Author Topic: A Few Questions  (Read 4465 times)

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 11:43:17 PM »
Umm... Isn't this basically the same thread from nearly four years ago?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 12:42:53 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Hello all,

My name is Zach, or SB Leader as my gaming name goes. This is not my first time on this forum as I interacted for a short stint during a research project for my undergraduate work in 2014. Now, in my graduate studies, I have returned with a few non-threatening questions for a project I am compiling for an Apologetics course (They are actually much the same questions as before!). My goal is, as Francis of Assisi once said, "not so much to be understood as to understand." I will interact as much as possible, but please forgive me for inevitably missing a few things.

Are you repeating the same project for your graduate class that you did in an undergraduate class? That tells me you either didn't learn much or you're not very creative.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Short bio: I am what you may call a "Christian" though that means quite a variety of things these days.

Yes. You could be Catholic, Baptist, Non-Denominational...

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
A Christ follower may be a clearer signifier.

Oh... So you just meant that you're a "real Christian," while the ones you don't approve of are just Christian by name. Classic.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Answer in as much or as little detail as you'd like. Here are my questions (Forgive the sometimes awkward wording! I understand that I may find members of this community who are not completely atheist and they are meant to be worded as generally as possible):

1. -How would you describe your religious background and church involvement?

Raised in a Christian home, most of my extended family are Pentecostals. In my early life, my parents took me to a technically non-denominational church, in that they were not affiliated with any denominational organizations. But they were basically Pentecostal, speaking in tongues and all. I didn't like it there. When I was about twelve, my dad was hired to play bass for a Lutheran church, and so I and the rest of my family followed him there when he would play. My parents decided they liked the Lutheran church better and decided to stay. I liked it there. People acted civil, it wasn't obnoxiously noisy with repetitive music and babbling people. It was calmer, which I very much appreciated. It was at this church that I made my faith personal. I got involved in several ministries and voluntarily spent three days or more at church: one for small group studies, one for practice for the following service, and then Sunday morning. I fit in there and made a lot of friends, but my parents decided they didn't like it there any more and uprooted me from that church to go back to the Pentecostal church. I was miserable. I went from feeling more at home at church than in my parents' house to hating every minute in church. People looked down on me for being quiet, like there was something wrong with me for not shouting random syllables while praying. Soon, my parents went church hopping again and we settled into a Baptist church. While I didn't feel quite at home at this Baptist church, it was a massive improvement over the Pentecostal church. I got involved in ministries and started making friends again. Then the youth pastor left, and the leader of the band left, and the leader of the entire college ministry left. Despite going to the same church, nothing felt the same. I prayed to God for guidance, for relief, and his persistent silence spoke volumes. I determined that God either didn't give a rat's ass about me or he didn't exist. Either way, he wasn't worth worshiping. My parents tried to force me to continue going to church, despite hating every minute being there, so I moved out. Since then, I've stopped going to church, and I've privately identified myself as an atheist.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
2. -To you, what is God like? Describe God. Or if you do not believe in God, then: what is important in life?

Which one? I assume you mean Yahweh of the Bible, but the Bible does not paint a consistent picture of him. His standards and behaviors change from book to book. In one book, he's a war mongering asshole, who destroys entire cities unprovoked. In the next, he's "merciful" and wants to save every wicked man and animal...from himself. The only consistent thing about the fictional character of Yahweh is that he's an asshole. I do not believe that any god exists in the real world.

What's important in life? That's up for each person to decide for himself or herself. Life has no meaning other than what we give it. For me, it's just trying to make the best of things. I want to create video games and write books. I want to get married and have children. I don't want to look back and think that my one shot at life was wasted.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
3.-Describe what the term Jesus Christ means to you.

He's a legend who may or may not have been based on a real person. But whether the legends started with a man or not, the legend does not resemble the real person any more at all. Over time, he's gone from being a prophet to being God himself. According to Christians, he died for our sins, which makes absolutely no sense. He died so God can overlook the fact that we're not perfect? But apparently, God wasn't completely satisfied by his sacrifice to himself, so he still expects us to kiss his ass or else he'll throw us into Hell to be pointlessly tortured for eternity. To put it simply, I'm not a fan.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
4.-What defines what is good and bad? How are we able to know?

There are no moral absolutes. Even you do not believe that murder and rape are wrong because you read it in the Bible. The reason you consider "thou shalt not murder" relevant, but "thou shalt not cook a calf in it's mother's milk" irrelevant is because you're bringing your own standards into the Bible. Murder is wrong because it harms another human being, not because God said so. And there are exceptions to every rule. Morality should always be approached on a case-by-case basis, giving consideration to the circumstances. "Do not lie" may be a generally good rule, but when the Nazis come knocking on your door looking for Jews, it would not be good to tell them that you have a Jew hiding in your basement.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
5.-What to you is the most significant issue with the Christian church? The most significant benefit from the same church?

The most significant issue is the way they try to take over everything. They're trying to make America a Christian nation, rather than a nation based on secular principles, where everyone is free to practice whatever religion (if any) they choose. They want to put Christian prayer in government funded public schools. They want to claim marriage, an institution which was invented long before Christianity. They want to claim family values and morality, despite being devoid of either. In the past, they've claimed ancient holidays and rebranded them to be about Jesus. Christmas, for example, is not a Christian holiday, and never was one. Jesus was not born in December, and people care more about Santa Clause than they do about Jesus. Christians try to put their grubby hands on everything they can touch.

As for the biggest benefit of the church? When they occasionally do charitable work for their communities, that's good. But I wouldn't trust a church to make good use of my money. I'll give it to a nonprofit organization that won't turn people away for being gay.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 09:13:06 AM by Blackleaf »
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline pr126

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 02:04:49 AM »
Jesus as a personal assistant. Downloadable now.

Instead of OK Google say OK Jesus. Android or IOS.

Better than Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Google.
 
"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Offline SGOS

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 08:49:33 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
-To you, what is God like? Describe God.
God is a concept invented by man to meet an assortment of objectives ranging from crowd control to reassuring individuals that they are not ignorant and crazy.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Or if you do not believe in God, then: what is important in life?
I don't want to lose my hair.  I don't think I would look good without my hair.

Offline pr126

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 09:26:17 AM »
I've lost my hair.
I am saving money on hair care products and barbers. ;)
At 74 I don't care much how I look.
"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Offline SGOS

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2018, 11:39:53 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I've lost my hair.
I am saving money on hair care products and barbers. ;)
At 74 I don't care much how I look.
I always felt sorry for guys that would do the Rogaine or plugs thing.  It always seemed like an inability to accept one's fate.  My cousin was so worried about losing his hair during chemo treatments that he bought a wig.  When they buried him, the undertaker put the wig on him, which upset his daughter so much they she grabbed it off his head and threw it away.  No one seemed to object, least of all my cousin, and I thought to myself, "You go, Girl.  Rock on."

Offline Baruch

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2018, 12:52:20 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
God is a concept invented by man to meet an assortment of objectives ranging from crowd control to reassuring individuals that they are not ignorant and crazy.
I don't want to lose my hair.  I don't think I would look good without my hair.

Tonsure ... the Christian donut kind, or the Buddhist all-over kind ;-)  What is the "atheist" tonsure?
שלום

Offline Luther Martini

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2018, 01:08:40 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
What is the "atheist" tonsure?

A bare spot on my rear end that I can point to when telling religious proselytizers to kiss my ass.

Offline Baruch

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2018, 01:15:52 PM »
All regular members here are abnormal, some more abnormal than others, I am a heretical Jewish theist:

1. -How would you describe your religious background and church involvement?
Barely religious as a child, but definitely a secondary interest growing up.  A little Methodist, a little Buddhist, a little Freemasonry.  Worked in several churches with my ex, who was a former Sister of the Catholic Church and Protestant pastor.  Later I came to Messianic Judaism, but I differ on many things from my rabbi, at the synagogue that I support.

2. -To you, what is God like? Describe God. Or if you do not believe in God, then: what is important in life?
G-d is Life itself (L'chaim), and Life is more than biology or psychology or sociology.  The most easily understood aspect of G-d, is G-d as expressed in our common humanity.  G-d can be found in scripture, in so far as that scripture explores our common humanity (warts and all).  The writings of Shakespeare or Cervantes are scripture.  The Bible is just an anthology of old Jewish religious literature.

3.-Describe what the term Jesus Christ means to you.
This has evolved for me a lot.  I now understand "Jesus Christ" as referring to a Platonic/Jungian Archetype.  I see things from a humanistic perspective, not a materialistic perspective.  The gospels are different fictional explorations of this particular archetype.  This archetype originally was BuJew ... Buddhist/Jewish.  Later it became central to Western man, to his self definition.  Non-Christians opposed this, beginning with Pagans, but including Jews and Muslims.  But what Christianity became, was influenced by Judaism from inside and Islam from outside.  As an example of an avatar ... I relate back to Greco-Roman hero mythology.  I now consider all humans to be demigods, because I am more democratic than Augustus Caesar or Paul the Apostle.  I am not anti-humanist like Rabbinic-Judaism or Islam (who metaphysically separate G-d and Man too far apart).  One can easily idealize G-d as Saint or Sinner.

4.-What defines what is good and bad? How are we able to know?
That is the most important question.  The most Jewish book of the NT, is the Epistle of James ... that answers those questions.  It is a paradoxical dialectic.

5.-What to you is the most significant issue with the Christian church? The most significant benefit from the same church?
The people are the biggest issue, really the only issue, both pro and con.  Having to build up anything, using broken humanity, is almost impossible.  People may intend good, but fail to carry it out (this is covered by a Jesus quotation).  In that quote, Jesus implies that the person who says they won't do something, but goes ahead an does it anyway, is better than the opposite.  So in that sense, it is better to be moral than to be religious.  Good people take benefit from whatever reinforces that, and bad people take benefit from whatever reinforces that.  We deconstruct (per Derrida).
שלום

Offline Baruch

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2018, 01:16:46 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
A bare spot on my rear end that I can point to when telling religious proselytizers to kiss my ass.

Probably most relevant (tonsure) to Shiranu.  If anyone starts an atheist monastery, it will be him.  Can you Zen that?
שלום

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2018, 01:37:05 PM »
Quote
Why are you apologizing?  You had nothing to do with it.  I did not rely on any one person or source to make my own decisions.  I sought in all ways that I could.  And I came to realize that there is no 'truth'  to find; not in the empirical sense.  Be careful with the intellectual part of your service.  If you are honest with that, you may find that you come to the same conclusions as I and others have.   
But you did seek truth, in the sense that you wanted to find out what was real and what was not. In that case, we are in the same business! I continue to seek, but also believe I have found the most compelling evidence in the God of the Bible.

 I think it is important to keep an open mind, but as the old saying goes: an open mind is like an open mouth, only useful if it can close upon something substantive. We both have sought extensively, by the sound of it, what truth actually is and have come to separate conclusions based off the body of proof. I respect your search!

I also really appreciate your in depth reply and research. I will endeavor to do it as much justice as I am able with a humble response:
Quote
I fear that the vast majority of the experts and scholars you refer to have a vested interest in maintaining the Christian fraud.  The Quest for the Historical Jesus, is fairly new only gaining steam within the last 200 years.  Atheists and their views have not been tolerated until only recently; and even now, atheism is seen in a very negative way.  So, to intimate that history is on your side is a bit disingenuous. Your side have over 2000 years of arguments--my side only a couple of hundred or so.  Carrier, Daugherty and Robert M. Price would like to  differ with your take on the subject.    Read Carrier--it will be a very, very hard thing for you to do, for he does offer documented (with footnotes galore for you to follow up on) arguments for his point of view.  And google "The Quest for the Historical Jesus' and it will give you a brief history of that type of research.
I will check my local library for a copy. In my experience with Carrier, however, I have had a difficult time respecting his academic prowess--he is much more the advocate scholar then a respected historical mind. Bart Ehrmann, who I tend to find much more achieved, has devoted an academic lifetime to the study and error of Scriptural texts; and he has said quite forcefully: “There are a couple of exceptions: of the hundreds — thousands? — of mythicists, two (to my knowledge) actually have Ph.D. credentials in relevant fields of study. But even taking these into account, there is not a single mythicist who teaches New Testament or Early Christianity or even Classics at any accredited institution of higher learning in the Western world.

And it is no wonder why. These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology. Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed."

You have mentioned that he does not write in a vacuum, however, and for that I will look for a copy.

You also asked for a contemporary scholar (Historian) who writes about the historical Jesus. I will give three examples that have been important to my own endeavor for truth:
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. This is a personal favorite that I discovered while reading some of Ehrmann's work in undergrad. They focus primarily on Scriptural and Gnostic literature to determine a historical view of Jesus. It completely transformed my way of thinking about textual evidence.
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. This is by Marcus Borg, an agnostic, who does not believe in Scripture, but does believe the evidence strongly favors a historical Jesus. This being a text not written by a religious scholar may interest you the most.

Offline Baruch

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2018, 02:07:46 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
But you did seek truth, in the sense that you wanted to find out what was real and what was not. In that case, we are in the same business! I continue to seek, but also believe I have found the most compelling evidence in the God of the Bible.

"What is Truth? - Pontius Pilatus
Truth isn't some verbal expression, it is a living being.  For Christians, a particular historical human being.  For me, my cats are living beings, they are the Cat Truth ... and don't you forget it!  Well of course I have a great, love/hate relationship with the Bible, though it is much larger (even see Ethiopian Church) than the Western Bible.  Like I said, anything that honestly deals with (and fiction can be more honest than fact) our common humanity, is scripture.  I would include the story of Gilgamesh for instance.

 I think it is important to keep an open mind, but as the old saying goes: an open mind is like an open mouth, only useful if it can close upon something substantive. We both have sought extensively, by the sound of it, what truth actually is and have come to separate conclusions based off the body of proof. I respect your search!

I have been open, and skeptical and still am, but that doesn't preclude coming to some pretty definitive conclusions (as to who and what I am, or you are ... which has direct bearing on the whole G-d question).  My problem at my age is avoiding cynicism and nihilism.  I have been trying to find my own Truth, which is my own self, for over 60 years now.  G-d is a verb, not a noun ... it is what you do, not who you are, and how you relate to others, not how you egotistically relate to yourself.  And yes, a lot of that realization comes from the Bible ... but of course selective reading, and an ever greater perception of what it is actually talking about, to me.  Authors speak to me, thru writing.  It is respectful for me to take the time and effort to more than hear them, but to listen to them.

I also really appreciate your in depth reply and research. I will endeavor to do it as much justice as I am able with a humble response:I will check my local library for a copy. In my experience with Carrier, however, I have had a difficult time respecting his academic prowess--he is much more the advocate scholar then a respected historical mind. Bart Ehrmann, who I tend to find much more achieved, has devoted an academic lifetime to the study and error of Scriptural texts; and he has said quite forcefully: “There are a couple of exceptions: of the hundreds — thousands? — of mythicists, two (to my knowledge) actually have Ph.D. credentials in relevant fields of study. But even taking these into account, there is not a single mythicist who teaches New Testament or Early Christianity or even Classics at any accredited institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Yes .. as covered in my extensive commentary to MikeCL last year, Carrier does have an agenda.  He is a capable scholar, but not very self aware as a philosopher.  Of course this isn't a problem for me, I do put both of my pants legs on at the same time! ;-)  There are problems in academia, both secular and religious.  Be careful not to be led too astray by the agendas of the academy ... Plato wants to have his way with you ;-)

In my scholarly understanding (and there is no end to reading and study), history isn't about facts, it is about using facts to express self image, to oneself and to others.  Athenian drama was the use of fiction to accomplish the same goal.  That is what Herodotus was up to, he was "the other dramatist".  Herodotus read his history, in the Odeon (roofed lecture hall) next to the Theater of Dionysius (where drama was first staged) ... the building was constructed from the timbers of the sunk Persian warships from the Battle of Salamis.  He had veterans of that naval battle in his audience.  It was all about "we are Athenians, hear us roar".  In the theater, was performed "The Persians" by Aeschylus.  Aeschylus fought in the battle of Marathon!

Spartans would never have been such "drama queens" ;-)  Plato would have you believe that there is a World of Forms ... and we might imagine that applies to some objective view of past events, but history is Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, all the way down.  Ehrmann is good, but captive of his own academic agenda, same as Carrier.  Plato tried to set himself off against the myth makers like Homer ... but he as just a jealous has-been in his own time.  Like Confucius was in China.  Plato became useful to the Hellenistic kingdoms, and so his legacy got posthumous promotion ... as the Han Dynasty did with Confucius.


And it is no wonder why. These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology. Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed."

Sorry, I don't think academia exists, except as a figment of their own over-worked minds ;-))  I would deny, if I chose to take a Buddhist perspective, that anything at all exists.

You have mentioned that he does not write in a vacuum, however, and for that I will look for a copy.

You also asked for a contemporary scholar (Historian) who writes about the historical Jesus. I will give three examples that have been important to my own endeavor for truth:
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. This is a personal favorite that I discovered while reading some of Ehrmann's work in undergrad. They focus primarily on Scriptural and Gnostic literature to determine a historical view of Jesus. It completely transformed my way of thinking about textual evidence.
-You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. This is by Marcus Borg, an agnostic, who does not believe in Scripture, but does believe the evidence strongly favors a historical Jesus. This being a text not written by a religious scholar may interest you the most.

I hope you appreciate my "red letter" edition of my commentary.  I am a version of Jesus, and so are you.  I love Marcus Borg, from my study with my ex, when she was in seminary.  A very nice man, but of the 1960s "death of god" period of theology, after Bultmann's deconstruction.  We got to attend a lecture by Bishop Spong.

For your entertainment, as per the Theater of Dionysius ... let no facts get in the way of a good story!
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

I teach Hebrew, and have studied many languages, and many histories.  And I learn something new every week.  Of course any conclusions I draw, have nothing to do with Platonic Forms, but with my self expression to myself and others.  It is Ars, not Scientia.  Though I am not saying that style conquers content.  What is the content of my ad lib life performance?  Judeo-Christian in deep ways.  But also Greco-Roman in deep ways.  In substance, not just in form.

A synopsis of The Persians:
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

This was the Persian version of the Vietnam War.  Athens was to suffer a similar disaster from hubris, at Syracuse, 65 years later.  Here is an Athenian dreadnought underway ...
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Athens had 200 of these, and employed cleverly (and who is more clever than a Greek?), they can defeat forces much larger than themselves.  The Athenians invented the first European navy, and for them, their Navy (volunteer citizens) was their democracy.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 02:31:05 PM by Baruch »
שלום

Offline trdsf

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 02:15:24 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Answer in as much or as little detail as you'd like. Here are my questions (Forgive the sometimes awkward wording! I understand that I may find members of this community who are not completely atheist and they are meant to be worded as generally as possible):

1. -How would you describe your religious background and church involvement?
Raised Roman Catholic, altar boy, Catholic grade- and high school, lector in my church.  By the time I was 18, the contradictions had begun to pile up and I drifted into a semi-Christian Deism.  Had a profound meditative experience in 1984 that I took to be a religious one and became Wiccan for the next twenty years.  By 2004, I had defined myself down to an odd sort of Discordian on the basis of quantum mechanics, and finally became heartily sick of always looking for holes to squeeze some sort of deity into because those holes had an annoying tendency to rapidly fill up with simpler, real-world explanations.  And I finally brushed off the last vestiges of supernaturalism.

And here I am.  Tadah.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
2. -To you, what is God like? Describe God. Or if you do not believe in God, then: what is important in life?
What's important in life generally, or to me specifically?

To me personally, it's important to avoid doing things that require reparations be made, and if I slip and hurt someone tangibly or intangibly, whether or not I meant to, I make it right.  It's important to lose weight and exercise more.  It's important to pet my cat.  It's important to finish my book(s).  It's important to be able to crack the right joke to bring a smile to someone's face.  It's important that my co-workers know they can rely on me.  It's important to always be learning.  It's important to live in the real world because this is the only world we ever will live in.

As for what god/s is/are like: fictional.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
3.-Describe what the term Jesus Christ means to you.
It has become, to me, a name behind which many Christians hide in order to go on being racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic in a world that thankfully is becoming less and less those things—however slowly and clumsily.  I hold no opinion on whether there was a real, historical Jeshua bar-Joseph or not, and I'm not convinced it even matters since almost all modern Christian sects are built far more on Paul's writing (and attributed writing) than on the words attributed to Jesus.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
4.-What defines what is good and bad? How are we able to know?
We as a culture define what's good and what's bad.  Over time, we hone in on better and better societal solutions to that question.  I expect the world a century from now—barring the onset of a new Dark Ages—will be a better, more free, less phobic world than it is now, in much the same way that the world now is better than it was in 1918, even if the steps are only marginal.  In 1918, very few of us would think twice about racial and gender stereotyping—but again 1918 was a better world than 1818.

That said, I do not think there's any such thing as a perfect world.  Perfection is an abstraction that may help researchers do calculations, but humans are not perfect, and societies are made up of humans.  Striving for perfection is striving for the impossible, and distracts from a more attainable goal of merely better.

This, by the way, is a major fault with religions that preach the existence of an afterlife.  Why bother taking care of this world if there's a "better" one waiting, one you don't even need to lift a finger to help create—even if there's not one single solid shred of evidence that it exists in the first place?  It brings about utter indifference to the real world that we really live in, since cosmically speaking, this one is only temporary and doesn't really matter.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
5.-What to you is the most significant issue with the Christian church? The most significant benefit from the same church?
Which church?  The issues with Catholicism are not the same as those with, say, Pentecostalism.  And for that matter, why should it be limited to just Christianity?  There are issues with all religions, the most fundamental of which is that every single one preaches either the existence of that which cannot be demonstrated, or that the goal of life is to completely detach one's self from physical reality.  Neither belief is healthy for the long term survival of either our species, or our planet.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2018, 02:21:46 PM »
Blackleaf, thank you for the response! I figured that my past interaction may be mentioned, so that's why I made it known in my original post that I would be asking much the same questions. My first project wound up being very successful, I was examining three groups of different religious backgrounds to find commonalities in stories and oppositions. It was originally intended to refute a scale proposed by a Christian scholar that gauged how far a non-believer was from accepting Christian beliefs, but it became something so much more: something I was unable to fit within the confines of the project. And that is partly why I have returned: to look at these stories from a different angle (and to see how a community like this has progressed in four years). And also, from a personal standpoint, to hear stories of intellectual and personal development. Because they matter! So I really appreciate your honesty and help.

I don't pretend to be any accomplished scholar, just an interested party in your community and the truly incredible stories found here.

Quote
Oh... So you just meant that you're a "real Christian," while the ones you don't approve of are just Christian by name. Classic.
Nah. Just that I think that sums it up most easily. If I can expand, I was raised a fundamentalist Baptist (In the traditional sense, not the Westboro image of today. It just meant I ascribed to the fundamentals: the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth, the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, etc.), but progressively moved away from it as I got older. Denominations are a very secondary issue and point more toward the diversity of the Church then separation of it--in my experience anyways.

It sounds like we have a few similarities in our church stories denominationally (and that we are both gamers! ha). I too found great joy and comfort in the community offered, and was fortunate to stay in those communities for a very long time.

Quote
There are no moral absolutes. Even you do not believe that murder and rape are wrong because you read it in the Bible. The reason you consider "thou shalt not murder" relevant, but "thou shalt not cook a calf in it's mother's milk" irrelevant is because you're bringing your own standards into the Bible. Murder is wrong because it harms another human being, not because God said so. And there are exceptions to every rule. Morality should always be approached on a case-by-case basis, giving consideration to the circumstances. "Do not lie" may be a generally good rule, but when the Nazis come knocking on your door looking for Jews, it would not be good to tell them that you have a Jew hiding in your basement.
I agree that certain actions may be situationally ethical! You mention that there are no moral absolutes, but also that murder is wrong because of harm. I would assume this is just a phrasing issue, but are certain actions objectively wrong while some are more pliable? I don't mean to put words in your mouth or do a "gotcha!" I am just trying to get a clearer picture of your ethic.

Thank you for your honesty!

Quote
I don't want to lose my hair.  I don't think I would look good without my hair.
Oh man, this hits me on a personal level! I don't either! The whole Martin Luther style isn't in vogue...

Baruch, thank you and what a unique story you tell; that is quite the diverse background. I understand the dropping of the vowel in the deity terminology comes from Jewish tradition? May I ask what an item or two that you disagree with your rabbi might be?

Re: A Few Questions
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2018, 02:28:25 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I hope you appreciate my "red letter" edition of my commentary.  I am a version of Jesus, and so are you.  I love Marcus Borg, from my study with my ex, when she was in seminary.  A very nice man, but of the 1960s "death of god" period of theology, after Bultmann's deconstruction.  We got to attend a lecture by Bishop Spong.

For your entertainment, as per the Theater of Dionysius ... let no facts get in the way of a good story!
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

I teach Hebrew, and have studied many languages, and many histories.  And I learn something new every week.  Of course any conclusions I draw, have nothing to do with Platonic Forms, but with my self expression to myself and others.  It is Ars, not Scientia.  Though I am not saying that style conquers content.  What is the content of my ad lib life performance?  Judeo-Christian in deep ways.  But also Greco-Roman in deep ways.  In substance, not just in form.

Hahah, this was wonderful, thank you! The Biblical Philogist piece is one of the greatest things I've seen in a while. :P

I do agree that acadmia is a bit overdone and difficult to interject in issues of faith--it is impossible to approach the subjects without some kind of agenda. I appreciate extensive research but find that belief most often comes not from reason but from personal experience. I don't speak for everyone, of course. I really appreciate your perspective!

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk