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Old 03-19-2011, 01:24 AM   #151
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In total, was the creation, passing down and compilation of all of these stories done with the intent to control the masses, or was it all part of the creation of a strong folk narrative for a race of people? A narrative intended not for control, but to give strength?

The truth is probably, bit of both, at varying times, and it jumbles together.
Yep, both. A narrative to give comfort in the midst of uncertainty which was appropriated into different cultures (the old, old stuff)

In any event, we can see myth making in 'real time' all the time. In politics, in entertainment. There are many examples. The JFK assassination would be a decent example. Roswell, another. We also see it on Interference all time time.

I'm not talking about sinister schemes like L Ron Hubbard...I'm talking more about the mythology of the pursuit of truth - and how if there is no concrete agreement on something - then as time slips away (but certainly before much of written/recorded history - much less in the modern era) those things formulate into urban legends/wives tales and such - and if it is THE biggest question of all time, you can easily imagine how those core myths take hold and change across cultures.

Such as The Great Flood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myth
Certainly a 'dramatic flood event' must have happened, I am talking about the mythology that surrounds it. Even the possessors of the oldest known written language, the Sumerians have that one.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:46 AM   #152
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Yep, both. A narrative to give comfort in the midst of uncertainty which was appropriated into different cultures (the old, old stuff)
Just as a bit of an aside it's interesting when people talk about religion bringing comfort because I really do think atheism can bring a lot of comfort on its own. To believe that there is no God, no judgement after death, no Hell and that they are accountable to no one would be rather comforting for quite a lot of people.

Those Atheism buses had the slogan, 'There probably isn't a God so stop worrying and enjoy your life.'
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #153
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I have no reason not to believe that Hell, and religion, were inventions of centuries ago to control the masses. I have no reason to believe the Bible is anything more than a book written by a number of different men riffing on some vague idea of what is moral. As far as I'm concerned, I'm completely certain it was all made up to scare people into submission. It's something that makes sense, it's something that's been documented, and it's something plausible. Religion is in no way plausible.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that I just flat out dislike religion.

I most recently attended mass five days ago.
That I don't know how challenging it is to break away from family traditions makes your free-thought all the more commendable.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #154
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That I don't know how challenging it is to break away from family traditions makes your free-thought all the more commendable.
I just think it's a shame that I basically have to mend my stated viewpoints based upon the crowd around me. Alas, this society and its attachment to religion have created a huge social stigma against agnosticism and atheism, one that even a family in the northeastern United States in 2011 cannot attempt to avoid.

I appreciate your kind words.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #155
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'Religion' a lot of the time, is about living for other people. I know I'm not as close to God as I should be and I try to work on it, but I definitely believe in Hell because it seems Hell is where those who don't believe go. Because think about it, you don't believe in God where do you think you'll go? But I'm assuming that if you don't believe in God, then there is no Hell either.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #156
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Great to know I'm en route to Hell.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:10 PM   #157
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Great to know I'm en route to Hell.

For all I know, I'm probably headed to Hell myself. Higher beings are really hard to please, nearly demanding everything good in a world that doesn't even come close.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:19 PM   #158
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Why do you believe the God you believe in demands such a perfection from you?
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:25 PM   #159
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Hell no.
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Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:29 PM   #160
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Why do you believe the God you believe in demands such a perfection from you?
God wants us all to live right, get saved and strive to live like His people (however that may be). I want to, I really do but I don't know how to get myself to the point where it matters to me. I don't know how to explain it. I go to church, though I feel like I have no connection with God what so ever, like He doesn't care to listen to what I have to say. Somehow, I know that isn't true.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #161
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For all I know, I'm probably headed to Hell myself. Higher beings are really hard to please, nearly demanding everything good in a world that doesn't even come close.
These higher beings sound like dicks.

We're only as good as the world allows us to be.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #162
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God wants us all to live right, get saved and strive to live like His people (however that may be). I want to, I really do but I don't know how to get myself to the point where it matters to me. I don't know how to explain it. I go to church, though I feel like I have no connection with God what so ever, like He doesn't care to listen to what I have to say. Somehow, I know that isn't true.
Well, that criminal who was crucified with Jesus surely didn't live right, but Jesus promised him heaven.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:44 PM   #163
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God wants us all to live right, get saved and strive to live like His people (however that may be). I want to, I really do but I don't know how to get myself to the point where it matters to me. I don't know how to explain it. I go to church, though I feel like I have no connection with God what so ever, like He doesn't care to listen to what I have to say. Somehow, I know that isn't true.
I would think that the God as in the new testament is a benevolent God who created us in his image and wants us to strive for a good, happy life. Not only for us, but also for the people around us. And he equipped us with free will, desires (sexual, material etc.) not to then demand from us to feel ashamed by them, but to use them. And in the end, where you end up will be decided on the balance of what you did in life, not if you have been perfect at any moment or tried to exactly copy him.
Mind you, I don't believe in any entity, so that's merely my interpretation from what I've learnt in school and in my youth.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #164
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Well, that criminal who was crucified with Jesus surely didn't live right, but Jesus promised him heaven.
That's true. Is this saying that even though I don't think or feel I'm God material, He still cares? I know He cares about everyone, even those who don't care about Him. He's very patient and forgiving, and we take this for granted.

What to you think would have happened had He forced people to believe and get saved, than to had given us free will as we have now?
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #165
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That's true. Is this saying that even though I don't think or feel I'm God material, He still cares? I know He cares about everyone, even those who don't care about Him. He's very patient and forgiving, and we take this for granted.

What to you think would have happened had He forced people to believe and get saved, than to had given us free will as we have now?
God forcing people to anything... I just can't imagine it as I said earlier in this thread. Free will was His idea and He knew what will happen, but He decided to give people choice.
Otherwise people would be a kind of puppets, unable to make decisions etc.
God wanted people to choose Him, but knowingly, because it means more.
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