Re: virus: Religion

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 27 May 1997 20:56:08 -0500

Michael Hudson wrote:
> 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.

This is exactly what I said, right?

> 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?

Ummm... I don't know that Bible to well, but does Jesus not say that you
are to "love God"... even before you "love your neighbour"? Does the
religious left just ignore this?
That aside (and I don't think it's really that serious) I agree. If one
follows Jesus, one can be said to be a Christian. (dominate fundamental
meme-complex = nada (for now))

> 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.

Why do you need it at all... if you reject the "son of God" idea and
just dig on what good he has to say, I don't see why faith is needed at
all. Just good old fasioned reason. "This seems right and good to me
because it will make me a better person and help the world out too, so
I'd do it!"

> 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.

Like I said in John piece, those are just decorations on the arch of

> 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 now I agree.

> 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?

I would now say no, it does not matter (within limits... what if he
didn't say "love thy neighbour as thyself"?)

> 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.

Definitions, yes. I think that we should split "Christainity" into two
concepts... one for the "religious left", like John (and possibly
myself, although I will have to go and read the N.T. all over again
first) and another for the fundamentalists. Any suggestions?
(if we don't split it, I think we'll just end up confusion the world
even more... how many people are there out there like me who only know
of the religious /right/?)

> 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!

This was a fourth possible answer to my "Can God create a stone he
cannot lift" question that I thought of after I wrote the message.
Escentially, you can also claim that it is inherently beyond God's power
to exceed his own power. He cannot do something that he cannot do. So
he cannot create a rock he cannot lift because he cannot exceed his own
strenght. And God is still omnipotent (awaiting another test)


"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have
been searching for evidence which could support this." -- Bertrand