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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Religion, Spirituality, & Philosophy  |  Other Religious, Spiritual, & Philosophical Paradigms (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  A Religious Rant 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: A Religious Rant  (Read 16466 times)
The Sentinel
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 01:55:21 am »

No, RK, it's simply come to the point where you are no longer worth my time. And as such I'm not going to waste it on you.
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paindancer
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 02:21:49 am »

Ah.. interesting thread.

My question for Koon is simply this..

Why do you prescribe that God would be bound by concepts of good and evil?

They are tools of man, and are very dependant on local culture and time.  If fact, I am hard pressed to define a universal evil or good.  If you take the perspective of man out of it.. God is neither good nor evil.. as those are simple terms man uses with its simple mind.  God becomes.. simply Divine.
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Paindancer
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Soulshroude
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2010, 03:04:09 am »

Another concept I would like to bring up, thanks to~ Paindancer~ for reminding me of something I learned along time ago.

Would the Universal Being of Omnipotence (man's name given "God") be bound by good vs evil?  This is a notion that is more human then anything.  Let me give a scenerio:  An individual becomes God, this individual realizes how much power they have in their possession.  Over time, this power begins to corrupt them.  Taking them on an adventure they may either soon regret or make them suddenly realize a moral dilemma.  If the corruption took place, then an outcome would be long lasting but after a few centuries, things would start to get a bit boring.  Murder, taking advantage of society and civilization would become obsolete.  This person would more then likely come to their senses of it all and just might start to create new and differant but exciting things that the world has yet to see.  This would be termed "creation".  If this person realizes their moral dilemma as seen through the eyes of a God, then they would realize that life and death are part of a Universal circe that cannot change.  Things are the way they are for a reason, and in that reason lies true logic where understanding is the main key.  A realistic perspective that being Omnipotent in itself, is a never ending cycle of creation, death and re-creation.  One thing needs to pass on, for the next to play its part.  As well as for the sake of the evolutionary scale.  It is a bit hard to put into perspective, but when one has absolute power, after centuries of doing many differant things, I am sure the monotany would get to you sooner or later in that the true path of a God is just that... A significant Universal aquisition that has to be there for a reason.  There is always purpose for things on this our Earth.  From chaos, to poverty, from extremist actions, to politicians sitting on their asses seemingly doing nothing save for making a statement ever now and again just to keep their city, state or countries morale up.

Let things be as they are and be less argueable or quarrelsome regarding the way that those things were intended to be.  In the end, if one has not learned their lesson then I am sure another will come their way to re-iterate what they need to or must learn before they can eventually move on to another area of awareness.  Let religion have its own, as well as politics.  These are mans gifts and burdens to share with themselves.  Let not the sheeple wake up to the actuality, but let the awakened be aware. There is a truth out there that is NOT for everyone. Let those who understand this, experience it and help when the time comes. The world is an illusion until it is time to wake up. Apocalypse is defined as "lifting the veil". Let those who have eyes, see. Let those who have ears, listen. But, let those who have lips, stay silent until the time is right for one voice to be heard.

Food for thought.
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2010, 07:12:09 pm »



PD - I could simply say, "Why should god NOT be bound by the concepts of good and evil", but instead, I will take the more descriptive approach --

For one, the concept of god is equally -  no more and no less - human concepts as are good and evil. Further, even if we were to set that aside, Are we then to say that god is not bound by the same laws we are? Thereby allowing him to mass murder, torment and destroy as much as he pleases, and, if we believe either the koran or the judeoxtian bibles, has repeatedly? I personally call bullshit. If a god is so petty, so juvenile, so weak as to not be able to stand up to 'mere' human law, to 'mere' human values of good and evil, then, again relating back to Epicurus, he doesn't deserve the title.  And while we could go on debating for ages the differences in various cultures, it is fair to say that "anything that would hinder, prevent, or resist the growth, improvement and health of mankind could conceivably fall into the definition of evil", but even that is being generalized greatly.

Soulshroude - The question should not be "weather there is a god or not", but rather, " what do people DO in regards to their faith in a deity?"  As I have stated before, its this blind faith that is dangerous, and a severe detriment to society as a whole, and the fact that no god or deity or collection of such is prettymuch irreverent, past the point that people are wasting their time, energy and actions in the name of such.  Again, however, people do have the right to do so -- up until the point they try to force their beliefs on others.


Oh, and PD, one other thing -- You just said that Good and Evil are human concepts, yet they are mentioned in the bible, as though they were 'gods creations'. So which is it? Cant be both.
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paindancer
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2010, 09:23:39 pm »

Good and evil are human concepts.  Historically, they are based upon that which is beneficial or detrimental to a specific culture. 

I never said the bible was verbatum accurate, only a collection of stories, and historic peeks into the wisdom of the time.  I would say the referances to good and evil are reflections of the social norms, some of which carry us to the present day.

As far as a Divine being doing evil.. or good for that matter.. first consider this.. that the being is not bound by the same perspectives as you.  In essence, you are personifying such a being in your own image.  I dont think our concepts of good and evil would apply. 

Do you think a scientist is evil for killing some culture in a petri dish?

Heck, even Watchmen did a decent study on possible effects on the psyche when confronted with a radical change in perspective.  Dr. M became indifferent.. the minuscule conflicts so important to humanity ceased to be relevant.  Fictional, of course.. but a interesting study.

 
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Paindancer
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2010, 11:25:51 pm »

Yea I've heard that comparing us to life in a petri dish BS, and its just that, BS. We are, in fact, living sentient beings, and while we may not be the most evolved there could possibly out there, we are alive, we are sentient, we are a race, we are capable of self determination; therefore, the concept that any being 'above' us being free from OUR sense of right and wrong is crap. IF it decides to interfere with us, we have the right to protect ourselves. We do the same to beings 'below' us, and indeed, we are bad for abusing that, but I would also say, we ARE improving on that slowly, and those below us - IE wild animals and such, does in fact try to protect itself from us when we are infringing on them. We only become superior to them in numbers and technology. 

Ergo, If the 'gods or divine or devils or such' wish to interfere in our lives, we can, and some of us willing, WILL judge them according to ourselves.

Its all prettymuch a mute discussion anyway; due to the simple fact we have no tangible solid proof of such interference.
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The Sentinel
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2010, 11:50:20 am »

Good and evil are human concepts.  Historically, they are based upon that which is beneficial or detrimental to a specific culture.

Exactly, that's why I think that the Bible is largely to be considered in context of the time in which it was written. A lot of the things in there are only culturally significant to the people in the time it was written for. If you read Paul's Letters to the Romans (the book of Romans) you see that very clearly. He was writing letters to specific churches in specific situations at exact times. That advice wasn't meant to be applied to everyone at all times. The only advice I would look at as more ubiquitous would be Jesus' words (many of which are suspiciously echoed by the Wiccan Creed: "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt"). I would consider the words of Jesus to be a general rule of thumb, as well as the Ten Commandments, since those are really the foundation of the faith anyway.

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I never said the bible was verbatum accurate, only a collection of stories, and historic peeks into the wisdom of the time.  I would say the referances to good and evil are reflections of the social norms, some of which carry us to the present day.

You are exactly correct there. It is a collection of stories and wisdom, and I would agree the concepts of "right" and "wrong" in there may be somewhat different than what is needed by a modern society. Religions need to grow with the world around them unless you want to stay nomads wandering in the desert. In which case go for it. However, there are situations that arise that NEVER would have arisin in that time period and as such we need to adapt our beliefs and faith to encompass those. For example, gay rights. I am all for gay marriage and unions and whatever they choose to do. The homosexual community back in the Bible days was really seen as a negative thing by the Jewish culture, though the Greeks and Romans were fine with it. I think that the Jews refusing to adopt that was part of their revolt against the Roman influence, to be honest. However, these days we don't really hide sexuality from people - they are who they are. And wouldn't Jesus' "Love thy neighbor" fall into that? People tend to be more focused on the "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" than the "love thy neighbor as thyself", I believe.

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As far as a Divine being doing evil.. or good for that matter.. first consider this.. that the being is not bound by the same perspectives as you.  In essence, you are personifying such a being in your own image.  I dont think our concepts of good and evil would apply. 

Do you think a scientist is evil for killing some culture in a petri dish?

Heck, even Watchmen did a decent study on possible effects on the psyche when confronted with a radical change in perspective.  Dr. M became indifferent.. the minuscule conflicts so important to humanity ceased to be relevant.  Fictional, of course.. but a interesting study.

That is an interesting perspective and I happen to agree with it to some degree. Though I would question whether or not our sense of good and evil didn't originate with the divine (remember, the 10 commandments are theoretically from God himself). It's a theoretical debate that I have no specific side on and am still trying to get my head around. I do agree that the absolute black-and-white lines of "Good" and "Evil" are largely cultural but there are some things that are ubiquitously seen as bad: murder, theft, rape, etc. And I also happen to think that those social mores may spring from the deep seated understanding that we need to not do those things in order to function in a society together. Rape, burn, and pillage is great and all but it doesn't make for a functional group of human beings and if we are trying to survive in close quarters with others we have to behave in certain manners.

If "Good" and "Evil" are nothing more than that - a system of checks and balances to make sure humans can all live together - then that takes Epicurius' statement and kind of turns it on its head and the "Problem of Evil" becomes something that isn't a problem at all.
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Nadia115
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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2010, 01:43:06 pm »

Koon...It is painfully clear you have been abused in some way by followers of certain faiths. I think many if not all of us have at some point in time in our lives. The difference is that we realize that many need their faith and many do not need any faith at all. That there are bad examples and good examples. It is just life. We got over it and moved on and refuse to make personal attacks upon others and their faiths based on some bad seeds. Now...back off the personal attacks and insults. It is not needed or welcomed and any intelligent being is able to have an intelligent discussion without making things personal.

On to the topic at hand...there is the whole part of it all that God or any Gods and Goddesses give humans free will. You cannot blame the wrongs done by others (rape, murder, ect.) on an omnipotent being. It is still free will with some beliefs saying you will pay in the afterlife and some saying you will pay int his life or even future lives. Other things that happen such as floods and so on are natural. They happen due to over whelming rain, fault lines, and so on. I just cannot think that some omnipotent being is playing it all like a SIM type game or using us all like little puppets or dolls. As far as the bible and other stories from other faiths..I feel they are just that. Stories that give us a look into certain times, give a look into the explanations of things from people of those times and can even teach some moral type lessons. I mean really...we are not supposed to eat rabbits because they have cloven hooves and eat cud as stated in the bible? That seems to be written by very fallable men IMO. It still does not take away from the lessons and history that can be learned and does not take away from the faith as a whole.
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paindancer
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2010, 02:01:55 pm »

Yea I've heard that comparing us to life in a petri dish BS, and its just that, BS. We are, in fact, living sentient beings, and while we may not be the most evolved there could possibly out there, we are alive, we are sentient, we are a race, we are capable of self determination; therefore, the concept that any being 'above' us being free from OUR sense of right and wrong is crap. IF it decides to interfere with us, we have the right to protect ourselves. We do the same to beings 'below' us, and indeed, we are bad for abusing that, but I would also say, we ARE improving on that slowly, and those below us - IE wild animals and such, does in fact try to protect itself from us when we are infringing on them. We only become superior to them in numbers and technology. 

Ergo, If the 'gods or divine or devils or such' wish to interfere in our lives, we can, and some of us willing, WILL judge them according to ourselves.

Its all prettymuch a mute discussion anyway; due to the simple fact we have no tangible solid proof of such interference.

Tell you what koon.  Define a universal good or evil for me.

Lets start there.

Either one.  Give me a definition or even an example, of any case, where an action is good or evil without exception for species, situation, or conext.

I think the angst you are feeling is due to the definition you are using being to inflexible.  Its very black or white with you.
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Paindancer
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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2010, 02:40:30 pm »

As a spiritual/faith based person, who practices Voodoo mind you, I, honestly can't say that there is no proof any more...  Especially after being Horse for such Spirits as Damballah, Ochosi, Papa Loko and being named "Ti Gede" by Papa Gede at EVERY ceremony, even when the people don't know me (as I am an outsider to their particular house of Voodoo).

I don't, in any way, shape or form consider this 'interference' by Spirit.  I would, as would another Houngan that I know, like to see some testing done by way of monitoring brainwave patterns, heart rate and other considerations done while we are in possession.  I might even know a Mambo or two that would be interested, but... As with many spiritual paths, it can be hard thing to get by the hierarchy...

I've followed this discussion and watched its ebb and flow and watched things being scrutinized and dismissed, wondering if my two cents would make a difference and deciding that even though it wouldn't, I would put it out here.

Koon...It is painfully clear you have been abused in some way by followers of certain faiths. I think many if not all of us have at some point in time in our lives. The difference is that we realize that many need their faith and many do not need any faith at all. That there are bad examples and good examples. It is just life. We got over it and moved on and refuse to make personal attacks upon others and their faiths based on some bad seeds. Now...back off the personal attacks and insults. It is not needed or welcomed and any intelligent being is able to have an intelligent discussion without making things personal.

**snip**

I can understand the need to not have 'blind faith' in anything, including religious/spiritual faith.  There are inherently good people in all walks of life, just as their are people who will use dogma and indoctrination which accompanies many religious endeavors to enslave and abuse its populace.  I think a great many of us, within society period, have been attacked and abused by the perpetual rantings of a select few bad apples in Christianity... But this does not make every Christian out there the perpetrator of these actions...


Quote
On to the topic at hand...there is the whole part of it all that God or any Gods and Goddesses give humans free will. You cannot blame the wrongs done by others (rape, murder, ect.) on an omnipotent being. It is still free will with some beliefs saying you will pay in the afterlife and some saying you will pay int his life or even future lives. Other things that happen such as floods and so on are natural. They happen due to over whelming rain, fault lines, and so on. I just cannot think that some omnipotent being is playing it all like a SIM type game or using us all like little puppets or dolls. As far as the bible and other stories from other faiths..I feel they are just that. Stories that give us a look into certain times, give a look into the explanations of things from people of those times and can even teach some moral type lessons. I mean really...we are not supposed to eat rabbits because they have cloven hooves and eat cud as stated in the bible? That seems to be written by very fallable men IMO. It still does not take away from the lessons and history that can be learned and does not take away from the faith as a whole.

Many faiths/religions/spiritual paths decree that their higher power gave man the ability to be a free thinker by granting us 'free will'.  A great many of these see it as a test to see if we are fit to 'rejoin God' (for lack of a better phrase)...  I questioned Christianity too much to simply put God in so small a box.  My father, a Methodist Minister who 'specialized' in exorcisms (don't ask... I don't know how anyone specializes in THAT) told me 'because you don't have faith in what I say, you are going to go to Hell'.  I've never been one for blind faith.  I get examples of blind faith EVERY day here in New Orleans.  From the thumper that stands at the corner of Carondolet and Canal to scream his faith at the passengers getting off of the St Charles street car to the dirty old man who sits on the corner of Decatur and Canal blaring his blind faith that everyone is going to Hell through a bull horn to the sign toters who come down during special events with signs listing off everything except 'straight', 'white' and 'republican' as going to Hell...

I've learned my father's own actions were because he enjoyed subjugating me emotionally and mentally since he found that beating me physically only made me more stubborn.  In the end, it was HIS choice to be the abusive piece of crap he was then.  It was not God who made him that way.

My understanding of God is still expanded.  I still cannot fit Him into that minuscule little box that most Christians seem fine to place Him in. And, on top of everything I suffered at the hands of my father, I still have my faith...

Good/Evil, Right/Wrong... Concepts created by man to control man...  Sometimes they are even twisted by man to accomplish the most horrendous acts of violence ever thought of BY man...  For the most part, they are used as a system of checks and balances to keep people from doing awful things to each other... But, much like morals, they are subjective to societal influences, personal indulgences and the whims and fancies of whatever person is in the highest power of local, state and federal governments
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Kiera
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2010, 02:51:09 pm »

Greetings My Lovelies,

I have awoken to the loud din in my halls... While we at the AVA and it's forums embrace individuality and the rights of our members to express their opinions regarding all manner of issues here... Please remember that we also insist on civility here in our realm. Vampires do not like fire... thus Flamers will be dealt with harshly.

There will always be those who take pleasure in inciting heated debates in order to fuel their sense of importance. I will not grant them the energy it would take to dispel them, they are petty children.

AVA was founded as a Non-Religious House for a specific reason, even among the five original founding members, we all held different beliefs. It is the nature of all of us, Humankind, Vampires and Otherkin alike to have differing belief systems due to the fact that we have different backgrounds, personality types, and life experiences. How often is it seen in a marriage or serious relationship, that the two people hold differing belief systems? We were given a frontal lobe for a very important reason. We think, we question, we lay awake contemplating the mysteries and the rationale of the Universe. It is exceedingly rare for two beings to hold the exact same beliefs or ideas to even the universal questions of life: Why are we here? How did we get here? Is there a God?

So while philosophical discussions are encouraged here on the AVA Forums. Remember to show respect to one another, regardless of whether you agree with their ideas or not. Because if you don't, my bite will be much keener next time my pets.

Kiera

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Nadia115
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2010, 06:34:53 pm »

Actually Belfazaar, I agree with you and can see and understand your points perfectly. I will say that you stated my ideas and thoughts a lot better than I had in reality. Minus my telling someone to chill out.  Wink
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RKCoon
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2010, 08:44:03 pm »

Oh. My. Gods. ROFLMMFAOXDD!! That is too funny.  Nadia - I have not ever been directly harmed, assaulted or bothered by religion or religious types - i never went to church, i was never raped by a preacher, i have never been directly harassed or assaulted for my beliefs, when I air them.  I simply see religion for the purest of farce that it is, and call it out on it.  And while I agree, I cannot hold a 'deity' responsible for the actions of its followers (though we do hold the military, the federal/state/local governments, and most any organization responsible for the actions of those that are part of such, therefore, one COULD set precedence via that route to do so), I can, however, hold god responsible for the bloodletting, the butchery, the savagery it itself has conducted, as recorded by the bible. (and please, spare me any tripe that "its a different being" or "its changed" - neither of which hold up at ALL.)  Hells, the impregnation of mary is at best adultery in an of itself (having sex with another mans wife without HIS consent), and could, technically, be called out as rape (as I understand it, there is question as to weather mary was even aware of what happened to her or not, hence, NO CONSENT).

So, NO. Insofar as the xtian god goes, he dont get off the hook that easy. As a deity, he is among the worst among those recorded, as a fictional being, he is most certainly one of the worst reflections of humanity as a whole.

Belfazaar - define good and evil, eh? Lets try this for the good -

Helping those in need, in damn near any variation you want to come up with - be it as simple as helping an old lady across the street to as in depth as the "doctors without borders"
rendering relief from suffering or preventing it - very similar to the first but enough of a difference to state seperately, from protection to medical again
working for the benifit of mankind - science in many of its forms, including medicine
allowing freedom of choice, insofar as it is not a direct risk to the masses

just to name a few VERY wide genres for good.

Now, for the evil spectrum -

Rape (I just dare you to show me a justification ANYWHERE for rape - as I meantioned above, even the inception of jesus himself is questionable at best)
Murder (I dont mean killing to defend ones home or life, but flat out "i dont like him so i killed him")
directly and indirectly causing pain and suffering for no reason and no regard for others deliberately
forcing others, wantonly, to subscribe to one faith or one belief

Again, general terms, but these are things that we as a global (somewhat) civilized society can generally agree to being good and evil. And you are right - I very much prefer to see things black and white, as clearly as possible - I do not let others cloud or screw the issue. I keep it as simple as possible.  That said, I do understand things can get complex, very fast - but I work to keep it as clear as possible. What I do see, however, is people trying to pump up their faiths into this glorious deed, this wondrous thing, when if they were to step back and look at it neutrally, they would go, "wholy fuck, what am I DOING?!"  And I have seen this. I have seen people of various faiths wind up being forced - usually by their own blundering because of their faith - realize just what kind of horrors they've engaged in, they've aided in.

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Nadia115
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« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2010, 10:14:20 pm »

Then why do you speak as though you yourself have suffered atrocities enough that merits the damnation and spite you seem to carry? True, there have been many wrongs done in the name of religion through out the ages. It sounds as though you take it very personally though. As if the mention of religion sends you into a rage. I will also mention I personally do not follow any mainstream religion. I have studied as much as possible about different religions but have just decided to follow my own path. The one thing that seems to ring true through out history is that MAN is at the helm of most problems. I say most as there are plenty of problems that naturally occur. It is MAN who thinks nothing of perverting religion or anything else to bring the masses under control or to his cause. Take King James as an example. Both the King and the bible version. The rewrite of the bible titled "King James" was mainly to bring masses under control through the use of spit fire, brimstone, damnation and so on. Then you have Catholics who do not believe in divorce but are fine with annulments. In comes King Henry VIII who first talked the church into lay aside the fact that Queen Catherine was married to his brother( A man shall not marry his brother's widow) and to allow them to be married. He then took full advantage of annulments in any way he could even if it meant wrongfully accusing wives of crimes they had not committed. Going back to Catherine, he had tried to claim they needed an annulment as she had been married to his brother and since only a daughter between them lived, he had no heir and hence viewed himself as still childless. It backfired of course when Catherine admitted that her first marriage was not  consummated properly (joining of two people into one flesh) and she was still a virgin when she and Henry married. Those are just two examples out of MANY from MANY different religions and cultures. Another is Akhenaten who did not only try to change bits and pieces for his own personal reasons, he attempted to change the ancient Egyptian beliefs as a whole. He had attempted to get the people to abandon polytheism and opt for his new and improved monotheistic religion. Which is where Ra then becomes Amon-Ra as the all powerful and only God. To also force this change he also moved his people to another location and built a whole new city. Where his own residence was along the side/front of a cliff/mountain. I believe he also had everything built a certain way so that it represented the sun's rays coming from his residence. Making him the sun and not as one of the stars as others in the past. Of course right after he passed the people erased him by defacing his statues and such and moved from the new city to their old one and resumed their old ways of worshiping. It is not God and what he stands for that is wrong, but the perversions of MAN to use the bible and the belief against others or really any deity or deities and beliefs against others for their own personal gains.
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paindancer
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« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2010, 10:27:58 pm »

Well, you certainly make some very strong arguments for good and evil.. they are moving and very strong.

They are also very culturally tied.

Rape is probably the most volatile one.  How can I possibly justify that rape is not evil, you think?  Well, first.. I do think that rape is a vile act.  I am in full agreement with my culture in that regard.  However, there are other cultures that prescribe the religious right for a man to rape his wife.  Personally, I dont think that this is acceptable, but I also recognize that this is a cultural norm.  Harsher cultures view rape as a fact of life.. from the ancient gods of Greece to the the modern tribes in war torn africa.  They dont consider it evil in those cultures.  Are we then justified in saying this is a universal evil, shall we purge the evil does from the planet?  We can assume we understand the divine intent?

Its so very easy to justify our cultures right inherent to dominate the rest when you paint it that way.

Lets flip the game.  Aid.. help.. mercy.. must be a universal good.  We hate suffering and our medicine has made great leaps in ending sicknness and suffering.  So.. now.. those with genetic flaws get to propigate them to the next generation, while we inadvertantly create antibiotic resistant strains of super virus.  Eventually this, or our own resultant over-population will catch up with us and we will have a massive plague which we will not  be able to stop.  All of the suffering we prevented will be come back to us threefold.  So.. while it made us feel good for the moment, in the bigger picture it may not work out that way.

The problem, you see, with viewing things in black and white, is that you miss a lot of the details.

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Paindancer
Advocating sensible vampirism since 2006
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