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[#] Sun Nov 29 2020 21:50:42 EST from nonservator

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If I have to pretend to be anything in order to fit in, get by and survive, the least objectionable current option would be Eastern Orthodox.



[#] Mon Nov 30 2020 13:24:39 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sun Nov 29 2020 21:01:22 EST from IGnatius T Foobar
Topic drift doesn't bother me too much but arabella wanted this room
to be successful.  

After one has attempted to discuss religion in a forum where Curly was present, and seen the entire thing go sideways faster than you can possibly push the delete button ... *any* discussion that doesn't turn into a flamewar is a ROARING success.

I seem to recall a discussion on religion with someone named Curly - and I seem to recall it was a dumpster fire. 

 



[#] Mon Nov 30 2020 16:28:49 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I seem to recall a discussion on religion with someone named Curly -
and I seem to recall it was a dumpster fire. 

When you first arrived here I asked you if you knew who he was and you said no. Albert P. Mitchell ("Curly Surmudgeon") hailed from the Sacramento BBS scene and was infamous for monopolizing any discussion of religion with his *extremely* militant atheism. He eventually left the scene and is now serving 20 years in prison for pedophilia.

So yes, with the main reason for not having a Religion room now gone, we can have one again.

[#] Tue Dec 01 2020 07:59:11 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Mon Nov 30 2020 16:28:49 EST from IGnatius T Foobar
I seem to recall a discussion on religion with someone named Curly -
and I seem to recall it was a dumpster fire. 

When you first arrived here I asked you if you knew who he was and you said no. Albert P. Mitchell ("Curly Surmudgeon") hailed from the Sacramento BBS scene and was infamous for monopolizing any discussion of religion with his *extremely* militant atheism. He eventually left the scene and is now serving 20 years in prison for pedophilia.

So yes, with the main reason for not having a Religion room now gone, we can have one again.

Ah! Yes. I think I probably asked about him in the Sacramento Citadelphia group. It is all coming back. I think a couple of people did know him. 




[#] Sun Dec 13 2020 18:56:52 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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survive, the least objectionable current option would be Eastern
Orthodox.

There are some things I like about the Orthodox practice. It could be argued that it was the "original" reformation. Others may argue that it was motivated by Constantine's own agenda.OM

[#] Sun Dec 13 2020 20:31:19 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Taoism in particular has convinced me that the bulk of spiritual texts are misinterpretations, post-apocalypse, of a previous culture's advance knowledge. 

Taoism is a description of the universe - when you describe quantum theory and string theory to a Taoist, that the perceivable universe is mostly dark-matter or negative energy... 

They'll respond, "The bowl is formless without the void? Yes. We knew." The Yin Yang isn't a spiritual symbol - it is a scientific notation - the positive and negative in balance, a little bit of the positive in the negative, and a little bit of the negative in the positive. 

Our society is a cargo cult... 

Which is not a denial of divinity - or any particular spiritual belief. 






[#] Mon Dec 21 2020 02:58:54 EST from arabella

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Thu Oct 08 2020 05:32:08 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar
Most of the time I meet somebody who describes himself as a Humanist, he is a totalitarian using a benevolent disguise.

Some of those folks are just militant atheists in disguise.  My favorite example is the "free thought" movement.  Those people claim to be free thinkers, but in that group you're only allowed to think freely if it leads you to strict atheism.

Full disclosure: I am fully confident that my religion is the only true one and everyone else is wrong.  I just don't feel inclined to be an asshole about it to everyone I meet.  Doing so wouldn't serve any useful purpose.



I describe me as a Humanist. The ethic suits my way of thinking.

I do not have a God or Gods. The closest I get to having a Religion,  is agreeing with Buddha about some things.

I do not "Evangelise" Humanism, nor will I tell a believer he is wrong.



[#] Mon Dec 21 2020 03:15:13 EST from arabella

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Sun Nov 29 2020 01:38:31 PM EST from zooer

Topic drift doesn't bother me too much but arabella wanted this room to be successful.  



Thanks zooer, I would like the room to succeed, and I appreciate your support. 

Topic drift is ok, as long as it drifts back (it often does) 

Like all that we create, we can only give it form, and purpose. After that it will stand or fall, and there is little we can do to influence the outcome.



[#] Mon Dec 21 2020 15:16:59 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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If you want a serious, friendly discussion about religion - I can probably seed some discussion here on that topic. It'll be long. 

I am the bastard son of an affair between my father, an English Protestant, with his high-school Irish Catholic best-friend's wife. 

I have 5 siblings, the closest of which is 12 years older than me, 4 of which were girls, and 3 of which are deceased already, who were all raised Irish-Catholic and went to parochial schools. 

My mother was excommunicated twice over me. Once when she left her husband for my father. They convinced her that they would absolve her, but more importantly, if I were baptized as a Catholic and raised as the son of her first husband, I would be spared the unjust eternal damnation of the innocent. She did those things, and then first husband reverted to the ways that caused my disruptive arrival, and added threats that he was going to kill me in my crib - so mom left him again, and we BOTH got excommunicated that time. 

Still, as a kid, occasionally she took me to mass and other Catholic services, and made a passing attempt to pass on the faith in Catholicism in me. 

My grandmother put far more effort into making sure I was raised a proper Protestant - which mostly took. I was an acolyte, I played in the church bell choir, I was very active in the Protestant church up until sometime in the 7th grade.  I have friends from that period still... I'm pretty much a WASP - my father's culture and genes and attitudes were more dominant in me - and it made me the odd sheep of my siblings and their circle of Catholic friends and networks. 

And the Catholic NETWORK is very much a thing - Protestants absolutely do not have the kind of networking unity that Catholics do. Protestants are a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," culture. Catholics are a "look out for your own," kind of community, in a larger sense. 

My home life was fairly secular/Sunday Christian. No grace, no real church as a family. Just my mom, dad and I. It was the 70s and early 80s, and society was going through a transformation on Christian values. 


So, all of this experience is important social background about my religious beliefs, and foundations - and those get pretty interesting. 

One thing I noticed early, like 8 or 9... was the hypocrisy of the Protestant/Catholic divide. Same God, same basic ideas, but both sides were convinced the other side had it wrong and were damned - as far as I could tell, mostly because of a few different words in The Lord's Prayer about debtors vs. trespassers. And pretty young I realized those little verbal differences said a LOT about the different values of the two different beliefs. 

So, the Irish-Catholic influence is probably most evident in the fact that I'll talk about things like this in public. The Irish-Catholics (and even Italian Catholics to a degree,) love to talk loads of trash about the clergy, about the Vatican, about the nuns, the schools, the entire structural organization of Catholicism. The pedophile priest scandal was only a surprise revelation to NON Catholics. But the Catholics do live buried in guilt and live in terror of the wrath of their God. 

The Protestants though, on the other hand, do not talk poorly about anyone, including their God. In fact, they prefer not to discuss much of anything of a personal nature. Sex, politics, religion and gossip in general is roundly discouraged. They tend to have a more pragmatic, less personal relationship with God. It is more like the rules have been laid out, and they're kind of suggestions that you should do your best to adhere to, and when mistakes happen, you hope the Management Upstairs is in a good and forgiving mood and hopefully preoccupied with those doing worse at adhering than you have been. 

So by 14, I was in the punk scene, and relatively interested in the 3rd party that both of these religious beliefs were obsessed with, Satan. What is HE up to that it is the one thing both the Catholics AND the Protestants are on the same page about that he is bad news? Everything they told me so far wasn't really honest - I wanna see what that other dude thinks. 


That is a long side track - but... the Christians and Protestants were probably right about that much, anyhow. It was an interesting detour, anyhow. 

But by 20 I was kind of rebuilding myself after going pretty far off the rails - and starting to re-evaluate my relationship with my religious foundations... by my early 30s, I started to get a good handle on that, and by mid-30s, I had what I consider some pretty major revelations. I actually spent some time in my 40s writing a series of essays I wrapped together under the working title, "The Faithless Disciple." To be honest, the title is misleading - I'm pretty sure there is solid evidence of not just intelligent design in our physical reality, but that Pascal's wager is best placed on Divine Creation.  I'll post a follow up, later, discussing that in more detail. 

Serious enough, so far? 

 




[#] Thu Dec 24 2020 18:59:19 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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I've been meaning to get back to this, but lots of balls in the air right now. 

Tonight my wife is cooking some Christmas things - and "O' Come All Ye Faithful," came on. 

Evidently, only Protestants sing the verse, "The One True King of England" as a replacement for "The king of angles," or somesuch. 

As recently as, like, the early 80's. 

 

 



[#] Fri Dec 25 2020 13:21:50 EST from zooer

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This morning while making breakfast I cracked an egg, inside there were two yolks, a sign of Yeshua existence.

 



[#] Sat Dec 26 2020 22:45:37 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Protestant/Catholic divide. Same God, same basic ideas, but both
sides were convinced the other side had it wrong and were damned - as
far as I could tell, mostly because of a few different words in The
Lord's Prayer about debtors vs. trespassers.

Umm... there's way more to it than that.

I'd also put forth that it's mainly the catholics that consider protestants to be non-Christians. Some of us (I would consider myself more of an evangelical than a mainline protestant) consider the Roman Catholic Church to be less than 100% authentic, but you can find authentic Christians within it.

It's way more than just a few words in a prayer, though. Some of the bigger ones are what we might call the Roman Catholic church's "proprietary extensions" to Christianity:
* Transsubstantiation (Catholics believe that the communion elements physically become the body and blood of Christ, rather than a mere celebration of the Lord's Supper)
* Celibacy (cough) for priests (not found in the Bible)
* Specific rules to observe during Lent
* etc.

Some of the practices to which Martin Luther objected are no longer common (such as the selling of indulgences for example) but the RCC still considers it the only legitimate church, while most mainline protestants consider the RCC to be one of many legitimate denominations.

My mom is one of those hyper-catholics who believes that only the RCC is legitimate and that there's no difference between protestants, evangelicals, muslims, hindus, atheists, pastafarians, etc. You're either part of Mother Church or you're not. I think Jesus would beg to disagree. Frankly it's a miracle that I merely defected to "regular" Christianity instead of just running away as fast as I could.

[#] Sun Dec 27 2020 19:32:25 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Ooooh... as a Protestant, I'd beg to differ with you... especially if you're a snake-handling, tambourine thumping, thrashing-on-the-ground commune-living hippy Evangelical. Guitars and light-shows and folk music don't really belong. You show praise to God with a massive pipe organ and a woman who is the secretary at the local elementary school belting out Hymn 201. 

Mainline protestants may treat you like part of the flock in general, polite conversation - but behind your back - they all privately acknowledge that you're just barely civilized pagans, and while they hope that you are truly saved, they're sure you're going to be street sweepers and janitorial service in the afterlife. ;) 

I'm not saying I believe they're right. But, I guarantee you, after church at the local coffee shop having brunch of lunch, if Evangelical's come up, so does the phrase, "long haired hippy pot smoking cultists." At least in the 70s and early 80s. Most Protestant congregations have since pretty much died out, in my experience. The Lutherans seem to be doing better - but they brought in guitars and tambourines and some folk-Christian music. 

I'm not really talking about the historical context of the beliefs, values, and differences between the RCC and Protestants - I'm well aware of those. This is more of a hands-on experience dealing with the little blue-haired well-to-do old ladies of either, living a life not just of church, but church excursions, pot-luck dinners, masses, Easter events - in a family where all my sisters and brother, their dad, and my mom were raised RC, and my father, grandmother, grandfather, and their side of the family were not just protestants, but "Pioneer 1st Congregrational" Protestants who attended the Protestant church right at the corner of Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, and there were stained glass windows with members of my family gone-by in the walls. 

Yeah... I'm aware of the stations of the cross. I'm aware that while the Protestants use Welch's grape juice as the blood of Christ, the RCC uses actual wine. I understand the justification the Catholics use for praying through the Saints and the Virgin Mary (and the reason the secular world says they adopted that mythos, and which old Gods the modern Saints replace)...

 There may be way more to it from a historical, informed and educated perspective. 

On the ground among those practicing - I don't really think there is much more to it at all, in most cases.  


 

 

Sat Dec 26 2020 22:45:37 EST from IGnatius T Foobar
Protestant/Catholic divide. Same God, same basic ideas, but both
sides were convinced the other side had it wrong and were damned - as
far as I could tell, mostly because of a few different words in The
Lord's Prayer about debtors vs. trespassers.

Umm... there's way more to it than that.

I'd also put forth that it's mainly the catholics that consider protestants to be non-Christians. Some of us (I would consider myself more of an evangelical than a mainline protestant) consider the Roman Catholic Church to be less than 100% authentic, but you can find authentic Christians within it.

It's way more than just a few words in a prayer, though. Some of the bigger ones are what we might call the Roman Catholic church's "proprietary extensions" to Christianity:
* Transsubstantiation (Catholics believe that the communion elements physically become the body and blood of Christ, rather than a mere celebration of the Lord's Supper)
* Celibacy (cough) for priests (not found in the Bible)
* Specific rules to observe during Lent
* etc.

Some of the practices to which Martin Luther objected are no longer common (such as the selling of indulgences for example) but the RCC still considers it the only legitimate church, while most mainline protestants consider the RCC to be one of many legitimate denominations.

My mom is one of those hyper-catholics who believes that only the RCC is legitimate and that there's no difference between protestants, evangelicals, muslims, hindus, atheists, pastafarians, etc. You're either part of Mother Church or you're not. I think Jesus would beg to disagree. Frankly it's a miracle that I merely defected to "regular" Christianity instead of just running away as fast as I could.

 



[#] Sun Dec 27 2020 19:37:11 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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By the way... my protestant Church... is now a Universal Church of Christ church. 

https://pioneerucc.org/
That is the Pro LGBT church. When we wanted to get married there, they told us the officiating pastor might be a man or a woman, and might be straight or gay. 

We were ok with the sexual preference - but my wife always envisioned having her wedding performed by a male pastor. They would not budge - oh, and we wouldn't know who would perform the marriage until a week before the ceremony. 

We had our wedding at a Lutheran church out in Elk Grove. One of those modern, A-Frame churches with big exposed beams and lots of light and comfortable pews. Very homey church. Looked kind of like the Brady Bunch home. 

Not what I imagined - but through the years, I've come to the conclusion that God and I are what matters, not what the building of worship tells me God wants or thinks or how he likes his home decorated or his music played. 

 

 



[#] Mon Dec 28 2020 01:03:43 EST from arabella

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I was kinda hoping that by now someone not a Christian, perhaps a Muslim, a Jew, or a Sikh might have had $0.02 worth.

Anyway,  I notice Mr Delusions referred to the Saints, and which of the Old Gods they replaced. Which reminded me of something I said at the beginning: There are so,few followers of the Old Gods that they may have vanished in puff of apathy. 

Now, if as "Civilised People" we say: "Yes, but the old gods were simply a way of explaining thunder & lightning,  or volcanoes,  or where the Sun goes at night" can I not also say, "Yes but Christianity is just a way of defining a moral code don't kill each other, be nice, don't lie"

I mean seriously, in a world of science, how does a deity fit the observed reality?



[#] Mon Dec 28 2020 17:22:00 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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use for praying through the Saints and the Virgin Mary (and the
reason the secular world says they adopted that mythos, and which old

Well, there's that ... you're probably aware that we consider the one who the RCC calls "the virgin mary" is neither virgin nor Mary (if not, your RTFM is at https://chick.com/products/tract?stk=0040 ... practicing Catholics, prepare to be offended).

The "real" Mary had several more kids after Jesus, eventually died, and does NOT want to be prayed to.

[#] Mon Dec 28 2020 17:29:51 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I mean seriously, in a world of science, how does a deity fit the
observed reality?

Well, I can't give you a non-believer's perspective, because I'm not one
:)

As a big fan of both God and Science, however, I can sum it up in one phrase: "Old Earth Creationism" (the writeup at https://www.oldearth.org/old.htm is a good starting point).

There's also the small matter of corruption of the word "science". An unfortunate habit of too many people in the modern era is to conflate the observable, repeatable, scientific method with scientific theories, and consider both of them to be equally valid as truth. You all know the usual suspects; no need to bring them up one by one here.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of an agnostic (not an atheist) on this subject.

[#] Mon Dec 28 2020 18:11:20 EST from arabella

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I am agnostic. I rely on the proven. 

The origin of the Universe is a thing I file under "Workable Theories, Yet to be Proved"



[#] Tue Dec 29 2020 00:23:09 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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So, we keep touching on the whole Ancient Alien Astronaut thing. 

I'm not completely sold on that. Most of the leading ideas have huge holes in them. Sitchin and Daniken both jump to a lot of conclusions and play loose with interpretation where it suits them. 

Then you have archeologists doing things like saying, "This isn't a myth, it is an oral history," about the Bible, then digging somewhere based on what was written in the book, and discovering exactly the city they were told would be there in exactly the place they were told it was. 

Mainstream science tends to shit on these ideas - because it disturbs their conventional wisdom and challenges their authority as the world's preeminent religion in society today (which it is, as currently practiced. Ig is not wrong about that at all.) 

I mentioned my writing on the subject is titled, "The Faithless Disciple." I'm agnostic too. Not atheist, not a skeptic, not a debunker. I want evidence. Personally, I think there is more evidence of intelligent design in the world than not. 

But this doesn't mean I completely buy into one scriptural tradition - or dismiss any of them. I think that it is very strange that you had a bunch of Norse men running around worshipping basically the same set of Gods, under slightly different names, as a bunch of Italians - and I think that Marvel comics has always been onto that train of thought with their Asgardian hero - and I think the ancient alien astronaut theorists make some compelling argument that there were guys who seemed like super heroes with advanced technology who were able to move around the globe back then in record times - and the ways they were navigating are still in evidence if we look with an open mind. 

In my general ed in college I ended up taking astrophysics and world religions the same semester. We would be talking about things like anti-matter and how most of the mass of the visible universe is made up of negative mass... that we're mostly NOTHING even though we appear to be mostly MATTER. At the same time we would be studying the Tao, and they would be saying Eastern goobly-gook nonsense like, "the bowl is useless and without shape until the void is carved into it, and this is the principle on which the entire universe operates."

And one day I had this epiphany on why Taoist monks tend to look at Western Science and its hubris and smirk and smile and nod their heads and go, "Oh yeah, you white guys are so brilliant with your science and physics." 

 The Yin Yang symbol isn't some BS Eastern symbol that describes an ideal. It is a scientific notation that describes the most advanced physics of the universe and basically became a part of a Cargo Cult after something terrible happened.

The Bible is a human psychology book. "If you trust in God, and very few people are capable of this, but if you obediently trust in His will, His plan, and your place in it, you will be at peace with whatever challenges come into your life in this physical plane of being." 

This is true. The most at peace, well adjusted, nonplussed people I have ever met with the most faithful Christians I've ever encountered. No matter what disappointment or adversity they encountered in their life, their faith was unbreakable. They might have moments of doubt and human frailty - but on the whole, they always came back to rolling with the punches based on their faith in God. The entire *bible* is this way. "Before you pull the mote out of your neighbor's eye, pull the plank out of your own." Just full of advice that, if you listen, and apply it - will bring you mental peace and stability in a world so full of terrible things and terror that it is hard to keep your head on straight. 

The movie and novel, "Life of Pi," says this pretty plainly. If you haven't seen it, it starts with an Indian guy telling someone, "I'll tell you a story, and at the end, you will be convinced of the Christian God." 

Then the Indian, Pi - tells a story of miracles and magic and beauty and wonder. 

At the end, the interviewers go, "You've been through a terrible trauma, and we think your story is metaphorical. These are the things that really happened - and you are telling about them through your trauma by replacing the real events with those magical, wonderful events to help you cope with them." 

Pi responds, "There are two stories. Mine is beautiful and uplifting and gives you hope and assures you that everything will be right in the world. Yours is full of terrible things and crushes the spirit and steals hope and is ugly. You can choose to believe one, that sounds impossible, or the other, that seems real. And so it goes with God." 

I walked away from the movie disappointed, because at the beginning, when he claims, "You will hear my story and it will make you believe in God," I thought to myself - the writers are setting themselves up a tall order making that statement in a movie. At the end, I was not convinced. 

Weeks later - I got what Pi meant. And it convinced me. I don't know that it made me a devout Christian - but Pi certainly wasn't wrong. 

And that IS what the bible teaches. People say, "Nobody has EVER moved a mountain with a grain of faith." 

But that isn't what that really *means*. It means with a grain of faith, the mountain doesn't matter. 

I think there is a lot more going on in our reality and how different, seemingly separate things are interconnected, and we're bad as a species at connecting those dots, in general. I think those of us who are good at connecting the dots look like fringe wacko nutjob lunatics to the rest of you. 

And I think most of it points to intelligent design, and the name we give to the Abrahamic God is probably the closest to "right" for a metaphysical, omnipotent All Creator of any of the names we ascribe to any of the powerful beings we have encountered in our history.  

It is a very unorthodox view on religion and Christianity. I've done a *lot* of multi-discipline academic research on the topic, though. I'm not just a nutcase going to UFO seminars at hotel convention centers. 


Mon Dec 28 2020 18:11:20 EST from arabella

I am agnostic. I rely on the proven. 

The origin of the Universe is a thing I file under "Workable Theories, Yet to be Proved"



 



[#] Tue Dec 29 2020 02:53:09 EST from arabella

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I am mostly at peace with the world, some of the people in it, not so much.

I don't "achieve" that peace, I'm just chill with it. The world is its own thing, and I'm fine with that.