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Author Topic: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does  (Read 9797 times)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2015, 05:22:57 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;178629
Though Fred Clark has commented extensively on how the field in which that development was planted was originally cleared and cultivated by the need to come up with textual justifications for slavery.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/09/17/slavery-segregation-and-biblical-literalism-contd/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/12/05/white-evangelical-biblicism-grew-up-defending-slavery-thats-what-its-for/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2015/02/02/slavery-and-the-way-we-read-the-bible-the-picture-is-accurate-but-its-upside-down/

for just a few of those.


Thank you for these links. My studies of early modern and modern church history have been occupied with the situation in Sweden, Denmark, UK, the British Empire, and Germany, so this was both very interesting and uncomfortable. I will take time to read these links more carefully.

Altair

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2015, 05:39:11 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;178631


Firstly, I fully acknowledge that “natural forces” do not necessarily have my well-being or even that of humans as a whole as a top most priority.


I'm pretty much on the same page as you. As a further wrinkle, I would add that the Earth/Mother Nature *does* care about me in particular and humanity in general, in one sense at least: *I* care about me and my fellow humans, as do millions of others, and we are an integral part of Mother Earth. In that sense, we may not be Her sole priority or even Her top priority, but to say She doesn't care ignores the gazillion selfless acts and errands of mercy we undertake on behalf of others without any expectation of reward or recognition. We do it because we're human, and as humans, we're part of Her.

For me, that becomes a powerful exhortation to do better, for myself, for my fellow humankind, for Her. My goddess demands nothing less.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Megatherium

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2015, 05:58:28 pm »
Quote from: Altair;178635
I'm pretty much on the same page as you. As a further wrinkle, I would add that the Earth/Mother Nature *does* care about me in particular and humanity in general, in one sense at least: *I* care about me and my fellow humans, as do millions of others, and we are an integral part of Mother Earth. In that sense, we may not be Her sole priority or even Her top priority, but to say She doesn't care ignores the gazillion selfless acts and errands of mercy we undertake on behalf of others without any expectation of reward or recognition. We do it because we're human, and as humans, we're part of Her.

For me, that becomes a powerful exhortation to do better, for myself, for my fellow humankind, for Her. My goddess demands nothing less.


Where is the clapping emoji?! Never mind, I morally insert clapping emoji here!

This is a capital E excellent point Altair. Humans are as much a part of the Earth as any other living thing, and we most definitely ARE moral beings that are interested in our own and others well-being. Very well-put.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2015, 06:20:35 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;178637
Where is the clapping emoji?! Never mind, I morally insert clapping emoji here!

This is a capital E excellent point Altair. Humans are as much a part of the Earth as any other living thing, and we most definitely ARE moral beings that are interested in our own and others well-being. Very well-put.


I agree. Thank you Altair.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2015, 06:49:05 pm »
Quote from: rinceoir;178621
I second this as being a very Lutheran response. And, at least in the Midwest of the US, we must also provide casseroles to go with the coffee. And pancakes.


In the same vein, there are three things that characterizes Anglicanism (Episcopalianism in Scotland):
  • Brass plates commemorating the person(s) who donated money to the belfrey or a window
  • Sherry in the porch
  • Bazaars

Yei

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2015, 08:44:11 am »
Quote from: Megatherium;178631

I identify as a polytheist, but I may have more of a “naturalistic” interpretation of the Gods than many modern polytheists - I do not see the Gods as synonymous with the natural and cultural forces they are associated with, but neither do I see them as completely separate. That said, on with the show!


To be honest, I think this is the way historical polytheists actually viewed the gods. I know it is true of Mesoamerican gods, and I think also gods in Mesopotamia and Egypt. I suspect it is also true of gods in Greece and Rome. It was possible universal.

But somewhere along the way this view of the gods was forgotten. I'm not sure when it happened, but people eventually started thinking about gods as dudes with super-powers.

Personally, I blame comic books.

Altair

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2015, 11:01:30 am »
Quote from: Yei;178661

Personally, I blame comic books.


Damn you, comic books, and your foul creators!!!

...oh...wait...

http://www.cfcooper.net/work

;)
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Megatherium

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2015, 12:01:31 pm »
Quote from: Yei;178661
To be honest, I think this is the way historical polytheists actually viewed the gods. I know it is true of Mesoamerican gods, and I think also gods in Mesopotamia and Egypt. I suspect it is also true of gods in Greece and Rome. It was possible universal.

But somewhere along the way this view of the gods was forgotten. I'm not sure when it happened, but people eventually started thinking about gods as dudes with super-powers.

Personally, I blame comic books.


For myself, I just find it substantially easier to incorporate deities into my life when there is some tangible force that I can interact with. From my own personal perspective, this is not just a sort of poetic naturalism, nor is it a denial of the Gods as beings with awareness and agency that are far more complex personalities than just the natural phenomenon they are associated with. It is just a recognition that my relationship with Thor, for example, is far more often conducted through my experience of storms and rain than through mystical experiences brought about by religious ritual.

To put it another way, I fully recognize that, for example, the auto mechanic who fixes my car is a complex individual with far more to their personality than their role as an auto mechanic. That does not change the fact that I predominantly interact with this individual through their role as an auto mechanic. I believe the Gods are more than natural phenomenon, but that does not negate the fact that their most common interactions with me are through the natural and cultural forces they oversee.
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-George W. Bush

Juniperberry

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2015, 12:11:37 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;178670
For myself, I just find it substantially easier to incorporate deities into my life when there is some tangible force that I can interact with. From my own personal perspective, this is not just a sort of poetic naturalism, nor is it a denial of the Gods as beings with awareness and agency that are far more complex personalities than just the natural phenomenon they are associated with. It is just a recognition that my relationship with Thor, for example, is far more often conducted through my experience of storms and rain than through mystical experiences brought about by religious ritual.

To put it another way, I fully recognize that, for example, the auto mechanic who fixes my car is a complex individual with far more to their personality than their role as an auto mechanic. That does not change the fact that I predominantly interact with this individual through their role as an auto mechanic. I believe the Gods are more than natural phenomenon, but that does not negate the fact that their most common interactions with me are through the natural and cultural forces they oversee.

See, and this is one reason why the author's argument doesn't bother me, because it's not my gods' job to love me, any more than it's your mechanic's job to love you. My ancestors, friends and family love me. My gods and I have a relationship that functions much differently.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 12:12:23 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Altair

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2015, 12:58:13 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;178673
See, and this is one reason why the author's argument doesn't bother me, because it's not my gods' job to love me, any more than it's your mechanic's job to love you. My ancestors, friends and family love me. My gods and I have a relationship that functions much differently.

 
This is another excellent point.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Megatherium

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2015, 04:52:47 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;178673
See, and this is one reason why the author's argument doesn't bother me, because it's not my gods' job to love me, any more than it's your mechanic's job to love you. My ancestors, friends and family love me. My gods and I have a relationship that functions much differently.

 
This made me think of some of the points made about early Christian converts in "The Germanization of Medieval Christianity" (I'm fairly certain you've read this) where the author describes early Christian communities as taking over many of the functions of creating a feeling of social inclusion and belonging among people who had experienced a sense of social disruption and atomization due to the urbanization and other momentous social changes created by the expansion of the Roman Empire.

The idea that the Creator of the Universe personally cares about your well-being is a very powerful one, especially if you have been denied the sort of social support from family and friends that many humans require to feel emotionally secure. And of course, many people who DO have strong social relationships find this idea to be attractive and fulfilling.

However, the author of the article quoted in the OP may be significantly overestimating the degree to which people REQUIRE a belief in a benevolent Creator Deity, given how many people both today and historically have lived full and relatively happy lives without accepting (or even knowing about) such an assertion.
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Yei

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2015, 09:59:52 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;178692
This made me think of some of the points made about early Christian converts in "The Germanization of Medieval Christianity" (I'm fairly certain you've read this) where the author describes early Christian communities as taking over many of the functions of creating a feeling of social inclusion and belonging among people who had experienced a sense of social disruption and atomization due to the urbanization and other momentous social changes created by the expansion of the Roman Empire.


Ironically Christianization process had the opposite effect on the Maya and other Mesoamerican groups. It broke up the communal feasts and dances than bound communities together. It also centred worship in a Church, which Mesoamericans interpreted, correctly, as separating worship from the community. It might be why Christianity struggled so much to gain ascendency, which in the end was largely achieved through attrition.

Megatherium

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2015, 07:32:03 pm »
Quote from: Yei;178708
Ironically Christianization process had the opposite effect on the Maya and other Mesoamerican groups. It broke up the communal feasts and dances than bound communities together. It also centred worship in a Church, which Mesoamericans interpreted, correctly, as separating worship from the community. It might be why Christianity struggled so much to gain ascendency, which in the end was largely achieved through attrition.

 
You may actually be interested in reading "The Germanization of Medieval Christianity" even though it has nothing to do with tradition Mesoamerican religions. While I mentioned some of the authors ideas regarding the conversion of populations within the Roman Empire, much of the book is dedicated to the process of conversion in quite the opposite type of communities - ones in which there is no real perceived need for an alternative form of spirituality due to high levels of group cohesion and a general satisfaction with the role of a community's traditional religions.

One of the author's main arguments is that in such situations Christianity has a much harder time propagating itself, and there is almost an inevitable accommodation with the worldview of the population being targeted for conversion. Although I'm sure there are significant differences between the traditional religions of Germanic-speaking cultures and Mesoamerican cultures, the book may be of some assistance in identifying how the underlying worldviews of traditional Mesoamerican societies has shaped the way Christianity is practiced in such regions today.
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Yei

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2015, 12:50:49 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;178768
You may actually be interested in reading "The Germanization of Medieval Christianity" even though it has nothing to do with tradition Mesoamerican religions. While I mentioned some of the authors ideas regarding the conversion of populations within the Roman Empire, much of the book is dedicated to the process of conversion in quite the opposite type of communities - ones in which there is no real perceived need for an alternative form of spirituality due to high levels of group cohesion and a general satisfaction with the role of a community's traditional religions.

One of the author's main arguments is that in such situations Christianity has a much harder time propagating itself, and there is almost an inevitable accommodation with the worldview of the population being targeted for conversion. Although I'm sure there are significant differences between the traditional religions of Germanic-speaking cultures and Mesoamerican cultures, the book may be of some assistance in identifying how the underlying worldviews of traditional Mesoamerican societies has shaped the way Christianity is practiced in such regions today.

 
It is definitely a text I am going to have to read then.

elysium

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Re: Nature Doesn't Love You, Abrahamic God Does
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2015, 09:58:32 pm »
Quote from: Altair;178539
I stumbled across this on a Catholic website, and as one whose paganism is firmly rooted in the natural world, I was struck by it on several levels:

FORUM: Mother Nature Is One Unreliable Lady


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/forum-mother-nature-is-one-unreliable-lady

"And the consistent Biblical message is that this Creator God is not like the arbitrary and capricious gods of the ancient world; rather, he is reliable, rock-like in his steadfast love, more dedicated to human beings than a mother is to her child"

...to which one immediate reaction on my part was: Is he nuts?? Has he read the Old Testament? Just off the top of my head (and I know the Christian bible poorly at best)--the story of Noah and the great flood, in which his god kills virtually all of humanity, not to mention the rest of land-based life; that's a "consistent Biblical message" of a god "rock-like in his steadfast love"??

I read this quickly, so I want to go back and read it more carefully to critique it fully, but I'd love to hear others' specific refutations or, for that matter, affirmations of what the author proposes.

And BTW, I *adore* the ad that the author references and dismisses as “just more tree-hugging extremism”--he might want to get right with his now environmentally minded pope on that bias. I posted something about this ad here at the Cauldron a while ago, but here it is again, for those who are interested:


There's something to be said about twisting facts to suit ones' point. He's grabbing dismembered facts out of the air and twisting them to prove his point rather than letting facts tell the story. A hallmark of all fundamentalism in my opinion. I find the preachy tone of the overall article really irksome and child like.
I am but a stone in the river that is enlightenment.

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