Religious Sanctuary Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by _Darth_Brooks_, May 14, 2002.

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  1. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Cydonia,

    You would have to read through all my posts to fully understand where I'm coming from.

    True lasting and meaningful value can only be sustained and achieved by an enduring Creator preserving His creation.
  2. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Mr. Bunny,

    I'm not sure what you meant in your last comment.


    So, at the risk of missing the mark let me say, everything I've written is based in my personal knowledge of Christ and The Holy Bible.


    None of this is mine. But I will take credit for my own errors and weaknesses of intellect.
  3. R2D2-PENA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    From Mister_Bunny:

    So we agree that is wasn't just the Bible.

    Curious that you should get nature involved in this, because the Bible states that the "heavens and the earth reveal the Glory of God" therefore, nature, is in a certain way a reflection of God, that is why the Bible also states the in the end we will not through a glass but face to face.

    1Cr 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    So the Bible is involved in this whole argument; and morality, if caused by nature, at the whole end of things, is caused by God.
  4. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    I am an agnostic, and a very spiritual one at that.

    Not surprisingly, religious zealots are the ones who make me seriously consider becoming an atheist.

    So the Bible is involved in this whole argument; and morality, if caused by nature, at the whole end of things, is caused by God.

    For me, religions aren't shackles... they are philosophies... with many ideas, some good, some not so good. A wise person knows when to separate the good from the bad and formulate their own conclusions. I don't need a God, even though I may believe in one, to hold my hand as I cross the intersection of morality and injustice. I'm intelligent enough to figure it out for myself.

    Man created this pompous idea of humanist morality, and then the same men who created this idea trampled all over it the very moment they tried to cram their ideology of morality down their neighbor's throats. We are no more moral creatures than the shark... Is it altruism that drives us to annihilate one's neighbors in the name of God, simply because they refuse to become the intellectual puppets of a theocracy?

    As I have always said... if Jesus appeared before my very eyes and told me that jumping off a cliff would save my life, I'd tell Jesus, "You first."

    Christ is saying basically to obey the first Commandment, in putting only God first, and in so doing you automatically "Honor your father and mother", even if they don't think so.

    Likewise, if God himself came to my door and told me that homophobia, xenophobia, manifest destiny, cultural annihilation and dominion over the earth were all part of his plan... I'd tell him to go to hell.


  5. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Just wondering...how does one reconcile the testaments with nearly identical stories, passages, and sayings in other contemporary religions such as Egyptian(Concept of Monotheism, afterlife, "last judgement", the terms "Moses" "Amen" "Yahweh", the creation story, concept of sin and the ten commandments) and Sumerian beliefs(The Adam & Eve story, The flood story,), Mithraism(Ressurected godman, concept of afterlife being either heaven or hell, coming apocalypse), and Buddhism(Pacifism, spiritual journeying, non-materialism?)

  6. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Chris2: Simple... different people all looking at the same thing from different points of view.

    Like if you put ten people in a room and asked them all to describe an object placed in the center of the room. The following would undoubtedly be true:

    1. Each account would be similar to the next in certain respects...

    2. Each account would have certain differences resulting from the observer's point of view.

    3. If compared by a third person who didn't know all these people were looking at the same thing, his analysis may conclude that these are ten different accounts of ten different things/events, etc.

    4. If these people then handed these accounts to ten other people who never saw the event but were charged with the responsibility of copying these accounts for others to see... the copies would differ from the originals with each successive generation.
  7. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Chris2,

    I was in the middle of writing some comments to Darth-Snowdog, but your post is just too interesting, and it borders on a concept Joseph Campbell came close to, without ever making the intuitive leap, from what I remember reading in his writings.

    We're talking comparative religion from a Christian perspective, right?


    You're talking the Coptic texts, or Gospel's of Thomas, or some of the Dead Sea Scroll's texts, etc., for instance?


    This gets into a potentially really, really, big subject. One that I said earlier I really don't want to breach at this time because it all leads back into the historicity of the Bible. What may be a small question now, will balloon. It's almost unavoidable. And, in some ways, it's almost putting the cart before the horse.

    Let me preface by saying, that while the study of the Bible's development can lead to faith, it generally just becomes a topic of debate, in my experience, where even the presentation of facts gets spin doctored with so many hypotheticals it's almost not worth the time. I've found it to be better to personally encounter Christ, and once His reality is confirmed, you can trust where he leads on the subject. This could be misconstrued as 'stacking the deck', but it's truly not.


    No, I'm not ducking, just offering my honest appraisel.


    Having so said, let me point out the obvious.

    Anyone literate can write a book, and any unscrupulous person can take advantage of people for their own gain. Throw in a dash of insanity, and you have a Jim Jones persona, or to a much lesser extent, a David Koresh. Their motives may have been delusionally well intentioned, or just a scam. It could be started off well but was derailed.

    When we're establishing criterion there are numerous guidelines to be utilized. There has to be the credentials of the examiner to observe. Many reporters have written books on subjects that they were not immenently qualified to write, or even scholars delving into topics that aren't their field of expertise; and again, we have to ask motives, agenda's and bias. It doesn't take much for someone to be heralded an "expert" these days.

    An Example; noted physicist Luis Alvarez, brilliant in his specialized field, venturing into mainstream publishing with extrapolations involving the extinction of the dinosaurs. So, we end up with ground-breaking headlines on chief periodicals and prolific saturation by media that the dinosaurs were killed by the impact of a single giant meteorite slamming into the Earth 100 million(or however many)years ago in the dim prehistoric past. You may have noticed this theory has changed significantly over the years, from a single meteorite striking in a single location to millions of meteorites in various locations over a period of millions of years. Quite a change. Why? Firstly, doesn't it seem the media jumped the gun? Did they really check the facts? According to a published book by two scientists at the prestigious Smithsonian Institute the answer is no. They also strongly assert that Alvarez was never qualified to make the pronouncements he did, and the media was incredulously careless in picking up this proverbial ball and running with it for dessemination to the public. They go into all the politics involved in the scientific community and media, but the bulk is the indepth dispelling of the theory.(I was trying to find the book, but I've either loaned it out or it's packed up. To the best of my recollection the title is The Dinosaur Extinction Controversy.)


    The giste of all this being is that there are a lot of misinformatative books on the market taken as legitimate and serious works. In point of fact, one of the authors of the money maker, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, has been featured as an "expert" commentator on at least one Discovery Channel documentary dealing with The Holy Bible. If you've read the book, while it made big deniro for it's publishers, it was a worthless aggrandized conjectural newstand rag. For the readership that doesn't know any better this tripe gets taken seriously.
  8. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Darth-Snowdog,

    Respectfully, in order to understand the basis of your comments I think there is a need for extrapolation on your part. You sort of left me in wonderland.


    "I am an agnostic, and a very spiritual one at that."

    You're an agnostic, which I think can be a reasonable position. I was once a bit of an agnostic myself, not hardline, but I thought it a more logical and reasonable position than atheism or brands of anti-theism, for reasons given in an earlier post. I was really just sort of born into it(agnostism), so, initially, I wasn't anything 'spiritual.' Eventually, late teens/early twenties, I became a somewhat spiritual agnostic, with my views crossing the ranges of the ecclectic and esoteric, conglomerately taking a little bit from here and there philosophically, and finding an interest in Buddhist meditation. But, my life was actually pretty compartmentalized, multi-plexual, if you will. My overall attitude was very liberal, I managed a popular nightclub, partying with all abandon and great gusto, a virtual hedonist, if it feels good--do it! The strongest dichotomy would be visable in hindsight; on one hand unrealized wasteful self-destructiveness and the flip-side being sensitive compassion and concerned for others. I considered myself to be a fundamentally decent person.




    "Not surprisingly, religious zealots are the ones who make me seriously consider becoming an atheist."


    I want to play with this a little. First, I agree about "religious zealots", depending upon your context. Torquemada, of Spanish inquisition fame seems a zealot, Cotton Mather was a zealot, and Osama Bin Laden a zealot. I don't consider many of the sadly laughable tele-evangelists to be zealots, but more deranged sort of capitolists.
    Would anyone of them have made me want to become an atheist? Well, perhaps, only if I'd thought God was puppet-master pulling their strings, or if the Bible advocated their brand of religiosity. But, then I wouldn't be an atheist, I'd be an anti-theist. There's a distinction.

    However, then I'd have to scrutinize the camp I'd be joining first, or I'd be an idoiot. If, you'd base a decision on the grounds of a few headline grabbers you'd not be able to call your decision rational, as you'd be jumping into bed with the 20th century's worst dictators, all atheists; Lenin, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro, et el., and the horrific regimes they lead, fostered and sponsored, indigenously and globally. That would appear more of a knee-jerk reaction than a "seriously" thought out decision.


    It seems to me, that it is implied by your statements, that such a reaction on your part is based on what you may consider restrictive 'unfairness', and so intrinsically a moral choice at core: a protest gesture borne on righteous indignation. That would raise an interesting point for discussion, because in many ways you are unintentionally trying to put yourself in God's camp, but don't realize it.

    But, whatever the reason, or even for no particular reason, that would be your prerogative. I'm just trying to give you some food for thought.







  9. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Addend: atheism, agnosticism, and anti-theism are all at core, when melted down to essence, all spiritual expressions.

    We just can't get away from God. ;)
  10. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    a·the·ism: n.Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

    2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.


    Also..

    zeal·ot: n. One who is zealous, especially excessively so.

    2. A fanatically committed person.

    root word:

    zeal: n. Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance. See Synonyms at passion.

    In both cases, I'm using their denotative meanings (in bold), not the connotative ones... and no, I'm not particularly averse to nor do I require to be educated to understand or fathom the construct of no creator... it's quite simple to understand... therefore, my reaction is not a knee-jerk one. I'm closer to an atheist than an agnostic... I do not dismiss the possibility of a god entirely, but I give the Universe the benefit of the doubt.

    ;)
  11. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    'm not sure what the point of all that is, other than you attempt to be incendiary in your posts.

    You came on, and made a number of statements that were vaguely unqualified; you didn't offer particulars. For instance, the comment about "zealots" was out of the clear blue sky, so to speak. No real specific reference as to what that comment was meant to be applied.

    I took the highroad, trying to see the areas of agreement. I tried to avoid any "connotation" that might be suggestive you were referring to anyone in this thread.


    As far as definitions, I have numerous resources here beside me, including, Dictionary of Philosophy. I'm quite clear from study and personal history what atheism is and is not. I've also read the works of numerous atheist philosophers.


    By analogy, you may be a girl, but a male gynecologist may know more about your own physiology. Not saying that's the metaphorical case, but I have no way of knowing.


    Anyway, a life decision as you described, above was certainly knee-jerk in it's depiction as conveyed. Tantamount to,"someone made me mad, so I'm going to join their enemies, even if the enemies have done worse than them."

    It would seem indicative that you prefer mass genocide to zealotry on the basis you gave, as given.


    I dunno.

    Obviously I'm just misunderstanding where you're coming from.









  12. R2D2-PENA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    From Darth_Snowdog:

    .... I'd tell Jesus, "You first."

    Funny, the Bible says that in order to live (be saved)we must die and be born again and, well, Jesus died first, so it's your turn DS.
  13. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Been there, done that. I already died once... in 1978... and was inexplicably resurrected shortly thereafter.

    Your move, Jesus.
  14. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    The "Born again" thing is a little unclear, I think. Even if someone has accepted Christ as their saviour, it's still possible to sin once in a while.It seems the "Born Again" concept is in one or two of the epistles. I think St.Paul said that no man is completely righteous....only Jesus was sinless.(Although apparentally God has the authority to kill, which for humans is a sin, but to God is something he can do.)

    Anyway, about historical discoveries confirming biblical texts...we have to take into account the works of Homer. Homer's Illiad was also considered a myth, until the actual city of Troy was discovered. Various other myths also make allusions to real, historical places, for example Mount Olympus or Abydos. It doesn't necessarily mean that Poseidon, Zeus, or Ra were involved, however.



  15. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    It would seem indicative that you prefer mass genocide to zealotry on the basis you gave, as given.

    If this is your idea of interpretation, I can see how so many have misconstrued the Bible as literal fact.

    I made no such statements about genocide either express or implied.

  16. R2D2-PENA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    I don't buy that dead theory no matter how you put it. I have seen that happen alot, and after spending all my childhood in a hospital with my father, who's a doctor by the way, there are many things that can explain your "shutting off", but dead? i don't think so, unless you were buried and resurrected days later.

    Also, i though it was back in 1976, like your profile says, or are you just making all this up?

    EDIT: oops, one more thing, were you born again?
  17. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    "God is necessary. And, the only hope.

    If there were the possibility there is no God, why even value your life?
    It would do no good. "


    So basically you are saying nobody can achieve happiness without there being god in there life? What a load of manure. I value my life, not because i worship some faraway(or close if you believe that) deity but b/c it is the only thing there is and i am content with that.


    It's been my observation that most people who find religion later in life have had a terrible tragedy occur to them and see religion as a way to a peace of mind. If they want to delude themselves that way in order to achieve a peaceful good life, so be it. Just dont go telling everybody else that they cant be happy without it.
    If there were the possiblity that there is no god, so what im still the same person and it doesnt make a lick of difference in my life. I've lived a pretty good life without god in it, one i could be happy of and look back with fond memories. I have also helped others out along the way, again not due to a religouisly imposed set of morals but b/c doing good makes me feel good(i dont believ in true altruism).

    Darth Brooks, you are a good writer and you certainly put alot of time into your posts, but some of the good points you make are nullified by some of the outragous ones.


    And Chris2 very good points about Homer's stories and historical fact
  18. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Snow_Dog,

    It was implicit in your generalization.

    Allow me to explain.


    You said you would become an atheist because of "religious zealots." Your statement is a generalization regarding all theists it must be assumed, as your phrasing specifically regarded "religious". Which is consistent with your conclusion. It would be irrational to hold the actions of a single religious individual as grounds to forsake all religion for atheism.

    Therefore, it is deducible that "religious zealots" are offensive to you. For it to be offensive, then you find it "wrong."

    Right and wrong are moral imperatives, generally speaking.


    So, because of the 'wrong' actions of "religious zealots"(theists) you would affiliate with their polar opposite atheism.


    So, it is because of the 'wrong' actions of theists you would join the atheists.


    This is a moral judgement and determination on your part.

    Therefore, if you consider all the religious wrong for zealotry(which is a wide spectrum), then your morally based decision conludes that the atheistic must be 'right', or a morally 'better'(a degree of 'good')choice than the religious as a whole.

    Your generalization was "atheism."

    What I was pointing out, is the implicit history of atheistically based governments and regimes, which is all generally considered morally reprehensible( genocide occuring is part of the historical track record of the 20th century: Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, China, USSR, etc.).


    Therefore, the Communist factions, themselves zealots in their ideology, with a worse human rights track record, have been to be concluded by you a better choice than "religious zealots."


    Is that any clearer? I can only go with your own statement.


    Now, that may not be what you meant, but that is the implications of what you said.

    You are condemning one group on moral grounds and associating with another group in that same moral based decision. But the fact remains, the second group has committed wors moral atrocities this century than all other groups.


    As I prefaced the original comments, I played with your generalized statement, using generalization and amplification, extrapolating on your logic.




  19. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Sleazo,

    That's not what I said, your putting words in my mouth. I didn't say you couldn't be happy, couldn't orgasm, or that petting your dogs fur doesn't feel pleasurable.


    Is it fair, then for me to say,"You're full of crap(!)"?

    "It's been my observation that most people who find religion later in life have had a terrible tragedy occur to them and see religion as a way to a peace of mind. "


    Not me. And not most of the believer's that I personally know.


    But, everybody experiences pain, so if you want to say all Christians have experienced pain, that is true.

    If you want to say that all people who became Christians did so out of pain, then I have to disagree.


    But, if that's what it takes, great.

    Now, I'm not talking about just joining a religion, but having a personal encounter with the Lord. God, Jesus, and religion can be very different things.




    Life has it's truest possible value in an expression of eternal preservation by deity. That's much closer to what I said.


    True value would be lasting value, not merely the transitory value of a hanky that's disposable and thrown away. You see our loved ones just become the universe's disposable hankys if there is no God.

    The Bible's message is one of value for all of us beyond our comprehension, and that's why so many Christian charities are out here helping people, because every single person is of eternal value according to the Highest Authority.


    I hope that clears up your misinterpretation of my words.



  20. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    When you make a statement like the one i quoted on you above, that is what most would take out of it.
    I did not really misinterpret that, you just tried to lessen how incindiary it was with your reaction to my post.

    "True value would be lasting value, not merely the transitory value of a hanky that's disposable and thrown away. You see our loved ones just become the universe's disposable hankys if there is no God. "

    Uhm most of my relatives are dead, i dont believe in a heaven or hell or any afterlife for that matter, but that doesnt make me feel like they are "hanky's" in the grand scheme of life. You make the above statement as if it was fact, when it most certainly is not. I have learned to live with the deaths of my close relatives not through some fanciful belief in an afterlife. Rather i have used the strength that is inside of me to do so (Perhaps that is what god is, not something you have to look for or even acknowledge, but the life inside every creature on this planet). I dont consider these people to have been used up like hankys, but people who i had the pleasure of being friends with or knowing on an intiamte level. I dont think that they or their souls are anywhere, yet when i think of them i do not despair. When something reminds me of them i smile, i do miss them but i also feel happy when something reminds me of them.
    So basivally what i am saying is that you dont need a god or a religion. It may make it easier for some, and for them mazeltov. But you cant make a blanket statement like that and expect it to be true for all people.
  21. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Chris2,

    We all sin all the time. Period.

    That's the whole point of Christianity. Human beings can't live up to their own morals. None of us.

    That's why God came in the form of Christ, and that is the action of God to let man kill him, kill the very Creator.

    All a saint is is someone who recognizes most clearly their faults.


    Sin means 'missing the mark', and we all have done so.

    Christian, atheist, Buddhist, right on down the line.


    What you accept in Christ, is God's forgiveness.


    The most prevalent lie on the market is that Christian's are perfect, or are supposed to be. A Christian is one who recognizes what God did on the Cross, and accepts it, and with God's guidance grows to be more christlike in their behavior. This is an oversimplification, but the important giste.

    The best part is that this brings the believer into a real relationship with God.
    It's not a saint who does miracles, it's God through Christ in answer to the saints petitions. But the relationship has to be in place.




    Want to come back to Homer later, gotta go for now.
  22. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Sleazo,

    In context, it is absolutely true.

    Will you be valued by anyone 1,000 years from now?

    No. So, then there is no more true value.

    Do value the Christians who were devoured by the lions almost 2,000 years ago? I doubt it.


    Yes, I believe there is definitely an aspect of God in everyone us. How could I not, my Scripture says all were made in the express image of God.

    Like to go more indepth, but I gotta go.
  23. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    will anyone in 1000 years know or care about me--no,
    do i care---no
    So in context it is not true.
    I know i will be dead, i just try to make the most of it here while i can. I am not concerned with 1000 years from now. Hopefully the y chromosome i carry will be carried by many males. As for people knowing me in particular it is really not important.
  24. The_Emperors_Foot Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 3
    I feel very similarly to sleazo, about the value of our lives.

    I feel comfortable with knowing that few people really care for me, or would feel an impact if I were suddenly gone. However, it is oftentimes these very feelings that may drive people to find religion - they may not feel as comfortable as sleazo and I, and may not like any idea of "worthlessness." I've had a very enjoyable life thusfar, as sleazo has said he has, without believing in a set god or belief... But what about those who haven't had it so good? What about those people who've had to endure loss after loss, of anything from people to possessions or property, and have reached the point of utter despair and hopelessness?

    They are encouraged to perhaps "find God," because He will always be there for them, He will never abandon them or abuse them, and He will show them that they have and will always be something more than what they think they are or have been told they are by others.

    This is what religion should be used for, and in my opinion was created for. But to tell someone on either side of the spectrum that they either need any sort of god in their lives or that they don't, is erroneous, authoritatize, exclusive, and is becomes borderline absurd.

    *** I wasn't attacking any particular person in that post, be assured. Please don't construe otherwise.
  25. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Well Emperor's Foot,

    Let's express it another way; you prefer to believe in transitory value, and I in absolute value.




    I've answered a bunch of questions, and in the name of equal time, may I ask you a few?

    Where is atheism when it hurts?

    Do you really think atheism benefits others?



    (Gotta go. hopefully be back tomorrow or Wed.)

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