Research on Belief in God

Page 17 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Jul 4, 2009
9,666
0
0
rhubroma said:
Apart from the brief survey I just did of the PDF version, no.

The idea, however, that Christianity arose as anything other than a continuation of sacred views already held by a number of Near Eastern mystery cults, which was then structured and propagated by official Roman imperial rituality, is to not understand the history of how and along which identity lines a religion was formed in the ancient world.

During the Middle Ages (and beyond) the continued persistence of such things as astrology and folk feast days in orthodox Europe as a cultural inheritance is thus not surprising. Christianity in its formative development, may have changed the prospect of salvation, but its means of religious expression were hardly novel, and rooted in those of a civilization against which it believed to have caused an irrevocable rupture. While none, absloutely none, of which was established by the historical Jesus (who by the way considered himself a Jew down till the bitter end), nor his immediate followers, at the time.

The Protestant Reformation believed, ingenuously, that it had somehow divested Christianity of a whole myriad of archaisms in the religious sense, and thus brought it back to its evangelical roots. When neither did those roots ever exist, besides in the fervent minds of the reformers, nor was there ever an "original" identity to reconstruct (at least as they pictured it): which is, therefore, a false historical anachronism.
...so who would you suggest I read to get a truer view of this field of inquiry?...

Cheers

blutto
 
Anyone here see the movie The Grey?

I ask because the film was lightly marketed to Christians, and there are a lot of Christians who like it. At least those on the theology study side of Christians (as opposed to the blind sheep.)
 
blutto said:
...so who would you suggest I read to get a truer view of this field of inquiry?...

Cheers

blutto
Unfortunately the best works I'm familiar with on this topic are in Italian, the civilization, of all the Western ancient classical and orthodox cultures, most deeply rooted in these traditions even down to today.

However, you can start with say the divulgator Oxford ancient Roman historian, Michael Grant. His histories of the Roman Empire, Jesus, St. Paul and Emperor Constantine the Great are fundamental to grasping the cultural and civic contexts, as well as the leading personalities that provided the basis for the formation of a religion in the Ancient World.

See if Inchiesta sul cristianesimo: come si costruisce una religione ("An Inquiry into Christianity: How a Religion is Built" my trans.) by Corrado Augias and Remo Cacitti has been translated in English, though I doubt it.

Richard Krautheimer's seminal work, Rome Profile of a City: 312-1308 in addition to his Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture are also important sources for understanding what the author calls the Romanization of Christianity. Recent works on the early Christian basilica and the small Near Eastern mystery cult worshiping assemblies in regards to the interiorization of religious architecture in the Ancient World have also been examined in English by scholars.

You can, of course, investigate all the theological exegesis, however, they are just the subsequent hermeneutical interpolations of sacred writ by the so called doctors of faith that have established an official doctrine, which have little, if anything, to do with popular religious expression in this case, and start with a presupposition that is in any case of no value to the rational historian other than themselves being a historical phenomenon of the religion.
 
Jul 4, 2009
9,666
0
0
rhubroma said:
Unfortunately the best works I'm familiar with on this topic are in Italian, the civilization, of all the Western ancient classical and orthodox cultures, most deeply rooted in these traditions even down to today.

However, you can start with say the divulgator Oxford ancient Roman historian, Michael Grant. His histories of the Roman Empire, Jesus, St. Paul and Emperor Constantine the Great are fundamental to grasping the cultural and civic contexts, as well as the leading personalities that provided the basis for the formation of a religion in the Ancient World.

See if Inchesta sul cristianesimo: come si costruisce una religione ("An Inquiry into Christianity: How a Religion is Built" my trans.) by Corrado Augias and Remo Cacitti has been translated in English, though I doubt it.

Richard Krautheimer's seminal work, Rome Profile of a City: 312-1308 in addition to his Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture are also important sources for understanding what the author calls the Romanization of Christianity. Recent works on the early Christian basilica and the small Near Eastern mystery cult worshiping assemblies in regards to the interiorization of religious architecture in the Ancient World have also be examined in English by scholars.
...thanks...so now its off to the library...

Cheers

blutto
 
Jul 4, 2009
9,666
0
0
rhubroma said:
Buon lovoro!
...just got back from checking out the book you recommended...and what can say but I'm shocked!...just shocked!!...you recommended something written by an admitted serial art historian...gawd, an art historian...words fail me!!!..

...ok ok bad joke....was having a flashback from my days as a cultural historian trapped in a right proper history department ( you know the ones that do serious work and definitely don't look at pictures and stuff ...righteous fundamentalists they were..high order fence builders...boring gits...feh!...)...surprised I wasn't burned at the stake as a heretic actually...

...in all seriousliness looks like a wonderful book, thank you muchly again ...

Cheers

blutto
 
blutto said:
...just got back from checking out the book you recommended...and what can say but I'm shocked!...just shocked!!...you recommended something written by an admitted serial art historian...gawd, an art historian...words fail me!!!..

...ok ok bad joke....was having a flashback from my days as a cultural historian trapped in a right proper history department ( you know the ones that do serious work and definitely don't look at pictures and stuff ...righteous fundamentalists they were..high order fence builders...boring gits...feh!...)...surprised I wasn't burned at the stake as a heretic actually...

...in all seriousliness looks like a wonderful book, thank you muchly again ...

Cheers

blutto
Well we can't separate the events from the material culture in which they were staged. ;) Whereas an analysis of both, simultaneously, and with much scrutiny, helps the image come into much better focus.

Most historians are now aware that they can't ignore archaeology, art and architectural history, if their research is to be considered complete and well-rounded. Conversely these other disciplines attempt to formulate thier analysis and draw conclusions based on the most scientific and historical rigor. In certain epochs, when original documents are wanting, or even lacking (like in the period between 400-800 CE), they are absolutely indispensible to the historiographical methodology.

In other words the disciplinary divides that used to keep these fields quite separated and isolated, have become much more tenuous, for which an interdisciplinary approach has started to become the norm. Even if, it must be admitted, scholarship is by nature highly conservative within the individual camps, no more so than in the historical one.

No need, therefore, to fret about engaging in heretical practice.

Buon lovoro.
 
Feb 4, 2012
435
0
0
rhubroma said:
Man is a coward, and simply can not accept his own mortality.
That's exactly right. Because of the fear of death all sorts of silly notions are concocted of there being a afterlife and an immortal soul. Fact is, not only is there no immortal soul, there's no soul. Only neurological (that is to say physical) processes, occuring in the brain, that create the illusion of there being a continuous 'self'. When in actuallity we're just organisms reacting to our environment.
 
Pazuzu said:
That's exactly right. Because of the fear of death all sorts of silly notions are concocted of there being a afterlife and an immortal soul. Fact is, not only is there no immortal soul, there's no soul. Only neurological (that is to say physical) processes, occuring in the brain, that create the illusion of there being a continuous 'self'. When in actuallity we're just organisms reacting to our environment.
Memory loss among the elderly is truly tragic, for this reason, while it demonstrates that those neurological processes upon which the continuous "self" was constructed, can also be just as easily deleted as if the individual never existed.

This is proof to me that everything is but a dream, out of which we can "wake-up" into the meaninglessness of a void, with no other "design" but the continuous repetition of the natural cycle: Start-stop -Start over-stop- Start-over. Until even this cycle reaches its existential limit. Stop.

But then again the ancient Greeks already perceived this, for which Flaubert's poetical observations about the 'melancholy of the antique world', is worth repeating here:

The melancholy of the antique world seems to me more profound than that of the moderns, all of whom more or less imply that beyond the great void lies immortality. But for the ancients that "black hole" is infinity itself; their dreams loom and vanish against a background of immutable ebony. No crying out, no convulsions - nothing but the fixity of a pensive gaze. Just when gods had ceased to be and the Christ had not yet come, there was a time between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone. Nowhere else do I find that particular grandeur.

In fact just as that 'grandeur' began to wane, so too did the civilization; and with it the Western world sunk into the dark ages. Though with a great recompense, or so it was believed, salvation: so long as one attentively followed all the precepts of the religious doctrine; which, however, found little need to explain how a God that is all-loving and omnipotent would have allowed civilization made up of a humanity He created for thousands of years to consign itself to the void, which came with each individual's own extinction - for innumerable generations! - before sending His Messiah to save it?

For a deity who acts thusly can neither be loving nor omnipotent, but constrained to the context of history, which, as the ancient Greeks have shown us, is only a human fabrication to give meaning to the continuous cycles of nature. Hence, taken in the historical sense and out of the context of natural forces (which is really all the pagan gods were, personifications of natural forces), God too is a human construct as is salvation, for the reason of man essentially being a coward I set down before.
 
Feb 4, 2012
435
0
0
rhubroma said:
Memory loss among the elderly is truly tragic, for this reason, while it demonstrates that those neurological processes upon which the continuous "self" was constructed, can also be just as easily deleted as if the individual never existed.
Very tragic indeed. And a byproduct of modern medicine which has been so successful extending human lifespans through medical interventions and pharmaceuticals. The downside is this leads to situations where people are kept alive in conditions we'd never allow our pets to suffer through. Not to mention the huge amounts of money spent on end of life medical care. Probably has to do with our fear of death.
 
Pazuzu said:
Very tragic indeed. And a byproduct of modern medicine which has been so successful extending human lifespans through medical interventions and pharmaceuticals. The downside is this leads to situations where people are kept alive in conditions we'd never allow our pets to suffer through. Not to mention the huge amounts of money spent on end of life medical care. Probably has to do with our fear of death.
Well, unfortunately, it also has to do with the religious doctrine getting in the way, when plugs aren't pulled in the absence of all hope (and reason). Life at all costs. Curious defense from a people who should be just beckoning to make an exit, but who then force others to hang around, even when their existence has become intollerable, precisely because non-existant. Thus shouldn't it be for believers that to maintain a "life" under forced compliance, only demonstrates an intollerable act of cruelty without pitty, to say nothing about resisting the will of the divinity's call to bring one unto Himself? To in effect hold such a person hostage from God.

The paradoxical nature of such contradictions, however, seems to escape them.
 
Feb 4, 2012
435
0
0
rhubroma said:
Well, unfortunately, it also has to do with the religious doctrine getting in the way, when plugs aren't pulled in the absence of all hope (and reason). Life at all costs. Curious defense from a people who should be just beckoning to make an exit, but who then force others to hang around, even when their existence has become intollerable, precisely because non-existant. Thus shouldn't it be for believers that to maintain a "life" under forced compliance, only demonstrates an intollerable act of cruelty without pitty, to say nothing about resisting the will of the divinity's call to bring one unto Himself? To in effect hold such a person hostage from God.

The paradoxical nature of such contradictions, however, seems to escape them.
I must say that I admire Christian Scientists who refuse medical treatment. I don't agree with that choice in many instances, but I respect their sincerity and that they are willing to live (and die) by their convictions when it seems most other religious sects are a tangle of contradictions and self-serving hypocrisy.
 

Polish

BANNED
Mar 11, 2009
3,853
0
0
rhubroma said:
Memory loss among the elderly is truly tragic, for this reason, while it demonstrates that those neurological processes upon which the continuous "self" was constructed, can also be just as easily deleted as if the individual never existed.
.
I would argue that Memory and Spirit/Soul are not the same.

And it is a fact that many pro level mystic/meditation dudes can reach HIGHER levers of consciousness only AFTER clearing their mind of distractions. Impossible to reach higher levels of conciousness while at the same time trying to remember that name on the tip of your tongue.

But I'm not saying that religion is a distraction lol.
In fact studies have shown that religiosity can be mentally healthy:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20088813/

higher levels of religiosity in Alzheimer's dementia seem to correlate with a slower cognitive and behavioral decline, with a corresponding significant reduction of the caregiver's burden
Less grumpy and slower decline. Go figure.
 
Pazuzu said:
I must say that I admire Christian Scientists who refuse medical treatment. I don't agree with that choice in many instances, but I respect their sincerity and that they are willing to live (and die) by their convictions when it seems most other religious sects are a tangle of contradictions and self-serving hypocrisy.
Christianity and science have long been in conflict with each other, both perceiving irreconcilable differences with the other's doctrine. Whereas the total liberty of one, means placing limitations upon that of the other. Especially in these times when religion expects to provide the ethical boundaries for science, while science the parameters of a universal knowledge which religion cannot violate.

The current problems and issues that Western governments face in trying to satisfy and respect the missions of the two, demonstrates the inherent paradoxical nature of having a free and independent Church inside a free and independent State.

As per issues of medical treatment: the medic who is driven by faith in his controversial decisions refuses to administer treatments based upon an "objection of consciousness" that the liberty of religion has legally endowed him with, irrespective of the patient, who in fact desires such treatment, because not governed by the same worldview and since legally entitled to it by the state (or, conversely, when on the same religious grounds, a medic imposes by force the continued application of a "therapy," even when the therapeutic capacity has been exhausted - for instance when being indefinitely hooked-up to a machine while in a state of irreversible, vegetal coma). Hence, in this case, and there have been unfortunately many examples, the one's liberty cancels that of the other, even when he or she is legally entitled to it. Consequently here is a case where religious belief imposes its will within the secular arena. To complicate things still further we then have hospitals (and schools for that matter) financed by the religious institutions.
 
Oct 23, 2011
3,846
2
0
rhubroma said:
Consequently here is a case were religious belief imposes its will within the secular arena. To complicate things still further we then have hospitals (and schools for that matter) financed by the religious institutions.
It works both ways though. Either the doctor's freedom of religion is hindered, or the patient's freedom to have or not have a certain medical treatment is hindered.
 
Mar 10, 2009
1,296
0
0
I keep looking in these threads hoping I will find the post that removes my doubts. For or against? Believer or not? I don't care either way but the debate is tedious and a source of constant antipathy between otherwise civilized people. If we actually need a deity and hell to motivate people to be civil toward each other and recognize everyones equal right to fairness and opportunity then whether or not there is a god it is irrelevant. Isn't it possible to set a standard of moral behaviour based on our own best interests without also trying to convince us that after we die we get out of the sweat shop? In the dark religion served to light the way toward civilization. It created a structure and order in social engagement. It served to explain unexplainable things like the day and the night. It explained stars and fish in an age when we did not know where we came from or what place in the universe we occupy.
If life can exist in every corner on this one little tiny spec of sand in a universe full of planets then we are not alone. Can you imagine the problems we will have with aliens if they don't accept ??????? as their saviour?
 

Polish

BANNED
Mar 11, 2009
3,853
0
0
Master50 said:
If life can exist in every corner on this one little tiny spec of sand in a universe full of planets then we are not alone. Can you imagine the problems we will have with aliens if they don't accept ??????? as their saviour?
The Vatican has a top notch Observatory and a priest (Georges Lemaître) was among the first to think up the Big Bang theory. Top notch scientists. (history shows many scientists were religious....Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck, Albert Einstein.)

So finding evidence of extra-terrestial life should not be too much of a problem....

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-11-10-vatican-aliens_N.htm

Father Funes said:
in an interview last year, Funes told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said in that interview.

"Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom."
 
Oct 23, 2011
3,846
2
0
rhubroma said:
That was precisely my point. Which would you have it?
I'll have my freedom of religion. If I were a doctor, who would not want to perform, say, euthanasia, and some patient wanted me to do euthanasia, I'd redirect the patient to another doctor who would be willing to perform euthanasia.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS