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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:16 am Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:

Haha, true. I think the difference though is that according to Christian thought God is deserving of our praise and is entitled to jealousy, because there is nothing greater than Him. End of story. With the Pagan gods they seem to be in actual competition with each other. Zeus rules Olympus, but it doesn't seem to be because he deserves it (he's hardly a paragon of virtue) or that it's his rightful place (he did, after all, usurp his father Cronus), but because he has the power to take the position. Might makes right.


But didn't the devil rebel against God? If the devil had won would God still be almighty? Might makes right perhaps?
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I've always thought that the Gnostic Manichean idea was interesting because it basically says that is what happened and the God of the bible is actually Satan and the physical world is evil and that's the purpose of Christ to reveal the presence of the True God.

You can understand why the early Christian Church considered them heretical.

Another interesting group is the Cainites, so named because they consider Cain, Adam's first son and first murderer, to be the first and supreme saint. Their idea is that redemption is the greatest gift from God, so a person should commit as many sins as possible in order to show glory to God by earning His forgiveness. And the worse the sin, the greater the honor of having His forgiveness.

Historically it's debatable whether this group actually existed or they were just a cautionary parable told by the Church.


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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So the Cainites were basically Old Testament Sith?
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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@Cerrinea: Haha! Gotta love that description. Wink
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Salaris Vorn wrote:
But didn't the devil rebel against God? If the devil had won would God still be almighty? Might makes right perhaps?


I don't think the devil could have won, so the question is a nonentity, like asking if God create something greater than Himself. God IS almighty.

For sake of discussion though, let's say he did win; the universe is now in the hands of evil and God is dethroned. First of all the devil is a usurper, so he should not be at the head. Now, if this happened, I like to think I would raise my fist at him (Him?) and still side with God even though it would be the death of me.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Norse mythology goes something like that (I haven't read any yet, but I'd love to). The good gods are defeated by the more powerful evil giants.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:
Salaris Vorn wrote:
But didn't the devil rebel against God? If the devil had won would God still be almighty? Might makes right perhaps?


I don't think the devil could have won, so the question is a nonentity, like asking if God create something greater than Himself. God IS almighty.

For sake of discussion though, let's say he did win; the universe is now in the hands of evil and God is dethroned. First of all the devil is a usurper, so he should not be at the head. Now, if this happened, I like to think I would raise my fist at him (Him?) and still side with God even though it would be the death of me.


Of course if the devil had overthrown God in all probability your religion wouldn't exist so you might not even be aware that you shouldn't side with the devil. (or yet another chicken and the egg scenario to add to the books) Wink

In any event my point is that God is all powerful because no one is able to overthrow Him. I'd say the ultimate case of might makes right is when a being has the ability crush any opposition and quite possibly ensure nothing is created that could overthrow them. Basically in that regard Christianity isn't different from Pagan religions where the head God has that position because they have the power to take that position and maintain their position against any opposition.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Salaris Vorn wrote:
In any event my point is that God is all powerful because no one is able to overthrow Him. I'd say the ultimate case of might makes right is when a being has the ability crush any opposition and quite possibly ensure nothing is created that could overthrow them. Basically in that regard Christianity isn't different from Pagan religions where the head God has that position because they have the power to take that position and maintain their position against any opposition.


Ah, gotcha.

The difference I see (just based on myths and Pagan poems/plays that I've read) is that the Christian God is just and good in addition to being all powerful and so we serve Him out of love in addition to fear, whereas Pagan gods are often mischievous and sacrifices and rituals often seem to be done out of pure fear. Although, I can imagine gods like Athena or Artemis being loved, I can't imagine many people serving the top dog, Zeus, out of anything but fear.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:19 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Reepicheep wrote:
Salaris Vorn wrote:
In any event my point is that God is all powerful because no one is able to overthrow Him. I'd say the ultimate case of might makes right is when a being has the ability crush any opposition and quite possibly ensure nothing is created that could overthrow them. Basically in that regard Christianity isn't different from Pagan religions where the head God has that position because they have the power to take that position and maintain their position against any opposition.


Ah, gotcha.

The difference I see (just based on myths and Pagan poems/plays that I've read) is that the Christian God is just and good in addition to being all powerful and so we serve Him out of love in addition to fear, whereas Pagan gods are often mischievous and sacrifices and rituals often seem to be done out of pure fear. Although, I can imagine gods like Athena or Artemis being loved, I can't imagine many people serving the top dog, Zeus, out of anything but fear.


But isn't that why Christians worship God? From what I understand, through the fear of the Almighty being, they respect him due to the fact that he is so mighty, he can inspire fear into them. If you get what I mean. I'm not saying you fear God, but that's may have been how it have started. But there are plenty of people around today who are "God-fearing".
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Personally, I serve God because He is all-powerful and good. It's crucial to me that God is both. If I lived in ancient Greece and I believed in Zeus, I might just rebel against him regardless of his power.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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I see. But obviously, "good" is a completely subjective term. This may be a good example, but in Skyrim there is a Daedric Prince (an evil all-powerful God) called Peryite, who is the Prince of Pestilence. I spoke to one of his followers and they said something like "Peryite is the pus in the wound, others turn their noses at us but pus cleans the blood, and sometimes Tamriel (the main landmass) needs to be cleansed by plague." Some people would consider a plague-spreading all-powerful demon-god evil, but some people have a different perspective.

Obviously, this isn't real, but I just played it and it seemed relevant. God made plagues and floods and stuff, didn't he?

Basically all of faith is based on the interpretation of the same information.
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 PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:22 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Well monotheistic religious people would say that God is good because God defines what good is and therefor bad is what God isn't or rather what goes against what God wants. That seems to be the general explanation for why a good and all powerful God allows the existence of bad and evil things. That requires a certain philosophical idea that ignorance is not bliss and people couldn't be happy having a perfect life unless they were aware of the possibility to have a crappy one. Based on human psychology that seems to be pretty true.

I tend to think that all religious doctrine is mostly human psychology personified into mythical characters and stories, along with an explanation for things that people don't understand as well as attempts to document things that are beyond human understanding, if not conception- those things like the meaning of life, the existence of a soul or non-physical world, the creation of the universe and the end of time, life after death, etc. The Big Questions.

Also a cultural accounts of laws and customs that are pretty subjective and shouldn't be taken too seriously, IMHO.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell you that I personally subscribe the most to the Gnostic view that the world of sensory experience is separate from the world of pure ideas, the spiritual world and that humanity cannot directly experience God, which is the sum of the universe and not personified into an individual entity but "filtered" through a serious of intermediaries. To them these intermediaries were more or less what we'd call supernatural beings, and they might on some level be higher dimensional forms, but I think they mostly tend to represent levels of consciousness that shift from the material and mechanistic towards the pure and spiritual.

Christianity tends to reject this idea in favor of a personal God that can be directly experienced, although the idea of a cosmic Will in either form is not really any less convoluted.

In Norse the Giants are not really evil, at least as far as humans are concerned. they don't mean us any ill will. They are just like the Greek Gods and the Titans. They wage ceaseless war against each other because that's how they were born to be. In the End Times, called Ragnorak, the Gods and the Giants will destroy each other and the Earth and humanity will live in a new blissful state where the world is purged from the conflicts that arose during it's creation, pretty much akin to the Biblical Kingdom of Jesus after the Apocalypse.


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 PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:37 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Reepicheep wrote:
Life, I have a question concerning your philosophy/religion. You consider yourself a Pagan, correct? Do you think the gods are concerned with morality? Pagan gods seem to be portrayed in plays and poetry as volatile, jealous etc like human beings. A lot of times they don't even seem "good", just powerful and their anger seems to stem from snubbing or jealousy rather than indignation. Thoughts?


First question: Yes.

Second question: Sort of, but not really, no.

There are obviously some gods that are more benevolent than others, and ones that people avoided, and ones that people preferred, but I don't think it's accurate to say that our moral authority is centred around the gods. Indeed, if anything, they can be considered more neutral than good or bad.

Our theistic pantheons are more an example, a microcosm - or perhaps an affirmation in the way it was viewed - in the (seemingly) randomness of the world and the universe. The old pagans felt that this is the gods' basic stance, which is why the phrase 'Fortune favours the bold' is incorrect. Fortune was very neutral, favouring no one, heeding no praise or condemnation, or granting requests - however, it was believed that, while they were essentially neutral, you could either incur the wrath or curry the favour of some other gods(I personally don't believe this). Basically, they have some interest in our realm, looking in on us every now and then, but on the whole they're not really bothered.

Our morality stems from within us. We believe our fears, our hopes, our will, our courage comes from us, and so we don't really look to the gods for answers on what we should do, though sometimes we ask them questions, in the hope of answers (Though sometimes just asking the question out loud, and having a conversation out loud, is more conducive to providing answers).

If anything, our gods are more like patrons of deeds, like your angels, rather than our root of morality.

There are some other points you bring up in later posts, so I hope you can forgive my double posting in order to clarify matters.
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 PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:14 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Reepicheep wrote:
Salaris Vorn wrote:
But didn't the devil rebel against God? If the devil had won would God still be almighty? Might makes right perhaps?


I don't think the devil could have won, so the question is a nonentity, like asking if God create something greater than Himself. God IS almighty.

For sake of discussion though, let's say he did win; the universe is now in the hands of evil and God is dethroned. First of all the devil is a usurper, so he should not be at the head. Now, if this happened, I like to think I would raise my fist at him (Him?) and still side with God even though it would be the death of me.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Norse mythology goes something like that (I haven't read any yet, but I'd love to). The good gods are defeated by the more powerful evil giants.


I think you're talking about Ragnarok. What happens is that everything is wiped out (at least in the spiritual realm). Everything is killed, save for a man and a woman and a handful of the gods. That's interesting for two reasons. One: It denotes that even the infinite is finite, that even the afterlife can end (I agree with this concept. I want there to be an end!). Also, this reminds me of the Stover line: 'All things die, Anakin Skywalker, even stars burn out'. Two: The gods that are around afterwards, two of which are revived - the two that sacrificed themselves in the beginning.

Reepicheep wrote:

The difference I see (just based on myths and Pagan poems/plays that I've read) is that the Christian God is just and good in addition to being all powerful and so we serve Him out of love in addition to fear, whereas Pagan gods are often mischievous and sacrifices and rituals often seem to be done out of pure fear. Although, I can imagine gods like Athena or Artemis being loved, I can't imagine many people serving the top dog, Zeus, out of anything but fear.


Not really. Unless you become a devotee of an order dedicated to a specific god, we don't serve any gods. We show deference and respect (when they're being nice Razz), but we don't serve. And nor are rituals done mainly out of fear. Sometimes they are, like if you're experiencing a particularly terrifying natural event, or a troubled childbirth, then you'd provide an offering and ask for help (or to stop, if you think they're the reason a bad event is happening). But if we feared a god, or didn't particularly like them, then we simply wouldn't follow them.
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it (or even read all of it). These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.


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 PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Oh dear, are we opening that relativism can of worms again? Razz

Dannick Jerriko wrote:
But obviously, "good" is a completely subjective term.

So if our concept of "good" is completely subjective, does that mean that Buddhist morality is no better than Nazi morality? It all depends on your point of view?

Life Is The Path wrote:
Not really. Unless you become a devotee of an order dedicated to a specific god, we don't serve any gods. We show deference and respect (when they're being nice ), but we don't serve. And nor are rituals done mainly out of fear. Sometimes they are, like if you're experiencing a particularly terrifying natural event, or a troubled childbirth, then you'd provide an offering and ask for help (or to stop, if you think they're the reason a bad event is happening). But if we feared a god, or didn't particularly like them, then we simply wouldn't follow them.

Makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. Smile
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 PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:51 am Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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I'm just saying, the Nazis believed they were doing a good thing. In my set of morals they weren't.

(I'm not justifying what the Nazis did)
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