Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Religion, aspects.  ---  .This section is about various aspects of religion.  Topics include: ( ) Afterlife.  ( ) Cosmology.  ( ) Cults, sects and religions.  ( ) Evil.  ( ) Faith.  ( ) God.  ( ) Mystery.  ( ) Prayer.  ( ) Ritual.  ( ) Religious texts.  ( ) Spirit, soul.  ---  1/24/2006

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  (1) A hypothetical case: Person A loves person B more than anything in the world.  Person A has led a very good life and goes to heaven.  In heaven, as a reward, person A spends all their days with person B.  However, on earth person B hates person A more than anything else in the world.  Person B has led a very bad life and goes to hell.  In hell, as punishment, person B has to spend all their time with person A.  (2) The arguments: Really now, person B cannot be in heaven with person A, because person B is evil.  Person A cannot be in hell with person B, because person A is good.  So perhaps the nature of the afterlife is a situation where each person gets their own personal individual version of heaven or hell, complete with virtual copies of all the people they love (for heaven) or hate (for hell)?  This would seem the case, as opposed to some communal form of heaven and hell where all the people (good and bad) are together, which is what most people seem to believe in, and which we have shown is self-contradictory.  Heaven and hell, as traditionally conceived, cannot be for real, because the good people and the bad people cannot be together at the same time in the same place.  And they also cannot be in two places at the same time.  (3) The Audrey reply: Maybe heaven and hell is the same place, where the good people are enjoying everything (even the bad things), and the evil people are not enjoying anything (even the good things).  ---  5/20/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  Hell.  Views on.  (1) There is vs. isn't a hell.  There is vs. isn't a devil.  Nature of both hell and devil.  Arguments pro and contra both.  (2) Hell don't exist, men create their own hells.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  Man does not have an eternal soul vs. does.  There is no afterlife vs. there is an afterlife.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  Most people do not want to die and thus cease to exist.  So religion says, "You will not die.  You will live forever.  And as a bonus, the place you will live forever in will be perfect".  Thus heaven was created.  The appeal was immense and immediate.  ---  12/26/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  Options.  (1) Heaven.  (2) Purgatory or limbo.  (3) Hell.  (4) Reincarnation and karma.  (5) Nonexistence.  (6) Any of above forever vs. limited time span.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  Traditional conceptions of heaven are total b.s.  Either that or we are all going to hell.  I can just see getting to heaven and seeing someone and saying "that asshole got up here?"  I don't want to see no one in heaven.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  After life.  We should choose to do good acts simply because they are good, not to receive a reward.  We should choose to not do bad acts simply because they are bad, not to avoid punishment.  If it were otherwise then we would do bad acts if we could get away with them, and we would not do good acts if there was no reward involved.  Thus heaven and hell are baloney, because heaven and hell are all about reward and punishment.  But reward and punishment should not be the basis for our ethics system.  ---  5/13/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  Afterlife.  (1) People don't want to believe their loved ones are dead and gone forever.  People don't want to believe their own selves will die and be gone forever.  (2) People say they can't be sure their loved ones are dead and gone forever.  People say they can't be sure their own selves will die and be gone forever.  (3) If we could be sure or if it were preferable to be dead and gone forever then people would obsess less about it.  (4) Grief and uncertainty thus seem to be the roots of religion.     PART TWO.  (1) I don't feel it necessary that I or anyone live forever.  It does not strike me as desirable.  (2) There is no evidence that anyone lives after death.  (3) So religion is not compelling.  ---  4/15/2002

Religion, aspects.  ---  Afterlife.  The thought of one's own death with no subsequent afterlife is primarily an affront to the ego, an affront to vanity and an affront to one's self-esteem.  ---  11/19/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Before life we did not exist vs. we did exist.  Existed on this earth in another life.  Existed somewhere else, some other form.  Existed as us vs. existed as someone or something else.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cosmology.  Cause and end of universe.  Physics view: big bang origin and heat death or cold death end.  Religious view: creation stories and apocalypse stories.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cosmology.  How and why the universe began is the biggest question of them all.  ---  06/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cosmology.  Some people wish the following.  (1) There has to be some (happy, just, perfect) ending that everything is hurtling toward.  Some people yearn for happy endings.  Some people feel that it can't all end as nothing.  (2) Some people wish that beyond what humans can achieve, there has to be a reason and order in the universe; and that it can't just be meaningless chaos.  ---  6/22/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cosmology.  The big argument for religion.  How did the universe start?  Which leads to the big question, how did god start?  Which leads to the big question, how does something come out of nothing?  The answer to all these questions may be that the concepts we use in them are antiquated or just not right.  ---  04/10/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  Creationism is the belief that some god created the Earth approximately ten thousand years ago.  Creationism stems from a belief in the literal interpretation of the bible.  Creationists do not think evolution is true.  Creationism should not be taught in public schools, because creationism is false, and evolution is true.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  Creationism.  Intelligent design is wrong.  Intelligent design is a view that believes that an organ as complicated as the eye could not evolve without an intelligent force guiding it.  An organ like the eye can and does develop without an intelligent designer.  An organ like the eye can and does develop through the process of evolution.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  Evolution is not "only a theory".  Evolution is supported by factual evidence.  The fossil record.  Carbon dating.  DNA evidence shows a trail of evolution.  Creationists think some god ten thousand years ago created the fossil record, carbon dating and DNA evidence, to make it appear like the earth was older than it actually was.  Preposterous.  ---  9/2/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  If polls show that a majority of people believe in creationism then a majority of people are wrong.  At one point in time the majority of people believed the earth was flat and the majority of people were wrong.  Creationists today have much in common with the flat-earthers of years ago.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  Its the Scopes Monkey Trial all over again.  See the movie "Inherit the Wind".  Next it may be the Salem Witch Trials all over again.  See the play "The Crucible".  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  Public schools are not the place to promote religious beliefs.  Public schools are a place for reason, knowledge, evidence, and science.  Creationism is a religious belief and should not be taught in public schools.  Evolution is science and should be taught in public schools.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Creationism.  What would cause a person to believe in creationism?  (1) Willful ignorance.  Some people refuse to learn about evolution.  (2) Dim bulbs.  Some people do not understand evolution even after reading about evolution.  (3) Blind belief.  Many people believe that creationism is true based on a blind belief in the bible.  These people mistakenly favor blind belief over reason.  (4) People dislike the idea of having evolved from apes.  People don't' want to consider themselves descendants of animals.  That is a form of species-ism.  People don't want to consider themselves descendants of black people who migrated out of Africa millions of years ago.  That is a form of racism.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cults, sects and religions.  Cult dynamics.  Dominant, power hungry, money hungry, leader.  Submissive, passive, believers, obeyers, insecure, fearful, followers.  ---  5/14/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cults, sects and religions.  Is a cult a small religion or is a religion a large cult?  Yes.  ---  5/14/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cults, sects and religions.  Some people say that Protestant sects (ex. Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) are all part of the same christian religion because they all believe in the same god.  Actually, all religions are sects in that all religions believe in god.  You can call them all sects or you can call them separate religions.  Its semantics.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Cults, sects and religions.  When they are new and small they are called cults.  When they are big and old they are called religions.  Its semantics.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Evil, devil, hell.  (1) The problem of evil: if god is all powerful, why does he let evil exist in the world?  (2) The problem of the devil: if god is all powerful, how could the devil exist, a sort of anti-god?  (3) The problem of hell: if god is all powerful, and if he loves us, and if he forgives us, how could we go to hell?  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Evil.  (1) Stupid, crazy and evil are three separate factors that can occur in any combination.  (2) Some people argue whether it is possible if anyone can commit evil or whether people always act in their own self interests doing what they think is good.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Evil.  If you believe in 100% freewill then evil can exist.  If you do not believe in 100% freewill, that is, if you believe we are determined, then evil does not exist.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Evil.  The religious problem of evil is not why do people do bad things, that is the problem of ethics, psychopathology, ignorance, selfishness, fanaticism, intolerance, etc.  (2) The religious problem of evil is why would a divine being allow bad things to happen.  Maybe there is no divine being as we imagine it.  ---  4/15/2002

Religion, aspects.  ---  Faith and mystery.  (1) The argument some religious people use for faith: somethings we don't and never will understand (mystery).  We know what things fit into this category and don't.  Don't even try to figure them out.  Don't try to think.  Have faith (see faith).  (2) The problem with faith: eventually you stop thinking all together.  Instead one should think, be philosophical, scientific - on every subject.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Faith based living.  People who believe things contrary to logical reasoning and scientific evidence will eventually cause themselves needless suffering out of ignorance.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Faith: blind belief, blind obedience (see mystery).  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Faith.  Hope is not the same thing as faith.  We need hope to live.  Hope is future-oriented belief thoughts.  Hope also has an emotional component.  (2) Belief can be warranted or unwarranted, grounded or ungrounded.  Groundless belief is when there is no evidence and no arguments one way or the other.  ---  11/19/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Faith.  Sometimes people use the term "faith" when they actually mean things like hope, belief, trust, etc.  People are often conceptually confused about the term "faith".  Faith is blind belief on religious topics, often contrary to evidence and contrary to reason.  Faith is not the same thing as belief, hope or trust.  (1) Belief.  We all have many beliefs on many topics.  Belief is usually based on evidence and reason.  We call such beliefs supported, warranted or justified.  (2) Trust.  We trust in other people.  We rely on them to do things.  We have some degree of confidence that they will do a thing.  Sometimes the term trust is used in a non-social sense, like when someone says they trust in the laws of nature.  (3) Hope.  Sometimes we hope against the odds.  Sometimes we maintain hope even in the face of seemingly certain defeat, perhaps so as not to be "faked out" by circumstances.  (4) You need belief, hope and trust to live.  You do not need faith.  ---  11/19/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  God as love, is a god you love.  God as anger, is a god you fear.  ---  04/01/1994

Religion, aspects.  ---  God is an imaginary friend for grownups.  ---  10/30/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  (1) God as creator: of universe, of souls.  (2) God as judge.  (3) Omniscient: sees all.  (4) Omnipotent: all powerful.  (5) Outside world vs. in world.  (6) We can know something about him vs. we can't.  (7) Doesn't tell us what to do vs. does.  (8) Doesn't show us what to do vs. does.  (9) Makes mistakes and needs to be forgiven.  (10) Just another jerk we have to deal with.  Just another jerk I have to deal with.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  (1) There is no god vs. there is a god.  (2) God exists vs. doesn't exist.  (3) What is his nature.  Proofs of it.  (4) What's his relationship to man: uninvolved vs. involved.  (5) Influences minds (inspiration) vs. matter (miracles).  (6) All powerful vs. limited power.  (7) All pervasive vs. not.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  (1) Why is god called he, not she?  That is sexist.  (2) Why is god called father?  That is ageist.  (3) Why was Jesus a guy and not a gal?  God could have sent a gal named Jessica or Christy.  She could have been a supermodel instead of a carpenter.  That would have added appeal to the religion.  ---  12/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Divine: god or devil.  Views of what the divine is.  Views of what divine says we should do and why, and arguments for same.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Do you believe in god?  Isn't it more appropriate to ask if you believe in cod?  Fish is good for your health.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Four views of God.  (1) God as separate totally vs. (2) sees/knows us but doesn't influence, interfere, or intervene vs. (3) sees/knows and influences vs. (4) actually is in us.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  I believe we should be polite to god, civil to god.  ---  05/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  If a god does exist they should call him Moot.  Because the question of god is Moot.  ---  1/21/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  If a person imagined, and talked to, and expected a response from any other imaginary figment they would be judged insane and committed to the loony bin.  But if a person believes in, talks to, and expects a response from god, they are called normal and healthy and good.  It doesn't make sense.  It is not just neurosis, it is psychosis.  ---  08/24/1994

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  If god created us in his image, then maybe he makes mistakes just like we do.  Maybe god needs to be forgiven too.  ---  01/10/1989

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  If god knows everything, he knows what will be, and knows we will end up in hell, so why did he bother creating us?  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  If you believe there is a god who tells us as individuals to be good, or who told us 1000 years ago to be good, then you probably believe there is a devil who tells us as individuals to do evil, or who told us 1000 years ago to do evil.  So then when you do bad you can say "the devil made me do it".  This does not hold up in court.  It is an abdication of taking responsibility for your actions.  And so belief in a god who tells us to do good, or who makes us do good, is an abdication of responsibility in the same way.  ---  12/26/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Maybe god wants us to get over religion.  God's self esteem is fine.  He does not need people thanking him and telling him how much they love him.  "Stop fussing over me and take care of each other", god might say.  God is like a Hollywood star and some religious people are like fans.  Stop stalking god!  ---  1/3/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy.  Elves, Sprites, Pixies, Gnomes.  Witches,  Angels, God.  All figments of the confused.  All figments of the deluded.  All figments of the ignorant.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Santa Claus, the easter bunny, the tooth fairy and leprechauns; there is no scientific proof they exist.  There are stories that they exist.  Some people believe they exist.  But they don't exist.  So it is with god.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  So what if god exists.  God does not, and should not, demand worship from you.  God would rather you spend your time helping others and yourself than praying thanksgiving to him.  ---  09/26/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  The concept of god is the ultimate abstract creation by man.  Man is an animal that revels in his ability to think abstractly.  God is abstract thinking taken to the nth degree.  ---  4/7/1998

Religion, aspects.  ---  God.  Who says the gods of the ancient Romans and Greeks were not real?  They were real to the ancient Romans and Greeks.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Holidays.  (See: Sociology > Holidays).  ---  12/30/2003

Religion, aspects.  ---  Holy, sacred.  (1) In a society, or for an individual, something can have such survival importance, monetary value, actual or perceived utility, rareness, or irreplaceableness, that it comes to be perceived as sacred or holy.  (2) For example, a tradition developed about saying grace before eating because food was not easy to get, nor guaranteed to be able to be found.  Thus, having food was a cause for celebration, thanksgiving, and keeping in mind its importance and dearness.  Also some spells were cast to try to keep the food coming in the future.  ---  03/01/1994

Religion, aspects.  ---  Miracle.  Various definitions of the term "miracle".  (1) Some people define a miracle as an action that goes against the laws of nature.  However, against this view, it is very difficult to substantiate with solid evidence any such occurrence.  (2) Some people define a miracle as a heck of a coincidence.  A million to one shot.  A lucky break.  Seemingly against the laws of probability.  However, against this view, events of low probability will occur, for example, people win the lottery on a weekly basis.  (3) Some people use the term miracle in cases where they misattribute the cause of an event.  Any situation of unknown cause they call a miracle.  However, against this view, there are lots of things that we currently do not know the cause of, and it is intellectually lazy to label them all miracles.  (4) Some people call any magic trick, illusion or hallucination a miracle.  However, against this view, it is unreasonable to call every sleight of hand a miracle.  (5) Some people call it a miracle whenever anything good happens.  However, against this view, to call every good event a miracle is a rather mushy sense of the term.  ---  11/19/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Mystery.  (1) Learning is when things go from being mystifying to obvious.  Humans have evolved as learning animals.  Therefore, humans search for things and situations that are mystifying.  And often, if we cannot find anything mysterious we create something mysterious.  Thus, we create mystifying religions and mystifying new age spirituality.  (2) Its just like how humans have evolved as problem solving animals.  If we cannot find any problems we create problems to figure out (ex. crossword puzzles).  Thus, in some ways, religion is like a crossword puzzle.  ---  6/3/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Mystery.  The religious emphasis on mystery is neurotic.  They make mystery holy.  This is neurotic.  I say find out as much as possible.  I say make knowledge holy, and the search for knowledge holy.  ---  02/19/1989

Religion, aspects.  ---  Mysticism.  Belief in divine inspiration or knowledge beyond natural world?  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer is a rudimentary attempt at talk therapy.  When a person wants to talk something out, and when no other person is around with whom to talk, then the person starts talking to an imaginary being that is supposedly always around.  Talk is often therapeutic.  Prayer is a rudimentary attempt at talk therapy.  ---  2/15/2006

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  (1) Helps you develop your goals (For example, "Please give me this, god.") (2) Helps you sort out your values and keep your priorities straight (For example, "Please give me this first, god.")  If you pray many times a day you program your mind like a computer (neuro-linguistic programming?).  ---  12/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  (1) Prayer as pre-set, memorized statements that serve as reminders (memory) and focus attention on issues.  (2) Repetitive prayers (ex. rosary beads) are mantra like ways to self induce a hypnotic calm.  (3) Prayer as free form prattling (4/01/94).  ---  02/01/1994

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  (1) Prayer defined as repetitive phrases that you repeat several times a day.  Actually, positive thinking in the form of repetitive phrases can be healthy, and they don't have to refer to any religious, divine, supernatural or superstitious entities.  (2) Prayer defined as meditation.  Actually, meditating by relaxing the body and emptying the mind can be healthy and it does not have to refer to any religious, divine, supernatural or superstitious entities.  (3) Thus, people often use the word "prayer" when they are actually talking about non-religious activities.  ---  12/18/2003

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  (1) To calm self (like a mantra).  (2) To beg, or to thank.  (3) Talking to ourselves, self talk.  (4) Working out a problem.  (5) Repeating and reminding ourselves of a philosophical belief, healthy or unhealthy.  (5) Some people believe that the divine hears them, and that the divine responds to them.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  A bare bones prayer.  Thank you.  Please forgive me.  Please protect me.  Please inspire and guide me.  Please help me.  ---  06/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  If god knows everything then he knows what is on your mind and therefore you do not need to pray.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  Say a prayer.  Make a wish.  What's the difference?  ---  7/1/2002

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  Some prayer involves focusing on a phrase in order to block out all else, in order to calm one's nerves.  Some prayer is too close to unhealthy psychological repression.  ---  9/15/1998

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  The power of prayer, its affects on people, can be explained by several factors.  (1) One factor is the de-stressing and peace that prayer provides by the calming, if untrue, thought that there is a benevolent, powerful, personal friend who is looking out for you and is ready to grant you favors.  (2) Another factor is that the repetitive nature of prayer calms one just as a mantra or twiddling one's thumbs does.  (3) Thankful prayer lets one concentrate on the good in life, which can make one feel better.  Counting your blessings, so to speak.  (4) Begging prayer lets one focus on the future and gives one time to plan one's goals.  This is psychologically helpful.  Begging for forgiveness prayers lets one unload guilt for wrong doings.  If you believe you are forgiven that makes you feel even better.  (5) Prayer is like being on the psychiatrist's couch.  It gives you a set time to prattle on, even if it is just to yourself, much like psycho-therapy does.  (6) Prayer gives you time to intensely focus and concentrate.  It can help develop powers of concentration.  (7) Prayer can also give you time to think, if you use thinking prayer rather than babbling prayer, and this can help develop your thinking ability.  (8) But the whole point is that all these things can be done, and done better, without prayer and without thinking about god.  In fact, prayer, religion and god just acts as an impediment to doing the above.  Yet people still pray.  ---  08/11/1993

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  What is the difference between praying and begging?  We are raising beggars.  ---  4/25/2000

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayer.  When you say "I put it all in gods hands", you have taken a lot of stress (and responsibility) off yourself.  This works whether there actually is or is not a god.  But must you believe in god for this to work?  ---  05/30/1996

Religion, aspects.  ---  Prayers are repetitive, boring and mindless.  Prayers deaden the mind.  ---  4/4/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Priests.  Child molesting priests.  When you force the clergy to be celibate, thats what happens.  By some estimations, in 50 years 5000 priests molested 10,000 kids.  ---  8/30/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Priests.  One more time, let the priests date!  ---  12/31/2003

Religion, aspects.  ---  Priests.  Priests evolved from shaman.  ---  3/30/1998

Religion, aspects.  ---  Priests.  Priests, unmarried and sex segregated, is a bad thing because it more likely leads to abuse.  ---  8/9/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Priests.  Some say there should be marriage for priests.  Some say there should be women priests.  Better yet, married lesbian priests.  Even better, no priests.  ---  4/24/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious fanatics.  (1) Does the Koran implicitly express violent views?  No more so than the Bible.  (2) Are Moslems implicitly violent?  No more so than Christians.  (3) Many people mistakenly use religion to try to justify anything, including violence.  ---  8/15/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious fanatics.  Christian fundamentalist extremists are as dangerous as fundamentalist extremists of Islam, Hindu or any other religion.  Religions have a tendency to produce fundamentalist extremists.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  Christmas carols played incessantly are a form of psychological torture.  For all we know, the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are being tortured using the same incessant Christmas carol soundtrack that is being played incessantly in our local cafes.  ---  12/5/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  Christmas carols playing in every store is bogus.  Repeating the same songs over and over is torture.  People should not be subjected to repetitious Christmas carols in public spaces.  ---  12/11/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  Christmas should not be a national holiday because religious holidays should not be national holidays.  ---  12/4/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  Christmas should not be a national holiday because religious holidays should not be national holidays.  There are many different religions in this country.  It does no justice to make one religion's holiday a national holiday at the expense of other religion's holidays.  National holidays should be secular.  ---  1/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  I do not celebrate Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a religious holiday.  How so?  Who are they thanking?  They are thanking a god.  I am not religious.  ---  11/25/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious holidays should not be national holidays.  National holidays should not be religious holidays because national holidays should not be about religion.  Religion and government should be separate.  The government should not promote religion, nor should the government favor one religion over another religion.  Thus, Christmas and Easter should not be national holidays.  ---  11/25/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious texts.  Any ancient scripture is inadequate as an ethical guide.  One reason why is because the ethical situations, problems, and decisions described in ancient scriptures are narrow in scope and simple in degree of difficulty.  Today we are faced with many situations, problems, and decision choices not found in ancient scriptures, and these decisions are more complex than those found in ancient scriptures.  ---  12/30/1995

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious texts.  If someone is using religion to tell another person that they should only read a single book, or that they should look for all their answers in a single book, then they are keeping that person ignorant and uneducated.  If someone uses religion to tell another person to accept whatever anyone does to them then they are keeping that person down and disempowered.  ---  10/8/2000

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious texts.  Literal interpretation of sacred religious texts is bogus because sacred religious texts are bogus.  ---  11/23/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious texts.  Many religious people think all answers are to be found in one book, and that all other books are not necessary.  Wrong.  ---  10/05/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  Religious texts.  The notion of sacred or holy texts, or divinely inspired texts, is preposterously wrong.  There are thousands of religions, each claiming to have sacred texts that reveal the word of god, and every one of those religions is mistaken in that claim.  Many of the problems of religion stem from claims about religious texts.  ---  11/10/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Ritual.  Religious rituals are meant to be a comfort.  Religion relies on ritual to the point of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a neurotic condition in which repetitive actions are used to make oneself feel better.  ---  11/10/2004

Religion, aspects.  ---  Ritual.  Ritualism is b.s.  Mindless, blind ritualism is repetitive neurosis.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, aspects.  ---  Sacred texts.  There is no god.  No book is the word of god.  The bible is not the word of god.  The bible is only a book some people wrote.  If there was a god then god would not be so shy, and god would not be an author nor publisher.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit world, soul.  Do you believe in ghosts, angels, demons, etc?  Do you believe in para-psychology: e.s.p., telekinesis?  Do you believe that the dead see us, hear us, talk to us, influence the world and cause events to occur?  ---  08/24/1994

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul is sometimes used to refer to conscience.  Conscience is used to refer to a sense of right and wrong.  Conscience has both a reasoning component and an emotional component.  The emotional component of conscience can refer to having sympathy for other people (and self?), and it can also refer to having feelings of guilt and regret (and their opposites?).  ---  11/2/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  (1) Spirit or soul as a supernatural entity that inhabits this world or other worlds.  (2) Spirit or soul as some part of the self that we don't know what it is, where it is, or what it does.  (3) Both conceptions are baloney.  ---  4/15/2002

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  If there are spirits, ghosts and angels that walk among us then they probably observe a lot nose-picking and wanking, sometimes by people doing both at the same time.  If that's heaven, no thanks.  ---  12/2/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  People use the word "soul" to refer to what?  Integrity?  Opposite of selling out?  Purity?  Inherent nobility?  ---  10/12/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  Some people wrongly believe that there is something called a soul or spirit that enters your body at some point, and that leaves your body when you die and goes somewhere else.  These people say the spirit or soul cannot be see because it is non-physical and non-psychological.  ---  12/6/2005

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  Three definitions of "soul" that are wrongly used.  (1) Soul as referring to our ethical nature.  (2) Soul as referring to our dreams, hopes and aspirations.  (3) Soul as referring to our personal identity.  (4) We should not use the word "soul" to refer to any of the above.  ---  12/20/1998

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  What is soul?  (1) Soul music is a style of rhythm and blues that originated during the 1960's.  (2) Soul power is a term that originated during the 1960's African-American movement.  (3) Soul surfing, as opposed to competitive surfing and aggro surfing, is a style of surfing that values fluidity.  ---  11/20/2001

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit, soul.  When people talk about "soul" or "spirit" they usually use words that describe emotions or other psychological traits.  ---  12/26/1997

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit.  (1) Spirit definitions: Intuition.  Inspiration.  Divine guidance.  (2) Soul definitions: Apart from body.  Lives on after body.  ---  5/30/1998

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit.  People misuse the word "spirit".  (1) The word "spirit" does not to refer to (A) Ethics.  (B) Hopes and dreams.  (C) Emotions.  (D) Motivations and inspirations.  (E) Intuition: Subconscious decisions or split second decisions.  (2) The term "spirit" only refers to things like (A) Belief in a spirit world beyond the physical world.  (B) The after life.  (C) The divine or god.  (3) The term "spirit" also does not refer to (A) Action at a distance, or (B) Scientific knowledge that we have not discovered yet.  ---  1/23/1999

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit.  What do people mean when they talk about spirit and spirituality, soul and soulfulness?  Is it something they think is in themselves that they associate with, and refer to when they have feelings of calmness, peacefulness, optimism, hope, a sense of wholeness or health of themselves, and a sense of being "at one" with the universe?  ---  09/27/1993

Religion, aspects.  ---  Spirit.  What do religious people mean when they use the words "soul" and "spirit"?  What do people in general mean when they use the same terms?  Hipness, empathy?  ---  09/20/1993

Religion, aspects.  ---  Supernatural.  Within this world vs. beyond this world, another world.  Spirits, souls, forces, luck/destiny.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion, issues.  ---  Priests.  Too often, priests and other religious leaders function as cult-like leaders.  People become too dependent on their religious leaders.  People become pathologically subservient to religious leaders.  ---  3/25/2007

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.