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My signature explained and other matters of interest
#1

My signature explained and other matters of interest
The eminent German philologist and lifelong student of eastern religions Max Müeller, chief editor of Sacred Books of the East (Oxford University Press, 1879-1910), a monumental, 50-volume English translation of the major texts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam that took thirty-one years to complete and wasn’t actually finished until the publication of its final volume ten years after his death in 1900—wrote in its Preface, “There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person.”

If that quote looks familiar, it may be because I adopted it long ago as the most insightful, spot-on comment on religion that I’d ever encountered in my sixty-odd years of studying how religion became part of the everyday human experience, and I use it on this site and others as my ‘signature’; which has led a few people to ask me why I chose it—particularly since I’m an atheist.

I chose it because I too believe, indeed have always believed—since as far back as I can remember—that the religious beliefs that I’d come to find so absurd and ultimately unworthy of me as a reasoning individual had somehow originally come about in a reasonable enough manner; that we humans were once as a child in the world, and then of course reasoned as a child, but as time went on, our reasoning had evolved along with everything else about us—except that some people who had a huge stake in keeping us in intellectual childhood, well, did their damndest to keep us from progressing past their long gone-stale, passè teachings.

I despise the very whiff of such individuals in my presence; but I’ve also come to love the story of humanity’s religious evolution—from its apparent beginnings some 40,000 years or 2000 generations ago right up to the present as I now know it, having spent several years researching the subject and written a book about it that’s due out on Amazon KDP by the end of business today, or tomorrow at the latest. Bearing the title Thoughts on the Natural Evolution of ‘Mary’, it zeroes in on the idea of the Great Mother during the Stone Age and subsequently traces her mythical figure all the way to the figure of Mary in Christianity by simply following the trail of religious art that leads from that day to this—ultimately backed up in the book by more than a thousand unimpeachable photographs. Hardcover and softcover editions will also be available later.

Hello there, Don. Thanks for allowing me to do this—since the information and argument that the book contains is bound to be of interest to both theists and atheists.
There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person. - Max Müeller (1823-1900)



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#2

My signature explained and other matters of interest
It's of no interest to anyone.
Test
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#3

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 08:34 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: It's of no interest to anyone.

You speak for everyone now?
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#4

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 09:29 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 08:34 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: It's of no interest to anyone.

You speak for everyone now?

I speak for everyone, and so does my wife!
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#5

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:09 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 09:29 PM)Dom Wrote: You speak for everyone now?

I speak for everyone, and so does my wife!
There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person. - Max Müeller (1823-1900)



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#6

My signature explained and other matters of interest
Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.
There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person. - Max Müeller (1823-1900)



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#7

My signature explained and other matters of interest
Rubaiyyat, when you hit the "reply" button on someone's post, and it shows up on the new screen, don't hit "post reply." Not yet. Go ahead and write what you want to say below the quoted part. Then hit "post reply" and it will come out right. It will show the other person's words, and your reply, in the same post. Much better that way.
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#8

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:27 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: Rubaiyyat, when you hit the "reply" button on someone's post, and it shows up on the new screen, don't hit "post reply."  Not yet.  Go ahead and write what you want to say below the quoted part.  Then hit "post reply" and it will come out right.  It will show the other person's words, and your reply, in the same post.  Much better that way.

Thanks.
There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person. - Max Müeller (1823-1900)



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#9

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:53 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:27 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: Rubaiyyat, when you hit the "reply" button on someone's post, and it shows up on the new screen, don't hit "post reply."  Not yet.  Go ahead and write what you want to say below the quoted part.  Then hit "post reply" and it will come out right.  It will show the other person's words, and your reply, in the same post.  Much better that way.

Thanks.

Wow!

Did you actually figure out the quote function or was this a mistake?
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#10

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:20 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.

This is altogether too funny.  We have Rubaiyyat who says he is atheist but seems very fond of Asian theisms as if they had no deities.  And 1 Sam15 which is obviously 1 Samuel 15 of the christian bible "Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord" both trying to pretend they are atheists.

I can't wait til one or both crack and suggest we atheists are "just plain wrong" in some way...  It will happen eventually.   ROFL2
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#11

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 10:17 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:20 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.

This is altogether too funny.  We have Rubaiyyat who says he is atheist but seems very fond of Asian theisms as if they had no deities.  And 1 Sam15 which is obviously 1 Samuel 15 of the christian bible "Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord" both trying to pretend they are atheists.

I can't wait til one or both crack and suggest we atheists are "just plain wrong" in some way...  It will happen eventually.   ROFL2


Keep reading 1 Samuel 15

Read about the awesome godthing these people worship
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#12

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 10:45 AM)1Sam15 Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 10:17 AM)Cavebear Wrote: This is altogether too funny.  We have Rubaiyyat who says he is atheist but seems very fond of Asian theisms as if they had no deities.  And 1 Sam15 which is obviously 1 Samuel 15 of the christian bible "Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord" both trying to pretend they are atheists.

I can't wait til one or both crack and suggest we atheists are "just plain wrong" in some way...  It will happen eventually.   ROFL2


Keep reading 1 Samuel 15

Read about the awesome godthing these people worship

Why? What do you think god is? Do you believe in a god? What would god do for me?
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#13

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 08:51 AM)1Sam15 Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:53 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Thanks.

Wow!

Did you actually figure out the quote function or was this a mistake?

A bit snarky?
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#14

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:53 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:27 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: Rubaiyyat, when you hit the "reply" button on someone's post, and it shows up on the new screen, don't hit "post reply."  Not yet.  Go ahead and write what you want to say below the quoted part.  Then hit "post reply" and it will come out right.  It will show the other person's words, and your reply, in the same post.  Much better that way.

Thanks.

Perfect.  Works the same way with double-quotes, as in this post.
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#15

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 11:35 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 10:45 AM)1Sam15 Wrote: Keep reading 1 Samuel 15

Read about the awesome godthing these people worship

Why?  What do you think god is?  Do you believe in a god?  What would god do for me?
The very next line is god promising to do a little light ethnic cleansing. God ends up getting pretty pissy, like usual, when people don't fully carry out it's murderous orders. They left some livestock alive from the massacre, and for this, god rejected saul and wished he'd never made him king.
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#16

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 11:39 AM)Dom Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 08:51 AM)1Sam15 Wrote: Wow!

Did you actually figure out the quote function or was this a mistake?

A bit snarky?

OMG Dom, I lol'd at this.
      Christianity: 
God meddles in the affairs of humans in a small part the Earth for 1500 years, giving one tribal society rules to live by.
He stops all direct contact for the next 2,000 years, leaving us with a metaphorical set of instructions.
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#17

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 11:56 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 11:35 AM)Cavebear Wrote: Why?  What do you think god is?  Do you believe in a god?  What would god do for me?
The very next line is god promising to do a little light ethnic cleansing.  God ends up getting pretty pissy, like usual, when people don't fully carry out it's murderous orders.  They left some livestock alive from the massacre, and for this, god rejected saul and wished he'd never made him king.

Well he is god. Can't he just undo what he did? 

Oh wait.....  Hmm
      Christianity: 
God meddles in the affairs of humans in a small part the Earth for 1500 years, giving one tribal society rules to live by.
He stops all direct contact for the next 2,000 years, leaving us with a metaphorical set of instructions.
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#18

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 11:56 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 11:35 AM)Cavebear Wrote: Why?  What do you think god is?  Do you believe in a god?  What would god do for me?
The very next line is god promising to do a little light ethnic cleansing.  God ends up getting pretty pissy, like usual, when people don't fully carry out it's murderous orders.  They left some livestock alive from the massacre, and for this, god rejected saul and wished he'd never made him king.

He hadn't grown his "omniscient" appendage yet.
Test
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#19

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-04-2023, 10:17 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:20 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.

This is altogether too funny.  We have Rubaiyyat who says he is atheist but seems very fond of Asian theisms as if they had no deities.  And 1 Sam15 which is obviously 1 Samuel 15 of the christian bible "Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord" both trying to pretend they are atheists.

I can't wait til one or both crack and suggest we atheists are "just plain wrong" in some way...  It will happen eventually.   ROFL2

Hi Cavebear! Haven't been around lately, since something went awry with the formatting of my book that was suppose to be released a week ago and I've been busy fixing that. But I just read your comment, liked it if only because I used to think that way, and figured you deserved an explanation.

I'm an atheist to the bone, and have been since my teens (I'm now 85). I believe in no god, nor any religion. But I do love philosophy, especially eastern philosophy, to which I gravitated at an early age; and when I hear you say that I'm very fond of eastern theisms, I have to wonder just how much you happen to know about eastern reasoning when it comes to religion. Buddhism, for instance, has no theism, no god, as any Buddhist will be happy to tell you. Which isn't to say that some folks calling themselves Buddhist without ever really understanding it don't worship all kinds of made-up gods for the same reasons that Christians have made up theirs; but it IS to say that the real, historical flesh-and-blood Indian prince Gautama, who came to be called 'the Buddha' because of certain philosophical beliefs, practices, and achievements--including the ultimate one of taking control of his own ego, or sense of 'I', and utterly destroying it so as to end all possibility of suffering, which ultimately launched Buddhism--didn't believe in gods, certainly never thought of himself as one, and was every bit as atheistic as you or I. Yes, others who needed theism in their lives because otherwise they weren't able to make sense of the world without it have since brought all kinds of gods into Buddhism, but no true Buddhist worships them. if you walked up to a Zen master and asked him about god, he might slap away your hand as you go to introduce yourself or hit you with his cane before quickly chasing you away as but another of the world's hopeless nitwits, OR he just might try to help you understand the truth by giving you a 'koan' to think about, such as "What is the sound of one had clapping?" Because the answer, you see--although you're supposed to figure it out for yourself, is that it makes no sound because it takes two hands to do that; and to the Zen master contemplating the world, the fact is that there's absolutely nothing that's 'other' in or about it--no god, especially. There's just you and the illusion of otherness that causes uncritical thinkers to reason about life in twos, or fall into the trap of dualistic reasoning. To a true Buddhist, the mind's creation of a god in order to satisfy its need to think dualistically is nothing but a child's brain-fart.

That said, I must tell you that I'm not a Buddhist; I just understand and appreciate Zen Buddhist reasoning--and consider it the highest form of Buddhism. If you wanted to put a label on me, you might call me an Advaita Vedantist, which is a form of Hinduism that as with Zen, philosophically arrives at the conclusion that there is no god, no 'otherness', but only an ultimate oneness about life. Brahmanic Hinduism, which is highly cerebral and philosophical whereas 'folk Hinduism is reasoning at the level of worshipping snakes and cows, allows that there are three basic forms of reasoning about the world. Two of them, known as Dvaita Vedanta and Qualified Dvaita, are dualistic in their reasoning; with the first believing that there's 'another' somewhere outside humanity's everyday world, a Creator to whom people may pray, make sacrifices to, expect occasional miracles from, and so forth; while the second sees the same duality about the world, but holds that this 'other', the Creator, no longer has anything to do with his creation, since when he created people, he instilled in them everything that they would ever need to take care of themselves, and so assuming that he's even still alive, he doesn't hear prayers, do miracles and all that.

The third is Advaita Vedanta, which loosely translates as 'non-dualism', or what we in the west would simply call 'monism' In Advaita thought, there's only the universe that has evolved into multiple forms, including us humans, and is continuing to evolve even as we're talking about it, and will continue to do so long after we're gone. And the reason that we humans can't understand what appears to be going on is that reason doesn't work outside a dual context, while the universe or whatever's going on is beyond duality. 

But I'm tired now and have to go to bed. See you around.
There never was a false god, unless you consider a child a false person. - Max Müeller (1823-1900)



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#20

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-11-2023, 04:13 AM)Rubaiyyat Wrote:
(04-04-2023, 10:17 AM)Cavebear Wrote: This is altogether too funny.  We have Rubaiyyat who says he is atheist but seems very fond of Asian theisms as if they had no deities.  And 1 Sam15 which is obviously 1 Samuel 15 of the christian bible "Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord" both trying to pretend they are atheists.

I can't wait til one or both crack and suggest we atheists are "just plain wrong" in some way...  It will happen eventually.   ROFL2

Hi Cavebear! Haven't been around lately, since something went awry with the formatting of my book that was suppose to be released a week ago and I've been busy fixing that. But I just read your comment, liked it if only because I used to think that way, and figured you deserved an explanation.

I'm an atheist to the bone, and have been since my teens (I'm now 85). I believe in no god, nor any religion. But I do love philosophy, especially eastern philosophy, to which I gravitated at an early age; and when I hear you say that I'm very fond of eastern theisms, I have to wonder just how much you happen to know about eastern reasoning when it comes to religion. Buddhism, for instance, has no theism, no god, as any Buddhist will be happy to tell you. Which isn't to say that some folks calling themselves Buddhist without ever really understanding it don't worship all kinds of made-up gods for the same reasons that Christians have made up theirs; but it IS to say that the real, historical flesh-and-blood Indian prince Gautama, who came to be called 'the Buddha' because of certain philosophical beliefs, practices, and achievements--including the ultimate one of taking control of his own ego, or sense of 'I', and utterly destroying it so as to end all possibility of suffering, which ultimately launched Buddhism--didn't believe in gods, certainly never thought of himself as one, and was every bit as atheistic as you or I. Yes, others who needed theism in their lives because otherwise they weren't able to make sense of the world without it have since brought all kinds of gods into Buddhism, but no true Buddhist worships them. if you walked up to a Zen master and asked him about god, he might slap away your hand as you go to introduce yourself or hit you with his cane before quickly chasing you away as but another of the world's hopeless nitwits, OR he just might try to help you understand the truth by giving you a 'koan' to think about, such as "What is the sound of one had clapping?" Because the answer, you see--although you're supposed to figure it out for yourself, is that it makes no sound because it takes two hands to do that; and to the Zen master contemplating the world, the fact is that there's absolutely nothing that's 'other' in or about it--no god, especially. There's just you and the illusion of otherness that causes uncritical thinkers to reason about life in twos, or fall into the trap of dualistic reasoning. To a true Buddhist, the mind's creation of a god in order to satisfy its need to think dualistically is nothing but a child's brain-fart.

That said, I must tell you that I'm not a Buddhist; I just understand and appreciate Zen Buddhist reasoning--and consider it the highest form of Buddhism. If you wanted to put a label on me, you might call me an Advaita Vedantist, which is a form of Hinduism that as with Zen, philosophically arrives at the conclusion that there is no god, no 'otherness', but only an ultimate oneness about life. Brahmanic Hinduism, which is highly cerebral and philosophical whereas 'folk Hinduism is reasoning at the level of worshipping snakes and cows, allows that there are three basic forms of reasoning about the world. Two of them, known as Dvaita Vedanta and Qualified Dvaita, are dualistic in their reasoning; with the first believing that there's 'another' somewhere outside humanity's everyday world, a Creator to whom people may pray, make sacrifices to, expect occasional miracles from, and so forth; while the second sees the same duality about the world, but holds that this 'other', the Creator, no longer has anything to do with his creation, since when he created people, he instilled in them everything that they would ever need to take care of themselves, and so assuming that he's even still alive, he doesn't hear prayers, do miracles and all that.

The third is Advaita Vedanta, which loosely translates as 'non-dualism', or what we in the west would simply call 'monism' In Advaita thought, there's only the universe that has evolved into multiple forms, including us humans, and is continuing to evolve even as we're talking about it, and will continue to do so long after we're gone. And the reason that we humans can't understand what appears to be going on is that reason doesn't work outside a dual context, while the universe or whatever's going on is beyond duality. 

But I'm tired now and have to go to bed. See you around.

I have a couple comparative religion books. So I know something about most religions including Eastern Asian ones.  Given that, I don't buy the general arguments of most eastern Asian religions as "not theist".  Some promote higher authorities just less in organization.  And yes, I understand that some beliefs there are more philosophical.  I sometimes think that Buddhists casually think of Buddha as "godlike".

I include Hinduism as "an Eastern Asian" theism.  They have specific deities.    

I looked up"Advaita Vedantist".  As far as I understand, the idea is that there is "illusoriness of the phenomenal world".  Which suggests that the world id not real.  And that seems somewhat theistic to me.  If the world seems sensate to me, but yet something causes sensations to me, them "something" is causing it outside of me and that would have to be a deity.  Which I don't expect exists.  So I think "reality" exists that I can sense.

I did not apply the label "Advaita Vedantist" to you, you did.  But still, if you believe in anything that depends on some higher power (and semi-mystical counts.  you are not atheist as I understand the term.

But I loved your thoughtful and detailed post!
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#21

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-11-2023, 05:27 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I looked up"Advaita Vedantist".  As far as I understand, the idea is that there is "illusoriness of the phenomenal world".  Which suggests that the world id not real.  And that seems somewhat theistic to me.  

Some scientists also arrived at the result that the world is not real.  The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It - Scientific American
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#22

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-03-2023, 10:09 PM)Dānu Wrote: I speak for everyone, and so does my wife!

(04-03-2023, 10:20 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.

It was a joke.
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#23

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-11-2023, 01:59 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-11-2023, 05:27 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I looked up"Advaita Vedantist".  As far as I understand, the idea is that there is "illusoriness of the phenomenal world".  Which suggests that the world id not real.  And that seems somewhat theistic to me.  

Some scientists also arrived at the result that the world is not real.  The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It - Scientific American

Well, I was getting more at the idea that "the mortal world" is basically just a temporary part of existence in theisms. That a god creates us, we live in a physical world for a few decades (in which we struggle to understand existence and ethics in total ignorance), and then the god decides whether to reward or punish us for eternity. Which sounds pretty sick when put that way... But it was about theism.

I get your broader point though. Is "the mortal world" itself unreal? I've read many articles (like the Scientific American one) that suggest that there is no actual reality to the universe. They are disturbing. The experiments and logic of them are hard to deny, yet personal sensory experience suggests to me that there must be a flaw in the logic.

Cogito ergo sum, and all that, right? If my cat claws my finger while I'm waving a toy around it, and I bleed, how can I just be imaging that? And if I am, what is doing the imaging? Am I an incorporeal mind in a closed box? Am I an AI? Am I a mote in god's brain? LOL!

I should think of an idea that can't be actually disproven. A Nobel Prize would look nice on my bookshelf. A golf trophy, a bowling trophy, a tennis trophy, a chess trophy, and oh BTW, a Nobel prize... Cool

Oh wait, that's been done. God. Wink

Not being sarcastic in any way, just having a bit of fun...
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#24

My signature explained and other matters of interest
(04-11-2023, 04:33 PM)rocinantexyz Wrote:
(04-03-2023, 10:09 PM)Dānu Wrote: I speak for everyone, and so does my wife!

(04-03-2023, 10:20 PM)Rubaiyyat Wrote: Someone elect or appoint you and your wife the new godhead? I thought we atheists were against all that.

It was a joke.

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#25

My signature explained and other matters of interest
This world is only temporary in some theistic versions of the world. In others, it's the real deal that even the gods live in. That's what makes greek mythology so consequential in it's own context, for example. The gods, like us, are playing for real stakes, and it's for keeps.

We talk and think about this stuff in shorthand that really only ever applies to the beliefs of our circumstantial birth. Abrahamism is a life denying religion and so, as abrahamists, we talk about religion as though it were all abrahamism...because that..too...is a claim of abrahamism.
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