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Does God Have NPD?
December 30, 2005
9:11 am
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Tez,

to WD: "Be gentle with Seekerw now. 🙂 "

Heck, no! Let him bring it on, double barrels and full throttle. I'm no wimp. :o)

"Seekerw:

The 🙂 is so you know my facial expression when I wrote the above."

:o) (I put an 'o' in my own smiley face because I have a larger-than-average nose -- I presume you have a small nose yourself.)

December 30, 2005
9:16 am
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Tez,

You wrote: "But I am curious as to why you attribute the source of the answers to your notion of some Christian God??

What reasoning do you have that underpins this assumption?
"

This is a very good question, and one I've been intending to answer, but haven't had much time to devote to this site lately. I'll answer this week-end. Take care.

December 30, 2005
8:09 pm
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seeker, that last question confuses me... maybe I have to go back & reread the thread...

Y&R,
the book "Fighting Words" doesn't mention Narcissism. It is purely about the question of whether religious speech causes violence, and uses "creation of scarce resources" as part of its rationale. The first part of the book is about the Bible, including Jew & Christian equally, and the next part, that I just started, is about the Qu'ran.

I am not ready to express a real opinion of the book. I will say that I saw one glaring weakness that the author has not addressed at all:

In order to push his apparent premise that religious speech causes violence, IMO he should have started by proving that without religious speech, there is no other possible cause of violence, or that violence even actually has to have a "cause".

This is where he might touch Narcissism unconsciously, because NPD carries within it a source of rage that does not relate to outside events, but relates to the Narcissist's private world, and I would see narcissistic violence as being violence without a cause.

January 1, 2006
4:19 pm
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hi zinnia,

"seeker, that last question confuses me..."

What question was that? I can't see which one you refer to.

January 1, 2006
10:00 pm
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Based on a blurb of the book I read, it might be interesting to watch Alvarez build his case for causation. Relationship never guarnatees cause, but it could be fun to watch him work.

He refers to certain sacred space, scripture, group privileges and salvation (to some) as scarce resources. He seems to feel those scarcities create discord. In conjunction, he believes that religious forces are non-verifiable and lead to violent means of attempted verification.

I would have to disagree with him there. Perhaps the forces aren't always empirical, but I believe them to be highly verifiable.

"This is where he might touch Narcissism unconsciously, because NPD carries within it a source of rage that does not relate to outside events, but relates to the Narcissist's private world, and I would see narcissistic violence as being violence without a cause."

Narcassistic violence without a cause? Were this true, could blow the Alvarez theory out of the water.

Do you suggest that historically/presently, there were/are prominent political leaders in religious clothing who suffered/suffer from NPD?

I wanted to clean up some tangled verbage from a previous post:

Based on your post, we are clearly from different school of thought on the Bible. I consider the Bible to be the literal and inspired word(s) of God. Therefore, I don't believe humans chose narcissistic symbols to represent God as much as humans were the instruments in which God chose to describe himself.

That's clearer I think.

January 2, 2006
2:30 am
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Seeker, I see it was connected to Tez's remarks way up there, sorry I was not following... this thread is complex 🙂

Y&R,
I don't understand your question about whether there are or were political leaders with NPD. Of course the answer is "yes", just as a matter of statistics alone. NPD personalities gravitate to leadership positions, and actually a Narcissist might not be a bad leader, if his traits are embedded in a constructive behavioral context. Frequently the worst dictators are severe NPD. But your comment suggests that this is a troublesome thought? Something you don't accept as being possible? or probable? If this idea disturbs you, why is it disturbing?

You are right that the existence of Narcissistic violence as a kind of causeless seed of violence would certainly blow Alvarez's theories out. And I think it is one of several weaknesses.

The other weakneses, now that I am far enough into the Qu'ran part to see his theory, are:
1. He does not seem to think that the concept of "sacred space" exists outside of the Bible and Qu'ran
and
2. He seems to think that "sacred space" functions as a "limited commodity" all on its own, without regard to concepts like physical security, available water & food, etc.
He uses the paucity of resources in Jerusalem as a flimsy bolster for this idea.
3. He does not acknowledge the natural violence of "friction", as when neighboring populations have different standards of punishment for the same crime. This is often a cause of traditional warfare. An example I once read explains ancient hostility between English and Scots this way:

Among the Scots, taking cattle from your neighbor's herd was a kind of game. It was officially considered a crime, but the expected response would be to steal an equal number of cattle back from your neighbor, and civil punishment was mild.

Just over the border, in England, the
same action could get you hung.

Given that people along borders do interact, intermarry, etc, there was naturally frequent cause for a Scot to believe a horrible injustice was done if someone was hung for taking cattle and just as frequent cause for an English cattleman to think the Scots were heinous criminals because he had not grown up with the idea one should "wink at" rustling. So there was often cause for violence with both sides feeling righteous in it.

That is just one example of many possible to illustrate that violence can result not from some kind of deliberate resource limits, but from the popular habits of one group rubbing up the wrong way against the popular habits of another group.

Alavaro also does not address the individual thing which is infantile violence. Children do have to be taught how to give and take toys peacefully. Usually they learn from slightly older children at play, but they do learn. Left to natural behavior, the strongest simply takes.

These things don't require religion in order for violence to happen.

To wind back around to the God as NPD thing, I frankly think that humans chose to see NPD in God while trying to explain the violence that is built into a universe where one being consumes another in order to survive.

I think Alavaro is trying to blame the existence of religion for all violence, and so he is denying the existence of natural violence, as if the world would be a peaceful and happy place if all the Scriptures disappeared.

Y&R,
I really don't have that different of an idea about the Bible from you. I recognize that Jesus did not speak English and so I set the question of literal linguistics aside in favor of calling it "solid" truth, as well as inspired.
If God is letting us see Narcissism in His personality, it may be His way of telling us that we are never going to understand or eradicate violence, because we cannot suppress violence without using violence to do it.

Y&R, I take it, from your phrase "were this true...", that you agree with Alvaroz that violence has a specific cause? But just that you would disagree with his choice of cause?

January 2, 2006
2:43 am
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What we know as the Old Testament is mainly composed from the Hebrew Tanakh. We mainly keep the original material in different order. Depending on the church some old testament material is excluded as apocryphal.

According to Professor John Crossan of Biblical Studies at DePaul University the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered "holy" and thus "the word of God" and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God. Emperor Constantine…offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the "word of God" into existence.

The final editing of the bible into the combined old and new testaments that we have today (45 books in the Old Testament; 27 in the New Testament) was 1completed in 1563 by the Council of Trent.

OF course what we know as the bible today excludes some really interesting stuff, which just wasn’t politically correct in 1563, like the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene.

I am quite struck in particular by Mary 4:22-39.

22) The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.

23) For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.

24) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.

29) He who has a mind to understand, let him understand.

30) Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body.

31) That is why I said to you, Be of good courage, and if you are discouraged be encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature.

32) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

33) When the Blessed One had said this, He greeted them all,saying, Peace be with you. Receive my peace unto yourselves.

34) Beware that no one lead you astray saying Lo here or lo there! For the Son of Man is within you.

35) Follow after Him!

36) Those who seek Him will find Him.

37) Go then and preach the gospel of the Kingdom.

38) Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.

39) When He said this He departed.

Abstracted from:
http://www.deism.com/biblevotes.html

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/O......2F33AD.29

http://www.gnosis.org/library/.....rygosp.htm

January 2, 2006
2:53 am
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Here is a very intersting argument that Mary Magdalene is actually the author of the fourth gospel, the gospel of John.

http://members.tripod.com/~Ram.....alene.html

January 2, 2006
9:52 am
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WD,

Thanks for the information you posted on the origin of our present Bible.

We don't know anything about why the books of the Old Testament were chosen as official, and why others were not. The Dead Sea scrolls suggest that they were virtually all chosen as they are now by about 100 BC, with the exception of the Apocrypha in the Catholic version, which neither the Jews nor Protestants accept. Constantine's council accepted the Old Testament as it already existed.

We still do not know how we got our current versions of the inidividual books of the New Testament. These had already been written well before Constantine, and were merely selected for inclusion by his council. I don't believe any substantial rewriting or editing was done on them, but I don't have the time to research this and find out.

So you still have not supported your earlier statement that "... the authors and editors of the bible were impaired by ignorance, conflicts of interest and politics."

January 2, 2006
11:49 am
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Hi seekerw,

"the authors and editors of the bible were impaired by ignorance, conflicts of interest and politics.”

Oh that one. I thought that was non-controversial, sorry. Let me take a crack at it. Not having been there of course.

I submit that all men are imparied by ignorance, conflicts of interest, and politics....

But let’s address politics first. Politics, is of course about the settling of conflicts of interest. Sometimes, politics is about equitable settlement of conflicts of interest, but usually there are “winners” and “losers.”

We have already seen that the New Testament has been edited into its current form by different sects of the churches of Christ and reflects the biases of the leaders of those sects (Catholic, etc.) For example, material that suggests that Mary was Jesus’ favorite, and perhaps, most faithful disciple, have been suppressed and omitted.

I don’t think I have to argue much that the position of women in the modern church is a political condition, and a controversial one. At some point, the decision was made to limit the power of women in the church. That was a political act, and not one easily attributable to the revealed word of God.

Now let’s look at the Old Testament.

“It has shown the Bible to be a collection of writings, which most often, especially in the case of the Old Testament, are not the creation of a single author, but which have had a long prehistory inextricably tied either to the history of Israel or to that of the early church”

Abstracted from.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CU.....CINTER.HTM

The evidence points to the bible being written by several different authors in different historical ,political ,and religious contexts.These separate works were combined and edited several times for the same type of reasons.

The book of J(the yahwist)was likely written as a religio-political history in Judah after the kingdom split in two but before Israel was destroyed by Assyria in 722 b.c.e.The E document was probably written during the same time period in Israel.The two were synthesised by an editor after the defeat of Israel by Assyria.The author points out that a likely historical scenario is that the Levites would have brought these writings with them as they fled to Judah.The two documents were similar because the two nations were once one and they shared the same legends,myths,and history.

Abstracted from.

Levite Scribes were the final editors of the Torah. They had to edit and compile from many sources, but they labored under the restriction of not being able to throw sources away. Therefore the final Torah had to be subjected to processes of submerging, hiding, harmonizing, disguising sources to make the books “hold together” and appear to be from a single source. Although the people in the earliest peoples in the bible seem not to known much about Levitical regulations and the Torah, the Levites have added and emphasized material that seems to favor Levites, for example making Levites, and sometimes, only Levites of specific heritage be the only people who were allowed to be priests.
For example:

"No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of YAHWEH; even to the tenth generation none belonging to them shall enter the assembly of YAHWEH for ever ... You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days for ever." (Deuteronomy Chapter 23 verse 3)

The regulations then specify that an Egyptian or Edomite could enter the assembly after a few generations. (But Moabites were banned forever.)
"You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land. The children of the third generation that are born to them may enter the assembly of YAHWEH." (Deuteronomy Chapter 23 verse 7)

Mixed marriages were banned, and the book of Ezra looks back on the law, and makes a specific point of mentioning that marriages with Moabites were banned. (Ezra Chapter 9 verse 1)

Abstracted from:

http://www.awitness.org/contra.....edate.html

My point is that the bible in its various forms was used not merely as a source of divine law but also secular law in that the two things were one. The point has been made that the Old Testament evolved into a document supporting the supremacy of Levites.

The Levite Scribes, being human beings, were also political animals. And they clearly had an agenda that is probably not consistent with the values and desires of you and I, and many others.

In other words, they were politically motivated, as well as trying to transmit the holy scriptures.

For example, many people do not agree with the idea that the only people who can be priests, ministers or pastors are those who can prove their direct lineal descent from Aaron.

January 2, 2006
12:22 pm
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Regarding ignorance. I don't think it is much of a stretch of the imagination to assert that there were many facts unknown to ancient people, and that ancient people did not have the benefit of the historical body of knowledge and philosophy of science, medicine, and social work that is available to we modern people.

For example, ancient people did not know that germs cause disease, did not know that human beings are gentically composed of equal parts contributed equally by our mothers and our fathers. Ancient people did not know of the existence of galaxies, much less that that we live in a solar system composed of a planet revolving around a sun, which revolves around a galaxy, which revolves around a cluster of galaxies, which revolves around a supercluster of galaxies which revolves around a supercluster of galaxy clusters.

I think the imprisonment of Galileo shows that there was political motivation that perpetuated that ignorance right up until modern times.

Does anyone remember Dr. Laura? SHe took some heat recently about her position on homosexuality. Some wag took it upon himself to write a satirical open letter that has been widely circulated.

"Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend homosexuality, for example, I will simply remind him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other laws in Leviticus and Exodus and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree.Can you settle this?

Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's Word is eternal and unchanging."

January 2, 2006
12:38 pm
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To close this, the WD hour of Bible scholarship, I want to make some things clear about myself--what I think of myself particularly.

I am a clever person, and I have been given gifts of curiosty and reasoning and rhetoric by my creator (and YOU know who YOU are.)

I am also a person who is crippled by my ignorance, by my conflicts of interest and my politics. Unfortunately, I am not ominscient or all wise. I cannot go back in time to observe historical events, and I cannot read minds.

I cannot exceed the speed of light. Actually, my personal best is about 300 miles per hour, courtesy of United Airlines.

In fact, try as I might, I cannot even accomplish the apparently trivial task of reading everything that has ever been written. I just can not read that fast.

It is my hope that my descendants might be able to read everything ever published over the course of an afternoon. Maybe even faster. It is also my hope that my descendants will be much smarter than me, able to grasp physical chemistry of atomic orbitals, the nature of spacetime, and the stock market without even blinking. They will probably even be able to simultaneously appreciate and master the workings of three or four family entertainment center remote controls, where I just have to throw away a remote or a VCR every couple of years.

So while I may come off as a know it all sometimes, I understand that I am not always correct--in fact, part of the joy of being me, a human being, is taking the risk of flights of intuition and flights of fancy, smashing my puny intellect against the Great Rock of the Cosmic All.

I stand in awe of my own stupidity.

Hey, am I the only person here who ever forgot to call their mother on her birthday?

January 2, 2006
2:13 pm
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WD,

This is all I have time for right now:

"When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?"

LOL! That's good. Seriously, I trust that altars were located where there were no neighboring neighbors.

"I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?"

It's worded "maidservant", as if your daughter would be a maid or an indentured servant to somebody, and be freed after a certain time. It's something like an employer-employee arrangement.

"I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense."

I imagine that women took extra precautions to avoid having others come into contact with them. You know how nurturing women are! Besides, if you aren't aware she was in this state, I don't know that you were obligated to make any inquiries, if you know what I mean.

"Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?"

If they were both from the "heathen nations around you" (King James Version), I suppose either would do. But seriously, the Mosaic law doesn't apply to us anymore, and hasn't for millenia, so you may not buy from either nation. (I don't really understand why this practice was allowed, to be honest, but it was.)

"I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?"

According to Deuteronomy 17:6, he shall be put to death at the mouth of two or three witnesses. You may not kill him yourself, or you'd be guilty of murder.

"A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree.Can you settle this?"

Firstly, the reference is wrong. Secondly, homosexuality was a capital offense (Leviticus 20:13); shellfish eating wasn't. Therefore, I agree with your friend.

"Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here? I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's Word is eternal and unchanging."

Another wrong reference for Lev 20:20. In any event, this applied to priests and/or Levites only, I don't remember which, and not to the ordinary Israelite. So if you were a priest/Levite, they'd find other things for you to do. Like building altars far away from anybody else.

January 2, 2006
6:25 pm
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seekerw

In your post of 2-Jan-06 you wrote:

""I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. ... "

It's worded "maidservant", as if your daughter would be a maid or an indentured servant to somebody, and be freed after a certain time. It's something like an employer-employee arrangement."

Whoops! I have the 'authentic' bible and it disagrees with you. It says and I quote verbatum from the exact words of God contained within this divinely inspired book:

Exodus 21:7 "If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she is not to be set free, as male slaves are."

Maybe, I have the wrong version? Who gets to decide which version is actually God's word and which is not?

----------------------------------

And you wrote:

"If they were both from the "heathen nations around you" (King James Version), I suppose either would do. But seriously, the Mosaic law doesn't apply to us anymore, and hasn't for millenia, so you may not buy from either nation."

Hmmmm! Now you have presented me with a real dilemma. How do I know what in the bible applies to us now and what doesn't?

Who gets to decide which of God's inspired words are irrelevant? Your minister, my pope, Ziggi's rabbi?

When you said, "But seriously, the Mosaic law doesn't apply to us anymore", does this mean that we can we scrap all of the old testament completely?

----------------------------------

You also wrote:

""I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). ... ."

I imagine that women took extra precautions to avoid having others come into contact with them. You know how nurturing women are! Besides, if you aren't aware she was in this state, I don't know that you were obligated to make any inquiries, if you know what I mean."

I have a solution. I will ask my lady to find other accomodation during this time of her "uncleanliness."

However, I'm wondering if it will affect either our relationship or her self-esteem? But it is the word of God and if He says so then ... .

----------------------------

You also wrote:

"According to Deuteronomy 17:6, he shall be put to death at the mouth of two or three witnesses. You may not kill him yourself, or you'd be guilty of murder."

But you haven't explained who shall do the actual killing?

----------------------------------

Further, I am somewhat concerned about the unChristian behavior in our religious hospitals here in Oz. Why, Mother Superior in the local Mater Hospital even called the police and had me removed from her hospital for loudly proclaiming God's exact words in their infectious diseases wards in accordance with Leviticus 13:45.

"A person who has a dreaded skin disease must wear torn clothes, leave his hair uncombed, cover the lower part of his face, and call out, "Unclean, unclean!"

Despite my pointing out God's divinely inspired instructions, the patients steadfastly refused to yell out "Unclean, unclean!"

They kept frustrating my best efforts to cover up the lower part of their faces.

--------------------------------------

I am also concerned about my lady going to heaven because in direct disobedience to God's word she insists on practicing permaculture. She is determined to adhere to disgusting practices such as crossbreeding 'budgies'(a small bird), companion planting in her gardens, and wearing two material constructed clothes in direct contravention of Leviticus 19:19 which says:

"Obey my commands. Do not crossbreed domestic animals. Do not plant two kinds of seed in the same field. Do not wear clothes made of two kinds of material."

She's guilty on all three accounts and is blatantly unrepentant.

---------------------------

With all the 'thou shalts' and the 'thou shalt nots' I think that to comply with God's directions I will have to remain in bed under the sheets all my life. But perhaps there's a direction in the bible about not doing that either. Phew!!

Repent WD!

Repent before it is too late.

January 2, 2006
9:28 pm
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Tez, I can always rely on your for the irreverant humor factor. It's kind of wierd, having to be the "straight man" in situations like this....

Anyway, I included the satirical letter to Dr. Laura just for the purpose of satire. I didnt even check the scripture for validity. There are so many people here better than me at doing that.

January 2, 2006
9:29 pm
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Zinnia,

good post above, thanks for pointing out that N's like to be and frequently are found in positions of leadership.

I'm also with you (I think) about the idea that humans have projected onto God some of our own failings.

January 2, 2006
10:21 pm
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Hi Tez,

Good to talk to you, as always.

"Whoops! I have the 'authentic' bible and it disagrees with you. It says and I quote verbatum from the exact words of God contained within this divinely inspired book:

Exodus 21:7 "If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she is not to be set free, as male slaves are."

Maybe, I have the wrong version? Who gets to decide which version is actually God's word and which is not?"

Which version do you have? I use the King James Version. They're all different translations from the original Greek or Hebrew or Latin. All have their relative strengths and weaknesses.

-----------------------------
"Hmmmm! Now you have presented me with a real dilemma. How do I know what in the bible applies to us now and what doesn't?"

Ask God. He'll tell you better than I can.
-----------------------------

"However, I'm wondering if it will affect either our relationship or her self-esteem? But it is the word of God and if He says so then ... ."

If God said to do it, he won't let it hurt your self-esteem when you do it.

-------------------------------
{"According to Deuteronomy 17:6, he shall be put to death at the mouth of two or three witnesses. You may not kill him yourself, or you'd be guilty of murder."

But you haven't explained who shall do the actual killing? }

The witnesses were the first to cast their stones, followed by the rest of the congregation. I forget the reference, but it's there.

-------------------------------
"Why, Mother Superior in the local Mater Hospital even called the police and had me removed from her hospital for loudly proclaiming God's exact words in their infectious diseases wards in accordance with Leviticus 13:45."

LOL
-------------------------------

Seriously, you do raise a good point, Tez. What exactly from the Bible applies to us and what doesn't? Only a living prophet can tell us for sure. The rest of us can only interpret what is written, and we could be wrong. But you'll know the answer in your heart.

January 2, 2006
10:56 pm
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SeekerW,

I think you may have hit one of my pet nails on the head, regarding "which part" of the Bible...

I like the whole idea of MArtin Luther, the Protestant revolution. I like the idea that people who can read and think ought to interpret the sacred texts available to them rather than have some priest tell them what they can read and what it means. Otherwise, what's the point of having a brain, a mind, a heart, a soul?

January 2, 2006
11:32 pm
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Zinna,

My question was about seeking more elaboration for your question...I'm clear now.

"I think Alavaro is trying to blame the existence of religion for all violence, and so he is denying the existence of natural violence, as if the world would be a peaceful and happy place if all the Scriptures disappeared."

You are good! I don't want to spoil the ending for you but based on the blurb I read, your observations are pretty much Avalos'conclusion for this book.

Do I think voilence has a cause? I do. I think it's probably the polar opposite of what Alvaro proposes. You observed scarcity and friction as possible causes of violence that remains unexamined by Avalos. I think those are indeed causes of violence like many others including popular media. But, I think the overall cause of violence has something to do with a collective human deviation from God. IMHO.

January 3, 2006
7:07 pm
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Seekerw

On the 2-Jan-06 you said:

"Good to talk to you, as always."

Likewise my fellow time traveller of the same sex. 🙂

In response to a rather difficult question, you said:

"Ask God. He'll tell you better than I can."

In regard to the very many anomalies in the Bible, I originally did and He pointed me away from the bible and in the direction of the book called the Bhagavard Gita - the name of which means the Song of God.

In case you don't know, this book is one of the Hindi scriptures, equivalent to the bible. It is also directly inspired by God. Funny that - much of it blatantly disagrees with the Christian bible.

On a head count I would suggest that more humans hold the Bhagavard Gita to be genuinely the word of God than those humans who believe in the Bible. Both masses of humanity can't be right, only one could possibly be - but most likely both are misguided. For me, this proves just how gullible humans are - not which book is divinely inspired. In my opinion no book is - even if a so called God exists. All were written by very fallible humans.

Anyway, I ended up in an eminent Ashram in India dressed in curta pajamas talking directly to God who took over the mind and body of a guru. God used the guru's body to speak to humanity. At the time I 'almost' believed it to be true. Many, many thousands did, just like they do when they see so called 'miracles' being performed at mass evangelical Christian meetings.

Whilst in that ashram in Rajasthan I met an British Physicist employed by the English version of the CIA(MI5 or 6?) to investigate the phenomena of mass mind control through religious fervour, group meditation techniques, using music etc. The British Government must have foreseen 9/11, even then (1983).

Now I've stopped trusting 'God's voice in my head' or from the lips of so-called messengers of God in whatever form they take. Unfortunately those at Waco, Jonestown and other religiously inspired slaughterhouses did not learn this lesson quickly enough. I have now learnt to trust my own intellect as being a pretty good crap detector.

Of course in building that crap detector in my intellect, I had a little help from the Psychology Dept from the Social Sciences Faculty of my state's leading university.

If an all knowing, all powerful, all loving God did exist, He would not leave the human race in such a lost and confused state. He would not allow so many 'shepherds' to lead so many 'lambs' astray. He would not allow such a proliferation of conflicting scriptures, sutras, manifestos etc. He/she/it would manifest so absolutely unambiguously that even the most ardent, rationalistic, athiestic scientist would be beyond doubt as to what that God wanted and the nature of absolute truth. Quantum physicists would rally eagerly to question such a God. The fact that He does not overtly manifest, has never done so nor is likely to ever do so proves to me that he either does not exist or He loves the ignorance, confusion and consequent suffering in his sad, pathetic creations. Either way why would I bother to ask such a God anything??

Yea ... I know, God's ways are a mystery, not of this world. Hmmmm - heard those cop-outs before.

The Buddha had the right idea. He focused on suffering, its causes and its cure right in the eternal here and now - for we have no other.

The Buddha was the ultimate psychologist, philosopher, physician and teacher. He was no cop-out merchant!! Everything that he taught was about very practical guidelines for relieving suffering in the here and now - for everyone's here and now.

The Buddhism and science are great allies. They both want the same thing - verifiable truth to dispel ignorance and superstition. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Christianity. All through the ages the Christian hierarchy have opposed men of science when and where they attempted to demystify their erroneous beliefs in the 'miraculous'.

The above statement is not meant to imply that I am either a Buddhist or a blind believer that all the Buddhist Sutras contain the accurate transmission of the Buddha's message. In fact many very great Buddhist masters, as did the Buddha, challenge us to sift through the Buddhist 'wheat and chaff' discriminating between them by the power of our own mind and by our own direct empirical verification. The Buddha knew that we are all at different stages of spiritual and cognitive development, of understanding etc.

We would be all well served to discover our own truthes for ourselves, and not to blindly take on board those of so-called 'religious experts' whose very motives for prosletyzing are, in my opinion, suspect to say the very least. This statement of mine includes, in my view, the so-called 'authors', early 'cut and paste editors','translators', and 'interpreters' of the bible, in the many versions that we have today.

January 3, 2006
8:19 pm
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Worried_Dad

You said on the 2-Jan-06:

"... I included the satirical letter to Dr. Laura just for the purpose of satire. I didn't even check the scripture for validity."

When I first saw the letter some time ago, I did a validity check. It is kosher. 🙂

I suspect that the author used the 'Good News' Bible as his source.

The Dr Laura letter did contain an erroneous reference number that Seekerw highlighted(Leviticus 20:20). I vaguely remember finding that quote elsewhere in the Bible - I forget where
and can't be bothered looking for it now.

However, Seekerw did point out that in his King James Version the wording for 'daughter' is 'maidservant'. In my Good News Bible it is definitely worded 'daughter'.

How many other major semantic interpretation/translation differences are there in the various versions of the Bible?

Besides, Leviticus, like so much of the bible, is a regurgitation of the primitive tribal rituals, beliefs and practices of the ancient tribes of Judah. We may as well follow VooDoo - they sacrifice animals in much the same inhumane way I believe. Or we could document and follow the equally primitive beliefs of the tribes of headhunters still existing in New Guinea and the Amazon today. They only eat bodies of evil people though and for very good religious reasons. 🙂

To the new testament:

If an accident occurs at an intersection people are renowned for getting the facts all muddled up, even in a court of law.

The human mind has the UNCONSCIOUS propensity for falaciously 'filling in the gaps' and 'bending' the facts in order to make sense out of their memories only after a few hours. At the first known written recording of the scriptures, how much worse would the errors be when an early church father was recounting from memory of the passed down words of Christ some 70 years after Christ's death. The old party game of 'passing the message' exemplifies this point dramatically.

Some Christian historians and academics are saying that the historical Christ was very, very different to the one portrayed today.

But then apart from ethical scientists, who ever lets the facts get in the way of a good story!

January 5, 2006
2:12 am
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wow. Stay away for two days and a library appears! I am going to have to print this thread onto paper to read it without going blind! *lol*

My life is giving me a "hell week". When it is done I will be back. Right now it seems my deadlines are crashing into each other.

January 5, 2006
8:28 pm
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Dear Dr. Laura, Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend homosexuality, for example, I will simply remind him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

DR LAURA ISW OUT, THIS IS DR ZINNIA

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other laws in Leviticus and Exodus and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

TRY STUBB'S REAL TEXAS BARBECUE SAUCE. INVITE THEM TO JOIN YOU.

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

THE GAY COALITION HAS MANY PROGRAMS IN PLACE THAT PROMISE FINANCIAL AID TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IF THEY ARE WILLING TO "COME OUT". IF YOUR DAUGHTER AGREES TO GIVE UP ANY RIGHT TO PRIVATE OPINIONS, THOUGHTS, OR RELATIONSHIPS, AGREES THAT WORK FOR MONEY IS NOT AS FULFILLING AS VOLUNTEERING TO RAISE MONEY FOR GAY CAUSES, THEN THE PRICE YOU WOULD GET IS ABOUT EQUAL TO ONE SEMESTER AT COLLEGE.

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

IF YOU MARRY ONE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ASK, YOU WILL KNOW THE DAY BEFORE.
IF YOU DON'T MARRY ONE, YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW.

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

MEXICANS ARE A MUCH BETTER BARGAIN BECAUSE THEY WORK PRETTY HARD. CANADIANS JUST STAND AROUND LOOKING CONFISED, SO THEY ARE REALLY ONLY GOOD FOR SHOW. THEY MAKE GOOD DOORMEN.

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

NO. YOU CAN ASK PAT ROBERTSON TO DO IT.

A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree.Can you settle this?

NOPE.

Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here? I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's Word is eternal and unchanging."

AS LONG AS YOU DON'T SEE ANY DEFECTS, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY DEFECTS IN YOUR SIGHT. GET AS CLOSE AS YOU WANT.

January 6, 2006
8:11 pm
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Zinnia

AAAAhhhh ... that's cleared everything up for me now.

Well now its off to Bible classes again for me.

Whooa! Was that a pig I saw flying over head?

January 6, 2006
10:10 pm
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?????? one person's clarity is another's fog.....

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