Be a Prophet
Unto Your Own
was a sad day for me. I broke up with my girlfriend even though we both
loved each other and we both thought we are match made in heaven.
I want to talk about my personal life in public? First, because it gets
your attention -- People like soap operas. Second, because it has to do
with religion and I have some questions to ask from you if you
are religious. It doesn’t matter what religion or cult you believe, if
you are a believer then please read on and answer my questions.
I met this woman a few
months ago. It was love at the first sight for both of us. She called
and we dated. We soon discovered we are both in love and it did not take
us long to speak about marriage. I don’t think I ever met a woman I
liked this much.
The other day she
mentioned that she practiced A Course in Miracles. I had no idea of this
thing and decided to research it. What I found was disturbing. I spent
the whole day studying and writing about it. I emailed my 10
page findings to her and invited her to discuss her beliefs with me.
I highlighted many
absurdities that I found in the Course and at the end I concluded that
the Course in Miracles is indeed a Course in Brainwashing. She took
offence and instead of countering my arguments, decided to cut off our
relationship. I called again and reminded her of the promise we made to
each other to never cut the line of communication and discuss any
disagreements that may arise between us. She said that does not apply to
her belief and her faith should not be subject of scrutiny. I reminded
her of the words of the founder of the Course who wrote, “Nothing
real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.”
 and said, if she believed in those words then she should not feel
threatened to discuss her beliefs. None of that had any effect on her.
When we said good-bye, I
saw the sadness in her eyes. Like me, she was also pained. But her faith
was stronger than her love for me. In fact her faith was stronger than
anything else including reason and hence she was genuinely unable to get
herself rid of the claws of faith even though it hurt her.
Our love became the latest
casualty of faith. But sadly we are not the only victims. Parents lose
their children to other beliefs who become alienated and even hostile,
marriages break down, families are torn asunder, friendships are soured
and relationships are destroyed all thanks to beliefs. The question is
are these beliefs doing any good or are they causing more harm?
is the purpose of religion?
The word religion is
derived form the Latin “re-ligar”. It means to re unite, to fasten
to bring together. Do religions really live up to their name? Do they
bring people together? Do they unite people with God?
Let us answer these
Both history and
experience prove that religions do not bring people together. Religions
are the major cause of disunity and hate amongst people. Religions
divide people into “us” vs. “them”. “Us” are the good ones,
the chosen ones, the pious ones, and the ones that have found the truth.
“Them” are the bad ones, the ones who are ignorant, who reject the
Truth and who need our guidance. Most
wars were fought in the name of religion. Because faith is a strong
feeling, the hate that it engenders is deadly.
The next question is
whether religion unites man with God? How can God be pleased if we
humans are not united with each other? How can we be closer to God by
getting apart from one another? In what ways we can love God if we stop
loving our fellow human beings?
Faith and Reason
religion is from God shouldn’t it be rational? Isn’t reason from God
too? If so, why would God send religions that cannot stand the test of
reason? If a belief does not stand the test of reason isn’t it proof
that it is not from God?
people do not think that way. Martin
"Reason is the
greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual
things, but--more frequently than not --struggles against the Divine
must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot
all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put
out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God." 
Giving preference to faith
over reason is called fideism. Fideism is the belief that if faith and
reason conflict, one should take the side of faith.
Martin Luther was not the
only fideist. Fideism is in fact the predominant view of all the
religionists: among them: Tertullian, al-Ghazali, and Kierkegaard.
Some religions pay lip
service to reason. The Baha’i faith for example, states that religion
must be in harmony with reason or it is superstition. Very noble
teaching indeed! Yet in my debates with Baha’is I have come across
people who told me if a manifestation of God says day is night and night
is day we should agree with him rather than believe our own eyes.
Baha’is believe that Muhammad was a messenger of God. I asked them for
proof. They have no other proof than the fact that Baha’u’llah (the
prophet of the Baha’is) has said so. The question is that if a
manifestation of God says day is night and night is day doesn’t this
prove that he is not a manifestation of God but a liar? Why we humans
want to submit our reason to someone who tells us such an absurdity? How
can religion, if from God, contradict reason that is also from God?
Religion: God's Game of
Hide and Seek.
I would also like to ask
the religionists to tell me why we need religion at all? If God wanted
to guide mankind why he does not communicate with all of us directly?
Why he needs an intermediary? Allegedly God has been sending messengers
to guide mankind for ages. But the experience shows that this way of
guidance has not worked out. Not everyone can see who is the true
messenger and who is the false one? Where are the credentials of these
ambassadors of God to man? Since there are no established and
universally agreed upon criteria to distinguish between the true
messengers and the false ones, many impostors have surfaced, claiming to
be messengers of God and misleading many. They take advantage of this
loophole and fool many sincere people. Isn’t it time that God realized
that there is a flaw in the way he guides humans? If God wanted to guide
mankind why he would play hide and seek and puzzles with us? Why he does
not come clean and just, as he reveals himself to a few prophets and
messengers, he does not reveal himself to everyone? Why he puts us in
the middle of this endless maze, with no clue how to find which one of
these thousands of self proclaimed prophets show us the right way?
There are tens of
thousands of religions and cults, big and small, each claiming to be the
true one, each telling us that they have the right path to God,
salvation, nirvana or whatever. Which one is the right one? Our lives do
not suffice to study them all. Why God plays tricks on us? Why he does
not make his religion clear and obvious for everyone to see, so no one
can fall prey to the counterfeits and “wolves in sheep clothing”?
None of the religions are clear. No one deliberately wants to follow a
false religion. The reason they do is because these religions, the right
ones and the false ones, all look alike. The difference is obvious only
to those who are brainwashed with them. To the rest, they look the same.
If there is a God, isn’t
the very fact that he is confusing us humans and dividing us, proof
enough that he is a capricious, unreliable and unjust God? Why should we
worship an unjust God? This whole business of “guiding humanity” has been
nothing but failure. More people have been mislead by false prophets
than guided by the real ones. Isn’t it time that God realized his ways
of guiding mankind, i.e. sending prophets, with no other proof except
their own words is wrong and devise a better way? And for us humans,
isn't it better not be guided at all knowing we have to be careful and
find our own way than being misguided and blindly follow an impostor who
may take us into our destruction?
Imagine you are lost. You
ask for direction. A group of people approach you and each give you a
different direction? How would you know which one is telling the truth?
If one of them was a police and you could recognize him with his uniform
and badge you certainly would trust him first. But where are the
credentials of these messengers of God? They all look the same, they all
utter good words, they all promise heaven. There are thousands of them,
which one is the right one? Why did God forget this important detail? Why he
did not make his messengers recognizable to everyone?
Reason is Divine
The truth is that God HAS
given us humans a foolproof and safe method of guidance. That method is
Reason. Through Reason we can find our own way. We can distinguish right
from wrong. Why do we need religions or prophets to tell us what is right
and what is wrong when we can find that on our own?
When I ask religious
people to tell me why do they have chosen their religions, they wield the
good teachings of their prophets as the evidence that they were from
God. My question to these people is if you know that these teachings are
good, and you are attracted to your religion because of them, why do you
need to follow someone else to tell you what you already know? My
girlfriend objected when I called A Course of Miracles a cult and said
the Course is about love and forgiveness. Do we really need to follow
someone else to tell us love and forgiveness are good? Don’t the rest
of us who do not follow this cult know about it? How much of that
"learned" love and forgiveness benefited her to salvage her
love for me? As far as I know, she would be still my girlfriend if she
had not been indoctrinated by this "love and forgiveness".
This reminds me of a story
that someone wrote in our forum about a little boy who goes to ants'
land and sees that the peace ants are preparing themselves to wage war
against the war ants. The boy asks the king of the peace ants why do they
want to make war? The king of the peace ants responds, "my people
believe in peace but the war ants do not believe in peace. We have to make war
against them so everyone believes in peace."
The point is that if we
have to use our own judgment to determine which religion is from God
then our judgment must be superior to those religions. You can only
judge a book if you know more than the author of that book. And if we
are intelligent enough to judge which self-proclaimed prophet is real
and which one is an impostor then we do not need any prophet to guide us.
We already know the difference between right and wrong and each one of
us could be a prophet and a guide to ourselves.
religions tell us what we like, and know already to be good, they also
teach us many bad things. Once they have our allegiance they numb our
intelligence and lull us into accepting every absurdity as the word of
God. Voltaire said, “Those who make you believe in absurdities,
make you commit atrocities”. Religions are a mix bag of good and bad.
The good, we already know because they are commonsense and they are the
reason for which we are drawn to these religions in the first place.
They work as baits. We like them, because goodness is innate in human
nature. But once we bite, we are hooked. Then we are at their mercy. We
can no more fight against the bad teachings that they impose on us.
Our will is taken away and we become powerless to resist their
onslaught at our intelligence. We become blind to the gobbledygook that
they teach us and in fact become apologists of their evil teachings and
dismiss them as unimportant.
The Course in Miracles
uses a very standard method of brainwashing.
Workbook for Students [of the Course] consists of 365 lessons, an
exercise for each day of the year. This one-year training program begins
the process of changing the student's mind and perception. "
In the introduction to the
Course we read:
only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them,
and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively
resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do
not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the
workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be,
use them. Nothing more than that is required (Workbook, p. 2).” 
This is precisely how all
of us got indoctrinated in our beliefs at childhood. We emulated our
parents mindlessly and without questioning the validity of their
beliefs. Eventually their beliefs became our beliefs.
Cults brainwash; but
aren’t all the believers brainwashed? Can anyone of you believers
stand the scrutiny of your faith with reason?
The Inner Voice:
My girlfriend said that
she does not need questioning her beliefs because it makes her feel
good. The truth is that the “feel good factor” is subjective. Not
all the religions and cults are true. But the followers of all these
religions and cults defend their beliefs because of the feel good
factor. If that belief did not feel good they would leave it.
A participant to one of
our forums in FFI wrote:
“The bottom line as to
why people 'know' a Prophet is a Prophet is that something 'just tells
them'. I cannot in all honesty give you a rational, logical,
reasonable or scientific reason why I accept God, Buddha, Krishna,
Muhammad, Baha'u'llah or Zoroaster any more than I can tell you why I
know I have a spirit.”
The problem is that this
“something”, also tells many people very bad things. The
practitioners of the Heaven’s Gate who committed mass suicide, the
followers of Shoko Asahara who poisoned the people in the subways of
Tokyo or the Islamic terrorists who brought down the towers of the WTC
killing 3000 innocent people also listened to the susurration of that
“something” within them. There are billions of people who believe in
religions that you deem to be false and yet they, just like you, follow
that something that tells them it is true. That something, if not backed
by reason, could be extremely misleading and extremely dangerous.
Is There Life After Religion?
So far I asked you the
question why do we need religion? Now you may probably want to ask me how
can we find our way without the religion?
The answer is simple. All
we have to do is to follow the Golden Rule. Therein lie the answer to
humanity’s moral and ethical quandary. “Do onto others, as you would
have them do onto you.” Or... “Do not treat others the way you do
not want to be treated”. This is the essence of all guidance mankind
needs. With this Golden Rule you can be your own prophet. Apply it in
your life and you will never err.
What about other
philosophies and beliefs that come with religions? Religions explain the
purpose of life, why we are here and where we go from here?
Well, the Golden Rule does
not answer those questions.
However, are the answers
provided by these religions correct? Each one of these religions answer
those questions differently. Certainly not all of them can be true when
they are so contradicting each other. The question is which one is
better? The answer is, just throw the coin. None of them provide a
logical, scientific explanation of God, the purpose of life, afterlife
or reincarnation. They are all based on conjectures, fantasies and
suppositions. If you need fantasies just make your own. Be a
do-it-yourselfer – make your own religion. You already
know how to legislate good ethical laws using the Golden Rule. You can
now complete your personal religion by fantasizing about the purpose of
life, God or no God and be as imaginative and as creative as you wish.
Find a reason for which you have come to this world that best suits you
and makes you feel good. But keep your philosophies to yourself. They
are only good for you. Do not try to indoctrinate others with your
fantasies. Since the explanation of the mysteries of life given by
religions are mere fantasies and there is no way to prove any of them,
there is no reason that your fantasy should be any less valid that
Religions are the
inventions of eccentric men (or women), charlatans, impostors, liars,
narcissists and psychopaths. They all tell you what you already know is
good and when you are hooked they teach you evil and make you hate your
brother and do evil. Do not follow the religion of charlatans. Make your
own religion, be your own prophet and chart your own guidance. God gave
you a brain to be a prophet unto your own self. Use your brain and make
the best religion that ever was.