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Hyperborean
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06 Dec 2015, 3:43 pm

Alexanderplatz - Yes, 'Fear and Trembling' is wonderful, as is Kierkegaard's work in general. I also enjoyed 'Either/Or'. The best insights about religion often come from those who aren't conventionally religious.


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Alexanderplatz
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06 Dec 2015, 3:46 pm

I found Kierkegaard right on the edge of my reading abilities, but possibly most people do.



Hyperborean
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06 Dec 2015, 4:04 pm

^ Yes, it's challenging, but very much worth the effort.


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'All that we see is but a shadow and reflection of what is hidden from our eyes'
Vladimir Solovyëv

'Wo viel Licht ist, ist auch viel Schatten'.
Goethe

'Demain était déjà très loin'.
Julien Gracq
Un balcon en forêt

'Aș vrea să pot să locuiesc în propriile mele cuvinte ...'
Nichita Stănescu
O confesiune

'Once one has learnt to pay attention to the characteristic manifestations of autism, one realises that they are not at all rare'.
Hans Asperger


Edenthiel
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06 Dec 2015, 4:22 pm

Fnord wrote:
Don't be afraid of churches, my friends; be afraid of what lurks within them!

Be very afraid ...

Damn...where's that like/upvote button?

Ah - here it is:

[Upvote/Like]

(click!)


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Edenthiel
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06 Dec 2015, 4:41 pm

RetroGamer87 wrote:
Edenthiel wrote:
You see, if these modern people "speaking in tongues" were actually "filled with the Holy Ghost"...EVERYONE WOULD BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM!
They had that covered. After someone spoke in tongues someone else would interprate. I think the interprater was just making up some religous sounding pleasantries about how God would help everone in much the same way the speaker was making up random sylables (not evidence of God's power acting on them if you ask me).

It's a lot like the Oracle at Delphi, how the gibberish of the Oracle had to be "interpreted" by the priests and they would make the prophesy say anything they felt was convenient for them.

I wonder how much of the Bible was influenced by Greek ideas. The Greek culture was very pervasive at the time. Remember that about a third of the Bible was written in Greek. I think perhaps it was written for Greeks, by Greeks, in the Greek language by men who had never set foot in Israel.

I don't think the New Testament could be from Isreal because the ideas in it seem very unjewish. The idea of God becoming a flesh and blood man seems very unjewish. For the Jews, God is entirely separate from man. For the Jews, God turning into a man would be like a fish riding a bicycle.

I think some of Jesus' ideas like turning the other cheek might come from Greek philosophers. Didn't Epicurus say something similar? Perhaps combined with ideas from the Cult of John the Baptist, which was extremely popular at the time.

And Eastern philosophies? Some people say in the "lost years", traveled to India to study under the Buddhists. I think this is a very Eurocentric idea. Why should Jesus go to the Buddhists when the Buddhists can come to Jesus? I've heard there was a Buddhist mission near Alexandria at the time. Did those Eurocentrists think ancient Indians were incapable of traversing long distances?
Edenthiel wrote:
And that's the key - they're like some bizarre Cargo Cult version of what they think the Bible says, which tells me they aren't actually studying the thing in any sort of comprehensive, structured manner.
Yes a cargo cult. Like the natives studying a Jeep or a radio tower, they cannot understand the purpose.

Some of the things in the Bible don't fit, with later parts of the Bible. Even when the latter parts of the Old Testament don't fit with the earlier parts of the Old Testament. I wonder if parts of Genesis could be a vestigial remnant of some even more ancient religion.


Having been raised in an conservative Christian family, I studied the bible into early adulthood including formal studies at a Christian college. Luckily, it was decades ago when this particular flavor of Xianity was far more liberal/progressive. The Bible - like much if not all of Christianity - was appropriated from other cultures in a very Borg-esque fashion. Typically the assimilation was done as the Holy Roman Empire spread and violently wiped out any competing social-political systems. Not always, but usually. Later, herbalist-midwives who were the local village connection to nature became witches, non-sexually repressed peoples became incubi & succubi, that sort of thing. Most holidays came from celebrations of the natural world & were tweaked & twisted just enough to provide a disconnect, forcing a practical reliance on the Church instead.

So exceedingly little in the Bible is original. The Old Testament of course has large parts lifted directly from the Hebrew people's books, but even those as presented are a cobbling together of older traditions & stories such as the epic of Gilgamesh, Babylonian creation myths, etc.. Basically, you can take most ideas in the Bible, add the search term 'myths' and find the precedents (ie: virgin birth myths). Some are very strikingly similar & most have the connections & lineage well documented by historians.


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06 Dec 2015, 6:45 pm

Ok first of all I have to admit that I found the op's post, while being a bit incoherent, almost hilarious. (no offense)
Much of it sounded like a joke that would start with "An Atheist goes into a church..."

On a more serious note though, I have to ask where you get this from

RetroGamer87 wrote:
I don't like to call myself an atheist because I feel like the term has become associated with militant atheists who spew vile hatred at believers.


For one I have not the slightest idea what a "militant atheist" is supposed to be.
In my experience however the "spewing of hatred" in discussions between religious people (well, mostly Christians) and atheists comes usually from the religious side. And the depths of hatred some of those people sink to is truly astounding.

So I guess my question is that: Could it be that you are taken in by some sort of propaganda (for lack of a better word) that has no more substance than the purported "war on Christmas" that seems to reignite almost every year in the US just in time for Christmas ? (well, at least according to certain US news networks that is :roll: )


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naturalplastic
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06 Dec 2015, 7:41 pm

^
I guess you're new to the Internet.

IRL the religious come knocking on your door.

But on the Net its a segment of the Atheists population who do all of the proselytizing. So much so that even the nonreligious like me can find it tiresome.

There was even a bunch of Wrong Planet PPR regulars who called themselves "the Strident Atheist club" a couple of years ago.

Not taking sides. Just sayiin' that any creed can be obnoxious if its flogged to much. Atheism is no exception.



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06 Dec 2015, 7:53 pm

I find churches beautiful, but fundamentalist religious practitioners frightening. I live in a former church that has been renovated, and I like to think there was positivity and fellowship within.

I don't understand how people take the Bible literally. It seems like taking Aesop's fables literally...it defeats the purpose.



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06 Dec 2015, 8:09 pm

I avoid churches as a matter of principle. I wouldn't bother with Catholic services either. They're probably comparatively serene compared to manic pentecostalists, but serene can also mean boring. They also do this creepy thing where their priest insists that he can turn bread and wine into Jesus, and no, that is not a metaphor.



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06 Dec 2015, 8:42 pm

When your Pentecostal friends told you that their church wasn't "very religious", they were either being dishonest, or delusional. :wink:

If you read through the New Testament, you'll find surprisingly few instances where Jesus prayed. And when he did, most often, he went off by himself and prayed alone. And he didn't have a lot of good things to say about making prayer a public spectacle.


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07 Dec 2015, 3:33 pm

andrethemoogle wrote:
What type of church did you attend?

If it's a Catholic church, it's pretty peaceful and very serene almost. On the other hand, if it's one of the batshit (I have to use that word) Evangelical, Baptist, etc. churches from the States, then that is a different story. They legit frighten me as they take the Bible at face value and are basically fundamentalists, which is never a good thing to be.
The surprising thing is, the girl who convinced me to come said she was an ex-Catholic. She said she preferred these church services for some reason.
Hyperborean wrote:
Try going to an Orthodox church - Greek, Russian, Romanian etc. I don't think you'll find it scary at all. The services are very beautiful and soothing, only the choir sing (not the congregation) and do so quietly, plus there are no pews to box you in.You can stand wherever you like and can arrive or leave whenever you like, go out for a break, it's very informal in that way.
Sounds nice, I didn't enjoy singing their pop music hymns all that much, better to leave it to the choir.

I will readily admit that Christianity has inspired some of the most beautiful music in history, such as Miserere by Allegri but what they sang in the Pentecostal church was brash, vulgar and devoid of complexity or culture. Above all it was loud. If God was listening he would have been quite offended at their attempt at worship. It certainly didn't give glory to God. Perhaps God would want to distance himself from these people. I like to think if God existed he would have good taste in music.

Their loud music was followed by loud speaking in tongues. And this coming from a church that says they don't condone making worship into a loud public spectacle. What I don't understand is how they can say the Catholics aren't "true Christians" when the Catholics, being much more experienced could put on a much better mass, with vastly better music.


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RetroGamer87
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07 Dec 2015, 3:38 pm

Basso53 wrote:
If you read through the New Testament, you'll find surprisingly few instances where Jesus prayed. And when he did, most often, he went off by himself and prayed alone. And he didn't have a lot of good things to say about making prayer a public spectacle.
That's a good point but I believe Paul the Apostle recommended praying in groups. There are some who say Paul distorted Christ's message for his own purposes.

Anyway, the priest's Bible readings scarily mentioned Jesus at all. They were mostly about ancient kings having wars against other ancient kings, with a few excerpts from Revelations added. Most of it was from the Old Testament.


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lostonearth35
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07 Dec 2015, 3:42 pm

I can understand why some people find churches scary. They have images of Christ being tortured, killed, and brought back from the dead. They're always telling us why we're going to Hell, 90% of clergymen are pedophiles and nuns brutally whip small children because "God told them to".



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07 Dec 2015, 3:47 pm

Was raised a devout Southern Baptist, later deconverted to atheism towards the end of high school.

Churches have always made me uncomfortable, even before my deconversion. All those smiling people, feigning kindness and familiarity, and the guilt of the sermon that made me feel perpetually inadequate; makes me slightly queasy just thinking about it.



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07 Dec 2015, 5:41 pm

I actually have some aversion towards entering churches (even though I'm fascinated by the architecture).

Since I'm not religious, I find it somewhat hypocritical of me to be present in a religious establishment...

... Either that, or it might just be another symptom of my medical condition, which manifests itself as anaphylactic reactions to garlic, acute inflammations in response to UV radiation and paralysis when exposed to kinetic energy applied to the cardiac region through a wooden medium.


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