Paganism and Christianity

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Tom Harpur, prominent theologian discusses with Allan Gregg the pagan roots of christianity.

  2. DriveInDriveOut

    DriveInDriveOut This Is The Last Stop

    Around 17:45 minutes in he really starts to win me over.
    I like his idea of "cosmic spirituality/Christianity". I can't really define my religious beliefs as they mix between agnostic theist/auto-theist/pantheist.

    The idea that God is incarnate within each of us is something that could really bring Christianity into the 21st century. The exclusivity of the idea that you're going to hell if you're not in some religious club holds a lot of people back from real spiritual growth. A literal interpretation of scripture is a big part of that.
  3. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I will try and listen later once I wake up but I have this impression that
    Christianity = cities
    Paganism = rural
  4. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    I like how the "believers" think a "space god" comes and goes from planet earth somehow escaping the atmosphere and not burning up on his way in from the "heavens".

    Weve been to space and beyond, and yet, no heaven has been found. Nothing up there but space junk...

    The devil is religion itself. The keepers of the weak.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote : "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."

    HE also wrote ""This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."

    All the writings about christianity and other religious is pure foolery.

  5. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I know thousands of people who believe in a divine being but not a single one believes in a "space god" that comes and goes from planet earth. I admit I don't know the comedian Bill Maher but I've heard him talk like this.

    I feel compelled to point out to you that radio waves come and go through the Earth's atmosphere without burning up. Most "believers" don't believe that their God has a physical presence to any extent, not even that of a microwave.

    The Bible for instance makes little mention of heaven but when it does it speaks of heaven being around you and within you.

    If one is a Dualist, then indeed the Devil or Evil is within the religion and the very God that the Dualist worships.

    TJ was at least Deist (Deism - Enlightenment faith in a rational, law-governed world created by a “supreme architect” or cosmic “clockmaker”) or more than likely a Unitarian Jesist which he believed to the extent that he created a book called "The Jefferson Bible" but which he named The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth for his own personal use.
    TJ did not perceive a conflict or antithesis between belief in a deity or religion. Rather he saw science as the understanding of that rational, law-governed world created by a “supreme architect” or cosmic “clockmaker.”
    It is ironic that you chose TJ since in his first and second presidential inaugurations, he referenced God as being needed in the American spirit and manifest destiny.
    TJ, while not having much use for human centered Christian churches or the supernatural aspects or Trinity, he read his Jefferson Bible daily before going to bed.

    As for your statement, "All the writings about christianity and other religious is pure foolery", I certainly do agree with that in respect to your post.

    PEACE on Earth,


    * What Would Jefferson Do?
  6. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    You call it foolishness and and come up with a thousand reasons why it must be so. You insult believers as being "weak" and yet I am stuck wondering, just who are you trying to convince? I think it's yourself. Your disbelief isn't nearly as deep as you think it is.
  7. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Nice! I'm going to add that to the other dumb religious responses like:

    He works in mysterious ways!
    You must have Faith!
    He's in a better place now!
  8. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I'm honored. Now why don't you answer? Who are you trying to convince?
  9. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Which have nothing to do with being religious or religious beliefs.

    He works in mysterious ways!
    A common euphemism for, I don't understand it.
    Science states, "As yet, not yet understood."

    You must have Faith!
    Typically a follow on to the first euphemism.
    Science states, "Eventually we will understand."

    He's in a better place now!
    Is a euphemistic dodge to make the survivors feel better.
    We hate to see people we love and cherish suffer as the physical body deteriorates and nerve endings a inflamed causing great suffering.
    Science states, "When the body dies, the brain no longer receives electrical signals stimulating the pain center in the brain."

    These reflect a rather superficial understanding of the spiritual aspect of humanity.
    People should go out into the woods and fast for an undetermined long length of time and their spiritual genes may be sensitized.
  10. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    See how powerful religion is? It has pushed Over and TOS into the same corner! Lol.
  11. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    My new BFF...
  12. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    OK, I listened - nothing new (to me) and I cannot disagree with his assertions and analysis:

    The Jesus Seminar - I have read many of the works coming out of this ongoing effort to analyze the teachings of Jesus and understanding the etymological basis for layered and fabricated

    Nicene Council - Simply a political move by Constantine to create a consistent mythology and history that can be used to empower and justify his governance of the Roman Empire.

    The Egyptian origin of many of the Old and New Testaments is well known and documented.
    Anyone desiring to understand the break between Judism and later Christianity (4th century on) only has to analyze the differences between Egyptian, Jewish and Zoroastrian beliefs and mythologies and the Hellenic mythology.
    Roman Christianity is a synthesis of previous religions with the Hellenic religions (and other pagan religions) ... especially in their mythologies and sacraments

    If you like this type of discourse, try reading and viewing the works of Joseph Campbell who helped George Lucas develop the mythology of the Jedi and the development of the heros in Star Wars.
    Check this out for a brief intro to the Campbell's "Power of Myth".
  13. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    BBSAM, I am not a follower of any faith. I went to catholic school until I was thrown out at age 12 for disagreeing with the teachings. I would not allow myself to believe the stories contained in the bible as "real" as they made no sense. I would not allow myself to believe that some "being" assigned to outer space was capable of creating one planet and placing all living things here. I wouldnt allow myself to believe that some "desert drifter" talked to some burning bush and found the rules for mankind that amounted to nothing more than "common sense".

    What i do believe is that Religion has been the source for all hardships in this planet. All the wars, all the strife because one religion wants to dominate the world. Even today, christian missionaries are going into countries where they dont belong and trying to convert nations. When they get killed, I feel no sympathy for them. They shouldnt have been there in the first place.

    HITLER was a good christian and we saw how that worked out.

    BB, I side with you on almost every issue, but on this particular one we will disagree. I respect that you have "faith" and I apologize if I offended you with my writings. They are nothing more than my opinions.

    I do not intend on convincing anyone of anything, nor would I try to convince you to give up your "faith". All I am "airing" is my personal belief system, thats all.

    The bible is filled with horrible stories of a serious magnitude and to that extent I find the bible a farce.

    Fathers stoning their daughters to death for not being virgins and having to give away their goat to make up for it is something out of fantasyland.

    If a true believer wants to hold the bible close to their hearts as "the spoken word", then they'd better start stockpiling rocks.

  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    One of my few regrets in life is that I did not pick up my final project in a a college art class years ago. It was a self-portrait positioned between two of my favorite fantasy characters: Gandalf the White (of LOTR) and Raistlin Majere (Black Robe mage of Dragonlance). I titled the piece "Mytheology". Because when you get right down to it, the archetypes always remain. Whether it's God and Satan, Raistlin and Fizban, Gandalf and Sauron, we still have the representations of good and evil. We still live out our lives making determinations based on our perceptions of these constructs. Some call religion myth. In fact, in the religion class Paul and the Early Church, the term was extensively used but not in the least bit derogatory manner. How does science convey that part of humanity? How does it deal with crime and punishment? What does science say about justice and mercy? One can say that these are not of a religious manner, but I would suggest history says otherwise. History is rich with religious triumphs and failures that can be debated ad infinitum. But dismissing it as foolishness is...well foolish. What's your theology?
  15. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    You continue to postulate that your embellished remembrances from childhood to represent entire theological beliefs and premises of religions.
    Sorry, but it just ain't so.

    Hitler was not a Christian. In fact he detested Christianity (much like you) and he considered the Pope to be his enemy and complained about the Pope all the time.
    "In adulthood, Hitler became disdainful of Christianity, but in seeking out and in trying to retain power in Germany, he was prepared to set aside his views on religion out of political considerations. He repeatedly stated that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on science.[1] It is generally accepted by historians that Hitler's post war and long term goal was the eradication of Christianity in Germany."[2][3]

    Much bad has been done in the name of religions but these "individuals" were acting in their own interest ... not following the tenants or philosophy of their "proclaimed" religions.
    I have little use for human organizations called churches (or the like) myself but I do not reject spiritual considerations because of other humans misdeeds in the name of a religion.
  16. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    "I have little use for human organizations called churches (or the like) myself but I do not reject spiritual considerations because of other humans misdeeds in the name of a religion. "

    I'm stealing that.
  17. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I am not the least bit offended. Nor am I hearing your objections for the first time. I held many of the same for a long, long time. I do think, however, that you are trying to put all of religion into a 12 year olds vision of the world and that doesn't work for an adult. To that I can only say, duh!;). BTW, no offense.
  18. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Good post Drive.

    I've always been fascinated by some of the arguments of pantheism and panentheism. When I see examples of the golden ratio in nature or to learn that plants may communicate through a symbiotic mycorrhizae fungi network, one must pause to consider the moment. Neither materialist/mechanistic science or hierarchical/literalist religion would consider investigation of such events in nature worthwhile and yet I think otherwise.

    As to god incarnate in each of us, esoteric ideals have argued that for eons. The pagan philosophies argued that point on varying levels and the same forces that destroyed those pagan sources in the near and middle east also did the same in northern and western Europe as Romanized state christianity came to those lands in conquest. What we mostly know of Pre-Roman Europe is sadly through post conquest eyes.

    As to hell, great and worthwhile study. In the mid 80's this study was the beginning of the undermining of my own faith and I've since learned that many begin their journey out of belief via this route because the next thing to go is the devil, then heaven and from there it's a cascade effect. Once they can't "scare the hell out of you" anymore, this opens the door to real conversation.

    I think more preachers are out there who have lost their faith on some or varying levels but remain in the pulpit afraid to speak out. They have rent and a light bill too. But if given the chance and an open minded congregation, would they for example embrace a similar ideal as Harpur or even a John Shelby Spong and take the christian ideal into the 21st century? Like Jefferson, I think a lot of what Jesus taught is good and worthwhile but at the same time, it's not completely original to him either. Just as the basis of the Mosaic moral code can be found on an earlier stele from Hammurabi.

    Harpur did a follow up interview with Allan Gregg where he discusses his own earlier fundamentalism, his background and how he went from there to here so to speak among other things.
  19. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    This may be a basis for an analogy that pertains to UPS Drivers and even UPS Management.
  20. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that point would apply across the entire labor economy and not just to UPS or preachers. But as you said earlier, nothing new here.