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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

French poet, touted as the most influential romantic writer of the 19th Century, Victor Marie Hugo, and his thoughts on:

Religion

These two haves of God, the Pope and the emperor.

God became a man, granted. The devil became a woman.

Obstacles to Fame

You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do no bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.

Death Penalty

You insist on the example [of the death penalty]. Why? For what it teaches. What do you want to teach with your example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach thou shalt not kill? By killing.

Progress

A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas. A day will come when the bullets and bombs are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage, by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.

Ideas

One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.

Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.

Balance

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

Humanity

Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. Of that divine tear and that human smile is composed the sweetness of the present civilization.

Tolerance

There shall be no slavery of the mind.

Revolution

I represent a party which does not yet exist: the party of revolution, civilization. This party will make the twentieth century. There will issue from it first the United States of Europe, then the United States of the World.

Life

To love is to act.

Foundation

 The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.

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For the past weeks, Mideo Cruz and his artwork have been feverishly discussed.

I had not gone to the exhibit, but I have seen a number of pictures on the internet. Being a former Catholic, I could imagine how some of the Catholics would react. But being a spiritual atheist, such art did not bother me. I am not saying that Mideo Cruz created his exhibit to offend. In fact, in an interview, he explained his reasons for such display.

Most of the outcry has been about the phallic object placed on the works. Phalluses have been objects of devotion in many cultures; they use them as amulets, symbolic statues, etc. They might be a symbol of power and patriarchy.

If Mideo did have good intentions for the display, should the offended Catholics have the right to complain or not?

The purpose of this article is not on the Mideo’s intentions with his art. It is not even to figure out if Mideo is guilty of anything or not. What a lot of people here in the Philippines are concerned about is Mideo’s art and how it impacts the idea of “free speech” and “free expression”. While a lot of people are offended by his art, a lot of those same people also do not want to censor such expression since it might serve as a precedent and limit free expression in the future.

I am not a lawyer, but my curiosity made me read the on the internet on what possible laws may be related to free speech and expression?

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Hypatia was a 4th-century Greek scientist, philosopher, and astronomer. A noted scholar from the great library of Alexandria, she was murdered on 415 AD by a Christian mob. Her death coincided with the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Her thoughts on:

Dogma

All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.

Free Thought

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.

Enlightnment

Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.

Myths

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.

Superstition vs. Truth

In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.

We previously featured the story of Hypatia on Carl sagan’s account of the last days of Alexandria–and the loss of all the classical knowledge of that time.

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Popular science-fiction author of the critically-acclaimed Dune series of novels, and his thoughts on:

Power:

Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely. Absolute power attracts the corruptible.

 Fiction:

 The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.

Over-population

Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. …The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.

Making Sense

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

Managing Fear

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Law

Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit

Religion

These are illusions of popular history which a successful religion must promote:

  • Evil men never prosper;
  • only the brave deserve the fair;
  • honesty is the best policy;
  • actions speak louder than words;
  • virtue always triumphs;
  • a good deed is its own reward;
  • any bad human can be reformed;
  • religious talismans protect one from demon possession;
  • only females understand the ancient mysteries;
  • the rich are doomed to unhappiness

Authoritarianism

A large populace held in check by a small but powerful force is quite a common situation in our universe. And we know the major conditions wherein this large populace may turn upon its keepers:

  • When they find a leader. This is the most volatile threat to the powerful; they must retain control of leaders.
  • When the populace recognizes its chains. Keep the populace blind and unquestioning.
  • When the populace perceives a hope of escape from bondage. They must never even believe that escape is possible!

Sex

You could drag humankind almost anywhere by manipulating the enormous energies of procreation. You could goad humans into actions they would never have believed possible. One of his teachers had said it directly: “This energy must have an outlet. Bottle it up and it becomes monstrously dangerous. Redirect it and it will sweep over anything in its path. This is an ultimate secret of all religions.”

Intelligence

Education is no substitute for intelligence. That elusive quality is defined only in part by puzzle-solving ability. It is in the creation of new puzzles reflecting what your senses report that you round out the definition.

 

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Here in the Philippines, the Catholic Church considers civil disobedience an option in its conflict with the government on the use of artifical contraceptives

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20101004-295833/Civil-disobedience-still-a-CBCP-option

MANILA, Philippines—As Church and State moved to avert a collision, Catholic bishops Sunday said civil disobedience remained “a moral option” for Catholics if the Aquino administration pushed for the distribution of artificial contraceptives to couples who want to use them.

The bishops said they had the moral authority to call for such an action if the government promoted an action contrary to the teachings of the Church.

“The Catholic Church in the Philippines can do that if it decides to do that because for one thing, civil disobedience is a moral option, one of the moral options,” said Msgr. Juanito Figura, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

I don’t know if the Catholic Church is aware of this, but they too are very vulnerable to civil disobedience. Just less than a week ago, Carlos Celdran, a manila tour guide by profession protested inside the church with what may also be considered civil disobedience.

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On The Big Picture, an allusion of how the Apple story could have made a nice gospel story:

As a long time Apple fanboy going back to my 1990 Mac Classic, I find this brilliant:

1. a creation myth highlighting the counter-cultural origin and emergence of the Apple Mac as a transformative moment;

2. a hero myth presenting the Mac and its founder Jobs as saving its users from the corporate domination of the PC world;

3. a satanic myth that presents Bill Gates as the enemy of Mac loyalists;and, finally,

4. a resurrection myth of Jobs returning to save the failing company…

This originally appeared on the Atlantic Journal.

Is it a wonder that Apple products have such a rabid following bordering on religious fervor, with customers buying and defending their products despite their flaws (read: Iphone 4)?

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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Vampires and Jesus

Nearly neglected this bit over the weekend:

Top 10 List Why Jesus and Vampires are Alike

1. Loosely based on historical figures
2. The tale gets passed on from generation to generation, each time adding a twist to the original tale until it becomes larger than life.
3. Very popular in pop-culture. Every year or so, there’s bound to be another re-hashed movie or best-seller about him. Ranges from the teeny-bopper, “cool” versions popular with younger crowd to the bloodier, more R-rated versions. 4. Anne Rice wrote a book about him.
5. Came back from the grave as an immortal undead with super-powers 6. Can’t enter uninvited into your house (or heart)
7. Allergic to crosses, prefers not to be impaled with or into woody stuff but in the official storyline gets staked anyway.
8. Likes to be called “prince”, though one prefers the moniker of “prince of peace”, the other likes the title “prince of darkness”.
9. Keeps flying critters as pets which usually come out on special occasions or when specifically summoned. One like doves, the other prefers bats.
10. Has his own rabid fan-base. Don’t mess with his fans, they can appear to be all nice and normal, but watch out when they bare their fangs. They will defend him to the death.

How about “Top 10 List Why Vampire Lore is like Christianity”? Check out Filipino Freethinkers to find out.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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