Is Your Religion Completely Self-Sufficient?

Once in a while one comes across commentary by a religious writer who seems to grasp particularly absurd aspects of his/her faith.  Every person, no matter how devout, knows there are other faiths held just as dear as their own.

The link relates an experience of the author hearing three religious authorities, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, present the reasons each was the only true faith. When they were finished he asked each if there was anything in their faith that was incomplete.  That is, is their anything that requires knowledge from outside their faith?

The answer was that each faith is self contained, it knows all.

The Abrahamic faiths are especially dogmatic because besides defining   with arrogance the internal workings of their versions, they also encapsulate time.  They know when religious time began and when it will end.  Not surprisingly, the clock does not run very long.

I remember a newspaper editorial many years ago complaining that a part of town post World War II should not be included in a Historic District because, “There’s no history there.”  Abrahamic religions seem to believe there was no religion before theirs’.

That’s why it is important for atheism to hang in there and try to remain present in spite of all the criticism that comes its way. If religions and their disregard for historical records prevail, understanding what history has taught us will be lost forever.

One can only hope current religions will see they are but part of the passing parade.

47 Responses

  1. entech

    Atheism is not self-sufficient either.

    But still looking and searching with more chance of finding truth and reality than those that say they have already found it. Problem there are so many that have found it in the same way, Christianity, Islam and so on, but they have so many contradictory and mutually exclusive versions, sometimes with internecine enmity.

  2. Wanna B Sure

    Related to the last three topics, but not directly; Today on Huffpost religion site; Interesting article’ “Understanding why Americans seem more religious than other western powers–E Brooks Holifield @ Sacred Matters.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Realist; Either you have a dirty mind, or you are referring to a different article. Mine was @ my 1:36. I’m thinking dirty mind, or anything to go off topic.

          2. Dirty mind? Well, I guess for some sex IS dirty like those religious conservatives but at least you’re not calling me names yet.

            But the idea in the article that the United States is more fixated on religion than some European countries because we don’t have a state religion doesn’t really ring true to me.

          3. Wanna B Sure

            The state religion is just a small part of the equation. Personally, I think the state religion as an institution was a tragedy to the faith. It grew into something not much more than citizenship. The” free churches”,( not to be confused with the E Free churches in the states,) but those not affiliated with state churches, is where faith is nurtured and practiced to the fullest in continuing the ancient confessions, apart from state control and funding. They remain smaller in professed numbers, but are the most active in the Gospel, without political involvement.

      1. H.P.Drifter

        Realist: Not only the far right Christians but all of them. They either have Madonna complex, think sex is dirty, or can’t get it up. They spent billions a year. More money than all the non believers make in a life time, every year.

    1. entech

      Interesting article, for me the most telling difference between Europe and America:
      The American sociologist Phil Zuckerman found that Danes and Swedes didn’t practice much, but Zuckerman also learned that one inebriated believer confessed to a friend over a round of drinks that he believed in God. “I hope,” he said, “that you don’t think I’m a bad person.”

  3. H.P.Drifter

    The three groups will duke it out eventually if not sooner,
    Just make sure you are far from the action (if possible)
    As a kid they scared the shit of me or tried to, every two weeks, I was under my school desk in case the Russians used the bomb. I do not feel I got my money’s worth. Its time they pay me for my trouble, instead of killing our people and fighting wars of attrition. And further sending this country into debt.

    1. Wolfy32

      If there’s a way for them to do it that didn’t involve me. I’d say all 3 need to create their own revelations (well, for all intents and purposes, they probably will). Have them all create their own armegeddon and the rest of us that don’t care about their conflict can go on with our lives.

  4. H.P.Drifter


    Great idea wish I would have thought that one up myself.
    Perhaps we can apply for government funding under advancing religious studies. Get it tacked on to some pork belly bill. Call the Congressman

    1. Wolfy32

      Maybe that’s what Iraq and afgan was all about. Destabilize the region, to try to push them all over the edge… Problem is Christians seem to have learned their lesson from the crusades… They seem to have given up waging military domination. I don’t know how to get the Christians over there…. could be difficult.

      This led me to an amusing thought though… God commanded us to destroy the infadels… (Muslims) in the crusades. Yet, the Christian army lost… I’m curious…. Does that mean God lost or people were misguided? If they were misguided, who’s to determine when people are following God and when they’re misguided? (I know Henry determines it, but, aside from Henry and Josh, who else determine which Christianity is not misguided?)

      If it’s not misguided and the war was really of God, then, why lose? Does that give credence that the muslim God is more powerful? Or did the two Gods make peace with each other?

      1. Wanna B Sure

        God – – – or the Pope? There was little God, and a lot of Pope in the Crusades. And land acquisition, and titles, and indulgences. Not from God though.

        1. Wolfy32

          I don’t deny that, but, at least some of them had to believe God was on their side and that their fight was God’s command. If their belief was misguided… Who determines whether anyones belief is right or misguided?

          That’s my issue with it. If religion is to be self sufficient. There needs to be something more to believe than just so and so says this is right or this is from God. And there is the bible, at the same time, there’s a bunch of denominations and interpretations of said book. If the person or group, etc, I choose to follow / believe is wrong in their belief, I’ve just been misguided and most likely sent to hell. If I were an Aspiring Christian wanting to secure a place in heaven, how would I know I’m not being misguided by the same issues that the crusades brought to light. War on Gays, war on abortion, war against those that are against israel. Christians have declared wars on a lot of things. That are really not much different than the crusades other than there’s much less blood shed..

          How does anyone know who’s misguiding and misguided over someone else?

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Wolfy @ 2:38; “I don’t deny that but, at least some of them had to believe God was on their side and that their fight was God’s command”. —-A common thought then, and now. Pure pietism. The cart in front of the horse. “God was/ is on their side”? That’s like having God in your back pocket, and claiming the authority that isn’t ours. This reminds me of WBC, and others claiming private revelation. Pick and choose our own private agendas, then justify it by claiming the authority they/ we don’t have.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            When someone says; “God told me to…..” Run like hell. It’s more like: “It’s my idea, and I’ll use God to justify it.

  5. H.P.Drifter


    We are not fighting these wars to win. We are fighting theses wars so that countries we are fighting will take generations to make a come back. Like we did in Vietnam, leave it in mess and hope it takes generations to clean up the mess we made. The British tried to subdue these people before the Russians with no success for either of them. Now we are doing the same thing. If we really wanted to win it as war, where one side wins and one side loses, we could do this a very short time with the right weapons. Destroy their opium fields and take out all their major cities. This would the best way to stop these people from being a problem for whomever. Slow their activities way down. Instead we have established a training ground for terrorists. Who now are creating problems all over the middle east and North Africa.
    Going to war with these people was a bad idea in the first place. Our beef was with Al Queda in the beginning, we should have concentrated on getting rid of the bad guys instead of fighting these wars so our military industrial complex could make a fortune. Now because of our past and present foreign policy we have a big mess on our hands. That is not going to go away anytime soon.
    In a depression or economic slow down, the money is still around. It is just in peoples other hands. Our defense budget takes up most of our money. In the last 60 some years the government has morphed into this huge bureaucracy, that needs more money than it takes in. Right now we owe just about the same as the GNP we take in every year, the interest alone, would fund education, health care and a lot of other things. We need businessman with a track record to step up to the plate and get us out of this mess. (this I have said before) This is all economics, religion has little to do with anything other than the idiots in Washington DC that are running things are of different faiths. Besides being religious nuts, they are financial illiterate. Most are lawyers, who are good at billing for their time and nothing else.

  6. Henry

    Wonderful topic that Jon has asked: “Is Your Religion Completely Self-Sufficient?”

    In response, we have HP and “realist” (Ann) out of the blue, talking and obsessing over porn. Also in response, we have Wolf obsessing over the crusades as if it is our current responsibility. Then as usual, we have entech muddling away like a mud hen.

    Who said atheists weren’t funny? This is hilarious and bizarre.

    1. entech

      Not often I agree Henry, I think I was the only one to address the subject.
      You forgot to mention Wanna, of course, with his attempt at introducing a subject of his own, again- and then accusing others of changing the subject. I would be inclined to protect realist, as charged, she simply found porn as a referral on Wanna’s sited page, and who wouldn’t read the article if was about rotten evangelists (you are the same, read and store anything that could be used against the atheist).

      On the other hand as you manage to find fault with all the non believers, it should be noted that you are fulfilling your attack dog role.

      PS. What is a ‘mud’ hen, do they lay eggs?

      1. Henry

        entech:“PS. What is a ‘mud’ hen, do they lay eggs?”

        They are the lowest of the North American duck family that spoons s**t off the swampy lake/slough bottom and eats it. The daily limit in ND is thirty or so.

        1. It’s called a coot, Henry and the limit is 15 a day. Heads up to you, but ALL ducks spoons s**t off the bottom of sloughs. That’s what they do. As far as being the lowest of the duck family, that’s straight from the mouth of someone who just has to put humans or animals in their “appropriate place” in hierarchy of the world. Got to have a pecking order, right, Henry?

          1. Henry

            Mud hens are huntable during DUCK season. I am a hunter, not an ornithologist. Feel free to call them coots. You are entitled.

            A nice mallard feeds in the grain fields. As a result, they can be hunted in a field set with decoys. Even goose deeks draw them in. You can kill two birds with one stone. Feel free to hunt the s**t shovelers.

          2. Henry

            P.S. You need to buy a DUCK stamp to hunt mud hens. You will have to suffer through with my use of ND colloquialisms.

          3. entech

            I see, I have been called a “coot” before, often preceded by “silly old”.

            On a occasion when some one of the much younger set don’t notice me (I think we spoke before about becoming invisible with age) and are hurry through and I don’t leap out of the way quick enough it is “are you blind you silly old coot”. This reminds me a little of some of the people posting here with their bias against non believers, they accuse you of all there own faults.

      2. Wanna B Sure

        The article I referred to from Huffpost was the only one I saw. It was a featured article. I read the article and moved on. I thought it was interesting, and recommended it. I have no idea what you are talking about.. Entech, you are being dishonest when you accuse me of not choosing to read anything against “rotten evangelists”. I think you will have to admit I have been equally hard on “rotten evangelists”. In fact, I think I have been consistent in being against “rotten”(your term) evangelism.

        1. Wanna B Sure

          Entech: If you haven’t seen my comments on “rotten evangelism”, you are equally guilty of the same selective reading of which you falsely accuse me. “Rotten evangelism” AND rotten evangelists thoroughly disgust me in several ways, and I haven’t been shy in that area.

        2. entech

          Calm down I was talking to Henry at that point, what was intended there was:
          Realist found something else on the page, something that did not read well for evangelist/fundamentalist mob, further that “who wouldn’t” referred to me and realist and others like us. In short we would dig up the dirt on them just as Henry would on us.
          You always try to be even handed about (most) other denominations.

          Lunch time, back about 11pm your time.

      3. Wanna B Sure

        Entech; I did say I felt there was a connection with the last three topics. You may not have recognized it. I did not out of the blue introduce a totally different subject.

  7. H.P.Drifter

    I was to wanting to hear about the self-sufficient Religious people on the blog, Is this possible? How do you do it. Is God all you need? Is there more? Thought Wanna or Henry would have plenty to say on this subject.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Drifter; Your post presents an already formed opinion on a flawed proposition, with presupposed answers. Sorry to disappoint your anticipated sport. I won’t play your game.
      I can’t speak for Henry.

  8. Wolfy32

    I realized I didn’t outright answer the question. I want to know. Is your religion completely self sufficient?

    As long as there are authoritative people that speak charismatically for religion, pastors, prophets, visionaries, cult leaders, etc, Religion will be self sufficient in that as long as there are followers there will be leaders, and as long as there are self ordained leaders speaking for whatever flavor of God they choose, there will be followers.

    It’s an endless circle that has encompassed humanity since it gained self awareness.

    I can’t see no matter how much athiests or any other anti-religion theocracy comes about, that religion will die away. I believe there will be continual evolutions of the human mind and evolutions of science that will continue to both contradict and support religion.

    It’s hard to say whether human belief brings about existence or whether the existence of something brings about human belief. However, that circle will continue for all time. I do firmly believe that.

    However, who am I, I have a difficult time believing that behind the curtain of the blackness of space, or shrouded within the curtain of our own universe there’s no other life, no other existence, nothing remotely as advanced as our meager race.

    A race of flesh and bones that can easily be wiped out by a single disease, a race that made decisions to create weapons that could destroy the entire world ten times over.
    A race that has been around for potentially millions of years and we still don’t even have cure to the common cold. I have to admit. Despite our arrogance… we’re pretty dumb… to think there’s nothing smarter than us out there somewhere is really pompous of us.

    I stick by the only truth that I can possibly know probably in my lifetime:
    “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

    You might know him, he was known for writing 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    And that’s the truth I believe. Either we’re alone or we’re not. If we’re not, there could be a “God being” that is so far advanced we can’t even fathom his capabilities and who knows maybe inspired the bible to be passed down in some way. However, the bible being written by fallable humans influenced by human agendas and cultures.. Well, most likely the interpretation that God being intended got lost or misinterpretted.

    Or is so far off base that we can’t fathom what that “race” or being wants from us — if anything.

    That said, if religion is not about finding something beyond our existence, then, religion as we know it on earth will continue to be self sustaining. If it’s about the reality of some grand being(s), then, the path is narrow, because very few, if any, care about actually finding that being, to think something that powerful is real… is, in my opinion, too terrifying for humanity to truly grasp or accept as being real.

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