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  1. #151
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    And once you have excised the imagination from humankind what will you have? Cybermen? Will it be better?
    This is a false binary. I'm completely in favor of philosophy, science, and the arts, all of which are vehicles for mankind's collective exercise of imagination. I think religious systems, by claiming to answer all questions while dispensing with the need to back up one's assertions, are inherently prone to abuse by people looking for a means to force their will upon others, squelching imagination in the process.
    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 --

  2. #152
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    This is a false binary. I'm completely in favor of philosophy, science, and the arts, all of which are vehicles for mankind's collective exercise of imagination. I think religious systems, by claiming to answer all questions while dispensing with the need to back up one's assertions, are inherently prone to abuse by people looking for a means to force their will upon others, squelching imagination in the process.

  3. #153
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Is that the Time Machine? That story was what can come of rigid class divisions and forced labor. How is that relevant to the present discussion?
    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 --

  4. #154
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think you're being harsh, its interesting to see an objective point of view about Roman Catholicism instead of the sorts of things which generally stand in for it, I'm not a former Catholic, since I do practice but routinely miss mass, and I would say that I dont think the church abandoned latin masses or the altar facing away from the congregation so much as adopted a much better practice in those respects (I actually reject the new order of mass and responses which have been introduced recently in order that the vernacular ceremony more closely resemble a direct translation from the latin original).

    There are aspects of medievalism which I respect and can understand anyone holding dear but there are those which I feel have, to use your phrase, entombed the church and threat its life, in certain respects I can not attack completely the elitism or patriarchal nature of the hierarchy as it has served well to permit the transmission largley unchanged of tradition between one generation and the next, there also has not been that much in the way of political meddling or attempts to court temporal power.
    What you are calling "aspects of medievalism" I would term a longstanding and venerable tradition of music, art, and other aesthetic pursuits. I would add the Latin mass here as well, since the language is inexorably tied to the music, and all together (language, music, liturgy) are part of the Catholic identity. Having Mass in the vernacular is an improvement, but need not come at the cost of excluding the Latin almost entirely, but that is what has happened. In my lifetime, I have seen Latin liturgy only when televised from the Vatican. In my mother's day, though, she could travel Europe through countries whose language she could not speak, but could always follow the familiar Latin mass.

    The elitist and patriarchal hierarchy are the true medievalisms which, as you put it, entomb the church and threaten its life, especially in the modern age. You seem to be questioning the need for priestly celibacy, as do I. I would add to this the need for female priests, and a greater role for laity in important church decisions and leadership positions. As I see it, the church has abandoned the most beautiful, uplifting and unifying aspects of its tradition while clinging to the most limiting, divisive, and unproductive ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It could just be that I'm an Irish Catholic but the prosaic version of marian doctrine doesnt ring true here, I actually wouldnt mind that if it were the case as I do think there's a concerning and little too extreme form of marian devotion here in Ireland.
    I am not sure what you mean by this. Are you objecting to the veneration of Mary, or in agreement with it? The Irish also have St Brigid (at least she is popular among U.S. Catholics of Irish descent), who is essentially the pre-Christian goddess of the same name.
    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...

  5. #155
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    Originally Posted by Victor -
    "C'mon, even the Devil quotes the Bible for his own purposes".

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Thanks for proving my point.
    Some of us are devils and some of us are devilishly good.

  6. #156
    Member CreativeCait's Avatar
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    So much to respond to....here's part 1

    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’ve never seen the film, sorry. For me, outside of my religious beliefs, I’ve accepted that suffering is an inherent part of the human experience. I could never find peace with a spiritual belief/faith/doctrine that doesn’t deal with it. I can see where you are coming from though, especially if its the case that you don’t believe in Christianity or the resurrection. Talking about helplessness and taking the resurrection to the side for a sec, the narrative of Jesus’ life shows he acted with great agency, intent and purpose in everything he did. He wasn’t helplessly following the crowd. It was his choice to be crucified, he chose his fate according to his strongly held personal convictions. I see him as a strong innovator of change and someone who has had a great impact on the world through his life. To me its about the great affect an expression of love can have on the world through an agent of change and this transcends the sorrow and helplessness. Eg: why mourning on Black Friday is followed by celebration on Easter Sunday – which I guess is a ritual element that Christians participate in which affects how they ‘feel’ about it. But I can see where you are coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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.
    Denomenations differ in this respect, this is not blanket truth for all Christianity....and those denominations are influenced greatly by wider social factors especially when it comes to negativity, fear and suppression (classic example being colonial "christianity"). As you noted, there can be great discord between what the bible says, what Jesus preached and what people practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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.
    Christianity certainly doesn't have all the answers, but it does have some. That is the point of faith systems, they have answers, otherwise they wouldn't be a faith system. What is debated is whether they are true or not.

    Yes the above happens and that's sad, but there is so much diversity, you can't say this is true of all Christianity. Intellectual debate is necessery, and often not given enough free reign, but also, remember, its a faith system, if you de-construct it too much, it looses all meaning. Then we end up with something akin to a deconstructed apple pie (a baked apple in reduced syrup with a chunk of pastry on the side) which is no where near as good or useful as a whole apple pie fresh out of the oven. Some is good (I like the addition of cranberries to apple pie, mmmhmmm), too much and we can end up in a cyclical, meaningless, post-modern oblivion IMO and what's the point of that? It's not useful in any sense....

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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.
    I like Marshall Sahlins, did you study anthroplogy too?? I've seen both 'big man' and egalitarian forms of Christianity, I much prefer the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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 .
    Personally, it teaches me to be happy, well maybe 'satisfied' is a better word, with what I have, rather than feeling shame or bad for wanting more. I don't feel bad for wanting more, but I accept what is. Christianity gives me a lust for life and the liberation to live it in full. The sexuality issue is a bit personal for me to comment on and I'm still working out where I stand on that one, so no comments, except that it hasn't become ugly and demeaning for me, but I do think it is overly emphasised and can hurt people when the point of restrictions on it was to not hurt people IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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.
    I don't think these symptoms are unique to Christianity or descriptive of all Christianity. I think this is a social and cultural phenomenon that happens in many circumstances and is part of human nature, unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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.
    Yeah, Christians could do better with this. But I don't think the OP was asking whether society should adopt Christian ethics, I think it was more about why the personal belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    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..
    Since when is it considered immature to believe in a faith system?? I guess you did not read this which I posted earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeCait View Post
    This makes me sad *sigh*

    It annoys me when people (not you, thinking more of preachers + believers + other commentators) look at Christianity as if its outside of the influence of culture and society. In most of its expressions it has become highly entwined with the social and cultural discourses of the place it is being practiced in. This has good and bad effects. Also, the tradition itself is highly influenced by Greek philosophy and, especially in the case of the Catholic Church, the Roman then Byzantine Empire. As well as other things, expecially the origins of Christmas. But back to my point, many people confuse personal, political and social agendas with Christianity and don't challenge them enough through open-minded engagement with the bible, God and Jesus. Which is sad...The social and cultural context thingy is probably why I have not personally heard this stuff where I live.
    As an aside, if your last post was in reference to mine, I outlined my personal belief system in the post, from my point of view and reasoning - (as in why would/do I believe in it over other religious traditions) - and I don't consider myself and my faith to be superior to the convictions held by others be that Athiest, Bhuddist, Jewish, Humanist, whatever. As in, that's my personal reasoning, but I respect the reasoning and beliefs of others, including yours

  7. #157
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    @CreativeCait imo the benefits of christianity can be found in other faith systems with much less social costs. Buddhism is a great example, however it has its own problems. My philosophy is more or less "it's silly to have A philosophy." Different mentalities exist to operate on different tasks. The most useful mentality is the one that creates a vision for yourself so that you can have lifelong goals that you pursue that make you, family, friends, and others live better lives. If you do it right, you even get the chance to make a permanent positive long term impact on society, the world, and all the universes that could ever be. To me Christianity is too human-centric/geo-centric to truly be applicable for all. Worse than this (imo) it denies the divinity of the human spirit. WE are beautiful gestalts of body, environment, sensation and affect. You would have me give that up for a STUPID BACKWARDS CULT that could never accept me? Go **** yourself
    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.

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeCait View Post
    the narrative of Jesus’ life shows he acted with great agency, intent and purpose in everything he did. He wasn’t helplessly following the crowd. It was his choice to be crucified, he chose his fate according to his strongly held personal convictions. I see him as a strong innovator of change and someone who has had a great impact on the world through his life.
    Jesus came from a spoken culture - in other words Jesus was illiterate.

    And Jesus was single in a Judaic culture based on marriage.

    And Jesus chose only men to be his disciples.

    And Jesus not only failed to speak against slavery, Jesus supported slavery and used it in his teaching.

    And rather than choosing to be crucified, Jesus, in Matthew 26:39, falls on his face praying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus did not choose to be crucified, he was tortured to death by his father.

    The fact is Jesus was a non land owner in the Roman Empire and so was regarded as a non person. This would have had a corrosive effect on his psyche as evidenced by his acceptance of slavery.

  9. #159
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Jesus came from a spoken culture - in other words Jesus was illiterate.

    And Jesus was single in a Judaic culture based on marriage.

    And Jesus chose only men to be his disciples.

    And Jesus not only failed to speak against slavery, Jesus supported slavery and used it in his teaching.

    And rather than choosing to be crucified, Jesus, in Matthew 26:39, falls on his face praying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus did not choose to be crucified, he was tortured to death by his father.

    The fact is Jesus was a non land owner in the Roman Empire and so was regarded as a non person. This would have had a corrosive effect on his psyche as evidenced by his acceptance of slavery.
    Pretty much everybody believed in slavery back then. The most prominent actually allowed slaves to buy their freedom. I'm not saying it was a good thing, but it's a different animal than what people know as slavery today. And probably a great improvement to being poor.

    Anyway, try to remember that for your next dream/mythopoetic utterance.

  10. #160
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    Spartacus and Jesus

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Pretty much everybody believed in slavery back then. The most prominent actually allowed slaves to buy their freedom. I'm not saying it was a good thing, but it's a different animal than what people know as slavery today. And probably a great improvement to being poor.

    Anyway, try to remember that for your next dream/mythopoetic utterance.
    Tell that to Spartacus.

    Spartacus didn't believe in slavery. In fact Spartacus and tens of thousands of his followers attacked the Roman Legions and defeated them time and time again in order to free the slaves.

    And Jesus was not a follower of Spartacus. In fact Jesus supported slavery, saying out of one side of his mouth, "Render unto Caesar the things (slaves) that are Caesar's"; and out of the other side of his mouth, "Render unto God the things that are God's".

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