Imagine a woman, setting herself on fire, because she believes this will
bring salvation to her entire family. Even if unusual today, this costume
is still viewed as something ideal for a Hindu woman. The poison that is
religion infects almost every aspect of life for the majority of people on
this planet. Stoning, honor killings, torture, oppression, war, confusion,
false hope, the list can be made a thousand times longer. Even the people
that can be considered exceptions, where religion did not directly hurt
the infected person, religion still causes basically every infected mind to
throw away their life in the hope that a better one will follow. And for
what? The answer is simple: Nothing. There is nothing religion can bring
you that you cannot achieve without it. Love, compassion, well-being,
empathy, moral, ethics, laws, tranquility. All achievable without religion.
Even fear of death is possible to control without religion. If we want to live in a society based on compassion, science, rationality, and love; religion must be exterminated trough education. As long as religion exist, there is no hope of this future for most people in the world.
This short book examines different aspects of religion. The first chapter deals with what religion is and how it came to be. The second chapter gives a quick overview of where science is today. The third chapter deals with the existence Jesus and is divided into 2 sub chapters, the mythological Jesus and the historical Jesus. The fourth chapter puts forward an alternative interpretation of the Bible. The fifth chapter examines who is getting rich of religion and the sixth gives an overview of the companies associated with the Catholic church. The seventh chapter examines the eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The eight chapter deals with Paul Moser’s evidence for God and the ninth chapter examines nationalism next to religion. The tenth chapter brings up other correlates to religion, such as crime and poverty, and the eleventh and final last chapter draws conclusions from the previous chapters.
Chapter 1 – Religion and its origins………………………………………….4
Chapter 2 – Science today………………………………………………………..6
The birth of the Universe and the M-theory……………………………..7
The Multiverse and its beginning. …………………………………………….7
Chapter 3 – Jesus……………………………………………………………………..8
The mythological Jesus……………………………………………………………..8
The historical Jesus…………………………………………………………………..11
Chapter 4 – Jesus, the fraud……………………………………………………..15
Chapter 5 – The christian corporation. ……………………………………..17
Chapter 6 – The companies associated with the Catholic church…21
Chapter 7 – The eastern religions………………………………………26
Woman in India…………………………………………………………………26
Woman in Buddhism……………………………………………………………32
Chapter 8 – Challenging Paul Moser………………………………………34
Moser’s position (surrounding God)………………………………………..34
Moser’s evidence ……………………………………………………………………36
Moser’s criticism of scientism and methodological naturalism…..37
Challenging Moser’s evidence…………………………………………………38
Challenging Moser’s criticism of scientism. ……………………………39
Attribution theory ………………………………………………………………40
Sundén’s role theory……………………………………………………………40
Derren Brown …………………………………………………………………….41
Are Paul Moser’s Evidence of God logically sustainable?…………41
Can we assume that God has a purpose? ……………………………….42
Chapter 9 – Nationalism vs Religion……………………………………….43
Chapter 10- Other correlates with religion……………………………..47
Chapter 11 – Summary, final thoughts, and conclusions…………..50
Chapter 1 – Religion and its origins.
Many scientists, sociologists, and researchers have theorized what the possible ”reason” for religion may be. Peter Berger theorizes that religion is used to legitimate societies rules. Human beings, according to Berger, needs to form a society as a result of our biology (for example, we are in need of adults in the early stages of our lives). The first generations of a society creates its own rules, they therefor do not need an explanation for them. The following generation however, needs something that makes these rules legit. This is where religion comes in, according to Berger. Religion puts societies rules in a cosmic and holy frame by saying, for example, that some kind of punishment awaits the person not bowing down to what can only be described as peer pressure or oppression. Historically there are obvious cases of religious ideas serving the elite, the role of Pharaoh in ancient Egypt for example.
Berger’s theory, however, falls a bit short; since religious ideas usually are not created by rulers nowadays. There are exceptions, the catholic church of today still legitimates its rules with treats of hell, in other words, saying that if you do not follow their way of life, torture awaits you, historically, this torture is not seldom delivered by the same people making (up) the treats. As previously mentioned, Berger’s theories falls a bit short for the reason that religious ideas not seldom are born with people lacking power, his theories also does not explain the reason for belief in God. This is where Freud, Sundén, Shermer, and a few other philosophers comes in. Freud theorizes that God is a substitute for the lost omnipotence of the childhood father. In other words, to deal with the realization that ones father is not all knowing, one creates an omnipotent being, not seldom in the sky, to make up for the lost security of the father-figure. Furthermore, Freud theorizes that man creates God to get a sense of control over the threatening environment (the forces of nature).
Hjalmar Sundén, in simplest terms, theorizes that you see what you expect to see. If a persons mind is set in a religious way of thinking, this person is more likely to see religious patterns in what is most likely natural occurrences. For example, imagine a policeman chasing an armed criminal. If he at any moment sees a small round object (for example a bottle) in the corner of his eye, he would be more likely to interpret this as a gun than someone not chasing an armed criminal.
This goes hand in hand with the attribution theory; when people think they are experiencing God, it is almost always accompanied by an increased heart rate. A religious person would then be more likely to connect this feeling with God, than a non religious person.
In other words, to get a sense of control over what probably is a reason for going to the doctor (increased heart-rate), a religious person may instead interpret a medical condition as contact with God. Chapter 7 explains the Attribution theory and Sundén’s Role theory further.But why would humans act and think like this? The answer may be found in evolution: Michael Shermer theorizes that humans, trough evolution, have become likely to see religious patterns in nature. Imagine you are a human in the early eras of humanity. Suddenly, you hear something rattling in front of you. In this situation, two kinds of mistakes are possible:
Class A: You may assume that there is a rattle
snake in front of you, when there is none. This
would be harmless.
Class B: You may assume that there is no rattle
snake in front of you, when there is one. This
could cost you your life.
This means that trough natural selection, humans have become more and more likely to make Class A mistakes, that is, we are programmed to see patterns where there are none, since that is beneficial to our survival.
So to summarize: Trough natural selection human beings have been ”programmed” to see patterns in nature, with the loss of the all mighty father figure and the urge to control nature, the human mind then turns to God. God is further proven to the religious person trough anticipation and is given more credibility by institutions in society using religion to control the masses.
Chapter 2 – Science today
Certain questions are central in both science and religion. How did life begin? Where does humans and our conscience come from? How did existence and the universe begin? The aim of this sub-chapter is to, in simplest terms, explain where science stands on these questions. This is deemed necessary because these issues must be put into perspective against what we currently know and what we currently do not know.
The theory of evolution explains how life evolved from simple organisms, to advanced organisms, such as humans, by ”natural selection.” Natural selection is the gradual process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of the effect of inherited traits on the differential reproductive success of organisms interacting with their environment. Simply described, this means that if certain members of a species, for example, looks 1% more like a leaf, 1% more of them may survive and pass their genes on (mate), in the end resulting in that most members of the species will look 1% more like a leaf. Among these, a few members of the specie may look even 1 % more like a leaf, and the process restarts. The theory of evolution is seen as a very strong theory and virtually the entire scientific community agrees with it (97%). Evidence for the theory of evolution includes the geographical location of the various species, genetics (DNA) and fossils (Dawkins, 1986, 2006). The theory of evolution is accepted by most major religions, even though fundamentalist may see problems in the idea that we are related to apes and that God did not create everything ”as it is”. A common misconception from fundamentalists is that the theory of evolution claims that an ape at some point gave birth to a human. Another misconception is that the theory of evolution has something to do with the beginning of life.
When you look at these symbols two and two, they look practically identical…
….but when looking at the big picture, small changes can make enormous difference.
The strongest theory is that life arose from something that did not live. Experiments such as the Miller-Urey experiment (1953) showed that chemical compounds that constituted Earth’s atmosphere in its early years can bind together and create amino acids. Amino acids are found in all cells of living organisms and is believed to be the element out of which life arose. A related theory is that polymerization of nucleotides to random RNA molecules may, according to the hypothesis of the RNA world, have resulted in self-replicating ribozymes (RNA enzymes) (Cech 2011).
The birth of the Universe and the M-theory.
If the M- theory is proven correct, there are more universes than our own. M-theory, or Membrane theory, is a development of the 5 original string theories (which were placed in the 10th dimension) and is placed in the 11th Dimension. Simplified in absurdum, the theory says that all matter in existence in its most basic form is strings vibrating on a membrane. Lisa Randall of Harvard University discovered that the weakness of gravity (gravity is weak compared to the other three forces) probably can be explained by it ” leaking ” into our universe from other universes. Big Bang is believed to have been caused by ”waves” on the membrane colliding with each other, these waves consists of other universes. To clarify, Big bang is believed be the collision or the separation of two universes. The Universe appearance, with ” clumps ” of matter, supports this model (Guth, Kaku, Randall 2002).
The Multiverse and its beginning.
The M-theory says that there is a multiverse. This multiverse, we know very little about. However, there are theories in quantum physics that explains where matter comes from. Physicists say that the universe can either be closed, open, or flat. A flat universe has a total of 0 energy, which means that it can come from nothing. Cosmic background radiation is not only strong evidence for the Big Bang theory, but also allows us to measure the total energy of the universe, which is 0. This leads scientists to the conclusion that the universe is flat, and can arise from ”nothing”. The increasing acceleration of the universe is further evidence for this conclusion. It should be mentioned that the M-theory has shown that ”nothing” technically isn’t ”nothing”, but rather particles jumping in and out of our universe faster than we can see them. These particles seem to have the property of being in several places at the same time, many researchers (for example Allan Guth) believe that this indicates multiple universes (Krauss 2012, Guth , Kaku , Randall 2002).
Chapter 3 – Jesus
Jesus is considered to be a religious figure with a lot of evidence to support his existence. But are the sources credible? This chapter is divided into two sub-chapters, The mythological and the Historical aspects of Jesus.
The mythological Jesus.
This chapter investigates the “evidence” available for the resurrection and Jesus’ miracles. Flavius Josephus, a jew and roman citizen born around the time of Jesus supposed death, wrote the Antiquities of the Jews, which contains a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum, the text mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus: ”When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men among us, condemned to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease, for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvelous things concerning him.” Most modern scholars believe the original text has been changed by Christian editors, also,
Josephus can not have been an eyewitness, and therefor, provides only second hand information.
The fact that many myths similar to the resurrection predates it casts a certain doubt. Almost every mythology has some sort of a resurrection myth, for example; Tammuz, Ishtar, Phoenix, Quetzalcoatl, Xipe Totec, Adonis, Eshmun, Zalmoxis, Osiris, Ouroboros, Horus, Atunis, Lemminkäinen, Adonis, Dionysus, Ouroboros, Orpheus, Persephone, Chinnamasta, Iravan, Barbarika, Heitsi-eibib, Gullveig, Baldr, Attis, Bacchus, Proserpina, Jarilo, Kostroma, Marzanna, Dumuzi, Inanna, and Obatala. Some Deities have an even closer connection to the Jesus-myth. Dionysus, for example, whose father is Zeus, not unlike Jesus whose father is God. Jesus turns water into wine, Dionysus is the God of wine. Dionysus is prosecuted for claiming to be a God, not unlike the trial of Jesus. Besides the resurrection myth, several other similarities can be found between Christianity and older religions, flood myths are occurring in several mythologies, for example, the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. Many deities makes great sacrifices, for example; Pangu, Purusha,Ymir, and so on.
Robert M. Price claims that if the resurrection could be proven through science or historical evidence, it would lose its miraculous qualities (Price 2005: 14). This however is in no way evidence, just an excuse to believe without evidence. William Lane Craig is another theologian who argues for the resurrection. The first fact according to Craig is that Jesus
was buried by Joseph of Arimathea in a tomb. He goes on to say that historians have established this fact on the basis of evidence, for example, Jesus’ burial is multiply attested in early, independent sources such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which have been collected into the New Testament, along with various letters of the apostle Paul. Additionally, as a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is according to Craig unlikely to be a Christian invention. As will be pointed out in the next chapter, the gospels are not reliable. The only facts that historians do agree on; is that it is unlikely that Joseph of Arimathea was a Christian invention, since he was a member of the Sanhedrin (an assembly of twenty to twenty-three men appointed in every city in the Land of Israel.). However, there are no historical evidence that actually proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt, so to call it a fact is to take it one step too far.
The second fact, according to Craig, is that Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers on the Sunday after the crucifixion, Among the reasons, which according to Craig have led most scholars to this conclusion, is that the empty tomb is multiply attested by independent, early sources, once again this is mainly referring to the Gospels. That the tomb was discovered empty by women gives additional credibility to the myth, according to Craig:
”In patriarchal Jewish society the testimony of women was not highly regarded. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus says that women weren’t even permitted to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law. Now in light of this fact, how remarkable it is that it is women who are the discoverers of Jesus’ empty tomb. The fact that it is women, rather than men, who are the discoverers of the empty tomb is best explained by the fact that they were the chief witnesses to the fact of the empty tomb, and the Gospel writers faithfully record what, for them, was an awkward and embarrassing fact. ”
It is likely that it was an awkward and embarrassing ”fact” that women were the main witnesses of the empty tomb, however, this certainly does not make it a fact. If you want someone to believe in a lie, it adds credibility to use ”facts” that are a bit embarrassing to you. It is like when Cartman in the TV-series South Park admits to be wrong about there being no ginger animals to add credibility to his main lie, a cow he dressed up to look ginger. Most children above 10 can figure this out, so it is quite likely that the people of biblical times had figured this out themselves.
The third fact, according to Craig, is that different individuals and groups of people saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion. He argues that Paul’s list of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that such appearances occurred:
”Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to his chief disciple Peter, then to the inner circle of disciples
known as the Twelve; then he appeared to a group of 500 disciples at once, then to his younger
brother James, who up to that time was apparently not a believer, then to all the apostles. Finally, Paul adds, “he appeared also to me,” at the time when Paul was still a persecutor of the early Jesus movement (I Cor. 15.5-8). Given the early date of Paul’s information as well as his personal acquaintance with the people involved, these appearances cannot be dismissed as mere legends.”
He continues to say that the narratives in the Gospels provides multiple, independent, attestation of Jesus appearances:
”For example, the appearance to Peter is attested by Luke and Paul; the appearance to the Twelve is attested by Luke, John, and Paul; and the appearance to the women is attested by Matthew and John.”
Imagine if a group of people wanted to make the story of the resurrection up, so they sat down around a table and wrote one Gospel each. If you were one of the persons in this scenario, wouldn’t you refer back to your companions to make it more credible? Craig basically says that because Paul mentions a group of people, who say that they saw the risen Jesus, it is a fact. Who are all these people? Do we have their first hand testimony? No we do not. If someone today were to write that ”500 people saw the aliens invading”, one would demand to actually hear from these people in person, furthermore, one would consider them lying or hallucinating a more reasonable explanations than there actually being an alien invasion. Why would we, or why should we, treat the people in the Bible any differently?
The 4th ”fact”, according to Craig, is that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus was risen from the dead, despite having every predisposition to the contrary. The original disciples suddenly came to believe so strongly that God had raised Jesus from the dead, that they were willing to die for that belief.
People have been wrong before, people have been willing to die for lies. If the stories surrounding the disciples have any truth in them to begin with, there is still the possibility that they were lied to. Just because the disciples thought that they saw the risen Jesus and were willing to die for their beliefs, does not make them true. In that case, the terrorists that performed the 911-attacks must believe in the truth, they were willing to die for
Craig also provides 3 reasons for the gospels not being unreliable despite their inconsistencies; that the inconsistencies are irresolvable rather than merely apparent, which in no way argues for the Gospels credibility; that the inconsistencies lie at the heart of the narrative rather than just in the secondary, peripheral details, which is opinion; and that all of the accounts have an equal claim to historical reliability, since the presence of inconsistencies in a later, less reliable source does nothing to undermine the credibility of an earlier, more credible source, which is true, but in no way an argument for the gospels being reliable. He also claims that inconsistencies in the Gospels have no effect at all on the four facts presented, which is of course ridiculous, if the Gospels are the source, of course it is important that they are reliable. None of the miracles mentioned have any kind of evidence to back them up and and some of them, like turning water into wine, sounds more like cheap magic tricks and can hardly be considered proof of God, personally, I can think of several ways to perform this “miracle”. Pen and Teller catches bullets between their teeth, I guess they represent “super gods”.
Robert Greg Cavin, professor of Philosophy, states that, ”our only sources of potential
evidence, the New Testament Easter traditions, fall far short of providing the kind of
information necessary for establishing the resurrection hypothesis” (Cavin, 2005: 36). Geza
Vermes, biblical scholar, concludes that there are six possible explanations for the resurrection (Vermes additionally states that none of these six possibilities are likely to be historical.), he states as follows:
1. ”The body was removed by someone unconnected with Jesus”,
2. ”The body of Jesus was stolen by his disciples”,
3. ”The empty tomb was not the tomb of Jesus”,
4. Buried alive, Jesus later left the tomb”,
5. Jesus recovered from a coma and departed Judea, and
6. the possibility that there was a ”spiritual, not bodily, resurrection”.
(Vermes, 2008: 142–148)
The historical Jesus
Jesus existence has been a topic of debate for a long time, most theologians and historians would agree that Jesus existed as a historical person (Ehrman 2011: 285, Grant 2004: 200, Gould & Burridge 2004: 34). Some theologians and historians goes so far as to say, that any ideas surrounding Jesus lack of existence, are refuted (Voorst 2000: 16, Dunn 2007: 35-36 Stanton 1989: 145). Theologians, however, do not agree on exactly what parts of the biblical stories that are true (Powell 1998: 181). The only hypothesis that holds anything close to consensus among theologians are the stories surrounding Jesus trial and baptism (Dunn 2003: 339, Herzog 2005: 1-6, Crossan 1995: 145). Most theologians and historians would also agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 4 BC, in the closing stages of the reign of King Herod, and that he died 30–36 AD, that he lived in Galilee and Judea, did not preach or study elsewhere, and that he spoke Aramaic and perhaps also Hebrew and maybe Greek (Green et al 1992: 442, Dunn & McKnight 2006: 303, Crossan & Watts 1999 28-29, Barr 1970: 9-29, Porter 1997: 110-112, Hamp 2005: 3-4). This sub-chapter examines the evidence available for the historical Jesus.
The methods involved in researching Jesus existence are mainly comparative studies between different sources such as; gnostic texts, synoptic gospels, Pauline letters, Talmud, Josephus, Irenaeus and Tacitus (Blomberg 2009: 431-436, Bockmuehl 2001: 121-125, Chilton & Evans 1998: 460-470, Voorst 2000: 39-53). The earliest writings about Jesus — traditionally dated 52-67 CE, earlier than any gospels, comes from Paul of Tarsus (Nongbr 2005: 24-52). There are also over 80 texts that mentions “Chrestus”. (Linck 1913: 106). Many scholars of biblical history believes that the gospels of the Bible are evidence enough to say that Jesus did exist and that his existence can be assumed from them (Guiart 1952: 169). Many theologians would from this also draw the conclusion that it is equally likely that the major themes in Jesus’s life are based in reality, that he most likely were one of the many self-proclaimed prophets of the time and that he probably angered the wrong people, resulting in his death (Dawson 1998, Robertson 1975, Blackhorn 1985).
Chrestus does not have to refer to Jesus, as suggested by certain christian apologists, besides
meaning “good” or “useful” in those days it was also one of the names of the Graeco-Egyptian God Serapis (McClintock & Strong 1894: 259, Porter & O’Donnell 2004: 102). The followers of Serapis were referred to as “Christians” (Giles 1877: 86). References to “christ” does not have to refer to Jesus either, since it is referring to a title. The term is even used about several people IN THE BIBLE! For example when speaking about high priests and kings of ancient Israel (Wright 1995: 296, Pleket & Stroud 2013).
Paul never met or spoke to Jesus, but claim to have met a few of the Disciples, no witnesses are mentioned by name, only that several people have met Jesus. Some theologians also interpret Galatians as Paul mentioning Jesus’s brother (Ehrman 2003). But is Paul a reliable witness? Is there no possibility that he was just an attention-seeking liar motivated by something entirely different than faith? This is a question that cannot be answered by any means available today. It is however clear that Paul letters is not evidence enough to say, with any certainty, that Jesus existed.
The authors of the four canonical Gospels (The Apostle Levi Matthew, the evangelist John Mark, the physician Luke, and the Apostle John.) are not eye witnesses, they are merely retelling stories that they have heard. They also never identify themselves explicitly, making them questionable as sources. Most of the information in Matthew and Luke comes from Mark, making it quite logical that they would agree on some points. Despite of this, the Gospels still disagree on several facts, even on the time of Jesus’ birth! Furthermore, parts of the Gospels were added on later, such as Mark 16 and John 8: 2-11. As if this was not enough to question the Gospels reliability, The King James authors changed certain stories so that the Bible would correlate with reality, for example the change from Gerasenes to Gadarenes in Mark 8:28.
The earliest source of the Gospels that exists is the Rylands Library Papyrus P52, dated to
somewhere between 100 CE – 150 CE, depending on which researcher you ask. In other words, the earliest sources are still approximately a 100 years younger that the supposed life of Jesus. The early years of the Roman Empire is one of the best-documented periods of ancient history, they even kept a record on who was crucified (Carrier 2011), Jerusalem was a center of education (Crossan 1996: 94).
Philo of Alexandria and Gaius Plinius Secundus were both historians and philosophers active in the area Jesus supposedly traveled at the time when Jesus supposedly lived. Non of them mentions Jesus at any point. Philo was living in (or near) Jerusalem when Maria gave her virgin birth and when the Herodian massacre occurred, when Christ made his entry into Jerusalem, when the crucifixion, supernatural darkness, and the resurrection of the dead took place. Isn’t it strange that a historian wouldn’t mention these events especially when living right next door? Isn’t it strange that not one single historian of Jesus supposed time, ever mentions Jesus? The Gospels describes Jesus as very popular, and still there is not a word of his existence before 93 CE, Jesus, a leader of the people, isn’t even mentioned in the records over crucified people, this is indeed very strange. Matthew and Luke do not agree on when Jesus was born. Matthey says it is between 6-4 BCE wile Luke says no earlier than 6 CE (with a reference to Quirinius). According to Irenaeus ( in Demonstration) Jesus got crucified under Claudius Caesar (41-54 CE) (Carrier 2011, Goodblatt 2005). ”For Herod the king of the Jews and Pontius Pilate, the governor of Claudius Caesar, came together and condemned Him to be crucified.”
– Irenaeus (130-202 CE)
The problem is, that the Judea Province of this time only had a united rulership under Herod theGreat and Herod Agrippa. According to Luke, Jesus was about 30 when he was baptized and this was in the: ”fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar”, which was 29 CE. Even if Jesus’s
supposed birth date was as late as 6 BCE, making Jesus 34 in 29 CE, you do not get to the required minimum of 46 years of age until 41 CE, which requires the Caesar to be Claudius (41-54 CE) and the Herod ”king of the Jews” to be Agrippa I (42-44 CE). This leaves the problem of Pontius Pilate, who had been recalled to Rome in 36 CE. Also, with a Herod ”king of the Jews” in charge, Pontius would be unnecessary. Irenaeus goes on to say:
“But Jesus being derived from that father who is above the God that made the world, and coming into Judæa in the times of Pontius Pilate the governor, who was the procurator of Tiberius Cæsar”
(180 CE). Irenaeus actually is saying that Pontius is working under 2 different Cæsars during the days of Jesus, this is simply incorrect, making Irenaeus doubtful as a source.
The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius was the earliest non-Christian to mention Jesus. Josephus was born in 37 CE, well after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus, which means that he could not have been an eyewitness. His book Antiquities was not written before 94 CE. Most historians and even biblical scholars agree, that the mentioning of Jesus actually is a forgery (Price 2003, Carrier 2012, Efrón 1987, Flavius 90):
”If a Jew owned the truth of Christianity, he must needs embrace it. We, therefore, certainly
conclude that the paragraph where Josephus, who was as much a Jew as the religion of Moses
could make him, is made to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, in terms as strong as words could doit, is a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too” (Bishop Warburton, Quoted by Lardner, Works, Vol. I, chap. 4).
Tacitus was born in 64 C.E, and is therefore not an eyewitness. Tacticus mentions “Chrestus” in the follwing passage:
”Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite
tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind”
First of all, there is no historical evidence, besides this writing by Tacticus himself, that Nero
persecuted Christians, furthermore, there is no evidence that Nero burned Rome, so there would most likely be no need to assign blame in the first place. This is reason enough to doubt Tacticus as a source..
Talmud has been used as a source for the existence of Jesus. Talmud is referring to
”Yeshu”(Sanhedrin 43a, Sanhedrin 107, Gittin 56b, 57a ). However, this is actually a disciple of
Jehoshua Ben-Perachia who lived at least a century before the supposed Christian Jesus. Also, the oldest version of Talmud is still from 300 CE, making it useless as a source.
The Garden Tomb may be considered evidence by some theologians, these however, are basing this on nothing. The Garden Tomb is a rock-cut tomb which was unearthed in 1867 and has subsequently been considered by some Christians to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. The supporters of the Garden tomb being evidence are basing this on its closeness to Golgata, and also that it looks like described in the Bible. Most modern scholars, however, finds that there are several factors that does not add up: The site used to be a temple to Aphrodite. Archaeologists also suggests that the exact location claimed for the tomb would have been within Hadrian’s Temple. The site is currently within the Old City walls, and due to the heights of the terrain, it would be unlikely, from a defense point of view, for the walls to have previously been east of the Church.The tombs western parts are believed to date from the first century, indicating that the site was outside the city at that time, making these evidence questionable at best (Corbo 1981, Bahat 1986, Stern 1993, Colonel 1909, Hachlili 2005). So when it comes to archeological evidence, there are none, also, historians and archeologist are having trouble finding any traces of the city of Nazareth. Nazareth is in fact not mentioned by name in any pre-Christian Palestinian, Greek or Roman texts but appears for the first time in the 4th century BC.
All these facts considered, the existence of the historical Jesus is doubtful at best.
Chapter 4 – Jesus, the fraud
Given that the evidence for Jesus existence does not hold up, I would like to offer an alternative theory. We know that Christianity became, and still are, one of the strongest groupings on this earth. During the reign of Rome, Christianity became one of the main tools for several aspects of power. It is possible that a group of people decided to make Christianity up, since obviously, there was something to gain from it. The family tree of the earlie popes are basically unknown, for all we know, they may actually have been connected, or even related. Linus, the second pope (According to Iraneus) we basically know nothing about. We do not know if he fadered any children. The same can be said about Anacletus, the third pope. Pope Clement (88 – 97) seems to be the first pope with strong evidence to support his existence. What if a group sat down at a table, and decided to make this story up. First of all, they would claim that there were different sources, you cannot prove that a group of people did not all sit in the same room making this story up together. They found this guy named Jesus, who was willing to be a part of the conspiracy, and with different methods they convinced people that this person was able to perform miracles. We have all seen magic shows, who is to say that Jesus didn’t know a few cheep magic tricks, such as turning water into red liquid, which with the right manipulation convinced 12 people (disciples) that Jesus was the son of God. Chapter two explains how the timeline surrounding Jesus trial doesn’t fit into history. It is possible that the whole trial was made up. Internet and the worldwide media did not exist in this time, most people could not read, people got the news by hearing it from the neighbors. It is said that it is proof for Jesus miracles that his disciples was willing to die, what if they were fooled? All that would be needed now would be someone to say they saw the risen Jesus. If the Bible is partly true, one of the first persons to see the risen Christ was a prostitute. Do you find it completely impossible that a prostitute could be payed to lie? There is no proof that all the witnesses to Jesus miracles were not payed to lie. So what is more plausible? That someone rose from the dead, or that a group of people were fooled or payed off?
It is also possible that Jesus was completely made up, the first christian texts are dated to 52-67 BC. To make this story convincing for future generations, it is not that strange of an idéa to ”hide” a few documents for future generations to find, in various places in Arabia (No doubt this is more plausible than God hiding dinosaur skeletons to test our faith). This fits chronologically with the generation of Pope Clement’s father (we do not know anything about the families of early popes, they may have been related).
In other words, it is not impossible that Christianity was invented by an illuminati-group, possibly lead by Pope Clement’s father, we can only speculate surrounding why, maybe to give power to future generations. There are also theories that Jesus were invented by the Romans to make the Jews more passive. It is possible that this is not the truth, there are 100’s of possibilities. But can you prove that this is NOT the case? If you cannot, then you at least shouldn’t exclude it as an explanation. And it is a far more plausible explanation than God getting himself murdered for our sins in the form of a man. It is possible that this is the case, but without any proof, it is far more likely to be a fraud than a miracle.
To put it another way, Christianity is nothing but a company or a corporation, and the Christian faith is the product. The following chapter will examine how this company has become one of the strongest powers on planet Earth.
Chapter 5 – The christian corporation.
Small parts of this chapter are copied, I could not find the author of certain articles and since the aim of this book is to inform, there was no reason for changing the texts that much. If you which to have your name on the list of sources, give me a message.
As previously mentioned, it is hard to say exactly how Christianity got started. What we know, is that in a short time after the earliest sources are dated, Christianity grew into one of the most powerful companies on earth. In 313 Rome had become Christian. Emperor Constantine immediately started using violence to spread Christianity. By the 600’s, large parts of Asia, the Arab continent, and Europe was under the rule of Christianity.
The Church now began aiming on ruling of the world. The state became the protector. With this came power and wealth. Accumulation of the latter was no longer performed for the purpose of helping the poor, but to grant a life of luxury to the people in charge. Pagan temples were transformed into Christian shrines or destroyed. Their properties were confiscated by the Church. The wealth of competing religions was stolen, their clergy dismissed and/or persecuted, or in many more cases, killed. The Roman Catholic Church next started buying real estate and governmental posts.
This however, was not enough. The Catholic church next claimed to have found the remains of St Peter, which according to the church could remit sin. Once it became known that the relics of St. Peter, when combined with the spiritual power of the pope, could do so, Christians started pilgrimages to Peter’s shrine, giving earthly treasures of money, silver and gold, or deeds of real estate, to the church in order to get a chance to partake in the spiritual treasures of St: Peter. This is how the pilgrimage to Rome, called the Pardon of St. Peter, was initiated. This is not totally unlike the Buddhist tooth-relic, which has brought in a lot of money for the Burmese government.
In 774, Charlemagne, the king of France, approved the Papal states. The company of Christianity, however, wanted even more. The pope and his men concluded that the newly born Papal States were too small for them, the representatives of St: Peter. These territories had to be extended to match Peter’s spiritual imperium. The pope demanded that he and the other leaders of the church would be granted the ownership of whole kingdoms and empires. They presented the Donation of Constantine. Claiming that it was written by the Emperor Constantine himself. The document put the popes above kings, emperors and nations and made them the legal heirs to the territory of the Roman Empire. The Donation of Constantine states as follows:
• Constantine desires to promote the Chair of Peter over the Empire and its seat on earth by
bestowing on it imperial power and honor. (Making the pope the heir to the Roman Empire)
• The Chair of Peter shall have supreme authority over all churches in the world. (Including
those of another religion).
• It shall be judge in all that concerns the service of God and the Christian faith. (Making
Christianity the law, and the pope the judge, disagreeing with him meant becoming an
• Instead of the diadem which the Emperor wished to place on the pope’s head, but which the
pope refused, Constantine had given to him and to this successors the phrygium – that is, the
tirara and the lorum which adorned the emperor’s neck, as well as the other gorgeous robes
and insignia of the imperial dignity.
• The Roman clergy shall enjoy the high privileges of the Imperial Senate, being eligible to
the dignity of patrician and having the right to wear decorations worn by the nobles under
The offices of cubicularii, ostiarii, and excubitae shall belong to the Roman Church.
• The Roman clergy shall ride on horses decked with white coverlets, and, like the Senate,
wear white sandals.
• If a member of the Senate shall wish to take orders, and the pope consents, no one shall
hinder him. (leaving the Senate at the mercy of the pope)
• Constantine gives up the remaining sovereignty over Rome, the provinces, cities and towns
of the whole of Italy or of the Western Regions, to Pope Silvester and his successors.
(Which made the pope the territorial sovereign of Rome, Italy and the Western Regions).
Now the popes reigned as absolute temporal rulers above the law. The emperors served under the popes. This however, was still not enough. The popes continued to expand their territory. Gregory VII (1073), for example, concentrated spiritual and political jurisdiction in himself, to better administer the Western Empire as a fief of the papacy. He asserted temporal supremacy over the whole Byzantine Empire, including Africa and Asia, wile declaring that his ultimate goal was simply the establishment of the universal temporal domain of St. Peter. His successors continued his work. Pope Urban II decided to bring under subjection the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople, including the areas of land controlled by these. The reason given was the liberation the tomb of Christ (Which of course could be made into a huge source of income).
Pope Innocent II (1198-1216) said that as the successor of St. Peter, he was the supreme
head of the true religion and the temporal sovereign of the universe. By the end of his reign, the Vatican had become the temporal ruler of Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Castile, Leon, Navarre, Aragon, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Bohemia, Servia, Bosnia, Bulgeria, and Poland. The Greek Orthodox Church was ”compelled” to acknowledge the Catholic church’s supremacy.
In the 1300’s, Pilgrimage had become a very steady income for the church, and since the saintswent on multiplying with each generation, their shrines did likewise. And for every shrine thechurch made more and more money, not surprisingly, the church did not mind making peoplesaints. Europe was full of shrines, and pilgrimages were a regular thing for centuries. On the side of that, the church started abusing Indulgence, meaning that you basically could pay for salvation.For the next seven hundred years, taxes, plundering and tributes flowed in from all over Europe. Non-Christians and even Christians of the “wrong kind of Christianity” were killed and their property confiscated. In 1929, the Church received compensation for its lost land in an agreement with the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. Under the Lateran Accords, it was paid around $92 000 000 and, in return, recognized the fascist government:
• A political treaty recognizing the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican
City, which was thereby established, a document accompanied by the annexes:
• A plan of the territory of the Vatican City State
• A list and plans of the buildings with extraterritorial privilege and exemption from
expropriation and taxes
• A list and plans of the buildings with exemption from expropriation and taxes
• A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See
following the loss in 1870 of its territories and property. (The Italian state agreed to pay
750,000,000 lire immediately plus consolidated bearer bonds with a coupon rate of 5% and
a nominal value of 1,000,000,000 lire. It thus paid less than it would have paid under the
1871 Law of Guarantees, which the Holy See had not accepted.)
• A concordat regulating relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian state
(The Times, 12 February 1929, Pollard, 1929–32: 43, Whittam, 1995: 77, Robbers 2006: 1007)
Using Mussolini’s millions, and the money gathered trough years of oppression, the church discretely started to invest even more.
The Vatican has gone to huge efforts to preserve secrecy about these investments. The St James’s Square office block was bought by a company called British Grolux Investments Ltd, the same company also holds the other UK properties. Published registers at Companies House do not disclose the company’s true ownership and doesn’t list the Vatican. Instead, they list two nominee shareholders, both Catholic bankers: John Varley, recently chief executive of Barclays Bank, and Robin Herbert, formerly of the Leopold Joseph merchant bank. Company House files disclose that British Grolux Investments inherited its entire property portfolio after a reorganization in 1999 from two predecessor companies called British Grolux Ltd and Cheylesmore Estates. The shares of those firms were held by a company based at the address of the JP Morgan bank in New York. Ultimate control is recorded as being exercised by a Swiss company, Profima SA. British wartime records from the National Archives in Kew confirm that Profima SA is the Vatican’s own holding company, accused at the time of ”engaging in activities contrary to Allied interests”.
Nowadays, the Economist estimates that annual spending by the American church is around $170 billion (2010). In total, Catholic institutions employ over 1 million people. In 2011, the Holy See brought in $308 million in revenue, with $326 million in expenditures, for a deficit of about $18 million, according to Catholic News Service. The Vatican’s portfolio includes property in London, including the building housing Bulgari Jewelers and apartment buildings in Paris and Switzerland. Catholic groups also have huge investments in Philippine companies. More than $11,487,542 worth of San Miguel Corp’s shares, for example, are owned by 3 Catholic groups: El Superior de la Corporacion Filipina de Padres Agustinos Recoletos, Superior de la Corporacion Archicofradia de N.P.J.N de Recoletos, and Carmel of the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague. Aside from banking, the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines also has investments in mining and construction. The Vatican’s treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. Without a doubt, the Catholic church is one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth.
A lot of money goes into the Vatican Bank, Officially called the ”Institute for the Works of
Religion”. The Vatican Bank is a privately held firm run by a CEO who reports to a committee of cardinals and the Pope. It has about 33,000 accounts and a distribution network in more than 100 countries. The Vatican Bank has been accused of money-laundering and collaborating with the mafia, and before that, with the Nazis and Fascists. For example, in 1978, Roberto Calvi (known for his involvement with the Catholic church) and the Vatican Bank, together with the mafia, collapsed a company called Banco Ambrosiano by giving out fake loans to dummy companies owned by the Vatican Bank, the Vatican provided the letters of credit. Roberto Calvi was murdered in 1982 by mafia members. The 2012 release of leaked documents known as the Vatileaks affair showed that the bank was still struggling with corruption, apparently transferring tens of millions of dollars to America to help them pay and cover up child sex abuse charges. Many Archbishops also have large private investments in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). As per law, the top 100 owners must be declared. 3 Roman Catholic Archbishops are on that list. Nr 5 is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, under account number 18001784, with more than 300 million shares. As of May 2011, this is valued at more than 389,000,000 USD. And as mentioned earlier, he is not alone:
-Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuguegarao, Cagayan – owns 856,639 shares of SMC worth $2,159,658
-Roman Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia de Vigan – owns 428,067 shares of SMC worth
According to Avro Manhattan, ”The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, and with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone. He goes on to say that The Catholic church, once all its assets has been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world, and that The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence.
Chapter 6 – The companies associated with the Catholic church
Small parts of this chapter are copied, I could not find the author of certain articles and since the aim of this book is to inform, there were no reason for changing the texts that much. If you which to have your name on the list of sources, give me a message.
Lets get back to the companies in the Chapter The Rothschilds, a family of bankers, has their hands in just about everything. Among other, the company Glencore. Glencore is a Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company. It has been accused of illegal dealings with rogue states, to apartheid in South Africa, had business with Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and has a history of busting UN embargoes to profit from corrupt or despotic regimes. According to CIA, Glencore paid $3,222,780 in bribes to obtain oil in the course of the UN oil-for-food program. Swiss public television reported that allegations of corruption and severe human rights violations were being raised against Glencore on account of their mining activity in Colombia, in 2006 (Long 2005). Glencore also has questionable investments
in Bolivia, Ecuador, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hambros Bank mainly have investments in Diamonds. Hambros is closely tied to De Beers, a cartel of companies that controls world wide diamond mining, diamond shops, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. Mining takes place in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, among other places. Just as Glencore, De Beers took advantage of Appartheid in South Africa. De Beers officially always took the position opposed to Apartheid. However, De Beers clearly took advantage of Apartheid to provide the company with cheap labor for its mines. De Beers also forcefully relocated indigenous San people in Botswana to take advantage of their diamond reserve by having their water supplies cut off, they have been ”taxed, fined, beaten, and tortured (Survival International. 17 July 2010, Telegraph (London). 17 July 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2009, Leithead ( 2003), BBC news 2009, Mail and Guardian. 8 July 2005.)
The following is parts of an article printed in The Guardian:
”Although De Beers argues that Mobutu was Zaire’s legitimate leader, the company was at the
heart of an industry that was notoriously corrupt in a country that came to epitomise graft. Much of the diamond revenue went into Mobutu’s pocket, and that which did not was of little benefit to Zaire as a whole. Many would argue that diamonds did the country untold harm by perpetuating Mobutu’s control until he was finally brought down by a foreign invasion. But Zaire was more than a source of mines for De Beers. It also served as cover for buying valuable gems from Unita rebels in neighbouring Angola who used the money to fund one of the longest and most brutal wars in Africa – one which is still being waged today. (De Beers has maintained it was never aware that diamonds it obtained originated from Unita.) Unita sold Angolan diamonds to Lebanese middlemen in towns such as Tshikapa. De Beers swept them up, all the time insisting it had no knowledge of their origin. But few people in Tshikapa, and certainly not the Lebanese diamond buyers, were in any doubt about where the stones came from or who was selling them. De Beers for years denied it could tell the origin of such ”blood diamonds” and therefore it could not be accused of knowingly funding Unita. Now – with a threat to the whole international diamond trade from public concern over its role in fueling brutal civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and Congo – De Beers claims exactly the opposite. It says it can identify the origin of the gems when they are compared to diamonds from the same so-called pipe, and that it can therefore certify which stones are not ”blood diamonds”. (The whole article can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2000/nov/09/features11.g2)
The day this text is being written (as i’m sitting here rather uncomfortably in my sofa), an article in the paper announces that the US justice department convicted General Electric Co and DeBeers for conspiracy to raise prices in the $500 millions-a-year industrial diamond industry. ”The indictment charges GE and DeBeers, which account for 80 percent of the industrial diamond market, with conspiring to fix and raise prices worldwide.”
In 2007, the WDC announced that nearly 100 percent of rough diamonds in the market were
certified conflict-free. But external sources indicate that the problem is far from solved. The
international NGO Human Rights Watch revealed that serious human rights abuses were occurring in the Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe. Documented abuses included forced labor, torture, sexual assault, and murder of villagers. Yet because the Zimbabwean governments were deemed “legitimate” by the KPCS, and because the abuses were committed by state sanctioned armed forces, the Kimberley Process monitoring body did not address the matter. Martin Rapaport, a key figure in the development of the KPCS, resigned from the World Diamond Council in February 2010, calling the KPCS and the WDC a “sham.” In December 2011, Global Witness announced it would no longer support the Kimberley Process. The Founding Director of the organization Charmian Gooch stated that , “The fact is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, or whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes.”
Credit Suisse, a Bank in Switzerland, was under investigation between 2008 and 2012 in Germany, Brazil, and the United States for the use of Credit Suisse accounts for tax evasion. In May 2014, the company pleaded guilty to decades of conspiring to help US citizens ”hide their wealth” in order to avoid taxes, and agreed to pay $2.6 billion in fines. The bank has also been proven to be one of those banks that gained money from fooling Jews out of theirs during the Holocaust. In 1934, a year after Hitler’s rise to power, the Swiss legislature passed a law guaranteeing anonymity to anyone who transferred their savings to a Swiss bank. Soon deposits were coming in from all over Europe, particularly from Jews who feared that the Germans would plunder their savings. (Switzerland News.Net, Meyer 1899, Meier 2012)
However, there was a conspiracy between Nazi Germany and Switzerland to lure Jews under cover of confidentiality, to send their money to Swiss banks, who sent the details back to Germany. Who then forced the Jews to ”donate” their savings under torture in the concentration camps and death camps. ”The offer of the three Swiss Banks – Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank Corporation and Credit Suisse to pay $600 million to Holocaust victims is insulting. 90 percent of the money represent interest over a period of over 50 years that the Banks refused to acknowledge that there was any money to return.” (http://www.dangoor.com/70033.html)
The Morgan bank, or JP Morgan Chase, is today one of the biggest banks in the US. Among other things, this bank has using customers’ margined securities as collateral for cash management loans, sex discrimination charges, inaccurate reporting, unfair labor practices, incorrectly charging clients for storage of precious metals, misrepresenting auction rate securities, misconduct in the handling the accounts of 90 Rochester, NY-area retirees, insider trading, prohibited trading activity in oil, electricity price-fixing scandals, and three separate violations of exchange rules, on its ressume. JP Morgan Chase is in control of General Electric, U.S. Steel, International Harvester Company, and International Mercantile Marine Co. GE is giving rise to large-scale air and water pollution. Based on year 2000 data, researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute listed the corporation as the fourth-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with more than 4.4 million pounds per year (2,000 tons) of toxic chemicals released into the air. GE has also been implicated in the creation of toxic waste. According to EPA documents, only the United States Government, Honeywell, and Chevron Corporation are responsible for producing more Superfund toxic waste sites. (The New York Times. March 15, 2011).
USS Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute have ranked U.S. Steel as the eighth greatest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States (down from their 2000 ranking as the second-greatest). In 2004, the city of River Rouge, Michigan and the residents of River Rouge and the nearby city of Ecorse filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for ”the release and discharge of air particulate matter and other toxic and hazardous substances” at its River Rouge plant. In 2005, the Illinois Attorney General brought suit against U.S. Steel for alleged air pollution in Granite City, Illinois.The Company has also been implicated in generating water pollution and toxic waste. (Political Economy Research Institute 2010, Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. Archived 2007, U.S. Steel Fact Sheet from Charfoos & Christensen, P.C, American Metal Market, 19 Sept. 2005) Morgan Chase is also connected to the Transcontinental Railroad which was incredibly hurtful to Native Amaricans. International Harvester Company has a lot of money in arms trade, connecting the Morgan Bank to that as well.
The First National Bank of New York, or “Citibank”, is the consumer banking division of
financial services multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812. As of March 2010,
Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States by total assets, after Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase. It has among other things been tied to money laundering and is further more associated with J.P Morgan Chase. The company has been accused of foreign currency fraud and has also been involved in illegal economical activities, such as with one hand selling a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand betting millions of dollars that they would (NY Times).
Another example is when the bank offered 40,000 frequent-flyer miles with American Airlines to anyone opening an account. Only the bank didn’t tell new customers that they had to report 2½ cents per mile as income to the Internal Revenue Service (Allgov.com).
Shell is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. It is one of the few companies that has its own category on wikipedia for just its immoral activities
Shell conspired with the government of military dictator Sani Abacha to kill author Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni citizens involved in a nonviolent campaign against oil waste dumping in their homeland in the Niger Delta. Nigerian troops used violence to suppress protests, while Shell resisted pressure to use its influence to improve the situation. In November 2013, Amnesty International accused Shell of falsification of statements about its environmental impact in the Niger delta. Shell is guilty of more than 50 years of unsafe drilling and frequent oil spills and gas flarings in Nigeria, which have had a disastrous effect on the environment and on human health. Shell lobbied the Government to send millions of pounds of weapons to Nigeria that may have fallen into the hands of militants guilty of human rights abuses, no measures were put in place to prevent arms falling into the hands of militant warlords and human rights abusers. It was impossible to tell where weapons provided by the UK to help protect Shell eventually ended up. (Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2009, United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP News Centre, August 4, 2011, The New York Times May 22, 2009, Ben Amunwa June 10, 2009. Reuters, Nico Colombant February 25, 2012, Washington Post. Associated Press. 6–7 Nov 2013, The Guardian 7 November 2013, The Independent 2014, This is money 2014).
Shell Puget Sound Refinery, Washington, was fined $291,000 from 2006 to 2010 for violations
of the Clean Air Act, making it the second most fined violator in the Pacific Northwest. As of
2011, it was listed as a ”high priority violator”. Bridgeport’s facility had been recorded to
produce an average of about 170 tons of volatile organic compounds per year. This modification
has the potential to produce 30 tons more per year more of the polluting emissions. Shell is also a mayor poluter in the arctic regions (Scoreboard. 1999. Retrieved 2012-02-27, EPA Region 1 1999, McClure & Stiffler 2011, Hsu, NPR 2012, PBS Newshour 2013).
General Motors Company is and American company and the world’s second largest automobile manufacturer (after Toyota). General Motors is responsible for the worlds largest overall carbon burden (29.6%). GM’s 2000 model year sales accounted for 30% of total CO2 emissions from the US light duty fleet.1. (Environmental defense fund, epoch times 2014, Bloomberg 2012, Chicago tribune 2011).
Bethlehem Steel Corporation was America’s second largest steel producer and largest shipbuilder. (The morning call 2014). Bethlehem Steel started producing weapons in the 1800’s and was the nation’s top military contractor from the late 30’s and forward.
Chapter 7 – The eastern religions
Small parts of this chapter are copied, I could not find the author of certain articles and since the aim of this book is to inform, there were no reason for changing the texts that much. If you which to have your name on the list of sources, give me a message.
The abrahamic religions are often criticized in western media, and by all rights, they should be. However, in western society, eastern religions are often left uncriticized, maybe because we see more immigration from the ”abrahamic world” than from Asia. This is harmful to society. It is important to understand that all religious ideas are harmful, not just the ones being emphasized by media. This chapter will focus on the negative sides of Hinduism and Buddhism.
In northern India, it is not unusual for a woman to get married at the age of 11, and it is seen as a disgrace to have a pubertal daughter who is not yet married off. In large parts of Asia, arranged marriages occur at a very young age. Desirable women in hindu society often get to marry someone in their own age, but if you are crippled, blind, ugly, and so on, reality looks a bit different. (Hawley, 2006).
A Hindu woman is not allowed to mention her husband’s name, this dishonors him. Women who are unfaithful are not seldom killed by their own fathers, and before marriage it is common that the stepfather may ”inspect” his new daughter in law through various tests. In northern India, woman have to move from their village after being married, often around the age of 11. The rest of her life will be spent with a whole new group of people, not seldom in slave-like conditions. In the majority of Buddhist cultures the woman is also considered deeply inferior to men. Violence against women is common in Buddhist culture. Over 20% of the Buddhists believe that a woman lacks the discipline and intelligence to achieve salvation, in other words, woman are considered stupid. Around 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence, a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes, a woman is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes and cases of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the husband occurs every nine minutes (Ganguly 2012, Chowdhury 2006, BBC News. 2006-10-27).
Sexual violence within marriage is common, around 20% of men admits to forcing their wives or partners to have sex, a new case is being reported every 20 minutes. According to a BBC report in February 2013, over 7,200 children are raped each year in India. Underage victims who do report the assaults are often subjected to mistreatment and humiliation from the police. Just a few days ago (2014), a rural court ordered the gang raping of a woman as punishment for being unfaithful (NBC news 2014-01-23, Infochange Women 2013, Bhayana 2011, Meenakshi 2012, Mohanty 2013, India tribune 2012-09-11, CNN. 2013-09-14, Geeta 2013)
The role that gender plays in health care can be determined by examining resource allocation within the household and public sphere. Gender discrimination begins before birth; females are the most commonly aborted gender in India. If a female fetus is not aborted, the mother’s pregnancy can be a stressful experience, due to her family’s preference for a son. Once born, daughters are prone to being fed less than sons, especially when there are multiple girls already in the household. As women mature into adulthood, many of the barriers preventing them from achieving equitable levels of health comes from the low status of women and girls in Indian society, particularly in the rural and poverty-stricken areas. Numerous studies have found that the rates of admission to hospitals vary dramatically with gender, men are visiting hospitals more frequently than women.
This occurs because women typically are entitled to a lower share of household resources and thus utilize healthcare resources to a lesser degree than men. A study by Choi in 2006 found that boys are more likely to receive immunizations than girls in rural areas. This finding has led researchers to believe that the gender of a child leads to different levels of health care being administered in rural areas. Nutrition plays a major role in and individual’s overall health; psychological and physical health status is often dramatically impacted by the presence of malnutrition. India currently has one of the highest rates of malnourished women among developing countries. A study in 2000 found that nearly 70 percent of non-pregnant women and 75 percent of pregnant women were anemic in terms of iron-deficiency. One of the main reasons for malnutrition is gender specific selection of the distribution of food resources. Cardiovascular disease is a major contributor to female mortality in India. Women have higher mortality rates relating to cardiovascular disease than men because of differential access to health care between the genders. One reason for the differing rates of access comes from social and cultural norms that prevent women from accessing appropriate care.
For example, it was found that among patients with congenital heart disease, women were less likely to be operated on than men because families felt that the scars received from surgery would make the women less marriageable. Furthermore, it was found that families failed to seek medical treatment for their daughters because of the stigma associated with negative medical histories. A study conducted by Pednekar in 2011 found that out of 100 boys and girls with congenital heart disease, 70 boys would have an operation while only 22 girls would receive similar treatment. Indian women have higher rates of suicide than women in most developed countries. Women in India also have a higher rate of suicide compared to men.The most common reasons cited for women’s suicide are directly related to depression, anxiety, gender disadvantages and anguish related to domestic violence (Raj 2011, 2011, Balarajan et al 2011, Patel 2002, Sen 2012, Choi 2006, Tarozzi1 1992- 2005, Jose 2008, Chow 2012, Ramakrishnan 2011, Pednekar 2011, Research and Practice 99.7 2009). Literacy for females stands at 65.46%, compared to 82.14% for males. An underlying factor for the low literacy rates are parents’ perceptions that education for girls are a waste of resources as their daughters will eventually live with their husbands’ families and they will not benefit directly from the investment (Census 2011).
Sati refers to a funeral practice within some Asian communities in which a recently widowed
woman sets herself on fire, typically on her husband’s funeral pyre. One recent example from India occured in 2008, when 75-year old Lalmati Verma allegedly jumped onto her husband’s funeral pyre. Roop Kanwar (c. 1969 – 4 September 1987) was a Rajput woman who burned herself to death on 4 September 1987 at Deorala village of Sikar district in Rajasthan, India. At the time of her death, she was 18 years old and had been married for eight months to Maal Singh Shekhawat, who had died a day earlier. Several thousand people attended the sati event. After her death, Roop Kanwar was hailed as a ”sati mata” – a ”sati” mother. The event quickly produced a public reaction. (The New York Times, 1987″. 20 September 1987.)
The tradition of ritual suicides by widowed women is still respected in certain communities of India and, despite long ago being prohibited, such cases continue to occur. The Hindu tradition of Sati, has been outlawed in India since 1829. However, that did not completely eradicate the practice. A recent example is the case of Sharbati Bai. When her husband died, the 60-year old decided to kill herself. Luckily for Sharbati, villagers stopped her in time. Sati is supposed to be voluntary, but there have been accounts of women being forced or druged. In Hindu tradition, Sati is an act of piety, and is said to purge a woman of all accumulated sin. Sati still occurs occasionally, mostly in rural areas. Around 40 cases have occurred in India since its independence in 1947, the majority in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. The last clearly documented case was that of previously mentioned Roop Kanwar. However there are claims that other more recent deaths have also been cases of Sati. On 18th May 2006, Vidyawati, a 35-year-old woman allegedly committed sati by jumping into the blazing funeral pyre of her husband in Rari- Bujurg Village, Fatehpur district, located in the State of Uttar Pradesh. On 21 August 2006, Janakrani, a 40-year-old woman, burnt to death on the funeral pyre of her husband Prem Narayan in Sagar district. The villagers of Devrala have erected a makeshift shrine to Roop Kanwar. So even though the practice itself is banned, the glorification of Sati lives on. In fact, India has at least 250 Sati temples, including 11 in the district of Sikar alone.The priest of one such temple, Makhan Sharma, says that once a woman becomes a Sati, she attains healing powers. Women who commit Sati are worshipped as Sati Devi or a goddess.
Caste is a type of hierarchical social groupings that exist within the Indian caste system. People are born into a caste and are obliged to live in it all their life. People live in the caste they are born into (there are a few ways to change caste, marriage for example). The caste system controls social norms and customs, and perhaps above all, ones occupation. In Rigveda, which is an important Hindu writing, people are divided into four “varnas”, casts. This gains further support in the Bhagavadgita. The system has changed over time, like all other religious systems. Hinduism divides the population into four main social classes, where the Brahmins or priests are on the top, followed by kshatriya (nobles and warriors), Vaishya (merchants) and Shudras (workers). In contrast to the higher castes, people of the working class are excluded from the study of the Vedas (scriptures). A shudra lacks the right to visit a Hindu temple. He is expected to perform only those jobs that are considered unworthy for members of the higher castes. There are also those who are outside the caste system, Dalits, the untouchables, the lowest class of the system. The untouchables generally have professions considered unclean within the higher castes, such as leather working, sanitation, and handling corpses. Even within this marginalized group in India, there are classes. The absolute bottom of the Dalit-caste are the Bhangis; even within the Dalit-class there are groups avoiding contact with them. Bhangis may traditionally only work with cleaning the latrines or with handling dead bodies. The stools are carried in buckets on their heads. A child born in a Bhangi-family will itself become Bhangi. In many villages, the Dalits do not have access to temples and in some cities, may not vote. According to Hindu priests, they have themselves to blame. They are in their present situation due to bad deeds in previous lives. Within the Dalit-group there are ”eunuchs” which have been castrated in cruel rituals. Many of them are beggars or prostitutes.
In October 2002, five Dalits was lynched in the state of Haryana by a crowd after accusations that they had killed a cow. Touching a Dalit, or even touching an object that a Dalit has been in contact with, gives bad karma, and it requires numerous purification rituals to get ”clean” again. Around 17 percent of India’s population are Dalits, around 170 million people. Generally, Dalits live all over India apart from the rest of society. A very small number of the Dalits has managed to acquire a high status occupation such as doctor or lawyer. Although the authorities have introduced quotas to colleges for the Dalits, they are fighting to be accepted, and the discrimination continues. In the larger cities, you can be anonymous. This is good for the Dalits. In the big cities, willingness to work may sometimes mean more than social class. However, 80% of the Indians live in rural areas, where the national laws are of less importance.
It is not uncommon for bhangis to convert to Islam or Buddhism to get rid of discrimination, this means to relocate, since those who know you are bhangi will still treat you like that.
Being a Dalit means being constantly exposed to a kind of invisible, socially accepted discrimination that began the day one was born. The other children, born in higher castes, do not eat lunch at the same table as you and you are not allowed to drink water from the same tap as others. Later on in life, your sallary is so low that it is an economic impossibility to let your children go to school. It is thus extremely difficult to break out of the system. Efforts have been made to improve sanitation systems in India, including laws that ban the construction of dry toilets and the manual removal of human waste. However, Bhangis, who are numerous throughout India, continue to work in their traditional roles and they continue to face severe social barriers, discrimination, and hate crimes. Discrimination against Dalits is forbidden by Indian law, but the discrimination continues. In 1995, India elected a Dalit president, but this has not led to improvements for the Dalits in general. The living conditions for the Dalits vary from state to state . Although India has banned discrimination based on caste, abuse in the form of beatings, destruction of property, torture, and arbitrary arrests are common.
The annual reports from the State Commission shows that Dalits are subjected to violence and violations of human rights on a large scale. During the period of 1981 – 2000, a total of 357,945 crimes against Dalits were reported. The lawyer Ambedkar, who wrote India’s constitution, said that the only way to get rid of caste discrimination was banning Hinduism.
Honor killings have been reported in the northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family’s acceptance, and sometimes, for marrying outside their caste or religion. The Indian state of Punjab has a large number of honor killings. 34 honor killings were reported in the state between 2008 and 2010: 10 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and four in 2010. Haryana is also known for cases of honor killing, mainly in the upper castes of society. Bhagalpur in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has also been known for honor killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was set on fire inside her house in a case that the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before the neighbors arrived, only to find her burnt body. She was admitted to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. In May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her on the head with an axe. In June 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi. In June 2012, a man chopped off his 20-year-old daughter’s head with a sword in Rajasthan after learning that she was dating. He told the police that his daughter Manju had relations with several men. He had asked her to change her ways several times in the past. However, she did not obay. Out of rage, he chopped off her head with a sword. A young couple who were planning to marry were brutally murdered in Garnauthi village, state of Haryana on 18 September 2013 due to having a love affair. The woman, Nidhi, was beaten to death and the man, Dharmender, was dismembered alive. People in the village and neighboring villages approved of the killings (Mayell 2008, Daily Life in India 16/6 2010, English.samaylive.com 23 June 2010, Reuters 16 May 2008, United Press International 12 February 2009, Kumar 2009, Monsters and Critics 14 June 2008, ABC 18 June 2012, Huffington post 18 June 2012, Zeenews India 17 June 2012, BBC 20 September 2013). Anti-Muslim violence in India has occurred periodically since 1947, mainly in the form of mob attacks on Muslims by Hindus. Most incidents have occurred in the northern and western states of India. Among the largest incidents were Bihar, in 1946, Nellie in 1983, and Gujarat in 2002. The roots of this violence lies in India’s history, stemming from lingering hate toward the Islamic domination of India during the Middle Ages, policies established by the country’s British colonizers, the violent partition of India into a Muslim Pakistan, and a secular India with a large but minority Muslim population. Many scholars have described incidents of anti-Muslim violence as politically motivated and organized, often preferring to call them acts of genocide, rather than mere ”riots”. According to political scientists, organizations with roots in Hindu nationalism have played an important part in the incidents of anti-Muslim violence. In particular, organizations associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Hindu nationalist organization founded in 1925. RSS is the parent organization of the Hindu nationalist Sangh Parivar network, in which, among other things, India’s largest opposition party, BJP, is included. Most senior figures in the BJP have had their ideological training in RSS shakhas), such as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal are all considered to have a central role in the violence. The BJP, and its predecessor the Jana Sangh, have used these communal riots and anti-Muslim propaganda as a part of a larger political strategy. Hindu right-wing politicians will often legitimize situations of mass violence against Muslims as a natural reaction to actions performed by Muslims in the past and the present. Over 10,000 people have been killed in Hindu-Muslim violence since 1950.
There were 6,933 instances of communal violence between 1954 and 1982 and, between 1968 and 1980, there 530 Hindus and 1,598 Muslims killed in a total of 3,949 instances of mass violence. These incidents have been described as a new form of state terrorism, stating that these are not ”riots” but ”organized political massacres”. In 1989, there were incidents of mass violence throughout the north of India. When RSS was founded in 1925, the organization saw itself as having the role of protecting Hindus against Muslims, and since its first involvement in Hindu/Muslim confrontations in the 1927 Nagpur riots, it has formed militant groups who engage in attacks on minority groups throughout India. Those who carry out these attacks are portrayed as ”heroes” who have defended the majority from ”anti-nationals”. One reason given for anti-Muslim violence is that Muslims are viewed as suspect and their loyalty to the state is questioned. According to Omar Khalidi, Anti-Muslim violence is planned and executed to render Muslims economically and socially crippled andas a final outcome of that economic and social backwardness, assimilating them into the lower classes of Hindu society. (Puniyan 2003: 153, Brass 2003: 65, Riaz 2008: 165, Cohen 2013: 66, Riddick 2006: 118, Ganguly 2007: 135, Engineer 2002: 5047-5054. Smith 2005: 11–12. Metcalf 2009: 117. Holt 1977: 117. Sikand 2004: 126. Ghassem-Fachandi 2012: 2, Jaffrelot 2011: 376, Pennington 2012: 32, Dhattiwala 2012: 483–516, Brass 2005: 60, Pandey 2005: 188, Chandavarkar 2009: 29, Tambiah 1997: 321, Brass 2004. Jaffrelot 1996, Sarkur 2007: 187, Brekke 2012: 86–87, Puniyan 2003: 12–13, Hefner 2006: 23, Puniyan 2003).
Cultural nationalism has also been tied to instances of violence carried out by Shiv Sena, a fascist political party. They initially claimed to speak for the people of Maharashtra, but their rhetoric quickly turned into violence against Muslims. They were complicit in the violence in 1984 in the town of Bhiwandi, and again in the violence in Bombay in 1992 and 1993. In both of these cases, Sena had help from the police and local officials. Violence has been incited by Sena in 1971 and in 1986. Hindu nationalists also use the subjugation of India by Muslims as an excuse for violence. Their view is that the Muslims has raped Hindu women and destroyed places of worship. They believe that the Muslims are allied to Pakistan and are possible terrorists and therefore, the Hindus must take revenge for these past wrongs and win back their pride. Muslim’s high fertility rate has been a recurring theme in the Hindu rights rhetoric. They claim that the higher birth rate among Muslims is part of a plan to turn the Hindus into a minority within their own country. In the state of Assam in 1983, the Nellie massacre transpired. It has been described as one of the largest and most severe atrocities since World War II, with an estimated death toll of 5,000, the majority of which were women and children. During the 1969 Gujarat riots, it is estimated that 630 people lost their lives. In 1980 in Moradabad, an estimated 2,500 people were killed. Local police were directly involved in planning the violence. In 1989 in Bhagalpur, it is estimated nearly 1,000 people lost their lives in violent attacks, believed to be a result of tensions raised over the Ayodhya dispute (Hindu nationalists are angry that a mosque is the largest building in town). The destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu nationalists led directly to the 1992 Bombay Riots. BBC correspondent Toral Varia called the riots ”a pre-planned pogrom,” that had been in the making since 1990, and stated that the destruction of the mosque was ”the final provocation”. Several scholars have likewise concluded that the riots must have been pre-planned and that Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses from non-public sources. This violence is widely agnolished as having been orchestrated by Shiv Sena, a Hindu-nationalist group.
It is said that the police were fully aware of the Shiv Sena’s capabilities to commit acts of violence. Since partition, there have been several acts of mass violence carried out against Muslims in Gujarat. In 2002, in an incident described as an act of ”fascistic state terror”, Hindu-extremists carried out acts of extreme violence against the Muslim minority population. The starting point for the incident was the attack on a train, which was blamed on Muslims. During the incident, young girls were sexually assaulted, burned or hacked to death. These rapes were condoned by the ruling BJP, whose refusal to intervene lead to the injuring of over 200,000 people and several thousand deaths. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has also been accused of initiating and condoning the violence, as have the police and government officials who took part, as they directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to the extremists (Chandavarkar 2009: 29, 114, Kaur 2005: 160, Kaviraj 2010: 245, Etzion 2008: 123–124, Weigl 2012: 19, Jaffrelot 2011: 384, Sikand 2004: 121, Ghosh 2004: 312, Hussain 2009: 261. Khalidi 2009: 180, Engineer 1991: 209, Metcalf 2009: 31, Varia 2007, Ogden 2012, Tambiah 1997: 254, Blom Hansen 2001: 137. Singh 2009: 248, Tilly 2006: 119, Holst 2004: 149. Raman 2009: 210. Gangoli 2007: 42. Shani 2007: 70. Campbell 2012: 233, Murphy 2011: 86, Ghassem-Fachandi 2012: 2).
Twin explosions occurred on Samjhauta Express around midnight on 18 February 2007. Sixty-eight people were killed in the fires and many more were injured. The deed has been linked to Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu fundamentalist group. The Ajmer Dargah blast occurred on 11 October 2007, outside the Dargah. On 22 October 2010, five accused, of which four allegedly belonging to the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were arrested in connection with the explosions. On 29 September 2008, three bombs exploded in the States of Gujarat and Maharashtra, killing 8 people and injuring 80. Three of the arrested persons were identified as Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, The Mecca Masjid bombing occurred on 18 May 2007 inside the Mecca Masjid, a mosque in Hyderabad. Fourteen people were reported dead in the immediate aftermath.The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre were a series of pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than 8,000 deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi. Anti-Christian violence in India refers to religiously-motivated violence against Christians in India, usually perpetrated by Hindu nationalists.The acts of violence include arson of churches, re-conversion of Christians to Hinduism by force and threats of physical violence, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, raping of nuns, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries. From 1964 to 1996, at least 38 incidents of violence against Christians were reported. In 1997, 24 such incidents were reported. Since 1998, Christians in India have faced a wave of violence. In 1998 alone, 90 incidents were reported (Human Rights Watch 29 September 1999, Stanley 1999, Hindustan Times 2007, Mohan 2011, The Indian Express 2010).
Women in Nepal (Buddhist country) are generally subordinate to men in virtually every aspect of life. They have limited access to markets, productive services, education, health care, and local government. Malnutrition and poverty hit women hardest. Female children usually are given less food than male ones, especially when the family experienced food shortages. Women usually works harder and longer than men. The economic contribution of women is substantial, but largely unnoticed because their traditional role is taken for granted. When employed, their wages normally are 25 percent less than those paid to men. In most rural areas, their employment outside the household generally is limited to planting, weeding, and harvesting. In rural areas, women are employed in domestic and traditional jobs, as well as in the government sector, mostly in low-level positions.
So what does the peace loving Buddah have to say about this? In the Anguttara Nikaya (5:33),
Buddha tells women that they should be obedient to their husbands, please them, and to not make them angry through their own desires, as well as get up before them and go to sleep after them. Furthermore, the Buddha offers advice to married women in the Anguttara Nikaya (7:59; IV 91-94), from the Pali canon, where he tells of seven types of wives.
1. The destructive-wife (vadhaka or vadhakabhariya: alternate translations include
“troublesome-wife” and “slayer-wife”) – she is described as pitiless, fond of other men and
neglectful, even contemptuous, of her husband;
2. The thievish-wife (chorisama or corabhariya: an alternate translation is “robber-wife”) – she squanders the family wealth and is dishonest with her husband, especially as regards money;
3. The mistress-wife (ayyasama or ayyabhariya or ”swamibhariya”: alternate translations
include “lordly-wife”, “master-wife” and “tyrant-wife”) – she is shrewish, rude and
coarsely-spoken when it suits her, lazy and domineering.
4. The motherly-wife (matusama or matubhariya) – she treats her husband like her son in every way, being compassionate and kind, as well as caring responsibly after his wealth;
5. The sisterly-wife (bhaginisama or bhaginibhariya) – she defers to her husband as she would
her older brother. She is modest and is obedient to her lord and master (her husband) and
wishes to please him in every way;
6. The friend-wife (sakhibhariya – sakha means “intimate friend”, as opposed to “acquaintance friend”; an alternate translation for sakhibhariya is “companion-wife”) – she loves her husband as he is her best friend; through friendship and love she is devoted to him;
7. The slave-wife (dasisama or dasibhariya -dasi in Pali appears to mean “slave-woman” or
“slave-servant”. She is patient, unangered, and submits to him even when he is mad. She
obediently receives physical punishment whenever her husband so desires to deliver it, and
is unquestionably submissive to him (Bodhi 2005, Saddhatissa 1997, Thera 1996, Paul & Wilson 1985)
Chapter 8 – Challenging Paul Moser
Religion can make a rational person loose his, or hers, rationality and logical thinking, as well as his/hers ability to evaluate sources. To demonstrate this, I have chosen Paul Moser, a seemingly logical, intelligent, and rational person who has lost touch with rationality most likely because of his religious beliefs. Paul Moser is the last person (to my knowledge)
that ”scientifically” tried to prove the existence of God (not counting people on the verge to insanity, such as creationists). Paul Moser is an American analytic philosopher who mainly discusses issues relating to religion.
He is also the former editor of the American Philosophical Quarterly. Moser has written a number of books (The Severity of God 2013, The Evidence for God 2010, The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology 2008, The Theory of Knowledge 1998, Philosophy After Objectivity 1993, Knowledge and Evidence 1989, Empirical Justification 1985), which primarily all affect the character of God and the evidence for this God. This section will focus on challenging The Evidence for God. The evidence for God In The Evidence for God, Moser puts forward what in his opinion is a new perspective on the question of Gods existance. Moser argues that if we are open to them, his book presents undefeated, authoritative evidence for the existence of God (2010: 263). This evidence is according to Moser not speculative, but
morally and existentially challenging (2010: 1-2). Moser also presents criticism toward empirical science, or rather against what he refers to as scientism.
Moser’s position (surrounding God)
Although Moser is careful not to say too much about his own beliefs in God (he usually expresses himself ”if there is a God”), on a closer examination, it is however clear that he is a believer, examples of his faith can be seen on the pages; 200, 207, 208, and 230 in The evidence for God (2010). With this in mind, Moser’s cautious stance can often be disregarded.
A statement as follows: ”A perfectly loving God would seek to transform the will of wayward people and thus make them evidence of his own reality” (Moser 2010: 16)…. Can hence be interpreted as: ”God is seeking to transform the will of wayward people and thus make them evidence of his own reality” In other words, many of Moser’s cautious statements about God becomes clear positions, if you keep in mind that Moser himself actually believes in the God he describes.
Moser’s God Moser opposes a deistic aspect of God, in other words, a God that is transcendent and who does not interfere (Moser 2010: 30). He opposes views on God as the first mover, because this God would not be worthy of worship since there is no reason to attribute such a God with perfect morality. Such a God is not ones personal agent. Aquinas God is therefor not a God worthy of worship, according to Moser (Moser 2010: 153-154 ). Moser also believes that the ontological arguments for God falls short because of God’s dignity and illusive nature (Moser 2010: 158). A God that is loved as a result of fear is also not worthy, according to Moser (Moser 2010: 23 ), which excludes many versions of the Abrahamic God. Moser also criticizes belief without evidence (2010: chapter 2), but says that God exists outside the boundaries of science (Moser 2010: 73). Moser interprets ”God” as a title rather than a person. It is unclear whether Moser sees God as the creator of existence, but he implies it ( Moser 2010: 27-28), this however is of no importance for Moser’s faith. God, according to Moser, is an individual, intentional, personal, agent worthy of worship (Moser 2010: 23, 33 , 73, 162-163). An invisible spirit with the characteristics of a perfectly loving authority possessing perfect morality (Moser 2010: 13).
Moser considers monotheism to be more probable than polytheism, since we already are struggling to find a single worthy candidate for the title of God (Moser 2010: 237). Moser’s God has a practical interest in human behavior (Moser 2010: 26, 37) and wish to influence certain wills, such as the will to do good and the will to love; and also to remove hatred and other negative emotions from the human mind (Moser 2010: 43). A God that excludes one man from salvation by his own will is in Moser’s opinion not worthy of worship (Moser 2010: 244). With his morally perfect character, God is forgiving towards everyone (including enemies) (Moser 2010: 44) and unselfishly wants the best for everyone (Moser 2010: 25). God would, according to Moser, seek companionship with those who tries to improve their morale towards the divine, since this would be what is morally best for them (Moser 2010: 144), this interaction must be voluntary (Moser 2010: 26). Moser theorizes that it is possible that God want to make it clear that he is not a scientific object, and hence, humanly controllable; and that God for this reason, is not viewable trough scientific methods (Moser 2010: 73). According to Moser, God is illusive, in other words, it is according to Moser possible that God is intentionally hiding (Moser 2010: 14, 28, 142). God is not an object that can be observed but is described as a moving target (Moser 2010: 29). On several occations, Moser compares God with a rescuer (eg 2010: 185), it is however unclear what this means. It could mean that God is the savior from death. Moser suggests that belief in God leads to an afterlife, since God would want ”divine love” in man to last forever ( Moser 2010: 217). It is also implied that eternal death is the result of not following God’s call (Moser 2010: 245). One can conclude that belief in God, in Moser’s opinion, is the way to immortality.
The Christian/Jewish God is considered worthy by Moser (Moser 2010: 143) and both the Bible and Jesus is referred to on several occasions (2010 : 23, 25, 29 , 33, 172, 175, 196, 229-230 , 257, 259). The guiding force that is God, is according to Moser of the same type, as the force that guided Jesus (Moser 2010: 148). Jesus himself is described as a perfect man in the image of God (Moser 2010: 227). Believing in Jesus is not a requirement for salvation, according to Moser (2010: 248). On closer examination, it is clear that it is not really the Christian or the Jewish God that Moser finds worthy, but rather the God described by Jesus. The God of Adam is described as unworthy, further supporting this thesis (Moser 2010: 259). Jesus is correcting verses that has been misinterpreted by humans (Moser 2010: 236). Moser argues, that the verses in the Bible that describes a morally perfect God, are more credible than those who describe a vindictive or jealous God (Moser 2010:237). According to Moser, God wants man to be the proof of his existence (2010:26, 215). To interact with God on his terms is to enter in a morally transformative stage that aims to remove selfishness and pride (Moser 2010: 35).
To summarize, Moser sees God as the advanced, illusive, creator of existence. An authoritative, guiding, personal, force; that is perfectly loving, has perfect moral, that is forgiving, good and necessary. God has a personal interest in humanity and has a hand in human affairs. God is the path to an afterlife and exists outside the boundaries of science. The God of Jesus is in Moser’s opinion worthy of the title.
The evidence for God aims to prove that a deliberate, morally perfect agent, worthy of worship, exists (Moser 2010: 38). What Moser is looking for is in other words actual evidence of a being with perfect love and perfect moral (Moser 2010: 24). Moser puts forward an analogy between the question of God’s existance, and being lost in the wilderness, located in a cottage (which you have found). Option 1 is to despair and say that there is no way out (atheism), Option 2 is to wait passively (agnosticism) , Option 3 is to take a chance on finding a way out of the wilderness (faith in a religious sense) , or Option 4, to seek evidence (of a way out / for the hypothesis of God’s existence). Option 4 is divided into two:
A) With a neutral view on purpose (science) or
B ) With an including view on purpose (Moser’s approach)
The difference between options A and B is compared to finding a hand-drawn map in the cottage where you are located. From alternative A’s point of view, the map is useless since it clearly does not match the surroundings exactly, alternative B instead argues that the map may have the purpose of guiding a lost group out of the wilderness, and that even though it is not perfectly consistent with the environment, it may still be useful as a means to find a way out of the wilderness (it is implied in other words, that scientific evidence ignores the fact that god may have a purpose). Com-radios found in the cottage is another analogy put forward by Moser: Seen from a strictly neutral view on purpose, they are not very helpful. But if you include a purpose, that a ”savior” has placed them there to help, they could be of far greater use. And just as you have to set a com-radio to the right frequency, you have to have the ”right frequency ” in order to distinguish the evidence for God. Just as a savior does not adapt the channel on their Com-radio to find people in need, it is man who must adapt our view of evidence to God’s terms. If you feel you have authority over the evidence (compared with scientific evidence), one will not find God. In other words, God chooses how he reveals himself. (Moser 2010: 2-10, 14).
Moser poses the question: Is there anything in theology that is independent from man, that is discovered rather than invented? If God exists, what is his character, how does a perfectly lovingand perfectly moral God behave, and what would the evidence for such a God look like (Moser2010: 14, 17 )? Moser argues that God might want to make it clear that he is not a scientific object and hence humanly controllable, it is therefore possible that God wants to hide himself from science (Moser 2010: 14, 28 , 73, 142). The evidence must be consciously accessible to humans (Moser 2010: 142 ). If God exists, he would, according to Moser, have hidden evidence for us to find (Moser 2010: 30). God would, according to Moser, give us evidence in a form that represents his selfless and loving nature (Moser 2010: 15 ), the evidence should have the same character as the subject (Moser 2010: 38). A worthy God would not provide scientific evidence for its existence but would seek to transform people by motivating them (Moser 2010: 26). This evidence differs from observable evidence, as these do not require a transformation of the mind in God’s direction ( Moser 2010: 37).
The evidence must in other words be morally beneficial to humans (Moser 2010: 39).
Moser puts forward that since human communication has a purpose, people have a purpose, human purpose explains many human behaviors that have no other explanation. Moser questions why the same should not apply to God. According to Moser, God has a definite purpose; this purpose is to guide people to himself, therefore, the evidence must also have this effect (Moser 2010: 27). A perfectly loving God would seek to, without force, transform the will of wayward people and thus make them evidence of his own existance (Moser 2010: 16). The proof is directed toward the heart, in shape of a vocation to man to enter into communion with God, with the goal of transforming man towards God’s perfect love ( Moser 2010: 36-37 ), this call includes self-improvement (Moser 2010: 148 ) and to give up selfishness ( Moser 2010: 196). God’s call is proof enough of God’s existance, according to Moser (2010: 230).
What could this call be? According to Moser, the evidence is the feeling of selfless love. Moser puts forward that we do not possess selfless love by nature and goes on to say that some people uncritically assumes this. In Moser’s opinion, the evidence speaks against that we are born with this ability. He puts special importance in the argument that if humans naturaly possessed this ability, the world would look differently (Moser 2010: 203). According to Moser, to express perfect love, humans require a moral force beyond us (Moser 2010:203). When we become acquainted with this love, we become acquainted with God (even if the individual does not always understand it) and through this acquaintance, we experience “the transformative gift” (Moser 2010: 201-202).
The transformation towards God that some people displays is according to Moser evidence of this God (Moser 2010: 50). People of faith is thus the proof, as they reflect God’s selfless love (Moser 2010: 264). Moser puts it as follows:
1) If a person experience ”the transformative gift” (ie, is experiencing selfless love) this is the result of the authoritative power of a moral perfect, unselfish, loving God .
2) I have been given this gift voluntarily.
3) Therefore, God exists. ( Moser 2010: 200 )
Moser adds that one should not ignore that he himself did not experience his experiences as
hallucinations or dreams, and hence should not assume that this is the case (2010: 208). Moser goes on to point out that if all evidence must be carefully and scientifically examined (for example, by questioning the credibility of a personal experience), one can not demand that the evidence must not be circular (Moser 2010: 188). With this in mind, according to Moser, if we are open to them, we now have undefeated, authoritative, evidence, for the existence of God (2010: 263). This evidence is according to Moser not speculative, but morally and existentially challenging ( 2010: 1-2). Through divine hope, people experience God’s love, and in turn reflects this on to others, in Moser’s opinion, this should be considered as evidence. We ourselves become personal evidence of God’s existance by reflecting the reality of God on to others. We do this by developing morally toward God’s moral perfection and selfless love. In other words, in cooperation with God, people become the evidence of God’s existence (Moser 2010:1-8, 15, 27, 25, 30).
Moser’s criticism of scientism and methodological naturalism
Moser criticizes empirical science and scientism several times in The Evidence for God, saying that these philosophies have a narrow view of reality (Moser 2010: 73):
1. Empirical science is incomplete and hence has no monopoly on knowledge, how to acquire it, and what is genuine. Moser also question if science should be limited to empirical data (Moser 2010: 70.79 )?
2. Moser also question when something is to be concidered empirical science. He argues that
psychological and sociological sciences are included, which are not always empirically
verifiable (Moser 2010: 65). The same goes for the mathematical formulas which according to
Moser, are often accepted without being empirically verifiable (Moser 2010:7) The question of
what counts as material is also mentioned (Moser 2010: 66).
3. Moser asks “what in natural science demonstrably excludes God?“ (Moser 2010: 73) and goes on to point out that empirical science is neutral surrounding God (Moser 2010: 79).
4. Moser critisizes methodological naturalism which asserts that, ”The only approved methods for achieving knowledge are empirical scientific methods”. According to Moser, there is no empirical evidence to support this claim. Moser argues that this claim rather is philosophical. Scientism therefor falls on its own terms, according to Moser (2010: 76-77 , 80, 84).
5. Moser criticizes the exclusion of God-experiences from science (2010: 85)
6. Moser argues that senses are evidence (2010: 191).
7. Moser argues that everything that indicates what is truth should be regarded as evidence (2010: 150).
8. Moser argues that there is no evidence for nature being blind and without purpose (2010: 170).
9. Moser does not believe that one can make the assumption that existence has no purpose ( Moser 2010: 10).
10. Moser believes that empirical science is looking for God in the wrong place (Moser 2010: 27) and that one must look for God outside the boundaries of science (Moser 2010: 14, 28, 29 , 73, 142 170).
Challenging Moser’s evidence
Moser believes that monotheism is more believable than polytheism, since we find it difficult to even find one worthy candidate for the title God (2010: 13). But if we could find one worthy candidate, would that not increase the probability of similar beings existance? For example, one could compare God with ghosts. If we managed to prove that one ghost existed, would that not make it more likely, rather than less likely, that there were several of them out there?
Moser suggests that God has a practical interest in human beings and their behavior (2010: 26, 37), but how can Moser know that? He himself says that man can not fully understand God (2010: 254-255 ). If God exists, that does not mean that humans are important, this is an assumption without any basis from Moser. Moser believes that it is likely that if the reception and development of divine love leads to an afterlife, then God would want this love to be eternal (2010: 217). On the other hand, Moser says that we humans can not understand God (2010: 254-255). If we can not understand God , how can we know what he wants?
The Christian/Jewish God is referred to, by Moser, as worthy of being worshiped (2010 : 143) and the Bible and Jesus is referred to on several occasions (2010 : 23, 25, 29 , 33, 172, 175, 196, 229-230 , 257, 259). On closer examination, it is clear that it is not really the Christian or the Jewish God that Moser finds worthy, but rather the God described by Jesus. The God of Adam is described as unworthy, further supporting this thesis (Moser 2010: 259). Jesus is correcting verses that has been misinterpreted by humans (Moser 2010: 236). One could see it as Moser believing in the parts of the Bible that fits his own views of God, while other parts are ignored and considered misinterpreted. Moser further argues that the verses in the Bible that describes a morally perfect God, are more credible than those who describe a vindictive or jealous God (Moser 2010: 237). But is there really any reason to believe this? Moser says that the world would look better if humans were more loving and less selfish (2010:203). If God is in control, does it not seem more likely that he is vindictive and petty, when we look at the results? One of Moser’s main points is that God wants man to be evidence for his existance (2010: 26, 215), this is an assumption, as previously mentioned, even Moser himself says that we can not understand God. Moser states that God has provided evidence for us to find, and that they are consciously available to man. He goes on to say that a worthy God would give evidence in a form that transformed mankind toward God’s essence, the evidence should therefore be morally beneficial to man (2010: 26, 39 , 142).
According to Moser, one can not assume that God does not have a purpose, and that we therefore must seek God on his own terms (2010: 2-10, 14). For Moser’s thesis to be sustainable, one must, in other words, assume a purpose. An important follow-up question is of course: Can we assume that God has a purpose? A credible theory, presents evidence that leaves little or nothing to pure speculation. Moser basically puts forward that one need to acknowledge the evidence in order to see them. Moser argues that the evidence is directed towards ones heart (2010: 36-37). But what does this mean?
The heart can not feel emotions, for example, when people have ”a broken heart”, this is in fact not connected to the heart, but to the brain. So what does “evidence aimed towards the heart“ really mean? According to Moser, God’s call is evidence enough for the existence of God (2010: 230), this call is the selfless love which those who found God reflects. Selfless love does not exist naturally in humans according to Moser, but must come from God (2010: 201-203 ). Moser’s arguments for Gods existance, all rest on this assumtion:
1) If a person is given ” the transforming gift” (ie, is experiencing selfless love ) this is the result of the authoritative power of a moral perfect , unselfish, loving God .
2) I have been given this gift voluntarily .
3) Therefore, God exists. ( Moser 2010: 200 ) The question then becomes whether unselfish love exists naturally in humans or not. The discovery of mirror neurons argues against Moser’s view. Mirror neurons are neurons that reacts when an individual performs a certain action or when the individual sees the same action being performed by another individual. Mirror neuron thus reflects the behavior of another animal or individual as if the observer himself were performing it (Keyser 2010). One of the results gained from this, is the ability for compassion. In other words, we humans (and many other animals) are programmed to be empathic (Rifkin, 2009: 84). With this in mind, it is an unsubstantiated assumption that unselfish love could not exist naturally within us all. If unselfish love is favorable for our species, which Moser himself says it would be (2010: 201-203), it is entirely possible that it is a part of our evolutionary process.
Moser adds that one should not ignore that he himself did not experience his experiences as
hallucinations or dreams, and that one can not assume that this is the case (2010: 208). Moser goes on to point out that if all evidence must be carefully examined (for example, by questioning the credibility of personal experiences) one can not demand evidence that is not circular (Moser 2010: 188). First of all, it should be mentioned that people who are, for example, psychotic, rarely are aware of their condition (http://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/encyclopaedia/p/article/psychosis/). To point out that you yourself perceived your experiences as real, is hence not a valid argument. It is up to Moser to prove that his experiences are not hallucinations. He starts at the wrong end when he assumes that his experiences are something that can not have scientific explanations. Furthermore, Moser should be criticized for his statement concerning circular arguments. You can, and should, require evidence to be both examined in depth and to follow logical rules.
Challenging Moser’s criticism of scientism.
Moser argues that empirical science is incomplete, and hence does not have a monopoly on knowledge. Moser also question whether science should be limited to empirical data (Moser 2010: 70.79). The problem with Moser’s argument is that he does not present an alternative method for acquiring knowledge. To the best of our knowledge, empirical scientific methodes are the only methodes to prove if something is correct or incorrect. Moser also questions when something is to be considered empirical science. He submits that the psychological and sociological sciences are included, which are not always empirically provable (Moser 2010: 65). According to Moser, the same goes for mathematical formulas that are often accepted without being empirically verifiable (Moser 2010: 7). Moser’s critique is only half justified. It is true that both psychology and sociology has theories that can not always be proven by scientific method , but large surveys can indicate what is true in both these examples. Mathematics is a representation of nature, not just imaginary numbers without meaning. Moser underestimation of mathematics is therefore questionable.
Moser asks the question ”what in science excludes God?” (Moser 2010: 73), and goes on to point out that empirical science is neutral surrounding God (Moser 2010: 79). Moser is right that science has not disproved God. That science is neutral surrounding God, however, is not true. Suppose someone were to say that there was an invisible particle moving faster than light. Then the burden of proof is on this person, it is not up to the scientists to first disprove this particle. It is impossible to disprove something that has not been proven to begin with. This does not mean that science remains neutral to this particle, the initial position is that this particle does not exist, until evidence has been presented to prove otherwise. The same applies to the question of God’s existance. Just because science has not disproved God, does not mean that science is neutral to the existence of God. So far, Scientific research has indicated that God is not necessary for either the existence, the universe, nor life. Ockham’s razor, a principle in scientific method, comes in useful: It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions, may ultimately prove correct, but in the absence of certainty, the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.
Moser criticizes methodological naturalism/scientism which asserts that ”The only approved methods for achieving knowledge are empirical scientific methods”, since there is no empirical evidence for this claim. Moser adds that this claim rather is philosophical and that Scientism thereof falls on its own terms (2010: 76-77, 80, 84). Moser is partially right, however, the previous statment requires only a small modification to make the claim of methodological naturalism’s functional: ”As far as we know, the only safe effective methods of reaching knowledge are empirical scientific methods.” Moser also criticizes the exclusion of personal experiences of God from science (2010: 85). Science however, excludes these for good reasons. Both Sundéns role theory and the Attribution theory presents more plausible explanations for these experiences than Paul Mosers supernatural explanation:
The Attribution theory says that human beings have a fundamental need to make the world intelligible and therefore controllable. Individuals interpret their own experiences and behaviors with this as a basis. The reason for this is the human need to have control over life. As a result, humans assume that God, chance, fate, or misfortune, is the cause of various things in life. Example: Imagine a person experiencing rapid heartbeat after a revival meeting. Instead of interpreting this medically, the human mind sometimes interprets the situation as a God-experience to regain control over it (Geels, 2006: 65-74). Thus, according to this theory, religion fills a human need, something that is supported by the theories saying that religious ideas may have been advantageous for our survival and may therefore, be a part out of our evolution.
Sundén’s role theory
Sundén theorizes that perception is selective and that the selection mechanism is governed by our expectations and partly by the situation (In simpelest terms, you see what you expect to see). This is called ”perceptual readiness”. Sunden theorizes that you can have a secular, non- religious interpretation of the world, or a religious interpretation of the world. Phase shifting is when an individual is switching between these two frames of mind. According to role theory, knowledge of the religion in question is required to have a God-experience. Without taking on the role from a religious tradition, the world remains profane. The management of external stimuli is greatly affected by what a person expects to experience, this is usually called anticipation . Preparedness for the interpretation of stimuli can be general and/or specific, a particularly high level of preparedness may lead to important information (that doesn’t fit the world view of the individual in question) being misinterpreted or weeded out. When a person moves between specific roles, different frames of reference; different interpretation patterns of stimuli are being actualized. Human perception is highly selective. Sunden argues that religious experiences occur when ”a common world of things” is being interpreted with a religious frame of mind. The individual receives, interprets, and supplements stimuli in the light of their expectations, their readiness, and the current situation. The role of God come to life when humans anticipates (expects) divine action in their everyday environment (Geels , 2006: 75-90).
In 2012, Derren Brown succeeded in evoking a divine experience in a middle-aged woman by influencing her subliminal perception.
Moser argues that the senses can be evidence (2010: 191). But senses can be fooled, anyone who has ever been to a magic show knows this. Moser also argues that anything that indicates what is truth should be regarded as evidence (2010: 150). Moser is correct in this, but how can one know if something indicates the truth without being able to verify it? If you like Moser believe that emotions and experiences can indicate the truth, there should also exist a method to determine the veracity of these experiences. Without such a method, Moser’s experiences must be considered equally credible as those who experience Jesus telling them to kill in his name. Just because Moser’s experiences results in a ”healthier” view of the world, does not mean that they are more credible.
Moser also argues that there is no evidence for nature being blind and without direction (2010: 170). Moser also believe that one can not make the assumption that existence has no purpose (Moser 2010: 10). That ‘s right, God may be behind evolution, and existence, but without any evidence, there is no reason to believe such things. Imagine a person hammering a nail into a wall. Once this individual has completed this task he may ask himself the question; ”why is the nail hammered into the wall?“. The obvious explanation would be that the nail is hammered into the wall because this person just hammered it into the wall, there is no reason to seek any further explanation as to why the nail is hammered into the wall. Ockham’s razor comes in handy once again. There is no need to look for alternative explanations for something that can already be explained by logic and science. There is no evidence that nature is blind and without direction, but there is no reason to believe otherwise, given the evidence that we have. Moser believes that empirical science is looking for God in the wrong place (Moser 2010: 27) and that one must look for God outside the boundaries of science ( Moser 2010: 170). The problem with Moser’s reasoning is that demonstrably, there is nothing outside the boundaries of science. One can make assumptions and speculations, but presently, that is as far as one can get by such reasoning.
Are Paul Moser’s Evidence of God logically sustainable?
Moser evidence stands and falls on the assumption that unselfish love cannot exist naturally in humans. Moser provides no concrete evidence for this being true, but argues that the world would have been different if this was the case. When Haiti in 2010 was struck by a serious earthquake, a large part of the world’s population reacted in an emphatic manner. How can Moser explain these reactions? If unselfish love is favorable to us, which Moser expresses that it is, then it is possible that unselfish love could be explained by the theory of evolution. In my own opinion, people have the ability to love unselfishly without any help from God. Lust for power or wealth may, however, suppress our empathic drives if strong enough.
Can we assume that God has a purpose?
In order to assume a purpose, one must first know exactly what God is. Moser speculates around how a worthy God would look and act, however, provides no evidence at all that this is actually God’s character. If God is the first movement, or the quality that makes life worth living (which is the view of Reconstructionist Judaism), then God does not need to serve a purpose. The question is whether there is a reason to ascribe God attributes such as ”loving”, ”interested in humanity“ or “good“.
I myself do not know whether God exists or not. I also do not know how that God behaves or thinks, if he exists. However, I know that the universe is unimaginably big, and that the chances for exterestial life out there is relatively good, which also leads me to question that man would be of any interest to God. When I am looking at the world it does not seem to be the product of a good being. This thought can be countered with the ideas of free will, but then one must also ask the question: Could God not have given mankind free will, but made us reluctant to perform evil deeds? And wouldn’t a good God at least have distributed resources equitably across the planet so that everyone had the same chance of a good life from the start? One could counter this argument by saying that God is testing us, but if God is omniscient, he already know the outcome, which still means that some people do not deserve a chance in God’s eyes.
Chapter 9 – Nationalism vs Religion
Not many people objects to critisism towards political extremist parties, such as Natzi-parties, but some how, and for some reason, religion, according to many people, is beyond critisism, this chapter compares National socialism with fundamental Christianity.
1) God / Geographical borders God, just as grographical borders, is a human figment, which is given enormous importance by both groups. Also, nationalists views geographical borders in much the same way as religious fundamentalists views God. People with in these borders are considered supperior, much in the same way as religious people often consider themself to be a choosen people.
2 ) Antichrist / Anti-white .
A common expression among Christian fanatics is ”Antichrist”, referring to anyone who supports theories that contradicts the Bible (in other words, virtually all scientific theories). Anti-white is used in exactly the same way but to describe all supporters of multiculturalism. The fundamentalists of the religion of nationalism, the Nazis, usually believes that everyone not supporting their views are anti-white. Anti-white is also used by Nationalists to describe Anti-racists, not understanding that there already is a word for anti-white, “racist”. The moment you become anti-white you stop being anti-racist. One cannot possibly be both at the same time. Usually, these arguments are used as ad hominem attacks, but not infrequently, both anti-white and anti-christ are used in a way meant to falsify the source in question. Eg : ”The source is not credible because it is anti-White / inspired by satan / antichrist ”. This is called a “genetic fallacy”, a conclusion suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin, rather than its current meaning or context. The fallacy therefore fails to assess the claim on its merit. The first criterion of a good argument is that the premises must have bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim in question. Genetic accounts of an issue may be true, and they may help illuminate the reasons why the issue has assumed its present form, but they are irrelevant to its merits. Sometimes, the anti-white/antichrist-arguments are used as red herrings, in other words, to draw attention from the argument in question. A red herring is usually seemingly plausible, though ultimately an irrelevant, diversionary tactic.
3) Conspiracy theories
Religious fundamentalists often point out that the scientific community is hidíng or ignoring evidence for creationism. For example, it is argued that leading scholars conspire to keep evidence hidden. Similarly, nationalists talk about how organizations that collects statistics sweeps numbers under the carpet, and how media and scientists are trying to hide ”the truth about multiculturalism. That there is a hidden jewish agenda that only they can see trough is another common statement from the national socialist’s side.
As most people know, research is supposed to be neutral. Science is supposed to be the search for truth. ”Researchers ” in fundamentally religious movements, however, perform their research the other way around, they have already decided what the answer is, and hence ignores any research that does not conform the predetermined outcome. The same is true with nationalists, they have decided in advance that : All muslims are radical, that multiculturalism contributes to crime, that Africans have lower intelligence than the rest of us, and more. All research that contradicts the predetermined outcome, for example Jonas Otterbäck’s research on European Islam, is ignored.
5 ) Mental Filters
Freud and Sunden, among others, talk about mental filters. Both groups in question clearly shows how they filter out any information that does not fit in to their worldview. Often, evidence is dismissed using arguments like ”but you are anti-white and want to hurt me/my people, alternatively ,” you are inspired by Satan and out to harm the Christian community”.
6) Obsolete or falsified science
The few times that actual evidence is presented by the fundamentalist side, they are almost exclusively around a 100 years old, written before genetic engineering was even invented and that says “there is no evidence supporting the theory of evolution”. Quote mining, and research that has been falsified multiple times, are also common elements. The same tendencies, even though not quite as extreme, are seen from the Nationalist side. Nationalists usually use research from the 60-70’s (probably since the last few surveys that “proved” the desired outcome was written back then). For example, when it comes to IQ and ethnicity, Nationalists still use “The Minnesota transracial Adoption Study”, already falsified by Scarr , S., (1976) , Waldman (1992) and Waldman (1994). Just to be clear, this is what most scientists stands behind: “Heredity influences behavior in individuals, it does not affect the ability of a population to function in any social setting, all peoples ”possess equal biological ability to assimilate any human culture” and ”racist political doctrines find no foundation in scientific knowledge concerning modern or past human populations.” (PA Statement on Biological Aspects of Race”. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 101: 569–570. 1996.)
7) Bias Sampling
Is a sample collected in such a way that some members of the intended population are less likely to be included than others. It results in a biased sample, a non-random sample of a population (or non-human factors) in which all individuals, or instances, were not equally likely to have been selected. Both groups often use this “technique” to prove people’s, or groups of people’s, opinions . On the webpage ”Answers in Genesis” there are quite a few good examples. An example from the nationalist side is a survey that shows that nearly 40 % of Britain’s Muslims want to see people executed for abandoning Islam. This survey examined only Muslims under 20 years of age from a specific group of Muslims. This is the same as walking into a KKK-meeting, asking them what they think about african americans, and then rely on that these numbers, will reprecent the rest of the population.
8) Context and misinterpretation.
To quote things out of context or to misinterpret the conclusion from a scientific survey is common in both groups. In the case of fundamentalists, it usually involves quoting researchers saying that the theory of evolution does not hold up (usually the scientist in question clarifies their stance in the following sentence, but this part is of course not quoted). When it comes to nationalist, a good example is when they are trying to prove that multiculturalism is the same as genocide by misinterpreting the law: “…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group; ‘
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
— Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article II
Act C refers to situations such as the trial of tears, but nationalists interpret it to mean that the ”race mixing” that occurs in a multicultural society counts. Also point D is believed to be going on according to nationalist, what they do not understand is that it is refering to acctually preventing births (who would have guessed that the author ment what he was writing), not that media is friendly towards interracial relations.
9) Denial of the theory of Evolution / Denial of the Holocaust
Denial of miscellaneous facts that has such strong support that it becomes ridiculous to deny them is common in bouth groups. The theory of evolution and the Holocaust are the most usual ones. Both are being denied with the same type of arguments: The evidence is not evidence. Fossils, DNA, Geographical placement of the species, doesn’t prove evolution, and mountains of hair, Nazis that have confessed, pictures, documents, witnesses, and so on, in no way proves the Holocaust according to these groups.
10) Both groups use logical fallacies
of the type Ad Hominem, Red Herring, Strawman, cum hoc ergo propter ho, ad populum, argument from emotion, and arguments from guilt, to an almost unrealistic level. Insulting you personally, avoiding answering sound arguments, puting words in ones mouth, believing that two things happening at the same time must be connected, and above all, telling you about different doomsday scenarios, and how it is your fault that they will come to pass.
11) Illogical arguments beyond direct logical fallacies.
Many fundamental Christians put a lot of emphasis on Christianity’s views on love and forgiveness, as an argument for why their religion is superior to other religions (and of course their religion is not a religion, it is the truth!). At the same time they express an almost sadistic delight in saying ”you will go to hell.” Nationalists say that the reason that Islam / Muslims should be focused on (hated) over other religions, is that the Muslim community is larger and more active in the western world than for example, Hinduists are. In the same sentence they tell you how Islam is less moral (for example) than other religions based on how Islam is expressed in Saudi Arabia. So the muslims in the west should receive a negative focus, because there are a lot of them, but the islam that is dangerous is mainly the Islam in the arabic countries. So they receive this focus because there are many of them here and they behave badly in other parts of the world.
12) Closed groups.
Both nationalists and religious fundamentalist groups tend to be very closed , in other words, both groups are expressing a cult behavior. What are the possible explanations for this pattern? My personal guess is that it comes down to intelligence, something not entirely unsupported by the research community : ”Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative Ideologies ? Because Such Ideologies feature ”structure and order ” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world ”
-Dr . Dodson ( Brock University) .
”Ideologies get rid of the messiness and Impose a simpler solution . So , it May not be surprising That people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to Simplifying Ideologies .
” -Dr . Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia
As stated in the beginning of this chapter, Nationalism is under heavy critisism every day, while religion seems to stand above the realm of critisism, for some reason it is not OK to critisize someones religion. However, nationalism is in every way a religion, and national socialists are the fundamentalists of the religion. Geertz defines religion as follows:
“Religion is a system of symbols that contributes to establish strong, pervasive, and enduring
sentiments, as well as motivations, in humans, by creating notions related to
reality, and by dressing these notions up in such an aura of factuality, these sentiments and
motivations appears extremely realistic.”
Nationalism fits into this description in every way. So if nationalism is not above critizism, why should religion be?
Chapter 10- Other correlates with religion
Religion correlates with higher rates of violent crimes (Zuckerman 2009). According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as of April 27, 2013, 0.07% of the inmates are atheists, 28.7% Protestants, 24% Catholics, 5.5% Muslims, and 3.1% American Indians. In addition 3% of the inmates listed “other” as religious affiliation, and 3.44% “unknown”, these may have religious affiliation and didn’t want to declare it, or they might not. 17% of the inmates reported no religious preference. If we take a look at Intended murder rates, we get the following results (darker collors = more murders):
As can clearly be seen, religious countries tops the list. There are exceptions, such as Saudi Arabia, this could have 2 reasons, either the country has incredibly harch punishments, or murders are not getting reported to the authorities.
In a 2013 meta-analysis, led by Professor Miron Zuckerman, of 63 scientific studies about IQ and religiosity, a negative relation between intelligence and religiosity was found in 53 out of 63, In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined results regarding whether IQ relates to denomination and income, published in the scientific journal Intelligence, demonstrated that atheists scored an average of 1.95 IQ points higher than agnostics, 3.82 points higher than liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than other religious persuasions (Nyborg 2009). The authors also investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the 137 countries investigated, only 17% had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted virtually all higher IQ countries. The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which was determined to be “highly statistically significant” (Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg 2009). Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God.” A study published in Social Psychology Quarterly in March 2010 also stated that atheism correlates with higher intelligence (Kanazawa 2010: 33–57, Science News 24 February 2010, telegraph.co.uk).
Chapter 11 – Summary, final thoughts, and conclusions.
Chapter 1 and 2 implies that there is nothing supernatural occuring surrounding religion. Trough natural selection human beings have been ”programmed” to see patterns in nature, with the loss of the all mighty father figure and the urge to control nature, the human mind then turns to God. God is further proven to the religious person trough anticipation and is given more credability by institutions in society using religion to control the masses.
Chapter 3 to 6 explains how the ”proof” and sources supporting Jesus existance and miracles does not hold up, and he is one of the strongest ”proven” religious figures in history. With this in mind, there are several possibilities; Jesus may have been a fraud, fooling gullable people out of their money, he may have been insane, or more likely, entirely made up. Today, Jesus is a product fueling a multi-billion-dollar industry. This industry has arms reaching in the direction of basically every atrocity on the planet (possibly into space as well, we cannot completely ignore the possibility that this JHVH-guy actually may exsist), from the weapons industry to basically every human right violation existing.
Chapter 7 brings the light to religions that people in the west have a supprisingly possitive view of, the eastern religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. As a result, many ideas from these religions are incorporated into new religious movements in the west, known as ”new age movements”. Chapter 7 clearly shows that the religions of the east are among the most oppresive to women and that these religions creates intollerance and irrationalism.
Chapter 8 challanges Paul Mosers ”evidence” for God. The point of this is to point out that religion can turn a rational intelligent person into a person arguing like a 10-year old.
Chapter 9 compares religion to nationalism.Religion is for some reason beyond blame. You have to tolerate a persons religion. However, nationalism is under constant critisism, by all rights, but is in basically every way comparable to religion. One may go so far as to say that nationalism is a religion.
Chapter 10 deals with other correlates to religion, poverty, violence and crime, among others. The results indicates that religion correlates with basically every negative element that exists on this planet. Thats why this short book is named ”The rocket of ignorance”. Religion is powered by poverty, war, and starvation, supports apartheid, the holocaust, fascism, pollution, pedofilia, rape and murder, and attacks rationalism, science, and justice. What would the world look like without religion? Of course, one can only speculate, but first of all, we would not have the conflict between the jews and the arabs. The jews have been offered land several times between the destruction of ancient Israel and the creation of modern day Israel. They had to have their holy land, which have resulted in a war that has been going on for over 50 years now.
Without religion, people would not have idiotic ideas of a martyr’s paradise and a better place after death, this would not eradicate war, but would at least make people more reluctant to die for ridiculous ideals. Most terrorist groups would not exist, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have happened, there would be no creationists blowing up abortion clinics or trying to keep science out of school. There would be much less hate towards homosexuals, women would not get stoned for making their own choices, no fanatics would knock on your door offering salvation, and so on. Over 90% of the worlds population is religious, so religion will most likely exist for a long time forward. But there are things we can do in the present. First of all, religious groups should pay taxes not recieve them. Religious movements are companies that makes money, often alot, on products that cost them no money and that offers nothing to the buyer. There is no logical reason for not taxing these movements.
Make the laws surrounding what should be taught in school clearer, the teaching of evolution theory should be law everywhere, and it should be forbidden to teach creationism in school, except in education surrounding the subject religion. Forbid religious symbols in public places. Religion is something private. Just as it’s not the propper place for brutal BDSM-sex in a childrens program, public areas are not the place for religion. What you do in your own home is your private buisness, in public certain things are not acceptable, and religion should be one of these things. Point out foolishness. Religion has been ”beyond critisism” for too long. When an idea is retarded, it should be critisized, it should not be accepted just because it is someones belief. The earth is not 6000 years old, noone flew to heaven on a winged horse. These ideas should be compared to believing in santa. If a grown up person told you that he/she believes in santa, you would mock this person, or at least laugh at it or question it, God is in no way different. We have a collective responsibility, do not ignore yours.
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On the Morgan Bank Controversies.
On Glencore controversies
On Caste (hinduism)
On Dalits (hinduism)
On Bhangis (Hinduism)
On Eneborg, Mohammad Muslim (Swedish text)
On Yeshu (Rabbinic literature)
On Political Economy Research Institute and Toxic 100
On proposals for jewish states
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Swiss Banks Continue Hiding Nazi Gold
Swiss bank money repaid to Holocaust victims
The Bloody Truth About Conflict-Free Diamonds
Credit Suisse Helped The Nazis Steal In Europe Now They’re Trying To Steal From Jamaicans
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Citibank Accused of Tricking New Customers about “Free” Frequent Flyer Miles
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Investments in the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church has billions invested in BPI, Philex, San Miguel
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How Churches Invest Their Money
The Secret Finances Of The Vatican Economy
Investing in the Unspeakable
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Honour Killings in India
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Ogad Singh, India Man, Reportedly Beheads Daughter In Rage Over Lifestyle
Man beheads daughter in gory Rajasthan
Indian men most sexually violent, says survey of six developing nations
Census of India 2011: Child sex ratio drops to lowest since Independence