LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 07-10-2011, 06:52 AM   #1
sundialsvcs
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 5,231

Rep: Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071
Friendly suggestion: believe something? learn its history


There have been plenty of arguments lately about one of mankind's favorite topics, religion. I have no problems with such discussions taking place in a suitable public thread. But I did observe that many of the arguments, earnest and even impassioned though they might be, seemed ... to this writer ... uninformed. And I think that's never a good way to be. To me, that's like leaning your full weight on a bannister at the edge of a cliff, without full knowing how that bannister is (or isn't) bolted into place: you think you know, but maybe you do and maybe you don't.

I would commend to you the book, A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson. (The link is to the, natcherly it exists, WikiPedia page about it.)

This excellent book (I have read it cover-to-cover) is exactly what it promises to be: "a factual comprehensive history of the Christian religion."

Christianity is probably the world's newest religion, although it claims roots in Judaism (which the Jews deny). It claims to have not only sprung from Judaism, but to have fulfilled it. Christianity became a widespread state religion in most Western cultures, and it did all of this in a frame of time that can rather easily be observed and studied. (We don't have to resort to mud tablets, for example, nor bake our backsides in hot deserts.)

And my comment is simply this: "if you choose to believe something, know where it came from." I am endlessly fascinated by "the quest for the historical Jesus," and by books such as "The Mythmakers," but those books aren't where to begin reading. You need data, in order to form opinion.

I don't think that "the beginning of knowledge" is "the end of faith," or that it damns you to hell, or that it means that you aren't, or can't be, a Christian. "You were given a mind... now, use it." If you fashion your belief system without awareness of the context and known facts of what you have chosen to believe in, that belief will fail you, because your belief won't be balanced with understanding. God might be eternal, with unlimited knowledge and vision, but, let's face it, we are not.

I commend this book to your reading pleasure.

Postscript: I am a Christian. That might come as a surprise to some of you, I know. It is my choice, and I "lean not upon my own understanding," although I am determined to understand all that I can, and am quite careful not to mix the two. When I hear still, small voices in the night, I listen attentively.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-10-2011 at 07:02 AM.
 
Old 07-10-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
SigTerm
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 379

Rep: Reputation: 233Reputation: 233Reputation: 233
A small detail:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Christianity is probably the world's newest religion,
AFAIK, one of the newest are Sikhism(1500), Baha'i (1893), Rastafari(1930), Wicca(1940), Scientology (1953), LaVeyan Satanism(1969), Jedi (or "Jediism" - 2001, not officially accepted anywhere).
 
Old 07-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #3
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,057

Rep: Reputation: 328Reputation: 328Reputation: 328Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Christianity is probably the world's newest religion,
Obviously Islam is much younger than Christianity...

The main gist of Christianity is: The Fall of Man and Christ's Intercession on our behalf.
The central point of Christianity is Jesus and the only information needed that is pertaining to Jesus is contained in the Bible.
Sects, denominations, etc have nothing to do with the Bible and the Catholic church, mormons, jehovah's witnesses, etc are largely not considered true Christian in any way by Protestants or simply Christians.
Debate, etc will always rage about this...

Last edited by linus72; 07-10-2011 at 08:04 AM.
 
Old 07-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #4
lumak
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Phoenix
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 799
Blog Entries: 32

Rep: Reputation: 109Reputation: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
A small detail:...
He meant to say "youngest religion I recognize."
 
Old 07-10-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269
I know very well the history of religion ... it is written in blood and hate.
 
Old 07-10-2011, 12:59 PM   #6
DavidMcCann
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 2,945

Rep: Reputation: 767Reputation: 767Reputation: 767Reputation: 767Reputation: 767Reputation: 767Reputation: 767
@ sundialsvcs
History may be fascinating, but it doesn't tell you what a religion is. All religions change with time, because religion is Man's relation with God. Think of a religion as a city. Some of its inahbitants just live there without making any impact, while others repair or rebuild. The city changes, but it remains recognisably the same city. Or, to put it another way, can you suppose that God just delivers a message, and then goes off and leaves its recipients to make the best of it?

@ texmex
Religion as blood and hate? As evidenced by Mother Teresa or Gandhi, no doubt.
Irreligion as peace and love? As evidenced by Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot?
Ranting is no substitute for rational argument.
 
Old 07-10-2011, 04:48 PM   #7
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,174
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428
Just a little note: Mother Teresa is never a good example to use when showing the peace & love aspect of any religion. She has an extremely mixed history and the good is easily outweighed by the bad. In fact, she is a great example to use when you want to mention extremism in Christianity. And Stalin, IIRC, trained as a priest and used a lot of what he learned when constructing his own powerbase. And, also IIRC, Hitler was pretty religious - whether as a real thing or for political reasons.

But I understand what you are trying to say.
 
Old 07-11-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
sundialsvcs
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 5,231

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071
That's one of the things I really liked about the book: it tells the human history of the Christian religion, in many of its various forms. And, when you talk about religion ... any religion ... every religion ... you are talking about "humankind." The Deity is always unapproachable and unfathomable. Man is always drawn to it, either as a follower or as what I shall simply call a cleric. You are "in the church," whether you are up front wearing robes (or not), or among the congregation. And, you are probably reading a book -- a book that is not only originally written by man but endlessly tinkered-with ever since by man. (You might say, "except for the Ten Commandments and the Book of Mormon," although there are at least three slightly-different versions of the first, and no one has ever found either the golden tablets nor the magic glasses of the latter.) So, when you are talking about religions and studying them, or believing them, you are very much talking about man. (And, truly, how could you talk about anything else, from any sort of true frame-of-reference at all?)

(Do I mean by this, "we have just cut the Deity out of the script?" Not at all. But the Deity is always an off-stage character in this grand play, and the immutable constant. The actors, whatever their role including Son of God, are always people. People have said different things at different times to different people about "this immutable Presence," and it is what they said, and why they said them, and to whom and for what purpose, that is the only thing that we as humans can actually see.)

Steeped as I was in the usual southern United States religions teapot, I did not think to ask, not for a very long time, "how do you come to know so much about 'the creator of this universe?' And, why do the thoughts and motives that you ascribe to this Being seem to be, well, to be so small?" It was then that I began to realize how I needed to learn more about, and to study more about, this institution that I was in. I had never had a frame of reference and had been all but taught against the need for one, but it occurred to me that if you do not have such a frame, you are a sucker for whatever anyone tells you no matter what they tell you ... and, that's no place to be. You don't really have any thoughts of your own; only those that you have borrowed. Study of this thing, although mightily discouraged by some who are within it, will not damn you to hell ... and if it did, who would want to go to such a heaven?

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-11-2011 at 10:10 AM.
 
Old 07-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #9
baldy3105
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Distribution: Mint (Desktop), Debian (Server)
Posts: 875

Rep: Reputation: 184Reputation: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
I know very well the history of religion ... it is written in blood and hate.
And the winner of this months concise eloquence award goes to....
 
Old 07-11-2011, 03:59 PM   #10
baldy3105
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Distribution: Mint (Desktop), Debian (Server)
Posts: 875

Rep: Reputation: 184Reputation: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
@ sundialsvcs
History may be fascinating, but it doesn't tell you what a religion is. All religions change with time, because religion is Man's relation with God. Think of a religion as a city. Some of its inahbitants just live there without making any impact, while others repair or rebuild. The city changes, but it remains recognisably the same city. Or, to put it another way, can you suppose that God just delivers a message, and then goes off and leaves its recipients to make the best of it?

@ texmex
Religion as blood and hate? As evidenced by Mother Teresa or Gandhi, no doubt.
Irreligion as peace and love? As evidenced by Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot?
Ranting is no substitute for rational argument.
Nice to see confirmation bias is still alive and kicking.
 
Old 07-11-2011, 05:58 PM   #11
porphyry5
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2010
Location: oregon usa
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, Arch
Posts: 419

Rep: Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
History may be fascinating, but it doesn't tell you what a religion is.
Surely religion is what we live by; that code, moral, ethical or whatever, which frames our conduct in everyday life. Here in the west, and now also most other parts of the world, that code is traditionally known as mammon, or as it is now more often titled, secular humanism.
 
Old 07-12-2011, 09:19 AM   #12
sundialsvcs
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 5,231

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071
Quote:
Originally Posted by baldy3105 View Post
And the winner of this months concise eloquence award goes to....
Definitely so.

You might also like The World In A Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism, by James Geary. (ISBN: 1-58234-430-2.)

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-12-2011 at 09:20 AM.
 
Old 07-12-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
sundialsvcs
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 5,231

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071Reputation: 1071
Quote:
Originally Posted by porphyry5 View Post
Surely religion is what we live by; that code, moral, ethical or whatever, which frames our conduct in everyday life. Here in the west, and now also most other parts of the world, that code is traditionally known as mammon, or as it is now more often titled, secular humanism.
"Secular humanism." I've never cared for that moniker, because it reminds me of that "Helluva birthmark, Harry" cartoon in The Far Side. Any philosophy carrying a name like that one is a sitting duck.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 04:22 AM   #14
litlmary
Member
 
Registered: May 2005
Location: Texas, somewhere near Houston (I think)
Distribution: See my sig
Posts: 300

Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by baldy3105 View Post
And the winner of this months concise eloquence award goes to....
Concise, eloquent, and even more inaccurate, hypocritical, and closed-minded than he and you make a hobby of accusing people of faith of being while you haughtily dismiss their arguments to the contrary because you "concisely" say being faithful makes them dumb.

Irredeemably faithless people are the most hateful, unhappy people I've ever met, no matter how much they try to argue to the contrary or claim they knew a Christian who was mean to them once. Do you think anyone is actually buying that smile on your face while you taunt someone about their faith? It makes you look neither happy or nice. It's just insincere and pathetic.

It must feel awfully hollow to have such a lack of personal fortitude that you can't believe in anything without proof. Just remember that not believing something doesn't make it not so. You'd better be right when your day comes. I came so close to death last Friday that my life passed before my eyes (swimming accident), but I was never afraid. I wonder how many faithless people could TRULY say as much if they nearly drowned. They all lie or don't know and lie, so we'll never know I guess.

You probably won't engage me much past today because there is a known pointless netkopper in this thread and I don't want to chance hurting his little feelings, lest he find some obscure line in the TOS about saying mean things and the mods hear about it.

Speaking of mods:

Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
Just a little note: Mother Teresa is never a good example to use when showing the peace & love aspect of any religion. She has an extremely mixed history and the good is easily outweighed by the bad. In fact, she is a great example to use when you want to mention extremism in Christianity. And Stalin, IIRC, trained as a priest and used a lot of what he learned when constructing his own powerbase. And, also IIRC, Hitler was pretty religious - whether as a real thing or for political reasons.

But I understand what you are trying to say.
That is, in fact, the beauty of Mother Teresa. She is the perfect example of a Christian and SHOULD be used to represent our faith.

Turn to the Gospel of Luke and read the parable of The Prodigal Son (it takes about 5 minutes). The further we stray, the happier God is when we come home!

A good Christian is not always a good person. A good Christian is a flawed person who admits their flaws and tries to fix them.

If you are keeping score, I also don't think Mother Teresa's indiscretions exceed Pol Pot's, as people like ****** would have us believe (whiny netkop's name redacted).

viel gluck,

J

Last edited by litlmary; 07-13-2011 at 04:44 AM.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 05:36 AM   #15
SigTerm
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 379

Rep: Reputation: 233Reputation: 233Reputation: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by litlmary View Post
Irredeemably faithless people are the most hateful, unhappy people I've ever met,
Then you've been probably meeting wrong people. Non-christian have plenty of reasons to simply enjoy life. A hardcore christian has plenty of reasons to be afraid of hell/sin. Afaik, fear of hell (some believers face) might be stronger than fear of death. So take your pick. No matter what you believe in, your faith can always be used to make your life miserable, so being happy depends on your mindset, not on your faith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by litlmary View Post
It must feel awfully hollow to have such a lack of personal fortitude that you can't believe in anything without proof.
Actually, being able to doubt anything is very entertaining - questioning things is a good brain exercise, and from time to time doubting leads you to logical conclusions and new ideas you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise. If you do not doubt, you lose a lot of fun.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Learn your history, the Android way LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 09-07-2010 09:11 PM
history clearance for a particular history number in linux sangupari Linux - Software 3 03-03-2010 03:08 AM
tcsh: can you save the history from multiple shells to one history file? BrianK General 2 04-23-2009 05:19 AM
Suggestion for linux friendly sound card Eckstona Linux - Hardware 1 09-04-2006 08:31 PM
Download history and copy history? inverted.gravity Linux - Newbie 1 02-21-2006 12:31 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:45 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration