Meditations

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Anteroinen
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Re: Meditations

Post by Anteroinen »

Redafro wrote:I'm always surprised by comments like this because, while there is plenty of circumstantial evidence (one story looks like another) the hard evidence that the bible actually IS copied from other stories is slim to none. Its a very strange assertion, imho.
Considering that cultures constantly change, evolve and borrow from each other it doesn't seem like a weird idea to me. I'm not saying that it was a quick transition, the development from monolatry to monotheism took the Jews hundreds of years, for instance - and even in the nineteenth century there still were Finns who believed the story about the broken egg creating the world, even with three different types of Christianity (Catholics, Orthodoxes and Lutherans respectively) having conquered Finland starting from the 1150's. Hell, some still leave porridge for the house gnome on the Christmas eve.

My point here was that religions persist and affect each other, and that certainly happened in the Middle East, what with their different empires conquering different regions.
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The Kakama
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Re: Meditations

Post by The Kakama »

ie.The evolution of religion.Sounds like a paradox.
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Anteroinen
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Re: Meditations

Post by Anteroinen »

The Kakama wrote:ie.The evolution of religion.Sounds like a paradox.
A bit although the spectrum of levels of belief in evolution among humans - religious or otherwise - is a wide spectrum. I will admit to the irony in the evolution of religion though. :lol:
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Vurn
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Re: Meditations

Post by Vurn »

Since Redafro seems to be striving for other opinions on this topic, I guess I'll throw in my three cents. Hope I'm not insulting anybody.

As you might know, Poland (where I live) is heavily religious. 99% of the population is Christian. You can tell it wasn't easy for me to tell my family I chose to be Atheist, hah. But to the point. When I was younger, I believed in God really strongly - I used to pray every evening, confess, take communions and all that stuff. As I was growing up, I started questioning religion more and more. It seemed weird to me that such a good God would let so many people suffer (e.g. famine and wars in Africa, as Isobel said) and why would he make people suffer in Hell eternally. I started wondering about it because I heard this adjective describing God - "infintely merciful". If he was any merciful at all, he wouldn't let sinners be damned forever. Eternity is a really flippin' long time. I mean, in most cases even judges don't imprison people until their death - and courts by definitions are infinitely less merciful than God. Another thing that really bugged me was the veneration of saints - and especially, their relics. I mean, seriously. If you pray to some piece of BONE that's been in the body of some guy hundreds of years ago, it's better than normal prayer. Moreover, it can heal you. Usual critic of religion followed - I'm not gonna write all of it here - but let me just name evolution of religion, Holy Officium, Inquisition, witch hunting, crusades, superstitions, and so on.

Another thing that surprised me about Christianity is how different was Judaism - which, according to the church, was the religion people should follow before Christ got around - from actual Catholicism. Old Testament God is personal (he's even got a body! If you look at His face, you die! Wtf?) and seems to be super angry and strict, while in the New Testament he's all totally merciful and loving. Jews were supposed to sacrifice cows and other animals to Yahweh. The ritual was decribed in the Bible in exhaustive detail. They also performed circumcision and were totally allowed to have multiple wives and God was cool with it. When Jesus did his stuff on Earth, all of these changed. Why? Why would God-given, supposedly eternal laws change? Couldn't he get it right the first time? Another thing is the deification of Saint Mary. I mean, what the hell is up with her? She's not one of the three consubstantials of God, she's not a regular saint. Nope. She's a flippin' QUEEN OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. What.

So I read a lot about Christianity and different religions. For a while, I thought I would convert to Protestantism. For some time I thought I was Agnostic. And now, herp derp, I'm Atheist. Honestly, it just seems like the most probable one. So yeah.
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azareus
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Re: Meditations

Post by azareus »

Vurn wrote: She's a flippin' QUEEN OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. What.
Well, you know, God DID have some sexy time with her, so I guess that makes her his wife or something? I now refuse to post in this thread because I am certainly going to hurt someone's feelings with my infinite ignorance :P
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Re: Meditations

Post by Anteroinen »

azareus wrote:
Vurn wrote: She's a flippin' QUEEN OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. What.
Well, you know, God DID have some sexy time with her, so I guess that makes her his wife or something? I now refuse to post in this thread because I am certainly going to hurt someone's feelings with my infinite ignorance :P
I find it more likely that we would derive some sort of nigh perverse pleasure from educating you; speak away.
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Vurn
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Re: Meditations

Post by Vurn »

azareus wrote:
Vurn wrote: She's a flippin' QUEEN OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. What.
Well, you know, God DID have some sexy time with her, so I guess that makes her his wife or something? I now refuse to post in this thread because I am certainly going to hurt someone's feelings with my infinite ignorance :P
God did not have sexy time with Mary. That would mean she had sex with her own son.. before she even gave birth to him, or even conceived him. It would also mean God took physical form without being born, just to make one third of himself being actually born. So no. How Jesus was born of Mary was apparently because Holy Ghost miraculously impregnated her. Somehow. Mary also was free of any sin, including the sin you're supposedly born with, because God made it so bfytw. Because apparently only a sinless person could give birth to God. Dogma are fun.
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sundayfever
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Re: Meditations

Post by sundayfever »

You know what?
When you look at it this way, Mary is just a woman unfaithful to her husband, she somehow gives birth to a child and poor Joseph has to deal with it. He even supports her. Seriously?

(No offense to religious people.)
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Re: Meditations

Post by Redafro »

So, in the mean while I continue to research the question Isobel brought up, let me ask this:

What DO you guys intend when you say crass things about other peoples deeply held beliefs? Is it just a natural humor that crops up because you find the notions so ridiculous? (I am not a Catholic, so I don't have any notions of the nearly deity of Mary, but I do respect her as the mother of Jesus, and find it ugly when people want treat her disrespectfully, as if someone is insulting my mother or sister.) Is there really not enough respect for the people who hold those beliefs to refrain from insulting them? I'm being quite serious: I've heard atheist podcasts which are mostly respectful, and these actually cause me to think deeply and challenge me. The ones where they are merely crass and angry turn me off so much I rarely can get anything of value from them. So why the animosity? Why is that easy and why not be thoughtful? You wouldn't make gay or black jokes, right? And I know, you don't choose those things, but in many ways you don't choose your religious beliefs either.

So what's up with that guys? I'm genuinely curious.
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Anteroinen
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Re: Meditations

Post by Anteroinen »

Redafro wrote:So, in the mean while I continue to research the question Isobel brought up, let me ask this:

What DO you guys intend when you say crass things about other peoples deeply held beliefs? Is it just a natural humor that crops up because you find the notions so ridiculous? (I am not a Catholic, so I don't have any notions of the nearly deity of Mary, but I do respect her as the mother of Jesus, and find it ugly when people want treat her disrespectfully, as if someone is insulting my mother or sister.) Is there really not enough respect for the people who hold those beliefs to refrain from insulting them? I'm being quite serious: I've heard atheist podcasts which are mostly respectful, and these actually cause me to think deeply and challenge me. The ones where they are merely crass and angry turn me off so much I rarely can get anything of value from them. So why the animosity? Why is that easy and why not be thoughtful? You wouldn't make gay or black jokes, right? And I know, you don't choose those things, but in many ways you don't choose your religious beliefs either.

So what's up with that guys? I'm genuinely curious.
Mostly it is humour cropping up because we find it ridiculous. Especially when it comes to Christianity, which has many stories that are totally absurd in the eyes of modern society. Not just because they have miracles that's not it at all: there are things like "thou shalt not wear mixed fabrics" which nigh everybody does. It is not that you couldn't have a theological explanation for this, it just sounds absurd.

Furthermore, it is not like other religions don't have that; we are just more familiar with the Bible. Bhagavad-gita, for instance, has a passage which tells us how we much meditate and disassociate ourselves while pooping and then there is the whole logical dissonance between ahimsa and the caste of ksatriyah (warriors), which Krishna adamantly defends. Kalevala, while it is not a holy book, has a brush starting to seep blood as a sign that it's owner has died. He is later revived by his mother, with the help of a bee who brings a lotion of sorts from the heavens. There is a very nice painting about it, allow me to post it (this is one of my favourite Kalevalan stories):
Image

Anyways... Well, I don't know, if I have much more to add. I think I made my point.
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