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The comprehensibility of God


Will Due
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4 hours ago, Will Due said:

But what does that have to do with the personal experiences of Philo of Alexandria and Paul of Tarsus ending up in the early doctrines of Christianity?

Because, if I understood the OP, the "religious life of Jesus" was supposed to be an aid to comprehending God. Now it's the religious lives of Philo and Paul instead?

4 hours ago, Will Due said:

Besides, trying to comprehend God using the Bible, without comprehending that "the great dad has set up his son to be gruesomely murdered" bit became a part of the doctrines of early Christianity by way of the personal experiences of Philo and Paul, and not Jesus, is particularly futile.

So far as I know, Philo wrote nothing about Jesus, so I don't see how he can illuminate Jesus's relationship with his father. Although we don't know how Paul died, tradition says it was decapitation. No fun to be sure, but quick compared with the Gospel Passion. So again, it is unclear how Paul's "personal experiences" relate to the problem.

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The crucifix was never part of the grand scheme of the picture... 

Quote
170px-Gurlitt_Constantine_column_with_st
The Column of Constantine in its original form, with the statue of Constantine as Apollo on top

The column was dedicated on May 11, 330 AD, with a mix of Christian and pagan ceremonies.

...

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

~

 

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25 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Because, if I understood the OP, the "religious life of Jesus" was supposed to be an aid to comprehending God. Now it's the religious lives of Philo and Paul instead?

So far as I know, Philo wrote nothing about Jesus, so I don't see how he can illuminate Jesus's relationship with his father. Although we don't know how Paul died, tradition says it was decapitation. No fun to be sure, but quick compared with the Gospel Passion. So again, it is unclear how Paul's "personal experiences" relate to the problem.

Good morning my friend hope your well! I certainly don’t have much knowledge concerning the Christian Religious practices. However, I think it’s very important to consider that like you are doing here the most important way to understand the Religious or Spiritual beliefs and practices of all religions is to research the historical foundation of these beliefs and practices. I think it becomes very clear when doing this that many of these beliefs and practices believed and practiced today are the result of man’s intervention and addition across the years not the deity that the religious beliefs were first built around.

Can this ever be changed? To some extent if surviving religious texts are discovered that outline the original religious practices that began when the religious practice first occurred. To my knowledge in most cases these original texts have not survived the ages in complete forms, so it is left up to historians to put the pieces together based upon the available information which in many cases are not based completely on fact. However, with the Christian Religious practices we do have surviving scriptures from the time frame of the life of the biblical Jesus that do give humanity a view of the foundation of Christianity.

By this I am bringing the Dead Sea Scrolls into the conversation and the fact that they do not directly mention the historical Jesus at all even while they do give insight into many scriptures included in the Old and New Testament. However, while these scriptures do exist they are different in many ways than the current scriptures being used, and in many Christian practices, Christian Leaders are resistant to taking these differences to heart and changing their views concerning established beliefs. While ‘I can understand their reluctance, I don’t agree with there complete resistance to the changes outlined.

I am not being critical of anyones beliefs but, at the same time I can’t agree with this philosophy either. My form of spiritual was not written until approximately 500 years after the Buddhas death. The current Buddhist Scriptures ( The Dharma ) could not be written during Buddhas life because the written word did not exist during his life. When Buddhist scriptures were first written again approximately 500 years after Buddhas death most of those original scriptures either did not survive the ages or they survived in incomplete forms in different languages that were translated and then combined which most likely don’t give a true interpretation of the original scriptures.

If a treasure trove of original Buddhist documents were discovered like the Dead Sea Scrolls have been, I would immediately want to learn the truth about my own spiritual beliefs and I would not resist changes to get to the truth. I understand that my views are mine alone and not a standard that should not be the example, but still the resistance to change for me is a major problem that exists among all the worlds religious practices that I will never fully comprehend!

Peace my friend sorry for jumping into your discussion!

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7 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

Peace my friend sorry for jumping into your discussion!

Nothing to be sorry about, that was a very fruitful jump.

It sounds like we're both still working on the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity, just as we were in that awesome thread of yours a while back.

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3 hours ago, eight bits said:

Because, if I understood the OP, the "religious life of Jesus" was supposed to be an aid to comprehending God. Now it's the religious lives of Philo and Paul instead?

 

The religious lives of Philo and Paul only apply, in regard to the OP, to how the death of Jesus became the foundation of early Christian doctrines that suggested that his gruesome death was required by the wrathful deity of the Old testament. And Paul was unable not to make that connection.

The religious life of Jesus and how he lived it did not have anything to do with that. In fact it was because of his teachings and the way he lived his life which did not conform to the Jewish religious ideas current at the time (like not washing his hands before eating a meal) that he was accused of blasphemy. Falsely accusing him of claiming that he was "the king of the Jews" when he wasn't, and he never said that he was, which they used successfully to convince Pontius Pilate to execute him.

 

 

3 hours ago, eight bits said:

So far as I know, Philo wrote nothing about Jesus, so I don't see how he can illuminate Jesus's relationship with his father.

 

Philo never illuminated Jesus' relationship with his Father. He never met Jesus and he never wrote anything about him but nonetheless, he had a major influence on the writers of the New testament anyway.

Just before the times of Jesus, Jewish theology became thoroughly Helenized by the philosophy of Plato and the Helenized philosophy of the Stoics. This led to a certain amount of confusion amongst the Jews and Philo took it upon himself to harmonize the Mosaic Hebrew theology of the past with the Greek philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. And it was this teaching that prevailed in Palestine when Jesus taught and lived and subsequently, Paul.

 

 

3 hours ago, eight bits said:

Although we don't know how Paul died, tradition says it was decapitation. No fun to be sure, but quick compared with the Gospel Passion. So again, it is unclear how Paul's "personal experiences" relate to the problem.

 

When Paul came on the scene and in formulating the doctrines of early Christianity, he generally kept pace with Philo's teachings. Philo taught the doctrine of atonement for sin by "the shedding of blood" which in principle Paul preserved in his personal experiences. But these doctrines were not a part of the teachings of Jesus. Neither does the text of the Bible ever indicate that Jesus lived his life in a manner that supported the idea. The idea that it would be "good news" that his inevitable death would occur for the atonement of sin.

And this is why knowing the doctrines of early Christianity, based on the teachings of Philo and Paul, are something else entirely than knowing how Jesus lived his life, as an aid to comprehending God.

 

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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2 hours ago, eight bits said:

Nothing to be sorry about, that was a very fruitful jump.

It sounds like we're both still working on the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity, just as we were in that awesome thread of yours a while back.

Thanks and yes that does appear to be the case, I tend to look at most religious practices in a similar fashion! That way I don’t offend others with my beliefs, at least I don’t try to!:D

Thanks for the response it’s always great to hear from you and the knowledge you share!:tu:

Edited by Manwon Lender
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9 hours ago, Will Due said:

The religious lives of Philo and Paul only apply, in regard to the OP, to how the death of Jesus became the foundation of early Christian doctrines that suggested that his gruesome death was required by the wrathful deity of the Old testament. And Paul was unable not to make that connection.

I think you are going to have a very hard time pinning any justification for human sacrifice on Philo. This was a subject where the Hellenized Romans and the Hellenized Jews were in accord: human sacrifice is out of the question.

Which does indeed leave Hellenized Jewish Paul in a tight spot. The paradox of a religion based on human sacrifice arising in a culture that hated human sacrifice helps to explain why almost 2000 years later, awesomely learned scholars are still debating what Paul was trying to say.

It's something like all humans had to die because of what Adam did, so Jesus had to die. It seems to me that Paul would have preferred that that death didn't involve a cross (or stake or whatever wooden implement), but he accepts that it did.

Where Jesus seems to have differed for Paul from everybody else was some combination of a "special destiny" plus Jesus's willing complete acceptance of his death, nasty as it was. As to God, the impression I get is that Paul imagined God being so impressed by Jesus's acceptance of his death that God appoints Jesus as a heavenly second in command and is now or soon going to forgive other people for Adam's sin. If I'm on the right track there, then that would be different from God demanding the sacrifice outright (and again, the Jewish Bible is clear that their God abhors human sacrifice, nor was there a civilized-Romanized Gentile constituency for it, either).

There is little or nothing about Jesus's life except his having been born a Jew that seems to make any difference to Paul. Paul never treats Jesus as having been a wise teacher during his natural life. Paul makes no mention of Jesus having had any teachers (e.g. John the Baptist), and nobody is identified by Paul as ever having been a student of Jesus (even though apostles whom the gospels depict as students do appear in Paul, especially Simon Peter-Cephas).

Sooo - I just don't see that adding Paul (or Philo) to the mix advances our understanding of Jesus's religious life, or helps us comprehend Jesus's notion of God as an idealized father-figure with a dark side that Jesus himself apparently overlooks.

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On 6/5/2022 at 1:32 PM, cormac mac airt said:

I comprehend that 11-dimensional space time DOESN’T translate to 4-dimensional understanding. DO YOU? 
 

cormac

Nope ,  But I’ve been reading some ..and trying to learn a little about some of the prevalent theories you mentioned.  (been reading wife’s old college book UNIVERSE ..too).  I can’t get my old head around much of it !  Yet..I’ll keep trying.       I’m not even quite comfortably convinced about  3 dimensions..And Time..yet. ! :P

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13 hours ago, eight bits said:

I think you are going to have a very hard time pinning any justification for human sacrifice on Philo. This was a subject where the Hellenized Romans and the Hellenized Jews were in accord: human sacrifice is out of the question.

 

Philo definitely did not justify human sacrifice. By and large, as you've already made clear, the consensus at the time was that human sacrifice was repugnant. By then it had long passed, but animal sacrifice was still vogue and during those days it dominated most of the religions of the Levant.

So how did the cornerstone of Christianity become based on human sacrifice? When by and large it was out of the question?

I think this shows how "knee-jerk-like" people are, especially when they're confronted with something beyond extraordinary like the doings of Jesus.

Religion is one of those things, because of how far back traditions go without really knowing their source, that things that would have otherwise been rejected out of hand are held onto even more sacredly. Such as how these very circumstances resulted in the beginnings of Christianity. 

When Christianity was formulated, those who were involved rather lost themselves so far religiously in my opinion, that they went against all conventionality to ascribe human sacrifice (in the most primitive sense) to the execution of a man who's teachings were so revolutionary that had they been followed it would have undoubtedly liberated the people from the very same burdensome religious absurdities that were then immediately reattached to the religion that now bears his name.

The whole thing was highly psychological and thoughtlessly reactionary in its inception.

 

 

13 hours ago, eight bits said:

There is little or nothing about Jesus's life except his having been born a Jew that seems to make any difference to Paul. Paul never treats Jesus as having been a wise teacher during his natural life. Paul makes no mention of Jesus having had any teachers (e.g. John the Baptist), and nobody is identified by Paul as ever having been a student of Jesus (even though apostles whom the gospels depict as students do appear in Paul, especially Simon Peter-Cephas).

 

What this shows is that Christianity is far more the religion of Paul than it is the religion of Jesus. 

"There are remarkable similarities between the Christian doctrine and the teachings of Mithraism. Nothing Jesus or any of his disciples taught resemble or seem even vaguely suggestive of the Mithran doctrines, yet Paul's letters are full of them.

http://www.pocketoz.com.au/colours/paul-mithra.html

And that's because before his involvement with Christianity, Paul was undoubtedly a devotee of Mithraism. An Iranian cult that absorbed the teachings of Zoroaster before reaching Rome.

It's also highly likely that very much about the Jewish traditions of heaven and hell and the doctrines of devils as recorded in the Hebrew scriptures were derived from the Zoroastrians during the time when the Jews were dominated by the Persians.

 

 

13 hours ago, eight bits said:

Sooo - I just don't see that adding Paul (or Philo) to the mix advances our understanding of Jesus's religious life, or helps us comprehend Jesus's notion of God as an idealized father-figure with a dark side that Jesus himself apparently overlooks.

 

But Jesus didn't overlook the dark side of God as depicted in the Old testament. He did everything in his power to show by his teachings and the living of his life that the God of the Old testament isn't like he's been portrayed. Rather, God is merciful. A loving God. Even a friend! 

So here's the part that's really baffling.

If it's true that Jesus was willing to accept his death "nasty as it was" don't you see that it was worthwhile that he gave it a chance that those who might dare, when encouraged enough, would take another look and see it for what it really is?

 

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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1 hour ago, Will Due said:

If it's true that Jesus was willing to accept his death "nasty as it was" don't you see that it was worthwhile that he gave it a chance that those who might dare, when encouraged enough, would take another look and see it for what it really is?

Well, since we're being so careful about what is sourced to Paul, then we don't actually have Jesus's thinking about his death. It is Paul (who never met the man) who tells us what Jesus was thinking, presumably because Paul thought he had special insight into what God thought about Jesus's death, and from that Paul works back to what God "must have" seen in Jesus's heart and mind (or so it seems to me when reading Paul).

When we finally do get a coherent story about Jesus's life and death, Mark, it's much more show than tell. Jesus does this or that, he tells other people what they should think and do, but very little of his own interior life is depicted.

I feel I am being dared to see Jesus's death for what "it really is," but with the materials I have to work with, all I see is that the Romans knew how to implement the timeless military maxim "I can't make you do what I tell you, but I can make you wish you had."

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On 6/4/2022 at 12:22 PM, Will Due said:

The premise of this thread (at least it's my hope) is not to discuss the factuality of Jesus' existence 2kya, but rather, to discuss how what's written about him, how he lived his religious life, what he taught the people; how that becomes the means for comprehending what and who God is

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSGyzGdCVgGcWLtK-1BbNF

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Just my take and could be wrong. Jesus death is a representation of devotion. To sacrifice one's life for and to God. Mean a person is willing to forget themselves and be consumed by their devotion and willing to die for their faith. 

My 2 cents. 

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I think it is difficult for folks to consider what being "One" with God may mean. Christ indicated he is one with the Father and the Father is one with him. When Philip asked him "show us the Father and it sufficeth us", Christ's reply was, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?". (John 14:8-9)

Perhaps God's oneness is that God is not just single but that he is many who are one (E Pluribus Unum). And, Christ is an incarnation of that Pluribus God.

Also, is it beyond consideration that God, in knowing all things, does also know all experiences? Just what did Christ experience? Aside from the possibility he is God declaring he takes full responsibility for all evil in the world as a result of allowing humankind complete free will, would God also choose to be aware of the fullness of experiencing the utmost in guilt, shame, and condemnation for that evil? Could it be that God also knows the fullness of faith and love needed to overcome such a death experience?

I see Christ teaching the law of Karma, and the possiblity of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Nobody is forced to accept, and it is simply whosoever will. Reincarnation is also indicated by Christ, and those who choose to continue learning through the plan of Karma may continue to do so, but those who come to an understanding of repentance and forgiveness can freely accept it, and subsequently be entered into the Kingdom of Heaven and move from this world (Christ said his Kingdom was not of this world), and go on to even greater understanding and experience.

Just a few my thoughts to add to the others.

Sojo

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5 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Just my take and could be wrong. Jesus death is a representation of devotion. To sacrifice one's life for and to God. Mean a person is willing to forget themselves and be consumed by their devotion and willing to die for their faith

My 2 cents. 

 Not saying your wrong…just that I always looked at it more like Jesus taking on/away the sins of/for humanity by dying with them..  and the resurrection representing purification and forgiveness?     (in a nutshell)      ..and, yup ,an act of devotion to and faith in god.
         Waiting in the garden, Jesus  (being human ,on his mother’s side) :P    asked his father, if it might be possible that “this cup” pass from me?  but.. “ Not my will, but Thine  be done.”

     

Edited by lightly
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8 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Just my take and could be wrong. Jesus death is a representation of devotion. To sacrifice one's life for and to God. Mean a person is willing to forget themselves and be consumed by their devotion and willing to die for their faith. 

My 2 cents. 

My take from the earliest Christian writings is when Jesus emptied his powers, and took on flesh he was not seeking equality with God. And by not worshipping the flesh he humbled himself allowing himself to be killed. The Father exalted him to the status of "Lord".

Phili. 2:6-8 "6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself (Isa. 53:12), taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death —  even death on a cross."

Now where this took place is another question. Even plenty of atheists cannot accept the possibility that this was a celestial event. An imagined event by the pattern seeking early Xtians looking through OT texts for prophecy fulfillment of Daniel. 

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9 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Just my take and could be wrong. Jesus death is a representation of devotion. To sacrifice one's life for and to God. Mean a person is willing to forget themselves and be consumed by their devotion and willing to die for their faith. 

My 2 cents. 

Ya, your right ,it was an act of total devotion to god and faith in god…doing the will of his father.    But, the book also says that   “He (god) so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.    
     I think the writings are trying to say ,that, On god’s part it was an act of love (oddly enough!). ..a way to re-unite god and man. ?   (after that whole garden of Eden eviction thing) :P

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1 hour ago, lightly said:

Ya, your right ,it was an act of total devotion to god and faith in god…doing the will of his father.    But, the book also says that   “He (god) so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.    
     I think the writings are trying to say ,that, On god’s part it was an act of love (oddly enough!). ..a way to re-unite god and man. ?   (after that whole garden of Eden eviction thing) :P

Strange that it required a blood sacrifice to correct something, when God literal spoke the universe into existence.

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2 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Strange that it required a blood sacrifice to correct something, when God literal spoke the universe into existence.

Yup.    I guess the Bible is a mish mash of ideas absorbed from previous belief systems . ?  (cormac has said as much;)    I’ve been reading a little about the evolution of various religions…  and it’s a pretty similar story in all instances as far as I can tell…growing out of earlier ones.  Most of the earlier systems had myriads of gods and goddesses ..practically everything had it’s own god.   Monotheism is still fairly new.     Aten might be my favorite .  :nw:

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On 6/5/2022 at 8:19 PM, eight bits said:

Nothing to be sorry about, that was a very fruitful jump.

It sounds like we're both still working on the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity, just as we were in that awesome thread of yours a while back.

The teachings in Matthew were ripped directly from Greco-Buddhist writings spread by Ashoka's followers. Especially the Beatitudes, which were plagiarized word for word.

@Manwon Lender

Edited by Piney
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18 hours ago, lightly said:

Yup.    I guess the Bible is a mish mash of ideas absorbed from previous belief systems . ?  (cormac has said as much;)    I’ve been reading a little about the evolution of various religions…  and it’s a pretty similar story in all instances as far as I can tell…growing out of earlier ones.  Most of the earlier systems had myriads of gods and goddesses ..practically everything had it’s own god.   Monotheism is still fairly new.     Aten might be my favorite .  :nw:

Atenism however wasn’t true monotheism but instead monolatrist in nature. 
 

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt
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1 hour ago, cormac mac airt said:

Atenism however wasn’t true monotheism but instead monolatrist in nature. 
 

cormac

Ah,  thanks cormac.    I googled this up ..(it’s just from Wikipedia,  but) .. ‘ The details of Atenist theology are still unclear. The exclusion of all but one god and the prohibition of idols was a radical departure from Egyptian tradition, but most scholars see Akhenaten as a practitioner of monolatry rather than monotheism, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshiping any but Aten.’

          .  .  . Some describe Hinduism as monolatrist too?  With Brahma (creator) ,Vishnu (preserver)  ,& Shiva (destroyer)  as aspects of the  ONE ultimate reality … Brahman. ?

        …i’ve also seen Hinduism defined, by some, as Monotheistic..  And, by others, as Polytheistic !!  :wacko:
   The simplicity of Pantheism is refreshing .  

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On 6/7/2022 at 11:38 AM, Sojo said:

Perhaps God's oneness is that God is not just single but that he is many who are one (E Pluribus Unum).

True, the One God manifests himself in a multitude of spirits which are the individual personalities of God. It is due to the fact that we have a divine consciousness that we can know God because like is known by like.

It turns out that we remember ourselves when we discover the divine, we awaken to the Source of ourselves, and already through the spirit we realize unity with the Father.
Why does God need many gods, people, animals? To perform various works, to create on the multitudes of planets, points of application of force are needed, and each individuality is the center of application of his consciousness-force.

 

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2 hours ago, Piney said:

The teachings in Matthew were ripped directly from Greco-Buddhist writings spread by Ashoka's followers. Especially the Beatitudes, which were plagiarized word for word.

This is a very hard point to get across to "the guild." As you know, the majority among them believe there is a "sayings collection," Q, which is an "independent source" for the teachings of Jesus. The collection is hypothetical, nobody has ever seen any actual copy. The sayings from Q are supposedly found in Matthew and Luke, where they are attributed to Jesus.

What's hard to get across is the idea that fine, there could well have been a sayings collection, but one in which the sayings aren't attributed to Jesus. Of course, if so, then it's not such a great mystery why there wouldn't be any copies of such a collection any more.

What's especially frustrating is that there's very little attributed to Jesus that's actually original with him. Why would anybody expect these sayings to be different?

Well, it's Jesus, man. He wouldn't copy off of his neighbor's paper. (Maybe not Jesus, but Matthew and Luke sure did.)

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2 hours ago, Piney said:

The teachings in Matthew were ripped directly from Greco-Buddhist writings spread by Ashoka's followers. Especially the Beatitudes, which were plagiarized word for word.

@Manwon Lender

 

Show us these writings spread by Ashoka's followers which were plagiarized work for word.

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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1 hour ago, Will Due said:

 

Show us these writings spread by Ashoka's followers which were plagiarized work for word.

 

 

Can you read Hindi or Sogdian?

Show me the genetic evidence that I'm a member of something called the "Red Race" and not genetically the same as the Manchu and Northeast Koreans.:rolleyes:

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