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Atheist Fanatics; If you ever get over your issues,...

By marcus follow marcus   2012 Jun 4, 11:42am 62,069 views   258 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


this is what it will look like. That is if you ever get over your religion issues.

Watch the video of Tyson.

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/neil-degrasse-tyson-atheist-or-agnostic

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219   CornPoptheOriginalGangster   ignore (5)   2012 Jun 14, 4:57am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

I wasn't aware that more liberal scholars spouted vitriol about the idea that Jesus never existed. I thought they would be mostly in agreement with you. Which scholars are you referring to?

Bart Ehrman (whom I generally respect and am a bit of a fanboy of) Just came out with a book on the subject and it's caused a bit of controversy (sloppiness claims both in the work, and in the response to critics). He doesn't really address historical critics, so much as go after fringe Zeitgeist/Archaya S and 19th Century writers. He's the guy I have in mind, and the whole shitstorm over his book I think surprised even him. I heard him once a few years ago on the old internet show, "Infidel Guy", and he got instantly dismissive with Reggie when asked about HJ questions.

There's Hoffman and Fisher, who have been vitriolic. NT Wright, Mack, Borg, and Crossnan that are all about an HJ of some kind (though not vitrolic that I know of). All these guys are pretty liberal.

220   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 4:59am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

The god of the bible however does not strike me at all as just and fair, more malevolent and petty.

Do you believe that the Jesus presented in the gospels is malevolent and petty (regardless of whether he really existed or not)?

I can't help but read his (proported) teachings and stand in awe. Even as I remain skeptical of the "weird stuff" like miracles.

221   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 14, 5:01am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Does that include his teachings about he himself judging you (and every other person) on the Day of Judgement? Or do you use the formula "I don't like teaching X, therefore Jesus didn't really say X" when reading the gospels?

This is complicated. I think there is ample evidence that Jesus may have been referring to an Existential Eschatology.

Depending on your translation, Jesus says, "There will be some who say, 'Look! There it is!", but don't believe them. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." (or among you).

I feel the "I" he refers to is not Jesus, but the "I" within. That would make him more in line with a lot of Eastern thought. The only way to the Father is through that wall!

I think that what likely happened was that a bunch of folks unfamiliar with both Existential Philosophy and Jewish Tradition misinterpreted the key concepts.

It wouldn't be too far off, since Jesus also says, "He who has ears let him hear!". How many in the audience don't "have ears?"

Further, most of the time he tells a parable, the story includes an audience (notable Nicodemus) who serve as a stupid patsy. Seems like even the authors of the Gospels knew that people just wouldn't understand.

The misunderstandings became codified.

222   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 14, 5:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Do you believe that the Jesus presented in the gospels is malevolent and petty (regardless of whether he really existed or not)?

Malevolent and petty might be too strong for Jesus, but he did have an opportunity to change the OT laws and he did not mention some very bad ones (slavery comes to mind); he also did say/do some pretty shitty (and at times petty -- like the killing of the fig tree) things as well as good things.

223   CornPoptheOriginalGangster   ignore (5)   2012 Jun 14, 5:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Just a quick word about the state of Biblical Studies, this is from an educational textbook from 2004 made for intro courses.

It is highly relevant to our discussion, I think. Found it on another forum and reposting the excerpt here.

In the last twenty years or so there has been a major shift in biblical studies. Consensus even about method has broken down, and the field is now a battleground of conflicting approaches, with no agreed conclusions any longer.

This can intensify a popular feeling among believing Christians and Jews that biblical scholars are the enemies of faith. In fact, most biblical scholars the world over are religious believers themselves, though not always of a very orthodox kind. Nearly all a Christians, but in recent years biblical studies have been practiced more among Jewish scholars. Only in very recent years have agnostics and even atheists come to take an interest in the bible, partly because of the turn to literary and sociological interpretations ... But a religious motivation for biblical study is still the predominant one.

...for most people who study the Bible the concern remains, as it has always been, to yield results that are helpful and informative for religious believers. Until the last couple of decades this was achieved through what is called "the historical critical method" - not really a method, more a series of questions that can be put to the text, a particular style of interrogating it.

... Just as Old Testament source criticism is important because it helps us to reconstruct how religious thought and practice developed in ancient Israel, so source analysis of the Gospels has always had at its heart the hope of getting access to the authentic sayings of Jesus and the truth about his life and deeds.

Redaction criticism has been widely seen as a return to the kind of respect for the Bible that the more “destructive” work of source and form critics had called in question. As we shall see in surveying more recent trends, there has been a widespread feeling that biblical criticism had become over-critical and unhelpful to most Bible readers, who are, after all, interested in the Bible as a book of faith rather than out of antiquarian concerns.

The feeling that biblical criticism was somehow insufficiently reverent toward what is, for Jews and Christians, a sacred text has not been felt only by people outside the academic world of biblical studies: it is felt also by some biblical scholars themselves, and always has been. Wellhausen gave up his chair in Theology because he felt that he was making his students less fit for service as Lutheran pastors. Consequently there have been periodic attempts to “reintegrate” biblical studies into theology, or to “give the Bible back to the Church."


Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology (2004)

No Agreed Conclusions any Longer... Methodology Broken Down... a Feeling that Scholarship is too Critical... Bible Scholars are mostly motivated by religious feeling... Agnostics and Atheists only recently showing interest...

224   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 5:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

Depending on your translation, Jesus says, "There will be some who say, 'Look! There it is!", but don't believe them. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." (or among you).
I feel the "I" he refers to is not Jesus, but the "I" within. That would make him more in line with a lot of Eastern thought. The only way to the Father is through that wall!
I think that what likely happened was that a bunch of folks unfamiliar with both Existential Philosophy and Jewish Tradition misinterpreted the key concepts.

Could you elaborate or be more specific? I don't understand what you're getting at.

225   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 14, 5:21am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80,

You discount material yourself, like "miracles". I'm sure you don't believe in the parentage and lineage of Jesus illustrated in Matthew, do you? It seems like there are some things that YOU choose to believe as literal or historical, and others you do not.

Seems like those of us on this side are saying that none of it is either literal nor likely historical, (with the main distinction being that I agree with many religious concepts whereas the others mostly disagree).

That makes it appear as though you have personal reasons that you can't get past the history v. myth issue. Am I wrong?

226   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 5:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

but he did have an opportunity to change the OT laws

Well he did change a few OT laws, right? He specifically goes against the "eye for an eye" teaching of Moses as well as the "hate your enemies" teaching. Those two examples are well known in Christian circles, both "liberal" and "conservative." Aren't there other examples as well?

leoj707 says

he did not mention some very bad ones (slavery comes to mind)

No, but he does say to "love our neighbors are ourselves" and "do unto others what you would have done to you"; which pretty much rules out slavery, no?

227   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 14, 5:32am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Could you elaborate or be more specific? I don't understand what you're getting at.

(Personal observations below)

Westerners interpreted some desert dwellers' philosophies incorrectly. They applied linear, historical logic to a text that was never meant to be read that way.

There are at least two "I"s in our minds. One is small and self-oriented, and one sits in judgement of the small I.

The paradox you'll find common in most religion is that you "lose yourSELF to find yourSELF". The last will be first and the first will be last.

Take Taoism, the "Sage has no self of his own. He makes the self of others his own. He is gentle to the gentle, he is gentle to the harsh, for virtue is gentle".

When one shrinks their ego to the proper size (born as we are with an inflated ego), the real Self manifests itself. WE all have that Self in us too.

When Jesus refers to himself, it could be that he is talking about that substance in us all that transcends his own persona.

"Nobody gets to the Father except through the Me that is in all of you".

Therefore, heaven is not a place you go where you meet an old man on a throne, but is in the here and now, and accessible to everyone.

228   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 5:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

I'm sure you don't believe in the parentage and lineage of Jesus illustrated in Matthew, do you?

I know what you are referring to, but I don't know much about it. If I can find the time, I'll look into it.

CL says

It seems like there are some things that YOU choose to believe as literal or historical, and others you do not.

I consider most things I read to be "innocent until proven guilty." With regard to the gospels, I tend to be skeptical of the miracle accounts. Why? Maybe it's because I'm an engineer and I tend to see the world in terms of fixed, immutable "laws of physics." Perhaps I am guilty of the "personal incredulity" fallacy?

CL says

That makes it appear as though you have personal reasons that you can't get past the history v. myth issue. Am I wrong?

I would say that if Christianity is just another pious fraud (like say, Mormonism, Islam, or Scientology) then what good is it? If anything, it's probably harmful to place one's entire hopes on something that isn't true. Right? Who wants to be a "sucker"? "Read carefuly before you invest" as they say.

Why do I take interest in Christianity? Because it makes claims in the sphere of ordinary history. The apostles creed states "[Jesus] suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried", for example.

But of course if Jesus never even existed and was just another mythological figure (like Zeus or Thor), then why would I wan't to put my faith in him as a "savior"?

Hope that clears things up.

229   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 5:52am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

Westerners interpreted some desert dwellers' philosophies incorrectly. They applied linear, historical logic to a text that was never meant to be read that way.

Can you provide evidence of that? The gospels are presented like ordinary history (this happened, then this happened, then this happened). The same goes for all of the New Testament save for Revelation, which is wacky. You say you've read the New Testament, but I'm finding that harder and harder to believe the more I talk to you.

CL says

When Jesus refers to himself, it could be that he is talking about that substance in us all that transcends his own persona.
"Nobody gets to the Father except through the Me that is in all of you".
Therefore, heaven is not a place you go where you meet an old man on a throne, but is in the here and now, and accessible to everyone.

Did you get that from Elaine Pagels? Your position seems to be closer to the New Age movement than classical Christianity.

230   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 14, 6:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Well he did change a few OT laws, right?

Yes, but he also said that all the old laws were still valid.

Luke 16:17
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

wthrfrk80 says

He specifically goes against the "eye for an eye" teaching of Moses as well as the "hate your enemies" teaching.

* * * * *

No, but he does say to "love our neighbors are ourselves" and "do unto others what you would have done to you"; which pretty much rules out slavery, no?

Well...this is the passage in the KJ version:

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Sounds to me more like, "whatever someone does to you it is OK to do to them."

Jesus also says:

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Matthew 10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Jesus also reaffirms that parents should be able to kill their children who "curse" them (OT law in Leviticus 20:9):
Matthew 15:4
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

---------------------
Anyway, the examples could go on and on. Many of which are things that I don't think people would want done to them. There are contradictions in the bible and Jesus' teachings are not an exception to that.

In such a convoluted text I would not try and imply that slavery was not OK unless Jesus specifically stated that it was now forbidden. It is a very clear part of the "old" law and Jesus made it very clear that the old law was still to be followed (except a few exceptions that he gives).

People choose to cherry-pick around the things they disagree with.

231   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 14, 7:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

Malevolent and petty might be too strong for Jesus,

OK, after going back and doing a little reading for the above post I am going to have to revise my opinion and say Jesus sounds very petty.

In Matthew 15 where Jesus is saying to kill you kids he does it because Jesus' disciples were not washing their hands before eating.

Yes...when Jesus is asked why his disciples are not following the tradition of washing hands before eating (silly tradition I know -- of course they did not need to follow it). Jesus' response was basically, "Fuck you, God commands that you should be following the tradition of killing your kids that curse you."

Wash your hands = killing your kids

Yeah...petty and a huge asshole.

232   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 14, 7:27am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

Yes, but he also said that all the old laws were still valid.

I had thought the same thing.

But regarding the following wthrfrk80 says

He specifically goes against the "eye for an eye" teaching of Moses as well as the "hate your enemies" teaching. Those two examples are well known in Christian circles, both "liberal" and "conservative."

Scholars say that measured justice was a huge leap forward. In other words, stopping a feud from escalating into a Hatfield/McCoy battle was considered moral progress at the time.

Of course, the Golden Rule predates Jesus anyway.
wthrfrk80 says

Can you provide evidence of that?

Sure. I don't think you really want any proof though. I've already told you that nobody believes what you think they do. The Gospels are not eye-witness accounts. The Hebrew scriptures aren't either. Jesus was a Jew. That's how they wrote. They debated the meanings in the Temples. They disagree today and they don't mind the disagreements.

Christians take the Bible and God to be interpreted only one way, the correct way. And all others are wrong and the one true God is angry with them for being wrong.

Jews have a different relationship. The Hebrew Scriptures and their companion writings have good Jews angry at God...complaining to God...running away from God (like Moses tried to do). Their relationship is almost completely different than Christianity.

Did Christianity change the relationship to God? Not if you believe Jesus, like Leo shows above.

Did Christians begin to misinterpret Jewish law? Maybe while they were surrounded by Gentiles in Rome, and the Empire? More likely.

The Greeks et al. were not steeped in Jewish Theology. They interpreted these messages through their own cultural eyes.

wthrfrk80 says

You say you've read the New Testament, but I'm finding that harder and harder to believe the more I talk to you.

That's cute. I'll send you a copy of my Degree in Theology (with Honors!!). I even have a "Diploma of Ministry!".

233   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 7:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, it seems to me that often non-believers tend to know more about the bible than believers. Ain't that some sad shit?

234   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 8:04am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

Malevolent and petty might be too strong for Jesus, but he did have an opportunity to change the OT laws and he did not mention some very bad ones (slavery comes to mind);

Jesus was just some smuck Jeremiah Wright type preacher among many such preachers during his time. He didn't have much of a following, and probably didn't consider himself to be god -- I'm assuming he had some degree of sanity here. He probably just considered himself a righteous preacher trying to get the sinful to turn away from sin.

He was made into a god, without his consent or knowledge, posthumously by jackasses trying to use his following to their own political and economic gain. The real Jesus, if he did exist, would probably be pissed off at the Christian church that was founded in his name.

Essentially Mohammad and Joseph Smith did the exact same thing. They took popular existing religions and created a new religion from existing sects and making themselves the power center of that new religion.

235   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 8:08am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Yes, it seems to me that often non-believers tend to know more about the bible than believers. Ain't that some sad shit?

As Penn Jillette said, read the Bible because we need more atheists.

Also good,

The part where Penn says to read the Bible is the at the end of this video...

236   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 14, 8:27am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

I've already told you that nobody believes what you think they do.

Are you suggesting I'm the only one that thinks the gospels are mostly ordinary historical narrative? Please, make that case! Ever read the beginning of Luke's gospel? Apparently not.

CL says

That's cute. I'll send you a copy of my Degree in Theology (with Honors!!). I even have a "Diploma of Ministry!".

Wow! From where? The Church of Oprah? Is a theology degree any more valuable than a degree in basket-weaving these days? Apparently not. Leo and Thunder have added far more value to this discussion (even though I often disagree with them) than you have. Do they have theology degrees?

237   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 14, 12:00pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Ever read the beginning of Luke's gospel?

Yes. And I've watched Star Wars. It is told as a narrative too, "In a galaxy far, far away....".

Your logic is odd, which makes me wonder why you are so invested in supporting the notion of a historical Jesus. Why are you afraid to believe this, when you have never, not once, ever supported it with a link, author or article?

Further, you are the supplicant here. You've asked all of us for insight into the material. I can appreciate why you have praised the others; they're extremely informed and insightful (and good writers, to boot!).

Yet, I take umbrage with your assertions. I've given answers that are the products of years of study. What, if anything, of value have you contributed to the discussion? You are a taker, and in this instance, an ingrate.

I don't have a horse in this race. I like Jesus, but haven't found a source that proves he walked the earth that the science-minded would believe. The others you praise find the whole notion unsupportable.

If you believe it, support it with facts, not silly ad hominem attacks. They make you look small.

238   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 2:28pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I just went back over the beginning of this thread and saw that someone disliked this video.

Um, what asshole disliked that video? I'm just wandering how big of a douche someone has to be to thumbs down Neil Patrick Harris telling gay kids who are being bullied that it gets better.

239   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 15, 3:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I just saw an article that reminded me of another jem of wisdom from Jesus.

A 20-year-old man cut off his penis...
The victim was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol...He also faces a psychological evaluation....

Why the psychological evaluation? Perhaps he was just following Jesus' advice.

Matthew 19:12
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

I believe that there might be a few other references where Jesus (or others?) advise men to cut their penis off.

240   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2012 Jun 15, 3:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick
Dan, as far as the dislikes go, the dislike button is right where I put my thumb when scrolling on a cell phone. I've accidentally hit that before. Not saying I did it this time, but others may have the same issue. I guess it would be nice to have a way to remove an accidental like or dislike. As far as I can tell, there is no way to see if you have personally liked/disliked something or remove it.

241   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 15, 3:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Maybe he just got sick of the constant penis-pill ads in his Yahoo! email account...

242   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 15, 3:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

YesYNot says

the dislike button is right where I put my thumb when scrolling on a cell phone

That's actually a very good point. When designing web pages today, one must consider how the page works on mobile devices.

One solution is to have a separate mobile page. You can tell if the client is a mobile device or a desktop/laptop/tablet. There are properties in the http stream you can query. In ASP .NET, for example, these properties are already parsed for you and exposed in an API.

243   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 15, 3:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leo,

If you're trying to prove that Jesus commands self-mutilation, a better passage would be Matthew 18:8-9.

Some translations of Matthew 19:12 say "live like eunuchs" or "renounce marriage" rather than "make themselves eunuchs" (which if taken literally results in lost wangs).

Whatever you think of the practice of papal celibacy, I've never heard a requirement for literal "neutering" in the Roman Catholic Church or any other mainstream Christian group.

244   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 15, 4:14am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

"make themselves eunuchs" (which if taken literally results in lost wangs).

If Jesus said that about bankers, I'd be ok with it.

245   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 15, 4:44am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

If you're trying to prove that Jesus commands self-mutilation, a better passage would be Matthew 18:8-9.

Yes, Jesus does indeed seem to command self-mutilation in several passages. (only when "necessary" to avoid damnation of course!)

Matthew 5:29
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
5:30
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 18:8
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
18:9
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Mark 9:43
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
9:44
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:45
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
9:46
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:47
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
9:48
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

-------------------------------

All the cutting of bits off in order to get into the kingdom of god, coupled with Jesus promoting not having children (or maybe he is just saying you need to be a dead beat dad)...

-------------------------------

Matthew 19:29
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

-------------------------------

All this together makes me think that if the temptation of using a penis, for its natural purpose, is too great then Jesus advises that someone who truly wants to get into heaven should cut it off.

246   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 15, 5:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It makes sense if "Desire" is the culprit. But is desire just "bad", in a finger-wagging, moralistic way, or is it the actual impediment?

If the goal of the Christian mystic is to destroy or subordinate the ego, it makes perfect sense. The only thing preventing you from "heaven" is your Ego and its manifestations--pride, greed, lust, or tribalism or burying your father, or your many possessions.

Whatever you hold onto, holds you back. If you desire desirelessness, you need to be willing to cut it all loose.

So, in this sense, it's not morality but more of a binary switch. You're either part of the sheep or part of the goats.

247   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Jun 15, 7:40am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

If the goal of the Christian mystic is to destroy or subordinate the ego, it makes perfect sense. The only thing preventing you from "heaven" is your Ego and its manifestations--pride, greed, lust, or tribalism or burying your father, or your many possessions.

Whatever you hold onto, holds you back. If you desire desirelessness, you need to be willing to cut it all loose.

This sounds very Buddhist.

248   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 15, 10:35am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

This sounds very Buddhist.

Yeah, I know. Obviously Taoist too. (Since Taoism + Mahayana is Zen).

I suppose one school of thought would say that the mystics regardless of tradition, have similar experiences and similar messages.

Of course, Buddha was tempted by Mara, and Jesus by the heavenly attorney. So, it's totally different. :)

That, and Buddha and Taoism are earlier than Jesus. Any similarities must be coincidental!

The question I would posit is, if the experiences are the same and the messages similar, then couldn't they be unified experiences? We all eat, we all drink, we all expire. Couldn't the mystical experience be available to us as well?

Even if it was only psychological?

249   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jun 15, 2:36pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

This sounds very Buddhist.

That's what I was thinking too. It's pretty far from classical Christianity.

250   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Jun 15, 8:27pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

I can't help but read his (proported) teachings and stand in awe. Even as I remain skeptical of the "weird stuff" like miracles.

Those teachings would completely disarm a man of his natural state if put into use. It would make for a nice person of course. However that state of person would still be a man none the less. If your giving that book any credit for the way things are civilization. I atribute "civilized" society as more men being turned into subservient women through thier indebtedness.

Think about that for a minute. If you owe you have to work. If you work more than likely you will obey that boss like a woman has to listen to her man. That boss tells you to squat well you better. Otherwise you lose your house your food and your transport in many cases if he is displeased. I know that sounds difficult what I just wrote wtf. I am adding this so you can consider this in your thinking if you will. Question that, I hope you will so I can make that even clearer.

That is closer to everyday reality way moreso than any religious righteouness and kindness. Its kind of a oh taking of ones manhood. Boss is upset you have to stroke him. Boss want something done you do it. Its not manly at all to be that kind of creature as a man all because you owe. Add that to the way you think about society you may see a little more clearly. So what I am saying basically that society for the most part is in debt. Their behavior is more like that of beaten men. Men that serve in subservient roles which others just might see as a "Christians society" with do unto others and love one another as being the underlying cause of their timidity.

251   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Jun 15, 10:44pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

leoj707 says

If you're trying to prove that Jesus commands self-mutilation, a better passage would be Matthew 18:8-9.

The whole thing dosen't make sense. Christianty upgraded that to meet with maturity of course. A mature man is going to look at things like that and say hey WTF that isn't reality. Make booboo's Jesus has you covered with that miricle stain cleansing action. Sort of like soap for the squirts. lol. Jesus gets out pecker tracks. You may not think fast thinking preachers that got to make the loan payments can come up with stuff like that. Its sort of Christian vs. Catholic in a way. Well if your a "perv" Jesus has that covered sort of. If he did there would be no use for religion then again now would there? Don't be a fool. So Billy Graham says you can jerk off just don't do anything he wouldn't do.

252   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 18, 4:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

leoj707 says

This sounds very Buddhist.

That's what I was thinking too. It's pretty far from classical Christianity.

I agree. But there are really only four options, right?

One is accept classical Xtianity with all of it's contradictions, moralizing, hypocrisy and miracles.

One is to reject Xtianity altogether.

Another is to reject all religion, despite the commonalities between them.

The last is to see the commonality in the religious faiths and myths, and embrace that commonality.

I think that if you strip off the tribalism and religious partisanship, it's increasingly difficult to see that they are all that different.

The only question that would remain would be if the root of them all has something to offer, or if it is just nonsense at its core.

253   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Jun 18, 4:47am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Or accept your new benefactor the U.S. Government who will fight night and day for your rights. Not that they aren't in debt up to their ass. Who you really might ask is the people that they owe. They could do away with all this religious crap. Then again they have way to many churchs financed to go with that.

254   marcus   ignore (10)   2012 Jun 19, 12:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CL says

The last is to see the commonality in the religious faiths and myths, and embrace that commonality.

This was or is a basis for the Bahai faith. They celebrate the idea that there is one deity who sent (or inspired) different messengers or prophets to different places and times and they seek to consolidate religions as we transition towards one smaller world.

It's a beautiful idea, but they lose me with their belief that the founder,
Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent prophet.

All in all CL I like your insights.

CL says

The only question that would remain would be if the root of them all has something to offer, or if it is just nonsense at its core.

I don't think it's nonsense at its core, but truthfully I really don't know. I like the question though. As I have tried to assert many times, I can respect someone who decides for themself personally that it's nonsense at its core. But if one goes a step further to proselytize against religion and to hold no respect for these beliefs which seem almost integral to the human experience (at least for a majority of humans), this is something that I find to be wrong headed (arrogant, self righteous, and on the same kind of level as the very worst fundamentalists).

255   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Jun 19, 12:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Is sexuality a belief? Its certainly not. Its something that can't be changed. You like steak. Thats what you want. Sexuality isn't a belief. Its a waste of time to argue with someone that won't disclose theirs. Then the whole matter would become really clear. Their sexuality has never changed. They have no excuse making fun of you.

256   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jun 19, 3:34am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

It's a beautiful idea, but they lose me with their belief that the founder,
Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent prophet.

The question is, if there is a God, what would he/she want from you? Blind partisanship? Tribalism?

We have the fruits of consciousness, and the ability to look at things logically. Do we use them to their full extent?

If one believes in Classical Christianity, and the importance of God acting in human time and events, the resulting question defy credulity, right?

What happens to those who never heard of Jesus' message? Can non-Christians go to heaven? What about indigenous peoples, so remote they've never communicated beyond their tribe? Watch the partisans do cartwheels!

Is God limited to ONLY acting in history?

This all lends itself to one psychic message--one spiritual reality, echoed throughout each individual. One message, many flavors. That's why the mystics from disparate traditions seem to have an awful lot in common (much, much more than the legalists do).

Could it be that the commonality is just the relationship of the Id, Ego and Superego? We'd all have that in common.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego

And maybe subordinating parts of the psyche causes the mystical experience?

In the end, you can have these beliefs without a "main prophet". In fact, the "main prophet" is probably just a facet of a much larger picture.

But it's really difficult for people to see beyond the religion of their birth, or their cultural inheritance. And we just can't risk going to hell! :)

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