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  1. #31
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix_400 View Post
    I have a hard time with written scripture (Bible, Koran, etc.) There's so many people that take it so literally, but the Bible was written by the hands of man, not God. Its been translated over and over through the ages, in times when only the clergy and royals could even read. Wouldn't be hard to fudge a few lines and twist things around. Fear of divine retribution is a good way to keep people subjugated. There's more in my beliefs beyond that but I doubt anyone wants to hear me ramble too long.

    If you take a close look, most major religions have 2 things in common:
    1.) Belief in a higher power. (God, Allah, Mother Earth, etc.)
    2.) Some variation of The Golden Rule. (Do unto others, live in harmony, respect nature, etc)
    I think we spend too much time focusing on how we're different than on how we're the same. I've got a theory on this that I spent a bit of time developing.

    As for me, I try to find Balance. I'll respect beliefs of others as long as they don't bring harm to their fellow man and they are willing to respect the beliefs of myself and others as well (I'm a 'live and let live' type, I guess). I'll stay true to myself and try to do right by others. When my time comes, I'll leave it up to the Creator to decide what I deserve. I may be a cocky bastard sometimes, but I'm not arrogant enough to believe I know for certain what a divine being wants from me.
    My sentiments exactly, and quite well-said. I have had occasion to visit a fair variety of Christian denominations, in different parts of the U.S. plus some abroad, and the more I do so, the more similar they seem. The issues that divide them seem trivial compared with the commonality of their basic beliefs. (They might disagree, but this is my impression as an outsider.) Beyond this, Christianity shares with other faiths not only the two elements you cite, but also some very basic archetypes, symbols, and themes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Not all where sexist but neither was Christianity in its beginnings, the original Church had prominant female followers in its hierarchy, the only two witnesses to the resurrection where female, the gospel is supposed to have been spread by Mary Magdelene, the matriarchal leadership of the church made it popular with gentiles who where converts from matriarchal paganism.

    It took a serious effort to undo and undermine all that, including the invention of the myth that Mary Magdelene was a prostitute.
    Yes. Suppressing writings that showed the significance of Jesus' women followers was part of this, notwithstanding Jesus' own openness and consideration toward women. This campaign began already in the old testament, with stories like the Adam and Eve creation story that vilify the wisdom of women and the symbols of earlier faiths. (See Elaine Pagels' Adam and Eve and the Serpent.)

    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    Even though I identify primarily as an agnostic atheist, I find spirituality through science. The fact that mountains took billions of years to form, through slow natural processes with no assistance from man, or that stars are suns in other solar systems with other planets, is more inspirational to me that to say that any God decided and it was so, even though i recognize that even the scientific method can be flawed simply because it's a human concept.
    I could not agree more. As a scientist myself, my own spirituality is constantly fueled by the wonders I have the good fortune to witness personally in the physical world. This is not at all incompatible with the kind of detached analysis required for scientific inquiry; it simply occurs in parallel, showing me a whole other side to scientific phenomena. My own spiritual practice now is centered around the realities of the natural world, rather than the events in some holy book, or some (hu)man-made calendar. In a way, this is as close to any creator as I can get.

  2. #32
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    I actually just remembered a memory from a pretty young age that really started to plant the seed of my doubts about the Catholic Church that's pretty relevant.

    My mother and i were walking through a fair for my cousins Catholic school, like the fundraiser kind that schools held. I was about 10. as we were walking we ran into someone my mom knew, but whom i had never seen before. they talked for a little bit, and when she left I asked who the lady was. My mom told me that it was her ex sister-in-law and i was like "what, you were married before daddy????? do i have half-brothers or sisters??" in standard 10 year old fashion.

    she told me no, and explained the situation. When she was about 20, this rich slightly older man expressed interest in my mom and started dating her. My mom wasn't actually all that interested in this guy, but she received a lot of pressure all around (especially from my grandmother) to get with this guy because he was a good provider and he really liked her a lot so my mom kinda caved. Eventually they got married, and then divorced 4 years later.

    When she showed me the pictures I was really confused; she had a big white wedding dress on, and it was in a gorgeous Catholic Church, but the wedding pictures I'd seen with her and my dad were much more...humble, i guess. She had on a pretty pink sundress and there were only a few people there.

    I asked why she didn't get married in the Church with dad, and she told me she couldn't, because she got a divorce. I asked why that matters and she quoted Mark 10:9 "What, therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" and said that in the Church unless you get an annulment saying that you were never "actually married", you have broke a sacred bond and are not allowed to get married in the Church again, or allowed to take communion during mass if you do re-marry.

    I don't remember actually saying it out loud, but i remember thinking: you're trying to tell me that somehow God thinks my mom's unsuccessful first marriage is somehow more sacred than her second happy marriage where she has 3 happy children after overcoming much adversity? is it really wrong that I think God is wrong?

    Eventually as I got older I started to see the issue in terms of people and politics and history, but this is where my skepticism of the Church and it's dogma first started.
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  3. #33
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    The whole marriage thing is bullshit anyway that just stems from religion. Marriage only comes from a religious background, so if you don't get married but do very intimate things with someone, e.g. sex, moving in together, having children, you're only looked down upon from a religious point of view. If someone takes it further than that, than they have issues.

    I mean, what is marriage anyway if you remove all of the religious stigma? It's a promise to stay committed forever. I don't need a religion, fancy dress, hundreds of guests or a bridal registry to do that.


  4. #34
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Marriage has a legal aspect, and a religious aspect. A couple can have one without the other, both, or neither (personal commitment without religious or legal recognition).

  5. #35
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    The whole marriage thing is bullshit anyway that just stems from religion. Marriage only comes from a religious background, so if you don't get married but do very intimate things with someone, e.g. sex, moving in together, having children, you're only looked down upon from a religious point of view. If someone takes it further than that, than they have issues.

    I mean, what is marriage anyway if you remove all of the religious stigma? It's a promise to stay committed forever. I don't need a religion, fancy dress, hundreds of guests or a bridal registry to do that.
    Really? It's bullshit?

    Someone tell all the gay campaigners already.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    I actually just remembered a memory from a pretty young age that really started to plant the seed of my doubts about the Catholic Church that's pretty relevant.

    My mother and i were walking through a fair for my cousins Catholic school, like the fundraiser kind that schools held. I was about 10. as we were walking we ran into someone my mom knew, but whom i had never seen before. they talked for a little bit, and when she left I asked who the lady was. My mom told me that it was her ex sister-in-law and i was like "what, you were married before daddy????? do i have half-brothers or sisters??" in standard 10 year old fashion.

    she told me no, and explained the situation. When she was about 20, this rich slightly older man expressed interest in my mom and started dating her. My mom wasn't actually all that interested in this guy, but she received a lot of pressure all around (especially from my grandmother) to get with this guy because he was a good provider and he really liked her a lot so my mom kinda caved. Eventually they got married, and then divorced 4 years later.

    When she showed me the pictures I was really confused; she had a big white wedding dress on, and it was in a gorgeous Catholic Church, but the wedding pictures I'd seen with her and my dad were much more...humble, i guess. She had on a pretty pink sundress and there were only a few people there.

    I asked why she didn't get married in the Church with dad, and she told me she couldn't, because she got a divorce. I asked why that matters and she quoted Mark 10:9 "What, therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" and said that in the Church unless you get an annulment saying that you were never "actually married", you have broke a sacred bond and are not allowed to get married in the Church again, or allowed to take communion during mass if you do re-marry.

    I don't remember actually saying it out loud, but i remember thinking: you're trying to tell me that somehow God thinks my mom's unsuccessful first marriage is somehow more sacred than her second happy marriage where she has 3 happy children after overcoming much adversity? is it really wrong that I think God is wrong?

    Eventually as I got older I started to see the issue in terms of people and politics and history, but this is where my skepticism of the Church and it's dogma first started.
    I think that the Church is fundamentally right about marriage and divorce, there are people who wont be able to realise it in practice like that but it makes it no less correct.

    Its like the idea that abstaining from sex is a form of birh control, fundamentally that's right but I'm unsure that this expectation is one which everyone can conform to.

    Religion has endorsed both monogamy and polygamy but I think that I'm unsure either truly reflects human nature, scientists say that love is a chemical, addictive reaction which should last roughly long enough for a child to be born and reach an age at which with assistance from others it will survive, folkishly called the "seven year itch", hence we are serial monogamists by nature.

    The question is whether you're happy to conform to your nature or if you want to be something more than that.

  7. #37
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The question is whether you're happy to conform to your nature or if you want to be something more than that.
    This is quite a loaded question, and an important one. Should someone with great natural musical talent, for instance, develop that and share it with the world, or should he aspire to something "higher" like studying medicine to work on a cure for cancer? I consider it a waste and ultimately hurtful to suppress our nature. That said, developing it and allowing it to flourish need not become rigid conformity. That gifted musician can play basketball for fun, learn computer programming to pay the bills, and do any manner of thing when the situation calls for it. Better to understand and to develop our nature for our own fulfillment and the greater good, than to go through life trying to be something that we are not.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This is quite a loaded question, and an important one. Should someone with great natural musical talent, for instance, develop that and share it with the world, or should he aspire to something "higher" like studying medicine to work on a cure for cancer? I consider it a waste and ultimately hurtful to suppress our nature. That said, developing it and allowing it to flourish need not become rigid conformity. That gifted musician can play basketball for fun, learn computer programming to pay the bills, and do any manner of thing when the situation calls for it. Better to understand and to develop our nature for our own fulfillment and the greater good, than to go through life trying to be something that we are not.
    Perhaps I should have said instinct instead of nature, I meant if you accept the theory that we are just human animals then a decision has to be made, be more human than animal or more animal than human.

  9. #39
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Perhaps I should have said instinct instead of nature, I meant if you accept the theory that we are just human animals then a decision has to be made, be more human than animal or more animal than human.

    i dunno, I see a little bit of a paradox in there...if we are to assume that humans are just animals, how is one supposed to be "more human than animal" or "more animal than human"?
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    i dunno, I see a little bit of a paradox in there...if we are to assume that humans are just animals, how is one supposed to be "more human than animal" or "more animal than human"?
    We are part of the tree of life, the DNA tree. We all share the same DNA whether we are a banana, a bacteria or Stringstheory.

    It is possible there is another DNA tree on Earth but so far we haven't discovered it.

    So we are all one at the most intimate level - the level of the cell.

    To divide us into humans and animals is the merest hubris.

    Once in our infancy we thought we were the centre of the universe, but we find we are not.
    And in our infancy we thought God created the world for us. In fact we thought God created the animals for us.
    This is solipsism taken to the nth degree.

    And as we have slowly grown up we find astronomy tells us that everywhere is the centre of the universe. In other words, no matter where you stand, in which galaxy, that is where the big bang began.

    And as we grow up biology tells us we were not created specially by the hand of God, but rather by natural selection, exactly the same as every other living creature.

    But of course we are fond of the toys of our childhood such as astrology and mbti. They make us feel special and important and that we belong. Who would want to give up that for astronomy and biology.

    Anyway, we don't speak the language, for the language of astronomy and biology is mathematics. And we are illiterate.

    Some say the mathematics is the language of God, but who could be bothered learning it? It's boring. And hardly anybody speaks it anyhow. So what use is mathematics? What has mathematics done for me lately?

    So many worship God, but can't be bothered to learn His language.

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