What Do People Know About What They Pretend to Discuss?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think Tiassa is actually a theist, he just wants to feel superior bashing other atheists for some reason.
     
    Seattle likes this.
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I think he has a valid point. It doesn't just stand on the topic of religion, either.
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that you have to know some science in order to refute it, because it's empirical. But knowing a fantasy in more detail doesn't make it any less of a fantasy.
     
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  7. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    I was actually brought up in a religious household and forced to learn the bible against my will. I learnt everything about it, and could recite reams of it from memory, not because I believed in any of it, but because I'd be punished if I did'nt know my 'rote'.

    None of it sounded particularly plausible when I was a child (I found the idea that I had to 'fear' an almighty powerful but 'all forgiving' God, both contradictory and ridiculous. Similarly I found the idea of an almighty God needing to impregnate a random human in order to get his 'message' across to be equally ridiculous.

    So yes I have read and 'understand' the Bible - but it doesn't make it any less ridiculous to my current self or my childhood self.

    If God knows the future and the past, he would have waited for the Internet to be invented and saved all his 'miracles' for a time when the whole world could see, rather than an obscure middle eastern place 2000 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    For some people, learning more about their religion can cause them to abandon it. In fact, I bet most religious people know less about their religion than the average atheist.
     
  9. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    You've got that right. I once had a long conversation with a Christian who came to my door. After explaining my past - they said they felt sorry I had 'lost Christ'.

    After questioning them for a while I actually realised they did not really know much about thier religion apart from a few basic principles which they simply repeated case in point (conversation shortened):

    You need Jesus, come back to Jesus.

    Why?

    Jesus is Love, Jesus forgives us.

    I've done nothing wrong, why would I need Jesus to forgive me?

    Jesus died so your sins would be forgiven.

    What sins? I haven't done anything wrong!

    We are all born sinners (see the 'original sin') Jesus died so we could goto heaven

    I said I have never done anything wrong worthy of someone dying for me - I find it insulting that you insist anyone died for me.

    If you reject Jesus you cannot go to heaven.

    So Jesus only died for people who he likes? - doesn't sound like such a selfless act anymore...

    Conversation went on for a while longer - but all in all the person in question was simply repeating dogma without questioning it's validity - the questions I gave them where never actually 'considered' simply rebuffed as 'ridiculous' as 'everybody' needs the love of Jesus.
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It means whatever they think it means, and they can cherry pick whatever quotes from the book support them.
     
  11. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    I've really never heard of this phenomena, do you have any particular studies/references that confirm such a statement?
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    There could easily be some questions of definition in play, such as what you mean by "Cryptic", regardless of the capital letter. The "legend of a sacrificed son" as a manner of revelation depends entirely on both the nature of the sacrifice as well as the nature of revelation. As an historical matter, the idea of the Bible as a revelation from God is not in and of itself unusual, but there is a question of how someone writing down the stories told among people as revelation is "cryptic". The "legend of a sacrificed son" as a "revelation" is, in the historical record, something of a curious beast that, in its most whole form, comes down to the Stations of the Cross fulfilling a prophecy and thereby revealing the truth that this is the Son of God.

    However, much like I do not see a straightforward application of the word "cryptic" to the Bible itself insofar as there is nothing cryptic transcribing an oral history to written, I might wonder, here and there, about the stories actually contained within its pages. Try it this way:

    You shake your fist at the sky and curse God for the terrible week you're having, and the sky comes down to shout back and chew you a new exit by reminding that you need to kiss God's ass because you're even capable of shaking your fist or complaining or even existing to have an experience.

    Can you please tell me if that is "cryptic"?

    Just for an example, you know.

    Oh, hey: How about telling a man to rape his dead brother's widow? How about killing him for failing to rape her properly?

    Try this one: When God publicly repented, it was explicitly because a king failed to properly carry out a genocide, and He even said so.

    Well, through a prophet. Just like he sent a satan to Balaam to warn him from a bad path.

    Or an angel to cuss out Job.

    The burning bush wasn't really so cryptic insofar as the guy God needed to talk to figured it out, but, okay, if it still seems cryptic, a talking, flaming shrubbery would at least fail to be subtle.

    But, speaking of events and outcomes unsubtle, the apparent problem with God being any more direct than that would be the scale of His infinitude breaking people's minds. It's not the most obvious thing in the world, I admit; one kind of needs to pay attention to a bunch of cryptic stuff in order to tease that out, like the woman who went blind because God let her see enough of Him that she broke.

    It takes people a while to learn. But, still, the famous Golden Rule is an inversion of the original, which says to not do unto others as one would not have done unto themselves. It makes a huge difference, historically speaking. Try it both ways when reading Matthew 25.31-46↱, and then think of the Inquisition, and being able to tell the tortured we would hope someone would do the same for us.

    Nonetheless, God does come out and say it, sometimes; it's buried in Leviticus 19↱, but Leviticus is kind of a screwed up book if you try reading it without context, like bit a few chapters later about the trouble with the lame, blind, or people with ruptured testicles. Jesus doesn't really bother much with busted nuts, so far as we know, but he does carry forward the bit about not being an asshole in the Sermons of Mount↱ and Plain↱.

    Just out of curiosity, did you never read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

    Have you never heard of a Christian notion called "sola fide", meaning, "by faith alone"?

    Once upon a time, the latter was fairly common knowledge, and there were plenty who thought they were smart for being able to recite the relevant argument from the former.

    The point has to do with the difference 'twixt faith and knowledge.

    Interestingly, on sola fide, it is in both the Gospels and the Pauline Evangelism, but a weird exception is buried in Sufi lore, except you're not really supposed to take it literally, and, as it happens, if you want God being cryptic, it is tempting to sniff around Sufi lore, which is full of stories like the divine signal of a withered tree suddenly blossoming because an impatient man studying under a Sufi master lost his patience and struck a man down from behind, except it turned out God needed him to do that because he was a terrible criminal on his way to the next atrocity. But, again, you're not supposed to take it literally, so, yeah, talk about cryptic. And they're dervish tales, to be specific, which ought to mean something.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Weigle, Luther, et al. The Bible: Revised Standard Version. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1971. University of Michigan. 29 November 2017. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/
     
  13. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    Disregarding the whole historical recording of 'the message' the actual delivery method itself was completely 'weird' and messed up. Why would an 'almighty' deity shoot his ethereal 'load' into some random human virgin?

    Why the need to sacrifice the son created from his ethereal spooge/human virgin combo?

    If you are going to go through all the trouble to make yourself so well known by creating a 'virgin birth' and 'only son sacrifice', why not just explode some stars in a supernovae and write your message across the 'heavens' (after all its just as subtle as a 'virgin birth', and will reach far more people).

    You make out that god is subtle in order to engender faith, however the use of very overt miracles, if witnessed first hand would negate all need for 'faith'. Thus the ones who saw them first hand had no need for faith, and the rest of us are just expected to accept second hand 'sketchy'/unverified knowledge of it.
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I like the Bohmian approach. The Implicate Order.
    From that I came to the conclusion that what theists have named God is actually a metaphor for Potential (a latent ability which may become expressed in reality)

    There is no functional differences between the two concepts, except the concept of God adds an unneccessary property of emotional sentience and motivation.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I have a question: What do you think you accomplish by depicting yourself in such ignorance?

    I really am curious.

    You're pretty close to making sense.

    But, yes, if I'm reading you correctly, the faith of the faithful is kind of the point.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    How would a world in which there was in fact no God different from the world in which we live today?
     
  17. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    No televangelist???

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  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    How would you recognise God if you saw "Him"? What would you see, or hear, or feel?
    Do you personally have expectations, and what if they weren't met? What if you were sick or maybe dying?

    Townes Van Zandt became a travelling minstrel after years of "treatment" for schizophrenia in the 60's fried his brain, more or less.
    He wrote a song called Lungs, about his time in hospital when suffering from pneumonia, which tune appears at the end of episode 6 of season 1 of True Detectives.
    I for some reason found this work quite evocative of some thing or other.

    The lyrics in the last verse read thusly:

    Jesus was an only son
    And love his only concept.
    Strangers cry in foreign tongues
    And dirty up the doorstep.
    And I for one, and you for two
    Ain't got the time for outside.
    Just keep your injured looks to you
    We'll tell the world that we tried.
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    By my examination, somewhere between rather quite little and none.

    Same with the Universe at large, only more so.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly, so why is it particularly important that one be a religious scholar to discuss this issue? It depends on the specific issue of course. If the issue is the historical context of the Bible then it obviously helps to be conversant with history of the appropriate time period.
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Suppose you go with the theory that the Biblical Jesus was invented and wasn't a miraculous birth and so didn't perform any actual miracles? What difference does it make?

    Suppose instead you accept the above as a possibility--Jesus was invented--what difference does it make? Suppose the entire Bible is largely a fabrication and not at all historically accurate--so what? How would the world be different?
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Click for a sinister Minister.

    Toward that latter: The issue of the historical or literary context of the Bible is important if we intend to discuss or engage religion in, say, political discourse. Very simply—

    (A) Someone mentioned "conversion", as if to change a religious person's mind such that they become atheist.

    (B) Others have mentioned religious disrespect for science.

    (C) Some have noted religious people and institutions working to force their beliefs onto others.​

    —there are many contexts we might describe as having consequence. To the other, who is to be the judge of what constitutes consequence? It all, as such, is of consequence. Nonetheless, we might also wonder at the comparative sense of consequence about—

    (D) Wandering around asking theists, "What does God do?" so that one can retort by self-righteously demanding they prove God exists, and then lamenting that they aren't taking up the challenge.

    (E) Challenging clueless preachers incapable of demonstrating they have a clue.​

    —more self-directed concern.

    The reason we might ask what people know about what they criticize involves those more outwardly, communally, and socially consequential reasons for engagement. If wandering around looking for persons of dubious competence or competency to challenge is more a person's reason for engagement, then it's true they have no reason to have any more clue than the gutter evangelists they seek.

    Despite having a healthy thirty-percent bloc declaring no religion, Australia needed Christians (fifty-two percent) in order to achieve the result they did in their marriage equality postal survey. Leading up to the vote, people were expecting a closer contest; in the end, with seventy-nine and a half percent of the electorate participating in the voluntary survey, it was a mop, sixty-one and change to thirty-one and change.

    In terms of the difference between those listed concerns, it wasn't the self-indulgent engagement that communicated with religious people, who in turn were comfortable enough with their understanding of how things were about to go that they accepted the difference 'twixt certain assertions of faith and the living reality of Australian Christians.

    Nor did we win in Washington state without Christians five years ago.

    And I promise you, arguing with the Little Sisters of the Poor about whether or not God exists isn't going to remove the stumbling blocks American Christianists keep laying for women. Furthermore, compared to the Little Sisters of the Poor, you might notice American Catholics are a bit more fond of Nuns on the Bus.

    These examples only illustrate the difference, and that it is found in matters of purpose.

    We might, toward your inquiry, also note that between, say, having a clue and being a religious scholar exists a considerable range of study, learning, comprehension, &c.

    It might be one thing to argue whether God exists or how ugly someone's faith is, but every once in a while you will encounter Christians who are not any sort of Catholic yet cite Apocrypha as if it was Biblical, and while it's not so much that anyone particularly needs to read the Didache, but it makes a difference whether one is arguing the cruelty of Christianity or reminding the Christianist that letting the alms sweat in your palm is Apostolic at best, and Apocryphal, and even still is better read as something one is warned away from.

    Or, you know, being middle aged, I'm uncertain how long what notions persisted where and in what variation, but in my youth there were these evangelical youth pastors and the like who wanted to seem hip and all that, so they would try to describe Jesus as a rebel, yet, let's face it, compared to the ideas of rebellion our cohort came up on, Christ was one of the most boring rebels in history. Lew Rockwell, part of a political movement that rippled through a later generation of youth, tried casting Jesus as a nihilistic rebel, an antisocial, and there may or may not be reason for reading the role that way, but not in Rockwell's needs-must-in-the-moment manner. But one of the best parts of the story in the context of Jesus as a rebel is actually excluded from the Bible itself, and most only know it at all as a song from a movie they never paid attention to but knew someone who said they really needed to watch it; that is to say, the bit where the Apostles get all over His case because He's getting on with a prostitute, and their problem isn't worldly distraction and sin, but, rather, unmitigated envy because He loves her more than He does them.

    Seriously, that would have been an interesting Christ to learn about and try to figure out, but, you know how—(Oh, hey! Abramists having trouble figuring out how to deal with the fact that women exist! how unexpected!)—this would have been a lot to ask of people whose bright idea was to teach kids about Christianist ideas of sexual perversion in order to preach against sexual perversion so that they could be instrumental players in our sex lives by telling us who we had permission to have sex with and how we are supposed to do it.

    No wonder they called in bomb threats to the movie theaters.

    Oh, right. Sorry. Anyway, yeah, sometimes it's a fascinating story. But, yeah; it all depends on the specific issue.
     
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

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    isn't it telling the largest aspect of fundamental religion is about forgiveness for the most atrocious acts? no surprise there that it attracts so many sociopaths besides the sincere. why religious conservatives or even non-religious conservatives are often the most immoral or amoral?

    then the 'christ-like' appeal is a choice to be nice but not necessarily a requirement. the best this does is encourages sociopaths to be a bit less crazy perhaps knowing they will be rewarded or go to heaven. those who are sincere plead with others to not be an outright asshole as someone had to die for your or someone else's sins. the only unforgivable sin is non-belief in god.

    and you see the results. now we have laws to enforce. it doesn't change people's natures though. part of improving quality of life is in the hopes people will become more civilized and less desperate to commit crimes against others or society but it doesn't consider that sociopaths and psychopaths just up the ante in their depravity, regardless, as more money gives them more power. the problem with organic lifeforms is their main source of pleasure is through interactions with other lifeforms, and that takes both positive and negative forms. the negative is predation. how that is fed is through power disparity.

    technology to make individuals more egalitarian and even less organic units and less dependent on eachother as in alleviating power disparities to abuse or exploit is really the answer. ironicly. you have to alleviate primarily negative organic tendencies such as envy, jealousy and covetousness because of disparity which results in destructive and antisocial behavior and greed is primarily motivated by a perceived threat of possible lack, even if irrational, you can see this primal drive in people who overeat or horde , for example.

    when society becomes even more technological, the less the primal and organic drives will override sanity/reason or play a major part in society. that's the price for a dualistic and fuked up nature.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017

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