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Religion & Theology (& should we respect beliefs)


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There is no evidence scripturally or secularly that early Christians in the first century commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, in keeping with early Jewish law and tradition, it is likely that birthdays were not commemorated at all. According to The World Book Encyclopedia: "early Christians considered the celebration of anyone's birth to be a pagan custom." (Vol. 3, page 416) Rather than commemorating his birth, the only command Jesus gave concerning any sort of commemoration of his life actually had only to do with his death (Luke 22:19). It was not until several hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ that the first instances of the celebration of Christmas begin to appear in the historical record. According to the new Encyclopedia Britannica, some who later claimed to be Christian likely "wished the date to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the 'birthday of the unconquered sun'." The festival was celebrated with similar customs (gift giving, feasting) that are done to celebrate Christmas today.

 

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/7597/santap.jpg

 

The customary greeting for the occasion is a "Io, Saturnalia!" — Io (pronounced "e-o") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").

 

HO HO

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

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I have to say - and it's not directly related to religion & theology - but it is sort of a...cousin is, something that REALLY gets on my wick is this garbage industry spawned in this "New Age" to

Last thread went a bit off topic. Hope this can reflect the debate that ensued.

 

Pool wrote ;

 

The life as we know it which is what it sounds you're alluding to.. definitely has an end, of course that would only lea to misery. But life with God is outside of time, forever, beautiful, without sin an the point is to glorify and be with him forever.

 

What makes you believe this to be true?

 

And why are there so many other religions that predate christianity that also have virgin births, sons of god being born on earth, performing miracles and being ultimately prosecuted and resurrected etc.? Basically why is the jesus story so similar to the majority of other religions that were around at the time and before he was first written about?

 

Do you think your God decided to make Jesus the same as all the other saviours that man had invented just so man would believe in him ? Or do you think it is just a massive coincidence that the story of Jesus parallels so many other religious heroes’ that were in circulation B.C.E?.

 

See, to me it really looks as though man just made up the jesus story as well. There's no reason to believe anything else and that's why I think religions deserve no more respect than any other mythological beliefs.

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Religious beliefs - should we respect them?
I don't think so, laugh at them yes, ridicule them yes but ignorance should never be respected.

What I do know after 40+ years of debating "religion" Is that it's a waste of time trying to debate with closed minded evangelicals such as paulb or folk who attend "Gospel" halls,

Having said that, I hope a few of them show up here because it's still fun watching them perform the necessary mental gymnastics needed to cling to their "faith" :)

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Couldn't agree more with you, posiedon.

 

There's no faith so dangerous as blind faith. That maxim is proved regularly, around the world. It closes minds, it builds walls, it sets one against the other, believing themselves to be higher than all others.

 

Question, debate, discuss, analyse. If after all this, you still have faith, fine, but I doubt you'll be wanting to shout and preach about it when you realise you've been following a pagan ideal (resurrection from sacrifice of God made carnate) all these years.

 

I'll respect your faith, if you shut up and stop going on about yours and trying to foist it onto my kid in an insidious and quite repulsive fashion, as has been the case here, in Shetland, recently.

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Well pool and paul b etc, here's your wish - a new thread especially for you.

 

Paul B wrote ;

 

my god would never condem you. its mans narrow minded view of what god is that causes hate. you will not burn. scriture states that there are diffrent degrees of glory you are rewarded with what you will comfatable with after your dead. god is just so you will get what you deserve.

 

Well I have to say that's a new one on me. So I can enter the celestial night club without believing in your god? I just don't get a seat in the vip area - that's reserved for you guys I assume. Any other new rules we should know about?

 

ps. Paul B, no offence intended but why don't you write your posts in word and then do a spell check and copy and paste them back on to your reply. That way it would be easier for the rest of us to see what you are saying. It would also help you see how to spell properly. And honestly I am not being condescending, just trying to be helpful. It only takes 30 seconds.

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Couldn't agree more with you, posiedon.

I'll respect your faith, if you shut up and stop going on about yours and trying to foist it onto my kid in an insidious and quite repulsive fashion, as has been the case here, in Shetland, recently.

 

Well it only brings me sorrow to hear that is the case. I truly wish it wouldnt be brought on your kid in this way. If it was then this is not true Christianity.

 

I make no attempt to force it upon anybody. If somebody doesnt want to hear, or even doesnt want thier kids to hear. I walk away. I wont attempt to apologize on thier behalf because that wont mean anything to anybody but I do wish it was not the case.

 

Last thread went a bit off topic. Hope this can reflect the debate that ensued.

 

Pool wrote ;

 

The life as we know it which is what it sounds you're alluding to.. definitely has an end, of course that would only lea to misery. But life with God is outside of time, forever, beautiful, without sin an the point is to glorify and be with him forever.

 

What makes you believe this to be true?

 

And why are there so many other religions that predate christianity that also have virgin births, sons of god being born on earth, performing miracles and being ultimately prosecuted and resurrected etc.? Basically why is the jesus story so similar to the majority of other religions that were around at the time and before he was first written about?

 

Do you think your God decided to make Jesus the same as all the other saviours that man had invented just so man would believe in him ? Or do you think it is just a massive coincidence that the story of Jesus parallels so many other religious heroes’ that were in circulation B.C.E?.

 

See, to me it really looks as though man just made up the jesus story as well. There's no reason to believe anything else and that's why I think religions deserve no more respect than any other mythological beliefs.

 

The first men called Christians were indeed followers of Jesus. But Christianity is in essence the followers of Christ who was foretold from the beginning including his death, resurection and virgin birth. This is what the Old Testament Jews looked to as a redeemer and although they did not have the full revelation at the time, they were saved by the same faith that we are today (Romans Chapter 3).

It is in fact the other way around. The false resurections and gods were mere evil copies of the truth that was to come.

 

Religious beliefs - should we respect them?
I don't think so, laugh at them yes, ridicule them yes but ignorance should never be respected.

What I do know after 40+ years of debating "religion" Is that it's a waste of time trying to debate with closed minded evangelicals such as paulb or folk who attend "Gospel" halls,

Having said that, I hope a few of them show up here because it's still fun watching them perform the necessary mental gymnastics needed to cling to their "faith" :)

 

If you think these a necessary mental gymnastics then you are mistaken.

The truth is having read and spoken to many who have a very in depth knowledge far greater than mine about historical Christianity and believe none of it. It has or could do nothing to dent my faith in Christ. If only the opposite!

However, I hope respect for even the most uneducated person and know only too well that my opinion is not always fact and there are far greater than me that would make me insignificant.

 

The reason I am here, is because I enjoy it, and like to find out what local Shetlanders think.

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pool

I truly wish it wouldnt be brought on your kid in this way. If it was then this is not true Christianity.

Another Christian that can't spell (hyphenate) or speak grammatically,

And using the "no true Scotsman" Argument to boot :lol:

 

Log on to any evangelical website and the first thing you'll notice is their lack of basic English.

 

Edit.

Not just a sleight on Christians, I also pull up non Christians on bad grammar and spelling.

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I am already starting to lose the will here.

 

However I guess you are alleging that because the old testament has the story of Adam and Eve then your god trumps all others.

 

But the old testament was only written long after hundreds of other religions were in existence. So it can be quite clear that the authors felt it necessary to do some revisionist history.

 

And I don't know how you can class ancient people as evil for having an alternate religion. What about native North Americans, such as apache, sioux, cheyenne . They can't surely be evil for not worshiping a god they had never heard about!"

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sorry I failed my English higher and don't youse a spel cheqer.

Studying physics at uni doesn't require spelling.

 

I'd love it if you could show me some examples of evidence showing the time of the Old testament being written and maybe just a few of the hundreds that were around before would do.

 

And for the sake of argument. No I'm not talking about foreign natives or junglemen who have not heard to deny

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pool

I'd love it if you could show me some examples of evidence showing the time of the Old testament being written and maybe just a few of the hundreds that were around before would do.

That sentence doesn't make sense to me.

I believe (based on evidence) That the old testament was written between

538-332 BCE, (go and do your own research) as I said, the rest of your sentence makes no sense.

 

sorry I failed my English higher and don't youse a spel cheqer.

Studying physics at uni doesn't require spelling.

I would have thought basic English would be a requirement for admission to uni?

 

Your childish deliberate misspelling above says a lot about you. :)

 

Edit.

I never got a reply from paulb on the other thread, so I'll ask you the same question (I wont hold my breath)

 

Do you believe in the Adam and Eve myth? Talking snakes and all that.

 

If you don't then there can be no original sin and without that your Jesus guy is superfluous to requirements.

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No I'm not talking about foreign natives or junglemen who have not heard to deny

Aha! That is a real corker. For the sake of argument assume the Christian tenets are true. People who have not had the opportunity to deny are given a bit of a waiver and generally(depending on sect) become exempt from the fires of damnation. So, by going to such people as missionaries, they have that "get out of jail free" card torn up. I can not interpret such action as being anything other than vile and evil. Left ignorant they are fine, but after hearing the "good news" they suddenly have hellfire as a possible fate. That is the kind of "good news" I do not find good. Unbelievable.

 

I'd love it if you could show me some examples of evidence showing the time of the Old testament being written and maybe just a few of the hundreds that were around before would do.

 

Stonehenge, Mesopotamia, Egypt, ... Try here, you'll find loads:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion

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Religious beliefs - should we respect them?
I don't think so, laugh at them yes, ridicule them yes but ignorance should never be respected.

What I do know after 40+ years of debating "religion" Is that it's a waste of time trying to debate with closed minded evangelicals such as paulb or folk who attend "Gospel" halls,

Having said that, I hope a few of them show up here because it's still fun watching them perform the necessary mental gymnastics needed to cling to their "faith" :)

 

Here here posiedon

Religion

Bunches of stupid little people trying to prove who has the best Imaginary Friend

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"junglemen"?

 

:roll:

 

As for your plea for previous religions, let's try the Sumerians, who pre-date the Babylonians. The Babylonians adopted the existing religion established by their forebears, and enslaved the Hebrews, a nomadic desert tribe, making them subject to the laws of this religion. This religion has a story of a devout man named Zi us udra (or thereabouts), who was chosen by the God of the waters, Enki, that the gods were dissatisfied with mankind and were to flood the earth. He alone was given detailed instructions on how to build an ark, that would save he and his family, and the beasts of the earth, from the waters that were to come. After seven terrible days and nights, he sacrificed animals to the gods (oxen and sheep) and was rewarded with dry land (and immortality, to dwell with the gods in their home for eternity).

 

Or the Akkadians' version of the same story? Different name, same events.

 

Or there's the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest writings in the world. It

has Utnapishtim, who also - funnily enough - survived a cataclysmic flood, in an ark built on instructions from his gods.

 

Or there's the Greeks. They have Xisuthros (see the link with the

Sumerians?) and Deucalion.

 

There's the original Hindu Brahman king, Manu, who saved humankind from the Flood, and who is near-immortal.

 

So then, we have established that the Flood is a direct lift - or steal, to be honest - from the Babylonians, taken from them by the Hebrews, when they fled, and perpetuated in their oral tradition until they encountered the exiled and bitter Moses, who took with him HIS knowledge of Egyptian religious laws (check them against the Ten Commandments some time...) and practices.

Where do you think the bishops mitre and crozier come from? open your eyes and your mind. Subsumption of existing religious belief systems. A common theme of Christianity, as described in the "Religion/ Committees" thread.

 

As Chris Carter would say, "The truth is out there", but unfortunately, it's not in the Bible. Old or New Testament. Yahweh is literally a god of the storm.

His was the roar of the desert winds heard by the Hebrews. He was a god of wrath and fire and sacrifice and fear. Of life or death. Of absolutes. He was not a loving or merciful god. Nor is the Yahweh of the Old Testament. No one has addressed the destruction of cities and annihilation of races on the

way to the Promised Land. God of love? Love of what? Blood? Slaughter of innocents?

 

So, forgive me for rambling, but there's some examples of belief systems that pre-date the OT quite considerably, and which clearly demonstrate plagiarism

and "theft" of pre-existing mythology.

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pool wrote:

I'd love it if you could show me some examples of evidence showing the time of the Old testament being written and maybe just a few of the hundreds that were around before would do.

 

EM

Stonehenge, Mesopotamia, Egypt, ... Try here, you'll find loads:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion

EM, religious zealots already "know" what to believe, having been told so from a young age, I don't think anything we say will change their mindset, all we can do is educate the next generation but it's not easy when their parents (who should know better) are evangelizing to them as they were evangelized to.

 

Questions for pool, or paulb.

Who wrote the old testament?

And how many books of the new testament were written? Then discarded by Constantine when he embraced Christianity? And why did he discard them?

I want answers.

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