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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Talk_Religion's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, April 16th, 2011
3:19 pm
Saw this and thought what the hey

Thoughts on this?(I copy and pasted a bit of it, the rest under the link)

Monism, One Wiccan Perspective Durwydd MacTara
"Henotheism n. Belief in one god without denying the existence of others." (American Heritage Second College Dictionary)

"Monism n. philos. A metaphysical system in which reality is conceived as a unified whole." (American Heritage Second College Dictionary)

"Monotheism n. The belief or doctrine that there is only one God." (American Heritage Second College Dictionary)

"Pantheism n. 1. The doctrine identifying the Deity with the various forces and workings of nature. 2. Belief in and worship of all gods." (American Heritage Second College Dictionary)

"Polytheism n. The worship of or belief in more than one god." (American Heritage Second College Dictionary)

"To witches, deities manifest in different ways and can be worshipped and contacted through any form suitable to local conditions and personal needs. Wicca does not believe, as do the patriarchal monotheisms, that there is only one correct version of God and that all other God forms are false: the Gods of Wicca are not jealous Gods. We therefore worship the personification of the male and female principles, the God and the Goddess, recognizing that Gods are aspects of the One God and all Goddesses are different aspects of the one Goddess, and that ultimately these two are reconciled in the one divine essence."

(Vivianne Crowley, WICCA: The Old Religion in The New Age, pp. 11-12)
Sunday, January 9th, 2011
6:08 pm
The Lucifer myth
Ok, I am going back twenty, maybe thrity years on this, but when I was in my teens, I recall reading in a Public Library, in the reference section, a large tome on religion and folklore.

As I recall it, it was saying that the reference to Lucifer in the Bible is simply the reworking of an older pagan myth.

I don't recall which mythology it was taken from, but the story went that the Sun got up one morning to see the Morning Star, shining defiantly in the firmament as the other stars went out before the glory of the rising sun. In fact, after several days, it seemed as if the Morning Star was going to go on up above the horizon and shine alongside the Sun itself in mid heaven at noon - getting to the top before the Sun did - and the Sun god was not having that!

So, down this presumptuous star was hurled, just as it seemed so near to its goal.
Of course, the planet Venus reappears as the Evening Star instead, and shines after sunset for a while, until it is in the right position in its orbit to appear once more in the morning sky.

But which race was it that first told the tale? Syrians, Addakians, or was it someone else?
What were the name of their sun god, and by what name did they call the Morning Star? Sadly , I forget - however, I am pretty certain that this is where Isaiah got his inspiration from.

There is no mention of a rebel angel in Genesis, never mind a cherub who decided to challenge God for supremacy. So, I ask, where did the Jews borrow this legend from - do we know its ultimate source?
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
8:17 am


copy and paste of some of that website

Matrons and Disir:The Heathen Tribal Mothers

By Winifred Hodge

Matron Worship in Germanic Lands

A belief and trust in protective maternal deities seems to have been strong among our Heathen forebears for many centuries, at least as strong as their belief in the Aesir and Vanir more familiar to us today. The earliest written records of these beliefs begin during the first century C.E. and predominate in the lands of the continental Germans. The core areas of the Matron Cult were in ancient Germania, eastern Gaul, and northern Italy, but it reached as far as present day Scotland, Frisia, southern Spain and Rome. More than 1100 votive stones and altars to the "matrons" or mothers have been found to date, over half of which are dedicated to beings with clearly Germanic names; the others are of Celtic origin or are unclear whether Celtic or Germanic. The Germanic folk and the Celts apparently shared this belief, as with a number of other similarities between the beliefs of these peoples.

More than simple votive stones have been found, however: in some areas there were large cult centers, temples and monuments, especially along the Rhine. Some of the largest were in Pesch, Nettersheim, and Bonn. The temples, monuments and votive stones show that the following were important to the worship of the mothers:
-burning bowls of incense
-sacrifices of fruit, fish, and pigs,
-imagery of fruit baskets, plants, trees, babies, children, cloths for wrapping babies, and snakes.
Images of the mothers generally show them in a group of three, though occasionally two or one are found; usually at least one of them holds a basket of fruit, and often a baby is held. Often all of them have clothing and hairstyles or headdressing indicating their matron status, though sometimes the middle figure is shown dressed as a maiden, with her hair loose.
Sunday, October 31st, 2010
9:22 pm
Since today is Samhain, I thought, why not talk about it.
The least biased article I could find on a quick google.

Interesting enough I did find out via the history channel today, the reason why ghosts are depicted in sheets. It references the burial shrouds. The whole door to door treating gifting originated from, the kids asking for treats(soul cakes) to pray for the souls on All souls day on Nov 2. Trick or Treating is about 80 years old and derives from bribing kids with treats to keep them from acting on Halloween or mischief night.



Read more...Collapse )
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
10:16 pm
Monday, February 1st, 2010
3:10 pm
Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution
PRINCETON, NJ -- The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.

Independents and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in the theory of evolution. But even among non-Republicans there appears to be a significant minority who doubt that evolution adequately explains where humans came from.

More at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/27847/majority-republicans-doubt-theory-evolution.aspx

I really struggle with this. Here we are, in the beginnings of the 21st century CE and still, in the most powerful country on the planet, there are still large numbers of people who deliberately ignore clear and explicit facts, or refuse to even entertain them.

Overwhelmingly people use their religious faith as a justification for why they don't believe in the facts as we have discovered them. This is seriously bizarre. What on earth is wrong with accepting that religious texts are a contribution to human spirituality, rather than a supposed eternal descriptive textbook of reality.

You can still have your religious faith and accept evolution, y'know...
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
9:28 pm
Read this at the wild hunt blog and wondered if any of yall would be interested in discussing it?

Friday, December 11th, 2009
10:52 am
Saturday, November 21st, 2009
6:57 pm
Modern Atheism and Naturalistic Pantheism
I recently saw this video posted by a friend, which brought up some thoughts.

Firstly, I absolutely love science. I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, and I read a lot on astronomy when I was younger. I've always done well in physics and loved understanding how the world works. This video reflects a lot of the emotions that such a study brings forth - understanding how something amazing works under the hood. It's very much this sort of attitude that lead me into an education in game development: I experimentally pieced apart the mechanics of games I played, and then learned to simulate those mechanics and make whole new experiences.

That said, as a game developer, and as a Christian, I understand that the wonder of things created begins with the conception in the imagination of the creator followed by the labor to bring forth that imagination into actuality. Thus when I think of the awesomeness of Creation, I can't help but think of the awesomeness of the Creator's imagination and vision, and the work put into it.

An interesting feature I find in many "atheist" conceptions of reality - which does not stray so far from the above - is they are not really described best as "atheist", but a sort of naturalistic pantheism. Consider from the song above...

(Feynman) "I think nature's imagination is so much greater than man's, she's never going to let us relax"

(Sagan) "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff, we are a way for the cosmos to know itself"

Here, Sagan refers to the Big Bang as "our modern scientific creation myth", and seems to give Hinduism great respect for its reference to reality as a cycle of dreams. He concludes with suggesting that in fact, man dreams of gods rather than vice versa.

We see when we synthesize this with the above, a vision in which Nature, or the Cosmos, is itself fundamentally personified emerges clearly. What's interesting is that's in stark contrast to many other "atheist" advocates currently popular in the public circle, who - unlike even very recent predecessors - reject the entire notion of personification of universal forces.

Two questions then emerge:

1. Does the modern atheistic movement (particularly scientism) reject naturalistic pantheism?

It seems to me that in fact, yes, most do, while the previous generation of "great atheist scientific thinkers" did not and in fact quite passionately embraced naturalistic pantheism.

2. If not, why not identify as this rather than "atheist" in order to open this dialogue and encourage cultural synergy rather than rivalry if in fact this is the case?

3. If so, why do they? Does the modern atheistic movement truly intellectually reject naturalistic pantheism, or is it something else that motivates its rejection?

I think perhaps a fear of religious conceptions as a whole motivates it more than intellectual considerations.
Thursday, November 19th, 2009
10:22 pm
Separation of church and state.

Good thing? Bad thing? Worst thing? Best thing ever?

Me personally, I'm a fan. But I'm also a minority in regards to my religious beliefs.

I mention this because it has recently come to my attention that in Texas (and some other places in the US) there is such a thing as "Jesus Day"


According to wiki: "George W. Bush, signed a bill into law proclaiming June 10, 2000 to be Jesus Day, following the lead of many other states and cities in the United States."

Now, I'm no constitutional scholar but I have read the first amendment.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people, peaceably to assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Now, Bush was governor of texas when he signed a bill into law, but that means that the Texas congress crafted a bill--a law--respecting an establishment of religion, no?

If this is not respecting an establishment of religion, what is?
Clearly this sounds like an endorsement of one religion over others--after all, is there a Mohammad day? A Krishna day? Hercules day?

So yeah, what says you? I'm curious.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
2:35 pm
Christmas vs Happy Holidays
Your take

Liberty Naughty or Nice list

The front page detailing some of the instances of why they keep this list.
Monday, November 9th, 2009
12:14 pm
This post brought to you by the food group spam
Okies guys and girls, I have made a sister community. It is dun dun dun


Ok now back to our regularly scheduled discussion without spam.
Friday, November 6th, 2009
12:27 am
A simple argument against Calvinism
X-posted from my personal journal.

After having refined my position on this issue, I think I have come up with a fairly effective argument against Calvinism. I used to find it attractive, then faltered into suspicion, which has now turned around into my opinion that it is fully incoherent.

I submit this argument for your consideration and criticism:

I start with three fairly universally agreeable premises:

(P1) Morality of Total Subjugation: If one is absolutely subjugating another (e.g. the other has no choice, and the subjugator does), the subjugator takes full moral responsibility for the subjugated individual's actions.
(P2) Fairness Principle of Justice: It is unjust to treat one who does one thing in one set of circumstances one way, while treating another unequally who does the same thing in the same circumstances.
(P3) Salvation is Good: Giving salvation (prima facie, that is, without actions/circumstances considered) is morally better than not giving salvation (they are unequal).

Then I add two additional premises which logically follow from points of TULIP:

(P4) With regards to salvation, God absolutely subjugates us. (T+I)
(P5) God does not decide our salvation based on anything we do. (U)

From here, the argument goes:

(C1) God takes full moral responsibility for our salvation. (P1+P4)
(C2) It would be unjust of God to offer salvation to someone who does one set of things in one set of circumstances, and not to another who does the same thing in the same set of circumstances. (P2+P3)
(C3) Therefore, God must compare some thing(s) we do in order to remain just in His choices of salvation. (C2)
(C4) But God does not (P5), therefore God is unjust.

This results in reductio ad absurdum, as in fact Calvinists (and all Christians) do believe fundamentally that God is not unjust.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
10:09 pm
I'm watching Clash of the Gods on the history channel. They are discussing Heracules. They mentioned that in Greek society a hero is someone who suffers. This program and remembering a friends post, on the same lines a while back, led me to wonder. SO this post is about what makes a Hero to you.
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
1:34 pm
The general case vs. the specific incident
A post by conservative Rod Dreher on his Beliefnet blog has me (as often happens with my mind's proclivity for free association) thinking about how we view each other and the world around us.

Before I continue, I ask the reader to parse that last phrase carefully. The conjunction of "each other" with "the world" is intended to be simultaneous as well as inclusive.

My basic premise is that we do not change filters, make adjustments or even attempt to make distinctions between our perceptions of the mundane and concrete or the abstract. We think about them differently, I'm sure, but how we perceive them doesn't change.

Therein lies a rub, for me. We perceive all (as it were), but we only think about that portion of it all that suits the level of abstract or concrete at which we believe we reside.

The free association part: I believe, never associating "humble" with my opinion here, that it is not possible to have a discussion about the abstract by means of examples, and that it is not possible to have a discussion about issues by means of analogy. The former breaks down as soon as one can find an example that contradicts the position taken. The latter breaks down as soon as one can find an aspect of one issue that has no bearing on the other.

fanha's recent post and experiences elsewhere has been on my mind, too. However, it is not the sole motivation for this post. For we who free associate, all is fodder for our thoughts and ideas. To point to just one will only confuse us, or make you look foolish (preferably both).
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
8:42 am
Inspired by the Monster Quest marathon on the history channel.
What are your religions, or your personal bogeymans? Any experiences you'd care to share? Folktales?


This isn't a religous bogeyman just my personal exp. Vampires. They aren't physical, and they tend to hang out in stagnant watery areas(one of the houses we rented had one(at least that's what I think it was) and it the house was near a slow part of the river. I've also run into them at a cemetary in Everett Wa.

According to John Michael Greer, they are spirits of long dead humans, who need energy to maintain their physical form.

Thoughts commments, discussions etc.
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
11:30 pm
FAQs for the religious person against homosexual relationships as marriage
Over the past few months, I've subjected my views on this issue to criticism by on the order of at least a half-dozen extremely extended debates with people of at very least reasonable intellectual capability, many of which sadly seem to have degraded into name-calling on the part of the other party. After this multitude of exchanges, I've seen them all take roughly similar form and reduce to very similar questions/disagreements. In order to facilitate understanding between the millions of Americans who disaffirm homosexual relationships as marriage and the millions of others who do affirm it, I'd like to present a Socratic dialogue which I think represents a condensed mashup of the basics of the interactions I've seen here and the responses from my position to these common criticisms. This obviously doesn't hit everything (e.g. sometimes it does drill into the theological aspects), but it hits the basics that most non-Christian people seem to get stuck on. I'm drawing mostly from material from the following threads, which you're welcome to read:


(Note: The content here is not intended to stereotype any side of the debate. It's simply a mashup, and thus contains a sampling of multiple different levels of reactions I've experienced. I deliberately push it a little over-the-top in the Socratic spirit.)

A dialogue with the religious person against homosexual marriageCollapse )

X-posted to convert_me, from whence much of the fire that refined this view came.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
8:22 am
Psychological Ponderings
I am Wondering if the violent "Agree with me or I won't be your friend and I won't love you any more" attitude of many people today has evolved from Christianity.

Many people today have a harsh attitude in regards to their friends and associates.  If you disagree with them, they will banish you from their life, harshly.

Think about it. Jehovah says that he loves you unconditionally - as long as you believe in Him, love Him and worship Him. The moment you do wrong, he casts you out of his presence, into Hell.

Has this seeped into the psyche of society and created this pseudo 'God Complex' in many people?

Just thinking...
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
10:25 pm
British Israelism
Any thoughts on this topic? Sorry for the "Random Issue: Discuss" type post, but I figured this might stir up conversation.
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
11:07 am
So which ones do you have? Have they come from religious or folklore? Or are you even Superstitous?
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