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Old 12-21-2011, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,144 posts, read 19,297,366 times
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I can't help but ask the question while sitting here in my old home's front room for it's 95th Christmas, all decorated in it's symbol-laced Christmas splendor and listening to traditional christian Christmas hymns...

Stripped of centuries of baggage, it's easy right now to see why so many embrace the Jesus story as the literal truth. It would be wonderful for something like that to have really happened...

But then again, it would be seriously cool to meet Gandalf or Peter Pan too. I think I got sappy about the subject last Christmas as well, but hey, 'tis the season!

Merry (*insert your brand of holiday cheer here*)!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
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I think I got Jesus out of my system back when I thought he was real. I thought I really knew him and it was cool at the time, but then I found out he was just my imaginary friend.

Yeah, Gandalf would be cool to meet, or Dumbledore.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Jesus? Naw, there are way cooler mythical beings. I'll take Clark Kent/Superman anyday!

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:34 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,121,690 times
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Religion can be beautiful when you view it from an emotional level...

It's just when you turn your brain on and begin asking questions that problems arise.

It really shows you how insidious and truly effective indoctrination and emotional appeals can be. Which is actually kind of scary, when you think about it.

So Christmas time feels like I stumbled into a cult, and am witnessing first hand beliefs being re-enforced and "re-stamped" on the unaware believers.

(calm voice) - "Don't forget now - this is Jesus Christs birthday. Make sure you remind your children so when they grow up and think back to this moment, they'll equate Jesus with the warmth of this holiday experience."

How evil.

Maybe a bit dramatic, but - the truth is the truth.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:37 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,933 posts, read 4,010,855 times
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I'd reference Ghandi
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Probably interesting to meet the Historical Jesus, find out that he probably never said or did what people claim, probably find out that unlike his evangelical followers today, he is probably a really good guy.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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No.

Read what he has to say and you won't like him as a person either
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,144 posts, read 19,297,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
Religion can be beautiful when you view it from an emotional level...

It's just when you turn your brain on and begin asking questions that problems arise.

It really shows you how insidious and truly effective indoctrination and emotional appeals can be. Which is actually kind of scary, when you think about it.

So Christmas time feels like I stumbled into a cult, and am witnessing first hand beliefs being re-enforced and "re-stamped" on the unaware believers.

(calm voice) - "Don't forget now - this is Jesus Christs birthday. Make sure you remind your children so when they grow up and think back to this moment, they'll equate Jesus with the warmth of this holiday experience."

How evil.

Maybe a bit dramatic, but - the truth is the truth.
I'm not so sure I'd call it evil, but it obviously is manipulative.

I really do see Christmas as essentially the same thing as getting into a fantasy movie. I really did wonder, cry and get into "The Lord of the Rings"... but even Tolkien had an agenda. The whole story is really an allegory of his hope for a world that wouldn't be consumed by dangerous new technologies, urban growth and fascist ideals that truly were threatening to a traditionalist English Gent in a WW2 era Earth. I don't share all of Tokien's same fears or wants (who really wants to be a hobbit, {i.e. a turn of the century English country bumpkin} anyway?) but they never got in the way for me or the things I got from the books.

Manipulation looses it's power when the manipulation is revealed and the story can be enjoyed, be educational and even celebrated when understood from a broader perspective.

I can say I enjoy the story of Jesus as an allegory for an ideal leader than could never really happen in real life; a guy with phenomenal cosmic powers but the wisdom to know when to, and when NOT to use them and a leader who never thought of himself as anything but a servant to those who follow him ... all the while never seeking glory, power or riches for himself, even willingly being tortured and murdered for his followers.

We need a guy like that in our world; but I don't think human DNA is capable of programming such an amazing hairless bipedal ape.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:32 PM
 
Location: TX
6,491 posts, read 5,277,885 times
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No, my hopes for what's real are already part of my belief system. I don't separate the two; I think it's foolish.

I hope AND believe...

That heaven exists, but there IS a night and a winter and rain.
That me and my girlfriend and my son will be together up there doin fun stuff, not just praising the lord all day.
That my dog Bandit's gonna be waiting up there for me too *sniffle*
That I can play the Xbox 360 and order Domino's til the end of time.
That the streets are paved with silver instead of gold.
And that all of you fine people will be there with me

No, wait... Yeah ok, all of you...
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,510,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
We need a guy like that in our world; but I don't think human DNA is capable of programming such an amazing hairless bipedal ape.
I don't know. I think the Dali Lama and Ghandi come pretty close. I also think true practitioners of Buddhism can come close as well.

Actually, when I think about it, I have known several really, deeply good and wise people. No one religious tradition or philosophy has a monopoly on them.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,497,700 times
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I don't doubt that a man named Jesus did exist. I just don't believe all that was attributed to him. Way too "extreme urban legend" for me.

Chances are he was just a very charismatic person and, as such, he was made into kind of a super hero by his fan club.

Aaaaanyway, Blessed Yule to you all!
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