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Religion!

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Re: Religion!

Postby trillicat » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:50 pm

Ambition wrote:Hypocrisy will get us nowhere.

Honestly, I have no problem will people that don't believe in religion.
From what I have experienced, I think they are missing out, but it's their choice.
I'm not one of those, 'Walk the path or you will perish!' people, because honestly, I think that is a wrong way to go about it.



Whoa, nelly. "Believe in religion?" Not quite the same thing as having faith in a higher power. Not at all.

For the record, I am in complete agreement with everything DoubleFelix has said so far in this thread. I'm also a pantheist. I require nothing more than to recognize a certain spirituality, an interconnectedness with the universe, to regard that feeling as a belief in a higher power. To have that sense, I need no church. I need no book. I need no miracles.

The problem of religion, from my own past experience and those of others I've known, is that religion gets confounded with other things. To do something religiously is to do it with a certain and specific frequency. In short, it involves dogma, almost necessarily. Kneeling on a mat to face a certain direction to pray, eating stale bread that's supposed to be either literally or figuratively the flesh of a dude who died 2000 years ago at the hands of his own followers, intoning memorized prayers and chants... these are things of religion. They are not things of a higher power but rather human in origin.

I can only speak for Americans, but what I used to see in my 18 years as a Roman Catholic (don't judge yet) was a mix of people doing things for a variety of reasons: the older folks went to church because they had to, because it was mandated; the adults tithed 10% (or at least pretended to) of their income because it was guilted into them; some people were there only to socialize and feel spiritual and sing and clap and enjoy the atmosphere; others were there seemingly to gloat to themselves about how morally superior they were; and then a smattering of people in a mass of 2,000 attendees would seem to be there for the real deal and take everything to heart--and they were almost certainly judged negatively by a large number of the others.

But you're right, Ambition. People who don't go to any services and observe the religious aspect of having a faith in a god or gods are missing out--on the above things. Yet I do believe that none of that is necessary, no religion, no doctrines of "this is the truth" or any amount of stand/sit/kneel permutations is going to bring one to enlightenment.
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Re: Religion!

Postby DoubleFelix » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:38 am

On that topic, it's a real shame there's not much in the way of secular (note: NOT Atheistic; just non-religious) equivalents of church gatherings. There's nowhere townspeople can just go to hang out with friendly people regularly and get emotional support or simply connect with others without having religion entwined with it.
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Re: Religion!

Postby trillicat » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:55 pm

I agree. It's not completely absent, though. If I'm correct, the Unitarian Universalists have something similar going for them.

Community centers (as currently designed in the US, at least) aren't really used to foster a sense of community. They are more for the purpose of providing a building and a park/pool/sports center for use by those in the community.

But overall, there is something that I've missed since giving up Christianity and Catholicism, and it's the feeling of belonging to a community. I was a greeter for 5 years, holding the doors for everyone and having them all know me by name. For another 3 years I sang in the choir with a very spiritual and almost at times rowdy group of people. It was a pleasing experience all around, and it was filled with moral and ethical education in the process. The problem with it was the dogma, the religion and its falsehoods, the fairytale stories told as truths. But a part of me really does miss going to church because I do like people, I did like greeting them, and I really loved singing with them. Yet...I'm also not a party crasher, so I no longer go. It's not a place for me anymore. There isn't one for me--unless I create it myself.
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Re: Religion!

Postby beccya_schw » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:42 pm

(sorry that I'm really bad at forum reply procedures but i'll be polite and try to make up for it)

One of my fave songs is "Imagine" by John Lennon. My father, who is adamantly religious thinks that song is of the devil. I believe in God, but I also believe in a lot of that song, even though it says point blank that religion is an obstacle to world peace.
Religion is a really dumb concept. It makes people stupid and angry: stupid because they won't think for themselves and angry because they KNOW they're RIGHT and everyone else is WRONG and that needs to be FIXED!!

God never gave people the authority to judge each other. It's not my place to say anyone is wrong or evil. Neither is it my place to undertake fixing someone when I'm as much of a mess myself.
What God did tell people to do was love each other. All morality and ethics are based on a concern for fellow humans and even for nature. Some people use an evolutionary principle to explain this, but I don't think I'll tackle that whole thing on this post. But that's the heart of all ethical systems.
Religion trys to say "BE NICE OR I'LL GOOSH YOU!". This works up to a point. If you have ever trained an animal or a child you will realize that this breeds rebellion and resentment of authority, making it a flawed approach. I think it's sort of a fall back plan. Religion (when it works) is a form to train people on so that they will be nice to each other even if they don't love each other. Ideally they wouldn't need the rules because if we truly are looking out for other people then those principles come naturally.

So in respect to John Lennon: he was right in that religion is not an ideal. Ideally we love each other and "live as one". Until then I think people need rules in forms of religion and government to keep them from trampling each other.

(apologies again if this post was scattered and unclear. i think i may have been trying to shove too many ideas into a single post. if you want me to clarify please ask! i love to discuss this stuff so much that i tend to get ahead of myself :)
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Re: Religion!

Postby Chernabog » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:40 am

Well I read the first few pages then decdied that I would just apologise for any repeat comments others had made and just post my opinion.

As far as religion is concerned I believe that the idea of having a community of people brought together under the unifying ideals of peace, love and togetherness is a great thing, however, it is polluted by people who truly loose sight of what is to be gained and focus entirely on whose idea of GOD is correct. When people turn around and use the bible as a tool to judge their everyday lives rather than the ideals the religion is trying to express that is where religiong takes a turn for the worse.

As for God well... Do I believe in a God, no, no I do not, however a huge part of me truly hopes that I am mistaken because if this is all we get then were pissing it away doing nothing and I would love to have that warm fuzzy fealing for the rest of time but lets face it more luck of being shot right now, by Hitler. As it has been said I believe that the idea of God was driven home be people trying to control others giving them something to fear to keep them inline and teach them right from wrong well when I see the sky open up and the big guy fly down and take me paintballing I will believe.

I guess all in all what I mean is that like everything else in the world the idea of religion looks good on paper but when we bring it into action and introduce the human factor we just botch it up. Were all the same religion says to do all the same things follow the ideals not the stories because no offense but there was just as much chance Jesus was the son of god as any other person around. Atheism FTW
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Re: Religion!

Postby wikiwiki » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:28 am

I agree that religion has a social value, even an important one. But on the flipside it has such a destructive nature. If all religions want their followers to be happy and good and kind to each other why are there so many religions? If we all want the same things why would someone say "your god is a liar! my god is true!" What happens that creates a new religion or a new faction inside a religion, god is still the same, it's the people that changed. The weirdest thing is that all three major religions (i.e. Christianity, Judaism, Islam) all believe in the SAME god. The disagreement is about who represents god on earth - Jesus, Mohammed, Moses.
Basically what i'm saying is that religion sometimes feels to me like a contest over who has a bigger dick, our guy or their guy.

I envy people who believe in god. Truly envy true believers.
I don't believe in god. I can't believe, I've tried.
People with belief know that when they die they will continue living in another form in a place that is very good or very bad depending on what they did in their life. When i die that's it. No heaven, no hell, no reincarnation, no soul moving up or down a ladder.
I wish i could believe there was a man who walked on water, that somehow the sea parted and people walked thru it, or that a man had a flying horse.
And it's not because i need some form of evidence. Just as people have faith i have none. no amount of reasoning can change that.
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Re: Religion!

Postby GregTheAsshole » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:36 pm

wikiwiki wrote:I envy people who believe in god.
...
I wish i could believe there was a man who walked on water, that somehow the sea parted and people walked thru it, or that a man had a flying horse.
And it's not because i need some form of evidence. Just as people have faith i have none. no amount of reasoning can change that.


Why envy believers? The world is a thousand times more amazing if you take it for what it is.
There are lizards who walk on water.
The seas can part, go to a really shallow bay during low tide, the sea is gone!
I don't know about a flying horse, but it's more amazing fact that there are horses and flying creatures which are both so different, but have both "discovered" through evolution how to perfect their specie and survive.

The world is just awesome! (Okay, I've been watching too much Discovery)
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Re: Religion!

Postby Old_Bean » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:12 am

My personal beliefs i suppose could best be described as Agnostic. I believe in a higher power which i refer to as "God" out of simplicity. My belief is that all belief systems rely heavily on the "Don't be a dick" rule, and as such if i do come before God in the afterlife, if there is one (an afterlife that is), i can say honestly that while i'm not perfect, I tried my best to be a good person.

I have a fairly decent understanding of religion having attended Catholic schools through the entire of my education. However i was lucky enough, though i didnt realise it at the time, to attend a school with a very progressive view on religion. Religious Education was a class that was manitory all through high school, including VCE (for our american members, VCE is the last 2 years of high school in which all subjects are elective (except RE in my case) and your marks in subjects are used to calculate a score for entry into University, i believe its similar to a GPA)
In primary school RE was little more than bible study. In high school we discussed in detail some of the more relevant parts of the New Testament and what the bible was as a whole. During VCE however, we examined religion as a belief system, how it worked and why, and in particular we spend time studying other world religions that were not Christianity or any of its sects.
It is my belief that religion encourages people to "not be a dick" and it has done so for thousands of years. Plenty of people have used religion as an excuse to be a dick, but if they had not used religion they would have found something else to exploit for their own agenda. Organised Religion as a whole, is a means of control, it has been for thousands of years. Many will argue that this is a bad thing. I tend to agree, in part, simply because i believe an Individualistic Belief allows people to have faith in something bigger than themselves without having to subscribe to the beliefs of others. However i do understand that, while many people will disagree, that many people need to be controlled. I am not saying that everybody needs a tyrant, i am simply suggesting that lots of people would rather be told than to figure something out for themselves. The idea of a Benevolent Dictator is a good one but ultimately is made impossible by the fallable nature of the human condition.
Next we'll talk about faith. Many people reject the idea of religion because they cannot understand believing in something that they have no proof exists. That is what faith is, belief without proof. I can sum it up simply, If you're at the beach and watch a ship disappear across the horizon, you believe that it is still there. You know that things can't just disappear but you have no GPS tracking or any kind of physical proof that the ship is there, beyond your view, you simply belive that it is. It is a simply anaolgy, and i'm sure you could poke all sorts of holes in it, its just an anology. It honestly doesnt bother me that some people are incapable of faith because, simply put, they don't need it. If you know enough that you can live a perfectly happy existance without needing to believe in a higher being, good for you. Some people can't. Some people need to believe that there is something tying everything together. And Theres nothing wrong with that, theres nothing wrong with the feeling of being part of something thats bigger than yourself.
I haven't been to church in a while, its not something i do. The time i would spend worshipping and praying i believe can be better spent. But i know why people go to church, and you'll find for the most part it has little to do with God. People attend church and Mass as part of a community. Think of it as logging onto facebook at the end of the day. Only its people gathering every sunday to listen to a guy talk about stuff and then catch up with all your neighbours and shoot the breeze. I fail to see how this is a bad thing, especially when the dude talking is usually just reinforcing the whole "Don't be a dick" concept.
The problem with Organised Religion, is that it is a means of control. It is a tool. In the same way a spanner can be used to make a wheelchair or a bomb, a tool has many uses. The simple fact is that there is Evil in the world. And people who would do terrible things use religion as a tool. If there were no religion, they would use a different tool. I can not argue that religion has not been used to justify terrible things, and that people hide behind it to escape reality and harbour their own selfish prejudices. No one can. But i can argue that religion has done some great things. Most charities are set up by religions. Religions help the poor and derelict at home and abroad. Would a corporation? No. Would a government? Short answer no, governments still work on the principal of profit and loss. Walk into any cathedral, look around at the artistry and the workmanship that has gone into it. No corporation or individual desire inspired that. A Belief did. A unified belief in God inspired people to create something beautiful and grand.
I know many people who believe that the world would be better off without religion. I tend to disagree, for the reasons stated above. Some people need religion because it gives them personal strength and it also brings people together. You can't ask people to abandon that just because we have science. Just because you can prove everything doesnt mean there is no place for belief, or faith, or religion.

I could probably go on but i'm going home now, i've been at work over an hour longer than i should be.
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Re: Religion!

Postby Lisard » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:41 am

I, personally, am Christian (if I must claim a denomination, United Methodist). But I went through about a 7 year period, throughout middle school and high school, where I thought I was probably atheist, and spent hours defending that belief to my mother as well, once she found out.

One can easily argue that religion is founded to impose morals and protect people. There's the obvious ones, such as thieving, murdering, but there are also others.
For example, in certain religions (Judaism, and I believe Islam as well, if I remember my facts right), pork is forbidden. During the time that those religions were established, trichinellosis was a problem, as well as other diseases. The primary way this is contracted is through undercooked pork. Instead of establishing that pork must be thoroughly cooked (in a time when meat thermometers didn't exactly exist), it was easier to banish it altogether.
Also, it can be argued that religion is made to further political agendas, and it is rather hard to argue against this. Religion has been the cause of many wars. It has been used as an excuse to oppress people. It has condoned slavery. It has undoubtedly oppressed scientists in the past (one key example is how Galileo Galilei was placed on house arrest and forbidden to teach that the sun was the center of the solar system).

One argument for religion is that it gets people through tough times. This is often the case for many, many people, but sometimes not. I, for one, abandoned my faith when I became clinically depressed in middle school, thinking that if God really existed, He would never let me get so bad. Now that I'm older, I can see that He made me stronger by doing so, but as a teen, that doesn't occur to oneself.
Recently, while doing a project on loneliness in senior citizens, I ran across an article on senior citizens and depression. Supposedly, they have the highest suicide rate of any age group (17 suicides a day of people aged 65 and older in the US). The article suggested religion as the cure for this. I guess a true believer might be less likely to commit suicide, but I guess that depends on whether they think God (or whatever higher power) forgives suicides. So one could argue that religion can prevent someone from killing themselves.

Personally, I do not believe on attending church regularly. I do, however, read the Bible and worship through music. My reason for this is that everyone interprets their holy book (in my case, the Bible) differently, and I do not want others to inflict their views on me.
Examples of common discrepancies in interpretations in religion:
Adultery - Outside of marriage? Outside of a relationship? It's not adultery unless you're in a relationship?
Stealing - Is stealing from the rich really stealing? Is downloading music illegally really stealing?
Passages about the ability to kill a man in a war in defense of your religion - Does this mean you can go to war just because they don't share your religion? Do they have to attack you first? (For most of us, this is not a problem- however, we see this appearing with Islamic extremists today, and in the past, Catholicism as well, with the wars against Islam).
One of the forums I used to browse on a regular basis was a Christian gaming forum. I left because I got into a huge argument with people that argued not only that God is not Allah (the qua-ran actually recognises that they are one and the same, according to a friend of mine who is Muslim), but that our God was not the same God as appeared in Judaism.
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Re: Religion!

Postby BryanWordsmith » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:56 pm

OK I'm sorry if this is rehashed or repeated or anything.

I'll start by defining Religion in my view. Religion is intended to be a vehicle for the delivery of Faith. Faith is the unconditional belief that there is a higher power of some kind.

The way I see it is simple. Religion is not longer a vehicle for faith. it has more or less become a weapon that uses faith as it's ammunition. Allow me to explain before the religious types get upset. Religion is the leading reason for war, the leading reason for terrorism, and the leading reason for discrimination. Simply put religion causes harm.

Now faith is and forever will be faith. It's pure the simple belief in a higher power. and from there you define that higher power and choose ways to worship. Which is a expression of faith, different from religion. Faith is a bullet. A bullet can kill people or do much harm. There is that saying "guns don't kill people, bullets do." Sure the bullet does the damage but it couldn't with out a gun. You see Faith is fine I have no problem with it it's safe on it's own. It's when you have people that think they are right and everyone should believe the same that things get dangerous. In other words, religion.

Faith is good and does save lives. It can keep you alive in the most depressing times. It can drive you to make a difference in the world. It maybe all that gets someone up in the morning. And all that is good. It's when we make it a religion that it can be bad. And it's sure to make people feel uncomfortable.

As long as we don't load the gun, let alone shoot it, It'll be OK. Sure it's bound to make some people uncomfortable but what in life doesn't? Religious types, don't force you beliefs on anyone. Non-religious types, same to you. Let everyone believe what they believe and don't do anything as long as no one is getting hurt, oppressed, or otherwise getting the short end of the stick.
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Re: Religion!

Postby cmk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:17 pm

On the whole, I agree with what you said, but I have an objection with the following clause:
BryanWordsmith wrote:Religion is the leading reason for war, the leading reason for terrorism

every "religious" war or terrorist act can very, very easily be seen to be political. From the Crusades (which was really a political struggle between European powers and Arabic/Turkish powers) to modern conflicts are very much political. To say that religion is the cause is to ignore the political situation entirely. If it were truly a religious issue, there would be unsystematic conflicts on a smaller but noticeable scale anywhere there was religious diversity. The political lines in these conflicts are just as obvious or more obvious. Religion is just a convenient way to justify it.

I will agree that religion has been a cause for bigotry, but I also think it's been a vehicle more than anything else-- xenophobia is an unfortunately human trait, and as with war, religion is a convenient way to justify it.
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Re: Religion!

Postby BryanWordsmith » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:53 pm

cmk wrote:On the whole, I agree with what you said, but I have an objection with the following clause:
BryanWordsmith wrote:Religion is the leading reason for war, the leading reason for terrorism

every "religious" war or terrorist act can very, very easily be seen to be political. From the Crusades (which was really a political struggle between European powers and Arabic/Turkish powers) to modern conflicts are very much political. To say that religion is the cause is to ignore the political situation entirely. If it were truly a religious issue, there would be unsystematic conflicts on a smaller but noticeable scale anywhere there was religious diversity. The political lines in these conflicts are just as obvious or more obvious. Religion is just a convenient way to justify it.

I will agree that religion has been a cause for bigotry, but I also think it's been a vehicle more than anything else-- xenophobia is an unfortunately human trait, and as with war, religion is a convenient way to justify it.


On the whole this does make sense but you don't account for just how much power religious institutions, specifically the catholic church, has over government. Although on the forefront it is political it's also religious since modern wars target religious extremists and past wars were to "purify" religion.
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Re: Religion!

Postby GregTheAsshole » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:41 pm

cmk wrote:every "religious" war or terrorist act can very, very easily be seen to be political. From the Crusades (which was really a political struggle between European powers and Arabic/Turkish powers) to modern conflicts are very much political.


I think there is truth in this, as far as the motives behind the leaders of these conflicts, however religion is a major motivating factor in a large number, possibly the majority, of the people fighting the conflicts. Using the example of the Crusades, of course it was a political war, because the church was the government at the time. However, the masses that actually went to the middle east and fought the war (and those on the opposing side) were motivated by religion. They were told that they were acting out God's will and they believed that, and that is the reason why they fought. So, while it may be true that religion isn't the "cause" of many wars, it can be easily argued that without religion, the powers that be might have a much harder time recruiting.
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Re: Religion!

Postby GWW » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:56 am

I'm curious as to why we refer to stuff like Zeus as "mythology", and to contemporary religions as "religions of faith". What's the difference here?
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Re: Religion!

Postby cmk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:29 am

GregTheAsshole wrote:They were told that they were acting out God's will and they believed that, and that is the reason why they fought. So, while it may be true that religion isn't the "cause" of many wars, it can be easily argued that without religion, the powers that be might have a much harder time recruiting.


And there was huge strife within the Church over the Church getting involved. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it helped, in a very indirect and distant way, to precipitate the Reformation. There was also almost civil war somewhere (I think), and this was one of the events which polarized the Church to set the stage for the 14th Century Schism. Also, to say the Catholic Church was much more than a political institution (as an institution) from the 10th to 14th Centuries is sort of ignoring everything the Church did during that period.

Anyway, you are right that a lot of people fighting are motivated by religion. But religion was a vehicle used by political powers, just like any scapegoat. And it has very little, if anything to do with the "actual religion" whose cause it's supposedly trying to advance.
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Re: Religion!

Postby cmk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:10 am

I should probably clarify my point. Without religion, sure the powers that were leading the crusades would have had "a harder time recruiting." But religion only plays a role as a vehicle for xenophobia, and people come up with reason enough to be xenophobic without religion-- just look at the immigration discussions is America, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and ... basically every "industrialized nation".

Wherever there is diversity, there will be misunderstanding; wherever there is misunderstanding, there will be xenophobia; and where there is xenophobia, there will be conflict. The fact that much of the xenophobia in history has been amplified by religious intolerance is only corollary to this-- religious diversity has been the most consistent form of ideological diversity in human history, so it will of course be possible to link religion to most conflicts.

If religion were truly a greater motivator for strife than any other xenophobia, then I would think the Reformation would have caused much more military turmoil than it did. True, there was political instability in Europe as a result, but that will always happen when a great political power is undermined; just look at the former Soviet bloc.

***
Back to statements about religuous belief. I consider myself a Christian, but I always cringe when I use the term, because it has become associated with a pharisaic system of rules which holds little relevance to the message of hope, love and faith that is in the writings of the Church fathers.
I don't have much to say about faith that hasn't already been said, so I'll leave it at that.
If anyone is interested, I'd consider my theology rather Lutheran or Kierkegaardian, but the schismatic nature of the church is among the greatest problems with "Christianity" as an entity, so I won't say I adhere to any denomination... but I'll say that I've felt more at home in Covenant (ECC) churches than any other church.
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Re: Religion!

Postby BryanWordsmith » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:31 am

cmk wrote:Wherever there is diversity, there will be misunderstanding; wherever there is misunderstanding, there will be xenophobia; and where there is xenophobia, there will be conflict. The fact that much of the xenophobia in history has been amplified by religious intolerance is only corollary to this-- religious diversity has been the most consistent form of ideological diversity in human history, so it will of course be possible to link religion to most conflicts.

If religion were truly a greater motivator for strife than any other xenophobia, then I would think the Reformation would have caused much more military turmoil than it did. True, there was political instability in Europe as a result, but that will always happen when a great political power is undermined; just look at the former Soviet bloc.


Indeed and that is what I was attempting to do. I didn't intend to drop all the blame on religion and I apologize if it seemed that way. I simply wished to point out religion's part in creating war and turmoil and to highlight the perversion of what religion is supposed to be and supposed to stand for.

cmk wrote:Back to statements about religuous belief. I consider myself a Christian, but I always cringe when I use the term, because it has become associated with a pharisaic system of rules which holds little relevance to the message of hope, love and faith that is in the writings of the Church fathers.


You see even you, without really saying it, agree with my point of the perversion of religion. I have nothing against Christians (my mom is one) I have a problem with the Christian church, the perversion therein and their ability to be history's biggest hypocrites with out anyone so much as batting an eye.

GWW wrote:I'm curious as to why we refer to stuff like Zeus as "mythology", and to contemporary religions as "religions of faith". What's the difference here?


to lighten things up (I hope); Mythology is essentially a system of beliefs based around deities that control aspects of nature and creation in order to explain the unexplainable. IE. why does the sun travel across the sky? Because Helios the sun god rides his flaming chariot across the sky everyday.
It's interesting that some religions are discarded for this fact considering all faith really stems from Greek/Roman mythology. And I'm sure someone will be upset by this but it really is true.
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Re: Religion!

Postby cmk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:45 am

BryanWordsmith wrote:You see even you, without really saying it, agree with my point of the perversion of religion. I have nothing against Christians (my mom is one) I have a problem with the Christian church, the perversion therein and their ability to be history's biggest hypocrites with out anyone so much as batting an eye.

Got it. We were miscommunicating, methinks. :)

It's interesting that some religions are discarded for this fact considering all faith really stems from Greek/Roman mythology. And I'm sure someone will be upset by this but it really is true.

I'm upset by this, but only by the "it is really true" part:
Egyptian mythology and Hinduism both predate Greek mythology by an unarguably wide margin. Historical evidence of Judaism predates the oldest sources of Greek mythology. Although the oldest extant Hebrew texts are from after the oldest extant Greek mythological texts, it is generally agreed that these texts (namely, the first half of the Old Testament) were compiled from 2 or 3 much earlier sources. There is historical evidence that early Judaic thought (including monotheism) was influenced by some obscure sects in ancient Egypt, which also predate Greek mythology.

Although Paul was clearly influenced by Greek philosophical thought, Christianity had no discernible ties to Roman or Greek mythology until Roman holidays were re-purposed by Constantine and friends (E.g. Saturnalia--> Chrismas). Only religions from the Middle East have enough commonality with Christianity to claim that there is evidence of a ideas crossing over. The almost-Gnostic, somewhat mystical and sage-like teachings of Jesus and the early Church fathers is much more akin to Zaroastrianism, the Persian/Babylonian magis, and some of the more esoteric Jewish prophets (Malechi, Ezekiel) than to anything remotely like Greek mythology.

So, no, History really doesn't back up that claim. :)
(Don't ask how I know this stuff, because I don't know... but Wikipedia will back me up.)
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Re: Religion!

Postby BryanWordsmith » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:56 am

cmk wrote:Got it. We were miscommunicating, methinks. :)

Yarr me thinks ye be correct matey. (yay Pirate talk)

cmk wrote:
cmk wrote:I'm upset by this, but only by the "it is really true" part:
(the rest is quoted in the spoiler)
Spoiler:
Egyptian mythology and Hinduism both predate Greek mythology by an unarguably wide margin. Historical evidence of Judaism predates the oldest sources of Greek mythology. Although the oldest extant Hebrew texts are from after the oldest extant Greek mythological texts, it is generally agreed that these texts (namely, the first half of the Old Testament) were compiled from 2 or 3 much earlier sources. There is historical evidence that early Judaic thought (including monotheism) was influenced by some obscure sects in ancient Egypt, which also predate Greek mythology.

Although Paul was clearly influenced by Greek philosophical thought, Christianity had no discernible ties to Roman or Greek mythology until Roman holidays were re-purposed by Constantine and friends (E.g. Saturnalia--> Chrismas). Only religions from the Middle East have enough commonality with Christianity to claim that there is evidence of a ideas crossing over. The almost-Gnostic, somewhat mystical and sage-like teachings of Jesus and the early Church fathers is much more akin to Zaroastrianism, the Persian/Babylonian magis, and some of the more esoteric Jewish prophets (Malechi, Ezekiel) than to anything remotely like Greek mythology.

So, no, History really doesn't back up that claim. :)
(Don't ask how I know this stuff, because I don't know... but Wikipedia will back me up.)


ahh forgive me some what of another miscommunication. My ignorance disallows me to relate to anything but greek and some roman mythology. But really i meant the system of believing something that can't really be proved comes from mythology in general. (sorry I was very unclear about this)
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Re: Religion!

Postby BryanWordsmith » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:14 am

and the response to the last quote was forgive my ignorance my knowledge only allows me to refer to Greek and some Roman mythology.

Even so I was referring to mythology being like religion in the sense both believe in something that can't be proven.
and that is to sya mythology in general not Greek specifically.
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