Inter-Faith Chapel, Now Disc: Made to Worship?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. darthOB1 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2000
    star 5
    The question isn't whether or not we offend others, but rather whether or not we offend God with our practices.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Although, at that point, how do you tell that?
  3. fannyalger Jedi Padawan

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    Jan 16, 2011
  4. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    This article from National Geographic indicates evidence that religion preceeded civilization, rather than the other way around, as I understand is commonly believed.

    By this, I mean that the accepted notion is that once primitive humans went from hunter-gatherers to someone permanent settlements, organized religion came into being to help mediate disputes and "justify" stratification in the social structure, amongst other things. What's also noteworthy is that the archaeological digs around the site suggest and equitable -rather than statified- society.

    Any thoughts?
  5. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    It makes sense in a way; religion is a social event obviously, and gathering for religious means continues to be a social network for reasons beyond worship-especially in smaller populations-to this day.

    The monuments describe what is obviously a shared culture; the real question is whether civilization creates culture or vice-versa.
  6. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I'm sure people were spiritual long-before civilization. There are still tribes throughout the world that have never really become "civilized," but they all seem to be highly spiritual. I'm not even sure if it's exclusive to humans, intelligent animals (for example: dogs, cats, dolphins, apes, elephants) probably have some sense spirituality too, though not as developed as that of humans.

    Now, spirituality is not the same as organized religion. Organized religion probably still came in at the same time as civilization.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Spirituality surely predates civilization. I've read that whales and elephants both could possibly have a sense of spirituality. And I can see how, as civilizations began to form, that spirituality would become more codified and centralized. People were probably realizing the benefits of a religious community at the same time they were realizing the benefits of all the other types of communities: trade and protection and all that other great stuff we get from civilization. To me, it's kind of the same thing; I mean, as spirituality begins to coalesce into a shared spirituality, you are of necessity forming a community and a genuine community is right on the way to serious civilization.
  8. Kawphy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 4
    Behaviorism/associationism (in animals) has a significant evolutionary advantage - it's *why* brains evolved. Superstition is a side-effect of these patter-recognition machines/systems. Superstition evolves into religious belief. Science is a method of meta-analysis that seeks to exploit pattern recognition while removing superstition.

    Of course 'spirituality' (a vague term that spans the gradient of superstition and religion) pre-dates civilization. Brains predate civilization.
  9. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    *topic change to reflect a move of discussion about monotheism & pantheism from the Baha'i thread
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Christianity is a polytheistic religion. It's a clear-cut case. Just to reiterate the arguments.

    1. Christianity's pantheon of gods and demigods has a very deep bench, including, at the top, the Holy Trinity, followed underneath by a hierarchy of angels with all the typical powers of minor gods, Satan, demons, the saints and the virgin Mary to whom the vast majority of Christians worldwide pray for intercession on their behalf.

    2. The birth of Jesus is directly modeled after demigod births in the classical pantheistic religions, e.g. Zeus's insemination of Leda resulting in the birth of the immortal Pollux (with a mortal twin thrown in as a complication).

    3. Christianity inherits its pantheistic flavor both from its collision with classical antiquity and from the books of the old testament and Yahweh's jealous opposition to his rival gods that are deeply embedded in the oldest elements of the Torah and which in turn inherited elements from earlier pantheistic traditions (e.g. the Baal Cycle).
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    1.
    The Holy Trinity is One God.
    God is not a person;
    God is an essence;
    that by its own nature demands it be manifested in three spiritual persons:
    the Father (transcendent God),
    the Son (immanent God, generated by the Father's self-knowledge, recognizing himself in the universe, particularly incarnated in the human Jesus Christ),
    and the Holy Spirit (interconnecting God, proceeding from the mutual loving relationship of Father and Son, bridging the transcendent with the immanent).

    *Angels are in the Bible, but only two are named: Gabriel and Michael. Their powers are derived from God.

    *Demons are really never described in the Bible, unless they're named as the causes of an illness.

    *The modern popular-culture version of Satan is actually a combination of several Biblical characters: from the Serpent in the Garden, to the fallen king of Babylon, to the Tempter in the Desert, to the Dragon of revelation. And Satan's power is directly said to be given to him by God.

    *The revered status of Saints is only in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, some claim they have special powers, derived from God.

    *Mary, who may or may not have remained a virgin, is "blessed" in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, but isn't worshipped, and any power comes from the grace of God.


    2.
    The Father didn't come down in a mortal form and have sex with Mary.



    From Luke, chapter 1:

    26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth?s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin?s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, ?Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.?

    29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, ?Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob?s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.?

    34 ?How will this be,? Mary asked the angel, ?since I am a virgin??

    35 The angel answered, ?The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.?

    38 ?I am the Lord?s servant,? Mary answered. ?May your word to me be fulfilled.? Then the angel left her.



    From Matthew, chapter 1:

    18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
  12. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    If god is an essence then how could god make man in his own image? Or even make anything at all? That seems like more rationalizing.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    No one really believes God made humans in his "physical" image, Jews/Christians/Muslims (with the exception of the Mormons, I believe) all say that God the Father is incorporal, meaning without a body. God the Son was incarnated in Jesus Christ. God the Holy Spirit is within all of us, given to us as a gift of the Father as a result of the Son's sacrifice on the cross. It is said that God is written in our hearts and minds.

    What is the self, anyways? Christians believe it is the soul, not anything physical or temporal, so all of our souls are reflections of God. That's what is meant when it's said we are created in the image of God: our souls are reflections of God. We truly "reflect" God when we love, and reflect God perfectly when we perfectly/unconditionally love.

    And like I've said before, many Christians (myself included) believe in the Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution.





    EDIT: Here's a repost of my explanation of the Trinity from the Bahaism thread, based on the works of Thomas Aquinas as well as many theologians who came before and after, in case anyone else wants to know:



    Many people misunderstand Christianity. There is only one God, who lives in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    One cannot exist without the other two.

    The Father has perfect knowledge, therefore perfect self-knowledge. The Father's mental image of himself is so perfect, possessing all the qualities of himself, that it's real. This perfect image of the Father is called the Son. There was never a time the Father did not have perfect self-knowledge, therefore the Father and the Son always existed, and one cannot exist without the other. The Father and the Son also perfectly love each other, and love requires "self-donation," therefore perfect love requires perfect self-donation. Since the Father and the Son perfectly give all of themselves in their love, their love is actually a third person: the Holy Spirit. There was never a time the Father and the Son didn't exist together, and there was never a time the Father and the Son didn't love one another, so there was never a time the Holy Spirit didn't exist.

    One person of the Trinity cannot exist without the other two.

    Also, since the Holy Spirit is perfect love, and the Holy Spirit is an exact image of the Father and the Son, that means that both the Father and the Son themselves are nothing more or less than perfect love, so therefore God (and all three persons of the Trinity) is Love.

    In addition to this, the Son is the Father's mental image of himself generated by his perfect self-knowledge, so it is basically God the Father seeing and recognizing himself (knowing himself) in something other than himself.

    Jesus Christ is a man, of the universe, therefore not of God... yet God the Father finds and recognizes himself in Jesus Christ... therefore Jesus is of God, and is the Son. Also, what makes God recognize himself in Jesus is when Jesus suffers and dies to give everyone a chance at eternal life and joy, so basically God recognizes himself in Jesus because Jesus perfectly loves.

    Jesus offers eternal life by telling others to live in him and him in them (so they become one with him, one with the Son, one with God), and this is done by learning how to love one another, thereby making God recognize himself in those who love, therefore giving eternal life and joy to those who love. This means that God recognizes that humans who love are the "images of God" (and therefore the Son, therefore himself, therefore eternal).

    As Jesus said, the sum of the laws and the prophets is simple... love one another.

  14. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Probably because "explanations" like yours make progressively less and less sense with each sentence.
  15. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    What the Dorkman said.

    Also, your explanation is too...new agey with a dash of Christianity. Plus you still show how it's polytheistic.
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are titular designations that help highlight different roles or aspects of the same individual's actions. For instance, "the Son" is used to invoke God's role in enabling mankind's redemption and salvation, in the same way that a President might be referred to as "Commander in Chief" when discussing a recent policy decision about war. No separate individuals are implied.

    EDIT: For those of you clamoring for "simpler" explanations. Also, what of the Bahai thread thing? Are we supposed to move all that discussion here, or? Waiting for someone to clarify, which is mostly the point of this post.
  17. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Can you specifically point out what doesn't make sense?

    How is it still polytheistic?

    And how is it New-Agey, when it's been around for centuries?

    I've never heard any Christian describe it that way before, plus Jesus talks to the Father, and says he's going to send the Holy Spirit to them. It's one God, but it's not as simple as different "modes." At least as how I understand it, and how teachers at my Protestant Congregationalist church and Catholic high school understood it. Obviously you're right to believe differently, there are many Christian denominations, just wanting to point out to others that we seem to have different ideas of the Trinity.
  18. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    The discussion about monotheism/pantheism has been moved here, and can be broadened beyond the Abrahamic Faiths if desired. There were some other discussions about the overall validity of the Baha'i Faith, which can still be explored in that thread.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    And how! For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Oh the begetting the gods will do!

    One simple scriptural phrase belies all the extratextual gobbledygook re the trinity from you and/or Saint Aquinas who is of course doing little more than channeling the cosmological nonsense of Aristotle.


    I'm not sure what the point is here. The powers of demigods are derived from head gods all the time in pantheistic traditions. All you seem to be saying is that christianity is consistent with pantheistic mythologies.


  20. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    You have no idea of the history behind that word, do you? That's how Aquinas describes it too, that the Father begets the Son through his self-knowledge. Begotten is contrasted with created. The Son was begotten/generated, not created.
  21. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Linky


    How is that consistent with any of the nonsense you're spouting?

    And just so we're clear on procreation:



  22. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
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    Is this some elaborate scheme to secularize Ghost? Poor guy is sputtering.
  23. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    For the Baha?i perspective, I?ll refer people to Some Answered Questions by Abdu?l-Baha; Chapter 27: the Trinity Here?s an abridged version:

  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    Naw, at least not in my case.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    It's difficult as an atheist having to explain to Christians how their religion works, but it's an opportunity for atheist evangelism that's hard to pass up. Darth-Ghost has a mind good enough for atheism, so I never give up hope. Jabba-wocky has imho the best intellect on these boards. Watching a beautiful mind shackle itself to theolothink is like getting into a taxicab driven by some unlucky immigrant with a PhD in chemistry. Well, it's worse because at least a PhD cab driver will still take you someplace useful.