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Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST 
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
misterpessimistic: But how can this claim even be entertained as serious? How can something born of human history, cutlure or society transcend the same?

I think it can be seriously entertained by analogy. How does a species that supposedly got its start sucking the marrow out of scavenged cannon-bones become a species that builds cities and writes the Iliad? Evolution is, in some sense, transcendent, and part of the story is that some generations manifested physiological differences that simply weren't in their parents. Another step is cognitive, and human history is largely written as a succession of ideas that weren't there before, and couldn't have been there without the foundation of previous ideas, but which enable us to become more than we were previously -- moral, for example, or airborn, or poetic.

The idea of religious transcendence is essentially seeing that kind of transformation as applicable in another domain. Not necessarily the domain of the supernatural, because it isn't necessary for a religious tradition to conceive of the world as divided into the natural and supernatural, but in the domain of some kind of relationship to something that the believer finds meaningful.

I'm not arguing that you should accept any of this, but I am hoping that the explanation will allow you to see religious believers a little more sympathetically. On the whole, I agree with you that religious transcendence is typically safest when it's a personal matter.

Christianity has propagated itself well, it must be admitted. But that does not show, to me at least, that it has transcended anything at all.

Historically, I'd say that the Church helped European culture transcend rather narrow limits in the wake of the fall of Rome. What we conceive of as a continuous civilization -- Europe -- is largely the result of efforts made by the Church to unify everyone into a single brotherhood. And a lot of the terminology and categories of modern thought are the result of work done within Christian thought over the last 2000 years. Is it perfect? No; and that same work has contributed to as many problems (Middle Eastern conflict) as it has solutions (the concept of human rights). Whether or not it has helped anyone achieve some sort of spiritual transcendence is susceptible to your "keep it in your pants" rule -- if it isn't their place to force your transcendence, then it's not your place to judge what it's done for them.




Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:48 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
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Another step is cognitive, and human history is largely written as a succession of ideas that weren't there before, and couldn't have been there without the foundation of previous ideas,


And I can agree with this...it is like what Frank said, if it is a lifestyle, it would be easier for me to accept.

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a lot of the terminology and categories of modern thought are the result of work done within Christian thought over the last 2000 years.


Maybe...but I would tend to think of it as the need for these thoughts were forming in our species, but were coated in the religion of the time, which was quite dominant after all. Now I feel that we can safely loose the religious overtones of right and wrong and...hee...transcend.

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if it isn't their place to force your transcendence, then it's not your place to judge what it's done for them


That is all I ask...but I will say this: I did not get all rousted up until I started noticing 'them' attempting to force 'thier' beliefs on me. I was quietly living my life. I do not see the atheists, even the 'militant' type I hear so much about, forcing anything on anyone...we are just trying to stand up to what we see as an assault.

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

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Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 4/6/07 1:53 pm



Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:52 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
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I do not see the atheists, even the 'militant' type I hear so much about, forcing anything on anyone...we are just trying to stand up to what we see as an assault


Say what?

So when Richard Dawkins says that ideally he would have children taken away from parents who tried to raise their children in a religion, he wouldn't be forcing anything on someone? When the Chinese government bans specific religoius movements, they are not attempting to force anything on anyone? When the Soviets attacked people for attempting to practice their religion, were they not attempting to force their atheist views upon others? When spanish atheists killed clerics simply for being religious, were they not trying to force something on people?

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Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:21 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
You use China and the Soviets as if their main outlook on things was based on atheism, was communism foudned on atheism? Really...I thought it was about more than just forcing atheism on people.

Dawkins talking about his thoughts and offering a drastic scenario to combat another drastic scenario is not that same as the ignorance actually being attempted by many Christians in the USA. But you are taking a literal reading of something that I took as a overly stated for a purpose...but you are a believer, so that surprises me not.

Seriously...show me one bill or propsed law that is proposing this.


Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper

Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 4/6/07 12:05 pm



Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:51 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
Chinese and Soviet Communism were two very different projects, and their unique social structures were profoundly different from Marx's socio-economic vision. Marx was undoubtedly atheist, in the school of Ludwig Feuerbach for whom belief in God was wasted projection of human greatness. Religion, for Marx, was how the oppressed masses learned to tolerate their oppression; thus making acceptable an unacceptable world. It also gave voice to their longing for liberation and hopes for a better world. Marx argued that when the unjust economic system and social structure disappeared, then the need for religious opium would go as well. Thus, for Marx, if you were really serious about disabusing humanity of its religious habits, you would devote your life to the international revolution that was surely to replace the oppressive capitalist system. Otherwise, debating the existence of God (apart from actually engaging in social and economic revolution) is bourgeois mental mastrubation: a great way to keep the intellectuals distracted, providing their necessary services to the ruling classes.




Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - THE 'GOOD' BOOK AND THE CHANGING MORAL ZEITGEIST
I really gotta check out Marx...he sounds like a great guy.

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:19 pm
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