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Messages - Ka

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751
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: new dogma for old
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:20:44 PM »
Does anyone else feel caught between the dogma (and by that I mean, taking the letter of the 'law' above the spirit of Love)  of the old (organised religions) and the oncoming dogma of the so-called 'New' Age?  (aka new organised religion for the 'masses' ...)

Cheers,

Chloe

Not really. There is a book by Peter Berger which I recommend called The Heretical Imperative. It basically says that in this pluralistic society one has no choice but to think for oneself. No one anymore is automatically anything just by being born into some religion or other.

In any case, as far as New Age goes, there as many New Age-isms as there are post-modernisms. Some make sense to me. Others don't, just as some old dogmas make sense to me while others don't. The question isn't whether or not to be dogmatic, but which dogmas one finds most reasonable.

752
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: David Icke - DECEIVER, DECEIVED OR BOTH?
« on: August 29, 2012, 04:52:26 PM »
So? The writers of the NT books were well-acquainted with the OT, so naturally their stories about Jesus would match if they wanted to portray him as the Messiah.

That is, of course, something that should be considered. So what exactly is the argument here? In my view, there are 2 ways to go about it - 1) The OT writers were given divine revelation from God about a coming Messiah and the NT writers simply incorporated those details into their false accounts of Jesus, 2) The OT writers made up a bunch of prophecies, and the NT writers continued that tradition of falsification with a story about Jesus.

....

I'm sure #2 is your preferred approach, so here are my objections:

It isn't. There is a third way. It is to realize that revelations from the Divine are not -- cannot be -- straightforward. We, as fallen beings, are incapable of understanding the Divine as it is. The OT prophets, then, were really prophets, but what they said had to be filtered through there own and their societies' limitations, which are not the same as our current limitations. So they prophesied truly that God is One, and that a Messiah was on the way. But the details are basically mythical, which is not a bad thing.

And so for the NT writers, the myths get fulfilled. It was about 30 years between Jesus' death and the first gospel (Mark's). Plenty of time for stories -- call them pious fictions -- to accumulate around the life of Jesus. And bear in mind that the modern value placed on objectivity is modern. The important thing was to glorify Jesus, while verifying sources, or whatever, was not. Rightly so, at that time.

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1) We would really be talking about the mother of all conspiracies here, spanning many centuries, many different writers and many different locations. In the ancient world, this wouldn't exactly be the easiest thing to do.

No, just tribal myth-making. But in this case, monotheist myths rather than pagan, which is what makes all the difference, in particular as bringing about the struggle against idolatry.

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2) Many of the details of Jesus' life (itself well established) are well rooted in non-Christian historical sources, such as his birth in Bethlehem, his ministry of "miracles" and his crucifixion under the authority of Pontius Pilate, at the behest of Jewish authorities for the crime of "heresy" (he actually claimed to be Messiah and God... otherwise no reason to kill him).

Umm. You'll have to back this up. Tacitus and Josephus mention Jesus, but they were just reporting what (they thought) Christians believe. I've certainly never heard of any non-Christian source for any of these details. (Just to be clear, I don't think there is any reason to doubt that Jesus existed. Just on the details.)

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3) It is historically well established that his early followers truly believed that he was who he claimed to be, to the point of sacrificing their own lives. This implies that they were almost assuredly convinced that they had witnessed the resurrected Jesus, even if it was just some kind of mass hallucination (extremely unlikely, but possible).

By "historically well established", of course, you mean it is attested to in Paul's letters and in Acts. I'm not denying these sources, by the way, just saying the "history" is hardly impartial by modern standards.

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Considering the above things, we would then need to amend #2 to say that the NT writers took this real person who claimed to be the Messiah (perhaps a magician/sorcerer of some sort...) and who was really killed for that, and simply filled in some of the missing details from the OT prophecies to make him look more legitimate to the Jews. So, essentially, they duped all of the early churches into creating a whole new religion that is entirely consistent with the OT, but establishes a new covenant between God and humans.

Only if you're thinking in terms of, say, modern journalism. Which is the modern idolatry. You seem to think that religious truth can be understood objectively. But God is not an object, and neither are we. To think of God or ourselves as objects is the modern Fall. Modern religious fundamentalism of your sort is simply the flip side of materialist objectivity and similarly idolatrous.

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By the way, a couple of days ago you said that Moses wrote the Torah (or words to that effect). What is your response to the generally held view of Biblical scholars of the documentary hypothesis, that it was pieced together around 600-500 BC from (at least) four different sources?

I'll have to look into this and get back to you. I did notice this sentence in the Wiki description though:

"While the hypothesis has been increasingly challenged by other models in the last part of the 20th century, its terminology and insights continue to provide the framework for modern theories on the origins of the Torah."

Yes, but you'll find that the challenge is that there are more than the four sources Wellhausen discerned.

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I also know that stylistic methods of determining authorship are considered very suspect these days, since a single author can write in many different styles. This has been proven with analysis of many different historical and modern works that we know for certain were written by the same person.

No doubt there are literalist Biblical scholars who can give counter-arguments.  The question, though, is given the wider context that I have suggested above, which is more likely?

753
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: David Icke - DECEIVER, DECEIVED OR BOTH?
« on: August 29, 2012, 12:11:23 PM »
[quote Ashvin]
Some of the Messianic passages foretelling Jesus' first and second comings in the OT:
[/quote]

So? The writers of the NT books were well-acquainted with the OT, so naturally their stories about Jesus would match if they wanted to portray him as the Messiah.

By the way, a couple of days ago you said that Moses wrote the Torah (or words to that effect). What is your response to the generally held view of Biblical scholars of the documentary hypothesis, that it was pieced together around 600-500 BC from (at least) four different sources?

And on this accusation back and forth of being a "dogmatist". The word "dogma" just means "teaching", so anyone with a philosophical or religious point of view who tries to persuade others that their POV is correct is a dogmatist (that would include me). Even a thorough-going skeptic, insofar as he or she tries to convince others of the value of skepticism, is a dogmatist.

754
Economics / Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« on: August 28, 2012, 10:41:58 PM »

1.3 Billion people in a country the size of Texas, putting more cars on the road than the US every year, with air, food, and water pollution rampant, suffering a severe economic contraction and real estate bust at the same time are just too much for my brain to handle. 

For the sake of your brain, China is over 13 times bigger than Texas. It's about the same size as the US, including Alaska.

755
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: Hypothetical Return of Christ
« on: July 16, 2012, 12:04:52 PM »

Traders brought diseases (plague, cholera, measles) to Hawaii that caused most of the deaths before the first missionary arrived (1820). Smallpox first showed up in 1852.

According to WHOM?

http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/hitimeln.htm. Correction: measles came later (1848).

What's your source?

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In any event, this is mainly a Timeline question which does not address the REALITY that Christian Missionaries carried Western Ag cultured diseases to many Indigenous Peoples, not just the Hawaiians. The Hawaiians are just an EXAMPLE.  You got the whole NA & SA Continents along with Oz and Asia also where similar problems occurred through history.

Europeans in general brought all these diseases, mainly soldiers, merchants, colonists. Maybe a missionary did as well. Do you have an example where the fault can be tied directly to missionaries? Maybe the Pilgrims, since I suppose they all thought of themselves as missionaries, though that was not the primary reason for their colonization.


756
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: Hypothetical Return of Christ
« on: July 16, 2012, 12:45:16 AM »
Quote from: RE
I'm not attacking them for being Christian, I am attacking them because they cause BLOWBACK and result in Bad Outcomes, like lots of Dead Hawaiians from the Smallpox.

Traders brought diseases (plague, cholera, measles) to Hawaii that caused most of the deaths before the first missionary arrived (1820). Smallpox first showed up in 1852.

757
Spirituality & Mysticism / Re: Hypothetical Return of Christ
« on: July 15, 2012, 01:24:08 PM »
I voted "None of the above", because there wasn't a button for "All of the above". Some Christians will ignore him, some will (at least want to) crucify or punish him -- see Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor --, some will (at least try) to work with him to (at least try to) establish God's Kingdom on Earth (metaphorically speaking), some will try to co-opt him.

Of course  what he, or she,  will actually preach is the real question.

758
Be sure there's a ham radio operator in your neighborhood survival group.

759

Oh ok, I'm glad you brought that up, because I find that to be a much better argument than the fabrication/manipulation ones, even though I disagree with both. The major difference between us here is probably the fact that I would put the onus on you to establish why the Gospel authors were misrepresenting Jesus, just as I would do the same if we were talking about any other historical accounts of a man's life and teachings (for ex. the Buddha).

There are certainly some differences in the descriptions and styles of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. First and foremost, we should recognize the fact that if there were no differences, then a conspiracy between them would be much more likely. They may have been inspired by God/Jesus, but they were still human and therefore capable of misrepresenting the exact reality, both unintentionally and intentionally, with their descriptions of people and events. The key issue is to figure out how bad these errors were and if they intentionally changed the status of Jesus by ascribing events/claims to Him that never occurred. If you believe in the OT and the fact that the NT is Inspired by the same God, then this is really a moot point, but we can leave that issue aside for the sake of argument.

Yes, the onus would be on me to show that they misrepresented Jesus, but I am not claiming that. What I am getting at, and I apologize for being round-about, is that all these questions as to authenticity or who got left out and who got into the canon do not matter, or I guess I should say that they should not matter. What matters are the messages. Now the reason people go on about how they are or are not authentic, or were corrupted, or whatever, is that one wants to give them, or deny them, divine status, i.e., that they are revelations from God. But nothing can prove that. Even if it were a demonstrable fact that Jesus rose on the third day that would not prove he was God. It would prove that miracles occur, and thus prove that naturalism is incorrect, but I, for one, became convinced it was incorrect through other means, so that part of the "message" I consider unimportant.

So what does matter? In my view it is stated in the Gospels, in the statement "the truth shall make you free of sin and death". I take that to mean that, as a sinner, I do not possess the truth. But I also take it to mean that it is possible to acquire it. And one thing one does to acquire it is to study the messages of those who one thinks are, or have become, free of sin (as for the "and death" part, that can mean various things, so I'll let it slide). Jesus, I assume, is one of those, and given the Barfield business in one way the most important. But he is not the only one. However, in the present context (the question of authenticity of scriptures), I do not feel all that confident that what grew up around the Jesus story is all that trustworthy. There is, no doubt, good stuff in the Gospels that -- to my ears -- rings true. But that is only after reading similar stuff from others. On the other hand, there is much that does not ring true, that strikes me as more likely to be the typical addition of legends and such that surrounds any major religious figure.


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So do you also believe that ANY history recorded before the invention of the tape recorder cannot be established objectively in any meaningful way?

I think that questions of divinity and determining what is true and what is false revelation cannot be determined through historical research. Hence we are reliant on our reason to wade our way through.

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I do not believe an "evolution in consciousness" has made it impossible for us to understand what people back then were thinking when we study their writings and the historical context.

It doesn't make it impossible. It does mean that the differences in language and culture are more severe than usually thought.




760


However, you are a) falling back on the flawed notion that we cannot have any objective idea of which versions of Biblical history are more accurate than others (a logic that deceivers would love for us to embrace), and b) failing to understand that true Christians have not been "the winners" in any meaningful sense of that word.

By the "winners" I mean Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, and the history of those who accepted them and built orthodox theology from them (plus the OT and Greek philosophy). As opposed to Marcion, Valentinus, etc., of whom we mostly know only through their opponents, eg, Tertullian. How do we know that Tertullian wasn't distorting their thought, as, for example, Muslims do when calling Christianity tritheism? I agree that the texts of the NT we have are authentic, in the sense that they are (bar a few minor and irrelevant copying errors or pious insertions) what were originally written, but are they themselves free of "corruption"? Each Gospel author had his agenda, included stories which may or may not be true.

So who interpreted the message of Jesus correctly? That is what I say cannot be established objectively, short of taking a tape recorder back in time, and even then one must figure out how to interpret what he said, given the different kind of consciousness that his audience had as compared to know.

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The fact is that there is plenty of objective evidence to discredit the version of history which says that the Synoptics were fabricated or manipulated to reflect only one perspective of Christianity and Jesus' life while the "other accounts" were suppressed.

Then why didn't we have a complete Gospel of Thomas until 1948? Who knows what else was rejected? But I agree (see above) that the Gospels we do have were not fabricated or manipulated. They were, however, selected to reflect only one perspective of Christianity, the one that won.

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Obviously, faith does ultimately involve a personal journey to God, but many aspects of the truth can first be sorted out and fitted together with objective evidence, logic and critical analysis, and we do well to rely upon the work of many others who have come before us and uncovered pieces of that puzzle, including those who have exposed the deceptions of the false historians and the false scientists and the false teachers.

Where I come down is that all that has been "sorted out and fitted together" is just one possibility, even just one Christian possibility. Does one follow the Thomists, or the Barthians, or the fundamentalists, or the "Jesus Seminar" folks? How can we be sure that Arianism or adoptionism is a heresy? And so on.

761

In Copleston's multi-volume A History of Philosophy, where he lays out all sorts of philosophical positions that he personally wouldn't agree with (as a Jesuit) in a very calm way, there is only one place where he gets emotional and uses words like 'evil' to describe them, and that is when he is discussing Gnostics.

Understandable, because the Gnostics represent a sect of Christianity that attempts to turn the entire faith on its head and portray God, YHWH, as a malicious and deceptive god (lowercase d), who is actually subservient to Satan (the Serpent of Genesis). It is the root foundation for every secret society and spiritual movement which informs the Illuminati, i.e. the Freemasons, Rosicrucians and Theosophists. The latter heavily relies on Gnostic principles, especially when it comes to portraying Jesus as just another "ascended master", and some of them claim to be in contact with Him. Incidentally, HP Blavatsky is someone Michael Tsarion refers to as "the best philosopher of all time".

The Gnostic Gospels were written well after the Synoptics and are not written by the claimed authors, a fact that was admitted by the Gnostics back then. A lot of people have tried to suggest that these Gospels were around at the Council of Nicea and that they were intentionally left out of the Canon to give preference to the Synoptics and obscure the fact that Jesus was not divine, but that has been proven to be false.

Yes, yes, I know why Copleston lost his cool. I also know that what you are giving is the narrative told by the winners, which is always suspect. The thing is that unless you hold that the Holy Spirit made sure that the Councils got the right answers, then the questions of what is orthodox, and who suppressed what and when, will just be one careful historian's opinions bashing against another. In this arena there is no such thing as "proof". You can line up your authorities, while Elaine Pagels or Hans Jonas or whoever can line up theirs, and come to opposite conclusions.

What that means to me is that we have no choice but to adopt what Peter Berger calls the Heretical Imperative, in the book of that name. Which is to say, living in a pluralist society, one exposed to many revelations, and accusations of heresy and suppression and  devil-worship passed back and forth, there is no option but to think for oneself. It is quite possible that in thinking for oneself one concludes that the Holy Spirit has been in control. But proving it is another story. As I see it, each of us has to rationally work out a faith s/he can live with, and then live it. Tradition no longer has much say in the matter.

762
[quote El Gallinazo]And strangely enough, it is the Gnostics who Ashvin vents his greatest antipathy toward.[/quote]

In Copleston's multi-volume A History of Philosophy, where he lays out all sorts of philosophical positions that he personally wouldn't agree with (as a Jesuit) in a very calm way, there is only one place where he gets emotional and uses words like 'evil' to describe them, and that is when he is discussing Gnostics.


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