God and the Devil

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29 Mar 2016 15:09 #236135 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic God and the Devil

Edan wrote:

Manu wrote: As someone who prefers non-theistic Satanism over any brand of christianity, all I can say is that it seems more likely that Jehova/Yahweh and Lucifer were alien overlords than the idea that the biblical god is a representation of what is Good.


I find it a bit strange that this is what you think is more likely (and me as a non-theistic satanist too).

People can make representations of what they like... and for some God is 'Good'.

Mostly I think as I've always done, that the bible is a set of (sometimes questionable) parables... and the story of Lucifer's downfall is probably a representation of a historical event/set of events from one person's perspective.


Maybe I should have said "just as likely". With absolutely no evidence for God being good (or the ruler of the world, or existing for that matter), it would be equally accurate to state that we were created by an alien race, whom we worshipped as gods.

The problem with making the Old Testament god "good" is that a wide range of atrocities are legitimized, and, if not for the fact that most of the western world does not take the Bible seriously, we would breed our own brand of religious extremists.

But that is way off-topic, I think.

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Step aggressively toward your fear. - Jocko Willink

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29 Mar 2016 20:16 - 29 Mar 2016 20:51 #236163 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic God and the Devil

Manu wrote: The problem with making the Old Testament god "good" is that a wide range of atrocities are legitimized, ..


and the problem with THIS position is that you have to disregard about two thirds of the bible to believe it

but youd have to actually read, with a desire to find the value, those two thirds to know that

so people make this assertion as if leviticus is the only book in the OT

very few Christians or Jews use Leviticus (and the "atrocities" you mention) as the standard for how we should run our societies today

yea some do exist and yes they are obnoxious, but they are in the great minority

rational people understand that culture has grown since then, and very few want to go back

i do agree that "rational" seems difficult enough to find in the world today, but that is true among the "non religious" as well (not that i believe anyone older than 12 or so can even be "non religious" but thats another topic)

im not going to get drawn into an argument, im only going to say that if someone isnt willing to read the bible themself, with a genuine willingness to find the positive AS WELL AS the negative, then they dont really know what theyre talking about when they critique

people who legitimately study the bible find a lot of positive in it - always have and always will, because its there

and people who just want to point their fingers and look down their noses will always find a way to do that, whatever side of the bible they are on

the desire to feel superior and be hostile towards other people, to feel that others are beneath us, is not a condition of religiosity - it is a condition of the human "ego" to which we are all susceptible, "religious" or not

Beware of unearned wisdom.
-Carl Jung
Last edit: 29 Mar 2016 20:51 by OB1Shinobi.
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29 Mar 2016 22:38 #236186 by Snowy Aftermath
Replied by Snowy Aftermath on topic God and the Devil

OB1Shinobi wrote:

Manu wrote: The problem with making the Old Testament god "good" is that a wide range of atrocities are legitimized, ..


im not going to get drawn into an argument, im only going to say that if someone isnt willing to read the bible themself, with a genuine willingness to find the positive AS WELL AS the negative, then they dont really know what theyre talking about when they critique

people who legitimately study the bible find a lot of positive in it - always have and always will, because its there


I say this as someone who has read the bible over and over (and over) with the intent of becoming a christian minister in the past: the character called "god" has commanded nearly as much evil as good. There are good parts to the bible, true. But it is not all good, not if you're being honest with yourself and what you're reading.

You know you really love a thing when you decide to let yourself really see it the way it is.

When you're writing, you're conjuring. It's a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you're inviting into the room. - Tom Waits

In The Snow - A Poetry Podcast
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29 Mar 2016 22:58 #236188 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic God and the Devil

OB1Shinobi wrote: im not going to get drawn into an argument, im only going to say that if someone isnt willing to read the bible themself, with a genuine willingness to find the positive AS WELL AS the negative, then they dont really know what theyre talking about when they critique


I completely agree with your point.

I'm glad that reason governs most people around the world, and that the literal interpretation of the Bible is no longer a rule. If you were to take the Bible literally, then I would agree with Snowy that you find more bad than good (though of course that is highly subjective). If you don't take the Bible literally, but as many Christian theologists state, learn to take certain parts as metaphor and fabble (e.g. Genesis), and others as the result of their context in geography and time, then of course there are quite a few gems in there.

However there are people who do not take the whole Bible literally, but when it suits them they play on literal interpretations of specific issues (anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-slavery, etc.) to suit their own points of view. This is of course a human fault, and not the responsibility of the religion itself. (Which matches your assessment of the human condition in your last sentence).

The current problem with Islamic Terrorism is exactly the same, people that want power, revenge, etc. prey and play on the literal texts they can to promote their own agendas. This is in no way a reflection of most followers of Islam, but the fact that the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity belong to a different time (if taken literally) makes it easier to manipulate them for nefarious means.

In no way this should dismiss the jewels and beauty of the Qur'an or the Bible, but as Snowy says, we need to see things as they are and not as we want them to be.

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Step aggressively toward your fear. - Jocko Willink

TM: Bruno Moreira (Kyber) | Public Journal

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30 Mar 2016 19:28 - 30 Mar 2016 19:40 #236273 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic God and the Devil
to Snowy, all I can say is that I had a very different experience and interpretation, and so have/do billions all over the world

EDIT
actually let me add that my experience changed as a result of what i was looking for and why. i was surrounded by conservative Christians growing up and I had a grudge against the bible and Christianity because i saw how ignorant and hostile so many Christians were/are

so when i read the bible it was to find the "bad"
and it was to find all the "good" that no one was paying attention to

i had a grudge and i was looking to bolster it, and i found what i was looking for

but over time my view began to change

as a result of branching out to learn of other religious traditions, i opened to the idea of seeing what was valuable and worthwhile in my own

to Manu, if you want to see things as they are, then you have to forget what others say and look at them for yourself

as per this conversation, that means that if you want to come to some definite conclusions about what the bible says, then you need to take responsibility for reading it, yourself

dont just listen to the critiques of others and assume that they are right

i'd like to add this: its very easy to misjudge the importance of the fact that the books of the bible were written in a different time

if you try to apply modern standards to the ancient world, then you are missing something fundamental in your understanding

as one example, slavery is often pointed out as one of the reasons why the bible is so terrible

but the Hebrews, in all likelihood, did not invent slavery

it was the custom of the era, practiced by all the major peoples of the world

Judaic scripture made restrictions on the abuses that a person could inflict on their slaves, and proscribed guidelines for treating slaves in a way that was ethical and even pretty damn good, RELATIVE TO THE NORMS OF THE AGE

if you want to understand the evolution of religious literature then you have to see it exactly as that, an evolution, where each piece is a specific message to a specific people who lived in a specific time

one of the biggest, GENUINE critiques of religion in today's world, is how little many people actually understand of their own religion and its history

that is a mistake, both on the part of the religious leaders, and (most especially now in the "information age") also of those they lead

a cause and a consequence of this mistake, is the assumption that there is only one way to understand scripture, and that the way it was practiced a thousand years ago is the way it ought to be practiced still

being able to trace the development of different understandings over time shows how, as the cultural sophistication of a people increases, so too does/must it's religious perspective

but we're getting into another topic with that

all i really want to say is that if you dont really know what the bible says, from reading it yourself, then youre not likely qualified to run around telling people what it says, especially not people who do and have read it

and i would add that even if you do read it

1: youre going to find what youre own nature is looking for

2: it was written for a different time and era

3: within the context of that era, nearly all of it was meant to express and encourage a very high regard for ethical fairness and honesty and generosity towards others: the primary messages of the bible, OT and NT, are centered on the themes of obedience, humility, personal responsibility, fair ethical treatment of others, and love

first result from google-search: "bible quotes about love and forgiveness"

www.openbible.info/topics/love_and_forgiveness

Beware of unearned wisdom.
-Carl Jung
Last edit: 30 Mar 2016 19:40 by OB1Shinobi.
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31 Mar 2016 06:09 #236331 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic God and the Devil

OB1Shinobi wrote: As per this conversation, that means that if you want to come to some definite conclusions about what the bible says, then you need to take responsibility for reading it, yourself

dont just listen to the critiques of others and assume that they are right


Completely agreed. I have read the Bible (I was raised a Catholic and had to study the Bible in high school and college), and I have NOT reached a definite conclusion, since I am aware that even among priests interpretation of the Bible can vary, and of course it is impossible to study anything without bringing into it your own personal biases and paradygms.

It seems to me from the wording of your post that you have the impression that I have a very rigid opinion of the Bible... my previous posts written in an absolutist tone might be to blame for that.

as one example, slavery is often pointed out as one of the reasons why the bible is so terrible, but the Hebrews, in all likelihood, did not invent slavery. It was the custom of the era, practiced by all the major peoples of the world


Here is where I disagree. I am aware that Jews did not invent slavery, and I am aware the texts concerning slavery deal with treating them well, which was a huge plus considering the context. Additionally, slavery itself (or defined gender roles, or the condemnation of homosexuality) does not itself make the Bible bad. The issues I have is when certain people claim the Bible is the literal and unchanging word of God, and thus what was right then is right now. Slavery is no longer accepted in any Christian country I know of, but homosexuality still faces this fight for equality. Again, I do realize this is not the failing of the religion or the Bible, but of the people that take this particular position. Bigots will be bigots whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, or whatever.


If you dont really know what the bible says, from reading it yourself, then youre not likely qualified to run around telling people what it says, especially not people who do and have read it, and i would add that even if you do read it

1: youre going to find what youre own nature is looking for

2: it was written for a different time and era

3: within the context of that era, nearly all of it was meant to express and encourage a very high regard for ethical fairness and honesty and generosity towards others: the primary messages of the bible, OT and NT, are centered on the themes of obedience, humility, personal responsibility, fair ethical treatment of others, and love


Again I agree. But the lenses of bias works both ways. If what you get from the Bible is that it's about love, it might be because you are used to seeing the world in general in a loving manner, and that is fantastic. But others might read from it that it's about God's wrath, and they won't be completely wrong...

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Step aggressively toward your fear. - Jocko Willink

TM: Bruno Moreira (Kyber) | Public Journal
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31 Mar 2016 15:13 #236352 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic God and the Devil
Some insist that the Bible or the Qur'an were written in a different time by people of a different time and for people of a different time. The Bible does mention that God doesn't change, eventhough it also depicts changes... So if we are to believe that this book is anything other than a mere human book that should enjoy no more importance than the Iliad, we are bound to try and find excuses for its inexcusable parts.
The Qur'an is even more explicit about its perfect and sufficient nature that must not ever be altered and needs not ever be ammended by anything and is true and good for all time to come.

Now as a godless heathen with no morals I find the proposition that any statement uttered or work of art created should enjoy eternal and utter reverence and devotion from all mankind frankly preposterous in principle, but even more preposterous is the suggestion that there was ever a time when something as vial and evil as these overrated attempts at desert literature were morally acceptable or that people of the time were unfeeling inhuman monsters who couldn't help it because they didn't know any better. We know for a fact that this is false, and so do you, OB.
Sure, there may be an occasional gem (in an extreme rough, for the most part) in a cherry-picked verse, it would be more surprising if a man-made book didn't have any. If anything, it is a tad patronizing to congratulate the authors for such trivial and frankly seldom well-reasoned morals. One way or another, none of them excuse any of the wickedness, not even at that time and to people who expect us to marvel at, let alone to follow these texts in any capacity I say we are all individually and collectively better than that and they should quit insulting our ancestors at once also.

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31 Mar 2016 15:25 #236357 by User22414
Replied by User22414 on topic God and the Devil
loll why do i see Pat Condell when i read what Gisteron says ...i even read it in Pats voice :laugh:



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01 Apr 2016 17:24 #236463 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic God and the Devil

Manu wrote: The issues I have is when certain people claim the Bible is the literal and unchanging word of God, and thus what was right then is right now....
I do realize this is not the failing of the religion or the Bible, but of the people that take this particular position. Bigots will be bigots whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, or whatever.


awesome!
by all means PLEASE say THAT!

i guarantee you there is ample precedence in the bible for people to say "i wish to be an instrument of love"

remember that the creed we use here at the temple is from the prayer of st francis - he was a CHRISTIAN saint, speaking from the context of his CHRISTIAN beliefs

i only got involved in this part of the conversation because the message that i was getting was "the bible in particular and religion in general is just evil"

i dont believe that message is accurate nor do i believe its going to make things better - it just gives us all more to fight about

really, if you look to those who speak most loudly about the evils of religion, it usually seems that they are just as hostile and ideological in their own views as any other religious zealot

and i say "any other" because to me they do seem to be religious zealots, only they were caught up into "the religion of no religion" lol

Beware of unearned wisdom.
-Carl Jung
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01 Apr 2016 17:49 - 01 Apr 2016 18:05 #236467 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic God and the Devil
Gis, you make several points that I think are fair and deserving of a response, but we both know the rabbit hole this usually takes us down lol so im just gonna pick one or maybe two and we'll go from there

if i dont pick the ones youd rather discuss then bring them back up and i will do my best lol

i dont believe that any particular religion is exactly right - so the points that i focus on are a little different from what a "traditional" christian or muslim or jew might say

while i do believe that these ideas of god point to something which doesnt change, at least by the standards of our own sense of time

what i do know is that peoples UNDERSTANDING of "god" changes - that it has evolved hand in hand with culture and that it continues to do so

i admit that many religious people dont seem to be aware of this and as i said before i consider that a valid critique of the religious climate today, and probably throughout the ages - the very fact that our understanding evolves and grows over time may itself be a modern revelation, i dont know

but what i really want to address is the idea expressed here:

Gisteron wrote: Some insist that the Bible or the Qur'an were written in a different time by people of a different time and for people of a different time.
....preposterous is the suggestion that there was ever a time when something as vial and evil as these overrated attempts at desert literature were morally acceptable or that people of the time .... didn't know any better. We know for a fact that this is false, and so do you, OB.


everything i see of history indicates to me that life was incredibly cheap to the minds of the peoples of the ancient world

in fact it is misleading to say that it was "cheap" as this implies that people believed that individual life had any real value in the grand sense

from what i can tell, that idea that life itself is valuable is quite modern - and that its appearance into popular thought was found within the context of religious speculation, particularly Christianity in "the West" and Buddhism in the East but these are just where its most noticeable

in other words, that life itself is important enough to think that there is anything wrong with slavery at all may actually be a religious idea, if not in origin then in considered articulation

not to say all religions espouse the idea - look at the caste system of india - which is only just recently beginning to be reconsidered

for thousands of years it was commonly accepted that you were born into a place in society and that was that - youre life had the value of whatever class you were born into

look at the arenas of rome
the sacrifices of the aztecs - 20,000 a year!
the collectivist fatalism of fuedal japan
ancient egypt, greece, all the way back to smaria and mesopotamia, civilization was built on the backs of slaves and the blood of the everyday man

i dont see that they did actually "know better"

history doesnt indicate that they did as far as i can tell

from what i have seen, history indicates that human life was worth little until religious people started saying otherwise

which is not to say that religious people didnt often act in contradiction of the idea, most certainly they did

things are sometimes both A and B

Beware of unearned wisdom.
-Carl Jung
Last edit: 01 Apr 2016 18:05 by OB1Shinobi.

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