The Bible diminishes this life

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4

That is the kind of advice from the Bible that sounds good but is off the mark; we should look to our own interests. Sounds selfish, right? I believe we should be selfish PROVIDED WE UNDERSTAND WHAT IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST.

Have you ever unselfishly helped someone out? There is the classic helping an old lady across the street; changing a tire for a stranger; helped someone reach something in a store; held a door open for a stranger; given a stranger change for a parking meter; etc. Think about some kindness you have offered without expectation of any return. How did it make you feel?

I have no idea how helping another might make YOU feel but it makes me feel good, so good that I am usually on the lookout for ways I can do another a kindness.

Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, for it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Luke 18:22-25

Living frugally and giving is not bad advice but doing it to get into Heaven saps the joy out of it. If you have given money to a cause you believed in, especially given more than you thought you could afford, you expected nothing in return other than thanks and a good feeling of having done something good. Giving anonymously actually intensifies the good feeling conversely if you give with an expectation of a return, the good feeling is dulled. Bequests are the greatest source of wealth for religions—people giving their wealth with the hope of getting into heaven. If only they had given their wealth to a good cause anonymously while they were alive, they could have realized the benefit, here in this life.

Belif is not knowledge

Whether you believe there is one god, no god or many gods, your belief is no better than any of the others. You may believe in a compassionate god while others believe in a vengeful god. You are no closer to the truth than the others. No one knows there is or isn’t a god.
Perhaps the greatest good, certainly a great goal, for the future would be to have all people come to an understanding of the difference between knowledge and belief. Every belief is valid. I can make a case for there being four hermaphrodite Gods with purple hair who created the universe through a monster collision which is how they mate. The collision, of course, was a big bang and you can take it from there. Should I go a little farther? One of the purple haired Gods is my conscience, another plays with my conscience, testing it, another provides the world through which I pass, my perceptions, and the fourth is in charge of my interaction with other people.
Understanding the difference between belief and knowledge doesn’t diminish anyone’s belief. It might actually strengthen it because others would not be putting down your belief as being inferior to theirs. Imagine a world without religious conflict. Wow!
Whether you believe in a single god, several, many or none only makes a difference in how that belief affects the way you live your life. Those who feel others should believe as they do feel that way simply because in their heart of hearts they know they don’t know—if everyone believed as they did, they could feel totally comfortable with their belief. Since that isn’t going to happen, wouldn’t it be better to accept the simple fact that belief is not knowledge.

A new Religion

If Satan wrote the Bible, shouldn’t Jews, Christians and Muslims be looking for a new religion?
A new religion?! Oh, Please. We have more than enough religions. The religions many have grown up with are imbedded in their psyche. Communism was the largest experiment in getting rid of religion and it clearly failed to do so. However, new religions have formed over the years; some of them, most notably the Mormons in recent times, have been quite successful in drawing people to them from other religions. It is apparent that many people need religion perhaps to help them stay on a moral path or to help them through difficult times or to give them comfort. Religious rituals are important to some; songs and sermons can be uplifting as well as doing good.
I would not for a minute suggest replacing established religions with a new religion. I shudder at the thought of anyone taking my writings (this is not the only place I write) as the basis for a new religion because historically all of the great religions have strayed from the words of the teachers on whom they were founded.
My philosophy is introspective. To follow my path one needs to use his or her brain to think about this life, his or her life. I hope that what you find when you look inside yourself is a conscience that guides you. Much of your conscience may be in step with a religion or, more nearly, with the teachings of the original figure in the religion but the ultimate guide should be totally within you. We are all different. If you want to call what you find within yourself a new religion, fine; but keep it to yourself.

A Free Thinker is Satan’s Slave

“A FREE THINKER IS SATAN’S SLAVE!” read the signboard of the New Canaan, Connecticut Baptist Church.
This church must know its flock well and know that there will not be any thinking, free or otherwise, going on when they read this.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a free thinker as “one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; especially: one who doubts or denies religious dogma.”; and slave as “one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence”. Many churches are dominating influences over their flock and preach subservience to their belief making the followers of the religion slaves to their religion. Free thought especially if based on reason independent of authority is anathema to a religion that would accuse Free Thinkers of being Satan’s slave.
If you are a slave to your religion, throw off the bonds of slavery and join those who are free to think. You don’t have to give up your religion to be free, just feel free to reject the things that don’t make sense.