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The General Religion, Mythology, and Theology Thread:

Since we've gotten told to stop talking generally about religion twice in the Homosexuality and Religion thread and were told that, if we want to talk generally about religion, we need to make a new thread, I have made a new thread.

Full disclosure: I am an agnostic atheist and anti-theist, but I'm very interested in theology and religion.

Mod Edit: All right, there are a couple of ground rules here:

  • This is not a thread for mindless bashing of religion or of atheism/agnosticism etc. All view points are welcome here. Let's have a civil debate.
  • Religion is a volatile subject. Please don't post here if you can't manage a civil discussion with viewpoints you disagree with. There will be no tolerance for people who can't keep the tone light hearted.
  • There is no one true answer for this thread. Don't try to force out opposing voices.

edited 9th Feb '14 1:01:31 PM by Madrugada

 1 deathpigeon, Tue, 2nd Apr '13 7:36:03 PM from Bread, It Is Bread that the Revolution Needs! Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Kaspar the Friendly Spook
Since we've gotten told to stop talking generally about religion twice in the Homosexuality and Religion thread and were told that, if we want to talk generally about religion, we need to make a new thread, I have made a new thread.

Full disclosure: I am an agnostic atheist and anti-theist, but I'm very interested in theology and religion.

Mod Edit: All right, there are a couple of ground rules here:

  • This is not a thread for mindless bashing of religion or of atheism/agnosticism etc. All view points are welcome here. Let's have a civil debate.
  • Religion is a volatile subject. Please don't post here if you can't manage a civil discussion with viewpoints you disagree with. There will be no tolerance for people who can't keep the tone light hearted.
  • There is no one true answer for this thread. Don't try to force out opposing voices.

edited 9th Feb '14 1:01:31 PM by Madrugada

My Blog.

ACAB.

"The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise." - Max Stirner
 2 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 4:16:00 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Some idiots not happy caused Pope Francis washed the feet of two gals and one of them is (OMG) a Muslim.

Oh yeah, I'm liking our new Pope a lot.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 3 Loni Jay, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 4:40:23 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I had a response to the 'love God more than family' thing that was derailing the Homosexuality and Religion thread.

I honestly don't see what's wrong with it. If my brother committed a horrible crime, love for him might prompt me to help him cover it up or make excuses and allow him to continue doing it. Just because that action is based in love for my family doesn't make it moral.

I hope I would chose what's right over what's good for my family any time.

I guess the problem is when some people think of 'loving God', they think of things like building churches or spending a lot of time praying or being generally pious. And yeah, if you put such things over the well being of your family I would think you were in the wrong. Whereas I see it more as being generally compassionate and doing what's right.

edited 3rd Apr '13 4:40:42 PM by LoniJay

Be not afraid...
 4 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 5:05:06 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
[up] I don't mind if people love God more than family (most of the time), but... it's not OK to leave your family to fend for themselves.

Okay if someone single decides to be a priest, but if he's already married and have kids... especially when we're talking about times and places wherein women are considered as second-class citizens.

I don't know... There's a difference between early christians insisting on it and the Bible or Jesus saying it. I mean, if early christians insisted that christians do a dance at five o'clock every day, but it isn't mentioned in the Bible, it wouldn't be hypocrisy to not do that, but cite the Bible for other things.

Decided to just reply to this in this thread.

It's uh... a tad more complicated than that. Where do you think the word "canon" comes from? Lol.

There are a lot of writings not included in the Bible. For example... I think we all know what a boy's club the Vatican is, even though even the (canon) gospels mention that Jesus has female disciples.

There was definitely some censorships and interpretations to make the Vatican a boy's club. And it still persists til this day. They insist that only dudes can be ordained cause all the twelve Apostles were dudes.

But, what if one of them was actually a girl?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_mary

As I've mentioned in the other thread, I don't mind interpretations of Jesus' life and words if the interpretations are used for good, but not if they're used to justify oppression. Keeping the Vatican for boys only is sexist.

And to help keep this lighthearted.

Think of it like a movie. The Torah is the first one, and the New Testament the sequel. Then the Qu’ran comes out, and it retcons the last one like it never happened. There’s still Jesus, but he’s not the main character anymore, and the messiah hasn’t shown up yet.

Jews like the first movie but ignored the sequels. Christians think you need to watch the first two, but the third movie doesn’t count. The Moslems think the third one was the best, and Mormons liked the second one so much, they started writing fanfiction that doesn’t fit with ANY of the series canon.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 5 Deviant Braeburn, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 5:13:46 PM from Dysfunctional California
Wandering Jew
I don't mind interpretations of Jesus' life and words if the interpretations are used for good, but not if they're used to justify oppression.

I dislike this 'I'm fine with the word god when it furthers MY beliefs and goals, but not when it benefits those whose viewpoint I disagree with' mindset.

It just screams double standard.

edited 3rd Apr '13 5:14:57 PM by DeviantBraeburn

Everything is Possible.

But some things are more Probable than others.
JEBAGEDDON 2016

 6 deathpigeon, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 5:19:28 PM from Bread, It Is Bread that the Revolution Needs! Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Kaspar the Friendly Spook
I'm sort of similar. I'm ok with people doing things I consider morally correct no matter the reason. If someone interprets the word of Jesus to something I consider morally correct, awesome. If someone interprets the writings of Karl Marx to something I consider morally correct, awesome. If someone interprets the writings of Noam Chomsky to something I consider morally wrong, then I'm against it. If someone interprets the writings of Mikhail Bakunin to something I consider morally wrong, then I'm against it.
My Blog.

ACAB.

"The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise." - Max Stirner
 7 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 5:24:48 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
I have a similar mentality when it comes to charity. You're helping the poor and sick, the old and the needy? I don't care which god/s you believe in.

Though with conditions of course, there are people who do a lot of harm and think the harm they've done can be absolved with a little charity work. These ones I label as hypocrites.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 8 Cider, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:40:56 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
I do not pay much mind to a faith one submits to, cannot intelligently defend and yet insists on defending anyway. Know the Bible and what it stands for before you become a Christian. Are you willing to lay your life down for the sake of your friends? That is what Jesus said is the greatest love you can show them. Are you willing to pray for the benefit of your enemies as they exploit and kill you? That what Jesus said you should do. Will you turn the other cheek? Can you accept the sword that your savior brought was not one that would save you from your enemies but a sword that would turn your friends and family into enemies? Anointed ones yours is a faith that will lead to a miserable life on Earth for the rewards you may get in the life after!

Are you willing to forget the sins and transgressions done against you? Do you think this is a wise way to live your life? That is what Jesus would have you do. Do you honestly think it is immoral to not meet force you know is wrong with force to stop it? Do you think it is right to let yourself be abused just to have the moral high ground? Christianity is a dangerous faith for those who follow it fully and I say that it only exists today because in the face of invaders so called Christians took that sword and fought them. I say none in the Americas would be Christian if the Spanish Conquistadors did not practice a completely bastardized Christianity.

The Germans and Romans, they eventually converted to Christianity mostly of their own free will, the Christians could not outfight either of these pagan identities and most times did not even try since that would be against the faith...but peace did not work out so well for the Christians in Persia. In fact, their failure to defend Egypt, bread basket to the Mediterranean and Syria, center of classical knowledge, lead to economic disaster. That disaster lead to the crusades. 300 years of war and the most famous anti Christian acts done in the name of Christianity and one could argue they were out of economic necessity! The Crusades recovered knowledge from Syria and Egypt, which lead to the enlightenment.

What happened to the Christians throughout North Africa? South Sudan and Ethiopia are about the only majority nations left because they took up the sword and fought off every non Christian invader. What happened to the rapid Christian expansion in Japan? They did not fight and were nearly crucified into extinction by ruling authorities because of it.

Can one read the text, look at the history of those who faithfully followed the text and still say it is worth it? I can honestly say if I was a Russian facing potential execution at hands of Stalin, a Chinaman against Mao I would most likely give in if I could not flee to safety, where I would probably support from afar those who commit the grievous sins of not loving their neighbor as they love themselves and turning that sword on their enemies. Without divine intervention I do not think the anointed can be true to their faith and expect the faith to last in this violent existence we call life without some decidedly non-Christian defenders.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 9 Ninety, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:42:32 PM from Land of Quakes and Hills Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Absolutely no relation to NLK
I've known too many people who soothe their consciences with some prayer and Confession while being horrible to their fellow man. I believe in Confession, but it's not the Get Out Of Jail Free card many people seem to think it is.
math792d: "If there was a tagline to the Aesir beyond 'war never changes, ' it would be 'alcohol was involved.'"
 10 Ira The Squire, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:44:44 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
I dislike this 'I'm fine with the word god when it furthers MY beliefs and goals, but not when it benefits those whose viewpoint I disagree with' mindset.

That mindset can be applied to many things apart from the Judo-Christian god though.

For example "I'm fine with nationalism when it allows people to form bonds with each other, but not when it justifies to those who wants to exterminate everyone else" or "I'm fine with right-wing ideas when it allows people who work hard to benefit, but not when it justifies companies to exploit their workers" etc.

Chinaman

With your powers combined I am CHINAMAN!

edited 3rd Apr '13 6:48:18 PM by IraTheSquire

 11 Cider, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:52:56 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
I've known too many people who soothe their consciences with some prayer and Confession while being horrible to their fellow man. I believe in Confession, but it's not the Get Out Of Jail Free card many people seem to think it is.
Jesus said a faith that does not result in good deeds is worthless. Jesus said to drop all sacraments if you are not reconciled with those you have sinned against.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 12 deathpigeon, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:55:55 PM from Bread, It Is Bread that the Revolution Needs! Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Kaspar the Friendly Spook
I've known too many people who soothe their consciences with some prayer and Confession while being horrible to their fellow man. I believe in Confession, but it's not the Get Out Of Jail Free card many people seem to think it is.

Isn't confession only supposed be for people who don't plan on doing the sin again? I mean, you're only supposed to go to confession on adultery if you don't plan to go and adulter more, or something.
My Blog.

ACAB.

"The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise." - Max Stirner
 13 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:59:25 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Moderation is key. Heck, even (too much) charity may end up doing more harm than good.

I believe in charity when it helps those who really need help, when it helps people stand up and help themselves. I'm against (too much) unnecessary charity which ends up encouraging people to be lazy.

[up] Oh God, people think that prayer and confession (and a little charity) will forgive their sins, IMHO, either did not read any of the (canon) Gospels carefully or did and just ignored all the bits wherein Jesus cursed the hypocrites.

And hell, I think a LOT of people just ignore the part wherein Jesus said that rich people will have a really hard time getting into heaven. I'll just let Gandhi rant about this.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi

I know of no one who has done more for humanity than Jesus. In fact, there is nothing wrong with Christianity ... The trouble is with you Christians. You do not begin to live up to your own teachings.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 14 Ninety, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:59:57 PM from Land of Quakes and Hills Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Absolutely no relation to NLK
It's supposed to, yes. But the ideal deviates.
math792d: "If there was a tagline to the Aesir beyond 'war never changes, ' it would be 'alcohol was involved.'"
 15 Pykrete, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:00:18 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
The absolution does typically end with "go and sin no more", yes.

 16 Loni Jay, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:07:39 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I think the assumption is that you'll at least genuinely try not to sin again, yeah.
Be not afraid...
 17 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:22:51 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
It's called lip service, which Jesus hated a LOT, especially when done by people in power (who are abusing their power). You can see this through out the (canon) Gospels and particularly as you get closer to the crucifixion.

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]

Also, geez... Bibles would be a lot thinner if they did NOT include "interpretations". I was re-reading the Gospel of Matthew last night, and like every/nearly all the pages was 50% interpretations. Not to mention that the interpretations were in smaller sized font.

edited 3rd Apr '13 7:23:19 PM by probablyinsane

Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 18 Cider, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:32:12 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
About Gandhi, wonderful man I think we can all agree but look at his life. He extended harsh criticism for sure but good will towards all. What did it get him? The British (Christian/Atheist whatever), The indigenous Muslims, the Communists, they all opposed him every step of the way, he was shot and the state of Pakistan which he so opposed was created, dividing the Hindu Holy land.

In fact, can anyone name someone preaching in the name of peace who was not shot, stabbed, strangled, stoned, scorched or nailed upon a tree? People try to argue that theirs is a religion of peace and love but my question is that really a good thing? It will earn you my love and respect but I have to ask is it never right to fight? Is it only right do defend yourself or God forbid, make a preemptive strike until God himself commands it? I think God did set aside a caste for fighting evil but that did not save the holy land did it?

Know your faith and all that being true to it will entail before you submit to it.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 19 deathpigeon, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:34:45 PM from Bread, It Is Bread that the Revolution Needs! Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Kaspar the Friendly Spook
Leo Tolstoy preached christian anarcho-pacifism and died of pneumonia.
My Blog.

ACAB.

"The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise." - Max Stirner
 20 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:42:40 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
I can't say that I would be "strong" enough to be on the level of passive resistance as Jesus and Gandhi, but I admire them (and others) for such bravery.

Passive resistance on that level is just really sheer mental and emotional strength. We can even argue that's how early Christianity conquered the Roman Empire.

When the Romans saw these Christians bravely meeting their deaths in the arenas, that made them think - these people are willing to die for their God and decided to look into this religion. And the next thing we knew, the Roman Emperor himself decided to become Christian.

Also Gandhi commented about such as well.

http://fatherlasch.com/article/472/jesus-and-gandhi

For Gandhi the message of “turn the other cheek” was the reverse of “passivism” (double s); it was heroic, brave, and creative action. It was the only way to break through the circle of violence that kept people oppressed and convert the oppressors.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 21 Cider, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:53:25 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
And he lived to an old age too. I will have to read up on him sometime because the name rang no bells when I first saw it.

Anyway I supposed an advantage of Hinduism is its practice to adapt itself as new information is discovered. I think it is a fairly strong example against those who argue religion is inherently contradictory toward critical thought and for whatever problems India may have it is arguably the only ancient civilization to withstand the test of time. I guess we can give Gandhi's religion some credit for that even if India has lost a little land lately.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 22 deathpigeon, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 7:54:32 PM from Bread, It Is Bread that the Revolution Needs! Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Kaspar the Friendly Spook
He wrote War and Peace.
My Blog.

ACAB.

"The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise." - Max Stirner
 23 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 8:02:39 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Hey, not just India - China, too. Though it probably helped that Chinese religions are more philosophies than religions.

(sighs about Christianity) After what early Christian martyrs went through, it's just nuts that Christians became the persecutors in the Middle Ages.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
 24 Cider, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 8:47:07 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
The hilarious thing about the medieval church is that it created most of its pagan (which means false faith) opponents by its policy. The star of morning was a mocking reference to a Semite legend, mistakenly named Lucifer in Latin translations who became a key figure in the witch religion of Diana, claiming he gave them magic to destroy the tyranny of the Catholic church. Yes through mistranslation and witch hunts Christendom breathed new life into witchcraft. Jewitchery even adopted Lucifer in the Kelipot when you think they would recognize him as a gentile corruption.

Bahomet is a corruption of Mahomet. The Christians had a poor understanding of the Islamic invaders but they noticed and resented how the goats they brought along were destroying the figs the Romans planted to protect their roads from erosion. Goats and "Mahomet" became blended together in Crusader propaganda and Bahomet is still a popular figure among some Satanists and demonologists today.

The new age Triple Goddess partially has origins in Trivigante, who once again was an innovation from propaganda against West Asian invaders coming into Europe. To this day they describe themselves as pagans without a hint of irony. Does that make Do Not Do This Cool Thing older than steam?
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 25 probablyinsane, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 9:20:30 PM Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Please feel free to blame Christianity for the Dark Ages. I do get (somewhere in the recesses in my mind) that there were other factors involved, but even when I was a kid, I thought the Middle Age part of European History was the least cool.

When I play Civ, I was like always in a hurry to get through the Middle Age and onto the Renaissance, because (gah!) if there's an epoch of history that can be used as anti-religion evidence, it would be the Middle Ages.
Half of a social justice battle is simply convincing people that a problem is real or that a pattern exists. ~Nihonjinron Gakusei
Total posts: 6,742
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