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Author Topic:   This belief thing
Tangle
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Posts: 4638
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.3


(2)
Message 1 of 162 (782560)
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


For the past month or so I've been travelling across South East Asia - Singapore, Vietnam (north and south), Taiwan, China, Japan.

Everywhere I went there were temples and shrines to various gods and belief systems, Buddism, Taoism, Confusionism, Shintoism and various sects and divisions within each. Everywhere too was some form of Christianity. Many also worhip ancestors and have various and differing beliefs about them. One guy I met in Vietnam (Saigon) explained that he was a Christian because the missionaries had free schools but you had to convert to go there.

One temple in Hue, Central Vietnam has Terry Pratchett's turtle god.

In Hong Kong, they have what they call 'traditions' of palm and card readings, head readings, future forecasting using caged birds and so on. These practices were once rife in mainland China but quashed by the communist regime - the practitioners fled to the liberal Hong Kong but are now being tempted back in China proper before they lose the arts completly.

Everywhere supertitions and proverbs were rife. Each country seems to have it's own versions of auspicious omens, charms and lucky numbers. In Vietnam it was 3, Hong Kong 8 and so on. The daft things that we have about astrology they take very seriously, as they do with their year of birth - dog, rat, monkey etc.

This is just a topic to muse on and it's obviously not a unique thought that each civilisation has made up its own belief systems and in the absence of real understanding, created its own ways of dealing with life here being 'short and brutish'.

But when you see all this first hand one after another in quick succession - all the bell ringing, incense burning, joss stick lighting, bowing, praying, fasting, food fetishes and dietary retrictions - you have to come to the conclusion that we just made it all up and people will believe just about anything at all if it's taught them young enough and the promises that the belief systems give them are attractive enough - and/or the penalties for disbelief unattractive enough.

There's no consistency and there's no rhyme or reason to it. If there is a God he's having a laugh.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


Replies to this message:
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AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1792
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 162 (782561)
04-26-2016 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


If there is a God he's having a laugh.
And whose to say He doesnt embrace a bout of laughter---as a part of an overall integral health management system.
This message is a reply to:
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AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1792
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 3 of 162 (782563)
04-26-2016 4:12 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the This belief thing thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Faith
Member
Posts: 24846
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 4 of 162 (782564)
04-26-2016 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


I'll crawl out from under my rock to get bashed as usual, because I have to tell you what the Bible says about all this, which apparently you don't know.

The Bible presents itself clearly as the revelation of the one true Creator God who was forgotten about when Satan succeeded in seducing the first human beings away from Him. Humanity lost spiritual contact with God as a result, and became subject to death.

Many of the human tribes after that had their own "gods" who were really Satan's own horde of fallen angels, or demons. All these religions make carved idols to represent their demon gods. The Bible talks about the foolishess of carving a god out of a tree and bowing down to it when the true God is invisible and everywhere.* That's what all the statues all over Asia represent. These gods like to make human beings bow down to them and worship them, because that is Satan's deepest desire, to be taken for God. The gods demanded all sorts of sacrifices, even including human sacrifice and the sacrifice of children, which even God's chosen people the Israelites practiced when they got seduced into following the gods of the heathen tribes around them. All that is in the Bible. These gods also made sex acts in the temples, both hetero and homosexual, part of "worship." This was still going on in Corinth when Paul preached there. It may still be going on in some places.

So the true God in mercy chose various men to learn about Him and write down the truth about Him, which became the Bible. He also made His own tribe of worshippers from the descendants of Abraham. He also promised to send a Savior who would take away the sins that keep human beings in bondage to the demon "gods" -- saving all who believe on Him from Satan's snare and from Hell where Satan causes people to go who follow him instead of the true God.

That Savior was promised to Adam and Eve and the promise was kept down the ages. It is a thread that runs through the entire Bible. There were always some who had kept the truth alive despite the proliferation of the demon religions. Job knew the true God for instance, and then God made it more explicit when He chose Abraham, whose descendants became the preservers of that promise.

Finally the Savior came, to Abraham's descendants, from the line of David, which God had promised to David. Many of the Jews accepted Him but many had been corrupted by false doctrine and rejected Him, so God gave the Savior to all the peoples of the world.

It took hold strongly in Europe, displacing all the European heathen gods. It was also corrupted by the Roman church though true believers continued down the centuries.

Yes, it's quite a story. No other religion has any such story. Modern western society is rejecting all gods these days although that really means Satan rules them if you understand these things. And other parts of the world still have their own gods that continue to demand various kinds of propitiations and offer various kinds of blessings in exchange for being worshipped. Only the Bible claims to present the Creator God and offer salvation from bondage to the demon gods.

There you have it.

Cheers.

*This is of course why the Ten Commandments include the prohibition against "graven images"

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tangle, posted 04-26-2016 12:13 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 16 by Tangle, posted 04-26-2016 10:50 AM Faith has responded

    
Genomicus
Member
Posts: 815
Joined: 02-15-2012
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 5 of 162 (782565)
04-26-2016 6:47 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Faith
04-26-2016 4:45 AM


The Bible presents itself clearly as the revelation of the one true Creator God who was forgotten about when Satan succeeded in seducing the first human beings away from Him.

No, the Bible presents itself clearly as a spirited (and largely successful) effort of a patriarchal dominator culture to ideologically eradicate the more peaceful, egalitarian, and goddess-worshipping cultural fabric which existed among our Paleolithic ancestors.

The gods demanded all sorts of sacrifices, even including human sacrifice and the sacrifice of children, which even God's chosen people the Israelites practiced when they got seduced into following the gods of the heathen tribes around them.

The practice of widespread religious human sacrifice emerged only after violence-based patriarchal social systems emerged in Mesopotamia and surrounding regions. The Bible is largely responsible for fueling the rise of violent patriarchies (through its ideological destruction of the more egalitarian and peaceful spirituality of societies existing thousands of years before the Bible was ever written), and is thus partially responsible for the emergence of human sacrifice as a religiously-sanctioned ritual.

These gods also made sex acts in the temples, both hetero and homosexual, part of "worship."

Meanwhile, your merciful God commanded the Israelites to slaughter everyone in certain conquered regions, except virgins and children. Why do you think God wanted the Israelites to keep the virgins? I mean, it kinda seems like sexual slavery has something to do with it, and an obsession with female virginity as economic property.

So the true God in mercy chose various men to learn about Him and write down the truth about Him, which became the Bible. He also made His own tribe of worshippers from the descendants of Abraham.

Is this merciful God the same god who commanded the Israelites to invade Canaan in an extremely violent, murderous manner which makes ISIS look like an upcoming boy band that plays at the local club?

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Faith, posted 04-26-2016 4:45 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12504
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 6 of 162 (782567)
04-26-2016 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Faith
04-26-2016 4:45 AM


Faith writes:

I'll crawl out from under my rock to get bashed as usual,...

You will not get bashed if you follow moderation and the Forum Guidelines.

Moderators cannot be in every thread 24/7. One common problem in threads where you participate is that by the time a moderator checks in by far the greatest offender is usually you. You tend to take offense at what are at most exceptionally minor affronts and use them as launching points into spectacular misbehavior and abuse of others. Another problem is that you often exert a great deal of effort at working around moderation.

I'm not going to allow you to heat up yet another discussion that you then abandon in a huff. You've already abandoned two discussions in the past week alone (Why we should not expect many if any Creationists and Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists). I'm warning you now, I'm not going to tolerate any Forum Guidelines violations in this thread by you or anyone, so if you're going to abandon this thread then you should do it now.

Please, no replies to this message.

Edited by Admin, : Correct typo.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1702
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 7 of 162 (782571)
04-26-2016 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


Side Effect of Curiosity
There's no consistency and there's no rhyme or reason to it.

The one consistency seems to be that every culture does it. We all imagine some sort of higher order and that propensity for superstition is leveraged to enforce and enshrine behaviour.

I wonder if it could be shown that having this tendency is an evolutionary advantage that contributes to tribal cohesion and order as well as being a method for preserving knowledge across generations. It might be said to be instinctive.


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 28837
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 8 of 162 (782573)
04-26-2016 9:02 AM


Faith writes:

The Bible presents itself clearly as the revelation of the one true Creator God who was forgotten about when Satan succeeded in seducing the first human beings away from Him.

Of course as usual Faith that is simply NOT what the Bible story actually says. There is no mention of Satan in Genesis 2&3 and the serpent does not seduce anyone away from God and the people in the myth do not forget about God and in fact continue on with a relationship over many generations.

Second Islam and Judaism also make exactly the same claims and even about exactly the same God.

Third, many religions present themselves as the revelation of the one true Creator God and at least one that is far older than either Judaism, Christianity or Islam even explains why you might think such things.

All of the Gods as well as this universe are simply manifestations of Brahma's dreams. As happens in dreams, subjects and even characters change and morph as the dream progresses. There is evidence for that in the Bible stories where the God character does change and morph; the god of Genesis 1 entirely different than the bumbling fearful god of Genesis 2&3 and unlike the god in Exodus who changes Pharaohs mind and the punishes Pharaoh just to show off.

Religions are simply the product of man and the gods that are created in those religions are also simply the product of man.

That does not mean that there might not actually be a GOD but if that GOD does exist it will be totally unlike any of the God(s) and god(s) we create.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5519
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 6.8


(6)
Message 9 of 162 (782576)
04-26-2016 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


Everywhere I went there were temples and shrines to various gods and belief systems, Buddism, Taoism, Confusionism, Shintoism and various sects and divisions within each.

These are social traditions, a kind of cultural glue that binds people together in a society.

If you were to sit down and talk to the people, you would probably find that for many of them, these are not serious beliefs, but only cultural practices.

We have our own modern forms of these. They go under names such as "cricket", "football", "golf". And some folk get very religious about those, too.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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Faith
Member
Posts: 24846
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 10 of 162 (782580)
04-26-2016 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Genomicus
04-26-2016 6:47 AM


No, the Bible presents itself clearly as a spirited (and largely successful) effort of a patriarchal dominator culture to ideologically eradicate the more peaceful, egalitarian, and goddess-worshipping cultural fabric which existed among our Paleolithic ancestors.

I believe I described accurately how the Bible PRESENTS itself. You seem to have read some kind of modern antibiblical propaganda, perhaps you could give your source? As I understand it the Middle Eastern cultures were all patriarchal.

The practice of widespread religious human sacrifice emerged only after violence-based patriarchal social systems emerged in Mesopotamia and surrounding regions. The Bible is largely responsible for fueling the rise of violent patriarchies (through its ideological destruction of the more egalitarian and peaceful spirituality of societies existing thousands of years before the Bible was ever written), and is thus partially responsible for the emergence of human sacrifice as a religiously-sanctioned ritual.

Again, your source? Perhaps a Marxist college course?

I fail to see how the Bible could have "fueled" anything in the Middle East since all of it that existed when the Israelites entered Canaan would have been the five books of Moses.

Human sacrifice was common in the Middle East, and Abraham's being called to supposedly sacrifice his son Isaac was a response to it. It was the Canaanite god Molech that demanded child sacrifice, that even the Israelites sacrificed to, that brought God's punishment against them.

There were only two attacks commanded by God, and their purpose was judgment against the peoples invaded. When the Israelites deserved judgment, for such things as sacrificing their children to the god Molech among others, God sent the Babylonians and Assyrians against them.

Also, human sacrifice is understood to have been a distorted understanding of the promise of a Savior that was given as early as Eden, and repeated through Noah and his descendants. Many of the idolatrous religions contained distorted elements of the promise of a Savior. All peoples would have known about the promise of a Savior of course, from their ancestors on the ark, just as they all knew about the Flood and preserved that knowledge in all cultures in various distorted forms.

Please produce your sources for the "peaceful agrarian" peoples and all the rest of your claims. I presented the outline of the Bible, I can quote it on any particular statement I made, if you like.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11347
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


(2)
Message 11 of 162 (782581)
04-26-2016 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
04-26-2016 12:13 AM


you have to come to the conclusion that we just made it all up and people will believe just about anything at all if it's taught them young enough and the promises that the belief systems give them are attractive enough - and/or the penalties for disbelief unattractive enough.

You failed to consider that people can enjoy performing these rituals and they can enrich their lives.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 24846
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 12 of 162 (782582)
04-26-2016 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by ProtoTypical
04-26-2016 8:52 AM


Re: Side Effect of Curiosity
The one consistency seems to be that every culture does it. We all imagine some sort of higher order and that propensity for superstition is leveraged to enforce and enshrine behaviour.

You don't like it, obviously, but the Bible does give an extremely coherent consistent understanding of the thousands of idolatrous religions, which I outlined in my post. They are the reason God gave us the Bible, to show us the true God and set us free from the demons who are the gods of all those religions.


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 28837
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 13 of 162 (782585)
04-26-2016 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Faith
04-26-2016 9:53 AM


Re: Side Effect of Curiosity
You don't like it, obviously, but the Qur'an does give an extremely coherent consistent understanding of the thousands of idolatrous religions. They are the reason God gave us the Qur'an, to show us the true God and set us free from the demons who are the gods of all those religions.

So Faith, reality is that your religion has no greater claim of authority than any other religion.

It really is "This belief thing".

You have your beliefs. Others believe differently. I believe you think you are a Christian and that I am not a Christian and of course that is your right. But religions, all religions are the product of humans only. The god character you market has no greater validity than Ganesha or Odin or Allah or Ra or Turtle or Coyote or Brahma. The Pope has every bit as much a right to consider himself a Christian and actually has the authority of having been elected head of Christianity.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Faith, posted 04-26-2016 9:53 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Faith, posted 04-26-2016 10:21 AM jar has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 24846
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 14 of 162 (782587)
04-26-2016 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
04-26-2016 9:02 AM


Faith writes:
The Bible presents itself clearly as the revelation of the one true Creator God who was forgotten about when Satan succeeded in seducing the first human beings away from Him.

Of course as usual Faith that is simply NOT what the Bible story actually says.

Over and over the Bible presents God as THE true Creator God, also presents accounts of various heathen peoples recognizing Him as the true God. Rahab for instance recognized Him. His having been forgotten about is evidenced in the thousands of idolatrous religions that the Bible was written to expose and oppose.

There is no mention of Satan in Genesis 2&3 and the serpent does not seduce anyone away from God and the people in the myth do not forget about God and in fact continue on with a relationship over many generations.

The Bible is to be read as a whole, all its parts illuminating all its other parts. We are told in Revelation that the serpent in Eden was Satan, and there are passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah that theologians understand to be Satan's history, because they clearly describe some kind of supernatural being although they start out talking about a human that is understood to have followed Satan.

Adam and Eve were seduced away from God to the extent of losing their intimate fellowship with Him and being cast out of Eden. The true God was remembered by them nevertheless and they had faith in the promise of the Savior. He was also remembered by the patriarchs of the Seth line to Noah too, and others after the Flood such as Job. However, most of the world followed the demon religions. Even Abraham's family kept carved idols and had to be weaned away from them to the true God.

Second Islam and Judaism also make exactly the same claims and even about exactly the same God.

Well, Judaism is of course based on the Bible which teaches of the true God. They have a distorted idea of some of it but they do have the same God. Islam took a lot from the Old Testament because Mohammed had some knowledge of the OT, even copied out a lot of the book of Isaiah into his Koran, which would account for the similarity there, although "Allah" is not God's name, that name and most of the Koran came from the local traditions. Allah had been one of the hundreds of idols until Mohammed elevated him to the stature of the one God and kicked out all the others. Anyway, of course one would expect some similarities there, though quite limited if you're reading Islam honestly.

Third, many religions present themselves as the revelation of the one true Creator God and at least one that is far older than either Judaism, Christianity or Islam even explains why you might think such things.

I referenced the Bible, period. Perhaps you could give your sources for your claim here? You certainly can't find any that give the history of idolatrous religions as Satanic inventions that oppose the true God, or the promise of a Savior who would take away our sins.

All of the Gods as well as this universe are simply manifestations of Brahma's dreams. As happens in dreams, subjects and even characters change and morph as the dream progresses. There is evidence for that in the Bible stories where the God character does change and morph; the god of Genesis 1 entirely different than the bumbling fearful god of Genesis 2&3 and unlike the god in Exodus who changes Pharaohs mind and the punishes Pharaoh just to show off.

The Hindu Brahma gives a Hindu idea of the hundreds of Hindu gods still worshipped in India. The God of the Bible is clearly presented, on the other hand, as the one true Creator God who is above all the lesser gods, doesn't treat them as dreams but as demons, created angels that became corrupt and followed Satan, and He is always presented as never changing His mind though sometimes as seeming to in order for human beings to understand Him better. Brahma seems to be a Hindu recognition of the true God, but it is a very vague recognition and obviously full of fanciful ideas such as this dream idea.

Religions are simply the product of man and the gods that are created in those religions are also simply the product of man.

You may believe whatever you want, but the Bible presents a God who created us and everything else that exists, not the other way around, and also created the angels who fell and became the demons that claim to be gods.

That does not mean that there might not actually be a GOD but if that GOD does exist it will be totally unlike any of the God(s) and god(s) we create.

Which is exactly what the Bible says about God, and the whole purpose of the Bible is to reveal to us the true God who is above all things and not at all like any of the other gods, even beyond our comprehension.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 24846
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 15 of 162 (782588)
04-26-2016 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
04-26-2016 10:11 AM


Re: Side Effect of Curiosity
Where does the Koran describe the idolatrous religions? They are exposed throughout the Bible, and Allah is one of them.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 29 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-26-2016 11:37 PM Faith has responded

    
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