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Primitive Beliefs or Enlightened Thinking

As human beings, we should always be striving to enrich our lives with knowledge. By so doing, we increase our understanding of ourselves and the natural world. This is the way progress is made. When we reflect upon the progress humanity has made in so many areas, it is truly astounding. Just consider, for example, food production, medicine, transportation, or education methods -- the advances made in each area are amazing. If we examine each of the above mentioned areas, from a historical perspective, we see man's early struggle for survival and the gradual steps to improved living conditions.

Farmers, doctors, engineers, and teachers all use scientific methods, hence history attests to the developmental progress they have made. Considering this, a natural question arises. Why is it that we have not made similar progress in our ideas of religion? Why is it that so many are locked into a primitive, tribal religious belief system-- a system wherein "god" hands down commands etched in stone and threatens to rein down fire and brimstone if not obeyed? Why do the devoutly religious so often fear science?

The answer is most likely because religious beliefs are instilled in the mind with fear and guilt. These negative emotions of fear and guilt are used as weapons against people by the clerics of "revealed" religion. And these weapons are used most often against children! Think of that!! Religious beliefs are usually instilled first in the minds of children. Imagine the consequences of having superstitious fears and guilt burden the mind of an innocent child! Have you ever wondered why this continues to be tolerated?

If a doctor nowadays was using old, unsanitary practices h/she would be sued for malpractice. And what would happen to a teacher who tried to teach the three Rs to the "tune of a hickory stick?" Indeed, as a society we no longer tolerate the beating of children by their own parents--we recognize it for what it is--child abuse. Perhaps someday, teaching a child that h/she is born in sin with an evil nature, and needs Jesus dying on the cross for redemption, will be seen for what it is--mental abuse-- by society at large.

As Deists, we don't want to wait for society at large to come to its collective senses. We should be speaking up now, by at least raising the question: Why haven't we advanced in our understanding of God? Why in the 21st Century does society cling to its primitive, tribal concept of an angry, vengeful God?

Society needs the enlightened thinking of Deism. It needs to know that to begin to understand Nature is the first step in understanding the Creator. That should be our task as Deists. The Enlightenment was meant to be shared.

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One does not honor God by calling oneself a "wretch".

It is a very sick and wretched notion that God is honored or glorified by the teaching of the doctrine of the total depravity (or wretchedness) of man.


I am reminded of the hymn "Amazing Grace" with the words "that saved a wretch like me". What is really wretched is the medieval and Calvinistic theology according to which a person is a "wretch" unless and until that person is "saved", and that some people even today buy into that thinking.

I live in a senior independent living facility in which musical performers often come to give a performance, which I usually enjoy. Sometimes a performer will do the song "Amazing Grace", and people will join in singing. I have made a point of walking out. I really find it disgusting. I am not a wretch! And neither is anybody else. Or certainly not any average decent person.

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