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Pope urges leaders to renounce violence - Yahoo! News

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JesusChristPose
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0 posted 11-28-2006 10:19 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_on_re_mi_ea/pope_turkey

Nice attempt at peace between religions, but the problem remains: each religion thinks they are the one and only true religion and that if a person doesn't believe in their religion, they either need to be converted, otherwise they are doomed to eternal torment.

The answer is this; each religion should understand that its doctrine is good for only those who believe in it. Accept the other religions and understand that those religions may be true too. Only then, can true peace and a reduction in violence can occur.

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

Balladeer
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1 posted 11-28-2006 10:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Agreed, JCP, but we'll never see it. It just doesn't work that way. Most religions are very defensive, by nature, and are challenged by anyone who will not follow their paths.

As far as the Pope in Turkey, if the same amount of muslims who came out to march against him for stating the their religion is based on violence came out to march against the terrorists who are exercising violence in the name of their religion, it would serve a much better purpose.
Ron
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quote:
Most religions nations political parties philosophies people are very defensive, by nature, and are challenged by anyone who will not follow their paths.

Yeppers.

quote:
The answer is this ...

Well, it certainly is reassuring to know that someone has The answer.

I could never quite understand why anyone would urge leaders to renounce violence. Unless, of course, the leaders are engaged in violence? It would seem to make more sense to me to urge the terrorist to renounce violence. And it certainly couldn't be any less ineffective.


Stephanos
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3 posted 11-29-2006 05:57 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

JCP,

Just a reminder:  stating that exclusivity of belief and pacificism cannot be held at the same time is illogical.


If we have any accuracy about what Jesus said, it seems that at least he held a messianic consciousness and a pacifistic approach at the same time.


I'd rather go along with Ron, and say it's human nature to fight and war.  And I would also go further, and say that this is evidence of original sin.  


Besides, as far as holding sternly to ONE way of viewing things (even if that way is to renounce everything that is not relativistic) ... you are no stranger to this approach.

quote:
The answer is this; each religion should understand that its doctrine is good for only those who believe in it.


But why can't you just say that this doctrine (of relativism) is good only for you?  I don't believe in it.  You're not taking your own medicine.  True relativists are more quiet, and don't pretend to have answers.


quote:
Accept the other religions and understand that those religions may be true too. Only then, can true peace and a reduction in violence can occur.



How would this "solution" be accomplished?  By force?  By education?  If it's by force, then peace is abandoned.  If it's by education, you begin to realize (when you move out of blanket ideology, into details and specifics) that all religious claims cannot be true.  It's like saying that any answer to a sum must be true.  


I think the Pope is right on.  No, he can't stop them from terrorism.  But good advice and counsel is always apt to be trampled upon in this present age.  


Stephen.
Edward Grim
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4 posted 11-29-2006 11:37 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

I'm a Catholic, that's it end of story. No one’s going to change my mind and I’m not gonna try to change their mind about their stuff either. I think people should just leave each other alone in the department. A Muslim can come up to me and call me an infidel and tell me his religion is better and what not; I'll say, "That's gnarly" and be on my way. A Baptist or Methodist or Satanist or any other "ist" out there can do the same thing and I don't care. My beliefs are my own, none of anyone else's business. Now if they insult my beliefs to start a confrontation, I’ll defend my faith and what not but not with an AK and a molotov cocktail. A belief, is an intangible thing; so why all the bloodshed? People just need to be groovy about this stuff.
     I think holy wars are the worst and most violent wars out there. It's all about people trying to impose their beliefs onto other people man, it's not right. It's people terrorizing people. I think people use religion and holy wars as an excuse to go to war. It's getting to a point where humans can't coexist anymore. It’s sad…

And I agree with Steph about the Pope. At least someone out there wants peace, I mean seriously.

Yes it's me...

jbouder
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5 posted 11-30-2006 12:32 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

I don't think relativism is the answer.  First, I think it is untenable on a large scale.  Second, as Stephan pointed out, it is just as intolerant of opposing views as fundamentalism in many cases.

When wrestling with the issue of God's election of certain people and his reprobation of others, John Calvin wrote that we are to treat all persons as though they are God's elect.  This is not the same as saying all people are God's elect (as JCP seems to infer), but rather that the decision and prerogative is God's to choose whomever He wills.  Again, the focus here is on the individual.

Peace will only be achieved when we recognize the inherent dignity of each person.  Nationalism and Otherness both serve to shove other communities into the margins of humanity, and enable hegomonies and counterhegomonies to do dispicable things to others with no crisis of conscience.  We saw this in Algeria, we see this in Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and, yes, even the U.S..

The answer then, in my view, is not to force all those with different religious and philosophical positions to view the positions of others as all being equal.  Rather, I believe it is a mandate to all those espousing faith to honor the human dignity of all people.

A Very Absent Jim
Stephanos
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6 posted 11-30-2006 04:30 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Very good Jim.


Here's an article I found interesting.  Not that I agree with everything D'Souza writes.  Nor would I want to underscore bloodshed in the name of atheism, any more than bloodshed in the name of religion.


But if there's any truth to this article ... then the claim that religious "fundamentalism" is the root of all violence is simply wrong.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20061121/cm_csm/ydsouza


Stephen.  
Brad
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D'Souza isn't completely wrong except that he seems to want to back up the liberal historian consensus for the last fifty years or so. Religion is a prop for deeper, more concrete issues that motivate violence.  

How many people have died in the name of spreading aetheism?

My point isn't that aetheists don't murder as much as religious folk. If the above consensus is correct, it would naturally follow that they do. It just doesn't seem to be a very good slogan to justify killing.

It's not a very good slogan for anything at all.

And so it strikes me that any comparison with aetheism ultimately castrates whatever you intended to compare it with.

JesusChristPose
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8 posted 11-30-2006 06:34 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

Stephanos,

"Just a reminder:  stating that exclusivity of belief and pacificism cannot be held at the same time is illogical."

and...

"... and say it's human nature to fight and war.  And I would also go further, and say that this is evidence of original sin."

The fact is every religion that teaches its God and ways of its God is the one and only true way, coupled with what Ron said about human nature, ultimately leads to organized killings of others. Especially when tying in how these religions are instructed to GO OUT and CONVERT others.

When has an organized group of atheists gone out and slaughtered innocent people in the name of their God? Please, enlighten me. And if so, compare those incidents with the millions who have died in the name of a God.

What really gets me though is how followers of a religion, a God, smile in the face of others and kneel down and pray with followers of other religions, yet behind those followers backs, they smirk and believe that if those followers don't change and accept their God, that they are doomed to suffer forever in a hellfire. To me, that is the worst type of deception and quite frankly, it disgusts me.

  

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."
JesusChristPose
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9 posted 11-30-2006 06:52 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

JB,

"When wrestling with the issue of God's election of certain people and his reprobation of others, John Calvin wrote that we are to treat all persons as though they are God's elect.  This is not the same as saying all people are God's elect (as JCP seems to infer), but rather that the decision and prerogative is God's to choose whomever He wills.  Again, the focus here is on the individual."

Well then, what Calvin stated is a crock of bull. Would the true God condone such disingenuousness as to treat people one way, yet believing in their hearts that those people are not deserving to be treated that way because they are not truly elected, but damned to eternal hellfire for believing in a different God?  And, would not the people of the opposing religions, eventually know the disingenuousness causing even more resentment and hatred towards those with the opposing view?

The problem still boils down to human nature and when humans join forces and become organized into a religion that they believe is the ONLY TRUE WAY, and that all other religions are WRONG, which always leads to conflicts of violence with those of other faiths.

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

[This message has been edited by JesusChristPose (11-30-2006 09:41 PM).]

Stephanos
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10 posted 12-01-2006 01:00 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad:
quote:
And so it strikes me that any comparison with aetheism ultimately castrates whatever you intended to compare it with.

I honestly don't see how that is so ... seeing that I was only trying to demonstrate that the idea "definite religious belief = more violence" is a farce.  My reminder is simply that man is at war with God, and therefore himself (original sin).    


You must remember that from a Christian perspective, wrong religious views aren't much better than non-religious ones.  So I'm definitely not trying to bolster my views simply by comparing religion in-general, to atheism.  Only debunking a popular assertion which history tends to refute.


Stephen.
Brad
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11 posted 12-01-2006 01:17 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Sorry, my bad.

That wasn't directed at you, it was directed at D'Souza.

You were very clear that neither aetheism nor religion are the prime culprits here.

And that was my whole point. When you defend religion by arguing that aetheism is just as bad or worse, you are inadverdantly showing religion to be as powerless as aetheism.

And that just ain't what I think you want to do.
jbouder
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12 posted 12-01-2006 08:23 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

quote:
But if there's any truth to this article ... then the claim that religious "fundamentalism" is the root of all violence is simply wrong.


I agree.  It can be a vehicle of violence.  Not the root of it.

Jim
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13 posted 12-01-2006 09:12 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'd rather go along with Ron, and say it's human nature to fight and war.  And I would also go further, and say that this is evidence of original sin.  

The convenient original sin justification again...that solves just about everything. Since there WAS original sin, thanks to the first couple (and not referring to George and Laura), then  we are doomed and powerless, designed to be sinners no matter what. Seems to me I heard somewhere that Man was also supposed to be blessed with "free will" but apparently that is too weak to fight the inborn taintedness of Original Sin.

Sorry if that comes across bitter or sarcastic but the original sin justification is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Look down at a newborn and say, "Welcome to the world, kid. Unfortunately you arrive as a sinner because thousands of years ago a religion believes two people sinned against their God and thereby caused you to be a sinner no matter how you live your life. Enjoy your stay on Earth."

mule muffins....
jbouder
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14 posted 12-01-2006 01:05 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Balladeer:

Would you feel more comfortable with the idea that all choices are made with some end in sight?  And that, for some, the separatism that seems to go hand in hand with fundamentalism shapes the choices of the separatists to either withdraw from the mainstream or attempt to supplant the mainstream with their "superior" ideology?

This is what I think makes fundamentalists a convenient vehicle for those who have chosen power as a chief end.  While original sin might explain why people seem to act in ways at times that harm others, I think describing the behavior explains it well enough.  Especially if you want to discuss observable rather than metaphysical motivations for the behavior.

Jim
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15 posted 12-01-2006 08:11 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

That's why we have something even better and stronger than religion: Democracy.  
Stephanos
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16 posted 12-01-2006 09:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Balladeer:
quote:
The convenient original sin justification again...that solves just about everything.



Nothing convenient about it Balladeer.  It doesn't justify anything.  As a matter of fact it does just the opposite.  No one is presenting orignal sin as a solution, only a fact.  

quote:
Seems to me I heard somewhere that Man was also supposed to be blessed with "free will" but apparently that is too weak to fight the inborn taintedness of Original Sin.

Chesterton once wrote that sin is a fact "as practical as potatoes", and that men in his time "... have begun not to deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt".  But when you make an argument for human freewill "overcoming" sin, you are not disagreeing with me about the problem, but about the solution.    


quote:
Look down at a newborn and say, "Welcome to the world, kid. Unfortunately you arrive as a sinner because thousands of years ago a religion believes two people sinned against their God and thereby caused you to be a sinner no matter how you live your life. Enjoy your stay on Earth."

mule muffins....

We lack the view of human solidarity today, which would recognize certain universal truths about humanity as a whole.  There was a time in which this was easier to understand and believe.  This doesn't surprise me, since we live in American where individualistic philosophy is so prevalent.  


But I think you might be overly pessimistic about sin in one way (as your view of what the doctrine would entail), and overly optimistic about humanity in another.  For in addition to original sin, the Bible also teaches that we are made in God's image.  An image which is not so easily diminished regardless of sin.  I've never met a bad person yet, that I can't see some good in.  There is light mingled with the darkness.  There are good motives mingled with the bad.  


You're right in saying that it would be ugly, almost vulgar to say that a baby's birth isn't worthy to be celebrated, simply because of original sin.  God rains on the just and the unjust alike.  There is an overarching mercy and glory that is more foundational than sin, and by which we can rejoice to be alive.


However I think this "splendor" of mankind is contingent ... ultimately relative to a relationship with God.  And if it is conditional, then it may be diminished, or (God forbid) lost.  Never a story moved me that didn't have at least the potential of loss and tragedy.  In fact, it was because of such jeopardy, that the victories seemed so sublime.


And if "original sin" were the only part of the story, then your figurative lamentation to the baby would make more sense.  As it stands, the same revelation that teaches original sin as reality, also teaches a way through the "vally of the shadow of death" ... and a way for love to "cover a multitude of sins".


Stephen.              
JesusChristPose
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17 posted 12-01-2006 11:53 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

"... As a matter of fact it does just the opposite.  No one is presenting orignal sin as a solution, only a fact."

~ One can present anything as being factual, but is based merely on opinion.

~ The original sin doctrine is a crock of bull. Mike, I agree with you. Any God that would impose an original sin on a newborn human being is a God that I would spit at, and be justified in doing so.

~ The original sin doctrine is one created by man. One created to control and instill fear. It is, what we were already talking about in this thread, a doctrine that promotes humans to war with other humans.

  


"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."
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No one is presenting orignal sin as a solution, only a fact.  

No, Stephanos, I am not stating that anyone is presenting original sin as a solution. My claim is that it is presented as an excuse or rationale for violent  or abhorrent behavior, such as your comment...

I'd rather go along with Ron, and say it's human nature to fight and war.  And I would also go further, and say that this is evidence of original sin.  

I do not refute the belief that it is human nature to fight and war. I'm sure that humans have warred since caveman days. I DO refute the fact of original sin causing it.
You present original sin as fact. That's one of the reasons there is so much animosity between religions. All present their doctrines as facts when they are, and can be,  nothing more than beliefs.


As it stands, the same revelation that teaches original sin as reality, also teaches a way through the "vally of the shadow of death" ... and a way for love to "cover a multitude of sins".


....and there you have it.  Religion is a business and, as any successful business, it needs a product. The product of religion is salvation. A business also needs customers who need it's product. What better way to convince people that they need salvation than to convince them they are all sinners? Enter  original sin. You don't have to wait for  people to sin to sell your product. You convince them  that they are sinners from birth due  to actions from thousands of years ago they had no choice in and their only chance for redemption is  to spend  their lives atoning for those inherited sins by participation in organized religion. They make Nigerian "Princes" needing your help to get money out of Nigeria look like pikers. Organized religion runs on guilt.. 'get down on your knees - pray for forgiveness - we are not worthy, Lord - to save a wretch like me". Original sin allows  them to create the guilt and then sell their product of salvation to the same people they have convinced must have it to overcome the guilt they have instilled in them. Perfect business tactics. Create and then fill the need. That is the beauty of original sin.

That's why we have something even better and stronger than religion: Democracy.

I'll go along with better, Essorant,    but you'll never convince me of stronger.

Jim,  what I would feel comfortable with really doesn't matter. Man has gone from throwing stones to throwing nukes. If our actions are being determined with some specific end in the sight, that end seems to be  destruction. Maybe THAT is God's plan. Who can say?
JesusChristPose
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19 posted 12-02-2006 12:56 AM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

~ Let's see, original sin ... hmmm, how old were both Adam and Eve when they so-called commited original sin? Maybe they were teens, I bet they were. No doubt, they were both young.

~ And so, God gave them some rules, one was not to eat from a certain tree. LOL! I can see it now. I have a brand new PS3 and tell my young children, "Don't play this machine," even though I brought it home knowing that they would be curious and enticed by the product.  Yet, that is not enough! Not only do I bring the new PS3 home, but I allow a salesman to visit my house, while my children are not aware that I am watching, and SELL IT to them.

~ Wow! Some kind of father I am, huh? And, when the temptation is too much for my YOUNG children and they play the PS3, I label it as

ORIGINAL SIN!

~ Laughable, indeed.

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."
Ron
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quote:
Religion is a business and, as any successful business, it needs a product. The product of religion is salvation.

You've got it all wrong, Mike. If religion can be said to have a product, that product would be Life. It has to help you live your life better today, else the religion is a false one. You have to "do this" or "do that" because it will make you a more fulfilled, more content, more fully realized human being immediately, not because of a future promise you can neither see nor touch. Get it wrong and you're going to suffer. Get it right and you're going to prosper. It's really as simple as that.

Salvation is a by-product of religion, not its goal.

The concept of original sin, like most of the Big Concepts in the Old Testament, rests on the shoulders of law and comes from a time much different than today, a time when family meant something more than it does to most of us. In modern times we only feel entitled to inherit our parents' and grandparents' wealth, not their debts or obligations. It wasn't always like that, though. The death of the extended family covers no more than a hundred or so years, while the responsibility of family extends back several thousand.

Just as kings beget kings, so too did slaves beget slaves, and even the progeny of convicts sent to Australia didn't suddenly find themselves with a free ticket back to Europe just because they were "innocent" children. That seems completely unfair to this age's more self-centered individual, and in some ways, I think that's a bit of a shame. That shift in thinking, I suspect, has led to a culture where too many forget that their actions have consequences beyond themselves. The son of an alcoholic need not become an alcoholic (chances are good he will, but it's still a choice to be made), but he will most certainly STILL pay a hard price for his father's choices. We try to act as if it's no longer so, but family binds us in ways far beyond those of simple blood. We try to celebrate the bond, as well we should, but too easily forget that a bond implies a bondage, and in this case, one not easily escaped. Responsibility is NEVER a one-way street, and the parent can't be responsible for the child, something we are all still quick to acknowledge, unless the child is also responsible for the parent.

There are no innocent children, there are only receptacles into which the shape of the parents' lives are poured.

Nothing can grow in the soil until first a seed or two is planted, and you're always going to get more from your parents than just the color of your eyes, Grandma's upturned nose, and maybe a good chance for Parkinson's or sickle cell anemia.

Back when I was still a teen and writing badly clichéd science fiction stories about a man and a woman being marooned on a pristine planet and suddenly revealed as Adam and Eve, I also remember writing a short story based on the premise that succumbing to temptation in the Garden wasn't necessarily inevitable. What would our world be like today if our First Parents hadn't disobeyed and been separated from God? In a world where God came down and talked to us every now and then, maybe like a State of the Union address, would we even have a word for religion?

More importantly to this discussion, though, would each of us born throughout the intervening years have to earn our way into God's presence? Or would those born within the Garden claim it as their birthright?

If Adam and Eve had never sinned, would we today be claiming our inheritance just as vehemently as so many now deny any responsibility?

In my opinion, Original Sin isn't a justification for today's choices, nor even an excuse. After all, Jesus proved those choices are, indeed, choices and need not be made. However, the cost of disobedience was separation from God, a cost born by all, and THAT will have an inevitable effect on our choices, too. It's a bit like being raised by parents who leave you notes about what you should do today, but never seem to be around to tell if you if got it right or not. We lost access to that direct feedback, and that makes our choices a little harder to make.

We screw up. A lot.

Faith isn't just something someone grabbed to build a religion around. It is, rather, the only possible answer to being separated from God. It's a bit like pretending -- really, really hard -- that He is still a direct part of your life.

The crazy part is that sometimes it actually works pretty well. We screw up a little less. Indeed, the lesson Jesus taught, through the example of His life, was that perfect faith can bridge the separation brought about by Original Sin. Faith can put us on the same footing as Adam and Eve before they disobeyed and cost us all so dearly. Adam, through direct contact, knew God's will and chose to disobey. Jesus, through perfect faith, gleaned God's will and chose to not disobey. We're all stuck somewhere in the middle, denied the direct contact but clearly still unable to live through perfect faith. So we screw up more than we should, and every bit of pain we suffer in this life (never mind the next one) is a direct result of being stuck in the middle, caught in the paradox of knowing better but not always believing in what we know.

We screw up. A lot.

That is the human condition.
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21 posted 12-02-2006 08:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You may state I have it all wrong, Ron, but on that we will have to agree to disagree. I believe in my conclusions as strongly as you in yours. The product of the church is Life? You didn't finish the sentence. The product is life everlasting. The reward is the Kingdom in Heaven. How you live your life has one major result, according to the church. It's not that your life be happier here....it's that your actions will grant you access to life without end. The church is not selling Laz-E-Boy lounge chairs to make your back feel better now. The church is telling you how you must lead your life  and what you must sacrifice to reap eternal rewards. Sacrifice has always been a major factor in religion, from goats to people to tithing. Requiring people to sacrifice is not something the church decrees to make one's life better NOW. It's to insure their salvation after death. I would be happy to join a church whose purpose, or product, was life now. Show me one where the sermon does not speak of Heaven or sacrifice or salvation or rewards beyond the grave and I'll be there. The church preaches that many questions concerning the Bible cannot be answered by mortals....one has to rely on faith. Faith in what? Faith in the fact there IS a God and there IS a heaven and the answers await beyond the grave. Chuch deals with Man's SOULS. The product of church is not life, Ron, it's the after-life rewards...and not only the 52 virgins awaiting each suicide bomber.

My claim is that Life is the by-product, not the product. One can certainly achieve a feeling of self-satisfaction and contentment with one's own life by helping others and following the guidelines the church sets forth to reach the promised afterlife but those are by-products. Achieving salvation is the product.

Your comparison to families extending responsibilities back thousands of years just doesn't work for me. Using the son of an alcoholic as an example is a far cry from going back centuries. Yes, I suppose that, if there were an Adam, he would be my grandfather times ten to the zillionth power but so what and why should his action determine my values?  There is a good chance that either you are I are descendants of slaves or peasants during the time of Caesar. Are we slaves now? Of course not. That type of logic only goes back so far.

What would our world be like today if our First Parents hadn't disobeyed and been separated from God?In a world where God came down and talked to us every now and then, maybe like a State of the Union address, would we even have a word for religion?

No, we wouldn't, Ron, and that's the point. We have religion because we are deemed to be sinners who need redemption and salvation. Without that man-imposed yoke around our necks which labels us as being unworthy of God's mercy, organized religion would have no product to sell. Actually, your comment there belies your previous comment about life being the product of religion. If it were, then there would still be religion in that setting. The fact that you question whether religion would exist without original sin indicates to me that you may also agree that religion's main function is providing a vehicle in which sinners can find redemption and salvation which will lead to  eternal life.

One thing we certainly CAN agree on is that we screw up a lot.
Stephanos
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22 posted 12-02-2006 09:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

JCP:
quote:
Wow! Some kind of father I am, huh? And, when the temptation is too much for my YOUNG children and they play the PS3, I label it as

ORIGINAL SIN!

~ Laughable, indeed.


Straw-man - (noun)

- a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument




The question of whether the Biblical account of Original sin, is anything at all like your caricature, is still an open question.  And one which may warrant another thread if you want.

But as for this thread:  The premise that absolute beliefs are the cause of violence, I think most here have concluded that to be untrue.  Even Balladeer demonstrates that he isn't free of religious-like absolutes when he says things like "All present their doctrines as facts when they are, and can be,  nothing more than beliefs."  and, "I believe in my conclusions as strongly as you in yours."


There are just as many religious-like beliefs floating about this forum, as there are among the religious world.  (I am not exaggerating in the least)  And yet we can discuss things peacefully.  The same reluctance or refusal to resort to violence or brutality can be demonstrated anywhere, beliefs notwithstanding.


Stephen.
Stephanos
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23 posted 12-02-2006 10:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Balladeer:
quote:
The reward is the Kingdom in Heaven. How you live your life has one major result, according to the church. It's not that your life be happier here....it's that your actions will grant you access to life without end. The church is not selling Laz-E-Boy lounge chairs to make your back feel better now.


Might it be an exaggeration to say that the Church has taught the sole importance of the post-mortem state, to the disposal of our present lives?  That's not what I sense is being communicated when I read the Bible (at more than a glance).  When Jesus talked about reward, he said in at least one place "... now and in the age to come" stressing continuum rather than antithesis.


Are there other places in scripture where there seems to be antithesis?  Yes, but it is the antithesis of carnality versus spirituality, of real life versus pseudo-life ... not so much 'then versus now'.  Earthly time is not set in the same kind of antithesis against eternity.  To do that (the way you describe) would be more like Gnosticism, even Buddhism, than Christianity.  


Much like Planting would never be set over and against harvesting ... our present lives are not set over and against eternal life.  But one certainly determines much about the other.  And there are early fruits as well as later fruits, along with the sacrifice involved.


quote:
I would be happy to join a church whose purpose, or product, was life now. Show me one where the sermon does not speak of Heaven or sacrifice or salvation or rewards beyond the grave and I'll be there.


I think it would be unbalanced never to mention "Heaven" if there were were indeed such a state ... just as it would be unbalanced not to address life on earth, seeing we experience this as reality.


Personally, I've heard many sermons, teachings, etc ... which emphasize the importance of "now", with much of the same kind of balance as scripture.  If you're interested, talk to me more and I'll share with you in greater detail the heritage of Christianity which has always (though not perfectly) aspired to be "in the world, but not of it".  


And maybe that's part of the whole idea of sacrifice (not that any of our own works may save us), that we love the world enough to reject many of its elements.  Chesterton once wrote that "... one only breaks the fence or shoots the moon in order to get home" and that he himself became "a pilgrim to cure himself of being an exile".  


I think you might be making the mistake of dividing Heaven and Earth in a way that Christianity doesn't (not when it is true to itself).  You might at least want to explore this some more.


And even the better of "secular" (for lack of a better word) philosophies recognize that life cannot always lounge in a La-Z-boy.  So I imagine the Biblical realism about Heaven (and the urge for costly preparation) is more in line with your own personal philosophy than you might think.


quote:
Yes, I suppose that, if there were an Adam, he would be my grandfather times ten to the zillionth power but so what and why should his action determine my values?  There is a good chance that either you are I are descendants of slaves or peasants during the time of Caesar. Are we slaves now? Of course not. That type of logic only goes back so far.



But it's more than inherited guilt ... it's inherited nature, and the proof's in the pudding.  Do we act like Adam, in his turning from God?  Do you?  The Bible states that we were "in Adam" when he sinned.  I'm not sure exactly how to take that, penetrating the mysteries of time and human destiny, but I do see this one thing: solidarity and connection, and evidence of it in action.


And the fact that God, even after judgement was pronounced, immediately made coverings (redemptive act) and promises to Adam, signifcantly challenges the "not fair that you left us in the dark" kind of argument.  Original sin may mean possible ruin, but also potential glory and beauty beyond a prefallen kind.  


quote:
Without that man-imposed yoke around our necks which labels us as being unworthy of God's mercy, organized religion would have no product to sell.



Unworthy of mercy ... is a contradiction of terms.  The Bible doesn't teach that we are unworthy of mercy, but of merit.  God may be our savior, but not our debtor.  We are taught that we need mercy, and that God is willing to grant it.


When one says "I am righteous in myself", there is a denial of mercy.


"'Oh of course I'm wrong.  Everything I say or do is wrong according to you'

'But of course!' said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled.  'That's what we all find when we reach this country.  We've all been wrong!  That's the great joke.  There's no need to go on pretending one was right!  After that we begin living.'
(C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce)

  
Have any good things ever been abused, or misused?  Pointing out that unscrupulous marketers have sold bottled water (stale and plasticky tasting) doesn't mean that there aren't mountain streams, or gloriously cold and sparkling wells.


Finally, it's interesting that every objection to Original sin you've used is a prime example of it according to Christian doctrine.  Peddling, deceit, dishonesty, controlling oppression.  Funny that such a doctrine (which condemns these acts) would be developed to cinch the advantage of those who are the most corrupt.  Counterintuitive isn't it?  

Funny that where the Church has been most corrupt, scripture provides the best verbalization of protest... But those are typically situations where those kinds of scripture are downplayed, or downright hidden from view.  (I'm thinking how Luther exposed the hypocrisy of indulgences while Church officials kept the holy writ in Latin and inaccessable to the commoners, among more contemporary examples as well).  These kinds of molds usually flourish in the damp darkness where the light of scriptural truth has been removed.


Stephen.        
JesusChristPose
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since 06-21-2005
Posts 679
Pittsburgh, Pa


24 posted 12-03-2006 12:37 AM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

Stephanos,

Obviously, you don't understand the context of the strawman. The analogy I gave was quite befitting to the subject matter.

You believe in a God that I could never believe exists. And, for that, I am very much thankful that I don't.

And, I can go to bed at night knowing that I am not a hypocrite, like those who smile in people's faces and act politely towards those people, yet in their hearts believe that those same people are wrong and are going to suffer in a hellfire for eternity.


"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."
 
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