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BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism

Musket 28 Jul 13 - 02:03 PM
Ebbie 28 Jul 13 - 12:11 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Jul 13 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Musket head shaking 28 Jul 13 - 05:17 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Jul 13 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Musket sans soul 27 Jul 13 - 05:18 AM
Monique 27 Jul 13 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 27 Jul 13 - 02:31 AM
Little Hawk 27 Jul 13 - 12:29 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jul 13 - 08:49 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jul 13 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Musket par for the course 26 Jul 13 - 06:50 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jul 13 - 04:47 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Jul 13 - 04:28 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Jul 13 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jul 13 - 12:06 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Jul 13 - 11:58 AM
Little Hawk 26 Jul 13 - 11:25 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jul 13 - 09:24 AM
Musket 26 Jul 13 - 09:18 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jul 13 - 09:15 AM
Musket 26 Jul 13 - 09:05 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jul 13 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Musket curious 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 AM
Little Hawk 26 Jul 13 - 01:59 AM
Jack the Sailor 25 Jul 13 - 10:47 PM
Jack the Sailor 25 Jul 13 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 25 Jul 13 - 05:11 PM
Bill D 24 Jul 13 - 07:59 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jul 13 - 07:45 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jul 13 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Musket sans Ian 24 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 24 Jul 13 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Musket agreeing with guess who.. 24 Jul 13 - 03:28 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Jul 13 - 01:48 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Jul 13 - 01:47 PM
Amos 24 Jul 13 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Musket again 24 Jul 13 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 24 Jul 13 - 10:32 AM
Little Hawk 24 Jul 13 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 24 Jul 13 - 06:47 AM
Jack the Sailor 24 Jul 13 - 06:18 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Jul 13 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Musket sans Clapton 24 Jul 13 - 02:43 AM
Little Hawk 23 Jul 13 - 11:01 PM
Jack the Sailor 23 Jul 13 - 10:57 PM
Jack the Sailor 23 Jul 13 - 10:49 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 02:03 PM

If I had opened my mouth to say anything, I am sure such a point would have been wasted on her. Mind you, if I had opened my mouth, fire and brimstone would only have been the start of what I had to say.

I wasn't going to add the clothes pile I washed, I was just going to put them on the drying racks I have put temporarily in a spare bedroom. Needless to say, my underpants are waving merrily where she can see them...

To be fair, although we have The Lords Day Observance Society and others who picket outside shops who open beyond the allowed times on a Sunday etc, such loonies are a dying breed.

(The Lords Day Observance Society, by the way, rather hilariously picketed Liverpool Airport when they changed the name of it to John Lennon Airport. Yoko Ono gave them permission to use the strapline "Above us only sky" in their advertising, and guess who didn't like that....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 12:11 PM

Musket, that's amazing- in the US I don't know of anyone who would 'visit' someone with that exhortation. Maybe in the American south, though- our bible belt is quite active.

You might have reminded her that the holy day - according to the Bible - is Saturday, not Sunday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:50 AM

Well yes, I deeply enjoy the delusion that Luis will score 50 for The Reds this season and do so without biting anyone (actually, I think that could be two delusions).

Two blokes knocked on my door last Sunday and all they wanted to talk about was vacuum cleaners. Bloody Jehoover's Witnesses...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket head shaking
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:17 AM

Isn't it amazing. I engage with these debates on being a member of a religion or not, laughing at absurdity, marvelling at the power of persuasion and slowly become more aggressive in my disdain of those who wish to control others.

Then this happens.

My responsible adult is away this weekend, leaving me to a) go to Cambridge Folk Festival yesterday, bloody good. Especially Martin Simpson, and b) do domestic chores today.

So.. I washed the sheets and put them on the line. To be honest, although we have a washing line we never use it as the utility room has hanging racks but as the builders are in, I used the line.

Ten mins ago, a lady whose property is a wheat field and a horse paddock distant from my land, (must have used binoculars) walked round, with a bible in her hand and, not nicely but forcefully and with zeal, ordered me to observe the sabbath and take my washing in. Of all the things I could have said in repy, I just smiled, shook my head and slammed the door.

Never rains but it bloody pours...





Steve - you do have a delusion you know. It is on the western end of the county, just north of a city centre.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 05:24 PM

You have delusions too, but quite different ones, I'm sure.

"You're sure", eh, you pompous ass? Well, if you knew me well enough, which you don't, you may well be qualified to comment on whatever delusions you detect. Otherwise, you seriously need to cut out the pontificating and pseudo-psychoanalysis, and stick to what you see here on this board. Please apprise me and the rest of the board of any delusions you have detected from my posts. As for you, I confine myself to regarding you as deluded only in those matters which you, usually unwisely, choose to go large about. Evolution for one, a subject on which you bravely, recklessly and publicly rattle on about but about which you know precisely nothing. What you do know plenty about is how to bullshit us all on this forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans soul
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 05:18 AM

You see, this is my point regarding evidence etc. Dates of census etc are of historic record yet still clerics insist history is wrong if it contradicts Scripture.

If religions wish to have a place in society beyond those drawn into the hardcore stuff, they have to accept that most rational people, including most who profess their faith, draw a line at trying to marry up facts with traditional stories.

It takes more than wittering on about the little baby Jesus. In the meantime, we see the rise of faith in educated societies. Scrutiny should be enough to find the appropriate level of engagement but whilst they wish children to actually believe myth as fact, we hang our collective head in shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Monique
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 03:23 AM

Miraculous births: one, two, about Jesus'


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 02:31 AM

I suppose there is a huge difference between literal and traditional.

Despite not having a shred of religious faith and deeply sceptical of the intentions of organised religions, I am comfortable with the idea of Mary being traditionally a virgin.

I am also convinced by the evidence for biology that states a) it requires semen to fertilise an egg and b) IVF wasn't available in biblical times. The idea of a man with wings telling her she was now pregnant doesn't deserve further scrutiny. But perhaps a nice fantasy story. I am unsure of the moral being put across. I had always assumed seeing sex as dirty as being a Victorian idea.

I was reading an article by Dr Ben Goldacre the other day where he explained the use of the word theory as applied to scientific hypothesis. He compared it to theological use of the word and how either mischievous or ignorant people confuse the two to say "I have a theory that God exists as per Scripture and at that level it has equal status to evolution theory, so stop putting science on a different level."

The paper was just that. Paper. (BMJ - subscription required to download) but it or similar may be on his website or trawl of his newspaper columns. His book Bad Science is well worth a read unless you have pharmacy shares. ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 12:29 AM

It's a sign of tradition, Steve, and people's traditions (whether they are religious or otherwise) are generally chock full of delusions. You have delusions too, but quite different ones, I'm sure. Everyone has some delusions. Yes, we all have delusions about certain things, things we believe that simply aren't true...but the nature OF a delusion is this: You don't realize you have it! ;-) Other people may realize it. You don't.

And most people are too proud to even admit to the possibility that some of their cherished beliefs are delusions. They think it only happens to other people, not to them. THAT's another one of their delusions! ;-D

I readily admit that I probably have a few delusions...after all, I'm human. Yup, I have no problem admitting to the very likely possibility of having some delusions...after all, my culture has passed them on to me like it does to everyone else.

I bet you don't admit to such a possibility in your own case, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:49 PM

Wacko's response is so stupid that I won't waste time on it.

As for whichever gospel writers claimed that Mary was a virgin, well they are simply liars, aren't they. I remind you that they were about as close timewise to Jesus as I am to Queen Victoria. Adherence to this myth, along with all the others, is a sure sign of delusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:01 PM

Yes, pete, I realize Matthew and Luke are very specific about it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it happened exactly as they say. Matthew and Luke may have added any number of fairly typical ebellishments to their stories about Jesus and his family. By "fairly typical", I mean that those kind of supernatural embellishments were rather common in heroic religious tales of that era.

I'm not particularly concerned about whether or not Mary was a virgin, by the way. I don't think it matters in terms of practicing the faith. I don't think it impacts what Jesus taught one way or the other. But I'm interested in the possible interpretations people have made about it, based on the few books the council of bishops in in the ancient Church decided to give their official stamp of approval to. Some other books were considered for inclusion in the Bible at that time, but they were rejected for various reasons. Further books about Jesus and his family have been written right up to modern times, some of them claiming to be further revelations about the life of Jesus...and some of them are very much worth reading, in my opinion.

If there IS such a thing as divine revelation at all (and I think there may well be), I doubt that it only happened a very long time ago. If it happened then, there's no reason why it wouldn't continue happening now and then right up to the present day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 PM

L Hawk- just to clarify,- matthew and luke are explicit that mary was a virgin when she bore Christ.
there is some argument about the word used in isaiahs prophecy Isaiah 7 v 14.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket par for the course
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 06:50 PM

Jack. Interesting.

LH. Don't ask when the time out is, why the sin bin isn't being used and when you look for popcorn, don't be too disappointed when you can only buy a rats coffin (meat pie to the uninitiated) and a drink of bovril.

Oh. No matter who you are watching, who you appear to be supporting, don't forget to tell everybody that Sheffield Wednesday were the first to play like that. Chris Waddell was the guy's influence and don't forget to say "Good crowd. A few more and I could have thought I was at Hillsborough. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:47 PM

Musket...I always try to be polite and respect the general customs of a religious group or an ethnic culture when I visit them. What do you suggest in regards to UK football crowds? What sacred rituals should I watch for? How do I avoid committing something they would regard as sacrilege? I welcome general guidelines and suggestions on this. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:28 PM

Musket, you said,

"Picking and choosing for personal guidance is one thing. Doing so to fortify debate on shaping society at large? Err. That's what church leaders seek to do and that is where convenient cherry picking weakens their argument. "

It is a little more complex than simply picking and choosing of course. But I think I understand what you are saying.

I think this young woman has things to say pertinent to your query.

yo-christian-you-can-go-away-now

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/yo-christian-you-can-go-away-now/


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:10 PM

"He could have added that he who claims a miracle is a bloody liar."
You see Steve, here is where you depart from logic and science.

You make this pronouncement with out evidence, data or or analysis.

Both Musket and Hawk have give examples of how someone might perceive a miracle to have happened. If they believe it was a miracle, they can truthfully claim that a miracle had occurred.


likewise,   If a kid with cancer goes to Lourdes and does whatever they do there and and his cancer goes away. You could say that it had nothing to do with the prayer but not being a Dr. and not having witnessed the event you cannot completely rule out a miracle. Maybe someday we will be able to say that such things happen because of some internal mechanism of the body, or some other as yet unexplained factor. But as of now you cannot rule it out completely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 PM

Steve. Pray to me if you must. Be warned though that my youngest lives up the road from Anfield and his pub based inside track rarely fails. Bloody miracle so it is.

Sorry LH, football takes priority in any debate surrounding our new religion. That's real football, not that you get south of your border with body armour and advert breaks, but the natural god ordained game.

Any road up. Arthur C Clarke said that any advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic.   He also said something about the advantages of living in Sri Lanka bit we can draw a veil over that. ..


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 12:06 PM

That depends on which "miracle" we're talking about. South sea islanders probably thought it was a miracle the first time they saw someone fire a gun or the first time they saw an airplane fly overhead.

We know it wasn't a miracle, because we're familiar with guns and airplanes.

I'm suggesting that there are things which most of us aren't familiar with yet, things we may know nothing about, and would be astounded by when and if we encountered them. Yet there would still be a natural explanation, providing one understood the nature of what one was seeing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 11:58 AM

Hmm. let's keep our feet on the ground here. Show me any "miracle" and I'll show you a whole clutch of natural laws that we already understand being breached.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 11:25 AM

I agree, Steve, that there are no miracles. Everything that happens is according to natural law.

When people witness something they don't understand or have never heard of before, they are often inclined to call it "a miracle", but that is simply because they don't understand how it happened, and they are not familiar with the natural laws that made it possible.

Don't assume that we've got ALL the natural laws and all the possible events figured out and tucked neatly away in our little bag of "stuff that we have the final answers to", however....I doubt that that is the case. We know quite a bit now about natural laws, but we are far from knowing all of it.

And thus, we may now and again run into a situation that seems miraculous...seems to defy our conventional beliefs about what is "possible". To call that something a "miracle" and mean "against natural law" would be to mislabel it. It's just something we don't understand yet, that's all.

There will always be new things to learn, no matter how long human beings write their science books and compose their religious essays.

In any case, I'm probably as skeptical about most of the more unusual Bible stories as you are...if they were to be taken absolutely literally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:24 AM

I know, I know. Is it all right though if I pray to you for a miracle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:18 AM

I would.

But back in the days of George Graham, when their flat back four was not only ugly, but bloody effective. A less to us all back then.

he has already gone mate, already gone. Just the pound notes and face saving to deal with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:15 AM

It'll be a bloody miracle if Luis stays at Liverpool. But who'd wanna play fer Arsenal fer chrissake? Can we at least agree on that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:05 AM

If we don't secure a decent striker before the deadline, I'm afraid miracles form a large part of plan B...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:54 AM

He could have added that he who claims a miracle is a bloody liar. The ordinary laws of nature are more than wonderful enough. We don't need no miracles!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 AM

"He who does not allow his miracles to be investigated is a crook,
he who does not have the courage to investigate a miracle is gullible,
and he who is prepared to believe without verification is a fool."
- Dr Abraham T. Kovoor


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 AM

Fair enough. You and most people of the Christian faith too I suppose.

The question has to stand though, not necessarily in your case granted, that biblical dogma is stated as reason for secular laws or influencing of such laws. That is the hypocrisy I refer to.

Take the recent ongoing debates in the Anglican church over allowing female bishops. The only argument put forward to support what appears to outsiders as misogyny is that the Bible forbids it. Jesus had male disciples etc. Vicars represent the disciples yadda yadda.

Rather convenient. As to making their faith appear relevant to society, well most western societies have moved on. Ditto gay marriage. Bishops come on the telly saying the word marriage is a holy one. Not only pissing off gay people but inadvertently winding up the many marriages conducted other than in holy places. My second marriage was in a hotel.

Picking and choosing for personal guidance is one thing. Doing so to fortify debate on shaping society at large? Err. That's what church leaders seek to do and that is where convenient cherry picking weakens their argument.

By the way. Note pete's response to my question. To an outsider, he seems the real deal. I may disagree with him, I may feel his opinions dangerous if taken up, I may question how an intelligent person cannot see beyond blind faith in ancient ideas, but for all that, I admire his resolute commitment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 01:59 AM

I'll look into it some, pete, and see what I can find.

Keep in mind that what I value about Jesus is what he taught and demonstrated. He set a wonderful example of how to live what might be called a "Godly life", and people can learn from that example. I think that many of the things told about him later (such as the "virgin birth" story) were typical embellishments added to religious tales in that era...not literally true, in all probability, but very meaningful to members of the religion that was founded in his name.

And there's another interesting thing about Mary being termed "a virgin" in the stories. That expression in the vernacular of the original writings at the time can be translated simply as "a young woman" (not denoting sexual virginity in any clinical sense, but denoting youth and innocence). Mary appears to have been quite young when she was married, and the term "a virgin" would have been commonly used to describe any respectable young woman without making reference to her sexual virginity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 10:47 PM

"What gives you the right to pick and choose if it s all supposed to be holy Jack? Serious question. "

I am not picking and choosing. I am learning from all of it. God did flatten Sodom and Gomorrah. That doesn't mean that >> I << should destroy Los Vegas. Though some fundamentalists do feel that way. Jesus gave us dispensation from a lot of the OT laws. That's what our ministers said when I was young.

I look to the Bible for examples of what to do and what not to do.

When I was a child, I had night terrors and my mom read the 23rd Psalm to me. It was quite a comfort.

St Paul says a lot of thing that I do not agree with. But he was an evangelical preacher speaking to the people of his time. He is a wonderful example of that and the story of his conversion is wonderful and inspiring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 10:26 PM

pete, You may want to read "The Hero" By Lord Raglan 1956. He makes the point that nearly all mythic heros, including religious leaders and high order prophets such as Moses, Jesus, Buddha and Krishna have many similarities in their bios.

I think it is just the way stories of spiritual significance are told.



Her are some of the characteristics.



BIOGRAPHY OF A HERO
From Lord Raglan's The Hero
, New York, 1956:
The Story of the Hero of Tradition
1. His mother is a royal virgin
2. His father is a king, and
3. Often a near relative of his mother, but
4. The circumstances of his conception are unusual, and
5. He is reputed to be the son of a god.
6. At birth a attempt is made, often by his father, to kill him, but
7. He is spirited away, and
8. Reared by foster parents in a far country.
9. We are told nothing of his childhood, but
10. On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future kingdom.
11. After a victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast,
12. He marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor, and
13. Becomes king.
14. For a time he reigns uneventfully, and
15. Prescribes laws, but
16. Later he loses favor with the gods and/or his subjects, and
17. Is driven from the throne and city.
18. He meets with a mysterious death,
19. Often at the top of a hill,
20. His children, if any, do not succeed him.
21. His body is not buried, but nevertheless
22. He has one or more holy sepulchers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 05:11 PM

interesting LH that you have been reading about the very thing that tunesmith asserted.
rather than the generalizations, maybe you could cite just one god/man prior to Jesus that was said to be virgin born/died and was raised from the dead.
obviously it needs to be more than a superficial similarity to give this argument any serious credibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:59 PM

After 'accidently' ..*giggle* ..getting 500 on the other thread, I thought I'd leave it.. MY heart would never recover from getting 2 in one day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:45 PM

Ahhhh.... Still recovering from the incredible thrill of nailing the 300th post.

Okay. (be still, my beating heart)(well, not completely still, but, you know...)

Okay.

****

Amos - Brilliantly said, old pard! I believe you have expressed it quite aptly.

*****

tunesmith - "MOST Christians probably don't realise that Jesus's biography is "suspiciously" similar ( in modern parlance "a rip-off" )to that of earlier god/men."

True, most Christians now do not realize it...but...

A great many serious theologians, ministers, and people who've looked more deeply into Christianity most certainly DO realize it, and they understand how that would have happened through the process of "midrash" (the prevailing Jewish, and later Christian, custom of building symbolically upon previous sacred traditions when writing religious texts. Much of what Jesus does in the New Testament is a clear echo and extension from previous Jewish tales about Elijah, and is also echoed in tales from Egyptian mythology and other previous Middle Eastern religions. The "virgin birth", for example, is an idea found in several previous religions, and so is the notion of resurrection from the dead, and ascension of a God-man into Heaven. That these repetitions of previous traditions occur in the Christian writings was perfectly normal for religious writings of the time which were NOT written as literal "biography" or "history" texts, but as allegorical texts to inspire faith and to provoke spiritual thought. People in the 90 years after Jesus' death borrowed a great deal from many previous sacred traditions to make the story of Jesus one which would be suitably inspirational to Christian followers, using the literary style of the time. They would not have seen it as a "ripoff", but as what was normally done in religious tales. To view it as literal history or literal biography is to not understand the purpose or intention of those writings.)

Matter of fact, I've been reading some books about this very stuff just lately, and they are quite interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:26 PM

300!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM

A genuine thank you for the reference pete.

As to whether picking and choosing the bits of the Bible to emulate versus the bits to bury is good sense or hypocrisy? I'll leave that to those affected or troubled by their conscience. ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 04:55 PM

the song of Deborah [and barak] is found in judges 5,
interesting story for what is often alledged as demeaning to women is here presenting a heroine and the male hiding behind her.barak the army commander would not face the foe unless Deborah went with him.

serious question?i rather agree,musket.

ok tunesmith which god/men prior to Jesus were suspiciously like him.
I respect your choice to cease from faith in Christ,but I am not convinced that these alleged parallels are any more than superficial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket agreeing with guess who..
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 03:28 PM

Yeah, someone sang one song a few years ago they said was based on I think it was called the song of Deborah? They said it was from the bible and I thought it beautiful. Not being a biblical scholar, perhaps someone might enlighten me.

Some of the prayers our headmaster said in morning assembly may have washed over us, but when I was at a wedding recently and the vicar was pure King James, the nostalgia was comforting. At a funeral a while ago, I was asked to read the ubiquitous 23rd psalm. I asked for the King James text as my friend was about as religious as me, but I thought the nostalgia aspect would strike a chord with some of us. Beautiful to recite too. Pity it is comfort rather than hope.

Yes, there is a lot of wisdom, as there is in many well written books. The quality of the text nor the wisdom of the words should elevate wisdom to a level unbecoming of it though. Some bits are indeed wise, some silly, some fantasy and some downright wrong and immoral, but it is the words of men, and should be seen as such.

I'll have a pint of what Amos is on.

Sting in the tail. What gives you the right to pick and choose if it s all supposed to be holy Jack? Serious question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:48 PM

What Amos said,............ I think!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:47 PM

There are a lot of things about the OT God that are hard to accept. Joshua engaging in genocide, the nuking of the twin cities (Sodom and Gomorrah), and I happen to like shell fish and cheeseburgers.

There is also a lot of wisdom and poetry in those books, especially the psalms.

There is a lot of wisdom in the New Testament. What Amos said is interesting but I do not understand it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:29 PM

As an alternative to the boundless foofaraw that is generated by the corkscrew vision of a single Godhead with a testosterone-fueled personality disorder, I submit an alternate metaphysic: consider that the kingdom of Heaven is within you, and that all the cherubim and so forth are your own flights of delight; consider that each of us is the whole well, the Infinite made manifest. Consider that your entire personality is like a micron on the tippy end of a blooming flowered vine of endless extent, the smallest possible representation of the infinite possibility of your wider and truer (and godly) being.

This enables you, or me, or anyone, to completely let go of floundering diatribes and clashes of personal ire and such nonsense. I think it is a much more satisfactory version of the Universes than the Old Testament rendition of a naughty child at the head of the stairs throwing his tin soldiers down in a fit of pique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket again
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:16 PM

Yeah but Littlehawk, we have already discussed the parable versus account symbolism. Of course rational people don't take scripture literally, but when trusted pillars of society, priests, tell children t happened in real life, many grow up living with an unhealthy delusion that frustrates them or the rest of their lives.

That isn't nice..


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 10:32 AM

In reality the parables are simply made-up stories within a larger made-up story, and in made-up "fantasy" stories the authors can make anything happen.
The problem is that MOST Christians don't see the bigger picture because it isn't presented to them in school, or in church, or in the their own homes. They don't see the Jesus story in the context of a long line of Middle-Eastern god/men myths.
MOST Christians probably don't realise that Jesus's biography is "suspiciously" similar ( in modern parlance "a rip-off )to that of earlier god/men.
Indeed, not long ago, anyone trying to present the "bigger picture" would have been excommunicated or even put to death!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 09:11 AM

Nice to hear you've been "saved", Tunesmith. ;-) I would wager that the God you once believed in was quite unrealistic, and violated the laws of Nature, right? But which laws, specifically? And why?

Musket, any religious story that "doesn't obey physics" is probably a myth (a symbolic tale) intended to make some sort of ethical or spiritual point, wouldn't you think? There are almost innumerable examples of those throughout known civilizations, all the way from Tierra Del Fuego to the Arctic and from China to pre-Columbian America. Only a minority of them are in the Christian tradition, and there's usually something interesting to learn about the cultures they came from by studying the tales.

For instance, I doubt that most Greeks took the story of Icarus literally. Perhaps some of the common people did, but I suspect that the more educated people realized that it was a parable about hubris:

"In Greek mythology, Icarus (the Latin spelling, conventionally adopted in English; Ancient Greek: Ἴκαρος, Íkaros, Etruscan: Vikare[1]) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaëton—both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition—and is often depicted in art. Today, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies."

To throw out the parable on the basis that it "violates the laws of physics" (or of common sense) is to miss the point of the parable entirely...something that only an imagination-deprived chowderhead or an utter prat could possibly do, seems to me.

And to take it as literally would be similarly foolish, of course...but that's what both the fundamentalist who believes literally in myth AND the materialist who rejects it literally are doing. They're BOTH making the same error in being literal, but from the exact opposite point of view. One insists on literal belief. The other insists on literal disbelief. Both miss the point of the parable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 06:47 AM

It surely is a fallacy that these religion vs atheist debates are a waste of time.
I, for one, have shifted from believing in God to being an atheist because of on-line debates!
Interestingly, rejecting the notion of God has not caused me any mental anguish, but, ironically, I feel that I have been "freed" by the light of reason over blind - nonsensical - faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 06:18 AM

When evangelicals were pro choice


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 03:56 AM

""As you clearly have no interest in discussing the topic and only in attacking me. I shall try to ignore such attacks in future.""

Uhuh! Attacking Atheists and then..................Poor you!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Clapton
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 02:43 AM

Yeah, made me smile.

Of course, any man made devastation with huge casualties tends to be given the label "biblical proportions" so whilst any religious story that doesn't obey physics is to be taken with a biblical pillar of salt, the ultimate justification for religious people feeling smug is that you can attach a prophesy to any man made event should you choose.

After all, the mindset that believes in God is already susceptible to gullibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 11:01 PM

Yes, indeed. It's a good article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 10:57 PM

from the essay above.


"Should the more sophisticated but equally zealous advocates of a Middle-East-cum-worldwide holocaust gain sufficient voice in the making of American foreign policy, we may discover that questions about the flux of history that delivered us to this point, or whether the Rapture can be defended Biblically, or the ongoing banter about who's crazy and who's not, have become irrelevant. We could say, then, that the realest thing about the Rapture is that it's an idea with the potential for making the earth into a graveyard. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 10:49 PM

an informative essay on The Rapture


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