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Saturday, December 26, 2009

THE GOLDEN EVOLUTION (Part 3)


Photo: Jordan
(That is a startling photo to introduce you to both religion and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, as we shall see.)


Whether there is a God or not is a state of mind. God could be real, imagined or non-existent, but you will almost never be able to convince anyone one way or the other with compelling logic, unless, as religion does, you start early and saturate a young mind, reinforced by family traditions. This is why more than 90% (and could well be higher, as later polls will show in some detail) of people today harbor some true belief.

The matter of an afterlife, though, might have a better chance for reasonably and conclusively proving a point. For one, there has never been an authenticated confirmation of such an existence, plus, every refereed challenge has revealed mostly outright hoaxes and embarrassing naivete, with not one proving any communication from that other world. So let me be so bold as to state...

There is No Afterlife…However


As we get older, the notion of eternal gloom more and more becomes terrifying for some of us. This is the 21st Century. I’m an educated person. Yes, there are a lot of things I don’t understand, but something so fundamental as an afterlife surely should have been resolved by now. Why haven’t our best minds come up with some proof? Will another billion years of progress add to the information base? Chances are, the answer will be no! Thus, I have come to believe that there is no Afterlife, and, furthermore, no life controlling Supreme Being. The notion that in the beginning God was created by Man, as we also invented the family structure, agriculture and television, is sounding more and more plausible.


This attitude, historically, has always been dangerous to your health, and remains so today. If this book ever gets published, could I rather suddenly be placed by any fervent Muslim on some Fatwa (decree calling for your termination) list? There are religious fanatics—make that, really true believers—in virtually every religion that could well share similar sincere views. For anyone contemplating the internet for this unnecessary call to action, I urge you to read through this chapter and consider three grounds for reconsideration. First, I could be wrong. Maybe you can first try to convince me of my ignorance. Second, there are other more radical and insensitive authors out there, perhaps more deserving of your attention. Third, the whole point of this chapter is to arrive at a simple solution for religion. I am trying to be constructive.


I’m trying to bring a fresh new perspective to the future of religion, which is also to say that I am also almost totally out of my element in the field. Thus, the ignorance excuse in the previous paragraph sounds disingenuous, but is most definitely true. A great majority of people, even Americans, believe in God and the Afterlife. Just look at the three most popular newly born boys names in the country: Jacob, Michael and Joshua, all straight from The Bible. Hawaii, of course, where I grew up, is different. Our top three are Joshua, Jacob and Noah. Whoops, maybe this re-education solution is something I should take more seriously. This I actually did, as the following will reveal, although I kept changing my allegiance, and remain stably fluid.


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Apropos to the current subject, I today welcome the 127th nation to my blog from:


JORDAN POPULATION: 6,198,677



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Background
Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and barely managed to defeat Palestinian rebels who threatened to overthrow the monarchy in 1970. HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank. In 1989, he reinstituted parliamentary elections and initiated a gradual political liberalization; political parties were legalized in 1992. In 1994, he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and undertaken an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. In 2003, Jordan staunchly supported the Coalition ouster of Saddam in Iraq and following the outbreak of insurgent violence in Iraq, absorbed hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis, most of whom remain in the country. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were held in November 2007 and saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats. In November 2007, King ABDALLAH instructed his new prime minister to focus on socioeconomic reform, developing a healthcare and housing network for civilians and military personnel, and improving the educational system.

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