Defining Wisdom

Metaphysical, spiritual, philosophical or mystical topics.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Sabina » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:09 pm

GenerousGeorge wrote:Unfortunately the wildest tales and most harmful (to society) is religion that says we cannot aspire to be as good as the "story hero" and can only overcome our innate badness by believing and practicing truths based on wildly improbable tales accepted as "Gospel".

It says we cannot aspire to be as good as the "story hero"?
Also, are we talking about all religions, or only those that consider themselves to have the exclusive copyright to God?

I always thought that one of the biggest religions tells people to exactly aspire to be as good as the hero of the tale. Variations of that religion say that God is within us, and that that was the whole point of the teaching. Of course that's not the popular (Church) religious belief, because it is not as profitable.

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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:23 am

Of course I am mostly alluding to followers of Jesus and the belief that we are worthless sinners because of a talking snake in a garden and that the only way to be saved from eternal torture is to embrace the teachings of the Bible to be the literal word of God or suffer the consequences. Of course a tithe or donation or two migh better your chances. ;)
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Ryan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:45 pm

GenerousGeorge wrote:Of course I am mostly alluding to followers of Jesus and the belief that we are worthless sinners because of a talking snake in a garden ...

The passage is misinterpreted... we are not sinners because of a talking snake (giving in to temptation)...the passage says we are sinners because Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. Upon doing so they realized they were naked and hid and covered themselves. It isn't God's or Jesus's judgement that makes us sinners...it is our own. Once eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge we began judging ourselves and labeling ourselves sinners. Because some people's interpretations of the Bible, or their preachings of Jesus are wrong and inaccurate doesn't mean that they (the Bible or Jesus's words) themselves are wrong or should be rejected as wells of information. It also doesn't mean that all Christians think the way you described... or are you just talking about those that do... whomever they might be?
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:38 pm

LOL..... Ryan, that is one of the biggest problems of the Bible, you can interpet the various parts of it in almost any way you like. I have experienced a lot of Christianity as my wife is a Christian and I attend church with her and the family regularly. I try to keep an open mind, but in the end it does not seem to matter, the book written by Bronze Age sheepherders is describing a God of their understanding who has very human characteristics, likes power, has ego, is very concerned about our sexual habits and has been used through the ages to control people, power and money.

Most of the Christians I know do not regard things like Noahs Ark, 6,000 year old world, virgin birth, talking snakes etc. as parables or analogies but as literal descriptions of history. I think you would be surprise at the results of the number of polls that show how many people are anticipating Jesus return and the Apocolypse.

For me, in the end if you believe there is an invisible guy in the sky watching and judging our every move to see if we deserve eternal torture or not is delusion and fantasy. It does not matter if you are a moderate or extremist, if you believe in the bible as the literal word of God, you are justifying the kind of thinking that has caused countless wars, much human suffering, persecution of the pursuit of scientific knowledge and whose most extreme form has people flying planes into buildings for their God.

Are you a Christian? What is your opinion regarding the literal truth of the Bible. Do you believe Gay people are gay by choice and therefore sinners.

I highly recommend you read Sam Harris short book, Letter to a Christian Nation.

I look forward to discussions of this subject and promise an open mind.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Ryan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:55 pm

Have you ever tried to translate a joke from one language into another, and then from that language to a third...?

Most people's Bibles (in the States) are a King James version which is a bit poetic in nature and for most (due to education) the understanding is limited... it's not that you can interpret various parts of the Bible any way you like... it is just that from the use of the language of that time and the clear understanding of those words (and how they are stated) in that time are not known or understood today. Most of your Baptist preachers in the States are not very well educated people...definitely not educated in literature, fine arts, most couldn't pass an exam having to do with vocabulary and grammar of their own language much less a language that isn't even used any longer... and these are the people who are telling the other uneducated people how to live using the "Bible" as proof. Again, it isn't the fault of the Bible. I am not saying it is completely accurate, and I am not saying to read only the one book, and I am definitely not promoting the church in any way... I am just saying... don't take a crap on something because it is being misused... Nuclear energy...good idea (not handled well due to greed)... nuclear bombs...bad idea... just because some people take something good and use it for selfish and wrong purposes does not make it bad.

I am not a Christian...I have read the Bible. I am not a Buddhist but I have read many words of wisdom from Buddha and the likes... The insisting that either is the ultimate source of wisdom is a bunch of bull, however they all are extremely wise words and can be learned from... don't annex them... understand them for their original purpose not what they have become. They all say roughly the same things there are some variances that don't match up. The good thing about it is that they all have different approaches and some that might not be understood in one approach might be in an other's.

George wrote:o you believe Gay people are gay by choice and therefore sinners.
I believe gay people are people, I don't care what there choice of partner is nor how it came to be that they have that approach. I don't believe in "sin"... this is a term coined by religion in the attempt to control the masses... (I love informing people of this) Did you know that saying "Bless You" after someone sneezes was made law by the church during the black plague? It was so that if the sneeze was actually the first sign of infection they would be blessed in the case that they died before being blessed by a priest.

George wrote:the book written by Bronze Age sheepherders is describing a God of their understanding who has very human characteristics, likes power, has ego, is very concerned about our sexual habits and has been used through the ages to control people, power and money.
For one, I do not understand what "Bronze Age sheepherders" have to do with anything... are you saying that if the book would have been written by modern corporate CEO's it would be more applicable/acceptable? And the second I am not sure to which lines of the Bible you are referring so I can not respond factually but as I mentioned...if whomever was translating a certain line of text was unsure exactly what was meant by a certain word and just did the best they could... well it loses something, and also to take something out of context and present it in another manner is completely doable I could probably take some text of yours and present it in a way that it looks like you support modern Christian religion... when it is obvious that you don't.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:15 pm

Excellent reply....I agree with almost everything you say. Almost like a miracle a veil has been lifted from my eyes ;)

I must say I thought you were a Christian......... Brrrrrrp! Wrong again Georgie.

So on to your post......yes I know what you mean.....like a game at a party where people consecutively whisper something in each others ears until at the end of the chain, the meaning is completely changed.....even unrecognizable.

Anyway, it turns out we view the bible in a somewhat similar way. "Take what you need and leave the rest behind" applies to all religions/philosophies etc. Where we differ a little is that you think a lot of the problem stems from the uneducated Baptist preacher. I find that intelligence (at least traditional intelligence) can be compartmentalized so that although the world in general is viewed through the eyes of reason, in a cult like way, the sacred words and wisdom of the accepted religion are exempted from that,

I promise you, the idea that the bible is exactly literal which seems ludicrous to you and I is accepted by a cross section of Americans who call themselves Christians. Look at the mega churches and there influence on politics, education etc. The beliefs of a big portion of the population are exactly that and not necessarily dictated by education level. Please read Sam Harris's ...... "Letter To A Christian Nation"...... it is paperback and only an hour or two read. I promise you will find it fasinating. I also recommend some of Dawkins books on religion.

I had not heard where the saying "bless you came from".... very interesting!

My point with Bronze Age thingie is that in every discipline we have advanced greatly in the past 2,000 years. Often in spite of the church. Why is the body of knowledge put in a book by people of relatively no knowledge of the world still accepted by most Christians as "Gospel" and to question it reveals a lack of faith. Admittedly, Texas may be a little worse in this area than some, but my experience in many states with the Christian outlook is very similar.

This is one of many sites that address the frustration I often feel with my Christian friends.

http://www.etymonline.com/columns/fallacy.htm

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... tions.html

http://www.samharris.org/site/book_lett ... an_nation/

I am enjoying and profiting from our discussions...this is an excellent forum to do that.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Ryan » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:40 am

;0)

All is good...

I am not quite sure I understand what you mean by the following:
George wrote:I find that intelligence (at least traditional intelligence) can be compartmentalized so that although the world in general is viewed through the eyes of reason, in a cult like way, the sacred words and wisdom of the accepted religion are exempted from that,
Can you elaborate?

I don't necessarily think that a lot of the problem is due to the uneducated preacher... I think they are only part of the problem. What I truly believe to be the biggest problem is that people have stopped thinking for themselves and allow the government, church, society or all three do it for them... and they just want to manipulate and control the people to the point of building a society of slaves that think they are free because little by little they gave up their freedoms willingly to feel safe and secure... physically, spiritually and financially.

I understand your point about when the Bible was written as you have explained... but I am unsure about the advancements we have made that have changed the meaning of the stories in the Bible. I mean... as far as I have understood the Bible, it mainly deals with people living together and how to love each other, suggestions on how to overcome our self-imposed limitations and predefined judgments, becoming one with a vast universe of knowledge and understanding in order to live a more peaceful and harmonious existence... I do not really see how we have accomplished those things and therefore how those stories are no longer applicable to life nowadays... but maybe I am just not understanding what you mean.

I am not saying that the Bible is just that ( stories of such things)... definitely not... after all, man wrote the Bible... not the "invisible man in the sky"... so there are definitely mistakes and probably propaganda meant to impose a social structure for the benefit of the aristocracy that chartered the translation and publishing of the Bible... but that stuff is pretty clear and evident... well to me anyway...

By the way, I agree completely! This has been a most exciting and wonderful discussion to say the least!
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby GenerousGeorge » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:41 am

Hi Ryan.....I'm back from the Sunday night adult BB leauge. Unfortunately, I'm the oldest "adult" there at 67 and the 25 year olds that can "jump out of the gymn" have no "respect" for their elders. For that matter the 35, 45 and 55 year olds don't either.

"Were not as good as we used to be and probably never were."

Still, they know they cannot leave me open for that medium range jumper and it does my heart good to hear one of the young studs tell his teamate....."I told you.....DONT let the old guy shoot!

By compartmentalizing, I mean that many people who are intelligent and apply reason to every aspect of their daily affairs have a compartment in their brain that separates religion from being subject to reason. Anything sacred in the name of their magic guy in the sky is accepted because the Bible says so and the Bible is the literal word of an omnipotent God. Should you be bold enough to ask how they know the Bible is the literal word, they respond.......because it says it is and it is never wrong.

I never cease to amaze when a Christian lawyer, scientist, engineer whom I know is quite smart and logical pleads the case for Jesus that way. It makes me want to shake them and scream, use your God given brain for crying out loud. However, no matter how promising a conversation with starts out and the person shows a keen intellect on anything else, it's like their brains shift gears to compartmentalized Jesus section which is "firewalled off" to avoid the evil logic of the heretics.

I don't mean that the advancements we have made have changed the meaning of the Bible, but we disagree on the Bible as a great source for telling people how to live together, love each other, live a moral harmonius existence. To glean or cherry pick the good stuff from the Bible about those subjects is necessary to get that kind of life guidance and still it is not that profound.

George Carlins take on the ten commandments makes fun of this guidance but it has some good points......divine guidance ought to be better thought through by the smartest guy in the world.

http://www.skeptic.ca/george_carlin_ten ... dments.htm

Another example of the profound wisdom of the Bible....

http://slate.msn.com/id/2087621/

But....still today we rely on this kind on the product of Bronze Age men to tell us how to live together, love each other, live a moral harmonius existence.

Even the basic commandments are not especially wise or profound, especially not for the "wisest of them all".

UH OH being paged by son for bedtime story.....more later.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Alvino » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:17 am

My Dear Mirjana:

I feel very certain that this Wisdom and God belief is my original thought.

support: Catholic School = almost forever because I flunked a few grades,
plus six earned college degrees and finished all class work for my 3rd MA
and 2 more and I can earn my Principal/superintendent certificate and
3 more and I can earn a Home Building degree. And I have read tons of books, rarely were they fiction.

but I must consider what YOU KNOW == There is nothing New under the sun = this, too, is vanity.

PS: With great Love and Respect I sincerely and strongly suggest Folks read my
very favorite and Most Favorite Book in the Bible = the book written by JESUS.
it is about 80 percent about Wisdom. I LOVE IT.
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Re: Defining Wisdom

Postby Sabina » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:28 am

Alvino wrote:PS: With great Love and Respect I sincerely and strongly suggest Folks read my
very favorite and Most Favorite Book in the Bible = the book written by JESUS.
it is about 80 percent about Wisdom. I LOVE IT.

Hello Alvino,

Do you mean the Bible itself or a part of the Bible, or something else?

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