The "Church of Reality"

Hi there, just saw this yesterday and I’m reading it now.

This may be “the true religion” – if you want to call it that, because its main theme is realism and learning.

“Tree of Life” = Physical evolution.

“Tree of Knowledge” = Mental/media evolution.


Reality is overrated.

nope,reality is like pre-k,the overrated part is the people in it.

The problem is too many people tend to underestimate life and overestimate death.

Evolution isn’t even true, so how can that corelate to the “tree of life”? I’m going to peep the link though…

Ok, peeped it real quick… And, I noticed that it contained just as much rhetoric in its message as any other religions around…

If evolution is untrue, then disprove it.

Evolution basically states that each creature on Earth evolved on a vertical path… Yet amongst the 30000 genes in the human genome 153(I believe) transferred horizontally from bacteria… Which basically means every species before this lacked these genes…

Hence, evolution being wrong…

So you are looking for the one true religion ? Why must it be “true” ? Is “truth” your god ? Why is “truth” something that should be worshipped ?

Truth doesn’t exist, it is a pure mental invention that exist only because pleasure and pain exist and the truth is the path or organizing principle of reality that generates the least pain. But this pain/pleasure and the world interpretation that carves out the path of least pain is a quirk in itself since that is simply how we ended up being hardwired by that QUIRK CALLED EVOLUTION.

Evolution doesn’t state anything, it is just a vague idea of how some animals, understood as stable energy structures, were capable of lasting longer in given environments and changing their structure over time to bring forth other stable structures.

Bit of a straw man there…

I usedto believe in people like you, about the claim that truth doesn’t exist, but I desided to go back towards more trust of human knowledge.

When light reflects off of matter and enters our eyes, we aren’t just making up bulshit about reality through preception, – we are experiencing and understanding reality. We are able to deal with and predict many parts of reality, therefor we understand it, therefor we know it, therefor knowledge is – for the most part – truth.

Even Newton’s theories of physics needed to be updated, changed and improved with time.

Darwin didn’t know about biology and genetics at the time, and his theory didn’t have the tools and understanding that we have today; despite that, look how much technology can now be used to support the evolution theory?

Was Darwin’s theory false, – or was it true, imperfect and incomplete?

Yes it was… There has yet to be a connection between modern man and prehistoric human species… We were different from Cro Mag man, homo erectus, etc… We even walked side by side with Neanderthals… Scientists have yet to prove and validate that we evolved from apes… Most evidence actually suggests that we developed from a marine mammal-type species… And if you REALLY want to get into some weirdness, many postulate that we are the result of a hybrid genetic creation from an advanced alien race- but I won’t get into that because its so far fetched and irrelevant to the discussion-unless you wish me to…

The point is, the existence of mankind completely goes against the theories of science in regards to the procession of life on this planet…

I mean think about it…

For millions of years life went from bacteria to gigantic reptiles called dinosaurs… Despite their humungous bodies and giant brains they still couldn’t develop the intelligent to create “societies” or civilizations… Millions of years go by and these dinosaur species become extinct after such a domination… All of a sudden in an environment less supportive of life than before, intelligent nomadic species of human begin popping up and they flourish… They organize and are able to use their smarts to create “tools” to overcome their physical inadequacies and survive… As time progresses they become more and more advance until all of a sudden they start to create civilizations… But, only one species of man would survive, mysteriously all the others died out… This human species, after billions of years of life on this planet suddenly- within a 10000 year span(a blink in the eye of existence) starts to creat empires, wage wars, create technology, go to the moon, until now we hold the ablity to destroy this very planet if we so desired… Remarkable…

How does evolution explain man… I’ve seen bs religion do a better job of offering explanations…

I just kinda skimmed it but I think that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. Truth is what you percieve it to be. They’re not teaching THE TRUTH they’re teaching their truth.

What’s the difference between £$&GYGG<<<>$DMN/&G%RG and E=mc^2 ?
They are both an arbitrary sequence of symbols, only that the second has a “consequence” for us humans, it maps to a certain way we humans, as an arbitrary stable energy structure, interact with the world. This interaction is important for us since it has consequences in terms of pain and pleasure, even indirectly, since being able to manipulate the world through “scientific” knowledge means that we manipulate it to our own desires and to minimize pain.
But if we didn’t perceive pain/pleasure how would we interact with the world ? What kind of science would we develop ? Or if we were hardwired differently and perceived pain and pleasure through odd connections, wouldn’t we develop a completely different science ?

For example, if we were hardwired in such a way that by manipulating a small peeble on a road we could feel intense pain or pleasure, we would develop a complete science only based on that peeble since that has a direct consequence for us, not because the peeble has anything special about it. It becomes special only through our interaction with it. Science is a function of the way we are hardwired with the world in terms of pain and pleasure. A sequence of cause and effect or any logical construction isn’t more or less valuable, special or meaningful than any other sequence of random symbols. Cause and effect, mathematics, logic, language, explanations are just other random sequences of items which become important only to us since it has consequences in terms of how we interact with the world in terms of pain/pleasure.

But our interaction and the way we are hardwired is ARBITRARY. At a deeper level there is nothing special about our structure, our mind, or our science since it came about by a quirk chance. There can be millions of other very different structures with different minds and sense organs, that interact differently and produce/invent a completely different “science”.

Then truth is relative to our arbitrary structure. If atoms were made up of small elvis presleys or any other thing, it would not matter, they could be made up of any structure and have any kinds of properties and laws associated with them. That they happen to be what they are, governed by quantum mechanics is just a quirk choice, any other structure would be equivalent. Any universe and laws of physics are based on some kind of regularity, exactly which regularity it happens to be in any particular universe is irrelevant, anything else would do. We study these particular laws because they have direct consequences on us, but if we ended up evolving into another hardwired being we would experience and study maybe completely different laws and never even discover any laws of physics since they would be indifferent to us if we didn’t perceive their influence. Even logic and language is just a quirk random combination/choice, anything else would do. Maybe this is where art meets science.

Telescope – why invent that? Other planets do not effect our life or give us pleasure.

Your pain vs pleasure argument is messed up. Gain and loss would be a better choice of words. A human body is just as real as the environment that it interacts with, and it is just as real as the thoughts that it thinks. Gaining understanding and knowledge counts as a form of growth, which is part of our meaning and will. Growth and advancement are different then simple pain-vs-pleasure arguments. Scientists aren’t hedonistic gadabouts, are they?

So what if understanding is incomplete and imperfect? It still works and becomes more accurate with time and progress.

Let’s fallow this through. It’s relative to the C.O.R. because they believe in evolution aswel.

A spider being able to spin a web. Let’s look at that. What an animal needs to use in order to survive – gets very advanced and developed with time. Is there any other animal on earth that uses its brain and team effort to solve its problems? Or do other species use things like speed, preception and physical strength mainly?

Human bodies are underdeveloped in many physical ways compared to animals, but we are very developed mentally. If you liked to draw pictures, and drew pictures every day – you’d get very good at doing this, and if you got a job as an artist, then what? The fact that things get more efficient and advanced as they are developed – happens genetically through evolution.

Q: about other humanoid species being wiped out:
Neanderthols may have been killed by humans…
Ancient humans had more advnaced tools and teamwork, perhaps already capable of war and pillage. In fossils, there were skulls of neanderthols had spear tips stuck in them…

Other questions:
As you see today, technology starts slow – then grows at a faster-and-faster rate. This explains why humans got so advanced so fast. First the population had to reach a certain level, and then they needed to store useful information upon a medium, and then they were set.

Brains size and intelligence:
When breeding dogs, the smaller breeds of dogs still have the intelligence of the larger dogs, even though the brain is so much smaller.
Modern computer technology is smaller and more powerful then it usedto be. This all shows that size is different then advancement. Dinosaurs could have had very large, inefficient and underdeveloped bodies and brains – for all we know; it’s a destinct possability…

What’s this about marine species and aliens? Please explain.

To be more precise, instead of pain/pleasure other more abstract emotions/feelings may also be considered such as “good and bad” or “satisfying and non satisfying” or “coherent and non coherent” etc.

The terms are that these emotional states carve out how we follow the path of knowledge/science. It implies some kind of abstract “judgment” as a starting point. This starting assumption of judging according to how knowledge rings with our emotions, which means how it is useful to us or valid “culturally” is ARBITRARY. It is well defined within our interactions with the wolrd and other humans, but from a more abstract point of view, from outside the system, it is just as valid as any other random sequence of items/symbols/concepts or inventions. If our mind/emotions were hardwired differently, random stones could be the most important thing for our mind/emotions as opposed to atoms for example.

Man, in this sense is the measure of all things, but there are many infinite more things that Man doesn’t measure or consider.

What the Church of Reality Isn’t - Besides the above statements of what we are, much of what we are not defines us and not only a unique religion, but a completely different class of religion. Some people consider all religion to be evil because all religions tell you what to think or do other things that most all religions do that scares thinking people away. Some of the things the Church of reality isn’t includes:

* We do not tell you what to think. You have to think for yourself. We are not interested in doing your thinking for you.

* We do not worship anything.

* We are not into rituals. No throwing virgins into volcanoes.

* We are not out to get your money.

* We are not a cult.

* We are not the only path.

* We are not any better than anyone else.

* We are not on a higher plane of consciousness.

* We are not enlightened.

* We are not into dogma.

* We are not obsessed with sin. No original sin.

* We don't have commandments.

* We are free of gods, devils, demons, spirits, fairies, elves, vampires, angels, leprechauns, trolls, pixies, thetans, prophets, ghosts, goblins, witches, and space alien possession or abduction. (Some of us however secretly believe Spock is real.)

* We do not demonize nonmembers.

* We are not the chosen people.

* We do not restrict your personal freedoms.

* We do not indulge in an inflated sense of self importance.

* We are not endorsed by any omnipotent beings.

* We do not ask you to turn your life over to anyone.

* We do not kill you for converting away from Realism.

* We do not ask you to put aside logic and reason.

* We do not require you to accept anything on faith.

* We do not save your soul by asking you to have a personal experience with a fictional deity.

* We do not pass out preacher credentials, participate in religious fraud, nor are we involved in or advocate tax scams.

* We do not make false promises or threats about in relation to a fictional next life. No Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or Reincarnation.

* We do not make you wear weird clothing.

What’s the difference between an “explanation” and a scribble on a piece of paper or pure non sense ? None. The explanation is just something useful for us in organizing and predicting the world, manipulating it according to our needs, pleasure, survival etc. But taken as is, there is nothing that really distinguishes an explanation from any sequence of symbols, a painting or any non sense at all.

The quantum physics equations are equivalent to any sequence of symbols. They become important only in that they can be used to interpret, organize conceptually and manipulate matter. They are in turn useful to us only because we are hardwired to perceive and interact with matter in a given quirk way. If we were hardwired differently we could even not have explanations, or have a completely different way to organize our thoughts-emotions-interactions. Science itself is just a QUIRK.

April 11, 2006

Dear All,

Church of Reality
Marc Perkel, founder (‘First One’) of Church of Reality
Just one more “friendly” false prophet

Marc is a very practical, materialistic and practically loveless man whose concept of life is centred primarily on that which is revealed through the five senses. He is a slow thinker with little appreciation of theory. He is very hard working, and his life revolves around himself and his projects. He is a very determined individualist and potential leader with little diplomacy or vision; he has very little sympathy or compassion for others. He desires to bring others together in peace and harmony, however. His destiny is that of self-expression with others, with an enjoyment of stirring people up emotionally through any means, and he is drawn into a good-time, party environment. His desires for food and sex are very strong, and with his self-centredness he has the potential for sexual abuse; constructive expression of his nature through enthusiasm for his own projects is important. He may excel in anything requiring system and order and attention to detail.

Marc says:

“The Church of Reality is an evolving religion. We are not tied to a fixed doctrine that was written in the past and is slowly becoming obsolete. If we get it wrong, we fix our mistakes. We are an Open Source Religion and everyone is welcome to participate in the development and improvement of our religion. We live on a vast wondrous universe that we are just beginning to explore. Why would someone want to waste their entire existence on a fictional world view when there’s all this wonderful reality to investigate and understand?”

This brings to mind:

Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 29)

Regarding the fallacy of ‘will power’:

A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
And is therefore good.
A foolish man tries to be good,
And is therefore not good.

A truly good man does nothing, [dd: which is not called for]
Yet leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man is always doing, [dd: things he thinks are important]
Yet much remains to be done.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 38)

Regarding humility:

He that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23.12)

Before a man attains greatness he must descend to lowliness. (Nahman Bratzlav, q Commentary, Oct. 1951)

Greatness flees from him who seeks it, and follows him who flees from it. (Samuel, Talmud: Erubin)

Many a man might have become great in later years if he had not in his younger years believed himself to be that already. (Sanders, Citatenlexikon, 1899)

To find truth, bend down humbly. (Baal Shem)

No crown carries such royalty as that of humility. (Eleazar b. Judah, Rokeah)

O bush, O bush! Precisely because you are the lowest of trees did the Holy One reveal Himself in you. (Aha b. Raba, Talmud: Sabbath)

The green shoots of lowliness are love. (Ibn Gabirol, Mibhar HaPeninim, c. 1050)

The summit of intelligence is lowliness. (Ibn Gabirol, Mibhar HaPeninim)

Where there is greatness, there is humility. (Wesseley, Yen Lebanon)

Who does not exalt himself will be exalted by others. (Meir, Talmud: Moed Katan)

As the fruit multiplies, the tree bends; as wisdom grows, humility increases. (J. Steinberg, Mishle Yehoshua, 1885)

Be humble, that you may not be humbled. (Talmud: Derek Eretz)

We lower when we want to lift … The upward movement in us is vain … if it does not come from a downward movement. (S. Weil, Gravity and Grace, 1952)

The humble is the root of the noble.
The low is the foundation of the high.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 39, tr Gia-Fu Feng)

Regarding pride:

‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou has said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.’ (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Self-exaltation (pride in self) is surely the subtlest and most deadly form of idolatry – with the noblest of intent, one may worship oneself instead of God. (Luxin)

So great is the power of human pride that again and again, even within terms of the Christian faith, man places his essential trust not in the ultimate character of God but in some achievement of the human spirit. (Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy, ch. 6)

Regarding false prophecy:

The prophet Jeremiah is very much concerned with the problem of false prophets. He deals with it repeatedly. The test he presents for distinguishing between the true and false in prophecy may not be exhaustive. The problem is too great to be easily exhausted. But his test is important and convincing. Jeremiah accuses some of the prophets of his day of speaking “the vision of their own heart and not out of the mouth of the Lord” But that is merely to describe false prophecy. False prophecy always means to give ultimate significance to purely individual and partial judgments. The question is: How is one to detect this false element? Jeremiah’s answer is that a false prophet betrays himself by offering false security to people. “They say still unto them that despise me, the Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace.” Or again: “They say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” The false prophet preaches security to those who make their own inclinations the law of life and who thereby despise and defy God. The prophecy is false because a life which defies the laws of life in order to gain security destroys what it is seeking to establish. The mark of false prophecy is that it assures the sinner peace and security within terms of his sinful ambitions. True prophecy has the function of revealing the true laws of life to the sinner, and discovering to his blind eyes how he increases his insecurity by taking the law into his own hands for the purpose of establishing himself in an insecure world. (Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy, 94)

The temptations to false prophecy are so ubiquitous that any sensitive teacher of the word may well be driven to the edge of despair. It is so easy to condemn flagrant pride and to condone a subtle form of it; to outlaw overt injustice and to sanction a covert form of it; to condone the security of power because its tentative necessity is recognised; or accept injustice complacently as the price and inevitable consequence of power; or to encourage men to the illusory hope that they may build a world in which there is no power, pride or injustice. How can all of these temptations be avoided? They cannot. All of us will always have something of the false prophet in us, wherefore we ought to speak humbly. We will mistake our own dreams for the word of God. Sometimes sloth will tempt us to make a superficial analysis of the moral and social facts with which we are dealing; sometimes pride will tempt us to speak as if we had already attained or were already made perfect; sometimes cowardice will tempt us to make concessions to the immense, blind and stubborn self-righteousness with which every culture, every nation and every individual wards off the word of God.

It is instructive that the same Jeremiah who spoke so uncompromisingly against the false prophets tried to return his prophetic commission to God. He was not certain that he was worthy of it, and he doubted his courage to maintain the integrity of the word of God against the resistance of a whole generation which demanded security from religion and rejected the prophet who could offer no security on this side of repentance. His commission was returned to him by the Lord with the demand that he “separate the precious from the vile” in himself, so that he might be worthy to be a prophet. Thus the Church can disturb the security of sinners only if it is not itself too secure in its belief that it has the word of God. The prophet himself stands under the judgment of which he preaches. If he does not know that, he is a false prophet. (Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy, 109-10)

Jeremiah 17:5-9…
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm…” [man of man as heath in desert; man of God a great fruitful tree] “The heart [emotions/desires] is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Reinhold Niebuhr, in Beyond Tragedy, Ch. 6, paraphrases the above as:
Cursed be the man that trusteth in man’s church.

Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, “best-known US theologian”, in Beyond Tragedy, paraphrased Jeremiah 17:5-9 as: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man’s church.”

Reinhold Niebuhr, in Beyond Tragedy, p130:
“Trust no man.”

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (Psalm 146:3-4)

Matthew 15:13-14 (King James Version)
13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

‘If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matthew 15.14)

“Beware of false prophets…” (Matthew 7:15)
“Ye shall know them by their fruits…” (Matthew 7:16)
“…a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)
“…by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

warning to false prophets - hypocrites (actually atheists) - egoistic men of intellect looking for fame, and pretending to be spiritual:

Isaiah 29:13-16, KJV:
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men [not respect for God, but, NIV: "Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men]: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? [NIV: Can the pot say of the potter, He knows nothing?]

Church of Reality quote: “We do not indulge in an inflated sense of self importance.” Dear All, draw your own conclusions. Remember, false prophets avoid discussing false prophecy. I like to think my sharing comes from Self-importance, not self-importance. But I don’t do it for anyone but me, because it’s essentially ALL ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Thank you, Church of Reality. It was fun, and chuckles aplenty. Sorry, you don’t get any marks from me for a self-deprecating sense of humour. I value substance, and respect for all, including virgins when referenced. The biggest (silent) laugh (tragedy) is that some folks may take you seriously. Ah well, such is death-in-life. hee-hee-hee!