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Old 08-24-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,859 posts, read 18,557,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Thanks for your detailed response, Grandstander. I also can't rep you anymore =)
So if messiahs were ubiquitous during this era, why do you think Jesus' legacy(rather real or fictitious) stands out instead of some other *******'s?
I suspect the major credit must go to Paul. He had the fanatic's perseverance at the core of his personality. When he was a Jewish zealot persecuting the heretic Christians on behalf of the Sanhedrin, no one was more dedicated to stamping out the cult. After his conversion, that same absolute fanaticism was transferred to his new beliefs.

Paul fashioned a religion that had enormous appeal to the lower classes of Roman society, convincing them that their fidelity to Jesus would lead to an afterlife where they were the ones treated as lords and their former patrician masters would be the slaves. To a peasant or slave with absolutely no hope of rising through the rigid Roman class system, this was something that gave hope to otherwise miserable and meaningless lives of labor and humiliation.

Paul was smart enough to modify the beliefs of the original cult led by James the Just in Judea and customize Christianity for his Roman audience. Paul did not require converts to have to learn and embrace the Hebrew faith and all of its arcane laws, Paul did not require converts to be circumcised as did the James led Jewish followers of Jesus. Finally Paul recognized that he was at a marketing disadvantage when trying to convince Roman empire residents to reject their familiar gods in favor of a mere prophet, so while the James cult continued to portray Jesus that way, Paul shrewdly and slowly promoted his Jesus to God. Now the converts were trading god for god, not god for a human.

I also would credit the behavior of the early Christian cults in Rome for their eventual success. These were people who really did make an effort to live up to the severe lives of sacrifice and devotion in preparation for the Kingdom of Heaven, which Paul preached was the message of Jesus. In the second and third Centuries, when Rome was ravaged by plague, the wealthy physicians of Rome fled the city for the country to escape the disease. The Christians volunteered themselves as the caretakers of those struck down by the virus and many of them gave their lives in this service. They did not discriminate, serving patrician and plebeian alike. Many Roman matrons who received such services from Christians during the time of plague, rewarded them later by taking them into their households and making them favored slaves. The first conversions among the upper classes began to take place, mostly women, but they were not without influence on their husbands and children.

Christianity had two periods of growth, opposite in nature. When it began it was a religion going up...popular among the lower classes and slowly spreading to the Patricians. After Constantine it became a religion going down, one held by the upper classes as a consequence of edict, and then forced upon the lower classes at swordpoint, especially by the Frankish Kings, Charles Martel and Charlemagne.

Finally I would have to add that luck probably had a great deal to do with it. Why did Joseph Smith succeed in making so many converts with his unprovable claims where others with similar claims did not? How did someone with ideas as bizarre as Charley Manson manage to gather a cult who worshiped him? The timing and circumstances had to be just right.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,191 posts, read 9,079,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
Dang.

I thought (via the subject line) that maybe this was going to be a thread about one of my heroes - The Dude - of The Great Lebowski fame.

The Dude was, and continues to be, righteously cool indeed.

So...nevermind.

Then there is the antichrist figure in Stephen King's The Stand: The Walking Dude. The Hardcase. He darkles. He tincts.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:42 PM
Status: "Smacking fundies." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,777 posts, read 13,404,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Then there is the antichrist figure in Stephen King's The Stand: The Walking Dude. The Hardcase. He darkles. He tincts.
Hmmm...The Dude vs The Walking Dude...I think somewhere in Hollywood, a Producer just heard a ka-ching!

ETA: I think Jeff Bridges could still inhabit The Dude, no problemo.

Last edited by TroutDude; 08-24-2013 at 08:44 PM.. Reason: See above.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:59 PM
 
40,043 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
Dang.
I thought (via the subject line) that maybe this was going to be a thread about one of my heroes - The Dude - of The Great Lebowski fame.
The Dude was, and continues to be, righteously cool indeed.
So...nevermind.
I wonder if there is a statute of limitations or excommunication for Dudeists? I was ordained a Dudeist Reverend . . . once upon a time.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:29 PM
Status: "Smacking fundies." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,777 posts, read 13,404,281 times
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:43 PM
 
583 posts, read 1,487,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac110 View Post
If I'm reading this right, it belongs in the atheist joke thread.
yes the dude like the guy from the movie
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,882,746 times
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:23 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,646,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post

[/i]ETA: I think Jeff Bridges could still inhabit The Dude, no problemo.
Still? He never stopped.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:23 AM
 
39,033 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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Since the absurd Zaphod Beeblebrox, Dudeness has become passe. And Jesus wasn't Dude either in reality or in the Gospel story.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:13 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,342,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Thanks for your detailed response, Grandstander. I also can't rep you anymore =)
So if messiahs were ubiquitous during this era, why do you think Jesus' legacy(rather real or fictitious) stands out instead of some other *******'s?

Jesus, or his press agents, stood on the shoulders of giants. Jesus's story is almost identical to that of Mithra, Horus and several other deities, and it is probably why he caught on in the Middle East -- gods were born to virgins in those days and later martyred, and that was part of what made you kosher (pardon the expression ) in the public eye. Once the Roman government adopted that religion, it was going to spread all over the world, because the Romans went everywhere, cheerfully destroying the local cultures and replacing them with Roman ways. And here we are now, with senators and Jesus Christ instead of tribal chieftans and the orishas.
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