II. Scientists must create operational definitions of the terms
they wish to use so they can communicate effectively with themselves, with
other scientists, and with nonscientists. 
Operational definitions are definitions which present the observations and/or measurements [descriptions] of the people/things/events who/which are natural phenomena; operational definitions can be used to define complex and abstract concepts, principles and techniques. For example, children often use sentence structures of "_____ [concept/principle being defined] is when _____ [observation/measurement/description of the actions/reactions of people/things/events being operationally defined]." A child may create an operational definition of love in the following way: "Love is when someone says they like you and they do nice things for you and with you ." The child's observation/measurement/description of the actions/reactions of someone who loves provides an operational definition of the term love .
III. Scientists must follow the scientific method in determining
the causality of people/things/events. 
IV. Scientists must list the scientific principles they have determined to be scientific principles/laws of nature, so other people can know what the scientists claim to be knowledge. Moreover, scientists must publish/present the observations and measurements of natural phenomena (units of study) by which they created and by which they confirmed/verified their causal hypotheses in order that other scientists may replicate/duplicate their observations and measurements to confirm/deny their causal hypotheses and claims of scientific principles.
Science began when Hippocrates, the Greek father of philosophy, observed a man suffering from what we now know as epilepsy and rejected the claims of priests that the cause of the victim's condition was his inability to reject demons and his consequent possession by demons. Hippocrates thought epilepsy was caused by natural causes, not supernatural or mystical causes, and he began to look for those natural causes. He created a school of thought which became known as philosophy, which was the first science from which came medicine and all other sciences. Hippocrates is still remembered for the Hippocratic oath taken by modern doctors. 
Key to Hippocrates' thinking was his determination to reject the authority of priests and to observe people/things/events in the real world to learn the causality of natural phenomena. Key to the Code of Science and the scientific method is reliance upon the observation of and the experimentation with people/things/events and the rejection of any claims of scientific knowledge not based upon observation or experimentation.
When scientists are required to provide detailed descriptions of their observations and experiments, other scientists can replicate their observations and experiments and thereby confirm their claims of scientific knowledge. By this process of constant checking of claims of knowledge, the Code of Science and the scientific method produce an increasing body of scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge created by scientists who follow the Code of Science and the scientific method may overturn the claims of “experts” or “authorities” including priests. That has happened throughout the centuries. People must have the truth—the facts—for making rational decisions, and the Code of Science including the scientific method offers a way to discover and learn the truth/facts that is more reliable than the claims of those who refuse to observe and experiment with the real world people/things/events who/which are natural phenomena.
A desire is wanting a person/thing/event.
A fear is not-wanting a person/thing/event.
Desires and fears are interrelated by being opposites: the opposite of the desire to live is the fear of dying; the opposite of the desire to make money is the fear of not making money, or of losing money; the desire to be loved is the opposite of the fear of not being loved.
A priority is the importance of each desire or fear compared to all other desires and fears. A priority is a desire for the achievement of a desire: how much one wants to achieve this desire compared to that desire.
The term desire(s) can be used to represent/designate all desires, fears and priorities for convenience.
The internal causes of an individual's behavior [actions and reactions which are effects] are his desires, fears and priorities [his mind]. That is, an individual's desires, fears and priorities cause the effects which are his actions and reactions which are his behavior.
Behavior is the individual's actions and reactions which are caused by his desires, fears and priorities.
Personality is the expression of an individual's desires, fears and priorities by his actions and reactions. Personality must be observable to the individual and other people. Personality must include actions and reactions—movements. Rocks do not have personalities because they do not reveal their desires, fears and priorities in actions and reactions [unless, as a stretch, one wants to claim that rocks have no desires to move and thus have immobile/immovable personalities]. Personality is thus what a person says and does. Personality is a style, a way of acting and reacting, a way of doing, caused and controlled by his dears, fears and priorities.
Physiological desires are desires which are unlearned, organic, inherent in the body, genetic, and involuntary [the individual has little or no control over them]. They include desires to survive, to eat, to drink, to eliminate wastes, to find shelter, to find warmth or cooling, to reproduce, to enjoy sex, to find companionship. Physiological desires are unlearned, organic—specific to each organ; they are involuntary because they are inherent in the body, because they are genetic
Psychological desires are desires which are learned in the interaction
of physiological desires with environmental choices [and, in some cases, mental
choices], hedonic [in contrast to organic], not inherent in the body, not
genetic, and [are] voluntary [the individual has some control over them].
Psychological desires are first general, then specific.
The development of psychological desires is thus and therefore a two-step process.
We thus see a hierarchy of desires .
II. General Psychological Desire: For Tonics.
White Milk Seven-Up
Chocolate Milk Pepsi
I. Physiological Desire: To drink a liquid.
Proactive desires are desires for achieving people/things/events.
Reactive desires are desires for reacting to achieving/not achieving people/things/events.
Reactive desires include desires for affective reactions and impulsive reactions .
Affective reactions are feelings, either physiological feelings as sensations of pleasure or pain, or psychological feelings as emotions of happiness or unhappiness as sadness, anger and/or fear.
Impulsive reactions are desires to act and/or react, either constructively or destructively.
Constructive impulsive reactions include seeking proactive desires which can be achieved and which are appropriate [they achieve physiological desires] and negotiating common desires with other people to avoid conflicts.
Destructive impulsive reactions are linked to emotions and include the following:
A positive subjective reactive desire for reacting to a positive realization (achievement) of a proactive desire includes a desire for a positive affective reaction of the emotion of happiness and a desire for a constructive impulsive reaction to celebrate.
A positive objective reactive desire for reacting to a negative realization (non-achievement) of a proactive desire includes a desire for control over negative affective reactions of the emotions of unhappiness as sadness, anger and/or fear and a desire for a constructive impulsive reaction to solve the problem of achieving the proactive desire or to develop another proactive desire to replace it.
A negative subjective reactive desire for reacting to a negative
realization (non-achievement) of a proactive desire includes a desire
for a negative affective reaction of the emotions of unhappiness as sadness,
anger and/or fear and a desire for a destructive impulsive reaction to (sadness)
give up hope (become depressed), (anger) to attack oneself and/or someone
else, and/or (fear) to run away from oneself or someone else.
Physiological feelings are organic and involuntary reactions to realizations of physiological desires [organic reactions].
Physiological feelings/sensations are experienced along a continuum.
Psychological feelings/emotions are hedonic and voluntary reactions to realizations of psychological desires [hedonic reactions].
1. Desire: _____ (?) [Wanting a person/thing/event]
NOTE: A desire is a wanting for a person/thing/event; a fear is a not-wanting for a person/thing/event; a priority is the importance of each desire/fear compared to all other desires and fears.
A. Proactive Desire: _____ (?) [Wanting a person/thing/event.]
1. Specific Proactive Desire:_____ (?) [For a specific person/thing/event]
2. General Proactive Desire: _____ (?) [For a generic person/thing/event]
B. Reactive Desire [For reacting to not achieving the proactive desire]:
1. Objective Reactive Desire:
A. Affective Reaction: None: Control Negative Emotions.
B. Impulsive Reaction: Constructive: To achieve or to change the proactive desire.
2. Subjective Reactive Desire:
A. Affective Reaction:
Sadness [Perception of a loss or of no hope of achieving the proactive desire].
Anger [Perception of a violation of an expectation, a promise, a contract,
a law, or an ethic].
Fear [Perception of a threat of a loss, an accident, an injury, an illness,
a genetic defect,
or a verbal and/or physical attack].
B. Impulsive Desire:
(Sadness) To give up the hope of achieving the proactive desire,
(Anger) To attack someone:
B. Someone else.
(Fear) To run away from someone:
B. Someone else.
2. Realization : _____ (?) [The person/thing/event achieved/not
NOTE: A realization is the achievement or nonachievement of a desire or the avoidance or nonavoidance of a fear; a realization is positive if it is the achievement of a desire or the avoidance of a fear, and a realization is negative if it is a nonachievement of a desire or the nonavoidance of a fear.
B. But if the realization is negative because the proactive desire is not achieved (the person/thing/event is not achieved), then there is a problem, and the individual will then react in accord with his reactive desire:
Condition : If I achieve my proactive desire for a person/thing/event,
Consequence : then I will react with my positive subjective reactive desire for a positive affective reaction of happiness and a constructive impulsive reaction to celebrate.
Condition : If I do not achieve my proactive desire for
Consequence : then I will react with my positive objective reaction for control of my negative affective reactions of the emotions of unhappiness as sadness, anger and/or fear and for a constructive impulsive reaction to achieve or to change the proactive desire.
Condition : If I do not achieve my proactive desire for
Consequence : then I will react with my negative subjective reactive desire for a negative affective reaction of unhappiness as sadness, anger and/or fear and a destructive impulsive reaction to give up hope, to attack someone, or to run away from someone.
Peace-of-mind is a state of being in which an individual gets rid of all desires which are liabilities because they are unachievable and/or inappropriate and he keeps only those desires which are assets because they are achievable and/or appropriate, to which state of being the individual reacts with feelings of happiness.
Un-peace-of-mind is a state of being in which an individual does not get rid of all desires which are liabilities because they are unachievable and/or inappropriate and he does not keep only those desires which are assets because they are achievable and/or appropriate, to which state of being the individual reacts with feelings of unhappiness as sadness, anger and/or fear.
All people are selfish.
Selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to avoid one's fears and to maximize one's happiness and to minimize one's unhappiness without regard for the desires and fears and happiness and unhappiness of other people.
But there is a difference between personal selfishness and social selfishness.
Personal selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to avoid one's fears and thus to maximize one's happiness and to minimize one's unhappiness without regard for the desires and fears and happiness and unhappiness of other people.
Social selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to avoid one's fears and to maximize one's happiness and to minimize one's unhappiness by cooperating with other people by negotiating commonly agreed upon desires and fears with other people, compromising one's own desires and fears when necessary but within reason, and seeking to achieve those common desires and to avoid those common fears and thus helping other people achieve their desires, avoid their fears, maximize their happiness, and minimize their unhappiness.
Cooperation is negotiating common desires, fears and priorities (goals) with other people and seeking to achieve those common desires and avoid those common fears according to the common priorities.
Coercion is refusing to negotiate common desires, fears and priorities (goals) with other people but, instead, threatening punishment and/or manipulating feelings [trying to cause other people to feel ashamed or guilty for not doing what the individual wants them to do].
An individual is first personally selfish and then, through learning, becomes socially selfish.
Civilization began when individuals realized that to achieve most if not all their desires and to maximize their happiness they needed the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which they, the individuals, needed to be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people. Civilization is renewed in every generation when individuals realize that to achieve most if not all of their desires and to maximize their happiness that they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which they need to be ready, willing and able to cooperate with other people.
The exceptions will those individuals who are sociopaths and psychopaths .
Sociopaths are individuals who are personally selfish but are in touch with reality and thus show no clear and obvious delusions and/or hallucinations but may be dangerous to other people.
Psychopaths are individuals who are personally selfish but are not in touch with reality and thus show delusions and/or hallucinations and may be dangerous to themselves and other people.
Thus, a normal individual's selfishness contains the hope of mankind. The
normal individual will first be personally selfish but will learn that he
benefits from becoming socially selfish, with the result that he will benefit
mankind by his social selfishness. This observation realistically raises
the hope that men and women will continually strive to learn to cooperate
with each other and eventually create a better life for many if not most
if not all of mankind.
Minor mental problems consist of holding unachievable and/or inappropriate proactive desires.
Major mental problems consist of holding negative subjective reactive desires which are inappropriate because they do not motivate the individual to achieve or to change his proactive desires.
Mental health is a state of being resulting from holding proactive and reactive desires which are achievable and appropriate [they achieve physiological desires]. Mental health includes peace-of-mind. Mental health involves realistic desires—desires which are achievable and appropriate. People who want what they can have and who choose to not react with negative affective reactions or destructive impulsive reactions but, instead, choose to control their negative affective reactions and to choose constructive impulsive reactions to cooperate with other people and thus avoid conflicts will develop mental health.
Mental health includes holding achievable and appropriate proactive desires and positive objective reactive desires for reacting to negative realizations of proactive desires.
If an individual has unachievable and/or inappropriate proactive desires but has a positive objective reactive desire for reacting to negative realizations of his proactive desires, then he is likely to enjoy good mental health because he will control his negative emotions and he will develop constructive impulsive reactions to achieve or to change his proactive desires.
But if an individual has unachievable and/or inappropriate proactive desires and a negative subjective reactive desire for reacting to negative realizations of his proactive desires, then he will suffer bad mental health because he will develop negative affective reactions (negative emotions) and he will develop destructive impulsive reactions (to give up hope, to attack someone, and/or to run away from someone) which are likely to lead to conflicts and more negative realizations of his proactive desires which will continue the cycle of conflicts and negative realizations and negative affective reactions and destructive impulsive reactions.
NOTE: Subjective reactive desires can be positive when a person is under a criminal attack. Such an attack would be a good time for a person to develop negative affective reactions and destructive impulsive reactions to control and defeat the criminal and thus defend himself and/or people he chooses to care about.
Secondary conflicts are differences of proactive desires.
Primary conflicts are differences of reactive desires.
Internal secondary conflicts are differences of proactive desires within oneself (between one desire for a person/thing/event and another desire for a person/thing/event).
Internal primary conflicts are differences of reactive desires within oneself (between the positive objective reactive desire and the negative subjective reactive desire for reacting to negative realizations of proactive desires).
External secondary conflicts are differences of proactive desires with someone else (you want one person/thing/event and someone else wants another person/thing/event).
External primary conflicts are differences of reactive desires with someone else (in particular, you want to react with a negative subjective reactive desire (to become sad, angry and/or fearful and to give up, to attack someone else and/or to run away from someone else) and someone else wants to react with a negative subjective reactive desire (to become sad, angry and/or fearful and to give up, to attack you and/or to run away from you).
Unresolved primary conflicts lead to cycles of additional primary conflicts until the cycle is broken by the adoption of a positive objective reactive desire.
This section concludes the theory of Operational Psychology and its description of human nature.
The next sections deal with the philosophy of religion and my life history concerning religion.
A religion is a philosophy of life that includes a moral code and a belief in the existence of mystical people, things and events who/which created the universe and all things/events in it, who/which are concerned with the affairs of human beings, and who/which have created the moral code by which humans are to live.
Religion is first and foremost a philosophy of life: A personal view of people things and events in the universe, the natural phenomena of reality.
Religion is a belief in the existence and therefore the reality of mystical people/beings, things and events.
Mystical is defined as not being readily observable/measurable by the normal perceptual senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
Religion-based moral codes carry with them the threat of retaliation from mystical beings in the form of a denial of everlasting life, a condemnation to eternal suffering, a denial of everlasting pleasure, or pain and suffering while still in mortal existence.
Religion-based codes of morality often carry requirements to believe in and worship only the mystical beings of the religion as well as behavioral requirements commonly found in secular codes of law.
Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian Religions
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ex. 20: 3.
2. Thou shalt not make any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. Ex. 20: 4., 5.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. Ex. 20: 7.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy works; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy stranger which is within thy gates. Ex. 20: 8-10.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days be long long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Ex. 20: 12.
6. Thou shalt not kill. Ex. 20: 13.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Ex. 20: 14.
8. Thou shalt not steal. Ex. 20: 15.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Ex. 20: 16.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. Ex. 20: 17.
The Mideastern religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam present the
following basic mysticisms:
One-God: Creator of the Universe and all people/things/events.
One-Life: Which is a test of an individual's faith and character.
Judgement: With Heaven as a reward or Hell as a punishment.
When stripped of their mysticisms, what's left of the the Judeo-Christian religions is the Ten Commandments.
Because the first five Commandments are specific to the Judeo-Christian religions and thus may be offensive to members of other religions, the Ten Commandments should not be placed into any classrooms, courtrooms, or other public and government buildings.
The remaining five Commandments are found in many secular codes of law of many governments. They are thus not unique to the Judeo-Christian religions.
One of the most unusual religions of the world, Buddhism, when stripped of its mysticism (Pure Buddhism), offers a unique code of morality.
The Code of Morality
of Buddhism 
The Essence of Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths :
I. Dukkha: Man suffers.
II. Tanha: Man suffers because of greed, defined as excessive desire.
III. Nirvana: Man's suffering can be alleviated.
IV. Marga: Man's suffering can be alleviated by means of the Eightfold Path.
The Four Noble Truths are what's left when Buddhism is stripped of its mysticism. The Four Noble Truths are thus pure Buddhism.
A close examination of the Four Noble Truths reveals that what appears to be a code of morality is actually a theory of psychology  leading to the observation that mental problems (dukkha: man's suffering) are caused by unachievable and/or inappropriate desires (tanha: man suffers because of greed, or excessive desire), and mental problems can be resolved (nirvana: the alleviation of suffering) by getting rid of desires that are liabilities and keeping only those that are assets (marga: the Eightfold Path).
Notice that the Four Noble Truths focus upon the individual and his desires, particularly his excessive desires, or greed. Excessive desires cause suffering.
Operational Psychology focuses upon the difference between achievable and appropriate desires and unachievable and inappropriate desires, how conflicts are differences of desires, and how mental health depends upon keeping only those desires which are assets because they are achievable and appropriate and getting rid of those desires which are liabilities because they are unachievable and/or inappropriate.
Operational Psychology and Pure Buddhism are similar because they are theories of psychology, and because they offer natural codes of morality.
Operational Psychology and Pure Buddhism focus not upon punishing those who violate the natural moral code but upon the benefits of following the moral code for the individual and the society in which he lives.
The Buddha (Enlightened One) was a real person, Gautama Satva, a prince who lived a perfect life until he saw sickness, death, poverty, and a monk seeking truth, which caused him to become a monk and to seek truth until he judged that what he was being taught by others was not the truth and he began to seek the truth within himself and within others, until he formulated the Four Noble Truths. 
The Buddha, himself, never talked of an afterlife, and thus Pure Buddhism
is actually a form of agnosticism, without concern for mystical beings. In
essence, the Buddha said that we have a problem here on the earth and there
is a way to help people help themselves and other people—The Four Noble Truths.
 [See Huston Smith, The Religions of Man, pp. 104-109.]
Moreover, this quote does not require belief in mystical beings and thus does not imply or state otherwise the potential for punishment or the denial of pleasure by mystical beings.
The injunctions [commandments, orders, requirements] to not kill, not commit adultery, not steal, not bear false witness, and to not covet, can thus be enshrined in natural codes of morality, just as they are enshrined in secular codes of law. Moreover, additional civil and criminal injunctions can be created for secular codes of morality and secular codes of law.
Why would anyone follow a natural code of morality?
All people are selfish.
Selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to maximize one's happiness.
There is a difference between personal selfishness and social selfishness.
Personal selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to maximize one's happiness without regard for the desires and happiness of other people.
Social selfishness is seeking to achieve one's desires and to maximize one's happiness by cooperating with other people to negotiate common desires (compromising one's desires when necessary, within limits) and to achieve the negotiated common desires.
There is a sequence in which social selfishness develops [shown in reverse order]:
This sequence is a natural sequence. Children must be personally selfish in order to survive. This is entirely normal. They must let their parents know that they need help, and they must insist that their parents help them. Crying babies will get the attention of most normal people, and, certainly, the attention of most normal parents. As the individual grows and develops an awareness of the process of socialization, he realizes and learns that he needs other people to achieve many if not most if not all of his desires and to maximize his happiness. He realizes and learns that other people are not necessarily obligated to give him everything he wants. He realizes and learns that he needs the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people. He realizes and learns that in order to induce other people to cooperate with him he must cooperate with them to negotiate and to achieve common desires. When the individual accepts the idea that he needs other people, and that he must cooperate with other people, then he becomes socially selfish.
The individual who is personally selfish does not recognize that he needs other people.
The individual who is socially selfish recognizes that he needs other people—he needs cooperation from other people for which he must be willing to cooperate with them.
The need of the individual for other people will prompt him to work with other people to establish a code of conduct which will be a code of morality, and this need will prompt him to follow the code without supervision or threat of legal, civil, or social punishment.
Social selfishness is still a form of selfishness because the individual is motivated to achieve his desires and to maximize his happiness, but with the inclusion of other people into his social circle the individual's social selfishness combines with the social selfishness of other people to create a magnificent working relationship built upon a code of common desires, mutual desires, social desires, community desires.
We can count upon the fact that people are selfish, but the natural selfishness of normal people will progress from personal selfishness to social selfishness and thereby create the order that civilization will require.
Thus, the reason an individual will negotiate and follow a natural code of morality is, ultimately, selfishness.
We see, then, that a natural morality—a natural moral code—could be built upon the natural phenomenon of human selfishness.
Civilization is renewed in every generation when individuals realize that to achieve their desires and to maximize their happiness they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which they, themselves, must be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people to negotiate common desires and to achieve those common desires.
Those persons who are sociopaths or psychopaths will not follow any code of morality.
Sociopaths are individuals who personally selfish but are realistic, in touch with reality maintaining social and family relationships, and working and paying taxes. They may be dangerous in many ways, but nevertheless are marked by excessive personal selfishness.
Psychopaths are individuals who are personally selfish and are unrealistic, not in touch with reality, not maintaining social and family relationships, not working and paying taxes. They, too, may be dangerous in many ways, and are clearly marked by excessive personal selfishness.
Sociopaths and psychopaths are not normal—they are highly abnormal. Their abnormality is proven by the logical possibility that if they were allowed to do whatever they pleased, which would suit only themselves, in the worst case scenario they would have the potential to destroy the human race in contrast to normal people who, by cooperating with other people in the spirit of social selfishness, in the best case scenario have the potential to continue and to improve the human race.
But normal people will follow a natural code of morality because they will learn and realize that they must be socially selfish rather than personally selfish if they wish to achieve most of their desires and to maximize their happiness. Thus, the inherent selfishness of man is the reason why individuals will follow secular codes of morality if science should ever prove beyond a doubt that mystical beings never existed and will never exist, that mystical beings existed but somehow all died, or that mystical beings exist but do not involve themselves in human affairs and thus will not punish individuals who break religious or secular codes of morality.
Upon the face of the earth and among men, there are far more normal people than sociopaths or psychopaths. Otherwise, we would have far more violence and social chaos than we currently have. This being the case, we see the possibility is excellent that the majority of men, being normal, will follow a natural code of morality.
Most people do not think about what they would do, and what people in general would do, if scientists could prove beyond a doubt that gods never existed, existed but died, or exist but are not involved in human affairs. Rational people would realize that to enjoy life they would still need to be socially selfish, that they need other people, and that they need a code of conduct or morality to organize human life. They would therefore obey traffic laws, and local, state and federal laws, for to break them would cause chaos and the destruction of society and the chance for a good life here upon the earth. Life would still be good. Fun would still be fun. Falling in love, making love, having children, and being a good person would all be positive benefits of a good life and good living. For most people, life would not be meaningless without gods. Life without gods would therefore have its own meaning and its own inherent goodness.
Thus, a natural morality would be entirely possible.
I was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, the United States of America, to my parents, Mabel and Elmer Kroepel, on February 3, 1943. I learned that my parents truly loved me. I learned that my grandmothers were still alive and loved me, but both my grandfathers were dead, and, thus, I could have no interaction with them.
My mother, father, Nana K. [K for Kroepel, my father's mother], and Nana B. [B for Bishop, my mother's mother], all were Christians, therefore I was taught Christianity, and I went to church, and I believed that God existed, that He loved me, that he sent His Son, Jesus, to teach and to save people, and to be sacrificed to prove that God loved people, that there was an afterlife attainable through following the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, and believing in God and in Jesus [and, by necessary extension, believing in the Devil/Satan[, and that there was a religious explanation for all phenomena, for example, that a tree was an example of God's love, because it was put there by Him for the benefit of mankind. I was impressed by the kindness and fellowship of church members. Being partially deaf, I had trouble following sermons and often drifted into other thoughts, including an awe of the music, the organ, the soloist, the choir, the organist/choir director, and the way music seemed to implement or otherwise confirm the majesty and truth of the religious ceremonies which I witnessed and in which I participated. The presence and sight of my mother and father worshiping and singing and thus celebrating was impressive. I read the Bible through several times as a child, and as an adolescent.
In our home, we had a piano, and my mother, father and my sister, Marilyn, played the piano. I took trombone lessons. I was in the third grade. I noticed that trombone players played notes I didn't understand [harmony notes that supported/harmonized with the melody], but trumpet players played notes I could understand [melody notes]. Then I noticed that the girls were hanging around the trumpet players, but not the trombone players [they, too, apparently could not understand harmony notes but could easily understand melody notes]. So I switched from trombone to trumpet, and I started playing notes I could understand, and girls started hanging around me. Not bad for third grade.
We moved to Easton, Pennsylvania, and then to Kirkwood, Missouri.
Then my father bought my mother a Hammond M3 spinet organ for a Christmas present. Six free lessons were offered in the deal for the organ. I took those six free lessons from Lloyd Bartlett, a musician's musician and the preferred on-call pianist for top name performers who toured St. Louis, such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. They turned out to be pop organ lessons—how to play popular music upon the organ.
I took classical/liturgical organ lessons and music theory from Robert Heckman, the organist/choir director of the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, Missouri, and a neighbor who lived directly across the street from us.
While in high school, at Kirkwood Senior High, Kirkwood, Missouri, I was approached to play the trumpet in a private band organized by fellow students. I was recognized as a musician, and I hung out with musicians, and I made money as a musician, later organizing my own bands, even playing for our Senior Class Prom.
Along the way I read our family's copy of Bulfinche's Mythology: The Age of Fable . Thus I learned the legends, gods and goddesses, and fables of the Greek religion, and the Roman religion, and the religion of the Norsemen in the land that became Norway. I found absolutely fascinating reading what seemed clearly to be fantasy and silly but which I realized was at one time taken seriously as religions by human beings.
At one time I wanted to become a church organist, but then I realized that I had a lot of trouble playing written notes precisely, and that, therefore, I might not be able to match the majesty of an organist such as Robert Heckman.
At one time I wanted to become a minister.
Then I went to college at Washington University of St. Louis, a genuine top-notch school. [Harvard is the Washington University of the East.] There I majored in psychology but also studied music theory and classical/liturgical organ. When I heard the musical magic and majesty not only of my Professors but also students my own age I became concerned that I was too far behind in my personal musical development to ever seriously consider becoming a professional liturgical organist. I understood and dealt with music theory easily and effectively. But playing either the piano or the organ was a mystery, at least as far as classical music was concerned, which had to be read and played note-for-note.
But I kept playing pop organ.
As I majored in psychology, I learned that the human mind, whatever it was, could deceive itself through delusions, false ideas caused by an individual's needs, and hallucinations, false visual/auditory/tactual/olfactory/gustatory perceptions, caused and thereby prompted by the individual's needs. The possibility of self deception through delusions and hallucinations stuck in the back of my memory.
In addition, I learned that the human mind, whatever, it was, could confuse itself because of conflicting ideas. I had trouble making decisions, weighing the pro's and con's of each possible solution to the problem at hand which required a decision, worrying about doing the right thing, the best thing, and, therefore, choosing the right choice and making the right decision. I could understand from my personal struggle to deal with personal conflicts how easy it might be to get lost in a mental chaos of competing and therefore conflicting ideas, and how difficult it might be to try to determine the truth, the right thing to do, the best decision. So, I could understand how people could have mental problems, but, later, also how they could choose religion as a way of resolving conflicting questions and creating a personal philosophy of life that included religion.
And Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion , had some interesting things to say about how some if not many if not all people come to need and create and believe in and live their lives according to the teachings/dogma of religions. Something about needing a strong father-like figure, perhaps a mother-like figure, and perhaps brother-like and sister-like figures to help the individual deal with life's problems, including accepting and dealing with death and the possibility of an afterlife.
I took several Philosophy courses.
Philosophy X01 [I do not remember the precise course number]: The Major Religions of the World [the Middle East Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and the Eastern Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.] was taught by Dr. Alan Miller, a Christian minister. Dr. Miller told us his wonderful belief that the old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible was the description of an angry and warlike God who later made a covenant with His chosen people that became the New Testament of the Christian Bible in which God changed and became a God of love, who then sent His Son, Jesus, to teach and to help Jews and heathens to become Christians.
I was stunned by the fact that there were many more than one religion, that the people of each geographical area in which those religions flourished were more likely to be taught those religions than Christianity, and were just as likely to believe reasonably that their religion was true, and possibly the only true religion. I began to understand the possibility that Christianity might not be the one, true religion, as I had been taught. I questioned why if there was only one God were there so many religions, many of which had differing points of view that conflicted obviously with Christianity.
Philosophy X02: The Major Sects of Christianity was also taught by Dr. Miller. Again, I was stunned by the fact that if there was only one God, and only one Jesus, and only one Way to Heaven through Jesus, how there could be many differing views on what was the Right Way. I came to believe that a just God could not condemn people for not knowing which religion to believe. I thought to myself that if I were God and I as God chose to hide myself from their perception then I could not condemn people for not believing in me if they could not perceive me and therefore come to know me. I asked Dr. Miller for an audience, and he invited me to his home. There he listened, and pronounced my questions and beliefs as "the words of a prophet." I was stunned. Me, a prophet?!? God speaking through me?!? I was really impressed with the possibility that I could be like one of those legendary prophets of the Bible's Old Testament, that I would be in close contact with God, and that I might be an instrument of His to use for helping people.
Philosophy X03: The Philosophy of Religion was taught by Dr. Alfred Stenner, who also was a professional musician who played the piano in the St. Louis area under the name of Al Downs. Dr. Stenner never told us students what were his personal beliefs. He never supported any ideas that religion was true, but he never supported any idea that religion, in the words of Thomas Edison, "was bunk." Thus, we never learned if he was a theist, an atheist, or an agnostic.
But he did teach us what I call "the flip side of religion"—particularly, the logical arguments theists used to "prove" the existence of gods/goddesses/demons/demonnesses and the arguments atheists/agnostics and rational theists used to prove that these logical arguments as logical arguments were flawed and thus did not prove that gods/et al existed.
This course was taught by Dr. Stenner in a professional manner to present information concerning the philosophy of religion but not as a condemnation of religion, or of people who held religious beliefs. We learned each of the major logical arguments and then saw them challenged by Dr. Stenner. He taught us how to think, how to defend ourselves from claims of fact that were statements of opinion.
We studied the Ontological Argument that held the premises that God was perfect, and that to be perfect a thing had to exist, and that, therefore, God had to exist. And then we learned that perfection is a matter of definition, and definitions as definitions cannot prove that any person/thing/event existed, exists, or will exist, or otherwise happened, is happening, or will happen.
We studied the Teleological Argument which held the premises that a watch implies that it was made by a watchmaker, that the universe was more magnificent than a watch, and that, therefore, it had to have been made by a universemaker, and that, therefore God must exist to have made the universe.
And then we learned that the universe was not necessarily designed and created by a universemaker, and that, therefore, there was no necessity for a god to exist to be that universemaker.
We studied the Cosmological Argument which held the premises that all things are caused, that there is a chain of causality leading back to a first cause, that the first cause could only be God, and that, therefore, to cause all effects, God had to exist. And then we learned that if God was an uncaused cause, a first cause, that the first premise that all things have a cause is not true and invalidated the conclusion. If there was one uncaused cause, then there could be other uncaused causes. And then we learned that because the first premise was invalidated/unverified that the second premise that the first cause could only be God was itself invalidated, further invalidating the conclusion.
I did not realize then but later figured out that the creators and champions of the Cosmological Argument were really trying to find the source of causality and to claim that the source of causality had to be and therefore was God. I realized that to understand the problem of causality, that I had to be looking for a source of causality that itself, whatever it was, was not caused.
I later learned that scientists known as physicists had proven that the source of all causes is the matter and energy of which all people/things/events who/which are natural phenomena, and that matter and energy cannot be destroyed but only changed in form and thus exist infinitely forward from the past through the present into the future, as proven by Einstein's E = mc2, where E = Energy, m = matter, and c = the speed of light in a vacuum (180,000 miles per second) squared. 
Theists, of course, asked who or what created matter and energy. But I saw that they misunderstood the reality of the discovery of the infinity of matter and energy, that matter and energy had not been proven to have been created, and that, therefore, there was credible and therefore rational justification for believing that matter and energy were not caused but instead were the sources of all causality.
Then I read the Bible as an adult, with an adult's eyes and an adult's
brain and thinking capacity.
|Gen. 1:25, 26. And God made the beasts of the earth after his kind, and
cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after
his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let us make man in
our image, after our likeness.”
[Man made after the beasts. Sequence: A-B-C, Earth, Beasts, Man.]
|Gen. 2:18-20. And the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should
be alone; I will make an help meet for him.” And out of the ground the LORD
God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought
them unto Adam ... but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[Man made before the beasts. Sequence: A-C-B, Earth, Man, Beasts.]
|Gen. 6:19. Of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt
thou bring into the ark.
[One pair of each species, one male, one female.]
|Gen. 7:2. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the
male and his female.
[Seven pairs of each, seven males, seven females, fourteen individuals of each species.]
|Gen. 7:8, 9. Of clean beasts, and of beast that are not clean, and of
fowls ... There went in two and two unto Noah in the ark, the male and the
female, as God had commanded Noah.
[Two pairs, two males, two females, four individuals.]
|1 Sam. 17:4, 7, 50. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span ... and the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam ... . So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and smote the Philistine and slew him.||2 Sam. 21:19. Revised Version. Elhanan, the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite,
slew Goliath, the Gittite [meaning “of Gath”] the staff of whose speare was
like a weaver’s beam.
2 Sam. 21:19. King James Version. And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan, the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath [italics in original], the Gittite [meaning “of Gath”] the staff of whose speare was like a weaver’s beam.
The words “the brother of” were apparently inserted into the King James Version to avoid a contradiction
|1 Chron. 21:1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.||2 Sam. 24:1. And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”|
Isaiah 7: 10-16. Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing to you weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
|Isaiah 7: 14. Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.||Isaiah 8: 2-3. And I [Isaiah] took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zeckariah the son of Jeberechian. And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord unto me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.|
|Isaiah 7:1. And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham,
the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and
Pekah the son of Remiliah, king of Israel, went up towards Jerusalem to war
against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 Kings 16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him.
|2 Chronicles 28:5-6 Therefore the LORD his God delivered him (Ahaz) into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter.|
|Matt. 1:16. And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus.||Luke 3:23. Jesus ... the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli|
|Acts. 2:30. God had sworn with an oath to him [David], that of the fruit
of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on
Matt. 1:18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with the child of the Holy Ghost.
Rom. 1:3. Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh
|Luke 1:26-33. And in the sixth month [of the pregnancy of Elizabeth with John, who would become John the Baptist] the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a City of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. ... And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: For thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.|
|Mark 1:9-13. Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him... . And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan.||John 2:1, 2. And the third day [after Christ’s baptism and the descent of the Holy Ghost in the Shape of a dove] there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee... . And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.|
|Luke 2:39. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.||Matt. 2:14, 15. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod.|
|John 1:35-36, 40-42. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, “Behold the Lamb of God!” ... One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother, Simon, and saith unto him, “We have found the Messias,” which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, “Thou are Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas,” which is by interpretation, a stone.||Matt. 4:12, 18-19. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into
prison, he departed into Galilee; ... And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee,
saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net
into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, “Follow me,
and I will make you fishers of men.”
Mark 1:14, 16-17. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. ... Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
|Matt 4:5, 8-9. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple... . Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”||Luke 4:5, 7, 9. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time... . If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine... . And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence.”|
|Matt. 21:12, 17-19. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves... . And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” And presently the fig tree withered away.||Mark 11:13-15. And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered [?] and said unto it, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.” And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.|
|Matt. 27:12. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders,
he answered nothing.
Matt. 27:13, 14. Then said Pilate unto his, “Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?” And he answered him to never a word; insomuch the governor marvelled greatly.
|John 18: 19, 20. The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples,
and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spake openly to the world: I
ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort;
and in secret have I said nothing.”
John 18:33, 34. Then Pilate entered into the judgement hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? John 18:35-38. Pilate answered ... “Thine own nation and the chief priest have delivered thee unto me; what hast thou done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world... .” Pilate therefore said unto him, “Art thou a king, then?” Jesus answered, “Thou sayeth that I am a king ... .” Pilate ... went out again ... and said, “I find in him no fault at all.”
|Mark 15:25. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.||John 19:14. About the sixth hour ... they cried out, “Away with him, crucify him.”|
|Matt. 27:32. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon
by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
Mark 15:21. And they compel [sic] one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
Luke 23:26. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
|John 19:16-17. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.|
|Matt. 27:50-55. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the son of God.” And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.||Mark 14:37-40. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And
when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out,
and gave up the ghost, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” There
were also women looking on afar off.
Luke 23:46-49. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding all these things.
|Ps. 145:17. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his
Ps. 103:8. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Ps. 100:5. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting.
|1 Sam. 15: 2, 3. Thus said the LORD of hosts, “I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt [four hundred years previous]. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”|
|Rom. 15:33. Now the God of peace be with you.||Exod. 15:3. The LORD is a man of war.|
|Joel 2:13. He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,
and repenteth him of the evil.
Ps. 136: 1, 2. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Deut. 32:4. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
|Nah. 1:2. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth,
and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth
wrath for his enemies.
Rev. 21:8. But the fearful and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.
Rom. 9:13. Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Mark 16:16. He that believeth not shall be damned.
|2 Peter 3:9. The Lord ... is not willing that any should perish.||Prov. 16:4. The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.|
|Mal. 3:6. I am the LORD, I change not.||Gen. 6:6. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on earth, and
it grieved him at his heart.
Ps. 135:14. For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
Exod. 32:14. And the LORD repented of the evil he thought to do unto his people.
Jon. 3:10. And God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
|Exod. 34:17. Forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will
by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the
children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth
Isa. 14:21. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers.
|Ezek. 18:20. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not
bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity
of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Deut. 24:16. The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
|Mark 10:27; Matt. 19:26. With God all things are possible.
Luke 1:37. For with God, nothing is impossible.
Rev. 19:6. The Lord God omnipotent.
Gen. 17:1. I am the Almighty God.
John 3:35. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
|Judges 1:19. And the LORD was with Judah: and he drave out the inhabitants
of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because
they had iron chariots.
Mark 6:5. And he could do there do no mighty work.
|John 1:18. No man hath seen God at any time.
1 Tim. 6:16. Whom no man hath seen, nor can see.
John 4:24. God is a Spirit.
Exod. 33:20. Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
|Exod. 24: 9, 10. Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and
seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there
was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone.
Exod. 33:22, 23. I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen.
Amos 9:1. I saw the Lord standing upon the altar.
Gen. 26:2. And the LORD appeared unto him [Isaac].
Exod. 33:11. And the Lord spake unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
Gen. 32:30. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
|Matt. 5:17-19. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill.||Rom. 7:4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ.|
|2 Chron. 6:36. There is no man which sinneth not.
Eccles. 7:20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
|1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.|
|Rom. 4:5, 6. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth
the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth
the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works.
Eph. 2:8, 9. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
|James 2:14, 17, 24, 26. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man
say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? ... Even so faith,
if it hath not works, is dead, being alone ... . Ye see then how that by
works a man is justified, and not by faith only... . For as the body without
the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Rom. 4:15. For where no law is, there is no transgression.
|1 Pet. 5:8. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour.
Gal. 1:9. If any man preach any other gospel unto you that ye have received, let him be accursed.
|Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left the own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day.|
|Eccles. 1:4. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh:
but the earth abideth for ever.
Ps. 104:5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
|2 Pet. 3:10. The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are
therein shall be burned up.
Heb. 1:10, 11. Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands; They shall perish; but thou remainest.
|Matt. 6:34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.||1 Tim. 5:8. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those if his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.|
|Prov. 4:7. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with
all thy getting get understanding.
Prov. 3:13. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
|1 Cor. 1:19. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Eccles. 1:18. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
|Eccles. 9:5. The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward.||Matt. 25:46. These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous unto life eternal.|
|1 John 4:9. God sent his only begotten Son into the world.||Job. 1:6. The sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
and Satan came also among them.
Gen. 6:2. The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.
|Mark 16:1-8||Matthew 28:1-10||Luke 24:1-12||John 20:1-18|
|Time||Sunrise||Toward dawn||Early dawn||Still dark|
|Cast of characters||Mary Magdalene
Mary, James' mother
Mary, James' mother
"We" of Verse 2
|Purpose||To anoint the corpse.||To see the tomb.||To anoint the corpse.||Unknown|
|Tomb Condition||Open||Earthquake/Angel rolled back the stone.
The guard detached and frozen.
|Action||Met one young man in a white robe in the tomb.||Met one angel outside the tomb.||Met two men in shining garments in the tomb.||Ran to Peter to report that the corpse had been taken.
Disciples returned with Mary, saw the tomb, left.
Mary met two angels while outside the tomb.
|Message of Man/Men/Angel/Angels||Do not be afraid.
Jesus is not here.
Jesus has risen.
Tell the disciples "He goes to Galilee, you will meet him there as he told you."
|Do not be afraid.
Jesus is not here.
Jesus has risen.
Tell the disciples "He goes to Galilee, you will meet him there as I have told you."
|W seek the living among the dead?
Jesus has risen.
He rose as he told you he would when he was still in Galilee.
|Reaction||The women flee trembling.
They say nothing to anyone.
|The women leave in joy to tell the disciples.
Jesus meets the women, they hold/worship him.
Jesus repeats the angel's message.
|The women leave and tell the disciples, are not believed.
Peter runs to see the tomb.
|Jesus meets Mary and says: "Do not hold me, I am going to my Father."
Mary runs to tell the disciples.
|Mark 16:1-20||Matthew 28||John 20, 21||Luke 24||Acts|
|Morning at the tomb||Magdalene||Magdalene
|Later, in or near Jerusalem||Two [apostles?] on the road
The eleven apostles
|The ten apostles [minus Thomas]
The eleven apostles
Two [apostles?] on the road to Emmaus
The eleven apostles
|Later in Galilee||"See him in Galilee."||To eleven apostles upon a mountain||To seven apostles on the Sea of Tiberius|
|Time unspecified||Acts 1: The eleven apostles
Acts 9: To Saul [Paul] on the road to Damascus
A 9: To Ananias in a vision
Acts 22: To Paul on the road to Damascus [Repeat of the story told earlier in Acts 9]
|Matt. 24:3, 4, 27, 29-31, 34, 35. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives,
the disciples came unto him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these
things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the
world?” And Jesus answered and said unto them, ...” As the lightning coming
out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming
of the Son of man be. ... Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and moon shall not give her light, and the stars
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And
then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all
the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in
the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels
with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other... Verily I say
unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Mark 8:25, 30. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven... Verily I say unto you, THAT THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE.
Luke 21:20-28, 32. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled, But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon the people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be sign in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for you redemption draweth nigh....Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.
John 5:28, 29. The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Matt. 16:27, 28. For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1. And see said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Luke 9:27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
|Acts 1: 6-7. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him [Jesus], saying “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And he [Jesus] said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.|
|KJV: Matt. 1:1-16. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  Abraham begat  Isaac; and Isaac begat  Jacob; and Jacob begat  Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat  Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat  Esrom; and Esrom begat  Aram; And Aram begat  Aminadab; and Aminadab begat  Nassan; and Naason begat  Salmon; And Salmon begat  Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat  Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat  Jesse; And Jesse begat  David the king; and David the king begat  Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat  Roboam; and Roboam begat  Abia; and Abia begat  Asa; and Asa begat  Josaphat; and Josaphat begat  Joram; and Joram begat  Ozias; and Ozias begat  Joatham; and Joatham begat  Achaz; and Achaz begat  Ezekias; And Ezekias begat  Manasses; and Manasses begat  Amon; and Amon begat  Josias; And Josias begat  Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat  Salathiel; and Salathiel begat  Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat  Abiud; and Abiud begat  Eliakim; and Eliakim begat  Azor; And Azor begat  Sadoc; and Sadoc begat  Achim; and Achim begat  Eliud; And Eliud begat  Eleazar; and Eleazar begat  Matthan; and Matthan begat  Jacob; And Jacob begat  Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.||Luke 3:23-38. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,
being (as was supposed) the son of  Joseph, the son of  Heli, Which
was the son of  Matthat, which was the son of  Levi, which was the
son of  Melchi, which was the son of  Janna, which was the son of
 Joseph, which was the son of  Mattathias, which was the son of 
Amos, which was the son of  Naum, which was the son of  Esli, which
was the son of  Nagge, which was the son of  Maath, which was the
son of  Mattathias, which was the son of  Semei, which was the son
of  Joseph, which was the son of  Juda, Which was the son of 
Joanna, which was the son of  Rhesa, which was the son of  Zorobabel,
which was the son of  Salathiel, which was the son of  Neri, Which
was the son of  Melchi, which was the son of  Addi, which was the
son of  Cosam, which was the son of  Elmodam, which was the son of
 Er, Which was the son of  Jose, which was the son of  Eliezer,
which was the son of  Jorim, which was the son of  Matthat, which
was the son of  Levi, which was the son of  Simeon, which was the
son of  Juda, which was the son of  Joseph, which was the son of
 Jonan, which was the son of  Eliakim, Which was the son of 
Melea, which was the son of  Menan, which was the son of  Mattatha,
which was the son of  Nathan, which was the son of  David, Which
was the son of  Jesse, which was the son of  Obed, which was the
son of  Booz, which was the son of  Salmon, which was the son of
 Naasson, Which was the son of  Aminadab, which was the son of 
Aram, which was the son of  Esrom, which was the son of  Phares, which
was the son of  Juda, Which was the son of  Jacob, which was the son
of  Isaac, which was the son of  Abraham, which was the son of Thara,
which was the son of Nachor, Which was the son of Ragau, which was the son
of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was
the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphazad, which was the son of Sem,
which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, Which was the son
of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which
was tthe son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son
of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was
the son of God.
|St. Matthew: 1:1-16 [KJV]:
Notice that in Matthew the Davidic lineage passes from David to Solomon whereas in Luke the Davidic lineage passes from David to Nathan. This produces an unacceptable contradiction. Joseph, not the father of Jesus but, instead, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is either descended from Solomon or from Nathan, but not both Solomon and Nathan.
Notice that the names Salathiel and Zorobabel are included in both lists, and, theoretically, at least, Salathiel is the father of Zorobabel in both lists. Is this not strange, since the divergence from David of the lineage of Solomon surely is different from the lineage of Nathan and thus would not have normally produced the same father and son pairing?
|St. Luke: 3:23-38 [KJV]:
I learned that the Old Testament of the Christian Bible was not the complete writings of the Jewish Bible for the same time period, the time predating the birth of Jesus. Instead, I learned that the Christian Old Testament was compiled to offer prophecies that would be confirmed by the New Testament, and that the New Testament was written and compiled to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament, as if to appease the need of Christians that the New Testament would fulfill the old Testament and the Old Testament would predict the New Testament.  The proof that the Old Testament and the New Testament were fictional compilations lay in the fact that the prophecies in the Old Testament were prophecies not of the coming of Jesus many, many years later, but of people/things/events in the time period immediate to the prophecy. For example, the Christian New Testament Book of Isaiah, Chapter 7, prophesied that a virgin/young woman would conceive and bear a male child and call him Immanuel [Emanuel] as a sign to the current King of Judah, Ahaz, that he would be victorious in battle with Rezin, the King of Syria, and Pekah, the King of Israel. Isaiah, in Chapter 8, supposedly in the presence of other men, Uriah, the priest, and Zechariah, says "And I went unto the prophetess [had sexual relations with the virgin/young woman]; and she conceived, and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, 'Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.'" I noted that even in Isaiah there is a conflict between calling the child Immanuel and calling him Mahershalalhashbaz. Was Ahaz victorious against Rezin and Pekah? In 2 Kings 16: 5 I read "Rezin ... and Pekah ... besieged Ahaz ... but could not overcome him." But then I read in 2 Chronicles 28: 5-6 Ahaz was taken captive by Rezin and Pekah, meaning the prophecy that he would be victorious in battle was not kept, as if God lied to someone in all of Isaiah's writings and prophecies. The Christian writers of the Christian Old Testament translated the Hebrew word for "young woman" found in the Jewish [Hebrew] version of Isaiah 6: 14 as "virgin," and they changed the tense from "a young woman is with child and beareth a son" to "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son."  I had to conclude that the prophecy that a virgin would conceive a son to be called Emmanuel and who would be the Savior/Messiah is not to be found in Isaiah, written, as it were, a time period seven hundred years B.C.
Randel Helms in Gospel Fictions [Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY] proved that the Christian Bible consists of Old Testament which is a fictionalized version of the Jewish Bible and a fictionalized New Testament with the intent of the early Christian writers to lie to people to convince them that the Old Testament prophesies the New Testament and the New Testament fulfills the Old Testament. The Christian Bible was written not to tell the truth but, instead, to influence people to become Christians. This fact ought to enrage all decent human beings. The early Christian writers lied to us. They lied to the people of their own times. And their lies were passed on to other people of other times. Those lies were taught to us as truth by those who loved us—our mothers and fathers. They did not know they were lying to us. In that sense they owe us no apologies. But, nevertheless, they lied to us. That is, through people who did not know they were lying the early Christian writers lied to us. The whole of Christianity now rests upon a book that is, at least for the most part, a lie. To call it a fiction is to be charitable. All who now believe in Christianity now believe in lies, which means they believe in nothing.
In other words, we have been lied to!!!
I do not like that idea! I am angered at the thought that someone lied to the readers of the Bible, that the stories about Jesus and the miracles and the fulfillment of prophecies are fictious, that these stories were written to convince someone that they were reading about a genuine historical figure who actually performed all these miracles and proved that he was the son of God, and that he was resurrected, etc.
I began to see that the Bible could not be a reliable source of truth, of knowledge. Two sequences, two sets of facts, two genealogies of Jesus, a fictionalized Old Testament and a fictionalized New Testament—all this was too much and getting to be silly.
I began to see that a principle was being established in my mind: That a book that was inspired by a god had to be free of flaws, that a book full of flaws could not be inspired by a god.
While it is possible that gods exist, the examination of the Christian Bible clearly indicates that it was not inspired and therefore cleansed of human error and intention and therefore it is not a source of reliable information concerning gods and their interactions with human beings.
I read a Christian apologist's explanation that somehow the Bible had to have some flaws or else it would not be proof of the inspiration of God. This could not and will not ever have any reason with me. The illogic of this statement is clear and obvious; its logic is completely dark and blind.
I began to reason that a true father would never sacrifice his son, and that a true god would not require the sacrifice of someone else's son or of his son, so the Jesus story became unacceptable. If I were God I would ...
In fact, the If I were God, then ... thought began to take hold in such a way that I began to see that a God worth worshiping could not be less than what I would be if I were a god, therefore I began to lose respect for whatever god there might be in reality, and soon what little respect that remained was gone. It has not been replaced.
If I were God, then ...
1. I would not hide my existence; I would reveal myself to my people in a way that they could perceive and believe, and I would walk and talk with them, and I would perform those gentle miracles [healing the sick, replacing lost limbs, and raising some of the dead, etc.] that would convince them beyond a doubt that they know me and that I am what I am.
2. I would teach my people my history, so they would know what I did to create or otherwise arrange and organize the universe, and why I did what I did.
3. I would teach them the code of morality I would require, so they would know what I define as right and wrong, and the consequences thereof, and if or not I could and would forgive their sins, and how, if they sinned, they could prove to me that they were truly repentant and remorseful and therefore worthy of forgiveness. But I would never require the sacrifice of any living person or thing.
4. I would teach my people how to love each other, that they might not need me for many of their life's endeavors, that, instead, they could have each other to comfort and to help each other.
5. I would make myself available so that any time my people were in doubt about my existence and what I am then they could pray for me to appear and to guide them and they would find my ready and willing presence, always.
6. I would love my people and share with them the joy of my presence and happiness with them.
I worried that perhaps I was a sinner for thinking If I were God, Then ... thoughts, for I was told that such thoughts were the thoughts of a sinner, but Dr. Alan Miller did not think so, because, instead, he said he thought at least some of these thoughts, the ones I shared with him concerning the possibility that God would not condemn those people who did not believe in him because they had grown up in a different culture than a Christian culture, were the thoughts of a prophet inspired by a God, the God of Christianity.
Am I the prophet Dr. Alan Miller declared me to be? Is there a voice within me that is organizing my thinking and telling me what's right and what's wrong, what to believe, what not to believe, and what, therefore, to tell the people and what to not tell the people?
I do not know that I am such a prophet. I am not aware that the thoughts in my head are someone or something else's other than mine. These ideas have not come to me fully dressed and ready for the show, as I would expect if they came from a god. Instead, I have had to think and think and think until I formed them and made sense of them.
It was I who created Operational Psychology and the view of and understanding
of human nature that lead me to understand that morality can be created without
gods, from the basic human selfishness that causes us to be first personally
selfish and then socially selfish, and that people following such a morality
would do so because it is the right thing to do and because to refuse to
follow the code would harm themselves by causing negative thoughts that they
would have to deal with for the rest of their lives as a form of personal
punishment they could not escape.
But what about the possibility that God is less than omni-everything? What would He then be? Would we then worship Him?
First of all, let's clear up what we mean by the term "exist." To exist simply means to be real in contrast to being not real. People/things who/which are real have physical attributes which theoretically, at least, can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted in contrast to people/things who/which are not real but, instead, are concepts, ideas, mental representations of people/things. Enough said.
Next, let's clear up the problem of whether or not there is any need for something to be "supernatural." If the universe is the one and only theatre within which all people/things/events without exception exist, then there is no need for any person/thing/event to be supernatural. The concept of supernatural is an irrational concept. It could not be real because of the requirement that all people/things/events fit within the one and only universe, the so-called "natural" universe, which means that all people/things/events including mystical beings must then be "natural," using the "natural" matter and energy within the universe to create changes in accord with their desires, fears and priorities. If, however, a being should be more powerful and more knowing than man, capable of creating by transforming natural matter and energy to create solar systems and life forms, then that being, though limited by its own natural qualities, could still be a god/goddess and worthy of worship.
And then let's take a look at what would be a "miracle." The current concept of a miracle is a thing/event which man cannot currently create. Thus, the healing of illnesses for which man currently has no cures and the healing of injuries including the regeneration of lost limbs, the correction of genetic defects, the restoration of life to the lifeless, the creation of immediate rainstorms, earthquakes, solar eclipses, walkings upon water, etc., are currently conceptualized as miracles if performed by mystical beings. If healings, etc., are performed by human beings, then they are not conceptualized as miracles. Why? No mysteries, no miracles.
Now, it is necessary to distinguish between belief in magic and the knowledge that all people/things/events which are natural phenomena are caused by matter and energy and therefore are no more than matter and energy, with matter and energy being the source(s) of all causality. Physics at present has no reason to offer magic as a cause of transformations of matter and energy. Magic would have to have its own matter and energy. Gods could not simply issue words and have magic take over and create the people/things/events ordered without a source of matter and energy. The fact that matter and energy would have to be present when miracles are caused means that there is a "trick" or "process" by which miracles could be created. If Man knew that there were "tricks" to creating miracles, would miracles still be miracles? If Man knew the "tricks" to creating miracles, would miracles still be miracles? If Man could learn the "tricks" to creating miracles, and developed the power to perform the "tricks" that would create miracles, would miracles still be miracles? And if Man knew how to perform and could perform miracles, would gods still be gods? Would not gods have to have some powers and/or knowledge that Man could not in order to qualify as gods?
Let's create a continuum of God types from Man to Omni-Everything God.
I. Man, of course, is limited: He is mortal, he is limited in powers, and knowledge, and is not necessarily kind to all people and all things. No God herein. NOTE: No man knows if there is a limit to the powers and/or knowledge Man might achieve; but men recognize that Man at present has limitations to his powers and knowledge. Man does not know everything and cannot do everything, but that does not mean that Man will never know everything and will never be able to do everything.
II. Superior Man, in the sense of more powers and more knowledge than other men, but still mortal. No God herein, just a more powerful and more knowledgeable human being. Would we worship him/her? If we were threatened with getting our asses kicked up and down Main Street all day and all night long, then there is a possibility we might condescend to pay him/her at least some of the attention he/she demanded, but there would be a nagging tendency to not want to worship him/her.
III. Mortal God, more powers and more knowledge than Man or Superior Man, can organize the matter and energy of the universe to create solar systems, life forms, etc., but still without the capacity to live and/or be forever. A God herein. Worthy of worship? If he/she/it could create by reorganizing matter and energy, do more than Man collectively, then he/she/it is worthy of worship.
IV. Immortal God, more powers and more knowledge than Man, Superior Man, or Mortal God, who/which can organize the matter and energy of the universe to create solar systems, life forms, etc., but nevertheless who still uses matter and energy and cannot create nor destroy matter and energy, and who/which is immortal. A God herein, and worthy of worship.
V. Omni-Everything God, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, Creator
of the universe and all people/things/events within it including matter and
energy. This God is irrational, most likely does not exist because, by definition
and common sense, defined as reason, he/she/it cannot be completely without
limitations. No god herein.
Creates by Reorganizing
Not Worthy of Worship.
|II. Superior Man
Creates by Reorganizing
Not Worthy of Worship.
|III. Mortal God
Creates by Reorganizing
Worthy of Worship.
|IV. Immortal God
Creates by Reorganizing
Worthy of Worship.
|V. Omni-Everything God
Created Everything including
Not Worthy of Worship.
We see that there are two types of gods which would not necessarily be irrational and therefore which could exist: Type III: Mortal God and Type IV: Immortal God. These gods would use the matter and energy of the Universe of which we know, so there would be no need for supernatural matter and energy. They would have powers and knowledge beyond man's, and therefore would be able to create the "miracles" that man presently cannot. Could we really accept as a god a Type III: Mortal God? Is immortality a requirement for a god?
Anyone can clearly see that we are playing with definitions in stipulating our requirements for a being to be a god. It is true that a god would be what it is without our definition of it, but at least these definitions would give us concepts/principles which would enable us to have an expectation of what a god would be/could be/might be, so when we encounter a god we would be able to recognize it to be a god. Perhaps without these concepts/principles we might not be able to recognize a god if ever one were to exist and if it were to take an interest in human beings and human affairs.
I thus have given theists a fair chance to prove some person/thing to be a god. I thus have at least an idea of what a god would have to be so I could recognize one if ever a theist were to bring one to me, or otherwise encourage one to contact me so I would know beyond a doubt that it is a god.
But beyond that, I would still need the physical evidence I could see/hear/touch/smell/taste that would prove to me that the god exists and is more powerful and more knowing than any man ever was, is or could be.
I thus reject the atheists' claim that the concept of a god is irrational. The concept of improbable gods would be irrational, but the concept of a probable god would be entirely rational, a possibility among possibilities. A natural god who/which is a part of the natural universe—the one-and-only universe—with more powers and more knowledge than man who can causes changes in matter and energy and thus create the phenomena [people/things/events] that qualify as miracles is a rational concept of a god.
Agnosticism, the philosophy of rationalism applied to religion, requires conclusive proof the existence of gods/goddesses, and as the fundamental problem concerning religion is proving if gods/goddesses exist or if gods/goddesses do not exist, as conclusive proof is not available to solve the fundamental problem, as theists do not offer conclusive proof of their claims that gods/goddesses exist and atheists likewise do not offer conclusive proof of their claims that gods/goddesses do not exist, then agnosticism stands as the only true, rational theory of religion.
This is my belief, based upon my knowledge, concerning the fundamental problem of religion.
This why I am an agnostic.
 On the First Law of Thermodynamics:
Alan Isaacs, John Daintith and Elizabeth Martin, eds.
Concise Science Dictionary.
Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, New York, NY U.S.A.
Siegfried Mandel, ed.
Dictionary of Science.
Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, NY 10017, 1975.
On Dr. Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity:
Albert Einstein, translated by Robert W. Lawson.
Relativity: The Special and General Theory.
Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, 1961.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz.
Four Lectures on relativity and space.
Dover Publications, inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, originally published by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1923.
pp. 8, 44.
Penguin Books, 625 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, U.S.A, 1976.
 huios is ancient Greek for "biological son of" and cannot be translated as "legal son of" or "son-in-law-of." [See huios in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament and/or Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.]
 Gordon Stein, Ph.D.
An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism.
 Thomas Paine.
The Age of Reason.
in Gordon Stein, Ph.D.
An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism.
 Randel Helms.
Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197.
 Randel Helms.
 G. W. Foote and W. P. Ball.
The Bible Handbook.
The American Atheist Press.