All Things Religion Thread

Balance's picture
Balance started the topic in Sunday, 29 Mar 2020 at 2:13pm

Here you go optimist

Not sure my motivation...my instinctive need to stick up for the underdog...my secret desire to be one day honoured rightfully with the role of Forum moderator (expecting a call any day)...

But anyway I couldn't help but read your troubles on another thread...unfortunately I found myself siding with everyone's posts...other than your own...except for the part where you were told you can't post here!

So I put my low IQ mind to coming up with a solution that suits all...and here it is...a safe place if you like

You can post anything you like about your beliefs...and no one has to read it unless they want! Easy peasy...

maybe you could even get Jesus, fat Buddha, Mohammed, and friends to converse in adult conversation here

Solving the world problems, one at a time...call it taking a shovel as a way of moving that mountain

All the best...brother

PS...I actually was born again once, but I grew up, and grew a brain of my own...and realised it was all a load of shit!

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brutus commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 10:31am

Indo....it also depends on what you re looking for in Life...entertainment seems to be the lust of a decadent society revelling in secular behavior....which is why society now seems to so fragmented , man's law just doesn't cut it......confusion /Chaos and no moral leaders.....
So .."What shits me about religion these days is more the politically correctness around it, for instance its almost cool to bag Christianity but Islam is totally off limits.

IMHO this needs to change all religion needs to reform and adapt for the modern world, not the other way around."

cool to bag Christianity...how sad , when the actual word /Gospels of Jesus ..all he talks about is equality/love / respect for others.......but of course we judge "The Word" by the interpretations and actions of sinners.......
the word of God is pure ....by trying to spruik up the Bible for the "modern World " , then we end up with man's version to suit him and not the other way around.......
Man made marketing to sell the Bible...nah , just do your homework on the issue of having faith in something other than toys and entertainment to fulfill your life!

adam12's picture
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adam12 commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 10:35am

Pops and Optimist, thanks for your replies yesterday. It is good to be able to ask for your opinions and knowledge on such things. Much appreciated.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 10:35am

Brutus, are you saying that industrialised imperialism, Fascism, Aryanism, Communism, the Atlantic slave trade, advanced chemical and nuclear weapons are based wholly or in part on the Bible's laws?

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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 10:58am

Point being, the ‘Judeo-Christian values’ narrative which assumes that it has been primarily religious ideas that have helped to restrain our worst inclinations, is a bit on the weak side.

I'd venture that the actual foundation of modern Western civilisation is a secular tradition of conjecture and criticism of ideas, which continually resolves our deepest problems and conflicts without the need for violence.

After all, religion has historically been pretty big on violence.

frog's picture
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frog commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:33am

There is a book called "Quest of the historical Jesus"(by Albert Schweitzer) that analyses the Bible and other writings from the time from the perspective of a historian trying to determine as best he could who Jesus was, his aims and the historical context of the times. In brief it concludes that:
- Jesus existed.
- He was Jew throughout his life and wanted to reform the Jewish religion.
- There is no evidence in his life or teachings that he wanted to start a new religion in his own name.
- He was very much a man of his times and immediate world - i.e. there was no hint of insight into the future or the wider world.
- He had many doubts and uncertainties about God and his purposes and seemed to be guessing and wondering like all the rest of humanity then and now.
- He had great wisdom and used stories to make points very well that were the evolution of much thought on people and society and right and wrong behavior built up over generations.
- He did not seem to have the certainty of a son of god with a direct channel to an almighty - he pondered and wondered a lot.
- He and his followers were convinced with a fervor that the coming of the lord would happen in their lifetime and heaven would be on earth. They had to let everyone know - it was urgent that they prepare.
- He let his life fulfil past prophecies in the genuine hope that this would make the coming of the lord happen - he hoped to trigger the event.

Now after he died his followers expected the coming of their lord and heaven on earth to happen very soon - days, week or maybe months. That gave them tremendous energy and power in their prosthetalising. Time passed. Nothing happened. Heaven did not come on earth. Doubt set in.

So Paul had his vision and cleverly came up with the concept that heaven was some other mystical place - up in the sky or somewhere and relieved the followers of the burden and embarrassment of waiting in an unchanged world with nothing happening. He also realised that Jesus could become something much more than became a prophet. He could become the son of god and be worshipped and give his teachings and Paul the leader more authority.

Paul largely invented Christianity. Jesus would be shocked if he saw what his aim to reform the Jewish religion had become. What developed could well be better called Paulianity - as it was largely his invention.

Now this does not make many of Jesus' teachings unimportant as a guide for living. But it does create a lot of uncertainty about what we are taught he was and stood for and the content of religious thought that evolved. These were man's creation and invention over the next 2000 years - perhaps with guidance or perhaps not - no one knows..

As for the coming of heaven on earth - we are still waiting.

Frogg

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 10:58am

I agree Andy.

secularisation as far as science, the rule of law and political systems go has been far more beneficial to humanity than religion.

Religion may well be the ultimate divider of people.

As Pops once said (and I hope not taken out of context because he always argues in good faith) Christianity is basically incompatible with plurality because not all religions can be right.

So what to do with the majority of humanity who believe in a different God/belief system etc etc?

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:01am

Adam, my pleasure.
Andy, the recognition that all people are created in the image of God (therefore all have equal, intrinsic value) has been a strong force in history; albeit not as strong as it ought to have been. Secular discourse of course had been another strong force.
Etarip, that's awful. The various churches have definitely had a chequered history.
Thing is (and I'm in no way trying to apologise for any of the stuff that's happened to you, just to separate message from messenger), the gospel is that we can be saved despite how bad we are, not because of how good we are. So churches tend to have people just as shitty as the rest of society.

He who hesitates is lost

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goofyfoot commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:03am

“ Man made marketing to sell the Bible...nah , just do your homework on the issue of having faith in something other than toys and entertainment to fulfill your life!” - Brutus.

This is a bit rich coming from a guy who makes toys for people for a living.
And talking about respect for others... for the last two months you’ve been threading to beat the Christ (pardon the pun) out of someone on Beachgrit
What a load of shit Brutus

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Westofthelake commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:07am

As above.

Good question fr76.

Each to their own (belief system) I say.
Religion, everyone's got a viewpoint.
FWIW I’m happy to chuck in a shekel

Firstly with a story, a heavenly joke in Christian circles perhaps?

I love the old story of the rich man who, on his death bed, negotiated with God to allow him to bring his earthly treasures with him when he came to heaven. God's reaction was that this was a most unusual request, but since this man had been exceptionally faithful, permission was granted to bring along just one suitcase. The time arrived, the man presented himself at the pearly gates, suitcase in hand- BOTH hands, actually, since he had stuffed it with as many bars of gold bullion as would fit. St. Peter said, "Sorry, you know the rules-you can't take it with you." But the man protested, "God said I could … one suitcase." St. Peter checked, found out that this one would be an exception, prepared to let the man enter, then said, "OK, but I will have to examine the contents before you pass." He took the suitcase, opened it, saw the gold bars and asked quizzically, "You brought PAVEMENT?"

Now here is George Carlin with his view of religion:

“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”

Of course the whole narrative of the bible is based upon recorded stories, and from another perspective:

"No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we've all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.
About 400 years passed between the writing of the first Christian manuscripts and their compilation into the New Testament. (That's the same amount of time between the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and today.) The first books of the Old Testament were written 1,000 years before that. In other words, some 1,500 years passed between the day the first biblical author put stick to clay and when the books that would become the New Testament were chosen. There were no printing presses beforehand or until 1,000 years later. There were no vacuum-sealed technologies to preserve paper for centuries. Dried clay broke, papyrus and parchment crumbled away, primitive inks faded.
Back then, writings from one era could be passed to the next only by copying them by hand. While there were professional scribes whose lives were dedicated to this grueling work, they did not start copying the letters and testaments about Jesus's time until centuries after they were written.

Prior to that, amateurs handled the job.
These manuscripts were originally written in Koiné, or "common" Greek, and not all of the amateur copyists spoke the language or were even fully literate. Some copied the script without understanding the words. And Koiné was written in what is known as scriptio continua—meaning no spaces between words and no punctuation. So, a sentence like weshouldgoeatmom could be interpreted as "We should go eat, Mom," or "We should go eat Mom." Sentences can have different meaning depending on where the spaces are placed. For example, godisnowhere could be "God is now here" or "God is nowhere."

None of this mattered for centuries, because Christians were certain God had guided the hand not only of the original writers but also of all those copyists. But in the past 100 years or so, tens of thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered, dating back centuries. And what biblical scholars now know is that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones—in fact, even copies from the same time periods differ from each other."

In a post yesterday Brutus said:
"...Heaven........pretty simple really that God sent his son to save us, and that we can only reach God through his son accepting Jesus as Lord."

I used to wonder about the 'there is only one way to Me' core belief, so years ago I got to ask an old mate a couple of questions.

Why is there the idea that Jesus Christ is our 'saviour'? Will there ever be heaven on earth?

To which he replied,

"I believe that the idea has to some degree, been misunderstood.

In relation to the word ‘saviour’, I assume that this wasn’t what the individual called Christ actually meant to call himself.

What we call the ‘Christ Consciousness’ is the collective, the combined consciousness, the positive side combined consciousness of the entire planet. It is aware of itself as a singular consciousness, but also aware of itself as the combination of all the collective consciousnesses. The idea of the manifestation in physical terms of what we call the ‘Christ’ actually happened far more often than once.

In every endeavour, in every projection of the Christ as a physical expression, the idea was to show us that we are all part of the Christ. Not in the sense that ‘it’ is our ‘saviour’ and that we have no power to create the reality we desire, but more simply our power to create that reality is a part of what ‘it’ actually is. At the time that the information was delivered the concepts that were understood by people 2000 years ago could only translate the idea in terms of being a ‘ruler’ and being ‘ruled’.

Therefore humanity created the idea that the Christ was a ‘saviour’ in that sense that he would do everything for us, rather than understanding that all the Christ is is a reflection to each and every one of us that we are aspects of the Christ, and have an absolute right to create the elevation and ascension of our own energies as a representation of that energy.

The Christ consciousness is a miniature version of all that is and in that sense this is why our society has translated it out to ‘son of God’

Humanity has placed many labels, many definitions which in and of themselves are the only things responsible for limiting our ability to see that we are ‘all’ the Christ.
By the way, one of the manifestations, the physical manifestations, of the direct Christ consciousness that we have mostly forgotten to recognise is the one who we call Mary the mother of Jesus, as the female polarity of the Christ.

There’s always male and female in the collective Christ consciousness.

The second coming is not the manifestation of the consciousness in a single embodiment, it is the awakening of the Christ consciousness in all of us. This is the only way you can make heaven on earth."

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:19am

FR, not taken out of context, Christianity is indeed incompatible with plurality.
See my posts on the previous pages for a bit more nuance though.

Frog,
There's been a few books with that title - which author?
A couple of vague thoughts on that:
Most "quest for historical Jesus" type books come from a standpoint where any references to the supernatural (miracles etc) cannot be historical and therefore must be rejected from analysis. Do that to any references to Jesus and of course you end up with nothing more than a man, with a very different life-context than the gospels give.
Better (imo) to treat each gospel as a historical text, keep an open mind on miracles, and judge the events told using the "historical criterion of authenticity":
-historical congruence
-independent, early attestation
-embarrassment (if something is awkward or counterproductive to the source's interests, it's more likely to be true)
-dissimilarity (difference to antecedent or subsequent ideas; less likely to be a trope)
-coherence.

He who hesitates is lost

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:26am

Did God create the rainbow serpent ?

Asking for a friend.

udo's picture
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udo commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:29pm

.

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:32am

A thought on all the fire-and-brimstone stuff...

There's a pretty strong biblical pattern of God judging people by giving them what they want and letting the consequences play out.
So for those who reject God, they will be given an existence without God. God is the source of all good (the very concept of good is grounded in His nature), so this existence will be seperated from all good-ness. The "fire send brimstone"/"wailing and gnashing of teeth" images are just ways to describe how bad that will be.

He who hesitates is lost

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:33am

Christianity’s decline in the West coincided with Enlightenment thinking for a very good reason.
The softening of Christian theocracy’s grip on humanity meant that people were freer to pursue more rational systems of ethics.
It was precisely when and where the secular ideas of free speech, individual rights and democracy waned, such as in early-20th century Germany, that violence and terror resumed their default status as plagues on the human condition.

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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:35am

Clinging on to the myth that Judeo-Christian values brought about modern civilisation is not only mistaken, but dangerous.
This is because it doubles down on a commitment to sources of dogmatism that have fostered so much division and animosity throughout history.

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GuySmiley commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:39am

Seriously?

Religious belief requires faith.

Faith noun "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof"

Proof noun "evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement".

Fact noun "a thing that is known or proved to be true".

So the pious amongst us believe in and preach an external (to self) God that requires large doses of faith and the suspension of all logical thought.

I really do try to respect individuals with any religious belief but the organised churches, religious movements and/or faiths they belong to need to be viewed with the greatest amount of suspicion - world and social history would dictate anything less would be a gross act of faith.

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:40am

Where do you understand that the idea of the right of the individual arose from, Andy?

He who hesitates is lost

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:44am

Guy,
I've responded to that definition of the word "faith" on one of the earlier pages of this thread (round the time of the first lockdown I think). That definition is not correct for how the word "faith" is used in christianese jargon. Have a read and let me know what you think? (I'll try to find the right page).

He who hesitates is lost

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frog commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:46am

Quite an old book!

The Quest of the Historical Jesus is a 1906 work written by Albert Schweitzer

An interesting conclusion was " Jesus genuinely believed that his ministry would bring about the end of history and did not see any prolonged period elapsing between his time on earth and God's final judgment."

Over 2000 years later we can conclude he was wrong on this "minor" point.

Frogg

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shoredump commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:55am

On the money there, Westof

@Guy, isn't it fascinating how such brilliant minds can accept faith.
Massive fear of death I guess

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:53am

Sure, bit of an issue if true, but I personally don't see Jesus teaching that He thought the "day of the Lord" was imminent - though He did claim that only the person of the Father had that knowledge of when it would be (during the time where he was an incarnate man & so did not have perfect conscious knowledge). Mark 13:32.

Guy, from a response to chook on page 1:
"The new atheist movement twisted what Christianity understood faith to mean. We don't understand faith to be belief without reason. The greek word translated as faith, "pistis", can also be translated "to convince by argument". You could say that faith consists of knowledge of said events (and teachings), and then trust and assent that they are true. The knowledge is arrived at by normal epistemological means."

He who hesitates is lost

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 11:57am

Frog, Schweitzer was one of the one's I was thinking about in critiquing the exclusion of miracles. This from his book:
"That does not mean that the problem of miracle is solved. From the historical point of view it is really impossible to solve it, since we are not able to reconstruct the process by which a series of miracle stories arose, or a series of historical occurrences were transformed into miracle stories, and these narratives must simply be left with a question mark standing against them. What has been gained is only that the exclusion of miracle from our view of history has been universally recognized as a principle of criticism, so that miracle no longer concerns the historian either positively or negatively."
So basically he outright rejects all events with miraculous happenings as non-historical before he even starts - of course he gets a warped caricature of Jesus.

He who hesitates is lost

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:02pm

Pops I see the European wars of religion (fought to disrupt the religious and political order in the Catholic countries of Europe) and the civil wars of seventeenth-century Kingdom of England giving rise to the philosophy of liberalism and belief in natural rights.
Obviously these became a central concern of European intellectual culture during the eighteenth-century Age of Enlightenment.

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Blowin commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:17pm

I can’t judge people too harshly on their faith whilst I too have spiritual beliefs sustained without evidence. It’s the hard adherence to a text which is so obviously lacking in credibility that I find a bit puzzling. Seems a bit like living your life by the specific dictates of a 2000 year old Qanon type deal.

It’s one thing to hold a belief in the idea of god but another to take the scriptures as literal gospel .

Whatever. Each to their own as long as they don’t expect me to respect their beliefs beyond a courteous tolerance.

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:14pm

OK.
I see an older root in man-in-the-image-of-God, suppressed by the corrupt catholic church then re-discovered so to speak though not fully realised in the reformation period.

He who hesitates is lost

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etarip commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:22pm

Brutus: thanks for your reply. You’ve taken part of my comment out of context.
“Sad to hear all your stories , and your idea to ban the scriptures is a self perpetuating issue , and now you are banning free speech...”
That’s bullshit mate. Strawman. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying I don’t support scripture classes in state (public) schools.
I do support ethics and religious education, not indoctrination of kids into an unproven set of theories by rank amateur proselytising - ‘scripture class’ at school. It’s deeply unethical and morally questionable.

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etarip commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:22pm

Brutus: thanks for your reply. You’ve taken part of my comment out of context.
“Sad to hear all your stories , and your idea to ban the scriptures is a self perpetuating issue , and now you are banning free speech...”
That’s bullshit mate. Strawman. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying I don’t support scripture classes in state (public) schools.
I do support ethics and religious education, not indoctrination of kids into an unproven set of theories by rank amateur proselytising - ‘scripture class’. It’s deeply unethical and morally questionable.

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synchrodogcal commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:25pm

interesting discussion

the thing I don't understand about religion is the need to be saved. what are we supposed to be getting saved from? ourselves? reality tv? facebook? the devil? (I guess the last two could be considered one and the same)

I like to think I live a good life, I try to be kind, humble, happy and if i can help anyone else live the same way if they're not enjoying their life, then I will.

so what am I being saved from?

i don't believe in god, an afterlife, or tax free status for religion, is that why i need saving?

who's going to save me? nobody

don't need saving

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Blowin commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:43pm

School scripture class was also highly unsuccessful.

I can’t think of a single person I’ve ever met who was swayed to religion by those scripture classes . Even the rank dullards seemed to immediately recognise it as bullshit if they hadn’t been bred into it . I suppose it’s a high volume / low margin game .

Pretty respectable free kick getting the government to underwrite the proselytising though. It gives reason to consider just how much the tentacles of the religious cults still entwine our society.

Was just watching the movie “ The other Boleyn girl “ recently and thought about how Henry the Eight put the first real knife into the Italian religious mafia and basically commenced the slow -and still unfinished- movement towards expunging the parasitic organised “ religion “movement and creating secular society. It’s been a long time coming.

Guaranteed that the current religious cults would be immediately replaced by something else as soon as their influence was removed. People are spiritually vulnerable and there’ll always be someone to exploit this. I suppose we should just be grateful that the current crop are presently satisfied by taking their unearned tithe in financial power instead of demanding the direct blood sacrifices of cults past.

If I had to choose I’d rather see the cults somehow evade taxation on their business profits than be entitled to throw a quantity of virgins into the volcano each season.

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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:33pm

"man-in-the-image-of-God"

It's beyond my understanding and readings, but that statement begs so many questions that I expect we have very little chance of answering satisfactorily.

Suffice to say that I believe there would have been an idea of the right of the individual in a huge number of cultures, regardless of whether or not religion was involved.

And as I've said, religion across the board, whether Catholic or other, clearly did not address the right of the individual to any acceptable extent, hence the wars and the concepts of The Renaissance and the Age of Reason.

Again, I find it hard to accept that Judeo-Christian values brought about modern civilisation.

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Jelly Flater commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:35pm

AndyM, frogg, freeride and westofthelake - excellent contributions!
And just a reminder to all, especially the ‘believers’... this thread is ALL things religion.... not ‘let’s try push the Jesus thing as ALL religion’. Seems to be a constant, especially in our ‘western civilisation’ idea of things - one can never disregard the cultural and historical significance of the fact that most of us in the west are categorically ignorant and critical of other religious teachings or scriptures because all we know and wish to know is ‘our’ version of religion according to what we think we know - or, in fact, pretend to know...
As Brutus so proudly claims - ‘are you aware that western civilisation is based on the bible laws’.... well, how bout delving into the commandments of ‘thou shalt not kill’ or ‘thou shalt not steal’. Pretty sure we here in the west still provide state sanctioned killing all across the world - and noticing your so called ‘historical facts’ in regard to Jesus - let’s not forget the crusades, the rape and genocide of indigenous cultures, slavery and the continued oppression perpetuated by judeo christian aligned governments and ideologies. Pretty sure the historical truths there cannot be denied or ignored.
Brutus, I do appreciate your response and for sharing your personal experiences - however, how is it any different to you accusing another here of how their ‘ideas’ in regard to banning scriptures as being a self perpetuating issue! Any idea of supposedly claiming the only way to find god is through Jesus and ‘the logical extension of faith in god is Jesus’ is absolutely divisive, truly misleading and categorically false. It is only your self perpetuating issue no different from someone who is an atheist.
Now... ‘how much have you read on Jesus and the historical truth’ you ask...
Well I have read the bible on more than a few occasions and was educated by jesuits ;) Spent a solid part of my adolescent life immersed in the old and New Testament under various teachers. I’ve read the Koran multiple times. (Historical references to Jesus in there!) I’ve also read the Bhagavad Gita and done intensive study on the upanishads and Mahabharata and yoga sutras by patanjali - these endeavours actually spurred on by the thirst to understand and acknowledge Jesus as a prophet and his place amongst other spiritual teachers. (Maybe also out of curiosity to better get why so many people and organisations choose Jesus as the ‘only’ one etc.)
The odd constant and recurring thing amongst the whole ‘Jesus’ thing is how the ‘Jesus’ people are so fervently trying to maintain and convince us that ‘he’ is the only true way. I’m sure Jesus would be shuddering at not only the untruths perpetuated by ‘believers’, but also the mindless violence and control mechanisms that have been invented in his name. Not sure the peace, love and forgiveness was applied to any mass murder, colonisation and forced indoctrination ;)
Anyway, what I’m getting at is what we supposedly ‘know’ from a personal viewpoint or historical sense are actually unknowns. The human mind has an amazing potential and habit of creating what ‘suits’ in accordance to what we don’t understand. Religion is the counter weight to this.
Brutus - ‘19 car crashes, 3 times cancer survivor, 10 x 2 waves hold downs, 1 x 3 wave hold downs...’ Impressive resume of near death stuff. The stuff that actually can make you feel alive, the stuff that also opens one up to ‘god’ and ‘Jesus’ etc... maybe unexplained events, maybe soul searching triggers - and good on you for garnering some idea of appreciation and humility if this is what you have gained, or supposedly gained.
Maybe you are a bad driver or get in cars with bad drivers? Maybe a touch of experience as a waterman added to not drowning in heavy water situations... maybe it was ‘Jesus’ looking over you... who knows? Do you really know? The only known is that you survived. And trying to make sense of that is a natural response.
Maybe it’s a self perpetuating issue as soon as you bring ‘god’ into the equation and hence your faith is strengthened?....
But I guess only you know that.
In my life experiences spirituality is often tied to death or near death - I’ve also had the immensely powerful honour of being invited to participate in Hindu ceremonies and been invited into mosques to pray. As a non Muslim I came to learn that my pre conceived ideas on Islam and muslims had been incorrectly tainted and moulded by the ‘Christian’ influence. In Singapore, an Egyptian man encouraged me to join him for prayer after deciding I had ‘kind eyes’ as I watched from behind a barricade where us Anglo ‘non believers’ had been positioned... I was in the Muslim quarters there to get some amazing street food and had been drawn to the mosque to simply admire the building and read up on the history... once inside there was quite a ruckus and the imam had to be called to quell the discord that had arisen because other muslims weren’t exactly thrilled at my presence. However, he gave approval to being invited as a guest -there is a name given for such a person that is allowed temporary ‘guidance’ and it’s not ‘acceptable infidel’ ;);) and the experience I had in the mosque was nothing other worldly but I can tell you it was well beyond anything ever experienced in a church....
I’m not saying this makes it better or more profound or spiritually significant - it did however make it obvious that the ‘parishioners’ or ‘believers’ or whatever term you wish to use are the problem when it comes to ‘religion’. Think of the word ‘fan’. It’s short for fanatic. Now we have Christian/Jesus fanatics, Hindu fanatics, Muslim/Mohammed fanatics and straight up fanatics in all walks of life. Sport fanatics - soccer ‘hooligans’ for example.... in my martial arts and yoga world experience I’ve come across multitudes of knobheads who sprout ‘their’ way as being the ‘only’ way. I actually know a few guys from Europe who have honed their martial skills to such an extent that they can go to the soccer prepared enough that if they need to defend themselves against multiple attackers they got that covered! I know Brazilians who specifically train high level ju jitsu so they can surf where they want when they want! Fanatics.
My point is this ‘idea’ or this fervour that is born in a human is born mostly and retained and expressed through religion more than anything. I use the examples of sport etc as being more modern vessels where this religious style fervour manifests.
And to Brutus, optimist or whoever wants to sprout the whole ‘only through Jesus’ stuff - well, I encourage you to read more... maybe more scripture even that isn’t Jesus aligned. Expand your intellectual experience beyond what you think you know... remember that classic surf vid ‘shelter’ by the malloys... it begins with ‘no matter how smart you are, you can always learn’. I’m not saying you guys are wrong or need to look elsewhere, I’m just saying you have a very limited and one dimensional approach to ‘your’ religious experience and spiritual endeavour... As I’ve already tried to mention - attempt to go beyond ‘your’ ideas and investigations that only relate to past events whether they be life altering illnesses or profound experiences of near death. Question what you think you know, explore all faiths and don’t settle for what is a culturally influenced psychological buffer.
The imagination is a wonderful and endless catalyst for insight - please consider when it comes to Jesus and ‘your’ version in relation to ‘him’ or ‘god’ or whatever unexplainable force, try consider what IS real. No video, book, interpretation of scripture or past memory or future hope can explain or make sense of what is occurring NOW.
And that might just be all there is, but hey, don’t believe anything I’m rambling on about. Keep your faith - this is not a challenge either - just be open to the possibility you may know nothing ;););)

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GuySmiley commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:37pm

Nice distortion there pops .... and now with a flute up his nose its Ralph Wiggum

"The new atheist movement twisted what Christianity understood faith to mean ..... "

WITF is the new atheist movement .... classic conservative narrative 101 .... there is always an external body to blame, always a baddie a sinner, FFS.

It all swings on faith in some invisible external supreme being thingie full stop ..... but hey believe what you want but please don't get on here preaching your BS.

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:40pm

"Suffice to say that I believe there would have been an idea of the right of the individual in a huge number of cultures, regardless of whether or not religion was involved."
Sure, I wouldn't dispute that that's likely. Less relevant to western society though.
As for the next two paras, I'd absolutely acknowledge that the church through history has done at best a mixed job on this.
All I would say is that the Judeo-Christian worldview was one significant part of the mix; not the only one (12th century Islamic early scienctificish thought would be another one).

He who hesitates is lost

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Pops commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 12:51pm

Guy,
Not sure what you're on about.
Not blaming others, just trying to explain the difference in how you and I understand the word faith, with a little context on where the semantic divide arose in popular discourse. The "new atheists" = the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins, etc. Common term to label their school of thought.

" please don't get on here preaching your BS." In my defence, this is a forum named "All things religion".

He who hesitates is lost

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:01pm

Significant part of the mix I would agree to Pops, I was just disagreeing with Brutus' statement that "western civilization is based on the Bibles laws".

Brutus ain't big on accuracy, except maybe when he's mowing blanks.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:03pm

@brutus

Is you faith a more recent thing or something you found some time ago?

What and why was the changing point?

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frog commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:06pm

We need "saving" because human nature needs a payoff / reward for work, effort, tithe, donations and all that time spent, praying, talking about the religion, listening to people talking about religion, singing about stuff and trying to convert others.

"Saving" = an invisible, intangible, infinitely divisible reward for the flock that can be conjured up from thin air. Very clever concept.

If they had had a crypto currency back then they might have used that instead.

Frogg

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:09pm

I have to say i always thought many aspects of western law, expected morals etc in the west was based on Christianity or what was in the bible, lot of our laws etc seem to be based around then ten commandments etc.

Western culture does have roots in Christianity, so surely it has shaped our society a lot.

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Blowin commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:21pm

The opposite is true . Christianity “ reappropriated “ western culture .

https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the idea of Christianity inventing “ Murder is bad “ and “ stealing is bad “ is not based on any fact whatsoever.

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synchrodogcal commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:20pm

so saving is just mind games 101 eh, frog

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Fliplid commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:25pm

"In other words, some 1,500 years passed between the day the first biblical author put stick to clay and when the books that would become the New Testament were chosen."

Westofthelake here's another gem from Richard Fidler is his interview with Irvine Finkel.

https://www.abc.net.au/radio-australia/programs/conversations/irving-fin...

Or this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_fkpZSnz2I&list=LLzPbeXEQiXFE3gk9-4WsC6...

It is an account of how the story of Moses and the ark in the bible is basically just a plagiarised version of a story that has been passed down through various cultures through the ages.

"Irving realised that this was the story of Noah and his Ark, predating the account in the Bible by thousands of years."

And in the words of Kerry Packer after he was revived after being clinically dead.

"I’ve been to the other side, and let me tell you, son, there’s fucking nothing there. "

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brutus commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:46pm

andyM.."Brutus, are you saying that industrialised imperialism, Fascism, Aryanism, Communism, the Atlantic slave trade, advanced chemical and nuclear weapons are based wholly or in part on the Bible's laws?"

I am reading a book at the moment called " The book that made your World , how the Bible created the soul of western Civilization." by Vishal Mangalwadi .....which explores and makes "us" aware of
1) What triggered the West's passion for scientific/medical and technological advancement.
2) how the biblical notion of human dignity informs the West's social structure and how it intersects with other world views.
3) How the bible created fertile ground for women to find social and economic empowerment
4) How the Bible has uniquely equipped the West to cultivate compassion , human rights , prosperity and strong families.
5) the role of the Bible in the transformation of education.
6) How the modern literary notion of a hero has been shaped by the Bible's archetypal protagonist.

Very insightful from an Indian intellect , who just happens to be Christian and comes to the conclusion /discovers secular corruption endangers the stability and longevity of Western Civilization.
see if this youtube video helps.......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jJBAg6LY4k

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Blowin commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:52pm

Udo - Whilst I’m not suggesting that your link reflects any true path of realised spirituality ( or even that it doesn’t do the same ) it does underline one of my main reasons for disliking the mainstream organised religions.

It’s the way they purposely deny any oxygen to alternative religious practices as a way to suppress competition to what is essentially their business model.

I do think that schooling should include recognition of spirituality as part of their curriculum as spirituality is obviously an essential element of mankind’s happiness. Even if the spirituality only ever extends to the point of being grateful for one’s life it will enhance the lives of all practitioners .

Spirituality should be formerly encouraged and recognised. Unfortunately this sphere is so dominated by the mafias of organised religion that the very idea of religion is deemed impossible to conceive with any respect unless it’s sought through one of these religious mafia franchises.

The state will allow children to be indoctrinated into a franchise religion as part of the curriculum whilst other forms of spirituality are not given any such headway . Why is this do you think ?

It’s because the religious mafia brook no competition and will corrupt society so as to perpetuate dominance. Coercion of politics is one way they achieve this end.

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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:51pm

Blowin, social guides to good behaviour would have existed long before the Bible, and of course religion chose to ignore these guides when it suited them.
Modern western culture is based around the ideas of reason and individualism born out of the Enlightenment.
You could certainly make an argument that modern western culture has evolved out of a rejection of Biblical/religious values.

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brutus commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 1:54pm

Hi Freeride......Ok , read The Book that made your world by Vishal Mangalwadi....this dispels a lot of the myths and notions that the Bible is just some old book...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jJBAg6LY4k.......

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brutus commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 2:05pm

yeah goofyfoot , I make toys and am playing a game with Bex on BG...about racism and yet here I am trying to explain what spiritual grounding is , what is Gods law? has the secular movement now been found wanting and falling apart???
As for me , on a new journey.......out of politics , downsizing business , no community actions anymore....we are no longer a surf community in Torquay....so I am no longer relevant here...it was all an illusion...if they want to develop Bells , it's only a surf spot , and the community no longer cares........so a new world coming for me!

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sypkan commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 2:42pm

good discussion indeed

"...I'd venture that the actual foundation of modern Western civilisation is a secular tradition of conjecture and criticism of ideas, which continually resolves our deepest problems and conflicts without the need for violence."

yep

"...secularisation as far as science, the rule of law and political systems go has been far more beneficial to humanity than religion."

and yep... possibly... but one could argue it's the relative mellowness of western country religions that allowed the good conducive conditions for these ideas and systens to develop in the first place...

not a popular idea amongst the ip fawners... but highly possible (likely) nonetheless...

"....So the pious amongst us believe in and preach an external (to self) God that requires large doses of faith and the suspension of all logical thought."

and here lies the problem for the strict adherents and proselytisers... when questions are asked, it all comes back to 'interpretation' and cherry picking from pretty vague (old) statements that are supposed to override the here and now unquestionably

it's pretty much pure blind faith that determines who's 'narrative' is accepted and in turn boosted.... both within countries and between countries and their respective religions...

and it's this blind faith that forms the narrative for how individuals make their own sense of the world, ...which is kinda what jelly flater was on about... i think....

"...I can’t judge people too harshly on their faith whilst I too have spiritual beliefs sustained without evidence. It’s the hard adherence to a text which is so obviously lacking in credibility that I find a bit puzzling. Seems a bit like living your life by the specific dictates of a 2000 year old Qanon type deal.

It’s one thing to hold a belief in the idea of god but another to take the scriptures as literal gospel .

Whatever. Each to their own as long as they don’t expect me to respect their beliefs beyond a courteous tolerance."

and yep yep

this... 'must put trust in...'

'must wholeheartedly...''

'without question...'

'put faith in the word...' ... etc. etc.

...is just a step too far for most people in the modern context

and it does seem rather silly putting your whole blind faith into something written by a bunch of seemingly semi crackpots thousands of years ago...

the come back argument is always something along the lines of... if you fully submit... put your faith in... i've seen the magic of jesus... etc etc.

well I've seen magical and mysterious things too... i just don't attribute it to jesus...

I'm pretty sure made, wayan, mbak dewi, takashi-san, mr. wang, browny (kevin), and others attibute it elswhere too...

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sypkan commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 2:20pm

any chance of an enter key here and there jellyflater?

we call it 'paragraphs'

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AndyM commented Monday, 28 Dec 2020 at 2:22pm

Good Lord Brutus, really??

Just points 3 and 4 are cause for hilarity.

3) How the bible created fertile ground for women to find social and economic empowerment

How does this reconcile with Exodus 20:17, Numbers 5:12-28, Corinthians 14:34-35 etc etc??

and 4) How the Bible has uniquely equipped the West to cultivate compassion , human rights , prosperity and strong families.

Racism much??

Are you taking the piss Brutus, you can't be serious.