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Michael Penn
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The positive version of the Golden Rule (do unto others, etc.) is more fraught with risk than the negative version (do not do unto others, etc.).
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 2:22pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

As historian Richard Carrier points out, the Golden Rule was supposedly taught by the Jesus in the West and the Confucian scholar Mo Tzu in the East: “do to others as you would have done for yourself.” Equally ancient Rabbi Hillel, or Confucius himself, said, “do not do to others what you would not approve being done to yourself.”

These statements are logically identical.

Every positive action can be reframed as a negative being avoided. “Be generous” and “do not fail to be generous” are identical statements.

Just as offering your back to one who beats you and your cheek to one who plucks your beard is logically identical to offering your cheek to one who strikes you. The wording is the only difference.

Again and again, Christians claims for special moral invention or insight are unsupported by evidence.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 4:32pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Religion causes more problems than it solves.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

'Moses' was famous for plagiarism, although perhaps the concept of plagiarism existed even more nebulously than direct quoting and attribution. Can't blame 'him' if he had access to the library of Alexandria, that'd be like having all the E.C. comics and all your friends only know '50s DCs.

It is kind of depressing to think of how many in the U.S. genuinely seem to anticipate some rapture where they are picked like cotton and everyone else cast into a bad place to gnash and burn and suffer... I still remember the giant mural of the Lord driving an industrial combine harvester on the wall in the background of one of those born again tv programs. While in various parts of the U.S. I would check out the 'Christian' tv stations which I never saw anything like in Canada, but we have a couple now these days (although one is a fairly unexciting if sometimes equally odd Catholic channel).

I find many churches to be beautiful buildings, they are the labors one might hope of people's aspirations who often had few other outlets. Yes, choir boys were molested within some, and parishioners were fed nightmares of hellfire and damnation eternal, but isn't everything reducible that way by the double-edged sword? Then Jainism where you apologize constantly for even the microscopic life you effect negatively from mere existence (the original sin? the Gnostics thought so) might be for you. And the pile of stuff named The Holy Bible is a perfect double-edged sword with almost anything you want to find in it. Don't like gays, look on this page here, support for destroying the followers of another creed, that's over on another page. Two creation stories, all kinds of wacky stuff with talking bushes, chapters that were in which are now out, translations of translations, and that's inviolable divine 'truth'? The approach of the Qur-An is copious footnotes taking up more space than the central text, a lot like Hebrew midrashes/commentaries. I just think everyone should have access to the entire hot mess of all there is to read, but you'd have better luck rationalizing out the Marvel and DC 'universes'. Still people do try and seem to enjoy it. The Hindu gods have some great special effects tv shows, and the Chinese too. Gilgamesh got to be an Avenger alongside Thor and Hercules.

Wherever you got it from, if Jesus, or even Captain America, ever inspired you to some personal growth and/or positive action I want to respect that. And maybe say, here's some other cool stuff you might get something from over there where you aren't looking. I despise that people are born into religions and where it becomes synonymous with a racial identity, that is definitely a prison. Nothing positive in that. As with the internet I really feel most under 16 have no business involved in it yet if ever. The internet/facebook/twitter are becoming as mandatory as 'worship' not of your choice has been... is the internet evil and to be thrown away? It's certainly full of all kinds of crap and genuine evil. Or are you taking the good from it even while knowing of the bad? Children trafficked via coded ads on Craig's List, identity theft, all the bait and switch rip-offs... the timber in your/our own eye?
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The internet causes more problems than it solves? :^)

I got kept out of a hotel room for hours that used those electronic card keys because the computer system went down via an internet attack on it.

The library had to close and I couldn't take a book with me because of a power outage, all check outs were computer data based.

I really don't trust this new 'God'; it's often doing things it shouldn't and being told the only answer is that I must have done something wrong all the time when it doesn't fit is pretty irritating. Why are Skype and Zoom connections on big cable channel tv shows with loads of money and viewers always failing or terribly crappy? "Oh, we seem to have lost them." :^D

Talking to a true believer in ever better tech and a 'free' never regulated internet can really be like talking to the most glassy-eyed Jehovah's Witness I find.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 15 May 2024 at 4:55pm
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 5:58pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

At the same time that European Christ-cult members were building churches to their god(s), many people in the Americas were living according to a different societal organization that resulted when their culture turned away from building temples.

One problem that afflicts the discussion of religion in society is that religious society is the ocean that we swim in, the air we breathe -- we live in the "modern world" which resulted from thousands of years of religious hierarchy.

Once it drove powerful leaders to support innovation and exploration and the desire to know "God's universe" better. But the main impact of religion today is to divert clear thinking and justify murky or bad decision making.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 7:15pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply


 QUOTE:
Equally ancient Rabbi Hillel, or Confucius himself, said, “do not do to others what you would not approve being done to yourself.”

These statements are logically identical.

Every positive action can be reframed as a negative being avoided. “Be generous” and “do not fail to be generous” are identical statements.

Just as offering your back to one who beats you and your cheek to one who plucks your beard is logically identical to offering your cheek to one who strikes you. The wording is the only difference.

Right. The Golden Rule is often offered up as an equivalent teaching to Jesus' teaching that pre-dates it.

My point was that the words of the sermon on the mount, to my reading at least, seem to go much further in the abundance of goodwill to those that are doing the wronging.

"I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

I think the Golden Rule makes total sense to most people. It's logical for a civilised society. If we all take a leap of faith and be nice to others, then we are all nice to each other. Great. But I don't think it's the same as saying if someone takes something from you, give them something else you have and love them for it. I think nearly everyone instinctively does not think or feel this way. And I think you might argue someone who does think like this is not quite right in the head (ditto someone who advises his followers to not plan for tomorrow and hope the world will look after them).

The Christian religion may well use elements that appear in other cults or religions (e.g. life after death, a powerful godhead and so on), but it seems self-evident to me that whatever mix of elements it does contain has been very successful in taking root in the minds of people around the globe. We can argue this isn't a good thing, but I don't think it's sensible to say there's nothing new in there, because it hasn't just spread by luck alone.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 8:20pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, maintain justice for your enemy, be friendly to your enemy." The Advice of an Akkadian Father to His Son, c. 2200 BCE


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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 May 2024 at 11:43pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Peter: The Christian religion may well use elements that appear in other
cults or religions (e.g. life after death, a powerful godhead and so on), but it
seems self-evident to me that whatever mix of elements it does contain has
been very successful in taking root in the minds of people around the globe.
We can argue this isn't a good thing, but I don't think it's sensible to say
there's nothing new in there, because it hasn't just spread by luck alone.

**

There’s no “May well” about it. There is nothing in the Christian faith that
isn’t found in religions that led to it.

The spread of any particular religion is due to factors outside the control of
the original cult leaders— what’s “new” is provided by the incoming recruits,
the politics of the age and powers that be. Christianity has been very
adaptable, being full of contradictions helps it be whatever its current
followers want it to be.
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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 16 May 2024 at 12:43am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I would just like to thank everyone who expressed their thoughts after my first post here for the civility of their tone.  Well done all!
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 16 May 2024 at 1:09am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"Do not talk too freely, watch what you say." "What you say in haste you may regret later. Exert yourself to restrain your speech."

from: The Advice of an Akkadian Father to His Son, c. 2200 BCE

Staple this to the front of every internet chat forum! :^)
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 16 May 2024 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

 Brian Floyd wrote:
Religion causes more problems than it solves.

Riddle me this Brian: which problems does religion actually solve? Seriously, name one.


Everything that religion offers is an illusion, a Red Herring, a painted lie designed to distract and subvert our thoughts for the benefit of the clergy.

And because each stick must be accompanied by a carrot for the donkey to move forward, it's true that you can find some typically oft-repeated and well-meaning historical platitudes in between the ceaseless demands for thoughtless subservience to the insatiably vain invisible angry old man in the sky, and the variety of sadistic, violent and generally displeasurable things he has done - and it is clearly implied - will do to you and yours, if you fail to obey.

I mean, literally, for every peaceful, emollient, seemingly noble passage in the Bible - irrespective of whether it was cribbed or original - there are at least three others that directly or indirectly contradict it.

Thus if you read the Bible in its entirety and take everything in the context presented, without having them reinterpreted for you by the clergy, there is absolutely no mistaking it as a book whose central theme is violence, often nothing short of genocide in many cases.

Reading the Bible is like watching a Nightmare on Elm Street movie where, in between crudely disemboweling teens, torturing pets, setting people alight and generally wallowing in human misery, Freddy occasionally pauses to reflect on how we can be better neighbours, or better fathers to our kids, and in general how we can infuse our daily lives with a touch of kindness and charity.

I'm not trying to be contrarian or mean-spirited, but honestly, not only is it utterly disingenuous to take the "nice" parts of the Bible (or Koran) in isolation and recite them as your daily mantra; it's actually dangerous because it keeps these "Holy Books" popular and readily accessible to impressionable minds. Minds which cannot discern whether "Though Shalt Not Kill" and "The Golden Rule" supercede or override things like God's direct support of a Jewish-led genocide in Deuteronomy 7:1-2, or the wholesale slaughter of small children in and around Bethlehem in Matthew 2:16-18.







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