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Old 30 Apr 2012, 02:23 AM   #359996 / #1
Lulu
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Default The God Gene

I am sure this has been discussed before, but a friend of mine and I were talking about it and I invited him here to SC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_gene

So, may we rehash? I haven't seen a discussion on this in many years.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:00 AM   #360004 / #2
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Sure, why not?

I think we're years away from identifying anything definitive, and I doubt there's a single gene in any case, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a combination of genes that can predispose one to the kind of personality that finds belief in the supernatural attractive and natural.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:24 AM   #360007 / #3
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Well, what I have always found interesting is the idea that there is a Scripture which refers to the "God Gene".

Bolded parts are mine:

Quote:
Romans 1:

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
This speaks to me of having an innate knowledge of God of which primitive man began worshipping animals, trees, idols, etc., having forgotten the true God, and replacing the inborn knowledge with superstition and religion. Modern man, on the other hand, completely discounts this innate knowledge completely, and calls it a God Gene, or a predisposal to believe in the supernatural but does not give any credence to the idea that this predisposal may be there purposfully by our Designer.

Now, one can easily dismiss my hypothesis by saying that anyone can make Scripture fit any situation, and that is true. I am simply suggesting that the God Gene is perhaps referenced here and that the source of that reference while perhaps not Christin, not any world religion past or present, but it is there because it is indeed a signature so to speak of a Designer, kinda like a trademark.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:35 AM   #360009 / #4
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Is this you speaking from your current beliefs, Lulu, or are you channeling your former fundiness again?
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:59 AM   #360013 / #5
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Is this you speaking from your current beliefs, Lulu, or are you channeling your former fundiness again?
Surprisingly, no, Bree.

This is more in line with evolving belief although I probably didn't explain it well enough.

1) Take all organized religion out of it.
2) Have a belief in which there is "something" there, call it God, call it a Designer, call it a very high level alien.
3) Consider that those with religious beliefs may have a grain of truth there.
4) Try to find that grain.
5) See if there is any science that supports it.

In this case, lets propose that Jesus was in effect the product of a union with one of these aliens and a woman. He was purposfully sent here to teach the lesson of love. Love so great that he would lay down his life in martyrdom.

Consider that his disciples were products of an ancient Jewish religion which had suffered some Helenization.

Further consider that some of the writings were indeed inspired, or the disciples having spent some time with Jesus was imbued with some of his celestial or alien wisdom.

(This could lead to quite a bit of cherry picking but for this discussion, give me the license...)

Consider that the disciples applied superstition and old indoctrination to the teachings of Christ. (Thats the cherries that you throw out.)

But, is it possible that within that chapter, we find that grain of truth, a reference to the God Gene, which simply says that we are all born with some primal knowledge of our Designer?

To me it is something to ponder.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 07:36 AM   #360028 / #6
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19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Lulu,

I don't see that as referring to a god gene....it's gibberish, and so generic, it can be shoe-horned into meaning almost anything.

If something can be clearly seen, it's not invisible.....
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 09:57 AM   #360041 / #7
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Lulu, what do you think of the idea that the fact that the first word of the Rig Veda is 'Agnim' which broadly translates as 'fire' demonstrates that the author of the Rig Veda was in some way in tune with the universe and that the way that the Veda unfolds maps onto the way that the universe has unfolded starting with the Big Bang?

I have seen apologists for the Bible and the Koran, as well as Hindu scriptures claiming that certain verses from them refer to modern day scientific discoveries.

Look at http://www.free-islamic-course.org/S...HolyQuran.html

Quote:
The fact is that the Holy Quran abounds with facts which were impossible to know 1400 years without the aid of a microscope or telescope. Furthermore it has accurately prophesied future events. Some examples of these are related in the Holy Quran Chapter 81.
Verse 4 - “And when the mountains are made to move - this could relate to when mountains will be blown away by dynamite and roads will be made through them.
Verse 5 - And when the she-camels ten month pregnant are abandoned - this could relate to the fact that camels were the mode of transport in those days, but more better, faster and powerful means of transport will have been invented.
Verse 6 - “And when the wild beasts are gathered together-this could relate to when animals will be collected in zoos.
Verse 7 - And when the seas are made to flow forth one into the other - this could relate to the joining of two different seas, the Suez Canal joining the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea and the Panama Canal joining the Pacific Sea with the Atlantic Sea.
You are trying, I think, to read too much into a couple of Bible verses to make them fit modern day scientific discoveries.

You are not alone in trying to do this, as apologists for various scriptures do the same.

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Originally Posted by you
But, is it possible that within that chapter, we find that grain of truth, a reference to the God Gene, which simply says that we are all born with some primal knowledge of our Designer?
Is it, do you think, any more likely to be the case than the examples I provided above?

David
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 02:07 PM   #360094 / #8
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But, that is kind of my point, David. There is a grain of truth in all those religions.

Imagine being on the beach, and all the grains of sand are knowledge. All the religions of the world, past and present, may have stumbled on a single grain of truth.

If the innate knowledge of a Designer is imprinted in our genetic makeup, then, that would be why we have this need for religion to begin with. It would be the source of near death experiences, it would be perhaps the source of superstitions, it is that which causes us to even seek answers and explanations for things that are unexplained.

It is the shiver up our spine, and the feeling of dejaa vu, and dreams of loved ones passing (and then you find out that they died), the awe one feels when seeing a beautiful mountain or the joy of a baby being born...

It is the things that are unexplained that go against logic but resonate inside us as human beings. This is that grain on the beach, that bit of truth that is perhaps found in religion...some recognition of something greater than us.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:26 PM   #360098 / #9
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I have a terrible cold at the moment, and my brain feels like cotton wool, but I feel as if I should say something.

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Originally Posted by Lulu View Post
But, that is kind of my point, David. There is a grain of truth in all those religions.
If so, I would tend to put it down to followers of the religions having insights about the world in spite of, rather than because of, the religious doctrine of the religion, and faith in the religion.

Quote:
Imagine being on the beach, and all the grains of sand are knowledge.
It's a pleasant image, and some sort of beach like that would be attractive, were it to exist, but let me see if I can come up with a more realistic metaphor, along the same lines.

Imagine being on the beach, and each grain of sand is a statement about the world. Which may be clearly right or clearly wrong, but then again might make some sort of sense if interpreted very sympathetically, but no sense at all interpreted critically.

I'd suggest that generally there are a lot more ways of being wrong than right. How are you to tell the right from the wrong, or whether the very sympathetic interpretation is actually what is meant?

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All the religions of the world, past and present, may have stumbled on a single grain of truth.
And it is pretty clear to me that all the religions of the world, past and present, have stumbled on many, many grains of dross.

Perhaps there are better ways to look for truth than to try to sieve of the occasional grain of gold (or is it fools gold?) from the dross within religion?

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If the innate knowledge of a Designer is imprinted in our genetic makeup..
That sounds a bit like something from Dune. Furthermore you are still presupposing a Designer, and don't you think that, while inate knowledge of how to walk or suckle might be imprinted genetically, if knowledge of the world was then it would be more reliable than it seems?

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.....then, that would be why we have this need for religion to begin with. It would be the source of near death experiences, it would be perhaps the source of superstitions, it is that which causes us to even seek answers and explanations for things that are unexplained.
Try it backwards. Seeking answers and explanations for things that are unexplained seems to me more the cause of than the result of the various, mainly mutually contradictory, religions.

Quote:
It is the shiver up our spine, and the feeling of dejaa vu, and dreams of loved ones passing (and then you find out that they died), the awe one feels when seeing a beautiful mountain or the joy of a baby being born...
Only one of those requires any woo. What about dreams of loved ones dying and then you find out that they are fine?

Quote:
It is the things that are unexplained that go against logic but resonate inside us as human beings. This is that grain on the beach, that bit of truth that is perhaps found in religion...some recognition of something greater than us.
The universe is greater than us - no need to invoke a god.

David
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 03:58 PM   #360104 / #10
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In this case, lets propose that Jesus was in effect the product of a union with one of these aliens and a woman. He was purposfully sent here to teach the lesson of love.
Why? Why would an alien race care that another alien race learn the "Lesson of Love" whatever that is? I mean, beside the fact that Jesus didn't teach anything new, you're talking about an already existing biological trait found in many species, not just homo sapiens sapiens and some alien race deciding that humans needed to be reminded of something they were already fully versed in and the method chosen was to rape and impregnate a woman so that she could give birth to an alien that wouldn't say anything for thirty years and then it was only to a dozen or so nomadic fishermen in a remote desert region with no hope of knowing whether or not such a "message" would get out.

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Love so great that he would lay down his life in martyrdom.
But he doesn't "lay down his life in martyrdom." If he were a human/alien half breed especially then all that happened was he arrested, tried, declared innocent and then inexplicably killed for no reason.

Why wouldn't an alien race simply land and tell us this all important message of "love"? It would have had a much better chance of being heard if that were the case then to go to all that trouble only to ultimately have some homeless carpenter being the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. How would they even know what Judaism is?

Think of it this way. You are an alien and you land in the jungles far away from any hint of humanity thousands of years ago. The most intelligent species you encounter are chimpanzees. Would you really think, "I know, we'll rape one of the females in order to impregnate her so that her child will be able to communicate a message of 'love' to the other intelligent animals when it grows up"?

Quote:
But, is it possible that within that chapter, we find that grain of truth, a reference to the God Gene, which simply says that we are all born with some primal knowledge of our Designer?
Wait, I thought the point was the whole love thing? Now you're saying that the only reason the aliens did all of that was to cryptically hide the idea of a "God Gene" within the overt writings claiming there's a god? That would be like hiding an easter egg inside an easter egg.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 10:35 PM   #360216 / #11
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Quote:
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In this case, lets propose that Jesus was in effect the product of a union with one of these aliens and a woman. He was purposfully sent here to teach the lesson of love.
Why? Why would an alien race care that another alien race learn the "Lesson of Love" whatever that is? I mean, beside the fact that Jesus didn't teach anything new, you're talking about an already existing biological trait found in many species, not just homo sapiens sapiens and some alien race deciding that humans needed to be reminded of something they were already fully versed in and the method chosen was to rape and impregnate a woman so that she could give birth to an alien that wouldn't say anything for thirty years and then it was only to a dozen or so nomadic fishermen in a remote desert region with no hope of knowing whether or not such a "message" would get out.

Quote:
Love so great that he would lay down his life in martyrdom.
But he doesn't "lay down his life in martyrdom." If he were a human/alien half breed especially then all that happened was he arrested, tried, declared innocent and then inexplicably killed for no reason.

Why wouldn't an alien race simply land and tell us this all important message of "love"? It would have had a much better chance of being heard if that were the case then to go to all that trouble only to ultimately have some homeless carpenter being the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. How would they even know what Judaism is?

Think of it this way. You are an alien and you land in the jungles far away from any hint of humanity thousands of years ago. The most intelligent species you encounter are chimpanzees. Would you really think, "I know, we'll rape one of the females in order to impregnate her so that her child will be able to communicate a message of 'love' to the other intelligent animals when it grows up"?

Quote:
But, is it possible that within that chapter, we find that grain of truth, a reference to the God Gene, which simply says that we are all born with some primal knowledge of our Designer?
Wait, I thought the point was the whole love thing? Now you're saying that the only reason the aliens did all of that was to cryptically hide the idea of a "God Gene" within the overt writings claiming there's a god? That would be like hiding an easter egg inside an easter egg.
Reasons are inexplicable.

No, I was not saying that the reason was the cryptic God Gene. I am saying that the object lesson was love.

And, please understand that my posts have been brief on all that is swirling around in my brain on the subject.

My imagination takes me many places with this.

Alot of it is tied into the Book of Job which is supposedly the earliest of all Scripture.

The object may be much greater than just Jesus and his law of love.

One side introduces evil. Another side introduces law. Now, lets see what the little humans do with that. After a couple thousand years of observation, one side introduces the Messiah, and the other side introduces religious dogma, more conflict, lets see wht the little humans do. Send in Mohammed, the Crusades, the Reformation, Joseph Smith, Nietze, Hitler, lets watch the humans and what they shall do. Place your bets. Have a great cosmic laugh. Its a party for everyone.

And don't forget to insert this God Gene into the mixture so that men and women will die for the religious cause they believe in.
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 10:43 PM   #360219 / #12
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Lulu you would really love Doris Lessing's 'Shikasta'.

Can't post a link because there would be spoilers.

Just buy and read.

Very powerful, very emotional, totally in tune with what you are thinking right now.

Wrong, of course, but when I mentioned this in thread some time ago Cath bought me a copy to replace my lost or loaned ones, and it still brought me to tears.

Just buy and read.

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Old 30 Apr 2012, 10:46 PM   #360221 / #13
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If the existence of a God Gene discredits religion, would the discovery a Vision Gene discredit eyesight? Or is it only "squishy" matters where we are supposed to draw dichotomous distinctions between "biologically influenced" and "real"?
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Old 30 Apr 2012, 10:58 PM   #360233 / #14
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If the existence of a God Gene discredits religion, would the discovery a Vision Gene discredit eyesight? Or is it only "squishy" matters where we are supposed to draw dichotomous distinctions between "biologically influenced" and "real"?
We know there is eyesight, and eyesight is a fairly well defined phenomenon, but there is a startling lack of evidence for most formulations of god concepts, and god is an ill defined idea.

David
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Old 01 May 2012, 12:45 AM   #360288 / #15
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Lulu you would really love Doris Lessing's 'Shikasta'.

Can't post a link because there would be spoilers.

Just buy and read.

Very powerful, very emotional, totally in tune with what you are thinking right now.

Wrong, of course, but when I mentioned this in thread some time ago Cath bought me a copy to replace my lost or loaned ones, and it still brought me to tears.

Just buy and read.

David
Added to my Nook wishlist. I will read it as soon as I finish the novel I am currently reading. It sounds so great!
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Old 01 May 2012, 12:54 AM   #360291 / #16
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If the existence of a God Gene discredits religion, would the discovery a Vision Gene discredit eyesight? Or is it only "squishy" matters where we are supposed to draw dichotomous distinctions between "biologically influenced" and "real"?
I think that is apple and oranges. Religion is not relative to the God Gene as a "vision gene" would be to vision.

The God Gene would be relative to God (or aliens or higher being or designer or demon or ancient human civilization or intelligent super computer).

Religion is a sad result, not a direct coorelation to the God Gene.

An alien pays a visit to a human and imbues him with some secret knowledge or ability. People around him fall on their knees and worship him. He says, "Hey, I'm just a guy who had this very cool experience!" But they don't listen. Religion is started. Future generations, add on to the legend of this guy and more customs and ceremonies are begun. Religion is organized and notices that not everyone believes the same thing or with the same determination. So, they invent yet other stories, customs, and ceremonies to control the congregation and gain new converts via fear and intimidation.

While all of that is silly at best and destructive at worst, it doesn't take away from the fact that they guy was visited by an alien hundreds of years before.
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Old 01 May 2012, 10:14 AM   #360374 / #17
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While all of that is silly at best and destructive at worst, it doesn't take away from the fact that they guy was visited by an alien hundreds of years before.

The fact? What fact?
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Old 01 May 2012, 10:31 AM   #360377 / #18
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While all of that is silly at best and destructive at worst, it doesn't take away from the fact that they guy was visited by an alien hundreds of years before.

The fact? What fact?
lol! I apologize for that. It was an expression, not a statement of reality.
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Old 01 May 2012, 03:07 PM   #360444 / #19
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Reasons are inexplicable.


Quote:
No, I was not saying that the reason was the cryptic God Gene. I am saying that the object lesson was love.
Did people not know about love or how to love before Jesus? Did Jesus say anything new about love? No, he did not. We've gone over this before remember? And again, why would one intelligent species care whether or not another intelligent species knew about "love"? Are you going to go out into the jungle and teach Orangutans the golden rule? Why would you do that?

Do you not see that all of your assumptions are based on (a) "Love" being some sort of universal currency, (b) no humans understanding how to love until Jesus came along, and (c) homo sapiens sapiens being the only important species in the universe because of their presumably forgotten ability to love.

While poetic, I guess, think in terms of reality and an actual alien species or even an actual god/designer for that matter and how utterly ridiculous it would be for "love" to be of primary importance, let alone of any importance at all in the grand scheme of things.

Quote:
And, please understand that my posts have been brief on all that is swirling around in my brain on the subject.

My imagination takes me many places with this.
Which is great and all, but don't you think you should start by saying, "This Jesus crap is all man-made bullshit" rather than trying to come up with an alien rape scenario to impart a lesson that nobody needed to hear in the first place?

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Alot of it is tied into the Book of Job which is supposedly the earliest of all Scripture.
And has nothing to do with Jesus.

Quote:
The object may be much greater than just Jesus and his law of love.
Wow. Let me put that into proper perspective for you: The object may be much greater than Bob and his law of love.

The name "Jesus" is still magical for you. Stop using it and you'll immediatley see how ridiculous your scenario is.

Quote:
One side introduces evil. Another side introduces law Now, lets see what the little humans do with that. After a couple thousand years of observation, one side introduces the Messiah, and the other side introduces religious dogma, more conflict, lets see wht the little humans do. Send in Mohammed, the Crusades, the Reformation, Joseph Smith, Nietze, Hitler, lets watch the humans and what they shall do. Place your bets. Have a great cosmic laugh. Its a party for everyone.
So we're intergalactic lab rats? Ok, think for a second about you doing this to dolphins, or chimpanzees or any other intelligent animal on our planet. Why would you do that? How would that generate any laughs or even a party for that matter?

Better yet, to get the scale of alien race with the power to do something like this, think of you doing this to an ant farm just to have a cosmic laugh at how you can puppet master a handful of ants.

Quote:
And don't forget to insert this God Gene into the mixture so that men and women will die for the religious cause they believe in.
Again, fun fiction, but if you think for just a few minutes on the reality of this scenario, it strains incredulity that any group wielding such powers would get any "laughs" at all out of what amounts to pulling the wings off of flies.

Not out of the question, of course, just strains incredulity.
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Old 01 May 2012, 04:07 PM   #360461 / #20
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LOL, Koy, don't be so outraged.

I am not selling Jesus per se as much as I am discussing the idea that all religions since the beginning of time have in effect been interpretations of interactions with alien life forms.

I am selling Mohammad and John Smith as much as I am selling Jesus.

Yes, my slant will always have a Judeo-Christian flavor because that is what I know.

There is a current religion which for the life of me, I cannot recall the name now, incorporates every religion. They believe that every religion's prophet was in effect an incarnation of God, from Moses to Buddah to hell, probably the scientology guy by now.

I am not saying they are correct but that is a little bit along the lines of what I am saying here. Grain of truth and all...

Religion is man made but my question is: Was religion founded on some experience with the unknown, blown up out of proportion, given all kinds of doctrines and ceremonies?

As far as why Jesus came...you are not seeing the larger picture. Its not that we don't know how to love without Jesus commanding it. That was his message, yes. But, the advent of Jesus set about a major change in world history.

I have presented two scenarios:
1) A Director of Human Events
2) A Game of Chance

#1 could be a scientific experiement, it could be a designer's maintenance of a special project, it could be purely for entertainment purposes.
#2 is why I referenced the Book of Job. Two alien cultures competing over the Earth to see whose influence will ultimately evolve us into higher beings or destroy us.
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Old 01 May 2012, 04:20 PM   #360466 / #21
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LOL, Koy, don't be so outraged.
I'm not.

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Religion is man made but my question is: Was religion founded on some experience with the unknown, blown up out of proportion, given all kinds of doctrines and ceremonies?
Right and my questions are in response to that premise.

Quote:
As far as why Jesus came...you are not seeing the larger picture. Its not that we don't know how to love without Jesus commanding it. That was his message, yes. But, the advent of Jesus set about a major change in world history.
No, it really didn't is the problem you're not seeing. What set about a major change in world history was Constantine mandating that all of the Roman Empire (which was essentially the entire Western world) convert to Constantine's version of Christianity. Jesus had nothing to do with it and if he existed, was most likely a Jewish "freedom fighter" (what the Romans would have considered a "terrorist" to use modern terminology). You are most likely talking about Roman propaganda having little to nothing to do with anything an insurrectionist named Jesus ever said or did.

Regardless, nothing Jesus was alleged to have said was anything new and this notion that "love" has any special meaning beyond our word for a chemical bond between mates is merely poetic, so how would it be applicable in any way to your scenarios?

Quote:
I have presented two scenarios:
1) A Director of Human Events
2) A Game of Chance

#1 could be a scientific experiement, it could be a designer's maintenance of a special project, it could be purely for entertainment purposes.
#2 is why I referenced the Book of Job. Two alien cultures competing over the Earth to see whose influence will ultimately evolve us into higher beings or destroy us.
Right and I presented objections/questions regarding either of these scenarios.

You're the only one who gets to play?
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