What If …

To start the new year, I have a rather provocative question that I’d love for my readers and followers to think about (really think about)  and give me an answer. I feel quite certain some of you (i.e., Christians) will have an immediate knee-jerk response. However,  I’m requesting that you restrain yourself and provide a thoughtful and reasoned reply. That means no scripture .. no preaching … no “faith-based” answers.

Here’s the question:

What would the world be like if there were no religion?

I would like each person to imagine being born into a world in which the conduct of humans was regulated entirely by other humans. NOT by any supernatural power or powers. NOT by any spiritual guru. NOT by any superstitious beliefs of any kind.

In other words … what if our only code of conduct was based entirely on being an inhabitant of this planet?

Guidelines for Secular Living

Just read the following “guidelines for living in the 21st Century” on another blog. Seems to me if everybody followed them, there would be little need for the Bible or a “God” to tell us how to live.

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
4. Every person has the right to control of their body.
5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
9. There is no one right way to live.
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

P.S. This was the winning entry in a contest put on by Lex Bayer and John Figdo, co-authors of Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century (2014). The prize money was $10,000 and a team of 13 judges selected these 10 points.

P.P.S. I especially like #2. What’s your favorite?

Neuroscience Explanations For ‘Spiritual’ Experiences – Part 1

For those who favor the verity of religious experience over the credibility of science.

Victoria NeuroNotes

Note:   People of faith who appoint themselves protectors of “true knowledge” may find this information disquieting.  From a personal perspective, I found it not only liberating but empowering. The Dalia Lama, who’s been working with neuroscientists at MIT , has given a thumbs up regarding this research I’m going to present here. He states that what has been discovered about the brain’s role in mystic, and religious experiences is illuminating.

View original post 2,741 more words

Is God in the Stars?


When I look up at the stars at night and contemplate the billions and billions of galaxies, my mind staggers as I try to understand how it all came to be and why I am a part of it.

As I gaze at the magnificent expanse of darkened sky, I become acutely aware that I am merely a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. Yet, for reasons beyond my understanding, I have been given the opportunity to live on this planet … in this solar system … in this galaxy … in this universe … at this moment in space and time.

Some would say a “God” is behind everything. I simply cannot accept this because it signifies some mystical supernatural being exists somewhere “out there” and has control over everything.

Rather, I believe we are a part of something far beyond our comprehension. To try and give it a name takes away from the mystery and wonder of our beingness.

photo credit: cuellar via photopin cc