Author Topic: Where should I stand on religion?  (Read 580 times)

Offline SGOS

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2017, 02:01:18 PM »
You had a child-like view of prayer, as most people do.  You needed to articulate, to yourself, who and what you are ... and act on that ... that is the purpose of prayer.
And God is required for this because...?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 02:03:52 PM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2017, 02:06:43 PM »
Short early history of Christianity ... those who have studied here, already know ...

1. There were messianic movements in Judah and Israel and the Diaspora.  More than one, they existed from before Judah Maccabee (before 150 BCE), until after Apostle Paul.  There is a history to this before Judah Maccabee, and a context.  All Jewish messiahs are false messiahs.  Only Gentile messiahs are true (Constantine) ... cough.

2. This process went thru a long and violent period, arriving at a punctuation point in the 4th century CE.  So this took about 500 years.  The end point was Orthodox Judaism (rabbinic Judaism transitioning form Hebrew to Aramaic) and Orthodox Christianity (Greek and Latin and Armenian and Ethiopian and Syrian depending on where your home was, who was ruling you and what native language you had).  Orthodox Judaism was made up of Jewish people.  Orthodox Christianity was made up of Gentile people (including descendants of former Hellenistic Jews who lost all Judaism).

3. This history has repeated itself, as history tends to do.  The revised Hellenized Jews didn't speak Greek, they spoke Spanish and German (sephardim and ashkenazim).  ME Jews spoke Aramaic initially, but eventually spoke Arabic (mizrahim).  A few Gentiles were converts to Judaism (kazars and others).  There was a false Jewish messiah as recently as 1994 (rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of the Lubavitch Hasidim).  The Zionism of Persian-ruled Jews returning to Judah, was repeated in modern Israel.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 02:16:02 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2017, 02:14:33 PM »
And God is required for this because...?

Religion is applied personal and social psychology.  Today it can be done from a purely secular POV ... G-d isn't necessary.  It is a style choice.  My choice, my style.  But you don't have to do introspection (prayer) if you don't want to.  There is no compulsion in my religion, not in heresy anyway ;-)  Arguing from epistemology or metaphysics even, misses the whole point.  Man wasn't made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made by men, for men.

G-d is an idea, that serves as a concept that allows one to escape the corruption of self-interest and self-regard.  One can go too far with this ... hate humanity and hate your own self.  Desert Fathers in the 4th century for example, but asceticism in Egypt, and in India, goes way back into early history.  During the Ashura festival in Shia Islam, they still do this ... beat themselves with chains.  Flagellants did this in Medieval Europe.  Fakirs still do this in India.

As a demigod ... I reject excessive denial of self and society ... which I regard as anti-humanist.  But if you are purely selfish, you are psychologically sick in a different way.  Nothing In Excess (see Delphic priestess for more).  We humans are caught between a rock and a hammer .. self regard and self hate (which we then project on society as a whole).  This is why I take Shiranu's POV as misdirected self hate.  And the solution is for him to do a lot of introspection (self healing) in a monastery.  I see him really getting into Gregorian Chant.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 02:17:43 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2017, 02:25:36 PM »
Not the purpose of prayer.  G-d knows what you are thinking already, also knows what you need vs what you want (conventional theology).  You had a child-like view of prayer, as most people do.  You needed to articulate, to yourself, who and what you are ... and act on that ... that is the purpose of prayer.  Self examination and self motivation.  In the Jewish tradition, prayer is you bringing to your attention, your need for repentance.  The result of genuine repentance is a devotion to good deeds.  And one of the good deeds is to pray ... but with the correct intention.  Ignorant prayer or prayer with the wrong intention are useless ... and that is what you knew, or were taught.  You never got to the maturity necessary to realize this, but that is OK.
95% of christians today don't know that.  This is what Matthew has to say about it:
 Matthew 6:5-13.

“And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."

And if christians were serious about following their book of instructions, why would they want prayer in school or before any public activity or meeting?  That is going against what Matthew says jesus said.  But then, when do real christians give a shit about what 'Jesus' is supposed to have taught??

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2017, 02:29:45 PM »

Offline Baruch

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2017, 02:46:56 PM »
Thank you.

I am both mature and reasonable.  But I would still recommend introspection, particularly for St Truth and Shiranu.  Young men have a lot of stuff to work out.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2017, 02:48:21 PM »
95% of christians today don't know that.  This is what Matthew has to say about it:
 Matthew 6:5-13.

“And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."

And if christians were serious about following their book of instructions, why would they want prayer in school or before any public activity or meeting?  That is going against what Matthew says jesus said.  But then, when do real christians give a shit about what 'Jesus' is supposed to have taught??

If Christians were both educated, consistent and seriously Orthodox ... they would kill us, same as the Muslims.  Me for being Jewish, you for being atheist.  So be glad that their clown car is in the ditch so frequently ;-)
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Offline St Truth (OP)

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2017, 09:43:09 PM »
It's difficult to establish the beginning of Christianity.  It was most like a century long process as the meme slowly spread until enough people began hearing the story over and over from multiple sources.  I arbitrarily chose the assembling of transcripts into the anthology as the beginning, kind of like the date when it was officially documented and submitted into the record.  In actuality, there can be no specific date for the long period of momentum building.  In it's beginnings, people wouldn't have even guessed it would become a dominant religion.  I doubt that is was even called Christianity at first.  I like to mark it's inception with the Bible, when charismatic leaders were able to give it a final push into celebrity status, articulate it's basic tenants, and produce a manifesto that would become the basis for all further Christianity.

Christians usually associate the beginning of their faith with the birth of Baby Jesus, but I'm a bit too cynical to think that anyone picked up the event on the evening news and was relieved to hear there was finally a new religion long awaited since the prophecies.

Other's might place the date of Christianity's establishment with the creation of the Nicene Creed, the basics of which clearly express the tenants of Christianity with the beginning words:

Christianity already existed not long after Jesus was executed for treason. What the Gospels say is rubbish. Jesus, if he existed at all (and there is a huge likelihood that he didn't) was most probably an apocalyptic zealot. There were many in those days and their goal was to free Israel of Roman rule. John's gospel changed that to a more spiritual 'kingdom'. That was a necessity because John's gospel was written much later and by that time, it was obvious to everyone that Jesus' promise of a return during the lifetime of his disciples ain't gonna happen because the poor chap had long become worm food.

There are no doubt variations, as the original, still used by the Lutheran Church, back in my Christian days paid special homage to the "Holy Catholic Church."  This always perplexed me, since the Catholics were the bad guys, but someone had failed to remove that part from the creed when we adopted it.  I would guess the Anglican Church uses the creed or a variation of it.  It seems to be well established throughout Christianity.

There are no variations to the Nicene Creed. The substance is always intact. The only variation comes from the Orthodox church but it's a minor variation. Just a dumb quibble over a few words. That's what religious nutters love to do. You are mistaken about the Holy Catholic Church. That is not the same as the Roman Catholic church. The dumb Papists sometimes dropped the 'Roman' and people wrongly associate 'Catholic' to Roman Catholic. but that's historically incorrect. The Roman Catholic Church is the Church of Rome. My church is the English Catholic Church or the Church of England. Catholic simply means 'universal'. When the Creed is recited we are simply affirming the universal church and not just our own regional churches. It is for this reason that any one of us were to join different churches whether they are from the RC, Protestant or Orthodox tradition cannot be baptised again. Our baptism is valid whatever our tradition may be. Only the dumb Baptists will baptise you again but they're an American cult.

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2017, 10:22:15 PM »

By mid December, I will reach a new milestone in my life. I'll hit the age of majority in Scotland although less enlightened countries such as England, Wales, and the US recognise an older age. Where shall I stand vis-a-vis religion?

Where should you stand on religion?  On it's neck!
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2017, 11:29:31 PM »
Maybe it's only American Christians who are bothered about what a person actually believes.
In some parts of Europe, there is an official religion, but it's usually pretty inclusive, inoffensive stuff - like Unitarian churches are here.  It's a cultural thing more than a political thing.

In the US, religion is somewhat different.  There are multiple religions, multiple denominations in intense competition and they've found some creative and effective ways to sell these beliefs.  In the US, a lot of people really believe this stuff.  And some of these people are extremely religious and extremely politically active.  In fact, religion has become somewhat enmeshed with politics despite our official policy of secular government.  Candidates for office tout their religious convictions as if they were a part of their platform.  And in a way, they are.

These beliefs affect policy, which in turn, affect people.  That's why Americans, especially atheist Americans, are interested in a person's religious beliefs.  This interest that stems from much more than idle curiosity.  It's a pretty good indicator if a person is a sane person or a dangerous nutbar.

Offline St Truth (OP)

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2017, 12:15:15 AM »
In some parts of Europe, there is an official religion, but it's usually pretty inclusive, inoffensive stuff - like Unitarian churches are here.  It's a cultural thing more than a political thing.

In the US, religion is somewhat different.  There are multiple religions, multiple denominations in intense competition and they've found some creative and effective ways to sell these beliefs.  In the US, a lot of people really believe this stuff.  And some of these people are extremely religious and extremely politically active.  In fact, religion has become somewhat enmeshed with politics despite our official policy of secular government.  Candidates for office tout their religious convictions as if they were a part of their platform.  And in a way, they are.

These beliefs affect policy, which in turn, affect people.  That's why Americans, especially atheist Americans, are interested in a person's religious beliefs.  This interest that stems from much more than idle curiosity.  It's a pretty good indicator if a person is a sane person or a dangerous nutbar.

Is 'nutbar an American word for the English 'nutter'? We call religious crackpots 'nutters'.

Offline Baruch

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2017, 12:29:44 AM »
In some parts of Europe, there is an official religion, but it's usually pretty inclusive, inoffensive stuff - like Unitarian churches are here.  It's a cultural thing more than a political thing.

In the US, religion is somewhat different.  There are multiple religions, multiple denominations in intense competition and they've found some creative and effective ways to sell these beliefs.  In the US, a lot of people really believe this stuff.  And some of these people are extremely religious and extremely politically active.  In fact, religion has become somewhat enmeshed with politics despite our official policy of secular government.  Candidates for office tout their religious convictions as if they were a part of their platform.  And in a way, they are.

These beliefs affect policy, which in turn, affect people.  That's why Americans, especially atheist Americans, are interested in a person's religious beliefs.  This interest that stems from much more than idle curiosity.  It's a pretty good indicator if a person is a sane person or a dangerous nutbar.

American enthusiasm for sports, politics, religion, etc.  We are the rejects of Europe, and proud of it.  So are the Australians and Canadians.  NZ is more like the mother country.  The Enlightenment leaders were cool, calm, collected.  But then that was replaced with the Romantic leaders (something already brewing in the 18th century).  Don't know why Europeans are so ... passive.  Maybe sending all the seriously emotional people to other places, drained their gene pool of that kind of person?

So are Americans potentially willing (as a Walmart shopper) to burn people at the stake for shopping at Target?  Perhaps.  We do trample people to death trying to get into a store that is opening with a sales special ;-(  Just think of us as New Guinea, but without the pig tusks thru our nose, and without the cannibalism.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Where should I stand on religion?
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2017, 04:03:23 AM »
All theisms are equally idiotic.  None are better than another.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950