Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:39 pm

Interesting read, so far. Here's a short clip:

It is curious to observe how the theory of what is called the
Christian Church, sprung out of the tail of the heathen mythology. A
direct incorporation took place in the first instance, by making the
reputed founder to be celestially begotten. The trinity of gods that
then followed was no other than a reduction of the former plurality,
which was about twenty or thirty thousand. The statue of Mary
succeeded the statue of Diana of Ephesus. The deification of heroes
changed into the canonization of saints. The Mythologists had gods
for everything; the Christian Mythologists had saints for everything.
The church became as crowded with the one, as the pantheon had been
with the other; and Rome was the place of both. The Christian theory
is little else than the idolatry of the ancient mythologists,
accommodated to the purposes of power and revenue; and it yet remains
to reason and philosophy to abolish the amphibious fraud.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:50 pm

Thought you might like Paine.

It gets better, especially when he dissects the utter lack of historical validity of what he refers to as the Bible, more commonly known as the Old Testament.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:02 pm

Some of that stuff is very thought provoking! Good read!
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:41 pm

Oh, yeah. Paine was brilliant.

There are some more detailed and excellent contemporary critiques of the Bible if this sort of thing interests you. I'd be happy to recommend a few if you wish.

But I warn you, at this rate, we'll have you reading the "big baddies," Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris, in no time. Twisted Evil
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DeavonReye on Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:56 am

That's fine. . . . . . just don't want to become like them, being an atheist. I'm too much there already. I'm hoping to find deity and hope he/she is wanting me to.

BTW, that post on the other forum, . . . the two christians are [once again] fighting about who actually is interpreting the bible correctly. So much for "the holy spirit will bring you into all truth". It is really ridiculous now. I've stopped trying to make my point, . . .the point that they refuse to see.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by ZenYen on Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:51 pm

The "you have to believe, and then you'll understand" thing is simply code for "well, it really doesn't make sense, but ignore that."

Good luck in your searching, DeavonReye.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DeavonReye on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:03 pm

Thank you, ZenYen, . . . and welcome to the board.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by TPaine on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:
John T Mainer wrote:The unforgivable sin was doubt, because honestly, will this belief stand up to even cursory examination?

Exactly. And once you start examining all the things about Christianity that don't make sense, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

There's a reason why so many clergy are closeted atheists...they've studied theology enough to KNOW that it makes no rational sense whatsoever.
Which, Dot, brings up another short quote from the Age Of Reason:
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?"
Paine suffered for writing this book. He left America for Europe in 1787 hailed as a leading patriot for writing Common Sense and the Crisis series. When he returned to the US in 1802 he was snubbed or reviled by the "decent Christian folks" as an atheist, although as a Deist, he had a firm belief in God until his death in 1809. Robert G. Ingersoll wrote the following long overdue obituary in 1870.
"Thomas Paine had passed the legendary limit of life. One by one most of his old friends and acquaintances had deserted him. Maligned on every side, execrated, shunned and abhorred – his virtues denounced as vices – his services forgotten – his character blackened, he preserved the poise and balance of his soul. He was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken. He was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death. Even those who loved their enemies hated him, their friend – the friend of the whole world – with all their hearts. On the 8th of June, 1809, death came – Death, almost his only friend. At his funeral no pomp, no pageantry, no civic procession, no military display. In a carriage, a woman and her son who had lived on the bounty of the dead – on horseback, a Quaker, the humanity of whose heart dominated the creed of his head – and, following on foot, two negroes filled with gratitude – constituted the funeral cortege of Thomas Paine."
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by TPaine on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:43 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:Oh, yeah. Paine was brilliant.

There are some more detailed and excellent contemporary critiques of the Bible if this sort of thing interests you. I'd be happy to recommend a few if you wish.

But I warn you, at this rate, we'll have you reading the "big baddies," Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris, in no time. Twisted Evil
Dot, have you read Misquoting Jesus and Jesus Interrupted both by Bart D Ehrman, Chairman of the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina?

Here's a link to Dr. Ehrman being interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by john5180 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:00 pm

I have read those, T.... and I've discussed those books with members of my family that still cling to the Pentecostal religion. They claim that because Bart Ehrman is (at the very least) agnostic, or (at the very worst scenario) an outright atheist, he hasn't a true grasp of understanding about the bible. And they insist based on the very reason this thread is about; namely, if you don't actually believe, you have a skewed understanding, and most likely this twisted information is sent by the devil. His position at the University of North Carolina and his educational resume have no merit. It's as if they are suggesting that one "should not confuse them with facts, for their minds have already been made up".
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:33 pm

DeavonReye wrote:That's fine. . . . . . just don't want to become like them, being an atheist. I'm too much there already. I'm hoping to find deity and hope he/she is wanting me to.

BTW, that post on the other forum, . . . the two christians are [once again] fighting about who actually is interpreting the bible correctly. So much for "the holy spirit will bring you into all truth". It is really ridiculous now. I've stopped trying to make my point, . . .the point that they refuse to see.

They'll never understand that subjective truth is all we have. No one has objective truth. And to assume you did, is just bad karma, if you will excuse the term.

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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:05 pm

john5180 wrote:I have read those, T.... and I've discussed those books with members of my family that still cling to the Pentecostal religion. They claim that because Bart Ehrman is (at the very least) agnostic, or (at the very worst scenario) an outright atheist, he hasn't a true grasp of understanding about the bible. And they insist based on the very reason this thread is about; namely, if you don't actually believe, you have a skewed understanding, and most likely this twisted information is sent by the devil. His position at the University of North Carolina and his educational resume have no merit. It's as if they are suggesting that one "should not confuse them with facts, for their minds have already been made up".

Same. As my mother said, all scholars are a tool of satan.

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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:35 pm

TPaine wrote:
Dot, have you read Misquoting Jesus and Jesus Interrupted both by Bart D Ehrman, Chairman of the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina?

Oh, yeah. Ehrman's long been a favorite author. I've read nearly every one if not all of his popular works.

Lost Christianities is probably my favorite.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by ZenYen on Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:21 am

Erhman is good (I've read "Misquoting Jesus" and his book on the Gospel of Judas Iscariot) ... he also comes from a fundamentalist background, which he shed after actually learning about the Bible. Interesting guy, and not a bad writer.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by john5180 on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:27 am

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:
john5180 wrote:I have read those, T.... and I've discussed those books with members of my family that still cling to the Pentecostal religion. They claim that because Bart Ehrman is (at the very least) agnostic, or (at the very worst scenario) an outright atheist, he hasn't a true grasp of understanding about the bible. And they insist based on the very reason this thread is about; namely, if you don't actually believe, you have a skewed understanding, and most likely this twisted information is sent by the devil. His position at the University of North Carolina and his educational resume have no merit. It's as if they are suggesting that one "should not confuse them with facts, for their minds have already been made up".

Same. As my mother said, all scholars are a tool of satan.

And I really don't understand that rational.... Just as I can't wrap my head around some deity getting all bent out of shape for their creation wanting to expand their knowledge; (isn't that what happened when the first humans ate from the tree of knowledge?). If this is the truth, then even the most fundamental education such as learning to read has to be an offense against their god.

If the gods gave us a functioning brain, and curisoty.... how can this be something evil? If man has a brain to reason with, and ability to read, then there's something deeper going on than having to "believe in order to understand." I can use that same logic to run a red light in a busy intersection and not expect to be creamed by oncoming traffic. Somehow the logic is flawed.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by gillyflower on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:36 am

Oh yes, I am very familiar with certain Christian (and cultural) groups that believe that education and questioning are evils, that educated preachers are undesirable and unnecessary and it all ties back into the mountain belief IMO of not getting above your raising.

In the Appalachian mountains there is a strong stigma against becoming more educated than your parents or grandparents. I think this ties into not questioning something that your parents don't question. Is it a case of cultural or social conservatism?

Thinking can lead to change and change is bad, that pretty much sums it up.

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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:59 pm

gillyflower wrote:Thinking can lead to change and change is bad, that pretty much sums it up.

I'd add one more perceived danger of education...you'll begin to doubt and question what you're told and to rebel against rightful authorities.

Read through the OT in particular sometime and note how much of it rails against people who got "uppity" and did what they thought was right instead of following the rules.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:03 pm

ZenYen wrote:The "you have to believe, and then you'll understand" thing is simply code for "well, it really doesn't make sense, but ignore that."

The Catholic variation that I grew up with was, "Just have faith. We aren't expected to understand the ways of God." In short, "Yes, we know it doesn't make sense, but shut up about it."
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:42 pm

And that is the way many of the evangelical fundamentalists handle things that don't make sense. Either, they say that "it won't be understood this side of heaven" [yes, a cop out], or they try to justify it with "it could have meant", "maybe it was because", etc.

For instance, the case where Acts says that Judas was unrepentent, bought a field WITH the money he got for his betrayal, fell head long and burst open, his insides spilling out, . . . but one of the other gospels stating that he was sorry for what he did, threw the money he got BACK into the temple and went out and hung himself. I've heard preachers try to rectify this huge problem, but they can't.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by gillyflower on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:03 pm

This article was on the front page of USA Today:

More U.S. Christians mix in 'Eastern,' New Age beliefs

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-10-1Amixingbeliefs10_CV_N.htm

This was the last part of it:

In short, we believe our own experiences are authentic, and no "authority" can say otherwise.

That's a very "Eastern" notion, says Jim Todhunter of Bethesda, Md. Retired after three decades leading United Church of Christ congregations, he has studied in a Hindu ashram in India and practices Zen meditation and Christian contemplative prayer.

"In the Western religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — the focus is: 'What do you believe?' There is always a tremendous focus on doctrine and teachings," he says. "In the East, Buddhism and Hinduism in particular, the leading question is, 'Do you know God?' It's much more experience-based."

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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by ZenYen on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:31 am

DotNotInOz wrote:
ZenYen wrote:The "you have to believe, and then you'll understand" thing is simply code for "well, it really doesn't make sense, but ignore that."

The Catholic variation that I grew up with was, "Just have faith. We aren't expected to understand the ways of God." In short, "Yes, we know it doesn't make sense, but shut up about it."

Yeah, I've encountered more than a little of that kind of thing, too — usually after I've asked some impertinent question such as "How do you know that's what God wants?" or "How do you know that Bible story is literally true?" or something of that sort.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by ZenYen on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:33 am

gillyflower wrote:This article was on the front page of USA Today:

More U.S. Christians mix in 'Eastern,' New Age beliefs

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-10-1Amixingbeliefs10_CV_N.htm

This was the last part of it:

In short, we believe our own experiences are authentic, and no "authority" can say otherwise.

That's a very "Eastern" notion, says Jim Todhunter of Bethesda, Md. Retired after three decades leading United Church of Christ congregations, he has studied in a Hindu ashram in India and practices Zen meditation and Christian contemplative prayer.

"In the Western religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — the focus is: 'What do you believe?' There is always a tremendous focus on doctrine and teachings," he says. "In the East, Buddhism and Hinduism in particular, the leading question is, 'Do you know God?' It's much more experience-based."

Experience is a crucial part of zen, that's for sure.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by Ottr on Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:37 pm

DeavonReye wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:
John T Mainer wrote:The unforgivable sin was doubt, because honestly, will this belief stand up to even cursory examination?

Exactly. And once you start examining all the things about Christianity that don't make sense, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

There's a reason why so many clergy are closeted atheists...they've studied theology enough to KNOW that it makes no rational sense whatsoever.

And if you were to make a comment about something, . . . they would say that you don't understand it in context, . . . or [again] that you won't understand it until you open yourself up to serving god. That's where my thread [in that other forum] has come to. You see, they make you sound like you are completely evil if you find issue with something biblical. They enjoy pushing the "if you reject god now, then...." . . . fill in the blank. It's all about the "snake oil salesman" selling his product and how it will benefit you, . . .but you don't have to buy it, . . . however, if you don't, you will meet with some unknown fate.

It's pretty aggravating, really.

Ahhh ... the "If you reject god now, then ..."
I was told by a christian a couple weeks ago, “If you reject god, he will honor your request and remove himself from your presence, in turn you will be vaporized instantly.”
My reply … Your god has never been in my presence to be able to remove himself … I’m still here, and I haven’t been “vaporized”. Funny that, eh?

Luck to you DeavonReye, in finding your true spiritual home.
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:45 pm

Ottr wrote:Ahhh ... the "If you reject god now, then ..."
I was told by a christian a couple weeks ago, “If you reject god, he will honor your request and remove himself from your presence, in turn you will be vaporized instantly.”
My reply … Your god has never been in my presence to be able to remove himself … I’m still here, and I haven’t been “vaporized”. Funny that, eh?

Didn't happen to Charles Templeton, an evangelist who turned atheist as recounted in his book, Farewell To God. You'd think that God would be really chapped at one of his own becoming godless.

Dunno...maybe God was taking a break from vaporizing people just then?

Honestly, ya gotta wonder at some of the preposterous stuff like this that people claim will happen!
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Re: Why is it...."have to believe before ?? answered"

Post by Ottr on Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:01 pm

From conversation we had previous, I was getting statements that seemed to show he believed two completely opposite things at once. Life is death, death is life, peace is evil, war is godly … He even described my spiritual beliefs as a sort of "spiritual necrophilia".
Needless to say the conversation went downhill from there.
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