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  1. #51
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There's nothing about killing heretics and witches in the New Testament. The anti-violence is so strict that it's difficult to follow, if you want my opinion. "Love your enemies.." "Turn the other cheek.." "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.." "He who wishes to be great among you shall serve you.." "Love one another.." These ideas torment me, for the fact that they're absurdly righteous.
    The New Testament and the Old Testament are both highly inconsistent and contradictory in a lot of places. And you seized on a particular example (which you incorrectly interpreted) and missed the point. I don't have to point out every single instance of an objectionable part of the text for it to be obvious that there have been points in the official religious doctrine as interpreted by the Church which encourage all kinds of negative things. You're just nitpicking at this point I think.

  2. #52
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    The New Testament and the Old Testament are both highly inconsistent and contradictory in a lot of places. And you seized on a particular example (which you incorrectly interpreted) and missed the point. I don't have to point out every single instance of an objectionable part of the text for it to be obvious that there have been points in the official religious doctrine as interpreted by the Church which encourage all kinds of negative things. You're just nitpicking at this point I think.
    You don't get it.

    I'm the evil one.

    Maybe others too. But definitely me.

    People who say "Turn the other cheek"? Not very evil.

    You blame all the wrong people in your criticism of religion. Your real enemy is humanity. And the human forces that use religion.

  3. #53
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    You don't get it.

    I'm the evil one.

    Maybe others too. But definitely me.

    People who say "Turn the other cheek"? Not very evil.

    You blame all the wrong people in your criticism of religion. Your real enemy is humanity. And the human forces that use religion.
    I don't think so. Technically since humans created destructive ideas they are to blame for them, but ideas are still destructive. Humans are not evil any more than they are inherently good. Humans just do what they do. But they create and perpetuate some pretty messed up ideas. In any case, I don't want to get moralistic and start blaming and judging people. I don't think that's the way to go. Criticizing ideas is productive because changing people's minds affects their behavior and quality of life. The root causes of any human behavior are mental notions and emotions associated with past experiences. Feelers focus on the emotions (and associated value based assessments) and thinkers focus on mental constructs. In general.

  4. #54
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    It takes some time to forgive the genocide and torture of millions of people (mostly women) with whom you share a culture and religion.
    There were 'only' tens of thousands (a large majority were indeed women) over the centuries, most of whom probably weren't witches.

  5. #55
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    I haven't had a chance to read much on him yet. He may prove to be a disappointment but it's quite common for people to be excited about a newly elected official. Nothing like hope and the possibility of change riding in the same vehicle.
    If Francis sets the example for church leaders of true humility, compassion, and service, it will already be progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There are Buddhists killing people (Muslims]

    And it's more about politics and cultural differences than religion per se. There's nothing in Buddhism that encourages it. But there's nothing in Christianity that does either. Christianity's history of conflicts is a lot more complicated than "it's just a mean spirited religion".
    It's always about politics, culture, and often economics. Religion only provides a convenient and powerful justification, given how uncritically most believers follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There's a reason why it's called the Old Testament by Christians. The Jews don't call it that. It's their only Bible. Don't confuse the two.
    Christians quickly disavow the Old Testament when called to account for the violence and oppression in it, but then use it to justify the status they ascribe to Jesus. They can't have it both ways. Either it is part of their scripture, or it isn't. Most rail against "cherry-picking" only the portions that one agrees with, in either testament. The New Testament may not have the same justification of violence, but it certainly supports sexism.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    There were 'only' tens of thousands (a large majority were indeed women) over the centuries, most of whom probably weren't witches.
    I guess that makes it OK, then.

    (I wonder what the victim toll is now in the recent wave of pedophilia?)
    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...

  6. #56
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I don't think so. Technically since humans created destructive ideas they are to blame for them, but ideas are still destructive. Humans are not evil any more than they are inherently good. Humans just do what they do. But they create and perpetuate some pretty messed up ideas. In any case, I don't want to get moralistic and start blaming and judging people. I don't think that's the way to go. Criticizing ideas is productive because changing people's minds affects their behavior and quality of life. The root causes of any human behavior are mental notions and emotions associated with past experiences. Feelers focus on the emotions (and associated value based assessments) and thinkers focus on mental constructs. In general.
    I'm just pointing out the absurdity in being so passionate against a religion with directives like the one I pointed out above. The people you should worry about are like me. The ones who have trouble "turning the other cheek" and "are living by the sword", and don't want to "serve others" or "love everyone". I want to be that good, but I struggle with it. So do many others. Because we're human. Yet here you are thinking one of the great problems of the world are religions that try improve these strains in humanity.

  7. #57
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Christians quickly disavow the Old Testament when called to account for the violence and oppression in it, but then use it to justify the status they ascribe to Jesus. They can't have it both ways. Either it is part of their scripture, or it isn't. Most rail against "cherry-picking" only the portions that one agrees with, in either testament. The New Testament may not have the same justification of violence, but it certainly supports sexism.
    Come on now. You defended Gnosticism earlier, so you must know how much more complicated it is than this "all or nothing" scenario you're pointing out above.

    Christians look at the Old Testament in christological terms. The reasons they keep the old canon around are symbolic. It predates Christianity in the Talmudic midrash. Rabbinic interpretations that dug deeper and gleaned out symbolic meanings, instead of the obvious or literal. As a Ni type, I think you'd appreciate it.

    The historical narratives are especially interpreted in this light. While laws are explicitly dismissed. Sabbaths, animal sacrifices, circumcision, "a special race of Abraham" becomes a symbolic "universal" (latin: catholic) race, etc.. They are truly different religions in all the ways that matter.

    Gnostics took it a step further and couldn't reconcile anything. They actually believed the Old Testament god was evil, and Jesus basically ended his reign. Mainstream catholics couldn't settle with that, and still saw symbolic significance. Kind of like how you have to like "Anakin Skywalker" a bit, just to understand who "Luke Skywalker" is. ... Err.. Or something.

  8. #58
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Come on now. You defended Gnosticism earlier, so you must know how much more complicated it is than this "all or nothing" scenario you're pointing out above.

    Christians look at the Old Testament in christological terms. The reasons they keep the old canon around are symbolic. It predates Christianity in the Talmudic midrash. Rabbinic interpretations that dug deeper and gleaned out symbolic meanings, instead of the obvious or literal. As a Ni type, I think you'd appreciate it.

    The historical narratives are especially interpreted in this light. While laws are explicitly dismissed. Sabbaths, animal sacrifices, circumcision, "a special race of Abraham" becomes a symbolic "universal" (latin: catholic) race, etc.. They are truly different religions in all the ways that matter.

    Gnostics took it a step further and couldn't reconcile anything. They actually believed the Old Testament god was evil, and Jesus basically ended his reign. Mainstream catholics couldn't settle with that, and still saw symbolic significance.
    I did not defend Gnostics, but rather pointed out the significance of the distinction between Gnostics and the Jesus groups that eventually became the early Catholic church. I might have much more appreciation for the figurative element in the NT if that were how Christians used it. It is they who more often favor a literal interpretation. Moreover, they haven't thrown out all the laws - I haven't, for instance, seen a repudiation of the Ten Commandments.

    I favor the Gnostic approach mainly in assigning primary responsibility for spiritual development to the individual believer. I don't believe anyone can serve as an intermediary between a person and God, any more than someone else can do my workout for me. In this sense, I would apply a different "all or nothing" calculus to the Bible, and consider the whole of it, but only as one of many sources from which I might learn. The Bible is an interesting read (and yes, I have read all of it), containing history, poetry, fable, and more. The problem comes when people claim too much for it, fail to read it critically, and fail to consider other sources of information.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Kind of like how you have to like "Anakin Skywalker" a bit, just to understand who "Luke Skywalker" is. ... Err.. Or something.
    But I always did like Anakin. Luke couldn't plan his way out of a paper bag.
    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...

  9. #59
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I did not defend Gnostics, but rather pointed out the significance of the distinction between Gnostics and the Jesus groups that eventually became the early Catholic church. I might have much more appreciation for the figurative element in the NT if that were how Christians used it. It is they who more often favor a literal interpretation. Moreover, they haven't thrown out all the laws - I haven't, for instance, seen a repudiation of the Ten Commandments.
    Go take that up with fundamentalist evangelicals then. They're the most strident about literalism. I don't want to be put in a position to explain their view. I want nothing to do with them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_literalism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...matical_method


    Modern liberal scholars are literalists as well, but they take a more "Discovery channel"/archaeological approach, and like to illuminate the context of the world or conditions surrounding the texts, and what the text was like for the people it was meant for (unlike fundamentalists though, they don't want to recreate that world. They don't really concern themselves with what the text means for us).

  10. #60
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I guess that makes it OK, then.

    (I wonder what the victim toll is now in the recent wave of pedophilia?)
    I never said it was okay, that's why I put 'only' in quotation marks....during its peak, it was much like the use of odious 'blasphemy' laws in contemporary Pakistan, or lynchings in the era of segregation, spread out over many years....an atrocity, but not on the same level as genocide or slavery. Equating the two results in an unjust distribution of guilt, and perhaps more importantly, obscures the conditions which led to such crimes, and consequently the ways in which societies and institutions need to be reformed to prevent such crimes in the future (and whether they already have-for instance, it would be ludicrous to single out the modern Catholic Church for its past stance against democracy or religious freedom).

    As for pedophilia, its probably no more prevalent than in any other similar institution overall (though the sheer size of the institution makes the aggregate total immense), the crimes to which the Catholic church as a whole (as opposed to individual priests) needs to account for are the widespread cover-ups, and the institutional incentives for the same.

    All I'm doing is noting that people should keep things in perspective and criticize the contemporary Catholic church for its actual crimes, and balance those crimes beside any good it has accomplished, not turn the institution into a whipping boy or scapegoat simply because they are an easy target on the internet.

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