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So striking is it how perfect the correlation is for a question with nine possible responses that, apropos of nothing, sharing what I inadvertently stumbled onto seemed worthwhile:

The only confound being avoided here is the racial one, though the results similarly stair step up continuously from “never” to “multiple times a week” without exception when respondents of all races are included. Correlation is obviously not necessarily causation. People who are depressed tend not to do much of anything, including church. But if you’re looking for cheerfulness in your social circle, God’s house may be worth checking out.

GSS variables used: ATTEND, RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1)

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: GSS, Happiness, Religion 
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  1. Multiple times a…day…

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Talha, @BaboonTycoon

  2. All this proves is that the churches today are dens of robbers and not houses of prayer.

    The Christian life, when lived sincerely, almost always leads to actual unhappiness. Jesus lived a life of burdens, temptations, solitude, and suffering, and ended His earthly career dying by torture as a condemned criminal even though innocent of all wrong doing. We are supposed to be the servants of Christ, and the servant is not better than his master. “Where I am, my servant shall be also,” said the Lord. And where is the Lord? Dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

    “He who would be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.” The words could not be plainer. It is quite obvious that the churches no longer preach this gospel. If we had been living a Eucharistic life, we would not now be suffering global tyranny and bullshit Covid lockdowns while even the pretense of religion is denied us. We got exactly what we deserved for pursuing “happiness.”

    • Agree: gay troll, JohnPlywood
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Wielgus
    @Intelligent Dasein

    My feeling is that the religious enthusiasts who continue attending services etc. probably actually believe in the religion. What is Covid-19 as opposed to God or eternity? The ones that end up not holding services or only doing so remotely are behaving more like government bureaucrats than anything else but that may be where their funding comes from.
    Sometimes however it seems to me that Covid-19 has itself created a religion.

    , @Jtgw
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I think many Christian thinkers of undoubted authority would dispute strongly that Christians should be unhappy. They would say our redemption through Christ should bring us unbounded joy. But at the same time it is true we should feel sorrow for our sins. At John of the Ladder talks about “joy-causing mourning”.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    , @Neuday
    @Intelligent Dasein

    It is quite likely that "happiness" is being conflated with "contentment". Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn't.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Saint Louis

    , @Rich
    @Intelligent Dasein

    A believing Christian would say Jesus Christ ended "His earthly career" not on the cross, but risen from the dead. And even that "His earthly career" continues through the Holy Spirit. I realize that anyone can have their opinion about the meaning of Christ's time on earth, but I believe most Christians are taught to rejoice, because He is risen.

    Replies: @RSDB, @gay troll

  3. I am an outlier. I am not religious yet happy.

  4. @Intelligent Dasein
    All this proves is that the churches today are dens of robbers and not houses of prayer.

    The Christian life, when lived sincerely, almost always leads to actual unhappiness. Jesus lived a life of burdens, temptations, solitude, and suffering, and ended His earthly career dying by torture as a condemned criminal even though innocent of all wrong doing. We are supposed to be the servants of Christ, and the servant is not better than his master. "Where I am, my servant shall be also," said the Lord. And where is the Lord? Dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

    "He who would be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." The words could not be plainer. It is quite obvious that the churches no longer preach this gospel. If we had been living a Eucharistic life, we would not now be suffering global tyranny and bullshit Covid lockdowns while even the pretense of religion is denied us. We got exactly what we deserved for pursuing "happiness."

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Jtgw, @Neuday, @Rich

    My feeling is that the religious enthusiasts who continue attending services etc. probably actually believe in the religion. What is Covid-19 as opposed to God or eternity? The ones that end up not holding services or only doing so remotely are behaving more like government bureaucrats than anything else but that may be where their funding comes from.
    Sometimes however it seems to me that Covid-19 has itself created a religion.

  5. @Intelligent Dasein
    All this proves is that the churches today are dens of robbers and not houses of prayer.

    The Christian life, when lived sincerely, almost always leads to actual unhappiness. Jesus lived a life of burdens, temptations, solitude, and suffering, and ended His earthly career dying by torture as a condemned criminal even though innocent of all wrong doing. We are supposed to be the servants of Christ, and the servant is not better than his master. "Where I am, my servant shall be also," said the Lord. And where is the Lord? Dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

    "He who would be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." The words could not be plainer. It is quite obvious that the churches no longer preach this gospel. If we had been living a Eucharistic life, we would not now be suffering global tyranny and bullshit Covid lockdowns while even the pretense of religion is denied us. We got exactly what we deserved for pursuing "happiness."

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Jtgw, @Neuday, @Rich

    I think many Christian thinkers of undoubted authority would dispute strongly that Christians should be unhappy. They would say our redemption through Christ should bring us unbounded joy. But at the same time it is true we should feel sorrow for our sins. At John of the Ladder talks about “joy-causing mourning”.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Jtgw


    I think many Christian thinkers of undoubted authority would dispute strongly that Christians should be unhappy.
     
    I did not say that Christians "should" be unhappy. I said that living the Christian life sincerely, under the conditions of existence we find ourselves in, more often than not leads to actual unhappiness. The transcendental joy of being with God, whether in the body or out of the body, is not the subject here. The subject here is the creaturely happiness that pertains properly to beings of our nature. It is hard to see how anyone could sincerely follow the commands of Christ and yet retain that kind of happiness, given the world as it is today.
  6. This isn’t a new finding, rather conventional wisdom, but still counter-intuitive: a belief in the Lake of Fire doesn’t seem conducive to happiness.

    • Replies: @Fluesterwitz
    @TBA

    It may very well be if you believe the warm reception is for other people.

  7. @Intelligent Dasein
    All this proves is that the churches today are dens of robbers and not houses of prayer.

    The Christian life, when lived sincerely, almost always leads to actual unhappiness. Jesus lived a life of burdens, temptations, solitude, and suffering, and ended His earthly career dying by torture as a condemned criminal even though innocent of all wrong doing. We are supposed to be the servants of Christ, and the servant is not better than his master. "Where I am, my servant shall be also," said the Lord. And where is the Lord? Dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

    "He who would be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." The words could not be plainer. It is quite obvious that the churches no longer preach this gospel. If we had been living a Eucharistic life, we would not now be suffering global tyranny and bullshit Covid lockdowns while even the pretense of religion is denied us. We got exactly what we deserved for pursuing "happiness."

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Jtgw, @Neuday, @Rich

    It is quite likely that “happiness” is being conflated with “contentment”. Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn’t.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Rosie
    @Neuday


    It is quite likely that “happiness” is being conflated with “contentment”. Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn’t.
     
    Agree. ID is right that "happiness" in the worldly sense is the wrong standard for the good life, at least for Christians, but I don't think your average churchgoing survey respondent has thought through the various shades of meaning in the terms happiness, contentment, joy, etc. quite as much as your average unz commenter.
    , @Saint Louis
    @Neuday


    Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn’t.
     
    What about regular church attendance and regular drinking?

    "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there's always laughter and good red wine." - Hilaire Belloc

    Your point is correct though.

  8. @Jtgw
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I think many Christian thinkers of undoubted authority would dispute strongly that Christians should be unhappy. They would say our redemption through Christ should bring us unbounded joy. But at the same time it is true we should feel sorrow for our sins. At John of the Ladder talks about “joy-causing mourning”.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    I think many Christian thinkers of undoubted authority would dispute strongly that Christians should be unhappy.

    I did not say that Christians “should” be unhappy. I said that living the Christian life sincerely, under the conditions of existence we find ourselves in, more often than not leads to actual unhappiness. The transcendental joy of being with God, whether in the body or out of the body, is not the subject here. The subject here is the creaturely happiness that pertains properly to beings of our nature. It is hard to see how anyone could sincerely follow the commands of Christ and yet retain that kind of happiness, given the world as it is today.

  9. …Seggendo in piuma
    in fama non si vien, né sotto coltre,
    sanza la qual chi sua vita consuma
    cotal vestigo in terra di sé lascia
    qual fummo in aere ed in acqua la schiuma.

    -Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XXIV.

  10. @Intelligent Dasein
    All this proves is that the churches today are dens of robbers and not houses of prayer.

    The Christian life, when lived sincerely, almost always leads to actual unhappiness. Jesus lived a life of burdens, temptations, solitude, and suffering, and ended His earthly career dying by torture as a condemned criminal even though innocent of all wrong doing. We are supposed to be the servants of Christ, and the servant is not better than his master. "Where I am, my servant shall be also," said the Lord. And where is the Lord? Dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

    "He who would be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." The words could not be plainer. It is quite obvious that the churches no longer preach this gospel. If we had been living a Eucharistic life, we would not now be suffering global tyranny and bullshit Covid lockdowns while even the pretense of religion is denied us. We got exactly what we deserved for pursuing "happiness."

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Jtgw, @Neuday, @Rich

    A believing Christian would say Jesus Christ ended “His earthly career” not on the cross, but risen from the dead. And even that “His earthly career” continues through the Holy Spirit. I realize that anyone can have their opinion about the meaning of Christ’s time on earth, but I believe most Christians are taught to rejoice, because He is risen.

    • Agree: Twinkie, RSDB
    • Replies: @RSDB
    @Rich

    Both "Makarios" and "Dolores" have been common Christian names at different times.

    Replies: @RSDB

    , @gay troll
    @Rich

    Yes and if you want to be with your Lord in his Heavenly kingdom you better do what he says: break up with your family, give all your money to the temple, become like a wild animal with no thought for tomorrow, pray in a closet and exalt yourself in grief, promise nothing, judge not, never resist your enemies, and as Dasein points out, take up your cross and follow your leader to the quickest way out of your worthless life.

    Jesus Christ says repeatedly that his teachings are only for sinners and Jews.

    Replies: @Rich, @Saint Louis

  11. @Rich
    @Intelligent Dasein

    A believing Christian would say Jesus Christ ended "His earthly career" not on the cross, but risen from the dead. And even that "His earthly career" continues through the Holy Spirit. I realize that anyone can have their opinion about the meaning of Christ's time on earth, but I believe most Christians are taught to rejoice, because He is risen.

    Replies: @RSDB, @gay troll

    Both “Makarios” and “Dolores” have been common Christian names at different times.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    @RSDB

    An interesting (though long) lecture on the topic in question:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp0tIhW1YyY

  12. anonymous[481] • Disclaimer says:

    There are a lot of confounders here, and it is pretty muddled which direction the causation runs. People who go to church regularly are more likely to be married with kids in stable families. Also when you are talking about people who have the time weekly or several times a week they would be less likely to be people severely addicted to social media, video games, sportsball, onlyfans, and any other time sinks, which of course means more happiness. Lastly, people who view their lives in the context of a bigger purpose are happier. It is completely chicken and egg though.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
  13. Too bad nobody reads John D. Mueller. For instance:

    “…all gifts of scarce resources — whether rearing a child or devoting time to worship — require the same lowering of self and raising of others in our scale of preferences for persons. On average throughout the world in 2006 (adjusted for differences in mortality), a couple which never worshipped had an average of 1.19 children; but the average couple which worshipped at least once a week had 2.44 more-an average of 3.63 children. This was true with relatively little variation by religious denomination.

    But regular worship is not only positively related to fertility in a roughly linear fashion. It is also inversely related to the incidence of abortion, which (like crime in general) rises exponentially as the rate of worship decline.

    https://eppc.org/publications/a-long-view-of-longevity-fertility-education-and-income/

  14. The Happiness of God?

  15. God makes Bonobos happy.

    https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/like-2

    Are humans optional?

    Are we simply so self centered as a species that we do not realize that God’s ineffable plan is not about us?

    PEACE 😇

  16. @Rich
    @Intelligent Dasein

    A believing Christian would say Jesus Christ ended "His earthly career" not on the cross, but risen from the dead. And even that "His earthly career" continues through the Holy Spirit. I realize that anyone can have their opinion about the meaning of Christ's time on earth, but I believe most Christians are taught to rejoice, because He is risen.

    Replies: @RSDB, @gay troll

    Yes and if you want to be with your Lord in his Heavenly kingdom you better do what he says: break up with your family, give all your money to the temple, become like a wild animal with no thought for tomorrow, pray in a closet and exalt yourself in grief, promise nothing, judge not, never resist your enemies, and as Dasein points out, take up your cross and follow your leader to the quickest way out of your worthless life.

    Jesus Christ says repeatedly that his teachings are only for sinners and Jews.

    • Replies: @Rich
    @gay troll

    You have an interesting take on the Gospels. Having read them several times myself, I've reached a different conclusion than you. As Jesus said, "...many are called, but few are chosen." If the Word doesn't speak to you, then maybe you aren't one of "the chosen".

    Replies: @gay troll, @Audacious Epigone

    , @Saint Louis
    @gay troll

    I don't think I've ever seen a more accurate handle. Give this man a prize!

    Replies: @gay troll

  17. @Talha
    Multiple times a...day...
    https://media.tenor.com/images/22b455a0521c66936c38b1f6f91f8493/tenor.gif

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides. The sense of common purpose and belonging. Which is why a lot of atheists turn to pseudo-religions like environmentalism or veganism, or political activism.

    If you look at things like environmentalism and the idea of belonging to an LGBT "community" they're desperate attempts to find that sense of belonging, even if the only thing uniting them is a common interest in certain sexual practices. It's pretty sad when people think they've found a sense of community by being part of a community of men who like to wear frocks and pretend to themselves that they're women but that's what we've come to. That's why so many of our children fall for the ridiculous transsexual nonsense.

    A healthy secular society needs to address the basic human need for community and common purpose. Not everyone needs those things but a lot of people do.

    It's unfortunate that a lot of atheists who function quite happily without a sense of community are incapable of understanding that most people aren't made that way.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    Replies: @Rosie, @gay troll, @iffen

    , @Talha
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong.
     
    Agreed.

    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    Probably, so why don’t they?

    Peace.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @anon

    , @BaboonTycoon
    @gay troll


    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    I don't think so. I've yet to see any social science data that shows these results hold up for anyone except the religious. That's part of what turned me to religion in the first place. I saw it as evidence of Christ protecting his people on Earth. But regardless, if it was just the communal aspect that made all the difference, then you wouldn't expect the results shown in the very survey AE posts above.

    I'm a Latin-mass attending Catholic who has a church within walking distance. I go to mass almost every day since I have no excuse not to. There's no real socializing in daily mass. Too few people come, everyone has lives to get back to afterwards anyway. We go, we receive communion, we leave. All the chitchat happens on Sunday. Conversely someone who only goes to church "monthly" or "several times a year" probably can't be said to have meaningful relationships with any fellow attendees any more than someone who never goes does. The results suggest it is the outlook that religion instills in a person and the rules that it makes him live by that make people happy. The stronger the adherence, the happier a person is.

    Replies: @gay troll

  18. @gay troll
    @Rich

    Yes and if you want to be with your Lord in his Heavenly kingdom you better do what he says: break up with your family, give all your money to the temple, become like a wild animal with no thought for tomorrow, pray in a closet and exalt yourself in grief, promise nothing, judge not, never resist your enemies, and as Dasein points out, take up your cross and follow your leader to the quickest way out of your worthless life.

    Jesus Christ says repeatedly that his teachings are only for sinners and Jews.

    Replies: @Rich, @Saint Louis

    You have an interesting take on the Gospels. Having read them several times myself, I’ve reached a different conclusion than you. As Jesus said, “…many are called, but few are chosen.” If the Word doesn’t speak to you, then maybe you aren’t one of “the chosen”.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Rich

    Jesus says he speaks in parables so that only the chosen will understand, which is apparently what you are referring to when you quote Matthew. But when Jesus says that many are invited but few are chosen, he is telling a parable about something very different. Matthew says the Pharisees and Sadducees know that Jesus is telling a parable about them (Matthew 21:45). Jesus then says the kingdom of heaven is like a “king” preparing a wedding feast for his “son”. The king invited many people to his son’s wedding, but none of them wanted to attend, and some even killed the king’s messengers. Thus Jesus implies the Pharisees and Sadducees (i.e. the evil Jews) are like the ones who refused God’s invitation. The key to this parable is Matthew 22:7, where Jesus describe the kings revenge: “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” This is obviously a description of Titus sacking Jerusalem in 70 CE.

    Jesus continues his parable, saying the king’s servants went into the streets and invited every Tom, Dick, and Harry to the wedding. So some poor replacement sap (i.e. a Christian) showed up as invited but without proper attire, and what did the king do? He tied him up and threw him out in the cold. Because many are invited, but few are chosen. This parable suggests that although God promises heaven to all, he entertains very few. No wonder his original invitees did not want to come.

    If you are one of the chosen who understands the parables of Jesus, how do you explain the one where he compares the Son of Man to a thief who must take the householder by surprise in order to bind him and spoil his possessions?

    Replies: @Rich

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Rich

    John Calvin drops the hammer!

    Replies: @iffen

  19. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Talha, @BaboonTycoon

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides. The sense of common purpose and belonging. Which is why a lot of atheists turn to pseudo-religions like environmentalism or veganism, or political activism.

    If you look at things like environmentalism and the idea of belonging to an LGBT “community” they’re desperate attempts to find that sense of belonging, even if the only thing uniting them is a common interest in certain sexual practices. It’s pretty sad when people think they’ve found a sense of community by being part of a community of men who like to wear frocks and pretend to themselves that they’re women but that’s what we’ve come to. That’s why so many of our children fall for the ridiculous transsexual nonsense.

    A healthy secular society needs to address the basic human need for community and common purpose. Not everyone needs those things but a lot of people do.

    It’s unfortunate that a lot of atheists who function quite happily without a sense of community are incapable of understanding that most people aren’t made that way.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @dfordoom


    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    If.

    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides.
     
    That's because you can't provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.

    Remember the whole "Bowling Alone" book by Robert Putnam? Most people remember that the book was about diversity reducing social trust. What many don't seem to remember is that the author put forth two variables that counteracted or at least mitigated that declining trust: shared religion and military service. Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building, certainly much more intense than having "juice and crackers" together once a week. Indeed, such bonds are so strong that some people even abandon or neglect their own families to seek the company of shared believers or military brotherhood.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  20. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Talha, @BaboonTycoon

    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.

    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?
     
    This is a really interesting question. One might argue that gender roles are built into the very fabric of God's Creation. (Male and female created He them.)

    As for subordination, some say the curse of subjection was lifted by the atonement of Christ. I am increasingly persuaded by this view. Those who claim otherwise and insist that it is sinful for women to resist subjection to men never seem to have any problem with men using tractors and even sitting in air conditioned offices all day, despite Adam's curse.
    From Genesis 3:

    19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
     
    What is liberating about this is that, lifted or not, the curse was not the original Plan, but rather equality and harmony. That much, at least, is indisputable.
    , @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    Not necessarily. Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question? Will they be enforced? By whom?

    Replies: @dfordoom

    , @iffen
    @dfordoom

    Galatians 3

    28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  21. @Rich
    @gay troll

    You have an interesting take on the Gospels. Having read them several times myself, I've reached a different conclusion than you. As Jesus said, "...many are called, but few are chosen." If the Word doesn't speak to you, then maybe you aren't one of "the chosen".

    Replies: @gay troll, @Audacious Epigone

    Jesus says he speaks in parables so that only the chosen will understand, which is apparently what you are referring to when you quote Matthew. But when Jesus says that many are invited but few are chosen, he is telling a parable about something very different. Matthew says the Pharisees and Sadducees know that Jesus is telling a parable about them (Matthew 21:45). Jesus then says the kingdom of heaven is like a “king” preparing a wedding feast for his “son”. The king invited many people to his son’s wedding, but none of them wanted to attend, and some even killed the king’s messengers. Thus Jesus implies the Pharisees and Sadducees (i.e. the evil Jews) are like the ones who refused God’s invitation. The key to this parable is Matthew 22:7, where Jesus describe the kings revenge: “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” This is obviously a description of Titus sacking Jerusalem in 70 CE.

    Jesus continues his parable, saying the king’s servants went into the streets and invited every Tom, Dick, and Harry to the wedding. So some poor replacement sap (i.e. a Christian) showed up as invited but without proper attire, and what did the king do? He tied him up and threw him out in the cold. Because many are invited, but few are chosen. This parable suggests that although God promises heaven to all, he entertains very few. No wonder his original invitees did not want to come.

    If you are one of the chosen who understands the parables of Jesus, how do you explain the one where he compares the Son of Man to a thief who must take the householder by surprise in order to bind him and spoil his possessions?

    • Replies: @Rich
    @gay troll

    Obviously you've bought into the Flavian fiction. That's okay, you can believe whatever you want. Of course, Jesus was preaching several years before the sacking of Jerusalem, but you've got a theory about that, too.

    I'm sure you must understand that St Paul's reference to the "Son of Man coming like a thief in the night..." is a reminder for the believers to remain ever vigilant and faithful because one never knows the date or time of Christ's return.

    There's an old saying about the devil knowing how to quote scripture, why do you bother? Ever wonder why you hate Christianity so much?

    Replies: @gay troll

  22. @Neuday
    @Intelligent Dasein

    It is quite likely that "happiness" is being conflated with "contentment". Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn't.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Saint Louis

    It is quite likely that “happiness” is being conflated with “contentment”. Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn’t.

    Agree. ID is right that “happiness” in the worldly sense is the wrong standard for the good life, at least for Christians, but I don’t think your average churchgoing survey respondent has thought through the various shades of meaning in the terms happiness, contentment, joy, etc. quite as much as your average unz commenter.

  23. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Talha, @BaboonTycoon

    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.

    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong.

    Agreed.

    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Probably, so why don’t they?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Talha


    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.
     
    Indeed. Moreover, it is a straw man. Religions often have mutual-subordination for men and women. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    The Church here is the whole body of believers (not a building or the clerical hierarchy).

    If you carefully analyzed that teaching, you realize that it ordains the men to bear the greater burden, for the Church obeys Christ imperfectly (St. Peter denied Christ thrice and went on to be the first pope) while Christ's sacrifice is immeasurably heavier and, indeed, perfect. Frankly, obedience (esp. imperfect obedience) is a lot easier and less burdensome than sacrifice.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Johann Ricke, @anon

    , @anon
    @Talha

    I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    That could be sentimentality or it could be deep foolishness, depending on how it plays out. But it is not a good plan after the age of 18.

    Certain convos with a mother will always be difficult, especially after she becomes a widow, but they are made only more difficult if the son starts from a position of inferiority. For example, there's no easy way to tell one's mother she needs to give up the car keys, but that conversation cannot be avoided indefinitely, because of the risk to innocent third parties.

    Good luck.

    Replies: @Talha

  24. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    Replies: @Rosie, @gay troll, @iffen

    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    This is a really interesting question. One might argue that gender roles are built into the very fabric of God’s Creation. (Male and female created He them.)

    As for subordination, some say the curse of subjection was lifted by the atonement of Christ. I am increasingly persuaded by this view. Those who claim otherwise and insist that it is sinful for women to resist subjection to men never seem to have any problem with men using tractors and even sitting in air conditioned offices all day, despite Adam’s curse.
    From Genesis 3:

    19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    What is liberating about this is that, lifted or not, the curse was not the original Plan, but rather equality and harmony. That much, at least, is indisputable.

  25. Let’s not forget that Jesus Christ tells his followers to pray alone in a closet.

    • Thanks: gay troll
  26. “lifted or not, the curse was not the original Plan, but rather equality and harmony. That much, at least, is indisputable.”

    Care to elaborate?

  27. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    Replies: @Rosie, @gay troll, @iffen

    Not necessarily. Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question? Will they be enforced? By whom?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question?
     
    Biology. Human nature.

    Will they be enforced? By whom?
     
    Biology. Human nature.

    Replies: @gay troll

  28. @RSDB
    @Rich

    Both "Makarios" and "Dolores" have been common Christian names at different times.

    Replies: @RSDB

    An interesting (though long) lecture on the topic in question:

  29. @Talha
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong.
     
    Agreed.

    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    Probably, so why don’t they?

    Peace.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @anon

    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    Indeed. Moreover, it is a straw man. Religions often have mutual-subordination for men and women. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    The Church here is the whole body of believers (not a building or the clerical hierarchy).

    If you carefully analyzed that teaching, you realize that it ordains the men to bear the greater burden, for the Church obeys Christ imperfectly (St. Peter denied Christ thrice and went on to be the first pope) while Christ’s sacrifice is immeasurably heavier and, indeed, perfect. Frankly, obedience (esp. imperfect obedience) is a lot easier and less burdensome than sacrifice.

    • Thanks: Talha
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Twinkie

    You get the same thing in Confucianism. Across a range of relationships--like emperor-subject, older-younger siblings, husband-wife, etc--the "superior" actually has more responsibility, which justifies the honor and power they are accorded. Howevdr, it rarely works out in practice.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    , @Johann Ricke
    @Twinkie


    The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.
     
    As default breadwinners, men already sacrifice for their families. The problem is that women are increasingly loathe to take up either end of the sacrificial scale - either take care of the home front or take up the burden of breadwinning.
    , @anon
    @Twinkie

    The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    That is a universal Christian teaching from the Pauline letter Ephesians, chapter 5, it is not unique to the Roman church. The fact that it has been twisted and even mutilated by modern "re-interpretations" does not negate the truth in it.

    For the agnostic/atheist, evolutionary psychology says something similar in non-religious words. Some find that annoying, some find it interesting.

  30. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides. The sense of common purpose and belonging. Which is why a lot of atheists turn to pseudo-religions like environmentalism or veganism, or political activism.

    If you look at things like environmentalism and the idea of belonging to an LGBT "community" they're desperate attempts to find that sense of belonging, even if the only thing uniting them is a common interest in certain sexual practices. It's pretty sad when people think they've found a sense of community by being part of a community of men who like to wear frocks and pretend to themselves that they're women but that's what we've come to. That's why so many of our children fall for the ridiculous transsexual nonsense.

    A healthy secular society needs to address the basic human need for community and common purpose. Not everyone needs those things but a lot of people do.

    It's unfortunate that a lot of atheists who function quite happily without a sense of community are incapable of understanding that most people aren't made that way.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    If.

    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides.

    That’s because you can’t provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.

    Remember the whole “Bowling Alone” book by Robert Putnam? Most people remember that the book was about diversity reducing social trust. What many don’t seem to remember is that the author put forth two variables that counteracted or at least mitigated that declining trust: shared religion and military service. Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building, certainly much more intense than having “juice and crackers” together once a week. Indeed, such bonds are so strong that some people even abandon or neglect their own families to seek the company of shared believers or military brotherhood.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Twinkie


    That’s because you can’t provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.
     
    I'd want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.

    Apart from the community-building aspect there may be other variables at work when it comes to happiness. Are people who live in rural communities happier? Are people who are married with kids happier (regardless of whether they're religious or not)? Are rich people happier than poor people? Are people with hobbies happier than people without hobbies? Are people who play golf regularly happier than non-golfers? Are heterosexuals happier than homosexuals? Are people who read Unz Review regularly happier or less happy than non-UR readers? Are politically engaged people happier or less happy? Are people who do volunteer work happier? Are people who indulge in dangerous sports happier or less happy? Are social drinkers happier or less happy? Are people who go to therapy happier or less happy?

    Are people who do dangerous jobs (commercial fishermen, farmers, etc) happier or less happy? Are people who work for themselves happier or less happy than cubicle drones? Are people who do manual work happier or less happy than office workers? Are people who do useful work (nurses, doctors, etc) happier or less happy than people do bullshit jobs? Are people working in fields that are generally despised (such as journalists) happier or less happy?

    A lot of these variables could correlate to some extent with religious belief which could create the erroneous impression that religion is the causative factor.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Twinkie

  31. @Twinkie
    @Talha


    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.
     
    Indeed. Moreover, it is a straw man. Religions often have mutual-subordination for men and women. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    The Church here is the whole body of believers (not a building or the clerical hierarchy).

    If you carefully analyzed that teaching, you realize that it ordains the men to bear the greater burden, for the Church obeys Christ imperfectly (St. Peter denied Christ thrice and went on to be the first pope) while Christ's sacrifice is immeasurably heavier and, indeed, perfect. Frankly, obedience (esp. imperfect obedience) is a lot easier and less burdensome than sacrifice.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Johann Ricke, @anon

    You get the same thing in Confucianism. Across a range of relationships–like emperor-subject, older-younger siblings, husband-wife, etc–the “superior” actually has more responsibility, which justifies the honor and power they are accorded. Howevdr, it rarely works out in practice.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Chrisnonymous

    The thing about Confucianism is that it accepts deep inequality as not just natural, but a fundamental bedrock of the social order in a way that is never going to be realistically compatible with American psychological DNA. This is so deeply embedded that it extends down to how East Asian languages work: and is a huge part of why the Cultural Revolution was such a big, traumatizing deal in China.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other: that kind of philosophical speculation and theorizing is beyond my paygrade. I am merely pointing out that any social system like that is going to be almost impossible to implement in America absent near civilizational collapse or centuries of work. Not that this won't stop our elites from trying, mind: they are openly enthusiastic about becoming more like China, where they don't have to rely on being granted their authority and can regulate the lives of the peasantry through social credits. But as always, viewing human beings as interchangeable cogs means that you'll get blindsided.

    (That, and our elites don't justify any sort of respect whatsoever, let alone those kinds of rights. If the last 30 years have not been a record of incompetence disqualifying anybody from seeking authority again, I'm not sure what it is. Say what you will about the CCP, at least they are capable of maintaining basic infrastructure: people who cannot do that yet aim for that kind of power will fall flat on their faces. The only question is how much damage they do in the process.

    In feudal Europe, peasants only revolted when they perceived the nobility as having abandoned their end of the bargain, to insist on receiving rights in increasingly obnoxious ways while completely ditching their responsibilities. Who doesn't doubt for a second that that they don't want exactly the same, down to seeing borders, borders that might be the only claim to protection for poorer Americans after everything else was systematically eroded, as petty annoyances?)

  32. Are pagans even happier because they see the divine in nearly everything? A hawk taking flight is the divine in royal garb, clouds parting for the sun is a sign to stress the positive. A good pagan may worship in that way several times an hour.

    Reconstruction pagans (ie, Hellenes) remain hard to pin down when it comes to making communities and such like. One long drive from me a Hellene has a small congregation and although he has a divinity degree he keeps a low profile. Too many nuts have the wrong understanding of paganism. There are no orgies or animal sacrifice among the serious ones.

    We got Buddhists up in Michigan, American by birth and white. They are the happiest from my experience, because the live within walking distance and keep their own crops up together, an important issue when you have to be vegetarian.

    If being in a congregation is healthy, seems being in a whole community that shares the whole faith would make for the best bet. So instead of ethnostates, why not shoot for small theocracies? In the long run and even the short, it would accomplish the same without drawing undue attention. Sort of like the Amish, America’s happiest people.

    • Thanks: gay troll
  33. @Twinkie
    @dfordoom


    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    If.

    Funnily enough there is some truth to that. Where atheism has failed is that it has not provided the sense of community that religion provides.
     
    That's because you can't provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.

    Remember the whole "Bowling Alone" book by Robert Putnam? Most people remember that the book was about diversity reducing social trust. What many don't seem to remember is that the author put forth two variables that counteracted or at least mitigated that declining trust: shared religion and military service. Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building, certainly much more intense than having "juice and crackers" together once a week. Indeed, such bonds are so strong that some people even abandon or neglect their own families to seek the company of shared believers or military brotherhood.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    That’s because you can’t provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.

    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building

    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.

    Apart from the community-building aspect there may be other variables at work when it comes to happiness. Are people who live in rural communities happier? Are people who are married with kids happier (regardless of whether they’re religious or not)? Are rich people happier than poor people? Are people with hobbies happier than people without hobbies? Are people who play golf regularly happier than non-golfers? Are heterosexuals happier than homosexuals? Are people who read Unz Review regularly happier or less happy than non-UR readers? Are politically engaged people happier or less happy? Are people who do volunteer work happier? Are people who indulge in dangerous sports happier or less happy? Are social drinkers happier or less happy? Are people who go to therapy happier or less happy?

    Are people who do dangerous jobs (commercial fishermen, farmers, etc) happier or less happy? Are people who work for themselves happier or less happy than cubicle drones? Are people who do manual work happier or less happy than office workers? Are people who do useful work (nurses, doctors, etc) happier or less happy than people do bullshit jobs? Are people working in fields that are generally despised (such as journalists) happier or less happy?

    A lot of these variables could correlate to some extent with religious belief which could create the erroneous impression that religion is the causative factor.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @dfordoom

    Other factors that might well have an effect on happiness: intelligence and beauty (I'm going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women). Also personality types: introverts vs extroverts, excessively anxious personalities, people with poor impulse control, etc.

    These factors might also track with religion to some extent.

    Also I'd like to see a breakdown on those church attenders. Are Catholics happier or less happy than Protestants? Are liberal Christians happier or less happy than conservative Christians? Are Evangelicals happier or less happy than mainline Protestants?

    I assume the survey AE cited includes all attendees at religious observances, so I'd like to know if Jews and Hindus are happier or less happy than Christians. In fact the survey possibly includes all religious observances so it might even include neo-pagans and various cultists (maybe even Scientologists). I'd like to know how they compare with Christians in regards to happiness.

    Replies: @anon, @Catdog

    , @Twinkie
    @dfordoom


    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.
     
    Why don't you re-read the book (or read it in the first place, if you have not) before you just wave off with a dismissal anything that doesn't fit your priors?

    The rest of your "questions" are diversions (again). Also, about this:


    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.
     
    Re-read what I wrote:

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    Do you know how the military fosters espirit de corps even before real combat? It subjects the recruits to rough conditions (harsh training and deprivations) together so that they have to share suffering. When you hunger and bleed together - and survive together - it forms a powerful bond unlike any experienced by "having juice and crackers once a week." That's what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don't seem to get - the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or "hanging out" together - they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    Another book recommendation: "Tribe" by Sebastian Junger.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @RSDB

  34. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    Would you say that any religion (or belief system) that insists that men and women are different and have different social rôles is wrong?

    Replies: @Rosie, @gay troll, @iffen

    Galatians 3

    28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  35. @TBA
    This isn't a new finding, rather conventional wisdom, but still counter-intuitive: a belief in the Lake of Fire doesn't seem conducive to happiness.

    Replies: @Fluesterwitz

    It may very well be if you believe the warm reception is for other people.

  36. @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    Not necessarily. Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question? Will they be enforced? By whom?

    Replies: @dfordoom

    Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question?

    Biology. Human nature.

    Will they be enforced? By whom?

    Biology. Human nature.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    If it is biology and human nature that define these things in life, then why do men feel the need to define them in a book? The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men. That is literature defining social roles, not nature. Furthermore, since the literature pretends to be history, yet is decisively shown to be fiction, it should have no credibility as a reflection of reality. Men control women by force, often justified by a holy book. You can consider this a natural state of affairs and perhaps it is but I consider it wrong and I consider any use of force by men against women is wrong. This includes limiting the way women may dress, travel, and express themselves in relation to men. It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion? Why or why not?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Talha

  37. @dfordoom
    @Twinkie


    That’s because you can’t provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.
     
    I'd want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.

    Apart from the community-building aspect there may be other variables at work when it comes to happiness. Are people who live in rural communities happier? Are people who are married with kids happier (regardless of whether they're religious or not)? Are rich people happier than poor people? Are people with hobbies happier than people without hobbies? Are people who play golf regularly happier than non-golfers? Are heterosexuals happier than homosexuals? Are people who read Unz Review regularly happier or less happy than non-UR readers? Are politically engaged people happier or less happy? Are people who do volunteer work happier? Are people who indulge in dangerous sports happier or less happy? Are social drinkers happier or less happy? Are people who go to therapy happier or less happy?

    Are people who do dangerous jobs (commercial fishermen, farmers, etc) happier or less happy? Are people who work for themselves happier or less happy than cubicle drones? Are people who do manual work happier or less happy than office workers? Are people who do useful work (nurses, doctors, etc) happier or less happy than people do bullshit jobs? Are people working in fields that are generally despised (such as journalists) happier or less happy?

    A lot of these variables could correlate to some extent with religious belief which could create the erroneous impression that religion is the causative factor.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Twinkie

    Other factors that might well have an effect on happiness: intelligence and beauty (I’m going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women). Also personality types: introverts vs extroverts, excessively anxious personalities, people with poor impulse control, etc.

    These factors might also track with religion to some extent.

    Also I’d like to see a breakdown on those church attenders. Are Catholics happier or less happy than Protestants? Are liberal Christians happier or less happy than conservative Christians? Are Evangelicals happier or less happy than mainline Protestants?

    I assume the survey AE cited includes all attendees at religious observances, so I’d like to know if Jews and Hindus are happier or less happy than Christians. In fact the survey possibly includes all religious observances so it might even include neo-pagans and various cultists (maybe even Scientologists). I’d like to know how they compare with Christians in regards to happiness.

    • Replies: @anon
    @dfordoom

    (I’m going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women).

    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    , @Catdog
    @dfordoom

    Jews overhwelmingly don't attend services and you probably won't find enough white hindus to get a sample.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  38. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Happiness is great, which means religion is great, but any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong. A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong. All such religions are headed for disgrace.

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Talha, @BaboonTycoon

    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.

    I don’t think so. I’ve yet to see any social science data that shows these results hold up for anyone except the religious. That’s part of what turned me to religion in the first place. I saw it as evidence of Christ protecting his people on Earth. But regardless, if it was just the communal aspect that made all the difference, then you wouldn’t expect the results shown in the very survey AE posts above.

    I’m a Latin-mass attending Catholic who has a church within walking distance. I go to mass almost every day since I have no excuse not to. There’s no real socializing in daily mass. Too few people come, everyone has lives to get back to afterwards anyway. We go, we receive communion, we leave. All the chitchat happens on Sunday. Conversely someone who only goes to church “monthly” or “several times a year” probably can’t be said to have meaningful relationships with any fellow attendees any more than someone who never goes does. The results suggest it is the outlook that religion instills in a person and the rules that it makes him live by that make people happy. The stronger the adherence, the happier a person is.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @BaboonTycoon

    You know what they say: ignorance is bliss.

  39. @gay troll
    @Rich

    Jesus says he speaks in parables so that only the chosen will understand, which is apparently what you are referring to when you quote Matthew. But when Jesus says that many are invited but few are chosen, he is telling a parable about something very different. Matthew says the Pharisees and Sadducees know that Jesus is telling a parable about them (Matthew 21:45). Jesus then says the kingdom of heaven is like a “king” preparing a wedding feast for his “son”. The king invited many people to his son’s wedding, but none of them wanted to attend, and some even killed the king’s messengers. Thus Jesus implies the Pharisees and Sadducees (i.e. the evil Jews) are like the ones who refused God’s invitation. The key to this parable is Matthew 22:7, where Jesus describe the kings revenge: “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” This is obviously a description of Titus sacking Jerusalem in 70 CE.

    Jesus continues his parable, saying the king’s servants went into the streets and invited every Tom, Dick, and Harry to the wedding. So some poor replacement sap (i.e. a Christian) showed up as invited but without proper attire, and what did the king do? He tied him up and threw him out in the cold. Because many are invited, but few are chosen. This parable suggests that although God promises heaven to all, he entertains very few. No wonder his original invitees did not want to come.

    If you are one of the chosen who understands the parables of Jesus, how do you explain the one where he compares the Son of Man to a thief who must take the householder by surprise in order to bind him and spoil his possessions?

    Replies: @Rich

    Obviously you’ve bought into the Flavian fiction. That’s okay, you can believe whatever you want. Of course, Jesus was preaching several years before the sacking of Jerusalem, but you’ve got a theory about that, too.

    I’m sure you must understand that St Paul’s reference to the “Son of Man coming like a thief in the night…” is a reminder for the believers to remain ever vigilant and faithful because one never knows the date or time of Christ’s return.

    There’s an old saying about the devil knowing how to quote scripture, why do you bother? Ever wonder why you hate Christianity so much?

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Rich

    I know exactly why I hate Christianity: because it tangles the wisdom of universal love in a web of black propaganda. I believe in God and I believe in Christ but I do not believe that Christ came to Earth only once as a Jew to lecture his fellow Jews. The reason I hate Christianity is because when the Gospels are exposed as propagandistic literature with ZERO basis in actual history, as they have been already, most people will reject the wisdom of universal love along with the crass fan fiction. If two are found together, and one is found false, it is human nature to assume both are false. The Gospels are therefore a dangerous and terrible blasphemy.

    Jesus Christ himself, when talking about the coming of the Lord, says "No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house." (Mark 3:27). He repeats this theme in Matthew, saying “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” (Matthew 24:43-44). Tell me this, why does the Son of God have an admitted need to operate like a thief? And who is he going to rob?

    It becomes evident that Christ’s message, directed to the "evil Jews" of his generation, is not one of love and mercy, but one of self-negation. The evangelic Jesus Christ came to destroy the Jews. He promised to return and physically do so. Jesus tells the Jews quite clearly “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43) and “Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). The nation he refers to is Rome. Titus fulfilled all of Christ’s prophecies one generation after Christ’s death. He encircled Jerusalem, beseiged and destroyed the Jews, left the temple with not one stone set upon another (see Matthew 24:2). It is apparent that whatever the virtue of Christ’s anti-materialism, he is preaching it to the material benefit of Rome. The Jews worry that if people believe in Jesus, “the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).

    The "Flavian fiction" you allude to is a developing thesis, but the idea that the Gospels were not written until after 70 CE and and with a knowledge of Titus' campaign against Judea is widely shared by scholars. The evidence is plain in the text. The only other explanation is that Jesus was a prophet who foresaw these things (see: Preterism). If you believe that obvious allusions to the Roman conquest of Jerusalem were composed before and not after the fact then you will presumably believe anything. Even Matthew signals his distance from the time of Jesus by saying that the idea that Jesus was stolen from the tomb and not resurrected, "this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day" (Matthew (28:15). By saying "to this very day" Matthew places the crucifixion significantly prior to his narrative.

    If scripture is the word of God why do you care who quotes it?

  40. @Rich
    @gay troll

    Obviously you've bought into the Flavian fiction. That's okay, you can believe whatever you want. Of course, Jesus was preaching several years before the sacking of Jerusalem, but you've got a theory about that, too.

    I'm sure you must understand that St Paul's reference to the "Son of Man coming like a thief in the night..." is a reminder for the believers to remain ever vigilant and faithful because one never knows the date or time of Christ's return.

    There's an old saying about the devil knowing how to quote scripture, why do you bother? Ever wonder why you hate Christianity so much?

    Replies: @gay troll

    I know exactly why I hate Christianity: because it tangles the wisdom of universal love in a web of black propaganda. I believe in God and I believe in Christ but I do not believe that Christ came to Earth only once as a Jew to lecture his fellow Jews. The reason I hate Christianity is because when the Gospels are exposed as propagandistic literature with ZERO basis in actual history, as they have been already, most people will reject the wisdom of universal love along with the crass fan fiction. If two are found together, and one is found false, it is human nature to assume both are false. The Gospels are therefore a dangerous and terrible blasphemy.

    Jesus Christ himself, when talking about the coming of the Lord, says “No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.” (Mark 3:27). He repeats this theme in Matthew, saying “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” (Matthew 24:43-44). Tell me this, why does the Son of God have an admitted need to operate like a thief? And who is he going to rob?

    It becomes evident that Christ’s message, directed to the “evil Jews” of his generation, is not one of love and mercy, but one of self-negation. The evangelic Jesus Christ came to destroy the Jews. He promised to return and physically do so. Jesus tells the Jews quite clearly “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43) and “Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). The nation he refers to is Rome. Titus fulfilled all of Christ’s prophecies one generation after Christ’s death. He encircled Jerusalem, beseiged and destroyed the Jews, left the temple with not one stone set upon another (see Matthew 24:2). It is apparent that whatever the virtue of Christ’s anti-materialism, he is preaching it to the material benefit of Rome. The Jews worry that if people believe in Jesus, “the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).

    The “Flavian fiction” you allude to is a developing thesis, but the idea that the Gospels were not written until after 70 CE and and with a knowledge of Titus’ campaign against Judea is widely shared by scholars. The evidence is plain in the text. The only other explanation is that Jesus was a prophet who foresaw these things (see: Preterism). If you believe that obvious allusions to the Roman conquest of Jerusalem were composed before and not after the fact then you will presumably believe anything. Even Matthew signals his distance from the time of Jesus by saying that the idea that Jesus was stolen from the tomb and not resurrected, “this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day” (Matthew (28:15). By saying “to this very day” Matthew places the crucifixion significantly prior to his narrative.

    If scripture is the word of God why do you care who quotes it?

    • Disagree: Rich
  41. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    Any religion that says the role of women is subject to the authority of men is wrong. Who is defining the social roles in your question?
     
    Biology. Human nature.

    Will they be enforced? By whom?
     
    Biology. Human nature.

    Replies: @gay troll

    If it is biology and human nature that define these things in life, then why do men feel the need to define them in a book? The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men. That is literature defining social roles, not nature. Furthermore, since the literature pretends to be history, yet is decisively shown to be fiction, it should have no credibility as a reflection of reality. Men control women by force, often justified by a holy book. You can consider this a natural state of affairs and perhaps it is but I consider it wrong and I consider any use of force by men against women is wrong. This includes limiting the way women may dress, travel, and express themselves in relation to men. It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion? Why or why not?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men.
     
    The Bible justifies and abets all sorts of things. Many of them deeply unpleasant. I'm an atheist so I don't care what the Bible says.

    What I'm interested in is this - do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?

    Or do you believe that men and women are identical and completely interchangeable?
    , @Talha
    @gay troll


    It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion?
     
    Depends on what one means by priest.

    Can she lead men in the five daily prayers? No.
    Can she give a Friday sermon to a congregation? No.
    Can she give fatwas if she is qualified to do so? Yes.
    Can she lead men in a class and teach them anything from jurisprudence to hadith to Qur'an exegesis? Yes - again, if she is qualified.

    Why or why not?
     
    The same reason why she has to cover her head in public; there are some things that are allowed to females by Divine edict, some things that are obligated and some other things that are prohibited:
    https://twitter.com/yasminmogahed/status/1292276354746990592

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  42. @dfordoom
    @dfordoom

    Other factors that might well have an effect on happiness: intelligence and beauty (I'm going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women). Also personality types: introverts vs extroverts, excessively anxious personalities, people with poor impulse control, etc.

    These factors might also track with religion to some extent.

    Also I'd like to see a breakdown on those church attenders. Are Catholics happier or less happy than Protestants? Are liberal Christians happier or less happy than conservative Christians? Are Evangelicals happier or less happy than mainline Protestants?

    I assume the survey AE cited includes all attendees at religious observances, so I'd like to know if Jews and Hindus are happier or less happy than Christians. In fact the survey possibly includes all religious observances so it might even include neo-pagans and various cultists (maybe even Scientologists). I'd like to know how they compare with Christians in regards to happiness.

    Replies: @anon, @Catdog

    (I’m going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women).

    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

  43. @dfordoom
    @dfordoom

    Other factors that might well have an effect on happiness: intelligence and beauty (I'm going to take a wild guess that beautiful women are happier than ugly women). Also personality types: introverts vs extroverts, excessively anxious personalities, people with poor impulse control, etc.

    These factors might also track with religion to some extent.

    Also I'd like to see a breakdown on those church attenders. Are Catholics happier or less happy than Protestants? Are liberal Christians happier or less happy than conservative Christians? Are Evangelicals happier or less happy than mainline Protestants?

    I assume the survey AE cited includes all attendees at religious observances, so I'd like to know if Jews and Hindus are happier or less happy than Christians. In fact the survey possibly includes all religious observances so it might even include neo-pagans and various cultists (maybe even Scientologists). I'd like to know how they compare with Christians in regards to happiness.

    Replies: @anon, @Catdog

    Jews overhwelmingly don’t attend services and you probably won’t find enough white hindus to get a sample.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Catdog


    Jews overhwelmingly don’t attend services and you probably won’t find enough white hindus to get a sample.
     
    But what about Orthodox Jews who do attend regularly? Are they happier or less happy than Christians? What I'm interested in is whether there are significant differences between the levels of happiness among adherents of different religions.

    Replies: @Talha

  44. @dfordoom
    @Twinkie


    That’s because you can’t provide the same sense of community that religion provides without the said religion.
     
    I'd want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.

    Apart from the community-building aspect there may be other variables at work when it comes to happiness. Are people who live in rural communities happier? Are people who are married with kids happier (regardless of whether they're religious or not)? Are rich people happier than poor people? Are people with hobbies happier than people without hobbies? Are people who play golf regularly happier than non-golfers? Are heterosexuals happier than homosexuals? Are people who read Unz Review regularly happier or less happy than non-UR readers? Are politically engaged people happier or less happy? Are people who do volunteer work happier? Are people who indulge in dangerous sports happier or less happy? Are social drinkers happier or less happy? Are people who go to therapy happier or less happy?

    Are people who do dangerous jobs (commercial fishermen, farmers, etc) happier or less happy? Are people who work for themselves happier or less happy than cubicle drones? Are people who do manual work happier or less happy than office workers? Are people who do useful work (nurses, doctors, etc) happier or less happy than people do bullshit jobs? Are people working in fields that are generally despised (such as journalists) happier or less happy?

    A lot of these variables could correlate to some extent with religious belief which could create the erroneous impression that religion is the causative factor.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Twinkie

    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.

    Why don’t you re-read the book (or read it in the first place, if you have not) before you just wave off with a dismissal anything that doesn’t fit your priors?

    The rest of your “questions” are diversions (again). Also, about this:

    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.

    Re-read what I wrote:

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building

    Do you know how the military fosters espirit de corps even before real combat? It subjects the recruits to rough conditions (harsh training and deprivations) together so that they have to share suffering. When you hunger and bleed together – and survive together – it forms a powerful bond unlike any experienced by “having juice and crackers once a week.” That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    Another book recommendation: “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn't do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    America's elites are the exact, polar opposite: which is a huge part of what makes their authority fundamentally shaky. You can buy loyalty or rest on laurels accumulated by previous generations when times are good or even mediocre, but it gets more and more expensive when times get bad, to maintain a brittle edifice against rising forces. And using the stick takes practice: which shows in the ham-handed petty authoritarianism of America's current ruling classes.

    >That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    I understood this perfectly well all my life. Not implying that you don't believe this-you said many, not all, and I wouldn't attempt to read your mind for nuance over the Internet-but the distinction is not theology, IMO. It is something subtler, that religious devotion tends to increase your chances of understanding by inherent nature: it is to accept that men are not deterministic algorithms wrapped in fat and meat.

    Replies: @Talha, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    , @RSDB
    @Twinkie

    Well, there could be, I suppose, any number of materialistic explanations for the relevance of suffering to love, though I'm not sure how much stock I would put in any of them. But, anyway your comment made me think about why I was annoyed, without quite knowing the reason, by a comment above which seemed to extol a dry, anemic sort of paganism (I was tempted to attach Chesterton's "Song of the Strange Ascetic").

    Christians, of course, worship a deity who took on a human nature largely for the purpose of suffering. (I don't by any means intend this brief statement to encompass all of the implications of belief in the Incarnation.)

    That aside, it seems there is a longing for suffering in this world, or perhaps I should rather say a recognition of the value of suffering as a seal of devotion or commitment, among pagans and everybody else as well as Christians.

    Perhaps the other commenter would not regard these people, for example, as "serious":

    (perhaps slightly uncomfortable for the squeamish)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG6a_0aq70s

    As for me, I don't intend to imitate them, but I would hardly call them unserious. I don't know if they have a developed theory of the social or spiritual effects of suffering, but they seem to have some of the practical application down.


    A better view of a similar ceremony. Definitely not for everyone, so a warning for squeamish people.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoKb5-qHTsI

    Replies: @Twinkie

  45. @Twinkie
    @Talha


    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.
     
    Indeed. Moreover, it is a straw man. Religions often have mutual-subordination for men and women. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    The Church here is the whole body of believers (not a building or the clerical hierarchy).

    If you carefully analyzed that teaching, you realize that it ordains the men to bear the greater burden, for the Church obeys Christ imperfectly (St. Peter denied Christ thrice and went on to be the first pope) while Christ's sacrifice is immeasurably heavier and, indeed, perfect. Frankly, obedience (esp. imperfect obedience) is a lot easier and less burdensome than sacrifice.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Johann Ricke, @anon

    The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    As default breadwinners, men already sacrifice for their families. The problem is that women are increasingly loathe to take up either end of the sacrificial scale – either take care of the home front or take up the burden of breadwinning.

  46. @Chrisnonymous
    @Twinkie

    You get the same thing in Confucianism. Across a range of relationships--like emperor-subject, older-younger siblings, husband-wife, etc--the "superior" actually has more responsibility, which justifies the honor and power they are accorded. Howevdr, it rarely works out in practice.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    The thing about Confucianism is that it accepts deep inequality as not just natural, but a fundamental bedrock of the social order in a way that is never going to be realistically compatible with American psychological DNA. This is so deeply embedded that it extends down to how East Asian languages work: and is a huge part of why the Cultural Revolution was such a big, traumatizing deal in China.

    I’m not saying one is better than the other: that kind of philosophical speculation and theorizing is beyond my paygrade. I am merely pointing out that any social system like that is going to be almost impossible to implement in America absent near civilizational collapse or centuries of work. Not that this won’t stop our elites from trying, mind: they are openly enthusiastic about becoming more like China, where they don’t have to rely on being granted their authority and can regulate the lives of the peasantry through social credits. But as always, viewing human beings as interchangeable cogs means that you’ll get blindsided.

    (That, and our elites don’t justify any sort of respect whatsoever, let alone those kinds of rights. If the last 30 years have not been a record of incompetence disqualifying anybody from seeking authority again, I’m not sure what it is. Say what you will about the CCP, at least they are capable of maintaining basic infrastructure: people who cannot do that yet aim for that kind of power will fall flat on their faces. The only question is how much damage they do in the process.

    In feudal Europe, peasants only revolted when they perceived the nobility as having abandoned their end of the bargain, to insist on receiving rights in increasingly obnoxious ways while completely ditching their responsibilities. Who doesn’t doubt for a second that that they don’t want exactly the same, down to seeing borders, borders that might be the only claim to protection for poorer Americans after everything else was systematically eroded, as petty annoyances?)

    • Agree: nebulafox
  47. anon[796] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie
    @Talha


    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.
     
    Indeed. Moreover, it is a straw man. Religions often have mutual-subordination for men and women. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    The Church here is the whole body of believers (not a building or the clerical hierarchy).

    If you carefully analyzed that teaching, you realize that it ordains the men to bear the greater burden, for the Church obeys Christ imperfectly (St. Peter denied Christ thrice and went on to be the first pope) while Christ's sacrifice is immeasurably heavier and, indeed, perfect. Frankly, obedience (esp. imperfect obedience) is a lot easier and less burdensome than sacrifice.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Johann Ricke, @anon

    The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that a wife should obey her husband as the Church obeys the Christ, but that a husband should sacrifice for his wife (and his children) as Christ sacrificed (and sacrifices) for the Church.

    That is a universal Christian teaching from the Pauline letter Ephesians, chapter 5, it is not unique to the Roman church. The fact that it has been twisted and even mutilated by modern “re-interpretations” does not negate the truth in it.

    For the agnostic/atheist, evolutionary psychology says something similar in non-religious words. Some find that annoying, some find it interesting.

  48. @Twinkie
    @dfordoom


    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.
     
    Why don't you re-read the book (or read it in the first place, if you have not) before you just wave off with a dismissal anything that doesn't fit your priors?

    The rest of your "questions" are diversions (again). Also, about this:


    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.
     
    Re-read what I wrote:

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    Do you know how the military fosters espirit de corps even before real combat? It subjects the recruits to rough conditions (harsh training and deprivations) together so that they have to share suffering. When you hunger and bleed together - and survive together - it forms a powerful bond unlike any experienced by "having juice and crackers once a week." That's what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don't seem to get - the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or "hanging out" together - they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    Another book recommendation: "Tribe" by Sebastian Junger.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @RSDB

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn’t do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    America’s elites are the exact, polar opposite: which is a huge part of what makes their authority fundamentally shaky. You can buy loyalty or rest on laurels accumulated by previous generations when times are good or even mediocre, but it gets more and more expensive when times get bad, to maintain a brittle edifice against rising forces. And using the stick takes practice: which shows in the ham-handed petty authoritarianism of America’s current ruling classes.

    >That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    I understood this perfectly well all my life. Not implying that you don’t believe this-you said many, not all, and I wouldn’t attempt to read your mind for nuance over the Internet-but the distinction is not theology, IMO. It is something subtler, that religious devotion tends to increase your chances of understanding by inherent nature: it is to accept that men are not deterministic algorithms wrapped in fat and meat.

    • Agree: nebulafox
    • Replies: @Talha
    @nebulafox


    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn’t do first.
     
    People have forgotten how important this is. And those same commanders would insist that they do even more, not just the same, as their men.

    Peace.
    , @nebulafox
    @nebulafox

    (Disclaimer on the agree on my own comment: I've been a lot of bad things, but narcissistic has not been one of them for a very long time.)

    Replies: @Talha, @Chrisnonymous

    , @Twinkie
    @nebulafox


    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn’t do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.
     
    “I’m right behind you” is always poor leadership while “Follow me, men” earns admiration, loyalty, and obedience. That’s the upside of good leadership. The downside is you might very well die first. But that’s the price of the privileges that accompany leadership.
  49. @nebulafox
    @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn't do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    America's elites are the exact, polar opposite: which is a huge part of what makes their authority fundamentally shaky. You can buy loyalty or rest on laurels accumulated by previous generations when times are good or even mediocre, but it gets more and more expensive when times get bad, to maintain a brittle edifice against rising forces. And using the stick takes practice: which shows in the ham-handed petty authoritarianism of America's current ruling classes.

    >That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    I understood this perfectly well all my life. Not implying that you don't believe this-you said many, not all, and I wouldn't attempt to read your mind for nuance over the Internet-but the distinction is not theology, IMO. It is something subtler, that religious devotion tends to increase your chances of understanding by inherent nature: it is to accept that men are not deterministic algorithms wrapped in fat and meat.

    Replies: @Talha, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn’t do first.

    People have forgotten how important this is. And those same commanders would insist that they do even more, not just the same, as their men.

    Peace.

  50. @nebulafox
    @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn't do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    America's elites are the exact, polar opposite: which is a huge part of what makes their authority fundamentally shaky. You can buy loyalty or rest on laurels accumulated by previous generations when times are good or even mediocre, but it gets more and more expensive when times get bad, to maintain a brittle edifice against rising forces. And using the stick takes practice: which shows in the ham-handed petty authoritarianism of America's current ruling classes.

    >That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    I understood this perfectly well all my life. Not implying that you don't believe this-you said many, not all, and I wouldn't attempt to read your mind for nuance over the Internet-but the distinction is not theology, IMO. It is something subtler, that religious devotion tends to increase your chances of understanding by inherent nature: it is to accept that men are not deterministic algorithms wrapped in fat and meat.

    Replies: @Talha, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    (Disclaimer on the agree on my own comment: I’ve been a lot of bad things, but narcissistic has not been one of them for a very long time.)

    • Replies: @Talha
    @nebulafox

    I’d honestly have been more concerned for your mental health if you had disagreed both times. 🤔

    Peace.

    Replies: @RSDB

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @nebulafox

    It's better than disagreeing with yourself.

  51. Atheist that I am, I consider it blindingly obvious that religious people are more likely to be happy than atheists.

    If you believe in God then death is not the end.
    If you believe in God, you will be meeting your dearly departed again (assuming good behaviour)
    Good people will be rewarded and the bad people will get what they deserve.

    And so on.

    Except in those circumstances where religious people are negatively impacting the rights or freedoms of others I refrain from proselytising, after all, converting them to my point of view will be unlikely to make them any happier, more probably the reverse.

  52. @nebulafox
    @nebulafox

    (Disclaimer on the agree on my own comment: I've been a lot of bad things, but narcissistic has not been one of them for a very long time.)

    Replies: @Talha, @Chrisnonymous

    I’d honestly have been more concerned for your mental health if you had disagreed both times. 🤔

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    @Talha

    "A foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of little minds."

    Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?*

    I often find after I write a comment that I have not said all I intended to say in the manner I wish to have said it, and if I come back to a comment after a while I am also frequently unsatisfied with the tone or the language of the comment, and with whether, if I am replying to someone else, I have been clear enough as to what I agree with or dispute -or what I don't know enough to agree with or not- in the other comment.

    *This is an example of the fallacy of denying the antecedent, incidentally. It is not as funny as I imagined it would be.

    Replies: @nebulafox

  53. @Talha
    @nebulafox

    I’d honestly have been more concerned for your mental health if you had disagreed both times. 🤔

    Peace.

    Replies: @RSDB

    “A foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of little minds.”

    Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?*

    I often find after I write a comment that I have not said all I intended to say in the manner I wish to have said it, and if I come back to a comment after a while I am also frequently unsatisfied with the tone or the language of the comment, and with whether, if I am replying to someone else, I have been clear enough as to what I agree with or dispute -or what I don’t know enough to agree with or not- in the other comment.

    *This is an example of the fallacy of denying the antecedent, incidentally. It is not as funny as I imagined it would be.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @RSDB

    Yeah, that's been a common reaction of mine. But remember, we're a bunch of strangers talking on the Internet. If you can't admit you are wrong on this or haven't thought through fully that while talking with someone who you have never met and have no reason to impress on that, then good Lord, when will you ever?

    >Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?

    Realistically, I'm probably moderately above average intelligence: above average, but nothing special, certainly not on the level of many I've seen in fields dominated by authentic geniuses (theoretical physics, high-performance oriented programming), not on the level of certain other commentators I've encountered here, and not on the level of people with a similar natural talent but who have worked harder and smarter than I have for decades on end. One of the reasons I do kick back a little against the biological determinism that some people espouse is that I feel it is a blind counterreaction to the nonsensical and often hypocritical propaganda we're bombarded with today. A kid with solid but not-special mental facilities is capable of a lot more than schools aim him or her for: and I think a lot of that has to do with our fixations on geniuses, as much as it does to our catering toward the lowest common mean.

    And again, there's no uniform free lunch: if you think hard work is all that matters and that there isn't such a thing as natural ability, you are going to make your kids miserable, like a lot of parents in Asia do. The best answer is the most mundane one: hard work and ability do both matter, and you should take both into the equation. But I think the "less worse" option between the two extremes by themselves is to opt for work over a belief in predetermined genius. It'll result in the best average outcome.

    Replies: @RSDB

  54. @RSDB
    @Talha

    "A foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of little minds."

    Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?*

    I often find after I write a comment that I have not said all I intended to say in the manner I wish to have said it, and if I come back to a comment after a while I am also frequently unsatisfied with the tone or the language of the comment, and with whether, if I am replying to someone else, I have been clear enough as to what I agree with or dispute -or what I don't know enough to agree with or not- in the other comment.

    *This is an example of the fallacy of denying the antecedent, incidentally. It is not as funny as I imagined it would be.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    Yeah, that’s been a common reaction of mine. But remember, we’re a bunch of strangers talking on the Internet. If you can’t admit you are wrong on this or haven’t thought through fully that while talking with someone who you have never met and have no reason to impress on that, then good Lord, when will you ever?

    >Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?

    Realistically, I’m probably moderately above average intelligence: above average, but nothing special, certainly not on the level of many I’ve seen in fields dominated by authentic geniuses (theoretical physics, high-performance oriented programming), not on the level of certain other commentators I’ve encountered here, and not on the level of people with a similar natural talent but who have worked harder and smarter than I have for decades on end. One of the reasons I do kick back a little against the biological determinism that some people espouse is that I feel it is a blind counterreaction to the nonsensical and often hypocritical propaganda we’re bombarded with today. A kid with solid but not-special mental facilities is capable of a lot more than schools aim him or her for: and I think a lot of that has to do with our fixations on geniuses, as much as it does to our catering toward the lowest common mean.

    And again, there’s no uniform free lunch: if you think hard work is all that matters and that there isn’t such a thing as natural ability, you are going to make your kids miserable, like a lot of parents in Asia do. The best answer is the most mundane one: hard work and ability do both matter, and you should take both into the equation. But I think the “less worse” option between the two extremes by themselves is to opt for work over a belief in predetermined genius. It’ll result in the best average outcome.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    @nebulafox

    I meant the thing about great minds as a sort of joke; as I said, I am not always very clear.

    I was going to tell an anecdote about my high school calculus teacher, but while it was relevant to the general space of points here, it may have been even more tedious than this comment as it is now, so consider yourself spared.

    Anyway, I don't usually make comments online with the intention of demonstrating my great intellect; while perhaps in real life I have occasionally acted with this detestable -not to mention ridiculous- object, I have certainly not been proud of it. In general I find that I benefit from being able to listen to and talk with people more intelligent or better informed than myself.

    For instance, I mentioned a little while ago in a response to frequent commenter Talha that I had enjoyed our sometimes controverted discussions; this commenter is an older man than myself, and one who has dedicated rather more time, I would guess, to the study of his religion than I have to mine; the result of these discussions is that I end up reading more of the Fathers and of various other sources than I would otherwise, and I am the better for it.

    One of my best friends in undergrad years was a Pentecostal, and discussions with him, sometimes long past midnight, used to serve much the same end.


    One of the reasons I do kick back a little against the biological determinism that some people espouse is that I feel it is a blind counterreaction to the nonsensical and often hypocritical propaganda we’re bombarded with today

     

    As for me, I hate the apparently inevitable. I posted, just now, a video of a chariot festival, so it may be rather strange for me to say here that I detest the idea of Juggernaut and the rolling wheels of fate.

    our fixations on geniuses

     

    People need heroes; for all his being the happiest man Solon had ever heard of, is there anyone on Earth who has heard of Tellus the Athenian and not heard of Solon?
  55. @nebulafox
    @nebulafox

    (Disclaimer on the agree on my own comment: I've been a lot of bad things, but narcissistic has not been one of them for a very long time.)

    Replies: @Talha, @Chrisnonymous

    It’s better than disagreeing with yourself.

  56. @Twinkie
    @dfordoom


    I’d want to see a lot more data before I accepted such an assertion.
     
    Why don't you re-read the book (or read it in the first place, if you have not) before you just wave off with a dismissal anything that doesn't fit your priors?

    The rest of your "questions" are diversions (again). Also, about this:


    There are surely other ways of community-building apart from religion or a common interest in killing people.
     
    Re-read what I wrote:

    Whatever you may think of religion or the military, worshipping God together and sharing hardships and danger (esp. in life-and-death combat) create bonds that are incomparably stronger to other forms of community-building
     
    Do you know how the military fosters espirit de corps even before real combat? It subjects the recruits to rough conditions (harsh training and deprivations) together so that they have to share suffering. When you hunger and bleed together - and survive together - it forms a powerful bond unlike any experienced by "having juice and crackers once a week." That's what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don't seem to get - the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or "hanging out" together - they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    Another book recommendation: "Tribe" by Sebastian Junger.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @RSDB

    Well, there could be, I suppose, any number of materialistic explanations for the relevance of suffering to love, though I’m not sure how much stock I would put in any of them. But, anyway your comment made me think about why I was annoyed, without quite knowing the reason, by a comment above which seemed to extol a dry, anemic sort of paganism (I was tempted to attach Chesterton’s “Song of the Strange Ascetic”).

    Christians, of course, worship a deity who took on a human nature largely for the purpose of suffering. (I don’t by any means intend this brief statement to encompass all of the implications of belief in the Incarnation.)

    That aside, it seems there is a longing for suffering in this world, or perhaps I should rather say a recognition of the value of suffering as a seal of devotion or commitment, among pagans and everybody else as well as Christians.

    Perhaps the other commenter would not regard these people, for example, as “serious”:

    (perhaps slightly uncomfortable for the squeamish)

    As for me, I don’t intend to imitate them, but I would hardly call them unserious. I don’t know if they have a developed theory of the social or spiritual effects of suffering, but they seem to have some of the practical application down.

    [MORE]

    A better view of a similar ceremony. Definitely not for everyone, so a warning for squeamish people.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @RSDB


    recognition of the value of suffering as a seal of devotion or commitment
     
    Some young men who have trouble forming deep social ties have asked me over the years how I have been able to maintain close friendships, after seeing me with friends who are from many different walks of life. I, of course, recommend shared religion and military service, but more mundanely I also suggest that they take up a combat sport such as Judo or Jiu-Jitsu.

    When you train daily and weekly and go through the sweat and the blood, the pain and suffering of combat sport training, you develop a strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie with your training partners. On the mat, nobody cares if you are someone important or have money. People who act out get humiliated and get their attitude adjusted soon enough. Indeed, the real currency on the training mat is respect, and it is earned by being skillful, being courageous, and perhaps most importantly by being a good training partner (the opposite of a “gym bully”). You really get to know people when they are under physical and mental stress - you get a very good measure of them.

    And the physical fitness gains and the ability to lay an ass-kicking on a jackass ain’t too shabby of bonuses either. It’s really quite something to see the transformation of some nerdy, shy young guy after a year or so of earnest training and you ask him to spar or “roll” with some newbie with too much muscle mass and a real bad attitude, and the former nerd just mauls and rag dolls the latter - and you see him smile a little when the rest of us give him a bit of kudos for a job well done in the locker room. You see the confidence in his face - “I belong here.”

  57. @BaboonTycoon
    @gay troll


    Furthermore, if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    I don't think so. I've yet to see any social science data that shows these results hold up for anyone except the religious. That's part of what turned me to religion in the first place. I saw it as evidence of Christ protecting his people on Earth. But regardless, if it was just the communal aspect that made all the difference, then you wouldn't expect the results shown in the very survey AE posts above.

    I'm a Latin-mass attending Catholic who has a church within walking distance. I go to mass almost every day since I have no excuse not to. There's no real socializing in daily mass. Too few people come, everyone has lives to get back to afterwards anyway. We go, we receive communion, we leave. All the chitchat happens on Sunday. Conversely someone who only goes to church "monthly" or "several times a year" probably can't be said to have meaningful relationships with any fellow attendees any more than someone who never goes does. The results suggest it is the outlook that religion instills in a person and the rules that it makes him live by that make people happy. The stronger the adherence, the happier a person is.

    Replies: @gay troll

    You know what they say: ignorance is bliss.

  58. anon[176] • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    @gay troll


    any religion that insists on the subordinacy of women is wrong.
     
    This is an axiomatic statement; back it up. And as dfordoom pointed out, it is dependent on roles; I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    A religion that threatens death to non believers and/or non tribe members is wrong.
     
    Agreed.

    if all atheists got together once a week or five times a day for juice and crackers and story time and yoga or whatever they would be a lot happier too.
     
    Probably, so why don’t they?

    Peace.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @anon

    I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    That could be sentimentality or it could be deep foolishness, depending on how it plays out. But it is not a good plan after the age of 18.

    Certain convos with a mother will always be difficult, especially after she becomes a widow, but they are made only more difficult if the son starts from a position of inferiority. For example, there’s no easy way to tell one’s mother she needs to give up the car keys, but that conversation cannot be avoided indefinitely, because of the risk to innocent third parties.

    Good luck.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @anon


    For example, there’s no easy way to tell one’s mother she needs to give up the car keys, but that conversation cannot be avoided indefinitely, because of the risk to innocent third parties.
     
    There are rules for all of this. One subordinates himself to his mother, but not to the detriment of his religion or his own health or even her health or the security of society. I would be obligated to stop my mother if she were planning to murder someone, for instance. One does not simply obey no matter what under whatever circumstances...the same applies to the wife or daughter - there are some things she is obligated to disobey.

    Even when approaching these difficult conversations though, one must keep in mind their position vis-a-vis their mother and give her due regard and respect as obligated by the Divine:
    "And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) 'Uff' nor chide them, and address them in terms of honor. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, 'My Lord, have mercy upon them as they had mercy upon me when I was small.'" (17:23-24)

    "A man asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), 'Who is most deserving of my good company?'
    The Prophet said, 'Your mother.'
    The man asked, 'Then who?'
    The Prophet said 'Your mother.'
    The man asked again, 'Then who?'
    The Prophet said, 'Your mother.'
    The man asked again, 'Then who?'
    The Prophet said, 'Your father.'" - reported in both Bukhari and Muslim

    Peace.
  59. @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    If it is biology and human nature that define these things in life, then why do men feel the need to define them in a book? The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men. That is literature defining social roles, not nature. Furthermore, since the literature pretends to be history, yet is decisively shown to be fiction, it should have no credibility as a reflection of reality. Men control women by force, often justified by a holy book. You can consider this a natural state of affairs and perhaps it is but I consider it wrong and I consider any use of force by men against women is wrong. This includes limiting the way women may dress, travel, and express themselves in relation to men. It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion? Why or why not?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Talha

    The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men.

    The Bible justifies and abets all sorts of things. Many of them deeply unpleasant. I’m an atheist so I don’t care what the Bible says.

    What I’m interested in is this – do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?

    Or do you believe that men and women are identical and completely interchangeable?

  60. @Catdog
    @dfordoom

    Jews overhwelmingly don't attend services and you probably won't find enough white hindus to get a sample.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    Jews overhwelmingly don’t attend services and you probably won’t find enough white hindus to get a sample.

    But what about Orthodox Jews who do attend regularly? Are they happier or less happy than Christians? What I’m interested in is whether there are significant differences between the levels of happiness among adherents of different religions.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @dfordoom

    This would definitely be an interesting poll or study.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  61. @nebulafox
    @RSDB

    Yeah, that's been a common reaction of mine. But remember, we're a bunch of strangers talking on the Internet. If you can't admit you are wrong on this or haven't thought through fully that while talking with someone who you have never met and have no reason to impress on that, then good Lord, when will you ever?

    >Disagreeing with yourself shows, then, that you are a great mind, surely?

    Realistically, I'm probably moderately above average intelligence: above average, but nothing special, certainly not on the level of many I've seen in fields dominated by authentic geniuses (theoretical physics, high-performance oriented programming), not on the level of certain other commentators I've encountered here, and not on the level of people with a similar natural talent but who have worked harder and smarter than I have for decades on end. One of the reasons I do kick back a little against the biological determinism that some people espouse is that I feel it is a blind counterreaction to the nonsensical and often hypocritical propaganda we're bombarded with today. A kid with solid but not-special mental facilities is capable of a lot more than schools aim him or her for: and I think a lot of that has to do with our fixations on geniuses, as much as it does to our catering toward the lowest common mean.

    And again, there's no uniform free lunch: if you think hard work is all that matters and that there isn't such a thing as natural ability, you are going to make your kids miserable, like a lot of parents in Asia do. The best answer is the most mundane one: hard work and ability do both matter, and you should take both into the equation. But I think the "less worse" option between the two extremes by themselves is to opt for work over a belief in predetermined genius. It'll result in the best average outcome.

    Replies: @RSDB

    I meant the thing about great minds as a sort of joke; as I said, I am not always very clear.

    [MORE]

    I was going to tell an anecdote about my high school calculus teacher, but while it was relevant to the general space of points here, it may have been even more tedious than this comment as it is now, so consider yourself spared.

    Anyway, I don’t usually make comments online with the intention of demonstrating my great intellect; while perhaps in real life I have occasionally acted with this detestable -not to mention ridiculous- object, I have certainly not been proud of it. In general I find that I benefit from being able to listen to and talk with people more intelligent or better informed than myself.

    For instance, I mentioned a little while ago in a response to frequent commenter Talha that I had enjoyed our sometimes controverted discussions; this commenter is an older man than myself, and one who has dedicated rather more time, I would guess, to the study of his religion than I have to mine; the result of these discussions is that I end up reading more of the Fathers and of various other sources than I would otherwise, and I am the better for it.

    One of my best friends in undergrad years was a Pentecostal, and discussions with him, sometimes long past midnight, used to serve much the same end.

    One of the reasons I do kick back a little against the biological determinism that some people espouse is that I feel it is a blind counterreaction to the nonsensical and often hypocritical propaganda we’re bombarded with today

    As for me, I hate the apparently inevitable. I posted, just now, a video of a chariot festival, so it may be rather strange for me to say here that I detest the idea of Juggernaut and the rolling wheels of fate.

    our fixations on geniuses

    People need heroes; for all his being the happiest man Solon had ever heard of, is there anyone on Earth who has heard of Tellus the Athenian and not heard of Solon?

  62. do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?

    Yes, I do agree. This is however unrelated to the problem of religions enforcing social roles. Furthermore, religions enforce not just differentiation but subordinacy, as I said originally. Thus it is not just a matter of different roles, it is about the hierarchy of these roles. If role differentiation is inevitable as you posit, then why do religions need to enforce it on the basis of written propaganda? One difference between men and women is that men are physically stronger on average; therefore they have de facto sovereignty over women. Religion tries to make this de jure by saying men have divine right to rule women. Thus religion attempts to sugarcoat the ethos of “might makes right” by transforming it into God’s eternal will.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @gay troll



    do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?
     
    Yes, I do agree.
     
    OK, so at least we have a sane basis for a conversation.

    This is however unrelated to the problem of religions enforcing social roles.
     
    Yes, it's pretty much unrelated.

    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly. Or whether you see some religions as having been invented by a ruling elite to maintain its power.

    There's also the question of whether the religion in question is enforcing rules only on believers or trying to enforce its rules on everybody. In the former case you could argue that women voluntarily accept differing social rôles. Or even that women in those cases voluntarily accept subordination, just as believers (male or female) submit voluntarily to the authority of a priest or pastor or whatever.

    Of course it depends on whether they're actually free to leave that religious community if they wish to.

    It also depends on what you mean by enforce. Enforcing can be someone pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to obey, or it can involve subtle social pressure.

    You want me to commit myself don't you? OK, I don't think any religion should try to enforce its rules on non-believers in that religion. If religious communities want to enforce rules internally that's their business, as long as dissenters are free to leave that community.

    Furthermore, religions enforce not just differentiation but subordinacy, as I said originally. Thus it is not just a matter of different roles, it is about the hierarchy of these roles.
     
    OK. If you join a golf club should you have to obey the rules of that club? Should people be forced to subordinate themselves to their bosses? Should people be forced to obey instructions from a police officer? Should soldiers be forced to subordinate themselves to their officers? Should the First Officer of a ship be compelled to subordinate himself to the Captain? These are all examples of differing social rôles that involve hierarchies and subordination. The First Officer might be just as important to the safe smooth running of the ship as the Captain but he still has to obey orders from the Captain. Should a priest be forced to subordinate himself to the bishop? Or to the Pope?

    I don't care very much what Christians do as long as they don't interfere in the lives of non-Christians.

    Replies: @Talha

  63. @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    If it is biology and human nature that define these things in life, then why do men feel the need to define them in a book? The fact is that the holy book justifies and abets the control of women by men. That is literature defining social roles, not nature. Furthermore, since the literature pretends to be history, yet is decisively shown to be fiction, it should have no credibility as a reflection of reality. Men control women by force, often justified by a holy book. You can consider this a natural state of affairs and perhaps it is but I consider it wrong and I consider any use of force by men against women is wrong. This includes limiting the way women may dress, travel, and express themselves in relation to men. It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion? Why or why not?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @Talha

    It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion?

    Depends on what one means by priest.

    Can she lead men in the five daily prayers? No.
    Can she give a Friday sermon to a congregation? No.
    Can she give fatwas if she is qualified to do so? Yes.
    Can she lead men in a class and teach them anything from jurisprudence to hadith to Qur’an exegesis? Yes – again, if she is qualified.

    Why or why not?

    The same reason why she has to cover her head in public; there are some things that are allowed to females by Divine edict, some things that are obligated and some other things that are prohibited:

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    Why does your one God have double standards? Is Allah not a word for Yahweh? Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews? You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet. But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation. Therefore the self of all living things is the same self, and it is wrong for one sex to dominate another by force, because to do so is to discriminate against the divine. Sexual dominance may happen in nature, but conscience is after all what distinguishes humanity from other animals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Only then can the unity of God be truly glorified.

    Replies: @Talha

  64. @dfordoom
    @Catdog


    Jews overhwelmingly don’t attend services and you probably won’t find enough white hindus to get a sample.
     
    But what about Orthodox Jews who do attend regularly? Are they happier or less happy than Christians? What I'm interested in is whether there are significant differences between the levels of happiness among adherents of different religions.

    Replies: @Talha

    This would definitely be an interesting poll or study.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Talha

    There is very little difference by religion when attendance frequency is controlled for. But the pattern is striking across the three religious traditions--Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism--with large enough sample sizes to evaluate. For all three, attendance frequency and self-reported happiness are strongly correlated. The distributions for all three look similar to the one in this post.

  65. @anon
    @Talha

    I am a man and I am subordinate to a woman, my mother.

    That could be sentimentality or it could be deep foolishness, depending on how it plays out. But it is not a good plan after the age of 18.

    Certain convos with a mother will always be difficult, especially after she becomes a widow, but they are made only more difficult if the son starts from a position of inferiority. For example, there's no easy way to tell one's mother she needs to give up the car keys, but that conversation cannot be avoided indefinitely, because of the risk to innocent third parties.

    Good luck.

    Replies: @Talha

    For example, there’s no easy way to tell one’s mother she needs to give up the car keys, but that conversation cannot be avoided indefinitely, because of the risk to innocent third parties.

    There are rules for all of this. One subordinates himself to his mother, but not to the detriment of his religion or his own health or even her health or the security of society. I would be obligated to stop my mother if she were planning to murder someone, for instance. One does not simply obey no matter what under whatever circumstances…the same applies to the wife or daughter – there are some things she is obligated to disobey.

    Even when approaching these difficult conversations though, one must keep in mind their position vis-a-vis their mother and give her due regard and respect as obligated by the Divine:
    “And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) ‘Uff’ nor chide them, and address them in terms of honor. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they had mercy upon me when I was small.’” (17:23-24)

    “A man asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), ‘Who is most deserving of my good company?’
    The Prophet said, ‘Your mother.’
    The man asked, ‘Then who?’
    The Prophet said ‘Your mother.’
    The man asked again, ‘Then who?’
    The Prophet said, ‘Your mother.’
    The man asked again, ‘Then who?’
    The Prophet said, ‘Your father.’” – reported in both Bukhari and Muslim

    Peace.

  66. @Talha
    @gay troll


    It is all very nice that Talha is subordinate to his mom, but can his mom be a priest in his religion?
     
    Depends on what one means by priest.

    Can she lead men in the five daily prayers? No.
    Can she give a Friday sermon to a congregation? No.
    Can she give fatwas if she is qualified to do so? Yes.
    Can she lead men in a class and teach them anything from jurisprudence to hadith to Qur'an exegesis? Yes - again, if she is qualified.

    Why or why not?
     
    The same reason why she has to cover her head in public; there are some things that are allowed to females by Divine edict, some things that are obligated and some other things that are prohibited:
    https://twitter.com/yasminmogahed/status/1292276354746990592

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Why does your one God have double standards? Is Allah not a word for Yahweh? Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews? You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet. But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation. Therefore the self of all living things is the same self, and it is wrong for one sex to dominate another by force, because to do so is to discriminate against the divine. Sexual dominance may happen in nature, but conscience is after all what distinguishes humanity from other animals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Only then can the unity of God be truly glorified.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    Why does your one God have double standards?
     
    Depends on what you mean; the answer can be yes or no.

    Both men and women are obligated to the same standards for salvation; they have to believe in the same creed regarding the Divine, revelation, messengers (pbut), heaven, hell, etc. They also have to both pray daily, fast during Ramadan, perform Hajj, and live righteous lives. They are also both obligated to rid their heart of spiritual diseases like pride, insincerity/hypocrisy, envy, greed, etc.

    As far as what obligations they have to one another and in society, that is a different subject. There are different rules of conduct for males and females and different obligations and responsibilities. For instance, my wife earns money (close to what I do), but I pay all the bills and the cost of housing and food because, I am in charge of the family and the Shariah demands that I foot the entire cost (even if she earns more than me). Now someone can say; "well that's unfair" - yeah, well the arrangement is fine with me, she gave birth four times - a feat I would never want to experience once.
    "...And the male is not like the female..." (3:36)

    Is Allah not a word for Yahweh?
     
    To a degree. Allah is the Arabic proper name for the One Creator. Other languages who call the Divine by a different name, still call upon the same as long as it is the One God without associates. But we don't necessarily believe what is reported about Yahweh in the Bible, for instance the anthropomorphic descriptions.

    Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews?
     
    Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you'd have to clarify from them.

    You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet.
     
    No problem.

    But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation.
     
    No, this is panentheism; that's not us.

    The human self/identity/ego/soul/spirit or whatever one wishes to call it as a reality or abstract concept is part of the created universe; as it exists in timespace and with a point of origin when it was brought into existence by the Divine Will. It is created, it is not, nor cannot also be Creator in any sense any more than I can be a married bachelor.

    However, the self is not also independent of the Divine either (in the sense of some deists who posit the model of a Divine clock-maker and the clock - both of which share a plane of existence), in that, it is - at every moment, just like every other created thing in the phenomenal universe - granted its existence by the Divine Will, without which it would simply cease to exist as it has no true independent existence. The only being that truly Exists solely by virtue of its own self and nature is the Divine; everything else exists by the Divine willing its existence and sustaining it, again, at every moment.

    So, in summary; the self is not Divine, nor is it independent of the Divine - perhaps, that's where the confusion lies.

    because to do so is to discriminate against the divine.
     
    This conclusion is based on a premise we don't agree with; see above.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
     
    Sure, but how exactly does that play out? I want to treat my wife like a wife, I don't want her to treat me like a wife, but as a husband. I plan on treating my daughter in laws well, and I hope my daughter is likewise treated well by her future in laws. I don't expect my daughter in law to treat me like a daughter in law, but as a father in law.

    Peace.

    Replies: @RSDB, @V. K. Ovelund

  67. @gay troll

    do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?
     
    Yes, I do agree. This is however unrelated to the problem of religions enforcing social roles. Furthermore, religions enforce not just differentiation but subordinacy, as I said originally. Thus it is not just a matter of different roles, it is about the hierarchy of these roles. If role differentiation is inevitable as you posit, then why do religions need to enforce it on the basis of written propaganda? One difference between men and women is that men are physically stronger on average; therefore they have de facto sovereignty over women. Religion tries to make this de jure by saying men have divine right to rule women. Thus religion attempts to sugarcoat the ethos of “might makes right” by transforming it into God’s eternal will.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?

    Yes, I do agree.

    OK, so at least we have a sane basis for a conversation.

    This is however unrelated to the problem of religions enforcing social roles.

    Yes, it’s pretty much unrelated.

    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly. Or whether you see some religions as having been invented by a ruling elite to maintain its power.

    There’s also the question of whether the religion in question is enforcing rules only on believers or trying to enforce its rules on everybody. In the former case you could argue that women voluntarily accept differing social rôles. Or even that women in those cases voluntarily accept subordination, just as believers (male or female) submit voluntarily to the authority of a priest or pastor or whatever.

    Of course it depends on whether they’re actually free to leave that religious community if they wish to.

    It also depends on what you mean by enforce. Enforcing can be someone pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to obey, or it can involve subtle social pressure.

    You want me to commit myself don’t you? OK, I don’t think any religion should try to enforce its rules on non-believers in that religion. If religious communities want to enforce rules internally that’s their business, as long as dissenters are free to leave that community.

    Furthermore, religions enforce not just differentiation but subordinacy, as I said originally. Thus it is not just a matter of different roles, it is about the hierarchy of these roles.

    OK. If you join a golf club should you have to obey the rules of that club? Should people be forced to subordinate themselves to their bosses? Should people be forced to obey instructions from a police officer? Should soldiers be forced to subordinate themselves to their officers? Should the First Officer of a ship be compelled to subordinate himself to the Captain? These are all examples of differing social rôles that involve hierarchies and subordination. The First Officer might be just as important to the safe smooth running of the ship as the Captain but he still has to obey orders from the Captain. Should a priest be forced to subordinate himself to the bishop? Or to the Pope?

    I don’t care very much what Christians do as long as they don’t interfere in the lives of non-Christians.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @dfordoom


    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly.
     
    Well said. The initial angle one looks at the phenomenon will color the rest of their conclusions, no escaping this.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  68. @nebulafox
    @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn't do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    America's elites are the exact, polar opposite: which is a huge part of what makes their authority fundamentally shaky. You can buy loyalty or rest on laurels accumulated by previous generations when times are good or even mediocre, but it gets more and more expensive when times get bad, to maintain a brittle edifice against rising forces. And using the stick takes practice: which shows in the ham-handed petty authoritarianism of America's current ruling classes.

    >That’s what many atheists, who are by and large materialists, don’t seem to get – the most powerful social bonds (aside from close blood kinship) are not created by having goodies or “hanging out” together – they are created by shared suffering (one can even argue that religious observation is a form of self-deprivation and -suffering).

    I understood this perfectly well all my life. Not implying that you don't believe this-you said many, not all, and I wouldn't attempt to read your mind for nuance over the Internet-but the distinction is not theology, IMO. It is something subtler, that religious devotion tends to increase your chances of understanding by inherent nature: it is to accept that men are not deterministic algorithms wrapped in fat and meat.

    Replies: @Talha, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    And as always: the very best military commanders in history, the ones that inspire the kind of loyalty that will get men in the thousands to die with your name on their lips, were the ones who never insisted that their men do anything that they themselves wouldn’t do first. The best company commander is the one that gets on the chopper last, who eats last, and who shows through his own discipline and character and strength and intelligence why it is self-evidently good that he is a leader. Draconian discipline becomes a marker of pride among subordinates rather than scorn under such a man.

    “I’m right behind you” is always poor leadership while “Follow me, men” earns admiration, loyalty, and obedience. That’s the upside of good leadership. The downside is you might very well die first. But that’s the price of the privileges that accompany leadership.

    • Agree: Talha
  69. @RSDB
    @Twinkie

    Well, there could be, I suppose, any number of materialistic explanations for the relevance of suffering to love, though I'm not sure how much stock I would put in any of them. But, anyway your comment made me think about why I was annoyed, without quite knowing the reason, by a comment above which seemed to extol a dry, anemic sort of paganism (I was tempted to attach Chesterton's "Song of the Strange Ascetic").

    Christians, of course, worship a deity who took on a human nature largely for the purpose of suffering. (I don't by any means intend this brief statement to encompass all of the implications of belief in the Incarnation.)

    That aside, it seems there is a longing for suffering in this world, or perhaps I should rather say a recognition of the value of suffering as a seal of devotion or commitment, among pagans and everybody else as well as Christians.

    Perhaps the other commenter would not regard these people, for example, as "serious":

    (perhaps slightly uncomfortable for the squeamish)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG6a_0aq70s

    As for me, I don't intend to imitate them, but I would hardly call them unserious. I don't know if they have a developed theory of the social or spiritual effects of suffering, but they seem to have some of the practical application down.


    A better view of a similar ceremony. Definitely not for everyone, so a warning for squeamish people.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoKb5-qHTsI

    Replies: @Twinkie

    recognition of the value of suffering as a seal of devotion or commitment

    Some young men who have trouble forming deep social ties have asked me over the years how I have been able to maintain close friendships, after seeing me with friends who are from many different walks of life. I, of course, recommend shared religion and military service, but more mundanely I also suggest that they take up a combat sport such as Judo or Jiu-Jitsu.

    When you train daily and weekly and go through the sweat and the blood, the pain and suffering of combat sport training, you develop a strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie with your training partners. On the mat, nobody cares if you are someone important or have money. People who act out get humiliated and get their attitude adjusted soon enough. Indeed, the real currency on the training mat is respect, and it is earned by being skillful, being courageous, and perhaps most importantly by being a good training partner (the opposite of a “gym bully”). You really get to know people when they are under physical and mental stress – you get a very good measure of them.

    And the physical fitness gains and the ability to lay an ass-kicking on a jackass ain’t too shabby of bonuses either. It’s really quite something to see the transformation of some nerdy, shy young guy after a year or so of earnest training and you ask him to spar or “roll” with some newbie with too much muscle mass and a real bad attitude, and the former nerd just mauls and rag dolls the latter – and you see him smile a little when the rest of us give him a bit of kudos for a job well done in the locker room. You see the confidence in his face – “I belong here.”

    • Thanks: RSDB
  70. @dfordoom
    @gay troll



    do you accept that there are significant differences between men and women? Differences so profound that they make some differentiation in social rôles inevitable?
     
    Yes, I do agree.
     
    OK, so at least we have a sane basis for a conversation.

    This is however unrelated to the problem of religions enforcing social roles.
     
    Yes, it's pretty much unrelated.

    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly. Or whether you see some religions as having been invented by a ruling elite to maintain its power.

    There's also the question of whether the religion in question is enforcing rules only on believers or trying to enforce its rules on everybody. In the former case you could argue that women voluntarily accept differing social rôles. Or even that women in those cases voluntarily accept subordination, just as believers (male or female) submit voluntarily to the authority of a priest or pastor or whatever.

    Of course it depends on whether they're actually free to leave that religious community if they wish to.

    It also depends on what you mean by enforce. Enforcing can be someone pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to obey, or it can involve subtle social pressure.

    You want me to commit myself don't you? OK, I don't think any religion should try to enforce its rules on non-believers in that religion. If religious communities want to enforce rules internally that's their business, as long as dissenters are free to leave that community.

    Furthermore, religions enforce not just differentiation but subordinacy, as I said originally. Thus it is not just a matter of different roles, it is about the hierarchy of these roles.
     
    OK. If you join a golf club should you have to obey the rules of that club? Should people be forced to subordinate themselves to their bosses? Should people be forced to obey instructions from a police officer? Should soldiers be forced to subordinate themselves to their officers? Should the First Officer of a ship be compelled to subordinate himself to the Captain? These are all examples of differing social rôles that involve hierarchies and subordination. The First Officer might be just as important to the safe smooth running of the ship as the Captain but he still has to obey orders from the Captain. Should a priest be forced to subordinate himself to the bishop? Or to the Pope?

    I don't care very much what Christians do as long as they don't interfere in the lives of non-Christians.

    Replies: @Talha

    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly.

    Well said. The initial angle one looks at the phenomenon will color the rest of their conclusions, no escaping this.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    Well, let’s take an example. Let’s say a woman of a particular religion chose to have sex with a number of men other than her husband. We know what Moses would say: stone her. We also know what Jesus would say: leave her alone. Talha can tell us what Mohammed would say.

    Or to take a less salacious example, what if a young woman, unmarried, simply wanted to stop believing in Allah? What would her punishment be if she did not cover her head/face in public? What would be the punishment if she refused to believe in the Koran? As I said before, physical dominance of males over females is de facto. Therefore, even in the absence of religion, a man who is dissatisfied with his wife/daughter/neighbor’s actions has the power to punish her as he is able. But if physical dominance is naturally ordained by God, why does it need a fake history textbook to uphold it? Does it seem fair that the social role of men includes the absolute right to define and police the social role of women? Is it fair to believe that God defines man, and man in turn defines woman? What the sexism of most religion actually demonstrates is that there is no spiritual right of men to dominate women. There is only the physical power to do so, and this power must be justified by propaganda, otherwise the conscious human spirit will reject it. To believe in the supremacy of male over female is to lower oneself to a purely sexual, animal perspective. Halfway between the gutter and the stars, what do you aspire to?

    If religions were ordained by God I doubt they would come in so many competing flavors. Religion is simply the binding together of people in belief. It affects the fitness of societies and is therefore subject to evolution. Culture is religion, history is religion. God is independent of religion. And God, being One, must ultimately transcend duality. A God that cannot transcend duality is no God at all. I am not saying men and women should be identical to each other, but I do believe they should have identical rights owing to their equal shares of the divine spirit.

  71. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Why does your one God have double standards? Is Allah not a word for Yahweh? Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews? You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet. But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation. Therefore the self of all living things is the same self, and it is wrong for one sex to dominate another by force, because to do so is to discriminate against the divine. Sexual dominance may happen in nature, but conscience is after all what distinguishes humanity from other animals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Only then can the unity of God be truly glorified.

    Replies: @Talha

    Why does your one God have double standards?

    Depends on what you mean; the answer can be yes or no.

    Both men and women are obligated to the same standards for salvation; they have to believe in the same creed regarding the Divine, revelation, messengers (pbut), heaven, hell, etc. They also have to both pray daily, fast during Ramadan, perform Hajj, and live righteous lives. They are also both obligated to rid their heart of spiritual diseases like pride, insincerity/hypocrisy, envy, greed, etc.

    As far as what obligations they have to one another and in society, that is a different subject. There are different rules of conduct for males and females and different obligations and responsibilities. For instance, my wife earns money (close to what I do), but I pay all the bills and the cost of housing and food because, I am in charge of the family and the Shariah demands that I foot the entire cost (even if she earns more than me). Now someone can say; “well that’s unfair” – yeah, well the arrangement is fine with me, she gave birth four times – a feat I would never want to experience once.
    “…And the male is not like the female…” (3:36)

    Is Allah not a word for Yahweh?

    To a degree. Allah is the Arabic proper name for the One Creator. Other languages who call the Divine by a different name, still call upon the same as long as it is the One God without associates. But we don’t necessarily believe what is reported about Yahweh in the Bible, for instance the anthropomorphic descriptions.

    Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews?

    Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you’d have to clarify from them.

    You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet.

    No problem.

    But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation.

    No, this is panentheism; that’s not us.

    The human self/identity/ego/soul/spirit or whatever one wishes to call it as a reality or abstract concept is part of the created universe; as it exists in timespace and with a point of origin when it was brought into existence by the Divine Will. It is created, it is not, nor cannot also be Creator in any sense any more than I can be a married bachelor.

    However, the self is not also independent of the Divine either (in the sense of some deists who posit the model of a Divine clock-maker and the clock – both of which share a plane of existence), in that, it is – at every moment, just like every other created thing in the phenomenal universe – granted its existence by the Divine Will, without which it would simply cease to exist as it has no true independent existence. The only being that truly Exists solely by virtue of its own self and nature is the Divine; everything else exists by the Divine willing its existence and sustaining it, again, at every moment.

    So, in summary; the self is not Divine, nor is it independent of the Divine – perhaps, that’s where the confusion lies.

    because to do so is to discriminate against the divine.

    This conclusion is based on a premise we don’t agree with; see above.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Sure, but how exactly does that play out? I want to treat my wife like a wife, I don’t want her to treat me like a wife, but as a husband. I plan on treating my daughter in laws well, and I hope my daughter is likewise treated well by her future in laws. I don’t expect my daughter in law to treat me like a daughter in law, but as a father in law.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    @Talha


    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

     

    Suppose I treat my refrigerator repairman exactly as I would have him treat me. I go to his house, do my best to make sure his refrigerator is up to standard, and present him with a modest and reasonable bill.

    For some reason he is not too happy with this treatment; I can't quite put my finger on it.
    , @V. K. Ovelund
    @Talha

    Ecumenism is not for me, so (other than to thank you for the informative review) I make no comment regarding your religion; but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear, by crediting it for gains it does not promote, or by praising its attack against the very problems it exacerbates.

    In the present context of declining Western Christendom, feminism is best understood as a scam to amplify normal female neuroses to break down the social (or religious) guards that restrain a powerful man from mass fornication. To break down those guards is feminism's principal function.

    Christians used to understand such things. After the madness of our present day has passed, Christians will understand such things again.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

  72. Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you’d have to clarify from them.

    Thanks for your replies.

    But isn’t your belief system built on the Tanakh? There’s nothing primordial or transcendent about that book. If the Tanakh is not the foundation on which Mohammed built your religion, then what is? Don’t you believe that the history described from Genesis through King Solomon is true? Because it’s not. And if we know there was no King Solomon, why should we believe there is an angel Gabriel? How is the belief in angels subordinate to the Creator any different from paganism? What is the point of One God if s/he is in any way divided?

    The primordial transcendent monotheism comes out of India and it is panentheistic. Your monotheism is not universal. It is earthly and chauvinist.

    Does God possess a self? If so then how can the self not be divine? Isn’t that the meaning of being made in God’s image? The Brahmins make it clear that it is not the ego that is divine; it is the witness to the ego. God is the witness of every life. How can the omniscient and omnipotent not be omnipresent as well?

    Namaste

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    But isn’t your belief system built on the Tanakh?
     
    No.

    If the Tanakh is not the foundation on which Mohammed built your religion, then what is?
     
    The Qur'an is the foundational scripture. It accords with the Tnakh in some aspects and contradicts it in other aspects.

    Don’t you believe that the history described from Genesis through King Solomon is true?
     
    Some parts? Yes. Other parts? No.

    How is the belief in angels subordinate to the Creator any different from paganism?
     
    Angels are created beings - they have no divinity ascribed to them, nor are they objects of worship. In fact, angels themselves perform worship. There are legions upon legions of angels created solely for the purpose of worship and nothing else.

    What is the point of One God if s/he is in any way divided?
     
    Well, that's exactly what we would say; their is no divide in the Divine, nor is the Divine made of composite parts. And there is no gender when it comes to the Divine; ascribing maleness or femaleness to the Divine are both incorrect.

    The primordial transcendent monotheism comes out of India and it is panentheistic.
     
    That sentence is self-contradictory; transcendent monotheism cannot be panentheistic by definition.

    Your monotheism is not universal.
     
    Thus far it is more universal than what has come out of India purely by numbers and demographic spread. What has come out of India seems much more localized to the Indian subcontinent and has not had as much universal appeal.

    It is earthly and chauvinist.
     
    This is an opinion.

    Does God possess a self?
     
    The Divine is a Being - you would have to define the meaning of "self" in this instance.

    If so then how can the self not be divine?
     
    Just because the Divine has Being and humans have being, does not make their being divine by any logical necessity.

    Isn’t that the meaning of being made in God’s image?
     
    No it is not.

    The Brahmins make it clear
     
    Who were they? And why are they to be trusted in their conclusions? You say there was no Solomon (pbuh)...do you have evidence there was a Ganesh?

    How can the omniscient and omnipotent not be omnipresent as well?
     
    Omnipresence does not entail it being of a spatial nature, defined by distance and direction; the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.

    A key problem in panentheism is that it depends on a steady-state universe that is co-eternal with the Divine (by necessity since it claims the Divine pervades and interpenetrates the universe, thus both must be uncreated). This leads to logical issues such as infinite regress. It also goes against the face of all the empirical evidence (granted, this could change with the discovery of new evidence) we have on hand that the universe had a starting point.

    No hard feelings, we're just bantering metaphysical concepts we disagree on.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha

  73. @Talha
    @dfordoom


    You could possibly ask whether religions actually enforce differing social rôles or simply reflect reality. But that comes down to your view of religion. Whether you think religion is literally ordained by God or whether you see religion as something invented by humans to make society work more smoothly.
     
    Well said. The initial angle one looks at the phenomenon will color the rest of their conclusions, no escaping this.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Well, let’s take an example. Let’s say a woman of a particular religion chose to have sex with a number of men other than her husband. We know what Moses would say: stone her. We also know what Jesus would say: leave her alone. Talha can tell us what Mohammed would say.

    Or to take a less salacious example, what if a young woman, unmarried, simply wanted to stop believing in Allah? What would her punishment be if she did not cover her head/face in public? What would be the punishment if she refused to believe in the Koran? As I said before, physical dominance of males over females is de facto. Therefore, even in the absence of religion, a man who is dissatisfied with his wife/daughter/neighbor’s actions has the power to punish her as he is able. But if physical dominance is naturally ordained by God, why does it need a fake history textbook to uphold it? Does it seem fair that the social role of men includes the absolute right to define and police the social role of women? Is it fair to believe that God defines man, and man in turn defines woman? What the sexism of most religion actually demonstrates is that there is no spiritual right of men to dominate women. There is only the physical power to do so, and this power must be justified by propaganda, otherwise the conscious human spirit will reject it. To believe in the supremacy of male over female is to lower oneself to a purely sexual, animal perspective. Halfway between the gutter and the stars, what do you aspire to?

    If religions were ordained by God I doubt they would come in so many competing flavors. Religion is simply the binding together of people in belief. It affects the fitness of societies and is therefore subject to evolution. Culture is religion, history is religion. God is independent of religion. And God, being One, must ultimately transcend duality. A God that cannot transcend duality is no God at all. I am not saying men and women should be identical to each other, but I do believe they should have identical rights owing to their equal shares of the divine spirit.

  74. @gay troll

    Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you’d have to clarify from them.
     
    Thanks for your replies.

    But isn’t your belief system built on the Tanakh? There’s nothing primordial or transcendent about that book. If the Tanakh is not the foundation on which Mohammed built your religion, then what is? Don’t you believe that the history described from Genesis through King Solomon is true? Because it’s not. And if we know there was no King Solomon, why should we believe there is an angel Gabriel? How is the belief in angels subordinate to the Creator any different from paganism? What is the point of One God if s/he is in any way divided?

    The primordial transcendent monotheism comes out of India and it is panentheistic. Your monotheism is not universal. It is earthly and chauvinist.

    Does God possess a self? If so then how can the self not be divine? Isn’t that the meaning of being made in God’s image? The Brahmins make it clear that it is not the ego that is divine; it is the witness to the ego. God is the witness of every life. How can the omniscient and omnipotent not be omnipresent as well?

    Namaste

    Replies: @Talha

    But isn’t your belief system built on the Tanakh?

    No.

    If the Tanakh is not the foundation on which Mohammed built your religion, then what is?

    The Qur’an is the foundational scripture. It accords with the Tnakh in some aspects and contradicts it in other aspects.

    Don’t you believe that the history described from Genesis through King Solomon is true?

    Some parts? Yes. Other parts? No.

    How is the belief in angels subordinate to the Creator any different from paganism?

    Angels are created beings – they have no divinity ascribed to them, nor are they objects of worship. In fact, angels themselves perform worship. There are legions upon legions of angels created solely for the purpose of worship and nothing else.

    What is the point of One God if s/he is in any way divided?

    Well, that’s exactly what we would say; their is no divide in the Divine, nor is the Divine made of composite parts. And there is no gender when it comes to the Divine; ascribing maleness or femaleness to the Divine are both incorrect.

    The primordial transcendent monotheism comes out of India and it is panentheistic.

    That sentence is self-contradictory; transcendent monotheism cannot be panentheistic by definition.

    Your monotheism is not universal.

    Thus far it is more universal than what has come out of India purely by numbers and demographic spread. What has come out of India seems much more localized to the Indian subcontinent and has not had as much universal appeal.

    It is earthly and chauvinist.

    This is an opinion.

    Does God possess a self?

    The Divine is a Being – you would have to define the meaning of “self” in this instance.

    If so then how can the self not be divine?

    Just because the Divine has Being and humans have being, does not make their being divine by any logical necessity.

    Isn’t that the meaning of being made in God’s image?

    No it is not.

    The Brahmins make it clear

    Who were they? And why are they to be trusted in their conclusions? You say there was no Solomon (pbuh)…do you have evidence there was a Ganesh?

    How can the omniscient and omnipotent not be omnipresent as well?

    Omnipresence does not entail it being of a spatial nature, defined by distance and direction; the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.

    A key problem in panentheism is that it depends on a steady-state universe that is co-eternal with the Divine (by necessity since it claims the Divine pervades and interpenetrates the universe, thus both must be uncreated). This leads to logical issues such as infinite regress. It also goes against the face of all the empirical evidence (granted, this could change with the discovery of new evidence) we have on hand that the universe had a starting point.

    No hard feelings, we’re just bantering metaphysical concepts we disagree on.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @Talha


    the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.
     
    And...lest I forget...again, the fact that every particular (down to the smallest detail) in creation is subsumed by and tied to the Divine Will granting and sustaining its very existence at every moment.

    Replies: @gay troll

  75. @Talha
    @gay troll


    Why does your one God have double standards?
     
    Depends on what you mean; the answer can be yes or no.

    Both men and women are obligated to the same standards for salvation; they have to believe in the same creed regarding the Divine, revelation, messengers (pbut), heaven, hell, etc. They also have to both pray daily, fast during Ramadan, perform Hajj, and live righteous lives. They are also both obligated to rid their heart of spiritual diseases like pride, insincerity/hypocrisy, envy, greed, etc.

    As far as what obligations they have to one another and in society, that is a different subject. There are different rules of conduct for males and females and different obligations and responsibilities. For instance, my wife earns money (close to what I do), but I pay all the bills and the cost of housing and food because, I am in charge of the family and the Shariah demands that I foot the entire cost (even if she earns more than me). Now someone can say; "well that's unfair" - yeah, well the arrangement is fine with me, she gave birth four times - a feat I would never want to experience once.
    "...And the male is not like the female..." (3:36)

    Is Allah not a word for Yahweh?
     
    To a degree. Allah is the Arabic proper name for the One Creator. Other languages who call the Divine by a different name, still call upon the same as long as it is the One God without associates. But we don't necessarily believe what is reported about Yahweh in the Bible, for instance the anthropomorphic descriptions.

    Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews?
     
    Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you'd have to clarify from them.

    You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet.
     
    No problem.

    But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation.
     
    No, this is panentheism; that's not us.

    The human self/identity/ego/soul/spirit or whatever one wishes to call it as a reality or abstract concept is part of the created universe; as it exists in timespace and with a point of origin when it was brought into existence by the Divine Will. It is created, it is not, nor cannot also be Creator in any sense any more than I can be a married bachelor.

    However, the self is not also independent of the Divine either (in the sense of some deists who posit the model of a Divine clock-maker and the clock - both of which share a plane of existence), in that, it is - at every moment, just like every other created thing in the phenomenal universe - granted its existence by the Divine Will, without which it would simply cease to exist as it has no true independent existence. The only being that truly Exists solely by virtue of its own self and nature is the Divine; everything else exists by the Divine willing its existence and sustaining it, again, at every moment.

    So, in summary; the self is not Divine, nor is it independent of the Divine - perhaps, that's where the confusion lies.

    because to do so is to discriminate against the divine.
     
    This conclusion is based on a premise we don't agree with; see above.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
     
    Sure, but how exactly does that play out? I want to treat my wife like a wife, I don't want her to treat me like a wife, but as a husband. I plan on treating my daughter in laws well, and I hope my daughter is likewise treated well by her future in laws. I don't expect my daughter in law to treat me like a daughter in law, but as a father in law.

    Peace.

    Replies: @RSDB, @V. K. Ovelund

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Suppose I treat my refrigerator repairman exactly as I would have him treat me. I go to his house, do my best to make sure his refrigerator is up to standard, and present him with a modest and reasonable bill.

    For some reason he is not too happy with this treatment; I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    • LOL: Talha
  76. @Neuday
    @Intelligent Dasein

    It is quite likely that "happiness" is being conflated with "contentment". Picking up your cross may not lead to the former, but is quite conducive to the latter. Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn't.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Saint Louis

    Regular church attendance may attenuate anxiety about financial, health, or marital problems in a way that regular drinking doesn’t.

    What about regular church attendance and regular drinking?

    “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine.” – Hilaire Belloc

    Your point is correct though.

  77. @gay troll
    @Rich

    Yes and if you want to be with your Lord in his Heavenly kingdom you better do what he says: break up with your family, give all your money to the temple, become like a wild animal with no thought for tomorrow, pray in a closet and exalt yourself in grief, promise nothing, judge not, never resist your enemies, and as Dasein points out, take up your cross and follow your leader to the quickest way out of your worthless life.

    Jesus Christ says repeatedly that his teachings are only for sinners and Jews.

    Replies: @Rich, @Saint Louis

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more accurate handle. Give this man a prize!

    • LOL: gay troll
    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Saint Louis

    I describe myself the same way I try to describe everything: accurately. Of course, there is more than one kind of gay, and more than one kind of troll, but that's half the fun.

  78. Mohammed received his revelation from a Jewish angel. N’est-ce pas? How can his revelation not be rooted in Jewish values? Would you prefer if I referred to your religious roots as Hebrew? I have no need to claim the historicity of Ganesh or any other religious character to defend my spiritual beliefs. Can you say the same about Solomon? The angel Gabriel isn’t a being that has existed since the beginning of time; he is a character conceived in a work of literature that first became known to the world 2250 years ago. The thing is, you don’t need history to know God. History is used to define God by those with ulterior material and carnal motives. If you read the Upanishads, there is no historical pretension; there is pure metaphysical devotion to the unity of the divine. As for Hindu beliefs being localized to the Indian subcontinent, all I can say is wow, have you heard of the “New Age” in the West? Have you ever noticed that Christ and his beloved disciple John have the same names, and the same relationship as Kristna and Arjuna?

    You say an angel is a created being, but it is also a supernatural being, which means it is beyond humankind, like an emissary between god and human. Since an angel is supernatural, it must be more divine than man. Have you ever witnessed an angel? How do you know they exist? Or do you only believe in angels because your book tells you to? How is the belief that God creates angels to intermediate with man any different from the Pagan belief that a heavenly father begat a pantheon of lesser gods? Is Gabriel any less Pagan than Hermes? Sorry for all the questions, here is the one I am most interested in you answering: does God have a self? Does Allah experience selfhood?

    A key problem in panentheism is that it depends on a steady-state universe that is co-eternal with the Divine

    No it does not. Many panentheists view creation and destruction as cyclical.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    Mohammed received his revelation from a Jewish angel.
     
    No such thing as a Jewish, Chinese or German angel - they don't have human lineages.

    How can his revelation not be rooted in Jewish values?
     
    Again - incorrect premise leads to incorrect conclusions.

    Would you prefer if I referred to your religious roots as Hebrew?
     
    You could, but it would be incorrect.

    Can you say the same about Solomon?
     
    Yes. Nothing I have been mentioning about the belief in the Divine has referenced either Solomon (pbuh) or even the Qur'an.

    The angel Gabriel isn’t a being that has existed since the beginning of time
     
    Correct. It is not clear when he was created in time.

    he is a character conceived in a work of literature that first became known to the world 2250 years ago.
     
    Or that may simply be the only surviving reference to him from the ancient world.

    History is used to define God by those with ulterior material and carnal motives.
     
    This is again opinion with no evidence to back it up.

    have you heard of the “New Age” in the West?
     
    Yes - it is a mish-mosh of everything borrowed from Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, occultism, theosophy, psychology, etc.

    Have you ever noticed that Christ and his beloved disciple John have the same names, and the same relationship as Kristna and Arjuna?
     
    I'm not sure I understand; are you simply pointing out an interesting coincidence of phonetics or are you publicly asserting that Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu gurus of some sort? Do you have any proof of this historic claim beyond this phonetic correlation?

    Since an angel is supernatural, it must be more divine than man.
     
    No, it is simply a created being, like man with a bunch of different abilities. You seem to be using the word "divine" as an adjective - I'm not. I believe this is where we have an inescapable divide that cannot really be bridged since we disagree on initial premises.

    The only Being that is Divine is God, period. There is no category of divine, there is only God, the Divine Being who is not bounded by categories. To be Divine is a package deal; the Divine is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining.

    The angels meet none of those requirements and thus are not divine. You seem to believe that having Marvel-hero super powers makes one divine; it doesn't, it still makes you a created being that has simply been given super powers.

    Have you ever witnessed an angel?
     
    No.

    Or do you only believe in angels because your book tells you to?
     
    Yes.

    Have you ever witnessed Arjuna? How do you know he existed? Or do you only believe in Arjuna because your book tells you?

    How is the belief that God creates angels to intermediate with man any different from the Pagan belief that a heavenly father begat a pantheon of lesser gods?
     
    It's quite different - as I already explained. There is no begetting, angels are created beings and thus are not divine since the only Being that is Divine is the Uncreated. On top of that, angels have never been made objects of worship.

    Is Gabriel any less Pagan than Hermes?
     
    Yes. See above.

    Sorry for all the questions
     
    No problem.

    does God have a self? Does Allah experience selfhood?
     
    I am not sure what you mean by self or selfhood, so I will simply define what we know of Allah. Allah is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining, Originator and Sustainer of all that exists besides, and Who has Will. Whether that fits your definition, I'll let you decide.

    Many panentheists view creation and destruction as cyclical.
     
    Which does nothing to resolve the infinite regress issue, it just kicks the can into infinitely preceding cycles.

    It also introduces further dilemmas. If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let's put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction). And if there is some portion of the divine subject to such, then you have divided the unity of the divine - which contradicts your previous position. The quandaries keep multiplying.

    What did he tell humanity that humanity did not know already?
     
    Who said he came to teach something novel? He came to remind mankind of its original creed of transcendental monotheism because they keep forgetting and getting the created and Uncreated confused and misplacing their worship to things undeserving of it.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  79. @Saint Louis
    @gay troll

    I don't think I've ever seen a more accurate handle. Give this man a prize!

    Replies: @gay troll

    I describe myself the same way I try to describe everything: accurately. Of course, there is more than one kind of gay, and more than one kind of troll, but that’s half the fun.

  80. @Talha
    @gay troll


    But isn’t your belief system built on the Tanakh?
     
    No.

    If the Tanakh is not the foundation on which Mohammed built your religion, then what is?
     
    The Qur'an is the foundational scripture. It accords with the Tnakh in some aspects and contradicts it in other aspects.

    Don’t you believe that the history described from Genesis through King Solomon is true?
     
    Some parts? Yes. Other parts? No.

    How is the belief in angels subordinate to the Creator any different from paganism?
     
    Angels are created beings - they have no divinity ascribed to them, nor are they objects of worship. In fact, angels themselves perform worship. There are legions upon legions of angels created solely for the purpose of worship and nothing else.

    What is the point of One God if s/he is in any way divided?
     
    Well, that's exactly what we would say; their is no divide in the Divine, nor is the Divine made of composite parts. And there is no gender when it comes to the Divine; ascribing maleness or femaleness to the Divine are both incorrect.

    The primordial transcendent monotheism comes out of India and it is panentheistic.
     
    That sentence is self-contradictory; transcendent monotheism cannot be panentheistic by definition.

    Your monotheism is not universal.
     
    Thus far it is more universal than what has come out of India purely by numbers and demographic spread. What has come out of India seems much more localized to the Indian subcontinent and has not had as much universal appeal.

    It is earthly and chauvinist.
     
    This is an opinion.

    Does God possess a self?
     
    The Divine is a Being - you would have to define the meaning of "self" in this instance.

    If so then how can the self not be divine?
     
    Just because the Divine has Being and humans have being, does not make their being divine by any logical necessity.

    Isn’t that the meaning of being made in God’s image?
     
    No it is not.

    The Brahmins make it clear
     
    Who were they? And why are they to be trusted in their conclusions? You say there was no Solomon (pbuh)...do you have evidence there was a Ganesh?

    How can the omniscient and omnipotent not be omnipresent as well?
     
    Omnipresence does not entail it being of a spatial nature, defined by distance and direction; the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.

    A key problem in panentheism is that it depends on a steady-state universe that is co-eternal with the Divine (by necessity since it claims the Divine pervades and interpenetrates the universe, thus both must be uncreated). This leads to logical issues such as infinite regress. It also goes against the face of all the empirical evidence (granted, this could change with the discovery of new evidence) we have on hand that the universe had a starting point.

    No hard feelings, we're just bantering metaphysical concepts we disagree on.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha

    the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.

    And…lest I forget…again, the fact that every particular (down to the smallest detail) in creation is subsumed by and tied to the Divine Will granting and sustaining its very existence at every moment.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha


    With eyes on all sides and mouths on all sides, with arms on all sides and feet on all sides, the One God created the sky and earth, fanning them with his arms.

    What was the wood and what was the tree from which they carved the sky and earth? You deep thinkers, ask yourselves in your own hearts, what base did he stand on when he set up the worlds?

    Those forms of yours that are highest, those that are lowest, and those that are in the middle, O All-Maker, help your friends to recognize them in the oblation. You who follow your own laws, sacrifice your body itself, making it grow great.
     
    -The Rig Veda, circa 1000 BCE, from India, proving that monotheism has no need to be revealed by a messenger of Yahweh, and no need to be puffed up by fake history, since poetry suffices to convey theology. Who needs Mohammed anyway? What did he tell humanity that humanity did not know already?
  81. @Talha
    @Talha


    the Divine is Omnipresent by All-Encompassing Knowledge and All-Awareness.
     
    And...lest I forget...again, the fact that every particular (down to the smallest detail) in creation is subsumed by and tied to the Divine Will granting and sustaining its very existence at every moment.

    Replies: @gay troll

    With eyes on all sides and mouths on all sides, with arms on all sides and feet on all sides, the One God created the sky and earth, fanning them with his arms.

    What was the wood and what was the tree from which they carved the sky and earth? You deep thinkers, ask yourselves in your own hearts, what base did he stand on when he set up the worlds?

    Those forms of yours that are highest, those that are lowest, and those that are in the middle, O All-Maker, help your friends to recognize them in the oblation. You who follow your own laws, sacrifice your body itself, making it grow great.

    -The Rig Veda, circa 1000 BCE, from India, proving that monotheism has no need to be revealed by a messenger of Yahweh, and no need to be puffed up by fake history, since poetry suffices to convey theology. Who needs Mohammed anyway? What did he tell humanity that humanity did not know already?

  82. @gay troll
    Mohammed received his revelation from a Jewish angel. N'est-ce pas? How can his revelation not be rooted in Jewish values? Would you prefer if I referred to your religious roots as Hebrew? I have no need to claim the historicity of Ganesh or any other religious character to defend my spiritual beliefs. Can you say the same about Solomon? The angel Gabriel isn't a being that has existed since the beginning of time; he is a character conceived in a work of literature that first became known to the world 2250 years ago. The thing is, you don't need history to know God. History is used to define God by those with ulterior material and carnal motives. If you read the Upanishads, there is no historical pretension; there is pure metaphysical devotion to the unity of the divine. As for Hindu beliefs being localized to the Indian subcontinent, all I can say is wow, have you heard of the "New Age" in the West? Have you ever noticed that Christ and his beloved disciple John have the same names, and the same relationship as Kristna and Arjuna?

    You say an angel is a created being, but it is also a supernatural being, which means it is beyond humankind, like an emissary between god and human. Since an angel is supernatural, it must be more divine than man. Have you ever witnessed an angel? How do you know they exist? Or do you only believe in angels because your book tells you to? How is the belief that God creates angels to intermediate with man any different from the Pagan belief that a heavenly father begat a pantheon of lesser gods? Is Gabriel any less Pagan than Hermes? Sorry for all the questions, here is the one I am most interested in you answering: does God have a self? Does Allah experience selfhood?

    A key problem in panentheism is that it depends on a steady-state universe that is co-eternal with the Divine
     
    No it does not. Many panentheists view creation and destruction as cyclical.

    Replies: @Talha

    Mohammed received his revelation from a Jewish angel.

    No such thing as a Jewish, Chinese or German angel – they don’t have human lineages.

    How can his revelation not be rooted in Jewish values?

    Again – incorrect premise leads to incorrect conclusions.

    Would you prefer if I referred to your religious roots as Hebrew?

    You could, but it would be incorrect.

    Can you say the same about Solomon?

    Yes. Nothing I have been mentioning about the belief in the Divine has referenced either Solomon (pbuh) or even the Qur’an.

    The angel Gabriel isn’t a being that has existed since the beginning of time

    Correct. It is not clear when he was created in time.

    he is a character conceived in a work of literature that first became known to the world 2250 years ago.

    Or that may simply be the only surviving reference to him from the ancient world.

    History is used to define God by those with ulterior material and carnal motives.

    This is again opinion with no evidence to back it up.

    have you heard of the “New Age” in the West?

    Yes – it is a mish-mosh of everything borrowed from Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, occultism, theosophy, psychology, etc.

    Have you ever noticed that Christ and his beloved disciple John have the same names, and the same relationship as Kristna and Arjuna?

    I’m not sure I understand; are you simply pointing out an interesting coincidence of phonetics or are you publicly asserting that Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu gurus of some sort? Do you have any proof of this historic claim beyond this phonetic correlation?

    Since an angel is supernatural, it must be more divine than man.

    No, it is simply a created being, like man with a bunch of different abilities. You seem to be using the word “divine” as an adjective – I’m not. I believe this is where we have an inescapable divide that cannot really be bridged since we disagree on initial premises.

    The only Being that is Divine is God, period. There is no category of divine, there is only God, the Divine Being who is not bounded by categories. To be Divine is a package deal; the Divine is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining.

    The angels meet none of those requirements and thus are not divine. You seem to believe that having Marvel-hero super powers makes one divine; it doesn’t, it still makes you a created being that has simply been given super powers.

    Have you ever witnessed an angel?

    No.

    Or do you only believe in angels because your book tells you to?

    Yes.

    Have you ever witnessed Arjuna? How do you know he existed? Or do you only believe in Arjuna because your book tells you?

    How is the belief that God creates angels to intermediate with man any different from the Pagan belief that a heavenly father begat a pantheon of lesser gods?

    It’s quite different – as I already explained. There is no begetting, angels are created beings and thus are not divine since the only Being that is Divine is the Uncreated. On top of that, angels have never been made objects of worship.

    Is Gabriel any less Pagan than Hermes?

    Yes. See above.

    Sorry for all the questions

    No problem.

    does God have a self? Does Allah experience selfhood?

    I am not sure what you mean by self or selfhood, so I will simply define what we know of Allah. Allah is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining, Originator and Sustainer of all that exists besides, and Who has Will. Whether that fits your definition, I’ll let you decide.

    Many panentheists view creation and destruction as cyclical.

    Which does nothing to resolve the infinite regress issue, it just kicks the can into infinitely preceding cycles.

    It also introduces further dilemmas. If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let’s put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction). And if there is some portion of the divine subject to such, then you have divided the unity of the divine – which contradicts your previous position. The quandaries keep multiplying.

    What did he tell humanity that humanity did not know already?

    Who said he came to teach something novel? He came to remind mankind of its original creed of transcendental monotheism because they keep forgetting and getting the created and Uncreated confused and misplacing their worship to things undeserving of it.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    Considering Gabri-El is one of the Elohim, a polytheistic Hebrew belief system that was later shoehorned into Yahwist monotheism, you are not far removed from paganism at all. You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God. This is exactly what Pagans believe. It is your belief system that is poorer, insisting on the misogyny and iconoclasm of the Jews while asserting moral superiority over the Pagans. But you have none. You believe the same shit in a different way. You can’t tolerate art or the free expression of women, you deny the divinity of the self, you contradict yourself, how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation? You are mired in duality. If you do not believe God has a self, I ask how can a human possess something that God does not? The self (not the ego but the witness or Atman) is the highest attribute of humanity. And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?


    If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let’s put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction).
     
    Why do you have to conceive it as spacetime containing God? Cannot God contain spacetime? It also does not mean that God must be created and destroyed, only so for God’s creation. God exists where man cannot. Furthermore, you might consider the scientific understanding that energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self. A brain is like a very small mirror for God. So although God cannot perceive “his” full nature in a brain; a brain cannot diminish or exclude that nature. “As above, so below.” If you cannot come to an understanding of unity, then don’t tell me you’re any more enlightened than all the other cultists and philosophers claiming revelation. That is what Mohammed experienced; not a primordial gnosis, but a revelation from a pagan Hebrew deity. It is the Hebrew angel who is reminding us of a creed through Mohammed. And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?

    “Peace”, huh, your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died. Are you Shi’a or Sunni? Christians tell me they’re peaceful too despite the ceaseless bloody mitosis of their leadership. Knowledge is better than mere peace, but if you build your life around a “revelation” you will know neither. How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?

    The English “Christ” is cognate with the Greek “Xristos”, Egyptian “KRST”, and Sanskrit “Kristna”. In all cases they denote an anointed and holy King. Xristos is the word used by the authors of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew concept of “Mashiach” or Messiah. It’s not a phonetic coincidence buddy. Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.

    Good luck on your journey.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

  83. @Talha
    @gay troll


    Mohammed received his revelation from a Jewish angel.
     
    No such thing as a Jewish, Chinese or German angel - they don't have human lineages.

    How can his revelation not be rooted in Jewish values?
     
    Again - incorrect premise leads to incorrect conclusions.

    Would you prefer if I referred to your religious roots as Hebrew?
     
    You could, but it would be incorrect.

    Can you say the same about Solomon?
     
    Yes. Nothing I have been mentioning about the belief in the Divine has referenced either Solomon (pbuh) or even the Qur'an.

    The angel Gabriel isn’t a being that has existed since the beginning of time
     
    Correct. It is not clear when he was created in time.

    he is a character conceived in a work of literature that first became known to the world 2250 years ago.
     
    Or that may simply be the only surviving reference to him from the ancient world.

    History is used to define God by those with ulterior material and carnal motives.
     
    This is again opinion with no evidence to back it up.

    have you heard of the “New Age” in the West?
     
    Yes - it is a mish-mosh of everything borrowed from Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, occultism, theosophy, psychology, etc.

    Have you ever noticed that Christ and his beloved disciple John have the same names, and the same relationship as Kristna and Arjuna?
     
    I'm not sure I understand; are you simply pointing out an interesting coincidence of phonetics or are you publicly asserting that Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu gurus of some sort? Do you have any proof of this historic claim beyond this phonetic correlation?

    Since an angel is supernatural, it must be more divine than man.
     
    No, it is simply a created being, like man with a bunch of different abilities. You seem to be using the word "divine" as an adjective - I'm not. I believe this is where we have an inescapable divide that cannot really be bridged since we disagree on initial premises.

    The only Being that is Divine is God, period. There is no category of divine, there is only God, the Divine Being who is not bounded by categories. To be Divine is a package deal; the Divine is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining.

    The angels meet none of those requirements and thus are not divine. You seem to believe that having Marvel-hero super powers makes one divine; it doesn't, it still makes you a created being that has simply been given super powers.

    Have you ever witnessed an angel?
     
    No.

    Or do you only believe in angels because your book tells you to?
     
    Yes.

    Have you ever witnessed Arjuna? How do you know he existed? Or do you only believe in Arjuna because your book tells you?

    How is the belief that God creates angels to intermediate with man any different from the Pagan belief that a heavenly father begat a pantheon of lesser gods?
     
    It's quite different - as I already explained. There is no begetting, angels are created beings and thus are not divine since the only Being that is Divine is the Uncreated. On top of that, angels have never been made objects of worship.

    Is Gabriel any less Pagan than Hermes?
     
    Yes. See above.

    Sorry for all the questions
     
    No problem.

    does God have a self? Does Allah experience selfhood?
     
    I am not sure what you mean by self or selfhood, so I will simply define what we know of Allah. Allah is Uncreated and Eternal, All-Aware, All-Powerful, Independently Real and Self-Sustaining, Originator and Sustainer of all that exists besides, and Who has Will. Whether that fits your definition, I'll let you decide.

    Many panentheists view creation and destruction as cyclical.
     
    Which does nothing to resolve the infinite regress issue, it just kicks the can into infinitely preceding cycles.

    It also introduces further dilemmas. If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let's put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction). And if there is some portion of the divine subject to such, then you have divided the unity of the divine - which contradicts your previous position. The quandaries keep multiplying.

    What did he tell humanity that humanity did not know already?
     
    Who said he came to teach something novel? He came to remind mankind of its original creed of transcendental monotheism because they keep forgetting and getting the created and Uncreated confused and misplacing their worship to things undeserving of it.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Considering Gabri-El is one of the Elohim, a polytheistic Hebrew belief system that was later shoehorned into Yahwist monotheism, you are not far removed from paganism at all. You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God. This is exactly what Pagans believe. It is your belief system that is poorer, insisting on the misogyny and iconoclasm of the Jews while asserting moral superiority over the Pagans. But you have none. You believe the same shit in a different way. You can’t tolerate art or the free expression of women, you deny the divinity of the self, you contradict yourself, how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation? You are mired in duality. If you do not believe God has a self, I ask how can a human possess something that God does not? The self (not the ego but the witness or Atman) is the highest attribute of humanity. And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?

    If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let’s put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction).

    Why do you have to conceive it as spacetime containing God? Cannot God contain spacetime? It also does not mean that God must be created and destroyed, only so for God’s creation. God exists where man cannot. Furthermore, you might consider the scientific understanding that energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self. A brain is like a very small mirror for God. So although God cannot perceive “his” full nature in a brain; a brain cannot diminish or exclude that nature. “As above, so below.” If you cannot come to an understanding of unity, then don’t tell me you’re any more enlightened than all the other cultists and philosophers claiming revelation. That is what Mohammed experienced; not a primordial gnosis, but a revelation from a pagan Hebrew deity. It is the Hebrew angel who is reminding us of a creed through Mohammed. And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?

    “Peace”, huh, your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died. Are you Shi’a or Sunni? Christians tell me they’re peaceful too despite the ceaseless bloody mitosis of their leadership. Knowledge is better than mere peace, but if you build your life around a “revelation” you will know neither. How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?

    The English “Christ” is cognate with the Greek “Xristos”, Egyptian “KRST”, and Sanskrit “Kristna”. In all cases they denote an anointed and holy King. Xristos is the word used by the authors of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew concept of “Mashiach” or Messiah. It’s not a phonetic coincidence buddy. Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.

    Good luck on your journey.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    you are not far removed from paganism at all.
     
    We are. You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren't. If the Jews worshiped Garbriel (as) or any other angels at some point, that has nothing to do with us or what we believe.

    You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God.
     
    No, we believe that angels sometimes do such at the bidding of the Divine. For instance, in our prayers, we commune directly with the Divine - there is no intermediary. Furthermore, just because the carry out tasks that they have been assigned in no way gives them any further claims to divinity - they are errand runners. And again, we don't worship them.

    how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation?
     
    Because the Divine is present - not a in a spatial/temporal sense, but - by the fact that It is intimately All-Aware of every singly minute detail and encompasses everything as All-Knowing and gives everything its quiddity at every moment because It is All-Sustaining - providing everything at every moment its very existence through the Divine Will. And yet the creation remains creation and the Uncreated remains Uncreated.

    If you do not believe God has a self,
     
    Never said that, I was simply not going to affirm something via a term ("self") that someone may have a completely different definition of. I already affirmed what we believe of Allah; whether that fits your definition of selfhood - you have to determine.

    I ask how can a human possess something that God does not?
     
    A human also possesses weakness and powerlessness; the Divine is exalted from such imperfections.

    And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?
     
    I never said this. The human spirit is one of the greatest things in all of the created universe. When the soul/nafs/ego is purified, it is very connected to and can even become the locus of love from the Divine...it still remains the creation and never becomes the Creator.

    Cannot God contain spacetime?
     
    Define "contain" first. If this is a spatial relationship, then you are stating that the Divine nature is one of a spatial/temporal nature which means the Divine is bounded by such a plane of existence (which would necessitate it being a separate co-eternal). The Divine is not bounded by a plane of existence, especially when the Divine is the Originator of that plane of existence.

    energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.
     
    OK - so now we are back at the initial problem of an eternal universe (that undergoes cycles of transformation)...and you still have to contend with infinite regress.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God.
     
    My metaphysical view is that I have a self and I know it is not God. If it was God, it would have self-awareness as such - nothing should be able to cloud the All-Awareness of the Divine. Since I know my self is not God, that is sufficient to prove the point.

    If you cannot come to an understanding of unity
     
    We have, it is called Tawheed - it simply doesn't accord to your understanding of unity, which seems beset by some of the logical issues I have outlined.

    And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?
     
    Again, incorrect premises lead to incorrect conclusions.

    your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died.
     
    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous. Hinduism didn't stop Hindus from going to war with each other or establishing empires.

    Are you Shi’a or Sunni?
     
    Sunni.

    How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?
     
    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons. One of them was wildly successful in his lifetime and one was killed by a mob.

    Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.
     
    This much is true, but this doesn't answer my question. Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers? Otherwise, you have just explained the connection as nothing more than a common feature between two languages that may have shared an ancestral proto-language.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
    The same to you as well.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

    , @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self
     
    I get a bit lost in metaphysical debates. Are you saying that everything is God? Or that everyone is God?

    Replies: @gay troll

  84. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Considering Gabri-El is one of the Elohim, a polytheistic Hebrew belief system that was later shoehorned into Yahwist monotheism, you are not far removed from paganism at all. You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God. This is exactly what Pagans believe. It is your belief system that is poorer, insisting on the misogyny and iconoclasm of the Jews while asserting moral superiority over the Pagans. But you have none. You believe the same shit in a different way. You can’t tolerate art or the free expression of women, you deny the divinity of the self, you contradict yourself, how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation? You are mired in duality. If you do not believe God has a self, I ask how can a human possess something that God does not? The self (not the ego but the witness or Atman) is the highest attribute of humanity. And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?


    If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let’s put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction).
     
    Why do you have to conceive it as spacetime containing God? Cannot God contain spacetime? It also does not mean that God must be created and destroyed, only so for God’s creation. God exists where man cannot. Furthermore, you might consider the scientific understanding that energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self. A brain is like a very small mirror for God. So although God cannot perceive “his” full nature in a brain; a brain cannot diminish or exclude that nature. “As above, so below.” If you cannot come to an understanding of unity, then don’t tell me you’re any more enlightened than all the other cultists and philosophers claiming revelation. That is what Mohammed experienced; not a primordial gnosis, but a revelation from a pagan Hebrew deity. It is the Hebrew angel who is reminding us of a creed through Mohammed. And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?

    “Peace”, huh, your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died. Are you Shi’a or Sunni? Christians tell me they’re peaceful too despite the ceaseless bloody mitosis of their leadership. Knowledge is better than mere peace, but if you build your life around a “revelation” you will know neither. How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?

    The English “Christ” is cognate with the Greek “Xristos”, Egyptian “KRST”, and Sanskrit “Kristna”. In all cases they denote an anointed and holy King. Xristos is the word used by the authors of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew concept of “Mashiach” or Messiah. It’s not a phonetic coincidence buddy. Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.

    Good luck on your journey.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    you are not far removed from paganism at all.

    We are. You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren’t. If the Jews worshiped Garbriel (as) or any other angels at some point, that has nothing to do with us or what we believe.

    You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God.

    No, we believe that angels sometimes do such at the bidding of the Divine. For instance, in our prayers, we commune directly with the Divine – there is no intermediary. Furthermore, just because the carry out tasks that they have been assigned in no way gives them any further claims to divinity – they are errand runners. And again, we don’t worship them.

    how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation?

    Because the Divine is present – not a in a spatial/temporal sense, but – by the fact that It is intimately All-Aware of every singly minute detail and encompasses everything as All-Knowing and gives everything its quiddity at every moment because It is All-Sustaining – providing everything at every moment its very existence through the Divine Will. And yet the creation remains creation and the Uncreated remains Uncreated.

    If you do not believe God has a self,

    Never said that, I was simply not going to affirm something via a term (“self”) that someone may have a completely different definition of. I already affirmed what we believe of Allah; whether that fits your definition of selfhood – you have to determine.

    I ask how can a human possess something that God does not?

    A human also possesses weakness and powerlessness; the Divine is exalted from such imperfections.

    And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?

    I never said this. The human spirit is one of the greatest things in all of the created universe. When the soul/nafs/ego is purified, it is very connected to and can even become the locus of love from the Divine…it still remains the creation and never becomes the Creator.

    Cannot God contain spacetime?

    Define “contain” first. If this is a spatial relationship, then you are stating that the Divine nature is one of a spatial/temporal nature which means the Divine is bounded by such a plane of existence (which would necessitate it being a separate co-eternal). The Divine is not bounded by a plane of existence, especially when the Divine is the Originator of that plane of existence.

    energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.

    OK – so now we are back at the initial problem of an eternal universe (that undergoes cycles of transformation)…and you still have to contend with infinite regress.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God.

    My metaphysical view is that I have a self and I know it is not God. If it was God, it would have self-awareness as such – nothing should be able to cloud the All-Awareness of the Divine. Since I know my self is not God, that is sufficient to prove the point.

    If you cannot come to an understanding of unity

    We have, it is called Tawheed – it simply doesn’t accord to your understanding of unity, which seems beset by some of the logical issues I have outlined.

    And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?

    Again, incorrect premises lead to incorrect conclusions.

    your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died.

    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous. Hinduism didn’t stop Hindus from going to war with each other or establishing empires.

    Are you Shi’a or Sunni?

    Sunni.

    How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?

    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons. One of them was wildly successful in his lifetime and one was killed by a mob.

    Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.

    This much is true, but this doesn’t answer my question. Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers? Otherwise, you have just explained the connection as nothing more than a common feature between two languages that may have shared an ancestral proto-language.

    Good luck on your journey.

    The same to you as well.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha


    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons.
     
    Islam has had 1400 years to expand; Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.

    Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers?
     
    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical. He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity. Muslims manage to get Christianity completely backwards; believing Christ was only a human and not divine. In fact, he was only divine and not a human. Paul makes this explicit. So does the historical record.

    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous.

    I’m not singling out Muslims, I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”. If you believe your own statement then why do you advertise peace? You are the one being singly disingenuous.

    You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren’t.

    Whether you like it or not Gabriel is a Hebrew name for a member of a polytheon. Moreover, like Jesus, Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets. So if you are not tied to Jewish history as you say, do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God? Or do you deny that the Torah is Jewish history?

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?

    Replies: @Talha

    , @RSDB
    @Talha

    Well batted!

    I have to give you credit for this sort of thing, it takes a great deal of patience-- far more than I usually have.

    Replies: @Talha

  85. @Talha
    @gay troll


    you are not far removed from paganism at all.
     
    We are. You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren't. If the Jews worshiped Garbriel (as) or any other angels at some point, that has nothing to do with us or what we believe.

    You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God.
     
    No, we believe that angels sometimes do such at the bidding of the Divine. For instance, in our prayers, we commune directly with the Divine - there is no intermediary. Furthermore, just because the carry out tasks that they have been assigned in no way gives them any further claims to divinity - they are errand runners. And again, we don't worship them.

    how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation?
     
    Because the Divine is present - not a in a spatial/temporal sense, but - by the fact that It is intimately All-Aware of every singly minute detail and encompasses everything as All-Knowing and gives everything its quiddity at every moment because It is All-Sustaining - providing everything at every moment its very existence through the Divine Will. And yet the creation remains creation and the Uncreated remains Uncreated.

    If you do not believe God has a self,
     
    Never said that, I was simply not going to affirm something via a term ("self") that someone may have a completely different definition of. I already affirmed what we believe of Allah; whether that fits your definition of selfhood - you have to determine.

    I ask how can a human possess something that God does not?
     
    A human also possesses weakness and powerlessness; the Divine is exalted from such imperfections.

    And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?
     
    I never said this. The human spirit is one of the greatest things in all of the created universe. When the soul/nafs/ego is purified, it is very connected to and can even become the locus of love from the Divine...it still remains the creation and never becomes the Creator.

    Cannot God contain spacetime?
     
    Define "contain" first. If this is a spatial relationship, then you are stating that the Divine nature is one of a spatial/temporal nature which means the Divine is bounded by such a plane of existence (which would necessitate it being a separate co-eternal). The Divine is not bounded by a plane of existence, especially when the Divine is the Originator of that plane of existence.

    energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.
     
    OK - so now we are back at the initial problem of an eternal universe (that undergoes cycles of transformation)...and you still have to contend with infinite regress.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God.
     
    My metaphysical view is that I have a self and I know it is not God. If it was God, it would have self-awareness as such - nothing should be able to cloud the All-Awareness of the Divine. Since I know my self is not God, that is sufficient to prove the point.

    If you cannot come to an understanding of unity
     
    We have, it is called Tawheed - it simply doesn't accord to your understanding of unity, which seems beset by some of the logical issues I have outlined.

    And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?
     
    Again, incorrect premises lead to incorrect conclusions.

    your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died.
     
    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous. Hinduism didn't stop Hindus from going to war with each other or establishing empires.

    Are you Shi’a or Sunni?
     
    Sunni.

    How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?
     
    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons. One of them was wildly successful in his lifetime and one was killed by a mob.

    Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.
     
    This much is true, but this doesn't answer my question. Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers? Otherwise, you have just explained the connection as nothing more than a common feature between two languages that may have shared an ancestral proto-language.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
    The same to you as well.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons.

    Islam has had 1400 years to expand; Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.

    Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers?

    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical. He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity. Muslims manage to get Christianity completely backwards; believing Christ was only a human and not divine. In fact, he was only divine and not a human. Paul makes this explicit. So does the historical record.

    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous.

    I’m not singling out Muslims, I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”. If you believe your own statement then why do you advertise peace? You are the one being singly disingenuous.

    You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren’t.

    Whether you like it or not Gabriel is a Hebrew name for a member of a polytheon. Moreover, like Jesus, Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets. So if you are not tied to Jewish history as you say, do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God? Or do you deny that the Torah is Jewish history?

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.
     
    Sure, but you can compare it to the first two hundred years of Islam; Mormonism should be the dominant faith of North America by now.

    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical... So does the historical record.
     
    Ok, so was he mythical or was he part of historical record?

    He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity.
     
    Ok, so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture? Like the Hindu avatars. Do you have any evidence, since you dismiss his existence due to lack of evidence, that people in that region of that era were reading Hindu scriptures?

    I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”
     
    Well I’ve certainly never advertised Islam using that phrase (look through my archives). Islam means submission to the Divine Will, one achieves peace through that process. Islam is a universal religion meant for all times and places, as such it has rules for both peace and war.

    why do you advertise peace?
     
    You mean, why do I sign off with “peace”? Well, because I do wish you and your family peace and have no reason to do otherwise. Now, if you’d rather be on war footing with me, that’s really in your court and your prerogative.

    Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets.
     
    This is completely incorrect. He was an Arab from the line of Ismael (pbuh), the Hebrews were descended from his brother Ishaac (pbuh). He was never a Hebrew by any stretch of the imagination.

    do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God?
     
    It certainly was in its original form. We have no confidence what remains of it that is true other than what accords with the Qur’an. We are not dependent on it in its current form in any way.

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?
     
    No. That was an easy one.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  86. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Considering Gabri-El is one of the Elohim, a polytheistic Hebrew belief system that was later shoehorned into Yahwist monotheism, you are not far removed from paganism at all. You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God. This is exactly what Pagans believe. It is your belief system that is poorer, insisting on the misogyny and iconoclasm of the Jews while asserting moral superiority over the Pagans. But you have none. You believe the same shit in a different way. You can’t tolerate art or the free expression of women, you deny the divinity of the self, you contradict yourself, how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation? You are mired in duality. If you do not believe God has a self, I ask how can a human possess something that God does not? The self (not the ego but the witness or Atman) is the highest attribute of humanity. And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?


    If the divine is interpenetrated into the universe (let’s put aside the issue of spatially containing a being that is not subject to its own creation of timespace), then it means some portion of the divine is cyclically being created (makes no sense for an uncreated being) and then destroyed (makes no sense for a being not subject to destruction).
     
    Why do you have to conceive it as spacetime containing God? Cannot God contain spacetime? It also does not mean that God must be created and destroyed, only so for God’s creation. God exists where man cannot. Furthermore, you might consider the scientific understanding that energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self. A brain is like a very small mirror for God. So although God cannot perceive “his” full nature in a brain; a brain cannot diminish or exclude that nature. “As above, so below.” If you cannot come to an understanding of unity, then don’t tell me you’re any more enlightened than all the other cultists and philosophers claiming revelation. That is what Mohammed experienced; not a primordial gnosis, but a revelation from a pagan Hebrew deity. It is the Hebrew angel who is reminding us of a creed through Mohammed. And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?

    “Peace”, huh, your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died. Are you Shi’a or Sunni? Christians tell me they’re peaceful too despite the ceaseless bloody mitosis of their leadership. Knowledge is better than mere peace, but if you build your life around a “revelation” you will know neither. How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?

    The English “Christ” is cognate with the Greek “Xristos”, Egyptian “KRST”, and Sanskrit “Kristna”. In all cases they denote an anointed and holy King. Xristos is the word used by the authors of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew concept of “Mashiach” or Messiah. It’s not a phonetic coincidence buddy. Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.

    Good luck on your journey.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self

    I get a bit lost in metaphysical debates. Are you saying that everything is God? Or that everyone is God?

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    To speak most precisely, I say that God is the totality of oneself. But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.

    You can learn this from a book or long experience, but the easiest way to understand it is to use an entheogen.

    Namaste

    Replies: @dfordoom

  87. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God. The self is not contained within the brain; instead all brains are contained within the self
     
    I get a bit lost in metaphysical debates. Are you saying that everything is God? Or that everyone is God?

    Replies: @gay troll

    To speak most precisely, I say that God is the totality of oneself. But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.

    You can learn this from a book or long experience, but the easiest way to understand it is to use an entheogen.

    Namaste

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.
     
    If God is everything and everything is God then in fact you've eliminated God from your theology. You have a belief system that in practice is indistinguishable from atheism. It's a kind of sentimental mystical atheism.

    Which is fine if that's what you want to believe but it's not really a religion.

    Replies: @gay troll

  88. @Talha
    @gay troll


    you are not far removed from paganism at all.
     
    We are. You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren't. If the Jews worshiped Garbriel (as) or any other angels at some point, that has nothing to do with us or what we believe.

    You believe God created superhuman entities that intermediate between man and God.
     
    No, we believe that angels sometimes do such at the bidding of the Divine. For instance, in our prayers, we commune directly with the Divine - there is no intermediary. Furthermore, just because the carry out tasks that they have been assigned in no way gives them any further claims to divinity - they are errand runners. And again, we don't worship them.

    how can God be both present in and yet apart from creation?
     
    Because the Divine is present - not a in a spatial/temporal sense, but - by the fact that It is intimately All-Aware of every singly minute detail and encompasses everything as All-Knowing and gives everything its quiddity at every moment because It is All-Sustaining - providing everything at every moment its very existence through the Divine Will. And yet the creation remains creation and the Uncreated remains Uncreated.

    If you do not believe God has a self,
     
    Never said that, I was simply not going to affirm something via a term ("self") that someone may have a completely different definition of. I already affirmed what we believe of Allah; whether that fits your definition of selfhood - you have to determine.

    I ask how can a human possess something that God does not?
     
    A human also possesses weakness and powerlessness; the Divine is exalted from such imperfections.

    And you think it offers us no connection to Heaven?
     
    I never said this. The human spirit is one of the greatest things in all of the created universe. When the soul/nafs/ego is purified, it is very connected to and can even become the locus of love from the Divine...it still remains the creation and never becomes the Creator.

    Cannot God contain spacetime?
     
    Define "contain" first. If this is a spatial relationship, then you are stating that the Divine nature is one of a spatial/temporal nature which means the Divine is bounded by such a plane of existence (which would necessitate it being a separate co-eternal). The Divine is not bounded by a plane of existence, especially when the Divine is the Originator of that plane of existence.

    energy, of which the universe is composed, cannot actually be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. There may be no creation or destruction: there may only be change.
     
    OK - so now we are back at the initial problem of an eternal universe (that undergoes cycles of transformation)...and you still have to contend with infinite regress.

    My metaphysical view is that there is only one self, and it is God.
     
    My metaphysical view is that I have a self and I know it is not God. If it was God, it would have self-awareness as such - nothing should be able to cloud the All-Awareness of the Divine. Since I know my self is not God, that is sufficient to prove the point.

    If you cannot come to an understanding of unity
     
    We have, it is called Tawheed - it simply doesn't accord to your understanding of unity, which seems beset by some of the logical issues I have outlined.

    And we are supposed to think that the message of a polytheistic entity is that there is only one God?
     
    Again, incorrect premises lead to incorrect conclusions.

    your religion has been at war with the world and itself since your founder died.
     
    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous. Hinduism didn't stop Hindus from going to war with each other or establishing empires.

    Are you Shi’a or Sunni?
     
    Sunni.

    How is Mohammed any different from Joseph Smith?
     
    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons. One of them was wildly successful in his lifetime and one was killed by a mob.

    Like diverse people and religions, languages share common ancestors.
     
    This much is true, but this doesn't answer my question. Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers? Otherwise, you have just explained the connection as nothing more than a common feature between two languages that may have shared an ancestral proto-language.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
    The same to you as well.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

    Well batted!

    I have to give you credit for this sort of thing, it takes a great deal of patience– far more than I usually have.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @RSDB

    Well, let me be the first to say that I thought this was a dead thread except for me and GT bantering over metaphysics. I had no clue that others were actually observing the exchange between Team Monotheism and Team Panentheism/Paganism.

    In truth, these subjects are far more interesting to me than politics; it is of far greater consequence (empires and nations will fall, the universe will eventually cease to be) and it is always a privilege to be able to mention aspects about the Beloved.

    I was fortunate enough to study kalaam (metaphysics, creed, theology) with the scholar who translated this book into English:
    https://www.amazon.com/Imam-Hanifas-Al-Fiqh-al-Akbar-Explained/dp/1933764031

    He himself studied under one of the masters of this discipline in the Levant, the late Shaykh Adib Kallas (ra).

    There is a saying common among the people who study this; Allah was before there was a when and a where and He is as He ever was.

    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one's own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @RSDB

  89. @Talha
    @gay troll


    Why does your one God have double standards?
     
    Depends on what you mean; the answer can be yes or no.

    Both men and women are obligated to the same standards for salvation; they have to believe in the same creed regarding the Divine, revelation, messengers (pbut), heaven, hell, etc. They also have to both pray daily, fast during Ramadan, perform Hajj, and live righteous lives. They are also both obligated to rid their heart of spiritual diseases like pride, insincerity/hypocrisy, envy, greed, etc.

    As far as what obligations they have to one another and in society, that is a different subject. There are different rules of conduct for males and females and different obligations and responsibilities. For instance, my wife earns money (close to what I do), but I pay all the bills and the cost of housing and food because, I am in charge of the family and the Shariah demands that I foot the entire cost (even if she earns more than me). Now someone can say; "well that's unfair" - yeah, well the arrangement is fine with me, she gave birth four times - a feat I would never want to experience once.
    "...And the male is not like the female..." (3:36)

    Is Allah not a word for Yahweh?
     
    To a degree. Allah is the Arabic proper name for the One Creator. Other languages who call the Divine by a different name, still call upon the same as long as it is the One God without associates. But we don't necessarily believe what is reported about Yahweh in the Bible, for instance the anthropomorphic descriptions.

    Isn’t your supposedly enlightened monotheism the same as that of the Jews?
     
    Ours is the primordial transcendental monotheism from the beginning of mankind; whether the Jewish belief fully jives with it, you'd have to clarify from them.

    You have to forgive me, because I have not read the book of your prophet.
     
    No problem.

    But true universal monotheism acknowledges that God is both within and without; God is the self (and therefore the self is divine), just as God is the whole of creation.
     
    No, this is panentheism; that's not us.

    The human self/identity/ego/soul/spirit or whatever one wishes to call it as a reality or abstract concept is part of the created universe; as it exists in timespace and with a point of origin when it was brought into existence by the Divine Will. It is created, it is not, nor cannot also be Creator in any sense any more than I can be a married bachelor.

    However, the self is not also independent of the Divine either (in the sense of some deists who posit the model of a Divine clock-maker and the clock - both of which share a plane of existence), in that, it is - at every moment, just like every other created thing in the phenomenal universe - granted its existence by the Divine Will, without which it would simply cease to exist as it has no true independent existence. The only being that truly Exists solely by virtue of its own self and nature is the Divine; everything else exists by the Divine willing its existence and sustaining it, again, at every moment.

    So, in summary; the self is not Divine, nor is it independent of the Divine - perhaps, that's where the confusion lies.

    because to do so is to discriminate against the divine.
     
    This conclusion is based on a premise we don't agree with; see above.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
     
    Sure, but how exactly does that play out? I want to treat my wife like a wife, I don't want her to treat me like a wife, but as a husband. I plan on treating my daughter in laws well, and I hope my daughter is likewise treated well by her future in laws. I don't expect my daughter in law to treat me like a daughter in law, but as a father in law.

    Peace.

    Replies: @RSDB, @V. K. Ovelund

    Ecumenism is not for me, so (other than to thank you for the informative review) I make no comment regarding your religion; but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear, by crediting it for gains it does not promote, or by praising its attack against the very problems it exacerbates.

    In the present context of declining Western Christendom, feminism is best understood as a scam to amplify normal female neuroses to break down the social (or religious) guards that restrain a powerful man from mass fornication. To break down those guards is feminism’s principal function.

    Christians used to understand such things. After the madness of our present day has passed, Christians will understand such things again.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Well, I thank you for reading it, you’re quite resolute if you read everything I wrote. Whether one thinks it is important or not or thinks details are boring, foundational metaphysics has consequences for any civilization. And you are seeing in this thread why and where things lead.

    DforDoom asked an important question:


    Are you saying that everything is God? Or that everyone is God?
     
    If you answer yes...let’s skip the logic and rational discussion and get to brass tacks. This leads to (and you can see this) a breakdown of concepts such as hierarchy and distinctions and even categories. Furthermore, it leads to the inability to distinguish between the sacred and the profane in the phenomenal world since both are equally divine.

    Historically, our religion has a very robust mystical and deep inner spiritual tradition that spans centuries. We deal with this all the time; a minority of Sufis in every generation go off the deep end and misinterpret their experience. Trace all of them that make that category error that I mentioned and I guarantee you that it leads in one trajectory every time...towards the Poz.

    Peace.
    , @dfordoom
    @V. K. Ovelund


    but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.
     
    Feminism is based on what is either a spectacularly mistaken belief or a deliberate falsehood - that men and women are identical and interchangeable. Which leads to the conclusion that having different social rôles for men and women must therefore be oppressive and unjust.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear
     
    Yes, I agree. Feminism relies on the myth that for thousands of years men deliberately oppressed women. According to this myth human society was a conspiracy to oppress women.

    The truth is that historically life was pretty awful and very limited for just about everybody, apart from a small elite. Life was actually very very good for women, if those women happened to be members of the privileged elite. And life was very very bad for most men, if they did not happen to be members of the privileged elite. The only real oppressing that was going on was the oppressing of the non-privileged by the privileged.

    Being a peasant wasn't much fun for men. Being an aristocrat was a great deal of fun for women.
  90. @RSDB
    @Talha

    Well batted!

    I have to give you credit for this sort of thing, it takes a great deal of patience-- far more than I usually have.

    Replies: @Talha

    Well, let me be the first to say that I thought this was a dead thread except for me and GT bantering over metaphysics. I had no clue that others were actually observing the exchange between Team Monotheism and Team Panentheism/Paganism.

    In truth, these subjects are far more interesting to me than politics; it is of far greater consequence (empires and nations will fall, the universe will eventually cease to be) and it is always a privilege to be able to mention aspects about the Beloved.

    I was fortunate enough to study kalaam (metaphysics, creed, theology) with the scholar who translated this book into English:

    He himself studied under one of the masters of this discipline in the Levant, the late Shaykh Adib Kallas (ra).

    There is a saying common among the people who study this; Allah was before there was a when and a where and He is as He ever was.

    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one’s own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @Talha

    Should say:
    “They have made a category error, those who mistake the image for the object itself.”

    Replies: @gay troll

    , @RSDB
    @Talha

    Well, one can find the topic interesting, without finding the thread particularly interesting; the substantive things you have to say are roughly the same in each comment; what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues which seem to have mostly been gotten up with a view to attacking Judaism and/or Christianity, rather than Islam; some of these I might perhaps have gone down, were I in your place, rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.


    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one’s own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

     

    Earlier under this article I have commented that previous conversations with you have gotten me to read the Fathers more than I would otherwise; now you have me rereading St. Bonaventure.


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg/300px-MagrittePipe.jpg

    Sorry for the trite image, but it seemed called for.

    Replies: @Talha

  91. @gay troll
    @Talha


    There are over 100 Muslims in the world compared to the number of Mormons.
     
    Islam has had 1400 years to expand; Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.

    Are you saying Jesus (pbuh) and his disciples were Hindu teachers?
     
    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical. He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity. Muslims manage to get Christianity completely backwards; believing Christ was only a human and not divine. In fact, he was only divine and not a human. Paul makes this explicit. So does the historical record.

    Everyone has been at war with everyone for a very long time. To single out Muslims is disingenuous.

    I’m not singling out Muslims, I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”. If you believe your own statement then why do you advertise peace? You are the one being singly disingenuous.

    You keep assuming we are tied to Jewish history; we aren’t.

    Whether you like it or not Gabriel is a Hebrew name for a member of a polytheon. Moreover, like Jesus, Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets. So if you are not tied to Jewish history as you say, do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God? Or do you deny that the Torah is Jewish history?

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?

    Replies: @Talha

    Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.

    Sure, but you can compare it to the first two hundred years of Islam; Mormonism should be the dominant faith of North America by now.

    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical… So does the historical record.

    Ok, so was he mythical or was he part of historical record?

    He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity.

    Ok, so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture? Like the Hindu avatars. Do you have any evidence, since you dismiss his existence due to lack of evidence, that people in that region of that era were reading Hindu scriptures?

    I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”

    Well I’ve certainly never advertised Islam using that phrase (look through my archives). Islam means submission to the Divine Will, one achieves peace through that process. Islam is a universal religion meant for all times and places, as such it has rules for both peace and war.

    why do you advertise peace?

    You mean, why do I sign off with “peace”? Well, because I do wish you and your family peace and have no reason to do otherwise. Now, if you’d rather be on war footing with me, that’s really in your court and your prerogative.

    Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets.

    This is completely incorrect. He was an Arab from the line of Ismael (pbuh), the Hebrews were descended from his brother Ishaac (pbuh). He was never a Hebrew by any stretch of the imagination.

    do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God?

    It certainly was in its original form. We have no confidence what remains of it that is true other than what accords with the Qur’an. We are not dependent on it in its current form in any way.

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?

    No. That was an easy one.

    Peace.

    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    Thanks for clearing that up about the Hebrews; let me restate that the Hebrews are your brothers and you share an imaginary forefather named Abraham. Suffer me while I quote Wiki:


    Many of the revelations delivered by the 48 prophets in Judaism and many prophets of Christianity are mentioned as such in the Quran but usually in slightly different forms. For example, the Jewish Elisha is called Alyasa', Job is Ayyub, Jesus is 'Isa, etc. The Torah given to Moses (Musa) is called Tawrat, the Psalms given to David (Dawud) is the Zabur, the Gospel given to Jesus is Injil.[4]
     
    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions. You are using Hebrew names. It’s not a phonetic coincidence. Your religion is based on the Torah and Christian mythology. Period. You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist. Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure). Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption. So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?

    so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture?
     
    Your ignorance is really showing here. Paul or the author of Paul made up Jesus Christ based on Jewish scriptures. Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture. There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian; he wrote in Greek and he used the Greek translation of the Tanakh to do it. In this translation, the Septuagint, the oldest known version of the Abrahamic scriptures, the Hebrew word Mashiach is translated as the Greek word Xristos (Christ). So the word Christ is a translation of Messiah that was used for 25o years before Jesus was “born”. Furthermore this concept of Xristos must have existed in Greek before it was used in translation.

    Xristos is a word that literally means anointed, or holy. It can be seen as a superlative of the Greek “Xrestus” which means good. Kristna in Sanskrit means “all attractive”; again, it is a superlative form of “goodness” reserved as a title for a divine individual. Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God. So too is the Egyptian KRST (or Karast) which is a word for the royal mummy, the body of the divine king who will be resurrected to eternal life. I’m not saying that Christ was plagiarized from Kristna, I am saying that they are derived from closely related beliefs. You brushed this off as phonetic coincidence but Christ and Kristna mean the same thing. It doesn’t mean one religion was copied from the other; it means the religions have a common ancestor. Just like you and the Jews. Paul didn’t place Jesus Christ into Earthly history; the forgers of the Gospels did that a generation later. And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?

    Replies: @Talha

  92. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Talha

    Ecumenism is not for me, so (other than to thank you for the informative review) I make no comment regarding your religion; but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear, by crediting it for gains it does not promote, or by praising its attack against the very problems it exacerbates.

    In the present context of declining Western Christendom, feminism is best understood as a scam to amplify normal female neuroses to break down the social (or religious) guards that restrain a powerful man from mass fornication. To break down those guards is feminism's principal function.

    Christians used to understand such things. After the madness of our present day has passed, Christians will understand such things again.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    Well, I thank you for reading it, you’re quite resolute if you read everything I wrote. Whether one thinks it is important or not or thinks details are boring, foundational metaphysics has consequences for any civilization. And you are seeing in this thread why and where things lead.

    DforDoom asked an important question:

    Are you saying that everything is God? Or that everyone is God?

    If you answer yes…let’s skip the logic and rational discussion and get to brass tacks. This leads to (and you can see this) a breakdown of concepts such as hierarchy and distinctions and even categories. Furthermore, it leads to the inability to distinguish between the sacred and the profane in the phenomenal world since both are equally divine.

    Historically, our religion has a very robust mystical and deep inner spiritual tradition that spans centuries. We deal with this all the time; a minority of Sufis in every generation go off the deep end and misinterpret their experience. Trace all of them that make that category error that I mentioned and I guarantee you that it leads in one trajectory every time…towards the Poz.

    Peace.

  93. @Talha
    @RSDB

    Well, let me be the first to say that I thought this was a dead thread except for me and GT bantering over metaphysics. I had no clue that others were actually observing the exchange between Team Monotheism and Team Panentheism/Paganism.

    In truth, these subjects are far more interesting to me than politics; it is of far greater consequence (empires and nations will fall, the universe will eventually cease to be) and it is always a privilege to be able to mention aspects about the Beloved.

    I was fortunate enough to study kalaam (metaphysics, creed, theology) with the scholar who translated this book into English:
    https://www.amazon.com/Imam-Hanifas-Al-Fiqh-al-Akbar-Explained/dp/1933764031

    He himself studied under one of the masters of this discipline in the Levant, the late Shaykh Adib Kallas (ra).

    There is a saying common among the people who study this; Allah was before there was a when and a where and He is as He ever was.

    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one's own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @RSDB

    Should say:
    “They have made a category error, those who mistake the image for the object itself.”

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    It is God who sees itself in the tiny mirror of the human brain. It is God who then thinks it is not God, because it mistakes its partial reflection for its whole self. That is your mistake; you do not know who you are. In truth you are God and it is the challenge of your life to realize that you are more than meets your eye. Occam said “do not multiply entities beyond necessity”. Until you realize there is only one entity, undivided, your monotheism will be an impoverished chauvinism, like the Jewish delusion is descends from. You are caught in the web of Maya, illusion. The entire universe is oneself.

  94. @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    To speak most precisely, I say that God is the totality of oneself. But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.

    You can learn this from a book or long experience, but the easiest way to understand it is to use an entheogen.

    Namaste

    Replies: @dfordoom

    But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.

    If God is everything and everything is God then in fact you’ve eliminated God from your theology. You have a belief system that in practice is indistinguishable from atheism. It’s a kind of sentimental mystical atheism.

    Which is fine if that’s what you want to believe but it’s not really a religion.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @dfordoom

    Actually it is the atheists who refuse to acknowledge the divinity that is right under their nose. Don’t tell me atheism and pantheism are the same; the words are antonyms. Do atheists believe in omniscience? Do atheists believe in eternal life? Do atheists insist on the golden rule? I do.

  95. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Talha

    Ecumenism is not for me, so (other than to thank you for the informative review) I make no comment regarding your religion; but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear, by crediting it for gains it does not promote, or by praising its attack against the very problems it exacerbates.

    In the present context of declining Western Christendom, feminism is best understood as a scam to amplify normal female neuroses to break down the social (or religious) guards that restrain a powerful man from mass fornication. To break down those guards is feminism's principal function.

    Christians used to understand such things. After the madness of our present day has passed, Christians will understand such things again.

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    but feminism is in every way abominable. There is no good in feminism. Feminism answers nothing but evil.

    Feminism is based on what is either a spectacularly mistaken belief or a deliberate falsehood – that men and women are identical and interchangeable. Which leads to the conclusion that having different social rôles for men and women must therefore be oppressive and unjust.

    Feminism can be made to look good only by contrasting it against a fraudulent alternative, by framing it against a fake yesteryear

    Yes, I agree. Feminism relies on the myth that for thousands of years men deliberately oppressed women. According to this myth human society was a conspiracy to oppress women.

    The truth is that historically life was pretty awful and very limited for just about everybody, apart from a small elite. Life was actually very very good for women, if those women happened to be members of the privileged elite. And life was very very bad for most men, if they did not happen to be members of the privileged elite. The only real oppressing that was going on was the oppressing of the non-privileged by the privileged.

    Being a peasant wasn’t much fun for men. Being an aristocrat was a great deal of fun for women.

  96. @Talha
    @gay troll


    Mormonism has had 200. Give it time.
     
    Sure, but you can compare it to the first two hundred years of Islam; Mormonism should be the dominant faith of North America by now.

    Jesus, like Moses, is fully mythical... So does the historical record.
     
    Ok, so was he mythical or was he part of historical record?

    He did not exist but his title is etymologically related to the name of a Hindu deity.
     
    Ok, so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture? Like the Hindu avatars. Do you have any evidence, since you dismiss his existence due to lack of evidence, that people in that region of that era were reading Hindu scriptures?

    I’m debating a Muslim who advertises the “religion of peace”
     
    Well I’ve certainly never advertised Islam using that phrase (look through my archives). Islam means submission to the Divine Will, one achieves peace through that process. Islam is a universal religion meant for all times and places, as such it has rules for both peace and war.

    why do you advertise peace?
     
    You mean, why do I sign off with “peace”? Well, because I do wish you and your family peace and have no reason to do otherwise. Now, if you’d rather be on war footing with me, that’s really in your court and your prerogative.

    Mohammed is justified as part of a line of Hebrew prophets.
     
    This is completely incorrect. He was an Arab from the line of Ismael (pbuh), the Hebrews were descended from his brother Ishaac (pbuh). He was never a Hebrew by any stretch of the imagination.

    do you deny that the Torah is a revelation from God?
     
    It certainly was in its original form. We have no confidence what remains of it that is true other than what accords with the Qur’an. We are not dependent on it in its current form in any way.

    Also if you don’t mind my asking do you support the modern state of Israel?
     
    No. That was an easy one.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Thanks for clearing that up about the Hebrews; let me restate that the Hebrews are your brothers and you share an imaginary forefather named Abraham. Suffer me while I quote Wiki:

    Many of the revelations delivered by the 48 prophets in Judaism and many prophets of Christianity are mentioned as such in the Quran but usually in slightly different forms. For example, the Jewish Elisha is called Alyasa’, Job is Ayyub, Jesus is ‘Isa, etc. The Torah given to Moses (Musa) is called Tawrat, the Psalms given to David (Dawud) is the Zabur, the Gospel given to Jesus is Injil.[4]

    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions. You are using Hebrew names. It’s not a phonetic coincidence. Your religion is based on the Torah and Christian mythology. Period. You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist. Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure). Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption. So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?

    so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture?

    Your ignorance is really showing here. Paul or the author of Paul made up Jesus Christ based on Jewish scriptures. Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture. There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian; he wrote in Greek and he used the Greek translation of the Tanakh to do it. In this translation, the Septuagint, the oldest known version of the Abrahamic scriptures, the Hebrew word Mashiach is translated as the Greek word Xristos (Christ). So the word Christ is a translation of Messiah that was used for 25o years before Jesus was “born”. Furthermore this concept of Xristos must have existed in Greek before it was used in translation.

    Xristos is a word that literally means anointed, or holy. It can be seen as a superlative of the Greek “Xrestus” which means good. Kristna in Sanskrit means “all attractive”; again, it is a superlative form of “goodness” reserved as a title for a divine individual. Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God. So too is the Egyptian KRST (or Karast) which is a word for the royal mummy, the body of the divine king who will be resurrected to eternal life. I’m not saying that Christ was plagiarized from Kristna, I am saying that they are derived from closely related beliefs. You brushed this off as phonetic coincidence but Christ and Kristna mean the same thing. It doesn’t mean one religion was copied from the other; it means the religions have a common ancestor. Just like you and the Jews. Paul didn’t place Jesus Christ into Earthly history; the forgers of the Gospels did that a generation later. And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions.
     
    Nope.

    You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist.
     
    This is your opinion.

    Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure).
     
    The underlying premise of your argument is; he made it all up, therefore he must have gotten starting material from somewhere.

    As far as we are concerned, he received revelation from the same Divine Source as other prior revelations (which weren't actually isolated to the descendants of Abraham [pbuh] - since we believe messengers and revelations were sent to all peoples) that is why there are similarities. Why would there be differences in these names if they are indeed from the same Divine source.


    Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

     

    Nope. The religion never claims parentage from the Bible at all. In fact the Qur'an contradicts the accounts in the Bible in several places as well as expounds on some accounts in other places. That is because one of the reasons for its revelation was to clear up the record that was lost or otherwise corrupted over time.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption.
     
    Yes.

    So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?
     
    No. Because the Qur'an also mentions other revelations which are completely lost to human history. It is not based on any of them as a progenitor, it simply affirms that they were also a valid revelation in their original form to attest that the Divine has been sending messengers to guide and remind mankind from the beginning. And this is extended to other religious traditions as well, we do not fully affirm nor deny that the founders and foundational texts of other religions were prophets and revelations:
    "Q: In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?
    ...
    A: It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.

    However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur'an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism."
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/43746

    This is why we claim Islam to be the original primordial creed and religion of man and that its foundations go far before the life of the Prophet (pbuh).


    Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture.
     
    These are historical claims, do you have any proof for them? Why should we assume Paul existed and Jesus (pbuh) did not? Why would Paul say people only saw Jesus (pbuh) after his resurrection? They would have had to see him die for that sentence to make any sense in the first place.

    There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian
     
    There's no reason to think Paul even existed since you are in an epistemic bind by declaring what is in the Bible to be myths. What independent historical source texts mention Paul other than the Bible or that do not rely on the Bible?

    Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God.
     
    OK, so what I'm hearing is that Jesus (pbuh) did not exist, but an avatar named Christ did. And we can take this to be the case because some historical figure named Paul said so - since he is the only authoritative figure from that era worth listening to, who happens to also be quoted in the Gospels all the time, but we cannot believe those because they were forged. Do I have that right? OK, so do you have the original unadulterated copy of the contemporaneous Gospels to back up your claims or are you basically hanging the entire narrative of a phonetic connection?

    And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.
     
    No, we believe in Jesus (pbuh) because he is mentioned in the Qur'an. Even if he was not mentioned in the Bible, we would believe in him due to the Qur'an. For instance, there is no mention of the prophet Salih (pbuh) in the Biblical narrative, but he shows up multiple times in the Qur'an as a prophet sent to some of the people in the Arabian region.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?
     
    Now that's just silly and you know it.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @gay troll

  97. @dfordoom
    @gay troll


    But generally my answer to both of your questions is yes.

    I worship Panentheo: the God within all things, and all things within the God.
     
    If God is everything and everything is God then in fact you've eliminated God from your theology. You have a belief system that in practice is indistinguishable from atheism. It's a kind of sentimental mystical atheism.

    Which is fine if that's what you want to believe but it's not really a religion.

    Replies: @gay troll

    Actually it is the atheists who refuse to acknowledge the divinity that is right under their nose. Don’t tell me atheism and pantheism are the same; the words are antonyms. Do atheists believe in omniscience? Do atheists believe in eternal life? Do atheists insist on the golden rule? I do.

  98. @gay troll
    @Talha

    Thanks for clearing that up about the Hebrews; let me restate that the Hebrews are your brothers and you share an imaginary forefather named Abraham. Suffer me while I quote Wiki:


    Many of the revelations delivered by the 48 prophets in Judaism and many prophets of Christianity are mentioned as such in the Quran but usually in slightly different forms. For example, the Jewish Elisha is called Alyasa', Job is Ayyub, Jesus is 'Isa, etc. The Torah given to Moses (Musa) is called Tawrat, the Psalms given to David (Dawud) is the Zabur, the Gospel given to Jesus is Injil.[4]
     
    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions. You are using Hebrew names. It’s not a phonetic coincidence. Your religion is based on the Torah and Christian mythology. Period. You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist. Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure). Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption. So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?

    so he didn’t exist, but people in 1st century Palestine made him up based on readings of Hindu scripture?
     
    Your ignorance is really showing here. Paul or the author of Paul made up Jesus Christ based on Jewish scriptures. Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture. There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian; he wrote in Greek and he used the Greek translation of the Tanakh to do it. In this translation, the Septuagint, the oldest known version of the Abrahamic scriptures, the Hebrew word Mashiach is translated as the Greek word Xristos (Christ). So the word Christ is a translation of Messiah that was used for 25o years before Jesus was “born”. Furthermore this concept of Xristos must have existed in Greek before it was used in translation.

    Xristos is a word that literally means anointed, or holy. It can be seen as a superlative of the Greek “Xrestus” which means good. Kristna in Sanskrit means “all attractive”; again, it is a superlative form of “goodness” reserved as a title for a divine individual. Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God. So too is the Egyptian KRST (or Karast) which is a word for the royal mummy, the body of the divine king who will be resurrected to eternal life. I’m not saying that Christ was plagiarized from Kristna, I am saying that they are derived from closely related beliefs. You brushed this off as phonetic coincidence but Christ and Kristna mean the same thing. It doesn’t mean one religion was copied from the other; it means the religions have a common ancestor. Just like you and the Jews. Paul didn’t place Jesus Christ into Earthly history; the forgers of the Gospels did that a generation later. And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?

    Replies: @Talha

    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions.

    Nope.

    You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist.

    This is your opinion.

    Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure).

    The underlying premise of your argument is; he made it all up, therefore he must have gotten starting material from somewhere.

    As far as we are concerned, he received revelation from the same Divine Source as other prior revelations (which weren’t actually isolated to the descendants of Abraham [pbuh] – since we believe messengers and revelations were sent to all peoples) that is why there are similarities. Why would there be differences in these names if they are indeed from the same Divine source.

    Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

    Nope. The religion never claims parentage from the Bible at all. In fact the Qur’an contradicts the accounts in the Bible in several places as well as expounds on some accounts in other places. That is because one of the reasons for its revelation was to clear up the record that was lost or otherwise corrupted over time.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption.

    Yes.

    So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?

    No. Because the Qur’an also mentions other revelations which are completely lost to human history. It is not based on any of them as a progenitor, it simply affirms that they were also a valid revelation in their original form to attest that the Divine has been sending messengers to guide and remind mankind from the beginning. And this is extended to other religious traditions as well, we do not fully affirm nor deny that the founders and foundational texts of other religions were prophets and revelations:
    “Q: In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?

    A: It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.

    However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur’an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism.”
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/43746

    This is why we claim Islam to be the original primordial creed and religion of man and that its foundations go far before the life of the Prophet (pbuh).

    Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture.

    These are historical claims, do you have any proof for them? Why should we assume Paul existed and Jesus (pbuh) did not? Why would Paul say people only saw Jesus (pbuh) after his resurrection? They would have had to see him die for that sentence to make any sense in the first place.

    There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian

    There’s no reason to think Paul even existed since you are in an epistemic bind by declaring what is in the Bible to be myths. What independent historical source texts mention Paul other than the Bible or that do not rely on the Bible?

    Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God.

    OK, so what I’m hearing is that Jesus (pbuh) did not exist, but an avatar named Christ did. And we can take this to be the case because some historical figure named Paul said so – since he is the only authoritative figure from that era worth listening to, who happens to also be quoted in the Gospels all the time, but we cannot believe those because they were forged. Do I have that right? OK, so do you have the original unadulterated copy of the contemporaneous Gospels to back up your claims or are you basically hanging the entire narrative of a phonetic connection?

    And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.

    No, we believe in Jesus (pbuh) because he is mentioned in the Qur’an. Even if he was not mentioned in the Bible, we would believe in him due to the Qur’an. For instance, there is no mention of the prophet Salih (pbuh) in the Biblical narrative, but he shows up multiple times in the Qur’an as a prophet sent to some of the people in the Arabian region.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?

    Now that’s just silly and you know it.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @Talha


    in fact Paul says
     
    Look, I have to give it to you for being imaginative, but has anyone else made these claims in academic circles? Even among revisionist historians, has anyone presented this as an academic thesis that has held up to scrutiny and peer review? I mean, speculations are fun and all, but this is skirting "we wuz incarnate kangz" territory.

    Replies: @gay troll

    , @gay troll
    @Talha

    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter. I clearly said “Paul or the author of Paul”. This does not indicate I think Paul is a historical figure. But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. However these documents do not claim that Jesus Christ walked on Earth. It is only the Gospels, written after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, that turn Jesus into a historical figure, with obvious propagandist motives, to justify the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. This is proof that your religion is full of shit: it mistakes fiction for history. You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah? As I said, you have it backwards, Jesus had no Earthly existence. It is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t. As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures, and not some eternal truth, to inform your blighted cosmology.

    Is not jihad the means to peace? Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?

    Adios

    Replies: @Talha

  99. @Talha
    @gay troll


    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions.
     
    Nope.

    You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist.
     
    This is your opinion.

    Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure).
     
    The underlying premise of your argument is; he made it all up, therefore he must have gotten starting material from somewhere.

    As far as we are concerned, he received revelation from the same Divine Source as other prior revelations (which weren't actually isolated to the descendants of Abraham [pbuh] - since we believe messengers and revelations were sent to all peoples) that is why there are similarities. Why would there be differences in these names if they are indeed from the same Divine source.


    Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

     

    Nope. The religion never claims parentage from the Bible at all. In fact the Qur'an contradicts the accounts in the Bible in several places as well as expounds on some accounts in other places. That is because one of the reasons for its revelation was to clear up the record that was lost or otherwise corrupted over time.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption.
     
    Yes.

    So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?
     
    No. Because the Qur'an also mentions other revelations which are completely lost to human history. It is not based on any of them as a progenitor, it simply affirms that they were also a valid revelation in their original form to attest that the Divine has been sending messengers to guide and remind mankind from the beginning. And this is extended to other religious traditions as well, we do not fully affirm nor deny that the founders and foundational texts of other religions were prophets and revelations:
    "Q: In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?
    ...
    A: It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.

    However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur'an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism."
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/43746

    This is why we claim Islam to be the original primordial creed and religion of man and that its foundations go far before the life of the Prophet (pbuh).


    Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture.
     
    These are historical claims, do you have any proof for them? Why should we assume Paul existed and Jesus (pbuh) did not? Why would Paul say people only saw Jesus (pbuh) after his resurrection? They would have had to see him die for that sentence to make any sense in the first place.

    There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian
     
    There's no reason to think Paul even existed since you are in an epistemic bind by declaring what is in the Bible to be myths. What independent historical source texts mention Paul other than the Bible or that do not rely on the Bible?

    Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God.
     
    OK, so what I'm hearing is that Jesus (pbuh) did not exist, but an avatar named Christ did. And we can take this to be the case because some historical figure named Paul said so - since he is the only authoritative figure from that era worth listening to, who happens to also be quoted in the Gospels all the time, but we cannot believe those because they were forged. Do I have that right? OK, so do you have the original unadulterated copy of the contemporaneous Gospels to back up your claims or are you basically hanging the entire narrative of a phonetic connection?

    And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.
     
    No, we believe in Jesus (pbuh) because he is mentioned in the Qur'an. Even if he was not mentioned in the Bible, we would believe in him due to the Qur'an. For instance, there is no mention of the prophet Salih (pbuh) in the Biblical narrative, but he shows up multiple times in the Qur'an as a prophet sent to some of the people in the Arabian region.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?
     
    Now that's just silly and you know it.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @gay troll

    in fact Paul says

    Look, I have to give it to you for being imaginative, but has anyone else made these claims in academic circles? Even among revisionist historians, has anyone presented this as an academic thesis that has held up to scrutiny and peer review? I mean, speculations are fun and all, but this is skirting “we wuz incarnate kangz” territory.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, where Paul says it was revealed to him that Christ died “according to the scriptures”, was resurrected, and only then “appeared” to Peter, the Apostles, a crowd of 500, James, and Paul. There is no description of the life and execution of Christ, it is all according to [Old Testament] scriptures. And after his resurrection he is only capable of “appearance” and not physical presence. Paul doesn’t mention mother Mary. His Christ is more like an angel than a human being. He says that Christians are the allegorical offspring of a heavenly mother (Sarah), not the Earthly mother in Jerusalem (Hagar) (Galatians 4:22-26). The whole point of Pauline Christianity is that there is a heavenly path to salvation that does not depend on the Earthly Jerusalem. Yet the Gospels return Earthly Jerusalem to central importance.

    Replies: @Talha

  100. @Talha
    @gay troll


    In other words, your religion is based on the text of the other Abrahamic religions.
     
    Nope.

    You can’t argue that you know about these characters independently, because they did not actually exist.
     
    This is your opinion.

    Mohammed worked in 600 CE, the only way he knew about Jesus or Abraham was through the Bible (or through Gabriel, but again, Gabriel is a biblical and not a historical figure).
     
    The underlying premise of your argument is; he made it all up, therefore he must have gotten starting material from somewhere.

    As far as we are concerned, he received revelation from the same Divine Source as other prior revelations (which weren't actually isolated to the descendants of Abraham [pbuh] - since we believe messengers and revelations were sent to all peoples) that is why there are similarities. Why would there be differences in these names if they are indeed from the same Divine source.


    Enough with this “from the beginning” stuff, your religion is a child and the Bible is its parent.

     

    Nope. The religion never claims parentage from the Bible at all. In fact the Qur'an contradicts the accounts in the Bible in several places as well as expounds on some accounts in other places. That is because one of the reasons for its revelation was to clear up the record that was lost or otherwise corrupted over time.

    You seem to be saying that the original revelation of the Torah was pure, that it has been corrupted since then, and presumably Mohammed’s revelation remedied the corruption.
     
    Yes.

    So do you agree that your religion is founded on the true, uncorrupted Torah?
     
    No. Because the Qur'an also mentions other revelations which are completely lost to human history. It is not based on any of them as a progenitor, it simply affirms that they were also a valid revelation in their original form to attest that the Divine has been sending messengers to guide and remind mankind from the beginning. And this is extended to other religious traditions as well, we do not fully affirm nor deny that the founders and foundational texts of other religions were prophets and revelations:
    "Q: In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?
    ...
    A: It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.

    However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur'an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism."
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/43746

    This is why we claim Islam to be the original primordial creed and religion of man and that its foundations go far before the life of the Prophet (pbuh).


    Paul does not say that Jesus came to Earth; in fact Paul says no one even saw Jesus until after his resurrection. Instead Paul says Jesus revealed himself through scripture.
     
    These are historical claims, do you have any proof for them? Why should we assume Paul existed and Jesus (pbuh) did not? Why would Paul say people only saw Jesus (pbuh) after his resurrection? They would have had to see him die for that sentence to make any sense in the first place.

    There’s no reason to think Paul was a Palestinian
     
    There's no reason to think Paul even existed since you are in an epistemic bind by declaring what is in the Bible to be myths. What independent historical source texts mention Paul other than the Bible or that do not rely on the Bible?

    Kristna and Christ are both considered to be incarnations of God.
     
    OK, so what I'm hearing is that Jesus (pbuh) did not exist, but an avatar named Christ did. And we can take this to be the case because some historical figure named Paul said so - since he is the only authoritative figure from that era worth listening to, who happens to also be quoted in the Gospels all the time, but we cannot believe those because they were forged. Do I have that right? OK, so do you have the original unadulterated copy of the contemporaneous Gospels to back up your claims or are you basically hanging the entire narrative of a phonetic connection?

    And now the Muslims believe in a historical Christ based on a forger’s embellishment of Paul’s revelation.
     
    No, we believe in Jesus (pbuh) because he is mentioned in the Qur'an. Even if he was not mentioned in the Bible, we would believe in him due to the Qur'an. For instance, there is no mention of the prophet Salih (pbuh) in the Biblical narrative, but he shows up multiple times in the Qur'an as a prophet sent to some of the people in the Arabian region.

    Why not sign off your posts with the word “Jihad”? Is that not the means to salvation?
     
    Now that's just silly and you know it.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @gay troll

    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter. I clearly said “Paul or the author of Paul”. This does not indicate I think Paul is a historical figure. But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. However these documents do not claim that Jesus Christ walked on Earth. It is only the Gospels, written after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, that turn Jesus into a historical figure, with obvious propagandist motives, to justify the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. This is proof that your religion is full of shit: it mistakes fiction for history. You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah? As I said, you have it backwards, Jesus had no Earthly existence. It is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t. As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures, and not some eternal truth, to inform your blighted cosmology.

    Is not jihad the means to peace? Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?

    Adios

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter.
     
    Well, you are making historical claims and dismissing historical claims at will, I'm asking for evidence and clarification.

    But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
     
    Do you have a reliable academic source for this? Furthermore, who else, other than Hindus like yourself, have interpreted the words of these epistles to mean there was no earthly Jesus (pbuh)?

    You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah?
     
    No, the Qur'an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.

    If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t.
     
    Cool - prove Krishna in his various claimed avatars was real.

    As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures
     
    No, I already stated, we don't depend on the Bible as proof for any of our claims. As far as Krishna or Arjuna or any of the other names like Rukmini, do you have any proof for their existence outside Hindu scriptures?

    Is not jihad the means to peace?
     
    It certainly can be, depending on the context.

    Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?
     
    It's absolutely necessary, again, depending on context.

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?
     
    That's a completely different tangent that is not germane to the discussion at hand. I could also distract the discussion by asking you if you think it is a good idea to dip your toddlers into piles of cow dung for blessings as some Hindu villagers do. Let's just stick to the topic at hand; the discussion of the coherence of metaphysical claims and epistemic foundations.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

  101. @gay troll
    @Talha

    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter. I clearly said “Paul or the author of Paul”. This does not indicate I think Paul is a historical figure. But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. However these documents do not claim that Jesus Christ walked on Earth. It is only the Gospels, written after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, that turn Jesus into a historical figure, with obvious propagandist motives, to justify the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. This is proof that your religion is full of shit: it mistakes fiction for history. You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah? As I said, you have it backwards, Jesus had no Earthly existence. It is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t. As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures, and not some eternal truth, to inform your blighted cosmology.

    Is not jihad the means to peace? Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?

    Adios

    Replies: @Talha

    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter.

    Well, you are making historical claims and dismissing historical claims at will, I’m asking for evidence and clarification.

    But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

    Do you have a reliable academic source for this? Furthermore, who else, other than Hindus like yourself, have interpreted the words of these epistles to mean there was no earthly Jesus (pbuh)?

    You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah?

    No, the Qur’an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.

    If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t.

    Cool – prove Krishna in his various claimed avatars was real.

    As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures

    No, I already stated, we don’t depend on the Bible as proof for any of our claims. As far as Krishna or Arjuna or any of the other names like Rukmini, do you have any proof for their existence outside Hindu scriptures?

    Is not jihad the means to peace?

    It certainly can be, depending on the context.

    Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?

    It’s absolutely necessary, again, depending on context.

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?

    That’s a completely different tangent that is not germane to the discussion at hand. I could also distract the discussion by asking you if you think it is a good idea to dip your toddlers into piles of cow dung for blessings as some Hindu villagers do. Let’s just stick to the topic at hand; the discussion of the coherence of metaphysical claims and epistemic foundations.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    I never claimed Kristna was human! His character is most fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, a composition which is dated to the 2nd century BCE. Kristna existed before Jesus Christ - not as a human but as a religious character, the incarnation of the supreme God. Have you read the Gita? It is sublime. It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.

    Replies: @Talha

    , @gay troll
    @Talha


    No, the Qur’an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.
     
    Thanks I did not know this about the Koran. And you are absolutely correct: Messiah does not mean divine. But Christos does mean divine. This is obvious by the fact that the word is used by both Egyptians and Hindus to refer to the incarnation of God. And it is exactly what Christianity claims about Jesus, that he is the incarnation of God. Again one of the key issues is that “Christos” was used as a word for “Messiah” for 300 years before the emergence of Christianity. Christianity may have first emerged from the diaspora; these people were Hellenized Jewish graecophones, and for them Messiah did mean divine, because their word for messiah was Christos. They did not necessarily agree with the politics of the Temple cult in Jerusalem, which needed a human Messiah in the form of a warrior to defeat the Romans, not an orator who yields to his enemies. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Romans took the Hellenic Pauline literature and transformed it into the Gospels, making Jesus seem to lecture the Temple cult and predict their destruction at the hands of Rome. Jesus promises that in his second coming he will destroy Jerusalem. How can that make him the Messiah? He steals the Jewish covenants. In fact, Christ is the anti-Messiah, just as the Messiah would be anti-Christ.
  102. @Talha
    @Talha


    in fact Paul says
     
    Look, I have to give it to you for being imaginative, but has anyone else made these claims in academic circles? Even among revisionist historians, has anyone presented this as an academic thesis that has held up to scrutiny and peer review? I mean, speculations are fun and all, but this is skirting "we wuz incarnate kangz" territory.

    Replies: @gay troll

    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, where Paul says it was revealed to him that Christ died “according to the scriptures”, was resurrected, and only then “appeared” to Peter, the Apostles, a crowd of 500, James, and Paul. There is no description of the life and execution of Christ, it is all according to [Old Testament] scriptures. And after his resurrection he is only capable of “appearance” and not physical presence. Paul doesn’t mention mother Mary. His Christ is more like an angel than a human being. He says that Christians are the allegorical offspring of a heavenly mother (Sarah), not the Earthly mother in Jerusalem (Hagar) (Galatians 4:22-26). The whole point of Pauline Christianity is that there is a heavenly path to salvation that does not depend on the Earthly Jerusalem. Yet the Gospels return Earthly Jerusalem to central importance.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
     
    OK good - now where is your proof that these epistles are the only reliable part of the New Testament?

    Among scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, though, there is little disagreement that he actually lived....
    “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.”...
    Although Josephus was not a follower of Jesus, “he was around when the early church was getting started, so he knew people who had seen and heard Jesus,” Mykytiuk says....
    Ehrman says this collection of snippets from non-Christian sources may not impart much information about the life of Jesus, “but it is useful for realizing that Jesus was known by historians who had reason to look into the matter. No one thought he was made up.”
     
    https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence

    So why are academic subject-matter experts like Bart Ehrman, who left Christianity due to his difficulty in seeing the Bible as a coherently revealed text, contradicting your claims about the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) while using non-Christian sources as evidence.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  103. @Talha
    @gay troll


    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter.
     
    Well, you are making historical claims and dismissing historical claims at will, I'm asking for evidence and clarification.

    But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
     
    Do you have a reliable academic source for this? Furthermore, who else, other than Hindus like yourself, have interpreted the words of these epistles to mean there was no earthly Jesus (pbuh)?

    You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah?
     
    No, the Qur'an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.

    If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t.
     
    Cool - prove Krishna in his various claimed avatars was real.

    As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures
     
    No, I already stated, we don't depend on the Bible as proof for any of our claims. As far as Krishna or Arjuna or any of the other names like Rukmini, do you have any proof for their existence outside Hindu scriptures?

    Is not jihad the means to peace?
     
    It certainly can be, depending on the context.

    Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?
     
    It's absolutely necessary, again, depending on context.

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?
     
    That's a completely different tangent that is not germane to the discussion at hand. I could also distract the discussion by asking you if you think it is a good idea to dip your toddlers into piles of cow dung for blessings as some Hindu villagers do. Let's just stick to the topic at hand; the discussion of the coherence of metaphysical claims and epistemic foundations.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

    I never claimed Kristna was human! His character is most fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, a composition which is dated to the 2nd century BCE. Kristna existed before Jesus Christ – not as a human but as a religious character, the incarnation of the supreme God. Have you read the Gita? It is sublime. It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll


    I never claimed Kristna was human!
     
    OK, but didn't he appear as an incarnate avatar multiple times?

    the incarnation of the supreme God.
     
    There you go. Were people in the 2nd century BCE not witness to this? If so, does testimony appear in historical texts other than Hindu scriptures?

    You seem to be saying that supernatural feats and events and characters recorded in books by Hindus can be believed, but those written by others should be crossed off as myths. Why?

    Have you read the Gita?
     
    No, sorry. Just as you haven't read the Qur'an.

    Here, this is a small clip of one of the short and concise chapters of the Qur'an, recited in a very nice stye:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86NGPD1XDsc

    Why don't you share a short 5 minute clip of someone reciting a portion of the Gita (with translation) that you fin particularly moving or profound, I'll give it a listen.

    It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.
     
    So jihad is necessary in certain contexts - good, a point of agreement. Now...Arjuna and his cousins were real (and do you have historical proof) or were they made up?

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

  104. @gay troll
    @Talha

    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, where Paul says it was revealed to him that Christ died “according to the scriptures”, was resurrected, and only then “appeared” to Peter, the Apostles, a crowd of 500, James, and Paul. There is no description of the life and execution of Christ, it is all according to [Old Testament] scriptures. And after his resurrection he is only capable of “appearance” and not physical presence. Paul doesn’t mention mother Mary. His Christ is more like an angel than a human being. He says that Christians are the allegorical offspring of a heavenly mother (Sarah), not the Earthly mother in Jerusalem (Hagar) (Galatians 4:22-26). The whole point of Pauline Christianity is that there is a heavenly path to salvation that does not depend on the Earthly Jerusalem. Yet the Gospels return Earthly Jerusalem to central importance.

    Replies: @Talha

    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

    OK good – now where is your proof that these epistles are the only reliable part of the New Testament?

    Among scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, though, there is little disagreement that he actually lived….
    “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.”…
    Although Josephus was not a follower of Jesus, “he was around when the early church was getting started, so he knew people who had seen and heard Jesus,” Mykytiuk says….
    Ehrman says this collection of snippets from non-Christian sources may not impart much information about the life of Jesus, “but it is useful for realizing that Jesus was known by historians who had reason to look into the matter. No one thought he was made up.”

    https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence

    So why are academic subject-matter experts like Bart Ehrman, who left Christianity due to his difficulty in seeing the Bible as a coherently revealed text, contradicting your claims about the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) while using non-Christian sources as evidence.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    History.com LOL. The same Judeophile television outlet that ceaselessly promotes theories about Ancient Aliens, monsters, and occult powers? This is the resource you turn to for factual understanding? Despite being a 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus does not describe the life of Christ. He describes over a dozen other Jesuses but not one is a teacher, healer or Messiah. The Flavian Testimony attributed to Josephus did not appear until centuries after his death, when it was suddenly quoted by Eusebius. Even so the Flavian Testimony does not describe anything about the life of Jesus, it merely echoes Christian dogma. Your source admits Josephus was not a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet in the FT he calls him Christ, which only a believer in the Jewish messiah would do. Therefore the FT must be the interpolation of a Christian forger.

    Replies: @Talha

  105. @gay troll
    @Talha

    I never claimed Kristna was human! His character is most fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, a composition which is dated to the 2nd century BCE. Kristna existed before Jesus Christ - not as a human but as a religious character, the incarnation of the supreme God. Have you read the Gita? It is sublime. It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.

    Replies: @Talha

    I never claimed Kristna was human!

    OK, but didn’t he appear as an incarnate avatar multiple times?

    the incarnation of the supreme God.

    There you go. Were people in the 2nd century BCE not witness to this? If so, does testimony appear in historical texts other than Hindu scriptures?

    You seem to be saying that supernatural feats and events and characters recorded in books by Hindus can be believed, but those written by others should be crossed off as myths. Why?

    Have you read the Gita?

    No, sorry. Just as you haven’t read the Qur’an.

    Here, this is a small clip of one of the short and concise chapters of the Qur’an, recited in a very nice stye:

    Why don’t you share a short 5 minute clip of someone reciting a portion of the Gita (with translation) that you fin particularly moving or profound, I’ll give it a listen.

    It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.

    So jihad is necessary in certain contexts – good, a point of agreement. Now…Arjuna and his cousins were real (and do you have historical proof) or were they made up?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    It’s all literature to me. When I tell you what the literature says don’t think that I accept it as history. I am just telling you that people believed some of the same things about Kristna that they believe about Christ. Kristna and Arjuna do not have to be real to be inspiring and relevant. Same for Jesus Christ. It is only when people insist on these characters as historical figures that problems arise. So I’m not saying that Jesus is a legend copied from earlier history, I’m saying he’s a legend copied from earlier legends.

    Yes, we probably have a similar conception of jihad, and I’m not here to conflate jihad with terrorism. You can find a Jew or a Christian to do that. But I do reject the idea of Abrahamic prophets. I reject the chauvinism, greed, and lust of Yahweh. I reject the hypocritical Christ made famous by the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?

  106. @Talha
    @gay troll


    See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
     
    OK good - now where is your proof that these epistles are the only reliable part of the New Testament?

    Among scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, though, there is little disagreement that he actually lived....
    “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.”...
    Although Josephus was not a follower of Jesus, “he was around when the early church was getting started, so he knew people who had seen and heard Jesus,” Mykytiuk says....
    Ehrman says this collection of snippets from non-Christian sources may not impart much information about the life of Jesus, “but it is useful for realizing that Jesus was known by historians who had reason to look into the matter. No one thought he was made up.”
     
    https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence

    So why are academic subject-matter experts like Bart Ehrman, who left Christianity due to his difficulty in seeing the Bible as a coherently revealed text, contradicting your claims about the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) while using non-Christian sources as evidence.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    History.com LOL. The same Judeophile television outlet that ceaselessly promotes theories about Ancient Aliens, monsters, and occult powers? This is the resource you turn to for factual understanding? Despite being a 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus does not describe the life of Christ. He describes over a dozen other Jesuses but not one is a teacher, healer or Messiah. The Flavian Testimony attributed to Josephus did not appear until centuries after his death, when it was suddenly quoted by Eusebius. Even so the Flavian Testimony does not describe anything about the life of Jesus, it merely echoes Christian dogma. Your source admits Josephus was not a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet in the FT he calls him Christ, which only a believer in the Jewish messiah would do. Therefore the FT must be the interpolation of a Christian forger.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @gay troll

    I quoted history.com because it provided the names of academics that are known in their fields - one such being Prof. Bart Ehrman who is well known in academic circles and has written multiple books on the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) and has done plenty of writings on Biblical textual criticism. And he is not a Christian and in fact challenges many Christian claims.

    So, you can dismiss these people as you like, that's fine. I'm asking for just one academic voice from your side that has defended your claim or something like your claim in an academic setting while being cross examined by other experts in the field. Thus far you have provided nothing but dismissals without reference to any academic voice.

    You have yet to provide evidence that the Gospels are all corrupted except for the particular parts of the Gospels that can conveniently be interpreted to match with your assumptions. Again, do you have a reference for this claim that Paul's epistles are the only reliable record from the texts collectively known as the New Testament?


    it merely echoes Christian dogma.
     
    Ok - so...do you have any other source - other than Hindu scriptures - that can verify any of the characters or events that are supposed to have happened like the multiple incarnations of Krishna, his wife Rukmini, Arjuna and such events like the battle you claimed? Or can these accounts be dismissed as echoing Hindu dogma?

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

  107. @Talha
    @gay troll


    I never claimed Kristna was human!
     
    OK, but didn't he appear as an incarnate avatar multiple times?

    the incarnation of the supreme God.
     
    There you go. Were people in the 2nd century BCE not witness to this? If so, does testimony appear in historical texts other than Hindu scriptures?

    You seem to be saying that supernatural feats and events and characters recorded in books by Hindus can be believed, but those written by others should be crossed off as myths. Why?

    Have you read the Gita?
     
    No, sorry. Just as you haven't read the Qur'an.

    Here, this is a small clip of one of the short and concise chapters of the Qur'an, recited in a very nice stye:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86NGPD1XDsc

    Why don't you share a short 5 minute clip of someone reciting a portion of the Gita (with translation) that you fin particularly moving or profound, I'll give it a listen.

    It is about the jihad of Arjuna as he is forced to face his cousins on the battlefield.
     
    So jihad is necessary in certain contexts - good, a point of agreement. Now...Arjuna and his cousins were real (and do you have historical proof) or were they made up?

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll

    It’s all literature to me. When I tell you what the literature says don’t think that I accept it as history. I am just telling you that people believed some of the same things about Kristna that they believe about Christ. Kristna and Arjuna do not have to be real to be inspiring and relevant. Same for Jesus Christ. It is only when people insist on these characters as historical figures that problems arise. So I’m not saying that Jesus is a legend copied from earlier history, I’m saying he’s a legend copied from earlier legends.

    Yes, we probably have a similar conception of jihad, and I’m not here to conflate jihad with terrorism. You can find a Jew or a Christian to do that. But I do reject the idea of Abrahamic prophets. I reject the chauvinism, greed, and lust of Yahweh. I reject the hypocritical Christ made famous by the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?

  108. @gay troll
    @Talha

    History.com LOL. The same Judeophile television outlet that ceaselessly promotes theories about Ancient Aliens, monsters, and occult powers? This is the resource you turn to for factual understanding? Despite being a 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus does not describe the life of Christ. He describes over a dozen other Jesuses but not one is a teacher, healer or Messiah. The Flavian Testimony attributed to Josephus did not appear until centuries after his death, when it was suddenly quoted by Eusebius. Even so the Flavian Testimony does not describe anything about the life of Jesus, it merely echoes Christian dogma. Your source admits Josephus was not a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet in the FT he calls him Christ, which only a believer in the Jewish messiah would do. Therefore the FT must be the interpolation of a Christian forger.

    Replies: @Talha

    I quoted history.com because it provided the names of academics that are known in their fields – one such being Prof. Bart Ehrman who is well known in academic circles and has written multiple books on the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) and has done plenty of writings on Biblical textual criticism. And he is not a Christian and in fact challenges many Christian claims.

    So, you can dismiss these people as you like, that’s fine. I’m asking for just one academic voice from your side that has defended your claim or something like your claim in an academic setting while being cross examined by other experts in the field. Thus far you have provided nothing but dismissals without reference to any academic voice.

    You have yet to provide evidence that the Gospels are all corrupted except for the particular parts of the Gospels that can conveniently be interpreted to match with your assumptions. Again, do you have a reference for this claim that Paul’s epistles are the only reliable record from the texts collectively known as the New Testament?

    it merely echoes Christian dogma.

    Ok – so…do you have any other source – other than Hindu scriptures – that can verify any of the characters or events that are supposed to have happened like the multiple incarnations of Krishna, his wife Rukmini, Arjuna and such events like the battle you claimed? Or can these accounts be dismissed as echoing Hindu dogma?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Talha

    The Gospels themselves say that they are parables, and that only few will understand the parables, while the non-elect will take them literally. They make impossible claims: miraculous healing, telekinesis, resurrection, walking on water, et cetera. These aspects are obviously not historical, agreed? But we are supposed to believe there is a real historical figure buried under this fantastic parable?

    Scholars agree that Paul was written before the fall of Jerusalem and Mark was written after. They also agree that the later Gospels are all derived from Mark. Mark and Paul are the only two source documents for the existence of Jesus Christ: all other documents are derived from them. This is obvious as Matthew and Luke often copy Mark word for word. But if Paul cannot verify any biographical detail of the Gospels, and if he believes that Jesus Christ was revealed to mankind through scripture and resurrection, while the Gospels openly declare that they are parables, why would you believe any of it is literally true? Do you believe Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead? Because that is the main thing we are meant to believe about him, the thing that Mark and Paul most clearly agree on. The Gospels were written, as John says, specifically so you will believe in the resurrection. Do you?

    Academia is a gatekeepers' club, but if you are interested in other analytical perspectives I suggest D.M. Murdock, Joseph Atwill, Richard Carrier, Bruno Bauer, Thomas Paine, and any number of other critics who were killed and censored by Christians protecting their faith as "history".

    The pious fraud continues...

    , @gay troll
    @Talha

    Consider this blurb from Wikipedia:


    There is nearly universal consensus in modern New Testament scholarship on a core group of authentic Pauline epistles whose authorship is rarely contested: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Several additional letters bearing Paul's name are disputed among scholars, namely Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus. Scholarly opinion is sharply divided on whether or not Colossians and 2 Thessalonians are genuine letters of Paul. The remaining four contested epistles – Ephesians, as well as the three known as the Pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus) – have been labeled pseudepigraphical works by most critical scholars.[4][5][6] Some scholars have proposed that Paul may have used an amanuensis, or secretary, in writing the disputed letters.[7]
     
    Therefore most "critical scholars" agree that some of the writings attributed to Paul in the Bible are forgeries. Long ago, the nascent Roman church discarded dozens of competing Gospels as forgeries. In short, religion is a forger's genre! It is extremely naive to assume a historical Jesus existed just because he stars in a body of popular religious literature. As I said before, it is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. It is incumbent on you to prove Jesus was a living human person. And you can't, no one can, the evidence does not exist. Faith is the only resort.
  109. @Talha
    @gay troll

    I quoted history.com because it provided the names of academics that are known in their fields - one such being Prof. Bart Ehrman who is well known in academic circles and has written multiple books on the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) and has done plenty of writings on Biblical textual criticism. And he is not a Christian and in fact challenges many Christian claims.

    So, you can dismiss these people as you like, that's fine. I'm asking for just one academic voice from your side that has defended your claim or something like your claim in an academic setting while being cross examined by other experts in the field. Thus far you have provided nothing but dismissals without reference to any academic voice.

    You have yet to provide evidence that the Gospels are all corrupted except for the particular parts of the Gospels that can conveniently be interpreted to match with your assumptions. Again, do you have a reference for this claim that Paul's epistles are the only reliable record from the texts collectively known as the New Testament?


    it merely echoes Christian dogma.
     
    Ok - so...do you have any other source - other than Hindu scriptures - that can verify any of the characters or events that are supposed to have happened like the multiple incarnations of Krishna, his wife Rukmini, Arjuna and such events like the battle you claimed? Or can these accounts be dismissed as echoing Hindu dogma?

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

    The Gospels themselves say that they are parables, and that only few will understand the parables, while the non-elect will take them literally. They make impossible claims: miraculous healing, telekinesis, resurrection, walking on water, et cetera. These aspects are obviously not historical, agreed? But we are supposed to believe there is a real historical figure buried under this fantastic parable?

    Scholars agree that Paul was written before the fall of Jerusalem and Mark was written after. They also agree that the later Gospels are all derived from Mark. Mark and Paul are the only two source documents for the existence of Jesus Christ: all other documents are derived from them. This is obvious as Matthew and Luke often copy Mark word for word. But if Paul cannot verify any biographical detail of the Gospels, and if he believes that Jesus Christ was revealed to mankind through scripture and resurrection, while the Gospels openly declare that they are parables, why would you believe any of it is literally true? Do you believe Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead? Because that is the main thing we are meant to believe about him, the thing that Mark and Paul most clearly agree on. The Gospels were written, as John says, specifically so you will believe in the resurrection. Do you?

    Academia is a gatekeepers’ club, but if you are interested in other analytical perspectives I suggest D.M. Murdock, Joseph Atwill, Richard Carrier, Bruno Bauer, Thomas Paine, and any number of other critics who were killed and censored by Christians protecting their faith as “history”.

    The pious fraud continues…

  110. @Talha
    @gay troll

    I quoted history.com because it provided the names of academics that are known in their fields - one such being Prof. Bart Ehrman who is well known in academic circles and has written multiple books on the historical figure of Jesus (pbuh) and has done plenty of writings on Biblical textual criticism. And he is not a Christian and in fact challenges many Christian claims.

    So, you can dismiss these people as you like, that's fine. I'm asking for just one academic voice from your side that has defended your claim or something like your claim in an academic setting while being cross examined by other experts in the field. Thus far you have provided nothing but dismissals without reference to any academic voice.

    You have yet to provide evidence that the Gospels are all corrupted except for the particular parts of the Gospels that can conveniently be interpreted to match with your assumptions. Again, do you have a reference for this claim that Paul's epistles are the only reliable record from the texts collectively known as the New Testament?


    it merely echoes Christian dogma.
     
    Ok - so...do you have any other source - other than Hindu scriptures - that can verify any of the characters or events that are supposed to have happened like the multiple incarnations of Krishna, his wife Rukmini, Arjuna and such events like the battle you claimed? Or can these accounts be dismissed as echoing Hindu dogma?

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

    Consider this blurb from Wikipedia:

    There is nearly universal consensus in modern New Testament scholarship on a core group of authentic Pauline epistles whose authorship is rarely contested: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Several additional letters bearing Paul’s name are disputed among scholars, namely Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus. Scholarly opinion is sharply divided on whether or not Colossians and 2 Thessalonians are genuine letters of Paul. The remaining four contested epistles – Ephesians, as well as the three known as the Pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus) – have been labeled pseudepigraphical works by most critical scholars.[4][5][6] Some scholars have proposed that Paul may have used an amanuensis, or secretary, in writing the disputed letters.[7]

    Therefore most “critical scholars” agree that some of the writings attributed to Paul in the Bible are forgeries. Long ago, the nascent Roman church discarded dozens of competing Gospels as forgeries. In short, religion is a forger’s genre! It is extremely naive to assume a historical Jesus existed just because he stars in a body of popular religious literature. As I said before, it is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. It is incumbent on you to prove Jesus was a living human person. And you can’t, no one can, the evidence does not exist. Faith is the only resort.

  111. @Talha
    @gay troll


    For a monotheist you are quite the hair splitter.
     
    Well, you are making historical claims and dismissing historical claims at will, I'm asking for evidence and clarification.

    But the epistles of Paul are historical documents that we can confidently date to the first century CE, before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
     
    Do you have a reliable academic source for this? Furthermore, who else, other than Hindus like yourself, have interpreted the words of these epistles to mean there was no earthly Jesus (pbuh)?

    You believe Jesus was a great teacher but not a Messiah?
     
    No, the Qur'an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.

    If you believe Jesus was real it is up to you to provide some evidence, which you can’t.
     
    Cool - prove Krishna in his various claimed avatars was real.

    As in all matters you are dependent on biblical scriptures
     
    No, I already stated, we don't depend on the Bible as proof for any of our claims. As far as Krishna or Arjuna or any of the other names like Rukmini, do you have any proof for their existence outside Hindu scriptures?

    Is not jihad the means to peace?
     
    It certainly can be, depending on the context.

    Do you think jihad is not necessary for Islam?
     
    It's absolutely necessary, again, depending on context.

    Would you care to tell us what Shi’a get wrong about Islam?
     
    That's a completely different tangent that is not germane to the discussion at hand. I could also distract the discussion by asking you if you think it is a good idea to dip your toddlers into piles of cow dung for blessings as some Hindu villagers do. Let's just stick to the topic at hand; the discussion of the coherence of metaphysical claims and epistemic foundations.

    Peace.

    Replies: @gay troll, @gay troll

    No, the Qur’an calls him the Messiah multiple times. But again, that has never meant a divine being by any measure.

    Thanks I did not know this about the Koran. And you are absolutely correct: Messiah does not mean divine. But Christos does mean divine. This is obvious by the fact that the word is used by both Egyptians and Hindus to refer to the incarnation of God. And it is exactly what Christianity claims about Jesus, that he is the incarnation of God. Again one of the key issues is that “Christos” was used as a word for “Messiah” for 300 years before the emergence of Christianity. Christianity may have first emerged from the diaspora; these people were Hellenized Jewish graecophones, and for them Messiah did mean divine, because their word for messiah was Christos. They did not necessarily agree with the politics of the Temple cult in Jerusalem, which needed a human Messiah in the form of a warrior to defeat the Romans, not an orator who yields to his enemies. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Romans took the Hellenic Pauline literature and transformed it into the Gospels, making Jesus seem to lecture the Temple cult and predict their destruction at the hands of Rome. Jesus promises that in his second coming he will destroy Jerusalem. How can that make him the Messiah? He steals the Jewish covenants. In fact, Christ is the anti-Messiah, just as the Messiah would be anti-Christ.

  112. @Rich
    @gay troll

    You have an interesting take on the Gospels. Having read them several times myself, I've reached a different conclusion than you. As Jesus said, "...many are called, but few are chosen." If the Word doesn't speak to you, then maybe you aren't one of "the chosen".

    Replies: @gay troll, @Audacious Epigone

    John Calvin drops the hammer!

    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @iffen
    @Audacious Epigone

    John Calvin drops the hammer!

    God knows where you are and how to get in touch. He also knows how to persuade you to focus on what he wants from you.

  113. @Talha
    @dfordoom

    This would definitely be an interesting poll or study.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    There is very little difference by religion when attendance frequency is controlled for. But the pattern is striking across the three religious traditions–Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism–with large enough sample sizes to evaluate. For all three, attendance frequency and self-reported happiness are strongly correlated. The distributions for all three look similar to the one in this post.

    • Thanks: Talha
  114. @Talha
    @RSDB

    Well, let me be the first to say that I thought this was a dead thread except for me and GT bantering over metaphysics. I had no clue that others were actually observing the exchange between Team Monotheism and Team Panentheism/Paganism.

    In truth, these subjects are far more interesting to me than politics; it is of far greater consequence (empires and nations will fall, the universe will eventually cease to be) and it is always a privilege to be able to mention aspects about the Beloved.

    I was fortunate enough to study kalaam (metaphysics, creed, theology) with the scholar who translated this book into English:
    https://www.amazon.com/Imam-Hanifas-Al-Fiqh-al-Akbar-Explained/dp/1933764031

    He himself studied under one of the masters of this discipline in the Levant, the late Shaykh Adib Kallas (ra).

    There is a saying common among the people who study this; Allah was before there was a when and a where and He is as He ever was.

    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one's own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

    Peace.

    Replies: @Talha, @RSDB

    Well, one can find the topic interesting, without finding the thread particularly interesting; the substantive things you have to say are roughly the same in each comment; what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues which seem to have mostly been gotten up with a view to attacking Judaism and/or Christianity, rather than Islam; some of these I might perhaps have gone down, were I in your place, rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.

    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one’s own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

    Earlier under this article I have commented that previous conversations with you have gotten me to read the Fathers more than I would otherwise; now you have me rereading St. Bonaventure.

    Sorry for the trite image, but it seemed called for.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @RSDB


    what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues
     
    Well, to be honst, I was going to go a couple more rounds, but I have issues at work to deal with.

    rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.
     
    Yeah, it started out covering certain issues of metaphysical understanding and just went down a road that I decided was best not to follow. If a person wants to be skeptical enough, you can't really convince him that he didn't just have all his memories implanted into him last night and that he is living a false life.

    The below particular comment was enough for me to understand it's probably best I not go further since the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse. If one demands - as a principle - a religion cater to sodomy, well paganism/panentheism is a better choice, again, for the reasons mentioned earlier - especially a yardstick to distinguish the profane from the sacred when the divine is interpenetrated in everything.


    I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?
     
    Thanks for the link - hopefully I'll get to it when things ease up at work.

    I like the pipe too. Reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him). He didn't used to smoke, but on a rare occasion he would break out his pipe and puff on it and I can still remember the sweet aroma from whatever it was he used.

    Peace.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @gay troll, @gay troll

  115. @RSDB
    @Talha

    Well, one can find the topic interesting, without finding the thread particularly interesting; the substantive things you have to say are roughly the same in each comment; what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues which seem to have mostly been gotten up with a view to attacking Judaism and/or Christianity, rather than Islam; some of these I might perhaps have gone down, were I in your place, rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.


    What is interesting is the earlier mention in the thread of a mirror and in fact, that actually summarizes the crux of the issue. Many mystical traditions record an annihilatory experience where the insubstantiation of one’s own existence leads one to see the phenomenal universe as the image of the Divine in a mirror. But that is exactly it; the image is cast upon something other than and can never truly be the object it is reflecting, nor can it be independent of it. They have made a category, those who mistake the image for the object itself.

     

    Earlier under this article I have commented that previous conversations with you have gotten me to read the Fathers more than I would otherwise; now you have me rereading St. Bonaventure.


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg/300px-MagrittePipe.jpg

    Sorry for the trite image, but it seemed called for.

    Replies: @Talha

    what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues

    Well, to be honst, I was going to go a couple more rounds, but I have issues at work to deal with.

    rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.

    Yeah, it started out covering certain issues of metaphysical understanding and just went down a road that I decided was best not to follow. If a person wants to be skeptical enough, you can’t really convince him that he didn’t just have all his memories implanted into him last night and that he is living a false life.

    The below particular comment was enough for me to understand it’s probably best I not go further since the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse. If one demands – as a principle – a religion cater to sodomy, well paganism/panentheism is a better choice, again, for the reasons mentioned earlier – especially a yardstick to distinguish the profane from the sacred when the divine is interpenetrated in everything.

    I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?

    Thanks for the link – hopefully I’ll get to it when things ease up at work.

    I like the pipe too. Reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him). He didn’t used to smoke, but on a rare occasion he would break out his pipe and puff on it and I can still remember the sweet aroma from whatever it was he used.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Talha

    Ironic that the writer you quote should believe that his reasons were persuasive against Islam rather than in favor:



    I reject the subordinacy of women ...
     

     
    I do not mean to be harsh, but, how shall I say it? Lads, as a mating strategy, this doesn't work.


    ... and the sinfulness of homosexuality.
     

     
    Buggery? Sodomy? Now I do mean to be harsh. This is embarrassing.


    I reject all violence.
     

     
    If you find yourself in a hole, stop rejecting.


    And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?
     

     
    He won't like the answer....
    , @gay troll
    @Talha

    Way to excuse your chickenshit retreat from our debate. Once again your homophobia proves your descent from Jewish scriptures. You refer to the Jewish tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is about attempted man rape, and not sexual orientation. Besides, oral and anal sex is a perfectly natural human behavior and there is no need to “cater” to it. In fact it is the commandments against “sodomy” that are unnatural. If they were natural then why would they need to be written down in a fake history book and enforced by religious toadies? Every word of the Tanakh is a Jewish lie and yet it is the foundation upon which you build your beliefs. Also you might keep in mind that homosexuals have existed for far longer than Muslims, and Christians, and Jews. To be honest, kid, you have a lot to learn. You lost this debate fair and square.

    , @gay troll
    @Talha


    the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse.
     
    There is a word for this: prejudice. Are you seriously saying that I am prejudiced and you are not? You are the one who believes in the infallibility of your books. Your books dictate your appraisal of reality; that is the definition of prejudice. Your books have already formed your judgments for you. On the contrary, I form judgments on the basis of all experience. Thomas Paine said the true word of God is written in the world, not in a book. And he was correct. Divinity has no need to be revealed; it is self evident. You are the one judging things in reverse.

    Furthermore, do you not believe that Mohammed betrothed Aisha when she was six and consummated their marriage when she was nine? Do you think it is less profane to stick your cock in the pussy of a child than the mouth of an adult?

    Replies: @Hillbob

  116. @Talha
    @RSDB


    what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues
     
    Well, to be honst, I was going to go a couple more rounds, but I have issues at work to deal with.

    rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.
     
    Yeah, it started out covering certain issues of metaphysical understanding and just went down a road that I decided was best not to follow. If a person wants to be skeptical enough, you can't really convince him that he didn't just have all his memories implanted into him last night and that he is living a false life.

    The below particular comment was enough for me to understand it's probably best I not go further since the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse. If one demands - as a principle - a religion cater to sodomy, well paganism/panentheism is a better choice, again, for the reasons mentioned earlier - especially a yardstick to distinguish the profane from the sacred when the divine is interpenetrated in everything.


    I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?
     
    Thanks for the link - hopefully I'll get to it when things ease up at work.

    I like the pipe too. Reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him). He didn't used to smoke, but on a rare occasion he would break out his pipe and puff on it and I can still remember the sweet aroma from whatever it was he used.

    Peace.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @gay troll, @gay troll

    Ironic that the writer you quote should believe that his reasons were persuasive against Islam rather than in favor:

    I reject the subordinacy of women …

    I do not mean to be harsh, but, how shall I say it? Lads, as a mating strategy, this doesn’t work.

    … and the sinfulness of homosexuality.

    Buggery? Sodomy? Now I do mean to be harsh. This is embarrassing.

    I reject all violence.

    If you find yourself in a hole, stop rejecting.

    And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?

    He won’t like the answer….

  117. @Audacious Epigone
    @Rich

    John Calvin drops the hammer!

    Replies: @iffen

    John Calvin drops the hammer!

    God knows where you are and how to get in touch. He also knows how to persuade you to focus on what he wants from you.

  118. @Talha
    @Talha

    Should say:
    “They have made a category error, those who mistake the image for the object itself.”

    Replies: @gay troll

    It is God who sees itself in the tiny mirror of the human brain. It is God who then thinks it is not God, because it mistakes its partial reflection for its whole self. That is your mistake; you do not know who you are. In truth you are God and it is the challenge of your life to realize that you are more than meets your eye. Occam said “do not multiply entities beyond necessity”. Until you realize there is only one entity, undivided, your monotheism will be an impoverished chauvinism, like the Jewish delusion is descends from. You are caught in the web of Maya, illusion. The entire universe is oneself.

  119. @Talha
    @RSDB


    what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues
     
    Well, to be honst, I was going to go a couple more rounds, but I have issues at work to deal with.

    rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.
     
    Yeah, it started out covering certain issues of metaphysical understanding and just went down a road that I decided was best not to follow. If a person wants to be skeptical enough, you can't really convince him that he didn't just have all his memories implanted into him last night and that he is living a false life.

    The below particular comment was enough for me to understand it's probably best I not go further since the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse. If one demands - as a principle - a religion cater to sodomy, well paganism/panentheism is a better choice, again, for the reasons mentioned earlier - especially a yardstick to distinguish the profane from the sacred when the divine is interpenetrated in everything.


    I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?
     
    Thanks for the link - hopefully I'll get to it when things ease up at work.

    I like the pipe too. Reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him). He didn't used to smoke, but on a rare occasion he would break out his pipe and puff on it and I can still remember the sweet aroma from whatever it was he used.

    Peace.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @gay troll, @gay troll

    Way to excuse your chickenshit retreat from our debate. Once again your homophobia proves your descent from Jewish scriptures. You refer to the Jewish tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is about attempted man rape, and not sexual orientation. Besides, oral and anal sex is a perfectly natural human behavior and there is no need to “cater” to it. In fact it is the commandments against “sodomy” that are unnatural. If they were natural then why would they need to be written down in a fake history book and enforced by religious toadies? Every word of the Tanakh is a Jewish lie and yet it is the foundation upon which you build your beliefs. Also you might keep in mind that homosexuals have existed for far longer than Muslims, and Christians, and Jews. To be honest, kid, you have a lot to learn. You lost this debate fair and square.

  120. @Talha
    @RSDB


    what changes is a series of rabbit holes, non-substantive issues
     
    Well, to be honst, I was going to go a couple more rounds, but I have issues at work to deal with.

    rather than sticking to the questions actually at issue.
     
    Yeah, it started out covering certain issues of metaphysical understanding and just went down a road that I decided was best not to follow. If a person wants to be skeptical enough, you can't really convince him that he didn't just have all his memories implanted into him last night and that he is living a false life.

    The below particular comment was enough for me to understand it's probably best I not go further since the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse. If one demands - as a principle - a religion cater to sodomy, well paganism/panentheism is a better choice, again, for the reasons mentioned earlier - especially a yardstick to distinguish the profane from the sacred when the divine is interpenetrated in everything.


    I reject the subordinacy of women and the sinfulness of homosexuality. I reject all violence. And to the extent that Islam promotes any of these things, I reject Islam as well. I’ll get around to the Koran someday, and my position in this argument will only be stronger for it. In the meantime can you tell me if Mohammed says anything about homosexuality?
     
    Thanks for the link - hopefully I'll get to it when things ease up at work.

    I like the pipe too. Reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him). He didn't used to smoke, but on a rare occasion he would break out his pipe and puff on it and I can still remember the sweet aroma from whatever it was he used.

    Peace.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @gay troll, @gay troll

    the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse.

    There is a word for this: prejudice. Are you seriously saying that I am prejudiced and you are not? You are the one who believes in the infallibility of your books. Your books dictate your appraisal of reality; that is the definition of prejudice. Your books have already formed your judgments for you. On the contrary, I form judgments on the basis of all experience. Thomas Paine said the true word of God is written in the world, not in a book. And he was correct. Divinity has no need to be revealed; it is self evident. You are the one judging things in reverse.

    Furthermore, do you not believe that Mohammed betrothed Aisha when she was six and consummated their marriage when she was nine? Do you think it is less profane to stick your cock in the pussy of a child than the mouth of an adult?

    • Replies: @Hillbob
    @gay troll

    I admire your command of facts and the way you write.....apart from childish and churlish comments, your critics can never natch your mastery of the truth

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

  121. @gay troll
    @Talha


    the person has already made up their mind on certain stances and is judging things in reverse.
     
    There is a word for this: prejudice. Are you seriously saying that I am prejudiced and you are not? You are the one who believes in the infallibility of your books. Your books dictate your appraisal of reality; that is the definition of prejudice. Your books have already formed your judgments for you. On the contrary, I form judgments on the basis of all experience. Thomas Paine said the true word of God is written in the world, not in a book. And he was correct. Divinity has no need to be revealed; it is self evident. You are the one judging things in reverse.

    Furthermore, do you not believe that Mohammed betrothed Aisha when she was six and consummated their marriage when she was nine? Do you think it is less profane to stick your cock in the pussy of a child than the mouth of an adult?

    Replies: @Hillbob

    I admire your command of facts and the way you write…..apart from childish and churlish comments, your critics can never natch your mastery of the truth

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @Hillbob

    I am honored.

    , @RSDB
    @Hillbob

    Ceci n'est pas Ron Unz

    We'll see if I'm right-- anyone else care to venture an opinion? Call it an experiment in judgment.

    Replies: @gay troll

  122. @Hillbob
    @gay troll

    I admire your command of facts and the way you write.....apart from childish and churlish comments, your critics can never natch your mastery of the truth

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

    I am honored.

  123. @Hillbob
    @gay troll

    I admire your command of facts and the way you write.....apart from childish and churlish comments, your critics can never natch your mastery of the truth

    Replies: @gay troll, @RSDB

    Ceci n’est pas Ron Unz

    [MORE]

    We’ll see if I’m right– anyone else care to venture an opinion? Call it an experiment in judgment.

    • Replies: @gay troll
    @RSDB

    https://youtu.be/aU_zMvaX05Q

  124. @RSDB
    @Hillbob

    Ceci n'est pas Ron Unz

    We'll see if I'm right-- anyone else care to venture an opinion? Call it an experiment in judgment.

    Replies: @gay troll

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