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ron bailey
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 1:00am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Pretty common in most discussions about atheism anywhere, really. Understandable, since it is the dominant religion in most western cultures and therefore standing for atheism is more of a rejection of the religion within which most were raised. 
But it does get old when it only stems from how ignorant fundamentalists are, blah blah blah. 
This site is one of the few where atheism on its own merits is ever intelligently discussed without simply depending on trashing religions in order to make a point. 
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 1:40am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Peter: I don’t see these message boards bashing Jews, Muslims, Hindis,
Buddhists, or heck even Scientologists.

**
See: Religion as a topic here if you want to test that theory.

But 2 things should explain the over representation of Christianity as a topic
without needing to be said: 1) America is majority Christian and 2) JBF is
majority American.

BTW, What makes Scientology in any way more of a natural target than
Christianity?

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 1:47am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Rebecca: There is something though of 'that which is hidden will be
revealed' in Christianity... so you should do good deeds quietly (and pray
quietly), not for worldly acclaim... or, actions speak louder than words.
Another major point is 'turning the other cheek' something incredibly easier
to say than to actually do.

**
None of this was invented by Christianity either and, as a practical matter, it
is embraced by a minority of Christians.

I’m not sure, but it seems you’re naming the parts of Christianity “worth
saving” and maybe I agree in some theoretical way. But the fact that these
things are good ideas borrowed from earlier beliefs makes them not really
good reasons to be glad we have Christianity.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 2:01am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I thought turning the other cheek was fairly novel as of two thousand years ago, as opposed to the eye for an eye (or ten eyes for an eye as the case may be) sort of thing. Buddhism could claim something similar but more or less concurrent, and more along the lines of everything is transitory anyway so why not turn the cheek. Wherever it comes from it might be good to try to do more often.

If I said I would if I could wish Christianity away it wouldn't matter, because I can't. It was, and is, and likely will continue to be in all it's multi-mutational-denominational varieties. I might as well wish for bears to talk or a mint copy of Marvel Comics #1 to appear in my hand. So if it's around regardless of what i think of it overall I might as well add up some sweet along with the sour. Am I glad it rains? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no, but it does fall on the just as well as the unjust according to something in that assemblage of writings from many times, places, and cultures, and I would have figured that out at some point anyway.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 2:34am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I have some huge issues with Buddhism, both Korean-Japanese which I received some instruction in, and Tibetan Buddhism. It's generally not good form to criticize the Dali Llama and Tibetan Buddhism given what happened to them at the hands of communist China though.

So I was taught in meditation this whole Zen jazz about a certain kind of breathing with the stomach and steps to achieve 'no mind', which is to say literally having no thoughts. Part of it was picturing a circle. In the circle is pure nothingness. Outside it is nothing as well, total absence, a void, that goes on forever. So you do this for a few years, someone comes around and checks to see if you are really zoned out in various ways and it seemed like if you passed that at some point you were told the next biggie, which was that there is no circle, never was, never will be.

Maybe I wasn't really 'ready' for that great revelation, or too young, but really that blew the whole thing for me. It was like when I thought I was finally 'getting' algebra and then they sprang how the 'bedmas' rule didn't always apply (and the answers in the text book weren't always accurate). Years meditating, accepting, learning, breathing different... all equals = a big fat zero =0! All that was good for I think was samurai to behead peasants without caring at all, or chopping up a live creature raw and scarfing it on down knowing how fresh it was. No giant shoulder pads and hats in a rank system, or men chanting and whacking each other all day while the women toil bent over in the rice paddies, but ultimate nothingness. Bleh. And I've always hated the whole reincarnation idea too. I believe it probably true but it brings zero comfort to me at all, it's actually seems potentially very horrible and I don't know if you can opt out. So there's that too, karma optional.

So the Dalai Llama says violence is bad... wow, really? I think the Dalai Parton could've come up with that one. She also seems pretty happy and treated specially, but I like her singing and I'm not so sure about that chanting stuff, the basso-profundo oooohhhmmmns get pretty monotonous while Dolly did some real solid bluegrass stuff! As for 'all beings are one from the universal point of view'... it doesn't help so much when some scmuck or other is in my face judging me politically or morally at the drop of a hat or emoticon these days. I guess it's had it's effect one me, seeped in like the breathing exercise I still fall into at times, but again, not comforting or comfortable stuff. Maybe that's when I think there is something in it because this is midgaard and everything is half crap here as well as transitory anyway?

I'm afraid I simply flunked Buddhism 101 at the joyful partiocipation in the sorrows of life thing. if all you've ultimately got to say is that if you find yourself falling off a cliff what you should do is to fall, to make the inevitable part of your will, well, that's the punch line of a soldier told if they step on a land mine they should scatter themself over a wide area.

So Christianity has a lot of mess, maybe more than Buddhism, but at least it says it adds up to something. All the immovable spot of Amida got me was a huge nothing. Better smaller vessel with something to hold than an imaginary one that never was with nothing ever within or without?

It's different languages talking about things we mostly know from what is not there at the end of the equation. I would hope there is something versus nothing, so in a way I do have more issues with Buddhist thought than Christian. Most things in Christianity that make no sense are the same things in Hinduism that make no sense... and why worry about them? If you find something, even a mustard seed, or a pomegranate seed, it's still got be better than nothing. "Turn the other cheek" seems like something, and "love thy enemy" sure is something, I mean how popular could that ever be? Something to think about there!

(Pontification mode off) :^)
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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 3:27am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 BTW, What makes Scientology in any way more of a natural target than 
Christianity?”
****************
Well it is a religion invented within our lifetime, by a sci Fi author who openly said the fastest way to get rich was to invent a religion.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 4:13am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And yet it has every bit as much evidence that it is the one true religion as
Christianity.

To single it out as any more deserving of ridicule is to not recognize how all
religions begin.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 4:46am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Jesus’ “turn the other cheek” is cribbed from Isaiah 50:6-9

“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled
out my beard…”

6-8th century BCE
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

 ron bailey wrote:
A really arrogant decision was made post WWII by the "powers that be" to move some people out and move some other people in and "give" them a nation. That decision is what has triggered all the fallout ever since. There had been plenty of Jews living in the various countries in the area without conflict for decades before that.


 Dave Kopperman wrote:
Ugh. Can we not have a he killed/she killed conversation about Israel/Palestine, here? It's a Rorschach blot that can be argued about literally anywhere else on the internet.


Sorry, no... what with those ignoring history being doomed to repeat it and all that, you don't just get a pass for not knowing this important bit of history.

The entire reason for the modern state of Israel being where it is and doing what it does is because of religion; Zionism more specifically, a movement predating WWII and the Holocaust.

Zionism basically says that the specific area known as Palestine is actually the Land of Israel, and thus the birthright of Jews as their homeland in perpetuity, promised to them by their God. This is non-negotiable according to ardent Jews. They will do anything to retain it... and yes, that includes defending God's will with nuclear weapons.

Thank you, religion!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 12:23pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply


 QUOTE:
Jesus’ “turn the other cheek” is cribbed from Isaiah 50:6-9

“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled
out my beard…”

6-8th century BCE

Perhaps. The Isaiah section reads to me more about fortitude in the face of persecution, whereas with the sermon on the mount, the entreaty is to go much further -- to "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."

This also seems to me to go further than the Golden Rule, which famously predates Christianity. Many ancient traditions have some form of the Golden Rule, but it is effectively a reciprocity guideline about being civilised to one another. The advice to love your enemy and even after they have hurt you, seems to go further by some degree than the passivity of Isaiah or the ethics of the Golden Rule.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

David was both praised (1 Sam 24:17-19) and criticized (2 Sam 19:6) for loving his enemies.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 1:21pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Of course I can’t remember when I was introduced to the Golden Rule, but I do remember thinking that it only worked if the other party involved was already practicing it, too.
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