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  1. #131
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeCait View Post
    Totally! I need to remind myself of this more too

    I really like what you wrote in bold, you put it so elequently I agree, we do make it harder on ourselves by shirking God and his presence in our lives. I can certainly see that in my own life....*ponder*

    Argh, I've kind of forgotten it now, but someone once explained to me the distinction between the God of the old Testament and the God of the New Testament. It went something along the lines of we had more to atone for before Jesus came and made things right with us and God. So the God of the old testament was more vengeful and required more sacrifice from us (they used to have to sacrifice lambs and animals but because of Jesus, we don't need to do that to atone for our sins and be in relationship with him). I agree I relate more to the God of the New Testament.

    Job is kinda an interesting book to read on why God inflicts suffering on people when it seems really 'cruel' to do so. I'm no theologan but I think even though it comes accross as 'pointless' and 'unfair' the point was to strengthen Job's faith. To see if he still believed, when he was stripped of all the blessings God had given him in life. To remind us that it is God's will to give and it is his will to take away. And to prove to Satan that Job was almost the pinnacle of faith, that nothing God allowed Satan to do to Job would make him turn away from God. I think other than the cross, that is one of the greatest expose's on the topic of suffering in the Bible.
    You know, I've never appreciated the whole suffering aesthetic. I can find nothing upliftng in it, and I think this is perhaps why I've never 'felt' faith. It reminds me of the first time I saw the film Au Hasard Balthazaar. I was informed that the ending was redemptive, but I felt like it only portrayed sorrow and helplessness. That's kind of how I feel about the story of Jesus in general. Like it's a celebration of helplessness.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  2. #132
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    C'mon, even the Devil quotes the Bible for his own purposes.
    Thanks for proving my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    You know, I've never appreciated the whole suffering aesthetic. I can find nothing upliftng in it, and I think this is perhaps why I've never 'felt' faith. It reminds me of the first time I saw the film Au Hasard Balthazaar. I was informed that the ending was redemptive, but I felt like it only portrayed sorrow and helplessness. That's kind of how I feel about the story of Jesus in general. Like it's a celebration of helplessness.
    I haven't seen Au Hasard Balthazaar. Nevertheless, my guess is that you view the story of Jesus as ONLY sorrowful because you don't believe in resurrection. The death of Christ IS a sad story, but the resurrection of Christ is a story of triumph over the greatest enemy of man. Followers who suffer bravely in belief that they will be resurrected are only acting courageously if their belief comes true. If those followers are just lying to themselves then that is just sad.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  3. #133
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    Aggghhhh.... you ever have the experience where you come in way too late on a thread, and you read it, and it's sooo interesting and worthwhile, and people have given so many awesome contributions to the point that each entry provokes a response within you, and then you realize that if you were to actually do that you'd be typing for hours, come up with an obscenely way too long post, and wouldn't get anything done all day long? Yeah.

  4. #134
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    1. Christianity is based on negativity, fear, and suppression. It teaches children that if they don't behave like a good little boy or girl they're going to go to hell. Large swaths of the bible are ignored that have to do with genocide, emotional terrorism, and greed.

    2. Christianity doesn't have any answers. It breeds intellectual arrogance and a resistance to information that contradicts its tenets. When someone asks genuine questions to find answers, they are ignored, shunned, or told to read more bible.

    3. Christianity is authoritarian. God is supreme and a source of fear.. much like the parents of the Christian child. Questions about the moral responsibility of authority are never dealt with. This perpetuates the ape culture of mindless obedience to the "Big Man" rather than one of egalitarianism. The abused are convinced that it is simply natural that they are "lesser than" and undeserving or untrustworthy of having freedom.

    4. Christianity teaches shame. Shame of basic wants and needs that every person has and deserves to have met. It convinces individuals that if they want more than they are alloted, they should feel bad. It twists beautiful desires like sexual expression into something ugly and demeaning. Instead of creating fulfilled individuals who have a lust for life and wish to help others grow it teaches individuals to be in perpetual combat with their own basic desires and to suppress them

    5. Christianity breeds an arrogant "chosen people" mentality. It creates an in group out group mentality meant to reassure it's members that no matter what, they're better than other people. It encourages a mentality that has elements of racism and xenophobia. This allows small minded bigots the ultimate conceit of false superiority.

    6. Christianity is morally simplistic. It was not designed to deal with modern ethical dilemmas that arise with rapidly changing technology. The morality of things like cloning, genetic engineering, ai, rnai technology, etc are never dealt with because exploring such questions in depth forces one to deal with a world of hilbert spaces, Planck lengths, guage bosons, entanglement, mecos, superpositionality, probability rather than concrete answers and possibly even super strings, n-dimensional branes, and reimann zeta functions. Those who do deal with it purely intellectually, never asking greater questions about the implications this has for being, identity, the purpose of life both individually and collectively, the nature of reality, and more.

    7. Christianity is a mish mash of religious concepts. Christianity and it's precursor Judaism arose in a world of many tribal cults like those to ashtoreth, marduk, baal, dagon, moloch, etc. Ressurection stories existed in egypt long before christianity existed, there are similarities to the bible and the enuma elish, mithras looks suspiciously like christ. Do you really think that all the years in Babylonian captivity had ZERO effect on the theology of judaism (and consequently christianity)? What conceit to think that YOUR BELIEFS ALONE spang forth pure and unsullied without being influenced by anything else outside of it. Grow the fuck up.

    ^^^All of these are very good reasons NOT to believe in christianity.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  5. #135
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    @UniqueMixture

    I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with "Christianity."

    What's your alternative?
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #136
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    What works for me is not going to work for you because we're different people in different locations, cultures, work environments, etc. This is the problem with ideology, it can only work for a "class" of people rather than for everyone.

    I really want to answer your question, but all I have are a bunch of contradictory rules of thumb that form an inherently incoherent "worldview." To be honest, I think that's what life is. We take a bunch of perceptions that we have string them together with lines of causation and that's what gives them their meaning. All of this is influenced by our context, those parts of us that don't change very much like height, sex, etc. The reason for this is because those factors influence how we feel in different situations. If you're 7'0" tall you're going to experience the world very differently from someone who is 4'0". Worldviews are ways of relating these experiences to other people. I guess I believe in a kind of abstract Absurdism where the lines of causation between object sets are in flux and even the "objects" have many truth values. I believe we create reality with our perceptions. I believe there are realities that are shared and those that are not. Probably a lot of this comes from internal struggles that others don't have to deal with and are unique to myself, not because I am "special" or "better" (everyone is special of course, but you get my meaning) but for reasons like the ethnic origins of my parents, etc that I had very little control over. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I have all of the answers. I just know what works for me and I try to help out where I can.

    Another way of experiencing this whole thing is to close your eyes and breathe very slowly and rhythmically. Continue until you feel the tension diminish. Then open up your eyes and really experience the world around you. Let it hit you. Let it into your heart. Don't think anything about it. Just learn to experience it all with love. When it gets overwhelming, take a break and give yourself the time to process the experience. Then, when you have more strength, continue moving forward.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  7. #137
    F CK all I need is U ilikeitlikethat's Avatar
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    Congregation, staying out of trouble, and to give thanks for your blessings and to be saved, i.e accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Why believe in it? Hmmm... Erm... Because it's good, atleast, and it's good for you, I guess, but... IDK.
    I have an answer, but, it's the wrong one.


  8. #138
    Senior Member Stigmata's Avatar
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    Because then I meet the most basic prerequisite running for Political Office in the United States higher up than a Mayor.

    Next Question. Why run for political office?
    "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

  9. #139
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeCait View Post
    That statement is offensive and unfounded.
    Oh please. Do you really need someone to connect the dots for you?

    These Christianity threads are never anything but so much splitting of imaginary hairs. Prove angels exist before you worry about how many can dance on the head of a pin.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  10. #140
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Catholics however continually get my respect because yes they're pretty much the only Christians who perform work for the poor and sick that they actually own hospitals where they dont turn anyone away, and they are organized enough that they are the only church that could even potentially replace the government in terms of social programs in the immediate world, not just evangelizing over in Africa.

    They're also HIGHLY educated people, their schools are far beyond public schools and their priests have PhDs, which is probably why the average Catholic isn't enough of a moron to wear shirts that say things like God Hates Fags Dead.

    Not only do they honor the sacred feminine in their own chaste way, but they honor art and music and architecture as being part of God.
    As a former Catholic, I have been meaning to reply to this, but only now had sufficient time. There is some truth in the above, but it is far from the complete story. The Catholic church and its believers certainly do their share of charitable work, but whether it is hospitals in the U.S. or outreach overseas, these efforts are often hamstrung by restrictive and irrational church doctrines on human reproduction/sex. Others have already addressed the charitable work of Protestants, some of which is similarly constrained, but both Christian groups seem on a par here.

    As for providing social programs, see the above, plus fold in the fact that the hierarchy and decision-makers are primarily male, while the worker bees are largely female. This is not a healthy dynamic to model in any society. Yes, they are organized, and have used this organization to cover up pedophilia and to suppress the views of female religious. Again, some Protestant groups do this, too, but they are far less monolithic.

    Some Catholic schools are much better than public ones, especially in inner city areas; others are worse. It all depends on the local school district. Decline in donations and vocations, and the resulting closure of parishes and schools has not helped. I could not find statistics on priests holding advanced degrees, other than that most receive a professional master's degree upon completing seminary. The only priest with a PhD I ever encountered in a parish was a seminary instructor who sometimes used to say Mass at my church when I was growing up. Whatever their academic credentials, most priests I knew couldn't preach or teach their way out of a paper bag. Some were very kind and compassionate people, but this requires neither education nor intellect.

    Yes, the Catholic church is about the only Christian denomination that has retained any recognition of the feminine divine, though in terms of doctrine, Mary is never more than "just" a human specially favored by God. It's better than nothing.

    Finally, about art and music: you refer to the Catholic church of Palestrina and Boticelli, not the church of today, at least in the U.S. Along with the Latin mass and the altar facing away from the congregation, the church abandoned much of its artistic and cultural heritage in favor of the artistic equivalent of a happy meal - a definite case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. In the words of Andrew Greeley, "It's been a long way from, let us say, the Sistine Chapel, Palestrina, and the Book of Kells. And all that way has been downhill. Most priests have no idea what I'm talking about -- so prosaic and unimaginative and so uncreative has been their education, and is the clerical culture in which they are entombed. " (This may sound harsh, but as a musician I feel this loss very keenly. It was the first layer of the onion to be stripped away in my path away from Catholicism. )
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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