Author Topic: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)  (Read 11501 times)

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Offline The Gawd

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #319 on: February 09, 2012, 10:08:53 AM »
Happy to provide any interpretations requested :-)

just like every single theist.  "Ooooh oooh, my interpretations are the "right" ones. Aren't I special?"   &)
it gets tiresome dont it? that literally zaps me of energy when I hear it. I have yet to have a christian provide the context where genocide, rape, slavery, murder, and the subjocation of women is NOT bad. Furthermore I have yet to have a believer in the book explain to me which parts are directed at them, me, or anyone alive today... thus anytime you apply that horrific book to today you are indeed taking it out of context. To not see that is to not be able to think past what is directly in front of you, and is exactly what makes our brains different from most animals.

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #320 on: February 09, 2012, 04:24:29 PM »
Who is the messenger that authored the GOT and how did his name get separated from it? How is it that history could not have preserved his original works yet it be an inspired instrument of god? How can it be that god would send his eternal message to man in such a weak venue as a discounted story cobbled together from scraps of copies with a message that is more vague than your Sunday paper horoscope?

Barking up the wrong tree again, Brakeman.   

"These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded." From the GOT
..
They were hidden due to an edict by Constantine I'd suggest
— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians

It will remain vague for some perhaps for a long time. That's the nature of the subject matter. Same as enlightenment in ZEN

GOT 4 Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live. For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."

OK first off I am not a dog, so I don't bark at trees or anything else.. speak of your own lineage!
It's a metaphor and I didn't say you were a dog. You of course have taken the liberty to infer that I may be. No offense taken :-)

Quote
Secondly, I knew the story was claimed to be written by a dude named Thomas of course, but I was referring to the authors of the multiple texts that were found that aren't reliably exact copies, and the person that they claim was Thomas, where is his signature? Where is his first person account? Is the gospel written in the first person or the third person? Why are we unsure about his lineage and his later history. Where are the records of a great christian man in India from sources that are not christian?
GOT is my focus. A library can contain many books some fiction, same fact. However when you take the time to read a couple there emerges a connection. The GOT is a record of sayings. That's all. I have two theories about the lack of History. One Constantine obliterated it, and I've mentioned previously the proof that exists regarding that proposition. Or, Jesus was not as significant in his era, as the bible makes out, and it was Constantine , Eusebius and some spin (woo) that got the party started. The exploits of Constantine don't read like a follower of Jesus.

Can you explain your last reference to India, with links please . So far, I am aware of Zoroaster as an influence on the traditions. But I believe that's Persian. It's possible that his Religion may have something to do with raising the value of the magic. So far I have found a connection with Cyrus the great in Babylon and with the Apocryphon of John one of the Nag Hammadi texts.     
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Was Constantine not a christian? Was he not guided by god? Why would god send his message to man via Thomas then send his messenger Constantine to burn it? Since Constantine is the reason Christianity survived at all, how could he not have been heavenly guided?

Barking up the wrong tree again (metaphor). There isn't a god that is a part from us, according to the Gospel of Thomas.

GOT 3 Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."


In this saying, Jesus talks about an inner and outer condition. A part of us, not in the sky or sea. He asks the listener to take on the personal responsibility and quest to come to know their authentic self.
Jesus is not offering instruction to a specific individual (leaders must have followers). Perhaps his target is non specific. This, to me, suggests a kingdom with shared access.
If we cannot know ourselves we will be the poorer. If this related to maturity or enlightenment would it make sense? Is immaturity a persistent condition for some , that leaves them spiritually poorer?
Outer could refer to a spirituality that exists environmentally or simply to the spirituality on display from our fellow humanity or the conflict between our inner thoughts and outer actions. Which makes sense? And if there is sense does that make it knowable?
Ever had that special feeling of meaning when you’re in a pristine outdoor settings?
Children of a living father that’s both inside and outside us. Suppose father related to the contemporary understanding of shared spiritual condition, like tears of joy, and kingdom related to an innate wisdom (of that condition). Just words describing the intangible, perhaps.

Isn't wisdom recognized widely even though it's author is a minority?

A god concept that is not apart from us, rather a part of us.

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You answered my objection to the vagaries of gods message, by claiming that the message is intentionally vague. Well duh! The "enlightenment" is something clear communication should give to the receiver immediately, and to all who the message is intended. Do you claim that god's message is only for a select few of his creation?  What "good" purpose does the obfuscation serve?

Again read some Zen and Tao quotes, same thing, but hardly intentional, I'd say. Jesus Message is for anyone ready to hear it.

GOT 8 And he said, “The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”

Life presents many trivialities/small pleasures/novelties/distractions, but when we come to know the divine essence we easily choose that large fish (discovered) over the small fish (trivialities once regarded as so important). Knowable? I’d say yes. Often you’ll see how people placed in a difficult situation such as the loss of a loved one will re-evaluate what is important.

This saying is one where we see another variation on a similar theme in the Bible’s Gospels. As you read on note how the mystical aspects are the difference between the two versions. Events such as “end of age” and “angels” can never be proven in a living context. They require faith in the author. And “fiery furnace” etc. brings faith in consequence.
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Lastly, if you , like Jesus, ask a 7 day old baby about anything and expect it to relay to you any message, then you are stupid. It makes for good prose but the actual practice is pure inanity.
Pondering a baby's future can be a satisfying meditation, but it is not communication. The baby is not relaying anything prophetic anymore than the view of the grand canyon does. It is beautiful and thought provoking, but it does not speak.
Metaphors again. Why do you think meditation is consider by some as useful. No thought or conversation involved. What motivates a person to right such things. Perhaps it was a plan to provide generations with amusement :-)
And I think your last sentence answers your own question. Although I'd say it's beautiful and just enjoy that, leave thought (i.e. meditate) out of it :-)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 04:37:09 PM by eartheconomyspirit »

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #321 on: February 09, 2012, 05:00:34 PM »
Quote
Happy to provide any interpretations requested :-)

just like every single theist.  "Ooooh oooh, my interpretations are the "right" ones. Aren't I special?"   &)
it gets tiresome dont it? that literally zaps me of energy when I hear it. I have yet to have a christian provide the context where genocide, rape, slavery, murder, and the subjocation of women is NOT bad. Furthermore I have yet to have a believer in the book explain to me which parts are directed at them, me, or anyone alive today... thus anytime you apply that horrific book to today you are indeed taking it out of context. To not see that is to not be able to think past what is directly in front of you, and is exactly what makes our brains different from most animals.

I'll answer Velkro as well.

I didn't say I had the right ones (I still make adjustments) only happy to offer mine.

The Gawd, your new to this thread, I quess. I argue that the Gospel of Thomas (discovered in 1945) is possibly an accurate interpretation of Jesus message. He didn't resurrect, is more like John Lennon, Ghandi and Mandela than Jimmy Swaggart, and he didn't perform any miracles.

I am not a christian. I do like what I read in the Gospel of Thomas.   

"genocide, rape, slavery, murder, and the subjocation of women" are bad. But they are acts inspired by power, immaturity and ego not authentic spiritual understanding. If you held the view that I hold that the god concept is about something that is a part of us (revealed perhaps in wisdom), you perceive that "god" is not the actor. That would be our, humanities role. "God" would represent our potential.

The problem with "the book" is that it requires submission to faith. this can and has been abused through history by those in power. Think of the inquisition and suicide bombers. The GOT is not the book and it suggests seek and know what is in front of your face (other humans and their behaviors). It talks to a personal relationship and responsibility.  Which one works for kings and leaders and which one works for a better personal outcome?  In the GOT it's not about afterlife.

"GOT 63 Jesus said, “There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, "I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing." These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!”


The best laid plans of mice and men... Invest spiritually in the moment to lack nothing.

GOT 59 Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

An obvious truth, perhaps. Spirituality is a living experience and truth.

I'm not so sure you should under value animals or equally over rate humans. :-)

Offline Brakeman

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #322 on: February 09, 2012, 08:14:28 PM »
Can you explain your last reference to India, with links please
Quote
St. Thomas is traditionally believed to have sailed to India in 52AD to spread the Christian faith among the Jews, the Jewish diaspora present in Kerala at the time. He is supposed to have landed at the ancient port of Muziris (which became extinct in 1341 AD due to a massive flood which realigned the coasts) near Kodungalloor. He then went to Palayoor (near present-day Guruvayoor), which was a Hindu priestly community at that time. He left Palayoor in AD 52 for the southern part of what is now Kerala State, where he established the Ezharappallikal, or "Seven and Half Churches". These churches are at Kodungallur, Kollam, Niranam (Niranam St.Marys Orthodox Church, Nilackal (Chayal), Kokkamangalam, Kottakkayal (Paravoor), Palayoor (Chattukulangara) and Thiruvithancode Arappally – the half church. [15][16]

"It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes. His grateful dawn dispelled India's painful darkness. It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten. The merchant is blessed for having so great a treasure. Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield. Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India." – Hymns of St. Ephraem, edited by Lamy (Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV).

Eusebius of Caesarea[17] quotes Origen (died mid-3rd century) as having stated that Thomas was the apostle to the Parthians, but Thomas is better known as the missionary to India through the Acts of Thomas, perhaps written as late as ca 200. In Edessa, where his remains were venerated, the poet Ephrem the Syrian (died 373) wrote a hymn in which the Devil cries,

        ...Into what land shall I fly from the just?

    I stirred up Death the Apostles to slay, that by their death I might escape their blows.
    But harder still am I now stricken: the Apostle I slew in India has overtaken me in Edessa; here and there he is all himself.
    There went I, and there was he: here and there to my grief I find him. —quoted in Medlycott 1905, ch. ii.

St. Ephraem, the great doctor of the Syrian Church, writes in the forty-second of his "Carmina Nisibina" that the Apostle was put to death in India, and that his remains were subsequently buried in Edessa, brought there by an unnamed merchant.[18]

A Syrian ecclesiastical calendar of an early date confirms the above and gives the merchant a name. The entry reads: "3 July, St. Thomas who was pierced with a lance in India. His body is at Urhai [the ancient name of Edessa] having been brought there by the merchant Khabin. A great festival." It is only natural to expect that we should receive from Edessa first-hand evidence of the removal of the relics to that city; and we are not disappointed, for St. Ephraem, the great doctor of the Syrian Church, has left us ample details in his writings.[18]

A long public tradition in the church at Edessa honoring Thomas as the Apostle of India resulted in several surviving hymns that are attributed to Ephrem, copied in codices of the 8th and 9th centuries. References in the hymns preserve the tradition that Thomas' bones were brought from India to Edessa by a merchant, and that the relics worked miracles both in India and at Edessa. A pontiff assigned his feast day and a king and a queen erected his shrine. The Thomas traditions became embodied in Syriac liturgy, thus they were universally credited by the Christian community there. There is also a legend that Thomas had met the Biblical Magi on his way to India.

From Wikipedia:

Quote
.. What "good" purpose does the obfuscation serve?

.. What motivates a person to right such things. Perhaps it was a plan to provide generations with amusement :-)

So god, either within us or from outside of us, has no critical message to mankind that we must all understand, just some poetry for us to enjoy?
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #323 on: February 09, 2012, 08:36:42 PM »
@ees

yes, Ive been following, my comment was more in general.

As for the specific thread I do understand what youre saying and I dont disagree with the gist ofwhat youre saying: Perhaps jesus was a wise man that had some insights that are helpful in life once stripped away from all the bagage of the bible and religious beliefs.

I would offer in that case, as stated before, that the things jesus has said (in this thread) can be helpful. BUT its nothing profound and thus not a big deal. the only thing that ever made jesus stand out were the extraordinary claims of divinity. now granted up to this point my experience with the GOT is mostly what you have posted as I havent been able to get into the books rejected by the Catholic Church like I want to.

Offline velkyn

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #324 on: February 10, 2012, 09:35:07 AM »
I'll answer Velkro as well.
Aww, trying to be insulting. how cute.

I didn't say I had the right ones (I still make adjustments) only happy to offer mine.[/quote]  gee, so we just have human claims of how they are “right” with “adjustments”.  So much for any claims of yours then as anything special. 
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Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #325 on: February 11, 2012, 06:03:24 AM »
Quote
Can you explain your last reference to India, with links please
Quote
St. Thomas is traditionally believed to have sailed to India in 52AD to spread the Christian faith among the Jews, the Jewish diaspora present in Kerala at the time. He is supposed to have landed at the ancient port of Muziris (which became extinct in 1341 AD due to a massive flood which realigned the coasts) near Kodungalloor. He then went to Palayoor (near present-day Guruvayoor), which was a Hindu priestly community at that time. He left Palayoor in AD 52 for the southern part of what is now Kerala State, where he established the Ezharappallikal, or "Seven and Half Churches". These churches are at Kodungallur, Kollam, Niranam (Niranam St.Marys Orthodox Church, Nilackal (Chayal), Kokkamangalam, Kottakkayal (Paravoor), Palayoor (Chattukulangara) and Thiruvithancode Arappally – the half church. [15][16]

"It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes. His grateful dawn dispelled India's painful darkness. It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten. The merchant is blessed for having so great a treasure. Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield. Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India." – Hymns of St. Ephraem, edited by Lamy (Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV).

Eusebius of Caesarea[17] quotes Origen (died mid-3rd century) as having stated that Thomas was the apostle to the Parthians, but Thomas is better known as the missionary to India through the Acts of Thomas, perhaps written as late as ca 200. In Edessa, where his remains were venerated, the poet Ephrem the Syrian (died 373) wrote a hymn in which the Devil cries,

        ...Into what land shall I fly from the just?

    I stirred up Death the Apostles to slay, that by their death I might escape their blows.
    But harder still am I now stricken: the Apostle I slew in India has overtaken me in Edessa; here and there he is all himself.
    There went I, and there was he: here and there to my grief I find him. —quoted in Medlycott 1905, ch. ii.

St. Ephraem, the great doctor of the Syrian Church, writes in the forty-second of his "Carmina Nisibina" that the Apostle was put to death in India, and that his remains were subsequently buried in Edessa, brought there by an unnamed merchant.[18]

A Syrian ecclesiastical calendar of an early date confirms the above and gives the merchant a name. The entry reads: "3 July, St. Thomas who was pierced with a lance in India. His body is at Urhai [the ancient name of Edessa] having been brought there by the merchant Khabin. A great festival." It is only natural to expect that we should receive from Edessa first-hand evidence of the removal of the relics to that city; and we are not disappointed, for St. Ephraem, the great doctor of the Syrian Church, has left us ample details in his writings.[18]

A long public tradition in the church at Edessa honoring Thomas as the Apostle of India resulted in several surviving hymns that are attributed to Ephrem, copied in codices of the 8th and 9th centuries. References in the hymns preserve the tradition that Thomas' bones were brought from India to Edessa by a merchant, and that the relics worked miracles both in India and at Edessa. A pontiff assigned his feast day and a king and a queen erected his shrine. The Thomas traditions became embodied in Syriac liturgy, thus they were universally credited by the Christian community there. There is also a legend that Thomas had met the Biblical Magi on his way to India.

From Wikipedia:


Thanks for that info re india. Now back to your question.

Quote
"Secondly, I knew the story was claimed to be written by a dude named Thomas of course, but I was referring to the authors of the multiple texts that were found that aren't reliably exact copies, and the person that they claim was Thomas, where is his signature? Where is his first person account? Is the gospel written in the first person or the third person? Why are we unsure about his lineage and his later history. Where are the records of a great christian man in India from sources that are not christian?"

SO I guess your saying that there is no record of Thomas other than the Christian version? But what about the work itself and the same christian tradition disowning it. Your proposition must be that it's a forgery or a late piece of work. Yet some scholars age it as either 1st or 2nd Century. In the third Century, Constantine makes his decree.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arius#The_First_Council_of_Nicaea

"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment....."

— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians

So it's not out of the bounds of possibility that this also included any refernce to Thomas. The Indian saga may also be a read herring, another fabrication by Eusebius, I am assuming you are looking for a reason that may explain the lack of non-christian data relating to Thomas. Ever notice, that this is the common issue. No Historicity of Jesus, No Historicity of Thomas, yet we have Constantine who says he existed and a text that may not have been seen since being burried, probably because of a threat by Constantine, and oddly the hidden text is a contradiction to Biblical version that Constantine supported. Give me a reasonable explanation and I'll see your point, but you cannot. Just as you cannot see my point. Yet my focus is not the historicity it's the message and that (in the sayings of the GOT) does exist. To the words you offer nothing but throw away lines, no effort to suppose a possible meaning. So I must hold my view. :-)
 
Quote
.. What "good" purpose does the obfuscation serve?

This relates to socrates method, me thinks. And to the long and widely held use of metaphors as a means of discussing the esoteric.

Quote
.. . What motivates a person to right such things. Perhaps it was a plan to provide generations with amusement :-)
Quote
..
So god, either within us or from outside of us, has no critical message to mankind that we must all understand, just some poetry for us to enjoy?

Only within us. And there's no message just an effort to bring awareness of what brings peace and joy as well as a show of human potential.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 06:12:59 AM by eartheconomyspirit »

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #326 on: February 11, 2012, 06:24:16 AM »
@ees

yes, Ive been following, my comment was more in general.

As for the specific thread I do understand what youre saying and I dont disagree with the gist ofwhat youre saying: Perhaps jesus was a wise man that had some insights that are helpful in life once stripped away from all the bagage of the bible and religious beliefs.

I would offer in that case, as stated before, that the things jesus has said (in this thread) can be helpful. BUT its nothing profound and thus not a big deal. the only thing that ever made jesus stand out were the extraordinary claims of divinity. now granted up to this point my experience with the GOT is mostly what you have posted as I havent been able to get into the books rejected by the Catholic Church like I want to.

More specifically, the GOT, in my opinion precedesthe Bible and therefore doesn't have sany of the baggage. And yes it can seem underwelming in the wake of walking on water and raising the dead, yet the reral "magic" is that they all talk about the samething and it's a chance to mount a case against the fear and loathing and abuse that have occured because people submit to a blind faith in things they'll never witness. And that needs to be challenged vigourously. Peace.

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #327 on: February 11, 2012, 06:26:09 AM »
I'll answer Velkro as well.
Aww, trying to be insulting. how cute.

I didn't say I had the right ones (I still make adjustments) only happy to offer mine.
  gee, so we just have human claims of how they are “right” with “adjustments”.  So much for any claims of yours then as anything special.
[/quote]

Yes I had to do it twice before you caught on though :-). Just responding in kind. My Halo must have slipped, forgive me. :-)

Offline JeffPT

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #328 on: February 11, 2012, 09:06:51 AM »
SO I guess your saying that there is no record of Thomas other than the Christian version? But what about the work itself and the same christian tradition disowning it. Your proposition must be that it's a forgery or a late piece of work. Yet some scholars age it as either 1st or 2nd Century.

I know I dropped out of this thread about 3 pages back (frankly, because I think your position is just a bunch of woo and it bores the hell out of me), but since I have nothing going on this morning, I will say a few things here. 

Having been from the first or second century does not, not in the least, make it a non-forgery.  There is still every possibility that it is a forgery even if it was written in the middle of the first century. 

I am assuming you are looking for a reason that may explain the lack of non-christian data relating to Thomas.

A good, solid explanation for this is that he didn't exist. 

Ever notice, that this is the common issue. No Historicity of Jesus, No Historicity of Thomas

Yes. And it's just one of about a million reasons to think Jesus, as described in the bible, didn't exist.

yet we have Constantine who says he existed

Do you really think he is a good judge of that, being that he lived 300 years AFTER the time of Jesus or Thomas? 

and a text that may not have been seen since being burried, probably because of a threat by Constantine, and oddly the hidden text is a contradiction to Biblical version that Constantine supported.

I don't understand why this is such a big deal for you.  There were lots of texts that were eventually considered heretical by the church that were hidden away.  Why do you think Thomas is special over the others? 

Give me a reasonable explanation and I'll see your point, but you cannot.

Alright, the whole thing was forged by someone other than Thomas.  They were sayings people attributed to Jesus that may have been bandied around throughout the late first and early second centuries by a gnostic Christian group who was later considered heretical.  The people really liked them, so they hid them away. 

That doesn't mean they were right, or had something special. It meant they THOUGHT they had something special. 

Yet my focus is not the historicity it's the message and that (in the sayings of the GOT) does exist.

Why do you think the message is special?  It could just be a heaping pile of useless sayings. 

To the words you offer nothing but throw away lines, no effort to suppose a possible meaning.

Your effort to suppose a possible meaning is just that... your own effort.  There really may be no meaning to the sayings.  The words in the GOT may really be just a bunch of thrown together phrases uttered by ignorant desert people. 


Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #329 on: February 11, 2012, 09:25:42 AM »
SO I guess your saying that there is no record of Thomas other than the Christian version? But what about the work itself and the same christian tradition disowning it. Your proposition must be that it's a forgery or a late piece of work. Yet some scholars age it as either 1st or 2nd Century.

What?  Dating has nothing to do with authenticity.  Perfect case in point: 1 Peter and 2 Peter, both of which claim to have been written by the Apostle Peter.  Bible scholars are all agreed that both books date from either the First or Second Century.  Most bible scholars are also agreed that they are both forgeries and were, in fact, written by two different people.  QED.  (And those aren't the only two books in the New Testament that are agreed to be forgeries, by the way.)
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Brakeman

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #330 on: February 11, 2012, 12:58:40 PM »
Well said Jeff and Piano,

I wonder why theists like eartheconomyspirit feel that the biblical authorship eras contained no works of fiction, that men suddenly lost their abilities to lie in those times?  I imagine that they also think that decades into the future, scholars will look back at 2012 and claim that the God-decoder rings of our day are the only correct ones.
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline Historicity

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #331 on: February 11, 2012, 02:21:48 PM »
1 Peter and 2 Peter, both of which claim to have been written by the Apostle Peter.  Bible scholars are all agreed ...

Bible scholars?   You don't have to appeal to authority.  Look at this:
Quote
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:  {Talking as if he knows the reader is living decades after.  If this is a letter than why doesn't it speak to the recipients. He is speaking as if this was something "discovered" after being long lost.}

That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
{Jesus promised to the real Peter a Second Coming before all the disciples were dead. Why would he give up hope?  Even if Peter was writing this just before his execution, John was still alive and he wouldn't know what happened to Thomas who went to India.}

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

COP OUT!

It's a pathetic fraud.   The writer of this book should have given an excuse such as that his Peter facing death declare that having one foot in heaven had gained prophetic power such that it would override his earthly knowledge.  Also have his "Peter" use the old "Thus saith the Lord" formula from the OT.

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #332 on: February 12, 2012, 05:19:54 AM »
SO I guess your saying that there is no record of Thomas other than the Christian version? But what about the work itself and the same christian tradition disowning it. Your proposition must be that it's a forgery or a late piece of work. Yet some scholars age it as either 1st or 2nd Century.

I know I dropped out of this thread about 3 pages back (frankly, because I think your position is just a bunch of woo and it bores the hell out of me), but since I have nothing going on this morning, I will say a few things here. 

Having been from the first or second century does not, not in the least, make it a non-forgery.  There is still every possibility that it is a forgery even if it was written in the middle of the first century. 

I am assuming you are looking for a reason that may explain the lack of non-christian data relating to Thomas.

A good, solid explanation for this is that he didn't exist. 

Ever notice, that this is the common issue. No Historicity of Jesus, No Historicity of Thomas

Yes. And it's just one of about a million reasons to think Jesus, as described in the bible, didn't exist.

yet we have Constantine who says he existed

Do you really think he is a good judge of that, being that he lived 300 years AFTER the time of Jesus or Thomas? 

and a text that may not have been seen since being burried, probably because of a threat by Constantine, and oddly the hidden text is a contradiction to Biblical version that Constantine supported.

I don't understand why this is such a big deal for you.  There were lots of texts that were eventually considered heretical by the church that were hidden away.  Why do you think Thomas is special over the others? 

Give me a reasonable explanation and I'll see your point, but you cannot.

Alright, the whole thing was forged by someone other than Thomas.  They were sayings people attributed to Jesus that may have been bandied around throughout the late first and early second centuries by a gnostic Christian group who was later considered heretical.  The people really liked them, so they hid them away. 

That doesn't mean they were right, or had something special. It meant they THOUGHT they had something special. 

Yet my focus is not the historicity it's the message and that (in the sayings of the GOT) does exist.

Why do you think the message is special?  It could just be a heaping pile of useless sayings. 

To the words you offer nothing but throw away lines, no effort to suppose a possible meaning.

Your effort to suppose a possible meaning is just that... your own effort.  There really may be no meaning to the sayings.  The words in the GOT may really be just a bunch of thrown together phrases uttered by ignorant desert people.

The reason it's special, is in the accurate meaning it holds about the human condition. It also provides a platform to challenge the miracles, revelations etc.. that are the real problem underlying the religions of this world. When you create a story that cannot be replicated and requires a blind faith you create an opportunity for abuse by the powerful.

If it were a pile of useless sayings why the were 61 included on the Bible.

On Constantine, he was the leader of a vast empire. Do you think as emperor, he'd back a story that was made up? Wouldn't he have opponents on the lookout for any false step he made.

Even though it was three hundred years on, given all the other evidence of historical records well back from that time and from the same era (Plato and Aristotle), do you really think he'd back "christ"ianity if it was not a force in it's own right. How then did it come to be a force. Not to mention there were bishops by the time of Constantine and this would have taken time for an organization to establish this sort of structure. Thus taking us further back in history and revealing another group that made up this Jesus character.  And then in 1945, we get a validly ancient document that had been hidden, most probably because of the threat of persecution, and it talks about Jesus and was also prior to Constantine. hmmmmmm  :-)   

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #333 on: February 12, 2012, 05:27:18 AM »
SO I guess your saying that there is no record of Thomas other than the Christian version? But what about the work itself and the same christian tradition disowning it. Your proposition must be that it's a forgery or a late piece of work. Yet some scholars age it as either 1st or 2nd Century.

What?  Dating has nothing to do with authenticity.  Perfect case in point: 1 Peter and 2 Peter, both of which claim to have been written by the Apostle Peter.  Bible scholars are all agreed that both books date from either the First or Second Century.  Most bible scholars are also agreed that they are both forgeries and were, in fact, written by two different people.  QED.  (And those aren't the only two books in the New Testament that are agreed to be forgeries, by the way.)

Woof Woof PianoDwarf. Up the wrong tree. That's what I've been suggesting. The Bible is the forgery. It talks about hell and heaven, a god that's apart from us, demons and angels and resurrections. Probably inspired by Zoroaster (see the Apocryphon of John). These  things have nothing to do with spirituality. There fables that powerful people may have taken advantage of, in my opinion.

And who was it that said "well said" :-)

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #334 on: February 12, 2012, 05:58:16 AM »
Well said Jeff and Piano,

I wonder why theists like eartheconomyspirit feel that the biblical authorship eras contained no works of fiction, that men suddenly lost their abilities to lie in those times?  I imagine that they also think that decades into the future, scholars will look back at 2012 and claim that the God-decoder rings of our day are the only correct ones.

Woof Woof, Brakeman. No works of fiction? I am arguing that the Bible may be fiction and that god may be an alternate way those before us described spirituality, as did the Taoists,  Hindus and Buddhists et al and  (shared tear of joy, compassion and joy) Not well said Jeff, Piano nor Brakeman, perhaps. :-)

"He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened." - Tao

and GOT 3

Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."


In this saying, Jesus talks about an inner and outer condition. A part of us, not in the sky or sea. He asks the listener to take on the personal responsibility and quest to come to know their authentic self.
Jesus is not offering instruction to a specific individual (leaders must have followers). Perhaps his target is non specific. This, to me, suggests a kingdom with shared access.
If we cannot know ourselves we will be the poorer. If this related to maturity or enlightenment would it make sense? Is immaturity a persistent condition for some , that leaves them spiritually poorer?
Outer could refer to a spirituality that exists environmentally or simply to the spirituality on display from our fellow humanity or the conflict between our inner thoughts and outer actions. Which makes sense? And if there is sense does that make it knowable?
Ever had that special feeling of meaning when you’re in a pristine outdoor settings?
Children of a living father that’s both inside and outside us. Suppose father related to the contemporary understanding of shared spiritual condition, like tears of joy, and kingdom related to an innate wisdom (of that condition). Just words describing the intangible, perhaps.

Isn't wisdom recognized widely even though it's author is a minority?

A god concept that is not apart from us, rather a part of us.

Boringly simple stuff perhaps, made complicated by the analysts. :-)

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #335 on: February 12, 2012, 06:15:54 AM »
1 Peter and 2 Peter, both of which claim to have been written by the Apostle Peter.  Bible scholars are all agreed ...

Bible scholars?   You don't have to appeal to authority.  Look at this:
Quote
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:  {Talking as if he knows the reader is living decades after.  If this is a letter than why doesn't it speak to the recipients. He is speaking as if this was something "discovered" after being long lost.}

That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
{Jesus promised to the real Peter a Second Coming before all the disciples were dead. Why would he give up hope?  Even if Peter was writing this just before his execution, John was still alive and he wouldn't know what happened to Thomas who went to India.}

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

COP OUT!

It's a pathetic fraud.   The writer of this book should have given an excuse such as that his Peter facing death declare that having one foot in heaven had gained prophetic power such that it would override his earthly knowledge.  Also have his "Peter" use the old "Thus saith the Lord" formula from the OT.

It's perhaps simpler than that. Scratch out all events that cannot be repeated/witnessed in a living experience and see what you have left. Of course, the tree we'll be barking up then will be "what is spirituality?" for 800 points.
 

Offline JeffPT

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #336 on: February 12, 2012, 08:58:23 AM »
The reason it's special, is in the accurate meaning it holds about the human condition.

I have to ask you... Have you read the sayings?  I mean, seriously.  Nobody in their right mind can say this.  Take number 1 for example.

And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

This is not true of the human condition.  It is wrong. And don't give me that spiritual death bullshit.  Death is death.  End of life.  No longer living. 

How about number 2

Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."

What the hell is he even talking about here?  Seeking what?  He could be talking about anything. 

They just get worse and worse from there. 

It also provides a platform to challenge the miracles, revelations etc.. that are the real problem underlying the religions of this world. When you create a story that cannot be replicated and requires a blind faith you create an opportunity for abuse by the powerful.

Why would we need that?  We already know there's no such thing as the Christian God.  We're way ahead of you here.

If it were a pile of useless sayings why the were 61 included on the Bible.

Because 61 of them fit with what the orthodox version of Christianity believed Jesus would have said. 

You have to remember though... I'm an agnostic atheist.  For me, finding useless sayings in the bible is like finding a needle in a stack of needles. 

On Constantine, he was the leader of a vast empire. Do you think as emperor, he'd back a story that was made up?

.... Are you actually trying to argue that because he was an emperor of a vast empire, that he was incapable of believing something that was false?  I can't believe you wrote this sentence and left it for everyone to see.   

Before Christianity came along, EES, were their any emperors who backed a religious story that was made up?  Please man. 

Wouldn't he have opponents on the lookout for any false step he made.

If an emperor has opponents who disagree with him, as emperor, what could you do to those people? 

Even though it was three hundred years on, given all the other evidence of historical records well back from that time and from the same era (Plato and Aristotle), do you really think he'd back "christ"ianity if it was not a force in it's own right.

What did Plato and Aristotle say about Christ?  I don't remember hearing them write about him.  I think it would have been hard seeing as Plato lived 400 years BEFORE Jesus and Aristotle about 300 years before.  Maybe I misunderstand why you're talking about them.  Why are you talking about Plato and Aristotle as if they matter here? 

As for whether or not Constantine would have backed Christianity if it wasn't a force, the answer is obviously not.  He backed them to unite the empire under one religion.  Again, that doesn't mean it was the one TRUE religion, or that Jesus existed at all.

How then did it come to be a force.

It grew slowly for a few hundred years, appealing in large numbers to the poor and uneducated because it said they would have the best place in Heaven.  It also absorbed many of the customs and special days as the pagan religions, which allowed it to grow even further.  As soon as Constantine made it the official religion, it exploded in numbers. 

Not to mention there were bishops by the time of Constantine and this would have taken time for an organization to establish this sort of structure. Thus taking us further back in history and revealing another group that made up this Jesus character.  And then in 1945, we get a validly ancient document that had been hidden, most probably because of the threat of persecution, and it talks about Jesus and was also prior to Constantine. hmmmmmm  :-)

So you are saying there were bishops prior to the year 300 and that's evidence that Jesus existed?  You've got to be effing kidding me. 

The only people who are important in the entire debate over whether or not Jesus existed were the contemporary writers.  Not the people who lived 100 years later, 200 years later, 300 years later... None of those people matter at all.  NONE.  It all could have been made up after that and you know it. 

Again I ask you why you think one hidden document found in 1945, hidden away because of the threat of persecution, makes it an important document in any way?  There were LOTS of those.  The people who hid it away probably really bought those things as having been said by Jesus.  Couldn't those people just have been wrong, like all the other hidden documents that you don't believe hold the truth? 

Come on man.  You've lost this one.  The GOT is a forged document, probably written down by someone who wanted to give the document an aura of respect by putting Thomas' name on it.  In all likelihood, it holds a bunch of sayings that those people thought Jesus said, that were passed to them probably through word of mouth or through the elders of whatever village they came from.  Orthodox Christians might have adopted 61 of the sayings as having possibly been said by Jesus, and ditched the rest as heretical.  They don't hold any special meaning... their just phrases said by some ancient ignorant people. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #337 on: February 12, 2012, 09:05:59 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_Papyri

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri date from 150-550.

Although the library may have been trashed by Christians, after 350AD, and they may have deleted any of the texts they didn't like, it still contains all the normal suspects, indicating that Christianity was established around the time we always believed it to be ~100-250AD.

Your 'theorizing' that it was all faked around 320AD, serves no purpose other than to pretend there was a golden period when people were rational; when we know instead, through Jewish history, that Jews have always believed in crud, and the cruddyness of the new testament fits in perfectly with their common preference for that type of crud, as documented by 1 Enoch & Qumran.



Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #338 on: February 13, 2012, 01:57:55 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_Papyri

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri date from 150-550.

Although the library may have been trashed by Christians, after 350AD, and they may have deleted any of the texts they didn't like, it still contains all the normal suspects, indicating that Christianity was established around the time we always believed it to be ~100-250AD.

Your 'theorizing' that it was all faked around 320AD, serves no purpose other than to pretend there was a golden period when people were rational; when we know instead, through Jewish history, that Jews have always believed in crud, and the cruddyness of the new testament fits in perfectly with their common preference for that type of crud, as documented by 1 Enoch & Qumran.

Wrong tree again!   Woof Woof

I am theorizing that it existed prior to 320 AD (Christian Bishops existed then so that would have taken some time to get to that stage of organizational development) and I am also suggesting that Constantine wouldn't have backed a story about a faked individual (a point you seem hapopy to ignore). Further I think that Eusebius and Constantine (they were apparently palsm and don't confuse the two Eusebius) may have branded the religion somewhat as well as destroyed other versions (evidence has been provided).

I am also suggesting that the Nag Hammadi has texts that were created in at least the 2nd Century which sees them preceed Constantine.  So now we have two streams that talk about a guy called jesus. Then there is Josephus's two mentions. And finally the sayings and no precedent for them.           

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

2nd Century for the Nag Hammadi.

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #339 on: February 13, 2012, 02:46:57 AM »
Quote
The reason it's special, is in the accurate meaning it holds about the human condition.

I have to ask you... Have you read the sayings?  I mean, seriously.  Nobody in their right mind can say this.  Take number 1 for example.

And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

This is not true of the human condition.  It is wrong. And don't give me that spiritual death bullshit.  Death is death.  End of life.  No longer living. 
 


The meaning is this. If you come to understand the meaning in the other 113 sayings and live accordingly you will lose the fear of death. You will still die, just the experience will escape your attention because it fails to occupy your mind.

Quote
How about number 2

Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All." What the hell is he even talking about here?  Seeking what?  He could be talking about anything. 

They just get worse and worse from there.

If you are looking for something know that there is something to be found, keep seeking until it is found. Once found you will disturbed, then you will marvel and will reign over all and then rest.

In life, many search for meaning/purpose. In this context Jesus is saying keep searching there is something to be found. But what and why will we be disturbed? What if, there was something blocking the discovery, remember we can expect to be disturbed by our find. This suggests a pre-condition that will get a shakeup perhaps.

Let’s assume that the barrier or pre-condition is our ego, our sense of who we are, or our perception of identity.

Ever had that awkward moment when a brave soul steps up to point out one of your personal behavioral flaws. Can be initially quite disturbing, but upon reflection we (sometimes) marvel at how we hadn’t seen that in ourselves (assuming innocence of self deception).
If we take the advice to heart and it’s an accurate assessment, maturity ensues.

But reigning over all? Perhaps Jesus is referring to a larger more enlightening moment. A moment where we gain an insight into how we tick. The human condition. An insight into why greed, lust, joy, sorrow occur. That these conditions are, at least in potential, shared perhaps. A oneness at the inner spiritual level is witnessed. Could understanding at this scale be seen by Jesus as reigning over all? Now with these dilemmas resolved do we then gain peace.

As an aside, how then do we know authentic maturity or more importantly what it is? Isn’t the hallmark of good advice, the authenticity of the adviser's interest in our well being with no material benefit for themselves. They should also have an authentic understanding of what brings true peace and joy. Their living example should be evidence of this understanding. If it takes a while to discern this shouldn’t that time be taken. I digressed because it seemed obvious that this reigning concept could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Again, I think of those suicide bombers and how we see far too often how self interest brings great harm to the immature. I’m reminded of Jones town. Of people who say they are God or Jesus and the harm some of them have done to others. If Jesus is accurately describing a condition we need to be careful in discerning  the level of self and selflessness in those we take guidance from.

If I think of volunteers, they give genuinely and both they and those they aid gain significantly. Often their genuineness is evident in their manner, the light will be in their eyes and smiles. They have an air of integrity about themselves and enjoy good friendships.

Quote
It also provides a platform to challenge the miracles, revelations etc.. that are the real problem underlying the religions of this world. When you create a story that cannot be replicated and requires a blind faith you create an opportunity for abuse by the powerful.

Why would we need that?  We already know there's no such thing as the Christian God.  We're way ahead of you here.
Yes, but you settle for a polarized position and you abandon the worth of the spiritual condition perhaps. This world needs YOUnity :-)
Quote

If it were a pile of useless sayings why the were 61 included on the Bible.

Because 61 of them fit with what the orthodox version of Christianity believed Jesus would have said. 

You have to remember though... I'm an agnostic atheist.  For me, finding useless sayings in the bible is like finding a needle in a stack of needles. 


No. I'd suggest that they had been popular amongst the population that constantine wished to court. He just needed to tweak them a little to ensure they served good governance.
Quote
On Constantine, he was the leader of a vast empire. Do you think as emperor, he'd back a story that was made up?

.... Are you actually trying to argue that because he was an emperor of a vast empire, that he was incapable of believing something that was false?  I can't believe you wrote this sentence and left it for everyone to see.   

Before Christianity came along, EES, were their any emperors who backed a religious story that was made up?  Please man.
 

No. I can't image that he would back a false propostion. Not so close to the time that individual lived. So what your saying is that someone else created Jesus earlier. So who is the culprit and what's their motive.
 
Quote
Wouldn't he have opponents on the lookout for any false step he made.

If an emperor has opponents who disagree with him, as emperor, what could you do to those people? 


Consider the timing of Constatines involvement with christianity and the warring amongst the Emperor(s)

"The Church was now a powerful force in the Roman world, with Constantine I having legalized it in 313 through the Edict of Milan."

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea"

The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day ?znik in Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.[5][6]

and the timing of the

Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy (306-324 AD)


Quote
Even though it was three hundred years on, given all the other evidence of historical records well back from that time and from the same era (Plato and Aristotle), do you really think he'd back "christ"ianity if it was not a force in it's own right.

What did Plato and Aristotle say about Christ?  I don't remember hearing them write about him.  I think it would have been hard seeing as Plato lived 400 years BEFORE Jesus and Aristotle about 300 years before.  Maybe I misunderstand why you're talking about them.  Why are you talking about Plato and Aristotle as if they matter here? 

As for whether or not Constantine would have backed Christianity if it wasn't a force, the answer is obviously not.  He backed them to unite the empire under one religion.  Again, that doesn't mean it was the one TRUE religion, or that Jesus existed at all.
I agree that that was Constantine's rationale. We have a good historical record from earlier in that era, why would we not consider that same "should exist" for other figures at that time. Two reasons possibly . It was destroyed ot it wasn't such a big deal in the early part.

Quote
How then did it come to be a force.

It grew slowly for a few hundred years, appealing in large numbers to the poor and uneducated because it said they would have the best place in Heaven.  It also absorbed many of the customs and special days as the pagan religions, which allowed it to grow even further.  As soon as Constantine made it the official religion, it exploded in numbers.
 

That sounds reasonable, to me. I'd add that it had some strong evangelical efforts along the way.

Quote
Not to mention there were bishops by the time of Constantine and this would have taken time for an organization to establish this sort of structure. Thus taking us further back in history and revealing another group that made up this Jesus character.  And then in 1945, we get a validly ancient document that had been hidden, most probably because of the threat of persecution, and it talks about Jesus and was also prior to Constantine. hmmmmmm  :-)

So you are saying there were bishops prior to the year 300 and that's evidence that Jesus existed?  You've got to be effing kidding me. 

The only people who are important in the entire debate over whether or not Jesus existed were the contemporary writers.  Not the people who lived 100 years later, 200 years later, 300 years later... None of those people matter at all.  NONE.  It all could have been made up after that and you know it. 

Again I ask you why you think one hidden document found in 1945, hidden away because of the threat of persecution, makes it an important document in any way?  There were LOTS of those.  The people who hid it away probably really bought those things as having been said by Jesus.  Couldn't those people just have been wrong, like all the other hidden documents that you don't believe hold the truth? 

Come on man.  You've lost this one.  The GOT is a forged document, probably written down by someone who wanted to give the document an aura of respect by putting Thomas' name on it.  In all likelihood, it holds a bunch of sayings that those people thought Jesus said, that were passed to them probably through word of mouth or through the elders of whatever village they came from.  Orthodox Christians might have adopted 61 of the sayings as having possibly been said by Jesus, and ditched the rest as heretical.  They don't hold any special meaning... their just phrases said by some ancient ignorant people.
[/quote]

It's not the name thomas nor jesus for that matter that make this document valid, in my opinion. It's the words and their relevance both then, now and the future. And I'd suggest that those words are neither hidden or forged. Although I have some way to go to finding the correct theory, perhaps, the words will remain like the human condition the constant :-) Thanks for the thought provoking comments.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 02:48:57 AM by eartheconomyspirit »

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #340 on: February 13, 2012, 10:31:01 AM »
Yes I had to do it twice before you caught on though :-). Just responding in kind. My Halo must have slipped, forgive me. :-)
Caught on or deigned to respond? &)   Alas for you, it is the later.  Again, nothing to support your nonsense and plenty to show it's wrong, one more theist trying to be special.
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Offline Devils Advocate

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #341 on: February 13, 2012, 07:59:44 PM »


I am theorizing that it existed prior to 320 AD (Christian Bishops existed then so that would have taken some time to get to that stage of organizational development) and I am also suggesting that Constantine wouldn't have backed a story about a faked individual (a point you seem hapopy to ignore). Further I think that Eusebius and Constantine (they were apparently palsm and don't confuse the two Eusebius) may have branded the religion somewhat as well as destroyed other versions (evidence has been provided).

I am also suggesting that the Nag Hammadi has texts that were created in at least the 2nd Century which sees them preceed Constantine.  So now we have two streams that talk about a guy called jesus. Then there is Josephus's two mentions. And finally the sayings and no precedent for them.           

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

2nd Century for the Nag Hammadi.

What if all the documents, including those by Josephus and Pliny the Younger (and, yes, Thomas) were forgeries in furtherance of a conspiracy by the Roman government to split the Jewish people before they were able to come up with a real military leader?

"Let's get them to think it is a wonderful idea to give up all their money and possessions and wander around in poverty talking about peace."

Why postulate a conspiracy to forge if you are not going to take it all the way?
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Offline Brakeman

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #342 on: February 13, 2012, 08:50:05 PM »
Quote
..  Take number 1 for example.

And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

This is not true of the human condition.  It is wrong. And don't give me that spiritual death bullshit.  Death is death.  End of life.  No longer living. 
 


The meaning is this. If you come to understand the meaning in the other 113 sayings and live accordingly you will lose the fear of death. You will still die, just the experience will escape your attention because it fails to occupy your mind.

Er ... I don't think that the problem mankind has with death is that it preoccupies. They have a problem with not living anymore.

What explicit particular experience will you escape? Fear?  Drugs and hypnotism and human brain washing can all erase fear. Is that all you have? I've seen kids in the mental hospital that have absolutely no fear of anything due to the chemical imbalance in their brain as a result of medication. Does GOT have anything left to offer those kids?

Again I ask, what is the purpose of the obfuscation, the words of that first verse that appear to be a blatant lie. The author is teasing, telling the reader that he can escape the one thing mankind fears most, death, if only they will revere his book as holy. Even according to you, the sentence would read more honestly as: 
"Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience the preoccupation or perhaps fear of death."

Why was the author not more clear even in the first verse?

Who benefits with the exclusion of the clueless?
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #343 on: February 13, 2012, 11:13:31 PM »
The meaning is this. If you come to understand the meaning in the other 113 sayings and live accordingly you will lose the fear of death. You will still die, just the experience will escape your attention because it fails to occupy your mind.

You made up that meaning to coincide with what you want it to mean.  Your statement has no bearing on the actual meaning of what was said.  The author originally could really have meant that he thought you wouldn't die if they figured out what all the sayings mean.  You see, this is what people like you do.  You assign sentences a meaning that really isn't there, so that it fits with your preconceived notions of what it means.  You manipulate language to serve your purposes, while the rest of us scratch our heads and wonder what the hell you're talking about.  While I'm just reading the words and taking their meaning as they were written, you are changing the meanings of the words to suit your ideas. 

You are equating the phrase 'experience death' to the phrase 'fear death'.  Experiencing death is being dead.  Fearing death is still alive, but afraid of being dead.  No matter how much mental gymnastics you do, the two phrases mean DIFFERENT things.  Sorry, but they do. 

If you are looking for something know that there is something to be found, keep seeking until it is found. Once found you will disturbed, then you will marvel and will reign over all and then rest.

In life, many search for meaning/purpose. In this context Jesus is saying keep searching there is something to be found. But what and why will we be disturbed? What if, there was something blocking the discovery, remember we can expect to be disturbed by our find. This suggests a pre-condition that will get a shakeup perhaps.

Or perhaps the whole thing is just wrong, EES.  If you're looking for something that isn't there, you aren't going to find anything.  But if you're looking for something that you really BELIEVE is there, your brain will eventually convince you it is... especially this spiritual crap.   

As an aside, how then do we know authentic maturity or more importantly what it is? Isn’t the hallmark of good advice, the authenticity of the adviser's interest in our well being with no material benefit for themselves. They should also have an authentic understanding of what brings true peace and joy. Their living example should be evidence of this understanding. If it takes a while to discern this shouldn’t that time be taken. I digressed because it seemed obvious that this reigning concept could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Again, I think of those suicide bombers and how we see far too often how self interest brings great harm to the immature. I’m reminded of Jones town. Of people who say they are God or Jesus and the harm some of them have done to others. If Jesus is accurately describing a condition we need to be careful in discerning  the level of self and selflessness in those we take guidance from.

I'm sorry to do this, but blah, blah, blah, blah.  This is all just white noise.  The hallmark of good advice is advice that we can use that help us to effectively meet our goals.  Nobody needs to have 'an authentic understanding of what brings true peace and joy' to give good advice.  They just have to be practical and intelligent. 

This is why I got out last time.  This stuff is just boring as hell.  Yes, I know that's my problem, not yours. 

If I think of volunteers, they give genuinely and both they and those they aid gain significantly. Often their genuineness is evident in their manner, the light will be in their eyes and smiles. They have an air of integrity about themselves and enjoy good friendships.

I'm not sure why this is important.  Its just more white noise.  Their genuineness is evident in their manner?  The light will be in their eyes?  You're going for poetic here, but you're doing it so often that it's just coming off as trite. 

No. I'd suggest that they had been popular amongst the population that constantine wished to court. He just needed to tweak them a little to ensure they served good governance.

First off, Constantine was an emperor.  Why would he need to court people?   

Second, Constantine played no part in deciding what was actually in the bible. The canonical writings were set after a long drawn out process both before, during and after his life, and from what I remember, he wasn't a major part of it.  If you have evidence that Constantine played a major role in what was in our out of the bible, please show me.  I may be wrong, but I don't ever remember seeing anything about Constantine having a say in what was in the bible.   

Third, please read the following passage from "Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code" by Bart Ehrman regarding Constantine's input into the biblical process...

Quote
The historical reality is that the emperor Constantine had nothing to do with the formation of the canon of scripture: he did not choose which books to include or exclude, and he did not order the destruction of the Gospels that were left out of the canon (there were no imperial book burnings). The formation of the New Testament canon was instead a long and drawn-out process that began centuries before Constantine and did not conclude until long after he was dead. So far as we know, based on our historical record, the emperor was not involved in the process.

No. I can't image that he would back a false propostion. Not so close to the time that individual lived.

It was 300 years later!  And this was during a time where less than 10% of the people could read or write.  This wasn't modern times with computers and copy machines.  Are you seriously going to stick with the notion that everything emperor Constantine believed was the truth?  Give me a break.  Part of me thinks you're just trying to argue for the sake of argument with this. 

So what your saying is that someone else created Jesus earlier. So who is the culprit and what's their motive.

What I am saying is that a man named Jesus might have lived.  He might have been a cool dude.  But there is no reason to believe that those 114 sayings in the GOT were from him (as we have biblical scholars who attest that the GOT was forged); nor do we have good reason to believe that those 114 sayings were anything more than the ramblings of an ancient, ignorant desert dweller. 

I always wonder why so many people think ancient man somehow knew more than modern man does.  Why do you think that way? 
 
It's not the name thomas nor jesus for that matter that make this document valid, in my opinion. It's the words and their relevance both then, now and the future. And I'd suggest that those words are neither hidden or forged. Although I have some way to go to finding the correct theory, perhaps, the words will remain like the human condition the constant :-) Thanks for the thought provoking comments.

The relevance is in your head.  You've conjured it.  This is nothing more than the same type of mentality that you see from numerologists or people that find special sayings in music if you play it backwards.  You're inventing the relevance. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #344 on: February 14, 2012, 05:53:45 AM »
Quote
..  Take number 1 for example.

And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

This is not true of the human condition.  It is wrong. And don't give me that spiritual death bullshit.  Death is death.  End of life.  No longer living. 
 


The meaning is this. If you come to understand the meaning in the other 113 sayings and live accordingly you will lose the fear of death. You will still die, just the experience will escape your attention because it fails to occupy your mind.

Er ... I don't think that the problem mankind has with death is that it preoccupies. They have a problem with not living anymore.

What explicit particular experience will you escape? Fear?  Drugs and hypnotism and human brain washing can all erase fear. Is that all you have? I've seen kids in the mental hospital that have absolutely no fear of anything due to the chemical imbalance in their brain as a result of medication. Does GOT have anything left to offer those kids?

Again I ask, what is the purpose of the obfuscation, the words of that first verse that appear to be a blatant lie. The author is teasing, telling the reader that he can escape the one thing mankind fears most, death, if only they will revere his book as holy. Even according to you, the sentence would read more honestly as: 
"Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience the preoccupation or perhaps fear of death."

Why was the author not more clear even in the first verse?

Who benefits with the exclusion of the clueless?

I think I tried to explain that in a previous post. Parables are an intriguing and engaging teaching method similar to Socratic method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method). Socrates predates Jesus and there is one of Plato's works (http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhlalpha.html) in the NAG Hammadi find. They present a puzzle for the uninitiated that experience will help unlock to reveal a spiritual truth.

As Jesus says... many of the first will be last. That saying relates to maturity. Maturities a real life event, isn't it. And it doesn't necessarily relate to age. :-)

Another possible reason is for security. Being seen as on the wrong team could get you killed.

Here's one of the 53 not included in the Bible.

GOT 15 Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."

Do not worship other living beings. Respect and follow the inner ( and outer) truth, a reality that is to be known. Your innate spiritual mysterious humanity, perhaps.

Possible reasons for exclusion:
Doesn't leave room for worshiping your fellow man.



 

Offline eartheconomyspirit

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #345 on: February 14, 2012, 06:37:42 AM »
Quote
The meaning is this. If you come to understand the meaning in the other 113 sayings and live accordingly you will lose the fear of death. You will still die, just the experience will escape your attention because it fails to occupy your mind.

You made up that meaning to coincide with what you want it to mean.  Your statement has no bearing on the actual meaning of what was said.  The author originally could really have meant that he thought you wouldn't die if they figured out what all the sayings mean.  You see, this is what people like you do.  You assign sentences a meaning that really isn't there, so that it fits with your preconceived notions of what it means.  You manipulate language to serve your purposes, while the rest of us scratch our heads and wonder what the hell you're talking about.  While I'm just reading the words and taking their meaning as they were written, you are changing the meanings of the words to suit your ideas. 

You are equating the phrase 'experience death' to the phrase 'fear death'.  Experiencing death is being dead.  Fearing death is still alive, but afraid of being dead.  No matter how much mental gymnastics you do, the two phrases mean DIFFERENT things.  Sorry, but they do. 

No, I offered an interpretation. he didn't think that  you wouldn't die. Here's the saying that I believe justifies that assertion.

GOT 59 Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

An obvious truth, perhaps. Spirituality is a living experience and truth.

Possible reasons for exclusion:
Anti the concept of an afterlife

And I think I understand what inspires "behaviors" like yours also. You have an idea, that gives you an identity free of the god concept and like any ego when challenged your on the attack. Don't worry, it's either just a behavior or another one of the things I made up. :-)

If you are looking for something know that there is something to be found, keep seeking until it is found. Once found you will disturbed, then you will marvel and will reign over all and then rest.

In life, many search for meaning/purpose. In this context Jesus is saying keep searching there is something to be found. But what and why will we be disturbed? What if, there was something blocking the discovery, remember we can expect to be disturbed by our find. This suggests a pre-condition that will get a shakeup perhaps.

Or perhaps the whole thing is just wrong, EES.  If you're looking for something that isn't there, you aren't going to find anything.  But if you're looking for something that you really BELIEVE is there, your brain will eventually convince you it is... especially this spiritual crap.   
[/b]

Ego alert ... :-):-). did you just provide evidence of a disturbance.
Quote
As an aside, how then do we know authentic maturity or more importantly what it is? Isn’t the hallmark of good advice, the authenticity of the adviser's interest in our well being with no material benefit for themselves. They should also have an authentic understanding of what brings true peace and joy. Their living example should be evidence of this understanding. If it takes a while to discern this shouldn’t that time be taken. I digressed because it seemed obvious that this reigning concept could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Again, I think of those suicide bombers and how we see far too often how self interest brings great harm to the immature. I’m reminded of Jones town. Of people who say they are God or Jesus and the harm some of them have done to others. If Jesus is accurately describing a condition we need to be careful in discerning  the level of self and selflessness in those we take guidance from.

I'm sorry to do this, but blah, blah, blah, blah.  This is all just white noise.  The hallmark of good advice is advice that we can use that help us to effectively meet our goals.  Nobody needs to have 'an authentic understanding of what brings true peace and joy' to give good advice.  They just have to be practical and intelligent. 
This is why I got out last time.  This stuff is just boring as hell.  Yes, I know that's my problem, not yours. 

Well at least one of us is getting something out of the exchange. I still think good advice has the interest of the one being advised at heart. And yes practical. 
Quote
If I think of volunteers, they give genuinely and both they and those they aid gain significantly. Often their genuineness is evident in their manner, the light will be in their eyes and smiles. They have an air of integrity about themselves and enjoy good friendships.

I'm not sure why this is important.  Its just more white noise.  Their genuineness is evident in their manner?  The light will be in their eyes?  You're going for poetic here, but you're doing it so often that it's just coming off as trite. 
I won't disagree that I need to work on writing skills.
Quote
No. I'd suggest that they had been popular amongst the population that constantine wished to court. He just needed to tweak them a little to ensure they served good governance.

First off, Constantine was an emperor.  Why would he need to court people?   
 
Then why bother at all with Christianity.

Quote
Second, Constantine played no part in deciding what was actually in the bible. The canonical writings were set after a long drawn out process both before, during and after his life, and from what I remember, he wasn't a major part of it.  If you have evidence that Constantine played a major role in what was in our out of the bible, please show me.  I may be wrong, but I don't ever remember seeing anything about Constantine having a say in what was in the bible.   

Certainly seemed to be there about, not to mention his relationship with Eusebius ( a principle author and I'd suggest possible fabricator)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I#Religious_policy

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

"The supporters of Arius included Secundus of Ptolemais, Theonus of Marmarica, Zphyrius, and Dathes, all of whom hailed from Libya and the Pentapolis[which?]. Other supporters included Eusebius of Nicomedia,[28] Eusebius of Caesarea, Paulinus of Tyrus, Actius of Lydda, Menophantus of Ephesus, and Theognus of Nicea.[25][29]

"Resplendent in purple and gold, Constantine made a ceremonial entrance at the opening of the council, probably in early June, but respectfully seated the bishops ahead of himself."[16] As Eusebius described, Constantine "himself proceeded through the midst of the assembly, like some heavenly messenger of God, clothed in raiment which glittered as it were with rays of light, reflecting the glowing radiance of a purple robe, and adorned with the brilliant splendor of gold and precious stones."[30] He was present as an observer, and did not vote. Constantine organized the Council along the lines of the Roman Senate. Hosius of Cordoba may have presided over its deliberations; he was probably one of the Papal legates.[16] Eusebius of Nicomedia probably gave the welcoming address.[16][31]"

You'll need to read more widely re Eusebius to get a broader sense of this man's potential, careful though there are two Eusebius to account for.

Looks like the emperor was under the churches governance. And this is a man that would kill his own to preserve power. Something doesn't quite make sense, i'd suggest.   

Third, please read the following passage from "Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code" by Bart Ehrman regarding Constantine's input into the biblical process...

Bart's already been discredited. He wasn't even able to accurately count the number of inclusions in the Bible. But I will read it :-)

Quote
The historical reality is that the emperor Constantine had nothing to do with the formation of the canon of scripture: he did not choose which books to include or exclude, and he did not order the destruction of the Gospels that were left out of the canon (there were no imperial book burnings). The formation of the New Testament canon was instead a long and drawn-out process that began centuries before Constantine and did not conclude until long after he was dead. So far as we know, based on our historical record, the emperor was not involved in the process.

So who to believe, Wikipedia or Bart :-)

"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment....."

— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians

Quote
No. I can't image that he would back a false propostion. Not so close to the time that individual lived.

It was 300 years later!  And this was during a time where less than 10% of the people could read or write.  This wasn't modern times with computers and copy machines.  Are you seriously going to stick with the notion that everything emperor Constantine believed was the truth?  Give me a break.  Part of me thinks you're just trying to argue for the sake of argument with this. 
Well they could hear and talk. It's not just Constantine. It's a theory that he used Christianity, to break the hold of the Pagan Gods. It's the scant amount of historical records, It's a precedence he and others set for destroying the Historical record, It's the ambiguity of Eusebius and that he seems to be like a funnel for the Biblical record... etc
Quote
So what your saying is that someone else created Jesus earlier. So who is the culprit and what's their motive.

What I am saying is that a man named Jesus might have lived.  He might have been a cool dude.  But there is no reason to believe that those 114 sayings in the GOT were from him (as we have biblical scholars who attest that the GOT was forged); nor do we have good reason to believe that those 114 sayings were anything more than the ramblings of an ancient, ignorant desert dweller. 

I always wonder why so many people think ancient man somehow knew more than modern man does.  Why do you think that way? 
 

Spirituality is not a changing condition. Mothers loved their children the same way they do now and will continue to do. Authentic tears of joy and sorrow are inspired by the same things that they always were inspired by/for. Compassion, caring how are thy improved on through the generations?

Quote
It's not the name thomas nor jesus for that matter that make this document valid, in my opinion. It's the words and their relevance both then, now and the future. And I'd suggest that those words are neither hidden or forged. Although I have some way to go to finding the correct theory, perhaps, the words will remain like the human condition the constant :-) Thanks for the thought provoking comments.

The relevance is in your head.  You've conjured it.  This is nothing more than the same type of mentality that you see from numerologists or people that find special sayings in music if you play it backwards.  You're inventing the relevance.
[/quote]
Well you may be bored by me I'm entertained. Peace and Joy :-)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 06:47:16 AM by eartheconomyspirit »

Offline Tero

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #346 on: February 14, 2012, 10:07:28 AM »
Constantine had major political problems. He was using the new religion for personal gain.

He was a politician! There are no truths there, only winners and losers.

Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: You're all barking up the wrong tree - possibly :-)
« Reply #347 on: February 15, 2012, 06:03:00 AM »

I always wonder why so many people think ancient man somehow knew more than modern man does.  Why do you think that way? 
 

This ^^ nails it. Why don't people realize that these ancient folks knew almost nothing about anything and were desperately trying to come up with explanations for what was happening in their world. This is the root of all scripture and theistic belief. The ancient Greeks believed Apollo hitched up his chariot every day and dragged the sun across the sky - how is this any different?
Providing rednecks with sunblock since 1996.

I once met a man who claimed to be a genius, then boasted that he was a member of "Mesa".

Think for yourself.