Author Topic: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?  (Read 1220 times)

Offline Cavebear

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #90 on: April 13, 2018, 07:27:55 AM »
I never said they can't be other than as they are, only that they aren't other than as they are, and that we cannot derive any special information about ourselves from that because anyone in any other reality that might have been could make the exact same claims for the exact same reasons.

Also, define 'best'.  And who decides it's best anyway?  Your 'best' could be my 'worst'.  My 'best' could be your 'worst'.

Regardless, statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that this is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.  Just because it's the currently existing world doesn't mean it's the best possible one, and the principle of mediocrity means that when you have one data point, you assume it's more likely average than extreme—and best (and worst) is an extreme by definition.

There are any number of ways that this world could be different that I think would be better.  It just takes one event happening (or not happening) when it shouldn't (or should) have.  Whether or not they would be demonstrably better had, say, the Library of Alexandria not been destroyed, or had Constantine chosen something other than Christianity to be his state religion, or more recently, had Gavrilo Princip failed to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, there really is no way to say because those events didn't happen.

Regardless of the triggering event or events, though, I can certainly imagine better worlds than this one.  A world where population growth leveled off a few billion people ago, a world where the first warnings about climate change were heeded, a world where human exploration of our solar system didn't stop nearly fifty years ago—I can assert that those would be better than this one with at least as much authority as you can assert that this is the best.

The fact that this world could be better means that it cannot be stated with certainty that this is the best of all possible worlds.  You cannot assert any more than that the world is what it is; otherwise, you are claiming knowledge that you cannot possibly have.

That doesn't mean that this world definitely isn't the best possible, because it could be.  It means only that we cannot say with any certainty that it is, because it could be that it's not.

But when you assert that this is the best of all possible worlds, that does make a claim that it must be for us, since it's clearly not the best possible world for any theoretical intelligent dinosaurs, or dolphins, or any other species that might have risen to intelligence in our place.

That's anectodal, however.  Anecdotal evidence is not evidence.  I've had events I can't explain happen to me.  D'you know what my explanation for them is?

It's "I don't know."

That's the only possible explanation for an unrepeatable event.  It simply cannot be extrapolated to any more than that, not with any legitimacy.

I too can imagine better worlds than this one.  I won't bore you with my own unless asked, but imagining, many events could have gone differently recently, deep into history, and even prehistory.

Great Post!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online trdsf

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #91 on: April 13, 2018, 01:40:20 PM »
I too can imagine better worlds than this one.  I won't bore you with my own unless asked, but imagining, many events could have gone differently recently, deep into history, and even prehistory.

Great Post!
Thanks!  :)

I think the events I would really be curious about the changes they would wreak are generally older ones: had the Library of Alexandria been preserved rather than destroyed, had the rational thinking of Demokritos and Protagoras come to dominate Western thought rather than the mystical of Platon and Aristoteles, had Constantine chosen something other than Christianity.

The most recent historical event that I would like to see the counterfactual of is the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, since most of the 20th century can be traced back to that.  I think a world war might have come eventually, but I'm not sure there would have been two.

I don't know that there would have been a revolution in Russia since Tsarist forces would not have been tied down fighting in Europe—it might have come later, or sufficient reform would have come to bank the revolutionary fires, more likely, since government forces would have remained in place.  And absent Lenin taking power, you also lose Stalinism, the Iron Curtain and Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, the Cold War and much of the impetus for the nuclear arms race.  Sadly, you also lose a large part of the drive for the Space Race.  You probably lose the Internet as we currently know it, too.  That was a Cold War program and there is no definite Cold War in the alternate history.

You don't lose anti-Semitism in Germany, but you do lose many of the conditions that helped propel it to the obscene heights it reached, particularly the draconian war reparations levied against Germany by the victors, so you lose the social conditions that allowed Hitler and the Nazis to take power.

Interesting to note is that this also preserves many empires and monarchies: the Russian, Prussian and Austro-Hungarian monarchies particularly remain in place for the time being, and this probably permits the British Empire to remain an empire longer, before converting to a commonwealth.

Anyway, without the Second World War—which was in many ways a logical consequence of the First—the drive to perfect many technologies we take for granted also evaporates.  Push back the development of the digital computer, RADAR, nuclear energy (and nuclear weaponry), rocketry, synthetic rubber and oil, jet engines and (of all things) M&Ms.  It's hard to judge how many years of R&D were compressed into the six years of World War II, but it's certain that the 2018 of this alternate universe would not be as technologically advanced as the real 2018.

tl;dr: Wow, what a derail from the original topic.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #92 on: April 13, 2018, 01:59:39 PM »
The jury is still out for me as I think that Christianity usurped the scriptures of the Gnostic Christians of that day, when they called themselves Chrestians.

Most would not agree with you though without more evidence.

I'm just curious, are you familiar with the Egyptian god Nuk pu Nuk? The term seems to translate as "I am what I am," or "I am who I am":

http://spentamainyu.tripod.com/moses3.htm
God Not Found
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Stephen Hawking

Offline Baruch

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #93 on: April 13, 2018, 06:28:33 PM »
I'm just curious, are you familiar with the Egyptian god Nuk pu Nuk? The term seems to translate as "I am what I am," or "I am who I am":

http://spentamainyu.tripod.com/moses3.htm

Always check further ...

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:The_Religion_of_Ancient_Egypt.djvu/259

Of course Jews were in Egypt many times, and were aware of Egyptian religion. People borrow ideas all the time.  Currently the Nu Pu Nuk business is being touted by "African Israelite" cultists, part of the "all wisdom and technology came from sub-Saharan Africans, and that Egyptians were sub-Saharan Africans".  See Nuk Pu Nuk on Facebook and elsewhere.  I once listened to a two hour sermon, by a Black Israelite preacher, on the true African pronunciation of Hebrew ;-)

In its later stages, ancient Egypt was conquered by Nubia, and the Pharaoh was quite Black.  But the Egyptian language shows that they probably originated in N Africa (when the Sahara dried out), different genetically then and now, from sub-Saharan Africans.  Still, definitely not Swedes ;-)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 07:12:51 PM by Baruch »
שלום

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #94 on: April 13, 2018, 06:57:43 PM »


In its later stages, ancient Egypt was conquered by Nubia, and the Pharaoh was quite Black.  But the Egyptian language shows that they probably originated in N Africa (when the Sahara dried out), different genetically then and now, from sub-Saharan Africans.  Still, definitely not Swedes ;-)
Swedes, quite easily, can be dark.  Ever hear of Laplanders?  Jokkmokk has quite a few.
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 Baruch

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #95 on: April 13, 2018, 07:14:22 PM »
Swedes, quite easily, can be dark.  Ever hear of Laplanders?  Jokkmokk has quite a few.

Go back far enough, the first modern humans, who came out of Africa to mate with Neanderthals, are thought to have been curly haired and dark, but with blue eyes.  But those people were lithe, not chunky like the Neanderthals who were bred to ice ages, instead of tropics.
שלום

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #96 on: April 13, 2018, 09:14:33 PM »
Go back far enough, the first modern humans, who came out of Africa to mate with Neanderthals, are thought to have been curly haired and dark, but with blue eyes.  But those people were lithe, not chunky like the Neanderthals who were bred to ice ages, instead of tropics.
What does that have to do with Swedes?  Go back???  All you have to do to find Laplander Swedes is to go to Sweden.
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 Baruch

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #97 on: April 14, 2018, 12:38:18 AM »
What does that have to do with Swedes?  Go back???  All you have to do to find Laplander Swedes is to go to Sweden.

Lapps are Sami, they aren't Swedish.  They have lost their original language, and mostly speak Finnish today.  In a generation from now though, there will be lots of Swedes who are ME in ancestry and who are Muslim, not Lutheran.
שלום

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #98 on: April 14, 2018, 09:02:32 AM »
Lapps are Sami, they aren't Swedish. 
No shit, Charlie!  That does not mean are not any Lap Swedes.
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 Baruch

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #99 on: April 14, 2018, 09:12:59 AM »
No shit, Charlie!  That does not mean are not any Lap Swedes.

There are Haitians in Florida ... does that make Florida part of Haiti?  Your point seems to depend only on a silly geographical boundary.

Those in Sweden who are ethno-nationalist, don't want Norwegians or Danes in their country either ;-)
שלום

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #100 on: April 14, 2018, 11:04:29 AM »
There are Haitians in Florida ... does that make Florida part of Haiti?  Your point seems to depend only on a silly geographical boundary.

Those in Sweden who are ethno-nationalist, don't want Norwegians or Danes in their country either ;-)
For fuck-sake, Baruch.  My comment was just a little joke about your bring up Sweden as all white, blue eyed and blonde.  As usual, you turn it into some far-reaching lesson in logic, history and psychology--at least as you see it.  I see it as simply tiresome.  Of course it is just geographic--all boundaries are just geographic--so what???  Of course there are Laplanders who are not Swede; but there are some who are and some who have married Swedes and produced brown babies and some who are Swedish citizens/nationals.  Take a fucking chill-pill guy--it was only a little joke. 
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 Baruch

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #101 on: April 14, 2018, 03:25:21 PM »
For fuck-sake, Baruch.  My comment was just a little joke about your bring up Sweden as all white, blue eyed and blonde.  As usual, you turn it into some far-reaching lesson in logic, history and psychology--at least as you see it.  I see it as simply tiresome.  Of course it is just geographic--all boundaries are just geographic--so what???  Of course there are Laplanders who are not Swede; but there are some who are and some who have married Swedes and produced brown babies and some who are Swedish citizens/nationals.  Take a fucking chill-pill guy--it was only a little joke.

Sorry, but I didn't get it.  I still don't.
שלום

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #102 on: April 14, 2018, 03:36:32 PM »
Sorry, but I didn't get it.  I still don't.
Okay, then.  On the 13th you said: "In its later stages, ancient Egypt was conquered by Nubia, and the Pharaoh was quite Black.  But the Egyptian language shows that they probably originated in N Africa (when the Sahara dried out), different genetically then and now, from sub-Saharan Africans.  Still, definitely not Swedes ;-)"

As a small joke I was simply saying that Laplanders who live within the Swedish Artic Circle are Swedes--they are dark skinned; so not all Swedes are white.  That's all.  I'm kinda sorry I felt jocular at that moment. :)
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 Cavebear

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #103 on: April 15, 2018, 02:03:02 AM »
Thanks!  :)

I think the events I would really be curious about the changes they would wreak are generally older ones: had the Library of Alexandria been preserved rather than destroyed, had the rational thinking of Demokritos and Protagoras come to dominate Western thought rather than the mystical of Platon and Aristoteles, had Constantine chosen something other than Christianity.

The most recent historical event that I would like to see the counterfactual of is the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, since most of the 20th century can be traced back to that.  I think a world war might have come eventually, but I'm not sure there would have been two.

I don't know that there would have been a revolution in Russia since Tsarist forces would not have been tied down fighting in Europe—it might have come later, or sufficient reform would have come to bank the revolutionary fires, more likely, since government forces would have remained in place.  And absent Lenin taking power, you also lose Stalinism, the Iron Curtain and Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, the Cold War and much of the impetus for the nuclear arms race.  Sadly, you also lose a large part of the drive for the Space Race.  You probably lose the Internet as we currently know it, too.  That was a Cold War program and there is no definite Cold War in the alternate history.

You don't lose anti-Semitism in Germany, but you do lose many of the conditions that helped propel it to the obscene heights it reached, particularly the draconian war reparations levied against Germany by the victors, so you lose the social conditions that allowed Hitler and the Nazis to take power.

Interesting to note is that this also preserves many empires and monarchies: the Russian, Prussian and Austro-Hungarian monarchies particularly remain in place for the time being, and this probably permits the British Empire to remain an empire longer, before converting to a commonwealth.

Anyway, without the Second World War—which was in many ways a logical consequence of the First—the drive to perfect many technologies we take for granted also evaporates.  Push back the development of the digital computer, RADAR, nuclear energy (and nuclear weaponry), rocketry, synthetic rubber and oil, jet engines and (of all things) M&Ms.  It's hard to judge how many years of R&D were compressed into the six years of World War II, but it's certain that the 2018 of this alternate universe would not be as technologically advanced as the real 2018.

tl;dr: Wow, what a derail from the original topic.

And I do appreciate an ocassional derailment.  Alternate history is fascinating.  Allow me to think of some changes.

1.  Hitler is not gassed in WWI.  He goes on to paint mediocre art and is never heard of again.
2.  The French offer the Germans survivable long-term war payments.
3.  The German currency stabilizes and payments are made (though resented).
4.  The Payments end through mutual trade.
5.  The British maintain and increase their navy.
6.  The US increases its navy to match Britain.
7.  The Germans are recovering and build their own navy again. 
8.  European history follows as usual and Germany invades France in 1942 demanding the return of payments (because it wasn't THEIR generation in WWI who attacked).
9.  In the Pacific, the Japanese successfully attack all Asian ports of European powers.  The colonial era in SE Asia ends.  Vietnam, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia are left as trading partners
10.  China remains chaotic and meaningless.
11. The US and Japanese conduct negotiations and conclude a Trans Pacific Treaty acknowledging "mutual interests" and "local freedom act.
12.  The Highest official of the Japanese Empire and the US Secretary of State meet to sign "Pacific Concordance Treaty".  Japan remains a nominal monarchy, but the legislature removes official powers.  In return, the US gives administrative control of islands west of Hawaii to the Japanese. 
13.  The Japanese baseball team, in a spririt of friendship is allowed to compete in a world series baseball playoff.  They lose 4-1 but US players say "they have talent".
14.  In 1960, the Japanese legislature declares a democracy.  The Emperor retires in dignity to write the story of the monarchy.  It is well-received and almost wins some awards.
15.  By 1980, the Japanese, British, French and US are close strategic allies.  North Korea falls.  The Wall falls.  Almost immediately after the Berlin Wall falls.
16.  The Soviet Union collapses.  Though briefly a democracy, it reverts to authoritarianism. 
17.  China collapses in 1990 due to failed trade plans massive crop failures and internal unrest.  Civil War ensues.  100 million people die and no one knows what to do.  The UN can't stop it.
18.  Frustrated by the Chinese Horror, the rest of the world settles on what it can do. 

I think I will end it there, LOL!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: The only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian. True or false?
« Reply #104 on: April 16, 2018, 04:32:33 PM »
Not a problem, you made it clear which sections you were responding to.

I guess my question then becomes: if it's all within you, why bother with a god concept at all?  How does it become necessary, other than as an ideal to aspire to and focus on?

The word God has a number of definitions and has been used in many ways.

Primarily, it mean last word in terms of authority.

That is what I am. I have chosen to be my own authority because I have earned that right. Not just due to my apotheosis but by my level of thought.

Do I or be I good or evil, I stand as responsible for my actions. No one speaks for me but me.

I am the ideal and the fittest thinking man I know. That does not mean that there are none better, and as an esoteric ecumenist, I perpetually seek those out.

If you can say what I just did for yourself, who is your God?

============

"In the long run, though, it's probably not useful to refer to 'atheist churches',

I can appreciate your distaste.

In the old days, before the mainstream religions went stupid on us and started reading their myths literally, the temples and churches were mystery schools, read that as atheist schools, where people sought God, as defined as the best laws and rules to live life by.

In a sense, the brain dead religions based on the supernatural usurped the old atheist churches and temples. Think of atheists returning the favor and now getting pay back and reclaiming what was once yours from the literalist fools.

Regards
DL





« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 04:41:47 PM by Greatest I am »

 

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