Reasons for Joy; In Gentleness, and Respect.

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Apologetics and Theology / hypothetical questions
« on: April 24, 2016, 11:36:43 am »
Historically a fair amount on nastiness has been done in the name of Christianity.

I'm not here to judge the christians of now but in a hypothetical situation here is my question.

If you (the christian) could go back and stop some or all of these actions done by the ancient (and not so ancient) christians assuming you had the power to do so would you?

If not please tell me why (assuming no paradox in history would happen you are just doing so or not doing so based on what was witnessed at the time.  I'm not asking about time paradox.)

If you would stop it how would you relate to your ancestors that what they were doing was wrong?

There are christian cults today that do try to live like this by harshly enforcing biblical law but these are not the majority. I can imagine it would be like talking to these folks but I don't have experience of them directly.

Now obviously times where different back then however, they (the past christians) were able to justify some pretty bad stuff by using bible verses.  They had the same bible(s) that we do today.  So the logical question is what happened to change most of the people that still read the same scripture in the present time?

My theory is
A). the recognition of the negative impact of following the Bible in its  entirety.
B). Improvements of the average life of the average person in most 1st world countries.
C).embracing a varying amount of secular law (IE) murder is bad even if your neighbor does practice witchcraft or if some one is sick go ahead and pray but don't avoid the doctor visit in lieu of divine intervention.

I'm not a historian or a sociologist so my study on this is only arm chair.  I have other questions but lets start with these.

Apologetics and Theology / understanding
« on: April 01, 2016, 11:56:22 am »
My purpose for this thread is better communication, self reflection, and understanding.
Buddhism:  560 BC,  From the Udanavarga 5:18-   "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
Many of you recognize this as:  30 AD,  From the King James Version ,  7:12-  "Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you,  do ye even so to them."

In taekwondo this is known as respect and is a very important tenant to live by.  I do my best.

   “reality is as it is in the moment that it is nothing more and nothing less.”  This isn’t a quote by anyone but me.  What it does remind me is not to hold on to the ghosts of the past or to put everything into the future without thought to the now.  Perceive the moment as it is and try not to make it something that it’s not.  In this I have a lot to learn.   In martial arts this is called “sharpening the saw”.  Which means don’t forget to practice the basics.   We learn as children to see without biased only for a little while then as we age that skill is often forgotten replaces by too much worry about the future and pain of the past.  It also has a lot to do with honesty in that I try to be truthful with myself on everything even if I don’t always like the truth.

   “seek first to understand then to be understood.”  This is the brown belt creed of taekwondo and, all too often, the is the hardest one of all. 

   Now, your turn.  What drives you to treat people with respect?  What helps you be honest with yourself even if you don’t want to be?  What helps you seek understanding so that you can make the world a better place?  What would a better world look like to you?

Testimonials / testimony with a twist.
« on: March 23, 2016, 01:46:44 pm »
My story begins like most in America.  My family and community was heavily Christian and so I was indoctrinated from the start.  At the wise age of seven and with no knowledge of any other way of thinking I made the most important decision of giving my heart to Jesus.
I was taught that by doing so that a holy spirit would come and fill my heart with love and strength to help me deal with a harsh and chaotic world full of people that seemed to love the idea of informing me that I was a terrible child just for being an inexperienced human being at 7 years of age. I guess my younger self should have been wiser somehow.
7 years latter and no holy spirit, no love, no strength to deal with life and other people and lots of praying to understand what I had done wrong to deserve such agro from my fellow Christian.
So there I was with kitchen knife in hand looking to end what was a miserable failure of a life.  Fortunately I decided to try something...anything else before giving up. It seemed to me that what had been taught about the philosophy, culture, and religion was not up to the task of helping me live a life of at least some happiness.  The decision to drop all that seemed logical.  I started all over again.  Nature seemed to be the best place to listen to my thoughts and develop ideas that could be effective in giving me a life worth living.
The idea of experimenting with other philosophies also seemed logical.  I found Budhism, Wicca, Hindu, atheism and a few other that I cannot recall.  Of all of them the one most concerned with solid change of ones life was Wicca.
Wow did it work.  I got exactly what i was looking for.  I felt the rare spiritual connection to everything.  Life was worth living for the first time in my life. Everything was different and better.
However, I made the terrible mistake of letting my community know of my change of faith.  That was a huge mistake.  The law may have given me the right to believe as i chose but the community did not would not give me such a right. Life was even harder due to the christian community.  Even when i moved on to the military where I could earn my right to believe as i chose there was extreme harassment from the very people who swore an oath to protect the rights of America.
In time I came to realize that my experience was due to internal factors such as my age, my diet, my emotional state and many other personal properties at the time.  Others before me had such experiences and often attributed them to their current cultural deity. however, science can show how such happenings can be triggered by certain factors. Of course, by no means does science claim to know all the answers when it comes to the human experience.
What would the theist say?  Would he/she say that I was deceived by their version of Satan?  Would they say God was testing me and I failed?
I can say this at least from my perspective, if the Christian community had shown the "loving" side of Jesus to simply let me be and find my own way it would be a good bet that i wouldn't even want to be here in this forum.
I would place a larger bet that this whole atheist versus theist idea wouldn't exist if my story wasn't so often repeated in this and other countries.

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