U.S. Ambassador Killed Over Anti-Islam Movie - Page 17 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:15 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Pearl
Last year, I read "The Evolution of God"...I forgot the author's name. Anyway, the first quarter of the book discusses how religion came about in early societies by looking at cultures like those in Papua New Guinea, which are still very much stone age like. It gives a very good argument on how religion could not be avoided in ancient history. The author is an agnostic, so maybe some of you may want to read it.
The Evolution of God is by Robert Wright. He's fantastic - probably my favorite nonfiction writer. I mentioned another one of his books, Nonzero, earlier in this thread, actually.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:28 PM   #242
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That's it - Robert Wright. Thanks, digitize.

Yeah, his books are easy to read because he isn't dry or textbook-like in his language.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:44 PM   #243
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The Evolution of God | On Being
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by INDY500
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/wo...says.html?_r=0

It was not self-evident one week ago to the White House. Everyone else yes, the White House no. So what Hillary Clinton, Jay Carney, Susan Rice and other W.H. operatives were saying last week was wrong.

So using the same standard of truth applied to GWB and Iraq we can now say about this White House:

Ambassador dies; the White House lies.
Right? I mean, why wait until the facts are in before going public? It's certainly worked fabulously for Romney.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #245
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Here's some good news...

Quote:
A leading figure in the Sunni Islam world called for fellow believers to respond to recent controversial portrayals of Mohammed -- which he said "spread hatred" -- just like the prophet himself would, "through patience and wisdom." The Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa spoke to CNN as Muslims staged yet more passionate protests Saturday in yet more locales, from Germany to Lebanon to Bangladesh, as they have since September 11. Demonstrators railed against an obscure, 14-minute trailer for a film that mocks Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer -- as well as the country in which it was privately produced, the United States -- and more recently a French satirical magazine's cartoons of a figure representing Mohammed.

Sunni Islam leader calls for peace, urges Muslims to have 'patience and wisdom' - CNN.com

And on the opposite side of the spectrum...

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A Pakistan government minister has personally offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills the man who made the anti-Islam movie that is drawing ire throughout the Muslim world. Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour announced the bounty at a news conference Saturday, but he made clear to CNN he was speaking for himself and not as a government representative.
Asked whether he was concerned about committing or condoning a crime as a government official, Bilour said, "I am a Muslim first, then a government representative.
He said he invited the Taliban and al Qaeda to carry out the assassination.
Pakistani minister personally offers reward for anti-Islam filmmaker's death - CNN.com
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #246
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I don't want to seem like I'm picking on you here, but I'd have to challenge this rather strongly. For one, the concept of a well-defined afterlife is a relatively new development. The only pre-Christian society of which I can think that pays any real attention to the afterlife is the ancient Egyptians. Even Judaism, as far as I understand it, does not say much about an afterlife. The mythology about the afterlife in other early religions is vague and often paints a highly depressing picture of what awaits.

Anthropologically speaking, I think it is fairly safe to say that religion, if we define that as some form of ritualized belief in the supernatural, begins as (and largely still is) a means of expressing social value, of demonstrating the importance of certain acts or ideas.

The earliest spiritual rituals, for example, deal with the absolute essentials of life: child-bearing and food-gathering. Then, as family units start to coalesce, ancestor worship develops; next, in early urban environments, deities of farming and warfare appear, and etc.

On this basis I would argue that religion is meant to instill in people a sense of what they have to be doing in order to ensure the survival of their communities. I think that survives even to this day, as you see many religious people believing that their specific values and practices need to be carried out for the good of society at large.
I don't believe there are any religions that don't have anything to say about an afterlife. Some, like Judaism as you mention, may be vague on the issue (Judaism is itself an evolution on previous religions), but the ultimate reward for a devout life is to be taken care of after death. The Greeks and Romans had healthy mythology on the afterlife. The Egyptians too. Even the little we know about proto-religions, or whatever you want to call them, we know from burial rituals (pretty much anything pre Bronze Age). I think it would be nearly impossible to find one that didn't.
Sure, religions have evolved to inform everyday life and culture, but at their very core is the longing to avoid the cessation of being.
But I don't think I'm saying anything particularly radical here.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #247
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I don't believe there are any religions that don't have anything to say about an afterlife. Some, like Judaism as you mention, may be vague on the issue (Judaism is itself an evolution on previous religions), but the ultimate reward for a devout life is to be taken care of after death. The Greeks and Romans had healthy mythology on the afterlife. The Egyptians too. Even the little we know about proto-religions, or whatever you want to call them, we know from burial rituals (pretty much anything pre Bronze Age). I think it would be nearly impossible to find one that didn't.
Sure, religions have evolved to inform everyday life and culture, but at their very core is the longing to avoid the cessation of being.
But I don't think I'm saying anything particularly radical here.
I'm going primarily to discuss Graeco-Roman religion, as I most familiar with it. I don't think we can say that there is a healthy mythology on the issue. The places that it does appear, as in the Odyssey, are largely functioning as a literary device rather than a codified belief system. The state religion has nothing to say about an afterlife.

The best evidence against my argument is the presence of grave goods in most cultures. Burying people with items from their life might indicate a belief in an afterlife, but it could also signify insistence on private property, i.e. a person's things are so affixed to him or her that they "die" along with the person. Let's say just for argument's sake that grave goods show belief in an afterlife. The mythology surrounding that afterlife is far from pleasant. Ishtar's descent, Odysseus in the underworld, Persephone and Hades, and others all show an incredibly bleak afterlife in which people are mere shadows of their former selves, usually wandering around with great regret. Even in Egypt, the ornate burials are class-oriented, so that what awaits the deceased is just a continuation of what that person had on earth. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the self dissolves into a larger entity. None of this is what one would call an attractive afterlife, something to which people would look forward as a means of assuaging their fears.

I'm going to hold to the position that religion is about life rather than death. Even the earliest burial rituals are a form of social order, or, even at the most abstract, a means of placating a spirit so that it is not a scourge down the road. Improving conditions of life, or, perhaps more accurately, avoiding catastrophe, is at the core of religion. Economics would back this up as well, if I'm not mistaken: people will usually look to avoid a loss rather than make a gain of similar magnitude.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
The idea definitely freaks me out, too. I may not be very religious, but I do like the idea of there being something after this life is over. What exactly that would be, I couldn't begin to tell you, and of course it's not something that I could prove to be true, but the thought of people I love who've passed being comfortable in some other existence and whatnot is a comforting one for sure.
There's something about the absolution of death and oblivion... it feels like the only time the vastness of the universe imposes itself on us in our otherwise comfortable, self contained little lives on Earth. Scary stuff
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
I'm going primarily to discuss Graeco-Roman religion, as I most familiar with it. I don't think we can say that there is a healthy mythology on the issue. The places that it does appear, as in the Odyssey, are largely functioning as a literary device rather than a codified belief system. The state religion has nothing to say about an afterlife.

The best evidence against my argument is the presence of grave goods in most cultures. Burying people with items from their life might indicate a belief in an afterlife, but it could also signify insistence on private property, i.e. a person's things are so affixed to him or her that they "die" along with the person. Let's say just for argument's sake that grave goods show belief in an afterlife. The mythology surrounding that afterlife is far from pleasant. Ishtar's descent, Odysseus in the underworld, Persephone and Hades, and others all show an incredibly bleak afterlife in which people are mere shadows of their former selves, usually wandering around with great regret. Even in Egypt, the ornate burials are class-oriented, so that what awaits the deceased is just a continuation of what that person had on earth. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the self dissolves into a larger entity. None of this is what one would call an attractive afterlife, something to which people would look forward as a means of assuaging their fears.

I'm going to hold to the position that religion is about life rather than death. Even the earliest burial rituals are a form of social order, or, even at the most abstract, a means of placating a spirit so that it is not a scourge down the road. Improving conditions of life, or, perhaps more accurately, avoiding catastrophe, is at the core of religion. Economics would back this up as well, if I'm not mistaken: people will usually look to avoid a loss rather than make a gain of similar magnitude.
People looking back in 3000 years could also see the Christian belief of heaven and hell and being pure mythology too.
I'm sure I don't have the background that you do, but I don't think the Greek version of the afterlife is as bleak as that; there was a kind of paradise/hell dichotomy as there is in many religions.
As far as Buddhism, Nirvana is something to aspire to, so I'm not sure escaping the cycle of life and dissolving into a larger entity is seen in a negative light.

But anyway, I'm sure there is plenty of evidence on both sides of the fence, so I'll agree to disagree.
If you'd like to add anything else though, I'm fascinated
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #250
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Right? I mean, why wait until the facts are in before going public? It's certainly worked fabulously for Romney.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:23 PM   #251
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Facts are what you make them.

and if you disagree with that, I can post several links to prove it is true.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:05 AM   #252
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i do know that at least one Native American tribe thought the stars were campfires of their departed people on their way to elsewhere
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:54 AM   #253
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Depending on the society in question, at least some early religion should be thought of as a combination of oral history (tribes of Israel) and survival tips (Australian indigenous peoples).

When you get to the kind of society that existed around the Mediterranean shores by the early centuries AD, religion could be thought of as an expression of politics. There's a reason why Constantine and particular Theodosius seized on Christianity. There wasn't much else uniting the vast empire by that point.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #254
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Religion is a result of humanity's inherent desire to draw Order from Chaos.
I don't think it's any more complicated than that. We see mythology naturally arise continually. Even in the subject of this thread. Now add more than a healthy dose of ancient superstition and fear, and it is more than a very natural occurrence. Religion is always, in practically all instances, about dealing with the cruel uncertainty of life.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #255
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Religion is a result of humanity's inherent desire to draw Order from Chaos.
I don't think it's any more complicated than that. We see mythology naturally arise continually. Even in the subject of this thread. Now add more than a healthy dose of ancient superstition and fear, and it is more than a very natural occurrence. Religion is always, in practically all instances, about dealing with the cruel uncertainty of life.
what uncertainty ?
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