Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mere Christianity: A sort of review.

(Massive book cover for those who have never seen one before)


He's a clever man, that C.S Lewis and I will give him that. No wonder Christians throw Mere Christianity at any willing atheist or agnostic, because a man of his intelligence gives people more reason to listen or read.

About half a year ago my born again Christian friend bought me a copy. This was after many debates we had had and I guess she felt that if I was using logic then she would show me Christian logic. She admitted atheists are smart, but said they are also stubborn and ignorant. So trying not to be stubborn or ignorant and pretending I fell under the "smart atheist" category I obliged to read it.

Before I get to that, there is something I have to admit. When I was told C.S Lewis was a former atheist, I automatically felt disappointed. I thought why would someone who has escaped mythological thinking and can look at life with rationality and reason (especially as he was born in 1898) and then to sink into the dogmatic practices of the Christian religion.  However, I have since accepted that I do not know everything, one day I could find myself slipping into "dogmatic practices" after all if I knew everything, why would I be here; reading. To quote someone on a forum I frequent, when I asked if any atheists had converted to a religion, a member replied “I feel anyone who is truly atheist and has learned of all the hypocrisies and badness in religion could never unlearn that." That is to say, could never follow religion again.  I would be inclined to agree if I were to have asked that question before I started this blog. Now I am no longer so sure.

Anyway... on to the book.  After several attempts of reading it, I finally gave in a purchased the audio book for £6.99 the other night! I couldn’t believe what I was doing but I was curious. I knew from what I had actually read that he was a clever man, and articulated his points well, yes using LOGIC and REASON as us atheists like to go on about so much. He delves into the usual morality issues and extends from there into tangents; I mean chapters on faith, forgiveness, sexual morality, marriage etc. He does cover these topics well, and seems to have answers for everything, I myself who is nowhere near as smart as he is, found me easily debunking some of his ways of rationalising religious ideas.


I won’t go into too much depth I would recommend reading it or (as I preferred) listening to it, but I don't think it is the conversion book Christians hope. Sure for a Christian I can see how they (who already believe what he is saying) can see that his logical way of explanation could be favourable to an atheist, but they forget the atheist is listening out for that which they may over look.

It helps to explain the beliefs Christians already have but not to reinforce how he came to change his way of thinking, or why he devotes himself to christ and not any other religion.

Still for his time C.S Lewis appears forward thinking, but it hasn't swayed me.

A day of confusion and research.

I am beginning to think I should re-type this blogs subheading and replace it with "Reading religion in bits day by day, and confusing myself." I read some of the Koran and some of the bible, I skimmed through Mere Christianity.

I also Googled the following terms:

Proof Jesus existed

Proof of God

Muslim Converts

When was Mathew Written

Christian Converts

Was Jesus god


I have been on a mad tangent,not exactly what I am looking for. Am I really hoping to find the answer to one of life's biggest questions on the internet?

I am sure if I was a psychologist that I could unpick my desire for answers, my need for conformation of some kind. Some may say you are looking for it in all the wrong places. Can words hold the key to something that must be purely emotional?

I am moving on to the Buddhist teachings. I have read some before and i will admit I really relate to that type of spirituality. I remember reading on a forum, someone stated that Buddhism was for "atheists who are scared to believe in nothing" or something a long those lines.

I think Buddhism is one of the wisest ways of thought and living that we have on the planet. Although even Buddhism has some dogmas, it also has the key to true self awareness and inner peace. Buddhism tells you to rely on yourself to make happiness, not to worship in hope that you will be given the reward of peace or love.

My favorite Buddhist quote is:  

       “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Is this not the complete opposite to what other mainstream religions say: believe me when I tell you. Do not question? Considering that quote was written around 500 yrs BC I think that is extremely forward thinking.

The Book of Mormon

I might be wrong, but to me Mormons are a rare thing in the UK in fact. I don't think I have ever met one. I know some one who knows some who is Mormon though. To me and to a friend I just spoke to they are similar to Jehovahs witnesses'.
Now why would I say that, i don't know any as I have just admitted so perhaps this image of Mormons I have, is televisions fault.
Or is it this thing that I touched upon in a previous post, that Mormons because they are a smaller branch of religion are considered less credible. As if one book is less credible than the others because of the people that read it.
Is it religious snobbery? I don't know.
Anyway back to the book, I ordered one from the link that's on the FREE BOOKS page above. I didn't see in the small print that they hand deliver it to you and stop by for a chat so that should be interesting.

The book of Mormon was written by an American called Joseph Smith and first published in 1830.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mandukya Upanishad: Ancient Sanskrit on the nature of reality

I am going to give a bit of far eastern religion I go. This my reading for tonight, it's only 24 pages long and seems quite interesting from what I have read so far. I will be back to update.
Oh and if you want to read it too, head over to and download it and many more books as free PDFs , yes free! you have saved me a lot of time and money so thank you I will definitely donate.

Why I can't believe and the nature of being "right".

Some days I am certain and some days not. When I do  think there is something I just don't see it lying in the frame of mainstream religion. Just because they have the biggest following it doesn't make them "right".
I used to be and to some extent are a believer in gods not a singular god, but an equal male and female balance sun, moon, man, woman, day and night kind of thinker. If I had to lay myself in any "religious" criteria, I would probably aim toward pagan type belief system, because of it’s aspects of balance and respect for nature. I used to dedicate myself to that kind of thinking but as I aged that slipped from me; I still was unsure whether there really was anything there at all.

Now, I ask myself why I can’t believe. What is it about me and others than cannot just say "the world is beautiful and clearly has a creator, there for God must exist."

I can't agree with that because I find most religions to be so hypocritical, so dogmatic and in a round about way do more harm than good. Even if I were to believe in a god, I would struggle to be a religious person because here is my problem with " belief" and being "right."

The Christian stands there and says I know I am right, I feel God all around me, I have experienced its presence. The Muslim stands there and says I know I AM right; God is here with me he helps me, and I feel him all around me.

I say well, you can't both be right, because if you were both right that would mean that the holy books you read are both wrong. So you both believe you are right yet one of you at least must be wrong. Yet they don't feel wrong, they both won't budge, each assuming that the other is wrong. Yet internally feeling with the same amount of certainty that THEY are the one in the know and they are correct.

So could it be that god/gods come to anyone who asks. Or is god a human concept that offers some psychological reward to those that (in whichever way) practice this idea. Is god our back up plan?

I can't believe because I don't see how so many people can feel so strongly about something and yet most religions talk of only one god. Yet they all display the same amount of religious fulfilment so someone is either bluffing or our idea of god is wrong.

Is it the more dogmatic, the greater the relief. Like someone with OCD, you follow the plans you get the comfort; the relief.

I am not here to close my mind, I wish to open it, but if there really is nothing to see I cant pretend to see it.

The Bible and the Quran / my religious backstory

Save your self some money (unlike me) and download the
Bible (PDF.) for free! HERE
OR The Quran(PDF.)  HERE.

So I am at my first experiment. The experiment came about because of a passing comment to my boyfriend who is an absolute atheist who can not understand why in this day and age people still believe in gods. I said that we should pick a religious book and read it if we have nothing to fear, surprisingly he agreed! So I said I would first read the bible , as I have a few christian friends and I am often putting Christianity down, he picked current hot potato ; the Quran. They are the big two at the moment, and they are closely linked. My knowledge of the Quran and the Bible is that they both originate from the same source, yet the Quran was written by the prophet Mohamed and Bible is a collection of writings written by several prophets.

The experiment

Welcome to my new blog which I ultimately entitled "Atheist Experiment." I struggled even naming the blog because I didn’t know whether I positioned myself as an atheist or an agnostic as ultimately I sway between wanting to believe and absolute belief that god cannot and does not exist.
Definitions according to Oxford Dictionary online.

  • a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
  • a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods:he is a committed atheist

The Experiment.

The experiment is simple. All you need is time, access to religious books and an open mind. The experiment is to read as many religious books as possible in order to gain knowledge to decide for yourself whether or not there is a god. You may at this point place yourself as a strong atheist, that being that you undoubtedly believe that god does not exist. So you may ask yourself why bother reading and of these books, that can be nothing more than works of fiction. And this may be true, but in order to understand the world and those around us, it is helpful to know what other think and why they think that. It is also useful if you are going to refute something that you have at least read the thing you are trying to refute. As an aside to this comment, it is good to note that if you do read any religious text, make notes of things you question, yet read the whole book first, and then review what it is you question afterwards.
Now, here is the slight problem:
Religious books are not as rare as you may think. According to wikipedia the following are classed as scripture/ religious texts/ holy books etc.