Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

We know that Christian literalism helped to usher in the Dark Ages and Inquisition. Before this hard line of locked thinking, various religions lived quite comfortably side by side. Not all the time of course, but generally speaking.

As a Gnostic Christian who, even after apotheosis, continues to seek God perpetually, I see literalism as idol worship of either the bible or of the God shown in the scriptures. Muslims are also literalists and thus idol worshipers of Allah. This idol worship is often an inhibitor to decent dialog. It seems that the Abrahamic cults have almost all become idol worshipers of their Godinabook.

In discussions with those who are idol worshipers, discussions are often strained as adherents to a literal God are not allowing themselves the benefits of thinking that is unhindered by what they are told they must believe. This often stifles any good discussion.

Seeker and non-believers on the other hand, even as they may have some pre-conceived notions, tend to be more open to a change of mind. This makes an interesting discussion where an end point and agreement might be gained for whatever issue is being discussed. Wisdom and insight can then be sought without having to contend with some ancient God’s feelings or ancient edicts coming into play.

It is quite possible that my own fundamentalism for my religion has given me too big of a bias to judge this issue well so I seek confirmation on this issue from others here.

Have you found it more pleasant to discuss with non-believers and seekers as compared to literalist Christians and Muslims who are idol worshipers?

Is literalism applicable to such old writings at all?

Is the wisdom of the old myths lost through literal reading?

Regards
DL
thedoc
Posts: 6473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by thedoc »

I am active on 4 forums that have a large atheist membership and have found some interesting discussions. I have looked at Christian or Religious forums and have found that the members spend most of their time saying how wonderful their religion is or how wonderful other posters are. I have little time for that sort of thing and don't participate or join. I also have no time for those who try to claim a literal reading of the Bible or any other ancient Mythology.
User avatar
ReliStuPhD
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:28 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Greatest I am wrote:We know that Christian literalism helped to usher in the Dark Ages and Inquisition. Before this hard line of locked thinking, various religions lived quite comfortably side by side. Not all the time of course, but generally speaking.
You need to either review your history or use different terminology. It is largely accepted by church historians that "Christian literalism" is a recent invention, rising more or less alongside Biblical criticism. As for what ushered in the Dark Ages, it was the decline of the Roman Empire (which was itself a result of multiple internal and external factors, but most certainly not "Christian literalism"). The Inquisition was not about literalism but doctrine (unless by "literalism" you mean enforcing strict adherence to doctrine, which would still not be "literalism").
Blaggard
Posts: 2246
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:17 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Blaggard »

Doc is right. In any subject even science there is religion, but you would of thought people would have grown beyond it by now, Christian or not. These days anything is really just talking about religious belief- when if we knew any better we would talk about religious relief, but we can not and wont learn from the past. I am right and you are wrong, if I've learnt anything from anything, there is nothing wrong with being wrong or for the first time in history right. But why can't we be friends even if that halibut was good enough for God.

And he's right even Orthodox Jews don't believe the OT was anything more than a metaphor for the right life and only amongst The Jews. IT took a thousand years of persecution to make that stand. And a thousand more to make it anything more than bollocks. Times change and I am a dreamer, one day humanity might too.
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

thedoc wrote:I am active on 4 forums that have a large atheist membership and have found some interesting discussions. I have looked at Christian or Religious forums and have found that the members spend most of their time saying how wonderful their religion is or how wonderful other posters are. I have little time for that sort of thing and don't participate or join. I also have no time for those who try to claim a literal reading of the Bible or any other ancient Mythology.
A doctor seeks the sick, not the well.

For evil to grow, all good people need do is ignore literalists.

For the evils of religion to grow, read any scripture literally.

Any and all harmless beliefs are allowed by Gnostic Christians. We know that any myth can be internalized for good results and as esoteric ecumenists, we enjoy knowledge of all the myths that man has created about Gods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR02cia ... =PLCBF574D

When there is a victim is when that view changes. Then you see why Christianity annihilated Gnostic Christianity. We do not let the evils of forced literalism go unopposed. To a tyrant like Constantine, we were poison. One of his first commands to his new Church was to kill off the free thinkers and of course, his new tool, his Church, did as bid. It was quite a ride for free thought for the next 1,000 years.

How can a Gnostic Christian, --- and any other free thinking moral person, --- not judge other's morals when seeing someone hurt other because of the same Church's teachings today?

Can you ignore such things if you have decent morals? Impossible. Especially with Islam pulling the same murderous, freedom stifling ****.

We must discriminate and judge constantly. Every law is a compulsion on all of us to judge.

It is my view that all right wing literalists and fundamentals hurt all of us who are moral religionists, --- as well as those who do not believe. Literalists hurt their parent religions --- and everyone else, be he a believer or not. Literalists and the right wing of religions make us all into laughing stocks. Their God of talking animals, genocidal floods and retribution has got to go. So must beliefs in fantasy, miracles and magic. These are all evil.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2zhlDbMfDg

They also do much harm to their own fellow adherents.

African witches and Jesus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlRG9gXriVI

Jesus Camp 1of 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac

Death to Gays.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyuKLyGUHNE

For evil to grow my friend, all good people need do is nothing. Fight literalism when you can. It is your duty to our fellow man.

Regards
DL
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

ReliStuPhD wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:We know that Christian literalism helped to usher in the Dark Ages and Inquisition. Before this hard line of locked thinking, various religions lived quite comfortably side by side. Not all the time of course, but generally speaking.
You need to either review your history or use different terminology. It is largely accepted by church historians that "Christian literalism" is a recent invention, rising more or less alongside Biblical criticism. As for what ushered in the Dark Ages, it was the decline of the Roman Empire (which was itself a result of multiple internal and external factors, but most certainly not "Christian literalism"). The Inquisition was not about literalism but doctrine (unless by "literalism" you mean enforcing strict adherence to doctrine, which would still not be "literalism").
The bible has only four main gospels and that is the literalism that was forced on all Christians and Gnostic Christians of those days. It has always been labelled this way from what I have found.

This first link speaks to this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR02cia ... =PLCBF574D

The thinking shown below is the Gnostic Christian’s goal as taught by Jesus but know that any belief can be internalized to activate your higher mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alRNbes ... r_embedded

This method and mind set is how you become I am and brethren to Jesus, in the esoteric sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdSVl_HOo8Y

When you can name your God, I am, and mean yourself, you will begin to know the only God you will ever find. Becoming a God is to become more fully human and a brethren to Jesus.

Regards
DL
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

Blaggard wrote:Doc is right. In any subject even science there is religion, but you would of thought people would have grown beyond it by now, Christian or not. These days anything is really just talking about religious belief- when if we knew any better we would talk about religious relief, but we can not and wont learn from the past. I am right and you are wrong, if I've learnt anything from anything, there is nothing wrong with being wrong or for the first time in history right. But why can't we be friends even if that halibut was good enough for God.

And he's right even Orthodox Jews don't believe the OT was anything more than a metaphor for the right life and only amongst The Jews. IT took a thousand years of persecution to make that stand. And a thousand more to make it anything more than bollocks. Times change and I am a dreamer, one day humanity might too.
I recognize that the Jews were and are a lot brighter than the average Christian.

They seek God and are not really idol worshipers the way Christians and Muslims are.

In fact, when there is a conflict between what their books/God says and the Rabbis, the Rabbis override whatever God says.

Now that is the way to run a religion.

After all, the only God worthy to rule men is a man. Our God have always been humans. Some of us just seem to forget that fact.

Regards
DL
Blaggard
Posts: 2246
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:17 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Blaggard »

thedoc wrote:I am active on 4 forums that have a large atheist membership and have found some interesting discussions. I have looked at Christian or Religious forums and have found that the members spend most of their time saying how wonderful their religion is or how wonderful other posters are. I have little time for that sort of thing and don't participate or join. I also have no time for those who try to claim a literal reading of the Bible or any other ancient Mythology.
Don't eat yellow snow?
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

I also just found this.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/j ... expression

It seems strange that he would advocate violence against words and then try to restrict the freedom of speech that society has worked so hard to bring to all nations and peoples.

This was insulting enough to this blogger, who is usually quite civil and funny and never curses, to act out of character.

https://richarddawkins.net/2015/01/the- ... -the-pope/

Regards
DL
User avatar
ReliStuPhD
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:28 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Greatest I am wrote:
ReliStuPhD wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:We know that Christian literalism helped to usher in the Dark Ages and Inquisition. Before this hard line of locked thinking, various religions lived quite comfortably side by side. Not all the time of course, but generally speaking.
You need to either review your history or use different terminology. It is largely accepted by church historians that "Christian literalism" is a recent invention, rising more or less alongside Biblical criticism. As for what ushered in the Dark Ages, it was the decline of the Roman Empire (which was itself a result of multiple internal and external factors, but most certainly not "Christian literalism"). The Inquisition was not about literalism but doctrine (unless by "literalism" you mean enforcing strict adherence to doctrine, which would still not be "literalism").
The bible has only four main gospels and that is the literalism that was forced on all Christians and Gnostic Christians of those days. It has always been labelled this way from what I have found.

This first link speaks to this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR02cia ... =PLCBF574D
OK, I see what you mean now. You (and Freke) are using "literalism" informally. In your case, you're simply speaking of canonization and Freke is just speaking of historicity. You're certainly right that, for the majority of Christian history, there have been only four Gospels. Of course, these were chosen because they were considered to be the only four authentic ones. Christian Literalism (or, more appropriately, "Biblical Literalism") is a more recent development that held that the Bible is to be adhered to letter-by-letter. It is pushback against the movement towards "High Criticism" of the Bible. Freke's use is problematic insofar as he's using an off-the cuff word—"literalist"—to describe the notion of taking the Gospels as historical accounts, when "literalist" already refers to something. Even then, he's incorrect to think that early Christians took the Bible literally in anything approaching what we have to today. He would be better-served to use the term "historical." That is to say, the early Christians believed the events of the bible were actual events, rather than mythological ones. Of course, Freke counts this as wrong-headed because he sees those events as mythological. This amounts to a form of question-begging insofar as there is still significant debate among scholars as to whether or which events were real or mythological. For example, the death of Jesus on the Cross is largely accepted as an historical event. The Resurrection, mythical by some and real by others.

But setting terminology aside, it is still entirely inaccurate to say that the canonization of the Bible or the belief that the events in the Bible actually happened was responsible for the Dark Ages or the Inquisition. This isn't even close to what we know to be the case. So as I said originally, you would do well to review your history. You're making some fairly large leaps here that just don't fit with anything modern scholarship—religious or secular—teaches us.
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

ReliStuPhD wrote:[
You need to either review your history or use different terminology. It is largely accepted by church historians that "Christian literalism" is a recent invention, rising more or less alongside Biblical criticism. As for what ushered in the Dark Ages, it was the decline of the Roman Empire (which was itself a result of multiple internal and external factors, but most certainly not "Christian literalism"). The Inquisition was not about literalism but doctrine (unless by "literalism" you mean enforcing strict adherence to doctrine, which would still not be "literalism").
The bible has only four main gospels and that is the literalism that was forced on all Christians and Gnostic Christians of those days. It has always been labelled this way from what I have found.

This first link speaks to this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR02cia ... =PLCBF574D
OK, I see what you mean now. You (and Freke) are using "literalism" informally. In your case, you're simply speaking of canonization and Freke is just speaking of historicity. You're certainly right that, for the majority of Christian history, there have been only four Gospels. Of course, these were chosen because they were considered to be the only four authentic ones. Christian Literalism (or, more appropriately, "Biblical Literalism") is a more recent development that held that the Bible is to be adhered to letter-by-letter. It is pushback against the movement towards "High Criticism" of the Bible. Freke's use is problematic insofar as he's using an off-the cuff word—"literalist"—to describe the notion of taking the Gospels as historical accounts, when "literalist" already refers to something. Even then, he's incorrect to think that early Christians took the Bible literally in anything approaching what we have to today. He would be better-served to use the term "historical." That is to say, the early Christians believed the events of the bible were actual events, rather than mythological ones. Of course, Freke counts this as wrong-headed because he sees those events as mythological. This amounts to a form of question-begging insofar as there is still significant debate among scholars as to whether or which events were real or mythological. For example, the death of Jesus on the Cross is largely accepted as an historical event. The Resurrection, mythical by some and real by others.

But setting terminology aside, it is still entirely inaccurate to say that the canonization of the Bible or the belief that the events in the Bible actually happened was responsible for the Dark Ages or the Inquisition. This isn't even close to what we know to be the case. So as I said originally, you would do well to review your history. You're making some fairly large leaps here that just don't fit with anything modern scholarship—religious or secular—teaches us.[/quote][/quote]

I do not agree but that is way too huge menu to try to get through.

I think that what you say is inaccurate is quite accurate. I say it is based on the history of the bible and my placing Dark Ages as meaning Dark Ages of freedom of thought as it pertains to the bible.

History, from that point of view, I think, is on my side.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lIm05YY00w

As a Gnostic Christian, I admit to bias as I dislike what Christianity did to my ancestors.

As to reviewing all that I have learned and know, I do not have the years to donate to that.

Regards
DL
User avatar
ReliStuPhD
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:28 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Greatest I am wrote:I think that what you say is inaccurate is quite accurate. I say it is based on the history of the bible and my placing Dark Ages as meaning Dark Ages of freedom of thought as it pertains to the bible.

History, from that point of view, I think, is on my side.
Sorry. It's just not. Instead of relying on YouTube videos, why don't you pick up a few history books and read them (even a high school history textbook will lay this out for you). We have a pretty good handle on what led to the Dark Ages, and was not the Christian belief that Jesus' death and resurrection (for example) were historical events, not mythical ones (and this is what Freke means by "literalist").This is just not something that historians, be they religious or secular, hold to.

Until you've got some basic history under your wings on this one, I'm going to pass on further responses.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 10505
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Actually, the very idea that there *was* a period known as"The Dark Ages" is under very serious attack from historians today. Apparently scholars of the period have long been insisting that there was little "dark" about those years -- they were full of energy, innovation, art, architecture and learning. H

Now, I have no desire to defend Medieval Catholicism, for sure. But I think even a casual reader can detect that to characterize a whole time of human history as simply "dark" is absurdly prejudicial. It depends on a romanticizing of the late Roman Empire and a denigrating of late Latin literature, with that reputation spreading to all aspects of life in the period. Apparently Petrarch started that business.

Here's a short vid http://www.prageruniversity.com/History ... M6YlsYmVWh
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Greatest I am »

Immanuel Can wrote:Actually, the very idea that there *was* a period known as"The Dark Ages" is under very serious attack from historians today. Apparently scholars of the period have long been insisting that there was little "dark" about those years -- they were full of energy, innovation, art, architecture and learning. H

Now, I have no desire to defend Medieval Catholicism, for sure. But I think even a casual reader can detect that to characterize a whole time of human history as simply "dark" is absurdly prejudicial. It depends on a romanticizing of the late Roman Empire and a denigrating of late Latin literature, with that reputation spreading to all aspects of life in the period. Apparently Petrarch started that business.

Here's a short vid http://www.prageruniversity.com/History ... M6YlsYmVWh
For the later part of the so called Dark Ages, I can agree that things were not that dark, but not for the beginning. Constantine and his Christian killing church were quite active in killing Christian people who did not kowtow to their way of thinking and burned scripture they did not like.

Enough scholars indicate that Constantine began the Dark Ages for me to fit that into the decimation of many cults during his reign and later by the Church.

Regards
DL
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 10505
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Was seeking God more pleasant before literalism?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Minus the needlessly emotional language, you do have a sort of point in that Constantine was not a nice man. I would also agree with you that uniting politics with religion is never a good thing. But neither is uniting atheistic ideology with politics. Yet Constantine never killed anywhere near as many as Stalin and Mao did. So we need to ask, "When Constantine, or Torquemada, or whoever, killed people, did he do so *as* a Christian, or in doing it was he actually acting unchristianly?" So before condemning the innocent with the guilty, ought we not to think more carefully?

Let's settle on this: anyone who sets out to empower their ideology using the machinery of political control is bound to be bad. History would seem to support that.

But an atheist does not have to be a Marxist despot: he can be a pacifist too. And a Christian doesn't have to be a Catholic Inquisitor -- he could be a follower of the dictum, "Pray for your enemies, and do good to those who abuse you," and "turn the other cheek." In fact, I think you would have every reason to challenge the authenticity of any so-called "Christian" who did not follow those rules, since they were the explicit instruction of the Leader of his faith. We need to ask, how could a person be a "Christian" while insisting on doing exactly the opposite of what his faith frankly enjoined him to do?

I think the answer is obvious. Whatever evils befell humanity in the Middle Ages or any other time were not produced by obedience to the principles of Christian morality, but by those who disregarded them.
Post Reply