Religious survey

Well I shoud have stated so called morality, since we all know that 99% of all Christian based morality is based on you doing as your told by them and the church.....
 

SNeacail

New member
Well I shoud have stated so called morality, since we all know that 99% of all Christian based morality is based on you doing as your told by them and the church.....

Sorry I'm going to do it again :). Not Christian based morality, but CHURCH based morality. I do see a huge difference, as I don't believe that Christ would be any happier with most of the churches of today than he was with the Jewish religous leaders of his day.

Let's face it 99% is a bit of an exageration, especially since I was raised in a church that pushed it's members to look it up for yourself and form your own opinions. Our pastor would clearly state that he is presenting something based on his own interpretation and it may not necessarily be correct. He welcomed discussion and debate. I know he was rare and I miss his teachings.

I am having my own struggle with what Christianity should be and what "The Church" has morphed it into. I'm sure I will post my rant at "The Christian Church" soon, but need to organize my thoughts better.
 

Karma

New member
"Looking it up yourself" in a book that has had two millenia of constant modification and editing from the powers that be of different eras?

Pardon me if I have issues putting my faith in that :)
 

SNeacail

New member
"Looking it up yourself" in a book that has had two millenia of constant modification and editing from the powers that be of different eras?

Pardon me if I have issues putting my faith in that :)

Oh, I have issues with that too. Inculding the agenda of the powers that be that put it together in the first place and the whole divinification of a text writen by mortal men. However, this particular pastor did not limit us to just one source. He did encourage multiple sources, both religous and secular. Obviously not everyone did so (including myself until years later) but what that did teach me, was not to blindly follow, but to quesiton the status quo and look deeper for answers. Not everything has a right or wrong answer.
 

Karma

New member
If that was the case, then he is/was a truly awesome man. A pity more aren't like him.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I have issues with that too. Inculding the agenda of the powers that be that put it together in the first place and the whole divinification of a text writen by mortal men. However, this particular pastor did not limit us to just one source. He did encourage multiple sources, both religous and secular. Obviously not everyone did so (including myself until years later) but what that did teach me, was not to blindly follow, but to quesiton the status quo and look deeper for answers. Not everything has a right or wrong answer.

I know sooo many atheists who were fundamentalist Christians until they finally read the Bible front to back and went ... WTF? This stuff is crazy!
 

sage

New member
I know sooo many atheists who were fundamentalist Christians until they finally read the Bible front to back and went ... WTF? This stuff is crazy!

LOL I didn't even need to read it front to back and it's obvious that you have to leave your brain at the door in order for it to make much sense.
 

Edward

New member
"I know sooo many atheists who were fundamentalist Christians until they finally read the Bible front to back and went ... WTF? This stuff is crazy!"

My mother (who is mostly agnostic) calls the Old Testament (King James Version) one of the greatest works of fantasy of all time; it's epic, on a lot of levels.

Of course, in the Old Testament, you have multiple wives all the time; even Father Abraham, (the original hen-pecked husband) had two. (And he's the one who started the whole mess in the Middle East...according to BOTH SIDES, btw!)

SNeall's pastor sounds like a Christ-ian; someone who actually tries to live up to the precepts of his faith, rather than simply saying he does. Would that there were more people like him...of any faith, or no faith at all.
 

SNeacail

New member
Of course, in the Old Testament, you have multiple wives all the time; even Father Abraham, (the original hen-pecked husband) had two. (And he's the one who started the whole mess in the Middle East...according to BOTH SIDES, btw!)

Actually he only had one wife but multiple concubines, that also gave him children. This fact seems to get skipped and glossed over ALOT.

The pastor I referenced is now retired, but he did make a huge impact on my life and view of things, I think it helped that my dad also held this view (even though my parents are both uber right wing conservatives). Many thought his teaching was a bit dry, he did hold more appeal for us more left brain thinkers and those of us that like the more technical side of things. He was originally a college professor of theology, with waiting lists to get into his classes.

I'm currently not attending any church because of some of the struggles I'm having with the whole Bible as a divine work thing and a few other things as well.

The idea of the trinity I find very fascinating. The whole trinity concept is found long before Christ in a lot of Pagan religons. Now the question for me is, was the Christian Trinity thought up to conform to the non-Jewish peoples or were the Jewish people just arrogant in assuming God didn't speak or give guidance and love to the rest of the world? For a while I thought it was the former, now I am beginning to think it is the later.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I'm currently not attending any church because of some of the struggles I'm having with the whole Bible as a divine work thing and a few other things as well.

The idea of the trinity I find very fascinating. The whole trinity concept is found long before Christ in a lot of Pagan religons.

Yes, for example, Isis, Osiris and Horus in ancient Egyptian religion, stemming back to at least 3500 BCE.

Now the question for me is, was the Christian Trinity thought up to conform to the non-Jewish peoples

Yes, that is the general idea. Modern Jews today, and Judaeans back at the birth of Christianity, don't believe their god, Yahweh, could ever mate with a human woman who would then conceive and give birth to another god. But in the Greek/Roman religion of the first centruy CE, gods mated with humans all the time. My view is Christianity was just another pagan religion, with a dying and rising godman, which had the Old Testament tacked onto it to legitimize it. This religion caught on after the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple in 70 CE.



or were the Jewish people just arrogant in assuming God didn't speak or give guidance and love to the rest of the world? For a while I thought it was the former, now I am beginning to think it is the later.

I don't quite get your point. Jews believe their god is for them, and his laws don't apply to anyone else but the Jews.
 

EugenePoet

New member
I like Quath's post, above.

Indeed, the possible existence of God(s) can't be disproved. However, you cannot disprove the existence of an elaborate sculpture of Fatty Arbuckle made of cheese and orbiting the star Betelgeuse, either. It's damned unlikely to exist, but you could spend your lifetime trying to prove that it doesn't exist and you would fail. (How would you go about this disproof? No telescope could conceivably see it -- it would be undetectable.)

God(s) are the same as the cheese statue of Fatty. You can't finally and formally disprove them.

A more useful approach might be: there are two kinds of existence.

1. Things which any observer can measure or detect (with proper equipment): gravity, giraffes, the speed of light, the star Betelgeuse, the dissolving of salt in water, the smell of roses, George Clooney. These things have objective existence.

2. Things which exist only in the mind: beauty, love, faith, hate, good-n-evil, desire. These things have subjective existence.

Many Christians, Wiccans, Hindus, and others confuse their faith -- which is inside their minds -- with external, objective reality. Christians have told me that their God literally speaks to them inside their heads, and they are sure that He has external, objective existence. They are sure that a supernatural Being exists not just in their minds but in the real world.

But supernatural things -- miracles, magic, things which break the laws of physics or chemistry -- have never been proven to exist. No scientifically reproducible experiment has ever demonstrated the objective existence of magic or miracles.

The supernatural appears not to exist in the real, external world. Only in the mind.

A perfect example is the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The wine in this ceremony is believed to transform into the blood of Christ. But it doesn't really transform: there are no red blood cells in the transformed wine, and we could not recover Christ's DNA from it. It's just fermented grape juice, really. The wine-to-blood ceremony is a spiritual transformation, which is to say it's in the minds of the believers and not in the objective world.

If one finds comfort in faith, well and good. But beware: if you choose to believe that your God(s) have objective existence then you risk confusing religious dogma with reality. You can allow yourself to be seduced into believing evil is good just because the religion tells you that.

For example, I once debated a Christian about the actions of Moses. Some of the things Moses had the Israelites do were pretty awful: they murdered each other; they engaged in genocide, child-rape, and enslavement of the defeated. The Christian ended the argument thus: "God told Moses to have his people do that. And anything God says is alright with me!"

That's what the Christian supremacist hate movement says. That's what Muslim jihadists say. That's what the Hindu fundamentalists who rioted in Guajarat would say. When you believe your God(s) exist as objective reality, then you can be persuaded to justify all sorts of evil.

So if you choose religion, be mindful. Don't abandon rational ethics; test your beliefs. Realize that your faith is in your own head and that other people have other things inside their head...and, most importantly, that those other things are just as real as what you have in yours.

Yes, this leads to ethical paradoxes. But go back to the first two propositions, the two different ways things exist. I don't see any other rational, ethical path that makes as much sense as that. It does make all men brothers, for we all agree on objective existence -- things that can be scientifically demonstrated -- and we all have an interior subjective world as well. And it demands recognition of others' right to own their subjective reality.
 
Last edited:

SNeacail

New member
I don't quite get your point. Jews believe their god is for them, and his laws don't apply to anyone else but the Jews.

I fully agree! I just have a problem with it as it pertains to what we have been taught as Christians and the "Bible".
 

Quath

New member
The idea of the trinity I find very fascinating.
I believe the idea of the Trinity came about a few hundred years after the events of the New Testament as a way to resolve portions of the Bible. In the beginning of Christianity, there were many different types of views of Jesus. Some held that Jesus was purely mortal and he was possessed by the Christ spirit. Some held he was like a hologram -- a being of pure energy who felt no physical pain. Some held that he started off human and turned divine at the end. The denonination that won was that Paul version that held that Jesus was both divine and human at the same time.

But the reasons for the other interpretations were still there. The early Christian books were usually written with one of these views in mind and reconciling them was not easy. The Trinity concept was one way to try to reconcile worship of Jesus with monogamy along with the idea that Jesus was always divine.

The problems of the Trinity come from several verses that seem to go against the concept. One is that Jesus said that the Father was greater than him. Another is when Jesus asks why God has abandoned him at death. Another problem is how God and Jesus act very differently. Jesus is more about forgiveness and ignoring minor sins like working on Sunday or adultery, while God was very clear that these people must be killed. The Trinity also has the problem in that God appears to have multiple personalities (if you accept this, then why not add "Satan" as another aspect and call it the Quartet?).

Some denominations reject the Trinity due to these issues, but I think a lot more accept the Trinity despite the problems.
 

FedEvolution

New member
spirituality

I'm something about taoist/hermetic, I believe in the process of inner alchemy.

I'm studying 4th Way about teaching of Gurdjieff Ouspensky, and I've study something about bioenergy (Alexander Lowen) and that open the others way.

cheers
 

Karma

New member
"Inner Alchemy".

I like this term. A lot. Please explain more, if you don't want to post it all here, a PM is fine.
 

FedEvolution

New member
I mean...

self-observation, try exercises to improve state of consciousness, work with negative emotion, meditation, other staff for a path to awakening
 

Edward

New member
I am reasonably sure that both Sarah and Haigar (sp?) were considered 'wives' (by the rather loose definition of the time). Both Jews and Arabs agree that Father Abraham was their father; what they differ on is who was the favored wife. (This could lead to "Abraham liked MY mom best!" routines, if only the leaders on either side had a sense of humor...)

Of course, the subject of faith can get touchy for everyone. Since marriage (in the West) is a civil and not religious matter (and has been for several hundred years) I generally approach the matter from that angle. We allow corporations (which are also civil contracts) to have multiple signatories; why not marriages?

Religion is supposed to be, since the Enlightenment, the relationship between individuals and their God(ess)(es). The State is thought to be a neutral party, only present to ensure that one faith does not attempt to violently suppress the other. For polys, faith becomes a more complex issue, unless one adopts a faith that is tolerant of the matter (cf the number of pagans) or simply abandons organized faith (atheists/agnostics).
 
Top