Jesus and Buddha

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Fooloso4
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Fooloso4 » August 27th, 2017, 11:41 am

Philosch:
Imagine how different the world would be if the Catholic Church practiced a religion without worshiping supernatural deities but rather valued the indwelling spirituality based on compassion and unity with all of creation, just imagine if they actually did what their own founding inspirational teacher had asked them, even implored them to do.

My first thought was that Christianity would not be as prevalent as it is because that is not the way most people are. I do not know how much plasticity there is to the way we are, but I suspect its limits do not extend to the point of compassion and unity with all of creation. The indwelling spirit might be thought of as something that has the power to transform on its own or it might be something that must be cultivated. If it had the power to transform us on its own then I would expect to see a great many if not most or all people living in compassionate unity. If it is something that had to be cultivated, then it would be closer to what we find in transformative practice. Interestingly enough, Pierre Hadot who wrote on philosophy as transformative practice in the ancient world, points out that Christianity outlawed the ancient schools.

On second thought, if Arius had won the debate and this had won the favor of Constantine then it would not just be a matter of the power of the indwelling spirit but the power of the Empire supporting the power of the Church. But in that case the ancient schools of philosophy would not have been outlawed. The schools emphasized discipline and austerity, which Christianity gives lip service to, while many of its leaders and followers live in luxury and amass great wealth. The hierarchical authority of the Church might have been greatly diminished since if the spirit is indwelling in each then no man would be closer to God than all others. Paul’s claim that man is powerless and must rely on the grace of God might have been diminished in favor of what each must do for himself. And here’s the rub, this is not nearly as appealing as the notion that God will transform your life for you, that you will be saved by grace and born again, and you have to do is believe. Christianity is easy. God does all the heavy lifting. How many would get behind a Christianity that requires actual disciplined practice?

Then again, perhaps Paul’s Christianity would have won out. Paul, after all, did not claim that Jesus was God, only that he was the Messiah. And so, he would do the heavy lifting after all. The indwelling of spirit would still not require anything of us. But Paul knew that the transformation could not occur here on earth, his disciples did not miraculously become other than they were. The real transformation, the transformation of the whole of the earth was about to happen but until then we were still tied to the body and therefore sin. As Paul said, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Man is powerless.

If Arius had won Jesus would not be God and men could become gods as Jesus had. How many would do the work to realize this? How many would be given divine authority whether transformed or not? Hierarchies might be reestablished and holy wars inevitable.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 27th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Philosch wrote:Just a quick note to set the record straight, as someone did correctly mention the council of Nicaea, Jesus historically never claimed to be the "son" of god in some way that could be interpreted as different from saying we are all "sons" and "daughters" of god.

If interested see my post on the specific reasoning behind why Jesus is turned into a god and see if it makes sense to you....the post is in this forum and it's title is ..."Why the Catholic Church turned Jesus into the son of "GOD"
I read the post and i am not as enthused by it as fooloso4. To be sure, I agree that Jesus never mentioned himself as god or son of god. This much is given, and I give it to you.

But Christianity uses other clues in the Bible to prove Jesus was god. I don't want to go into details, but there are plenty. ALL the words in the bible, in both version I. and Version II (the old and new testaments), are inspired by god according to the faithful. Jesus' words are not the only words delivered from god, but all words in the bible are. Hence Christianity can't stand homosexuality or why they believe in immaculate conception, or why they believe in heaven and hell. Jesus never said anything about those, and yet those are part of the Christian faith; and jesus never said he was god, but that's part of the christian faith, too.

So I reject the argument outright, that it is not mentioned in the bible that Jesus is god. It is mentioned, albeit not by jesus himself.

--------------

The rest of the discussion may or may not be true, but that rest of the discussion is independent of jesus' being god or not; the rest of the discussion relies on a god, and whether that is jesus or not, is immaterial.



Philosch wrote:If the deliverer of the universal truth that is the cornerstone of a belief system is a mere human, then that truth can always be questioned and challenged by other humans.
This is simply not true. Lenin, Marx and Engels had been quoted to death and their words followed to the letter in communist countries it the applicable era. They were not gods, yet their impact was just as forceful as Jesus'.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 27th, 2017, 3:16 pm

David_clay123 wrote:Hi everyone,
I've noticed something on my trip to Asia. People here seems to alter the role of Buddha and Jesus. Instead of looking up the them for guidance, they turn Jesus and Buddha into gods that have some sort of power of giving. That's really weird and derailed. I wonder what had caused that.
People have things lacking in their lives, so they create archetypes, turn them in to giving-gods. Then they found out that the gods don't always give, but also take away and they created a "mean streak" to them as well. Gods are proxies, nothing more. It is better to be your own god, that way if something goes wrong you know who to blame. If nature throws a meteorite at you, you know it's nature and not god preparing to burn a mortal soul with an inconsequential life span in an eternal fire.

It is true that what we desire most we embody in the divine.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Scribbler60 » August 28th, 2017, 8:42 am

-1- wrote:But Christianity uses other clues in the Bible to prove Jesus was god. I don't want to go into details, but there are plenty. ALL the words in the bible, in both version I. and Version II (the old and new testaments), are inspired by god according to the faithful. Jesus' words are not the only words delivered from god, but all words in the bible are. Hence Christianity can't stand homosexuality or why they believe in immaculate conception, or why they believe in heaven and hell. Jesus never said anything about those, and yet those are part of the Christian faith; and jesus never said he was god, but that's part of the christian faith, too.

So I reject the argument outright, that it is not mentioned in the bible that Jesus is god. It is mentioned, albeit not by jesus himself.
Well, there's a big problem here which often goes unnoticed.

It's widely accepted by biblical scholars that the bible that's sitting in your shelf today is not an accurate representation of the bible as it existed in antiquity, and that antiquated source is likely different from the original.

Scribal errors, translation mistakes, and modification of the texts to support certain political, social, cultural and even military aims have all made the modern bible a wildly inaccurate representation of the original text.

For example, the KJV bible calls Jesus' mother Mary a virgin.

But the original source - as far as we can go back - uses the Hebrew word almah as a description of Mary. Almah means young maiden, not virgin. The word virgin in Hebrew is betulah. The authors could have used betulah but they used almah instead.

Another small example: the end of the modern book of Mark has an addition. The original source has the book of Mark ending at 16:6-8. Passages following that were all added later. (It's an interesting story - more about it here: The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Makes All the Difference).

So it's been established that the modern bible is not a true representation of the original source. To use the modern-day bible as a basis for constructing an argument doesn't really wash, to say nothing of the circularity of the argument (using the bible to support a religion based on texts in the bible).

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 28th, 2017, 8:53 am

Scribbler60 wrote:
-1- wrote:But Christianity uses other clues in the Bible to prove Jesus was god. I don't want to go into details, but there are plenty. ALL the words in the bible, in both version I. and Version II (the old and new testaments), are inspired by god according to the faithful. Jesus' words are not the only words delivered from god, but all words in the bible are. Hence Christianity can't stand homosexuality or why they believe in immaculate conception, or why they believe in heaven and hell. Jesus never said anything about those, and yet those are part of the Christian faith; and jesus never said he was god, but that's part of the christian faith, too.

So I reject the argument outright, that it is not mentioned in the bible that Jesus is god. It is mentioned, albeit not by jesus himself.
Well, there's a big problem here which often goes unnoticed.

It's widely accepted by biblical scholars that the bible that's sitting in your shelf today is not an accurate representation of the bible as it existed in antiquity, and that antiquated source is likely different from the original.

Scribal errors, translation mistakes, and modification of the texts to support certain political, social, cultural and even military aims have all made the modern bible a wildly inaccurate representation of the original text.

For example, the KJV bible calls Jesus' mother Mary a virgin.

But the original source - as far as we can go back - uses the Hebrew word almah as a description of Mary. Almah means young maiden, not virgin. The word virgin in Hebrew is betulah. The authors could have used betulah but they used almah instead.

Another small example: the end of the modern book of Mark has an addition. The original source has the book of Mark ending at 16:6-8. Passages following that were all added later. (It's an interesting story - more about it here: The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Makes All the Difference).

So it's been established that the modern bible is not a true representation of the original source. To use the modern-day bible as a basis for constructing an argument doesn't really wash, to say nothing of the circularity of the argument (using the bible to support a religion based on texts in the bible).
The bible seems to be more a history book, teaching a bit of ethics, but people get lost in the history and allegory. If we were to publish the bible with only the most critical messages, it would be a flier with two pages.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 28th, 2017, 6:44 pm

Socrateaze wrote:
The bible seems to be more a history book, teaching a bit of ethics, but people get lost in the history and allegory. If we were to publish the bible with only the most critical messages, it would be a flier with two pages.
Oh, yes, I've seen those. Jehovah's witnesses leave them on the seats of subway cars.

-- Updated 2017 August 28th, 6:51 pm to add the following --
Scribbler60 wrote: Well, there's a big problem here which often goes unnoticed.

It's widely accepted by biblical scholars that the bible that's sitting in your shelf today is not an accurate representation of the bible as it existed in antiquity, and that antiquated source is likely different from the original.

Scribal errors, translation mistakes, and modification of the texts to support certain political, social, cultural and even military aims have all made the modern bible a wildly inaccurate representation of the original text.

For example, the KJV bible calls Jesus' mother Mary a virgin.

But the original source - as far as we can go back - uses the Hebrew word almah as a description of Mary. Almah means young maiden, not virgin. The word virgin in Hebrew is betulah. The authors could have used betulah but they used almah instead.

Another small example: the end of the modern book of Mark has an addition. The original source has the book of Mark ending at 16:6-8. Passages following that were all added later.

So it's been established that the modern bible is not a true representation of the original source. To use the modern-day bible as a basis for constructing an argument doesn't really wash, to say nothing of the circularity of the argument (using the bible to support a religion based on texts in the bible).
I'm sure Mary WAS a virgin at one point in her life. She can't have been born not that way.

And you're right, the bible is not authentic... but then again, maybe the original version, before the additions and before the bad translations was not authentic, and the changes improved the truth of the word of God.

And there are numerous other problems with the Christian and other scriptures... basically that they were written by stupid, uneducated, unintelligent people, who were not inspired by god to write it, but they wrote it anyway.

Something similar to the articles in the Rolling Stone magazine in the sixties and seventies. Someone said of rock critics, "people who can't write interview people who can't speak, for fans who can't read."
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 29th, 2017, 4:57 am

-1-
Oh, yes, I've seen those. Jehovah's witnesses leave them on the seats of subway cars.
No, I intend to reduce it even further than that. Kinda like George Carlin did with the Ten Commandments. When I'm done with the bible, it will be a flier, written in large text, void of any useless dogma or biblical reference. Kinda like a universal do it yourself guide. Or we could do what Jim Jeffry did, sum the whole book up in one sentence: "Try not to be a c*nt." We can use a LARGE font, say written on the length of the flier of about 20 font size. Think of it, even children and old people could read it. Very user friendly for those with an impairment of some sort. Hey, the guy next to him/her on the seat can share the gospel in a matter of seconds. I call it the gospel of the vagina. :wink:
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 29th, 2017, 5:11 am

Socrateaze wrote:Or we could do what Jim Jeffry did, sum the whole book up in one sentence: "Try not to be a c*nt."
That's the Old Testament. The New Testament: "If you are one, count on the fact you'll get f()kd."
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 29th, 2017, 5:39 am

-1- wrote:
Socrateaze wrote:Or we could do what Jim Jeffry did, sum the whole book up in one sentence: "Try not to be a c*nt."
That's the Old Testament. The New Testament: "If you are one, count on the fact you'll get f()kd."
I have a remedy for that as well: "You'll get f*ck*d in practical ways here on earth when you f*ck up. I think that's what the writers' initial intent was in anyway, but like you say ... stupid people ... we had to add some kind of BS story to motivate them. But since the OP is about a god that gives, I say he/she gives in two ways: Either you get a golden fairy to protect you and if you step out of line god "gives it to you" in the *ss.

I'm sure there is no divine force conspiring to keep us safe; it took the hard work of humans to get us where we are today and equally do humans threaten that existence.

As for you saying it's from the old testament - I think my verse is applicable for the entire bible. When Jesus was asked what law was most important, he said, "Love the Lord thy god with all thy heart and your neighbor as yourself." Since god does not exist, we can skip the first part and just try what I said in the first place.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 29th, 2017, 9:37 am

Fooloso4 wrote:Philosch:
Imagine how different the world would be if the Catholic Church practiced a religion without worshiping supernatural deities but rather valued the indwelling spirituality based on compassion and unity with all of creation, just imagine if they actually did what their own founding inspirational teacher had asked them, even implored them to do.

My first thought was that Christianity would not be as prevalent as it is because that is not the way most people are. I do not know how much plasticity there is to the way we are, but I suspect its limits do not extend to the point of compassion and unity with all of creation. The indwelling spirit might be thought of as something that has the power to transform on its own or it might be something that must be cultivated. If it had the power to transform us on its own then I would expect to see a great many if not most or all people living in compassionate unity. If it is something that had to be cultivated, then it would be closer to what we find in transformative practice. Interestingly enough, Pierre Hadot who wrote on philosophy as transformative practice in the ancient world, points out that Christianity outlawed the ancient schools.

On second thought, if Arius had won the debate and this had won the favor of Constantine then it would not just be a matter of the power of the indwelling spirit but the power of the Empire supporting the power of the Church. But in that case the ancient schools of philosophy would not have been outlawed. The schools emphasized discipline and austerity, which Christianity gives lip service to, while many of its leaders and followers live in luxury and amass great wealth. The hierarchical authority of the Church might have been greatly diminished since if the spirit is indwelling in each then no man would be closer to God than all others. Paul’s claim that man is powerless and must rely on the grace of God might have been diminished in favor of what each must do for himself. And here’s the rub, this is not nearly as appealing as the notion that God will transform your life for you, that you will be saved by grace and born again, and you have to do is believe. Christianity is easy. God does all the heavy lifting. How many would get behind a Christianity that requires actual disciplined practice?

Then again, perhaps Paul’s Christianity would have won out. Paul, after all, did not claim that Jesus was God, only that he was the Messiah. And so, he would do the heavy lifting after all. The indwelling of spirit would still not require anything of us. But Paul knew that the transformation could not occur here on earth, his disciples did not miraculously become other than they were. The real transformation, the transformation of the whole of the earth was about to happen but until then we were still tied to the body and therefore sin. As Paul said, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Man is powerless.

If Arius had won Jesus would not be God and men could become gods as Jesus had. How many would do the work to realize this? How many would be given divine authority whether transformed or not? Hierarchies might be reestablished and holy wars inevitable.
To be sure there would still be problems of abusive power and responsibility, that's all human nature which needs to be addressed in a scientific rational way, not in a superstitious or emotional way. But we wouldn't have had the authoritarian Christian churches we have today or maybe even the Muslim one. Of course there is a whole class of human being who demands to worship something they imagine is greater then themselves because it gives them comfort so if and when you remove one form of deity it gets replaced with another. This won't completely stop until we evolve much further down the road...that is if we survive.
-1- wrote:
Philosch wrote:Just a quick note to set the record straight, as someone did correctly mention the council of Nicaea, Jesus historically never claimed to be the "son" of god in some way that could be interpreted as different from saying we are all "sons" and "daughters" of god.




If interested see my post on the specific reasoning behind why Jesus is turned into a god and see if it makes sense to you....the post is in this forum and it's title is ..."Why the Catholic Church turned Jesus into the son of "GOD"
I read the post and i am not as enthused by it as fooloso4. To be sure, I agree that Jesus never mentioned himself as god or son of god. This much is given, and I give it to you.

But Christianity uses other clues in the Bible to prove Jesus was god. I don't want to go into details, but there are plenty. ALL the words in the bible, in both version I. and Version II (the old and new testaments), are inspired by god according to the faithful. Jesus' words are not the only words delivered from god, but all words in the bible are. Hence Christianity can't stand homosexuality or why they believe in immaculate conception, or why they believe in heaven and hell. Jesus never said anything about those, and yet those are part of the Christian faith; and jesus never said he was god, but that's part of the christian faith, too.

So I reject the argument outright, that it is not mentioned in the bible that Jesus is god. It is mentioned, albeit not by jesus himself.

--------------

The rest of the discussion may or may not be true, but that rest of the discussion is independent of jesus' being god or not; the rest of the discussion relies on a god, and whether that is jesus or not, is immaterial.

Philosch wrote:If the deliverer of the universal truth that is the cornerstone of a belief system is a mere human, then that truth can always be questioned and challenged by other humans.
This is simply not true. Lenin, Marx and Engels had been quoted to death and their words followed to the letter in communist countries it the applicable era. They were not gods, yet their impact was just as forceful as Jesus'.
I just don't agree with your assessment. I don't believe it says or mentions Jesus as a god in the original context and language. The book is written in the symbolic style of the time and yet most people who make claims as you have made are familiar with some English translation which are wholly inaccurate and can be disregarded for the most part. As to your second point I never said someone like Lenin or Marx couldn't grab power and abuse it. The sense of what I said is that it's more permissible to question a mere mortal in a psychological sense then it would be to question divine edicts of a superior deity. I never said that strong men of various means wouldn't threaten and abuse those who question them. So you objection is not on the mark...besides I would argue that none of the three you mentioned has had the impact of the historical Jesus. There are 2 billion plus Christians in the world, how many Marxists?
-1- wrote:
Socrateaze wrote:
The bible seems to be more a history book, teaching a bit of ethics, but people get lost in the history and allegory. If we were to publish the bible with only the most critical messages, it would be a flier with two pages.
Oh, yes, I've seen those. Jehovah's witnesses leave them on the seats of subway cars.

-- Updated 2017 August 28th, 6:51 pm to add the following --
Scribbler60 wrote: Well, there's a big problem here which often goes unnoticed.

It's widely accepted by biblical scholars that the bible that's sitting in your shelf today is not an accurate representation of the bible as it existed in antiquity, and that antiquated source is likely different from the original.

Scribal errors, translation mistakes, and modification of the texts to support certain political, social, cultural and even military aims have all made the modern bible a wildly inaccurate representation of the original text.

For example, the KJV bible calls Jesus' mother Mary a virgin.

But the original source - as far as we can go back - uses the Hebrew word almah as a description of Mary. Almah means young maiden, not virgin. The word virgin in Hebrew is betulah. The authors could have used betulah but they used almah instead.

Another small example: the end of the modern book of Mark has an addition. The original source has the book of Mark ending at 16:6-8. Passages following that were all added later.

So it's been established that the modern bible is not a true representation of the original source. To use the modern-day bible as a basis for constructing an argument doesn't really wash, to say nothing of the circularity of the argument (using the bible to support a religion based on texts in the bible).
I'm sure Mary WAS a virgin at one point in her life. She can't have been born not that way.

And you're right, the bible is not authentic... but then again, maybe the original version, before the additions and before the bad translations was not authentic, and the changes improved the truth of the word of God.

And there are numerous other problems with the Christian and other scriptures... basically that they were written by stupid, uneducated, unintelligent people, who were not inspired by god to write it, but they wrote it anyway.

Something similar to the articles in the Rolling Stone magazine in the sixties and seventies. Someone said of rock critics, "people who can't write interview people who can't speak, for fans who can't read."
I have addressed this particular point in other posts as well but here goes again....the claim that Mary was a virgin is only in one Gospel, the Luke Gospel and Luke was a Greek who was familiar with myriad virgin birth stories from Greek mythology. Does any sane rational person honestly believe that if Mary was actually a real virgin after bearing a child (which is a cornerstone belief of the Catholic church) that it would not be widely spoken about in every gospel and other accounts of the day? Come on now. It's such an obvious myth borrowed from the Greeks as to be laughable and yet here we are and no one is laughing at this. Imagine the Gospel of Mathew, Mark and John make NO mention of the miraculous virgin birth. I don't believe Luke even intended it as a literal fact, again it was supposed to be symbolic of the "birth of a spiritual being from an animal being" which is not physical. But once again the busy little powers that be can't have sophisticated spiritual symbolism left to the individual to process and work out for themselves, they have to turn it into the miraculous, literal and supernatural for reasons that should be patently obvious to any reasonably astute researcher. The story has a nice symbolic message. Don't throw it away, understand it for what it is. But then don't turn it into literal nonsense either and destroy all credibility.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 29th, 2017, 10:24 am

Philosch wrote:If the deliverer of the universal truth that is the cornerstone of a belief system is a mere human, then that truth can always be questioned and challenged by other humans.
-1- wrote:This is simply not true. Lenin, Marx and Engels had been quoted to death and their words followed to the letter in communist countries it the applicable era. They were not gods, yet their impact was just as forceful as Jesus'.
Philosch wrote:I never said someone like Lenin or Marx couldn't grab power and abuse it. The sense of what I said is that it's more permissible to question a mere mortal in a psychological sense then it would be to question divine edicts of a superior deity. I never said that strong men of various means wouldn't threaten and abuse those who question them. So you objection is not on the mark...besides I would argue that none of the three you mentioned has had the impact of the historical Jesus. There are 2 billion plus Christians in the world, how many Marxists?
You did not negate my claim, Pilosh.

Your claim "A": human's claims can ALWAYS be challenged.

You degraded this to claim "B" "human claims are more permissible to be challenged."

I shan't deal with Claim "B", but I accept it, as it is compatible with my claim, which is the refutation of Claim "A" by you.

I stand by my refutation of your claim "A".

To wit: Marx, aside from being the leader of the Paris Commune, had never wielded any power other than intellectual.

Lenin was in power for a mere seven years. He died in 1924. Marx I don't even know when he died.

Yet they were quoted and the words of these two adhered to in communist (socialist) countries well into the mid-nineteen eighties.

Then you said that Christianity is 2000 years old, and insinuated that Marxism-Leninism is defunct. That is not true. In China, Marxism-Leninism is still the state ideology. Roughly one-quarter of the world's population OFFICIALLY accepts Marxism-Leninism. Also, everyone can see the trend that Christianity is on its way out. Almost all of Europe is atheistic; the non-atheist Muslims outnumber non-atheist Christians in Europe. And that would be the case even without Muslim immigration; the indigenous Muslims in Europe have a much stronger following than the indigenous Christians there at present time. And American atheists increased in percentage of the population (as per their volunteering a faith they follow) from 2% in 1960 to 20% currently.

In summary: What i challenged was that human's decrees can be always disregarded. That you have not refuted. However, you recalled your original claim, and softened it to "human decrees are more permissible" to challenge, and that i agree with (given the context of the time of Jesus).
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Scribbler60 » August 29th, 2017, 10:34 am

Philosch wrote:I have addressed this particular point in other posts as well but here goes again....the claim that Mary was a virgin is only in one Gospel, the Luke Gospel and Luke was a Greek who was familiar with myriad virgin birth stories from Greek mythology. Does any sane rational person honestly believe that if Mary was actually a real virgin after bearing a child (which is a cornerstone belief of the Catholic church) that it would not be widely spoken about in every gospel and other accounts of the day? Come on now. It's such an obvious myth borrowed from the Greeks as to be laughable and yet here we are and no one is laughing at this. Imagine the Gospel of Mathew, Mark and John make NO mention of the miraculous virgin birth. I don't believe Luke even intended it as a literal fact, again it was supposed to be symbolic of the "birth of a spiritual being from an animal being" which is not physical. But once again the busy little powers that be can't have sophisticated spiritual symbolism left to the individual to process and work out for themselves, they have to turn it into the miraculous, literal and supernatural for reasons that should be patently obvious to any reasonably astute researcher. The story has a nice symbolic message. Don't throw it away, understand it for what it is. But then don't turn it into literal nonsense either and destroy all credibility.
You are right, of course, that the legend is purely metaphorical and a nod to ancient Greek stories that pre-dated the writing of the gospels by hundreds/thousands of years.

That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths. Any cruise through beliefnet.com or other religious-based communities (online or IRL) will show that those who understand that biblical stories are metaphorical are facing an uphill battle.

In some circles, even suggesting for discussion that the story of Jesus' resurrection may be a metaphor, or that the virginity of Mary may be a metaphor, is enough to get you banned/ostracized.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 29th, 2017, 11:41 am

Scribbler60 wrote:
That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths.
And they are right. Because I claim that at the time of writing the Bible, the stories were believed to be actual happenings, and historical facts, not myths or parables or allegories.

All this inventing that the Bible has metaphorical meaning is a way to save face. The bible is written with these stories being actual happenings in mind, and that is why the new trend of treating them as metaphysical and metaphorical has come about: man needed to reconcile the falsehoods (not lies! but falsehoods, insanely wrong and insanely impossible, but still not lies but falsehoods) with his own developing knowledge of the world.
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Philosch
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 29th, 2017, 12:08 pm

-1- wrote:
Philosch wrote:If the deliverer of the universal truth that is the cornerstone of a belief system is a mere human, then that truth can always be questioned and challenged by other humans.
-1- wrote:This is simply not true. Lenin, Marx and Engels had been quoted to death and their words followed to the letter in communist countries it the applicable era. They were not gods, yet their impact was just as forceful as Jesus'.
Philosch wrote:I never said someone like Lenin or Marx couldn't grab power and abuse it. The sense of what I said is that it's more permissible to question a mere mortal in a psychological sense then it would be to question divine edicts of a superior deity. I never said that strong men of various means wouldn't threaten and abuse those who question them. So you objection is not on the mark...besides I would argue that none of the three you mentioned has had the impact of the historical Jesus. There are 2 billion plus Christians in the world, how many Marxists?
You did not negate my claim, Pilosh.

Your claim "A": human's claims can ALWAYS be challenged.

You degraded this to claim "B" "human claims are more permissible to be challenged."

I shan't deal with Claim "B", but I accept it, as it is compatible with my claim, which is the refutation of Claim "A" by you.

I stand by my refutation of your claim "A".

To wit: Marx, aside from being the leader of the Paris Commune, had never wielded any power other than intellectual.

Lenin was in power for a mere seven years. He died in 1924. Marx I don't even know when he died.

Yet they were quoted and the words of these two adhered to in communist (socialist) countries well into the mid-nineteen eighties.

Then you said that Christianity is 2000 years old, and insinuated that Marxism-Leninism is defunct. That is not true. In China, Marxism-Leninism is still the state ideology. Roughly one-quarter of the world's population OFFICIALLY accepts Marxism-Leninism. Also, everyone can see the trend that Christianity is on its way out. Almost all of Europe is atheistic; the non-atheist Muslims outnumber non-atheist Christians in Europe. And that would be the case even without Muslim immigration; the indigenous Muslims in Europe have a much stronger following than the indigenous Christians there at present time. And American atheists increased in percentage of the population (as per their volunteering a faith they follow) from 2% in 1960 to 20% currently.

In summary: What i challenged was that human's decrees can be always disregarded. That you have not refuted. However, you recalled your original claim, and softened it to "human decrees are more permissible" to challenge, and that i agree with (given the context of the time of Jesus).
It may be a semantical problem we are having but you are not reading me careful enough. Human claims can always be challenged, doesn't mean they always are but they can be and are much more easily then a "god's" claim can be challenged hence why using a "God" to lend authority to your claim works better. This was my entire point and I stand by it. I also said nothing about Christianity being 2000 years old....I said there are roughly 2 billion plus Christians alive today. Nor did I insinuate Marxism is defunct, I insinuated that there were far fewer Marxist than Christians and I will stand by that claim as well. The official state ideology of China not withstanding how many actually believe in that ideology. I was simply claiming that the influence of Jesus was greater in scale then the influence of Marx and further more I would make the claim that Jesus' impact would have been far less had he not been turned into "GOD" at the council of Nicaea which was the point of the post in the first place. Now it could be many years from now that Marx's influence reaches the biblical scale but that still doesn't harm my point. Here's how I would state the claims I was attempting to make in the form you seem to prefer.

Claim A. Human authority is easier to challenge then divine authority.

or if you prefer my original position further qualified....

Claim A. Human authority can always be challenged (not really the point)
Claim B. Divine authority can always be challenged (never explicitly stated this because it's as self evident as claim A)

(the real point I was trying to make is the following:)
Claim C. Divine authority is much harder to challenge then human authority until the divinity of the god in question is disproven or no longer believed in.

That's the proper form of my original claims....and claim C is the only one I was interested in, both A and B are true and besides the point. The claim of divinity adds a lot of weight to the authority in question

Pointing out cases where human authority wasn't challenged (like Marx for instance) because of brutality or other abuses does not negate claim A. Because the claim says that it "can" always be challenged, it doesn't say it "will" always be challenged.

There's a clear difference between saying if you challenge my human claim I'll send you to a Siberian prison or execute your family and if you say that when you challenge "God's" authority your soul will be eternally dammed.

The reason is simple.....maybe I get together with 10,000 of my closest friends and stage a coup to over throw this authoritarian human Marxist regime or maybe I find some other way to undermine or challenge the "human" authority. But what can I do to a "God" who's going to dam me to hell? Nothing at all, I have no recourse until I dispel the belief precisely because a "God" would be supreme and it's "authority" is supreme. It's just much trickier to challenge. Now of course people do challenge divine authority, I am right now, it's just much harder. The point I was trying to make from the very beginning without watering it down is that it's much easier to challenge someone's authority if you remove any claims to divinity or supernatural authority from the foundation of the claims being made. I hope this is clearer to you now. I stand by this statement as self evident.

Scribbler60 wrote:
Philosch wrote:I have addressed this particular point in other posts as well but here goes again....the claim that Mary was a virgin is only in one Gospel, the Luke Gospel and Luke was a Greek who was familiar with myriad virgin birth stories from Greek mythology. Does any sane rational person honestly believe that if Mary was actually a real virgin after bearing a child (which is a cornerstone belief of the Catholic church) that it would not be widely spoken about in every gospel and other accounts of the day? Come on now. It's such an obvious myth borrowed from the Greeks as to be laughable and yet here we are and no one is laughing at this. Imagine the Gospel of Mathew, Mark and John make NO mention of the miraculous virgin birth. I don't believe Luke even intended it as a literal fact, again it was supposed to be symbolic of the "birth of a spiritual being from an animal being" which is not physical. But once again the busy little powers that be can't have sophisticated spiritual symbolism left to the individual to process and work out for themselves, they have to turn it into the miraculous, literal and supernatural for reasons that should be patently obvious to any reasonably astute researcher. The story has a nice symbolic message. Don't throw it away, understand it for what it is. But then don't turn it into literal nonsense either and destroy all credibility.
You are right, of course, that the legend is purely metaphorical and a nod to ancient Greek stories that pre-dated the writing of the gospels by hundreds/thousands of years.

That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths. Any cruise through beliefnet.com or other religious-based communities (online or IRL) will show that those who understand that biblical stories are metaphorical are facing an uphill battle.

In some circles, even suggesting for discussion that the story of Jesus' resurrection may be a metaphor, or that the virginity of Mary may be a metaphor, is enough to get you banned/ostracized.
Yes, unfortunately I agree with you as that has been my experience in dealing with people in my own family who reject historical facts in favor of their own cherished beliefs simply because of the discomfort that comes from dislodging those beliefs. I'm not optimistic about the prospects of being able to get the 2 billion plus Christians to see the truth and falsehood of their beliefs. Let alone the Muslims and others who still believe in mythical supernatural beings. It's very daunting indeed. It's also sad because you and I might agree that Jesus' story when taken metaphorically has great value and there's much to be said about compassion for the less fortunate and so on but the message get's lost or at least over shadowed by all the nonsensical dogma/doctrine. You might agree for instance that the way to salvation is through the realization that we are all connected and one in spirit with the creative force of the universe. Metaphorically this would be saying we are equal to Jesus and we are all aspects of the divine presence (God per se) but this would be blasphemy in the normal Christian doctrinal sense. Too bad because it's quite likely that's what Jesus' was telling us along with what the Buddha was saying as well.

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Socrateaze
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 29th, 2017, 12:34 pm

-1- wrote:
Scribbler60 wrote:
That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths.
And they are right. Because I claim that at the time of writing the Bible, the stories were believed to be actual happenings, and historical facts, not myths or parables or allegories.

All this inventing that the Bible has metaphorical meaning is a way to save face. The bible is written with these stories being actual happenings in mind, and that is why the new trend of treating them as metaphysical and metaphorical has come about: man needed to reconcile the falsehoods (not lies! but falsehoods, insanely wrong and insanely impossible, but still not lies but falsehoods) with his own developing knowledge of the world.
No, I believe they are lies, borrowed from older religions, hence forgetfulness of past orthodoxies. If we can be indoctrinated and fooled in an age of electronics, where many think the media and internet provides us with 100% useful information holding 100% veracity; how much easier would it be in an age where people went by hear-say? There are always ways to fake a miracle, just as our magicians fake them today - has entertainment magic improved SO much during the ages or did we inherit the best measure of it from those who actually invented it?

As for metaphors and allegories, they are true and were used, since it was part of their culture, I'm sure any skeptical professor in the field will admit the academic findings, which one can clearly see through a little research.
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