Showing posts with label jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jesus. Show all posts

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor

beliefnet
I can’t believe that one would seriously suggest that a widely believed good found in the text doesn’t exist.  “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” – the principal of empathy that many atheists on this board seem to think they have copyrighted and patented – is one such widely believed good.   EOb

Believing it and then ignoring it, or actively trashing it with every word that comes out of your mouth and every action you do is hardly an example of textural good morality. 

The Pentateuch version is Lev 19:18 "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord"  is hardly a radical moral edict for a social animal or a tribal human. But OK if practiced dilligently.  For Jews does that mean Hasidim are loved? I understand that some Jews have rejected them.  For Christians are JWs and LDS Christian and vice versa?  For Muslims is ISIS your neighbor?

Jesus radicalized the whole thing.  When challenged "Who is your neighbor" told the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Keep in mind that it was a Samaritan who refused Jesus hospitality, causing him to shake the dust off his sandals. In modern day terms think of dark skinned immigrants without documentation.  Or for Paul competitive sects that practiced temple prostitution.  Are either "loved as thyself?"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bayesian Jesus

beliefnet
JC do you have ANY idea what the elements of this historical method even is?  Fact is that your dimissal of people's lifelong work without knowing anything about it or them is your bias. Kwinters

I dismiss nothing.  Everything is in the pot.  Even the canonical garbage. 

In Bayesian analysis each bit of data is assigned a likelihood of being relevant and correct. Biases of the contributor are part of the equation.  Also it is important to know what you are trying to study. 

In re. a Galilean Jewish preacher probably named Jesus or one of the common cognates, who was strongly influenced by Hillel the Elder and the Mithra myths and by his wife (who was never allowed to speak at his gatherings according to Jewish religious traditions) I find his existence to be nearly certain.  One critical piece of authenticating data is Paul's need for a popular, charismatic, contemporary preacher to become his Christ.  
In re. the words put in his mouth by oral history of contemporaries including his wife who I find quite likely to be the Q source and nearly as likely to be Mary Magdalene, I assign a high probability of authenticity to all.  Even in English translations.

In re. the disruptions at the Temple in Jerusalem I find them to be likely in essence and consistent with his preaching in the sticks. That he pissed off the Jewish authorities in some way to cause them to take action against him is even more likely.  Whether the Romans even cared is insignificant, but the Jewish authorities probably did try to kill him. Such an important challenge to their authority could not be ignored.

I assign a low likelihood to actual death, but a reasonable probability to his appearance to followers after his punishment by the authorities as a spectacular blow off to his ministry and his resumption of a normal life with family after the show.  I find it unlikely that he was a leader of any of the Jesus cults, his part of the show was over.  

In re. anything related to God and Christ, there is a high probability of everything being fabulous stories made up by followers and the usurper Paul.  Truth value negligible, influence value high.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Positive Religious Memes

beliefnet
The guy most of the positive religious memes came from was executed in a joint effort of religious and secular authorities.  Most of those positive religious memes were buried for most of two millennia by religion many literally at Nag Hammadi.

Empathy and compassion are evolved human traits normally ruthlessly suppressed by religious and political authorities.  It is necessary to get rid of both religion and power politics to create humanistic society. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reinterpreting Jesus as God

beliefnet
Jul 15, 2015 -- 9:50PM, Blü wrote:
Which brings us to this thread, where we consider a being who, the story says, lives in heaven but was incarnated on earth to proclaim the imminent Kingdom - yet knew nothing more about reality than his time and place did. The report (or tale, as the case may be) matches human tendencies perfectly.

Interesting thought.  Let me take it a bit further.  Imagine this multi-omni God created by men but somehow having some sort of numinous existence after a couple of thousand years watching the creators botch things up miserably, decides to go fix things. 

Hesh assumes a human male form and teaches that the priests are the ones botching things up, and shows a few people how to heal, feed the poor and the needy, love everybody even the Samaritans that had just refused hospitality on a hot day, preached that the meek and the poor in spirit (atheists?) would inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven respectively. 

Pretty good morality. Depending what he taught about healing; maybe the difference between viral diseases and pathogens which needed to be healed differently, and He gets a few people on the right path.   What happens?  They kill him.  The priests and wanna be priests exterminate his cults, and bastardize his teachings to give every Tom, Dick, and Harry the Kingdom of Heaven if they only believe and do what the priests tell them to do. 

Three days after they kill him he goes back to Herm numinous existence to watch the priests and their money-bags continue to screw things up.  So instead of trying to do things single handedly Hesh picks out a few bright rational people teaches them science and humanism and lets the message spread itself, underground at first, but with a few nudges in the right direction to the right people occasionally.  In a couple of more thousand years as predicted and lot of nudges to a lot of people Hesh gets us on the right path to create the promised land on earth that the priests and the rich took away from those that were in it to begin with. 

Maybe the priests and their money-bags will defeat Herm again, they certainly are trying hard enough. But they seem to be losing ground rapidly around the world, winning a few battles here and there, but overall the rationalists, scientists, and humanists seem to be taking over. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hillel, Jesus and the Decalogue

beliefnet
christine3 wrote:
"These are our highest most honesty-keeping rules and should be considered sacred. If you follow these rules you will not be cut off, you will live in the world to come." For the Commandments were written with the foreknowledge that there was going to be a world to come.

Neither the Hebrew nor the OT Commandments were written with salvation or a world to come.  There was a hint of a world to come in Isaiah but the life after death, sin, and salvation were all invented by Paul. The Decalogue is simply a sacred rulebook as you note.  
I do find it interesting that in the Hebrew Decalogue the social rules are mashed into 2 verses.  In your version the 10 could be contained in 3.  1 through 8 condensed into ""These are our highest most honesty-keeping rules and should be considered sacred."  I can see where Hillel the Elder got his one foot Torah.  And Jesus found his Two Commandments: 1-8 condensed into Love the Lord thy God, and the rules condensed into Love thy neighbor as thyself.

I know why my Jewish friends liked to talk about Hillel the Elder.  I didn't really notice that God was missing from our discussions.  I have no doubt that God was assumed by Hillel and my friends as the originator of the social rules, but the overemphasis on worship and obedience to "I am the Lord Thy God" was clearly missing.  No wonder atheism is compatible with Judaism.  If the rules, all 613 of them were the result of a tradition that worked there is no reason to add God to the tradition except to establish a supernatural cop that would punish transgressors. Moses was for some reason having trouble governing his tribe, and perhaps thought that a supernatural supercop was just the thing he needed. It sure did work.  A few thousand years of working.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Jesuism 2015

Interesting that Christian atheists redirects to a rather useful article on Jesuism.  When I was looking for a title for a thread on atheistic studies of Jesus in Jan 2007 "Jesuism" showed up on Google and other search engines only as an obscure Eastern Cult, and some obscure literary references.  Jesuit was already taken and Jesusism and Jesuanism weren't on target for what I was looking for.

I have since seen it on other blogs, and of course Wiki but it always refers to the sudy of Jesus as a human not a God.  At the time I was thinking about the Christian return to Jesus focusing on the Sermon on the Mount and the Two Great Commandments as an atheist movement in Christianity, but they made an end run around atheism by returning to the personal God of the Jews "Love the Lord Thy God ..."  in effect remaining theists, but repudiating all of John and Paul.  How they warped their minds around The Christ as Jesus remains a mystery to me, but somehow they still think of themselves as Christians focusing on the teachings of Jesus. 

It doesn't matter to me as Jesus was the first radical humanist in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and "Thy God" viewed through the teachings of Jesus may eliminate most of the excesses of the Abrahamic monstrosity.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Theistic Humanism

I am convinced by long studies of Jefferson and Jesus the preacher man that both were theistic humanists.  When I was a kid in the UU tradition both Jefferson and Jesus were revered forbears.  UU was theistic although I was not, but nonethe less the "Credo" I recited with everybody else was

Unitarians believe in the Fatherhood of God,

The brotherhood of Jesus,

Salvation by character,

And the progress of mankind (now humans) onward and upward forever. 

Theist humanism at its best:  God as a Father/mentor, Jesus as wise probably elder sibling, and humans as the driver of progress.  As most here know I resonated early with the Two Great Commandments struggling mightily to reconcile the first with my atheism.  The answer I came up with was "Thy God" was a reference for those who needed divine guidance, which is why I have no problem with celebrating any God with a believer.  It is not my God, but if Hesh works for them God bless them.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Back to Jesus Christians

The back to Jesus the preacher man movement in Christianity, in essence back to the synoptic Gospels, while not blessed by the hierarchy except maybe Pope Francis, is becoming a very powerful movement within Christianity.  WWJD has become love the poor, the homeless, indeed all neighbors. The hate the sinner, er sin Christians are still powerful particularly in US politics, and in the Christian hierarchy, but even Pope Francis seems to understand that Christianity is not working and must change to survive.  They will probably keep Christ as savior and God so that all the prayers and rituals will work, but morality will revert to the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes.  Salvation will no longer be by belief but by emulation of Jesus the preacher man. 
Perhaps whistling past the graveyard but Christianity must change or will end up in that graveyard.  I for one would miss Christianity.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jesus was married.

How could anyone with any understanding of the Jewish Culture in the first century decide J.C. was a virgin?  Any normal male with a trade was married (that is 'knew") a local young woman just past puberty.  She was never mentioned any more than the sheep or oxen J.C. might have owned were mentioned.  It was something everybody had.

Paul was too ugly to have a wife, so he tried to portray Jesus as a virgin, to make himself a mirror of Jesus, but like all of the other lies he made up about Jesus there is no reason to believe this one. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Geometry and Truth




beliefnet

Abstractions don't work in reality. Hence neither do Euclidean plane figures, Euclidean solid figures, pi, or numbers. They're all mental constructs with no real counterpart.

True.  Nonetheless they work just fine to navigate and calculate your way around in local two/three dimensional space. The transept in 3 dimensions is 90o to the 2 dimensional plane reality.  (Even though it really isn't.  Your 100 story building will stand just fine using that mental concept.) 

In the same way truth, beauty, love, empathy and even God work just fine in the real social space of tribal humans.  Until global social space must be considered. There other concepts of human living come into play. 

Jesus came close to how to live in the global space with "Love thy neighbor" [with all thy heart, and mind] no matter which tribe or culture hesh is a part of.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

John B Christ

 beliefnet

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.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Source of morality

beliefnet
We all get our concepts of good and evil, right or wrong from the same place: The local society we grew up in, very slightly modified by adult reasoning about morality. 

You say your morality is from a Moral Law Maker. It isn't really. It is from your family, (hat tip to Robert Fulghum) your kindergarten teacher, your Sunday School teachers,  and your play groups which were probably selected from church relationships of your parents.  They all had in common a belief in a Moral Law Maker, God or Jesus depending on the church community. (Off topic my guess would be Jesus.) All moral instructions were of the form share this, don't hit, respect your elders, don't take the toy that isn't yours, etc. because Jesus won't like it if you don't do it. 

I grew up in a secular society and my friends and I learned from family, (hat tip toRobert Fulghum) kindergarten teacher, and play groups which were selected from secular relationships of  parents. All moral instructions were of the form share this, don't hit, respect your elders, don't take the toy that isn't yours, etc. because that is what we humans do. 

Please note in either case nothing is really learned, the admonitions are simply reinforcing the genetic necessities of intelligent social living.   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

More on Historical Jesus

beliefnet
A rational analysis of the available data admittedly limited to the Gospels and some recently discovered Gnostic writings, shows that the Nazarene cults centered on Jesus were popular enough that a century after his death they were documented by literate followers of the major cults centered on the male disciples.  A year or so after his death the cults were important enough that Saul was sent out by the Romans (Jews?) to suppress them.  After his famous incident on the road to Damascus, Paul found it necessary to promote the leader of these cults to his Christ, either as a political move to co-opt the cults, or as a cynical move to debase the populist leader to a conventional God.  In either case it worked and Christ became conflated with Jesus as "Jesus Christ."    In any event it was necessary to canonize the Gospels when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire.  Permitting a clandestine few to retain the populist, humanist ideals of Jesus with the Holy Bible as their writ albeit a la Jefferson a whole bunch of the NT was ignored.  The Enlightenment may be the flowering of these clandestine cults.  The parallels between the populist, humanist teachings of Jesus and the Enlightenment are apparent to all who wish to look with an open mind.  

beliefnet
A few fictional stories about Jesus mainly Passion and birth related became incorporated in Paul's Christianity, but that says nothing about whether or not there was a real Jesus that preached in the early first century.  The Passion fiction was the reason the synoptic gospels were included in the canon, but the inclusion of the earlier stories in the Synoptics suggests that even in the 4th century the preacher was a significant historical figure.  While Christianity was the main Jesus cult in the 4th century there were others that for political reasons had to be wrapped into the package.

I find it reasonable that there are two completely different Jesus histories in the first century.  The fictional God man of Christianity, and the radical hippie who created the groupies that made the God man fiction necessary.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wishing for God


Beliefnet
Do you ever wish there was a jesus, a god, a day when all that is wrong will be made right? Do you wish there was a place where children go after they leave this place in terror to a place where they can play and smile and have no knowledge of the terror we witnessed them go through.
matica
Very early in my life I came to understand that God, or Jesus, or whoever holds the keys to heaven is a cop out to avoid dealing with the real issues of the world.  If you try to filter out the real Jesus from the crap taught by Christianity you find a single person working with the poor and powerless to give them help in the world they live in.  Being a responsible person does not mean personally changing the world, even Jesus didn't do that, but making as much difference in the lives of others, the children especially, to release their potential is much more important than wishing God will take care of it.   Available evidence is nil that he will either in this life or the next.  

Note that Jesus did release the potential of a few fishermen, who were able to keep his ministry alive to produce the Gospels.

I am an older person, many of my important relatives who shaped my life are no longer alive.  I do not wish they are in a better place, I do however remember how they made my valuable and useful space a better and more beautiful place to be.  I expect to continue building on their Legacy until the time comes when I will leave that valuable and useful space to those who follow.  In the mean time I will continue to tell their stories that were important to me in the hope they those stories will be helpful to others as well.  I admit to a bias for only the good stories, as those make the world a little better than it was before.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jesus, Theistic Humanist

Beliefnet
So what do you think was "out of the box"?
Ken
In the context of the time The Two Great Commandments were downright radical.

In the first he gives God back to the individual, taking mediation for God away from the priesthood. Once God is "Thy God" God can be anything you want Herm to be. True, your conditioning at that time will insure that He is a magical supernatural alpha, but he is your magical supernatural alpha, and he cares about you not the priests.

The second is as radical. Love your despised minority neighbor as thyself. If this isn't radical humanism I sure don't know of a better definition. Sure it is theistic humanism but then I know a lot of theistic humanists today. They have no problem with reconciling the love of God with the love of mankind just like Jesus told them to do.

This may in fact be the salvation of Christianity in a modern cosmopolitan world. "You are going to Hell" or "You are a slut" just isn't going to cut it any more. All of the reasonable Christians I know today have taken God away from the Church and the pastors and priests and have a personal relationship with "The God within" which allows them to interpret God's wishes in accordance with their own conscience.

Shh, don't tell them this is the slippery slope to giving up on God entirely.

We can forget the Beatitudes they were so out of the box that according to some they are stupid, impractical and out of the box today.

Oh yeah, that stupid turn the other cheek bit. Turns out that tit for two tats is optimal in many game theory scenarios.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Was Jesus Extraordinary?

beliefnet
As you know I use the Jefferson Bible as my main source for the details of the ministry of Jesus, mixed with my own analysis of the synoptics prior to discovering the Jefferson Bible. My childhood Unitarian statement of belief read in part "Unitarians believe in the fatherhood of God, the leadership of Jesus, and the progress of mankind (sic) ..." I did not believe it then either but obviously it made an impression.

I read the entire KJV Bible in middle school, gagging then as now on everything past Acts. I did better on the OT as useful myth than anything past John as Christian lies from beginning to end. It wasn’t until my abortive attempt at a philosophy major in the university that I was able to even study the end of the NT with any intelligence. It never said anything of use in the study of Jesus.

Two of my earliest lessons from Jesus that indicated to me that he was extraordinary for his time and place were the cleansing of the Temple, and the forgiveness of the whore. The first was a very public and radical break with the top down Jewish prevailing faith of the time. In effect equivalent to Ginsberg’s Howl for my generation. “You [the Pharisees and the Jewish establishment] have turned my Father’s house…” Note: Not the house of God, but the house of the personal God of Jesus. The very idea of God belonging to an individual and not the Jewish establishment that was the social structure of Jesus and his peers was just wild and crazy. The fact he wasn’t killed on the spot was testimony to the power of his personality and vision. The possibility exists that the "Occupy the Temple" movement was at his back.

The intervention in the stoning of the whore was not only a radical break with the law, but one of the earliest recognition of the humanness of even the lowest of women in ancient literature. In effect his statement “Let he [the human person] who is without sin, cast the first stone [at this female human person.]” Perhaps there were other instances of the treatment of ordinary women as human beings in ancient writings, but they were few and far between, and none that I am aware of that take on a group of angry men doing their lawful job.

The Sermon on the Mount, impractical as it was for actual living at the time, was again the gift of God to the ordinary people of the culture who would have been ignored by the priests and the religious establishment except as butts in the seats offering their hard earned pittances to the priests, er, God.

The summation of the Two Great Commandments particularly in light of his recent inhospitable treatment at the hands of a Samaritan and his subsequent use of a Samaritan as his example of the neighbor he was talking about still gags Christians, let alone the Jews of his culture. I find it significant that “Progressive Christians” have retreated to the Two Great Commandments as the essence of their faith in God and humanity.

All of this attributed as best we can discern to one insignificant itinerant preacher living off the “coins in the hat” as did most of the itinerant preachers who are lost in the sands of time seems to me extraordinary.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Atheists for Jesus

Atheists for Jesus

Of course Jesus was a theist, but that is the least interesting thing about him. He was a theist because, in his time, everybody was. Atheism was not an option, even for so radical a thinker as Jesus. What was interesting and remarkable about Jesus was not the obvious fact that he believed in the God of his Jewish religion, but that he rebelled against many aspects of Yahweh's vengeful nastiness. At least in the teachings that are attributed to him, he publicly advocated niceness and was one of the first to do so.
Richard Dawkins

He also rebelled against the Priestly tradition of God and gave God directly to the individual. "Love the Lord thy God..." Paul soon fixed that and gave God back to the church leaders, mainly himself, and Christianity was formed using Jesus as the intermediary between "thy" and God.

I can get along fine with "Progressive Christians" who have returned to the Gospels and the humanistic message of Jesus, leaving the hate filled Lord Jesus Christ of Paul to the dust of Abrahamic myth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jesus' Sources

beliefnet

There is nothing original about Jesus' "understanding." Virtually everything he said can be found in Cynic philosophy and liberal Pharasaism.
Ken

True but it was neither Cynic or Pharasaism, it was his synthesis of the important ideas of both, and certainly his showmanship in presenting the synthesis that made his message so important for its time. The fact that there are still many people trying to emulate his teachings no matter how corrupted, although some are going back to the gospels only, that makes Jesus so important in western religions. Show me a Cynic or a Pharasee of similar influence.

That's not a fair request. None of the Cynics or Pharasees had the advantage of being turned into gods.
Ken

Apparantly none of them had enough influence to be considered for the role. Jesus did. Against his specific wishes I might add. Sorry, I can't resist. Over his dead body so to speak.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jesus as theistic humanist.

Jesus as teacher. - beliefnet

Jesus was using the prevailing paradigm of God to teach, but the focus was on being a better human being to and for other humans. In other words you learn from God how to be a better human.

Radically different from the prevailing learn from the priests how to worship God for the sake of God and the priests. A caricature certainly, but not far from reality. Paul went back to this paradigm. Worship Christ for the sake of God and to save one's soul. No concern for the human at all and certainly not for humanity.

I am not talking about The Lord Jesus of Nazareth I am talking about the human preacher Jesus, who was using God to teach his fellow humans humanity. I suspect he believed in his personal relationship to God and believed that his mission from God was to teach what he taught.

All of which had nothing at all to do with what his followers and usurpers did to create The Lord Jesus of Nazareth which he frequently denied having anything at all to do with.

Certainly the radical theistic humanism of Jesus in the Synoptics before the passion has much to teach Christians and atheists alike. It is true some of the idealism is over the top, but none the less effective as an ideal if not a practical paradigm for living.

In some payoff scenarios turn the other cheek seems to be an extremely effective strategy in game theory known as tit-for two tats. Opponent defects once, cooperate. If opponent defects twice retaliate. Practically: If hesh smites the other cheek, kill herm.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jesus as humanist.

Definitions - Beliefnet

The problem with Christian theology is that it has nothing at all to do with Jesus. John was closest to Jesus, but even he tried to wrap theology around Jesus. It didn't work.

Once you divorce Jesus from theology most of the objections to his historical existence as a person evaporate. The miracles become mnemonics, the eclecticism from past religious traditions only shows he was aware of them and incorporated what he thought were the best parts in his ministry. Paul's hijacking of his charisma is for me definitive proof of his existence as a popular preacher probably named Jesus in Greek. The fact that the Synoptics survived in spite of their disagreement with all Christian theology is additional proof for me of the importance and historicity of Jesus.

I find Jesus to be quite human, quite humanistic, and radically respectful of all people. No wonder they killed him.