By Carl S. ~
Add my name to the list of those tired of having another learning experience. (How my wife and friend keep from poking fun at me, I don’t know.) My printer failed. I conveniently bought a new one without researching it first. I had to return it. Short story, two more trips back to the store, 15 miles each way. They eventually replaced it with a different model. After a few days, I realized I’d screwed up again; I’d failed to see this third, new model couldn’t perform the functions my original did. These learning experiences led me to do a lot of research to get the most capable printer for my needs. I cut my losses, got over it and moved on. You’d think I’d be embarrassed to admit these things, but I don’t mind being wrong.
You’re probably asking yourself “Why is this guy, on this site, wasting my time while I’m looking for serious information?” As a matter of fact, he wants to make a case for learning from” religious” learning experiences. That day, driving past my wife’s church, I had the experience of asking myself, “What’s her church, or any church, any “house of worship” FOR, by the way?”
Religions tell you their existences have to do with a god, morals, having a relationship with that god. We might be amazed just how much people are willing to pay with hard-earned money, time, energy, even going so far as to relinquish their minds and consciences, “ to have a personal relationship with, and serve, God.” This is what they’re taught to tell themselves. But isn’t it really all about buying wishful-thinking products? You might think that’s a stupid question. Not so fast.
The STRONGEST emphasis of religions/cults is not on the existence of a god, not on that god’s will or love, certainly not on morality, but: Where And How Will I Spend Eternity? And religions created those “Where’s” and “How’s!” It’s the mother of all con games. It is that simple. Buddhists, Hindus, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Jesus and company, they all use the eternal life bait. This is curious, as not a single one of them can give you one example of anything eternal. Those who laugh when you tell them Earth is billions of years old, are trying to sell you “eternity!” Cable TV networks have many channels running religious infomercials 24/7 for the Where and How salespeople. If you’ve met, as I have, people with Alzheimer’s disease, you know they’ve lost the ability to see into the future. So, those salesmen don’t have a chance to sell Where and How to those for whom “future” has no meaning.
The Where and How question explains “salvation,” gospels, epistles, the Koran, sayings of Mohammed, End Times, every cult, sect, and wars of religion. It goes all the way back to ancient Persia, Egypt, and who knows where else. Believers waste their lives making others miserable, and by killing millions of fellow believers and enemies, to send every one of them to those “Where’s.” Some kill their own families. This IS the ultimate ideal for truly sincere believers! Their Where, How, and When, scripture leads to destroying our world!
Religions constantly use mind control and instill fears to keep their sheep focused on that one question. It’s very useful when they want to terrorize children. They tell us how we must live our lives to “ensure you make the right choices (ours), to attain the right end.”
The philosopher Blaise Pascal urges you to just pretend you believe his invisible god exists, because then you have the chance of getting eternal happiness if you do. He asks, “What have you got to lose?” Well, that eternal promissory note comes with obligations. It’s like the Little Shop of Horrors plant, constantly demanding, “Feed me.” (And btw, one reason why you will never understand “God’s ways are not our ways” is because you can’t comprehend the mind of a psychopath. Just had to say that.)
Maybe you’ve bought and learned. “These products will guarantee you eternal bliss” sales pitches, with all the hidden small print, trap the unwary. Maybe those salespeople told you, after you’ve told them that, intentionally or not, they sold you a piece of garbage : “You must have done something wrong. It’s your fault it’s not working.” Oh no. That’s for someone willing to accept blame, one still not ready to believe he’s been ripped off. You’ve screwed up trusting them, but you’ve learned not to be a pushover.
If someone TRULY believes “Where and how will I spend eternity?” is more important than anything else, including her life, why doesn’t she get SERIOUS and investigate to make absolutely sure what she’s ben told is true, instead of just obediently accepting any old hearsay? Why doesn’t she read up, question, verify, try to hear all the arguments for and against the reasons for purchasing or not the products sold for that purpose? Why won’t the very sure check out the integrity, honesty, and reputations of those peddling immaterial policies? Why continue to pay for an eternal life insurance gamble, when that money can be used for so many who desperately need it simply to survive in the “here and now?”
Purchasing “How and Where” stock is expensive, and not to be taken lightly, since the stakes are huge; they’re not short term investments. You’d think questioning “The Question” isn’t important for the buyers. Look around you: They obviously prefer to expend the time, energy, and money for checking out the pros and cons of a car, microwave…, whatever they want to purchase. Material stuff.
I concluded years ago: eternal life would be a curse.I don’t like it, but I’ve gotten used to being wrong. I’ve made some big foolish choices. Far from being alone, I’m in good company. The participants on ExChristian.net have admitted to, or are in the process of admitting to, their own “learning experiences” from investing so much of themselves to religions’ promising scams. They understand how believers can’t handle being wrong, yet these believers are cocksure they’re right. Would those believers admit to maybe being wrong? Will they ever see they were willingly conned, while they continue to make payments on an invisible “product?”
What about the where and how for me? I concluded years ago: eternal life would be a curse. Even with the possibility of living hundreds of years, my where and how would be pretty much the same as it is now, but preferably in a warmer climate, ala Arthur C. Clarke. There would always be the touch and tenderness of my wife Kathy, the mystery of her sensual heat that warms my cold logic. I’d continue investigating and questioning everything; and I’d keep my few friends. I’d go on freely bitching and cursing, mocking the God and god creations of men, laughing at my own and other’s stupid mistakes, and writing for a small audience. And there must be music, especially the dissonant music and pagan rhythms; that heavenly harmonic Mantovani stuff leaves me cold. Sure, I’d keep looking lustily at passing women and conversing with them as equal to or better than me.
Given enough time, science might restore the hearing loss I live with, or not. I deeply desire a world in which children won’t be punished for the transgressions of their parents, or exploited by clergy. Fighting injustices to them keeps me busy. “Where and how will you spend eternity?” is selfish. Within the Universe I am just a spark in the dark, but this is a world where many need my help; it would be nice to have more money to spread around for that end. I want to live in the world I’m in now, countering stupidity and ignorance that passes for knowledge. Until my book of life finally closes, perhaps unfinished, Here and Now is my Where and How.