Jst, a question for you that is off topic. Is this how you feel?
"Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else."
Taken from Aaron123's sig.
I've thought about his long and hard. Firstly I am not a Christian but I am a believer. To me that means I'm more of a listener than a doer. It's not like I'm some evil maniac but there are many things I should do better if I want to claim to be a Christian.
And it may mean the same thing but I would word things differently than the quote. For me to deny God's existance would be no easier than denying my wife's existance unless I really am just off the wall crazy. If I am crazy then I definately want to know. So I guess there is some room for error. It is hard to shake off personal experiences if you are the one that has them however.
Those things are quite simple to explain. "Golden age" is another way of expressing rose-tinted nogalistic for the past, without considering how things actually were. We see this today with the fondness of the "good-old days" of the 1950s, where everything was sunshines, prayers were in school, children respected their parents, didn't get pregnant, and jobs were easy to come by. This ignores the negative aspects of the time period, ignores that not everyone liked prayers in school, not everyone respected their parents (or that not every parents deserved respect), some teenagers did get pregnant, and not everyone had jobs.
Yes this does happen. However these do still have a grain of truth. Where is the generation of children that called everyone sir and ma'am? Each generation seems to push their limits a little bit further.
I'm not familar with other religions having a "fall of man" idea. Examples?
Ancient Greek mythology held that humanity was immortal during the Golden Age. When Prometheus gave the gift of fire to mankind, helping them live through times of cold weather, the gods were angered. They gave Pandora a box and told her not to open it, knowing full well that her curiosity would get the better of her. When she opened the box, she released evil (death, sorrow, plague) into the world due to her curiosity.
Pandora's box could be compared to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Flood stories are very common among ancient cultures because people tended to settle along the coastline. Floods tend to happen alongside the coastline, so naturally, people experienced floods fairly often.
Being so familiar with floods, something out of the ordinary would have to occured for them to have stories of a fantastic flood.
So there is no physical evidence for god? Then what makes the claim for god any different than claiming Star Wars is a histortical document?
This is another of those things that it depends on who you ask. Some say there is none. Others say the entire universe is physical evidence. And neither side can absolutely rule the other out, and barring some obviously divine intervention I don't think they ever can. Even scientists are left with deciding which one that think is most likely true.
The question is, what is that kernel? Is it pointing to real gods, or to a social phenomenon?
Well this I don't know. And I don't know of any way to know for certain.
As for those common themes, in typical loose-cannon fashion My Norse ancestors turned them all ass-backwards. We had no Golden Age in our past. We started with a war (the Æsir vs. the Vanir) and then calmed down a bit, until the fire giants (not a flood) wrecked the joint and killed everyone, even the gods. (To complicate things just a bit, in My family's personal mythology Ragnarök is a past event, and now we're in the Golden Age.)
It seems obvious people were highly superstitious although I don't understand why considering they were obviously highly intelligent. It is easy to say they just made things up to explain things they didn't understand but who does that? There are things I can't explain but I don't just make up lies. I don't think it should be assumed that all of them did either.
Not necessarily a conspiracy, per se. Formalized religion could just be a holdover from earlier tribal sociopolitical structures, possibly driven by the agricultural revolution in the Mesopotamian area (and necessitated by the need to control a growing and increasingly urbanized population), and also facilitated by the invention of writing.
Are you saying the rulers made it up to control their populations? Isn't that the epitome of conspiricy theories?