that we can't describe and that we can't know if it exists or not. This definition leaves no room for misinformation about it so it is capitalized just in case it is real.
The words "godish-religion" is used here to mean religions that include something supernatural defined in more ways than just being supernatural as part of their doctrine. I do this because surely there are many groups that call themselves a religion such as the Humanists, who do not give credence to their being a godish in their doctrine.
Even though it is clear what "The-Unfathomable" means, surely there will be those who will want to call it "god" or something specific to their godish-religion background. A rose is a rose and calling it by any other name can be confusing. I wish that everyone will call it "The-Unfathomable" as he/she talks or writes about it so it never gets confused with a godish.
The purposes of An Honest Testament:
To determine what we can honestly say about The-Unfathomable and all the godishs.
To examine what the total power is in all existence, be it nature, The-Unfathomable, or a combination of the two.
To examine how lots of people are making this world a worse place to live in by promoting religious conflicts and with godish-religions that conflict with the way nature works.
To provide suggestions to everyone who is and who will be participating to solve these conflicts and those who are making the world a healthier and safer place for all us, our descendants and nearly every thing living on this planet.
To encourage others to carry on with what I started here, and even do a better job than I have. I have edited this hundreds of times trying to clarify it and it never seems clear enough to me.
What can we honestly say about The-Unfathomable and all the godishs?
Even if The-Unfathomable exists, there is no way to know it and there is no way to know if it shares any of the characteristics of any of the godishs, other than it being supernatural. If The-Unfathomable really does share some of their characteristics, we can’t find out which ones. I talk a lot more about this all though An Honest Testament.
Let's pretend that we know for a fact that something supernatural really exists, just for the sake of argument. We still could not understand it because it is supernatural, so we should still call it The-Unfathomable, but not a godish.
What is the total power throughout the universe?
Is the total power throughout the universe the natural laws, The-Unfathomable, or a combination of the two? Answering this is a significant part of An Honest Testament. But first, I need clarify some things both about The-Unfathomable and the natural laws.
Starting with The-Unfathomable, either it exists or it doesn't. We can't know unless we can find out. Some people may pressure you to decide if a specific godish exists or not and insist that you are weak and indecisive if you won't take a position on this. This is not something to be decided. To know, we must find out. It either exists or it does not. If we can't find out, then we don't know.
Similarly, you could be pressured to say that you accept that a specific godish exists without anyone offering you any way to find out if it does or not. Again, if we can't find out, then we can't know. Here is an analogy: How about someone asking you if your first great-grandchild will be a boy or a girl, and then insist that you are weak and indecisive if you can't take a position on that? To really know, you must wait until one of your children is having a child of their own. In other words, you can't know unless you can find out.
If someone says that he/she believes that a specific godish exists, just to appease others, then that person is lying about it, which can be emotionally painful. One's pain of lying and defensiveness can get worse with time if the lying goes on and on and on. That is one reason why some people get very hostile and defensive if challenged about it. Most people who promote believing in a godish insist that we take it on faith, which shows that they really can't tell us why we should believe it.
What about Atheists? Surely most, if not all those who call themselves Atheists have wondered if something supernatural is related to the very existence of the universe and everything in it. It is likely that some people who don't want to be caught up trying to sort this out indefinitely have settled at being Atheists in order to free themselves up to concentrate on living their lives. Even so, it is likely that most, if not all these people can't help themselves but question if something supernatural exists from time to time.
Surely some people, who say that they are Atheists, say so really to mean that they find holes in all the godish concepts and all the godish-religions that they have been exposed to and thought about. Surely some, if not all these individuals, occasionally still wonder if there really is something supernatural. Just because there are holes, myths, and conflicts in all versions of the Bible, and other godish-religious books, it does not prove that The-Unfathomable does not exist.
What about people who say that they contacted a godish, or that a godish talked to them? These people are either delusional or lying.
One can have delusional experiences with LSD and other drugs. Anything that produces hallucinations can do it. Some kinds of anesthesia for surgery can cause delusional experiences. Some people argue that these experiences are real, such as leaving one's body, or traveling through the Universe.
Some people have had delusional experiences without any kind of drugs from extreme stress, extreme hunger, extreme thrust and other extreme stressful events. As an example, consider seeing a mirage when one is dehydrated in the desert.
Why would someone lie about seeing, or being contacted b a godish? Also, why would anyone lie to tell us that something magic is real? Here are some reasons that I have heard about: One may feel that they gain credibility or authority in the eyes of others this way. As an example, some people claim to see auras or colors like halos around people hoping that others will consider this as a magic power. Some people claim to be able to read minds for the same reason or to entertain you. Also, godish-religions are riddled with alleged supernatural events and kids hear plenty of these kinds of stories in Sunday schools and godish-religious places. Surely some neglected people will make claims to communicating with god or being part of a magic event to be viewed as special or to be noticed. Some people may be testing your credibility or how gullible you are by telling you about an alleged magic event. Also, some people may be testing you to see if you will appease them by going along with them on this.
It is a mistake for us to write anything off as supernatural, just because we can't understand it. In fact, significant discoveries have been made by some people who did not limit themselves to the dogma of the godish-religions of their time. As an example, consider Charles Darwin and his discovery of evolution. Another example is Nicolaus Copernicus who proposed that earth goes around the sun in opposition to the way it was taught by most of the Clergy of his times, the sun going around the earth. Years later, Galileo Galilei confirmed that the earth goes around the sun, which got him arrested for heresy and he spent the rest of his life in house arrest.
Even if The-Unfathomable is real, none of our views of any godish can be factual. Different people view their godish in different ways and all views can't be correct. Actually we could not know if any part of any view of any godish is correct because each one includes characteristics that we can't possibly know as fact. All we have is our imagination, and all the ways that all the godishs are presented to us. How could we really believe any concept of any godish when we cannot pin it down?
"The-Unfathomable" concept helps enormously because it does not imply any more than what we can say honestly about it. Also this concept makes it easier to avoid putting words in its mouth as we write or talk about it.
I just hate to hear people quote a godish because of the disagreements over what it supposedly said and who it prefers. Wars have been fought over these disagreements. Here are only a few examples taken from WikipediA.
Sudanese Civil War
Lots of Clergy and members of the Catholic Church wage enormous hostilities at anyone who does not conform to the tenets of their godish-religion to the extent of trying to get these tenets to be mandatory in our schools, courts and government throughout the world. This is nearly a war at times especially against gays, non-Christian religions, athirst and agnostics.
lots of Clergy and members of Protestant godish-religions throughout the Bible Belt in the
It is ironic that some people involved with godish-religions that profess love and forgiveness are some of the most rigid, and hostile people around. It is ironic that lots of them have no tolerance for gay people, yet lots of Clergy of the very same godish-religions spend a lot of time preaching about tolerance.
All the war and hostility related to differences of religion are over myths because none is related to actual messages from a godish. All our godish-religions and concepts of godish are human creations. Anything taken from any godish-religion is not really sacred because of its source. Anything taken from our godish-religion makes sense only if it makes sense and it is foolish to give it credibility for any other reason. Even so, there is history mixed into our godish-religious books, so there is value in that.
When I was a young child, and even into adulthood, I tried hard to believe and even pretended that I believed in a godish, but I was living a lie. One reason I tried to force myself to believe it is that I had a notion in my head that we were not worthy, decent people unless we believe in a godish. My mom implied that in various ways even though she never said it. That notion is built into many stories, songs, movies, religious sources, sermons, pamphlets, comic books, and many other sources, so it is understandable why a child would be worried about it. I went to Church very little when growing up, but those few times reinforced these notions. To put it in different words, I was frightened that most people would hate me unless I believed in a godish. I was frightened that godish-religions represented the views of most adults, and that they would be horribly cruel with me if I did not go along with them about this. Is this typical of some Children? Think about it!
Also, I was afraid for my brother, my parents, and my relatives. If there were any credence to my notions of Christianity, then those I cared about are doomed in some way. Again, I was not sure that any godish existed, and I was not sure about Christianity, as I understood it. I was terrified that there might be some truth to it.
There are those who are so terrified, even as adults, that they haven't contacted their real feelings about this, and they say that they believe in a godish, out of fear of rejection and sometimes fear for their life. Think about locations and times where Disbelievers are ostracized or executed as examples to scare others into obedience.
The word "believe" is a tough word to include here, but it is so important that I must write about it. The word can mean different things to different people under different circumstances. Sometimes it is used to mean "guess". For example if someone asks if it is going to rain, and gets the reply "I believe so", that can mean the same as "I guess so." If the person asked knows a lot about the weather in general, it can mean an educated guess. In other words, it can mean that a person gives something a lot of credence, but they are not positive.
For believing in a godish, it does not make sense to use the words "believe" and "know" interchangeable. If someone feels strongly that a godish exists, but does not really know, that person may say that he/she is a believer, even though that person is an Agnostic. In fact, someone may not realize how honest they are they say that they believe in their godish, because "believe" in this case means that they are not totally sure. If they new that their views of a godish are fact, then it is likely that they would be saying that they know it instead of saying that they believe it, and could tell you why they know. In other words, they are using the word "believe" to mean that they lean one way, but are not sure.
Another reason that some people say that they believe in a godish is that they really mean that they believe in caring about others and wish that everyone were more loving. They really believe in some of what their godish-religion represents to them, but in fact, they don't know if something supernatural really exists.
This is a good time to mention wishful thinkers, those who wish very much that there is a godish, that it would watch over us, protect us and guide us. I have been nearly that way at times when I was so frightened that I was immobilized. The problem is that wishing for some sort of godish to take care of us does not create it. Either The-Unfathomable exists or it does not.
Many people, who pretend to believe in a godish, try to gain a sense of self-worth by trying to convince you that your life will be wonderful if you would just believe that a godish will take care of everything for you if and only if you would just believe it. If someone thinks that they can help others this way, then perhaps they think that they can find value in lying about it and avoid the embarrassment of ever squaring with others about this.
Also, if someone can get you to believe that a godish exists, but they have doubts about their own judgment, this person may gain credence that it does exist based on your judgment. In other words, they are relying on your ability to understand this better and your credibility.
I expect that most, if not all people, who say that they believe in a godish, are hiding doubts, and prefer to only associate with others who call themselves believers because they feel safer from being confronted about it. If one is guarding a lie, then that person will likely feel more comfortable around others who guard the same lie. An old saying is "birds of a feather flock together" and that applies here. In other words, those in this situation are frightened of those who are not sharing the same lie. Surely that is one reason some religious people resent others who are not involved with their specific godish-religion and say terrible things about them.
Surely many people promote and perpetuate a godish-religion and fear-of-godish as their form of protection from their perceived enemies. Scaring others in response to being scared of others is a very common tactic used by both animals and people. As an example, some Clergy teach you to love thy enemy, because they are afraid of you and afraid that you view them as a potential enemy. Surely some want you to feel that a godish will do terrible things to you if you don't love them.
Also, it is likely that some Clergy and individuals feel like they are becoming your enemy by lying to you about this whole topic, because of their own doubts about it. That is one reason some individuals are so obsessed by promoting forgiveness. They feel terrible for lying about this and want everyone to forgive them.
An extreme of scaring one's perceived enemies is when Presidents, Dictators, Military leaders, and the likes want their country to have a strong military and sometimes accumulate nuclear weapons largely to scare their perceived enemies. Nuclear weapons are often refereed to as "piece keepers". Freighting others with religious dogma can serve a similar purpose.
Also, some individuals want to gain a sense of revenge for something that scared or angered them, quote godish related threats from a version of the Bible, or some other religious material in response. They may be trying to intimidate you, make you feel guilty, make you feel regretful or who knows?
Perhaps those who created the notion of original sin, as written about in the Bible, wanted to perpetuate the notion that there is a terribly cruel godish in order to make you feel that you had better watch your step. This godish is presented as being so cruel that it views everyone in the human race as criminal-like because of something that Adam and Eve allegedly did. According to this Bible story, we have to redeem ourselves because a godish is holding a grudge. As a small child, I was scared about the possibility of there being a cruel godish, so I have some idea how some people might feel.
It is bad enough for a child to be mistreated by its parents and others. It does not help the situation if a child is frightened about being a criminal in a godish's eyes too. It is better that children grow up understanding they are not criminals just by being born.
A child may be worried that there may be a godish that views all children as criminal in some ways, even though they are not sure if there is a godish or not. Surely some children worry that the adults, who teach about original sin, believe that children are criminal in nature.
The fantasy of a lot of religious people is that there is a godish that loves us. For the sake of argument, let's assume that The-Unfathomable is real and loves us. In that case, I can't understand why it would blame any one of us for anything that someone else did. I expect that it would not encourage any of us to direct misguided blame either. As a reminder, I am only talking from a common sense point of view and that is all.
My wife once said that we must seem like godishs to our cat and dog because they are totally dependent on us. I can't remember the whole conversation, but that is the jest of it. In the same way, a baby's parents seem like godishs to it.
As a child, my mother was something like a godish to my brother and me. She rewarded us and punished us. She cooked, shopped, and took care of almost everything. She played like a godish by trying to shape how we viewed other people and life in general. She told me how I should feel about each of our relatives and how I should feel about myself.
As I became acquainted with godish-religions, I made strong emotional associations between a godish, as I imagined it, godish-religions, and my mother, without intending to. I am afraid that many of my interpretations of Bible stories were influenced by the ways my mom raised me. So in a sense, some of my early fears about a possible godish and godish-religions were tied to my upbringing. Keep in mind that I did not know if there really is something supernatural; I just was afraid of the possibility of a something terribly cruel.
What if a baby generalizes about life from one or both parents? Doesn't it seem reasonable that if one or both of someone's parents were terribly cruel to a child, the child would emotionally latch on to cruel parts of a godish-religion and feel at home with them? Perhaps they would go so far as to promote these to others in their daily life?
I regret that I was a disciple for some of my mother's views at different times in my life. For example, she seemed to hate anyone who got angry with her. I grew up thinking that getting angry was doing a terrible thing and sometimes I even said so. I tried not to show anger and this got me bullied terribly at times. It has been hard to get it gut level that it is perfectly natural for people to get angry at times, and sometimes I seem to forget it.
One passage (Matthew 5:22) from a version of the Bible is presented as a quote from Jesus Christ. It states: "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." As a child, I interpreted this as meaning that getting angry was a terrible thing, so terrible that if we get angry, a possible godish will hold it against us somehow.
On top of that, I was not sure if there really was a godish, but I was afraid that godish-religions represented the opinions of most adults. This reinforced my mom's influence on me about it, and how I thought I should view it.
Surely there are many interpretations of Matthew 5:22. It would have been great if what was written is that it is better to be honest and to express yourself honestly when you first get angry, and deal with the situation on the spot, so that you don't build up resentment towards someone and carry anger around with you.
Now I realize that Matthew 5:22 started out as someone's creation and what we read in any version of the Bible is not what it started out to be. The way it is written in the Bible that I got it from seems to be just an idle threat. If the original author had a real insight, we can't know what it was.
Here are more examples of ways to interpret Matthew 5:22: Some people might interpret it as meaning that we would be subjected to the judgment of others if we get angry. Some people could interpret this as meaning that we are subjected to a godish's judgment. Some people might interpret it as meaning that experiencing anger is the problem, and others might interpret it this as holding anger is the problem. Matthew 5:22 is not clearly stated so we can't even gain value from it the way we would from something that was more specific.
So, how about everyone else? Surely some godish-religious people, if not most, have confused or merged their feelings about those who are significant in their lives, with their view of a godish. In other words, someone's godish could be a merger between how they interpret parts of their godish-religion, and one or both parents, a relative, a teacher, a friend, a sport hero, a movie star, a fictional character, or whatever. I have known this for a long time. In fact, when I get to know a specific Politician from the news, I try to imagine what his/her worldly godish(s) is/are like.
In the Christian godish-religions, their godish concepts are often termed "Father" or "our Father". Surely those who started this wanted us to make this emotional connection.
Now let's look at the all godishs and The-Unfathomable purely, and not an emotional merger between a godish and important people in one's life.
I sympathize with those who consider that nature is so incredibly complicated, especially anything living, that only something supernatural, super intelligent, and super powerful, could have engineered it using magic. The more I learn about the human body and how complex it is, the more it seems miraculous to me. Just think about one's very awareness, and our ability to think. This is amazing to me. I am sure that my understanding of these only scratch the surface and I will never be able to explain them. At best, all I can do is experience awareness for myself, and wonder about it.
Also, I sympathize with those of us who have trouble grasping the billions of years that it took for all living things to evolve to what they are now, because we cannot experience this sort of time. It is hard enough to imagine the passage of time, second by second, for just a lifetime, but billions of years … wow, impossible!
Evolution is so slow that we can't see any evolutionary change in the human race during our lifetime. It probably takes tens of thousands of years for a detectable change in human beings. (By the way, I don't have any scientific way of estimating this; saying "tens of thousands of years" is purely my wild guess. Hopefully someone with the right background will give us a more accurate number of years.) When you consider millions of years, then tiny changes can add up significantly. We evolved from something that started out billions of years ago and has evolved very, very slowly ever since, and evolution is still going on.
Clearly evolution is behind of all life on earth, regardless if the The-Unfathomable exists or not. If the The-Unfathomable really exists, and if it is related to what is happening or happened throughout the universe in some way, then evolution is connected to it somehow. If it exists, then all of nature must be totally consistent with it. Also, all real natural laws, (not necessarily how we perceive them) must be consistent with it too. How could it be otherwise? I will talk more about natural laws later and give you a very useful related concept.
Some may think that if a godish exists and if it wanted, two plus two would add up to five. I feel that it would be a mistake to think that anything that does not make sense is that way because something supernatural wanted it be that way. In other words, just because we don't understand something is not a good reason to declare that something supernatural is screwing it up. When something does not make sense, it is most likely that we don't understand enough about it and/or the related natural laws and/or how to apply them. In this case, the explanation is beyond us.
Surely many people who have declared that they believe in a godish, and say that only a godish could have engineered life, do this largely as an argument to rebut anyone who disagrees with them, like winning an argument, just for the sake of winning it. In other words, they argue venomously to win the argument, even if they are not sure that they are right.
Once my mom said that she could make up a godish-religion and everyone would be happy if they lived by it. Surely many people who are involved with creating a godish-religion and perpetuating one feel that those following it will be happier. It is embarrassing for me to write about this, because it shows that my mom was terribly arrogant at times. I regret that I kept my mouth shut about this when she was alive, but I have had fantasies about how I could have replied. One fantasy is that I said:
"OK, mom, make up one for yourself and be happy for life"
That would have been cruel, so here is a better and honest one:
"Most people would not be happy following your godish-religion because if they lived that way, they would be like robots following your rules, and not living their own lives the way they really want to. Also, those parts of your godish-religion that did not make sense would eventually be challenged and would not hold up."
What about people who wish that others would live by a made up godish-religion? This notion also has provoked a lot of thought on my part since then. Maybe that is the motive that some people have when they invent, change, embellish, and perpetuate various godish-religions, they think that if everyone believes what they are promoting, everyone would be happy.
Because all the different godish-religions related to a godish were invented, changed, embellished and perpetuated by different people, who did not coordinate their developments, their godish-religions have significant differences. This is all the more reason that the way a godish as presented by any of our godish-religions can't represent a real thing. If The-Unfathomable exists, it is only coincidental if there is any similarity between it and any concept of a godish except for it being viewed as supernatural.
Let's pretend that The-Unfathomable really exists, and someone once understood it, just for the sake of argument. If that were the case, we could not end up with an accurate verbal or written description of it today just because of communications problems alone. Let's assume that its description and what The-Unfathomable said was passed on from person to person and so on. Then pretend that this all was transcribed by hand and the transcriptions were copied and passed on and copied again and again, etc. Eventually it went to print in many versions, with language translations. Each person along the way would have their own interpretation of what they heard or read. Surely some people would make changes to suit themselves. Surely what we would read about it centuries later would be very different from what it started out to be. Again, we can't possibly have an accurate verbally or written description of The-Unfathomable today, or what it said even if someone allegedly started out with these.
If The-Unfathomable exists and has the necessary powers, and if it wanted us all to understand it, then it would not have its description passed on from person to person. It would have used a much better means. By the way, I am not suggesting that it exists or that anyone ever had an accurate understanding of it at all. I am just using common sense to show another reason why any religious documents about any godish can't possibly be factual.
"Does a godish exist" is an enormously important question, so important, that we should be absolutely positive and be able to state why before we perpetuate the notion as fact. Lying this way is a huge lie to pass onto anyone who might take you seriously. Even if The-Unfathomable exists, we are lying when we say that it exists when we really don't know.
Lots of wars have been fought over different godish concepts. Those who fight this way are fighting over differences of fiction. Some bystanders can be drawn in to these fights, and that is not fair at all.
Something potentially more dangerous than perpetuating a notion of a godish as fact, when we don't know if it exists, is perpetuating anything we imagine, make up, hear, read, see in a movie, see on TV or on a video clip, as a factual message from a godish, or a message supposedly endorsed by a godish. It can be extremely dangerous when something like this is promoted as being absolute truth if someone takes it seriously when we can't possibly know if it true. Isn't this playing godish? Also, if someone mistakenly uses misinformation about a godish and godish-religion as an explanation of something for them-self, then that person may never find out the truth.
Aren't many of the problems we face today related to individuals cruelly enforcing what they say are absolute laws from a godish, as if each of these people is a whole judicial system for their godish-religion? In extreme situations, some people have been killed for disagreeing with their godish-religion promoters.
Enforcing "absolute laws" from a fictional godish can be a form of bullying in response to feeling coerced to follow those or other "absolute laws”. In other words, it can be bullying in response to feeling bullied.
Surely many people can't possibly live by the impossible standards of their godish-religion and their view of a godish, standards that don't take human limitations into consideration. As a result, some people get very resentful when they can't possibly comply. Even worse, some people feel that if they are compelled to live by absolute religious standards, then everyone else damn well better live by them too, or else.
Because everything provided by our godish-religions are human made, then none of it is sacred because of being based on the authority of a godish. There is no way to know anything about The-Unfathomable so it is lying to make up make up absolute rules that a godish supposedly passed out for us to follow.
As human beings, we are free to use our intelligence, common sense, feelings, and think this out. We are free to choose anything that makes sense from our godish-religions, science, philosophies, education, experience and other sources as guides for our lives. As individuals, we are free to reject anything imposed on us by those who insist that we live by senseless rules, senseless customs and religious views, unless we don't put forth the courage that it takes.
Why is a godish's name used in vain when some people get angry? Surely some of this is learned from others. Surely some people have been trying to live by impossible or frustrating goodish-religious practices, and they have been doing this because of godish-religion customs, laws or whatever. Consider the time when one of these people accumulates an enormous amount of frustration, and then one day when they hit a finger with a hammer by mistake or someone cuts in front of them in traffic or whatever. Some of that enormous frustration is expressed by cursing a godish. Someone can become so frustrated that they want to hurt a possible godish with an insult.
Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that The-Unfathomable exists and it loves us. Then it would not put us in a position between a rock and a hard place like this. It would not expect us to live by impossible practices. Again, I am only talking only from a common sense point of view alone.
What about someone who goes to church, a temple, synagogue or other religious-place a lot and tries to live by what he /she learns there, and fails in a basic area of life such as their marriage, job, family etc. because he/she is not living life in ways that he/she really wants to. This person may live somewhat like a robot because he/she lives nearly every moment of their life following orders from an alleged godish. This person may feel like a farm animal of burden and hopeless too. People like this may be too terrified to say so, or even acknowledge it to themselves, but emotionally, they may blame their religious rules and religious fears for their unhappiness. They may emotionally blame a godish, as they perceive it. It is likely that a person like this will take out these frustrations on others.
Using only common sense, it seems to me that if The-Unfathomable exists and loves us, it would not demand that we live in conflict with what we really want to do with our lives. I remind you that that I can't possibly know if the The-Unfathomable exists or not. I am only being logical.
Many godish-religions are harmful to our views of sex. I think that the Catholic godish-religion is one of the worst in this regard. Instead of viewing sex as a great, wonderful, exhilarating natural part of life, an expression of love, an enormous pleasure, a celebration of love, related to having children, and encouraging everyone to learn about it and make the best of it, many Catholics teach that sex education is harmful.
Sex is so suppressed and so taboo by a lot of Catholic teachings, that it frustrates some of their Clergymen to such an extent that a significant number of them become pedophiles. This has been in the news a lot and some Catholic Priests have been sued over this. If The-Unfathomable does exist and it loves us or even if it had only good human decency and understanding, it would not encourage anyone in the Catholic Church, or anyone else, to cause all the harm that it does by promoting terribly cruel views of sex.
Actually, if The-Unfathomable exists, it is not giving us any rule book about sex. We only have what we can learn factually about our bodies, our common sense, our concern and love for ourselves & others, and our sexual feelings to go by. Sex is critical to our reproduction. Understanding sex is extremely important and it is terribly cruel to children by making sure that they don't learn factually about sex and then giving them absolute rules to follow instead.
Because all our godishs and godish-religions include lots of fiction, the Pope really does not represent The-Unfathomable. He only represents a godish as a perpetuated myth regardless of authority some people have assigned to him in their minds. No Clergy can actually represent The-Unfathomable other than to say that we can't know if it exists and could not understand it if it does. I feel strongly that not one of us does, ever has, or ever will represent The-Unfathomable other than that. All the godish-religions and our concepts of any godish are human creations and human alone. We could solve human conflicts better if godish-religions and concepts of godishs didn't interfere with solving them.
In the realm of superstition, we should not give credence to any Bible stories or any religious story as if they really happened the way that they were made up. Here is why: If you tell someone about an event, and it gets passed on from person to person, your message can be very different by the time it comes back to you. Many people add their own spin, exaggeration, interpretation, and perhaps their own moral message, when they pass along something some told to them. Likewise, all the stories in the Bible, and any other religious books or documents passed along over the centuries surely have been changed and embellished many times over, as they were passed from person to person, orally or transcribed. Surely many people added their own two cents' worth, had their own axes to grind and added their own ideas.
Surely Bible stories and other religious stories started out describing some real events, with some real people, and some imaginary characters too. Some of the mythical parts could have been put there when the stories were created, and surely more mythical parts were added later, over centuries, as the stories were passed along.
I can only guess some of the motives of people creating, embellishing, and changing the religious stories. Perhaps some people wanted to entice, scare, or manipulate others who were gullible, or superstitious. Maybe some people wanted the stories to perpetuate messages and exaggerations about their own fears and frustrations. Perhaps some people were trying to warn us about how they thought that we could fail. Perhaps some just wanted to play tricks on us. Maybe some people were in a rotten mood and just wanted to take their frustrations out on others by confusing future generations with some stories or by embellishing them. Maybe some wanted to entertain us, the way fiction writers do. Perhaps some people had a terrible view of humanity and thought that they could improve it by getting others to believe myths or scare them into behaving differently. Surely there are other reasons too. I could not possibly guess all their motives.
I am not saying that there is no wisdom in the Bible or other religious books. Surely there are bits of wisdom there, but we need to realize that even though there is historic value, there is an enormous amount of fiction there too.
For your information, there is a book called Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman. It has these two ISBN numbers: 13: 978-0-62413-9 and 1-: 0-06-073817-0. I will quote here from the front flap of the book jacket of the hard copy:
"Bart Ehrman first began to study the texts of the Bible in their original languages; he started to discover the multitude of mistakes and intentional alterations that had been made by earlier translators. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that the ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact that they had upon the Bible we use today.
What Bart Ehrman wrote in Misquoting Jesus is consistent with what you would expect without ever reading the book.
Bible story of Noah's
By the way, some may feel that I am foolish to even
For the sake of argument, let's pretend Noah's Arc is a fact, and let's assume that all these animals could all be put in a huge boat. By the time a significant number of species were in the boat, some of the animals would have gotten out of control, and some would have died. What about insects? What about dinosaurs? All the nations working together today could not manage this even with modern technology. Think about it!
Also, we know now that just starting out with only one male and one female of each kind of animal to perpetuate a species would force inbreeding before you got significant populations of any kind of animal. That is not healthy or smart. It just did not happen. You don't have to be a genius to figure this out.
It is cruel to teach children or anyone this stuff about
Worse yet, some children will pass these stories along when they grow up, just to keep peace with their friends, family or out of tradition or who knows why?
Here is another example: If there was a real man who started out as the original Jesus Christ, what we read about him in any Bible, or any religious document now, can't possibly resemble the real person man. Surely what we read is like a fairy tale that was changed by lots of individuals as they passing along these stories.
Was Jesus' mother really a virgin? It is possible that if a man's sperm went inside her some other way other than with sex, but it is more likely that this is fiction. Jesus could not have walked on water unless it was ice, a trick, or an illusion of some sort. He could not have used magic to cure Lepers in a few moments? He could not have died and then be revived somehow after his heart and breathing had stopped overnight. These things all involve magic and this story is as credible as a fairy tale. It is cruel to use what has become a made-up character like Jesus Christ, with supernatural powers, as a role model.
Think about people, who really don't know what they are talking about, who have doubts and who have been passing along stories about a godish most of their lives and calling it the truth. Think about what this could do to a person. I expect that someone could get terribly defensive and paranoid about it.
Surely there are many ways that these people might react to their own lying like this, depending on the individual. Maybe some would try to compensate for the mental and emotional pain of their lying with eating disorders, drunkenness, drugs, expressing hostility, and ways that I can't guess. If this liar is a preacher or the likes, he might mix some of the hostility and related paranoia that he feels into his sermons by stirring up all sorts of guilt feelings in those who listen to him/her. A preacher could take out his frustrations by using his sermons to condemn the whole human race in the name of a godish and/or Jesus and/or some sort of Saint.
Surely there are Atheists and Agnostics who have treated people involved with godish-religions terribly, even violently. Atheists and Agnostics can be cruel too. The few times I received religious training as a child, I heard about this, a lot. It works both ways. Surely non godish-religious people can take their frustrations out on godish-religious people, and visa-verse.
As someone moves away from godish-religions in response to feeling put on by those who promote godish-religions and a godish, a person can experience a lot of resentment and anger. Someone may feel this way toward those who had promoted a godish-religion even if they are dead or no longer accessible for other reasons. I have heard about this kind of anger, and I have experienced it too. It can be a challenge not to be cruel to others just because one is struggling with religious challenges in one's own life.
Lots of people are taught by their godish-religion to be helpless and depend on a godish to reach out and guide them instead of using the resources they were born with and develop as they grow up. As an example, some sing songs in church like:
"We are poor little lambs who have lost our way, bah, bah, bah."
Here is another example: The Christian Amazing Grace Hymn:
"How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home."
Rather than list more hymns here to further make my point, check the Internet for hymns and you find that people are encouraged to sing that they are helpless and depend on a godish to reach out and guide them instead of using the resources they were born with and developed throughout their lives.
Here is one of many web sites to check:
It is my opinion that lots of Clergy fancy themselves as being superior to those who attend their sermons, by viewing their attendees as being helpless and needing guidance, without realizing each person actual capabilities are. Getting their attendees to sing songs like I mentioned above reinforces that attitude.
Some take Christian teachings like "turn the other cheek" seriously. Many people get the idea that they are not allowed to express themselves honestly, and must be nice all the time. They can't even defend themselves, but have to stand there and take it if they are lied to, insulted or abused. Surely some people in the Clergy promote this notion for their own safety.
Many people memorize parts of their religious texts as guide lines for their life and in response have a hard time making decisions based on their honest feelings. Many don't know what it is like to live a real live life, doing what they really want to. Life for them can be a complete act directed by their godish-religion rule book, be it a Bible or what ever.
It is my opinion that most people who call them selves religious need love, especially those who are the most frustration, most confused and those who lie about it the most to conform to their godish-religion. Think about feeling compelled to act exactly your religious background tells you to, while you are holding back your real feelings. A person like this is living a lie and that can hurt terribly. A person like this needs love enormously.
Also it is my opinion that most Clergy need love especially because they have spent a lot of their life telling others how to live using myths. Surely lots of people experience agony worrying about the credibility of what they have been doing and feel hopeless about ever squaring with those they have associated with.
Another big problem for some people is that they are acting out their lives out to pass a religious test to gain a real life in an "after-life". Some Clergy tell them that they are "just passing though". In other words, they are told that the purpose of their life is to watch their step in order to appease a godish so that they can live for real in an after-life.
What about people who have assumed that human beings don't naturally care about one another? What about those who believe that everyone must have a godish-religion that threatens him or her into being decent people? What if they ascribe to a faith that encourages fear of a godish, or threats of punishment like hell, or promises of eternal life as a reward for doing good deeds? If someone's godish-religion leads one to believe that human beings don't inherently care about one another, this person is likely to lose confidence in what really is good in human nature, and what is naturally good in himself/herself. People like this need lots of love. It is my hope that each person in a position like this gains their own individual insights about how to make amends to the rest of the world. I wish deeply that everyone in this situation finds the love that they need.
Isn't a baby born loving its parents and those around him/her naturally? Isn't it terrible to teach a baby that it is not worthy and not loving unless he/she believes that a godish is real, and must act according to some godish-religion? Isn't it wrong to confuse a child by telling them that no one else is worthy too, unless they participate in a specific godish-religion? Which godish-religion should he/she choose? Think of the frustrations and pain a child can go through, getting confused this way.
What about promises of life after death? Surely many, including me, would like to live after death if it comes along, especially if it is more fun and pleasurable, but how can we know there is a life after death? Knowing that all the godish-religions promising a life after death are made up, contributed to, changed, embellished, and perpetuated by individuals with all sorts of motives - how can we take it as fact from these sources that there is life of any kind after death? To be truthful to our children, or anyone else, we should say that all we know is that we have one life for sure, even though we might wish for more.
Making up or perpetuating something about a life after death is a big lie to tell anyone. Surely some people think that they can comfort others by making up something about a life after death. Please don't encourage someone to stop living this life to the fullest in anticipation of a next, supposedly better, life after death.
Because we don't know if there is a life after death, the life we live now is most precious. It is our only sure chance we have to accomplish our goals. It is our sure opportunities to be honest with those we love, spend time with them, and do things for them. It is our sure chance to live life to the fullest. It is our sure chance to make this a better world. I won't perpetuate anything that I hear or read that promotes that there is a life after death unless I am absolutely positive there is and I can tell you why there is. Otherwise, it would be a big lie to pass on.
What about attributing something we don't understand to magic? Using magic as an explanation gets in the way of understanding what is really happening and finding real solutions. For example, a sick person may be under the delusion that his sickness is a godish's punishment for something that he/she did and may not even seek out medical care.
How golden is the golden rule? ”Do onto others as you would have others do onto you” I know that this sounds real good, but I have a better one that makes better sense to me and that is “Treat people right and express yourself honestly”.
First, let’s look at “Do onto other as you would have others do onto you”
Surely there are endless examples where there is no harm by using the golden rule.
As an example, if you don't want to be robbed, then don't rob anyone else.
If you don't want to be lied to, then don't lie to others.
If you don't want others to make a lot of noise when you are sleeping, then don't make a lot of noise when others are sleeping.
I could go on and on and surely there are an unlimited number of times when there is no harm done by using the golden rule.
Now let’s look at examples where the golden rule does not make sense:
It means that that a drug addict wanting others to share their needles with you then you should share your needles with other drug addicts. That is not a good idea because it spreads disease.
It means that if you don't want to be reported for speeding, then don't report others who speed either. Hey, it is better to report dangerous driving and take your lumps if you get caught speeding.
It means that if someone is abusing you in some way, then you should treat the person abusing you very, very nice because that is the way you wish you were being treated. In fact, it is better to make it known that you don't like being abused, even if have to yell and get really pissed off. Standing there being nice while some is abusing you makes you a target for scapegoating.
It means that an alcoholic who wishes that others would buy him a drink should buy drinks for other alcoholics.
In other words, you have to act your life out and hold back at times with out using common sense to apply the “golden rule”. I like “treat People right and be yourself” better because it is natural and you don't have to stop and think about it all the time as you live your life.
So why did I bring this up? When I was small child growing up, and when I got accused of doing things that I did not do, I wished that I would not be picked on that way. I would try to apply the golden rule, which meant that I wanted the person accusing me of something to stop yelling and be nice to me. I had to hold back how I felt and be nice to that person even though I want to yell out “I did not do it.” Acting the golden rule seemed to confirm to those accusing me of something that I had not actually done what I was being accused of. Had I not tried to apply the golden rule, I would have made a real fuss and at times. I may have expressed the anger I felt when someone accused me of something, just to annoy me.
Part of my life has been trying to put aside the bits and pieces that I got from religion and the golden rule, and express myself honestly. Time and time again, being honest beats the golden rule hands down for me. It irks me every time I hear someone preaching the golden rule as if it is an answer to everything. Again, the rule is really not so golden every time.
So, one could argue with me by saying that I should only apply the golden rule where it makes sense, and I agree. The problem is that I did not consider that when I was just a few years old. I took it on faith that the golden rule was really golden and applied all the time. Trying to live by it became a habit that has been hard to break later in life. I have to work at being honest and treating others right instead. I keep working at it.
Here are my thoughts about the natural laws, often called laws of nature:
“Natural laws" really are our attempt to describe nature, but clearly our” natural laws" don't govern it. That is why I prefer to call the way nature works "natural phenomena" or "the characteristics-of-nature".
By the way, I am sure that most Scientists, Physicists, and Engineers understand that natural laws are only our attempt to describe nature and not related to religious laws or legal laws. Surely there are lots of people who feel that calling them “natural phenomena” or “charities-of-nature” is not necessary.
It is impossible for any of us to have a complete and clear understanding about the characteristics-of-nature. For one reason, there is just too much of it. There will always be infinite abundance of the characteristics-of-nature for anyone who wants to dig in, learn about it, and sort it out. Also, much of our understanding of nature is really analogies and models of it. No matter how long and hard we try, we will never understand very much of the characteristics-of-nature and some of our understanding will always depend on models and analogies.
The characteristics-of-nature are absolute and ever present. You are in tune with characteristics-of-nature, no matter what you do. You are when you cook, burn your toast, drive a car, ride a bicycle, throw a ball, walk, breathe, swim, dance, fall down a flight of stairs, sing, use a computer, fall into a sink hole, or do anything at all. I feel confident that if everything that has ever been humanly discovered about the characteristics-of-nature was stored in a huge library or computer memory, it would only represent a tiny, tiny bit of the total, and we would still depend largely on analogies and models of it.
Even though we can't ever fully understand all of the characteristics-of-nature, let's pretend for a moment that we can for the sake of argument. In that case, we could describe what happens naturally with every particle, molecule, planet, star and galaxy, too. Again, the characteristics-of-nature do not govern; the characteristics-of-nature ARE what happens naturally.
We learn a
lot about the characteristics-of-nature just from experience. We all know that
we can live full lives without taking physics, chemistry, or mechanical
engineering classes. Think about children who do remarkable tricks on skate boards as
an example. Surely they understand some of the characteristics-of-nature from
experience and are confident in what they know, but many can't explain
Getting back to the question: What is the total power throughout all existence?
Surely the characteristics-of-nature represent an enormous power to us, if not the only power, of this magnitude. None of us are qualified to say that The-Unfathomable created, supersedes, or shares this power. We simply can't find out.
Now what about some of the world's most significant problems?
First I must say that I am just one person, and I can't possibly give solutions to all the world's problems. At best, I can address a few that I have noticed that are significant. Stating and finding solutions to all the world's problems will take a lot more than you will find here in An Honest Testament. It will take significant effort from people all over the world, and carrying out those solutions will take cooperation. Even so, I am contributing something significant here, and I hope it gets others being honest with themselves about godish-religions and godishs too. Let’s all admit that if there is anything supernatural, then it is The-Unfathomable, which means that we can't possibility understand it.
Too many people have so much anxiety over making a living that there is not enough energy left for helping others solve our most serious problems. To these people, day-to-day survival is such a big concern that the problems of the earth's overpopulation, pollution, and global warming are lesser concerns.
Also, significant numbers of people insist on coercing everyone to agree and participate with their godish-religion, and that is a huge problem. Some individuals try to integrate their own godish-religion into schools and into all branches of government. They want to limit the media to their own religious perspective. The problem with this is that many people involved with different godish-religions are acting as if only their religious rules are correct, and they demand that everyone conform to them, thus perpetuating dangerous hostilities. The fact is that no godish-religion can be a totally credible guide for living because of the fiction in them all.
The frustration, anxieties, and conflicts that come out of all these hostilities distract other people who would just as soon be bystanders. Huge numbers of people are so distracted that overpopulation, pollution, and global warming are lesser concerns to them.
Wars related to religious conflicts are difficult barriers to resolving these problems because they distract many people from finding solutions to the other global problems.
We are at a critical time, when human overpopulation is so serious that we are using up natural resources faster than they can be replenished. Cheap petroleum is running out, and our indiscriminate use of petroleum products is a danger to our very existence. We are affecting the weather, causing droughts, causing fires, and aggravating hurricanes. We are poisoning the air, land, and waters and killing off some of everything living in them. Those are just some of the ways global warming is making things worse. Global warming has so much momentum that it will continue to get worse for centuries, no matter what we do. It will take enormous effort and cooperation to slow down this man-made disaster, and turn it around.
This is especially complicated because global
dimming. This caused by particles from coal plants and other sources
reduce getting into clouds. The clouds in turn reduce global warming by
reflecting more sunlight back into space. Also global dimming causes rain
clouds to move northwards which is related to the famines in
Millions of people are trying to do something about this all over the world, both individually and through thousands of organizations. However, many political leaders and corporations are in the way instead of being an asset to fixing the enormous problems with the earth's environment.
Unfortunately, a significant number of political leaders all over the world are terrified of one another, and are consumed with trying to manipulate and scare one another for the sake of their national security, their own security, and the security of their families. The distrust among them is enormous. Also, too many political leaders are trying to make their own specific religious absolutes into absolutes for everyone everywhere.
Time is running out. If the The-Unfathomable exists, obviously it has not prevented us from making our world into a worse place to live in. If we let global warming and global dimming continue unchecked, they could slowly kill off the human population until there are not enough of us left to make it worse anymore.
Those who created, changed, embellished, and perpetuated godish-religions and concepts of a godish (and the related notions of threats and rewards) are not helping. It takes trust to get the kind of cooperation needed, and I don't know how we can get this kind of trust by lying to control others with godish-religions. This kind lying can be propaganda by those who view most others as their enemies.
I know that many people involved with godish-religions think that their involvement makes the world a better place. Some people think that their godish-religion is necessary to scare, manipulate, and motivate others into being the sort of people they want to be around. Those People who have used godish-religion(s) all their lives to control the behavior of others, will be terrified of doing something different and will be lost at first without it.
Many people involved with godish-religions donate money to feed starving people and help others. I really don't want to discourage anyone from helping others who need help. Here is a thought for those in this position: You are most likely helping others from your heart when you're not scared into it or compelled to do so by a godish-religion. By saying this, I am not denying that some religious people are helping others sincerely from their heart. We are all individuals, so there is no way I can generalize.
What are my suggestions to everyone who is or will be participating to solve these conflicts?
I wish that I could end this on a high note saying that if we just do "X" (this being the solution to all these problems), everything will work out and we can solve the global warming problem, the energy problems, the overpopulation problems, and that all wars would end. I don't have a pat answer to what "X" is. I am only one person and only human, so I alone can't possibly solve all the world's problems.
Surely part of X is what will become of all our religious-places. Here are my fantasies about these:
If I had my way, something special will happen to all our Churches, Mosques, Oratories, Parishes, Sanctuaries, Shrines, Synagogues, Tabernacles, Oratories, Parishes, and Shrines etc. etc... I am calling\all these, and anything similar, "religious-places" to make writing about them simpler.
All the people who head up these kinds of religious-places would stop using fictional "messages" from a godish as the ultimate of advice for everyone. What I mean by "people who head up" is anyone who decides what is told to others about a godish, how to interpret any religious text or what the customs of their godish-religions are. I am going to call them "religious-dictators" here because they are people who attempt to dictate to the rest of us about what they demand that our godish-religious attitudes should be.
Surely as time goes by, some religious-dictators will realize that they are full of lies, and will create their own processes and groups to work at cleaning up their lies. Surely lots of these people sincerely want to be helpful to their community, so it is certain that lots of them will realize that the pain from their loss of self-respect is in their way. Surely some will stop trying to use some a godish or godish-religion to scare or motivate us all into obedience.
As the fictional "messages" from the fictional godishs stop, it would easier for lots of us to give more credence to common sense, reality, and it would encourage people to rely on their own abilities instead. Fewer people would go though life trying to reconcile fictional messages from a godish and they would be freer to live life to its fullest. It would make it easier for anyone to talk about their discoveries about nature, themselves and life in general, without "religious dictators" feeling threatened and taking action to stop threats posed by those simply being honest.
Before I go into more detail about what I would like to see happen to all the religious places, I remind you that I am just one person, with only my perspective. I can't possibly tell you what the best scenario is. I can only tell you my fantasy about it is.
My ideal is that religious-places become unrelated to godish-religion and godishs. I propose that the crosses and religious symbols come down from all the religious-places and be replaced with smiley faces as they become community-hangouts. Also, I propose that all be painted with patterns of colors to show that they are places of opportunity, having fun, and a safe place to be.
I propose that religious-places would be made into what I call community-hangouts. There would be study rooms, exercise rooms, running tracks, gardens, swimming pools, sewing machines, wood shops, machine shops, libraries, computers, toys, and all sorts of materials that people can use to build things, make garments, and experiment with and so on. There would be places to write, sing, and do just about any kind of activity. There would be first aid classes, and classes to cover any kind emergencies. There would be lots of video recording of previous classes. There would be people who are experts in lots of fields available to give help for anything imaginable. There would be free stuff exchanges, where one could drop off things that they don't need any more and others could simply take these things home. There would be public gardens so anyone could volunteer and get their hands dirty.
There would be no junk foods at all at these places. There would be no sugar sodas or candy as an example. Foods would not be over-salted or over-spiced to make them appealing. These places would be paradises of healthy food and healthy living. There would be no smoking or street-drugs at these places.
Rather than having a confessional like the Catholics have, people could go to the community-hangouts to get help confessing directly to those how they lied to, stole from, cheated or abused in any way. They could get others to go with them, for support, when they confess. They could put their confessions on a web site to the whole world to view. What better way is there for someone to square with the world?
Children would not be singing songs that teaching them that they are inherently helpless and incapable. They would not be taught to wait for a second coming of Christ, or to just pass-though before they start living their lives for real, or anything like that. Instead, they would be given the most opportunity to excel in every way that they wish to and encouraged to live the life they are living now to its fullest.
Instead of being preached at about how to live one's life, using supposed messages from some a godish interpreted by religious-dictators who claim to have some godish's authority, life would be lived using reality, honesty, and common sense by people who make no claims to being any more than real people. Children would learn to live life by the examples of others living their lives being helpful, instead of being preached at that they are worthless or evil until they accept a godish, accept Jesus and things like that does not make sense. Children would be recognized for what they really are and their innate capabilities.
Part of X is changing what goes on in our prisons. Again, I am giving my fantasy here and can't possible tell you what the best scenario is. If I had my way, the prisons would no longer be places of punishment. They would become somewhat like community-hangouts instead but isolated so those serving time there would not be a danger to the rest of us. People who go to prison are either people who did things out of extreme desperation or people who were sent there by mistake. They would work within the prisons doing all the cooking, maintenance and most everything to keep the prisons going. Everyone would have a job.
Those who were extremely desperate would find a safe place, with medical help, and everything that they need to make amends for what they went there for. They could get education there, learn a trade, get exercise, and make friends until they are released. People who were sent to prison by mistake would be able to live a decent life there until their innocence is discovered, so when they get out, they would not be so bitter about their time there.
There would be no executions for one main reason, that being that it is impossible for any Justice system to be perfect so there is always a chance that someone would be executed for something that that they did not do. We would not take that chance.
Those considered too dangerous to mingle with others in prison would not be put in the kind of solitary confinement we have now, but instead would be confined in a way that is not meant to punish them but only to keep them from hurting others in the prison. They would still have access to good food, exercise, education, classes on a TV screen, fresh air, and everything that can they can possibly have without endangering anyone.
I am sure that "X" is not begging a godish or The-Unfathomable to fix everything seeming wrong with this world. We would accept that the state of the world is up to us. When praying is a substitute for action, it is burying one's head in the sand and hoping that something supernatural will step in. It is better to put forth the effort, study, work, courage, and honesty necessary to fix things in a way that will make a difference to one's own life and life in general.
One possibility is that if The-Unfathomable is real, it does not interfere with our lives at all. Perhaps we are totally free to love others out of our heart instead of being compelled to as most Clergy would have you believe. Even though I hate to speculate about The-Unfathomable, this seems so reasonable and such a fantastic strategy, that I just had to mention it. This is purely a thought on my part because I can't possibly know if the The-Unfathomable even exists and could not possibly know anything about it if it does.
Sometimes I feel that the proof of our freedom is that we all are free to invent a definition of a godish, and we are free to embellish on what was already invented in any way we choose, and that is true whether The-Unfathomable exists or not. Surely this happens or there would not be so many different godish-religions.
Surely if we put forth the courage, we are free to be honest about anything related to concepts of godishs. We don't have to say something is true if we don't have a good reason to believe it is true. We are free to say we don't know and we are free to think carefully about this whole topic, unless we are confused, terribly frightened, or don't even try. We are free to use the concept of The-Unfathomable to think about this carefully, admitting that we can't know if something supernatural exist or not, and we are admitting that we can't know anything about it if it does. We are free to admit that all our concepts of godishs are human creations and myths.
It is huge lie to pass along information about a godish, unless we know something factually about it. It would not make any difference even if the The-Unfathomable is real, because we can't know anything about it to pass along. Making up or passing along anything about a godish as if it were true, is a big lie.
Part of "X" involves letting go of the supposed absolutes that we got from various godish-religions, and using integrity, our own natural humanity, caring, and common sense instead, and to live our lives for real instead of acting it out.
Part of "X" is realizing that because everything provided by our godish-religions are man/woman made, and even though some may be helpful, none is sacred because it is all linked to fictional godishs. We are truly free to reject any of it that is senseless and harmful. We are free to learn anything factual any way we can. Our limitations include how honest we choose to be and how much courage we put forth. Naturally how much danger one faces when being honest about all this depends on where one lives and who one associates with.
Surely there are bits of wisdom in most if not all godish-religions, but we must think carefully to find and understand them. Surely some individuals do find something that applies specifically to them through their own interpretation and even if their interpretation is very different for most others. In my opinion, specific sentences could trigger something that they already felt, but had not put to words for themselves.
Part of "X" is encouraging the younger people to use their own humanity, caring, thinking, learning and common sense to solve the world‘s problems, and for the older generations to give them the latitude they need to do this. Then they are less likely to make the same mistakes that are habits for some of us older people.
Surely part of "X" involves telling those who are making things better how much that we appreciate it. This is an easier part, but it is important to realize that buttering up to someone by lying to appease them is different from honestly expressing real appreciation.
Part of "X" is accepting that we are all human and not expecting any of us to be superman, or inhuman. We can't read minds. We can't use magic. Some people are good at creating an illusion of magic with card tricks and other tricks, but we know this is only entertainment and illusion. Again, we are only human.
Part of "X" is not blaming anyone for something that someone else did, and making sure that our legal systems don't perpetuate misguided blame either.
Part of "X" is realizing that millions of people today still grow up with very little factual understanding, and that it is understandable for some of them to think that magic is part of life. Let's not use any of these people as scapegoats.
Part of "X" is for us to face the embarrassment by coming clean when we lie as opposed to being liars who remains steadfast, resolute, and secretive about their lies and mistakes in the attempt to maintain a false credibility in the eyes of others. Let's come clean instead.
For sure, part of "X" is not making up a new godish-religion about a godish and it is not perpetuating anything that we don't know as fact.
It is better not to make up an explanation for something we don't understand to comfort others because what you tell them could be in the way of finding out what is making them uncomfortable.
It is better not to give anyone something to believe in that we don't know as fact ourselves because it is a lie. If they take you seriously, then they may live by the lie until they can sort it out for themselves.
It is better not make up godish-religions and not to perpetuate existing ones about a godish as fact to manipulate or scare others into behaving the way we might wish them to behave. If they take you seriously, then they may loose confidence in what they really are.
It is better to pass on only what we do know so we don't confuse others - especially kids - because it is important to give them an honest starting place to grow from.
It is better to be embarrassed at how little we do know, than to pass on something we make up, pretending that we know. Not only do we risk loosing the respect of others, we loose some self-respect too.
It is better not to pass on wishful thinking as fact because it gets in the way of fact.
Part of "X" is giving The-Unfathomable the most reverence and respect that we possibly can by not lying about it in any way at all. Let's not put words in its mouth and let's give up any perceived advantage we think we have by making up or perpetuating anything made up about a godish to use as a weapon or tool to scare or motivate others into behaving in ways that we prefer. Let's carry this further by admitting that we can't possibly know if The-Unfathomable is real or not.
By being honest about all this, not only are we giving respect and reverence to The-Unfathomable, just in case it exists, we are giving reverence and respect to everyone too.
Rudy Stefenel 2/2/2013
P.S., Here are my qualifications for writing An Honest Testament:
Based on all the stupid and regretful things that I have done throughout my life, and all the lying that I have done out of cowardliness, any resume that I produced would not look good for writing An Honest Testament.
I learned a lot from my mistakes, so that gives me some credibility.
The way I accomplished what I did here is by working at being completely honest, and making sense. It has been a challenge to make this clear to most readers. I editing what I wrote here hundreds of times to change what seemed like babbling into something that I hope is understandable. I am human so regardless of hard I try; I may not have stated every part of this clearly enough. The words that I choose to write this may not mean the same thing to everyone reading it.
So it is important that you take what makes sense from An Honest Testament, only because it makes sense.
If you feel that I did something that you could have done yourself but better, then why not stick your neck out and take it a step farther? An Honest Testament can't possibly say enough and clearly enough so there is unlimited opportunity available.
Surely I will be bad mouthed terribly and accused of being an anti-Christ, a sinner, crazy, an imbecile, out of my mind, criminal, and who knows what? What I wrote here will be called blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege and the likes. Surely some will try to distort the credibility of what I wrote terribly. For these reasons, it was all the more important that An Honest Testament stand on its own.
Surely I will be hated by those who are hiding behind a pile of lies related to godish-religions, and those who won't put forward the courage to even start digging them selves out. I will be hated by those who have dug themselves deeper into a bigger pile of lies than mine was and who have a bigger challenge than I did. I wish I could reach out to those in some way. Their success in cleaning up their act is potentially more significant than what I have accomplished so far, if they pull it off. I hope that they get lots of pats on the back and glory for their successes along the way.
I wish I could reach out to help those who will keep on trying to get everyone else to live within an imaginary world that fits within the confines of their lying rather than take the needed steps to come clean. I don't know how to make it easier for people who keep on lying about this except to say that baby steps are better than no steps.
I know that there will be those who will want to take their frustrations out on the messenger (me) when they get the truth because I have seen it happen. I hope that those who feel like doing that will take some deep breaths consider this: We are really in the same boat because lying was a habit of mine, and every moment I communicate with someone is a new challenge for honesty and courage for me. How about taking some challenges yourself?