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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    ...and the survival of this cultural identity quite probably can be credited to French xenophobia.
    Yeah, but y'know, just having a cultural identity as 'French' or 'Jewish' is one thing, but what you think that identity means, what it means to you and for you, that totally changes throughout different times. As I say... what a Jew thought about being Jewish and believed their obligations were as a Jew 2000 years ago is totally different to a modern Jew. Just like a medieval Frenchman would've considered being a Roman Catholic a prerequisite for being French, whilst today there are many millions of atheists who consider themselves every bit as French as Joan of Arc.

    So I don't think xenophobia does conserve cultural identities as they are. They just conserve the notion of them existing, or the name of them, and perhaps loosely the home turf. But a quick look at all the Americans who call themselves 'Irish' and 'Italian' without ever having been anywhere near Italy or Ireland in several generations, shows that cultural identities can even survive a change of homeland, so that again makes the Jews' "achievement" seem a bit less 'special'.

    TBH I think it's opposition that conserves cultural identities "as they were in the time of our fathers" sorta thing. "Italian" communities within the New World tend to behave in such a way and subscribe to values that, in Italy itself, are considered archaic and nowadays pretty rare. In the New World, the Italian immigrants felt their Italian-ness was threatened by the distance from Italy and/or the presence of people from other nations in close proximity, whilst in Italy itself the culture was considered 'safe and secure' as the dominant and official culture, and so the motivation to really pickle it and resist any change was far weaker.
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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    So I don't think xenophobia does conserve cultural identities as they are. They just conserve the notion of them existing, or the name of them, and perhaps loosely the home turf.
    Truly, I don't think anything preserves cultural identities as they are.

    And Jewry is incredibly diverse. While I agree that most Jews share almost nothing in terms of worldview with their ancestors 2,000 years ago, there are a few who share some common ground, maybe a lot of common ground, because they've deliberately sought out that tradition.

    Just preserving the name is an achievement... if I may be frank with you.

    But then, you're already being a Frank with me, aren't you?

  3. #93
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    Yeah I'm not denying there are some awesome things about Jews. I've got no big beef with them. I'm just saying, y'know, they're no better (and no worse) than anyone else, (edit - and those achievements you mention, whilst pretty cool, are not unique) that's all, and I don't think they ever were, either in human eyes or God's eyes. And I don't think they were the sole recipients of God's attention and guidance before Jesus came.

    And I'm Norman
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  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Why is it that a lot of Christians believe that the Bible is infallible, especially when it has been translated so much? Why is it that they are so sure, that even after it has been translated, and possibly lost much of its original meaning, that each verse truly invokes God's intentions? How can they be willing to literally interpret something that has changed human hands so many times and that they have to say, "well maybe back in those times" in order to justify it for modern thought.

    Ultimately, who are are they trusting more when they put their absolute faith in the Bible, God or the translators?
    The reason Christians believe the Bible is infallible because they were inculcated to do so by their religious authorities. There rarely is a reason to treat the document as such. One shall ask, what about St.Thomas Aquinas, didn't he prove the existence of God by virtue of unaided reason?

    No he did not. He may have proved that there are things in the world that the Bible refers to as the work of God, but he got the name 'God' strictly from testimony.

    The teachings of the Bible were concocted by highly intuitive individuals who perceived their visions in terms of amorphous perceptions. Most of them were either INTJs or INFJs.

    When we interpret their teaching literally we miss their point when they teach us in parables of goats and donkeys, which were symbols for some abstract truths. We envision literal goats and donkeys which were far from the essence they wished to communicate.

    This is where our spirituality turns into superstition as we begin to worship the words in scripture which in themselves have no meaning, are no more but ink and paper.

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    Moreover, there is no good reason to believe that the teachings of the prophets about spirituality is incontrovertible. As they were no more than highly imaginative people, they were no more qualified than our modern day prophets like Napoleon, Nietzsche, or Lenin.

    You and I, shoud we cultivate our Extroverted Intuition enough would be able to make better prophecy than they'd ever hope to.
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  5. #95
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That is the thing. They decide that, if God is God, then he has the divine power to ensure that the meaning is conveyed correctly through every translation.

    (Of course, that's a priori reasoning -- "The Bible conveys God's will because the God we know from the Bible makes sure that it conveys His will.")
    My translation of the bible:

    Do whatever the fuck you want.

    Oh wait, is that translation or interpretation? I always get those two confused...
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  6. #96
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    My translation of the bible:

    Do whatever the fuck you want.
    Well, hey... good luck with that.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, hey... good luck with that.
    He isnt far off as the distortion of the original spiritual notions of Biblicat hermeneutics are rampant to the point where the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose.
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  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    He isnt far off as the distortion of the original spiritual notions of Biblicat hermeneutics are rampant to the point where the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose.
    No.

    There may have been some drift across transcriptions and translations... the Septuagint and the Masoretic texts are not absolutely identical, it's true... but to say that "...the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose" is unsupportable.

    It is true that various people have abused biblical texts in this fashion, but it is not true to say that the texts lend themselves to such abuse. In fact, to make the claim in itself might be evidence of an agenda.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No.

    There may have been some drift across transcriptions and translations... the Septuagint and the Masoretic texts are not absolutely identical, it's true... but to say that "...the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose" is unsupportable.

    It is true that various people have abused biblical texts in this fashion, but it is not true to say that the texts lend themselves to such abuse. In fact, to make the claim in itself might be evidence of an agenda.
    We may have similar words written down on the piece of paper in comparison to what we had 2000 years ago, though, I'd bet they are now interpreted radically differently from what they were intended to be by their initial authors.
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  10. #100
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    We may have similar words written down on the piece of paper in comparison to what we had 2000 years ago, though, I'd bet they are now interpreted radically differently from what they were intended to be by their initial authors.
    You should either make a case or stop conjecturing.

    The question is not whether it might at all be possible that the interpretation is different (I don't even think that's an issue we disagree on -- it's obvious that our culture brings a different framework to Biblical understanding than a culture that existed 2000+ years ago), it's whether or not it actually IS far different. And to do that demands you make a case... Oberon's actually offers up a few details in his response.

    So far you've only offered a stance, not an argument.

    And really, look at your other contribution:

    He isnt far off as the distortion of the original spiritual notions of Biblicat hermeneutics are rampant to the point where the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose.
    I know you're fully aware of the haphazard nature of this statement -- you're going out FAR on a limb here, without providing any hard evidence as to your reasoning -- and obviously you need to provide some foundation for such a comment if you want it to be taken seriously.

    This isn't the sort of [philosophical] discussion where you can escape digging into concrete detail.
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