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Old 23rd June 2017, 06:51 PM   #161
Zivan
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Well c'mon. They are fairy tales. Actually fan fiction. They all make it up as they go. The Trinity is actually easy to understand when you come to the realization that it doesn’t have to make sense. God is also three and all three is one. See? It's easy.
Ah! The scales have fallen from my eyes! And now I understand and see the light!

Just in time too! I owe ₪300 so now I can just pay back ₪100 and it is all okay!
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Old 23rd June 2017, 06:55 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
I am one of the jewish atheists, and yes, still celebrate the holidays because it is tradition and part of my ethnic identity.

But I do like to study ancient near east history and archaeology because I think it is interesting how the beliefs formed. (Plus, digging in the ground is fun).

But, KNOWING how the beliefs formed, and that the information is available to EVERYONE, makes me completely unable to understand how anyone still believes in god(s)!!!!!
That is the one thing I really love about living in this era. Pretty much any question can be answered in seconds. It's hard for people to use knowledge to suggest I don't understand. Not that I become an instant expert after an hour searching the net just that I'm not longer baffled by bs.

BTW, I'm a Christian atheist and I still do Christmas. Still say Merry Christmas So I get it. I've done Shabbat dinners with Jewish friends. I like a lot of the tradition. It's both cool and bs at the same time. Does that make sense?
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Old 23rd June 2017, 06:56 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Ah! The scales have fallen from my eyes! And now I understand and see the light!

Just in time too! I owe ₪300 so now I can just pay back ₪100 and it is all okay!
Jesus covered the bill.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 06:58 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I think it's wider than religion. I think that every evidence-based, reality-based philosophy or discipline becomes clearer with time and knowledge. In contrast, counter-factual ideologies by their very nature become more complex because they keep having to dodge the contradictions they get between reality and theory.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 07:11 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
BTW, I'm a Christian atheist and I still do Christmas. Still say Merry Christmas So I get it. I've done Shabbat dinners with Jewish friends. I like a lot of the tradition. It's both cool and bs at the same time. Does that make sense?
Sure, it makes sense. The Middle East is very traditional and big on ceremony and ritual. That is why protestant christianity never caught on with M.E. christians. It is too boring and not "real", i.e., non of the glitz and glitter.

Same reason reform and conservative judaism never caught on among israeli jews. Most israeli jews are secular, but when it comes to holidays and life cycle events we want tradition, not the "watered down" version.

I always go to nazereth during christmas time because it is beautifully decorated and loads of people out, very festive and fun.

Last edited by Zivan; 23rd June 2017 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 08:25 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
This fall happens in Genesis.
After I gave up Christianity, I stopped thinking of it as a "fall", and instead see it as a "rise". It's spun as a tale of disobedience to God, but that isn't really in the story so much.

Prior to eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, man was like all the other animals. He hung out, ate, and ran around naked, and didn't care. Like my cat, he didn't worry much about good or evil, or planning, or anything except the pleasure of the moment.

But along comes the Serpent, who is only called the Serpent, not the Devil, not Satan, none of those things, and he tells them that they will be like gods if only they eat of that tree, and they do, and it works. Really. Now it works. They aren't like animals anymore. They know that they are naked, and they feel a bit awkward about it and want to cover up. They don't have as much fun as they had. They can't do anything they darned well feel like, because now they have consciences; they have the knowledge of good and evil. Before that, only God had that. (And angels? I suppose so.)

So God didn't like this development, which is exactly what the Serpent said would happen. Now that they had the knowledge of Good and Evil, God wasn't going to let them just hang out in the garden having a good time. Now they were expected to work for a living.

They were much more enlightened than before, but it didn't work out all that well for them.

It's another case where what the Bible says, and what we are told it says, because we rarely go beyond "Bible stories for children", are two different things.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 09:25 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
KNOWING how the beliefs formed, and that the information is available to EVERYONE, makes me completely unable to understand how anyone still believes in god(s)!!!!!
It's available, but you need to go looking for it, which means you also need to already have some idea that it's out there to find. Most people simply aren't told anything that would even make them think there's anything out there to find beyond what their churches tell them.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 09:51 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I deny it.
Me, too. Except in the most metaphorical sense, in which case, it is just about meaningless.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 09:56 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
...We don't have a clue who wrote them or the validity of a single Glenn story.,,,,,
What does that word mean in the context of this thread?
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Old 23rd June 2017, 09:58 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
It's available, but you need to go looking for it, which means you also need to already have some idea that it's out there to find. Most people simply aren't told anything that would even make them think there's anything out there to find beyond what their churches tell them.
That is true and it is unfortunate.

I met an american fundamental/evangelical protestant christian online on a hebrew forum. She had learned hebrew so she could "read the old testament in the original language".

She discovered that there were no "fulfilled prophecies in the "NT", that they were all made up and/or mistranslations of the hebrew. It completely shattered her faith in christianity. But she still believed in god, just not the god of the "NT". Her entire life was religion and she could not imagine a life without it.

So she told us she wanted to convert to judaism. We all told her that was not necessary. She left the forum then came back about a year later.

She said she had "applied the same scrutiny" to the "OT" that she had done with the "NT" and learned the truth about how the "OT" had come about. She became an atheist, and had no interest in religion at all. She is happy with that new freedom.

You are right that most religious people never even think to question their beliefs. They need to start asking questions before they begin to find the reality. Unfortunately too many people just "accept what they are told", and never try to look for information.

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Old 23rd June 2017, 10:01 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
I think the "celestial competitive race going on" was because the priests/scribes who put the tanakh together did not edit very well.
Well, how well did you edit *you* gospels when all you had was a Tandy with 8K of memory and a cassette drive for storage?

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Old 23rd June 2017, 10:10 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
What does that word mean in the context of this thread?
Nothing. I need to proofread my posts more carefully. That is autocorrect at work. Sorry.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 10:19 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They know this is all bs. They just don't want to look at it too closely.
In this context, I think those two sentences are at odds with one another. I really don't think they know the fairy tales in the Bible are bs for the very reason stated by your second sentence. It's too easy to just believe and not sweat the details.

I think most Christians really do believe most of the stories most of the time. For a significant chunk of them you can replace "some" with "all". As you yourself have noted - and I heartily agree - most have not read their Bible. It's a lot of work with all the begates, sayeths, etc. And, anyway, they can just feel god in their heart; all that reasoning, logic and other mumble-jumble is for the pointy-headed atheists.

ETA: Good discussion.

Last edited by SezMe; 23rd June 2017 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 10:35 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And not even cool gods like we used to have.
That is because they left the cool stuff out of the tanakh ("OT")


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Boring, all-powerful gods who don't cheat on their wives,
Well, YHVH was not exactly all-powerful. He could not do a damn think when faced with iron chariots. Some god! Even Wonder Woman could take on iron chariots!

And YHVH apparently could not stay with one wife. He dumped his wife/consort, the goddess Asherah, (8th cent bce inscription) and later took up with the goddess Anat (5th cent bce papyri).

None of that was written into the tanakh ("OT"). But, thanks to archaeology we know about it......

Oh, and the cherubim went through some rather "interesting" morphing. "Interesting" enough that some ancients were too embarrassed to write about what the cherubim were up to. But others wrote about. (see 'The Hebrew Goddess' by Raphael Patai).

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
make demigod babies,
......Speaking of adultery, in the "NT" we learn that YHVH (actually 1/3 of him) impregnated a married teenager (was he still with Anat then? Or had he dumped her as well?) in any case, Mary was married so it was still adultery. Then Mary gave birth to a different 1/3 of YHVH (the details get a bit fuzzy here with the 3 gods=1 god bit). So this other 1/3 of YHVH was half human so he was a demi-god baby.

I am not totally clear on the maths here. 1/3 + 1/2 = uh, 1/2 of 1/3. Or something.......

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
strike you down at a whim or send heroes on marketable adventures.
Oh there is plenty of smiting!

And spending three days riding around in a big fish sounds somewhat adventurous. Or cruising around in a floating zoo....

Last edited by Zivan; 23rd June 2017 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 11:04 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
In this context, I think those two sentences are at odds with one another. I really don't think they know the fairy tales in the Bible are bs for the very reason stated by your second sentence. It's too easy to just believe and not sweat the details.

I think most Christians really do believe most of the stories most of the time. For a significant chunk of them you can replace "some" with "all". As you yourself have noted - and I heartily agree - most have not read their Bible. It's a lot of work with all the begates, sayeths, etc. And, anyway, they can just feel god in their heart; all that reasoning, logic and other mumble-jumble is for the pointy-headed atheists.

ETA: Good discussion.
Yes, they are at odds with each other. Religions and rationality are the pushme-pullmes of philosophy. People will profess they believe but deep down their brain starts screaming at them, 'yeah, right...sure'. At least mine did for 20 years. You're told that voice is the devil and you don't want to listen to Satan.

I rationalized the stories as metaphors not as the actual truth. You might believe the resurrection story, but I sure as hell didn’t believe the loaves and fishes story or Noah or Jonah or Job or Samson or the Tower of Babel.

I can't speak for other individuals but I know of many other Christians that felt that way. But I also knew many Christians that professed it was the literal truth and they bought it.

I just don't belive that most of those who identify themselves as Christians believe the wilder stories. Most I think are cultural Christians which I know many. My best friend is from a huge Catholic family and they might attend mass every other Christmas. In twenty years I've never even seen a bible in their homes or them reading it.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 11:05 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Well, how well did you edit *you* gospels when all you had was a Tandy with 8K of memory and a cassette drive for storage?

The priests/scribes did not know about the "gospels" because they had not been invented yet.

I did not know what a "Tandy" is until I looked it up.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 11:39 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I rationalized the stories as metaphors not as the actual truth. You might believe the resurrection story, but I sure as hell didn’t believe the loaves and fishes story or Noah or Jonah or Job or Samson or the Tower of Babel.

I can't speak for other individuals but I know of many other Christians that felt that way. But I also knew many Christians that professed it was the literal truth and they bought it.
The only way to overcome the absurd of the Bible is to take it as a symbolic expression of God’s will. This tactics avoid the absurd but opens Pandora’s box because there are not objective rules of symbolic interpretation. An allegory is a conventional construct of men. There are some allegorical rules that are more or less common althoug conventional. But what about God’s symbols? What means the symbolic language of a God? This is an open door to arbitrariness. This is why all the churches require the submission to hierarchical authority. Without that the religion would be freethinking, and this is not the case.

Last edited by David Mo; 23rd June 2017 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 24th June 2017, 12:22 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You do know Islam borrows heavily from Judaism and Christianity...?

Err yes well I did know that.
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Old 24th June 2017, 12:27 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You have a choice. Freewill.

No according to your beliefs I have not. I am not one of your chosen few and arrive at my beliefs through reason.

Now who is to blame for my being driven by reason and not by some pre-installed inclination to believe stuff that defies reason?
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Old 24th June 2017, 12:35 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The only way to overcome the absurd of the Bible is to take it as a symbolic expression of God’s will. This tactics avoid the absurd but opens Pandora’s box because there are not objective rules of symbolic interpretation. An allegory is a conventional construct of men. There are some allegorical rules that are more or less common althoug conventional. But what about God’s symbols? What means the symbolic language of a God? This is an open door to arbitrariness. This is why all the churches require the submission to hierarchical authority. Without that the religion would be freethinking, and this is not the case.
They don't all require submission to a higher authority. In fact when I was a Baptist, the basic tenet was that while the book was the inspired word of God, it was up to each member of the church to interpret scripture through their own eyes and heart. In fact it was this very issue why Jimmy Carter's church is no longer affiliated with the Southern Baptists. Now if you are a Southern Baptist the pastor is the authority on what scripture means.
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Old 24th June 2017, 12:47 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
IIRC during Exodus it's rather clear that the Egyptian priests also have their own gods, since they are able to turn their staves into snakes. Moses' snake is just bigger (subtle!).

So many gods about you are just tripping over them.

Such a disappointment these days that we don't get to see those miracles that were so commonplace back in yesteryear.

Snakes from sticks, turning rivers into blood, parting the seas, walking on water, water into wine, and so on - boy those were the days. Even so, when all this stuff was going on, did we see everyone falling in line and praising the god that showed his stuff with no restraint? No!

Now today we have non of this **** going on but we are expected to believe anyway .......... ?
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Old 24th June 2017, 02:07 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So many gods about you are just tripping over them.

Such a disappointment these days that we don't get to see those miracles that were so commonplace back in yesteryear.

Snakes from sticks, turning rivers into blood, parting the seas, walking on water, water into wine, and so on - boy those were the days. Even so, when all this stuff was going on, did we see everyone falling in line and praising the god that showed his stuff with no restraint? No!
God drained most of the mana in the world trying to get those idiots to the promised land and they still managed to forget where they were before. All he had left for was a lousy sacrifice.
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Old 24th June 2017, 02:43 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They don't all require submission to a higher authority. In fact when I was a Baptist, the basic tenet was that while the book was the inspired word of God, it was up to each member of the church to interpret scripture through their own eyes and heart. In fact it was this very issue why Jimmy Carter's church is no longer affiliated with the Southern Baptists. Now if you are a Southern Baptist the pastor is the authority on what scripture means.
Interesting. I will see something about the Baptist church. I know other Christian sects/churches more radical: doukhobors -they question the authority of the Bible-, but they are a minority.
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Old 24th June 2017, 07:40 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
I think the "celestial competitive race going on" was because the priests/scribes who put the tanakh together did not edit very well. To put it mildly. They left in the various canaanite gods, as well as the midian/edomite new comer god, YHVH, and referred to ALL of them as if they were the new comer god YHVH. Plus, they tried to erase his wife, Asherah.






^ Exactly. Which is why Vixen thinks there is a "satan/devil/wicked one/lucifer" in the "OT". It is not there. Neither is hell.

Do read the first chapter of Job.
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Old 24th June 2017, 07:54 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What I love is the idea that Judaism/Christianity is supposed to be monotheistic and yet if you read many of the passages it basically admits that there are other gods.
It reveals that people enjoyed idolatry. No sooner had Moses gone up the mountain than his people began building a golden calf, in remembrance of the Egyptian gods. No wonder Moses was driven to distraction.

The Bible does tend to refer to all pagan gods as Baal, regardless of their differences, just as it calls all debauched dystopias as 'Babylon', which some interpret as a reference to the Romans.

The fact that primitive peoples - and many of the modern among us - worship idols doesn't mean these false gods are on a par with the one true God.

Quote:
The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man's hands.
Ps 135:15
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Old 24th June 2017, 07:57 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Well c'mon. They are fairy tales. Actually fan fiction. They all make it up as they go. The Trinity is actually easy to understand when you come to the realization that it doesn’t have to make sense. God is also three and all three is one. See? It's easy.
No, a fairy story is what you want to believe in.

You say you gave up Christianity because you didn't like the 'real life' stories of the Bible.

In real life - hey! - people do rape and kill each other.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:00 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Ah! The scales have fallen from my eyes! And now I understand and see the light!

Just in time too! I owe ₪300 so now I can just pay back ₪100 and it is all okay!
The concept of the Holy Trinity is very easy. Just as velocity is defined as speed and direction over distance (three in one) so is the constant living interchange between Father - Son - Holy Ghost. It is physical, spiritual and moving. Just as we are.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:02 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
That is the one thing I really love about living in this era. Pretty much any question can be answered in seconds. It's hard for people to use knowledge to suggest I don't understand. Not that I become an instant expert after an hour searching the net just that I'm not longer baffled by bs.

BTW, I'm a Christian atheist and I still do Christmas. Still say Merry Christmas So I get it. I've done Shabbat dinners with Jewish friends. I like a lot of the tradition. It's both cool and bs at the same time. Does that make sense?
Why not go the whole hog? Why sit on the fence?

If you are going to do something, commit to it and be passionate.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:17 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The cocnept of the Hoy Trinity is very easy. Just as velocity is defined as speed and direction over distance (three in one) so is the constant living interchange between Father - Son - Holy Ghost. It is physical, spiritual and moving. Just as we are.
Only velocity actually exists and can be independently verified as a concept.

Now had you said the real Trinity; The Fetta, The Sauce, and the Holy Noodle we'd have something to agree upon.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:23 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Sure, it makes sense. The Middle East is very traditional and big on ceremony and ritual. That is why protestant christianity never caught on with M.E. christians. It is too boring and not "real", i.e., non of the glitz and glitter.

Same reason reform and conservative judaism never caught on among israeli jews. Most israeli jews are secular, but when it comes to holidays and life cycle events we want tradition, not the "watered down" version.

I always go to nazereth during christmas time because it is beautifully decorated and loads of people out, very festive and fun.
I have to say my trip to Israel was one of the craziest I have ever had. To see people running around in C16 Polish sartorial costume of the ghetto and the women in wigs - which all looked the same - was amazing. Friday call to prayers in Jerusalem was a stunning sight, of said attired men racing off to the Western Wall synagogues in massive headgear and in a straight line looking neither left nor right at great speed.

The Palestinians on the Bethlehem and Jericho side are fantastically great salesmen and their goods of marvellous quality, jewelllery from local stone (a poor man's jade, but lovely nonetheless) wonderful leathers and linens. They were so charming, I asked one tall handsome chap whether he was married (I can't believe that came out of my mouth!). He said, 'Do you want to marry me?'

LOL. But all the 'Holy' sites, from the Dead Sea all the way up to the Golan Heights via Galilee and back via Tel Aviv, gave me a much better understanding.

The hysteria at the Church of Sepulchura and at Bethlehem, is something to be seen to be believed. Whilst us Brits were queuing in an orderly British manner, we were knocked aside by marauding East Europeans with no manners whatsoever scrabbling to get to the 'hot spots' first.

Did I get any insights into the Bible? Yes, I saw the 'gates of hell' that Jesus spoke of at Caesaria Philippi at Mount Hermon, and all the various mounts on which he gave his sermons and transfiguaration - one could well imagine it.

The Dead Sea area in the south - a vast desert - captured the essence of John the Baptist. Our tour guide told us that in John the Baptists' day, there were up to 30,000 hermits and semi-hermits living in groups claiming to be mystics, and of course, we had the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered there and the the ruins of an ancient cult who sealed the 66 books of the Bible in clay jars.

Against that context, we can see Jesus was of the mystic tradition of that region.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:24 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Do read the first chapter of Job.
Do read the whole lot of Job. It explains how much of a total **** bible god is. He kills, or allows Satan to kill, all ten of Job's children on foot of a trivial bet just to see what would happen.

What a nice guy he is.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:25 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
After I gave up Christianity, I stopped thinking of it as a "fall", and instead see it as a "rise". It's spun as a tale of disobedience to God, but that isn't really in the story so much.

Prior to eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, man was like all the other animals. He hung out, ate, and ran around naked, and didn't care. Like my cat, he didn't worry much about good or evil, or planning, or anything except the pleasure of the moment.

But along comes the Serpent, who is only called the Serpent, not the Devil, not Satan, none of those things, and he tells them that they will be like gods if only they eat of that tree, and they do, and it works. Really. Now it works. They aren't like animals anymore. They know that they are naked, and they feel a bit awkward about it and want to cover up. They don't have as much fun as they had. They can't do anything they darned well feel like, because now they have consciences; they have the knowledge of good and evil. Before that, only God had that. (And angels? I suppose so.)

So God didn't like this development, which is exactly what the Serpent said would happen. Now that they had the knowledge of Good and Evil, God wasn't going to let them just hang out in the garden having a good time. Now they were expected to work for a living.

They were much more enlightened than before, but it didn't work out all that well for them.

It's another case where what the Bible says, and what we are told it says, because we rarely go beyond "Bible stories for children", are two different things.
And didn't it come true? Don't we all have to work 40 years for a living before being allowed to retire on a state pension?
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:29 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Why not go the whole hog? Why sit on the fence?

If you are going to do something, commit to it and be passionate.
Because none of it is actually true. I will be top of the queue when some actual evidence turns up. None ever has.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:31 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
That is true and it is unfortunate.

I met an american fundamental/evangelical protestant christian online on a hebrew forum. She had learned hebrew so she could "read the old testament in the original language".

She discovered that there were no "fulfilled prophecies in the "NT", that they were all made up and/or mistranslations of the hebrew. It completely shattered her faith in christianity. But she still believed in god, just not the god of the "NT". Her entire life was religion and she could not imagine a life without it.

So she told us she wanted to convert to judaism. We all told her that was not necessary. She left the forum then came back about a year later.

She said she had "applied the same scrutiny" to the "OT" that she had done with the "NT" and learned the truth about how the "OT" had come about. She became an atheist, and had no interest in religion at all. She is happy with that new freedom.

You are right that most religious people never even think to question their beliefs. They need to start asking questions before they begin to find the reality. Unfortunately too many people just "accept what they are told", and never try to look for information.
I don't think that's true. I was interested enough to find out more, so read the original Tyndale and Wycliffe translations. There is also a vast display of the world's sacred texts at a permanent exhibition at the British Museum, including some of the original Greek parchments.

I was brought up on the King James Version (Church of England education) and I love its poetic prose. However, you'll find that some of the Bibles around today are simply dumbed down versions of KJV and lose a lot in so doing.

The New International Version (NIV) was written by translators who went back to the original versions and translated it from scratch and is written in modern English, easy to read.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:33 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I don't think that's true. I was interested enough to find out more, so read the original Tyndale and Wycliffe translations. There is also a vast display of the world's sacred texts at a permanent exhibition at the British Museum, including some of the original Greek parchments.

I was brought up on the King James Version (Church of England education) and I love its poetic prose. However, you'll find that some of the Bibles around today are simply dumbed down versions of KJV and lose a lot in so doing.

The New International Version (NIV) was written by translators who went back to the original versions and translated it from scratch and is written in modern English, easy to read.
You like to version shop?
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:37 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
No, a fairy story is what you want to believe in.
Who wants to believe in the Brother's Grimm fairy tales?
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You say you gave up Christianity because you didn't like the 'real life' stories of the Bible.

In real life - hey! - people do rape and kill each other.
No. I said I gave up Christianity for many reasons. One being that GOD...not man either killed, sanctioned killing, even ordered the killing, the raping and enslavement of other human beings. I know any man can be immoral thug. That is real life. And it's explanatory exactly that way. We don't need a God to for that.

I had always viewed God as perfect, loving and forgiving. God was supposed to be better than man. The revelation I had when reading all these stories where man was killing raping and plundering his fellow man was God had nothing to do with these atrocities. Man just the justified his actions with God. It's no different today when the NAZIs wore belt buckles inscribed with 'God is on our side'.

God 'the character' was no better than man. In fact, he is far worse. And so here I am with the choice of continuing to praise a being that not only isn't there a shred of evidence for but isn't actually praiseworthy.

Please tell me Vixen. What a about God should I admire and respect? Cause I don't see it.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:38 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Yes, they are at odds with each other. Religions and rationality are the pushme-pullmes of philosophy. People will profess they believe but deep down their brain starts screaming at them, 'yeah, right...sure'. At least mine did for 20 years. You're told that voice is the devil and you don't want to listen to Satan.

I rationalized the stories as metaphors not as the actual truth. You might believe the resurrection story, but I sure as hell didn’t believe the loaves and fishes story or Noah or Jonah or Job or Samson or the Tower of Babel.

I can't speak for other individuals but I know of many other Christians that felt that way. But I also knew many Christians that professed it was the literal truth and they bought it.

I just don't belive that most of those who identify themselves as Christians believe the wilder stories. Most I think are cultural Christians which I know many. My best friend is from a huge Catholic family and they might attend mass every other Christmas. In twenty years I've never even seen a bible in their homes or them reading it.
What I love about Catholics is their competitive nature. It's wonderful seeing them all trying to touch the foot of a statute of Mary or Jesus first, or flinging themselves face down in highest drama before the altar, as a sort of 'more-devout-than-thou' histrionics.

As a protestant I am much too reserved to indulge in that behaviour myself, but do envy Catholics their naked exhibitionism. Constantly falling to their knees and genuflecting every time they score a goal or win a race.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:40 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Do read the first chapter of Job.
Why do you think I have not read it? I have. There is NO "devil".

There is an adversary, and he is not doing anything against YHVH. In fact, this adversay can ONLY act with permission of YHVH.

NO "evil force" acting against/opposing YHVH.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:40 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
No according to your beliefs I have not. I am not one of your chosen few and arrive at my beliefs through reason.

Now who is to blame for my being driven by reason and not by some pre-installed inclination to believe stuff that defies reason?
Evolutionary forces, probably.
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Old 24th June 2017, 08:46 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Why not go the whole hog? Why sit on the fence?

If you are going to do something, commit to it and be passionate.
Who's sitting on the fence? Just because I don't believe that Jesus wasn't divine doesn't mean I can't appreciate some of the philosophy or the festivities. Christmas is also mostly secular with Santa, Dickens and lights presents and It's a Wonderful Life and the movie Scrooged. And history tells us that the celebration was co-opted by Christianity anyway. So why would I care?
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