Neo-Religions

To go along with my previous post related to the extension of life, it seems we now have some “new” (a relevant term) religions to take us into the unknowns of the future.

As has been expressed by various polls, society is secularizing — particularly among the young. However, according to this article, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re becoming “less religious.” Many are simply changing where and in what they put their faith.

For some, it is the religion of Gaia in which nature is personalized and the earth is seen as a living, perhaps sentient, organism. For others, it is a drive to promote “nature rights” for “Pachamama,” the Incan earth goddess.

There’s also Transhumanism, which Wikipedia describes as

an international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.”

Actually, Transhumanism seems similar to what some readers suggested in my earlier referenced post related to future humans receiving brain implants to increase intelligence and/or genetic engineering to extend life spans. In fact, it seems all that would be required would be to harness technology, as discussed in this Guardian article:

Imagine that a person’s brain could be scanned in great detail and recreated in a computer simulation. The person’s mind and memories, emotions and personality would be duplicated. In effect, a new and equally valid version of that person would now exist, in a potentially immortal, digital form. 

Some individuals feel there’s a drawback to these neo-religions in that they tend to be anti-human. Even so, they offer meaning to their believers — and isn’t that the core element of religion?

It’s been suggested that as religion continues its downward spiral, even more new forms of faith will emerge.

What do you think? Can you see yourself embracing one of these new “theologies?” (After all, they aren’t a part of Christianity. 😎)

Especially for Christians

Although the following was written by an ex-Christian, his words are primarily directed TO Christians. (Actually, he wrote more than this, but I selected a portion of his post that I felt was especially relevant.)

My reason for re-posting his message is because I’m hoping some of my Christian readers/followers will look it over and share your thoughts and comments. While I feel pretty certain many of you will disagree with some (or all) of what he wrote, I would really like to know why you disagree.

What has he said that you feel is wrong? Where is he mistaken? Would you be willing to share your thoughts/opinions?


Note to Non-Christian/Atheist Readers:

PLEASE do not post any thoughts or comments. I don’t want to start a war of words. I honestly would like to hear the believer’s side related to what this blogger has written — and I want them to feel safe when doing so. If I don’t get any comments at all, then so be it. 

Thank you for your understanding.


I do not call myself an atheist, though I am not convinced by any stories of God. They all lack evidence and therefore fail, in my opinion. I guess I am technically an atheist by definition, but I prefer to just go by Ben. I think it suits me better. So rather than respond to all of the posts about what an atheist is or is not, I thought I would try to correct some misconceptions here. 

[…]

First and foremost, atheists do not enjoy “living in sin.” That is not a misunderstanding. It is a lie. Atheists are not without morals just because they lack faith. Atheism is not a group that condones murder, rape, incest, violence, theft, or dishonesty. They are not without compassion for their fellow man. Atheists are just people like anyone else. Living in sin? What does that even mean? Not following the Bible? Not believing in Jesus? Not buying into the story? Is that what they mean? I already said that atheists do not enjoy “living in sin.” So if you take out all of the bad things humans can do to other humans, all that is left is humans’ views and practices regarding God. Since atheists are unconvinced of God’s existence, this is irrelevant. You can’t “sin” against God if he is not there. I do not personally know any atheist who lives their life constantly rejoicing in their rejection of God. It’s really a non-issue and they simply focus on their own lives. That’s it.

Secondly, atheists do not see evidence of God and reject it in order to live lives of debauchery. There is no credible evidence of the existence of God, Jesus or any of the Bible characters. There is no evidence that prayer works. Actual studies on intercessory prayers (praying on behalf of others) showed that prayer has no detectable effect on the outcome of those being prayed over. Here are some statistics from some studies done.

The “evidence” provided by believers, such as the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the fine-tuning argument, having a conscience, the argument of design, ontological arguments and any other argument you can think of, has nothing resembling concrete proof of anything. It’s all speculation and conjecture. The fact that there is a debate over the existence of a personal God is clear enough evidence that one does not exist. A personal God would not be hidden, and yet we cannot see one, hear one, feel one, communicate with one or sense one in any way. If one exists, it is most certainly existing in a state of constant hiding.

Atheists are not “shaking their fists at God.” They simply remain unconvinced. If atheists believed in God and believed in the wrath and punishments of God, they would not “shake their fists” at him. They would follow. There is one thing that would convince every last unbeliever. There is one thing that would make us hit our knees in prayer. There is one thing that would do so many things, but we are sadly missing that one thing: Evidence. There simply is none. Things of a supernatural nature Unexplained phenomena is not evidence of God or the divine realm. Just because we can’t explain by our current understanding the reasoning behind some events that occur, that doesn’t mean we can insert God as an explanation.

“If not God, then who or what?” That question, if you do not know the answer, should always have this response: “I don’t know.” If you don’t know then you don’t know. There is no shame in that. But to fill in the blanks with God is to be dishonest. “God must have done it because I can’t think of any other reason for it happening. If science can’t explain it, then God can.” This dangerous “god-of-the-gaps” way of thinking holds us back from finding out what really happened. We can be open to the idea that God may exist, but we can’t jump to that conclusion just because we really want to believe it.

So Christian reader, what are your thoughts? Does anything “Ben” has written make sense to you? Or are you in complete disagreement? And if so, why?

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Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Are You Pro-Life?

Many of you are familiar with Scottie’s Toy Box and know that most of his posts primarily consist of links to various news articles and/or other relevant topics of the day, with a daily sample of political cartoons. However, in his “comments” section. he regularly shares his own thoughts in response to a visitor’s remarks.

Today, I felt what he wrote was quite powerful and encouraged him to turn his comment into a regular post. Regrettably, he declined.

Scottie suffers from intense arthritic pain in his fingers. He notes that some days are better than others … and today happened to be one of the bad ones … so I let him off the hook. However, I felt his remarks were simply too good not to share and decided to copy them here:

How can you rage for the protection of a zygote and call your self pro-life, then be for the death penalty, caging kids at the border, taking away food programs for kids and families, taking away health care for kids and families, taking away education opportunities for kids and families, and refusing to place children in acceptable homes with people who love them if those people do not share your religious views. No way that is pro-life.

In my opinion, he nails it!

Too many “pro-lifers” wave banners and signs and adamantly profess their beliefs related to abortion, yet seem to forget that “life” continues on even after birth.

Along with Scottie, I ask … how can people ignore the needs of children who have been placed in cages simply because their parents happen to be brown? How can they support a president who takes away basic healthcare and food programs in order to build funds for his “wall?” How can they endorse laws that deny children a home simply because the parents are not “Christian?” And the list goes on.

Are we not all human? Why does skin color or religious belief or political leanings play a role in caring for others … particularly children?

We need to stop worrying about the “unborn” and start paying more attention to living children — especially those who are being mistreated and/or being denied even the basic needs of life.

In other words, we need to truly become “pro-life.”

The Effect of Politics on Religion

For many, the post title should probably be reversed. However, I recently came across an article that explains how politics have actually influenced religion.

Three Decades Ago, America Lost Its Religion. Why?

A line from the article:

Religion has lost its halo effect in the past three decades, not because science drove God from the public square, but rather because politics did

I think you may also want to read the article linked in the above quote. It goes into more detail on why people’s political ideology is affecting their religious identity.

What do you think? Are politics and religion having a parting of the ways?
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For those who can’t access The Atlantic article, here are some snippets:

Deep into the 20th century, more than nine in 10 Americans said they believed in God and belonged to an organized religion, with the great majority of them calling themselves Christian. That number held steady—through the sexual-revolution ’60s, through the rootless and anxious ’70s, and through the “greed is good” ’80s.

But in the early 1990s, the historical tether between American identity and faith snapped. Religious non-affiliation in the U.S. started to rise—and rise, and rise. By the early 2000s, the share of Americans who said they didn’t associate with any established religion (also known as “nones”) had doubled. By the 2010s, this grab bag of atheists, agnostics, and spiritual dabblers had tripled in size.

[…]

The obvious question … what the hell happened around 1990?

[…]

America’s nonreligious lurch has mostly been the result of three historical events: the association of the Republican Party with the Christian right, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11.

[…]

Meanwhile, during George W. Bush’s presidency, Christianity’s association with unpopular Republican policies drove more young liberals and moderates away from both the party and the Church. New Atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, became intellectual celebrities …

[…]

A gap has opened up between America’s two political parties. In a twist of fate, the Christian right entered politics to save religion, only to make the Christian-Republican nexus unacceptable to millions of young people—thus accelerating the country’s turn against religion.

[…]

Although it would be wrong to call Democrats a secular party (older black voters are highly religious and dependably vote Democratic), the left today has a higher share of religiously unaffiliated voters than anytime in modern history. At the same time, the average religiosity of white Christian Republicans has gone up.

[…]

American politics is at risk of becoming a war of religiosity versus secularism by proxy, where both sides see the other as a catastrophic political force that must be destroyed at all costs.

God Is Not A Christian

I just came across a post that included a quote from Bishop John Shelby Spong where he says:

God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created …

I love it! 

Only problem is … in my opinion, he didn’t take it far enough.

Humans didn’t just create the systems, they also created GOD

I’m pretty sure Bishop Spong would disagree with me (see his bio below), but hey … Truth is Truth.

As an added note, Bishop Spong has also stated that HELL doesn’t exist … that it’s an invention of the church to control people with fear. Wow! This man definitely has his head on straight. (No doubt this is why he’s been described as a “liberal Christian.”)

Oh, and he also said that religion is primarily a search for security — a way to stave off anxiety over the unknown.

Who woulda’ thought?

Someone else felt similarly. Paul Tillich, a Christian existentialist philosopher, put forth the idea that humans need something to overcome their fear of death … to help them subdue the terrible dread of their demise.

And for thousands … guess who fills the bill?

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember Spong’s words that “God is not a Christian.” Thus, what happens at “the end” may not be what some are expecting.

(I must confess. Bishop Spong actually said a bit more in the above quote. I just cherry-picked the most relevant part.) 😈


John Shelby “Jack” Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1979 to 2000 he was Bishop of Newark. He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author. He calls for a fundamental rethinking of Christian belief away from theism and traditional doctrines.