Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven ... The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste ..."
"Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel ... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth".Mark Twain

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Work of Christmas by Howard Thurman
When the song of angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the brothers,
to make music in the heart.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.--Mark Twain

"I detest the man who hides one thing in the depths of his heart
and speaks forth another."-- Homer

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.- Madeleine L’Engle

My Take on "Happy Holidays"
All I can think when I hear of Christians boycotting stores that advertise "Holiday" sales instead of "Christmas" sales or instruct their employees to wish patrons "Happy Holidays" is this:What would Jesus do? I'm guessing he would look out over the earth and mourn.

So many poor, so many naked,
so many hungry, so many homeless,
so many dying, so many at war,
so many wounded and suffering
...and he would be angry at what is being done in his name and weep at what is not being done."I tell you this truth: When you help the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you have helped me." Matt. 25
by Rev. Sean Parker Dennison

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."-- Mark Twain

On Humanism: Either
(a) religious beliefs are interpreted and applied in such a way as to bring them into conflict with scientific theories, in which case we have good reasons for accepting the scientific theories and rejecting the religious beliefs;
or(b) religious beliefs are interpreted and applied in such a way as to make them consistent with accepted scientific theories, in which case the religious beliefs are redundant and do not explain anything which cannot be better explained by the scientific theories.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot, "The Four Quartets"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sophia Lyon Fahs -What we believe:
Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged.

Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies.

Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies.

Other beliefs are bonds in a world community,where sincere differences beautify the pattern.

Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world.

Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

"What disturbs people's minds is not the event but the judgment of the events."

Epictetus, 500 B.C. Stoic philosopher

Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Men seek out retreats for themselves in the country, by the seaside, on the moutains. . .But all this is unphilosophical to the last degree. . .when thou canst at a moment's notice retire into thyself."-- Marcus Aelius Aurelius (121-180 AD), Roman emperor, philosopher


You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.

You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.

Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.
What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

"The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal." -- Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher,

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