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zep73

God without scriptures?

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GoldenWolf
8 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

How can you say that is an erroneous idea of who god really is?  How do you think another paradigm is more authentic?  If paradigms change with human society changing, then it seems god is more an evolving human idea that an independent being.

Evolving?

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Guyver
14 hours ago, Will Due said:

 

God didn't tell Abraham to sacrifice his son. 

The bible says he did.  

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Will do
6 minutes ago, Guyver said:

The bible says he did.  

 

I know. The Bible isn't God.

 

 

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Tatetopa
9 hours ago, Habitat said:

Anger and cruelty are animal and, particularly, human traits, that arose because they have biological survival value.

Yes I certainly agree with this.  

 

9 hours ago, Habitat said:

The idea this is mirrored in "Immortal" beings, is rather a stretch, for even the most open minded thinker.

It may be a stretch for us in 2019  but it was daily life in the Middle East and elsewhere three thousand years ago.   I would not proclaim that those major religions were begun by open minded thinkers.

I think the OP started this thread with the question about monotheistic religions that began ion the Middle East.  Certainly there it was the case.  She refers to the Bible, and the Koran, and I think the Torah was mentioned as well, all texts for major religions that had their roots in this place and time.  So it seems to pose something of a dilemma to us today that I have trouble resolving.  Perhaps others can help.

According to the proponents of these three texts, they were inspired by or directly quoted from the people's singular deity.  I am only somewhat familiar with the Bible, and ignorant of the other two great religions.   The Old Testament starts out at the very beginning with examples of the nature of god that was held to be true.

Early on in Genesis, God said depending on your translation, "Behold, the man has become like one of US, to know good and evil.  And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever"-  therefore the lord god sent him out of the garden.

It goes on from there with floods and plagues and killing of first born sons and eradication of towns.

In this day and age, we would not see those traits as kindly, benevolent, or a deity wanting the best for its creations.  Over time a lot of this has been changed or interpreted or forgotten.  

I am stuck.  Either god evolved into the kinder gentler loving being that we know today or  those original texts come into question as not inspired or the direct word of god.

It seems to me unlikely that an immortal being with an infinity of time behind and ahead of it should undergo such radical change in the eye blink of 2000 years.  That leads me to believe that those texts are really about the nature of man and civilization and the harsher realities of the world 2000+ years ago.    If one celebrates and embraces those descriptions, then one imposes the customs for survival  of the ancient middle east onto our modern world. 

Reading other people's comments on this thread has been thought provoking for me.  So Jodie Lynne, it currently seems to me that Middle Eastern humans and their society  created their own cruelties and imparted their concept of an all-powerful king in a great city state upon the cosmic order rather than the other way round.  The concept of God was made in the image of civilization rather than God being the wellspring of man and civilization.

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Jodie.Lynne
8 hours ago, DieChecker said:

This idea that the "old gods" were rainbows and unicorns, happy-happy joy-joy, is New Age crap that has been almost completely made up.

That may be so, but it isn't my understanding of the old gods.

In fact, because of my heritage, I am fascinated with the olde gods of the Irish. Actually, most of the Celtic gods were heroes who became equated with gods in many instances, due to their epic battles and feats.

 

But going back a bit, I can see a reason that Middle Eastern gods may have demanded the total, wholesale killing of enemies of "their people": resources. The landscape & climate haven't changed significantly since biblical times, gaining nourishment from the land is hard and often doesn't produce enough for the inhabitants. It does free up resources (water, arable land, livestock) if you eliminate the competition. And much easier to live with the fact if "God told us to" is the reason.

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Jodie.Lynne
8 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I'd disagree here too. Christianity has evolved many, many times, and still does. Just in the last 40 years the number of denominations has doubled. There is a denomination for just about everyone now. Want to not eat pork, but drink wine, and go to church on Wednesday nights, and wear only black clothes, and carry a cross only on your keychain... Likely there is a denomination for you....

 

I may have misspoken, or been misunderstood.

Allow me to clarify: The Organizations may have changed, but the core teachings have not. They are static, and cannot be altered. Interpretaions may vary widely, but no new elements can be introduced.

What would be the outcome, if I announced that I had spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying, and had a new testament from the god of Christianity? If I proclaimed that Jesus Himself, with a choir of angels, delivered to me a new message for the faithful. A message that didn't necessarily overturn every tenet of Christianity, but changed a few core lessons. Do you think the Vatican and every branch of Christian would amend their bibles to include the book of Jodie?

 

Please note that I am NOT being snarky or facetious here. When was the last time there was a sweeping change across Christianity that was sparked by someone coming forward with "new Words from God"?

8 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Just in the last 40 years the number of denominations has doubled.

That isn't evolving, those new denominations are due to various interpretations of existing church dogma & teachings. Church A doesn't pray to Mary; Church B believes the Sabbath is on Saturday; Church C doesn't believe in the act of confession; Church D believes that "speaking in tongues" is proof of God; etc., etc,. etc.

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eight bits
9 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

What would be the outcome, if I announced that I had spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying, and had a new testament from the god of Christianity?

Worked for Paul, worked for Mohammed, and worked for Joseph Smith, to name three.

Most people who play the lottery lose; those few who win, win big.

11 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Do you think the Vatican and every branch of Christian would amend their bibles to include the book of Jodie?

Of course not. This is evolution, not bean bag. However nice the people who staff your (hypothetical) competition are today, their organizations got to where they are by killing those who got in their way and being killed by those in whose way they got.

 

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DieChecker
1 hour ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

That may be so, but it isn't my understanding of the old gods.

In fact, because of my heritage, I am fascinated with the olde gods of the Irish. Actually, most of the Celtic gods were heroes who became equated with gods in many instances, due to their epic battles and feats.

I played a LOT of Dungeons and Dragons as a young man, and read many many books on gods, as i liked the cleric character.

You are right about the Irish elevating hero's to Godhood. But, some of those hero's, like Cu Coulain, were noted for going berserk and murdering entire villages that offended them.

The Irish gods, most fall into the Tuatha Dé Danann group, also notably were responsible for wiping out the Fir Bolg, the people in Ireland before them. Genocide? And they were ruthless with the Formorians, their recurring enemies, whom they also wanted to completely wipe out.

I'm not saying they are any better or worse, but they ain't saints. Except Cu Coulain who supposedly Saint Patrick absolved and allowed to go to Heaven.

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DieChecker
1 hour ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

What would be the outcome, if I announced that I had spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying, and had a new testament from the god of Christianity? If I proclaimed that Jesus Himself, with a choir of angels, delivered to me a new message for the faithful. A message that didn't necessarily overturn every tenet of Christianity, but changed a few core lessons. Do you think the Vatican and every branch of Christian would amend their bibles to include the book of Jodie?

Like 8bits said that worked for Joseph Smith and some other Christian cults. They are still here and Joe's cult is doing very well.

Saying every branch has to change isn't evolution though. In evolution, some of the population is left behind, while part of it moves forward. 

Quote

That isn't evolving, those new denominations are due to various interpretations of existing church dogma & teachings. Church A doesn't pray to Mary; Church B believes the Sabbath is on Saturday; Church C doesn't believe in the act of confession; Church D believes that "speaking in tongues" is proof of God; etc., etc,. etc.

That's the very definition, change over time. You seem to want to see Christianity change from a hawk into a horse. Rather then a hawk into a penguin.

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Habitat
48 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

I may have misspoken, or been misunderstood.

Allow me to clarify: The Organizations may have changed, but the core teachings have not. They are static, and cannot be altered. Interpretaions may vary widely, but no new elements can be introduced

What core teachings are you talking about ?

What would be the outcome, if I announced that I had spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying, and had a new testament from the god of Christianity? If I proclaimed that Jesus Himself, with a choir of angels, delivered to me a new message for the faithful. A message that didn't necessarily overturn every tenet of Christianity, but changed a few core lessons. Do you think the Vatican and every branch of Christian would amend their bibles to include the book of Jodie?

You'd have to produce this new "show", to find out. It may not be met with as much acclaim as anticipated. Wasn't it JC that said a prophet had no honour in his own time and land ? You might have only posthumous recognition of the new compact with God. But if it as really as "new" as you seem to imply, it won't be Christianity, that would be an anomaly, revolutionary happenings in religion tend to be named after the central figure involved, Christ-ian, Mohammed-en, Buddh-ist, etc. Talk is cheap, however, and for Jodie-ism to take root, there will need to be something revolutionary happen, first and foremost, within you. We don't want some half-assed tinkering at the edges of Christianity, to produce something akin to Wesley-an or Luther-an, we want the "ism" ! Of course there have been many changes within Christianity, in the numerous break away denominations of it, even within the denominations, stasis is not the rule, especially today, which is hardly surprising, considering we are living in the most dynamically changing human environment ever.

 

 

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psyche101
20 hours ago, Habitat said:

Jodie is very much enamoured of mentioning blood lusting Gods, for the very good reason that they make a mockery of the idea of God, and that is the purpose of the exercise, to make God seem ridiculous and most improbable.

How is the concept of God not ridiculous and improbable without anyone saying anything at all? 

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Jodie.Lynne
18 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Saying every branch has to change isn't evolution though. In evolution, some of the population is left behind, while part of it moves forward. 

Personally, I'd like to see them all left behind. But that's just me.

Couple of things I noticed:

Your use of the word 'cult'. I take it that you think your particular flavor of Christianity is the one true way, then? And all others aren't quite as worthy?

Also, you didn't address my statement about religious teachings being static, and not allowing new growth or new lessons to be added. From what I've observed, most of the religious "growth" seems to be in trying to wrap outdated scriptures to fit modern times. No where, has any Christian organization or church ever said "hey, you know this passage & message in the bible? Yeah, well, we have decided it's rubbish and are discarding it."

 

I think I would have a hell of a lot more respect for any church, temple or mosque that stood up and rejected parts of their holy books as 'not beneficial to mankind'.

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DieChecker
27 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Personally, I'd like to see them all left behind. But that's just me.

Couple of things I noticed:

Your use of the word 'cult'. I take it that you think your particular flavor of Christianity is the one true way, then? And all others aren't quite as worthy?

Also, you didn't address my statement about religious teachings being static, and not allowing new growth or new lessons to be added. From what I've observed, most of the religious "growth" seems to be in trying to wrap outdated scriptures to fit modern times. No where, has any Christian organization or church ever said "hey, you know this passage & message in the bible? Yeah, well, we have decided it's rubbish and are discarding it."

Several books of the Bible were reconsidered after the Protestant reformation. They are known as the Apocrypha. Some denominations recognize them and some do not.

Some denominations even hark back to Gnostic texts. And some include the Book of Enoch.

You are right though in that "growth", change, mainly comes by way of redefining rather then adding. But that is still evolution.

Cult. Yeah I think many other denominations have issues. And I think some, like Mormonism, shouldn't be included at all (as mainline Christians). But I recognize most people I meet as a Brother, even if they are mistaken on some fine point. 

Technically "cult" is a correct term for a branch of a religion which has changed enough Most practitioners would not agree with. Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science and Mormonism, as examples, are all often considered Christian Cults.

Edited by DieChecker

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Habitat
17 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

How is the concept of God not ridiculous and improbable without anyone saying anything at all? 

Defined concepts of God are simply an attempt to fill in a blank, and that blank is as blank as ever it has been, despite the follies of some who think science has filled it, which it has not, and can not. Were it not for this obvious blank, there is no talk of God. That does not mean the blank is a blank in terms of objective reality, it just means it is a blank in terms of our normal methods of apprehension. Some apply mental gymnastics in an attempt to deny this, but invariably fail. Yet the amazing thing is, that a small number through history have taught that there is a way to apprehend this greater reality. A few have religions named after them, but they have largely deviated from those original source teachings, into attempts at rationalising that which eludes rationalisation, and so failing to answer the question posed by the Great Blank !

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Jodie.Lynne
20 hours ago, Habitat said:

Jodie is very much enamoured of mentioning blood lusting Gods, for the very good reason that they make a mockery of the idea of God, and that is the purpose of the exercise, to make God seem ridiculous and most improbable.

And once again, Habitat attacks the poster, rather than the concepts they post.

 

And just for the record, god is ridiculous and most improbable. At least, the god depicted in the OT is.

For a supposedly supreme being, he sure does make a lot of errors. I mean, god could have set up a perfect paradise, without the trap of the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil', and Adam & Eve wouldn't have been tempted. But, this god chose to not only have the trap, but also to allow an instigator to roam free as well. Seems rather poor planning to me.

Yet, when I and others point out the logical flaws in this fairy tale compendium, WE are cited as being the delusional ones. Or with being 'in league with the devil'.

Which leads to another mistake of the Big G: god supposedly created the angels, presumably to help him and serve him. But, one of his chief creations and 1/3rd of these created beings rebelled against their creator. Again, seems like poor planning, or a deliberately engineered flaw.

Then, god decides that the human race, which he created, is too evil to survive, and wipes them all out. Except for 8 people. A man, his wife, their 3 sons and their wives. Incest is best, right? We are to accept that these 4 couples repopulated the world, and in a few short generations, there was enough of a population to construct a magnificent tower that was going to reach heaven. 

But, instead of saying "Gee, these humans are pretty damn clever and resilient, and so eager to meet me, I can't wait!" he gets royally pished and scatters the humans, creating a division of language, as punishment for their effrontery.

And then, the ultimate absurdity. In order to 'free' humans from his own punishments and laws, god decides to split himself in order to become mortal; rapes a young woman and then sacrifices himself, to himself, to circumvent a law that he himself created in order to save us from himself.

 

But I am the unreasonable one? 

I know that the faithful here will spring forth with a thousand reasons why their god is free from blame, and Habitat & Walker with say I am "angry" at god, and I really don't know why I bother to post here. I must have a masochistic streak, because this is a pointless and useless exercise.

Over. Out.

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Habitat
1 minute ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

And once again, Habitat attacks the poster, rather than the concepts they post.

 

And just for the record, god is ridiculous and most improbable. At least, the god depicted in the OT is.

For a supposedly supreme being, he sure does make a lot of errors. I mean, god could have set up a perfect paradise, without the trap of the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil', and Adam & Eve wouldn't have been tempted. But, this god chose to not only have the trap, but also to allow an instigator to roam free as well. Seems rather poor planning to me.

Yet, when I and others point out the logical flaws in this fairy tale compendium, WE are cited as being the delusional ones. Or with being 'in league with the devil'.

Which leads to another mistake of the Big G: god supposedly created the angels, presumably to help him and serve him. But, one of his chief creations and 1/3rd of these created beings rebelled against their creator. Again, seems like poor planning, or a deliberately engineered flaw.

Then, god decides that the human race, which he created, is too evil to survive, and wipes them all out. Except for 8 people. A man, his wife, their 3 sons and their wives. Incest is best, right? We are to accept that these 4 couples repopulated the world, and in a few short generations, there was enough of a population to construct a magnificent tower that was going to reach heaven. 

But, instead of saying "Gee, these humans are pretty damn clever and resilient, and so eager to meet me, I can't wait!" he gets royally pished and scatters the humans, creating a division of language, as punishment for their effrontery.

And then, the ultimate absurdity. In order to 'free' humans from his own punishments and laws, god decides to split himself in order to become mortal; rapes a young woman and then sacrifices himself, to himself, to circumvent a law that he himself created in order to save us from himself.

 

But I am the unreasonable one? 

I know that the faithful here will spring forth with a thousand reasons why their god is free from blame, and Habitat & Walker with say I am "angry" at god, and I really don't know why I bother to post here. I must have a masochistic streak, because this is a pointless and useless exercise.

Over. Out.

That you can't expand your thinking to accommodate the possibility of a God that can't be described or defined, does not bear on whether there is that God, you are way too fond of trying to dispose of all notions of God, by attacking the soft-target OT stuff that is easily shown to be lame attempts by frail humans to fill in a blank in human understanding, and I'd suggest you have your go at filling in that blank, in a way that satisfies the reader, because no-one else has succeeded, ever, in transmitting that answer ! Which is not to say it cannot be answered. The lovestruck, for example, in the first bloom of infatuation, understand what being "in love" means, in a way that no book, or poem, or "wise" counsel will ever convey. The mystics have outlined their prescription for the way to "know" God, and it certainly is not via the method of reason.

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Mr Walker
11 hours ago, Sherapy said:

You have not visitied Texas ( I have several times ) or lived in California, well, I do.

In both states, being gay is accepted. 

Perhaps,you are filtering through your own culture or beliefs and then projecting them outward. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lol No I was referring to the different laws in each state and the different political and  social demographics.

While some laws are covered by federal jurisdiction, many are covered by state laws.

However mainly it is social attitudes, reflected in surveyed  political choices and religious affiliations which makes the difference 

There are better sources but, as usual, wiki covers the basics nicely. Check, especially, the maps. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_States

quote

Why are there more gay people in California?

 

So a quick Reverse Google Image Search came up with this: Gallup Special Report: New Estimates of the LGBT Population in the United States

The summary there says:

The percentage of adults in the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) ranges from 1.7% in North Dakota to 5.1% in Hawaii and 10% in the District of Columbia ...  While LGBT communities are clearly present in every state in the union, their visibility is generally higher in states with greater levels of social acceptance and LGBT supportive legal climates.

Social climates that promote acceptance of or stigma toward LGBT individuals could affect how many adults disclose an LGBT identity. LGBT people who live in places where they feel accepted may be more likely than those who live in places where they feel stigmatized to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity to a survey interviewer.

...

The states with proportionally larger LGBT populations generally have supportive LGBT legal climates. With the exception of South Dakota, all of the states that have LGBT populations of at least 4% have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and allow same-sex couples to marry, enter into a civil union, or register as domestic partners. Of the 10 states with the lowest percentage of LGBT adults, only Iowa has such laws.

...

Higher proportions of LGBT individuals in a state could also suggest that LGBT individuals move there in higher proportions than the general population does. While highly concentrated (and mostly male) LGBT neighborhoods exist in many cities and are certainly in part a result of this type of migration, little is known about the broader migration patterns of the LGBT community. Given prior Gallup findings showing that the LGBT population is disproportionately young, female, and nonwhite -- all of which are groups with economic disadvantages that could limit their abilities to move -- it seems unlikely that migration is the primary reason for variation in LGBT identification across states.

end quote

Still I could have chosen a state other than texas 

While California has  one of the highest percentage of gays in the usa there are many  mid-eastern states with lower percentages 

naturally, DC has the highest, at 10% 

California; 4%

Texas; 3.3 %

South Dakota  1.7%

 

quote

ll my life I’ve loved Texas: those big skies, big steaks and big attitudes. I’m there several times a year.

But Texas doesn’t love me back. Certainly its lawmakers don’t, and lately they’ve been hellbent on showing that.

In June the governor signed a bill allowing child welfare groups to refuse adoptions that contradict their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” They can turn away gay men like me.

That same month, the Texas Supreme Court approved a lawsuit challenging the city of Houston’s provision of equal benefits to all married employees, including those with same-sex spouses. Although the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, Texas bucks and balks.

Not New York. My state loves me something fierce. What it did in June was finalize the design of a monument to L.G.B.T. citizens in downtown Manhattan. New York legalized same-sex marriage back in 2011 without any federal nudge.

There’s no such thing as L.G.B.T. life in America, a country even more divided on this front than on others. There’s L.G.B.T. life in a group of essentially progressive places like New York, Maryland, Oregon and California, which bans government-funded travel to states it deems unduly discriminatory. Then there is L.G.B.T. life on that blacklist, which includes Texas, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/25/opinion/sunday/worst-and-best-places-to-be-gay.html

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

I played a LOT of Dungeons and Dragons as a young man, and read many many books on gods, as i liked the cleric character.

You are right about the Irish elevating hero's to Godhood. But, some of those hero's, like Cu Coulain, were noted for going berserk and murdering entire villages that offended them.

The Irish gods, most fall into the Tuatha Dé Danann group, also notably were responsible for wiping out the Fir Bolg, the people in Ireland before them. Genocide? And they were ruthless with the Formorians, their recurring enemies, whom they also wanted to completely wipe out.

I'm not saying they are any better or worse, but they ain't saints. Except Cu Coulain who supposedly Saint Patrick absolved and allowed to go to Heaven.

Maybe its a similar background, but i also thought about correcting Jodie on this, then decided i had argued enough for one day :) 

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, psyche101 said:

How is the concept of God not ridiculous and improbable without anyone saying anything at all? 

Why do you find the concept of gods ridiculous and improbable? is it that you  are disconnected from  the earth, and the elemental forces of nature, and have learned material self sufficiency, so  that you do not think you require gods any more?

 

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Habitat
2 hours ago, eight bits said:

However nice the people who staff your (hypothetical) competition are today, their organizations got to where they are by killing those who got in their way and being killed by those in whose way they got.

You mean, like human cultures, generally ? Is there some news on this, I'm missing ? Clearly  major organized religions are inseparable from the cultures they arose in, and whilst things might have been a little different "way back", those that do the killing are generally agents of the wider state, and doing the bidding of that state, not "on loan" to some antagonism between competing religions. I would say it has long been the case that usually it is the state that conscripts religion to its causes, and not the other way round.

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psyche101
2 hours ago, Habitat said:

Defined concepts of God are simply an attempt to fill in a blank, and that blank is as blank as ever it has been, despite the follies of some who think science has filled it, which it has not, and can not. Were it not for this obvious blank, there is no talk of God. That does not mean the blank is a blank in terms of objective reality, it just means it is a blank in terms of our normal methods of apprehension. Some apply mental gymnastics in an attempt to deny this, but invariably fail. Yet the amazing thing is, that a small number through history have taught that there is a way to apprehend this greater reality. A few have religions named after them, but they have largely deviated from those original source teachings, into attempts at rationalising that which eludes rationalisation, and so failing to answer the question posed by the Great Blank !

That simply amounts to bad guesses that some have taken a zealous affiliation with. Science has answered a great many so called wonders. There's no good reason to expect that trend to stop. To revert to ancient thinking is not wise, its just lazy. 

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psyche101
7 hours ago, Will Due said:

I know. The Bible isn't God.

Not according to the majority of religious people. Bibles are the only place the concept of God appears so either it's the word of God, or the entire concept is just a human construct. And the more people claim to know God's will, as you have here, the more the latter seems to be written in stone. 

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Will do
21 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

Not according to the majority of religious people. Bibles are the only place the concept of God appears so either it's the word of God, or the entire concept is just a human construct. And the more people claim to know God's will, as you have here, the more the latter seems to be written in stone. 

 

The words are not God.

 

 

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psyche101
Just now, Will Due said:

The words are not God.

I would say they are as that's the only place the idea of God is recorded. Whether one recognises God ad imaginary, or thinks god is real changes nothing there. 

They are allegedly the words of God. 

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Habitat
25 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

Not according to the majority of religious people. Bibles are the only place the concept of God appears so either it's the word of God, or the entire concept is just a human construct. And the more people claim to know God's will, as you have here, the more the latter seems to be written in stone. 

We already know that people's constructs of God, are human constructs. That is like saying grass is green because humans call things the colour of grass, green. But human concepts of God are not restricted to those promoted in religious texts.

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