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Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 05:29 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:
We do know that the biblical and other sacred texts account of creation are flat out false.




Allegorical. Huge difference.

Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 05:37 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Dave Mavity wrote:


Allegorical. Huge difference.


If it is all just allegory then how can anyone count on or ever rely on it's dogma for salvation?

The allegorical argument seems to be apologetic, but perhaps I am not getting how allegory can save or damn someone.
  
Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 06:03 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:


If it is all just allegory then how can anyone count on or ever rely on it's dogma for salvation?


Relying on dogma for salvation is the path taken by organized religion and it's followers. No skin off my a$$ if it makes 'em happy. Scriptural text and the truths contained therein have nothing to do with dogma. This is the same mistake made by fundamentalists, and I find atheists, fundies, and those relatively unversed in reading mythic allegory to be very similar in their failure to comprehend this.
Allegory is an incredibly useful tool for teaching essential, universal truths, as any MM knows, and it teaches truths in a far more effective way than "facts" ever will.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what "saving" or "damning" has to do with it.

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 Posted March 4th, 2009 06:23 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Dave Mavity wrote:


Relying on dogma for salvation is the path taken by organized religion and it's followers. No skin off my a$$ if it makes 'em happy. Scriptural text and the truths contained therein have nothing to do with dogma. This is the same mistake made by fundamentalists, and I find atheists, fundies, and those relatively unversed in reading mythic allegory to be very similar in their failure to comprehend this.
Allegory is an incredibly useful tool for teaching essential, universal truths, as any MM knows, and it teaches truths in a far more effective way than "facts" ever will.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what "saving" or "damning" has to do with it.


I would guess that by taking an allegorical stance than you aren't a believer. Hey, that is cool with me.

I understand allegorical and mythical power. Even with that said I don't find the Bible to be a very good mythical text, not in the same leauge as let's say the Greek Magical Papyri. But that's me.

The allegorical stance is all well and good but it is not representative of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim world view.
  
Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 07:05 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:


I would guess that by taking an allegorical stance than you aren't a believer. Hey, that is cool with me.


Far from it, and even more of a "believer" since I took the time to study scriptural texts in their symbolic context, particularly comparatively.

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I understand allegorical and mythical power. Even with that said I don't find the Bible to be a very good mythical text, not in the same leauge as let's say the Greek Magical Papyri. But that's me.


Take some time with it. It's exceptional mythos, due partly to the fact that it's an amalgam and adaptation of far older mythos, but heavily redacted, and full of wordplay and pun not available to those who haven't learned some key Hebrew vocabulary. It's also complex as hell, and based on an ancient Jewish theological view that most people, including most Jews, don't really have today.

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The allegorical stance is all well and good but it is not representative of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim world view.

By "world view" do you mean "modern, mainstream, superficial understanding?" You're correct there, but it has always been so, by design. The same can be said for Freemasonry.

Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 07:33 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Dave Mavity wrote:


Far from it, and even more of a "believer" since I took the time to study scriptural texts in their symbolic context, particularly comparatively.



Take some time with it. It's exceptional mythos, due partly to the fact that it's an amalgam and adaptation of far older mythos, but heavily redacted, and full of wordplay and pun not available to those who haven't learned some key Hebrew vocabulary. It's also complex as hell, and based on an ancient Jewish theological view that most people, including most Jews, don't really have today.


By "world view" do you mean "modern, mainstream, superficial understanding?" You're correct there, but it has always been so, by design. The same can be said for Freemasonry.


I find the belief in a specific allegory curious. Keep in mind I am trying to understand not mock your view.

An allegory is by definition a symbolical narrative.
That is all well and good, and allegory can be pretty cool, in fact they often are. They all do share one thing in common, the fact that they are made up.

On this I will agree, the main figures of the Bible where/are either made up or plaguerized. There is no evidence that Moses existed outside of the bible. No physical artifacts from the Jews forty years in the desert. No evidence of the slaughter of Egyptian first born sons or of the slaughter of babies by Harrod. No evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed either, granted.

So with all of those facts laid on the table an allegorical view makes sense, but it make zero sense for allegory to be a basis for worship.
  
Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 07:56 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:


I find the belief in a specific allegory curious. Keep in mind I am trying to understand not mock your view.

Belief? Not sure I follow you. I'm basically a Theist, yet find the Christian allegory (properly understood) a useful means for understanding the underlying principles of panentheism, renewal, etc..

Quote:
An allegory is by definition a symbolical narrative.
That is all well and good, and allegory can be pretty cool, in fact they often are. They all do share one thing in common, the fact that they are made up.


And? Made up, I may add, to point out truths not evident. I'm surprised that as a Mason you don't grasp this fundamental concept.

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On this I will agree, the main figures of the Bible where/are either made up or plaguerized. There is no evidence that Moses existed outside of the bible. No physical artifacts from the Jews forty years in the desert. No evidence of the slaughter of Egyptian first born sons or of the slaughter of babies by Harrod. No evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed either, granted.


Yes, yes, that's child's play and has been hashed and rehashed here, on other forums and in after- lodge discussion for years.

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So with all of those facts laid on the table an allegorical view makes sense, but it make zero sense for allegory to be a basis for worship.

Define "worship." Allegory is a tool for getting at core religious truths about G-d, nature, man and their interrelatedness. Worship is a personal choice and practice, and oft based on fundamentalist/ literalist interpretations.

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 Posted March 4th, 2009 08:22 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Believe me I understand the basis behind lux occulta, no issue there.

I think I am misunderstood your stance on belief. I incorrectly interpeted your post as to you being a Christian. My bad.

A Theist eh? Does that mean you believe in all Mythos?

Curious, I would not qualify in anyway as a Theist. I suppose you could say I am a Deist with strong Anti-Theistic tendencies.
  
Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 10:00 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:
Believe me I understand the basis behind lux occulta, no issue there.


Excellent.

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I think I am misunderstood your stance on belief. I incorrectly interpeted your post as to you being a Christian. My bad.


Nope. Christian. Albeit, a heretical one.

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A Theist eh? Does that mean you believe in all Mythos?[

Curious, I would not qualify in anyway as a Theist. I suppose you could say I am a Deist with strong Anti-Theistic tendencies.


A Theist, technically, is the same as the pre- modernist/ pre-postmodernist /wikipedia definition of Deist. We've been through this elsewhere, Brad. Your definition of "Deist" is not the classical definition.

As to "believing in all mythos," that's a little leading and disingenuous. Most mythos has a common source; as such, the Christian mythos/ allegory is a more modernized, regionally and culturally specific version of older mythos.

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canuck
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 11:40 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Interesting point of view on Christianity... the question is - which point of view that is?!
I am sure, you do realize that Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox views are completely different from eachother... no, I am not saying differ in some points, I say - completely different. There are only some points that are the same...
Orthodoxy for example is very mystical, allegorical, tends to look for the symbolism, for the hidden context... even the Deuterocanonical books are included as a part of the official teaching, and - check their content before talking allegorical...
I don't think that salvation has anything to do with the literal or the alegorical understanding of the scripture...
  
Magus Masonica
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 Posted March 4th, 2009 11:49 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I understand my definition of Deism may not be entirely classical but it does share the classical elements that the Creator has nothing to do with everyday human life.

I guess you could call me a pragmatic Deist, just as I am a pragmatic Freemason. I go with what is useful and makes sense and the rest is just the rest.

I have to say I don't believe in salvation or damnation. Neither are logical. there are more suns in the universe then there are individual grains of sand on planet Earth. When we take into account this sense of scale, the individual human is so small in relation to the Creator that we don't have measurements that small for comparison.

In other words I highly doubt if there is a Creator, any of us on any individual level would even register.

That being said I feel that Atheism is highly misunderstood by believers. I have read it that Atheism is negative and self defeating. How so? Atheism is an embrace of life, this life and this time our precious. This is very important and I feel it is the true positive purpose of Atheism.

I belong to a local Atheists and Freethinkers group. These are some of the happiest people I have ever met, pretty smart too. I feel that Atheists are quiet persecuted.
  
Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 12:10 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:
I understand my definition of Deism may not be entirely classical but it does share the classical elements that the Creator has nothing to do with everyday human life.


Not a "classical element" of Deism at all; your historical context is lacking. You've had this pointed out numerous times, but choose to ignore facts.

No matter. I have a feeling that this will be "Brad's self- styled view of the universe, despite the hard facts." Very post- modernist of you. As our mutual friend Adam has pointed out, all opinions aren't equally valid.

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In other words I highly doubt if there is a Creator, any of us on any individual level would even register.

Explore panentheism. Or don't.

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I feel that Atheists are quiet persecuted.



Not sure that's worth commenting on, particularly in the U.S..

Dave Mavity
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 12:58 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Dave Mavity wrote:


Not a "classical element" of Deism at all; your historical context is lacking. You've had this pointed out numerous times, but choose to ignore facts.

No matter. I have a feeling that this will be "Brad's self- styled view of the universe, despite the hard facts." Very post- modernist of you. As our mutual friend Adam has pointed out, all opinions aren't equally valid.


Explore panentheism. Or don't.



Not sure that's worth commenting on, particularly in the U.S..


The classical elements of my Deism stop in my non use of the term "belief." As I have stated before I strongly associate belief with fact. As in I believe that Scotch Bonnets are hot, because they are.

Classical Deist like Paine and Voltaire used the trem "belief." I understand that if I used the term it would be easier to get my points on the subject. I dunno, I just don't feel it would be honest of me.

I am a post-modern, that much is for sure. I have not spoken to Adam in some time, the last time we did we had a plesant conversation. I do believe that all opinons are valid to the opinionated. For what it's worth

Atheists are still very much treated as second class citizens in this country and it is getting worse. We just had a two term president who prayed for foreign policy. We have a president now who says that he will pray in times of need. The push to errod the seperation of church and state might be the largest struggle we face as Americans today.

Let's not forget that George Bush senior stated that atheists weren't American citizens.
  
canuck
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 02:02 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
The fact that one president or another pray, does not represent persecution of Atheists.
The fact that one president stated that they were not American citizens, is just his personal opinion, not a fact, nor a law, nor it's a form of persecution... everyone offended by that statement, has the right to sue him for violating his religious liberties and civic rights.
I still haven't heard of an atheist being persecuted, in US, or anywhere else... at least not in the past 200 years.
On the other hand, I can give you at least 2 examples in my own family (grandfather and great-grandfather), and several million other examples, of Atheists arresting, torturing and persecuting (even killing) religious people all over Eastern Europe, as well as in Eastern Asia during the past 50 years, some of them as recent as few days ago...

So... let's be a bit more objective, shell we?

Btw - I also strongly associate belief with fact. That's the only reason I believe in God. But I also understand that you don't (or at least not in the form in which I do).
The difference is that I do not claim that your view is wrong, while you do that for mine.
  
S. T. Lehane
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 07:44 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
It might be worth pointing out here that allegories can convey universal “truths,” without being “factual.” Allegories are a means of communicating complex ideas through simplified analogies, and the human mind is particularly adept at making the implied connections.

The parables in the NT are a great example.

Fraternally!
   
S. T. Lehane
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 07:58 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:

Atheists are still very much treated as second class citizens in this country and it is getting worse.


Quote:
Magus Masonica wrote:

I feel that Atheists are quiet persecuted.


Persecution of Atheists? That's a bit of a stretch and "persecution" is such a strong word. What kind of persecution are you talking about?

The fact that political candidates always reach out to religious communities is a simple matter of political necessity in a Democracy. But that's why your Government's powers are limited, and you have access to courts to redress any issues of "persecution" that may arise.


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Prometheus
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:13 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
As much as allegories and parables communicate universal truths that could and possibly should be questioned in the factual world, they do much more to reveal the mindset, psyche, overall attitude and general ability and focus of those hearing them than any other device known to humankind.

They truly distinguish brilliantly those that can and those that can't.

P
   
Prometheus
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:22 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:
Very, very few Atheists flat out state there is no God. Most state they see no reason to believe in God.
I can understand this viewpoint, it is totally logical to me.
It's not a matter of logic. It's a matter of being able to go beyond logic.

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I have no proof, as none of us do.
Faith requires no proof. That's why it is called "faith."
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We do know that the biblical and other sacred texts account of creation are flat out false.
Who is this "we" you speak of. Surely you do not speak for all of "us."

BTW - it is not false. It is a truth veiled. If you cannot look past the veil, you cannot see the truth.
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Truth is when it comes to 99.9% of the Gods we could believe in we don't. So, I guess we are all more atheists than we would care to admit.

There's the we" again.
   
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 11:00 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Faith is simply a rationalization for the suspention of reason.

Somone can have faith that Elvis is alive. They can be sincere in that faith. Now, once that faith is publicly expressed they would pay an immediate price. On a job interview, a date, a loan application.

At the same time to have faith that a magic ghost impregnated a virgin with the son of God (or who
was actualy God if your a trinitarian) is perfectly
acceptable.

What a crazy world we live in.
  
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 05:19 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
That is simply your point of view.
For centuries people who claimed that a virgin was impregnated by God, were killed, burned, fed to the lions... as recent as 20 years ago - in a large part of the world, same people were kicked out of universities, jobs, arrested, taken to camps... Still - in some countries in the world, people with such beliefs are not allowed to express them publicly (and again - in very big countries!).
So... yes, it's a crazy world we live in... but you are not seeing further from your own walls.
  
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 05:36 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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canuck wrote:
That is simply your point of view.
For centuries people who claimed that a virgin was impregnated by God, were killed, burned, fed to the lions... as recent as 20 years ago - in a large part of the world, same people were kicked out of universities, jobs, arrested, taken to camps... Still - in some countries in the world, people with such beliefs are not allowed to express them publicly (and again - in very big countries!).
So... yes, it's a crazy world we live in... but you are not seeing further from your own walls.


Well, in today's reality the belief in a virgin impregnated by a magical ghost is commonplace.

44 returns to 0.
  
canuck
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 06:23 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Yes, in USA, in the Western World... try declaring publicly your religious beliefs in Saudi Arabia (if they are not Islam)... or China. Today, not centuries ago.
But - my point was - the same way today people may take a strange look at you if you say that you believe that Elvis was Son of God (for example), was the way people look at Christians in the first few centuries... and during the communist era in the Eastern Europe.
I didn't understand that - "44 returns to 0"...?!
  
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 07:10 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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canuck wrote:
Yes, in USA, in the Western World... try declaring publicly your religious beliefs in Saudi Arabia (if they are not Islam)... or China. Today, not centuries ago.
But - my point was - the same way today people may take a strange look at you if you say that you believe that Elvis was Son of God (for example), was the way people look at Christians in the first few centuries... and during the communist era in the Eastern Europe.
I didn't understand that - "44 returns to 0"...?!


So, somone like Stalin is an example of an Atheistic regime? Sorry, but that is pretty false. Stalin created a very religious state. the state was actually 100% founded on religion, the religion of state. Stalin did not do anything because he was an atheist or according to the atheistic world view. In fact what he did is what atheists fight against.

And before you bring up Hitler, it is pretty clear that Hitler was a Christian.
(Edited by Magus Masonica)
  
Prometheus
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 07:37 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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Magus Masonica wrote:
Faith is simply a rationalization for the suspention of reason.
That's one point of view and usually an indication that the individual sharing such a view cannot see beyond the veil. It also shows that the personaility sharing is a dismissive one.

Another point of view is that faith is the ability to choose to believe in what is possible, no matter how improbable it may appear to others.

Quote:
...At the same time to have faith that a magic ghost impregnated a virgin with the son of God (or who was actualy God if your a trinitarian) is perfectly acceptable.
See what I mean? Inability to see past the veil and dismiss in the same breath. You are amazing.

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What a crazy world we live in.
Yup. And filled with some real loons too.
   
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:10 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Sam Harris: Misconceptions About Atheism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLIKAyzeIw4

Fora TV is for my $1.00 one of the very best resources we have avalible on the web.

I hope that you all enjoy this and that it leads to a better understanding of the Atheist word view.

S&F,
  
S. T. Lehane
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:36 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
With all due respect, I wonder if Masonry is of any value to an Atheist or has any meaning?

Fraternally!
   
Prometheus
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:44 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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S. T. Lehane wrote:
With all due respect, I wonder if Masonry is of any value to an Atheist or has any meaning?

Well, not the same value or meaning it does to a Believer
   
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:50 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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S. T. Lehane wrote:
With all due respect, I wonder if Masonry is of any value to an Atheist or has any meaning?



I would assume it is as Masonic Orders who have embraced atheists have openly done so for over 100 years.

I myself am not a Hindu, but I believe that I would enjoy a Hindu rite very much.
  
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 08:55 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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So, somone like Stalin is an example of an Atheistic regime? Sorry, but that is pretty false. Stalin created a very religious state. the state was actually 100% founded on religion, the religion of state. Stalin did not do anything because he was an atheist or according to the atheistic world view. In fact what he did is what atheists fight against.

It's interesting... the westerner's tendency to summarize a whole system and mass mindset under one name...
No, it wasn't Stalin... it were millions of atheists, who were against millions of religious people - and violated their basic right to believe!
You complain about the president saying publicly that he prays in moments of difficulty... Try living in a society where the church where your family has been praying for over 400 years is turned into a cinema, or just destroyed completely - and the only reason for that is because someone with power decided that since he believes that there is no God, then everyone else has to agree with that - and therefore there is no need for churches (mosques, sinagogues...).
Try living in a society (or just imagining one), where refusing to state publicly that you give up religion results in loosing your job, house, and you end up in prison or mental assylum (sp.) - because you are "... clearly with serious mental problems and without clear sense of reality...".
You can't even begin to understand how that looks like or feels like...

Quote:

And before you bring up Hitler, it is pretty clear that Hitler was a Christian.

In your self-defined Christianity, yes, everything is possible, and this can be truth... in the rest of the world - no, he wasn't (but I never thought of him in my previous writings).
  
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 Posted March 5th, 2009 09:25 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
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canuck wrote:

It's interesting... the westerner's tendency to summarize a whole system and mass mindset under one name...
No, it wasn't Stalin... it were millions of atheists, who were against millions of religious people - and violated their basic right to believe!
You complain about the president saying publicly that he prays in moments of difficulty... Try living in a society where the church where your family has been praying for over 400 years is turned into a cinema, or just destroyed completely - and the only reason for that is because someone with power decided that since he believes that there is no God, then everyone else has to agree with that - and therefore there is no need for churches (mosques, sinagogues...).
Try living in a society (or just imagining one), where refusing to state publicly that you give up religion results in loosing your job, house, and you end up in prison or mental assylum (sp.) - because you are "... clearly with serious mental problems and without clear sense of reality...".
You can't even begin to understand how that looks like or feels like...


In your self-defined Christianity, yes, everything is possible, and this can be truth... in the rest of the world - no, he wasn't (but I never thought of him in my previous writings).


If you want to have a reasonable discussion accusing me of being mentally ill is no way to do it.

Just an FYI.
  



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