Vexen Crabtree <VexenCrabtree>
"Make the world a better place!"
|My main page on the New Age religion of Eckankar is here: http://www.humanreligions.info/eckan... - some the crazy stuff they believe has to read there in an organized fashion rather than repeated here. You'd not believe it!|
But not all their beliefs are crazy. On http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/god_... (my page "God and Pronouns: God has No Gender") I've added a note on Eckankar because they say their word for god ("Sugmad") "is neither masculine nor feminine".
And on to http://www.vexen.co.uk/d/interpretat... I've added section "5. The New Age Religion of Eckankar" ; Eckankar embraces full-on every possible crazy believe about dreams and dream prophecies but they do get one one simple thing - that the elements of dreams are personal and subjective, and daft "Dream Symbols" books are useless.
|Muslim faith schools in the UK and in the West in general||10/6/11|
|I've updated http://www.humanreligions.info/faith... with a section such on Islamic schools - there are over 100 of them in the UK. I report on the criticisms of them by the Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan.|
|Updates to my Antisemitism page||6/10/11|
|(1) http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/anti... ... New quote from Wheatcroft on anti-Jewish lies and propaganda being spread by Christians under the encouragement of the Catholic Kings of Christian Spain, in particular about the events of 1490-1491.|
(2) http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/anti... : Added a new section to the page: Just as with Christianity, Muslims violence against Jews comes from the very roots of the religion. In this case, Muhammad himself, who said "Kill any Jew that falls into your power". The full story and quote is on the page.
|Inherited genetic diseases such as lissencephaly||5/19/11|
|On my page on evolution I look at some genetic diseases(http://www.humantruth.info/evolution... ) and their history in the animal kingdom in order to assess the idea that life was 'designed' by a creator-god. I've added a disease to the list:|
* Lissencephaly, untreatable, results from an error in the L1S1 gene during fertilisation. It causes the brain's cortex to develop only into four layers instead of six. "Babies born with lissencephaly have a very poor prognosis; the disease proving lethal before their second birthday. Behaviourally, lissencephaly results in epilepsy, mental retardation, motor impairment and a general lack of development"
And added a new section (http://www.humantruth.info/evolution... ): 6.2. Christian Theodicy: Is Genetic Disease a Result of Original Sin?
Christian doctrine holds that mankind suffers because of sin, which we choose as a result of free will. Without free will there would be no sin, and therefore no suffering. But it is obvious that a great number of the genetic diseases reviewed above on this page are inherited from the moment of conception, and therefore are nothing to do with choice or character. Not only that, but genetic diseases affect all species, although, as a result of mankind's increasing lifespan, many diseases have come to fore in humankind due to senescence. It is possible to construct evolutionary trees tracing the history of a faulty inherited gene through species by looking at which species emerged from what predecessors (phylostratigraphy), and through other genetic techniques. Many faulty genes that afflict mankind originated in previous species that existed before humankind emerged, therefore, it is a logical impossibility that the existence of mutations and diseases are a result of human sin. In other words, the suffering that results from genetic diseases has affected all species throughout the history of life, and is part of the fundamental process of evolution. It has been noted that this is a hefty piece of evidence that if there is a god, it isn't the good-natured creator that traditional religions believe in.
|Creating life from clay||4/20/11|
|Added to http://www.humantruth.info/primordia... about the way that many ancient religions held clay to be the basis of life. "Coincidentally, some of our most ancient religions and philosophies have held that mankind was 'made' from clay. Although they do not mean the precise substance as described by science, and we merely translate (quite a few) ancient words as 'clay', it is still nice that by luck some pre-science beliefs do actually hit on correct statements, even if for the wrong reasons. Also, it had perhaps become a tradition in the most ancient belief systems to attribute the creating of life out of clay. After all, it is what Humans created models and figurines out of! Future religions would go on to encode this idea in their written scriptures."|
I just added the bit in the Qur'an about a bird being made from clay and turned to life:
?Islam, 1300 years ago: "You created me [Satan] from fire, whilst him [Humanity] you did create of clay" (Qur'an 38:76), and Qur'an 3:49 sees a bird made of clay by the power of God.
|Obeying Sharia Law in Western Democracies||3/8/11|
|I've added the following paragraph to my page "Legislation and Faith: Religious Rights and Religious Wrongs" on http://www.humanreligions.info/relig... : The new text reads:|
There are many aspects of Sharia that the West cannot legislate for. For example, many of the statements of Islamic Law on divorce, marriage, repudiations and inheritance treat women unfairly and inequally. In Islam, for each part of an inheritance given to a daughter, two parts must be given to a son. This cannot be law in the West, as it is against the moral values of equality where by default, all siblings are treated equally regardless of gender. Despite this, people are free to make their own wills and grant assets to whoever they want. So the simple way around this is to voluntarily follow Sharia, and not rely on the State to enforce it. Those who do not wish to follow Sharia, therefore, cannot be forced to do so by law (which in a free world, is what you would expect). This gives maximum freedom, and it is indeed the way things are in the West. This is the case with many of the 'conflicts' between Sharia and the law. Another example is the period of widowhood: In Islamic law, there is a time limit on how quickly you can remarry. Muslims are completely free to adhere to this, as long as they stick to their own beliefs. Some suspect that the real issue is that male Islamic judges have no legal power to prevent women from remarrying. In the West, this protects the legal rights of women, but if women wish to follow these rules they still can. This is freedom of religion: you can't force people to follow religious rules that they don't want to follow but you can voluntarily follow your own religion, as long as you don't infringe on the rights of other people. Ergo, there is little requirement for the creation of Islam-specific laws by the State.
|SeculariSation, or seculariZation?||2/2/11|
|In English, we can use either -ise or -ize. Although in American secularization is exclusively spelt with a 'z', in English we use both.|
The -ize spelling is called Oxford Spelling and is used extensively by Oxford University Press and the OED. Cambridge University Press, quite predictably, have the opposite stance and consider -ise to be the norm. Historically, English has seen both variants used in abundance. Neither one is more correct or more modern.
Because the Americans have limited themselves to the -ize spelling, for whatever reason, many in the rest of the English-speaking world have reacted by calling it "the American spelling" and therefore limited themselves to the -ise spelling. This is pointless sectarian reactionism and people should be corrected when they call z-spelling "AmericaniZation"! It is not.
Bryan Wilson (British, the intellectual father of secularisation theory) used the -z spelling exclusively throughout his "Religion in Secular Society" (1966) and other writings. Although his obituary in The Guardian (2004 Nov 02) consistently spelt it secularisation with an s. So, the choice is yours!
Anyway as a result of a discussion with someone who called the "Z" spelling "the American spelling" of secularisation, I thought I'd some notes on spelling to http://www.humanreligions.info/secul...
|The redesign of DPJS continues, four more pages are done:|
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/psychodrama.html - about rituals
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/idc.html - more about rituals (intellectual decrompression chamber)
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/worship.html - Worship and subjectivism in Satanism
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/crownprinces.html - The Four Crown Princes (Satan, Belial, Leviathan, Lucifer)
|Multiple Universes and Free Will||7/19/10|
|I've added this section to http://www.humantruth.info/free_will... : 7. Multiple Universes|
Some physicists have argued that quantum physics has revealed some astonishing truths about reality21; things that are normally the domain of science fiction. One of those things is a multiverse. As a result of quantum effects where it seems that events remain undetermined even after the point at which a final path must have been already chosen, some have thought that at that moment in time, the universe has split in two. In one universe, the electron goes one way, in another universe, it goes the other way. Therefore, there is no "chance" involved in physics; when there are a hundred possible locations for an electron to be at, 100 universes exist where the electron is at each position. Therefore there is no cosmic dice-rolling.
If anything along these lines is true, then, free will remains an impossibility. If you have a choice, for example, what we find in a multiverse is that you cannot choose between any of the options. You choose every option. For every moment, from simple choices of what to eat, to complex moral dilemmas, you don't choose any particular path; from the point of choice a new universe is created where each path is trodden. The you in every universe feels it 'picked' which path it took when in reality, it is pure circumstance that any particular conscious being remembers making any particular 'choice'.
For example. David passes two job interviews and must pick which job to accept. After balancing up all the pros and cons he finds that they are both equally appealing. David A picks job A and David B picks job B. David A reflects on his choice and thinks, "I exercised free will in choosing job A". David B thinks to himself, "I exercised free will in choosing job B". Surely, David's line of thought is incorrect and David A didn't pick job A, it just happened that way. Likewise with David B. The existence of a multiverse undermines and removes any possibility of free will.
|Souls: Language: History||6/13/10|
|I have added the following paragraph and quote to my page on Souls, section 4.1: A Life Force: The Creation of a Pre-Scientific Age (http://www.humantruth.info/souls.html#LF ):|
The whole idea of a mystical and spiritual life-force embodied a complete lack of knowledge of any neurology or cognitive psychology; it was an area so beyond investigation that every old religion is concerned with describing it. These areas of historical ignorance were codified in our most ancient recorded languages:
?The association of spirit with air is embedded in a number of ancient languages: the Hebrew ruah ("wind" or "breath") and nefesh, also associated with breathing; the Greek psychein ("to breathe"), which is related to the word psyche for "soul"; and the Latin words anima ("air," "breath," or "life") and spiritus, which also refers to breathing. The soul was seen as departing the body in the dying last breath. [...] In the Old Testament, the soul is life itself, breathing into the body by God.? -- Prof. Victor J. Stenger (2007