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Goodbye Jesus

THE QUESTION


Christopher Carrion

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I've asked this question so many times, and still, after many, many years of enquiry, have yet to garner an answer that doesn't take the form of witless defensism or mindless stock-philosophy. So, I ask once more, in the hope of granering a legitimate, RATIONAL and considered reply:

 

Why am I required to defend my non-adherence to Christianity any more than I am my non-adherence to the religious beliefs of the Ancient Greeks, or Mesopotamians, or Maians, or Egyptians? Geographically speaking, the cultural beliefs of my homeland (Britain) have been all but eradicated by Christian invaders, who went out of their way to not only slaughter proponents of the "Old Ways", but have also besmirched them to such a degree in their recordings thereof, that it is almost impossible from a modern perspective to seperate fact from propoganda. Why am I therefore obliged in any way to conform to an ideology directly responsible for the decimation of my ancestral culture, and the murder of my ancestors themselves?

 

In other words, what I am asking is what makes Christianity or indeed any biblical faith any more legitimate than the million million other belief systems I am aware to have existed in the history of the human race? In particular, I am looking for answers from considered, and above all ARTICULATE Christians.

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Truly this is one question Christians are unable to answer. I think it comes down to the fact that Christians refuse the fact that the burden of proof is on them to show that "God" exists. This is a question I have asked before (in other places) that NEVER gets answered.

 

 

just my 2 cents

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The problem is that until this question has been asnwered to my satisfaction, I see no reason why I should engage Christians concerning any other aspect of their faith, or faith general.

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Well I can tell you this... I have been feeling the same way.... I just left a board because (full of xtians) because my questions were not getting answered most of the time they side-stepped and just hurled more bullshit at me.

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Christians believe they DO have an answer to that question: because Christianity is the unique true religion in the world. All those other religions are false.

 

It does adequately answer your question, all you have to do is believe in the truth of Christianity first. :grin:

 

 

RationalThought

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The problem is that until this question has been asnwered to my satisfaction, I see no reason why I should engage Christians concerning any other aspect of their faith, or faith general.

 

 

I completely understand your thinking on this issue.

 

I, also, have been unwilling to engage in debate with Xians/theists because it makes me feel like I'm defending my unbelief in Santa Claus.

 

I mean, what's the fucking point? If I need to give a REASON for being intelligent enough to reject an OBVIOUS fiction, then the people to whom I speak are deceived/deluded lunatics and not worth serious conversation.

 

I don't HATE them for their beliefs. I feel SORRY for them, as they are victims of a destructive meme. Just as I WAS before I got a clue and escaped!

 

I remember how close-minded I was to all NON-Xian thinking. Xians are trained NOT to listen to the "wisdom of man", nor the "schemes of the devil". With such protection in place, NO ATHEIST/AGNOSTIC thought will EVER intrude! They can't allow it. To doubt is to risk damnation!

 

It wasn't until I got fed up with the bullshit, the lies, the obvious corruption and mind control that I allowed myself to question and resist the church's authority and dogma.

 

Also, I think it has been established here that REASON holds NO weight or value when trying to argue with theists. FAITH is pure emotion. You can't argue with what people FEEL. It's totally subjective.

 

If they say they FEEL that Jesus/God is real and with them, how the hell can anyone refute THAT?!?

 

Can't be done. Therefore, we're at an impasse.

 

The only Xians/theists I'm willing to chat with are those who have expressed doubt about their beliefs and wish to HONESTLY examine themselves and their faith. Such people just MAY be ready to listen to reason. That's what happened to me.

 

Otherwise, fuck it.

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Christians believe they DO have an answer to that question:  because Christianity is the unique true religion in the world.  All those other religions are false.

 

It does adequately answer your question, all you have to do is believe in the truth of Christianity first. :grin:

RationalThought

 

Hey...that kinda sounds like the majority of religions doesn't it?

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Hey...that kinda sounds like the majority of religions doesn't it?

Definitely the western religions. Eastern religions, like Hinduism, are much more tolerant of the idea that there are multiple truths and multiple paths.

 

 

RationalThought

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Why am I required to defend my non-adherence to Christianity any more than I am my non-adherence to the religious beliefs of the Ancient Greeks, or Mesopotamians, or Maians, or Egyptians?

------------------------------------------------------

Why am I therefore obliged in any way to conform to an ideology directly responsible for the decimation of my ancestral culture, and the murder of my ancestors themselves?

------------------------------------------------

In other words, what I am asking is what makes Christianity or indeed any biblical faith any more legitimate than the million million other belief systems I am aware to have existed in the history of the human race? In particular, I am looking for answers from considered, and above all ARTICULATE Christians.

 

Christopher, I agree with you. There is no need for you to adhere to any thought you don't want. Hopefully, we are all like that.

 

Engaging in discourse in this arena with Christians is merely an exchange of ideas. I have gained a lot of knowledge from people who are not Christians on this site, about different views and information that have given me a deeper understanding. I haven't taken ALL of it, yet there are several people that have my very utmost respect... not only for their knowledge, but for them as a person. Many are amazing on here! Have they entertained any of my ideas of spirituality? NOT ONE SINGLE WORD! That still has not changed my opinion of them. I feel very honored to have witnessed a part of them on this site. Maybe it isn't all of us just wanting you to learn from us, but some of us are learning from you.

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Christopher, I agree with you. There is no need for you to adhere to any thought you don't want. Hopefully, we are all like that.

 

Engaging in discourse in this arena with Christians is merely an exchange of ideas. I have gained a lot of knowledge from people who are not Christians on this site, about different views and information that have given me a deeper understanding. I haven't taken ALL of it, yet there are several people that have my very utmost respect... not only for their knowledge, but for them as a person. Many are amazing on here! Have they entertained any of my ideas of spirituality? NOT ONE SINGLE WORD! That still has not changed my opinion of them. I feel very honored to have witnessed a part of them on this site. Maybe it isn't all of us just wanting you to learn from us, but some of us are learning from you.

 

 

I doubt that very much. Whether you proclaim to "learn" something the opinions expressed on this site or no, your very self-definition as a "Christian" suggests to me that you already have a pre-established end to any debate or engagement you enter into, i.e., that your "faith" will be maintained or reinforced regardless of what is said. I may be wrong; you may be what I define as a "good" Christian, i.e, one of those rare individuals willing to question their faith based upon analysis and interaction with others, but again, I doubt it. You assume that I do not do you the same courtesy I am here bemoaning, i.e., that I am unwilling to change my opinions based upon arguments posited. not so. My very asking (repeatedly) of the above question demonstrates I am quite ready to question my own preconceptions; I do so on a daily basis, but only when presented with a lucid and rational argument I have not already considered. Pride apart, my knowledge of the bible and its history is quite profound; I have bothered to read the text in several different modes (as historical document, philosophical treatise, and as recorded mythology), and have delved deep into the historical context of its creation. Until a Christian comes to me with the same basic knowledge, and above all the necessary objectivity and damn intellectual courtesy to debate with me HONESTLY, without resort to witless stock defences involving "faith," "love," etc, then again, I see no reason for engagement, as they haven't earned the Goddamn right.

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I've asked this question so many times, and still, after many, many years of enquiry, have yet to garner an answer that doesn't take the form of witless defensism or mindless stock-philosophy. So, I ask once more, in the hope of granering a legitimate, RATIONAL and considered reply:

 

Why am I required to defend my non-adherence to Christianity any more than I am my non-adherence to the religious beliefs of the Ancient Greeks, or Mesopotamians, or Maians, or Egyptians? Geographically speaking, the cultural beliefs of my homeland (Britain) have been all but eradicated by Christian invaders, who went out of their way to not only slaughter proponents of the "Old Ways", but have also besmirched them to such a degree in their recordings thereof, that it is almost impossible from a modern perspective to seperate fact from propoganda. Why am I therefore obliged in any way to conform to an ideology directly responsible for the decimation of my ancestral culture, and the murder of my ancestors themselves?

 

In other words, what I am asking is what makes Christianity or indeed any biblical faith any more legitimate than the million million other belief systems I am aware to have existed in the history of the human race? In particular, I am looking for answers from considered, and above all ARTICULATE Christians.

 

Hello Christopher:

 

I think that Christianity in its orthodox (lower case "o"") is indeed a demanding, narrow faith. The Christian becomes the female mate of a one-woman man, metaphorically speaking. Or reverse the genders, if you like. But anyway, this mainstream Christianity is indeed very limiting in the same way that marriage is very limiting-- you pledge your life to one other, and there's no allowance for entertaining other suitors or exploring the pleasures of another's arms. Christianity requires a perso to make a commitment to God via Christ for life and longer. In Christianity, there is one way, one road, one gate. Period. So because of this, Christians will tend to ask non-Christians about their spirituality through using the template of "Is you is or is you ain't and if not, why not?"

 

Also, since orthodox Christianity holds that those who reject God will be excluded from eternal life, it is logical that devout Christians should inquire after your spiritual health, since they don''t wish you to perish. In religions that don't teach exclusivity and/or damnation, there is not as much perceived need for unrelenting inquiry as to spiritual health.

 

As a devout orthodox Christian, I admit that I do fit the description of what you find annoying in that I do profess Christ to be *the*way to *the* God, but per my explanation above-- this is who and what I've committed to. It *is* limiting, but I have consented to be limited in the same way a bride or groom "forsakes all others" in marriage. I do it because I love God so much that every loss I suffer because of my exclusivity with him is all right with me!

 

Anyway, I hope this helps to explain why orthodox Christians are the way they are!

 

CC

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Hello Christopher:

 

I think that Christianity in its orthodox (lower case "o"") is indeed a demanding, narrow faith. The Christian becomes the female mate of a one-woman man, metaphorically speaking.  Or reverse the genders, if you like.  But anyway, this mainstream Christianity is indeed very limiting in the same way that marriage is very limiting-- you pledge your life to one other, and there's no allowance for entertaining other suitors or exploring the pleasures of another's arms.  Christianity requires a perso to make a commitment to God via Christ for life and longer.  In Christianity, there is one way, one road, one gate. Period.  So because of this, Christians will tend to ask non-Christians  about their spirituality through using the template of "Is you is or is you ain't and if not, why not?" 

 

Also, since orthodox Christianity holds that those who reject God will be excluded from eternal life, it is logical that devout Christians should inquire after your spiritual health, since they don''t wish you to perish.  In religions that don't teach exclusivity and/or damnation, there is not as much perceived need for unrelenting inquiry as to spiritual health.

 

As a devout orthodox Christian, I admit that I do fit the description of what you find annoying in that I do profess Christ to be *the*way to *the* God, but per my explanation above-- this is who and what I've committed to.  It *is* limiting, but I have consented to be limited in the same way a bride or groom "forsakes all others" in marriage.  I do it because I love God so much that every loss I suffer because of my exclusivity with him is all right with me!

 

Anyway, I hope this helps to explain why orthodox Christians are the way they are!

 

CC

:Doh:

 

I'm sure you believe that this answer is all intellectual and what not, however, No it doesn't explain it at all. You see yourself as a martyr that god supposedly loves more due to your 'rejection' of other beliefs. You not only reject others beliefs, you reject others who also believe differently, That's what makes xtinaity one of the most vile, hateful destructive religions on the globe.

 

You really don't give two jacks about others 'spiritual welfare', You want to be proud of the fact you bullied some helpless hurtful soul into the cult, for your Jewel in the crown reward. We have all been Christians and know how it works, it's really 'all about me'. It is instilled in your doctrine to Recruit members to the cult, and the only way you do this is via FEAR of after death. It's what most everyone fears, what no one can control, and It's the only thing you can capitalize on as their is ZERO proof or evidence. you have no evidence that your beliefs are TRUE other then your belief. Some believe the world is flat, we both know the truth and belief do not and NEVER have gone hand in hand. If you control a persons (mobs) fear, you control the person (Mob).

 

 

You're comparison to the bride/groom is bs to the highest degree. Please supplement your Jesus Christ marriage to that of Santa and realize how foolish you look to the majority of us here. You really need to work on convincing non-believers (especially those of us who have studied deeply the bible, and it's history) outside of the fairytale. This sermon has been over done by many pastors all of which we've all heard a zillion times.

 

 

The question was:

what I am asking is what makes Christianity or indeed any biblical faith any more legitimate than the million million other belief systems I am aware to have existed in the history of the human race? In particular, I am looking for answers from considered, and above all ARTICULATE Christians.
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Hello Christopher:

 

I think that Christianity in its orthodox (lower case "o"") is indeed a demanding, narrow faith. The Christian becomes the female mate of a one-woman man, metaphorically speaking.  Or reverse the genders, if you like.  But anyway, this mainstream Christianity is indeed very limiting in the same way that marriage is very limiting--  you pledge your life to one other, and there's no allowance for entertaining other suitors or exploring the pleasures of another's arms.  Christianity requires a perso to make a commitment to God via Christ for life and longer.  In Christianity, there is one way, one road, one gate. Period.  So because of this, Christians will tend to ask non-Christians  about their spirituality through using the template of "Is you is or is you ain't and if not, why not?" 

 

Dear CC, I appreciate your honesty and the way you take question seriously. I don't think your analogy holds up, though. It's one thing to say Christianity is like a marriage. It's another thing to demand that other people be married to your, or Christians', spouse, i.e. Christ. You can pledge your life however you want. Other people do the best they can by their conscience and pledge their lives in some other direction.

 

When Christians (or Muslims or orthodox Jews or whoever) demand that their commitment for life and longer spill into public policy for everyone in the community, it becomes a sort of fascism that hearkens back to the past - weirdly, since fascism (at least in Italy) originally claimed to be a futuristic movement.

 

I do not accuse you of this. There's an edge to the demands made by politically active religious groups, however, which other people feel they must oppose.

 

Maybe you would stand with them and say that religion is stronger when it is kept out of government, and that all the citizens live best when church and state are kept clearly separate.

 

This political stuff does not necessarily apply to you personally, CC. I'm just associating ideas here.

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Do Xtian men become homosexual becuase they want to be brides of Jesus?

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I doubt that very much. Whether you proclaim to "learn" something the opinions expressed on this site or no, your very self-definition as a "Christian" suggests to me that you already have a pre-established end to any debate or engagement you enter into, i.e., that your "faith" will be maintained or reinforced regardless of what is said. I may be wrong; you may be what I define as a "good" Christian, i.e, one of those rare individuals willing to question their faith based upon analysis and interaction with others, but again, I doubt it. You assume that I do not do you the same courtesy I am here bemoaning, i.e., that I am unwilling to change my opinions based upon arguments posited. not so. My very asking (repeatedly) of the above question demonstrates I am quite ready to question my own preconceptions; I do so on a daily basis, but only when presented with a lucid and rational argument I have not already considered. Pride apart, my knowledge of the bible and its history is quite profound; I have bothered to read the text in several different modes (as historical document, philosophical treatise, and as recorded mythology), and have delved deep into the historical context of its creation. Until a Christian comes to me with the same basic knowledge, and above all the necessary objectivity and damn intellectual courtesy to debate with me HONESTLY, without resort to witless stock defences involving "faith," "love," etc, then again, I see no reason for engagement, as they haven't earned the Goddamn right.

 

Hello Christopher Carrion! You have made a lot of assumptions about me... which says a lot about other things, but not too much about me. My faith did not come blindly as many would think of Christians here, although I have had some areas in which I had blind spots and now I see more clearly... and I can thank many on this site for better vision.

 

Am I tolerant of Eastern religions/philosophies? Absolutely, they are way ahead of us! Carl Jung even said they have at least doubled our progress spiritually. Even Jeus says that his spirituality will come like lightening from the east to the west. I am not only tolerant, I'm not only respectful, I am very envious of the teachings and disciplines they hold. (I know, I know... envy is not good.)

 

There does seem to be one concept that I have not found in other religions, although I have some things in others that I have not found yet in Christianity. Christianity seems to have the concept of grace that I have not found in other religions... so Christopher, I'm sure you and/or many will be ready to dispute me on that one... and then again, maybe not.

 

I still think that you should... and will... believe how you must. That is the scenario with all of us! Everyone has a blindspot, others may see it but if the actual person doing it saw it as their blind spot... they wouldn't answer or act the way they do, because they would have seen it. Yet, everyone does have a blindspot... and that includes me and you too.

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CC, it's never going to be answered. You do know this, don't you? :Hmm: Although I think a good, simple response to any Christian asking you if you've accepted Jesus in your life that might actually shut them up (or at least stun them into silence long enough for you to escape), is, "Not yet. Have you accepted Santa Claus back into yours?" Run like hell.

 

My roommate does that sort of crap. He bemoans the Bible and Christianity like you wouldn't believe, but at the core, he's the pastor's son who can't give up the idea of Jesus. He can even curse God and still praise His Illegitimate Son. And he claims Christianity is the One Religion because no other religion offers salvation in the afterlife and such easy claim to such salvation through accepting Jesus. :Doh: It boggles me every damn time we get into any discussion. Simply boggles.

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Hello Christopher Carrion! You have made a lot of assumptions about me... which says a lot about other things, but not too much about me. My faith did not come blindly as many would think of Christians here, although I have had some areas in which I had blind spots and now I see more clearly... and I can thank many on this site for better vision.

 

Am I tolerant of Eastern religions/philosophies? Absolutely, they are way ahead of us! Carl Jung even said they have at least doubled our progress spiritually. Even Jeus says that his spirituality will come like lightening from the east to the west. I am not only tolerant, I'm not only respectful, I am very envious of the teachings and disciplines they hold. (I know, I know... envy is not good.)

 

There does seem to be one concept that I have not found in other religions, although I have some things in others that I have not found yet in Christianity. Christianity seems to have the concept of grace that I have not found in other religions... so Christopher, I'm sure you and/or many will be ready to dispute me on that one... and then again, maybe not.

 

I still think that you should... and will... believe how you must. That is the scenario with all of us! Everyone has a blindspot, others may see it but if the actual person doing it saw it as their blind spot... they wouldn't answer or act the way they do, because they would have seen it. Yet, everyone does have a blindspot... and that includes me and you too.

 

 

I'm sorry, I casn't reconcile some of the claims you make here. the bible, the core scripture of Christianity actively proclaims that anyone who does not adhere to the word of god as it is written is wrong, and worse, worthy of nothing but contempt and destruction. I therefore do not see how you can at once define yourself as an adherent of Christianity or any biblical faith and yet proclaim "respect" for "Eastern" religions which, by your very self definition as Christian, you must believe to be flawed or incorrect in some fundamental manner. If not, and if as you say they are "light years" ahead of current spiritual or religious preconceptions in the West, then why do you not adhere to one of them instead? Why are you not Buddhist or Shintoist (both of which by the way, actually are light years ahead of Christianity and every monotheistic faith in so many ways it makes my head hurt)?

 

The "assumptions" I make about you are based upon arguments posited, since all i have seen thus far are the same stock arguments I get from every other Christian I have asked this question of dressed up differently. As for the concepot of "grace" in Christianity, you'll have to define that for me. From my reading of the bible, the ideology utilises a powerful psychological catch-22 in which it at once emphasises the fundamental superiority of the adherent, yet also degardes their sense of self worth and autonomy outside of the behavioural and perceptual tenets of the faith via the notion of specious or "original" sin. As for my "believing how I must", this is exactly the point I am making:

 

I do not "believe" in anything one way or the other; this argument is not a matter of "belief", and it is intellectually defensive and disingenuous to render it so. My examination of the bible from an OBJECTIVE perspective has demonstrated to me that it has no historical, spiritual or humanistic relevance than the Grimm Fairy Tales, and until I get an answer as to why and how things are otherwise, there is no reason for me to debate the finer principles of the faith.

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:Doh:

 

I'm sure you believe that this answer is all intellectual and what not, however, No it doesn't explain it at all.

 

CC: I don't mind you saying that I haven't answered the question, but I do think you're being hastily judgmental in saying what you're sure that I believe.

 

Japedo:

You see yourself as a martyr that god supposedly loves more due to your 'rejection' of other beliefs.

 

CC: You're way off base.

 

Japedo:

You not only reject others beliefs, you reject others who also believe differently,

 

CC: No, I don't reject others.

 

Japedo:

That's what makes xtinaity one of the most vile, hateful destructive religions on the globe.

 

CC: Well, I don't think Christianity is vile or hateful in itself, but it is true that people have often abused the name of Jesus in doing vile, hateful things in his name.

 

Japedo: You really don't give two jacks about others 'spiritual welfare',

 

CC: Yes, I do.

 

Japedo: You want to be proud of the fact you bullied some helpless hurtful soul into the cult, for your Jewel in the crown reward.

 

CC: Not so. I'm wondering . . . Are you talking to me *personally* or are you using "you" to refer to all or most Christians?

 

Japedo:

We have all been Christians and know how it works, it's really 'all about me'. It is instilled in your doctrine to Recruit members to the cult, and the only way you do this is via FEAR of after death. It's what most everyone fears, what no one can control, and It's the only thing you can capitalize on as their is ZERO proof or evidence.

 

CC: That's actually a twisted deformation of Christianity, not Christianity in its pure form. Authentic Christianity has *no* self interest, only the desire to be a *servant* of all. Since you were once a Christian, you are likely familiar with the words of Christ to this effect.

 

Japedo:

You have no evidence that your beliefs are TRUE other then your belief. Some believe the world is flat, we both know the truth and belief do not and NEVER have gone hand in hand. If you control a persons (mobs) fear, you control the person (Mob).

 

CC: Yes, I understand the social psychology of coercion and groupthink. But just because a person cannot prove a belief to be objctively true doesn't automatically make the belief false.

 

Japedo:

You're comparison to the bride/groom is bs to the highest degree. Please supplement your Jesus Christ marriage to that of Santa and realize how foolish you look to the majority of us here.

 

CC: Oh, I already know that. If I were afraid of looking foolish to others, I wouldn't be able to be a Christian, since it kind of goes with the territory. And I certainly wouldn't be posting here if I were averse to being mocked and laughed at.

 

Japedo:

You really need to work on convincing non-believers (especially those of us who have studied deeply the bible, and it's history) outside of the fairytale. This sermon has been over done by many pastors all of which we've all heard a zillion times.

 

CC:

No, I don't need to work on convincing anyone of anything. I don't see that as my job at all. I'm here to respond to questions asked by the Ex-Christians, not to try to convince them to return to the Narrow Road.

 

I don't know why you responded to me with such mean-spirited words-- it hurt my feelings-- but I realize I shouldn't take it personally. You seem full of bile and rage towards Christians, and I don't fault you for that. If your experiences have led you to feel this way, I am sorry for whatever pain you may have suffered in the past to make you this angry.

 

CC

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:Doh:

 

I'm sure you believe that this answer is all intellectual and what not, however, No it doesn't explain it at all.

 

CC: I don't mind you saying that I haven't answered the question, but I do think you're being hastily judgmental in saying what you're sure that I believe.

 

Japedo:

You see yourself as a martyr that god supposedly loves more due to your 'rejection' of other beliefs.

 

CC: You're way off base.

 

Japedo:

You not only reject others beliefs, you reject others who also believe differently,

 

CC: No, I don't reject others.

 

Japedo:

That's what makes xtinaity one of the most vile, hateful destructive religions on the globe.

 

CC: Well, I don't think Christianity is vile or hateful in itself, but it is true that people have often abused the name of Jesus in doing vile, hateful things in his name.

 

Japedo: You really don't give two jacks about others 'spiritual welfare',

 

CC: Yes, I do.

 

Japedo: You want to be proud of the fact you bullied some helpless hurtful soul into the cult, for your Jewel in the crown reward.

 

CC: Not so. I'm wondering . . . Are you talking to me *personally* or are you using "you" to refer to all or most Christians?

 

Japedo:

We have all been Christians and know how it works, it's really 'all about me'. It is instilled in your doctrine to Recruit members to the cult, and the only way you do this is via FEAR of after death. It's what most everyone fears, what no one can control, and It's the only thing you can capitalize on as their is ZERO proof or evidence.

 

CC: That's actually a twisted deformation of Christianity, not Christianity in its pure form. Authentic Christianity has *no* self interest, only the desire to be a *servant* of all. Since you were once a Christian, you are likely familiar with the words of Christ to this effect.

 

Japedo:

You have no evidence that your beliefs are TRUE other then your belief. Some believe the world is flat, we both know the truth and belief do not and NEVER have gone hand in hand. If you control a persons (mobs) fear, you control the person (Mob).

 

CC: Yes, I understand the social psychology of coercion and groupthink. But just because a person cannot prove a belief to be objctively true doesn't automatically make the belief false.

 

Japedo:

You're comparison to the bride/groom is bs to the highest degree. Please supplement your Jesus Christ marriage to that of Santa and realize how foolish you look to the majority of us here.

 

CC: Oh, I already know that. If I were afraid of looking foolish to others, I wouldn't be able to be a Christian, since it kind of goes with the territory. And I certainly wouldn't be posting here if I were averse to being mocked and laughed at.

 

Japedo:

You really need to work on convincing non-believers (especially those of us who have studied deeply the bible, and it's history) outside of the fairytale. This sermon has been over done by many pastors all of which we've all heard a zillion times.

 

CC:

No, I don't need to work on convincing anyone of anything. I don't see that as my job at all. I'm here to respond to questions asked by the Ex-Christians, not to try to convince them to return to the Narrow Road.

 

I don't know why you responded to me with such mean-spirited words-- it hurt my feelings-- but I realize I shouldn't take it personally. You seem full of bile and rage towards Christians, and I don't fault you for that. If your experiences have led you to feel this way, I am sorry for whatever pain you may have suffered in the past to make you this angry.

 

CC

 

 

Still waiting for a rational answer.

 

The bible is chock full of pleas for the adherent to slaughter the unbeliever. God himself does so on several separate occasions that I can think of offhand (The Noahic Flood, Soddom and Gomorragh, the wholly unjustified genocide of the Egyptian first-born, the list goes on). And please, none of that stock-philosophy "context" nonsense; I am WELL aware of the context of God's actions in each of these stories, and it basically boils down to a group of human beings, human beings that, within the context of Christian mythology God created and whose actions he is therefore responsible for, acting outside of the extremely restrictive and dogmatic behavioural tenets he regards as fundamental. Therefore, whether you choose to acknowledge it "as a Christian" or no, the religion's basic promotion of itself as fundamental truth regardless of what rational and above all OBJECTIVE analysis of the text reveals, betrays an intrinsic and extremely significant intolerance with regards to not only other religions, but indeed any other ideology that exists or functions outside of what the adherent CHOOSES to believe. How can you therefore respect or even acknowledge the legitimacy of other religions if you regard them as inherently false or misguided? Straight answer: you cannot, not if you wish to entirely define yourself as Christian.

 

Awaits an answer.

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CC: I don't mind you saying that I haven't answered the question, but I do think you're being hastily judgmental in saying what you're sure that I believe.

 

I judged you based on your comments here.

 

  Japedo:You see yourself as a martyr that god supposedly loves more due to your 'rejection' of other beliefs.

 

CC: You're way off base.

 

Really? how so, isn't You who god chooses for heaven the rest of us get to burn in hell forever isn't that right because we are lacking the 'relationship'?

 

Japedo:

You not only reject others beliefs, you reject others who also believe differently,

 

CC: No, I don't reject others.  

 

 

Sure you do, you've as much as stated so

Christianity requires a perso to make a commitment to God via Christ for life and longer. In Christianity, there is one way, one road, one gate. Period. / this mainstream Christianity is indeed very limiting in the same way that marriage is very limiting-- you pledge your life to one other, and there's no allowance for entertaining other suitors or exploring

 

 

CC: Not so. I'm wondering . . . Are you talking to me *personally* or are you using "you" to refer to all or most Christians?

 

I'm talking about you as the group, as the whole.

 

CC: That's actually a twisted deformation of Christianity, not Christianity in its pure form. Authentic Christianity has *no* self interest, only the desire to be a *servant* of all. Since you were once a Christian, you are likely familiar with the words of Christ to this effect.

 

:lmao: If nothing is consistent with you Christians, this one thing is. Each one you know the "Real way" and the "real Christianity" is not what we've been taught. You all say that, everyone of you. I am Very familiar with the words of Christ, are you? How about you look up Luke 14:25-35 and tell me what loving words your Christ has? Did you know you're encouraged to literally hate your family? read it for yourself. I know it's not one of the verse you're required to memorize but the bible is Full of Requiring Hate.

 

CC: Yes, I understand the social psychology of coercion and groupthink. But just because a person cannot prove a belief to be objctively true doesn't automatically make the belief false.

 

It doesn't make the belief True either.

 

I don't know why you responded to me with such mean-spirited words-- it hurt my feelings-- but I realize I shouldn't take it personally. You seem full of bile and rage towards Christians, and I don't fault you for that. If your experiences have led you to feel this way, I am sorry for whatever pain you may have suffered in the past to make you this angry.

 

:twitch: Honesty is not being Mean-spirited. My intention isn't to Hurt your feelings, My intention is to get you to think about what you're saying. I do have rage when Questions are avoided and side-stepped, and dismissed and instead we get a lecture of Marriage to an invisible being from Christians. You have yet to explained the original question asked. What makes your Religion DIFFERENT then others, what makes it Unique, and set apart from all the others. It's a very simple Question.

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I'm sorry, I casn't reconcile some of the claims you make here. the bible, the core scripture of Christianity actively proclaims that anyone who does not adhere to the word of god as it is written is wrong, and worse, worthy of nothing but contempt and destruction. I therefore do not see how you can at once define yourself as an adherent of Christianity or any biblical faith and yet proclaim "respect" for "Eastern" religions which, by your very self definition as Christian, you must believe to be flawed or incorrect in some fundamental manner.

 

The disciples noted that some were teaching the same things as Jesus but noted they did not follow him, and Jesus said that those that are not against us are for us. It is the message, and there are many other religions with similar messages. I sense it is the message that is important, the man is only important because of his messages and his actions and what they demonstrated.

 

If not, and if as you say they are "light years" ahead of current spiritual or religious preconceptions in the West, then why do you not adhere to one of them instead? Why are you not Buddhist or Shintoist (both of which by the way, actually are light years ahead of Christianity and every monotheistic faith in so many ways it makes my head hurt)?

 

Light years? I don't believe I said that... It seems to me that many aspects of meditation and entering into a metaphysical arena are way ahead in the east, compared to that of the typical Christian. It is my tendency to agree with Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell on that issue. It is believed that Jesus spent much time in India studying there during his 'lost years'. I see it as Christ is the great reconciler, reconciling all beliefs into one... respecting each... hence, we've been given the ministry of reconciliation, and I believe this happens internally and externally.

 

As for the concepot of "grace" in Christianity, you'll have to define that for me. From my reading of the bible, the ideology utilises a powerful psychological catch-22 in which it at once emphasises the fundamental superiority of the adherent, yet also degardes their sense of self worth and autonomy outside of the behavioural and perceptual tenets of the faith via the notion of specious or "original" sin.

 

My interpretation of grace is that it is the understanding that everyone is doing the best they know how in the situation they are in now. If one would know better, they would of done that! How can we condemn or hate someone for not doing better than their best? "Forgive them for they know not what they do." Accountability and responsibility still remain.

 

 

As for my "believing how I must", this is exactly the point I am making:

 

I do not "believe" in anything one way or the other; this argument is not a matter of "belief", and it is intellectually defensive and disingenuous to render it so. My examination of the bible from an OBJECTIVE perspective has demonstrated to me that it has no historical, spiritual or humanistic relevance than the Grimm Fairy Tales, and until I get an answer as to why and how things are otherwise, there is no reason for me to debate the finer principles of the faith.

 

OK, thank you for sharing your beliefs with me.

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Well of course christianity is the true religion to kill over, thats why its lasted so long... people kill over it, its the perfect religion, becuase it goes agianst alot of peoples belief... homosexuals, transexuals, other religions, athiests, science, evolution... thus giving them much more of a reason to bitch and complain and fight with other countries... cuase all they want is violence deep down... why do you think they are such doodoobrains when they are trying to prove their belief... they completely eradicate any common sense whatsoever when argueing on these boards and go right agianst what we have said, mix up our words on purpose, just to make the illusion that they proved a point...

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The disciples noted that some were teaching the same things as Jesus but noted they did not follow him, and Jesus said that those that are not against us are for us. It is the message, and there are many other religions with similar messages. I sense it is the message that is important, the man is only important because of his messages and his actions and what they demonstrated.

Light years? I don't believe I said that... It seems to me that many aspects of meditation and entering into a metaphysical arena are way ahead in the east, compared to that of the typical Christian. It is my tendency to agree with Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell on that issue. It is believed that Jesus spent much time in India studying there during his 'lost years'. I see it as Christ is the great reconciler, reconciling all beliefs into one... respecting each... hence, we've been given the ministry of reconciliation, and I believe this happens internally and externally.

My interpretation of grace is that it is the understanding that everyone is doing the best they know how in the situation they are in now. If one would know better, they would of done that! How can we condemn or hate someone for not doing better than their best? "Forgive them for they know not what they do." Accountability and responsibility still remain.

OK, thank you for sharing your beliefs with me.

 

 

"Those that are not against us are for us."

 

A catch-22, designed specifically to enhance the legitimacy of Christian faith in the adherent's mind by (fallaciously, BTW) proclaiming that anyone who does not stand directly in the path of Christian faith (which, btw, you'll have to define for me, as it seems to me that anyone who does not adhere to Christ's word as the fundamental measure of truth might be regarded as "standing in the way," and therefore worthy of nothing but contempt) are somehow complicit in it. What most Christians can't seem to get through their heads (thanks to the fact that they are culturally conditioned to interpret the world as conducive to their faith regardless of what the truth of the matter is) is that those who stand outside their faith, whether they do so from an unconcerned or hostile perspective are in no way complicit in it; to us, that which you proclaim and believe as ultimate "truth" quite clearly is not. For the last time, let me say that this is not a matter of beliefe; it is a ridiculous intellectual defence-mechanism on behalf of many modern Christians to render any situation or perspective down to a matter of "belief", so that it becomes diametrically opposed to the notions of "God" or "Jesus", both of which, thanks to their evident lack of historical or quantifiable basis, rely exclusively upon "faith" and "belief" to maintain any legitimacy. It is evident from objective analysis from a variety of angles that the bible does not function as a historical text; this is not a matter of belief; it does not require belief; it is so whether you choose to beliefe it or not. The text was written by a number of Bronze-Age tribes people with very definite religious, socio-cultural and political intentions, and functions more as an ideological or philosophical text than anything else. That is not to say it functions perfectly or even adequately in those modes; my very objection to Christianity is based on the fact that I find it psychologically and philosophically repulsive on a number of levels, all of which the Christians I have thus far had the dubious pleasure of debating with seem to reinforce and quantify.

 

There is no legitimate (and by legitimate, I mean objectively historical and archaeological) evidence that the biblical Jesus even existed. So as to fairy-tale postulations that whilst growing up he might have spent some time in India, they can be nothing but patently absurd; self-involved wish-fulfilment designed to reconcile certain resonances Christian and biblical dogma as a whole has with other pre-existing faiths, religions and mythologies by dint of being directly inspired by them. As for the notion of "religious reconciliation," it is impossible. There cannot possibly be one overriding faith which legitimately encompasses the various beliefs and lifestyles on this planet, and the very notion of such is inherently tyrannical and vacuous. There have been thousands upon thousands of religious/mythological ideologies in the history of the human race, not to mention thousands more related socio-cultural structures, and the very ambition of "uniting" these many often contradictory, universally conflicting perspectives and behavioural ideologies is not only impossible without the active repression of some to the promotion of others, it is fundamentally flawed in its ambition, betraying a marked myopia on behalf of the attemptee.

 

I still await an answer.

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"Those that are not against us are for us."

 

A catch-22, designed specifically to enhance the legitimacy of Christian faith in the adherent's mind by (fallaciously, BTW) proclaiming that anyone who does not stand directly in the path of Christian faith (which, btw, you'll have to define for me, as it seems to me that anyone who does not adhere to Christ's word as the fundamental measure of truth might be regarded as "standing in the way," and therefore worthy of nothing but contempt) are somehow complicit in it.

 

Christopher, this seems a bit confusing to me... could you please explain this another way if my answer does not address what you meant?

 

Christ had ideas, principles, and philosophies on which a person is to conduct himself in the world, and through the world. Further, Christ acknowledged that others had similar teachings, yet did not follow him. Jesus was concerned with the teachings, not himself, and said that these teachings of others that are alligned with his teachings are good too... even if these people don't follow him.

 

(BTW, 'complicit' is also an opinion... as I don't think anyone was associating with Jesus to commit wrongful acts.)

 

What most Christians can't seem to get through their heads (thanks to the fact that they are culturally conditioned to interpret the world as conducive to their faith regardless of what the truth of the matter is) is that those who stand outside their faith, whether they do so from an unconcerned or hostile perspective are in no way complicit in it; to us, that which you proclaim and believe as ultimate "truth" quite clearly is not.

 

Jews and Muslims believe in Jesus and his teachings. There seems to be some indication of the influence of Jesus in at least the Tibbetan Buddhism, see the book "The Lost Years of Jesus". I believe the Easter eggs and Christmas trees are influenced from the Pagans and Druids. God made the fruit to eat and the leaves for healing, and I think the Wiccas would agree with that.

 

I believe the original writings are at least Spiritual Truth, and if you want to believe that it is not... that's fine, that's your opinion.

 

For the last time, let me say that this is not a matter of beliefe; it is a ridiculous intellectual defence-mechanism on behalf of many modern Christians to render any situation or perspective down to a matter of "belief", so that it becomes diametrically opposed to the notions of "God" or "Jesus", both of which, thanks to their evident lack of historical or quantifiable basis, rely exclusively upon "faith" and "belief" to maintain any legitimacy.

 

The jury is still out on validating incidences, especially in the OT, as being physically real. It seems to me that several landmarks have been authenticated... yet if the walls of Jericho came down... this is hard to tell if it is just a story or did it happen due to earthquakes. Many other similar situations.

 

It is evident from objective analysis from a variety of angles that the bible does not function as a historical text; this is not a matter of belief; it does not require belief; it is so whether you choose to beliefe it or not. The text was written by a number of Bronze-Age tribes people with very definite religious, socio-cultural and political intentions, and functions more as an ideological or philosophical text than anything else.

Who and where are these variety of angels? Could you please be more specific?

 

That is not to say it functions perfectly or even adequately in those modes; my very objection to Christianity is based on the fact that I find it psychologically and philosophically repulsive on a number of levels, all of which the Christians I have thus far had the dubious pleasure of debating with seem to reinforce and quantify.

 

Christopher, could you be more specific in how the psychology and philosophies of Christianity are repulsive to you? I apologize, yet somehow I missed those other debates you had with other Christians.

 

There is no legitimate (and by legitimate, I mean objectively historical and archaeological) evidence that the biblical Jesus even existed. So as to fairy-tale postulations that whilst growing up he might have spent some time in India, they can be nothing but patently absurd; self-involved wish-fulfilment designed to reconcile certain resonances Christian and biblical dogma as a whole has with other pre-existing faiths, religions and mythologies by dint of being directly inspired by them.

 

The Jews validate his existence, so do the Muslims, and if you read online about The Lost Years of Jesus... there seems to be some evidence of his visit to India. It seems to me that many faiths have resonating messages throughout.

 

As for the notion of "religious reconciliation," it is impossible. There cannot possibly be one overriding faith which legitimately encompasses the various beliefs and lifestyles on this planet, and the very notion of such is inherently tyrannical and vacuous. There have been thousands upon thousands of religious/mythological ideologies in the history of the human race, not to mention thousands more related socio-cultural structures, and the very ambition of "uniting" these many often contradictory, universally conflicting perspectives and behavioural ideologies is not only impossible without the active repression of some to the promotion of others, it is fundamentally flawed in its ambition, betraying a marked myopia on behalf of the attemptee.

 

I still await an answer.

 

I'm glad its not you that has the myoptic vision! Christopher, you might be surprised as to how much of these different faiths are similar, yet with different emphasis. Have you ever read any of Dr. Depak Chopra? or Dr. Wayne Dyer? Maybe even Joseph Cambell? (not sure of spelling, sure I'll be corrected) They seem to be leaders in the direction of what you say will never happen. BTW, their focus is not Christianity. I happen to think that Atheism is a major contributor also!

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Christopher, this seems a bit confusing to me... could you please explain this another way if my answer does not address what you meant?

 

-The point I was trying to make is that you seem to suggest via your earlier post that those who do not adhere to Christianity, but do not necessarily oppose it, are automatically inclusive within it. I find this concept absurd; no more than, as I already stated, a psychological Catch-22 (something which is specifically designed to catch you coming and going, so there is no way of gainsaying it) designed to reinforce the overall legitimacy of the faith in the mind of the adherent. After all, if even those who stand outside the faith are inclusive in Jesus's "love", it makes it that much easier to promote the faith in question as "universal" and to deflect legitimate criticism as a witless, unjustified and mean-spirited "attack".

 

Christ had ideas, principles, and philosophies on which a person is to conduct himself in the world, and through the world. Further, Christ acknowledged that others had similar teachings, yet did not follow him. Jesus was concerned with the teachings, not himself, and said that these teachings of others that are alligned with his teachings are good too... even if these people don't follow him.

 

-There you go. You didn't need me to explain it at all. As for Christ "acknowledging" that others had similar beliefs and promoted similar ideas, this is primarily because ideas travel, my friend. Assuming for the moment that Christ physically existed, the ideas he promoted would not have suddenly materialised from clean air. the attitudes, behaviours and perceptions he and every other guru, messiah etc promote as gospel are always products of socio-cultural/political and religious influence from pre-existing codes or ideologies, adapted, reinterpreted and re-emphasised based upon the specific intentions of the speaker. Which is why much of what is the bible, specifically that reported to have come from Jesus's lips, has a certain resonance with particular pre or co-existing ideologies, cultures and religions. Besides which, there is a massive and undeniably egocentric preconception in the claims you make above; i.e., that only those in specific allignment with Jesus's teachings might be accorded as "good".

 

(BTW, 'complicit' is also an opinion... as I don't think anyone was associating with Jesus to commit wrongful acts.)

 

-That wasn't the point I was making. the term "complicit" does not necessarily refer to someone's involvement in actions or ideas that are devious or negative; it just means that they buy into and thereby reinforce said idea or action, which is what you claim above. Blah.

 

Jews and Muslims believe in Jesus and his teachings. There seems to be some indication of the influence of Jesus in at least the Tibbetan Buddhism, see the book "The Lost Years of Jesus". I believe the Easter eggs and Christmas trees are influenced from the Pagans and Druids. God made the fruit to eat and the leaves for healing, and I think the Wiccas would agree with that.

 

-Jews and Muslims believe in Jesus? I think you've got your wires crossed here. Muslims do not believe in Jesus; some assume that he existed, but those that do regard him in a similar manner as most Jews; as little more than a charlatan and political activist who detracts away from their own preconceptions of "the true word of God". The roots of Tibbetan Buddhism are older, far, far, far older than Christianity and biblical faith in general. When the ancestors of the many scriptors of the bible were still scrubbing an existance off rocks and roots, the earliest proponents of what would eventually become Buddhism had already devised and refined many of the beliefes and methods by which they conducted their lives (both practically and spiritually) to a level that we in the West have yet to comprehend. Any resonance that exists between Jesus's teachings and Buddhism therefore derives from Buddhism itself and not Christ. Easter eggs and the very ceremony of Easter itself certainly are "pagan" as you so delightfully put it, ancient celtic in fact, derived from the celebration of "Eostre"; Goddess of fertility, life and renewal. Christmas itself is also a ceremony stolen directly from Ancient Celtic culture, celebrating what was known as "The Return of the All-Conquering Sun," i.e., the death of winter and the return of the fruitful Spring. I don't know exactly when or how these ceremonies were incorporated into Christian doctrine, but it obviously occurred long after Christians came to the shores of Europe.

 

 

I believe the original writings are at least Spiritual Truth, and if you want to believe that it is not... that's fine, that's your opinion.

 

-Exactly; the notion of spiritual truth is entirely abstract, and therefore reliant upon how one CHOOSES to define "truth", or the concept of the spiritual for that matter.

 

The jury is still out on validating incidences, especially in the OT, as being physically real.

 

-Only for those still inculcated in the faith. Modern archaeology and historical analysis demonstartes without a shadow of a doubt that most did not and could not occur. We also know where most of the myths that constitute the early bible derive from (Ancient Mesopotamia primarily). Take as an example the Noahic flood; this should be a matter of common sense, but apparently it requires explanation. the very notion of the entire earth flooding is absurd. It is not physically, geographically or cosmologically possible. Were it to occur, and were it to have occured as and when the bible states, we would not be here, nor would the mountains, valleys, forests, jungles, trees, plants, fungi, animals etc that currently populate the earth. Nor would a vast number of those civilisations whose roots quite clearly date back far and beyond when the flood itself is supposed to have occured. Then of course there are practical impossibilities to consider; Noah was a man who existed in a very particular part of the world. Are we expected to believe that, before the flood, he made a trip to every corner of the globe gathering up two of every creature, every mammal, reptile, insect (not to mention plants, trees and fungi) which did not occur in his area of origin? The truth of the matter can be clearly discerned if one bothers to examine the area where the myth originated. The Noahic flood is just one of the many early bible stories derived from "Gilgamesh"; the earliest known complete recorded religious mythology on earth. Gilgamesh is essentially a compilation of those myths and folk tales which underpinned Ancient Mesopotmia; those city-states thrown up along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Those rivers would flood annually, and at times decimated much of those civilisations arrayed along their banks. No doubt to the Ancient Mesopotimans it seemed as if the entire world had flooded. It is from these basic environmental phenomena that we derive the basic concept of the Noahic flood.

 

It seems to me that several landmarks have been authenticated... yet if the walls of Jericho came down... this is hard to tell if it is just a story or did it happen due to earthquakes. Many other similar situations.

 

-Some have, some have been conclusively shown to not exist, or at least to not have existed as the bible portrays them. Besides which, land marks are irrelevant. The bible was written by real existing people, who had to derive from somewhere, and who therefore inevitably drew upon theirt surroundings for inspiration. Some minor coincidence with physical reality is therefore expected. It proves nothing one way or the other.

 

Who and where are these variety of angels? Could you please be more specific?

 

-Archaeological, philosophical, historical, physical, geographical, etc.

 

Christopher, could you be more specific in how the psychology and philosophies of Christianity are repulsive to you? I apologize, yet somehow I missed those other debates you had with other Christians.

 

-Hoo boy. This is going to be a loooooooong day.

First of all, let me explain how I came to Christianity. I am British (english, specifically) and was therefore raised in a household with no particular religious persuasions one way or the other (Britain is an increasingly secular society). I was however granted access to religious and mythological scripture of all kinds from a very, very early age (amongst which were books concerning the Ancient Greek, Mesopotamian, Nordic, Celtic and Egyptian mythologies, as well as a bible). I have always been quite erudite thanks to my parent's provision of literature, and have developed an extremely profound fascination for mythologies, religions etc, and more specifically the political, socio-cultural and geographical conditions that influence their creation.

-I read the bible at a young age, but didn't think too much of it. I knew that it seemed quite important to some people, but did not and still do not see why it is any more relevant than the books I read concerning a number of other religious mythologies, all of which were and are held in similar esteeme by their adherents. I returned to Christianity at the age of twelve, when I ran into a companion who seemed to take it very seriously. It seemed significant, so I decided to read the bible and research it, before decided whether or not adhere to the religion myself. First of all, I read it as a philosophical text, and found it not only contradictory, but also pretty perverse on a variety of levels. Psychologically speaking, the faith provides the adherent with a proscribed template of behaviour, perception, attitude and belief by which they are expected to conduct their lives in order to legitimately qualify as "saved". To me, this simply stinks of intellectual laziness. It absolves the adherent of critically considering their own perspectives, as well as legitimately engaging with the world around them since they already have and know the fundamental "truths" of existence. Furthermore, the more the adherent comes to define themself by the dictates of the ideology, the more insular and hostile they become regarding those who represent alternative perspectives or define themselves by ideologies that exist outside their self-reflexive, self-enclosed bubble of preconceptions. Faith in itself therefore becomes intrinsically selfish; something by which the adherent is conditioned to define their sense of self, and to which any alternate or opposing ideology is an automatic threat. This is before we even get into the eschatological garbage concernign Heaven, Hell, The Rapture, etc.

 

I could go on, but we would be here all day. I will define my perspectives in this regard in an alternate thread when i have more time and room to collate my thoughts. Thanks for asking though.

 

Still awaiting an answer.

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