The Problem Of “Spiritual, But Not Religious”

In my past two articles, I was eager to explore some of the themes of Advent, especially those of interest to the men of this forum. Advent, as we’ve seen, is a season for Judgment, a season for the advent of Truth in our midst, the Truth Who is King and Priest. Today, I’d like to focus on a topic that ties these two themes together; in the phrase “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” the “spiritual” is an inferior and effeminate mockery of religion’s inherent virility.

Of course, we ascribe various meanings to each of these terms in our days, some positive and negative. How am I using them? The more common opinion of the ancients, is that religion is derived from religare, “to bind fast; to fasten,” giving it sometimes the same force of a related term, obligatio (“obligation”). Religion is our “bounden duty,” fastening us together, and to the divine.

“Spirituality,” thus framed as an alternative to religion, is the pretense of making contact with the Transcendent, without all the clear and fixed ideas of what It is, and how we commune with It. This lack of clear ideas allows the basest forms of self-pandering and casual blasphemy to occur.

The Commodification Of “Spirituality”

Take a second, head on over to Google, and search for “Philosophy.” When I do it, the first three results—two of which are paid advertisements—are for a line of “skin care” products. Of course, nobody needs these for “skin care;” they are just pretexts for separating money from foolish women.

I first became aware of them a few years ago at Christmastime, funnily enough, when I came to visit my family for the holidays. Showering in my parents’ bathroom, I saw that my mother had these things all over, in the shower and on the counters. I very nearly threw them all out.

For you see, these products are insultingly titled after philosophical ideals and virtues, even the specifically theological virtues and Divine Operations, amounting to literal blasphemy. The products are named such things as “hope,” “miracle worker,” “living grace” and “unconditional love,” all with trite, infuriating messages written on the containers.

If you find that their products are not suffusing your soul with the theological virtues as well as you would like, have no fear: they also make a facial firming serum called “When Hope is not Enough.” It’s sure to get you through some tough times.


Check your privilege, St. Augustine; it’s about time concubines started writing the theological tractates!

Irreligious “Spirituality” Is Simply A Mirror Of Our Superficial Selves

This company’s foundress describes her business as the result of an “epiphany” which she had on Christmas Day—in the desert near my home in Arizona, funnily enough (it only occurred to me to use these products as an illustration of my point this past weekend, and the coincidences sure are piling up). Her epiphany came, when she realized that she was the only one “serious” about her concubinage to a man who had better things to do than hike with her on Christmas Day.

But this sad moment was turned to joy when she looked up and saw a rainbow! “Something in me completely shifted, as if I had a healing,” she told an LA Times reporter, who further added that “she is in a new phase of her life—one that emphasizes inner, not outer beauty. She refuses to join a gym or diet.” Need I say more?

There are two possibilities, here. On the one hand, this woman may actually be so pitiable as to think that she received a “religious healing,” which inspired her to become an even worse version of herself, eating more and exercising less, and to “focus on inner beauty” by selling blasphemous products with a literally skin-deep purpose. On the other hand, she may simply understand how easy it is to bilk other women with this kind of nonsense… in which case, she’s right.

Certainly my mother and my aunts, who all describe themselves as “spiritual, but not religious,” love her products. And what is the message? “Don’t do anything hard to improve yourself; affirm yourself as you are… but DO spend money on my product, because it provides what is missing from your life.”

Even when the “spiritual but not religious” approach has not been reduced to a marketing gimmick, it is still a narcissistic bit of flim-flam. When I first went to college (a few years before I became a monk), a girl I took out asked me why I “limited myself” to just one religion, rather than picking and choosing the things I liked best from all of them. Picking from all of them would be more “open minded,” she explained. I told her that nothing was less open-minded than destroying the integrity of a culture’s religious practices, reassembling the ones you already liked into a new, personal mish-mash. An open-minded person would allow a religious tradition to impact him as it is, not hack away at it until only a reflection of his preconceived notions remained.

Moreover, I told her that religion was about Truth, and involved many fine distinctions in the exposition of momentous questions; it was impossible to preserve such integrity of thought with a buffet-style approach. Her statement implied that spirituality is simply a collection of practices designed to produce a feeling or state of mind, to entertain or to flatter one’s self. I told her that a person who approached the divine in this was simply worshipping himself, rather than rising above himself by contact with what is higher than himself.

Her reply was that if I could only hear myself, I would see how my narrow religious views had already given me a very judgmental attitude; it was not my place to tell other people which spiritual ideas and practices were right, they had to find what was “true” for them.


This humble yoga mistress can feel the force flow through her.

Liberalism Applied To The Supernatural Is Inherently Effeminate

A man should not cheapen himself by submitting to such an hypocritical and self-refuting concept—to preach an intolerant tolerance. My “spirituality” was wrong because I thought some people’s “spirituality” was wrong! This is the same philosophy held by leftists on political matters – tolerance for me, but not for thee. Hey, you hateful, judgmental asshole! Didn’t anyone teach you not to pass judgment? Though our Lord does warn people in the Gospels not to judge the state of another man’s soul, or his real worth, it is quite clear that the Lord believed in judging the objective morality of acts and ideas. Rational discrimination—good judgment—is the basis of right action.

The result of political leftism is thus to offer a justification for whatever people happen to want at present, by wrapping it in the high-minded ideas of tolerance and freedom… while providing a justification for vilifying unpopular ideas, by associating them with the ideas of intolerance and totalitarianism. But it should be obvious that this aggressive “tolerance” is itself a totalitarian ideology that uses “freedom” and “oppression” as mere buzzwords. It is an incoherent system devoid of any positive substance, and God help you if such persons are in charge of creating and enforcing the “principles” of your society.

Likewise, the “spiritual, but not religious” approach provides justification for spiritual masturbation, and for bad-mouthing religion, under pretense of similarly high-minded ideas. It provides easy slogans that feign virtue and wisdom (like “meat is murder” for veganism, or “two wrongs don’t make a right” against the death penalty) but fears to arrive at the clarity of natural religion (which can explain why we don’t incarcerate lions, and why we do punish criminals), because this clarity dispels the ambiguity they require in order to turn liberty into license.

But a serious man will search for the coherent system of truths, that holds the moral and spiritual life together; his religious practices will have the expression and practice of these truths for their aim. There is a legitimate way in which serious religion transcends finite concepts… but this is because it transcends them as the shadows of a more brilliant Truth, not because it finds them false in the first place.


“Omne verum, a quocumque dicatur, a Spiritu Sancto est.” “Well, Tom, that may be true for you…”

If any men on this site are interested in developing their spiritual sides, I would exhort them to keep this in mind. If you think of the spiritual life as an emotional experience, or a set of practices focused on you, your “personality,” your aspirations, I encourage you to reconsider. The way of men has always sought a more authentic spirituality, in the excellence whereof loftier ideals shine forth, such as Truth, clarity, ascesis, sacrifice, reverence, and duty. God grant us to progress in these, during this holy season.

Read More: My Experience At A Religious Retreat In America

531 thoughts on “The Problem Of “Spiritual, But Not Religious””

  1. The uniting factor of all religions and faiths of the world is the Golden Rule, which I try to adhere to…. Aside from that, reading much of the surrounding scriptures leads me to believe that I’m submitting for someone else’s political gain. If there is a higher power, it is far too great for mortal men to quantify into words, which is why I stick to the philosophical [instead of doctrinal] aspects of faith. I see both sides of this argument.

    1. Yes, I agree with you Tony. The organized religions ALL – as in ALL – are the creations of men, not god. As such, they are quickly subverted to man’s goals, which so often include money. That’s why I prefer the Tao; it has not been co-opted into a religion yet (probably because no one’s figured out how to make money from it.)

      1. Tao, like all Buddha / Asian religions, has been co-opted by something far worse than people turning a buck on it….celebritards.

      2. I think one of them was founded by a Man, Who was also God.
        I wouldn’t be surprised if more money has been made off of spiritual-ish flim-flam that is NOT associated with any serious religious practice, than has been made off of real religion.

    2. There is an article right here on this site about why the golden rule is bollocks. And no, all religions are not about that. Very far from it.

      1. I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover and I’m halfway through the Koran. The 3 Abrahamic faiths are big on the Golden rule. Maybe more obscure religions no so much.

        1. And this is precisely the problem with bible thumpers (of which I include all the major 3). Too narrow a view. Religion is a lot more than just what we prefer to practice at the moment in this part of the world.

        2. “some form of reprocity” is not the same as The Golden Rule. And yeah, just about every religion ever, unless you think it’s good enough that they only do it within their own circle and not towards people from other religions. See also: Bataclan.

        3. Again, I ask you: What religion does not have the golden rule as part of its doctrine?
          The World’s Top 10 Religions in 2015 [By Population]:
          Uniting Factor: ALL directly prescribe the Golden Rule in their scriptures.

    3. Well, if you are making a good-faith effort to maintain clear first principles, and to act in accord with them, then you would fall well within the religious (rather than “spiritual”) camp, as I defined them. So, more power to you.
      A few men have thought I was saying that only membership in organized religion counted as “religion,” and everything else was mere “spirituality.” No. I was saying that men should have a principled relationship to truth and the supernatural, rather than a vague and emotional one, which caters to self-pandering.

  2. “Her reply was that if I could only hear myself, I would see how my
    narrow religious views had already given me a very judgmental attitude;
    it was not my place to tell other people which spiritual ideas and
    practices were right, they had to find what was “true” for them.”
    This pretty much sums up so many exchanges I have had with women, whom for everything seems to be judgement, that damn worthless catch-all term every jezz throws around today like it actually means something.
    Disagree with a woman and offer an opinion which shows you more or less stand firm on an issue, and have an unwavering opinion? Well, you’re just judgy. And hateful. You McJudgerton.

    1. I once had a woman – covered in tattoos and piercings – say to me, “Only God can judge me!”
      Oh, trust me dear. I can judge you as well.

      1. Sounds like a platitude she picked up in rehab with no understanding of the context, just that she could use it to excuse herself from any standards.

        1. Likely you and I have found an instance in which we both know a similar person as the times I have heard that phrase were when someone had gone to “get help” in a group but all they came back with was shallow justification for why it wasn’t their fault and a newfound hubris.

        2. “Being religious is for people that are afraid of hell; being spiritual is for people that have already been there” is the preferred motto for rehab rats. Can’t stand hearing that.

    2. I found your comment to be extremely judgmental and intractable, scornful of compromise and of emotional togetherness.
      Keep up the good work.

  3. An excellent and very important article. Some men may not be sure what genuine religious girl behaviour is like, which is very different from her “spiritual” behaviour and genuine spirituality/mysticism.
    “Spiritual, but not religious” is just an excuse for mostly women (I’ve never heard of a guy use this phrase, most men will at least be honest with themselves and just say they’re “not religious”) to simultaneously indulge in sin that they know to be wrong and to then “clean themselves up” by buying their way out via products on supermarket shelves, fake “yoga” (very different in the West from the real thing in India), and other superficial acts.
    What they are actually trying to say is, “Experiential, and not religious.”
    In essence, it’s just a trap for men to think there’s more to her from other women, when there’s really nothing but gimmicks to make herself appear more exotic and mysterious. She’s probably even a bigger slut than the others and just a way for her to normalize her bad behaviour.
    These women wonder around all over their entire lives and never settle down. They are even worse than typical sluts because they’ve convinced themselves that they’re angels.
    Any women who claims to be “Spiritual, but not religious” should be avoided like the plague.
    Addendum: These women are also often the most “experimental” (bisexuality, group, etc.) of all because they justify their sexual escapades as “finding themselves”.
    They are also like to “try” men of different religions and are easily fooled by unscrupulous men who try to attract women under the garb of religion, especially when the man is of a different religion from the one she claims (“grass is greener on the other side”).
    They also always support “interfaith marriage”, (something I don’t support and from my observation, often the hallmark of a Marxist, better to call it “outerfaith marriage”) something any truly religious person won’t support out of respect for other religions and because it doesn’t make any sense in the first place.

    1. Right, spiritual but not religious is everything but sex. Hon, you aint a virgin if 50 guys popped in your mouth and ass even if you never did give up the sugar pie.
      Religion is hard. Damn hard. I can’t do it. People who want to be spiritual but not religious are no different than people who want to buy a 29.99 dollar supplement to make them have a 6 pack without bothering with years of research, diet and exercise

      1. but sexuality has often been a part of (typically pagan) religions. I guess you can probably tell what kind of religious person you are by whether you do your fucking inside or outside your temple or place of worship. Sometimes I think the only way to get people back to the religious life is to bring back temple prostitutes….although as a Christian I may not have thought that through fully

        1. Not a serious proposition. Actually it probably would fix church attendance, although they might not necessarily be christians

        2. both, very important institutions in their own right, but I agree important to keep them separate.

      2. Exactly. That’s why I opened with the line of “spiritual” skin-care products. These ladies try to buy their Jesus (or Buddha, or Whatever) in bulk.

    2. Exactly. “I must not be a vicious, sinful whore, because I do yoga and listen to World Music.” No self-improvement for me!
      Like the skin-care products sold by the “spiritual woman,” it is a way to feel self-satisfied with the most superficial of endeavours.

    3. Reminds me of the girl who, not just a few weeks ago, proclaimed loudly at the bar that she ‘loved sex.’ She said it as though it were some deep, spiritual revelation, or some special and unique part of her being.
      No shit Sherlock. We all love sex. Everyone enjoys it. Loudly proclaiming said enjoyment as justification for fornication and loose sexual morals, as an attempt to ‘spiritualize’ your lack of control, is what is special and unique. Proclaiming you’re a slut and love being a slut, as if that were some DEFENSE of your actions, is what is revelatory.
      These are the white girls we white men have to deal with in this day and age. Amazing. Depressing.

  4. “Spiritual but not religious” is pretty much in the same league as chicks who say they are “sapiosexual”. When in da hail is that supposed to mean anyway??

    1. “Sapiosexual” is supposed to mean sexual attraction to intellect. To translate from womanese, it means they either got a pump n’ dump chump one too many times, or they are ugly and are fishing for some betas.

        1. That’s almost what I am. Abrorcrombsexual…I only have sex with girls who look like they can or ought to work at Abercrombie and Fitch

        2. I’d call you a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse
          Thank you woody allen.

        3. in a perfect world….they also would be mutes….however, 18-28 is what I consider the 10 year window.

  5. Some of you should read the “Tao”. It recognizes a primal force in the universe, called Tao, but not actually Tao, in the way that our word and conception of “God” is not actually what God is (if he’s there at all).
    The best analogy I can think of for Tao is the tide. You can swim against the tide – it takes much more effort, your progress is slower, and you can’t really enjoy the journey – and you might or might not get to where you want. Or, you can swim with the tide, moving more quickly, using less effort, and getting to where you want more quickly. So it is with Tao.
    If you live with the Tao, you minimize conflict, maximize harmony, and avoid getting caught up in the superficial “getting and spending” in Wordsworth’s inimical phrase. But Tao is not a religion; it is a philosophy. There is no “god” in Tao. There is no “divine purpose”. There is only you and I, in the stream of life, deciding to swim with or against the tide. It is the essence of spirituality without religion. I leave you with Jane English’s lyrical translation of Eight and Nine (nb “the ten thousand things” is the literal translation for “infinite”)
    The highest good is like water.
    Water give life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
    It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
    In dwelling, be close to the land.
    In meditation, go deep in the heart.
    In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
    In speech, be true.
    In ruling, be just.
    In daily life, be competent.
    In action, be aware of the time and the season.
    No fight: No blame.
    Better to stop short than fill to the brim.
    Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
    Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
    Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
    Retire when the work is done.
    This is the way of heaven.

    1. I doubt “bible thumpers” have gone anywhere.
      The questions to ask is why it is so important to generalize all people of faith down into a simple, marginalizing catch-phrase and who began the practice?
      Not saying that zealotry is ever good, because I believe it never is, but there’s a deeper game in play here than simply writing the faithful off as kooks.

      1. The point I was trying to make is that religion is not about ghosts in the sky looking down on us or invisible pink unicorns that secretly control the world. It is about controlling the behavior of the people who believe in ghosts, invisible pink unicorns and other fantasies. It is not red-pill.

        1. I agree that religion is used as a control mechanism, but I would maintain that there is more to it than that as well. Men with means and agenda will utilize the tools available or create new to suit their needs to meet those ends. No argument with you.
          My point is basically, there are also those who seek to place others in their influence by demeaning the good that can be gleaned from any source, including religious texts and gatherings.
          I simply did not garner your point through the limited post of:
          Return of bible thumpers.

        2. Damn! You figured it out!
          I’ll just tell my followers that the pink unicorns will gore them to death if they listen to you. That will work because all religious people are idiots whose lives confirm everything you say.

  6. Aurelius Moner adds some much needed metaphysical gravitas to ROK. Thank you, sir, for your excellent articles. Keep them coming!

  7. great article. my devout catholic wife’s religious spirituality beats the “not religious” spirituality of the pseudo-buddhist chicks i used to date in the US by a light-year.
    about the woman who makes the skin care products, i wanted to point out that choosing to eat more can actually be a good move if you’re eating healthy and lifting hard. here on ROK and other manosphere sites we often imply that you have to go hungry to avoid being a fattie. it’s counterproductive and just not true. i eat whenever i feel hungry. i was averaging around 4,000 calories a day last time i checked, but it’s all real food instead of processed, sugary garbage, and i get up early five or six times a week and lift hard. i have to eat a lot to make gains. i’m well into middle age and have a normal BMI with flat, defined abs and a cut chest. i feel great too.
    what i’m saying is that nothing good comes of going hungry and we need to stop telling people to eat less. instead, tell people to eat better and lift hard (male or female).

  8. I doubt many of you will be able to appreciate the words and insights of Aurelius, but for those of us that are tired of the atheistic drivel thrown at us on a daily basis on social media, his articles are a God send.

      1. Brother, your words are light in the midst of confusion and darkness. I am Catholic and this strengthens my faith

      2. Your articles are probably the best part of ROK. Really appreciate you taking the time for writing these.

    1. There should be more contemplative articles on here indeed, you are correct, we are alright in acknowledgement of how dire our existence is.

  9. “This aggressive “tolerance” is itself a totalitarian ideology that uses
    “freedom” and “oppression” as mere buzzwords. It is an incoherent system
    devoid of any positive substance, and God help you if such persons are
    in charge of creating and enforcing the “principles” of your society.”
    I have one question : I’ve read the teachings of Saint Paul on submitting to authority and keep asking myself at what point should the Christians rebel against a downright satanic government ?
    This has been troubling me later on.
    Great article, by the way.

    1. I would follow the general teaching of Aquinas – if armed revolt is likely to only exacerbate the situation, it should not be attempted, even if the justification for revolt exists.
      The justification undoubtedly exists, at present; the chance of success, in my opinion, is low enough to dissuade us from it. That’s not to say we couldn’t organize and see whether we may be able to increase the odds! But at present it is not advisable, nor moral, in my opinion.
      Of course, if it really comes down to it – i.e., the state mandates that you, personally, engage in intrinsic evil, then obviously you do not submit.

      1. Thank you for your answer.
        I don’t really believe in a populist Christian uprising myself.
        However, lately I’ve been thinking about creating a network, an Order composed of elite individuals that could act to restaure the traditionnal world.
        That’s what the enemy has been doing since for ever : creating networks to influence power structures.

        1. I think this is a good goal, and it’s one I share. Perhaps we should speak, sometime. “Things that can’t go on forever, don’t.” Leftism can’t go on forever – or, rather, the spirit of rebellion will exist so long as man exists, but it can only destroy a civilization so much, before the institutions it requires are no longer sustainable. When that happens, a network of men with purpose and wisdom and virtue, can accomplish much.

      2. Interesting. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles and comments, as this has added an aspect to the “red pill” discussion that could no longer be ignored.
        A little bit off topic, but I’ve got a question if you have some time. Do understand that my question will really only make sense if you are familiar with the heavy Jewish influence (often negative influence) in our society:
        I’ve been looking into a group of people who call themselves “Jews” (more specifically, the Ashkenazim variety). What I’ve found is rather troubling. It seems as though Jewish Zionists played a big part in manipulating the US, Great Britain, the Soviets, and Germany in both WW1 and WW2 in order to gain land in Palestine, and that much of what we’ve been led to believe about Hitler, National Socialism, and the Holocaust are highly questionable if not outright lies.
        In the Book of Revelation and I believe the Book of Acts, it speaks of a group of people who claim to be Jews but are not. They are described as the “synagogue of Satan”. Now, there is a theory that a warlike tribe known as the Khazarians “converted” to Judaism over a thousand years ago, and that the descendants of these Khazarians now occupy Israel.
        My question is – Is it possible that the group of people the Bible speaks of as “claiming to be Jews” are the tribe that currently occupies Israel? And, if so, could the Jewish problem be part of biblical prophecy in the Book of Revelation?

        1. This is an immense question, which the casual listener-in will probably misunderstand. Also, at the moment I don’t have the time to give the very full explanation necessary to avoid misunderstanding. So, I’ll simply say:
          1) I have heard a lot of things in both directions, regarding the Khazars (and their Jewish bona fides). I honestly don’t know the answer to the question. But, honestly, I don’t think that much matters, because:
          2) I think St. John’s point, is the same as St. Paul’s, and St. John the Baptist’s. When the leaders of the Jews came to St. John the Baptist, he warned them not to pride themselves on their ancestry alone – “God is able to raise up sons to Abraham from these stones.” St. Paul explicitly teaches that the Jews were severed from the olive tree of Israel, and the Gentiles grafted in, because the Church is Israel. In the Old Covenant, the Jews were “betrothed” to Christ, as it were, and were thus accounted a part of Him by faith. When He came, they rejected Him and ceased to be Israel. Now, the Catholic Church is the Israel of God.
          3) St. John thus calls all Jews who reject Christ “the synagogue of Satan.” They say they are Jews, but are not; because, as St. Paul teaches, he is not a Jew who is merely one outwardly. To be a true son of Abraham, one has faith in the Messiah.
          4) In our days, many who claim the name “Catholics” have also rejected the Christ and the Church. Francis, for example, just put out an heretical letter on the Jews. These men are not Catholics, and therefore, are certainly not bishops, popes, etc., of the Church.
          5) Yes, this coincides with the “Jewish Problem” coming to a critical point in our days. There are many hints, here and there, that the system of AntiChrist is in fact this neo-“Jewish” philosophy of Leftism, rebellion, deconstruction. I agree with Churchill and the Church Fathers, who thought it plain to see that the Jews would be the source both of Christ and of Antichrist. Some statements made about the apparition at Fatima also lead one to believe that it may mention this specifically Jewish element of the apocalyptic times.
          6) As always, there are decent Jews who will be caught up in the natural antipathy many feel towards the Jewish elite, when they finally cross the line. I pity them. Something that surprised me about WWI and WWII, was to see that all sides agreed there was a Jewish problem precipitating all the events of those conflicts – Churchill wrote a full page article in the London Illustrated Daily. Since then, there has been a prolific campaign against “Anti-Semitism,” designed to prevent people from noticing or mentioning this ongoing problem. In the end, this makes matters worse, because the pressure builds until it will erupt in very great violence, rather than being corrected by smaller and more humane measures, at present.
          7) I don’t deny the Holocaust, but I am a revisionist insofar as I don’t take every “fact” about it at face value. I think a lot of very shady things have been done in the past century, and it may be a long while – if ever – before we know the whole story. I also do not support Fascism, for its view that “the state is everything” and “nothing is outside the state.” But I consider Fascism to be less evil and twisted than the pseudo-egalitarian premises of the Democratic (“Mob Rule”) states. But then, the Fascists themselves admitted that Fascism was a temporary measure, leading to aristocracy, and not a permanent system of governance.

        2. Thank you for your words. They have been very helpful to me in my quest for Truth.
          I look forward to reading more of your works.

  10. You misunderstand, misrepresent and oversimplify spirituality. There are multiple forms of spirituality, and many of them are much more subtle and deep than your misguided summary of it.
    And apart from that, some people adopt the “spiritual but not religious” label because for whatever reason, they tend to believe that life is not meaningless but dismiss organized religion and personal gods.
    Organized religion is based on the teaching of claims without evidence to children who do not know better. When the children grow, they now have the intellectual ability to question these beliefs, but they don’t because the ingraining of those beliefs at childhood makes them stubborn and trains the mind to systematically turn a blind eye to evidence against them, or lack of evidence for them. Of course, the same can be said of a big chunk of the leftist ideology – communism has many things in common with organized religion. Obviously children and teenagers do need to be taught certain things
    such as a sense of justice, intellectual curiosity, etc, but teaching
    them claims about the world presented as facts is nothing of short of
    abuse. These things have had their day, and they need to go.
    You lump up various practices, some of them immensely powerful for observing one’s own mind and achieving psychological balance, and present them as some effeminate body of practices you call spirituality. Though you do not sound like an ignorant overall, your article is extremely mediocre.

    1. This sounds like what every single 16 year old bass player who dresses in black and smokes dope says to girls to make them think they are deep.

        1. Uh excuse me sir but I believe that before that we managed to discard millioniya-old practices and nobody seems to give that another thought.

        2. The point of neomasculinty is for Roosh to sell more books/build a cult. Old timers simply called it being a man. Other than that I do not understand your question.

        3. I mean there is a time and place for everything and I think it is good for teenagers to think, for a short while, that they know everything in the world and are as deep as can be…problem is, if you don’t grow out of it you just wind up looking like an ass.

        4. Roosh’s purpose is his own, so far there is no evidence suggesting he would form a cult, but then who knows? Book sales would also likely not be the sole reason as much of what is within them is provided free of charge on the web.
          The problem most men here can agree on in modern time is that men are being raised without any conception of what “being a man” is and wildly feminized due to it.
          So, building from that base it would seem one of the other millennia-old practices you mention being discarded would be masculinity in a world under feminist decree. Another would be the question of gender roles and so on, all problems we are supposedly coming together to address here. The actual tossing aside of traditional norms and values and religion, like it or not, is one such thing.
          I believe we have commenters who also follow Thor, Buddhism, and a slew of religions unrelated to Christianity. While I may not agree with all religions or with all doctrines, I would never treat any lightly or flippantly dismiss it no matter my own biases or beliefs, that would just be feminine.

        5. The problem doesn’t go away for some people. See islamists, christians, pastafarians, buddhists etc. etc.

        6. Uh no sah masculinity has been around since long before we became humans. It is one of those millionya-old practices.
          A lot of thousand year old practices (such as christianity) came about as a result of agriculture. It was a tool to reduce drama and violence among local groups of people. It worked because people believed there actually was something watching and judging everything they did. Along comes science and argues God into disappearing in a puff of logic and here we are.
          Well the world is changing again. Internet, globalization and thirteen ways to not getting pregnant from fucking is something that has never happened to us before. It remains to be seen what will emerge, but for the meantime it seems that women are reverting to our old tribal ways. It will not be us who invents the new order, it will be our grandchildren, assuming we survive until then.
          ps just a side note, nobody follows Thor. They follow the norse religion.

        7. It’s like these 40 to 50 year old dudes who still dress like the 80’s poser band members. Older crusty skin with the Duran Duran hair. They just look pathetic.

        8. If we don’t have a word for something it is because it does not exist in our common cultural consciousness. It’s something that is millions of years old. A million is one thousand thousands.

        9. correct. Or even worse, the ones that try to update their style so they dress like current 20 year olds.

        10. No sir I do believe it is an actual recognized religion in some states (yet don’t care enough to go check, it would be sad if it turns out not to be). It did however start as a joke in order to mock something christian, some school board schism or something.
          Either way, it is as valid a belief as anything else. Did you know there is a correlation between the number of pirates in the world and the number of natural disasters? Torrent an album today to save the world.

        11. I’m aware of what a million equals. And I am aware millennia means thousands. I now get what you are saying, but when you invent a word and expect it be known it isn’t conducive to the conversation (heck even Googling it for a definition returned only results for millennia, so I honestly had no clue what meaning it had, seems like a semantic dodge to be honest).
          I am probably not the best person to represent religion to begin with, but I take it in stride similarly to most philosophies, and have no need of proving it or myself to anyone else.

        12. I am going to go to the gym, then take a shower, put on a nice outfit, go to a hotel bar, have a scotch and then plan out a night which, with any luck, ends with a girl in my bed who was just being born when I was graduating college. Is that a religion?

        13. Oh certainly, if you want it to be! But you would have to come up with a name, a set of beliefs and religious practices, maybe decide on names for various ranks in your Order, and then of course get the state to say that it is a real religion. Maybe I’ll even join up!

        14. You might not want to, depending on what your religious text says. I recommend heavy amounts of alcohol and/or your favored psychotropic while writing it. That is how these things are made, right?

        15. Just making the point that something that is thousands of years old, is not really all that old when we look at our total history. It just might be more useful to look at what came before christianity rather than pontificate about the good old (yet fairly recent) days.

        16. A fair point to make.
          I agree, anything to be studied should be looked at in totality (which can not be done by dismissing it off-hand), but there is a degree of relevance which cannot be overlooked not to mention the context of the discussion at hand.
          Honestly, if the lens is atheism, no point in trying to disprove Christianity or existence of God either, it matters not for anything other than personal validation and vanity.
          Taking your point of other even older discarded practices are not given another thought. In this article? No, this article is more narrow taking on a specific, as you say, relatively recent practice. But that doesn’t inherently mean other older practices are not considered elsewhere or by other attendees on this site. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on one or any of these in an article, please consider submitting one.

        17. I always cringe when I read this. Having just set up a non-profit for the Church, the fact is that your relationship with the IRS is about to get an whole lot more complicated if you have a religious non-profit. And you, personally, still have to pay taxes, even if you’re the pastor and the Church is paying your salary. Indeed, the only thing tax-exempt are certain of the church’s business-related affairs, and you had better be damned good and ready to give an accounting for every cent.
          People who think churches are just riding on gentle breezes of tax exemption don’t understand that the only reason churches bother, is that they couldn’t afford to handle their affairs, otherwise. It’s a real irritation, and the exemptions are minimal and strictly regulated.

        18. Not really. Even still in Christianity, we preserve many customs that go back to pagan pre-history.
          The willingness to just jettison everything ancient, is a very modern approach. In the past, they found ways to keep doing the same things, even if there was a new emphasis.

        19. Good point. The willingness to jettison everything ancient (tradition/structure) is more of a jewish methodology ie cultural revolution and marxism, of course they care for their own traditions and structures wich is obvious when you look at the position the rabbi cast maintains without being attacked by their more secular brethren.

        20. And the whole thing is cooked, non believers should not have a higher tax burden so churches can get free ride.

        21. The point, is that neither group should be taxed as we are at present.
          People forget that, just over a century ago, there was not income tax for businesses or people, either. It was only once these taxes were introduced, that people began to wonder about taxing Churches. The Supreme Court, recognizing the huge, regulatory bureaucracy associated with taxation, acknowledge (quite rightly) that attempting to tax Churches would involve hundred of thousands of regular violations of the Bill of Rights (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof”). Moreover, the State acknowledged (once upon a time) that the whole purpose of taxation was to supply for the common needs of the State… and they acknowledged that often private citizens would organize to do this in better ways on their own, in Churches and other non-profit organizations. All of this seems like a dream from a far-away land, when the State acknowledged that citizens often did a better job of caring for the commonwealth than government bodies, and acknowledged that certain solemn rights should not be impinged upon by regulatory bureaucracies.
          Of course, it should have occurred to them that individuals also have certain rights, and the model of taxation we have developed involves intrusions into people’s private lives which are similarly unjust. To me, the answer is not to expand injustice yet further into Churches, but to repeal the regulatory burden upon private persons, as well. But, then, I’m not a spiteful man.

    2. Apart from the fact that your description of organized religion is untrue, I will say…
      I nowhere said that only membership in “organized” religion was required. I defined my terms at the beginning of the article, making it clear that religion is a system of coherent ideas that involves the obligations placed upon us by truth, whereas “spirituality,” when it is framed as an alternative to religion, is just a cipher for self-pandering.
      I am aware that there is an authentic way of speaking about spirituality; I even explicitly stated that there is an authentic way in which religion transcends dogma and finite concepts. I nowhere said that personal gods and organized religion were required, for someone to rise above mere self-pandering in pursuit of a serious discipline centered upon truth. In fact, it is just as easy to pander within an organized religion as it is outside of one.

  11. As someone who is neither religious or spiritual I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this article. It had the benefits of being well written, informative and, something people always forget doesn’t HAVE to be excluded from religion, funny. Nice job.

  12. Good topic. Damn near every woman where I live (Toronto) is either an atheist or describes herself as “spiritual but religious.” I despise both types-they’re extremely flakey and irresponsible.

    1. The problem there would be women, not spirituality or religion. Most of them don’t even know what those words mean.

    2. I’ve met female “Buddhists” who when push comes to shove don’t seem to give a damn about other people.
      It’s all yoga and meditation until they actually have to do (or not do) something.

      1. yoga: the ancient spiritual practice of taking a nap before getting a 7 dollar green juice and looking good in form fitting clothing.

        1. …and sometimes the practice of justifying that extra parfait and donut and not looking at all good in form fitting clothing, but letting everyone know you do…Yoga!

      2. yoga, btw, which dates back only to the 1960’s no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary.

        1. This is incorrect. It is from hairy bush hippie bitches in America in the 60’s. It’s too early in the morning but I’ll find some info on that for you.

        2. You’ve been sold a bag of goods. It is a strictly American phenomena from the 1960’s.

        3. Sure.
          First let me clear a couple of things up. You say “it means to YOG which is honoring hindu gods” THis is 11 kinds of wrong. First off, if I take bacon and cover it in chocolate and call it Healthtastic Bar it doesn’t mean it is healthy. But more than that, the word yog has nothing to do with honoring hindu gods (unless they are real kinky fuckers). The word yoga in Sanskrit means know, like you do for an animal. It is mentioned in the holy book the Upanishads as a metaphor for a mental prayer technique…to yoke your mind. But that is only the beginning.
          Yoga, as we know it, is a series of asanas and breathing techniques (asana meaning a position). The claims that it is man millennia comes from a drawing of a man sitting in the indus valley that is like 5 thousand years old.

          That’s it. That is the ENTIRE claim. This out of context picture of some guy sitting on his ass is the whole claim that yoga isn’t just a bunch of Indians making money and getting their dicks wet from hippie chicks in the 60’s,
          Allow me to continue:
          The first known use of the word “yoga” or “to yoke” is, as I mentioned above, from the Upanishads. It is a one off line about how to get your mind right for the hindus. Yoke your thoughts. To say that this is indicative of the fact that yoga is an actual discipline dating back thousands of years is like saying bird watching is a thousand year old spiritual matter because Jesus said to consider the birds of the field. Nonsense.
          Fast forward to the 19th century. A prince with the super awesome name of Wodeyar III wrote a book called the Srittattvandidhi (I learned all this stuff to put some yoga instructor in her place years ago) which lists over 100 poses of what basically amounts to indian gymnastics as an exercise book. Nothing spiritual, just gymnastics. At the time the British were there trying to civilize the sub continent and brought with them the European fascination with exercise so the book got popular.
          Now for the cool part. Enter a guy named BKS IYENGAR (whose birthday is today and, ironically, is the google picture). He comes up with this hokey mix of the old gymnastics and some mumbo jumbo from the old hindu sutras and uses the word Yoga from the Upanishads and creates what we know today as yoga.
          Does he create this for Indians? No, of course not. They are poor and they smell and they know better. He comes to America and sells it to hippie chicks who are just dying for some cultural appropriation justifying their lives as do nothing losers. Mix in some chanting and bang, 20th century indian gym class becomes “yoga”
          Yoga is a billion dollar industry. The funniest part of the whole thing is people are going around saying that these retarded women with their green juice and stupid gym class are making a mockery of this many thousand year old sacred system of prayer when in reality, chicks paying too much money for tight outfits and some hocus pocus medicine man to help them bend over IS what it means to do yoga.
          So, my friend, do not fall for the hype.
          Further, I will not put down the act of stretching. As a body building I do a hot yoga class once a month and think it is an excellent way to stretch out the muscles while checking out some sexy women…but to think that yoga is anything other than stretching and making money is just to buy the snake oil.

  13. I remember reading the section on self-love in Augustine’s Trinity. It was such an easy concept to grasp what with taking on faith than man is created in the image of god and all. How that got turned into you go girlism is beyond my wisdom.

  14. I don’t understand religion and I never will. Why must we
    believe in something “bigger” than us or “above” us? Why is
    that inherent to masculinity? Isn’t masculinity about self-reliance? It reminds
    me of when many people see something beautiful or awesome (awe-inspiring, not
    “cool”) in nature or in space and his first reaction is something to
    the effect of “it makes me feel small/insignificant, etc.” Forget
    that nonsense.
    I take the author’s point to mean that “spiritual but not religious” is some
    kind of watered down, half-measure in a time when strong principles are needed.
    But why do these principles have to come from a being that may or may not
    exist? Personally I think he doesn’t.
    Before anyone pounces let me say I am no Marxist nor a liberal. It is a
    misconception widely spread on this site that Atheist=Commie/Metro/Beta/Pajama-boy.
    I just don’t believe that an omniscient and/or omnipotent creator (if my
    concept of God is mistaken let me know) that controls the world or universe
    exists. And if he did, would he really care if I ate pork on Friday after a day
    of gambling and contraceptive sex outside of wedlock to celebrate my 3rd
    divorce? Doesn’t he have more important things to do? And what if you’re strict
    Catholic and it turns out Islam was right? Or Judaism? Or 7-day? Aren’t you
    still going to Hell? And Hell, ETERNAL punishment? Who outside of maybe
    Hitler/Stalin or Pol Pot deserve to suffer for eternity?
    I think may people claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” are open to the
    concept of god or a creator but don’t see the point of ritual or what the
    actions of people in the middle east 2,000 years ago have anything to do with
    how to live today. Can’t we teach morality/right and wrong without belief in
    Lastly the spiritual/religious life often purports to have truth or answers,
    what are these answers? What are the QUESTIONS? I don’t know; I think I’m

    1. I guess this is something you grow into. In your youth, you don’t understand it. Some may never understand. As you gain wisdom, it becomes clearer.
      It’s like you enjoy partying and boozing it up in college. Then you realize there is more to life than getting shitfaced every weekend.

      1. Not to start confrontation, but why is belief in god (or being religious) the necessary result of wisdom? You can’t be a wise and not believe in god?
        Secondly you imply non-belief as being part of immaturity and belief part of maturity.I strongly disagree.
        Or do I misunderstand you?

        1. Perhaps once one is closer to death do you start to wonder why is it all here? What is the purpose of my existence? Have I fulfilled my destiny?
          These are questions we can’t answer. We’ve always looked up to authority (parents/guardian) for guidance so maybe we still seek that authority?
          I don’t know the answer. That is why we call it a belief.

        2. I wonder those things all the time. I am not near death (I hope at least). I guess the disconnect is whether wondering those things directs you to belief/faith in a single creator. And then does that creator still actively engage in the affairs of the created? Further, which interpretation of that involved creator is correct with the requisite ritual practices that go along with that.
          Also what if life doesn’t have a “purpose”. Maybe it’s more random than we’d like to admit.

        3. It could be exactly as you say. Random. We won’t know in this life. We conjure up a belief for the unknown.
          What bothers me is that we kill each other over it.

        4. I think in the past, the church had a LOT of power, like a tyrant or dictator. You comply with the teachings of the church or you will be condemned, exiled, or executed for being an Anti-Christ. People feared the church. Science was in its infancy so man could not explain natural phenomenons that were occurring like volcanoes, earthquakes, lightning, etc.
          The church did these awful things in the name of religion. Don’t get me wrong, the church did make great contributions to civilization as well as destroying it or hindered its progress.
          Edit: What the Catholic church did against Galileo was an example of hindering civilization. Galileo’s work was condemned by the church because they were afraid that his findings contradicted the gospel. The church needed to keep order.

        5. For me, religious teachings, like many philosophies, are not always limited to the singular experiences of the a particular individual.
          It should always be of value to study and gain insight into how your fellow man (contemporary and past) have viewed the world, how they came to do so, and what they took away from it. Kind of like we do here.
          I think a lot of the problems arise, even within the various sects/denominations? whatever, due to a focus on belief or interpretation of the teachings as so important as to fight over. But it is my understanding that most people of faith do not mean to worship the practice/ritual/church but the deity though it sometimes gets conflated to the other or even into judging what is termed a divine being by the foibles of its mortal adherents, which would be irrational.

        6. Well, for one thing, being killed before my time is up could hurt and I enjoy some of the finer things in life.

        7. What time? Why do you think you have some allotted time to live? And what precisely is enjoyment if it is hollow and without purpose? Still joyful? Also, what makes fine things fine?

        8. Excellent interpretation! That was exactly what I wanted to say, but lacked the vocabulary to say it.

        9. Does hedonism have a higher purpose? If not, how could you possibly enjoy it? And if it does, do enlighten.

        10. All the answers to your questions could be provided with a couple of hits of LSD. Give it a try and report back.

        11. “Edit: What the Catholic church did against Galileo was an example of hindering civilization. Galileo’s work was condemned by the church because they were afraid that his findings contradicted the gospel. The church needed to keep order.”
          Wrong. I’ll just quote Aurelius on that one :
          “There is a misconception that the Church refused to consider the idea that the universe may not be geocentric. The Church was actually sponsoring other astronomers who were saying the same thing as Galileo.
          The objection to Galileo was the attitude and manner in which he was saying it.
          Kepler and Copernicus had published works on heliocentrism prior to Galileo. Galileo himself received permission from the Church on more than one occasion to publish works describing the heliocentric theory, including permission from pope Urban VIII and St. Robert Bellarmine. The only requirement – and observe how *scientific* this was – was that Galileo not present the theory as a fact, yet, since the parallax motion mentioned as a necessity for heliocentrism by Aristotle, had not yet been proven. Since there was no
          certain proof for it yet, the Church required that it be discussed only as an hypothesis, until it could be proven.
          Urban VIII had actually been a friend and patron of Galileo, defending others of his views against Cardinal Gonzaga, etc. What set things amiss for Galileo, was that (after an already long history of insulting those who disagreed with him), when he wrote his work, Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World,he put some of pope Urban VIII’s doubts into the mouth of his dialogue’s character, insultingly named Simplicio (“Simpleton”). Urban VIII felt betrayed, and Galileo was furthermore refusing to present heliocentrism as a possible theory, insisting instead on insulting the entire scientific and ecclesiastical establishment by jumping the gun on
          the question. It was that behavior that led Galileo to run afoul of the Church. Other men had freely written and published on
          heliocentrism, and were even paid by the Church for doing so.”

        12. So it wasn’t to maintain power? Urban just felt insulted and used his position to persecute Galileo for a personal offense and his “attitude”?

        13. “because they were afraid that his findings contradicted the gospel.” That is what is wrong.

        14. You know, you just reminded me of that. I did read it somewhere that it was his cockiness that got him screwed over. Thanks for the clarification.

        15. 1) Often our intuition itself leads to religious teachings; certainly this is true of myself.
          2) An healthy mistrust of one’s own intuition, just as of religious claims in general, is always warranted. Religion represents a body of wisdom and thought, the intuitions and reflections of wiser men, which often challenges our intuition in necessary ways.

        16. Do I have it right that you just called, among others, Islam full of wisdom, pondered through the ages by wise men?

        17. Part of my reconciliation to the Church, came in realizing that it really didn’t do all the awful things people say. And, far from opposing science, the Church was the greatest patron and promoter of science. We talked about Galileo, for example, last time. The Church did not do anything “anti-science” to Galileo; the Church did something “anti-Galileo” to Galileo. Treatises on heliocentrism had already been published with the blessing of the Church. Galileo himself was given explicit permission by both Pope Urban VIII and St. Robert Bellarmine (head of the Holy Office at the time). They were paying other people to write on heliocentrism.
          Galileo was punished because he was insisting that his theory was true, before the parallax motion which Aristotle rightly indicated would be necessary for the truth of heliocentrism, had been proved (the instruments of the day were not subtle enough for this). The Church was telling Galileo to argue for his theory, by all means, but not to jump the gun and declare his hypothesis a fact. When Galileo gave personal insult to Pope Urban VIII (by depicting him as a moron in his work, after Urban VIII had done so much to help him), he was finally reprimanded for being an asshole, not for being a “scientist struggling against the evil of superstition.”
          But, that is what the relentless atheist propaganda of the past four centuries would have us believe. This is just one example of what I meant – the same people who have given us all the other lies of modernity, have also pushed the Galileo myth, and the other myths – Inquisition, Crusades, etc. – about the Church. They are all equally worthy of our contempt.

        18. Urban VIII enforced both scientific ethics and, yes, social decorum. Our society no longer has any sense of respect, but there was a time when saying demeaning or insulting things to your parents, clergy, duke, prince, king or pope was (rightly) punished. Respect for authority is an important part of a functional civilization.
          In the end, however, the action against Galileo was not rooted primarily in Urban VIII’s personal feelings, but in the fact that Galileo was acting with public contumely and abuse against the legitimate authority, and, moreover, without justification.

        19. I was also an atheist, once; the serious spiritual search is worthy of respect, even while one is still in doubt as to what to believe. I’ve been there. For what it’s worth, God bless you in it.
          My article was not criticizing those whose beliefs are vague because they are still in a state of doubt or confusion. My only beef is with those who are satisfied to reduce the supernatural to a self-pandering experience.

        20. I did not suggest blind trust in intuition in the sense of that my intuition always tells the truth. But I trust my intuition insofar as it represents the most precise rendition of my current beliefs. Which is why I always express what my intuition tells me – so that it may be challenged or approved of. And the reaction I get to that I also take in as completely as my ego allows it and then I let my soul conclude and decide whether beliefs should be changed or kept. I very much trust this process. If it leads me to Christianity, fine. But I doubt it will.

        21. Lol honestly, I was as well until only 3 years ago or so.
          It’s been my observation that the strongest practitioners of any religion were, at some point, Atheists.
          Then, a series of events leads them to discover some Truths of the world (just like most men here have learned the true nature of women) and then they go back and read up on the religion they were born into and realize many of the Truths that they’ve just “discovered” coincide with their religion and they were already there the whole time.
          Sometimes, God works in very weird ways.

        22. No, I understand. The intuition is a powerful tool, and I rely on it. Many women make the mistake of treating it like magic, because they often don’t have the logic to examine and reinforce the intuition. But my experience has been that I intuit many truths before I can fully exposit why they are as they are.

        23. And yet, at the very lowest level, our belief in the most basic axioms that guide our actions and thoughts and emotions is based on intuition. How else could it be? How else, if not through intuition, could we verify the simplest facts of existence? When somebody picks up a stone and says ‘This stone is real’ and another man tells you that the other person’s hand is empty, how do you tell the truth if not finally through blind irrational trust in your own senses? How do you tell that you are not mad and sharing the delusion of a man who believes to see a stone while his hands are empty?

        24. I wouldn’t say that. There have been philosophically rigorous periods of Islam, but other schools of Islamic thought (Salafists, Wahabists, etc.) ultimately lashed out against the early Christian and Hellenic influences upon Islam, and embraced an approach which is fatalist and anti-rational. It’s hard for such a view to produce or sustain a coherent system of truth and discipline.
          Some men are assuming that any old religion fits my definition of religion. I’m beginning to think I wasn’t clear enough. Plenty of religions are shams of half-baked spirituality.

        25. Yes, and then you’re getting into epistemology – an area of philosophy I’m keen to really dig into in the upcoming months.

        26. “Part of my reconciliation to the Church”
          Are you Orthodox? If not then you’re not reconciled to the Church.
          “and the other myths – Inquisition, Crusades, etc. – about the Church.”
          Those aren’t myths, and the Orthodox Church (aka “the One Holy and Apostolic Church”) hasn’t forgotten what the Latin schism did and continues to do (currently in the Ukraine).

        27. My fascination with epistemology is not very academic. It is more something of a consequence of the madness I needed and still need to escape from. Paranoia and anxiety and trauma have a way of distorting reality to a point where you question your sanity and, weirdly enough, these kinds of questions are those that intuitively come up from that type of despair.
          This is the reason why I am so fiercely opposed to doctrine. My blind trust in truths outside of myself – including some form of Christianity – has led me down paths that had me doubt the validity of my own existence. The only way out of that is to question absolutely everything. Every single little belief must be challenged.

        28. “Also what if life doesn’t have a “purpose”. Maybe it’s more random than we’d like to admit.”
          I don’t think it’s even a matter of speculation or debate. Life and the universe ARE random and chaotic. What kind of God creates a universe and world like this.. with thousands of mass extinctions? Human beings are an accident of evolution and the result of a random and “lucky” set of circumstances (not so lucky for the dinosaurs that were wiped out as a result of one of those “benevolent” mass extinctions) that allowed smaller mammals to survive and get a foothold and eventual evolve into primates and then human beings. I think Hitchens in one of his debates brilliantly summarizes just how inefficient, how cruel, how utterly wasteful, any kind of God would be to have planned such an outcome.
          It’s just beyond the ability of any reasonable, rational human being with any kind of scientific knowledge and understanding to believe in any kind of omnipotent, omniscient, personal God that the major monotheistic religions believe in. It’s just not reasonable given what we know today about how the universe works, and knowing what we know about the history of the planet and various mass extinctions. It requires a remarkable level of self delusion or ignorance to believe in a personal God or the supernatural.

        29. Psalm 9:10
          The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

        30. I too was an atheist, then God revealed Himself to me. After I got saved, I started to see angels, and I met Jesus in person.

        31. So you have to love someone you must fear? Isn’t that sadomaschistic? (Hitchens’ supposition, not my own). Do you believe in a merciful or vengeful god? If merciful, why must you fear him?

        32. You misunderstand God. He is both merciful and vengeful. It would take a long time to explain.

        33. So take a few minutes, how can he be both? As an atheist I don’t understand, please explain, take your time.

        34. How did you meet jesus in person ? when he is supposedly in heaven, sitting at his fathers right hand, and has not returned here yet ?
          The bible does warn us about false christs appearing.

        35. A healthy mistrust of anything is beneficial.
          Religion represents a body of thought and opinion.

        36. Do not takes this wrong, but there are parts of islam that are excellent.
          There are also parts that are bad.
          This true of any belief system.

        37. I sympathize, and I’ve been there. My interest in epistemology is not academic, either, even if I mention it as a point of study. For me, everything I study has more than academic implications. If ever I came across a truly, purely “academic” subject, I would have no interest in it at all.
          Epistemology should be of keen interest to every man.

        38. I am a former Orthodox Christian, now Catholic (but, actual Catholic, not with the apostates and antipopes of the new and “conciliar” religion).
          A part of my reconciliation to the Church came from recognizing that there are two sides to every story – and, when it came to the Crusades and the Unia – I found that the Catholic side was more credible. The sack of Constantinople was a response to prior, even more brutal and outrageous massacres of Latins perpetrated by the Constantinopolitans (and others). The difference, is that the Latins do not nurse their grievances for 800 years like spoiled children, and so one never hears much talk about it – whereas the Greeks, who have not the strength of their former years, keep calling attention to it like a wife who simply can’t let something drop.
          You killed some people; we killed some people. People kill people. It was eight centuries ago, man.

    2. If god is loving and merciful, who forgives all your sins through prayer, why would a good person who doesn’t cheat, steal, or murder and shows kindness to others, be damned to hell just because they don’t believe? In my mind, this debunks the whole concept of religion.

      1. Being a nonbeliever and be damned to hell is (in my opinion) something that was made up by a church (not the religion) to get members and not lose members. Keep in mind that clergy needs YOU with your tenth so he survives. You can talk to God, but God only talks to the priest? Say what?

        1. So that doesn’t make you question everything else? What else is made up by the church?

        2. It makes me question a lot of things. I tend to believe those who do not have any potential for financial gains from me.

        3. So, tell me: if you and so many others find this idea repulsive and outrageous, why would the Church make it up to attract members?

        4. It wasn’t to attract members. It was to keep their members in line. For long periods there were no socially acceptable alternatives to being christian.

        5. The church places this fear of going to hell to control you. If a person doesn’t know any better, they would become a member of the church so they would not face this fate. Today, the church doesn’t have the power it once had.
          I separate church from the religion. I don’t attend church on Sundays, but I don’t look down on people that do. When they invite me to attend mass or baptism or whatever, I am respectful to them and thankful for their welcome. I don’t argue with them about the past because what was done was done by their ancestors, not them.

        6. This makes no sense. Is the doctrine controlling you?
          You have the order wrong. People do not come to the Church because the Church gave them a scare about hell. Why would they care what the Church said about hell, unless they already believed the Church? The Moslems also tell me I am going to hell, but I don’t really care about the Moslems’ threat, because I don’t believe Islam.

        7. Most people attend church today because they’ve been doing it since they were born by their parents or other family members. It becomes part of their lives. By habit if you will.
          There are others that join to seek salvation. They’ve hit a low point in their lives and realize their destructive ways so they’re born again.
          In the past, I mean in the dark ages, people fear the unknown. The church was meant to provide meaning to life and help explain the unknown with faith. There were churches that abused that power and instilled fear. They were in power and had the means to bring down those that spoke against them. Blasphemy was punishable by death.
          I don’t dispise the church. I just don’t go, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith.

        8. The churches favorite tools are fear and guilt.
          This method worked very well on the terrified, uneducated masses, and still does today in places like Iran and Kentucky.

        9. God point, but christians froth at the mouth and burst into tears if I tell them I am not going to hell because I do not believe their doctrine.
          Religion is all the same, just name your oppressor.

      2. A few things.
        1) Persons are not damned for that reason, as the Church herself teaches; 2) God does not forgive our sins through prayer; 3) people who are generally decent are not free from sin – when one understands the nature of sin, one understands why it is not a casual matter, and anything less than perfection is in itself intolerable.
        There’s more to be said, but that’s just a start.

        1. Do I have it correct that Christianity, or at least some groups, believe that sins are forgiven through penitence?
          And that salvation comes through Christ, we are all damned due Adam & Eve’s transgression and all sinners as we are removed now from God and the innocence pre-tree of knowledge, but Christ’s Crucifixion is viewed as a sacrifice for the sin mankind committed so that we might come to God?

        2. God says whatever any given christian wants him to say to affirm his worldview. Don’t bother trying to find universal agreement among them, it is impossible.

        3. Christianity teaches that sins are forgiven by the merits of the Passion of Jesus Christ, applied to the faithful and penitent soul by grace.
          The Church has always taught that a man is responsible for what he knows. The man in “invincible ignorance” of the Church (i.e., someone raised without hearing the Gospel, or the mentally handicapped, etc. – somebody who can not have heard or understood the Gospel) can be saved through Christ, even without knowing him, if he is faithful to the grace and knowledge he receives. For those who have attained the age of reason, they are responsible for the moral lights and promptings of grace which occur internally; additionally, if they have heard the Gospel, they are responsible for what they do with the information, ceteris paribus.
          The Church also teaches that there are degrees of punishment. Some people may wind up in limbo, for example, where there is actually a perfect state of natural happiness, where the only sadness is deprivation of the vision of God. On Doomsday, no man will find God unjust.

        4. Just to add that “invincible ignorance” does not save. One must still be Baptized to be saved. This is Dogma. The Church also has never declared Limbo (with the exception of Abraham’s Bosom or Limbo of the Fathers) as a binding belief and may in fact be heresy.
          This site/person explains it in great detail and depth with many sources.

        5. I won’t argue about it here, but I do think it necessary to point out that your idea is incorrect, and the link you provided contains a great deal of error and misinformation. The Council of Trent explicitly teaches (6th Session), as did subsequent decrees of the Holy Office promulgated with papal approbation (as did St. Thomas Aquinas and the Fathers of the Church), that one who dies with the explicit desire for baptism can receive the grace of baptism; likewise, those who do not know the Gospel can, by an act of perfect contrition (with the implicit perfect charity) receive the remission of sins. Pope Pius XII also reiterated all this, while making reference to the possibility of limbo, the possibility of which is implied by the doctrines that no creature has a just claim to enter the supernatural glory of heaven, and yet we do not believe that those who have never consented to personal sins would be subject to anything more than the pain of loss. But, yes, to the best of my knowledge, Limbo is not taught as a definite doctrine, but as a possibility; it is heresy (condemned in the Jansenists by Pope Pius VI), however, to reject the possibility of limbo.
          The webpage cited proffers many errors, including the belief that the “unanimous consensus of the Fathers” is not normative in dogmatic teaching. Both the Council of Trent (Fourth Session) and Vatican I (Third Session) declared that the (morally) unanimous consensus of the Fathers is the rule of faith in scriptural interpretation. This actually extends to the morally unanimous teaching of any approved theological school, including the later Doctors of the Church. Thus, Pope Leo XIII restated the perennial Catholic doctrine in his encyclical, Officiorum ac Munerum, that those examining a book to be published with the Imprimatur/Nihil Obstat (i.e., the indication that a book is free from doctrinal error), must set aside all personal bias and:
          “They must keep before their eyes nothing but the Dogmas of Holy Church, and the common Catholic Doctrine as contained in the Decree of General Councils, the Constitutions of the Roman Pontiffs, and the unanimous teaching of the Doctors of the Church.”
          This must be the case, simply put, because the Patristic Tradition is one and the same thing as the Apostolic Tradition. We only know the Apostolic Tradition from the Fathers, and this tradition is exposited with most dazzling clarity in the Doctors, the Councils and the Papal teaching. If a doctrine cannot be found in the Fathers, at least in its first principles, it would not be an element of the Apostolic Tradition. This is also why the aforementioned infallible Councils, and all the Councils, continually cite the precedent of the Fathers as the basis of their activity.

      3. Not all religions condemn someone to hell just because one doesn’t believe in them and this is also often misunderstood in the ones that do. For example, in all Eastern religions (Sikhism, Buddhism, etc.), actions in life (“karma”) are what matters, not just “belief”.
        Hence, you could be of no religion whatsoever but as long as your actions fall in line with established Truths (Golden rule, charity, etc.) you’ll still be going to heaven.
        In those religions, one can profess “belief” all they want but if all of their actions are sinful and are against God’s will, you’re toast.

    3. Have you ever attempted to seriously research any of these questions you have by studying a Catholic catechism or religious materials of other faiths?

      1. I was raised Catholic. Attended church with my family when very young and even attended a Catholic college. I have read the bible, koran (sp?), the Bhagavad Gita (sp????). But may I ask let’s say I read 50 holy and scholarly texts on each of the major Abrahamic religions and looked over some eastern ones, at what point would this study lead to belief in a creator as religions define? Doesn’t it START with the belief and the study backs it up?
        Can you give an example from catechism that you think is relevant to your point?

        1. I wasn’t making a point, I was simply interested in what research you had done, if any. I have no life changing insight for you. As you probably know, the Catholic Church teaches – and I agree with – the existence of God can be proved from reason alone, e.g. the Necessary Being, the First Cause and similar arguments which I believe to be sound.
          Christianity offers the Resurrection and other signs and miracles as proof of it’s claims (including the O.T. history of the Jewish chosen people). None of the others really offer that which I believe is worthy of consideration.
          Obviously, all of this is highly simplified, but I guess my point would be that people can look at these same claims and come to highly different conclusions which is something I find interesting.

    4. Serious question: without a higher power, who, in your opinion, defines what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ ? The majority? The minority? The guy with the biggest weapon? Those that have or have not (not just in material terms, but in attributes like wisdom, strength, etc)?

      1. And with a higher power, how do I distinguish lies about its nature from truth? How do I know who is speaking god’s will? Lies upon lies.

        1. I believe that the faithful would say you will hear truth in the silence of your mind and the stillness of the world around you, that god will speak directly into you.
          Sort of like a communications radio, if you are too busy holding down the talk button, all you’re going to hear is static.

        2. No, it comes down to faith, which is a gift. It is given to those who ask for it, in sincere and open humility to receiving it. God is no respecter of persons, in this regard.

        3. Could be.
          Religious people tend to state having had a life-altering experience or direct interaction with a divine presence which diverted them away from their previous world view and understanding, so who can say if they did or did not, if one has no similar experience to compare?
          I can say that no religion to my knowledge has any requirement of what we consider empirical proof to validate it, only the requirement of belief. So any burden of proof under empirical standards would be up to those requiring such proof to provide to have any argument which would likely only be for their own benefit and not change the “belief” of others one bit.
          If a true atheist, not simply an anti-Christian or someone fallen prey to the ideological scheming of Marxists, then what someone of faith does within the confines of law is irrelevant, disproving the existence of God is also irrelevant. Mister Snow had the perfect comment on what I mean. A true atheist simply shouldn’t care and shouldn’t be seeking affirmation or validation on the subject to begin with.

        4. I believe in a higher power because of the irreducible complexity of the world around me, and the fine-tuning of the physics. My first science lesson was that living matter does not arise from non-living matter. Therefore, the universe and everything in it was created by a being with more power than humans (or anything else).
          If a higher power bothers to create a universe that supports life, then it stands to reason that He would take an interest in it, and reveal Himself to His creations somehow.
          Taking a look at the world religions, and choosing the one that best fits the past and present, that would have to be Christianity. And hence God’s revealed will would be best defined as the the original texts of the Bible (Hebrew for Old Testament, Greek for New Testament).

        5. I’ve heard the above argument before. It’s interesting I see the opposite. I see the chaotic nature of the universe as proof that there is either no design, or it is poorly designed. After all, thousands of species have gone extinct prior man walking upright? What’s the design there?
          Also may I ask if you believe in “end-times” rapture?

        6. What proof do you can offer that a higher power does not exist? (I’m not being snarky: I’ve given my rationale, can you given your rationale beyond a snide comment?)

        7. My first science lesson was that living matter does not arise from non-living matter.

          Science is a method, not a concrete teaching. Any theory is scientific in the sense that it can be tried to verify with the scientific method. That makes it neither false nor true. What I am trying to say here is that the axiom that you propose here is not an absolute, but a theory that applies in a specific context. Sure, in a human’s life time, no life will arise from a cup of ash. But in the course of billions of years, strange stuff can happen.
          What if reality and life IS the way god reveals himself to us?

        8. “What’s the design there?”
          God created everything, and He also created humans with free will. Man and woman chose poorly, and introduced, by their choice, imperfection, sin, and decay into the world.
          “Also may I ask if you believe in “end-times” rapture?”
          I do not believe the ‘end-times’ rapture.

        9. I am aware that as a sceptic / independent thinker you might not have bought into the whole idea but if you are doing kundalini meditations, then you’re partaking of the ideas of eastern kundalini spirituality. Here’s an extract from a blog on the same:
          “Kundalini Shakti is the divine spiritual power within every human being. Known by many names in many lands, this sacred inner presence is the divine within, the sacred light and love that illumines each of us and guides us to union with the One, the ultimate Reality beyond all phenomena, from which she is inseparable and of whom she is the subtlest manifestation. Kundalini Shakti is each individual’s own personal spiritual director, who strives to lead us to constant awareness of the Source. It is Kundalini Shakti who empowers our striving for spiritual attainment and who works to lead us to full spiritual realization.”

        10. “But in the course of billions of years, strange stuff can happen.”
          Evidence please? [not being sarcastic]
          “What if reality and life IS the way god reveals himself to us?”
          Could you expand on this? Do you mean “reality and life is god?”, or “reality and life is evidence of god”, or something else entirely?

        11. Then why are there genetic defects that cause incredible pain/suffering, where is choice there? Some get cured, some don’t. I guess how can someone who is benevolent and worthy of actual worship allow such suffering if he has limitless power to stop it? Or do you believe in a god that set everything in motion but has not interfered since?

        12. To me, the universe looks like a place that has been exquisitely designed, but with a seemingly unplanned “twist” in it. To me, the teachings of the Church on corruption and sin give a good accounting for this.

        13. That argument ignores the impact of the nephilium(Angel human hybrids) who fucked other creatures creating what call “exctint” species

        14. I do respect Kundalini as a godly force, but I do not think of it as any kind of thing to be bowed down to and obeyed. Rather, I see it as a source of power that is given to us as a gift. That text you quoted contains ideas I never heard nor cared about. What I see is: A source of intense physical power and healing. That is all I am after. The third eye is another one of those forces. And it also does not require some weird kind of obedience.
          But some may conclude that Kundalini is the source of a ‘gut feeling’. Maybe. I am not sure. I will be able to make statements about that once I learn more about it and actually have made the experience.
          In any case, I do not worship Kundalini simply for the sake of worshipping a god. I do not really worship it in any way, actually. I just want to use it.

        15. “Then…it?”
          Assuming a higher power, then His thoughts, methods, and plans are beyond human comprehension (excepting those He reveals to us, mostly through Scripture).
          I don’t pretend to know why God intervenes in some cases, and chooses not to intervene in others.
          I know that some day God will set everything right as it should have been because He created the world and He cares for it (He sent His only Son to reconcile imperfect humanity with a perfect God, after all).

        16. I have no evidence, it is only a theory. But feel free to provide me evidence for your claim. You will not be able to, because there has been no experiment conducted over the course of billions of years. Thus, the best thing we can have is an informed guess.
          Yes, I mean ‘reality and life is god’, pretty much.

        17. “But feel free to provide me evidence for your claim.”
          That was actually the thought experiment in my first comment.

        18. Okay so one day there will be no suffering and right now we must endure it?
          And the sacrifice of one person forgave collective guilt of something else? You are correct it is incomprehensible.

        19. How else would we know anything about reality, except through the experience of reality?

        20. Science also proves it takes Intelligence to create intelligence(A computer needs to a builder, a program needs a programmer)

        21. I’m not judging. I’m not that familiar with the philosophy of kundalini but I am aware that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. It meshes quite closely with various esoteric ideas I think. Shiva and Shakti are a quite hardcore duo. Both order and chaos I think.

        22. Okay, let me make it clear how I understand this: You learned this axiom in science class and use it in a thought experiment to say that if it is true, god must exist to create life.
          But that is a bit pointless, since the axiom in itself is neither proven nor disproven. Nor is it very clear what it actually states.
          The axiom would need to be an absolute for this speculation to make any sense. But alas, it is not. It is just a specific observation in a specific context.

        23. I doubt that this is any form of scientifically proven axiom as well, because no real research paper could possibly get away with vague terms like ‘intelligence’. That is just vague speculation.

        24. The examples are many; there are several books that look at the fine-tuning of the universe (the critical nature of the first micro-intervals of time after the Big Bang for life, or even for matter denser than hydrogen/helium forming; or, the ways in which all the odd peculiarities of water, compared to the behavior of other substances, is optimal for life; etc.). But, as you point out, in the midst of a universe where certain extremely complex machines exist (the cell, the brain, etc., things that are more obviously designed than a human vehicle or computer), there is, as you rightly mention, this strange sense that things have gone awry… it doesn’t always work perfectly.

        25. I did not think you were judging. I am not really familiar with it, either. All I know is I want to use that snake in my ass.
          Shiva is hot!

        26. It’s not very apparent form the pic, but I think shiva is actually a dude – very strange representation. Its a strange idea the kundalini serpent, fundamental to a lot of eastern philosophy. I think some compare it to the DNA double helix, or to the hermetic caduceus. When I searched just now I even found a book called kundalini energy and christian spirituality, although I’m pretty sure that that’s off the charts unorthodox – but who knows. An ecumenical church ‘n all that

        27. “since the axiom in itself is neither proven nor disproven.”
          Pasteur, and later John Tyndall proved biogenesis rather than spontaneous generation (which was the school of thought proposed by Aristotle).

        28. lol – those long haired indian gods. You don’t know what sex they are. BTW how did we get from the catholic church to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

        29. You are just giving synonyms. I mean, yeah, intelligence is good enough to say ‘someone is more intelligent than someone else’ if he is quicker with ideas and stuff. That is definitely valid, but it is hardly something that is a precise observable and measurable thing in terms of science.

        30. Well I guess its the religious life for you. Just make sure you don’t worship any of those goddesses!

        31. “Pasteur, and later John Tyndall proved biogenesis rather than
          spontaneous generation (which was the school of thought proposed by
          The commonly held belief at the time was that shit could turn into maggots because maggots are attracted to shit.
          The commonly held belief at this time is that chemicals from replicating chemicals which in turn complexified.
          The problem with your assertion is making a somewhat arbitrary distinction between life and non-life. DNA and molecular biology was not known in Pasteur’s time. And for the record, our cells split through well-known chemical processes, which could have started from very simple elements.

        32. “The commonly held belief at this time is that chemicals from replicating chemicals which in turn complexified.”
          A cell is not merely chemical processes, but complex and interdependent structures. Claiming that ‘chemicals complexified’ and made life is somewhat like claiming the following:
          You start with only a steering wheel, and drive the Mercedes Benz to work everyday.
          Next week you add the car frame, and drive a Mercedes Benz to work everyday.
          Next week you add the engine, and drive a Mercedes Benz to work everyday, and so forth.
          Now any person who carried a steering wheel and yet thought he was driving a Mercedes Benz would be rightly deemed insane. Yet this is the same logic that I am told formed life, the universe, and everything, and if I don’t accept this as ‘science’, I’m an anti-science Neanderthal.
          A car, a unicycle, a cell doesn’t work piecemeal; there a minimum number of starting parts that are required to function properly. Hence the parts had to have an planned origin, ie they were created, hence a creator exists.

        33. The vast majority of modern genetic defects are the result of overpopulation, degraded food supplies and industrialisation. If humans were responsible stewards of the Earth, we would have a 200 million global population, eat only organic food, industrialise slowly without polluting the planet and so on. We deserve what we get.
          These esoteric concepts like God and Original Sin are glorious, but ultimately, fancy ways of capturing this timeless Truth. Everything is causally linked. There is nothing that anyone does that does not affect someone elsewhere.
          But we are ultimately a competitive species in a competitive world, and (creative) destruction is in our nature. We may be smart enough to, over generations, scale down our population and use technology to reverse the harm we have done to ourselves. Or we may use this technology to corrupt ourselves beyond sanity or self-respect, into human-technology hybrids (augmentation). The latter possibility is that we create a technological God in our own image and merge into this existence. I know enough of science to know that, at some point, energy and matter exist on a continuum. It seems sensible to me that, one day, we may be able to go from our extreme of existence to the other, more timeless form.
          The Deux Ex games really capture this future path of ours quite well. We are certainly past the point of no return, however. We’ve corrupted our DNA, damaged our topsoil and harmed our environment so much that, to survive, we must change, truly radically. Whether future humans decide to return to Hunter Gathering, become Galaxy Conquering Psychomachines or achieve something that avoids either possibility is to be seen.
          Ultimately, though, It is important to note two things:
          1. We are fairly late evolvers in the Universe.
          2. There are tens of thousands of planets in the known universe, which we guess are alike enough ours to provide for our kind of life. As we do not know of other types of life, we cannot really speculate further.
          It seems to me statistically impossible that we are the first species to reach this stage of development, and the fact that we have come across no alien species suggests that they have all advanced and disappeared before us, according to those three possibilities. They have purposely limited themselves to live the simple life; or they have conquered and self-destructed, like Empires do; or they have Ascended in some way.
          In light of this fact, it seems as if serious theologians have to advance past the scientific limitations of our various old religions and incorporate the new knowledge we have. I hope that by incorporating scientific and medical-technological advancements into theology, we can arrive at the Truth more precisely than our forefathers were able to. I don’t mean that we should dump timeless values, like marriage, fidelity, and so on. But we should think about the Future too when we think about our religions, not just the Past. The way out of the degenerate mess cannot be to return to how things used to be – material circumstances are simply too different.

        34. The point is that it is practically tautological, and hence, yes, it is self-evident. Or rather, it doesn’t need to be proved, because the statement is a tautology. It’s like saying we express numbers with numbers. Yeah? Prove it!
          Obviously, our only knowledge of reality comes from perceiving reality.

        35. ” That is all I am after. The third eye is another one of those forces.
          And it also does not require some weird kind of obedience.
          “…. I do not really worship it in any way, actually. I just want to use it.”

          So, you mentioned in a comment on another article, that there was man who were thinking about getting a Kundalini Awakening from. Do you realize that can entail being sodomized?
          The secret tradition of magical Tantra teaches that the anus is an ultrasensitive erogenic and psychic zone directly linked the Muladhara, the basal Chakra. Hidden within Muladhara, Boiled and compressed like a spring, lies the primal power of the nervous system manifest as the Snake Goddess, Kundalini. The terminus for the “pipe of flesh” is the anus, composed of an internal anal external sphincter, rings of muscle surrounding a body orifice. The word “sphincter” means a “knot” or a “band” and is derived from the same Greek base as “Sphinx,” the mythological beast epitomizing occult mysteries. The master of Tantric sex magic opens the anal sphincters of his Shakti, thus solving the riddle of the Sphinx. Anal intercourse is a specific Kundalini arousal method. Reference to Gray’s Anatomy reveals the existance of an irregular, oval-shaped gland between the rectal wall and the tip of the
          tailbone, or coccyx, called the “coccygeal body.” Although the function of this gland is unknown to Western physiologists, it is established in Tantra as the “Kundalini gland.” (Ecstasy through Tantra, by Dr. Jonn Mumford p. 61) ”

        36. Do you realize that anal intercourse does not necessarily imply gay sex? A man can have his anal area stimulated by a female finger as well.
          But I did not say I was studying tantric stuff, just Kundalini.
          Besides, I was already raped and there is nothing godly about it. It is actually one of the things this helps me resolve. And as for the guy sodomizing me – he lives far away from me, I just receive support on the telephone currently.

        37. This is a gift… a gift of Mordor ! Just kidding… I mean no disrespect but I would be very careful. I was into this stuff as well as a teen. When you open your chakras, you open yourself to the cosmic energy that flows through you like a chanel (aka medium). The problem is that there is no scientific way to study this energy and we have no way to control it. Once you open the door to the Kundalini force, you do not know what will enter into you with it. You may receive physical healing but nothing guarantees that there will be no other type of side effects.
          You may be interested in this video.

          Best of luck on your journey.

        38. But your whole argument based on the credibility of the scientific method. If you use science simply in the sense of knowledge, your argument is none. You are then saying: Knowledge says that intelligence is needed for creation. ‘Knowledge says’ is about as valid as ‘I believe’.

        39. Just jumped into the video a little where it talks about love. Indeed, interpersonal love takes a bit of a backseat compared to Christianity, for the sake of self-love and love as a force of the heart chakra. I quite like it, as I like independence a lot. The Christian thing stinks like projection to me, where you end up loving your next like your self. But do you read the implication in that? You actually do love the other person as if he was your self, that is, you see your self in him. This obfuscates your view from seeing another person’s true self and thus actually prohibits you from loving someone for who they are. Equalization of love for the sake of a general availability of love. So you end up scattering your self in others and never seeing the world as it really is, only clouded by delusional sentimentality.

        40. Another part talks about demons and the occult. It is portrayed as something evil and something to be rejected. I disagree. What is the reasoning but fear and obligations to Christianity? That guy rejected the stuff due to blasphemy of the spirits. But why be botheted by it unless you have emotional investments into Christ?

        41. Good question. Unfortunately, this is the only video of him avaialbe in English and he does not go in much depth into the explanations. His point is that the cosmic energy to which you expose yourself by opening the chakras is not evil in itself. Energy by defintion is not a personal entitiy and is neutral. The issue is that the open chakras are like an open door to an invisible world of which we know almost nothing about and we have no control over what spiritual entities can travel thorugh this door (i.e. well or ill-intentionned). This is why this is dangerous.
          As for Fr. Verlinde above, during the four years that he spent in India in places that few Europeans reach, through very intense practice of yoga and meditation, he was able to open his chakras and achieve the unnatural state of loss of self-awareness or ”cosmic fusion / nirvana”. What is interesting is that once the chakras are open, you become very sensitive to the forces of nature and cosmic energy. You also become a medium for unknown spiritual entities. This explains why once he left the guru, he developped a tremendous talent in the practice of occult healing (magnetism and radiesthesia) that he was doing in good faith to help others as a newly converted Christian. This occult healing is the manipulation of natural energies not decelable by hard science, also called white magic. He became so good that at some point he was able to make medical diagnoses without a pendulum. He developed the gift of clairvoyance. For a Westerner, all this sounds very esoteric, but this gift is very well known in the East. It is part of the ”sidi” or powers that develop naturally after the opening of the chakras, once you start to fuse with the cosmic energies. You become more and more a medium or channel for these energies and develop the ”sidi” or powers.
          What started to worry Fr. Verlinde, is that as his powers grew, and they developed very fast, he was noticing weird things. He realised that by opening himself to the gifts of a medium, he was also opening himself to entities that would use his psyche and even his voice to manifest themselves (channeling). He got particularly troubled by the episode of blasphemous thouhts during the Eucharist since he was trying sincerely to be a good Christian.
          Now, you asked why this is bad. So some kind of a spiritual entity has acces to you and is using you as a channel. These entities are intelligent and can have influence on the physical world (eg. the occult healing of burns he described). You do not know what are their intentions and can not control them. Scared yet ? If you have a Christian background, you have heard that there is a war being waged between spiritual entities of light and darkness (angels and demons). So what if the entity in contact with you is malicious ? Yes, it can heal one thing but it will cause another disease, mental anguish or wreack havoc in your physical environment. We once had a dude call our local exorcist in a panic because his TV was going on even though it was unplugged. This was fairly benign but in posessed houses much more vicious ”accidents” can regularly happen. Ever witnessed an exorcism by a RC priest ? Very scary stuff and dabbling in the occult is often at the root of the problem. Now, could those entities be benevolent ? Possibly, but why take a chance ? Christiannity teaches us that we have to be humble in front of God and ask him for healing. Trying to gain these powers for ourselves through cosmic energies is akin to pride, and may be indeed very dangerous wheather you are a believer or not.
          I sincerely hope this helps. I am going to do an Aurelius Moner now and I apologize for the lengthy reply.

        42. That was a nice comment, thank you.
          My mentor has these healing capabilities you speak of, I believe. I want them, too. But as opposed to him, I am also quite intrigued by and interested in the darker aspects of existence. I am quite open about this.
          When I watched that video and heard that thing about the demons talking blasphemously about Jesus, it scared me quite profoundly, I admit. This is because I think I just solved some important issue I had in the root chakra and now I am much more open to that stuff. It took me a few minutes to collect myself, but now I am more determined than ever. I am curious – and yes, prideful – and want to study all those aspects of existence. I do not deny my fear, but as they say, courage is not to be fearless, but to follow your path despite the fear.
          The most scary thing about it is really the novelty, I believe. Some things may be aspects of the self one has suppressed for so long that they seem unreal or otherworldly. Like speaking with weird sounds. Or simply sexual masculine energy. But yeah, think of it. Even a demon who whispers into your ear and throws things around actually does not have to be feared … it is a primal panic, I understand. But why not embrace and study this? Why not listen what those demons have to tell? Who knows, maybe they just want a listener, you know. Maybe Christianity has been unjust to them and they are fucking angry. Yeah, their hatred and spite would make them scary, but they are still … well … spirits or whatever.
          As for Sir Verlinde here, it makes sense to me that he would renounce those demons after they attacked his precious belief so viciously. I understand the urge. But my second thought here was: Why choose between Jesus and those demons? I can love both. I can take the light from Jesus and god – if that is not merely a symbol, but anyway – and I can as well embrace the darkness that attacks it. I believe there can be some kind of balance and harmony and unity between the two and that is what I seek. I do not want to be an agent of either light or dark. I want to be a grey Jedi.
          Do your Aurelius Moner.

        43. I can understand where you’re coming from, but there was an element from one of the many Intelligent Design trials where the proponents of creationism (at least the variant you seem to promote) said that the flagellar motor (the main motor in human sperm) could only work if complete, as you stated. However, it was shown that it could work even if missing certain parts of the engine.
          Your analogy is flawed because it assumes all complex systems involving structures (which come to be during mitosis, and by extension chemical processes) would operate in the same way.
          To work on your analogy, if I had a steering well, an engine and two front-ward motor wheels and an underbelly, I could still drive around, albeit with much difficulty then if I had a full Mercedes-Benz.
          As a person involved in the philosophy of science, I can tell you that your last assumption is somewhat incomplete. To posit “There must be a creator” you need to prove several other statements.
          A) How does said creator move molecules around? Does he suddenly say Bippity Boppity Boop and it comes to be or does he use natural mechanisms? If so, how can we prove it.
          B) When did he create it? Can we prove he particularly created it then and there?
          C) How would other chemical systems be affected by this? Could we prove this as well?
          The complex structures you describe in each cell are created piece by piece through mitosis again and again, and biochemists are uncovering more and more by the day. I can’t speak in favor of each theory as I’m not sufficiently read on the matter, but I can tell you that biochemists, even those on the Intelligent Design side, are hard at work attempting to prove it.
          I could go on and on but simply saying something along the lines of irreducible complexity (the theory you are bringing forward) without considering the fact that biological systems that can replicate and complexify along certain chemical laws and cars with metal parts cannot is not going to prove your point.

        44. “To work on your analogy, if I had a steering well, an engine and two
          front-ward motor wheels and an underbelly, I could still drive around,
          albeit with much difficulty then if I had a full Mercedes-Benz.”
          “The complex structures you describe in each cell are created piece by piece through mitosis again and again”
          “that biological systems that can replicate and complexify along certain chemical laws”.
          These are intellectual cheats, assuming that there are base components in a certain configuration already in place with natural laws. How did this base configuration (with the components) come about, and how did the natural laws come about: ie what is the starting point? Darwin thought it was the cell (which at the time was considered a simple blob of protoplasm) and wrote(in The Origin of Species):
          “the more complex organs and instincts should have been perfected not by means superior to, though analogous with, human reason, but by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations, each good for the individual possessor.”
          Even Darwin admits a baseline component exists. The question that he does not answer is “How did the baseline component come into existence?”
          Ultimately the question to answer becomes: how does ‘something’ come from ‘nothing’? Can you answer this? (no sarcasm)
          There are two ways to answer this: ‘indefinite long time period or possibilities’ = billions of billions of years = long time ago in a galaxy far, far away = the infinite multiverse, or “The universe and everything in it had a Creator”.
          Which scenario requires more faith to believe? And what is the purpose of life for each scenario? (no sarcasm)

        45. If your brain is just an accident, without a designer, than how can you trust your thoughts, and the conclusions that you come to?

        46. Uh buh gee iunno, because it works? Maybe?
          Alternatively, if someone built our brains how could we then trust it?

        47. The first few questions you asked me seemed to all be directed towards the same goal, i.e asking me how chemical building blocks could come to be.
          Here’s an excellent video discussing the topic. It is worth noting that it was made in 2010-ish and that the science has progressed since then, but it should answer some of your doubts. As for the science since then, I can’t speak for it, as I’m not read on the topic.

          Darwin was wrong about many things, most blatantly the nature of heredity. He also had absolutely no knowledge of modern molecular biology or biochemistry and no knowledge of genetics, even though Gregor Mendel attempted to inform him of it right before his death. Your questions are valid, but using Darwin as a crutch to support your argument isn’t going to convince anyone, given the fact he layed the foundations of the theory and did not see it to the modern advanced mathematical variants.
          How can something come from nothing? Let me propose several alternate scenarios. What if matter, or at least the components necessary to make them, always existed? What if matter was only a fiction of the mind and should be analyzed as part of a neuroscientific theory? (this is idealism, it’s a thing, look it up). What if matter doesn’t really exist and is something else entirely. I can’t answer any of those questions, but it should show you that the false dichotomy you’re presenting me (something from nothing + random processes vs direct special creation).
          The question you asked me about faith is a sneaky one, because you’re trying to make people consider a scenario based on its simplicity rather than its factuality. I don’t operate by faith, I operate by facts. If God existed and I had conclusive evidence (and there is quite some evidence) I would believe. Likewise, if Berkeleyan idealism were true, and God were merely a panentheistic ideal and we were part of a simulation of sorts, I would believe it.

        48. That “energy” is actually demon spirits. Fooling around with demons is not a joke. It is VERY dangerous!

        49. Well, that is likely the only case that has been observed. Does not mean it is the only possibility. Not observing a black sheep does not mean there never was one.

        50. LOL! I actually wish Aurelius could answer that one because it is getting out of my depth, but I will give it a shot.
          I have a lot of respect for your honest questioning. The
          simple fact that you are aware of the existence of a spiritual realm and natural energies that we can not detect with our senses puts you miles ahead of the average Joe. If one thinks that yoga is simple stretching and an excuse for girls to take sexy ass shots in tight pants, then one undermines centuries of spiritual quest and achievements of the Hindu tradition. Yoga and associated breathing exercises are specific techniques that lead to the opening of the chakras, whether you want / believe it or not. They have a specific goal and the amount of ignorance in the West about the true purposes of these techniques is reckless, and to be blunt – dangerous. When I stumbled upon Fr. Verlinde, this put an abrupt stop to my exploration of Eastern meditation since my goal has never been to achieve union with cosmic energy and it was clearly in conflict with my faith.
          So what about the spiritual entities? Why not embrace what they all have to offer? I can only answer this from a Christian perspective. According to the teachings of the RCC, all spiritual entities (angels) originally created by God were good. When God revealed to them that He wanted His Son to be born from a human, a far inferior creature limited by the boundaries of flesh, a part of them rebelled against His Will and were thrown down from the heavens to a pit of eternal suffering as a punishment for their pride. Each place in heaven left empty by a fallen angel is now destined for a human soul, to make up to God for their loss. Thus, they hate us with unspeakable wrath because we are offered through Christ what they have lost forever.
          Now, the above is the religious theory. But what about
          concrete, practical knowledge? Unfortunately, this is where faith steps in because we have no way to study the spiritual world with our senses and hard sciences at the present. None. Nada. In the Church, the guys who are at the forefront of the war being waged between good and evil where the spiritual realm meets ours are the exorcists. The one I know told us point blank that you can never befriend demons. This is a great fallacy. Many out there are trying out of boldness and pride (ex: he has a list of rock bands that do occult rituals over the original recording for guaranteed sales and popularity). So yes, a demon can heal or help to achieve great wealth and success, but not out of love. The payback will never fail to come later. This is why the Church warns against getting involved with the occult. If you do, you are on your own and no one can tell what the end result will be.
          Fr. Verlinde recognises that there is something fascinating in the gradual possession of these powers, at first powers over the forces of nature and then over people. However, through this, we evoke something that is deeply embedded and dwells in us as a wound. It is nothing else than the desire for power and the pride from the possession of power. It is not a coincidence that pride is the first cardinal sin. Fr. Verlinde says that he could never shake away the feeling that he possessed power over the next guy, which was a fantastic temptation. And since we are all wounded on the inside in one way or another, could we truly resist this temptation? He lost all his extraordinary abilities at once when he sincerely asked God to take away everything that does not come from Him. This gives food for thought.
          Now, please understand that it is not my role to convince anyone that the path of Christ is the best. As Christians, we can only pray for others because faith is a gift that we receive through the grace of God. My spiritual journey is by no means over and I wish you all the best on yours.

        51. Now, the above is the religious theory. But what about concrete, practical knowledge? Unfortunately, this is where faith steps in because we have no way to study the spiritual world with our senses and hard sciences at the present. None.

          Alrighty, but then where does the existing ‘knowledge’ and theory come from? I have talked to at least 3 people or read from them who have explored the Astral world. One of them is Mike Cernovich. As for hard science, that sounds like an intriguing thing to venture into. Maybe ‘bewitch’ some camera sensor to record these kind of things and translate them into photons. But you can not do that if you dare not gain those powers in the first place. Progress can not come but from a place of knowledge and experience.
          I get that they may be pissed at us for what supposedly happened, but then again – is that not understandable? Why make them the bad guys?
          Even then, if that is the only thing that makes them ‘evil’, they can not be so much worse than your average human disappointed with life. I do not necessarily think you should befriend them or submit to them, but to receive and let them go with love should be in the realm of the possible with a little self-knowledge and practice.
          All I can say is that the meditations I have been performing have greatly helped me understand and heal myself and solve some major issues that I doubt I could have solved any other way. Will the payback come? Maybe. Who knows. But I will not be the coward who does not follow his gut on this one just because of potential consequences. To give up this particular journey of self-improvement would feel like giving up the purpose of my life. I feel I really need to explore this path.
          Here is another thought: What if there is no god in the sense of an original creator? What if he is but one god that we worship in our culture? A very powerful demon/angel that demands obedience and reliance on his powers and rewards with love and hope for a paradise? Is that not a scary thought as well? What if our ‘god’ is the prideful one who does not want us to have powers that nature clearly offers to us?

        52. HaHaHa don’t you wish you could stab me in my “wicked heart” with a red hot poker? I wonder where Aurelius weighs in on this? Thoughts?

        53. I’ve wrestled with these questions myself. What if the God we are told about is really the devil in disguise? When we die, do we go to that place or to that God whom which we believe in? Or is it all one and the same? And is this kind of duality in life just an illusion?
          You ask many important and tough questions Tom. Your contribution to the enlightening conversations and debates here are most welcome.

        54. Hey, thanks. A fine compliment.
          Just one thing to add here: If the duality is just an illusion, can ‘our’ god really be the devil in disguise? If our god merely invented right and wrong, can we even call his actions wrong? Because, see, without being a slave of that system, it is actually impossible to judge this god. This is one reason why I consider Satanism to be silly – it still operates in terms of the reality we are sold.

        55. How do you choose the correct ” higher power” from all of those offered or forced upon you ?
          one of the most idiotic parts of christianity is the attitude that my Jesus is better than your Jesus, you will burn in hell if you do not agree with me.

        56. The way you phrased your question actually leaves an interesting third option: You do not have to choose. You make up your own.
          As for me, I am guarded by the ghost of a dead deer I once found in a forest.

        57. Ok, I think you are wrong, but, PEACE PEACE PEACE !
          Please explain in a civil manner christianity is the best fit.
          All I can see in it is bronze age mythology and medieval era oppression.
          The human race needs to grow up and abandon childish fairy tales and start moving forward instead of backwards.
          If we do not, christians will become as bad as the muslims are now, and we will return to the dark ages.

        58. I am not religious, but I would have to agree with you on this one.
          Life being created by lighting hitting a puddle of protein on the forest floor is a little to far fetched for me.
          I think there is a “god”, supreme being, advanced alien n race or something out there who got this started, but noe of the churches know what they are talking about, they are just repeating outdated dogma because are afraid of losing their positions of power.

        59. Your whole argument is based on assuming that 2000 year old texts that have copied thousands of times by those with a religious agenda are correct or that events that happened millennia before you were born really happened or were reported accurately.
          The credibility of church officials who have a motive to keep you ignorant and easy to control.
          There is almost nothing said about jesus outside of the new testament, you cannot use the bible to prove itself.
          I do like your point that ” knowledge says is about as valid as I believe”
          Knowledge is something you discover or learn, it may or may not be correct, and might be subject to change.
          Belief is some you CHOOSE to accept as correct.
          As a child, I was taught to look at the sky, and was told that color is blue, but is it really blue ?, ask a child who was taught the sky is red what color it is.
          In the end, both knowledge and belief are opinions.
          This why I hate religion and the church the way I do, everything they tell you is just their opinion on what is right, but they think they have the right to force you to agree.

        60. You are example of what I am talking about.
          Anyone who does not agree with your choice of “god”, has a wicked heart.
          People like you are why the republicans keep losing elections.

        61. I agree. I like to say: If truth is self-evident, why do we need to keep reinforcing it?
          As for the blue sky, I actually read about a tribe that had no word for the color blue. The lack of a word for it factually erased the color from their consciousness. When they looked at the sky, they did not see a color. They just saw … lack of color, kinda.
          As for choosing to accept it, yes, in the end you choose everything. But a choice can be forced through pain. Beat a kid enough when it disagrees and the kid will – for its own safety – choose to believe it. Greetings from the torture chamber of 1984. How many fingers do you see?

        62. ”Alrighty, but then where does the existing ‘knowledge’ and theory come from?”
          From the insights, works, and mystical experiences of hundreds of Saints that were incorporated into the traditions of the Church over the past two thousand years. God did not leave for the Bahamas after the Revelation to Saint John (last book of the Bible). He continues to lead and instruct His Church especially through small, humble souls.
          ”Which rock bands?”
          Secret knowledge of the exorcist squad, sorry. We could not weasel it out from him although we tried. I do not know if this might interest you, but he has video in which he talks about his work. Not the best translation, although the essence of the message gets through.

        63. I am more and more convinced that Jesus is himself a demon who basically does this: Paint every other spiritual entity as evil and terrorize you – while making you believe it is the other entities that are terrorizing you. Then, in your terror, he presents himself to you in shining light and chases away the ‘monsters’. A little proud narcissist, he is.
          It reflects my own experiences at least.
          Nevertheless, I love him – or the version of him I know. Love beats fear any time.
          What is an exorcist? A man possessed by a demon, instructed by this demon to remove other demons. Where else would he take the power to do it, eh?
          So Christians claim to be humble, yet there they stand preaching to the masses about their great spiritual journeys. How humble. What humility!

        64. “Ok, I think you are wrong, but, PEACE PEACE PEACE !”
          Where am I being hostile (or threatening to kill someone)? I’m simply stating the reason . Is that a problem?
          “If we do not, christians will become as bad as the muslims are now”
          1) Most early scientists (eg Newton, Pascal, Kepler) who developed what we call “science” were Christians, and
          2) Christians more or less were responsible for the beginnings of Western civilization,
          your arguments have little weight.
          And turn off the caps.

        65. Apply that logic to computers it makes sense, but on humans? It’s not the “only” possibility?

        66. Well, all I am saying is: Let some primordial soup of water and carbon and whatever boil for a few million years, accompanied by lightning and sunlight and you eventually get some simple organic molecules, which then over time evolve into other stuff and blah blah, you get the point.

        67. genetic defects in man at least arose as a result of the fall. But soon the universe will be renewed and those defects and diseases will disappear entirely.

        68. What looks like chaos to us is order a beautiful order that is more amazing than we can imagine.

        69. Unlike in fantasy like DnD. Engaging in the occult is dangerous,dangerous business it always involves the demonic and participation gets oneself damned in the process.
          I don’t know why the creator made the world so as to make magic a bad idea but that’s the way it is.
          However technology is permitted and can achieve similar results.

        70. I think that intelligence, in this context, is usually used simply as “intention” However, the author of this article might be better able to shed light on that.

        71. This is as good of an answer to this question as I have ever encountered. It is why, I believe, that Catholic metaphysics has never been particularly hostile to the Kantian Critical project. When I was a younger lolknee in a much different life my AOC was History of Philosophy with a special emphasis on the place of Kant’s Critical system. I feel that he, above all others, worked to understand what this thing called reality is and his answers are remarkably aligned with doctrine from the church fathers despite intentionally not using divinity to ground his arguments.

        72. @aureliusmoner:disqus @disqus_OxBUS0Bjcg:disqus If I may be so presumptuous as to involve myself in your discussion, I think that “particular god” is where the argument falls apart form lack of understanding. There cannot be a particular absolute and thus there can never be anything that says anything about the existence of a particular god.

        73. There simply is no deeper spiritual sense to yoga. Yoga originates in the 1960’s as a way for hocus pocus guru’s to make money off of white morons and other than being an excuse for girls to wear tight pants and do some stretching before their green juice it has no meaning other meaning outside its billion dollar industry status.

        74. “The question…..factuality”
          The problem with most of your responses is that you keep flipping between the philosophical and factual frames. Your last response tried to go full factual (nevermind the posted video outright says “scientists believe twice in the first 20 seconds” when scientists ‘theorize’, ‘speculate’ , ‘hypothesize’, thereby discrediting the ‘factual’ video presented), while I have made philosophical arguments.
          I don’t mind an honest debate, but decide if you are using a philosophical or fact-based argument.
          “Darwin was”
          Darwinism is fundamentally a philosophy, hence I answering it in terms of philosophy. It is also called “The theory of natural selection / evolution” (a theory being a contemplative and rationale type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking) whereas laws occur every time, and have been proven. Again, your comments jump between arguing factually and arguing philosophically.
          Some factual problems with the video (beyond ‘scientists believe’) [I s:
          1) The video ignores 40 years worth of geological papers (link here with additional sources citing the 1976 paper: that states geological evidence has been found of an early earth atmosphere with oxygen.
          2) The explanation of the Miller-Urey experiment is incomplete at best. Setting aside the fact they had no scientific or factual basis for a ‘reducing’ atmosphere (, the experiment (and its successor in 2011), produced right-handed and left-handed amino acids. Problem is, all forms of life have all left-handed amino acids (Miller-Urey even states this as proof of no contamination in the experiment). If one D-amino acid joins with a L-amino acid, the protein becomes useless.
          If evolution was true, the proteins of life would be made of equal amounts of D- and L-aminos. Explain why (using factual information, of course).
          Bonus #2: Miller-Urey cites Pasteur as proving life does not arise spontaneously in the first sentence of his paper:
          3) The video describes the ‘survival’ of DNA in terms of natural selection (that is, it describes a chemical in terms of a biological mechanism).
          This stuff simply scratches the factual problems; even my condensations of the material is turning out to be a essay.
          I would recommend this guy (who is making honest arguments for both chemical evolution and creationism). I personally think he is trying too hard to make a case for chemical evolution, but he is an actual chemistry Ph. D (which I am not), and actually presents facts (

        75. Come on. Our whole culture is full of warnings of the occult. Just fearmongering.
          Tell me: Why is courage and risk-taking such a great virtue in every aspect of life but in religion? Why is danger such a big turn-off in spirituality while it is a mere challenge to be conquered in other areas of life? It is inconsistent.

        76. Its not just danger but putting one’s soul in danger of damnation. That’s what I don’t want to happen to you.

        77. Do not be so selfless. It is not what you want to happen to you. You are a slave of your fear whilst I have faced it and am still facing it.

        78. I’m not sure I follow you. The absolute is by definition the supreme particular, more singular even than the concept of “one.”

        79. That’s interesting. I’ve long felt I should learn more about Kant, but I keep finding that theology itself is an inexhaustible topic, that I’ll never finish studying.

        80. I see what you are saying. I would say that a supreme being is absolute and therefore denies any particular however, I don’t think we are in disagreement with anything other than terminology when you say supreme particular. My issue was the idea of a supreme entity as “a particular” or, if you will, particular particular, which takes away, as I understand, from the absolute or, in your words supreme particular.

        81. Indeed it is. It is all inexhaustible. I once was in danger of just reading Plotinus for the rest of my life. I needed to kick myself in the ass and get out. I would suggest, however, that if you have an interest in Kant you should go directly to primary sources (in german if possible, but there are decent translations) Critique of Pure Reason, Practical Reason and Judgment. I believe that, along with Aristotle and the Pre-Socratics and arm chair theologians to the fathers of the church, Kant has been the victim of the greatest conspiracy to cartoonize and dumb down, alter and change for personal reasons….

        82. Good for you. Given your extensive knowlege of the history of the Church, I am sure that you do not want to repeat the mistake of Saint Hieronymus, although not all of us might be lucky to get such a warning.

        83. I’m going to go for both. There’s nothing that prevents me from using both things to prove a point. I really don’t see how that’s a problem
          “1) The video ignores 40 years worth of geological papers (link here with additional sources citing the 1976 paper:… that states geological evidence has been found of an early earth atmosphere with oxygen.”
          Number one proves absolutely nothing. So what if there was oxygen in the early atmosphere? That doesn’t change anything. The oxygen could have been heated, could have been in lesser amounts and could have been with a different combination than the current atmosphere. Your quote-mining also fails horribly when you consider the fact that they said those metals spent quite a bit of time under very hot conditions.
          Also, about your theory comment, tell me why the theory of gravity doesn’t follow under that same rationale. It has changed very often, just like evolution, and its results aren’t always exact, just like evolution. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and there are still holes in evolution that are being filled. Creationism on the other hand is based on a silver-bullet fallacy (if evolution is wrong creationism is right) and has no evidence for it. The wrongness of one does not assert the rightness of the other. This is a clear example of me using philosophy to prove you wrong, hence why I think you’re taking a disliking at me using it. Don’t think you’re particularly smart in doing this.
          “Bonus #2: Miller-Urey cites Pasteur as proving life does not arise spontaneously in the first sentence of his paper”
          And neither does modern science. You make a large epistemic distinction between life and non-life, even though both use exactly the same chemical processes.
          “3) The video describes the ‘survival’ of DNA in terms of natural
          selection (that is, it describes a chemical in terms of a biological
          …and what is wrong with that? This is exactly what you asked me for. Please stop moving the goalposts.
          I can’t access the video as its a 404 error, so I won’t discuss it as I haven’t seen it.
          The problem I have with your argumentation is that it is almost solely based on quote-mining articles to prove your position and does not take into account the fact that science has changed since Miller-Urey. Once again, as we’re both not trained chemists and biologists, I feel this is going to go nowhere as we don’t have complete knowledge of all the recent developments and will simply cite sources that prove our positions until we finally stop, which is not how science is done.

        84. You realise that your argument doesn’t actually buy you anything, even if you win (which historically it must be pointed out, never happens in this particular line of argument)?
          You want to be able to claim that something can’t come from nothing. Alright, stop trying to prove it and just grant it as an axiom. Something can’t come from nothing. Everything came from the christian god, but where did that come from? If something, then you have explained nothing because you have not terminated the chain of causality, if nothing, you have violated the axiom that something can’t come from nothing.
          The argument has no utility.

        85. Okay, you’ve proven at this point you are not an honest seeker, and and merely a troll on the order of the progressives.
          I have nothing further to say to such as you.

        86. Interesting that I’m a paleo-conservative that hates leftism and am not an atheist.
          I love how you just left the conversation even though I cornered and attempted to play on this sites political demographic. I showed how all your points are quote-mines or frame shifts of the highest order and then you blame me.
          Goodbye then.

        87. Whatever your politics, you argue like a progressive or a contentious woman.
          Go away and let the adults talk.

        88. Political views has nothing to do with being a dishonest intellectual.
          Come back when you want an honest discussion.

        89. I was not being dishonest. Show me one instance where I was being dishonest. You were the one quote-mining studies while I showed how all your points was wrong.
          Also, you just said you stopped talking to me because I was in the pocket progressives . Can you maintain even your story straight?

        90. I disproved every single one of your points. Now prove me there is an epistemic or scientific barrier that hasn’t been already disproved by science (biogenesis has nothing to do with this as this was made prior to the discovery of molecular biology and there is no dichotomy between life and non-life).
          Simply disagreeing with you isn’t discussing like a contentious woman. Now put up or shut up.

        91. You only ‘disprove’ things by reframing your arguments; you can’t answer the philosophical arguments, so you switch to a factual frame and claim that was your intent from the start, or vice versa.
          It’s pretty obvious from your comments that you not interested in honest debate, but are simply seeking any answer BUT God. You are of the type that would not be convinced if someone came back from the dead.
          Goodbye, and may God have mercy on your soul.

        92. Again, your comments reframe the argument whenever you can’t answer the question.
          That is intellectual cheating, and at this point you simply make an ass of yourself (with all due apologies to the useful creature God created).

        93. I am a Christian, and a theistic evolutionist for that matter. Stop trying to guilt trip me into something I already believe in.
          I did answer your philosophical quandries. I told you that you have no evidence of God doing the act. If you had evidence, I’d immediately accept His existence. Until you do, I remain here.
          You’re not a particularly skilled debater. I answered all your factual questions, i.e when you said the level of oxygen was the same, I showed this had nothing to do with it. You then ragequit saying that I can’t debate you.
          Now tell me, how can I prove and with what evidence that it was created via special creation? How can I estimate when the living things were created and how can I prove that only through direct creation cellular biological systems were created (I already disproved your argument on the flagellar motor. For more info, I suggest watching the NOVA documentary “Judgement Day: ID on trial”. Towards the end, they disprove the flagellar argument.
          If you’re not willing to do that research and keep insulting me, then it is you my friend who is being unreasonable.

        94. I posted asking for an honest discussion.
          I want evidence that there is no other way biological systems can be created but by special creation (the arguments which you gave me can be disproved, namely the biogenesis one.) and I want to see where I should search for it. I did the same for my position.

        95. What is the question. Tell me it, and I’ll answer it to the best of my ability.
          Also, if I answer it in an objectively correct way, will you still bitch and moan about “reframing”?

      2. Whatever works. Which, for most of human existence, was hunter-gathering.
        Now? Well, agriculture fucked it all up. That’s why we needed religion in order to live in ways that go against our nature (comparatively non-violent and monogamous).

        1. You may find that you are mistaken to assume such things of early man. Also, give them some credit; if agriculture was such a terrible thing, why did they all abandon it? Why do you think the successful societies are agricultural?
          The Africans had no agriculture, no wheel, even, when the white man came. Their culture was not more advanced than ours in any sense – they were not peaceful, their polygamy was a cause of social stagnation and their lack of agriculture was a severe encumbrance. I’m not sure why you would hold such a primitive and barbaric exemplar up as worthy of imitation.

        2. Obviously, but we don’t know what they were and have no way of finding out, only that they were different.

        3. Uh there are such things as archaelogical evidence, dna analysis of the bones of the ancients, physical constraints to what kind of lifestyle was possible etc. etc. etc. It’s not just random guessing duder. And you may have misunderstood what I said.

        4. You will have to provide a useful link for me to look into that. Cursory google-fu suggests it is a bigfoot cousin.

        5. Nope actually human fossils dug up + plus biblical accounts of Angels interbreading with humans to create things.(Moses encounters a giant on the way to Israel)

        6. Right. “Comparative non-violence,” so far as I know, is not reflected in the archaeological evidence. Quite the opposite.

        7. Did you know that they tested Nephilim fossils, and found non-human DNA? They really were half angel.

      3. I think one could could use reason to define those things. Let’s face it the majority often defines “right” and “wrong” (sometimes incomprehensibly, I’ll admit).
        Can you say that you do good only because you believe that there may be punishment in the afterlife if you don’t? (not sure of your beliefs)
        I’m reminded of something Hitchens often asked in debate:
        “Can you name a moral action a religious person can do but a non-believer can not?”
        “Can you name an immoral action that can be done in the name of a religion?”

        1. Reason itself will tell us that, if “right” and “wrong” actually mean what we normally mean by them (as opposed to simply meaning “pleasant, convenient,” or “unpleasant, inconvenient”), it must be rooted in something transcendent, which itself constitutes the absolute value of things and gives us a non-relative standard for evaluating the moral world.
          Hitchens’ two questions, I hate to say, are entirely irrelevant to the question. It may be true that “stupid is as stupid does,” but, at least from the point of view of exterior appearances, it is not equally true to say that “moral is as moral does.” In the end, morality is all about intent (not merely the act; two people may do the same thing with entirely different moral intents and qualities); the ultimate objective of morality is harmony with the divine will. By definition, an atheist is not going to do something with the intent of conformity to the divine will, and thus, by definition, may do things that approximate the appearance of morality, but cannot authentically intend to act morally.

        2. But what is ‘good’?
          Let me illustrate: the progressives think ‘good’ is whatever they believe and ‘evil’ are the little untermensch that stand between the progressives and utopia. The reactionaries and the conservatives (3 different sides) think pretty much the same thing.
          Who is correct? Without a reference point of ‘good’ or a higher authority, every person does what is ‘right’ according to their own limited perspective.

        3. I’m sorry I don’t understand, why MUST it be rooted something transcendent?
          Also I don’t know what your impression of god is, but if he is an actual being/omniscient/omnipotent. Wouldn’t it be productive to reveal exactly his divine will, clear up all confusion?
          Also if there is a all powerful creator, over us, isn’t that like a “master” and we are ultimately subjects/children? The shepherd/sheep analogy is employed a lot in scripture is not?

        4. Because otherwise it is based upon contingent judgments made by finite creatures, and thus it never rises above the level of the subjective.
          I can think of many reasons why full revelation of the divine will would be contrary to the divine will for a time. There is much to be gained, much experience, much fortitude, in soldiering on as best one can without knowing all the details. It proves our character, even to ourselves.
          Yes. And if you have been made by God, why should there be shame in being a subject?

        5. But isn’t man’s view of god largely subjective? Even among those believing the the god of Abraham there have been wars/strife, etc. To be sure such conflicts are often political (or over land) but “god’s will” has been part of many battles. Even civilized debate of right and wrong must be eventually worked out by people reasoning together. Two men in conflict can’t ask god to settle a moral dispute on which they find themselves on opposite ends.

        6. In my opinion this comes down to intellect and critical thinking to a large extent.
          The “progressives” notion of morality seem to equate to moral dogma without balancing the pros and cons and the duality of any said function. Everything becomes taken at face value when you lack the mental stamina to persevere paradox and the feeling of not knowing (the road to hell is paved with good intentions) this is where the natural order of intellectual hierarchy comes in. When a gender studies twentyfive year old becomes an “authority” things turn to shit, this is the dual edge sword of faith and belief, fanaticism and dogma becomes fueled by anti intellectualism, and human error thus becomes easily exploited by subversive forces when structure and tradition is broken.
          So ideas of good and evil must be accompanied by deep contemplation and sober observation of reality, this was of course a given in any traditional western christian society, or even traditional non christian western society for that matter.

        7. Reason is easily demonstrated insufficient in identifying values.
          Where under the microscope do you find that humans are more valuable than trees?
          Which person has reasoned the truth about values?
          Atheists? Scientists? Christians? Buddhists? After how many thousands of years, billions of human minds, have we failed to reason out true values?

        8. So reason is imperfect. I don’t know many people that think it is. Is your point that because it is imperfect we must receive our values from a god?

        9. I cannot name a moral action a non believer cannot do, but here of plenty of immoral actions done in the name of religion.

        10. I believe it is possible for man to have objective knowledge of God, but the fact is that most never make the attempt, or fail in the attempt, and, as you say, this leaves us all wrangling in the realm of opinion.

        11. My point is that reason will NEVER deliver the values you seek and use. Never. Because they don’t exist in any material sense.
          You either throw out all values, or you posit a reasonable source of values. And since the natural is not a reasonable source, then the supernatural is our best theory.

        12. A supernatural being is a reasonable source? A being you have no proof exists? A being that expects certain things of mortal men but won’t communicate specifically the values? This being is all powerful and omniscient, yes? Once again not knowing how you view god I can’t address certain specifics.

        13. We are not talking about my beliefs you idiot. I’m trying to get you to reflect on your religious beliefs. They’re stupid religious beliefs that you have. They need to be replaced with rational religious beliefs. The first step is admitting you’re wrong and headed down a dead end. THEN we can talk about my beliefs.

        14. Wow, “idiot”. I was trying to be respectful as I wasn’t exactly sure of your beliefs and what spiritual standpoint you were coming from and didn’t want to make assumptions.
          To clarify, I have NO religious beliefs. As an atheist I think you can derive values from reason as we live in a society of men and will end up obliged to reason out right and wrong in the public sphere regardless of what we personally believe in our private lives (where, I think, religion of any type should stay, PRIVATE).
          Secondly please illuminate these rational religious beliefs that need to replace my stupid religious beliefs. I only ask as an idiot and you are so much smarter than I.
          Lastly the non-believers on this thread have (for the most part) been polite and genuinely willing to listen to the the
          opinion of believers and been met with doubts of their maturity/intellect/morality/masculinity or outright contempt. This shows the weakness of the believers POV I think but what do I know? I’m an “idiot” after all.

        15. I call it like I see it. You repeatedly avoid answering my questions and want to examine my beliefs. Who gives a shit about me? I have given you multiple explanations of how you are indeed a religious kind of person but you are too busy trying to disqualify me to listen and admit that you live a life of make-believe morality just like every other religious person on the planet. You’re acting like an idiot.
          Now if you want to continue a conversation, answer any of my previous questions. Where under the microscope does morality exist? If it does not exist, then must it be supernatural?

        16. I assume under this hypothetical microscope I’m looking at cells or something. You are correct to say you can’t SEE morality there. There likely isn’t any.
          A key component in questions of morality is the interaction between at least two human beings. After all we don’t consider a lioness immoral when she hunts, or a shark ripping into a seal. Now one could consider cruelty by a human to an animal immoral, but man is still a part.
          Imagine for a moment you were alone on a desert island. The number of immoral action you could commit are vastly reduced in scope. Probably the only ones left are ones that are often looked down upon by religion(s) (i.e. suicide, despair, masturbation?). If it’s you alone you can’t murder, cheat, lie, steal, manipulate, rape, assault, dishonor, etc.
          Because morality is so human driven I believe it can be human contrived. Yes it is “made up”. This is not INHERENTLY negative. It has potential for both good and bad. It need not be supernatural. Don’t forget that both the bible and koran give at least tacit approval for slavery but very few rational people (religious or atheists) today believe it’s okay.
          Once again I don’t know your view of god, but if you believe in the largely benevolent, omnipotent god that sometimes answers prayers how moral is it to allow or create natural disasters, general suffering etc..
          Lastly I’d like you to apologize for the idiot comment. It’d be decent of you, but entirely your choice.

        17. I am sorry for the idiot comment.
          So if morality is invisible and “made up” then it is on the exact same footing as God?

        18. Thank you, I appreciate that.
          Yes I believe man contrived the idea of god as a means to explain what he could not. I know posts this will anger some people but it’s what I think.

        19. Don’t worry about what others think.
          So now that you’ve agreed that man has contrived both God and morality, that neither actually exist in the common sense of “exist” that everyone uses to describe something that is visible, measurable, and present, then let me ask you the next question: do you follow any morality? Do you ever even use morality in conversations, e.g. “you ought to be nice, you ought to tell the truth, people have human rights.”
          If you engage in these moralistic endeavors, would you say that you are basically engaging in religion just like any other religious person, creating a system of beliefs about what people ought to do and not do? Remember that you have agreed that morality and God are the same thing. Remember that science has not created morality, and throughout history it has always been religious people that invented morality, therefore going around moralizing is essentially religious according to the entirety of human history.
          And if you engage in this quasi religious behavior, would you say that your morality (the invisible non-material immeasurable thing you’ve descibed) is based on reason? Or might you be skeptical of your moral reasoning and be open to the possibility that you simply make up your morality as you go along based on whatever sounds good to you at the time? If so, you have a poor ability to reason out moral truth in this world.
          Perhaps now you can see why I say that you are religious, and you have a poor theology, and need to replace it with a superior theology.

      4. In the absence of a higher power, who defines the Third Law of Thermodynamics, or Planck’s Constant? Moral laws can exist independently of, and prior to, any belief in a Deity. Indeed, it was the very observation of these laws, like physical laws, that was often used even by the ancients as a strong presumption for an existence of a Deity. Even people like Thomas Paine, who rejected all institutional religion, supported that argument look at the opening chapter of his “Age of Reason”.

        1. “Moral laws can exist independently
          of, and prior to, any belief in a Deity.”
          If these laws are the result of chance or evolution, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. My rules of behavior have the same validity as your rules (that is, there are no standards).

        2. Thanks to Evolution, there is no reason to believe that the laws, physical or otherwise, don’t change just like the biological structures found in Evolution. Which means that laws are not fixed. Which means that they are meaningless random nonsense. To posit any fixedness is to go against reason and posit a supernatural nature.

        3. “Thanks to Evolution, there is no reason to believe that the laws,
          physical or otherwise, don’t change just like the biological structures
          found in Evolution.”
          This statement contradicts itself; if there is no universal reference, then the idea of evolution is not fixed, but meaningless and random in itself.
          “To posit any fixedness is to go against reason”
          Then all answers are equally valid, and no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ exists.
          Edit: Recc’d for honesty.

      5. I think you answered you own question
        The golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules, or political power flows from the barrel of a gun.
        Religion does not changes this, it just gives you a more kindly appearing oppressor.

        1. “it just gives you a more kindly appearing oppressor.”
          I’ve always considered the benevolent dictator better than the chaos of democracy. Better yet, my King is beyond human and perfect.

    5. If you are altogether irreligious, my argument was not with you. I think irreligion is a mistake, obviously, but the point of my article was singular: if you are going to approach the supernatural, (because you believe in it, one presumes), do not presume to turn supernature into a gimmick, or a vanity piece, and do not accept a bunch of fluffy, unexamined thought concerning it. Religion, as I defined it (the understanding that the supernatural places a certain obligation or duty of coherence upon us) is the approach that treats the supernatural seriously.

      1. No argument inferred.
        I think I understand that. No “half-measures” so to speak. I often get angry with atheist friends that marginalize or belittle belief.
        It’s just not for me, though.

    6. Bravo ! Excellent points, very well said Sir.
      I ask these same questions myself, and I am told I am going to hell.
      I am not gay, liberal, or atheist, but many here like to label me as such, simply because I stand up for what in my opinion is right, not what is popular.
      Unlike my some but not all of my detractors, I can provide facts to back up my opinion, in return, I get a rabid emotional response most of the time.
      Kind of like trying to explain reality or use logic when talking to a woman.
      Anyway, I am interested to see what answers you get.

  15. Brother Moner, if violence is so inherent in one’s soul is that a sign of sinfulness? Man’s nature is incredibly dual. I believe in Jesus as the savior of men and in God, but if we are to sit idly by while our namesake and history is swept under our feet, I would rather face the risk of divine punishment to revolt against these forces than be a peaceful man and never stand my ground. We have to go on the offensive if we are to recapture some kind of balance in this world. You know this.

    1. Exactly. From what he wrote, I think Aurelius is on the same line as you are, but doesn’t it contradict what Saint Paul said about submitting to the authorities ?

    2. There is no doubt that many situations can make violent resistance morally permissible or even obligatory. In my opinion, many of those circumstances have already arisen.
      The Church has always known that the state bears the power of the sword for a reason. Rebellion against the state, for most reasons (and especially on the pretext that it is violating non-existent human rights), is a sin. But, the Church has also always taught that “it is better to obey God than men.” When the state has turned enemy of the clear and definite moral good, and the authentic rights of the people, the moral justification for rebellion and armed resistance is present.
      However, as careful philosophers and theologians have pointed out, there are other considerations. The chiefly relevant one at present, in my opinion, is the consideration of the odds of success. Unless there were a very coordinated and truly massive movement of the people against what is currently transpiring, we are almost in an impossible situation. We live at a time when the state does not merely have the sword, but also the nuke, the satellite, mass surveillance, etc. The attempt to discover what can be done in our situation, is a large part of my justification in building the hermitage (mentioned in my bio blurb). The moral situation is such that we are more than justified in lining up our rulers and having them shot, of marching sjws into the gulags, etc. But, since there is no realistic hope of succeeding, I think it would be immoral to begin the fight as things currently stand (I could see a velvet revolution if the people and the police put their heads together and realized that we needed to depose our politicians and bureaucratic bigwigs, but simply to start shooting seems a losing battle to me).
      I hope I may be able to see the way forward, God helping me, if He wills that I see it.

  16. “One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.”
    “One man’s magic is another man’s engineering. Supernatural is a null word.”
    Robert Heinlein

  17. “If any men on this site are interested in developing their spiritual sides, I would exhort them to keep this in mind. If you think of the spiritual life as an emotional experience, or a set of practices focused on you, your “personality,” your aspirations, I encourage you to reconsider. The way of men has always sought a more authentic spirituality, in the excellence whereof loftier ideals shine forth, such as Truth, clarity, ascesis, sacrifice, reverence, and duty. God grant us to progress in these, during this holy season.”
    This applies to me. If all those ideals do not touch you emotionally in any way, why pursue them? Quite hypocritical. To feel the clarity and integrity and Truth shine and revere its awe, but say that it is not emotional. Silly.

    1. A father may at times be moved with lofty emotions while he helps his children, even if the work is hard. Likewise, a good father will do what must be done, even when he’s exhausted and irritated and the “love” exists only as an habit and duty. But any father who helped his children only because it made him feel good about himself, and quit helping his children as soon as he didn’t get any emotional reward from it, would deserve our contempt.
      I’m not saying that ideals are not moving and rewarding in themselves; I’m saying sometimes we don’t “feel it,” and in any case, “feeling it” should not be the over-riding motivation.

      1. But I did not say that it is about feeling good or comfortable. Pushing through pain rewards you with a sense of strenght and fortitude, which I would also call an emotion.

        1. But do you do it to actually be fortitudinous, or because you crave the feeling of fortitude?

        2. Good question. Is there a difference? An emotion consist of both feeling and action. Hard to separate. But imagine that helping others would make you feel similar to a loss of self-respect. Would you still do it?

        3. It seems to me that an emotion is only the feeling; I don’t see how it is an action – at least, not an act that we can causally will or effect; it is primarily passive.
          If helping others made me feel bad, but I knew it was the right thing to do in a particular instance? I have done it before, and I hope I’d do it again. Virtue seems most precious to me when you don’t get an emotional pay-off.

        4. Virtue seems most precious to me when you don’t get an emotional pay-off.

          See! That is what I meant. This ‘betrays’ that your judgment is emotional, after all – if in a reversed way. If emotion plays no role, you should not be making such a statement. It actually makes you sound vain. Why should an altruistic action make you nobler just because you suffered? Is the important measure not really how much it helps the other person? So, if you had a choice between the two, would you choose a path of suffering then, to do a little good – or choose a path of joy, where you do a lot of good?
          Emotion is combined with action in the sense of the word itself. Feeling is about how it feels. Emotion incorporates ‘motion’. It suggests a certain movement. A fully lived and non-suppressed emotion always suggests a corresponding action for perfect flow. For instance, sexual desire in a man – fully lived – translates into sexual assertiveness, dominance and even fighting for the mate. But try to find the energy to do that if you do not desire a woman – you will be indifferent to any of those actions.
          I know that it is a big deal to many guys here to be rational and not a slave of emotions, but that is not where I am going with this. Most people who are slaves of emotions are people who can NOT tolerate and fully live their emotions. Thus sexual desire actually does not translate into the proper unrestrained action, but rather to a wish to eliminate the desire, as it is deemed intolerable – leading to the need to act it out, through sex for instance. It is the man who is NOT in tune with his emotions who is ‘outcome dependent’, as he must tiptoe around his own emotions and now allow particular ones to arise.

        5. The way I see it, emotions are sudden states of mind, triggered by specific events. We do not always have control upon these events, so it seems to us that we have no control over our emotions. However, they can be mastered. That’s why it is important never to act upon emotions because this can lead to poor judgement and stupid mistakes.
          On the other hand, a happy predisposition and the feeling of peace and accomplishment are not necessairly emotions. For believers, they are a state in which the soul communes with God. Each emotion endangers this inner peace. Ideally, we should not let emotions overcome us, neither the good ones nor the bad ones. Hope this makes sense.

        6. Well, that is a matter of definition alright. I disagree about not acting on it, but that would need further explanation.
          So what I am going to address is instead the ‘feeling of peace’. Which shows that it is indeed a motivation based on feelings – if not on emotions. But from what I understand, the goal is to be even above that, as even that feeling is a function of the self. Which makes it not at all selfless.
          In that sense, selflessness should make you want to do it EVEN if it keeps you restless and denies you peace.

        7. As a Christian, I do not consider myself selfless, far from that. The carrot at the end of the stick is the theoretical Heaven. Otherwise, why would the Saints and heroes of the Chruch have done what they have done: the good deeds, the blood-chilling martydroms, the ascesis and sacrifices… only out of pure selflesness ? I do not think so, but I am no monk.
          What I wanted to point out is that there is a difference between the inner peace which results form a contemplative life in God and the swirl of emotions that everyday life throws at us. We all feel emotions because we are human. But it is up to us to learn to deal with them so that they do not influence our actions and cloud our judgement. When we are under the influence of good emotions, our actions are most of the time also good although sometimes rash. The bad emotions are the issue. We just had a criminal case in Canada of a doctor stabbing to death his two underage kids as revenge to get back at his bitch of a wife who was cheating on him. The dude destroyed his career and his future just because his emotions got out of control. Even more so, in spiritual life, emotions are not a friend but an ennemy.

        8. Ah. Quite an honest assessment and one that makes sense. Inner peace over a swirl of emotions. Very fair.
          But I will say that I think that these ‘out of control’ emotions are not the culprit in itself. I do not think bad emotions are the problem. I think the problem is an intolerance to bad emotions, causing us to act them out in unhealthy ways.
          The more I grow spiritually and emotionally, the more I realize that most of what we call ’emotional and irrational behavior’ is really a manifestation of NOT wanting to feel emotions. Denial.
          But then again, even denial is a part of life, so I am hardly judging. Arriving at acceptance is still definitely a good goal.

        9. “Why should an altruistic action make you nobler just because you suffered?”
          I don’t know that it does make one nobler, so much as evince the power of virtue itself. And, I’m not saying one must suffer, for it to have value. I’m simply saying that something done without the expectation of reward, indicates a better character than doing something for a reward. It implies that the person truly does respect virtue, first principles, etc., and that he is not simply doing it for some kind of personal pay-off.

        10. Ah, fair enough. But that brings me back to my point that acting on one’s principles without being distracted by unimportant pleasures does bring one satisfaction.

        11. It often does. But, in my experience, and in the experience of many others, there are times when it does not – or, when the minor satisfaction is all but drowned in a sea of greater burdens. That was my point all along; choosing to persevere even without the sense of satisfaction, is a great proof of one’s conviction.

        12. Fair enough, but one still kinda does it to once more arrive at that sense of satisfaction. In any case, it must resonate with one’s gut to be doing that. Like losing fat is basically a constant state of moderate pain, yet can be managed with enough conviction.

  18. The whole “I am spiritual/believe in God but I don’t consider myself particularly religious” talk is code for “Yeah, I kinda believe there’s a God out there but I don’t really give enough of a damn about Him or what He wants for my life to really change any eventual bad habit that I got so I just make my own rules and assume He’s okay with it”.. in which case you’re no better than an atheist, IMO.

    1. Ironically, the only ones who will ever criticize you for it are other people, so fuck it. You are free to be sheep and I am free not to be ‘yours’. Just angry kids disappointed that others are not working their asses off to earn daddys love like they do.

      1. The point was not to say that you’d better haul your ass of to an organized meeting place; but rather, that the ultimate questions of the universe are not trifling matters that should be reduced to mere vanity pieces. One can practice a religion seriously without having to be someone’s “sheep,” and certain of them don’t even require you to belong to any sort of organized body.

    2. Hey, that’s an insult to atheists! “Spiritual but not religious” is usually code for “Hippy-dippy neo-pagan”. The kind of folk Barnum-Statement pedlars (mediums, astrologers and psychics) make a living off. The people who keep quacks and charlatans (homeopaths, detox product sellers and reflexologists) in business. Atheists would not want to be associated with such pseudoscientific woo.

      1. Hahaha I guess that’s true… to any atheists reading this, I’m sorry for insulting you in such a vile manner…
        But you nailed it about how those charlatans are ony in business because of those types. Leave them only to the actual religious people who follow a doctrine and the atheists, and they would go bankrupt tomorrow..

        1. I agree with most of that, but there are plenty of charlatans who make their money off the religious. Just replace “chakras” with “In Jesus’ name” and you’ve got yourself a faith healer. I don’t want to clog up this thread with an hour-long video, but anyone who’s interested should look for “Miracles for Sale” on Youtube.
          In fact, the vilest of charlatans are the preachers. A quack pandering to the “spiritual but not religious” might sell them some sugar pills and some crap from “The Secret” about positive vibes, but there are faith healers out there who will make their money using the following method:
          1. Preach a sermon on the dangers of witchcraft.
          2. At the high point of the service, say “I feel the presence of a witch in the congregation!” Make great use of theatrics at this point – maybe pretend to faint.
          3. Point to an unsuspecting child and proclaim her to be the witch.
          4. Charge the ‘witch’s’ parent a shedload of money to perform an exorcism. Make sure that the exorcism involves inflicting much physical and emotional suffering on the poor child.
          5. Move on to the next flock.
          Bonus points if the parents of the girl now interpret every bit of bad luck the family encounters (siblings catch a cold, milk goes off a couple of days before its use-by date, family holiday spoilt by bad weather) as being caused by the girl’s witchcraft. If you’ve done your job well, she will be subjected to months of physical and emotional abuse, culminating in her murder. But why worry about some kid’s life when you’ve got a couple grand in your wallet?

        2. Excellent point Sir! This describes religion very well.
          I did not like the article at all because it is just religious propaganda.
          I did like the part where the women told him his narrow religious views gave him a judgmental attitude, because that is exactly what happened.
          I have been around religion all of my life and I can say that religion is like any other kind of power, it corrupts, and most of the time it makes you a worse person.
          Just last sunday I spoke to a friend who is a pastor. I told here is a free sermon for you. It is called, ” christians today are the prophets of Baal”.
          He was puzzled.
          I explained that the churches today care nothing for doing god’s work or obeying his commandments.
          They are too busy obsessing over outward appearance, playing politics, getting in bed with the government, hating their fellow man, judging others, thinking they above the law, thinking they are above the scripture, worshiping money, fame and power, suppressing anyone who does not agree with them by force or legislation, etc.
          In other words, jumping up and down, screaming, acting like fools, cutting themselves with knives etc., trying to make their god notice them.
          Acting like the prophets of Baal, or a bunch of Pharisees.
          Like my old pastor and mentor used to say, ” working for god, but not doing gods work.”
          Jesus did not tell us to clean up sin, go on a moral crusade, or force religion or christian beliefs onto people, he said to love God, love your neighbor, obey his commandments, and spread the gospel.
          The two greatest commandments, and the great commission.
          He also said judge not lest ye be judged.
          When I was done, my friend the pastor agreed with everything I said, and told me I was called to preach.
          He even had to agree with me that the churches do not spread the gospel any more, they spread religion.
          The narrow minded, judgmental attitude among christians is a major part of the reason I hate religion the way I do.
          I know too much it about from personal experience to trust it.

        3. Oh man. Having met people who were that “witch” child, the reality is sometimes even worse than that. The scam like that is the not-so-harmful version of this type of thing. There are cases where it’s not just a scam, but also an active suppression of an inquisitive child.
          In those cases, the preacher in question is usually possessed by something (like a “demon”(not exactly accurate, but close enough)). The child in question is usually inquisitive and capable of pursuing true spirituality/religion. The “exorcism” is an act of forcing a form of possession onto the child, specifically to hinder their spiritual growth. The preacher in question who is possessed and specifically targets and attacks children, has usually deluded himself into thinking that he is doing god’s work and is helping the child.
          I am, by the way, an actual exorcist.
          (to get the basic questions out of the way for anyone who’s curious, yes “ghosts” exist. No, ghosts are not souls. Yes, ghosts are created when people die (although that’s not the only way). Ghosts are more like a spiritual virus than anything else. And in most cases, ghosts only cause nightmares once in a blue moon, and nothing else; and are thus pretty irrelevant to the average person’s life.)

        4. Ghosts have about the same level of consciousness as a virus does. Ghosts latch onto and “infect” things the same way a virus does. Although ghosts don’t reproduce/duplicate.
          Ghosts are created when people die by an “energetic”/spiritual process. When people die, their karma unwinds. This takes about 10 days to complete. If the person has psychic attachments to something directly involving their karma (you can think of this as “unfinished business”), there’s a chance that a piece of their karma will sort of fall off, with the psychic energy attached, and potentially other energies (mental, emotional, whatever) carried with it. That’s a ghost. A karmic core, with some extra energy attached.
          At that point, it just floats around, or stays in one spot. Eventually, something or someone comes around which resonates with it. At that time, the ghost attaches itself to whatever it resonates with. For most people, this is a mild annoyance, like mild infection that keeps popping up every once in a while. Most people can fight it off well enough with a sort of spiritual immune system, at which point it returns to floating around.
          Ghosts aren’t literally spiritual viruses, but they’re close enough. How do I know all of this? because one of the things I do for a living is exorcise ghosts. And I have a scientific mind, so I choose to carefully observe them every chance I get.

        5. Have you any empirical evidence that those hypotheses of yours are true? The trouble is that this phenomenon cannot be experimented on and replicated under controlled conditions so as to ensure that we do not end up mistaking the cause of the phenomenon.

        6. My observations are as empirical as possible given the circumstances. I always make sure my observations are reproducible by me before I use them as evidence for my theories. Whenever I find someone who is capable of observing similar, I ask them about what they’ve observed, and I compare that to my own observations. I’ve never met someone who’s capable of observing more or the same as me who isn’t also unreachable by me. If you want more than that, you’re literally asking me to advance current technology by at least three paradigm shifts.
          Of everything I said in these posts, the only part that is lacking on reproducible empirical evidence is my theory on how ghosts are created. Everything that went into the theory is based on reproducible empirical evidence, but I have yet to observe the death of someone who would be likely to create a ghost. Even if I did, I doubt I’d be able to receive permission to stay by their body for 10 days. Still, that’s on my list of things to do, and I won’t pass up an opportunity to falsify my hypothesis when it comes up. I also don’t yet have the level of energy control required to create an artificial ghost, but will attempt to do so the moment I am capable of it.
          Also, I lied when I said “ghosts only cause nightmares once in a blue moon, and nothing else”. The reality is that ghosts resonate fears (and other feelings on the same level as fears). When this resonance reaches a certain magnitude, the result is a nightmare. The rest of the time, the result is a slight increase in fear of something (usually a deep, fundamental fear, like fear of the dark, not being loved, abandonment, or death)
          Oh, and while I have talked to and worked with people who were the “witch” child, I have yet to observe a scammy priest.
          And lastly, if you want me to describe my empirical observations, that’s extremely difficult. “ghosts have the same level of consciousness as viruses” comes from observing the consciousness of a hundred ghosts (-ish. I’ve only been an exorcist for a year), and observing the consciousness of tens of different viruses. At one point I tried to figure out the level of consciousness of ghosts, and subsequently observed the level of consciousness of a couple thousand different things in the full range from viruses to humans. I have not directly observed the consciousness of prions, but that’s about all I missed.
          That’s literally the best I can do at describing my process.
          If you have any specific questions, I might be able to answer them, or I might not. Like, even though I can place the consciousness of something on a scale and compare it to other things, I haven’t yet figured out how to define “consciousness”. And I can partially describe what I’m observing as consciousness, but I can’t really describe how.

    3. In many ways, it is worse than atheism. I think atheism is foolish, but, provided one accepts the premise, it is at least consistent to lead a life that doesn’t take God or the supernatural too seriously.
      But, if someone claims to believe that the supernatural exists, and then lives a profligate life without any attempt at seeking truth and disciplining one’s self to live in accord with it, that person is far more dunderheaded.

      1. You’re right it is worse, the word even states that He would rather have us hot or cold, but not lukewarm.

      2. Very well said Aurelius.
        I’ve met those dunderheads. They have this superficial belief about God but won’t attempt to pursue any deeper knowledge about Him..
        Worse still, they will defend all kinds of debauchery and degeneracy (gay marriage, new definitions of family, all that “gender is a social construct” fallacy and on and on) and after that they dare to claim that they do it because the only religion they follow is “the religion of Love” because “God is love” (that’s pretty much the only thing they “know” about God)….
        Repulsive, to put it lightly..

        1. Yes, a man should be very careful; invoking God to support things He detests, is a serious matter.

        2. My God is a consuming fire! Fire gives light (spiritual knowledge, ie. the Bible), but it also destroys all who oppose it!

      3. Jesus said God had more respect for those who denied Him fully than those who were merely lukewarm.
        The lukewarm are ultimately cowards, fence-sitters, trying to have it both ways. And they, often unknowingly, because they don’t really care about anything, venture into serious heresy and end up taking the Lord’s name in vain. Rather than merely denying His existence and authority, they claim to know Him and then spread lies and falsehoods about Him.
        That really, really pisses Him off.

      4. “seeking truth and disciplining one’s self to live in accord with it” is the very reason to examine and reject the lies of religion and its middlemen-on-the-make and to seek a direct knowledge of God.
        The price of getting your theology off the shelf and saving yourself the effort of thought and study is to cease to use your mind and spirit made in the image of God so that you not only believe absurd lies, you count yourself superior to those who have not made themselves fools through laziness.

        1. My journey into the bosom of the Church and Catholic Truth, has been the most morally and intellectually challenging process of my life. Anybody who thinks the Patristic Tradition and Thomism are “theology off the shelf,” and not the profound result of wise reflection and reasoned thinking that they are, simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
          What if God has desired that the entire cosmos be moderated by contingent causes (as He obviously has)? The idea of rejecting the middle-man then begins to seem rather absurd.

        2. Without getting into all the absurd disputes of Christian theology — there is no coherent theological position that is not in some way heretical, and no chance that any of the apostles could have believed in what later came to be dogma — I’ll accept for the sake of argument the self-contradictory positions that the Church arrived at through centuries of bare-knuckle politics in which God’s influence was obscure at best.
          Much of the patristic tradition is indeed the result of wise reflection, but not necessarily your wise reflection. If you accept their conclusions without following their path of conscience and thought, then you are merely a parrot. If you conceive of the Church hierarchy as God’s rather than man’s institution, as the saints and Jesus as indispensable intercessors, your own soul as being an imperfect creation, then you are a blasphemer.
          “Why don’t you decide for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:57)
          “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)
          “There is that of God in every man” – George Fox
          And without listening to that, one can have no moral sense, no judgement, no profit from study or meditation. Substituting the judgements of others, no matter how wise their reputation, is to cuckold your own soul.

        3. Your characterization of the Church’s positions as contradictory and coherent at the same time, is both an impossibility and, unsurprisingly, not my experience of it. After 12 years of close and constant reading in the Fathers and Doctors, and now three years of close reading of the Papal Magisterium and the Councils, I find it all to be quite coherent, constant and free from contradictions. Indeed, its coherence and consistency is one of the chief things that persuades me of its supernatural quality. It is plain enough that the Apostles themselves would not have recognized the Papacy and Faith of the 14th century, if we are speaking naturally (though, speaking supernaturally, there’s no telling what they may have seen and known); but, again speaking naturally, I don’t think it would take long for them to see how the one is in direct continuity with the other.
          Obviously one must appropriate the theological teaching for one’s self. The Patristic/Apostolic Tradition is such that merely parroting it would ring hollow; one has to develop the “mind” or “savor” of the Tradition by constant exposure, reflection and exercise in it.
          As to the verses you cite, out of context, I could cite many other verses in context that make it clear our Lord did not consider Truth subjective, nor did He consider Himself a “dispensable intercessor.” He said such things as “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” That is, the Truth is objective, we are called to recognize it, not to “decide it for ourselves,” and this leads inevitably only to Him. I don’t believe that merely because I’ve read it. Rather, by the grace of God who has granted me Faith despite my unworthiness, and by long personal reflection, I have repeatedly found the truthfulness of these statements.
          As to the saints being indispensable, though I’d want to reflect more before speaking definitely, I would say that I don’t believe the Church views them as necessary, apart from the exceptional case of the Blessed Virgin (whose connection to Christ is fundamental, obviously). Surely they are worthy of supernatural honour, however, as those who have been deified by God’s grace. And as to the soul being an “imperfect creation,” I would say certainly that it is not “imperfect” in the sense that God created it badly; but I think we all know by personal experience that we suffer from some form of corruption that keeps us from acting and being perfectly in the normal course of things.

        4. Not contradictory and coherent at the same time, I’m saying there can be no orthodox theology, that every Christian theology is heretical, by which I mean false. The orthodox R.C. theology is also incoherent as well.
          There is no contemporary evidence whatsoever that Jesus existed, (the line in Josephus was obviously added later). There is no authenticated or even explicitly claimed first-hand testimony of his existence, either. The titles of the gospels are merely traditional, and they were composed decades after Jesus’ alleged life, with changes and additions over the following centuries. Certainly Jesus is not said to have written anything himself, still less anything that has survived. Given that his life and thoughts are supposed to be the most important of all time, and assuming God must have the three O’s as attributes, this is a failure which can most plausibly explained by the story being false. If God had wanted this story to be rationally believed he wouldn’t have arranged for or allowed all the primary evidence to be destroyed.
          The lack of any plausible mechanism of the supposed efficacy of the sacrifice of Jesus and the lack of any plausible reason that his sacrifice should be required shows that the story is incoherent even as myth. This incoherence is underlined by the traditionally hateful attitude toward Judas, who was essential to the supposed sacrifice and who could have been prevented by Jesus from informing. That the sacrifice of God for all humanity still supposedly requires individual baptism by professionals authorized by the Church in order to become effective is another doctrine which does not fit with divine omnipotence and justice, but which is easily explained by the hierarchy acting to perpetuate its own interests by fraud.
          Nevertheless, the traditional moral teachings of the Church have nearly always turned our to be wiser than those of post-enlightenment secular opinions. These moral teachings generally did not come from theology, rather the theology was constructed around pre-existing common moral intuitions, social traditions and conscience. Even leaving theology aside, since the Church has retreated from those moral teachings and its public teaching has even become at odds with traditional morality, the Church has become an institution which cannot be relied upon for truth.

        5. I completely agree with your position, and find it incomprehensible how someone can claim to hold Truth as their highest priority and ideal, gnon, nature, reality, Spinoza’s god, whatever you want to call it, and reach the reasoned conclusion that this lies in bronze age fables so terribly supported by actual historical record that just so happen to act as a supporting framework for the legitimacy of an organisation rife with bareknuckle political wrangling over doctrine and all the multitudes of contradictions and flat out impossibilities embedded therein.
          What pushed me over the edge into actually joining the conversation however is the discipline that Aurelius so clearly has in sticking to what must be a maddeningly difficult road for somebody with his intellectual abilities, conviction on the importance of the question and discipline to remain focused on it, whilst simultaneously being able to confront in open battle and without attempting to censor the opposition case, which is utterly overwhelming in its power.
          It’s good to see both positions being given actual consideration and not having the debate devolve into endless obfuscatory nonsense of the “spiritual, but not religious” kind, or censorship supported soapboxing that typically arises when a genuinely faithful and fully committed christian is confronted with the real, actual Truth.

        6. As to none of the primary evidence surviving, I would say that I don’t understand how you see it this way. All the Gospels, with the exception of St. John’s, were written within a few decades of the death of Christ – not an implausible time-frame at all. There is no reason to discount the testimony of these men, who went to their deaths, along with many who believed them and were satisfied by them. And it is rather appropriate, to me, that the God Who hides Himself and requires a degree of Faith in man, would not simply present us with notarized proof of His divinity – it is appropriate, to me, that the Word would never write His words.
          As to their being no “mechanism” for the efficacy of the Passion, I have to say I’m confused thereby. Also, the Church has always taught that any person – even a non-Christian – validly baptizes anyone who wants it; and where there is no minister for the other sacraments (Chrismation, the Eucharist, etc.), the Church has always taught us that people may be saved by contrition and charity towards God, by His assistance. The Church never places us in a position where people are lost simply because there is no priest at hand. If being a cleric is a form of fraud, I must be doing it wrong. I’m dirt poor and never get to have any sex or power. “I say, dear Ambrosie; how can we get more sex, money and power?” “It’s so easy, Gregorie, you dim-witted fellow! We’ll take vows of celibacy and poverty and live in cold, stone buildings in the middle of nowhere!” People forget that most popes led pretty austere lives before (and after) their election. Were there some fat-cat abbots and bishops every now and then? Sure. But it is obvious that the Church’s devotion to poverty, celibacy, asceticism, has not been purely academic or hypocritical.
          I do agree with you that the institutions formerly belonging to the Church, but now being managed by apostates, heretics, globalists and perverts, are no longer worth believing or even defending. Indeed, let us rather put them to the torch, if some just and lawful way opens for us to do so.

      5. But this isn’t always the case. I am “spiritual, but not religious” and I seek truth, and discipline myself all the time. Not every non-religious person just does whatever the fuck they want and assumes that because they’re spiritual God is cool with it. I don’t use my spirituality as an excuse. If i do wrong, I repent. I don’t say “well i’m spiritual so it’s all good” and I don’t try and bend God’s laws to fit with my lifestyle. I can simply feel what God wants, and what he doesn’t want for me. And i’ll be honest, I have a hard time listening to Him. If I do wrong, I know it’s wrong and I feel shame. I don’t try and mask my sin by cherry picking from different religious texts that will accommodate me best. What I’m trying to say is that it is possible to be non-religious, and yet still follow a firm set of beliefs and discipline yourself to better do God’s will.

        1. Well, that’s why I made clear in the article itself, that my understanding of “spiritual, not religious,” was people treating the spiritual life like a designer outfit. By my definition of religion, anyone who has a firm set of coherent beliefs, and strives to observe certain disciplines that enable a life in accord with those beliefs, is religious. Somebody who wants to flatter himself and feel “religious emotions,” but without any kind of disciplined discrimination in thought or action, is “spiritual, but not religious.”

  19. Great article.
    Be wary of anyone who says the are eclectic, they were the guys in early Rome who in the absence of their own philosophical tradition cherry picked little bit of this and a little bit of that making a mish mash.
    The most annoying thing to me is people that piss on philosophy and religious teachings by talking about them, saying how moral and virtuous they are as individuals but so blind to their behaviours. Never trust a leftists moral posturing, it’s a projection of their amoral behaviour. Meat is murder, infanticide is my right.

  20. Never buy anything from a Christian bookstore for they are overpriced crap. Luckily, I no longer need to carry a Bible for a phone has an app. Most spiritual research can be had over the Internet. Almost free. Makes me feel bad that all that Christian and Christmas merchandise came from Communist China.

  21. When a chick says she’s spiritual without being religious, she’s saying she’s not a militant atheist who laughs at religious people. Its a kind of politically correct label to avoid confrontation.

    1. There is a lot of this. In my experience, it also often means that she lights a candle and some patchouli, while she takes a few yoga selfies!

    2. I’ve seen this on to many dating profiles and it’s nauseating. I’ve even read dating profiles by girls trying to shame men who go to church, but don’t do volunteer work like she does. It sounds like the first date could be a real downer.

  22. Every comment I make on your posts is somehow marked as spam and promptly removed, bit I hope this one’s different, because this spiritual/religious dichotomy is something I’ve struggled with before, and I’d like to hear any constructive advice you and the community might have to offer.
    I used to call myself “spiritual but not religious” because there really is no religion that stands up to the things I’ve experienced in my life. No, I’m not being a liberal, and no, I’m not here to disrespect Christianity, or any other religion for that matter. In fact, in my mind, I consider myself a devout Taoist. But I don’t say that to others bc nobody knows what it means, and more importantly, the “religion” that grew out of Taoism’s beautiful and profoundly in-touch-with-the-divine roots is a fucky hodgepodge of weird magic & silly alchemy…something just clearly ain’t right about the “religion” of Taoism.
    So, what do you say when you’re a devout practitioner of a religion that doesn’t really exist? That’s the million dollar question for me.
    If I can answer any questions or clarify anything about my beliefs, please ask. This comes up more in life than you’d think and I’d like to feel better about my answer when people ask “So what church do you attend?”

    1. I can sympathize with you. And, to be clear, I think many things that go by the title of “religion” are actually merely “spirituality.” Similarly, just because one doesn’t belong to an organization, doesn’t mean he isn’t practicing a religion. That’s why I was careful to define my terms at the beginning – where “religion” refers to a clear set of duties that bind things together in a coherent way, whereas spirituality is simply ambiguity and spiritual pretense.
      I read the Tao teh King a couple years ago, and don’t recall it offering any clear precepts for how to discipline one’s self according to the Tao (beyond some comments on breathing). But the Tao certainly has some clear ideas about the principles of the cosmos. How do you put your Taoist beliefs into practice? Where do you derive those practices?

      1. Thank you for the reply. I’m going to answer your questions, probably tomorrow morning, when I can do so from a keyboard instead of a phone screen. You may not agree that it’s “religious,” but I don’t mind. I’m always interested in the exchange of ideas.

  23. Another fantastic article Aurelius. Have you considered doing a Vlog or lecture series as part of a podcast? I would certainly be a regular listener.

        1. My personal opinion, is that this itself is the culmination of the philosophy of the Antichrist, and the herald of the world’s last age.

        2. if you think the end of the world is a foregone conclusion….are you basically suggesting pack it up, pray and repent because resistance to a new world government is pointless?
          You are talking like the battle is already lost…
          Over 60 million killed in ww2 but you think the spread of leftists is the end of the world? I think they’re stupid and unethical but that doesn’t mean it’s the world’s ‘last age’….
          Even a nuclear war that killed 2 billion wouldn’t be the end of the world.

        3. I am speaking from a spiritual perspective. This philosophy represents a true inner rot, like no other ideology in history. It is a darkening of the human soul which betokens the apocalypse, the kali yuga, the final decadence.
          I believe there will be a recovery before the end – a very great recovery, because when man repents of this evil, the greatest philosophical evil in our history, it will produce a profound renewal. But only after a great devastation. Certainly one should always pray and repent, but no – I’m not counselling anybody to give up the fight. Our worst – and our best – days are ahead of us.

  24. I grew up southern reform Baptist , was atheist in my teens , and now I consider myself Norse pagan. I still try a draw from other religions , read every holy book I can get my hands on , and learn . For every horror religion has created science has created one too. For every crusade you have an atomic bomb or a fritz Haber. I think for most of the atheist on this site , you are smart enough to not need the idea of eternal damnation to be a good person . For the rest of the world that is not true .would you rather have a preacher going on about his god in the street or some homosexual parading around about his pride and his right to marry ? I feel most intelligent people may not believe in every tale written in every holy book but it does us no harm to have personal beliefs In a god or gods as long as they drive us to better ourselves and give us the courage to stand up for what we believe in .On that note I just watched kingdom of heaven and a quote that I found relevant to the comments I posted

    1. Please don’t think this movie has any historical value.
      It’s litterally full of lies that are put together in order to push the liberal narrative of “the Christians ‘ve been bad, therefore you can’t blame the muslims for being bad.”
      This might interest you :

      1. I’m not , I’ve stated in other articles about the real reason for the first crusade , to oust the invading Muslim’s from Europe . I do enjoy the movie and quotes from it However

      2. The christians have been bad, and so have the muslims.
        This what religion does to people, it brings out your worst because you think “god” gave you permission.

    2. Belief in religion is acceptable, but do not try to force it onto others, this is the failure of both christianity and islam.
      As for gays marrying, they have every right to do so, there three constitutional amendments, and many court decisions that say so.
      I am not gay, but I would much rather have peaceful gays who can mind their own business than militant asshole christians who think the government should force religion onto people.
      The christians are almost as bad as the muslims any more.

  25. “Spiritual” and not “religious” simply means that one has a connection to the “divine” (whatever that may mean for the particular individual) and in fact, recognizes oneself as spirit/life itself, without said experience being related to, encapsulated within or defined by dogmatism (read: organized religion). You’re clearly coming from an angle which has been colored by the latter, hence why you so vehemently attack it. After all, the last thing organized religion wants anyone to do is to connect to source DIRECTLY without them/it as an intermediary. The “spiritual-not-religious” attitude/approach(when it is genuine) is, in my view most closely correlates with Paganism (nature-worship, or the attribution of life, spirit, etc. to EVERY aspect of individual experience, “good” or “bad”, as opposed to some life-bestowing central deity). In Zen practice there are essentially two major schools of thought: Theravada/Hinayana(little boat/vessel/conveyance, strict lifelong ascetic practices for monks; due to its strict nature, ferries across few. hina =small) and Mahayana(big boat/vehicle/conveyance, path(s) of enlightenment for the layperson; ferries across many; maha= big, great. yana= vehicle). There’s the “Right Hand Path” and “Left Hand Path” dichotomy which essentially translates to be the same: The way of enlightenment via group affiliation/society, and the way of enlightenment via ones own individuation. Of course, besides these two are those special cases where one attains enlightenment apart from ANY kind of group affiliation or special practice.
    You say spirituality has been commodified and co-opted to sell products and what have you, but products have also been /marketed sold with the underlying conformist religious notion of “be part of the group to find/realize your worth”. You paint the concept of “spiritual-not-religious” as “flim-flam” and other derogatory terms, as if there aren’t many in the East and West who are just as….well, flim-flammy in relation to religion. Exploitative, to say the least. And as for religion “Binding US”, “fastening US together with the divine”……what makes you think that we’re apart from the divine in the first place? Who is the “us”, “we” that is to be fastened? The human state? Some separately existing entities that must engage in penance/ablution to connect with some cosmic father-god? In Hinduism they say “Tat Tvam Asi”, or “You are THAT”, “THAT thou art”. So is affiliation with organized religion necessary? For some, maybe. Perhaps for those who have gone so far from the mark that they need some external assistance to find their way back to ones own nature. Not for everyone, though. As for me, yes, i’m “spiritual-not-religious”. My mother tried to drag me into the Anglican Christianity she was dragged into and failed. I see divinity in everything and I see no reason to align myself with some religion to recognize my own true nature. And yes, obviously I was attracted much more to the Eastern schools of thought, which generally aren’t so restrictive such as Zen and Taoism, where one isn’t given a series of “beliefs” and dogmatic scripture.
    “But a serious man will search for the coherent system of truths, that holds the moral and spiritual life together”. Again, “hold together”? “Moral and spiritual life”, Who convinced you that these are separate? What exactly is it that needs to be “held together” with something else? These seeming distinctions exist in the mind, not in nature. That’s just like saying there’s a “difference between Earth and sky, sky and clouds. “system of truths?” Once again, reality has no “systems”, MAN has systems. What man is describing when he speaks like this is merely his own self, his own experience of being cut off from reality(which he really isn’t, but he THINKS he is.) And so, man develops “systems” to get back to a spontaneous state of freedom where “systems” are no longer necessary, which might be fine as a set of training wheels, but there isn’t anything cosmically “truthful” and/or absolute about them.

    1. You mention schools of Buddhist thought which are as theologically developed as Christian thought. The difference, is that most people simply mean “badthough” when they hear the word dogma. So Christianity = dogmatic and Buddhism = nondogmatic, even though they are both obviously dogmatic religions that teach precise truths and systems of thought.
      The point, is that as soon as you hold “non-dogmatic spirituality” to account, it either has to become a religion, or it reveals its actual incoherence.
      Finally, you make the mistake of assuming that simply because something calls itself a religion, or someone thinks of himself as “religious,” that I am assuming that belief or person is actually superior to the “spiritual, not religious” person. The point of the article, was to warn against becoming the type of person who uses spirituality to pander; certainly there are plenty of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, etc., who use religion to pander, and completely ignore the search for truth and concomitant discipline. Religion is the serious search for truth and the concomitant discipline. Buddhism qualifies as a religion by that barometer. But, to profess a religion and ignore its precepts and tenets is a greatly despicable act, and certainly there are many Catholic ladies who only use their Catholicism as a prop to their emotional lives, without any connection to the truth and discipline of the Church. The same can be said of many who call themselves Buddhists, nowadays, yet who completely ignore the theological and moral teachings/practices of Buddhism.

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