The Many Jesuses of the Mind.

Those of us who see the gods as products of the mind, not independent of it, are always interested in the artist versions of “God” and “Jesus”.  They look like the artist, or, the artist’s clients.

And, of course, this make perfect sense.  If one is making up an imaginary person, what other choice is there but the most familiar person, himself.

The attraction of a god figure like the individual is so strong there could never be a sovereign god separate from that person.  That’s because each individual needs approval from his god. Since there are billions of people, one god could not meet all people’s needs.  As a practical matter, the god must be manufactured by each person.

At the most general level, we see the god portrayed by white artists as white, black artists as black and so on.  The attached article points out the white Jesus came into being with the white power structure.

We secularists often ask believers what the deity looks like.  They, of course, cannot tell us.  How then will believers know when the deity arrives if they have no idea what it looks like?

We are told this is an unfair requirement.  I don’t see anything unfair about it.  If believers claim there is such a thing outside of their minds, someone, somewhere has to know what it is.

In the meantime, there will be as many gods as there are people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wallace-best-phd/color-and-christ-in-america_b_2198378.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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49 Responses to The Many Jesuses of the Mind.

  1. entech says:

    In the meantime, there will be as many gods as there are people.
    And as long as we lack a definitive version it simplifies things if they are all called Jesus.

  2. entech says:

    By analogy with Magus with the plural Magi, as in the story told by Mathew, and in old Zoroastrian texts, shouldn’t the plural be Jesi?

  3. Michael Ross says:

    ” the god must be manufactured by each person.”

    And here is one maufactured by many on the religous right:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/111806.html

    • Henry says:

      jus ad bellum and jus in bello

      To erode the above duly established and practiced principles can also make oneself a god. (i.e. one placing self on a pedastal at the expense of other’s lives and health in weakening the original just cause). The best format to object to war is a pen, paper, and one’s duly elected congressman and senator.

      I say to all vets, thank you. Well done.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      There is a confusion and misuse of terms these days. “Religious right”, appears to be more politically hard right with the trappings/ cover / excuse of religion. A true “religious right” in Christianity would be more akin to a theological conservatism. Beyond that, there would be/is ultra conservative, similar to the Hasidics in Judaism. (minus political involvement).

  4. Robert James Smith says:

    I like God provoking and intriguing statements… you are in control of the reality of the situation revolving however… I understand there are constants and X factors, or sound mathematical reasoning and abstract art…. Jesus translated stands for “the anointed or chosen one”. every differenciated race or tribe of humankind has chosen one-ones, for the same reason that we have communities and family units, to serve group needs/design. GOD on the greatest, is the creator of all ( everything ,I repeat everything happens everytime through time… everything happens through time ,, everything comes from somewhere, nothing comes from nowhere) we are created serve God to serve universe to serve earth ,, to recreate GOD… it is unfathomable to think the time frames of the Creator, all that we can see in the night sky and in the day throughout our entire existence is much less than the raw existence GOD creates/expresses in every smallest instance in time. however there are many gods and many Devils and many existences,,

  5. Robert James Smith says:

    Technology is a necessary evil for those of us born into it,, will the energies of this space called Earth be expounded upon in a Godly manner? we’re the connections mathematically sound/right when humans distinguished from apes in this place and time? Will organized creation catchup before we are gone? Always look on the inside, stay inside your creator and do not deviate.

  6. Stanta says:

    Jesus returns in a towering cloud and a clap this time visible around the Earth. Hard to miss :)

    Going by memory, have to leave to spread Christmas cheer. I will look it up later if needed.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 10:17 I think you are mixed up. The lightening and thunder will happen when gay marriage is ruled legal by the Supreme Court. :)

      • Henry says:

        Jon, you may be on to something. Last time a large decision was made concerning homosexuality, a tornado hit the ELCA convention as they were discussing/deciding their gayness. Maybe it will be thunder and lightning the next time.

      • entech says:

        Henry, not even you are so stupid as to believe all that gubbins about divine punishment in the form of tornadoes
        etc. If this god of yours is a just god, where are the rewards. Or are the rewards promised akin to the returns promised by Madoff.

        Stanta, a question often asked is what would make you believe? I think that is one answer that would be hard to miss :) when will it happen? when? oh, no one knows just have faith OK :lol:

        • Henry says:

          When God wanted to get man’s attention in the OT and NT, He usually didn’t pussyfoot around.

          • entech says:

            Or succeed in holding it for long. “Must try harder”, as the schoolteachers used to say when anything more honest was not permitted, or, “Could do better with more effort”.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “Or succeed in holding it for long.”

            Man’s problem. I am simply astounded reading Exodus, the straying of man. Then I look around, not much new under the sun.

          • entech says:

            There you go again, unwarranted assumptions based on unverifiable writings. The archeologists at Tel Aviv University were given the task of verifying all this, that there was a historical Exodus as written is extremely doubtful. Another card from the house – missing in action.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “unverifiable writings….blah, blah, blah”

            I saw an interesting Egyptian tomb painting one time. Athletic, bronzed skinned Egyptian taskmasters overseeing anemic, tanless slaves making bricks in the sun. It was surprising to see there was a record of the brickmaking by foreigners to Egypt.

            I know of some severe tragedies within some family histories. They were so awful, they did not get duly recorded in history books such as community centennial books, geneology records, etc. The Egyptian plagues were absolutely so horrible, I doubt anyone in Egypt wrote them down either. Human nature. Nothing new under the sun.

          • entech says:

            Somethings are so easy to believe if you are committed to them being a prerequisite for a later edifice, even a house of cards needs a foundation card or so.

            I must, to be fair, say that it is easier to accept the overwhelming evidence against something if you want it to be so. Near said to be fair(y tales) but that wouldn’t be helpful.

          • entech says:

            I saw an interesting Egyptian tomb painting one time. Athletic, bronzed skinned Egyptian taskmasters overseeing anemic, tanless slaves making bricks in the sun. It was surprising to see there was a record of the brickmaking by foreigners to Egypt.

            Middle eastern people tanless while working in the sun? Slavery was a common part of Egyptian history. I think you made that bit up, or perhaps it was revealed to you?
            The art was more about kings and Gods and the relationship between them, and life and the afterlife, not every day stuff like brick making.

            The Egyptians themselves were almost slaves to an Asian/Semitic people called the Hyksos, about the right time period – one story ,more realistic is that the Egyptians weren’t chasing the people leaving to bring them back but chasing the Hyksos away so that they would not come back.
            The Egyptian empire reached as far as Canaan at that time, the last place a runaway would run to is the place he was running from.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “I think you made that bit up, or perhaps it was revealed to you?”

            Here you can order your copy and see for yourself. Its even a picture book format comprehendible even by you. With the photo in question.

            http://www.biblio.com/books/481613949.html

        • Stanta says:

          For a certain number of us in the world we will meet him in the next 5 second, or next week or………..

          Live your life and love your neighbors as if today is your last. You can’t plan your life around when He returns. You could die right now.

          I get asked about the End Times at work all the time from the young guys. I say I don’t worry about the when because I may never see it. Just live right with the Lord and seek his mercy.

  7. entech says:

    Glad you weren’t near when I opened that link. :lol: Readers Digest :lol: .
    What was th old joke about wasps and ignorance and Readers Digest?

  8. Stanta says:

    This really has been as open minded a post as I have seen Jon. Now if I keep my faith off property owned by government, will you at least allow me to profess it anywhere else I may go? I promise not to get up on a soapbox in West Acres, but if i have permission of the owners to put up a display will you not mock it?

    We hear so much about the crimes of religion, but very little about the good here. Hospitals, clinics, orphanages, food shelves, social services. Infanticide by exposure was common in Rome at the time of the first Christians, the Romans thought the followers of Christ as fools for rescuing them and raising them as their own. Older orphans if there were no fund from their parents could expect little or no charity, but many became Saints of the early church.

    Hospitals, while they, with the state of medical practice at the time, Were true hospice care. Providing comfort and a dignified death was better then being left sick on a hillside.

    Even the dignified burial of the dead was only practiced by the nobles. If you were poor you were left at the dump in Rome. Christians would bury any dead they found, related or known to them or not. This caused a lot of curiosity, even suspicion from the pagans.

    Like I said, possibly the most balanced of your Posts, thank you.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 4:42 Your view of the corporate church is understandably different than Wanna’s. From the Catholic perspective, as I understand it, the corporation and the deity are nearly one and the same. The corporation’s employees are the offical paths to the deity. Only these employees are the humans designated to interpret what the deity means. The Catholic path to heaven is through good works. The corporation organizes and carries out the necessary good works.

      Wanna, on the other hand, claims the corporation is a side issue on the path to the devine. That would be Protestantism. Except, when we get to the Pentecostals, and further, to the “spiritual but not religious”.

      The one thing all of these branches have in common, save the “spiritual but not religious”, is that there is a economic base that holds together the groups and it does so through corporations. Without either the economic base or the corporation, there would be little of what we know of as Christianity.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon; Your last paragraph—-Same old same old. More conflation, and yes, more validation of my earlier comment of today

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon; I think Stan will differ with you on much of what you say.

        I also think you can include the “Pentecostals, and further”with the earlier group. Don’t attempt to put words in my mouth.

      • Stanta says:

        Jon, no one stands between me and God. But I am in need if instruction at times beyond my own study of the Bible. I would gather you didn’t come to your own knowledge of economics solely through your own observations. Did you not have instructors and mentors? So it is with the Fathers of the Church and the Leaders of the Catholic Church. I have had my difference in some of the teachings of them, but by my personal study of the Bible, personal revelation through reasoning and prayer, combined with deeper reading of the knowledge put forth by the Church have in most come to the understanding of why they are put forth.

        I dare say that over the years you may have found that the same has happened within your field of economics. Personally I feel if you don’t grow and question then you are a slave to whatever is thrown out to you and you shift with the winds, depending on what feels good to you. We have to sift the chaff from the wheat.

        I find your understanding of the Catholic Church rather amusing, since you don’t bother to “know your enemy” outside of rumor or popular fiction it is quite laughable. No modern priest will tell you you can buy your way into heaven with works. By HIS Grace alone are we saved. The works are done as we grow closer, in our imperfect way, to HIS ways in love. For me, to accept HIS Grace but to still live as before is as much a sin as accepting a loan and refusing to pay it back would be in economics.

        You will hear many of the cultural Christians and the Nones saying that they “think’ they are good enough to be saved. They are the people depending on works for entrance. Most of those have never bothered to read the Bible on their own. Many have not had much instruction in faith then when they were made to go in high school and probably would have skipped that if they could. When I ask them of Grace, they only know the first lines of the hymn Amazing Grace and never looked at the meaning of the words.

        The “Corporation” is in all reality a necessity because many of our works cannot be achieved through an individual. I cannot build a hospital nor administer it, but my donations can be placed with hundreds more and the Church can then provide the organization and structure. The first hospitals were not secular Jon, they were created in this way.

        Wanna and i are a lot closer then you think Jon. We both feel it best to be Christian. Period. While we do not agree on some doctrine, I call it the Angels dancing on the head of a pin issues, we do agree only Christ will decide who goes to Heaven, but to become is Christian is the first step. There are those who have accepted God and Christ who may never step into a Church in there life who may get to heaven before me.

        Is it any wonder that the Church follows the corporate structure? Every successful organization man creates does. Why do we call a village incorporated? When men from different tribes or clans gathered together for protection or commerce the must become organized or bedlam reigns. Why should the Church be any different.

        They have been predicting the downfall of the Christan Church for centuries, why should now be any different. Still here, still stronger then you think. The influx leaving and entering is good for it’s growth and strength. Many of those leaving probably never believed, many will eventually return. Catholic reverts are becoming a strong presence in our Church. Their witness and stories can so more then all the Sunday sermons put together.

        Jon, you are slinging pebbles in your musings here unless you actually LEARN more of your enemy.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Stan 7:48 “No one stands between me and God.” You said you find my understanding of Catholic dogma amusing. I find your understanding of it equally amusing.

          Attached we find that a Catholic who disagrees with the hierarchy’s conclusions needs to conform, period.

          http://www.justforcatholics.org/a79.htm

          • Stanta says:

            You read to fast, I said that in matters where I disagreed, through study of the Bib;e, reasoning AND looking closer at the teaching of the Church, i have come to understand why I was wrong. A person does not learn from one source alone.

            A catholic who does not agree with the hierarchy should do a little more study and maybe question their own motives. If they still don’t agree there are other places where they can worship.

            My word Jon, I write a point by point takedown of the of your 6:38 post and this is all I get? I will assume you agree with the rest then.

            Just read, there are now about 150 million Christians in Communist China, almost as many as the United States. 1/3rd the worlds population and still growing.

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