I am still writing

December 18, 2012 by heissailing

Hello all.  I have not written regularly here in about 5 years.  I moved my writing to de-conversion.com, but I stayed there for only a year or so.  If anybody still cares to follow my Spiritual Journey as it continues to evolve, I am now writing here:  LINK

Join in on the continuing conversation!

EDIT – turns out edublogs has changed a bit since I was here last.  I cannot embed an html link unless I “upgrade” to Edublogs Pro!    Whatever…

If you still care to read my articles, you can find me here:

heisYOURsailing.blogEYESspot.com  Don’t forget to remove YOUR EYES.

Can I make a table?

January 12, 2011 by heissailing

I have some ideas for an educational blog, but I need to be able to write my blog posts in two columns, and I also need to insert tables.  Let’s see if I can figure out how to do this:
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country

OK, another year and a half later…

January 9, 2011 by heissailing

Looks like I wrote an article almost 14 months ago named ‘Two Years Later’, and never followed it up.  I have been involved in several creative online activities, all of them just hobbies and brain candy. 

In the meantime, I want to start writing articles again.  I need a creative outlet.  I just cannot let it be a time sink like it became in the past.

I have let this poor site fall into a state of disrepair.  Left to its own, it has become a spam magnet.  ‘Tis a new year, and time for new beginnings.  Let the early spring cleaning begin.

First thing’s first though – I wonder if I should move this blog out of edublogs to something more commonly used, like Blogger or WordPress?  In the first place, it looks like this article, and each article I will write, will be stuck with a stupid ad:

EDUBLOGS   NO ADS, 130+ THEMES, 5GB+, REMOVE ADS ON 51 BLOGS FOR $3/MONTH

Back around 2007, when I first thought of blogging, I did not know how to fire one up.  RoseMary, my wife and schoolteacher, signed me up to this edublogs, a blogging site for educators and students.  I then spent the next year on here on edublogs “educating” people about my loss of Faith in Christianity.  I was shocked at how popular my articles became and how many comments, detates, and discussions they generated.

That stupid ad did not exist back then though.  It does now.

It is really annoying.

Let’s see….. I built a profile on blogspot long ago so that I could comment on other blogs.  It has never been used…

hmmm…..

Two years..

October 12, 2009 by heissailing

A long time to be away. 

A lot has changed with me in the last two years since I last put something on this humble blogsite.  When I started this site, I was seriously questioning my Christian Faith, and I used this forum to communicate with fellow doubters and believers.  In this, it was highly effective. 

After my faith took a nosedive, I abandoned this site to write for de-conversion.com.

I have not been a regular contributor there for over a year.  My lack of Faith is pretty secure.  The pain is mostly gone.  So I stopped writing about it. 

I would like to try and find a use for this site.  Since edublogs is designed for educators and students, I would like this site to fulfill that purpose to a greater degree – I have a few ideas in mind.  I will work on it slowly, and only for myself.

Physics Puzzler 1- Noah’s Flood

September 30, 2007 by heissailing

The myth of the Flood of Noah, found in Genesis 6-9, presents many hypothetical physics problems.  Here is one I have never heard anyone consider:

The flood of Noah drowned the entire earth, and covered all the dry land.  Let’s assume this means it rained at least 9000 meters in order to cover Mount Everest.  The atmospheric pressure at sea level before the flood matched our currect sea level, call it a pressure of 1 atmosphere.  Noah carried a brand new Vaisala weather station on board the ark.  When it finally stopped raining, Noah checked his atmospheric pressure. 

What did the gauge read?

And as I used to explain to my old students, explain your reasoning and show all your work. 

LaTeX Coding Test

September 27, 2007 by heissailing

LaTeX is a typesetting system particularly well suited for documents of a mathematical persuasion. It’s used almost exclusively by many technical, scientific and mathematical disciplines both in academia and industry. Let us see if i can implement it here onto this poor neglected blogsite.

Nothing like a Schrodinger wave equation to breathe new life into a suffering blogsite:

$latex i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>$

WoW!! Not bad!!

Let’s try a simple Gaussian function:

$latex G_{X,\sigma}(x) = \frac{1}{\sigma\sqrt{2\pi}}e^{\frac{(x-X)^{2}}{2\sigma^2}}$

how about a string of Greek letters:

$latex \alpha \beta \gamma \delta \epsilon \zeta \eta \theta \iota \kappa\lambda \mu \nu \xi \pi \rho \sigma \tau \upsilon \phi \chi \psi \omega $

I am not sure what it is questioning here.
Test Greek mu: $latex \mu$
nu: $latex \nu$
upsilon: $latex \upsilon$
phi: $latex \phi$
omega: $latex \omega$

hmmm.. I’m not sure why it is giving me question marks. All the Greek letters are in place, so I am a little confused by that.

Now capital letters:
$latex A B \Gamma \Delta E Z H \Theta I K \Lambda M N \Xi \Pi R \Sigma T \Upsilon \Phi X \Psi \Omega $

Very cool. So it looks like general equation writing with LaTeX is ok, but document writing is out. And I am not sure why it is not printing this last sentence out.

$latex \alpha \beta \gamma \delta \epsilon \zeta \eta \theta \iota \kappa\lambda \mu \nu \xi \pi \rho \sigma \tau \upsilon \phi \chi \psi \omega $

Cool, I think I have the Greek figured out. I am ready to start putting some of my favorite math puzzlers here.

Next week, a review of Inverse Fourier Transform Spectroscopy.  Stay toooned.

1 Samuel 16-17

June 9, 2007 by heissailing

The famous story of David and Goliath as presented in 1 Samuel 17, is actually two stories interwoven to make one.  Much like modern Christian apologists who try to harmonize the four Gospel accounts of Jesus, the editors of this story probably had similar problems when trying to harmonize two or more revered traditions.  There are several problems with the story as presented, and these problems give hints as to how the stories should be separated.

David and his household are introduced in 1 Samuel 16:18-19, and David is brought before Saul as a shepherd and appointed as a armor bearer and court musician (1 Sam 16:21).  It is in this way that David obtains permission from King Saul to fight Goliath (1 Sam 17:37).  Yet, David is later introduced a second time (1 Sam 17:12-14) as a shepherd whom Saul does not know (1 Sam 17:58).

The settings for the battle are identified twice (1 Sam 17:2, 1 Sam 17:19).  Goliath is introduced by name twice (1 Sam 17:4, 1 Sam 17:23).

David’s father Jesse is already well-known to the reader well before the battle with Goliath (1 Sam 16:1 ff.).  But Jesse is introduced a second time as if unknown to the reader (1 Sam 17:12-15).

David tended to Saul, and Saul loved David for his service (1 Sam 16:21), yet had no idea who David was after he killed Goliath (1 Sam 17:55-58).

With these hints, it is pretty easy to separate the two accounts from the original larger story.  Here I reprint them from the NASB, starting with Chapter 16 for full context.  Since the two separate accounts were spliced together, the verse orders are not contiguous.  While I don’t think this is perfect, and there is room for uncertainty (there is a slight problem with 1 Sam 17:31 where Saul calls for David right before battle that does not fit very well in that story), this is about the best I could do.  Any other ideas, hints or corrections are welcome.

Account 1

1 Samuel 16

 1Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”

2But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’  

3“You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.”

4So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to
Bethlehem And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 
 

5He said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.  

6When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.”  

7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  

8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”  

9Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”  

10Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”  

11And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”  

12So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”  

13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.  

14Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.  

15Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you.  

16“Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.”  

17So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.”  

18Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.”  

19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.”  

20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son.  

21Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.  

22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.”  

23So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

1 Samuel 17

 1Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; and they were gathered at Socoh which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.  

2Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and camped in thevalley of
Elah, and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines.  

3The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.  

4Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  

5He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze.  

6He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders.  

7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron; his shield-carrier also walked before him.  

8He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me.  

9“If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.”  

10Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”  

11When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.  

32David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”  

33Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”  

34But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock,  

35I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.  

36“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”  

37And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine ” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.”  

38Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.  

39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off.  

40He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.  

42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.  

43The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  

44The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”  

45Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.  

46“This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,  

47and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”  

48Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.  

49And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.    

51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.  

52The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron.  

53The sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps.  

54Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.  

Account 2

1 Samuel 17

 12Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men.  

13The three older sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and the second to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.

14David was the youngest. Now the three oldest followed Saul,  

15but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at
Bethlehem. 
 

16The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.  

17Then Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers.  

18“Bring also these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back news of them.  

19“For Saul and they and all the men of Israel are in thevalley of
Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”  

20So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry.  

21Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army.

22Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.  

23As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them.  

24When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.  

25The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”  

26Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”  

27The people answered him in accord with this word, saying, “Thus it will be done for the man who kills him.”  

28Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.”  

29But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a question?”  

30Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as before.  

31When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them to Saul, and he sent for him.  

41Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.

50Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. 

55Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.”  

56The king said, “You inquire whose son the youth is.”  

57So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand.  

58Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”  

HeIsMoving

May 14, 2007 by heissailing

Thanks for the memories!I am moving my Theistic articles to the AgnosticAtheism blogsite.  Aa invited me over as a contributor, and I have accepted.  Thanks alot, Aa!!  So while I will be posting over there far less frequently than I did here, you can follow my shenanigans there from now on.  Just click here and join the discussion!!

Thank you everyone for honoring me by reading my articles and providing challenging and thoughtful discourse.  I have learned a tremendous amount from your contributions.  But I have decided to do this just as a matter of time management.  I enjoy discussing Christianity, the Bible, God and Jesus, etc.. but it is easier to be a small part of an active community than to keep this site going by myself.

 What will happen to this website?  I don’t know – but it might become a repository for my favorite math functions.  Stay tooooned.

Resolution

May 9, 2007 by heissailing

A few weeks ago, I wrote down titles and ideas for articles to place on this website.  I came up with 38 ideas for articles.  I wrote skeletons for each, and all that was needed was a little flesh before I could place them here for everyone to think about and comment on.  I had a great article on the story of Ananias and Sapphira and today’s church fund raising strategies all ready to go – and I decided not to publish it.  I instead looked at my earlier articles, and watched how the style of my articles progressed as my faith in Jesus Christ disappeared. 

My earliest articles were written while I was a faithful Christian, with doubts.  They were simple questions.  As I read and studied more, the questions became more sophisticated, more troublesome.  Pretty soon, my articles started professing real heresy - The Resurrection Challenge, Polytheism in the Old Testament, etc.  And last of all – an article on Secularism, written as a credo by Robert Ingersoll that makes more sense to me than any Christian Creed that I ever recited.

I took a couple of weeks off the Internet, a break from my Theistic reading, a break from commenting on other blogs.  I just needed some fresh air, and some time alone with God (whoever God is) to think about everything I have learned.

I have reached a kind of resolution.  While I still have questions about the Bible and Christian belief, they are now merely academic to me.  My faith no longer hangs on the answers to those difficult problems.  I found answers, but they are diametrically opposed to Christian belief.  My questions about the Bible are now no more than amusements to me.  I might as well face it - I am in no way a Christian anymore.  Morally?  Sure, I can be Christain in the sense of maintaining Christian values.  Do I have faith in Jesus Christ for the saving justification from God and the remission of my sins?  No way.  I used to, I had that faith for many years, but that faith has evaporated.  I am convinced, after much study, reading, reflecting, prayers, tears that The Gospel message for our salvation is pure fiction – pious mythology.  I am not saying this to offend anyone.  It is not a conscious decision to reject any Christian’s belief system; I have not signed my name on any dotted line, and I mean no insult.  I don’t really consider this a de-conversion.  It is just a reaction to what I have learned and experienced.  I can no more believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of mankind than I could believe in Superman as the savior of mankind.

I can list many many reasons why I am no longer a Christian.  But I have defended myself to my fellow church friends many times in the last year or so, and frankly I am tired of it.  I am holding responsibility up to the Christian to tell me what reason I have to believe.  I am open minded – I am willing to accept sound reasoning why I should believe.  I will trust Christianity and Jesus if there is a good reason to believe the Gospel Message is true and the Bible has any divine authority – I have nothing against it and hold no grudge.  But I just see no reason why those things should be true.  And sadly most Christians reason out and analyze last night’s episode of American Idol more than they do their own Christian beliefs – and I think that is tragic.

I am not angry or bitter regarding my years of Christian belief.  On the contrary!  Christianity has taught me an enormous amount about people and why they believe what they do.  Christianity has given me a sound moral foundation, a heart for generosity and giving, and loving and caring for my fellow human being.  Christianity has given me a healthy sense of humility and taught me my proper perspective in the world.  But leaving Christianity has also taught me more about people, both good and bad.  Leaving Christianity has given me a new appreciation for The Bible, as I see it and read it as a human document with whole new meanings, and no longer with the bogus and constricting straightjacket of infallability.  And a side-effect has been a renewed interest in history and literature in general.  

I also believe that since there is no Divine Salvation, there is probably no afterlife – neither Heaven or Hell.  The fact that there is no Hell is a huge relief for me, and a reason for hope for the countless billions I used to believe were doomed with damnation.  If there is no afterlife, then I am committed to making the most of this life as I can, because this is it, baby.  This realization convicts me to be the best man and husband that I can possibly be, and has drawn me even closer to my lovely wife. 

So what will happen with this website?  I don’t know.  I still want to publish articles, but since I am not questioning as fervently and have reached a sort of resolution, my articles won’t be as frequent.  Computers are not a hobby of mine anyway, and given a choice I would much rather be working in the yard or jogging in the desert with my dogs.  I have many diverse interests, not just theistic discussion, so future articles may branch out into other areas, such as history, desert ecology and conservation, physics, astronomy, and maybe even my true love *gasp* mathematics!  Whatever happens, I will avoid Politics like the plague. 

When I do discuss the Bible or Christianity, I still resolve not to debate (too much anyway) with my readers.  Sure, I throw out questions to counter an argument every now and again, but in the end I really don’t care what anyone on the internet believes.  But just remember this.  Life has a way of being unpredictable – all I ask my readers is to never stop learning, or stop asking questions, or take beliefs or claims at face value.  I will continue to do the same, as that philosophy has enriched my life greatly. 

I am not a Christian.  Where do I go from here? 

Secularism

April 26, 2007 by heissailing

Everybody’s favorite young college student, Jumping from Conclusions, has recently introduced me to the writings of Robert Green Ingersoll.  Ingersoll was a writer and orator, back in the days when public oratory was a form of entertainment.

Ingersoll often spoke on progressive issues of the day: women’s suffrage, anti-slavery, and agnosticism.  His writing often denouned religious belief, and for this he was both popular and extremely controversial for his day.

 On this site, I often accuse Christians of accepting a Church Creed, through which they interpret their Scripture.  While I don’t think Ingersoll actually formulated a Creed, this short speech, entitled Secularism comes mighty close to one.

The next time you hear somebody ask “If there is no God, what is the purpose in life, and the point of living?”, point them to this:

                           SECULARISM.
     SEVERAL people have asked me the meaning of this term.

     Secularism is the religion of humanity; it embraces the
affairs of this world; it is interested in everything that touches
the welfare of a sentient being; it advocates attention to the
particular planet in which we happen to live; it means that each
individual counts for something; it is a declaration of
intellectual independence; it means that the pew is superior to the
pulpit, that those who bear the burdens shall have the profits and
that they who fill the purse shall hold the strings. It is a
protest against theological oppression, against ecclesiastical
tyranny, against being the serf, subject or slave of any phantom,
or of the priest of any phantom. It is a protest against wasting
this life for the sake of one that we know not of. It proposes to
let the gods take care of themselves. It is another name for common
sense; that is to say, the adaptation of means to such ends as are
desired and understood.

     Secularism believes in building a home here, in this world. It
trusts to individual effort, to energy, to intelligence, to
observation and experience rather than to the unknown and the
supernatural. It desires to be happy on this side of the grave.

     Secularism means food and fireside, roof and raiment,
reasonable work and reasonable leisure, the cultivation of the
tastes, the acquisition of knowledge, the enjoyment of the arts,
and it promises for the human race comfort, independence,
intelligence, and above all liberty. It means the abolition of
sectarian feuds, of theological hatreds. It means the cultivation
of friendship and intellectual hospitality. It means the living for
ourselves and each other; for the present instead of the past, for
this world rather than for another. It means the right to express
your thought in spite of popes, priests, and gods. It means that
impudent idleness shall no longer live upon the labor of honest
men. It means the destruction of the business of those who trade in
fear. It proposes to give serenity and content to the human soul.
It will put out the fires of eternal pain. It is striving to do
away with violence and vice, with ignorance, poverty and disease.
It lives for the ever present to-day, and the ever coming to-
morrow. It does not believe in praying and receiving, but in
earning and deserving. It regards work as worship, labor as prayer,
and wisdom as the savior of mankind. It says to every human being,
Take care of yourself so that you may be able to help others; adorn
your life with the gems called good deeds; illumine your path with
the sunlight called friendship and love.

     Secularism is a religion, a religion that is understood. It
has no mysteries, no mumblings, no priests, no ceremonies, no
falsehoods, no miracles, and no persecutions. It considers the
lilies of the field, and takes thought for the morrow. It says to
the whole world, Work that you may eat, drink, and be clothed; work
that you may enjoy; work that you may not want; work that you may
give and never need.

                         The Independent Pulpit, Waco, Texas, 1887.

I like the idea of putting the phantoms away,  and letting the gods take care of themselves.  It fits with the natural world we see around us everyday.  It makes sense of life.  It makes more sense than trying to force a mystery religion, which demands absolute trust and submission to the unknown, into my life.

It is just common sense.

You can read more of Ingersoll’s writings here.