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Rational Interpretation of Biblical Accounts

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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Let me begin by stating that I am appalled by the amount of irrational argument that takes place in these forums. This is a conspiracy site, in which people are encouraged to question the accepted accounts of history and current events, for the purpose of seeking the truth and denying ignorance. We should be asking hard questions and debating the answers, enabling eachother to inform ourselves and broaden our understanding of the world. Instead what I see is people entering a discussion to put forward their views and opinions as fact, even though it is obvious that none of us have knowlege of the whole truth, and stubbornly refuse to see things from a different perspective. We need to put our egos aside, stop the personal attacks, open our minds, ask and answer questions in a civil and rational matter. Read what other people have said, put the pieces together and draw closer to the truth.

With that said, I shall move on to the topic at hand.

It is widely accepted among believers that the Bible's contents are the word of God. However, it is obvious that the Bible was written by Human hands. Humans are limited by their knowledge, their ability to utilize language to express their knowlege effectively, and their ability to remember what they have been told.

So assuming that God did tell the respective authors of the various books of the bible what to write, how likely is it that they wrote what God originally intended? It is very likely that God's word has been skewed by their individual bias. It is even more likely that the authors' words have been further skewed by numerous translations, and the interpretation of these words has been twisted into something entirely different than its original meaning. Therefore, I can say with reasonably that the Bible which Christians so adamantly believe in is not God's word.

Skeptics, on the other hand, tend to believe that the Bible is pure fiction. I'm not a historian, so I can't say for certain, but I have heard that history often disagrees with the events of the Bible. The reason for this is what some call "the Telephone Game", where a message is passed along from person to person, distorted slightly each time it is communicated, so that by the end of it almost all truth has been lost. Hyperbole and subjective meaning cause distortions of this nature.

I believe its possible that the Bible was an attempt at documenting events of the times, as well to provide anecdotes for moral teachings, cautionary tales and the like. As the accounts of people close to the events are passed on, each individual adds to the story or leaves something out, speculating and exaggerating. I shall use as an example, the story of Noah's Ark:

Noah's Ark, as many of us know, is the story of a man who heard from God that there was to be a great flood that would cover all the world. In order to preserve earthly life, Noah was to build a large boat (the Ark) and herd a male and a female of each species of life onto this boat. The logistics of such a project are staggering, it is clearly not possible for a single man to accomplish all of this on his own.

Instead of this accepting this fantastic story at face value, I speculated about what this story might really mean...

Suppose Noah was a farmer, living in a valley. Living as a farmer, one pays much attention to the weather to determine when to plant, how his crops will fare, etc. So suppose Noah notices an increase in the amount and frequency of rainfall, and that the river running through his valley is beginning to swell. He determines that the valley will flood, and so decides to take cautionary measures to ensure that his entire living isn't wiped out. He begins constructing a boat large enough to hold himself and all his livestock, or at least two of each animal in his possession, say two sheep, two chickens, two cows, etc. The valley floods and Noah survives with his livestock, and lives to tell his story. This story passes along to an ignorant man who doesn't understand how Noah could ascertain a flood from the changes in the weather, ergo he says that God told him. Make sense so far? This story gets passed along further, slowly turning into a myth. Instead of all Noahs animals, it becomes ALL the animals. Instead of Noah's whole valley flooding, it becomes the WHOLE WORLD.

I encourage each of you to take a look at any given biblical story and try to find a rational explanation for it. I am certain that there is a good story behind each of them.




posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 02:32 PM
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Hey OP

ok im not religous... good start eh!

Personally I think religion is just another means for man to have power over men, to control and enslave and as Christians for millenia have done, to kill people who do not believe in the things they believe in and to justify it by calling it gods work... in short it's disgusting, i have often marveled at people who actually take the word of the bible as real.. bonkers! Saying that I do however think that many of the stories in the bible may be grounded in reality or be born from actual events - even if they are changed and exaggerated to be used as tools to control the weak/hungry/poor etc etc

For me it's much like many legends and myths... possibly born from real events but edited over time to enhance the story - or in this case to increase the fear and control

edit on 13-6-2011 by doubledutch because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by Glass

I believe its possible that the Bible was an attempt at documenting events of the times, as well to provide anecdotes for moral teachings, cautionary tales and the like.


To me it is nothing more than a false, crudely pieced together from various sources but very powerful program that enables a tiny minority to enslave a great majority.

One does not need some 'bible' in order to learn moral teachings. For example you can look up The 42 Divine Principles of the Goddess Maat that comes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. You might recognize what the jews stole in order to make their 10 commandments.

I'll go further than that. How can anyone look to the bible for moral teachings in the first place? It's nothing but death and slaughter of innocent people by the xtian/jew/islamic 'oh-so-very-loving' "god".

The "cautionary tales" work on a subliminal level. IOW, submit to us or else this will happen to you too!


edit on 13-6-2011 by LHP666 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by doubledutch
 


Thanks for your response, Dutch. I agree for the most part with what you say, the Bible has been used as a tool for control over the years. The fear generated from the idea of Hell is an effective deterrent to keep the masses in line. However, there is still a lot of good things to learn from it, as long as you keep an open, yet critical, mind.

I should note that Hell comes from the Hebrew word Sheol, which means a pit or an abyss, and predates the Christian idea of Hell. Sheol was a place that everyone, regardless of faith and sins, went when they died. This is certainly true; when you die, your body goes in a hole in the ground, and thats it.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by LHP666
To me it is nothing more than a false, crudely pieced together from various sources but very powerful program that enables a tiny minority to enslave a great majority.


An emotionally charged statement, but true nonetheless. Several books of the Bible contradict eachother, one need only look at the change in God's personality between the old and new testament, from a vengeful warmonger favoring the israelites, to a loving, caring father once Jesus was born. God has too many human characteristics for me to believe that he is a divine being, which leads me to conclude that God is merely a human invention, a reflection of the attitudes of the respective authors.


Originally posted by LHP666
One does not need some 'bible' in order to learn moral teachings. For example you can look up The 42 Divine Principles of the Goddess Maat that comes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. You might recognize what the jews stole in order to make their 10 commandments.


I never stated that the Bible was "needed" for moral teachings, although one might argue that modern society would be radically different if the Bible hadn't been so popular. The Bible provided a standardized set of morals with a radically harsh punishment for disobedience, and once indoctrinated, the once violent and barbaric tribes of Europe were tamed, more or less, so that they could integrate into larger, equally violent nations.

It makes sence that the Jews adopted some Egyptian philosophy, they did live there for a period, after all. All we can do to improve is adopt the best parts of any philosophy we encounter.

Originally posted by LHP666
I'll go further than that. How can anyone look to the bible for moral teachings in the first place? It's nothing but death and slaughter of innocent people by the xtian/jew/islamic 'oh-so-very-loving' "god".

edit on 13-6-2011 by LHP666 because: (no reason given)


There are some good morals in the bible, its not all brutality and slaughter. Look at most of Jesus's teachings, seperately from the rest of the bible. You don't have to accept the whole thing as fact to gain something from its words. Just look at my response to you; I don't agree with everything you say, but that doesn't mean I'll condemn you entirely for having a different view.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Glass because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by Glass
 


Some say there are water marks on the Great Sphinx. So in general I believe the gist of the Noah's Ark story. That there was some sort of big flood.

A close approaching object from space could cause bad flooding, I think. The earth could bobble in it's spin. I think that's the correct scientific term. To "bobble", to "act like a fishing stopper and move up and down and sideways possibly even violently."



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by yourmamaknows
 


I have read about the Nibiru theories, and it seems plausible that if an object of sufficient mass passed close enough to the earth, it could cause the oceans to be pulled toward the object, creating a massive 'wall' of water that would sweep over the Earth as it rotates, wiping out all civilization.

In this case, one might say that Noah's Ark must have been either a much larger craft than stated in the bible, actually capable of holding specimens of all life on earth, or perhaps it was a spacecraft of some kind, and pre-flood civilization was much more advance.

Of course this is falls beyond the line of speculation, we may never have those answers. The point still remains, however, that the story was heavily distorted by the perspective of the author.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by Glass
 


I think some answers will be provided shortly. Of course, that's just what I think.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by Glass
 


no problem glass.

you are right and I agree that the fundamental ideas and messages behind Christianity are good and I do try to live by them, just not because I have to or I go to hell, i do it because i know it's right. I would do it weather Christianity existed or not.

i have also often thought that at the time of the birth of Christianity the world was a very different place and im sure at the time the message was right and we as a race needed it, It was just corrupted and turned into a tool by the people in power. As for hell, well I don't believe in it and never have - thanks for the history lesson on that by the way - very interesting how things get turned into something else... a whole in the ground eh! very interesting.

e2a: forgot to say, I read recently that a tribe of native americans has a flood story as part of their history, apparently they tied their canoes to the tops of trees to survive... interesting how that one appears in lots of different cultures history's/legend/mythology
edit on 13-6-2011 by doubledutch because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by Glass

An emotionally charged statement, but true nonetheless. Several books of the Bible contradict eachother, one need only look at the change in God's personality between the old and new testament, from a vengeful warmonger favoring the israelites, to a loving, caring father once Jesus was born.


I disagree. The NT is an even bigger bloodbath than the OT. The vials, bowls, blah blah blah. I didn't see that when I was a xtian but I do now.



I never stated that the Bible was "needed" for moral teachings, although one might argue that modern society would be radically different if the Bible hadn't been so popular.


You said in the OP "I believe its possible that the Bible was an attempt at documenting events of the times, as well to provide anecdotes for moral teachings, and that is what I responded to.


It makes sence that the Jews adopted some Egyptian philosophy, they did live there for a period, after all. All we can do to improve is adopt the best parts of any philosophy we encounter.


What do they have of their own that they didn't steal from others? I'd like to know. All they have is a mandate from their tribal 'god' as being 'the chosen'.


There are some good morals in the bible, its not all brutality and slaughter. Look at most of Jesus's teachings, seperately from the rest of the bible.


"jesus'" advice is suicidal if it's followed. It leads to nothing but slavery. It empowers no one except the slavemasters. Read it and ask what would happen to you if you followed that advice.

Loving words from "jesus": Luke 19 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

I almost wish 'jesus' was real so I could spit in his face.

As far as disagreement goes, that doesn't bother me. None of this is personal. Condemning someone for expressing an opinion is silly. Religion condemns enough people as it is. Get rid of these authoritarian religions and the world would be a better place. It's enough to just disagree and give the reasons for it.
edit on 13-6-2011 by LHP666 because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-6-2011 by LHP666 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by LHP666

It makes sence that the Jews adopted some Egyptian philosophy, they did live there for a period, after all. All we can do to improve is adopt the best parts of any philosophy we encounter.


What do they have of their own that they didn't steal from others? I'd like to know. All they have is a mandate from their tribal 'god' as being 'the chosen'.


What does anyone have that isn't "stolen" from others? In terms of intellectual property, hardly anything is original. I could blame your mother for stealing someone elses name to give to you if you want to play that game.


Originally posted by LHP666

There are some good morals in the bible, its not all brutality and slaughter. Look at most of Jesus's teachings, seperately from the rest of the bible.


"jesus'" advice is suicidal if it's followed. It leads to nothing but slavery. It empowers no one except the slavemasters. Read it and ask what would happen to you if you followed that advice.


I didn't say follow all of Jesus's advice without question, that is indeed foolish, but if you read what he says much of his teachings have to do with compassion. If you think compassion is suicidal, you must be one cold human being.

I'll humor you with regard to your last comment there. Jesus once said "If a man strikes you on one cheek, turn the other cheek". At face value, this can be taken as essentially ordering you not to defend yourself if attacked. But my common sense tells me that if my life is threatened, I would certainly strike back. What I feel Jesus is trying to say here is that if you can help it, try not to escalate conflicts. Forgiveness and understanding are more likely to help solve the problem than striking back.


Originally posted by LHP666

Loving words from "jesus": Luke 19 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

I almost wish 'jesus' was real so I could spit in his face.

As far as disagreement goes, that doesn't bother me. None of this is personal. Condemning someone for expressing an opinion is silly. Religion condemns enough people as it is. Get rid of these authoritarian religions and the world would be a better place. It's enough to just disagree and give the reasons for it.


Its funny how you've taken Luke 19:27 totally out of context. I looked up and read Luke 19 in its entirety. It is clear that at Luke 19:11, Jesus begins telling a story about a tyrannical king, which ends at Luke 19:27.

Luke 19

I'm pretty sure if you spat in Jesus's face, he would forgive you, because he was a pretty cool guy. However was he the son of God? Maybe, maybe not.

I conclude saying that I agree that religions should butt out of our lives and stop ordering people around. Religion should be there to help people who seek guidance, not force people to follow their beliefs.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by Glass
 




What does anyone have that isn't "stolen" from others? In terms of intellectual property, hardly anything is original. I could blame your mother for stealing someone elses name to give to you if you want to play that game.


They invented 3 original religions. They falsely claimed the "intellectual property rights" in order to do so, in addition to making things up as they went along. They stole it and made it their own.



What I feel Jesus is trying to say here is that if you can help it, try not to escalate conflicts. Forgiveness and understanding are more likely to help solve the problem than striking back.


The only way that would work is if it's over something trivial. "jesus" made no such distinction, but a blanket statement that you are interpreting in your own way to make it appear more reasonable than what the words actually say.

Otherwise, if it's not trivial, then that is suicidal. You are depending on the enemy, the one(s) that attacked you, are capable of being just as reasonable and kind-hearted as you are. You are assuming a lot. If you don't strike back, they will destroy you. Running away won't stop them,

This is primarily a CT board, right? Do you forgive the maggots in power that are doing these things to us? I don't. I want to live long enough to see them destroyed. I want to piss on their graves.



Its funny how you've taken Luke 19:27 totally out of context. I looked up and read Luke 19 in its entirety. It is clear that at Luke 19:11, Jesus begins telling a story about a tyrannical king, which ends at Luke 19:27.


Murdering the earths population and sending their souls to the 'lake of fire' for being human beings is downright hilarious too. Do tell me all about your "tyrannical king" that you mentioned, the one that demands obedience and love, or else!



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by LHP666
reply to post by Glass
 




What does anyone have that isn't "stolen" from others? In terms of intellectual property, hardly anything is original. I could blame your mother for stealing someone elses name to give to you if you want to play that game.


They invented 3 original religions. They falsely claimed the "intellectual property rights" in order to do so, in addition to making things up as they went along. They stole it and made it their own.



I'm assuming you're referring to the 3 big religions of today, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. I have read something to this effect, that the Jews created Christianity and Islam as part of a plot two millenia long that would lead to world domination in favor of the Roman Empire. The Jews based these religions on their own holy book, adding details for different flavors in either religion. As well, the Jews based their holy book on parts of the holy books and philosophies of the people they destroyed in the past. Not many people are aware that the Jews were a powerful force in northern Africa and the Middle East, as much mercenaries and pirates as they were merchants and bankers. So in this, you are probably correct.


Originally posted by LHP666



What I feel Jesus is trying to say here is that if you can help it, try not to escalate conflicts. Forgiveness and understanding are more likely to help solve the problem than striking back.


The only way that would work is if it's over something trivial. "jesus" made no such distinction, but a blanket statement that you are interpreting in your own way to make it appear more reasonable than what the words actually say.



I have used this advice in the past, and it has saved my life. It was in a situation where I was put in a position that if I had fought back, I would have ended up in a hospital.

I was living in a bad neighbourhood, and my roommates liked to invite gang members to party. I accidentally bumped into one of them, spilling his drink, and he took a swing at me, which I dodged since if he had hit me he would have knocked me into my TV. He put a lot of weight into his swing and so he lost his balance after missing my head by less than an inch, so I caught him before he fell into the TV and suggested we continue this in the kitchen. Then I pretty much let him beat me till I was on my knees, and called it even.

He was more than twice my size, and had at least two men with him who were almost as big as him. If I had let him fall into a good swing from my elbow, knocking a couple of his teeth out, as was my first instinct, I wouldn't be alive to debate this with you.


Originally posted by LHP666

Otherwise, if it's not trivial, then that is suicidal. You are depending on the enemy, the one(s) that attacked you, are capable of being just as reasonable and kind-hearted as you are. You are assuming a lot. If you don't strike back, they will destroy you. Running away won't stop them,



Obviously, it has its application. It falls on you to decide whether it is worth it to put your life on the line. If you're already in a life threatening situation, by all means fight tooth and nail to keep yourself alive. But don't feel you have to viciously lash out at someone for the sake of preserving your pride.


Originally posted by LHP666

This is primarily a CT board, right? Do you forgive the maggots in power that are doing these things to us? I don't. I want to live long enough to see them destroyed. I want to piss on their graves.



I sense much anger in you. Beware. Anger is the path to the dark side.


Originally posted by LHP666



Its funny how you've taken Luke 19:27 totally out of context. I looked up and read Luke 19 in its entirety. It is clear that at Luke 19:11, Jesus begins telling a story about a tyrannical king, which ends at Luke 19:27.


Murdering the earths population and sending their souls to the 'lake of fire' for being human beings is downright hilarious too. Do tell me all about your "tyrannical king" that you mentioned, the one that demands obedience and love, or else!


I'm well aware that the Bible has been twisted into a tool of fear, damning anyone who opposes its teachings to eternal suffering and such. But as I've stated before, Hell is a myth that arose from Sheol, a hole in the ground. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, the Greeks interpreted Sheol as an afterlife type place, and thus replaced it with the word "Hades". This dramatically transformed the meaning of the original text.

With regard to this tyrannical king, I posted a link to the chapter you misquoted in the bible. If you read it, you will see that the meaning behind the words is far from what you assumed it to be.

I should note that I am not a christian; I am an agnostic atheist who tends to believe more in a universal consciousness than a wicked, vengeful God. The point I'm trying to put across is that though the Bible contains a wicked, vengeful God, there is still much to be learned from it. Much in the same way that the Lord of the Rings is still a really good book, even though it contains the Dark Lord Sauron.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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The book that I am reading now, "The Bible As History", by Werner Keller, has made some attempt to rationalize biblical accounts. For instance, the Bible says that the Israelites received quail and manna from heaven after they left Egypt. Keller says that in that area of the world, quail in the mornings are very easy to catch by hand, and that on certain trees, there is a honey-like substance that can be harvested and eaten.

The book was written in 1965, and was a bestseller at the time. (my copy says that 10 million were sold :p) Mind you, the goal of this book isn't strictly to rationalize the miraculous Biblical events. It's more to present historical evidence to verify as much of the Bible as possible, and Keller clearly admits when the archaeology is at odds with the Bible. It's a pretty good read, and I'm enjoying it so far.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by DragonsDemesne
 


Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out after I finish reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion"

edit on 14-6-2011 by Glass because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 10:50 AM
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Then I pretty much let him beat me till I was on my knees, and called it even.


You got very lucky. As much as I want to say more than this, I'll refrain.




Hell is a myth that arose from Sheol, a hole in the ground.


Grave, in the OT. It is also "translated" from Gehenna, a burning trash pit in a valley outside of jerusalem in the NT.

Most people don't even know where that word 'hell' came from, and neither do they give a damn. It's a pagan word. Norse, to be exact.

They did the same things with the words translated as 'eternal' and 'forever'. There is no such eternal or forever there.

But this is only a small part of it. It just helped the state prey on peoples fears. It doesn't change the idiocy of that which really was translated well.



I sense much anger in you. Beware. Anger is the path to the dark side.


Anger and hate are natural human emotions. Repressing them does no good. And, anger/hate are very motivating if it's balanced. Besides, I am IN the dark side already, But most don't even know what "dark" means.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by LHP666



Then I pretty much let him beat me till I was on my knees, and called it even.


You got very lucky. As much as I want to say more than this, I'll refrain.


I don't believe luck had anything to do with it. I made the right move. I could read my opponent well enough that I knew what he wanted was to assert some form of superiority, so I let him have that.


Originally posted by LHP666

Grave, in the OT. It is also "translated" from Gehenna, a burning trash pit in a valley outside of jerusalem in the NT.

Most people don't even know where that word 'hell' came from, and neither do they give a damn. It's a pagan word. Norse, to be exact.

They did the same things with the words translated as 'eternal' and 'forever'. There is no such eternal or forever there.

But this is only a small part of it. It just helped the state prey on peoples fears. It doesn't change the idiocy of that which really was translated well.


You say Idiocy, I say Wisdom. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


Originally posted by LHP666



I sense much anger in you. Beware. Anger is the path to the dark side.


Anger and hate are natural human emotions. Repressing them does no good. And, anger/hate are very motivating if it's balanced. Besides, I am IN the dark side already, But most don't even know what "dark" means.


Sometimes, it does some good for one to control their anger, opting for a different path.

By your beliefs which you have presented, I'd guess that you are a Wiccan or perhaps a LaVeyan Satanist. Or I could be entirely wrong and you're simply atheistic.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by Glass

I don't believe luck had anything to do with it. I made the right move. I could read my opponent well enough that I knew what he wanted was to assert some form of superiority, so I let him have that.


Yeah, I wasn't there.



You say Idiocy, I say Wisdom. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


Fair enough



Sometimes, it does some good for one to control their anger, opting for a different path.


Out of control anger is just as destructive as repressed anger. That is a part of the balance I referred to. christianity destroys that balance.


By your beliefs which you have presented, I'd guess that you are a Wiccan or perhaps a LaVeyan Satanist. Or I could be entirely wrong and you're simply atheistic.


Laveyan? LOL! They think they have a lock on Satanism and everyone else is a pretender. I dont even know why they refer to themselves as satanists. It';s like a christian that doesnt believe in jesus or a Buddhist that doesn't believe in Buddha etc. IMO they do it for the shock value.

The left hand path is an individuals path. Everyone is different because we're all different and we do it for ourselves.



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