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  1. #11
    5 Star Poster sukumvit boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    "Common sense is not so common."
    "As long as people believe in absurdities , they will continue to commit atrocities."
    Voltaire



  2. #12
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post

    Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor...but if you want to lie about what you know to be decreed by angels or what consents God gave you, just go ahead and lie, God will look the other way.


    I've always found the dishonesty of the fervently faithful absolutely stunning. Is it a lack of intellectual integrity, or just outright lying? Did those who condemned Spinoza actually believe they knew what angels decreed and that they had God's consent on this particular excommunication, or were they wolves in sheep's clothing merely preserving the powers of their office by shunning those who proposed opinions that undermined their power?

    I don't fear God, but I'm scared shitless by most of those who claim to be doing his work.

    Or her work. Who cares?

    If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, then religion is the last refuge of the hypocrite, bigot and demagogue.


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  3. #13
    Emperor Crazypants Platinum Poster Dino Velvet's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by robertlouis View Post
    then religion is the last refuge of the hypocrite, bigot and demagogue.
    Despite the differences, that's the one thing all religions seem to have in have in common.




  4. #14
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dino Velvet View Post
    Despite the differences, that's the one thing all religions seem to have in have in common.
    I'd make an honourable exception for the Quakers. If I did believe in God, I would be a Quaker. No intercession by a priest, no hierarchy, no bullshit.


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  5. #15
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    A while back I read a few chapters of one of Spinoza's treatises. I found his explanations and writing clear and sensible. There were a number of good quotations about the nature of religion that echo doubts many people have but aren't able to put into words. I found this quote of his that I like. He was also a keen observer of people's behavior and from what I remember was able to put into words how certain devoutly religious people are able rationalize their views without regard to contradiction by external events. Here's a quote that sort of points out that it is no coincidence that we assume that God shares all of our essential features.

    When you say that if I deny, that the operations of seeing, hearing, attending, and wishing can be ascribed to God, or that they exist in Him in any eminent fashion, you do not know what sort of God mine is; I suspect that you believe there is no greater perfection than such as can be explained by the aforesaid attributes. I am not astonished; for I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped.



  6. #16
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dino Velvet View Post
    My aunt from Texas was over and I was talking to her. My kin over there take The Bible pretty literally. I asked her, "How did Noah live over 900 years?" She paused then gave a long "Weeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllll...", which gives her time to think of a lie if she can stretch that one word out long enough. Then she finished by saying, "People back then just lived lo'onger." Trying not to laugh I shrug it off by saying, "I guess they had better drugs back then." I will admit her faith is unflappable. Her logic is like Swiss Cheese though.
    The explanation for the ages of Noah and Methusaleh can be explained rationally, indeed most aspects of religion in its textual forms can be rationally explained, not least because they were created by men (and it seems mostly to be men).

    The original accounts of Noah, for example, were written on clay tablets in the Sumerian period and used a pictographic sign to denote numbers, with the ages of people drawn from their tax records. The flood in the Noah story may have been a river flood around 2900BC when Noah was 48. Re-calculating the Sumerian originals and then the mis-translations that were handed down through the Babylonian to the more modern Greek translations of these ancient texts, you find that Methusaleh fathered children in his teens and twenties and both Noah and Methusaleh lived into their 80s. It is quite simply a confusion that has developed over the mistranslation of sign-values from Sumer to other cultures. These signs are like Roman numerals, so I wonder how easy it is for people to translate XCVII?
    Put another way, God had nothing to do with it.
    There is an explanation here:
    http://www.noahs-ark-flood.com/ages.htm


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  7. #17
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post

    Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor...but if you want to lie about what you know to be decreed by angels or what consents God gave you, just go ahead and lie, God will look the other way.


    I've always found the dishonesty of the fervently faithful absolutely stunning. Is it a lack of intellectual integrity, or just outright lying? Did those who condemned Spinoza actually believe they knew what angels decreed and that they had God's consent on this particular excommunication, or were they wolves in sheep's clothing merely preserving the powers of their office by shunning those who proposed opinions that undermined their power?
    I have emboldened that part of your post which I think explains the writ to perfection. It can be explained by the need for rules as a means of maintaining social order, and that in itself is not a bad thing, but clearly if someone breaks those rules there will be consequences: the question is how damaging rule-breaking is because it doesn't always follow that social change which begins by breaking old rules will destroy society. The interesting problem here is whether or not religions grow and adapt -I think they do- or remain so stuck in their 'original' form as to become fossilized, or die out.



  8. #18
    Hung Angel Platinum Poster trish's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    The interesting problem here is whether or not religions grow and adapt -I think they do- or remain so stuck in their 'original' form as to become fossilized, or die out.
    I agree. Some die out while others adapt and evolve, which is why I think, for good or ill, there will always be religions flourishing among us.


    "...I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize."_Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings.

    "...the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way". _Judge Holden, Cormac McCarthy's, BLOOD MERIDIAN.

  9. #19
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post
    I agree. Some die out while others adapt and evolve, which is why I think, for good or ill, there will always be religions flourishing among us.
    Very true. All religions throughout history, by their very nature, start off small and have been regarded as marginal cults until they gain traction and, of course, political muscle. There, as they say, is the rub.

    Who knows which messianic survivalist nutjob in Montana is going to be the next jesus?


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  10. #20
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    None of which actually explains the religious perspectives that so many people have and have had, which apparently they need to have, and in which they often place greater faith than, say, politics. There are several men around the world who claim to be Jesus; Ghulam Ahmad was foolish enough to declare himself a successor to Muhammad yet the ancient religions that have survived are distinct from modern fads which offer neither a coherent explanation of the world nor a moral code to live by, Scientology in this respect is barely respectable as a form of psychotherapy. What people have difficulty in doing is separating the religious from the political where activists and states have succesfully warped the universal message into a particular ideology; it sounds like a cop-out to many these days but I think it is true.



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