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5 minutes ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

I'll just have to buy the guardian instead.  Oh no I can't they don't sell that either... Or the sun, or star, or express, or indie, or telegraph...

Except, of course, no internal memo was leaked regarding their motives when it came to the rest of them was it?  No.  So you fail to appear smart here.  And as I said in my other post to Maximus, VT is not the first to ban contact with the Mail.  

You should be concerned.  Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy.  It is very troubling when leftwingers move so far to the left that they refuse to tolerate any alternative.  

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If a member of the press deliberately lies, stokes fear and attacks the weakest in society, is it reasonable to categorise them as a healthy member of the free press? Or something else? Somewhere between the Telegraph and Mein Kampf Daily there is a line of unacceptability for most people and that's the zone the Daily Mail inhabits.

Where the line gets drawn is the question but the Enemies of the People front page cost them any further chances as far as I'm concerned - pure, undiluted fascism.

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9 hours ago, Maximus Decimus said:

As much as I despise the Daily Mail I must admit I don't find this to be a good development. 

They dropped a whole bunch of titles. Mainly because people don't buy newspapers much any more and they certainly don't buy them on trains.

The story came out a day or so after Virgin's social media account caused a bit of offence.

It's a non story.

Unless you also feel you're rights are inhibited every time you go into the corner shop and they only have Big Hooters and not Massive Mammaries as well.

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Well sadly the Celeb BB drama ended with a whimper. Rather than go on the predicted rampage, India accepted that she'd gone too far and instead of continuing to play victim seemed to think that she'd blown it.  Dare I say it was handled pretty well, and in the final interview they were able to show her how much the housemates were sympathetic to her plight which she accepted. 

Thankfully the perpetual outrage machine means that there is always something to keep you occupied. This week Stephen Pinker, a prominent Harvard professor, was the subject of the outrage. A clip surfaced of him saying some of the alt-right were highly literate and intelligent people. This was jumped on by both sides, with some SJWs calling him a sympathiser and the alt-right made up that he praised them.

This is what you get when you have factions that will resort to dishonest means to try and bring somebody down. Unsurprisingly, as anyone who knows Pinker's work would already know, the whole clip demonstrated a very different point. In essence how can otherwise intelligent people believe bad ideas. 

Here's a good summary:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/opinion/social-media-dumber-steven-pinker.html?referer=https://t.co/A5lt6lHGRC?amp=1#click=https://t.co/A5lt6lHGRC

 

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Much of what I initially meant by The Culture Wars™ is really a description of a battle that is very much fought online and mostly on YouTube really. It has sort of migrated from here into the real world and this is increasingly the case. The corner I'm most familiar with is the atheist community and I would say the split is no more evident than here. 

Recently they tried to organise The Atheist Conference (TAC) which was to an attempt to reverse the steep decline in atheist conferences and events in the US following the split. For example the first Reason Rally pre-split was attended by around 30,000 and the second probably a fifth of that. It was to be an attempt to bring people back together by focussing solely on atheist issues. Predictably, it failed and has been cancelled this week.

The organiser was a bit of a promise-the-world charlatan but he also made some fundamental organisational errors. Perhaps the biggest was his attempt to organise an Atheist YouTube panel. Unknowingly, he picked probably the most divisive Atheist on YouTube to form the panel. Steve Shives is primarily known for being an extreme SJW who blocks anybody who disagrees with him on anything. Predictably he formed an exclusively SJW panel of people in full agreement with himself. Since TAC was cancelled it has since come out that he refused to take part unless he could pick the panel because he didn't want the possibility of being up there with someone on the wrong side of the debate.

SJW atheists are usually dismayed at the lack of women and ethnic minority atheists and spend a lot of time encouraging diversity at events such as these. This is reflective of demographics in the US, atheists are disproportionately white and male. The one thing they are less bothered about is diversity of opinion. Atheists in the US are disproportionally on the left as well but you'd never find them trying to encourage people on the right to attend. 

Edited by Maximus Decimus

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4 minutes ago, Maximus Decimus said:

Much of what I initially meant by The Culture Wars™ is really a description of a battle that is very much fought online and mostly on YouTube really. It has sort of migrated from here into the real world and this is increasingly the case. The corner I'm most familiar with is the atheist community and I would say the split is no more evident than here. 

Recently they tried to organise The Atheist Conference (TAC) which was to an attempt to reverse the steep decline in atheist conferences and events in the US following the split. For example the first Reason Rally pre-split was attended by around 30,000 and the second probably a fifth of that. It was to be an attempt to bring people back together by focussing solely on atheist issues. Predictably, it failed and has been cancelled this week.

The organiser was a bit of a promise-the-world charlatan but he also made some fundamental organisational errors. Perhaps the biggest was his attempt to organise an Atheist YouTube panel. Unknowingly, he picked probably the most divisive Atheist on YouTube to form the panel. Steve Shives is primarily known for being an extreme SJW who blocks anybody who disagrees with him on anything. Predictably he formed an exclusively SJW panel of people in full agreement with himself. Since TAC was cancelled it has since come out that he refused to take part unless he could pick the panel because he didn't want the possibility of being up there with someone on the wrong side of the debate.

SJW atheists are usually dismayed at the lack of women and ethnic minority atheists and spend a lot of time encouraging diversity at events such as these. This is reflective of demographics in the US, atheists are disproportionately white and male. The one thing they are less bothered about is diversity of opinion. Atheists in the US are disproportionally on the left as well but you'd never find them trying to encourage people on the right to attend. 

Why do atheists have conferences?

My nine year old son just came out as atheist. The conversation went something like:

Son: I'm an atheist

Dad: Oh, okay. So am I. Your mum isn't though.

Son: I know. That's fine.

I feel it probably needed more drama.

Of course, if we were in Bangladesh or running for office in America things would now be a little different for us.

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1 hour ago, Maximus Decimus said:

Well sadly the Celeb BB drama ended with a whimper. Rather than go on the predicted rampage, India accepted that she'd gone too far and instead of continuing to play victim seemed to think that she'd blown it.  Dare I say it was handled pretty well, and in the final interview they were able to show her how much the housemates were sympathetic to her plight which she accepted. 

Thankfully the perpetual outrage machine means that there is always something to keep you occupied. This week Stephen Pinker, a prominent Harvard professor, was the subject of the outrage. A clip surfaced of him saying some of the alt-right were highly literate and intelligent people. This was jumped on by both sides, with some SJWs calling him a sympathiser and the alt-right made up that he praised them.

This is what you get when you have factions that will resort to dishonest means to try and bring somebody down. Unsurprisingly, as anyone who knows Pinker's work would already know, the whole clip demonstrated a very different point. In essence how can otherwise intelligent people believe bad ideas. 

Here's a good summary:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/opinion/social-media-dumber-steven-pinker.html?referer=https://t.co/A5lt6lHGRC?amp=1#click=https://t.co/A5lt6lHGRC

 

I posted a YT clip on my site of Ben Shapiro defending Pinker. This incident highlights one of my deal-breaking issues with the Fem/SJW collective: I'm not prepared to embrace science denial just because it may undermine some of my political beliefs. I'd rather address the science and modify my position than persist under the blatant doublethink of espousing something I know to be factually incorrect.

In Pinker's case, his book, The Blank Slate,came out 15 years ago (I think) so nothing he said in that speech was out of line with what he has been saying for years. Even in the article you linked we find this passage:

"Now, maybe you disagree with certain parts of this argument — I do, in that I think Mr. Pinker overstates the intensity of campus political correctness — but it’s hard to have that debate in the first place when such a wildly skewed version of Mr. Pinker’s point is spreading like wildfire on the internet."

How can he say that when we saw the President of Harvard forced to stand down for saying just one of the points that Pinker mentioned - the statistical distribution of female IQ scores is different from the male distribution. That fact has 80 years of voluminous data behind it but nobody is allowed to say it in public.

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13 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Why do atheists have conferences?

My nine year old son just came out as atheist. The conversation went something like:

Son: I'm an atheist

Dad: Oh, okay. So am I. Your mum isn't though.

Son: I know. That's fine.

I feel it probably needed more drama.

Of course, if we were in Bangladesh or running for office in America things would now be a little different for us.

They don't. Americans have conferences and conventions.

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

Why do atheists have conferences?

My nine year old son just came out as atheist. The conversation went something like:

Son: I'm an atheist

Dad: Oh, okay. So am I. Your mum isn't though.

Son: I know. That's fine.

I feel it probably needed more drama.

Of course, if we were in Bangladesh or running for office in America things would now be a little different for us.

This is a good point but very much from a British perspective. In America being an atheist is very different and those arguments still need to be had and support given to those needing to 'come out'. I'm well aware that my own interest in this area is a result of coming out of a strict Catholic upbringing. I'm not aware of any UK based conferences because there is very little need.

The atheist community is more of a skeptic/scientific community really although the term skeptic community has become a toxic term due to some of the less tasteful contributors. The videos I tend to watch are more about debunking pseudoscientific ideas and a lot of speakers would be coming from this angle. 

I did used to regularly attend skeptics in the pub which would've been the same sort of thing as what is known as the atheist community really.

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I had no problem "coming out" as an atheist - actually I was a very devout Catholic and that's what made me an atheist. My family came from the Irish Catholic tradition which has no theology or spiritual content. It's all just dogma and ritual. In fact, if the Irish Catholic Church discovered incontrovertible proof that there was no god, I don't think they'd need to change anything.

I'm one of those bizarre people who left the Catholic Church because it's lack of any spiritual philosophical basis left me wanting something better.

In YT World, the Skeptics™ are now dead. Well not really but Sargon of Swindon and Vee, his illegitimate Romanian half-twin and a few others have formed the Liberalist Society - yeah, terrible name - based on the work of Locke, Hume, Mill and Paine, among others. They're still setting up their website:  http://liberalists.org/principles/

I'll be following out of interest but, much as I think Hume and Locke made important contributions to modern thought, economically they're just proto-Thatcherites.

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42 minutes ago, Maximus Decimus said:

This is a good point but very much from a British perspective. In America being an atheist is very different and those arguments still need to be had and support given to those needing to 'come out'. I'm well aware that my own interest in this area is a result of coming out of a strict Catholic upbringing. I'm not aware of any UK based conferences because there is very little need.

The atheist community is more of a skeptic/scientific community really although the term skeptic community has become a toxic term due to some of the less tasteful contributors. The videos I tend to watch are more about debunking pseudoscientific ideas and a lot of speakers would be coming from this angle. 

I did used to regularly attend skeptics in the pub which would've been the same sort of thing as what is known as the atheist community really.

 

24 minutes ago, Farmduck said:

I had no problem "coming out" as an atheist - actually I was a very devout Catholic and that's what made me an atheist. My family came from the Irish Catholic tradition which has no theology or spiritual content. It's all just dogma and ritual. In fact, if the Irish Catholic Church discovered incontrovertible proof that there was no god, I don't think they'd need to change anything.

I'm one of those bizarre people who left the Catholic Church because it's lack of any spiritual philosophical basis left me wanting something better.

In YT World, the Skeptics™ are now dead. Well not really but Sargon of Swindon and Vee, his illegitimate Romanian half-twin and a few others have formed the Liberalist Society - yeah, terrible name - based on the work of Locke, Hume, Mill and Paine, among others. They're still setting up their website:  http://liberalists.org/principles/

I'll be following out of interest but, much as I think Hume and Locke made important contributions to modern thought, economically they're just proto-Thatcherites.

I can quite believe your experiences.  Nonetheless, having been brought up in the same tradition, I would like to defend the Church.

There are issues though.  Lot's of people are rubbish at their jobs and that includes Priests.  When it is a job for life, the problem will be even worse. 

And, while you might have been hungry for theology or spiritual content, most people are not.  I remember a Priest in a sermon commenting that many in the congregation would have nothing but cabbage water on a Friday, but drew the line at being asked to meditate.  

I had a Priest explain to me that the Gospel referred to Kiros rather than Kronos, which means it is not about life after death, but life before death.  That is a big deal, but it is not something he was going to explain to a larger audience. 

I recall when the readings were on renunciation of the material world and worldly concepts.  That is a lot to tackle, so the sermon just stuck to it being nice to be nice. 

This means that those who do want spiritualism (which is hardly unreasonable in a religion) often end up in Buddhism.  Which is great, but it is remarkable how often concepts that are introuced in a Buddhist context are often assumed to be brand new, when I was often familiar with them from a Catholic childhood (possible there was a strong Demello influence).  At times, it is like a lager drinker who has discovered craft ale telling a cask ale drinker that they know nothing :D

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5 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

 

I recall when the readings were on renunciation of the material world and worldly concepts.  That is a lot to tackle, so the sermon just stuck to it being nice to be nice. 

This means that those who do want spiritualism (which is hardly unreasonable in a religion) often end up in Buddhism.  Which is great, but it is remarkable how often concepts that are introuced in a Buddhist context are often assumed to be brand new, when I was often familiar with them from a Catholic childhood (possible there was a strong Demello influence).  At times, it is like a lager drinker who has discovered craft ale telling a cask ale drinker that they know nothing :D

I was fine with the renunciation of the material. But, as in Buddhism, the renunciation of the material is a method to move forward to the spiritual. Without that further path being offered by their organisation, where was my incentive to stay? You might say, I could have gone on to study theology, but I was about 14, so why couldn't they give me a taste just to keep me interested. Then there was the other aspect - the class structure within the Church.

I was devout to the point of considering priesthood as a career but, there were problems ...... you know, like apparently my family had a Protestant in the woodpile, if you catch my drift. Then of course, there was the issue of poverty. My family was poor and consequently had never made any substantial donations to the Church. This rules out any chance of getting into the Jesuits. You might get into the Christian Brothers, possibly work on one of their farms. But I was the first generation of my family that had finally, after a thousand years, got off the farm, why would I want to go back?

I wondered if anyone had ever noticed this phenomenon, let's call it a "class structure" for want of a better term. I found a book about some guy named Marx who seemed to understand it pretty well and thus ended my ambitions of priesthood.

Then, on a philosophical level, how can anyone justify Original Sin? Most importantly, how could an omnipotent, omniscient being justify imposing original sin on his own creations? The infantile pettiness required for an all-wise deity to impose that as a punishment on people who wouldn't even be born for another hundred thousand years told me there is only one possible answer: Genesis is rubbish. If that domino falls then what is the rest built on?

One practical answer might be to ignore the Old Testament and base your Christianity on the New Testament but if Genesis is BS then the New Testament must be seen in a whole new light. You're stuck with Jesus, who may have been a very nice person who said enough stuff to open his own motivational poster business (and T-shirts) BUT ....... with no necessary or credible claim to deity. Without that, why is Jesus any more important than Aristotle or Martin Luther King or Bob Dylan?

Then you throw in the science and the historical evidence that the whole Jesus story was just a collection of many popular myths from various parts of the known World at that time, the barbaric activities of God's Earthly corporate structures over the last 2,000 years and there's nothing left to join or hang on to.

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34 minutes ago, Farmduck said:

I was fine with the renunciation of the material. But, as in Buddhism, the renunciation of the material is a method to move forward to the spiritual. Without that further path being offered by their organisation, where was my incentive to stay? You might say, I could have gone on to study theology, but I was about 14, so why couldn't they give me a taste just to keep me interested. Then there was the other aspect - the class structure within the Church.

I was devout to the point of considering priesthood as a career but, there were problems ...... you know, like apparently my family had a Protestant in the woodpile, if you catch my drift. Then of course, there was the issue of poverty. My family was poor and consequently had never made any substantial donations to the Church. This rules out any chance of getting into the Jesuits. You might get into the Christian Brothers, possibly work on one of their farms. But I was the first generation of my family that had finally, after a thousand years, got off the farm, why would I want to go back?

I wondered if anyone had ever noticed this phenomenon, let's call it a "class structure" for want of a better term. I found a book about some guy named Marx who seemed to understand it pretty well and thus ended my ambitions of priesthood.

Then, on a philosophical level, how can anyone justify Original Sin? Most importantly, how could an omnipotent, omniscient being justify imposing original sin on his own creations? The infantile pettiness required for an all-wise deity to impose that as a punishment on people who wouldn't even be born for another hundred thousand years told me there is only one possible answer: Genesis is rubbish. If that domino falls then what is the rest built on?

One practical answer might be to ignore the Old Testament and base your Christianity on the New Testament but if Genesis is BS then the New Testament must be seen in a whole new light. You're stuck with Jesus, who may have been a very nice person who said enough stuff to open his own motivational poster business (and T-shirts) BUT ....... with no necessary or credible claim to deity. Without that, why is Jesus any more important than Aristotle or Martin Luther King or Bob Dylan?

Then you throw in the science and the historical evidence that the whole Jesus story was just a collection of many popular myths from various parts of the known World at that time, the barbaric activities of God's Earthly corporate structures over the last 2,000 years and there's nothing left to join or hang on to.

Fair enough.  I did not have the experiences you had, perhaps because the Catholic Church in England is very working class and mildly anti-establishment.

"the renunciation of the material is a method to move forward to the spiritual. Without that further path being offered...." - again, I am not learned.  If the kingdom of God is not after death, but at hand in the here and now, then I would say that is the move towards the spritiual.  Of course, that requires experience, which means faith and credibility.  As opposed to blind faith, which is willful stupidity.

I am not going to claim much in depth knowledge of theology, excuse me that.

My limited understanding of what I hear is that the Old Testement is important background to the new.  It is with Isiah and Rebecka that non-ethnic Jews can have any role.  Before Babylon, the Bible at times assumes that there are other Gods and the God written of is merely the Jewish one.  This changes with time.

Genesis is clearly nonsense as in it is not true.  But, that is pretty obvious.  The story of seeing ourselves and vulnerable and exposed leading to fear and bringing us away from God and our trueselves might make some sense though. 

As for comparing to Martin Luther King, well, he would have disagreed with you.  And been far more learned and eloquent than me. 

 

Edited by Bob8

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1 hour ago, Bob8 said:

Genesis is clearly nonsense as in it is not true.  But, that is pretty obvious.  The story of seeing ourselves and vulnerable and exposed leading to fear and bringing us away from God and our trueselves might make some sense though. 

Genesis is allegory relating to the past just as Revelation is allegory relating to the future.  Both have powerful messages within them if you (ie one) have the tendency to reflect in that way on stuff.

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3 minutes ago, Saintslass said:

Genesis is allegory relating to the past just as Revelation is allegory relating to the future.  Both have powerful messages within them if you (ie one) have the tendency to reflect in that way on stuff.

Revelations is beautiful, but ruined by Biblical literalism. 

It amazes me that people can understand that when Billie Holiday sings "the rockies may tumble gibraltar may crumble" she is singing about transience, but cannot see it in the Bible.

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3 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

Revelations is beautiful, but ruined by Biblical literalism. 

It amazes me that people can understand that when Billie Holiday sings "the rockies may tumble gibraltar may crumble" she is singing about transience, but cannot see it in the Bible.

Biblical literalism ruins many things but sometimes the presence of Biblical literalism is simply the result of weak and poor religious teaching and guidance.  Even people who don't naturally reflect or don't 'do' theology could take far more from the Bible if they were only shown what an amazing book it is.  I studied it linguistically as part of my degree and although there are bound to be bits and pieces where translation has left questions as to the fullest meaning, it is still an amazing book full of all sorts of profound messages and moments.

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Odd experience I just had which, hopefully, isn't an example of how far down the track the Culture War has already gone:

You know how sites say, "People who bought this item also bought .........." giving you a range of apparently relevant products. And you know how everyone who doesn't agree 100% with SJWs is "literally, Hitler!"  Well, I'm on this bookshop site and I look at "Two Treatises of Government" by John Locke, basic English Enlightenment stuff. Well up pops the "People who bought this also liked ...." and it included three different editions of Mein Kampf!!!! WTF! Who's reading Enlightenment classics AND Adolf Hitler?

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45 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

 

I can quite believe your experiences.  Nonetheless, having been brought up in the same tradition, I would like to defend the Church.

There are issues though.  Lot's of people are rubbish at their jobs and that includes Priests.  When it is a job for life, the problem will be even worse. 

And, while you might have been hungry for theology or spiritual content, most people are not.  I remember a Priest in a sermon commenting that many in the congregation would have nothing but cabbage water on a Friday, but drew the line at being asked to meditate.  

I had a Priest explain to me that the Gospel referred to Kiros rather than Kronos, which means it is not about life after death, but life before death.  That is a big deal, but it is not something he was going to explain to a larger audience. 

I recall when the readings were on renunciation of the material world and worldly concepts.  That is a lot to tackle, so the sermon just stuck to it being nice to be nice. 

This means that those who do want spiritualism (which is hardly unreasonable in a religion) often end up in Buddhism.  Which is great, but it is remarkable how often concepts that are introuced in a Buddhist context are often assumed to be brand new, when I was often familiar with them from a Catholic childhood (possible there was a strong Demello influence).  At times, it is like a lager drinker who has discovered craft ale telling a cask ale drinker that they know nothing :D

It sounds to me like all three of us are from a similar Catholic tradition.

My Catholic upbringing was very dogmatic and there was nothing nice about it. It was going church 3/4 times a week, not eating meat on Fridays, social suicide and missing the derby on Good Friday.

I reasoned myself out of it when I was in my early teens. It was only as I got older and read the usual Hitchens, Dawkins etc that it seemed utterly absurd and I became engrossed in finding out more about it.

I've softened considerably over the years and even find myself sticking up for their right to hold certain religiously motivated views that non-religious people find distasteful. I'm also interested in early Christianity from a historical point of view.

I think my upbringing greatly affects my views. I lived in a house where there were certain opinions that I couldn't have held. I also now know that a number of my siblings held similar views about the church but we would never have talked about it and didn't speak about it until after my father's death. 

As you might expect I'm dead set against any situations where there are 'accepted' opinions that you have to hold.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Saintslass said:

Biblical literalism ruins many things but sometimes the presence of Biblical literalism is simply the result of weak and poor religious teaching and guidance.  Even people who don't naturally reflect or don't 'do' theology could take far more from the Bible if they were only shown what an amazing book it is.  I studied it linguistically as part of my degree and although there are bound to be bits and pieces where translation has left questions as to the fullest meaning, it is still an amazing book full of all sorts of profound messages and moments.

Indeed.  I have spoken with Priests who discuss things, but suggest false translations remain as there is fear of making the Gospel too mystic and many are too attached to the false translation.

9 minutes ago, Maximus Decimus said:

It sounds to me like all three of us are from a similar Catholic tradition.

My Catholic upbringing was very dogmatic and there was nothing nice about it. It was going church 3/4 times a week, not eating meat on Fridays, social suicide and missing the derby on Good Friday.

I reasoned myself out of it when I was in my early teens. It was only as I got older and read the usual Hitchens, Dawkins etc that it seemed utterly absurd and I became engrossed in finding out more about it.

I've softened considerably over the years and even find myself sticking up for their right to hold certain religiously motivated views that non-religious people find distasteful. I'm also interested in early Christianity from a historical point of view.

I think my upbringing greatly affects my views. I lived in a house where there were certain opinions that I couldn't have held. I also now know that a number of my siblings held similar views about the church but we would never have talked about it and didn't speak about it until after my father's death. 

As you might expect I'm dead set against any situations where there are 'accepted' opinions that you have to hold.

Thanks, very interesting. 

I confess, I get irritiated a little by atheists who are brought up as atheists and think they are the intellectual heir to Voltaire.  In your case, I was apologetic of my theological knowledge as I suspect you could wipe the floor with me (but kindly did not do down that route).  Your journey sounds very healthy and genuinely interesting.

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1 hour ago, Farmduck said:

Odd experience I just had which, hopefully, isn't an example of how far down the track the Culture War has already gone:

You know how sites say, "People who bought this item also bought .........." giving you a range of apparently relevant products. And you know how everyone who doesn't agree 100% with SJWs is "literally, Hitler!"  Well, I'm on this bookshop site and I look at "Two Treatises of Government" by John Locke, basic English Enlightenment stuff. Well up pops the "People who bought this also liked ...." and it included three different editions of Mein Kampf!!!! WTF! Who's reading Enlightenment classics AND Adolf Hitler?

This will literally end up all over Twitter now.

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3 hours ago, Farmduck said:

I was fine with the renunciation of the material. But, as in Buddhism, the renunciation of the material is a method to move forward to the spiritual. Without that further path being offered by their organisation, where was my incentive to stay? You might say, I could have gone on to study theology, but I was about 14, so why couldn't they give me a taste just to keep me interested. Then there was the other aspect - the class structure within the Church.

I was devout to the point of considering priesthood as a career but, there were problems ...... you know, like apparently my family had a Protestant in the woodpile, if you catch my drift. Then of course, there was the issue of poverty. My family was poor and consequently had never made any substantial donations to the Church. This rules out any chance of getting into the Jesuits. You might get into the Christian Brothers, possibly work on one of their farms. But I was the first generation of my family that had finally, after a thousand years, got off the farm, why would I want to go back?

I wondered if anyone had ever noticed this phenomenon, let's call it a "class structure" for want of a better term. I found a book about some guy named Marx who seemed to understand it pretty well and thus ended my ambitions of priesthood.

Then, on a philosophical level, how can anyone justify Original Sin? Most importantly, how could an omnipotent, omniscient being justify imposing original sin on his own creations? The infantile pettiness required for an all-wise deity to impose that as a punishment on people who wouldn't even be born for another hundred thousand years told me there is only one possible answer: Genesis is rubbish. If that domino falls then what is the rest built on?

One practical answer might be to ignore the Old Testament and base your Christianity on the New Testament but if Genesis is BS then the New Testament must be seen in a whole new light. You're stuck with Jesus, who may have been a very nice person who said enough stuff to open his own motivational poster business (and T-shirts) BUT ....... with no necessary or credible claim to deity. Without that, why is Jesus any more important than Aristotle or Martin Luther King or Bob Dylan?

Then you throw in the science and the historical evidence that the whole Jesus story was just a collection of many popular myths from various parts of the known World at that time, the barbaric activities of God's Earthly corporate structures over the last 2,000 years and there's nothing left to join or hang on to.

I suspect (with the greatest of respect) that there might be a generational as well as being in Australia.

Growing up for me, being involved with church was literally the naffest thing you could do; it was social suicide to be a practising Catholic. And I went to the only Catholic secondary school in the town! Nobody would come away from my experience of the church thinking that the priesthood was a viable career. It was complete boredom in near empty churches populated by often miserable sanctimonious old people all in a culture that had long stopped respecting it.

It was very strange when I first went to Ireland and seen it from that perspective. My in-laws are like a mirror of my family and are pillars of the local Catholic community (it definitely follows me around). It still commands great respect and the priest will literally pop in unannounced expecting tea and cake etc. I also taught in a rough school on supply but when the local priest came in they all stood up and went silent. Very odd. Since then I've had experience of a Catholic church where it is the only one in the town (in comparison to Widnes where there used to be 9 or so) and it was different, had much more of a community feel with a lot more children attending, was a lot more wishy washy too but that could be down to the priest.

One thing I'm not a fan of is is the Jesus Myth stuff. If there is one thing that proves that atheists can be just as irrational as their religious counterparts it is this.

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12 hours ago, Maximus Decimus said:

 

One thing I'm not a fan of is is the Jesus Myth stuff.

Genuine Q: Is this the debate about whether Jesus even lived?

Because I've got some very bad news for you if you think the evidence shows absolutely 100% that he did.

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Regards to biblical literalism.  My understanding is that how people react to the bible (and its forerunners) has gone in waves with sometimes a reflective/personal/spiritual being the main, and at others a belief that there is a truth within it about what actually happened and it is up to us to learn from and be inspired by that.

Of course, Genesis is horsewaste. The problem I had, and which was an eventual nudge to realising the whole thing was horsewaste, was hearing everybody draw the line differently at what they believed to be true, what they had to follow and what was just there as metaphor. After all, if the creation story is a myth why should the salvation story be fact?

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24 minutes ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

Though to what would appear is a growing number of christians, genesis is not an allegory.  

I seem to remember that when printing arrived, the Vatican generally thought that getting lots more Bibles written in the native language would be great. 

Then people started taking things literally, and unable to explain and convince, it seemed easier to ban printing of the Bibles in native language.  The internet also allows strange ideas to spread quickly.

I think I am helping to derail the thread a little.

Edited by Bob8

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