Wednesday, November 23, 2011

God, Islam, Atheism and Christianity

There is nothing wrong with being a religious fanatic. There is a huge problem with forcing specific beliefs down someone else's throat.

I once had an argument in a Bible study class about Islam. One of the people in class claimed that all Muslims were going to hell. I said that was up to God. He said that because they rejected Jesus as the Son of God they could not possibly be saved. Again, I said God will decide, not me. He began becoming very angry and started practically screaming at me. I kept calm and said that if people follow the path given us by Christ they would reach heaven. He insisted that they had to accept Jesus.

Being educated on the FACT that the name “Jesus” is an Anglicization of the Iseous which is a translation of several different Hebrew names like Yeshua.

I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood. Some of the older people called me “Yonnie”, which is the way John is pronounced in Yiddish. Yiddish was not used by the Jewish people in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, but, it is an example of the way names change with languages and culture.

Don't get me started on “Jes-us”. People might argue that the word was used in biblical times and they would be totally full of crap.

Christ is about accepting the Truth of the One True God.

Then there is Islam with the “partnership” ideology. Allah is One.

Christians believe in the One True God and believe that God presents himself in different forms to people. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Father being the form God takes as ruler. The Son is the form God takes to show humans that God understands being human. The Holy Spirit is the form God takes when God communicates directly with people.

Not everyone perceives things the same way and God presents himself in different ways to different people. Islam actually addresses this explaining that all other religions are corruptions in perception of the Truth of the One God, may his name be praised.

Claiming that God is all powerful and cannot take different forms to communicate with people while explaining that all other religions are issues with perception is a little illogical, but, okay.

The problem is when we attempt to claim the perceptions of another person are wrong.

No two people see things exactly the same way. This is a hugely notorious issue with the criminal justice system. Some people see things so differently that they are called “delusional”. Galileo for example was considered delusional because he disagreed with Aristotle's perception of the Universe.

Essentially Aristotle “won” the logical debate on how the Universe moved and the Earth stayed still. Aristotle had two very logical arguments for this. First, if the Earth rotated everyone would fly off. Second, if the Earth rotated you should be able to throw a rock up straight up in the sky and it would land away from the thrower. The distance from the thrower would depend on the rotational velocity and the amount of time the rock was in the sky.

The religious educational system of the renascence period basically told Galileo he was full of crap because he thought he knew better than Aristotle. How can you argue with such simple logic? Galileo and Copernicus had to be delusional. No question about it. The logic of Aristotle was correct!

These logical arguments are great examples of attempting to convert facts like we stay on the surface of the Earth into scientific laws like geocentric motion.

No one can arrive at a Fact through logical deduction. We create theories through logical deduction. Facts are repeatable observations. When we do THIS, THAT happens. We write down the steps, THIS, very exactly and then someone else repeats the experiment and the same thing happens, over and over.

Within a range.

So we end up quantifying the results of scientific experiments with things like “the results will range between X and Y” we quote things like standard deviation, mean, median and modality. The smaller the standard deviation the more accurate the results. If the mean, median and modality are all the “same” we know the distribution is normal, if they aren't there is a problem skewing the results.

Sounds like I am off topic? Nope. This is all about perception, the way we observe the things that happen.

When we insist that people must observe similar situations in exactly the same way.

In science we develop all kinds of instrumentation that will allow us to effectively quantify the results of experiments. We develop standards for qualifying the equipment. We develop methods of recording the the results.

We do all of this to minimize the variation in perception.

Still, variations in perception continue.

The wilder the observation the more variance in the perception of what happened which is why legal systems have so much difficulty in determining “truth”.

Anyone who truly commits themselves to a religion will have a religious revelation and since the variety of people is infinite the perceptions of the revelation are.

Eventually religious revelation will be quantified using brain scanning technologies. My guess is that atheists have a similar revelatory experience.

I am not sure we will ever be able to quantify God.

Which is what makes the arguments people who want to force their view of Atheism, Christianity or Islam so illogical.

In science we recognize that there are variations in perception and we work very hard on communications and the ability to minimize variations in perceptions.

There is another problem. Conflict is the basis of evolution.

The evolution of thought, the evolution of our bodies, the evolution of our culture.

We need fanatics to drive the conflict through which we evolve.

We also need fanatics and everyone else to be willing to allow us our own perceptions and choices without attempting to force their perceptions on us.

That means Dawson and Al Queda and Westboro have to quit ridiculing and killing people who disagree them.

We need a balance between conflict and force feeding. We can't have that until fanatics are willing to stop shoving their ideologies down the throats of everyone else.

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