Discussing religion is literally a waste of time and energy

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Number 9 Bus Shelter, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    wynn, you seem to already be convinced "..that online arguments are sooooooo meaningful and worthwhile."
    If you are not already convinced, why would you choose to engage in them and create argumentative Posts that "are sooooooo meaningful and worthwhile"!?!?

    wynn, I refuse to repost the disgusting "picture" you Posted !!! If it is indicative of your true beliefs - would you care to explain why anything you Post is, indeed "sooooooo meaningful and worthwhile."!?!?

    wynn, is it at all possible that you could read the fine print at the very bottom of the disgusting picture you Posted?
    If so, there is a "sooooooo meaningful and worthwhile" message contained therein for people of your ilk!
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    That's true, especially in France. The so-called Dark Ages were something of a misnomer. True they had the Black Death, but they also saw the rise of a prosperous merchant class and many innovations.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    An argument can be made that it wiped out ancient Greco-Roman civilization.

    Christianity was made the Roman state religion, non-Christian religious observances were eventually outlawed and non-Christian temples pulled down or taken over and converted to Christian use. Laws were passed forbidding non-Christians from serving in public office, from speaking in law courts, from leaving private property to their heirs, and from engaging in any sort of teaching. The 1000-year-old Platonic Academy in Athens was ordered closed and its teachers were forced to flee.

    I can cite ancient and contemporary sources for all of that, if anyone is interested. I'm looking at several books in my bookcase, such as MacMullen's 'Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries', that contain no end of examples and references to events that helped bring an entire civilization to its end.

    After all, the East Roman Empire didn't fall at the end of antiquity. But despite its maintaining its political continuity and surviving for another thousand years to 1453, its internal cultural and intellectual life became so radically different from ancient Greece and Rome, so fundamentally medieval in nature, that it's known by a new name, the Byzantine Empire. Certainly the religious situation influenced all of intellectual life, and that in turn colored the entire civilization.

    I think that Cheezle was expressing his feelings regarding the 'You might win, but you're still a retard' posters. I felt very strongly about that myself and am happy that Cheezle objected. It's why I'm defending Cheezle now. He showed integrity when others didn't and he deserves my support.

    Is it really a mistake? It looks like a legitimate historical thesis to me. Obviously there are counterarguments that can be advanced against it, but that doesn't make it into something that Cheezle needs to grovel for having said.
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    That is not an argument for it wiping out western culture however ... or even an argument for it "degrading" western culture for that matter

    At the moment you are not even re-iterating his statement.

    Cheezle was suggesting that Christianity is a bad influence and cited how it nearly wiped out western culture in the dark ages.

    As far as historiography goes, the dark ages is a transitional period between the roman empire and the (Italian) renaissance, which is commonly celebrated as a notable high point of western culture ... as opposed to some event that almost brought it to the brink of extinction

    All you are talking about is the historical continuum of western culture.
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Awww, hurt male pride ... sees illusions ...

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  9. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    Yes it is fanciful in a way. History is highly chaotic in the sense that small changes can have a large effect. For instance, if Hitler had not made some really bad decisions, we might be in the 1000 year Reich? ( I am sure you will correct me if I misused that term). When I say it came close to wiping out western civ, what I meant was that if the church had not broken apart and lost much of its power then we could all be currently living in a preindustrial time. The Church splintered several times and each time it lost a little hold on the people. The final splintering was the Reformation. When the Roman Empire fell, it got about as bad as it could with the Hordes attacking and the power vacuum. I am just saying that Western Civ as we know it today would be much more primitive technologically and in other ways if the Church had stayed whole and retained its power. We dodged a few bullets as it were, and survived.

    It is not something you can really dispute since as you say it is a fanciful POV. But if you trace the schisms in the Church you will most likely find fairly localized events that might have been avoided. Change just a few events and it all could have been different. And by different I mean bad, negative, dark or what ever you want to call it. Maybe not Saeculum obscurum (<- I looked that up on wikipedia), but dark none the less.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That depends on what we intend the phrase 'western civilization' to mean.

    I think that a case can be made that the establishment of Christianity as the Roman state religion in the 4th century contributed to the end of ancient Greco-Roman civilization.

    Of course, those same events can be interpreted as the first steps in the creation of a new European (as opposed to Mediterranean) civilization that led, through many twists and turns, to the Western civilization of today.

    It was pretty nasty, at least in its earlier centuries, the roughly 500-1000 CE period.

    Urban life and a money economy virtually disappeared, apart from the Byzantine empire to the east (which wasn't a direct ancestor of modern Western Europe) and a few pockets of residual Byzantine-influenced urbanism in Italy (which were). Trade withered. Education and literacy almost disappeared in many places, apart from the church and its monasteries. (That's why we call office workers "clerks". The word was originally 'cleric', because when people needed something written down or read to them, they sought out a cleric, who were the only literate people around.) Philosophy and literature almost died, except where the monks preserved them in their monastic scriptoria. Law and order became scarce, and people sought protection by warrior aristocrats, crude and violent men who became the ancestors of the refined and chivalrous knights of the later high medieval centuries. That was the origin of feudalism. War and violence were endemic, in part because of frequent barbarian raids, and part because of the Germanic practice in which kings left equal shares of their monarchy to all of their sons (in that culture it was the only fair thing to do) who proceeded to gather armies and fight each other to the death. You had law courts employing trials by combat and ordeal. And on and on...

    Obviously that can't all be laid at Christianity's feet. The proximate cause was probably economic and governmental collapse in the Roman West. But the rise of Christianity almost certainly contributed to the growing weakness of the old Greco-Roman civilized order.

    I'm sure it wasn't intentional. The church didn't want Rome to collapse, they wanted to dominate Rome and transform it into a world empire of Christendom. (To some extent they succeeded in the Byzantine east, and it's why the so-called 'Holy Roman Empire' remained a Western ideal throughout medieval times.) Certainly the church was one of the more prominent forces trying to preserve what civilization they could during the western 'dark ages'. (On their own terms of course.) The church was about the only social service agency there was for regular people in those years. It represented just about the only avenue of upward mobility there was.

    But I think that the early medieval period was a dark, dangerous and extremely unpleasant time.

    That started to change in the high medieval period of roughly 1000-1400 CE. Urban life and trade started to revive. Prosperity reappeared, new forms of Gothic architecture and art appeared, the medieval universities were begun and a highly sophisticated intellectual life evolved around them. Wealthy rulers and merchants in places like Venice started to patronize artists and scholars, and we see writers like Dante and artists like Giotto becoming cultural stars. In a way, the high medieval period was just as sophisticated as ancient Greece and Rome had once been, but its style and substance were very different in many ways. It was something new.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And get your identifiers straight: there are no "Xtian" nor Christian apologists in this thread discussing this topic with you. You're simply making an unsupported statement and some of us require you to support it.

    If you favor the Theory of Evolution, then you can not rightfully complain, even if the scenario would play out as you suggest and the Catholic Church would indeed be such a powerful force as to "put a major kink in the hose of technology and science".

    Should antelopes complain that they get caught and killed by cheetahs? Should it be said that it is unfair that cheetahs catch and kill antelopes?

    If the name of the game is to be "The survival of the fittest" and having survived is to be taken to mean the surviving one is fitter than those who haven't survived - well, then according to your historiography, the Catholic Church simply was the fitter one, at least for some time.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Not unlike modern times.
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Then how can you place considerable blame on one particular factor, in this case, the Catholic Church?

    The medieval climate problems and the consequences thereof appear to be quite significant:

    The 535-36 event

    Between 536 and 551 AD tree ring growth was very low throughout Europe and many other parts of the world, including North America, New Zealand and China. Contemporary writers in southern Europe described what modern climate scientists call a ‘dust veil event’ which sharply reduced solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface. This depressed temperatures, disrupted weather patterns, reduced biological productivity, including food crops, and resulted in famine and social disruption during the 6th century. The consequences were experienced worldwide. In Britain, the period 535—555 experienced the worst weather of the 6th century. In Mesopotamia there were heavy falls of snow and in Arabia there was flooding follow by famine. In China, in 536, there was drought and famine and yellow dust rained down like snow. In Korea, AD 535 and 536 were the worst years of that century in climatic terms with massive storms and flooding, followed by drought. It has also been suggested that the occurrence of the Justinian Plague, a pandemic which affected the Byzantine Empire, including its capital Constantinople, in the years 541–42 AD is linked to the climatic events five years earlier.

    What caused it?
    Although historians have sought to explain the ‘dust veil’ in terms of a comet hitting the earth, only recently, with the help of earth scientists, is it becoming clear that we are dealing here with a volcanic event. There was a series of severe volcanic eruptions in central and South America that put so much dust into the atmsophre that it depressed the temperature of the earth for years.1

    This catastrophic event can be regarded as the trigger that ended the classical world and the beginning of the Middle Ages. It blotted the sun out and resulted directly and indirectly, in climate chaos, famine, migration, war and massive political change on all continents.

    Note: Climatic and environmental disasters are "funnels", not direct causes for historical events. They reinforce already existing historical patterns such as migration or political instability, over exploitation etc.

    800: coronation Charlemagne. At the beginning of the 9th century, when Charlemagne is ruling most of Europe, the winter weather turns cold again. This did not prevent Charlemagne from becoming emperor. This is a period of cultural and economic growth and flourishing. The colder conditions did not affect this in a negative way because of political stability and the fact that society was resilient enough to cope with this climatic fluctuation.

    10th – 14th century: The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) or Medieval Climate Optimum

    During the High Middle Ages in Europe experienced a climate slightly warmer than in the period preceding and the period following it. The summer temperatures were between 1 and 1.4 degrees higher than the average temperature of the 20th century. The winters were even warmer with an average temperature in England of 6 degrees, which is slightly warmer than for most of the 20th century. The warmer conditions were caused by the fact that the air circulation above the Atlantic changed position, as did the warm sea currents, transporting warmer water to the arctic.

    In Europe the warm conditions had positive effects. Summer after summer the harvests were good and the population increased rapidly. As a result thousands of hectares were cleared of woodland and farmers expanded their fields high into the hills and on mountain slopes. It was even possible to grow successfully grapes as far north as Yorkshire.

    Under these conditions, art, literature and even science were developing apace and we see the height of medieval civilisation. The most visible achievements of this period are undoubtedly the construction of the many cathedrals all over Europe. The good harvests had made Europe rich and the good weather freed people from the burden of the struggle against the elements. It created the wealth and labour force to build cathedrals. It was a golden period for European Architecture and art.

    9th & 10th centuries: Vikings reach Island and Greenland during the milder condition that prevailed during Medieval Warm Period.

    Norse settlers arrived in Iceland in the 9th and Greenland in the 10th century with an agricultural practice based on milk, meat and fibre from cattle, sheep, and goats. The settlers were attracted by green fields and a relatively good climate and driven there by population pressures in Scandinavia.

    They were able to sail to Iceland and Greenland as well as Labrador because of a decrease in sea ice in the north Atlantic.

    Beginning of Little Ice Age

    Environmental upheavals linked to sever climate variability characterised the period from 1300 to 1400.
    All tree ring series in northern Europe show a decline in growth rates, indicating an adverse climatic change. This marked the transition from a “Medieval Warm Period” to the “Little Ice Age” when temperatures were on average 1.5 degrees Celsius lower than before and with greater seasonal variation. The cooling trend associated with the Little Ice Age progressively moved from north-west to south-east across Europe, with the Vikings in the far North experiencing the clooing first, British Isles experiencing the effects from the 1290s and the Mediterranean after 1320.

    Written records from the 14th century provide accounts of severe weather in the period from 1314 to 1317, which led in turn to crop failure and famine. This episode of failed harvests and its consequences is known as “The Great Famine”. Notwithstanding these ecological calamities, the population of northern Europe was at an all time high by the second quarter of the 14th century. However, the arrival of the Black Death, in Europe in 1347 pushed the European population into a century-long demographic decline and caused long term changes in economy and society.

    The Black Death, 1340s-1350s

    Germs and microbes are part of our environment. In fact, these creatures can be regarded as the most successful living things on the planet. Our invisible environment of microbes has also shaped events in world history in many ways. Nowhere was this more evident and visible ultimately, in the Black Death that affected, and infected, Eurasia during the 14th century. The Black Death spread from central Asia along trade routes and reached southern Europe in 1347. It swept quickly through the continent and reached northern Scandinavia and Iceland in 1350. Few areas escaped and by late 1350 between 30 and 40% of the European population had perished.

    But what catapulted the Black Death on the world stage? Recently it has been suggested that a climatic event similar to the 536 dust veil event is responsible. Based on comparing the chronologies of prices, wages, grain harvests and the corresponding chronologies of growing conditions and climactic variations, taking into consideration dendrochronology, the Greenland ice cores it has emerged that the episodes of the Black Death coincide with depressed temperatures. Find out more in this video lecture by Professor Bruce Campbell of Queens University Belfast.

    The dramatic decline of the European population caused by the Black Death coincided with a decline in global temperature. Coincidence? The climate was already getting colder because the northern hemisphere was heading for the Little Ice Age. At the same time agricultural land was taken out of production in Europe because of the 25-40% decline of the European population (depending on region). This means ploughing of less ground, which releases greenhouse gasses (Methane and carbonates) and forest clearance was reversed. More trees and scrubs mean that more carbon (CO2) was taken out of the atmosphere and stored in biomass. The abandoned farmland acted as a significant carbon sink because trees store carbon taken from the CO2 in the air.

    From about 1350 CO2 levels in the atmosphere appear to fall following the Black Death. However, a long term declining trend may have already started before the Black Death. We know that the first two decades of the 14th century were wetter, windier and climatically more unstable than before. The declining trend also continued after the recovery of agriculture after 1440. The reforestation that followed the Black Death and the resulting decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere pronounced a natural cooling trend that was already underway. This was the beginning of the LIA. This means the LIA was not triggered by the Black Death but possibly contributed to it, although temporarily.


    They had all those ups and downs in the climate and the adverse consequences of that for agriculture - that's a lot to deal with in its own right.
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    The difference is that the influence of hitler on current society (at least as a positive cultural enabling power) is practically non-existent.
    With the influence of christianity however you see reformation of institution and orthodoxy.

    The two are completely different.
    The institutions of nazi germany have been wiped out.
    The institutions of Christianity, alternatively, adjusts to the world and also influences it

    IOW the fanciful nature of your post is to suggest that the cultural amalgamation of institutions (reformation, etc) is non-different from the cultural annihilation of them.

    So now Protestantism represents the death knoll of Christianity in the west?
    You aren't a catholic playing charades with us and simply pretending to be an atheist, are you?

    And if principles of Victorian class structure remained functional the influence of the industrial revolution also probably wouldn't be so prevalent.
    IOW you can pick any key event from any historical continuum and speculate how things would be better, worse or exactly the same and talk about dodging or receiving more bullets or whatever ... but thats all it is : speculation.

    Actually its quite ironic that you bring up technological progress as an example of "dodging the bullets of the extinction of civilization" since the military applications and/or environmental side effects of this so-called progress are very much loading a calibre of bullet that we haven't even seen historically and leaves entire communities of academics scratching their heads over how we can hope to dodge it

    Regardless of your ideas about alternative histories, the fact remains that the cultural institutions of Christianity simultaneously adapted and influenced the world as it moved from the transitional period of the middle ages. To say that it nearly wiped out western civilization would require that one be grossly uninformed about the nature of the following era : namely the renaissance (which, funnily enough, sees a return to the classical culture of rome and greece).

    IOW far from christianity eroding through the different eras, its the continuity of it that even enables you to attempt some sort of speculative enterprise of fiction in the name of history (a lot of historical accounts were written by christians ... and the only reason we have them here today is because the cultural institutions of Christianity have persevered.
    So since the very information you use for your argument comes from the continuity of christian art and writing (which in turn, are preserved through the continuity of christian institutions), your claim becomes practically impossible to support from the onset

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Not at all
    If the self-same institutions accused of almost derailing it to extinction persist in the era and continue to the next one (where it blossoms in an unprecedented expression of culture and philosophy, providing many foundations that are essential even in today's so-called comfortable modern world), you actually have an argument for it rejuvenating and sustaining a civilization - not extinguishing it

    and if you want to talk about that event "wiping out western civilization", you would have to explain how the end of the greco-roman empires spelt the end of western civilization ..... a task that the (Italian) renaissance would render farcical

    Now try and take that same western civilization and extract the christian influences from it to show how it has become necessarily degraded in contrast to its greco-roman counterpart ... you would have more luck wearing a jumper that simply relies on the endeavor of the right knitting needle, having had all the wool touched by the left one removed.

    the more you discuss it, the further you move away from cheezle's statements

    a fact you are probably thankful for ... at least if you admire the nature of western civilization in its current form.


    Christianity came to the rescue of western culture
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Billions of people's lives are now saved with vaccines and medicines that science invented. Technologies have improved our quality of life beyond the drudgery of growing potatos and raising chickens. In the 400 years since science emerged we have learned far more about the universe than all the thousands of years of all the world religions combined. Talk about panaceas! Religion boasts itself the crucial information from God that will save the human race. And yet in all this time religion hasn't brought us one inch closer to a paradiscal state of utopian peace and immortality. Its promises are legion but empty. If you worship God he will give you eternal life. But there's a catch: you have to DIE first! lol! Are people sick? Just pray for them and anoint them with oil and they will rise again. Or so the Bible portrays. Never has there been such a farcical waste of time and energy thrown into a more useless enterprise than religion. All progress in our age has come from the enlightening power of reason and science. Progress from out of the darkness of the fear and superstition of the life-sucking cancer of religion. This is simply undeniable. I agree talking about religion as if it is a respectable field of knowledge IS a waste of time and energy. Talking about it as what it IS--the decaying and poisoning of all that is worthwhile and beautiful in the human spirit--isn't though.
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That's one reason why history is unlikely to ever be a physics-style science. There aren't any over-arching laws of historical change and, as you say, too much depends on particular events.

    Hitler is a good example. If a few small and seemingly innocuous events in the early history of the Nazi party had gone differently, Hitler might never have risen to power, World War II might never have happened, Europe wouldn't have lost its worldwide power and cultural influence so precipitously, the Iron Curtain and the Cold War wouldn't have happened, the advent of nuclear weapons might have been delayed for generations...

    Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan and others come to mind, where the actions of particular individuals changed the entire course of history. And when we start thinking about all of the other tiny events that contributed to sending these individuals' lives on the trajectories that they took, it looks like 'butterfly effects'. I think that it's very likely true that history is broadly chaotic in the dynamical sense.
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    yet mortality still has a 100% success rate, so once again you are either dumbing down the term or possessed of a state of willful ignorance

    Only for as long as first world countries can outlay their dreary work requirements to other countries with a cheap and hence expendable labor force

    given that such so-called learning in no way deals with the problem of attachment to things in the universe that will shortly cease to exist, the combined efforts of this scientific knowledge is far less than a single paragraph of scripture

    Of course not.
    Rendering the material world permanent is the business of gross materialists who heed nothing but their insignificant desires.
    The greatest irony is that despite the consistent failure of such fools, there is no shortage of new ones who believe they can effect something different than their predecessors.

    human civilization that has no goal beyond the fulfillment of material propensities will always be out-performed by pigs, dogs and camels, that get a lot more of it a lot more easily

    If you are awarded eternal life, why would death be a problem?

    ( unless of course its not so much the death but the leaving behind of attachments that is the natural consequence of death that is the problem)

    perhaps as portrayed by people who actually don't understand scripture to groups of people who also harbor the desire to be cheated

    Open the newspaper.
    As if it wasn't enough for people to walk the path of misery, now they run towards it on newly constructed highways

    you simply equate technological advancement with progress, despite its complete inability to deliver you from an iota of the conditions material existence

    BG 2.62: While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

    BG 2.63: From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

    meanwhile your molars rot
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I was arguing that there really was a period (roughly 500 - 1000 CE) that can truthfully be called a European 'dark age'. It was certainly a dark age compared to the Greco-Roman civilization that preceeded it.

    It effectively marked the end of ancient Greco-Roman civilization. In western Europe, it came dangerously close to ending civilization entirely, by nearly sending culture back to a prehistoric iron-age illiterate village-agriculture level.

    The Renaissance was almost 1000 years later. The High Medieval period, which shares many characteristics with the Renaissance and shouldn't be underestimated, was maybe 500 years later.

    It's true that the West fought its way back and eventually regained everything it had lost and more. But suppose that it had never been necessary to do that. What if ancient civilization had never collapsed but had continued to progress instead?

    It isn't certain that Greco-Roman civilization would have survived had Christianity never been established. Given the unpredictable vagueries of history, it's probably impossible to say with any certainty how things would look today had ancient civilization survived. But it's certainly an interesting question to speculate about.
  20. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Religion can be dedicated to anything, it doesn't have to be about gods. It can be a church of science for example. Religion is hardly a waist of time, maybe you mean discussing Christianity, and the other Abrahamic religions are a waist of time. :/
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    People are living longer, healthier, and happier lives due to medical science. People are living long enough now to know their own great grandchildren. In just 160 years the average lifespan of humans has been doubled from what it was: http://educationstormfront.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/life-expectancy-chart.gif That's something religion with all of it's phony promises of peace and healing powers and eternal life never even approached.

    The inability and refusal to accept finality is a sign of weakness and fanciful infantilism. Nothing lasts forever and nothing needs too. Each experience is replaced by a totally new one. This is the law of life and of all experience. Religion's need to clutch things forever, to never accept change and never embrace the new, is the reason it is a rotting miasma of irrelevant superstitions and trite rituals.

    Matter is in a constant state of flux. Matter is also charged with tremendous power and energy. Only fools expect permanence in this ever creative and energetic state of physical being. Fools like religionists who deify the past and the obsolete while rejecting the supremacy of the evolving progress of the future.

    There's not a moment of life that ISN'T involved in some way in the "fulfillment of material propensities". The attempted fulfillment of any other kind of propensity would simply be immaterial. As indeed it is in the case of religion, which so fixates its emaciated and drowsy sheep with visions of otherworldly pastures and devotion to deadbeat shepherds that it saps the very passion for life out of them. As Billy Joel said, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."

    Why was death a problem to begin with? Why do millions of religious morons long for an endless life when they can't even fill their Sunday afternoons with enough interesting things to do? Religion deludes men with the false dream that if only they never died they'd be happy. Such is not the case at all.

    Attachments? You mean as in attachments to things that never change--endless living in some orgasmic blissful state, an immortal father figure to fawn and fuss over you, the complacence that nothing will ever happen that will ever catch you offguard again. Religion is all ABOUT attachment--attachment to things that aren't real and that keep us from changing and maturing into our true selves. Cuz when you live a life of lies and fictions, you become a walking lie and a ghostly fiction.

    In other words 99% of all the religious.

    A life of LESS disease and poverty and more recreational opportunities ISN'T less miserable? On what planet?

    Who wants to be delivered from material existence? I just had a wonderful lunch of material proteins and sugars. Serotonin and norepinephrine flow thru my neurons maximizing cognitive creativity. And my heater just kicked on warming the material atoms of air in my chilly apt. All my pleasures and aspirations and visions I owe to the materials around me and in my body. Your delusion of immaterial otherworldly bliss is a pipe dream, a fantastical compensation for having failed so miserably to find happiness in this life.

    One only gets stuck in that trap by fixating--fixations of fear, of hope, of guilt, and of longing. Learning to embrace and then to let go, we find our lives an open door to endless possibilities and surprises. This is what truly physical life is like since the universe is one flowing river of metamorphic energetic matter. We must embrace the sensual that is in us. To deny it is to deny the source of life itself.

    I go to the dentist every six months, a privilege I am often grateful to science for. My molars are most definitely not rotting.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    If you want to argue that this was due to christianity, you would have a difficult task before you for reasons already explained ... and as for calling that period "dark" you are probably just labeling britian as "western culture" (due to the influence it would comparatively come to bare in around years) much like you label the roman empire in the same fashion. IOW the transition of power between different parts of europe, namely the atrophy of one centralized/dominant system and the establishment of another, certainly doesn't equate with it getting wiped out.

    You are simply talking about the power vacuum created by a dominant society collapsing.
    Far from relegating christianity to a "dangerous societal influence" that nearly destroyed western society, the opposite is actually true

    well for a starter many of us would probably still be slaves

    Sure but you should understand that a contemporary disdain for Christianity is no basis for trying to downplay or even outright demonize the role it played in the aftermath of the demise of the roman empire in the middle ages
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    yet mortality still has a success rate of 100% ... which is why I said "once again you are either dumbing down the term or possessed of a state of willful ignorance" ... or even earlier .... Iow discussing science as somehow being a magical panacea to the problems of material existence requires a dumbed down definition of existence at best or a willful state of ignorance or intellectual immaturity regarding the the nature of suffering in the material world at worst.

    IOW talking about improved healthcare as a solution to the problem of death requires a dumbed down definition of existence or a willful state of intellectual immaturity,

    Yet you cite longevity as an attractive feature of existence. I am simply pointing out that it is no real solution

    More to the point, there is nothing a gross materialist can do about it despite engineering their lives in such a manner to desperately try to avoid it

    Which explains why the cessation of experience (so-called death) is so problematic

    actually if you want to talk about the rotting miasma of irrelevant superstitions and trite rituals you should take a closer look at what people do as a consequence of attachment to things that will shortly cease to exist

    and how do you propose to evolve and progress (even if its only materially ... which I think we can both agree has an inevitable end game plan that eventually undoes everything) without stability?

    IOW its a misconception for a gross materialist to belittle god for not delivering a safe haven for their insignificant desires when he designed the world (a world we inevitably get attached to) for the very reason of highlighting the folly of such desires.
    And of course, despite all such belittling discussion by such gross materialists, they inevitably work in the same fashion of trying sustain and maintain such desires despite admitting (at least in their saner moments) the inevitable futility of it

    Then I guess we can automatically dismiss the bravado of being materially indifferent you were alluding to in teh previous paragraph

    depends whether an individual is willing to concede any greater power or beneficiary for their actions than their own limited and short-lived ego

    which is why the tragedy of the situation is that such individuals get out-performed by pigs, dogs and camels

    you tell me, since you said the nature of it would somehow spoil the notion of eternal existence ....

    If you are not planning to slit your wrists this sunday, you can already answer that question

    well you have certainly done a full circuit, haven't you?
    Initially you extol the glories of existence by saying what a fine thing it is to live long through medicine and now you admit that the quality of material existence is so feeble and insignificant that prolonging it is of no real consequence or value.

    Actually existence is all about attachment. It doesn't matter whether you are Billy Joel, a 5 year old or someone with terminal cancer.
    Death spells the end of such attachment which explains why it is such a confounding kink in the plans of those who's vision is prohibited from extending beyond such things.

    well you are the one who portrayed the bible as establishing such things. Obviously you belong (or at least used to belong) to the category, so it probably explains 99% of your undertstanding of such matters

    given the perennial nature of suffering in places with less disease and poverty its difficult to say how it is.

    There are even studies that show material opulence, after one has utilized it to put a roof over one's head and food in one's stomach, doesn't play such a great role in establishing personal happiness. Its simply a delusion of the gross materialist to work harder than an ass for material benefits that are more easily available as a pig or dog.

    anyone who doesn't hesitate to see a doctor when in difficulty or even look both ways before crossing a busy street for that matter

    yet you are completely unsatisfied with merely eating food and paying the energy bills to reap the benefits of owning a room heater ... which is why your field of activities expand to many complex social interactions and aspirations which is the real network of your existence of attachment (and of course aversion) .

    No doubt you will try and deny this by speaking some trite nonsense about renunciation that you don't understand and cannot perform .... but you should understand that one cannot simultaneously "pursue the sensual" (as you explain in the paragraph below) and hope to be free from the network of entanglement as explained in this scriptural paragraph.

    death, especially as it is traveled to via old age, is not an open door to endless possibilities ... what to speak of the innumerable complex reactions that arise from the pursuit of material desire. I mean sure, embracing the sensual is something very appealing ... but its the inevitable consequences from it that are FORCED upon us that causes the problem. This is why material life is a strange dichotomy of the pursuit of things we are strongly attached to followed by the repugnant (and doomed) attempt to renounce the consequences from such pursuits. So there is a hard work to pursue the sensual followed by a hard work to avoid the consequences ... with predictable results

    IOW you are big on the propaganda of embracing the sensual, but its the very nature of material existence that by doing so you will find yourself being embraced by many things you will have to work ten times as hard to try and avoid.

    This is basically what this verse is saying :

    BG 2.62: While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

    BG 2.63: From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

    You're deluded.

    Your molars definitely are rotting ... and when they are finally useless (assuming that you actually live to such an age) your dentist (who will no doubt be younger than you and naturally embody the health and vigor that has since passed and is unattainable to you) will be able to provide you with another solution (provided of course you can afford it) and say something like "these will make it look just like new, and charm the young girls at the store when you smile at them" (even though you are buying colostomy bag replacements).

    and so and so.

    IOW the very nature of material existence challenges the adage of making the best use of a bad bargain for as long as one is dictated by a quality of existence that has no greater sphere than sensual enjoyment and mundane appearances.

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