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Religion as Regulation of Strangers

RuvDraba
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6/15/2016 6:56:37 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
I hadn't seen this material posted here before, so I thought I'd put it up for interest and comment.

Baba Brinkman featured right, is a Canadian rapper and playwright known for recordings and performances combining hip hop music with literature, theatre and science. [https://en.wikipedia.org...] Here he presents a short talk on evolutionary religious studies, followed by a rap poem on the subject. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com...] The concept he offers is that hunter-gatherer tribal religions -- our oldest faiths -- present a very different moral paradigm to the religions of empires, including the monotheistic and other systems most modern societies have inherited. He postulates that as monotheism and other clerical faiths incrementally replaced tribal beliefs because they better suited the empires they had to support, so secularism is replacing monotheism as better support for pluralist globalism -- that it's perhaps a more cost-effective way of establishing trust between strangers in a modern, highly-monitored world.

Brinkman offers a secular view of religion, but it's not without a sting in the tail for secularists who treat secularism as sacred. I hope it may be of interest.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/17/2016 9:05:35 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Since this thread has seen no response in almost three days, I realise I mustn't have pitched it right. I'm aware that members don't like watching blind Youtube links much -- neither do I.

So as a courtesy, I've transcribed Brinkman's rap for you to read, and judge whether you'd like to watch the video. The preamble lecture runs for about 9 minutes; it covers interesting topics like how religious evolution explains why atheists are distrusted more than convicted rapists. It's worth a watch. :)

The rap itself begins 9:16 in, and I've linked it here: [https://youtu.be...]

It's not gonna be hard to go tribal, because your ancestors were all hunter gatherers. Go back far enough and there were just spears and caves and campfires"

Religions are devices for coordinated action
And keepin people from fragmenting into warring factions
The benefits of stickin together are kinda fragile
And people on their own are like wheels without a axle

So everything we do is communal -- that's critical
Any prima donna grandstanding gets ridiculed
All the gods do is visit shamans in their trances
And make mischief and disasters and play with us when we're dancin

But they don't punish or reward us in the afterlife
It's dark and boring there -- the gods want a sacrifice
They want to help us to move and sway to the rhythm
And they're pleased whenever we collectively make a decision

And those who break with custom are punished with ostracism and gossip
The gods don't watch us, but somebody's watchin -- so watch it!
It's life and death out there -- we need vigilance!
There's always war-parties raiding on our villages

Anybody shirking a burden to benefit
himself
at the expense of someone else
Gets expelled

It's been this way since time immemorial
All for one, one for all
That's the warrior code.

Ain't nobody messin with my tribalism clique, clique, clique, clique
See, everything we do is communal

Now, religions are devices for coordinated action
And keeping people from fragmenting into warring factions
The benefits of stickin together are kinda fragile
And people on their own are like wheels without a axle

But lately we've been planting some barley and tending cattle
Now we got a stockpile and a standing army for battle
But now it seems like half the people we meet are anonymous
The honour-system is breaking down -- there's something wrong with us

Ten thousand people in a city-state metropolis?
Now we've got a sky-god looking down, watching us.
Supernatural monitors, keeping people in line.
They don't only see your actions, they can see into your mind.

And after you die, the gods will judge you and face you
And either raise you into their presence or curse you and disgrace you
And punish you in this life too, with ill fortune
Cos nothin gets them shakin like the fear of Hell scorchin.

Ain't nobody messin with my True Believer clique, clique, clique, clique
See, the rest of us are counting on you to act right so don't be a"
Don't be a"

Now believers can establish new trade routes
Bonds of mutual trust benefit the faithful
Anonymous strangers say the words and exchange favours
Make wagers on common causes and face dangers

But no one trusts you if you don't perform the rituals
And make habitual sacrifices at frequent intervals
Public demonstrations -- the more wasteful, the better
Costly sacrifices, so people can take your measure

And believe that you believe so the trust can continue
And when the bonds are cemented, we'll form an insular in-group
And members of the out-group are less human
And when they transgress we're less prone to excuse them

Cooperation has its dark side lurkin
Religious wars are just religions workin
We climb the latter of society with big gods,
But lately we've made up some other ways people can get watched

We climb the latter of society with big gods,
Now we've got some other ways people can get watched
And that's the punishment the gods above are lovin it
The system's organised to get to you and who you runnin with

Nowadays we rely on the government,
But once upon a time it was supernatural punishment
Cos ain't nobody messin with my secular clique, clique, clique, clique"

We respect authorities as long as they're civic, ic, ic, ic


I hope it might be of interest. :)
janesix
Posts: 3,437
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6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 9:05:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Since this thread has seen no response in almost three days, I realise I mustn't have pitched it right. I'm aware that members don't like watching blind Youtube links much -- neither do I.

So as a courtesy, I've transcribed Brinkman's rap for you to read, and judge whether you'd like to watch the video. The preamble lecture runs for about 9 minutes; it covers interesting topics like how religious evolution explains why atheists are distrusted more than convicted rapists. It's worth a watch. :)

The rap itself begins 9:16 in, and I've linked it here: [https://youtu.be...]

It's not gonna be hard to go tribal, because your ancestors were all hunter gatherers. Go back far enough and there were just spears and caves and campfires"

Religions are devices for coordinated action
And keepin people from fragmenting into warring factions
The benefits of stickin together are kinda fragile
And people on their own are like wheels without a axle

So everything we do is communal -- that's critical
Any prima donna grandstanding gets ridiculed
All the gods do is visit shamans in their trances
And make mischief and disasters and play with us when we're dancin

But they don't punish or reward us in the afterlife
It's dark and boring there -- the gods want a sacrifice
They want to help us to move and sway to the rhythm
And they're pleased whenever we collectively make a decision

And those who break with custom are punished with ostracism and gossip
The gods don't watch us, but somebody's watchin -- so watch it!
It's life and death out there -- we need vigilance!
There's always war-parties raiding on our villages

Anybody shirking a burden to benefit
himself
at the expense of someone else
Gets expelled

It's been this way since time immemorial
All for one, one for all
That's the warrior code.

Ain't nobody messin with my tribalism clique, clique, clique, clique
See, everything we do is communal

Now, religions are devices for coordinated action
And keeping people from fragmenting into warring factions
The benefits of stickin together are kinda fragile
And people on their own are like wheels without a axle

But lately we've been planting some barley and tending cattle
Now we got a stockpile and a standing army for battle
But now it seems like half the people we meet are anonymous
The honour-system is breaking down -- there's something wrong with us

Ten thousand people in a city-state metropolis?
Now we've got a sky-god looking down, watching us.
Supernatural monitors, keeping people in line.
They don't only see your actions, they can see into your mind.

And after you die, the gods will judge you and face you
And either raise you into their presence or curse you and disgrace you
And punish you in this life too, with ill fortune
Cos nothin gets them shakin like the fear of Hell scorchin.

Ain't nobody messin with my True Believer clique, clique, clique, clique
See, the rest of us are counting on you to act right so don't be a"
Don't be a"

Now believers can establish new trade routes
Bonds of mutual trust benefit the faithful
Anonymous strangers say the words and exchange favours
Make wagers on common causes and face dangers

But no one trusts you if you don't perform the rituals
And make habitual sacrifices at frequent intervals
Public demonstrations -- the more wasteful, the better
Costly sacrifices, so people can take your measure

And believe that you believe so the trust can continue
And when the bonds are cemented, we'll form an insular in-group
And members of the out-group are less human
And when they transgress we're less prone to excuse them

Cooperation has its dark side lurkin
Religious wars are just religions workin
We climb the latter of society with big gods,
But lately we've made up some other ways people can get watched

We climb the latter of society with big gods,
Now we've got some other ways people can get watched
And that's the punishment the gods above are lovin it
The system's organised to get to you and who you runnin with

Nowadays we rely on the government,
But once upon a time it was supernatural punishment
Cos ain't nobody messin with my secular clique, clique, clique, clique"

We respect authorities as long as they're civic, ic, ic, ic


I hope it might be of interest. :)
It is an interesting theory, but i doubt its true. It may be why religion becomes organized, and part of the reason why it continues.

Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychadic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a devine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?

What about a faith of cynical provenance, like Mormonism? Or a faith constructed entirely for its social effects, like Scientology? Or philosophical faiths like Theosophy?
janesix
Posts: 3,437
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6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?

What about a faith of cynical provenance, like Mormonism? Or a faith constructed entirely for its social effects, like Scientology? Or philosophical faiths like Theosophy?

I havent studied those particular modern religions in detail, so i dont know if they are divinely inspired. I have mostly looked at christianity, hinduism, judaism, western mythology and norse mythology so far. From what little ive read about mormonism and scientology i suspect they are completely made up.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?

What about a faith of cynical provenance, like Mormonism? Or a faith constructed entirely for its social effects, like Scientology? Or philosophical faiths like Theosophy?

From what little ive read about mormonism and scientology i suspect they are completely made up.

You won't find me rushing to argue otherwise, Jane. :) The doctrine of Mormonism is supposed to have come from exotic scripts on gold plates translated (and I'm not making this up) inside a hat. Yet when some of the notes went missing, the gold plates couldn't be translated again. :D [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

And scientology was a pseudoscientific faith devised by a pulp science fiction writer, allegedly as a kind of bet that regardless, became a very lucrative faith business before the author hid from criminal investigation, and eventually died in hiding. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Theosophy is an esoteric religious philosophy, drawing in part from ancient religious-philosophical texts, and having its roots in the philosophical underpinnings of alchemy, astrology, kabbala and other esoteric, pseudoscientific thought.)
nothead
Posts: 371
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6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?

What about a faith of cynical provenance, like Mormonism? Or a faith constructed entirely for its social effects, like Scientology? Or philosophical faiths like Theosophy?

From what little ive read about mormonism and scientology i suspect they are completely made up.

You won't find me rushing to argue otherwise, Jane. :) The doctrine of Mormonism is supposed to have come from exotic scripts on gold plates translated (and I'm not making this up) inside a hat. Yet when some of the notes went missing, the gold plates couldn't be translated again. :D [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

And scientology was a pseudoscientific faith devised by a pulp science fiction writer, allegedly as a kind of bet that regardless, became a very lucrative faith business before the author hid from criminal investigation, and eventually died in hiding. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Theosophy is an esoteric religious philosophy, drawing in part from ancient religious-philosophical texts, and having its roots in the philosophical underpinnings of alchemy, astrology, kabbala and other esoteric, pseudoscientific thought.)

Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai." One God among others (elohim) in heaven, a very special one who became the One True God of the Jews. Whether or not this is the same God as Muslims worship is debatable. I am not against the idea, although Mohammet is not in any way equal to me or over Jesus as Prophet of this age.

It is not so much IF there are elohim in the ethers and reality. It is WHICH one you hear, and serve.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/17/2016 10:49:28 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?
Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai."
Firstly, I think you mean that's where Judaism started, Nots? Surely, Christianity started much later, e.g, with Hellenistic Judaism introducing the idea that Yhwh wasn't just a god for Jews. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Secondly, are you sure the earliest surviving Judaic scriptures were revelations, and not repeatedly redacted myths drawn from traditional storytelling or the beliefs of other faiths? If so, could you please identify where in the Tanakh it says, "This scripture was a revelation from G-d, received and recorded faithfully at place P, by me, the scribe and prophet X." And if you can't show that, please can you state the authoritative source of your knowledge, and describe how you authenticated it?
nothead
Posts: 371
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6/17/2016 10:53:45 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 10:49:28 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?
Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai."
Firstly, I think you mean that's where Judaism started, Nots? Surely, Christianity started much later, e.g, with Hellenistic Judaism introducing the idea that Yhwh wasn't just a god for Jews. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

YHWH was the God even of converted non-Jews before Jesus ever arrived. God-fearers they were called, and although second class citizens, were still able to worship the One True God.
Secondly, are you sure the earliest surviving Judaic scriptures were revelations, and not repeatedly redacted myths drawn from traditional storytelling or the beliefs of other faiths? If so, could you please identify where in the Tanakh it says, "This scripture was a revelation from G-d, received and recorded faithfully at place P, by me, the scribe and prophet X." And if you can't show that, please can you state the authoritative source of your knowledge, and describe how you authenticated it?

Every prophet said his Word came from his God. You so SKEPTIC you want to complicate matters to the ends of them don't you?

They were prophets or they were stoned. And when it couldn't be determined if they should be stoned, their sayings were remembered just in case either result turned out to be true. The ones considered true were recorded. Easy, Louise.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/17/2016 11:17:20 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 10:53:45 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:49:28 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?
Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai."
Firstly, I think you mean that's where Judaism started, Nots? Surely, Christianity started much later, e.g, with Hellenistic Judaism introducing the idea that Yhwh wasn't just a god for Jews. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]
YHWH was the God even of converted non-Jews before Jesus ever arrived. God-fearers they were called, and although second class citizens, were still able to worship the One True God.
Did you read my link on Hellenistic Judaism, Nots? Do you understand its significance in the history of Christian thought?

Secondly, are you sure the earliest surviving Judaic scriptures were revelations, and not repeatedly redacted myths drawn from traditional storytelling or the beliefs of other faiths? ow you authenticated it?
Every prophet said his Word came from his God.
Actually, I was asking where the Tanakh came from, since any mention of Judaic prophets is found there. If it was all from revelation, then where does it say that? Or if it wasn't, why trust that any of it is authentically-written and historically accurate?

You so SKEPTIC you want to complicate matters to the ends of them don't you?
Does the word SKEPTIC in all caps mean something different from the lower-case word 'skeptic' in accepted grammatical use? Is it meant to be an insult? Did you believe it would change my position, Nots, or were you just indulging a badly-managed attitude?

In any case, do you advocate that people dealing with ancient history should not be skeptical of ancient documents? If so, do you advocate that should be true of all history, including the history of other religions, or just the history of your own?

If you'd like to defend that position, please start a new thread. I'd be fascinated to know why some ancient documents should be privileged as incontestable, but not others.
Skepsikyma
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6/18/2016 3:28:32 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/15/2016 6:56:37 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
I hadn't seen this material posted here before, so I thought I'd put it up for interest and comment.

Baba Brinkman featured right, is a Canadian rapper and playwright known for recordings and performances combining hip hop music with literature, theatre and science. [https://en.wikipedia.org...] Here he presents a short talk on evolutionary religious studies, followed by a rap poem on the subject. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com...] The concept he offers is that hunter-gatherer tribal religions -- our oldest faiths -- present a very different moral paradigm to the religions of empires, including the monotheistic and other systems most modern societies have inherited. He postulates that as monotheism and other clerical faiths incrementally replaced tribal beliefs because they better suited the empires they had to support, so secularism is replacing monotheism as better support for pluralist globalism -- that it's perhaps a more cost-effective way of establishing trust between strangers in a modern, highly-monitored world.

Brinkman offers a secular view of religion, but it's not without a sting in the tail for secularists who treat secularism as sacred. I hope it may be of interest.


I agree with him to a degree. I just don't see globalism in that sense as an inevitability, and see secularism more as a new religion for a culturally imperialist West with pretensions of Whiggish destiny. I call this sort of thing 'Star Trek thinking', and I don't think that it's very accurate. I think that the only way that people will overcome this societal model to that degree would be through self modification. Essentially, that the Borg is a much more likely destiny for humanity than the Federation.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
nothead
Posts: 371
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6/18/2016 3:48:51 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 11:17:20 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:53:45 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:49:28 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?
Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai."
Firstly, I think you mean that's where Judaism started, Nots? Surely, Christianity started much later, e.g, with Hellenistic Judaism introducing the idea that Yhwh wasn't just a god for Jews. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]
YHWH was the God even of converted non-Jews before Jesus ever arrived. God-fearers they were called, and although second class citizens, were still able to worship the One True God.
Did you read my link on Hellenistic Judaism, Nots? Do you understand its significance in the history of Christian thought?

I am fully aware of what Hellenism has done in general, not just Hellenistic Judaism.
For instance they made Jesus God just like their own pantheons.
But for your purposes there isn't much to say about it. Hellenism combines philosophy with the original religion. How did it change Judaism for you sir?
Secondly, are you sure the earliest surviving Judaic scriptures were revelations, and not repeatedly redacted myths drawn from traditional storytelling or the beliefs of other faiths? ow you authenticated it?
Every prophet said his Word came from his God.
Actually, I was asking where the Tanakh came from, since any mention of Judaic prophets is found there. If it was all from revelation, then where does it say that? Or if it wasn't, why trust that any of it is authentically-written and historically accurate?

Abraham and Moses were both prophet and patriarch. Do you understand this? Moses is allocated the head of the five books of Moses. The Torah.
You so SKEPTIC you want to complicate matters to the ends of them don't you?
Does the word SKEPTIC in all caps mean something different from the lower-case word 'skeptic' in accepted grammatical use? Is it meant to be an insult? Did you believe it would change my position, Nots, or were you just indulging a badly-managed attitude?

I have a BAD attitude and this may be GOOD in some later generation. But you will find your own insults worse than mine. I'm just an ex- hippy REDNECK for show here.
Actually timid as a mouse. I squeek all the day long usually.
In any case, do you advocate that people dealing with ancient history should not be skeptical of ancient documents? If so, do you advocate that should be true of all history, including the history of other religions, or just the history of your own?

As history the Bible frequently is the only thing there is. But it was not FORMULATED primarily for that purpose. It establishes a link from the beginning of the world to the New Covenant which ends it. This is the spiritual journey of man.
If you'd like to defend that position, please start a new thread. I'd be fascinated to know why some ancient documents should be privileged as incontestable, but not others.
You can contest it, or believe it, your choice. I choose to believe it. And defend it. Sue me and your spiritual name is Sue, sir.
RuvDraba
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6/20/2016 10:44:58 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/17/2016 10:49:28 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 10:13:59 PM, nothead wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:59:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:49:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:43:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/17/2016 9:38:55 PM, janesix wrote:
Religion starts with a shamanic vision brought on by altered states of consciousness, either through psychedelic plants, or other ways to bring on trance states like rhythmic dancing, dehydration and hunger, or meditation. The shaman then has a divine revelation, which he/she interprets and a religion is born.
Is that the only way a religion starts, Jane?
Christianity started with prophets and sages having specific revelation from the same God, YHWH Elohim, formerly known to Abraham as "El shaddai."
YHWH was the God even of converted non-Jews before Jesus ever arrived. God-fearers they were called, and although second class citizens, were still able to worship the One True God.
Did you read my link on Hellenistic Judaism, Nots? Do you understand its significance in the history of Christian thought?
For your purposes there isn't much to say about it. Hellenism combines philosophy with the original religion. How did it change Judaism for you sir?
Not for me, but for Yhwh worship, morality and Judaic social order. It lowered the barrier to the social equality of gentiles, with the attendant implication that Jews ought to accord gentiles equal rights and respect -- as historically for doctrinal reasons, they had not.

Now, what implications has that for the brotherhood of man themes appearing in Christianity, and which Christianity has made as its moral centrepiece?

That's homework, Nots. It doesn't really belong in this thread, but you're welcome to raise it in another. In any case, Christianity arguably began with the brotherhood of man as its moral centrepiece -- the key point differentiating it from Judaic tradition -- and you won't find it in the Tanakh, but can find it some centuries before the attested teachings of Christ, in the thought of Hellenicised Judaism, which appeared when it became profitable for Jew to trade and cooperate with Greek.

All of which supports and does not refute the contention offered by the linked source in the OP.