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cult and religion

Discussion in 'Serious' started by dead_man, 5 Apr 2005.

  1. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    The Torah, the Bible and the Quran are generally considered accepted to be written by people. The Quran is the most recent, so there is more evidence to go by. Mohammad wrote it after being visited by the archangel Gabriel. It is accepted by Muslims as the word of God, as given to the prophet by the archangel. Hence it's lyrical beauty.

    The Bible is slightly more confusing. The new testament is most likely a heavily edited account of Jesus' life. It has undergone many revisions since it was written, which is accepted to be after Jesus had died. Most of the decisions about what to keep and what to exclude were political ones, made openly at church gatherings. The catholics even acknowledge this. A lot of texts didn't make it into the Bible, which gives rise to the many conspiracy theorys and books. (see the da Vinci code)

    The old testament is a lot harder, because of it's age. It is loosely based on the Torah, but again, editing left out many things. The Torah is believed to be the word of God, as told to the prophet Moses by the archangel Gabriel. It was written in 5 books. There were MANY other prophets besides Moses, many of which also received the word of God. So the old testament contains parts of these texts, too. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Abraham. The list goes on. The old testament also contains the Psalms. Which to most people is the most beautiful part, it has a poetic quality the many describe as similar to the Quran. It also has the most racy parts of the bible.

    The Torah has a lot of supporting texts, which makes studying it a lot of work. But the new testament is strangely lacking in these. But the Quran is interesting because wittings from the same time exist, documenting the life of the prophet Mohammad.

    I like to tell my American acquaintances that it's really a 3 part series. You have to read all three, and understand their historical context to see how they have influenced mankind. You have to be aware of the similarities of the messages they contain, and the major differences. But if the word of God was given to us by the archangel Gabriel, then we had better read all of it. It's not a cut and paste document. Even if you don't believe, you have to admit the impact that these three religions have had on our history. Which is still playing out today. I'm sure even Nexxo will admit that ignorance of these texts removes a basic understanding of some of the major events in history and modern geo-politics.

    I think that cults tend to be subsets of religion, with view points that can exist within a larger belief structure. The Christians have the cult of the Saints and the cult of Mary. The Jews have the cabalists. The romans had the mystery cults. It wasn't until the 60's the cult got a bad name. Damn hippies.
     
  2. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    And where did you pull most of this misinformation from?
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Where do you think he is wrong?
     
  4. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    For starters the bible is not written loosely upon the torah.

    The Sefer Torah IS the first 5 books of the bible. Reason why Jews do not believe in the second half, the greek scriptures or septuagint. As they don't feel this was inspired by God nor that that Jesus is god's son, of which alot of the second half is written about. Not only this but the Jew's do not use god's name which was told to Moses and of which is in the first 5 books 1,800 times. The Jews in the 1st and 2nd centuries did not use the name becuase of superstition. They began to misunderstand the 3rd commandment of the 10 commandments which states "You must not take up the name of Jehovah your God in a worthless way, for Jehovah will not leave the one unpunished who takes up his name in a worthless way" in Exodus (Shmot) 20:7. There is nothing in the torah which forbids the use of God's name which has come to fruition through years of tradition. But it is in the Talmud which is a book of collected traditions that the Rabbis were writing to support the Mishnah, which were not supported by the Torah.

    But your also forgetting the Nevim, Trei Asar, Ketuvim, Chamesh Megillot, including the Torah which make up the first 24 books of the Tanach.

    You have the Koran of Islam 1,400 years old, then wouldn't you be leaving out Scriptures of Shinto about 1,200 years, Book of Mormon 160 years, the Buddha's and Confucius's writings about 2,400 years ago. The bible though written at least 3,500 years ago with its first writing.

    Interestingly enough the Hindu Mohandas Gandhi said to a british officer "When your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems, not only of our countries but those of the whole world." Speaking of the Book of Matthew (Greek Septuagint).

    None of these other books has such a complete representation of human history. The most complete bible today uses the translation of the most ancient texts, scrolls and tablets found. Not some translation of a translation.

    And if anything the Quran is based loosely on the bible. And interestingly enough modern Muslim beliefs are really based on Christianity.
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2005
  5. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I'd have to agree with Nexxo and Jumeira_Johnny here. What JJ posted is pretty much right on the ball. Again, my knowledge of the Torah and Quran is very limited, but I don't see anything in his post that jumps out as misinformation.

    The Bible is, in fact, a confusing document to fully understand. The Bible was written over the period of at least 1,800 years, and looked very different than we know it today. For example Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, was one of the last books written. Over the millennia, books have been added to and removed from the Bible, making it even harder to grasp its full meaning.

    JJ is also correct that the Torah, Bible and Quran are all linked by history and philosophy, with some key characters appearing in all 3 texts.

    -monkey

    /edit/ Took me too long to post, didn't see Kickarse's reply until after the fact. I think JJ noted that the Old Testament was based on the Torah, not the whole Bible itself.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Well, yes, I think that is the point JJ tried to make. We can argue over the details (and frankly, I'm happy to take both JJ's and kickarse's word for it as they are more clued up on these details), but basically they are a product of human culture, history and philosophy with repercussions still playing out in the geo-political arena of humanity today.
     
  7. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I should clarify-I said the Christian old testament, not the bible. And it is loosely based, not a direct transcription, it got hacked to pieces to fit the catholic's views over the centuries.


    I didn't forget them, I said there are many, many supporting texts, which is why being researcher of Judaism can be difficult. The fact is I can't name them all, but neither can most Jews that I know. But most Muslims can't name all the texts that were written to support the Quran. And I know no Christians other then hard core scholars that even know of a few supporting texts for the bible.

    I never said that they were the complete representation of human history. And while there are translations available that are much better, they aren't in use by any of the Christian sects that I know of, let alone condoned by the catholic church. The truth is, most people were raised on and still use the king james version. And if you research all the convocations, conclaves and big wig meetings, they show openly that the catholic church change sections, omitted parts and added things to make sure the unwashed masses of the medieval period got the message. Just take a look at the role of women in the church.

    I think that is what I have been saying. Though if Mohammad actually ever read the bible is still a source of debate among Muslim scholars. The Quran does display enough differnces though to make most scholars doubt that he did. The lesson and ideals of all three books are the nearly identical, they are after all the teachings of God. It's what we as people have done with them that has caused all the problems.

    I may have generalized somethings, but they are all true. This is after all a geek forum, not a religious debate. I just don't have time or the energy to dig up references for every point I made.

    What I do find interesting is when people spout forth things that are totally inaccurate, and I try to put things in perspective by giving some general back round (in hopes of not letting this descend to the point of having the thread locked), I get pounced. Even more interesting is that most what I get for a rebuttal is in agreement with what I said. It's not like I just make things up, you know. Anyone who has taken a comparative religion class or 4 at uni has the heard it before. When I make posts like these, I'm not attacking anyone. I'm just trying to point out the incredible number of similarities in the 3 religions, that we fundamentally believe the same things; instead of rabidly point out the minor differences that we have killed over for centuries.
     
  8. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I'm interested in how you guys came to know so much about Biblical history. Was it a number of college courses or is it a personal endeavor (you know, some people collect stamps, some people study religion)?

    Though the interest has always been there, I've only recently started learning.

    -monkey
     
  9. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

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    the thing is the catholics have changed it and interpreted it all wrong. there are many examples of them changing things around of what the bible means. the oldest denomination is baptist(my cousin who knows alot about the bible told me this if its not the oldest please tell) the thing is any "christian" denomination's views should be compared to the bible
     
  10. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    To be fair, I think just about every religion has its own interpretation of God's word. How can we be absolutely positive the Catholics don't have the correct interpretation, and that everyone else is wrong?

    Personally, I don't think any one religion has it all right. Others have explained it better than I, but an important thing to remember is that any religious text is written by people. And people tend to word things in the most favorable way, whether unintentionally or with the best of intentions. Given the millennia that has passed between translations and stories being passed down before the written word, it's not hard to think that someone, somewhere, was eventually misquoted.

    I, for one, believe that faith in God and the trust that he will guide us in our moral decisions is fundamentally more important than strict adherance to any one book.

    -monkey
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Reminds me of that Southpark cartoon (Angel announces to a crowd of souls in the afterlife: ) "And the correct answer was: The Mormons. It is the Mormon faith." :D

    Not to mention that even with literal transcription, words change meaning over time (e.g. "Gay" --and that is just in a 50-year period). And then there are idiomatic expressions and misunderstandings. "Eye of the needle", for instance, was not just a nice figure of speech but an actual, rather narrow passage in Jerusalem.
     
  12. acrimonious

    acrimonious Custom User Title:

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    I remember laughing at that in R.E. class at secondary school a few years ago. Some passage about passing a camel through the eye of a needle. Which resulted in a debate about liquidation machinary and high pressure water jets.

    That's probably the most interesting it got.
     
  13. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I remember that. I think the religion episodes are some of the funniest ones :) . I get the feeling that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a better grasp on religion than people realize.

    On the subject of language, you don't even have to look at words over a period of time to see significant differences. For example, "lighting up a ***" carries a whole new meaning across the pond (I believe there was a thread not too long ago about that very topic).

    -monkey
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Absolutely. :D

    Also illustrated by an american comic on a UK quiz show: "I come from Detroit, where the sentence "smoking a ***" has an entirely more sinister meaning...". :p
     
  15. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I sincerely doubt that the baptists are the oldest Christian sect, since they originated in Holland in the mid 1600's, well after the Catholic and Anglican (1536) churches were founded. After Jesus died the apostles spread out but generally either stayed in the area or moved north along the Mediterranean coast line through Lebanon and Turkey. The "church" wasn't formalized until much later, IIRC in Antioch (69CE) (yes where the holy hand grenade was from); although most people see the conversion of the roman state as the true beginning of the Catholic church. It was the Catholic church that held the belief together through the dark ages. It wasn't until Martin Luther stood on the step of the cathedral in Worms in 1517 (I was there a few days ago) that you saw the splintering of the faith and the rise of the "protestant" sects (actually this happened after the protest of Speyer).

    I grew up outside the US and live outside the US, so I have always had a different view of the world and the events happening in it then most Americans. I realized, at some point, that to have a meaningful conversation with other people I had to have at least a basic background in history. And a big part of that is religion. An example; if you stand in Jerusalem with a falafel in your hand and are going to have an opinion on the issue in Palestine and Israel, you had better know the history and religious questions behind it. If you don't, you end up sounding like George Bush and no one takes you seriously.
    Another reason to be informed is when you travel, and are standing in the temple of Jupiter in Baalbeck, it's nice to know some roman history and even better to know what not to say to your guide-who is a member of Hezbolah. And you have to know you history when in the Umyad mosque in Damascus, it's the tomb of Salidan the great and has the head of Saint John the Baptist. Do you really want to be totally lost in a place with such historical weight?
    And lastly, I got sick of hearing hypocrisy from the churches. I wanted to know what the real deal was, what the message was supposed to be. So I read a lot and made my own decisions.
    The study if hisory is never wasted, the world is to big a place not to know what happened. And how it is effecting the world today.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2005
  16. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Very true, most religions have hacked the word of god up to fit their own needs. But it's interesting that you choose Catholic. Why is that? I am not one as you can obviously tell. :D


    What I am making a point of is that there are other "holy" books that you aren't taking into consideration. If just the three top used how come not these least?

    Neither did I. And certainly the Catholic church isn't using an accurate translation, but even if they did, would their traditions still be followed? I would assume so. Even since they go against the bible. Most religions and what they do go against the bible or aren't supported. There are some religions who use more accurate translations of the bible. It would be in the religions best interest to do so in order to have the best accurate idea of what we need to be doing.

    Just makign sure ;) The problem is that the Quran is more of what he thought of what the bible said. There are many verses where he totally got what the bible was actually saying wrong. I don't think he did drafts and revisions it seems.

    AS much as we would like to we can't just generalize things. As clear as they are to some of us, some aren't clear to others. What's seems to be cut and dry is muddy and confusing to many.

    [/quote]What I do find interesting is when people spout forth things that are totally inaccurate, and I try to put things in perspective by giving some general back round (in hopes of not letting this descend to the point of having the thread locked), I get pounced. Even more interesting is that most what I get for a rebuttal is in agreement with what I said. It's not like I just make things up, you know. Anyone who has taken a comparative religion class or 4 at uni has the heard it before. When I make posts like these, I'm not attacking anyone. I'm just trying to point out the incredible number of similarities in the 3 religions, that we fundamentally believe the same things; instead of rabidly point out the minor differences that we have killed over for centuries.[/QUOTE]

    I hate the same things. I appreciate you conviction and trying to learn the truth of matters. The bible condemns killing of each other so if anything it's the people not in the religions who did not listen to what the bible or others have said to not do. There is a difference between religion and the bible.

    For me I must know the truths that are out there. I haven't learned at any schools, too philosophical. Everything I've read is from my own research.
     
  17. ColD_FusSioN

    ColD_FusSioN What's a Dremel?

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    so, under which conditions a cult may be consider as a religion???,
     
  18. Ligoman17

    Ligoman17 What's a Dremel?

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    The Mormon faith used to be considered a cult but is now an accepted religion. I don't know where you would put the cutoff, as some cults are definately more extreme than others.

    I took a religious education class in high school that focused on extremist cults and how to identify/avoid them. This was a long time ago and I forgot most of the lessons, save for two points:

    1) A cult will usually try to cut off your contact with friends and family who are not members of the same cult.

    2) some cults have "retreats" to secluded areas where the victims are forced to repeat passages over and over and are malnutritioned during these exercises.

    Both of these tactics are obviously used for control. They figure that if they get you away from your family and friends, they have a better chance of keeping you around. The whole malnutrition thing is about brainwashing. A lot of cults recruit on college campuses. They hand out fliers for religious retreats where the victims are subjected to long hours of praying and chanting in stressful positions. All the while, they tell you that you are free to leave at any time, but of course this isn't true. If you want to learn more about cults, google the "moonies" They are a cult in the US who were most prominent I think in the 1970's but I could be wrong about the date...
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Jeez, are we still on this one? It all comes down on semantics, really.

    I would argue the two lie on a continuum. There are open-minded religions/philosophies, which try to question and explore the human condition and the meaning of life. Then there are dogmatic religions and philosophies, which concern themselves more with form than content; rituals, rules, hierarchy, unquestioning submission and blind belief. I would say those are cults.
     
  20. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

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    i agree with you nexxo :thumb:
     

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