Poll: What do you think Christianity is primarily about?
This poll is closed.
Good News: Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins and raised for our justification 62.50% 5 62.50%
Good Advice: practical & moral guidance in order to live a good life here & now 37.50% 3 37.50%
Total 8 votes 100%
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Good News vs. Good Advice
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29-04-2012, 09:03 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 04:55 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
You do realize John was a Gnostic. His Gospel reeks of Gnosticism. It's dated WAY before the 3rd Century. I suspect I misunderstand something there, about what you're saying. Even the term "word of god" is a Gnostic, (Greek) concept.

re the "First Cause"
The problem is it's an Argument from Ignorance. Just because they can't see how or what the origin is, they insert the God of the Gaps, to fill in the missing piece. What's going to happen, when more is discovered, which is inevitable ? And secondly, the jump from there to YOUR god, (which is rendered ridiculous by historical methods .. did you ever watch the Yahweh video ?), is NOT THE ONLY OPTION. They assume it's a "person" because humanoids have no experience of anything else. Why is She not digital ? Why is she not some other form of Alien life ? Why is She not a program, running in a bubble of Universes ? If there is a First Cause, it in no way proves it's YOUR god. And there is also no reason the Cause of this Universe could not be a Willful Child playing with it's toys, making universes, (who also had a Cause). The old infinite regression. But there is no logical reason why the Creator of this universe, has to be the Ultimate Cause, It, (the creator), could just be "A" cause. We think we are SO important. We are NOT. So the logic of the First Cause does not lead to YOUR god. There are many other options. (BTW, (speaking of Aquinas), the other HUGE concept, your religion's moral theology is built on, (that science has refuted), was the Artistotelian/Thomistic notion of "Natural Law". There is no such thing. It's usually used by religionists as an argument for saying same sex behaviors are "unnatural",, (thus "sinful"). Science has proven, they are not "unnatural", and in fact they are as "natural" as anything could be. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...6122106.ht

Sorry, I watched Craig, in person, get shredded by Krauss. Have you watched their debates ? Craig is as bad as Behe.
Craig debunked :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w320__sNvVw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZUCc5m8sE

I have looked at the Kalam argument, (as it's basically Aristotelian/Thomistic rehash). Here's some of the reasons why it's off base., (see below). I read the Summa Theologica when I was in Sixth Grade. He (Aquinas) is pretty bad, and science has rendered
the First Cause unnecessary. I did however, ask Krauss, at one of his lectures, "if this universe arose", (ie from "nothing") does that not imply that "universes rise", (ie are there a "set of conditions" which favor that ? ...ie where did the conditions come from). The answer was technical, and I'll think about a good way to state his answer. But partly, it also was infinite regression.







The First Cause argument fails, because, if there was a "cause" it HAS to PRECEDE the universe. That statement is MEANINGLESS, if the dimensions of space-time are not ALREADY in existence. There can be no BEFORE, if there is no time. The MOST you could say is, it's "concurrent". And you didn't answer my question about "existence" not requiring time. It's like Relativity. It's hard to get your head around. And speaking of Relativity, we know from that, (Relativity), and, for example, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, (the wave-particle duality), that the universe is NOT intuitive. If that is the case, the First Cause argument is out, because of : 1. the time conundrum, 2. you don't have a cause, if the Yahweh guy is out, and 3. the logical syllogism, stating that all things need a cause, is invalid, if the universe is not intuitive.

The answer to the "Fine Tuning" argument is well known. If the universe were not supportive of life, we wouldn't be here to argue about it, (The Anthropic Principle), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle , and if there are an infinity of universes, it's also a mute point, (because we just happen to be in one of the few in which conditions were favorable for our form of life). http://phys.org/news/2010-12-scientists-...erses.html .

As Debzilla said to Gary today, I'm really not interested in debating the details of any religion, until the bascis are settled.

They are not.

And thanks for the civil reply. I was trying to be civil until the preaching started, and was repectful, (for a while anyway Tongue ).



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30-04-2012, 02:38 AM (This post was last modified: 30-04-2012 04:05 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 07:13 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  
(29-04-2012 06:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The originator of this thread attempted to get us to accept some measure of their "authority" in their first sentence, as they assumed that a "pastor" and "seminary student" somehow posseses a measure of authority, simply because of one's occupational status. Since he failed miserably, and can't respond, because the human set of assembled texts, (called the bible) no longer has any "authority"...
Bucky Ball: Hey I want to apologize to you and to others if I somehow came across rude and judgmental. Truth is, I was a little taken back by all the responses at once and felt attacked (but hey I created the forum and came on the website so I guess that's to be expected). As for the thread itself, I really was just looking for what unbelievers generally think about Christianity, aside from the fact that you reject it as being fictitious.


As for your arguments and objections, they are strong and weighty though I do believe they can be answered and also, I do believe you are off on some of your assertions about Christianity which I will get to below.


As for the rest of those who have commented, I echo what Gary said about talking with atheists about these things, though I would confess that I let my emotions get the better of me on numerous responses and for that I apologize.


As for some the objections that BuckyBall, Erxomai, and others have raised, here are my responses:
  1. BB you said earlier that[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif] "cosmology no longer requires a first cause" due to quantum fluctuations: I would response with that this only pushed the origins question one step further back to asking about the provenance of the quantum fluctuations. [/font]
  2. [font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Along those same things about the question of God and Him being subjected to a "first-cause" as well I would ask you if you have studied the [/font]Kalam Cosmological Argument which is best explained by Christian Apologist & Philosopher William Lane Craig (you can check it here: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/cosmological-argument.htm) but it basically argues that whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence, the universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. There's a lot more to it that than obviously, especially how you move from "Cause" to a "Personal Being" but check out Craig's stuff if you're interested.
  3. As far as your post about the early church's disconnect with all of the spurious teachings surrounding the person of Christ, I think you're right about why they originally met with the different ecumenical councils though I would submit that these councils were much more concerned with nailing down orthodoxy in light of the numerous Christological heresies (Arianism, Sabellianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism, etc) that were rampant at the time. Also, numerous scholarship has been written about the biblical canon itself and how by the end of the 1st century, early 2nd century that canon was already recognized by the Church as apostolic not made by the Church later like at Nicaea. Of course there are counter arguments to this but C.E. Hill makes a compelling case for an early canon in his book Who Chose the Gospels? by simply piecing together the writings of the early church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. (here's a review of his book if you're interested: http://www.denverseminary.edu/news/who-c...onspiracy)
  4. The Teleological/Ontological Argument: I was referring to the fine-tuning argument that astronomy and physics points to including the anthropic principle of earth's capacity to support life with remarkable precision and order. (once again I defer to Craig: http://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2010/...-argument)
  5. Regarding the history of the ancient Near East, I would agree that there's a lot that we don't know. After all, history is pieced together with what we do know though of course we "know" that this isn't all we "know" (no pun intended Smile I will concede to you that I haven't read much history outside of biblical sources but also that much that historians rejected as being fictitious in the Bible (ex: the existence of the Hittite people, the existence of the city of Jericho, the existence of King David & Solomon, the existence of Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, even the existence of Pontius Pilate) have all now been verified by archeologists over the last 100yrs which of course is amazing since the Bible testified to these things for centuries. My point is that we will never be able to uncover ALL of the evidences for such and such individual or place because that's not the way history works. Sooner or later we have to take things on face value for what they say and mean unless of course we have compelling evidence against them. I do not think there is any substantial, compelling evidence for the falsity of the Bible many scholars much brighter and intelligent than me (Lewis, Schaeffer, Dembski, Plantiga, Sproul) would have rejected the faith a long time ago.
  6. Along those same lines I have to disagree with your assertions about the biblical text (the way Jesus is portrayed, your interpretation of Philippians 2, and the Gnostic Gospels having the same credibility as the canonical ones). While the 4 gospels are written with particular audiences in mind, they are united in their portrait of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God who came to make atonement for sin by dying, rising, and ascending back to the Father promised to return at the end of the age (i'm just sharing with you the central message of the gospels, nothing more). Also the meaning of Philippians 2 is in the passage itself describing Christ's "emptying Himself" as His humiliation of coming as a servant even to the point of death on a cross with God vindicating Him with His exaltation with the "name that is above every name"--again I'm just sharing with you what it says and means, nothing more Smile Regarding the Gnostics, no biblical scholar whether conservative or liberal, believes they were written before the beginning of the 3rd century (200-250 AD) and they're content definitely reflects a gnostic understanding of a dualistic view of the world (in addition to them contradicting what the synoptic gospels had already established about Christ).
  7. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]As for the title of "Son of God" I realize that this was a common title used as was "Christ", "Lord". This however does not mean that the biblical account is falsified just because titles were in circulation. Likewise, there were many "messiahs" prior to and shortly after the coming of Christ but this does nothing to his claims unless they were proven false (Acts 5:34-39).[/font]
  8. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]As for my "circular reasoning" by using the biblical text, I'll admit that my a priori is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God which of course you and other reject so it makes little sense to appeal to it. Therefore, I'll let B.B. Warfield explain my position as to how I arrived there: http://books.google.com/books?id=x-UFHyz...ng&f=false[/font]
  9. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]Lastly, you never responded to what I said about Tacitus' citation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christz) that it seems to be a contemporary source about Christ (Christus) and his death, with his subsequent followers stirring up "trouble" all across the Roman Empire. Keep it mind that Jesus never traveled more than 100 miles from his hometown, lived a pretty obscure life, and therefore, he didn't have "historians & scholars" traveling around with him recording his every move the way we think of biographers today, but he did have 12 men follow him and later write (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) their account of his life. Nevertheless, we have multiple historians referencing Christ and/or his followers within a century of his life. [/font]
[font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]Once again I am sorry for coming across like the "typical" Bible-thumping, naive Christian. I promise you that was not my intent and I actually do read things outside the Bible so I will look into some the sources you recommended. [/font]
[font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]
[/font]
[font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]THEOtalk
[/font]


Sorry about the computer code stuff, not sure how that ended up on there
Hi Theotalk, I really like your present tone. Let's keep it up (I will try too) and maybe we can sort out some stuff here. There is a lot in this post I take issue with. I'll start with..

"Also, numerous scholarship has been written about the biblical canon itself and how by the end of the 1st century, early 2nd century that canon was already recognized by the Church as apostolic not made by the Church later like at Nicaea. Of course there are counter arguments to this but C.E. Hill makes a compelling case for an early canon in his book Who Chose the Gospels? by simply piecing together the writings of the early church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. (here's a review of his book if you're interested: http://www.denverseminary.edu/news/who-c...onspiracy)"


This is plainly wrong. I have spent about a month researching how the New testament was cobbled together, and have written a chapter on it in my book. The canon didn't emerge until at least the early 4th century and there was nothing definitive decided about its contents until the later 4th century. Your link doesn't work, but I can assure you his assumption is incorrect. What can he (?and you) possibly mean by "the church" if we're talking about the 2nd century? There was no such thing! There was only a mass of mixed communities across the empire all of which had their own stories, beliefs and traditions about Jesus.


For your interest, here is part of my conclusions about the compilation of the New Testament...
[/font][font=Arial]

Some Conclusions about the Compilation of the New Testament


The men who compiled the New Testament wrote volumes attacking their opposition and arguing with their critics, so they would have documented solid facts to bolster the credibility of their own holy books if they had them. There are no such facts in the New Testament or intheir own writings.


They could not decide among themselves whether Jesus was a god, a spirit or a mere human. The criteria used for determining the New
Testament were poorly defined, unscholarly, and inconsistent. There was much argument and confusion about what was and wasn’t the word of God, and it took 350 years after Jesus’ death for the definitive canon to be decided upon.


Nowhere in the New Testament is there a legitimate reason, backed up by facts, as to why any of the writings were
included or excluded. Outside the Bible, certain church fathers, bishops, and academics pass commentary that has survived, yet that commentary is very piecemeal and raises more questions than it answers. None of it provides any convincing evidence of a genuine connection between the Gospels and Yeshua. All these early writers seemed to presume such a connection, but were unable to
prove it.


The primary reason used to select the writings in the canon was that they were already popular in some churches. This standard is
obviously flawed: firstly, popularity has little to do with historical truth. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are popular books, but no
one thinks they are truthful accounts of history just because they are popular. Secondly, it ignored the opinions of any Christians who weren’t members of conformist churches. The Gnostics and numerous other Christian groups had no less legitimate beliefs, yet most of their writings were labeled as heretical.


We find falsely signed works throughout the Bible; nowhere else in the writings of antiquity are the true identities of authors so hidden from the reader. Some of Paul’s writings are the only works in the New Testament for which we can be reasonably sure we know the real
identity of the author,
and even then his writings have been interfered with. I suspect the church fathers sometimes didn’t record authors’ real identities because that would have exposed the writings’ lack of creditability. The presence of anonymous authors meant answers didn’t have to be given to questions that would have been difficult to answer. Churches preferred to keep the people ignorant by insisting they had faith, not facts.


The early church was punctilious about removing any competition to their authority. Many works were excluded for political reasons, not because they were any less truthful. Catholic Christians took what they thought was useful from the Gnostics and Marcionites and then
destroyed nearly all their writings. To destroy literature one doesn’t approve of isn’t the conduct of people interested in the
truth and genuine history, but the behavior of narrow-minded fanatics.



Here are some references. Please look at, in particular, Richard Carrier's writing


Besant, A. 2009 “The Basis Of Morality”. Theosophical
Publishing House. India


Bethune, George “The Grounds of Christianity Examined by
Comparing The New Testament with the Old” (http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/15968/pg15968.html)


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html


http://www.orthodox.net/faq/canon.htm


http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/jhcjp.htm


http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/postscpt.htm


http://www.cogwriter.com/easter.htm


http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2005/0...ocrypha-6/


http://www.drazin.com/chap1.htm


http://allanturner.com/magazine/archives...ity04.html


http://acurseonalltheirhouses.net/2011/1...-invented/


http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/dark-age.htm


http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/lying.htm


http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/064...nFraud.php


http://godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...ion/watch/





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30-04-2012, 01:10 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 11:33 AM)THEOtalk Wrote:  I mean it doesn't get anymore "eyewitnessie" than that...

One time, the Devil was after me, but I turned into a cat and got away. Big Grin

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30-04-2012, 03:12 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(30-04-2012 01:10 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-04-2012 11:33 AM)THEOtalk Wrote:  I mean it doesn't get anymore "eyewitnessie" than that...

One time, the Devil was after me, but I turned into a cat and got away. Big Grin
And I believe him.

He is the cat's pajamas! Yes
___________

Interesting; how about taking a break from your seminary studies Theo, and have a look-see at the splendid accounts from the many contemporary Roman, as well as Persian, Greek, and Zoroastrian sources, and numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments, and artifacts, which have contributed to modern knowledge of the GOD we know today as Mithras!


Yes, Mithras - your one stop God, or son of God, as it were. Angel


I mean, since we're shopping at the WalMart of monotheism, here. In my opinion, monotheism is really where things began to go downhill -for religion, that is. That's what happens when you put one guy in charge of the co-op... the shit just splinters and eventually folds. Yes


After you check out Mithras you might want to think about how culture and societies worked - especially the Romans. When the Romans went into an area to concur, they absorbed the local tribal and social customs and beliefs, and let things run as usual, as long as the locals knew who was boss. In fact, they would get the majority of the locals to run the place for them. They were after seamless transition, and they got it. There was a combination of history being layered on and added to, all the time and they used everything that they knew that came before, including legends carried from other areas of conquest. In short; they knew what worked and what didn't in the control of people who didn't really want them around. To do all this cultural "blending" during the same time frame that monotheism was becoming the accepted norm, was quite precarious of the Romans. But there were so many things which contributed to the eventual dispersal of the Empire.

I'm sure you'll run across a lot of amazing historical tidbits in your studies. Try not to see history from our time frame's perspective or even through your own eyes, rather from the time frame and mindset of the actual time... it's far more rich than you may initially perceive. Always seek out numerous sources, no matter how peripheral or obscure... there lies the path to historical adventure!
I think it's good to see one's area of study from a different perspective, and we can always gain a great deal of insight when we do so.

Good luck in your studies Theo, and welcome to the forum. Smile

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01-05-2012, 05:00 AM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(30-04-2012 01:10 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-04-2012 11:33 AM)THEOtalk Wrote:  I mean it doesn't get anymore "eyewitnessie" than that...


One time, the Devil was after me, but I turned into a cat and got away. Big Grin


Looks like that cat ran away also.

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01-05-2012, 05:10 AM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Silly kitties. Big Grin

Too much of a heathen-infested wasteland 'round here, prolly. Wink

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01-05-2012, 09:04 AM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 04:26 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 07:13 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  I would agree that there's a lot that we don't know. de of biblical sources but also that much that historians rejected as being fictitious in the Bible (ex: the existence of the Hittite people, the existence of the city of Jericho, the existence of King David & Solomon, the existence of Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, even the existence of Pontius Pilate) have all now been verified by archeologists over the last 100 yrs which of course is amazing since the Bible testified to these things for centuries. My point is that we will never be able to uncover ALL of the evidences for such and such individual or place because that's not the way history works. Sooner or later we have to take things on face value for what they say and mean unless of course we have compelling evidence against them. I do not think there is any substantial, compelling evidence for the falsity of the Bible many scholars much brighter and intelligent than me (Lewis, Schaeffer, Dembski, Plantiga, Sproul) would have rejected the faith a long time ago. I have to disagree with your assertions about the biblical text (the way Jesus is portrayed, your interpretation of Philippians 2, and the Gnostic Gospels having the same credibility as the canonical ones). While the 4 gospels are written with particular audiences in mind, they are united in their portrait of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God who came to make atonement for sin by dying, rising, and ascending back to the Father promised to return at the end of the age (i'm just sharing with you the central message of the gospels, nothing more). Also the meaning of Philippians 2 is in the passage itself describing Christ's "emptying Himself" as His humiliation of coming as a servant even to the point of death on a cross with God vindicating Him with His exaltation with the "name that is above every name"--again I'm just sharing with you what it says and means, nothing more Smile Regarding the Gnostics, no biblical scholar whether conservative or liberal, believes they were written before the beginning of the 3rd century (200-250 AD) and they're content definitely reflects a gnostic understanding of a dualistic view of the world (in addition to them contradicting what the synoptic gospels had already established about Christ). As for the title of "Son of God" I realize that this was a common title used as was "Christ", "Lord". This however does not mean that the biblical account is falsified just because titles were in circulation. Likewise, there were many "messiahs" prior to and shortly after the coming of Christ but this does nothing to his claims unless they were proven false (Acts 5:34-39). As for my "circular reasoning" by using the biblical text, I'll admit that my a priori is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God which of course you and other reject so it makes little sense to appeal to it. Therefore, I'll let B.B. Warfield explain my position as to how I arrived there. Lastly, you never responded to what I said about Tacitus' citation that it seems to be a contemporary source about Christ (Christus) and his death, with his subsequent followers stirring up "trouble" all across the Roman Empire. Keep it mind that Jesus never traveled more than 100 miles from his hometown, lived a pretty obscure life, and therefore, he didn't have "historians & scholars" traveling around with him recording his every move the way we think of biographers today, but he did have 12 men follow him and later write (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) their account of his life. Nevertheless, we have multiple historians referencing Christ and/or his followers within a century of his life.

Seriously ? Seriously ?? You come HERE and tell me to "read Craig" , and "read Hill", and "let Warfield" talk for you ? How about you talk for yourself ? You are funny. Citing a source, or an author, is not an argument. You have to MAKE the argument.

You DO realize, that saying the "bible is the word of God", makes YOU a Gnostic. Do you actually know anything about the history of Philosophy, and what that phrase actually means, and where it came from ?

"As if", you were the first one to come here and do this, and THAT'S your only response ? You can't possibly be serious. I didn't say "there's a lot WE don't know about the Ancient Near East", I said there's a lot YOU don't know about the Ancient Near East. That fact that certain sites referenced in the bible are authenticated by Archaeology, tells us nothing about what went on there, nor does it do anything to authenticate the claims of the authors/editors of Bible texts. Of course Jericho existed. Of course we know it "came a tumbling down", (well, actually they know there was a fire). The cause of the fire...no so much. The Bible "testifies" to what it WANTS to testify to. The fact that it gets a few facts straight, means nothing. What YOU mean as "face value" and what the "other guy" mean by that are two different things. And apparently you don't even know enough about that culture to begin to know what they might have meant. One does not "verify", or falcify mythology. Saying "smarter people than I bla bla bla", is evation. You're REALLy good at it. The fact is the gospels DO NOT all agree about "atonement", and just becasuse you want to gloss over the details, does not change the fact that the substantive difference, prove the communities held substantially different views of the Yeshua character, and belifs about the meanings of the events, (and Acts is the PROOF) they were fighting about it. The original Gospel of Mark, the earliest one, had no resurrection. It ended with the empty tomb.

If you "do believe they can be answered", then, let's hear it. And without Bible verses.

Pushing the origins back, does't get to YOUR god, (of the gaps). The fact is you ARE a "bible thumper". That's ALL you can do. The Bible is NOT history. It's propaganda. So you've not actually read ANY history, if that's ALL you're read.

All your arguments are based on it, and NOT ONE, has originated with you personally. They have done a really good job indoctrinating you. Well, at least you got your money's worth, for the seminary tuition. You really ought to read the proceedings of the councils, instead of just taking what your seminary books tell you about them. It's very enlightening to watch humans cook up crap. It's very clear you intended this to be aother "hit and run", and posted the same ole, same ole, preachy nonsence.

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01-05-2012, 04:03 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I haven't been on the forums for a while, and I'm sad I missed this posting when it first came out. The OP's question is a loaded one. You are asking what a secular person view point is of christianity, but only allowing them the choice of two very narrow positions. Both of which have positive connotations for your religion. That is a bogus and dishonest thing to do. If we only chose from your list of choices, then you can walk away with the claim (no matter the outcome) that secularists view your faith in some form of positive light.

I am sure someone has already pointed this out, but I had to say something. Stay in seminary, because real research doesn't seem to be your forte.
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01-05-2012, 05:01 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 04:12 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I decided to post a portion of something I've been working on, since it's appropriate here. It needs a lot of work, and detailed references etc., but here's the jist ..

Atonement, (At-one-ment) - 101 ..
or ..
What's Wrong With the Salvation Paradigm,
How Christianity misunderstood and hijacked an Ancient Near Eastern Chaos Myth, and drove it over a cliff.

by (Jason F) ... Bucky Ball, the padawan heretic.

Last week, a Christian seminarian came here, and posted a poll, with the intent of starting a discussion of
the current concepts young Americans employ, when they think about Jesus, Christianity, and "salvation".

At first I thought he was intending to talk about Deitrich Bonhoffer's "Cheap Grace" concept, or something intelligent,
but no, he just preached, the same old infantile nonsence, the fundie line, about the need for "salvation", and spouted bible verses.
He had obviously "bought the line", hook, line, and sinker.

I thought "how can he go that far in his education, and not know the real origins,
of the concepts he mistakenly employs" ?

Since it's an interesting topic to some of us from theistic backgrounds, who were fully indocrinated, I thought
it might be interesting for us ex-theists, and useful for some here who were not quite so utterly indoctrinated,
and also for those who were indoctrinated, (as well as enlightening for some guests, stopping by), to look at it,
to discuss where it all came from, and what that "salvation thing" is all about, they keep hearing about.

So, what's all this I hear about Jesus being a "savior" ? (Nod to Emily L. )

((Jesus is also one of many called a "messiah", (which is a different notion), but we'll leave that discussion for another time)).

Christianity proclaims that the man, Jesus, by his sacrificial death, "redeemed", or "saved" mankind from it's, (supposed),
"sinful" state, thereby rendering the possibilty, that SOME humans could attain to a redeemed state, or be "saved".
Thus "reconciling" the sinner, (and indeed by the time Paul, got hold of it), (needs Pauline verse), it was not only humanity but the entire universe, (ref needed....), to a god-entity.

Atonement, ("at-one-ment"), to or with their god was "purchased" by the shedding of the blood, of the deity's son. (Supposedly a "gift", or beificent act", even though, obviously, the deity could, have just as easily said, "never mind, forget it, it will ok". No,the deity hung onto the grudge.

So what up with sacrifices ? Whats the deal with blood ? A "sacrifice" was required, to "make things right" incomplete

with a god. .... incomplete..

Sacrifices... where they came from, ......how they started. incomplete

Depending on which gospel you read, the man, Jesus, was either was rewarded with divinity, for doing that, (even though none of the gospels record his having claimed that was the reason for his, (supposed), willing suffereing, (when in fact he was arrested, after attemted to hide from the authorites), ..ref needed) full...fix... giving....of himself, OR, he "emptied" OR (Johnnine-Gnostic) view, ....agreed to become contaminated.... bla bla bla. "jesus seminar" ...3 divinities, vastly different theological positions.

(In fact, he was most likely executed for disrupting the Pax Romana), simply as a common criminal/insurrectionist).

So why does the world need a "savior" ?
Since Jesus never preached the salvation paradigm, when did it arise, and when did it get attached or grafted onto Christainity, and why ?

It all starts in the Garden of Eden.
The origins. A alternate view, of the ancient myth.

According to the source texts, (http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/genesis_texts.html) , which were cobbled together, into the text, we know as Genesis,

rewritten, and re-worked, multiple times, (references needed).....

Adam, and his consort, Eve, were expelled from Paradise, for eating of the forbidden fruit. It was an attempt, by early nomadic desert dwellers, to explain the human condition. What is that human condition, you ask ? Very simple. You have to make choices. You can't eat an apple, and not eat an apple. You cannot, as a finite being, encompass opposites. You have to make order from chaos. "Chaos" you say ? I thought it was about "sin". NO. It's not about "sin".

Ancient Near Eastern mythologies were fascinated by "choas vs order".

See Marduk Slays the Dragon of Chaos.

In Genesis, Chapter 2, the god, commands the man :

16: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. That means, an attempt to "know", (experience), BOTH good, AND EVIL.


The actual text of the myth is often forgotten, and is enlightening.

[5] For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Note, It says "knowing" good and evil. The temptation was not to eat, for the apple's sake, but to "know" (the opposites), good and evil, (encompass chaos and order).

The temptation was the (possible ability) to avoid making moral choices, by acquiring the ("super-human") ability, to encompass opposites.

It was NOT a temptation to ingest an apple. It was a temptation to be able to "know", (BOTH) good, AND evil, at the SAME time. The temptation was (to think one was able) to avoid making choices. The penalty for not making the correct choice, is "non-existence", "if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die". (NOT HELL, BTW).

What is "making choices" about ?

It's making order, from chaos. It's about finding a specific path, and choosing NOT to go down the "other" path. It's what Ancient Near Eastern Mythology was facinated with.

((ref Road Less Traveled, (even though he, (Peck)) seems igorant of the origins), Tillich, the Courage to Be. Buber.

("Morality" is about why one would make one choice, and not another...why ... it pomotes your "autherntic self '', ("follow your bliss" Campbell)) ... sound familiar. Oprah really is the Messiah Tongue

[6] So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

[7] Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

This is NOT about eating apples. This is NOT about disobedience. This is not about "sin". This is about understanding the human condition, and the need to make choices, and the INABILTY to encompass opposites.

So where does that leave us ?

If the myth was not about a "fall", and sin, but an examination of the human condition, why would humans even think they need a "savior" ?

Surprise, surprise. Salvation was not a Hebrew/Judaic idea.The Jewish people were not waiting for a "savior". Some of them were waiting for a political messiah.

There is no need to be "saved" from the human condition. It's the way it is, and always was this way, and until or unless humans manage to escape the dimensions of space-time, it will remain the same, and we will continue to have to make choices. One cannot do BOTH that which promotes your authentic self, and something else. You have to choose. Jesus does not save us from that. Jesus cannot save us from that. It's the way the universe is. NOTHING "changed" in a garden. It, (Genesis), was a mythological examination of the human condition, which was distorted by religions for their own purposes, and idiotic, ignorant, infantile, misunderstanding, (or intentional misappropriation/misuse) of an ancient myth, taken to extreme.

Jesus did NOT say he was "the atoner". He is not said to have said he was the atoner. There is no need for an atoner. An atoner cannot change the nature of the universe we exist in. Time is unidirectional. Unless Christians can cook up a time machine, christianity is irrelevant.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-05-2012, 07:02 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(30-04-2012 03:12 PM)kim Wrote:  
(30-04-2012 01:10 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  One time, the Devil was after me, but I turned into a cat and got away. Big Grin
And I believe him.

He is the cat's pajamas! Yes
___________

Interesting; how about taking a break from your seminary studies Theo, and have a look-see at the splendid accounts from the many contemporary Roman, as well as Persian, Greek, and Zoroastrian sources, and numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments, and artifacts, which have contributed to modern knowledge of the GOD we know today as Mithras!


Yes, Mithras - your one stop God, or son of God, as it were. Angel


I mean, since we're shopping at the WalMart of monotheism, here. In my opinion, monotheism is really where things began to go downhill -for religion, that is. That's what happens when you put one guy in charge of the co-op... the shit just splinters and eventually folds. Yes


After you check out Mithras you might want to think about how culture and societies worked - especially the Romans. When the Romans went into an area to concur, they absorbed the local tribal and social customs and beliefs, and let things run as usual, as long as the locals knew who was boss. In fact, they would get the majority of the locals to run the place for them. They were after seamless transition, and they got it. There was a combination of history being layered on and added to, all the time and they used everything that they knew that came before, including legends carried from other areas of conquest. In short; they knew what worked and what didn't in the control of people who didn't really want them around. To do all this cultural "blending" during the same time frame that monotheism was becoming the accepted norm, was quite precarious of the Romans. But there were so many things which contributed to the eventual dispersal of the Empire.

I'm sure you'll run across a lot of amazing historical tidbits in your studies. Try not to see history from our time frame's perspective or even through your own eyes, rather from the time frame and mindset of the actual time... it's far more rich than you may initially perceive. Always seek out numerous sources, no matter how peripheral or obscure... there lies the path to historical adventure!
I think it's good to see one's area of study from a different perspective, and we can always gain a great deal of insight when we do so.

Good luck in your studies Theo, and welcome to the forum. Smile



I have a short blog on Mithraism if anyone is interested ...http://www.markfulton.org/mithraism
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