When Christians (or religious people in general?) and Atheists discuss the usual subject, it often becomes apparent (and one must wonder) that the believer manages to stick to two contradicting statements.
This "Atheist Eve" cartoon is an example:
This "Atheist Experience" excerpt is another good, very good, example:
People who have had psychedelic drug experiences and have learned what is to be learned from it know that the mind can basically liquify itself to a degree. Those who experienced that and fully recovered from it (meaning: assimilated the experience into the sane mind), have made the necessary geometric abstractions in their head which reformed the perfect sphere from the distorted amorphous jelly that the mind can become.
But it does not take drugs to make the sphere into a shapeless blob.
Abusing one's own mind just with thought, will, phantasy can already do the trick. I used the analogy of a glass with a clear liquid once. Those who abused themselves in said way have darkened the liquid to a degree where it has lost the ability to become clear again, where it does not even remember what it means to be sane.
There are several degrees of insanity (that is the right word). To describe them a bit, I use the example of an imaginary newspaper headline and possible reactions to it: "school shooter used to play violent video games"
* A sane mind might think: "The games may or may not have caused/motivated the actual deed."
* A slightly insane mind might think this: "The games caused the violent behaviour. But this is only one case and does not speak against such games in general."
* A really sick mind would think: "Ban violent video games from everyone to keep the children safe!"
* And a totally molten monstrosity would think: "Kill the producers of violent games!"
A problem with human society (as opposed to the world of the animals) is that the confusion of phantasy and reality is verrrrry easy. Ok, animals can do that, too: A hiding fish might have been startled by something completely harmless, so its interpretation was incorrect.
That is actually a good example for the problem we are dealing with: The fish who hid himself for no good reason most probably didn't do himself or other animals harm by that action. The same with humans, right? I mean, people who misinterpret the newspaper-headline as proof for the harmfulness of violent video games and propose hiding those from the public (or not producing them at all) don't do any harm, right? Well, everyone who'd like to play such games sees this differently. And free-speech-advocates would agree with those gamers.
Funny: The people in this example (the confused ones) fear that people who play such games might confuse phantasy and reality and might go and harm people. But they themselves are the ones who confused reality and phantasy when they read and interpreted the headline.
Now I will finally head to the subject of this posting:
"Turning young minds into believers is extremely evil."
Whether or not a human mind is really grown-up cannot reliably be determined by the age, but common sense would be to generally think of young minds (e.g. below 10 years) as much less developed and stable than older minds (e.g. between 20 and 80). There is no intent to insult or slur anyone here, there are wiser and clearer minds among the 80s and really bright, experienced and stable ones below 10 of course, but we can agree that those are exceptions.
An inexperienced mind does have a much weaker ability to cleanse itself from the introduction of false concepts. A more experienced mind (see psychedelic example) can self-reflect itself clean much more easily.
If a less developed mind is told that Santa Claus is real and meeting him a (metaphorical) blessing, it would try to interpret the rubber-band on the father's Santa-beard in a way that makes it everything but a rubber-band holding a fake beard. A misconception gives birth to another misconception. The mind is a machine that never stops working. While sleeping, the mind mirrors itself, as in wake-state, but without the influence of strong will and without sensory input. It clears itself, at least a bit.
As an example, Mr Dillahunty and friends supply medicine and even vaccine against misconceptions: Their pills, once swallowed by the mind, are able to untangle the weirdest of misconception-constructs. To be powerful enough, they need to be applied. The more cleanup-scaffold there is the better.
The opposite, poison, is supplied by everyone who supplies misconceptions, lies (every story presented as a description of actual events is a lie). A lie *can* be a good thing: "Will I get the wrist watch for birthday?" - "[damn i already bought it] No, it is something else." But the rollercoaster-ride of being lied to and then meeting the truth is not as harmless as it seems.
Now, introducing a young mind into religion is a dangerous, even *evil* thing. If the religion is taught like geography or math, it can be good, can even be a cleanup-pill, but when the teaching is a conversion from atheism to a certain religion, then it is evil. Religion has been discussed and lived by grown-ups quite extensively. So, when they throw their information at the young mind, the bullets are storm-tested and many in numbers.
The young mind introduces a big load of information into itself which has one *dangerous* overall statement: Believe it, don't ask for proof. This chord, once planted in the song that the person is, can be struck easily by anyone who wants to abuse the person to do something or to make the person give away money.
But the problem is even deeper: Because proof will be shown, oh yes! It will be "proven" to the child that thousands of years old collections of scriptures are to be taken as truth. If the scriptures contradict themselves, the child is obliged, later even willing, to invent some blurry but not so far-fetched idea/connection to make it right again (and the term "not so far-fetched" becomes more and more blurry the more you do this, summarized: "very far-fetched" in the end). *This* is the point when the fatal mind circuit has been created that allows believers to hold two contradicting standpoints at the same time. The mind is warped to a degree that, metaphorically speaking, two ends of a sausage are facing each other - that thing was a sphere once. Definitely sad. Not an achievement.
And before the child even begins to question the sources of the texts and how reliable those are, more "proof" is thrown at the child. The sheer rate at which dirt (misconception) is poured into the once clear liquid of its mind's glass is too high. The liquid will become dark to a degree where the mind believes that state to be a good thing. Parents who do this to their child are satisfied: "Mission accomplished, my child believes in my/our perspective of God." Parents who do this are clearly abusing their child, but in a world where billions are doing this, who's going to sue them. There is no way you can invoke Godwin's Law now when I say that in Hitler Germany the sheer power of the masses had the exact same effect: A wrong became a right.
Everything that this poisoned mind perceives, interprets, thinks will now be distorted by the bias in the holy halls of information that God, if he exists, had given that young soul to live its life in. If there is a God, then he *must* be opposed to religion. Because religion is not love. It's hell.
I would even go so far to say that everyone who is religious and praying to a God because of that is in reality praying to Satan. Because: If there would be a Saviour who comes to earth to make it the place to be, to open every mind to the light, to bring sanity to the planet - then it would be the religious folks who would impose the strongest energy against this cleanse of the global mind of mankind. The religious people would be the ones who work for Satan, not the Atheists.
Btw: Atheism is the natural state of being. After all, a new-born does not have a concept of God until its mind gets in contact with related information. Also, mind that people who grow up in a Christian environment tend to become Christians, people in an Muslim environment tend to become Muslims. Christianity is the one true religion where Christians live, Islam is the one true religion where Muslims live.
I mean, if it's spelled out like I just did and you are not envolved in religion, it is crystal clear: Religion is bullshit. It claims to be universally true, but fly a few thousand miles and you will see that what was universal truth where you came from is suddenly utterly wrong! The *other* guys got it right.
The problem is: *If* you are envolved, then every angle, every way out, is already blocked by the mere energy of the sum of collaborating misconceptions that have - most probably while you were a child - been poured into your mind, fortified by the power of social pressure and lies about the other groups (other religions and the atheists).
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From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, October 11th at 12:15pm in the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn will give us an update on their activities. The lecture is free and open to the public.