Exposure To 'Virus'
I love your site! Having had a close encounter with the Christian technique, it's refreshing to see this site. My relatives were trying to get me to join, but were very upset when I didn't.
Believe it or not, it was the "elders" of the church who told them to let me go my way, and that it's not like I'm dying, that I may take the lessons learned by studying the Bible with me and come back. Not likely, but it was refreshing that they eased my relatives pain this way. I understand it was the best way to handle the situation, and that it doesn't really imbue their church with any special qualities other than controlling their own.
Anyhow, just wanted to relate (a Christian trick I learned) and tell you that I enjoyed the site. I'm of to peruse more of your stuff. Take care.
From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <email@example.com>
To: "jon lawpaugh"
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 3:22 AM
They could only hope that you end up like most of the ex-Mormons I have known: putting the truly good parts of that religion into practice and becoming singly the most thoughtful group of people I've ever known. All of them.
It's too bad that tribal totem loyalism plays so important of a role in the minds of many religious folks (and, I fear, many atheists as well). Such people do not see that morality is a skill and that if we practice it early enough in life, and perfect those skills by the time we reach adulthood, we will instinctively know what to do in the face of almost any tough situation -- no matter where our loyalties lie!
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
people with no reason to believe
I'm only comforted by the fact that we've evolved to this point, where we're questioning even the fact that most of us have the need to believe in a god.
(this is where I get long winded)
And we do, there's no question that we have a mental hole where gods resided. I read an interesting book about the bicameral mind, which, briefly here, described the way our minds worked before subjective consciousness came about. The tribal leader (this explains your "tribal totem loyalism" part) would listen to his gods, or inner voices, which were parts of his brain that spoke through the speech centers. He would then impart the wisdom, which of course was "common" sense of how to deal with most situations. When he died, the people lacked for leadership. Sort of. The physical body of the leader died, but the people continued to "hear" his voice, which was basically the "leader program" that they were programed with. They took his body, kept him in his house, usually in the center of the village, offered him food, etc. You can probably bring this in your mind to relate to the current situation. Go to church, give an offering, give some food, and pray for guidance in your life. Without a solid grasp of our "selves", or our subjective consciousness, we rely on our basic programming. The teachings of Jesus Christ were simply a program of life, how to live it. If everyone behaved the same way in every situation, of course we would all get along. I like the teachings of Christ, but the whole divinity thing didn't have any power over me, not for long anyhow. My "self" or my subjective consciousness program, didn't have "faith" in an unknown program. I relate my brief encounter with Christianity as with an encounter with a virus. At that point in my life my mental immune system was weak. It was easy to rely on another belief system at that point, so it took over my mind, changing my behavior and emotions. It brought me into the mental organism where the virus was fertilized and nurtured, but eventually my system took back over.
Sorry, enough of that, I love talking about this stuff...
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