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A Civil Religious Discussion


Off-Topic Discussions

12,951 to 13,000 of 13,063 << first < prev | 252 | 253 | 254 | 255 | 256 | 257 | 258 | 259 | 260 | 261 | 262 | next > last >>
Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:

This may sound trite and even a little unfair, but if any of us--very religious people included--saw a post-apocalypse movie with the same exact scenarios depicted in the last several posts, committed by the characters in the film, we would universally recognize them as The Bad Guys.

If this is true for you (reader of this post), then you need to explain to yourself how you can possibly read the same exact events in a bronze-age story and pass it off as acceptable behavior; pass it off as the guidance of a loving deity/leader.

Darkwing Duck wrote:


It is a bronze-age story, not a contemporary one. I don't think anyone has tried to pass it off as acceptable behavior for today's world.

Not what I said nor intimated; and you're right, I don't believe anyone on these Boards would even hint that such behavior in 2011 is OK.

Nonetheless, we're talking about how we would view the people engaging in this behavior in a fictional post-apocalypse film or story scenario.

I think this goes beyond arguing that people in distant times can't be held to the same morals as modern man.

If you watch a movie depicting a post-nuclear/global disaster 'society' that engages in the behavior described by the verses in the last several posts, they would universally be considered The Bad Guys. Our Hero (and maybe his small group of 'civilized' companions) would spend the film trying to thwart the people who are, in essence, behaving Biblically.

If the leader of the Bad Guys believed he was guided by the gods (or God), we would universally understand him to be either insane or a power-monger using superstition to advance his position.

If this is true, then what praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness are we supposed to get out of these OT stories?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Turner wrote:

If this is true, then what praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness are we supposed to get out of these OT stories?

That no matter how bad your actions, you can always come out shining with an audacious enough PR campaign.

And now you know...


Yes, Andrew, we can judge people who live in a different time/place by our standards, but since our standards aren't proven to be universally, objectively better, what does that tell us?

That, like every other culture that has ever existed, we can be guilty of ethnocentrism.

As for universal truths in the OT, I view it as primarily a history book which provides the context for what understanding what came later. Why did Jesus have such trouble fighting legalism (ie. elevating the law above the fruits)? The OT explains why the law was created. But as for universal truths, I think the history of the OT largely focuses on object lessons. Saul, David, and Solomon were all great men who fell as they came to lose their humility. Perhaps the same can be said of Moses. Sodom and Gamorah, two cities destroyed because they failed to take care of the needy. The book of Judges - men (and a woman), classic hero stories. All of these stories have universal truths in them.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Yes, Andrew, we can judge people who live in a different time/place by our standards, but since our standards aren't proven to be universally, objectively better, what does that tell us?

That, like every other culture that has ever existed, we can be guilty of ethnocentrism.

I might argue that our general modern standards (meaning the standards of most of us on these Boards, for example) are very much better than the standards of recent Biblical discussion.


Andrew Turner wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Yes, Andrew, we can judge people who live in a different time/place by our standards, but since our standards aren't proven to be universally, objectively better, what does that tell us?

That, like every other culture that has ever existed, we can be guilty of ethnocentrism.

I might argue that our general modern standards (meaning the standards of most of us on these Boards, for example) are very much better than the standards of recent Biblical discussion.

Its pretty common to believe that one's culture's moral standards are better than others'


Darkwing Duck wrote:
Andrew Turner wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Yes, Andrew, we can judge people who live in a different time/place by our standards, but since our standards aren't proven to be universally, objectively better, what does that tell us?

That, like every other culture that has ever existed, we can be guilty of ethnocentrism.

I might argue that our general modern standards (meaning the standards of most of us on these Boards, for example) are very much better than the standards of recent Biblical discussion.
Its pretty common to believe that one's culture's moral standards are better than others'

All true, I suppose.

It's also a huge derail from the original point. We're not really talking about the moral standards of a bronze age society. We're talking about the "praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness we are supposed to get out of these OT stories?"


thejeff wrote:

All true, I suppose.

It's also a huge derail from the original point. We're not really talking about the moral standards of a bronze age society. We're talking about the "praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness we are supposed to get out of these OT stories?"

"Praise worthy"? You mean like when Solomon asks for wisdom instead of riches? Or when Samson is brought down to his knees only to rise again?

Or when Moses returns to free his people after having fled into the wilderness?
I find these stories about character and heroism quite praise worthy (both their flaws and their triumphs).


I wrote a response but it vanished.

Simpler version: Please read back a few posts to see the context you're replying to.
Or don't. Whatever.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darkwing Duck wrote:
thejeff wrote:

All true, I suppose.

It's also a huge derail from the original point. We're not really talking about the moral standards of a bronze age society. We're talking about the "praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness we are supposed to get out of these OT stories?"

"Praise worthy"? You mean like when Solomon asks for wisdom instead of riches? Or when Samson is brought down to his knees only to rise again?

Or when Moses returns to free his people after having fled into the wilderness?
I find these stories about character and heroism quite praise worthy (both their flaws and their triumphs).

Or Odin making personal sacrifice for knowledge and power, or Ariadne's punishment for hubris, or Prospero breaking his staff.

Fiction is where humanity has talked about what it is to be human. The Bible as a whole, being one very large piece of oral history and collection of myth cycles, contains a great deal of fiction. Is it any wonder that it should there for reflect some elements of the human condition?

What it clearly does not do, is offer a guide to moral behaviour. The morality it contains is that of bigoted, ignorant bronze and iron age tribes.

Lets not try to claim that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
thejeff wrote:

All true, I suppose.

It's also a huge derail from the original point. We're not really talking about the moral standards of a bronze age society. We're talking about the "praise-worthy, morally-superior, universal and time-tested general awesomeness we are supposed to get out of these OT stories?"

"Praise worthy"? You mean like when Solomon asks for wisdom instead of riches? Or when Samson is brought down to his knees only to rise again?

Or when Moses returns to free his people after having fled into the wilderness?
I find these stories about character and heroism quite praise worthy (both their flaws and their triumphs).

Or Odin making personal sacrifice for knowledge and power, or Ariadne's punishment for hubris, or Prospero breaking his staff.

Fiction is where humanity has talked about what it is to be human. The Bible as a whole, being one very large piece of oral history and collection of myth cycles, contains a great deal of fiction. Is it any wonder that it should there for reflect some elements of the human condition?

What it clearly does not do, is offer a guide to moral behaviour. The morality it contains is that of bigoted, ignorant bronze and iron age tribes.

Lets not try to claim that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

I believe myth DOES offer moral guidance.

Zombieneighbours wrote:
Lets not try to claim that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

Lets not try to build straw men. No one in this thread has claimed that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

Once more, religion is not about handing down the ultimate law. It is about figuring out how people should live their lives. That is an ongoing process and always has been. People will find many mistakes in the Bible which was fallible people writing about fallible people and read by fallible people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Lets not try to build straw men. No one in this thread has claimed that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

"Few people in this thread," not "no one." When a person says that work A is true and correct in all respects, and that similar works B, C, and D are false -- that sort of does more than just imply that work A is more insightful, doesn't it?


Darkwing Duck wrote:


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Lets not try to claim that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

Lets not try to build straw men. No one in this thread has claimed that it is somehow more insightful than other similar works.

Once more, religion is not about handing down the ultimate law. It is about figuring out how people should live their lives. That is an ongoing process and always has been. People will find many mistakes in the Bible which was fallible people writing about fallible people and read by fallible people.

No, you have not claimed that. Ancient Sensei certainly has and that's where this particular sub-thread started. When those claims are made, when it is claimed for example that all the apparently horrible behavior (slavery, rape, etc) commander or allowed by God is not actually bad at all, then it makes sense to point that behavior and not dismiss it by claiming "different times/standards". Claims are made for absolute morality based on the same God accepted slavery.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about the value of the Bible and other myths. That's how I see them too. But many people see their interpretation of their particular myth as the one true way and that's what was being discussed before you derailed it with the relativism.


Regardlesss of what Ancient Sensei claims, to judge an entire religion on the flaws of some of its followers is suspect.

Quote:
But many people see their interpretation of their particular myth as the one true way and that's what was being discussed before you derailed it with the relativism.

I know of many Christians (and members of other faiths) who don't fall into your "many people", though.


No s&@$. The argument is over his claims. Not judging the religion.

Did I ever claim "All Christians" or "All religious people"?


thejeff wrote:

No s+@*. The argument is over his claims. Not judging the religion.

Did I ever claim "All Christians" or "All religious people"?

BNW does.


Darkwing Duck wrote:

Regardlesss of what Ancient Sensei claims, to judge an entire religion on the flaws of some of its followers is suspect.

Quote:
But many people see their interpretation of their particular myth as the one true way and that's what was being discussed before you derailed it with the relativism.

I know of many Christians (and members of other faiths) who don't fall into your "many people", though.

Are we supposed to ignore the anti-semitism of the past 1700 years? Horrific acts have been done over numerous centuries by thousands, if not millions, of people. The beliefs of Christianity were directly tied to this behavior, the most crucial moment in the mythology, the crucifixion, is steeped in anti-semitism. This kind of behavior and belief is perpetuated by some of the largest churches in the country, like the New Life Church in Colorado, which has attempted to influence the US Air Force by promoting its beliefs at the Academy.

It seems disingenuous to describe the majority of Christian history and a very large number of Christians as less than "many people". That past is directly influencing the world as it is today. If we don't judge it, what are we supposed to do with it?


Irontruth wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Regardlesss of what Ancient Sensei claims, to judge an entire religion on the flaws of some of its followers is suspect.

Quote:
But many people see their interpretation of their particular myth as the one true way and that's what was being discussed before you derailed it with the relativism.

I know of many Christians (and members of other faiths) who don't fall into your "many people", though.

Are we supposed to ignore the anti-semitism of the past 1700 years? Horrific acts have been done over numerous centuries by thousands, if not millions, of people. The beliefs of Christianity were directly tied to this behavior, the most crucial moment in the mythology, the crucifixion, is steeped in anti-semitism. This kind of behavior and belief is perpetuated by some of the largest churches in the country, like the New Life Church in Colorado, which has attempted to influence the US Air Force by promoting its beliefs at the Academy.

It seems disingenuous to describe the majority of Christian history and a very large number of Christians as less than "many people". That past is directly influencing the world as it is today. If we don't judge it, what are we supposed to do with it?

"the majority of Christian history"? What makes the past 1700 years so distinctively Christian that all the faults and flaws and tragedies of the past 1700 years must be blamed on Christianity?

Quote:
That past is directly influencing the world as it is today. If we don't judge it, what are we supposed to do with it?

It seems to me that quite a lot of the tragedy you speak of came about because people were judging others. How about we just love each other and be kind to each other and show the fruits of the spirit to one another?

Shadow Lodge

Darkwing Duck wrote:
thejeff wrote:

No s+@*. The argument is over his claims. Not judging the religion.

Did I ever claim "All Christians" or "All religious people"?

BNW does.

I believe I'm entitled to a citation for that accusation.

Quote:
I believe myth DOES offer moral guidance.

Our gods wear spandex.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
thejeff wrote:

No s+@*. The argument is over his claims. Not judging the religion.

Did I ever claim "All Christians" or "All religious people"?

BNW does.

I believe I'm entitled to a citation for that accusation.

Quote:
I believe myth DOES offer moral guidance.
Our gods wear spandex.

Yes, you are entitled to a cite. I dug through your old posts and was unable to find one. Because you focus on the less savory aspects of religion the way a heroin addicted bulimic valley girl focuses on silverware, it's easy to overlook that you acknowledge some undefined good aspects of religion.

Shadow Lodge

Darkwing Duck wrote:


Yes, you are entitled to a cite. I dug through your old posts and was unable to find one. Because you focus on the less savory aspects of religion the way a heroin addicted bulimic valley girl focuses on silverware, it's easy to overlook that you acknowledge some undefined good aspects of religion.

I can't decide if thats the nicest insult or the meanest admission of error I've ever seen.

The good aspects are

-incentive- when promoting the right thing
-organization (when organized to do the right thing)
-Hope

The ennumeration of these good aspects should not be taken as an implication that this is all of the possible good aspects, its just what i can think of at the moment.


Darkwing Duck wrote:


"the majority of Christian history"? What makes the past 1700 years so distinctively Christian that all the faults and flaws and tragedies of the past 1700 years must be blamed on Christianity?

I guess I didn't spell it out specifically enough. I'm specifically referencing Christian and Jewish relations. Here's a wiki page if you're unfamiliar.

I also highly recommend Constantine's Sword, in both book and movie format. The book is very long and very thorough in its examinations. The movie tries to condense it to 2 hours, but it still serves as a good introduction to the topic.

These acts must be accepted as part of Christianity. Christians can change how the future plays out, but they cannot change the past or the heritage of their beliefs. Mass murder of Jews has happened periodically for over 1000 years, by Christians. Their honest belief in scripture was the driving force behind their violence.

You can tell me that they were interpreting the book wrong, but they have dominated Christian history far longer than you and other more peaceful Christians.


Irontruth wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:


"the majority of Christian history"? What makes the past 1700 years so distinctively Christian that all the faults and flaws and tragedies of the past 1700 years must be blamed on Christianity?

I guess I didn't spell it out specifically enough. I'm specifically referencing Christian and Jewish relations. Here's a wiki page if you're unfamiliar.

I also highly recommend Constantine's Sword, in both book and movie format. The book is very long and very thorough in its examinations. The movie tries to condense it to 2 hours, but it still serves as a good introduction to the topic.

These acts must be accepted as part of Christianity. Christians can change how the future plays out, but they cannot change the past or the heritage of their beliefs. Mass murder of Jews has happened periodically for over 1000 years, by Christians. Their honest belief in scripture was the driving force behind their violence.

You can tell me that they were interpreting the book wrong, but they have dominated Christian history far longer than you and other more peaceful Christians.

You're right, these acts must be accepted as part of Christian history, for those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The struggle to answer "how should I live my life" has always been subject to failure as well as success.

Shadow Lodge

Darwking Duck wrote:
The struggle to answer "how should I live my life" has always been subject to failure as well as success.

Right, but your contention is that religion (specifically the debate within religion) has had a net effect of helping people come to a successful (the right) conclusion. It doesn't seem that that's the case.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Darwking Duck wrote:
The struggle to answer "how should I live my life" has always been subject to failure as well as success.
Right, but your contention is that religion (specifically the debate within religion) has had a net effect of helping people come to a successful (the right) conclusion. It doesn't seem that that's the case.

Your contention is that, while debate is good, religion is somehow an exception.

My contention is that the ongoing debate which happens in religion has led to a net positive effect. If you like, its not anything particular to religion, however, there's no other institution which provides what religion does (large scale debate on moral issues in addition to the ability to mobilize around those issues).

Atheism is a religion which might not have yet reached that level of large scale debate, but that doesn't mean that other religions haven't.

Shadow Lodge

Darkwing Duck wrote:

Your contention is that, while debate is good, religion is somehow an exception.

Its not exactly a mystery why i think that, or some contradiction in my argument. The debate is good, it just hasn't been worth it.

Quote:
My contention is that the ongoing debate which happens in religion has led to a net positive effect.

Can you demonstrate the debate in religion (specifically the debate part) actually leading to any tangible, beneficial actions?

Quote:
If you like, its not anything particular to religion, however, there's no other institution which provides what religion does (large scale debate on moral issues in addition to the ability to mobilize around those issues).

The internet?

Someone get Bill Gates a big pointy hat.

Quote:


Atheism is a religion which might not have yet reached that level of large scale debate, but that doesn't mean that other religions haven't.

Atheism is only a religion in the sense that bald is a hair color. Its a shortcut for explaining why there isn't something there, but you'd have to be daft to assume that the absence itself was something.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Your contention is that, while debate is good, religion is somehow an exception.

Its not exactly a mystery why i think that, or some contradiction in my argument. The debate is good, it just hasn't been worth it.

Quote:
My contention is that the ongoing debate which happens in religion has led to a net positive effect.

Can you demonstrate the debate in religion (specifically the debate part) actually leading to any tangible, beneficial actions?

Quote:
If you like, its not anything particular to religion, however, there's no other institution which provides what religion does (large scale debate on moral issues in addition to the ability to mobilize around those issues).

The internet?

Someone get Bill Gates a big pointy hat.

Quote:


Atheism is a religion which might not have yet reached that level of large scale debate, but that doesn't mean that other religions haven't.
Atheism is only a religion in the sense that bald is a hair color. Its a shortcut for explaining why there isn't something there, but you'd have to be daft to assume that the absence itself was something.

There are plenty of religions that don't believe in God. I doubt you'd argue that Shintoism isn't a religion despite the fact that, like your brand of atheism, it has no God. Yet, somehow, magically, you want us to think of Shintoism as a religion, but not your own atheism? Why?

The Internet does not provide what religion does. The Internet is a communication medium, that's all.

Debate in religion leading to a net positive? http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:pRhOGtpv_5kJ:scholar.g oogle.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,6


Atheism isn't a religion anymore than theism is a religion.

Some religions, possibly including Shintoism, may be atheist, while most are theist, but that doesn't make atheism or theism by themselves religions.

And learn how to link. Or least remove the spaces from the link strings you paste in. It's easy. It really is. Just put [open bracket]url=link address[close bracket]Link Text[open bracket]/url[close bracket]

Like so: Debate in religion leading to a net positive?


thejeff wrote:

Atheism isn't a religion anymore than theism is a religion.

Some religions, possibly including Shintoism, may be atheist, while most are theist, but that doesn't make atheism or theism by themselves religions.

And learn how to link. Or least remove the spaces from the link strings you paste in. It's easy. It really is. Just put [open bracket]url=link address[close bracket]Link Text[open bracket]/url[close bracket]

Like so: Debate in religion leading to a net positive?

I thought BNW was claiming that what makes atheism not a religion is that it doesn't have a belief in God. IF that's not what he meant, then I don't know why he used the bald metaphor.

Its easy enough to cut and paste a URL from a web page back into the address box of the browser.


It's much easier to just click it. If you want the people talking to you to read the links, help them out. It's friendly.

It also make it easier to notice if you've messed the link up. Like by putting a space in the middle of it.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
There are plenty of religions that don't believe in God. I doubt you'd argue that Shintoism isn't a religion despite the fact that, like your brand of atheism, it has no God. Yet, somehow, magically, you want us to think of Shintoism as a religion, but not your own atheism? Why?

Let me be clear, to start. The definition of religion that you keep touting as THE definition that every educated person adheres to sucks. The way you interpret it would make "i am sitting in a chair", "evolution", and " Antarctica exists" religions.

I prefer and use a dictionary definition.

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.-wiki

Atheism does not meet that definition because

-Atheism only has one part at most (there is no god) It cannot be a system or a belief system.

-Atheism does not have enough far reaching implications to be a world view. "There is no God or gods" ... ok, NOW what? It doesn't lead anywhere.

-There are no narratives symbols, sacred histories or traditions.

-Atheism does not itself explain the origin of life or the universe.

-Atheism does not provide ethics, morality, or lifestyle.

-Atheism does not connect one to a spiritual being. While there's technically nothing in the definition of being an atheist that would preclude one from dealing with ghosts or spirits, such dealings are rules are not inherent to atheism itself.

There's nothing magical about it. Shinto has no God but it has thousands of spirits, some of which qualify as gods. These spirits interact with humanity, and have certain rules for how people should act towards them. Shinto is a religion because it prescribes certain rules and actions, like getting a priest to bless your new house or regular purification.

Quote:
Debate in religion leading to a net positive?

That really, really didn't make your point. I have no idea why you think it did. Yes, there was debate. I'm unsure why you think that said debate is why slaves weren't very fond of slavery as opposed to their own first hand experience with the level of misery that being a slave brought.

I'm also unsure why the paper thought that teaching the slaves Christianity was inimical to slavery. Many slave manuals of the period recommended it.


Sebastian wrote:
Mykull wrote:

My religion requires one assumption: God exists.

Even if that assumption is given, how does one go from "God exists" to "the Bible accurately describes the God that exists"?

Also, I'm not sure that having one assumption be "magic makes things work!" is really what Occam's Razor is about. Every event ever can be "explained" with that assumption.

Why do books fall when I drop them?

God.

Why can't I see in the dark?

God.

Why don't people regrow lost limbs?

God.

Pretty useless explanation for the physical world.

I was looking for rules on how to regrow lost limbs and came upon this awesome thread. So aside from God is there a Pathfinder game mechanic for regrowing lost limbs?


That is an excellent avatar, Humphrey.

I can't help with your question, though.

Shadow Lodge

Regenerate


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Regenerate

Doesn't that fail to meet the "aside from God" criteria? :)


You can get it cast by a druid, you nasty, nasty troll.

[Flamewar on]


Witches can cast Regenerate too.


Lux in Arcana


Are there any Hindus on the board? I have not done much research on Hinduism and what little I have done has only confused me. I have at least two co-workers who are Hindu, but we have not had many opportunities for lengthy discussions. One we did have was rather enlightening. She said that she believed the many gods of Hinduism were simply the many aspects of the cosmos. Therefore, in her interpretation at least, Hinduism is not really polytheism.

I am very curious if this belief is held by many/most Hindus. Since the Christian vs. Atheists posting has seemed to quiet down a bit for now, I would love to discuss Hinduism with real, live Hindus providing they are willing. Also, run on sentences: fun and profit or the Devil's work?


CourtFool wrote:
fun and profit or the Devil's work?

are the two mutually exclusive?


Point. Get JP Morgan on the line.


Play's cancellation 'right thing to do,' Dewhurst says

I was not aware of this when it went down, back in March 2010. Was this a matter of Free Speech or does the State have a right to tell universities what they can and can not do with State funds? If they do have that right, should they use it in this manner?

I am rather conflicted. Something tells me Dewhurst would not have made a peep if the play had mocked Islam, Judaism or any other religion for that matter. So I can not help but think this smells a bit of suppression.


CourtFool wrote:
Are there any Hindus on the board? I have not done much research on Hinduism and what little I have done has only confused me. I have at least two co-workers who are Hindu, but we have not had many opportunities for lengthy discussions. One we did have was rather enlightening. She said that she believed the many gods of Hinduism were simply the many aspects of the cosmos. Therefore, in her interpretation at least, Hinduism is not really polytheism.

I am not a Hindu, but since no one else has replied:

My understanding of Hinduism is that it is a wide body of belief and that, between its billion practitioners, there are many, many conflicting interpretations.

Kind of like how ancient Greek religion just adopted new deities from wherever and added them into the pantheon and never bothered about continuity or regularity from city-state to city-state. I don't have any concrete examples from Hinduism, but I believe, for example, that Ganesh and Kali were regional deities that got thrown into the mix. Add to that all of the other religions and combo religions that have passed through the Indian subcontinent over the past thousand or so years, throw in some modern philosophizing, and you get a great big bag of undifferentiated mush all collectively referred to as Hinduism.

That probably doesn't help, but it's what I've got.


CourtFool wrote:
Are there any Hindus on the board? I have not done much research on Hinduism and what little I have done has only confused me. I have at least two co-workers who are Hindu, but we have not had many opportunities for lengthy discussions. One we did have was rather enlightening. She said that she believed the many gods of Hinduism were simply the many aspects of the cosmos. Therefore, in her interpretation at least, Hinduism is not really polytheism.

I am not Hindu, and my knowledge of Hinduism is pretty much solely historical and anthropological. To my understanding, what we call Hinduism is actually a large number of different religious traditions, which can be polytheistic, henotheistic, monotheistic (worshiping any one of a number of gods as the supreme being), or even atheistic depending on the tradition.

I know that there are Hindus who worship Vishnu as the supreme being, some who say that Shiva is the supreme being, other who worship Shakti and yet another sect who says that all the gods are actually avatars of Brahman.

So, it is not a single religion in the way that we might expect from a western perspective. What they have in common is that they are ultimately descended from the Vedic religion of the late Bronze-Age.


Catholic here, but with a good Hindu friend.

From what he has explained me, Hinduism is mostly a Western confusion, a sort of "catch-all" group in which the myriad religions, philosophies, and mystical tradition of the Indian subcontinent get thrown together.

Apparently, the reason for said term was that many of these religions have common elements, and thus westerners mistakenly identified them as different aspects of the same unique religion, while in truth several of them are even more distant in theological terms than Catholicism is from Islam (as Saint Caleth mentions, there are even Atheistic religions within Hinduism).

He also explained to me that, unlike what happened with Christianity, that had a main trunk from which various branches began splitting out across the centuries, many Hindu religions broke off and mingled together in several occasions, sometimes creating isolated units that then developed independently (such as Buddhism), others resulting in heavily sincretic forms of worship, which is one of the reasons why there are so many iterations of both theological and cultural elements between them (unlike most Christian denominations, which seem to narrow into specific points rather than mix elements from other branches).

They are also keen in introducing elements from other religions. My friend's family, for instance, kept a Bible at home because they had for generations valued some of the lessons, and his grandmother (who lived in India and I met when my friend's brother got married; the whole ceremoly lasted several days) always crossed herself when walking in front of a church as a sign of respect.


I was reading Melmoth the Wanderer today, a gothic horror novel by some Anglican vicar living in Ulster written in the early 19th century (or something) and it had this passage about India and its religions that was so crazy I had to look stuff up:

Juggernaut

It was basically the fourth paragraph times a million.

In reality, it turns out: Jagannath, which, I guess, you could have found on your own.

It also mentioned another crazy cult of someone called Maha-Deva, but I haven't run that one down yet.

Also, as far as I can tell, I was wrong about Ganesh and Kali.


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
From what he has explained me, Hinduism is mostly a Western confusion, a sort of "catch-all" group in which the myriad religions, philosophies, and mystical tradition of the Indian subcontinent get thrown together.

It is shocking how much of what we "know" about Eastern Religion and Philosophy is a result of western misunderstanding.


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It is shocking how much of what we "know" about anything is a result of our misunderstanding.

:)


Pianist Fazil Say in legal trouble for comments about Islam.


jocundthejolly wrote:

Pianist Fazil Say in legal trouble for comments about Islam.

Insanity.


Turkey always has crazy shiznit going on with artists and secularists being threatened with death by Islamic clerical fascists every couple of years. (The Gray Wolves?) Never mind what happens to the Kurds.

We don't hear much about it because Turkey has been such a stable pillar in the US imperial system that they pretty get a free pass to do what they like.

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