Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I Do Not Believe In God, Part 2 (Standing Before God, Revisited was Part 1)

The other morning on the way to work, as I hurried across a street to avoid traffic and my legs just did not want to cooperate, I thought about what it would be like to be a wild animal and run my fastest to try to outrun my predator. What an awful feeling of muscle exhaustion, where I just can't keep going even though my brain has pushed me through pain and commanded step after step, mentally screaming, "Faster!," until I drop in defeat, failure,and know I will be eaten.

I cannot imagine the pain of those animals gnawing away on me.  How could anyone claim a loving god after thinking about those last moments of utter failure, sadness and suffering that animals experience every day?  What an awful, humiliating and tragically sad way to die. 

If you are a fundamentalist, how could any loving god torture innocent animals for all of earthly existence for something someone else did?  Your story says that Eve took a bite of an apple, (when she had no knowledge so she did not understand and God purposely put temptation in her way).  He then punished the animal world for her one bite by making them have to eat each other for survival.  (Have you eternally tortured your child, burned him over and over, and tortured all the neighbors’ kids because your child took a cookie without permission?  That is the equivalent of your God.)  The scientific explanation of our system of life evolving from energy eating energy makes a lot more sense, cells evolving and engulfing other cells for energy; and even though it is a cold system, at least it isn’t mean. 

I look out at a beautiful scene and I am amazed by its beauty.  Sometimes it takes my breath away.  But once I realized that death was not always instant for animals, any thought of a god disappeared.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to ever being religious.  The day I actually allowed myself to watch an antelope taken down by a group of lions and they grabbed onto whatever part of the antelope they were closest to, and started eating, I stopped believing in god permanently. 

I was an adult at the time, and had protected myself from the horrors of life –just as most humans protect themselves from watching factory farm videos because they do not want to see the awful circumstances that are going on allover the world.  We would rather pretend we have no idea, or just say, “That’s sad”; enough to clear our consciences by making us seem sympathetic, but not enough to do anything about the situation.  We are dispassionate toward those animals,using the age old excuses handed down to us by our religion and by our culture.

I now look out at the beauty, soak it in, and am deeply appreciative, but know the hidden view as well.  My mind flits from the glory of the scene to the question of just how many tiny bugs and cute little animals and baby creatures are being killed in that patch of scenery I am gazing at.  How much pain and torture is in that picture window my eyes are taking in?  Birds stealing other birds’ eggs, trees dying from infestations, spiders killing each other – it is overwhelmingly horrendous and my mind is not great enough to imagine it all. Yet it is how our world works - the tragedy of life hidden in the beauty of life.

“Belief in the supernatural is a failure of imagination, including the failure to imagine the immense and tragic elemental drama that goes on planet Earth every day. To believe in the religious narrative one must imagine the unreal and ignore the fullness of reality.”  Pangea Progress.

"Animals are here for our use" makes no sense to me. If things were purposely put here for our use, they would be objects with no feelings. Pain from nerves means the animals' bodies are signaling their brains to get away from us - to flee for their lives - to protect themselves. Nervous systems do not make sense with animals “being here for our use.”  Animals are here to live their lives, as they are our ancient relatives and have the same desire to survive and live a peaceful life.  Nature does not allow it. 

God does not make sense. Only science makes sense with such a tragic way to survive. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Do you want to look at beautiful healthy food blogs, but don’t know any good web sites?  There are many wonderful vegan blogs with gorgeous picture, but finding the best ones is not easy, and whether or not you will like them depends upon your individual food tastes.  What I have below are the web sites I frequent the most and find beautiful, inspiring or useful.  Because of my personal tastes, I stay away from any that are too gourmet, have a lot of sriracha (because it is too hot for me), or if they use too many avocados or sweet potatoes.  The reason I do not choose web sites with a lot of avocados and sweet potatoes is because they are there, in my opinion, to make pictures look lovely with their colors, but it does not necessarily make the recipes taste good.  Most of the following sites are recipe blogs, but I have also listed a few animal rights blogs, some health blogs and some miscellaneous blogs that are enjoyable.

Vegan Recipes Blogs:

www.findingvegan.com.  This site’s purpose is to find vegan recipes on the Internet each day and post them.  It is a great way to find a recipe you want, click on it, and possibly find a new blog you like as well!

punchfork/vegan (on Pinterest).  This site also finds popular vegan recipes.  Great way to see a lot of recipes at once!

www.maplespice.com.  Debbie has a great variety of recipes which look quite tasty.  This is a new site for me, but I already see a few recipes I want to try.

www.ordinaryvegan.net.  Nancy has beautiful recipes and a top blog.  I think this blog will be a favorite of mine.

www.veganmotherhubbard.com.  I love Sandra’s recipes and her blog, including pictures of her twins.  I have made several of her sandwiches and some bars. 

www.mouthwateringvegan.com.  Miriam creates beautiful food!  Many are Indian or Mid-Eastern dishes.  She also has an online magazine she publishes for a small fee.

http://veganmenu.blogspot.com/  (This title of this blog is “What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?” But I could not get it to link to the page.
Pictures and recipes of what they eat every day.  They seem to be very adept at using tofu.  I think I will enjoy this site.

www.chezbettay.com.  Betty cooks from scratch and also by using packaged foods to make gourmet-like meals.  I plan to make Aloha Artichoke Lave Dip soon!

www.vegweb.com.  This is a huge basic site where members contribute their recipes.  Star ratings help me make choices of what to try!  I have made Dump Cake (so easy and divine with the pecans baked on top), Thanksgiving Casserole, Chocolate Chip Cookies - Like They Should Be, and New York-a-like Peppermint Patties.  I have also repeated each of these recipes because they were so successful.

www.Ohsheglows.com.  This site has beautiful pictures and Angela seems like a person everyone would want as a friend.  She updates her site almost every day.  Her “Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited” got raves from my co-workers!  Angela does make a lot of gluten-free recipes, shakes and drinks which are not my interest.  I like to eat my food and love my carbs.

www.vegancoach.com.  This site is not fancy, and a lot of it is advertising for Sassy’s vegan classes, but if you poke around, you can find her very practical and yummy recipes (currently under the “Everyday Cooking” category at the top).  Click then scroll down for recipes.  I love making the vegan Mini Cheese n’ Chive Muffins!

Vegan Foods at the Grocery Store:

http://www.vegfamily.com/lists/its-vegan.htm.   This is a very helpful site.  It lists all the products you can buy at the grocery store that are “accidentally vegan,” such as Oreos!

Vegan Athletes:

www.veganbodybuilding.com  If you would like to learn about what vegan athletes look like or how they train, this is the web site for you! 

Scottjurek.com/bio.  Scott is an Ultramarathon runner, a World record holder of races that average around 160 miles without stopping – on a vegan diet!  He has a cookbook and his web site shows scenery where he runs high in the mountains – places most of us never see!

Animal Rights and Health Issues:

www.mercyforanimals.org To learn about factory farm abuse:  search the videos.  Any of the “Meet your Meat” videos are informative.

www.Adaptt.org. Activism from a more radical standpoint (not all approve of his radical nature, even he has turned more to education now, but loads of good information on his site) and a fantastic speech!  Do watch his speech called “The Greatest Speech You Will Ever Hear.” This is the speech:   http://www.adaptt.org/life-changing-speech.html. 

www.drmcdougall.com.  I like to click on “Education” (title in upper left), then click “Health and Science” (upper right) and then click “Hot Topics” (upper right).  Scroll down – choose a subject about whatever disease or issue you want and click and read many good articles about health!   This is one of my primary sources for information.  Also, click “Success Stories” from the Home page for personal stories and videos.

Video “The Last Heart Attack” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Sanjayguptamd.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/29/sanjay.gupta.-reports-the-last-heart-attack/
(Also probably on YouTube.)  Excellent documentary, showing x-ray results of a low fat, plant and starch based diet.

http://www.veganworldtrekker.com.  This site is just fun to look at!  It has pictures of beautiful buildings and houses from many countries around the world, and pictures of food from some vegan restaurants too.
www.vegsource.com.  Various medical and interesting articles regarding being vegan.

Vegucated.  (A movie).  You can rent it from Amazon.com for something like one dollar.  It gives a very good and entertaining introduction to all aspects of being vegan. 

Morality - Standing Before God, Revisited

I wrote a short version on this topic recently, and I am not sure this is better, but it is more thorough!

It confounds me that anyone would stand up for a character, fictitious or not, who took the general concept of the Underworld (believed in Pagan times) and turned it into a fiery inferno called Hell where people burn for eternity, burning these people simply because they do not in their hearts think it is right to worship such a man/god named Jesus or the horrid god of the Bible - again real or not.  

As religious people, your faith demands you worship these examples of badness, and in your book, people such as my wonderful mother, my gentle father and I get to burn for eternity.  You think you are doing right by following commands and converting as many people as possible to try to keep them from the flames of Hell.  I can understand your sincerity in this.  But are you really acting in a moral manner when you try to convert people?  I think not.  You are too busy conforming to a sick god and getting everyone to obey, an avoidance technique, rather than addressing and rejecting the biblical god.

Christians often tell me they pity me because I will have to beg God for mercy to keep out of Hell.  However, you and they miss the point.  If we are punished for our morals and conscience by Jesus and the Biblical god, and you overlook how horrible these two characters really are because you are conditioned to think they are wonderful and are taught you must follow rules to get the afterlife you want, then who really has the good morals?  Who stands up to injustice, real or fabricated?  Who sticks to his/her conscience even though Hellfire is threatened?

I think the whole concept of worship is wrong.  What does worshiping someone say about your own self-worth?  Imagine yourself punishing your own child because he said in good conscience he just could not worship you day and night.  Would you burn him for eternity because he said that?  

I ask that you examine this honestly and do not make excuses of “God is an angry god too,” or “He gave you a chance.”  I have heard those before and they do not excuse this God’s evil behavior.  

Let us look at what you tell me once again: “I pity you because you will have to stand and be judged in front of God and you will be begging for mercy.”  I don’t doubt, if your religion is true, that I may beg.  I will probably be a bit defiant at first and ask a question or two, but this Christian god is evil and I will be very frightened and I will cry and feel so bad that I was wrong, - not smart enough - and I might beg to be saved from the flames and eternal burning of skin.  Does that make you feel better if you are right?  If so, you miss the point that this concept of Hell is evil.  Countless good people while on earth would be begging to save themselves from punishment, and will be sent to Hell because they did not profess love and servitude to an unlovable and unbelievable character, or because they did not believe in worship, blind faith or submissive slavery.  It is not a matter of whether you are right or not – it is a matter of why you worship and profess love to these despicable two entities (Jesus and God) who are torturers.  I do not think we should be commanded to worship anything – we can be grateful and thankful without being required to worship anyone.  If you like traditions, you can perform them because you want to – not because it is demanded. 

Your excuse to brush off the torture by saying, “It is your choice – you have free will” does not excuse the punishment.  I, with this brain which cannot think differently, have no free will, and with my upbringing, I can not excuse the concept of Hell, nor can I worship because it would be dishonest of me. Can you see why I would not be moral if I try to make myself believe in this God and Jesus so I can be rewarded at death?  I do not see that as moral and I do see that as wrong.

Again, would you burn someone for eternity and think it is justified because you are “All loving - but angry too?”  Would you burn someone for eternity because “You gave him many chances” and he didn’t change his mind?  Why would you worship someone because they commanded you to do so?  Why would you worship someone who you knew would let you watch your parents and friends burn in Hell from your view in Heaven?  That is sick beyond belief!  Why would you worship someone whose morals are less than yours?  You would not do the things your God does. 

The obvious answer is that you must change your concept of God.  You do try to do that by ignoring all the evil parts of the Bible where God commands swords be driven through pregnant women.  You make excuses for Jesus when he yells at his mother and kills a fig tree and drives pigs over a cliff and belittles his followers and separates them from their families - and threatens Hell.  You ignore those parts or excuse them because you want your religion to be better than it is written.

I think it is fine to make your own personal religion better than what exists.  It is all about improving as humans on this earth.  It is those who drag the ancient religions along that hold us back as a species.  If you would like to believe in a god that somehow started everything; that is fine.  If you believe in goodness, that is fine, and that is not really religion – most of us do believe in goodness, and it is healthy for survival anyway.  If you want to be thankful, that is fine.  We all are thankful we are here and want to appreciate each day.  But do not think your god will solve problems on earth.  Just look around with honest eyes and you know solving world problems is up to us, and doing so is part of morality.  It would be great if we could solve such problems without dividing into tribes.  As long as your religion does not contradict reality – as long as it jibes with science, it will not hold us back as progressive, good humans.  I no longer personally can envision a god like that, because a god just does not make sense with the world that I see, but there was a time when I did believe in a sunny god, back before I understood how the world is set up, with all its pain and misery.  I will not mind if you believe, as long as you keep your beliefs out of schools and government. 

Do you fear that you will fear death without the Biblical religion?  Why?  You have no control over death – it happens to every creature – and you did not ask to be born.  We are just here for the ride!  Let’s make it a good one!  Ditch the Biblical god!  Create your own good beliefs, or just ditch all gods all together!