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Old 2008-07-25, 21:40   Link #1061
Vexx
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... ... ... I think I don't have to say anymore O.o Good luck with that interpretation.
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:43   Link #1062
Sasachi_uchiha
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im jashinist. and christian too
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:48   Link #1063
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
... ... ... I think I don't have to say anymore O.o Good luck with that interpretation.
Alright then. Let me see if I can explain via example.

Hitler exterminated the Hebrews as cattle to slaughter.

Colonial America fought against England to establish itself as a free nation.

One does not equal the other. The Mentalities are different. Understand?
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Old 2008-07-25, 22:06   Link #1064
WanderingKnight
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Even if *you* believe it was in right measure it doesn't automatically make it so. The English, for example, might have (very probably) believed their domination was much more righteous and correct.

That Machiavellian way of thinking is not very Christian, if I may say so myself.
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Old 2008-07-25, 22:08   Link #1065
Backwards Blues
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Even if *you* believe it was in right measure doesn't necessarily make it so.

That Machiavelian way of thinking is not very Christian, if I may say so myself.
I wasn't claiming whether or not it was right.

I simply stated that one does not necessarily mean the other.

Do I think it was right? Yes. I think that war is sometimes necessary.
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Old 2008-07-25, 22:17   Link #1066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
I suspect far fewer Japanese are *actually* christian than advertised. Its just more "all things western are cool" in another market.
Oh, certainly. As you've observed, though, that is really very much the case even in the Bible Belt, though for different reasons.

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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I definitely agree with this. I recently suffered some of this in my own family. I would have never guessed it would have even been possible. This family member first started on religion as a means of self improvement and to strengthen moral and ethical values. Suddenly it seems like things are getting a bit preachy, as if I'm living with a missionary. The religion in question is Judaism.

I never really thought much of missionaries before, but after this particular incident I've grown to have a strong dislike for the idea. (Kyuusai, I hope that didn't give you an adrenaline rush - read on and you'll see that this doesn't go against what you're doing, I believe.) I view religion as a set of morals and ethics that are put into story form, to make it easier for people to comprehend, to remember, and to identify with. I don't see it as much more than that. As I've said before, I like to believe that God does exist, but I consider myself agnostic. Assuming that God does exist, I further like to think that, based off of what I've learned from Judaism, Christianity, and my very brief exposure to some parts of Islam, God's desire is that mankind live in peace and harmony, and work toward building a beautiful world.
Hearing that sort of thing does rile me up, but not at the person who expresses it.
Instead, I am always maddened by the people who are the source of these very legitimate complaints. Berating and condemnation are NOT the way to reach people.

But people can't seem to grasp that.

Of course, reasonable people know that it is intolerant people who are at fault, and not the religious beliefs, but who can blame a person for having a bad taste left in their mouth?

It's certainly true that, along the lines of the quote from James that Backwards Blues provided, pure religion isn't found in arbitrary intellectual assumptions. A non-believer with a loving heart is more righteous in the eyes of God than a hateful "believer", much as a street athlete has a better shot at playing in the Superbowl than a fat slob who wears their favorite team's jersey every day. (A sports analogy... I've fallen so far.)

Of course, if one of the religions is true, certainly it would be of great importance to for individuals and people as a whole to seek and spread the truth of matters.

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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I had the same answer from one of my Christian friends, and no matter how much I think about that, it still doesn't make sense. And he isn't even a fundamentalist or anything of the sort (he's probably one of the most open Christian persons I know).

I'll be damned if I ever understand how that works.
The Bible doesn't actually say that non-believers are condemned to hell. The New Testament does have a lot to say about Jesus the key of salvation for humanity and the only way to God, but that is a different thing from saying "If you don't believe x about Jesus, you will go to hell." The exact implications are ambiguous... but it is the "safe" assumption, and it's so what most Christians operate on.
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Old 2008-07-26, 00:40   Link #1067
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Thanks, Kyuusai. I wanted to say this to you in a positive reputation to you, but I can't leave you more reputation yet. Instead, I'll remark here that it's reassuring to hear that from you. It means a lot, especially knowing that you've dedicated your life (if not all of it, a very large part of it) to religion. You're very open and based on what I've read you certainly seem to be the ideal example of how to embrace religion in a meaningful manner.

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Originally Posted by Backwards Blues View Post
I think that war is war.

Because nasty things had to happen in order for Israel to establish itself does not mean that other people were disregarded as animals, just that they were unfortunate consequences.
I'm not sure when you joined the forums, but welcome to AnimeSuki Religion is a very prickly topic, especially the way that we discuss it (and if you go back through this long thread, you'll find that most of us here have gone through three or more discussions over religion in various forms). When you said that you're more of a spiritualist, you immediately earned respect from me. I don't want to turn you off to the forums or to this discussion, as you probably have a lot of valuable knowledge and opinions to contribute. Don't take too much offense to anything that's said here - at least, not until you get to know us a bit better.

I think that the point Vexx was making here was that war or other acts that resulted in human suffering have been caused by religion. War is war, but a war caused by religion is very unfortunate. It seemingly goes against what religion in general was created for (unless you're a skeptic who claims that religion was made to enslave the minds of people). When a religion declares that all non-believers are free to be hunted and killed, it's essentially declaring that these non-believers aren't human. I think it's a very important piece of history to make note of. Understanding the values of the religion is one thing, but understanding how a religion can be twisted for such horrible acts is something that many people fail to see. Unfortunately that's clearly obvious given modern world events. The Christian Crusades may be hundreds of years old by now, but today we're witnessing the Islamic Jihad. In both cases, the actions that are occurring were not sanctioned by the religion itself.
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Old 2008-07-26, 02:17   Link #1068
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I think it's a very important piece of history to make note of. Understanding the values of the religion is one thing, but understanding how a religion can be twisted for such horrible acts is something that many people fail to see.
I'm not disagreeing with you, it definitely has been and still is being used as a system of control over the masses of sheep.

What I would like to add though is that it is not solely because of religion that things are like that, it is something more complex and just has to do with typical human nature.

When you take away religion from the picture it is juxtaposed with something else. In the case of a country like China where Atheism basically prevails throughout the land, the government essentially becomes their religion. People fill that void in their hearts always with something. Many scientists fill it by trying to find the true meaning of life in a rational manner. Perhaps this concept is a little hard to convey to you all, but I guess I would say that religion just fills a void that many other things would if it were not for its existence. However, it was or maybe still is one of the easiest methods to control others.

@Kyuusai

I wish there were many more people like you in this world. If one is a spiritual or religious person, you set a pretty great example as a person for them. While I am agnostic and lean more towards atheism than religious faiths, I can fully respect your cause.
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Old 2008-07-26, 02:23   Link #1069
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I think that the point Vexx was making here was that war or other acts that resulted in human suffering have been caused by religion. War is war, but a war caused by religion is very unfortunate. It seemingly goes against what religion in general was created for (unless you're a skeptic who claims that religion was made to enslave the minds of people). When a religion declares that all non-believers are free to be hunted and killed, it's essentially declaring that these non-believers aren't human. I think it's a very important piece of history to make note of. Understanding the values of the religion is one thing, but understanding how a religion can be twisted for such horrible acts is something that many people fail to see. Unfortunately that's clearly obvious given modern world events. The Christian Crusades may be hundreds of years old by now, but today we're witnessing the Islamic Jihad. In both cases, the actions that are occurring were not sanctioned by the religion itself.
That's all well and good, but not the point I was making. Ancient Judaism was never set up to where one could go around slaughtering innocents because they were declared "infidels." They moved in and conquered Canaan, yes, and you can argue their reasons for that, but after they acquired their nation, they did little slaughter outside of the wars that all nations are subject to over the decades.

If you read the Law of the Hebrews, one of the chief commandments is to treat aliens with respect and love, specifically because "you were once aliens in Egypt." (That's paraphrased, mind you) My point is that, as a religion, Judaism (which eventually offshot into Christianity) was a religion whose commandments taught kindness to those unlike yourself, not to slaughter them like animals.

As I said, war is war. People die in war for whatever the reason, but Judaism never taught to go on random raiding sprees to kill off non-believers.
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Old 2008-07-26, 02:32   Link #1070
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I don't have a religion, I'm atheist.
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Old 2008-07-26, 03:40   Link #1071
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Backwards Blues View Post
That's all well and good, but not the point I was making. Ancient Judaism was never set up to where one could go around slaughtering innocents because they were declared "infidels." They moved in and conquered Canaan, yes, and you can argue their reasons for that, but after they acquired their nation, they did little slaughter outside of the wars that all nations are subject to over the decades.

If you read the Law of the Hebrews, one of the chief commandments is to treat aliens with respect and love, specifically because "you were once aliens in Egypt." (That's paraphrased, mind you) My point is that, as a religion, Judaism (which eventually offshot into Christianity) was a religion whose commandments taught kindness to those unlike yourself, not to slaughter them like animals.
Unless, you know, said aliens had something the Hebrews wanted and the Hebrews had a military advantage?

You can't point at a people who engage in brutal wars of conquest and just say "Oh, but you know, aside from that, they're quite nice to foreigners".
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Old 2008-07-26, 05:52   Link #1072
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I'm a christian.
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Old 2008-07-26, 07:32   Link #1073
monster
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I think that the point Vexx was making here was that war or other acts that resulted in human suffering have been caused by religion. War is war, but a war caused by religion is very unfortunate. It seemingly goes against what religion in general was created for (unless you're a skeptic who claims that religion was made to enslave the minds of people). When a religion declares that all non-believers are free to be hunted and killed, it's essentially declaring that these non-believers aren't human. I think it's a very important piece of history to make note of. Understanding the values of the religion is one thing, but understanding how a religion can be twisted for such horrible acts is something that many people fail to see. Unfortunately that's clearly obvious given modern world events. The Christian Crusades may be hundreds of years old by now, but today we're witnessing the Islamic Jihad. In both cases, the actions that are occurring were not sanctioned by the religion itself.
That may be the point that Vexx was making. But citing Old Testament battles as examples to make his point would be the same thing that those people who twist the religion are doing. Because, first of all, the Bible never say that all others are animals to be killed. Otherwise, the Israelites would've started by eliminating the Egyptians. Second of all, saying that only non-humans could be freely hunted and killed denies the authority of God over His creations. God did not gave those people to be killed by the Israelites because they were to be treated as non-humans. But as humans, they were still part of His creation, and thus, subject to His plans.

Of course, having said that, only God alone has authority over human lives. So other than those specific Old Testament exceptions, the rest of us who are believers of the Bible have no basis to kill others only over a difference in faith. That would in fact contradict at least the New Testament, if not the whole Bible.

Last edited by monster; 2008-07-26 at 07:42.
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Old 2008-07-26, 07:51   Link #1074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Understanding the values of the religion is one thing, but understanding how a religion can be twisted for such horrible acts is something that many people fail to see. Unfortunately that's clearly obvious given modern world events. The Christian Crusades may be hundreds of years old by now, but today we're witnessing the Islamic Jihad. In both cases, the actions that are occurring were not sanctioned by the religion itself.
@Ledgem-
Conflict for the sake of religion, or conflict using religion as a front for belligerence, has been going on for thousands of years. I would argue against your definition of "Christian Crusade" or "Islamic Jihad". How are these terms defined? Why are we witnessing an "Islamic Jihad" today? I'm not attempting to provoke anything here. But I would just like to point out that, to a Muslim, political rhetoric against a nation that practices Shari'a Law has been long interpreted as "Christian Crusade". The converse is also true.

Terms - and therefore the decisions to wage spiritual warfare (I will make a note here that I dislike that term) is possibly the consequence of misinterpretation of a religion's tenets & laws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
As far as ... perhaps a rereading of the battles and events in the Old Testament where such events are recounted is in order?
@Vexx-
Firstly, to what degree do such battles represent spiritual warfare or political conflict?

Second, how many of these battles are legitimately considered "spiritual warfare" & can be rightfully interpreted as mindless slaughter?

If I'm not wrong (but I would appreciate if a student of the Old Testament can either correct or support me), the reason the ancient Israelites fought wars with the people surrounding Canaan was, yes, divinely ordered. But the purpose being to rid Canaan of a culture of pagan worship so unwholesome & unhealthy that it ran counter to laws of society given by God to the Israelites.
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Old 2008-07-26, 10:04   Link #1075
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Unless, you know, said aliens had something the Hebrews wanted and the Hebrews had a military advantage?

You can't point at a people who engage in brutal wars of conquest and just say "Oh, but you know, aside from that, they're quite nice to foreigners".
Re-read the post you quoted. I think you missed the part where I acknowledged your point before you even said it.
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Old 2008-07-26, 10:32   Link #1076
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Quote:
As I said, war is war. People die in war for whatever the reason, but Judaism never taught to go on random raiding sprees to kill off non-believers.
Neither does any other major religion.

Slaughter for the sake of slaughter makes no military sense. Unless there's a vested interest in your enemy's possessions, you will never profit from randomly killing infidels. That's why you don't see it in any major organized religion.

Still, if Judaism is a religion of peace, love and understanding, they could try to apply said peace, love and understanding with the Palestine people dying everyday from their missiles. Just saying.
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Old 2008-07-26, 10:47   Link #1077
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Backwards Blues View Post
Re-read the post you quoted. I think you missed the part where I acknowledged your point before you even said it.
You're right, I did. In fact, I still missed it after rereading.

What I understood from your posts is that war is an excuse for any atrocity, and that Hebrews are peaceful, except when they're not - a tautology.
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Old 2008-07-26, 10:59   Link #1078
Vexx
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Originally Posted by shelter View Post
If I'm not wrong (but I would appreciate if a student of the Old Testament can either correct or support me), the reason the ancient Israelites fought wars with the people surrounding Canaan was, yes, divinely ordered. But the purpose being to rid Canaan of a culture of pagan worship so unwholesome & unhealthy that it ran counter to laws of society given by God to the Israelites.
Read what you wrote carefully.... (a couple of key noun substitutions might shed some light)


Some posters here are uncomfortable with my phrase "slaughtered like animals" --- simply saying "massacred" or "slaughtered" would have been more appropriate.
I, otoh, took Backward_Blue's use of the phrase "unfortunate consequences" with probably too much loading --- since its a phrase often used in history by leaders with self-defined righteous agendas that end up killing many innocents. Gotta watch out for loaded word choice....
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Old 2008-07-26, 11:24   Link #1079
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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
As well, most Christian missions are focused on approaching and helping either a traditional western society (which is similar to their own and has a history of western church influence), or on either reshaping or meeting the needs of poor and/or religiously inclined societies. The spread of Christianity in Korea is very much an anomaly, driven very much by the passionate, more free Korean social ties.
Where is our resident S. Korean nationalist, Kang Seung Jae, I wonder? I've been curious about why Christianity seems so popular in S. Korea, considering how S. Korean culture remains very traditionally "Asian".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuusai
I should have been more clear, but I actually meant separating western culture from religion. The Christian doctrine (and by that I mean the pure Christian doctrine, not the layers of denominational nonsense so often added) is not really a problem, but the culture brought with it is.
Well, you might like to know there are Singaporean Christians who sincerely feel that they have a "purer" interpretation of Scripture than the "decadent" West. Because, you know, Westerners have started on the road to damnation by condoning such "sins" as homosexuality and paedophilia and God knows what other evils of the flesh. These folks will probably be more than happy to divorce the religion from the West.

I've even had the "pleasure" to debate against a medical doctor who adamantly believes that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old and that the Great Flood killed the dinosaurs. I kid you not.

I turned purple trying to argue the stupidity of it all, but finally accepted that it's pointless. After all, I believe now that people create their own meanings in life, and if Young Earth Creationists are happy to see things that way, I can't really stop them. I can't prove them wrong any more than they can prove me wrong for being agnostic.
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Old 2008-07-26, 12:03   Link #1080
Backwards Blues
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You're right, I did. In fact, I still missed it after rereading.

What I understood from your posts is that war is an excuse for any atrocity, and that Hebrews are peaceful, except when they're not - a tautology.
No, more of the fact that the invasion of Canaan was divinely ordered, as many here have already stated.

@Vexx: Yes, you did misconstrue what I was saying. Whether or not it is a commonly used term by more ruthless individuals does not alter the meaning of those two words. Unfortunate consequences are just that, unfortunate consequences. Nothing more.
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