One of the oft heard criticisms theists make towards atheists is the complaint they do not believe in anything they cannot see. Indeed, atheists are often blasted for their lack of “faith” in the unseen, for their need of “proof” as the disciple “doubting” Thomas demanded. The spirit of this criticism can be found from a quote of Jesus in John 20:19, “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Once again we come across my favorite word “belief,” which must either be a mistranslated word, or if it is correct as we understand the word “belief” today, reveals an unenlightened side to the writer of the Gospel of John. I would not be surprised if this is the case, as I have already gone into several criticisms of the author of John, including his being an unapologetic propagandist of promoting Jesus of Nazareth as the one and only begotton son of God.
Propaganda is defined in Wikipedia as “a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.” Propaganda is the promotion of an agenda. Therefore, one who is a propagandist lacks integrity. I find it ironic self-admitted propagandists try to strengthen their “credibility” with weak statements, as from John 21:24, …”We know that his testimony is true.” It is as if the writer actually believes because he says his testimony is “true,” people will somehow believe it is. If anything, it only serves to weaken his credibility. Truth makes truthful words truthful, not weak statements such as this.
Any self-admitted propagandist can ultimately not be trusted, no matter what it is they are promoting, even if some of their words are truthful, as much of the words from the writer of the Gospel of John are. Nevertheless, the author of John shows his true colors for what he is trying to accomplish throughout his gospel, blatantly stating the fact he is trying to convince others of who Jesus of Nazareth is, and threatening dire consequences to those who “don’t believe.” That alone destroys the author’s overall credibility. The fact there are nuggets of Truth in his gospel does not negate the propagandizing he seeks to accomplish within it. In fact, the very best propagandists always include nuggets of Truth within their sales pitches to keep the general public enticed into believing what they are offering is the whole truth. This is nothing more than insidious trickery on the part of propagandists to manipulate and coerce the gullible masses.
But I digress. True faith is trust in what is reasonable based on experience, not an unquestioning, unwavering belief in outlandish claims which contradict everything we know to be true about reality. It is one thing to have faith in oneself, in another credible person, or in a process or program which has proven itself to us. It is quite another to put one’s faith in something which is backed in hearsay, self-interests, and conflict. This is what one does when putting their faith in the Judeo-Christian conception of God. Notice I referred to a conception of God, not faith in the true God, which is really what it means to live in the present moment, without fear. With the Judeo-Christian conception of God, we are putting our faith in a concept of a dualistic, and therefore conflicted notion of God, which has absolutely no credible backing factually for the existence of such a god, and when investigated truthfully, as we have done throughout these writings, reveals itself to be a complete fabrication which cannot possibly be true when it is known that God is not a separate “supreme being,” a fictional ego, but the ALL, the Oneness of All.
So, we see there is a vast difference between “stepping out” into the unknown, taking a reasonable, intelligent, calculated risk on something, and simply “believing” an outlandish claim because it satisfies deep-seated egotistical or emotional needs. The latter is what I would call “unreasonable faith” as opposed to “reasonable doubt.” Unreasonable faith is what religious belief is essentially all about. And it is precisely for this reason we need to look at religious belief with a healthy dose of skepticism. It is reasonable to doubt religious belief because religious belief justifies the ego, its desires and fears, nothing more. Anything which justifies the ego must be looked at very carefully since anything which serves the ego is a lie. Truth needs no justification or defense. Only the ego and its constructs need be defended. We have to always “follow the money” as it were – to see where the payoff is – to ask who is getting paid to support these claims. To say “all is One” is to make a truthful observation. Nobody is “getting paid.” Nobody in particular is benefitting from such a statement. It justifies and serves nobody and nothing. Because of this, we can see this is a truthful statement. To say “Only those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will go to Heaven, while those who do not accept Him will go to Hell,” is a justification of one’s beliefs, which is nothing more than a justification of oneself, which is the ego. Such a statement is an exclusive claim. Exclusive claims are made to simply justify oneself. Who is getting paid in this statement? The ego. Of course.
So if we “follow the money,” or watch the “offering plate,” we can see very clearly whether something serves Truth or if it serves the lie. Anything which justifies the ego, the exclusive, is of the lie. Anything which speaks to the Oneness of All, to the inclusive, is of Truth. Reasonable doubt is intelligent questioning, and we should always question what serves the ego first and foremost. Unreasonable “faith” is for the gullible, looking for a false means to meet their egotistical and emotional needs. The difference is as clear as night and day… black and white…