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The Bible gets an edit....

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ender, Nov 28, 2001.

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  1. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    Treecave, Doright... right on!

    In 1996, I put together a short research paper on music distribution (I know this sounds out of left field, but it's closely related to the discussion... keep reading.).

    The last part of my paper included a short exploration of the emerging possibility of internet distribution of music. The late 1990s gave rise to [link=]MP3[/link] files. These files posed an enormous threat to the standard model of music distribution. Why? Because they took the monopoly out of the hands of record labels by giving artists the power to directly distribute their works to consumers.

    Then came Napster...

    As much as Shawn Fanning would like us to believe it, he's not doing anybody but himself a favor. What started out as probably a good idea has turned into visions of get-rich-quick schemes dancing in the heads of Shawn Fanning and the Seven Dwarfs (his executive board). Some corporate shmuck or lawyer came along and whispered "IPO" in Fanning's ear and all of a sudden he's the self-proclaimed messiah of the internet? We don't need him or his kind, despite the fact that there are some respected individuals in the music community, such as [link=]Chuck D[/link] (aka Carlton Ridenhour) of Public Enemy who have made [link=]statements[/link] supporting internet music distribution.

    The Recording Industry Association of America (the "Vatican" of the music industry), headed by Jack Valenti (a man who vaguely reminds me of Emperor Palpatine in both appearance and demeanor) wants you to believe that their opposition is a simple case of copyright infringement. They're not as worried about piracy, however, as they are about obsolescence. They know that if the average Joe with a keyboard and a computer can start distributing music without the record industry's help, so can every other major artist who has brought inconceivable wealth to the likes of industry moghuls Clive Davis, Mo Ostin, Ahmet Ertegun, Tommy Mottola, David Geffen, Seymour Stein, and a handful of semi-rich puppets we usually refer to as "producers".

    There are those, such as Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) who produce and record and releae their own material (he puts everything out by himself, on his Astralwerks label). David Byrne has spoken years ago of the "Global Village" that we are now beginning to see through the internet. I don't buy Shawn Fanning's facade of altruism... if he really wanted to contribute something for the betterment of society, and for the freedom of every artist, then why the presidents and vice-presidents? He could just as well have given the software as public domain and left us to our own devices to use it for our benefit. No, like the evangelists, he wants us to believe that he's our savior... because of the ancillary benefit of the money he could make if the stock market believes it, too. Nobody goes to Napster looking for my music... they go looking for Britney Spears and N*Sync, bands that already have huge marketing machines behind them... what do they need Napster for?!

    Despite Shawn Fanning and his Seven Dwarves' selfishness... consider the pandora's box opened. Right now, I'm working on my own music, which, when released, will have been composed, arranged, produced, performed, recorded and marketed entirely by myself. I don't really care whether or not it sells 1 million or 100 copies... and I don't really mind those artists who want the help of publicity machines either. The difference is that people are now becoming aware that, though they are there, we aren't dependent entirely on them.

    People are also slowly becoming aware that, all scripturally-fabricated, dogmatically-endorsed rationalizations aside, we don't need a middleman to tell us who or what god is. If god really is omnipotent, whose presence can be felt in everything, everywhere... Why the middleman? It defies logic that god would have an intermediary other
  2. TreeCave

    TreeCave Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 28, 2001
    Great post, Snowdog!

    There will always be room for artists who want or need a major label to oversell their limited talents.

    And therein lies the answer, I think. The undertalented are fearful of thr truly talented, who don't need Spears-Martin levels of hype to gain an audience.

    In religious terms, the people who are only involved in religion for fear they will otherwise go to hell or face some horrid retribution from a vengeful god or fate.... those not-truly-faithful people are scared of the truly faithful, because they sense the truly faithful are comprehending something that is over the not-truly-faithful's heads.

    And they're right.
  3. ktwsolo

    ktwsolo Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 25, 2001
    It's like believing in God as an insurance policy in case He really is real.
  4. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    no athiests in foxholes.

    Great post, but just one off topic point, i don't think Astralwerks is Norman Cook's personal label, that label has been around since the early 90s, a good majority of the most popular electronic and euro rock is on that label, which i believe is a subsidiary of Caroline records.
  5. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    Cydonia: Hmm... I know he has his own label, but maybe not Astralwerks... it's possible he has a distribution deal directly with them, but retains his own creative control... Madonna wrangled the same kind of deal. Maverick is essentially her company, of which she is Chairman and Warner Bros. is the owner and distributor. She retains 100 percent creative control, having wrested it from the hands of Warner Bros. by proving wrong their every hesitation about her pushing people's buttons for the past 20 years. Next year, she'll be up for the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. Granted, hers is a different kind of independence... but she's earned it and proven the record industry needs her more than she needs them. I also respect the fact that she's one of the first mega-successful artists to step forward and seriously implement the internet as a tool for demoing uncompromised samples of her work.

    To paraphrase a previous poster on the JC... The driving factor behind fundamentalists who oppose free thought has more to do with their insecurity than their faith. It's a self-esteem problem more than anything else. Wealthy people who aren't into religion aren't any more confident than poor people who go to church every day praying for a way out of hell... they just have different defense mechanisms covering their underlying self-image problem. For the rich it's money... for the poor, religion... for the egocentric, power... The thing you have to ask yourself is: If I were in Heaven, had a million dollars, or ruled a country, HOW exactly, if at all, would it make me any happier? Instead of postulating what people's responses would be... I'd like to hear some from the rest of you, and discuss the rationale behind those answers.

    To slightly paraphrase Morpheus in "The Matrix": If you believe that only the machine can tell you who you are, you need your head examined.
  6. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    kudos to you for finding something nice to say about madonna. ;)
  7. TreeCave

    TreeCave Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 28, 2001
    If I were in Heaven, had a million dollars, or ruled a country, HOW exactly, if at all, would it make me any happier?

    (1) If I were in heaven...I don't know, because I don't know what heaven is like. It's my personal belief that the afterlife - be it a reincarnation right back onto boring old Earth, an eternal vacation in paradise, or whatever - is another phase of learning and growing. If this one's anything to go by, I'll be just as miserable and held just as responsible for the mistakes of every lazy jackass around me as I have been so far in this one. Sorry, I'm very ill, and my general bitterness toward humanity is showing through. ;)

    (2) If I had a million dollars... I'd waste a lot less time scrabbling for the rent, and have a lot more time to devote to my spiritual growth. I know most people with lots of time on their hands would drink beer all day and watch soaps, but I could easily work 60 hours a week on writing, music, art, graphics design and other creative pursuits. When I spend 40-60 hours a week working for some company that's just screwing over people like me, that leaves absolutely no time for meditation, for acts of kindness (except the ones that take no time), etc. A million dollars would free me up from the fight for survival. It sure wouldn't change who I am inside, but it would give me the time to make those changes myself.

    (3) Ruling a country would force me to kill myself. I don't like power. I want autonomy - complete control over my OWN life, and not to be at anyone's mercy - but I don't even like it when my roommate capitulates to my choice of where to eat out. Makes me nervous.
  8. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    TreeCave: So, fundamentally... it sounds like none of those things would really directly address the happiness issue.

    With respect to heaven... well, I guess it's like you say... that depends on your perceptions and outlook on life. I think it's important to focus on the here and now... because if you do that, the rest, whatever is to come, whatever you believe in, will take care of itself. Spending all your life wondering about life's purpose instead of living it doesn't get you any closer to understanding what the hell the journey was all about.

    I'll come back to the million dollars... but first, ruling a country: Obviously, it doesn't appeal to you... so it in itself probably wouldn't make you any happier.

    Now, here's the interesting part. The million dollars. The million dollars question is like a pandora's box.

    On the one hand, you might go use that million dollars up, and free up your time by not working for some crummy-ass company... but what do you do when you run out?

    Problem: Having a million dollars now doesn't mean you'll still have it later.

    Solution: Invest the million dollars and live off the interest. At a nominal rate of seven percent, you could live off the interest at $70,000 per year... if you are satisfied with that. Kudos if you are totally comfortable with doing that, because most people who come into that much money suddenly and without obligation would blow it... almost guaranteed.

    If I had a million dollars, this is precisely what I would do with it... because I know what it's like to have a pot of cash and get greedy, trying to make as much as you can as fast as you can. Stick it in a fixed-interest investment and sit on it without touching the principal (the original $1 million). Provided you go live your life, and try to keep yourself occupied, avoiding apathy, there's nothing wrong with this.

    The only foreseeable problem is knowing that $70,000 a year today might not be worth much 30 years from now. It might not be enough to live off of, and you better have a backup plan.

    Assuming one doesn't blow the million all too quickly, and I won't go into the myriad ways in which this can easily happen... the only foreseeable benefit is having your time to do the things you want to do. But if time management is the problem, a million dollars is only one solution... and it's a solution that almost never comes without its problems.

    If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall. Why is it that the more money we make, we feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses? More money... get a bigger house, get a bigger car, get more expensive clothes... why? If time management is the problem, toys aren't necessarily the solution... and money isn't necessarily, either.

    If you do have the strength to be perfectly content with living off the fixed interest of a million dollars, that begs the question.... What is it about $70,000 a year that fundamentally makes you happier than say... $35,000 a year? Chances are, in addition to time management, money management is also a problem. It doesn't necessarily go away with the more money you have. It only appears easier. I find that my lifestyle hasn't really changed drastically now compared to when I graduated from college and was making half what I make now. I live in a similar apartment, I drive pretty much the same car, my insurance is a bit higher... but really, what is leaving me with just as little savings at the end of the month now compared to then is the fact that I, like a lot of people, let myself get nickeled and dimed to death.

    These past few months I've been forcing myself to take a better look at how many times I frivolously go to a night show instead of a matinee... Do I need to go out to eat every day for lunch, or can't i just bring some lunch with me to work? How the hell did my dad raise three kids on $12,000 a year when we first came to this country, and yet I can barely manage myself and my wife on far more than that
  9. InnocentIII

    InnocentIII Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 29, 2001
    "Truth is the biggest threat to the existence and power of organized religion."

    No, it isn't. I don't see how it is. The Church holds Absolute Truth, therefore it would be a threat to itself... which it isn't... :)

    I do not interpret the Bible literally. That's just fyi.
  10. TreeCave

    TreeCave Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 28, 2001
    If you do have the strength to be perfectly content with living off the fixed interest of a million dollars, that begs the question.... What is it about $70,000 a year that fundamentally makes you happier than say... $35,000 a year?

    Part one of your question. Okay, I have never been anywhere near financially comfortable, but am now at the most financially desperate point in my life so far.
    Anyway, I am the most frugal person alive. I have PERFECT credit - I've never missed a payment, or even deferred one. Can I afford a new car on $35,000 (which I'm not currently making, since the tech sector I was making a bit more than that in two years ago died)? Like, a Corolla - a good investment rather than flashy? Hell, no. Can I afford a house of any sort? Hell, no. I'm scrabbling to pay the rent as it is. I do not go to movies at all other than SW. I spend no money unnecessarily, except for eating out. I could probably save $600 a year by never eating out, but that is just over one month's rent, and the psychological factor of having NO entertainment at all in life would kill me. Yeah, I could be very happy on $70k a year.

    Part two... why could I be happy with $70k a year and not $35k? First, because I live in Los Angeles (or used to until recently, and will again as soon as I figure out who I have to kill to move back). Even in L.A., I could easily qualify for a mortgage and a new car loan with it. THEN, rather then pay it as the bank directs, by making two extra house payments per year, I shave off a huge amount of the total mortgage.... I forget the formula, but my mother knows everything in the world about taxes and how to make crafty loan payments, etc. Once I own that house, buying a new house will never be a problem, because when its value goes up or down, so does the value of the house I want to buy. It's getting your foot in the door that's no longer possible in the wretched US.

    By the way, the whole reason I moved from L.A. (worst mistake of my life) was that even on $42k a year, I could barely afford my rent, and could not afford to replace my dangerously crappy 8 year old car. I thought, "Okay, be an adult - if you can't afford to live in L.A., you have to move somewhere cheaper, even if you don't like it." So I did. But guess what? The salaries in the new town were SO much lower than L.A. salaries that the cost of living to salary ratio wound up being WORSE for me than in L.A. So in my case, trying to be financially responsible was a big mistake. I should've just played the lottery.

    I'm still pretty sick, so I hope that all made sense. I had to change a couple of big booboos when I re-read it, so I may well have inserted stuff about Bigs Bunny and the carrot conspiracy without even knowing it. *sigh*
  11. Bithysith

    Bithysith Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 6, 2000
    I think it's best to look at all religious institutions as businesses ferociously competing for your patronage. Of course they are all going to claim that their "product" is superior, the only choice, the original. etc. because no one wants to share, or forfeit customers. They will go so far as to use scare tactics to turn you away from alternative choices, as your loyalty doesn't mean anything if it is just a temporary one... they want a binding contract, so much as that you will wean your children on their advertising and propaganda. They want you for life... and each of them claim to provide the greatest product/service mankind has ever seen ? eternal salvation.

    ? The Anglican church's greatest patron and official church head - the Queen of England - is also head of England's wealthiest family ...

    ? If all the Christian religions combined their wealth they would be the richest of all nations on Earth ...

    ? In December 1999, the Roman Catholic Church had a say, directly or indirectly, in at least one-third of all the sources of wealth of the western world ...

    ? In March 1999, US Christian Coalition leader and moral crusader Pat Robertson was head of a Christian empire estimated at $312 million ...

    ? At least two historical popes have been described as the world's richest men, including John XXII (1316-1334) and Alexander VI (1492-1503) ...

    ? In August 1999, it was revealed Archbishop Carey was the spiritual leader of some 70 million Anglicans, making him one of the world's most powerful religious figures ...

    ? In Lives of the Popes, Michael J Walsh estimated Pope John Paul II was the spiritual leader of one billion Catholics, making him the world's most powerful religious figure ...

    ? In addition, thanks to Mussolini, the Catholic Church's Vatican City is classed as a country and therefore holds a seat of power on the board of the United Nations

    ? In the 1970s, the Catholic Church was the third wealthiest "nation" behind America and Japan, making it therefore one of the most powerful ...

    ? In March 1999, it was revealed 55 million Americans watched Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, making him one of America's most potent electoral forces ...
  12. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    No, it isn't. I don't see how it is. The Church holds Absolute Truth, therefore it would be a threat to itself... which it isn't...

    Innocent: The Church doesn't hold absolute truth any more than I hold it. That they do is a matter of opinion and faith, not provable fact.

    Your conclusion about truth is flawed because it's grounded upon an entirely false assumption. If, however, your assumption were true... then my statement would be a glaring, metaphysical paradox... because God would have vaporized me before finishing this post. :)

    Religious institutions cannot hand truth to you on a silver platter any more than the waiter at Denny's can. I encourage you to prove to me that you, the Church, or anyone else on earth knows what truth is... from a completely objective point of view. If you can reveal it to me.. in an unmistakable fashion... say perhaps either by opening a hole in the universe to reveal the truth, or having God himself come down here and slap me sideways for my wayward ways. Until then, I think I'll base my conclusion on provable facts, not myths...

    Bithy, excellent post! Hinduism does not actively convert, it doesn't proselytize, and yet it remains the third largest religion in the world, next only to two proselytizing faiths, Islam and Christianity. There must be something incredibly appealing about the perspectives it offers if it can compete with the biggest, wealthiest marketing machine in the world. Even Pepsi, second to Coke in global market share, can't and won't stop advertising for a second.

    (Source: [link=][/link]).
  13. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    Random thoughts on the passing scene....

    How does faith become "infallible" truth when there is no proof to substantiate it? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? I can't understand using the words 'faith' and 'proven truth' in the same breath....

    Is there a difference between fundamentalist christianity and islam, both in their worst forms? Both think they are right, both think the other side is evil, the devil's children, and neither side can see their arguments are exactly the same...

    Why is it, on the whole, that people who know a great deal about the history of the bible, which includes this discussion of mistranslation, who know that jesus didn't have a walking journalist with him saying, "hold on a sec, i missed that. Ok, 'i am the way, the truth, that's what you said, right?' are more likely to believe the bible isn't the infallible truth it's cracked up to be, when the people who don't know much, (or often times, anything) about these things, are more likely to believe every single word of it, and call you a deceiver for having more data than they do?...

    How can love, compassion, and good will towards your neighbor only be "real" when you are "saved"? What of the generations who lived before the time of christ, who lived their lives much as we do today, doing the best they can and trying to be understanding and loving towards others? Are we saying that they didn't feel those things to the core of their being because it happened before jesus came to be?...

    How is it, that in all the glory and wonder and mystery that is this life, we as humans are a mistake? Am i to think that every single flower, bird, beast, star, anything, is divinely perfect, but i am a filthy loser, the one thing god got wrong? I can't look at the "inherent sinfulness of man" argument as anything else than people saying, "i'm not god, but i tell you this: God made a mistake making humanity. Didn't have it planned out well. Good thing he loves us conditionally if only we admit we really suck, that we're pathetic, that we need salvation." My version of God is so much more loving and forward thinking than that version...and for having that thought, i am evil...

    Why, for pete's sake, did god give me a brain with an intellect if i wasn't to use it? For every christian that tells me i'm wrong, they know the truth, i am there thinking, but my brain says i am right, that i know the truth. Who's right? It's my wish and hope that we are ALL right, and that we all get a fair chance in the after life even if we use our intellect that convinces us that semantics are meaningless when we all are talking about the same thing: Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Love god, the earth, whatever you want to call it. Every atheist, muslim, buddhist, hindu, protestant, catholic, ANYONE, who agrees with those principles i want to be friends with in heaven.

    I don't care what club they belong to. My hope is that god feels the same way. Either way, that's what i believe. If i burn for eternity because of it, so be it.

  14. keiran_helcyan

    keiran_helcyan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 13, 1999
    "No, it isn't. I don't see how it is. The Church holds Absolute Truth, therefore it would be a threat to itself... which it isn't..."

    How can you say that when just recently Pope John Paul II admitted the church had been wrong to Gaellio. Also in another instance the church has ceased to follow the Bull "Unum Sanctum" issued by Boniface (not sure on the number VII?). The church is composed of normal human beings, with normal human urges, and therefor is definately open to error.
  15. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    I agree.
  16. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    Cydonia: Beautiful. Don't ever stop thinking for yourself. See? This is what I find insulting... someone coming to my door telling me that my ideas, which are laid upon a foundation of science, philosophy, culture and religion over 7000 years old, are simply wrong... just because their faith, intuition, superstition, and a very crafty tale which "couldn't possibly" contain any poetic license or artful exaggeration whatsoever tells them my culture is heathen.

    To me, that's no worse than telling me I don't deserve to be here because I'm from India... or because I'm darker-skinned... and believe me, I've heard such comments from people's mouths.

    I was utterly disgusted when I heard about the Christian groups burning Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books, among others... What the hell are these people thinking? They want to turn our country into a Taliban-like theocratic state?! I smell overtones of Nazi Germany... or worse, a return to our own horrid, hatred-filled past that thrived far longer than Naziism.

    I'm reminded of lines from a song called "Witch Hunt" by Rush:

    The night is black, without a moon.
    The air is thick and still.
    The vigilantes gather on
    The lonely torchlit hill.
    Features distorted in the flickering light,
    Faces are twisted and grotesque.
    Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
    The mob moves like demons possesed.
    Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,
    Confident their ways are best.
    The righteous rise
    With burning eyes
    Of hatred and ill-will.
    Madmen fed on fear and lies
    To beat and burn and kill.
    They say there are strangers who threaten us,
    Our immigrants and infidels.
    They say there is strangeness to danger us
    In our theatres and bookstore shelves,
    That those who know what's best for us
    Must rise and save us from ourselves.
    Quick to judge,
    Quick to anger,
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand.

  17. Doright

    Doright Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 10, 1999
    "I was utterly disgusted when I heard about the Christian groups burning Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books"

    I couldn't agree more. and I call myself a Christian. Those people should be ashamed of themselves. What are we nazi's? Talk about giving our religion a bad name. That is exactly what they did. People like that are a bunch of fools. Hey if they want to keep their kids from reading them, that is fine. If they want to speak out and say they do not like them.. that is fine too. But book burning.........geesh. The only good thing is they had to buy the books before burning them. ;) It gave Ms. Rowlings a few more bucks to spend on writing supplies I guess.

    Sorry to sound harsh but that event really got my goat.

  18. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies.

    Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

    The pursuit of truth does not permit violence on one's opponent.

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

    - Mohandas K. Gandhi
  19. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    that's a good quote.
  20. Darth_SnowDog

    Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 10, 2001
    Correction to an earlier post: A few posts back, I noted Jack Valenti as the President of the RIAA. Jack Valenti is the head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)... though his double-talk is just as reprehensible there.

    Hilary Rosen is the President and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). I knew this, it was just a brainfart. However, for the time being, I can't come up with any witty metaphors for her appearance.

    ...I'll let you know when I do, though. :)

    P.S.: Thanks, Cydonia. Those are actually four separate quotes of his but... same difference. :D
  21. TreeCave

    TreeCave Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 28, 2001
    I found a rather amusing perspective on heaven and hell.... it's not all that relevant to this discussion, but it's kind of amusing, so I thought I'd share.

    [blockquote]Who's going to Hell? "Bad" people? No, it's anyone who has not believed that Jesus is the Son of God and asked for forgiveness. Since only 30% of the population of the world identify themselves as Christians, this means that at a minimum, 70% of all the people are going to Hell. But wait - there's more! Among the remaining 30% of the world that is Christian, there is great disagreement among themselves whether all the Christians will go to Heaven, or whether certain technicalities will keep some out. If only half the Christians are disqualified, (and that's probably a conservative estimate as many Christians believe that other denominations don't hold the proper beliefs for salvation), then we only have maybe 15% of the population going to Heaven and 85% going to Hell. Clearly, Hell is going to be a much more crowded place. This seems particularly unfair since the Pope has always preached against birth control. Not only has this led to overpopulation in this world, it will create a real problem with overcrowding in the afterlife, mostly in Hell. According to , some of the people now in Hell include Mahatma Gandhi, Anne Frank, Carl Sagen, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Asimov (who was a Mensa member). These were all great, wonderful people, but unfortunately, not one of them was "saved."

    So where is the justice in all of this? Right now, Timothy McVeigh is in Heaven with Dr. Josef Mengele (who's ready for new experiments) and Jeffrey Dahmer (who's ready for his next meal) -- and he must stay there for all eternity with no sex! Fortunately for me, I won't be there with them. I'll be going to the other place, having long discussions with Isaac Asimov and Albert Einstein, when I'm taking an occasional break from an eternity of sexual activity. [/blockquote]
  22. Jedi_Master201

    Jedi_Master201 Jedi Knight star 5

    May 5, 2001
    I only have one thing to say. I haven't read through this whole thread, but I can say this with confidence because I've seen proof of this time and time again.

    Anyone who doesn't follow the God of the Bible follows man, and in the end, follows themselves. It all comes down to "Do you want to follow God, or yourself?" If you reject the Bible, you reject God. And if you reject God, you promote yourself. Sounds rather arrogant if you ask me. And even those who like to hide behind the "Loving others is all that counts" thing, in loving others but rejecting God, you put yourself foremost. No one wants to be under the authority of God. No one wants to be in complete control of God, but in control of their own destiny. Well, Jesus said that in losing your life you'll gain it, and in keeping your life you'll lose it. I got news for you, He's not saying to give your life to man, but to give it to God(Elohim, Jehovah, ect. Not the divine, or goddess, ect.). In giving your life to God, serving man will come naturally. I don't care how giving and loving towards your all-important fellow man you are, if you were hanging over a cliff with someone you didn't even know, and only one of you could live (the choice was yours), you'd choose yourself.

    I don't mean to offend, but if you don't choose the God of the Bible, you choose yourself. But hey, you're tempted by a promoter of pride, so, obviously, the ting you would be tempted with the most would be pride itself(whether for yourself, for family, for the earth, ect.)
  23. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    Hey treecave. Please jog my memory, but isn't there a passage in the bible that says there is a book of life (or something) and in it is written all the people who will go to heaven, and the number is something like 140,000 (or something). Could someone refresh my memory?

    Edit- JediMaster, this thread actually involves your post. It's about how the bible can be interpereted differently, mainly because of the errors of translating texts from one language to another.
  24. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    "I don't care how giving and loving towards your all-important fellow man you are, if you were hanging over a cliff with someone you didn't even know, and only one of you could live (the choice was yours), you'd choose yourself."

    I've got a nice response to that coming, stay tuned....
  25. cydonia

    cydonia Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 6, 2001
    Sorry it took awhile, i had to type this up. This is from the series "The Power of Myth" with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. I just saw this episode the other day, and i also had the book, so here goes.

    Moyers: Is there some relationship between what you are saying and the fact that a parent will give his or her life for a child?

    Campbell: There is a a magnificent essay by Schopenhauer in which he asks, how is it that a human being can so participate in the peril or pain of another that without thought, spontaneously, he sacrafices his own life to the other? How can it happen that what we normally think of as the first law of nature and self-preservation is suddenly dissolved?

    In Hawaii some four or five years ago there was an extraordinary event that represents this problem. There is a place there called Pali, where the trade winds from the north come rushing through a great ridge of mountains. People like to go up there to get their hair blown about or or sometimes to commit suicide-you know, something like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

    One day, two policemen were driving up the Pali road when they saw, just beyond the railing that keeps the cars from rolling over, a young man preparing to jump. The police car stopped, and the policeman on the right jumped out to grab the man but caught him just as he jumped, and he was himself being pulled over when the second cop arrived in time and pulled the two of them back.

    Do you realize what had suddenly happened to that policeman who had given himself to death with that unknown youth? Everything else in his life had dropped off-his duty to his family, his duty to his job, his duty to his own life-all of his wishes and hopes for his lifetime had just disappeared. He was about to die.

    Later, a newspaper man reporter asked him, "Why didn't you let go? You would have been killed." And his reported answer was, "I couldn't let go. If I had let that young man go, I couldn't have lived another day of my life." How come? Schopenhauer's answer is that such a psychological crisis represents the breakthrough of a metaphysical realization, which is that you and that other are one, that you are two aspects of the one life, and that your apparent separateness is but an effect of the way we experience forms under the condition of space and time. Our true reality is in our identity and unity with all life. This is a metaphysical truth which may become spontaneously realized under circumstances of crisis. For it is, according to Schopenhauer, the truth of your life.

    The hero is the one who has given his physical life to some order of realization of that truth. The concept of love your neighbor is to put you in tune with this fact. But whether you love your neighbor or not, when the realization grabs you you may risk your life. That Hawaiian policeman didn't know who the young man was to whom he had given himself. Shopenhauer declares that in small ways you can see this happening every day, all the time, moving life in the world, people doing selfless things to and for each other.
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