Re: virus: Religion

Michael Hudson (
Tue, 27 May 1997 03:12:28 -0400 (EDT)

Lurking mode: Switched Off.

Greetings. Salutations. I prefer being a lurker, because I like
listening and abosbing memes than I do in throwing them around. But, I
figured I needed to say something about a point or two....

First... Christianity. Sunday morning TV is NOT all there is to
Christianity. Sure, Christianity evolved from Judaism, and Judaism itself
evolved from a polytheistic religion to a mono-theistic religion. But,
the key point is that they did "evolve". Because masses of people are
constantly trying to figure out what it is that religion is or should be
doesn't mean that the idea or the meme that a God exists and that its
existence is beneficial is invalid.
Judaism, in its emerging days both in BC and AD does have a basic
tenet that God is Lord of all things. But in this, it more or less states
that God transcends the universe and that the universe is his creation,
and thus not under the power of any impersonal or natural necessity. In
this, like claims about the "singularity" that became the Big Bang... God
is above contradiation and reason... thus the Omnipotent arguments looked
at in this perspective becomes not applicable.
I'm not saying I agree with this... I'm just showing arguments
that would back up someone who claims God's omnipotency.
Now... as I said before... religions evolve. And when
Christianity showed its face on the world... It's main message was not
necessarily that God was all powerful or all knowing. If you chose to
believe that, great. It seems that most did. However, the main drive of
Christianity is Christ. Who is Jesus and what does he represent? You
are only Jewish, if you only consider God. You are Christian, if you
consider Jesus into the equation. Now, whether or not, you can abstract
the God concept or change it, yet still accept the Jesus portion is
surprisingly what I believe most of your Church followers in most of
your main denominations are about. The Religious Left is alive and
well... just doesn't like the TV much. They're too tolerant to really
make a big deal about EXACTLY what the believe in.
So... yes... I say one can believe in Christ yet claim something
like God is not omnipotent. I mean Christ as a human being was quite a
guy that whether we like it or not has caused a lot of stuff and a lot of
memes to be present in our society today. Does it really matter whether
or not he was Divine, or human, or for that matter, that he even existed?
All that matters is the ideas that we form of him. Because... that is all
we can do. And if one chooses, to say that my goal in life is to follow
the teachings that Jesus taught, and to be like him... then can't we call
him a Christain? Is he not, following Christ?
And why do should we follow this Christ... one that it seems that
John is claiming as not being divine... why is it ok to follow something
as abstract and possibly not as omnipotent as some claim to be kind of
God? Well... its that big old word again. FAITH.
Look... religion is the ultimate story-telling parable machine.
It gives one of the best structures around for passing on thoughts and
ideas so that a mass audience can understand and make part of their
memetic structure in their brain. Whether or not, we think there is a God
or that MAYBE there is a God, or there isn't... we listen to a story like
the GOOD SAMARITAN and we say hey... I like that, I believe in that, and
that was a good way of making the point. And then we say... who said that
again??? Oh... this guy named Jesus. Well then... what else does he have
to say... and before you know it... you're following these teachings of
this guy named Jesus and really groovin' to it. In the end... all these
other questions like divinity and omnipotence are cool to add if ya want,
but don't really matter as much.
Because... I think what John is saying when he talks about his
brand of Religious Left and Christianity.... is that it isn't as important
who the man is... what's important is what he had to say. That is... his
message. And Jesus said as much in his day.

And in response to the idea of intellectual Christians being out
there. Have we not seen the Jesus Seminar. A group of very religious
people and scholars who are basically tearing the NT to shreds.
Because... they understand that the gospels were written by people who
were as interested as setting up an agenda as they were in telling the
truth. And well... these guys want to see as much for themselves what
exactly Jesus had to say. And if you were to ask most of these
scholars... they would still claim themselves Christian. Even after
taking away all the miracles Jesus did, and possibly even the Virgin
Birth. Because... like I said above... does it really matter?

Hmmm.... God is a construct. Whether real or not... And in
John's version of God... God is humanity. And John is giving humanity a
positive value and worth. It will always be necessary to have a God if
one is to pull away from the self and examine the whole. And how one
defines what this whole is and how to interact act with it... becomes
their God. Call it a game of definitions... but that's what we're trying
to do here, right... break down the memes we sometimes take for granted
and explore things that may be underneath them.

Anyway... I've been rambling and must get to sleep.

Oh.. yeah... greetings to all...


Note: St. Thomas held that even an omnipotent being could not
bring about a contradictory state of affairs. Look at The Unity of the
Church by Jean De Gerson. See ya!

Michael J. Hudson | | 307-C Webb Street
The cheeziest of | Do everything in moderation | Blacksburg, VA 24060
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