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Archive for the ‘religion,’ Category

 

It is said religion is the opium for the masses. In Lotos-eaters Tennyson writes the effect of the lotos:

” Eating the Lotos day by day,

To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,

And tender curving lines of creamy spray;

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly

To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;

To muse and brood and live again in memory,…”

 

Poetic fancy of the poet however does not connect with reality as we know today. This is not how religion is practised.

The Scripture teaches us God is Love; good moslems similarly declare their Allah is compassionate. In that case what is the problem? Somewhere along the line prophets and their sayings are interpreted to mean entirely false. Whether God of the Jews or Allah of moslems religion has become synonymous with hate. In short religion has become the Achilles heel of mankind.

Through human understanding what can we know of love of God; or what is mercy? At least reason ought to teach us to try our best as human beings to demonstrate what love and compassion would mean. Would it not? In what way we can show holiness by some rituals? In India those who practice Jainism cover their mouth lest they swallow some little flies by mistake while yawning. However little do they see the millions of bacteria that float in the water they drink. It is impossible to match holiness of divine Being or be perfect in observing injunctions of prophets with regards to our cleanliness and diet. For the simple reason in a world of acid rain and tainted earth with various chemicals all our idea of cleanliness come with margin of error.

In Jonathan Swift’s immortal tale the central character Gulliver is brought to the land of Brobdingnag. It is written that he was repelled by the women of that land. They were monstrous in size compared to him. Their faces when magnified so much skin pores seemed to his scrutiny as moon craters! Matter of size brought about this change naturally. If we were to see as an eagle our eyes would require the size of an orange. To sum view of our world is limited by our human-ness. As a result our sense of beauty is affected; so must our understanding. How noble or mean is your God?

When Prophet Moses gave the Children of Israel the law, was it his understanding or that of God at fault?

Under the Law it was an eye for eye, a tooth for tooth. Shall we say under the Old Covenant the law represented a certain values but it was codified according to human understanding? It is of this St Paul writes to the Hebrews thus: ‘For the law made nothing perfect…(He.7:19) Instead It erected a screen between God and them. For instance during the Feast the Jews mistook the voice from heaven as thunder. (Jn.12:29) The Jewish nation lived by the law for a millennia or so and yet when God spoke, ‘I have both glorified it (name) and will glorify it again (vs.28)’ they understood it altogether in another sense.

Moses gave the law but with Jesus came the New Covenant. For Christians this New order supercedes the Old. Jesus brought grace and truth(Jn.1:17). When Jesus came to save the world he had a clear mandate. It went thus: turn the other cheek if one smites on your right cheek. He showed it in practice as well. Luke 9:51-56

Before he was to be crucified he wanted to visit Samaria. He sent an advance party to make arrangements and the people of Samaria refused them. When they told Jesus of their refusal John and James were furious and would have brought fire from heaven as Elias did. Jesus rebuked them saying, ‘they did not know what manner spirit they were of’. He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Jesus quietly led them to another village.

When I hear fellows casually use ‘Jihad’ to justify their criminal actions and mask foolish notion of global domination I can only say, their understanding is far off the mark. If they are misled, how much more foolish are their imams who preach hatred and violence as though it were a religious duty?

benny

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Man for whom abstract thinking is natural can always latch onto an idea, however impractical it may turn out in the end. Like the hero of Cervantes ideas turn always, blades one blowing this way and another in that way. History is such ideas creating a blur that only a fool would want to claim his idea is the best.

There is nothing heroic about taking on impossible if it is going to end in wholesale bloodshed. See the savage butchery recently perpetrated by the so called Daesh. They imagine they would thereby revive a Caliphate. Earlier  Joseph Stalin sent some millions to gulags and to death for creating a Worker’s paradise. How did it fare?

We only need consider Lenin’s idea of a Worker’s paradise when the Bolsheviks violently over threw the Tsarist regime. It was similar to a theocratic state John Calvin ushered in Geneva several centuries before. It did not work in Europe then; neither did it in Soviet Russia. Ideas are fine but man cannot stick to it all the way through. Did not the Allies set about ridding the post-war world of Totalitarian ideology? Nuremberg, the German city associated with the pageantry which the Nazi regime staged as they climbed to power was a potent symbol for the German nation. The Allies was sending a message loud and clear to the world. Nuremburg Trials was to be a show trial but as the legal process went about its rounds there was a perception among the Western powers that Soviet Union was the Threat that they needed to thwart. After all did not they dismantle the Nazi apparatus root and all? The US saw to that scientists who had helped Hitler’s war efforts were smuggled out to their country under Operation Paperclip*. V2 rocket program soon would provide the nucleus for the space war that came in play in the 60s. It was not surprising that the Trial of the century evaporated in the hustle and bustle of meeting the Cold War in offing.

Man has capacity to develop an idea like a Nuclear bomb to bring the WWII quickly to a halt. Neither his foresight and hindsight do match evenly. Of this we see even now. The Allies are at presented seized of the fact the Jihadi elements may lay hands on a dirty nuclear bomb. It has been thus progress that man cobbled up in the many innovations, has fared. Progress without exception has proved false.

Man is loath to turn 180 degrees from an idea, to which he has sold himself as well in which his experience also gives him certain pointers. Though failed in practice he trusts in his own power to pull it off. After the demise of the Imperial Rome, under Constantine the Great and Charlemagne (the Holy Roman Empire) the idea has been tried; Under Mussolini it was revived to no avail. Each idea and those who stake their legitimacy on its basis must cope with changed circumstances. In France the Second Empire under Napoleon III was a fiasco. He did not anticipate the revolutionary spirit of Europe and emergence of Germany under Bismarck. The events across the globe never stand still but like group waves negotiate with new ones where energy is passed around. Who shall cash in on these transactions by means of war, religion and cultural trade off remains to be seen. Pagan Rome under Constantine underwent a sea-change. Christianity became the state religion. The split between Rome and Constantinople as a result of political upheavals, became further weakened: The Church of Rome and the Greek Orthodox Church of the East would no longer come as one due to the  doctrinal differences. At present the idea of Caliphate like the idea of Imperial idea of Rome is doomed if lessons of history are of any guide. Cashing in on the demise of an old order of Byzantine Empire the hordes of Saracens, Moors and Arabs created a Caliphate that died its natural death. Those who are beating the dead donkey shall soon know what it is to stop the tide engulfing them from all across the globe.

benny

* Operation Paperclip (1949–1990) was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which more than 1,500 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were brought to the United States from Nazi Germany and other countries for employment in the aftermath of World War II. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War. One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as to inhibit post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities. The Soviet Union had competing extraction programs known as “trophy brigades” and Operation Osoaviakhim. (ack:wikipedia)

 

 

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Bangladesh’s anti-terrorism unit said it had arrested on Monday the main suspect in the killing of a U.S. blogger who was hacked to death in Dhaka last week in the latest attack on critics of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation.

Forces from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Farabi Shafiur Rahman, who was previously jailed for his ties to the extremist Hizbut Tahrir Islamist group, at a bus stop in Dhaka, a RAB spokesman told reporters.

The spokesman said Farabi had confessed to threatening to kill blogger Avijit Roy. Farabi was still being interrogated.

Roy, an engineer of Bangladeshi origin, was killed by machete-wielding assailants on Thursday while returning from a book fair. His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed suffered head injuries and lost a finger. She remains in hospital.

The police said Farabi was arrested in 2013 for social media comments that supported the murder of another blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, but he was later released on bail. Last year, Farabi posted on Facebook: “It’s a holy duty of Bangalee Muslims to kill Avijit”, the police added.’

Holy duty of anyone who professes faith in a religion is to save and nurture lives, men and animals included. There are some 1.5 billions of Moslems world wide. Hardcore radical Moslems who espouse violence as the means to profess their belief is merely 250,000 or so. (I am not quoting exact figures) It is this lunatic fringe that hits the headlines while the pious believers go about their daily grind adding what is possible to the community in a positive manner. So it is not silent majority but the terrorists  that have come to misrepresent the religion. Tolerance, moderation, equity, justice all the virtues that the Prophet has demonstrated with his life and in writings have been thrown overboard by these misguided elements. The saying ‘A fly in the apothecary’s ointment spoils the whole contents’ sounds apt here. Since moderates prefer not to draw the ire of the Jihadists we may conclude that the Jihadists have won by default. This minority does not represent the religion. Secondly and of vital importance is their practice or Sunnat. In spirit and example their doings have nothing remotely linking to the teachings of the prophet. He said that believers should not be punished with fire since it was only reserved for the final judgment. When one hears ISIS* trying to justify the brutal murder of the Jordanese flier by citing some cleric of the 13th century one may be sure it is a fraud. Such brutal edicts historically coincided with the falling off the Islamic hegemony under Mongol invasion. Having failed to live up to the Prophet’s teachings failure has to be laid on someone else.  With such stranglehold on intellectual ferment of the Moslem scholars what has the clerics achieved? What you see is a consequence of change in direction. Neither their religion nor their political ambitions ever found feet again.

Greatness of Prophet Mohammed or Buddha or Gandhii is in their ability to forgive and make peace with those who have chosen to disagree in the most vituperative manner. Of course we need not expect in the midgets who thrive in hate speeches such nobility. They prefer to slaughter the victims with a machete as occurred in Bangladesh.

*

IS not only misreads the texts it cites, most clerics say, it also ignores Quranic verses and a long body of clerical scholarship requiring mercy, preservation of life and protection of innocents, and setting out rules of war — all of which are binding under Islamic Shariah law.

Many mainstream clerics compare the group to the Khawarij, an early sect that was so notorious for “takfir,” or declaring other Muslims heretics for even simple sins, that it was rejected by the faith. The Islamic State group denies that, but it draws heavily from 20th-century theories of “takfir” developed by hard-liners.

(ack: AP news -How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say’ of March 2,2015 reprinted in Yahoo.com news)

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The Scriptures tell us Moses led the children of Israel through the wilderness. Wisdom of the Most High dwells in humility. Moses was the humblest of all men. God chose him to be his spokesman. But he tried to shirk the responsibility saying he was slow of speech. God patiently tried to buck him up by signs and yet he would rather not. Consequently God let Aaron serve as proxy. “ And thou shall speak to him, and put words in his mouth. (Ex.4:15) ” Later when Moses was long in coming from the mount we read that Aaron complied with the demands of the people to make gods that should lead them. It was a golden calf (Ex.32:4). When Aaron built an altar before the calf, his complicity in making glory of the Lord God in the likeness of a calf was complete.

Any religion that overlooks the precise arrangement of people and forces acting on them is in danger of being quite contrary. Take for instance Islam. The Prophet wanted each Moslem family to be a miniature state in which the father was to be the priest, instructor and law. The Prophet had clearly seen the abuses that had crept into the two other major religions of his time. The rule of the monks and rabbis was to be avoided in the Third Way he proposed. No clergy was intended by him.
If we want to know why Islam has become a thorny problem in the world look at the way the Mullahs have usurped the role of father of family. No sooner the glorious prophet was dead succession for the mantle of the prophet divided the religion. It was never the same. Ultimately flaw in religion surfaces. God’s the first two commandments enjoin the believers to honor God the Father as well as their earthly parents. You disregard the strict hierarchy and you are in peril. Europe may boast about the Enlightenment and Rational Spirit but it is all exercise in confusion. Children of Islam take pride in their religion of Peace but in allowing Imams and Mullahs to cut and paste the intent and words of the Prophet stealthily has made the religion now a byword for religion of hate. Where do you think this will end?

benny

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If we wish to colonize Mars in some distant future it may not be a far fetched idea. Teleportation of humans is a giant leap but as Niels Armstrong said, a small step’ has been already achieved. Quantum teleportation is the moving of quantum data from one location to another without having to travel the distance between them. Have qbits will travel to paraphrase a TV series in my youth.

Teleportation in general sense does away with constraints of space and time. Think today as exchange of information. We sometimes have that gut feeling and it is later proved out to be right. Or we make our needs known to God and later we may say our prayers were heard. It is borne out in the way our needs were met. We need not prove if God exists or not. But information has been exchanged just the same. Quantum entanglement as I look at it is one way Science underpins my faith using quantum mechanics. In classical physics light may open up as a glorious sunrise and with the Psalmist I say it is revealing the glory of God. Only that light is a symbol for the nature and workings of the supreme Being.

What is faith but knowing certain exchange of information could exist outside proof between either A or B?

For example, if you and a friend have two playing cards — the ace of spades and the ace of hearts — and you each blindly pick one, walk into different rooms and then look at the card in your hand, you’ll both know instantly know what card your friend has. It’s that kind of instantaneous awareness between two points — instead of cards, think spin states of an electron — that physicists call teleportation because the data point doesn’t require you to observe it directly or have someone send it back for confirmation.

ii

A research team out of the lab of Professor Nicolas Gisin in the physics department at the University of Geneva achieved teleportation of the quantum state of a photon — in this case, it’s known as the photon’s polarization — to a crystal-encased photon more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away. The distance breaks the previous record of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) set 10 years ago by the same team using the method. This marks the latest success in a series of experiments the group, led by physicist Félix Bussières, has been conducting over the last decade in an effort to better understand quantum data transfer with ever-newer technology.

The results, which were achieved in March, were published in the journal Nature Photonics on September 21. (ack: cnet of Sept 23,’14)

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The Turing machine, developed by Alan Turing in the 1930s, is a theoretical device that consists of tape of unlimited length that is divided into little squares. Each square can either hold a symbol (1 or 0) or be left blank. A read-write device reads these symbols and blanks, which gives the machine its instructions to perform a certain program. Does this sound familiar? Well, in a quantum Turing machine, the difference is that the tape exists in a quantum state, as does the read-write head. This means that the symbols on the tape can be either 0 or 1 or a superposition of 0 and 1; in other words the symbols are both 0 and 1 (and all points in between) at the same time. While a normal Turing machine can only perform one calculation at a time, a quantum Turing machine can perform many calculations at once.

The Godhead in the Trinity is as God the Father God the Son and God the Spirit. In a quantum computing God can be as Father the Son and as the Spirit. Think of a polygon box in which each side can be opened. You open one side you get God as the Father and you open another you get God the Son and so on.  There is a randomness and superpositions of values assigned normally to a symbol. When we read in the Book of Revelation we need to understand ‘I am Alpha and Omega’  it is not some  juggling of words but quantum nature of cosmos.

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Today’s computers, like a Turing machine, work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. Quantum computers aren’t limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, orqubits, which can exist in superposition. Qubits represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor. Because a quantum computer can contain these multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers.

This superposition of qubits is what gives quantum computers their inherent parallelism. According to physicist David Deutsch, this parallelism allows a quantum computer to work on a million computations at once, while your desktop PC works on one.  When Jesus says the kingdom of God is within you  it demonstrates parallelism. From a moral standpoint secular world and moral world are parallel in which any one must be able to read from the other. (How StuffWorks/How quantum computers works-by  and )

benny

(ack: How Stuff Works)

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Hasidic Judaism is not one movement, but a collection of separate individual groups with some commonality. There are approximately 30 larger Hasidic groups, and several hundred minor groups. Though there is no one version of Hasidism, individual Hasidic groups often share with each other underlying philosophy, worship practices, dress (borrowed from local cultures), and songs (borrowed from local cultures). The word means “piety” or loving kindness and it is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and was founded in the 18th century Eastern Europe by Rabbi Issrael Baal Shem Tov as reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. His emphasis was on redemption for the individual in the present ,the here and now. Compare this with St.Pauline dictum:’Today is the day of Salvation’. Hasidim worshiped God not only in prayer and study, but at work and play. Their style was to make a song and dance about it literally!
Kabbalah and Rabbinic Judaism has different views of human sexuality. The former saw humanity in a more romantic light than the other.Rabbinic interpretations of the Torah is called the Mishna.
“Know whence you came: from a putrefying drop; and whither you are going: to a place of dust, worm and maggots.” Kabbalah on the other hand views man as the last highest of the divine emanation.(Isaac Luria)
Evil came into being and became intermixed with good at the moment of creation, when God’s masculine and female aspects became separated. This concept of ‘Ardhanari'( the concept of half male and female principle in godhead is also found in Hinduism)
When these aspects came as one it signified God’s wholeness. Kabbalah would denote denote the glory of god as shekinah (from Shachan meaning presence of God in human events. In my opinion any man who conducts himself from highest motives that stem from his moral sense, and where his own personal fortunes are at stake giving the glory of God precedence over his own, has God as his friend.(ack: wikipedia-Hasidic Judaism)
benny

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