The Astral Pulse

World Cultures, Traditions and Religions => Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! => Topic started by: Jimi on January 30, 2006, 09:12:54



Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Jimi on January 30, 2006, 09:12:54
Quote from: Jonathan
You can pretty much interpret the bible to mean anything:)


Um, that's not really true. Yes there are some places of vagueness (the Book of Revelation for one), but in matters of core Christian doctrine, there is absolutely no question as to what it means.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Jonathan on February 01, 2006, 06:54:38
Hello all,

Quote
Jimi wrote:
Um, that's not really true. Yes there are some places of vagueness (the Book of Revelation for one), but in matters of core Christian doctrine, there is absolutely no question as to what it means.


I agree that the book of revelations is obviously an attempt at metaphorical language.  Since you said that in matters of core Christian doctrine there is absolutely no question as to what it means, would you mind explaining what the core Christian doctrine is?  I see different people interpreting the bible in all kinds of different ways.  There is no core Christian doctrine, although they may be some points in which RIGHT NOW most major Christian denominations agree with, but that could change at any time.

The story of genesis has been found to be completely absurd my modern science. However, this was believed to be a literal narrative for many hundreds of years.  If you read the initial chapters of genesis you will se that there is no compelling reason for believing that it is anything but a literal narrative.  Since we now know that the earth was not created in seven days then it is taken to be a metaphor.  “Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”  Clearly, the term day in genesis was meant to be understood in the same way we normally use it, as one diurnal cycle.  Most Christian denominations today believe this to be entirely metaphorical or that the term day means millions of years.

There is also the matter of the age of the earth.  This is an excellent example of the flexibility with which “the word of god” is interpreted today because of the dry language in which the genealogies are written.  The genealogies are chapters in the bible in which the lineage of important figures is tracked down; it is a record starting at Adam and Eve and ending around the year 0 (the supposed birthday of Jesus).  When you add all of these dates you get a world that is less than 10, 000 years old.  These genealogies read like a phone book; “Mat 1:2  Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren”.  If this is metaphorical then everything can be taken as metaphorical.  

I reiterate, Christianity is not copyrighted and you can pretty much interpret the bible to mean anything :)

Sincerely, Jonathan


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Abraham on March 12, 2006, 04:28:47
Christianity was mixed with pagan beliefs of the Roman empire before the 'true christianity(which included the trinity)' was decided on by a court of scholars.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on March 12, 2006, 05:09:57
Judaism and Christianity did indeed arise out of paganism, and as history moved forward--even after the establishment of the Trinity--Christianity continued to absorb pagan festivals, etc., in order to convert people to the rapidly growing religion.  The same thing would hold true for Islam as well.  Since the Quran is totally dependent upon Judaism and Christianity for its foundational material, then the paganism inherent in it, is also present in Islam.

This would also, of course, include all subsequent versions of Judeo-Christian religions, including Mormonisn.  In fact, all of western and near/middle eastern religious tradition is fundamentally based upon paganism.

In total agreement with what someone else wrote:  Christianity today is NOT reflective of Christianity when it was first conceived...Mormonism and other sects of Christianity are much later developments and most people think that the 'paganism' has been stripped out of it, but, most of it has just been renamed into something else, e.g., the "Goddess" became Mary the Mother of Jesus in Catholicism, the Dionysian ritual meal of bread and wine became the eucharist/Lord's supper, the birth of the Sun God Mithra, became Jesus' birthday, etc.  

Most importantly, at the core of things, monotheism is pretty much the same as polytheism, except the stories written about the 'gods' are told as though 'all the gods' were 'one'.  It is a semantic distinction without a real difference.

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Jimi on March 26, 2006, 08:36:26
Wow, a lot of nonsense here. I'm pretty open minded when it comes to belief systems and such, but damn...
Christianity and Judaism came out of paganism??? I can't stop laughing. Wow, where did you find that info? Message boards don't count.
I studied Hebrew culture/religion (pre- and post-Old Testament era) and early Christianity in college and in grad school (majored in Semetic languages and Theology) and I found no such things in my studies (which was extremely comprehensive). The beliefs of Judaism were rooted in a monotheism towards YHWH (the unspeakable name of God) and pre-date anything else we have on record. Even the Ebla tablets prove this (tablets found in the ancient Near East which confirm much of the OT/early Judaic beliefs and accounts as unique to the region and beyond...Babylonian, Assyrian, Ugaritic, and Phonecian systems were themselves variants, not precursors).
As far as "core Christian beliefs" here they are:
-There is one God and one God only who created the heavens and the earth
-Jesus is the Son of God (God in the flesh..."son" denotes "in the order of..." not kinship)
-Jesus died and paid the penalty for the sins of humanity (past, present, future) and resurrected 3 days later
That's it, my friends. It is what makes Christianity "Christianity". The Bible is NOT vague concerning these things whatsoever.
Now, something else to ponder: The Old Testament contained exactly 300 prophecies about the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled them ALL. George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is a 1 followed by 157 zeros. Compare it to this; your odds on winning the state lottery are 14 followed by 6 zeros. Another mathematician, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, claims the odds of being fulfilled only 60 of them by the only person who claimed to be the Son of God, and who died on a "tree" on Calvary, and who rose the 3rd day are astronomical!... not just one in one trillion, but one out of ten to the 895th power. That is a one over a one followed by 895 zeros.  
Many of you might be experts at astral phenomina and such, but when it comes to anything outside of it pertaining to religion, your understanding fails you. Severely. It's OK to say you aren't sure about something. No one will blame you.
"Professing to be wise they showed themselves to be fools..."


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on March 26, 2006, 16:28:26
Jimi,

You are obviously a believing Christian, so of course you are going to believe what you are taught, and even with your comprehensive education in Semitic languages and Hebrew culture, you learned about your religion through the "books" claimed by your religion.  You only know what you know, and have yet to learn all that you need to know. No one here blames you for that.

You are correct that there is a base Christian doctrine and that this is:
1)Belief in One God and Only One God;
2)That Jesus was the Only Begotten Son of God, who was present in God from the very beginning;
3)That he came into the flesh, suffered and then died for humanity's sins, past, present and future.

Yep, that's Christian doctine in a nutshell...but it should be added that to all who believe that these things are true, they are promised that they will never taste death, but rather, will receive eternal life in Christ.

Now, as to everything else you wrote, well...that is just justifying Christian doctrine, which can be done in a lot of ways (as it has been done for over 1,800 centuries) BUT...this cannot be done without a complete dependence upon the bible to do so.  This is called a circular argument: that if the bible says its so, you can go to the bible and show me where it says that it is so.  BUT, you cannot step outside of that circle (outside of the bible) and show me where it is even claimed, let alone true, from within any other source.

Regarding your 300 prophecies:  You, I, or anyone else, could take the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and pick out all of the messianic prophecies and then write a story where 'someone' fulfilled them all.  Not a big task really, if you have studied the prophecies throughly, and you have the time and you are a good enough writer.

As to the 'odds' that you quote: "George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is a 1 followed by 157 zeros."

This only proves the 'impossibility' of such a thing occurring--NOT the probablility.

Then you wrote: "I studied Hebrew culture/religion (pre- and post-Old Testament era) and early Christianity in college and in grad school (majored in Semetic languages and Theology) and I found no such things in my studies (which was extremely comprehensive)."

Congrats on all of your degrees, I know from personal experience what an achievement that is, and how hard you worked to earn them.  

But, concentrated as they were from the perspective of 'Hebrew Culture' alone, your studies were not conprehensive enough.  And depending upon where you received your education, your studies of early Christianity lacked the very backdrop within which Christianity was formed:  Who do you think the 'Gentiles' were if not primarily the Greeks and Romans?  

Judaism and Christianity arose in response to the paganism of the ancient world; the polytheistic paganism of Greek Culture, and the polytheistic Paganism of the Roman world.  During the first century, Greek culture was pervasive in all of the Mediterranean/Near Eastern World, most of which was in the process of being governed by Roman Law.  It was the Romans that made Christianity their official religion, through which they were able to control that part of the world.  As the church grew through the centuries, it absorbed all the pagan festivals and rituals that the common people had celebrated long before the advent of Christianity.  

You also wrote: "The beliefs of Judaism were rooted in a monotheism towards YHWH (the unspeakable name of God) and pre-date anything else we have on record."

Here you are wrong my friend.  You cannot provide evidence for your claim that YHWH worship pre-dates anything else we have on record.  You cannot even show me a Semitic Bible that predates the advent of Christianity.  

With the exception of a select group of books found with the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery, the first ''Bible of Record" is the Greek Septuagint (3rd-2nd centuries b.c.e.), and it was the only bible used by known Jewish scholars in and around the first century, c.e., and further, it was the Greek version of the bible that the New Testament writers used, as well as the version that most all of the earliest Church Fathers used.

In fact, there is absolutely no credible evidence that the 'Hebrew Bible' predated the Greek LXX, and the Letter of Aristes does not count.  The only thing that the Letter of Aristes provides evidence for is that Jewish propaganda was necessary to make the claim that the Hebrew Scripture pre-dated the Greek Septuagint.  The bottom line is, we can produce plenty of evidence that the Greek Bible existed during that time, but not the Hebrew Bible.

As best as we can tell, there were a scattering of Semitic books during that period, but until Jerome penned the Latin Vulgate, the Greek LXX was the primary source.  Even the Masorites, Jimi, used the Greek LXX, the Latin Vulgate and other various translations to create what we now know as the Hebrew Bible, and which--I might add--they did not create until 700 years after the advent of Christianity. If you have truly performed a comprehensive study of the Hebrew religion/Judaism/Christianity, you would already know these things.

Yet you profess that the religion of YHWY "pre-date anything else we have on record"?????

That is just not the case Jimi, because in addition to what I just explained, within your very own tradition it was not until the second exile that the scriptures were claimed to even be put to paper (circa 500-300 b.c.e.), and there was a great deal of 'written/known history' previous to 500 bce.  But you cannot even produce the writings of Ezra, and unless you can produce such writings, the most rational premise is to assume that they never existed.  

Since you say you are a student of religion Jimi, get out your library card and go to your university library and check out books that concern other aspects of the ancient world.  You will eventually find it interesting that while the Bible mentions the Greeks, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Sumerians, etc., that neither the Greeks, nor the Persians, nor the Babylonians, nor the Sumerians, EVER mention the Hebrews.  Considering the claimed size of ancient Israel, and the sheer scope of its claimed power, you would think that SOMEBODY in the ancient would have mentioned them.

They do not, because they never existed.  The Bible is a Storybook--not History.

I've got to go now, but do more homework Jimi, a lot more homework, and you will: first, no doubt be confused, then no doubt troubled, but then you will, no doubt, become amazed.   And...you will no longer be one of the group of which it is said, "Professing to be wise they showed themselves to be fools..."

~Beth

p.s. Be careful of 'Appealing to your own authority' via all of the degrees you have earned.  People here on the Pulse are smarter than that...in fact, there are some posters here that are very well educated---with degrees of their own---and I might add...many of those without degrees, are quite intelligent and very well read.   A 'degree' does not equal 'smarter' or 'more knowledgeable'.  In fact, you can actually learn a lot from some of us; things that can be verified through credible mainstream scholarship, without any dependence upon 'message boards'.  We give of our time and effort freely, so people who have not had the privileges that we have enjoyed, can also share in our combined knowledge base.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: ubiquitous on March 26, 2006, 18:35:12
waiting for jimi's reply to beth but i have a
Question
   Could jesus write?????

It' only his words and inscription that can validate how special he was, and the miracles he performed.

Technology will find out conjurers these days, its very annoying they did'nt have camera's to give us raw footage of jesus's life, if there was there would be no messiah/christiannity.
I actually feel for this chap called jesus, the people who wrote the bible probably burnt  his homework.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on March 26, 2006, 19:03:33
Quote from: ubiquitous
...but i have a
Question
   Could jesus write?????


No, because Jesus, as he is portrayed in the NT, never existed. "He" was "an idea" a "concept" that is called "salvation."  Which is what the proper name actually means, in both Semitic and Greek: in Semitic, the proper name "Yeshua" is based upon the verb yeshu, which means "to save" and is the meaning of other Semitic names such as 'Joshua' 'Isaiah' and 'Hosea'.  Likewise, the name "Jesus" in Greek is, "Iesous" which is a proper name based upon the noun sos which means 'safe' which is derived from the verb sozein, which means 'to save'.  

All of the names of the biblical characters were created, not from the names of real people, but rather from the nouns and verbs found within the known Semitic and Greek vocabularies of the day.  The writers of the bible were creating fictional stories that told of things pertaining to the human condition and experience, including, how a relationship with a deity could be, if it had been the case, and the names of the characters were then chosen based upon what role they played in those stories.

Creating and using proper names in this way was a myth-making literary tool that was used by other writers of the ancient world as well, e.g., Hesiod, Homer, Plato, as well as the storytellers from Sumeria, Babylon, Persia, and Egypt.  

The biblical writers were writing their stories with the aid of this relatively well known story-telling device, as would be expected of storytellers during that period.  

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: ubiquitous on March 26, 2006, 19:23:40
Well maybe religion helped with our imagination gave shakespere some material to live up to!
Nativity plays were good fun at school.
Beth-destroyer of blind belief, your a book of knowledge look forward to picking at more of your brain... like a vulture!


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on March 28, 2006, 03:32:50
Well....ah....Ubi, I am not sure how I feel about being a 'destroyer' of anything.  I would prefer to think of myself as participating in a 'new age of enlightenment', in a 'building up of knowledge'.  But...I guess I cannot control what people think of me, so I guess that may include for some people my being a 'destroyer'. :confused:

As far as my being a 'book of knowledge', well, I don't know about that!  Somedays I feel like I don't really know that much at all!

And as far as 'picking my brain', well, I give of my time freely here at the Pulse, so if I can help you better understand something, I will gladly try.  You need to know, however, that 'by picking my brain' that I will not do your homework for you. I will share what I can, and I can give you things to think about, but know this: if the homework is not actually done by you, then you will never be able to apprehend the efficacy of your own knowledge.

Just let me know how I can help.

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Donal on March 28, 2006, 13:25:32
You are clever Beth! If only the people who follow christianity thought like you.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: greatoutdoors on March 28, 2006, 19:28:31
Beth, I have a question.

In your post you keep talking about the Hebrew Bible. What are you referring to? The "Hebrew Bible" is the Torah, I thought. And that document (book, whatever) predates the Bible by a few thousand years as I understand it. Christianity's Bible took much of the Jewish material, which is only natural. Whether Judaism incorporated any Pagan rituals into their belief system I can't say. Does anyone have any examples of this?

As to Christianity, it is unarguable that many of the holidays and such are rooted in the Pagan belief system. That was done in an effort to stamp out those earlier religions.

Did you know that the Romans, Greeks, etc. did exactly the same thing, with total success, to the Druid religion? What rituals the Druids practiced were overwritten by Pagan (Roman) rituals. Their efforts were so successful that no one today has any genuine idea of what the Druids were all about. We have only what has been created by the New Age folks and what small snippets leak through from early Roman historians.

If I recall correctly, Judaism is among the first religions, though not absolutely the earliest. I think the teachings of Zoroaster hold that title. By the way, Zoroaster taught the existence of just one God, and the other precepts of that faith are remarkably similar to Christianity's core belief.

I am not picking on you. This is just a subject I love to discuss. I don't think anyone will ever get it exactly right, but we can only profit by exploring the views of others.

By the way, an interesting quote from the Genesis creation story: And "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Note the use of the plural, which is consistent through most of the Bible translations I have seen. So that means the Trinity existed before time. Or that means that there is more than one God. Or we don't have a clue what it really means!  :wink:

As to Mormonism, I can't say I care for their efforts to deify the human physical body. We are, or should be, so much more than that!


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on March 28, 2006, 23:26:47
First....

Donal,

I would like to say that, truly, it is not my hand that has been clever with the bible, but rather, the writers themselves!  As my research shows, the bible is a complex web of seriously clever wordplays, puns and other language games!  These ancient writers were actually quite talented when it came to maximizing language(s) to the fullest extent.  From a literary standpoint is truly amazing!  

From a religious standpoint, however, it will not seem so clever!  But, one day, Christianity, Judaism and even Islam will have to acknowledge the way in which the bible was written and deal with all the implications...which, I should add, are ultimately unavoidable.

Second...

greatoutdoors,

You really said a lot there!   :wink:   Some of your questions and comments have already been addressed in the "Contradictions In Religions" thread (which I locked down due to its size), so be sure to look there as well. I will, however, attempt to address some of your issues in this new, and continued thread as well!

Thanks for contributing some excellent points!

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 01, 2006, 03:04:34
The truth does not come to earth in just one person or language. The truth comes to each person when they are ready.

If one text seems to contradict another so it is in your daily life. Things do seem to contradict each other.

It is not the letter of what is written but the spirit of what is written that is important.

Keep an open mind and to not attempt to limit the ALL THAT IS by time and space or culture and language. For if you do that you limit yourself in your own understanding.

So....


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Leyla on April 05, 2006, 08:07:25
Christianity is not a true monothiesm. It doesn't have one god, but three, also Satan, and a whole host of angels and demons. It is lead by one head god, much like Zeus was the head god of Greece.

Jimi - LMAO! Crack a book.

Nearly every single myth in the old testimant is a direct copy from Babylonian/Mesopotamian originals. Adam and Eve, the Flood, everything. Read it and weep.

"Gasp! But how could this be???"

Like, duh, Father Abraham came out of "Ur of the Chaldeans." Thats Mesopotamia. The very seat of paganism.

Also, Moses, as you will recall, was raised as an Egyptian prince. He knew everything to do with Egyptian religion.  Who were the head gods of the Egyptian panthion? Isis. Ra. El.

Say it out loud:  Isis. Ra. El. Isis-Ra-El...... IS-RA-EL.
 
The only true monotheism was when Amen was briefly worshiped as the "sole god" in Ancient Egypt....that's right. AMEN. This God should be familiar to you, as you end every prayer in his name.

Bet they never pointed that out in your Christian college.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 08, 2006, 03:10:06
1,800 centuries?   Ummm...  that would be 180,000 years.  

Oh well, but lets not exagerate.  OK?   :shock:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 08, 2006, 19:50:39
gdo,

Did I say 1,800 centuries somewhere? Which is certainly a typo possibility!  :lol:

And if I did this in the context of the development of Christianity, then of course, I meant 1,800 years, not centuries.

But words count, and if I did do this, then thanks for correcting my obvious error.

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 09, 2006, 02:36:06
Leyla, conceptually there is only one creator with 7 faces.  An individuated power is not god but A power of god.  Christianity is a monotheistic religion.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 09, 2006, 05:05:13
gdo and leyla,

Let's look at what is being said here and clear up a few things, for there are three distinct things being discussed in a big wad:  Monotheism, Divine Powers and Gender-Godheads.

Monotheism means: GOD is ONE; mono-theos.  

In order for God to be a real God, a perfect and complete deity, an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent deity, then God cannot ever be anything other than these things; God cannot change in any way; God must remain ONE in all ways.  This logical fact has caused serious problems for systematic theologies in all religions.

Technically speaking, Christianity is not a true monothesitic religion.

Even Judaism is not technically monotheistic given all the different names of God, e.g., El, Elah, Elohim, and Yahweh, with each name carrying a different meaning.

El is singular and masculine.  Elah is singular and feminine.  Elohim is either dual or plural. Yahweh is actually a verb, which makes deity able to create change, BUT, actually prevents that deity from being a true monotheistic--unchangeable godhead.

Either "El" or "Elah" would be a true monotheistic deity, but without being able to 'act within this world' would be of no consequence to this world. So, Yahweh had to be created so it could be present and create change within this world.

Recognizing the monotheistic problem in Judaism, Christianity could have been a true monotheistic religion by reconciling this problem of an unchanged deity that could still create change in the world, through the Greek understanding of the multivalent Logos, as found in the Gospel of John ... BUT...the subsequent theology of Roman Catholic Christianity was never able to have it's cake and eat it too.  

Instead of going with the Greek Logos idea, which allowed "everyone and everything" "to share in the essence of God," the early Catholic Church tried to make it work where Jesus was the 'only such person to be both human and divine' and therefore ended up creating the conundrum of needing a two-in-one deity. Their solution to this dualized-deity problem was to come up with the idea of 'two' in 'one substance'--the Greek word used for this 'substance' was 'homoousious', which means 'same substance'.

Moreover, it all just got crazier when considering the post-resurrection sending of the Holy Spirit, it too being a part of the godhead but separate from humanity, so they actually ended up creating the larger conundrum of needing three-in-one; making all three aspects be a part of that same 'one substance'. This they did by saying that there were three hypostases (three natures) of homoousious (one substance), i.e., the Trinity of the Godhead. This doesn't logically work in maintaining a true monotheistic concept, so the early Church thinkers finally just decided to call it a Trinity and leave the problem alone.  Believe or not, the conundrum remains unsolved even today.

Now...

While Judaism and Christianity never succeeded in being true monotheistic religions, they were very successful in being patriarchal religions.

Patriarchal Religion is just one of MANY FACES that "God has worn" through the eons.  

As a successful patriarchal religion FIRST, the above conundrum has been left alluding to different powers that have all been attributed to God, i.e., Father, Son and Holy spirit, in order for their concept of God to work.  In other words, a patriarchal religion that claims three aspects of a singular deity.

Goddess worship, which is a matriarchal religion, is another mask--and is not really a true polytheistic religion any more than Christianity is a true monotheistic religion.

Just like Christianity, it too has its powers that work through the foundation of that religion as well, e.g., different faces of the Goddess--Maiden, Mother and Crone, plus the different personalities of all the different goddesses, e.g., Isis, Astarte, Hecate, and all the others. But Goddess worship maintains that there is only ONE GODDESS.

So, whatever Christianity is with its multiple aspects of the godhead, then Goddess worship can be said to be the same thing--in the same way--only through opposing genders.  The former has a Male Godhead and the latter has a Female Godhead and each of these are the total ruler for the religion in their gendername.

The Greek pantheon, however, split between all their gods--both male and female--is truly polytheistic and is yet another mask of God.

Even Buddhism is mask of the Godhead in a genderless way.

Finally, all the powers found within all the different masks, may well be real when the masks are removed, but...the MASKS are NOT REAL.  

The many masks of God are all created by humans--for humans.  Simply put: whatever works for each one of us, well...works for each one of us. But the logical facts remain that:

A TRUE DEITY IS GENDERLESS.
 
A TRUE DEITY CANNOT EVER CHANGE, UNLESS THAT DEITY IS -- CHANGE ITSELF.
 
THIS WOULD SOLVE EVERYTHING.
 
~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 10, 2006, 12:27:46
Cultures are many and change.  People are many and their languages are too and they change to reflect new ideas and inventions.  That happens on many levels.  

The references to the powers of god are not god but human ideas of what those powers are.  The WORDS we use do not define god, which is why in some forms of Judaism there is the 'holy unspeakable name of god'.  ONE person using one word in one time of human history cannot possibly define god.  

In ancient times the concept of god was largely a tribal definition that held meaning for THAT tribe, at that time.  That in no means that Judaism is not monotheistic.  Monotheism goes beyond the restraints of one cultural concept or definition.  

'...within whom we live and move and have our being....'


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 10, 2006, 13:08:09
gdo wrote:
Quote
'...within whom we live and move and have our being....'


In order to justify monotheism for Judaism and Christianity, you have just quoted the ancient Greek philosopher Epimenides (600bce), who was subsequently quoted by Paul in the book of Acts.

Quote
Epimenides' poem Cretica is quoted twice in the New Testament. In the poem, Minos addresses Zeus thus:

They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one—
The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!
But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever,
For in thee we live and move and have our being.

The "lie" of the Cretians is that Zeus was mortal; Epimenides considered Zeus immortal.


Paul quotes it in Acts 17:28:

Quote
26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28`For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.'


Epimenides is referring to Zeus, and Paul is referring to Christ.

This same idea is also found in the theology of the LOGOS, which I referenced above.  

Moreover, as a theological idea, this is more to 'pantheism' than 'monotheism'.  

~Beth

SEE:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimenides

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


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 11, 2006, 03:17:16
It is interesting that you use my last quote.  Does not matter.

'Argue for your limitations and you will keep them'


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 11, 2006, 05:11:07
Quote from: gdo
It is interesting that you use my last quote.  Does not matter.

'Argue for your limitations and you will keep them'


Why wouldn't I consider your quote? And yes, in the context that you placed it, it matters a lot.

Would you rather I had chosen something from your previous post, like:
Quote
The references to the powers of god are not god but human ideas of what those powers are. The WORDS we use do not define god...

which basically refutes any attempt to put any 'words' to use in "defining God", including your insistent description: "mono-"...

But I won't pick your newest quote apart, but would only say that I think that it applies to how we put limitations on God as well...we get stuck with 'em...

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 13, 2006, 03:21:48
Mono theism does not define god but describes a form of a religion.

Religion is definable.  Its forms come from  the properties of the cultures from whence they originated.  Most religions are tribal in origin, hence those religions use terms that are meaningful to that particular tribe and its context in place an time.  

Cultures and languages change to meet the way people in those cultures change and adapt.  

For some people  to have an idea of god, they have to isolate the powers and functions of god, just as they to other  things in their life to make them somewhat understandable and meaningful and practical.

There are many divisions or forms amongst those who follow Judaism and Christianity.  But they still do follow the concept of those forms to be monotheistic, even though the practices that they adhere to are different.

If we change the term god to some thing like, ALL THAT EVER WAS AND EVER COULD BE IN ALL SPACE AND TIME, you would still have the concept that the new name meant ONE.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 13, 2006, 04:21:34
gdo...I can't argue with anything that you just said!!!  :grin:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 15, 2006, 03:11:34
Thank You Beth!  

Most of the time we look at things from a personal and convenient perspective that is also comfortable for ourselves.  We all do it.  It is rare and difficult some times to step outside of ourselves (whoever and where ever) and try a different kind of sight.  

What some people do not think of is that if there is truly a god that created the universe, then there is not such a thing as supernatural only the supra natural.  There is,that which we have not discovered or created a science or a language for.  Most language can only represent common experiences and events and ideas.  The more uncommon and event or idea or experience the fewer the words to represent it.  This is why that some people have a hard time describing their personal experiences regarding the religious and spiritual nature.  

When you know that 'god' is one, it may be hard to put it into common enough language for others to easily grasp.  Each persons experience will be different enough, but it will also be the same.  (not there is a contradiction for you)  LOL.. :shock:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 15, 2006, 03:34:28
Quote from: gdo
When you know that 'god' is one, it may be hard to put it into common enough language for others to easily grasp.  Each persons experience will be different enough, but it will also be the same.  (now there is a contradiction for you)  LOL.. :shock:


Well...there you go again gdo!!!  As soon as I think you are talking straight, you curve things up again!  :doh:   :wink:

Outside of my scholarly expositions, I have personally pondered the "God is One" thing for quite a long time, and I have come to the conclusion that even this, as a description, puts limits on God.

In doing so, humans just create more room for disagreement:

One What?
One Who?
Which gender?
One Religion.
One Holy Book.
One Way.
This One not that One.
One -- or Nothing.

I don't know the answer to the mysterious identity of God gdo, but something tells me that we are all wrong...

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: ubiquitous on April 15, 2006, 14:12:55
To try to establish that there is a entity who is responsible for our existence and all that surrounds us is so far just a comfort notion, its o.k god will get 'em...not it won't! and why do i sometimes feel like saying no HE won't?
The macro world looks great but the subatomic world holds the answers of defining and locating the age old questions of consciousness, and we may well find that IT occupies all that IS and IS therefore as ONE.

YOU ARE GOD


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 15, 2006, 15:19:14
ubi,

Until recent centuries, humans have wanted, and perhaps even needed, to place gender identification to powers that exceed our own.

And, it has then been a natural move to choose such a gender that each individual person can identify most with as being able to have such power.

It is not that women automatically choose a female gender and men a male gender, but rather, it obviously can apply both ways. But "men" and "women" are the only labels that we can consistently conceive of as having such power. That is why it is said that 'Humans create the gods in their own image'. Because, to date, that is exactly what we have done.

While investigations into the sub-atomic realm of consciousness is definately the best, and most current idea that is being studied and considered these days, I suspect that our delving into such will only prove to be one of the powers at hand in the universe, and not necessarily the greatest power of all. The universe is a very large place, no?

I think we are a long way from discovering the actual greatest power in the universe.  Mainly because we are, as a species, so far down the intelligence and awareness scale, we will naturally want to identify all new discoveries that we make in such a context as GOD.

In other words, there may be sub-sub-atomic levels of consciousness, or even sub-sub-sub levels, that we have yet to discover. We, as humans, must walk before we can run. Extending this metaphor, right now some of us are just now learning how to crawl.

With the sheer number of people on this planet (still lying in the cradle) totally stuck in gender identification deities, with many totally dependent upon ancient beliefs, it will be many years before this planet is transformed enough to be able to fully grasp and implement the next level, let alone any other levels that may supercede all the wonderful things that we are discovering about the sub-atomic realm of consciousness.

I think our discoveries into consciousness is telling us much more about ourselves, and our true identity, but not necessarily about what could be labeled as GOD. But once again, it is probably a natural human tendency for us to think such a thing.

Just my thoughts on this...

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: ubiquitous on April 15, 2006, 19:22:08
Yes one of the powers maybe, but its this "power" that has written all that is on this planet and tells of and then asks the question of an almighty creator.

We write with it and think with it and see it's power sprouting in all knowledge and science..this technology before you for example.. but we cannot locate it and it's not only located in humans it's located everywhere, just cause you can't hear a particle does'nt mean it does'nt think especially considering no one can locate your internal thoughts all though can see remnants in your external post's.

I suppose this type of post may belong in another domain (maybe you could advise) but am curious to read how people extrapolate there feelings into words and always find the word god as limiting, personally.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Ryuji on April 15, 2006, 20:31:39
ubiquitous
Quote
To try to establish that there is a entity who is responsible for our existence and all that surrounds us is so far just a comfort notion

brings me to one Q I've been having a while (off topic warning :P)

if we were created and for what reason to worship - does deities/gods need that. For me i believe they can have respect and acknowledgment if you deem it so, part of you current way of life you have respect to some form of deity/god.

where how and why did the whole reincarnate thing start - God made souls and they go about experience life for God because God cant experience it for Himself - thus we go through few lives and then become one again with the super conscious/god etc etc.

I take a shot in dark that once we all were very able to do everything regarded now as magic, psychic and so on naturally but then became veiled and have to 'wake up' to see the big picture again not be enslaved into a way of life according to a book or peoples opinions

End of the world == end of era of the veil (as described in the christian bible)

Religion is just one of many interpretations of God according to someones understanding and should be treated as such, Luckily people around the world are starting to see through the muddy waters...

Blessings,
Ruy


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: El-Bortukali on April 15, 2006, 20:46:33
Why can't he experience it for himself?
So,I'm the one who has all the hard work while god sits on his arse gaining experience trough me?

Slaverism i tell you!ol


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: ubiquitous on April 16, 2006, 01:31:29
yeah, the ancient old slave drivers probably slouched in it's R&D lab tweaking around with DNA data making a new refined model to perv over!.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Mustardseed on April 16, 2006, 22:51:13
Contradictions in religions..............hmmmm lets see. Do I have anything to say about that.Yea I guess I do. I find it quite amusing that a religion is seen as "faulty" and subsequently dismissed as false because it contains contradictions. I find many contradictions in life but not all of them means that life is false.

People are enigmas as well yet not false but often ignorant of the wider implications of different issues. Like a famous ogre said "ogres are like onions" maybe its all about layers. Maybe instead of trying to dismiss religion and religious people with sarcasm and put downs or equally patronizing, intellectual correct and well formulated arguments, (see we all do it )  :lol: we should try to just reason together. Just talk together and see what happens.

Arguments and force full dismissals of fellow travelers views seem to be futile. Now THAT is a contradiction. People who want to enlighten others think they can do it by "darkening" their path with unkind cuts and remarks. All an argument proves is that there are 2 people present. Often it would be help full to define that the debate is about as well. Does a contradiction in a religious book prove anything about the nature of God. It seems equally absurd to prove or disprove God from the pages of a book.

Maybe that is not what irks people.....maybe some just gets upset that people are ignorant and stupid or CHRISTIAN ( admit it it really P***** you of dosn't.t it). Well live with it, and deal with it. Africans that beat drums to dispel the power of spirits are held in scorn by Americans who blow their horns to break up traffic jams. Ha or Christians that are warned of the falseness of their religion by republicans (or Democrats) who have full faith in the just cause of some crazy war somewhere, or maybe by smart intellectuals who have a hard time sleeping at night for fear of death!!!!!

Contradictions come in many forms and runs deep in humanity, so does self righteousness a judgemental attitude.

Come on all together now......all you need is LOVE da da da da da all you need is LOVE.......

Love to you all Mustardseed


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 17, 2006, 03:13:12
Quote
Africans that beat drums to dispel the power of spirits are held in scorn by Americans who blow their horns to break up traffic jams.


 :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:

I swear Mustardseed, that was SO FUNNY it brought tears of laughter to my eyes!!  

Thanks love!:flowers: I really needed a good heart-chuckle tonight!!  

This whole Religion Biz can be so serious sometimes...

Yours truly,
~Beth :grin:

p.s. Sadly enough though, the comment you made above is only too true...and people are too blind to see that there is no difference...
:cry:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Ryuji on April 17, 2006, 20:07:49
sigh... no input for my Q's then hehe :)

i have to agree with Must.
Quote
It seems equally absurd to prove or disprove God from the pages of a book


but it is sad if a person soly depends on a book or another's opinion to live his or her life, maybe that person not ready yet and can only life this life this way but its you are allowed to take the good values from religious books and live by them becoming a better you and not some religious figure copy, I'm sure we not here to be robots making robots or be a copy of something or someone !

it is certainly better to go into a religion by choice than to be force into it.
be there contradictions or not - hec that's some old stuff ill be surprised if there is not errors in them, but one should not get lost in this whole contradictions things. It is however still a interesting part of religious study for me.

Quote
Africans that beat drums
Hey that's fun, great to beat your troubled mind away on a jembe drum with some 'african beat' :P

Quote
Just talk together and see what happens
unfortunately not always possible especially the-only-god-religions you'll definitely get smitten for just being different especially if your way of live resembles there 'evil' in there religion.

sigh. a true freedom of religion would be nice tho :)

Blessings,
Ryu


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: kai wren on April 17, 2006, 22:22:27
Contradictions in religion, an interesting subject to be sure. But... do I have anything useful to add, hmm... I suppose I do.



    "Nothing is true; everything is permitted."

    - Hassan I Sabbah


I'll explain more on request.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: zyzyx on April 17, 2006, 23:01:11
Or, just to add a dash of confusion: "Everything is true.  Even false things." - Mal-2   :cool:

-Z


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 20, 2006, 02:38:10
Hello Beth.

One with out definition.  Not one who or one gender or one any one thing but ONE as in more that anyone human can imagine.  You might also use the term NOTHING as in NO-THING or not any definable something, at least the way most people think.  

Some one once discussed the idea that god was outside the universe and just observing what happened.   I asked 'how can this be?'  How can a creator be outside of its creation.  

How many people have lived on this earth?  God encompasses all of them and all who will live on this earth and more.  

From reading your posts, I can see that you are an educated and a thoughtful person.   Congratulations.  

God is not a 'something' that any one person can put a name on.  The concept of the 'holy unspeakable name of God' has a purpose.  To name something is to assume knowledge of it.  How can one person know ALL THAT IS OR EVER WILL BE and presume to make that a personage and give it a gender?  People try to humanize god to make the idea approachable.  

When you were a baby you ate baby food.  When you were older you ate other food and started to read and write.  But you no longer eat baby food and talk like a toddler.  You learned and built on that.  We also have to learn not to rely on the 'primer' lessons on god that come from religions that started when much of humanity was illiterate.

Milk for babies, meat for strong adults.  And so it goes with all things including our ideas about god.

Not to imply that you have a toddlers concept about god but a general statement about religions and how we look at things.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 20, 2006, 04:44:58
Quote from: gdo
One with out definition...

Do you not see how "One with out definition" IS a definition?

Quote
You might also use the term NOTHING...

Do you see where this clearly means "non-existence," and therefore doesn't work at all, except for atheists?

Quote
as in NO-THING or not any definable something, at least the way most people think...

And even with your qualification, "no thing" tells us "nothing." It is a grasp to put into language "something" that is actually beyond our full comprehension.

Quote
Some one once discussed the idea that god was outside the universe and just observing what happened. I asked 'how can this be?' How can a creator be outside of its creation.

You were right to question this idea, but not for the reason that you did.

It would be quite easy -- and expected even -- for a creator to be "outside of its creation."  In fact, the idea that God is "inside of its creation" doesn't work at all, because as the creator and maintainer of everything, being inside of anything means that God has "outside boundaries" and therefore has "limitations."  

God cannot be "omni/all" and have limitations.

The reason that this idea must be questioned, is that for "anything to be outside of the universe" -- which is by definition "everything that exists" -- is quite impossible; especially its creator (for the reasons just explained, and to argue otherwise is to become dizzy from running around in linguistic circles.)

The idea that "the name of God is so Holy that it is ineffable" is not because God is Holy, but because "to name God" is impossible. This is what makes God "Holy."  This cryptic way of referring to God is not a mystical thing at all really, it just simply means that there are no words to adequately accomplish the task.

Now, all of these things are not errors in our thinking so much as illustrations of the limits of our language. To ponder God is an excellent thing to do, but for God to be what we all instinctively believe God to be, no limits can be placed upon the concept. Language by nature defines. Definitions are limitations, e.g., not that, but this.

Humans have pondered God for millennia, and "Omni/All" may be the best that we can ever do, and even then, to fully expound upon such a theology we inevitably run into serious problems somewhere along the way.  

As long as we are dependent upon language to conceive of "God," we are just shadowboxing within the limits of our language -- which will, unfortunately, always be the case when it comes to "God."

As Wiggenstein said, "What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence." This is not a mystical motto concerning God; this is a self-explanatory statement regarding language itself.

While we cannot ever adequately "talk about God," the important thing is to never stop "pondering God"!!! And the most successful at this will do so in silence. :grin:

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: kai wren on April 20, 2006, 07:29:44
Quote
Or, just to add a dash of confusion: "Everything is true. Even false things." - Mal-2


That was one of the quotes that confused me more, but confusion when discussing God can only bring us closer to her, right?  :wink:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: zyzyx on April 20, 2006, 16:46:38
Quite true.  Before knowledge there is always confusion, I suppose.

-Z


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Mustardseed on April 21, 2006, 02:04:41
Hi Beth
thanks for the emoticons . Very interesting post I will have to read it again as it is quite the argument. I loved the last quote and agree

Regards Mustardseed


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 24, 2006, 03:06:46
Hello again Beth.

The ALL THAT IS, AND HAS EVER BEEN, AND WILL EVER BE, exists within itself, not outside itself.  

That is not limiting it at all.  It is UN-limiting it/god/'the all'.  

Anything that is created is created within.  The rest is production and re-production.  

I used the words 'nothing' and 'no-thing' not to mean the absence of anything but to mean, nothing as being one definable thing.

The one god is undefinable  and unlimited and is self manifest and also ever changing and infinite.  There is no concept of anything outside of it.

Anyone can take a part of the whole and make a language to describe how it seems to work.  Some of this is belief  and some is science and some is art.  The whole is still the whole and undefinable and essentially UN-nameable.  The effect of this kind of a thought can leave somewhat of an insecure feeling in some people and they are more comfortable in naming something and be done with it as it does not require constant effort after the 'naming' is done.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 25, 2006, 01:52:25
I cannot be sure gdo, but we may be talking past each other. Sometimes I think we are on the same page, and sometimes definately not.

Maybe some other forum members can chime in and see if they can see better what is going on within our discussion.

Anyone willing to take a stab at it?

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: kai wren on April 25, 2006, 07:41:08
I'll give it a shot, but I could be totally wrong.

I think the problem is that your perceptions of what would limit god are.

Gdo clearly believes that it is not limiting at all for God to be part of his creation, accepting that he is part of everything inside it, because clearly if God created everything, he would have to be inside his creation to create that.

The problem comes when you consider what was there before God created... anything, because from our standpoint there must have been a place for him to be before he created this place. Therefore, God must be outside his creation, because he was around before it was created.

I believe that Christianity gets around this problem quite well with the Trinity- the Father is outside this universe, The Son is inside the world, and the Holy Ghost is everywhere. Thus they can represent one overall deity as being in three places at once simply and easily.


(note: Him was used in this post for ease, and is not meant to oppress your own beliefs as to the gender of your deity.)


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 27, 2006, 03:08:02
LOL!!

OK.  It is not really to complicated.

Imagine for a moment that EVERYTHING that can exist and has ever existed is the physical manifest ion of the creator.  

There is no possibility of anything being outside of god or the creator at all.  It is not a person.  It is not a humanoid image.  It can have no name.  There is no name that would suffice in any language.  Even the word god is insufficient.  The ONE Wholeness of all of that exists is beyond the grasp of  what words can convey.

That does not mean that this concept is beyond a human experience.

A good example of this is that you cannot talk to a dead person and ask them what death or the afterlife is like.  But, neither of the two experiences rely on BELIEF alone.  

There are persons who have had experiences that are beyond the common uses of most languages.   You cannot see an electron or electricity but you can observe  their cumulative effects.  The normal and average human can only perceive that which is available to the limited capabilities of the eyeball and the parts of the brain that really 'see'.  
You only SEE the visual band vibrations that are referred to as 'light'.
You and all of us do not SEE infrared or  ultraviolet but we can sense its effects.  
Now, multiply that.  There are forms of existence that the average persons cannot perceive.  They are not common experiences and there are not common word for them in most languages.  Hence, each culture utilized what IS common to convey a concept based on what is important to that culture.  

The word 'god' is, in effect, a normalization.  It represents the totality of what science and religion and art and culture can imply and then goes on infinitely.

It is elegantly expressed in the 'Shema'.  But that is by no means a definition.  

No one religion on earth can encompass the reality of what 'god' is.  But, all things on earth and all that are on earth are encompassed by 'god'.

Otherwise, 'god' would not be god, but only a regional Deity invented by a small group of mankind isolated in history, and eventually destroyed by invention and the inventive.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 27, 2006, 03:36:01
gdo wrote:
Quote
OK. It is not really to complicated.
Imagine for a moment that EVERYTHING that can exist and has ever existed is the physical manifest ion of the creator. There is no possibility of anything being outside of god or the creator at all... All things on earth and all that are on earth are encompassed by 'god'.


You mean "pantheism" then???

Various Definitions of Pantheism:

1) An understanding which identifies God and the world as one, either without qualification, or with the world as a divine emanation, body, development, appearance, or modality.
2) Belief that God equates to the universe, and vice versa.
3) The doctrine that God is in all things.
4) The belief that God and the Universe are identical.
5) The philosophical form of monism that identifies mind and matter, finite and infinite, as manifestations of One Universal or Absolute Being, the doctrine which holds that the self-existent universe, conceived as a whole, is God.

and so on, and so on...

On one level of understanding, this is equivalent to the Greek idea of the Cosmic Logos which I mentioned earlier. That is why I said that sometimes I think we agree, and then you say something that contradicts your previously stated position...:confused:

~Beth

p.s. The "Shema" recitation tells us very little about "God." The Shema is more about "Humanity." The Shema is about Judaism's belief in the "relationship between them and God."  And "hashema" or "THE NAME" tells us even less...


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Mustardseed on April 29, 2006, 17:07:58
Dear Beth

I have a few observations if you don't mind. I think that often the issue is not so much in a difference of belief but rather definition. It seems to me that you as a scholar are used to defining things very strictly. "If this is what you believe you go in that box, if that then that box" etc Much like earth science separating living things into groups mammals amphibians etc. This is apparently the only way you feel that a logic argument can be made, and maybe what we all miss..............but maybe not.

On this board as you well know it seems however that folks do not always know what they know so to speak, they have ideas and inspirations yet do not know the terms and definitions of said ideas, and you then spend long posts telling them "what they believe" so to speak.

I have tried to follow your arguments many times but often fail to relate to your points. Your intelligence and knowledge in your field is unquestionable and very inspiring, yet I find that with all your learning you sometimes miss a few things here and there. This is not said as a criticism of you but seems to be the by product of being a learned person.

In some ways Robert Bruce in his books, and also here on the net made a great break through in this area. He somehow was able to transcend established structures and discuss the issues themselves. He stayed away from "boxes" and definitions like Chakras Karma etc and just discussed the content of the box.

I don't know if I make myself clear it is just an observation, but it seem that in your area of expertise you have created a belief system or rather a non belief system with a very rigid support grid.

The idea that God can be in a box and even that he can be explained is IMO ludicrous in the first place. I think we all agree that there is a guiding force and we are all concerned with tapping into it, like a giant reservoir, but it seems that you often get into "how it will not work" or "what is not true" instead of what is and what will, making you the "judge or referee" in various discussions, rather than a player.

This emphasis on the more negative aspect of beliefs, seem a common pitfall to academics. It is not a big deal and is not said to minimize all you have to share but just a observation.

Regards Mustardseed


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 29, 2006, 20:28:27
Mustardseed,

Well, your post is an interesting turn of topics. Instead of giving your opinion about the discussion underway, you have, for some reason, tried to make "me" the issue. That is not what this thread, or this forum is all about. You have done this before...what makes you want to do that?

The only reason that I can think of, is that you disagree with my posts, but you cannot refute the points that I am making, so you try to "refute me personally" instead.

This just makes you look bad in the end, even though you try really hard to prevent this from happening when you say repeatedly that you don't wish to "offend me."

When you say something that is offending to someone and then say that "you don't mean to offend" you are psychologically trying to manipulate the situation in an attempt to excuse you from your own insulting behavior.

In other words, you are trying to diminish me personally with your negative points, e.g, that my academic background and level of intelligence is a negative influence to this forum, while at the same time you are trying to make yourself "a positive influence" by assuring me you do not wish "to offend me" while you are doing just that!

Religious Conservatives use this abnormal psychological tactic all the time to defend their irrational and hate-filled doctrines and dogmas. Like when they tell gay people that they are an abomination in the eyes of God, and that they will surely burn in hell for it, but that "as Christians" they "will love them anyway."  :roll:  

Compassionate Conservative Christians: Hateful Judges wrapped in Loving Robes.

As to the issue currently being discussed on this thread, I am not the one trying to put God into a box. In fact, I am doing my level best -- not just here on the AP, but in all the work that I am doing -- to liberate God from all the boxes that humanity has built.  My most recent posts are pointing out why we cannot define God without building such a box.

"Language" in general and "certain religions" in specific are the "very rigid" structures that prohibit us in our understanding of, and our ability to discuss "God" and our astral experiences--not me. Further, we are not limited by the academic training or intelligent thinking that teaches us that our systems are not adequate to address the totality of the human experience.

In fact, I wish we did have the language capability that would make all of this easier, and moreover, I wish that our "religions" would encourage the exploration of God, instead of mandating prohibitions for doing so.  

And finally, I am a referee Mustardseed.  If you will remember, I was asked to be a moderator in the religion section because of my education--not in spite of it. Trust me when I say that as a moderator, I am not allowed to say a lot of things that I would really like to say sometimes...so "my personal opinions" are actually quite rare on this forum...

~Beth

p.s. If you think that it is in the best interest of this forum that I no longer remain in a referee capacity, please feel free to PM Adrian and ask for my termination.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: kai wren on April 29, 2006, 20:38:14
For my part... I enjoy Beth's posts. I'm actually quite interested in how Mustardseed would rather have things defined... it seems there is some kind of stigma attached to trying to pin things down with words, personally, I don't believe there is anything in this universe which is beyond words, words are how we communicate ideas, ideas are how we perceive this universe. Therefore words should be able to describe pretty much anything. If it doesn't, then more words need to be made.

The point Beth made was that your ideas seem to fit into the "box category" of Pantheism, how is this a negative thing? Please, explain how your views are different from this category, that doesn't make your views any less valid, being defined does not serve as a limitation, because those definitions can be altered.


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Mustardseed on April 30, 2006, 05:09:28
Dear Beth

So sorry that you take it that way it was not intended. I will be quiet.  I think that what you have to give is way more important than then points I brought out, just thought I could help. My apologies.

Regards Mustardseed


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 30, 2006, 05:30:58
Mustardseed,

Now you are showing definate signs of passive-aggressive disorder:

Definition:
Passive-aggressive personality disorder is a chronic condition in which a person seems to passively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them, becoming increasingly hostile and angry.

Cut it out Mustard...

~Beth

It's time to MOVE ON...Let's get back to the topic of Contradictions in Religions...

~b


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: gdo on April 30, 2006, 15:28:49
I do hope that there that good people who post here will keep an open mind and also take some things stated with a grain of salt.  I do enjoy most of the posting although I do not always agree with what has been stated.  I do hope that mustardseed was not intending to impugn Beth but
trying to add a perspective of his/her own.

Beth is very knowledgeable.


Beth, yes we might be stating the same thing.  If I have misunderstood what you have posted before, then I apologize for misconstruing.

In my earlier post I mentioned the Shema and I was meaning the first statement as an example not the whole of the text.   Hear oh Israel the Lord is One.   That seeming simple statement has had allot of meanings put to it, and I have seen much debate over it.  LOL.

From what I understand of the Pantheistic movement, it leaves somethings out.  

Here is another link to some definitions of the concept.
http://www.harrison.dircon.co.uk/definits.htm

Perhaps I am missing perhaps not.  

Perhaps if the definition was more specific in what it referred to as THE UN IVERSE,  and that as such it is a LIVING SOMETHING that creates withing itself.

Pantheism as discussed in that link and others is a relatively new and western concept.  

We, each of us, live within our own limitations of time and culture and personal abilities.  If you share some knowledge that someone else does not have or is not able to understand that 'someone else' will either be uncomfortable or ignore the the message or defend a pre-existing idea and dismiss yours, even thought you are correct.  

An uneducated but devout person may reach a point of inspiration and understanding that an educated person may not have reached by reason alone.  Each may end up disagreeing or dismissing each other out of hand.

I  think that this happens quite often.  

I have seen and read of people stating that the first statement of Shema means not to have other gods or idols.  Which is somewhat of a fundamentalist attitude toward the statement.  I think that is fine if that is what your BEST effort can bring you.  If some one else ponders the same words and come up with the meaning that I mentioned earlier that is fine also.  (To me a better situation to be sure)  


One of the definitions of Pantheism also included reference to the old idea of a pantheon of many gods.  

CU later as time allows


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Mustardseed on April 30, 2006, 15:58:38
Well ........that is very interesting maybe I do have a bit of that whatever it was. (after all I have been married for 30 years)  So let me get back to being openly hostile then.  :razz:

Let me restate my point and explain how I see it being on subject. It is my opinion that very "rigid" folks (such as yourself) often find contradictions where there are none. Even getting to a point where they get aggressive and hostile and extremely sensitive if others challenge their beliefs. (as in fundamentalist )

They define things very rigidly and subsequently, if they do not understand something, they often throw it on the "contradiction" pile and as a result end up quite negative and doubtful about many things. Since they consider their very dogmatic views the absolute TRUTH, against which they measure everything they also get involved in many mind battles and arguments, instead of debates and sharing observations.

Like I said, often this is very intelligent people such as yourself Beth and they often resort to very unkind cutting remarks to put down folks they consider misinformed or ignorant or misguided.

This attitude is shared by not only religious people but also academics, and only tend to further cloud up the real issues...... The actual contradictions, or what appears to be contradictions. I guess it is a common ailment of man........pride.

So all though my post is not on contradiction in religion as per se, I find it is still on subject. I find it very interesting and yet disheartening that you get so off keel by my post, that you start to question my mental health.

I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Incidentally I seem to find this attitude very strong in the USA, it permeates society to a much larger degree than in other parts of the world. It seems that the by product or the other side of the coin, of the American aggressive and innovative spirit is a very hostile attitude to people they consider in opposition to. themselves.

It is my opinion that you define things too rigidly and judge too fast, and often miss out on the points others are trying to make. Like Ann Oakley was that her name.........she was pretty trigger happy and could match any man or woman, yet could never see the real issues in life. I loved that old movie, saw it as a kid.

Ahh what will the future bring, what insults cutting remarks and slights you will be sending my way :shock:

As I said I do appreciate your input I have learned a lot from you but you do come across a bit dogmatic and at times quite high on the hog.

Regards Mustardseed

PS as I said in my PM it would be fun to meat you maybe at a venue somewhere. Don't go freaking out about that now :cool:


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 30, 2006, 17:05:00
Quote from: gdo
An uneducated but devout person may reach a point of inspiration and understanding that an educated person may not have reached by reason alone.  Each may end up disagreeing or dismissing each other out of hand.

I  think that this happens quite often.


This is so very true gdo. I was one of these uneducated but devout persons for many years. I had an inspired understanding from childhood of what the NT message was--but it didn't agree with the other followers of my faith.

I did not go to college until late in life: I was a 35 year old college freshman. I had struggled with the religion of my upbringing all of my life. I made the decision and the committment to study the bible, to learn the languages of the bible, so I could ascertain for myself whether or not "my inspired understanding" was indeed true or not.

I am now 47 years old and I have, since my initial entrance into college, learned more than I could have possibly imagined back then.

In essense, my inspiration came first and my application of academic knowledge followed much later.

I know that going to college is not something that everyone can do--and even those that do go to college cannot justify majoring in religion alone. Usually college is for preparing one for a "practical profession"!!! I had to, however, use the opportunity to address something that had bothered me since I was a little girl.

I did use the opportunity to do so and now I attempt to share with others here--and elsewhere--all the many things that I have learned.

I feel that this is the best that I can do.

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 30, 2006, 17:16:05
Quote from: Mustardseed
Ahh what will the future bring, what insults cutting remarks and slights you will be sending my way :shock:


I said: "Cut it out Mustardseed."  We have been doing this same dance for years now.

You know that I only send you cutting remarks after you have attacked my person first.

You attack my academic knowledge when I post something that you disagree with or do not understand, and then I counter-attack your bull-headedness and intellectual laziness. (You have only recently added this whole passive-aggressive thing to your biography.)

We have a long history of such nonsense, of which we are both guilty and which I tire of it much quicker these days.

Again...Let's get back to the topic at hand...Contradictions in Religions...

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Ryuji on April 30, 2006, 18:52:11
beth + mustertardseed. in all honesty it might be good for you both
to take a deep breather, step back and carefully read

the manner of your posts
what you have post
and the way it reads towards others

regardless who is right or wrong.

one of greatest victory is when one is conquered oneself and for example doesn't needlessly fall into quick to this and that when something was done/happen that would normally be different to your point of view or believe system.

at one stage we all were noobs, ignorant and or narrow minded. feeling towards that in anger/rage/discontent etc etc unfortunately wont change it - live with it !

it is however good to have a informative discussion about things, its always good practice to question everything and anything. without reasoning - the need to know more we might just as well lie in a corner and die.

when i first started the topic before this one on contradictions in religions i
wanted to have 'power' or 'ammo' to get those who were still locked into their believe which i deemed false because there was some contradictions. mainly also because of this forced-into-christianity which one should never do onto another - force anyone into any religion or believe.

But don't feel the need now to know all 100000000 contradictions about christianity or islam or whatever is out there. One may feel the need to removed those 'stupid' people out of this or that religion but it is not your decision its there choice and they must walk there own path on their own time by them and not you.

good example of force full religion conquering is: 'taking the gospel to the bushmen' mandate by one religious group in my town. what for do they need the 'gospel' according to that group ?

they live and respect the land and each other. What more must they do ?
(think it was caveman and jesus talkin, very similar saw it somewhere on the board)

and even if there is contradictions HECK the stuff is ooooolllllddddddd and may contain some. I would be surprised if there weren't any at all. There is little point in proving/disproving religion/god - nothing really gained out of it at all.

god ??
.a human word
.human's understanding of something he couldn't grasp totally

religion ??
.a human word
.a human's interpritation of some divinity
.a human created order/cult/sect

jesus, muhammid, budda, god... etc
.a human word for a god/deity


and if i am wrong somewhere or in all maters Excellent then i can learn :)

Kind blessings,
Ryuji


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 30, 2006, 20:30:42
Ryuji, et al,

Please accept my apology for the nonsense between me and Mustardseed.  We have being doing this off and on for several years. I know I should just ignore him, but sometimes I take the bait he dangles...

As always, I take full responsibility for my posts, and with that comes the full knowledge that the "absurd dance with Mustardseed" doesn't look very good on me and most importantly, is not fair to other members...!!  Again, my sincere apologies...

~Beth


Title: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Beth on April 30, 2006, 20:32:18
Since this thread is up to 6 pages, it is a good time to lock it down for future reference and start another one for new or renewed discussions.

~Beth


Title: Re: More Contradictions in Religion...
Post by: Gandalf on August 12, 2006, 19:58:46
Hello folks, nice to be back. Hello Mustardseed and Beth!

Somebody said 'Pantheism as discussed in that link and others is a relatively new and western concept.'

I'm not convinced by this line. The thing is, the label 'pantheism' has several interpretations or flavours, but I would not say that in its various forms it is a 'modern concept'.
As Beth says, the Greek 'Logos' is a version of this concept.

The Stoics definitely believed in a 'pantheistic' vision of the universe. In neoplatonism and various classical pagan philosophies, the gods are better imagined as avatars or personifications of this cosmic totality which we can use to identify and communicate with the All, as to try to comprehend the All in its totality is impossible.

The Neoplatonists had a chain of being that went all the way down from the totality to the various individual gods. The simple peasants 'pagani' may not be aware of all this high philosophy of course, but high minded individuals like Emperor Julian, everyone's favourite pagan hero, got the idea.

A very pantheistic concept can also be found in Indian philosophy/religion. There are various branches of Hindu belief of course so we can't make sweeping statements, but one major strand views all the gods as avatars or means by which we can approach the unknowable divine All.
However, other branches of Hinduism state that we can indeed approach the divine all or 'Brahman' itself. In this later strain, 'Brahman' is personified to allow this to happen (as 'Brahma'), although this Hindu branch also continues to worship other gods as lessor aspects of Brahma.

The first strain of Hinduism is pretty much the stance of modern neo-paganism: where the divine All is unknowable (Brahman) and all personifications of this force via the various gods are equally valid means (indeed essential means) to communicate with it and for it to communicate with us.
The Christians were deeply influenced by Neoplatonic belief here as the figure of Jesus Christ can simply be viewed as another personified 'aspect' or way to approach the unknowable god, but pagans would say, why stop at him? There are lots of gods to choose from.

Within pantheistic thought there is a debate about whether the divine All is conscious of itself or whether it has no awareness as we understand it.
For those who say it is aware and intelligent, and  is therefore able to inspect its various parts objectively while still being part of them, this theory is sometimes refereed to as panENtheism, ie the total is more than the sum of its parts, but i would still class this as a variant of pantheism really.  The stoics certainly believed the Universe was aware, not that we could comprehend this consciousness of course.