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  #51  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:36 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Some have tried; the numbers are pretty large. That being said, I think that humanity as a whole is better off with christianity then without it. I think people don't stop to consider what we'd have had if christianity hadn't become the predominant world religion. Its main competition (Islam) is, in my view, generally worse.
Its no better or worse; it is IMO the same lame horse by another name. I'm not even sure why they're being posed as competition to each other as though one without the other would be some huge game changer. These two are not the only religions of the world and most people who see them as each other's opposite with one being the big bad wolf generally only think one is better due to one seeming "normal" and the other being touted as worse by splash media and their own ignorance. All religious beliefs compete with each other if they don't share exact dogma in that case. According to my grandmother's church community, if you don't belong to a few of the fundamental christian sects they agree with, its all devil worship and you're going to hell even if it is a christian flavored faith. People feel better about rooting for the "home team" even if they don't practice any faith devoutly.

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I find that to actually be one of the most encouraging aspects of christianity. The notion that self sacrifice can be a good thing is also something I respect.
You have to be someone who idealizes self sacrifice regardless of spiritual training for any aspect of it in any religion to be practiced. If not you get this:

http://www.salon.com/2009/07/21/c_street/


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  #52  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:56 PM
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Some have tried; the numbers are pretty large. That being said, I think that humanity as a whole is better off with christianity then without it. I think people don't stop to consider what we'd have had if christianity hadn't become the predominant world religion. Its main competition (Islam) is, in my view, generally worse. it is IMO the same lame horse by another name.
Its no better or worse;
We may have to disagree on that.

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I'm not even sure why they're being posed as competition to each other as though one without the other would be some huge game changer.
Alright, I can see that we don't agree as to the relative merits of the 2 religions, but surely you would agree that they -do- compete with each other for adherents?

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These two are not the only religions of the world
True. What's more, both of these religions have divisions within themselves as well as has ben pointed out.

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and most people who see them as each other's opposite with one being the big bad wolf generally only think one is better due to one seeming "normal" and the other being touted as worse by splash media and their own ignorance.
My mother's tried flavors of both, while I was muslim for a time (a western version, but islam all the same). I think I make it clear that I never said they were each other's opposite or that one was 'bad' and the other 'good'. I simply think that on the whole, I prefer christianity a fair amount, in large part because many people who identify as christians don't actually follow the rules of their own religion. It's not that I'm for hypocrisy, it's just that some things are far worse then hypocrisy.

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All religious beliefs compete with each other if they don't share exact dogma in that case.
Pretty much, yeah.

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According to my grandmother's church community, if you don't belong to a few of the fundamental christian sects they agree with, its all devil worship and you're going to hell even if it is a christian flavored faith. People feel better about rooting for the "home team" even if they don't practice any faith devoutly.
Yep. If there's one thing that I think is generally a good sign of the quality of a religion, it's in their tolerance for alternative points of view. There are ofcourse limits, but in general, the less tolerance for those outside of their group, the worse the religion.

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I find that to actually be one of the most encouraging aspects of christianity. The notion that self sacrifice can be a good thing is also something I respect.
You have to be someone who idealizes self sacrifice regardless of spiritual training for any aspect of it in any religion to be practiced. If not you get this:

http://www.salon.com/2009/07/21/c_street/
Yeah. "The Family"'s pretty messed up.

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  #53  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:25 PM
polypenguin polypenguin is offline
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Scott, to answer your question about what I typed into google it was "34,000 sects." wether that number is current amounts, or the collective of 2,000 years, it matters very little.

The point being written word is and always has been interpretible. Hence the reason there are many different translations of the bible itself. It begs the question of the authors themselves, did they interpret what god told them to write? And in doing so, did they write how they saw it, or word for word?

on top of that, the bible says "you shall not add to the word I command of you, nor take from it." Deuteronomy 4:2. So, how can any bible which is not of the original language be correct, as every one of those has been altracated and interpreted.

there are very few languages which are constant throughout all languages. Math and science being two, and gunshots being another.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:11 AM
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Scott, to answer your question about what I typed into google it was "34,000 sects." wether that number is current amounts, or the collective of 2,000 years, it matters very little.
Regarding sects, I found a little blurb on it on religioustolerance.org:
*****
"...if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps 'the' religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult." Leo Pfeffer. A humorous quotation, but one that is uncomfortably close to reality.
*****

I found the following articles on the subject of denominations. It would appear that the number the number of denominations (the article didn't use the term sects) is rather fuzzy; it would also appear that the number of denominations has grown rapidly in the last 40 years, which means that many of the denominations spoken of are present day....
The 20,000 30,000 numbers and David Barrett's statistics

The 20,000 30,000 numbers and David Barrett's statistics Part II

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The point being written word is and always has been interpretible.
Not all bibles are the same either though, so it's also a matter of what texts are being interpreted.

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Hence the reason there are many different translations of the bible itself. It begs the question of the authors themselves, did they interpret what god told them to write? And in doing so, did they write how they saw it, or word for word?
This ofcourse assumes that God is separate from the people who wrote the bible; I don't personally believe this to be the case (I believe God is everything, so that would include the people who wrote the bible). I don't believe in a perfect God at this point in time; I don't believe that a perfect God would create imperfect creatures. If God was perfect, he'd create perfect creatures that, of their own free will, would always do the right thing. He'd also never have created the Devil, because clearly the Devil is imperfect. Personally, I find it rather interesting that if you add an o to God you get Good and if you take away the d from Devil you get Evil. Good and Evil, Dark and Light, are concepts that have been with humanity for quite a long time.

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on top of that, the bible says "you shall not add to the word I command of you, nor take from it." Deuteronomy 4:2. So, how can any bible which is not of the original language be correct, as every one of those has been altracated and interpreted.
I save myself from such quibbles by not taking the bible too seriously. To quote one of my favourite lines on religion from one of my favourite fictional series, Dune:
"Religion is the emulation of the adult by the child. Religion is the encystment of past beliefs: mythology, which is guesswork, the hidden assumptions of trust in the universe, those pronouncements which men have made in search of personal power… all mingled with shreds of enlightenment. And always the ultimate unspoken commandment is "Thou shalt not question!" But we do anyway. We break that commandment as a matter of course. The work to which we have set ourselves is the liberating of the imagination, the harnessing of imagination to humankind's deepest sense of creativity."

I find it rather ironic that my favourite books regarding beliefs are fictional ones; the old line "there is truth in your fiction and fiction in your truth" comes to mind. If you're reading or doing it because you -like- it instead of because it's been "ordained", well.. consensus is the key in my view. It can't be ordered, it has to be desired.

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there are very few languages which are constant throughout all languages. Math and science being two, and gunshots being another.
Heh, yeah :-). Logic could be thought of as a language; its base is math, but it delves into other areas as well.. it's the language that is necessary to come to terms with what is truly "Good" and "Evil", in my view. By the way, I classify good as that which is efficient and evil as that which is inneficient. The question then becomes, "efficient at what?", and I'd say that's a very good question. I think the most important thing to be efficient with is love. The rest pales in comparison. And I definitely think that being able to love more then one person (romantically or otherwise) can be a very efficient thing in the sense that people tend to work a lot better with love in their lives ;-).

Last edited by Scott; 04-04-2012 at 07:18 AM.
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  #55  
Old 04-04-2012, 10:19 AM
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[QUOTE=polypenguin;131313]on top of that, the bible says "you shall not add to the word I command of you, nor take from it." Deuteronomy 4:2. So, how can any bible which is not of the original language be correct, as every one of those has been altracated and interpreted.[END QUOTE]
To answer the question, Deuteronomy was written during a time when no one ever heard of scripture translation, so the person/people that wrote that were referring to the idea of respecting a Higher Power and taking writing about Her/Him/It seriously. It was written for people alive then whom we would call today friends or homeys. That it was misused all these many centuries wasn't the fault of Moses, who is said to have written it, nor pretty much anyone alive today.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:28 AM
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I'd like to just open a can of worms here. There may be some who are under the impression, because many have tried to sell it that way, that the Bible touts monogamy only.

Actually, that turns out not to be the case. If you count them there are only three people in the Bible that SEEM to advocate monogamy, AND JESUS ISN'T ONE OF THEM!

I bet you people at the site come to the same shocked conclusion I do.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:10 PM
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I'd like to just open a can of worms here. There may be some who are under the impression, because many have tried to sell it that way, that the Bible touts monogamy only.

Actually, that turns out not to be the case. If you count them there are only three people in the Bible that SEEM to advocate monogamy, AND JESUS ISN'T ONE OF THEM!

I bet you people at the site come to the same shocked conclusion I do.
As I think you know, I didn't know that specific information, but I did know that the Bible didn't condemn certain types of non monogamy.. apparently sex slavery was also "ok". For those who missed the article I mentioned in post #44, it's here...
Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves: What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible
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  #58  
Old 04-04-2012, 05:49 PM
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I'm not interested in debating the Bible here, but then I see "The Christian Marriage" I think about something that's happening in my life. When I broke up with my boyfriend, it was because I had fallen for his best friend, who is Catholic. He is surprisingly semi-ok with the possibility of sharing me, while my agnostic-ish ex is not. And I wonder, is there really a way to reconcile polyandry within the christian marriage, when a woman having multiple men is clearly condemned by the Bible?

I thought it would be bad enough to be in a mixed-faith relationship (I'm atheist), but I can't help but wonder if somewhere along the line he'd feel like he wasn't being as good of a christian as he could be because of the implications of poly.

However, he does seem to be pretty liberal on a lot of controversial topics, some of them being his personal demons.

Last edited by StarTeddy; 04-04-2012 at 05:53 PM. Reason: typo fixing
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  #59  
Old 04-04-2012, 09:54 PM
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I'm not interested in debating the Bible here, but then I see "The Christian Marriage" I think about something that's happening in my life. When I broke up with my boyfriend, it was because I had fallen for his best friend, who is Catholic. He is surprisingly semi-ok with the possibility of sharing me, while my agnostic-ish ex is not. And I wonder, is there really a way to reconcile polyandry within the christian marriage, when a woman having multiple men is clearly condemned by the Bible?
Is it really though? There are so many things about the bible that people have wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if they got that wrong as well. Anyway, how can anyone use that as a guide for sexual relations? Take a look at this excerpt I pulled from the article I linked in my last post:

***************
Let me tell you a secret about Bible believers that I know because I was one. Most of them don’t read their Bibles. If they did, they would know that the biblical model of sex and marriage has little to do with the one they so loudly defend. Stories depicted in the Bible include rape, incest, master-slave sexual relations, captive virgins, and more. Now, just because a story is told in the Bible doesn’t mean it is intended as a model for devout behavior. Other factors have to be considered, like whether God commands or forbids the behavior, if the behavior is punished, and if Jesus subsequently indicates the rules have changed, come the New Testament.

Through this lens, you find that the God of the Bible still endorses polygamy and sexual slavery and coerced marriage of young virgins along with monogamy. In fact, he endorses all three to the point of providing detailed regulations. Based on stories of sex and marriage that God rewards and appears to approve one might add incest to the mix. Nowhere does the Bible say, “Don’t have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with you.”

Furthermore, none of the norms that are endorsed and regulated in the Old Testament law – polygamy, sexual slavery, coerced marriage of young girls—are revised, reversed, or condemned by Jesus. In fact, the writer of Matthew puts these words in the mouth of Jesus:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law [the Old Testament] until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)

The Law of which Jesus speaks is the Law of Moses, or the Torah, and anyone who claims the Bible as the perfect word of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God should have the decency to read it carefully—and then keep going.

Polygamy is a norm in the Old Testament and accepted in the New Testament. Biblicalpolygamy.com has pages dedicated to 40 biblical figure,s each of whom had multiple wives. The list includes patriarchs like Abraham and Isaac. King David, the first king of Israel may have limited himself to eight wives, but his son Solomon, reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived had 700 wives and 300 concubines! (1 Kings 11)

Concubines are sex slaves, and the Bible gives instructions on acquisition of several types of sex slaves, although the line between biblical marriage and sexual slavery is blurry. A Hebrew man might, for example, sell his daughter to another Hebrew, who then has certain obligations to her once she is used. For example, he can’t then sell her to a foreigner. Alternately a man might see a virgin war captive that he wants for himself.

In the book of Numbers (31:18) God’s servant commands the Israelites to kill all of the used Midianite women who have been captured in war, and all of the boy children, but to keep all of the virgin girls for themselves. The Law of Moses spells out a purification ritual to prepare a captive virgin for life as a concubine. It requires her owner to shave her head and trim her nails and give her a month to mourn her parents before the first sex act (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). A Hebrew girl who is raped can be sold to her rapist for 50 shekels, or about $580 (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). He must then keep her as one of his wives for as long as she lives.

A man might acquire multiple wives whether he wanted them or not if his brother died. In fact, if a brother dies with no children, it becomes a duty to impregnate his wife. In the book of Genesis, Onan is struck dead by God because he fails to fulfill this duty – preferring to spill his seed on the ground rather than providing offspring for his brother (Genesis 38:8-10).
***************
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:26 AM
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I think that's probably why he's not too worried about it. He understands that the Bible was written by prejudiced men, and not everything that's written is accurate, or meant to be followed. It just worries me, because even though I'm not a believer myself, I understand that his faith is important to him and a part of his happiness. I certainly don't want him to feel like being with me would distance him from God. But, I suppose, that's something he'll have to figure out on his own.
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