Jump to content

Religion


romansh
 Share

Recommended Posts

Last week I created a blog … just to jot down my take on various aspects

If anyone is interested here it is. I noted some aspects of what religion means for me. Still a work in progress.

And my closing summary:
 

Quote

 

I suppose my objection to religions can be summed up in these points:

  • Religions, especially the Abrahamic ones, focus on the separation of individuals from the universe (or perhaps God). They might say something daft like hate the sin but love the sinner, not understanding we are our actions.
  • Religions, again especially the Abrahamic ones, they focus on sin. Their fixation with good and evil, their inability to recognize the inability of the universe to be other than what it is.
  • Turning metaphor into dogma.

 

Comments welcome.

Edited by romansh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I  read your blog and will keep it in mind as my new posts evolve on my threads. In my view, the story of Adam and Eve makes more sense as a metaphor for the birth of conscience and the psychodynamics of evil than as the story of the Fall.  As for the alleged allusion of separateness, for my the most productive line of inquiry on that issue would involve Jung's concept of the collective unconscious, which I consider the best approach to the phenomenon of ESP and mind-reading.  I will develop both ideas in future threads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have quoted a section from Rex Weyler's The Jesus Sayings number of times, I have never really discussed it in any depth.

Well, here is in a little more depth … but I suppose it does not need to be that deep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/23/2019 at 2:46 PM, romansh said:

I suppose my objection to religions can be summed up in these points:

  • Religions, especially the Abrahamic ones, focus on the separation of individuals from the universe (or perhaps God). They might say something daft like hate the sin but love the sinner, not understanding we are our actions.
  • Religions, again especially the Abrahamic ones, they focus on sin. Their fixation with good and evil, their inability to recognize the inability of the universe to be other than what it is.
  • Turning metaphor into dogma.

I hadn't had the opportunity to look at this in March, so thought I comment:

1. I understand how someone could look at the Abrahamic religions and see a focus on the separation of humans and the Divine, however it is highly questionable if Judaism (BCE and 1 C CE), Jesus and primitive Christianity shared that focus. It seems obvious that Christianity (I am not knowledgeable enough in Islam and Judaism to comment on them further) had been marked by that focus for ages but it is also the case that, at present, many in Christianity are recognizing and valuing the focus of inclusion (human/universe and the Divine). 

In addition, although many recognize 'oneness' it is also the case that many still speak dualistically, given the nature of our language, of God and man (as if the two are indeed two - in some real way). However, Is such dualism only an accident of language or does it, in some way, reflects a paradox of the one reality?   

I question how daft the saying you reference is and also recognize that we both are and are not (totally) our actions. 

2. Actually, Judaism's focus is on relationship with God (i.e. Chosen People) and they then recognize the reality that that relationship is broken (i.e. sin). If there was not a God, if there was not a relationship, there would be no discussion or focus on sin. 

Jesus and, again, primitive Christians (being Jews), also focused on relationship and Kingdom and the need to repair the brokenness of that relationship (Repent!) and at-one-ment. Once again, many of us acknowledge that for centuries Christianity had much of the focus you identify but that too has changed for many present day Christians (be they spiritual or progressive or mystical or similar Christians). It should also be noted that 'a' focus (albeit it not the primary one) on sin seems to be a recognition of our reality. Many thoughtful people would recognize that it is all about being truly or fully (Maslow's actualization) what is. Of course such a recognition might acknowledge a difference in the inability of the universe and the ability of self-conscious humanity.

3.Agree that metaphor has too often become dogma in religion but I sometimes wonder if some things are more than metaphor. As an example, and from a believing Christian perspective, is Jesus as the God-Man best understood as a metaphor? Or, going with Spong's idea of God as verb, if one Loves are they not 'doing' what God is and therefore sharing is the very being of God: are they not God and Man? However, I get the point of your criticism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/21/2019 at 2:23 PM, thormas said:

however it is highly questionable if Judaism (BCE and 1 C CE), Jesus and primitive Christianity shared that focus

Well I am extrapolating from what I see of religion today and not some 2000 y old hypothetical.

On 5/21/2019 at 2:23 PM, thormas said:

In addition, although many recognize 'oneness'

Perhaps … but for this to be "literally"  true they would have to be pantheists. Even panentheists hold to some separation.

On 5/21/2019 at 2:23 PM, thormas said:

I question how daft the saying you reference is and also recognize that we both are and are not (totally) our actions.

Question away thormas. Note I never did claim we are totally are our actions. So what exactly are we? Thinking is an action is it not?

God is a verb? Is god "totally" an action?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, romansh said:

Well I am extrapolating from what I see of religion today and not some 2000 y old hypothetical.

Perhaps … but for this to be "literally"  true they would have to be pantheists. Even panentheists hold to some separation.

Question away thormas. Note I never did claim we are totally are our actions. So what exactly are we? Thinking is an action is it not?

God is a verb? Is god "totally" an action?

 

Actually, not a hypothetical which was the point. Also, there seems to be a real difference in what passes for 'religion' today, as evident in a quick comparison of evangelical and progressive. Progressives don't focus on separation from God and sin. 

People differ on the understanding of Oneness: for some it is the pantheist viewpoint for others it is a oneness that is both ontological (one Being) and also a a shared way to Be: the Being and the Way to Be is One (there is only the One) but the many coming together in Unity/Oneness is a higher reality or Beauty that the unity of sameness (Whitehead). The panentheist doesn't (necessarily) hold to some separation or a literal separation: there is still only Being. However, they do grapple with the apparent paradox of many in the One which seems to suggest diversity, difference and.......separation.

Now that is an interesting question: "is God totally an action? Not sure that is Spong's conclusion as he seems, rather, to be trying to get readers to think outside the theistic (Supreme Being)  box.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, romansh said:

Is it a fact that Jesus existed?

Where did that one come from?

The answer is yes. Bart Ehrman, an atheist and a early Christian History critical biblical scholar, did a fine job in his book on that topic. Plus I believe he debated one of the leading Jesus Myth proponents on the subject also. Although the myth of the existence of the man Jesus is a cottage industry for some of the disgruntled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 3/23/2019 at 2:46 PM, romansh said:

Last week I created a blog … just to jot down my take on various aspects

If anyone is interested here it is. I noted some aspects of what religion means for me. Still a work in progress.

And my closing summary:
 

Comments welcome.

 

You're going to find fundamentalism and literalism in any world religion.    As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

 

I studied Buddhism in the past.  Certain forms of Tibetan Buddhism are full of dogmas similar to Christianity.  The presentation we have of Buddhism in the US is primarily a Japanese and Taiwanese originated movement called Buddhist modernism, similar to liberal Protestantism in its impulse (make Buddhism compatible with the modern, scientific and technocratic nation state).  D.T. Suzuki was primarily the one that first introduced Americans to this notion, but it has earlier antecedents in Soyen Shaku's reformist ideology in Japan in the 19th century.  Soyen Shaku was responding to the new Meiji regime's critique of Buddhism as superstition and unsuited to a modern nation-state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/25/2019 at 12:05 PM, thormas said:

Actually, not a hypothetical which was the point. Also, there seems to be a real difference in what passes for 'religion' today, as evident in a quick comparison of evangelical and progressive. Progressives don't focus on separation from God and sin. 

People differ on the understanding of Oneness: for some it is the pantheist viewpoint for others it is a oneness that is both ontological (one Being) and also a a shared way to Be: the Being and the Way to Be is One (there is only the One) but the many coming together in Unity/Oneness is a higher reality or Beauty that the unity of sameness (Whitehead). The panentheist doesn't (necessarily) hold to some separation or a literal separation: there is still only Being. However, they do grapple with the apparent paradox of many in the One which seems to suggest diversity, difference and.......separation.

Now that is an interesting question: "is God totally an action? Not sure that is Spong's conclusion as he seems, rather, to be trying to get readers to think outside the theistic (Supreme Being)  box.

 

Making distinctions does not necessarily negate nondualism.  Trying to reduce our understanding of reality into a naive monism risks excluding certain elements from our experience, the opposite of being mindful.

 

All major religions, east and west, have a narrative that there is something wrong with the fundamental state of affairs in the human condition; something that needs fixing in the human person.   Whether we talk about sin or delusion doesn't really change that.    Evangelicalism simply focuses on a subjective rather than metaphysical approach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
On 5/25/2019 at 9:49 AM, thormas said:

The answer is yes. Bart Ehrman, an atheist and a early Christian History critical biblical scholar, did a fine job in his book on that topic. Plus I believe he debated one of the leading Jesus Myth proponents on the subject also. Although the myth of the existence of the man Jesus is a cottage industry for some of the disgruntled.

Ehrman in Did Jesus Exist? describes himself as an agnostic. Also if I remember correctly he said somewhere he was 90% certain that Jesus existed. How he arrives at that certainty is a bit beyond me.

 

But in light of the discussion going on the other forum, for me it exemplifies for we what are the negative points of religion. eg

Edited by romansh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ehrman establishes that Jesus existed and he did a solid, extremely hard to dispute,  job of that in his book. As a historian he can look at the evidence/indicators and say that Jesus existed but as an agnostic/atheist he can also say that he does not believe that the historical figure named Jesus was the Son of God, etc.

 

Edited by thormas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may well be right Thormas … Ehrman may well be certain of Jesus's historicity.

Dykstra here then points out we better be clear on what we mean by Jesus exists.

I only skimmed through the essay but I thought it made for interesting reading. Either way it should be how we interpret the myth of Jesus regardless of the historicity of the myth that logically should be important to PCs.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brodie ...........another mythicist (?)  and seems that Dykstra leans that way.  I'll stick with with Ehrman and other such scholars.

Ehrmans was clear on what he means as are other scholars of note.

Edited by thormas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I agree …  it is unusual for a Dominican priest at the end of his career come to the conclusion that Jesus of the Bible did not exist.

Oh well, perhaps Paul will look at Dykstra's commentary and see something other than Brodie ...........another mythicist

Edited by romansh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have actually taken the time to read a half dozen books on the mythicist position and found it wanting in comparison to its opposite. So, knowing the position and the arguments I can say "another mythicist." Been there, done that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service