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Old 2008-06-06, 22:54   Link #961
Kyuusai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I believe they wrote it for other purposes (like justification of their domination over the masses), but they did it in terms that people could understand and accept at the time.

It's no different to several "more realistic" ideals (both secular and religious) that are used to dominate the ignorant population today--only the ways have changed.
While I'll grant that religion has been used to control the masses, I don't really see how "The Bible" really holds true with that statement.

The only authority the early books of the Bible documented were a series of laws and a judicial system for a near-anarchist society. It also set up a priesthood, but that wasn't a ruling class, but a working class. (It morphed into something later, but that wasn't what was laid out in the text.) Its documentation of monarchy came well after that monarchy's establishment--not to mention that it was critical of its establishment.

Likewise, the Christian "New Testament" neither mandated nor respected any authority. In fact, it documents messianics who try to (and are advised to) function within the existing system.

Now, people who've come later have certainly used it to control the masses, but the text alone doesn't support that, and it works completely against it if read in context. Despite its use, I believe the text itself shows rather clearly that wasn't its intention. It could be read as a rationalization of "the way things are" (or were, as we see it now), but it did not make claim as religious reasoning for any new authority.
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Old 2008-06-07, 03:21   Link #962
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
While I'll grant that religion has been used to control the masses, I don't really see how "The Bible" really holds true with that statement.

....

Now, people who've come later have certainly used it to control the masses, but the text alone doesn't support that, and it works completely against it if read in context. Despite its use, I believe the text itself shows rather clearly that wasn't its intention.
According to Jesus.

“If you do not change your hearts and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3)."


The Bible, or more precisely - Jesus, advocates that everyone's hearts become like children or else they can't enter heaven.

Children are easily tricked, ignorant and innocent. Certainly a good way to control the masses.
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Old 2008-06-07, 11:40   Link #963
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Of course, you can read that line positively or negatively depending on the baggage you carry. It just as easily means that one should drop all the jaded, cynical attitude that encumbers a soul. Religions are usually organic things that have come to be used by the powerful. There are a few specifically created as a tool to gain influence, power, or achieve agendas that we actually have evidence of. But I think most of them were started by peoples just trying to make sense out of their surroundings.
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Old 2008-06-07, 11:49   Link #964
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Or that you should be a cruel little tyke. Kids aren't always that nice.
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Old 2008-06-07, 12:06   Link #965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Or that you should be a cruel little tyke. Kids aren't always that nice.
Maybe they were nicer back then I'm only 75% joking, by the way. It's something to think about, how children were (and more importantly, our perception of them) back in the time of Jesus vs. modern times.
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Old 2008-06-07, 12:53   Link #966
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Maybe they were nicer back then I'm only 75% joking, by the way. It's something to think about, how children were (and more importantly, our perception of them) back in the time of Jesus vs. modern times.
Children are all the same, in the sense that they're ignorant, naive, and believe everything they're being told. You've got evolution to account for that.
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Old 2008-06-07, 14:02   Link #967
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@Kyuusai:

I'm not sure about that. The priests who wrote the Pentateuch surely had some position of power over the Hebrews of the time. I would severely doubt that the people who wrote that did it because they liked it. Of course, I'm a cynical bastard when it comes to religion, and there's no proof in one way or the other, either.

It's just that I find it hard to believe that such an influential book hadn't been written with the intention of justifying a certain power. Titus Livius did the same for the Roman Empire a few hundred years later, only that he stripped the story from its religious interpretation--but it still was a nationalism-pumping work of propaganda.
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Old 2008-06-07, 15:25   Link #968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
Children are all the same, in the sense that they're ignorant, naive, and believe everything they're being told. You've got evolution to account for that.
Untrue generalization. I'll counter it with a generalization of my own that also isn't always true: children are pure, happy, willing to approach the world with an open mind, have the desire to learn more, and care for others.

Two conflicting generalizations. Which one do you think Jesus Christ was referring to? Whichever you choose, it shows your bias. Choose mine, and that's the good image of Christianity that is stereotypically portrayed. Choose yours, and it makes Jesus out to be some sort of tyrant control freak.
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Old 2008-06-07, 18:56   Link #969
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Old 2008-06-08, 13:18   Link #970
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I'm an Apathetic Agnostic, but that's not to say I don't believe in supernatural things to a degree.
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Old 2008-06-08, 22:45   Link #971
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Whatever the bible says you cannot take for granted, just like television they can say something is true when it really isn't. It was in the past and people tell you to just believe it.

There's no way to tell if it is true or not and this goes for all books of religion. If someone or I says we can blow up boulders with our minds you will be quick to doubt.
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Old 2008-06-08, 22:56   Link #972
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Rather then point out how every generalization that comes up in this thread has exceptions, why not just make a general rule that any generalization is automatically assumed to have cases that will defer from it.

Seriously guys, this is not Gaia online.
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Old 2008-06-12, 05:57   Link #973
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I promised myself I would distance myself from religious topics because some people's general attitude toward religion have become slightly mocking .

I was baptized but I'm not really a strict follower and am undecided on my beliefs but I still respect others who have firm belief because that's how I was raised by my parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
According to Jesus.

“If you do not change your hearts and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3)."


The Bible, or more precisely - Jesus, advocates that everyone's hearts become like children or else they can't enter heaven.

Children are easily tricked, ignorant and innocent. Certainly a good way to control the masses.
This statement doesn't even make sense because you couldn't comprehend what "change your hearts and become like children" means, which is imo to have an innocent and pure heart like a child, and not what you thought which was to revert to acting like children again.

There's a lot of cynicism here, which is a shame.
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Old 2008-06-12, 07:35   Link #974
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I dont have a religion, pointless I guess...
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Old 2008-06-13, 11:24   Link #975
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzer View Post
I promised myself I would distance myself from religious topics because some people's general attitude toward religion have become slightly mocking .

I was baptized but I'm not really a strict follower and am undecided on my beliefs but I still respect others who have firm belief because that's how I was raised by my parents.



This statement doesn't even make sense because you couldn't comprehend what "change your hearts and become like children" means, which is imo to have an innocent and pure heart like a child, and not what you thought which was to revert to acting like children again. There's a lot of cynicism here, which is a shame.
Just because others have a different interpretation than you makes their opinion nonsense?
You should understand that there's more than one way to interpret what Jesus have said.

I understand it as what I've already said : Jesus likes people be obedient like a child so they can be easily controlled.

You understand it as to have a pure heart like a child.

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2008-06-13 at 12:16.
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Old 2008-06-13, 11:27   Link #976
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Quote:
There's a lot of cynicism here, which is a shame.
Unfortunately, life has taught me that the world out there is not made of roses, rainbow colors and Hallelujah-singing cherubs.

Cynicism is not bad per se--and I'd argue that, more often that not, intelligent people tend to be cynic.
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Old 2008-06-13, 13:22   Link #977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
Just because others have a different interpretation than you makes their opinion nonsense?
You should understand that there's more than one way to interpret what Jesus have said.

I understand it as what I've already said : Jesus likes people be obedient like a child so they can be easily controlled.

You understand it as to have a pure heart like a child.
Yeah there are different ways to interpret things, but if you take everything described poetically as literal you won't understand the true meaning, try to read english literature at face value and it won't even make sense because of all the metaphors, expressions and images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Unfortunately, life has taught me that the world out there is not made of roses, rainbow colors and Hallelujah-singing cherubs.

Cynicism is not bad per se--and I'd argue that, more often that not, intelligent people tend to be cynic.
Yes intelligent people are often cynical, but cynicism is most definitely "bad", it's negative,cruel, and a tool for the spiteful people to hurt others.
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Old 2008-06-13, 13:26   Link #978
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Cynicism doesn't arise in a vacuum. It arises from observation of human nature

Blizzer, I think you need to look up the meaning of cynicism because it doesn't have the flavor you ascribe to it:

Main Entry:cyn·ic Pronunciation: \ˈsi-nik\ Function:noun Etymology:Middle French or LatinDate:1542
1capitalized : an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence
2: a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest
— cynic adjective

It is simply an aspect of being wary about the intentions of others.
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Old 2008-06-13, 13:27   Link #979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
Just because others have a different interpretation than you makes their opinion nonsense?
You should understand that there's more than one way to interpret what Jesus have said.

I understand it as what I've already said : Jesus likes people be obedient like a child so they can be easily controlled.

You understand it as to have a pure heart like a child.
What you say isn't wrong. However in this case I think it's more important to note what the intention behind the statement was, rather than to arbitrarily take that statement and then attempt to interpret it. To interpret it in the way that you have reveals that you feel Christianity was designed to control and manipulate people. If you put it into context with all of the other teachings of Christianity, it would seem that Jesus was drawing on the concept that children are pure of heart and innocent.

I'll give a really quick example of why the intention behind the statement is important. Consider if I made the following statement:

"It's important to have a mixture of weather. It's really hot today, though. I wish it would rain."

Now let's break it down, sentence by sentence, and focus on that last part: "I wish it would rain." Without the context you could interpret that in any number of ways: maybe Ledgem likes rain over sun; maybe Ledgem is a grump who likes doom and gloom; maybe Ledgem wants his garden to thrive; maybe Ledgem wants everyone to be miserable. How you choose to interpret that sentence on its own would reveal your own internal biases about me and why I would make such a statement.

However, if you put it in context with what I'd fully said, the acceptable interpretations of that sentence quickly narrow down and become clear: Ledgem likely wants it to rain because there's been too much sun; Ledgem wants it to rain to cool things off.

Just to make it clear, my example works with a simple three sentences and took a single sentence out of it. The teachings of Christianity extend far beyond a few sentences, of course. If you're familiar with them, then the proper, intended meaning behind such statements should become clear. It's always possible that there's another meaning, but there must be some support for interpreting it that way. Given the overall message of Christianity, I can't imagine that such a meaning was even conceived of.
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Old 2008-06-13, 13:37   Link #980
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Quote:
Yes intelligent people are often cynical, but cynicism is most definitely "bad", it's negative,cruel, and a tool for the spiteful people to hurt others.
Hurt others? I believe we're not talking about the same kind of cynicism.

For the record, the most "pure" representation of cynicism in mainstream media (so we can agree over something) lies in the character of Dr House--he's as cynic as he can get, but he saves lives. I don't see where the "evil" of cynicism lies there.
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