Priscilla's Blog

My Thoughts Spelt Out

Archive for the tag “Religion and Spirituality”

People of The Book

1. There was a group of people who spoke a specific set of language dialect, such as Hebrew, Arabic etc., called the Semitic language. They had a Big Book, composed of a collection of small books; books of historical accounts, social laws, books of genealogy, books of songs, proverbs and prophecies – part of it was called the Torah. The Israelites owned it, it was their lifeline; be it war or peace, they always referred only to it. This book was so important, that a specific tribe was completely dedicated to guard its affairs, i.e., none of them in that tribe did anything else, generations after generation. All for the book.

2. Zero-AD: Christ’s dominion began! No one expected an earthquake with the arrival of a simple carpenter! But it did tremble the earth… Prophesies were fulfilled. Hope and Salvation became a common term! Crosses burned, lions fed, but death became a sweet fragrance and they kept on singing! All for the book.

3. Christ-ians added a bunch of more books (mostly letters, revelations and historical accounts pertaining to Christ) to the big book, called it The Bible and owned it for themselves! They didn’t stop there…, like the Semite tribes, referred to it for everything! Not surprisingly, it also led their anger direct over the Semites themselves (for crucifying Christ), hence were born the Crusaders. They ran over the Semites (over both Hebrews and the Arabs, after all, both these tribes were descendants of the same father, Abraham) ruthlessly; All for the book.

4. The book’s percepts soon became the de facto norm and center of everything for the Christians (hence came the name Catholic from Latin/Greek roots meaning universal), that they iron chained it, for it is exceptionally holy, and kept it to the preview of a very few dedicated ‘so called experts’ for centuries, dispensing only the interpretations to the peasants. They ran their kingdoms with that, ran their wars with that, built their social laws with that, and so on… and on, even many fraternal organizations and secret societies were formed, like the Freemasons, Knights Templar, Order of the Temple, etc., to guard the artifacts related to this book, and the book’s content itself from being tampered. All for the book.

5. As expected, the desire for the book grew rapidly, and the people felt that they needed to know the Truth and more, with no interpretations and interpreters in between them and this book! Soon the chains were broken (the Protestant Reformation) and the book was freely printed and published to the peasants against all odds (The French Revolution, the first printing press). Nations burnt, kingdoms fell, and the truth strengthened the common folks; they became the underdog! But, it was not easy; some hid underground, some were banished, some even fled to unknown nations (current USA, for example) with their newly printed Bible (commonly called The Good Book), fearing confiscation by the state and conviction for committing ‘heresy’; – all for the book.

6. 2010-AD: Many have read the Good Book, translated it in most earthling-languages (2,936 and counting, as of today) and took the great commission fervently to spread the good news that there is ‘Hope’ for mankind. Many eyes were opened; Christianity stands as the largest practiced religion on earth! All by the Book.

7. For its believers, the content of the Good Book is either Inspired, Enlightened or Revealed by the Almighty, hence it is referred to as The Word, with reverence. The holders of the book became so dependent on the Word, so much so, that they always ‘quote’ the book! For this reason (and for some unknown reasons) some observers, such as the Muslim brethrens, call the Christians as the People of The Book!

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Science Can Make Babies Now

Came across some new inventions that can artificially create sperms, eggs, even womb!

On one side I have a question as to why there exists a need for the scientific community to make an artificial sperm, for that matter an artificial egg and womb! Don’t we have enough people to populate the earth? What is the purpose of this invention – to prove that they are equal to a creator? St. Augustine wrote that one of the most compelling temptations we all have is “to be like God” – the arrogance that actually caused the first fall itself, in the Garden of Eden! Why is the scientific community constantly focused on these sort of stuff when there exist so many other needs & unsolved issues; why not spend the time and energy on inventing cures and what not than on things that are not in-line with “creating a life” sort of a thing! I am not saying inventions such as IVF in order to help couples who have certain disabilities conceiving babies is wrong (in fact, I think it’s an amazing discovery that has blessed couples with twins, quadruplets and octuplets; more children at one go than the couples can fathom! :)) but what I’m not comfortable with is, things like creating artificial sperms, eggs and wombs because they have some societal repercussions in the long run…like, we will never be needing a father, for instance maybe…and before you feminists get all cocky, mothers will not be needed either! Children will be born in incubated labs like chickens! A recent Si-Fi serial called ‘Caprica’ actually depicts the creation of a software program that substitutes the role of the conscience (or soul, or whatever we call the thing that drives us) in a robot! A virtual reality future!

On the other hand, I do agree that science must be viewed in a scientific angle. My premises for this argument, taking certain “arguably good” things that the scientific community comes out with and trash the rest, especially based on my belief system or my emotions, is completely wrong in the first place! Scientific inventions must be looked at a scientific point of view for appreciation and enjoyment. They are weird sometimes, but are not trivial; making an artificial sperm, for instance, is not a slam dunk task as making an omelet – it takes years of understanding very complex elements that goes into it… In fact, the scientific process itself is thrilling in many cases, even if the experiment fails in the end! Once my Pastor (Pastor Lau) even alluded to the fact that scientists are the first to recognize God’s hand in everything, they understand and admire things that are far beyond an average person’s ability to comprehend – like how just 4 sugar-compounds Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine could build life (DNA) from scratch! I’m sure facts like these may not amaze a common street folk to an extent it amazes a scientist 🙂 but still…

OK, so how should we view the new inventions (yes, I am talking about the sperms, eggs and womb! L.O.L), should it be taken as a sort of runaway freight train? Or should it be feared as a necessary evil, just as once the religious folks thought Steam Engine was a devil and stoned it! 🙂

I leave it to you to decide.

 

The 3Ps – Parasite, Pathogen & Predator

My friend’s blog:

Religion boon or bane

Confused and Dazed these are the words that best describe the way i feel when i think about religion. On the one hand i see the reason why religion was created, It is to create a sense of fear and moral responsibility to do the right thing in life. A way for people to have hope that when things go wrong sometimes horribly, there is a supreme being watching over us who will take care of us. But on the other hand i see people hating each other purely based on religion and nothing else, passing judgments on someone even before they get to know that individual. For which most of us are guilty of. Also stereotyping a group of people based on their faith. It is ironic that a concept born to bring peace and stability to people, has become the driving force for merciless murders and bloodshed. It is a sad fact that more people have been killed in the name of religion than anything else. Every major war that has ever been waged was in the name of religion and it still is to this day, and unfortunately will be so in the future as well.

The problem i have with religion is that there are way too many of them and everyone have their own versions as to how life is created. Whoz to say who is right? Which version is the right version? Accodring to Christianity earth was created some 6000-7000 years ago(or somewhere around that range if that is so then what about Dinasaurs? are all the fossil records a lie) according to Hinduism the age of earth is much older than that. Which version is the right one? Islam and Judaisim has their own versions as well so does other religions. The problem with religious people is that they are sold out on the idea that their religion is the
right one that they refuse to accept or respect anyone else point of view.

I do not wish to hurt anyone’s sentiments but for me the concept of God is a bit hazy. I wont say i do not believe in god nor do i believe in that supernatural theory. All i can say is I DO N’T KNOW. I’m not sure if there is or there isnt a supreme power. I mean am left without explanation as to how life is created, i mean not how we are concieved but how do we get the conscience? how do we awaken from a stateless souless being to a human being?  Who devised nature as it is? For example everything in nature is visible except for air, have you ever wondered whoz brilliant idea it is to make air invisible, coz if it was visible then we could never see anything. Is it all a work of an intelligent being mysteriously living in the clouds and watching over all things? or is it evolution that made every living things have eyes knowing that air is invisible.

If god is there and everything is going according to his plans then why are people killing each other in his name and why is he sitting in his misty world and not doing a thing about it. If everything is going according to his plan in this world then am not impressed with his work. This doesnt look like the work of a supreme being, it looks more like a work of an office intern with a bad attitude. If everything is a miracle performed by him then why are only certain diseases being cured and some not? Why is it that a person’s leg getting amputated never recieves any miracles from god, why doesnt it grow back. Dont tell me plastic legs are the miracle coz if thatz the best god can do then we are in deep trouble. Why couldn’t he cure polio 50 years back? If i ask these questions the so called religious rights give me some vague explanations with utmost conviction.

I spoke to a religious head whose name and religion i wish not to metion told me that the recent Tsunami was the act of god to punish us for our sins. I have few questions about that. If what he said is true does that mean only people in Indonesia Sri Lanka India and other countries hit by the Tsunami are sinners and others are not? If those who died are sinners then are those who survived saints?

Some moderates will say there is no intelligent person called god but there is a supernatural force that guides this universe. I call it nature. The only people who did the so called miracles for me are my parents. I’m more than happy to worship them than some unknown entity that refuses to show its face. I do not mean to hurt anyones religious sentiments i do understand that the concept of religion is so essential for human survival as a race coz it gives hope to billions. But can we just keep our religions to ourselves and not meddle with others for gods sake?

Confused and Dazed these are the words that best describe the way i feel when i think about religion. On the one hand i see the reason why religion was created, It is to create a sense of fear and moral responsibility to do the right thing in life. A way for people to have hope that when things go wrong sometimes horribly, there is a supreme being watching over us who will take care of us. But on the other hand i see people hating each other purely based on religion and nothing else, passing judgments on someone even before they get to know that individual. For which most of us are guilty of. Also stereotyping a group of people based on their faith. It is ironic that a concept born to bring peace and stability to people, has become the driving force for merciless murders and bloodshed. It is a sad fact that more people have been killed in the name of religion than anything else. Every major war that has ever been waged was in the name of religion and it still is to this day, and unfortunately will be so in the future as well.

The problem i have with religion is that there are way too many of them and everyone have their own versions as to how life is created. Whoz to say who is right? Which version is the right version? Accodring to Christianity earth was created some 6000-7000 years ago(or somewhere around that range if that is so then what about Dinasaurs? are all the fossil records a lie) according to Hinduism the age of earth is much older than that. Which version is the right one? Islam and Judaisim has their own versions as well so does other religions. The problem with religious people is that they are sold out on the idea that their religion is the right one that they refuse to accept or respect anyone else point of view.

I do not wish to hurt anyone’s sentiments but for me the concept of God is a bit hazy. I wont say i do not believe in god nor do i believe in that supernatural theory. All i can say is I DO N’T KNOW. I’m not sure if there is or there isnt a supreme power. I mean am left without explanation as to how life is created, i mean not how we are concieved but how do we get the conscience? how do we awaken from a stateless souless being to a human being?  Who devised nature as it is? For example everything in nature is visible except for air, have you ever wondered whoz brilliant idea it is to make air invisible, coz if it was visible then we could never see anything. Is it all a work of an intelligent being mysteriously living in the clouds and watching over all things? or is it evolution that made every living things have eyes knowing that air is invisible.

If god is there and everything is going according to his plans then why are people killing each other in his name and why is he sitting in his misty world and not doing a thing about it. If everything is going according to his plan in this world then am not impressed with his work. This doesnt look like the work of a supreme being, it looks more like a work of an office intern with a bad attitude. If everything is a miracle performed by him then why are only certain diseases being cured and some not? Why is it that a person’s leg getting amputated never recieves any miracles from god, why doesnt it grow back. Dont tell me plastic legs are the miracle coz if thatz the best god can do then we are in deep trouble. Why couldn’t he cure polio 50 years back? If i ask these questions the so called religious rights give me some vague explanations with utmost conviction.

I spoke to a religious head whose name and religion i wish not to metion told me that the recent Tsunami was the act of god to punish us for our sins. I have few questions about that. If what he said is true does that mean only people in Indonesia Sri Lanka India and other countries hit by the Tsunami are sinners and others are not? If those who died are sinners then are those who survived saints?

Some moderates will say there is no intelligent person called god but there is a supernatural force that guides this universe. I call it nature. The only people who did the so called miracles for me are my parents. I’m more than happy to worship them than some unknown entity that refuses to show its face. I do not mean to hurt anyones religious sentiments i do understand that the concept of religion is so essential for human survival as a race coz it gives hope to billions. But can we just keep our religions to ourselves and not meddle with others for gods sake?

================================================================================

My response to his blog:

One of the major difficulties in answering questions about “abstract” things such as religion, God etc., is not knowing where to start! 🙂 Nevertheless, keeping aside that you are all over the place in this blog, 🙂 I will answer one key question that you raise…I will try to answer, to be precise as Aristotle believes; laying a clear premise first is the first step for any meaningful syllogism to progress, well, if “meaning” is what we are ultimately striving for 🙂

Have you heard about the 3Ps? The Parasite (Parasitoid actually), the Pathogen, and the Predator? Scientists have proven that these are the three things that keep a check on species population at any given point of time. For instance, given the rate at which caterpillars are hatched, but for these 3Ps, we might have too many caterpillars in the tropics, so much so that probably human population have to limit its habitation to the arctic! LOL… True. Do you know that about 90% of these caterpillars are killed, neutered or paralyzed by the 3Ps before they cross that larva stage? And speaking of killing, see this image: http://lh4.ggpht.com/_gOllybY3w_o/Sc7aV1F-v6I/AAAAAAAAAB4/vOlelgdiVvU/s144/3ps.JPG …where a colony of wasp larvae (parasitoids) hatches, feeds and lives inside the caterpillar for a while and one fine morning decides that they need some fresh air, tear open the host’s body and sings “freedom is all we want”! LOL…Yes, it may look so gruesome and inhuman, but it is natural and part of their life-cycle for certain types of wasps! So what shall we say about the Creator (if at all one exist) who meticulously sequenced this, that he has a very bad taste 🙂 or consequently you become a lefty and take a protest march in the streets of Mumbai, with the banner “Wasps got laid, Caterpillars got slayed”. 🙂

The point I am getting at is that we are just a part of the puzzle; hence we neither understand the grand scheme of things of which we are just a piece, nor understand the mind of the One who composes the puzzle! What we comprehend, on the contrary, probably is a small penumbra of things around us, if at all we attempt to understand seriously. Just imagine if each such random puzzle piece thinks its own penumbra is THE sum of all things happening, how pathetic that conclusion would be! 🙂

For that caterpillar in that picture, The Creator of wasp raises all sort of questions… about His care, His intention, even questions His wisdom with the doubt whether He is an “office intern with a bad attitude”! 🙂  At the same time, for the humans, caterpillar vs. wasp is a matter of deciding homo-sapien’s fate …i.e., of us slowly getting extinct at the poles vs. multiplying at the tropics, etc! 🙂

The Counterfeits

One of the definitions of the term ‘Business’ is the social science of managing people to organize and maintain collective productivity towards accomplishing certain particular goals, usually to generate profit. Isn’t it amazing to see that this definition automatically makes many common things as foundations of business? Well, interestingly, it can even include religion, can it not? Yes it can! In fact religion is one of the best platforms to make profit, IMHO. It can make you money, it can make you popular, it can give you power, it can even kill!

Medieval Crusaders convinced simple peasants to take arms against the Semites so that they can “go to heaven” if they do so! The poor believed it! Reprobates like Dennis Prager splits the hair between the words kill and murder to justify bombing Hiroshima as “scripturally a moral act”, else he claims World War II would have still continued! Yes you guessed it; many neo-cons believe this rationale wholeheartedly! Tell me friends, who would not love to hear from their preachers that “God does not want us to be poor”! Sadly greed makes many to say Amen to this question! Who would not love to hear that it is “God’s call to segregate people of different color and ethnicity for the betterment of each group”? Apparently many believed, that’s why we had apartheid in Africa and slavery in the US!

It is always easy to pry on people who has little or no understanding of themselves; the people who lack strong self-esteem and individualism! These folks normally flock in groups, work in groups and even think in groups, if at all they think! They mostly have a leader; a conman who leads them like dumb flock of sheep. (Why do you think after all the publicity for years, still people fall for Nigerian money laundering scheme? I even had a close encounter with a group called BWW, a pyramid scheme camouflaged as legitimate business; pure stupidity! LOL)

Of all institutions, Christian religion has become a money making machine nowadays, preachers show their pomp and glory and make their churches, what they call, a “Mega Church”, with thousands of members pouring their money, making the preachers richer by day! Some churches take a different route, like this Rev. Wright’s church, where Senator Obama attends for the past 20 years. He is using the pulpit to spread a message of segregation, a message of hatred. Senator Obama claims he heard only Gospel from him, but he knows it’s a lie, for how could a message advocating racial-segregation & hatred for their adversaries be either considered as teachings of Christ or embedded with the Gospel? These two are like water and oil, cannot be mixed together, by nature. Institutions always influence its members, in fact society as an institution too affect us all in one way or other. But, I think certain intuitions are purely created for profiting by prying on other’s innocence (or stupidity). The danger with these types of institutions is that their members eventually become the leader themselves, meaning become elements of what their leaders want them to be, because of their long exposure to false doctrines. Ever angry Michelle Obama is the victim of such a sad conditioned-process, I think.

My dear friends watch out for Satan’s traps. As the scripture says, The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders – [2 Thessalonians 2:9]. And as born-again believers we were also admonished to identify these counterfeits diligently and not to give-in to them; the Holy Spirit is our only Council, in the words of the Apostle Paul: As for you, the anointing you received from HIM remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as HIS anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in HIM. – [1 John 2:27].

Grace be with you’ll.

Next Stop After Death

This is another crap that I received in my mailbox yesterday, couldn’t resist refuting it (see my response below):

~DEATH~
WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT..
A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to
Leave the examination room and said,
‘Doctor, I am afraid to die.
Tell me what lies on the other side.’
Very quietly, the doctor said, ‘I don’t know.’
‘You don’t know? You, a Christian man,
do not know what is on the other side?’
The doctor was holding the handle of the door;
On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,
and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room
and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said,
‘Did you notice my dog?
He’s never been in this room before.
He didn’t know what was inside.
He knew nothing except that his master was here,
and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.
I know little of what is on the other side of death,
but I do know one thing…
I know my Master is there and that is enough.

===============================================================================

My response:

Many things we do, we think are there by accident! For example the love that we show to our beloved ones, we think that it is just another attribute like hatred, compassion etc… Least that we realize that our brains are dumb like a goat that when God says he loves us like his children, we will have no clue what it is unless we ourselves experience what that thing called love is! Therefore, these emotions that we show to our beloved ones, including the anger when they betray us or the fear of their separation due to our/their death etc…, are purposely programmed into our brains just to get a glimpse of what these emotions-in-full will be like with our life in heaven, that’s why one time Christ rebukes that if even a cunning earthly father will not give a snake if his son asks for a fish, how much more our heavenly father will care for us!The essence is: fear of death is a natural phenomenon that is supposed happen, not because what is unknown on the other side (because believers do know what’s on the other side) but mainly because we love our beloved ones and fear to leave them alone or fear of being alone without them. Well sometimes due to our fallen nature, we also feel that we are leaving behind many of our valuable assets, when nothing is valuable than salvation, but as with believers, they do fear the separation of their beloved ones! Hence, all this feel-good rhetoric that “my master is on the other side” doesn’t work for us fallen humans because as mentioned before we are programmed to feel attached to our dear ones and fear death. All we have to remember is, just as Paul put it rightly, that what we see and what do are shadows of things to come, in other words our fear and love are imperfect worldly clones of perfect heavenly counterparts, hence it is ok to fear death because we are humans and we are imperfect and don’t like to be separated from our beloved ones.

I guess this stupid dog analogy is for the unbelievers, maybe!!
 

Battle Between Flesh And The Spirit

—–Original Message—–

From: Priscilla

To: ArulMozhi

Mmm…. looks like you have got yourself into a conflicting mess, I guess. Yes, flesh and spirit always clash and in all cases flesh will win, as long as we live; hence there is no point in attempting to “conquer” as some hermits do. Well, this does not mean that we can completely stop resisting the conquest, but my point is that the flesh is not the “flesh” that the dictionary defines. For instance, people always try to separate “thought” and “action”; e.g., “sinful thought” and “sinful action”. What they fail to understand is that both are the same, after all, action is the manifestation of thought and it is the root of all actions! In other words, just because the thought has not manifested into action, it does not mean that the consequences of the uncommitted action are absent (maybe in mortal terms, but not true in the spiritual realm). So this idea of binding action alone to flesh is incomplete. Flesh encompasses the thought as well as the action that proceeds from the same thought. Hence conquering action should start from conquering the thought, which you know how futile would that attempt be!!

More confused than before, uh??…..

Regards,

Priscilla

p.s. With no surprise, this rationale holds good for righteousness as well. Although incomparable to the purity of heaven, the 2 cent offering by the poor woman was considered an act of rigorousness than a pompous contribution by the rich (hope you can recollect this incident in the Bible)

—– Original Message —–

From: ArulMozhi
To: Priscilla

Hi Prisci,

I really appreciate your reply. There is a profound reality to it. I appreciate your sincerity and truthfullness. Accepting what life offers is just great. Acceptance is the key word here.

There has always been the fight between the will and the mind and Adam did decide to go for the forbidden fruit and from that day we moved further away from eternal peace.

Good to hear that you are pretty busy. Has the school started for your son? How is your daughter doing? probably running around and testing out what can be broken:-)

Arul 

—–Original Message—–

From: Priscilla Edward
To: ArulMozhi

….BTW, Adam when accepted his wife’s offer to sin he did not fight between his will and his mind (you mean spirit and flesh I guess); he just did it because he CHOOSE to ignore his subordination to God and CHOOSE to rebel against the HIM (the authority) by CHOOSING to obey his subordinate (his wife & the serpent). I know what you are thinking; yes he did have the freewill to choose between “dos” and “don’ts” before the fall. The fight between the spirit and the flesh started after the fall as the consequence of the curse. In fact, the thing that we call “fight” between the spirit and flesh is actually the rebel that the flesh (subordinate) is putting against the spirit (the authority), exactly the same way how he did it against his the authority. This is the current pathetic state of a human who cannot have the flesh obey his own spirit, for that matter the entire creation which was supposed to be subordinate to him actually rebels against him! Nevertheless, because of one sacrifice (the LAMB of God) this curse will been be removed and we will be given a new body that which obeys the spirit. When? Upon resurrection!

Good topic to ponder and keep you busy too…

Regards,

Priscilla

Article: Intelligent Design Is Creationism Relabeled!

BLOG | Posted 12/21/2005 @ 1:52pm
Why Intelligent Design Is ‘Creationism Relabeled’
 
  

In the history of the ongoing battle between science and faith, Dover, Pennsylvania, has written the latest chapter. Last month, the residents, who usually vote Republican, ousted eight school board members who had backed intelligent design. This week, a federal judge in Harrisburg ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Dover school district to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.
 
 
In a sweeping decision, Judge Jones, a Republican appointed by President Bush, declared that intelligent design was not science but “creationism relabeled,” because it seeks to change the very definition of science to include supernatural explanations. This is obviously a victory for science. What is less obvious is that it is also a victory for faith.
 
 
The most pernicious aspect of the ID movement is its commingling of science and faith, its attempt to use science and mathematics to prove the existence of an intelligent designer. Not only does this undermine science, it undermines faith, which by its very definition is “a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” If ID scientists were to prove, for example, that the double helix is the stairway to heaven, then the existence of God would cease to be an article of faith and become instead a scientific fact.
 
 
By drawing a bright line between science and faith, Judge Jones has done as much to protect faith from science as he has done to protect science from faith.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
 
To read comments posted for this blog, go to: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut?pid=44239
 
To read the Judge’s comments on the decision, go to: http://blog.sciam.com/index.php?title=threw_the_book_at_em&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

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