Christianity is a Secularist religion.
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12-07-2014, 06:29 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 01:44 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  ...
George Holyoake's 1896 publication English Secularism defines secularism as:

Secularism is a code of duty pertaining to this life, founded on considerations purely human, and intended mainly for those who find theology indefinite or inadequate, unreliable or unbelievable. Its essential principles are three: (1) The improvement of this life by material means. (2) That science is the available Providence of man. (3) That it is good to do good. Whether there be other good or not, the good of the present life is good, and it is good to seek that good.

Holyoake held that secularism and secular ethics should take no interest at all in religious questions (as they were irrelevant), and was thus to be distinguished from strong freethought and atheism. In this he disagreed with Charles Bradlaugh, and the disagreement split the secularist movement between those who argued that anti-religious movements and activism was not necessary or desirable and those who argued that it was.

Secularism goes back to Epicureanism which was prevalent at the time of Julius Caesar. It was a belief in common sense or "reason" combined with "friendship". The Claudians were not Epicureans.

It is interesting that the religion which is closest geographically to the place where Ellis says Christianity arose is the Allawi faith of Syria which is ostensibly Muslim but celebrates some Christian festivals. Its god is a trinity of "the meaning", "the name" and "the gateway". It is highly secretive and some Muslims say it isn't Islamic at all. Some say it is a form of Gnosticism. It is related to Druze Islam which is found in Golan which is where Gamala is located.

Another reason I say this about Christianity is that the central "personal" goal of Christianity is not life in an after world inhabited by angels but "atonement". Atonement means being "at one". There are a number of different theories of atonement which have been put forward over the years, see Gustav Aulen's Christus Victor, but on a very simplistic level it is easy to see how it is about becoming "at one" with oneself by following a moral philosophy, which avoids conflict and its consequent anxiety, to lead one to a state of tranquillity.

The teaching of the NT are simply ways of acting in such a way as to avoid conflict and to achieve "at onement". Blessed are the meek, those who turn the other cheek, those who go the extra mile. These exhortations have nothing to do with the existence of a deity.

Thanks. That's a little bit of history of which I was not aware.

I can visualise numerous influences coming together to form this view

Post-Darwin, I note. Consider

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12-07-2014, 06:42 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 03:09 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  ...
And we know precisely where Christianity arose,
...

We do?

Is there a map?

In all seriousness, I would love to see such a map.

It would, I think look very much like this.

[Image: riverSystem_diagram.gif]

Multiple start points;
changes of direction influenced by the terrain through which it flows (its environment);
a main body that influences its environment (the dark ages)
branches disappearing into soggy nothingness;
modern day delta where we see deposits of all the shit that the river has accumulated along its journey;
ultimately disappearing into an ocean body of knowledge.

Has anyone produced such a thing for christianity?

If not, why not?

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12-07-2014, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 07:07 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
I been saying this for years now ever since my own personal Jesus saved my sorry ass. You don't need to sign up to some bullshit promise of a postmortem preservation of identity to be Christian. In fact, I think it is a disqualifying factor. I think many "Christians" don't have a fucking clue what it means to be Christian. "Dem Christians don't sound Christian to me boss." I AM my own personal Lord and Savior, that is The Word.

#sigh
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12-07-2014, 07:12 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
Yeah there are records. In the late 1st Century, the Jewish High Priest in Jerusalem
moved the Sanhedrin somewhere else. and in the meetings that followed, a set of "expulsion" curses were instituted against the "minim", (the members of the Way sect of Jews ... ie Christians). They were Jews for centuries actually.
http://lawrenceschiffman.com/the-benedic...the-minim/
There is a great book by a Harvard dude, called Vincent Martin :
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?u...%20judaism




Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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13-07-2014, 05:43 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
This thread must be a joke. Isn't very funny but whatever.Consider
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14-07-2014, 03:38 AM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2014 04:13 AM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 12:14 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-07-2014 11:12 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I've come to the conclusion that Christianity is not theistic in the traditional sense of the word. It may be that the writer/s of the NT was/were deistic but they weren't, in my opinion, believers in Yahweh or God as a "superbeing".

The reason I say this is threefold. First, the central concept of Christianity is that god is the "logos" which is a gnostic concept. The logos, according to John is in the "beginning" and thus "before" god and is the same thing as god.

Secondly, it is possible to have a reason based morality as Kant has shown and the moral philosophy in the NT is reason based. In Matthew, Jesus says that for those who understand the workings of the "kingdom of heaven", parables are not necessary. That means that for those who know how to reason, they don't need his parables, whereas for those who can't reason, he needs to explain how reason works in a variety of situations to result in a "reasoned" moral principle. That is not someone saying, "I'm going to spout god's word and you should obey it because I am god's messenger".

Thirdly, where other religions rely on superstitions and rites, the NT makes it impossible to take specific instances or happenings and turn them into objects of veneration. Jesus says in Matthew that "this generation" will have no signs. He is saying that those who follow his moral philosophy won't receive any signs from a god, they will have to figure things out for themselves, using reason. The inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate and they are mutually exclusive as in his healing of a man with a withered arm, no sorry, dropsy, two completely opposite conditions and his admonitions to his disciples to go abroad and spread his message....no, sorry, tarry in Jerusalem. The NT deliberately gives opposing messages so that those who want to have a formalistic religion based on following dogma, can't actually pin down what it would be.

Judaism in it's own terms is a religion of a people who descend from Abraham who came from Ur of the Chaldees. This would make him an Aryan Celt and the Jews a Celtic people who originally worshipped Celtic gods, the sun, the stars and the Tao. It is derived from ancient fertility religions of the Celtic people. Who wrote it up in it's present form I will leave to Bucky Ball and Ralf Ellis to argue over.

Christianity is, therefore, an attempt to get rid of astrological, fertility based religion and replace it with one based on secularism and reason. It does so by grafting Gnosticism onto a plausibly "religious" story which is, in fact, when read properly, a farcical take down of mythological religion.

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Consider

sec·u·lar ˈsekyələr/
adjective
  1. denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. "secular buildings"
    synonyms: nonreligious, areligious, lay, temporal, worldly, earthly, profane; formallaic "secular music" antonyms: holy, religious
  2. Christian Church
    (of clergy) not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order.
  3. Astronomy
    of or denoting slow changes in the motion of the sun or planets.
  4. Economics
    (of a fluctuation or trend) occurring or persisting over an indefinitely long period.
    "there is evidence that the slump is not cyclical but secular"
  5. occurring once every century or similarly long period (used especially in reference to celebratory games in ancient Rome).



And how anyone can call Christianity a 'reasoned religion' with a straight face is amazing. Something based on completely unreasonable assumptions, contradictory source material, and supernatural miracles is not 'reasoned' by any definition.
.
I didn't call it a "reasoned religion". I said that the moral philosophy of it is "reason based". CS Lewis had a similar idea and said that reason led towards Christianity http://atheism.about.com/od/cslewisnarni...logist.htm

Kant's view towards morality, based on reason and the categorical imperative, parallels the Christian's view concerning obedience to God's commandments because they are "dictated" by the "word" or "gnosis" and the golden rule, not for the sake of rewards in heaven after death or from fear of punishment in hell.

You previously said somewhere that there was no migration of people's from the Near East. This is on Wiki:
In 2012, from a highly enlarged whole-genome mitochondrial database published, the authors concluded that the most archaic mtDNA lineages in Europe came from a Middle Eastern migration into Europe during the Late Glacial period, ~19–12 thousand years ago and not as late as the Neolithic as was previously proposed.[7] They argued that this population came from a previously contracted European population refugium on the Anatolian Plateau which spread to three further refugia, Franco-Cantabria, the Italian Peninsula and the East European Plain. From these three areas the lineages would then have repopulated Europe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_his...tish_Isles



The point I am making about Jesus is that we tend to look at the NT, decide it is based during the time of Pontius Pilate, find no trace of a Jesus and then come to conclusions based on that. If the book is largely of an obvously fictional nature then one should not focus on Pontius Pilate. If the Romans adopted Xtianity then why would the Roman ruler in Judea want to have his name associated with the crucifixion story? Instead of looking for a Jesus type figure in the era of Pilate one could look for a Pilate figure in the era of an historical Jesus. What you get with Ellis is a plausibly arguable hypothesis that there was a Jesus whose life is more like the NT story than any others.

For me, though, that is not the important aspect of this. It really doesn't matter. It is plainly a fiction/fictionalization with mythical elements. What Atwill shows "scientifically" is that it is collaborative and the consequences of that are that it is constructed and the inconsistencies must be deliberate. So, if there are mutually exclusive inconsistencies, and they are in key aspects of what could become "rites" or "dogmas" then one has to think that whoever is writing the NT is deliberately undermining attempts to interpret the story in a way which gives rise to ritual or dogma. You can't have a ceremony arising out of washing Jesus feet after he is resurrected if he says "don't touch me", which he does in one gospel, but not in another. His birth is greeted by the lowest of the low in one Gospel, ie., shepherds, and by kings in another.

That is the importance of Atwill. People don't read the NT that way so they think that these inconsistencies are a result of errors of transcription or observation. If it is a collaborative work, then that is not likely and "likeliness" is all one can achieve in this type of analysis. If several witnesses turned up in court and gave mutually inconsistent evidence when they all said they saw the same thing and were highly qualified, ie., in this case clerics, and were ostensibly well motivated what would one think? There is something up! There is a fix for some reason. People reporting the same thing either come up with very similar descriptions or the same. They don't repeatedly and in key aspects of a story come up with the exact opposite. The Sermon on the Mount... oh no, it was on the Plain and the gospel takes great pains to describe Jesus descending from the mount and giving it at the bottom of the Mount.

It's only now that Atwill has highlighted these patterns that people will start to look at it afresh and the statistical improbabilities of it being by chance are going to descend even further into the "trillionths to one".

The real point is this: Is Christianity a reinvention of Epicurean secularism? Is the description of god as the "logos" combined with these patterns a result of a Roman Emperor who wanted to change the existing "Christianity" of Serapis into something based on gnostic Epicureanism because he wanted to end the pagan barbarism of the Claudians (and not end up murdered himself)? After all, the Romans, who promoted Christianity did not believe in Yahweh. They had pagan gods and many were Stoics or Epicureans, philosophically.

It's worth reading Suetonius "Twelve Caesars" and Lucretius to see how far back Julius C dragged the Empire and how bad it was under the Claudians and how much of a change the Flavians were. I don't think it is a coincidence that some say the first two gospels were written in 67 AD which is exactly when Jesus of Gamala was crucified and Vespasian became emperor.

The NT is a Roman subversive text. "And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation." Mark 8:12. Read Suetonius. The pagan Claudians were always looking for "signs" from the gods. It simply doesn't make any sense for the NT to have been a book written to show "signs" from the Jewish god. It openly mocks them. It supplants the Jewish god with the Greek "gnosis" or knowledge/science. Epicurus believed in science, happiness (pleasure) and friendship.

Thanks for the post, Bucky. Interesting read.
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14-07-2014, 05:06 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(14-07-2014 03:38 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  You previously said somewhere that there was no migration of people's from the Near East. This is on Wiki:
In 2012, from a highly enlarged whole-genome mitochondrial database published, the authors concluded that the most archaic mtDNA lineages in Europe came from a Middle Eastern migration into Europe during the Late Glacial period, ~19–12 thousand years ago and not as late as the Neolithic as was previously proposed.[7] They argued that this population came from a previously contracted European population refugium on the Anatolian Plateau which spread to three further refugia, Franco-Cantabria, the Italian Peninsula and the East European Plain. From these three areas the lineages would then have repopulated Europe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_his...tish_Isles

You are still misunderstanding what is written - note the bolded phrase.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-07-2014, 05:09 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(14-07-2014 03:38 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(12-07-2014 12:14 PM)Chas Wrote:  I don't think that word means what you think it means. Consider

sec·u·lar ˈsekyələr/
adjective
  1. denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. "secular buildings"
    synonyms: nonreligious, areligious, lay, temporal, worldly, earthly, profane; formallaic "secular music" antonyms: holy, religious
  2. Christian Church
    (of clergy) not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order.
  3. Astronomy
    of or denoting slow changes in the motion of the sun or planets.
  4. Economics
    (of a fluctuation or trend) occurring or persisting over an indefinitely long period.
    "there is evidence that the slump is not cyclical but secular"
  5. occurring once every century or similarly long period (used especially in reference to celebratory games in ancient Rome).



And how anyone can call Christianity a 'reasoned religion' with a straight face is amazing. Something based on completely unreasonable assumptions, contradictory source material, and supernatural miracles is not 'reasoned' by any definition.
.
I didn't call it a "reasoned religion". I said that the moral philosophy of it is "reason based". CS Lewis had a similar idea and said that reason led towards Christianity http://atheism.about.com/od/cslewisnarni...logist.htm

And the difference between those two phrasings is what?

You said it was "one based on secularism and reason". You said the religion was reason-based, not the morality.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-07-2014, 11:20 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 02:58 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-07-2014 01:44 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  George Holyoake's 1896 publication English Secularism defines secularism as:


Secularism is a code of duty pertaining to this life, founded on considerations purely human, and intended mainly for those who find theology indefinite or inadequate, unreliable or unbelievable. Its essential principles are three: (1) The improvement of this life by material means. (2) That science is the available Providence of man. (3) That it is good to do good. Whether there be other good or not, the good of the present life is good, and it is good to seek that good.

Holyoake held that secularism and secular ethics should take no interest at all in religious questions (as they were irrelevant), and was thus to be distinguished from strong freethought and atheism. In this he disagreed with Charles Bradlaugh, and the disagreement split the secularist movement between those who argued that anti-religious movements and activism was not necessary or desirable and those who argued that it was.

Secularism goes back to Epicureanism which was prevalent at the time of Julius Caesar. It was a belief in common sense or "reason" combined with "friendship". The Claudians were not Epicureans.

It is interesting that the religion which is closest geographically to the place where Ellis says Christianity arose is the Allawi faith of Syria which is ostensibly Muslim but celebrates some Christian festivals. Its god is a trinity of "the meaning", "the name" and "the gateway". It is highly secretive and some Muslims say it isn't Islamic at all. Some say it is a form of Gnosticism. It is related to Druze Islam which is found in Golan which is where Gamala is located.

Another reason I say this about Christianity is that the central "personal" goal of Christianity is not life in an after world inhabited by angels but "atonement". Atonement means being "at one". There are a number of different theories of atonement which have been put forward over the years, see Gustav Aulen's Christus Victor, but on a very simplistic level it is easy to see how it is about becoming "at one" with oneself by following a moral philosophy, which avoids conflict and its consequent anxiety, to lead one to a state of tranquillity.

The teaching of the NT are simply ways of acting in such a way as to avoid conflict and to achieve "at onement". Blessed are the meek, those who turn the other cheek, those who go the extra mile. These exhortations have nothing to do with the existence of a deity.

a·tone·ment
əˈtōnmənt/
noun

  1. reparation for a wrong or injury.
    "she wanted to make atonement for her husband's behavior"
  2. (in religious contexts) reparation or expiation for sin.
    "an annual ceremony of confession and atonement for sin"
  3. Christian Theology
    the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ.
    noun: Atonement; noun: the Atonement

The etymology is "at one" but that is not its meaning, and certainly not what Christians mean by it.
You confuse the two.

And to dig up an obsolete 19th-century definition for 'secular' is just silly.

Actually, Chas, I wrote a paper on "atonement". It is interpreted in a number of different ways by church fathers and theologians. It does mean "at one"... because by becoming "reconciled" in any of the various ways which these people suggest, one becomes "at one" so, no, sorry Chas, I haven't confused it. You just don't know what you are talking about.

And, you're silly. You entirely miss the point. Secularism isn't just about division of church and state. Securlarists have values. They actually "value" this division because they value intellectual freedom and have moral systems which can be non-religious or religious.

The point about Christianity is that it arose, particularly in the theories of Atwill and Ellis, during a period in which "Hellenistic Judaism" was on the rise. Here is a description of it from Wiki:
"The major literary product of the contact of Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint, as well as the so-called apocrypha and pseudepigraphic apocalyptic literature (such as the Assumption of Moses, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Book of Baruch, the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, etc.) dating to the period. Important sources are Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus. Some scholars[6] consider Paul of Tarsus to be a Hellenist as well, even though he himself claimed to be a Pharisee (Acts 23:6).

The major literary product of the contact of Second Temple Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic to Koiné Greek, specifically, Jewish Koiné Greek.

The decline of Hellenistic Judaism started in the 2nd century CE, and its causes are still not fully understood. It may be that it was eventually marginalized by, partially absorbed into or became progressively the Koiné-speaking core of "Early Christianity" centered around Antioch and its "universalist" tradition...
Philo of Alexandria was an important apologist of Judaism, presenting it as a tradition of venerable antiquity that, far from being a barbarian cult of an oriental nomadic tribe, with its doctrine of monotheism had anticipated tenets of Hellenistic philosophy. Philo could draw on Jewish tradition to use customs which Greeks thought as primitive or exotic as the basis for metaphors: such as "circumcision of the heart" in the pursuit of virtue.[7] Consequently, Hellenistic Judaism emphasized monotheistic doctrine (heis theos), and represented reason (logos) and wisdom (sophia) as emanations from God."

I would add to the last sentence by saying that Christianity takes this a step further by saying that reason (logos) and wisdom (Sophia) are god and are before god so that a god, in fact, can only be reason or something discoverable by reason.

I think it is obvious that this is the influence in the NT use of the "word" or logos and if that is right, then it is inevitable and inescapable that those aspects of Christianity which stem from paganism, such as the supernatural, miraculous, mythical aspects, are riddled with inconsistency in the NT deliberately. If J K Rowling had set out to make the Harry Potter novels didactic, preaching a reason based morality, she would not have tried to convince readers that Harry Potter was a real person with real magical powers etc.
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20-07-2014, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2014 11:46 AM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(14-07-2014 05:09 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(14-07-2014 03:38 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  .
I didn't call it a "reasoned religion". I said that the moral philosophy of it is "reason based". CS Lewis had a similar idea and said that reason led towards Christianity http://atheism.about.com/od/cslewisnarni...logist.htm

And the difference between those two phrasings is what?

You said it was "one based on secularism and reason". You said the religion was reason-based, not the morality.

Yes Chas, you can have a "religion" which does not involve a god. If Josephus or Josephus/Paul and/or Paul was/were Hellenistic Jews and Christianity is, as some say, Paul's religion, or, as Atwill and Ellis say, Jospehus' religion, then, either way, it is easy to see how the various inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate. In Atwill's view, the NT is a dark comedic work satirizing paganistic, messianic Judaism. Again, what I am saying is simple; Christianity is written by Hellenists who I would describe as "secularists" in that they put reason above the idea of a "god" or in place of a god. I think you are nit picking. A religion can be a secular moral philosophy:



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