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pokingjoker

looking for ark of the covenant picture

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back to earth

Then it seems this deity has a specific idea of how women are to be treated.

You have to squint quite a bit to make all religions fit together.

Good point ! And one that is sometimes central to theological debate within the progressive revelation circles.

The idea is that there are a set of spiritual instructions that remain relatively constant over time and a set of spiritual instructions for the culture that is to be developed. The idea is also in there that we may not at times be ready for a fuller revelation and need time to develop and evolve more away from 'primal' instincts so better social principles.

Not that I see it as a 'valid source' but I read this thing in the Urantia Book once that struck a nerve ! Something like, great spiritual progress was made when men developed laws that said one's wife could not be killed at will. First I was shocked ... but after some thought ...

Anyway, the issue is, what side of the fence is gender issues on ( or any issues for that matter ) 'timeless spirituality' or 'cultural'

It is one of the faults I see with the Bahai's, in an otherwise 95% great religion IMO , One of their main principles is equality of men and women. On their local assemblies ( 9 people are elected by the group and these people form a 'spiritual assembly' that , sort of, stands in for their equivalent of clergy ), men and women are able to hold any seat, the same on the national level, but on the International level it is only men. :unsure2:

Oh ... many a debate I have had about that one !

yes, you do have to 'squint' a bit (especially about their claim for Buddha ... but the Buddhists didnt seem to mind, they were happy everyone was friendly and showing understanding and compassion to each other :) - Buddhists can be like that :) ) ... but if you can bear to that, another vision becomes clearer ; like this one that first attracted me to the Bahai's in the first place; a cultural festival where people of many cultures spent days together sharing their food, traditions, religion, scriptural readings ... all radiant and having the time of their lives . I thought it was great ... and I was interested in what they had , just previous to this there had been a horrible gang fight between Asians and Middle -Easterners in another part of the Burbs, a nasty bar and knife one .... I went from the shock of that to the pleasure of this. They had something going there.

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robinrenee

The idea is also in there that we may not at times be ready for a fuller revelation and need time to develop and evolve more away from 'primal' instincts so better social principles.

Perhaps the above quote is the reason there's only men on the international level assembly.

... men and women are able to hold any seat, the same on the national level, but on the International level it is only men. :unsure2:

Maybe next time... only women will be allowed on the international level assembly. :tu:

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Magnanimus

There are no direct accounts of Jesus in his lifetime. The earliest gospel, Mark happened at least a generation after the events were supposed to have happened.

As of late, there are scholars who doubt whether Jesus existed, mostly due to the lack of records contemporary to him.

The problem with the field of study of Jesus is it is dominated, understandably, by Christians. Which puts a bias into his existence.

But, that is an entirely separate discussion.

Fir the Buddha, from talking with Buddhist they don't much care if he existed, it is the teachings that are important.

His existence left no historical records, it doesn't really become historical until a century or more after he was supposed to have existed.

Today we have many legendary things and people who in an older, less well documented time would likely evilved into truly mythoc figures.

And which scholars have you been talking to exactly who would make such a claim?

I mention the two together, as there is a decent enough overlap in particular trends to justify a comparison between the early spread of Buddhism and Christianity. However, my purview has always been west of the Tigris, so I'll be leaning rather heavily on the Jewish kid for most of my explanations.

In truth, the overwhelming number of scholars of religion in mainstream academia agree that Jesus of Nazareth was an historical figure. The only debate of historicity arises in regards to the miracles the Gospels attribute to Him--the tenets of faith that are not meant to even exist as history, but mythology.

Arguing that these academics have no objectivity since they come from a Judeo-Christian background--which is an unavoidable, statistical reality as much as anything in the English-speaking West--is tantamount to arguing that a doctor in good health is in no state to judge the relative illness of a patient. If years of focused and dedicated study to an impartial discipline are not sufficient to grant an objective, academic agnosticism, what, in your opinion, would? An utter rejection of the source's claims based on pre-existing, personal belief? To be a proper scholar, must an individual have a personal axe to grind with the respective subject?

And what is the New Testament if not entirely a collection of primary sources? Luke is actually framed as a personal testament addressed to another individual. And this is to say nothing of the Epistles; what source is more primary than personal correspondence? The editions we know of the Gospels may have been set down in the second and early third century, but these are, again, the ones we know.

There is no compilation or editorial process after this that could be expected with a first edition, as it had already fully occurred in the generation before. Just the same, no two Gospels have the same audience, were written for the same demographic, or are wholly written by the same author. Meanwhile, they display a margin of error or variation that is to be expected with first-hand accounts. Despite all of this, they are entirely harmonious in theme, theology, teaching, and the accounts of major narrative events. And all of this is to say nothing of the unaffiliated, contemporary, pagan writers, historians, and commentators who mention Jesus as an historical figure behind the meteoric expansion of the Christian movement in the first century.

"But this is all from after Jesus died!" Of course it is. What history would there be if you applied the same, personally-biased metric to all extant historical sources? You are asking for a comprehensive, real-time report of a three-year period nearly twenty centuries ago. We don't have something like that for the American Revolution--really any part of history before the invention of the telegraph.

I often hear a comparison made between the historical evidence of Jesus and Julius Caesar. You wanna talk about a late-written gospel, if not for Shakespeare, who would really know of Julius Caesar outside of high school Latin students? And how many impartial, non-Roman sources are there that discuss Caesar within a century-and-a-half of his life; this man whose legacy was the freaking Roman Empire? Meanwhile, I've heard tell of over forty non-Christian writers recounting the existence of the Way and Jesus of Nazareth in the same window of time--only a charismatic street-preacher from the backwater of a backwater at the edge of the Empire.

We are, now, about as far removed in time from the original release date of Star Wars as the first pagan accounts of Christians being persecuted and killed (an Empire away from Jerusalem, mind you) were to the death of Jesus. So, what exactly is your argument about entirely invented characters, being inflated over centuries into mythic divine figures, worthy of being killed for, again?

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Magnanimus

That same kind of logic, RobinTree, to try to believe in Santa Claus as a kid.

Believing something because lots of people do isn't really a sound reason to believe in something.

As for your stats, you cant just take oeoole identifying as x religion as believing in all parts of that religion.

Especially Judaism, but Buddhism as well as they have such a wide soread of beliefs under the same general banner.

Although I disagree with the conclusiveness of robinrenee's statement, I believe her point is that when the number of followers of a particular trend expands by six, seven, or eight orders of magnitude several thousand years after it was first begun, the trend has earned a certain place and credibility. It persists with millions of followers but certainly, through some form of intellectual Darwinism, it should have been wiped it out, yet it still remains in utterly massive numbers. That could indicate that this particular trend either exists with some degree of historical reality or has achieved a station that transcends empiricism.

Seriously, compare it to Santa Claus and what keeps that up: It's literally a multibillion dollar conspiracy, engineered by an entire culture, partnered with the most successful religion in human history, had its canon cemented by the advertising campaign of a soda company, causes, through a cultural imperative, almost every citizen to tell blatant lies to their own children, and is publicly spoken of in all earnestness as true… The Illuminati ain't got **** on Santa Claus.

And all of this is still dependent on a critical period when young children are psychologically unable to fully distinguish between fantasy and reality.

So what does that say of the X-million Jews who attest to a belief in Moses? They're a diasporic people, who historically only been, at most, 1% of the general population, and have been actively discriminated against for their beliefs and told that they are wrong. Despite the exact opposite conditions that sustain a Santa conspiracy, their belief in a founding prophet endures. What is there to account for such a phenomenon when the most powerful human motivator is the need to be accepted by society?

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ShadowSot

And which scholars have you been talking to exactly who would make such a claim?

Of the top of my head, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and David Fitzegerald spring to mind as they are the most common.

I am not fully in that camp, but at best I'm agnostic.

Arguing that these academics have no objectivity since they come from a Judeo-Christian background--which is an unavoidable, statistical reality as much as anything in the English-speaking West--is tantamount to arguing that a doctor in good health is in no state to judge the relative illness of a patient. If years of focused and dedicated study to an impartial discipline are not sufficient to grant an objective, academic agnosticism, what, in your opinion, would?  An utter rejection of the source's claims based on pre-existing, personal belief?  To be a proper scholar, must an individual have a personal axe to grind with the respective subject?

Having a more varied field of scholars would be better.

My point is that someone who starts with a religious belief bout Jesus, is unlikely to come down against his decision.

A healthy doctor is simply a poor comparison.

Maybe a better one would be a doctor conducting a trial for his own favored medicine.

And what is the New Testament if not entirely a collection of primary sources?  Luke is actually framed as a personal testament addressed to another individual.  And this is to say nothing of the Epistles; what source is more primary than personal correspondence?  The editions we know of the Gospels may have been set down in the second and early third century, but these are, again, the ones we know.  

In the case of the Synoptic gospels, it is accepted that Mark came first, while Matthew and Luke are derivatives.

How Luke is framed is redundant, it isn't a primary source on Jesus, Like Matthew is is based on Mark and what is referred to as the Q source. It also received some revision in the second century.

It should be noted that the names attached to the Gospels are a matter of tradition.

We don't actually know who they were written by.

In the case of Luke it was attributed to Luke the Evangelist, who was a companion of Paul.

However this has fallen out of favor.

As for Epistles, the ones written by Paul aren't useful as he never met Christ, and never claimed to have.

And all of this is to say nothing of the unaffiliated, contemporary, pagan writers, historians, and commentators who mention Jesus as an historical figure behind the meteoric expansion of the Christian movement in the first century.

For example?

We have plenty of writings about Christians, and even other figures named Jesus at the time.

I often hear a comparison made between the historical evidence of Jesus and Julius Caesar.  You wanna talk about a late-written gospel, if not for Shakespeare, who would really know of Julius Caesar outside of high school Latin students?  And how many impartial, non-Roman sources are there that discuss Caesar within a century-and-a-half of his life; this man whose legacy was the freaking Roman Empire?  Meanwhile, I've heard tell of over forty non-Christian writers recounting the existence of the Way and Jesus of Nazareth in the same window of time--only a charismatic street-preacher from the backwater of a backwater at the edge of the Empire.

Well we have his personal writings. We have writings from people critical of him. We have writings of his enemies.

We have coins featuring his profile, evidence of his actions, and attestations from his successors.

Would he be as big a character if not for Shakespeare, I don't know.

Certainly for fans of history like myself, yes.

I'd argue that even with the bump by Shakespeare he is not well known on average.

So what does that say of the X-million Jews who attest to a belief in Moses?  They're a diasporic people, who historically only been, at most, 1% of the general population, and have been actively discriminated against for their beliefs and told that they are wrong.  Despite the exact opposite conditions that sustain a Santa conspiracy, their belief in a founding prophet endures.  What is there to account for such a phenomenon when the most powerful human motivator is the need to be accepted by society?

Constant mistreatment is actually really god way to keep a tribe together.

Which is what they were, a tribe.

If we follow god our suffering will be rewarded.

This logic pops up to in Christianity, not surprisingly.

Today we have religions like Scientology and Mormonism which also faced a great deal of, and still do, of criticism and attacks.

In the case of Mormonism this included attempts by the US government to wipe them out and relocate them.

The oint of the narrative is to reinforce a tribal identify and explain why they are suffering.

In the case of the Revolutionary war, we have writings of the people who were in it.

We have the battlefields and archaeology.

All we have for the Jesus character is second hand accounts written by mostly anonymous sources.

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robinrenee

Although I disagree with the conclusiveness of robinrenee's statement, I believe her point is that when the number of followers of a particular trend expands by six, seven, or eight orders of magnitude several thousand years after it was first begun, the trend has earned a certain place and credibility. It persists with millions of followers but certainly, through some form of intellectual Darwinism, it should have been wiped it out, yet it still remains in utterly massive numbers. That could indicate that this particular trend either exists with some degree of historical reality or has achieved a station that transcends empiricism.

Seriously, compare it to Santa Claus and what keeps that up: It's literally a multibillion dollar conspiracy, engineered by an entire culture, partnered with the most successful religion in human history, had its canon cemented by the advertising campaign of a soda company, causes, through a cultural imperative, almost every citizen to tell blatant lies to their own children, and is publicly spoken of in all earnestness as true… The Illuminati ain't got **** on Santa Claus.

And all of this is still dependent on a critical period when young children are psychologically unable to fully distinguish between fantasy and reality.

So what does that say of the X-million Jews who attest to a belief in Moses? They're a diasporic people, who historically only been, at most, 1% of the general population, and have been actively discriminated against for their beliefs and told that they are wrong. Despite the exact opposite conditions that sustain a Santa conspiracy, their belief in a founding prophet endures. What is there to account for such a phenomenon when the most powerful human motivator is the need to be accepted by society?

Oh my goodness! Magnanimous, you said that much better than I... :yes:

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ShadowSot

And as I mentioned earlier, there is not a single stance that Jews take on Moses. Certainly Orthodox do mostlytake him as a real historical figure.

others look at him as a mythic or legendary figure.

Much f the work I've read concerning whether the Exodus actually occurred was by Jewish archaeologists attempting to prove it occurred.

As for the Santa Clause comparison, my point was the reasoning RobineTree is using is the same I personally used.

There is a massive market force for believing in Christianity or religion in general. Our culture is soaked in Christianity, not accepting it makes you an oddball, at least around here.

Santa Claus has become a capitalist thing, but at the same time there is a large effort to push religion in one form or another.

If we want to go by age or numbers of adherence, Hinduism wins out.

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Jeanne dArc

It persists with millions of followers but certainly, through some form of intellectual Darwinism, it should have been wiped it out, yet it still remains in utterly massive numbers. That could indicate that this particular trend either exists with some degree of historical reality or has achieved a station that transcends empiricism.

The problem with that is that layfolk (particularly pre-20th Century layfolk) aren't exactly the bastions of empiricism. As has been mentioned before: the notion of a flat earth was very popular indeed. It's proponents were in no position to determine its objective veracity; and nor are the vast majority of proponents of religious ideas like Jesus Christ.

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eight bits

Magnanimus

Seriously, compare it to Santa Claus and what keeps that up: ...

Seriously? Few if any adults believe in Santa Claus, so there's a limit to how parallel that could be with something that commands the nominal assent of half the human race (Islam acknowledges a historical Jesus, based on divine assurance, not just Christianity).

when the number of followers of a particular trend expands by six, seven, or eight orders of magnitude several thousand years after it was first begun, the trend has earned a certain place and credibility. It persists with millions of followers but certainly, through some form of intellectual Darwinism, it should have been wiped it out, yet it still remains in utterly massive numbers. That could indicate that this particular trend either exists with some degree of historical reality or has achieved a station that transcends empiricism.

Actually, "Darwinism" (assuming you mean evoultion by natural selection) tells us that life forms change and adapt. Assuming further that "intellectual Darwinism" means taking ideas as analogous to living things, then we have a phrase for the change and adaptation which are just what we see in the long history of Christianity, Islam and Reformed Christianity (to name just three milestones in the evolution of the idea). Bravo.

The "species'" success, well, the genera's successs, then, tells us nothing about the veridical merits of its ancestral form, except that for its time and place, that earliest version of itself attracted enough resources for a first generation of preachers to leave behind a second generation. Thereafter, all witnesses are dead, so whatever happens, boom or bust, has nothing to do with naturally acquired first-hand knowledge of the root facts.

The rest seems to restate the miracle of compound interest, but that would be economics, not biology. Regardless, assuming something like 40 adherents at the outset and with say 4 billion 2000 years later, that's an average annual growth rate of about 1%.

Edited by eight bits
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Jeanne dArc

Actually, "Darwinism" (assuming you mean evoultion by natural selection) tells us that life forms change and adapt. Assuming further that "intellectual Darwinism" means taking ideas as analogous to living things, then we have a phrase for the change and adaptation which are just what we see in the long history of Christianity, Islam and Reformed Christianity (to name just three milestones in the evolution of the idea). Bravo.

The "species'" success, well, the genera's successs, then, tells us nothing about the veridical merits of its ancestral form, except that for its time and place, that earliest version of itself attracted enough resources for a first generation of preachers to leave behind a second generation. Thereafter, all witnesses are dead, so whatever happens, boom or bust, has nothing to do with naturally acquired first-hand knowledge of the root facts.

The rest seems to restate the miracle of compound interest, but that would be economics, not biology. Regardless, assuming something like 40 adherents at the outset and with say 4 billion 2000 years later, that's an average annual growth rate of about 1%.

All of that without mentioning that the selective pressures involved were clearly in Christianity's favor from the outset: savior god cults and notions of undying personal devotion and salvation were increasingly popular around the 1st Century (and just before it). Throw in the fact that there were built-in mechanisms to prevent deconversion ("the Devil is trying to deceive me", etc.), and the eventuality of actively hostile predation against rival taxa, the Abrahamic "genus" had traits quite conducive to evolutionary success right from the get-go. Later additions like conversion, childhood indoctrination, deliberate obfuscation/misinformation/etc., etc., etc., make the Abrahamic genus' hegemony quite understandable. It's easy to spread like a virus if you take literally every possible advantage. When an ideology is not only easily transmittable from parents to offspring, but aggressively, either via conversion or elimination of competition, it's not at all hard to see why the Abrahamists are as numerous as they are.

"Intellectual Darwinism" is actually quite an elegant idea: although I do prefer the term "meme" (as of course the concept already exists). As a biologist myself, I tend to employ it in a variety of situations: religions and languages in particular are very easily compared to evolving taxa under the influence of natural selection. But of course, that kind of negates any imagined indication of "truth" in popularity: it isn't an idea's "truth" or "goodness" that makes it get big, it's the conditions it arose in, its adaptability, etc., and (in religion's case) the lengths to which it's willing to go to come out on top. It's not hard to be the biggest religion in the world when you actively stamp out your competitors and ensure the propagation of your ideas.

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robinrenee

And as I mentioned earlier, there is not a single stance that Jews take on Moses. Certainly Orthodox do mostlytake him as a real historical figure.

others look at him as a mythic or legendary figure.

Much f the work I've read concerning whether the Exodus actually occurred was by Jewish archaeologists attempting to prove it occurred.

As for the Santa Clause comparison, my point was the reasoning RobineTree is using is the same I personally used.

There is a massive market force for believing in Christianity or religion in general. Our culture is soaked in Christianity, not accepting it makes you an oddball, at least around here.

Santa Claus has become a capitalist thing, but at the same time there is a large effort to push religion in one form or another.

If we want to go by age or numbers of adherence, Hinduism wins out.

Hinduism is good. Krishna was another one of those Viceroy of God thingies. Of course, it's so ancient that millenia of followers have turned it into something that Krishna probably wouldn't recognize.

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Magnanimus

Of the top of my head, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and David Fitzegerald spring to mind as they are the most common.

I am not fully in that camp, but at best I'm agnostic.

So major proponents who've wedded their academic legacy to the Christ Myth theory that's been eviscerated on nearly every point by mainstream academia and freaking Youtubers alike? They have well established their credentials, but their choice of study leaves them entirely suspect, especially after receiving the appellation of "atheist activist." They've exchanged one religion for the priesthood of another and practice their new faith through active vehemence and vitriol against other religions.

Where is the objectivity you spoke of earlier? If they were merely atheists within their personal lives, it would be one matter, but as activists their every claim regarding religion has to be vetted for accuracy.

Having a more varied field of scholars would be better.

My point is that someone who starts with a religious belief bout Jesus, is unlikely to come down against his decision.

A healthy doctor is simply a poor comparison.

Maybe a better one would be a doctor conducting a trial for his own favored medicine.

And while individuals from multiple fields undoubtedly have something to contribute, they are inherently unqualified to state with authority, having chosen to specialize in another field. Keeping with medicine metaphor, it's like the biomedical engineer who designs artificial joints trying to weigh in on someone's oncology consultation. Connection doesn't mandate authority.

In the case of the Synoptic gospels, it is accepted that Mark came first, while Matthew and Luke are derivatives. How Luke is framed is redundant, it isn't a primary source on Jesus, Like Matthew is is based on Mark and what is referred to as the Q source. It also received some revision in the second century. It should be noted that the names attached to the Gospels are a matter of tradition. We don't actually know who they were written by. In the case of Luke it was attributed to Luke the Evangelist, who was a companion of Paul. However this has fallen out of favor. As for Epistles, the ones written by Paul aren't useful as he never met Christ, and never claimed to have.

Parts appear to borrow from other Gospels and the theoretical Q Source, but Mark and the Q Source do not nearly account for all of the Gospel material, much less for the stylistic variation between them. The books are not simple repetitions of each other. This is also only at a cursory level of inspection of the Gospels. A more incisive examination differentiates them and reveals the original primary material for which there is no justifiable reason to suspect they were not written by their purported authors, no more than any other written work of history.

And the question was one of the historicity of Jesus as a human individual. Paul, even having never met him, writes of Jesus as an historical figure immediately after Christ's death. And Paul, prolific as he was, is only a single writer among the Epistle literature. The rest were written by Jesus' first generation of disciples and the man's own brothers. The theological content is, as always, up for discussion, but to declare them as completely invalid sources for the historicity of Jesus without the presentation of sufficient substitute is to impose a personal prejudice against the material.

Well we have his personal writings. We have writings from people critical of him. We have writings of his enemies. We have coins featuring his profile, evidence of his actions, and attestations from his successors. Would he be as big a character if not for Shakespeare, I don't know. Certainly for fans of history like myself, yes. I'd argue that even with the bump by Shakespeare he is not well known on average.

With the exception of his profile on a coin (as Jewish coins of the time had issues with faces, much less that of a low-born preacher) we have the same of Jesus, in quantity, and easily a hundred times more reliably transmitted. Again, there really is no debate to be had over the matter of historicity.

Constant mistreatment is actually really god way to keep a tribe together. Which is what they were, a tribe. If we follow god our suffering will be rewarded. This logic pops up to in Christianity, not surprisingly. Today we have religions like Scientology and Mormonism which also faced a great deal of, and still do, of criticism and attacks. In the case of Mormonism this included attempts by the US government to wipe them out and relocate them. The oint of the narrative is to reinforce a tribal identify and explain why they are suffering.

The Latter-Day Saints survived by entirely leaving the country and establishing their own territory outside the aegis of the United States Government and then massively amending their founding theology and practices once the US expanded out towards them again. And what concerns has Scientology ever had that wasn't the operating definition of a first-world problem? Most would say they don't even warrant the moniker of "religion," much less do they deserve to occupy a list alongside groups that have actively been the target of genocide.

Now, as for Jews, they didn't flee the country or try to create their own colony. There were Jewish neighborhoods, but they always lived in cities and assimilated into the secular culture of their diasporic host country. While shared struggles can bind a group together, eighteen hundred years is an awfully long time to think that that logic alone will hold up, especially when total assimilation at any point would have been so simple.

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Magnanimus

Magnanimus

Seriously? Few if any adults believe in Santa Claus, so there's a limit to how parallel that could be with something that commands the nominal assent of half the human race (Islam acknowledges a historical Jesus, based on divine assurance, not just Christianity).

Of course, I'm well aware. My point was to consider the active measures taken to sustain the belief in Santa Claus for a select demographic in a specific age bracket. Meanwhile, religion has passively reached numbers that account for multiple demographics of all age groups.

Actually, "Darwinism" (assuming you mean evoultion by natural selection)

No, actually, though a descent with modification is a good way to describe certain aspects of organized religion.

I meant it in a similar context to social darwinism, as in, a survival of the fittest. Without some concrete factor or foundation in human nature, there's nothing to suggest that religion wouldn't immediately be removed from the public consciousness the moment some other idea of greater, more concrete substance arose. Though this might play partially on the "greater minds than mine" mentality of critical evaluation, the universal aspect of religion being integrated at the societal level and at the personal level on such a scale suggest a dimension of reality, even if it is a case of being "true, though it never happened."

The rest seems to restate the miracle of compound interest, but that would be economics, not biology. Regardless, assuming something like 40 adherents at the outset and with say 4 billion 2000 years later, that's an average annual growth rate of about 1%.

So conversion to this religion makes one immortal then? I would be very interested to meet one of these two-thousand-year-old disciples who made up the original forty that is now four billion.

Take that four billion, run an exponential regression on it back to forty, divide that curve over a 2000 year period into generational or lifetime intervals, and then total the sum of followers from each generation. It's going to be a sure sight larger than four billion.

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ShadowSot

You know what, Igive up. I am not as well informed as I thought I was concerning the Bible. I would like to see the forty references you mention as being contemporary to Jesus.

I still do not accept that something is true because so many people believed it for a long time.

As forthe point that the Jews actively isolated themselves and therefore must be true, I disagree.

For one you will notice both on the site and in life people with weird beliefs tend to cling to them stronger in response to criticism. Ufo cults and nerds both do this in different ways.

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eight bits

Magnanimus

Meanwhile, religion has passively reached numbers that account for multiple demographics of all age groups.

Passivity isn't the first word that comes to mind when thinking of the Christian or Muslim recruiting and retention methods. Also, I don't think the actual purpose of all that consumer advertising is to promote childish belief in Santa, but rather to inspire adult belief that thrift is overrated as a virtue.

Thank you for clarifying your intent with the term Darwinism. I still think that even in that narrower sense, the riotous variability of the "life form" explains a lot of its longevity. Compound interest tells us that little more than longevity is needed for eventually impressive mass.

"true, though it never happened."

I think that flavor is already being sold. Unitarian Universlists say stuff like that. They do well up here in New England... if they were just a tad closer to the center politically...

So conversion to this religion makes one immortal then?

Actually, that seems to have been Paul's pitch. It didn't work out.

Growth is when recruitment and natural increase exceed death and attrition.

For example, the population of the United States in 1790 was 3.9 million. In 2010, it was 309 million. That's a growth rate of about 2% a year on average over 220 years. No American is 220 years old.

As to your other question, how many people were ever Christians or Muslims, I don't know, we don't have actual data except recently, and even that's still largely estimated. For the United States, the long body politic is estimated at about 550 million, or around twice the number of current living Americans.

And um, yes, the number who have ever been members of a group cannot be fewer than the current membership. If any member of the group has died or quit, then the inequality is strict. The average annual growth rate, however, is what it is for the group, and depends only on the duration, the initial membership and the most recent membership.

Edited by eight bits
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Jeanne dArc

Hinduism is good. Krishna was another one of those Viceroy of God thingies. Of course, it's so ancient that millenia of followers have turned it into something that Krishna probably wouldn't recognize.

Or, or... get this... Krishna didn't exist either.

post-14835-Jessica-Biel-Mind-Blown-gif-im-n1uL.gif

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ShadowSot

I have to apologize for my posts here. Until just a couple of hoursss ago I was going to be evicted from my home.

I came here for distraction and carried on with arguments I know better than to use

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robinrenee

I have to apologize for my posts here. Until just a couple of hoursss ago I was going to be evicted from my home.

I came here for distraction and carried on with arguments I know better than to use

Good grief... no reason to apologize. All of us have different strong points and points of wisdom... fields of knowledge...

I hope your situation with your home is cleared up soon. I'm an old lady, and I have found that the old saying, "This too shall pass," is right on...

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robinrenee

While I was eating breakfast this morning, I clicked on some "odd and curious" entertainment on youtube... Graham Hancock on the Ark of the Covenant.

Now, I've never read any of his books, but I've listened to a few of his lectures on youtube. I'm not defending his ideas one way of another. He's just oddly entertaining... sort of "easy listening."

Anyway, in this video (which I only got half way through), Hancock suggests that the ark of the covenant might have been radioactive. I've heard others say that it was a capacitor and electrocuted anyone that didn't handle it correctly. I had forgotten that Samuel 6:19 says that it "smote" (killed) 50,070 men who just picked up the lid and looked into it. :blink:

Now, I don't have any opinion invested in this. Actually, I think it probably a bit of Torah hyperbole. But if you take the Bible literally, you're gonna love Hancock's video.

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docyabut2

I remember this documentary where this is a chemical in the earth that sparks like gun powder, it could be what is was in a wooded drum.

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William Batey

Three items were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant and it was to house God while with the Israelites on earth.  The Tables of Stone which was the 10 Commandments, the Manna which fell from Heaven to feed the Israelites, and the Staff that Aaron the high priest carried.  Notice what those 3 items truly are.  The Staff that budded Almond leaves is the Tree of Life or God the Father.  The Tables of Stone is the Wordof Life, God the Holy Ghost.  And the Manna is the Bread of Life, God the Son.   God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost dwelling inside the Ark of the Covenant in the many forms He can take.  Remember Melchisedek, Christ and John the 3 flesh forms God took to witness to himself and His 1 Spiritual being.  Melchesedek was the Mind of God in flesh, Christ was the Body of God in the flesh, and John was the.Soul of God in the flesh witnessing to His 1 Spiritual Being known as Adam.

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William Batey

The Ark of the Covenant was to house God.

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Will Due
1 hour ago, William Batey said:

The Ark of the Covenant was to house God.

 

Then you are an Ark.

The Covenant is what you do.

 

 

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