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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

 5676 shimaspawn, Tue, 18th Mar '14 5:58:28 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
TMI. This is very off topic.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 5677 De Marquis, Tue, 18th Mar '14 7:18:35 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
So, what were we talking about? Witches?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 5678 Knightof Lsama, Tue, 18th Mar '14 7:44:46 PM from The Sea of Chaos
What do you mean by invetable? I remember hearing a theory that the Roman Empire chose Christianity as its one true religion because having one deity made it easier for people to relate and unite. Then, if by inevitable you mean if the Roman Empire will always pick a monotheistic religion as its focus, that's possible, but the results could be instead more similar to the Ancient Egypt, I think maybe?

The thing is that Egypt's flirtation with monotheism was brief and ultimately unsuccessful.

And the Roman Empire didn't choose to be Christian as such. They were just one of many religious groups within the Empire and didn't really gain real power until one of the Emperor's chose to back them... but that wasn't really all that unusual either. Various previous Emperors had aligned themselves assorted other mystery cults and religious groups previously. But they had existed within a polytheistic framework and while they gained in power it tended to wax and wane between different groups.

Christianity's strict monotheism was a game changer in that sense that if you were Christian that was it, as opposed to previous models were someone could belong to one or more different mystery cults over your life and you weren't born into them but initiated in early adulthood.
Welcome to the Sea of Chaos
 5679 Xopher 001, Tue, 18th Mar '14 8:35:52 PM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: In season
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
[up]you mean that one pharoah who tried to change the kingdoms religion and was subsequently hated by the priests, who tried to scratch him out of recorded history?
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 5680 Knightof Lsama, Tue, 18th Mar '14 11:01:07 PM from The Sea of Chaos
[up] Akenaten, that would be him. As I said, brief and unsuccessful.
Welcome to the Sea of Chaos
yarr
As was said attempt to remove him from the records, apparently.

Makes you wonder what the guys they did erase tried to do.
My little brother got into Ancient Aliens recently. That garbage is just awful, I hope he'll lose interest soon.

 5683 Greenmantle, Wed, 19th Mar '14 7:56:21 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
[up][up] There's one reason it didn't work. One of his sons was Tutankhamun.
yarr
[up][up]I do have to wonder what would happen if we dug up a dinosaur wearing a spacesuit or even a suit of armour one day.
 5685 De Marquis, Wed, 19th Mar '14 9:25:12 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
"They were just one of many religious groups within the Empire and didn't really gain real power until one of the Emperor's chose to back them...

So is the question really "If Constantine hadnt picked Christianity, what would he have picked?"
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 5686 Xopher 001, Wed, 19th Mar '14 9:27:15 AM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: In season
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
I'm really skeptical when people recount that story that Constantine saw a cross before a battle in a vision , and put it on his troops shields, and they won. It has all the markings of being made post de facto
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 5687 De Marquis, Wed, 19th Mar '14 9:36:46 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
So what were his alternatives? Apparently his father was a follower of one of the Syrian deities, "Sol Invictus". Then there were all the mystery cults running around back then, Mithraism and so forth. Maybe the Emporer doesnt pick anyone, opting for the status quo (himself as the head of an imperial cult). Or some other option I havent thought of. Opinions?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
You guys are aware that Constantine didn't make Christianity the official religion and there was still an non-christian emperor afterwards, Julianus[1]? Only Theodosius made it the official religion about sixty years later. Christianity's way to a state religion was not that dependant on a single emperor and more on it slowly growing in the empire.

edited 19th Mar '14 10:51:14 AM by Antiteilchen

yarr
[up][up][up]wild mass guessThat wasn't a cross, it was actually a lower-case t.wild mass guess

edited 19th Mar '14 9:44:52 AM by Elfive

 5690 Victin, Wed, 19th Mar '14 9:52:32 AM from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Relationship Status: LET'S HAVE A ZILLION BABIES
@Cassidy the Devil: I used to watch those and other conspiracy programs all the time when I was little. Don't worry, he'll probably start finding them funny after some time tongue
"Say that you want to live!"
"I have no reason to live!"
"There has to be! If not, go make one!"
 5691 Zendervai, Wed, 19th Mar '14 10:34:43 AM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
[up][up][up] This is true. Constantine did a lot for Christianity, like sending people to Jerusalem, arranging the Nicean Council and so on, but he didn't legitimize it for Rome.

On a side note, a joke I heard when I visited Israel is that Constantine's mother is the greatest archaeologist in history. She went to Jerusalem and apparently managed to find every single important Biblical site in a decade. To celebrate that, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher stuck a statue of her in the basement, under what they think is Calvary, behind a bunch of small chapels, where it's really hard to see any details because the lighting down there is frigging awful.

EDIT: I spelled Calvary wrong.

edited 19th Mar '14 10:57:07 AM by Zendervai

Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
 5692 Xopher 001, Wed, 19th Mar '14 10:51:39 AM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: In season
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
That makes no frigging sense
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 5693 Zendervai, Wed, 19th Mar '14 10:55:13 AM from North Toronto Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
Eccentric Dreamer
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is just really badly designed period. It's very sooty, there are rooms that randomly have no floor, just sand, there's random crap all over the place that are apparently holy relics and gifts and it's seriously arranged like a theme park in terms of how you go around it. And of course you have dozens of random denominations fighting over it. It's so bad that a Muslim family has to have the keys because if any of the denominations had the keys, they'd lock the others out. Well, except for the Anglicans. They have a really nice garden on the other side of the Old City at the other possible location for Calvary.

That is one thing I noticed in Israel. The Catholic Churches were kind of all over the place in their designs, because most of them were built (originally) by the Crusaders, who didn't seem to have a head for design. The Orthodox Churches, on the other hand, were gorgeous. They had people who knew what they were doing making those. Even the one with almost no light had a good reason for it. It commemorated the crucifixion. You don't want a super shiny church for that.

edited 19th Mar '14 10:56:47 AM by Zendervai

Everyone is a little bit insane. It makes the world so much more interesting!
 5694 Knightof Lsama, Wed, 19th Mar '14 6:00:44 PM from The Sea of Chaos
You guys are aware that Constantine didn't make Christianity the official religion and there was still an non-christian emperor afterwards, Julianus[1]

De facto if not de jure.

Though it does raise the interesting question of what might have happened if Julian's reign had lasted longer (he died in battle against the Persians) and he had had more time to enact his policies encouraging religious plurality.
Welcome to the Sea of Chaos
 5695 digaagwariz, Thu, 20th Mar '14 10:44:27 AM from the internet (duh)
The Man With The Name Too Long To Fit In The—
"If Constantine hadnt picked Christianity, what would he have picked?"

I can hear the fundies now. "Science could not exist today if it weren't for Mithraism!" As if Christianity invented not being a dick, or caring about the downtrodden, or treating other members of society with compassion, or whatever. I do wonder if Christian fundies think people were baby-eating monsters before Jesus came along, and that we would still be living in the 1st century if Christianity didn't become the dominant religion in Europe.

p.s. My ipod is back to normal functioning! Hooray!

edited 20th Mar '14 10:46:29 AM by digaagwariz

This sentence is a lie.
 5696 Tobias Drake, Thu, 20th Mar '14 11:06:02 AM from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: Married to my murderer
Black Dragon
[up] Given that the Bible preaches that God flooded the world because people were baby-eating monsters, I would say probably yes.
 5697 De Marquis, Thu, 20th Mar '14 11:42:45 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Jeez, we just cant stay away from our favorite topic, can we?

Lets talk about Greco-Roman Mystery cults instead. How much can we say about what their secret rituals were?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 5698 nightwyrm zero, Thu, 20th Mar '14 11:45:09 AM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
[up]Wouldn't be very secretive if we knew about it...[lol]

 5699 Matues, Thu, 20th Mar '14 12:23:35 PM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
One of my favorite Greek mystery goddess is She Who Is Not Named.
 5700 Xopher 001, Thu, 20th Mar '14 1:18:21 PM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: In season
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
So Despoina wasn't her real name? Does anyone know what her real name was? Why could only an initiated cult member know her name?

edited 20th Mar '14 1:18:46 PM by Xopher001

3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
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