What is Christianity?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Photizo, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No James is only telling that he is not ignoring the various reports he has received but deems them stupid and childish, to state it more clearly as you obviously did not understand when James was less blunt.
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

    I only filed one report, and that was directed at SkinWalker, and only after he had given me a warning for calling Syne a troll. I didn't file "multiple reports" or cry foul at Syne's use of insults. I threw some out there myself, so that would be silly. I didn't think this was something moderators needed to get involved in.

    If Syne did, and filed multiple reports, then James should have said it was Syne his comments were directed at. Or maybe he should have talked with his moderator first, to gain an understanding of the situation. But I suppose if he did that, he wouldn't have gotten the chance to jump in here and wave his ePeen.

    And what are you even talking about, "as you obviously did nto understand when James was less blunt?" At what point in this thread did he make a less blunt statement?
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    What are you compensating for, I wonder?
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    It's the way the reference is made, like a passing remark "praise the Lord" instead of anything consistent with what Josephus is talking about - which is the intrigue and infighting among Jewish nobility. It's the utter lack of any mention of any fact about Jesus, not even his untimely death, nor any reference to "Jesus of Nazareth" whatsoever, something definitive to establish that this was a real person, that makes it appear to be a fraud. Whoever copied Josephus's work must have been dissatisfied that there was not any reference to Jesus, and decided to slip in this text to compensate.

    Possibly. I think a parallel exists with Socrates. He sure seems real in all of Plato's depictions, which humanize him and make him seem so real. But Socrates also left no personal accounts, and there is some mythical aspect to his life, especially the trial and execution-suicide, which are so highly dramatic as to seem contrived. Also, his lengthy discourses given word for word, would have required Plato to master stenography (of some kind). The same is true of the accounts given for Jesus--they are often too detailed to be true, especially since they are written decades after the fact. Can anyone here write down the sayings of, say, a grandparent, from 30, 40, 50, or 60 years past?

    Another aspect of Jesus often ignored by Bible enthusiasts are the pseudoepigrapha. The depictions of Jesus in those books are more honestly legendary in nature. The Book of Revelations has this view of Jesus, not as a historical person, but as a sort of legend, almost an icon in the sky.

    My personal view is that if such a person ever lived he was probably a freedom fighter (Zealot) crucified for treason. The Essenes were baptizing in the desert and Zealots probably hid out from the Romans in the caves nearby (like where the Dead Sea scrolls were found).

    Of course we'll never know. But one thing is for sure. The entire Bible story is marked with fraud, gloss, exaggeration and contradiction. It's about as far from a Divine writing as one can get. We can all get the same message about ethics from Greek morality plays of the earlier era. Even Socrates' own self-execution is as good a message for martyrdom as it gets. And Plato's literary style is actually honest on top of that.
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    A lot of apologists will throw the Socrates example out there, to what end I couldn't say, but the easiest response to it is that it doesn't matter whether or not Socrates existed. His words are enough. On the other hand, if Jesus never existed, then the whole of the NT is worthless. His moral and ethical teachings were largely predicated on the notions that the world was about to end, and that his was the one true path to heaven. Without his existence--indeed, without his divinity--his teachings are mostly immoral, or, at best, morally neutral. Socrates legend isn't dependent on any of that, and wouldn't lose its value if it were determined that he never really existed.

    I think it's easy to overlook this because he's purported to be a living, breathing god. I mean, the dude walks on water in one story.

    I think that's plausible.

    I think the Greek morality plays had better things to say than the Christian texts. Appeals to empathy and justice do far more for me than injunctions predicated on a threat. And I take issue with various things like mandatory love and the masochistic view that we are inherently unworthy and must strive to achieve something we will ultimately and necessarily fail to reach, and that there is no nobility in the effort. I also dislike the premise of dropping everything and following some guru around while we wait for the end of the world. Talk about immoral, holy crap. "Don't work to feed your child; forget about him and come with me!" This weekend I was watching Ray Lewis, an American football player, being interviewed regarding his impending retirement, and it was basically five minutes of rote proselytizing. I find the concept of giving all credit to God obscenely self-deprecating, as well as pretentious and insulting to those who have tried to reach the same heights and have failed. Okay, you think God made your path, but I tend to think it had more to do with your parent's genetics allowing you to grow to 6'5 with a frame sturdy enough to support 245lbs while running a 4.45 40-yard-dash. Not to mention the intelligence, vision, and lateral quickness required to play the middle linebacker position.

    But yeah, it was all Jesus. It's just a shame Jesus didn't approve of the thousands of other men who tried to be you and failed.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Just wondering: why do you feel the need to defend yourself, if you have nothing to apologise for?

    I was, in effect, invited in here. Reports were filed saying "Hey! A moderator needs to take a look at this." And I even received at least one PM asking me to review the thread. Prior to those actions, I wasn't participating in the thread at all. And right now, I'm not commenting on the content. I actually didn't ask to be involved here. Like I said above, I consider this kind of crying to mummy to be somewhat a waste of my time. I urged the participants to start acting like adults.

    And what happened in the very next post? You, Balerion, accused me of "taunting" you.

    Really. Take a hard look at yourself. This is an internet forum. Supposedly you are an adult. Stop being so precious.

    Now that's an interesting post, isn't it? Projection, much?

    Look. How about we stop this right here. I'll step out of the thread, and you'll go back to discussing the topic. Agreed?

    Or do you feel you need to get in another jibe at me, to have the final word?
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    Because the way you presented it was that I do have something to apologize for.

    Were the reports and PMs coming from the participants, or from others? Because unless they were coming from Syne and me, there was no need to step in and say this:

    And, in particular, please don't imagine that I, in my role as moderator, would be remotely interested in taking sides in such a bout of penis waving.

    If you're going to report posts, please make sure there is a clear breach of the site rules in evidence. "He hurt my feelings" really doesn't cut the mustard. And "He called me a troll" is a bit rich when you're serving out similar insults yourself.

    To summarise, I suggest that you may, in fact, all be adults. If you want to have this kind of conversation, by all means go ahead. But when the going gets tough, please don't call for mummy to rescue you from the nasty man.

    And let me see if I have this right: your response to the calls for order was to come in and take a giant shit on the participants? Not to, I dunno, be the calming voice of authority? Even a curt "Okay, knock it off" would have been better than what you did, which was to stir the pot by attempting to emasculate the thread participants. But I guess there would be no satisfaction (release? therapeutic value?) in acting like the adult you say we should be. I hope you at least see the irony in your approach. The forum administrator, in the process of chastising three forum members for immaturity, acts cattier and less mature than the thread participants.

    Because you were. I'm sorry, but saying that I needed to be "rescued from the nasty man," and that I was complaining that Syne "hurt my feelings" (and I'm presuming these comments were directed both myself and Syne since, well, you began the post with "Syne, Balerion, and to a lesser extent, SkinWalker) is taunting.

    So one now needs to be "precious" in order to take offense to comments which were clearly intended to give offense? If you don't want a negative reaction, stop actively trying to piss people off.

    So you're going with "I'm rubber, you're glue?"

    We had already gotten back to it. It was your decision to step back in and reply.

    That old chestnut? Dig after dig after dig, and then pretend it's some kind of character flaw on my part to respond to it. Isn't there a back room, or moderator treehouse you'd rather spend your time in? At least there you'd have a smaller audience for your Longest Cyberdong contests.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I thought so.
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    First, brilliant post James, including the well-deserved indictment of my part in it.

    Yes, and attempted, multiple times, starting with my very first reply to Balerion:

    No, completely superfluous. Point taken.

    Yes, I do regret rising to the bait.
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Bare assertion followed by an argument from fallacy. So not qualitatively any better than the argument ad populum it attempts to refute.

    The notion of gods has evolved, just like any human notion/comprehension tends to do. No surprise there. Again, a fallacy such as ad populum does not necessarily mean the assertion is false, even if otherwise a naked assertion.

    So even though Jesus taught a synthesis of well-valued moral and ethical thought, what, just because it was framed in the context of religion, or only Christianity, it somehow loses its inherent value? To say that it would be worthless without Jesus, or his divinity, is claiming that the only value it has is as an appeal to authority. Does this apply to those parts echoed in Buddhism and secular values? Value of content is just that, regardless of source, so a double-standard for secular sources is nonsense.
  14. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    You will know, as I informed another poster. You will see Him...and when you see Him, you will know your fate to be among those consigned to eternal ignorance.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sort of an oxymoron there.
  16. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Agreed..."sort of" like living dead.
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    By utilizing archetypes, like all religions and other enduring legends. You have obviously never studied Jung, or Joseph Campbell, who made his work more accessible. Archetypes are instinctive motifs that are hard-wired into our synapses by evolution--images, stories, rituals, fears. Many of them serve an obvious purpose for survival, such as virtually every animal;s instinct to run away from a larger animal with both eyes in front of his face, to not step off the edge of a cliff, etc. These are not things we learn from our parents, we're born with them. A newborn giraffe will jump up and clumsily stumble away from a dog, even though his mother knows the domesticated predator is no threat, but happily sit next to an elephant that could kill him by accident.

    But some archetypes defy analysis and do not have any obvious survival value. Perhaps they were survival tactics in an era whose dangers we cannot imagine, or (just as likely) random mutations in our DNA passed down through genetic drift or a genetic bottleneck. The human or animal rising from the dead, the flood that covers the entire planet, etc., these motifs recur in nearly every society in nearly every era. Each one dresses them up with accretions from their own cultural history, but the underlying instinctive motif is the same, and is inherited from our ancestors at least 60KYA, before the diaspora of Homo sapiens out of Africa into separate populations.

    The reason these legends are so enduring at the personal level is that things we have "known" since birth feel more true than knowledge we acquire later through reasoning and learning. And of course the reason they are so enduring at the cultural level is that everyone is born with them.

    Fortunately counter-mutations do occur. My family has no instinct for religion. Gods, etc., were never mentioned in my house and I didn't even hear about them until I was seven, when I laughed my head off.

    Indeed. Good writers mine archetypes.

    Once again, it is my duty to debunk the common notion that communism was an atheist project. Karl Marx was a Christian (despite a surname identified with Jews in the modern USA) and his founding slogan, "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability) was a reworking of a line from the Book of Acts. Communism is in fact an offshoot of Christianity and Christianity should be given the credit and blame for it. As I have asked before, can you imagine any self-respecting Jew, Hindu or Confucian suggesting seriously that civilization can survive if what a man takes from it need nor correlate with what he gives back? It's a fairytale like all of Christianity, and like all of all religions. An accidental motif locked into our brains that we can't get rid of.

    You seem to understand archetypes.

    This is way off topic but it cries out for correction. The USA has elected something like six presidents who were successful businessmen in private life (Jimmy Carter was the most recent) and every one of them was a disaster. We've learned our lesson: Running a country is not actually very much like running a business, and the same skills do not apply.
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    So you come from long line of genetic defects

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    and get no credit for your more rational POV as I do. I overcame much indoctrination with rational efforts to become an agnostic.

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  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

    What you are saying is any atheist, who had any religious upbringing can never be an atheist because of that training? Or is does an atheist become an atheist when they decide to take this path, no matter where they begin?

    There is a saying in the bible that says, you can tell a tree by the fruit is bears. If we call an apple tree, an orange tree, but it makes apples, what kind of tree is it?
  20. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Bare-assed egotism followed by argument from being a pseudo-intellectual.
  21. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    So you have no substantial argument whatsoever. And when called on it you resort to thinly veiled ad hominems. Good to know.

    Apparently you do not recognize a simple statement of fact.
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Karl Marx was a Lutheran. I don't understand how your question refers to the portion of my post that you quoted. Please explain.

    There is also a saying, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Occasionally we find truth in the Bible, but that is no reason to start trusting it.
  23. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Why did I waste all those years studying the bible? Lol.

    Nice proselytizing. Couldn't be any more blatant.

    The sad thing is, clearly there are people who are ignorant (or needy) enough to be swayed by these childishly simplistic tactics or 'messages' like this would never be produced.

    I'm embarrassed for my species.

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    I also took the time to read the majority of the responses.

    Nothing contained within did anything to mitigate my reaction.

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