Author Topic: General Religious discussion  (Read 28121 times)

GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2009, 08:35:09 PM »
There is a specific religious movement referred to as Gnosticism which is an esoteric branching of Christianity and biblical books which were lost from the New Testament.  The word "gnosis" refers to hidden knowledge and is rooted in words like "agnostic" or "diagnose", but when you use the word "Gnosticism," especially when using it capitalized, you are (whether you know it or not) referring to a specific religious practice.  Look up the word "Gnosticism" or "Gnostic" at Merriam-Webster (m-w.com) or Dictionary.com if you don't believe me.

also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

When you say you want to be Gnostic, you should not capitalize it.  In not capitalizing it, you are inferring that you have the desire to learn hidden and esoteric knowledge but not that you want to become part of the specific movement of Gnosticism, which has seen somewhat of a resurgence amongst secret societies and esoteric religious traditions since its rediscovery.  Generally, gnostic (little g) is used to describe trends in religion which are based around mysticism, such as alchemy, astrology, secret messiahs, etc. or magic which is handed down from teacher to disciple.  You know, things which share qualities with Gnosticism (big G) but don't specifically follow the course of the religion itself.

But, yeah, curio-gnostic was fine (I read it as a play on words of agnostic--not taking a stance, but curious);  I was actually meaning to comment on Renoard's statement, which I believe was referring to Gnosticism in the correct sense of the word, which you obviously were not referencing.
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Miyabi

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2009, 08:41:45 PM »
My bad.  I always tend to capitalize words I find important . . . even if it's a silly word.  It's a bad habit I have I guess.
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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2009, 08:50:26 PM »
Quote
Oh I hardly believe in science either.  I mean.  I believe that we have PART of it figured out, but there has to be something we aren't seeing.  No matter how long you study something, you can't know everything there is to know about it.

See, I think that's missing the point. If we already knew everything there was to know, there would be no point to further scientific inquiry. However, we've found many things that work and are worth knowing, using, and yes, even believing, despite the imperfection inherent in any work of men.

Quote
I don't necessarily want a Christian 'faith' or any faith for that matter.  I want a truth.  Knowledge and truth are the things that are how I view religion and science and the reality of the world.

That's fine, but you also seem to be butting up against what I like to call Pilate's Dilemma: What is truth? Your truth and your knowledge are only as good as their source, and in my experience the only source of absolute truth available to man is God. Also, the god that I know works through faith to confirm the truth of things. If you want truth without doubt but reject the necessary role of faith, I fear you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
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Renoard

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2009, 08:55:24 PM »
@ Gorgon, this thread was a continuation of a convo that started elsewhere.  The Nag Hamadi texts cam up there and do color the context.

Essentially A-gnostic and Gnostic are converse terms...  Like A-theist and Theist.  :P

So you can't be both an agnostic and a gnostic. That's why I was picking at the idea that curio-gnostic derived from agnostic in your discussion with Kaz. :)
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Eerongal

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2009, 09:00:26 PM »
since we're talking about religion, i would just like to mention that the *ONLY* problem i have with religion (as a whole) is hardcore religious zealotry. I'm talking about people who condemn others for not being their faith, and won't listen to any arguments against their faith, always alluding to the fact that they're right simply just because, etc. It's one thing to be stead-fast in your religion, it's another when you feel that people shouldn't be allowed to be anything other than your religion, and attempt to push this off onto them and generally allow hate to fester against them.


And now, on a tangent, I, personally, think religion should be viewed more as a guide book for how to live your life, than a hard set of codes and laws, and things that actually happened in the past. Everyone is, naturally, allowed to believe and disbelieve anything they desire, and i, personally, see no way that any bible, holy document, etc. of any religion can possibly be a verbatim list of happenings, because of the length of time between the happenings to today, and that there surely has been some form of exaggeration and/or "filling in the blanks" along the way. Sort of like an aeon-spanning game of telephone. Surely things have gotten fantasiced and/or lost in translation somewhere. This, however, does NOT mean they should be discredited. In a similar manner to aesop's fables, most of the fables/stories/legends/myths/truths/happenings/whatever you want to call them/etc. have some form of deeper meaning and example to set as to how one should live and conduct oneself in piety.
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Renoard

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2009, 09:08:33 PM »
And now, on a tangent, I, personally, think religion should be viewed more as a guide book for how to live your life, than a hard set of codes and laws, and things that actually happened in the past. Everyone is, naturally, allowed to believe and disbelieve anything they desire, and i, personally, see no way that any bible, holy document, etc. of any religion can possibly be a verbatim list of happenings, because of the length of time between the happenings to today, and that there surely has been some form of exaggeration and/or "filling in the blanks" along the way. Sort of like an aeon-spanning game of telephone. Surely things have gotten fantasiced and/or lost in translation somewhere. This, however, does NOT mean they should be discredited. In a similar manner to aesop's fables, most of the fables/stories/legends/myths/truths/happenings/whatever you want to call them/etc. have some form of deeper meaning and example to set as to how one should live and conduct oneself in piety.

Bear in mind that this is your statement of faith.  Conversely you can't say definitively that the records in the Bible are not factual as far as they go.  Even the assumption that they are mythopoeaic or fabulous is a choice of belief rather than evidence.  Just a thought.

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 09:11:11 PM by Renoard »
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Eerongal

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2009, 09:16:56 PM »
And now, on a tangent, I, personally, think religion should be viewed more as a guide book for how to live your life, than a hard set of codes and laws, and things that actually happened in the past. Everyone is, naturally, allowed to believe and disbelieve anything they desire, and i, personally, see no way that any bible, holy document, etc. of any religion can possibly be a verbatim list of happenings, because of the length of time between the happenings to today, and that there surely has been some form of exaggeration and/or "filling in the blanks" along the way. Sort of like an aeon-spanning game of telephone. Surely things have gotten fantasiced and/or lost in translation somewhere. This, however, does NOT mean they should be discredited. In a similar manner to aesop's fables, most of the fables/stories/legends/myths/truths/happenings/whatever you want to call them/etc. have some form of deeper meaning and example to set as to how one should live and conduct oneself in piety.

Bear in mind that this is your statement of faith.  Conversely you can't say definitively that the records in the Bible are not factual as far as they go.  Even the assumption that they are mythopoeaic or fabulous is a choice of belief rather than evidence.  Just a thought.

corrallary to Howard: Cities make men less tolerable and more monstrous.



yup, that is my personal opinion, that's why I said it was off on a tangent, and what i personally believe.

And naturally I can't prove they aren't factual (if I somehow could, i would be pretty darn famous at the moment :P ), I just can't fathom them being purely 100% given the amount of persecutions, burnings, time, etc. that have elapsed since their original creation.

And naturally, this has no bearing on anyone else's beliefs, as if someone would be swayed by such a simple argument, chances are they were all ready believing in that ballpark anyways :P (i.e. i'm not trying to tell everyone this is how it is, just that this is what *I* believe)
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Miyabi

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2009, 04:39:04 AM »
Eerongal - And that principle is one of the reasons people argue over whether or not Buddhism is a religion.  It is set and taught as a guideline to be interpreted by the practitioner.
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The Jade Knight

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2009, 09:12:26 AM »
since we're talking about religion, i would just like to mention that the *ONLY* problem i have with religion (as a whole) is hardcore religious zealotry. I'm talking about people who condemn others for not being their faith, and won't listen to any arguments against their faith, always alluding to the fact that they're right simply just because, etc. It's one thing to be stead-fast in your religion, it's another when you feel that people shouldn't be allowed to be anything other than your religion, and attempt to push this off onto them and generally allow hate to fester against them.

Some Atheists are equally as zealous in their Atheism.  For one obvious example, look at the Khmer Rouge: If you persisted in believing in God, they killed you.  Or for a milder example, listen to Richard Dawkin's diatribes against religion.

Miyabi:  You are what would be classified as a "Strong Agnostic".  I was one of these, once.  I consider it an intellectually superior position to Atheism, personally.
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Scientific Faith and Religious Faith
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2009, 09:16:34 AM »
I recently wrote this short thought:

"'No amount of failure in the attempt to subject the world of sensible experience to a thorough-going system of conceptions, and to bring all happenings back to cases of immutably valid law, is able to shake our faith in the rightness of our principles.  We hold fast to our demand that even the greatest apparent confusion must sooner or later solve itself in transparent formulas.  We begin the work ever afresh; and, refusing to believe that nature will permanently withhold the reward of our exertions, think rather that we have hitherto only failed to push them in the right direction.  And all this pertinacity flows from a conviction that we have no right to renounce the fulfilment of our task.  What, in short[,] sustains the courage of investigators is the force of obligation of an ethical idea.' (Sigwart: Logik, bd. ii., p. 23.)
This is a true account of the spirit of science.  Does it essentially differ from the spirit of religion?  And is any one entitled to say in advance, that, while the one form of faith shall be crowned with success, the other is certainly doomed to fail?"
—William James, "Reflex Action and Theism" (quoting Christoph von Sigwart, Logik.)
 
Sigwart, a Logician, is here pointing out the faith felt that the universe can be ordered (and expressed in "transparent formulas").  As Sigwart points out, this faith perserveres despite any amount of failure, and the ethical obligation that drives it is more powerful than any evidence to the contrary.  James then points out that this is not so different from the faith faith expressed by the religious.  Indeed, a believer in Scientific Progress is not so different than a believer in Religion: both cling to the faith that reality is such-and-such a way, and that the Truth of this can be known by man (to some degree, at least).  Can not one, then, have faith in both?  Must this be so irrational or irreligious?

For those that don't know, James was a Biological Psychologist, Physiologist, and Philosopher at Harvard.  He is famous for his contributions to Psychology and Philosophy.
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Miyabi

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2009, 07:24:06 PM »
Zealots can be crazy.  I once counter protested a group from Topeka, Kansas(I think that's where they are from.)  Here and here are just two of their sites.
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Patriotic Kaz

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2009, 07:57:49 PM »
Yes YOU CAN say AND CORRECTLY that the bible is not an 100% accurate account of the events depicted i was  raised as a literalist (believing that everything in the bible is fact UNLESS its in red print meaning Jesus is speaking) if nothing had been elaborated then how do you explain Goliaths height in the Dead Sea scrolls in which the conversion of spans equates to 6ft tall and the modern bible that equates his height to be 9ft tall!!!

I went through a period of time believing the bible was more of a parable and a guideline of how to live, and while i agree with the vast majority of christian morals i no longer believe Jesus to be god or for that matter Yahweh. I choose to look at Jesus in a light similar to Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Bible in which all miraculous works are removed and he is more or less an ancient Gandhi.
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Renoard

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2009, 08:00:42 PM »
How about Zealots who bycicle in dress slacks and wear name tags. . .

Naw I'm just kidding.  Look, inflammatory signs like the ones that group uses are counter-productive because they give zealotry a bad name.  The Rush Limbaugh approach, never works in favor of the position being asserted.  

But I'm proud to be a zealot.  Without zeal and true-belief hence (hence true believer) nothing has value.  I'd like to see a football stadium full of fans that are as un-zealous as the media and toxic psychobabble would have us believe religion should espouse.  Hear the crickets?  Passionless (dispassionate) anything is valueless.  If I'm not allowed to worship with the same zeal I'm told to root for a sport team then my right to the free exercise of religion is ended and the constitution has been abrogated to the point of no importance.  And no one has any freedom.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 08:13:24 PM by Renoard »
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Patriotic Kaz

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2009, 08:05:30 PM »
Personally i don't see the difference between a bible-beater and a member of a Jihad... you may not be causing death but you are definitely intruding on the first amendment by doing so...





This statement makes me a hypocrite..but hell I'm a reformed bible-beater for that i thank my current family unit consiting of my step-mother and my biological father...
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SarahG

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Re: General Religious discussion
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2009, 08:07:34 PM »
Zealots can be crazy. I once counter protested a group from Topeka, Kansas(I think that's where they are from.) Here and here are just two of their sites.

Yes, Fred Phelps is a nut, and most of us who live in Topeka are ashamed that he does too.  His protests aren't very logical, either.  I once saw his people protesting outside of a large church (Topeka Bible Church) that is morally conservative  - for example, that very Sunday, among the announcements made in the church service was for a talk they were hosting later that week by a recovered homosexual from Exodus International.  So I confronted one of the Westboro Baptist protesters about the fact that the church they were protesting essentially agrees with them that homosexual practice is a sin, though they certainly disagree about the proper Christian response to the issue.  The lady's response was, "Well, are there any divorced people in the church?  The Bible says that's wrong too."  I might have found this a valid point if the question of divorce had been the one dominating their posterboards.  It was this incident that persuaded me that Fred Phelps does not choose his protest targets with regard to the issues, but with the goal of maximum publicity and exposure.  Their hatred is universal, unlimited, and indiscriminate - just as they believe God's is.
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