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Old 18th March 2022, 03:18 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
It wouldn't be me you have to worry about.

Besides that, though, I don't really care. We have probably already talked about the non-Realists of Christianity who essentially say the same about Jesus and the Bible yet call themselves Christians. I am fine with them doing so.

In fact, I would be careful about declaring whether or not, say, Sunnis or Shi'ites are the real Muslims, and whether or not Ishmaelis or Bosniacks are apostates.

Well I am not. As I detailed to Darat above, we must have some definition describing an entity, if we are to discuss it.
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Old 20th March 2022, 02:38 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Unsurprisingly, this thread is based what amounts to a strawman. You can find some christians that basically believe it doesn't matter what you do as long as you really accept Jesus. Its pretty rare though.

For the most part, most Christians believe that you can be forgiven as long as you truly repent. Which is a bit more nuanced and valuable than the op suggests.
Ahh yes.. Rape and murder victims can be reunited with their attackers in heaven if the perpetrator really accepts Jesus..

I hear this accepting Jesus thing happens a lot in prison..

Not to mention that the victim ends up in hell if they don't accept Jesus..
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Old 20th March 2022, 04:04 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Ahh yes.. Rape and murder victims can be reunited with their attackers in heaven if the perpetrator really accepts Jesus..

I hear this accepting Jesus thing happens a lot in prison..

Not to mention that the victim ends up in hell if they don't accept Jesus..

On death row in particular I have read.

The idea that you can find salvation through grace alone is not uncommon from my experience of talking to Christians. Also I have seen those cars with the fishy stickers saying "Not perfect, just saved" on the back.
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Old 20th March 2022, 08:44 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
In the end if someone says they are a Muslim or a Christian then that is what they are.
Over at the Skeptics Guide forums there's an occasional poster who goes by the name Gnostic Christian Bishop. Nobody is sure why though because as far as anyone has been able to tell he's not Gnostic, not Christian, and not a Bishop.
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Old 10th April 2022, 03:42 PM   #85
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It has been an observation of mine, that folk who are guilty of doing wrong by someone else, ease their guilt by finding fault with the person they have wronged.

A Christian can automatically find fault with a disbeliever, for that reason alone. I believe I have observed this on more than one occasion.
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Old 11th April 2022, 06:24 AM   #86
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Being a good person for the sake of others is the truest form of morality. To do good things to get to "heaven"? Not so much.
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Old 11th April 2022, 07:10 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It has been an observation of mine, that folk who are guilty of doing wrong by someone else, ease their guilt by finding fault with the person they have wronged.

A Christian can automatically find fault with a disbeliever, for that reason alone. I believe I have observed this on more than one occasion.
It goes even wider than that - we say there are over 2 billion Christians, yet many of those 2 billion+ Christians believe that many of those 2 billion+ Christians are heretics!

Religion has historically always been one of the ways humans create "us" and "them" groups.
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Old 11th April 2022, 07:15 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
No I do not agree.

Sure you can have a variety of different sects, but there must be some common marker, that defines you as being defined as Muslim or Christian.

A Muslim must believe that Mohamad was the true prophet, and Christians must believe that Jesus was the son of God, and died on the cross.

If we don't have definitions then dialogue about anything becomes meaningless.
But that is simply your view.

We have in the UK had Bishops of the official state religion saying that Zaphod's Jesus's just this guy, you know? see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/393479.stm They labelled themselves Christians.

In the end we can only go from what people say they are, no matter how obviously silly their self-labelling is.
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Old 11th April 2022, 07:38 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by skepticsalamander View Post
Being a good person for the sake of others is the truest form of morality. To do good things to get to "heaven"? Not so much.

A truth so obvious to the unfaithful, but lost on the faithful. Being "God Fearing" equates to being good for them. Abraham was let off the hook when he demonstrated his fear of God.

When I challenged my born again nephew about this, he just said he thought Abraham was a great guy. He even named his son after him.
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Old 11th April 2022, 07:40 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But that is simply your view.

We have in the UK had Bishops of the official state religion saying that Zaphod's Jesus's just this guy, you know? see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/393479.stm They labelled themselves Christians.

In the end we can only go from what people say they are, no matter how obviously silly their self-labelling is.

Then we differ. If you are to discuss anything, you must first agree on a definition of what you are discussing.
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Old 12th April 2022, 01:35 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Then we differ. If you are to discuss anything, you must first agree on a definition of what you are discussing.
But we have a definition, the definition of "christian" is straightforward - "Someone who states they are a christian".

Now if someone states they are a Roman Catholic christian then we know much more about their beliefs.
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Old 19th April 2022, 02:42 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by skepticsalamander View Post
Being a good person for the sake of others is the truest form of morality. To do good things to get to "heaven"? Not so much.
Make that "Being a good person is the truest form of morality." .
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Old 19th April 2022, 04:23 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But we have a definition, the definition of "christian" is straightforward - "Someone who states they are a christian".

Now if someone states they are a Roman Catholic christian then we know much more about their beliefs.

Staying true to your definition approach, I could say I am a Roman Catholic Christian but don't recognise the Pope, and you would be cool with that.
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Old 19th April 2022, 06:13 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Staying true to your definition approach, I could say I am a Roman Catholic Christian but don't recognise the Pope, and you would be cool with that.
Categories are social constructs that take meaning from their use. There is no meaning beyond that. Whether that is a good definition depends on the work you want to do with the phrase Roman Catholic Christian. If you are looking to purge heretics you may not like it but if you want to understand something of demographics its fine.
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Old 20th April 2022, 07:12 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Staying true to your definition approach, I could say I am a Roman Catholic Christian but don't recognise the Pope, and you would be cool with that.
I would be and it is hardly unusual to hear that people don't agree with all the doctrine of the RCC but still consider themselves a RC, look at contraceptive usage in Italy, Spain and Ireland.

But that aside your scenario is different to what I was saying. It is different because there is a body that defines what it means to be a Roman Catholic but there is no such body for what it means to be a Christian.
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Old 20th April 2022, 01:32 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Categories are social constructs that take meaning from their use. There is no meaning beyond that. Whether that is a good definition depends on the work you want to do with the phrase Roman Catholic Christian. If you are looking to purge heretics you may not like it but if you want to understand something of demographics its fine.

In case you missed it, my disagreement with Darat is that you must have a definition, that is agree to by all parties, before you can have a meaningful discussion about anything.

How can you possibly discuss the effects of Christianity, if you cannot start off with a definition of what Christianity is?
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Old 20th April 2022, 02:43 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
How can you possibly discuss the effects of Christianity, if you cannot start off with a definition of what Christianity is?
For most, one's definition would emerge in the course of the discussion.

For me, a Christian is someone who says they are a Christian.

It's pretty easy to observe and discuss the historical effects of people who called themselves Christians.
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Old 20th April 2022, 03:23 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post

But that aside your scenario is different to what I was saying. It is different because there is a body that defines what it means to be a Roman Catholic but there is no such body for what it means to be a Christian.
I'm not sure I agree with that. The Bible and particularly the New Testament makes for a reasonably good basis for defining what makes a Christian.

Some disagree with it in places more simply ignore vast swaths of it and most of it is historically inaccurate but that doesn't mean it's not there. As a basis for teaching morality most of what you need is in there, but there are ways to spin it to create a very bad moral structure as well. IMO it's neither the Bible nor Christianity that are the real problem.
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Old 23rd April 2022, 05:21 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I'm not sure I agree with that. The Bible and particularly the New Testament makes for a reasonably good basis for defining what makes a Christian.

Some disagree with it in places more simply ignore vast swaths of it and most of it is historically inaccurate but that doesn't mean it's not there. As a basis for teaching morality most of what you need is in there, but there are ways to spin it to create a very bad moral structure as well. IMO it's neither the Bible nor Christianity that are the real problem.

Not too much to disagree with here, although I do stick to my hypothesis, that belief in attaining forgiveness forgiveness from God, by grace alone, because Christ took it on himself, is a toxic idea.
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Old 23rd April 2022, 05:37 PM   #100
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Just to expand on what said before I think the effect of Christianity - and some other religions as well - on a good, and perhaps moral outcome, is negative.

If your belief is that a god is up there and in charge - hands on the wheel so to speak - then a tendency to ignore ones own obligation to take action, is compromised. I have observed this attitude first hand, on several occasions, among Christians I have mingled with.

Our infamous Cardinal Pell was known for his negative attitude toward mans involvement, in trying to address the problem of Global Warming. To quote from a speech he made in 2006:

"In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions."
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Old 24th April 2022, 08:37 AM   #101
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I find myself to be more ethical than the Red Letter Edition Jesus Christ. I think that applies to a lot of us here.

I suppose it's in part the "New Morality," that doesn't want his theocracy, religious supremacy, and while saying God is impartial, granting the rains to the fields of the just and unjust, promising to gather up the "unjust" as goats and burning them to ashes.

He spares the life of the "woman taken in adultery, but would send her back to servitude to her husband (or make sure she got one to rule over her).

He's called "The Prince of Peace," but that's after he's retuned with a huge army to obliterate the Romans.

And he's a guru. I have no quarter in my life for gurus.
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Old 24th April 2022, 10:22 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
A truth so obvious to the unfaithful, but lost on the faithful. Being "God Fearing" equates to being good for them. Abraham was let off the hook when he demonstrated his fear of God.

When I challenged my born again nephew about this, he just said he thought Abraham was a great guy. He even named his son after him.
I think for the story to make sense you have to presuppose that there was in fact an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God telling him to sacrifice his son. Such a God is perfectly capable of making all right in heaven, or indeed on Earth. You can obviously change the story so that there isn't an all powerful God and it's just a mentally ill man murdering his son, but that is a different story. I don't understand what your challenge is to your born again nephew.
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Old 24th April 2022, 11:01 AM   #103
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I'm pretty sure we can still define broad categories that
A. do exhibit the problem being talked about, and
B. comprise the vast majority of Christians.

E.g., if far as I can tell, we can still talk about Nicene Christians, which includes RCC, Orthodox and every protestant denomination I can think of off the top of my head.

I mean, yes, there are minorities like the new gnostics or the MJ Christians that may or may not be different in that aspect, but then I think we can mention that those exist too, if anyone cares, and move on. Getting stuck on only discussing stuff that applies to ALL Christians is IMHO exactly like being unable to discuss how birds fly, because someone keeps objecting that yeah, but penguins and ostriches and kiwis are birds too.
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Old 24th April 2022, 12:27 PM   #104
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The toxic principle of the Abrahamic religions is that Paradise was something that existed long ago, and that things are going to get worse and worse until Judgement Day.
Christianity as written in the Bible is just a death cult.
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Old 24th April 2022, 02:37 PM   #105
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Well, that's not just an Abrahamic thing, though. The conservative kind of thinking it was all milk and honey until these young 'uns came and ruined everything, is as old as writing.

I mean, guess which novel I'm talking about: first novel in its historical fiction genre, describing visited places in the form of a travelogue, and idealizing a past from before the author's time. If anyone was guessing Lord Of The Rings, *bzzzt* I'm actually talking about the Voyage Of Wenamun, late 2nd millennium BCE

Or better known there's the Greek idea of the ages of Man originating with Hesiod, starting with a Golden Age where humans lived like gods and nobody had to work, and circles the drain through Silver, Bronze, Hero Ages and to the Iron age. You can guess in which he thought he lived.

And if you thought that was as low as it gets, he thought it's gonna get worse and fast. He also penned one of the first complaints about all that's wrong with the younger generation, and how he sees no future for Greece if THOSE are the people it's left to.

Note that when he's writing that, Greece just exited one of the darkest ages in recorded history (or rather lack thereof), and was just finally recovering from the earlier complete society collapse. And is centuries before the democracy of Solon, before Socrates, before the golden age of Pericles, etc. But nope, he's seeing going down the crapper instead.

So, yeah, no, it's not something the Jews invented.
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Old 24th April 2022, 03:53 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
I think for the story to make sense you have to presuppose that there was in fact an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God telling him to sacrifice his son. Such a God is perfectly capable of making all right in heaven, or indeed on Earth. You can obviously change the story so that there isn't an all powerful God and it's just a mentally ill man murdering his son, but that is a different story. I don't understand what your challenge is to your born again nephew.

1. The fact that the measure of a mans goodness or worthiness was the depth of his fear of God.

2. The fact that Abraham put his own self interest - being afraid of God - over that of his sons well being.
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Old 24th April 2022, 04:46 PM   #107
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The major problem with utopian thinking is the lack of consensus on what constitutes a utopia.

ETA: This is probably not an original thought, but I am full of wine and therefore waxing philosophical.

ETA2: 'a utopia' or 'an utopia'? I don't know. It probably doesn't matter.
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Old 24th April 2022, 07:43 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, that's not just an Abrahamic thing, though. The conservative kind of thinking it was all milk and honey until these young 'uns came and ruined everything, is as old as writing.

I mean, guess which novel I'm talking about: first novel in its historical fiction genre, describing visited places in the form of a travelogue, and idealizing a past from before the author's time. If anyone was guessing Lord Of The Rings, *bzzzt* I'm actually talking about the Voyage Of Wenamun, late 2nd millennium BCE

Or better known there's the Greek idea of the ages of Man originating with Hesiod, starting with a Golden Age where humans lived like gods and nobody had to work, and circles the drain through Silver, Bronze, Hero Ages and to the Iron age. You can guess in which he thought he lived.

And if you thought that was as low as it gets, he thought it's gonna get worse and fast. He also penned one of the first complaints about all that's wrong with the younger generation, and how he sees no future for Greece if THOSE are the people it's left to.

Note that when he's writing that, Greece just exited one of the darkest ages in recorded history (or rather lack thereof), and was just finally recovering from the earlier complete society collapse. And is centuries before the democracy of Solon, before Socrates, before the golden age of Pericles, etc. But nope, he's seeing going down the crapper instead.

So, yeah, no, it's not something the Jews invented.

granted.

but The Book codified it. And it's Christians and Muslims who regularly through the centuries proclaimed that "the end is nigh" and acted according to that belief. This not something you see with regularity in other religions, as least as far as I know.
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Old 25th April 2022, 02:33 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
1. The fact that the measure of a mans goodness or worthiness was the depth of his fear of God.
Trust/faith in God. I doubt your nephew sees the story as being simply about the fear and domination of a tyrant God.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
2. The fact that Abraham put his own self interest - being afraid of God - over that of his sons well being.
Again, you are changing the story and then pointing to the immorality of your changed version of the story. I'm not surprised your born again nephew wasn't convinced.
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Old 25th April 2022, 02:40 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Note that when he's writing that, Greece just exited one of the darkest ages in recorded history (or rather lack thereof), and was just finally recovering from the earlier complete society collapse. And is centuries before the democracy of Solon, before Socrates, before the golden age of Pericles, etc. But nope, he's seeing going down the crapper instead.
These civilizations were aristocratic societies whose economy depended on slavery and only the aristocracy could vote. For whom was it an advance on what had gone before? For most people in that period the gradual process of civilisation was a loss of power and freedom combined with a life of toil. Cities became necessary to concentrate power in order to resist the power of other cities.

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Old 25th April 2022, 04:45 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
These civilizations were aristocratic societies whose economy depended on slavery and only the aristocracy could vote. For whom was it an advance on what had gone before? For most people in that period the gradual process of civilisation was a loss of power and freedom combined with a life of toil. Cities became necessary to concentrate power in order to resist the power of other cities.
As I was saying, they were just exiting the mother of dark ages, some centuries after a complete society collapse. And I mean to the extent that the previous civilization was now literally extinct. Or at the very least, that's what Hesiod believed, because those previous guys are his extinct humans of the Age Of Heroes. I mean, as in, he thought they were actually a different species of human. THAT extinct.

For a literate free guy (and probably slave owner) like Hesiod, yeah, it was on the way up.

More importantly, your considerations there are not Hesiod's. He's not complaining about slavery or loss of freedom or anything. His complaint as to why that he sees no future for Greece is NOT about what you wrote there. It has nothing to do with the rise of plutocracy or slavery or whatever. He's literally just whining that youth these days are frivolous, reckless and impatient, and disrespect their elders too... unlike how he was educated back in his day.

(Plus, if anything, he thinks his current Iron Age humans are not warlike enough for his taste, since those from the Age Of Heroes and previous Bronze Age were better, and those were seriously more warlike.)

Basically you could drop him into a modern day GOP rally, and he'd feel right at home


TL;DR version: it's just how people get this kind of idea of a decline ever since day one. He's an ornery old fart who thinks everything is going wrong because of kids these days. And then that kind of people might (or might not) notice that his grandpa back in the day also said things were oh so much better in his day. And his grand-grandpa before that. So obviously it must have been a steep decline for a very long time
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:51 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
More importantly, your considerations there are not Hesiod's. He's not complaining about slavery or loss of freedom or anything. His complaint as to why that he sees no future for Greece is NOT about what you wrote there. It has nothing to do with the rise of plutocracy or slavery or whatever. He's literally just whining that youth these days are frivolous, reckless and impatient, and disrespect their elders too... unlike how he was educated back in his day.
OK. There are at least two perspectives on this. I took all of your talk about democracy and Solon and all the rest of it that happened after Hesiod's time to be some sort of claim that there had in fact been progress that had improved the world from a modern perspective. That was what I was commenting on.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
(Plus, if anything, he thinks his current Iron Age humans are not warlike enough for his taste, since those from the Age Of Heroes and previous Bronze Age were better, and those were seriously more warlike.)
Sure. Civilization pacifies and constrains men. It's a blessing and a curse.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Basically you could drop him into a modern day GOP rally, and he'd feel right at home
I suspect he'd think they were weak lady men for not taking their weapons and either seizing power or dying in the attempt.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
TL;DR version: it's just how people get this kind of idea of a decline ever since day one. He's an ornery old fart who thinks everything is going wrong because of kids these days. And then that kind of people might (or might not) notice that his grandpa back in the day also said things were oh so much better in his day. And his grand-grandpa before that. So obviously it must have been a steep decline for a very long time
There are aspects of the world that have been in decline since day 1. Sure we have electric vehicles and free porn and lots of food now, but there was a certain type of freedom to by had that civilisation destroys.
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Old 25th April 2022, 07:37 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
OK. There are at least two perspectives on this. I took all of your talk about democracy and Solon and all the rest of it that happened after Hesiod's time to be some sort of claim that there had in fact been progress that had improved the world from a modern perspective. That was what I was commenting on.
Depends on the perspective I suppose. I was only commenting on his not seeing any future for Greece. In fact, what would follow were the best days of Greece (at the very least as culture, power and influence go.)
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Old 25th April 2022, 10:41 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Depends on the perspective I suppose. I was only commenting on his not seeing any future for Greece. In fact, what would follow were the best days of Greece (at the very least as culture, power and influence go.)
Have you read The Ancient City by Coulanges? It's kind of the counter argument to this. The Athens of Socrates was Greek civilisation in decay. Our heroes are people who no longer believed in the culture, religion or traditions.... and pretty soon they were swept away.
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Old 25th April 2022, 02:34 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Trust/faith in God. I doubt your nephew sees the story as being simply about the fear and domination of a tyrant God.
Such remarkable insight into what my nephew sees!


Quote:
Again, you are changing the story and then pointing to the immorality of your changed version of the story. I'm not surprised your born again nephew wasn't convinced.
How am I changing the story? Have you read the scripture?
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Old 25th April 2022, 09:02 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
How am I changing the story? Have you read the scripture?
Abraham didn't almost kill his son because of self-interest. The scripture doesn't say anything about why Abraham tried to obey God's instruction to kill his son, only that he did (Genesis chapter 22 if anyone's looking for it). The story is about blind obedience to authority, nothing to do with fear, or self-interest, or the wellbeing of his son. God said do this, and Abraham did it. That's all.

The crappiest part of this story, IMO, is that it's a ******** test by God to see whether Abraham would blindly obey or not. He did, so God rewarded him. Abraham may have had faith in God, but this test illustrates that God did not have faith in Abraham, and needed to make sure that Abraham was fully on board.
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Old 25th April 2022, 09:15 PM   #117
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The story of Moses and the Pharo must rank in the top 5 of all ****** bible stories: God literally took away the Pharo's Free Will to make sure he would not give in to Moses.
So god punished Pharo for not doing something he himself prevent him from doing, thus giving himself the pretext to kill all Egyptian firstborns.
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Old 25th April 2022, 09:23 PM   #118
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To be fair, Pharaoh is a pretty tricky word to get right on the first try. Or the third.
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Old 25th April 2022, 11:59 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
…SNIP..
There are aspects of the world that have been in decline since day 1. Sure we have electric vehicles and free porn and lots of food now, but there was a certain type of freedom to by had that civilisation destroys.
When on earth - and I mean that literally - was this “day 1”?
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Old 26th April 2022, 12:04 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Abraham didn't almost kill his son because of self-interest. The scripture doesn't say anything about why Abraham tried to obey God's instruction to kill his son, only that he did (Genesis chapter 22 if anyone's looking for it). The story is about blind obedience to authority, nothing to do with fear, or self-interest, or the wellbeing of his son. God said do this, and Abraham did it. That's all.

The crappiest part of this story, IMO, is that it's a ******** test by God to see whether Abraham would blindly obey or not. He did, so God rewarded him. Abraham may have had faith in God, but this test illustrates that God did not have faith in Abraham, and needed to make sure that Abraham was fully on board.
You mean apart from when the angel tells Abraham that now god knows Abraham fears him?

22:12
“…. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, …”

Seems pretty much about fear.
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