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Author Topic: Very controversial subject.  (Read 9247 times)

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Offline kylie

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2010, 02:24:49 AM »
Quote
The Bible also confirms the existence of witches and demons. Just so you know.
          I was taught in a university Religion course that actually, the Bible only spoke of "sorcery," a more vague and general term than what we understand by "witchcraft."  There were often sorcerous types mixed among the Hebrew peoples, but they had a positive or ambiguous status for many centuries -- including many midwives, folk healers, etc.  Over the centuries, older concepts were reinterpreted bit by bit, until simple sorcery was reimagined in church/court orders as something more and more likely to be sinister.  (Edit: I say "more likely" because they often still had to bring it to trial to find out -- at least as a ritual.) 

          Eventually, the official interpretations (and later Bible translations, I think?) morphed so that what was once "sorcery" turned to "evil" witchcraft imagined as communion with Satan.   From early times on, such rulings were a way for various leaders to marginalize competing sects within the church.  This was done in response to the very early Gnostics (which included through general marginalization of women leaders), on up to the Catherites in the 13th century.     [/digression]

     ---  Notes from G. David Panisnick, Religion 353: Witches and Witchcraft, University of Hawaii.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 02:28:12 AM by kylie »

Offline Jude

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2010, 02:27:49 AM »
I don't mind their attempt to criticize another religion, just that it's done misleadingly.  In the spirit of fairness I feel like some of their doctrine should be posted here for scrutiny, so here's a bit of hilarious information from Wikipedia's article on them:

Quote from: Wikipedia
The Church of All Worlds (CAW) is a neopagan religious group whose stated mission is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaia and reuniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and evolving consciousness.

The key founder of CAW is Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, who serves the Church as "Primate", later along with his wife, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, designated High Priestess. CAW was formed in 1962, evolving from a group of friends and lovers who were in part inspired by a fictional religion of the same name in the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein; the church's mythology includes science fiction to this day. The headquarters are presently in Cotati, California.

CAW's members, called Waterkin, espouse pantheism, but the Church is not a belief-based religion. Members experience Divinity and honor these experiences while also respecting the views of others. They recognize "Gaea," the Earth Mother Goddess and the Father God, as well as the realm of Faeries and the deities of many other pantheons. Many of their ritual celebrations are centered on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.
Gahahahahahahahahahahaha, is all I have to say.

Offline kylie

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2010, 02:37:02 AM »
I don't mind their attempt to criticize another religion, just that it's done misleadingly.  In the spirit of fairness I feel like some of their doctrine should be posted here for scrutiny...  [snips]  ...Gahahahahahahahahahahaha, is all I have to say.
          Excuse me, but I don't see that you actually talked about their doctrine as such to any significant degree.  I see a bit of picking about their history, sources of inspiration, and perhaps formal structure. 

          You seem to assume everyone will draw the same conclusions you do about those and mock them as a result.  That simply falls flat with me.  I don't believe that Christianity is much more solid for claiming an older history.  There are lots of popular human activities with very long histories that are ethically problematic.  Brutal warfare, ignorant or capricious transmission of disease, ritual humiliation of unfamiliar peoples, and building altars over conquered spaces all come readily to mind. 

          Many Christian traditions have, as far as I can tell, been built upon other peoples' and religions' bases quite ad hoc as well.   
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 02:38:23 AM by kylie »

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2010, 02:54:43 AM »
Actually the material posted by Kylie is much more interesting - at least the historical part.

About the 'interpretation' part I would like to add that Bible - as it is - it is not obviously to be literally interpretated. It is actually a collection of books that Christians (and not only) believe having been written upon 'Divine inspiration' and so they are used to convey a message that comes directly from God.

So why God didn't have the Bible contain the 'truth' about the universe's story and so on?

This is a complex (and in truth very interesting) topic that has to do with the fact of not interfering with human history and culture... the Deity chooses to spread his Message and the Word through the beliefs and the culture of the people rather than 'setting thing rights' by himself. It ultimately can stand to sense and much of what is written in the Bible is - for Christians - to be intended as symbolic although not for this less true.

All the concept of the 'original sin' intended in his philosophical means is actually one of the most solid assets of the Christian Church. Obviously, there is much more to it than simply eating an apple given by a serpent and subsequent 'disdain for nudity'... and the promise of 'godlike powers' from the Snake was flayed and misleading obviously.

I have read a bit around and for my personal taste I find really beautiful the 'confessiones' of St. Augustine in that matter. It is one of the best neo-platonic philosophical works around...

It CAN be confuted as everything can. But I have this nagging feeling that mr. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is definitely NOT one who can do that. Maybe I'm wrong, though..

^^

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2010, 03:12:11 AM »
You seem to assume everyone will draw the same conclusions you do about those and mock them as a result.  That simply falls flat with me.  I don't believe that Christianity is much more solid for claiming an older history.  There are lots of popular human activities with very long histories that are ethically problematic.  Brutal warfare, ignorant or capricious transmission of disease, ritual humiliation of unfamiliar peoples, and building altars over conquered spaces all come readily to mind. 

Actually the MORE long is a religion's history the more flaws you can find into it. And this because in the past, humanity has had his dark moments... this is another thing that (in my modest opinion) should be taken into account. I am the first to despise the fires of inquisition and find distasteful the idea of a Holy War... the problem is that those have been periods of time where - say - it was considered a right for your lord to deflower your wife the day of your marriage... and wars were done and people was killed for much more trifler reasons.

I mean... wow!

All in all, the fact that a religion survives on the long run means usually that it has a solid philosophical base. This is not exactly true of some of the newer sects that seem like 'made up'.

Many Christian traditions have, as far as I can tell, been built upon other peoples' and religions' bases quite ad hoc as well.   

There is a bit of difference here.

Getting into your faith people with different traditions and turning those that you think as 'superstitions' into occasion to venerate your God is something that - for a religion - is perfectly logical.

Putting together a sort of 'frankenstein' taking pieces of Greek Religion and other things because you cannot make up something by yourself is another matter entirely.

Again... Christianity CAN be confuted. I personally don't believe that this is the right ground to do so.

^^

Offline Jude

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2010, 03:25:22 AM »
They're partly inspired by sci-fi and to this day include science fiction as part of the tenets of their faith; how is that not worthy of mockery?  Obviously by freedom of expression every has the right to say whatever they want about other religions but they opened themselves up doubly so by criticizing another religion while theirs is based on something far more ridiculous.

At least the Christian Faith has a long history behind it and lots of authority in how its members are inducted.  Their traditions and past give them a certain degree of legitimacy which explains why people believe their doctrine.

Not that I am a Christian or have anything against it being mocked, I just think it should be done on honest grounds.  My objection with this particular treatise is that it was misleading and ultimately false.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2010, 03:42:02 AM »
Not that I am a Christian or have anything against it being mocked, I just think it should be done on honest grounds. 

Actually I do HAVE something about Christianity being mocked. As a religion, Christians are legitimate enough to earn the right to be respected... and so I'd prefer simple confutation than mockery.

I can understand that SOME Christians' behaviour can bring to that but nevertheless...

Offline Lilias

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2010, 03:57:15 AM »
I have always wondered why so many people (yes, Christians) find it so hard to take the First Commandment as it is worded. It says 'you shall not have other gods before me', not 'there are no other gods before me'. Ergo, God is saying, 'Buddy, you want in on this, I want an exclusive contract.' Nothing more, nothing less. It's no skin off my teeth how many other gods exist out there; since I have chosen to worship the one that my ancestors called 'the unknown god', the rest are irrelevant.

PS: The gods of my people are civil, and they don't punish people if they choose to worship someone else instead of them. All in the name of coexistence! ;D
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 03:58:49 AM by Lilias »

Offline kylie

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2010, 04:14:42 AM »
All the concept of the 'original sin' intended in his philosophical means is actually one of the most solid assets of the Christian Church.
          This is getting far away from the point of the original post.  If a given Pagan doesn't subscribe to a given purpose, then it is only solid for those who do so subscribe.  That is much of the issue that the OP referred to.  I don't recall a claim that no Christian ever accomplished anything valuable, anywhere.

Quote
Obviously, there is much more to it than simply eating an apple given by a serpent and subsequent 'disdain for nudity'...
          Sure, there is more...  But then, I think there may also be something to the point that policing of the body and sex were a very big deal for Biblical religions.  They have been a big deal for many religions.  One might say some Pagans, certain indigenous faiths, what have you police it aggressively in other ways...  (Are those sweat lodges required to achieve some rank? Who is most encouraged to go there?  Etc.) 

          If you recall, this apparently started as a response to someone preaching at someone else's door.  Whether it's various notions of the "proper" body and sexual relations, or different types of model for how one should be attached to deity (whether through restriction, or celebration of various ambitions and risks)...  The OP point remains that when Biblical faiths choose to press their own terms upon others, well then that is all they are doing.  They're assuming a choir will be out there for them.  When they find the cultural (or educational) ground isn't the same with some people and their myths don't sell, they can get upset or surprised.  I do find that rather amusing.  To me, it's especially amusing (if in a dry, sometimes sad way) because I find rigid, "come with us or it's Hell" interpretations of the Bible a quite insulting and unbelievable choice of door-to-door product. 

          This doesn't mean that followers of the Biblical side can't find scriptures or organizations that may help them along.  Suggesting that the website must mean that is merely an easy defensive reaction.  In that regard, some of the Christians are too quick, when someone describes a different channel for spirituality, to represent it as merely a distortion and parody of the "big" Biblical faiths.  In a historical sense, some of these claims are unknowingly inspired by the institutional reactions of the Christian Churches since at least the Middle Ages.  The claims made about the Catherites having a Black Sabbath are similar to some Christian claims that Pagans must have awful bestiality and animal sacrifices today.  The claims that  gay marriage "must" somehow publicly "devalue" heterosexual marriage may also bear a presumption of intended mockery (and a presumption that defense is "required" against the same).  That is, although there's also the simple fear of losing some followers and coin -- as there has been for centuries.   

          Some people have fussed more about the tone and reactive orientation of the website.  Pointing out the bluster doesn't really address the logic of the arguments.  Nor does saying oh, but this is just a negative reaction to Christianity.  The women's sufferage movement was a negative reaction too -- to male chauvinism.  It also pursued very positive outcomes for women as a group -- and arguably on many important social issues to come. 

          There's little purchase for the evangelists to claim their interpretation is universally better than that of the Pagans.  It may make them feel big or dutiful to draw everyone else's attention to theirs and to make a public show of demanding others' subscription/approval through constant advertising (sometimes terribly aggressively)...  However, some of us are a little prickly about that -- if we were not generations ago -- after the long history of religious-backed colonialism/imperialism/racism etc. and more general pressure and discrimination by choice of faith at home.  We don't respond so well to hearing it shouted on the street and knocked at our doors so often.  And then the variously Biblically-inspired can't handle that others don't take them "seriously enough."  I have to roll my eyes when this stance gets labeled as so "very controversial."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 04:30:13 AM by kylie »

Offline Jude

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2010, 04:16:19 AM »
Actually I do HAVE something about Christianity being mocked. As a religion, Christians are legitimate enough to earn the right to be respected... and so I'd prefer simple confutation than mockery.

I can understand that SOME Christians' behaviour can bring to that but nevertheless...
I reserve the right to mock any religion I like, but I'm not so insensitive as to mock the religion of someone who is a complete reasonable human being that can hear my comments.  I don't respect the religion, but I do respect you.  I certainly didn't mean any slight against you.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2010, 04:17:32 AM »
I have always wondered why so many people (yes, Christians) find it so hard to take the First Commandment as it is worded. It says 'you shall not have other gods before me', not 'there are no other gods before me'. Ergo, God is saying, 'Buddy, you want in on this, I want an exclusive contract.' Nothing more, nothing less. It's no skin off my teeth how many other gods exist out there; since I have chosen to worship the one that my ancestors called 'the unknown god', the rest are irrelevant.

Ok getting a bit more 'specifical' here, this depends on the definition that one gives of 'God'. The Christian's God is the supreme principle of 'good' and the origin of everything else... and this despite whichever other beings may or may not exist. Actually all the human life is a struggle between the principle of 'good' (God) and the principle of 'absence of good' (evil, the Devil).

What makes the man nearer to God, comes from God. What makes him be farther from Him, comes from man's flaws and the Enemy. From this, the step to 'your Gods are false, and are Demons ecc.. ecc.. is logical and brief (although not 100% accurate in my opinion).

Obviously those of other religion will NOT like this. I am only showing how it is 'logical' and it is actually a perfectly condivisible point of view if taken from a religion wievpoints.

And obviously, one cannot tell another religion what to take 'as it is worded' and what not.

PS: The gods of my people are civil, and they don't punish people if they choose to worship someone else instead of them. All in the name of coexistence! ;D

This is because your religion does not start from the principle of 'supreme good' the way Christianity does. And this is perfectly acceptable... but also Christianity's view is acceptable, religiously-wise.

Just to add... the Christian God is absolute Love and Christians believe that the 'punishment' for going away from him is... staying away from him. Distance from God brings - for Christians - unfulfillment and pain.

^^

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2010, 04:22:28 AM »
I reserve the right to mock any religion I like, but I'm not so insensitive as to mock the religion of someone who is a complete reasonable human being that can hear my comments.  I don't respect the religion, but I do respect you.  I certainly didn't mean any slight against you.

That was not intended as a slight against me obviously... and it was not intended against you. I was simply putting out my vision... I don't mock things that have so long an history and significance (and this means not only Christianity obviously) because it is usually a bad idea.

Many people much better than me have believed in those things and I feel somehow awkward when 'mocking' their beliefs. I can completely disagree on them obviously.

But it is a personal point of view.... ^^

Offline Lilias

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2010, 04:26:28 AM »
This is because your religion does not start from the principle of 'supreme good' the way Christianity does. And this is perfectly acceptable... but also Christianity's view is acceptable, religiously-wise.

Just to add... the Christian God is absolute Love and Christians believe that the 'punishment' for going away from him is... staying away from him. Distance from God brings - for Christians - unfulfillment and pain.

Drake, I'm Christian myself. Greek Orthodox, in fact; a lineage that goes unbroken back to St Paul. But you can't deny that the flavour of any religion, Christianity included, is different in different countries because religion is part of the culture, not suspended in a vacuum. We Greeks don't demonise our pagan past; the old gods are virtually historical figures for us, and certainly, in a country that was until recently 97% Orthodox, we don't feel threatened by them.

Oh, and we tend to distrust door-to-door preachers even more because proselytising is prohibited by Greek law. Even the JWs just stand on corners holding the Watchtower and hoping to be addressed - if they speak first, they can be arrested. The average Greek, seeing the tactics of American Evangelicals et.al.,  would consider them complete and utter nutjobs.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2010, 04:43:58 AM »
This is getting far away from the point of the original post.  If a given Pagan doesn't subscribe to a given purpose, then it is only solid for those who do so subscribe.  That is much of the issue that the OP referred to.  I don't recall a claim that no Christian ever accomplished anything valuable, anywhere.

Actually my aim (and so maintaining the scope of the original post... or at least trying to) was to say that something can be not suscribe to and BE solid. I don't subscribe to Confucianism and Buddhism but all those are religions who have a VERY solid philosophical and historical background so if I want to confute them I prepare myself for a debate... and not an easy one at that! And I usually do not base myself only on 'literal' interpretations of fragments of their sacred texts.

Sure, there is more...  But ...

 - snip -

*smiles*

Getting into all your argumentation would take us actually very out of topic but basically (if you read my previous posts) you will see that I don't disagree with you that much anout some Christian's behaviour backfiring on them.

I was trying to put in some explanation to try and separate the 'canonic' (the part created by Philosophs and wise men in 2000 years of history) Christian faith from what people goes around saying pointing bibles and telling others that they will go to hell.

The debate could start from the 'genersl' concept of monotheistic religions (so encompassing Jews and Islam...) to the particularities of Roman Catholic but again this would be an off-topic.

The sumptus of what I want to say is:

- I am aware that there is much ignorance and - unfortunately - aggressiveness on both parts. Christians have probably more of it because simply there are more Christians around... the more people you have in a thing, the more stupids...

- That article seemed to me on the same (if not lower) level. In a simple post in this forum, Kyla has brought up much a much better worded and argumentated confutation.

^^

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2010, 04:47:29 AM »
Drake, I'm Christian myself. Greek Orthodox, in fact; a lineage that goes unbroken back to St Paul. But you can't deny that the flavour of any religion, Christianity included, is different in different countries because religion is part of the culture, not suspended in a vacuum. We Greeks don't demonise our pagan past; the old gods are virtually historical figures for us, and certainly, in a country that was until recently 97% Orthodox, we don't feel threatened by them.

*laughs*

Live and learn.

And THIS is why I NEVER mock other religions. There is ALWAYS something I do not know. Ok... you got the sense from my incorrect statement, though, I hope.

Oh, and we tend to distrust door-to-door preachers even more because proselytising is prohibited by Greek law. Even the JWs just stand on corners holding the Watchtower and hoping to be addressed - if they speak first, they can be arrested. The average Greek, seeing the tactics of American Evangelicals et.al.,  would consider them complete and utter nutjobs.

Well as an Italian Roman Catholic I have seen and heard of things that makes me consider complete nutjobs them too....

I personally dislike 'aggressive' proselytizing.

Offline kylie

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2010, 05:22:19 AM »
Actually my aim (and so maintaining the scope of the original post... or at least trying to) was to say that something can be not suscribe to and BE solid. I don't subscribe to Confucianism and Buddhism but all those are religions who have a VERY solid philosophical and historical background so if I want to confute them I prepare myself for a debate... and not an easy one at that! And I usually do not base myself only on 'literal' interpretations of fragments of their sacred texts.
     I must admit I have a hard time trying to figure out where you're going sometimes.  It seems to me, that could have been a criticism of either side in the blurb -- or both.

          You really started losing me about when you said that anyone with classical knowledge could poke holes in the writeup.  I don't have a basis to analyze that statement, but I take it as presumptuous to say that without some support.  There's more of that...

Quote
Getting into all your argumentation would take us actually very out of topic but basically (if you read my previous posts) you will see that I don't disagree with you that much anout some Christian's behaviour backfiring on them.
          You're saying that without any detail whatsoever.  While I realize people sometimes find reasons to digress just because they see something long...  I'm not convinced they have to pick up every little, slightly rough edge of the flow and build a digression mountain.  I can't help the ones who like to.  I also don't appreciate the stance of oh, but there are issues without even beginning to specify what.  That's dangling the rhetorical "taunt" candy just a bit out of reach, isn't it?

Quote
I was trying to put in some explanation to try and separate the 'canonic' (the part created by Philosophs and wise men in 2000 years of history) Christian faith from what people goes around saying pointing bibles and telling others that they will go to hell.
        Perhaps if one could separate a program of actually studying them at length, from merely quoting them out of context?  In that case, sure.  If simply knowing some words they supposedly said were sufficient, well lots of people are "quoting them" (so they believe) for this or that.

Quote
The debate could start from the 'genersl' concept of monotheistic religions (so encompassing Jews and Islam...) to the particularities of Roman Catholic but again this would be an off-topic.
         Well, I agree there's some issue of lumping them all together...  However, I think we could agree that there are similar issues of 1) evangelism and 2) if you want -- claims to "literal" readings in JW and fundamentalist Christianity.  Those are really where most of the discussion I recall has been.  There are lots of places a talk "could" go, but I don't see that much so far requires it to range all that far.  (Why?)  Although I have read rather fast.

Quote
The sumptus of what I want to say is:

- I am aware that there is much ignorance and - unfortunately - aggressiveness on both parts. Christians have probably more of it because simply there are more Christians around... the more people you have in a thing, the more stupids...
          I'm still not clear that the "ignorance" you're trying to spread evenly is of the same substance on both sides.  For one thing, the Pagans claim to be reacting to a knock on their door and -- at least in that writeup -- I don't know that we have reason to believe the Pagans are going out and evangelizing.  I just think you're trying to demand the writing accomplish something I never expected of it, and perhaps you haven't taken time to say exactly what.  I wonder a little if it's among those weaknesses you promise are there by turns but don't show.

Quote
- That article seemed to me on the same (if not lower) level. In a simple post in this forum, Kyla has brought up much a much better worded and argumentated confutation.
          I have a hunch you were picking on it for things it wasn't designed to do.  Hard to tell for sure without more support.  It may be just that I felt your reaction to the OP was awfully hyperbolic by turns, too.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 05:25:05 AM by kylie »

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2010, 06:05:38 AM »
     I must admit I have a hard time trying to figure out where you're going sometimes.  It seems to me, that could have been a criticism of either side in the blurb -- or both.

          You really started losing me about when you said that anyone with classical knowledge could poke holes in the writeup.  I don't have a basis to analyze that statement, but I take it as presumptuous to say that without some support.  There's more of that...

What basically I read in that article (but correct me if I am wrong) is a debate between two (or more) persons. They debate about the historic significance of a part of the Bible that is widely recognizd as symbolic.

In the first Chapters of Genesis God creates the universe. So one could answer that whatever other people Caine met was created by God, too... but this is not the point. The universe has been NOT created in seven days... AND earth rotates around the sun. This could be enough in my vision to think about those pages of the Bible as symbolic.

Again I apologize for not giving too much detail but I do that out of personal experience. These things tend to go out of hand. By all means feel free to consider me an Hyperbolic sod.

I will try to be more direct: I do NOT find useful to arguee like that when I happen to be the object of proselytizing. If someone tries to show me the shining truth THROUGH the verses of a book I usually don't even hear them. I could be interested in their MESSAGE and their PRINCIPLES. And if what they tell, somehow, answers to what I need.

^^

Offline Oniya

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2010, 10:09:12 AM »
I don't mind their attempt to criticize another religion, just that it's done misleadingly.  In the spirit of fairness I feel like some of their doctrine should be posted here for scrutiny, so here's a bit of hilarious information from Wikipedia's article on them:
Gahahahahahahahahahahaha, is all I have to say.

Before mocking the source of their religious beliefs, it might be worth looking at the actual tenets that they have derived from the source material.  Just in the spirit of fairness.

Offline Jude

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2010, 02:01:19 PM »
Before mocking the source of their religious beliefs, it might be worth looking at the actual tenets that they have derived from the source material.  Just in the spirit of fairness.
Uh, did you read the quote I gave at all?  To reiterate.
Quote
The Church of All Worlds (CAW) is a neopagan religious group whose stated mission is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaia and reuniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and evolving consciousness.
So yeah, I did look at their tenets, ridiculous gibberish, what's your point?

You seem to be honestly advocating respect and deep understanding of a religion which not only treats other religions unfairly (as expressed by the dubious nature of the original bit of writing that started this entire thread), but one that is partly based quite literally on fiction.  I'm not really sure what your point is here.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 02:05:35 PM by Jude »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2010, 03:03:57 PM »
You seem to be honestly advocating respect and deep understanding of a religion which not only treats other religions unfairly (as expressed by the dubious nature of the original bit of writing that started this entire thread), but one that is partly based quite literally on fiction.  I'm not really sure what your point is here.

Leaving aside the original article, which was written in response to a practice (door-to-door proselytizing) that most people here find disagreeable at best, I can't think of a single religion (my own included) that is based on verifiable fact, with the possible exception of the Mormons - provided that someone digs up those golden tablets and retranslates them. 

Offline Jude

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2010, 03:30:44 PM »
Well, most religions at least try to base themselves on something they consider solid.  Typically unverifiable historical resources serve as the foundation.  And while those cannot be considered a reliable witness as the basis of a dogmatic system of belief without the inclusion of faith, at least they're not entirely manufactured and clearly fraudulent?  I think it's self-evident that a religion centered around something that is uncertain is better than one centered around something that is certainly baseless.  And their religious tenets make absolutely no sense.

I'm profoundly confused as to why we're debating this though.  You called me out for not knowing anything about them, I pointed out that in fact I have listened to their mission statement which is senseless, then you shifted the argument.  Sounds like you're just moving the goalpost and arguing against scrutiny being directed at a religious group which published an article scrutinizing another religion.

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2010, 03:37:08 PM »
Religion is always a topic that can get people hot under the collar in no time flat, and it's pretty easy to misjudge tone and intent from text alone, so let's ensure things stay civil, hmmm?

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Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2010, 04:10:01 PM »
Quote from: Lord Drake
In the first Chapters of Genesis God creates the universe. So one could answer that whatever other people Caine met was created by God, too...
          Yes, I suppose one could.  It seems a rather shallow response to me, in the sense that it's a great deal of playing "what if" on behalf of people who are selling their religion door-to-door.  Sure, anyone can do that with a book but I don't see most of that sort encouraging it.  More often, they are proceeding with great emphasis on the notion of things literally being "in the book."  If they are going to proceed under such justification, then it's fair enough to point out this would be an awfully big omission.  As I understand evangelists who operate in public, they are most interested in talking about primarily sin and their concept of redemption.  If 1) they fail to convince others that they are subject to sin, and/or 2) others don't feel particularly attracted to this model of relationship with deity (with or without the threat of #1), then in my experience much of what they came to talk about most, falls away.  That's where the post is going in my opinion.

          I believe if we go farther into the Old Testament, there are times when God singles out the Jews as descendants of specific people (Abraham?) to be subject to his rules.  I'm not 100% up on the details, but I suspect that on this sort of basis also:  The Pagans could reasonably say, We are other even according to your book, since you come waving that.  It just doesn't apply to us.  Perhaps someone else knows more about this?

          True, it could be simpler to say, "Myeh, we have issues with using the title of that book as an overarching reason to believe anything specific.  Stop making your book play God as hand puppet, and then we'll talk to you."  I can understand that.  However, someone shows up at the door claiming they have a mythos to sell that is utterly sensible and oh so charismatic.  Well, maybe the people inside the door have a certain sense and charisma too.  Why not.  Shrugs.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 04:18:16 PM by kylie »

Offline Mathim

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2010, 04:23:26 PM »
My problem is there's no universal consensus on the origins of anything. If there was one explanation, why would numerous ones have originated? I just can't understand why people believe blindly in anything without hard evidence. I mean, obviously some things that are ridiculous are not believed, but religion is just that one rule-breaking common sense killer when it comes to that.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Very controversial subject.
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2010, 05:31:12 PM »
          True, it could be simpler to say, "Myeh, we have issues with using the title of that book as an overarching reason to believe anything specific.  Stop making your book play God as hand puppet, and then we'll talk to you."  I can understand that.  However, someone shows up at the door claiming they have a mythos to sell that is utterly sensible and oh so charismatic.  Well, maybe the people inside the door have a certain sense and charisma too.  Why not.  Shrugs.

A more charismatic answer could be going further in the story all the way to the Deluge when the people has forgotten God and started sinning and doing bad things (and hey - your average proselytizer would say - this was probably all those Pagan's fault!). So God sends the Deluge and everyone dies save for Noah and his three son's families. And by the way Semitic (as the writer mentions them) comes from 'Sem' (one of Noah's sons). So since he is not Semitic he is probably descendant of one of the other two??

Ok, obviously this is ridiculous.

Actually the recounting by itself is nothing else than the 'resume' (in a smartass-ish way) of a debate between a Jehowah's Witnesses door-to-door proselytizer and a Pagan with the Pagan ending up the best fast-talker.

Now about the Bible and the hyperbolic things I will tell you what (slightly) pisses me off.

Door-to-door proselytizing is the province of Jehowah Witnesses and Evangelists (and some Jews I gather and some other). There are friggin' MANY Christians in the world that:

A - do NOT do 'aggressive' proselytism (i.e. you WILL burn in Hell!)
B - do NOT come with pieces of the Bible assuming that they are historical truth (SEE? it was an APPLE!)

There are some of us that take theology a bit more seriously than that and that proselytize with the example and the message and try to do their best to draw strength from their faith to face everyday's challenges. There are those who have studied the Bible and have written books about it. And it pisses (slightly) me off to hear that 'Christians' go around pointing bibles and 'Christians' do not teach about sex to their children and so on... and we get the Bible (which is a sacred book for us) mistreated in really stupid ways.

I know that Evangelists are basically Christians... but they are also mainly Americans, for example. Why not use that term? Let's see how Americans will take it!

Ok... sorry for the rant (bows in apology).

I beg for forgiveness... I swear that if I ever try to proselytize you, I won't point against you a loaded Bible!