28 December 2010

A Freethinker: Annie Besant

I chanced upon Annie Besant after returning from spending a typical Caribbean Christmas with friends and family.

Annie Besant was an incredibly interesting woman, brave and intelligent at a time where women were devalued. Here is a quote from a book she wrote 'My Path to Atheism' (1885, 3rd edition):
"The first essay on the "Deity of Jesus of Nazareth" was written just before I left the Church of England,and marks the point where I broke finally with Christianity. I thought then, and think still, that to cling to the name of Christian after one has ceased to be the thing is  neither bold nor straightforward, and surely the name ought, in all fairness, to belong to those historical bodies who have made it their own during many hundred years.
A Christianity without a Divine Christ appears to me to resemble a republican army marching under a royal banner it misleads both friends and foes. Believing that in giving up the deity of Christ I renounced Christianity, I place this essay as the starting-point of my travels outside the Christian pale. The essays that follow it deal with some of the leading Christian dogmas, and are printed in the order in which they were  written. But in the gradual thought-development they really precede the essay on the "Deity of Christ".
Most inquirers who begin to study by themselves, before they have read any heretical works, or heard any heretical controversies, will have been awakened to thought by the discrepancies and inconsistencies of the Bible itself. A thorough knowledge of the Bible is the groundwork of heresy.
Many who think they read their Bibles never read them at all. They go through a chapter every day as a matter of duty, and forget what is said in Matthew before they read what is  said in John ; hence they never mark the contradictions and never see the discrepancies. But those who study the Bible are in a fair way to become heretics.
It was the careful compilation of a harmony of the last chapters of the four Gospels a harmony intended for devotional use that gave the first blow to my own faith ; although I put the doubt away and refused even to look at the  question again, yet the effect remained the tiny seed, which was slowly to germinate and to grow up, later, into the full-blown flower of Atheism."

14 December 2010

Black Atheist: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Instead of watching the televangelists just take a  few minutes to listen to this wonderful educator.

03 December 2010

The Wikileaks Story: Have the Worms Turned?

I have pondered on the Wikileaks story and haven't quite made up my mind as to the motivation, aims and objectives of Julian Assange - not yet, not completely.

The nub of it seems to be:
World powers are a cabal, various factions with Cosa Nostra-type behaviours and values who rule, and do so with impunity.

Yet it is disturbing to watch the distraction techniques being used by people who are a part of the cabal, overtly or covertly, who act as mouthpieces and apologists for those in power.
We have been fooled into believing that democracy is what we all have and should aspire to. That people like Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, David Miliband, the Clintons, Karzai, Harper, Putin, Merkel and the rest of them, have our best interests at heart. They don't. It doesn't work like that. The scenes have been set to look different but they are all the same.

I have been fascinated by how MSNBC, ABC and the other television news media have been reporting the Wikileaks story. No surprise that it is 'Julian Assange - The Rapist', instead of  'Wikileaks opens a can of worms about corrupt, murderous governments around the world...' It stinks so badly that it would be funny if it wasn't so grave. I listened to the news presenters foaming that these leaks would cost so many lives of brave servicemen and women and diplomatic personnel around the world.
I imagine the loved ones of those who have been killed - fighting for a system which has killed millions of people around the world, decimated communities, arrested progress, engaged in and forced others to engage in - and how they must feel now they know the deaths were part of a great big con, used as cannon fodder, of low value in the whole scheme of things.

What do we do with this information? Well it would be good if we could all think about what is being presented to us and why. Hidden agendas operate all around and we should not believe anything we are told just because it is in front of us. We should take back control of our lives and realise that labels are irrelevant: black, white, old, young, left, right, LGBT or any other tag, we are considered as little more than rats running hither and thither: work, pay taxes, consume and then die.
Makes me think about how the religious myths have been promoted for the same reason - control.

I don't buy it.
So, what do you think? Have the worms turned?