Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Politics and Morals

Politics, religions, cultures, views of reality all greatly differ, yet morals are largely consistent. Why is it just so naturally consistent in the arena of morals, but not these other areas?

Because humans are intelligent, tribal, social animals. The differences in behavior among all of the above are simply the size of the tribe and the power of the leaders. But even the strongest leaders are bound by the simple tribal morality of respect for tribe members, follow the leader, and ultimately do what mama tells you to do before you are six.

Alive with Stories

 “When you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up, and if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me.’ And since you’re all here and engaged in this sort of inquiry and listening to this sort of lecture, I assume you’re all in the process of waking up. " Alan Watts

 I was born awake and never was put to sleep by dogma.  I never had that rude awakening to find out that God, the divine and everything else was just a story.  Stories to help me learn how to be a better person and contribute to my chosen society but stories nonetheless with some truth and lots of garbage. 

My society is relatively demanding, one must think rationally and independently, one must constantly be aware of the mores of the society and comply with them intelligently rather than dogmatically, and problems must be resolved reasonably for all involved.  The stories are there to help, even the religious ones, but none of them can tell me what is right or even what to do.

Secular, Secular Humanism and Humanism


I’ve seen the term “secular” used interchangeably with the terms “secular humanism” and “humanism”.
*sarcasm*   I have seen religious used interchangeably with Christian bigots, Televangelists, Bob Jones University and many other manifestations of spirituality.  So it is OK for me to say religious means Christian bigot? */sarcasm*

"Secular" has a well-defined and limited meaning as explained above, and may not involve humanism at all. Communism and Fascism and Capitalism are secular and not humanist by any stretch of the definition of humanist.  "Secular Humanism" is a well-defined organized society not to be confused with "secular humanism" which is a worldview based on the rejection of supernatural influences over human behavior and generally promoting a human centered social philosophy.  "humanism" may or may not involve God, god or gods, but is again a human centered social philosophy.

Many of my social mentors have been theistic humanists.  Indeed the only Christian churches I respect and enjoy visiting are humanist in the sense that they essentially reduce the message of Jesus to the Two Great Commandments.  Note that the First involves God and I have no problem with that.  I might argue that they are not Christian, but that is another definitional blivot.    

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Contraception Affects Men.

Try as you will, you just can't get secular morality to come up with the rules about adult consensual sexual activity that religionists seem to find so necessary.
Perhaps the problem is less religion vs secular than pre vs post contraception controllable by women.  Women today have many opportunities for sexual gratification outside of the traditional Kinder, Kirche, Küche with a rich husband.  Kirche being redefined as socialization, usually in a church, but not necessarily so.  Since ~1975 women have been able to make choices about sexual activitiy that do not necessarily involve marriage, children, or even men. 

Old socialization is hard to break so most women buy into the find a good provider as a husband, ditch the contraceptive and take the mom track. Premarital discreet sex optional. But this is a choice not an obligation even for religious women.  Admittedly a strongly mandated choice for religious women.  But even religious women can choose a career track "celebate" that is not married, and keep the sexual activities in the closet bedroom.  Or less frequently be "celibate" until well established in the career track and find a partner willing to help with the kids. 

For secular women the choices are more open: sex, marriage, and children all totally unrelated choices.  And the partner(s) for each also unrelated.  Still some socialization for the mom track, but less pressure from one's society to choose it and more ways to get there and still have sex on the way. 

All of this freedom for women has left men, shall we say, unfucked.  Since ~1975 their manliness and suitability as a mate counts for little in the sex dance and they need to figure out other ways to get laid.  Unfortunately tradition has very little help to give in this regard especially religious tradition. Religious tradition is still stuck in the celibate till 18 (unless you can get any behind the woodpile, wink, wink.) then marry your H.S. sweetie and live happily ever after.  Sex is just animal rut anyway, but sweetie is always available and dependent on you so the animal needs are slaked.  'Tis better to marry than to burn with lust.  

But H.S. sweetie has other plans and other opportunities both for sex and independence. So what is a manly man to do?  The hormones are raging and society and many women are telling him male dominance isn't going to work any more.  Men have very little guidance from society and religion both of which are telling him to be celibate and no one is telling him how to unlock the closet bedroom door.  The answer is clear. You have to ask for the key, demanding it doesn't work any more, and it will be on her terms not the man's.  

Welcome to the world of women's absolute control over their own sex lives.  Anybody surprised that porn is ubiquitous? Religions say you can't do that either, but if praying doesn't help?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

John B Christ


So what you are saying (see christine3 below) is that it should be John B Christ rather than Jesus Christ. 

That works for me and explains why Christianity has nothing at all in it from the Gospels that isn't pseudographia.  It has always bothered me that after Paul's conversion event he never showed any interest at all in the Jesus Cult lore.  Following John the Baptist rather than Jesus makes it much clearer.  Both for the origins of the Mandean influence on Christianity, and the absolute break with the Jesus Cults.

It doesn't make me like Paul any better, but the clear separation of Christianity from Jesus makes the Gospels much more interesting and believable.  And makes Jesuism much more viable as a humanist religion totally independent from Christianity.  

John B Christ on a crutch! What a revelation!   

 christine3 wrote:  [with permission from Christine]
By now most of you know that I think at least 15% of the activities ascribed to Jesus were really John the Baptist's activities, such as accusing the Pharisees of becoming corrupt. I've read some of John's writings where he accuses the priests of living in a brokendown house, a metaphor for corruption, falling apart. Like Jesus, John was a prophet, teacher and healer; was considered a criminal and was put to death. The cross did not become a popular symbol for Christianity until the fourth century, so it is unlikely that Jesus would have been crucified on a cross. As for the rest of Jesus' persona, it is taken from Mithras and other cult godmen from the past.
If you Google Gamaliel, you can read the whole article, but I copied some interesting information, a couple of paragraphs. Paul of Tarsus is said to have been "raised at the feet of Gamaliel," to answer who influenced Paul.
Two sentences caught my eye. The first, Gamaliel says "a fish from the Jordan River: one who has learnt everything, but dodsn't know how to respond. This is a very snide remark, and I think it was said against John the Baptist, because the Jordan river is where he did all his baptizing and preaching.
The next sentence that caught my eye was where Peter and the apostles are brought before the sanhedrin and prosecuted for preaching the gospel. A gospel is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The prosecutors want Paul, Peter and the apostles to cease with this teaching as it is considered almost shameful, it is so not keeping with Jewish teaching.
It's funny, but I feel the same way about the 'resurrection' story; it just isn't true. I also feel that the bulk of the the life, death and resurrection reads like a three act play, written to attract converts. So, I am really siding with the Jews here. But my problem also comes from not knowing from the Jewish history what really went on at that time. All we have to my knowledge is Mark, which turns out to be Peter's account, and similar accounts which are near duplicates of Mark. The Jewish have no way to defend themselves other than to ask, "What story, who is Jesus?"
Perhaps Paul and Peter were initially attracted to John the Baptist, and over the ensuing 400 years from John's death, the name got changed from John to Jesus. John the Baptist's descendants are the Mandaeans, and they have an idea of a multi-leveled heaven (dimensions?) Paul says he went to the third heaven, which echoes the Mandaean belief.
ritually impure fish: one who has memorised everything by study, but has no understanding, and is the son of poor parents
A ritually pure fish: one who has learnt and understood everything, and is the son of rich parents
A fish from the Jordan River: one who has learnt everything, but doesn't know how to respond
A fish from the Mediterranean: one who has learnt everything, and knows how to respond
In some manuscripts of Dunash ibn Tamim's tenth-century Hebrew commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, the author identifies Gamaliel with the physician Galen. He claims to have seen an Arabic medical work translated from Hebrew entitled "The Book of Gamaliel the Prince (Nasi), called Galenos among the Greeks." [17] However, since Galen lived in the second century and Gamaliel died during the mid-first century, this is unlikely.

In Christian tradition[edit]

The Acts of the Apostles introduces Gamaliel as a Pharisee and celebrated doctor of the Mosaic Law in Acts 5:34–40. In the larger context (vs.17–42), Peter and the otherapostles are described as being prosecuted before the sanhedrin and senate (or elders) for continuing to preach the gospel, despite the Jewish authorities having previously prohibited it. The passage describes Gamaliel as presenting an argument against killing the apostles, reminding them about the previous revolts of Theudas and Judas of Galileewhich had collapsed quickly after the deaths of those individuals. Gamaliel's advice was accepted after his concluding argument:
"And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." —Acts 5:38–39
The Book of Acts later goes on to describe Paul the Apostle recounting that although "born in Tarsus", he was brought up in Jerusalem "at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers". (Acts 22:3) No details are given about which teachings Paul adopted from Gamaliel, or how much Gamaliel influenced aspects of Christianity. However, there is no other record of Gamaliel ever having taught in public,[2] although the Talmud does describe Gamaliel as teaching a student who displayed "impudence in learning", which a few scholars identify as a possible reference to Paul.[18] The relationship of Paul the Apostle and Judaism continues to be the subject of scholarly debate. Helmut Koester, Professor of Divinity and of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University, is doubtful that Paul studied under this famous rabbi, arguing that there is a marked contrast in the tolerance that Gamaliel is said to have expressed about Christianity with the "murderous rage" against Christians that Paul is described as having prior to his conversion (Acts 8:1–3).[citation needed]

This is from one of those interminable historical Jesus threads that can't seem to keep a historical Jesus separate from all the Christian accretions and the mythical Jesus arguments based on Mithraic Gnostic and Mandean influences.

If in fact as Christine suggests that Paul's Christ was based on John the Baptist with heavy input from Gamaliel (or even without Gamaleil) we have a clean separation between Christianity and Jesus.  It also explains the disconnect between the Gospels and Paul's Christ.  Perhaps Paul thought John the Baptist didn't have enough of a following or reputation to be believable as The Christ, and grafted Jesus' name on John the Baptist's ministry.

This is all new to me as I know nothing about John the Baptist.  As far as I am concerned he was a minor figure in the life of Jesus which has been my interest in the NT.  I am not particularly interested in the influences on Christianity, so for the moment, I will accept the revelation as best guess and let others fill in the details.

Note: Christine will be busy for a few months, so if anyone would like to pick up the connection of John the Baptist to Christianity it would be appreciated.  Lots to work on in her quote.