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Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Timo on Yesterday at 11:27:03 PM »
Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Timo on Yesterday at 11:20:55 PM »
Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Timo on Yesterday at 11:17:41 PM »
I think the more appropriate passages might be those pertaining to the treatment of foreigners or strangers, depending on the translation, who have come into Israel.  The common refrain is basically to treat them right because you too were foreigners in Egypt. For example:

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt (Exodus 22:21)

It's repeated throughout Exodus and Deuteronomy and to the best of my knowledge neither Israel didn't have anything like the INS. Another helpful bit might be the parable of the good Samaritan, where the question of who your neighbor is in the saying that you should love your neighbor as yourself is defined as something other than a member of your particular ethnic, religious or national group.

To be sure, there are also some nasty bits about how foreign influence, and particularly the influence of foreign women can be corrosive to a good, God fearing society. (See: Numbers 31. It's fucked up.)

So only Allah knows what proper believers of white American Jesus are supposed to believe.
Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Timo on Yesterday at 10:51:46 PM »
Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Mr. Blackwell on Yesterday at 07:25:57 PM »
Chatter / The story of my life.
« Last post by Mr. Blackwell on Yesterday at 07:10:07 PM »
I'm in a car traveling down a road I've never traveled before. It's an old car but one I am very familiar with. After awhile I begin to notice that the car is beginning to show signs of malfunction. I don't know what the nature of the malfunction is exactly but the driver keeps going so I rested at peace, assured that everything was going to be okay and that we would eventually reach our destination.

We got into some heavy traffic. It was simultaneously "stop and go" and "full speed ahead". Not so much "steady as she goes". Constant adjustments were made to compensate for the deteriorating condition of our vehicle but things only seemed to be getting worse. I slowly began to lose confidence. I started questioning everything I could think to question. The driver quickly became more and more irritated by my curiosity. Seeing it as a lack of confidence and greatly perturbed by my lack of faith.

After awhile the vehicle began to fall apart. First, the lights went but we kept moving forward in the dark all the while being reassured that the person at the wheel knew exactly where we were going and knew the way. Then the wobbling. That was terrible. I wasn't alone in the car. There were several of us and when the brakes went out coming down the mountain, we all finally put our seat belts on. Even the driver.

One of my sisters started praying out loud, almost screaming. The driver told her to shut up because it was distracting. We had real problems to deal with at the moment and don't worry, everything is under control. One wheel separated from the vehicle and fell along the wayside but the driver drove on because there was no way to stop. Somehow the car kept moving forward at what I considered to be a dangerous speed but what did I know? Who am I to question? I wasn't in control.

As we rapidly approached the bottom of the heal I noticed that there was a stop sign which meant that there was an intersection. I could see the traffic flowing from both directions. Death was imminent and I could do nothing to prevent it. How many others would die as a result of this malfunction?

As we crossed through the intersection I saw an 18 wheeler coming around the bend and it was at that moment that I realized that we were all going to die. It's just a matter of when and where. And I suddenly realized it was at that intersection at the bottom of that curvy mountain road and now.

What I didn't fully comprehend as the semi slammed into our vehicle was that I was the one driving the whole time and I had no idea where I was going.

General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Night Train on Yesterday at 10:56:00 AM »

Where did I equate God with objective in this thread? I've been pretty careful to avoid discussions about God in this thread.

A straight question:  is this what you actually mean though?  From context and from what you have said before, you do mean this exactly, that this god of yours is the only source of objective morality.

If He exists then yes, of course.

Either God has reasons for His moral commands, or He does not have reasons. If He does not have reasons, then His commands are arbitrary--or "subjective", if we use your terminology. On the other hand, if God has reasons, than it is those reasons which are the basis of morality, rather than the commands themselves.

God cannot be a source of objective morality.
I am very glad you have made this post Anfauglir! Now I see why we have come to agreements on the same thing, but are worlds apart in terms of how we are viewing them. I can now fix what you were requesting me to fix in the last post.

In going forward, perhaps it would help if I clarified something.

As we have agreed, a "pagan deity" is a set of characteristics (properties, behaviours, and so on) defined by mankind.  It is commonly described by metaphor in relation to existing events or things, and is referenced by means of a symbol assigned by the person/s who selected and defined its characteristics.  Persons who (by choice or by nature) display matching characteristics can be said to embody the the nature of the deity. 

To me, the crucial terms in that definition are the parts I have bolded - the fact that, at some point, a human sat down and thought "that tree makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of tree-like strength Om.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Om (the strength like a tree) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing". 

Alright. I have encountered problem #1. Before I begin, I will admit that I had forgotten to describe this when we were talking definitions, so for that, I apologize.

For starters, I need to fix your terminology first before I get into the problem. For clarity's sake, I am just going to use your quote, but replace it with the proper terms.

The altered quote with altered text bolded:

that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing".

When you translate the Deity's names, they are the same name you and I call the plant a Tree. I cannot stress that enough. I felt the way you described this was not what we agreed with when creating the definition of Deity.

As for the problem, you are correct that at some point, somebody sat down and said "that tree makes me think of strength". What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man. As I mentioned, this religion was science way before science came about. The scientific method has always been around. It just wasn't termed scientific method until recently,

Don't get hung up on the specific of that particular ancient man's quotes - the key aspect is that a man decided to create a deity.  Whatever characteristics or properties a deity has, are those given to it by men....fallible, subjective, men.  There is nothing[1] within any deity that has NOT come from the brain of a human.
 1. Clearly the actual physical parts exist - the tree, the rock, the spider - but they are just that, a tree, a rock, a spider.  Without man to decide there was a deity represented by a spider, the deity would not exist purely because there was a spider.

I need to correct you on 3 parts to this particular part of your post.

#1. A man decided to create a Deity. You are partially right, but are once again missing an important piece of the puzzle. That's why I was showing you those 4 images. A man decided to create a Deity. Another man decided to BECOME a Deity and did!

You aren't asking the question: How does a man become a Deity? That was a topic of Paganism I never got to touch on. Many of the Deities that have these traits are also based on real actual historical people! People were able to be Deified and ascended into becoming Gods themselves. That was actually a point as to why I was a LaVeyan Satanist in the past, that exact same belief is also existent in Paganism but rather than an anti-Christian edge-lord, there is historical evidence to what is being said, and I got it from Paganism and history, not from Satanism.

#2. What do you mean when you say fallible, subjective men? Unlike most of my previous questions, this isn't proving a point. I really need you to answer this in order for me to continue.

#3. You are both right and wrong on this assertion about Deities. You are right that without humans, the Deities may cease to exist. In this case, it makes perfect sense that these things were humans attributing to the description of these elements of Nature. That is partially why there is a racial aspect to religion that cannot be ignored.

Where you are incorrect is that you are missing the point of the Deities. These Deities will always exist with or without humans. However, humans cannot exist without the Deities. For clarification's sake, let me rephrase this. Nature will always exist with or without humans. However, humans cannot exist without Nature. Man is a part of Nature. These Deities help describe to us how we should interact with the Pantheon. We are NOT above Nature, nor is Nature something to conquer.

Every part of a deity, whatever trait they represent, was assigned by a human.  And I can absolutely see that - for the person creating a deity - it served a useful purpose: a shorthand for characteristics, a shorthand for behaviours they regarded as important.  And those shorthands were passed to others - partly because they were continually useful in those circumstances, partly because people tend to believe the same thing their parents believe.

You are correct here, but there were also more complex viewpoints that were explained by this religion that science doesn't touch on.

I will also add that many of the things they have learned and taught their children were incredibly important because without that information, the entire tribe would die off if there was a deviation from the orthodoxy. These shorthands were not trivial like a tweet on twitter being breaking news. This information was life or death. Unfortunately, most of this valuable information is no longer being taught to the masses, but that is also a good thing since it forces people to search for the Truth instead of it being handed to them like Halloween candy.

But there's the rub - the deities created by those people are relevant to those people.  If I need a deity, I can create them today, myself, and they will serve the purposes for which I create them.  It is quite conceivable that I may create deities that match the properties of previously created deities, but equally I may create a deity that bears no relation to anything previously created.....but which is eminently useful to me.

Here's the rub on the rub. I AM THOSE PEOPLE! They are completely relevant to me and those like me even in today's age. I argue even they are even more relevant now than in the days of old because of the very fabric of society is in a death spiral that nobody wishes to stop.

Now, for creating your own Deity, you can do that. It has happened in the past. My only recommendation to you is instead of creating a comic book super hero and calling it a Deity, why not be the God you wish to be yourself? Why not make Anfauglir God itself?

Deities are constructs.  "People made shit up".  If there is value to you in what ancient people made up, then that's excellent - as I said, I can quite support the idea that these constructs can be useful.  But given that they ARE constructs, there is no reason to accept that any particular one is any more useful than one that I construct for myself - or more useful than to take a literary character and use THEM as a useful tool.

See, this is where the strong disagreement comes in. These people did not make shit up. These people recorded the patterns of Nature and wrote it in a way to where it was understood and in a way to where there was a personal attachment to it unlike science today where it only offers a lifeless mechanical way of understanding. These constructs are the same constructs that science tells us. Are you going to say science is made up now?
General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Add Homonym on October 20, 2017, 07:33:28 PM »
I...don't...think so?

I think if this thread was called "The most harmful religions, judged by Christian standards", he would then be quibbling about our interpretation of Christian standards, and we would be having No True Scotsman arguments.

If ppl actually followed Christianity, society would devolve into slop within the week. Christianity is less harmful than it could be, due to the demands being so great that none of the followers believe any of it.
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